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CHAPTER VI - Hippolyte Taine, The French Revolution, vol. 2 
The French Revolution, 3 vols., trans. John Durand, (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002). Vol. 2.
Part of: The French Revolution, 3 vols.
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The Departments—I.Provence in 1792—Early supremacy of the Jacobins in Marseilles—Composition of the party—The club and the municipality—Expulsion of the Ernest regiment—II.The expedition to Aix—The regiment disarms—The Directory driven out—Pressure on the new Directory—III.The Constitutionalists of Arles—The Marseilles expedition against Arles—Excesses committed by them in the town and its vicinity—Invasion of Apt, the club and its volunteers—IV.The Jacobins of Avignon—How they obtain recruits—Their robberies in the Comtat—The Avignon municipality in flight or in prison—Murder of Lécuyer and the Glacière massacre—Entry of the murderers, supported by their Marseilles allies—Jacobin dictatorship in Vaucluse and the Bouches-du-Rhône—V.Other departments—Uniform process of the Jacobin conquest—Preconceived formation of a Jacobin State.
If we would see the first complete planting of the revolutionary tree, we must observe it in the department of the Bouches-du-Rhône; nowhere was it so precocious, nowhere were local circumstances and native temperament so well adapted to hastening its growth.—“A torrid sky, climatic extremes, an arid soil, rocks, … wasting rivers, torrents either dry or bursting their banks,” blinding dust, nerves irritated by steady northern blasts or by the intermittent gusts of the sirocco; a sensual race, choleric and impetuous, with no intellectual or moral ballast, in which the mixture of Celt and Latin has destroyed the humane suavity of the Celt and the serious earnestness of the Roman; “complete, powerful, rugged, and restless men,”1 and yet gay, spontaneous, eloquent, dupes of their own bombast, suddenly carried away by a flow of words and superficial enthusiasm; their principal city numbering 120,000 souls, in which commercial and maritime risks foster innovating and adventurous spirits; in which the sight of suddenly-acquired fortunes expended on sensual enjoyments constantly undermines all stability of character; in which politics, like speculation, is a lottery offering its prizes to audacity; besides all this, a free port and a rendezvous for nomadic interlopers, vagabonds, persons without fixed callings,2 the lawless, bullies, and blackguards, who, like uprooted, decaying seaweed, drift from coast to coast the entire circle of the Mediterranean sea; a veritable sink filled with the dregs of twenty corrupt and semi-barbarous civilisations, where the froth of crime cast forth from the prisons of Genoa, Piedmont, Sicily, indeed, of all Italy, of Spain, of the Archipelago, and of Barbary, accumulates and ferments;3 no wonder that, in such a time, the reign of the populace should be established there sooner than elsewhere.4 —After many an explosion, this reign is inaugurated August 17, 1790, by the removal of M. Lieutaud, a sort of bourgeois, moderate Lafayette, who commands the National Guard. Around him rally a majority of the population, all men “honest or not, who have anything to lose.” After he is driven out, then proscribed, then imprisoned, they resign themselves, and Marseilles belongs to the low class, consisting of 40,000 needy adventurers of which the club is the leader.
The better to ensure their empire, the municipality, one month after the expulsion of M. Lieutaud, declared every citizen “active” who had any trade or profession;5 the consequence is that vagabonds attend the meetings of the sections in contempt of constitutional law. As an offset to this, property-owners and commercial men withdrew from them, which was wise on their part, for the usual demagogical machinery is set in motion without delay. “Each section-assembly is composed of a dozen factious spirits, members of the club, who drive out honest people by displaying cudgels and bayonets. The proceedings are arranged beforehand at the club, in concert with the municipality, and woe to him who refuses to adopt them at the meeting! They go so far as to threaten citizens who wish to make any remarks with instant burial in the cellars under the churches.”6 The argument proved irresistible: “the worthiest and most numerous class is so frightened and so timid” that not one of the oppressed dare attend these meetings, unless protected by public force. “More than 80,000 inhabitants do not sleep tranquilly,” while political rights generally are vested in “five or six hundred individuals,” legally disqualified. Behind them marches the armed rabble, “the horde of brigands without a country,”7 always ready for plundering, murder, and hanging. In front of them march the local authorities, who, elected through their influence, carry on the administration under their guidance. Patrons and clients, members of the club and its satellites, they form a league which plays the part of a sovereign State, scarcely recognising, even in words, the authority of the central government.8 The decree by which the National Assembly gives full power to the Commissioners to re-establish order is denounced as plébéicide; these conscientious and cautious moderators are qualified as “dictators”; they are denounced in circular letters to all the municipalities of the department, and to all Jacobin clubs throughout the kingdom;9 the club is somewhat disposed to go to Aix to cut off their heads and send them in a trunk to the president of the National Assembly, with a threat that the same penalty awaits himself and all the deputies if they do not revoke their recent decrees; a few days after this, four sections draw up an act before a notary, stating the measures they had taken towards sending an army of 6,000 men from Marseilles to Aix, to get rid of the three intruders. The com missioners dare not enter Marseilles, where “gibbets are ready for them, and a price set on their heads.” It is as much as they can do to rescue from the faction M. Lieutaud and his friends, who, accused of lèse-nation, confined without a shadow of proof, treated like mad dogs, put in chains,10 shut up in privies and holes, and obliged to drink their own urine for lack of water, impelled by despair to the brink of suicide, barely escape murder a dozen times in the court-room and in prison.11 Against the decree of the National Assembly ordering their release, the municipality makes reclamations, contrives delays, resists, and finally stirs up its usual instruments. Just as the prisoners are about to be released a crowd of “armed persons without uniform or officer,” constantly increased “by vagabonds and foreigners,” gathers on the heights overlooking the Palais de Justice, and makes ready to fire on M. Lieutaud. Summoned to proclaim martial law, the municipality refuses, declaring that “the general detestation of the accused is too manifest”; it demands the return of the Swiss regiment to its barracks, and that the prisoners remain where they are; the only thing which it grants them is a secret permission to escape, as if they were guilty; they, accordingly, steal away clandestinely and in disguise.12 —The Swiss regiment, however, which prevents the magistrates from violating the law, must pay for its insolence, and, as it is incorruptible, they conclude to drive it out of the town. For four months the municipality multiplies against it every kind of annoyance,13 and, on the 16th of October, 1791, the Jacobins provoke a row in the theatre against its officers. The same night, outside the theatre, four of these are assailed by armed bands; the post to which they retreat is nearly taken by assault; they are led to a prison for safety, and there they still remain five days afterwards, “although their innocence is admitted.” Meanwhile, to ensure “public tranquillity,” the municipality has required the commander of the post to immediately replace the Swiss Guard with National Guards on all the military posts; the latter yields to force, while the useless regiment, insulted and threatened, has nothing to do but to pack off.14 This being done, the new municipality, still more Jacobin than the old one,15 separates Marseilles from France, erects the city into a marauding republican government, gets up expeditions, levies contributions, forms alliances, and undertakes an armed conquest of the department.
The first thing is to lay its hand on the capital, Aix, where the Swiss regiment is stationed in garrison and where the superior authorities are installed. This operation is the more necessary inasmuch as the Directory of the department loudly commends the loyalty of the Swiss Guard and takes occasion to remind the Marseilles municipality of the respect due to the law. Such a remonstrance is an insult, and the municipality, in a haughty tone, calls upon the Directory to avow or disavow its letter; “if you did not write it, it is a foul report which it is our duty to examine into, and if you did, it is a declaration of war made by you against Marseilles.”16 The Directory, in polite terms and with great circumspection, affirms both its right and its utterance, and remarks that “the pro-rata list of taxes of Marseilles for 1791 is not yet reported”; that the municipality is much more concerned with saving the State than with paying its contribution and, in short, it maintains its censure.—If it will not bend it must break, and on the 4th of February, 1792, the municipality sends Barbaroux, its secretary, to Paris, that he may palliate the outrages for which they are preparing. During the night of the 25–26, the drums beat the general alarm, and three or four thousand men gather and march to Aix with six pieces of cannon. As a precaution they pretend to have no leaders, no captains or lieutenants or even corporals; to quote them, all are equal, all volunteers, each being summoned by the other; in this fashion, as all are responsible, no one is.17 They reach Aix at eleven o’clock in the forenoon, find a gate open through the connivance of those in league with them among the populace of the town and its suburbs, and summon the municipality to surrender the sentinels. In the mean time their emissaries have announced in the neighboring villages that the town was menaced by the Swiss regiment; consequently four hundred men from Aubagne arrive in haste, while from hour to hour the National Guards from the surrounding villages likewise rush in. The streets are full of armed men; shouts arise and the tumult increases; the municipal body, in the universal panic, loses its wits. This body is afraid of a nocturnal fight “between troops of the line, citizens, National Guards and armed strangers, no one being able to recognise one another or know who is an enemy.” It sends back a detachment of three hundred and fifty Swiss Guards, which the Directory had ordered to its support, and consigns the regiment to its quarters.—At this the Directory takes to flight. Military sentinels of all kinds are disarmed while the Marseilles throng, turning its advantages to account, announces to the municipality at two o’clock in the morning that, “allow it or not” it is going to attack the barracks immediately; in fact, cannon are planted, a few shots are fired, a sentinel killed, and the hemmed-in regiment is compelled to evacuate the town, the men without their guns and the officers without their swords. Their arms are stolen, the people seize the suspected, the lantern is hauled down and the noose is made ready. Cayol, the flower-girl, is hung. The municipality, with great difficulty, saves one man who is already lifted by the rope two feet from the ground, and obtains for three others “a temporary refuge” in prison.
Henceforth there is no authority at the department head-quarters, or rather it has changed hands. Another Directory, more pliable, is installed in the place of the fugitive Directory. Of the thirty-six administrators who form the Council only twelve are present at the election. Of the nine elected only six consent to sit, while often only three are found at its sessions, which three, to recruit their colleagues, are obliged to pay them.18 Hence, notwithstanding their position is the best in the department, they are worse treated and more unfortunate than their servants outside. The delegates of the club, with the municipal officers of Marseilles seated alongside of them, oblige them either to keep silent, or to utter what they dictate to them.19 “Our arms are tied,” writes one of them, “we are wholly under the yoke” of these intruders. “We have twice in succession seen more than three hundred men, many of them with guns and pistols, enter the hall and threaten us with death if we refused them what they asked. We have seen infuriate motionnaires, nearly all belonging to Avignon, mount the desks of the Directory, harangue their comrades and excite them to rioting and crime.” “You must decide between life or death,” they exclaimed to us, “you have only a quarter of an hour to choose.” “National guards have offered their sabres through the windows, left open on account of the extreme heat, to those around us and made signs to them to cut our throats.”—Thus fashioned, reduced and drilled, the Directory is simply an instrument in the hands of the Marseilles demagogues. Camoïn, Bertin and Rebecqui, the worst agitators and usurpers, rule there without control. Rebecqui and Bertin, appointed delegates in connection with matters in Arles, have themselves empowered to call for defensive troops; they immediately demand them for attack, to which the Directory vainly remonstrates; they declare to it that “not being under its inspection, it has no authority over them; being independent of it, they have no orders to receive from it nor to render to it any account of their conduct.” So much the worse for the Directory on attempting to revoke their powers. Bertin informs its vice-president that, if it dares do this he will cut off his head. They reply to the Minister’s observations with the utmost insolence.20 They glory in the boldness of the stroke and prepare another, their march on Aix being only the first halt in the long-meditated campaign which involves the possession of Arles.
No city, indeed, is more odious to them.—For two years, led or pushed on by its mayor, M. d’Antonelle, it has marched along with them or been dragged along in their wake. D’Antonelle, an ultra-revolutionist, repeatedly visited and personally encouraged the bandits of Avignon. To supply them with cannon and ammunition he stripped the Tour St. Louis of its artillery, at the risk of abandoning the mouths of the Rhone to the Barbary corsairs.21 In concert with his allies of the Comtat, the Marseilles club, and his tools taken from the neighboring boroughs, he rules in Arles “by terror,” while three hundred men recruited in the vicinity of the Mint, mechanics or sailors with strong arms and hard hands, serve him as satellites. On the 6th of June 1791, they drive away, on their own authority, the unsworn priests, who had taken refuge in the town.22 —At this, however, the “property-owners and honest folks,” much more numerous and for a long time highly indignant, raise their heads; twelve hundred of them, assembled in the church of Saint-Honorat, “swore to maintain the constitution and public tranquillity,”23 and betook themselves to the club, where, in conformity with its by-laws, they force their way in en masse, as national guards and active citizens. At the same time, acting in concert with the municipality, they reorganise the National Guard and form fresh companies, the effect of which is to put an end to the Mint band, thus depriving the faction of all its strength. Thenceforth, without violence or illegal acts, the majority of the club, as well as of the National Guard, consists of constitutional monarchists, the elections of November, 1791, giving to the partisans of order nearly all the administrative offices of the commune and of the district. M. Loys, a physician and a man of energy, is elected mayor in the place of M. d’Antonelle; he is known as able to suppress a riot, “holding martial law in one hand, and his sabre in the other.”—This is more than can be endured. “To atone for the disgrace of having founded it,” Marseilles has now to bring Arles under subjection.24 In this land of ancient cities political hostility is tinctured with old municipal animosities, similar to those of Thebes against Plataea, of Rome against Veii, of Florence against Pisa. The Guelphs of Marseilles brooded over the one idea of crush ing the Ghibellins of Arles.—Already, in the electoral assembly of November, 1791, M. d’Antonelle, the president, had invited the communes of the department to take up arms against this anti-jacobin city;25 six hundred Marseilles volunteers set out on the instant, install themselves at Salon, seize the syndic-attorney of the inimical district, and refuse to give him up, this being an advance-guard of 4,000 men promised by the forty or fifty clubs of the party.26 To arrest their operations requires the orders of the three commissioners, resolutions passed by the Directory still intact, royal proclamations, a decree of the Constituent Assembly, the firmness of the still loyal troops and the firmer stand taken by the Arlesians who, putting down an insurrection of the Mint band, had repaired their ramparts, cut away their bridges and mounted guard with their guns loaded.27 But it is only a postponement. Now that the commissioners have gone, and the king’s authority a phantom, now that the last loyal regiment is disarmed, the terrified Directory recast and obeying like a servant, with the Legislative Assembly allowing everywhere the oppression of the Constitutionalists by the Jacobins, a fresh Jacobin expedition may be started against the Constitutionalists with impunity, and ac cordingly, on the 23d of March, 1792, the Marseilles army of 4,500 men sets out on its march with nineteen pieces of cannon.
In vain the commissioners of the neighboring departments, sent by the Minister, represent to them that Arles submits, that she has laid down her arms, and that the town is now garrisoned with troops of the line—the Marseilles army requires the withdrawal of this garrison.—In vain the garrison departs. Rebecqui and his acolytes reply that “nothing will divert them from their enterprise; they cannot defer to anybody’s decision but their own in relation to any precaution tending to ensure the safety of the southern departments.”—In vain the Minister renews his injunctions and counter-orders. The Directory replies with a flagrant falsehood, stating that it is ignorant of the affair and refuses to give the government any assistance.—In vain M. de Wittgenstein, commander-in-chief in the south, offers his services to the Directory to repel the invaders. The Directory forbids him to take his troops into the territory of the department.28 —Meanwhile, on the 29th of March, the Marseilles army effects a breach with its cannon in the walls of defenceless Arles; its fortifications are demolished and a tax of 1,400,000 francs is levied on the owners of property. In contempt of the National Assembly’s decree the Mint band, the longshoremen, the whole of the vilest class again take up their arms and tyrannise over the disarmed population. Although “the King’s commissioner and most of the judges have fled, jury examinations are instituted against absentees,” the juries consisting of the members of the Mint band.29 The conquerors imprison, smite and slaughter as they please. Countless peaceable individuals are struck down and mauled, dragged to prison and many of them are mortally wounded; one old soldier, eighty years of age, for three months on the retired list in his country home, dies after twenty days’ confinement in a dungeon, from a blow received in the stomach by a gun-stock; women are flogged; “all citizens that are at all interested in the execution of the laws,” nearly four thousand families, have emigrated; their houses in town and in the country are pillaged, while in the surrounding boroughs, along the road leading from Arles to Marseilles, the villains forming the kernel of the Marseilles army, rove about and gorge themselves as in a vanquished country.30
They eat and drink voraciously, break into clothes-presses, carry off linen and food, steal horses and valuables, break furniture to pieces, tear up books, and burn papers.31 All this is the just punishment of aristocrats. Moreover, it is no more than right that patriots should be indemnified for their toil, and a few blows too many are not out of place in securing the rule of the right party.—For example, on the false report of order being disturbed at Château-Renard, Bertin and Rebecqui send off a detachment of men, while the municipal body in uniform, followed by the National Guard, with music and flags, comes forth to meet and salute it. Without uttering a word of warning, the Marseilles troop falls upon the cortége, strikes down the flags, disarms the National Guard, tears the epaulettes off the officers’ shoulders, drags the mayor to the ground by his scarf, pursues the counsellors, sword in hand, puts the mayor and syndic-attorney in arrest, and, during the night, sacks four dwellings, the whole under the direction of three Jacobins of the place under indictment for recent crimes or misdemeanors. Henceforth at Château-Renard they will look twice before subjecting patriots to indictment.32 —At Vélaux “the country house of the late seignior is sacked, and everything is carried away, even to the tiles and window-glass.” A troop of two hundred men “over-run the village, levy contributions, and put all citizens who are well-off under bonds for considerable sums.” Camoïn, the Marseilles chief, one of the new department administrators, who is in the neighborhood, lays his hand on everything that is fit to be taken, and, a few days after this, 30,000 francs are found in his carpet-bag.—These examples, under this natural inspiration, are followed by others, and the commotion spreads. In every borough or petty town the club profits by these acts to satiate its ambition, its greed, and its hatred. That of Apt appeals to its neighbors, whereupon 1,500 National Guards of Gordes, St. Saturnin, Gouls and Lacoste, with a thousand women and children supplied with clubs and scythes, arrive one morning before the town. On being asked by whose orders they come in this fashion, they reply, “by the orders which their patriotism has given them.” “The fanatics,” or partisans of the sworn priests, “are the cause of their journey”; the result is, “they want lodgings at the expense of the fanatics only,” which involves for the latter and for the town three days’ sojourn, at a cost of 20,000 francs.33 They begin by breaking everything in the church of the Récollets, and wall up its doors. They then expel unsworn ecclesiastics from the town, and disarm their partisans. The club of Apt, which is the sole authority, remains in session three days: “the municipal bodies in the vicinity appear before it, apologise for themselves, protest their civism, and ask as a favor that no detachment be sent to their places. Individuals are sent for to be interrogated”; several are proscribed, among whom are administrators, members of the court, and the syndic-attorney. A number of citizens have fled—the town is purged, while the same purging is pursued in numbers of places in and out of the district.34 It is, indeed, attractive business. It empties the purses of the ill-disposed, and fills the stomachs of patriots; it is agreeable to be well entertained, and especially at the expense of one’s adversaries; the Jacobin is quite content to save the country through a round of feastings. Moreover, he has the satisfaction of playing king among his neighbors, and not only do they feed him for doing them this service, but, again, they pay him for it.35 —All this is enlivening, and the expedition, which is a “sabbat,” ends in a carnival. Of the two Marseilles divisions, one, led back to Aix, sets down to “a grand patriotic feast,” and then dances fandangoes, of which “the principal one is led off by the mayor and commandant”;36 the other makes its entry into Avignon the same day, with still greater pomp and jollity.
Such another nest of brigands does not exist in all France. It is not owing to a more savage jacquerie here, produced by a greater degree of misery; on the contrary, the Comtat, before the Revolution, was a land flowing with milk and honey. There was no taxation by the Pope; the taxes were very light, and were expended on the spot. “For one or two sols, one here could have meat, bread, and wine.”37 But, under the mild and corrupt administration of the Italian legates, the country had become “the safe asylum of all the rogues in France, Italy, and Genoa, who by means of a trifling sum paid to the Pope’s agents, obtained protection and immunity.” Smugglers and receivers abounded here in order to break through the lines of the French customs. “Bands of robbers and assassins were formed, which the vigorous measures of the parliaments of Aix and Grenoble could not wholly extirpate. Idlers, libertines, professional gamblers,”38 kept-sigisbés, intriguers, parasites, and adventurers, elbow men with branded shoulders, the veterans of vice and crime, “the scapegraces of the Toulon and Marseilles galleys.” Ferocity here is hidden in debauchery, like a serpent hidden in its own slime, the opportunity being only needed to transform this haunt of licentiousness into a den of cut-throats.
The Jacobin leaders, Tournal, Rovère, the two Duprats, the two Mainvielles, and Lécuyer, readily obtain recruits in this sink.—At first, aided by the rabble of the town and of its purlieus, peasants hating the octroi, vagabonds opposed to order of any kind, porters and watermen armed with scythes, turnspits and clubs, they excite seven or eight riots, drive off the legate, force the Councils to resign, hang the chiefs of the National Guard and of the conservative party,39 and take possession of the municipal offices.—After this their band increases to the dimensions of an army, which, with license for its countersign and pillage for its pay, is the same as that of Tilly and Wallenstein, “a veritable roving Sodom, at which the ancient city would have stood aghast.” Out of 3,000 men, only 200 belong in Avignon; the rest are composed of French deserters, smugglers, fugitives from justice, vagrant foreigners, marauders and malefactors, who, scenting a prey, come from afar, and even from Paris;40 along with them march the women belonging to them, still more foul and sanguinary. In order to make it perfectly plain that with them murder and robbery are the order of the day, they massacred their first general, Patrix, guilty of having released a prisoner, and elected in his place an old highway tramp named Jourdan, condemned to death by the court at Valence, but who had escaped on the eve of his execution, and who bore the nickname of Coupe-tête, because he is said to have cut off the heads at Versailles of two of the King’s guards.41 —Under such a commander the troop increases until it forms a body of five or six thousand men, which stops people in the streets and forcibly enrolls them; they are called Mandrins,42 which is severe for Mandrin, because their war is not merely on public persons and property, as his was, but on the possessions, the proprieties, and the lives of private individuals. One detachment alone, at one time, extorts in Cavaillon 25,000 francs, in Baume 12,000, in Aubignon 15,000, in Pioline 4,800, while Caumont is taxed 2,000 francs a week. At Sarrians, where the mayor gives them the keys, they pillage houses from top to bottom, carry off their plunder in carts, set fire, violate and slay with all the refinements of torture of so many Hurons. An old lady of eighty, and a paralytic, is shot at arms length, and left weltering in her blood in the midst of the flames. A child five years of age is cut in two, its mother decapitated, and its sister mutilated; they cut off the ears of the curé, set them on his brow like a cockade, and then cut his throat, along with that of a pig, and tear out the two hearts and dance around them.43 After this, for fifty days around Carpentras, to which they lay siege in vain, the unprovoked, cruel instincts of the chauffeurs manifested at a later date, the anthropophagous desires which sometimes reappear in convicts, and the perverted and over-strained sensuality found in maniacs, have full play.
On beholding the monster it has nourished, Avignon, in alarm, utters cries of distress.44 But the brute, which feels its strength, turns against its former abettors, shows its teeth, and exacts its daily food. Ruined or not, Avignon must furnish its quota. “In the electoral assembly, Mainvielle the younger, elected elector, although he is only twenty-two, draws two pistols from his belt and struts around with a threatening air.”45 Duprat, the president, the better to master his colleagues, proposes to them to leave Avignon and go to Sorgues, which they refuse to do; upon this he orders cannon to be brought, promises to pay those who will accompany him, drags along the timid, and denounces the rest before an upper national court, of which he himself has designated the members. Twenty of the electors thus denounced are condemned and proscribed; Duprat threatens to enter by force and have them executed on the spot, and, under his leadership, the army of Mandrins advances against Avignon.—Its progress is arrested, and, for two months, restrained by the two mediating commissioners for France; they reduce its numbers, and it is on the point of being disbanded, when the brute again boldly seizes its prey, about to make its escape. On the 21st of August, Jourdan, with his herd of miscreants, obtains possession of the palace. The municipal body is driven out, the mayor escapes in disguise, Tissot, the secretary, is cut down, four municipal officers and forty other persons are thrown into prison, while a number of houses belonging to the fugitives and to priests are pillaged, and thus supply the bandits with their first financial returns.46 —Then begins the great fiscal operation which is going to fill their pockets. Five men of straw, chosen by Duprat and his associates, compose, with Lécuyer as secretary, a provisional municipal body, which, taxing the town 300,000 francs and suppressing the convents, offers the spoils of the churches for sale. The bells are taken down, and the hammers of the workmen engaged in breaking them to pieces are heard all day long. A strong-box full of plate, diamonds, and gold crosses, left with the director of the Mont-de-Piété, on deposit, is taken and carried off to the commune; a report is spread that the valuables pawned by the poor had been stolen by the municipality, and that those “robbers had already sent away eighteen trunks full of them.” Upon this the women, exasperated at the bare walls of the churches, together with the laborers in want of work or bread, all the common class, become furious, assemble of their own accord in the church of the Cordeliers, summon Lécuyer to appear before them, drag him from the pulpit and massacre him.47
This time there seems to be an end of the brigand party, for the entire town, the populace and the better class, are against them, while the peasants in the country shoot them down wherever they come across them.—Terror, however, supplies the place of numbers, and, with the 350 bravos still left to them, the extreme Jacobins undertake to overcome a city of 30,000 souls. Mainvielle the elder, dragging along two cannon, arrives with a patrol, fires at a venture into the already semi-abandoned church, and kills two men. Duprat assembles about thirty of the townspeople, imprisoned by him on the 31st of August, and, in addition to these, about forty mechanics belonging to the Catholic brotherhoods, porters, bakers, coopers, and day-laborers, two peasants, a beggar, a few women seized haphazard and on vague denunciations, one of them, “because she spoke ill of Madame Mainvielle.” Jourdan supplies the executioners; the apothecary Mende, brother-in-law of Duprat, plies them with liquor, while a clerk of Tournal, the newsman, bids them “kill all, so that there shall be no witnesses left.” Whereupon, at the reiterated orders of Mainvielle, Tournal, Duprat, and Jourdan, with accompaniments of indescribable lubricity,48 the massacre develops itself on the 16th of October and following days, during sixty-six hours, the victims being a couple of priests, three children, an old man of eighty, thirteen women, two of whom are pregnant, in all, sixty-one persons, butchered, felled to the ground, and then cast on top of each other into the Glacière hole, a mother on the body of her infant, a son on the body of his father, the hole being filled up with stones and covered over with quicklime on account of the odor.49 In the mean time about a hundred more, killed in the streets, are pitched into the Sorgues canal; five hundred families take to flight. The scattered bandits return in a body, while the assassins who are at the head of them, enthroned by murder, organise for the benefit of their new band a legal system of brigandage, against which nobody defends himself.50
These are the friends of the Jacobins of Arles and Marseilles, the men of good-standing before whom M. d’Antonelle appears and makes a speech in the cathedral at Avignon.51 These are the pure patriots, who, with their hands in the till and their feet in gore, caught in the act by a French army, the mask torn off through a scrupulous investigation, universally condemned by the emancipated electors, also by the deliberate verdict of the new mediating commissioners,52 are comprehended in the amnesty proclaimed by the Legislative Assembly a month before their last crime.—The sovereigns of the Bouches-du-Rhône, however, do not regard the release of their friends and allies as a favor; something more than pardon and forgetfulness must be awarded to the murderers of the Glacière. On the 29th of April, 1792, Rebecqui and Bertin, the vanquishers of Arles, enter Avignon53 along with a cortége, at the head of which are from thirty to forty of the principal murderers whom the Legislative Assembly itself had ordered to be recommitted to prison, Duprat, Mainvielle, Tournal, Mende, then Jourdan in the uniform of a commanding general crowned with laurel and seated on a white horse, and lastly, the dames Duprat, Mainvielle and Tournal, in dashing style, standing on a sort of triumphal chariot; during the procession the cry is heard, “The Glacière will be full this time!”—On their approach the public functionaries fly; twelve hundred persons abandon the town. Forthwith each terrorist, under the protection of the Marseilles bayonets, resumes his office, like a man at the head of his household. Raphel, the former judge, along with his clerk, both with warrants of arrest against them, publicly officiate, while the relatives of the poor victims slain on the 16th of October, and the witnesses that appeared on the trial, are threatened in the streets; one of them is killed, and Jourdan, king of the department for an entire year, begins over again on a grand scale, at the head of the National Guard, and afterwards of the police body, the same performance which, on a small scale, he pursued under the ancient régime, when, with a dozen “armed and mounted” brigands, he traversed the highways, forced open lonely houses at night, and, in one château alone, stole 24,000 francs.
Thus is the Jacobin conquest effected. Up to the 17th of April, 1792, through acts of violence almost equal to those we have just described, it spreads over more than twenty departments and, through less aggravated ones, over the other sixty.54 The composition of the parties is the same everywhere. On one side are the irresponsible of all conditions, “dissipators who, having consumed their own patrimony, cannot tolerate that of another, men without property to whom disorder is a door open to wealth and public office, the envious, the ungrateful whose obligations to their benefactors a day of revolution cancels, the hot-headed, all those enthusiastic innovators who preach reason with a dagger in their hand, the indigent, the brutal and the wretched of the lower class who, possessed by one leading anarchical idea, one example of immunity, with the law dumb and the sword in the scabbard, are stimulated to dare all things.” On the other side are the steady-going, peaceable class, minding their own business, commonplace in mind and sensibilities, “enervated by the habits arising from security and from constant contentment, surprised at any unforeseen disturbance and trying to find out what the matter is, separated from each other by diversity of interests, opposing only tact and caution to persevering audacity in defiance of legitimate means, unable either to make up their mind or to remain inactive, perplexed over sacrifices just at the time when the enemy is going to render it impossible to make any in the future, in a word, bringing effeminacy and egoism to bear against the passions in their greatest freedom, against fierce poverty and hardened immorality.”55 —The issue of the conflict is everywhere the same. In each town or canton an aggressive squad of unscrupulous fanatics and resolute adventurers imposes its rule over a sheep-like majority which, accustomed to the regularity of an old civilization, dares neither disturb order for the sake of putting an end to disorder, or get together a mob to put down another mob.—Everywhere the Jacobin principle is the same. “Your system,” says one of the department Directories to them,56 “is to act imperturbably on all occasions, even after a constitution is established, and the limitations to power are fixed, as if the empire would always be in a state of insurrection, as if you were clothed with a dictatorship essential for the city’s salvation, as if you were clothed with full power in the name of public safety.”—Everywhere are Jacobin tactics the same. At the outset they assume to have a monopoly of patriotism and, through the brutal destruction of other clubs, they are the only visible organ of public opinion. The voice of their coterie, accordingly, seems to be the voice of the people; their control is established on that of the legal authories; they have taken the lead through persistent and irresistible encroachments; their usurpation is consecrated by exemption from punishment.
“Among all the agents, good or bad, constituted or not constituted, that alone governs which is inviolable. Now, the club, for a long time, has been too much accustomed to domineering, to annoying, to persecuting, to wreaking vengeance, for any local administration to regard it in any other light than as inviolable.”57 It accordingly governs and its indirect influence is promptly transformed into direct authority.—Voting alone, or almost alone, in the primary meetings, which are deserted or under constraint, the Jacobins easily choose the municipal body and the officers of the National Guard.58 After this, through the mayor, who is their tool or their accomplice, they have the legal right to launch or arrest the entire armed force and they avail themselves of it.—Two obstacles still stand in their way. On the one hand, however conciliatory or timid the Directory of the district or department may be, elected as it is by electors of the second degree, it usually contains a fair proportion of well-informed men, comfortably off, interested in keeping order, and less inclined than the municipality to put up with gross violations of the law. Consequently they denounce it to the National Assembly as an unpatriotic and anti-revolutionary centre of “bourgeoise aristocracy.” Sometimes, as at Brest,59 they shame fully disobey orders which are perfectly legal and proper, often repeated and strictly formal; afterward, still more shamefully, they demand of the Minister if, “placed in the cruel alternative of giving offence to the hierarchy of powers, or of leaving the commonwealth in danger, they ought to hesitate.” Sometimes, as at Arras, they impose themselves illegally on the Directory in session and browbeat it so insolently as to make it a point of honor with the latter to solicit its own suspension.60 Sometimes, as at Figeac, they summon an administrator to their bar, keep him standing three-quarters of an hour, seize his papers and oblige him, for fear of something worse, to leave the town.61 Sometimes, as at Auch, they invade the Directory’s chambers, seize the administrators by the throat, pound them with their fists and clubs, drag the president by the hair, and, after a good deal of trouble, grant him his life.62 —On the other hand, the gendarmerie and the troops brought for the suppression of riots, are always in the way of those who stir up the rioters. Consequently, they expel, corrupt and, especially, purify the gendarmerie together with the troops. At Cahors they drive out a brigadier of the gendarmerie, “alleging that he keeps company with none but aristocrats.”63 At Toulouse, without mentioning the lieutenant-colonel, whose life they threaten by anonymous letters and oblige to leave the town, they transfer the whole corps to another district under the pretence that “its principles are adverse to the Constitution.”64 At Auch, and at Rennes, through the insubordination which they provoke among the men, they extort resignations from their officers. At Perpignan, by means of a riot which they foment, they seize, beat and drag to prison, the commandant and staff whom they accuse “of wanting to bombard the town with five pounds of powder.”65 —Meanwhile, through the jacquerie, which they let loose from the Dordogne to Aveyron, from Cantal to the Pyrenees and the Var, under the pretence of punishing the relatives of émigrés and the abettors of unsworn priests, they create an army of their own made up of robbers and the needy who, in anticipation of the exploits of the coming revolutionary army, freely kill, burn, pillage, ransom and prey at large on the defenceless flock of proprietors of every class and degree.66
In this operation each club has its neighbors for allies, offering to them or receiving from them offers of men and money. That of Caen tenders its assistance to the Bayeux association for hunting out unsworn priests, and to help the patriots of the place “to rid themselves of the tyranny of their administrators.”67 That of Besançon declares the three administrative bodies of Strasbourg “unworthy of the confidence with which they have been honored,” and openly enters into a league with all the clubs of the Upper and Lower Rhine, to set free a Jacobin arrested as a fomenter of insurrections.68 Those of the Puy-de-Dôme and neighboring departments depute to and establish at Clermont a central club of direction and propagandism.69 Those of the Bouches-du-Rhône treat with the commissioners of the departments of Drôme, Gard, and Hérault, to watch the Spanish frontier, and send delegates of their own to see to the state of the fortifications of Figuières.70 —There is no recourse to the criminal tribunals. In forty departments, these are not yet installed; in the forty-three others, they are cowed, silent, or lack money and men to enforce their decisions.71
Such is the foundation of the Jacobin State, a confederation of twelve hundred oligarchies, which manoeuvre their proletariat clients in obedience to the word of command despatched from Paris. It is a complete, organized, active State, with its central government, its armed force, its official journal, its regular correspondence, its declared policy, its established authority, and its representative and local agents; the latter are actual administrators alongside of administrations which are abolished, or athwart administrations which are brought under subjection.—In vain do the latest ministers, good clerks and honest men, try to fulfill their duties; their injunctions and remonstrances are only so much waste paper.72 They resign in despair, declaring that, “in this overthrow of all order, … in the present weakness of the public forces, and in the degradation of the constituted authorities, … it is impossible for them to maintain the life and energy of the vast body, the members of which are paralysed.”—When the roots of a tree are laid bare, it is easy to cut it down; now that the Jacobins have severed them, a push on the trunk suffices to bring the tree to the ground.
[1. ]De Loménie, “Les Mirabeaus,” I. 11 (letter of the Marquis de Mirabeau).
[2. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 7,171, No. 7,915. Report on the situation in Marseilles, by Miollis, commissioner of the Directory in the department, year V. Nivôse 15. “A good many strangers from France and Italy are attracted there by the lust of gain, a love of pleasure, the want of work, a desire to escape from the effects of ill conduct. … Individuals of both sexes and of every age, with no ties of country or kindred, with no profession, no opinions, pressed by daily necessities that are multiplied by debauched habits, seeking to indulge these without much application, the means for this being formerly found in the many manual operations of commerce, astray during the Revolution and, subsequently, through fear of the dominant party, accustomed unfortunately at that time to receiving pay for taking part in political strife, and now reduced to living on almost gratuitous distributions of food, to dealing in small wares, to the menial occupations which chance rarely presents—in short, to swindling. Such is what the observer finds in that portion of the population of Marseilles most in sight; eager to profit by whatever occurs, easily won over, active through its necessities, flocking everywhere, and appearing very numerous. … The patriot Escalon had twenty rations a day; Féri, the journalist, had six, etc. … Civil officers and district commissioners still belong, for the most part, to that class of men which the Revolution had accustomed to live without work, to making those who shared their principles the beneficiaries of the nation’s favors, and finally, to receiving contributions from gambling hells and brothels. These commissioners give notice to exclusives, and even blacklegs, when warrants against them are to be enforced.”
[3. ]Blanc-Gilly, “Réveil d’alarme d’un député de Marseilles” (cited in the “Memoirs” of Barbaroux, 40, 41). Blanc-Gilly must have been acquainted with these characters, inasmuch as he made use of them in the August riot, 1789, and for which he was indicted.—Cf. Fabre, “Histoire de Marseilles,” II. 422.
[4. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,197. Correspondence of Messrs. Debourge, Gay, and Laffite, commissioners sent to Provence to restore order in accordance with an act of the National Assembly. Letter of May 10, 1791, and passim.
[5. ]Mayor Martin, says Juste, was a sort of Pétion, weak and vain.—Barbaroux, clerk of the municipality, is the principal opponent of M. Lieutaud.—The municipal decree referred to is dated Sept. 10, 1790.
[6. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,197. Letters of three commissioners, April 13, 17, 18, and May 10, 1791.
[7. ]Blanc-Gilly, “Réveil d’Alarme.” Ibid., “Every time that the national guard marched outside the city walls, the horde of homeless brigands never failed to close up in their rear and carry devastation wherever they went.”
[8. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,197. Correspondence of the three commissioners, letter of May 10, 1791. “The municipality of Marseilles obeys only the decrees it pleases, and, for eighteen months, has not paid a cent into the city treasury.”—Proclamation of April 13.—Letters of April 13 and 18.
[9. ]“Archives Nationales,” letter of the municipal officers of Marseilles to the minister, June 11, 1791.—They demand the recall of the three commissioners, one of their arguments being as follows: “In China, every mandarin against whom public opinion is excited is dismissed from his place; he is regarded as an ignorant instructor, who is incapable of gaining the love of children for their parent.”
[10. ]“Archives Nationales,” letter of the commissioners, May 25, 1791. “It is evident, on recording the proceedings at Aix and Marseilles, that only the accusers and the judges were guilty.”—Petition of the prisoners, Feb. 1. “The municipality, in despair of our innocence, and not knowing how to justify its conduct, is trying to buy up witnesses. They say openly that it is better to sacrifice one innocent man than disgrace a whole body. Such are the speeches of the sieur Rebecqui, leading man, and of Madame Elliou, wife of a municipal officer, in the house of the sieur Rousset.”
[11. ]Letter of M. Lieutaud to the commissioners, May 11 and 18, 1791. “If I have not fallen under the assassin’s dagger, I owe my preservation to your strict orders and to the good behavior of the national guard and the regular troops. … At the hearing of the case to-day, the prosecutor on the part of the commune ventured to threaten the court with popular opinion and its avenging fury. … The people, stirred up against us, and brought there, shouted, ‘Let us seize Lieutaud and take him there by force, and if he will not go up the steps, we will cut his head off!’ The hall leading to the court-room and the stairways were filled with barefooted vagabonds.”—Letter of Cabrol, commander of the national guard, and of the municipal officers to the commissioners, May 21. “That picket-guard of fifty men on the great square, is it not rather the cause of a riot than the means of preventing one? A requisition to send four national guards inside the prison, to remain there day and night, is it not insulting citizen soldiers, whose function it is to see that the laws are maintained, and not to do jail duty?”
[12. ]Letter of M. d’Olivier, lieutenant-colonel of the Ernest regiment, May 28.—Extracts from the papers of the secretary to the municipality, May 28 (Barbaroux is the clerk).—Letter of the commissioners, May 29.
[13. ]Letter of the commissioners, June 29.
[14. ]Letter of M. Laroque-Dourdan, naval commander at Marseilles, Oct. 18, 1791 (in relation to the departure of the Swiss regiment). “All property-owners tremble at this change.”
[15. ]The elections are held on the 13th of November, 1791. Martin, the former mayor, showed timidity, and Mouraille was elected in his place.
[16. ]Letter (printed) of the Directory to the Minister of War, Jan. 4, 1792.—Letter of the municipality of Marseilles to the Directory, Jan. 4, and the Directory’s reply.—Barbaroux, “Mémoires,” 19.—Here we see the part played by Barbaroux at Marseilles. Guadet played a similar part at Bordeaux. This early political period is essential for a comprehension of the Girondists.
[17. ]F7, 3,195. Official report of the municipality of Aix (on the events of Feb. 26). March 1.—Letter of M. Villardy, president of the directory, dated Avignon, March 10. (He barely escaped assassination at Aix.)—Ibid., F7, 3,196. Report of the district administrators of Arles, Feb. 28 (according to private letters from Aix and Marseilles).—Barbaroux, “Mémoires” (collection of Berville and Barrière), 106. (Narrative of M. de Watteville, major in the Ernest regiment. Ibid., 108 (Memorial of M. de Barbantane, commanding general). These two documents show the liberalism, want of vigor, and the usual indecision of the superior authorities, especially the military authorities.—Mercure de France, March 24, 1792 (letters from Aix).
[18. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,196. Despatches of the new Directory to the Minister, March 24 and April 4, 1792. “Since the departure of the Directory, our administrative assembly is composed of only six members, notwithstanding our repeated summons to every member of the Council. … Only three members of the Council consent to act with us; the reason is a lack of pecuniary means.” The new Directory, consequently, passes a resolution to indemnify members of the Council. This, indeed, is contrary to a royal proclamation of Jan. 15; but “this proclamation was wrested from the King, on account of his firm faith. You must be aware that, in a free nation, the influence of a citizen on his government must not be estimated by his fortune; such a principle is false, and destructive of equality of rights. We trust that the King will consent to revoke his proclamation.”
[19. ]Letters of Borelly, vice-president of the Directory, to the Minister, April 10, 17, and 30, 1792.—Letter from another administrator, March 10. “They absolutely want us to march against Arles, and to force us to give the order.”—Ibid., F7, 3,195. Letters from Aix, March 13 and 16, addressed to M. Verdet.
[20. ]Letter of the administrators of the department Council to the Minister, March 10. “The Council of the administration is surprised, sir, at the false impressions given you of the city of Marseilles; it should be regarded as the patriotic buckler of the department. … If the people of Paris did not wait for orders to destroy the Bastille and begin the Revolution, can you wonder that in this fiery climate the impatience of good citizens should make them anticipate legal orders, or that they cannot comply with the slow forms of justice when their personal safety and the safety of the country is in peril?”
[21. ]F7, 3,197. Despatches of the three commissioners, passim, and especially those of May 11, June 10 and 19, 1791 (on affairs in Arles). “The property-owners were a long time subject to oppression. A few of the factions maintained a reign of terror over honest folks, who trembled in secret.”
[22. ]Despatch of the commissioners, June 19: “One of the Mint gang causes notes to be publicly distributed (addressed to the unsworn) in these words: ‘If you do not “skedaddle” (using a parallel Americanism—Tr.), you will have to deal with the Mint Company.’ ”
[23. ]F7, 3,198. Narration (printed) of what occurred at Arles, June 9 and 10, 1791.—Despatch of M. Ripert, royal commissioner, Aug. 5, 1791.—F7, 3,197. Despatch of the three commissioners, June 19. “Since then, many of the farm laborers have taken the same oath. This class of citizens is that which most eagerly desires a return to order.”—Other despatches from the same, Oct. 24 and 29, and Dec. 14, 1791. Cf. “The French Revolution,” I. 301, 302.
[24. ]F7, 3,196. Despatch of the members of the Directory of Arles and the municipal officers to the Minister, March 3, 1792 (with a printed diatribe of the Marseilles municipality).
[25. ]F7, 3,198. Despatches of the procureur-syndic of the department to the Minister, Aix, Sept. 14, 15, 20, and 23, 1791. The electoral assembly declared itself permanent, the constitutional authorities being fettered and unrecognised.—Despatch of the members of the military bureau and correspondence with the Minister, Arles, Sept. 17, 1791.
[26. ]Despatch of the commandant of the Marseilles detachment to the Directory of the department, Sept. 22, 1791: “I feel that our proceedings are not exactly legal, but I thought it prudent to acquiesce in the general desire of the battalion.”
[27. ]Official report of the municipal officers of Arles on the insurrection of the Mint band, Sept. 2, 1791.—Despatch of Ripert, royal commissioner, Oct. 2 and 8.—Letter of M. d’Antonelle, to the Friends of the Constitution, Sept. 22. “I cannot believe in the counter-orders with which we are threatened. Such a decision in the present crisis would be too inhuman and dangerous. Our co-workers, who have had the courage to devote themselves to the new law, would be deprived of their bread and shelter. … The king’s proclamation has all the appearance of having been hastily prepared, and every sign of having been secured unawares.”
[28. ]De Dammartin (an eye-witness), II. 60–70.—“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,196.—Despatch of the two delegated commissioners to the Minister, Nismes, March 25, 1792.—Letter of M. Wittgenstein to the Directory of the Bouches-du-Rhône, April 4, 1792.—Reply and act passed by the Directory, April 5.—Report of Bertin and Rebecqui to the administrators of the department, April 3.—Moniteur, XII. 379. Report of the Minister of the Interior to the National Assembly, April 4.
[29. ]Moniteur, XII. 80, 81 (session of May 16). Petition of M. Fossin, deputy from Arles.—“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,196. Petition of the Arlesians to the Minister, June 28.—Despatches of M. Lombard, provisional royal commissioner, Arles, July 6 and 10. “Neither persons nor property have been respected for three months by those who wear the mask of patriotism.”
[30. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,196. Letter of M. Borelly, vice-president of the Directory, to the Minister, Aix, April 30, 1792. “The course pursued by the sieurs Bertin and Rebecqui is the cause of all the disorders committed in these unhappy districts. … Their sole object is to levy contributions, as they did at Arles, to enrich themselves and render the Comtat-Venaisson desolate.”
[31. ]“Archives Nationales,” deposition of one of the keepers of the sieur Coye, a proprietor at Mouriez-les-Baux, April 4.—Petition of Peyre, notary at Maussane, April 7.—Statement by Manson, a resident of Mouriez-les-Baux, March 27.—Petition of Andrieu, March 30.—Letter of the municipality of Maussane, April 4: “They watch for a favorable opportunity to devastate property and especially country villas.”
[32. ]Claim of the national guard presented to the district administrators of Tarascon by the national guard of Château-Renard, April 6.—Petition of Juliat d’Eyguières, district administrator of Tarascon, April 2 (in relation to a requisition of 30,000 francs by Camoïn on the commune of Eyguières).—Letter of M. Borelly, April 30. “Bertin and Rebecqui have openly protected the infamous Camoïn, and have set him free.”—Moniteur, XII. 408. Petition of M. Fossin, deputy from Arles.
[33. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,195. Despatch of M. Mérard, royal commissioner at the district court of Apt, Apt, March 15, 1792 (with official report of the Apt municipality and debates of the district, March 13).—Letter of M. Guillebert, syndic-attorney of the district, March 5. (He has fled.)—Despatches of the district Directory, March 23 and 28. “It must not be supposed for a moment that either the court or the juge-de-paix will take the least notice of this circumstance. One step in this direction would, in a week, bring 10,000 men on our hands.”
[34. ]Letter of the district Directory of Apt, March 28. “On the 26th of March 600 armed men, belonging to the communes of Apt, Viens, Rustrel, etc., betook themselves to St.-Martin-de-Castillon and, under the pretence of restoring order, taxed the inhabitants, lodging and feeding themselves at their charge.”—The expeditions extend even to the neighboring departments, one of them, March 23, going to Sault, near Forcalquier, in the Upper-Alps.
[35. ]F7, 3,195. On the demand of a number of petitioning soldiers who went to Arles on the 22d of March, 1792, the department administration passes an act (September, 1793) granting them each forty-five francs indemnity. There are 1,916 of them, which makes 86,200 francs “assessed on the goods and property of individuals for the authors, abettors, and those guilty of the disturbances occasioned by the party of Chiffonists in the commune of Arles.” The municipality of Arles designates fifty-one individuals, who pay the 86,200 livres, plus 2,785 francs exchange, and 300 francs for the cost of sojourn and delays.—Petition of the ransomed, Nov. 21, 1792.
[36. ]F7, 3,165. Official report of the Directory on the events which occurred in Aix, April 27, 28, and 29, 1792.
[37. ]Michelet, “Histoire de la Révolution Française,” III. 56 (according to the narratives of aged peasants).—Mercure de France, April 30, 1791 (letter from an inhabitant of the Comtat).—All public dues put together (octrois and interest on the debt) did not go beyond 800,000 francs for 126,684 inhabitants. On the contrary, united with France, it would pay 3,793,000 francs.—André, “Histoire de la Révolution Avignonaise,” I. 61.—The Comtat possessed representative institutions, an armed general assembly, composed of three bishops, the elected representative of the nobility, and thirteen consuls of the leading towns.—Mercure de France, Oct. 15, 1791 (letter from a Comtadin).—There were no bodies of militia in the Comtat; the privileges of nobles were of little account. Nobody had the exclusive right to hunt or fish, while people without property could own guns and hunt anywhere.
[38. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,273. Letter of M. Pelet de la Lozère, prefect of Vaucluse, to the Minister, year VIII. Germinal 30.—Ibid., DXXIV. 3. Letter of M. Mulot, one of the mediating commissioners, to the Minister, Oct. 10, 1791. “What a country you have sent me to! It is the land of duplicity. Italianism has struck its roots deep here, and I fear that they are very lively.”
[39. ]The details of these occurrences may be found in André and in Soulier, “Histoire de la Révolution Avignonaise.” The murder of their seven principal opponents, gentlemen, priests, and artisans, took place June 11, 1790.—“Archives Nationales,” DXXIV. 3. The starting-point of the riots is the hostility of the Jansenist Camus, deputy to the Constituent Assembly. Several letters, beginning with April, 1790, may be found in this file, addressed to him from the leading Jacobins of Avignon, Mainvielle, Raphel, Richard, and the rest, and among others the following (July, 1790): “Do not abandon your work, we entreat you. You, sir, were the first to inspire us with a desire to be free and to demand our right to unite with a generous nation, from which we have been severed by fraud.”—As to the political means and enticements, these are always the same. Cf., for instance, this letter of a protégé, in Avignon, of Camus, addressed to him July 13, 1791: “I have just obtained from the commune the use of a room inside the Palace, where I can carry on my tavern business. … My fortune is based on your kindness. … What a distance between you and myself!”
[40. ]“Archives Nationales,” DXXIV. 3. Report on the events of Oct. 10, 1791.—Ibid., F7, 3,197. Letter of the three commissioners to the municipality of Avignon, April 21, and to the Minister, May 14, 1791. “The deputies of Orange certify that there were at least 500 French deserters in the Avignon army.”—In the same reports, May 21 and June 8: “It is not to be admitted that enrolled brigands should establish in a small territory, surrounded by France on all sides, the most dangerous school of brigandage that ever disgraced or preyed upon the human species.”—Letter of M. Villardy, president of the Directory of the Bouches-du-Rhône May 21. “More than two millions of the national property is exposed to pillage and total destruction by the new Mandrins who devastate this unfortunate country.”—Letter of Méglé, recruiting sergeant of the La Mark regiment, arrested along with two of his comrades. “The corps of Mandrins which arrested us set us at liberty. … We were arrested because we refused to join them, and on our refusal we were daily threatened with the gallows.”
[41. ]Mortimer-Ternaux, I. 379 (note on Jourdan, by Faure, deputy).—Barbaroux, “Mémoires” (Ed. Dauban), 392. “After the death of Patrix a general had to be elected. Nobody wanted the place in an army that had just shown so great a lack of discipline. Jourdan arose and declared that he was ready to accept the position. No reply was made. He nominated himself, and asked the soldiers if they wanted him for general. One drunkard is agreeable to others; they applauded him, and he was thus proclaimed.”
[42. ]After a famous brigand in Dauphiny, named Mandrin.—Tr.
[43. ]Cf. André, passim, and Soulier, passim.—Mercure de France, June 4, 1791.—“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,197. Letter of Madame de Gabrielli, March 14, 1791. (Her house is pillaged Jan. 10, and she and her maid escape by the roof.)—Report of the municipal officers of Tarascon, May 22. “The troop which has entered the district pillages everything it can lay its hands on.”—Letter of the syndic-attorney of Orange, May 22. “Last Wednesday, a little girl ten years of age, on her way from Châteauneuf to Courtheson, was violated by one of them, and the poor child is almost dead.”—Despatch of the three commissioners to the Minister, May 21. “It is now fully proved by men who are perfectly reliable that the pretended patriots, said to have acted so gloriously at Sarrians, are cannibals equally execrated both at Avignon and Carpentras.”
[44. ]“Archives Nationales,” letter of the Directory of the Bouches-du-Rhône, May 21, 1791.—Deliberations of the Avignon municipality, associated with the notables and the military committee, May 15: “The enormous expense attending the pay and food for the detachments … forced contributions. … What is most revolting is, that those who are charged with the duty arbitrarily tax the inhabitants, according as they are deemed bad or good patriots. … Themunicipality, the military committee, and the club of the Friends of the Constitution dared to make a protest: the proscription against them is their recompense for their attachment to the French constitution.”
[45. ]Letter of M. Boulet, formerly physician in the French military hospitals and member of the electoral assembly, May 21.
[46. ]“Archives Nationales,” DXXIV. 16–23, No. 3. Narrative of what took place yesterday, August 21, in the town of Avignon.—Letters by the mayor, Richard, and two others, Aug. 21.—Letter to the president of the National Assembly, Aug. 22 (with five signatures, in the name of 200 families that had taken refuge in the Ile de la Bartelasse).
[47. ]“Archives Nationales,” DXXIV. 3.—Letter of M. Laverne, for M. Canonge, keeper of the Mont-de-Piété. (The electoral assembly of Vaucluse and the juge-de-paix had forbidden him to give this box into any other hands.)—Letters of M. Mulot, mediating commissioner, Gentilly les Sorgues, Oct. 14, 15, 16, 1791.—Letter of M. Laverne, mayor, and the municipal officers, Avignon, Jan. 6, 1792.—Statement of events occurring at Avignon, Oct. 16, 17, and 18 (without a signature, but written at once on the spot).—Official report of the provisional administrators of Avignon, Oct. 16.—Certified copy of the notice found posted in Avignon in different places this day, Oct. 16 (probably written by one of the women of the lower class, and showing what the popular feeling was).—A letter written to M. Mulot, Oct. 13, already contains this phrase: “Finally, however little the delay in stopping their robberies and pillagings, misery and the miserable will still remain.”—Testimony of Joseph Sauton, a chasseur in the paid guard of Avignon, Oct. 17 (an eye-witness of what passed at the Cordeliers).
[48. ]André, II. 62. Deposition of la Ratapiole.—Death of the girl Ayme and of Mesdames Niel and Crouzet.—De Dammartin, II. 2.
[49. ]“Archives Nationales,” Ibid., report on the events of Oct. 16. “Two sworn priests were killed, which proves that a counter-revolution had nothing to do with it. … Six of the municipal officers were assassinated. They had been elected according to the terms of the decree; they were the fruit of the popular will at the outbreak of the Revolution; they were accordingly patriots.”—Buchez et Roux, XII. 420.—Official report of the commune of Avignon, on the events of Oct. 16.
[50. ]“Archives Nationales,” DXXIV. 3. Despatches of the civil commissioners deputed by France (Messrs. Beauregard, Lecesne, and Champion) to the Minister, Jan. 8, 1792. (A long and admirable letter, in which the difference between the two parties is exhibited, supported by facts, in refutation of the calumnies of Duprat. The oppressed party is composed not of royalists, but of constitutionalists.)
[51. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,177. Despatches of the three commissioners, April 27, May 4, 18, and 21.
[52. ]Three hundred and thirty-five witnesses testified during the trial.—De Dammartin, I. 266. Entry of the French army into Avignon, Nov. 16, 1791. “All who were rich, except a very small number, had taken flight or perished. The best houses were all empty or closed.”—Elections for a new municipality were held Nov. 26, 1791. Out of 2,287 active citizens, Mayor Levieux de Laverne obtains 2,227 votes, while the municipal officer lowest on the list, has 1,800. All are constitutionalists and conservatives.
[53. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,196. Official report of Augier and Fabre, administrators of the Bouches-du-Rhône, Avignon, May 11, 1792.—Moniteur, XII. 313. Report of the Minister of Justice, May 5.—XII. 324. Petition of forty inhabitants of Avignon, May 7.—XII. 334. Official report of Pinet, commissioner of the Drôme, sent to Avignon.—XII. 354 Report of M. Chassaignac and other papers, May 10.—XI. 741 Letter of the civil commissioners, also of the Avignon municipality, March 23.
[54. ]“The French Revolution,” Vol. I. pp. 344–352, on the sixth jacquerie, everywhere managed by the Jacobins. Two or three traits show its spirit and course of action. (“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,202. Letter of the Directory of the district of Aurillac, March 27, 1792, with official reports.) “On the 20th of March, about forty brigands, calling themselves patriots and friends of the constitution, force honest and worthy but very poor citizens in nine or ten of the houses of Capelle-Viscamp to give them money, generally five francs each person, and sometimes ten, twenty, and forty francs.” Others tear down or pillage the châteaux of Rouesque, Rode, Marcolès, and Vitrac and drag the municipal officers along with them. “We, the mayor and municipal officers of the parish of Vitrac, held a meeting yesterday, March 22, following the example of our neighboring parishes on the occasion of the demolition of the châteaux. We marched at the head of our national guard and that of Salvetat to the said château. We began by hoisting the national flag and to demolish. … The national guard of Boisset, eating and drinking without stint, entered the château and behaved in the most brutal manner; for whatever they found in their way, whether clocks, mirrors, doors, clothes-presses, and finally documents, all were made way with. They even sent off forty of the men to a patriotic village in the vicinity. They forced the inmates of every house to give them money, and those who refused were threatened with death.” Besides this the national guard of Boisset carried off the furniture of the château.—There is something burlesque in the conflicts of the municipalities with the Jacobin expeditions (letter of the municipal officers of Cottines to the Directory of St. Louis, March 26). “We are very glad to inform you that there is a crowd in our parish, amongst which are many belonging to neighboring parishes: and that they have visited the house of sieur Tossy and a sum of money of which we do not know the amount is demanded, and that they will not leave without that sum so that they can have something to live on, these people being assembled solely to maintain the constitution and give greater éclat to the law.”
[55. ]Mercure de France, numbers for Jan. 1 and 14, 1792 (articles by Mallet-Dupan).—“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,185, 3,186. Letter of the president of the district of Laon (Aisne) to the Minister, Feb. 8, 1792: “With respect to the nobles and priests, any mention of them as trying to sow discord among us is to desire to be frightened. All they ask is tranquillity and the regular payment of their pensions.”—De Dammartin, II. 63 (on the evacuation of Arles, April, 1792). On the illegal approach of the Marseilles army, M. de Dammartin, military commander, orders the Arlesians to rise in a body. Nobody comes forward. Wives hide away their husbands’ guns in the night. Only one hundred volunteers are found to act with the regular troops.
[56. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,224. Speech of M. St. Amans, vice-president of the Directory of Lot-et-Garonne, to the mayor of Tonneins, April 20; letter of the syndic-attorney-general to M. Roland, minister, April 22: “According to the principles of the mayor of Tonneins, all resistance to him is aristocratic, his doctrine being that all property-owners are aristocrats. You can readily perceive, sir, that he is not one of them.”—Dubois, formerly a Benedictine and now a Protestant minister.—Act of the Directory against the municipality of Tonneins, April 13. The latter appeals to the Legislative Assembly. The mayor and one of the municipal counsellors appear in its name (May 19) at the bar of the Assembly.
[57. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7 3,198. Letter of M. Debourges, one of the three commissioners sent by the National Assembly and the king, Nov. 2, 1791 (apropos of the Marseilles club). “This club has quite recently obtained from the Directory of the department, on the most contemptible allegation, an order requiring of M. de Coincy, lieutenant-general at Toulon, to send the admirable Ernest regiment out of Marseilles, and M. de Coincy has yielded.”
[58. ]For instance (Guillon de Montléon, “Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de Lyon,” I. 109), the general in command of the national guard of this large town in 1792 is Juillard, a poor silk-weaver of the faubourg of the Grande Côte, a former soldier.
[59. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,215, affair of Plabennec (very curious, showing the tyrannical spirit of the Jacobins and the good disposition at bottom of the Catholic peasantry).—The commune of Brest despatches against that of Plabennec 400 men, with two cannon and commissioners chosen by the club.—Innumerable documents, among them: Petition of 150 active citizens of Brest, May 16, 1791. Deliberations of the council-general and commune of Brest, May 17. Letter of the Directory of the district, May 17 (very eloquent). Deliberations of the municipality of Plabennec, May 20. Letter of the municipality of Brest to the Minister, May 21. Deliberations of the department Directory, June 13.
[60. ]Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 376 (session of the Directory of the Pas-du-Calais, July 4, 1792). The petition, signed by 127 inhabitants of Arras, is presented to the Directory by Robespierre the younger and Geoffroy. The administrators are treated as impostors, conspirators, etc., while the president, listening to these refinements, says to his colleagues: “Gentlemen, let us sit down; we can attend to insults sitting as well as standing.”
[61. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7 3,223. Letter of M. Valéry, syndic-attorney of the department, April 4, 1792.
[62. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,220. Extract from the deliberations of the department Directory and letter to the king, Jan. 28, 1792.—Letter of M. Lafiteau, president of the Directory, Jan. 30. (The mob is composed of from five to six hundred persons. The president is wounded on the forehead by a sword-cut and obliged to leave the town.) Feb. 20, following this, a deputy of the department denounces the Directory as unpatriotic.
[63. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,223. Letter of M. de Riolle, colonel of the gendarmerie, Jan. 19, 1792.—“One hundred members of the club Friends of Liberty” come and request the brigadier’s discharge. On the following day, after a meeting of the same club, “four hundred persons betake themselves to the barracks to send off or exterminate the brigadier.”
[64. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,219. Letter of M. Sainfal, Toulouse, March 4, 1792.—Letter of the department Directory, March 14.
[65. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,229. Letter of M. de Narbonne, minister, to his colleague M. Cahier, Feb. 3, 1792.—“The municipality of Auch has persuaded the under-officers and soldiers of the 1st battalion that their chiefs were making preparation to withdraw.”—The same with the municipality and club of the Navarreins. “All the officers except three have been obliged to leave and send in their resignations.”—F7, 3,225. The same to the same, March 8.—The municipality of Rennes orders, the arrest of Col. de Savignac, and four other officers. Mercure de France, Feb. 18, 1792. De Dammartin, I. 230; II. 70 (affairs of Landau, Lanterbourg, and Avignon).
[66. ]“The French Revolution,” I. 344 and following pages. Many other facts could be added to those cited in this volume.—“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,219. Letter of M. Neil, administrator of Haute-Garonne, Feb. 27, 1792. “The constitutional priests and the club of the canton of Montestruc suggested to the inhabitants that all the abettors of unsworn priests and of aristocrats should be put to ransom and laid under contribution.”—Cf.7, 3,193, (Aveyron), F7, 3,271 (Tarn), etc.
[67. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,200. Letter of the syndic-attorney of Bayeux, May 14, 1792, and letter of the Bayeux Directory, May 21. “The clubs should be schools of patriotism; they have become the terror of it. If this scandalous struggle against the law and legitimate authority does not soon cease liberty, a constitution, and safeguards for the French people will no longer exist.”
[68. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,253. Letters of the Directory of the Bas-Rhin, April 26, 1792, and of Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg, May 8. (The Strasbourg club had publicly invited the citizens to take up arms, “to vigorously pursue priests and administrators.”)—Letter of the Besançon club to M. Dietrich, May 3. “If the Constitution depended on the patriotism or the perfidy of a few magistrates in one department, like that of the Bas-Rhin, for instance, we might pay you some attention, and all the freemen of the empire would then stoop to crush you.”—Therefore the Jacobin clubs of the Upper and Lower Rhine send three deputies to the Paris club.
[69. ]Moniteur, XII. 558, May 19, 1792. “Letter addressed through patriotic journalists to all clubs of the Friends of the Constitution by the patriotic central society, formed at Clermont-Ferrand.” (There is the same centralisation between Lyons and Bordeaux.)
[70. ]“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,198. Report of Commissioners Bertin and Rebecqui, April 3, 1792.—Cf. Dumouriez, book II. ch. v. The club at Nantes wants to send commissioners to inspect the foundries of the Ile d’Indrette.
[71. ]Moniteur, X. 420. Report of M. Cahier, Minister of the Interior, Feb. 18, 1792. “In all the departments freedom of worship has been more or less violated. … Those who hold power are cited before the tribunals of the people as their enemies.”—On the radical and increasing powerlessness of the King and his ministers, Cf. Moniteur, XI. 11 (Dec. 31, 1791), letter of the Minister of Finances.—XII. 200 (April 23, 1792), report of the Minister of the Interior.—XIII. 53 (July 4, 1792), letter of the Minister of Justice.
[72. ]Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 369. Letter of the Directory of the Basses-Pyrénées, June 25, 1792.—“Archives Nationales,” F7, 3,200. Letter of the Directory of Calvados to the Minister of the Interior, Aug. 3. “We are not agents of the king or his ministers.”—Moniteur, XIII. 103. Declaration of M. de Joly, minister, in the name of his colleagues (session of July 10, 1792).