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Calvert of Strathore by Carter Goodloe


CHAPTER I. THE LEGATION AT PARIS
CHAPTER II. THE FRANCE OF 1789
CHAPTER III. “THE LASS WITH THE DELICATE AIR”
CHAPTER IV. AT THE PALAIS ROYAL
CHAPTER V. THE PRIVATE SECRETARY
CHAPTER VI. MR. CALVERT MEETS OLD AND NEW FRIENDS
CHAPTER VII. AN AFTERNOON ON THE ICE
CHAPTER VIII. THE AMERICANS ARE MADE WELCOME IN PARIS
CHAPTER IX. IN WHICH MR. CALVERT'S GOOD INTENTIONS MISCARRY
CHAPTER X. AT VERSAILLES
CHAPTER XI. MR. CALVERT ATTENDS THE KING'S LEVEE
CHAPTER XII. THE FOURTH AND THE FOURTEENTH OF JULY
CHAPTER XIII. MONSIEUR DE LAFAYETTE BRINGS FRIENDS TO A DINNER AT THE LEGATION
CHAPTER XIV. MR. CALVERT RIDES DOWN INTO TOURAINE
CHAPTER XV. CHRISTMAS EVE
CHAPTER XVI. MR. CALVERT TRIES TO FORGET
CHAPTER XVII. MR. CALVERT MEETS AN OLD ENEMY
CHAPTER XVIII. MR. CALVERT FIGHTS A DUEL
CHAPTER XIX. IN WHICH AN UNLOOKED-FOR EVENT TAKES PLACE
CHAPTER XX. MR. CALVERT SEES A SHORT CAMPAIGN UNDER LAFAYETTE
CHAPTER XXI. MR. CALVERT QUITS THE ARMY AND ENGAGES IN A HAZARDOUS ENTERPRISE
CHAPTER XXII. MR. CALVERT STARTS ON A JOURNEY
CHAPTER XXIII. WITHIN THE PALACE
CHAPTER XXIV. THE TENTH OF AUGUST


 

CALVERT OF STRATHORE

BY CARTER GOODLOE

1903

CALVERT OF STRATHMORE

 

CHAPTER I. THE LEGATION AT PARIS

There seemed to be some unusual commotion, a suppressed excitement, about the new and stately American Legation at Paris on the morning of the 3d of February in the year of grace (but not for France—her days and years of grace were over!) 1789. The handsome mansion at the corner of the Grande Route des Champs Elysees and the rue Neuve de Berry, which had lately belonged to Monsieur le Comte de l'Avongeac and in which Mr. Jefferson had installed himself as accredited minister to France after the return of Dr. Franklin to America, presented an appearance different from its usual quiet.

Across the courtyard, covered with snow fallen during the might, which glittered and sparkled in the brilliant wintry sunshine, grooms and stable-boys hurried between ecuries and remises, currying Mr. Jefferson's horses and sponging off Mr. Jefferson's handsome carriage, with which he had provided himself on setting up his establishment as minister of the infant federation of States to the court of the sixteenth Louis. At the porter's lodge that functionary frequently left his little room, with its brazier of glowing coals, and walked up and down beneath the porte-cochere, flapping his arms vigorously in the biting wintry air, and glancing between the bars of the great outer gate up and down the road as if on the lookout for some person or persons. In the hotel itself, servants moved quickly and quietly about, setting everything in the most perfect order.

At one of the windows which gave upon the extensive gardens, covered, like all else, with the freshly fallen snow, Mr. Jefferson himself could now and then be seen as he moved restlessly about the small, octagonal room, lined with books and littered with papers, in which he conducted most of his official business. A letter, just finished, lay upon his desk. 'Twas to his daughter in her convent of Panthemont, and full of that good advice which no one ever knew how to give better than he. The letter being folded and despatched by a servant, Mr. Jefferson was at liberty to indulge his restless mood. This he did, walking up and down with his hands clasped behind his back, as was his fashion; but, in spite of the impatience of his manner, a smile, as of some secret contentment or happy anticipation, played about his lips. At frequent intervals he would station himself at one of the windows which commanded the entrance of the hotel, and, looking anxiously out at the wintry scene, would consult the splendid new watch just made for him, at great cost, by Monsieur l'Epine.

It was on the stroke of twelve by Monsieur l'Epine's watch when Mr. Jefferson, gazing out of the window for the twentieth time that morning of February 3d, saw a large travelling berline turn in at the big grille and draw up under the porte-cochere in front of the porter's lodge. In an instant he was out of the room, down the great stairway, and at the entrance of the rez-de-chaussee, just as the postilion, dismounting, opened the door of the carriage from which emerged a large, handsome man of about thirty-five or six, who moved with surprising agility considering the fact that he boasted but one good leg, the other member being merely a wooden stump. He was followed by a younger man, who sprang out and waited respectfully, but eagerly, until Mr. Jefferson had welcomed his companion.

“Mr. Morris!—my dear sir! welcome to Paris! welcome to this little spot of America!” said Mr. Jefferson, shaking the older man cordially by the hand again and again and drawing him toward the open door. And then passing quickly out upon the step to where the young man still stood looking on at this greeting, Mr. Jefferson laid a hand affectionately on his shoulder and looked into the young eyes.

“My dear boy, my dear Calvert!” he exclaimed with emotion, “I cannot tell you how welcome you are, nor how I thank you for obeying my request to come to me!”

“The kindest command I could have received, sir,” replied the young man, much moved by Mr. Jefferson's affectionate words and manner.

Turning, and linking an arm in that of each of his guests, Mr. Jefferson led them into the house, followed by the servants carrying their travelling things.

“Ah! we will bring back Virginia days in the midst of this turbulent, mad Paris. 'Tis a wild, bad place I have brought you to, Ned,” he said, turning to the young gentleman, “but it must all end in good—surely, surely.” Mr. Jefferson's happy mood seemed suddenly to cloud over, and he spoke absently and almost as if reassuring himself. “But come,” he added, brightening up, “I will not talk of such things before we are fairly in the house! Welcome again, Mr. Morris! Welcome, Mr. Secretary!”—he turned to Calvert—“It seems strange, but most delightful, to have you here.” Talking in such fashion, he hurried them up the great stairway as fast as Mr. Morris's wooden leg would permit, and into his private study.

“Ha! a fire!” said Mr. Morris, sinking down luxuriously in a chair before the blazing logs. “I had almost forgot what the sight of one was like, and I was beginning to wish that this”—he looked down and tapped his sound leg, laughing a little whimsically, “were wood, too. I would have suffered less with the cold!”

“I am sure you must have had a bitter journey from Havre,” rejoined Mr. Jefferson. “'Tis the coldest winter France has known for eighty years—the hardest, cruellest winter the poor of this great city, of this great country, can remember. Would to God it were over and the spring here!”

“I should imagine that it had not been any too pleasant even for the rich,” said Mr. Morris, shivering slightly. But Mr. Jefferson paid no attention to the sufferings of the rich suggested by Mr. Morris, and only stirred the blazing logs uneasily.

“At any rate it serves to make our welcome here seem the warmer, sir,” said Calvert, from where he stood divesting himself of his many-caped top-coat.

“Ah! that is spoken like you, Ned! But stand forth, sir! Let me see if you are changed, if four years at the College of Princeton have made another fellow of my old Calvert of Strathore.” He went over to the young man and drew him into the middle of the room, where the cold, brilliant sunshine struck full on the fine young face. There was no shadow or line upon it.

“You are much grown,” said Mr. Jefferson, thoughtfully, “much taller, but 'tis the same slender, athletic figure, and the eyes and brow and mouth are not changed, thank God!”

“Is there no improvement, sir? Can you note no change for the better?” said Calvert, laughing, and attempting to cover his embarrassment, at the close scrutiny he was undergoing. “But I fear not. I fear my college life has left as little impress on my mind as on my body. I shall never be a scholar like you, sir,” he added, with a sigh.

“And yet, in spite of your disinclination to study, you have gone through college, and most creditably. Dr. Witherspoon himself has written me of your career. Does that say nothing in your favor?”

“To be sure it does,” broke in Mr. Morris, laughing. “There is no merit in being a scholar like Mr. Jefferson here, who was born a student. He couldn't have helped being a scholar if he had tried. But for you, Mr. Calvert, who dislike study, to have made yourself stick to the college curriculum for four years, I consider a great and meritorious achievement!”

“I agree with you entirely, Mr. Morris,” said Mr. Jefferson, joining in the laugh, “and as for that, Ned has done more than merely stick to the curriculum of the college. Dr. Witherspoon, in writing me of his progress, was pleased to say many complimentary things of several excursions into verse which he has made. He especially commended his lines on 'A View of Princeton College,' written something after the manner of Mr. Gray's 'Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.'“

“What!” said Mr. Morris, “an ode on 'A View of Princeton College'! My dear Mr. Calvert, couldn't a young man of your years find a more inspiring theme than a college building to write upon? Instead of an alma mater, you should have chosen some filia pulchra to make verses to,” and he gave Mr. Jefferson a quizzical look.

“I agree with you again, Mr. Morris,” said that gentleman, laughing heartily, “and I think that you and I would have made no such mistake at Ned's age,” and he sighed a little as he thought of the gay pleasures of his own youth, the dances and walks and talks with “Belinda,” and his poetic effusions to her and many another.

“Nor even at our own,” objected Mr. Morris. “I assure you I feel myself quite capable of composing verses to fair ones yet, Mr. Jefferson.” And indeed he was, and rhymed his way gayly to the heart of many a lady in the days to come.

As for Calvert, he only smiled at the light banter at his expense, scarcely understanding it, indeed, for as yet he carried a singularly untouched heart about in his healthy young body.

Mr. Morris arose: “I must be going,” he said. “I have sent my things on to the Hotel de Richelieu—” but Mr. Jefferson pressed him back into his seat.

“You are my guest for the day,” he declared, interrupting him, “and must take your first breakfast with Ned and myself here at the Legation. I will send you around to the rue de Richelieu in my carriage later on. I have a thousand questions to ask you. I must have all the news from America—how fares General Washington, and my friend, James Madison, and pretty Miss Molly Crenshawe?—there's a lovely woman for you, Ned, in the bud, 'tis true, but likely to blossom into a perfect rose. There is but one beauty in all Paris to compare with her, I think. And that is the sister of your old friend d'Azay. And what does Patrick Henry and Pendleton these days? I hear that Hamilton holds strange views about the finances and has spoken of them freely in Congress. What are they? My letters give me no details as yet.” And more and more questions during the abundant breakfast which had been spread for them in the morning-room adjoining Mr. Jefferson's library. Now it was a broadside of inquiries aimed at Mr. Gouverneur Morris concerning the newly adopted Constitution which he had helped fashion for the infant union of States and the chances of electing General Washington as first president of that union; now it was question after question regarding Dr. Franklin's reception in America on his return from France and release from his arduous duties and the vexatious persecutions to which he had been subjected by his former colleagues—the most outrageous and unprovoked that ever man suffered—and there were endless inquiries about personal, friends, about the currency in America, and about the feeling of security and tranquillity of the States.

The breakfast, generous as it was, was over long before Mr. Jefferson had tired of his questioning, and they were still sitting around the table talking when a visitor was announced. It was Monsieur le Vicomte de Beaufort, Lafayette's young kinsman and officer in the American war, who came in directly, bowing to Mr. Morris, whom he had known well in America, and embracing Calvert with a friendly fervor that almost five years of separation had not diminished. He had known of his coming through Mr. Jefferson, and, happening to pass the hotel, had stopped to inquire at the porter's lodge whether the travellers had arrived.

“'Tis a thousand pities d'Azay is not here to welcome you, too, my dear Calvert,” he said, regretfully, “but he will be back to-morrow with his aunt, the old Duchess, and his sister. He is gone down to Azay-le-Roi, his chateau near Tours, to fetch them. But come! I am all impatience to show you a little of my Paris. We won't wait for d'Azay's return to begin, and I am sure Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris will excuse you for a few hours. Is it not so, gentlemen?” He looked around at the two older men. “Calvert has shown me Virginia. I long to return the compliment and show him this little piece of France!”

“But first,” objected Mr. Jefferson, “I should like to show him the Embassy. Come, gentlemen, we will make a rapid tour of the apartments before you set out on your larger explorations.” And, leading the way, he began to point out the public and private apartments, the state dining-room, with its handsome service of silver plate, the view of the large gardens from the windows, the reception-hall, the doorways, the great staircase ornamented with sculptured salamanders, for Monsieur de l'Avongeac's ancestors had built the house during the reign of Francois I. and had adorned it everywhere with the King's insignia. 'Twas a very magnificent hotel, for Mr. Jefferson had been unwilling to jeopardize the fortunes of the new republic by installing its legation in mean quarters, and it was eminently well arranged for the entertainment of the brilliant society that gathered so frequently by his invitation.

When they had made the tour of the establishment and had reached the head of the great stairway again, Mr. Jefferson dismissed the two young men with a final injunction to return soon, as he had much to talk over with Calvert. As the clanging door shut upon them, the two older men turned and went into Mr. Jefferson's study.

“I have to thank you, Mr. Jefferson,” said Mr. Morris, seating himself once more before the crackling fire, “for a most pleasant acquaintance. I will confess now that when you wrote me suggesting that your new secretary should make the journey to France with me, I was scarcely pleased. 'Tis a long trip to make in the company of one who may not be wholly congenial. But from the moment Mr. Calvert presented himself to me in Philadelphia, on the eve of our sailing, until now, I can truly say I have enjoyed every instant of his companionship. I had heard something of him—much, indeed—from General Washington and Mr. Hamilton, but I was wholly unprepared to find so sincere, so intelligent a young gentleman. There is a strength, a fine reserve about him which appeals greatly to me.”

“I thank you,” said Mr. Jefferson, gratefully. “I love him as though he were my son, and any praise of him is dear to me. Do you wonder that I want him near me? Besides, 'tis imperative that I have a private secretary. Mr. Short, our secretary of Legation, who is now in Italy travelling for his health, like myself, is overworked; there are a thousand affairs to be attended to each day, and so little method in our arrangements as yet; our instructions and remittances from Congress are so irregular, our duties so confounded with mere courtesies, that we make but little progress. Besides which the state of affairs in this country renders all diplomatic and business relations very slow and uncertain—I might say hazardous—” He stopped and looked thoughtfully into the fire.

“I am sorry to hear that,” said Mr. Morris, quickly. “I came over on business myself. And on business not only for myself, but on behalf of Mr. Robert Morris and of Constable &Co., of New York City. As you probably know, we have made large shipments of tobacco, contracted for by several farmers-general, but such has been the delay in delivery and payment after reaching this country that we deemed it absolutely necessary to have someone over here to attend to the matter. At Havre I found affairs irregular and prices low and fluctuating. I was hoping the markets would be steadier and quieter in Paris.”

“I am afraid you will not find it so,” replied Mr. Jefferson, shaking his head. “I am persuaded that this country is on the eve of some great change—some great upheaval. I see it in the faces of those I meet in the salons of the rich and noble; I see it in the faces of the common people in the streets—above all, I see it in the faces of the people in the streets.”

Again he stopped and looked thoughtfully into the blazing fire. Mr. Morris's keen eyes fastened themselves on the finely chiselled face opposite him, aglow with a prophetic light. “I would be obliged,” he said at length, “if you would give me some detailed account of the state of this government and country. I should like to know just where I stand. At the distance of three thousand miles, and with slow and irregular packets as the only means of communication, we in America have but an imperfect and tardy conception of what is going on in this country.” He poured out a small glass of cognac from a decanter which stood on a table at his elbow, and, settling himself comfortably in his chair, prepared to listen.

It was a long story that Mr. Jefferson had to tell him—a story with many minute details touching the delicate relations between France and America, with many explanations of the events which had just taken place in Paris and the provinces, with many forecastings of events shortly to take place in the kingdom of Louis XVI. Perhaps it was in the forecasting of those events so soon to take place, of those acts of the multitude, as yet undreamed of by the very doers of them, that Mr. Jefferson most deeply impressed his listener. For there was no attribute of Mr. Jefferson's mind so keen, so unerring, so forceful as that peculiar power of divining the drift of the masses. It was this power which later made him so greatly feared and greatly respected in his own land. Forewarned and forearmed, he had but to range himself at the head of multitudes, whose will he knew almost before they were aware of it themselves, or else to stand aside, and, unscathed, let it pass him by in all its turbulence and strength. But though he could foresee the trend of events, his judgment was not infallible as to their values and consequences. Even as he spoke of the disquieting progress of affairs, even as he predicted the yet more serious turn they were to take, his countenance expressed a boundless, if somewhat vaguely defined, belief and happiness in the future.

The glow of enthusiasm was not at all reflected in the keen, attentive face of the younger man opposite him, whose look of growing disquietude betrayed the fact that he did not share Mr. Jefferson's hopes or sympathies. Indeed, it was inevitable that these two men of genius should hold dissimilar views about the struggle which the one had so clearly divined was to come and of which the other so clearly comprehended the consequences. It was inevitable that the man who had the sublime audacity to proclaim unfettered liberty and equality to a new world should differ radically from the man whose supreme achievement had been the fashioning and welding of its laws. They talked together until the wintry sun suddenly suffered an eclipse behind the mountains of gray clouds which had been threatening to fall upon it all the afternoon, and only the light from the crackling logs remained to show the bright enthusiasm of Mr. Jefferson's noble face and the sombre shadow upon Mr. Morris's disturbed one.

CHAPTER II. THE FRANCE OF 1789

France was sick. A great change and fever had fallen upon her, and there was no physician near skilled enough to cure her. Now and then one of her sons would look upon the pale, wasted features and note the rapidly throbbing pulse, the wild ravings of the disordered brain, and, frightened and despondent, would hurry away to consult with his brothers what should be done. But never to any good. Medicines were tried which had been potent with others in like sickness, but they seemed only to increase her delirium or lessen her vitality—never to bring her strength and reason. Day by day she grew worse. 'Twas as if some quick poison were working in her veins, until at last the poor body was one mass of swollen disfigurements, of putrid sores, that only a miracle from Heaven could heal. As miracles could not be looked for, everyone who had any skill in such desperate cases was called, and a thousand different opinions were given, a thousand different cures tried. And when all was seen to have been in vain, her tortured children, in their despair, left her and turned upon the false physicians, putting them to death and with ferocious joy avenging her agonies. And in the quiet which thus fell upon her, when all had left her to die, the fever and pain vanished; from her opened veins the poisoned blood dropped away; to the blinded eyes sight returned; in the distracted brain reason once more held sway. Slowly and faintly she arose and went about her business.

It was of that fast-sickening France, of that blighted land of France, that Mr. Jefferson spoke so earnestly in the gathering darkness of that winter's day in the year 1789. The storm which had just swept over the American colonies had passed, leaving wrecks strewn from shore to shore, 'tis true, but a land fairer and greater than ever, a people tried by adversity and made strong. The tempest, which had been so gallantly withstood by our ably manned ship of state, had blown across the Atlantic and was beating upon the unprotected shores of France. The storm was gathering fast in that most famous year of 1789—the alpha and omega of French history, the ending of all things old, the beginning of all things new, for France. Two years before the bewildered Assemblee des Notables had met and had been dismissed to spread their agitation and disaffection throughout all France by the still more bewildered Lomenie de Brienne, who was trying his hand at the impossible finances of France after the fall of that magnificent spendthrift, Monsieur Colonne. He, in turn, had been swept from his office and replaced by the pompous and incompetent Necker. Lafayette, the deus ex machina of the times, had asked for his States-General, and now in this never-sufficiently-to-be-remembered year of 1789 they were to be convoked.

All France was disquieted by the elections—nay, more, agitated and agitating. Men who had never thought before were thinking now, and, as was inevitable to such unused intellects, were thinking badly. For the first time the common people were permitted to think. For the first time they were allowed, even urged, to look into their wretched hearts and tell their lord and king what grievances they found there. What wonder that when the ashes were raked from the long-smouldering fires of envy, of injustice, of oppression, of extortion, of misrule of every conceivable sort, they sprang into fierce flame? What wonder that when the bonds of silence were loosed from their miserable mouths, such a wild clamor went up to Heaven as made the king tremble upon his throne and his ministers shake with fear? Who could tell at what moment this unlooked-for, unprecedented clemency might be withdrawn and silence once more be sealed upon them? What wonder, then, that they made the most of their opportunity? What wonder that, suddenly finding themselves strong, who had been weak, they did make the most of it?

The world seemed topsy-turvy. Strange ideas and theories were being written and talked about. Physical science had been revolutionized. People suddenly discovered that what they had held all their lives to be facts were entire misconceptions of the truth. And, if they had been so mistaken about the facts of physical science, might they not be equally mistaken about theology, about law, about politics? Everywhere was doubt and questioning. Revolution was in the air. It was the fashion, and the young French officers returned from the War of Independence in the American colonies found themselves alike the heroes of the common people and of the fashionable world.

True to its nature, the nobility played with revolution as it had played with everything from the beginning of time. It played with reform, with suggestions to abandon its privileges, its titles, with the freedom of the newly born press, with the prerogatives of the crown, with the tiers etat, with life, liberty, and happiness. It was a dangerous game, and in the danger lay its fascination. Society felt its foundations shake, and the more insecure it felt itself to be the more feverish seemed its desire to enjoy life to the dregs, to seize upon that fleet-footed Pleasure who ever kept ahead of her pursuers. There was a constant succession of balls, dramatic fetes, dinner-parties, of official entertainments by the members of the diplomatic corps in this volcanic year of 1789. The ministers of Louis's court, being at their wits' end to know what was to be done to allay the disturbances, were of the mind that they could and would, at least, enjoy themselves. The King having always been at his wits' end was not conscious of being in any unusual or dangerous position. As short-sighted mentally as he was physically, he saw in the popular excitement of the times nothing to dread. Conscious of his own good intentions toward his people, he saw nothing in their ever-increasing demands but evidences of a spirit of progress which he was the first to applaud. Unmindful of the fact that “the most dangerous moment for a bad government is the moment when it meddles with reform,” he yielded everything. The nobles, noting with bitterness his concessions to the tiers etat, told themselves that the King had abandoned them; the common people, suspicious and bewildered, told themselves that their King was but deceiving them. The King, informed of the hostile attitude of the nobility and the ingratitude of the masses, vacillated between his own generous impulses and the despotic demands of the court party. By the King's weakness, more than by all else, were loosened the foundations of that throne of France, already tottering under its long-accumulated weight of injustice, of mad extravagance, of dissoluteness, of bloody crime.

Nature herself seemed to be in league with the discontent of the times. A long drouth in the summer, which had made the poor harvests poorer still, was followed by that famous winter of 1789—that winter of merciless, of unexampled, cold for France. And in the heat of that long summer and in the cold of that still longer winter, the storm gathered fast which was to rise higher and higher until it should beat upon the very throne itself, and all that was left of honor and justice in France should perish therein.

CHAPTER III. “THE LASS WITH THE DELICATE AIR”

It was to that unhappy land of France that Mr. Jefferson had come almost five years before on a mission for Congress. For some time it had been the most cherished design of that body of patriots to establish advantageous commercial treaties with the European powers, thereby securing to America not only material prosperity, but, more important still, forcing our recognition as a separate and independent power, and creating for the new confederation of states a place among the brotherhood of nations. Confident that Mr. Jefferson's astuteness, erudition, and probity would make a powerful impression upon those whom it was so much to our interest to attach to us, Congress had, on the 7th day of May, 1784, appointed him Minister Plenipotentiary for the negotiation of foreign commercial treaties. Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams, his co-workers, were already eagerly awaiting him in Paris.

But, great as was Mr. Jefferson's patriotic interest in the cause he was to represent at the court of Louis XVI., his exile from Monticello was very painful to him. The recent death of his wife there, and the youth of the two children he was to leave, bound him to the place. Having also very clearly in mind Mr. Jay's and Dr. Franklin's disappointments and bickerings in London in the same cause of commercial treaties, he looked forward with growing distaste to the difficulties and diplomatic struggles before him; for Mr. Jefferson was always more ready to lead than to combat. Perhaps, too, he did not relish the idea that although in his own country no one was more generally famed for talents and learning than himself, in Paris, amid that brilliant throng of savants and courtiers, he would be but a simple Virginia gentleman without prestige or reputation. And, moreover, he feared that his plain, democratic manners and principles—which he scorned to alter for anyone—would be but ill-suited to the courtly life of Versailles. For it must be owned that Mr. Jefferson's democracy, like his learning, was a trifle ostentatious, and became more so as he grew older. Surely, though, such blemishes are not incompatible with greatness of character, but only serve to make a great man more lovable and human. And as for Mr. Jefferson, if he had not been blessed with some such harmless frailties, he had seemed almost more than mortal with his great learning, his profound, if often impracticable, philosophy, and his deathless patriotism. Such as he was, Mr. Jefferson was greatly beloved, and many of his warmest friends and admirers foregathered at Monticello on the evening of the 23d of May, 1784, to bid him farewell ere he should set out the next day on his long journey to Boston, from which port he was to sail for France. As he stood on the north portico of Monticello, awaiting his guests and looking long and lovingly at the beautiful view of mountain and valley spread before him, he made a striking, not easily forgotten, picture. The head, lightly thrown back, with its wavy, sandy hair worn short, and the finely chiselled profile were cameo-like in their classical regularity. The lithe, meagre form, well dressed in blackcloth coat and knee breeches, white waistcoat and ruffles of finest linen, black silk stockings and silver-buckled shoes, was energetic, graceful, and well proportioned. With such a physique it was not wonderful that Mr. Jefferson was famous as shot, horseman, and athlete, even among such noted sportsmen as Virginia could boast of by the score in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Suddenly he lowered his head and, withdrawing his gaze from the mountains, looked about him with an impatient little sigh.

“I am a savage! Savage enough to prefer the woods and streams and independence of my Monticello to all the brilliant pleasures which Paris will offer me. I could find it in my heart to wish that Congress had never urged upon me this mission abroad. But I have always tried to serve my country at my country's call, and I shall continue to serve her, though it take me from home and family and friends. Instead of repining at this exile to France—for how long I do not know—I should be thankful for this last beautiful evening at Monticello and for the friends who are come to bid me farewell. I wonder that the Marquis does not arrive. I have much of importance to discuss with him.”

Mr. Jefferson had no greater admirer than the Marquis de Lafayette, whose arrival he so impatiently awaited. He had affairs of weight to talk over with the young Frenchman—letters of introduction to statesmen with whom Lafayette was most intimate, notes on commercial affairs of France, messages to friends, drafts on bankers in Paris, and a host of details on the present state of politics in France with which he wished to become acquainted before presenting himself at the French court, and which Lafayette, but lately returned from France, could amply furnish him. And after business should have been finished, Mr. Jefferson was looking forward with keen delight to all that the observant, cultured young nobleman might have to tell him of the progress in the Parisian world of sciences, art, and music (for Mr. Jefferson was an amateur of music), and of those adventures which had attended his triumphal return to America. 'Twas at General Washington's invitation that Monsieur de Lafayette was re-visiting, after only three years' absence, the greatful states where he had first, and so gloriously, embarked in the cause of liberty, and the warmth of his welcome at Mount Vernon—where indeed Mr. Jefferson's note, inviting him to Monticello, reached him—would alone have repaid him for the long journey had all other honors been denied him. But his progress through the states had been one triumph, marked by lavish fetes and civic parades, not so magnificent, it is true, as those tendered him on his last visit to our country, but still forming an almost unparalleled tribute of affection and respect from a nation to an individual. Young men of the highest position and family attached themselves to his retinue and rode with him from city to city, leaving him only to be replaced by other friends and enthusiastic admirers. Even as Mr. Jefferson stood upon the portico of Monticello, Monsieur de Lafayette was approaching, with his escort, riding hard and joyfully in the gathering twilight to reach there in time to see his illustrious friend before he should set out for Boston.

In the meantime guests were arriving rapidly, horseback or in handsome, high-panelled coaches drawn by four horses (such as Colonel Cary of Ampthill boasted), and the negro grooms were busy stabling them. In the house servants were moving about, lighting the fragrant wax candles of myrtle-berry and seeing to the comfort of the guests. The narrow stairway could hardly accommodate the rustling, voluminous brocades that swept up and down them above the clicking, high-heeled shoes and dainty, silver-clocked stockings. But there was room for all in the beautiful octagonal hall, thirty feet square, and in the long saloon parlor, the cost of whose inlaid satin and rosewood floor had somewhat scandalized Mr. Jefferson's less wealthy and less artistic neighbors.

It were hard indeed to get together a gathering of more beautiful women or more courtly, distinguished gentlemen than was assembled that evening at Monticello. Among the latter were many of those men who had helped to make America what she was; lawgivers, soldiers, tried statesmen who had been of that famous Congress of '75, of which my Lord Chatham, in a burst of uncontrollable enthusiasm, had declared that “its members had never been excelled in solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion.”

The Virginia beauties, if less modish and extravagant, as a rule, than the belles of Philadelphia and New York, yielded to none in aristocratic loveliness and grace and dignity of bearing. In the eyes of Mr. Jefferson their very naturalness made them more attractive, and perhaps it was for her sweet freshness and shy beauty that he gave the palm of loveliness to Miss Molly Crenshawe, who had ridden over on a pillion behind her brother from her father's neighboring estate of Edgemoor, attended by young Carter of Redlands, who was never far away from her if he could help it. A less partial judge than Mr. Jefferson, however, would have found it hard to decide that she was more lovely than her dearest friend, the bewitching Miss Peggy Gary, who had driven over early in the day from Ampthill with her father, Colonel Archibald Gary.

Talking and laughing, the two young girls rustled down the stairs and across the broad hall to the entrance of the saloon parlor, where Mr. Jefferson and his sister, the lovely widow Carr, were standing, greeting their guests. The courtesies which the young ladies swept their host and hostess were marvels of grace and dexterity, and were noted with approval by the young gentlemen who lined the walls or talked to the ladies already foregathered. Some of those same young gentlemen fairly rivalled the ladies in richness of attire, following the elaborate fashions of dress which General Washington had encouraged by his own example. For the most part they were the sons of wealthy farmers and planters, shorn perhaps of some of their pre-Revolutionary splendor, but still aristocrats in bearing and feeling; young sporting squires who indulged in cock-fighting and horse-racing; rising lawyers, orators, all bearing the marks of good birth and good breeding.

Among the crowd of gayly dressed young gentlemen was one who was especially noticeable. His handsome face wore a rather reckless, petulant expression, which, however, could not conceal a certain brightness and fire of genius that at moments eclipsed the irritable look and rendered his countenance unusually attractive. It was Gilbert Stuart, the young portrait painter, but recently returned from England, where he was famed both as artist and wit. It was even said by his admirers (and indeed Mr. Adams had but lately written it home from London) that there his fame and following were the equal of his master's, Benjamin West's, or even Sir Joshua Reynolds's.

The scene in Mr. Jefferson's drawing-room was becoming more and more animated. The guests had nearly all assembled and were thronging the parlor and great hall beneath the brilliant light of many candles. From the music-gallery overhead the sounds of flute and violin in tentative accord were beginning to be heard. The musicians were some of Mr. Jefferson's slaves who had shown marked ability and whom he himself had instructed in the art. They had proved themselves apt pupils and could play excellently airs for the minuet and Virginia reel. Mr. Jefferson was never happier than when Monticello was thronged with gay dancers, nor was he an indifferent votary of Terpsichore himself. Indeed, many were the balls and assemblies he attended during his student days in Williamsburg, many the nights he danced away with “Belinda” and other fair ones. And so when the music for the irresistible Virginia reel struck up, Mr. Jefferson was first on the floor with Miss Molly Crenshawe. They were quickly followed by other couples, until the opposite lines of dancers extended half-way down the sides of the long drawing-room. Up and down they went to the gay music, under the bright light, misty with powder shaken from flying curls.

Suddenly, as Mr. Stuart was advancing with out-stretched hands to swing Miss Gary, there was a blare of horns and a chorus of “hellos" from without, mingled with the sound of horses galloping up the avenue. The dancers ceased their courtesying and stately step, the music stopped, and Mr. Jefferson hurried to the portico in time to greet the young Marquis de Lafayette and his escort as they flung themselves off their hot mounts. Every head was uncovered as the young Frenchman affectionately embraced Mr. Jefferson, and greetings and acclamations went up from the throng of guests as they appeared at the entrance.

'Twas not wonderful that Mr. Jefferson, like General Washington, Colonel Hamilton, General Greene, and so many others of our distinguished patriots, was captivated by this young nobleman, and could the jealous ones who asserted that they were dazzled by his rank and awed and flattered into giving him more than he merited but have seen him in the first flush of his glory and young manhood they, too, would have found his charm irresistible. Indeed, to Mr. Jefferson he was always the hero, the man of genius and spotless patriotism, though many, in after years, grew to distrust his powers and motives.

As Monsieur de Lafayette stood there at the door of the drawing-room, smiling and bowing after his own graceful fashion, there was a bright daring, a gay gallantry in the expression of his youthful face—he was but six and twenty and major-general, diplomat, and friend of philosophers—that won all hearts; and though the countenance was not handsome, the broad, slightly receding forehead, straight nose, and delicate mouth and chin gave to it a very distinguished appearance. The three-cornered continental hat which he swept to the ground before the ladies disclosed a flaming red head, the hair slightly powdered and tied back with a black ribbon. His tall figure—he was of equal height with Mr. Jefferson, who was over six feet—was enveloped in a light riding-coat with short capes over the shoulders, which, when he threw it off, disclosed to view the uniform of a major-general of continental dragoons. Just behind him stood two of his suite, his young kinsman, the devil-may-care Vicomte de Beaufort, and the Vicomte d'Azay, a brave young French officer who had served with Beaufort under Rochambeau and had been present before Yorktown.

Mr. Jefferson advanced to the centre of the room with his guests.

“My friends,” he said, “this is one of the proudest and happiest moments of my life. Monticello shelters for the first time-America's illustrious ally and devoted soldier, the Marquis de Lafayette, and his fellow-countrymen and officers, Messieurs les Vicomtes de Beaufort and d'Azay. I salute them for you!” Turning, he embraced the three young men, and then, placing his hand on the Marquis's arm, he led him to Mrs. Carr.

“Madame,” he said, “I leave the Marquis in your hands for the present.” He went back to the two young officers, and taking them each by an arm he led them about the room, introducing them to many, of the company. Finally, leaving them to the tender mercies of Miss Crenshawe and Miss Peggy Gary, he returned once more to look after the rest of Monsieur de Lafayette's escort.

As he did so he noticed at the door two young men who were quietly making their way into the room. The elder—who might have been twenty-six or seven—was dark, with brilliant eyes and an alert, almost restless manner, while the younger, who was scarcely more than a boy, not over nineteen, was fair, with deep blue eyes, reflective and calm, and a quiet dignity and strength of manner that in some fashion was not unsuited to his youth. Both were slender, wellbuilt, and rather under than over middle height. Mr. Jefferson hastened to them and shook hands warmly with the elder gentleman.

“My dear Colonel Hamilton, this is an unexpected pleasure and honor. Welcome to Monticello!” and then turning to the youth and laying a hand affectionately on his shoulder, he cried, gayly:

“My dear Ned, when did you come and why have I not seen you before?”

“Sir,” replied the young man, respectfully, “we have but just arrived in Monsieur de Lafayette's company, and, feeling myself at home, I stayed without a few moments to give some orders about the stabling of the horses. Colonel Hamilton was kind enough to remain with me. Will you pardon our delay and assurance?”

“My dear boy, as you well know, I am only too happy to have you look upon Monticello as your other home, and every servant and horse upon the place is at your disposal. But how did you two happen to fall in with the Marquis?”

“Both Colonel Hamilton and myself were passing a few days at Mount Vernon by invitation of General Washington, when news that the Marquis was coming reached him. The General insisted that we should remain to see Monsieur de Lafayette, so we were still at Mount Vernon when your note asking his attendance here was received by him. Sure of my old welcome at Monticello, I determined to accompany him on his journey. As for Colonel Hamilton, he is charged with important affairs for you, sir.”

“'Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good, Colonel,” said Mr. Jefferson, smiling, “and I shall certainly not call even business an ill wind since it has blown you hither.”

“There is a better reason still, Mr. Jefferson,” replied Mr. Hamilton, “for I came on business of General Washington's, and never yet blew ill wind from that quarter.”

“Then you are doubly welcome, my dear Colonel,” rejoined Mr. Jefferson, heartily.

“Thank you, Mr. Jefferson,” said Mr. Hamilton. “Besides the business I am charged with, which relates to the commercial treaties with Flanders, and which I hope to have the honor of discussing with you fully before your departure, I bear General Washington's greetings and best wishes for your welfare and the success of your difficult mission. It would have given him the greatest pleasure to convey these in person, and, indeed, I think he would have been tempted to make the journey to Monticello himself to see you had he not expected a visit from Mr. Gouverneur Morris, who, I doubt not, is at Mount Vernon by this time.”

“Mr. Morris!” exclaimed Mr. Jefferson. “And what has brought Mr. Morris to Virginia?”

“General Washington's invitation to discuss with him a plan to urge the necessity of a new convention upon Congress. They have been warm personal friends, as you doubtless know, ever since Mr. Morris visited the camp at Valley Forge, and later drafted such admirable plans for raising money to relieve the troops. General Washington feels affection for him as a friend and the greatest respect for him as a financier.”

“He is indeed the possessor of many and varied talents,” assented Mr. Jefferson, though without any, great show of enthusiasm. “Mr. Madison admires him, and was remarking but yesterday that 'to the brilliancy of his genius is added what is too rare—a candid surrender of his opinions when the lights of discussion satisfied him.' I own that the eulogy seems a trifle overdrawn to me. He is a thought too much the aristocrat and society man,” he added, coldly. “Have you ever seen him, Ned? No? He is a striking figure, especially since he had the vast misfortune some years ago to lose a leg in a runaway accident.”

“He consoles himself by saying he will be a steadier man with one than with two legs,” laughed Mr. Hamilton. “But, seriously, Ned,” he continued, turning to the younger man, “he has a magnificent mind and is a great financier.”

While he spoke, Mr. Jefferson smiled dubiously, for he considered Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Morris to be dangerously alike as financiers. As for the youth addressed, he listened with his customary quiet attention to the conversation, though he little dreamed how great his own interest in Mr. Morris was to be in after years and how closely they were to be bound together.

“But come, sirs,” suddenly exclaimed Mr. Jefferson, “our discussion of Mr. Morris's good points must wait, for I see Mrs. Carr looking at you, Colonel. If you will pay your respects to her, I will be with you in a few moments. As for you, sir,” he went on, speaking to the youth he called Ned and regarded so affectionately, “you are but wasting your time. You should be talking with some of these pretty young women. Shall we say Miss Molly Crenshawe, who is certainly looking most beautiful this evening? or perhaps the dashing Miss Peggy?” He glanced keenly at the youth, who retained all his serene indifference of manner, only blushing slightly and shaking his head.

Mr. Jefferson laughed indulgently. “Ned, Ned, you were ever a shy youth, and I think time does nothing to help you. Tis a crime to be as indifferent to women as you are, and, I warn you, there will come a day when some woman will revenge herself upon you for the whole sex, and, when that happens, do not come to me for consolation!” He moved away, still laughing, and left the boy to pay his respects to Mrs. Carr, with whom he was a great favorite, as he was with all who knew him well. But he never had a large circle of friends. There were but few who ever really understood and thoroughly appreciated that noble character. It is the compensation of such natures that they are self-sufficing and are as indifferent of such recognition as they are superior to it.

As Mr. Jefferson passed down the room he was stopped by Mr. Gilbert Stuart, who touched him on the arm.

“Mr. Jefferson,” he exclaimed, in eager tones, “take pity on an exile just returned and tell me who your young friend is. I had thought Mr. Hamilton's one of the finest faces I had ever seen until I set eyes on this young gentleman with him. And, indeed, I think they resemble one another vastly. Has our young West Indian at last found a relative? I hear he is but indifferently provided with that commodity. No? Well, I protest his young friend has the most charming countenance I have ever seen since I painted Mr. Grant in London.”

“Which portrait, Mr. Stuart, I hear is a masterpiece and has added enormously to your reputation.” Mr. Stuart bowed low at the compliment, well pleased that Mr. Jefferson should have heard so favorably of that wonderful picture of his which had set all London gossiping and had caused Mr. Benjamin West and Sir Joshua Reynolds (so 'twas said) some pangs of envy. “As for myself, however,” went on Mr. Jefferson, “I can scarcely credit that it is a greater piece of work than the portrait of General Washington which you have executed for the Marquis of Lansdowne at Mr. William Bingham's request. I cannot express to you how greatly the replica of that picture pleases me. Its arrival here has been kept a profound secret from all save my sister, but I am getting as impatient as a child to show it to my guests, and can scarcely wait for the supper-hour to arrive.”

“I sincerely hope, sir, both as an artist and a friend, that the surprise you have planned will not turn into a disappointment. But you have not yet told me, Mr. Jefferson, who the interesting young gentleman is with Mrs. Carr.”

“That,” said Mr. Jefferson, looking kindly toward the youth beside his sister, “is young Calvert of Strathore, and a finer young gentleman does not live in Virginia—no, nor in any other state of this country,” he added, warmly. “He is of the famous Baltimore family, a direct descendant of Leonard Calvert, cadet brother of the second Lord Baltimore, and is the bearer of my Lord Baltimore's name, Cecil Calvert, to which has been prefixed Edward, for his father. The family came to this country in 1644, I believe, and for several generations lived in the colony of Maryland, and have always been people of position and wealth. Ned's father, however, had a serious disagreement with his family, because of his marriage with a lovely young Quakeress of Philadelphia, and finally broke off entirely from his people, renouncing even the long-cherished Catholic faith, and came to Virginia when their only child was about two years old. Mr. Calvert built a spacious, comfortable residence on the banks of the Potomac not far from Mr. Washington's residence, calling it 'Strathore,' after the older Maryland place.”

“What a head!” murmured Mr. Stuart, looking at the young man. “What sincerity and quiet strength! But continue, I beg of you.”

“There is little to tell—some six years after removing to Virginia, Calvert's father and mother both suddenly died, leaving the poor boy estranged from the only relatives he had in Maryland, but, fortunately, under the guardianship of General Washington, who has been all kindness toward him. Madame Washington would have taken him to Mount Vernon had it not been for the father's wish that he should grow up on his own estate, alone save for the excellent tutors with whom he has always been provided. But he has ever been warmly welcomed at Mount Vernon on long visits there, and both General and Madame Washington have become greatly attached to him. It was through them I first knew and liked him, and he has passed many, I hope not unhappy, weeks at Monticello with me since. 'Tis that curious and melancholy resemblance in their fate—both orphaned and solitary—which, I fancy, had much to do with the firm friendship that has sprung up between Colonel Hamilton and Calvert. But though in appearance and circumstance they resemble each other, in mental characteristics they are opposites. Calvert has none of Hamilton's brilliancy of intellect and vividness of imagination" (for whatever their bitter disagreements were later, Mr. Jefferson, then and for many years afterward, was always ready to acknowledge and admire Hamilton's superb genius), “but he is of a profound logical order of intelligence; he has good judgment and discretion, indomitable will power, and a nobility of aim and faithfulness of purpose that are as rare as they are admirable. I can conceive of no circumstances in which he might be placed where his reliability and firmness would prove inadequate to the occasion.”

“His face bears out what you tell me of him, Mr. Jefferson,” assented the young artist, who was regarding Calvert with increasing interest. “Tis a fine countenance, and I shall not be happy until I have transferred it to canvas. I shall have to beg a few sittings of Calvert of Strathore!”

Mr. Jefferson smiled. “I am afraid, Mr. Stuart, that you will find it difficult to persuade Ned that he has a 'fine countenance'! He is the soul of modesty as he is the soul of truth and honor.” He stopped and looked affectionately at young Calvert, who was still beside Madame Carr, unconscious of the close scrutiny he was undergoing. “I hardly know how to describe him to you,” continued Mr. Jefferson, meditatively. “His is a noble and lovable character. I never look at him but these lines from Horace come to my mind—'Quam desederio sit pudor aut modus tam cari capitis'! I can only say that had I been blessed with a son,” and he sighed as he spoke, “I would have wished him to be like Edward Calvert, and, believe me, 'tis not partiality that makes me speak of him in such fashion. General Washington and Colonel Hamilton and Monsieur de Lafayette, under whom he served at Yorktown, hold him as I do. Gentle and tractable as he is, the lad has plenty of spirit, and ran away from the College of New Jersey in 1780, where he had been matriculated but two months, and, presenting himself to his guardian and friend, General Washington, begged to be permitted to fight for his country. He was scarce fifteen, and Dr. Witherspoon, whom, as you doubtless know, our good friend Henry Laurens persuaded to leave Edinburgh to take charge of the College at Princeton, violently opposed his abandoning his studies, but the young man was determined, and was finally commissioned as an aide to General Lafayette. He was of particular service to both Lafayette and Rochambeau, as he understands and speaks the French language excellently, having studied it since childhood and speaking much with a French tutor whom he had for some years. He is to return to the College of Princeton in the fall of this year, and finish his studies. For though he will be nineteen years of age when he enters, yet such is his determination to get the college education which his service to his country interrupted, that he is resolved to recommence now at the age when most youths have finished their studies. And if at the end of his college course my duties still detain me abroad, 'tis my intention and dearest wish to have him come out to me, and I promise you he will make me as efficient a secretary as ever Hamilton made General Washington.”

“All that you tell me only increases my interest in the young gentleman, Mr. Jefferson,” said Stuart, “and I am more determined than ever to have him sit for me. I can see the picture,” he went on, eagerly—“the fine, youthful brow and wavy hair drawn loosely back and slightly powdered, the blue eyes, aquiline nose, and firm mouth—the chin is a trifle delicate but the jaw is square—” he was speaking half to himself, noting in artist fashion the salient points of a countenance at once attractive and handsome, not so much by reason of beautiful features as because of the expression which was at once youthful, serene, and noble. All these points were afterward portrayed by Mr. Stuart, though it was not until many years later that the picture was executed, Mr. Stuart being recalled almost immediately to London, where, indeed, Calvert finally sat to him. That likeness, done in the most admirable fashion, came later into the possession of one of Calvert's dearest friends and greatest admirers, and was prized above most things by one who loved the original so deeply and so long.

“And he has other attractions,” said Mr. Jefferson, after a long pause, during which the two gentlemen regarded young Calvert, the artist absorbed in plans for his picture, Mr. Jefferson in affectionate thoughts of the young man so dear to his heart. “He has one of the clearest, freshest voices that you ever heard, Mr. Stuart; a voice that matches his face and makes one believe in youth and happiness and truth. Why should he not sing for us?” he exclaimed. “The dancing has ceased, I see. Come, I will ask him.”

Followed by Mr. Stuart, he went over to young Calvert, who was still standing sentinel beside Madame Carr, and clapped him affectionately on the shoulder.

“Ned, we demand a song! Come, no refusal, sir!” he exclaimed. “I shall send Caesar for my Amati and you must sing us something. Shall it be 'The Lass with the Delicate Air'? That is my favorite, I think. 'Tis, as you know, Mr. Stuart, by the late Dr. Arne, the prince of song-writers. Here, boy!” he said, turning to one of the small darkies standing about to snuff the candles, “tell Caesar to bring me 'Pet.'”—for it was thus he called his violin, which had been saved by Caesar's devotion and bravery when all else at Elk Hill was destroyed by order of my Lord Cornwallis. While this was going forward Calvert stood by silent, outwardly calm and unruffled, inwardly much perturbed. It was his pleasure and habit to sing for Mr. Jefferson or for General and Madame Washington, but it was something of an ordeal to sing before an audience. That quiet heroism, though, which was part of his character, and which made him accept tranquilly everything, from the most trifling inconvenience to the greatest trials, kept him from raising any objection.

As Mr. Jefferson drew his bow across his violin the company fell away from the centre of the room, leaving a clear space. Stepping forward he leaned over his beloved Amati and played the opening bars of Dr. Arne's famous ballad, with its liquid phrases and quaint intervals of melody. At the first notes of the air Calvert stood beside him and lifted up his fresh young voice of thrilling sweetness. It was one of those naturally beautiful voices, which at this time and for many years longer had a charm that none could resist, and which helped, among other things, to earn for him the everlasting jealousy of that remarkable and versatile scoundrel, Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire.

“I protest, sir,” cried Mr. Gilbert from his place beside Miss Crenshawe, when the bow at last dropped from the quivering strings, “I protest I have not heard such music since St. George and Garat played and sang together in Paris!”

Monsieur de Lafayette laid his hand affectionately on Calvert's shoulder. “Ah, Ned,” he said in his English with the strong accent, “that was sweet, but if I mistake me not, thy voice sounded even sweeter to my ears as thou sangst thy songs around the campfires at night after our long marches and counter-marches when we hung upon Cornwallis's flank or raced toward Petersburg to beat Phillips! 'Twas a very girl's voice then, but it could make us forget fatigue and danger and homesickness!”

“I am glad to believe that I was of some service,” said Calvert. “I have often thought,” he went on, smiling a little, “that had I not been under the protection of General Washington I should never have been permitted to make the campaign.”

But the Marquis would have none of his modesty.

“No, no,” he cried, “thou knowest thou wert my favorite aide and served me faithfully and well. Dost thou not remember the many messages thou didst carry to General Rochambeau for me when we lay before Yorktown? And the friends thou hadst in his army? De Beaufort and d'Azay were among the best, is it not so? But what is this?” he inquired, suddenly, as he saw the middle of the long room cleared and a very army of slaves approaching bearing an immense table already laid with fine damask and silver.

“Madame Carr evidently thinks her guests are in need of refreshment after these wearying musical performances,” replied Calvert, laughing, “and as we are too numerous to be entertained in the dining-room, supper is to be served here. 'Tis frequently Mr. Jefferson's fashion when his company is large.”

With little formality the guests took their places at table, the ladies all being seated and many of the older gentlemen. The younger ones stood about and waited upon the ladies, contenting themselves by eating after they were served, as they hung over their chairs and conversed with them.

Calvert with Beaufort and d'Azay were busily occupied, the French officers devoting themselves to the wants of the beautiful Miss Peggy Gary and Miss Molly Crenshawe, Calvert gravely seeing that the elderly Mrs. Mason, mother of Mr. Jefferson's great friend, Mr. George Mason, Mrs. Wythe, and other dowagers were bountifully supplied. It was like him to pass by the young beauties to attend upon those who had greater needs and less attractions. From his position behind the dowagers' chairs he could catch bits of conversation from both ends of the table. Now it was Mr. Jefferson's voice, rising above the noise, talk, and laughter, offering some excellent Madeira to his abstemious friend, Mr. Arkwright.

“I insist,” urged Mr. Jefferson, “for upon my word 'tis true, as someone has said, that water has tasted of sinners ever since the Flood!”

Now it was Mr. Madison who arose, glass in hand, to propose a toast to Mr. Jefferson.

It was not a very eloquent farewell, but, as he said, “the message comes from all hearts present, and the burden of it is a safe journey, great achievement, and a speedy return.”

When Mr. Jefferson rose to respond, then, indeed, was heard eloquence. Toward the close of his brief reply there was a note of sadness in it.

“I have ever held it the first duty of a patriot to submit himself to the commands of his country. My command has been to leave my country. I would that it had been otherwise—but my country before all! And should I be able to serve her in ever so little by going, no separation from all I love best, no loss of ease and quiet pleasures, will be too costly for me not to bear with resignation, nay, even with cheerfulness! I shall take with me one hostage to happiness—my daughter—and should my splendid exile to the greatest court of Europe be prolonged and my duties become too arduous, I shall send to these shores for one to aid me—one on whose fidelity and zeal I can rely—for my dear young friend—Calvert of Strathore.”

At this unexpected announcement Calvert started with surprise and pleasure, having heard nothing of Mr. Jefferson's intention. “But why should I speak of my exile?” continued Mr. Jefferson. “Shall I not be among friends?” and he looked with affectionate regard toward the three young Frenchmen. “Shall I not be among friends, the truest and noblest that any country or any individual can boast? Your looks bespeak your answer! Friends, I ask you to drink to Monsieur le Marquis de Lafayette and to Messieurs de Beaufort and d'Azay!”

Amid the enthusiastic applause which followed, Lafayette was seen to rise and lift his hand for silence.

“Since the first day we set foot upon this great country,” he said, “we have received naught but kindness, aid, honors. How shall we thank you for that in a few words? We cannot, but we can make you a promise for our King, our country, and ourselves. 'Tis this. Mr. Jefferson shall find a welcome and a home in France such as we have found here, an admiration, a respect, a love such as we cannot command. And should Mr. Calvert come also, he shall be as a brother to us! I drink to our happy reunion in France!”

“So you will come to France, too, Ned,” cried d'Azay to Calvert. “I shall claim you as my guest and take you down to our chateau of Azay-le-Roi and show you to my sister Adrienne as a great American savage!”

“You will be blessed if she looks at you out of mere curiosity if for naught else,” murmured Beaufort at Calvert's ear, “for she is the prettiest little nun in all France. Show Calvert thy locket, Henri.”

Somewhat reluctantly d'Azay pulled forth a small ivory miniature in a gold case, and holding it well within the hollow of his hand, so that others might not see, he laid it before Calvert.

“Is she not a beauty?” demanded Beaufort, eagerly. “More beautiful, I think, than the lovely Miss Shippen of Philadelphia, or Miss Bingham, or any of your famous beauties, Calvert.”

It was indeed a beautiful face that Calvert gazed upon, a slender, oval face with violet eyes, shadowed by long, thick lashes; a straight nose with slightly distended nostrils, which, with the curling lips, gave a look of haughtiness to the countenance in spite of its youthfulness. A cloud of dusky hair framed the face, which, altogether, was still extremely immature and (as Calvert thought) capable of developing into noble loveliness or hardening into unpleasing though striking beauty.

Beaufort still hung over Calvert's shoulder. “She is 'The Lass with the Delicate Air' whom you but just now sang of, Calvert,” he said, laughing softly. “I wonder who will ever be lucky enough to find a way to win this maid!”

As Calvert stood gazing in silent admiration at the miniature and but half-listening to Beaufort's wild talk, Mr. Jefferson suddenly rose in his place.

“One more toast,” he said, in a loud voice—“a toast without which we cannot disperse. Ned, I call on you, who are his young favorite, for a toast to General Washington!”

There was a burst of applause at the name, and then Calvert rose. He was a gallant young figure as he stood there, his wine-glass uplifted and a serious expression on his boyish face.

“To the one,” he cried, after an instant's hesitation, “whom we hold in our hearts to be the bravest of soldiers, the purest of patriots, and the wisest of men—General Washington!”

As he spoke the last words, Mr. Jefferson drew aside a heavy curtain which had hung across the wall behind his chair, and as the velvet fell apart a replica of the famous portrait of General Washington, which Mr. Stuart had but lately painted for the Marquis of Lansdowne, was revealed to the surprised and delighted guests. Amid a burst of patriotic enthusiasm everyone arose and, with glass upheld, saluted the great Hero, and then—and for the last time for many years—the Sage of Monticello.

CHAPTER IV. AT THE PALAIS ROYAL

It was in pursuance of his favorite plan to make Calvert his secretary, should he be appointed Minister to the court of Louis XVI., that Mr. Jefferson wrote to the young man four years later, inviting him to come to France. This invitation was eagerly accepted, and it was thus that Mr. Calvert found himself in company with Beaufort at the American Legation in Paris on that February evening in the year 1789.

When the great doors of the Legation had shut upon the two young men, they found themselves under the marquise where Beaufort's sleigh—a very elaborate and fantastic affair—awaited them. Covering themselves with the warm furs, they set off at a furious pace down the Champs Elysees to the Place Louis XV. It was both surprising and alarming to Calvert to note with what reckless rapidity Beaufort drove through the crowded boulevard, where pedestrians mingled perforce with carriages, sleighs, and chairs, there being no foot pavements, and with what smiling indifference he watched their efforts to get out of his horses' way.

“'Tis insufferable, my dear Calvert,” he said, when his progress was stopped entirely by a crowd of people, who poured out of a small street abutting upon the boulevard, “'tis insufferable that this rabble cannot make way for a gentleman's carriage.”

“I should think the rabble would find it insufferable that a gentleman's carriage should be driven so recklessly in this crowded thoroughfare, my dear Beaufort,” returned Calvert, quietly, looking intently at that same rabble as it edged and shuffled and slipped its way along into the great street. At Calvert's remark, the young Frenchman shrugged his shoulders and shook his reins over his impatient horses until the chime of silver bells around their necks rang again. “As usual—in revolt against the powers that be,” he laughed.

Calvert leaned forward. “What is it?” he said. “There seems to be some commotion. They are carrying something.”

'Twas as he had said. In the crowd of poor-looking people was a still closer knot of men, evidently carrying some heavy object.

“Qu'est ce qu'il y a, mon ami?” said Calvert, touching a man on the shoulder who had been pushed close to the sleigh. The man addressed looked around. He was poorly and thinly clothed, with only a ragged muffler knotted about his throat to keep off the stinging cold. From under his great shaggy eyebrows a pair of wild, sunken eyes gleamed ferociously, but there was a smile upon his lips.

“'Tis nothing, M'sieur,” he said, nonchalantly. “'Tis only a poor wretch who has died from the cold and they are taking him away. You see he could not get any charcoal this morning when he went to Monsieur Juigne. 'Tis best so.” He turned away carelessly, and, forcing himself through the crowd, was soon lost to sight.

“There are many such,” said Beaufort, gloomily, in answer to Calvert's look of inquiry. “What will you have? The winter has been one of unexampled, of never-ending cold. The government, the cures, the nobles have done much for the poor wretches, but it has been impossible to relieve the suffering. They have, at least, to be thankful that freezing is such an easy death, and when all is said, they are far better off dead than alive. But it is extremely disagreeable to see the shivering scarecrows on the streets, and they ought to be kept to the poorer quarters of the city.” He had thrown off his look of gloom and spoke carelessly, though with an effort, as he struck the horses, which started again down the great avenue.

Calvert looked for an instant at Beaufort. “'Tis unlike you to speak so,” he said, at length. Indeed, ever since the young man had come into the breakfast-room at the Legation, Calvert had been puzzled by some strange difference in his former friend. It was not that the young Frenchman was so much more elaborately and exquisitely dressed than in the days when Calvert had known him in America, or that he was older or of more assurance of manner. There was some subtle change in his very nature, in the whole impression he gave out, or so it seemed to Calvert. There was an air of flippancy, of careless gayety, about Beaufort now very unlike the ingenuous candor, the boyish simplicity, of the Beaufort who had served as a volunteer under Rochambeau in the war of American independence.

“What will you have?” he asked again, nonchalantly. “Wait until you have been in Paris awhile and you will better understand our manner of speech. 'Tis a strange enough jargon, God knows,” he said, laughing in a disquieted fashion. “And France is not America.”

“I see.”

“And though the cold is doubtless unfortunate for the poor, the rich have enjoyed the winter greatly. Why, I have not had such sport since d'Azay and I used to go skating on your Schuylkill!” He flicked the horses again. “And as for the ladies!—they crowd to the pieces d'eau in the royal gardens. Those that can't skate are pushed about in chairs upon runners or drive all day in their sleighs. 'Tis something new, and, you know, Folly must be ever amused.”

Even while he spoke numbers of elegantly mounted sleighs swept by, and to the fair occupants of many of them Beaufort bowed with easy grace. Here and there along the wide street great fires were burning, tended by cures in their long cassocks and crowded around by shivering men and women. The doors of the churches and hospitals stood open, and a continual stream of freezing wretches passed in to get warmed before proceeding on their way. Upon many houses were large signs bearing a notice to the effect that hot soup would be served free during certain hours, and a jostling, half-starved throng was standing at each door. There was a sort of terror of misery and despair over the whole scene, brilliant though it was, which affected Calvert painfully.

“Where are you going to take me?” he asked Beaufort, as the horses turned into the Place Louis XV.

“Where should I be taking you but to the incomparable Palais Royal, the capital of Paris as Paris is of France?” returned Beaufort, gayly. “'Tis a Parisian's first duty to a stranger. There you will see the world in little, hear all the latest news and the most scandalous gossip, find the best wines and coffee, read the latest pamphlets—and let me tell you, my dear Calvert, they come out daily by the dozens in these times—see the best-known men about town, and—but I forget. I am telling you of what the Palais Royal used to be. In these latter times it has changed greatly,” he spoke gloomily now. “'Tis the gathering-place of Orleans men in these days, and they are fast turning into a Hell what was once very nearly an earthly Paradise!”

“You seem to know the place well,” said Mr. Calvert.

“No man of fashion but knows it,” returned Beaufort, “though I think 'twill soon be deserted by all of us who love the King.”

“You were not so fond of kings in America,” said Calvert, smiling a little.

“I was young and hot-headed then. No, no, Calvert, I have learned many things since Yorktown. Nor do I regret what I then did, but”—he paused an instant—“I see trouble ahead for my country and my class. Shall I not stick to my King and my order? There will be plenty who will desert both. 'Tis not the fashion to be loyal now,” he went on, bitterly. “Even d'Azay hath changed. He, like Lafayette and your great friend Mr. Jefferson and so many others, is all for the common people. Perhaps I am but a feather-headed fool, but it seems to me a dangerous policy, and I think, with your Shakespeare, that perhaps 'twere better 'to bear the ills we have'—how goes it? I can never remember verse.”

As he finished speaking, he reined in his horses sharply, and looking about him, Calvert perceived that they had stopped before a building whose massive exterior was most imposing. Alighting and throwing the reins to the groom, Beaufort led Calvert under the arcades of the Palais Royal and into the grand courtyard, where were such crowds and such babel of noises as greatly astonished the young American. Shops lined the sides of the vast building—shops of every variety, filled with every kind of luxury known to that luxurious age; cafes whose reputation had spread throughout Europe, swarming with people, all seemingly under the influence of some strange agitation; book-stalls teeming with brand-new publications and crowded with eager buyers; marionette shows; theatres; dancing-halls—all were there. Boys, bearing trays slung about their shoulders by leathern straps and heaped with little trick toys, moved continually among the throngs, hawking their wares and explaining the operation of them. Streams of people passed continually through the velvet curtains hung before Herr Curtius's shop to see his marvellous waxworks within. Opposite this popular resort was the Theatre de Seraphim, famed for its “ombres chinoises,” and liberally patronized by the frequenters of the Palais Royal. A little farther along under the arcades was the stall where Mademoiselle la Pierre, the Prussian giantess, could be seen for a silver piece. Next to this place of amusement was a small salon containing a mechanical billiard-table, over which a billiard-ball, when adroitly struck, would roll, touching the door of a little gilded chateau and causing the images of celebrated personages to appear at each of the windows, to the huge delight of the easily amused crowds.

Cold as the afternoon was, the press of people was tremendous, and besides the numbers bent on amusement, throngs of men stood about under the wind-swept arcades, talking excitedly, some with frightened, furtive face and air, others boldly and recklessly.

As they passed along, Calvert noted with surprise that Beaufort seemed to have but few acquaintances among the crowds of gesticulating, excited men, and that the look of disquiet upon his face was intensifying each moment. When they reached the Cafe de l'Ecole, the storm burst.

“'Tis an infernal shame,” he said, angrily, sinking into a chair at a small table, and pointing Calvert to the one opposite him, “'tis an infernal shame that this pleasure palace should be made the hotbed of political intrigue; that these brawling, demented demagogues should be allowed to rant and rave here to an excited mob; that these disloyal, seditious pamphlets should be distributed and read and discussed beneath the windows of the King's own cousin! The King must be mad to permit this folly, which increases daily. Where will it end?” He looked at Calvert and clapped his hands together. A waiter came running up.

“What will you have, Calvert?—some of the best cognac and coffee?” he asked. “There is no better to be found in all France than here.”

“'Twill suit me excellently,” said Calvert, absently, thinking more of what Beaufort had told him of the tendencies of the times than of the coffee and cognac of the Cafe de l'Ecole. As he spoke, the man, who had stood by passively awaiting his orders, suddenly started and looked at the young American attentively.

“But—pardon, Messieurs,” he stammered, “is it possible that I see Monsieur Calvert at Paris?” Beaufort looked up in astonishment at the servant who had so far forgotten himself as to address two gentlemen without permission, and Calvert, turning to the man and studying his face for an instant, suddenly seized him by the hand cordially, and exclaimed, “My good Bertrand, is it indeed you?”

“Ah! Monsieur—what happiness! I had never thought to see Monsieur again!”

“Then you were destined to be greatly mistaken, Bertrand,” returned Calvert, laughing, “for you are likely to see me often. I am to be here in Paris for an indefinite length of time, and as Monsieur de Beaufort tells me that the Cafe de l'Ecole surpasses all others, I shall be here very frequently.”

“And now,” broke in Beaufort, addressing the man, who still stood beaming with delight and surprise upon Calvert, “go and get us our coffee and cognac.” The man departed hastily and Beaufort turned to Calvert.

“Allow me to congratulate you upon finding an acquaintance in Paris so soon! May I ask who the gentleman is?”

“The gentleman was once a private in a company under Monsieur de Lafayette's orders before Yorktown, and is my very good friend,” says Calvert, quietly, ignoring Beaufort's somewhat disdainful raillery. What he did not tell Beaufort was that Private Bertrand owed his life and much material aid to himself, and that the man was profoundly devoted and grateful. In Calvert's estimation it was but a simple service he had rendered the poor soldier—rescuing him from many dying and wounded comrades who had fallen in that first fierce onslaught upon the Yorktown redoubt. He had directed the surgeon to dress the man's wounds—he had been knocked on the head with a musket—and had eased the poor wretch's mind greatly by speaking to him in his own tongue, for most of the French soldiery under Rochambeau and Lafayette knew not a word of English. When Bertrand recovered, Calvert had sent him a small sum of money and a kind message, neither of which was the man likely to forget. Never, in the whole course of his pinched, oppressed young life in France, had kindness and consideration been shown him from those above him. Tyranny and abuse had been his lot and the lot of those all about him, and such a passionate devotion for the young American officer was kindled in his breast as would have greatly astonished its object had he known it. It was with an almost ludicrous air of solicitude that Bertrand placed the coffee before Calvert and poured out his cognac and then hung about, waiting anxiously for any sign or word from him.

“Is it not the best coffee in the world?” said Beaufort, sipping his complacently and looking about the crowded room for a familiar face. Apparently he found none, for, leaning across the table and speaking to Calvert quite loudly and in an insolent tone, he said, “'Tis a good thing the coffee is of the best, or, my word of honor, I would not come to a place which gentlemen seem to have abandoned and to which canaille flock.” And with that he leaned back and looked about him with a fine nonchalance. There was a little murmur of suppressed ejaculations and menaces from those nearest who had heard his words, but it soon subsided at the sight of Monsieur de Beaufort's handsome face and reckless air.

“There is also another charm about the Cafe de l'Ecole, my dear Calvert,” he said, speaking in a slightly lower tone and with an appreciative smile. “Monsieur Charpentier, our host, has a most undeniably pretty daughter. She is the caissiere, fortunately, and may be seen—and admired—at any time. We will see her as we go out. And speaking of beauties,” he continued, turning the stem of his wine-glass slowly around, “you have asked no word of Mademoiselle d'Azay—or, I should say, Madame la Marquise de St. Andre!”

“Ah!” said Calvert, politely, “is she married?”

“What a cold-blooded creature!” said Beaufort, laughing. “Let me tell you, Calvert, the marriage which you take so nonchalantly was the sensation of Paris. It was the talk of the town for weeks, and the strangest marriage—if marriage it can be called—ever heard of. 'Tis now three years since Mademoiselle Adrienne d'Azay finished her studies at the Couvent de Marmoutier ('tis an old abbaye on the banks of the Loire, Calvert, near Azay-le-Roi, the chateau of the d'Azay family) and came to dazzle all Paris under the chaperonage of her great aunt, the old Duchesse d'Azay. As you have seen her portrait—and, I dare say, remember its smallest detail—I will spare you the recital of those charms which captivated half the young gentlemen of our world on her first appearance at court. She became the rage, and, before six months had passed, Madame d'Azay had arranged a marriage with the rich old St. Andre. She would sell her own soul for riches, Calvert; judge, therefore, how willingly she would sell her niece's soul.” He paused an instant and tapped impatiently on the table for another glass of cognac.

“It was a great match, I suppose,” hazarded Calvert.

“Oh, yes; Monsieur de St. Andre was a man high in the confidence of both the King and Queen—and let me tell thee, 'tis no easy matter to please both the King and Queen—and a man of rank and fortune. 'Tis safe to say the Duchess was most concerned as to his fortune, which was enormous. He was a trifle old, however, for Mademoiselle d'Azay, he being near sixty-five, and she but eighteen.”

“Gracious Heaven!” ejaculated Calvert. “What a cruel wrong to so young a creature! What a marriage!”

“Upon my word, I believe only the recital of wrong has power to stir that cold American blood of thine,” said Beaufort, laughing again. “But do not excite yourself too much. After all 'twas scarcely a marriage, for, within an hour after the ceremony, the elderly bridegroom was alone in his travelling coach on his way to Madrid, sent thither at the instant and urgent command of the King on important private business connected with the Family Compact. From that journey he never returned alive, being attacked with a fatal fluxion of the lungs at a great public banquet given in his honor by Count Florida Blanca. His body was brought back to France, and his soi-disant widow mourned him decorously for a year. Since then she has been the gayest, as she is the fairest, creature in the great world of Paris.”

“Is she, indeed, so beautiful?” asked Calvert, indifferently.

“She is truly incomparable,” returned Beaufort, warmly. “And I promise thee, Ned,” he went on, in his reckless fashion, “that that cool head of thine and that stony heart—if thou hast a heart, which I scarce believe—will be stirred at sight of Madame de St. Andre, or I know not the power of a lovely face—and no man knows better the power of a lovely face than I, who am moved by every one I see!” he added, laughing ruefully. “Besides her beauty and her fortune, there is a wayward brilliancy about her, a piquant charm in her state of widowed maid, that makes her fairly irresistible. The Queen finds her charming and that Madame de Polignac is pleased to be jealous. 'Tis even said that d'Artois and d'Orleans, those archenemies, agree only in finding her enchanting, and the rumor goes that 'twas d'Artois's influence that sent the elderly husband off post-haste to Madrid. A score of gentlemen dangle after her constantly, though apparently there is no one she prefers—unless,” he hesitated, and Calvert noticed that he paled a little and spoke with an effort, “unless it be Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire.”

“And who is Monsieur de St. Aulaire?” inquired Calvert.

“A most charming man and consummate villain,” says Beaufort, with a gloomy smile. “The fine fleur of our aristocracy, a maker of tender rhymes, a singer of tender songs, a good swordsman, a brilliant wit, a perfect courtier, a lucky gambler—in a word, just that fortunate combination of noble and ignoble qualities most likely to fascinate Madame de St. Andre,” and a shadow settled for a moment on the debonair face of Monsieur de Beaufort.

It did not need that shadow or that effort at light raillery to inform Calvert that Beaufort himself was an unsuccessful unit in the “score of gentlemen who dangled after” Madame de St. Andre, and he would have essayed to offer his friend some comfort had he known how. But the truth was that Calvert, never having experienced the anguish and delights of love, felt a natural hesitation in proffering either sympathy or advice to one so much wiser than himself.

While he was revolving some expression of interest (it was always his way to think well before speaking and to keep silent if his thoughts were not to his entire satisfaction), a sudden murmur, which rapidly developed into a deep roar as it drew nearer, was heard outside, and at the Cafe de l'Ecole the shouting ceased and one man's voice, harsh, incisive, agitated, could be heard above all the others. Looking through the wide glass doors Calvert and Beaufort saw in the gathering dusk the possessor of that voice being raised hurriedly upon the shoulders of those who stood nearest him in the throng, and in that precarious position he remained for a few minutes haranguing the turbulent mass of people. Suddenly he sprang down, and, elbowing his way through the crowd, he entered the Cafe de l'Ecole, followed by as many as could squeeze themselves into the already crowded room.

“What is it?” Beaufort demanded, languidly, of Bertrand. The man, by tiptoeing, was trying to see over the heads of the smokers and drinkers, who had risen to their feet and were applauding the orator who had just entered.

“It is Monsieur Danton who is come in. He is making his way to the caisse, doubtless to speak with Madame, his wife. Evidently Monsieur has just addressed a throng in the Gardens.”

“Ah! then 'tis certainly time that we go, since Monsieur Danton invades the place. 'Tis a poverty-stricken young lawyer from Arcis-sur-Aube, my dear Calvert,” said Beaufort, disdainfully, “who has but lately come to Paris and who, having no briefs to occupy his time, fills it to good advantage by wooing and marrying the pretty Charpentier. The pretty Charpentier has a pretty dot. I can't show you the dot, but come with me and I will show you the beauty.”

He got up from the table followed by Calvert and, with his hand laid lightly on his silver dress sword, made his way easily through the surly crowd, who, seemingly impelled by some irresistible power and against their wish, opened a passage for him and the young stranger. As they drew near the comptoir, Calvert perceived for the first time, leaning against it, the man who had created such an excitement by his words and sudden entrance. He was a big, burly figure, with a head and face that had something of the bull in them. Indeed, they had come by that resemblance honestly, for a bull had tossed him, goring the lips and flattening the nose, and the marks were never to be effaced. Smallpox, too, had left its sign in the deeply scarred skin. Only the eyes remained to show one what might have been the original beauty of the face. They shone, brilliant and keen, from beneath great tufted eyebrows, above which waved a very lion's mane of rough, dark hair.

“A face to be remembered, this Monsieur Danton's,” said Calvert to himself. And, indeed, it was. Years afterward, when he saw it again and for the last time, every detail of that rugged countenance was as fresh in his memory as it was at that moment in the Cafe de l'Ecole. As for Danton, all unconscious of the young American's scrutiny, his gaze was bent upon the pretty, vivacious little beauty who sat behind the caisse, and had so lately become Madame Danton. As he looked, the harsh features softened and a sentimental expression came into the keen eyes. “'Tis the same conquered, slavish look the painter hath put into the lion's face when Ariadne is by,” mused Calvert to himself.

Beaufort was counting out silver pieces slowly, and slowly dropping them on the caissiere's desk. He looked at Calvert and nodded appreciatively, coolly toward Madame Danton.

“Quelle charmante tete,” he said, lightly, nonchalantly.

The burly figure leaning on the comptoir straightened up as if stung into action; the softened eyes kindled with speechless wrath and flamed into the imperturbable, debonair face of Monsieur de Beaufort. One of the silver pieces rolled upon the floor. Calvert stooped quickly for it. “Madame will permit me,” he said, courteously, and, lifting his hat, placed the coin upon the desk. Without another look or word he turned and, followed leisurely by Beaufort, made his way to the door.

“An insolent,” said Danton, savagely, to Madame, and gazing after Beaufort's retreating back.

“Yes,” returned Madame, grinding her pretty teeth with rage—“Monsieur le Vicomte de Beaufort is an insolent—and not for the first time.”

“I shall remember Monsieur le Vicomte de Beaufort's insolence as well as I shall remember the Englishman's politeness.”

Bertrand edged nearer the herculean Monsieur Danton. “Pardon, M'sieur,” he commenced, nervously, “it is not an Englishman—it is an American—a young American officer—Monsieur Calvert—aide-decamp to Monsieur le Marquis de Lafayette, before Yorktown. A patriot of patriots, Messieurs,” he went on, turning to the listening throng about him; “a lover of freedom, a compassionate heart. He saved me from death, Messieurs, he gave me money, he sent me clothing, he saw that I was fed and cared for, Messieurs.” He told his story with many gesticulations and much emphasis, interrupted now and then by huzzas for the young American.

Calvert would have been vastly astonished to know that the lifting of his hat and his courteous tone had contrived to make a popular hero of him; as much astonished, perhaps, as Beaufort to know that his careless, impertinent compliment to Madame Danton's charming head had sealed the fate of his own. But 'tis in this hap-hazard fashion that the destiny of mortals is decided. We are but the victims of chance or mischance. Of all vainglorious philosophies, that of predestination is the vainest.

Outside, the night had fallen, and the shops, arcades, and gardens of the Palais Royal were ablaze with innumerable candles and illuminated Chinese lanterns. Before the entrance Monsieur de Beaufort's groom was walking his half-frozen and restless horses up and down the icy street.

Beaufort laid his hand on Calvert's arm. “Come,” he said, gloomily, “the place is become insufferable. Let me take you back to the Legation.” Springing in he turned his horses' heads once more toward the Place Louis XV. and the Champs Elysees, and, while he guided them through the crowded and badly lighted thoroughfare, Calvert had leisure to think upon the events of the last hour. It was with resentment and shame he reflected upon his friend's airy insolence to the pretty caissiere of the Cafe de l'Ecole. That it should have been offered in her husband's presence was a gratuitous aggravation of the offence. That it should have been offered her with such disdainful contempt for any objection on her part or her husband's, with such easy assurance that there could be no objections on their part, was another gratuitous aggravation of the offence. In that noble insolence Calvert read a sign of the times more legible than the clearest writing in the pamphlets flooding the book-stalls of the Palais Royal.

CHAPTER V. THE PRIVATE SECRETARY

They drove in silence almost to the rue Neuve de Berry, Calvert musing on the strange glimpse he had had of life in Paris, Beaufort busy with his restless horses. At the grille of the Legation Calvert alighted and Beaufort bade him good-by, still with the gloomy, foreboding look on his handsome face.

When Calvert had mounted the great stairway, with the carved salamanders on the balustrade ever crawling their way up and down, he found Mr. Jefferson sitting alone before the bright fire in his library. As soon as he heard the young man's step he looked up eagerly.

“At last!” he cried. “I was wishing that you would come in. Mr. Morris has just been despatched in my carriage to the rue Richelieu, and I was beginning to wonder what that wild Beaufort had done with you to keep you so late.”

“We are but just returned from a sight of the Palais Royal,” said Calvert, throwing off his great-coat and sitting down beside Mr. Jefferson, who rang for candles and a box of his Virginia tobacco. “And a strange enough sight it was—a turbulent crowd, and much political speaking from hoarse-throated giants held aloft on their friends' shoulders.” “A strange enough place, indeed,” said Mr. Jefferson, shaking his head and smiling a little at Calvert's wholesale description of it. “'Tis the political centre of Paris, in fact, and though the crowds may be turbulent and the orators windy, yet 'tis there that the fruitful seed of the political harvest, which this great country will reap with such profit, is being sown. 'Despise not the day of small things,'“ he went on, cheerfully. “These rude, vehement orators, with their narrow, often erroneous, ideas, are nevertheless doing a good work. They are opening the minds of the ignorant, clearing a way for broader, higher ideals to lodge therein; they are the pioneers, in this hitherto undiscovered country for France, of civil liberty, and of freedom of thought and action.”

“And these vehement orators, with their often erroneous ideas—will they do no harm? Will these pioneers not lead their fellows astray in that undiscovered country?” suggested Calvert, not without a blush to think that he had the temerity to question the soundness of Mr. Jefferson's views.

“Were we not inexperienced, hot-headed men who gathered in the Apollo room at the Raleigh to protest against the proceedings in Massachusetts? Were we not rash, windy orators in the House of Burgesses—nay, in Congress itself? Yet did we not accomplish great things—great good?” He laid his hand affectionately on the shoulder of the young man who remained silent, revolving many things, Aeneas-like, but too modest to oppose himself further to Mr. Jefferson.

“No, no, my boy,” continued Mr. Jefferson, after an instant's silence, “do not believe that the awakening which made of us a great nation will not be equally glorious for France! And with such leaders as are hers, will she not march proudly and triumphantly forward to her day of glory? Will not a Lafayette do even more for his own country than ever he did for America? Even I have been able to help somewhat. 'Tis true, as Minister from the United States of America, I cannot use my official influence, but surely as a patriot, as an American citizen who is profoundly, overwhelmingly grateful for the aid, the generosity, the friendship of this great country, I can give counsel, the results of our experience, a word of encouragement, of good cheer.”

He paused, his noble face alight with enthusiasm and emotion. Of all the fine traits of that fine character none was more strongly marked than that of gratitude. Never ashamed to show it, his only fear was that he might not prove grateful enough. Other Americans, of as great talents and colder hearts, could find it easy to believe that France had extended her aid to us for diplomatic purposes—to guard her own interests and humble her adversary, England—could look on with neutral eyes at her awful struggles, could keep America calmly aloof from all her entanglements. Not so Mr. Jefferson. Such a return for her services seemed to him but the acme of selfishness and ingratitude. It was not bad statesmanship that made him bear so long with the blunders, the impertinences, the fatuity of Monsieur Genet; it was the remembrance of all the benefits showered upon us by the country which that charlatan represented. Perhaps 'tis well that those who hold the welfare of a nation in their hands should, like the gods, feel neither fear, nor anger, nor love, nor hatred, nor gratitude—in a word, should be unmoved by forces that sway the common mortal, so that, free from all earthly claims, that nation soars away to dizzying heights of prosperity and power. Pro bono publico is a wellnigh irresistible plea. But there are statesmen in whose code of morals national virtues are identical with personal virtues, national crimes with personal crimes. Such a one was Mr. Jefferson.

“No, no,” he went on, musingly, filling his long pipe with the mild, fragrant Virginia tobacco which had been shipped to him in the packet of two months back, “we must not forget our obligations. Would that we could pay some of the moneyed ones! The finances of this country are in a deplorable state and there are millions of indebtedness on account of our war. But if we cannot do that, we can, at least, give our moral aid to those who are trying to bring about great reforms in this kingdom—reforms which, I hope, will be carried through at the forthcoming States-General to be held in May. Already the elections are preparing, and some of our friends will undoubtedly represent their orders. D'Azay and Lafayette will assuredly be nominated from the noblesse.”

“General de Lafayette and d'Azay!” said Calvert. “I should like to see them again. The last time was at Monticello.”

“Yes, yes,” returned Mr. Jefferson, smiling at the pleasant recollection of that last evening in Virginia. “Lafayette is still in Auvergne, I believe, busy with his elections, so that I fear he will not be here tomorrow, the evening of the weekly Legation reception. But d'Azay will doubtless present himself, since Monsieur de Beaufort tells us he returns tomorrow. Indeed, he and his aunt, Madame la Duchesse d'Azay, and his sister, the lovely Madame de St. Andre, are among my stanchest friends in this great city and nearly always do me the honor to be my guests at the receptions and dinners I find it both so agreeable and necessary to give. I have already engaged Mr. Morris's company for the evening. It will give me great pleasure to introduce two such Americans to the world of Paris,” and he laid his hand affectionately, in his customary fashion, on the young man's shoulder.

As Mr. Jefferson had said, he entertained frequently, and 'twas a very brilliant society that gathered at least once a week in the salon of the minister from the young Republic, drawn thither by policy, curiosity, respect and admiration for Mr. Jefferson, a desire to consult him on the important topics of the hour, and a certain freedom from constraint—a feeling as of being on neutral ground. For already the salons of Paris were divided against themselves. No longer simply the gatherings of fashionable, of charming, of frivolous men and women, they had grown somewhat serious with the seriousness of the time. In the salon of Madame Necker gathered the solid supporters of the King, and, above all, the solid supporters of Monsieur Necker, who was at the height of his power and complacently ready to play the role of saviour to his country. At the Palais Royal crowded the queer followers of Monsieur le Duc d'Orleans, the enemies of the King. At the house of the beautiful Theroigne de Mericourt were to be found the men of the most advanced, the most revolutionary, ideas, the future murderers and despoilers of France. In the salon of the exquisite Madame de Sabran flocked all those young aristocrats, wits, sprigs of nobility, who believed in nothing in Heaven or earth save in the Old Order. There was the serious circle around Madame de Tesse, where new ideas were advanced and discussed, and there was the gay circle of Madame de Beauharnais, whose chief attractions were her delightful dinners, and who, the wits declared, had “intended to found a salon, but had only succeeded in starting a restaurant.” Besides these, there were a dozen other important centres representing as many different shades of political faith. But in the salon of the American Legation gathered the best of every following, for, although Mr. Jefferson's democratic principles were, of course, well and widely known, yet was he so respected, his moderation and fairness so recognized, that all considered it an honor to be his friend and his presence a guarantee of amicable discussion and good-fellowship.

“I shall be very glad to meet your new friends, sir,” said Calvert, smiling back at Mr. Jefferson as that gentleman arose and stood with his back to the fire, his tall, thin figure silhouetted by the firelight on the wall (the candles were still unlit), his hands clasped lightly behind his back, as was his wont. “I had the pleasure of meeting an old one this afternoon.”

“Indeed,” said Mr. Jefferson, “and who was that?”

“A poor French private named Bertrand, who served in a company under General de Lafayette's orders in the attack on Yorktown, and whom I had the occasion to know rather well. I fancy,” he went on, smiling a little at the recollection of Beaufort's haughtiness, “that Beaufort was somewhat amazed at the cordiality of our meeting.”

“Beaufort!” ejaculated Mr. Jefferson, and a slight frown gathered on his forehead. “I fancy that Beaufort and his ilk will be amazed at many things shortly. Ned, I warn you to beware of him. He has changed greatly since the days when he fought so gallantly under Rochambeau in our great War of Independence. He has become an aristocrat of aristocrats, a popinjay, a silken dandy, like most of the young nobles at this court. He is high in the King's favor and devoted to his cause. Though your friendships and opinions can have no official weight, as you are my private secretary, still 'twere well to be careful, to be as neutral as possible, to occasion no offence. And, indeed, Mr. Secretary,” he went on, shaking off his serious air and speaking in a lighter tone, “I should be instructing you in your duties, explaining the diplomatic situation to you, instead of discussing foolish young noblemen like Monsieur de Beaufort.”

“I shall remember your advice, Mr. Jefferson,” said Calvert, quietly, “and I am ready for any instructions and duties.”

“After all, 'twill be unwise to begin them this evening,” returned Mr. Jefferson, shaking his head. “You are doubtless wearied with your journey, and we had better postpone your induction into office until to-morrow, when we can take the whole day for business. You can have no idea, my dear Ned, of the numberless affairs put into our hands,” he went on, with a note of anxiety in his voice, “or with what difficulty many of them are arranged. The constant change of ministers is most disconcerting among the many disconcerting factors of official existence here, and just now I am harassed by my non-success in getting from Congress an appropriation to pay bills for medals and for the redemption of our captives. It seems that the interest on the Dutch loans until 1790 must be paid before other claims, which leaves but a small chance for those bills to be liquidated. By the way, to-morrow you must write me a letter to Monsieur de Villedeuil a propos of a Mr. Nesbit and his debts—an affair lately put into our care. But there! no business this evening. 'Tis but a short while before dinner, which you and I will take quite alone this evening, Ned, and you must tell me of yourself and what you have been doing all these years at the College of Princeton.”

Mr. Jefferson looked at the young man before him with such affectionate interest that Calvert, though he was the least talkative or egotistic of mortals, found himself telling of his college life, the vacations at Strathore, and his visits to Philadelphia and New York.

Now and then one sees a person in the mezzo cammin of his years so happily constituted by nature as to attract and be attracted by youth. He seems to hold some fortunate, ever-youthful principle of life denied to the rest of us. It was so with Mr. Jefferson. Statesman, philosopher, scientist himself, he yet numbered the young and inexperienced among his many friends, and not one of them held so warm a place in his affections as young Calvert of Strathore. He had received from Dr. Witherspoon the accounts of his career at college, where, although never greatly popular, he had won his way by his quiet self-reliance, entire sincerity, and the accuracy and solidity of his mind rather than by any brilliancy of intellect. These sterling gifts had first attracted Mr. Jefferson's notice and excited his admiration and affection. The lonely condition of the young man, too, though borne by him in that uncomplaining fashion characteristic of him, touched Mr. Jefferson, the more, perhaps, for the very silence and stoicism with which 'twas supported. He was, therefore, greatly surprised when he heard Calvert allude to it for the first time on that winter's afternoon. The young man had taken Mr. Jefferson's place before the open fire and now stood leaning against the chimney-piece as he talked, while Mr. Jefferson, sitting beside the reading-table, drew deep whiffs of the fragrant tobacco from his long pipe and listened interestedly to what Calvert had to say, smiling now and then appreciatively. After a little the young man ceased to speak and stood gazing meditatively into the glowing logs.

“A word more, Mr. Jefferson,” he said, at length, still gazing into the gleaming embers. As he stood so, looking down into the fire, the flickering light leaped up and played upon his quiet face, upon the clean-cut lips, the firm jaw, the aquiline nose, the broad, smooth brow, from which the dark-brown hair, unpowdered, waved back, tied at the neck with a black ribbon whose ends fell down upon the broad young shoulders. Perhaps it was the changing light, or perhaps it was the shadow from his uplifted hand on which he lightly leaned his head, that made his eyes seem dark and troubled, and quite unlike their usual serene selves. As Mr. Jefferson looked at the young man an uneasy thought took shape in his mind that that face's cheerful expression had altered since it had entered his doors, that the shadow of a change had somehow come upon it.

“A word more,” said Calvert again, resting his foot upon one of the burnished andirons, and removing his gaze from the flickering fire to Mr. Jefferson's attentive face. “I believe that not in my letters, and assuredly not since getting here, have I thanked you gratefully enough for summoning me to you. 'Tis such an honor and a pleasure to be with you, to work for you, that I cannot express myself as I would like, sir. Indeed, I have long years of kindnesses, of interest, of affectionate concern for my welfare, to thank you for. I do not think you can ever know what all that means to one so entirely alone as I am and have been almost since I could remember. 'Tis only in the last few years,” he went on, hurriedly, and lowering his hand still more over his serious eyes, “that I have entirely realized what it is to be without kindred. I have to thank you and a few other kind friends that the knowledge has been so long withheld from me.”

Mr. Jefferson looked at the young figure, with its unusual air of sadness, bending over the firelight. Rising, he went over to him and laid his hand on the young man's shoulder.

“There can be no question of thanks between us, Ned,” he said at length, simply. “I love you as though you were my son, and it is the greatest pleasure to have you with me.” And, indeed, it seemed so and as if he could not do enough for his young secretary. And that night, when the quiet dinner was over and they were ready to retire, he himself lighted Calvert to his bed-chamber and left him with such an affectionate good-night that the young man felt happier and more at home in that strange house in Paris than though he had been at Strathore itself, with no three thousand miles of vexed ocean between himself and Virginia.

CHAPTER VI. MR. CALVERT MEETS OLD AND NEW FRIENDS

The day after Calvert's arrival was a long and busy one for him. He was closeted from morning until night with Mr. Jefferson, who explained to him the many private affairs awaiting transaction, as well as much of the important official business of the Legation. It was also necessary that he should be thoroughly au courant with the political outlook of the times and the entire state of European affairs, and in those shifting, troublesome days it was no easy matter to thoroughly understand the drift of events. Russia was the cynosure of all eyes at that moment, and on her throne sat the most ambitious, the most daring, the most brilliant, and the most successful queen the world has ever seen. Catharine's designs upon Turkey, in which she was abetted by Austria's Emperor, Joseph, threatened to disrupt Europe and caused Chatham's son to look with anxious eyes toward the East, while strengthening his hold in Holland. Poland, desperate, and struggling vainly to keep her place among European nations, was but a plaything in the hands of the Empress, aided by Prussia, who realized only too well that her own prosperity demanded the destruction of the weaker state. In the North, Gustavus ruled in isolated splendor, now lending his aid to some one of the warring continental powers, now arraying himself against the combatants to preserve some semblance of a balance of power.

Calvert threw himself with enthusiasm into his work, delighted to be able to lighten the immense labors of Mr. Jefferson (who, to tell the truth, was always overworked and underpaid), and happy to think he was of service to one who had always shown such kindness to him. So interested and energetic was the young man that Mr. Jefferson had much difficulty in getting him to lay aside his papers and make himself ready for the reception of the evening. Indeed, when, after dressing quickly, he descended to the great drawing-room, which looked quite splendid, with its multitude of wax lights and gilded mirrors, he found it already filled with a company more splendid than any he had ever before seen. As he approached, he noticed that Mr. Jefferson was conversing with a large gentleman of pompous appearance, to whom he had just presented Mr. Morris, and to whom he presented Calvert in turn as “Monsieur Necker.” 'Twas with a good deal of curiosity and disappointment that Calvert saw for the first time the Minister of Finance, the greatest power for the moment in France. He was a large, heavy man, whose countenance, with its high, retreating forehead, chin of unusual length, vivid brown eyes and elevated eyebrows, was intelligent, but did not even hint at genius. There was about him an air of fatigue and laboriousness which suggested the hard-working and successful business man rather than a great statesman and financier, and the courtly richness of his embroidered velvet dress suited ill his commonplace figure. In his whole personality Calvert decided there was no suggestion of that nobility of mind and nature which so distinguished Mr. Jefferson, nor of that keen mentality and easy elegance of manner so characteristic of Mr. Gouverneur Morris.

“His looks seem to say, 'I am the man,'“ whispered that gentleman to Calvert as Monsieur Necker turned aside for an instant to speak with Mr. Jefferson, and Calvert could not help smiling at the humorous and swift summing-up of the Minister's character and the merry twinkle in Mr. Morris's eye. But whatever their opinion of his talents, Monsieur Necker's cordiality was above reproach, and it was with elaborate politeness that he presented the Americans to Madame Necker. She was a very handsome woman still, retaining traces of that beauty which had fired Gibbon in his youth, and was all amiability to the two strangers, whom she introduced to her daughter, Madame la Baronne de Stael-Holstein, wife of the ambassador from Gustavus III. to the court of Louis XVI.

Madame de Stael stood with her back to the open fire, her hands clasped behind her, her brilliant black eyes flashing upon the assembled company. Although she had accomplished nothing great ('twas before she wrote “Corinne” or “De l'Allemagne"), she was already famous for her appreciation of Monsieur Rousseau. Indeed, there was something so unusual, so forceful in this large, almost masculine woman, that Calvert was as much impressed with her as he had been disappointed in Monsieur Necker. It seemed as if the mediocre talents of the Minister of Finance had flamed into genius in this leonine creature who was as much her mother's inferior in looks as her father's superior in intelligence. Mingled with this masculinity of mind and appearance was an egotism, a coquetry, a directness of thought and action that combined to make a curious personality. It was amusing to note with what assiduity she showered her attentions on Mr. Morris, the man of the world, of whom she had heard much, and with what polite indifference she dismissed Calvert—though it is but doing her justice to say that later, tiring of her ineffectual efforts to interest Mr. Morris, she made the amende honorable and essayed her coquetries on the younger man, much to his embarrassment. With a slight gesture of command she pointed Mr. Morris to a seat beside her on the divan upon which she had sunk.

“Ah! Monsieur,” she said to him, with a languishing glance out of her brilliant eyes and a smile that displayed a row of wonderfully white teeth, “Monsieur de Lafayette tells me that you are un homme d'esprit.”

“Madame,” returned Mr. Morris, bowing low—perhaps to conceal the ironical smile playing about his lips—“I do not feel myself worthy of such a compliment.”

“Mais, si!” insisted Madame de Stael, with another glance, which did not and was not meant to conceal her newly awakened interest in the distinguished-looking American. “We hear that Monsieur has even written a book on the American Constitution.”

“Alas, no, Madame! 'Tis a libel, I assure you,” returned Mr. Morris, this time laughing outright with the amusement he could no longer conceal. “I have but done my duty in helping to form the Constitution.”

“Indeed!” exclaimed Madame de Stael, and then lowering her voice slightly and dropping her coquettish manner for a serious air, “perhaps we shall have occasion to beg of Monsieur Morris some ideas la dessus. There is nothing this poor, distracted France stands so much in need of as a constitution. My father is a great man, on whom the King and country depend for everything” (“In my life I never saw such exuberant vanity,” thought Mr. Morris to himself), “but even he must fail at times if not supported by a reasonable constitution. You must come to see me, Monsieur, when we can be alone and discuss this. One who has helped to form his country's laws and has been wounded in her services,” and she pointed with an eloquent, somewhat theatrical gesture to Mr. Morris's wooden stump, “cannot fail to be a good adviser.”

“Oh, Madame, I must indeed cripple myself in your esteem now,” says Mr. Morris, laughing again heartily. “'Twas not in my country's service that I lost my leg—'twas but a runaway accident with two fiery little ponies in Philadelphia! But, indeed,” he goes on, still laughing, “I do not miss it greatly, and can get around as easily as though I were a centipede and had a hundred good legs at my disposal!”

As for Calvert, he had been only too glad to make his escape on Madame de Stael's cool dismissal, and had retreated to the side of Madame Necker, who was kindness itself to the young man, pointing out the great celebrities of the Paris world who thronged the rooms, and presenting him to many of the most famous people of the day. Thither had come Monsieur le Marechal de Castries, Monsieur le Duc d'Aiguillon, Mr. Arthur Young, the noted English traveller, His Grace the Duc de Penthievre, the richest and best noble of France, together with Monsieur de Montmorin, of the Foreign Affairs, and Monsieur de la Luzerne, Minister of Marine. Monsieur Houdon, the sculptor, was there, with a young poet named Andre Chenier, and later entered the daintily beautiful Madame de Sabran, followed by her devoted admirer, the Chevalier de Boufflers, abbe, soldier, diplomat, and courtier. Madame de Chastellux, the Duchesse d'Orleans's lady-in-waiting, whom Calvert had once met in America, was also making a tour of the salon, accompanied by that charming hedonist, Monsieur le Vicomte de Segur, than whom there was no wilder, lighter-headed youth in Paris, unless it was his bosom friend, Beaufort, who, catching sight of Calvert standing beside Madame Necker, straightway went over to him.

“As ever, the Squire of Elderly Dames,” he whispered to Calvert, smiling mockingly. “Are you looking for d'Azay? Well, he has not arrived, nor Madame la Marquise, nor Madame la Duchesse. Trust me for seeing them as soon as they come! In the meantime, my dear Calvert, there are some beauties here whom you must meet. Madame de Flahaut, for example. I shall ask Madame Necker's permission to take you to her. But wait,” he said, with a little laugh, and, laying a hand on Calvert's arm, “we are forestalled! See, Mr. Morris is just being presented,” and he motioned to where a beautiful young woman sat, before whom Mr. Morris was making a most profound bow. Calvert thought he had rarely seen a more lovely face, though there was a touch of artificiality about it, young as it was, which he did not admire. The soft, fair hair was thickly powdered, the cheeks rouged, and the whiteness of the chin and forehead enhanced by many patches. The eyes were intelligent, but restless and insincere, the mouth too small.

“'Twill have to be for another time, Calvert,” said Beaufort, after an instant's pause, during which Mr. Morris installed himself beside the lady with the evident intention of staying. “'Tis plain that the beautiful Madame de Flahaut has thrown her spell over him, and 'twill not do to break it just yet. But by St. Denis!” he suddenly whispered to Calvert, “here comes d'Azay with the Duchess and Madame de St. Andre, attended as usual by St. Aulaire.”

Calvert followed Beaufort's glance and saw entering the room his friend d'Azay, at whose side, slowly and proudly, walked an old woman. She bore herself with a nobility of carriage Calvert had never seen equalled, and her face, wrinkled and powdered and painted though it was, was the face of one who had been beautiful and used to command. Her dark eyes were still brilliant and glittered humorously and shrewdly from beneath their bushy brows. The lean, veined neck, bedecked with diamonds, was still poised proudly on the bent shoulders. Her wrecked beauty was a perfect foil for the fresh loveliness of the young girl who, with a splendidly attired cavalier, followed closely behind her.

“Is she not a beauty?” said Beaufort, under his breath, to Calvert. With a start the young man recognized the original of the miniature that d'Azay had shown him that last evening at Monticello, so many years ago. It is to be doubted whether, in the interim, Calvert had bestowed a thought upon the beautiful French girl, but as he looked at the deep blue eyes shining divinely beneath the straight brows, at the crimson mouth, with its determined but lovely curves, at the cloud of dark hair about the white brow, it suddenly seemed to him as if the picture had never been out of his mind. “The Lass with the Delicate Air” was before him, but changed. The look of girlish immaturity was gone—replaced by an imperious decision of manner. A haughty, almost wayward, expression was on the smiling face—a look of dawning worldliness and caprice. 'Twas as if the thought which had once passed through Calvert's mind had come true—that countenance which had been capable of developing into noble loveliness or hardening into unpleasing, though striking, beauty, had somehow chosen the latter way. The spiritual beauty seemed now in eclipse and only the earthly, physical beauty remained.

Calvert had opportunity to note these subtle changes which time had wrought in the original of the miniature while Mr. Jefferson bent low over the withered, beringed hand of the old Duchess, and he waited his turn to be presented to the ladies. The ceremony over, he and d'Azay greeted each other as old friends and comrades-in-arms are wont to do. They had scarce time to exchange a word, however, as Monsieur de Segur, coming up hurriedly, carried d'Azay and Beaufort away to where a group of young men were waiting for the last news of the elections. Already politics were ousting every other topic of conversation in the salon.

As for Madame de St. Andre, she did not at all imitate her brother's warmth of manner toward Calvert. He was conscious of an almost contemptuous iciness in her greeting, and that mentally she was unfavorably comparing him, the simply dressed, serious young American before her, with the splendid courtiers who crowded around. Certain it was that she was much more gracious in manner to Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire, who had accompanied her into the salon and still remained at her side. It was the first time that Calvert had seen St. Aulaire, and, remembering Beaufort's words about him, a sudden pang shot through his breast as he saw the young girl turn aside with him to make a tour of the rooms. For, in truth, Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire was the epitome of all that was most licentious, most unworthy, most brilliant in the Old Order, and was known throughout the kingdom by reputation—or, more properly speaking, by lack of it. But in spite of his long life of dissipation and adventure (he had campaigned with the Swiss Guards at thirteen, and, though he was much past forty, looked like a man of scarce thirty), there was still such an unrivalled grace in all he said and did, such an heroic lightness and gallantry in all he dared—and he dared everything—that he seemed to be eternally young and incomparably charming. It was with a new-born and deep disgust that Calvert noted the attentions of this man, whose life he disdained to think of, to the beautiful girl beside him. And it seemed to him that she took a wayward pleasure in charming him, though she kept him at a distance by a sort of imperious coquetry that was not to be presumed upon.

Calvert turned from his almost melancholy contemplation of the young girl to the old Duchesse d'Azay standing beside him and talking volubly to Mr. Jefferson.

“And have your friends newly arrived from America brought you news from our old friend, Dr. Franklin, Monsieur?” she asks, in her grand manner. “Ah, I wish we might see him again! I think there was never an ambassador so popular with us—snuff-boxes with his face upon them, miniatures, fans! I was present when he was crowned with laurel. We had thought it impossible to replace him, Monsieur, until you arrived!”

“Ah, Madame, I did not come to replace him,” corrected Mr. Jefferson, making his best bow, and which was very courtly and deferential, indeed, “not to replace him—no one can do that—only to succeed him.”

“Bien, bien, Monsieur,” cried the Duchess, tapping her fan against her long, thin fingers and breaking out into an appreciative little cackle. “Monsieur understands our language” (they were both speaking French) “quite as well as that paragon of wit and erudition, Dr. Franklin himself. Ah! what a man,” she went on, musingly; “'twas he who gave the Duchesse de Bourbon a lesson in chess! She put her king in prise and Monsieur Franklin promptly took it! 'But we do not take kings so,' cried Her Grace, furiously, for you may be sure she was greatly put out. 'We do in America,' said the Doctor, calmly.” And she broke out laughing again in her thin, cracked voice at the recollection of the discomfiture of her archrival, the old Duchesse de Bourbon. “Truly that America of yours must be a wonderful place.”

“Ah, Madame,” said Mr. Jefferson—and there was a note of sadness in his voice—“I think there is no land like it, no rivers so broad and deep, no woods so green and wild, no soil so fertile, no climate so delightful. I wish I might show you but one garden-spot of it—my Virginia—to prove to you, Madame, that I do not exaggerate when I sing my country's praises. The Duc de la Rochefoucault-Liancourt promises to visit me at Monticello within the next few years. Cannot I persuade you, Madame, to come, too?”

“Ah, Monsieur, 'twould give me infinite pleasure, but I shall never leave my France—although”—and here she lowered her voice and shrugged her lean shoulders contemptuously—“did I listen to but one-half of what I hear prophesied in these revolutionary salons, to but one-half of what I hear openly discussed at the card-tables, I might accept your invitation as a refuge! But I have no fear for my King. I am not shaking with apprehension at the turn affairs are taking, like that poor-spirited little Madame de Montmorin, whose husband knows no more about foreign affairs than does my coachman, but I wish with all my heart, Monsieur, that you had kept your revolution chez vous! 'Tis a fever, this revolution of yours, and our young men return from the war and spread the contagion. They clamor for new rights, for assemblies, for States-Generals—'twas that fever-stricken young Lafayette himself who demanded that, and, instead of being in attendance at court, as a young noble should be, he is buried in Auvergne, trying to get himself elected to his own States-General! Bah! what will it all come to?” She fastened her keen, bright eyes on Mr. Jefferson's face and spoke with indomitable energy and haughtiness. “The noblesse is all-powerful. We have everything—why should we cry for something more? As for the commons, they don't know what is good for them and they have all they deserve. At any rate they will not get anything more. These contentions, these revolts of the lower orders”—she stopped, for at that instant the young Vicomte de Segur came up and, making a profound bow, offered his arm to the Duchess.

“Madame,” he said, “the Duchesse de Chastellux begs that you will join her at a table of whist.” He paused a moment, and then, with a languid shrug of his shoulders and a whimsical smile, “Your Grace was speaking of the discontent of the lower orders? They are very unreasonable—these lower orders—they spoil one's Paris so!”

Calvert was about to follow the two figures into the crowd, when suddenly he heard his name called softly, and, turning, found himself beside St. Aulaire and Madame de St. Andre. She was looking at him, her eyes and lips smiling mockingly. Calvert met her gaze calmly and fully. They stood thus, looking at each other, courteously on Calvert's part, curiously, almost challengingly, on the young girl's. It was Madame de St. Andre who broke the silence. When she spoke, her voice was exquisitely sweet and low, and her eyes became kind, and the artificial smile faded from her lips. Looking at her so, Calvert could scarce believe that it was the same arrogant beauty who had regarded him so haughtily but a moment before. 'Twas as if she had let fall from her face, for a moment, some lovely but hateful mask, which she could resume instantly at will.

“Mr. Calvert,” she said, “I hope my brother has had a chance to talk with you. He is most anxious to see you.” As she spoke, Calvert thought he had never heard anything so beautiful as the sound of those clear, French words, each one as sweet and distinct as the carillon of a silver bell.

“Alas, no, Madame! We have exchanged but a dozen words. 'Tis almost five years since we last talked together. That was at Monticello, where, indeed, I had the pleasure of making your acquaintance—in miniature!” He bowed and smiled as he noted her look of surprise. “And where—-”

“And where,” interrupted Beaufort, who at that instant joined them and who had overheard Calvert's last words, “d'Azay promised to introduce Mr. Calvert to you as an American savage!”

“Indeed, my brother spoke to me on the subject,” returned Madame de St. Andre, laughing outright at the recollection (and if each word she spoke was like the sound of a silver bell, her laugh was like a whole chime of them). “I had looked for something quite different,” she went on, in a mock-disappointed tone, and with an amused glance at Beaufort. “Perhaps paint and feathers and a—a—what is the name, Monsieur? a—tomahawk to kill with! Ah! Monsieur”—here she sighed in a delightfully droll way and swept Calvert a courtesy—“as an American you are a great disappointment!”

“I am inexpressibly grieved to be the cause of any disappointment to you, Madame,” replied Calvert, calmly. “But as for paint and feathers, surely they can be no novelties to you,” and here he looked meaningly around at the bedaubed, bedecked ladies of fashion (though 'tis but fair to say that the young beauty before him disdained the use of furbelows or cosmetics, as well she might with such a brilliant complexion); “and as for tomahawks—the ladies of this country need no more deadly weapons than their own bright glances. But truly, Madame, did you expect to see a young savage?”

“I was hoping to,” she said, demurely. “'Twould have been more interesting than—than—” And here she stopped as if in seeming embarrassment and loss for words. “Is not America full of them?” she asked, innocently.

“Assuredly, Madame, as you must know, since they have so often been your allies!”

As Calvert spoke, all the amusement and good-nature died out of Madame de St. Andre's face, and she resumed her mask, becoming again the haughty and distant young beauty.

“But 'tis not an uncivilized land by any means,” went on Calvert, who was young and ardent enough to espouse warmly the cause of his country from even the badinage of a spoilt young girl. “There is much learning and the most gracious manners to be found there, as you must also know, since we have been able to spare two such shining examples of both to this court—Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jefferson.”

“Monsieur does not mean to compare the civilization of his own country to that of ours?” contemptuously demanded St. Aulaire, who, up to that time, had stood superciliously by, taking no part in the conversation.

“Indeed, no!” returned Calvert, with suspicious promptness. “In my mind there can be no comparison, and surely you will acknowledge that a country which has produced the greatest man of the age is not one to be despised.”

“And who may that be?” asked Monsieur de St. Aulaire, with lazy insolence.

“I had thought, my lord,” returned Calvert, bowing low, “that the subject of so enlightened a state as you say France is would surely have heard the name of General Washington. Monsieur does not read history?”

“'Tis impossible to read yours, since you have none,” returned St. Aulaire, with a contemptuous little laugh.

“We are making it every day, Monsieur,” said Calvert, calmly.

“Ah, sir!” demanded Madame de St. Andre, “are all Americans so presumptuous?”

“Yes, Madame—if 'tis presumptuous to admire General Washington.”

“We have heard of him in effect,” sneeringly broke in Monsieur de St. Aulaire. “A lucky adventurer with a pretty talent for fighting British cowards, a beggar who has not been turned away empty from our doors. Why, hasn't the whole country given to him?—from the King down—and truth to tell we were glad to give as long as he whipped the English.”

“No, no, Monsieur de St. Aulaire,” suddenly interrupted Madame de St. Andre, turning upon him, “do not wrong France, do not wrong your King, do not wrong Lafayette and Rochambeau and Dillon and so many others! We gave because France was strong and America weak, because it was our greatest happiness to help right her wrongs, because 'tis ever France's way to succor the oppressed. As for General Washington, Monsieur Calvert does well to admire him. The King admires him—can Monsieur de St. Aulaire do less? We are devoted royalists, but we can still respect and admire patriotism and genius under whatever government they flourish.” She changed her tone of authority and accusation and turned to Calvert. Again the mask had been dropped, the eyes were once more kind, the voice and smile once more tender. “I should like to hear more of your General Washington and of America, Monsieur,” she said, almost shyly, and Calvert wondered at the change in her. “If Monsieur skates, we should be happy to have him join us to-morrow afternoon on the ice near the Pont Royal. 'Tis for three o'clock.” And she smiled as she turned away, followed by Monsieur de St. Aulaire, apparently in no very good-humor.

When Calvert again looked around him, after having watched Madame de St. Andre disappear, he noticed Mr. Jefferson at the farther end of the room looking much disturbed and talking earnestly with Monsieur Necker, Monsieur le Comte de Montmorin, and Mr. Gouverneur Morris, who had at length left the side of the charming Madame de Flahaut. Calvert approached the group, and, as he drew near, he could hear Necker speaking in an anxious, despondent tone.

“My dear friend,” he was saying, “'tis not only difficulties with the finances which alarm us! Obedience is not to be found anywhere. Even the troops are not to be relied on.” And he turned wearily away.

When Mr. Jefferson caught sight of Calvert, who had stopped, hesitating to join the group lest he should intrude on some important and private business, he beckoned the young man forward.

“Is anything the matter?” asked Calvert, in a low tone. “You look anxious.”

“I will tell you later, my boy,” returned Mr. Jefferson, smiling reassuringly. “Go and talk to Madame de Flahaut—Mr. Morris has promised to send you to her.”

Calvert did as he was desired, and found Madame de Flahaut a very entertaining lady, but who, in spite of her charms, he was not sorry to see go, as she did presently, with Madame de Coigny and Monsieur de Curt. And soon after she retired the company broke up and only Mr. Morris remained behind to have a last glass of wine and a few moments' quiet chat with Mr. Jefferson and Calvert. It was while they were thus engaged in the now deserted drawing-room that Mr. Jefferson told Calvert the cause of his perturbed look, which was none other than a conversation concerning the state of the kingdom confided to himself and Mr. Morris by Monsieur Necker. He explained at great length to Calvert the delicacy and danger of the Comptroller-General's position and the wretched condition of the country's finances and army. To which Mr. Morris added some of his own observations, made with the rapidity and justness so characteristic of him.

“Monsieur Necker seems to me, indeed, to be in a disagreeable and sufficiently dangerous position. His business stands thus: if any mischiefs happen they will be charged to him. If he gets well through the business others will claim the reputation of what good is done by the States-General. If he is a really great man, I am deceived. If he is not a laborious man, I am also deceived. He loves flattery—for he flatters. He is therefore easily imposed upon.”

But here Mr. Jefferson would not allow Mr. Morris to proceed with his dicta, declaring that he did Monsieur Necker a gross injustice, and defending him warmly, both as a financier and statesman. Mr. Morris still clinging to his hastily formed opinion, the two gentlemen continued to argue the matter until, Mr. Morris's carriage having been announced, he took his final leave and stumped his way down the broad staircase, attended to the door by Calvert.

But deeply as Calvert was already interested in the affairs of France, it was not the miscarried business of a nation that troubled his sleep that night. For the first time in his life the face of a woman haunted his dreams, now luring him on with glance and voice, as it seemed to him, now sending him far from her with teasing laughter and disdainful eyes.

CHAPTER VII. AN AFTERNOON ON THE ICE

Calvert's second morning at the Legation was even busier than the first had been, so that there was no time for disquieting thoughts or the memory of troubled dreams. Indeed, the young man had very good nerves and such power of concentration and so conscientious a regard for whatever he might have on hand to do as always kept him absorbed in his work. The packet by which he and Mr. Morris had arrived being ready to start on the return voyage, it was necessary to make up the American mail, which Calvert found to be no light task. Mr. Jefferson's large private correspondence always necessitated the writing of a dozen or more letters for every packet, several copies of the more important having to be made, owing to the unreliability of the vessels themselves and the danger of all communications being opened and possibly destroyed by the French agents before they could even be sent on their way. Besides these private letters there were also many communications concerning official business to be written. The most important one was a letter to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jay, concerning the recall of Monsieur le Comte de Moustier, whose conduct had become most offensive to the American Congress, and the possible appointment of Colonel Ternant to his office. This officer had won a great European reputation as Generalissimo of one of the United Provinces, and it was even hinted that, had he been put at the head of affairs instead of the pusillanimous Rhinegrave of Salm, the cause might have been saved. All this and other details had to be communicated to Mr. Jay, and so delicate was the business that Calvert was instructed to put the letter in cipher lest it be opened and the French Government prematurely informed of the dissatisfaction felt with its representative in America.

It was well on toward three in the afternoon before all the business was disposed of and Calvert had leisure to recall his engagement. When Mr. Jefferson heard of it he declared his intention of going, too, for it was ever one of his greatest pleasures to watch young people at their amusements. The carriage was ordered, and, after stopping in the rue de Richelieu for Mr. Morris, Mr. Jefferson ordered the coachman to drive to the terrace of the Jardin des Tuileries, near the Pont Royal, which particular place the fashionable world had chosen for a rendezvous from which to watch the skating upon the Seine.

It was a beautiful and unusual sight that met Calvert's eyes for the first time on that brilliant winter's afternoon as he alighted from Mr. Jefferson's carriage. The river, which was solidly frozen over at this point, and which was kept smooth and free of soft ice by attendants from the Palais Royal, was thronged. Officers of the splendid Maison du Roi and the Royale Cravate, in magnificent uniforms, glided about; nobles in their rich dress, the sunlight catching their small swords and burnishing them to glittering brightness, skated hither and thither; now and then in the crowd was seen some beautiful woman on skates or more frequently wrapped in furs and being pushed luxuriously about in a chair-sleigh by lackeys and attended by a retinue of admirers. On the terrace of the garden overlooking the river a throng of the most notable people of the court and society, drawn hither by the novelty of the pastime and comfortably installed in chairs brought by their servants, with chaufferettes and furs to keep them protected from the intense cold, looked on at the shifting, swiftly moving pageant before them. For the time being the Parisian world was mad about skating, both because of its popularity as an English sport and because of the rarity with which it could be enjoyed in France.

Joining the throng of spectators, Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris quickly found themselves surrounded by friends and acquaintances, and Calvert left them talking with Madame d'Azay, Madame de Flahaut, and the Marechal de Segur, while he put on his skates. The young man was no great proficient in the art of skating as he was in that of swimming and riding (indeed, he was a most perfect equestrian, seeming to have some secret understanding and entente cordiale with every animal he ever bestrode), but with that facile acquirement of any physical accomplishment which ever distinguished him, he was soon perfectly at ease on the ice.

It was while opposite the Place du Carrousel and almost out of sight of the crowd of onlookers, that Calvert suddenly came upon Madame de St. Andre. She had ventured upon the ice on skates, and was talking to St. Aulaire, who skated slowly beside her. Even in the bright sunshine the Baron de St. Aulaire did not show his age, and moved and bore himself with incomparable grace on the ice. Indeed, in his rich dress and splendid decorations he made a dazzling appearance, and quite eclipsed Mr. Calvert in his sober garments and unpowdered hair. Calvert would have passed by or retreated without intruding himself upon Madame de St. Andre, but before he could do either she had caught sight of him, and he saw, or fancied he saw, a look of relief pass over her face and a welcome dawn in her eyes. Thinking so, he skated slowly toward her, wishing to be sure that he was wanted, and, as he did so, the gentleman, perceiving his approach, ceased speaking and looked most obviously annoyed at the young man's arrival.

Madame de St. Andre waved her hand lightly. “Au revoir, Monsieur de St. Aulaire!” she cried. “Here is Monsieur Calvert, who will take me back over the ice, so I shall not have to trouble you,” and she laughed in a relieved, if somewhat agitated, fashion as St. Aulaire, doffing his hat and scowling fiercely at Calvert, skated rapidly away. As Calvert looked at the retreating figure, Beaufort's words of two days before flashed through his mind again, and it was with a sort of horror that he thought of this dissolute nobleman having even spoken with Madame de St. Andre. Was this beautiful girl born under some unlucky star that she should have to know and associate with such creatures? Calvert had only met her the night before, and already he had seen her twice with a man whose very presence was contaminating. 'Twas almost with the fear of finding some visible sign of that debasing influence upon the fair face beside him that he turned and looked at Madame de St. Andre. It would have been impossible for anyone to have looked more innocently charming. The court beauty was in eclipse, and in her place was a radiant, gracious young girl. Perhaps it was the short, fur-trimmed dress she wore and the small cap with its tuft of heron plumes, a fashion lately set by the Princess de Lamballe, which gave her that childish air. Or, more possibly, it was the unaccustomed look of embarrassment upon her face and a half-laughing petulance as of a naughty child caught in mischief.

“Good-day, Monsieur l'Americain,” she said, gayly, smiling into the serious face Calvert turned toward her. “Will you forgive me for pressing you into service in so offhand a manner?—but perhaps you were looking for me?”

“No, Madame,” returned Calvert, calmly, as they skated slowly toward the Quai des Tuileries, “but 'tis a pleasure to be of service to you.”

A cloud gathered on Madame de St. Andre's brow at this honest and somewhat uncomplimentary reply, but suddenly the humor of the situation seemed to strike her and she burst out laughing.

“Are you always so truthful, Monsieur Calvert, and do American ladies absolve you from making pretty speeches? If so, I warn you you must change or you will not succeed with the ladies of Louis's court.”

“Ah, Madame! I am no courtier—nor, indeed, do I care to be,” said Calvert, quietly.

“Worse and worse!” cried Madame de St. Andre, still laughing. “But even though you disclaim all effort to find me, or wish to be agreeable when found, yet I will still confess that you arrived most opportunely. Monsieur de St. Aulaire grows fatiguing,” she went on, with a pettish shrug of her shoulders. “He is as prodigal of compliments as you are chary of them.”

Calvert looked at the young girl beside him.

“He dares to compliment you! A compliment from Monsieur de St. Aulaire can be nothing less than an insult,” he said, gravely.

Madame de St. Andre lifted her eyes quickly to Calvert's face and, noting the ill-concealed disgust and quiet scorn written there, blushed scarlet and regarded him haughtily.

“Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire is one of the greatest gentlemen in Europe—and—and anyone whom he distinguishes by his attentions must feel honored.”

“Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire is one of the greatest roues in Europe,” corrected Calvert, calmly, “and anyone whom he distinguishes by his attentions ought to feel disgraced.”

Madame de St. Andre was speechless in sheer amazement and indignation. Though she had been annoyed, even frightened by the nobleman's ardent manner and words, she was now eager to defend him from Calvert's attack. She knew him to be in the right, and the rising admiration for his quiet dignity and courage, which she could not repress, only added to her petulance and desire to be revenged on him. It is so with all women—they hate to be put in the wrong, even when the doing so means protection to themselves. And so it was wellnigh intolerable to the spoiled beauty, who had never been used to the lightest contradiction, that this calm young American should so openly show his disapproval of her.

“I will pass by your reproof of myself, Monsieur,” she said at length, haughtily; her eyes flashing and a deep blush mantling her brow, “but I cannot consent to listen in silence to your condemnation of a personage whose talents and rank should protect him from your sarcasms.”

“Rank, Madame!” burst out Mr. Calvert at these words. “I never knew before that morality or immorality, loyalty or treason, honor or dishonor had aught to do with rank! In our country 'tis not so. A king's word can make of the meanest scoundrel a duke, a marquis, but an honest man holds his rank by a power greater than any king's.” He bent upon her such a compelling gaze that she was forced to turn and look at him. Before Calvert's flashing eyes and manly, honest indignation her own anger died out and an unwilling admiration took its place. She blushed again deeply and bit her lips. This young American, with his noble face, his simplicity of manner and democratic scorn of her rank and pretensions, had not only accused, but silenced her. At any rate he should not see that he had impressed her! She laughed lightly.

“What a noble sentiment, Monsieur! Did you find it in one of Monsieur Rousseau's books?”

“No, Madame, it was not in the works of the famous Monsieur Rousseau that I found the expression of that sentiment,” replied Calvert, hesitating slightly. “'Tis the theme of a little song by a young man named Robert Burns, who writes the sweetest poetry in the world, I think. He is a friend and protege of Dr. Witherspoon, of the College of Princeton, who never tires of reading his verses to us. I wish I could give you some idea of the beauty and power of the poem,” and he began to translate “For a' that, and a' that” into the best French at his command, smiling every now and then at the strange substitutes for Burns's Scotch which he was forced to employ and at the curious metamorphosis of the poem into French prose. But he managed to infuse the spirit and sentiment of the original into his offhand translation, and Madame de St. Andre listened attentively.

“I would like to hear more of your poet,” she said, gently, when Calvert had finished speaking. “I do not remember to have heard Monsieur Chenier speak of him or the Abbe Delille, either. The Abbe is often good enough to read poetry to us in my aunt's drawing-room, but 'tis usually his own,” and she laughed mischievously. “The poor gentleman makes a great fuss about it, too. He must have his dish of tea at his elbow and the shades all drawn, with only the firelight or a single candle to read by, and when we are all quaking with fear at the darkness and solemn silence, he begins to recite, and imagines that 'tis his verses which have so moved us!” and she laughed merrily again. “You shall come and read to us from your young Scotch poet and snatch the Abbe's laurels from him! Indeed, my aunt has already conceived a great liking for you, Monsieur, so she told me last night on her way from Madame Necker's, and intends to urge upon Mr. Jefferson to bring you to see her immediately.” She smiled at Calvert so graciously and with such unaffected good-humor that he looked at her with delight and wonder at the change come over her. Once more the mask was down. All the haughtiness and capricious anger had faded away, and Calvert thought he had never beheld a creature so charming and so beautiful. Her dark eyes shone like stars in a wintry sky, and, though the air was frosty, the roses bloomed in her cheeks. As he looked at her there was a troubled smile on his lips and he felt a sudden quickening of his pulse. A curious sense of remoteness from her impressed itself upon him. He looked around at the unfamiliar scene, at the towering palace walls on his right, at the crowds of spectators on the river's edge, at the brilliant throng of skaters, at the great stone bridge spanning the frozen river over which people were forever passing to and fro, some hurriedly, some with leisure to lean over the parapet for a moment to watch the unaccustomed revelry below. And as he looked, another scene, which he had so lately left, rose before him. In fancy he could see the broad and shining Potomac, on its banks the stately old colonial house with its colonnaded wings, something after the fashion of General Washington's mansion at near-by Mount Vernon, the green lawns stretching away from the portico and the fragrant depths of the woods beyond. A voice recalled him from his abstraction. It was that of Monsieur de St. Aulaire, who, as they neared the crowded terrace of the Tuileries gardens, emerged from a group of skaters and, approaching Calvert and Madame de St. Andre, made a profound bow before the latter.

“Is Madame de St. Andre to show favor to none but Monsieur Calvert?” he asks, in a low voice that had an accent of mockery in it as he bent over the young girl's hand.

“'Tis no favor that I show Monsieur Calvert,” she replied, smiling. “'Tis a privilege to skate with so perfect a master of the art.”

“I shall be most happy to take a lesson from Monsieur later in the afternoon,” returned St. Aulaire, courteously, but with a disagreeable smile playing about his mouth. “In the meantime, if Monsieur will but resign you for a time—” He stopped and shrugged his shoulders slightly. Calvert moved from his place beside Madame de St. Andre.

As he made his way toward the shore, intending to remove his skates and find Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris, d'Azay and Beaufort came up and urged upon him to join them. Both were good skaters, but the young American excelled them in a certain lightness and grace, and the three friends, as they circled about, trying a dozen difficult and showy manoeuvres on the ice, attracted much attention. It was after half an hour of the vigorous exercise and as Mr. Calvert stopped for an instant to take breath and pay his respects to Madame de Flahaut, who had ventured upon the ice in a chair-sleigh surrounded by her admirers, that Monsieur de St. Aulaire again presented himself before him.

“I have come for my lesson, Monsieur,” he said to Calvert, bowing after his incomparably graceful fashion, which Calvert (who had never before wasted thought upon such things) suddenly found himself envying, and with the disagreeable smile still upon his lips.

“I am no skating-master, Monsieur,” returned the young man, quietly, and with as good grace as he was master of, “but I shall be happy to have a turn upon the ice with you,” and with that he moved off, leaving St. Aulaire to stay or follow as he chose. He chose to follow and skated rapidly after Calvert with no very benevolent look on his handsome, dissipated face. Although he was by far the best skater among the French gentlemen who thronged the ice, and although it was little short of a marvel that he should be so active at his age, he was scarcely a match for the younger man either in lightness or quickness of movement. And although his splendid dress and jewels so overshadowed Mr. Calvert's quiet appearance, he was conscious of being excelled before the crowd of spectators by the agility and sure young strength of the American. Piqued and disgusted at the thought, the habitual half-mocking good-humor of his manner gave way to sullen, repressed irritation. Knowing his world so well, he was sure of the interest and curiosity Calvert's performance would arouse, and longed to convert his little triumph into a defeat. Being accustomed to doing everything he undertook a little better, a little more gracefully, with a little more eclat than anyone else, he suddenly began to hate this young man who had beaten him at his own game and for whom he had felt an aversion from the first moment of seeing him.

He tried to bethink himself of some plan of lowering his enemy's colors. In his younger days he had been a notable athlete, excelling in vaulting and jumping, and suddenly an idea occurred to him which he thought would result in mortification to Mr. Calvert and success to himself. So great was the interest in the skating of the two gentlemen that the greater part of the crowd had retired beyond a little ledge of roughened ice and snow which cut the improvised arena into two nearly equal parts from where they could conveniently see Monsieur de St. Aulaire and Mr. Calvert as they skated about. This rift in the smoothness of the ice was some fifteen feet wide and extended far out from the shore, so that those wishing to pass beyond it had to skate out around its end and so get to the other side. Monsieur de St. Aulaire came up close to it, and, as he did so, he suddenly called out to Calvert:

“Let us try the other side, Monsieur, and, as it is too far to go around this, suppose we jump it,” and he laughed as he noted Calvert's look of surprise at his proposition.

“As you wish, Monsieur,” assented Calvert, though somewhat dubiously, as he noted the breadth of the roughened surface, and mentally calculated that to miss the clear jump by a hair's-breadth would ensure a hard, perhaps dangerous, fall. 'Twas no easy jump under ordinary circumstances; weighted down by skates the difficulty would be vastly increased.

“Tis too wide for a standing jump, Monsieur,” said St. Aulaire, looking alternately at Calvert and the rift of broken, jagged ice, and laughing recklessly. “We will have to run for it!” And without more words the two gentlemen skated rapidly back for twenty yards and then came forward with tremendous velocity, pari passu, and, both jumping at the same instant, landed on the far side of the ledge, scattering the applauding spectators right and left as they drove in among them, unable for an instant to stop the swiftness of their progress.

“Well done, Monsieur!” called out St. Aulaire, as he wheeled beside Calvert, who had succeeded in checking his impetus. He was smiling, but there was a dark look in his eyes. “Well done, but 'twas too easy—a very school-boy's trick! We must try something a little more difficult to test our agility upon the ice—unless, indeed, Monsieur has had enough?” and he looked at Calvert insultingly full in the face. “The eyes of the world are upon us—” and he waved his hand mockingly toward the throng of spectators on the terrace where the ladies were applauding with gloved hands and the men tapping the frozen ground with canes and swords. From where he stood Calvert could see Mr. Jefferson looking at him and Mr. Morris sitting beside Madame de Flahaut and Madame de St. Andre, who had left the ice and joined the onlookers.

“It has never been my custom or my desire, Monsieur, to furnish amusement for the crowd,” said Calvert, returning St. Aulaire's insolent look, “but I should be very sorry to stand in the way of your doing so by declining to act as a foil to your prowess. If there is anything else I can do for you—?” and he bowed and smiled tranquilly at Monsieur de St. Aulaire, who blushed darkly with vexation at the way in which the young man had turned his attack.

“Monsieur is too modest,” he said, suavely, controlling himself, and then, calling one of the attendants who was busy near-by sweeping the snow cut by the skates from the ice, he instructed the fellow to bring one of the chairs which had been taken from the palace to the terrace for the convenience of those who had not had their servants bring them. In a few moments the man returned with a large chair whose deep seat and long arms just suited the purposes of Monsieur de St. Aulaire. Under his direction the man placed it sidewise upon the stratum of broken, irregular ice and snow, the crowd looking on with curiosity at the unusual proceedings.

“By the example and with the approbation of Monsieur le Duc d'Orleans, Monsieur,” said St. Aulaire, turning gravely to Calvert, “we do all things a l'Anglaise—for the moment. You, who, after all, are English, will doubtless recognize many of your customs, manners, and sports among us—always supposing Paris is fortunate enough to keep you,” and here he smiled deprecatingly and shook his head as if afraid such good fortune could not be true. “I have just conceived the idea of having a steeple-chase on the ice. 'Tis but a poor little hurdle,” and he shrugged his shoulders disdainfully, “but 'twill have to do. We will take fifty yards start, Monsieur, and clear the fauteuil, rough ice and all!”

He broke out again in his mocking laugh, and, sculling rapidly backward, soon put the distance between him and the improvised barrier. Calvert turned and followed, not without some inward disgust at the trap laid for him, although outwardly he wore the quiet air habitual to him, and, in spite of his disgust, he could not help but admire the reckless courage and activity which would dare such a thing, for 'twas evident now that the jump had not only to be dangerously long but high also, and any failure to clear the chair and broken ice would inevitably result in a ludicrous, probably serious mishap.

“'Tis evident that we cannot both jump at the same time,” says Monsieur de St. Aulaire, courteously. “Shall we try for the honor?” and he drew a coin from his pocket and lightly tossed it upward. 'Twas the fashion in Paris to decide everything by the fall of a coin. “C'est a vous, Monsieur,” he says, looking at the gold piece as it lay face upward in his palm, and he laughed lightly again as if not displeased with his luck. As for Calvert, he was no less pleased, for he suddenly felt impatient and eager for the trial. He gave a glance at the fastenings of his skates and then, sweeping around to the starting-place, he skated slowly at first but with ever-increasing speed. As he reached the gilt chair he paused for the infinitesimal part of a second as a horse does at a hurdle, and then, with one clean spring, was over safely. As he slid along the smooth ice, unable to check his impetus, he could hear the applause of the spectators on the shore and the exclamations and laughter of the ladies. Suddenly he bethought him of St. Aulaire. He turned quickly and was just in time to see St. Aulaire start off. There was a gallant recklessness in his bearing, but Calvert noted that his movements seemed heavy, though his pace accelerated greatly as he neared the improvised hurdle. Indeed, he was coming too fast, and, as he reached the unlucky fauteuil, he was going with such speed that he could neither calculate the length of the jump nor raise himself sufficiently for it, and it was with a little cry of horror that Calvert and the onlookers saw the Baron essay it and fall short, catching his skates in the arm of the chair and crashing down heavily upon the ice. In an instant Calvert had reached him. Monsieur de St. Aulaire was lying quite still and unconscious, with a thin stream of blood trickling from a scalp wound on the temple, which had struck a splinter of ice. In a few minutes, after much chafing of his hands and head, he opened his eyes, and Calvert and the crowd who had quickly surrounded the two were relieved to see that the injury had not been serious. A dozen fine handkerchiefs were torn up, and Calvert bound the wounded temple and helped him, still half-stunned, to rise. The fresh air revived him somewhat, and, Madame de Segur's coachman running up at this moment to tell him that his mistress's carriage was at his disposal, he was helped to it, and, amid the sympathetic murmurs of the crowd, was sent off to his apartments in the Palais Royal.

“A thousand pardons for causing you so much trouble, Monsieur,” he said, turning to Calvert, with one foot on the step of the carriage. “I shall not forget this afternoon,” and he bowed with his accustomed grace, looking incomparably handsome in spite of his pallor and weakness and the bandage about his forehead, and Calvert could not help but admire the courtly ease of his manner, though he saw, too, the evil smile on his lips and the ugly look in his eye. As he turned away he caught sight of Madame de St. Andre, who stood looking after the carriage with an expression of anxiety on her face, which Calvert noticed had lost its rosy color and was now quite pale. He would have gone to her to reassure her concerning Monsieur de St. Aulaire's safety, but when he went toward her she pretended not to see him, and quickly joined Madame d'Azay and the Marechal de Segur.

The company broke up soon after the accident to Monsieur de St. Aulaire, and in a few minutes Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Morris, and Calvert were in their carriage on the way to the Legation, where Mr. Morris was engaged to dine that evening.

“I thought you had told me that Mr. Calvert was quite indifferent to the fair sex,” says Mr. Morris, laughing, and speaking to Mr. Jefferson, but with a side glance at the young man. “If so, he takes a strange way of proving it. He will be the most-talked-of, and therefore the most envied, man in Paris to-morrow,” and he began to laugh again.

“Was jumping in the curriculum at the College of Princeton?” asks Mr. Jefferson, laughing, too.

“But beware of St. Aulaire,” said Mr. Morris, suddenly becoming grave and laying a kindly hand on Calvert's shoulder. “I misjudge him if he will take even a fair defeat at sport in the right spirit. Look out for him, Ned—he will not play fair and he will not forget a grudge, or I am greatly deceived in him.”

But it was not of Monsieur le Baron's possible revenge or even of his cracked head that Mr. Calvert thought, but of his unrivalled gallantry of bearing and his splendid appearance. And that night when he retired to his own room he practised St. Aulaire's graceful bow before the long cheval glass, though with most indifferent success, it must be confessed.

“'Tis no use,” he said at length to the sober reflection in the glass, and he threw himself into a chair and burst out laughing at his own folly. “I am only a simple American gentleman, and Monsieur de St. Aulaire's manners are too elaborate for such. Perhaps 'tis his splendid dress and decorations which give such eclat to his every movement. At any rate I see that I shall have to content myself with my own quiet fashions. And why, indeed, am I suddenly dissatisfied with them?—why wish to change them?”

But though he sat for some time staring into the fire he did not attempt to answer his own queries, and, after a little, he blew out the candles and resolutely addressed himself to sleep.

CHAPTER VIII. THE AMERICANS ARE MADE WELCOME IN PARIS

As Mr. Morris had predicted, Calvert's skill in skating and the accident to Monsieur de St. Aulaire became the topic of conversation in all salons. Accounts of the young American's success on the ice came like a breath of fresh air into the stagnant gossip of the drawing-rooms, and were repeated until the affair had become a notable exploit, and Mr. Calvert could have posed as a conquering hero had he cared to profit by his small adventure. But the young gentleman was not only entirely indifferent to such success, but scarcely cognizant of it, for he was greatly occupied, and threw himself so heartily into his work that Mr. Jefferson could never sufficiently congratulate himself on having with him so efficient and willing a secretary. There was an enormous amount of business to be attended to at the Legation, and not even a copying clerk or an accountant to aid in dispatching it. Indeed, the labor put upon our foreign representatives was wellnigh inconceivable, and could those who cavilled at Dr. Franklin's lax business methods but have imagined the tenth of what he had to attend to, they would have been heartily ashamed of their complaints. Many of the enterprises which the good Doctor had begun and left at loose ends, Mr. Jefferson found himself obliged to go on with and finish as satisfactorily as was possible. Besides which there were constant communications on an infinity of subjects to be made to our representatives in London and in Madrid and to our charges d'affaires at Brussels and The Hague; money loans negotiated, bonds executed, important creditors at Paris appeased, and numberless schemes for financial aid to be devised and floated. In all of these affairs Mr. Calvert had his share, so that the young gentleman had but small leisure for that social intercourse into which Mr. Morris entered with such zest and perfect success.

Introduced by Mr. Jefferson and the letters he had brought with him, in an incredibly short time Mr. Morris was known and admired in every salon in Paris, and he stumped his way through them with that admirable savoir faire and sturdy self-respect, dashed with a wholesome conceit, which made him assure Calvert one day that he “had never felt embarrassment or a sense of inferiority in any company in which he had ever found himself.” It was soon evident that of all the salons of Paris where he was made welcome, the one most to his taste was that of the charming Madame de Flahaut; but wherever he went in that aristocratic society which claimed social preeminence over all others, this untitled gentleman from a new, almost unknown, country, was easily and quickly one of the most brilliant members. Utterly unawed by the splendid company in which he found himself, he valued it at its true worth and was keenly and amusingly observant of its pretensions, its shams, its flippancy, its instability, its charm. Soon he had become as great a favorite as Mr. Jefferson himself, though winning his enviable position by qualities the very opposite of that gentleman's. Mr. Morris rivalled the Parisians themselves in caustic wit, perfect manners, and the thousand and one social graces of the time, while Mr. Jefferson captivated all by his democratic manners and entire indifference to social conventionality, much as the incomparable Dr. Franklin (whose originality and address in society were indeed sui generis and quite unrivalled) had before him.

But Mr. Morris was possessed of greater qualities than those necessary to make him shine in the vapid, corrupt society of the fashionable world. He was a brilliant, yet sound, thinker, and his earnest convictions, his practical statesmanship, and his shrewd business abilities were quickly appreciated. Indeed, it was difficult to tell whether ladies of fashion or troubled statesmen found him most satisfactory. He could rhyme a delicate compliment for the one or draw up a plan to aid France's crippled revenues for the other, with equal dexterity. His opinion was sought upon the weightiest matters, and, being unfettered by official obligations, as was Mr. Jefferson, he was free to give it, and soon became associated with some of the greatest gentlemen in the kingdom and intimately identified with many schemes for the strengthening of the monarchy. For Mr. Morris, while a most ardent republican in his own country, was a royalist in France, convinced that a people, used from time immemorial to an almost despotic government, extremely licentious, and by nature volatile, were utterly unfitted for a republic. In many of the drawing-rooms where indiscriminate and dangerous republicanism was so freely advocated, he was held to be trop aristocrate. With amazing good-humor and keenness he attacked the closet philosophers and knocked over their feeble arguments like tenpins, urgently proclaiming that it was the duty and best policy for every son of France to hold up the king's hands and strengthen his authority. It was almost amusing to note the consternation his views caused among those who, knowing him to be a republican of republicans, a citizen of that country which had so lately and so gloriously won its civil liberty, had expected far different things from him. Indeed, he ran foul of many of the noblesse, with whom 'twas the fashion to be republicans of the first feather, and of none more completely than Monsieur le Marquis de Lafayette.

Monsieur de Lafayette, who had got himself elected from the noblesse in Auvergne, had come back to town in March and was a frequent caller at the Legation, having there a warm friend and ally in Mr. Jefferson. He was unaffectedly glad to see Calvert after such a lapse of time and to meet again Mr. Morris, whom he had also known in America. His admiration and respect for Mr. Morris's qualities were very great, and it was therefore with no little mortification and uneasiness that he noted that gentleman's disapprobation of the trend of public affairs and his own course of action. Indeed, Mr. Morris was seriously alarmed lest the glory which the young Marquis had won in America should be dimmed by his career in his own country. Believing in his high-mindedness and patriotism, he yet questioned his political astuteness and his ability to guide the forces which he had so powerfully helped to set in motion by his call for the States-General. Fully alive to his great qualities, he yet deplored a certain indecision of character and an evident thirst for fame.

Something of all this Mr. Morris expressed to Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Calvert one evening when the Marquis had retired after an hour's animated conversation on the all-engrossing subject of politics, during which he had given the three gentlemen an account of his campaign in Auvergne. But Mr. Jefferson, being in entire sympathy with Lafayette's ideas, could not agree at all with Mr. Morris's estimate of him and would listen to no strictures on him, except, indeed, the imputation of ambition, which Mr. Jefferson acknowledged amounted to “a canine thirst for fame,” as he himself wrote General Washington. Though Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris differed so widely respecting the Marquis's genius, Mr. Morris still clung to his opinion, so that Madame de Lafayette, with wifely jealousy and feminine intuition, perceiving something of his mental attitude toward her husband, received him but coldly when he called with Calvert to pay his respects at the hotel on the Quai du Louvre. So marked was the disapproval of her manner, that Mr. Morris, being both amused and annoyed, could not forbear recounting his reception to Mr. Jefferson, who enjoyed a good laugh at his expense and, as it seemed to Calvert, took a certain satisfaction in his rebuff.

“She gave me the tips of her fingers to kiss,” said Mr. Morris, laughing, “gazing over my head the while and smiling at this young gentleman, on whom she lavished every attention, though she had never a word for me!” and he sighed in mock distress and looked affectionately at Mr. Calvert. He had become very fond of the young gentleman in the few weeks they had been together in Paris, and was always anxious to introduce him to his acquaintances, of whom he already had an astonishing number. Mr. Jefferson, being busily occupied with public matters, insisted on Mr. Calvert's accepting Mr. Morris's good offices and, with his invariable kindness and thoughtfulness, made it appear, indeed, that the young gentleman was aiding him by thus assuming some of his social duties. He was secretly much gratified and pleased by the accounts which Mr. Morris gave of his successes.

“Why, 'tis almost indecent the way the women spoil him,” that gentleman declared, laughingly, to Mr. Jefferson as they sat alone over their wine one evening after dinner at the Legation, Calvert having retired to finish the copying of some important letters to be despatched to Mr. Short, who was at Amsterdam. “Elles s'en raffolent, but Ned, incredible as it may seem, is far from being grateful for such a doubtful blessing! His stoical indifference and unvarying courtesy to the fair sex are genuine and sublime and pique the women incredibly. Indeed, 'tis almost more than I can stand without laughing,” went on Mr. Morris, “to see the manly forbearance with which he treats the advances of some of these grandes dames, who think nothing of taking the initiative in a love-affair. Tis as rare as it is admirable here in Paris! Upon my word I thought he would have taken to his heels yesterday when we called on Madame de Flahaut, who, being at her toilet, invited us to her dressing-room! He left me to stump upstairs alone and receive a good rating from the Countess for not having kept him. He makes me feel very old and sinful,” went on Mr. Morris, after a pause, and smiling ruefully at Mr. Jefferson on the other side of the table, “and I ought to dislike the boy heartily for it. But, in faith, I can't, and am beginning to be as fond of him as you yourself are.”

“And, after all, he ought not to make us feel old,” rejoined Mr. Jefferson, smiling, too. “For in spite of his youth there is nothing of immaturity in his character. 'Tis as firm and well-rounded as though he were fifty.”

“I think he calls for a toast,” says Mr. Morris, laughing, and filling up the glasses: “To an Old Head on Young Shoulders!”

In the early part of March, Mr. Short being still on his travels, and vexatious questions having arisen in connection with the Dutch loans, Mr. Jefferson determined to intrust their settlement to Calvert, and, accordingly, the young man set out for Amsterdam with scarce a day's notice of his journey. His embassy concerned the refusal of our bankers in Amsterdam (into whose hands Congress had placed all monies) to pay bills for the redemption of our captives, and the medals which Mr. Jefferson had contracted should be struck off for the foreign officers who had engaged in the revolution. This refusal placed the American Minister in a most embarrassing position. To his demands the Holland bankers replied that Congress had appropriated the money in their charge solely to the payment of the interest on the Dutch loan through the year 1790. As a failure to pay the interest on the loan would have been fatal to the credit and standing of the infant republic in the eyes of Europe, it was evident to Mr. Jefferson that a new loan would have to be set going to defray the new debts. This delicate and difficult project (for our credit was none of the best and the old loan had not all been taken up) he intrusted to Calvert, and so quickly and satisfactorily did the young man execute his commission that he was back again in Paris by the end of the month with reports highly gratifying to the American Minister.

“You have a better head for finances than even Mr. Hamilton, whose opinions are so much quoted in Congress,” says Mr. Jefferson, with a smile. “I think no one could have conducted these affairs to a better issue. It has always been my opinion that your peculiar talents lay in the direction of finances, and now I am persuaded of it.”

So delighted was Mr. Jefferson with Calvert's performance that he recounted the successful embassy to Mr. Morris, whose good opinion of Calvert was greatly increased, and, having always had a liking for the young man, he took occasion to see more than ever of him. He insisted on Calvert's accompanying him frequently into the great world of Paris where he himself was so welcome, and where, indeed, the young man's presence was also demanded on all sides—even by royalty itself in the person of Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans, whose acquaintance Mr. Morris had made in the apartments of Madame de Chastellux in the Palais Royal. Although accustomed to the company of the highest nobility, Mr. Morris was somewhat uncertain whether he would get along well with royalty, and would not have pursued the acquaintance begun by chance in Madame de Chastellux's salon had not the Duchess expressed her pleasure in his society in most unequivocal terms. Satiated with flattery, bored by the narrow circle in which she was forced to move, profoundly humiliated by the neglect and viciousness of her husband, she was charmed by the wit, independence, and true courtesy of the brilliant American. A daughter of the old Duc de Penthievre, the embodiment of everything good in the ancien regime, the Duchess of Orleans was, herself, a woman of rare good sense, beauty, and tact, all of which appealed strongly to Mr. Morris, so that the acquaintance begun so graciously on her part and so dubiously on his, soon ripened into real friendship.

“I never see her but I feel a throb of pity for her,” declared Mr. Morris to Calvert. “'Twas a malignant fate that made her the wife of so dissolute a prince. She is very handsome—handsome enough to punish the duke for his irregularities, and she has, I think, the most beautiful arm in all Europe—of which she is properly vain! But what is a little vanity among so many virtues?—for she is eminently virtuous, though not averse, I think, to seeking some consolation for her profound melancholy, for—as she has confided to me—she feels 'le besoin d'etre aime,'“ and he smiled a little cynically, as men of the world are wont to smile at the confession of feminine weaknesses. As for Mr. Calvert, that confession brought no smile to his lips, and, though he said nothing, he felt a sudden rush of pity for the unhappy lady, neglected and unloved despite her great position. After all, duchesses are but women and must love and suffer and be content or miserable like common mortals, and men should be the last to blame them for that divine necessity of their beings—that of loving and being loved.

“She has heard much of you, Ned,” went on Mr. Morris, “from Madame de Chastellux, from Lafayette, and lately from myself, and has expressed her desire to see you. I need not tell you that such a wish is a command and so you must even go and pay your respects to royalty, my boy,” and he laughed as he clapped the young man on the shoulder.

That very evening Mr. Morris carried him off to the Palais Royal to the apartments of Madame de Chastellux, where he despatched a message to the Duchess to the effect that “Monsieur Morris, accompagne par Monsieur Calvert, visitent Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans chez Madame de Chastellux.” After a few moments of waiting one of the Duchess's men came with the request that Madame de Chastellux should bring the two gentlemen to her apartments.

They found Her Royal Highness there surrounded by a small company. At her side was the Vicomte de Segur, who was essaying by the witty sallies and delightful drolleries for which he was so famous to bring a smile to her lips; but, although the rest of the company was convulsed by his brilliant nonsense, the Duchess's pale face did not lose its serious expression until Mr. Morris, followed by Calvert, entered the room. Then, indeed, a smile of pleasure lighted up her countenance, and it was with a most gracious cordiality that she welcomed both gentlemen.

“So this is your young compatriote, Monsieur, who vanquished Monsieur de St. Aulaire on the ice!” she said, looking at Mr. Morris and laughing with a certain malicious satisfaction. She extended to Calvert the famously beautiful hand and arm, from which the soft, black lace fell away, revealing its exquisite roundness and whiteness and over which Mr. Morris bent low in salutation. “We have heard of your prowess au patinage, Monsieur,” she continued, glancing at Calvert, and then, without waiting for a reply, much to the young man's relief, who was somewhat embarrassed by so direct a compliment and, in truth, utterly weary of the whole subject, of which he heard continually, she turned and spoke to two young gentlemen half-concealed in the deep embrasure of a window. At her call they both came forward, the eldest, the Duc de Chartres, who might have been sixteen years of age, laying down a violin on which he had been playing softly, and the younger, Monsieur de Beaujolais, who could not have been over thirteen, closing the book he had been reading.

“Mes fils,” says the Duchess, softly, and smiling at Mr. Morris and Calvert with a sort of melancholy pride shining in her dark eyes. In truth, the young princes were good to look at, especially the little Monsieur de Beaujolais, who had a most animated and pleasing countenance. As they stood one on each side of their mother they made a pretty group. Perhaps 'twas the remembrance of that picture in after years which warmed Mr. Morris's heart to the exile in distress over the seas and made him a generous friend despite the royal ingratitude.

“So she has saved something out of the wreck of her life,” thought Mr. Calvert, pityingly, looking at the two youths. “'Tis doubly fortunate that they in nowise resemble their ignoble father,” and he thought with disgust of that dissolute nobleman of whom he had heard so much. While these thoughts were passing through his mind the Duchess was speaking earnestly, to Mr. Morris.

“I ask your advice, Monsieur,” she said, dismissing with a smile the two young gentlemen, who retired once more to their place at the window. “You, who seem to know so well how to breed heroes in your own country, can surely tell me how to bring up my sons to be an honor to their race!”

“Your Highness,” returned Mr. Morris, after an instant's hesitation, and deeply moved at such a mark of esteem, “for Monsieur le Duc de Chartres, who, in the inscrutable workings of Providence, may one day be king”—the Duchess started and turned pale—“there is but one course to follow, one education open. But for Monsieur de Beaujolais, why should he not lend his talents to business enterprises, to great commercial undertakings which make for the prosperity and stability of a country as surely as even its army or navy? Thus also will he create happiness for himself, because, if idle, at five and twenty, having enjoyed all that rank and fortune can give him, he will be unhappy from not knowing what to do with himself.”

In spite of the democratic simplicity of the idea, the Duchess seemed impressed and listened attentively to Mr. Morris, who was about to explain more at length the advantages of such a career for the young prince, when the conversation was interrupted by the lackey at the door announcing the arrival of Madame la Comtesse de Flahaut.

At the name the Duchess threw a meaning look at Mr. Morris.

“Enfin! J'ai fait venir Madame de Flahaut ce soir. N'est ce pas que je suis aimable?” she said, laughing, and speaking rapidly.

Mr. Morris bowed low before Madame la Duchesse, succeeding perfectly in conveying by a look his appreciation without committing himself to anything more serious.

“And did Your Royal Highness also send for a substitute in case I prove wearying to Madame la Comtesse?” he asked, smiling, as he caught sight of a gentleman who had followed Madame de Flahaut into the room and who wore the ecclesiastical dress of a bishop. Perhaps what most attracted Mr. Morris's notice was that he seemed a man of about his own age and, like himself, lame. “Who is it?” he asked, in a low voice, as the two approached.

“Monsieur de Talleyrand-Perigord, Bishop of Autun, who, I understand, is in danger of losing his place in the affections of Madame on account of Monsieur Morris,” returned the Duchess, hurriedly, and glancing mischievously, though keenly, at Mr. Morris's face, which, however, preserved its expression of impassivity.

“Ah! place aux eveques!” murmured Mr. Morris, quietly.

Salutations and the presentation of Mr. Morris and Mr. Calvert having been made, the Bishop of Autun turned to the Duchess.

“Your Highness,” he said, “I have come to beg a dinner.”

“And we have brought our bread with us, that we may be sure of our welcome!” cried out Madame de Flahaut, with a little laugh. And indeed they had, for wheat was so scarce in Paris that it was the fashion for ladies and gentlemen to send their servants with bread when dining out.

“Monsieur l'eveque knows he is always welcome,” said the Duchess, gently, and smiling at Madame de Flahaut. “Once our guest, always our guest.”

In a little while the tutor of the young princes came in and took away his charges, and the company sat down to supper. It was one of Her Highness's little soupers intimes, which she gave each Thursday, and upon which Monsieur le Duc d'Orleans and his wild companions never intruded. Though the company was small it was very gay, and it would have been hard to say who contributed most to the wit and sparkle of the talk which went on ceaselessly—Mr. Morris, Monsieur le Vicomte de Segur, or Monsieur de Boufflers, who, as usual, was present in the train of the beautiful Madame de Sabran. As for Mr. Morris, he was in the highest spirits and devoted himself with gallant courtesy to Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans, on whose left he sat, much to the evident pique of Madame de Flahaut. With that wonderful adaptability which made him at ease in any society in which he found himself, he adjusted himself to the company of the evening, and, being perfectly master of the French language, could not only understand the light talk and persiflage, but even led in the conversation.

As for Mr. Calvert, having none of that adaptability possessed in so large a share by Mr. Morris, he felt himself out of his element, uninterested and therefore uninteresting, and he listened with inward irritation to the loose anecdotes, the piquant allusions, the coarse gossip, so freely bandied about. It was with something akin to a feeling of relief that he heard his name spoken and turned to find the keen, restless eyes of Monsieur de Talleyrand, beside whom he was seated, fixed upon him.

“Monsieur is not interested in the conversation?” he asked, and, though there was a mocking smile on the thin lips, there was also a kindly look in the brilliant eyes.

Calvert blushed hotly at being so easily found out by this worldly looking prelate. Monsieur de Talleyrand shrugged his shoulders. “'Tis a good sign, I think,” and he looked still more kindly at Calvert. “You have been brought up amid simpler, purer surroundings, Mr. Calvert,” he said, suddenly leaning over toward the young man and speaking in tones so low as to be drowned in the noisy conversation. “I envy you your good fortune,” he went on. “I envy you your inability to fit yourself into any niche, to adjust yourself to any surroundings, as your friend Monsieur Morris, for example, seems to have the faculty of doing. See, he is even making verses to Madame la Duchesse!”

Calvert looked over at Mr. Morris and saw him tear from his table-book a leaf upon which he had been writing and, with a bow, offer it to the Duchess.

“Are we not to hear Monsieur's verses?” demands Monsieur de Talleyrand, languidly, after a moment's silence, during which Her Highness had regarded the lines with a puzzled air, and smiling faintly.

“These are in English—I shall have to get Madame de Chastellux to translate them for me some day,” and she folded the paper as if to put it away, but there arose such exclamations of disappointment, such gentle entreaties not to be denied the pleasure of hearing the verses, that she yielded to the clamor and signalled Madame de Chastellux her permission to have them read aloud. Amid a discreet silence, broken only by little murmurs of appreciation and perfumed applause, the lady of honor read the lines, translating them as she read:

  “If Beauty so sweet in all gentleness drest,
    In loveliness, virtue arrayed;
  By the graces adorned, by the muses carest,
    By lofty ambition obeyed;

  Ah! who shall escape from the gold-painted dart,
    When Orleans touches the bow?
  Who the softness resist of that sensible heart
    Where love and benevolence glow?

  Thus we dream of the Gods who with bounty supreme
    Our humble petitions accord,
  Our love they excite, and command our esteem
    Tho' only at distance adored.”

There was a ripple of applause, somewhat languid and perfunctory on the part of the gentlemen, vivacious and prolonged on the part of the ladies, as Madame de Chastellux finished. To Mr. Calvert the scene was a little ridiculous, the interest of the company, like the sentiment of the verses, somewhat artificial, and Mr. Morris's role of versifier to Madame la Duchesse decidedly beneath that gentleman's talents.

Monsieur de Talleyrand laughed softly. “'Other places—other customs,'“ he said, and again reading Calvert's thoughts so accurately that that young gentleman scarce knew whether to be most astonished or indignant. It would most likely have been the latter had not a certain friendliness in the Bishop's glance disarmed his anger. “Mr. Morris is fortunate,” he went on, quietly. “See—he has pleased everyone except Madame de Flahaut.”

'Twas indeed as he had said, and, amid the applause and compliments, only Madame de Flahaut sat silent and evidently piqued, her pretty face wearing an expression of bored indifference. But even while Monsieur de Talleyrand spoke, Mr. Morris, bending toward her, addressed some remark to her and in an instant she was all animation and charm, exerting for his benefit every fascination of which she was mistress, and showing him by glance and voice how greatly she prized his attentions. For a moment Mr. Calvert sat silent, contemplating the little play going on before his eyes, when, suddenly remembering the words of the Duchesse d'Orleans, he turned and looked at Monsieur de Talleyrand. Such a softening change had come over the cynical, impassive countenance, so wistful a look into the keen, dark eyes bent upon Madame de Flahaut, as caused a feeling of pity in the young man's heart for this brilliant, unhappy, unrighteous servant of the Church.

“So Mr. Calvert has read my secret, as I read his,” said Monsieur de Talleyrand, slowly, and returning the gaze which Calvert had absently fastened upon him while revolving these thoughts. Suddenly he began speaking rapidly, as if impelled thereto by some inward force, and, in a low but passionately intense voice, heard only by Mr. Calvert:

“We are the sport of fate in this country more than in any other, I think,” he said. “I might have been a young man like yourself, as noble, good, and true as yourself—oh, do not look astonished! 'Tis one of my acknowledged talents—the reading of character—I, like yourself, might have fought and loved with honor but that I am lame, and why was I lame?” he went on, bitterly. “Because I never knew a mother's love or care, because, when a baby, being sent from my home—and under that roof I have never spent a night since—I fell and injured my foot, and the woman in whose charge I had been put, being afraid to tell my parents of my mishap, the hurt was allowed to go uncorrected until 'twas too late. And so, being lame and unfit for a soldier's career, I was thrust into the Church, nolens volens. Monsieur Calvert,” he said, smiling seriously, “when you hear Mr. Jefferson criticising the Bishop of Autun—for I know he thinks but slightingly of the ecclesiastic—recollect that 'twas the disappointed ambition and the unrelenting commands of Charles Maurice Talleyrand's parents which made him what he is! We are all like that,” he went on, moodily. “Look at de Ligne—he was married by his father at twenty to a young girl whom he had never seen until a week before the wedding. And Madame de Flahaut—at fifteen she was sacrificed to a man of fifty-five, who scarcely notices her existence!” He glanced across the table and again the power of love touched and softened his face for an instant. He rose—for the supper was finished and the company beginning to move—and laid his hand for an instant on Calvert's broad young shoulder. “Mr. Calvert,” he said, half-mockingly, half-seriously, “do not be too hard upon us! There are some excuses to be made. In your country all things are new—your laws, your habits, your civilization are yet plastic. See that you mould them well! 'Tis too late here—we are as the generations have made us. 'Other places—other customs!'“ and he went off limping.

To his dying day Mr. Calvert never forgot the fascination, the open frankness of Monsieur de Talleyrand's manner on that occasion, nor the look of sadness and suffering in his eyes. When he heard him in after years accused of shameless veniality, of trickery, lying, duplicity, even murder, he always remembered that impulsive revelation—never repeated—of a warped, unhappy childhood, of a perverted destiny.

Mr. Morris came to him later as he stood leaning against the wall behind the chair of Madame de Chastellux.

“How goes it, Ned?” he asked, half-laughing and stifling a yawn. “As for myself, I am getting confoundedly bored. I can't think of any more verses, so the ladies find me insipid, and they are beginning to talk politics, of which they know nothing, so I find them ridiculous. They are already deep in the discussion of the Abbe Sieyes's brochure, 'Qu'est-ce que le Tiers Etat,' and Madame de Flahaut declares that his writings and opinions will form a new epoch in politics as those of Newton in physics! Can fatuity go farther? And yet she is the cleverest woman I have met in France. The men are as ignorant as the women, except that scoundrel of a bishop, who, like myself, is bored by the incessant talk of politics and has just assured me that no one has an idea of the charm of life who has not lived before this year of 1789. I can easily believe it. But perhaps he told you the same thing—I saw you two talking together at supper.”

“Yes,” said Calvert, “we were talking, but not of politics or the charm of life. He was very interesting and unexpectedly friendly,” he added, with some emotion, for he was still under Monsieur de Talleyrand's spell.

“I would have thought him the last man to interest you, my young Bayard,” returned Mr. Morris, with some surprise. “He appears to me to be a sly, cunning, ambitious man. I know not why conclusions so disadvantageous to him are formed in my mind, but so it is. I cannot help it.”

Mr. Calvert could not repress a smile, for it occurred to him that it was more than possible that Monsieur de Talleyrand's well-known devotion to Madame de Flahaut (whom it was evident Mr. Morris admired greatly, though he so stoutly denied it) might have prejudiced his opinion of the Bishop. Mr. Morris was quick to note the smile and to divine its cause.

“No, no, my dear Ned,” he said, laughing, “'tis not Monsieur de Talleyrand's connection with Madame de Flahaut which makes me speak of him after this fashion. Indeed, there is but a Platonic friendship between the fair lady and myself,” and, still laughing, Mr. Morris turned away from Calvert and stumped his way back to the side of the lady of his Platonic affections, where he remained until the company broke up.

As for Mr. Calvert, in spite of Mr. Morris's predilections, he was of the opinion that of the two—the unchurchly bishop and the pretty intrigante—Monsieur de Talleyrand was the more admirable character. Indeed, he had disliked and distrusted Madame de Flahaut from the first time of meeting her, and, to do the lady justice, she had disliked Mr. Calvert just as heartily and could never be got to believe that he was anything but a most unintelligent and uninteresting young man, convinced that his taciturnity and unruffled serenity before her charms were the signs of crass stupidity.

If Mr. Calvert found the pretty and vivacious Comtesse de Flahaut little to his taste, the society of which she was a type offended him still more. It had taken him but a short time to realize what shams, what hollowness, what corruption existed beneath the brilliant and gay surface. Amiability, charm, wit, grace were to be found everywhere in their perfection, but nowhere was truth, or sincerity, or real pleasure. All things were perverted. Constancy was only to be found in inconstancy. Gossip and rumor left no frailty undiscovered, no reputation unsmirched. Religion was scoffed at, love was caricatured. All about him Calvert saw young nobles, each the slave of some particular goddess, bowing down and doing duty like the humblest menial, now caressed, now ill-treated, but always at beck and call, always obedient. It was the fashion, and no courtier resented this treatment, which served both to reduce the men to the rank of puppets and to render incredibly capricious the beauties who found themselves so powerful. All the virility of Calvert's nature, all his new-world independence and his sense of honor, was revolted by such a state of things. As he looked around the company, there was not a man or woman to be seen of whom he had not already heard some risque story or covert insinuation, and, though he was no strait-laced Puritan, a sort of disdain for these effeminate courtiers and a horror of these beautiful women took possession of him.

“Decidedly,” he thought to himself, “I am not fitted for this society,” and so, somewhat out of conceit with his surroundings, and the Duchess having withdrawn, he bade good-night to the company without waiting for Mr. Morris, and took himself and his disturbed thoughts back to the Legation.

CHAPTER IX. IN WHICH MR. CALVERT'S GOOD INTENTIONS MISCARRY

It was in the midst of such society that Calvert encountered Madame de St. Andre repeatedly during the remainder of the winter and early spring. And though she was as imperious and capricious as possible, followed about by a dozen admirers (of whom poor Beaufort was one of the most constant); though she was as thoughtless, as pleasure-loving as any of that thoughtless, pleasure-loving society in which she moved; though she had a hundred faults easy to be seen, yet, in Calvert's opinion, there was still a saving grace about her, a fragrant youthfulness, a purity and splendor that coarsened and cheapened all who were brought into comparison with her. When she sat beside the old Duchesse d'Azay at the Opera or Comedie, he had no eyes for la Saint-Huberti or Contat, and thought that she outshone all the beauties both on the stage and in the brilliant audience. Usually, however, he was content to admire her at a distance and rarely left the box which he occupied with Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris to pay his respects to her and Madame d'Azay. For while Adrienne attracted him, he was yet conscious that it was best for him not to be drawn into the circle of her fascinations, and, although he made a thousand excuses for her caprice and coquetry, he had no intention of becoming the victim of either. Indeed, he had already experienced somewhat of her caprice and had found it little to his liking. Since the afternoon on which they had skated together she had never again treated him in so unaffected and friendly a fashion. A hundred times had she passed him at the opera or the play or in the salons which they both frequented, with scarcely a nod or smile, and Mr. Calvert was both offended and amused by such cavalier treatment and haughty manners.

“She has the air of a princess royal and treats me as the meanest of her subjects. 'Tis a good thing we Americans have cast off the yoke of royalty,” he thought to himself, with a smile. “And as for beauty—there are a dozen belles in Virginia alone almost her equal in loveliness and surely far sweeter, simpler, less spoiled. And yet—and yet—” and the young man would find himself wondering what was that special charm by virtue of which she triumphed over all others. He did not himself yet know why it was that he excused her follies, found her the most beautiful of all women, or fell into a sort of rage at seeing her in the loose society of the day, with such men as St. Aulaire and a dozen others of his kind in her train. But though unable to analyze her charm he was yet vaguely conscious of its danger, and had it depended upon himself he would have seen but little of her. This, however, was an impossibility, as Mr. Jefferson was a constant visitor at the hotel of Madame d'Azay, who, true to her word, seemed to take the liveliest interest in Mr. Calvert and commanded his presence in her salon frequently. Indeed, the old Duchess was pleased to profess herself charmed with the young American, and would have been delighted, apparently, to see him at any and all hours, had his duties permitted him so much leisure. Besides the cordial invitations of the dowager Duchess to the hotel in the rue St. Honore, there were others as pressing from d'Azay himself, who, having secured his election in Touraine, had returned to Paris. The young nobleman was frequently at the American Legation in consultation with the Minister, whose opinions and character excited his greatest admiration, and it was one of his chiefest delights, when business was concluded, to carry Mr. Jefferson and Calvert back to his aunt's drawing-room with him for a dish of tea and an hour's conversation.

It was on one of those occasions that, having accompanied Mr. Jefferson and d'Azay to the rue St. Honore in the latter's coach (Mr. Morris promising to look in later), Mr. Calvert had the opportunity of speaking at length with Madame de St. Andre for the first time since the afternoon on the ice. When the three gentlemen entered the drawing-room a numerous company was already assembled, the older members of which were busy with quinze and lansquenet in a card-room that opened out of the salon, the younger ones standing or sitting about in groups and listening to a song which Monsieur de St. Aulaire, who was at the harpsichord, had just begun. It was Blondel's song from Gretry's “Richard Coeur de Lion,” about which all Paris was crazy and which Garat sang nightly with a prodigious success at the Opera. This aria Monsieur de St. Aulaire essayed in faithful imitation of the great tenor's manner and in a voice which showed traces of having once been beautiful, but which age and excesses had now broken and rendered harsh and forced.

As Calvert saluted Adrienne, when the perfunctory applause which this performance called forth had died away, he thought he had never seen her look so lovely. She wore a dress of some soft water-green fabric shot with threads of silver that fell away from her rounded throat and arms, bringing the creamy fairness of her complexion (which, for the first time, he saw enhanced by black patches) and the dusky brown of her hair to a very perfection of beauty. She was standing by the harpsichord when the gentlemen entered, but, on catching sight of Mr. Jefferson, she went forward graciously, extending her hand, over which he bowed low in admiration of that young beauty which, in his eyes, had no equal in Paris.

There was another pair of eyes upon her which saw as Mr. Jefferson's kindly ones did, but to them the young girl paid little attention, only giving Mr. Calvert a brief courtesy as she went to salute her brother.

“Will you not make Mr. Jefferson a dish of tea, Adrienne?” asked d'Azay, kissing her on both her fair cheeks. “And if we are to have music I beg you will ask Calvert to sing for us, for he has the sweetest voice in the world.”

“What!” exclaimed the young girl, a little disdainfully. “Mr. Calvert is a very prodigy of accomplishments!”

“Far from it!” returned Mr. Calvert, good-naturedly. “'Tis but a jest of Henri's. Indeed, Madame, I am nothing of a musician.”

“He may not be a musician, but he has a voice as beautiful as Garat's, though I know 'tis heresy to compare anyone with that idol of Paris,” said Beaufort, joining the group at that instant. “Dost thou remember that pretty ballad that thou sangst at Monticello, Ned?” he asked, turning to Calvert. “Indeed, Madame, I think 'twas of you he sang,” he added, smiling mischievously at Madame de St. Andre.

“What is this?” demanded Adrienne, imperiously. “Is this another jest? But I must hear this song,” she went on, impatiently, and with a touch of curiosity.

“'Twas my favorite 'Lass with the Delicate Air,'“ said Mr. Jefferson, smiling. “You must sing it for us, Ned, and I will play for you as I used to do.” He took from its case a violin lying upon the harpsichord and, leaning over it, he began softly the quaint accompaniment that sustains so perfectly the whimsical melodies and surprising cadences of Dr. Arne's ballad.

Though few of Mr. Calvert's audience could understand the sentiment of his song, all listened with admiration to the voice, which still retained much of its boyish sweetness and thrilling pathos. Amid the applause which followed the conclusion of the song, Madame d'Azay left the lansquenet table and appeared at the door of the salon.

“Charming,” she cried. “But I don't know your English, so sing us something in French, Monsieur, that I may applaud the sentiment as well as the voice.”

Mr. Calvert bowed with as good grace as he could, being secretly much dissatisfied at having to thus exploit his small talent for the benefit of the company, and, seating himself at the harpsichord, began a plaintive little air in a minor key, to which he had fitted the words of a song he had but lately read and greatly admired. Being, as he had said, nothing of a musician, the delicate accompaniment of the song was quite beyond him, but having a true ear for accord and a firm, light touch, he improvised a not unpleasing melody that fitted perfectly the poem. 'Twas the “Consolation” of Malherbe, and, as Calvert sang, the tenderness and melancholy beauty of both words and music struck the whole company into silence:

  “'Mais elle etait du monde ou les plus belles choses
    Ont le pire destin,
  Et, rose, elle a vecu ce que vivent les roses—
    L'espace d'un matin.

  “La mort a des rigueurs a nulle autre pareilles,
    On a beau la prier,
  La cruelle qu'elle est se bouche les oreilles,
    Et nous laisse crier.

  “Le pauvre en sa cabane, ou le chaume le couvre,
    Est sujet a ses lois,
  Et le garde qui veille aux barrieres du Louvre
    N'en defend pas nos rois.'“

“'Tis a gloomy song,” whispered Beaufort to the young Vicomte de Noailles, Lafayette's kinsman, and then, turning to Monsieur de St. Aulaire, sulkily looking on at the scene and whom he hated both for his devotion to Adrienne and because he was of the Orleans party, he said, with languid maliciousness, “My dear Baron, a thousand pities that you have taken no care of your voice! I can remember when it was such a one as Monsieur Calvert's.”

“You were ever a sad flatterer, my dear Beaufort,” returned St. Aulaire, one hand on the hilt of his silver dress sword, the other holding his chapeau de bras. He regarded Beaufort for an instant with a sour smile, and then turned and made his way to Calvert.

“Ah, Monsieur,” he said, and his voice was suave, though there was a mocking light in his eyes, “I see I have made a mistake. I had thought you a past master in the art of skating, now I see that your true role is that of the stage hero. You would become as spoilt a favorite as Garat himself. The ladies all commit a thousand follies for him.”

“Sir,” returned Mr. Calvert, quietly, though he was white with unaccustomed anger, “I see that you are one destined to make mistakes. I am neither skating nor singing-master, nor clown nor coward. I am an American gentleman, and, should anyone be inclined to doubt that fact, I will convince him of it at the point of my sword—or with pistols, since English customs are the mode here.”

As Calvert looked at the handsome, dissipated face of the nobleman before him a sudden gust of passion shook him that so insolent a scoundrel should dare to speak to him in such fashion. And though he retained all his self-control and outward composure, so strange a smile played about his lip and so meaning an expression came into his eye as caused no little surprise to St. Aulaire, who had entirely underestimated the spirit that lay beneath so calm and boyish an exterior. As he was about to reply to Calvert, Madame de St. Andre approached. Making a low bow, and without a word, Monsieur de St. Aulaire retired, leaving Calvert with the young girl.

“Come with me, sir,” she said, smiling imperiously on the young man and speaking rapidly. “I have many questions to ask you! You are full of surprises, Monsieur, and I must have my curiosity satisfied. We have many arrears of conversation to make up. Did you not promise to tell me of General Washington, of America, of your young Scotch poet? But, first of all, I must have a list of your accomplishments,” and she laughed musically. Calvert thought it was like seeing the sun break through the clouds on a stormy day to see this sudden change to girlish gayety and naturalness from her grand air of princess royal, and which, after all, he reflected, she had something of a right to assume. Indeed, she bore the name of one who had been a most distinguished officer of the King and who had died in his service, and she was herself the descendant of a long line of nobles who, if they had not all been benefactors of their race, had, at least, never shirked the brunt of battle nor any service in the royal cause. On her father's side she was sprung from that great warrior, Jacques d'Azay, who fought side by side with Lafayette's ancestor in the battle of Beauge, when the brother of Harry of England was defeated and slain. On her mother's side she came of the race of the wise and powerful Duc de Sully, Henry of Navarre's able minister. One of her great uncles had been a Grand Almoner of France, and another had commanded one of the victorious battalions at Fontenoy under the Marechal Saxe. The portraits of some of these great gentlemen and of many another of her illustrious ancestors hung upon the walls of the salons and galleries of this mansion in the rue St. Honore. The very house bespoke the pride of race and generations of affluence, and was only equalled in magnificence by the Noailles hotel near by. As Mr. Calvert looked about him at the splendor of this mansion, which had been in the d'Azay family for near two centuries and a half; at the spacious apartment with its shining marquetry floor, its marble columns separating it from the great entrance hall; at the lofty ceiling, decorated by the famous Lagrenee with a scene from Virgil ('twas the meeting of Dido and Aeneas); at the brilliant company gathered together—as Mr. Calvert looked at all this, he felt a thousand miles removed from her in circumstance and sentiment, and thought to himself that it was not strange that she, who had been accustomed to this splendor since her birth, should treat an unassuming, untitled gentleman from an almost unknown country, without fortune or distinction, with supercilious indifference. Indeed, in his heart Mr. Calvert was of the opinion that this dazzling creature's beauty alone was enough to place her above princesses, and (thinking of the fresco on the ceiling) that had Aeneas but met her instead of Queen Dido he had never abandoned her as he did the Carthagenian.

Perhaps something of the ardor of his thoughts was reflected in his expression, for it was with a somewhat embarrassed look that Adrienne pointed to a low gilt chair beside her own.

“Will you be seated, sir? And now for your confession! But even before that I must know why you come to see us so seldom. Were you provoked because I rebelled at being taken to task that afternoon on the ice? But see! Am I not good now?” and she threw him a demure glance of mock humility that seemed to make her face more charming than ever.

“You are very beautiful,” said Mr. Calvert, quietly.

“Tiens! You will be a courtier yet if you are not careful,” returned Adrienne, smiling divinely at the young man from beneath her dark lashes.

“Tis no compliment, Madame, but the very truth.”

“The truth,” murmured the young girl, in some embarrassment at Calvert's sincere, if detached, manner. “One hears it so seldom these days that 'tis difficult to recognize it! But if it was the truth I fear it was not the whole truth, sir. I am sure I detected an uncomplimentary arriere pensee in your speech!” and she laughed mockingly at the young man, whose turn it was to be embarrassed. “I am very beautiful, but—what, sir?”

“But you would be even more so without those patches, which may be successful enhancements for lesser beauties but are beneath the uses of Madame de St. Andre,” returned Calvert, bravely, and joining in the laugh which the young girl could not repress.

“Pshaw, sir! What an idea!” said Adrienne. “Am I then so amiable that you dare take advantage of it to call me to account again? I am beginning to think, sir, that I, who have been assured by so many gentlemen to be perfection itself, must, after all, be a most faulty creature since you find reason to reprove me constantly,” and she threw Calvert so bewildering a glance that that young gentleman found himself unable to reply to her badinage.

“Besides, Monsieur,” she went on, “you do not do justice to these patches. Is it possible that there exists a gentleman so ignorant of women and fashion as not to know the origin and uses of the mouche? Come, sir, attend closely while I give you a lesson in beauty and gallantry! These patches which you so disdain were once tiny plasters stretched upon black velvet or silk for the cure of headache, and, though no one was ever known to be so cured, 'twas easy for the illest beauty to perceive that they made her complexion appear more brilliant by contrast. The poets declared that Venus herself must have used them and that they spoke the language of love; thus one on the lip meant the 'coquette,' on the nose the 'impertinent,' on the cheek the 'gallant,' on the neck the 'scornful,' near the eye 'passionate,' on the forehead, such as this one I wear, sir, the 'majestic.'“ As she spoke, so rapidly and archly did her mobile features express in their changes her varying thought that Calvert sat entranced at her piquancy and daring. “And now, Monsieur, have you no apology to make to these maligned patches?” and she touched the tiny plaster upon her brow.

“A thousand, Madame,” said Calvert, politely, “if you will still let me be of my opinion that your beauty needs no such aid.”

“So you would prevent my wearing so innocent a beautifier? You are more of a Quaker than Dr. Franklin himself, whom I remember seeing here often,” said Adrienne, with a little laugh and a shrug. “I think he liked all the ladies and would have continued to like them had they worn rings in their noses! But as for you—'tis impossible to please you. No wonder you Americans broke with the English! You are most difficile. But I am sure that Mr. Jefferson or the witty Mr. Morris could have found a handsomer reply than yours, Monsieur! Ah, here he is now,” and she rose as Mr. Morris entered the room and made his way to her side.

“At last I have the pleasure of saluting Madame de St. Andre!” he said, very gallantly.

“You are late, sir. We had about given over seeing you this evening. Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Calvert have been with us an hour.”

“I envy them their good fortune, Madame! But—I have been detained.”

“What a lame and insufficient excuse!” cried Adrienne, laughing. “'Tis no better than one of Monsieur Calvert's compliments!”

“Ah, Madame,” said Mr. Morris, recovering himself, “you must forgive us and remember that you complete our mental overthrow already begun by the dazzling brilliancy of the gayest capital in the world and the multitude of attractions it offers. A man in your Paris, Madame, lives in a sort of whirlwind which turns him around so fast that he can see nothing. 'Tis no wonder that the people of this metropolis are under the necessity of pronouncing their definitive judgment from the first glance, and, being thus habituated to shoot flying, they have what sportsmen call a quick sight. They know a wit by his snuff-box, a man of taste by his bow, and a statesman by the cut of his coat.” As he finished speaking there was a general movement at the card-tables, and Madame d'Azay, accompanied by Mr. Jefferson, who had been looking on at the game (for he never played), and followed by the company, entered the drawing-room.

“Ah, Monsieur Morris!” she said, catching sight of that gentleman. “You have a talent for being always a propos, Monsieur! We have just finished our game and are ready to listen to the latest gossip, which, I am sure, you have heard from that charming friend of yours, Madame de Flahaut.”

“The Duchess has just won prodigiously at quinze from the Abbe Delille, who hates damnably to lose,” whispered Segur to Calvert, “and, having won, she stopped the game in the best of humors.”

“Alas, Madame!” said Mr. Morris, in answer to the Duchess, “I have not had the pleasure of seeing Madame de Flahaut, but am just from the Club de Valois. As you can imagine to yourself, I heard nothing but politics at the Club.”

“Unfortunately, one does not have to go to the club to hear politics,” replied Madame d'Azay, dryly. “It has required all my authority to restrain these gentlemen this evening from discussing such subjects. Indeed, I think Monsieur Jefferson and Monsieur de Lafayette, in spite of my defense, which I now remove, have had a political debate,” and she snapped her bright eyes and nodded her withered old head severely at the two gentlemen.

Peccavi!” said the Marquis, bowing low. “I am the culprit, but surely, Madame, you would not have me fail to listen to Mr. Jefferson's counsels when I am so fortunate as to be offered them! He advises me,” continued Monsieur de Lafayette, turning to Mr. Morris, “to burn my instructions from the noblesse, which engage me absolutely to favor the vote by orders and not by persons, and, should this produce an irrevocable rupture with my electors, boldly to take my stand with the tiers etat. I have seen Necker to-day and he is as far as ever from a solution of this great and first question which must come up before the States-General. Indeed, there is but one rational solution, and I must disregard my instructions in an endeavor to bring it about.”

“I would advise you to resign your seat!” said Mr. Morris, bluntly. “You have been elected by an order in whose principles you no longer believe. Should you continue their representative your conscience will be continually at war with your duty. Should you break away from your constituency you will offer an example of insubordination and lawlessness which may have the most deplorable results.”

“I cannot agree with you, Mr. Morris,” broke in Mr. Jefferson, warmly. “In the desperate pass to which affairs are already come in this nation, desperate remedies must be employed. Shall Monsieur de Lafayette deprive the tiers etat of his enthusiasm, his earnest convictions, his talents, when, by an act of courage, entirely in accord with his conscience, he can become one of them and can lead them to victory and to that fusion with the other orders which is so vital to the usefulness, nay, to the very life of the States-General?”

“In my opinion there is less need that Monsieur de Lafayette should lead the tiers etat—they will travel fast enough, I think,” says Mr. Morris, dryly—“than that he should stick to his own order, strengthening in every way in his power this conservative element, which is the safeguard of the nation. This annihilation of the distinctions of orders which you speak of seems to me to be the last thing to be desired. Should the nobles abandon their order and give over their privileges, what will act as a check on the demands and encroachments of the commons? How far such ultra-democratic tendencies may be right respecting mankind in general is, I think, extremely problematical. With respect to this nation I am sure it is wrong. I am frank but I am sincere when I say that I believe you, Monsieur de Lafayette, and you, Monsieur d'Azay, to be too republican for the genius of this country.”

“Or, Monsieur Morris, trop aristocrate,” said the Marquis, with a bitter smile on his disturbed countenance, for his vanity, which was becoming inordinate, could not brook unfriendly criticism.

“'Tis strange,” said the Vicomte d'Azay, “to hear an American arguing against those principles which have won for him so lately his freedom and his glory! As for me, I think with Mr. Jefferson and the Marquis, and, thinking so, I have sided with the people, which is, after all, the nation.”

“Yes,” broke in Mr. Jefferson with animation and speaking to d'Azay, “you have found the vital truth. 'Tis no king, but the sovereign people, which is the state. It has been my firm belief that with a great people, set in the path of civil and religious liberty, freedom and power in their grasp, let the executive be as limited as may be, that nation will still prosper. A strong people and a weak government make a great nation.”

“But who shall say that the French are a strong people?” demands Mr. Morris, impetuously, and turning to the company. “You are lively, imaginative, witty, charming, talented, but not substantial or persevering. Inconstancy is mingled in your blood, marrow, and very essence. Constancy is the phenomenon. The great mass of the common people have no religion but their priests, no law but their superiors, no morals but their interests. And how shall we expect a people to suddenly become wise and self-governing who are ignorant of statecraft, who have existed for centuries under a despotism? Never having felt the results of a weak executive, they do not know the dangers of unlimited power. No man is more republican in sentiment than I am, but I think it no less than a crime to foist a republic upon a people in no way fitted for it, and all those who abandon the King in this hour of danger, who do not uphold his authority to the fullest extent, are participants in that crime and are helping to bring on those events which I fear will shortly convulse this country.”

“Mr. Morris is no optimist either in regard to French character or the progress of public affairs,” said Lafayette, bitingly. “But I can assure him that if the French are inconstant, ignorant, and immoral, they are also energetic, lively, and easily aroused by noble examples. Moreover, the public mind has been instructed lately to an astonishing point by the political pamphlets issued in such numbers, and 'tis my opinion that these facts will bring us, after no great lapse of time, to an adequate representation and participation in public affairs, and that without the convulsion which Mr. Morris so acutely dreads.”

The company listened in silence with the intensest interest to this animated conversation, the women following with as close attention as the men (the Duchess nodding her approval of Mr. Morris's opinions from time to time), and 'twas but a sample of the almost incredibly frank political discussion taking place daily in all the notable salons of Paris. As for Calvert, although he loved and honored Mr. Jefferson before all men and held him as all but infallible, he could not but agree with Mr. Morris's views as being the soundest and most practical. Indeed, from that day Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris differed more and more widely in their political faiths, but the nobility of Mr. Jefferson's nature, the admirable tact of Mr. Morris, and, as much as anything, the common affection they felt for Calvert, who would have been inexpressibly pained by any breach between them, kept them upon friendly terms.

Mr. Morris, conscious that he had spoken impetuously and perhaps with too much warmth, made no reply to Monsieur de Lafayette's last words, spoken with some animus, and in a few minutes made his way to Calvert.

“Come away, my boy,” he said, in a low tone. “Come away! Lafayette, who can still believe that mighty changes will take place in this kingdom without a revolution, does not even know of this day's fearful business in the rue St. Antoine. I had it from Boursac, who arrived at the Club two hours ago with both windows of his carriage broken, the panels splintered, and his coachman with a bloody cheek. He had tried to pass through the faubourg, where two hundred of the rabble have been killed by Besenval's Swiss Guards at the house of a paper merchant, Reveillon. The villains have broke into his factory, demolished everything, drunk his wines, and, accidentally, some poisonous acid used in his laboratory, of which they have died a horrible death, and all because the unfortunate merchant dared in the electoral assembly of Ste. Marguerite to advocate reducing the wages of his men. I ordered my coachman to drive by the faubourg, hoping to see for myself if the affair had not been greatly exaggerated, but I was turned back by some troops proceeding thither with two small cannon. 'Twas this which detained me. Boursac says 'tis known for certain that the whole affair has been instigated by the Duc d'Orleans. He passed in his coach among the rioters, urging them on in their villany, and 'tis even said by some that he was seen giving money to the mob. And this is the man whom the King hesitates to banish! Perhaps, after all, boy, I did wrong to counsel Lafayette and d'Azay to stand by a King who is weakness itself and who knows not how to defend himself or his throne!”

CHAPTER X. AT VERSAILLES

It was just a week after Mr. Calvert's visit to the hotel d'Azay and the affair of the rue St. Antoine, that the day arrived for the consummation of that great event toward which all France, nay, all Europe, had been looking for months past.

With a sudden burst and glory of sunshine and warm air the long, hard winter had given way to the spring of that year of 1789. By the end of April the green grass and flowering shrubs looked as if summer had come, and the cruel cold of but a few weeks back was all but forgotten. And with the quickening pulse of nature the agitation and restless activity among all classes had increased. The whole kingdom of France was astir with the excitement of the rapidly approaching convocation of the States-General. Paris read daily in the columns of the Moniteur the names of the newly elected deputies, and by the 1st of May those deputies were thronging her streets.

D'Azay, Lafayette, Necker, Duport, Lameth, and many others, who saw their ardent wishes materializing, were quite beside themselves with delight, and prophesied the happiest things for France. Madame d'Azay, being of the court party, held widely differing views from those of her nephew, and was out of all conceit with this political ferment, while as for Adrienne, she looked upon the opening of the States-General and the grand reception of the King on the 2d of May as splendid pageants merely, to which she would be glad to lend her presence and the lustre of her beauty. Indeed, it is safe to say that for nearly every individual in that restless kingdom of France the States-General held a different meaning, a different hope, a different fear. Fortunate it was for all alike, that none could see the ending of that terrible business about to be set afoot.

In all the brilliant weather of that spring of 1789, no fairer day dawned than that great day of Monday, the 4th of May. By earliest morning the whole world of Paris seemed to be taking its way to Versailles. Mr. Jefferson, having presented Calvert with the billet reserved for Mr. Short (the secretary being absent at The Hague), and Mr. Morris being provided for through the courtesy of the Duchesse d'Orleans, the three gentlemen left the Legation at six in the morning in Mr. Jefferson's coach. The grand route to Versailles was thronged with carriages and vehicles of every description, and the dust, heat, and confusion were indescribable. On their arrival, which was about eight o'clock, being hungry and thirsty, the gentlemen repaired to a cafe, where they had an indifferent breakfast at a table d'hote, about which were seated several gloomy-looking members of the tiers. After the hasty meal they made their way as quickly as possible to the hotel of Madame de Tesse in the rue Dauphine, where they were awaited.

Madame de Tesse, Monsieur de Lafayette's aunt, was, as Mr. Morris laughingly styled her, “a republican of the first feather,” and it was with the most enthusiastic pleasure that she welcomed the Ambassador from the United States and his two friends on that day which she believed held such happy auguries for the future of her country. A numerous company had already assembled at her invitation and were viewing the ever-increasing crowds in the streets from the great stone balcony draped with silken banners and rich velvet hangings. The British Ambassador and the Ambassadress, Lady Sutherland (whom Calvert had the honor of meeting for the first time), were there, as was Madame de Montmorin, Madame de Stael, and Madame de St. Andre, looking radiant in the brilliant morning sunshine. As Mr. Calvert bent over her hand he thought to himself that she might have sat for a portrait of Aurora's self, so fresh and beautiful did she look. The sun struck her dark hair (over which she wore no covering) to burnished brightness, the violet eyes sparkled with animation, and her complexion had the freshness and delicacy of some exquisite flower.

“I am glad you are here, Monsieur l'Americain, on this great day for France, one of the most momentous, one of the happiest in all her history. You see I have not forgotten your fondness for history!” and she shot him an amused glance.

“I am glad, too, Madame,” replied Calvert, seating himself beside her. “'Tis one of the most momentous days in France's history, as you say, but one of the happiest?—I don't know,” and he looked dubiously at the thronged streets, for he was of Mr. Morris's way of thinking, and, try as he might, he could not bring himself to look upon the course of affairs with the optimism Mr. Jefferson felt.

“Are you going to be gloomy on this beautiful day?” demanded Adrienne, impatiently. “Aren't the very heavens giving us a sign that they approve of this event? Mr. Jefferson is the only one of you who appreciates this great occasion—even Mr. Morris, who is usually so agreeable, seems to be out of spirits,” and she glanced toward that gentleman where he sat between Madame de Montmorin and Madame de Flahaut, who had just arrived with Beaufort. Mr. Morris, hearing his name spoken, arose and went over to Madame de St. Andre.

“Are you saying evil things about me to Mr. Calvert, my dear young lady?” he asked, bowing with that charming show of deference which he always paid a pretty woman and which in part atoned for the cynical expression in his keen eyes.

“But yes,” returned Adrienne, laughing. “I was saying that you wore a displeased air almost as if you envied France her good fortune of to-day!”

“You mistake me,” said Mr. Morris, warmly. “I have France's interest and happiness greatly at heart. The generous wish which a free people must form to disseminate freedom, the grateful emotion which rejoices in the happiness of a benefactor, and a strong personal interest as well in the liberty as in the power of this country, all conspire to make us far from indifferent spectators,” and he glanced at Calvert as though certain of having expressed the young man's sentiments as well as his own. “The leaders here are our friends, many of them have imbibed their principles in America, and all have been fired by our example. If I wear an anxious air 'tis because I am not sure that that example can be safely imitated in this country, that those principles can be safely inculcated here, that this people, once having thrown off the yoke of absolute dependence on and obedience to kingly power, will not confound license with liberty. But enough of this,” he said, smiling. “May I ask why the Duchess is not of the company?”

“Because she is even more pessimistic about the results of to-day's work than yourself, Mr. Morris, and has shut herself up in Paris, refusing to be present at the opening of the States-General even as a spectator. She portends all sorts of disasters to France, but for the life of me I can't see what can happen without the King's authority, and surely so good a king will let no harm happen to his country. As for myself, I could bless the States-General for having furnished so gala an occasion! Paris has been deadly stupid for months with all this talk of politics and elections and constitutions going on. I am glad it is all over and we have reached the beginning of the end. Is it not a magnificent spectacle?” she asked.

“'Tis so, truly,” assented Mr. Morris, with a curious smile, and leaning over the balustrade to get a better view of the street.

Versailles was indeed resplendent on that beautiful morning of the 4th of May, in honor of the procession and religious services to be held as a sort of prelude to the formal opening of the States-General the following day. From the Church of Our Lady to the Church of Saint Louis, where M. de la Farre, Archeveque of Nancy, was to celebrate mass, the streets through which the procession was to pass were one mass of silken banners and the richest stuffs depending from every window, every balcony. Crown tapestries lined the way in double row, and flowers in profusion were strewn along the streets. Vast throngs surged backward and forward, held in check by the soldiers of the splendid Maison du Roi and the Swiss troops, while every balcony, every window, every roof-top, every possible place of vantage was filled to overflowing with eager spectators. As the morning sun struck upon the magnificent decorations, on the ladies and cavaliers, as brilliantly arrayed as though for the opera or ball, on the gorgeous uniforms of the Guards, the scene was one of indescribable splendor and color.

A sudden silence fell upon the vast concourse of people as Mr. Morris leaned over the balcony, and in an instant the head of the procession came into view. In front were borne the banners of the Church of Our, Lady and Saint Louis, followed by the parish clergy, and then in two close ranks walked the five hundred deputies of the tiers etat in their sombre black garments and three-cornered hats. The silence which had so suddenly descended upon the great company was as suddenly broken at sight of the tiers, and a deafening shout saluted them. This, in turn, was quelled, and a curious quiet reigned again as the deputies from the nobles made their appearance in their rich dress, with cloak gold-faced, white silk stockings, and beplumed hat.

“You would have to walk with the tiers were you of the procession, Monsieur Calvert,” said Madame de St. Andre, mischievously, glancing from the young man's sober habit to the brilliant dress of the nobles as they filed past.

“Surely! I would be a very raven among those splendid birds of paradise,” said the young man, a trifle scornfully.

“They are very great gentlemen,” returned Adrienne, tossing her head. “See, there is Monsieur le Duc d'Orleans himself leading the noblesse,” and she courtesied low, as did the rest of the company, when he looked toward the balcony and bowed.

So that was Monsieur le Duc d'Orleans, the King's cousin, the King's enemy, as many already knew, the wildest, the most dissolute of all the wild, dissolute youth of Paris, the boon companion of the Duke of York, the destroyer of the unfortunate Prince de Lamballes, the hero of a thousand chroniques scandaleuses of the day! As for Calvert, he thought that in spite of the splendid appearance of the royal personage he had never seen a human countenance so repulsive and so depraved. The brutal, languid eye looked out at him from a face whose unwholesome complexion, heavy jaw, and sensual mouth sent a thrill of sickening disgust through him. As he gazed at the retreating figure of the Duke, which, in ifs heaviness and lethargy, bore the mark of excesses as unmistakably as did the coarsened face, all the disgraceful stories, the rumors, the anecdotes which he had ever heard concerning this dissipated young prince—for his reputation was only too well known even in America—flashed through his mind.

“And this is one of your great gentlemen?” asked Calvert, looking, not without some sadness, at the haughty beauty beside him, still flushed and smiling at the notice bestowed upon her by Monsieur d'Orleans.

“His Highness the Duc d'Orleans is one of the greatest personages in the kingdom, sir! Tis said, perhaps, that he has been guilty of some indiscretions”—she hesitated, biting her lip, and coloring slightly beneath Calvert's calm gaze—“but surely something must be pardoned to one of his exalted rank; to one who is incapable of any cowardice, of any baseness.”

“Since he is of such exalted rank, it seems strange, Madame, that he should walk so far ahead of his order as almost to seem to mingle with the tiers,” replied Calvert, quietly. “But I am glad to have such a good report of the Duke, as there are those who have been mistaken enough to doubt his bravery at Ouessant, and, merely to look at him, I confess that I saw many a humble deputy of the tiers who looked, even in his plebeian dress, more the nobleman than he.”

“Ah, Monsieur,” returned Madame de St. Andre, contemptuously, “I see that you are indeed a republican enrage and hate us for our fine feathers and rank of birth as cordially as these people who applaud the tiers and remain silent before the deputies of the nobles.”

“Indeed, you misjudge me, Madame,” says Calvert, who could scarce restrain a smile at the lofty manner of the beautiful girl, “as you misjudge the crowd, for 'tis applauding someone among the noblesse now,” and he stood up and looked over the balcony rail to better see the cause of the shout which had suddenly gone up. “'Tis for Monsieur de Lafayette, I think. See, he is walking yonder, with d'Azay on one side of him and Noailles on the other.”

Adrienne leaned over the balustrade, and looked down at her brother and Monsieur de Lafayette, who saw her at the same instant. Smiling and bowing, she flung a handful of roses, which she had carried all morning, at the gentlemen, who uncovered and waved her their thanks. As they did so, a sudden blare of trumpets and strains of martial music burst forth, and the black-robed deputies of the clergy appeared, separated into two files by the band of royal musicians.

“'Tis like a play, n'est ce pas?” said Adrienne, gayly, to Mr. Morris, who had again come up, having been dismissed by Madame de Flahaut on the arrival of Monsieur de Curt.

“No, 'tis but the prologue,” corrected Mr. Morris, “and the play itself is like enough to be a tragedy, I think,” he added, in a low voice, to Calvert.

“And here are the King and Queen at last,” cried Madame de St. Andre, as a great cheering went up. Every eye in that vast throng was riveted upon the King, who now appeared, preceded by the Archbishop of Paris carrying the Holy Sacrament under a great canopy, the four corners of which were held by the Dukes of Angouleme and Berry and the King's two brothers, Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois. Near the Holy Sacrament marched the cardinals, bishops, and archbishops elected to the States-General, and in the throng Calvert quickly and easily detected by his halting step his acquaintance, the Bishop of Autun. About His Majesty walked the high officers of the crown, and the enthusiasm of Madame de Stael, which had been on the increase every instant, reached a climax when she recognized Monsieur Necker, conspicuous by his size and bearing, among the entourage of Louis, and, when she courtesied, the obeisance seemed intended more for her father than her King.

“You are wrong to rejoice so greatly,” said Madame de Montmorin, laying a timid hand on Madame de Stael's arm, which trembled with excitement. She had scarce said a word the whole morning and had sat staring with troubled face at the magnificent pageant as it passed. “I feel sure that great disasters to France will follow this day's business.”

Madame de Stael impatiently shook off the detaining hand. “'Tis the day of days,” she cried, enthusiastically, “the day for which my father has labored so long, the day on which will be written the brightest page of French history.”

“I verily believe she thinks the States-General are come together to the sole honor and glorification of Monsieur, Necker,” whispered Mr. Morris, in an amused undertone, to Calvert. “But look yonder, to the right of the King! There go our friends of the Palais Royal, the young Duc de Chartres and Monsieur de Beaujolais! Tis strange the Duc d'Orleans is not near the King. He curries favor with the multitude by abandoning his sovereign on this crucial day and putting himself forward as an elected deputy of the States-General! And there to the left of His Majesty is the Queen with the princesses. Is she not beautiful, Ned?—though Beaufort tells me she has lost much of the brilliancy of her beauty in the last year. Indeed, she has an almost melancholy air,-but I think it is becoming, for otherwise she would be too haughty-looking.”

“She has reason to look melancholy, Monsieur,” said Madame de Montmorin, in a low tone, and with a glance of deep sympathy at the Queen, who sat rigid, palely smiling in her golden coach. “Did you not know that the Dauphin is very ill? 'Tis little talked about at court, for the Queen will not have the subject mentioned, but he has been ailing for a year past.”

As she spoke, the carriage of the Queen passed close under the balcony, and at that instant a woman in the crowd, looking Her Majesty full in the face, cried out, shrilly, “Long live d'Orleans!” The pallid Queen sank back, as though struck, into the arms of the Princess de Lamballes, who rode beside her. But in an instant she was herself again, and sat haughtily erect, with a bitter smile curving her beautiful lips.

“A cruel blow!” said Mr. Morris, under his breath, to Calvert. “Her unhappiness was complete enough without that. Arrayed in those rich stuffs, with the flowers in her hair and bosom and with that inscrutable and melancholy expression on her beautiful face, she looks as might have looked some Athenian maiden decked for sacrifice. Indeed, all the noblesse have a curious air of fatality about them, or so it seems to me, and somehow look as if they were going to their doom. Take a good look at this splendid pageant, Ned! 'Tis the first time you have seen royalty, the first time you have seen the nobility in all the magnificence of ceremony. It may be the last.”

Mr. Jefferson got up from his place beside Madame de Tesse and came over to where Calvert and Mr. Morris were standing.

“What do you think of the King and Queen?” he asked, in a low voice, laying his hand, in his customary affectionate manner, on Calvert's shoulder. “The King has a benevolent, open countenance, do you not think so?—but the Queen has a haughty, wayward look, and the imperious, unyielding spirit of her Austrian mother.”

“She will need all the spirit of her whole family,” broke in Mr. Morris, warmly, “if she is to bear up beneath such wanton insults as that just offered her.”

“I fear that the hand of Heaven will weigh heavily on that selfish, proud, capricious sovereign, and that she will have to suffer many humiliations,” replied Mr. Jefferson, coldly, for he disliked and distrusted Marie Antoinette profoundly, and always believed that she was largely responsible for the terrible disasters which overtook France, and that had Louis been free of her influence and machinations, he had been able to disentangle himself and his kingdom from the fatal coil into which they were drawn.

“As for myself, I can think only that she is a woman and in distress,” said Mr. Morris, looking after the Queen's coach, which rolled slowly through the crowded street, making a glittering track of light where the noonday sun (for 'twas past twelve o'clock by that time) struck the golden panels. It was followed on one side by a long line of carriages containing the princesses of the blood royal and the ladies-in-waiting to Her Majesty, on the other by the procession of princes, dukes, and gentlemen of the King's household. It was close on one o'clock when the last gilded coach, the last splendid rider, followed by the rabble, who closed in and pushed on behind to the Church of Saint Louis, had passed beneath Madame de Tesse's balcony. Some of her guests, having billets for the church reserved for them, entered their carriages and drove thither; the others, being weary with the long wait and excitement of the morning, accepted their hostess's invitation to breakfast, content to hear later of the celebration of mass in the Church of Saint Louis. Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Morris, and Calvert were of this party, and, after having promised to be at Versailles early the next morning and to stay for the night at Madame de Tesse's so as to accompany the ladies to the King's reception, they set off for Paris toward four o'clock in the afternoon. As they were about leaving, Beaufort, who had attended mass, came in, tired and gloomy-looking, and told them that Monseigneur de la Farre had preached a political sermon which the deputies had the bad taste and hardihood to applaud in church and in the presence of His Majesty.

“How dare they so insult the King?” said Madame de St. Andre, pale with anger, to Calvert, who had come up to bid her adieu. “By the way, Mr. Jefferson tells me he is to present you to their Majesties to-morrow evening,” she went on, recovering her composure and smiling somewhat. “I should like to see how an American salutes a king.”

“Madame,” said Mr. Calvert, quietly, “you forget that I have made my bow to General Washington.”

It was not much past six o'clock the next morning when Mr. Calvert and Mr. Jefferson called, in the latter's carriage, for Mr. Morris in the rue de Richelieu, and once more set out for Versailles. As on the preceding day, the road was thronged with coaches, all making their way to the temporary capital. Madame de Flahaut (to whom Mr. Morris bowed very low, though he looked a little piqued when he saw Monsieur de Curt beside her) flashed by in her carriage as they neared Versailles, and a little later Madame de St. Andre, accompanied by Madame de Chastellux and Beaufort passed them, bowing and waving to the three gentlemen.

“If it were possible, I should say she looks more beautiful to-day than yesterday, eh, Ned?” said Mr. Morris, looking after Madame de St. Andre, and then giving Calvert a quizzical glance, under which the young man blushed hotly.

“By the way, I overheard your parting conversation yesterday, and I think you rather got the best of the haughty beauty,” he went on, laughing. “I am not sure but that the unruffled serenity of your manner before the ladies advances you more in their estimation than does Mr. Jefferson's evident devotion to them all or my impartial compliments and gallantry. But beware! Madame de St. Andre is no woman if she does not try to retaliate for that retort of yours.”

After stopping in the rue Dauphine for the billets, which Madame de Tesse had again been able to obtain for Mr. Morris through the interest of the Duchesse d'Orleans, the three gentlemen drove straight to the Salle des Menus Plaisirs, and, by nine o'clock, were seated in the great gallery reserved for visitors. They were fortunate enough to find themselves placed immediately behind Madame de Chastellux, Madame de St. Andre, and Madame de Flahaut, who had entered together and who were kind enough to point out for the benefit of Mr. Morris and Calvert many of the celebrities in the glittering assemblage. For, early as the hour was, the great balcony was already crowded, while the floor was slowly filling with the deputies ushered in one after the other by Monsieur de Breze with the greatest ceremony. No more brilliant throng had ever come together in that spacious Salle des Menus Plaisirs, and assuredly on no more momentous occasion. As Mr. Calvert looked about him at the splendid scene, at the great semicircular hall, with its Ionic columns, at the balcony crowded with thousands of magnificently dressed courtiers and beautiful women, upon whose fair, painted faces and powdered hair the morning sun shone discreetly, its bright rays sifted through a silken awning covering the dome of the great room, at the throng of deputies sharply differentiated by positron and costume, at the empty throne set high above the tribune upon its dais of purple velvet strewn with the golden lilies of the Bourbons; as Mr. Calvert looked at all this—especially as he looked at the empty throne—a curious presentiment of the awful import of the occasion struck in upon him forcibly. Mr. Jefferson, who sat beside him, seemed to read his thought.

“I think this is like to live as one of the most famous scenes in history,” he said. “We three are fortunate to be here to see it. Tis the birth-hour of a new nation, if I mistake not. For the first time in two centuries the King meets the three orders of his subjects. Who can foresee what will be the result?”

“I think it is safe to say that the King does not foresee the result, or there would be no meeting,” said Mr. Morris, dryly.

“As pessimistic as ever, my dear sir!” retorted Mr. Jefferson, somewhat testily. “Ah, here comes Monsieur Necker.”

As the Minister of Finance made his way in, preceded by Monsieur de Breze, a loud cheer went up from every part of the hall. Even the sombre mass of the tiers roused themselves to enthusiasm, which was redoubled when Monsieur le Duc d'Orleans made his appearance with the clerical deputy from Crepy-en-Valois, who, he insisted, should enter before him.

“Tis like His Highness,” whispered Mr. Morris to Calvert. “He is as thirsty for popularity as Lafayette himself.”

Though he spoke in a low tone and in English, Madame de St. Andre overheard and understood him.

“You and Mr. Calvert seem to be in a conspiracy to malign His Royal Highness,” she said, turning around.

“No, no. If there is a conspirator in the case 'tis Monsieur d'Orleans himself,” replied Mr. Morris, meaningly. To this Madame de St. Andre deigned no reply, and, shrugging her beautiful shoulders, turned her back once more to the gentlemen and her attention to the assemblage. Mr. Calvert, who sat directly behind her, could only see the pink ear and outline of the fair, displeased face thus turned away, but he thought she looked more imperiously lovely and more distant than the painted goddesses of the Olympian hierarchy who disported themselves, after the artist's fancy, upon the great dome of the hall.

“Madame,” he said, leaning over the back of Madame de Chastellux's chair, “can you tell me who is that deputy of the tiers just making his way in? 'Tis the strangest and most terrible face I have ever seen,” and he looked hard at the seamed, scarred visage, at the gloomy eyes, shining darkly in their great sockets, at the immense, burly figure of the man who was forcing his way contemptuously past the gallant Monsieur de Breze to a seat among the commoners. As he looked, he was reminded in some fashion of the man Danton whom he had seen in the Cafe de l'Ecole the afternoon he had gone thither with Beaufort.

“It is Monsieur de Mirabeau,” said Madame de Chastellux. “There is something terrible in his face, as you say, but there is genius, also, I think,” she added.

“He has many talents and every vice, Madame,” said Mr. Jefferson, coldly. “A genius if you will, but a man without honor, without probity, erratic, unscrupulous, mercenary, passionate. Cupidus alieni prodigus sui. Great as are his parts, he will never be able to serve his country, for no dependence can be placed in him. He cannot even further his own interests, for he is his own worst enemy. No association with such a character can be either profitable or permanent. Listen! he is being hissed!” It was true. A faint but perfectly audible murmur of disapprobation went up as Mirabeau took his place among the deputies. As the sound struck on his ear, he turned upon the throng like a lion at bay and glanced about him with eyes which literally seemed to shoot fire and before which all sounds of hatred trembled back into silence.

With conversation, with speculations as to whether the great question of voting par ordre or par tete would be settled by Monsieur Necker in his speech, what policy the King would follow, and with promenades in the great semicircular corridor running around the balcony, did the vast crowd while away the seemingly interminable wait before the court appeared. It was one o'clock when the heralds-at-arms, amid a profound silence, announced the approach of the King and Queen. As His Majesty made his appearance at the door, the silence was broken by tumultuous cries of “Long live the King!” Remembering that day and those prolonged demonstrations of loyalty and affection to His Majesty, Mr. Calvert always considered it the wonderfullest change his life ever saw when, six months later, he was a witness to the sullen animosity and insolence of the crowd toward its sovereign.

When the King had ascended the throne and seated himself (the princes of the blood royal who followed His Majesty being ranged upon the steps of the dais to his right and his ministers below and in front), there was another call from the heralds-at-arms, and Marie Antoinette, beautiful, pallid, and haughty-looking, appeared at the entrance, accompanied by the Princess Royal and the members of her immediate household. Amid a silence unbroken by a single acclamation the Queen took her seat on the King's left and two steps below him.

“Is there no Frenchman here who will raise his voice in greeting to his Queen?” said Mr. Morris, very audibly. But though many hear him, not a sound is made, and at the cruel silence the Queen, her haughtiness giving way for a moment, as it had the day before, wept.

“I could never bear to see beauty in distress. If I were a subject of the Queen she should have one loyal servitor, at least, to wish her well,” said Mr. Morris, warmly, to Calvert.

The scene which, before the entrance of the royal party, had lacked its crowning touch, was now brilliant beyond description. To the right of the throne were ranged the princes of the Church, hardly less resplendent in their robes than the secular nobles facing them, while between, forming a perfect foil for this glowing mass of color and jewels, a sombre spot in the brilliant assemblage, the tiers sat facing their sovereign. It was ominous—or so it seemed to Mr. Calvert—that the tiers should thus divide the two orders naturally most closely allied, and should sit as if in opposition or menace over against their King. And it was to them that the King seemed to speak or rather to read his address, which had been carefully prepared for him and was intentionally so vague that it aroused but little enthusiasm; to them that Monsieur le Garde des Sceaux appealed without great effect; and it was, above all, to the tiers that Monsieur Necker, rising, addressed himself, receiving in turn their warmest plaudits.

So long and so frequently interrupted by applause was Necker's report that it was after four o'clock when the King rose to dismiss the Assembly. As he descended the steps the Queen came forward to his side, and, for the first time, a faint “Vive la Reine!” was heard. At the sound a quick blush of pleasure showed in her pallid cheeks and she courtesied low to the throng with such divine grace that the acclamations redoubled. To this the Queen courtesied yet lower, and, amid a very thunder of applause, the royal party left the hall, followed by the deputies and the struggling throng of visitors.

Fatigued by the long seance, the excitement, and the tediousness of Monsieur Necker's report, Mr. Jefferson hurried Mr. Calvert—Mr. Morris had been carried off by Madame de Flahaut, to the great discomfiture of Monsieur de Curt—into his coach and drove directly to Madame de Tesse's, where they found apartments ready for them for the night and where they could get some repose before dressing for dinner and the King's levee, at which Mr. Jefferson intended to present both Mr. Morris and Mr. Calvert to their Majesties.

CHAPTER XI. MR. CALVERT ATTENDS THE KING'S LEVEE

It had been the intention of the court to give but one levee—that to the deputies on the Saturday preceding the opening of the States-General, but so widespread and so profound had been the dissatisfaction among the tiers at the treatment they had received on that occasion at the hands of Monsieur de Breze, that the King had hastily decided to hold another levee on the evening of the 5th of May, to which all the deputies were again invited and at which much of the formal and displeasing ceremony of the first reception was to be banished. At the first levee His Majesty had remained in state in the Salle d'Hercule, to which the deputies were admitted according to their rank, the noblesse and higher clergy passing in through the great state apartments, the tiers being introduced one after the other by a side entrance. The King now rightly determined to receive all in the great Salle des Glaces with as little formality as possible. But with that unhappy fatality which seemed to attend his every action, this resolution, which would have been productive of such good results at first, now seemed but a tardy and inefficient apology for courtly hauteur.

So fatigued was Madame de Tesse and her guests by the day's proceedings, that it was late when they set off from the rue Dauphine for the palace. Mr. Morris had the honor of driving alone with Madame de Tesse (Lafayette and d'Azay declining to attend this levee, having paid their respects to the King on Saturday), while Mr. Jefferson, whose coach had remained at Versailles, begged the pleasure of Madame de St. Andre's company for himself and Mr. Calvert. She came down the marble steps in her laces and gaze d'or, her dark hair unpowdered and unadorned save for a white rose, half-opened, held in the coil by a diamond buckle, and she looked so lovely and so much the grand princess that Mr. Jefferson could not forbear complimenting her as he handed her into the coach. As for Mr. Calvert, he stood by in silence, quite dazzled by her beauty. She took Mr. Jefferson's compliments and Calvert's silent admiration complacently and as though they were no more than her just due, and talked gayly and graciously enough with the minister, though she had scarce a word for the younger man, whom she treated in a fashion even more than usually imperious, and to which he submitted with his unvarying composure and good-nature.

In the Place d'Armes the crush of coaches was so great that the American Minister's carriage could move but slowly from that point into the Cour Royale, and 'twas with much difficulty that Mr. Jefferson and Calvert, finally alighting, forced a passage through the crowd for Madame de St. Andre. At the foot of the great Escalier des Ambassadeurs they found Madame de Tesse and Mr. Morris, who had just arrived. Mounting together, they passed through the state apartments of the King, upon the ceilings and panellings of which Mr. Calvert noted the ever recurring sun-disk, emblem of the Roi Soleil whose sun had set so ingloriously long before; through the Salle de la Guerre, from whose dome that same Sun-King, vanquished so easily by Death, hurled thunder-bolts of wrath before which Spain and Holland cowered in fear; until they at length came into the Galerie des Glaces, where their Majesties were to receive.

Not even the splendor of the Salle des Menus could rival for an instant the beauty of the vast hall, brilliantly lighted by great golden lustres set in double row up and down its length, in which Mr. Calvert now found himself. These lights burned themselves out in endless reflections in the seventeen great mirrors set between columns on one side of the hall. Opposite each of these mirrors was a window of equal proportions giving upon the magnificent gardens and terraces. The vaulted ceiling of this great gallery was dedicated, in a series of paintings by Lebrun, to the glorification of Louis XIV, from the moment when, on the death of Mazarin, in 1661, he took up the reins of government ('twas the theme of the great central fresco, Le Roi gouverne par lui-meme, wherein, according to the fashion of the day, the very Olympian deities were subject to the princes of France, and Mercury announced this kingly resolve to the other powers of Europe) to the peace of Nymwegen, which closed that unjust and inglorious war with Holland. Lebrun, being a courtier as well as an artist, had made these military operations under Turenne and Conde resemble prodigious success, and from The Passage of the Rhine to The Capture of Ghent, Louis was always the conqueror over the young Stadtholder, William of Orange.

These and many other details Mr. Calvert had time to note as he made a tour of the princely apartment in the train of Madame de St. Andre and Madame de Tesse. Their progress was necessarily slow, as the gallery was thronged with the deputies of the noblesse, the higher clergy, and the invited guests. But the members of the tiers, whose presence had been especially desired by His Majesty, were conspicuous by their absence. Here and there one saw a commoner in black coat and simple white tie, but he seemed to be separated from the rest of the splendid company by some invisible barrier, constrained, uneasy. Indeed, there was over the whole scene that same feeling of constraint, a sense of danger, and an air of apathy, too, that killed all gayety.

“If this is a fair sample, court balls must be but dreary affairs,” said Mr. Morris to Calvert, in a low tone, as they moved slowly about. And yet, in spite of this indefinite but sensible pall over everything, the company was both numerous and brilliant. The ladies of the Queen's household and many others of the highest nobility were present, dazzling in jewels, powder, feathers, and richest court dresses. As for the gentlemen, they were as resplendent as the women in their satins and glittering orders and silver dress swords. Mr. Morris alone of all the company was without the dress sword, this concession having been granted him on account of his lameness and through the application of Mr. Jefferson.

“It is a grim jest to give a man an extra arm when he needs a leg, Mr. Jefferson. Can't you see to it that I am spared being made a monstrosity of?” Mr. Morris had said, whimsically. “I can hear Segur or Beaufort now making some damned joke about the unequal distribution of my members,” and Mr. Jefferson had made a formal request to the master of ceremonies to allow Mr. Morris to be presented to His Majesty without a sword. With that exception, however, he was in full court costume and stumped his way about the Galerie des Glaces with his accustomed savoir faire, attracting almost as much attention and interest as Mr. Jefferson. That gentleman, in his gray cloth, with some fine Mechlin lace at throat and wrists, and wearing only his order of the Cincinnati, overtopped all the other ambassadors in stately bearing, and looked more noble than did most of the marquises and counts and dukes in their brocades and powdered perukes and glittering decorations—or, at least, so thought Calvert, who was himself very good to look at in his white broadcloth and flowered satin waistcoat.

The slow progress of the party around the room was not entirely to Mr. Calvert's liking, for at each step Madame de St. Andre was forced to stop and speak to some eager courtier who presented himself, and, by the time they were half-way through the tour and opposite the Oeil de Beef, such a retinue was following the beauty that he found himself quite in the rear and completely separated from her.

“I feel like the remnant of a beleaguered army cut off from the base of supplies,” said Mr. Morris, smiling at the young man. He and Mr. Jefferson had dropped behind, having given way to younger and more pressing claimants for Madame de St. Andre's favor. “Shall we make a masterly retreat while there is time?”

While he was yet speaking a sudden silence fell upon the company, and Monsieur de Breze, throwing open the doors leading into the Gallery of Mirrors from Louis's council chamber, announced the King and Queen. Their Majesties entered immediately, attended at a respectful distance by a small retinue of gentlemen, among whom Calvert recognized the Duc de Broglie, Monsieur de la Luzerne, and Monsieur de Montmorin. At this near sight of the King—for he found himself directly opposite the door by which their Majesties entered—Mr. Calvert felt a shock of surprise. Surrounded by all the pomp and circumstance of a most imposing ceremonial and seen across the vast Salle des Menus, Louis XVI. had appeared to the young American kingly enough. But this large, awkward, good-natured-looking man who now made his way quietly and with a shambling gait into the brilliant room, crowded with the most splendid courtiers of Europe, had no trace of majesty about him, unless it was a certain look of benignity and kindliness that shone in the light-blue eyes. His dress of unexpected simplicity and the unaffected style of his whole deportment were unlocked for by Calvert. Indeed, but for the splendid decorations he wore and the humility of his courtiers, the young gentleman would have found it hard to believe himself in such exalted company, and thought privately that General Washington or Mr. Jefferson or many another great American whom he had known had a more commanding presence and a more noble countenance than this descendant of kings.

But if Louis XVI was awkward and unprepossessing he had the kindest manners in the world, and when Mr. Jefferson presented Mr. Calvert to His Majesty as “son jeune et bien-aime secretaire, qui avait servi dans la guerre de l'independence sous le drapeau de la France, commande par Monsieur de Lafayette, pour qu'il avait un respect le plus profond et une amitie la plus vive,” the young man was quite overcome by the graciousness of his reception and retained for the rest of his life a very lively impression of the King's kind treatment of him. He never had speech with that unhappy, but well-intentioned, ruler but once afterward, and very possibly 'twas as much the memory of the courtesy shown him as the wish to see justice done and royalty in distress succored that made him, on the occasion of his second interview, offer himself so ardently in the dangerous service of the King.

Perhaps it was the presence at his side of his beautiful consort that accentuated all of Louis's awkwardness. As Mr. Calvert bowed low before the Queen, Marie Antoinette, he thought to himself that surely there was no other princess in all Europe to compare with her, and but one beauty. Certain it was that she bore herself with a pride of race, a majesty, a divine grace that were peerless. It must have been some such queen as this who first inspired the artists with the idea of representing the princes of this earth as Olympic deities, for assuredly no goddess was ever more beautiful. Though care and grief and humiliation had already touched her, though there were fine lines around the proudly curving lips and an anxious shadow in the large eyes, her complexion was still transcendently brilliant, her figure still youthful and marvellously graceful, and there was that in her carriage and glance that attracted all eyes. She was dressed in a silver gauze embroidered in laurier roses so cunningly wrought that they looked as if fresh plucked and scattered over the lacy fabric. Her hair, which was worn simply—she had set the fashion for less extravagance in the style of head-dress—was piled up in lightly powdered coils, ornamented only with a feather and a star of brilliants.

“Ainsi, Monsieur, vous connaissez notre cher de Lafayette” (she hated and feared him) “et tout jeune que vous etes vous avez deja vu la guerre—la mort, la victorie, et la deroute!” She spoke with a certain sadness, and Calvert, bowing low again, and speaking only indifferent French in his agitation, told her that under Lafayette it had been “la mort et la victoire,” but never defeat.

She glanced around the assemblage. “Monsieur de Lafayette is not come to-night,” she said, coldly, to the young man, and then, with a sudden accession of interest, she went on: “We heard much of that America of yours from him when he returned from your war” ('twas she herself who had obtained his forgiveness from the King and a command for him in the Roi Dragons). “I think he loves it and your General Washington better than he does his own King and country,” she said, smiling a little bitterly. “Is it, then, so beautiful a country?”

“Tis a very beautiful and a very grateful country, Your Majesty,” replied Calvert. “America desires nothing so much as to do some service for Your Majesty in return for all the benefits and assistance France has rendered her.”

“We are glad to know that she is grateful. Ingratitude is the last of vices,” said the Queen, quietly, looking at the young man with a sombre light in her beautiful eyes. “But, indeed, we fear France hath given her something she can never repay,” and she passed on with the King. Together they walked the length of the salon between the ranks of courtiers, after which they mingled freely and without formality with their guests. Though it was easy to see that the Queen was suffering, so charming and easy were her manners, so brilliant her very presence, that a new animation and gayety was diffused throughout the entire assemblage. Mr. Morris, whom she had also treated with the utmost graciousness, was enchanted with her.

“I think Venus herself was not more beautiful,” he said, enthusiastically, to Calvert when Her Majesty had passed on. “'Tis no wonder the wits have dubbed the King Vulcan. And this is the paragon of beauty and grace whom her ungallant subjects chose to insult this morning! Have they no hearts, no senses to be charmed with her loveliness, her majesty, her sorrows? I think you and I, Ned, ought to be loyal servants of both the King and Queen, for surely royalty could not have been more courteous in its treatment of two untitled and unimportant gentlemen.”

“Certainly their Majesties were most amiable,” said Mr. Jefferson, dryly, “and your reception was as unlike the ungracious notice which King George took of Mr. Adams and myself in '86 at Buckingham Palace as possible. But, come, I want to show you a view of the gardens,” he went on, pushing back the heavy drapery and drawing the two gentlemen into the embrasure of one of the great windows, from which a perfect view of the extensive park, the bosquets, the artificial lakes and tapis vert, the fountains and statues, was to be had. A thousand lanterns lighted up the scene, though they shone with but a yellow, ineffectual radiance in the moonlight, which rested in splendor on the grass and water, turning to milky whiteness the foam in the basins of the fountains and throwing long shadows on the close-clipped lawns and marble walks.

The three gentlemen gazed for some minutes in silence at the enchanting scene before them.

“'Tis a fitting-setting for the palace of a king,” said Mr. Morris, at length.

“Yes—” returned Mr. Jefferson, slowly, “if 'tis ever fitting that a king should arrogate to his sole use the wealth, the toil, the bounty of an empire. I confess I never look at this stately palace, at these magnificent gardens, but I shudder to think of the hundred millions of francs this impoverished nation has been goaded into giving; of the thousands of lives lost in the building of these aqueducts; of the countless years and countless energy spent in devising and carrying out these schemes for royal aggrandizement and pleasure. We come here and gape and wonder at it all, and little think at what stupendous cost our senses are so gratified.

  “'The man of wealth and pride
  Takes up a space that many poor supplied—
  Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
  Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
  The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
  Has robb'd the neighboring fields of half their growth;
  His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
  Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
  Around the world each needful product flies,
  For all the luxuries the world supplies:
  While thus the land adorn'd for pleasure—all
  In barren splendor feebly waits the fall.'“

As Mr. Jefferson finished quoting the lines, the sound of voices and exclamations of astonishment came to the gentlemen from the other side of the curtain. Looking into the salon they saw Monsieur de St. Aulaire surrounded by a little group of ladies and gentlemen. He was speaking quite audibly, so that his words reached the astonished group in the embrasure of the window.

“'Tis the latest from the Club des Enrages—the King abdicates to-morrow!” He passed on amid a chorus of dismayed ejaculations.

“What is this?” said Mr. Jefferson, in alarm. “'Tis impossible that it should be true. Yonder I see Montmorin. I will ask him the meaning of this,” and he passed hurriedly into the salon, leaving Mr. Morris and Calvert alone.

“'Tis some infernal deviltry of St. Aulaire's, I'll be bound,” said Mr. Morris. “I think I will go, too, Ned,” he said, after a minute's silence, “and see if I can't find Madame de Flahaut. She will know what this wild report amounts to. Oh, you need not stand there smiling at me with those serious eyes of yours, my young Sir Galahad! She's a very pretty and a very interesting woman, if a good deal of the intrigante, and as for me, I know excellently well how to take care of myself. I wonder if you do!” and with that he passed out, laughing and drawing the velvet curtains of the window together behind him.

Mr. Calvert, thus left alone, and being shut off from the great gallery by the drapery of the window, folded his arms, and, leaning against the open casement, gazed out at the beautiful scene before him. And as he looked up in the heavens at the moon shining with such effulgence on this scene of splendor, the thought came to him that she was shining on other and far different scenes, too—on the tides of the ocean and on the cold snows of the mountain-peaks; on squalor and wretchedness and agitation in the great city so near; and especially did he think of one tranquil and beloved spot across the sea, on which he had seen this self-same moon shining with as serene a radiance many, many times. The sounds of laughter and animated talk, the click of silver swords, the strains of music from the musicians in the gallery above the OEil de Beef came faintly to him. Suddenly he was aware that the curtains had been lifted, and turning around, he saw Madame de St. Andre standing in the light, one hand pulling back the velvet hangings, and, behind her, Monsieur de Beaufort and St. Aulaire.

“I am come to congratulate you, Monsieur,” she said, smiling, and coming into the embrasure of the window, followed by the two gentlemen—it was so deep that the four could stand at ease in it, even when the curtains had been dropped. “I am come to congratulate you! Your courtesy to the King was perfection itself. I was over against the OEil de Beef and could see very well what passed. I am sure had His Majesty been General Washington himself you could not have excelled it. You must know, gentlemen,” she said, laughing maliciously and turning to St. Aulaire and Beaufort, “you must know that when I expressed my great desire to see how an American would salute a king, Monsieur told me that I need have no fear, as he had paid his respects to General Washington!”

“Monsieur does not mean to compare General Washington with His Majesty Louis XVI, does he?” drawled St. Aulaire, insolently.

“No, Monsieur—no,” says Calvert, turning to the nobleman, who was leaning negligently against the ledge of the window. “There can be no comparison. Who, indeed, can be compared with him?” he breaks out suddenly. “There is none like him. None so wise or courageous or truly royal. How can the kings of this world, born in the purple, who, through no act, nor powers, nor fitness of their own, reign over their people; how can they be compared to one who, by the greatness of his talents, the soundness of his judgment, the firmness of his will, the tenderness of his heart, the overtopping majesty of his whole nature, hath raised himself so gloriously above his fellows? To one, the kingly estate is but a gift blindly bestowed; to the other, 'tis the divine right of excelling merit. The one is ruler by sufferance; the other, by acclamation. And do you think, Madame,” he goes on, turning to Adrienne, “that that ruler who has been elevated to his greatness by the choice of a people would betray that confidence, abandon that trust, as Monsieur de St. Aulaire has just announced that the King of France is about to do? Surely General Washington would not. Ah, Madame! Could you but see him; but see the noble calm of his countenance, the commanding eye, the consummate majesty of his presence, you would say with me, 'there is no king like him!'“

As Calvert finished his impassioned eulogy of his great commander, there was a slight stir near him and, looking around, he beheld the King draw back the heavy curtains and, standing in the flood of light, look quietly into the embrasure of the window. Behind him was Mr. Jefferson, pale and concerned-looking, but with a glow of ill-concealed pride on his countenance at the patriotic words he had just heard uttered. On either side of His Majesty stood Monsieur le Due de Broglie and Monsieur de Montmorin, white with anger and consternation. As the King stepped forward, Madame de St. Andre sank almost to the ground in a deep courtesy, while Beaufort and St. Aulaire dropped on their knees before him. Calvert alone retained his composure and stood before the King, pale, with folded arms.

For an instant there was a profound silence, and then Louis, drawing himself up to his full height and looking around upon the stricken company, turned to Calvert with so much benignity in his gaze and mien that the young American was startled and awed. He never forgot that unexpected graciousness nor ceased to feel grateful for it.

“Monsieur,” said the King, and there was a thrill of deep feeling in his voice, “believe me, whatever failings crowned monarchs may have, they at least know how to value such deep devotion as you give your uncrowned ruler. Tis as you say—this kingly estate is thrust upon us; it is not of our seeking, perhaps it would not be of our choosing; how much more grateful to us, then, is the loyalty and the love of those over whom we find ourselves involuntarily placed and who must of their own free wills give us their faith and service or else withhold them entirely! Gentlemen, proud as I am of my kingdom and my subjects, I still find it in my heart to envy General Washington! And yet, have I not as loyal subjects?” He turned and looked at the company about him. At his glance a hundred cries of “Vive le roi!” were heard, and there was a sharp ring of silver swords as they leaped from their sheaths and were held aloft. The King stood smiling and triumphant. Seeing him thus, with his courtiers about him, who could dream that the 6th of October was but a few months off!

“Ah, gentlemen, I am no 'king by trade,' as our cousin of Austria hath called himself. At this moment I feel that I am indeed your King.” The tumult of applause which followed these words was suddenly stilled as the King lifted his hand and pointed to St. Aulaire.

“But, Monsieur,” says Louis, a sombre expression clouding the triumph in his face as he looked hard at St. Aulaire, “what is the meaning of this speech of yours to which Monsieur Calvert makes reference?”

“Nom de diable!” whispered St. Aulaire to Calvert, deathly pale and almost ready to faint from consternation. “You have ruined me!” He managed to make a step forward and sank down before the King, who glowered at him.

“'Twas but a plaisanterie, Your Majesty!” and if such a jest, with a king for the butt, seems incredible, let one remember that already Louis had been refused his cour pleniere and the Queen lampooned and hissed at the theatre.

“Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire, we have heard before of your plaisanteries,” said Louis, his light-blue eyes flashing more wrathfully than one could have believed possible, the red heels of his shoes clicking together, and his heavy figure bent forward menacingly, “but this audacity passes belief. The court of Louis the Sixteenth needs no jester. For a season you can be spared attendance upon us. Your estates in Brittany doubtless need your presence. This unpardonable levity, Monsieur,” he went on, severely, “contrasts strangely with the attitude and language of this American subject,” and he bowed slightly to Calvert as he turned away.

St. Aulaire, pallid with consternation, stretched out an imploring hand to the King. “Your Majesty,” he said, “'twas but a thoughtless jest, too idle to be believed or repeated. Will Your Majesty not deign to remember that St. Aulaire's life and sword have been ever at Your Majesty's service?”

As the prostrate nobleman began to speak, the King hesitated, turned back, and looked perplexedly at him. As he gazed, a look of indecision, of distaste and weariness, crept into his countenance. All the passion, dignity, and just anger which had lit it up faded away. The brief revelation of majesty was quenched, and the customary commonplace, vacant, good-natured expression held sway once more.

“Rise, Monsieur de St. Aulaire,” he said, wearily. “We forgive you this unfortunate plaisanterie, since its execrable taste carries with it its own worst punishment. But be careful, sir, how you offend again!” With a last glance of warning, which, however, had lost its severity, the King turned away, followed by the Due de Broglie, and, seeking the Queen, their Majesties retired very shortly.

With the Queen's withdrawal, all the zest and animation of the function disappeared, too, and Mr. Calvert, wearying of the brilliant company, determined to leave the scene and stroll through the gardens. He descended by the Grand Escalier des Ambassadeurs, up which he had come, and, passing out through the Marble Court, quickly found himself on the broad terrace beneath the windows of the Gallery of Mirrors. From this, marble steps led down to a beautiful parterre, below which the Fountain of Latona played in the white moonlight. Standing on the terrace, Calvert could see the marble nymph through the mist of spray flung upon her from the hideous gaping mouths of the gilded frogs lying along the edge of the basin. 'Twas the story of Jupiter's wrath against the Lyceans which the sculptor had told, and Calvert remembered it out of his Ovid. Beyond this lovely fountain the green level of the tapis vert fell away to the great Bassin d'Appollon, where the sun-god disported himself among his Tritons, the foamy tops of the great jets of water blown from their shell-trumpets rising high in the air and scattered into spray by the night wind.

It was a scene not to be forgotten, and Mr. Calvert stood gazing at it a long while—at the softly playing fountains and the sombre bosquets and the sculptured groups on every hand, showing faintly in the moonlight. Fauns and satyrs peeped from the dense foliage. Here there showed a Venus sculptured in some Ionian isle before ever Caesar and his cohorts had pressed the soil of Gallia beneath their Roman sandals; there, a Ganymede or a Ceres or a Minerva gleamed wan and beautiful; beneath an ilex-tree a Bacchus leaned lightly on his marble thyrsus. It seemed as if all the hierarchy of Olympus had descended to dwell in this royal pleasure-ground at the bidding of the Roi Soleil.

Filled with the unrivalled beauty of the scene, Calvert at length turned away and, passing down the great flight of marble steps leading to the Orangery, slowly made his way into the park. The shadows were so dense here that the statues looked ghostly in the dim light. Now and then he could hear a low laugh and catch the flutter of a silken gown along the shadowy walks, or the glint of a stray moonbeam on a silver sword. He strolled about, scarcely knowing whither, guided by the sound of splashing water, and coming upon many a beautiful spot in his solitary ramble, among them that famous Bosquet de la Reine where the scoundrelly, frightened Rohan had sworn the Queen had stooped to him. He passed by the place, all unconscious of its unhappy history, and so on down a broad pathway toward the tapis vert.

As he walked slowly along, charmed with the beauty of the scene around him, and smiling now and again to think that fortune should have placed him in the midst of such unaccustomed splendors, he suddenly heard the sounds of a lute near him, fingered in tentative accord, and an instant later he recognized St. Aulaire's voice.

“'Twas written for you, Madame, and 'tis called 'Le Pays du Tendre,'“ he said, still fingering the strings. “I would wander in the land with you, Madame.” Suddenly he begins to sing softly, and, in the silence and perfume of the summer night, his hushed voice sounded like a caress:

  Land of the madrigal and ode,
  Of rainbow air and cloudless weather,
  Tell me what ferny, elfin road
  Will lead my eager footsteps thither.

  Tricked out with gems shall I go hither?
  Or in a carriage a la mode,
  Land of the madrigal and ode,
  Of rainbow air and cloudless weather?

  Or in the garb by Love bestow'd?
  With roses crown'd and sprigs of heather,
  With mandolin and dart enbow'd
  Shall Cupid and I go together—
  Land of the madrigal and ode,
  Of rainbow air and cloudless weather?

As the last tinkling notes of the lute died away, Calvert was about to go, but he was suddenly startled by hearing a faint scream. Turning quickly and noiselessly in the direction from which the sound seemed to have come, he found himself in an instant in a thick and beautiful bosquet. A double row of ilex-trees, inside of which ran a colonnade of white marble, completely encircled and shut in a cleared space, in the centre of which bubbled a fountain. Into this secluded spot the moon, high in the heavens, shone with unclouded radiance, so that he saw, as clearly as though 'twere noonday, Madame de St. Andre standing at the edge of the basin, her lips white and parted in fear, one hand pressed against her throat, the other held roughly in the grasp of Monsieur de St. Aulaire, who knelt before her, his lute fallen at his side. The rose which she had worn in her hair had escaped from its diamond loop and lay upon the ground; the delicate gaze d'or of her dress was torn and crushed.

For an instant Calvert stood in the shadow of one of the Grecian columns and looked at the scene before him in sick amazement. So it was to Adrienne that St. Aulaire was singing love-songs in this isolated spot at midnight! As he hesitated, Monsieur de St. Aulaire rose from his knees.

“You did not always treat me with such contempt, Madame,” he said, with a mocking laugh, “and by God, I have no mind to stand it now,” and, putting one arm around her quivering shoulders and crushing in his the hand with which she would have pushed him from her, he leaned lightly over to kiss her.

As he did so, Calvert stepped quietly forward ('twas wonderful how, though he always seemed to move slowly, he was ever in the right place at the right time) and, seizing St. Aulaire by the collar, hurled him backward with such force that he fell heavily against one of the gleaming marble columns and lay, for an instant, stunned and motionless. Feeling herself thus violently released from St. Aulaire's embrace, Adrienne sprang back, uttering a low cry and gazing in surprise at Calvert. The ease with which he had flung off the larger and heavier man aroused her wonder as well as her admiration, for she never imagined Calvert's slender, boyish figure to be possessed of so much brute strength, and, since the days of Hercules and Omphale, brute strength in man has ever appealed to woman. Before either of them could speak, St. Aulaire struggled to his feet and, wrenching his dress sword from its sheath, staggered toward Calvert, thrusting wildly and ineffectually at him.

“Put up your sword, my lord,” says Calvert, contemptuously, knocking up the silver blade with his own, which he had drawn. “We cannot fight with these toys. Should you wish to pursue this affair with swords or pistols, if you prefer the English mode, you know where to find me. And now, begone, sir!”

The quiet sternness with which the young man spoke filled Adrienne with fresh wonder and something like fear. She glanced from Calvert's face, with its look of calm authority, to St. Aulaire's convulsed countenance. The nobleman's face, usually so debonair, was now white and seamed with anger. All the hidden evil traits of his soul came out and stamped themselves visibly on his countenance, in that heat of passion, like characters written in a secret ink and brought near a flame.

“Monsieur l'Americain,” he said, lowering his point and coming up quite close to Calvert, “Monsieur, you have a trick of being damnably mal apropos. I have had a lesson from you in skating and one in singing, but I need none in love-making. My patience—never very great, I fear—is at an end, sir! This intrusion, Monsieur l'Americain, is unpardonable,” he went on, recovering his composure with a great effort, “unpardonable—unless, indeed, Monsieur hoped to gain what I have just lost,” he added, smiling his brilliant, insolent smile, though he had to half-kneel for support upon the marble edge of the fountain.

“Silence!” said Calvert, his white face filled with such sudden horror and disgust that Monsieur de St. Aulaire burst out laughing.

“A poor compliment to you, Madame,” he said to Adrienne.

At the words and the mocking laughter, Calvert's wrath blazed up uncontrollably. He went over to St. Aulaire, where he knelt on the basin, and, catching him again by the collar, shook him to and fro without mercy.

“Another word, sir, and I will toss you into this fountain with the hope that you break your head against the bottom! And now, go!”

The water in the marble basin was not very deep, but St. Aulaire did not covet a ducking—'twould be too good a theme for jests at his expense; and though he could still laugh and talk insolently, he felt weak and in no condition to prevent Calvert from carrying out his threat. Retreat seemed to be all left to him. With a sour smile he got upon his feet, and, making an elaborate courtesy to Madame de St. Andre, passed through the colonnade from the bosquet.

When he had quite disappeared, Calvert turned to the young girl. She still stood by the bubbling fountain, pale between anger and fright, one hand yet pressed against her throat, the other clenched and hanging by her side. At her feet the white rose lay crushed and unheeded. As Calvert looked at the wilful, beautiful girl before him, he comprehended for the first time that he loved her—loved and mistrusted her. The shock of surprise that this cruel conviction brought with it held him rooted to the spot for an instant. Love had ever been a vague dream to him, but certainly no woman could be further from his ideal than this brilliant, volatile, worldly creature.

A smile rippled over her face, to which the color was gradually returning.

“Well done, sir! I am only sorry you did not drop him into the fountain, as you threatened. 'Twould have been a light enough punishment, and, for once, we should have had the pleasure of seeing Monsieur de St. Aulaire in something besides his customary immaculate attire!” and she laughed faintly.

As for Calvert, he could not reply to her light banter, but stood looking at her in silence.

“Well, sir, why do you look at me so?” demanded Adrienne, petulantly, after an instant. “Have you nothing to say? But, indeed, I know you have! I can see you are dying to rebuke me for this indiscretion—this stroll with Monsieur de St. Aulaire!” and she gave him a mutinous side glance and tapped the gravel with her satin slipper. “One who dares express himself so frankly before the King will not hesitate to say his mind to a woman!”

“Ah, Madame, I fear, indeed, that you can never forgive me for having betrayed my republican sentiments so freely in the presence of your monarch—unconscious though I was of doing so.”

“Oh, no, Monsieur, you mistake,” said Adrienne, maliciously. “I can forgive you for having betrayed your republican sentiments, but I can never forgive the King for not having properly rebuked them!”

At these words Calvert let his gaze rest on the haughty face before him for a moment, and then, making a profound obeisance, he said, quietly:

“When you are quite ready, Madame, permit me to escort you back to the palace.” He spoke with such formality and dignity that Adrienne blushed scarlet and bit her lips.

“Before I accept Monsieur Calvert's escort, I wish to explain—” but Calvert interrupted her.

“No explanation is necessary, Madame, surely,” he said, a little wearily.

She blushed yet more deeply and raised her head imperiously. “You are right, Monsieur. 'Tis not necessary, as you say, but I will accept no favor—not even a safe-conduct back to the palace—from one whose manner”—she hesitated, as if at a loss for words—“whose manner is an accusation. But though I am hurt, I should not be surprised by it, sir!” she went on, advancing a step and drawing herself up proudly. “It has ever been your attitude toward me. From that first night we met I have felt myself under the ban of your disapproval. Poor Monsieur de St. Aulaire and I!” and she laughed mockingly.

“I pray you, Madame, do not name yourself in the same breath with that scoundrel!” said Calvert, in a low voice.

“And why not, Monsieur? We are both of the same world, we have both been brought up after the same fashion, we are probably much alike. Ah, Monsieur,” she went on, defiantly, “is it the Quaker in you—Monsieur Jefferson has told me that your mother was a Quakeress—that makes you hate the world, the flesh, and the devil so? Is Paris, then, so much more wicked than your Virginia? Are we so different from the women of your world?” She went up to him and put her beautiful face close to his disturbed one. “Are you so different from the men of our world, Monsieur, or is it only those grand yeux of yours, with their serious expression, that make you seem different—and better?” and her eyes smiled mockingly into his. “Pshaw, sir, you make me feel like a naughty school-girl when you reprove me so. Upon my word, I don't know why I submit to it! Though I am younger than you, sir, I feel a hundred years older in experience—and yet—and yet—there is something about you—“ She broke off and again tapped the gravel impatiently with her foot.

“I have said nothing, Madame.” Calvert was quiet and unsmiling.

“No, Monsieur, 'tis that I most object to—you keep silence, but your eyes reprove me. Oh, I have seen you looking at me with that reproving glance many times when you did not know I saw it! Am I to blame, sir, for being of the great world of which you do not approve? Am I to be rebuked—even silently—for coming here with Monsieur de St. Aulaire, by you, Monsieur?” Suddenly she dropped her defiant tone and, leaning against the edge of the marble basin, looked intently and silently at the splashing water gleaming white in the moonlight.

“Can you not see?—Do you not understand, Monsieur?” she said at length, hurriedly, and in a low voice. “Do not misjudge me. I have been brought up in this court life, which is the life of intrigue and dissimulation and wickedness—yes, wickedness! We know nothing else. There is no one in our world so pure as to be above suspicion. The walls of this great palace, thick and massive as they are, cannot keep out the whispers of calumny against the Queen herself. Is it so different in your country? Sometimes I abhor this life and would hear of another. Sometimes I hate all this,” she went on, speaking as if more to herself than to Calvert. “As for Monsieur de St. Aulaire, I loathe him! I thank you, Monsieur, for ridding me of his presence. If I seemed ungrateful, believe me, I was not! 'Tis but my pride which stands no rebuke. But it is late! Will you do me the favor, Monsieur, of taking me back to the Galerie des Glaces?” She turned her eyes away from the fountain, at which she had gazed steadily while speaking, and looked at Calvert. He saw that they were full of tears. The mask was down again. There was an humbled, shamed expression on that lovely face usually so imperious. The look of appeal and distress went to his heart like a knife. She made him think of some brilliant bird cruelly wounded.

For an instant she looked at him so, and then resuming her imperious air with a palpable effort and forcing a smile to her lips, she gathered up her trailing gown and passed slowly beneath the colonnade, Calvert following at her side. As she turned away, he stooped quickly and picked up the white rose she had worn where it had fallen on the path.

CHAPTER XII. THE FOURTH AND THE FOURTEENTH OF JULY

For the next few weeks Mr. Calvert had little time—and, indeed, little inclination—to see Adrienne. The discovery that he loved her had brought pain, not happiness with it. He felt the gulf too wide between them, both in circumstance and character, to be bridged. How could he, an untitled American, an unknown young gentleman of small fortune, pretend to the hand of one of the most beautiful, most aristocratic, and most capricious women in Paris? He smiled to himself as he mentally compared Adrienne with the simple young beauties of Virginia he had known—with Miss Molly Crenshawe and Miss Peggy Gary—and he wondered a little bitterly why he could not have fallen happily in love with some one of his own countrywomen, whose heart he could have won and kept, instead of falling a victim to the charms of a dazzling creature quite beyond his reach. With that clear good sense which was ever one of his most distinguishing traits, he fully comprehended the difficulties, the impossibility of a happy ending of his passion, and, having no desire to play the role of the disconsolate lover, he again determined to see as little of Adrienne as possible.

For a while circumstances favored this decision. The French government, being entirely absorbed in domestic affairs, Mr. Jefferson found himself with more leisure than he had known for some time, and, being enormously interested in the organization of the States-General, and realizing that their proceedings were of the first order of importance, he drove almost daily from Paris to Versailles to assist at their stormy deliberations. Mr. Calvert attended him thither at his express wish, for he had the young man's diplomatic education greatly at heart, and desired him to profit by the debates in the Salle des Menus. In this way the young gentleman found his days completely filled, while the evenings were frequently as busily occupied in the preparation of letters for the American packet, dictated by Mr. Jefferson and narrating the day's events. Of things to be written there was no lack. Day after day, through the hot months of May and June, events succeeded one another rapidly. Tempestuous debates among the noblesse, the clergy, and the tiers etat, upon the question of the verification of their powers, separately and together, were followed by proposition and counter-proposition, by commissions of conciliation which did not conciliate, by royal letters commanding a fusion of the three orders, by secessions from the nobility and clergy to the grimly determined and united tiers, by courtly intrigues at Marly for the King's favor in behalf of the nobles, by royal seances and ruses which, instead of postponing, only hastened the evil hour, by the famous oath of the Tennis Court, and by the triumph of the third estate. And in this distracting clash of opposing political forces, amid this first crash and downfall of the ancient order of things, there passed, almost unnoticed, save by the weeping Queen and harassed King, who hung over his pillow, the last sigh, the last childish words of the Dauphin. The tired little royal head, which had been greeted eight years before with such acclamations of enthusiastic delight, dropped wearily and all unnoticed for the last time, happily ignorant of the martyr's crown it had escaped. Calvert had the news from Madame de Montmorin when he went to pay his respects to her on the evening of the 3d of June, and in imagination he saw, over and over again, the lovely face of the Queen distorted with unavailing grief.

All these public occurrences which filled the hurrying days were reported in Mr. Jefferson's long letters to General Washington, to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jay, to Mr. Madison, Mr. Carmichael, and other friends in America, whom he knew to be deeply interested in the trend of French affairs. Indeed, he knew fully whereof he wrote, for, although in that summer of '89 the position of the United States in relation to Europe was anything but enviable, though we were deeply in debt and our credit almost gone, though England and Spain turned us the cold shoulder, though our enemies were diligently circulating damaging stories of the disunion, the bankruptcy, the agitation in American affairs, yet so friendly was the French government to us, so deep the personal respect and admiration for Mr. Jefferson as the representative of the infant republic, that he was consulted by the leaders of all parties and received the confidences of the most influential men of the day. So close, indeed, was his connection with the ministers in power that, during the early days of June and in pursuance of an idea which had occurred to him during a conversation with Lafayette, Mr. Short, and Monsieur de St. Etienne, he drew up a paper for the consideration of the King, which, if it had received the royal sanction, might have produced the best results. It was a charter of those rights which the King was willing, nay, glad, to grant, but it was Mr. Jefferson's earnest conviction that Louis should come forward with this charter of his own free will and offer it to his people, to be signed by himself and every member of the National Assembly. But the King's timidity and the machinations of Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois prevented this plan from coming to anything. Mr. Jefferson, thinking, perhaps, that his zeal had over-stepped his discretion, refused again to take an active part in the politics of the day, and declined the invitation of the Archbishop of Bordeaux to attend the deliberations of the committee for the “first drafting” of a constitution.

“My mission is to the King as Chief Magistrate of France,” said Mr. Jefferson to His Grace of Bordeaux, “and deeply as I am interested in the affairs of your country, my duties concern my own. But I have requested from Congress a leave of absence for a few months, that I may return to America and settle some important private business, and as General Washington and other friends will be only too anxious to hear a detailed and recent account of the progress of events here, I shall esteem it both my duty and pleasure to acquaint myself with them as fully as may be, without transcending the limits of my office.”

This leave of absence which Mr. Jefferson had solicited for some time was anxiously awaited, but packet after packet arrived without it. It had been his hope to receive the authority of Congress for his departure during the early spring, that he might return to Virginia, leaving affairs in the hands of Calvert and Mr. Short, and return before cold weather set in again, but the end of June was at hand and still no word from Congress.

As it was evident that Mr. Jefferson was not to get away from Paris for some time, he determined to celebrate the Fourth of July at the Legation with proper ceremony, and invited quite a little company to dinner for that day. Among the guests were Madame la Duchesse d'Azay, Adrienne, Monsieur and Madame de Montmorin, Monsieur and Madame de Lafayette, Madame de Tesse, Mr. Morris, Beaufort, Calvert, and Mr. Short.

The Duchess of Azay had accepted her invitation with characteristic brusqueness.

“I don't approve of your Fourth of July, Monsieur Jefferson,” she said, “but I always approve of a good dinner, and your wines are so excellent that I dare say I shall drink your toasts, too.” “I promise you there shall be none to offend the most ardent royalist,” returned Mr. Jefferson, laughing at the old woman's sturdy independence. And so she had come, and Madame de St. Andre with her, though Adrienne, too, was a stanch royalist, and had not been carried away by the popular enthusiasm for liberty and Monsieur de Lafayette which was spreading like wildfire through all ranks of Parisian society.

“I am here, not because I am so greatly in love with your fine American principles,” she said to Calvert, who was seated beside her at the table, “but because I like your Mr. Jefferson. For myself, I vastly prefer a king and a court, and I like titles and rank and power—all of which is heresy in your American ears, is it not?” she asked, with a perverse look. “However, Henri's enthusiasm is enough for us both,” she said, smiling a little scornfully at her brother, who, indeed, was quite wild with enthusiasm, and was on his feet drinking Lafayette's toast of “Long life and prosperity to the United States!”

“Get up, Ned!” he says to Calvert. “We are drinking to your country! We ought to have a toast to Yorktown—see, Mr. Morris is going to give it to us now—'The French at Yorktown!'“

But there was another toast still more vociferously greeted, for the long-delayed American packet having arrived three days before at Havre, Mr. Jefferson was that morning in receipt of letters from Mr. Jay and others containing news of the first importance. It was nothing less than the announcement of the election of General Washington to the first Presidency of the United States, and of his inauguration on the 13th of April in New York City.

“'The oath was administered by Chancellor Livingston,'“ says Mr. Jefferson, reading from Mr. Jay's letter, “'in the presence of a vast concourse of people assembled to witness the inauguration. The President, appearing upon the balcony, bowed again and again to the cheering multitude, but could scarcely speak for emotion.' 'Tis a strange and happy coincidence that we should have this news on this day. I give you 'President Washington!'“ says Mr. Jefferson, solemnly.

There were tears of joy in Lafayette's eyes as he drank the toast.

“It makes me think of that last night at Monticello, Ned,” he said, turning to Calvert, “when we toasted General Washington and bade farewell to Mr. Jefferson.”

“'Tis a far cry from Paris to Monticello, Marquis,” said Calvert, smiling, “and 'tis a little strange that we should all be gathered here as we were there, discussing our dear General.”

“And so your demi-god, your General Washington, is elected to the Presidency,” said Adrienne, speaking to Calvert. “'Tis unnecessary to ask whether the choice meets with your approval.”

“There could be none other, Madame,” returned Calvert.

“You are a loyal admirer of General Washington's, Monsieur. I see you know how to approve as well as to rebuke. 'Tis much pleasanter to be approved of than to be rebuked, as I know by personal experience,” said Adrienne, with a slight blush and a half glance at Calvert. She was so lovely as she spoke, there was such sunny laughter in her blue eyes, that Calvert gazed at her, lost in guilty wonder as to how he could ever have doubted this beautiful creature, how he could ever have condemned her by a thought. The inscrutable look in his serious eyes embarrassed her.

“Of what are you thinking, Monsieur?” she asked, after an instant's silence.

“I was wondering who could have the audacity to rebuke Madame de St. Andre.”

“'Twas a very rash young gentleman from General Washington's country,” returned Adrienne, smiling suddenly, “who, by his courage, saved Madame de St. Andre from the consequences of a foolish action, and who had the still greater courage to silently, but unmistakably, show his disapprobation of her.”

“'Tis impossible that he should be a fellow-countryman of mine, Madame,” said Calvert, smiling, too. “It would indeed be a rash and ill-considered person who could find fault with Madame de St. Andre.”

“Another compliment, Monsieur Calvert! That is the second one you have given me. If you are not more careful I shall begin to doubt your sincerity! I am not jesting, sir,” she says, suddenly serious. “I know not quite why I trust you so implicitly, but so it is, and, as sincerity is a rare virtue in our world, I should hate to lose my belief in yours. It takes no very keen vision to see my faults, sir. I recognize and deplore them,” and she looked at the young man in so winning and frank a fashion as she rose from the table, that Calvert thought to himself for the hundredth time that he had never seen anyone so incomparably beautiful and charming.

Although Paris was unbearably hot and dusty in that month of July, all the world stayed in town or drove no farther than Versailles to attend the meetings of the National Assembly. Political excitement and interest were intense, and were stimulated every day by the events taking place. But through it all the higher classes feasted and made merry, as though bent on literally obeying the biblical injunction. Mr. Morris, whose success in society continued prodigious, could scarce find the time for his numerous engagements, and was seen everywhere, often in company with Mr. Calvert, of whom he was extremely fond. Indeed, he urged upon Calvert the acceptance of many invitations which the latter would have declined, having an affectionate regard for the young man and a pride in the popularity which Mr. Calvert had won absolutely without effort and in spite of the lack of all brilliant social qualities. Wherever they went Madame de St. Andre was of the party. Perhaps 'twas this fact, rather than a wish to comply with Mr. Morris's requests, that induced Calvert to accept the many invitations extended to him, and, in the constant delight and charm of Adrienne's presence, his caution deserted him and he gradually found himself forgetting the wide gulf between them, of which he had thought so much at first, and eagerly watching for her wherever he went. He was engaged for innumerable pleasure-parties, dinners a la matelote, evenings with Madame de Chastellux, when the Abbe Delille read his verses, the theatre and opera with Gardell and Vestris, about whom all Paris was wild, and water-picnics on the Seine. In early June, at the express wish of the Duchesse d'Orleans, Mr. Calvert and Mr. Morris, with Madame d'Azay and Adrienne, made a visit to Her Highness at Raincy. The gardens and park of this old castle were so beautiful that Calvert would have liked nothing better than to linger in them with Adrienne for all the long summer day, but the Duchess, being very devout, demanded the presence of her guests in the chapel of the chateau to hear mass. Mr. Calvert read another sign of the times in the conduct of Monsieur de Segur and Monsieur de Cubieres during mass, who furnished immoderate amusement to Her Highness's guests by putting lighted candles in the pockets of the Abbe Delille while he was on his knees.

“Truly an edifying example to the domestics opposite and the villagers worshipping below,” thought Calvert to himself. “If they but knew what triflers these beings are whom they look up to as their superiors, their respect would be transformed to contempt.” And this thought occurred to him again when, at dinner, which was served under a large marquise on the terrace of the chateau, a crowd of the common people gathered at a respectful distance and looked enviously at the exalted company as it dined.

It was at one of these numerous pleasure-parties with which Paris sought to banish care and anxiety that Mr. Calvert and Mr. Morris first heard the astounding news of Necker's dismissal, which woke the city from its false trance of security. They were at the hotel of the Marechal de Castries, whither they had driven for breakfast, when his frightened secretary, calling him from the table, told him the news which he had just heard. Monsieur de Castries, containing himself with difficulty during the rest of the meal, at which was gathered a large and mixed company, drew the American gentlemen aside as soon as possible and confided to them the disastrous intelligence he had just received.

“The King sent Monsieur de la Luzerne with the message,” he said. “He found Necker at dinner, and, exacting a promise of absolute secrecy, delivered to him the King's decree. Without a word Monsieur Necker proposed to his wife a visit to some friends, but went instead to his place at St. Ouen, and at midnight set out for Brussels.”

“What madness!” exclaimed Mr. Morris. “Does the King, then, not realize that he is no longer the power in the state? The National Assembly will not tolerate Necker's dismissal. Will you not go instantly to Versailles and try to undo this fatal blunder of the King?” he asked. Monsieur de Castries shook his head despondingly.

“'Tis too late.”

“Come, Ned, we will go to Mr. Jefferson's and see whether he has heard this terrible news,” said Mr. Morris, who was deeply affected by the intelligence.

Together they entered Mr. Morris's carriage and drove toward the Legation. As they made their way along the boulevards, they were astonished to see pedestrians and carriages suddenly turn about and come toward them. In a few moments a troop of German cavalry, with drawn sabres, approached at a hand gallop, and, on reaching the Place Louis Quinze, Mr. Morris and Mr. Calvert found themselves confronted by an angry mob of several hundred persons, who had intrenched themselves among the great blocks of stone piled there for the new bridge building. At the same instant, on looking back, they perceived that the cavalry had faced about and were returning, so that they found themselves hemmed in between the troops and the menacing mob. Many other carriages were caught in the same cul-de-sac, and Calvert, looking out, saw the pale face of Madame de St. Andre at the window of her carriage beside him. Her coachman was trying in vain to get his horses through the crowd and was looking confoundedly frightened. In an instant Calvert was out of his carriage and at her coach-door.

“You must get in Mr. Morris's carriage, Madame,” he says, briefly, holding the door open and extending a hand to Adrienne. At his tone of command, without a word, she stepped quickly from her coach into that of Mr. Morris.

“Heavens, Madame! are you alone in this mob?” asks Mr. Morris, in much concern.

“Yes—I have just left my aunt in the rue St. Honore,” says Adrienne, sinking down on the cushions. Mr. Morris put his head out of the window.

“Drive on, Martin!” he calls out. “To Mr. Jefferson's.” But it is impossible for the plunging horses to move, so dense is the mob and so threatening its attitude.

“They are arming themselves with stones,” he says, looking out again. “We are in a pretty pass between this insane mob and the cavalry, which is advancing!” Suddenly he bursts the door open and, standing on the coach-step, so that he is well seen, he calls out, “Drive on there, Martin! Who stops an American's carriage in Paris?”

As he made his appearance at the coach-door a shout went up, and a man standing near and pointing to Mr. Morris's wooden stump, cries out, “Make way for the American patriot crippled in the Revolution!” At his words a great cheer goes up, and Mr. Morris, scrambling back into the coach, bursts out into such a hearty laugh that Calvert, and Adrienne, too, in spite of her fright, cannot refrain from joining in it. The people fall back and a lane is formed, through which Martin urges his horses at a gallop.

“'Twill be a good story to tell Mr. Jefferson,” says Mr. Morris, when he can speak. “I think this wooden stump has never done such yeoman service as to-day.”

“If I am not mistaken, that was my friend Bertrand,” says Calvert, looking back at the man who had started the cheer for Mr. Morris.

They had scarce got through the mob when the cavalry, advancing, were met by a shower of stones.

“The captain is hit,” says Calvert, still looking out of the coach-window. Pale with fear, Adrienne laid her hand on his arm and Calvert covered it with one of his. In a few minutes they were out of sight of the fray and, driving as rapidly as possible up the Champs Elysees, were soon at the door of the Legation.

Mr. Jefferson was not at home, but in a few moments he came in with the account of having been stopped also at the Place Louis Quinze as he returned from a visit to Monsieur de Lafayette and a confirmation of the news regarding Necker's dismissal.

“It is sufficiently clear with what indignation the people regard the presence of troops in the city,” he said, “and by to-morrow they will make known, I have no doubt, their equally bitter indignation at the removal of Necker. Affairs are coming rapidly to a crisis; the Palais Royal is this evening in a state of the wildest agitation, so d'Azay has just told me, and, indeed, the city is not safe, even on the boulevards. I shall take you back, Madame,” he went on, turning to Adrienne. “I believe the carriage of the American Minister will be treated with respect even by this insane mob.”

“A thousand thanks, Monsieur,” said Madame de St. Andre, rising, “and, as it is late, perhaps we had better go at once, although I hate to take you away from Monsieur Morris and Monsieur Calvert.”

“Oh, as for me, I am off to the Club to hear further details of the riot and afterward to a supper with Madame de Flahaut. And as for Ned, I am sure he would rather a thousand times escort you back to the rue St. Honore than to sit here chatting with an old fellow like myself,” said Mr. Morris, and he went off limping and laughing, leaving the others to follow quickly. For, in truth, it was late, and the disturbance seemed to be increasing instead of decreasing as the night wore on. Mr. Jefferson and Calvert turned into the Palais Royal on their way back, after leaving Adrienne safe in the rue St. Honore, and found it a seething mass of revolutionary humanity, as d'Azay had reported. The agitation increased all during the following day of the 13th, and on the 14th was struck the first great blow which resounded throughout France. Mr. Jefferson and Calvert, who, unconscious of the disturbance in the distant quarter of the Bastille, were calling at the hotel of Monsieur de Corny, had the particulars from that gentleman himself. He came in hurriedly, pale with emotion and fear and haggard with anxiety.

“Tis all over,” he says to Mr. Jefferson when he could speak. “How it has happened God only knows. A fearful crime has been committed. The deputation, of which I was one, advanced, under a flag of truce, to have speech with de Launay, Governor of the Bastile, when a discharge killed several men standing near us. We retired, and instantly the great throng of people—there were, God knows, how many thousand wretches waiting there—rushed forward, and are even now in possession of that impregnable fortification. 'Tis incredible how 'twas done.”

“And de Launay?” inquired Calvert.

“He has been beheaded and dragged to the Place de Greve,” says de Corny, gloomily. “Come, if you wish to see the work of destruction,” and he rose hurriedly.

Together the gentlemen entered Mr. Jefferson's carriage, which was waiting, and were driven along the boulevards toward the Bastille. But the streets near the prison were so crowded with spectators and armed ruffians that they were finally forced to alight from the carriage, which was left in the Place Royale, and proceed on foot. As they passed Monsieur Beaumarchais's garden, they came upon Mr. Morris and Madame de Flahaut, who had also driven thither and were leaning against the fence looking on at the work of demolition.

“You should have been here some moments ago,” said Mr. Morris. “Lafayette has just ridden by with the key of the Bastille, which has been given to him and which, he tells me, he proposes sending to General Washington. A strange gift!”

“Why strange?” inquired Mr. Jefferson. “'Tis an emblem of hard-earned liberty.”

“An emblem of madness,” said Mr. Morris, with a shrug. “However, I have witnessed some thrilling scenes in this madness. But an hour ago a fellow climbed upon the great iron gate and, failing to bring it down, implored his comrades to pull him by the legs, thus sustaining the rack. He had the courage and strength to hold on until his limbs were torn from the sockets. 'Twould make a great painting, and I shall suggest the idea to d'Angiviliers.”

“Do they know of this at Versailles?” asked Calvert.

“The Duc de Liancourt passed in his carriage half an hour ago,” said Mr. Morris, “on his way to Versailles to inform the King. Yesterday it was the fashion at Versailles not to believe that there were any disturbances at Paris. I presume that this day's transactions will induce a conviction that all is not perfectly quiet! But, even with this awful evidence, the King is capable of not being convinced, I venture to say.” He was quite right in his surmise, and 'twas not until two o'clock in the morning that Monsieur de Liancourt was able to force his way into the King's bed-chamber and compel His Majesty to listen to a narrative of the awful events of the day in Paris.

In the meantime crowds of the greatest ladies and gentlemen flocked to the Place de la Bastille to witness the strange and horrid scenes there enacting, rubbing elbows with the armed and drunken scum of the city, and only retiring when night hid the sight of it all from them. It was amid a very carnival of mad liberty, of flaring lights and hideous noises, of fantastic and terrible figures thrusting their infuriated countenances in at the coach-windows, with a hundred orders to halt and to move on, a hundred demands to know if there were arms in the carriage, that Mr. Jefferson and Calvert finally regained the Champs Elysees and the American Legation. With the next day the foreign troops were dismissed by order of the frightened King, and Paris had an armed Milice Bourgeoise of forty thousand men, at the head of which, to Mr. Jefferson's satisfaction and Mr. Morris's dismay, Lafayette was placed as commander-in-chief. From the 16th to the 18th of that fatal July twenty noble cowards, among them Monsieur de Broglie, Monsieur de St. Aulaire, six princes of the blood royal, including the Comte d'Artois and the Princes of Conde and Conti, fled affrighted before the first gust of the storm gathering over France.

CHAPTER XIII. MONSIEUR DE LAFAYETTE BRINGS FRIENDS TO A DINNER AT THE LEGATION

It was in the midst of the alarms, the horror, and feverish agitation following hard upon the taking of the Bastille and the assassination and flight of so many important personages, that Mr. Jefferson, one evening, received from Monsieur de Lafayette a hurried note, requesting a dinner for himself and several friends. Mr. Morris and Calvert, who were dining with Mr. Jefferson, would have retired, that the company might be alone, but Monsieur de Lafayette, coming in almost instantly, urged upon the gentlemen to remain.

“Tis to be a political deliberation, at which we shall be most happy and grateful to have you assist,” he said, graciously, for, though he disliked Mr. Morris, he appreciated his abilities, and as for Calvert, he both liked and admired the young man, having the greatest confidence in his good sense and keen judgment.

Mr. Jefferson, though deeply embarrassed by that thoughtlessness which made the American Legation the rendezvous for the leaders of opposing factions in French politics, made his unexpected guests as welcome as possible, but, though he was urged again and again to express himself by Lafayette and his friends—he had brought with him some of the most brilliant and most influential of the revolutionary leaders, d'Azay, Barnave, Lameth, Mounier, and Duport—he yet remained an almost silent spectator of the prolonged debate which took place when the cloth had been removed and wine placed on the table, according to the American custom. The discussion was opened by Lafayette, who submitted to the consideration of the assembled company his “Rights of Man,” to which he was inordinately attached and which he designed as a prelude to the new constitution. With pride and emphasis he read aloud the most important of his dicta, and which, he owned with a profound bow to Mr. Jefferson, had been largely inspired by the great Declaration of Independence.

“The Rights of Man” were received with acclaim and approved almost without a dissenting voice, and then was introduced the main theme of the discussion—the new constitution projected by the Assembly. So incredibly frank were the deliberations that the three American gentlemen could not but marvel that they were allowed to be present. 'Twas a curious exhibition of weakness, thought Calvert, that they should be allowed, nay, urged, to participate in such a session. So intimate, indeed, were the details presented to the company by its different members, so momentous the questions raised and settled, that even Mr. Morris, usually so impetuous, hesitated to express an opinion. Only when it had been decided that the King should have a suspensive veto; that the Legislature should be composed of but one chamber, elected by the people; only when it was evident that the noblesse were to be rendered powerless and that Lafayette had abandoned his King, did Mr. Morris burst forth.

“This is madness, Marquis,” he says, scarce able to contain himself. “Take from the King his power and this realm will fall into anarchy, a bloody disunion, the like of which the world has never seen! This country is used to being governed, it must continue to be governed. Strengthen the King's hands—for God's sake, do not weaken them! Attach yourself to the King's party—'tis this unhappy country's only hope of salvation. Range yourself on the side of His Majesty's authority, not on that of this insane, uncontrollable people. What have I seen to-day? As I walked under the arcade of the Palais Royal, what was the horrible, the incredibly horrible sight that met my eyes? The head of one of your chief men—of Foulon, Counsellor of State, borne aloft on a pike, the body dragged naked on the earth, as though 'twere some dishonored slave of Roman days. Gracious God! what a people! Have we gone backward centuries to pagan atrocities? And you talk of making this people the supreme authority in France! Your party is mad!”

“If 'tis madness,” says Monsieur de Lafayette, coldly, “I am none the less determined to die with them.”

“'Twould be more sensible to bring them to their senses and live with them,” returned Mr. Morris, dryly.

“We cannot hope to gain the liberty, so long and so hardly withheld from us, without bloodshed. Mr. Jefferson himself hath said that the tree of liberty must be watered with blood.”

“'Tis a different creed from the one you believed in but a short time ago,” rejoined Mr. Morris. “'Twas not very long since I heard you prophesying a bloodless revolution. And this horde of undisciplined troops, for which you are responsible—do you not tremble for your authority when you deny the King's?”

“They will obey me, they love me,” cried Lafayette, rising in some confusion, not unmixed with anger. “At any rate, 'tis too late to draw back. Our dispositions are taken, gentlemen,” he adds, turning to the company, which had risen at his signal, “and we will now withdraw, sensible of the courtesy and hospitality we have received,” and with a bow to Mr. Morris and Calvert, he passed from the room, accompanied by Mr. Jefferson and followed by the rest of the gentlemen.

“What madness!” exclaimed Mr. Morris, as the door closed upon the company. “This is a country where everything is talked about and nothing understood, my boy.” He sank into a chair opposite Calvert's and poured himself a glass of wine.

“There goes a man who, in his vanity, thinks himself capable of controlling these terrific forces he has helped to awaken, but, if I mistake not, he is not equal to the business in hand. He has the best intentions, but is lacking in judgment and strength. He has le besoin de briller, unfortunately, and does from vanity what he should do from conviction. I am almost glad that affairs call me to England for a while and that I shall not be a witness to the Marquis's mistakes and the horrors toward which I see France fast drifting.”

“You are leaving for England?” asked Calvert, in surprise.

“Yes,” returned Mr. Morris. “I have thought for some time that it would be necessary for me to go to London on business connected with my brother's estate in America, and letters which I received lately have decided me to go at once. Moreover,” and here he hesitated slightly and laughed his dry, humorous laugh, “I have ever thought discretion the better part of valor, my boy. To speak plainly, Madame de Flahaut becomes too exigeante. I have told her that I am perfectly my own master with respect to her, and that, having no idea of inspiring her with a tender passion, I have no idea either of subjecting myself to one, but I hardly think she understands my attitude toward her. Besides,” he went on, with so sudden a change of tone and sentiment that Calvert could not forbear smiling, “I find her too agreeable to bear with equanimity her treatment of me. The other day, at Madame de Chastellux's, her reception of me was such that I think I would not again have troubled her with a visit had she not sent for me to-day.”

“And did you go?” asked Calvert, smiling.

“Yes,” said Mr. Morris, bursting out laughing. “Of course I went, Ned—that is the way with all of us—the women treat us with contempt and we go away in a huff, vowing never to see them again, and they beckon to us and back we go, glad to have a word or glance again. She treated me very civilly indeed, and received me at her toilet—'twas a very decent performance, I assure you, Ned. She undressed, even to the shift, with the utmost modesty, and I would have found it a pleasant enough experience, if a trifle astounding to my American mind, had it not been for the presence of the Bishop of Autun, who came in and who is confoundedly at his ease in Madame de Flahaut's society. High ho! we two are not the only favored ones. She is a thorough-paced flirt and plays off Curt against Wycombe—he is Lansdowne's son and her latest admirer—or the Bishop against myself, as it suits her whim. I would warn you to beware of women as the authors of all mischief and suffering, did I not think it too late,” he said, looking keenly at the young man, who blushed deeply. “Come to London with me, Ned,” he went on, impulsively, after an instant's silence. “I think you and I will not be bad travelling companions and will enjoy the journey together prodigiously.”

“I thank you, Mr. Morris,” said Calvert, shaking his head, “but—but 'tis impossible for me to leave France.”

“Ah, 'tis as I thought,” said Mr. Morris, slowly, “and Madame de St. Andre is a most charming and beautiful woman. Forgive me for having guessed your secret, boy. 'Tis my interest in you which makes me seem impertinent. Have you told her that you love her?”

“'Tis a poor game to tell all one knows,” says Calvert, again shaking his head and smiling a little bitterly. “Besides, it would be but folly in this case.”

“Folly!” exclaimed Mr. Morris. “Don't be above committing follies, Ned! Old age will be but a dreary thing if we have not the follies of youth to look back upon. Happiness and folly go hand in hand sometimes. Don't miss one in avoiding the other, boy! Besides, why do you call your love for her folly? By the Lord Harry,” he burst out, “why shouldn't she love you in return? 'Tis true you are not one of the dukes or marquises who follow her about, but I think that no disability, and, were she not a capricious, worldly woman, she would have the wit vastly to prefer a clean, honest American gentleman to these dissolute popinjays, whose titles, riches, and very life are being menaced. Were I a woman, Ned,” and he gave the young man a kindly look, “I think I could find it in my heart to admire and respect you above most men.”

“'Tis far more than I can hope for in Madame de St. Andre, and it has been madness for me to think of her for a moment,” said Calvert, gloomily.

“Then come away,” urged Mr. Morris. “Come with me to London.” But Calvert was not to be persuaded.

“You counselled me a while ago not to be afraid of committing follies,” he said, looking at the older man. “I think I am capable of all folly—I don't dare hope, but I cannot leave her.”

“Ah, you are not as wise as I, my boy,” returned Mr. Morris, smiling cynically. “You stay because you care too much and I go for the same reason. Believe me, mine is the better plan. But if you stay, speak! Perhaps, after all, she may have the sense to appreciate you. Though she is worldly and ambitious, there is a leaven of sincerity and purity in her nature, I think. And then, who can guess what is in a woman's heart? 'Tis the greatest of puzzles. Who knows what you may find in Adrienne de St. Andre's, Ned? She is a high-spirited creature, trained in her world to conceal her feelings, should she be unfashionable enough to have any, and perhaps the indifference with which she treats you is but a mask. There are women like that, boy, who are as great actresses as Raucourt or Contat, and who would die before they betrayed themselves, just as there are women to whom candor is as natural as breathing and who can no more help showing the depth and tenderness of their hearts than the sun can help shining. And now,” he said, rising as Mr. Jefferson entered the room, “I must be going or I shall be imprudent enough to make some observations on the extraordinary proceedings of this evening.”

“Extraordinary indeed,” said Mr. Jefferson, with a troubled air, as he seated himself. “I shall wait upon Montmorin in the morning and explain how it has happened that the American Legation has been the rendezvous for the political leaders of France. But though this affair has deeply embarrassed me, I would not, for a great deal, have missed hearing the coolness and candor of argument, the logical reasoning and chaste eloquence of the discussion this evening. Would that it had all been employed in a better cause! It seems almost pitiful that these men should be battling for a King who, though meaning well toward the nation, is swayed absolutely by a Queen, proud, disdainful of all restraint, concerned only in the present pleasure, a gambler and intrigante. Dr. Franklin and I have seen her in company with d'Artois and Coigny and the Duchesse de Polignac, than whom there is no more infamous woman in France, gambling and looking on at the wild dances and buffoonery of a guinguette, and, though her incognita was respected, think you the people did not know the Queen? 'Tis to preserve the throne of a woman such as that that Lafayette and d'Azay and Barnave bend all their powerful young energies and talents and may, perhaps, give their young lives!”

“There are those who think differently about Louis and Marie Antoinette, and who consider the Queen the better man of the two,” replied Mr. Morris, dryly. “But 'tis past my patience, the whole thing, and I can scarce trust myself to think of it. By the way, Ned,” he said, suddenly turning to Calvert, “'twas that villain Bertrand, that protege of yours, who was carrying the head of that poor devil, Foulon, on his pike this afternoon. I recognized the fellow instantly, and I think he knew me, too, though he was near crazed with blood and excitement. He handed the bike to a companion and slunk into the crowd when he saw me. Have a care of him, boy. 'Twas the most awful sight my eyes ever rested on! And now, good-night.” At the door he looked back and saw Mr. Jefferson filling his long pipe with fragrant Virginia tobacco and Calvert still sitting beside the table with the troubled look on his thoughtful young face.

A week later, after having bidden good-by to his friends in Versailles and Paris and having obtained a passport from Lafayette at the Hotel de Ville, he set out for London, from which capital he did not return until the middle of September.

CHAPTER XIV. MR. CALVERT RIDES DOWN INTO TOURAINE

August was a dreary month in Paris. With the last days of July the heat became intense, and that, with the constant alarms and ever recurring outbreaks, caused such an exodus from the city as soon made Paris a deserted place. Mr. Morris's departure was followed shortly by that of the old Duchesse d'Azay and Madame de St. Andre, who went down to Azay-le-Roi, so that in Calvert's estimation the gayest capital in the world was but a lonely, uninteresting city. Toward the close of August Mr. Jefferson received from Congress that permission to return home which he had solicited for so long, and, without loss of time, he prepared to leave France for, as he supposed, an absence of a few months, at most. Among the multitude of public and private affairs to be arranged before his departure, his friends were not forgotten, and he made many farewell visits to Versailles, Marly-le-Roi, and St. Germain. He had not thought it possible, however, to see his friends at Azay-le-Roi, but the middle of September found his affairs so nearly settled, and, his passage not being taken until the 26th of the month, he one day proposed to Calvert that they should make the journey into Touraine.

“Tis the most beautiful part of France,” he said to the young man, “and I have a fancy to show you the country for the first time and to say farewell to our friends, Madame d'Azay and Madame de St. Andre.”

To this proposition the young man assented, suddenly determining that he would see Adrienne and put his fortune to the touch. 'Twas intolerable to remain longer in such a state of uncertainty and feverish unhappiness, he decided. Any fate—the cruellest—would be preferable to the doubt which he suffered. And surely he was right, and uncertainty the greatest suffering the heart can know.

“At the worst she can hurt me no more cruelly than she has already,” he said to himself. “She shall know that I love her, even though that means I shall never see her again.”

His determination once taken, he was as eager as possible to be off, and, by the 16th, all was in readiness for their departure. Passports were obtained from Lafayette and places reserved in the public diligence. They took only one servant with them—the man Bertrand, whom Galvert had been at pains to ferret out and take into his employ, thinking to prevent him from mingling again with the ruffians and cutthroats of the Palais Royal and faubourgs. Such was the fellow's devotion to Calvert that he abandoned his revolutionary and bloody comrades and took service joyfully with the young man, delighted to be near and of use to him.

The journey into Touraine was a very short and a very pleasant one to Mr. Jefferson and Calvert. The diligence left Paris by the Ivry gate, stopping for the night at Orleans. The next morning at dawn they were again upon their way and bowling swiftly along the great highway that led down into the valley of the Loire, past Amboise and Blois and Vouvray to the old town of Tours, lying snugly between the Loire and the Cher. They came into the rue Royale just as the sun was flinging a splendor over everything—on the gray cathedral spires and the square tower of Charlemagne and the gloomy Tour de Guise, and as they crossed the great stone bridge to the old quarter of St. Symphorien, the Loire flowed away beneath them like some fabled stream of molten gold.

The diligence put them down at La Boule d'Or, a clean and well-kept inn, overlooking the river and from the windows of which could be seen the white facade of the Hotel de Ville and the numberless towers rising here and there above the old town. After a night of refreshing sleep to Mr. Jefferson, but one full of misgivings and broken dreams to Calvert, the two gentlemen set forth in the morning on horseback, followed shortly after by Bertrand with light baggage, for Mr. Jefferson's affairs would not permit him to remain more than twenty-four hours at Azay-le-Roi. They rode slowly, at first, through the early sweetness of that September morning, scarcely disturbing the fine, white dust upon the broad road. The level land stretched away before them like some tranquil, inland sea, and against the horizon tall, stately poplars showed like the slender masts of ships against the blue of sky and ocean.

“It is as though a whole world separated this peaceful valley from the agitation and uproar of Paris,” said Mr. Jefferson to Calvert.

“Yet even here revolt has already left its mark,” returned Calvert, pointing to the half-burnt ruins of a chateau just visible through an avenue of trees to the left.

In the early afternoon they came to Azay, and, passing quickly through the little village and out into the country again, they were soon at the entrance of the great park surrounding Azay-le-Roi. Calvert never forgot the look of the great avenue of rustling poplars and the exquisite grace of the chateau as he and Mr. Jefferson rode up to it on that September afternoon. A sunny stillness brooded over it; long shadows from the pointed turrets lay upon the fine white sand of the driveway and dipped along the gray walls of the chateau, which the hand of man had fretted with lace-like sculpture. In an angle of the courtyard two idle lackeys in scarlet liveries and powdered hair played with a little terrier. As Mr. Jefferson and Calvert approached, they ran forward, one taking the horses and the other opening the great entrance door for the two gentlemen and ushering them into the salon where a large company was amusing itself with cards, books, and music. The old Duchess and d'Azay, who was down from Versailles for a few days, could not welcome the gentlemen warmly enough, and even Adrienne seemed so pleased to see them again that, for the first time since beginning the journey, Calvert felt some of his misgivings quieted and dared to hope that his embassy might not be unsuccessful. He would have spoken to her that very evening, she was so gracious to him, but that the numerous company prevented any conversation alone. Not only did guests arrive for dinner, but there were several families from the neighboring chateaux staying at Azay-le-Roi, frightened thither by rumors of outbreaks among the peasantry and the approach of brigands.

“They cannot frighten me from Azay-le-Roi,” says the Duchess, stoutly, to Mr. Jefferson. “If they burn my house, 'twill be over my head, and as for the brigands, I believe in them no more than in the alleged plot of the Queen to blow up the Assembly.”

The talk was all of the tumults in Paris, the hasty decrees of the Assembly, and the agitation spreading over the provinces, and the evening would have passed gloomily enough had it not been for the intrepid old Duchess, who scouted all vague alarms, and for Adrienne, who turned them into ridicule, and who had never appeared to Calvert more sparkling and charming. It was not until the next morning that he could get a word with her alone. He found her walking slowly up and down an allee of elms, through the leaves of which the bright September sunshine sifted down. She nodded coolly to the young man who joined her. All her animation and gracious air of the evening before had disappeared, and Calvert could have cursed himself that he had come upon her in this capricious mood. But he would not put off saying what he had come so far to say, for all her changed manner, and, moreover, there would be no better time, for they were to set out for Tours again by noon.

“Madame,” he said, after an instant's silence, during which they had paced slowly up and down together, “as you know, this is no farewell visit I have come to pay, since I do not leave France with Mr. Jefferson. I have come because I dared to love you,” he went on, bluntly, and meeting the look of surprise, which Adrienne shot at him, squarely and steadily. They both stopped in their walk and regarded each other, the young girl blushing slightly as she looked at Calvert's pale face and met his steady gaze.

“I can make you no fine phrases. Indeed, I know no words either in your tongue or mine that can express the love I feel for you,” he said, a little sadly.

“'Tis the first time I have ever known Mr. Calvert to be at a loss for French phrases,” returned Adrienne, recovering from her momentary confusion and smiling mockingly at the young man. “You should have taken a lesson from Monsieur de Beaufort or Monsieur de St. Aulaire.”

“No doubt they have had much experience which I have missed, and could teach me much. But I fear Beaufort could only teach me how to fail, and as for Monsieur de St. Aulaire, I have no time to go to England to find that gentleman in the retreat which he has so suddenly seen fit to seek.” Madame de St. Andre blushed and bit her lip. “'Tis the first time I have ever told a woman I loved her,” said Calvert, “and I would rather tell her in my own blunt fashion. If she loves me, she will know the things my heart tells her, but which my lips are too unskilled to translate.”

“Ah, we women are too wise to try to divine unspoken things; we scarce dare believe what we are told,” and the young girl laughed lightly.

“Yet I think you once paid me the compliment of saying that you believed me sincere,” said poor Calvert.

“'Tis true—there is something about you which compels belief—'tis your eyes, I think,” and then, throwing off the seriousness with which she had spoken, she added, jestingly: “But in truth, sir, it is too much to ask of me to believe that I am the first woman you have ever loved.”

“It is nevertheless true,” said Calvert, quietly.

“And you told me you could make no fine phrases!” cried the young girl, with a gesture of pretended disappointment, and glancing with eyes full of amusement at Calvert.

“I pray you to still that spirit of mockery and listen to me,” said the young man, turning to her with passion. As Adrienne looked at his white face and heard the sternness in his voice, the laughter faded from her eyes.

“I have never known the love of a mother or sister. It is true what I have told you, whether you believe it or not, that you are the first and only woman I have loved. And I think I have loved you ever since that night, years ago at Monticello, when d'Azay showed me your miniature. I have loved you when you were kind and unkind to me. I love you now, although I do not dare to hope that you love me in return. I can offer you nothing,” he went on, hurriedly, seeing that she would have stopped him. “I can offer you nothing but this love and a home over the sea. 'Tis a pretty place, though it would doubtless seem to you poor enough after the splendors of Versailles and Paris,” he says, smiling ruefully; “but we might be happy there. Is it impossible?”

As she looked into Calvert's serious eyes, lighted with a glow she had never seen in them, there swept over her that admiration for him which she had felt before. But she conquered it before it could conquer her.

“Impossible. Ah, you Americans want everything. You have triumphed over the English; do you wish to conquer France, too? I am not worth being taken prisoner, Monsieur,” she says, suddenly. “I am capricious and cold and ambitious. I have never been taught to value love above position. How can I change now? How could I leave this France, and its court and pleasures, for the wilds of a new country? No, no, Monsieur; I haven't any of the heroine in me.”

“'Tis not exactly to the wilds of a new country that I would take you, Madame,” and Calvert smiled palely, in spite of himself, “but to a very fertile and beautiful land, where some of the kindest people in the world live. But I do not deny that our life and pleasures are of the simplest—'twould, in truth, be a poor exchange for the Marquise de St. Andre.”

“It might be a happy enough lot for some woman; for me, I own it would be a sacrifice,” said Adrienne, imperiously.

“Believe me, no one realizes more clearly than I do the sacrifice I would ask you to make, with only the honest love of a plain American gentleman for compensation. There are no titles, no riches, no courtly pleasures in my Virginia; I can't even offer you a reputation, a little fame. But my life is before me, and I swear, if you will but give me some hope, I will yet bring you honors and some fortune to lay with my heart at your feet! There have been days when you were so gracious that I have been tempted to believe I might win your love,” says poor Calvert.

“If you mean I have knowingly encouraged this madness, Monsieur Calvert, believe me, you mistake and wrong me.”

“I do not reproach you,” returned Calvert, smiling sadly. “I can easily believe you did not mean to show me any kindness. This folly is all my own, and has become so much a part of me that I think I would not have done with it if I could. I would give you my life if it would do you any good. You need not smile so mockingly. It is no idle assertion, and it would be a poor gift, after all, as it is less than nothing since you will not share it. I used to wonder what this love was,” he goes on, as if to himself, “that seizes upon men and holds them fast and changes them so. I think I understand it now, and the beauty of it and the degradation, too. I love you so that, if by some stroke of fate I could be changed into a prince or a duke, like your Monsieur de Grammont or Monsieur de Noailles, and you would give me your love, as to some such exalted personage, I would be base enough to accept it, though I knew you would never give it to the untitled American.”

“Enough, Monsieur!” said Adrienne, rising in some agitation. “This conversation is painful to me and I know must be to you. Had I guessed what you had to say, I would have spared you.”

“No,” returned Calvert, grimly, a wave of crimson suddenly spreading over his pale face ('twas the only sign he gave of the anger and pain gnawing at his heart), “you would have had to listen. I came to Azay-le-Roi to tell you that I love you. Do you think I would have gone away without speaking?”

Adrienne regarded him in haughty amazement.

“At least you will do me the favor never to refer to this again?”

“You may rest assured, Madame, that I shall never annoy you again.” He spoke as haughtily as she, for he was bitterly hurt, and he was young enough to feel a fierce pride in the thought that he, too, would have done with this love which she had so lightly disdained.

He sank down upon the bench and covered his face with his hands. A sudden spasm of coquetry seized the young girl.

“Then, in case I should ever change my mind, as women have been known to do since time immemorial, Monsieur, I shall have to ask you to marry me!” she said, laughing lightly.

Calvert raised his head wearily. His face looked as though a dozen years had left their mark upon it since he entered the little allee of elms; there were fine lines of pain about the mouth and a curious, listless look in his usually serene eyes.

“After this morning I cannot believe that you will ever change your mind,” he said, rising as he spoke. “But be assured that whatever may happen I shall never forget your command and offend again. And now, as I shall not see you again before we leave, I bid you farewell, Madame.” He pressed the hand which Adrienne held out to his pale lips, and then holding it for an instant in both of his, turned quickly and left the allee.

Madame de St. Andre looked after the clean-limbed, athletic young figure as it disappeared rapidly through the trees. And suddenly a keen regret for what she had done swept over her. Did she love him, then, that she should wish him back? She sank upon the bench with a beating heart. She would have called out to him, have brought him back to her side, but that her pride held her in check.

“What insolence!” she said, half-starting up. “And yet—and yet—'tis more to my liking than fine phrases! And it was true—what he said—had he been Monsieur le Duc de Montmorency or Monsieur de Villeroi—! At least I shall see him again—he will come back—they always do.” But though she smiled, a curious foreboding and a sort of fear seized upon her.

At the chateau Calvert found Mr. Jefferson making his adieux to Madame d'Azay and her guests. The horses had been ordered, and in a few minutes the gentlemen were ready to start. D'Azay walked with Calvert to where Bertrand stood holding them.

“'Tis an infernal shame, Ned,” he said, in a low tone, wringing the young man's hand. “I guessed thy mission down here and thy face tells me how it has gone. As for myself, I would have wished for nothing better. Perhaps she may change her mind—all women do,” he added, hopefully. But Calvert only shook his head.

“She is for some greater and luckier man than I,” he said, quietly, taking the reins from Bertrand, and waving an adieu to the young lord as he rode down the avenue.

As d'Azay slowly made his way back to the chateau, Bertrand stood for a moment looking after him before mounting to follow Mr. Jefferson and Calvert.

“And so,” he said, half-aloud, “that was Monsieur's reason for coming to Azay-le-Roi! And she won't have him! All women are fools, and these great ladies seem to be the biggest fools of all. She will not find his equal among the white-livered aristocrats who swarm around her. I wish I could revenge Monsieur for this,” he said, savagely, and jumping on his horse he rode after the two gentlemen.

The journey back to Tours was made more quickly than coming, and Mr. Jefferson was so full of his visit to Azay-le-Roi as not to notice Calvert's preoccupation and silence. They rode into the town in the late afternoon and made their way to the Boule d'Or, where Calvert, who had a sudden longing to be alone, left Mr. Jefferson writing letters, and strolled back into the old town.

Almost before he was aware of it he found himself in the little square before the great Cathedral. With a sudden impulse he entered and leaned against one of the fretted columns. A chorister was practising softly in the transept overhead. 'Twas the benedictus from one of Mozart's masses.

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini,” he sang over and over again. Calvert could not see the singer, but the young voice floated downward, reminding him of his own boyish voice. He closed his eyes and bowed his head against the cold stone. When he could stand it no longer, he went softly down the echoing aisle of the church, out through the great doors, into the yellow sunshine of the deserted little street. There were some linden-trees planted in a hollow square before the parvis of the Cathedral, and stone benches set beneath them. Upon one of these he sank down, as if physically weary. Perhaps he was—at any rate, a sudden, sick disgust for everything, for the melancholy afternoon sunshine and the yellowing grass and blighted flowers, took possession of him. The wind, rising, made a dreary sound among the stiffening leaves. One fluttered downward and lay upon the bench beside him. He noted with surprise the sudden chill, the first touch of coming winter. But that morning it had seemed like spring to him.

He looked up at the great front of the Cathedral, unchanging through so many changing years, and, as he looked, he thought how small and ephemeral a thing he was and his love and grief. The two great spires towering upward seemed to his sick fancy like two uplifted hands drawing benediction down on the weary, grief-stricken world, and before their awful patience and supplication something of his own impatience and bitterness passed from him and, comforted, he left the spot and made his way along the deserted quay and so back to the little inn where Mr. Jefferson awaited him.

CHAPTER XV. CHRISTMAS EVE

Had it not been for Mr. Morris's sudden return from London, Calvert would have felt alone, indeed, in Paris. Having received certain intelligence concerning the plan for the purchase of the American debt to France, Mr. Morris set off hastily for France and arrived there several days before Mr. Jefferson's departure for Havre. This absence, as all thought, was to be but temporary, but, when Mr. Jefferson left Paris on that morning of the 26th of September, it was never to return. He left his affairs in the hands of Calvert and Mr. Short, and, as for the former, he was only too happy to plunge into work and so forget, if possible, his own unhappiness. Mr. Morris easily divined it, however, and its cause, and tried, in his cynical, kindly fashion, to divert the young man. He made it a point to see Calvert frequently, and, indeed, it was not only out of kindness of heart that he did so, but because he had the greatest liking for the young gentleman and enjoyed his society above that of most of his acquaintances. It was easy enough for the two to see much of each other, for although the approach of winter brought a slight return of gayety, Paris was dreary and deserted enough. That first wave of fear which had seized upon the nobles had swept many of them out of France to Turin, to Frankfort, to Metz, to Coblentz, and to London. Many of those salons which Mr. Morris and Calvert had frequented were already closed, hostesses and guests alike in exile and poverty. Alarm succeeded alarm in Paris until, with the ill-starred feast to the Regiment of Flanders and the march on Versailles, alarm rose to panic. The incredible folly and stupidity which precipitated these events aroused Mr. Morris's contempt and indignation to the utmost pitch.

“What malignant devil is it, Ned,” he fairly groaned, as he and Calvert sat over their wine one evening after dinner at the Legation, “that urges their unfortunate Majesties on to their destruction? What could have been more ill-advised, nay, more fatal in these starvation times, than the banquet to the Flanders Regiment? And the presence at it of their Majesties! Oh, Luxembourg must have been stricken mad to have urged them to go thither! And once there, who or what could have prevented that tipsy royalist enthusiasm, the wild burst of sympathy, the trampling of the tri-color cockade? They say the Queen moved among the half-crazed soldiers shining and beautiful as a star, boy. I had the whole scene from Maupas, a cousin of Madame de Flahaut, who is in the Body Guard. What wonder that Paris raged to remove the suborned Regiment of Flanders! And, if only the King had remained firm and kept it at Versailles, this other horror of the 5th and 6th of October would never have happened. But what can you expect from such a monarch? As I wrote President Washington this afternoon, 'If the reigning prince were not the small-beer character he is, there can be but little doubt that, watching events and making a tolerable use of them, he would regain his authority; but what will you have from a creature who, situated as he is, eats and drinks, sleeps well and laughs, and is as merry a grig as lives? There is, besides, no possibility of serving him, for, at the slightest show of opposition, he gives up everything and every person.' And yet I would like to attempt it, if only to thwart those rampant, feather-brained philosophers who are hurrying France to her doom.”

“It is Lafayette I would like to serve,” said Calvert, moodily. “D'Azay and I were with him at the Hotel de Ville for the greater part of the day of the 5th of October. He was no longer master of himself or of those he commanded, and I could scarce believe that this harried, brow-beaten, menaced leader of the Milice was the alert and intrepid soldier I had served under before Yorktown.”

“Ah, Ned, there is a man whom this revolution has spoiled and will spoil even more! Another lost reputation, I fear. Truly a dreadful situation to find one's self in. Marched by compulsion, guarded by his own troops, who suspect and threaten him! Obliged to do what he abhors, or suffer an ignominious death, with the certainty that the sacrifice of his own life will not prevent the mischief! And he has but himself to thank—the dreadful events of the 5th and 6th of October were, as far as concerned Lafayette, but the natural consequences of his former policy. Did I not warn him long ago of the madness of trimming between the court and popular party, of the danger of a vast, undisciplined body of troops?”

He got up and stumped about the room, irritation and pity expressed in every feature of his countenance, not wholly unmixed, it must be confessed (or so it seemed to Calvert, who could not help being a little amused thereat), with a certain satisfaction at his perspicacity. Suddenly he burst out laughing.

“After all, there is a humorous side to the Marquis's tardy march to Versailles with his rabble of soldiers. As the old Duchesse d'Azay said the other evening to the Bishop of Autun and myself, 'Lafayette et sa Garde Nationale ressemblent a l'arc-en-ciel et n'arrivent qu'apres l'orage!'—I will be willing to bet you a dinner at the Cafe de l'Ecole that the Bishop repeats it within a week as his own bon mot!”

But Mr. Morris had graver charges against the Bishop than the confiscation of a witty saying. Over Talleyrand's motion for the public sale of church property he lost all patience, and did not hesitate to point out to him one evening, when they supped together at Madame de Flahaut's, the serious objections to be urged against such a step. 'Twas but one, however, of the many signs of the times which both irritated and pained him, for he was genuinely and ardently interested in the fate of France, and looked on with alarm and sadness at the events taking place. His own plan for a supply of flour from America and the negotiations for the purchase to France of the American debt, which he was endeavoring to conclude with Necker, were alternately renewed and broken off in a most exasperating fashion, owing to that minister's short-sighted policy and niggardliness. Indeed, France's finances were in a hopelessly deplorable state, and Mr. Morris looked on in dismay at the various futile plans suggested as remedies—at the proposal to make the bankrupt Caisse d'Escompte a national bank, at the foolish Caisse Patriotique, and at the issue of assignats.

“If they only had a financier of the calibre of Hamilton,” said Mr. Morris to Calvert; “but they haven't a man to compare with that young genius. Necker is only a sublimated bank-clerk. Indeed, I think you or I could conduct the finances of this unhappy country better than they are at present conducted,” he added, laughing. “I have great hopes of you as a financier, Ned, since that affair of the Holland loans, and as for myself, Luxembourg has urged me seriously to enter the ministry. 'Tis a curious proposition, but these visionary philosophers, who are trying to pilot the ship of state into a safe harbor, know nothing of their business, and will fetch up on some hidden reef pretty soon, if I mistake not. The Assembly is already held in utter contempt—their sittings are tumultuous farces—the thing they call a constitution is utterly good for nothing. And there is Lafayette, with an ambition far beyond his talents, aspiring not only to the command of all the forces, but to a leadership in the Assembly—a kind of Generalissimo-Dictatorship. 'Tis almost inconceivable folly, and, to cap all, that scoundrel Mirabeau has the deputies under his thumb. Can a country be more utterly prostrated than France is at this moment?”

“To get Lafayette and Mirabeau together is her only chance of safety, I think,” said Calvert, in reply. “The leader of the people and the leader of the Assembly, working together, might do much.”

“Impossible,” objected Mr. Morris, decidedly, “and I do not blame Lafayette for refusing to ally himself with so profligate a creature as Mirabeau, great and undeniable as are his talents. Why, boy, all Paris knows that while he leads the Assembly, he is in the pay of the King and Queen.”

“And yet I heard you yourself declare,” returned Calvert, with a smile, “that men do not go into the administration as the direct road to Heaven. I think it were well for this country to avail itself of the great abilities of Mirabeau and make it to his interest to be true to it.” And in the long argument which ensued over the advisability of taking Monsieur de Mirabeau into the administration, Calvert had all the best of it, and judged Mirabeau's talents and usefulness more accurately than Mr. Morris, keen and practical as that gentleman usually was.

Toward the middle of November word came to the American Legation at Paris, by the British packet, of the appointment of Mr. Jefferson to the Secretaryship of Foreign Affairs under President Washington, and the commission of Mr. Short as charge d'affaires at Paris until a new minister could be appointed. This news was confirmed six weeks later by a letter from Mr. Jefferson himself to Calvert and Mr. Morris:

       * * * * *

It had been my ardent wish to return to France and see the ending of the revolution now convulsing that unhappy country, but the sense of duty which sent me thither when I had no wish to leave America now constrains me to remain here. Hamilton has been made Secretary of the Treasury, and he is anxious to have you return, that he may associate you with him in some way. But I have told him that, greatly as I should like to see you and to see you busy in your own country, it was my opinion that you had better stay abroad for a year or two longer and study the governments of the different European powers before returning to the United States. You can learn much in that time, and your usefulness and advancement in your own country will be proportionately greater. At any rate, I will beg of you to stay in Paris until you can arrange some of my private affairs, left at loose ends. I enclose a list of the most important, with instructions. Mr. Short will attend to the official ones for the present. His commission was the first one signed by President Washington. Pray present my kindest regards to Mr. Morris, and, with the hope of hearing from you both soon and frequently,

Your friend and servant,

THOMAS JEFFERSON.

       * * * * *

This letter reached Mr. Calvert on the day before Christmas, and added not a little to the gloom of an anniversary already sufficiently depressing, passed so far from friends and home and amid such untoward surroundings. He and Mr. Short were in Mr. Jefferson's little octagonal library, still discussing the letter, among others received by the same packet, when Mr. Morris came in, the three gentlemen intending to have a bachelor dinner at the Legation.

“I see you have the news about Mr. Jefferson,” he said, looking at Mr. Calvert and Mr. Short. “I have a letter from him myself and a long one from President Washington, which I have permission to communicate to you two, but which must go no further for the present,” and he handed it to Mr. Calvert. “As you see, 'tis my orders to proceed to England as accredited agent to the British Government, with the object of settling the treaty disputes and of establishing, if possible, a commercial alliance with Great Britain. The President has written me at length on the subject, and I shall start for London as soon as possible—within a month, I hope.”

“'Tis a great compliment,” said Mr. Short, a little enviously.

“And a very delicate mission,” added Calvert. And so it was, and an ungrateful one, too. Several of the stipulations of the Peace of Paris, though ratified several years previously, were still unfulfilled. The British had failed to surrender the frontier posts included in the territory of the United States, and the United States, on her side, had failed to pay the debts due to British merchants before the war. Now, although America, at Washington's instigation, was eager to fulfil her part of the treaty, England still held off, and 'twas to learn her ultimate intentions, and persuade her, if possible, to carry out her share of the conditions, that the President had named Mr. Gouverneur Morris as private agent to the British Government. He was furthermore to discover whether England would send a minister to the infant union and also what her dispositions were in regard to making a commercial treaty.

This mission was discussed at length during dinner and until late into the evening, when Mr. Short, pleading a supper engagement with the Duchesse d'Orleans, went away, leaving Mr. Morris and Calvert together.

“And now, Ned,” said the older man, as they sat comfortably before the fire after Mr. Short's departure, “your duties here will detain you no longer than mine, so why cannot we take that journey to England together? You remember you would not go the last time I asked you.”

“There is nothing to keep me now,” returned Calvert, quietly, “and—and in truth I shall be glad enough to get away,” he said, rising, and moving restlessly about the room. And, indeed, he was anxious to get away and conquer, if possible, in some unfamiliar scene, the disappointment which was consuming him.

“I saw her a few days ago at Madame de Montmorin's,” said Mr. Morris, in a kindly tone. “She was looking very beautiful and asked about you—do you know, boy, I think she would be glad to see you again? Haven't you been to the rue St. Honore all this while?”

“No,” replied Calvert, “and I shall not go.”

“The hardness of youth! My young philosopher, when you are older you will be glad to make compromises with Happiness and go to meet her half way. I think you can be a little cruel in your sure young strength, Ned, and a woman's heart is easily hurt,” said Mr. Morris, with a sudden, unaccustomed seriousness.

“I am not much of a philosopher. I tried my fortune and failed, and I thought I could bear it, but it is unendurable. Perhaps I shall find it more tolerable away from her,” said Calvert, gloomily.

“Then if you won't tempt your fortune further, come to London with me, Ned. I promise you diversion and excitement. There are other interesting things to study besides the 'governments of different European powers,'“ and Mr. Morris laughed and tapped Mr. Jefferson's letter, which he held in his hand. “I am not averse to going away myself. Ugh! Paris has become insufferable these days, with its riots and murders and houses marked for destruction. 'Tis the irony of fate that this breeding-spot of every kind and degree of vice known under high Heaven should come forward in the sacred cause of liberty! Besides all of which, Madame de Flahaut has found a new admirer. She swore eternal affection for me, but nothing here below can last forever,” he went on, in his old cynical fashion. “I embarrass her manoeuvres, and 'twere well I were away and leave a fair field for my rival.” As he spoke, the clock on the mantel chimed the hour of half after eleven.

“'Tis Christmas eve, Ned,” he said, getting up. “Perhaps we sha'n't be in Paris for another, and so I propose we go and hear mass at Notre Dame. 'Tis a most Christian and edifying ceremony, I believe. Garat is to sing the Te Deum, so Madame de Flauhaut tells me.”

The two gentlemen decided to walk, the night being clear and frosty, and so, dismissing Mr. Morris's carriage, they sauntered leisurely down to the Place Louis XV. and so by the way of the Quai de Bourbon and the Quai de l'Ecole over the Pont Neuf to the great parvis of Notre Dame. Arrived at the Cathedral, the Suisse, in scarlet velvet and gold lace, gave them places over against the choir, where they could hear and see all that passed. Though 'twas midnight, the great church was filled with a throng of worshippers, who knelt and rose and knelt again as mass proceeded. From the altar rose clouds of incense from censers swung by acolytes; now and then could be heard the tinkle of a silver bell at the Elevation of the Host and the voice of the priest, monotonous and indistinct, in that vast edifice. Lights twinkled, the air grew heavy with incense, and great bursts of music rolled from the organ-loft. 'Twas a magnificent ceremonial, and Mr. Morris and Calvert came away thrilled and awed. They made their way out by the old rue St. Louis and the Quai des Orfevres, and, keeping still to the left bank of the Seine, did not cross until they came to the Pont Royal. From the bridge they could see far down the river and the lights of Paris on both sides of the water. A feathery sprinkling of snow, which had fallen in the afternoon, lay over everything; but the rack of clouds which had brought it had blown away, and the night was frosty and starlit. A tremulous excitement and unrest seemed to be in the keen air.

“Tis a doomed city, I think, and we are better away,” said Mr. Morris, leaning on the stone parapet of the bridge and looking far out over the river and at the silent ranks of houses lining its shore. A great bell from some tower on the left boomed out two strokes. “Two o'clock! 'Tis Christmas morning, and we had best be getting back, Ned.” Together they walked under the keen, frosty stars as far as the rue St. Honore, and then, with best Christmas wishes, they parted, Mr. Morris going to the rue Richelieu, and Calvert back to the Legation.

CHAPTER XVI. MR. CALVERT TRIES TO FORGET

It was with the gloomiest forebodings and the doubt whether he should ever see them under happier circumstances, or, indeed, at all, that Mr. Calvert bade farewell to a few friends on the eve of his departure for England. Although he had the greatest power of making devoted friends, yet he was intimate with but very few persons, and so, while Mr. Morris was making a score of farewell visits and engaging to fill a dozen commissions for the Parisian ladies in London, Calvert was saying good-by very quietly to but three or four friends. D'Azay he saw at the Club, and it was not without great anxiety that he parted from him. Calvert had noticed his friend's extreme republicanism and his alliance with Lafayette with grave apprehension, and it was with the keenest uncertainty as to the future that he said good-by to the young nobleman. He was spared the embarrassment of bidding Madame de St. Andre farewell, for, when he called at the hotel in the rue St. Honore to pay his respects to Madame d'Azay, as he felt in duty bound to do, he was told by the lackey that both ladies were out.

Mr. Morris, having obtained information that the banking house in Amsterdam, upon which he was relying for backing in the purchase of the American debt, had opened a loan on account of Congress and had withdrawn from their engagements with him, determined to proceed to England by way of Holland, that he might have personal interviews with the directors relative to the affair. Accordingly, he and Mr. Calvert set out for Amsterdam on the morning of the 17th of February, travelling in a large berline and taking but one servant—Mr. Morris's—with them. 'Twas with much reluctance that Calvert had left Bertrand behind, for the fellow was as devotedly attached to him as a slave, and was never so happy as when doing some service for the young man.

“I am afraid he will go back to his wild companions and become the enrage that he was,” said Calvert to Mr. Morris, “and I have given him much good advice, which I dare say he will not follow, however. But my plans are so uncertain that there is no knowing when he would see France again.”

They travelled by way of Flanders, stopping a day and night in Brussels, and thence to Malines and Antwerp, where they saw the famous “Descent from the Cross,” which Mr. Calvert thought the greatest and most terrible painting he had ever seen. At Amsterdam they were received into the highest society of the place, and were most hospitably entertained; but the state of the whole country was so unsettled that Mr. Morris deemed it most prudent not to press the financial engagements which he had expected to make, and, accordingly, they set out for England.

Journeying by way of The Hague and Rotterdam, they set sail in the Holland packet and were landed at Harwich on the 27th of March. They proceeded at once to London, arriving late in the afternoon, and took rooms and lodgings at Froome's Hotel, Covent Garden. There they were waited on, in the course of the evening, by General Morris, Mr. Gouverneur Morris's brother. This gentleman, who had remained a royalist and removed to England, was a general in the British army, and had married the Duchess of Gordon. He was eager to make the travellers from Paris welcome to London, and could scarcely wait for the morrow to begin his kind offices. As Mr. Morris had hoped and, indeed, expected, he took an instant liking to Mr. Calvert, and professed himself anxious that that young gentleman's stay in London should prove agreeable. This kind wish was echoed by his wife, who was as greatly prepossessed in Calvert's favor when he was presented to her the following day as General Morris had been, and, as they moved in the highest circles of society, it was easy enough to introduce the young American to the gayest social life of the capital. With the acquaintances thus made and the large circle of friends which Mr. Morris had formed on his previous visit to London, Calvert soon found himself on pleasant terms.

Perhaps the house they both most liked to frequent was that of Mr. John B. Church. Mr. Morris had known the gentleman when he was Commissary-General under Lafayette in America and before he had married his American wife. Mr. Church's American proclivities made him unpopular with the Tory party on his return to England, but he numbered among his friends the Whig leaders and many of the most eminent men and women of the day. 'Twas at a ball given by Mrs. Church a few days after his arrival in London that Mr. Calvert saw, for the first time, some of the greatest personages in the kingdom—the Prince of Wales, and Mrs. Fitzherbert, the beautiful Mrs. Damer and the Duc d'Orleans, who had but lately come over, sent out of France by the King under pretext of an embassy to the English monarch. Calvert had not seen his hateful face since the opening of the States-General, and 'twas with a kind of horror that he now looked at this royal renegade. Pitt was there, too, but, although Mr. Calvert saw him, he did not meet him until on a subsequent occasion. He marvelled, as did everyone who saw Pitt at this time, at the youth (he was but thirty-one) and the dignity of the Prime Minister of George III. Indeed, he moved among the company with a kind of cold splendor that sat strangely on so young a man, smacking of affectation somewhat, and which rather repelled than invited Calvert's admiration. This first impression Mr. Calvert had little reason to alter when, some weeks later, in company with Mr. Morris, he was presented to Mr. Pitt by the Duke of Leeds, and had the occasion of seeing and conversing with him at some length.

This interview was the second one which Mr. Morris had had with his Grace of Leeds, and was scarcely more satisfactory than the first had been. But a few days after his arrival in London he had requested an interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and presented to him his letter from President Washington. A few minutes' conversation with the incapable, indolent diplomat convinced Mr. Morris that little, if anything, would be done toward settling the treaty difficulties, in spite of his Grace's extreme courtesy of manner and vague assurance of immediate attention to the facts presented to him. It was therefore with no surprise, but a good deal of irritation, that Mr. Morris saw the weeks slip by with but one evasive answer to his demands being sent him. Being importuned to appeal to the British Government on another score—the impressment of American seamen into the English navy—he determined again to urge upon the Minister of Foreign Affairs a settlement of the treaty stipulations at the same time that he presented the new subject of grievance. To Mr. Morris's request for another interview, the Duke of Leeds readily assented.

“He has set to-morrow as the day, Ned,” said Mr. Morris, consulting his Grace's letter, which he held in his hand, “and says that 'he and Mr. Pitt will be glad to discuss informally with me any matters I wish to bring to their attention.' As it is to be so 'informal,' and as Leeds is to have the advantage of a friend at the interview, I think I will ask you to accompany me. I can't for the life of me get him to commit himself in writing, so 'tis as well to have a witness to our conversations,” he said, smiling a little cynically.

Accordingly, at one o'clock the following day, Mr. Morris and Calvert drove to Whitehall, where they found the Prime Minister and the Duke of Leeds awaiting them. The Duke presented Calvert to Mr. Pitt, who seemed glad to see the young American, and not at all disconcerted by the addition to their numbers. Indeed, the interview was as easy and familiar as possible, the gentlemen sitting about a table whereon were glasses and a decanter of port, of which Mr. Pitt drank liberally.

“'Tis the only medicine Dr. Addington, my father's physician, ever prescribed for me,” he said, with a smile, to Mr. Morris and Calvert. “I beg of you to try this—'tis some just sent me from Oporto, and, I think, particularly good. But we are here to discuss more important affairs than port wine, however excellent,” he added, with another smile.

“Yes,” said Mr. Morris, courteously but firmly, “I have requested this interview that I might place before you the complaint of the United States that your press-gangs enter our American ships and impress our seamen under the pretence that they are British subjects. It has long been a sore subject with America, and calls for a speedy remedy, sir.”

“Such conduct meets with no more approval from us than from you, Mr. Morris,” said the Duke of Leeds, evasively; “but a remedy will be hard to find because of the difficulties of distinguishing between a seaman of two countries so closely related.”

“Closely related we are, sir, but I believe this is the only instance in which we are not treated as aliens,” returned Mr. Morris, with a dry irony that caused the Duke to flush and move uneasily in his chair.

“You speak of a speedy remedy, Mr. Morris,” said Mr. Pitt, hastily, taking up the conversation. “Have you any suggestions as to what remedy might be employed?”

“I would suggest certificates of citizenship from the Admiralty Court of America to our seamen,” replied Mr. Morris, promptly. Both Mr. Pitt and the Duke of Leeds looked somewhat surprised at this bold and concise answer.

“'Tis a good idea,” said Mr. Pitt, after an instant's hesitation, “and worthy of mature consideration.”

“And now, gentlemen, I would like to again place before you these stipulations in the treaty existing between America and England which are as yet unfulfilled, and would urge you to engage that they will no longer be neglected,” said Mr. Morris, content to have made his point in regard to the impressment of seamen.

“Suppose you enumerate them in the order of their importance from your point of view and let us discuss the situation,” said Mr. Pitt, and he settled himself in his chair and listened with undivided attention to Mr. Morris, parrying with great animation that gentleman's thrusts (which were made again and again with the utmost shrewdness and coolness), and avoiding, whenever possible, a positive promise or a direct answer to his demands.

In this conversation Mr. Calvert joined but once—when appealed to by Mr. Pitt on the subject of the frontier posts.

“Mr. Morris has a new variation on the old theme of 'Heads I win, tails you lose,'“ he said, turning jocularly to Calvert. “He insists that the frontier posts are worth nothing to us, and yet he insists they are most necessary to you.”

“England and America are so widely separated, sir,” replied Calvert, smiling, “that it would seem to be well to respect laws which Nature has set, and keep them so. Near neighbors are seldom good ones, and, to keep the peace between us, 'twere well to keep the distance, also.”

“We do not think it worth while to go to war about these posts,” said Mr. Morris, rising and bowing to Mr. Pitt and his Grace of Leeds, “but we know our rights and will avail ourselves of them when time and circumstance suit.”

“Another fruitless effort,” he said, when they had been ushered out and were in the carriage and driving along Whitehall. “I think there is little chance of making a new commercial treaty when they will not fulfil the peace treaty already in existence. I caught the drift of Mr. Pitt's suggestion about mutual accommodation—'twas but a snare to trip us up into repudiating the old treaty.”

“Yes,” said Calvert, laughing, “a Pittfall.”

“And you will see, Ned,” added Mr. Morris, joining in the laugh, “that nothing will be done—unless 'tis to appoint a minister to the United States. 'Tis my conviction that Mr. Pitt has determined, in spite of his suavity and apparent friendliness, to make no move in this matter—he hasn't that damned long, obstinate upper lip for nothing, boy. He is all for looking after home affairs and doesn't want to meddle with any foreign policy. I think he is not wise or great enough to look abroad and seize the opportunities that offer. As Charles Fox said—I met him the other evening at dinner at Mrs. Church's—'Pitt was a lucky man before he was a great one,' and I am inclined to agree with him. But I am convinced that they mean to hold the frontier posts and refuse all indemnity for the slaves taken away. And as for the commercial treaty—this country is too powerful just now to be willing to give us fair terms. We could make but a poor bargain with her now, one which we would probably soon regret, and so I shall write the President.”

Affairs eventuated exactly as Mr. Morris had predicted, and, although he conducted the embassy with the greatest possible address, shrewdness, and persistence, this failure was made much of in America, and used as an argument against his later appointment as minister to France.

One of the greatest pleasures of Mr. Calvert's stay in London was the unexpected presence there of Mr. Gilbert Stuart. The Queen, wishing to have a portrait of the King, and fearing lest another attack of that dreadful malady from which the poor gentleman had temporarily recovered, should assail him, had commanded Mr. Stuart's presence from Dublin, where he was by invitation of the Duke of Rutland. The royal commission having been executed, Mr. Stuart was passing a few weeks in London with his friend and former patron, Benjamin West, when he met Calvert at a dinner at the house of General and Mrs. Morris. He recognized the young man instantly and reverted to their former meeting at Monticello. “And I promised both myself and Mr. Jefferson to paint a portrait of you, sir,” he said, smiling. “I am to be in London for some weeks, and, if you are to be here, too, what time could be more propitious than the present?”

Calvert's assurance that he was in town indefinitely delighted Mr. Stuart.

“Then I must have that sketch of you I have so long promised myself, and we will send a replica to Mr. Jefferson. From the affectionate manner in which he spoke of you, I think I could send him no more acceptable present, Mr. Calvert,” he said, speaking with great animation. “I shall beg a corner of Mr. West's studio, and we must begin our sittings at once.”

Indeed, he sent for Calvert the very next day, and for several weeks thereafter the young man was thrown much with Stuart and many of the most interesting and famous men of the time, who delighted to foregather in Mr. West's studio. The portrait which Mr. Stuart made of Calvert at this time he always reckoned one of his masterpieces, as, indeed, all who ever saw it declared it to be. Never did the artist execute anything simpler or purer in outline, never were his wonderful flesh tints better laid on, nor the expression of a noble countenance more perfectly caught than in this sketch, a copy of which he was good enough to make and send to Mr. Jefferson, as he had promised. 'Twas at one of the sittings to Mr. Stuart that Calvert made the acquaintance of Mr. Burke. He came in with Sir Joshua Reynolds—the two gentlemen were the greatest friends—and, on discovering that the young gentleman was an American and had been attached to the Legation in Paris, he immediately entered into an animated conversation with him.

“You ought to be able to give us some interesting information about the present state of affairs in France, Mr. Calvert,” said Burke to the young man. “By the way, I have thrown together some reflections on the revolution which I would be glad to have you see. They are elaborated from notes made a year ago and are still in manuscript. I live near here in Gerrard Street, Soho, and I would be happy to welcome you and Mr. Stuart to my home, and to have you give me your opinion on certain points.”

Mr. Stuart saying that the sitting was over, suggested that they should go at once, so the three gentlemen accompanied Mr. Burke to Gerrard Street and were hospitably ushered into his library. He brought out the manuscript of which he had spoken so lightly (and which was, indeed, voluminous enough for a book) and, turning over the pages rapidly, read here and there extracts from that remarkable treatise which he thought might most interest his audience.

“It has been nearly a score of years since I was in France,” he says to Mr. Calvert, laying down the manuscript, “but the interest which that country aroused in me then has never flagged, and ever since my return I have endeavored to keep myself informed of the progress of events there. While in Paris I was presented to their Majesties and many of the most notable men and women of the day. I remember the Queen well—surely there never was a princess so beautiful and so entrancing. She shone brilliant as the morning star, full of splendor and joy. But stay—I have written what I thought of her here,” and so saying, he began to read that wonderful passage, that exquisite panegyric of the Dauphiness of France which was soon to be so justly famous. There was a murmur of applause from the gentlemen when he laid the manuscript down.

“'Tis a beautiful tribute. I wish Mr. Jefferson could hear it,” says Mr. Calvert, with a smile. “He is not an admirer of the Queen, like yourself, Mr. Burke, and thinks she should be shut up in a convent and the King left free to follow his ministers, but I think your eloquence would win him over, if anything could.”

A couple of days afterward, at a dinner at the French Ambassador's, Monsieur de la Luzerne, Mr. Calvert repeated this famous panegyric of the Queen, as nearly as he could remember it. 'Twas received with the wildest enthusiasm and Mr. Burke's health drunk by the loyal refugees who were always to be found at Monsieur de la Luzerne's table and in his drawing-rooms. An immense amount of “refugee” was talked there, and the latest news from Paris discussed and rediscussed by the homesick and descouvre emigrants. Mr. Morris and Calvert were frequent visitors there, liking to hear of their friends in Paris and the events taking place in France.

In spite of all the distractions and pleasures of town life which Mr. Calvert engaged in, he still felt those secret pangs of bitter disappointment and the fever of unsatisfied desire, but he was both too unselfish and too proud to show what he suffered. There are some of us who keep our dark thoughts and secret, hopeless longings in the background, as the maimed and diseased beggars are kept off the streets in Paris, and only let them come from their hiding-places at long intervals, like the beggars again, who crawl forth once or twice a year to solicit alms and pity. Although Mr. Morris knew Calvert so well, his impetuous nature could never quite comprehend the calm fortitude, the silent endurance of the younger man, and so, when he saw him apparently amused and distracted by the society to which he had been introduced, and by the thousand gayeties of town life, he left him in September and returned for a brief stay in Paris, happy in the belief that the young man was already half-cured of his passion.

He was back again in December with a budget of news from France. “The situation grows desperate,” he said to Calvert. “I told Montmorin and the Due de Liancourt that the constitution the Assemblee had proposed is such that the Almighty Himself could not make it succeed without creating a new species of man. The assignats have depreciated, just as I predicted, the army is in revolt, and the ministers threatened with la lanterne. 'Tis much the fashion in Paris, let me tell you. But murder, duelling, and pillage—they sacked the hotel of the Duc de Castries the other day because his son wounded Charles de Lameth in a duel—are every-day occurrences now. Lafayette is in a peck of trouble, and received me with the utmost coldness. He knows I cannot commend him, and therefore he feels embarrassed and impatient in my society. I am seriously pained for d'Azay, too. I met him at Montmorin's, and he confessed to me that he knew not how to steer his course. He is horrified at the insane measures of the Jacobins, he has cut himself loose from his own class, and is beginning to doubt Lafayette's wisdom and powers. He is in a hopeless situation. He told me that Montmorin had asked that Carmichael be appointed to the court of France, but that he and Beaufort and other of my friends had insisted on my appointment. 'Tis a matter of indifference to me. Whoever is appointed—Short, Carmichael, Madison, or myself—will have no sinecure in France. Unhappy country! The closet philosophers who are trying to rule it are absolutely bewildered, and I know not what will save the state unless it be a foreign war.”

“'Tis the general opinion here among the ministers that the Emperor is too cautious ever to engage in that war, however,” said Calvert.

“I see you have been affiliating with the peaceful Pitt and not carousing with Sheridan and Fox,” returned Mr. Morris, with a smile.

“I have been endeavoring to learn some of that useful information which Mr. Jefferson recommended,” said Calvert, smiling also. “Upon Mr. Pitt's recommendation I have been reading 'The Wealth of Nations' and studying the political history of Europe. Seriously, I hope my time has not been spent entirely without profit, although I have caroused, as you express it, to some extent. I have drunk more than was good for me, and I have gone to the play and tried to fancy myself in love with Mrs. Jordan, but, to tell the truth, I can't do any of these things with enthusiasm. I'm a quiet fellow, with nothing of the stage hero in me, and I can't go to the devil for a woman after the approved style.”

“Don't try it, boy! The pretty ones are not worth it and the good ones are not pretty,” said Mr. Morris, cynically. “I found Madame de Flahaut surrounded by half a dozen new admirers, in spite of which she tried to make me believe she had not forgotten me in my absence. I pretended to be convinced, of course, but I devoted myself to the Comtesse de Frize, and I think she liked me all the better for my defection. Come back to Paris with me and see what Madame de St. Andre would say to a like treatment,” he went on, laughing, but looking shrewdly at the young man.

“I am best away from Paris—although separation does not seem to help me.”

“Absence may extinguish a small passion, but I think it only broadens and deepens a great one,” said Mr. Morris. “I saw many of our friends—Madame de Chastellux and the Duchesse d'Orleans, Madame de Stael and Madame d'Azay—she is much broken, Ned; the emigration of so many of her friends, the tragic death of many, the disrupting of her whole social world, has begun to tell seriously on her health, though her spirit is still indomitable. She and Madame de St. Andre and d'Azay are living very quietly in the mansion in the rue St. Honore. In the evenings some of the friends who still remain come in for a dinner or to play quinze or lansquenet, but, in truth, 'tis difficult to get half a dozen people together. Madame de St. Andre is more beautiful than ever, with a new and softer beauty. The horror of the times hath touched her, too, I think, and rendered more serious that capricious nature. But who, indeed, could live in Paris and not be chastened by the awful scenes there enacting? I almost shudder to think of having to return so soon, but I shall only stay to see His Grace of Leeds once more relative to the treaty.”

This interview, having been twice postponed, and pressing affairs calling Mr. Morris to France, he finally left London in January with the promise of returning in the spring. This promise he fulfilled, getting back in May and bringing with him news of Mirabeau's death and splendid burial and of the widespread fear of a counter-revolution by the emigrant army under the Prince de Conde. He was warmly welcomed by Calvert, who, in spite of the many kind offices and attentions of the friends he had made, was beginning to weary of the English capital. In truth, he was possessed by a restlessness that would have sent him home had he not wished to respect Mr. Jefferson's advice and make a tour on the continent before returning. He hoped to persuade Mr. Morris to accompany him, and in this he was not disappointed. Accordingly, after a month in London, they set out for Rotterdam and, travelling leisurely through the Low Countries, made their way to Cologne. It was while waiting there for a boat to take them up the Rhine—both Mr. Morris and Calvert were anxious to make this water trip—that they heard the news, already two weeks old, of the flight of their Majesties and of Monsieur from France and of the recapture of the King and Queen at Varennes. Monsieur had escaped safely to Brussels and had made his way to Coblentz, where Mr. Morris and Calvert saw him later. He was installed in a castle, placed at his service by the Elector of Treves, which over-looked the great fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, and there he held his little court and made merry with the officers of the Prince de Conde's army and the throngs of emigres who came and went and did a vast deal of talking and even laughing over their misfortunes, but who never seemed to learn a lesson from them. Coblentz was full of these exiles from France, who treated the townsfolk with a mixture of condescension and rudeness which caused them to speedily become detested. There was one little cafe in particular, Les Trois Colonnes, which they frequented, and where they laughed and gambled and made witty speeches and tremendous threats against the men in France from whom they had run away. It was at this little inn that Mr. Calvert one day saw Monsieur de St. Aulaire for the first time in two years. He came into the gaming-room where Mr. Morris and Calvert were sitting at a side-table drinking a glass of cognac and talking with Monsieur de Puymaigre, one of the Prince de Conde's officers. As his glance met that of Mr. Calvert, he bowed constrainedly, and the red of his face deepened. He was more dissipated-looking, less debonair than he had seemed to Calvert in Madame d'Azay's salon. There was an uneasiness, too, in his manner that was reflected in the attitude toward him of the other gentlemen in the room. In fact, he was welcomed coldly enough, and in a few days he left the town. 'Twas rumored pretty freely that he was an emissary of Orleans and that Monsieur and the Prince de Conde were in a hurry to get rid of him. Mr. Calvert was of this belief, which was confirmed by St. Aulaire himself when Calvert met him unexpectedly during the winter in London.

This journey, so pleasantly begun and which was to have continued through the fall, was interrupted, shortly after the two gentlemen left Coblentz, by a pressing and disquieting letter which urged Mr. Morris's presence in Paris. He therefore left Calvert to continue the tour alone, which the young man did, travelling through Germany and stopping at many of the famous watering-places, and even going as far as the Austrian capital, where he met with a young Mr. Huger of the Carolinas. This young American, who was an ardent admirer of Lafayette and who was destined to attempt to serve him and suffer for him, accompanied Mr. Calvert as far as Lake Constance, where they parted, Mr. Calvert going on to Bale and up through the Austrian Netherlands. He passed through Maubeuge and Lille and Namur, and so was, fortunately, made familiar with places he was to see something of a little later in the service of his Majesty Louis XVI.

He was back in London by Christmas, and was joined there shortly after the New Year by Mr. Morris, who had gone over on private affairs entirely, but whose close connection with the court party in France laid open to the suspicion of being an agent of the aristocratic party.

“I heard the rumors myself,” said Mr. Morris. “Indeed, I was openly told of it before leaving Paris. But only a madman would interfere in French politics at this hour. The whole country is in a state of disorganization almost inconceivable. The King—poor creature—has been reinstated, after a fashion, since his flight, but with most unkingly limitations. All political parties are broken up—Lafayette and Bailly and the Lameths find themselves in an impossible position and have seceded from the Jacobins. For two years now they have been preaching the pure democracy of Rousseau, the rights of man, the sovereignty of the people. They have done everything to deprive the King of his power, they have hurled abuse at the throne, at the whole Old Order of things. And now, when they see to what chaos things are coming, when they wish to stop at moderation, at order, at a monarchy based on solid principles and supported by the solid middle class, they are suddenly made to realize how little their theories correspond with their real desires. Incapacity, misrule, is everywhere. Narbonne has been made War Minister! At this crisis, when the allied armies are gathering on the frontier, when war is imminent against two hundred and fifty thousand of the finest soldiers in Europe, a trifler like Narbonne is placed in power! But if others were no worse than he! 'Tis incredible the villains who have pushed themselves into the high places. Can you believe it, boy?—your servant, that scoundrel Bertrand, that soldier of the ranks, that waiter of the Cafe de l'Ecole, is a great man in Paris these days. He is listened to by thousands when he rants in the garden of the Palais Royal; he is hand in glove with Danton; he divides attention with Robespierre; he is a power in himself. Heaven knows how he has become so—but these creatures spring up like mushrooms in a night. I saw much of Danton and not a little of Bertrand, for I frequented the Cordelliers Club a good deal. 'Tis well to stand in with all parties, especially if there is even a remote chance of my being placed as minister at the French court. 'Tis so rumored in Paris, and the elections are now taking place in America,” so Mr. Short informs me. “I heard of St. Aulaire,” went on Mr. Morris. “Beaufort told me that he had got into Paris secretly on the Due d'Orleans's business, but that he had spent much of his time in the rue St. Honore, pressing his suit with Madame de St. Andre. She would have none of him, however, and seems to have conceived a sort of horror of him—as, indeed, well she might. He went away, raging, Beaufort said, and vowing some mysterious vengeance. He is believed to be in London, Ned, and I dare say we shall meet with him some day. D'Azay has been denounced in the Assembly and is in bad odor with all parties, apparently. I fear he is in imminent peril, and 'tis pitiful to see the anxiety of his sister and the old Duchess for him. I think she would not survive the shock should he be imprisoned. 'Twould be but another gap in the ranks of our friends.”

The appointment of American ministers to the different foreign courts was in progress, as Mr. Short had said, and, on January 12th, Mr. Morris, after a stormy debate in the Senate, was chosen Minister to France by a majority of only five votes out of sixteen. He was told of his appointment by Mr. Constable in February and, shortly after, received the official notice of it under the seal of the Secretary of State. Although Mr. Jefferson had differed radically from Mr. Morris in his opinion concerning the French Revolution, knowing him as he did, he could not but affirm both officially and personally so wise a choice.

The President's indorsement of Mr. Morris was even more hearty, and, indeed, 'twas hinted by Mr. Morris's enemies that Washington's open approval of him had alone saved him from defeat. But though the President was of the opinion that Mr. Morris was the best possible choice for the difficult post of Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to France, he was also entirely aware of those traits of character which, his opponents urged, rendered him unsuited for the place. His impetuosity, occasional haughtiness, and close connection with the aristocratic party, were disabilities undoubtedly, but the President was convinced that they were far more than counterbalanced by his force of character, mental keenness, and wide knowledge of French affairs, and so wrote Mr. Morris in one of the kindest letters that great man ever penned. This letter Mr. Morris received in the spirit in which it was written, and, being already involved in a secret affair, of which, as minister, he should not even have known, much less been engaged in, he determined to withdraw himself from it as speedily as possible and to conduct himself with such discretion that the President would have no occasion to regret his efforts in his behalf. He immediately set about making the necessary arrangements for his new establishment, writing to Paris to engage a hotel in the rue de la Planche, Faubourg St. Germain, for the new Legation, and forwarding to France as rapidly as possible the English horses and coach, the furniture and plate which he had purchased in London. He set out for Paris in early March, leaving Calvert again in London, though he pressed the young man urgently to accompany him back to the capital and accept the post of Secretary of the Legation under him.

CHAPTER XVII. MR. CALVERT MEETS AN OLD ENEMY

This kind, and even brilliant, offer of Mr. Morris's Calvert declined, reiterating smilingly to that gentleman that he felt himself a little better of that fever of love and disappointment which he had endured in silence for so long, and that he had no intention of suffering a relapse. Indeed, he might have got over it in time, and been as contented as many another man, but that he was suddenly recalled to all that he had tried so sedulously for two years to forget. This was brought about by a meeting with Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire a couple of weeks after Mr. Morris's departure for Paris. Although it was known that the French nobleman was in London, Mr. Calvert did not see him until one evening at the house of Monsieur de la Luzerne. A large company had gathered at the Ambassador's, where Monsieur de St. Aulaire presented himself toward the end of the evening. 'Twas so evident that he had been drinking deeply that Calvert would have avoided him, but that the tipsy nobleman, catching sight of him, made his way directly to him.

“At last, Monsieur,” he said, bowing low and laying his hand unsteadily on the small sword he wore at his side.

“Well,” replied Mr. Calvert, coldly, by no means pleased at the attention bestowed upon him so unexpectedly. Monsieur de St. Aulaire sober he found objectionable; Monsieur de St. Aulaire drunk was insufferable.

“'Well' is a cold welcome, Mr. Calvert,” he said, the insolent smile deepening on his lips.

“I am not here to welcome you, Monsieur,” returned Calvert, indifferently.

Monsieur de St. Aulaire waved his hand lightly as if flinging off the insult, but the flush on his dissipated face deepened. Calvert, seeing that he could not be got rid of immediately, drew him into a little anteroom where they were almost alone.

“And yet I wished profoundly that we might meet, Monsieur—more so, apparently, I regret to say, than you have. I have seen friends of ours in Paris since you have had that pleasure, Monsieur,” says St. Aulaire, throwing himself across a chair and resting his folded arms on the back.

“Indeed.”

“You are cold-blooded, Monsieur—'tis a grave fault. You miss half the pleasures of life—but I think you would like to know whom I mean. Confess, Monsieur! But there, I see you know—who else could it be but Madame de St. Andre?” and the insolent smile broke into a still more insolent laugh.

“We will leave Madame de St. Andre's name out of this conversation, Monsieur.”

“Pardieu! So you think I am not worthy to mention it, Monsieur,” cried St. Aulaire, half-rising and laying his hand again on his dress sword.

“I know it, Monsieur,” retorted Calvert, coolly.

“You are not so cold-blooded after all! I have struck fire at last!” said St. Aulaire, looking at Calvert for an instant and then breaking into a drunken laugh as he reseated himself. “'Tis a pity Madame de St. Andre has not my luck—for, look you, Monsieur,” he went on, leaning over the back of the chair and shaking his finger at Calvert, “I think she likes you and would be kind—very kind—to you, should you be inclined to return to Paris and tempt your fortune.”

“Were you sober, Monsieur, I would ask you for five minutes and a pair of pistols or rapiers, if you prefer,” says Calvert, white and threatening.

“By God, Monsieur, how dare you say I am drunk?” flings out the other, rising so unsteadily as to overturn the chair, which crashed upon the floor. “But I have no time for duels just now. I have other and more important business in hand. Later—later, sir, and I will be at your service. I add that insult to the long list I have against you. I will punish you when the time comes, but first I must punish her. She would not even listen to me. She crushed me with her disdain. 'Tis another favor I have to thank you for, Monsieur, I think.” He was quite wild and flushed by this time, and spoke so thickly that Calvert could scarce understand him. The few gentlemen who had been lounging in the anteroom had retired, thinking not to overhear a conversation evidently so personal and stormy, so that they were quite alone. As St. Aulaire reeled forward, a sudden thought came to Calvert.

“'In vino veritas,'“ he said to himself, and then—“How do you propose punishing Madame de St. Andre, Monsieur?” he asked, slowly, aloud, and looking nonchalantly at the distorted face before him.

St. Aulaire laughed. “I am not as drunk as you think me, Monsieur Calvert,” he said. “'Tis enough that I know and shall act. By God, sir,” he cried, suddenly starting up, “shall a man stand everything and have no revenge? Let Madame de St. Andre take care! Let d'Azay take care! Should you be inclined to go to their rescue, Monsieur, perhaps we may meet again!” and with a mocking smile on his wicked, handsome face, he flung himself out of the room.

The young man sat for a long while where St. Aulaire had left him, pondering upon this strange meeting and the mysterious hints and threats thrown out. He could make nothing of them, but it was clear that some danger menaced those he loved in France, and he felt only too well assured that St. Aulaire would stop at nothing. Indeed, it did not need a personal and malignant enemy to bring terror and death to any in Paris, as he knew. Terror and death were in the air. The last despatches from the capital had told of almost inconceivable horrors being there perpetrated. “Aristocrats in Paris must keep quiet or the aristocrats will hang,” Mr. Morris had said to him tersely one evening just before leaving.

Suddenly an overwhelming desire to go to France, to be near Adrienne, to avert, if humanly possible, this unknown, but, as he felt, no less real danger, took possession of him. All the tenderness for her, which he had hoped and believed was dying within him, revived at the thought of the peril she was in. For himself he felt there could be no danger, and it was possible that his standing as an American and his close connection with the American Minister might be of service to her. But whatever the consequences to himself—and he thought with far more dread of the revival of his love, which the sight and near presence of her would surely bring, than of any physical danger to himself—he felt it to be unendurable to be so near her and yet not to be near enough to render her aid if danger threatened. He thought of d'Azay and Beaufort and Lafayette, of Mr. Morris, re-established there, and of all those great and terrible events taking place, and he suddenly found himself a thousand times more anxious to get back to Paris than he had ever been to leave it, and wondered how he could have stayed away so long. He sat alone in the little anteroom thinking of these things until almost the last of the guests had gone, and then, bidding the Ambassador and Ambassadress good-night, he, too, left, walking to his lodgings, thinking the while of his return to Paris and the Legation, where he felt assured he would receive a warm welcome from Mr. Morris.

CHAPTER XVIII. MR. CALVERT FIGHTS A DUEL

The welcome which Mr. Calvert received at the Legation was even more cordial than he had dared to hope for, Mr. Morris being surprised and delighted beyond measure by the young man's sudden arrival. As for Calvert, the sight of his old friend and the cheerful, sumptuous air of the new Legation, where Mr. Morris was but just established, were inexpressibly pleasant.

“I think you have a talent for making yourself comfortable even in the midst of horrors,” he said, looking about the brilliantly lit drawing-room, for Mr. Morris was expecting a large company to supper. “In these rooms I can scarcely believe I have been for days travelling through a country strangely and terribly changed since I last saw it—so desolate and soldier-ridden and suspicious that I am truly glad to get within these walls. And to-night, when my passport had been examined for the hundredth time since leaving Havre and we had passed the city barrier, I thought the very look and sound of these streets of Paris had changed utterly in the last two years.”

“And indeed they have, Ned,” returned Mr. Morris, earnestly. “Each day sees that difference grow more and more marked, more and more terrible. Anarchy and bloodshed are becoming rampant, all semblance of order is gone. The rest of the diplomatic corps look upon me as a madman to come here at this time and set up a legation. They are asking for their passports—the Spanish Minister withdrew yesterday and Lord Gower is in the devil of a fright,” he says, laughing. “But as for myself, I have no fear and shall uphold the interests and independence of the American Legation to the last gasp. God only knows whether this house will prove a protection, but, in all events, I shall not abandon it, nor my friends here, voluntarily,” he adds, intrepidly. “I could have wished, however, boy, that events had kept you out of France just now. Though I urged you to accompany me, when I returned and realized the awful state of affairs here, I was heartily glad you had not yielded to my wishes.”

“As it happened, though,” said Calvert, “events have brought me,” and in a few words he told Mr. Morris of all that had occurred at the house of Monsieur de la Luzerne, and of the uneasiness he felt at the manner and threats of St. Aulaire.

“He is capable of any villany. We must thresh this matter out to-morrow, Ned. Had I known you were coming I would have had no guests here to-night. We could have had a quiet evening together, and I could have shown you over my new establishment. All this must wait, however, and now you had best go to your room and dress for supper.” But Mr. Calvert, begging to be excused from the company that evening, and saying that he would go out by himself and get a look at this changed Paris, left Mr. Morris to entertain his guests, who were beginning to arrive.

“I would offer you my carriage,” said Mr. Morris, as the young man turned away, “but 'twere best you walked abroad. Carriages are but little the fashion these days—they are being rapidly abolished along with everything else that makes life comfortable in this city.”

Mr. Calvert went out into the dimly lit street that, despite the hour, was full of a restless throng of people, who seemed to be wandering about as aimlessly as himself. Here and there he encountered squads of the National Guard being manoeuvred by their lieutenants, here and there mobs of ragged men, shouting and cursing and bearing torches which rained sparks of fire as they were swung aloft, and once, as he passed the Abbaie St. Germain des Pres, a horrible throng pressed by him, holding high in their midst a head on a dripping pike. He turned away, sick at the sight, and, making his way down by the quays, crossed by the Pont Royal to the other side of the city. He stopped for an instant on the bridge to look down the river, and, as he did so, he recalled that Christmas Eve two years before when he and Mr. Morris had stood on that same spot. Much, very much, had happened since; it seemed as if both a long and a short time had elapsed; perhaps, the greatest difference he felt was that then he had been eager to leave Paris; now he was relieved to be back. He strolled along under the glittering stars and the fast-sailing clouds, through ill-lighted streets and past deserted mansions whose owners were in voluntary exile beyond the Rhine, until he suddenly bethought himself of a little cafe in the Champs Elysees not far from the Demi-Lune du Cours de la Reine, where he and Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris had often gone together. It occurred to him that he was both thirsty and a little tired, and that he would turn in there for something to drink and to see what might be happening.

Not much was happening, for a wonder. The gusty March wind, sweeping through the gardens and under the lighted arcades, seemed to have swept away the usual throng of strollers in the Champs Elysees. Even the cafe was deserted except for a small group in a far corner of the room, which Mr. Calvert scarce noticed as he passed in. A cheerful fire was burning in an open grate, near which were set a screen and a settle. Mr. Calvert ensconced himself comfortably in this cosy corner and, calling for a glass of wine, fell to reading the day's copy of the Moniteur lying on the table beside him. But his thoughts were other-where than with the account of the Assembly's proceedings. Although he was in Paris and near the woman he loved, he was as greatly in the dark as ever as to what course to pursue to protect her. He knew not in what direction to turn, seeing that he knew not what danger threatened. After he had seen St. Aulaire, pressing affairs had detained him in London three days before he could set out for Paris. He knew not whether that worthy had arrived there before him or not—whether he intended to return to Paris at all or to work through some secret agency. A thousand vague plans for discovering these things floated through his mind and were rejected one after the other. All were alike in one respect—she must not know, if possible, that he was rendering her any service. Though he realized that this danger hanging over her endeared her to him a thousand times more than ever, though the chivalry of his nature impelled him to serve her, he knew she did not love him, nor ever could, and all the pride and hardness of youth made him resolve to guard his secret more jealously than ever. He had humbled himself once before her and she had treated him lightly, indifferently, contemptuously, and he had no mind to suffer a second humiliation.

Upon one thing he was resolved—that he would see d'Azay in the morning and discover if he knew of any peril that threatened. As this thought passed through his mind he suddenly heard d'Azay's name distinctly pronounced from the other side of the room. He laid the copy of the Moniteur, which he had been turning in his hands, quietly down upon the table and listened. The voices from the corner, which had been low and confused on his entrance, were now louder and bolder. Either the speakers did not know that they were not alone or else the wine had made them careless.

“'Tis a pleasure I have long had in contemplation and which has become peculiarly dear to me of late,” and the speaker laughed mockingly. “I shall denounce d'Azay to-morrow.”

Calvert started and looked hurriedly through the small panel of glass at the top of the screen. Even before he looked he knew he was not mistaken—St. Aulaire sat at the table with three companions, and it was he who had spoken. Two of the men—one of them had a most villainous countenance—Calvert had never seen before, but the third one he discovered, to his intense surprise, was Bertrand—Bertrand, whose honest lackey's face now wore a curious and sinister look of power and importance. So, it was in the society of such that Monsieur de St. Aulaire now talked and drank familiarly!

“He has already been denounced and released,” says Bertrand, moodily.

“He will not be released this time,” replies St. Aulaire, with so much evident satisfaction as to strike one of the other two drinkers with astonishment.

“Not entirely a matter of patriotism, I judge?” he questioned, with a chuckle.

“A duty I owe myself as well as to my country,” says St. Aulaire, so much mocking meaning in his voice and glance that his three listeners fell to laughing.

“There is a lady to whom I owe a small debt of ingratitude, and I like best to settle the case in this fashion.”

So that was his method of punishment! To strike Adrienne through her brother—to spare her and take away all that she loved! Calvert thought 'twas a way worthy of its author, and so strong a desire took possession of him to leap upon St. Aulaire and strike him dead that he caught hold of the sides of the chair to restrain himself.

“But you are not a member of the Assembly,” objected the man who had hitherto kept silent.

“I have observed that a denunciation from the gallery is more dramatic and effective than one from the floor. Besides, there is no one just at present to do it for me. I am well prepared. When I rise to-morrow and call the attention of Monsieur de Gensonne to the fact that I have proof of the treasonable relations of Monsieur d'Azay with the chiefs of the counter-revolutionists across the Rhine, 'twill be as if Monsieur d'Azay already stood condemned before the bar of the Assembly,” and he struck the table with his clinched fist.

While the glasses were still rattling from the blow and St. Aulaire's companions laughing at his vehemence, Mr. Calvert made his decision. By St. Aulaire's own confession there was no one else interested, for the moment, at least, in denouncing d'Azay. If he were out of the way that denunciation would not take place and d'Azay might be got out of Paris. At all hazards and at all costs St. Aulaire must not go to the Assembly on the next day. At all hazards and at all costs St. Aulaire must not know that he, Calvert, desired to prevent his going. He must be surprised, driven to his own destruction, if it could be done.

Very quietly Calvert arose from his place by the fire, and, passing out by a door concealed from the rest of the room by the screen, he made his way through a vestibule, where he put on his coat and hat again and so back into the room he had just left. But this time he entered noisily and by an entrance near the table, at which were seated St. Aulaire and his friends. At sight of St. Aulaire Mr. Calvert affected an extreme surprise. He bowed low, and smiling, but without a word, he advanced to him and, drawing off his heavy glove, struck him with it across his flushed face. The four sprang to their feet, and Bertrand, recognizing Calvert, called out, “Monsieur—Monsieur Calvert!” All his airs of equality and importance fell from him, and he ran toward his former master, but Calvert waved him aside.

“The last time Monsieur de St. Aulaire and I met, gentlemen,” says Calvert, looking around contemptuously at the company, “he insulted me grossly. Unfortunately he was drunk—drunk, I repeat it, and in no condition to answer for himself. I demand satisfaction to-night.”

“And, by God! you shall have it,” cried St. Aulaire, half beside himself. His face was quite white now except for the red mark across it, which Calvert's blow had furrowed, and his eyes were wild and staring. The suddenness and fierceness of Calvert's attack had driven every thought out of his mind but the wish to avenge the insult offered him, and almost without a word more the party left the room and went out into one of the allees of the Champs Elysees close beside the cafe. Such affairs were so common in the Champs Elysees and elsewhere in Paris in those days that, though they were but a few feet from the public thoroughfare, they apprehended no interference from the guard or the passers-by. 'Twas the aristocratic mode of helping forward the revolution, and there were almost as many victims by it as by the more republican one of la lanterne and the pike.

Though it was the first affair of honor that Calvert had ever been engaged in, the compelling necessity he was under and that unusual steadiness and calmness of character he possessed rendered him less nervous and more master of himself than was the older man, who had had numberless affairs of the kind.

“Will you choose swords or will you fight in the English mode with pistols?” said Calvert, with another low bow to St. Aulaire.

“Both, by God!” shouted St. Aulaire. “We will follow the lead of Bazencourt and St. Luce!” But here Bertrand and another of his companions interfered (the third and villainous-looking fellow said nothing and seemed indifferent on the subject), and declared they could not be party to murder, and that terrible affair had been no less. It had been known and talked of all over Paris, the shameful conditions being—that the combatants should fight first with swords, and the one who fell, and fell wounded only, was to have his brains blown out by the other.

One of the company brought from the house a lantern and a pair of English pistols, and both agreeing to fight with them, and the ground being hastily measured, the two gentlemen threw off their coats and took up their positions. The light was so uncertain from the occasional fitful brightness of the moon shining through the clouds and the light from the swaying lantern, held aloft by Bertrand, who took his stand near Calvert and watched him with his old devotion, that 'twas almost impossible for either combatant to take accurate aim.

At the word “Fire!” both pistols cracked, and St. Aulaire, staggering forward a few steps, fell, wounded in the groin. Calvert was untouched, but before he could collect himself or move to the assistance of St. Aulaire, he suddenly heard the sound of coach-wheels passing close to the allee, and, at the same instant, to his astonishment, he felt a sharp pain tear its way from his left shoulder to the wrist. He turned his head an instant to see who had attacked him from this unexpected quarter and was just in time to see the scoundrel who had been in St. Aulaire's company throw down his stained sword and make for the boulevard. And then as he reeled forward, the blood spurting from the long gash in his arm, all grew black before him and he knew no more.

CHAPTER XIX. IN WHICH AN UNLOOKED-FOR EVENT TAKES PLACE

That great and desolating change which had swept over France in the two years and more of Calvert's absence was reflected in every heart, in every life left in that wrecked land. On the most insensible, the most frivolous, the most indifferent alike fell the shadow of those terrible times. The sadness and the horror fell on Adrienne de St. Andre as it fell on so many others, but besides the terror of those days she had to bear a still heavier sorrow. There is no pang which the heart can suffer like the realization, too late, that we have lost what we most prize; that we have missed some great opportunity for happiness which can never come to us again; that we have rejected and passed by what we would now sell our souls to possess. This conviction, slowly borne in upon Adrienne, caused her more anguish than she had supposed, in her ignorance, anything in the world could make her feel. The man whose name she bore was scarcely a memory to her. For the first time she knew what love was and realized that she had cared for Calvert with all the repressed tenderness and unsounded depths of her heart. Her very helplessness, the impossibility to recall him, made him more dear to her by far. A man can stretch out his hand and seize his happiness, but a woman must wait for hers. And if it passes her by she must bear her hurt in silence and as best she can. It was with a sort of blind despair that Adrienne thought of Calvert and all that she had wilfully thrown away. Had he been at her beck and call, fetched and carried for her, she would never have loved him. But the consciousness that he was as proud as she, that, though he was near her for so long, she could not lure him back, that he could master his love and defy her beauty and charm, exercised a fascination over her. And when he left her entirely and was gone away without even seeing her, she suddenly realized how deeply she loved him. We have all had such experiences—we live along, thinking of things after a certain fashion, and suddenly there comes a day when everything seems changed. It was so with Adrienne. All things seemed changed to her, and in that bitter necromancy her pride was humbled. Wherever she went there was but one dear face she longed to see—one dear face with the quiet eyes she loved. There were days when she so longed to see him, when the sound of his voice or the touch of his hand would have been so inexpressibly dear to her, that it seemed as if the very force of her passion must surely draw him back to her. But he never came. During those two long years something went from her forever. She was not conscious of it at the time—only of the dull ache, and feverish longing, and utter apathy that seized her by turns. There was a subtle difference in all things. 'Twas as if some fine spring in the delicate mechanism of her being had broken. It might run on for years, but never again with the perfectness and buoyancy with which it had once moved.

As her life altered so terribly, as all that she had known and valued perished miserably before her eyes day by day, the thought of Calvert and of his calm steadiness and sincerity became constant with her. She heard of him from time to time from Mr. Morris after his frequent visits to London and through letters to her brother and Lafayette, to whom Calvert wrote periodically, but she had no hope of ever seeing him again, and she suffered in the knowledge. Though he seemed cruel to her in his hardness, she was just enough to confess to herself that she so deserved to suffer. But she had learned so much through suffering that a sick distaste for life's lessons grew upon her, and she felt that she wanted no more of them unless knowledge should come to her through love. In her changed life there was little to relieve her suffering, but she devoted herself to the old Duchess, who failed visibly day by day, and in that service she could sometimes forget her own unhappiness. She went with the intrepid old lady (who continued to ignore the revolution as much as possible) wherever they could find distraction—to the play and to the houses of their friends still left in Paris, where a little dinner or a game of quinze or whist could still be enjoyed.

'Twas on one of these occasions that, accompanied by Beaufort, as they were returning along the Champs Elysees from Madame de Montmorin's, where they had spent the evening, they suddenly heard the report of pistols proceeding from an allee by the road-side.

“A duel!” said Beaufort. “'Twas near here that poor Castries was killed. Perhaps it is another friend in trouble, and I had best see,” and, calling to the coachman to stop the horses, he jumped out. Almost at the same instant a man stumbled out of the allee and ran down the boulevard. Beaufort would have followed him, but, as he started to do so, he heard his name called and, looking back, saw another man emerge from the allee and gaze down the almost deserted street. By the dim light of the lantern swung from its great iron post the man recognized Monsieur de Beaufort and ran forward.

“Will you come?” he said, hurriedly. “Monsieur Calvert is here—wounded by that villain.”

“Calvert—impossible! He is not in Paris.”

“But he is!—here,” said Bertrand, drawing Beaufort toward the allee.

Adrienne's pale face appeared at the coach-door.

“Did I hear someone speak of Monsieur Calvert?”

Beaufort went up to her. “He is here—wounded, I think,” he said in a low voice. “I will go and see—you will not be afraid to wait?”

“To wait!—I am going, too,” and before he could prevent it she had stepped from the coach and was making her way toward the allee. A ghastly sight met their eyes as they entered the lane. St. Aulaire lay upon the ground, one of his companions standing over him, and at a little distance, Calvert, white and unconscious, the blood trickling from his left shoulder. With a low cry Adrienne knelt on the ground beside him and felt his pulse to see if he still lived. In an instant she was up.

“Bring him to the carriage. We must take him to the Legation—to Mr. Morris,” she says, in a low tone, to Beaufort and Bertrand, whom she had recognized as the servant Calvert had brought with him to Azay-le-Roi. Without a look at St. Aulaire she helped the two to get Calvert to the coach, where he was placed on the cushions as easily as possible and held between herself and Madame d'Azay. She hung over him during the long drive in a sort of passion of pity and love. It was the dearest happiness she had ever known to touch him, to feel his head upon her arm. Even though he were dead, she thought, it were worth all her life to have held him so. She scarcely spoke save to ask Bertrand if he knew the cause of the encounter, and, when he had told her all he knew of the events of the evening, she relapsed again into silence. They reached the Legation as Mr. Morris's guests were leaving, and in a very few minutes the young man was put to bed and a surgeon called.

Though the wound was not fatal—not even very serious—a sharp fever fastened upon Calvert, and, in the delirium of the few days following, Mr. Morris was easily able to learn the cause of the duel. The story he thus gathered from Calvert's wild talk he told Adrienne and Madame d'Azay—the two ladies came daily to inquire how the patient was doing—for he thought that they should know of the noble action of the young man, and he felt sure that as soon as Calvert was himself again he would request him to keep silence about his share in the matter. He was right, for when Calvert was come to his senses again and was beginning to be convalescent—which was at the end of a week—he told Mr. Morris the particulars of his encounter with St. Aulaire, requesting that he make no mention of his part in the affair and begging him to urge d'Azay to leave Paris. This was the more necessary as St. Aulaire, though badly wounded, was fully conscious and might at any moment cause d'Azay's arrest, and, moreover, passports were becoming daily harder to obtain.

Mr. Morris had to confess his inability to comply with Calvert's first request, but promised to see d'Azay immediately, and, ordering his carriage, in half an hour was on his way to the rue St. Honore. No man in Paris knew better than he the risk an aristocrat ran who was denounced to the Assembly and remained in Paris, nor how difficult it was to get out of the city. He was also aware of rumors concerning d'Azay of which he thought best not to tell Calvert in his present condition, but which made him seriously fear for d'Azay's safety.

On his arrival in the rue St. Honore he found Adrienne with the old Duchess in one of the smaller salons, but d'Azay was not with them, nor did they know where he was. Mr. Morris had not intended telling the two ladies of his mission, fearing to increase the anxiety which he knew they already felt on d'Azay's account, but he suddenly changed his determination and, in a few words, informed them of Calvert's urgent message to d'Azay and of the reasons for his instant departure from Paris.

“He is not safe for a day,” he said. “Calvert has saved him for the time being, but St. Aulaire, though unable himself to go to the Assembly and prefer charges against him, can find a dozen tools among the Orleans party who will do his dirty work for him. The mere assertion that d'Azay is in correspondence with Monsieur de Conde or any of the counter-revolutionists will send him to prison—or worse. As you know, he, like Lafayette, is out of favor with all factions. There is but one thing to do—get him out of Paris.”

“He will never go!” said the old Duchess, proudly.

“He must! Listen,” said Adrienne, rising and laying her hand on Mr. Morris's arm. “I think he will never ask for a passport himself, but if we could get it for him, if, when he comes in, he should find all in readiness for his going, if we could convince him by these means that his immediate departure was so necessary—” She stood looking at Mr. Morris, forcing herself to be calm, and with such an expression of courage and determination on her pale face that Mr. Morris, who had always admired her, was touched and astonished.

“'Tis the very best thing to be done, my dear young lady,” he said. “We must get the passport for d'Azay and force him to quit Paris. I think I am not entirely without influence with some of these scoundrels in authority just now. Danton, for instance. He is, without doubt, the most powerful man in Paris for the moment. Suppose we apply to him and his worthy assistant, Bertrand, and see what can be done. As Danton himself said to me the other evening at the Cordelliers Club, 'in times of revolution authority falls into the hands of rascals!' Bertrand was a good valet, but he knows no more of statescraft than my coachman does. However, what we want is not a statesman but a friend, and I think Bertrand may prove to be that. My carriage is waiting below; shall we go at once?”

“Oh, we cannot go too soon! I will not lose a moment.” She ran out of the room and returned almost instantly with her wraps, for the March day was chill and gloomy. The two set out immediately, Mr. Morris giving orders to his coachman to drive to the Palais de Justice, where he hoped to find Danton, the deputy attorney-general of the commune of Paris, and Bertrand, his assistant. As he expected, they were there and, on being announced, he and Madame de St. Andre were almost instantly admitted to their presence.

There could be no better proof of the unique and powerful position held by the representative of the infant United States than the reception accorded him by this dictator of Paris. Though Mr. Morris was known to disapprove openly of the excesses to which the Assembly and the revolution had already gone, yet this agitator, this leader of the most violent district of Paris, welcomed him with marked deference and consideration. And it was with the deepest regret that he professed himself unable to undertake to obtain, at Mr. Morris's request, a passport for Monsieur d'Azay, brother of Madame de St. Andre, to whom he showed a coldness and brusqueness in marked contrast to his manner toward Mr. Morris.

“The applications are so numerous, and the emigrant army is becoming so large,” and here he darted a keen, mocking look at Madame de St. Andre out of his small, ardent eyes, “that even were I as influential as Monsieur Morris is pleased to think me, I would scarcely dare to ask for a passport for Monsieur d'Azay. Moreover,” and he bent his great, hideous head for an instant over a pile of papers upon the desk before him, “moreover, Monsieur d'Azay is particularly wanted in Paris just now.”

“It is not his wish to leave—indeed, he knows nothing of this application for a passport. It is by my wish and on my affairs that he goes to England,” says Adrienne, steadily, facing with courage the malignant look of that terrible countenance. Monsieur Danton ignored these remarks and turned to Mr. Morris.

“Receive my regrets, Monsieur, that I can do nothing in this matter. It would give me pleasure to render any favor to an American.”

“Then we must ask assistance in other quarters,” says Mr. Morris, rising abruptly, and with a show of confidence which he was far from feeling. He had applied in the most powerful and available quarter that he knew of, and he confessed to himself that, having failed here, he had no hope of succeeding elsewhere.

As he and Adrienne turned to go, Bertrand, who had sat quietly by during this short colloquy, arose and accompanied them toward the door.

“It is a pity Madame de St. Andre is not an American—is not Madame Calvert,” he says, in a low tone, and fixing a meaning look on Adrienne. “Passports for the brother-in-law of Monsieur Calvert, the American, were easy to obtain. It is doubly a pity,” and he spoke in a still lower tone, “since I have, on good authority, the news that Monsieur d'Azay is to be accused of forwarding military intelligence to Monsieur de Conde in to-morrow's session of the Assembly.”

The young girl stopped and stood looking at him, transfixed with terror and astonishment.

“What do you mean?” she says, in a frightened, hushed voice.

“This, Madame. A long time ago, when I was a soldier in America under Lafayette, Monsieur Calvert did me a great service—he saved my life—he was kind to me. He is the only man, the only person in the world I love, and I have sworn to repay that debt of gratitude. I was with Monsieur, as his servant, at Azay-le-Roi, and I guessed, Madame, what passed there between you and him. Afterward I was with him in Paris, and I saw how he suffered, and I swore, if the thing were ever possible, I would make you suffer as he suffered. There is but one thing I would rather do than make you suffer—and that is to make him happy. The passport for the brother of Madame Calvert will be ready at six this evening and Monsieur will be free to leave Paris. Do you understand now, Madame?”

“It is impossible,” she says, faintly, leaning for support on Mr. Morris, who stood by, unspeakably astonished at the strange scene taking place.

“Impossible? Then I am sorry,” he says. “Frankly, there is but one way, Madame, for you to obtain the passport you wish, and that is by becoming an American subject, the wife of Monsieur Calvert. I can interest myself in the matter only on those conditions. I have but to mention to Danton my good reasons for serving so close a relation of Monsieur Calvert, and he will be inclined to interest himself in obtaining the freedom of Monsieur d'Azay—for such it really is. Should he still be disinclined to serve a friend who has stood him well”—and his face darkened ominously and a sinister smile came to his lips—“I have but to recall to his mind a certain scene which took place in the Cafe de l'Ecole some years ago in which Monsieur Calvert was an actor, and I can answer for it that Monsieur d'Azay leaves Paris to-night. Shall I do these things or not? If not, I think 'tis sure that, let Madame and Monsieur Morris apply to whom they may, Danton and I will see to it that no passport for Monsieur d'Azay is granted. Is it still impossible?” he asks, with an insolent smile.

The girl turned piteously from Bertrand to Mr. Morris and back again, as if seeking some escape from the trap in which she was caught. Her pale lips trembled.

“Is it impossible?” again asks Bertrand, noting her pallor and cruel indecision.

“No, no,” she cries, suddenly, shuddering and putting out her hand.

“Then all will be in readiness at six, Monsieur,” says Bertrand, addressing himself to Mr. Morris.

“A word aside with you,” he says to Bertrand, and, leading Adrienne to a seat, he went back to Bertrand, who waited for him beside the door.

“What is the meaning of this extraordinary scene?” he asked, sternly.

The man shrugged his shoulders. “Just what I have said. You know yourself, Monsieur, whether or not I am devoted to Monsieur Calvert. For Madame de St. Andre I care less than nothing,” he said, snapping his fingers carelessly. “But Monsieur Calvert loves her—it seems a pretty enough way of making them happy, though 'tis a strange metier for me—arranging love-matches among the nobility! However, stranger things than that are happening in France. Besides, it is necessary,” he said, his light manner suddenly changing to one more serious. “I swear it is the only way of getting d'Azay out of Paris. I doubt if even Danton, urged on by me, could obtain a passport for him to quit the city. But I can answer for one for the brother of Madame Calvert, wife of the former secretary of Monsieur Jefferson, friend of the present Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to France.”

Mr. Morris looked at the man keenly.

“And suppose this thing were done—I can rely upon you?”

“Absolutely. Attend a moment,” he said, and, going back to where Danton still sat at his desk, he spoke with him in low and earnest tones. From where Mr. Morris stood he could see Danton's expression change from sternness and anger to astonishment and interest. In a few moments, with a low exclamation, he got up and, followed by Bertrand, came toward Mr. Morris.

“Bertrand has just told me facts which alter this case—which impel me to aid Monsieur d'Azay if possible,” he said; and then, turning to Adrienne, who, pale with anxiety and terror, had risen from her seat and drawn near, he went on: “I will use all my power to be of service to the wife of the man who once showed a courtesy to mine.” At his words the girl drew back and blushed deeply over her whole fair face. “I swore that I would reward him if possible, and I do so to-day. I also swore to reward his companion, Monsieur de Beaufort—the time is not yet come for that, but it will,” and he smiled in so terrible a fashion that Adrienne could have cried out in fear. The fierce malignity of his look so filled Mr. Morris with disgust that he could scarce bear to speak to him.

“We will return at six,” he said, at length, and leading Adrienne to the door that the painful interview might end.

“At six,” said Danton.

They made their way out and found Mr. Morris's coach. In the carriage the courage which had sustained the young girl gave way.

Mr. Morris laid a kindly hand upon her arm. “Be calm. A way is found to save d'Azay, and surely it is no great trial to become an American subject,” he said, smiling a little and looking keenly at Adrienne.

“I do not know how I shall dare to ask this great sacrifice of him,” said she, in a low tone. “True, he risked his life for d'Azay, but that is not so great a sacrifice as to marry a woman he does not love.”

“I think he does love you still,” said Mr. Morris, very gently. “He is not like some of us—he is not one to forget easily. He is silent and constant. He has told me that he loved you.”

But she only shook her head. “I have no hope that he loves me still.”

“Shall I tell him of this strange plan, of the cruel position you find yourself in? I can prepare him——”

“No,” she said, in a low tone, “I—I will see him myself and at once.”

She sat quiet and thoughtful for the rest of the drive until the coach drew up before the Legation. After the first fear and despair had passed, a wave of happiness swept over her that made her blush and then pale as it ebbed. Perhaps, after all, his love for her might not be dead; at all events a curious fate had brought it about that she should see him again and hear him speak and learn for herself if he loved her. She remembered, with a sudden shock, the words she had spoken at Azay-le-Roi—that should she change her mind it would be she who would ask him to marry her. She could have laughed aloud with joy to think that fate had played her such a trick. She remembered with a sort of shamed wonder the proud condescension with which she had treated him. She felt now as if she could fling herself before him on her knees and beg him to give her back his love. But did he still love her? At the thought an icy pang of apprehension and fear seized her, and her heart almost stopped beating. It was not alone her own happiness that was at stake, but a life that she held dear, too, was in the hands of one whom she had misprized, to whom she had shown no pity or tenderness.

“I will go up with you to the library, where I think we shall find Calvert, and then I will leave you,” said Mr. Morris as the coach stopped.

They went up the broad stairway together and Mr. Morris knocked at the library door. A voice answered “Come,” and he entered, leaving Adrienne in the shadow of the archway. A bright fire was burning on the open hearth and before it sat Calvert. He looked ill, and his left arm and shoulder were bandaged and held in a sling. He wore no coat—indeed, he could get none over the bandages—and the whiteness of his linen and the bright flame of the fire made him look very pale. At Mr. Morris's entrance he glanced up smiling and made an effort to go toward him.

“Don't move, my boy,” said Mr. Morris, hastily—“I have brought someone to see you. She—she is here,” and motioning Adrienne to enter, he went out, softly closing the door behind him.

For an instant Calvert could not see who his visitor was, for, though the firelight was bright, the room was much in shadow from the grayness of the afternoon and the heavy hangings at the long windows. As the young girl came forward, however, he recognized her in spite of her extreme pallor and the change which two years and a half had wrought. Concealing, as best he could, the shock of surprise and the sudden faintness which attacked him at her unexpected presence (for he was still very weak and ill), he bowed low and placed a chair for her. But she shook her head and remained standing beside a little table in the centre of the room, one hand resting upon it for support. She was so agitated, and so fearful lest Calvert should notice it and guess its true cause, that she summoned all her pride and old imperiousness to her aid. Looking at her so, he wondered how it was that Mr. Morris had found her so softened. Looking at him so, weak and ill and hurt for one she loved, she could have thrown herself at his feet and kissed his wounded arm. It was with difficulty she commanded her voice sufficiently to speak.

“I am come, Mr. Calvert,” she said, at length, hurriedly, and in so constrained a tone that he could scarcely hear her, “I am come on an errand for which the sole excuse is your own nobility. Had you not already risked your life for my brother, I could not dare to ask this still greater sacrifice. Indeed, I think I cannot, as it is,” she said, clasping her hands and suddenly turning away.

Calvert was inexpressibly surprised by this exhibition of deep emotion in her. He had never seen her so moved before. “There is nothing I would not do for d'Azay, believe me,” he said, earnestly. “I had hoped to avert this danger from him, but, unfortunately, I fear I have only postponed it. Is there anything I can do? If so, tell me what it is.”

“It is nothing less than the sacrifice of your whole life,” she said, in a low tone, and drawing back in the shadow of one of the windows. “It is this—I am come to ask you to marry me, Mr. Calvert, that by becoming an American subject I may save my brother. We—we have just been to obtain a passport for him to leave the city—he is to be accused in the Assembly to-morrow,” she says, rapidly and breathlessly. “A passport for Monsieur d'Azay is refused unconditionally, but one is promised for the brother of Madame Calvert, the American.” She was no longer pale. A burning blush was dyeing her whole face crimson, and she drew still farther back into the shadow of the window. She laid one hand on the velvet curtain to steady herself.

Calvert gazed at her in unspeakable surprise. For an instant a wild hope awoke within him, only to die. She had come but to save her brother, as she had said, and the painfulness of her duty was only too apparent.

“And—and who has imposed this strange condition?” he says, at length, quietly, mastering himself.

“Your servant Bertrand, who is all-powerful with Danton and who, he promises, shall obtain the passport by six this evening.”

“Were I not wounded and weak from fever, Madame, believe me, by that hour he would deeply repent having caused you this humiliation,” says Calvert, bitterly.

“My humiliation is a slight thing in comparison with the sacrifice I ask of you, Monsieur.”

“And what of yours?” he asks, gloomily, but he did not look at her. Had he done so he would have seen love, not self-sacrifice, shining in her appealing eyes.

“But I have influence over this fellow—he is devoted to me—he shall do this thing without demanding so great, so fabulous a price for his services,” he goes on, half-speaking to himself.

“'Tis indeed a fabulous price,” she says, paling a little at Calvert's words and drawing herself up proudly. “But he fancies he is serving you by imposing this condition, and I confess that I—I dared not tell him that you no longer loved me, lest I should lose the one hold I had on him. For d'Azay, for me, he will do absolutely nothing.” From the shadow of the curtain she watched Calvert's face for some sign that she was mistaken, that after all he did still love her, that what she had asked of him would be no life-long sacrifice, but the dearest joy. But none came. He stood quiet and thoughtful, looking down into the firelight and betraying nothing of the conflict going on within him. His one thought was to find a way out of this horrible trap for her, or, failing that, to make it as easy as possible for her. He stilled the wild exultation he felt that was making his feverish pulse leap and sink by turns. He tried to put away temptation from him—to think only for her. This incredible, unlooked-for happiness was not for him. He searched about in his mind for words that would make her understand that he knew what anguish had driven her to this extremity; that would convince her that she had nothing to fear from him and that he would meet her as he felt sure she wished him to meet her.

“What he asks is madness,” he said, at length. “I know only too well the insurmountable objections you have to doing what he demands; if I can convince him of these—if I can convince him that it is also not my wish—that he can best serve me by not insisting on this thing——”

“Then, indeed, I think all is lost,” said Adrienne, quietly. “He professes that he can do nothing for the French emigrant d'Azay, only for the brother of the American, Calvert. There is no hope left for us except through himself and Danton, since it is already known that d'Azay is to be accused to-morrow, and, indeed, there is scarce time to seek other aid,” she added, despairingly.

“Is Mr. Morris of the opinion that this is the best thing to be done?” asked Calvert, in a low voice.

“He thinks it is the only way to save d'Azay.” Suddenly she came forward from the embrasure of the window and stood once more beside the table, her face lighted up by the glow of the fire. “Believe me, I know how great a thing I ask,” she says, quite wildly, and covering her eyes with her hand. “I ask you now what you once asked me and what I flung away.” Calvert looked up startled, but not being able to read her face, which was concealed, he dropped his head again, and she went on: “If it is possible for you to make this sacrifice, everything I can do to make it bearable shall be done—we need never see each other again—I can follow d'Azay to whatever retreat he may find——”

“Don't distress yourself so,” said Calvert, gently, interrupting her. He looked at the appealing, despairing woman before him, she who had been so brilliant, so untouched by sorrow, and a great desire to serve her and a great compassion for her came over him. There was pity for himself, too, in his thoughts, for he had schooled himself for so long to believe that the woman he loved did not love him, and could never love him, that no slightest idea that he was mistaken came to him now to help lighten his sacrifice. As he realized all this he thought, not without a pang, of the future and of the unknown possible happiness it might hold for him and which he was renouncing forever. In the long days to come, he had thought, he might be able to forget that greater happiness denied him and be as contented as many another man, but even that consolation he could now no longer look forward to.

“Do not distress yourself,” he said again, quietly. “Be assured that I shall make no effort to see you—indeed, I think I shall leave Paris myself as soon as this wound permits,” and he touched his bandaged arm. “In the last few days I have thought seriously of entering military service again under Lafayette. He is a good soldier, if a bad statesman, and has need of officers and men in this crisis, if ever general had.”

As he turned away and touched a small bell on the table, Adrienne's hand dropped at her side and she gave him so strange, so sad a glance that had he looked at her he would have seen that in her pale face and miserable eyes which he had longed to see two years before. She took a step forward—for an instant the wild thought crossed her mind of flinging herself down before him, of confessing her love for him, but sorrow and trouble had not yet wholly humbled that proud nature. With a great effort she drew back. “Will you, then, serve us again?” she said, and her voice sounded far off and strange in her own ears.

“Can you doubt it? I will send for Mr. Morris and we will leave everything to him.”

In a few moments he came in, looking anxiously from Calvert to Madame de St. Andre and back again.

“We are agreed upon this matter,” said Calvert, quietly, interpreting Mr. Morris's look, “providing, in your opinion, it is a necessity. Is the case as desperate as Madame de St. Andre deems it, and is this the best remedy for it?”

“'Tis the only remedy, I think,” replied Mr. Morris. “I fear there is no doubt as to d'Azay's fate when arraigned, as he will be to-morrow. Too many of his friends have already suffered that same fate to leave any reasonable hope that his will be other or happier.” He drew Calvert to one side and spoke in a low tone. “Indeed, I think 'tis more than probable that he is guilty of the charges preferred against him and would go over to Monsieur de Conde had he the chance. I have known for a long while that he has become thoroughly disgusted with the trend of affairs here, and has no thought now but to serve the King. I think he has broken with Lafayette entirely since the affair of St. Cloud, and his change of political faith is only too well known here. If he does not leave Paris to-night, he will never leave it.”

“Then,” said Mr. Calvert, “I am ready to do my part.”

“No, no, 'tis impossible that this thing should be,” broke out Mr. Morris, looking at the young man's pale, gloomy face. “I had hoped that it would be the greatest happiness; was I, then, mistaken?”

Calvert laid his hand on the elder man's shoulder.

“Hush, she must not hear. 'Tis an agreement we have entered into,” he says, hurriedly. “Will you call a priest and send for the Duchess and d'Azay?”

“The Bishop of Autun has just come in,” said Mr. Morris, after a moment's silence, and pressing the young man's hand, “and there is no time to send for anyone. I will go myself and ask him to come up.”

They came in together in a very few moments, His Grace of Autun grave and asking no questions (from which Calvert rightly argued that Mr. Morris had confided in him), but with a concerned and kindly air toward the young man, for whom he had always entertained an especial liking. In a simple and impressive manner he repeated the marriage service in the presence of Mr. Morris and some of the servants of the household, called in to be witnesses, Adrienne kneeling beside the couch on which Calvert lay, for he was too weak and ill to stand longer.

The strange scene was quickly over, the two parted almost without a word, Adrienne being led away by Mr. Morris to the Hotel de Ville, and Mr. Calvert remanded to bed by the surgeon, who was just arrived to dress his wound.

CHAPTER XX. MR. CALVERT SEES A SHORT CAMPAIGN UNDER LAFAYETTE

The project which Calvert had formed for joining the army he was able to put into execution within a couple of weeks. The fever which had attacked him having entirely subsided and his wound healing rapidly, he was soon well enough to feel a consuming restlessness and craving for action. The painful experience through which he had just passed, the still more painful future to which he had to look forward, aroused an irresistible longing for some immediate and violent change of scene and thought. His vague plan for joining the army was suddenly crystallized by the situation in which he found himself, and though this resolution was strongly opposed by Mr. Morris, who, with keen foresight, prophesied the speedy overthrow of the constitution and the downfall of Lafayette with the King, he adhered to it. D'Azay being safely out of the country—he had retreated to Brussels and joined a small detachment of the emigrant army still there—and Adrienne protected by his name, his one desire was to forget in action his misfortunes and to remove himself from the scene of them. It was this desire, rather than any enthusiasm for the cause in which he was engaged, which impelled him to offer his services to Lafayette. Indeed, it was with no very sanguine belief in that cause or hope of its success that he prepared to go to Metz. Although he believed, with Mr. Morris, that the only hope of France lay in the suppression of internal disorder and the union of interests which a foreign war would bring about, yet he could not regard with much horror the threatenings of the proscribed emigres and the military preparations making by the allies to prevent the spread of the revolution into their own territories. Indeed, so great was his contempt for the ministers of Louis and for their mad and selfish policy that he confessed to himself, but for his desire to serve under his old commander, he would almost as soon have joined d'Azay at Brussels, or taken a commission with the Austrians under Marshal Bender, who commanded in the Low Countries. This division of sympathies felt by Calvert animated thousands of other breasts, so that whole regiments of cavalry went over to the enemy, and officers and men deserted daily. Berwick, Mirabeau, Bussy, de la Chatre, with their commands, crossed over the Rhine and joined the Prince de Conde at Worms. The highest in command were suspected of intriguing with the enemy; men distrusted their superiors, and officers could place no reliance on their men. Of the widespread and profound character of this feeling of distrust Mr. Calvert had no adequate idea until he joined the army of the centre at Metz in the middle of April. Although Lafayette had, since January, been endeavoring to discipline his troops, to animate them with confidence, courage, and endurance, they had defied his every effort. Indeed, what wonder that an army composed of the scum of a revolutionary populace, without knowledge of arms, suspicious, violent, unused to every form of military restraint, should defy organization in three months? Perhaps no sovereign ever entered upon a great conflict less prepared than did Louis when he declared war against the King of Hungary and Bohemia—for Francis was not yet crowned Emperor of Austria. But that unhappy monarch found himself in a situation from which the only issue was a recourse to arms. Confronted on the one hand by a republican party of daily increasing power and on the other by an aristocratical one openly allied with sovereigns who were suspected of a desire to partition his dominion among themselves as Poland had been, his one hope lay in warring his way out between the two.

That Louis should be the advocate and leader of this war was the one inspiration of Narbonne, and, had the King persevered in this, he might have saved himself and his throne. But, with his fatal vacillation, after having entered upon military preparations and committed himself to Narbonne's policy, he suddenly abandoned him as he had abandoned so many of his advisers. Grave replaced the dismissed and chagrined young minister, and Dumouriez, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took into his hands all the power and glory of the war movement. He developed and supplemented the plans which Narbonne had already formed, and, by the New Year, a vast army was assembled and the frontier divided into three great military districts. On the left, the territory from Dunkirk to Philippeville was defended by the army under Rochambeau, forty thousand foot and eight thousand cavalry strong; Lafayette, with his army of the centre, of more than a hundred thousand men and some seven thousand horse, commanded between Philippeville and Weissenberg, while Luckner, with his army of the Rhine, stretched from Weissenberg to Bale. Dumouriez's diplomatic negotiations were apparently nearly as successful as his military operations. Though he could not dissolve that “unnatural alliance” formed the year before at Pilnitz and enthusiastically adhered to by Prince Henri and the Duke of Brunswick with the young King of Hungary and Bohemia, yet, by the assassination of the King of Sweden, that country was no longer to be feared, England remained neutral by virtue of Pitt's commercial policy, and many of the petty German principalities openly approved of and aided the French revolutionists.

With military and diplomatic affairs in this state and with Austria still holding out for her impossible conditions, 'twas easy for Dumouriez and the war party to browbeat the wellnigh desperate King into a declaration of hostilities that was to convulse the whole of Europe for nearly a quarter of a century. This was done on the 20th of April, three days after Mr. Calvert had joined Lafayette at Metz, and was almost instantly followed by orders from Dumouriez to that general to advance with ten thousand men upon Namur and thence upon Brussels and Liege.

'Twas Dumouriez's policy (and surely a wise one) to strike the first blow against Austria through her dependency, Flanders, which country, but two years before, had shown the strongest disposition to throw off Austrian rule. How strong that disposition was, Dumouriez himself knew fully, for he had been sent by Montmorin on a secret mission into Belgium, and he felt assured that the Brabant patriots would rally to the standards of the French army. Had that army been what he supposed, his plans might have succeeded and the humiliations and defeats of the spring campaign averted.

As has been said, Calvert joined the army at Metz a few days before the formal declaration of war was made, and so was there when General de Lafayette received orders to advance upon Namur. He was much touched by the reception which Lafayette accorded him.

“I will give you a regiment, Calvert, but I need you near my person. There is no one upon whom I can rely—I wish you could be my aide-de-camp again. It would be like old times once more,” he said, looking at the young man with so harassed and despondent a glance that Calvert was both surprised and alarmed.

“I could wish for nothing better,” he replied, “but surely you do not mean what you say—you have many others upon whom you can count.”

“Almost no one,” replied Lafayette, briefly. “I distrust my officers and am myself suspected of intriguing with the enemy. I know not what day I may be forced to fly across the frontier. No one is safe, and I dare not count upon my troops to obey commands. Although there are only thirty thousand Austrians in Flanders, I am not sure that we can beat them,” he said, bitterly.

On the 27th of April, Lafayette, who had moved his camp to Givet, received despatches from Dumouriez detailing the plan of campaign against Belgium. According to this plan, Lafayette, with ten thousand picked men, was to advance by forced marches upon Namur. He was to be supported by two divisions of the army of the North, one of four thousand men under General Dillon, which was to move from its encampment at Lille upon Tournay, and the other of ten thousand troops under General Biron, which was to advance from Valenciennes upon Mons. Before daybreak on the morning of the 28th Lafayette had his army in motion and, as they rode out of the city gates together, Calvert noted that the depression and anxiety which had weighed upon the General so heavily had disappeared and that he had regained something of his old fire and intrepidity.

This renewal of confidence was cruelly dissipated three days later when, on reaching Bouvines, half-way to Namur, after a fifty-league march over bad roads, Lafayette was met by frightened, breathless couriers with despatches detailing the humiliating disasters which had befallen both Biron's and Dillon's divisions. The former, who had advanced upon Quievrain and succeeded in occupying that town, was utterly routed on arriving before Mons, and fled with the loss of all his baggage. Dillon met with even a more tragic and shameful fate. Moving upon Tournay, where a strong body of Austrians was ready to receive him, his men were seized with a sudden panic and fled back to the gates of Lille, where, mad with fear and crying that Dillon had betrayed them, they brutally murdered him. This disastrous news being confirmed the following day by further despatches, Lafayette was forced to fall back to Maubeuge without striking a blow, and thus ended Calvert's hopes of seeing a campaign which had promised most brilliantly. The news of these defeats creating the greatest sensation both at the front and in Paris, Rochambeau resigned his command, Grave was replaced by Servan in the ministry, and the army was reorganized.

During the entire month of May Lafayette and his army remained inactive at Maubeuge awaiting orders which the distracted ministers at Paris were incapable of giving. 'Twas a pretty little place near the Belgian frontier, lying on both sides of the Sambre, and which had been ceded to France by the treaty of Nymwegen. Mr. Calvert spent much of his leisure time—of which he had more than enough—admiring and studying the fortifications of this town, which had been engineered by the great Vauban. Much of it he also spent with Lafayette, who, in the intervals of disciplining his troops and attending to his increased military duties—Rochambeau's command had been divided between himself and Luckner—conversed freely with his young aide-de-camp. Sometimes, too, at Lafayette's urgent request, Calvert would sing as he had used to do around the camp-fires in the Virginia campaign. During those days and evenings of inactive and anxious waiting, the old friendship between the two was renewed. Lafayette had heard of Calvert's marriage through Mr. Morris and, with the utmost delicacy, touched upon the subject. Calvert told him frankly as much of the story as he intended to reveal to anyone, and this confidence became another bond of friendship between them. The years of separation and disagreement somehow melted away. The Lafayette of Maubeuge was like the Lafayette whom Calvert had first known and admired; he noticed how much of his rabid republicanism had vanished—indeed, Lafayette himself owned as much, for if he was impetuous and extreme, he was also courageous and was not afraid or ashamed to confess his faults.

“I have learned much,” he said to Calvert one evening when they were alone in the General's quarters, “and am beginning to have radically different opinions upon some subjects from those I entertained but a short while ago. Sometimes I ask myself if my call for the States-General did not open for France a Pandora's box of evils. What has become of all my efforts?” he said, pushing away a map of the Austrian Netherlands which they had been studying together and beginning to pace the room agitatedly. “Instead of the wise ministers prevailing at Paris, a horde of mad, insensate creatures are ruling the Assembly, the city, the whole country! If only there were some man courageous enough to defy the Jacobins and their power—to meet them on their own ground and conquer them! What can I do at this distance, overwhelmed with military duties, restricted by my official position? I have been thinking of addressing a letter to the Assembly,” he went on, suddenly turning to Calvert, “a letter of warning against the Jacobin power, of reproach that they should be ruled by that ignoble faction, or remonstrance against their unwarrantable proceedings, and as soon as I can find the time to write such a letter, I shall do so, and despatch it to Paris by my secretary, let the consequences be what they may.”

This design was not accomplished until the middle of June, for, at the beginning of the month, a number of skirmishes and night attacks took place between the Austrians, who had encamped near Maubeuge, and Lafayette's troops, and the General was too much occupied with the military situation to busy himself with affairs at Paris. These attacks culminated in a bloody and almost disastrous engagement for the patriot army on the 11th of June.

The Austrians, reinforced by the emigrant army which had been left at Brussels and in which Calvert knew d'Azay held a captain's commission, advanced during the early afternoon of June 11th and attacked the vanguard of Lafayette's army, encamped two miles from Maubeuge, farther up the Sambre, and commanded by Gouvion. Although the French occupied a formidable position, being securely intrenched on rising ground fortified by a dozen redoubts and batteries arranged in tiers, the enemy advanced with such fierceness and intrepidity that Gouvion had all he could do to keep his gunners from deserting their posts. The infantry, too, behaved ill, and when ordered to advance, wavered and were driven back at the very first charge from the Austrians. Their cavalry pursued the advantage thus gained and pressed forward, advancing in three lines and driving the disordered French troops before them up the hill. At this juncture, Lafayette, with six thousand men and two thousand horse, arrived, having been sent for in hot haste by Gouvion when the action first began, and, attacking the Austrian and emigres from the flank, after a sharp and bloody struggle, succeeded by nightfall in putting them to flight. Although the forces engaged in this action were small, the slaughter was terrible and the little battle-field by the Sambre presented a ghastly sight in the moonlight of that June night. Gouvion himself was killed leading the last attack, and the Austrian and emigrant forces suffered severely. The regiment which Calvert commanded was in the thick of the engagement the whole time, once it arrived on the scene of action, and no officer of either side more exposed or distinguished himself than did the young American. Indeed, it was not from reckless bravery that he offered himself a target for the bullets of the enemy, but from a feeling that he would not be sorry to end there, to close forever the book of his life. And, as usual with those who seek, rather than avoid, death in battle, from this action, which was the only one he was destined to engage in, he came out unscathed, while many another poor fellow who longed to live, lay quiet and cold on the bloody ground.

So close was the fighting during the late afternoon that Calvert once thought he caught a glimpse of d'Azay and, with a strange presentiment of evil, he determined to look for him among the slain. Accompanied by an orderly bearing a lantern—though the moonlight was so bright that one could easily recognize the pallid, upturned faces—he began his search an hour after the firing had ceased, with many others engaged in the same ghastly work of finding dead comrades. He had looked but a short while, or so it seemed to him, when he came upon d'Azay lying prone upon a little hillock of Austrian slain. As Calvert looked down upon him, grief for this dead friend and an awful sense of the futility of the sacrifice which had been made for him, came upon him. He knelt beside him for a few minutes and looked into the quiet, dead face. He had never before thought that d'Azay resembled Adrienne, but now the resemblance of brother and sister was quite marked, and 'twas with the sharpest pang Calvert had ever known that he looked upon those pallid features. It might have been that other and dearer face, he thought to himself. At length he arose and, helping the orderly place the body upon a stretcher, they bore it back to the camp, where, next day, it was buried with what military honors Calvert could get accorded it. He sent a lock of d'Azay's hair, his seals and rings, back to Paris to Adrienne (he kept for his own her miniature, which he found in d'Azay's pocket and which he had first seen that night at Monticello), and the letter she wrote him thanking him for all he had done were the first written words of hers he had ever had. Though there was not a word of love in the note—not even of friendship—Calvert re-read it a score of times and treasured it, and at last put it with the miniature in the little chamois case that rested near his heart.

The check which Lafayette had put upon the Austrians on the 11th of June having produced a cessation of hostilities, he wrote and despatched to the Assembly the letter which he had had in contemplation for some time and of which he had spoken to Calvert. This courageous letter—the authenticity of which was fiercely denied in the Assembly—not only did not produce the effect Lafayette so hoped for, but was followed by the outrage of the 20th of June. Who does not know the shameful events of that day?—the invasion of the Tuileries by hordes of ruffians and the insults to helpless royalty?

When Lafayette heard of the uprising of the 20th he determined to go in person to Paris, affirm the authorship of his letter, and urge upon the Assembly the destruction of the Jacobin party. He sent Calvert to Luckner's head-quarters to ask of the Marechal permission to go to Paris and, placing his troops in safety under the guns of Maubeuge, he departed for the capital, whither he arrived on the 28th. After two days spent in incessant and fruitless efforts with the Assembly and National Guard, in audiences with the King and consultations with friends, he sped back to the army, more thoroughly and bitterly convinced than ever that the revolution which he had led and believed in was now fast approaching anarchy; that the throne was lost and his own brilliant popularity vanished. He took with him to Calvert the news of the sudden death of the old Duchesse d'Azay—she had failed rapidly since hearing of the death of d'Azay, and had passed away painlessly on the morning of Lafayette's arrival in Paris—the escape of St. Aulaire to Canada, and a letter from Mr. Morris.

“He desired me to give you this,” said Lafayette, gravely, handing the letter to Calvert. “The message is of the greatest importance. We had a long interview. I am at last come to the same opinion on certain subjects as himself,” he said, with a gloomy smile, “and we want your co-operation. He will explain all when he sees you. As for myself, I must say no more,” and he went away, leaving the young man to read his letter alone.

CHAPTER XXI. MR. CALVERT QUITS THE ARMY AND ENGAGES IN A HAZARDOUS ENTERPRISE

The letter which Calvert had received from Mr. Morris was short but very urgent. It begged him to resign his commission at once, which affair, the letter hinted, would be immediately arranged by Lafayette, and come to Paris, as Mr. Morris had business of the first importance on hand in which he wished Calvert's assistance. It went on to add that the exact nature of that business had best not be divulged until the young man should find himself at the American Legation, and ended by urging Mr. Calvert not to delay his departure from Maubeuge by a day, if possible.

Conformably with these requests Calvert set out for Paris on the very next day, after the briefest of preparations, and, arriving in the city on the evening of the 7th, made his way straight to the rue de la Planche, where he found Mr. Morris anxiously awaiting him. With a brief greeting, and scarcely allowing the young man time to divest himself of his travelling things, he drew him into his private study, and there, with locked doors, began eagerly to speak about the business upon which he had called Calvert so hastily to Paris.

“I knew I could trust you,” said Mr. Morris to Calvert. “Lafayette has given you my letter and you have lost no time in coming to me, as I felt assured you would do, my boy. 'Tis the most satisfactory sensation in the world to feel an absolute trust in one as I do in you,” he went on, with a kindly look at the young man. “Living in the midst of this people who think less than nothing of breaking every agreement, violating every oath, that feeling of confidence becomes doubly precious. But to the business in hand.” He hesitated slightly and then went on, “You must know that in the month of November last (and before my appointment by Congress to this post of American Minister to France), inspired by the unhappy consequences to the Royal Family of the flight to Varennes, I, together with several of the stanchest friends of the harassed monarch, engaged in an enterprise to assist the King and Queen to escape, from France. This plan, in which Favernay, Monciel, Beaufort, Bremond, and some others whom you know, were leagued together, never ripened, because, by the appointment of Narbonne and the preparations for war which immediately commenced, we hoped that Louis might regain his lost power. It was at this juncture and while I thought that this enterprise was at an end and that there would be no further occasion for me to intermeddle in the politics of this unhappy country, that I received and accepted my appointment as Minister to this court. Most unfortunately, the great opportunity which the King had to retrieve his fortunes he flung away by his subsequent vacillation and his secret negotiations with the allies; and this, together with the reverses of the French array, the growing violence of the opposing political factions here, and the terrible events of the 20th of June, have again made it necessary for the friends of the King, if they wish to save him, to exert themselves in his behalf. When this was made plain, those gentlemen with whom I had formerly been associated in the effort to serve His Majesty again applied to me for assistance, so that I found myself in the cruel position of either betraying my official trust or of abandoning the monarch whom I sincerely pitied and whom I had pledged myself to aid. The last and most moving appeal made to me was that of Monsieur Lafayette. I met him at the Tuileries when he went to pay his respects to their Majesties before rejoining his army. I know not what had passed between the King and himself at the levee, for I arrived just as he was going, but I saw by his countenance that he had the gloomiest forebodings. He drew me into a small anteroom and spoke to me with his old familiarity and affection. Indeed, he is greatly changed, and I could not help but be touched by the consternation and grief that weighed upon him. He opened himself to me very freely and confessed that 'twas his opinion that the King was lost if brave and wise friends did not immediately offer their services in his behalf. He knew of the scheme in which I had been before engaged to assist the King, and he besought me to renew those engagements and to prosecute them with the utmost diligence. The King, he said, had let fall some expressions indicating his confidence in myself, 'a confidence,' said Lafayette, 'which he did not hesitate to show he did not feel in me. The Queen is even more distrustful of me than the King, so that I think their safety lies in your hands. But, believe me, though they do not trust me, they have no more devoted servant. I am come, at length, to your belief that in the King alone is to be found the cure for the ills of the present time, and not the most ardent royalist is now more anxious to preserve His Majesty than myself.' While Lafayette was speaking, a way out of my difficulties suddenly occurred to me. I thought of you, my boy, and, knowing that I could rely on you as on myself, I determined to appeal to you to act in my stead, to take upon yourself those dangers and risks which, in my position of minister from a neutral power to this country, I have now no right to assume. I know how great a thing I am asking, but I also know your generous nature, your steadfastness, your capability to carry through discreetly and swiftly any undertaking you engage in. As an American, you will have the confidence of the King and Queen, and will act as a surety for Lafayette, whom 'tis only too true their Majesties distrust profoundly. I reminded Lafayette of the unalterable obligation which prevented me from interesting myself personally in the political situation here and of the plan I had just formed of appealing to you. He approved of it entirely, saying that there was no one in whose hands he would more willingly leave matters. We made an appointment for that evening at Monsieur de la Rochefoucauld's, where he was staying, to discuss some plan of assistance to his Majesty. I consented to this interview, for it was impossible at that late hour to call together all those interested in the affair and, as Lafayette was leaving the next morning, something had to be done immediately. Our interview was a long one, but the plan we hit upon was, in the end, very simple and, indeed, the circumstances of the case, the short time, and the necessity for the greatest secrecy demand that the simplest methods should be employed. Shall I tell you that plan?” asked Mr. Morris, suddenly breaking off in the midst of his long talk and regarding Calvert with a keen, questioning glance.

“There is no lead I would follow sooner than yours, Mr. Morris,” replied the young man, quietly and firmly. “As you know, all my sympathies are with the King and Queen, and in whatsoever way I can serve their Majesties I am ready here and now to pledge myself to that service.”

Indeed, the enterprise suited Calvert's temper well. Any excitement or danger was welcome to him just then. His hopes of seeing military service having been frustrated, he was glad to find some other scheme at hand which promised to divert his melancholy thoughts from himself.

“'Tis like you to speak so, boy,” said Mr. Morris, grasping Calvert warmly by the hand. “I knew you would not fail me. And, before God, how could I fail them?” he burst out, rising in agitation and stumping about the room. “I have done wrong in engaging in the remotest way in this affair, in urging you to become a party to it, but my humanity forbids me to withhold whatever of aid I can render. Was ever a monarch so cruelly beset, so bereft of wise counsellors, of trusty friends? He knows not where to look for help, nor which way to turn. He suspects every adviser of treachery, of self-interest, of veniality, and he has reason to do so. The wisest, in his desperate position, would scarce know how to bear himself, and what can we expect of so narrow an intellect, so vacillating and timid a nature? I pity him profoundly, but I also despise him, for there is a want of metal in him which will ever prevent him from being truly royal.”

“'Tis doubly difficult to help those who will not help themselves. Do you think it is really possible to save his Majesty?” asked Calvert, doubtfully.

“We can but make one more desperate effort, and I confess that I rely more on the firmness of the Queen for its success than I do on the King,” said Mr. Morris. “But I will tell you of the plan and you can judge for yourself of its feasibility.”

The scheme agreed upon between Mr. Morris and Lafayette in that interview at Monsieur de la Rochefoucauld's, and which Mr. Morris proceeded to detail to Calvert, was briefly this: It being evident that as long as the King remained in Paris he was a virtual prisoner and subject to the capricious commands of the Assembly, his ministers, and the mobs, daily increasing in numbers and lawlessness, it seemed to both Mr. Morris and Lafayette that the thing of first importance was to effect the King's escape from the capital. To accomplish this it was Lafayette's suggestion that the King should go to the Assembly when affairs should be ripe for that act and announce his intention of passing a few days at one of his country residences within the limits prescribed for his free movements. “I thought he blushed as he made this suggestion, and 'twas all I could do to keep from asking him if he intended to serve his Majesty on this occasion as he had in the St. Cloud affair,” said Mr. Morris, dryly. “But his distress and his sincerity were so evident that I contained myself.” The King established as far from Paris as possible, Lafayette was to arrange a manoeuvre of his troops at a point near the royal residence, and once arrived there, he was to rapidly and secretly march the trustiest of his regiments to the King's rescue, surround the palace, and call upon the army for a new oath of fidelity to the monarch and constitution. Rendered independent by this stroke, Louis was to issue a proclamation forbidding the allies and emigres to enter his kingdom. Should the army flash in the pan and refuse to swear allegiance, Lafayette was, at all hazards, and with the aid of the regiments whose loyalty was beyond question, to escort the King to a place of safety beyond the border.

For the accomplishment of this plan, simple though it was, an enormous sum of money and the greatest diplomacy were necessary. As for the money, that was easily come by; indeed, Monsieur de Monciel had already brought to Mr. Morris two hundred thousand livres contributed by the loyal adherents of His Majesty; more was promised within the next few days. Mr. Morris consented to receive these sums, though he felt obliged to refuse the protection of the Legation to any papers relative to the matter in hand. With such sums at their disposal it was hoped and believed by Mr. Morris and the other ardent friends of the unfortunate sovereign that enough influential members of the Assembly could be bribed to insure the King's departure from Paris and the allegiance of those doubtful regiments upon the frontier.

“It was my suggestion, Calvert,” said Mr. Morris, “that you should be sent to test and influence those disaffected regiments, and to find a safe retreat for his Majesty in case of failure of our scheme, while we remain here to work with the members of the Assembly and watch the situation for a favorable moment to strike the blow. It was my further suggestion that your wife should be one of the ladies-in-waiting to the Queen, that we might have sure and swift intelligence of what passes within the palace. By the greatest good fortune I heard the following day, through Madame de Flahaut, of the illness and withdrawal of one of the Queen's attendants, and the next evening at court, having the opportunity of saying a few words in private to her Majesty, I besought her to give the vacant post to your wife. I intimated to her that the appointment was of the greatest importance to herself and the King, and being, doubtless, impressed by the earnestness of my manner, she promised to grant my request, though she had intended to leave the place vacant, saying bitterly that 'twere best she should draw no other into the circle of danger which surrounded her. I had the satisfaction of learning yesterday that the appointment had been made, and already your wife is installed as a lady-in-waiting at the Tuileries.

“Under cover of letters to her—which, I think, will be more likely to escape patriotic curiosity than any others—you will keep the King and his friends here in Paris informed of your movements and the progress of affairs, and through her we can have intimate knowledge of what passes in the palace, so that they can hardly fail to know when to take the decisive step. Are you willing to undertake this difficult and dangerous enterprise?” asked Mr. Morris, looking at the young man.

“With all my heart,” replied Calvert. “Were I not interested in the cause itself, I would still remember the graciousness of their Majesties when I was presented to them, and hold it a privilege to serve them.”

“You will see them again to-morrow evening and can assure them yourself of your fidelity. I think they have no doubt of it now, nor ever will. Through Monsieur de Favernay I arranged for a private audience with the King and Queen for to-morrow—you see, I counted on you as on myself, and felt assured that you would come at the earliest moment, Ned. At that interview I will again present you to their Majesties, and then I will withdraw definitely from all connection with this affair, leaving you to lay the plan before the King and Queen, and to carry it through should it be agreed to by their Majesties.”

The two gentlemen sat up until far into the night discussing the enterprise, Calvert making many valuable suggestions, and entering so heartily into the arrangement that Mr. Morris began to take a more hopeful view of the situation than he had hitherto allowed himself to do.

On the following evening, about ten o'clock, Beaufort arrived hastily at the Legation with the information that all was in readiness for the private audience which Mr. Morris had requested, and the three gentlemen, entering a coach, were driven rapidly to the Tuileries. They were introduced at a wicket on the little rue du Manege, and, passing up a stairway seldom used and through the Queen's apartments, at length found themselves at the door of a small and private chamber of his Majesty's suite. At this door Beaufort tapped gently, and hearing an “Entrez!” from within, he pushed it open, and then, with a low bow, retired, leaving Mr. Morris and Calvert to enter by themselves.

His Majesty was alone and seated beside a small table, on which were a lamp and some writing materials. As Mr. Morris and Calvert advanced into the room he rose and graciously extended a hand to each of the gentlemen.

“Vous etes le bien venu,” he says to Mr. Morris, and then, looking at Calvert with a half-smile. “I remember you very well, now,” he adds, rapidly, in French to the younger man. While the King was speaking, Calvert noticed with a glance the heavy, harassed expression of Louis's face. The eyes, which had once been benign and rather stupid, had now a haunted, suspicious look in them. While he was yet bowing, and before he could form a reply to the King's remarks, the Queen entered rapidly from an adjoining apartment. Calvert felt a shock, a thrill of pity, as he looked at her Majesty. A dozen fateful years seemed to have rolled over that countenance, so lovely when last he had seen it. Though she still held herself proudly, the animation and beauty of face and figure had vanished. The large blue eyes were tired and red with weeping, the complexion had lost its brilliancy, and the fair hair was tinged with gray. History hath made it out that the Queen's hair whitened in a single night of her captivity, but it had already begun to lose its golden color before the days of the Temple, and the lock which she shortly after this sent to Calvert, in token of her appreciation of his services, was thickly streaked with white.

She came forward and stood beside the King, inclining her head graciously to Mr. Morris, who made their Majesties a profound obeisance.

“I am come to again present my friend, Mr. Calvert of Virginia, to your Majesties,” he says, indicating Calvert, who bowed again, and at whom the Queen looked with a keen, suspicious glance that almost instantly kindled into one of kindness and trust. “He is to be my representative in that affair in which it will be my undying regret not to have been able to participate,” continued Mr. Morris, “and I beg of your Majesties to give him your utmost confidence and trust, for I assure your Majesties that he is entirely worthy of both. He will acquaint you with the details of that plan, the existence of which Monsieur de Monciel intimated to your Majesties yesterday, and, should that plan meet with your royal approval, Mr. Calvert is ready to stake his life and his honor in the execution of it. Your Majesties understand how impossible it is for me to say more, and I can only ask permission to withdraw.”

'Twas the Queen who answered—the King seemed unable to find a word.

“We thank you with all our hearts,” she says, in a low, mournful tone, looking at Mr. Morris, “and we understand.” At her gesture of recognition and dismissal Mr. Morris executed another low obeisance and withdrew.

Left alone with the King and Queen, and being seated, at their Majesties' invitation, Calvert unfolded to them in detail the plan agreed upon by the King's friends, leaving out as much as possible Lafayette's part in it ('twas his own wish, conveyed through Mr. Morris) lest the Queen should take fright and refuse her sanction to the enterprise. Indeed, so deep was her distrust of him, that to Mr. Calvert it seemed that she only gave her consent because of the share Mr. Morris and himself had in it.

“So that is the plan,” she said, musing. “We betrayed ourselves when we succored America. Perhaps we are to be repaid now and Americans are to help us in this desperate strait. 'Tis a bitter humiliation to have to turn to strangers for aid, but our only true friends are all scattered now; there is no one about us but would betray and sacrifice us,” she says, bitterly, and looking at the King, whose heavy countenance reflected in a dull way her poignant distress.

“Pardon me, Your Majesty,” says Calvert, ardently, “there are still some stanch friends left to you. I have seen these gentlemen but this morning, when we discussed anew this plan, and they but wait your approval to pledge their lives and fortunes to extricate Your Majesties from the distressing situation you now find yourselves in. It but depends upon you to say whether this scheme shall be carried through. With firmness and confidence on your part it cannot fail.”

“I fear to hope again—do not arouse my expectations only to have them disappointed,” and rising in the greatest agitation, the Queen began to pace up and down the little room. “Who would have thought that Fersen could fail?—and yet he did.” She covered her face with her hands to hide the tears which filled her eyes. Suddenly she stopped before Calvert, who had risen, and gave him so penetrating and anguished a look that the young man could scarce bear to meet her glance.

“There is that in your face which inspires confidence,” says the Queen. “I think you would not know either defeat or deceit. Pray God you may not. We will trust him, shall we not?” she says, turning to the King and putting out her hand so graciously that Calvert fell upon one knee before her and kissed it. He knelt to the suffering woman who had instinctively appealed to him and her faith in him even more than to the desperate Queen.

It was by such moments of genuineness and winning sweetness that Marie Antoinette captivated those with whom she came in contact. Could such bursts of true feeling have endured, could she always have been as sincere and single-hearted as she was at such times, she would have been a great and good woman. Genius, ambition, firmness, courage, all these she had, but insincerity and suspicion warped a noble nature. To Calvert, just then, she seemed the incarnation of great womanhood, and 'twas with the utmost fervor that he pressed her to allow himself and her other faithful friends to serve her.

“In a few weeks all will be ready,” he says. “I go from here to the frontier to visit and, if possible, win over those troops whose loyalty to your Majesties has been in question; then on to secure a safe retreat in case our plan fails, which, pray God, it may not! Either Worms, where Monsieur de Conde is powerful, or Spire, whose Prince-Bishop is most devoted to your Majesties, will surely offer its hospitality and protection. It depends only on your Majesties' firmness to escape from this capital and captivity. Through letters to my wife" (Calvert hesitated slightly—'twas the first time he had so used the word) “your Majesties will know exactly the situation of affairs outside of Paris, and through her replies we must know what takes place in the palace. Kept informed of each other's movements, 'twill be easy to fix upon the best day for striking the blow we have in contemplation, and, if you will but do your part, it must needs be successful.” As he concluded his urgent appeal he rose from his knees and stood before the King and Queen, glancing anxiously from one to the other. His face expressed so much earnestness and enthusiasm that their Majesties could not help but be impressed.

“And our engagements with our cousin of Austria?” said the Queen, after an instant's silence, “for I will not conceal from you, Monsieur, that since Varennes I have no hope save in our allies.”

“Were it not better that you should depend for your safety on your own subjects, Madame?” asked Calvert.

The King agreed with him and said so at once, but it was with reluctance that the Queen gave her consent to the enterprise.

“It is a noble plan and a hazardous one, and we thank you, Monsieur, and those other gentlemen who are imperilling their lives to insure our safety, but I confess to you,” said her Majesty, sadly, “that I sanction the undertaking and enter into it, not in the hope that the first part of it will succeed—alas! I distrust our generals and troops too deeply for that—but in the belief that once out of Paris we may ultimately be able to take refuge with our friends beyond the frontier.”

As she spoke, there came a hurried tapping at the door, and, almost before permission to enter had been given, Beaufort appeared. He signed hastily to Calvert to depart, and on a silent gesture of dismissal from the King and Queen, he followed the young nobleman from the room through a door opposite to the one by which he had been admitted. Hurrying past endless antechambers, down marble stairways, and through long corridors, Calvert at length found himself at a little gate which gave upon the Carrousel. This Beaufort unlocked and, giving the password to the Swiss sentry who stood without, the two young men at length found themselves on the Quai des Tuileries. There, after a moment's hurried conversation, during which Calvert told Beaufort of the result of the momentous interview with the King and Queen, the two parted, the young Frenchman returning to the palace and Calvert making his way as quickly as possible back to the Legation, where Mr. Morris anxiously awaited him.

CHAPTER XXII. MR. CALVERT STARTS ON A JOURNEY

The Queen's consent having been obtained, Calvert set out upon his journey to the frontier the next day. He would have carried a lighter heart had he felt better assured of the good faith of the King and Queen. Louis had given his consent readily enough and had approved heartily of the plan, for it had ever been against his real wishes to call in the aid of the allies, but Calvert knew too well how little he dared rely on the King's firmness or courage. As for the Queen, he could only hope that the continued representations of Beaufort, Favernay, and others about her Majesty cognizant of the enterprise and the confidence she had expressed in himself, would confirm her in her resolution to help carry the undertaking through to a successful termination.

Mr. Calvert first made his way with all possible expedition back to Maubeuge, where he reported to Lafayette the result of his interview with their Majesties and received from him letters to certain officers who were to be taken into the enterprise and whose commands were to be won over if possible.

“Her Majesty can surely no longer doubt my good faith,” said Lafayette, bitterly, to Calvert. “Success, death, or flight is all that is left to me now.”

With these letters Calvert proceeded on his way to Namur, Givet, and Treves, where different detachments of Lafayette's troops were garrisoned. He was made welcome at every mess-table, and his scheme was received with such enthusiasm that it seemed almost an unnecessary precaution to cross the frontier and seek a possible asylum for the Royal Family in case the great plan failed. But the very enthusiasm of some of these young officers caused Calvert to fear for the success of the enterprise. So loud-tongued were they in their loyalty, with such imprudence did they drink toasts to their Majesties and the success of the undertaking, that Calvert, himself so calm and silent, was both disgusted and alarmed.

With the enthusiastic promise of allegiance to the plan on their own part and that of their regiments, Calvert quitted the society of these officers, and, certain of the hearty co-operation of enough troops to make the safety of the King and Queen amply assured, he proceeded, by way of the Mozelle, to Coblentz. He arrived at that city on the 26th of July, and was immediately granted an interview with the great Prince-Elector of Treves, but recently established in his splendid new palace on the Rhine, and the commander-in-chief of the allied army, his Grace the Duke of Brunswick.

Though Calvert had journeyed with all possible speed, he was come a day too late, and he heard with inexpressible alarm and chagrin of the imprudent manifesto issued by the Duke but the day before. Surely no other great general of the world ever made so colossal, so fatal a blunder. In that arrogant and sanguinary manifesto could be heard the death-knell of the unhappy King of France, or so it seemed to Calvert, who was so deeply impressed with the rashness and danger of his Grace's diplomacy that he made no attempt to conceal the alarm he felt. This open disapproval so offended the Duke and his friend, the Prince-Elector, that the latter received Calvert's proposals with the utmost coldness, and would make no promise to receive the royal fugitives in case it became necessary. Perhaps, too, he was weary of royal guests. Seeing that nothing was to be got from the Elector, Calvert hurried on to Worms through that beautiful Rhine country which he had once traversed so leisurely and delightfully with Mr. Morris.

There he found Monsieur le Prince de Conde, with whom he had a long audience. This great leader of the emigrant forces, being apprised of Calvert's embassy, approved heartily of that scheme which would make the King openly join issue with his nobles, and sent the young man on with all speed to Kehl with secret letters for Monsieur de Viomenil. This General, under Monsieur de Conde's orders, was stationed with trusty troops from Luckner's command at the little town of Kehl, opposite Strasburg, and was deep in secret negotiations with officers of the garrison for the capitulation of that city and the entry of the emigrant army. These intrigues had been going on for some time, and so crafty were Viomenil's plans (he was the greatest diplomat the emigres could boast), and so successful was Monsieur de Thessonnet, aide-de-camp to the Prince de Conde, in carrying them out, that when Calvert arrived at head-quarters the possession of Strasburg by the emigrant forces seemed to be a question of only a few days. 'Twas in this belief that Monsieur de Conde had despatched Calvert to Monsieur de Viomenil, who joined in the enterprise with the utmost enthusiasm and confidence. So assured was he of the success of his own undertaking that he spoke of it almost as if 'twere already an accomplished triumph, even going to the length of showing the young man the method of attack and occupation traced upon the plan of the city; at this street a regiment was to be stationed; at that gate a body of cavalry was to enter—as though he were master of fate and naught could interfere with his plans. So confident was Viomenil, and so impregnable a defence did Strasburg seem to offer for the King should misfortune overtake him, that Calvert set out on his journey back to Maubeuge the following day buoyed up with the belief that should the army refuse its allegiance and support the King would find, at any rate, a safe asylum at Strasburg. But already Brunswick's ill-advised manifesto was at work overthrowing these well-laid plans, which were to come to nothing, as were his own, unhappily, though for a different reason.

At Maubeuge, where he arrived on the 1st of August, gloomy forebodings in regard to the disastrous effects of his Grace of Brunswick's manifesto were fully shared by Lafayette and those officers committed to the conspiracy. Indeed, Lafayette was in the greatest anxiety and dismay.

“We must force our hand,” he said to Calvert. “There is not a moment to lose. This cursed, imprudent, vainglorious mandate of Brunswick's has set the whole country by the ears, for all Paris and the army believes, aye, knows, that the King had cognizance of it before it was issued. The Queen has usually been the double dealer, but this time I think they have both had a hand in it, although these letters from your wife, which, according to our agreement, I have opened, assure us that their Majesties are still of a mind to trust to the issue of our plan and are ready to make the trial at any moment.”

“What success have you had with the army?” asked Calvert.

“Much. I can count on a dozen regiments—Saurel, Marbois, Pelletet, and their commands will go with me. I have favorable news, too, from Namur and Treves; but there is no more time, I think, to gain over others. We must work with what we have. The advices from Paris make it plain that the King is all but lost,” and he laid before Calvert a budget of despatches lately arrived by couriers from the capital. “You will see for yourself in what a ferment the city is, and how bitterly hostile is the attitude of Assembly and people to the King.”

“And what do you hear from Beaufort, Monciel, and the rest who are working with the members of the Assembly?” asked Calvert, who had heard nothing on his long journey, though he had kept their Majesties informed of his own movements.

“Here is Beaufort's letter—it reached me yesterday,” replied Lafayette. “He reports a sufficient number engaged on our side by bribery or interest to insure the King's departure—only it must be instantly, instantly, or all is lost.”

“Then I will go at once to Paris,” said Calvert, “and report all ready here, and the great step must be taken if it is ever to be.”

“It cannot be too soon.”

“And have you made all arrangements?”

“This is my plan,” says the General, laying a military map of France upon the table before Calvert.

“The King must ask permission to retire to Compiegne for a few days—'tis, as you know, one of his Majesty's favorite residences, hence the request will seem natural. Three days preceding that request (and which, I think, cannot be later than the 9th) I will order several of the most loyal regiments under Saurel and Marbois to proceed to Laon to invest that fortress. I will march with these troops myself, and at La Capelle, which, as you see, is about six leagues from Compiegne, will order them to proceed to the latter point instead of to Laon. The King will find a loyal army surrounding his chateau of Compiegne when he arrives.”

“And if the Assembly refuses to let him leave Paris?”

“Then he and the Queen on that same evening must escape disguised—she is a good actress, Ned, and did not play Beaumarchais's comedies at the little Trianon for nothing; the King will have more trouble—to Courbevoie, where a detachment of the Swiss Guard will be found to escort their Majesties to Compiegne. We must make sure of Bachman, who is, I think, of the King's cause, and must have his promise to detail his Guard at Courbevoie and hold them in readiness. His troops will be strengthened by a regiment under Marbois, which will push on from Compiegne to meet them. Should all go well and his Majesty's request be granted, you must instantly send an aide-de-camp to intercept Marbois and turn him back to Compiegne. Though I do not doubt Bachman's loyalty, 'tis well to be on the safe side, so that thou, Ned, and Favernay, and other of the King's friends must be at Courbevoie to aid his Majesty's flight and see that no treachery is done. We must trust Beaufort to accompany the King to the Assembly and stay beside their Majesties to see that our plans do not miscarry within the palace. And now what dost thou think of the great enterprise?”

“I think it cannot fail of success, if their Majesties will but do their part, and that they will at last appreciate the Marquis de Lafayette at his true value,” says Calvert, warmly.

“I think I shall get small credit in that quarter,” replies Lafayette, smiling a little sarcastically. “Nor do I feel that I deserve much. 'Tis to thee and to Mr. Morris that the King's gratitude is due, and if Louis XVI is saved from his enemies it will be by the courage and generosity of two American gentlemen,” he says, very nobly. “'Twas Mr. Morris's shrewd wit which first set the enterprise afoot, and 'tis thy coolness and bravery which has carried it so far on its way to success. I could not have moved hand or foot in the matter without you two.”

After fixing upon the 9th of August as the day on which his Majesty should repair to the Assembly to make his request, and arranging some further details of communication between the army at Compiegne and the troops at Courbevoie, Calvert, in spite of his fatigue (he had ridden for two days and the better part of two nights), set out at once for Paris, where he arrived on the morning of the 5th.

As he feared, he found the city in a state of the greatest agitation. The different sections of Paris had demanded the dethronement of the King, and the temper of the people was so hostile toward their ruler that his Majesty's friends were of the opinion that their plan to save him must be put to the test instantly or all would be lost. Mr. Calvert met those gentlemen (there were five in all besides Calvert—Monciel, Bremond, Beaufort, Favernay, and d'Angremont) at Monsieur de Monciel's, together with Mr. Morris, who, although he obeyed the letter of the law he had laid down for himself, could not, to save his life, refrain from being a spectator, if a silent one, at those deliberations in which he was so profoundly interested. 'Twas agreed by these gentlemen, who were all impatient of any delay, that the date, the 9th, set by Lafayette, should be adopted for the trial of the great enterprise, and Monsieur de Favernay was instantly despatched to the frontier to acquaint him of this decision. Beaufort and d'Angremont, who had knowledge of all that passed within the palace, were to prepare the King's address to the Assembly and to urge upon their Majesties the necessity of the speedy trial of that plan to which they had committed themselves. This was no easy business, for, since the unfortunate flight to Varennes, both the King and the Queen hesitated to trust themselves to their friends or to take any step, the failure of which would but add to the misfortunes they already had to bear.

Bremond and Monciel were to renew their efforts to insure the King's departure by the Assembly and to make assurance doubly sure in that quarter; while as for Calvert, he was to sound Bachman, gain his allegiance to the King's cause, and engage him to detain his Swiss Guard at Courbevoie to aid the King's flight should it be necessary.

With these arrangements fully agreed upon, the gentlemen separated, Calvert going to the Legation for a talk with Mr. Morris (though he would not stop there for fear of compromising him should the enterprise bring him into peril) and then to the guard-room of the palace, where he found the captain of the Swiss troop. 'Twas easy enough to engage Bachman in Calvert's plan, for he was already devoted to the royal cause, and his troops would follow him wherever he led. He entered enthusiastically into the hazardous scheme, agreeing to detail certain regiments at Courbevoie under his own command on the evening of the 9th of August to act as an escort for their Majesties as far as Compiegne if necessary.

When this affair was satisfactorily settled and reported to the other conspirators for the King's safety, Calvert made his way to the hotel in the rue Richelieu, at which he had stayed with Mr. Morris, and sought the first repose he had known for nearly fifty-six hours.

During the days of the 6th, 7th, and 8th of August, Mr. Calvert and those other devoted friends of the King who were plotting for his safety were kept in the greatest state of alarm by the wildest and most sanguinary rumors of conspiracies to storm the palace and murder the Royal Family. 'Twas only too evident that the temper of the mob could not be counted on from one hour to the next, and that the King must be got out of Paris at all hazards. No step could be taken until the 9th, however, when Lafayette would be at Compiegne, and, in the meantime, those gentlemen engaged in the service of his Majesty were busy trying to prepare the way for the King's removal from the capital. The sums of money which were continually brought to Mr. Morris by Monciel, Bremond, and others were expended in bribing those who might stand in the way of the King's departure or else invested by him for the future use of their Majesties, a rigid account of all of which was given by Mr. Morris to the young Duchesse d'Angouleme when he had audience with her Royal Highness at Vienna, years after, and when the tragedy which he had so ardently tried to avert had been consummated. Memoires and addresses for the King were hastily drawn up by Calvert, Monciel, and Beaufort, assisted by Mr. Morris, who, in the terrible excitement and danger of those last two days preceding the final step, threw prudence to the winds and lent his aid morning and night to the enterprise.

Early on the morning of the 9th, Favernay returned, worn by the fatigue of his long and rapid journey, with the news that Lafayette was on the march; that the troops would reach Compiegne by afternoon, and that he had left them at La Capelle. All being thus in readiness outside of the city, word was borne to his Majesty by Calvert in a secret interview, and after some persuasion, and the address to the legislators, prepared by Mr. Morris, being presented to his Majesty, he agreed to repair to the Assembly at six in the evening to make his request to be allowed to retire to Compiegne for a few days. In the early afternoon, and after every precaution possible had been taken to insure the success of the undertaking, Calvert, Bremond, and Favernay left the city, by different routes, for Courbevoie, agreeing to meet there at the caserne of the Swiss Guard to await the issue of the King's appeal to the Assembly and be ready to escort his Majesty by force, if necessary, to Compiegne, while Mr. Morris, deeming it best not to appear at the Assembly, remained at the Legation, anxiously waiting for news of the success or failure of the plan.

CHAPTER XXIII. WITHIN THE PALACE

The arrival of Calvert at the chateau with his message that all was in readiness for the taking of the final step, the decision for instant action thus forced upon his Majesty, and the excitement pervading the whole city, threw the King and Queen and those few about them who were in the secret into the greatest agitation. Her Majesty, especially, was in the cruellest apprehension, and, dismissing her other attendants, kept only Adrienne with her during that weary day, which, it seemed, would never end. She was the only soul the Queen could confide in, and the two frightened women clung to each other, waiting in terror for the issue of that day's great business. A hundred times did her Majesty change her mind about the expediency of risking further the displeasure of the Assembly and the people by this request to leave the capital; a hundred times did she revert to her former purpose of waiting for and trusting in the allies whose approach was now so near. It took all of Adrienne's courage and persuasiveness to bring the Queen back to her purpose of adhering to the enterprise afoot; she found herself arguing passionately in behalf of Calvert, and at length succeeded in again imbuing the Queen's mind with that faith in him which she herself had. 'Twas curious how that old trust she had felt and acknowledged long before she had loved him animated her now, mingled with a pride in him, a passionate devotion, which she had thought never to experience. As for the King, she saw but little of him, for he was either closeted with his ministers or else sat alone, silent and apathetic, as if in resignation of that fate thrust upon him.

Toward seven o'clock Beaufort and d'Angremont were admitted, and, shortly after, his Majesty prepared to go with them to the Assembly. During the two hours which followed, a thousand hopes and fears agitated the two women left alone in a private chamber of the Queen's apartments. Her Majesty, unable to remain quiet, paced the room in the cruellest apprehension. At exactly nine the King entered, pale and alarmed-looking, and attended only by Beaufort. At sight of him the Queen arose and went to him with a little cry.

“They have refused—all is lost,” says His Majesty, in a hollow voice.

“Impossible!” she exclaims, looking from the King to Beaufort, who stood by, deathly pale, also.

“It is only too true, your Majesty,” says Beaufort, for the King seemed incapable of speech. “In spite of the enormous bribes offered and received, in spite of promises, in spite of his Majesty's address, which should have mollified all parties and inspired confidence, the temper of the Assembly, which had appeared favorable to his Majesty, suddenly changed and an outrageous scene took place; humiliations and insults and threats were heaped upon his Majesty, who retired as speedily as possible. D'Angremont was arrested as we left the Assembly, which has refused to allow the departure of your Majesties, and there remains nothing but to try the last expedient.”

The Queen stood gazing at the King and Beaufort, anger and despair written on every feature. Her eyes blazed, and into the lately colorless cheeks a deep crimson sprang.

“Impossible,” she says again. “The traitors! To betray us at every turn! Surely there is no one so friendless as the King and Queen of France! And shall we trust ourselves again to flight? Oh, the horrors of that last ride!” She shuddered and sank into a chair. Adrienne knelt beside the despairing woman.

“All is ready—your Majesties have but to follow the instructions—to don the disguises prepared—once at Courbevoie all is secure,” she says, speaking with the greatest energy and confidence and clasping the Queen's hand in her own.

Suddenly her Majesty started up. “Never—never!” she bursts out, beginning to pace up and down the small chamber. “Never will I again go through with the humiliation of flight and capture. Better death or imprisonment at the hands of this ungrateful, mad people!”

“But, your Majesty—” says Beaufort, beginning to speak, but the Queen interrupted him.

“I know what you would tell me, Beaufort,” she stopped and spoke imperiously—“that this scheme is the best possible one, the only one, perhaps; that in this enterprise lies our only safety, but I cannot believe it! A thousand times would I rather trust myself to the allies!” she said, beginning to pace the floor again.

“I think 'tis not that alone which Monsieur de Beaufort would tell your Majesty,” said Adrienne, rising from beside the chair where the Queen had been sitting. She stood straight and tall before the desperate Queen and spoke rapidly. “He would say, also, that there is a handful of brave gentlemen who have risked their lives to serve your Majesties, who are waiting now but a few miles away and the further opportunity of serving you. Every moment adds to their peril. Should your Majesties fail them, what will become of them?” She threw out her hands with an appealing gesture.

“'Tis true,” murmured the King. “It must not be said that we sacrificed the last of our friends,” he said, smiling a little bitterly and looking at the Queen, who continued to pace the little room in the cruellest agitation.

“I pray your Majesties not to think of us,” said Beaufort. “Your devoted friends and servants think only of what is best for your Majesties. 'Tis their opinion, as well as my own, that there is nothing left but flight.”

“Never, never!” exclaimed the Queen, with increasing firmness.

“But think of the danger of remaining in Paris!” urged Beaufort. “We know not at what moment this insurrection prepared by the Jacobins may burst out, we know not at what moment this palace and the sacred persons of your Majesties may be at the mercy of an infuriated, insensate mob.”

“Let them come—these dangers—these horrors,” says the Queen, intrepidly; “they will bring Brunswick and the allies that much sooner to this Paris which I will not leave until they enter it.” She stamped her foot upon the velvet carpet and clinched her white hands at her sides.

“Then your Majesty is resolved to give up the enterprise she has promised to support, to abandon those loyal servants who have depended upon her and his Majesty the King?” asks Adrienne, looking at the Queen, her face pale as marble and her eyes burning with indignation.

“Does Madame Calvert permit herself to question our actions?” says the Queen, turning imperiously upon her. Suddenly her beautiful eyes filled with tears. “Forgive me—you are right,” she says. “'Tis our fate—our wretched fate—to seem to abandon and injure all who are brought near us, all who attempt to serve us. We cannot help ourselves—even now we must break our faith with these loyal friends, for now I see that after the refusal of the Assembly to allow us to leave Paris, 'twere madness to attempt to go. We would but increase the danger, the humiliation we already have to endure. The only wise course is to await Brunswick and the allies. I see now the folly of this plan of escape—indeed, I was never fully persuaded of its wisdom. The confidence I felt in this young American—his devotion to us and that of those other friends—blinded me to the dangers and difficulties of the undertaking.”

“And the King?” asks Adrienne, turning from the Queen to his Majesty, who sat by, indecision and weariness and timidity written on all his heavy features.

“We dare not,” he says, at length, apathetically. “The Queen is right—after the refusal by the Assembly to allow us to depart, after this new humiliation, it were worse than folly to think of escaping. We are surrounded by spies—treachery is within these very walls—how can we hope to get away? It is best to await our doom quietly here. What think you, Beaufort?” he asks.

“I implore your Majesty to make the effort,” says Beaufort. “Once outside Paris, the Swiss Guards await you, Lafayette with his loyal regiments is even now at Compiegne——”

“Lafayette at Compiegne?—who knows?” says the Queen, gloomily, interrupting Beaufort again. “Monsieur de Lafayette hath betrayed us before and may do so again. I trust him not! To know that he has a share in this enterprise is to make me fear to pursue it! No, no,” she goes on, shuddering and turning away. “St. Cloud and the 5th of October are too well remembered. I should have thought of all this before,” she says, striking her hands together in an agony of doubt and despair. “It is too late now.”

“And who will tell these gentlemen waiting at Courbevoie, and the regiments advancing from Compiegne at the risk of their lives, of this sudden change in your Majesties' plans? Should Monsieur d'Angremont be induced to divulge their names they will inevitably be lost—their only hope is in immediate flight,” says Adrienne, looking from the King, sunk in resigned silence, to the frantic, hapless Queen, and back again.

“Who but myself, Madame?” said Beaufort, advancing. “And if your Majesties are fully determined to go no further in this business, I will ask leave to withdraw and set out for Courbevoie at once. Every moment is precious, and an hour's delay may mean the loss of many lives.”

“No, no, Beaufort, I cannot let you go,” cried the King, starting up. “Nom de Dieu, I forbid you!—d'Angremont is taken from me—there is no one in whom I can confide or trust—we must send another,” he went on, incoherently, and raising his hand as if to check Beaufort's departure.

For an instant the Queen swept him a glance of disdain. 'Twas not timidity that made her falter. She could not understand the physical weakness of the King; with her the abandonment of the great undertaking was a matter of expediency, not of fear, and she deserted her friends as relentlessly from interest as he did from cowardice.

“There is no one, your Majesty—no one whom we can send. 'Tis too late to trust others with this great secret—”

“Then I will go,” said Adrienne, suddenly stepping forward. “Send me—I am in the secret, I can be trusted! I can put on the disguise intended for your Majesty and go.” She turned to the Queen and spoke eagerly and rapidly. “I fear nothing. Let me go, let me go!” She dropped on her knees before the Queen. “I must go—I must,” she said, wildly.

“Is there no other?” asked the Queen, turning to Beaufort. “Surely we are not so destitute of friends that we must send this girl upon such a dangerous mission!” she said, sorrowfully.

“I implore your Majesty to let me go,” said Adrienne, once more. “'Tis a service I would do myself as well as your Majesty,” she went on, her white face suddenly covered with a burning blush.

The Queen looked at her keenly for a moment, and then she put out her hand with a sad, comprehending smile. “You may go,” she said.

CHAPTER XXIV. THE TENTH OF AUGUST

According to agreement, Bremond sped instantly from the Assembly to Courbevoie with news of the fresh humiliation put upon the King and the outrageous scene which had taken place. He found Calvert, Monciel, Favernay, Bachman, and several officers of the Swiss Guard, upon whose loyalty they could depend, assembled in a room of the officers' quarters of the barracks, anxiously awaiting the issue of the day's events. He told his news amid a dead silence, broken only now and then by an exclamation of indignation or disappointment from one of the listeners. When he had finished speaking, Calvert turned to the little group, “Then, gentlemen,” he says, “pursuant to the plan, the King's request having been denied, we may expect their Majesties here before ten, and shall have the honor of guarding them to Compiegne.”

As he looked around upon the little company, there was not a face but expressed some secret doubt and misgiving. The King's timidity and vacillation were so well known that 'twas impossible not to question his good faith even in this last extremity. As ten o'clock passed and eleven and no message or sign of the royal fugitives came to the anxious, impatient watchers, those secret doubts and misgivings began to be openly expressed.

“'Tis the Austrian who has kept him, I will bet a hundred louis,” said one of the Guard's officers, gloomily. “I never believed she would keep faith with us—she is too deeply committed to Brunswick—nor will she let the King do so.” Even while he spoke there was a sound of someone's running hurriedly up the stairs—they were assembled in an upper room—and in an instant an orderly was hammering at the door, which was flung open by Monciel.

“A messenger for Monsieur Calvert,” he says, saluting.

Calvert followed the man hastily down the steps to where a figure waited for him which made him start back with an exclamation of surprise and consternation.

Adrienne—for it was she—came forward, taking off the cap pulled over her eyes and letting fall the great cloak with which she had enveloped herself in spite of the intense heat, and appearing in the outrider's livery which was to have been the Queen's disguise.

“C'est moi,” she says, hurriedly, and putting a finger to her lips, “and I am come to tell you that their Majesties have failed you—have abandoned the plan—and to implore you to escape while there is time.” She stood straight and tall in her boy's clothes, but the dim light, falling upon her upturned face, showed it pale as death, and her voice trembled as she spoke.

“You are come to tell me this?” says Calvert, slowly, still staring at her as though scarce able to believe his senses. “And where is Beaufort?”

“The King refused to let him go; he is with his Majesty,” she says, breathlessly—“d'Angremont is taken—'tis reported that the palace is to be attacked to-night. The King and Queen will not come—the King is afraid to attempt the escape, and the Queen will rely on no one save the allies—we implored them in vain to come but they refused—they have failed you—save yourselves!” She leaned heavily against the door.

“It is quite certain?—they will not come?” asked Calvert. Adrienne shook her head.

“Then wait—come in here,” he said, drawing her into a little anteroom. He ran back up the stairs and burst into the room he had just left, with an imprecation.

“Their Majesties have flashed in the pan,” he said to the gentlemen who crowded about him. “'Tis no use to wait longer. D'Angremont is taken. You, Monciel and Favernay, set out instantly to intercept Marbois's regiment and turn it back to Compiegne. You will go back with the troops and report to General de Lafayette what has happened. As for you, gentlemen,” he says to the officers of the Guard, “not being needed here longer, you had best lead your men back with all speed to Paris to guard the palace. The attack is for to-night.”

Almost before he had finished speaking the little company had vanished which it had taken such secrecy and courage and fidelity to call together; the great plan was overthrown which had taken such daring and patience and wealth to set afoot. Timidity and bad faith had, in a moment, destroyed what had taken so many weeks to build up, and for the future calamities the King and Queen of France were to bear, they had only themselves to thank.

Calvert ran down the stairs again quickly to the anteroom, where the boyish figure in the long cloak awaited him.

“Come,” he said, briefly, and, ordering a fresh horse for the rider, whose mount was weary, almost without a word the two galloped back together under the fading stars to the city of tumult and horror and crime. And as they raced forward in silence, a thousand hopes and fears crowded in upon Calvert's mind, but he put them steadily from him, trying to think but of the King and Queen and if there might yet be help for them or service to render. Only as he looked at the pale face beside him, at the blue eyes, tired and strained now, a mad wonder would steal over him that she had done this thing. And with this wonder tugging at his heart and brain they pressed onward with all speed. They entered Paris as the first streaks of dawn were beginning to redden the sky, and in this rosy morning glow the haggard faces of the multitudes of men and women pacing the streets—for who could sleep during that awful night?—looked more haggard and wretched than ever before. Bands of armed ruffians marched through the streets from all sections of the city. 'Twas plain that some movement of importance was going forward.

The two riders made their way as quickly as possible past the Place du Carrousel, where Calvert could see the faithful Swiss regiment at their post, over the Pont Royal and so to the Faubourg St. Germain and the American Legation.

“Mr. Morris's house is the only safe place in all this mad city, I think,” he said to Adrienne. “I will leave you in his care while I go and see what has befallen the King and Queen.”

Early as was the hour, the Legation was all astir, and Mr. Morris himself came out to meet Calvert and Adrienne as they dismounted. He had not been to bed during the night and looked harassed and weary. He drew them into the house, where they found a large company assembled. Madame de Montmorin was there, agony and terror written on her pallid face; the old Count d'Estaing, who had fought so gallantly in America; Dillon, Madame de Flahaut, and a dozen others, who had taken refuge with the American Minister during that terrible night.

“You see!” said Mr. Morris, in a low tone, to Calvert, and indicating the little group. “They have fled for protection here, but God knows whether even this spot will afford them safety! I call you to witness, Calvert, that if my protection of these persons should become a matter of reproach to me here, or at home (and I have reason to expect it will, from what I have already experienced), I call you to witness that I have not violated the neutrality of this place by inviting them here, but I will never put them out now that they are here, let the consequences be what they may!”

“Who could believe that you could act in any other way!” said Calvert, warmly, touched by the nobility and earnestness of Mr. Morris's manner, very different from his usual cynical one. “And I am come to put another in your charge until the Queen sends for her,” he went on. “She has ridden through this terrible night—God knows how—to give us warning that the King and Queen have abandoned us and the great plan and have chosen to remain at the palace. I must go to the Tuileries and find out what has befallen their Majesties and then I will return.”

“I know all,” said Mr. Morris, bitterly. “I scarcely dared to hope that their Majesties would stand by us or their promises. 'Tis as I thought, my boy. Sacrifices and devotion, time and money have all been wasted in their behalf. So be it! I think no power can save them now. You have bravely done your share. Let this end it. And it were best that you should leave Paris at once. D'Angremont has died nobly without revealing our secrets—he was murdered within two hours of his capture—but this is no safe place for you. Go to the Tuileries, if you will, but return to me as soon as possible. You have lost at the palace, but I think there is a reward waiting for you here at the Legation,” he says, smiling a little and turning away.

Scarcely had Calvert left the Legation when he heard the alarm from the great bell of St. Germain l'Auxerrois—that fatal bell which had rung in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew two hundred and twenty years before—and almost immediately after there came the sounds of musketry and cannonading from the direction of the palace of the Tuileries. The attack had already begun, and Calvert thought with a thrill of horror of the fate that awaited Beaufort and those other loyal servants of their Majesties within the palace.

The fearful drama of that day is too well known to need repeating. On that day Louis XVI of France passed from history and the revolution was consummated. By the time Calvert had reached the Quai opposite the Louvre the battle was begun, the mob was forcing its way past the scattered National Guard, whose commander lay murdered on the steps of the Hotel de Ville, past the stanch, true Swiss Guard, who, left without orders, stood, martyrs at their posts, ne sacramenti fidem fallerent, through the Carrousel up to the very palace itself. There, surrounded by seven hundred loyal gentlemen, whom he was to abandon as he had abandoned all his friends and servants, the King awaited his doom in apathetic resignation. It was impossible to reach his Majesty or to do aught for him, and Calvert could only look on from afar. There was no place in that fearful scene for an American. The French at last knew their power, had at last got the bit between their teeth, and no outside interference could stay that fearful pace. The mob surged about Calvert, increased every instant by fresh additions from the lowest quarters of the city, reinforced by deputations from the provinces. The firing from without grew quicker and quicker; from within fainter and less frequent, as those devoted servants of the King were shot down, until finally there was silence within the palace and the scarlet of the Swiss could be seen scattered and fleeing in every direction as the armed and triumphant mob pushed its way forward. Looking into the mad whirlwind of faces, Calvert saw the great, disfigured head, the massive shoulders of Danton, (but just come, on that fearful morning, to the fulness of his infamy and power), followed by Bertrand, battling his way beside his great leader.

“And 'twas for this I saved him!” said Calvert to himself. “Truly the ways and ends of Providence are inscrutable!”

He watched the terrible scene a long while, and then, seeing that he was powerless to aid those in the palace, he made his way back to the Legation with a beating heart. The great disappointment the night had brought, the failure of all those plans in which he had been so profoundly interested and for which he had hazarded so much, even the peril of the King and Queen, faded from before his mind as he thought of Adrienne and asked himself why she had risked her life to come to him. He saw her still galloping by his side, her face pale in the light of the full August moon, her dusky hair blown backward, the strange, inscrutable expression in her eyes.

She was not with the rest of the little company when Calvert once more entered the Legation. He found her in an upper chamber, where she stood alone beside an open window, looking out on the agitation and tumult of the city below. She had doffed her travel-stained boy's clothes and now wore a dress, which Madame de Montmorin had offered her, of some soft black stuff that fell in heavy folds about her slender young figure. As he entered she turned, hearing the sound, and their eyes met. He stood silent, trying to fathom the strange look on that pale face. It was the same beautiful face that he had seen in pictured loveliness that last night at Monticello, the same that he had seen in reality for the first time at Mr. Jefferson's levee at the Legation, and yet how changed! All the haughty pride, the caprice, the vanity, the artificiality were gone, and instead, upon the finely chiselled features and in the blue eyes, rested a serene, if melancholy beauty, a quiet nobility born of suffering. There rushed through Calvert's mind the thought that, after all, that loveliness had at last developed into all that was best and finest.

He stood thus looking at her in silence and thinking of these things, and then he went slowly forward, scarce knowing how to address her or explain his presence, who had so long avoided her.

“I am come,” he says, at length, “to thank you for the great service that you have this night rendered me and those other gentlemen engaged with myself in the King's business. I dare not think what might have been the fate of us all had you not come to our assistance. Were they here they would, like myself, thank you with all their hearts.”

“'Twas no great service,” she says, “and I could scarce have done less for one who has done so much—who has sacrificed so much for me.”

“I have sacrificed nothing,” says Calvert, in a low, compassionate voice. “'Twas you who sacrificed yourself, and all in vain! Believe me, I suffered for you in that knowledge. I should not have let you—should have found a way, but I was weak and ill and scarcely struggled against the fate that gave you to me. I wish that 'twere as easy to undo the evil as for you to forget me.”

“Forget you! I wish I could forget you. I have thought of you so much that sometimes I wish I could forget you entirely. But I think 'tis out of my power to do so now. I think I should have to be quite dead—and even then I do not know—I am not sure—if you should speak to me I think I would hear,” she says, wildly, and covering her eyes with her hand.

He looked at the dark-robed figure, the dark head bowed on the heaving breast, and suddenly a joy such as he had never thought to feel ran through his veins. He went over to her, and, lifting the hand from the closed eyes, he put it to his lips.

“Adrienne,” he says, tenderly and wonderingly, “you are crying! Why?”

“I am crying for so many things! For joy and despair and hope and dead love, because this means nothing to you and everything to me, because I love you and you love me not, because you once loved me—!” She stopped in an access of anguish and, sobbing, knelt before him. The humility of true love had at last mastered her.

“Not to me—not to me,” he said, unsteadily, lifting her.

“And why not to you? There is no one so true, no one I honor so much! In my pride and ignorance I thought you were not the equal of these fine gentlemen who have abandoned their King and their country. But I have learned to know you, and my own heart, and what I have thrown away! I am not ashamed to say this—to own to you that I love you.” She threw back her head and looked at Calvert with eyes that shone with a sorrowful light. “For you once told me that you loved me, and though I know I have lost that love, the memory that I once had it will stay with me and be my pride forever.”

“'Tis yours still, believe me,” said Calvert. “'Tis yours now and forever—forever.” He put his arm around her and drew her to him. “Far or near I have loved you since the first day I saw you, but I never dreamed that you would come to care, and in my pride I swore I would never tell you of my love after that day in the garden at Azay.”

“I must have been mad, I think,” she said, wonderingly. “Mad to have laughed at you—mad to have thrown away your love. Ah, I have learned since then!”

“'Tis like a miracle that you should have come to care for me,” said Calvert, his lips upon her dark hair.

“The hour you left me I knew that I loved you. Oh, the agony of that knowledge and the thought that I would never see you again! Even then my pride would not let me tell you—I thought you would come again—and then—then when later you turned from me—my heart broke, I think—'twas quite numb—I was neither sorry nor glad—” She stopped again.

“Are you glad now, Adrienne?” asked Calvert, looking at her tenderly.

“Yes,” she said, quietly.

“And will you be content to leave this France of yours and come with me to America? There is a home waiting for you there—'tis not a splendid place like those you know, but only a country house that stands near the noblest and loveliest river of the land, upon whose banks peace and happiness dwell.” As he spoke, grim sounds of tumult, cannonading, fierce cries, and hoarse commands came to them from the hot, crowded street below, but they did not heed them—they were far away from that terrible, doomed city. Words were scarcely needed—they stood there soul to soul, alone in all the world, and happy.

“I am going back to that land of mine, where there is work for me to do. Will you not go with me? There is nothing more we can do here. The last chance to save their Majesties is gone. Will you leave this troubled, fated land and come with me to that other one, where I will make you forget the horrors, the sufferings you have endured in this—where I swear I will make you happy? Will you go to this America of mine?” he asked.

She gazed into the eyes she so loved and trusted with a glance as serene and true as their own.

“I will go,” she said.

 
 
 

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