Page:Works of Thomas Carlyle - Volume 03.djvu/21

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OCT.–NOV. 1789]

IN THE SALLE DE MANÉGE

5

Majesty's self, took the children? So asks impartial History; scornful that the thicker vessel was not also the stronger; pity-struck for the porcelain-clay of humanity rather than for the tile-clay,—though indeed both were broken!

So, however, in this Medicean Tuileries, shall the French King and Queen now sit for one-and-forty months; and see a wild-fermenting France work out its own destiny, and theirs. Months bleak, ungenial, of rapid vicissitude; yet with a mild pale splendour, here and there: as of an April that were leading to leafiest Summer; as of an October that led only to everlasting Frost. Medicean Tuileries, how changed since it was a peaceful Tile-field! Or is the ground itself fate-stricken, accursed; an Atreus' Palace; for that Louvre window is still nigh, out of which a Capet, whipt of the Furies, fired his signal of the Saint Bartholomew! Dark is the way of the Eternal as mirrored in this world of Time: God's way is in the sea, and His path in the great deep.

CHAPTER II

IN THE SALLE DE MANÉGE

To believing Patriots, however, it is now clear that the Constitution will march, marcher,—had it once legs to stand on. Quick, then, ye Patriots, bestir yourselves, and make it; shape legs for it! In the Archevéché, or Archbishop's Palace, his Grace himself having fled; and afterwards in the Riding-hall, named Manége, close on the Tuileries: there does a National Assembly apply itself to the miraculous work. Successfully, had there been any heaven-scaling Prometheus among them; not successfully, since there was none! There, in noisy debate, for the sessions are occasionally 'scandalous,' and as many as three speakers have been seen in the Tribune at once,—let us continue to fancy it wearing the slow months.

Tough, dogmatic, long of wind is Abbé Maury; Ciceronian