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of November 23d, in which, besides all other expressions of approbation, they desire the foreign ministers of this government to confer with himn in their negotiations concerning our affairs; a mark of respect and deference, of which we know no other example.
In France a brilliant reputation had preceded him. The cause of America was already popular there, and his exertions and sacrifices in it, which, from the first, had seemed so chivalrous and romantic, now came reflected back upon him in the strong light of popular enthusiasm. Before bis return, the following beautiful verses, from the Gaston et Bayard of Belloy, had been often applauded and their repetition sometimes called for, on the public, Theatre, and Madame Campan tells us, that she for a long time preserved them in the handwriting of the unfortunate Queen of Louis Sixteenth, who had transcribed them because they had thus been publicly appropriated to the popular favorite of the time.
Eh ! que fait sa jeunesse
Act. I. Sc. 4. A similar circumstance happened, or rather in this second instance was prepared, at about the same time by Rochon de Chabannes, who introduced the following portrait of him into bis Amour François, acted. in 1780.
On est compté pour rien, quand on est inutile ;
Il vole la chercher sur un autre hémisphère, etc.
doubtfully, was, at the conclusion shouted throughout the Theatre in a tumult of applause. It is not remarkable, therefore, with such a state of feeling, while he was still absent from the country, that, on his return, he was followed by crowds in the public streets wherever he went; and that, in a journey he made to one of his estates in the south of France, the towns through which he passed, received him with processions and civic honors; and that in the city of Orleans he was detained nearly a week by the festivities they had prepared for him.
He did not, however, forget our interests amidst the popular admiration with which he was surrounded. On the contrary, though the negotiations for a peace were advancing, he was constantly urging upon the French government the policy of sending more troops to this country, as the surest means of bringing the war to a speedy and favorable termination. He at last succeeded ; and Count d'Estaing was ordered to hold himself in readiness to sail for the United States, as soon as Lafayette should join him. When, therefore, he arrived at Cadiz, he found fortynine ships and twenty thousand men ready to follow him; and they would have been on our coast early in the spring, if peace had not rendered further exertions unnecessary. This great event was first announced to Congress, by a letter from Lafayette, dated in the harbor of Cadiz, February 5, 1783.
As soon as tranquillity was restored, Lafayette began to receive pressing invitations to visit the country, whose cause he had so materially assisted. Washington, in particular, was extremely urgent ; and yielding not only to these instances, but to an attachment to the United States, of which his whole life has given proof, he embarked again for our shores and landed at New York on the 4th of August, 1784. His visit, however, was short. He went almost immediately to Mount Vernon, where he passed a few days in the family of which he was so long a cherished member, and then visiting Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Albany, and Boston, received everywhere with unmingled enthusiasm and delight, he reembarked for France. But when he was thus about to leave the United States for the third, and, as it then seemed, the last time, Congress, in December, 1784, appointed a solemn deputation, consisting for its greater dignity, of
one member from each state, with instructions to take leave of him on behalf of the whole country, and to assure him, that these United States regard him with particular affection, and will not cease to feel an interest in whatever may concern his honor and prosperity, and that their best and kindest wishes will always attend him. It was at the same tine resolved, that a letter be written to his most Christian Majesty, expressive of the high sense, which the United States in Congress assembled entertain of the zeal, talents, and ineritorious services of the Marquis de Lafayette, and recoinmending him to the favor and patronage of his Majesty. We are not aware, that a more complete expression of dignified and respectful homage could have been offered to him.
During the year that followed the arrival of Lafayette in his own country, he found the minds of men more agitated on questions of political right, than they had ever been before. Into some of the grave and perilous discussions that were then going on, he entered at once; on others he waited ; but, on all, his opinions were openly and freely known, and, on all, he preserved the most perfect consistency. He was for some time ineffectually employed with Malesherbes in endeavoring to relieve the Protestants of France from political disabilities, and place them on the same footing with other subjects. He was the first Frenchman, who raised his voice against the slave trade; and it is worth notice, that having devoted considerable sums of money to purchase slaves in one of the colonies, and educate them for emancipation, the faction, which in 1792 proscribed him, as an enemy to freedom, sold these very slaves back to their original servitude. And finally, at about the same time, he attempted to form a league of the European Powers against the Barbaresque Pirates, which, if it had succeeded, would have done more for their suppression, than has been done by Sir Sidney Smith's Association, or is likely to follow Lord Exmouth's victories.
But while he was busied in the interests, to which these discussions gave rise, the materials for great internal changes were collecting together at Paris from all parts of France; and in February, 1787, the Assembly of the Notables was opened. Lafayette was, of course, a member, and the tone he held throughout its session contributed essentially to give a marked character to its deliberations. He proposed the suppression of the odious lettres de cachet, of which Mirabeau declared in the National Assembly, that seventeen had been issued against him before he was thirty years old; he proposed the enfranchisement of the Protestants, who, from the time of the abolition of the Edict of Nantz, had been suffering under more degrading disabilities than the Catholics now are in Ireland ; and he proposed by a formal motion, which was the first time that word was ever used in France, and marks an important step towards a regular, deliberative assembly, he made a motion for the convocation of Representatives of the people. What,' said the Count d'Artois, now Charles the Tenth, who presided in the Assembly of the Notables, 'do you ask for the States General ?' 'Yes,' replied Lafayette, and for something more and better ;' an intimation, which, though it can be readily understood by all who have lived under a representative government, was hardly intelligible in France at that time.
Lafayette was, also, a prominent member of the States General, which met in 1789, and assumed the name of the National Assembly. He proposed in this body a Declaration of Rights not unlike our own, and it was under his influence and while he was, for this very purpose, in the chair, that a decree was passed on the night of the 13th and 14th of July, at the moment the Bastille was falling before the cannon of the populace, which provided for the responsibility of ministers, and thus furnished one of the most important elements of a representative monarchy. Two days afterwards, he was appointed Commander in Chief of the National Guards of Paris, and thus was placed at the head of what was intended to be made, when it should be carried into all the departments, the effective military power of the realm, and what, under his wise management, soon became such.
His great military command, and his still greater personal influence, now brought him constantly in contact with the court and the throne. His position, therefore, was extremely delicate and difficult, especially as the popular party in Paris. of which he was not so much the head, as the idol, was already in a state of perilous excitement, and atrocious violences were beginning to be committed. The abhorrence of the queen was almost universal, and was excessive to a degree of which we can now have no just idea. The circumstance that the court lived at Versailles, sixteen miles from Paris, and that the session of the National Assembly was held there, was another source of jealousy, irritation, and hatred, on the part of the capital. The populace of Paris, therefore, as a sign of opposition, had adopted a cockade of blue and red, whose effects were already becoming alarming. Lafayette, who was anxious about the consequences of such a marked division, and who knew how important are small means of conciliation, added to it, on the 26th of July, the white of the Royal Arms, and as he placed it in his own hat, amidst the acclamations of the multitude, prophecied, that it would go round the world;' a prediction, which is already more than half accomplished, since the tricolored cockade has been used for the ensign of emancipation in Spain, in Naples, in some parts of South America, and in Greece.
Still, however, the tendency of everything was to confusion and violence. The troubles of the times, too, rather than a positive want of the means of subsistence, had brought on a famine in the capital ; and the populace of the Fauxbourgs, the most degraded certainly in France, having assembled and armed themselves, determined to go to Versailles ; the greater part with a blind desire for vengeance on the royal family, but others only with the purpose of bringing the king from Versailles, and forcing him to reside in the more ancient but scarcely habitable palace of the Thuilleries, in the midst of Paris. The National Guards clamored to accompany this savage multitude ; Lafayette opposed their inclination; the municipality of Paris hesitated, but supported it; he resisted nearly the whole of the 5th of October, while the road to Versailles was already thronged with an exasperated mob of above an hundred thousand ferocious men and women, until, at last, having received an order to march, from the competent authority, he set off at four o'clock in the afternoon, as one going to a post of imminent danger, which it had clearly become his duty to occupy:
He arrived at Versailles at ten o'clock at night, after having been on horseback from before daylight in the morning, and having made, during the whole interval, both at Paris, and on the road, incredible exertions to control the multitude and calm the soldiers. “The Marquis de Lafayette at last entered the Château,' says Madame de Staël, and passing