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the city ; but long before we reached the barriers, the shouts of the mob were audible, and to our alarm we heard the tocsin ringing from the great Abbey of St. Martin. We hastened our steps, only to discover) on entering the town that a dreadful scene of havoc and devastation was going for ward. Above the shouts of the mob screams arose, as if from victims of their barbarity; and now and then there shot up a lurid glare towards the sky, which betokened too plainly that the ravages of fire were to be added that night to those of violence and plun. der. Advancing in an easterly direction, we discovered that the ancient Abbey Church of St. Martin, the pride of central France, from whence the tocsin had been sounding, was the prin cipal object of the fury of the mob, probably for that very reason. It was in flames before we arrived there, and we met many wretches escaping with the sacred vessels and ornaments, their share of the spoil. Hurrying our steps towards the Cathedral, we found the mob less numerous and violent in that direction, and although St. Julien was on fire, it was evident that the set of the raging tide was towards St. Martin, and that the quarters in our neighbourhood were emptying themselves of their population, to swell the main flood thereabouts. This process appeared to me, I remember, even in that hurried and anxious moment, to go forward according to an organised sys. tem, and as if under the guidance of certain recognised leaders ; for I re. peatedly heard the words à droit, à gauche, given at the head of these gangs, by voices which they seemed instructed to obey.
The precincts of the palace were completely deserted. Not a sound was to be heard but the distant hubbub of the rioters, and occasionally the distant crash of a roof or tower of one of the burning edifices. When this occurred, we were further notified of the catas. trophe by the sudden leap of the towers of the Cathedral out of the darkness, as they were smitten by the red-hot glow from behind us.
With trembling joy we believed all safe; and, stealing cautiously up, descended into the concealed passage lead. ing to our hiding place. Traversingitas quickly as we could in the pitchy darkness, we both of us stopped simulta. neously. It was it must be-a dream. We rubbed our eyes. Where we had
left the chamber we emerged into this open cavern, into which the lurid sky darted its dull glances, and the cries we had left found their way with the vapours and exhalations of the night.
Nobody was there. Nothing was to be seen but ruin. Not a vestige. Not a piece of furniture. Not an article of clothing. Nothing but these huge fragments scattered about, and the desperate marks of wedges and crowbars, and other mechanical means of aiding human fury.
Like lightning, Levasseur darted across my mind. “He is alive I” I shrieked, dashing my hands up towards heaven.-The next moment I had fled out through the aperture into the darkness, leaving the Archbishop motionless where he had first became aware of the catastrophe.
For weeks my existence is a dream. I believe I was mad. Levelled with the beasts, I acquired the keen scent and sagacity of these tribes, when instinct draws them after their prey. I remember myself at Saumur, at Angers, in the forests of Brittany, subsisting upon roots. The slot of my enemy lay towards Nantes. There Carrier was multiplying his human sa. crifices. Blood was too slow in flowing. The river offered more speedy execution, and a roomier grave. Shoals of victims choked the channels of the Loire, and turned its waters into putridity. There were people about, bere and there, who could afford some inklings. Kennelling as I did with the wolves, with them I made nightly descents upon habitable places, and the abodes of men. As these bore away lambs and other weaklings of the flock, so I fragments of intelligence, whispers, hearsays, eavesdroppings, and vague surmises of the bloodshot stranger, who was urging some females westward. I saw whither all this was tending. Hope had left my bosom; I scarcely cared to accomplish a rescue ; and dared not think upon anything but revenge. To enter Nantes was certain death, and death would frustrate all my objects, and crown his with triumph,--so I reserved myself for the consummation.
I joined the remnant of the Vendeans, wandering houselessly through Brittany, and prowling about since the battle of Savenay in bands of fifties and hundreds, with every man's hand against them. For such I was a fit companion. They armed me; I feet a thing of human outline, hav. ing mark and token which may be recognised, such as a ribbon with a golden ornament attached, and on the ornament the words inscribed
La tete toinbe, le caur reste.
clasped my sword like a friend who was to do me a service. Thenceforth it was my closest companion.
Daring as were these Chouans, they found in me one whom they could not hope to rival. The gang I led gained a name for its desperate audacity, and carried Terror even to the gates of Nantes, within which unhappy town likewise that fearful Presence now stalked abroad in visible shape, and daily devoured its victims wholesale. The river, which had flowed past the walls ever since they were built bear. ing blessings on its bosom and reflecting heaven on its surface, now yawned like a judgment close at hand, and into its depths continually travelled the youth and bravery and beauty and virtue and loyalty of Nantes. We, when we were caught, were shot; but it was not easy to catch us,—and we generally obtained more than life for life.
It was the spring equinox. Car rier's noyades went on; it was now whole ship-loads of victims that he sent down the stream, to be sunk bodily at its mouth, where he believed the ocean would do the rest, and rid him of fur. ther trouble. But ocean itself began to show symptoms of refusing to dispose of more dead than lay to its own account. It had enough to answer for already. Renouncing complicity in these deeds of earth, it at last took ad. vantage of a mighty west wind and cast the unburied mass of mortality at the mouth of the stream that bad rejected it. The whole population flocked down to discover and reclaim its dead. What it found it had to dispute with the ospreys and vultures, and the loathsome familiarity of wild beasts, wbich struggled between the legs of the human throng, in the absorbing fascination of such a banquet.
And like a fascinated wild beast there am I. The storm howls across the bleak sands, carrying the grains along like a mist, mingled with the surf and foam-flakes. And the blast as it howls, bears other sounds upon it-shrieks of sea-mews, and of mothers and daugh. ters of stranded corpses, croakings of quarrelling ravens, and the imprecations of desperate outlaws, who dispute the bones of a comrade. There I stand, looking seawards, for I know that ocean has an account to render up to me, and that it will ful. fil its trust. And it is without shud. dering, therefore, that I find at my
Yes, boy, I am prepared for all that ; and with my sword I dig a hole in the sand, high up, above the reach of the tides, and there I cover up that human remnant, after placing the orna. ment in my bosom; then, having taken the bearings, I plunge into the woods again, and whet my blunted sword against the first smooth stone I find.
One object was left me in life. It wore a definite aspect; but the means of obtaining it were difficult and circuitous. For many a month I herded with the Chouans of Bretagne; a wild, irregular banditti. The gang I led hovered closer to the enemy than the rest of our adherents, and addicted themselves less to plunder. Something which might be called strategy marked our movements, and the information we acquired from prisoners was frequently of considerable service to the cause of the Royalists in communication with Puisaye and the British Government.
Since the discovery of the body my character had undergone a change. I was no longer the reckless madman who inspired respect only by his personal daring. My mind now control. led without impeding the impetuosity of my animal nature. In particular, a certain tact and subtlety I evinced in the examination of prisoners and deserters, caused that department at last to be left exclusively to me; and it was during this period that I perfected and brought to the condition of a system, that theory of the investigation of character, which I put in practice on my first encountering you.
Ever and anon, I was able to glean some intelligence respecting my enemy. He was near me. When Carrier was superseded at Nantes, he was for a time in disgrace as his friend; but soon associated himself with Hoche, and distinguished himself, one deserter informed me, by the sanguinary zeal he showed in prosecuting the design of his chief, which consisted, as in La Vendée, in hemming in the rempant of the insurgents by a narrowing curdon, out of which they had no possible escape, and within which, unless some
sudden blow was struck, they must be wrong; I had become lynx-eyed. all finally en veloped and taken. With There was no concentration, no ora counter-instinct to mine, he, too, I ganised system. There was no prince felt, knew that the man he had wrong. of the house of Bourbon around whom ed was here, and that he must be got to rally. Puisaye and D'Hervilly rid of to make life safe. This was quarrelled. Instead of an instanwhat infused such uncompromising taneous advance, as urged by Tin. ferocity into his conduct, and gave teniac and me, days were wasted in his acts so sanguinary a complexion, as consultations and disputes, which came to call more than once for a reprimand to noihing. I soon saw that we were and rebuke from his chief. It was to be victims, but I was determined to a single combat between us; we achieve my object. both of us strengthened the ranks of The republican armies closed round two opposing armies, and advanced us. Desperately we confronted them ; the causes of royalty and republicanism but individual valour could not make respectively, only in order that we, amends for the want of unity of plan. the centre of our war and of our world, Hoche drove us in from point to point; might meet at last and terminate the and at length, having taken St. Barbe, struggle with the existence of one or shut us up in the narrow peninsula of both of us.
Quiberon, whence we must either esYou know how events hurried on. cape to the British fleet, or die without How an amnesty was offered to us, if hope of quarter. we would lay down our arms. Lay As the republican front closed with down our arms! I grasped my sword, us, I became, from day to day, more and laughed, till the forest rang again. intimately acquainted with Levasseur's How Carrier caine to the guillotine movements. Every prisoner had somehe was not my quarry ; I let him die thing to tell. His blood-thirsty ferowithout a thought. How treachery city had gained him celebrity amongst appeared among us—and symptoms of them. I knew his division, his quardisaffection. We held together, forters, his assigned place on each day's war was my game. To the meeting march—nay, his very uniform, and the at La Mabilaye I repaired; for, believ colour of his horse. I kept myself so ing that Hoche was to be there, I cal. thoroughly in the secret of the man's culated on his accompanying him. I movements, that whenever we should know not why it was, but Hoche de- meet in open field, I should be able clined coming, and we did not meet. without difficulty to mark him out, Tout était aux mieux. How we were and have him before me in the thick. organised into regular companies of est confusion of battle. chasseurs under Stofflet, and ma The night of the 20th of July, 1795, næuvred as a regular army, notwith fell dark and tempestuous. The waves standing the nominal truce; how the rolled in with fury upon the narrow British squadron hove in sight, and strip of sand we yet retained upon the the white cockade was mounted on shore of France. Our only barrier every cap, and long and reiterated against the enemy was Fort Penshouts of Vive le roi ! rent the air, and thièvre, which stood, a darker mass, rung through the forests of Brittany against the dark sky. I lay upon the All this is history; so is the result. sand, with my sword-my inseparable My part alone of these deeds and dis companion—in my grasp. Suddenly, asters is necessary to be told.
a shout was heard above the roar of The emigrant army landed from the the waters. I started up,-but could English fleet at Quiberon. The no see nothing. It proceeded from the blest blood of France was there assem- direction of the fort, and I knew that bled; and I found myself once more a surprise was at least attempted, if it associated with the Polignacs, and the had not succeeded. A moment's Clermont-Tonnerres, and the Condés, agony passed across my brow, like the and the D'Orsays. I was assigned the glow of a fierce fire. This was the command I most coveted, however, only contingency I had not foreseen : that of my own Chouans, whom I my enemy and I might be close to each knew, and who knew me. Had all other in the darkness, without coming known themselves and each other as into contact. we did, the expedition might have My worst suspicions were the best turned out differently.
founded. Fort Penthièvre had been I soon saw that things were going surprised and taken we were now at
[Jan. the mercy of the republican army. The few boats which had succeeded in All those within reach of me rose gaining the shore, had either sunk or along with me, and obeying the word were sheering off overloaded with fugi. of command, placed themselves in tives; in all directions cries were heard order, and rushed upon the advancing of “ quarter ! quarter!"_a boon which enemy. The collision was tremendous. in some instances was accorded by the Hoche's guns had already begun to soldiers, as the despairing emigrants or play, and in a few minutes the Eng. Chouans laid down their arms; though lish squadron, which had been obliged in most these wretches were cut down to keep out to sea in consequence of without mercy. From the sea, the the tempest, announced their presence frightful confusion was added to by by the roar of their artillery. From the broadsides of the British fleet the first I saw that resistance was poured in upon the shore, and sweephopeless; and that escape was almost ing off friend and foe in indiscriminate equally so. D'Hervilly was mortally slaughter. I had almost given up the wounded ; Sombreuil, who succeeded hope of surviving to fulfil my mission, him, was a stranger to the place, and when a sudden flash discovered Levaslost his presence of mind. It was a seur within five yards of me, a little hopeless carnage ; and my men fell advanced before his men, in the act of around me in heaps. Nevertheless, pointing a gun at a boat which had I assumed the command which others just quitted the shore, filled with were unable to exercise, and contrived women and children. for some time to protect the masses of I might have rushed forward and emigrants who, with their wives and cut him down. I do not know why I children, were rushing into the water did not do so. I walked up to him, to embark on board the English boats. and laid my hand upon his shoulder, I must have been calm ; for while en- uttering in his ear the word “ Levasgaged in this arduous duty, I took seur !" He started up from the stoopadvantage of every cannon shot fired ing posture, and in an instant drew a close to me, to survey the opposite pistol from his belt, and fired. Had ranks in search of Levasseur. In so he not been disconcerted, he must have dark a night, the flash of the discharge killed me; as it was, his ball grazed from a piece of ordnance throws an my ribs. He drew back, aghast. intense glare for a considerable space; “Coward !" cried I; « draw your and as I had habituated my eyes to sword. I shall wait until you can detake in numerous objects distinctly at fend yourself.” a sudden glance, I was now, after one We could see each other, now we or two of these momentary surveys, were so close, by the gleaming of the able to ascertain with tolerable accu. cannonade. Even at that desperate racy the order of the hostile column, moment, I was startled as I suddenly and where I ought to look for him. I became conscious that a change had found that in order to confront him, I taken place in his appearance. His must move to the right, or as close to black hair had grown white. The conthe edge of the sea as possible. This firmation of an original surmise flashed was difficult, in the face of the enemy; across my mind. He must have ex. but finding that Sombreuil had just isted for a greater or less period of come up to the point I defended with time, under the belief that, at the moa fresh body of emigrants, I drew my ment of his mortal sin, he had fallen exhausted men off for a moment, and into the hands of the LIVING GOD. moving round a small sandy eminence, “Why should we fight?” he now threw them once more upon the hostile exclaimed, in a subdued voice. “She army, almost within the surf of the is dead, long ago." shoreward waves.
“And buried I” cried I, holding up The result was as I had anticipated. to his eyes the Golden Guillotine. Certain signs gave evidence of Levas “God! Whence has that come?". seur's vicinity. I recognised the uni. " " From the depths of the ocean, in form of his corps, and at last had the which thy bones shall whiten ere long. inexpressible satisfaction of hearing Thought'st thou that thou wert to eshis voice, above the roar of the waves, cape the Avenger of Blood, because urging on his men.
thou had'st placed a mill-stone round By this time matters had drawn to a the neck of thy secret, and sunk it in conclusion. The two armies were the sea ?” mingled together in the darkness. “ De Martigny, thou wast my rival
-thou soughtest to strangle me-was it not so ?"
With death staring him in the face, be was yearning to extract some expression which should relieve him once for all from the remnants of the horrible suspicion that had once hannted him. I saw that ;-and at the same time felt myself growing weak from loss of blood; yet, so much was I still overpowered with the thought of the fiery tortures the wretch must bave gone through to run the stony blackness of his locks into silver in the time, that I could not bring myself to sabre him, and have done with him.
Nor had I need. He bad just observed my growing faintness, and was planting his feet to commence the combat in which the chances began to show in his favour, when a ball from an English line-of-battle ship ploughed the sand over both of us, and in its ricochet tore Levasseur's right arm from its socket, laying the ribs of the same side bare to the waist. We fell together-he in the agonies of death, I from the shock and previous loss of blood. I had strength left to dip my finger in the pool of gore between uswhether his or mine I knew not, or both mingled together--and write upon his forehead the single word _ALPHONSINE. This I did that the devils might know what to do with him.
Our men, on both sides, had missed us, and as the action now confined itself to another quarter, they had drawn off to lend their aid at that point. I was left alone with the dying man; and witnessed the blackness of his brow fade into the spectral pallor of death, upon which the gory letters came out like faint writing held against a fire.
The object of my life was accomplished: a dizziness came over me. I believed that I died.
I recovered my consciousness on board of a British man-of-war. It was not for some days afterwards that I discovered how I had been saved. An officer who, taking advantage of the darkness, had pushed boldly on shore in a boat just after the termi. pation of the action, in the hope of saving somebody, and who saw me lying wounded and motionless, but, with some signs of life about me, had, at the risk of his own, cutlass in hand,
rescued me from two republican soldiers who were just about to knock me on the head and plunder me, and borne me aboard Admiral Warren's squadron.
Young man, little more remains to be said. When, years afterwards, royalty had been restored to France, I repaired to the lonely beach at the mouth of the Loire, and had the bones of all that had once made life dear reverently removed to this sacred precinct, where, with the consent of the Archbishop, they were buried privately, and a certain number of masses appointed to be said for the soul of the departed. Over this grave I posted myself a sentinel for life. Here I pass my days often my nights. The venerable Archbishop would have solaced my watchings by his presence over and over again, but I withstood him. I preferred performing this duty alone. Nevertheless, when he died, I was smitten to the heart, as you saw-for I had lost my last friend.
Here ended Lenoir's-or De Martigny's-narration.
To say to him, at its close, that I trusted he would consider himself as having gained a new one, might be supposed a natural impulse. Nevertheless I could not bring myself to utter the words. Not the story alone, but the sentiments, the feelings, the morality, were French, and did not altogether square with the principles I had been brought up to respect and cherish. I looked upon this man as a formidable relic of formidable times :-as one, in short, who with all his fancied theories, had been rather the slave than the master of those sudden impulses that had so deeply tinctured his life; and I felt a corresponding doubt as to how far an inoculation with ideas of the kind might benefit myself.
The embarrassment caused by these reflections must have shown itself somehow or other at the surface, for, with one of his electric glances, the recluse abruptly rose, and, without uttering another word, stepped forth before me into the now black void outside the grotto; and as he led the way back to the street, his dark cloak, agitated by the wind, flapped heavily before me, and his whitening hair streamed over his shoulders like a meteor.