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(The Companion to the Annuals is incorporated with the Lady's Magazine.)
INTERVIEW BETWEEN QUEEN MARIE-ANTOINETTE AND MIRABEAU.
In the number of the Lady's Maga- passed and repassed with a thousand conzine for February last, we introduced to fused noises. Mirabeau led the
while our readers an extract from a recent French I followed in silence, with the passive obework of fiction, entitled Barnave. To the dience of a soldier following his colonel, same work we have recourse for the fol- and without having ever inquired whither lowing illustration of the annexed plate. we were going. Never did 'I behold such
The author represents the narrator as profound dejection and melancholy as in an Austrian nobleman, whose mother and the silent progress of Mirabeau through the cousin, Helen, are confidential attendants of long forest : his head inclined upon his Marie-Antoinette. At the beginning of the bosom; his left arm hung down by his Revolution he visits Paris, and, among the side; and the violence with which, from various public characters with whom he time to time, he stuck the spurs into the there becomes acquainted, is Mirabeau. sides of his horse, attested the vehemence This popular leader, weary of the humilia- of the passions with which his mind was tions to which he is obliged to submit, in agitated. order to conciliate the favour of the new “At length, from a rising ground, we and capricious sovereign, the people, is dis- discovered at our feet the palace of St. posed to return to that natural allegiance, Cloud, asleep in the midst of its extensive which, as a member of the aristocracy of park. We proceeded at a foot-pace to the France, he still feels for the King; and he iron gate. At the watchword, uttered in determines to save, if possible, the royal a low tone, the gate opened to admit us, family from the democratic fury which he and was quickly closed. We pursued our has himself mainly contributed to arouse. way down the long avenue bordering the In pursuance of this intention, he consents Seine: no sound was to be heard save the to a secret interview with the queen, and murmuring of the water. On reaching the engages the relater to be his sole attendant great basin, we found a man, who asked on this occasion.
us to alight, and laid hold of the bridles “ At eleven at night, we were on horse- of our horses : he pointed to a steep path back. Before we left the street, Mirabeau running past the cascades of the fountain wrapped himself in his cloak, and drew to the platform which leads to the palace. his hat down over his eyes. At first, we Mirabeau had some difficulty to scramble proceeded cautiously, making several cir- up the hill by this slippery path, and it cuits to ascertain that we were not followed; was only by supporting himself upon my and, soon quitting Versailles, we entered arm that he arrived at a certain point of those thick woods which lead from that the avenue, where he stopped. place to St. Germain.
The night was “It was a perfectly open spot. An Itadark; the wind waved the tops of the
crowned with foliage, which trees; the grass rustled under the feet of waved from its top, indicated the place of the horses; the wild tenants of the forest meeting. Here Mirabeau stood still. You must step aside, my noble esquire,' said presently, finding herself face to face with he to me; “Go, take your seat on that Mirabeau, she gave a piercing shriek, and bench, in yon arbour. I wish to have a started back. It was not till then that I witness of this interview; for, to confess perceived that I had a companion. At the the truth, I have too richly deserved ha- outcry of the queen, she would have rushed tred in that palace, not to have reason to forth from the arbour, but I detained her. feel rather insecure here. Go, then, my • Pardon me, madam,' said I, • that
is friend, wait for me there, and keep an eye not a cry of distress ; her majesty was upon me.
Above all, happen what will startled-nothing more. Let us not disnot a word, not a gesture, not a motion, turb this interview by useless interference. that may betray fear.'
“«See,' said I, resuming, “the queen “ In obedience to these injunctions, I has recovered herself, and is accosting him. left Mirabeau to his reflections, seated my- The conference begins; may it end well !! self in an arbour from which I could see « • Good heavens!' exclaimed the young all that passed, and began to think of the lady; "what an ugly man! I don't wonperilous chances of a revolution, which, at der that the queen was frightened.' such an hour, could force the daughter of “ The voice was so sweet, and so touchemperors to quit the bed of her royal con- ing, that, in spite of the scene which absort, in order to implore the forgiveness sorbed my attention, I turned my head, and support of this man. Amidst these and recognized Helen, my cousin Helen, doleful thoughts, I saw three females ad- whom I had seen but once since my vancing as if from the palace. They seemed arrival in France.” to glide over the greensward, hastening We pass over the conversation which on slowly; they were evidently afraid. I ensues after this recognition, as unconnectwas between them and Mirabeau. I cast ed with our subject. a look at him, and saw him walking to “ At length, the moon succeeded in burstand fro, with measured step, like a man ing through the cloud which covered her. who has long paced the circumscribed plat- One of her rays fell upon Marie-Antoinette form of a dungeon.
and Mirabeau. From the agitation ex“The three ladies gradually drew nearer: pressed in their faces, it was evident that two of them passed before me. It was the the conversation had been interesting and queen, followed by my mother. The queen animated. The queen seemed to have was pale ; her eyes were cast down, her somewhat recovered her spirits; her look hands clasped: she trembled, but was yet was serene; she bade adieu to Mirabeau. resolute. Her white dress, blown by the On his part
, calm and polite, he respectwind, displayed her shape : her auburn fully accompanied the queen to the end of hair flowed loosely over her shoulders. You the greensward : there he stopped, and would have taken her, at midnight, with a there, too, terminated the pale moonlight, cloud veiling the face of the moon, for the rendered fainter by the trees of the shrubapparition of a young female, who had died bery. the preceding day, and who had returned Madam,' said Mirabeau to the queen, in her bridal night-dress to earth, where when your august mother dismissed a her steps have ceased to produce an echo, subject with whom she was satisfied, she her body a shadow, her breathing a sound. did him the honour to give him her hand “ My mother followed the queen very
to kiss.' As he thus spoke, he dropped closely. She was always cool; her step on one knee. The queen, with a slight was always stately, her head motionless, smile, held out her hand, which he pressed her eye
fixed : she walked as though she to his lips. She then took the way to had been in the presence of the whole the palace, still followed by my mother, court in the great drawing-room of the who had not seen me. palace.
“I had but time to say to my fair cousin, “My attention was so taken up by the 6'Tis the Count de Mirabeau.' He was scene before me, that I was scarcely aware still kneeling. The Countess turned about that the third of these ladies had entered to look at him. He is not so ugly as I the arbour where I was posted. When at first thought him,' said she. Before the queen had passed this arbour, she I could answer, she was gone, and prequickened her pace, as if she had forgotten sently the door of the palace closed upon the errand on which she had come ; and her.”