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

Part 3 out of 10

of those sacred questioners. Unfortunate man, said he, of what are you
guilty? Of this child, sir; and I have married this woman, who is a
Protestant, and her religion has nothing to do with mine. . . Death or
my wife! Such is the cry that nature now and always will, inspire me
with." - The petitioner receives the honors of the Assembly. - (Ibid.,
XII 369).

[21] The grotesque is often that of a farce. "M. Piorry, in the name
of poor; but virtuous citizens, tenders two pairs of buckles, with
this motto: 'They have served to hold the shoe-straps on my feet; they
will serve to reduce under them, with the imprint and character of
truth, all tyrants leagued against the constitution' (Moniteur, XII.
457, session of May 21)" - Ibid., XIII. 249 (session of July 25). "A
young citoyenne offers to combat, in person, against the enemies of
her country;" and the president, with a gallant air, replies: "Made
rather to soothe, than to combat tyrants, your offer, etc."

[22] Moniteur, XL 576 (session of March 6); XII. 237, 314, 368
(sessions of April 27, May 5 and 14).

[23] Mercure de France. Sept. 19,1791, Feb.11, and March 3, 1792. --
Buchez et Roux, XVI 185 (session of July 26, 1792).

[24] "Mémoires de Mallet du Pan," 1433 (tableau of the three parties,
with special information).

[25] Buchez et Roux, XII. 348 (letter by the deputy Chéron, president
of the Feuillants Club). The deputies of the Legislative Assembly,
registered at the Feuillants Club, number 264 besides a large number
of deputies in the Constituent Assembly. -- According to Mallet du Pan
the so-called Independents number 250.

[26] These figures are verified by decisive ballottings (Mortimer-
Ternauz, II. 205, 348.)

[27] Moniteur, XII. 393 (session of May 15, speech by Isnard): "The
Constituent Assembly only half dared do what it had the power to do.
It has left in the field of liberty, even around the very roots of the
young constitutional tree, the old roots of despotism and of the
aristocracy . . . It has bound us to the trunk of the constitutional
tree, like powerless victims given up to the rage of their enemies." -
- Etienne Dumont saw truly the educational defects peculiar to the
party. He says, apropos of Madame Roland: "I found in her too much of
that distrustful despotism which belongs to ignorance of the world . .
. What her intellectual development lacked was a greater knowledge of
the world and intercourse with men of superior judgment to her own.
Roland himself had little intellectual breadth, while all those who
frequented her house never rose above the prejudices of the vulgar."

[28] "Souvenirs", by PASQUIER (Etienne-Dennis, duc), chancelier de
France. in VI volumes, Librarie Plon, Paris 1893.

[29] Madame de Stael, "Considerations sur la Révolution Française,
IIIrd part, ch. III.-Madame de Staël conversed with them and judges
them according to the shrewd perceptions of a woman of the world.

[30] Louvet, "Mémoires" 32. "I belonged to the bold philosophers who,
before the end of 1791, lamented the fate of a great nation, compelled
to stop half-way in the career of freedom," and, on page 38 -- "A
minister of justice was needed. The four ministers (Roland, Servane,
etc.) "cast their eyes on me. . . Duranthon was preferred to me. This
was the first mistake of the republican party. It paid dear for it.
That mistake cost my country a good deal of blood and many tears."
Later on, he thinks that he has the qualifications for ambassador to

[31] Buzot, "Mémoires" (Ed. Dauban), pp.31, 39. "Born with a proud and
independent spirit which never bowed at any one's command, how could I
accept the idea of a man being held sacred? With my heart and head
possessed by the great beings of the ancient republics, who are the
greatest honor to the human species, I practiced their maxims from my
earliest years, and nourished myself on a study of their virtues. . .
The pretended necessity of a monarchy . . . could not amalgamate, in
my mind, with the grand and noble conceptions formed by me, of the
dignity of the human species. Hope deceived me, it is true, but my
error was too glorious to allow me to repent of it." - Self-
admiration is likewise the mental substratum of Madame Roland, Roland,
Pétion, Barbaroux, Louvet, etc., (see their writings). Mallet du Pan
well says: "On reading the memoirs of Madame Roland, one detects the
actress, rehearsing for the stage. " -- Roland is an administrative
puppet and would-be orator, whose wife pulls the strings. There is an
odd, dull streak in him, peculiarly his own. For example, in 1787
(Guillon de Montléon, "Histoire de la ville de Lyon, pendant la
Révolution," 1.58), he proposes to utilize the dead, by converting
them into oil and phosphoric acid. In 1788, he proposes to the
Villefranche Academy to inquire "whether it would not be to the public
advantage to institute tribunals for trying the dead?" in imitation of
the Egyptians. In his report of Jan. 5, 1792, he gives a plan for
establishing public festivals, "in imitation of the Spartans," and
takes for a motto, Non omnis moriar (Baron de Girardot, "Roland and
Madame Roland". I. 83, 185)

[32] Political club uniting moderate and constitutional monarchists.
They got their nickname because they held their meetings in the old
convent formerly used by the feullants, a branch of Cistercians who,
led by LaBarrière, broke away in 1577. The Feuillant Club was
dissolved in 1791. (SR).

[33] Moniteur, XI. 61 (session of Jan 7, 1792). - Ibid., 204 (Jan.
25); 281 (Feb. 1); 310 (Feb. 4); 318 (Feb. 6); 343 (Feb. 9); 487 (Feb.
26). - XII. 22 (April 2). Reports of all the sessions must be read to
appreciate the force of the pressure. See, especially, the sessions of
April 9 and 16, May 15 and 29, June 8, 9, 15, and 25, July 1, 2, 5, 9,
11, 17, 18, and 21, and, after this date, all the sessions. -
Lacretelle, "Dix Ans d'Epreuves," p. 78-81. "The Legislative Assembly
served under the Jacobin Club while keeping up a counterfeit air of
independence. The progress which fear had made in the French character
was very great, at a time when everything was pitched in the
haughtiest key. . . The majority, as far as intentions go, was for the
conservatives; the actual majority was for the republicans."

[34] Moniteur, XIII. 212, session of July 22.

[35] Moniteur, XII. 22, session of April 2. - Mortimer-Ternaux, II.
95. - Moniteur, XIII. 222, session of July 22.

[36] Lacretelle, "Dix Ans d'Epreuves," 80.

[37] Mathieu Dumas, "Mémoires," II. 88 (Feb. 23). - Hua, "Mémoires"
d'un Avocat au Parliament de Paris," 106, 121, 134, 154. Moniteur,
XIII. 212 (session of July 21), speech by M. --- "The avenues to this
building are daily beset with a horde of people who insult the
representatives of the nation."

[38] De Vaublanc, "Mémoires," 344. - Moniteur, XIII. 368 (letters
and speeches of deputies, session of Aug. 9).

[39] Hua, 115. -- Ibid., 90. 3 out of 4 deputies of Seine-et-Oise were
Jacobins. "We met once a week to talk over the affairs of the
department. We were obliged to drive out the vagabonds who, even at
the table, talked of nothing but killing."

[40] Moniteur, XII. 702. For example, on the 19th of June, 1792, on a
motion unexpectedly proposed by Condorcet, that the departments be
authorized to burn all titles (to nobility) in the various depots. --
Adopted at once, and unanimously.

[41] Later Stalin and his successors should invest the United
Nations and other international organizations to indirectly propose
and ensure the acceptance of a new convention of human rights,
children's rights, the rights of refugees etc. In many cases these
became the base of national legislation which is now giving trouble to
many of the Western democracies. (SR).

[42] Hua, 114.

[43] Moniteur, XII. 664. - Mercure de France, June 23, 1792.

[44] Hua, 141. -- Mathieu Dumas, II. 399: "It is remarkable that
Lafond de Ladébat, one of our trustiest friends, was elected president
on the 23rd of July, 1792. This shows that the majority of the
Assembly was still sound; but it was only brought about by a secret
vote in the choice of candidates. The same men who obeyed their
consciences, through a sentiment of justice and of propriety, could
not face the danger which surrounded them in the threats of the
factions when they were called upon to vote by rising or sitting."

[45] This description and others of the same period have undoubtedly
been studied carefully by thousands of socialists and political
hopefuls who, in any case, made use of similar tactics to take over
thousands of governing committees, institutions and organizations.


Policy of the Assembly. - State of France at the end of 1791. -
Powerlessness of the Law.

If the deputies who, on the 1st of October, 1791, so solemnly and
enthusiastically swore to the Constitution, had been willing to open
their eyes, they would have seen this Constitution constantly
violated, both in its letter and spirit, over the entire territory. As
usual, and through the vanity of authorship, M. Thouret, the last
president of the Constituent Assembly, had, in his final report,
hidden disagreeable truth underneath pompous and delusive phrases; but
it was only necessary to look over the monthly record to see whether,
as guaranteed by him, "the decrees were faithfully executed in all
parts of the empire." -- " Where is this faithful execution to be
found?" inquires Mallet du Pan.[1] "Is it at Toulon, in the midst of
the dead and wounded, shot in the very face of the amazed municipality
and Directory? Is it at Marseilles, where two private individuals are
knocked down and massacred as aristocrats," under the pretext "that
they sold to children poisoned sugar-plums with which to begin a
counter-revolution?" Is it at Arles, "against which 4,000 men from
Marseilles, dispatched by the club, are at this moment marching?" Is
it at Bayeux, "where the sieur Fauchet against whom a warrant for
arrest is out, besides being under the ban of political disability,
has just been elected deputy to the Legislative Assembly?" Is it at
Blois, "where the commandant, doomed to death for having tried to
execute these decrees, is forced to send away a loyal regiment and
submit to licentious troops?" Is it at Nîmes, "where the Dauphiny
regiment, on leaving the town by the Minister's orders, is ordered by
the people" and the club "to disobey the Minister and remain?" Is it
in those regiments whose officers, with pistols at their breasts, are
obliged to leave and give place to amateurs? Is it at Toulouse,
"where, at the end of August, the administrative authorities order all
unsworn priests to leave the town in three days, and withdraw to a
distance of four leagues?" Is it in the outskirts of Toulouse, "where,
on the 28th of August, a municipal officer is hung at a street-lamp
after an affray with guns?" Is it at Paris, where, on the 25th of
September, the Irish college, vainly protected by an international
treaty, has just been assailed by the mob; where Catholics, listening
to the orthodox mass, are driven out and dragged to the authorized
mass in the vicinity; where one woman is torn from the confessional,
and another flogged with all their might?[2]

These troubles, it is said, are transient; on the Constitution being
proclaimed, order will return of itself. Very well, the Constitution
is voted, accepted by the King, proclaimed, and entrusted to the
Legislative Assembly. Let the Legislative Assembly consider what is
done in the first few weeks. In the eight departments that surround
Paris, there are riots on every market-day; farms are invaded and the
cultivators of the soil are ransomed by bands of vagabonds; the mayor
of Melun is riddled with balls and dragged out from the hands of the
mob streaming with blood.[3] At Belfort, a riot for the purpose of
retaining a convoy of coin, and the commissioner of the Upper-Rhine in
danger of death; at Bouxvillers, owners of property attacked by poor
National Guards, and by the soldiers of Salm-Salm, houses broken into
and cellars pillaged; at Mirecourt, a flock of women beating drums,
and, for three days, holding the Hôtel-de-Ville in a state of siege. -
- One day Rochefort is in a state of insurrection, and the workmen of
the harbor compel the municipality to unfurl the red flag.[4] On the
following day, it is Lille, the people of which, "unwilling to
exchange its money and assignats for paper-rags, called billets de
confiance, gather into mobs and threaten, while a whole garrison is
necessary to prevent an explosion." On the 16th of October, it is
Avignon in the power of bandits, with the abominable butchery of the
Glacière. On the 5th of November, at Caen, there are eighty-two
gentlemen, townsmen and artisans, knocked down and dragged to prison,
for having offered their services to the municipality as special
constables. On the 14th of November, at Montpellier, the roughs
triumph; eight men and women are killed in the streets or in their
houses, and all conservatives are disarmed or put to flight. By the
end of October, it is a gigantic column of smoke and flame shooting
upward suddenly from week to week and spreading everywhere, growing,
on the other side of the Atlantic, into civil war in St. Domingo,
where wild beasts are let loose against their keepers; 50,000 blacks
take the field, and, at the outset, 1,000 whites are assassinated,
15,000 Negroes slain, 200 sugar-mills destroyed and damage done to the
amount of 600,000,000; "a colony of itself alone worth ten provinces,
is almost annihilated."[5] At Paris, Condorcet is busy writing in his
journal that "this news is not reliable, there being no object in it
but to create a French empire beyond the seas for the King, where
there will be masters and slaves." A corporal of the Paris National
Guard, on his own authority, orders the King to remain indoors,
fearing that he may escape, and forbids a sentinel to let him go out
after nine o'clock in the evening;[6] at the Tuileries, stump-speakers
in the open air denounce aristocrats and priests; at the Palais-Royal,
there is a pandemonium of public lust and incendiary speeches.[7]
There are centers of riot in all quarters, "as many robberies as there
are quarter-hours, and no robbers punished; no police; overcrowded
courts; more delinquents than there are prisons to hold them; nearly
all the private mansions closed; the annual consumption in the
faubourg St. Germain alone diminished by 250 millions; 20,000 thieves,
with branded backs, idling away time in houses of bad repute, at the
theaters, in the Palais-Royal, at the National Assembly, and in the
coffee-houses; thousands of beggars infesting the streets, crossways,
and public squares. Everywhere an image of the deepest poverty which
is not calling for one's pity as it is accompanied with insolence.
Swarms of tattered vendors are offering all sorts of paper-money,
issued by anybody that chose to put it in circulation, cut up into
bits, sold, given, and coming back in rags, fouler than the miserable
creatures who deal in it."[8] Out of 700,000 inhabitants there are
100,000 of the poor, of which 60,000 have flocked in from the
departments;[9] among them are 30,000 needy artisans from the national
workshops, discharged and sent home in the preceding month of June,
but who, returning three months later, are again swallowed up in the
great sink of vagabondage, hurling their floating mass against the
crazy edifice of public authority and furnishing the forces of
sedition. -- At Paris, and in the provinces, disobedience exists
throughout the hierarchy. Directories countermand ministerial orders.
Here, municipalities brave the commands of their Directory; there,
communities order around their mayor with a drawn sword. Elsewhere,
soldiers and sailors put their officers under arrest. The accused
insult the judge on the bench and force him to cancel his verdict;
mobs tax or plunder wheat in the market; National Guards prevent its
distribution, or seize it in the storehouses. There is no security
for property, lives, or consciences. The majority of Frenchmen are
deprived of their right to worship in their own faith, and of voting
at the elections. There is no safety, day or night, for the élite of
the nation, for ecclesiastics and the gentry, for army and navy
officers, for rich merchants and large landed proprietors; no
protection in the courts, no income from public funds; denunciations
abound, expulsions, banishments to the interior, attacks on private
houses; there is no right of free assemblage, even to enforce the law
under the orders of legal authorities.[10] Opposed to this, and in
contrast with it, is the privilege and immunity of a sect formed into
a political corporation, "which extends its filiations over the whole
kingdom, and even abroad; which has its own treasury, its committees,
and its by-laws; which rules the government, which judges
justice,"[11] and which, from the capital to the hamlet, usurps or
directs the administration. Liberty, equality, and the majesty of the
law exist nowhere, except in words. Of the three thousand decrees
given birth to by the Constituent Assembly, the most lauded, those the
best set off by a philosophic baptism, form a mass of stillborn
abortions of which France is the burying-ground. That which really
subsists underneath the false appearances of right, proclaimed and
sworn to over and over again, is, on the one hand, an oppression of
the upper and cultivated classes, from which all the rights of man are
withdrawn, and, on the other hand, the tyranny of the fanatical and
brutal rabble which assumes to itself all the rights of sovereignty.


The Assembly hostile to the oppressed and favoring oppressors. --
Decrees against the nobles and clergy. -- Amnesty for deserters,
convicts, and bandits. -- Anarchical and leveling maxims.

In vain do the honest men of the Assembly protest against this scandal
and this overthrow. The Assembly, guided and forced by the Jacobins,
will only amend the law to damn the oppressed and to authorize their
oppressors. -- Without making any distinction between armed
assemblages at Coblentz, which it had a right to punish, and refugees,
three times as numerous, old men, women and children, so many
indifferent and inoffensive people, not merely nobles but
plebeians,[12] who left the soil only to escape popular outrages, it
confiscates the property of all emigrants and orders this to be
sold.[13] Through the new restriction of the passport, those who
remain are tied to their domiciles, their freedom of movement, even in
the interior, being subject to the decision of each Jacobin
municipality.[14] It completes their ruin by depriving them without
indemnity of all income from their real estate, of all the seignorial
rights which the Constituent Assembly had declared to be
legitimate.[15] It abolishes, as far as it can, their history and
their past, by burning in the public depots their genealogical
titles.[16] -- To all unsworn ecclesiastics, two-thirds of the French
clergy, it withholds bread, the small pension allowed them for food,
which is the ransom of their confiscated possessions;[17] it declares
them "suspected of revolt against the law and of bad intentions
against the country;" it subjects them to special surveillance; it
authorizes their expulsion without trial by local rulers in case of
disturbances; it decrees that in such cases they shall be
banished.[18] It suppresses "all secular congregations of men and
women ecclesiastic or laic, even those wholly devoted to hospital
service will take away from 600,000 children the means of learning to
read and write."[19] It lays injunctions on their dress; it places
episcopal palaces in the market for sale, also the buildings still
occupied by monks and nuns.[20] It welcomes with rounds of applause a
married priest who introduces his wife to the Assembly. -- Not only is
the Assembly destructive but it is insulting; the authors of each
decree passed by it add to its thunderbolt the rattling hail of their
own abuse and slander.

"Children," says a deputy, "have the poison of aristocracy and
fanaticism injected into them by the congregations."[21]

"Purge the rural districts of the vermin which is devouring them!" -
"Everybody knows," says Isnard, "that the priest is as cowardly as he
is vindictive. . . Let these pestiferous fellows be sent back to
Roman and Italian lazarettos . . What religion is that which, in its
nature, is unsocial and rebellious in principle?"

Whether unsworn, whether immigrants actually or in feeling, "large
proprietors, rich merchants, false conservatives,"[22] are all
outspoken conspirators or concealed enemies. All public disasters are
imputed to them. "The cause of the troubles," says Brissot,[23] "which
lay waste the colonies, is the infernal vanity of the whites who have
three times violated an engagement which they have three times sworn
to maintain." Scarcity of work and short crops are accounted for
through their cunning malevolence.

"A large number of rich men, "says François de Nantes,[24] "allow
their property to run down and their fields to lie fallow, so as to
enjoy seeing the suffering of the people."

France is divided into two parties, on the one hand, the aristocracy
to which is attributed every vice, and, on the other hand, the people
on whom is conferred every virtue.[25]

"The defense of liberty," says Lamarque,[26] "is basely abandoned
every day by the rich and by the former nobility, who put on the mask
of patriotism only to cheat us. It is not in this class, but only in
that of citizens who are disdainfully called the people, that we find
pure beings, those ardent souls really worthy of liberty." -- One step
more and everything will be permitted to the virtuous against the
wicked; if misfortune befalls the aristocrats so much the worse for
them. Those officers who are stoned, M. de la Jaille and others,
"wouldn't they do better not to deserve being sacrificed to popular
fury?"[27] Isnard exclaims in the tribune, "it is the long-continued
immunity enjoyed by criminals which has rendered the people
executioners. Yes, an angry people, like an angry God, is only too
often the terrible supplement of silent laws."[28] -- In other words
crimes are justified and assassinations still provoked against those
who have been assassinated for the past two years.

By a forced conclusion, if the victims are criminals, their
executioners are honest, and the Assembly, which rigorously proceeds
against the former, reserves all its indulgence for the latter. It
reinstates the numerous deserters who abandoned their flags previous
to the 1st of January, 1789;[29] it allows them three sous per league
mileage, and brings them back to their homes or to their regiments to
become, along with their brethren whose desertion is more recent,
either leaders or recruits for the mob. It releases from the galleys
the forty Swiss guards of Chateauroux whom their own cantons desired
to have kept there; it permits these "'martyrs to Liberty " to
promenade the streets of Paris in a triumphal car;[30] it admits them
to the bar of the house, and, taking a formal vote on it, extends to
them the honors of the session.[31] Finally, as if it were their
special business to let loose on the public the most ferocious and
foulest of the rabble, it amnesties Jourdan, Mainvielle, Duprat, and
Raphel, fugitive convicts, jail-birds, the condottieri of all lands
assuming the title of "the brave brigands of Avignon," and who, for
eighteen months, have pillaged and plundered the Comtat[32]; it stops
the trial, almost over, of the Glacière butchers; it tolerates the
return of these as victors,[33] and their installation by their own
act in the places of the fugitive magistrates, allowing Avignon to be
treated as a conquered city, and, henceforth, to become their prey and
their booty. This is a willful restoration of the vermin to the social
body, and, in this feverish body, nothing is overlooked that will
increase the fever. The most anarchical and deleterious maxims
emanate, like miasma, from the Assembly benches. The reduction of
things to an absolute level is adopted as a principle; "equality of
rights," says Lamarque,[34] "is to be maintained only by tending
steadily to an equality of fortunes;" this theory is practically
applied on all sides since the proletariat is pillaging all who own
property. -- "Let the communal possessions be partitioned among the
citizens of the surrounding villages," says François de Nantes, "in an
inverse ratio to their fortunes, and let him who has the least
inheritance take the largest share in the divisions."[35] Conceive the
effect of this motion read at evening to peasants who are at this very
moment claiming their lord's forest for their commune. M. Corneille
prohibits any tax to be levied for the public treasury on the wages of
manual labor, because nature, and not society, gives us the "right to
live."[36] On the other hand, he confers on the public treasury the
right of taking the whole of an income, because it is society, and not
nature, which institutes public funds; hence, according to him, the
poor majority must be relieved of all taxation, and all taxes must
fall on the rich minority. The system is well-timed and the argument
apt for convincing indigent or straitened tax-payers, namely, the
refractory majority, that its taxes are just, and that it should not
refuse to be taxed. -

"Under the reign of liberty," says President Daverhoult,[37] "the
people have the right to insist not merely on subsistence, but again
on plenty and happiness."[38]

Accordingly, being in a state of poverty they have been betrayed. --
"Elevated to the height achieved by the French people," says another
president, "it looks down upon the tempests under its feet."[39] The
tempest is at hand and bursts over its head. War, like a black cloud,
rises above the horizon, overspreads the sky, thunders and wraps
France filled with explosive materials in a circle of lightening, and
it is the Assembly which, through the greatest of its mistakes, draws
down the bolt on the nation's head.


War. - -Disposition of foreign powers. - - The King's dislikes. --
Provocation of the Girondins. -- Dates and causes of the rupture.

It might have been turned aside with a little prudence. Two principal
grievances were alleged, one by France and the other by the Empire. --
On the one hand, and very justly, France complained of the gathering
of émigré's, which the Emperor and Electors tolerated against it on
the frontier. In the first place, however, a few thousand gentlemen,
without troops or stores, and nearly without money,[40] were hardly to
be feared, and, besides this, long before the decisive hour came these
troops were dispersed, at once by the Emperor in his own dominions,
and, fifteen days afterwards, by the Elector of Trèves in his
electorate.[41] -- On the other hand, according to treaties, the
German princes, who owned estates in Alsace, made claims for the
feudal rights abolished on their French possessions and the Diet
forbade them to accept the offered indemnity. But, as far as the Diet
is concerned, nothing was easier nor more customary than to let
negotiations drag along, there being no risk or inconvenience
attending the suit as, during the delay, the claimants remained empty-
handed. -- If, now, behind the ostensible motives, the real intentions
are sought for, it is certain that, up to January, 1792, the
intentions of Austria were pacific. The grants made to the Comte
d'Artois, in the Declaration of Pilnitz, were merely a court-
sprinkling of holy-water, the semblance of an illusory promise and
subject to a European concert of action, that is to say, annulled
beforehand by an indefinite postponement, while this pretended league
of sovereigns is at once "placed by the politicians in the class of
august comedies.[42]" Far from taking up arms against "New France" in
the name of old France, the emperor Leopold and his prime minister
Kaunitz, were delighted to see the constitution completed and accepted
by the King; it "got them out of an embarrassing position,"[43] and
Prussia as well. In the running of governments, political advantage
is the great incentive and both powers needed all their forces in
another direction, in Poland. One for retarding, and the other for
accelerating the division of this country, and both, when the
partition took place, to get enough for themselves and prevent Russia
from getting too much. -- The sovereigns of Prussia and Austria,
accordingly, did not have any idea of saving Louis XVI, nor of
conducting the émigrés back, nor of conquering French provinces. If
anything was to be expected from them on account of personal ill-will,
there was no fear of their armed intervention. -- In France it is not
the King who urges a rupture; he knows too well that the hazards of
war will place him and his dependents in mortal danger. Secretly as
well as publicly, in writing to the émigrés, his wishes are to bring
them back or to restrain them. In his private correspondence he asks
of the European powers not physical but moral aid, the external
support of a congress which will permit moderate men, the partisans of
order, all owners of property, to raise their heads and rally around
the throne and the laws against anarchy. In his ministerial
correspondence every precaution is taken not to touch off or let
someone touch off an explosion. At the critical moment of the
discussion[44] he entreats the deputies, through M. Delessart, his
Minister of Foreign Affairs, to weigh their words and especially not
to send a demand containing a "dead line." He resists, as far as his
passive nature allows him, to the very last. On being forced to
declare war he requires beforehand the signed advice of all his
ministers. He does not utter the fatal words, until he, "with tears in
his eyes" and in the most dire straits, is dragged on by an Assembly
qualifying all caution as treason and which has just dispatched M.
Delessart to appear, under a capital charge, before the supreme court
at Orléans.

It is the Assembly then which launches the disabled ship on the
roaring abysses of an unknown sea, without a rudder and leaking at
every seam. It alone slips the cable which held it in port and which
the foreign powers neither dared nor desired to sever. Here, again,
the Girondists are the leaders and hold the axe; since the last of
October they have grasped it and struck repeated blows.[45] -- As an
exception, the extreme Jacobins, Couthon, Collot d'Herbois, Danton,
Robespierre, do not side with them. Robespierre, who at first proposed
to confine the Emperor "within the circle of Popilius,"[46] fears the
placing of too great a power in the King's hands, and, growing
mistrustful, preaches distrust. -- But the great mass of the party,
led by clamorous public opinion, impels on the timid marching in
front. Of the many things of which knowledge is necessary to conduct
successfully such a complex and delicate affair, they know nothing.
They are ignorant about cabinets, courts, populations, treaties,
precedents, timely forms and requisite style. Their guide and
counselor in foreign relations is Brissot whose pre-eminence is based
on their ignorance and who, exalted into a statesman, becomes for a
few months the most conspicuous figure in Europe.[47] To whatever
extent a European calamity may be attributed to any one man, this one
is to be attributed to him. It is this wretch, born in a pastry-cook's
shop, brought up in an attorney's office, formerly a police agent at
150 francs per month, once in league with scandal-mongers and black-
mailers,[48] a penny-a-liner, busybody, and meddler, who, with the
half-information of a nomad, scraps of newspaper ideas and reading-
room lore,[49] added to his scribblings as a writer and his club
declamation, directs the destinies of France and starts a war in
Europe which is to destroy six millions of lives. In the attic where
his wife is washing his shirts, he enjoys rebuking rulers and, on the
20th of October, in the tribune,[50] he begins by insulting thirty
foreign sovereigns. Such keen, intense enjoyment is the stuff on which
the new fanaticism daily feeds itself. Madame Roland herself delights,
with evident complacency, in it, something which can be seen in the
two famous letters in which, with a supercilious tone, she first
instructs the King and next the Pope.[51] Brissot, at bottom, regards
himself as a Louis XIV, and expressly invites the Jacobins to imitate
the haughty ways of the Great Monarch.[52] -- To the tactlessness of
the intruder, and the touchiness of the parvenu, we can add the
rigidity of the sectarian. The Jacobins, in the name of abstract
rights, deny historic rights; they impose from above, and by force,
that truth of which they are the apostles, and allow themselves every
provocation which they prohibit to others.

"Let us tell Europe," cries Isnard,[53] "that ten millions of
Frenchmen, armed with the sword, with the pen, with reason, with
eloquence, might, if provoked, change the face of the world and make
tyrants tremble on their thrones of clay."

"Wherever a throne exists," says Hérault de Séchelles, "there is an

"An honest peace between tyranny and liberty," says Brissot, "is
impossible. Our Constitution is an eternal anathema to absolute
monarchs . . . It places them on trial, it pronounces judgment on
them; it seems to say to each: to-morrow thou have ceased to be or
shalt be king only through the people. . . War is now a national
benefit, and not to have war is the only calamity to be dreaded." [55]

" Tell the king," says Gensonné, "that the war is a must, that public
opinion demands it, that the safety of the empire makes it a law."[56]

"The state we are in," concludes Vergniaud, "is a veritable state of
destruction that may lead us to disgrace and death. So then to arms!
to arms! Citizens, freemen, defend your liberty, confirm the hopes of
that of the human race. . . Lose not the advantage of your position.
Attack now that there is every sign of complete success. . . The
spirits of past generations seem to me crowding into this temple to
conjure you, in the name of the evils which slavery had compelled them
to endure, to protect the future generations whose destinies are in
your hands! Let this prayer be granted! Be for the future a new
Providence! Ally yourselves with eternal justice!"[57]

Among the Marseilles speakers there is no longer any room for serious
discussion. Brissot, in reply to the claim made by the Emperor on
behalf of the princes' property in Alsatia, replies that "the
sovereignty of the people is not bound by the treaties of
tyrants."[58] As to the gatherings of the émigrés, the Emperor having
yielded on this point, he will yield on the others.[59] Let him
formally renounce all combinations against France.

"I want war on the 10th of February," says Brissot, "unless we have
received his renunciation."

No explanations; it is satisfaction we want; "to require satisfaction
is to put the Emperor at our mercy."[60] The Assembly, so eager to
start the quarrel, usurps the King's right to take the first step and
formally declares war, fixing the date.[61] -- The die is now cast.

"They want war," says the Emperor, "and they shall have it."

Austria immediately forms an alliance with Prussia, threatened, like
herself, with revolutionary propaganda.[62] By sounding the alarm
belles the Jacobins, masters of the Assembly, have succeeded in
bringing about that "monstrous alliance," and, from day to day, this
alarm sounds the louder. One year more, thanks to this policy, and
France will have all Europe for an enemy and as its only friend, the
Regency of Algiers, whose internal system of government is about the
same as her own.


Secret motives of the leaders. -- Their control compromised by peace.
-- Discontent of the rich and cultivated class. -- Formation and
increase of the party of order. -- The King and this party reconciled.

Behind their carmagnoles[63] we can detect a design which they will
avow later on.

"We were always obstructed by the Constitution," Brissot is to say,
"and nothing but war could destroy the Constitution."[64]

Diplomatic wrongs, consequently, of which they make parade, are simply
pretexts; if they urge war it is for the purpose of overthrowing the
legal order of things which annoys them; their real object is the
conquests of power, a second internal revolution, the application of
their system and a final state of equality.-- Concealed behind them is
the most politic and absolute of theorists, a man "whose great art is
the attainment of his ends without showing himself, the preparation of
others for far-sighted views of which they have no suspicion, and that
of speaking but little in public and acting in secret."[65] This man
is Sieyès, "the leader of everything without seeming to lead
anything."[66] As infatuated as Rousseau with his own speculations,
but as unscrupulous and as clear-sighted as Macchiavelli in the
selection of practical means, he was, is, and will be, in decisive
moments, the consulting counsel of radical democracy.

"His pride tolerates no superiority. He causes nobility to be
abolished because he is not a noble; because he does not possess all
he will destroy all. His fundamental doctrine for the consolidation of
the Revolution is, that it is indispensable to change religion and to
change the dynasty."

Now, had peace been maintained all this was impossible; moreover the
ascendance of the party was compromised. Entire classes that had
adhered to the party when it launched insurrection against the
privileged, broke loose from it now that insurrection was directed
against them; among thoughtful men and among those with property, most
were disgusted with anarchy, and likewise disgusted with the abettors
of it. Many administrators, magistrates and functionaries recently
elected, loudly complained of their authority being subject to the
mob. Many cultivators, manufacturers and merchants have become
silently exasperated at the fruits of their labor and economy being
surrendered at discretion to robbers and the indigent. It was hard for
the flour-dealers of Etampes not to dare send away their wheat, to be
obliged to supply customers at night, to tremble in their own houses,
and to know that if they went out-doors they risked their lives.[67]
It was hard for wholesale grocers in Paris to see their warehouses
invaded, their windows smashed, their bags of coffee and boxes of
sugar valued at a low price, parceled out and carried away by old hags
or taken gratis by scamps who ran off and sold them at the other end
of the street.[68] It was hard in all places for the families of the
old bourgeoisie, for the formerly prominent men in each town and
village, for the eminent in each art, profession or trade, for
reputable and well-to-do people, in short, for the majority of men who
had a good roof over their heads and a good coat on their backs, to
undergo the illegal domination of a crowd led by a few hundred or
dozens of stump-speakers and firebrands. -- Already, in the beginning
of 1792, this dissatisfaction was so great as to be denounced in the
tribune and in the press. Isnard[69] railed against "that multitude of
large property-holders, those opulent merchants, those haughty,
wealthy personages who, advantageously placed in the social
amphitheater, are unwilling to have their seats changed." The
bourgeoisie," wrote Pétion,[70] "that numerous class free of any
anxiety, is separating itself from the people; it considers itself
above them, . . . they are the sole object of its distrust. It is
everywhere haunted by the one idea that the revolution is a war
between those who have and those who have not." -- It abstains,
indeed, from the elections, it keeps away from patriotic clubs, it
demands the restoration of order and the reign of law; it rallies to
itself "the multitude of conservative, timid people, for whom
tranquility is the prime necessity," and especially, which is still
more serious, it charges the disturbances upon their veritable
authors. With suppressed indignation and a mass of undisputed
evidence, André Chénier, a man of feeling, starts up in the midst of
the silent crowd and openly tears off the mask from the Jacobins.[71]
He brings into full light the daily sophism by which a mob, "some
hundreds of idlers gathered in a garden or at a theater, are
impudently called the people." He portrays those "three or four
thousand usurpers of national sovereignty whom their orators and
writers daily intoxicate with grosser incense than any adulation
offered to the worst of despots;" those assemblies where "an
infinitely small number of French appears large, because they are
united and yell;" that Paris club from which honest, industrious,
intelligent people had withdrawn one by one to give place to
intriguers in debt, to persons of tarnished reputations, to the
hypocrites of patriotism, to the lovers of uproar, to abortive
talents, to corrupted intellects, to outcasts of every kind and degree
who, unable to manage their own business, indemnify themselves by
managing that of the public. He shows how, around the central factory
and its twelve hundred branches of insurrection, the twelve hundred
affiliated clubs, which, "holding each other's hands, form a sort of
electric chain around all France" and giving it a shock at every touch
from the center; their confederation, installed and enthroned, is not
only as a State within the State, but rather as a sovereign State in a
vassal State; summoning their administrative bodies to their bar,
judicial verdicts set aside through their intervention, private
individuals searched, assessed and condemned through their verdicts.
All this constitutes a steady, systematic defense of insubordination
and revolt; as, "under the name of hoarding and monopoly, commerce
and industry are described as misdemeanors;" property is unsettled and
every rich man rendered suspicious, "talent and integrity silenced."
In short, a public conspiracy made against society in the very name of
society, "while the sacred symbol of liberty is made use of as a seal"
to exempt a few tyrants from punishment. Such a protest said aloud
what most Frenchmen muttered to themselves, and from month to month,
graver excesses exited greater censure.

"Anarchy exists[72] to a degree scarcely to be paralleled, wrote the
ambassador of the United States. The horror and apprehension, which
the licentious associations have universally inspired, are such that
there is reason to believe that the great mass of the French
population would consider even despotism a blessing, if accompanied
with that security to persons and property, experienced even under the
worst governments in Europe."

Another observer, not less competent,[73] says:

"it is plain to my eyes that when Louis XVI. finally succumbed, he had
more partisans in France than the year previous, at the time of his
flight to Varennes."

The truth of this, indeed, was frequently verified at the end of 1791
and beginning of 1792, by various investigations.[74] "Eighteen
thousand officers of every grade, elected by the constitutionalists,
seventy-one department administrations out of eighty-two, most of the
tribunals,[75] all traders and manufacturers, every chief and a large
portion of the National Guard of Paris," in short, the élite of the
nation, and among citizens generally, the great majority who lived
from day to day were for him, and for the "Right" of the Assembly
against the "Left". If internal trouble had not been complicated by
external difficulties, there would have been a change in opinion, and
this the King expected. In accepting the Constitution, he thought that
its defects would be revealed in practical operation and that they
would lead to a reform. In the mean time he scrupulously observed the
Constitution, and, through interest as well as conscience, kept his
oath to the letter. "The most faithful execution of the Constitution,"
he said to one of his ministers, "is the surest way to make the nation
see the changes that ought to be made in it."[76] -- In other words,
he counted on experience, and it is very probable that if there had
been nothing to interfere with experience, his calculations would have
finally chosen between the defenders of order and the instigators of
disorder. It would have decided for the magistrates against the clubs,
for the police against rioters, for the king against the mob. In one
or two years more it would have learned that a restoration of the
executive power was indispensable for securing the execution of the
laws; that the chief of police, with his hands tied, could not do his
duty; that it was undoubtedly wise to give him his orders, but that if
he was to be of any use against knaves and fools, his hands should
first be set free.


Effects of the war on the common people.-- Its alarms and fury. -- The
second revolutionary outburst and its characteristics. -- Alliance of
the Girondists with the mob. -- The red cap and pikes. -- Universal
substitution of government by force for government by law.

Just the contrary with war; the aspect of things changes, and the
alternative is the other way. It is no longer a choice between order
and disorder, but between the new and the old regime, for, behind
foreign opponents on the frontier, there stand the émigrés. The
commotion is terrible, especially amongst the lower classes which
mainly bore the whole weight of the old establishment; among the
millions who live by the sweat of their brow, artisans, small farmers,
métayers, day-laborers and soldiers, also the smugglers of salt and
other articles, poachers, vagabonds, beggars and half-beggars, who,
taxed, plundered, and harshly treated for centuries, have to endure,
from father to son, poverty, oppression and disdain. They know through
their own experience the difference between their late and their
present condition. They have only to fall back on personal knowledge
to revive in their imaginations the enormous royal, ecclesiastical,
and seignorial taxes, the direct tax of eighty-one per cent., the
bailiffs in charge, the seizures and the husbandry service, the
inquisition of excise men, of inspectors of the salt tax, wine tax
(rats de cave) and game-keepers, the ravages of wild birds and of
pigeons, the extortions of the collector and his clerk, the delay and
partiality in obtaining justice, the rashness and brutality of the
police, the kicks and cuffs of the constabulary, the poor wretches
gathered like heaps of dirt and filth, the promiscuousness, the over-
crowding, the filth and the starvation of the prisons.[77] They have
simply to open their eyes to see their immense deliverance; all direct
or indirect taxes for the past two years legally abolished or
practically suppressed, beer at two pennies a pot, wine at six,
pigeons in their meat-safes, game on their turn-spits, the wood of the
national forests in their lofts, the gendarmerie timid, the police
absent, in many places the crops all theirs, the owner not daring to
claim his share, the judge avoiding condemning them, the constable
refusing to serve papers on them, privileges restored in their favor,
the public authorities cringing to the crowds and yielding to their
exactions, remaining quiet or unarmed in the face of their misdeeds,
their outrages excused or tolerated, their superior good sense and
deep feeling lauded in thousands of speeches, the jacket and the
blouse considered as symbols of patriotism, and supremacy in the
State claimed for the sans-culottes[78] in the name their merits and
their virtues. -- And now the overthrow of all this is announced to
them, a league against them of foreign kings, the emigrants in arms,
an invasion imminent, the Croats and Pandours in the field, hordes of
mercenaries and barbarians crowding down on them again to put them in
chains. -- From the workshop to the cottage there rolls along a
formidable outburst of anger, accompanied with national songs,
denouncing the plots of tyrants and summoning the people to arms.[79]
This is the second wave of the Revolution, fast swelling and roaring,
less general than the first, since it bears along with it but little
more than the lower class, but higher and much more destructive.

Not only, indeed, is the mass now launched forth coarse and crude, but
a new sentiment animates it, the force of which is incalculable, that
of plebeian pride, that of the poor man, the subject, who, suddenly
erect after ages of debasement, relishes, far beyond his hopes and
unstintedly, the delights of equality, independence, and dominion.
"Fifteen millions white Negroes," says Mallet du Pan,[80] worse fed,
more miserable than those of St. Domingo, like them rebelled and freed
from all authority by their revolt, accustomed like them, through
thirty months of license, to ruling over all that is left of their
former masters, proud like them of the restoration of their caste and
exulting in their horny hands. One may imagine their transports of
rage on hearing the trumpet-blast which awakens them, showing them on
the horizon the returning planters, bringing with them new whips and
heavier manacles? -- Nothing is more distrustful than such a sentiment
in such breasts -- quickly alarmed, ready to strike, ready for any act
of violence, blindly credulous, headlong and easily impelled, not
merely against real enemies on the outside, but at first against
imaginary enemies on the inside,[81] but also against the King, the
ministers, the gentry, priests, parliamentarians, orthodox Catholics;

all administrators and magistrates imprudent enough to have appealed
to the law;

all manufacturers, merchants, and owners of property who condemn

the wealthy whose egotism keeps them at home;

all those who are well-off, well-bred and well-dressed.

They are all under suspicion because they have lost by the new regime,
or because they have not adopted its ways. -- Such is the colossal
brute which the Girondins introduce into the political arena.[82] For
six months they shake red flags before its eyes, goad it on, work it
up into a rage and drive it forward by decrees and proclamations,

* against their adversaries and against its keepers,

* against the nobles and the clergy,

* against aristocrats inside France in complicity with those of

* against "the Austrian committee" the accomplice of Austria,

* against the King, whose caution they transform into treachery,

* against the whole government to which they impute the anarchy they
excite, and the war of which they themselves are the instigators.[83]

Thus over-excited and topsy-turvy, the proletariat require only arms
and a rallying-point. The Girondins furnish both. Through a striking
coincidence, one which shows that the plan was concerted,[84] they
start three political engines at the same time. Just at the moment
when, through their deliberate saber-rattling, they made war
inevitable, they invented popular insignia and armed the poor. At the
end of January, 1792, almost during one week, they announced their
ultimatum to Austria using a fixed deadline, they adopted the red
woolen cap and began the manufacture of pikes. -- It is evident that
pikes are of no use in the open field against cannon and a regular
army; accordingly the are intended for use in the interior and in
towns. Let the national-guard who can pay for his uniform, and the
active citizen whose three francs of direct tax gives him a privilege,
own their guns; the stevedore, the market-porter, the lodger, the
passive citizen, whose poverty excludes them from voting must have
their pikes, and, in these insurrectionary times, a ballot is not
worth a good pike wielded by brawny arms. -- The magistrate in his
robes may issue any summons he pleases, but it will be rammed down his
throat, and, lest he should be in doubt of this he is made to know it
beforehand. "The Revolution began with pikes and pikes will finish
it."[85] "Ah," say the regulars of the Tuileries gardens, "if the
good patriots of the Champs de Mars only had had pikes like these the
blue-coats (Lafayette's guards) would not have had such a good hand!"
- "They are to be used everywhere, wherever there are enemies of the
people, to the Château, if any can be found there!" They will override
the veto and make sure that the National Assembly will approve the
good laws. To this purpose, the Faubourg St. Antoine volunteers its
pikes, and, to mark the use made of them, it complains that "efforts
are made to substitute an aristocracy of wealth for the omnipotence of
inherited rank." It demands "severe measures against the rascally
hypocrites who, with the Constitution in their hands, slaughter the
people." It declares that "kings, ministers and a civil list will pass
away, but that the rights of man, national sovereignty and pikes will
not pass away," and, by order of the president, the National Assembly
thanks the petitioners, "for the advice their zeal prompts them to

The leaders of the Assembly and the people armed with pikes unite
against the rich, against Constitutionalists, against the government,
and henceforth, the Jacobin extremists march side by side with the
Girondins, both reconciled for the attack but reserved their right to
disagree until after the victory.

"The object of the Girondists[86] is not a republic in name, but an
actual republic through a reduction of the civil lists to five
millions, through the curtailment of most of the royal prerogatives,
through a change of dynasty of which the new head would be a sort of
honorary president of the republic to which they would assign an
executive council appointed by the Assembly, that is to say, by
themselves." As to the Jacobin extremists we find no principle with
them but "that of a rigorous, absolute application of the Rights of
Man. With the aid of such a charter they aim at changing the laws and
public officers every six months, at extending their leveling process
to every constituted authority, to all legal pre-eminence and to
property. The only regime they long for is the democracy of a
contentious rabble. . . The vilest instruments, professional
agitators, brigands, fanatics, every sort of wretch, the hardened and
armed poverty-stricken, who, in wild disorder" march to the attack of
property and to "universal pillage" in short, barbarians of town and
country "who form their ordinary army and never leave it inactive one
single day." - Under their universal, concerted and growing usurpation
the substance of power melts wholly away in the hand of the legal
authorities; little by little, these are reduced to vain counterfeits,
while from one end of France, to the other, long before the final
collapse, the party, in the provinces as well as at Paris,
substitutes, under the cry of public danger, a government of might for
the government of law.


[1] Mercure de France, September 24, 1791. -- Cf. Report of M. Alquier
(session of Sept. 23).

[2] Mercure de France, Oct. 15, 1792 (the treaty with England was
dated Sep. 26, 1786). -- Ibid., Letter of M. Walsh, superior of the
Irish college, to the municipality of Paris. Those who use the whips,
come out of a neighboring grog-shop. The commissary of police, who
arrives with the National Guard, "addresses the people, and promises
them satisfaction," requiring M. Walsh to dismiss all who are in the
chapel, without waiting for the end of the mass. -- M. Walsh refers to
the law and to treaties. -- The commissary replies that he knows
nothing about treaties, while the commandant of the national guard
says to those who laving the chapel, "In the name of human justice, I
order you to follow me to the church of Saint-Etienne, or I shall
abandon you to the people."

[3] "The French Revolution," Vol. I. pp.261, 263. -- "Archives
Nationales," F7, 3185 and 3186 (numerous documents on the rural
disturbances in Aisne). - Mercure de France, Nov. 5 and 26, Dec. 10,
1791. - Moniteur, X. 426 (Nov.22, 1791).

[4] Moniteur, X. 449, Nov. 23, 1791. (Official report of the crew of
the Ambuscade, dated Sep. 30). The captain, M. d'Orléans, stationed at
the Windward Islands, is obliged to return to Rochefort and is
detained there on board his ship: "Considering the uncertainty of his
mission, and the fear of being ordered to use the same hostilities
against brethren for which he is already denounced in every club in
the kingdom, the crew has forced the captain to return to France."

[5] Mercure de France, Dec. 17, address of the colonists to the king.

[6] Moniteur, XIII. 200. Report of Sautereau, July 20, on the affair
of Corporal Lebreton. (Nov. 11, 1791).

[7] Saint Huruge is first tenor. Justine (Sado-machosistic book by de
Sade) makes her appearance in the Palais-Royal about the middle of
1791. They exhibit two pretended savages there, who, before a paying
audience, revive the customs of Tahiti. (" Souvenirs of chancelier
Pasquier. Ed. Plon, 1893))

[8] Mercure de France, Nov. 5, 1791. - Buchez et Roux, XII. 338.
Report by Pétion, mayor, Dec. 9, 1791. "Every branch of the police is
in a state of complete neglect. The streets are dirty, and full of
rubbish; robbery, and crimes of every kind, are increasing to a
frightful degree." "Correspondance de M. de Staël" (manuscript), Jan.
22, 1792. "As the police is almost worthless, freedom from punishment,
added to poverty, brings on disorder."

[9] Moniteur, XI. 517 (session of Feb. 29, 1792). Speeches by de
Lacépède and de Mulot.

[10] Lacretelle, "Dix ans d'Epreuves." "I know no more dismal and
discouraging aspect than the interval between the departure of the
National Assembly, on the 10th August consummated by that of September

[11] Mercure de France, Sept. 3, 1791, article by Mallet du Pan.

[12] Moniteur, XI. 317 (session of Feb. 6, 1792). Speech by M. Cahier,
a minister. Many of the emigrants belong to the class formerly called
the Third-Estate. No reason for emigrating, on their part, can be
supposed but that of religious anxieties."

[13] Decree of Nov. 9, 1791. The first decree seems to be aimed only
at the armed gatherings on the frontier. We see, however, by the
debates, that it affects all emigrants. The decrees of Feb. 9 and
March 30, 1792, bear upon all, without exception. -- "Correspondance
de Mirabeau et du Comte de la Marck," III. 264 (letter by M. Pellenc,
Nov. 12, 1791) The decree (against the emigrants) was prepared in
committee; it was expected that the emigrants would return, but there
was fear of them. It was feared that the nobles, associated with the
unsworn priests in the rural districts, might add strength to a
troublesome resistance. The decree, as it was passed, seemed to be the
most suitable for keeping the emigrants beyond the frontiers."

[14] Decree of Feb. 1, 1792. -- Moniteur, XI. 412 (session of Feb.
17). Speech by Goupilleau. "Since the decree of the National Assembly
on passports, emigrations have redoubled." People evidently escaped
from France as from a prison.

[15] Decrees of June 18 and August 25.

[16] Decree of June 19. -- Moniteur, XIII. 331. "In execution of the
law . . . there will be burnt, on Tuesday, August 7, on the Place
Vendôme, at 2 o'clock: 1st, 600, more or less, of files of papers,
forming the last of genealogical collections, titles and proofs of
nobility; 2nd, about 200 files, forming part of a work composed of 263
volumes, on the Order of the Holy Ghost."

[17] Decree of Nov. 29, 1791. (This decree is not in Duvergier's
collection~) -- Moniteur, XII. 59, 247 (sessions of April 5 and 28,

[18] At the Jacobin Club, Legendre proposes a much a more expeditious
measure for getting rid of the priests. "At Brest, he says, boats are
found which are called Marie-Salopes, so constructed that, on being
loaded with dirt, they go out of the harbor themselves. Let us have a
similar arrangement for priests; but, instead of sending them out of
the harbor, let us send them out to sea, and, if necessary, let them
go down." ("Journal de Amis de la Constitution," number 194, May 15,

[19] Moniteur, XII. 560 (decree of June 3).

[20] Decrees of July 19 and Aug. 4, completed by those of Aug. 16 and

[21] Moniteur, XII. 59, 61 (session of April 3); X. 374 (session of
Nov. 13; XII 230 (session of April 26). -- The last sentence quoted
was uttered by François de Nantes.

[22] Moniteur, XI. 43. (session of Jan. 5, speech by Isnard).

[23] Moniteur, XI. 356 (session of Feb. 10).

[24] Moniteur, XI. 230 (session of April 26).

[25] When I was a child the socialists etc. had substituted
aristocracy with capitalists and today, in France, when the
capitalists have largely disappeared, a great many evils are caused by
the 'patronat'. (SR).

[26] Moniteur (session of June 22).

[27] The words of Brissot (Patriote Français), number 887. -- Letter
addressed Jan. 5 to the club of Brest, by Messrs. Cavalier and
Malassis, deputies to the National Assembly: "As to the matter of the
sieur Lajaille, even though we would have taken an interest in him,
that decorated aristocrat only deserved what he got. . . We shall not
remain idle until all these traitors, these perjurers, whom we have
spared so long, shall be exterminated" (Mercure de France, Feb. 4). --
This Jaille affair is one of the most instructive, and the best
supported by documents (Mercure de France, Dec.10 and 17). --
"Archives Nationales," F7, 3215, official report of the district
administrators, and of the municipal officers of Brest, Nov. 27, 1791.
-- Letter by M. de Marigny, commissary in the navy, at Brest, Nov. 28.
-- Letters by M. de la Jaille, etc. -- M. de la Jaille, sent to Brest
to take command of the Dugay-Trouin, arrives there Nov.27. While at
dinner, twenty persons enter the room, and announce to him, "in the
name of many others," that his presence in Brest is causing trouble,
that he must leave, and that "he will not be allowed to take command
of a vessel." He replies, that he will leave the town, as soon as he
has finished his dinner. Another deputation follows, more numerous
than the first one, and insists on his leaving at once; and they act
as his escort. He submits, is conducted to the city gates, and there
the escort leaves him. A mob attacks him, and "his body is covered
with contusions. He is rescued, with great difficulty, by six brave
fellows, of whom one is a pork-dealer, sent to bleed him on the spot.
"This insurrection is due to an extra meeting of 'The Friends of the
constitution,' held the evening before in the theater, to which the
public were invited." M. de la Jaille, it must be stated, is not a
proud aristocrat, but a sensible man, in the style of Florian's and
Berquin's heroes. But just pounded to a jelly, he writes to the
president of the "Friends of the Constitution," that, "could he have
flown into the bosom of the club, he would have gladly done so, to
convey to it his grateful feelings. He had accepted his command only
at the solicitation of the Americans in Paris, and of the six
commissioners recently arrived from St. Domingo." -- Mercure de
France, April 14, article by Mallet du Pan "I have asked in vain for
the vengeance of the law against the assassins of M. de la Jaille.
The names of the authors of this assault in full daylight, to which
thousands can bear witness, are known to everybody in Brest.
Proceedings have been ordered and begun, but the execution of the
orders is suspended. More potent than the law, the motionnaires,
protectors of assassins, frighten or paralyze its ministrants."

[28] Mercure de France, Nov. 12 (session of Oct. 31st, 1792).

[29] Decree of Feb. 8, and others like it, on the details, as, for
instance, that of Feb. 7.

[30] April 9, at the Jacobin Club, Vergniaud, the president, welcomes
and compliments the convicts of Chateau-vieux.

[31] Mortimer-Ternaux, book I, vol. I. (especially the session of
April 15).

[32] Comtat (or comtat Venaisssin) ancient region in France under
papal authority from 1274 to 1791.(SR)

[33] Moniteur, XII. 335. - Decree of March 20 (the triumphal entry of
Jourdan and his associates belongs to the next month).

[34] Moniteur, XII. 730 (session of June 23).

[35] Moniteur, XII. 230 (session of April 12).

[36] Moniteur. XI. 6, (session of March 6).

[37] Moniteur, XI. 123, (session of Jan. 14)

[38] 150 years later these rights were written into the International
Declaration of Human Rights in Paris in 1948. (SR).

[39] Mercure de France, Dec. 23 (session of Dec. 23), p.98.

[40] Moniteur, X. 178 (session of Oct. 20, 1791). Information supplied
by the deputies of the Upper and Lower Rhine departments. -- M. Koch
says: "An army of émigrés never existed, unless it be a petty
gathering, which took place at Ettenheim, a few leagues from
Strasbourg. . . (This troop) encamped in tents, but only because it
lacked barracks and houses." -- M. ---, deputy of the lower Rhine,
says: "This army at Ettenheim is composed of about five or six hundred
poorly-clad, half-paid men, deserters of all nations, sleeping in
tents, for lack of other shelter, and armed with clubs, for lack of
fire-arms and deserting every day, because money is getting scarce.
The second army, at Worms, under the command of a Condé, is composed
of three hundred gentlemen, and as many valets and grooms. I have to
add, that the letters which reach me from Strasbourg, containing
extracts of inside information from Frankfort, Munich, Regensburg, and
Vienna, announce the most pacific intentions on the part of the
different courts, since receiving the notification of the king's
submission." The number of armed emigrants increases, but always
remain very small (Moniteur, X. 678, letter of M. Delatouche, an
eyewitness, Dec. 10). "I suppose that the number of emigrants
scattered around on the territories of the grand-duke of Baden, the
bishop of Spires, the electorates, etc., amounts to scarcely 4,000

[41] Moniteur, X. 418 (session of Nov. 15, 1791). Report by the
minister Delessart. In August, the emperor issued orders against
enlistments, and to send out of the country all Frenchmen under
suspicion; also, in October, to send away the French who formed too
numerous a body at Ath and at Tournay (Now in Belgium). -- Buchez et
Roux, XII. 395, demands of the king, Dec. 14, -- Ibid., XIII. 15, 16,
19, 52, complete satisfaction given by the Elector of Trèves, Jan. 1,
1792, communicated to the Assembly Jan. 6; publication of the
elector's orders in the electorate, Jan. 3. The French envoy reports
that they are fully executed, which news with the documents, are
communicated to the Assembly, on the 8th, 16, and 19th of January. --
" Correspondance de Mirabeau et M. de la Marck," III.287. Letter of M.
de Mercy-Argenteau, Jan. 9, 1792. "The emperor has promised aid to
the elector, under the express stipulation that he should begin by
yielding to the demands of the French, as otherwise no assistance
would be given to him in case of attack."

[42] Mallet du Pan, "Mémoires," I. 254 (February, 1792). -- "
Correspondance de Mirabeau et du M. de la Marck," III. 232 (note of M.
de Bacourt). On the very day and at the moment of signing the treaty
at Pilnitz, at eleven o'clock in the evening, the Emperor Leopold
wrote to his prime minister, M. de Kaunitz, "that the convention which
he had just signed does not really bind him to anything; that it only
contains insignificant declarations, extorted by the Count d'Artois."
He ends by assuring him that "neither himself nor his government is in
any way bound by this instrument."

[43] Words of M. de Kaunitz, Sept. 4, 1791 ("Recueil," by Vivenot, I.

[44] Moniteur, XI. 142 (session of Jan. 17). - Speech by M.
Delessart. - Decree of accusation against him March 10. - Declaration
of war, April 20. - On the real intentions of the King, cf. Malouet,
"Malouet, "Mémoires" II. 199-209; Lafayette, "Mémoires," I. 441 (note
3); Bertrand de Molleville, "Mémoires," VI. 22; Governor Morris, II.
242, letter of Oct. 23, 1792.

[45] Moniteur, X. 172 (session of Oct. 20, 1791). Speech by Brissot. -
- Lafayette, I. 441. "It is the Girondists who, at this time, wanted a
war at any price" - Malouet, II. 209. "As Brissot has since boasted,
it was the republican party which wanted war, and which provoked it by
insulting all the powers."

[46] Buchez et Roux, XII. 402 (session of the Jacobin Club, Nov. 28,

[47] Gustave III., King of Sweden, assassinated by Ankerstrom, says:
"I should like to know what Brissot will say."

[48] On Brissot's antecedents, cf. Edmond Biré, "La Légende des
Girondins." Personally, Brissot was honest, and remained poor. But he
had passed through a good deal of filth, and bore the marks of it. He
had lent himself to the diffusion of an obscene book, "Le Diable dans
un bénitier," and, in 1783, having received 13,355 francs to found a
Lyceum in London, not only did not found it, but was unable to return
the money.

[49] Moniteur, XI. 147. Speech by Brissot, Jan. 17. Examples from
whom he borrows authority, Charles XII., Louis XIV., Admiral Blake,
Frederic II., etc.

[50] Moniteur. X. 174. "This Venetian government, which is nothing
but a farce . . . Those petty German princes, whose insolence in the
last century despotism crushed out. . . Geneva, that atom of a
republic. . .That bishop of Liège, whose yoke bows down a people that
ought to be free . . . I disdain to speak of other princes. . . That
King of Sweden, who has only twenty-five millions income, and who
spends two-thirds of it in poor pay for an army of generals and a
small number of discontented soldiers. . . As to that princess
(Catherine II.), whose dislike of the French constitution is well
known, and who is about as good looking as Elizabeth, she cannot
expect greater success than Elizabeth in the Dutch revolution."
(Brissot, in this last passage, tries to appear at once witty and well

[51] Letter of Roland to the king, June 10, 1792, and letter of the
executive council to the pope, Nov. 25, 1792. Letter of Madame Roland
to Brissot, Jan. 7, 1791. "Briefly, adieu. Cato's wife need not
gratify herself by complimenting Brutus."

[52] Buchez et Roux, XII. 410 (meeting of the Jacobin club, Dec. 10,
1791). "A Louis XIV. declares war against Spain, because his
ambassador had been insulted by the Spanish ambassador. And we, who
are free, might hesitate for an instant!"

[53] Moniteur, X, 503 (session of Nov.29). The Assembly orders this
speech to be printed and distributed in the departments.

[54] Moniteur , X. 762 (session of Dec. 28).

[55] Moniteur, XI. 147, 149 (session of Jan.17); X. 759 (session of
Dec. 28). -- Already, on the 10th of December, he had declared at the
Jacobin club: "A people that has conquered its freedom, after ten
centuries of slavery, needs war. War is essential to it for its
consolidation." (Buchez et Roux, XII. 410). -- On the 17th of January,
in the tribune, he again repeats: "I have only one fear, and that is,
that we may not have war."

[56] Moniteur, XI. 119 (session of Jan.13). Speech by Gensonné, in the
name of the diplomatic committee, of which he is the reporter.

[57] Moniteur, XI. 158 (session of Jan. 18). The Assembly orders the
printing of this speech.

[58] Moniteur, XI. 760 (session of Dec. 28).

[59] Moniteur, XI. 149 (session of Jan. 17). Speech by Brissot.

[60] Moniteur, XI. 178 (session of Jan.20). Fauchet proposes the
following decree: "All partial treaties actually existent are declared
void. The National Assembly substitutes in their place alliances with
the English, the Anglo-American, the Swiss, Polish, and Dutch nations,
as long as they will be free . . When other nations want our alliance,
they have only to conquer their freedom to have it. Meanwhile, this
will not prevent us from having relations with them, as with good
natured savages . . . Let us occupy the towns in the neighborhood
which bring our adversaries too near us . . . Mayence, Coblentz, and
Worms are sufficient" - Ibid.,, p.215 (session of Jan.25). One of the
members, supporting himself with the authority of Gélon, King of
Syracuse, proposes an additional article: "We declare that we will not
lay down our arms until we shall have established the freedom of all
peoples." These stupidities show the mental condition of the Jacobin

[61] The decree is passed Jan. 25. The alliance between Prussia and
Austria takes place Feb. 7 (De Bourgoing, "Histoire diplomatique de
l'Europe pendant la Révolution Française," I. 457).

[62] Albert Sorel, "La Mission du Comte de Ségur à Berlin" (published
in the Temps, Oct. 15, 1878). Dispatch of M. de Ségur to M. Delessart,
Feb. 24, 1792. Count Schulemburg repeated to me that they had no
desire whatever to meddle with our constitution. But, said he with
singular animation, we must guard against gangrene. Prussia is,
perhaps, the country which should fear it least; nevertheless, however
remote a gangrened member may be, it is better to it off than risk
one's life. How can you expect to secure tranquility, when thousands
of writers every day . . . mayors, office-holders, insult kings, and
publish that the Christian religion has always supported despotism,
and that we shall be free only by destroying it, and that all princes
must be exterminated because they are all tyrants?"

[63] A popular jig of these revolutionary times, danced in the
streets and on the public squares. -TR.

[64] Buchez et Roux, XXV. 203 (session of April 3, 1793). Speech by
Brissot. -Ibid., XX. 127. "A tous les Républicains de France, par
Brissot," Oct. 24, 1792. "In declaring war, I had in view the
abolition of royalty." He refers, in this connection, to his speech of
Dec. 30, 1791, where he says, "I fear only one thing, and that is,
that we shall not be betrayed. We need treachery, for strong doses of
poison still exist in the heart of France, and heavy explosions are
necessary to clear it out."

[65] Mallet du Pan, "Mémoires," I. 260 (April, 1792), and I. 439
(July, 1792).

[66] Any revolutionary leader, from Lenin, through Stalin to Andropov
may confirm the advantage of acting in secret. (SR).

[67] "The French Revolution," I. 262 and following pages.

[68] Buchez et Roux, XIII. 92-99 (January, 1792); (February). --
Coral, "Lettres inédites," 33. (One of these days, out of curiosity,
he walked along as far as the Rue des Lombards.) "Witness of such
crying injustice, and indignant at not being able to seize any of the
thieves that were running along the street, loaded with sugar and
coffee to sell again, I suddenly felt a feverish chill over all my
body." (The letter is not dated. The editors conjectures that the year
was 1791. I rather think that it was 1792.)

[69] Moniteur, XI. 45 and 46 (session of Jan. 5). The whole of
Isnard's speech should be read.

[70] Buchez et Roux, XIII. 177. Letter by Pétion, Feb. 10.

[71] Buchez et Roux, XIII. 252. Letter of André Chénier, in the
Journal de Paris, Feb. 26. - Schmidt, "Tableaux de la Révolution
Franaise," I. 76. Reply of the Directory of the Department of the
Seine to a circular by Roland, June 12, 1792. The contrast between the
two classes is here clearly defined. "We have not resorted to those
assemblages of men, most of them foreigners, for the opinion of the
people, among the enemies of labor and repose standing by themselves
and having no part in common interests, already inclined to vice
through idleness, and who prefer the risks of disorder to the
honorable resources of indigence. This class of men, always large in
large cities, is that whose noisy harangues fill the streets, Squares,
and public gardens of the capital, that which excites seditious
gatherings, that which constantly fosters anarchy and contempt for
the laws -- that, in fine, whose clamor, far from reflecting public
Opinion, indicates the extreme effort made to prevent the expression
of public opinion. . . We have studied the opinion of the people of
Paris among those useful and laborious men warmly attached to the
State at all points of their existence through every object of their
affection, among owners of property, tillers of the soil, tradesmen
and workers . . . An inviolable attachment . . . to the constitution,
and mainly to national Sovereignty, to political equality and
constitutional monarchy, which are its most important characteristics
and their almost unanimous sentiment."

[72] Governor Morris, letter of June 20, 1792.

[73] "Souvenirs", by Pasquier (Etienne-Dennis, duc), chancelier de
France. in VI volumes, Librarie Plon, Paris 1893. Vol. I. page 84.

[74] Malouet, II. 203. Every report that came in from the provinces
announced (to the King and Queen) a perceptible amelioration of public
opinion, which was becoming more and more perverted. That which
reached them was uninfluenced, whilst the opinions of clubs, taverns,
and street-corners gained enormous power, the time being at hand when
there was to be no other power." The figures given above are by
Mallet du Pan, "Mémoires," II. 120.

[75] Moniteur, XII. 776 (session of June 28). Speech by M. Lamarque,
in a district court: "The incivism of the district courts in general
is well known."

[76] Bertand de Molleville, "Mémoires," VI. 22. -- After having
received the above instructions from the King, Bertrand calls on the
Queen, who makes the same remark: "Do you not think that fidelity to
one's oath is the only plan to pursue?" "Yes, Madame, certainly."
"Very well; rest assured that we shall not waver. Come, M. Bertrand,
take courage; I hope that with firmness, patience, and what comes of
that, all is not yet lost."

[77] M. de Lavalette, "Mémoires," I. 100. -- Lavalette, in the
beginning of September, 1792, enlists as a volunteer and sets out,
along with two friends, carrying his knapsack on his back, dressed in
a short and wearing a forage cap. The following shows the sentiments
of the peasantry: In a village of makers of wooden shoes, near
Vermanton (in the vicinity of Autun), "two days before our arrival a
bishop and two vicars, who were escaping in a carriage, were stopped
by them. They rummaged the vehicle and found some hundreds of francs,
and, to avoid returning these, they thought it best to massacre their
unfortunate owners. This sort of occupation seeming more lucrative to
these good people than the other one, they were on the look-out for
all wayfarers." The three volunteers are stopped by a little hump-
backed official and conducted to the municipality, a sort of market,
where their passports are read and their knapsacks are about to be
examined. "We were lost, when d'Aubonnes, who was very tall jumped on
the table. . . and began with a volley of imprecations and market
slang which took his hearers by surprise. Soon raising his style, he
launched out in patriotic terms, liberty, sovereignty of the people,
with such vehemence and in so loud a voice, as to suddenly effect a
great change and bring down thunders of applause. But the crazy
fellow did not stop there. Ordering Leclerc de la Ronde imperiously to
mount on the table, he addressed the assemblage: "You shall see
whether we are not Paris republicans. Now, sir, say your republican
catechism - 'What is God? what are the People? and what is a King?'
His friend, with an air of contrition and in a nasal tone of voice,
twisting himself about like a harlequin, replies: 'God is matter, the
People are the poor, and the King is a lion, a tiger, an elephant who
tears to pieces, devours, and crushes the people down.'" -- "They
could no longer restrain themselves. The shouts, cries, and enthusiasm
were unbounded. They embraced the actors, hugged them, and bore them
away. Each strove to carry us home with him, and we had to drink all

[78] The reader will meet the French expression sans-culottes again
and again in Taine's or any other book about the French revolution.
The nobles wore a kind of breeches terminating under the knee while
tight long stockings, fastened to the trousers, exposed their calves.
The male leg was as important an adornment for the nobles as it was to
be for the women in the 20th Century. The poor, on the other hand,
wore crude long trousers, mostly without a crease, often without socks
or shoes, barefoot in the summer and wooden shoed in the winter. (SR).

[79] The song of "Veillons au salut de l'empire" belongs to the end
of 1791. The "Marseillaise" was composed in April, 1792.

[80] Mercure de France, Nov. 23, 1791.

[81] Philippe de Ségur, "Mémoires," I. (at Fresnes, a village situated
about seven leagues from Paris, a few days after Sep. 2, 1792). "A
band of these demagogues pursued a large farmer of this place,
suspected of royalism and denounced as a monopoliser because he was
rich. These madmen had seized him, and, without any other form of
trial, were about to put an end to him, when my father ran up to them.
He addressed them, and so successfully as to change their rage into a
no less exaggerated enthusiasm for humanity. Animated by their new
transports, they obliged the poor farmer, still pale and trembling,
and whom they were just going to hang on its branches, to drink and
dance along with them around the tree of liberty."

[82] Lacretelle, "Dix ans d'Epreuves," 78. "The Girondists wanted to
fashion a Roman people out of the dregs of Romulus, and, what is
worse, out of the brigands of the 5th of October."

[83] These pages must have made a strong impression upon Lenin when
he read them in the National Library in Paris around 1907. (SR).

[84] Lafayette, I. 442. "The Girondists sought in the war an
opportunity for attacking with advantage, the constitutionalists of
1791 and their institutions." -- Brissot (Address to my constituents).
"We sought in the war an opportunity to set traps for the king, to
expose his bad faith and his relationship with the emigrant princes."
- Moniteur, (session of April 3, 1793). Speech by Brissot: "'I had
told the Jacobins what my opinion was, and had proved to them that war
was the sole means of unveiling the perfidy of Louis XVI. The event
has justified my opinion." -- Buchez et Roux, VIII. 60, 216, 217. The
decree of the Legislative Assembly is dated Jan. 25, the first money
voted by a club for the making of pikes is on Jan. 31, and the first
article by Brissot, on the red cap, is on Feb. 6.

[85] Buchez et Roux, XIII. 217 (proposal of a woman, member of the
club of l'Evêché, Jan. 31, 1792). -- Articles in the Gazette
Universelle, Feb.11, and in the Patriote Français, Feb. 13. -
Moniteur, XI. 576 (session of March 6). - Buchez et Roux, XV.
(session of June 10). Petition of 8,000 national guards in Paris:
"This faction which stirs up popular vengeance . . . which seeks to
put the caps of labor in conflict with the military casques, the pike
with the gun, the rustic's dress with the uniform."

[86] Mallet du Pan, "Mémoires," II 429 (note of July, 1792). - Mercure
de France, March 10, 1792, article by Mallet du Pan.

CHAPTER IV. The Departments.


Provence in 1792. -- Early supremacy of the Jacobins in Marseilles. --
Composition of the party. -- The club and the municipality. --
Expulsion of the "Earnest" regiment.

Should you like to see the revolutionary tree when, for the first
time, it came fully into leaf, it is in the department of the Bouches-
du-Rhône you have to look. Nowhere else had it been so precocious,
nowhere were local circumstances and native temperament so well
adapted to enhance its growth. -- " A blistering sky, an excessive
climate, an arid soil, rocks, . . . savage rivers, torrential or dry
or overburdened," blinding dust, nerves upset 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,
tough, powerful, 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 lawless nomads, disreputable people, without
steady trade,[2] scoundrels, and blackguards, who, like uprooted,
decaying seaweed, drift from coast to coast around the entire circle
of the Mediterranean sea; a veritable sink filled with the dregs of
twenty corrupt and semi-barbarous civilizations, where the scum of
crime cast forth from the prisons of Genoa, Piedmont, Sicily, indeed,
of all Italy, of Spain, of the Archipelago, and of Barbary,3
accumulates and ferments.2 No wonder that, in such a time the reign of
the mob should be established there sooner than elsewhere.[3] -- 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."[4]
After he is driven out, then proscribed, then imprisoned, they resign
themselves, and Marseilles belongs to the low class, to 40,000
destitute and rogues led by the club.

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. The
consequence, was that property-owners and commercial men withdrew,
which was wise on their part, for the usual demagogic 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 deliberations are
prepared 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 majority of honest people are so frightened and so
timid" that not one of them dare attend these meetings, unless
protected by public force. "More than 80,000 inhabitants do not sleep
peacefully," while all the political rights 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 recognizing, 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 plébécide; 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 commissioners 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 lése-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 courtroom 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 decide 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 theater against its officers. The same night, outside
the theater, four of these are attacked 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
tranquility," 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.

II. The expedition to Aix.

The town of Marseilles send an expedition to Aix. -- The regiment is
disarmed. -- The Directory driven out. -- Pressure on the new

The first thing is to lay its hand on the district 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 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 prorata 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
mitigate the outrages 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 recognize 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 street-lamp 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 headquarters, 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 sabers 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.


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.

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-
revolutionary, 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 pirates.[21] In
concert with his allies of the Comtat, the Marseilles club, and his
henchmen from the neighboring boroughs, he rules in Arles "by terror."
Three hundred men recruited in the vicinity of the Mint, artisans or
sailors with strong arms and rough 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 decent people," much more numerous
and for a long time highly indignant, raise their heads; twelve
hundred of them assemble in the church of Saint-Honorat, swore to
maintain the constitution and public order,"[23] and then moved to the
(Jacobin) club, where, in their quality of national guards and active
citizens and in conformity with its by-laws, they were admitted en
masse. At the same time, acting in concert with the municipality,
they reorganize the National Guard and form new companies, the effect
of which is to put an end to the Mint gang, 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
saber in the other." -- This is too much; so Marseilles feel
compelled to bring Arles under control "to atone for the disgrace of
having founded it."[24] In this land of ancient cities political
hostility is embittered with old municipal grudges, similar to those
of Thebes against Platœe, of Rome against Veii, of Florence against
Pisa. The Guelphs of Marseilles brooded over the one idea of crushing
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 hostile
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. Accordingly, on the 23rd 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 defenseless
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 bandits, the longshoremen, the whole of the
lowest class again take up their arms and lord it 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. An old soldier, eighty years of age,
retired to his country home three months earlier, dies after twenty
days' confinement in a dungeon, from a blow received in the stomach by
a rifle butt; women are flogged. "All citizens that with an interest
in law and order," nearly five 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 hard core of the Marseilles army, rove about
and gorge themselves as in a vanquished country.[30]

They eat and drink voraciously, force the closets, carry off linen and
food, steal horses and valuables, smash the furniture, tear up books,
and burn papers.[31] All this is only the appropriate punishment of
the 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 cortège, 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
counselors, 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 "overrun the village, levy contributions, and put all
citizens who are well-off under bonds for considerable sums." Camoïn,
the Marseille 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.-Taught by the example others follow 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
armed 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":
they therefore "want lodgings at the expense of the fanatics only."
The three day's occupation results for the latter and for the town in
a cost of 20,000 livres.[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,
apologize 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 "sabbath," 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.


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 Buches-du-Rhône.

Nowhere else in France was there another nest of brigands like it: not
that a great misery might have produced a more savage uprising; on the
contrary, the Comtat, before the Revolution, was a land of plenty.
There was no taxation by the Pope; the taxes were very light, and were
expended on the spot. "For one or two pennies, 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 of stolen goods 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-cicisbeos, schemers,
parasites, and adventurers, mingle with 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, here all that is required is some
chance event and this bad place will be transformed into a death trap.

The Jacobin leaders, Tournal, Rovère, the two Duprats, the two
Mainvielles, and Lécuyer, readily obtain recruits in this sink. - They
begin, aided by the rabble of the town and of its suburbs, peasants
enemies of the octroi, vagabonds opposed to order of any kind, porters
and watermen armed with scythes, turnspits and clubs, by exciting
seven or eight riots. Then they 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
criminals, who, scenting a prey, come from afar, and even from
Paris;[40] along with them march the women belonging to them, still
more base and bloodthirsty. 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, which is
severe for Mandrin,[42] 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 ancient cannibalistic 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 front
men, 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 hired killers 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
random into the already semi-abandoned church, and kills two men.
Duprat assembles about thirty of the towns-people, imprisoned by him
on the 31st of August, and, in addition to these, about forty artisans
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


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