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deserters took the lead. The peasants were then no longer to be retained i they had now been many days from home, and home they were resolved to go; those who had the most booty wishing to secure it, according to M. Beauchamp. On the morrow, only 7000 men were left of the Grand Army; with great difficulty between 2 and 3000 more were collected. They advanced to Vouvart, where the priests, who had been hitherto disguised, resumed their habits, and officiated in the church, praying that they might enter Fontenay victoriously on the morrow. Chalbos had retired upon this town; he despatched his troops to meet them; the disproportion of numbers was not such as to intimidate the republicans; they managed their cavalry well, and the royalists were repulsed and routed. Four hundred were killed; two hundred made prisoners; D'Elbée was wounded. Lescure and Roche Jaquelein saved six guns; all the rest of the artillery (and Marie Jeanne with it) was lost. Any other men would have been in despair at this reverse; their powder was gone, no man having more than a single cartridge left; and the peasantry had lost that confidence in which so much of their strength consisted. But the leaders had advanced too far to recede; they affected a gaiety which they did not feel; they spoke of speedy revenge, and called upon the priests to exert their influence upon the people. The priests declared that God had permitted this calamity to punish them for their depredations at La Châtaigneraie. The sudden appearance of a bishop among them contributed more than any thing to excite their hopes and revive their expectations. A volunteer had been made prisoner at Thou. ars, who said that he was a priest, and had been forcibly enrolled in a republican army; and he requested to see one of the royalist officers, who he said had been his fellow colleague. The officer at once recognized him for the Abbé Guyot de Folleville. The Abbé asserted that some recusant bishops had secretly consecrated him bishop of Agra, and that the pope had appointed him vicarapostolical of the western dioceses in France. In this story there was not a word of truth; but there seems to have been no other motive for the imposition than vanity, and a desire of enjoying as much dictinction as possible while his part lasted; for certain it is that he served the royalists faithfully, and died in their cause. He was without talents, or any strength of mind; the bishop of Agar, however, became a great personage, both among royalists and republicans; he enjoyed the honour attached to his habit, till he was taken prisoner, and the title itself till he laid his head upon the block.
Had it been proposed to the Vendean leaders to practise such an imposition upon the people, they would have been shocked at the profane suggestion. The tale which he told was in itself not improbable; it obtained universal belief; and he appeared upon the stage
at a moment when some such stimulus was especially required. He arrived at Chatillon on the very day of the defeat, in his acknowledged character; officiated pontifically, and distributed his episcopal blessing to a people whom the presence of such a personage intoxicated with joy: all their enthusiasm returned, and they thought only of revenging themselves with as little delay as possible for their late reverse. Chalbos had advanced and occupied La Châtaigne. raie. Bonchamp, who, after the capture of that place, had separated from the Grand Army, rejoined it, and Chalbos retired upon Fontenay at their approach; they pursued him, singing their litany as they went. It was on the 16th that they had been defeated. On the 24th they took the same position in which they had suffered so much. M. Beauchamp states their numbers at 35,000. Chalbos was posted before the town with 10,000 troops, and a numerous artillery. Before the attack began, the priests absolved the Catho
Some of the men asked for cartridges. Beauvollier pointed to the republicans and answered, You will get them there. Allons, mes enfans! said the generals, there is no powder, and the cannon must be taken with clubs; we must recover Marie-Jeanne. It is who can run the best! Lescure's soldiers, as at the bridge of Vrine, hesitated when he led the way; he halted, when at some distance before them, and endeavoured to cheer them on with crics of Vive le Roi! A fire of grape-shot which was opened upon him tore one of his boots and broke one of his spurs; but he was not wounded. "See, my friends,' he exclaimed, the Blues do not know how to fire! The peasants then rushed forward. In the midst of their career, they came to a great cross, and though within reach of the enemy's cannon, they all knelt before it. One of the leaders would have hurried them on. Lescure quietly bade him let them say their prayers. The other party had also their stimulants of zeal. Seven deputies from the Convention were present, encouraging the troops in battle with exhortations and example. In spite of all their efforts, their discipline, and their numerous artillery, they were defeated by the half-armed and disorderly peasants, who entered the town, and spared all who laid down their arms. But one of the republicans having taken up the musket which he had thrown down, and grievously wounded Bor.champ, the peasants then put to death every Blue whom they found in that street, that the criminal might not escape. Two-and-forty pieces of cannon fell into the conquerors' hands, and Marie-Jeanne, to their great exultation, was recovered, though 25,000 francs had been promised to the republican soldiers who should bring it off. Two chests of assignats also were taken,--the first of which the royalists had got possession. One of these was destroyed by the men, who burnt some, tore others, and curled their hair with the rest: the generals
were in time to preserve the other chest, which contained about 900,000 francs; and endorsing the bills with the words Bon, au nom du Roi, they applied them to the use of the army. But the most gratifying result of the victory was the delivering of the prisoners who had been taken in the former action, and had been tried the preceding evening, but by some unusual delay in the proceedings of a French military tribunal, had not yet been executed. Their preservation was not more fortunate for themselves than for three or four thousand republicans who in this reverse of fortune were at the mercy of the Vendeans. It was debated in what manner to dispose of these prisoners whom it was impossible to guard, and who were not to be trusted, if dismissed upon their parole. Marshal Donnissan proposed the easy expedient of cropping them, that they might be known again, and punished if taken a second time in arms. Much was expected from the report which they would spread of the conduct and strength of the royalists ;but the Marchioness acknowledges that revolutionary opinions were more widely diffused, and had taken deeper root than the leaders imagined; and in the other provinces the peasantry and the nobles were not connected by bonds of good will as in La Vendée.
After this victory it was debated whether to attack Les Sables or Niort; the latter should have been their object; its capture would have laid open Rochelle and Rochefort,--and with those ports in their hands they might have received prompt and efficacious support from England; but while the chiefs deliberated, the men became weary of expected orders, and dispersed that they might have the pleasure of recounting their exploits at home. The leaders remained three days at Fontenay, during which time they appointed a superior Council of Administration, with the bishop of Agra for president, and composed of persons whose age or profession rendered them unsuitable for arms. The Abbé Bernier soon
became the leading member;—first he appeared in the character of an eloquent and ardent preacher; next he displayed considerable military and political talents; and finally discovered an overweening vanity, a selfish ambition, and a spirit of intrigue injurious to the cause in which he was engaged, and fatal to his own reputation. Chatillon was made the residence of the Council, and the centre of the royalists' operations. The Convention now perceived the importance of the insurrection; the extent of the danger had been concealed by the Brissotine minister Le Brun; he had not reported, as he ought to have done, the representations which General Berruyer made of the evil, and this furnished just matter of accusation against him when his death had been determined by the jacobines. Biron, a duke under the old régime, a republican against his conscience in these perilous times, the unfortunate representative of an ill-fated
family, was appointed commander-in-chief. Among the subordinate generals, Santerre the brewercommanded some Parisian levies, known by the name of Les héros de cinq cents livres, the price for which most of them served as substitutes, and equally notorious for their want of discipline and want of courage. Detachments also were drawn from the Army of the North, and sent under Wester. mann-the man who on the 10th of August first forced his way into the Tuileries. The reinforcements were sent with all possi. ble speed by land and by water, and reached Saumur from Paris in four days ; in a short time 40,000 men, half of whom were troops of the line, occupied that city, Montreuil, Thouars, Doué, and Veluers. Nevertheless the royalists got possession of the two latter places, and afterwards entered Montreuil
, more through the incapacity of the republican general Lygonier, than by any wellconcerted movements of their own. That general, therefore, was displaced, and Menou (the Abdallah Menou of Egypt) succeeded him. It was next determined to undertake some minor operations previous to an attack upon Saumur; but the peasantry were heated with success, and insisted upon being led against that town without delay. Such was their disorder, that in the course of the attack they fired twice upon their own men; and when, for the first time, they were opposed to some cuirassiers, and saw that their musketshot did no execution, they took panic and fled. This would have proved fatal if two caissons had not overturned upon a bridge, checked the cuirassiers in pursuit, and thus given Marigny time to dispose of his artillery to advantage, while Lescure rallied the runaways. Marceau, who afterwards obtained a high reputation among the French generals, first distinguished himself in this action, by saving, at the imminent risk of his own life, the representative Bourbotte, one of those stern Jacobines who, when condemned to death under the Directory, stabbed themselves at the bar, and handed the bloody knife one to another. There occurred in this actiona circumstance which shows that the republicans were not less capable of heroic self-devotion than their opponents. A troop of cavalry was ordered against a battery of the Vendeans. Where do you send me ? said the commander, seeing clearly the destruction to which he was exposed. To death,” replied General Coustard
the safety of the Republic requires it. Weissen (such was the commander's name) instantly obeyed,—but the infantry refused to support him there, and the greater part of his troops, as he had foreseen, were sacrificed. The place, however, in spite of all blunders, accidents, and confusion, was won. Eighty pieces of cannon were taken here, muskets out of number, ammunition in abundance, and in the course of five days 11,000 prisoners had been
made, all of whom were cropped and dismissed. Quetineau was found in confinement in the castle, and Lescure again invited him to remain under the protection of the Royalists, who knew how to respect an honest and humane man, notwithstanding any difference of political opinion. He replied, that he could not bear the imputation of treachery which this would fix upon him; and moreover by so acting he should expose his wife to the vengeance of the government; but he observed that the Austrians were masters of Flanders, and the royalists victorious in La Vendée ; that the counter-revolution would be effected, and France dismembered by strangers. Lescure replied, the royalists would never suffer it, but would fight for the French territory. “Ah, Monsieur,' exclaimed Quetineau, “it is then that I will serve with you. I love the glory of my country—and this is my patriotism. The people of Saumur were at the time shouting Vive le Roi! He opened the window, and cried out, Rascals! the other day you accused me of betraying the republic, and now you cry Vive le Roi, for fear!
I appeal to the Vendeans if I have ever done this! But integrity availed nothing under the Jacobine government. Quetineau was put to death. His wife went to the revolutionary tribunal, and exclaimed • Vive le Roi!' that she also might be sent to the guillotine: and, as in innumerable other instances, they instantly condemned her.
Lescure was wounded at the capture of Saumur: before he left the army to take care of his wound he assembled the leaders, observed how necessary it was that there should be a commander-inchief, and proposed Cathelineau—a nomination in every respect proper and politic, and which gave general satisfaction. The officers at this time assumed a strange costume, which gave them much the appearance of banditti. Red handkerchiefs are the manufacture of that country. Roche Jaquelein wore them round his head, round his neck, and several round his waist to carry his pistols there. At Fontenay the Blues had been heard saying, “Aim at the red handkerchief, and for this reason the officers advised Roche Jaquelein to leave them off; but as he would not be persuaded, they took to the same fashion, that it might not be the means of exposing him to individual danger. It was determined to keep possession of Saumur, as thereby they became masters of the course of the Loire, and commanded a communication between the two banks; it was necessary that the commander should be a man who enjoyed the confidence of the peasantry, and Roche Jaquelein, much against his inclination, and perhaps against his judgment also, was appointed to this unfit service. The men were as unwilling to submit to this inactive duty as their leaders; it was necessary to determine that four peasants from every parish should serve there, for