Paris, 9th Arrondisement, France's Château
For the first time in months France drew his own water and washed, actually washed, his hair. He scrubbed his face, he thinned his eyebrows, vowing never to look this much like that ass across the Channel ever again. He put on cologne, he prepared and cooked dinner, even set a place for himself at the table. He didn't feel any cleaner. He felt better after going to Notre Dame, but felt directionless. He didn't know what to do with himself after. Does he wait for God to answer him? How does he help himself?
Each night he retired with a prayer and those questions on his lips. Waiting for something
to strike him. Divine will, or whatever. Appealing to him and telling him what to do.
Something hit him, but it wasn't Divine will.
He lay one night, perched on the brink between awake and sleep. Thinking. Wondering. Things had almost reached a normalcy for him. He didn't feel so stressed anymore, so things were probably getting better. People were still starving, but things were getting a little better, so he didn't have to worry too much-
He suddenly ROCKETED upright and said to his room: "You're turning into Louis."
That exact complacency was what was wrong with the entire court.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Late September, 1786
He got tired of waiting for God. It wasn't God that motivated his spirit in a sudden, fiery burst of ambition. It was the thought that he was turning into Louis. He took control after that.
He patrolled daily, his gun always on him just in case, and tuned into the whispers on the streets. The happenings. The people's attitudes. Their actions. Their words and slang and code. He eavesdropped, he followed, he asked questions in taverns, parlors, brothels, he stole uniforms and disguised himself as soldiers of every rank, sneaking in and out of the barracks. He asked people of all social classes, earning trust and gathering information.
He missed a lot in his few-but-long and miserable years of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pain.
Apparently, Rousseau, Voltaire, and other writers America mentioned so long ago reached publication in France, even after their deaths. Their ideas were majorly popular, and all of France had been abuzz for some time. People met wherever they could go and not attract attention to discuss and debate their ideas, ask their questions, publicly incite violence against the crown.
How France missed it, he had no idea. He supposed those influences came in his bouts of Louis-hating tantrums, but at the time he thought them normal emotions. Thinking back on how strong they were, how he seriously thought about harming Louis, it scared him that they integrated so naturally into his thought processes.
It meant France was changing, and words carried weight.
Of course, nobody was actually doing
anything about it except for pilfering each other
. Nobody knew specifically how
to address the monarchy. Robespierre, by then a celebrity, "l'Incorruptible," they called him, called for peace. Diplomacy. He often held little rallies where he called out the follies, failures, and short-comings of the crown while appealing to the people to maintain their composure and calmly work towards equality with nit-picky things like grievances. Well, ok, they were 'political caucuses,' not 'rallies'. Still illegal, but at least they sounded sophisticated. Cover the thorns with pretty petals and suddenly the rose doesn't seem so terrible.
Exactly what he told the people to do and how, France had no idea. But Robespierre was delaying what was probably both France and Louis' worst fears.
At the same time, some not-so-peaceful people were meeting, preaching the violent fall of the crown, and raising the general heat of the anger. Letting it simmer and boil, letting it fester. They met all around, but Paris was at its heart.
The other name tossed around for a while, Jacques Necker, hadn't died out yet either. France didn't like the man. When he was the director of finances, France remembered more than a few verbal scuffles about his lack of control over France's finance, and his un-proected attempts at reform. He was one of the major supporters of France's aid in America's War of Independence, and France was ruined under his watch while France himself watched Louis and Marie physically WASTE any money France did have.
His written works on his ideas for France had people chatting excitedly. They looked up to him like he was a savior of France. He made mental note of that, storing ti in the back of his mind to reference later, vowing to read some of his work and maybe write him a letter. He was kicked out of office in 1781, but with reappointment and with living up to his name, France hoped the two of them could further keep France calm.
Rumor had it that people started arming themselves, preparing for the moment when the fire-cracker would explode. When France asked why the man who told him just shrugged.
"Je ne sais pas
. Maybe self-defense, maybe assistance, depending upon who's shooting. Who knows?"
France asked what he thought was going to happen.
"Dunno. But with how angry people are, it won't be pretty."
"Ouais," France agreed. "Are you
The man shrugged again but tapped the side of his nose suggestively. "Listen, though, kid, you're, what, 18?"
France chuckled heartily but nodded.
"Promise me you'll take care of yourself out there, alright? No matter what happens?"
"Where did that come from? What are you, mon Père?
" he joked.
"No, I don't know. I just feel like you should be safe. You seem really familiar to me," he said sheepishly, absently drying a glass. "And I don't know, something inside me just doesn't want you to get hurt is all. Can't explain it. I feel like I know you, though. It's odd," he babbled. France knew he was trying to describe the connection the people feel with their Nation. "Just promise me you'll stay safe?"
France stared deeply into his eyes when he looked up, but softly, watching the man's eyes sparkle in wonder at the depth in France's eyes. He was looking right into French essence, the weight of centuries of experience, caught in the majesty of it and the inexplicable familiarity and peace. France smiled knowingly, understandingly, and the man absently smiled back before France looked down.
"I promise," he said. It was nice his people still felt a connection to him. He missed it after all the isolation. "What's your name?"
They shook hands and sat in comfortable silence, occasionally asking and answering questions on both sides.
In the back of his mind he was itching to get to both of the rallies- Robespierre's and one of the violent ones. Maybe even go ON a bread riot to see what he could find out about movements and such. Discover the exact mindset of the people so he could formulate exactly what to do when-
he went back to Louis. If
he returned to Versailles to straighten the putain
mess Louis made.
People began spreading an underground newspaper, 'L'ami du Peuple'-
friend of the people- to broadcast the actions of whatever this peoples' movement was. The motto officially became 'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood. Fitting, at least, for an ideal. But people can't be trusted at ALL when put under pressure. More than likely it would bust before it ever gained any speed. France would have to keep his eyes and ears open. L'ami du Peuple
said that Robespierre's next caucus was in a few days. He promised to go.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Paris, 2nd Arrondisement
As he left his château, neither his pains nor his people entered his mind. He trudged through the deep-set ache in his skin and bones, dragging his feet one right after the other even though it send dull pins and needles through him. He sucked it up. He drank a lot of wine as he found it, when the room swum, when his vision turned blurry and red in little, short bursts of unadulterated rage of some mob somewhere, he stopped. He waited. He sucked it up. He wanted to hear this Robespierre speak.
So he dressed in the most nondescript clothing he owned (it was a stretch, but he managed to find a lot of beiges and browns he rubbed dirt on to make them dirty). It wouldn't do to be recognized as a wealthier member of society in expensive clothes, He'd by murdered on the spot. And then when he woke up a few minutes later, it would just cause way too many problems he wasn't ready to deal with.
It was odd. He constantly flipped personas, back and forth dizzily, empathizing one minute with the crown and courtiers, probably just as scared as he was for what was to come. If they even knew. Though, he figured, they lacked the gumption to actually do
anything about it, too ensnared and encompassed in their easy and privileged lifestyles. Then another mint he'd be burning with fiery anger, resisting the urge to violently attack each pose on in the street to see if they had bread, or if they were a rich man he could steal money from, or maybe jewelry. He resisted the urge to take his gun and march directly to Versailles just to shoot Louis and Marie directly in the face, screaming their incompetence all the while.
He sometimes passed the guillotine in la Place de la Révolution
. He went out of his way to the Tuileries Gardens near Champ Élysées to see it while taking his informational routes. He watched them test it with dead or even condemned men privately and unannounced so people could go on their way not expecting a real execution. They lowered the screaming, babbling, crying man's head into the slot under France's eager and watchful eye.
Sometimes the force of the blade wasn't enough. Sometimes it didn't cut all the way through. Sometimes the shaft for the blade wasn't lubricated well.
France imagined it was Louis or Marie in there. Heads dangling by a gummy thread- Marie's with her STUPID headpiece on- having to be ripped the rest of the way off. The pain they would feel if still alive. Sometimes the thoughts scared him, sickened him. They mixed with the churning of his stomach and the graphic detail with which he imagined people ripping the rest of Louis apart, keeping pieces as souvenirs the way he imagined himself
coat in this fingers in royal blood and painting his streets with it. . .
Let's just say his stomach didn't exactly enjoy his mind's little presents.
Duality was a common concept for Nations. Ties to both sides, both influencing and pushing a certain way. In fact, it was worse
for Nations. They had to deal with four way dichotomy: Physical, Mental. Whatever the word for that was. Like a four way intersection. In his case it was the people versus Louis. In Louis' sphere of influence he had physical serenity, but the people tried to pull him away from relative stability. Not perfection, but stability. He himself was surrounded by people with enough to eat, so those without he tried to keep subdued in the back of his mind. Mentally, though, the general LACK of thought in general and common sense made France itch
for panic. For action. The monarchy and courtiers twiddled thumbs while the people- violently but still- got shit done. So mentally he was ready to do whatever he had to to get his own shit done while he was there, but Louis' inaction lulled him like Marie hummed to her children at night. Subdued. Complacent. Meanwhile, in the people's sphere of influence he suffered physically. Mentally though he could do what he had been doing. Plan, gather, recover for the lost time with information and insight.
So France the country was split. So France the Nation was split. And France's own thoughts were like a little trail that branched off the center. A little trail that the city planned to put cobblestones over and pave like a real road. So they closed it off. Marked it for repair . . . and then left. The traffic was moving without that tiny trail so nobody paid it any mind. People stopped using it. There was no way to enter the normal flow of traffic from it, either, so it sat dejected and rejected.
Maybe he did this to subconsciously pick sides, chart a STEADY course in ONE direction and not stray, but he knew that no matter what HE picked, that dichotomy would always be right there
ready to wrap the collar around his throat, hauling him into submission of the other direction or choking him out with resistance.
He thought of all of this on his way to Robespierre's caucus, though he became majorly sidetracked.
He wasn't sure how or why. He knew the exact location. He knew where it was happening. He could count the exact number of steps it would take him to get there from where he was. Obviously, he knew Paris like the back of his hand. He could probably even pinpoint Robespierre exactly since a lot of concentrated energy was focused on the man. But he let his mind wander for a SECOND and suddenly he made a right turn away from the plaza. He stopped, looking back the way he came, longing to turn back, but each time he went to move his leg it moved towards his new destination.
he commanded his legs. "Fight the duality
!" He sounded like a defiant teen. Fine. He could be defiant. He took a calm, controlling breath, thought about Robespierre and, distantly, about France's future if it turned out to be another road worth pursuing. But his leg stepped forward. "Fine
," he sighed defeatedly. "Duality, let's see where you take me
." He couldn't pinpoint his new destination, because he didn't KNOW WHERE HE WAS GOING. Apparently something important was happening.
He could feel it after a while. When it his him he flinched, but it was pleasantly, surprisingly warm. A lively tingle that shot down his spine and snaked all the way down his fingers and toes, more intense the closer he got. He shuddered happily with it and shrugged, deciding to trust wherever he was being led.
Lefts and rights through the streets, aware of where he was the whole time but at the mercy of his compulsion.
Finally he came upon four or five people, all sitting in an alley chat ting quietly. they all SHOT UP and glared at France, knocking the pleasant feeling away like a slap to his cheek. France gasped before he could help it and dashed behind the corner, but they saw him.
"Who's there?!" one yelled. He heard them shift off their barrels and crates. He heard the clatter of their guns. France took a second to decide- run or pursue this, run or pursue this? In a flash he went through both scenarios in his head, imagining them chasing him down, blindfolding and shooting him firing squad-style there in the street, imagining him confronting them now, outnumbered and weaker, overtaken quickly and shot in the middle of a scuffle, lying dying in the sreet here versus closer to his home.
He decided. He drew his own pistol and stepped out from the corner, jumping in fear as he came face to face with a dirty Parisian and the muzzle of his gun. France's own was in the man's face and they stared each other down. France hoped the fire was still alight, the glass was still sparkling like crystals in his eyes.
"Who are you?" the man demanded.
"France immediately spat, "Un Ami de la France
"I meant your name, dipshit!"
"You can call
me Ami de la France
. What's your
The man went to grab France's dirty, unpressed ruff but France was faster. Centuries of cold instinct and bloody, gritty, hand-to-hand combat rushed back to him and he caught the man's wrist in the crook of the gun's grip. He raised his own gun with his other hand but France planted a swift kick to the man's right hip and spun him around, wrapping his sown arm around his neck. He ran the man into the nearest wall, pressing all his weight on his back, his arm thickly choking him, his gun arm pinned uncomfortably to the wall with his cheek. He whined in protest, a guttural wheeze, as France was sure his shoulder was doing. Kicking and struggling and worming violently in pain out of necessity to his arm. But France held tight, despite the clicks of safeties and shuffles of feet. He put his own gun to the man's neck and yelled, "Stop! Arrêtez
!" to the group, and they complied.
"Now, I heard
," France hissed in his ear, "through the grapevine that you've got something planned. Something big. I want in."
Of course he had no frickin' idea
what they planned.
"A-and what if we . . . s- . . . say no?" he snorted, deep, throaty, and tight. France snarled in rage and pulled his arm tighter, feeling it pull a bit out of the socket. He squealed and struggled, but France easily overpowered him, shoving him harder into the wall.
"I'm about to dislocate your shoulder. Are you really
in a position to say no?"
France shrugged. "Word travels fast and talk is cheap. It's the only thing people can afford right now."
"How do we know we can trust you? How do we know you're not a loyalist?"
France sighed, releasing his pressure on the man's back. He spun him around like he was a dancer, twirling him to untangle his arm, and slammed him back into the wall. "Look at me."
The man tried to raise his gun instead. France grabbed his wrist and slammed it against the wall over and over again until he let go. The gun skittered to the ground and France slid the man up the wall off the ground.
"Look at me!" he ordered. When his eyes slid hesitantly to France's he stared back and dimly said, " I. Am. France."
He struggled under the power of France's gaze, trapped in the swirling blue. Then he suddenly went limp, and France could tell he was believing it. When humans encounter Nations he was told they describe it as everything and everybody, all at once. It's the sights of the country in their eyes, the smells and aromas about them. They were everywhere and anywhere.
"You're . . . "
"La Personnification Nationale du Royaume de France
." The others made questioning and disbelieving sounds, but France ignored them. "And I want in."
"L'ami de la France
"I am France, and France WILL live again, I promise you."
"Vive la France
France smiled coyly and the atmosphere instantly recharged with the attitude of an exciting and forbidden secret. The man nodded his approval. "Vive la France
"Okay. You're in."
France gently lowered him to the ground and retrieved his gun, handing it back. The next time he looked at France it was with awe, like he was some god unworthy of their attention."
"Oh, don't give me that look," France scolded, pressing the gun to his hand. "What's the plan?"
The tingle suddenly floated back into France, lifting his mood and spirits exciting him, empowering him. It made him giddy and excited as they explained their plan.
"Ok. We need bullets and weapons- gunpowder, too. We're planning on infiltrating the barracks Ave Maria. I've been told that they will be thinly spread because of other riots they want to prevent elsewhere. There's three major entry points. This one from Rue Honoré,-"
"Hold on," France said. "Why do we need weapons? Are the people planning something?"
They all shared glances and passed shrugs around their little meeting. "Not yet. Just . . . can't you feel it? Can't you feel the tension building? People are getting angrier. You never know when you'll need them. Right now it's hard to tell who'll act first. Between the crown and the citizens, it's hard to tell who'll snap first. But if you want my opinion, either way people are gonna get hurt. We're out-gunned."
"Hm," France mumbled, moving on. "Are you sure you want to try and infiltrate a place so close to Pont Neuf?" he asked, mapping out the area in his head. "Rue Denis? Le Palais de Justice
will be extremely, extremely well-guarded. Six or seven men won't get very far before Le Palais
"It won't be just us," one of the others said. "We're meeting other people as we go, and collecting more followers to do this job. It won't be just us."
"Probably 50 or 60. By the time they've sent an alarm we'd be grabbing the stuff."
France nodded his approval. "Escape routes?"
"Major roads. Same as the three major entrances: Rue Honoré, Rue Denis, Rue Montmartre. If things get dicey there's PLENTY of side routes to take to lose pursuers."
"Or, if we're trapped completely from the north, if worse comes to worse we can jump in the Seine."
" he said, nodding excitedly. His knees pulsed, and his heart pounded, and his adrenaline started coursing through him, already anticipating the thrill of the run, the tense, chest-tightening anxiety, the fear of being caught. He smiled up at them. "Let's go."* * *
This was the most alive he felt since he left Versailles, since he entered Paris.
His senses sharpened, hyper-aware of everything around them. Carriage doors and horses' hooves off in the distance. Shutters banging against their frames. The grey, overcast clouds that gave their mission the feeling of a night-time, extremely secret, espionage mission despite it being the middle of the day. Smells of sewage and human existence. The sharp ridges and bubbles and imperfections of the stone in the buildings they passes traveling down Rue Denis.
Maybe it was the pride they let him feel. They let him walk at the head of the group like a Moses to the Jews, leading them out of Egyptian slavery. In a way he was. He strutted a new strut that exuberated the confidence and pride he felt. The success and importance of their mission. Arming the people, so they would have a back-up plan if . . .
If what? No. No asking why. It only lead to him second-guessing himself. He was too far along for that.
As they picked up more and more along their planted route he could feel it growing in him like a gas lamp that had more and more oil poured in it. The atmosphere was absolutely electric. He drank it up like wine, relishing in the energy, the taste, the color.
France thought of America and how happy, how damn HAPPY he sounded. Because he challenged the system. Because he seized his rights and his freedoms. He thought of all the days he spent curled in on himself, rolling around and writhing in pain, his stomach tearing itself apart. He thought of all the times he tumbled out of bed and twitched on the floor.
The fire inside him kept growing brighter and hotter and licked at his heart. It boiled his blood. It ignited his mind, psyching him up further for the task at hand. His fists shook. His breath came in hot, angry gasps the closer they got, and at one point a growl squeezed itself from his throat. He god odd looks from the people closest to him, but he didn't care.
God, this was GREAT!
He was with his fellow Frenchmen, united by hardships and desperation and passion. Ready to defend each other. Ready to fight for Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
France was ready too.
Ready to stand up and fight.
Enough of his life as a dog cowering in the shadows.
France. Would. Not. Die.
Vive la France.
"Who is he?" an awestruck woman sled a ways behind him.
Whoever she was talking to hummed an "I don't know" noise and shrugged. "Jean's calling him 'L'ami de France'
He heard his name whispered, a stone-made ripple in a lake. He was definitely enjoying himself. But as they entered the district where Ave Maria was, there was something he felt at the back of his mind that began ebbing away at his excitement. He tried to ignore it, scared it would kill what he was feeling. But it was a little water drop that dripped continuously, annoyingly, on the fire he started. He corked and bottled up all this . . . whatever it was . . . and shook it up. He let it build and build until the cork was ready to blow off, but now this little freezing ice-chunk in his brain was poking holes in the seal, letting the air out.
They were cheering so loudly it was echoing in the streets and off the buildings with France at the helm. They didn't hear the steady droning of booted feet and the rattle of bayonets ahead of them. They didn't hear or notice the approaching sounds of ambush. Right as they came upon the barracks they found it in full lock-down. Doors and windows barred, guards squeezing themselves along the roof and in the windows, guns trained on them. Word reached the barracks ahead of them. They were completely prepared. As they entered the little plaza around the fortress France looked around quickly, analyzing. Escape routes? None. Every rue out of there was blocked. Outnumbered about five to one. His rally temporarily quelled. This was that little ice-chunk.
"HEY!!" one of the guards yelled at the head of one of the lines. Probably the captain. France turned and saw that behind them the guards spilled from the streets, blue and white bugs under a rock. They squeezed and shoved themselves behind the crowd along the back walls, lining up in strict formation, shoving people towards the front like they were sheepdogs corralling the sheep with fear. The cheering slowly died out as the crowd noticed the raucous going on around them. The dead silence echoed almost as loudly as the cheers.
The next thing France felt was a cold chill down his spine as he looked around, trying to calculate a way out of this.
"HEY!! I'm only going to say this ONCE! CLEAR OUT NOW, and NOBODY WILL GET HURT!!"
France made a decision. He turned around, he turned his back to the soldiers in the barracks, staring hard at the crowd. "This is it
," he told his people, breathing as calmly as he could to try and at least fake being undaunted by the threat. "We can stand together now and take what is ours. We can start a Revolution, right here, right now. We can take our control, we can free ourselves of our oppression. Are you ready
He got equally as resolute gazes back. He hoped that meant what he thought it meant.
"I said clear OUT!!" The Captain sent an order across the plaza, and the troops raised their guns to the crowd. People gasped and screamed. "You're not allowed to convene here!"
France turned back around and glared the Captain full in the face, making a beeline for him.
"Stop right there!" he said, raising his own bayonet level with France's chest. France's adrenaline surged, as did his rage. "By order of the King, I command
you to stop!" He narrowed his eyes over the bayonet at the guard, his authoritative Nation's aura surging.
Fear flicked in the guard's eyes.
"I refuse to be a slave to Louis' will anymore. Vive la France!
" France spat.
The guard's finger tightened around the trigger, but France was faster. He grabbed the barrel and pushed it up into the air as the shot rang out. As soon as that bullet whizzed into the air, all hell broke loose.
The crowd charged forward and attacked the other guards.
France KIND OF remembered ripping the gun from the Captain's grip and knocking him out with the butt, shooting down a few others who tried to attack him with in seconds.
He BARELY remembered the gunshots, the cries of alarm on both sides. The actual infiltration was a mixed blur of stabbing the remaining guards. Scaling the walls and breaking the doors in and screams and squelches and rattles and flashes and bangs and snarls and-
He BARELY remembered leading the crowd to the richer part of Paris, where many noblemen lived.
He CLEARLY remembered smashing a window with the bayonet.
He remembered NOTHING after that.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Paris, 9th Arrondisement, France's Château
'Austria,Shut. Up. For the love. of. God. shut. the hell. up.And mind your own damn business.Francis Bonnefoy; Le Royaume de France'
'America,You silly, ignorant, stupid child! You think that just because you threw a little tantrum and tossed Britain's tea in the water you know what Revolution is? You think because your little minds skimmed the surface of a Rousseau text that you know what Enlightenment is? You think that because you broke from one tyrant and appointed your own you know what anarchy is, boy? Do you? You don't even know what freedom is. You don't even know what it means to rebel. You cannot, and will not ever comprehend what it is to toss aside everything- EVERYTHING you used to know. Your wildest dreams could never imagine true liberation. You didn't feel King George's fires' heat as they burned. You didn't watch his bridges burn. You fought on your own land but you didn't FIGHT George. You fought Britain. You fought the tyrant manifesto but not the tyrant himself.
So don't pretend you know anything at all about liberté. Don't pretend your chains to George were heavier than mine are to Louis. Don't act like you breaking your chains was some magnificent and admirable feat.Sure, soak it all in. Go on and LET people think you're to be the poster child for the word 'Revolution.'You had it easy.I know what liberté, egalité, fraternité is.Come on over, stop by, if you want a taste of the real thing.Francis Bonnefoy; Le Royaume de FranceP.S. Oh, and don't forget, too, that without MY aid you'd probably be living in Britain's basement.Food for thought.'*'Canada,Everything's fine. I'll write to you as soon as it's all over.Francis Bonnefoy; Le Royaume de France'*'Spain,Thank you for the tomatoes. I really do appreciate it. I'm fine, everything's fine. Don't worry.Francis Bonnefoy; Le Royaume de France'*'Prussia,The trio'll be back together soon. I promise. There're just some things I need to take care of.Francis Bonnefoy; Le Royaume de France'*
'Jacques, mon ami,It's been a while, non? I know this letter is coming out of nowhere, but I need to bring something to your attention, if you're not already aware. Paris is on the verge of-'
France paused in his writing. What he wanted
to write was
'Revolution.' But the implications of that word were great and HEAVY. He thought of shots ringing out and screaming and angry mobs and guillotines and he wasn't ready yet. He wasn't emotionally ready to think
about it, let alone handle it if it came around. The little riots he went on were okay because they had different emotions tied to them. He felt lively. Revolution sounded
miserable, sounded like death.
Less-strong connotational synonyms? Revolt? Riot? Riot would work. That implied a one-and-done deal.
'-riot. The public unrest is nearly tangible, and I fear anarchy is imminent. Word has it that you're popular with the people. The people look up to you as something of a savior. I read some of your breakdowns of France's financial situation and I agree, that I believe you're the man able to help. I think H.R.M. Louis XVI could use a man like you to help him fix things before they're beyond saving. I think Louis needs you to keep tempers in order and protect citizens and officials both with reform. France desperately needs it, and if Louis can feel the tension in these streets he will be willing to listen.My point is this: Louis is going to call me back to court soon. When he does, I would like to know if you would be willing to come with me, based on everything I've said above. You would be re-instated as master of finances, with a higher wage than the one you received before (this I will negotiate with sa Majesté). Your job will be to instate financial reform however you have to. I don't care. Just take the burden off the Third Estate and help sa Majesté see reason. Before it's too late for everybody.Again, I know this is coming out of nowhere. I know it's much to ask of you. I know I may be over presumptuous of your willingness to return to that connard. Just consider this, I beg of you. Let me know of your response soon, so when sa Majesté writes to me I can have my bargaining chips ready.'
He sounded just as black-mailing and conniving as the other court members. He didn't care at this moment. He was desperate. He just hoped Jacques Necker saw reason and decided to come back with him. With two of the most grounded people next to Louis, who, if he was desperate enough to call France back to court, would be willing to listen, then maybe, just maybe, France had a chance at saving himself.
Don't ask him how he knew Louis would call him back. He just felt, in some distant part of him, the very back of his heart, like something was changing. Maybe word reached Louis about all the riots and all the looting and all the caucuses and revolts and Robespierre.
'Thank you so much for your time. Sorry to have bothered you.