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vous; and with all his tact, in February 1791, he was already in mortal apprehension, though he had better cause for alarm afterward. Morris writes :—
“Go to the Louvre; see Madame de Flahault. She is ill in bed; play sixpenny whist with her. The Bishop of Autun is horribly frightened for his life. When she got home last night she found in a blank envelope a will of the Bishop making her his heir. In consequence of some things he had dropped in conversation, she concluded he had determined to destroy himself, and therefore spent the night in great agitation and tears. M. de Saint Foi, whom she roused at 4 o'clock in the morning, could not find the Bishop, he having slept near the church in which he was to consecrate two Bishops newly elected. At length it turns out that, pursuant to repeated threats, he feared that the clergy would cause him this day to be destroyed, and had ordered the letter not to be delivered till the evening, meaning to take it back if he lived through the day.”
It shows the high opinion Morris had formed of his talents, that on the day of Mirabeau's death, there is this entry in the diary —
“I tell the Bishop of Autun that he should step into the vacancy he has made, and to that effect preach the funeral sermon, in which he should make a summary of his life, and dwell particularly on the last weeks in which he labored to establish order; then dwell on the necessity of order, and introduce properly the king.”
Talleyrand did not care to bid for the perilous pre-eminence, nor did he put himself forward to preach the funeral discourse. But he did administer the last sacraments to the dying Mirabeau, and we know nothing in history more ludicrously shocking than that blasphemous profanation of the holy rites. It is interesting, throughout Madame de Staël's Life, to trace Talleyrand treading dexterously among naked sword-blades — making friends with all parties in turn,—with Feuillants and Constitutionalists—Girondins and even Jacobins. Narbonne, like Talleyrand, had saved his head by flight, shortly before the September massacres. Bollman, the Hanoverian, had given shelter to Narbonne the night before both started for England, passing the guards at the city gates in the character of Englishmen. Bollman cleverly sketches and contrasts Narbonne and Talleyrand in his correspondence with Warnhagen von Ense :
“Narbonne is rather tall, strong, and stout in build, but there is something attractive, noble, and superior about him. His wit and the wealth of his ideas are inexhaustible. He is full of every social virtue. He inspires courage in the most despondent. He never ceases to charm, and when he chooses he can fascinate an individual or a whole society alike. There is only one man in France who comes up to him in this respect, and who, in my opinion, far outstrips him, and that is his friend M. de Talleyrand, formerly Bishop of Autun. Narbonne labors to please, and betrays his wish to do so. Talleyrand makes no effort, and he is always calm, dispassionate, and at his ease. Narbonne is more brilliant ; Talleyrand is more refined, pleasing, and neat in conversation. Narbonne does not by any means suit every one ; the very fastidious do not care for him. He has no power over them. Talleyrand, without being less morally corrupt than Narbonne, can move even those who despise him to tears.”
Madame de Staël, compromised, suspected, detested, and continually denounced, having sheltered certain of her friends in the Embassy, having successfully begged the lives of others from Manuel, then a member of the Commune, had nevertheless lingered on in Paris, till her life, or at least her liberty, seemed in extreme danger. She had decided at last to leave, as it chanced, on the very morning of the 2d September. Her friends implored her to delay her departure, and not to start in a moment of such intense excitement. It was characteristic of her high courage and generosity that she declined to comply. She had made an appointment to pick up upon the road another of the refugees, the Abbé de Montesquieu, and to take him with her to Switzerland, disguised as her servant. She would not throw him over, and so her preparations went forward. She had determined to take her departure as befitted her rank, and got into her lumbering coach, drawn by six horses and laden with luggage, with servants in her liveries. The liveried servants and the aristocratic equipage were a rash and ostentatious defiance to the mob. “The cracking of the postilions’ whips attracted a crowd of old women, who threw themselves like so many furies upon the horses, screaming that the travellers must be kept backthat they were carrying off the nation's gold to the enemy.” More formidable assailants were attracted by the shrill clamor, and the postilions were compelled to drive to the section of the quarter. Thence she was conducted to the Hôtel de Ville, and the way lay across the Place de la Grève, where the blood of the victims of the 10th of August was scarcely yet dry. The drive lasted three hours at a foot's pace, amid the howls and murderous threats of the mob. The National Guard to whom she appealed for assistance, answered with scoffs and jeers. Fortunately she found a chivalrous friend in the gendarme seated with her in the carriage, who pledged himself to protect her at the risk of his own life. Getting out of her coach at the Hôtel de Ville, she made her way up the stairs through a forest of pikes. Neither the terrible ordeal she had gone through, nor the sanguinary associations of the place, had greatly shaken her nerves, when she found herself in the presence of Robespierre. Collat d’Hubois and Billaud Warennes were acting as secretaries to the “incorruptible one,” who exercised despotic powers of life and death. Billaud Warennes, by the way, had not shaved for a fortnight, so his aspect was even more repulsive than it ordinarily was. The hall was crowded with the dregs of the populace, who were shouting Vive la Nation / The envoy from Parma, who chanced to be present, and to whom she naturally turned for assistance, chose to disclaim her. Indignation brought about a reaction from her alarm and discouragement. “As he would not apparently help me in this trouble, I determined to do the best for myself.” She claimed her rights as wife of an Ambassador, and showed her passports. Her papers were pronounced irregular, and it might have gone hard with her, had not the friendly Manuel made his appearance, and once more come to her help. He spoke in her favor, and left the Commune to deliberate, while he led her and her maid into a side-room. “From the windows they could see the murderers with their sleeves turned up, and bloody hands, returning with wild cries across the Place de la Grève.” She waited in suspense for six mortal hours, till Manuel returned, and partially relieved her mind. After dark he escorted her back to the Embassy, where she was to be detained till she procured fresh passports. They were brought her next morning by Tallien, who was commissioned by the Commune to accompany her to the barriers, where he resigned his place to the gendarme who was to travel with her to
the Jura. A very singular incident had occurred while she was waiting the decision of the Commune. Her loaded carriage, standing at the door of the Assembly, might well have tempted the rapacious and lawless mob. To her astonishment, she saw a man in the uniform of the National Guard clamber on to it and defend it from all attacks. The individual accompanied Manuel when Manuel came to release her. He proved to be no less a personage than Santerre, the Commandant of the National Guard—“the detestable ruffian,” as Boswell calls him, who showed Johnson and the Thrales over his brewery on their visit to Paris in 1775. He declared he had been actuated solely by gratitude for Necker's distribution of grain to the starving population of the Faubourg St. Antoine. Madame de Staël saw through the shallow pretext, for it was clear that, in those hours of massacre, he should have been at his post, protecting the victims who were being slaughtered in the prisons. The heroic woman did not profess to thank him, but merely told him that he might have been better employed.
With that dramatic and suggestive episode of the Terror, we may bring our notice to a close. But we must add, by way of postscript, a final quotation from Lady Blennerhassett, in which she sums up some of the most striking incidents of the tragedy. She is writing of the retrospect after the 9th Thermidor and the fall of Robespierre.
“On the vast battle-field he had spread over the whole of France, Madame de Staël counted a host of dead who had crossed her path as friends or enemies. Camille Desmoulins, the gamin of the Revolution, who had once fastened Necker's green cockade on his breast, and had invited to his wedding Robespierre, the gloomy guest who was afterward to join bride and bridegroom in death ; Barnave, who had sought to extinguish in his blood the flame his words had kindled ; Malesherbes, the honor of the magistracy, with whom a whole battle was lost ; Danton, who had foreseen the day when ‘Cato would be deemed a fool and Caesar a necessary evil ; Victor de Broglie, Custine, and with them so many others, who had stood up under the colors of the Republic for the ideal of their youthful days, -all of them, the leaders and those they led astray, had fallen alike beneath the edge of the axe. Others, like Chamfort, Clavière, and Roland, had sought escape by the dagger, the Archbishop Loménie de Brienne and Condorcet by oison. . . . Even those who had led evil ives died heroic deaths. While the Abbé Emery was preparing her for death, Eglée, a
Once more we pluck the wind-flower in the wood,
That bade them be, and “saw that they were good,”
Then leave the wind-flower quiet in the wood,
Who looked upon her life, and saw 'twas good,
the district was infested by robbers, broken men, and fugitives from the justice of Mirambo, the great and enlightened king of the Wanyamwezi, we kept a sharp look-out. On the second day of our journey, M'tosi, the most intelligent man I had with me, called my attention to a dark mass sticking in the dead branches of a distant tree. Bringing my glass, one of “Theobald’s” best, to bear upon it, I perceived that it was a man. Now a man perched in a tree in Central Africa is an object calculated to arouse the suspicions of the most incautious traveller. Accordingly we approached the spot with great care, keeping a sharp look-out. But our precautions were needless, our fears groundless. The poor fellow was harmless, for he was dead. Perhaps he had been one of Tippoo Tib's victims, for that notorious half-caste Arab and slave-dealer, fondly trusted by Stanley, and later by the luckless Major Barttelot, was at the time engaged in setting to rights the marauding tribes in the neighborhood of Lake Tanganyika. Or, like a certain historic traveller, he might have fallen among thieves. There he was, shot through the back, gibbeted in the tree. Ignorant as to who might be near, for “fate often walks about loose” in African forests, and not desirous of candidating for strange burial places, I pushed on. It was no easy matter. The jungle grass was coarse, thick, and high, reaching in some places far above our heads. More than once some reptile, probably venomous, glided sullenly from the track ; and many a winding pathway reminded us that we were in perils in the wilderness —in perils of wild beasts as well as of robbers. Toward evening I reached a village, small, but strongly stockaded round, as is customary, for protection from Arab assaults. As my band approached the village, the headman came out to wish us welcome. But his brow was clouded, his eye beneath was sad. And as he conducted us to the spot where we were to pitch our tents, I observed the almost complete absence of that curiosity which the presence of a white man seldom fails to excite among the tribes. Why was this Were we in danger ? On reflection I felt somewhat reassured. The chief, whose name I learned was M'tanzi, seemed troubled and thoughtful rather than morose.
That night I had another attack of fever, and as it was some days before I had sufficiently recovered to be able to unpack my bales of gray calico, red handkerchiefs, and brass wire, and make the customary presents to M'tanzi, I lay in constant apprehension of the forcible serving of an African writ of ejectment—a short and summary process. But the fever at last left me, and, weak but convalescent, I summoned M’tanzi, and prepared to do my duty. The chief, tastefully attired in two yards of gray calico, and wearing a necklace of hippopotamus ivory, while a piece of Turkey red twill was gracefully folded across his manly breast, attended the ceremony of unpacking with befitting gravity, and took his honorarium as readily as any of his more highly civilized brethren could have done. His wives and relations, too, had to be remembered ; and a complete suit of clothes, consisting of a bead necklace, was presented to the youngest member of his numerous progeny. That same night, or rather in the gray of the early morning, a runner came into the village with intelligence that the chief of a neighboring but larger township was advancing to attack the chief. This piece of news fully explained to me the sombre thoughtfulness of M'tanzi. At once all was confusion. The prowess of Uluma, the invader, was known and feared. Hitherto with him it had been customary to come, and see, and conquer. As morning advanced, watchmen announced the approach of the foe. Then M'tanzi seemed to show the white feather. Silently the women and children were withdrawn into the forest, we being compelled to accompany them. The chief, with about fifty fighting men, his available force, armed with bows, spears, and nondescript weapons, only to be described as worn-out gaspipes transformed into muskets, brought up the rear. It was a painful and pitiable sight ; the women, among them M’tanzi's favorite young wife, wept as the primitive village, home of their youth, scene of their early hopes and loves, as of later family cares and woes, was thus abandoned. But it was the leader’s will, so we stealthily marched off into the forest. From a slight elevation, securely hidden by mimosa bushes, I had a good view of the place so lately left.
Suddenly, with a shout, Uluma and his followers dashed into the open, and, discharging a shower of artows and musket balls, rushed up to the stockade. No replying fusilladegreeted them. This seemed to cause them some surprise, and, for a moment, they stood and looked at one another. Fine fellows they were ; not a man of them stood under five feet ten inches in height. Their nearly black bodies, wholly naked, and smeared with rancid butter and red ochre, shone and glistened beneath the rays of the morning sun. A formidable foe. I felt thankful that we were not called upon to resist the attack of such redoubtable warriors. I started, and rubbed my eyes. What did I see ? There was, yes, surely there was, some one moving on the roofs of the huts. It must be said that the houses in this part are so built to the stockade that they form a sort of terrace. “Theobald's' glass showed me that, on this terrace, a woman, aged too I perceived, was walking. have been transfixed by an arrow ; if a young woman she would have been seized ; but as it was an old woman the soldiers disdained to notice her. She was carrying something carefully concealed in a blanket. At any other time I should have concluded that she was out on the “ loot,” but this was clearly impossible now. Slowly, with faltering steps, the old woman approached the spot beneath which stood the puzzled chieftain with his followers. But, once arrived there, the beldame became transformed. With a swift movement, and with startling energy, she threw her burden into the midst of the ranks of the foe. Instantly all was confusion. The grave stern warriors leaped and sprang like young roes on the mountains, and showed themselves more active than the most agile professor of the light fantastic art. They moved with leaps and bounds, rushed here and there like men demented, or stricken with witch doctor's uncanny charms. In two minutes not one remained in the neighborhood of the stockade. But now I noticed that M’tanzi with his men had left their place of refuge, and
If it had been a man he would
become invisible. A little while elapsed, and then a wild shout of rage and fury, M’tanzi's war-cry, burst upon the ear. Then was heard the clash of arms, mingled with the shout of the victor and the shriek of the vanquished. These soon became feebler, died away in the distance, and all grew still. Hours passed, then the victor, M'tanzi, returned. Joyfully the women and children rushed back into the village. The victory had been complete. Of Uluma and his warriors not one escaped. And now the mystery was explained. The foe most dreaded by the African, when on the war-path, is the useful toiling bee. It is plain that these insects, if once angered, would be able to impress many a good point on the naked skins of fighting men. Aware of this peculiarity of his countrymen, M'tanzi had succeeded in turning his knowledge to a good account. When he withdrew from the village, which his sagacity showed him was useless for the purposes of defence, he left behind him one of the old and useless women of his tribe, a weazened, fearless old hag, with instructions to throw down a prepared hive of bees on the heads of the attacking party at the moment when they should deliver their assault. This, he wisely argued, would disorganize them, so that he, taking advantage of their momentary panic, would be enabled to strike a blow which they would not readily forget. All fell out as that wily leader anticipated ; and the bees, entering into the plans of this astute Central African Napoleon, fought as if the fate of empires depended upon the industry with which they plied their stings. The victory was celebrated with war dances, carousals, and drunkenness. I feared that, amid this hellish saturnalia, our safety might have been endangered ; but no one molested us. Unable to check such revolting revelry, thoroughly wearied, I withdrew into my tent, and at length fell asleep. And, as I slept, I dreamed that I was busily engaged in a Kentish or: chard hiving a swarm of bees, which had been disbanded after having served as special constables in London.