Part 4 out of 5
"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
"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
"'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
"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
"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.
"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
"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
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
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
"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
"_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.
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
"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,
* * * * *
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,
"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.
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
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
"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
"'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
"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.
"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
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
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
"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
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
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.
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
"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
"'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,
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.
"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
"We will leave Madame de St. Andre's name out of this conversation,
"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
"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
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.
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
"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
"'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
"Not entirely a matter of patriotism, I judge?" he questioned, with a
"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
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.
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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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
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
"Is it impossible?" again asks Bertrand, noting her pallor and cruel
"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.
"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
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
"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
"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
"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