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CHAPTER XXV. - Gouverneur Morris, The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, vol. 1 
The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, Minister of the United States to France; Member of the Constitutional Convention, ed. Anne Cary Morris (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1888). 2 vols. Vol. 1.
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Condition of Europe in July, 1792. Letter to Jefferson. Morris opens his house. Tells Montmorin that the king should leave Paris. Morris prepares mémoires for the king. Paris terrified by riots. The king and queen distressed and in great apprehension. They expect to be murdered at the Château. Morris goes to Court. Very hot weather. Great agitation in Paris. Musketry ushers in August 10th. The Château undefended is carried and the Swiss guards murdered. The king and queen are in the National Assembly. Morris’s house filled with frightened people. The ambassadors leave Paris. Morris stays at his post. He tells Clavière that he has no powers to treat with the new government. Morris’s house searched. Murders continue. Letter to Jefferson describing the Revolution.
Early in July the Ministers reported to the Assembly the disposition of the powers. Russia had acceded to the Treaty of Pilnitz and was at the moment treating with Esterhazy and Nassau; the Pope was preparing his thunderbolts; England, Denmark, and Venice were neutral; Spain seemed willing to adhere to the family compact; France was at war with the Court of Turin. The Assembly solemnly pronounced the country in danger. Cannon were fired. The National Guards put themselves in motion, and the enrolment of volunteers, to the number of fifteen thousand in one day, was rapidly pushed forward. On the 7th of July the members of the Assembly swore an oath of everlasting fraternity; the most inveterate enemies, clasped in each other’s arms, annihilated all distinctions. By the evening, however, of this auspicious day, all reconciliations were forgotten in the proceedings taken against Pétion for his action on the 20th of June, and party feeling ran high.
Morris, in his fourth letter to Jefferson, written on the 10th of July, speaks as follows of the action of the Assembly on the 7th: “On Saturday, the 7th, a farce was acted in the Assembly, in which the principal performers played well their parts, the King was duped according to custom, and things are verging fast to the catastrophe of the play. For some weeks the adverse party, I mean the Court and Jacobins, have been laboring each to cast on the other the odium of violating entirely the Constitution and commencing the civil war. The party which calls itself independent and which, in fact, is the fearful party, begs hard for peace and seizes eagerly whatever bears the appearance or the name. It was to catch these gudgeons that the scene of Saturday was exhibited. The King and Queen, believing that the actors were in earnest, and knowing that their lives had been at stake, were overjoyed, and their timid counsellors, trembling under the tyrannous powers of the Assembly, seized with eagerness the bait of reconciliation which had been thrown out without any hope that they would swallow it. One of them, whom I have already mentioned to you as a very worthy man, saw through the thin veil of deception, and opposed the opinion of the others, but in vain. Events, in justifying him, have fixed his predominance. This day the King will commence a new career, and if he goes through I think he will succeed. I have every reason to believe that this letter will go safely, but yet I cannot justify saying more on the subject, because otherwise the confidence reposed in me might, in the course of events, prove fatal to my informant.”
“The Ministers have all resigned,” the diary records, July 11th. “Brémond tells me that their Majesties flashed in the pan, which was the occasion of the resignation of the ministry. This I expected. He says they have reproached Monciel, who retorted smartly. On the ground of these reproaches we prepare heads of a discourse for Monciel, in the view, if their Majesties come round, to strike a still more important stroke. I think there is a want of mettle which will ever prevent them from being truly royal.
“The present intention of the King is to secure the liberty of France. I doubt whether he will be sufficiently master of his own party to execute such purpose; whether he will live through the storm is uncertain. It will blow hard. The exterior enemy hovers over his prey and only seems to wait the moment which he has fixed to himself for his own stroke. New parties to the Grand Alliance daily show themselves. The Palatinate has declared. Holland seems on the point of adhering, and doubts in regard to England begin to appear. The force which France can oppose to her numerous assailants does not exceed one hundred and eighty thousand undisciplined men, some of whom wait but the opportunity to desert. Against her are collected two hundred and fifty thousand of the best troops in Europe, under the command of the ablest general in this hemisphere. The intention was not to enter before the harvest, in order that subsistence might be easily procured. Whether this plan will be changed in consequence of what is like to happen here, I cannot say. I rather think it will. I understand that the manifesto* which precedes attack will disavow the Constitution, and claim for the King (what it calls) his rights, for the clergy its possessions; that this city will be rendered responsible for the royal family; that the Garde Nationale will be considered as armed peasants, meddling with business not their own, and therefore not under the protection of the laws of war. The allied monarchs are to declare themselves in arms, not against France but against the révoltés. It will be easily seen that these broad terms will mean whatever power may choose to explain them to.”
“I go to Court to-day [July 12th]; the countenances of their Majesties are a little down. Brémond tells me that Pellin blames Monciel for precipitation, and says that things may yet be arranged. Monciel is to have an interview with the King and Queen this morning. Go to Lady Sutherland’s, and find her alone. We talk of love and love’s despot, till an old man comes in to give the history of his gout. I leave her in this society, so as to make a relief of his ennui.”
By the 12th of July Morris’s house, No. 488 Rue de la Planche, Faubourg St. Germain, was ready for occupation, and, to judge from the allusions he makes to furniture, porcelain, and hangings, to his garden, and the general arrangement of the house, it must have been eminently fitted for the entertaining and lavish hospitality which characterized it. Nothing had been forgotten—certainly not the wine-cellar, which seemed, in its completeness, not to disgrace the rest of the establishment, with a “tun” of sauterne, and “a ‘tun’ of the best claret, not the wine prepared for English consumption,” to say nothing of pipes of Madeira and port. A series of dinner parties began on the 17th, when, he says:
“M. and Madame de Montmorin and Madame de Beaumont, Lord Gower and Lady Sutherland, and Huskisson, secretary to Lord Gower, the Venetian Ambassador, and Spanish Chargé d’Affaires dine with me. In the evening M. de Montmorin takes me into the garden to communicate the situation of things and ask my opinion. I tell him that I think the King should quit Paris. He thinks otherwise, and fosters a thousand empty hopes and vain expectations.”
“This morning [July 18th] M. Brémond does not come, and his friend Monciel is fairly out of the administration. A message from Paul Jones that he is dying. I go thither, and make his will, which the Frenchmen will not witness. Send for a notary, and leave him struggling with his enemy between four and five. Dine en famille with Lord Gower and Lady Sutherland. Go to the Louvre, and take Madame de Flahaut and Vicq d’Azyr to Jones’s lodgings—but he is dead, not yet cold. The people of the house ask me if they must put a scellé on his papers. I answer in the affirmative.”
“This morning [July 20th] Brémond calls, and tells me that in consequence of the mémoire which he made up from my hints, and which Monciel presented to the King, a conversation has taken place between him, M. de Montmorin, and M. de Bertrand. He gives me the heads of the manifesto which is to appear, and desires to know what step the King is to take in consequence of it. He tells me that Mallet du Pin is sent by Bertrand to be the secretary of the Duke of Brunswick. I have a large company to dinner.”
“The Fédérés begin to insult the Assembly [July 22d]. Monciel will be with me to-morrow, Brémond tells me. Dress and go to Court. There are fresh accounts of murders and assassinations from the South of France.”
“Monciel brings me the King’s money [July 24th] at His Majesty’s request, who tells him at the same time that I have always given him good advice and he has the greatest confidence in me. We consider what is to be done in case of a suspension. Monciel is to dine with me.”
For obvious reasons, Morris never does more than intimate that he was assisting to form a plan for the king’s escape. Events moved rapidly towards the climax after which no scheme for the king’s safety could be of any use. But that a plan was matured there is every reason for believing, from the following letter found amongst Morris’s papers, in his own handwriting, but undated, unsigned, and only addressed to “Son Altesse Royale.” There is also every reason to believe that this letter was written at Vienna in December, 1796, for on Tuesday, the 20th, Morris says in his diary: “This morning I go to Court for the purpose of paying my respects to the Princess of France, and in the hope that an opportunity would offer of saying a word of business which concerns her, but find that she has a large circle. I am therefore led to mention the subject concisely to the Bishop of Nancy, who undertakes to open the affair to the grande maîtresse, through whom it may pass to her Royal Highness.” A week later, when about to leave Vienna, Morris again saw the Bishop of Nancy. “He tells me,” he says, “that the Princess has given no private audience to anyone since her arrival, and found it proper to refuse it even to Count Fersen, who had been so long and so intimately associated with the Queen. Her Royal Highness prays therefore that I will send her a note in writing, and, if afterwards a few words should be necessary, I can take leave of her, and then, without breaking in on the established rule, such short conversation can take place. I tell him I shall write as much as my time will admit, but as for an audience of leave, I consider that as improper, because I shall not take leave of the Imperial family; but that her Royal Highness may decide as she thinks proper.”
There is no mention that the leave-taking ever took place, but the following letter undoubtedly contains that which Mr. Morris wished to communicate to the Princess:
“Son Altesse Royale recevra ci·jointe la copie du seul compte que les circonstances aient permis de tenir. Il lui en faut une explication. M. M—, qui s’était permis quelquefois de faire passer ses idées sur les affaires publiques à Leurs Majestés, confia aux soins de M. le Comte de Montmorin, lorsqu’il s’agissait d’accepter l’acte fatal qu’on nommait la Constitution française, un mémoire en anglais accompagné d’un projet de discours en français. Le premier, qui était le plus essentiel, en ce qu’il devait servir de base à l’autre, ne fut présenté au roi qu’après son acceptation. Sa Majesté désirait en avoir une traduction, et M. de Montmorin pria l’auteur de s’en charger. Il le fit en effet, mais il l’envoya directement au roi, en s’excusant des expressions qui devraient paraltre trop fortes. Sa Majesté avait conçu des idées semblables à celles énoncées dans le projet de discours, détaillées et appuyées par le mémoire, et elle ne les abandonna qu’à regret; ainsi elle vit, dans la conduite de M. de Montmorin, une finesse qui altéra beaucoup sa confiance. Sa position affreuse l’avait pourtant mise dans la nécessité de se servir de personnes qui lui étaient à peine connues. Parmi ceux que les circonstances avaient portés au ministère, se trouvait M. Terrier de Monciel, un homme que M. M— avait connu pour être fidèle au roi, quoiqu’il eῦt des liaisons à juste titre suspectes. Il crut donc devoir dire à Sa Majesté qu’elle pouvait s’y fier. Il en résulta qu’il fut chargé par elle de l’affaire la plus importante, c’est à dire, d’aviser aux moyens de tirer le roi de sa périlleuse situation. Il eut à cet effet des consultations fréquentes avec M. M—, et parmi les différents moyents qui se présentèrent, celui qui leur parut le plus essentiel fut de faire sortir la famille royale de Paris. Les mesures étaient si bien prises à cet effet que le succès en était presque immanquable, mais le roi (pour des raisons qu’il est inutile de détailler ici) renonça au projet le matin même fixé pour son départ, alors que les gardes suisses étaient déjà partis de Courbevoie pour couvrir sa retraite. Ses ministres, qui se trouvaient gravement compromis, donnèrent tous leur démission. Le moment était d’autant plus critique que Sa Majesté tenait déjà les preuves de la conspiration tramée contre sa personne. Il ne lui restait alors qu’un seul moyen. Il fallait remporter la victoire dans le combat qu’on allait lui livrer aussitôt que les conspirateurs se trouveraient en force. M. de Monciel, après avoir eu une explication avec Leurs Majestés, consentit à les servir encore, quoiqu’il ne fut plus au ministère. On s’occupa de lever à la hâte une espèce d’armée royale, chose extrêmement délicate, et qui ne pouvait que compromettre ceux qui s’en étaient mêlés, si les ennemis du roi avaient le dessus. M. de Monciel associa à ses travaux M. Brémond, un homme courageux, zélé, fidèle, mais emporté, bavard et imprudent. Cette dernière qualité était presque essentielle, puisque la situation de la famille royale éloignait ceux dont le zèle pouvait être refroidi par les dangers. Vers la fin du mois de juillet, Sa Majesté fit remercier M. M— des conseils qu’il lui avait donnés, et lui témoigna son regret de ne les avoir pas suivis—enfin le pria de surveiller ce qu’on faisait pour son service et de devenir dépositaire de ses papiers et de son argent. Il répondit que Sa Majésté pouvait toujours compter sur tous ses efforts, que sa maison ne lui paraissait pas plus s∘re que le palais des Tuileries, puisqu’il était en but depuis longtemps à la haine des conspirateurs, qu’ainsi ni les papiers ni l’argent du roi ne seraient en sureté chez lui. Mais comme cet argent ne portait aucune marque de propriété il consentirait, si Sa Majesté ne pouvait pas trouver une autre personne, à en devenir le dépositaire et à en faire l’emploi qu’elle voudrait bien lui indiquer. En conséquence du consentement ainsi donné, M. de Monciel lui apporta, le 22 juillet, 547,000 livres, dont 539,005 livres étaient déjà là, le deux aoῦt, en train d’être employées conformément aux ordres du roi. La somme de 449,750 livres, payée le deux aoῦt, devait être convertie par Brémond en louis d’or. Il en acheta effectivement 5,000, et les mit en bourses de 20 louis, car il s’agissait d’en faire la distribution à des personnes qui devaient se transporter avec des affidés aux endroits qui leur seraient indiqués et s’y battre sous leurs chefs. Et pour rendre ces contre-conspirateurs encore plus utiles, il s’agissait de prendre par préférence des Marseillais et autres agents des conspirateurs. Aussi, afin que le roi ne fῦt pas trompé, il était convenu que le paiement ne se ferait que lorsque les services auraient été rendus. En attendant, les 5,000 louis restèrent chez M. M—. Les événements du dix aoῦt sont trop connus pour qu’on puisse se permettre d’en faire le pénible récit Ce jour-là, M. de Monciel apporta 200,000 livres, en se réfugiant avec sa famille chez M. M—, ainsi que plusieurs autres personnes. Après quelques jours, il se trouva dans la nécessité de se cacher. Brémond l’avait déjà fait quelque part ailleurs, et Madame de Monciel fut chargée de faire les démarches nécessaires pour sauver les personnes qui étaient compromises, et qui pouvaient d’autant plus compromettre le roi qu’elles étaient connues et que leurs opérations étaient fortement soupçonnées.
“D’Angrémont fut pris et sacrifié, mais il eut le courage de se taire. À force d’argent, on trouva moyen de faire évader les uns et cacher les autres. Sur ces entrefaites Brémond envoya une personne, qu’il avait initiée au secret, chercher les 5,000 louis, qui lui furent payés, d’abord parce qu’il ne fallait pas donner occasion à un homme du caractère de Brémond de dire ou de faire des folies, mais principalement parce qu’on croyait que de concert avec M. de Monciel, il allait employer cette somme à quelque service essentiel, mais il n’y avait aucun projet de cette espèce. Au contraire, Brémond, avec une légèreté inconcevable, avait trahi un secret important, afin de mettre une assez forte somme entre des mains d’où, jusqu’à présent, on n’a pas pu en tirer un sou. Lorsque le duc de Brunswick fut entré en France, M. M—, persuadé que s’il arrivait jusqu’à Paris les assignats ne seraient que d’une mince valeur, et sachant d’ailleurs les projets extravagants de ceux qui régentaient la France, fit la remise, en Angleterre, de 104,800 livres, valant alors £2,518, afin de mettre cette somme à l’abri des événements. Il en fit payer à peu près le quart (600 livres sterling) à M. de Monciel, qui se trouvait alors à Londres, et négotia des traites pour le reste, afin de faire face à une demande que lui faisait Madame de Monciel. Enfin il resta la somme de 6,715 livres, qu’il conserva toujours à sa disposition jusqu’à ce qu’il eῦt enfin la satisfaction d’apprendre que tous ceux dont les aveux auraient pu être employés par les ennemis du roi pour motiver leur inculpation, étaient en lieu de sῦreté. Il est vrai que ces accusations étaient fausses et calomnieuses, puisque le roi n’avait eu d’autre objet que celui de se défendre. Mais le succès était pour eux, et les conspirateurs n’auraient pas manqué de faire valoir les faits ci-dessus énoncés. L’appoint de 6,715 livres a subi le sort des assignats et a perdu de sa valeur, mais on peut estimer le change à raison de—; et c’est cette somme que M. M—aura l’honneur de payer à la personne que Son Altesse Royale voudra bien avoir la bonté de lui désigner. Au moment de la remise, le change était 17½. Il etait parti de Londres pour aller en Suisse y travailler à la rentrée des 5,000 louis, pour venir les verser entre les mains de Son Altesse Royale. Mais les circonstances lui bouchérent le chemin de la Suisse. Il est donc venu à Vienne, n’y ayant d’autre objet que de communiquer les faits ci-dessus mentionnés. Il vit avec regret, non seulement que les démarches faites pour la restitution ont été jusqu’à présent infructueuses, mais aussi qu’on commence à manifester, à ce sujet, des pretentions extraordinaires. Le récit minutieux en serait trop volumineux, d’ailleurs, le résumé d’une partie de ce que M. M—désirait dire à la princesse, se trouve écrit ci-dessus, et son bon esprit en devinera le reste. Elle apprendra facilement combien il est essentiel de tenir secret, autant que possible, des faits qui regardent de si prés le meilleur et le plus malheureux des rois. Il supplie Son Altesse Royale d’agréer l’hommage de son inviolable attachement.”*
But to return, after this long digression, to events in Paris, and to the diary.
“To-day [July 25th] I have several visitors, among the rest Mr. Francis, who is just arrived by the way of Valenciennes. He says that things are in the most deplorable situation; that the Austrians speak of spending the winter at Paris with the utmost confidence; that the French seem totally discouraged. I go to the Louvre for a moment. Find there M. de Schomberg, and the Bishop d’Autun comes in soon afterwards. I meet him on the stairs, and he expresses politely his misfortune to come always as I go away. He will have frequently that misfortune. At a little after two M. Monciel, and then M. Bertrand de Molleville, come. I read the mémoires written for the King at the time of his acceptance of the Constitution. We dine, and after dinner read the plan of a constitution; then discuss the steps which the King is to take. M. Bertrand is a stickler for the ancien régime, but we drive him a little out of his opinion, which he will, I think, come back to again. He is to prepare to-morrow the form of a letter to accompany the manifest. Monciel is to be with him, which is right.”
“Dine at the Louvre [July 26th]. Madame de Flahaut mentions a conspiracy against the life of the King, but will not name her informant. I talk to her very seriously and near to scolding. Come home at six, and meet Monciel, who tells me that Bertrand de Molleville has begun his work by mention of the cahiers, which is idle enough. He is to see the King at eleven and give him the result of the measures which I have proposed, and which we have discussed.”
“Brémond, Monciel, and I work all the morning [July 27th] to prepare some mémoires for the King.”
“We finished the form of a letter from the King to the Assembly yesterday, and to-day [July 29th] we make an addition to the letter. Brémond tells me that he is to accept the place of Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
“To-day [July 30th] M. Monciel called to tell me that he has delivered to the King the letter, and one from M. Bertrand de Molleville, on which he has communicated his observations. I go in the evening to Madame d’Albani’s. When I arrive there I find them all terrified at a riot in which the Marseillais* have killed one or two of the Garde Nationale. There is a great stir in Paris, but I think the business is over for the evening.”
The riots of July 30th were not the least of the many events of the eventful year 1792, which terrified Paris. Under pretence of guarding Pétion’s life against a supposed attack, he being at the moment the popular hero, having been dismissed from his position of mayor after the affair of July 20th, the Jacobins proposed to get together three hundred men whose instructions would be to murder the royal family. The Jacobin placard calling for three hundred men was printed in blue and numbered 41. Bertrand de Molleville unearthed the plot to murder the king, and hastily caused papers to be printed announcing the discovery of “A horrible plot to destroy Pétion; a conspiracy against the national representative. The false sans culottes unmasked.” These he had numbered 42, and pasted over those numbered 41. The imitation of the violently patriotic style of the Sentinelle was successful, immediately attracted attention, and, before the Jacobins and the owner of the Sentinelle had time to pull down the placard, all Paris had read the notice, and the result was a free fight between the men with the fraudulent placard and the others.
“This morning M. Monciel and M. Brémond call to tell me what passed yesterday, and what is doing to-day [July 31st]. Brémond is furious, but after he is gone we agree not to permit any of those horrible things which his indignation would lead him to. In the evening I meet Monciel again, and he gives me the bulletins of last evening. Agree on what is to be done, and on the message to be sent by M. Burceau de Pazy to M. de Lafayette.”
In his letter to Jefferson, under date of August 1st, Morris says:
“In my letter No. 2 I mentioned that M. de Lafayette was about to commence an attack upon the Jacobin faction, and my apprehension that it would not be successful. I verily believe that if M. de Lafayette were to appear just now in Paris unattended by his army he would be torn to pieces. In the present state of things, it seems evident that if the King be not destroyed he must soon become absolute. I think the prime movers of the Revolution see no other mode of establishing the affairs of their country on any tolerable footing, and will therefore declare their adherence to His Majesty, grounded on the abolition of the Constitution by the Assembly, and their masters, the Jacobin Club. Should my letter miscarry, it would occasion much of that noise and nonsense in which it is unpleasant to find one’s name, and the wrongheaded people cannot distinguish between a person who has obtained exact information of what is doing and those who are actors in the business. For this reason I must decline mentioning the plans in agitation, at present, to establish a good constitution. I dare not say that I hope this will take place. I ardently wish it, but I have doubts and fears, because I have no confidence in the morals of the people. The King is anxious to secure their permanent happiness, but, alas! they are not in a state of mind to receive good from his hands. Suspicion, that constant companion of vice and weakness, has loosened every band of social union, and blasts every honest hope in the moment of its budding.
“Some persons have spoken to me of the disposition of the United States in a tone of irony, but I assured them very sincerely that our grateful sentiments for the conduct of this nation would be demonstrated by our conduct whenever occasion should require; that the changes they might make in their own administration would by no means affect our regard for them, nor diminish our attachment. As this language was not ministerial, but held in the sincerity of social life, it surprised those who, unfortunately for them, can find for the conduct of nations no motive but interest, and are so short-sighted as not to perceive that a virtuous and honorable conduct is the truest interest which a nation can pursue. In respect to other objects which are committed to me, it is hardly necessary to say that nothing can be done in the present moment. Such time as the Assembly can spare from the discussion of party disputes is necessarily engrossed by the Departments of War and Finance. The determination to suspend the King has been a little palled by the information that their armies would immediately revolt, and particularly the Southern Army, on which they made their greatest reliance. This circumstance has greatly deranged the plan of operations, and the more so as many instruments specially convened and collected for that grand stroke are at present no small incumbrance to the contrivers of it. Among these are the Bretons and Marseillais, now in this city. Some of the chiefs of the Jacobins have, I am told, prepared the means of their escape to America, and among them your old acquaintance, M. de Condorcet. They are to embark at Dunkirk and St. Valery.”
“This morning [August 2d] M. de Monciel calls on me and tells me that they are trying to send him to Orleans. We agree on the conversion of the King’s paper into specie. I go to Court; afterwards call on the Minister of the Marine, who is gone abroad, although he promised to be at home. St. Croix is appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
“Monciel dines with me [August 3d], and we prepare an address to the Marseillais. I complain of the appointment of Boncarére to Philadelphia, and promise to speak to the King on the subject. Go after dinner to the Louvre, and Madame de Flahaut tells me that the King proposed this embassy by way of getting rid of M. Boncarére; that St. Croix objected he would not be received, but His Majesty said, ‘So much the better. Let us but get rid of him.’”
“M. Brémond brings me this morning 5,000 louis d’or, which he has purchased. He is to have the correspondence of the Jacobins for 1,000. M. de Monciel calls, and we complete a letter to be written by the King to the President of the Section of the Faubourg St. Marceau, about the River Bièvre, which will, it is supposed, give His Majesty that faubourg. Monciel tells me that the King and Queen are much distressed, and in great apprehension. I dine at the British ambassador’s. We walk after dinner to the Champ de Mars, where we see a few ragamuffins who are signing the petition for the déchéance. I call at M. de Montmorin’s, where I find a family in deep distress. At my return I find Lady Sutherland at my door. She comes to obtain an interview between me and the Chevalier de Coigny. I tell her that I will be at home if he will call on me to-morrow. He wishes to give my ideas direct to the Queen, without passing through the medium of M. de Montmorin. They expect all to be murdered this evening at the Château. The weather is very warm.”
“Go to Court this morning [August 5th]. Nothing remarkable, only that they were up all night, expecting to be murdered. Come home to meet M. St. Croix. He comes late. Tells me what he is about. Mr. Constable dines with me, and Mr. Livingston, whom I have taken as my private secretary. After dinner I go to visit Lady Sutherland, and stay some time conversing with Lord Gower. The weather is still hot.”
“M. de Monciel comes [August 6th], and tells me how things are. M. and Madame de Flahaut dine with me. The Bishop d’Autun and M. de Beaumetz are of the party. The weather continues very hot. I have a long conversation with the Chevalier de Coigny on the state of affairs. Monciel also comes, and tells me that the King would not listen to the intrusting his secret to St. Croix. The public mind is much better than it was, and will mend. We digest a petition for the Marseillais, calculated to make the King declare himself. M. de Coigny is to push the same point with the Queen.”
“This Wednesday morning [August 8th] Monciel tells me that things are going well. The King seems to hold the proper opinions also, which is a desirable thing. I dine with Madame de Staël, and after dinner, the gentlemen desiring to drink, I send for wine, and let them get preciously drunk. Go to the Louvre and take Madame de Flahaut to ride. After I set her down I go to Lady Sutherland’s and pay her a pretty long visit. She will be at Court to-morrow. The weather is very warm still.”
“Paris is in great agitation this morning [August 9th]. M. de Monciel calls, and brings me some money. I dress and go to Court.”
“This morning [August 10th] Monciel calls, and his report is tranquillizing; but shortly after he leaves me the cannon begin, and musketry mingled with them announce a warm day. The Château, undefended but by the Swiss, is carried, and the Swiss, wherever found, are murdered. The King and Queen are in the National Assembly, who have decreed the suspension of his authority. Madame de Flahaut sends her son, and comes afterwards to take refuge. I have company to dine, but many of those who were invited do not come. Mr. Huskisson, the secretary to the British ambassador, comes in the evening. He gives a sad account of things. The weather continues very warm, or, rather, extremely hot.”
“A sleepless night renders me heavy during this day [August 11th]. The King and Queen remain at the Assembly, which goes on rapidly under the dictée of the Tribunes. We are quiet here. Things are taking on their new order. The weather continues to be very hot. M. de St. Pardou calls in the evening, and seems torn to pieces by affliction. I desire him, if he sees the royal family, to tell them that relief must soon arrive.”
“This morning [August 12th] M. de Monciel and his wife come before I am up. I have my time full all day, and am heartily fatigued this evening. I called in the morning on Lady Sutherland, who is un peu abattue. The Venetian Ambassador was abroad, and so was Madame d’Albani. She and the Comte Alfieri come about three o’clock. She is violently affected and afflicted. The weather is very warm still and oppressive. The state of the air is evidenced by some perch alive in the morning at six o’clock, and spoiled at dinner. So rapid a state of putrefaction I never saw.”
“Four men, among them a naturalized Frenchman, come for passports [August 13th]. Mr. Amory calls for the same purpose, and M. Montflorence to get a passport for Mrs. Blagden. Madame d’Albani dines with me, and requests me to ask a passport for her from the British ambassador. I go, after dinner, and he, as I expected, refuses to grant it. The weather is somewhat cooler this evening, having had rain.”
“Write all the morning [August 14th], but I have many interruptions. Among others who call on me, Mr. Francis gives a dreadful account of what he saw on the 10th, and says that he shall not dare to tell it in America. General Duportail calls on me. He wishes to get away from hence, should things grow more serious.”
In a letter, dated August 16th, to young Robert Morris, Morris says: “Mr. Constable is well, and was a witness to the fight, being lodged near the Tuileries. Tell your friend Jones that if he were here just now his ‘Ha! ha!’ would be changed into ‘Ho! ho!’”
To Thomas Pinckney, then United States Minister at London, Morris wrote, a few days after the affair of the 10th of August: “We have had here within the last few days some serious scenes, at which I am not surprised, because I foresaw not only a struggle between the two corps which the Constitution had organized, viz., the executive, so called, and the legislative, but I was convinced the latter would get the better. It is nevertheless a painful reflection that one of the finest countries in the world should be so cruelly torn to pieces. The storm which lately raged is a little subdued, but the winds must soon rise again, perhaps from the same quarter, perhaps from another; but that is of little consequence. A man attached to his fellow-man must see with distress the woes they suffer, but an American has a stronger sympathy with this country than any other observer, and, nourished as he is in the bosom of liberty, he cannot but be deeply affected to see that in almost any event this struggle must terminate in despotism.”
“To-day [August 17th] I take my distressed friend Madame de Flahaut to ride to the Bois de Boulogne, where we walk till she is tired. Americans dine with me. After dinner visit Lady Sutherland, and after her monde is gone we take tea. It rains this evening and is somewhat cooler. M. de St. Foi, who was here this evening, says that the treatment of the King, Queen, and royal family is extremely ignominious. He gives details which are painful. Lord Gower is abundantly cautious. Several of the Corps Diplomatique are going off. The weather is grown cooler.”
Writing to Mr. Jefferson, on the 18th of August, Morris says: “Since my last letter of the 1st, another revolution has been effected in this city. It was bloody. A very considerable party is deeply interested to overturn the present order, and the men who compose the party are the moderate, or middle men. I have long been convinced that this middle party, who, by the by, were the prime movers of the Revolution, must fall to the ground, and that those who compose it must join one of the great factions. The aristocratic faction is still split into two or more. Some are for absolute monarchy, some for the ancient régime, some few desire a mixed government. The framers of the late Constitution had got up to this last ground, but the idea of an hereditary senate stuck in their throats. The King, who has an uncommon firmness in suffering and who has not the talents for action, and who is besides a very religious man, found himself fettered by his oaths to the Constitution, which he in his conscience believed to be a bad one, and about which, indeed, there is now but one opinion in this country, because experience, that great parent of wisdom, has brought it already to trial and condemnation—the King, from the causes just mentioned, would not step forward, and of course there was no standard to which the adherents of the two Chambers could repair. The republicans had the good sense to march boldly and openly to their object, and, as they took care not to mince matters nor embarrass themselves by legal or constitutional niceties, they had the advantage of union, concert, and design against the disjointed members of a body without a head. If, under these circumstances, the foreign force were out of question, I should have no doubt that the republican form would take place quietly enough and continue as long as the morals of the country would permit. You know the state of morals here and can, of course (if it be necessary), form the calculation for yourself. The circumstance of foreign force is, however, on the present occasion, a preponderant object, and I think its effects will depend on its activity. Should the Duke of Brunswick advance rapidly he will be joined by great numbers, even of the armies opposed to him, because the late change will furnish to some a reason and to others a pretext for abandoning the cause they had espoused. If, on the contrary, his progress be cautious and slow, it is probable that those who are now silent from fear will habituate themselves by degrees to speak favorably of the present government, in order to lull suspicion, and that thus a public opinion will appear which, once pronounced, governs the generality of mankind. If by this means the new republic takes a better root, foreign powers will, I believe, find it a difficult matter to shake it to the ground; for the French nation is an immense mass, which it is not easy either to move or to oppose. You will observe, sir, that matters are now brought to a simple question between an absolute monarchy and a republic, for all middle terms are done away. This question also must be decided by force, because on one side it is in the hands of the people, who cannot treat for themselves and who will not permit others to treat for them, in respect to the important interests which are now at stake. If, as in former times, some factious nobles are at the head of a party, they would, as formerly, take the first opportunity to stipulate for themselves at the expense of their party; but without entering here into a question of relative integrity, I do not think that the people are so attached to any particular men as to have what may be called leaders, and those who appear as such are in my opinion rather instruments than agents. I do not go into the history of things, nor trouble you with a recapitulation of events. I enclose and shall send by the present opportunity the gazettes since my last, which will communicate all particulars which you may desire to know. Since the operations of the 10th the Logographe, Gazette Universelle, and Indicateur are suppressed, as, indeed, are all those who were guilty of feuillantisme, that is, adherence to the clubs ‘des feuillants soi-disant constitutionels.” You must therefore make allowances for what you find in the other gazettes, written not only in the spirit of a party but under the eye of a party. The first must influence the most honest printer in the coloring of some facts, and the second will restrain the boldest printer in the publishing of other facts.
“You will find that M. Boncarère had been appointed to the United States as Minister. This man’s character is as bad as need be, and stained by infamous vices. By what influence he was introduced into the office of Foreign Affairs I know not, for I was then in England; but I have reason to believe that it was the poor experiment of the feuillants to watch and check, and perhaps to betray, the Jacobin Ministry. While the King was pressing M. St. Croix, an eight-day minister, to accept the Department of Foreign Affairs, this last declared that he would not serve if Boncarère was retained, and to get rid of him they invented the expedient of sending him to America. I considered this step as a kind of insult, and transmitted my sentiments on the subject to the King, who thereupon told M. de St. Croix that I was angry at that appointment, and he must arrange the matter with me; that he wished I would prevent his being received. The minister apologized for the thing as well as he could, admitting always that it was wrong, and added that his embarcation should be delayed, and I was at liberty to prevent his being received. To this I replied that he must not be allowed to embark at all. The minister refused to sign the bon for his appointment. Then the new revolution took place, and the history of M. Boncarère’s ministry is at an end. Notwithstanding my utmost efforts, I have not been able to bring the Minister of Foreign Affairs to consider the question relating to our debt. Indeed, the executive of the late Constitution has been at the last agony for this three months, and has thought more of saving itself than of doing its business. The present executive is just born, and may perhaps be stifled in its cradle.”
Mr. Morris very earnestly requested the President’s orders respecting his line of conduct in the circumstances about to arise. He felt, he said, in a “state of contingent responsibility of the most delicate kind,” and, not wishing to avoid any fair and reasonable risk, he wished to have his line of conduct marked as exactly as possible. But to resume the diary.
“This morning [August 19th] I take Madame de Flahaut to see her sister-in-law at Versailles. I have some difficulty as to a passport. Go to the municipality of Versailles, which is very polite.”
“Visit Lady Sutherland in the afternoon [August 20th]. They have received orders to come home, and at the end of the despatch is a threat if they injure the King or his family, ‘because that would excite the indignation of all Europe.’ This despatch, turned into plain English, is shortly that the British Court resent what is already done, and will make war immediately if the treatment of the King be such as to call for or to justify measures of extremity.”
“Some English are brought back [August 21st] who were on their way. Visit Lady Sutherland to take leave. They can’t get as yet their passports. The Venetian ambassador has been brought back and very ignominiously treated; even his papers examined, as it is said by him. This is strong, and raises in my mind a question whether I ought not to show resentment by leaving the country. I have company at dinner, and in the evening I go to sup with Lady Sutherland. They can’t get passports. He is in a tearing passion. He has burned his papers, which I will not do. They give me broad hints that honor requires of me to quit this country. The weather is pleasant and I am very gay, which he can hardly bear.”
“Visit Lady Sutherland again to-day [August 22d]. They have received a polite letter from M. Lebrun, and expect to get their passports speedily. He is so cautious that if it be not the timidity of which he is accused it is something very like it.”
“The different ambassadors are all taking flight, and if I stay I shall be alone,” Morris wrote to Mr. Jefferson on this same 22d of August. “I mean, however, to stay, unless circumstances should summon me away; because, in the admitted case that my letters of credence are to the monarchy, and not to the Republic of France, it becomes a matter of indifference whether I remain in this country or go to England during the time which may be needful to obtain your orders or to produce a settlement of affairs here. Going hence, however, would look like taking part against the late Revolution, and I am not only unauthorized in this respect, but I am bound to suppose that, if the great majority of the nation adhere to the new form, the United States will approve thereof; because, in the first place, we have no right to prescribe to this country the government they shall adopt, and next, because the basis of our own Constitution is the indefeasible right of the people to establish it. It is true that the position is not without danger, but I presume that when the President did me the honor of naming me to this embassy it was not for my personal pleasure or safety, but to promote the interests of my country. These, therefore, I shall continue to pursue to the best of my judgment, and as to consequences, they are in the hand of God.”
“Mr. Henchman, of Boston, calls on me,” says the diary for August 23d. “He says the accounts transmitted to England of what is doing here have created such alarm that he did not dare bring me the despatches with which Mr. Pinckney wished to charge him. He has received, however, along the road all kind of civil treatment. He says that the judgment I have formed as to the conduct which I ought to pursue is just, and that if I should quit France without just cause it would excite much ill-will in America. I dine with the British ambassador, and after dinner the Venetian ambassador comes in with M. Tronchin. This last says the Assembly have permitted the Corps Diplomatique to depart, but not other strangers. I laugh a little too much at the distresses of the Baron Grandcour, and Lord Gower gets a little too much in a passion with Lord Stair. I am very sorry that Lady Sutherland is going, and she is convinced that I am. I have a large company at dinner. Mr. Richard calls, and tells me that M. de la Porte is on his way to the place of execution.”
“Another man is beheaded this evening [August 25th] for crime de lèse-nation. He published a newspaper against the Jacobins. This is severe, at least. Call on Lady Sutherland. They are busy packing up. Small company at dinner; bid them adieu—a long adieu, perhaps. It is said here that the former Bishop of Châlons has received a letter, on the part of the Duke of Brunswick, desiring him to mention whether he wishes the episcopal palace, etc., to be respected. They expect soon to be there. If Verdun surrenders, as Longwy has done, the foreign troops will soon be here. The weather is warm, with small rain. I find company at home, which stays late. One of them, St. Croix, comes after I am in bed, to ask an asylum. The municipality are in pursuit of him.”
“Write. Stay at home all day [August 28th]. It is said that Verdun and Metz are both taken; that the Prussian army is at St. Menchond, and that the couriers are all confined which bring the news. I think there can be little use in confining them, because the taking of towns can’t be kept secret. We shall know more by and by.”
“Go this morning [August 29th] to M. Lebrun’s. The Minister of Contributions, M. Clavière, and M. Monge, the Minister of Marine, meet me here at the Hôtel of Foreign Affairs. They wish me to enter into a contract to furnish $400,000 in America for the use of Santo Domingo. I show them many reasons why I cannot, and, among others, tell them that I am not authorized to treat with them; that I had been authorized to settle with the late government, and that if I should enter into the agreement they wished I should probably be blamed for exceeding the line prescribed to me; that there remained, moreover, another point worthy of their attention, which was that my agreement would be in itself void, because I had no powers to treat with the present government. M. Clavière said the United States would certainly act in a different manner towards the present government than monarchs of Europe did, and demanded peremptorily whether I would, or no, sign the contract. His language and manner were such as naturally to excite some little indignation, and although I would pardon much to a man whose stock-jobbing life had not much qualified him for a station in which delicacy of manner and expression are almost essential, yet I could not submit to an indignity in my person towards the country I represent. I told him, therefore, that I did not understand what he meant to say. My countenance, I believe, spoke the rest of my sentiment, and led him to say, in explanation, that it was necessary for them to have some positive engagement, because otherwise they must make provision for the service from another source; and then he again expressed his conviction that the United States would recognize them. I told him it was not proper for me (a servant) to pretend to decide on what would be the opinion of my masters; that I should wait their orders, and obey them when received; that the present government could collect my sentiments from my conduct; that I could not possibly take on me to judge questions of such magnitude. I add that I will write and recommend the matter strongly to the Ministers of the United States. But that is not what they want. Clavière is much vexed. I have company to dinner; the Dutch ambassador tells me he has received his orders, and shall ask for his passports to-morrow. In the evening a number of persons enter, upon an order to examine my house for arms said to be hidden in it. I tell them they shall not examine, that there are no arms, and that if there were they should not touch them. I insist that they must seize the informer, that I may bring him to punishment. I am obliged to be very peremptory, and at length get rid of them. The scene finished by apologies on their part. Just after they are gone M. de St. Croix comes in. He is a lucky man. He was hidden, but the order to search all houses brings him hither. We are, it seems, to have another visit this night.”
“The news [August 30th] of the aristocrats is that the troops of the Duke of Brunswick make excursions as far as Châlons; that Luckner’s army is surrounded—Verdun taken. St. Foi, who comes in the evening, tells me that the bombardment of Verdun has been heard in the neighborhood. St. Pardou says that six thousand men are ordered for a secret expedition as on Saturday next, and he fears that it is to carry off the royal family. The Commissaire de Section called on me this morning, and behaved very well. The weather is pleasant. I learn that many people have been taken up last night. There was a general search throughout the town for arms, and I presume for people also. It still continues. The Commissary who called upon me to-day, made many apologies and took a note of my reply, so that we parted good friends.”
“I have sufficient cause to take offence,” Morris nevertheless wrote to Mr. Jefferson on the 30th, “and depart, if I were so inclined; but I will stay, if possible, so as to preserve to you the most perfect liberty of action. I do not, indeed, feel offended at what is done by the people, because they cannot be supposed to understand the law of nations, and because they are in a state of fury which is inconceivable, and which leaves them liable to all impressions and renders them capable of all excesses. I shall endeavor, nevertheless, to preserve the proper firmness, and, let what will happen, I hope that though my friends should have occasion to lament my fate, they will never be obliged to blush for my conduct.”
“Just before dinner [August 31st] I receive an insulting letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the evening the Bishop d’Autun tells me it is written by Brissot, and that their intention is to force me to recognize the present government. He urges me to go away, because all others of the Corps Diplomatique go, and because I shall in staying be exposed to all the insidious malevolence of bad men. He relates a scene which passed in his presence, and which is alike shocking and ridiculous. He tells me that there is a division already among the rulers here. He communicates the views of those who, in the natural course of things, must become strongest. I give him my reasons for thinking that they pursue an impracticable object.”
“I employ the greater part of this morning [September 1st] in making a reply to the letter of M. Lebrun, and copying it. In the evening I read both, or rather show them, to the Bishop d’Autun, who approves much of my answer, and observes that the letter is both absurd and impertinent. I had sent for Swan and told him that his friend Brissot, instead of promoting had spoilt his business, and would drive me out of the country. He says he laments this last point much, as a few days must overset the present establishment. I rather think he is mistaken as to the time, at least, and there may be many overturns before there is a settled government.”
“This morning [September 2d] I go out on business. Madame de Flahaut takes the same opportunity to visit her friends. On our return we hear or, rather, see a proclamation. She inquires into it, and learns that the enemy are at the gates of Paris, which cannot be true. She is taken ill, being affected by the fate of her friends. I observe that this proclamation produces terror and despair among the people. This afternoon they announce the murder of priests who had been shut up in the Carmes. They then go to the Abbaye, and murder the prisoners there. This is horrible.”
“The murdering continues all day [September 3d]. I am told that there are about eight hundred men concerned in it. The Minister of Parma and Ambassadress of Sweden have been stopped as they were going away.”
“And still [September 4th] the murders continue. The prisoners in the Bicêtre defend themselves, and the assailants try to stifle and drown them. A certain M. Bertrand, of the cavalry, comes to my house. Madame had sent for him to give him a compensation for his kindness in saving her husband. I collect from him that Paris waits but the moment to surrender. He does not say so, but, if I may judge from strong indications, the cavalry mean to join the invaders. Several strangers who call on me complain that they cannot get passports. It is said that as soon as the prisoners are demolished, the party now employed in executing them mean to attack the shopkeepers. The Assembly have official accounts that Verdun is taken, and, it is said, Stenay also. The weather is grown very cool, and this afternoon and evening it rains hard.”
“Mr. P——tells me [September 5th] that the ministry and secret committees are in amaze. Verdun, Stenay, and Clermont are taken. The country submits and joins the enemy. The party of Robespierre has vowed the destruction of Brissot. The Bishop d’Autun tells me that he has seen one of the Commission extraordinaire, i.e., secret committee, who tells him that there is the most imminent danger. I was told that one of the principal Jacobins had expressed his fears, or rather despair, not so much on account of the enemy’s force as of their internal divisions.”
“There is nothing new this day [September 6th]. The murders continue, and the magistrates swear to protect persons and property. The weather is pleasant.”
“The news from the armies [September 7th] are rather encouraging to the new government. The Bishop d’Autun tells me that he hopes to get his passport, and urges me to procure one for myself and quit Paris. He says he is persuaded that those who rule now mean to quit Paris and take off the King; that their intention is to destroy the city before they leave it. I learn that the Commune have shut the barriers, because they suspect the Assembly of an intention to retreat. The weather is very pleasant. The Bishop d’Autun has got his passport. He tells me that he does not think the Duke of Brunswick will be able to reach Paris, and he urges me strongly to leave it. I have, however, received from the minister an indirect apology for his impertinent letter, and therefore I shall stay. The weather is very pleasant. M. Constable has got his passport, but tells me that Mr. Phyn finds great difficulty. Lord Wycombe calls on me this morning, and Chaumont comes in the afternoon to take leave.”
“The prisoners were killed yesterday [September 10th] at Versailles. The number of troops to be opposed to the combined armies seems now to be as inferior as the discipline and appointments. Lord Wycombe dines with me; he says that he hopes the end of the French affairs will cure other nations of the rage for revolutions.”
In his history of the daily events sent to Mr. Jefferson, Morris says, at the end of this “eventful week,” under date of September 10th: “We have had one week of unchecked murders, in which some thousands have perished in this city. It began with between two and three hundred of the clergy, who would not take the oath prescribed by law. Thence these executors of speedy justice went to the Abbaye, where the prisoners were confined who were at Court on the 10th. Madame de Lamballe was, I believe, the only woman killed, and she was beheaded and disem-bowelled; the head and entrails paraded on pikes through the street, and the body dragged after them. They continued, I am told, in the neighborhood of the Temple until the Queen looked out at this horrid spectacle. Yesterday the prisoners from Orléans were put to death at Versailles. The destruction began here about five in the afternoon on Sunday, the 2d instant. A guard had been sent a few days since to make the Duc de la Rochefoucault prisoner. He was on his way to Paris under their escort, with his wife and mother, when he was taken out of his carriage and killed. The ladies were taken back to La Roche-Guyon, where they are now in a state of arrestation. M. de Montmorin was among those slain at the Abbaye. You will recollect that a petition was signed by many thousands to displace the mayor on account of his conduct on the 20th of June. The signing of this petition is considered as a sufficient proof of the crime of Feuillantism, and it was in contemplation with some to put all those who were guilty of signing that petition to death. This measure seems, however, to be suspended (for the present, at least); but, as there is no real executive authority, the plan may be easily resumed should it suit the views of those who enjoy the confidence of that part of the people who are now active.”
“There is nothing new this day,” says the diary for September 11th, “except that the Camp of Maulde is raised after sending a detachment to Dumouriez. The troops are retired to Valenciennes. This opens the northern frontier. Thionville is besieged, and so, perhaps, is Metz. The non-juring priests are murdered at Rheims. The weather is grown cool. The Duke of Brunswick seems to be waiting awhile for the operations of others. It is said that Champagne in general waits the opportunity of joining the enemy, and it is said also that every man is turning out against them. In this, as in other cases, in medio tutissimus ibis. A battle is said to be in agitation between Dumouriez and the Duke of Brunswick. We shall know more of this hereafter. The inactivity of the enemy is so extraordinary that it must have an unknown cause. Confessedly the forces opposed were inferior, and it would be extraordinary that great manœuvre should, under such circumstances, be needful.”
[*]The manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick, which was dated the 25th of July, at Coblentz, and printed in all the royalist newspapers in Paris on the 28th, actually contained all the startling details which Morris notes; and the knowledge that Paris was to be invaded by enemies—by Austrians and Prussians—led by a general whose language was so haughty and whose threats were so violent, produced from all quarters promises of active resistance.
[*]Translationof aboveLetter.—Her Royal Highness will find enclosed the only account which could be kept, under the circumstances. An explanation is here necessary. Mr. M—, who sometimes allowed himself to submit to their Majesties his ideas concerning public affairs, placed in the hands of Count Montmorin (before the acceptance of the fatal law called the French Constitution) a memorandum in English with the draft of a proposed French speech. The memorandum—the more important of the two documents, as it explained the other—was submitted to the king, but only after his acceptance. His Majesty asked for a translation, and M. de Montmorin requested the author to undertake the work. He did so, but sent the whole to His Majesty direct, begging to be pardoned some of his expressions, perhaps too energetic. His Majesty had conceived opinions similar to those expressed in the proposed speech, and sustained by the arguments of the memorandum; the king regretted to have to give up these ideas. The conduct of M. de Montmorin thus appeared too sharp, and the confidence His Majesty entertained until then in this nobleman became clouded. But the king’s fearful situation forced His Majesty to make use of persons but imperfectly known. Among those brought, through circumstances, to enter the ministry, was a M. Térier de Monciel, a man known by Mr. M— to be faithful to the king, inspite of his more than suspicious connections. Mr. M— made, therefore, bold to state to His Majesty that the king could confide in M. de Monciel. The result was that this gentleman was intrusted with the most important of all undertakings, that of extricating His Majesty from his perilous situation. M. de Monciel had frequent consultations with Mr. M—, and, among the many means suggested, the most essential was found to be the departure of the royal family. All measures to that end were so well taken that success seemed infallible; but the king (for reasons it is useless to mention here) gave the plan up, the very morning fixed for the departure, even after the Swiss Guard had left Courbevoie to help to cover His Majesty’s retreat. The ministers, all gravely compromised, handed in their resignations. The moment was critical indeed, as His Majesty already possessed proofs of the plot concocted against his safety. One issue only was left to the king; to come out victorious from the imminent struggle, to take place as soon as the conspirators should think themselves sufficiently strong. M. de Monciel, having conversed with their Majesties, consented to serve them again in this matter, although out of the ministry. He busied himself, with others, to raise a sort of Royal Army, a very delicate task, that could but endanger the fate of all those who would take part in it if the enemies of the king should triumph. M. de Monciel took as his coadjutor a M. Brémond, a man full of courage, zeal, and fidelity, but hot-headed, talkative, and imprudent. The latter defect was probably an essential quality, since the situation in which the royal family found itself kept away all those whose zeal cooled off in presence of such dangers. Toward the end of July His Majesty caused Mr. M— to be thanked, in the king’s name, for the advice given, stating at the same time His Majesty’s regret not to have followed it. The king requested also Mr. M— to have an eye on what was done for His Majesty’s service, and to accept the deposit of the king’s moneys and papers. The answer stated that His Majesty could always depend on Mr. M—’s best efforts, but that his house did not appear to him any more secure than the Tuileries, as Mr. M— had been for so long the object of the conspirators’ hatred that neither the papers nor the money of the king would be safe in Mr. M—’s house. For the money, as it bore no distinctive mark of proprietorship, he would consent to take charge of it and to make such use of it as might be ordered, in case His Majesty could find no one else for the trust. As the result of his consent, M. de Monciel brought to Mr. M—, on the 22d of July, 547,000 livres, 539,000 of which were still there on August 2d, being used according to the king’s orders. The sum of 449,750 livres, paid out on August 2d, were to be converted by Brémond into louis d’or. He bought actually 5,000 louis d’or and divided them in twenty-louis purses. These were to be distributed to various persons who chose to follow the initiated ones to such places where they would have to fight under appointed chiefs. To render these counter-conspirators even more useful, they were to be chosen, by preference, among Marseillais and other agents of the conspirators. Therefore, so as to avoid deceit, it was agreed that the moneys were to be paid only after the services should have been rendered. In the meantime the 5,000 louis remained in Mr. M—’s house. The events of the 10th of August are too well known to necessitate a rehearsal of such a painful story. On that day M. de Monciel, as he took refuge with his family and several other persons at Mr. M—’s, brought with him 200,000 livres. A few days later he was forced to go into hiding. Brémond was already hidden somewhere else, and Madame de Monciel had to do her best to save the most compromised ones, those who could endanger the king all the more because they were well known and their acts strongly suspected.
[*]The famous band of Provençal volunteers brought to Paris from Marseilles, together with all the vagabonds the Jacobins could engage to come, after the king refused to sign the decree to establish a camp of 20,000 men outside the city.