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Brave Men and Women

Brave Men and Women

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Publicado porDharmsen Soni

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Published by: Dharmsen Soni on Jan 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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On that celebrated day when sixty thousand of the people of Paris poured in
a tumultuous flood into the park of Versailles, and surrounded the palace of
the king, La Fayette was compelled to join the throng, in order, if possible,
to control its movements. He arrived in the evening, and spent the whole
night in posting the National Guard about the palace, and taking measures
to secure the safety of the royal family. At the dawn of day he threw
himself upon the bed for a few minutes' repose. Suddenly, the alarm was
sounded. Some infuriated men had broken into the palace, killed two of the
king's body-guard, and rushed into the bed-chamber of the queen, a minute
or two after she had escaped from it. La Fayette ran to the scene, followed
by some of the National Guard, and found all the royal family assembled in
the king's chamber, trembling for their lives. Beneath the window of the
apartment was a roaring sea of upturned faces, scarcely kept back by a thin
line of National Guards. La Fayette stepped out upon the balcony, and tried
to address the crowd, but could not make himself heard. He then led out
upon the balcony the beautiful queen, Marie Antoinette, and kissed her
hand; then seizing one of the body-guard embraced him, and placed his
own cockade on the soldier's hat. At once the temper of the multitude was
changed, and the cry burst forth:

"Long live the general! Long live the queen! Long live the body-guard!"

It was immediately announced that the king would go with the people to
Paris; which had the effect of completely allaying their passions. During
the long march of ten miles, La Fayette rode close to the door of the king's
carriage, and thus conducted him, in the midst of the tramping crowd, in
safety to the Tuilleries. When the royal family was once more secure within
its walls, one of the ladies, the daughter of the late king, threw herself in the
arms of La Fayette, exclaiming:

"General, you have saved us."

From this moment dates the decline of La Fayette's popularity; and his
actions, moderate and wise, continually lessened it. He demanded, as a
member of the National Assembly, that persons accused of treason should
be fairly tried by a jury, and he exerted all his power, while giving a

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