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CHAPTER IV - Hippolyte Taine, The French Revolution, vol. 1 
The French Revolution, 3 vols., trans. John Durand, (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002). Vol. 1.
Part of: The French Revolution, 3 vols.
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I.Paris—Powerlessness and discords of the authorities—The people, King—II.Their distress—The dearth and the lack of work—How men of executive ability are recruited—III.The new popular leaders—Their ascendency—Their education—Their sentiments—Their situation—Their councils—Their denunciations—IV.Their interference with the Government—Their pressure on the Assembly—V.The 5th and 6th of October—VI.The Government and the nation in the hands of the revolutionary party.
The powerlessness, indeed, of the heads of the Government, and the lack of discipline among all its subordinates, are much greater in the capital than in the provinces.—Paris possesses a mayor, Bailly; but “from the first day, and in the easiest manner possible,”1 his municipal council, that is to say, “the assembly of the representatives of the commune, has accustomed itself to carry on the government alone, overlooking him entirely.”—There is a central administration—the municipal council, presided over by the mayor; but, “at this time, authority is everywhere except where the preponderating authority should be; the districts have delegated it and at the same time retained it”; each of them acts as if it were alone and supreme. There are secondary powers—the district-committees, each with its president, its clerk, its offices, and commissioners; but the mobs of the street march on without awaiting their orders; while the people, shouting under their windows, impose their will on them; in short, says Bailly again, “everybody knew how to command, but nobody knew how to obey.”
“Imagine,” writes Loustalot himself, “a man whose feet, hands, and limbs possessed intelligence and a will, whose one leg would wish to walk when the other one wanted to rest, whose throat would close when the stomach demanded food, whose mouth would sing when the eyelids were weighed down with sleep; and you will have a striking picture of the condition of things in the capital.”
There are “sixty Republics” in Paris; each district is an independent, isolated power, which receives no order without criticizing it, always in disagreement and often in conflict with the central authority or with the other districts. It receives denunciations, orders domiciliary visits, sends deputations to the National Assembly, passes resolutions, posts its bills, not only in its own quarter but throughout the city, and sometimes even extends its jurisdiction outside of Paris. Everything comes within its province, and particularly that which ought not to do so.—On the 18th of July, the district of Petits-Augustins2 “decrees in its own name the establishment of justices of the peace,” under the title of tribunes, and proceeds at once to elect its own, nominating the actor Molé. On the 30th, that of the Oratoire annuls the amnesty which the representatives of the commune in the Hôtel-de-Ville had granted, and orders two of its members to go to a distance of thirty leagues to arrest M. de Bezenval. On the 19th of August, that of Nazareth issues commissions to seize and bring to Paris the arms deposited in strong places. From the beginning each assembly sent to the Arsenal in its own name, and “obtained as many cartridges and as much powder as it desired.” Others claim the right of keeping a watchful eye over the Hôtel-de-Ville and of reprimanding the National Assembly. The Oratoire decides that the representatives of the commune shall be invited to deliberate in public. Saint-Nicholas des Champs deliberates on the veto and begs the Assembly to suspend its vote.—It is a strange spectacle, that of these various authorities each contradicting and destroying the other. Today the Hôtel-de-Ville appropriates five loads of cloth which have been dispatched by the Government, and the district of Saint-Gervais opposes the decision of the Hôtel-de-Ville. Tomorrow Versailles intercepts grain destined for Paris, while Paris threatens, if it is not restored, to march on Versailles. I omit the incidents that are ridiculous:3 anarchy in its essence is both tragic and grotesque, and, in this universal breaking up of things, the capital, like the kingdom, resembles a bear-garden when it does not resemble a Babel.
But behind all these discordant authorities the real sovereign, who is the mob, is very soon apparent. On the 15th of July it undertakes the demolition of the Bastille of its own accord, and this popular act is sanctioned; for it is necessary that appearances should be kept up; even to give orders after the blow is dealt, and to follow when it is impossible to lead.4 A short time after this the collection of the octroi at the barriers is ordered to be resumed; forty armed individuals, however, present themselves in their district and say, that if guards are placed at the octroi stations, “they will resist force with force, and even make use of their cannon.” On the false rumour that arms are concealed in the Abbey of Montmartre, the abbess, Madame de Montmorency, is accused of treachery, and twenty thousand persons invade the monastery.—The commander of the National Guard and the mayor are constantly expecting a riot; they hardly dare absent themselves a day to attend the King’s fête at Versailles. As soon as the multitude can assemble in the streets, an explosion is imminent. “On rainy days,” says Bailly, “I was quite at my ease.”—It is under this constant pressure that the Government is carried on; and the elect of the people, the most esteemed magistrates, those who are in best repute, are at the mercy of the throng who clamour at their doors. In the district of St. Roch,5 after many useless refusals, the General Assembly, notwithstanding all the reproaches of its conscience and the resistance of its reason, is obliged to open letters addressed to Monsieur, to the Duke of Orleans, and to the Ministers of War, of Foreign Affairs, and of the Marine. In the committee on subsistences, M. Serreau, who is indispensable and who is confirmed by a public proclamation, is denounced, threatened, and constrained to leave Paris. M. de la Salle, one of the strongest patriots among the nobles, is on the point of being murdered for having signed an order for the transport of gunpowder;6 the multitude, in pursuit of him, attach a rope to the nearest street-lamp, ransack the Hôtel-de-Ville, force every door, mount into the belfry, and seek for the traitor even under the carpet of the bureau and between the legs of the electors, and are only stayed in their course by the arrival of the National Guard.
The people not only sentence but they execute, and, as is always the case, blindly. At Saint-Denis, Chatel, the mayor’s lieutenant, whose duty it is to distribute flour, had reduced the price of bread at his own expense: on the 3rd of August his house is forced open at two o’clock in the morning, and he takes refuge in a steeple; the mob follow him, cut his throat and drag his head along the streets.—Not only do the people execute, but they pardon—and with equal discernment. On the 11th of August, at Versailles, as a parricide is about to be broken on the wheel, the crowd demand his release, fly at the executioner, and set the man free.7 Veritably this is sovereign power like that of the oriental sovereign who arbitrarily awards life or death! A woman who protests against this scandalous pardon is seized and comes near being hung; for the new monarch considers as a crime whatever is offensive to his new majesty. Again, he receives public and humble homage. The Prime Minister, on imploring the pardon of M. de Bezenval at the Hôtel-de-Ville, in the presence of the electors and of the public, has said in set terms: “It is before the most unknown, the obscurest citizen of Paris that I prostrate myself, at whose feet I kneel.” A few days before this, at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and at Poissy, the deputies of the National Assembly not only kneel down in words, but actually, and for a long time, on the pavement in the street, and stretch forth their hands, weeping, to save two lives of which only one is granted to them.—Behold the monarch by these brilliant signs! Already do the young, who are eager imitators of all actions that are in fashion, ape them in miniature; during the month which follows the murder of Berthier and Foulon, Bailly is informed that the gamins in the streets are parading about with the heads of two cats stuck on the ends of two poles.8
A pitiable monarch, whose recognised sovereignty leaves him more miserable than he was before! Bread is always scarce, and before the baker’s doors the row of waiting people does not diminish. In vain Bailly passes his nights with the committee on supplies; they are always in a state of terrible anxiety. Every morning for two months there is only one or two days’ supply of flour, and often, in the evening, there is not enough for the following morning.9 The life of the capital depends on a convoy which is ten, fifteen, twenty leagues off, and which may never arrive: one convoy of twenty carts is pillaged on the 18th of July, on the Rouen road; another, on the 4th of August, in the vicinity of Louviers. Were it not for Salis’ Swiss regiment, which, from the 14th of July to the end of September, marches day and night as an escort, not a boat-load of grain would reach Paris from Rouen.10 —The commissaries charged with making purchases or with supervising the expeditions are in danger of their lives. Those who are sent to Provins are seized, and a column of four hundred men with cannon has to be dispatched to deliver them. The one who is sent to Rouen learns that he will be hung if he dares to enter the place. At Mantes a mob surrounds his cabriolet, the people regarding whoever comes there for the purpose of carrying away grain as a public pest; he escapes with difficulty out of a back door and returns on foot to Paris.—From the very beginning, according to a universal rule, the fear of a short supply helps to augment the famine. Every one lays in a stock for several days; on one occasion sixteen loaves of four pounds each are found in an old woman’s garret. The bakings, consequently, which are estimated according to the quantity needed for a single day, become inadequate, and the last of those who wait at the bakers’ shops for bread return home empty-handed.—On the other hand the appropriations made by the city and the State to diminish the price of bread simply serve to lengthen the rows of those who wait for it; the countrymen flock in thither, and return home loaded to their villages. At Saint-Denis, bread having been reduced to two sous the pound, none is left for the inhabitants. To this constant anxiety add that of a slack season. Not only is there no certainty of there being bread at the bakers’ during the coming week, but many know that they will not have money in the coming week with which to buy bread. Now that security has disappeared and the rights of property are shaken, work is wanting. The rich, deprived of their feudal dues, and, in addition thereto of their rents, have reduced their expenditure; many of them, threatened by the committee of investigation, exposed to domiciliary visits, and liable to be informed against by their servants, have emigrated. In the month of September M. Necker laments the delivery of six thousand passports in fifteen days to the wealthiest inhabitants. In the month of October ladies of high rank, refugees in Rome, send word that their domestics should be discharged and their daughters placed in convents. Before the end of 1789 there are so many fugitives in Switzerland that a house, it is said, brings in more rent than it is worth as capital. With this first emigration, which is that of the chief spendthrifts—Count d’Artois, Prince de Conté, Duc de Bourbon, and so many others—the opulent foreigners have left, and, at the head of them, the Duchesse de l’Infantado, who spent 800,000 livres a year. There are only three Englishmen in Paris.
It was a city of luxury, the European hot-house of costly and refined pleasures: the glass once broken, the amateurs leave and the delicate plants perish; there is no employment now for the innumerable hands which cultivated them. Fortunate are they who at the relief works obtain a miserable sum by handling a pick-axe! “I saw,” says Bailly, “mercers, jewellers, and merchants implore the favour of being employed at twenty sous the day.” Enumerate, if you can, in one or two recognised callings, the hands which are doing nothing:11 1,200 hair-dressers keep about 6,000 journeymen; 2,000 others follow the same calling in private houses; 6,000 lackeys do but little else than this work. The body of tailors is composed of 2,800 masters, who have under them 5,000 workmen. “Add to these the number privately employed—the refugees in privileged places like the abbeys of Saint-Germain and Saint-Marcel, the vast enclosure of the Temple, that of Saint-John the Lateran, and the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and you will find at least 12,000 persons cutting, fitting, and sewing.” How many in these two groups are now idle! How many others are walking the streets, such as upholsterers, lace-makers, embroiderers, fan-makers, gilders, carriage-makers, binders, engravers, and all the other producers of Parisian nick-nacks! For those who are still at work how many days are lost at the doors of bakers’ shops and in patrolling as National Guards! Gatherings are formed in spite of the prohibitions of the Hôtel-de-Ville,12 and the crowd openly discuss their miserable condition: 3,000 journeymen-tailors near the Colonnade, as many journeymen-shoemakers in the Place Louis XV., the journeymen-hair-dressers in the Champs-Elysées, 4,000 domestics without places on the approaches to the Louvre—and their propositions are on a level with their intelligence. Servants demand the expulsion from Paris of the Savoyards who enter into competition with them. Journeymen-tailors demand that a day’s wages be fixed at forty sous, and that the old-clothes dealers shall not be allowed to make new ones. The journeymen-shoemakers declare that those who make shoes below the fixed price shall be driven out of the kingdom. Each of these irritated and agitated crowds contains the germ of an outbreak—and, in truth, these germs are found on every pavement in Paris: at the relief works, which at Montmartre collect 17,000 paupers; in the Market, where the bakers want to “lantern” the flour commissioners, and at the doors of the bakers, of whom two, on the 14th of September and on the 5th of October, are conducted to the street-lamp and barely escape with their lives.—In this suffering, mendicant crowd, enterprising men become more numerous every day: they consist of deserters, and from every regiment; they reach Paris in bands, often 250 in one day. There, “caressed and fed to the top of their bent,”13 having received from the National Assembly 50 livres each, maintained by the King in the enjoyment of their advance-money, regaled by the districts, of which one alone incurs a debt of 14,000 livres for wine and sausages furnished to them, “they accustom themselves to greater expense,” to greater license, and are followed by their companions. “During the night of the 31st of July the French Guards on duty at Versailles abandon the custody of the King and betake themselves to Paris, without their officers, but with their arms and baggage,” that “they may take part in the cheer which the city of Paris extends to their regiment.” At the beginning of September, 16,000 deserters of this stamp are counted.14 Now, among those who commit murder these are in the first rank; and this is not surprising when we take the least account of their antecedents, education, and habits. It was a soldier of the “Royal Croat” who tore out the heart of Berthier. They were three soldiers of the regiment of Provence who forced the house of Chatel at Saint-Denis, and dragged his head through the streets. It is Swiss soldiers who, at Passy, knock down the commissioners of police with their guns. Their headquarters are at the Palais-Royal, amongst women whose instruments they are, and amongst agitators from whom they receive the word of command. Henceforth, all depends on this word, and we have only to contemplate the new popular leaders to know what it will be.
Administrators and members of district assemblies, agitators of barracks, coffee-houses, clubs, and public thoroughfares, writers of pamphlets, penny-a-liners are multiplying as fast as buzzing insects are hatched on a sultry night. After the 14th of July thousands of places have presented themselves to unrestrained ambitions; “attorneys, notaries’ clerks, artists, merchants, shopmen, comedians, and especially advocates;15 each wants to be either an officer, a director, a councillor, or a minister of the new reign; while the journals, which are established by dozens,16 form a permanent tribune, where orators come to court the people to their personal advantage.” Philosophy, fallen into such hands, seems to parody itself, and nothing equals its emptiness, unless it be its mischievousness and success. Lawyers, in the sixty assembly districts, roll out the high-sounding dogmas of the revolutionary catechism. This or that one, passing from the question of a party wall to the constitution of empires, becomes the improvised legislator, so much the more inexhaustible and the more applauded as his flow of words, showered upon his hearers, proves to them that every capacity and every right are naturally and legitimately theirs. “When that man opened his mouth,” says a cool-blooded witness, “we were sure of being inundated with quotations and maxims, often apropos of lanterns, or of the stall of a herb-dealer. His stentorian voice made the vaults ring; and after he had spoken for two hours, and his breath was completely exhausted, the admiring and enthusiastic shouts which greeted him amounted almost to phrensy. Thus the orator fancied himself a Mirabeau, while the spectators imagined themselves the Constituent Assembly, deciding the fate of France.” The journals and pamphlets are written in the same style. Every brain is filled with the fumes of conceit and of big words; the leader of the crowd is he who raves the most, and he guides the wild enthusiasm which he increases.
Let us consider the most popular of these chiefs; they are the green or the dry fruit of literature, and of the bar. The newspaper is the shop which every morning offers them for sale, and if they suit the overexcited public it is simply owing to their acid or bitter flavour. Their empty, unpractised minds are wholly void of political conceptions; they have no capacity or practical experience. Desmoulins is twenty-nine years of age, Loustalot twenty-seven, and their intellectual ballast consists of college reminiscences, souvenirs of the law schools, and the common-places picked up in the houses of Raynal and his associates. As to Brissot and Marat, who are ostentatious humanitarians, their knowledge of France and of foreign countries consists in what they have seen through the dormer windows of their garrets, and through utopian spectacles. To minds of this class, empty or led astray, the Contrat-Social could not fail to be a gospel; for it reduces political science to a strict application of an elementary axiom which relieves them of all study, and hands society over to the caprice of the people, or, in other words, delivers it into their own hands.—Hence they demolish all that remains of social institutions, and push on equalisation until everything is brought down to a dead level. “With my principles,” writes Desmoulins,17 “is associated the satisfaction of putting myself where I belong, of showing my strength to those who have despised me, of lowering to my level all whom fortune has placed above me: my motto is that of all honest people—No superiors!” Thus, under the great name of Liberty, each vain spirit seeks its revenge and finds its nourishment. What is sweeter and more natural than to justify passion by theory, to be factious in the belief that this is patriotism, and to cloak the interests of ambition with the interests of humanity?
Let us picture to ourselves these directors of public opinion as we find them three months before this: Desmoulins, a briefless barrister, living in furnished lodgings with petty debts, and on a few louis extracted from his relations. Loustalot, still more unknown, was admitted the previous year to the Parliament of Bordeaux, and has landed at Paris in search of a career. Danton, another second-rate lawyer, coming out of a hovel in Champagne, borrowed the money to pay his expenses, while his stinted household is kept up only by means of a louis which is given to him weekly by his father-in-law, who is a coffee-house keeper. Brissot, a strolling Bohemian, formerly employé of literary pirates, has roamed over the world for fifteen years, without bringing back with him either from England or America anything but a coat out at elbows and false ideas; and, finally, Marat—a writer that has been hissed, an abortive scholar and philosopher, a misrepresenter of his own experiences, caught by the natural philosopher Charles in the act of committing a scientific fraud, and fallen from the top of his inordinate ambition to the subordinate post of doctor in the stables of the Comte d’Artois. At the present time, Danton, President of the Cordeliers, can arrest any one he pleases in his district, and his violent gestures and thundering voice secure to him, till something better turns up, the government of his section of the city. A word of Marat’s has just caused Major Belzunce at Caen to be assassinated. Desmoulins announces, with a smile of triumph, that “a large section of the capital regards him as one among the principal authors of the Revolution, and that many even go so far as to say that he is the author of it.” Is it to be supposed that, borne so high by such a sudden jerk of fortune, they wish to put on the drag and again descend? and is it not clear that they will aid with all their might the revolt which hoists them towards the loftiest summits? Moreover the brain reels at a height like this; suddenly launched in the air and feeling as if everything was tottering around them, they utter exclamations of indignation and terror, they see plots on all sides, imagine invisible cords pulling in an opposite direction, and they call upon the people to cut them. With the full weight of their inexperience, incapacity, and improvidence, of their fears, credulity, and dogmatic obstinacy, they urge on popular attacks, and their newspaper articles or discourses are all summed up in the following phrases: “Fellow-citizens, you, the people of the lower class, you who listen to me, you have enemies in the Court and the aristocracy. The Hôtel-de-Ville and the National Assembly are your servants. Seize your enemies with a strong hand, and hang them, and let your servants know that they must quicken their steps!”
Desmoulins styles himself “Solicitor-General of the Lantern,”18 and if he at all regrets the murders of Foulon and Berthier, it is because this too expeditious judgment has allowed the proofs of conspiracy to perish, thereby saving a number of traitors: he himself mentions twenty of them haphazard, and little does he care whether he makes mistakes. “We are in the dark, and it is well that faithful dogs should bark, even at all who pass by, so that there may be no fear of robbers.”
From this time forth Marat19 denounces the King, the ministers, the administration, the bench, the bar, the financial system, and the academies, all as “suspicious”; at all events the people only suffer on their account. “The Government is monopolizing grain, so as to force us to buy bread which poisons us for its weight in gold.” The Government, again, through a new conspiracy is about to blockade Paris, so as to starve it with greater ease. Utterances of this kind, at such a time, are firebrands thrown upon fear and hunger to kindle the flames of rage and cruelty. To this frightened and fasting crowd the agitators and newspaper writers continue to repeat that it must act, and act alongside of the authorities, and, if need be, against them. In other words, We will do as we please; we are the sole legitimate masters; “in a well-constituted government, the people as a body are the real sovereign: our delegates are appointed only to execute our orders; what right has the clay to rebel against the potter?”
On the strength of such principles, the tumultuous club which occupies the Palais-Royal substitutes itself for the Assembly at Versailles. Has it not all the titles for this office? The Palais-Royal “saved the nation” on the 12th and 13th of July. The Palais-Royal, “through its spokesmen and pamphlets,” has made everybody and even the soldiers “philosophers.” It is the house of patriotism, “the rendezvous of the select among the patriotic,” whether provincials or Parisians, of all who possess the right of suffrage, and who cannot or will not exercise it in their own district. “It saves time to come to the Palais-Royal. There is no need there of appealing to the President for the right to speak, or to wait one’s time for a couple of hours. The orator proposes his motion, and, if it finds supporters, mounts a chair. If he is applauded, it is put into proper shape. If he is hissed, he goes away. This was the way of the Romans.” Behold the veritable National Assembly! It is superior to the other semifeudal affair, encumbered with “six hundred deputies of the clergy and nobility,” who are so many intruders and who “should be sent out into the galleries.”—Hence the pure Assembly rules the impure Assembly, and “the Café Foy lays claim to the government of France.”
On the 13th of July, the harlequin who led the insurrection at Rouen having been arrested, “it is openly proposed at the Palais-Royal to go in a body and demand his release.”20 On the 1st of August, Thouret, whom the moderate party of the Assembly have just made President, is obliged to resign; the Palais-Royal threatens to send a band and murder him along with those who voted for him, and lists of proscriptions, in which several of the deputies are inscribed, begin to be circulated.—From this time forth, on all great questions—the abolition of the feudal system, the suppression of tithes, a declaration of the rights of man, the dispute about the Chambers, the King’s power of veto21 —the pressure from without inclines the balance: in this way the Declaration of Rights, which is rejected in secret session by twenty-eight bureaus out of thirty, is forced through by the tribunes in a public sitting and passed by a majority.—Just as before the 14th of July, and to a still greater extent, two kinds of compulsion influence the votes, and it is always the ruling faction which employs both its hands to throttle its opponents. On the one hand this faction takes post on the galleries in knots composed nearly always of the same persons, “five or six hundred permanent actors,” who yell according to understood signals and at the word of command.22 Many of these are French Guards, in citizen’s dress, and who relieve each other: previously they have asked of their favourite deputy “at what hour they must come, whether all goes on well, and whether he is satisfied with those fools of parsons (calotins) and the aristocrats.” Others consist of low women under the command of Théroigne de Méricourt, a virago courtesan, who assigns them their positions and gives them the signal for hooting or for applause. Publicly and in full session, on the occasion of the debate on the veto, “the deputies are applauded or insulted by the galleries according as they utter the word ‘suspensive,’ or the word ‘indefinite.’ ” “Threats,” (says one of them) “circulated; I heard them on all sides around me.” These threats are repeated on going out: “Valets dismissed by their masters, deserters, and women in rags,” threaten the “lantern” to the refractory, “and thrust their fists in their faces. In the hall itself, and much more accurately than before the 14th of July, their names are taken down, and the lists, handed over to the populace,” travel to the Palais-Royal, from where they are dispatched in correspondence and in newspapers to the provinces.23 —Thus we see the second means of compulsion; each deputy is answerable for his vote, at Paris, with his own life, and, in the province, with those of his family. Members of the former Third-Estate avow that they abandon the idea of two Chambers, because “they are not disposed to get their wives’ and children’s throats cut.” On the 30th of August, Saint-Hurugue, the most noisy of the Palais-Royal barkers, marches off to Versailles, at the head of 1,500 men, to complete the conversion of the Assembly. This garden club indeed, from the heights of its great learning, integrity, and immaculate reputation, decides that “the ignorant, corrupt, and doubtful deputies must be got rid of.” That they are such cannot be questioned, because they defend the royal sanction; there are over 600 and more, 120 being deputies of the commons, who must be expelled to begin with, and then must be brought to judgment.24 In the meantime they are informed, as well as the Bishop of Langres, President of the National Assembly, that “15,000 men are ready to light up their chateaux and in particular yours, sir.” To avoid all mistake, the secretaries of the Assembly are informed in writing that “2,000 letters” will be sent into the provinces to denounce to the people the conduct of the malignant deputies: “Your houses are held as a surety for your opinions: keep this in mind, and save yourselves!” At last, on the morning of the 1st of August, five deputations from the Palais-Royal, one of them led by Loustalot, march in turn to the Hôtel-de-Ville, insisting that the drums should be beaten and the citizens be called together for the purpose of changing the deputies, or their instructions, and of ordering the National Assembly to suspend its discussion on the veto until the districts and provinces could give expression to their will: the people, in effect, alone being sovereign, and alone competent, always has the right to dismiss or instruct anew its servants, the deputies. On the following day, August 2nd, to make matters plainer, new delegates from the same Palais-Royal suit gestures to words; they place two fingers on their throats, on being introduced before the representatives of the commune, as a hint that, if the latter do not obey, they will be hung.
After this it is vain for the National Assembly to make any show of indignation, to declare that it despises threats, and to protest its independence; the impression is already produced. “More than 300 members of the communes,” says Mounier, “had decided to support the absolute veto.” At the end of ten days most of these had gone over, several of them through attachment to the King, because they were afraid of “a general uprising,” and “were not willing to jeopardise the lives of the royal family.” But concessions like these only provoke fresh extortions. The politicians of the street now know by experience the effect of brutal violence on legal authority. Emboldened by success and by impunity, they reckon up their strength and the weakness of the latter. One blow more, and they are undisputed masters. Besides, the issue is already apparent to clear-sighted men. When the agitators of the public thoroughfares, and the porters at the street-corners, convinced of their superior wisdom, impose decrees by the strength of their lungs, of their fists, and of their pikes, at that moment experience, knowledge, good sense, cool-blood, genius, and judgment, disappear from human affairs, and things revert back to chaos. Mirabeau, in favour of the veto for life, saw the crowd imploring him with tears in their eyes to change his opinion: “Monsieur le Comte, if the King obtains this veto, what will be the use of a National Assembly? We shall all be slaves!”25 Outbursts of this description are not to be resisted, and all is lost. Already, near the end of September, the remark applies which Mirabeau makes to the Comte de la Marck: “Yes, all is lost; the King and Queen will be swept away, and you will see the populace trampling on their lifeless bodies.” Eight days after this, on the 5th and 6th of October, it breaks out against both King and Queen, against the National Assembly and the Government, against all government present and to come; the violent party which rules in Paris obtains possession of the chiefs of France to hold them under strict surveillance, and to justify its intermittent outrages by one permanent outrage.
Two distinct currents again combine in one torrent to hurry the crowd onward to a common end. On the one hand are the cravings of the stomach, and women excited by the famine: “Now that bread cannot be had in Paris, let us go to Versailles and demand it there; once we have the King, Queen, and Dauphin in the midst of us, they will be obliged to feed us”; we will bring back “the Baker, the Bakeress, and the Baker’s boy.” On the other hand, there is fanaticism, and men who are pushed on by the lust of dominion. “Now that our chiefs yonder disobey us, let us go and make them obey us forthwith; the King is quibbling over the Constitution and the Rights of Man—let him give them his sanction; his guards refuse to wear our cockade—let them accept it; they want to carry him off to Metz—let him come to Paris; here, under our eyes and in our hands, he, and the lame Assembly too, will march straight on, and quickly, whether they like it or not, and always on the right road.”—Under this confluence of ideas the expedition is arranged.26 Ten days before this, it is publicly alluded to at Versailles. On the 4th of October, at Paris, a woman proposes it at the Palais-Royal; Danton roars at the Cordeliers; Marat, “alone, makes as much noise as the four trumpets on the Day of Judgment.” Loustalot writes that “a second revolutionary paroxysm is necessary.” “The day passes,” says Desmoulins, “in holding councils at the Palais-Royal, and in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, on the ends of the bridges, and on the quays . . . in pulling off the cockades of but one colour. . . . These are torn off and trampled under foot with threats of the lantern, in case of fresh offence; a soldier who is trying to refasten his, changes his mind on seeing a hundred sticks raised against him.”27 These are the premonitory symptoms of a crisis; a huge ulcer has formed in this feverish, suffering body, and it is about to break.
But, as is usually the case, it is a purulent concentration of the most poisonous passions and the foulest motives. The vilest of men and women were engaged in it. Money was freely distributed. Was it done by intriguing subalterns who, playing upon the aspirations of the Duke of Orleans, extracted millions from him under the pretext of making him lieutenant-general of the kingdom? Or is it due to the fanatics who, from the end of April, clubbed together to debauch the soldiery, and stir up a body of ruffians for the purpose of levelling and destroying everything around them?28 There are always Machiavellis of the highways and of houses of ill-fame ready to excite the foul and the vile of both sexes. On the first day that the Flemish regiment goes into garrison at Versailles an attempt is made to corrupt it with money and women. Sixty abandoned women are sent from Paris for this purpose, while the French Guards come and treat their new comrades. The latter have been regaled at the Palais-Royal, while three of them, at Versailles, exclaim, showing some crown pieces of six livres, “What a pleasure it is to go to Paris! one always comes back with money!” In this way, resistance is overcome beforehand. As to the attack, women are to be the advanced guard, because the soldiers will scruple to fire at them; their ranks, however, will be reinforced by a number of men disguised as women. On looking closely at them they are easily recognised, notwithstanding their rouge, by their badly-shaven beards, and by their voices and gait.29 No difficulty has been found in obtaining men and women among the prostitutes of the Palais-Royal and the military deserters who serve them as bullies. It is probable that the former lent their lovers the cast-off dresses they had to spare. At night all will meet again at the common rendezvous, on the benches of the National Assembly, where they are quite as much at home as in their own houses.30 —In any event, the first band which marches out is of this stamp, displaying the finery and the gaiety of the profession; “most of them young, dressed in white, with powdered hair and a sprightly air”; many of them “laughing, singing, and drinking,” as they would do at setting out for a picnic in the country. Three or four of them are known by name—one brandishing a sword, and another, the notorious Théroigne. Madeleine Chabry Louison, who is selected to address the King, is a pretty grisette who sells flowers, and something else doubtless, at the Palais-Royal. Some appear to belong to the first rank in their calling, and to have tact and the manners of society—suppose, for instance, that Champfort and Laclos sent their mistresses. To these must be added washerwomen, beggars, barefooted women, and fishwomen, enlisted for several days before and paid accordingly. This is the first nucleus, and it keeps on growing; for, by compulsion or consent, the troop incorporates into it, as it passes along, all the women it encounters—seamstresses, portresses, housekeepers, and even respectable females, whose dwellings are entered with threats of cutting off their hair if they do not fall in. To these must be added vagrants, street-rovers, ruffians, and robbers—the lees of Paris, which accumulate and come to the surface every time agitation occurs: they are to be found already at the first hour, behind the troop of women at the Hôtel-de-Ville. Others are to follow during the evening and in the night. Others are waiting at Versailles. Many, both at Paris and Versailles, are under pay: one, in a dirty whitish vest, chinks gold and silver coin in his hand.—Such is the foul scum which, both in front and in the rear, rolls along with the popular tide; whatever is done to stem the torrent, it widens out and will leave its mark at every stage of its overflow.
The first troop, consisting of four or five hundred women, begin operations by forcing the guard of the Hôtel-de-Ville, which is unwilling to make use of its bayonets. They spread through the rooms and try to burn all the written documents they can find, declaring that there has been nothing but scribbling since the Revolution began.31 A crowd of men follow after them, bursting open doors, and pillaging the magazine of arms. Two hundred thousand francs in Treasury notes are stolen or disappear; several of the ruffians set fire to the building, while others hang an abbé. The abbé is cut down, and the fire extinguished only just in time: such are the interludes of the popular drama. In the meantime, the crowd of women increases on the Place de Grève, always with the same unceasing cry, “Bread!” and “To Versailles!” One of the conquerors of the Bastille, the usher Maillard, offers himself as a leader. He is accepted, and taps his drum; on leaving Paris, he has seven or eight thousand women with him, and, in addition, some hundreds of men; by dint of remonstrances, he succeeds in maintaining some kind of order amongst this rabble as far as Versailles.—But it is a rabble notwithstanding, and consequently so much brute force, at once anarchical and imperious. On the one hand, each, and the worst among them, does what he pleases—which will be quite evident this very evening. On the other hand, its ponderous mass crushes all authority and overrides all rules and regulations—which is at once apparent on reaching Versailles. Admitted into the Assembly, at first in small numbers, the women crowd against the door, push in with a rush, fill the galleries, then the hall, the men along with them, armed with clubs, halberds, and pikes, all pell-mell, side by side with the deputies, taking possession of their benches, voting along with them, and gathering about the President, who, surrounded, threatened, and insulted, finally abandons the position, while his chair is taken by a woman.32 A fishwoman commands in a gallery, and about a hundred women around her shout or keep silence at her bidding, while she interrupts and abuses the deputies: “Who is that spouter? Silence that babbler; he does not know what he is talking about. The question is how to get bread. Let papa Mirabeau speak—we want to hear him.” A decree on subsistences having been passed, the leaders demand something in addition; they must be allowed to enter all places where they suspect any monopolizing to be going on, and the price of “bread must be fixed at six sous the four pounds, and meat at six sous per pound.” “You must not think that we are children to be played with. We are ready to strike. Do as you are bidden.”—All their political injunctions emanate from this central idea. “Send back the Flemish regiment—it is a thousand men more to feed, and they take bread out of our mouths.” “Punish the aristocrats, who hinder the bakers from baking.” “Down with the skull-cap—the priests are the cause of our trouble!” “Monsieur Mounier, why did you advocate that villainous veto? Beware of the lantern!” Under this pressure, a deputation of the Assembly, with the President at its head, sets out on foot, in the mud, through the rain, and watched by a howling escort of women and men armed with pikes: after five hours of waiting and entreaty, it wrings from the King, besides the decree on subsistences, about which there was no difficulty, the acceptance, pure and simple, of the Declaration of Rights, and his sanction to the constitutional articles.—Such is the independence of the King and the Assembly.33 Thus are the new principles of justice established, the grand outlines of the Constitution, the abstract axioms of political truth under the dictation of a crowd which extorts not only blindly, but which is half-conscious of its blindness. “Monsieur le Président,” some among the women say to Mounier, who returns with the Royal sanction, “will it be of any real use to us? will it give poor folks bread in Paris?”
Meanwhile, the scum has been bubbling up around the chateau; and the abandoned women subsidised in Paris are pursuing their calling.34 They slip through into the lines of the regiment drawn up on the square, in spite of the sentinels. Théroigne, in an Amazonian red vest, distributes money among them. “Side with us,” some say to the men; “we shall soon beat the King’s Guards, strip off their fine coats and sell them.” Others lie sprawling on the ground, alluring the soldiers, and make such offers as to lead one of them to exclaim, “We are going to have a jolly time of it!” Before the day is over, the regiment is seduced; the women have, according to their own idea, acted for a good motive. When a political idea finds its way into such heads, instead of ennobling them, it becomes degraded there; its only effect is to let loose vices which a remnant of modesty still keeps in subjection, and full play is given to luxurious or ferocious instincts under cover of the public good.—The passions, moreover, become intensified through their mutual interaction; crowds, clamour, disorder, longings, and fasting, end in a state of phrensy, from which nothing can issue but dizzy madness and rage.—This phrensy began to show itself on the way. Already, on setting out, a woman had exclaimed, “We shall bring back the Queen’s head on the end of a pike!”35 On reaching the Sèvres bridge others added, “Let us cut her throat, and make cockades of her entrails!” Rain is falling; they are cold, tired, and hungry, and get nothing to eat but a bit of bread, distributed at a late hour, and with difficulty, on the Place d’Armes. One of the bands cuts up a slaughtered horse, roasts it, and consumes it half raw, after the manner of savages. It is not surprising that, under the names of patriotism and “justice,” savage ideas spring up in their minds against “members of the National Assembly who are not with the principles of the people,” against “the Bishop of Langres, Mounier, and the rest.” One man in a ragged old red coat declares that “he must have the head of the Abbé Maury to play nine-pins with.” But it is especially against the Queen, who is a woman, and in sight, that the feminine imagination is the most aroused. “She alone is the cause of the evils we endure . . . she must be killed, and quartered.”—Night advances; there are acts of violence, and violence engenders violence. “How glad I should be,” says one man, “if I could only lay my hand on that she-devil, and strike off her head on the first curbstone!” Towards morning, some cry out, “Where is that cursed cat? We must eat her heart out. . . . We’ll take off her head, cut her heart out, and fry her liver!”—With the first murders the appetite for blood has been awakened; the women from Paris say that “they have brought tubs to carry away the stumps of the Royal Guards,” and at these words others clap their hands. Some of the riff-raff of the crowd examine the rope of the lantern in the court of the National Assembly, and judging it not to be sufficiently strong, are desirous of supplying its place with another “to hang the Archbishop of Paris, Maury, and d’Espréménil.”—This murderous, carnivorous rage penetrates even among those whose duty it is to maintain order, one of the National Guard being heard to say that “the body-guards must be killed to the last man, and their hearts torn out for a breakfast.”
Finally, towards midnight, the National Guard of Paris arrives; but it only adds one insurrection to another, for it has likewise mutinied against its chiefs.36 “If M. de Lafayette is not disposed to accompany us,” says one of the grenadiers, “we will take an old grenadier for our commander.” Having come to this decision, they go after the general at the Hôtel-de-Ville, while delegates of six of the companies make known their orders to him. “General, we do not believe that you are a traitor, but we think that the Government is betraying us. . . . The committee on subsistences is deceiving us, and must be removed. We want to go to Versailles to exterminate the body-guard and the Flemish regiment who have trampled on the national cockade. If the King of France is too feeble to wear his crown, let him take it off; we will crown his son and things will go better.” In vain Lafayette refuses, and harangues them on the Place de Grève; in vain he resists for hours, now addressing them and now imposing silence. Armed bands, coming from the Faubourgs Saint-Antoine and Saint-Marceau, swell the crowd; they take aim at him; others prepare the lantern. He then dismounts and endeavours to return to the Hôtel-de-Ville, but his grenadiers bar the way: “Morbleu, General, you will stay with us; you will not abandon us!” Being their chief it is pretty plain that he must follow them; which is also the sentiment of the representatives of the commune at the Hôtel-de-Ville, who send him their authorisation, and even the order to march, “seeing that it is impossible for him to refuse.”
Fifteen thousand men thus reach Versailles, and in front of and along with them thousands of ruffians, protected by the darkness. On this side the National Guard of Versailles, posted around the chateau, together with the people of Versailles, who bar the way against vehicles, have closed up every outlet.37 The King is prisoner in his own palace, he and his, with his ministers and his court, and with no defence. For, with his usual optimism, he has confided the outer posts of the chateau to Lafayette’s soldiers, and, through a humanitarian obstinacy which he is to maintain up to the last,38 he has forbidden his own guards to fire on the crowd, so that they are only there for show. With common right in his favour, the law, and the oath which Lafayette had just obliged his troops to renew, what could he have to fear? What could be more effective with the people than trust in them and prudence? And by playing the sheep one is sure of taming brutes!
From five o’clock in the morning they prowl around the palace-railings. Lafayette, exhausted with fatigue, has taken an hour’s repose,39 which hour suffices for them.40 A populace armed with pikes and clubs, men and women, surrounds a squad of eighty-eight National Guards, forces them to fire on the King’s Guards, bursts open a door, seizes two of the guards, and chops their heads off. The executioner, who is a studio model, with a heavy beard, stretches out his blood-stained hands and glories in the act; and so great is the effect on the National Guard that they move off, through sensibility, in order not to witness such sights: such is the resistance! In the meantime the crowd invade the staircases, beat down and trample on the guards they encounter, and burst open the doors with imprecations against the Queen. The Queen runs off, just in time, in her underclothes; she takes refuge with the King and the rest of the royal family, who have in vain barricaded themselves in the Oeil-de-Boeuf, a door of which is broken in: here they stand, awaiting death, when Lafayette arrives with his grenadiers and saves all that can be saved—their lives, and nothing more. For, from the crowd huddled in the marble court the shout rises, “To Paris with the King!” a command to which the King submits.
Now that the great hostage is in their hands, will they deign to accept the second one? This is doubtful. On the Queen approaching the balcony with her son and daughter, a howl arises of “No children!” She is the one they want to cover with their guns—and this she comprehends. At this moment M. de Lafayette, throwing the shield of his popularity over her, appears on the balcony at her side and respectfully kisses her hand. The reaction is instantaneous in this overexcited crowd. Both man and woman, in such a state of nervous tension, readily jump from one extreme to another, rage bordering on tears. A portress, who is a companion of Maillard’s,41 imagines that she hears Lafayette promise in the Queen’s name “to love her people and be as much attached to them as Jesus Christ to his Church.” People sob and embrace each other; the grenadiers shift their caps to the heads of the body-guard. The good time has come: “the people have got back their King.” Nothing is to be done now but to rejoice; and the cortège moves on. The royal family and a hundred deputies, in carriages, form the centre, and then comes the artillery, with a number of women bestriding the cannons; next, a convoy of flour. Round about are the King’s Guards, each with a National Guard mounted behind him; then comes the National Guard of Paris, and after them men with pikes and women on foot, on horseback, in cabs, and on carts; in front is a band bearing two severed heads on the ends of two poles, which halts at a hair-dresser’s, in Sèvres, to have these heads powdered and curled;42 they are made to bow by way of salutation, and are daubed all over with cream; there are jokes and shouts of laughter; the people stop to eat and drink on the road, and oblige the guards to clink glasses with them; they shout and fire salvos of musketry; men and women hold each other’s hands and sing and dance about in the mud.—Such is the new fraternity—a funeral procession of legal and legitimate authorities, a triumph of brutality over intelligence, a murderous and political Mardi gras, a formidable masquerade which, preceded by the insignia of death, drags along with it the heads of France, the King, the ministers, and the deputies, that it may constrain them to rule according to its phrensy, that it may hold them under its pikes until it is pleased to slaughter them.
This time there can be no mistake: the Reign of Terror is fully and firmly established. On this very day the mob stops a vehicle, in which it hopes to find M. de Virieu, and declares, on searching it, that “they are looking for the deputy to massacre him, as well as others of whom they have a list.”43 Two days afterwards the Abbé Grégoire tells the National Assembly that not a day passes without ecclesiastics being insulted in Paris, and pursued with “horrible threats.” Malouet is advised that “as soon as guns are distributed among the militia, the first use made of them will be to get rid of those deputies who are bad citizens,” and among others of the Abbé Maury. “The moment I stepped out into the streets,” writes Mounier, “I was publicly followed. It was a crime to be seen in my company. Wherever I happened to go, along with two or three of my companions, it was stated that an assembly of aristocrats was forming. I had become such an object of terror that they threatened to set fire to a country-house where I had passed twenty-four hours; and, to relieve their minds, a promise had to be given that neither myself nor my friends should be again received into it.” In one week five or six hundred deputies have their passports44 made out, and hold themselves ready to depart. During the following month one hundred and twenty give in their resignations, or no longer appear in the Assembly. Mounier, Lally-Tollendal, the Bishop of Langres, and others besides, quit Paris, and afterwards France. Mallet-Dupan writes, “Opinion now dictates its judgment with steel in hand. Believe or die is the anathema which vehement spirits pronounce, and this in the name of Liberty. Moderation has become a crime.” After the 7th of October, Mirabeau says to the Comte de la Marck: “If you have any influence with the King or the Queen, persuade them that they and France are lost if the royal family does not leave Paris. I am busy with a plan for getting them away.” He prefers everything to the present situation, “even civil war”; for “war, at least, invigorates the soul,” while here, “under the dictatorship of demagogues, we are being drowned in slime.” Given up to itself, Paris, in three months, “will certainly be a hospital, and, perhaps, a theatre of horrors.” Against the rabble and its leaders, it is essential that the King should at once coalesce “with his people,” that he should go to Rouen, appeal to the provinces, provide a centre for public opinion, and, if necessary, resort to armed resistance. Malouet, on his side, declares that “the Revolution, since the 5th of October, “horrifies all sensible men, and every party, but that it is complete and irresistible.” Thus the three best minds that are associated with the Revolution—those whose verified prophecies attest genius or good sense; the only ones who, for two or three years, and from week to week, have always predicted wisely, and who have employed reason in their demonstrations—these three, Mallet-Dupan, Mirabeau, Malouet, agree in their estimate of the event, and in measuring its consequences. The nation is gliding down a declivity, and no one possesses the means or the force to arrest it. The King cannot do it: “undecided and weak beyond all expression, his character resembles those oiled ivory balls which one vainly strives to keep together.”45 And as for the Assembly, blinded, violated, and impelled on by the theory it proclaims, and by the faction which supports it, each of its grand decrees only renders its fall the more precipitate.
The Constituent Assembly, and the Results of its Labours
[1. ]Bailly, “Mémoires,” ii. 195, 242.
[2. ]Bailly, ii. 74, 174, 242, 261, 282, 345, 392.
[3. ]Such as domiciliary visits and arrests apparently made by lunatics. (“Archives de la Préfecture de Police de Paris.”)—And Montjoie, ch. lxx. p. 67. Expedition of the National Guard against imaginary brigands who are cutting down the crops at Montmorency and the volley fired in the air.—Conquest of Ile-Adam and Chantilly.
[4. ]Bailly, ii. 46, 95, 232, 287, 296.
[5. ]“Archives de la Préfecture de Police,” procès-verbal of the section of Butte des Moulins, October 5, 1789.
[6. ]Bailly, ii. 224.—Dussaulx, 418, 202, 257, 174, 158. The powder transported was called poudre de traite (transport); the people understood it as poudre de traître (traitor). M. de la Salle was near being killed through the addition of an r. It is he who had taken command of the National Guard on the 13th of July.
[7. ]Floquet, vii. 54. There is the same scene at Granville, in Normandy, on the 16th of October. A woman had assassinated her husband, while a soldier who was her lover is her accomplice; the woman was about to be hung and the man broken on the wheel, when the populace shout, “The nation has the right of pardon,” overset the scaffold, and save the two assassins.
[8. ]Bailly, ii. 274 (August 17th).
[9. ]Bailly, ii. 83, 202, 230, 235, 283, 299.
[10. ]Mercure de France, the number for September 26th. De Goncourt p.111.
[11. ]Mercier, “Tableau de Paris,” i. 58; x. 151.
[12. ]De Ferrières, i. 178.—Roux and Buchez, ii. 311, 316.—Bailly, ii. 104, 174, 207, 246, 257, 282.
[13. ]Mercure de France, September 5th, 1789. Horace Walpole’s Letters, September 5, 1789.—M. de Lafayette, “Mémoires,” i. 272. During the week following the 14th of July, 6,000 soldiers deserted and went over to the people, besides 400 and 500 Swiss Guards and six battalions of the French Guards, who remain without officers and do as they please. Vagabonds from the neighbouring villages flock in, and there are more than “30,000 foreigners and vagrants” in Paris.
[14. ]Bailly, ii. 282. The crowd of deserters was so great that Lafayette was obliged to place a guard at the barriers to keep them from entering the city. “Without this precaution the whole army would have come in.”
[15. ]De Ferrières, i. 103.—De Lavalette, i. 39.—Bailly, i. 53 (on the lawyers). “It may be said that the success of the Revolution is due to this class.” Marmontel, ii. 243. “Since the first elections of Paris, in 1789, I remarked,” he says, “this species of restless intriguing men, contending with each other to be heard, impatient to make themselves prominent. . . . It is well known what interest this body (the lawyers) had to change Reform into Revolution, the Monarchy into a Republic; the object was to organize for itself a perpetual aristocracy.”—Roux and Buchez, ii. 358 (article by C. Desmoulins). “In the districts everybody exhausts his lungs and his time in trying to be president, vice-president, secretary, or vice-secretary.”
[16. ]Eugène Hatin, “Histoire de la Presse,” vol. v.—Le Patriote français, by Brissot, July 28, 1789.—L’Ami du Peuple, by Marat, September 12, 1789.—Annales patriotiques et littéraires, by Carra and Mercier, October 5, 1789.—Les Révolutions de Paris, chief editor Loustalot, July 17, 1789.—Le Tribun du Peuple, letters by Fauchet (middle of 1789).—Révolutions de France et de Brabant, by C. Desmoulins, November 28, 1789; his France libre (I believe of the month of August, and his Discours de la Lanterne, of the month of September). The Moniteur does not make its appearance until November 24, 1789. In the seventy numbers which follow, up to February 3, 1790, the debates of the Assembly were afterwards written out, amplified, and put in a dramatic form. All numbers anterior to February 3, 1790, are the result of a compilation executed in the year iv. The narrative part during the first six months of the Revolution is of no value. The report of the sittings of the Assembly is more exact, but should be revised sitting by sitting and discourse by discourse for a detailed history of the National Assembly. The principal authorities which are really contemporary are, Le Mercure de France, Le Journal de Paris, Le Point du Jour, by Barrère, the Courrier de Versailles, by Gorsas, the Courrier de Provence, by Mirabeau, the Journal des Débats et Décrets, the official reports of the National Assembly, the Bulletin de l’Assemblée Nationale, by Marat, besides the newspapers above cited for the period following the 14th of July, and the speeches, which are printed separately.
[17. ]C. Desmoulins, letters of September 20th and of subsequent dates. (He quotes a passage from Lucan in the sense indicated.)—Brissot, “Mémoires,” passim.—Biography of Danton by Robinet. (See the testimony of Madame Roland and of Rousselin de Saint-Albin.)
[18. ]“Discours de la Lanterne.” See the epigraph of the engraving.
[19. ]Roux and Buchez, iii. 55; article of Marat, October 1st. “Sweep all the suspected men out of the Hôtel-de-Ville. . . . Reduce the deputies of the communes to fifty; do not let them remain in office more than a month or six weeks, and compel them to transact business only in public.” And ii. 412, another article by Marat.—Ibid. iii. 21. An article by Loustalot.—C. Desmoulins, “Discours de la Lanterne,” passim.—Bailly, ii. 326.
[20. ]Mounier, “Des causes qui ont empêché les Français d’être libre,” i. 59.—Lally-Tollendal, second letter, 104.—Bailly, ii. 203.
[21. ]De Bouillé, 207.—Lally-Tollendal, ibid., 141, 146.—Mounier, ibid., 41,60.
[22. ]Mercure de France, October 2, 1790 (article of Mallet-Dupan: “I saw it”). Criminal proceedings at the Châtelet on the events of October 5th and 6th. Deposition of M. Feydel, a deputy, No. 178.—De Montlosier, i. 259.—Desmoulins (La Lanterne). “Some members of the communes are gradually won over by pensions, by plans for making a fortune, and by caresses. Happily, the incorruptible galleries are always on the side of the patriots. They represent the tribunes of the people seated on a bench in attendance on the deliberations of the Senate (in Rome) and who had the veto. They represent the capital, and, fortunately, it is under the batteries of the capital that the constitution is being framed.” (C. Desmoulins, who is a naif politician, always lets the cat out of the bag.)
[23. ]“Procédure du Châtelet,” ibid. Deposition of M. Malouet (No. 111). “I received every day, as well as MM. Lally and Mounier, anonymous letters and lists of proscriptions on which we were inscribed. These letters announced a prompt and violent death to every deputy that advocated the authority of the King.”
[24. ]Roux and Buchez, i. 368, 376.—Bailly, ii. 326, 341.—Mounier, ibid., 62,75.
[25. ]Etienne Dumont, 145.—Correspondence between Comte de Mirabeau and Comte de la Marck.
[26. ]“Procédure criminelle du Châtelet,” Deposition 148.—Roux and Buchez, iii. 67, 65. (Narrative of Desmoulins, article of Loustalot.) Mercure de France, number for September 5, 1789. “Sunday evening, August 30, at the Palais-Royal, the expulsion of several deputies of every class was demanded, and especially some of those from Dauphiny. . . . They spoke of bringing the King to Paris as well as the Dauphin. All virtuous citizens, every incorruptible patriot, was exhorted to set out immediately for Versailles.”
[27. ]These acts of violence were not reprisals; nothing of the kind took place at the banquet of the body-guards (October 1st). “Amidst the general joy,” says an eye-witness, “I heard no insults against the National Assembly, nor against the popular party, nor against anybody. The only cries were ‘Vive le Roi! Vive la Reine! We will defend them to the death!’ ” (Madame de Larochejacquelein, p. 40. Ibid. Madame Campan, another eye-witness.) It appears to be certain, however, that the younger members of the National Guard at Versailles turned their cockades so as to be like other people, and it is also probable that some of the ladies distributed white cockades. The rest is a story made up before and after the event to justify the insurrection. Cf. Leroi, “Histoire de Versailles,” ii. 20–107. Ibid. p. 141. “As to that proscription of the national cockade, all witnesses deny it.” The originator of the calumny is Gorsas, editor of the Courrier de Versailles.
[28. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 88, 110, 120, 126, 127, 140, 146, 148.—Marmontel, “Mémoires,” a conversation with Champfort, in May, 1789.—Morellet, “Mémoires,” i. 398. (According to the evidence of Garat, Champfort gave all his savings, 3,000 livres, to defray the expenses of manoeuvres of this description.)—Malouet (ii. 2) knew four of the deputies “who took direct part in this transaction.”
[29. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” 1st. On the Flemish soldiers. Depositions 17, 20, 24, 35, 87, 89, 98.—2nd. On the men disguised as women. Depositions 5, 10, 14, 44, 49, 59, 60, 110, 120, 139, 145, 146, 148. The prosecutor designates six of them to be seized.—3rd. On the condition of the women of the expedition. Depositions 35, 83, 91, 98, 146, and 24.—4th. On the money distributed. Depositions 49, 56, 71, 82, 110, 126.
[30. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Deposition 61. “During the night scenes, not very decent, occurred among these people, which the witness thought it useless to relate.”
[31. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 35, 44, 81.—Roux and Buchez, iii. 120. (Procès-verbal of the Commune, October 5th.) Journal de Paris, October 12th. A few days after, M. Pic, clerk of the prosecutor, brought “a package of 100,000 francs which he had saved from the enemies’ hands,” and another package of notes was found thrown, in the hubbub, into a receipt-box.
[32. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 61, 77, 81, 148, 154.—Dumont, 181.—Mounier, “Exposé justificatif,” passim.
[33. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Deposition 168. The witness sees on leaving the King’s apartment “several women dressed as fish-dealers, one of whom, with a pretty face, has a paper in her hand, and who exclaims as she holds it up, ‘Heh! we forced him to sign.’ ”
[34. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 89, 91, 98. “Promising all, even raising their petticoats before them.”
[35. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 9, 20, 24, 30, 49, 61, 82, 115, 149, 155.
[36. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 7, 30, 35, 40.—Cf. Lafayette, “Mémoires,” and Madame Campan, “Mémoires.”
[37. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Deposition 24. A number of butcher-boys run after the carriages issuing from the Petite-Ecurie shouting out, “Don’t let the curs escape!”
[38. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 101, 91, 89, and 17. M. de Miomandre, a body-guard, mildly says to the ruffians mounting the staircase: “My friends, you love your King, and yet you come to annoy him even in his palace!”
[39. ]Malonet, II. 2. “I felt no distrust,” says Lafayette in 1798; “the people promised to remain quiet.”
[40. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 9, 16, 60, 128, 129, 130, 139, 158, 168, 170. M. du Repaire, body-guard, being sentry at the railing from two o’clock in the morning, a man passes his pike through the bars saying, “You embroidered ——, your turn will come before long.” M. du Repaire, “retires within the sentry-box without saying a word to this man, considering the orders that have been issued not to act.”
[41. ]“Procédure Criminelle du Châtelet.” Depositions 82, 170.—Madame Campan, ii. 87.—De Lavalette, i. 33.—Cf. Bertrand de Molleville, “Mémoires.”
[42. ]Duval, “Souvenirs de la Terreur,” i. 78. (Doubtful in almost everything, but here he is an eye-witness. He dined opposite the hair-dresser’s, near the railing of the Park of Saint-Cloud.) M. de Lally-Tollendal’s second letter to a friend. “At the moment the King entered his capital with two bishops of his council with him in the carriage, the cry was heard, “Off to the lantern with the bishops!”
[43. ]De Montlosier, I. 303.—Moniteur, sessions of the 8th, 9th, and 10th of October.—Malouet, ii. 9, 10, 20.—Mounier, “Recherches sur les Causes, etc.,” and “Addresse aux Dauphinois.”
[44. ]De Ferrières, i. 346. (On the 9th of October, 300 members have already taken their passports.) Mercure de France, No. of the 17th October. Correspondence of Mirabeau and M. de la Marck, i. 116, 126, 364.
[45. ]Correspondence of Mirabeau and M. de la Marck, i. 175. (The words of Monsieur to M. de la Marck.)