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by this means that he became aware of Charlotte's departure. The instrument still sounded, but the spirit of the young girl heard nothing save the tumult of her soul-engrossing thoughts, the call to death, and the praise of posterity.
The freedom and unreserve of her conversation in the coach which conveyed her to Paris, procured for her the admiration and good will of her travelling companions, to which was added that peculiar interest which a young stranger of dazzling beauty naturally inspires. She played the whole of the first day with : little girl, who by chance occupied the seat next her own in the coach. Either her love of children overcame her abstraction, or she had already laid down the burden of her sorrows, and wished to enjoy with life and innocence the few hours which yet remained.
The other travellers were distinguished “Montagnards;' who were flying to Paris under the suspicion of federalism, and who were eloquent in abuse of the Gironde, and in their admiration of Marat. Struck with the beauty of the young girl, they exerted themselves to extort from her her name, the object of her journey, and her address at Paris. Seeing one so young, alone, and unprotected, they ventured on familiarities, which she checked by the decorum of her manners, and the evasive brevity of her answers, until by feigning sleep she avoided altogether the necessity of speaking. A young man more reserved than the rest, charmed with so much modesty and beauty, ventured to declare his respectful admiration. He besought her to allow him to ask her hand of her parents. She dexterously parried this sudden avowal of love, without, however, saying anything to wound his feelings, by turning it into a subject of mirth. She promised this young man to let him know at a later period her name, and what she felt for him. She continued to charm her fellow travellers by her enchanting grace, and it was with reluctance that at the end of the journey they parted from her. She entered Paris on Thursday, the 11th of July, at noon.
She desired to be set down at an old inn which hod been recommended to her when at Caen—the Hôtel de la Providence, No. 17 in the Rue des Vieux-Augustins. She went to bed at five o'clock in the afternoon, and slept soundly till the next morning. Without a confidant, without a companion during these long hours of solitude and nervous agitation, in a public hotel, amidst the noise of that capital, the immensity and tumult of which overwhelms and bewilders the senses, no one can tell what was passing in her mind. Who can imagine the feelings with which on waking again she became conscious of the object of her mission, and the necessity for its immediate fulfilment ? Who can sufficiently estimate the resistance made by nature to her resolution, the strength of which finally triumphed?
She rose, and dressing herself simply though respectably, went to the house of Lanze de Perret. The friend of Barbaroux was at the Convention. His daughters, in the absence of their father, received Barbaroux's letter of introduction from the young stranger. Lanze de Perret was not expected home until the evening. Charlotte returned to the hotel, and passed the remainder of the day, reading, thinking, and praying in her own room. At six o'clock she went again to the house of Lanze de Perret. The deputy was at supper with his family and friends. He rose from table, and received her alone in his drawing-room. Charlotte explained to him the nature of the favor which she had to beg of him, and requested him to accompany her to the house of Garat, the Minister of the Interior, and support, by his presence and his influence, the claims she was going to prefer. Mademoiselle de Corday merely made this request as a pretext for gaining access to one of those Girondins, for whose cause she was about to sacrifice herself, in the hope of eliciting from his conversation some information which might give greater security to the execution of her purpose.
Warned by the lateness of the hour, and recalled by his friends, Lanze de Perret told her that he could not introduce her to Garat that day, but that he would call for her the next morning, and conduct her to his office. She left her name and address, and was on the point of retiring, when, as if overcome by the interest with which the honest face of this good man and the youth of his daughter inspired her, she paused, “ Allow me, citizen, to offer one word of advice,” said she in a mysterious confidential tone, “ leave the Convention, you can no longer be of service there. Go to Caen, and rejoin your brothers and your colleagues.” “My post is in Paris," replied the deputy, "and I shall not quit it."
“You are wrong," replied Charlotte, with a significant, and almost supplicating perseverance. "Believe me," added she in a low voice, and with great rapidity, "you must fly, fly before to. morrow evening," and she went away without waiting for his
These words, the meaning of which was only known to the stranger, were understood by Lanze de Perret merely as an allusion to the impending danger which threatened men of his opinions in Paris. He returned, and seated himself among his friends. He told them that there was something so strange and mysterious in the manners and words of the young person, who had just been with him, that he had been much struck, and felt more than ever the necessity of using caution and circumspection.
In the evening a decree of the Convention ordered warrants to be issued against those deputies who were suspected of attach. ment to the “vingt deux.” Lanze de Perret was of this number. He went, nevertheless, early on the morning of the 12th to Charlotte's lodging, to conduct her to the house of Garat. Garat did not admit them. The minister could not grant an audience till eight o'clock in the evening. This disappointment seemed to discourage Lanze de Perret. He represented to the young girl that as a suspected person, and with the measures taken against him only the night before by the Convention, his patronage, for the future, would be rather prejudicial than otherwise to his clients, besides which he informed her that she ought to be furnished with a power of attorney, authorizing her to act in Mademoiselle de Forbin's name, as without this form all her exertions would be useless.
The stranger soon yielded, for as she no longer required this pretext to conceal her real design, she abandoned it on the first remonstrance. Lanze de Perret left her at the door of the Hôtel de la Providence. She pretended to go in, but she came out again immediately, and inquired the way, street by street, to the Palais Royal
She entered the garden, not as a stranger wishing to gratify her curiosity by viewing the monuments and public places, but as a traveller who has business to transact, and is not willing to lose his time by taking one unnecessary step. She glanced her A dozen voices, until now unheard, called aloud to part them. Those who had kept themselves cool to win, and who earned their living in such scenes, threw themselves upon the combatants, and forcing them asunder, dragged them some space apart.
“Let me go!" cried Sir Mulberry, in a thick hoarse voice, “he struck me! Do you hear ? I say, he struck me.
Have I a friend here? Who is this ? Westwood. Do you hear me say he struck me !" “I hear, I hear,” replied one of those who held him.
“Come away for to-night.”
“I will not,” he replied, fiercely. “A dozen men about us saw the blow.”
“ To-morrow will be ample time," said the friend.
" It will not be ample time !" cried Sir Mulberry, gnashing his teeth. “To-night-at once—here!" His passion was so great that he could not articulate, but stood clenching his fist, tearing his hair, and stamping upon the ground.
“ What is this, my lord ?" said one of those who surrounded him. “ Have blows passed ?"
“ One blow has," was the panting reply. “I struck him-I proclaim it to all here. I struck him, and he well knows why. I say with him, let the quarrel be adjusted now. Captain Adams,” said the young lord, looking hurriedly about him, and addressing one of those who had interposed, “Let me speak with you, I beg."
The person addressed stepped forward, and taking the young man's arm, they retired together, followed shortly afterwards by Sir Mulberry and his friend.
It was a profligate haunt of the worst repute, and not a place in which such an affair was likely to awaken any sympathy for either party, or to call forth any further remonstrance or interposition. Elsewhere its further progress would have been instantly prevented, and time allowed for sober and cool reflection; but not there. Disturbed in their orgies, the party broke up; some reeled away with looks of tipsy gravity, others withdrew noisily discussing what had just occurred; the gentlemen of honor, who lived upon their winnings, remarked to each other as they went out that Hawk was a good shot; and those who had been
most noisy fell fast asleep upon the sofas, and thought no more about it.
Meanwhile the two seconds, as they may be called now, after a long conference, each with his principal, met together in another
Both utterly heartless, both men upon town, both thoroughly initiated in its worst vices, both deeply in debt, both fallen from some higher estate, both addicted to every depravity for which society can find some genteel name, and plead its most depraving conventionalities as an excuse, they were naturally gentlemen of the most unblemished honor themselves, and of great nicety concerning the honor of other people.
These two gentlemen were unusually cheerful just now, for the affair was pretty certain to make some noise, and could scarcely fail to enhance their reputations considerably.
“ This is an awkward affair, Adams,” said Mr. Westwood, draw. ing himself up.
Very,” returned the captain ; a blow has been struck, and there is but one course, of course.”
“ No apology, I suppose ?" said Mr. Westwood.
“ Not a syllable, sir, from my man, if we talk till doomsday," returned the captain. “ The original cause of the dispute, I understand, was some girl or other, to whom your principal applied some terms, which Lord Frederick, defending the girl, repelled. But this led to a long recrimination upon a great many sore subjects, charges, and countercharges. Sir Mulberry was sarcastic; Lord Frederick was excited, and struck him in the heat of provocation, and under circumstances of great aggravation. That blow, unless there is a full retraction on the part of Sir Mulberry, Lord Frederick is ready to justify.”
“ There is no more to be said," returned the other, “ but to settle the hour and the place of meeting. It's a responsibility : but there is a strong feeling to have it over : do you object to say at sunrise ?"
“ Sharp work," replied the captain, referring to his watch ; “ however, as this seems to have been a long time brooding, and negociation is only a waste of words-no.”
“ Something may possibly be said out of doors, after what passed in the other room, which renders it desirable that we