The French Revolution, Volume 2 The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3
Hippolyte A. Taine

Part 10 out of 10

[153] Buchez et Roux, XXVII. 357. Official reports of the commune,
June 1.

[154] Meillan, 53, 58, 307. Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 14 (Précis, by

[155] Buchez et Roux, XXVII 359. Official reports of the commune, June
1. "One member of the Council stated that on going to the Beaurepaire
section he was not well received; that the president of this section
spoke uncivilly to him and took him for an imaginary municipalist;
that he was threatened with the lock-up, and that his liberty was
solely due to the brave citizens of the Sans-culottes section and the
gunners of the Beaurepaire section who went with him." --
Preparations for the investment began on the 1st of June. ("Archives
Nationales," F7, 2497, official reports of the Droits de l'Homme
section, June 1.) Orders of Henriot to the commandant of the section
to send "400 homme et la compagnie de canonier avec le 2 pièces de
canon au Carouzel le long des Thuilerie plasse de la Révolution."

[156] "Lanjuinais states 100,000 men, Meillan 50,000; the deputies of
the Somme say 60,000, but without any evidence. Judging by various
indications I should put the number much lower, on account of the
disarmament and absentees: say 30,000 men, the same as May 31.

[157] Mortimer-Ternaux, VII. 566. Letter of the deputy Loiseau: "I
passed through the whole of one battalion; the men all said that they
did not know why the movement was made, that only their officers
knew." (June 1.)

[158] Buchez et Roux, XXVII. 400. Session of the Convention, June 2. -
- XXVIII. 43 (report by Saladin).

[159] Mortimer-Ternaux, VII. 392. Official report of the Jacobin Club,
June 2 "The deputies were so surrounded as not to be able to go out
even for special purposes." -- Ibid., 568 Letter of the deputy

[160] Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 44. Report by Saladin. -- Meillan, 237.
-- Mortimer-Ternaux VII. 547. Declaration of the deputies of the

[161] Meillan, 52. -- Pétion, "Mémoires," 109 (Edition Dauban). --
Lanjuinais ("Fragment") -- "Nearly all those called Girondists
thought it best to stay away." -- Letter of Vergniaud June 3 (in the
Republican Français, June 5, 1793). "I left the Assembly yesterday
between 1 and 2 o'clock."

[162] Lanjuinais, "Fragment," 299.

[163] Buchez et Roux, XXVII. 400.

[164] Robinet, "Le Procès de Danton," 169. Words of Danton (according
to the notes of a juryman, Topino-Lebrun).

[165] Buchez et Roux, XXVII. 44. Report by Saladin. - Meillan, 59. -
Lanjuinais, 308, 310.

[166] Buchez et Roux, XXVII. 401

[167] Mortimer-Ternaux, VII. 569. Letter of the deputy Loiseau. -
Meillan, 62.

[168] Buchez et Roux, XXVI. 341. Speech by Chasles in the Convention,
May 2: "The farmers . . . are nearly all aristocrats."

[169] Or workhouses, see Taine: "Notes on England" page 214: "It is an
English principle that the indigent, by giving up their freedom, have
a right to be supported. Society pays the cost, but shuts them up and
sets them to work. As this condition is repugnant to them, they avoid
the workhouse as much as possible." Similar institutions existed in
France before the revolution. (SR).

[170] Sieyès (quoted by Barante, "Histoire de la Convention," III.
169) thus describes it: "The fake people, the deadliest enemy which
the French people ever had, blocked incessantly the approaches to the
Convention . . . At the entrance or exit of the Convention the
astonished spectator thought that a new invasion of barbarian hordes
had suddenly occurred, a new irruption of voracious, sanguinary
harpies, flocking there to seize hold of the revolution as if it were
the natural prey of their species."

[171] Gouverneur Morris, II. 241. Letter of Oct. 23, 1792. "The
populace - something, thank God, that is unknown in America"" -- He
often insists on this essential characteristic of the French
Revolution. - On this ever-present class, see the accurate and
complete work well supported by facts, of Dr. Lombrose, "L'Uomo

[172] Mortimer-Ternaux, VII. Letter of the deputy Laplaigne, July 6.

[173] Meillan, 51. - Buchez et Roux, XXVII. 356. Official report of
the commune, session of June 1. In the afternoon Marat comes to the
commune, harrangues the council, and gives the insurrection the last
impetus. It is plain that he was chief actor on both these days (June
1 and 2).

[174] Pétion, 116.

[175] Schmidt, I. 370. - Mortimer-Ternaux, VII. 391. Letter of
Marchand, member of the Central Committee. "I saw Chaumette do
everything he could to hinder this glorious revolution, . . .
exclaim, shed tears, and tear his hair." - Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 46.
According to Saladin, Chaumette went so far as to demand Hébert's

[176] Mortimer-Ternaux, VII. 300. - Cf. "Le vieux Cordelier," by C.
Desmoulins, No. 5.

[177] Mallet du Pan, II. 52. (March 8, 1794). - The titular general of
the revolutionary army was Ronsin. "Previous to the Revolution he was
a seedy author earning his living and reputation by working for the
boulevard stalls. . . One day a person informed him that his staff
'was behaving very badly, acting tyrannically in the most outrageous
manner at the theaters and everywhere else, striking women and tearing
their bonnets to pieces. Your men commit rape, pillage, and massacre."
To which he replied; 'Well, what shall I do? I know that they are a
lot of ruffians as well as you do; but those are the follows I need
for my revolutionary army. Find me honest people, if you can, that
will do that business.'" (Prudhomme, "Crimes de la Révolution," V.

[178] Buchez et Roux, XXIX. 152.

[179] Beaulieu, "Essais sur la Révolution," V. 200.

[180] Schmidt, II. 85. Report of Dutard, June 24 (on the review of the
previous evening) 2A sort of low-class artisan who seemed to me to
have been a soldier. . . Apparently he had associated only with
disorderly men; I am sure that he would be found fond of gaming, wine,
women, and everything that denotes a bad character."

[181] Charlotte de Corday d'Armont, 1768 to 1793. Young French girl
who knifed Marat in his bath. Adherent of the Revolution, she
considered Marat as being responsible for the elimination of the
Girondists and the establishment of the terror. She was guillotined.

[182] Lauvergne, "Histoire de la Révolution dans le département du
Var," 176. At Toulon "the spirit of counter-revolution was nothing
else than the sentiment of self-preservation." It was the same thing
at Lyons. (Nolhac, "Souvenir de trois année de la Révolution à Lyon,"
p. 14.)

[183] Gouverneur Morris, II. 395. Letter of Jan. 21, 1794. "Admitting
what has been asserted by persons in a situation to know the truth and
deeply interested to prove the contrary, it is an undoubted truth that
ninety-nine-hundredths are opposed to all ideas of a dismemberment,
and will fight to prevent it.

[184] Mallet du Pan, II. 44.

[185] Carnot, Lazare, Nicolas, 1753-1823, military engineer and
mathematician, member of the committee of public safety, organized
the armies of the republic and their offensive tactics. (SR).

[186] Among other documents, the following letter will show the
quality of these recruits, especially of the recruits of 1791, who
were much the best men. (Letter from the municipal officers of Dorat,
December 28, 1792, "Archives Nationales," F7, 3275.) "The commune of
Dorat is made up of three classes of citizens: The richest class,
composed of persons confirmed in the prejudices of the ancient régime,
has been disarmed. The second, composed of well-to-do people, fills
the administrative positions. It is against them that the fury of the
turbulent is aimed; but those of this class who could make resistance
have gone to fight the enemy abroad. The third class, and the most
numerous, is made up in part of the seditious and in part of laborers,
who, not daring to mix in the revolt, content themselves with coveting
the tax on grain." - Toulongeon, "Histoire de France depuis la
Révolution," IV. 94. "Do not degrade a nation by ascribing base
motives to it and a servile fear. Every one, on the contrary, felt
himself infused by an exalted instinct for the public welfare." -
Gouvion Saint-Cyr, "Mémoires," I. 56: A young man would have blushed
to remain at home when the independence of the nation was threatened.
Each one quitted his studies or his profession.

[187] Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, 26. "The manifesto of Brunswick assigns to
France more than a hundred battalions, which, within three weeks, were
raised, armed, and put in the field."

[188] In respect of these sentiments, cf. Gouvion Saint-Cyr,
"Mémoires, and Fervel, "Campagnes de la Révolution Française dans les
Pyrénées orientales."

[189] Stendhal, Memoires sur Napoléon.

[190] Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, "Memoires," p.43. "Patriotism made up for
everything; it alone gave us victory; it supplied our most pressing


Back to Full Books