"Indeed, without doubt. And so could I."
"The great deeds of war," continued la Vieuville, "require nobility in those who accomplish them. These are matters for chevaliers, not for wig-makers."
"Still in this Third Estate," replied Boisberthelot, "there are estimable men. Take, for example, the clockmaker Joly. He was a sergeant in the Flanders regiment; he becomes a Vendéan chief; he commands a company on the coast; he has a son, who is a republican, and while the father serves with the Whites, the son serves with the Blues. They meet. Battle. The father takes his son prisoner, and blows his brains out."
"That is good," said la Vieuville.
"A royalist Brutus," replied Boisberthelot.
"That doesn't prevent it from being intolerable to be commanded by a Coquereau, a Jean-Jean, a Moulins, a Focart, a Bouju, a Chouppes!"
"My dear chevalier, the indignation is the same on both sides. We are full of bourgeois; they are full of nobles. Do you suppose that the sans-culottes are content to be commanded by the Count de Canclaux, the Viscount de Miraud, the Viscount de Beauharnais, the Count de Valence, the Marquis de Custine, and the Duke de Biron!"
"And the Duke de Chartres!"
"Son of Egalité. Ah, when will he be king, that fellow? Never!"
"He is on his way to the throne. His crimes assist him."
"And his vices hinder him," said Boisberthelot.
Again there was a silence, and Boisberthelot went on to say,—
"He wished, however, for a reconciliation. He came to see the king. I was there at Versailles, when they spat on his back."
"From the grand staircase?"
"They did well."
"We called him, Bourbon le Bourbeaux."
"He is bald, he has pimples, he is a regicide. Bah!"
And la Vieuville added: "I was with him at Ouessant."
"On the 'Saint-Esprit'?"