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

Part 5 out of 10

the mass, and now, moreover, finding its 'ranks degraded by a mixture
of interlopers, federates, and men armed with pikes. Finally, to
complete the pell-mell, they order that the palace guard be hereafter
composed daily of citizens taken from the sixty battalions,[29] so
that the chiefs may no longer know their men nor the men their chiefs;
so that no one may place confidence in his chief, in his subordinate,
in his neighbor, or in himself; so that all the stones of the human
dike may be loosened beforehand, and the barrier crumble at the first
onslaught. -- On the other hand, they have taken care to provide the
insurrection with a fighting army and an advanced guard. By another
series of legislative acts and municipal ordinances, they authorize
the assemblage of the Federates at Paris; they allow them pay and
military lodgings;[30] they allow them to organize under a central
committee sitting at the Jacobin club, and to take their instructions
from that club. Of these new-comers, two-thirds, genuine soldiers and
true patriots, set out for the camp at Soissons and for the frontier;
one-third of them, however, remain at Paris,[31] perhaps 2,000, the
rioters and politicians, who, feasted, entertained, indoctrinated, and
each lodged with a Jacobin, become more Jacobin than their hosts, and
incorporate themselves with the revolutionary battalions, so as to
serve the good cause with their guns.[32] -- Two squads, late comers,
remain separate, and are only the more formidable; both are dispatched
by the towns on the sea-cost in which, four months before this,
"twenty-one capital acts of insurrection had occurred, all unpunished,
and several under sentence of the maritime jury."[33] The first,
numbering 300 men, comes from Brest,

* where the municipality, as infatuated as those of Marseilles and
Avignon, engages in armed expeditions against its neighbors; where
popular murder is tolerated;

* where M. de la Jaille is nearly killed ;

* where the head of M. de la Patry is borne on a pike;

* where veteran rioters compose the crews of the fleet,

* where "workers paid by the State, clerks, masters, non-commission
officers, converted into agitators, political stump-speakers, movers,
and critics of the administration," ask only to be given roles to
perform on a more conspicuous stage.

The second troop, summoned from Marseilles by the Girondins, Rebecqui,
and Barbaroux,[34] comprises 516 men, intrepid, ferocious adventurers,
from everywhere, either Marseilles or abroad, Savoyards, Italians,
Spaniards, driven out of their country, almost all of the vilest
class, or gaining a livelihood by infamous pursuits, "hit-men and
their henchmen of evil haunts," used to blood, quick to strike, good
cut-throats, picked men out of the bands that had marched on Aix,
Arles, and Avignon, the froth of that froth which, for three years, in
the Comtat and in the Bouches-du-Rhône, boiled over the useless
barriers of the law. -- The very day they reach Paris they show what
they can do.[35] Welcomed with great pomp by the Jacobins and by
Santerre, they are conducted, for a purpose, to the Champs-Elysées,
into a tavern, near the restaurant in which the grenadiers of the
Filles St. Thomas, bankers, brokers, leading men, well-known for their
attachment to a monarchical constitution, were dining in a body, as
announced several days in advance. The mob which had formed a convoy
for the Marseilles battalion, gathers before the restaurant, shouts,
throws mud, and then lets fly a volley of stones ; the grenadiers draw
their sabers. Forthwith a shout is heard just in front of them, à nous
les Marseillais! upon which the gang jump out of the windows with true
southern agility, clamber across the ditches, fall upon the grenadiers
with their swords, kill one and wound fifteen. -- No début could be
more brilliant. The party at last possesses men of action;[36] and
they must be kept within reach! Men who do such good work, and so
expeditiously, must be well posted near the Tuileries. The mayor,
consequently, on the night of the 8th of August, without informing the
commanding general, solely on his own authority, orders them to leave
their barracks in the Rue Blanche and take up their quarters, with
their arms and cannon, in the barracks belonging to the

Such is the military force in the hands of the Jacobin masses; nothing
remains but to place the civil power in their hands also, and, as the
first gift of this kind was made to them by the Girondins, they will
not fail to make them the second one. -- On the 1st of July, they
decree that the sessions of administrative bodies should thenceforth
be public; this is submitting municipalities, district, and department
councils, as well as the National Assembly itself, to the clamor, the
outrages, the menaces, the rule of their audiences, which in these
bodies as in the National Assembly, will always be Jacobin.[38] On the
11th of July, on declaring the country in danger,[39] they render the
sessions permanent, first of the administrative bodies, and next of
the forty-eight sections of Paris, which is a surrender of the
administrative bodies and the forty-eight sections of Paris to the
Jacobin minority, which minority, through its zeal and being ever
present, knows how to convert itself into a majority. -- Let us
trace the consequences of this, and see the selection which is thus
effected by the double decree. Those who attend these meetings, day
and night, are not the steady, busy people. In the first place, they
are too busy in their own counting-rooms, shops and factories to lose
so much time. In the next place, they are too sensible, to docile, and
too honest to go and lord it over their magistrates in the Hôtel-de-
ville, or regard themselves in their various sections as the sovereign
people. Moreover, they are disgusted with all this bawling. Lastly,
the streets of Paris, especially at night, are not safe; owing to so
much outdoor politics, there is a great increase of caning and of
knocking down. Accordingly, for a long time, they do not attend at the
clubs, nor are they seen in the galleries of the National Assembly;
nor will they be seen again at the sessions of the municipality, nor
at the meetings of the sections. -- Nothing, on the other hand, is
more attractive to the idle tipplers of the cafés, to bar-room
oracles, loungers, and talkers, living in furnished rooms,[40] to the
parasites and refractory of the social army, to all who have left the
social structures and unable to get back again, who want to tear
things to pieces, and, for lack of a private career, establish one for
themselves in public. Permanent sessions, even at night, are not too
long either for them, or for lazy Federates, for disordered
intellects, and for the small troop of genuine fanatics. Here they are
either performers or claqueurs, an uproar not being offensive to them,
because they create it. They relieve each other, so as to be always on
hand in sufficient number, or compensate for a deficiency by
usurpations and brutality. The section of the Théâtre-Français, for
instance, in contempt of the law, removes the distinction between
active and passive citizens, by granting to all residents in its
circumscription the right to be present at its meetings and the right
to vote. Other sections[41] admit to their sittings all well-disposed
spectators, all women, children, and the nomads, all agitators, and
the agitated, who, as at the National Assembly, applaud or hoot at the
word of command. In the sections not disposed to be at the mercy of an
anonymous public, the same herd of frantic characters make a racket at
the doors, and insult the electors who pass through them. -- Thanks to
this itinerant throng of co-operating intruders, the Jacobin
extremists rule the sections the same as the Assembly; in the sections
as in the Assembly, they drive away or silence the moderates, and when
the hall becomes half empty or dumb, their motion is passed. Hawked
about in the vicinity, the motion is even carried off; in a few days
it makes the tour of Paris, and returns to the Assembly as an
authentic and unanimous expression of popular will.[42]

At present, to ensure the execution of this counterfeit will, it
requires a central committee, and through a masterpiece of delusion,
Pétion, the Girondist mayor, is the one who undertakes to lodge,
sanction, and organize the committee. On the 17th day of July,[43] he
establishes in the offices belonging to the Commune, "a central bureau
of correspondence between the sections." To this a duly elected
commissioner is to bring the acts passed by his section each day, and
carry away the corresponding acts of the remaining forty-seven
sections. Naturally, these elected commissioners will hold meetings of
their own, appointing a president and secretary, and making official
reports of their proceedings in the same form as a veritable municipal
council. As they are elected to-day, and with a special mandate, it is
natural that they should consider themselves more legitimate than a
municipal council elected four or five months before them, and with a
very uncertain mandate. Installed in the town hall of Paris (Hôtel-de-
ville), only two steps from the municipal council, it is natural for
them to attempt to take its place; to substitute themselves for it,
they have only to cross over to the other side of a corridor.


Vain attempts of the Girondins to put it down. -- Jacobin alarm,
their enthusiasm, and their program.

Thus, hatched by the Girondins, does the terrible Commune of Paris
come into being, that of August 10th, September 2nd 1792 and May 31st.
1793. The viper has hardly left its nest before it begins to hiss. A
fortnight before the 10th of August[44] it begins to uncoil, and the
wise statesmen who have so diligently sheltered and fed it, stand
aghast at its hideous, flattened head. Accordingly, they back away
from it up to the last hour, and strive to prevent it from biting
them. Pétion himself visits Robespierre on the 7th of August, in order
to represent to him the perils of an insurrection, and to allow the
Assembly time enough to discuss the question of dethronement. The same
day Verginaud and Guadet propose to the King, through the medium of
Thierry, his valet-de-chambre, that, until peace is assured, the
government be carried on under a regency. Pétion, on the night of
August 9-10, issues a pressing circular to the sections, urging them
to remain tranquil.[45]

But it is too late. Fifty days of excitement and alarm have worked
up the aberrations of morbid imaginations into a delirium. -- On the
second of August, a crowd of men and women rush to the bar of the
Assembly, exclaiming, "Vengeance! Vengeance! our brethren are being
poisoned!"[46] The fact as ascertained is this: at Soissons, where
the bread of the soldiery was prepared in a church, some fragments of
broken glass were found in the oven, on the strength of which a rumor
was started that 170 volunteers had died, and that 700 were lying in
the hospital. A ferocious instinct makes men see their adversaries in
their own image and thus justify them to take those measures which
they imagine their enemies would have taken in their place.[47] --
The committee of Jacobin leaders states positively that the Court is
about to attack, and, accordingly, has devised "not merely signs of
this, but of the most unmistakable proof."[48] -- "It is the Trojan
horse," exclaimed Panis; "We are lost if we do not succeed in
disemboweling it. . . . The bomb explodes on the night of August 9-
10. . . Fifteen thousand aristocrats stand ready to slaughter all
patriots." Patriots, consequently, attribute to themselves the right
to slaughter aristocrats. -- Late in June, in the Minimes section, "a
French guardsman had already determined to kill the King," if the King
persisted in his veto. When the president of the section wanted to
expulse the regicide, it was the latter who was retained and the
president was expelled.[49] On the 14th of July, the day of the
Federation festival, another predecessor of Louvel and Fieschi,
provided with a cutlass, had introduced himself into the battalion on
duty at the palace, for the same purpose; during the ceremony the
crowd warmed up, and, for a moment, the King owed his life to the
firmness of his escort. On the 27th of July, in the garden of the
Tuileries, d'Espréménil, the old Constituent[50], beaten, slashed, and
his clothes torn, pursued like a stag across the Palais Royal, falls
bleedings on a mattress at the gates of the Treasury.[51] On the 29th
of July, whilst one of Lafayette's aides, M. Bureau de Pusy, is at the
bar of the house, "they try to have a motion passed in the Palais
Royal to parade his head on the end of a pike."[52] -- At this level
of rage and fear, the brutal and the excited can wait no longer. On
the 4th of August,[53] the Mauconseil section declares "to the
Assembly, to the municipality, and to all the citizens of Paris, that
it no longer recognizes Louis XVI. as King of the French". Its
president, the foreman of a tailor's shop, and its secretary, employed
in the leather market, support their manifesto with three lines of a
tragedy floating vaguely in their minds,[54] and name the Boulevard
Madeleine St. Honoré as a rendezvous on the following Sunday for all
well-disposed persons. On the 6th of August, Varlet, a post-office
clerk, makes known to the Assembly, in the name of the petitioners of
the Champ de Mars, the program of the faction:

1. the dethronement of the King,

2. the indictment, arrest, and speedy condemnation of Lafayette,

3. the immediate convoking of the primary assemblies,

4. universal suffrage,

5. the discharge of all staff officers,

6. the renewal of the departmental directories,

7. the recall of all ambassadors,

8. the suppression of diplomacy,

9. and a return to the state of nature.

The Girondins may now delay, negotiate, beat about and argue as much
as they please; their hesitation has no other effect that to consign
them into the background, as being lukewarm and timid. Thanks to them,
the (Jacobin) faction now has its deliberative assemblies, its
executive powers, its central seat of government, its enlarged, tried,
and ready army, and, forcibly or otherwise, its program will be
carried out.


Evening of August 8. -- Session of August 9. -- Morning of August
10.- Assembly purged. --

The Assembly must first of all be made to depose the King. Several
times already,[55] on the 26th of July and August 4, clandestine
meetings had been held where strangers decided the fate of France, and
gave the signal for insurrection. -- Restrained with great difficulty,
they consented "to have patience until August 9, at 11 o'clock in the
evening."[56] On that day the discussion of the dethronement is to
take place in the Assembly, and calculations are made on a favorable
vote under such a positive threat; its reluctance must yield to the
certainty of a military occupation -- On the 8th of August, however,
the Assembly refuses, by a majority of two-thirds, to indict the great
enemy, Lafayette. The double amputation essential for State security,
must therefore begin with the destruction of this majority.

The moment Lafayette's acquittal is announced, the galleries, usually
so vociferous, maintain "gloomy silence."[57] The word of command for
them is to keep themselves in reserve for the streets. One by one the
deputies who voted for Lafayette are pointed out to the mob at the
doors, and a shout is raised, "the rascals, the knaves, the traitors
living on the civil list! Hang them! Kill them! Put an end to them!
Mud, mortar, plaster, stones are thrown at them, and they are severely
pummeled. M. Mézières, in the Rue du Dauphin, is seized by the
throat, and a woman strikes at him, which he parries. In the Rue St.
Honoré, a number of men in red caps surround M. Regnault-Beauceron,
and decide to "string him up at the lantern"; a man in his jacket had
already grabbed him from behind and raised him up, when the grenadiers
of Sainte-Opportune arrive in time to set him free. In the Rue St.
Louis, M. Deuzy, repeatedly struck on the back with stones, has a
saber twice raised over his head. In the Passage des Feuillants, M.
Desbois is pummeled, and a "snuff-box, his pocket-book, and cane" are
stolen from him. In the lobbies of the Assembly, M. Girardin is on the
point of being assassinated.[58] Eight deputies besides these are
pursued, and take refuge in the guard-room of the Palais Royal. A
Federate enters along with them, and "there, his eyes sparkling with
rage and thumping on the table like a madman," he exclaims to M.
Dumolard, who is the best known:" "If you are unlucky enough to put
your feet in the Assembly again, I'll cut off your head with my
sword!" As to the principal defender of Lafayette, M. Vaublanc, he
is assailed three times, but he is wary enough not to return home; a
number of infuriates, however, invest his house, yelling out that
"eighty citizens are to perish by their hands, and he is one of the
first"; a dozen of the gang ascend to his apartments, rummage them in
every corner, make another effort to find him in the adjoining houses,
and, not being able to secure him, try to find his family; he is
notified that, if he returns to his house, he will be massacred. -- In
the evening, on the Feuillants terrace, other deputies are subjected
to the same outrages; the gendarmerie tries in vain to protect them,
while the 'commandant of the National Guard, on leaving his post, is
attacked and cut down."[59] -- Meanwhile, some of the Jacobins in the
lobbies "doom the majority of the Assembly to destruction"; one orator
declares that "the people have a right to form lists of proscription,"
and the club accordingly decides on printing and publishing the names
of all the deputies who acquitted Lafayette. -- Never was physical
constraint displayed and applied with such open shamelessness.[60]

On the following day, August 9, armed men gather around the approaches
to the Assembly, and sabers are seen even in the corridors.[61] The
galleries, more imperious than ever, cheer, and break out in ironic
shouts of triumph and approval every time the attacks of the previous
evening are denounced in the tribune. The president calls the
offenders to order more than twenty times, but his voice and his bell
are drowned in the uproar. It is impossible to express an opinion.
Most of the representatives who were maltreated the evening before,
write that they will not return, while others, who are present,
declare that they will not vote again "if they cannot be secure of
freedom of conscience in their deliberations." At this utterance,
which expresses the secret sentiment of "nearly the whole of the
Assembly,"[62] "all the members of the 'Right', and many of the
'Left' arise simultaneously and exclaim: 'Yes, yes; we will debate no
longer unless we are free!" -- As usual, however, the majority gives
away the moment effective measures are to be adopted; its heart sinks,
as it always has done, on being called upon to act in self-defense,
while these official declarations, one on top of the other, in hiding
from it the gravity of the danger, sink it deeper in its own timidity.
At this same session the syndic-attorney of the department reports
that the mob is ready, that 900 armed men had just entered Paris, that
the tocsin would be rung at midnight, and that the municipality
tolerates or favors the insurrection. At this same session, the
Minister of Justice gives notice that "the laws are powerless," and
that the government is no longer responsible. At this same session,
Pétion, the mayor, almost avowing his complicity, appears at the bar
of the house, and declares positively that he will have nothing to do
with the public forces, because "it would be arming one body of
citizens against another."[63] -- Every support is evidently knocked
away. Feeling that it is abandoned, the National Assembly gives up,
and, as a last expedient, and with a degree of weakness or simplicity
which admirably depicts the legislators of the epoch, it adopts a
philosophic address to the people, "instructing it what to do in the
exercise of its sovereignty."

How this is done, it may see the next morning. At 7 o'clock, a Jacobin
deputy stops in a cab before the door of the Feuillants club; a crowd
gathers around him, and he gives his name, Delmas. The crowd
understood it as Dumas, a well-known Constitutionalist, and, in a
rage, drag him out of the vehicle and knock him down; had not other
deputies run up and given assurances that he was the patriot Delmas,
of Toulouse, instead of "the traitor, Mathieu Dumas," he was a lost
man.[64] Dumas makes no effort to enter. He finds on the Place
Vendôme a second and not less instructive warning. Some wretches,
followed by the usual rabble, carry about a number of heads on pikes,
those probably of the journalist Suleau, and three others, massacred a
quarter of an hour before; "boys quite young, mere children, play with
these heads by tossing them in the air, and catching them on the ends
of their sticks." -- There is no doubt but that the deputies of the
"Right" and even the "Center," would do well to go home and stay
there. In fact, they are no longer seen in the Assembly.[65] In the
afternoon, out of the 630 members still present the evening before,
346 do not answer the call, while about thirty others, had either
withdrawn before this or sent in their resignations.[66] The purging
is complete, like that to which Cromwell, in 1648, subjected the Long
Parliament. Henceforth the Legislative body, reduced to 224 Jacobins
or Girondins, with 60 frightened or tractable neutrals, will obey the
orders of the street without any difficulty. A change has come over
the spirit of the body as well as over its composition; it is nothing
more now than a servile instrument in the hands of the seditious, who
have mutilated it, and who, masters of it through a first misdeed, are
going to use it to legalize other crimes.


Nights of August 9 and 10. -- The sections. -- Commissioners of the
sections at the Hôtel-de-ville. -- The revolutionary Commune is
substituted for the legal Commune.

During the night of the 9th and 10th of August their government forms
itself for action, it has been set up as it will behave, with violence
and fraud. i -- In vain have they annoyed and worked on the sections
for the past fortnight; they are not yet submissive, only six out of
forty-eight at the present hour, eleven o'clock at night, being found
sufficiently excited or purged to send their commissioners forthwith,
with full power, to the Hôtel-de-ville. The others will follow, but
the majority rests inert or recalcitrant.[67] -- It is necessary,
therefore, to deceive or force this majority, and, to this end,
darkness, the late hour, disorder, dread of the coming day, and the
uncertainty of what to do, are precious auxiliaries. In many of the
sections,[68] the meetings are already adjourned or deserted; only a
few members of the permanent bureau in the room, with a few men,
perhaps asleep, on the nearly empty benches. An emissary arrives from
the insurgent sections, along with a company of trusty fellows
belonging to the quarter, and cries out, Save the country! The
sleepers open their eyes, stretch themselves, raise their hands, and
elect whoever is designated, sometimes strangers and other unknown
individuals, who will be disowned the coming day at a full meeting of
the section. There is no official report drawn up, no balloting, the
course pursued being the most prompt. At the Arsenal section, six
electors present choose three among their own number to represent
1,400 active citizens. Elsewhere, a throng of shrews, night-brawlers
and dishonorable persons, invade the premises, chase out the believers
in law and order, and win all the desired appointments.[69] Other
sections consent to elect, but without consenting to give power of
attorney. Several make express reservations, stipulating that their
delegates shall act in concert with the legal municipality,
distrusting the future committee, and declaring in advance that they
will not obey it. A few elect their commissioners only to obtain
information, and, at the same time, to show that they intend earnestly
to stop all rioting.[70] Finally, at least twenty sections abstain
from or disapprove of the proceedings and send no delegates. -- Never
mind, they can be dispensed with. At three o'clock in the morning, 19
sections, and, at seven o'clock, 24 or 25,[71] are represented one way
or another at the Town-hall (Hôtel-de-ville), and this representation
forms a central committee. Anyhow, there is nothing to prevent seventy
or eighty subordinate intriguers and desperadoes, who have slipped in
or pushed through, from calling themselves authorized delegates and
ministers plenipotentiary of the entire Paris population,[72] and to
operate accordingly. -- Scarcely are they installed under the
presidency of Huguenin, with Tallien as secretary, when they issue a
summons for "twenty-five armed men from each section," five hundred
strapping lads, to act as guards and serve as an executive force. --
Against a band of this description the municipal council, in session
in the opposite chamber, is feeble enough. Moreover, the most moderate
and firmest of its members, sent away on purpose, are on missions to
the Assembly, at the palace, and in different quarters of Paris, while
its galleries are crammed with villainous looking men, posted there to
create an uproar, its deliberations being carried on under menaces of
death. -- That's why, as the night passes, the equilibrium between
the two assemblages, one legal the other illegal, facing each other
like the two sides of a scale, disappears. Lassitude, fear,
discouragement, desertion, increase on one side, while numbers,
audacity, force and usurpation increase on the other. At length, the
latter wrests from the former all the acts it needs to start the
insurrection and render defense impossible. About six o'clock in the
morning the intruding committee, in the name of the people, ends the
matter by suspending the legitimate council, which it then expels, and
takes possession of its chairs.

The first act of the new sovereign rulers indicates at once what they
mean to do. M. de Mandat, in command of the National guard, summoned
to the Hôtel-de-ville, had come to explain to the council what
disposition he had made of his troops, and what orders he had issued.
They seize him, interrogate him in their turn,[73] depose him, appoint
Santerre in his place, and, to derive all the benefit they can from
his capture, they order him to withdraw one-half of his men stationed
around the palace. Fully aware of what he was exposed to in this den
of thieves, he nobly refuses; forthwith they consign him to prison,
and send him to the Abbaye "for his greater safety." At these
significant words from Danton,[74] he is murdered at the door as he
leaves by Rossignol, one of Danton's acolytes, with a pistol-shot at
arm's length. -- After tragedy comes comedy. At the repeated
entreaties of Pétion, who does not want to be requisitioned against
the rioters,[75] they send him a guard of 400 men, thus confining him
in his own house, and, apparently in spite of himself.

On one side, sheltered by treachery and, on the other side, by
assassination, the insurrection may now go on in full security in
front of the terrible hypocrite who solemnly complains of his
voluntary captivity, and before the corpse, with shattered brow, lying
on the steps of the Hôtel-de-ville. On the right bank of the river,
the battalions of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and, on the left, those
of the Faubourg Saint-Marcel, the Bretons, and the Marseilles band,
march forth as freely as if going to parade. Measures of defense are
frustrated by the murder of the commanding general, and by the mayor's
duplicity; there is not resistance on guarded spots, at the arcade
Saint-Jean, the passages of the bridges, along the quays, and in the
court of the Louvre. An advance guard of the mob, women, children, and
men, armed with cutters, cudgels, and pikes, spread over the abandoned
Carrousel, and, towards eight o'clock, the advance column, led by
Westerman, appears in front of the palace.


August 10. -- The King's forces. -- Resistance abandoned. - -The
King in the National Assembly. -- Conflict at the palace and
discharge of the Swiss Guard. -- The palace evacuated by the King's
order. -- The massacres. -- The enslaved Assembly and its decrees.

If the King had wanted to fight, he might still have defended himself,
saved himself, and even been victorious.[76] -- In the Tuileries, 950
of the Swiss Guard and 200 gentlemen stood ready to die for him to the
last man. Around the Tuileries, two or three thousand National Guard,
the élite of the Parisian population, had just cheered him as he
passed.[77] "Hurrah for the King! Hurrah for Louis XVI.! He is our
King and we want no other; we want him only! Down with the rioters!
Down with the Jacobins! We will defend him unto death! Let him put
himself at our head! Hurrah for the Nation, the Law, the Constitution,
and the King, which are all one! If the gunners were silent, and
seemed ill-disposed,[78] it was simply necessary to disarm them
suddenly, and hand over their pieces to loyal men. Four thousand
rifles and eleven pieces of artillery, protected by the walls of the
courts and by the thick masonry of the palace, were certainly
sufficient against the nine or ten thousand Jacobins in Paris, most of
them pikemen, badly led by improvised or rebellious battalion
officers,[79] and, still worse, commanded by their new general,
Santerre, who, always cautious, kept himself aloof in the Hôtel-de-
ville, out of harm's way. The only staunch men in the Carrousel were
the eight hundred men from Brest and Marseilles; the rest consisted of
a rabble like that of July 14, October 5, and June 20;[80] the palace,
says Napoleon Bonaparte, was attacked by the vilest canaille,
professional rioters, Maillard's band, and the bands of Lazowski,
Fournier, and Théroigne, by all the assassins, indeed of the previous
night and day, and of the following day, which species of combatants,
as was proved by the event, would have scattered at the first
discharge of a cannon. -- But, with the governing as with the
governed, all notion of the State was lost, the former through
humanity become a duty, and the latter through insubordination erected
into a right. At the close of the eighteenth century, in the upper as
well as in the middle class, there was a horror of blood;[81] refined
social ways, coupled with an idyllic imagination, had softened the
militant disposition. Everywhere the magistrates had forgotten that
the maintenance of society and of civilization is a benefit of
infinitely greater importance than the lives of a parcel of maniacs
and malefactors; that the prime object of government, as well as of a
police, is the preservation of order by force; that a gendarme is not
a philanthropist; that, if attacked on his post, he must use his
sword, and that, in sheathing it for fear of wounding his aggressors,
he fails to do his duty.

This time again, in the court of the Carrousel, the magistrates on the
spot, finding that "their responsibility is insupportable," concern
themselves only with how to "avoid the effusion of blood;" it is with
regret, and this they state to the troops, "in faltering tones," that
they proclaim martial law.[82] They "forbid them to attack," merely
"authorizing them to repel force with force;" in other words, they
order them to stand up to the first fire; "you are not to fire until
you are fired upon." -- Still better, they go from company to company,
"openly declaring that opposition to such a large and well-armed
assemblage would be folly, and that it would be a very great
misfortune to attempt it." -- "I repeat to you," said Leroux, "that a
defense seems to me madness." -- Such is the way in which, for more
than an hour, they encourage the National Guard. "All I ask," says
Leroux again, "is that you wait a little longer. I hope that we shall
induce the King to yield to the National Assembly." -- Always the
same tactics: hand the fortress and the general over rather than fire
on the mob. To this end they return to the King, with Rœderer at their
head, and renew their efforts: "Sire," says Rœderer, "time presses,
and we ask you to consent to accompany us." -- For a few moments, the
last and most solemn of the monarchy, the King hesitates.[83] His
good sense, probably, enabled him to see that a retreat was
abdication; but his phlegmatic understanding is at first unable to
clearly define its consequences; moreover, his optimism had never
explored the vastness of the stupidity of the people, nor sounded the
depths of human malice and spite; he cannot imagine that slander may
transform his determination not to shed blood into a desire to shed
blood.[84] Besides, he is bound by his past, by his habit of always
yielding; by his determination, declared and maintained for the past
three years, never to cause civil war; by his obstinate
humanitarianism, and especially by his religious goodwill. He has
systematically extinguished in himself the animal instinct of
resistance, the flash of anger in all of us which starts up under
unjust and brutal aggressions; the Christian has supplanted the King;
he is no longer aware that duty obliges him to be a man of the sword
that, in his surrender, he surrenders the State, and that to yield
like a lamb is to lead all honest people, along with himself, to the
slaughterhouse. "Let us go," said he, raising his right hand; "we will
give, since it is necessary, one more proof of our self-
sacrifice."[85] Accompanied by his family and Ministers, he sets out
between two lines of National Guards and the Swiss Guard,[86] and
reaches the Assembly, which sends a deputation to meet him; entering
the chamber he says: "I come here to prevent a great crime. " -- No
pretext, indeed, for a conflict now exists. An assault on the
insurgent side is useless, since the monarch, with all belonging to
him and his government, have left the palace. On the other side, the
garrison will not begin the fight; diminished by 150 Swiss and nearly
all the grenadiers of the Filles-Saint-Thomas, who served as the
King's escort to the Assembly, it is reduced to a few gentlemen, 750
Swiss, and about a hundred National Guards; the others, on learning
that the King is going, consider their services at an end and
disperse.[87] -- All seems to be over in the sacrifice of royalty.
Louis XVI. imagines that the Assembly, at the worst, will suspend him
from his functions, and that he will return to the Tuileries as a
private individual. On leaving the palace, indeed, he orders his
valet to keep up the service until he himself returns from the
National Assembly.[88]

He did not count on the exigencies, blindness and disorders of the
riot. Threatened by the Jacobin gunners remaining with their artillery
in the inside courts, the gatekeepers open the gates. The insurgents
rush in, fraternise with the gunners, reach the vestibule, ascend the
grand staircase, and summon the Swiss to surrender.[89] -- These show
no hostile spirit; many of them, as a mark of good humor, throw
packets of cartridges out of the windows; some even go so far as to
let themselves be embraced and led away. The regiment, however,
faithful to its orders, will not yield to force.[90] "We are Swiss,"
replies the sergeant, Blaser; "the Swiss do not part with their arms
but with their lives. We think that we do not merit such an insult.
If the regiment is no longer wanted, let it be legally discharged.
But we will not leave our post, nor will we let our arms be taken from
us." The two bodies of troops remain facing each other on the
staircase for three-quarters of an hour, almost intermingled, one
silent and the other excited, turbulent, and active, with all the
ardor and lack of discipline peculiar to a popular gathering, each
insurgent striving apart, and in his own way, to corrupt, intimidate,
or constrain the Swiss Guards. Granier, of Marseilles, at the head of
the staircase, holds two of them at arms' length, trying in a friendly
manner to draw them down.[91] At the foot of the staircase the crowd
is shouting and threatening; lighter men, armed with boat-hooks,
harpoon the sentinels by their shoulder-straps, and pull down four or
five, like so many fishes, amid shouts of laughter. -- Just at this
moment a pistol goes off; nobody being able to tell which party fired
it.[92] The Swiss, firing from above, clean out the vestibule and the
courts, rush down into the square and seize the cannon; the insurgents
scatter and fly out of range. The bravest, nevertheless, rally behind
the entrances of the houses on the Carrousel, throw cartridges into
the courts of the small buildings and set them on fire. During
another half-hour, under the dense smoke of the first discharge and of
the burning buildings, both sides fire haphazard, while the Swiss, far
from giving way, have scarcely lost a few men, when a messenger from
the King arrives, M. d'Hervilly, who orders in his name the firing to
cease, and the men to return to their barracks.

Slowly and regularly they form in line and retire along the broad
alley of the garden. At the sight of these foreigners, however, in
red coats, who had just fired on Frenchmen, the guns of the battalion
stationed on the terraces go off of their own accord, and the Swiss
column divides in two. One body of 250 men turns to the right,
reaches the Assembly, lays down its arms at the King's order, and
allows itself to be shut up in the Feuillants church. The others are
annihilated on crossing the garden, or cut down on the Place Louis XV.
by the mounted gendarmerie. No quarter is given. The warfare is that
of a mob, not civilized war, but primitive war, that of barbarians. In
the abandoned palace into which the insurgents entered five minutes
after the departure of the garrison,[93] they kill the wounded, the
two Swiss surgeons attending to them,[94] the Swiss who had not fired
a gun, and who, in the balcony on the side of the garden, "cast off
their cartridge-boxes, sabers, coats, and hats, and shout: 'Friends,
we are with you, we are Frenchmen, we belong to the nation!'"[95]
They kill the Swiss, armed or unarmed, who remain at their posts in
the apartments. They kill the Swiss gate-keepers in their boxes. They
kill everybody in the kitchens, from the head cook down to the pot
boys.[96] The women barely escape. Madame Campan, on her knees,
seized by the back, sees an uplifted saber about to fall on her, when
a voice from the foot of the staircase calls out: "What are you doing
there? The women are not to be killed!" "Get up, you hussy, the nation
forgives you! " -- To make up for this the nation helps itself and
indulges itself to its heart's content in the palace which now belongs
to it. Some honest persons do, indeed, carry money and valuables to
the National Assembly, but others pillage and destroy all that they
can.[97] They shatter mirrors, break furniture to pieces, and throw
clocks out of the window; they shout the Marseilles hymn, which one of
the National Guards accompanies on a harpsichord,[98] and descend to
the cellars, where they gorge themselves. "For more than a
fortnight," says an eye witness,[99] "one walked on fragments of
bottles." In the garden, especially, "it might be said that they had
tried to pave the walks with broken glass." -- Porters are seen seated
on the throne in the coronation robes; a trollop occupies the Queen's
bed; it is a carnival in which unbridled base and cruel instincts find
plenty of good forage and abundant litter. Runaways come back after
the victory and stab the dead with their pikes. Nicely dressed
prostitutes fooling around with naked corpses.[100] And, as the
destroyers enjoy their work, they are not disposed to be disturbed in
it. In the courts of the Carrousel, where 1800 feet of building are
burning, the firemen try four times to extinguish the fire; "they are
shot at, and threatened with being pitched into the flames,"[101]
while petitioners appear at the bar of the Assembly, and announce in a
threatening tone that the Tuileries are blazing, and shall blaze until
the dethronement becomes a law.

The poor Assembly, become Girondist through its late mutilation,
strives in vain to arrest the downhill course of things, and maintain,
as it has just sworn to do, "the constituted authorities";[102] it
strives, at least, to put Louis XVI. in the Luxembourg palace, to
appoint a tutor for the Dauphin, to keep the ministers temporarily in
office, and to save all prisoners, and those who walk the streets.
Equally captive, and nearly as prostrate as the King himself; the
Assembly merely serves as a recording office for the popular will,
that very morning furnishing evidence of the value which the armed
commonalty attaches to its decrees. That morning murders were
committed at its door, in contempt of its safe conduct; at eight
o'clock Suleau and three others, wrested from their guards, are cut
down under its windows. In the afternoon, from sixty to eighty of the
unarmed Swiss still remaining in the church of the Feuillants are
taken out to be sent to the Hôtel-de-ville, and massacred on the way
at the Place de Grève. Another detachment, conducted to the section of
the Roule, is likewise disposed of in the same way.[103] Carle, at
the head of the gendarmerie, is called out of the Assembly and
assassinated on the Place Vendôme, and his head is carried about on a
pike. The founder of the old monarchical club, M. de Clermont-
Tonnerre, withdrawn from public life for two years past, and quietly
passing along the streets, is recognized, dragged through the gutter
and cut to pieces. -- After such warnings (murder and pillage) the
Assembly can only obey, and, as usual, conceal its submission beneath
sonorous words. If the dictatorial committee, self-imposed at the
Hôtel-de-ville, still condescends to keep it alive, it is owing to a
new investiture,[104] and by declaring to it that it must not meddle
with its doings now or in the future. Let it confine itself to its
function, that of rendering decrees made by the faction. Accordingly,
like fruit falling from a tree vigorously shaken, these decrees rattle
down, one after another, into the hands that await them,[105]

1. the suspension of the King,

2. the convoking of a national convention,

3. electors and the eligible exempted from all property

4. an indemnity for displaced electors,

5. the term of Assemblies left to the decision of the electors,[106]

6. the removal and arrest of the late ministers,

7. the re-appointment of Servan, Clavières and Roland,

8. Danton as Minister of Justice,

9. the recognition of the usurping Commune,

10. Santerre confirmed in his new rank,

11. the municipalities empowered to look after general safety,

12. the arrest of suspicious persons confided to all well-disposed

13. domiciliary visits prescribed for the discovery of arms and

14. all the justices of Paris to be re-elected by those within their

15. all officers of the gendarmerie subject to re-election by their

16. thirty sous per diem for the Marseilles troops from the day of
their arrival,

17. a court-martial against the Swiss,

18. a tribunal for the dispatch of justice against the vanquished of
August 10, and a quantity of other decrees of a still more important

19. the suspension of the commissioners appointed to enforce the
execution of the law in civil and criminal courts,[110]

20. the release of all persons accused or condemned for military
insubordination, for press offenses and pillaging of grain,[111]

21. the partition of communal possessions,[112]

22. the confiscation and sale of property belonging to émigrés,[113]

23. the relegation of their fathers, mothers, wives and children into
the interior,

24. the banishment or transportation of unsworn ecclesiastics,[114]

25. the establishment of easy divorce at two months' notice and on
demand of one of the parties,[115]

in short, every measure is taken which tend to disturb property, break
up the family, persecute conscience, suspend the law, pervert justice,
and rehabilitate crime. laws are promulgated to deliver:

* the judicial system,

* the full control of the nation,

* the selection of the members of the future omnipotent Assembly,

* in short, the entire government,

to an autocratic, violent minority, which, having risked all to grab
the dictatorship, dares all to keep it.[116]


State of Paris in the Interregnum. -- The mass of the population. --
Subaltern Jacobins. -- The Jacobin leaders.

Let us stop a moment to contemplate this great city and its new
rulers. -- From afar, Paris seems a club of 700,000 fanatics,
vociferating and deliberating on the public squares; near by, it is
nothing of the sort. The slime, on rising from the bottom, has become
the surface, and given its color to the stream; but the human stream
flows in its ordinary channel, and, under this turbid exterior,
remains about the same as it was before. It is a city of people like
ourselves, governed, busy, and fond of amusement. To the great
majority, even in revolutionary times, private life, too complex and
absorbing, leaves but an insignificant corner for public affairs.
Through routine and through necessity, manufacturing, display of
wares, selling, purchasing, keeping accounts, trades, and professions,
continue as usual. The clerk goes to his office, the workman to his
shop, the artisan to his loft, the merchant to his warehouse, the
professional to his cabinet, and the official to his duty;[117] they
are devoted, first of all, to their pursuits, to their daily bread, to
the discharge of their obligations, to their own advancement, to their
families, and to their pleasures; to provide for these things the day
is not too long. Politics only briefly distract them, and then rather
out of curiosity, like a play one applauds or hisses in his seat
without stepping upon the stage. -- "The declaration that the country
is in danger," says many eye witnesses,[118] "has made no change in
the physiognomy of Paris. There are the same amusements, the same
gossip. . . . The theaters are full as usual. The wine-shops and
places of diversion overflow with the people, National Guards, and
soldiers. . . . The fashionable world enjoys its pleasure-parties," -
"The day after the decree, the effect of the ceremony, so skillfully
managed, is very slight. "The National Guard in the procession, writes
a patriotic journalist,[119] "first shows indifference and even
boredom"; it is exasperated with night watches and patrol duty; they
probably tell each others that in parading for the nation, one finds
no time to work for one's self. -- A few days after this the manifesto
of the Duke of Brunswick "produces no sensation whatever. People laugh
at it. Only the newspapers and their readers are familiar with it. . .
. The mass know nothing about it. Nobody fears the coalition nor
foreign troops."[120] -- On the 10th of August, outside the theater of
the combat, all is quiet in Paris. People walk about and chat in the
streets as usual."[121] -- On the 19th of August, Moore, the
Englishman,[122] sees, with astonishment, the heedless crowd filling
the Champs Elysées, the various diversions, the air of a fête, the
countless small shops in which refreshments are sold accompanied with
songs and music, and the quantities of pantomimes and marionettes.
"Are these people as happy as they seem to be?" he asks of a Frenchman
along with him. -- "They are as jolly as gods!" -- "Do you think the
Duke of Brunswick is ever in their heads?" -- "Monsieur, you may be
sure of this, that the Duke of Brunswick is the last man they think

Such is the unconcern or light-heartedness of the gross, egoistic
mass, otherwise busy, and always passive under any government whatever
it may be, a veritable flock of sheep, allowing government to do as it
pleases, provided it does not hinder it from browsing and capering as
it chooses. -- As to the men of sensibility who love their country,
they are still less troublesome, for they are gone or going (to the
army), often at the rate of a thousand and even two thousand a day,
ten thousand in the last week of July,[123] fifteen thousand in the
first two weeks of September,[124] in all perhaps 40,000 volunteers
furnished by the capital alone and who, with their fellows
proportionate in number supplied by the departments, are to be the
salvation of France. -- Through this departure of the worthy, and this
passivity of the flock, Paris belongs to the fanatics among the
population. "These are the sans-culottes," wrote the patriotic Palloy,
"the scum and riffraff of Paris, and I glory in belonging to that
class which has put down the so-called honest folks."[125] -- "Three
thousand workmen," says the Girondist Soulavie, later, "made the
Revolution of the 10th of August, against the kingdom of the
Feuillants, the majority of the capital and against the Legislative
Assembly."[126] Workmen, day laborers, and petty shop-keepers, not
counting women, common vagabonds and regular bandits, form, indeed,
one-twentieth of the adult male population of the city, about 9,000
spread over all sections of Paris, the only ones to vote and act in
the midst of universal stupor and indifference. -- We find in the Rue
de Seine, for example, seven of them, Lacaille, keeper of a roasting-
shop; Philippe, "a cattle-breeder, who leads around she-asses for
consumptives," now president of the section, and soon to become one of
the Abbaye butchers; Guérard, "a Rouen river-man who has abandoned the
navigation of the Seine on a large scale and keeps a skiff, in which
he ferries people over the river from the Pont du Louvre to the Quai
Mazarin," and four characters of the same stamp. Their energy,
however, replaces their lack of education and numerical inferiority.
One day, Guérard, on passing M. Hua, the deputy, tells him in the way
of a warning, "You big rascal, you were lucky to have other people
with you. If you had been alone, I would have capsized my boat, and
had the pleasure of drowning a blasted aristocrat!" These are the
"matadors of the quarter".[127] -- Their ignorance does not trouble
them; on the contrary, they take pride in coarseness and vulgarity.
One of the ordinary speechmakers of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine,
Gouchon, a designer for calicos, comes to the bar of the Assembly, "in
the name of the men of July 14 and Augusts 10," to glorify the
political reign of brutal incapacity; according to him, it is more
enlightened than that of the cultivated:[128]"those great geniuses
graced with the fine title of Constitutionalists are forced to do
justice to men who never studied the art of governing elsewhere than
in the book of experience. . . . Consulting customs and not
principles, these clever people have for a long period been busy with
the political balance of things; we have found it without looking for
it in the heart of man: Form a government which will place the poor
above their feeble resources and the rich below their means, and the
balance will be perfect." [129]

This is more than clear, their declared purpose is a complete
leveling, not alone of political rights, but, again, and especially,
of conditions and fortunes; they promise themselves "absolute
equality, real equality," and, still better, "the magistracy and all
government powers."[130] France belongs to them, if they are bold
enough to seize hold of it. -- And, on the other hand, should they
miss their prey, they feel themselves lost, for the Brunswick
manifesto,[131] which had made no impression on the public, remains
deeply impressed in their minds. They apply its threats to themselves,
while their imagination, as usual, translates it into a specific
legend:[132] all the inhabitants of Paris are to be led out on the
plain of Saint-Denis, and there decimated; previous to this, the most
notorious patriots will be singled out together with forty or fifty
market-women and broken on the wheel. Already, on the 11th of August,
a rumor is current that 800 men of the late royal guards are ready to
make a descent on Paris;[133] that very day the dwelling of
Beaumarchais is ransacked for seven hours;[134] the walls are pierced,
the privies sounded, and the garden dug down to the rock. The same
search is repeated in the adjoining house. The women are especially
"enraged at not finding anything," and wish to renew the attempt,
swearing that they will discover where things are hidden in ten
minutes. The nightmare is evidently too much for these unballasted
minds. They break down under the weight of their accidental kingship,
their inflamed pride, extravagant desires, and intense and silent
fears which form in them that morbid and evil concoction which, in
democracy as well as in a monarchy, fashions a Nero.[135]

Their leaders, who are even more upset, conceited, and despotic, have
no scruples holding them back, for the most noteworthy are corrupt,
acting alone or as leaders. Of the three chiefs of the old
municipality, Pétion, the mayor, actually in semi-retirement, but
verbally respected, is set aside and considered as an old decoration.
The other two remain active and in office, Manuel,[136] the syndic-
attorney, son of a porter, a loud-talking, untalented bohemian, stole
the private correspondence of Mirabeau from a public depository,
falsified it, and sold it for his own benefit. Danton,[137] Manuel's
deputy, faithless in two ways, receives the King's money to prevent
the riot, and makes use of it to urge it on. -- Varlet, "that
extraordinary speech-maker, led such a foul and prodigal life as to
bring his mother in sorrow to the grave; afterwards he spent what was
left, and soon had nothing."[138] -- Others not only lacked honor but
even common honesty. Carra, with a seat in the secret Directory of the
Federates, and who drew up the plan of the insurrection, had been
condemned by the Mâcon tribunals to two years' imprisonment for theft
and burglary.[139] Westermann, who led the attacking column, had stolen
a silver dish, with a coat of arms on it, from Jean Creux, keeper of a
restaurant, rue des Poules, and was twice sent away from Paris for
swindling.[140] Panis, chief of the Committee of Supervision,[141] was
turned out of the Treasury Department, where his uncle was a sub
cashier, in 1774, for robbery. His colleague, Sergent, appropriates
to himself "three gold watches, an agate ring, and other jewels," left
with him on deposit.[142] "Breaking seals, false charges, breaches of
trust," embezzlements, are familiar transactions. In their hands piles
of silver plate and 1,100,000 francs in gold are to disappear.[143]
Among the members of the new Commune, Huguenin, the president, a clerk
at the barriers, is a brazen embezzler.[144] Rossignol, a journeyman
jeweller, implicated in an assassination, is at this moment subject to
judicial prosecution.[145] Hébert, a journalistic garbage bag,
formerly check-taker in a theatre, is turned away from the Variétés
for larceny.[146] Among men of action, Fournier, the American,
Lazowski, and Maillard are not only murderers, but likewise
robbers,[147] while, by their side, arises the future general of the
Paris National Guard, Henriot, at first a domestic in the family of an
attorney who turned him out for theft, then a tax-clerk, again turned
adrift for theft, and, finally, a police spy, and still incarcerated
in the Bicêtre prison for another theft, and, at last, a battalion
officer, and one of the September executioners.[148] - Simultaneously
with the bandits and rascals, monstrous maniacs come out of their
holes. De Sades,[149] who lived the life of "Justine" before he wrote
it, and whom the Revolution delivered from the Bastille, is secretary
of the section of the Place Vendôme. Marat, the homicidal monomaniac,
constitutes himself, after the 23rd of August, official journalist at
the Hôtel-de-ville, political advisor and consciousness of the new
Commune, and the obsessive plan, which he preaches for three years, is
merely an instant and direct wholesale butchery.

"Give me," said he to Barbaroux,[150] "two hundred Neapolitans armed
with daggers, and with only a hand-kerchief on their left arms for a
buckler, and I will overrun France and build the Revolution."

According to him it is necessary to do away with 260,000 men "on
humane grounds," for, unless this is done, there is no safety for the

"The National Assembly may still save France; let it decree that all
aristocrats shall wear a blue ribbon, and the moment that three of
them are seen in company, let them be hung."

Another way would be

"to lay in wait in dark streets and at corners for the royalists and
Feuillants, and cut their throats. Should ten patriots happen to be
killed among a hundred men, what does it matter? It is only ninety for
ten, which prevents mistakes. Fall upon those who own carriages,
employ valets, wear silk coats, or go to the theatres. You may be sure
that they are aristocrats."

The Jacobin proletariat has obviously found the leadership that suits
them. They will get on with each other without difficulty. In order
that this spontaneous massacre may become an administrative measure,
the Neros of the gutter have but to await the word of command from the
Neros of the Hôtel-de-ville.


[1]An expression of Lafayette's in his address to the Assembly.

[2]Lafayette, "Mémoires," I. 452. -- Malouet (II. 213) states that
there were seventy.

[3]Cf., for example, "Archives Nationales," A.F. II.116. Petition of
228 notables of Montargis.

[4] Petition of the 20,000, so-called, presented by Messrs. Guillaume
and Dupont de Nemours. - Cf.. Mortimer-Ternaux, I. 278. -- According
to Buchez et Roux, the petition containing only 7,411 names.

[5] Mortimer-Ternaux, I.277.

[6] Moniteur, XIII. 89. The act (July 7) is drawn up with admirable
precision and force. On comparing it with the vague, turgid
exaggerations of their adversaries, it seems to measure the
intellectual distance between the two parties.

[7] 339 against 224 -- Rœderer ("Chronique des cinquante jours,"
p.79). "A strong current of opinion by a majority of the inhabitants
of Paris sets in favor of the King." - C. Desmoulins; "That class of
petty traders and shopkeepers, who are more afraid of the
revolutionaries than of so many Uhlans. . . "

[8] Mortimer-Ternaux, I. 236. Letter of Rœderer to the president of
the National Assembly, June 25. "Mr. President, I have the honor to
inform the Assembly that an armed mob is marching towards the

[9] Mortimer-Ternaux, I. 245, 246. - II. 81, 131, 148, 170.

[10] The murder of M. Duhamel, sub-lieutenant of the national guard.

[11] Letter of Vergniaud and Guadet to the painter Boze (in the
"Mémoires de Dumouriez"). -- Rœderer, "Chronique des cinquante jours,"
295. -- Bertrand de Molleville, "Mémoires," III. 29.

[12] Moniteur, XIII. 155 (session of July 16). -- Mortimer-Ternaux,
II. 69. "Favored by you," says Manuel, "all citizens are entitled to
visit the first functionary of the nation. . . The prince's dwelling
should be open, like a church. Fear of the people is an insult to the
people. If Louis XVI. possessed the soul of a Marcus Aurelius, he
would have descended into his gardens and tried to console a hundred
thousand beings, on account of the slowness of the Revolution. . .
Never had there been fewer thieves in the Tuileries than on that day;
for the courtiers had fled. . .The red cap was an honor to Louis XVI.s
head, and ought to be his crown." At this solemn moment the
fraternization of the king with the people took place, and "the next
day the same king betrayed, calumniated, and disgraced the people!"
Manuel's rigmarole surpasses all that can be imagined. "After this
there arises in the panelings of the Louvre, at the confluence of the
civil list, another channel, which leads through the shades below to
Pétion's dungeon. . . The department, in dealing a blow at the
municipality, explains how, at the banquet of the Law, it represents
the Law in the form of a crocodile, etc."

[13] Moniteur, XIII. 93 (session of July 9); -- 27 (session of July

[14] Moniteur, XII. 751 (session of June 24); XIII.33 (session of July

[15] Moniteur, XIII. 224 (session of July 23). Two unsworn priests had
just been massacred at Bordeaux and their heads carried through the
streets on pikes. Ducos adds: "Since the executive power has put its
veto on laws repressing fanaticism, popular executions begin to be
repeated. If the courts do not render justice, etc." -- Ibid., XIII.
301 (session of July 31).

[16] Moniteur, XIII. 72 (session of July 7). The king's speech to the
Assembly after the Lamourette kiss. "I confess to you, M. President,
that I was very anxious for the deputation to arrive, that I might
hasten to the Assembly."

[17] Moniteur, XIII. 313 (session of Aug. 3). The declaration read in
the king's name must be weighed sentence by sentence; it sums up his
conduct with perfect exactness and thus ends: "What are personal
dangers to a king, from whom they would take the love of his people?
This is what affects me most. The day will come, perhaps, when the
people will know how much I prize its welfare, how much this has
always been my concern and my first need. What sorrows would disappear
at the slightest sign of its return!"

[18] Moniteur, XIII. 33, 56 bis 85, 97 (sessions of July 3, 5, 6 and

[19] Moniteur, XIII. 26, 170, 273 (sessions of July 12, 17, 28). -
Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 122 (session of July 23): Addresses of the
municipal council of Marseilles, of the federates, of the Angers
petitioners, of the Charente volunteers, etc. "A hereditary monarchy
is opposed to the Rights of Man. Pass the act of dethronement and
France is saved. . . Be brave, let the sword of the law fall on a
perjured functionary and conspirator! Lafayette is the most
contemptible, the guiltiest, . . . the most infamous of the assassins
of the people," etc.

[20] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 126. -- Bertrand de Molleville, III. 294.

[21] Moniteur, XIII. 325 (session of Aug. 3).

[22] Moniteur, XII. 738; XII. 340.

[23] Moniteur, XIII. 170, 171, 187, 208, 335 (sessions of July 17, 18,
and 23, and Aug. 5).

[24] Moniteur, XIII. 187 (session of July 18). "The galleries applaud.
The Assembly murmurs." -- 208 (July 21). "Murmuring, shouts, and cries
of Down with the speaker! from the galleries. The president calls the
house to order five times, but always fruitlessly." -- 224 (July 23).
"The galleries applaud; long continued murmurs are heard in the

[25] Buzot, "Mémoires" (Ed. Dauban, 83 and 84). "The majority of the
French people yearned for royalty and the constitution of 1790. . . It
was at Paris particularly that this desire governed the general plan,
the discussion of it being the least feared in special conversations
and in private society. There were only a few noble-minded, superior
men that were worthy of being republicans. . . The rest desired the
constitution of 1791, and spoke of the republicans only as one speaks
of very honest maniacs."

[26] Duvergier, "Collection des lois et décrets," May 29, 1792; July
15, 16, and 18; July 6-20.

[27] Moniteur, XIII. 25 (session of July 1). Petition of 150 active
citizens of the Bonne-Nouvelle section.

[28] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 194. Buchez et Roux, XVI. 253. The decree
of dismissal was not passed until the 12th of August, but after the
31St of July the municipality demanded it and during the following
days several Jacobin grenadiers go to the National Assembly, trample
on their bearskin hats and put on the red cap of liberty.

[29] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 192 (municipal action of Aug. 5).

[30] Decree of July 2.

[31] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 129. -- Buchez et Roux, XV. 458. According
to the report of the Minister of War, read the 30th of July, at the
evening session, 5,314 department federates left Paris between July 14
and 30. Pétion wrote that the levy of federates then in Paris amounted
to 2,960, "of which 2,032 were getting ready to go to the camp at
Soissons." -- A comparison of these figures leads to the approximate
number that I have adopted

[32] Buchez et Roux, XVI. 120, 133 (session of the Jacobins, Aug. 6).
The federates "resolved to watch the Château, each taking a place in
the battalions respectively of the sections in which they lodge, and
many incorporated themselves with the battalions of the faubourg St

[33] Mercure de France, April 14, 1793.-- " The Revolution," I. p.

[34] Barbaroux, "Mémoires," 37-40. -- Lauront-Lautard, "Marseilles
depuis 1789 jusqu'à 1815," I. 134. "The mayor, Mourdeille," who had
recruited them, "was perhaps very glad to get rid of them." -- On the
composition of this group and on the previous rôle of Rebecqui, see
chapter VI.

[35] Buchez et Roux, XVI. 197 and following pages. -- Mortimer-
Ternaux, II. 148 (the grenadiers numbered only 166). -- Moniteur,
XIII. 310 (session of Aug. 1). Address of the grenadiers: "They swore
on their honor that they did not draw their swords until after being
threatened for a quarter of an hour, then insulted and humiliated,
until forced to defend their lives against a troop of brigands armed
with pistols, and some of them with carbines." -- " The reading of
this memorandum is often interrupted by hooting from the galleries, in
spite of the president's orders." -- Hooting again, when they file out
of the chamber.

[36] The lack of men of action greatly embarrassed the Jacobin party.
("Correspondance de Mirabeau et du Comte de la Marck,2 II. 326.)
Letter of M. de Montmorin, July 13, 1792. On the disposition of the
people of Paris, wearied and worn out "to excess." "They will take no
side, either for or against the king. . . They no longer stir for any
purpose; riots are wholly factitious. This is so right that they are
obliged to bring men from the South to get them up. Nearly all of
those who forced the gates of the Tuileries, or rather, who got inside
of them on the 20th of June, were outsiders or onlookers, got together
at the sight of such a lot of pikes and red caps, etc. The cowards ran
at the slightest indication of presenting arms, which was done by a
portion of the national guard on the arrival of a deputation from the
National Assembly, their leaders being obliged to encourage them by
telling them that they were not to be fired at."

[37] Buchez et Roux, XVI. 447. "Chronique des cinquante jours," by

[38] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 378.-127 Jacobins of Arras, led by
Geoffroy and young Robespierre, declare to the Directory that they
mean to come to its meetings and follow its deliberations. "It is time
that the master should keep his eye on his agents." The Directory,
therefore, resigns (July 4, 1792). - Ibid., 462 (report of Leroux,
municipal officer). The Paris municipal council, on the night of
August 9-10 deliberates under threats of death and the furious shouts
of the galleries.

[39] Duvergier's "Collection of Laws and Decrees," July 4, 5-8, 11-12,
25-28. -- Buchez et Roux, XVI. 250. The section of the Theatre
Français (of which Danton is president and Chaumette and Momoro
secretaries) thus interpret the declaration of the country being in
danger. "After a declaration of the country being in danger by the
representatives of the people, it is natural that the people itself
should take back its sovereign supervision."

[40] Schmidt, "Tableaux de la Révolution," I. 99-100. Report to
Roland, Oct. 29, 1792.

[41] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 199. - Buchez et Roux, XVI. 320. -
Moniteur, XIII. 336 (session of Aug. 5). Speech by Collot d'Herbois.

[42] Moniteur, XI. 20, session of Feb. 4. At this meeting Gorguereau,
reporter of the committee on legislation, had already stated that "The
authors of these multiplied addresses seem to command rather than
demand. . . It is ever the same sections or the same individuals who
deceive you in bringing to you their own false testimony for that of
the capital." - "Down with the reporter! From the galleries." -
Ibid., XIII. 93, session of July 11. M. Gastelier: "Addresses in the
name of the people are constantly read to you, which are not even the
voice of one section. We have seen the same individual coming three
times a week to demand something in the name of sovereignty." (Shouts
of down! down! in the galleries. Ibid., 208, session of July 21. M.
Dumolard: "You must distinguish between the people of Paris and these
subaltern intriguers . . . these habitual oracles of the cafés and
public squares, whose equivocal existence has for a long time occupied
the attention and claimed the supervision of the police." (Down with
the speaker! murmurs and hooting in the galleries).-Mortimer-Ternaux,
II. 398. Protests of the arsenal section, read by Lavoisier (the
chemist): "The caprice of a knot of citizens (thus) becomes the
desire of an immense population."

[43] Buchez et Roux, XVI. 251. - Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 239 and 243.
The central bureau is first opened in "the building of the Saint-
Esprit, in the second story, near the passage communicating with the
common dwelling." Afterwards the commissioners of the section occupy
another room in the Hôtel-de-ville, nearly joining the throne-room,
where the municipal council is holding its sessions. During the night
of August 9-10 both councils sit four hours simultaneously within a
few steps of each other.

[44] Robespierre, "Seventh letter to his constituents," says: "The
sections. . . have been busy for more than a fortnight getting ready
for the last Revolution."

[45] Robespierre, "Seventh letter to his constituents" -- Malouet, II.
233, 234. -- Rœderer, "Chronique des cinquante jours."

[46] Moniteur, XIII. 318, 319. The petition is drawn up apparently by
people who are beside themselves. "If we did not rely on you, I would
not answer for the excesses to which our despair would carry us! We
would bring on ourselves all the horrors of civil war, provided we
could, on dying, drag along with us some of our cowardly assassins!" -
- The representatives, it must be noted, talk in the same vein. La
Source exclaims: "The members here, like yourselves, call for
vengeance!" - Thuriot: "The crime is atrocious!"

[47] Taine is describing a basic trait of human nature, something we
see again and again whether our ancestors attacked small, harmless
neighboring nations, witches, renegades, Jews, or religious people of
another faith .(SR).

[48] Buchez et Roux, XIX 93, session of Sept. 23, 1792. Speech by
Panis: "Many worthy citizens would like to have judicial proof; but
political proofs satisfy us" -- Towards the end of July the Minister
of the Interior had invited Pétion to send two municipal officers to
examine the Tuileries; but this the council refused to do, so as to
keep up the excitement.

[49] Mallet du Pan, "Mémoires," 303. Letter of Malouet, June 29. --
Bertrand de Molleville, "Mémoires," II. 301. -- Hua, 148. -- Weber,
II. 208. -- Madame Campan, "Mémoires," II. 188. Already, at the end of
1791, the king was told that he was liable to be poisoned by the
pastry-cook of the palace, a Jacobin. For three or four months the
bread and pastry he ate were secretly purchased in other places. On
the 14th of July, 1792, his attendants, on account of the threats
against his life, put a breastplate on him under his coat.

[50] member of the 1789 Constituent Assembly. (SR).

[51] Moniteur, VIII. 271, 278. A deputy, excusing his assailants,
pretends that d'Ésprémesnil urged the people to enter the Tuileries
garden. It is scarcely necessary to state that during the Constituent
Assembly d'Espréménil was one of the most conspicuous members of the
extreme "Right." - Duc de Gaëte, "Mémoires," I. 18.

[52] Lafayette, "Mémoires," I. 465.

[53] Moniteur, XIII. 327, -- Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 176.

[54] Moniteur, XIII. 340. -- The style of these petitions is highly
instructive. We see in them the state of mind and degree of education
of the petitioners: sometimes a half-educated writer attempting to
reason in the vein of the Contrat Social; sometimes, a schoolboy
spouting the tirades of Raynal; and sometimes, the corner letter-
writer putting together the expressions forming his stock in trade.

[55] Carra, "Précis historique sur l'origine et les véritables auteurs
de l'insurrection du 10 Août." -- Barbaroux, "Mémoires, 49. The
executive directory, appointed by the central committee of the
confederates, held its first meeting in a wine-shop, the Soleil d'or,
on the square of the Bastille; the second at the Cadran bleu, on the
boulevard; the third in Antoine's room, who then lodged in the same
house with Robespierre. Camille Desmoulins was present at this latter
meeting. Santerre, Westermann, Fournier the American, and Lazowski
were the principal members of this Directory. Another insurrectionary
plan was drawn up on the 30th of July in a wine-shop at Charenton by
Barbaroux, Rebecqui, Pierre Bayle, Heron, and Fournier the American. -
Cf. J. Claretie, "Camille Desmoulins," p. 192. Desmoulins wrote, a
little before the 10th of August: "If the National Assembly thinks
that it cannot save the country, let it declare then, that, according
to the Constitution, and like the Romans, it hands this over to each
citizen. Let the tocsin be rung forthwith, the whole nation assembled,
and every man, as at Rome, be invested with the power of putting to
death all well-known conspirators!"

[56] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 182. Decision of the Quinze-Vingt Section,
Aug. 4. - Buchez et Roux, XVI. 402-410. History of Quinze-Vingt

[57] Moniteur. XIII. 367, session of Aug. 8. - Ibid., 369 and
following pages. Session of Aug. 9. Letters and speeches of maltreated

[58] Moniteur, 371. Speech of M. Girardin: "I am convinced that most
of those who insulted me were foreigners." -- Ibid., 370. Letter of M.
Frouvières: "Many of the citizens, coming out of their shops,
exclaimed: How can they insult the deputies in this way? Run away! run
off!" -- M. Jolivet, that evening attending a meeting of the Jacobin
Club, states "that the Jacobin tribunes were far from sharing in this
frenzy." He heard "one individual in these tribunes exclaim, on the
proposal to put the dwellings of the deputies on the list, that it was
outrageous." -- Countless other details show the small number and
character of the factions. - Ibid., 374. Speech of Aubert-Dubacet: "I
saw men dressed in the coats of the national guard, with countenances
betraying everything that is most vile in wickedness." There are "a
great many evil-disposed persons among the federates."

[59] Moniteur, XIII. 170 (letter of M. de Joly, Minister of Justice).
- Ibid., 371, declaration of M. Jolivet. - Buchez et Roux, XVI. 370
(session of the Jacobin Club, Aug. 8, at evening). Speech by

[60] One may imagine with what satisfaction Lenin, must have read
this description agreeing: "Yes, open voting by a named and identified
count, that is how a leader best can control any assembly." (SR).

[61] Moniteur, XIII. 37o. - Cf. Ibid., the letter of M. Chapron. --
Ibid., 372. Speech by M. A. Vaublanc. -- Moore, "Journal during a
Residence in France," I. 25 (Aug. 10). The impudence of the people in
the galleries was intolerable. There was "a loud and universal peal of
laughter from all the galleries" on the reading of a letter, in which
a deputy wrote that he was threatened with decapitation. -- " Fifty
members were shouting at the same time; the most boisterous night I
ever was witness to in the House of Commons was calmness itself
alongside of this."

[62] Moniteur, Ibid., p. 371. - Lafayette, I. 467. "On the 9th of
August, as can be seen in the unmutilated editions of the Logographe,
the Assembly, almost to a man, arose and declared that it was not
free." Ibid., 478. "On the 9th of August the Assembly had passed a
decree declaring that it was not free. This decree was torn up on the
10th. But it is no that it was passed."

[63] Moniteur, XIII. 370, 374, 375. Speech by Rœderer, letter of M. de
Joly, and speech by Pétion.

[64] Mathieu Dumas, "Mémoires," II. 461.

[65] "Chronique des cinquante jours," by Rœderer. - Mortimer-Ternaux,
II. 260. - Buchez et Roux, XVI. 458. - Towards half-past seven in the
morning there were only from sixty to eighty members present.
(Testimony of two of the Ministers who leave the Assembly.)

[66] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 205. At the ballot of July 12, not counting
members on leave of absence or delegated elsewhere, and the dead not
replaced, there were already twenty-seven not answering the call,
while after that date three others resigned. -- Buchez et Roux, XVIL
340 (session of Sept. 2, 1792). Hérault de Séchelles is elected
president by 248 out of 257 voters. -- Hua, 164 (after Aug. 10). "We
attended the meetings of the House simply to show that we had not
given them up. We took no part in the discussions, and on the vote
being taken, standing or sitting, we remained in our seats. This was
the only protest we could make."

[67] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 229, 233, 417 and following pages. M.
Mortimer-Ternaux is the first to expose, with documents to support him
and critical discussion, the formation of the revolutionary commune. -
The six sections referred to are the Lombards, Gravilliers,
Mauconseil, Gobelins, Théatre-Français, and Faubourg Poissonnière.

[68] For instance, the Enfants Rouges, Louvre, Observatoire,
Fontaine-Grenelle, Faubourg Saint-Denis, and Thermes de Julien..

[69] For example, at the sections of Montreuil, Popincourt, and Roi de

[70] For example, Ponceau, Invalides, Sainte-Geneviève.

[71] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 240.

[72] Mortimer-Ternaux, 446 (list of the commissioners who took their
seats before 9 o'clock in the morning). "Le Tableau général des
Commisaires des 48 sections qui ont composé le conseil général de la
Commune de Paris, le 10 Août, 1792," it must be noted, was not
published until three or four months later, with all the essential
falsifications. It may be found in Buchez et Roux, XVI. 450. --
"Relation de l'abbé Sicard." "At that time a lot of scoundrels, after
the general meeting of the sections was over, passed acts in the name
of the whole assemblage and had them executed, utterly unknown to
those who had done this, or by those who were the unfortunate victims
of these proceedings " (supported by documents).

[73] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 270, 273. (The official report of Mandat's
examination contains five false statements, either through omission or

[74] Claretie, "Camille Desmoulins," p.467 (notes of Topino-Lebrun on
Danton's trial). Danton, in the pleadings, says: "I left at 1 o'clock
in the morning. I was at the revolutionary commune and pronounced
sentence of death on Mandet, who had orders to fire op the people."
Danton in the same place says: "I had planned the 10th of August." It
is very certain that from 1 to 7 o'clock in the morning (when Mandat
was killed) he was the principal leader of the insurrectional commune.
Nobody was so potent, so overbearing, so well endowed physically for
the control of such a conventicle as Danton. Besides, among the new-
comers he was the best known and with the most influence through his
position as deputy of the syndic-attorney. Hence his prestige after
the victory and appointment as Minister of Justice. His hierarchical
superior, the syndic-attorney Manuel, who was there also and signed
his name, showed himself undoubtedly the pitiful fellow he was, an
affected, crazy, ridiculous loud-talker. For this reason he was
allowed to remain syndic-attorney as a tool and servant. -- Beaulieu,
"Essais sur la Révolution Française," III. 454. "Rossignal boasted of
having committed this assassination himself."

[75] "Pièces intéressantes pour l'histoire," by Pétion, 1793. "I
desired the insurrection, but I trembled for fear that it might not
succeed. My position was a critical one. I had to do my duty as a
citizen without sacrificing that of a magistrate; externals had to be
preserved without derogating from forms. The plan was to confine me in
my own house; but they forgot or delayed to carry this out. Who do you
think repeatedly sent to urge the execution of this measure? Myself;
yes, myself!"

[76] In "Histoire de la Révolution Française" by Ferrand & Lamarque,
Cavaillés, Paris 1851, vol. II. Page 225 we may read the following
footnote: "This very evening, a young artillery lieutenant observed,
from a window of a house in the rue de l'Echelle, the preparations
which were being undertaken in the château des Tuileries: that was
Napoleon Bonaparte. "-Well, right, asked the deputy Pozze di Borgo,
his compatriot, what do you think of what is going on? This evening
they will attack the château. Do you think the people will succeed? -
I don't know, answered the future emperor, but what I can assure you
is that if they gave me the command of two Swiss battalions and one
hundred good horsemen, I should repel the insurgents in a manner which
would for ever rid them of any desire to return." (SR)

[77] Napoleon, at this moment, was at the Carrousel, in the house of
Bourrienne's brother. "I could see conveniently," he says, "all that
took place during the day. . . The king had at least as many troops in
his defense as the Convention since had on the 13th Vendémaire, while
the enemies of the latter were much more formidable and better
disciplined. The greater part of the national guard showed that they
favored the king; this justice must be done to it." (It might be
helpful to some readers to know that when Napoleon refers to the 13th
Vendémaire, (5th Oct. 1795) that was when he, as a young officer was
given the task to defend the Convention against a royalist uprising.
He was quick-witted and got hold of some guns in time, loaded them
with grape-shot, placed them in front of the Parisian church of Saint-
Roch and completely eliminated the superior royalist force. SR.)

[78] Official report of Leroux. On the side of the garden, along the
terrace by the river, and then on the return were "a few shouts of
Vive le roi! many for Vive la nation! Vivent les sans-culottes! Down
with the king! Down with the veto! Down with the old porker! etc. --
But I can certify that these insults were all uttered between the
Pont-Turnant and the parterre, and by about a dozen men, among which
were five or six gunners following the king, the same as flies follow
an animal they are bent on tormenting."

[79] Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 223, 273 -- Letter of Bonnaud, chief of
the Sainte-Marguerite battalion: "I cannot avoid marching at their
head under any pretext . . . Never will I violate the Constitution
unless I am forced to." -- The Gravilliers section and that of the
Faubourg Poissonnière cashiered their officers and elected others.

[80] Mortimer-Ternaux, IV. 342. Speech of Fabre d'Eglantine at the
Jacobin Club, Nov. 5, 1792. "Let it be loudly proclaimed that these
are the same men who captured the Tuileries, broke into the prisons of
the Abbaye, of Orleans and of Versailles."

[81] In this respect the riot of the Champ-de-Mars (July 17, 1791),
the only one that was suppressed, is very instructive: "As the militia
would not as usual ground their arms on receiving the word of command
from the mob, this last began, according to custom, to pelt them with
stones. To be deprived of their Sunday recreational activities, to be
marching through the streets under a scorching sun, and then be remain
standing like fools on a public holiday, to be knocked out with
bricks, was a little more than they had patience to bear so that,
without waiting for an order, they fired and killed a dozen or two of
the raggamuffins. The rest of the brave chaps bolted. If the militia
had waited for orders they might, I fancy, have been all knocked down
before they received any. . . Lafayette was very near being killed in
the morning; but the pistol failed to go off at his breast. The
assassin was immediately secured, but he arranged to be let free"
(Gouverneur Morris, letter of July 20, 1791). Likewise, on the 29th of
August, 1792, at Rouen, the national guard, defending the Hôtel-de-
ville, is pelted with stones more than an hour while many are wounded.
The magistrates make every concession and try every expedient, the
mayor reading the riot act five or six times. Finally the national
guard, forced into it, exclaim: "If you do not allow us to repel force
with force we shall leave." They fire and four persons are killed and
two wounded, and the crowd breaks up. ("Archives Nationales," F7,
2265, official report of the Rouen municipality, Aug. 29; addresses of
the municipality, Aug. 28; letter of the lieutenant-colonel of the
gendarmerie, Aug. 30, etc.).

[82] Official report of Leroux. -- "Chronique des cinquante jours," by
Rœderer. -- "Détails particuliers sur la journée du 10 Aout," by a
bourgeois of Paris, an eye-witness (1822).

[83] Barbaroux, "Mémoires," 69. "Everything betokened victory for the
court if the king had never left his post . . . If he had shown
himself, if he had mounted on horseback the battalions of Paris would
have declared for him."

[84] "Révolution de Paris," number for Aug. 11, 1792. "The 10th of
August, 1792, is still more horrible than the 24th of August, 1572,
and Louis XVI. a greater monster than Charles IX. " -- "Thousands of
torches were found in cellars, apparently placed there to burn down
Paris at a signal from this modern Nero." In the number for Aug.18:
"The place for Louis Nero and for Medicis Antoinette is not in the
towers of the Temple; their heads should have fallen from the
guillotine on the night of the 10th of August." (Special details of a
plan of the king to massacre all patriot deputies, and intimidate
Paris with a grand pillaging and by keeping the guillotine constantly
at work.) "That crowned ogre and his Austrian panther."

[85] Narrative of the Minister Joly (written four days after the
event). The king departs about half-past eight. -- Cf. Madame Campan,
"Mémoires," and Moniteur, XIII. 378.

[86] Révolution de Paris," number for Aug. 18. On his way a sans-
culotte steps out in front of the rows and tries to prevent the king
from proceeding. The officer of the guard argues with him, upon which
he extends his hand to the king, exclaiming: "Touch that hand,
bastard, and you have shaken the hand of an honest man! But I have no
intention that your bitch of a wife goes with you to the Assembly; we
don't want that whore." -- "Louis XVI," says Prudhomme, "kept on his
way without being upset by the with this noble impulse." -- I regard
this as a masterpiece of Jacobin interpretation.

[87] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 311, 325. The king, at the foot of the
staircase, had asked Rœderer: "what will become of the persons
remaining above? "Sire," he replies, "they seem to be in plain dress.
Those who have swords have merely to take them off, follow you and
leave by the garden." A certain number of gentlemen, indeed, do so,
and thus depart while others escape by the opposite side through the
gallery of the Louvre.

[88] Mathon de la Varenne, "Histoire particulière," etc., 108.
(Testimony of the valet-de-chambre Lorimier de Chamilly, with whom
Mathon was imprisoned in the prison of La Force.

[89] De Lavalette, "Mémoires," I. 81. "We there found the grand
staircase barred by a sort of beam placed across it, and defended by
several Swiss officers, who were civilly disputing its passage with
about fifty mad fellows, whose odd dress very much resembled that of
the brigands in our melodramas. They were intoxicated, while their
coarse language and queer imprecations indicated the town of
Marseilles, which had belched them forth."

[90] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 314, 317 (questioning of M. de Diesbach).
"Their orders were not to fire until the word was given, and not
before the national guard had set the example."

[91] Buchez et Roux, XVI, 443. Narration by Pétion. - Peltier,
"Histoire du 10 août.

[92] M. de Nicolay wrote the following day, the 11th of August: "The
federates fired first, which was followed by a sharp volley from the
château windows." (Le Comte de Fersen et la cour de France. II. 347.)

[93] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 491. The abandonment of the Tuileries is
proved by the small loss of the assailants. (List of the wounded
belonging to the Marseilles corps and of the killed and wounded of the
Brest corps, drawn up Oct. 16, 1792. -- Statement of the aid granted
to wounded Parisians, to widows, to orphans, and to the aged, October,
1792, and then 1794.) -- The total amounts to 74 dead and 54 severely
wounded The two corps in the hottest of the fight were the Marseilles
band, which lost 22 dead and 14 wounded, and the Bretons, who lost 2
dead and 5 wounded. The sections that suffered the most were the
Quinze-Vingts (4 dead and 4 wounded), the Faubourg-Montmartre (3
dead), the Lombards (4 wounded), and the Gravilliers (3 wounded). --
Out of twenty-one sections reported, seven declare that they did not
lose a man. -- The Swiss regiment, on the contrary, lost 760 men and
26 officers.

[94] Napoleon's narrative.

[95] Pétion's account.

[96] Prudhomme's "Révolution de Paris," XIII. 236 and 237. -
Barbaroux, 73. - Madame Campan, II. 250.

[97] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 258. -- Moore, I. 59. Some of the robbers
are killed. Moore saw one of them thrown down the grand staircase.

[98] Michelet, III. 289.

[99] Mercier, "Le Nouveau Paris," II. 108. -- "The Comte de Fersen et
la Cour de France," II. 348. (Letter of Sainte-Foix, Aug. 11). "The
cellars were broken open and more than 10,000 bottles of wine of which
I saw the fragments in the court, so intoxicated the people that I
made haste to put an end to an investigation imprudently begun amidst
2,000 sots with naked swords, handled by them very carelessly."

[100] Napoleon's narrative. -- Memoirs of Barbaroux.

[101] Moniteur, XIII. 387. -- Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 340.

[102] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 303. Words of the president Vergniaud on
receiving Louis XVI. - Ibid. 340, 342, 350.

[103] Mortimer-Ternaux, 356, 357.

[104] Mortimer-Ternaux, 337. Speech of Huguenin, president of the
Commune, at the bar of the National Assembly: "The people by whom we
are sent to you have instructed us to declare to you that they invest
you anew with its confidence; but they at the same time instruct us to
declare to you that, as judge of the extraordinary measures to which
they have been driven by necessity and resistance to oppression, they
k now no other authority than the French people, your sovereign and
ours, assembled in its primary meetings."

[105] Duvergier, "Collection des lois et décrets," (between Aug. 10
and Sept. 20).

[106] Duvergier, "Collection des lois et décrets," Aug. 11-12. "The
natgional Assembly considering that it has not the right to subject
sovereignty in the formation of a national Convention to imperative
regulations, . . . invites citizens to conform to the following

[107] August 11 (article 8)

[108] Aug. 10-12 and Aug. 28.

[109] Ibid., Aug. 10, Aug. 13. - Cf. Moniteur, XIII. 399 (session of
Aug. 12).

[110] Ibid., Aug. 18.

[111] Aug. 23 and Sep. 3. After the 11th of August the Assembly
passes a decree releasing Saint-Huruge and annulling the warrant
against Antoine.

[112] Ibid., Aug. 14.

[113] Ibid., Aug. 14. Decree for dividing the property of the émigrés
into lots of from two to four arpents, in order to "multiply small
proprietors." -- Ibid., Sept. 2. Other decrees against the émigrés
and their relations, Aug. 14, 23, 30, and Sept. 5 and 9.

[114] Ibid., Aug. 26. Other decrees against the ecclesiastics or the
property of the church, Aug. 17, 18, 19, and Sept. 9 and 19.

[115] Ibid., Sept. 20.

[116] Imagine the impression these last lines may have upon any
ardent, ambitious and arrogant young man who, like Lenin in 1907,
would have read this between 1893 and 1962, date of the last English
reprinting of Taine's once widely know work. They summed up both what
had to be done and who would be the primary beneficiaries of the
revolution. Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini and countless other young hopeful
political men. Read it once more and ask yourself if much of this
program has not been more or less surreptitiously carried out in most
western countries after the second world war? (SR).

[117] Malouet, II. 241.

[118] Mercure de France, July 21, 1792.

[119] "Révolutions de Paris," XIII. 137.

[120] Mallet du Pan. "Mémoires," I. 322. Letters to Mallet du Pan.
Aug. 4 and following days.

[121] Buchez et Roux, XVI. 446. Pétion's narrative. -- Arnault,
"Souvenirs d'un sexagénaire," I. 342. (An eye-witness on the 10th of
August.) "The massacre extended but little beyond the Carrousel, and
did not cross the Seine. Everywhere else I found a population as quiet
as if nothing had happened. Inside the city the people scarcely
manifested any surprise; dancing went on in the public gardens. In the
Marais, where I lived then, there was only a suspicion of the
occurrence, the same as at Saint-Germain; it was said that something
was going on in Paris, and the evening newspaper was impatiently
looked for to know what it was."

[122] Moore, I. 122. -- The same thing is observable at other crises
in the Revolution. On the 6th of October, 1789 (Sainte-Beuve,
"Causeries du Lundi," XII. 461), Sénac de Meilhan at an evening
reception hears the following conversations: "'Did you see the king
pass?' asks one. 'No, I was at the theater.' 'Did Molé play?' -- 'As
for myself; I was obliged to stay in the Tuileries; there was no way
of getting out before 9 o'clock.' 'You saw the king pass then?' 'I
could not see very well; it was dark.' -- Another says: 'It must have
taken six hours for him to come from Versailles.' -- Others coolly add
a few details. -- To continue: 'Will you take a hand at whist?' 'I
will play after supper, which is just ready.' Cannon are heard, and
then a few whisperings, and a transient moment of depression,. 'The
king is leaving the Hôtel-de-ville. They must be very tired.' Supper
is taken and there are snatches of conversation. They play trente et
quarante and while walking about watching the game and their cards
they do some talking: 'What a horrid affair!' while some speak
together briefly and in a low tone of voice. The clock strikes two and
they all leave or go to bed. -- These people seem to you insensible.
Very well; there is not one of them who would not accept death at the
king's feet." -- On the 23d of June, 1791, at the news of the king's
arrest at Varennes, "the Bois de Boulogne and the Champs Elysées were
filled with people talking in a frivolous way about the most serious
matters, while young men are seen, pronouncing sentences of death in
their frolics with courtesans." (Mercure de France, July 9, 1791. It
begins with a little piece entitled Dépit d'un Amant.) - See ch. XI.
for the sentiment of the population in May and June, 1793.

[123] Moniteur, XIII. 290 (July 29) and 278 (July 30).

[124] "Archives Nationales," F7, 145. Letter of Santerre to the
Minister of the Interior, Sept. 16, 1792, with the daily list of all
the men that have left Paris between the3rd and 15th of September, the
total amounting to 18,635, of which 15,504 are volunteers. Other
letters from the same, indicating subsequent departures: Sept. 17,
1,071 men; none the following days until Sept. 21, 243; 22nd 150; up
to the 26th, 813; on Oct. 1st, 113; 2nd and 3rd, 1,088 ; 4th, 1620;
16th, 196, etc. -- I believe that amongst those who leave, some are
passing through Paris coming from the provinces; this prevents an
exact calculation of the number of Parisian volunteers. M. de
Lavalette, himself a volunteer, says 60,000; but he furnishes not
proofs of this.

[125] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 362.

[126] Soulavie, "Vie privée du Maréchal duc de Richelieu," IX. 384. -
- "One can scarcely comprehend," says Lafayette, (Mémoires," I. 454),
"how the Jacobin minority and a gang of pretended Marseilles men could
render themselves masters of Paris, while almost the whole of the
40,000 citizens forming the national guard desired the Constitution."

[127] Hua, 169.

[128] Moniteur, XIII. 437. (session of Aug. 16, the applause
reiterated and the speech ordered to be printed).

[129] These words should cause society to change resulting in a
leveling of incomes through proportional taxation and aids of all
kinds throughout the industrialized world. Nobody could ever imagine
the immense wealth which was to be produced by the efficient industry
of the 20th century. (SR).

[130] Rœderer, "Œuvres Complètes." VIII 477. "The club orators
displayed France to the proletariat as a sure prey if they would seize
hold of it."

[131] This manifesto, was drafted for the Duke of Brunswick-
Lunebourg, the general commanding the combined Prussian and Austrian
forces, by the French émigré Marquis de Limon. It threatened the
French and especially the Paris population with unspecified "rigors of
war" should it have the temerity to resist or to harm the King and his
family. It was signed in Koblenz, Germany on 25 August 1792 and
published in royalist newspapers 3 days later in Paris.(SR).

[132] Moore's Journal," I. 303-309.

[133] "Archives Nationales," 474, 426. Section of Gravilliers, letter
of Charles Chemin, commissary, to Santerre, and deposition of
Ilingray, cavalryman of the national gendarmerie, Aug. 11.

[134] Beaumarchais, "Œuvres complètes," letter of Aug. 12, 1792. --
This very interesting letter shows how mobs are composed at this
epoch. A small gang of regular brigands and thieves plot together some
enterprise, to which is added a frightened, infatuated crowd, which
may become ferocious, but which remains honest.

[135] The words of Hobbes applied by Rœderer to the democracy of 1792:
"In democratia tot possent esse Nerones quot sunt oratores qui populo
adulantur; simul et plures sunt in democratia, et quotidie novi

[136] Lucas de Montigny, "Mémoires de Mirabeau," II. 231 and
following pages. -- The preface affixed by Manuel to his edition (of
Mirabeau's letters) is a masterpiece of nonsense and impertinence. --
Peltier, "Histoire du 10 Aout," II. 205. -- Manuel "came out of a
little shop at Montargis and hawked about obscene tracts in the upper
stories of Paris. He got hold of Mirabeau's letters in the drawers of
the public department and sold them for 2,000 crowns." (testimony of
Boquillon, juge-de~paix).

[137] Lafayette, "Mémoires," I. 467, 471. "The queen had 50,000
crowns put into Danton's hands a short time before these terrible
days." -- " The court had Danton under pay for two years, employing
him as a spy on the Jacobins." -- " Correspondance de Mirabeau et du
Comte de la Marck," III. 82. Letter from Mirabeau, March 10, 1791:
"Danton received yesterday 30,000 livres". -- Other testimony,
Bertrand de Molleville, I. 354, II. 288. -- Brissot, IV. 193 -- .
Miot de Melito, "Mémoires," I. 40, 42. Miot was present at the
conversations which took place between Danton, Legendre, etc., at the
table of Desforges, Minister of Foreign Affairs. "Danton made no
concealment of his love of pleasure and money, and laughed at all
conscientious and delicate scruples." -- " Legendre could not say
enough in praise of Danton in speaking of his talents as a public man;
but he loudly censured his habits and cxpensive tastes, and never
joined him in any of his odious speculations." -- The opposite thesis
has been maintained by Robinet and Bougeart in their articles on
Danton. The discussion would require too much space. The important
points are as follows:

Danton, a barrister in the royal council in March, 1787, loses about
10,000 francs on the refund of his charge. In his marriage-contract
dated June, 1787, he admits 12,000 francs patrimony in lands and
houses, while his wife brings him only 20,000 francs dowry. From 1787
to 1791 he could not earn much, being in constant attendance at the
Cordeliers club and devoted to politics; Lacretelle saw him in the
riots of 1788. He left at his death about 85,000 francs in national
property bought in 1791. Besides, he probably held property and
valuables under third parties, who kept them after his death. (De
Martel, "Types Révolutionnaires," 2d part, p.139. Investigations of
Blache at Choisy-sur-Seine, where a certain Fauvel seems to have been
Danton's assumed name.) -- See on this question, "Avocats aux conseils
du Roi," by Emil Bos, pp.513-520. According to accounts proved by M.
Bos, it follows that Danton, at the end of 1791, was in debt to the
amount of 53,000 francs; this is the hole stopped by the court. On the
other side, Danton before the Revolution signs himself Danton even in
authentic writing, which is an usurpation of nobility and at that time
subject to the penalty of the galleys. -- The double-faced infidelity
in question must have been frequent, for their leaders were anything
else but sensitive. On the 7th of August Madame Elizabeth tells M. de
Montmorin that the insurrection would not take place; that Pétion and
Santerre were concerned in it, and that they had received 750,000
francs to prevent it and bring over the Marseilles troop to the king's
side (Malouet, II. 223). -- There is no doubt that Santerre, in using
the king's money against the king, thought he was acting
patriotically. Money is at the bottom of every riot, to pay for drink
and to stimulate subordinate agents.

[138] Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 92. Letter of Gadolle to Roland,
October, 1792, according to a narrative by one of the teachers in the
college d'Harcourt, in which Varlet was placed.

[139] Buchez et Roux, XIII. 254.

[140] "C. Desmoulins," by Claretie, 238 (in 1786 and in 1775). "The
inquest still exists, unfortunately it is convincing." -- Westermann
was accused of these acts in December, 1792, by the section of the
Lombards, "proofs in hand." -- Gouverneur Morris, so well informed,
writes to Washington, Jan. 10, 1793: The retreat of the King of
Prussia "was worth to Westermann about 10,000 pounds. . . The council
. . . exerted against him a prosecution for old affairs of no higher
rank than petty larceny."

[141] "Archives Nationales," F7, 4434 (papers of the committee of
general safety). Note on Panis, with full details and references to
the occurrence.

[142] "Révolutions de Paris," No.177 (session of the council-general
at the Hotel-de-ville, Nov. 8, 1792, report of the committee of
surveillance). Sergent admits, except as to one of the watches, that
he intended to pay for the said object the price they would have
brought. It was noticed, as he said this, that he had on his finger
the agate ring that was claimed."

[143] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 638; III. 500 and following pages; IV.
132. -- Cf. II. 451.

[144] Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 456.

[145] Buchez et Roux, XVI. 138, 140 (testimony of Mathon de la
Varenne, who was engaged in the case).

[146] "Dictionnaire biographique," by Eymery (Leipsic, 1807), article

[147] Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 484, 601. Cf. letter of the
representative Cavaignac, Ibid., 399.

[148] "Dictionnaire biographique," article HENRIOT.-The lives of many
of these subordinate leaders are well done. Cf. "Stanislas Maillard,"
by AL Sorel; "Le Patriote Palloy," by V Fournel.

[149] Granier de Cassagnac, "Histoire des Girondins," 409. - "Archives
Nationales," F7 3196. Letters of de Sades on the sacking of his house
near Apt, with supporting document and proofs of his civism; among
others a petition drawn up by him in the name of the Pique section and
read at the Convention year II. brumaire 25. "Legislators, the reign
of philosophy has at last annihilated that of imposture. . . The
worship of a Jewish slave of the Romans is not adapted to the
descendants of Scœvola. The general prosperity which is certain to
proceed from individual happiness will spread to the farthest regions
of the universe and everywhere the dreaded hydra of ultramontane
superstition, chased by the combined lights of reason and virtue, no
longer finding a refuge in the hateful haunts of a dying aristocracy,
will perish at her side in despair at finally beholding on this earth
the triumph of philosophy!"

[150] Barbaroux, "Mémoires," 57, 59. The latter months of the
legislative assembly.




Government by gangs in times of anarchy. - Case where anarchy is
recent and suddenly brought on. -- The band that succeeds the fallen
government and its administrative tools.

The worst feature of anarchy is not so much the absence of the
overthrown government as the rise of new governments of an inferior
grade. In every state which breaks up, new groups will form to conquer
and become sovereign: it was so in Gaul on the fall of the Roman
empire, also under the latest of Charlemagne's successors; the same
state of things exists now (1875) in Rumania and in Mexico.
Adventurers, gangsters, corrupted or downgraded men, social outcasts,
men overwhelmed with debts and lost to honor, vagabonds, deserters,
dissolute troopers, born enemies of work, of subordination, and of the
law, unite to break the worm-eaten barriers which still surround the
sheep-like masses; and as they are unscrupulous, they slaughter on all
occasions. On this foundation their authority rests; each in turn
reigns in its own area, and their government, in keeping with its
brutal masters, consists in robbery and murder; nothing else can be
looked for from barbarians and brigands.

But never are they so dangerous as when, in a great State recently
fallen, a sudden revolution places the central power in their hands;
for they then regard themselves as the legitimate inheritors of the
shattered government, and, under this title, they undertake to manage
the commonwealth. Now in times of anarchy the ruling power does not
proceed from above, but from below; and the chiefs, therefore, who
would remain such, are obliged to follow the blind impulsion of their
flock.[1] Hence the important and dominant personage, the one whose
ideas prevail, the veritable successor of Richelieu and of Louis XIV.
is here the subordinate Jacobin, the pillar of the club, the maker of
motions, the street rioter, Panis Sergent, Hébert, Varlet, Henriot,
Maillard, Fournier, Lazowski, or, still lower in the scale, the
Marseilles "rough," the Faubourg gunner, the drinking market-porter
who elaborates his political conceptions in the interval between his
hiccups.[2] -- For information he has the rumors circulating in the
streets which tell of a traitor to each house, and for confirmed
knowledge the club slogans inciting him to rule over the vast machine.
A machinery so vast and complicated, a whole assembly of entangled
services ramifying in innumerable offices, with so much apparatus of
special import, so delicate as to require constant adaptation to
changing circumstances, diplomacy, finances, justice, army
administration -- all this surpasses his limited comprehension; a
bottle cannot be made to contain the bulk of a hogshead.[3] In his
narrow brain, perverted and turned topsy-turvy by the disproportionate
notions put into it, only one idea suited to his gross instincts and
aptitudes finds a place there, and that is the desire to kill his
enemies; and these are also the State's enemies, however open or
concealed, present or future, probable or even possible. He carries
this savagery and bewilderment into politics, and hence the evil
arising from his government. Simply a brigand, he would have murdered
only to rob, and his murders would have been restricted. As
representing the State, he undertakes wholesale massacres, of which he
has the means ready at hand. -- For he has not yet had time enough to
take apart the old administrative implements; at all events the minor
wheels, gendarmes, jailers, employees, book-keepers, and accountants,
are always in their places and under control. There can be no
resistance on the part of those arrested; accustomed to the protection
of the laws and to peaceable ways and times, they have never relied on
defending themselves nor ever could imagine that any one could be so
summarily slain. As to the mass, rendered incapable of any effort of
its own by ancient centralization, it remains inert and passive and
lets things go their own way. -- Hence, during many long, successive
days, without being hurried or impeded, with official papers quite
correct and accounts in perfect order, a massacre can be carried out
with the same impunity and as methodically as cleaning the streets or
clubbing stray dogs.[4]


The development of the ideas of killings in the mass of the party. --
The morning after August 10. -- The tribunal of August 17. -- The
funereal fête of August 27. -- The prison plot.

Let us trace the progress of the homicidal idea in the mass of the
party. It lies at the very bottom of the revolutionary creed. Collot
d'Herbois, two months after this, aptly says in the Jacobin tribune:


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