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‘Citizenness Roland to the national convention. - Jeanne Marie Roland de la Platière, An Appeal to Impartial Posterity, by Citizenness Roland 
An Appeal to Impartial Posterity, by Citizenness Roland, wife of the Minister of the Home Department, or A Collection of Pieces written by her during her Confinement in the Prisons of the Abbey and St. Pelagie, Part I (London: J. Johnson, 1795). Vol. 1.
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‘Citizenness Roland to the national convention.
Prison of the Abbey, june 1, 1793.
“LEGISLATORS! I have just been torn from my home, from the arms of my daughter, a girl of twelve years of age, and I am detained in the Abbey, by virtue of orders, which alleged no cause for my being apprehended. These orders were issued by a revolutionary committee; and some commissioners of the commune, who accompanied those of the committee, showed me others from the general council, which also alleged none* .” Thus I am presumed a culprit by the public: I was conducted to prison with great parade, in the midst of an ostentatious guard, and of a misled people, some of whom called loudly for the scaffold; without my conductors being able to announce to any one, or inform myself, for what reason I was supposed a criminal, and treated accordingly. This is not all. The bearer of the orders of the commune made no use of them except with me, and to make me sign a statement of what passed: when I quitted my apartment, I was delivered to the commissioners of the revolutionary committee; these conducted me to the Abbey; and on their mandate alone was I received into it. An attested copy of this mandate, signed by a single individual possessing no office, I have subjoined. Every thing in my house has been sealed up. Whilst this was doing, which continue from three o’clock in the morning till seven, the crowd of citizens filled my apartment; and if, amongst the number, were present any malicious person, who entertained a design of privately slipping papers, calculated to throw on me the imputation of guilt, into a library open in all parts, he could not fail of opportunity.
‘Yesterday, the same committee had already sought to put under arrest the late minister, whom the laws render accountable to you alone for the acts of his administration, and who has been incessantly soliciting you to pass on them your judgment.
‘Roland protested against the order, and the bearers of it withdrew. He left his house alone, to spare Errour a crime, whilst I had repaired to the convention, to give it information of these attempts: but I procured a letter to be transmitted to the president to no purpose, for it was not read. I went to demand justice and protection: I demand them again, with fresh claims, for I too am now oppressed. I demand of the convention, to order an account of the cause and the manner of my being apprehended, to be laid before it; and to decide upon them. If it confirm my arrest, I appeal to the law, which ordains the enunciation of the crime, and the examination of the prisoner within twenty-four hours from the time of his caption. Finally I demand a report on the accounts of that irreproachable man, who exhibits an instance of persecution unheard of before, and who seems destined to give nations the terrible lesson of virtue proscribed by the blindness of prejudice.
‘If to have shared the strictness of his principles, the energy of his courage, and the ardour of his love of liberty, be my crime; I plead guilty, and await my punishment. Give sentence, legislators: France, freedom, the fate of the republic, and of yourselves, depend necessarily this day on the distribution of that justice, which it is yours to dispense.’
The agitation, in which I had passed the preceding night, made me feel extreme fatigue. I desired to have a chamber that same evening; and I obtained one, of which I took possession at ten o’clock. When I entered it, and found myself surrounded by four dirty walls, saw a bed without curtains, perceived a double-grated window, and was struck with that smell, which a person accustomed to an extremely clean apartment always finds in those which are not so, I was sensible, that I was indeed to inhabit a prison, and had no pleasure to expect from my situation. It was, however, sufficiently roomy; it had a fire-place; my bed-clothes were tolerable; I had a pillow, and, estimating things in themselves, without making any comparison, I deemed myself not badly accommodated. I went to bed, fully resolved to remain in it as long as I found myself comfortable there. I had not left it at ten in the morning, when Grandpré arrived. He did not appear less affected, but more uneasy, than the preceding evening; and his eyes surveyed the wretched room, which already appeared to me tolerable, for I had slept in it.
‘How have you passed the night?’ said he to me, the tears glistening in his eyes.—‘I have been often waked by the noise; but I fell asleep again as soon as it was over, even in spite of the alarm-bell, which I think I heard this morning.—Ha!—is it not sounding still?’—‘Why I thought so:—but it is not.’—‘Be it as it pleases heaven: if they kill me, it shall be in this bed: I am so weary, that here I will await whatever happens. Is there any thing new against the deputies?’—‘No. I have brought back your letter. We have been thinking with Champagneux, that the beginning should be softened. Here is what we have proposed for it. Then you should write a line or two to the minister of the home department, that he may address your letter officially, which would afford me another claim to solicit it’s being read.’—I took the paper; I considered it; and said to him: ‘If I thought my letter would be read as it is, I would let it remain so, were it to obtain no success for me, for I can scarcely flatter myself with the hope of justice from the assembly. The truths addressed to it are not for itself, now incapable of putting them in practice; but they should be said, that the departments may hear them.’
I was aware, that my exordium might prevent the reading of the letter, and on this account it would have been folly to have retained it: the first three paragraphs therefore I omitted, and substituted what was proposed to me in their stead. With respect to the minister’s intervention, I was sensible it would render the proceeding more regular: and though Garat scarcely deserved the honour of being written to by me, I knew how to do it without lessening myself, and wrote the following lines.
[* ]The words between double commas had been changed.