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PRIVATE MEETING OF THE DEPUTIES.

159

“ Shall you sleep at home to-night?”

Why ?66 It is said that there is an intention of arresting several deputies."

6 The devil!
66 We shall see. Paris is not a village.”
“ I shall not sleep at home."

" You are right. Let us look to ourselves : these fellows would do any thing."

66 I wish I knew how it would end."
“ I never thought it would come to this.”

A brace of journalists were now introduced. This meeting in no way assumed the appearance of a deliberative assembly. Every one seemed to think only of his own safety ; dismay was on every countenance.

The journalists brought a printed proof of the protest. They had taken upon themselves, after consulting two or three of the deputies, to erase every expression of devotion to the King.

This circumstance excited murmurs among the Deputies. “ They could not think of compromising themselves; they were afraid.” Here several citizens who were in the room entreated them to adopt it. “We engage to defend you young France will defend you will perish for you.

But, for God's sake, interfere ! The

citizens are perishing from want of command; their courage is wasting. In some places we are conquerors; in others, conquered : there is neither flag, nor rallying point, nor union. It is you who have occasioned all this. Time presses ; every instant of delay is the cause of fresh horrors. Ah! Gentlemen, for God's sake, hasten to save your country - leave it not thus échevelée et saignante - you whom it honours, you whom it loves. Think of the awful responsibility of such a desertion of your duty !”

This appeal excited a great sensation, particularly among the Mouvement deputies. M. Sebastiani, turning to Bertin de Vaux, said, “ Shall we go, M. Bertin ? »

M. Bertin (with a sigh). “ We may as well. I hope the best.”

A Deputy. “M. Sebastiani ! — why this abrupt departure at such a moment? If the interests of

your country cannot detain you, at least think of

your own: your presence at our meetings has already compromised you.”

M. Sebastiani. “Sir, every body is the master of his own conduct, and should be the best judge of his own interests. I am not aware that any one has the right to interfere with mine."

So saying, he went out with M. Bertin; and some other deputies followed their example.

A few moments after, a servant entered, and enquired for M. Gérard from M. Sebastiani. M. Gérard took

up

his hat and went out. There remained only eight or nine deputies. M. Bérard was very indignant at the desertion. At this moment it was announced that the Hôtel de Ville was retaken by the populace, but that the slaughter was great.

M. Mauguin exclaimed, in a reproachful tone, “ At least, there is some devotion in this army that combats without generals.” M. Lafitte.

“ At any rate, let us publish the protest.”

A Journalist. " It is here, but it must be signed.” M. Lafitte. -" How signed ?

We are only eight.”

What was to be done ? After much discussion, Lafitte said, “ The only thing we can do is to write the names of all the deputies in Paris ; who, we think, will at least not deny it. Let us publish the protest as having been adopted by those present. If we are conquered, they can deny the business, and prove that it was the concoction of eight conspirators; and if, on the contrary, we

M

are the conquerors, trust me, my friends, these signatures will be a feather in every man's cap which no one will pluck out.”

This resolution was adopted; and they agreed on parting, to assemble again at eight o'clock, at M. Audry's, in the hope of finding a more numerous meeting, and of settling some decided line of conduct.

163

PRIVATE MEETING OF THE

DEPUTIES

AT M. AUDRY DE PUYRAVEAU'S ON THE NIGHT

OF THE 28TH.

M. DE LABORDE made a violent address; he proposed, that on the morrow, the deputies, in their costume, or in the uniform of the National Guards, should present themselves to the people, and place themselves at the head of the insurrection.

M. Sebastiani, (with emphasis) “But, Gentlemen, once more remember that we are here only as citizens, united by a love of order, and with the only object of remedying the calamities which menace the capital. We have come to await the answer which the Duke of Ragusa has allowed us to hope we may receive; I confess, there appears slight chance of our receiving it, still we must be cautious that we do nothing to break the thread of the negotiations, for, gentlemen, we negotiate. We are here only in the character of mediators; above all, therefore, it becomes us to

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