The Marquis de Lafayette was an old man now - older than he had any right to be - but not so old that he could not bear the weight of a casket on his shoulder. He had borne the weight of much heavier things in his day, even now bore the weight of so many gone before their time. Jean Maximilien Lamarque was not one of those, not at sixty-one, but his loss was a heavy one.
And not one, it seemed, without its consequences.
Look at the people - wearing the cockade Lafayette had himself proposed so many years ago! building barricades once more! calling for Liberty or Death!
That was always the demand, was it not?
Lafayette knew too well which one the king would prefer to give them.
It made Lafayette's heart ache, his shoulders tremble under a newly anticipated weight. He had been party to too many revolutions in his time, successful and failed, French and foreign, to not see how this would end. More blood in the gutters of Paris, more Frenchmen dead for the cause of freedom. And still there would be a king, revoking more rights the longer he remained in power, just as his predecessors before him.
It was a cycle he had witnessed before, and something in Lafayette was certain that if he lived long enough he would witness it again.
That none of them could see a better way - that the voice of the people had gone unheard, time and time again - that Lafayette could not say whether France had failed the democratic process or the reverse -
Were he not a very old man, he might... well, who could say what he might do? It did not matter; Lafayette was very old now, and for all that he was very angry, he was also very tired. Freedom for France - had he once thought it so easy? It had seemed that way, in America. Now, three kings and a dictator later, it seemed anything but.
Thinking of America brought old friends to mind, the song they'd sung to toast the future, so bright and certain.
Raise a glass to freedom
Something they can never take away
No matter what they tell you...
Raise a glass to the four of us
Tomorrow there'll be more of us!
Telling the story of tonight...
All of them were dead now, save Lafayette. Laurens too young, Hamilton so unexpectedly. Mulligan had lived the longest, and he was gone nearly ten years now.
It had seemed so simple, then. Defeat the British forces, force the British king to accept American independence, go home to France and repeat the process. Was it as easy to those on the barricades now, their revolution that was to Lafayette so clearly doomed? Were they certain that victory was in their grasp? To them, was freedom just days away?
Lafayette stood at his window, eyes unfocused, and thought that he almost heard a song on the air. He listened harder; someone would need to tell their story when this was done.
Drink with me
To days gone by...