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

Part 7 out of 10

they are all (say the Jacobins)furious monsters, who ought to be
strangled to the last one. People! you have risen to your feet; stand
firm until not one of these conspirators remains alive. Your humanity
requires you for once to show yourselves inexorable. Strike terror to
the wicked. The proscriptions which we impose on you as a duty, are
the sacred wrath of your country."

There is no mistaking this; it is a tocsin sounding against all the
powers that be, against all social superiority, against priests and
nobles, proprietors, capitalists, the leaders of business and
industry; it is sounding, in short, against the whole élite of France,
whether of old or recent origin. The Jacobins of Paris, by their
journals, their examples, their missionaries, give the signal; and in
the provinces their kindred spirits, imbued with the same principles,
only wait the summons to hurl themselves forward.


In several departments it establishes itself in advance. An instance
of this in the Var.

In many departments[8] they have forestalled the summons. In the Var,
for example, pillages and proscriptions have begun with the month of
May. According to custom, they first seize upon the castles and the
monasteries, although these have become national property, at one time
alleging as a reason for this that the administration "is too slow in
carrying out sentence against the émigrés," and again, that "the
château, standing on an eminence, weighs upon the inhabitants."[9]
There is scarcely a village in France that does not contain twoscore
wretches who are always ready to line their pockets, which is just the
number of thieves who thoroughly sacked the château of Montaroux,
carrying off "furniture, produce, clothing, even the jugs and bottles
in the cellar." There are the same doings by the same band at the
chateau of Tournon; the château of Salerne is burned, that of Flagose
is pulled down; the canal of Cabris is destroyed; then the convent of
Montrieux, the châteaux of Grasse, of Canet, of Régusse, of Brovaz,
and many others, all devastated, and the devastations are made
"daily." -- It is impossible to suppress this country brigandage. The
reigning dogma, weakening authority in the magistrates' hands, and the
clubs, "which cover the department," have spread the fermentation of
anarchy everywhere. "Administrators, judges, municipal officers, all
who are invested with any authority, and who have the courage to use
it in forcing respect for law, are one by one denounced by public
opinion as enemies of the constitution and of liberty; because,
people say, they talk of nothing but the law, as if they did not know
that the will of the people makes the law, and that we are the
people."[10] This is the real principle; here, as at Paris, it
instantly begets its consequences. "In many of these clubs nothing is
discussed but the plundering of estates and cutting off the heads of
aristocrats. And who are designated by this infamous title? In the
cities, the great traders and rich proprietors; in the country, those
whom we call the bourgeois; everywhere, all peaceable citizens, the
friends of order, who wish to enjoy, under the shadow of the
protecting law, the blessings of the Constitution. Such was the rage
of their denunciations that in one of these clubs a good and brave
peasant was denounced as an aristocrat; the whole of his aristocracy
consisting in his having said to those who plundered the château of
their seigneur, already mentioned, that they would not enjoy in peace
the fruits of their crime." -- Here is the Jacobin programme of Paris
in advance, namely, the division of the French into two classes, the
spoliation of one, the despotism of the other; the destruction of the
well-to-do, orderly and honest under the dictation of those who are
not so.

Here, as in Paris, the programme is carried out step by step. At
Beausset, near Toulon, a man named Vidal, captain of the National
Guard, "twice set at liberty by virtue of two consecutive
amnesties,"[11] punishes not resistance merely, but even murmurs, with
death. Two old men, one of them a notary, the other a turner, having
complained of him to the public prosecutor, the general alarm is
beaten, a gathering of armed men is formed in the street, and the
complainants are clubbed, riddled with balls, and their bodies thrown
into a pit. Many of their friends are wounded, others take to flight;
seven houses are sacked, and the municipality, "either overawed or in
complicity," makes no interference until all is over. There is no way
of pursuing the guilty ones; the foreman of the jury, who goes,
escorted by a thousand men, to hold an inquest, can get no testimony.
The municipal officers feign to have heard nothing, neither the
general alarm nor the guns fired under their windows. The other
witnesses say not a word; but they declare, sotto voce, the reason for
their silence. If they should testify, "they would be sure of being
killed as soon as the troops should have gone away." The foreman of
the jury is himself menaced; after remaining three-quarters of an
hour, he finds it prudent to leave the city. -- After this the clubs
of Beausset and of the neighborhood, gaining hardihood from the
impotence of the law, break out into incendiary propositions: "It is
announced that after the troops retreat, nineteen houses more will be
sacked; it is proposed to behead all aristocrats, that is to say, all
the land-owners in the country." Many have fled, but their flight
does not satisfy the clubs. Vidal orders those of Beausset who took
refuge in Toulon to return at once; otherwise their houses will be
demolished, and that very day, in fact, by way of warning, several
houses in Beausset, among them that of a notary, are either pulled
down or pillaged from top to bottom; all the riff-raff of the town are
at work, "half-drunken men and women," and, as their object is to rob
and drink, they would like to begin again in the principal town of the
canton. -- The club, accordingly, has declared that "Toulon would soon
see a new St. Bartholomew"; it has allies there, and arrangements are
made; each club in the small towns of the vicinity will furnish men,
while all will march under the leadership of the Toulon club. At
Toulon, as at Beausset, the municipality will let things take their
course, while the proceedings complained of by the public prosecutor
and the district and department administrators will be applied to
them. They may send reports to Paris, and denounce patriots to the
National Assembly and the King, if they choose; the club will reply to
their scribbling with acts. Their turn is coming. Lanterns and sabers
are also found at Toulon, and the faction murders them because they
have lodged complaints against the murderers.


Each Jacobin band a dictator in its own neighborhood. -Saint-Afrique
during the interregnum.

By what it dared to do when the government still stood on its feet we
may we may imagine what it will do during the interregnum. Facts,
then, as always, furnish the best picture, and, to obtain a knowledge
of the new sovereign, we must first observe him on a limited stage.

On the reception of the news of the 10th of August, the Jacobins of
Saint-Afrique, a small town of the Aveyron,[12] likewise undertook to
save the country, and, to this end, like their fellows in other
boroughs of the district, they organized themselves into an "Executive
Power." This institution is of an old date, especially in the South;
it had flourished for eighteen months from Lyons to Montpellier, from
Agen to Nîmes; but after the interregnum, its condition is still more
flourishing; it consists of a secret society, the object of which is
to carry out practically the motions and instructions of the club.[13]
Ordinarily, they work at night, wearing masks or slouched hats, with
long hair falling over the face. A list of their names, each with a
number opposite to it, is kept at the meeting-place of the society. A
triangular club, decked with a red ribbon, serves them both as weapon
and badge; with this club, each member "may go anywhere," and do what
seems good to him. At Saint-Afrique they number about eighty, among
whom must be counted the rascals forming the seventh company of Tarn,
staying in the town; their enrollment in the band is effected by
constantly "preaching pillage to them," and by assuring them that the
contents of the châteaux in the vicinity belong to them.[14] -- Not
that the châteaux excite any fear; most of them are empty; neither in
Saint-Afrique nor in the environs do the men of the ancient régime
form a party; for many months orthodox priests and the nobles have had
to fly, and now the well-to-do people are escaping. The population,
however, is Catholic; many of the shop-keepers, artisans, and farmers
are discontented, and the object now is to make these laggards keep
step. -- In the first place, they order women of every condition,
work-girls and servants, to attend mass performed by the sworn curé,
for, if they do not, they will be made acquainted with the cudgel. --
In the second place, all the suspected are disarmed; they enter their
houses during the night in force, unexpectedly, and, besides their
gun, carry off their provisions and money. A certain grocer who
persists in his lukewarmness is visited a second time; seven or eight
men, one evening, break open his door with a stick of timber; he takes
refuge on his roof, dares not descend until the following day at dawn,
and finds that everything in his store has been either stolen or
broken to pieces.[15] In the third place, there is "punishment of the
ill-disposed." At nine o'clock in the evening a squad knocks at the
door of a distrusted shoemaker; it is opened by his apprentice; six of
the ruffians enter, and one of them, showing a paper, says to the poor

"I come on the part of the Executive Power, by which you are
condemned to a beating."

"What for?"

"If you have not done anything wrong, you are thinking about it."[16]

And so they beat him in the presence of his family. Many others like
him are seized and unmercifully beaten on their own premises. -- As to
the expenses of the operation, these must be defrayed by the
malevolent. These, therefore, are taxed according to their
occupations; this or that tanner or dealer in cattle has to pay 36
francs; another, a hatter, 72 francs; otherwise "they will be attended
to that very night at nine o'clock." Nobody is exempt, if he is not
one of the band. Poor old men who have nothing but a five-franc
assignat are compelled to give that; they take from the wife of an
unskilled laborer, whose savings consist of seven sous and a half, the
whole of this, exclaiming, "that is good for three mugs of wine."[17]
When money is not to be had, they take goods in kind; they make short
work of cellars, bee-hives, clothes-presses, and poultry-yards. They
eat, drink, and break, giving themselves up to it heartily, not only
in the town, but in the neighboring villages. One detachment goes to
Brusque, and proceeds so vigorously that the mayor and syndic-attorney
scamper off across the fields, and dare not return for a couple of
days.[18] At Versol, the dwelling of the sworn curé, and at Lapeyre,
that of the sworn vicar, are both sacked; the money is stolen and the
casks are emptied. In the house of the curé of Douyre, "furniture,
clothes, cabinets, and window-sashes are destroyed"; they feast on his
wine and the contents of his cupboard, throw away what they could not
consume, then go in search of the curé and his brother, a former
Carthusian, shouting that "their heads must be cut off; and sausage-
meat made of the rest of their bodies!" Some of them, a little
shrewder than the others, light on a prize; for example, a certain
Bourguière, a trooper of the line, seized a vineyard belonging to an
old lady, the widow of a physician and former mayor;[19] he gathered
in its crop, "publicly in broad daylight," for his own benefit, and
warns the proprietress that he will kill her if she makes a complaint
against him, and, as she probably does complain of him, he obliges
her, in the name of the Executive Power, to pay him fifty crowns
damages. -- As to the common Jacobin gangsters, their reward, besides
food and drink, is perfect licentiousness. In all houses invaded at
eleven o'clock in the evening. Whilst the father flies, or the husband
screams under the cudgel, one of the villains stations himself at the
entrance with a drawn saber in his hands, and the wife or daughter
remains at the mercy of the others; they seize her by the neck and
maintain their hold.[20] In vain does she scream for help. "Nobody in
Saint-Afrique dares go outdoors at night"; nobody comes, and, the
following day, the juge-de-paix dares not receive the complaint,
because "he is afraid himself." -- Accordingly, on the 23rd of
September, the municipal officers and the town-clerk, who made their
rounds, were nearly beaten to death with clubs and stones; on the 10th
of October another municipal officer was left for dead; a fortnight
before this, a lieutenant of volunteers, M. Mazières, "trying to do
his duty, was assassinated in his bed by his own men." Naturally,
nobody dares whisper a word, and, after two months of this order of
things, it may be presumed that at the municipal elections of the 21st
of October, the electors will be docile. In any event, as a
precaution, their notification eight days before, according to law, is
dispensed with; as extra precaution, they are informed that if they do
not vote for the Executive Power, they will have to do with the
triangular cudgel.[21] Consequently, most of them abstain; in a town
of over 600 active citizens, 40 votes give a majority; Bourgougnon and
Sarrus, the two chiefs of the Executive Power, are elected, one mayor,
and the other syndic-attorney, and henceforth the authority they
seized by force is conferred on them by the law.


Ordinary practices of the Jacobin dictatorship. - The stationary
companies of the clubs. - Their personnel. - Their leaders.

This is roughly the type of government which spring up in every
commune of France after the 10th of August; the club reigns, but the
form and processes of its dictatorship are different, according to
circumstances. -- Sometimes it operates directly through an executive
gang or by lancing an excited mob; sometimes it operates indirectly
through the electoral assembly it has had elected, or through the
municipality, which is its accomplice. If the administrations are
Jacobin, it governs through them. If they are passive, it governs
alongside of them. If they are refractory, it purges them,[22] or
breaks them up,[23] and, to put them down, it resorts not only to
blows, but even to murder[24] and massacre.[25] Between massacre and
threats, all intermediaries meet, the revolutionary seal being
everywhere impressed with inequalities of relief.

In many places, threats suffice. In regions where the temperament of
the people is cool, and where there is no resistance, it is pointless
to resort to assault and battery. What is the use is killing in a town
like Arras, for instance, where, on the day of the civic oath, the
president of the department, a prudent millionaire, stalks through the
streets arm in arm with Aunty Duchesne, who sells cookies down in a
cellar, where, on election days, the townspeople, through cowardice,
elect the club candidates under the pretense that "rascals and
beggars" must be sent off to Paris to purge the town of them![26] It
would be labor lost to strike people who grovel so well.[27] The
faction is content to mark them as mangy curs, to put them in pens,
keep them on a leash, and to annoy them.[28] It posts at the entrance
of the guard-room a list of inhabitants related to an émigré; it makes
domiciliary visits; it draws up a fancied list of the suspected, on
which list all that are rich are found inscribed. It insults and
disarms them; it confines them to the town; it forbids them to go
outside of it even on foot; it orders them to present themselves daily
before its committee of public safety; it condemns them to pay their
taxes for a year in twenty-four hours; it breaks the seals of their
letters; it confiscates, demolishes, and sells their family tombs in
the cemeteries. This is all in order, as is the religious persecution,

* with the irruption into private chapels where mass is said,

* with blows with gun-stocks and the fist bestowed on the officiating

* with the obligation of orthodox parents to have their children
baptized by the schismatic curé,

* with the expulsion of nuns, and

* with the pursuit, imprisonment and transportation of unsworn

But if the domination of the club is not always a bloody one, the
judgments are always those of an armed man, who, putting his gun to
his shoulder, aims at the wayfarers whom he has stopped on the road.
Generally they kneel down, tender their purses, and the shot is not
fired. But the gun is cocked, nevertheless, and, to be certain of
this, we have only to look at the shriveled hand grasping the trigger.
We are reminded of those swarms of banditti which infested the country
under the ancient regime;[29] the double-girdle of smugglers and
receivers embraced within twelve hundred leagues of internal excise-
duties, the poachers abounding on the four hundred leagues of guarded
captaincies, the deserters so numerous that in eight years they
amounted to sixty thousand, the beggars with which the prisons
overflowed, the thousands of thieves and vagabonds thronging the
highways, quarry of the police which the Revolution let loose and
armed, and which, in its turn, from being prey, became the hunters of
game. For three years these strong-armed prowlers have served as the
hard-core of local jacqueries; at the present time they form the staff
of the universal jacquerie. At Nîmes,[30] the head of the Executive
Power is a "dancing-master." The two leading demagogues of Toulouse
are a shoemaker, and an actor who plays valets.[31] At Toulon,[32] the
club, more absolute than any Asiatic despot, is recruited from among
the destitute, sailors, harbor-hands, soldiers, "stray peddlers,"
while its president, Sylvestre, sent down from Paris, is a criminal of
the lowest degree. At Rheims,[33] the principal leader is an unfrocked
priest, married to a nun, aided by a baker, who, an old soldier, came
near being hung. Elsewhere,[34] it is some deserter tried for
robbery; here, a cook or innkeeper, and there, a former lackey The
oracle of Lyons is an ex-commercial traveler, an emulator of Marat,
named Châlier, whose murderous delirium is complicated with morbid
mysticism. The acolytes of Châlier are a barber, a hair-dresser, an
old-clothes dealer, a mustard and vinegar manufacturer, a cloth-
dresser, a silk-worker, a gauze-maker, while the time is near when
authority is to fall into still meaner hands, those of "the dregs of
the female population," who, aided by "a few bullies," elect " female
commissaries," tax food, and for three days pillage the
warehouses.[35] Avignon has for its masters the Glacière bandits.
Arles is under the yoke of its porters and bargemen. Marseilles
belongs to "a band of wretches spawned out of houses of debauchery,
who recognize neither laws nor magistrates, and ruling the city
through terror."[36] -- It is not surprising that such men, invested
with such power, use it in conformity with their nature, and that the
interregnum, which is their reign, spreads over France a circle of
devastations, robberies, and murders.


The companies of traveling volunteers. -- Quality of the recruits.--
Election of officers. -Robberies and murders.

Usually, the stationary band of club members has an auxiliary band of
the same species which roves about. I mean the volunteers, who
inspire more fear and do more harm, because they march in a body and
are armed.[37] Like their brethren in the ordinary walks of life, many
of them are town and country vagabonds; most of them, living from hand
to mouth, have been attracted by the pay of fifteen sous a day; they
have become soldiers for lack of work and bread.[38] Each commune,
moreover, having been called upon for its army contingent, "they have
picked up whatever could be found in the towns, all the scamps hanging
around street-corners, men with no pursuit, and, in the country,
wretches and vagabonds of every description; nearly all have been
forced to march by money or drawing lots," and it is probable that the
various administrations thought that "in this way they would purge
France."[39] To the wretched "bought by the communes," add others of
the same stamp, procured by the rich as substitutes for their
sons.[40] Thus do they pick over the social dunghill and obtain at a
discount the natural and predestined inmates of houses of correction,
poor-houses and hospitals, with an utter disregard of quality, even
physical, "the halt, the maimed and the blind," the deformed and the
defective, "some too old, and others too young and too feeble to
support the fatigues of war, others so small as to stand a foot lower
than their guns," a large number of boys of sixteen, fourteen, and
thirteen; in short, the reprobate of great cities as we now see him,
stunted, puny, and naturally insolent and insurgent.[41] "One-third of
them are found unfit for service" on reaching the frontier.[42] --
But, before reaching the frontier, they act like "pirates" on the
road. -- The others, with sounder bodies and better hearts, become,
under the discipline of constant danger, good soldiers at the end of a
year. In the mean time, however, they make no less havoc, for, if
they are less disposed to robbery, they are more fanatical. Nothing
is more delicate than the military organization, owing to the fact
that it represents force, and man is always tempted to abuse force;
for any free company of soldiers to remain inoffensive in a civil
community, it must be restrained by the strongest curbs, which curbs,
either within or without, were wholly wanting with the volunteers of

Artisans, peasants, the petty bourgeois class, youthful enthusiasts
stimulated by the prevailing doctrine, they are still much more
Jacobin than patriotic; the dogma of popular sovereignty, like a heady
wine, has turned their inexperienced brains; they are fully persuaded
that, "destined to contend with the enemies of the republic, is an
honor which permits them to exact and to dare all things."[44] The
least among them believes himself superior to the law, "as formerly a
Condé,[45]" and he becomes king on a small scale, self-constituted, an
autocratic justiciary and avenger of wrongs, a supporter of patriots
and the scourge of aristocrats, the disposer of lives and property,
and, without delay or formality, taking it upon himself to complete
the Revolution on the spot in every town he passes through. -- He is
not to be hindered in all this by his officers. "Having created his
chiefs, they are of no more account to him than any of a man's
creations usually are"; far from being obeyed, the officers are not
even respected, "and that comes from resorting to analogies without
considering military talent or moral superiority."[46] Through the
natural effects of the system of election, all grades of rank have
fallen upon demagogues and blusterers.

"The intriguers, loud-talkers, and especially the great boozers, have
prevailed against the capable."[47]

Besides, to retain his popularity, the new officer will go to a bar
and drink with his men,[48] and he must show himself more Jacobin than
they are, from which it follows that, not content with tolerating
their excesses, he provokes them. -- Hence, after March, 1792, and
even before,[49] we see the volunteers behaving in France as in a
conquered country. Sometimes they make domiciliary visits, and break
everything to pieces in the house they visit. Sometimes, they force
the re-baptism of infants by the conventionalist curé, and shoot at
the traditional father. Here, of their own accord, they make arrests;
there, they join in with mutineers and stop grain-boats; elsewhere,
they force a municipality to tax bread; farther on, they burn or sack
châteaux, and, if a mayor happens to inform them that the château now
belongs to the nation and not to an émigré; they reply with "thrusts,"
and threaten to cut his throat.[50] As the 10th of August draws near,
the phantom of authority, which still occasionally imposed on them,
completely vanishes, and "they risk nothing in killing" whoever
displeases them.[51] Exasperated by the perils they are about to
encounter on the frontier, they begin war in the interior.
Provisionally, and as a precaution, they slaughter probable
aristocrats on the way, and treat the officers, nobles and priests
they meet on the road worse than their club allies. For, on the one
hand, being merely on the march, they are much safer from punishment
than local murderers; in a week, lost in the army, they will not be
sought for in camp, and they may slay with perfect security. On the
other hand, as they are strangers and newcomers, they are not able,
like local persons, to identify a person. So on account of a name, a
dress, qualifications, a coffee-house rumor, or an appearance, however
venerable and harmless a man may be, they kill him, not because they
know him, but because they do not know him.


A tour of France in the cabinet of the Minister of the Interior. --
From Carcassonne to Bordeaux.-- Bordeaux to Caen. -- The north and
the east. -- Châlons-sur-Marne to Lyons. -- The Comtat and Provence.
-- The tone and the responses of the Jacobin administration. -- The
programme of the party.

Let us enter the cabinet of Roland, Minister of the Interior, a
fortnight after the opening of the Convention, and suppose him
contemplating, some evening, in miniature, a picture of the state of
the country administered by him. His clerks have placed the
correspondence of the past few weeks on his table, arranged in proper
order; his replies are noted in brief on the margin; he has a map of
France before him, and, placing his finger on the southern section, he
moves it along the great highway across the country. At every stage he
recurs to the paper file of letters, and passing innumerable reports
of violence, he merely gives his attention to the great revolutionary
exploits.[52] Madame Roland, I imagine, works with her husband, and
the couple, sitting together alone under the lamp, ponder over the
doings of the ferocious brute which they have set free in the
provinces the same as in Paris.

Their eyes go first to the southern extremity of France. There,[53] on
the canal of the Deux-Mers, at Carcassonne, the population has seized
three boats loaded with grain, demanded provisions, then a lower
prices of bread, then guns and cannon from the magazine, and, lastly,
the heads of the administrators; an inspector-general has been wounded
by an axe, and the syndic-attorney of the department, M. Verdie;
massacred. -- The Minister follows with his eye the road from
Carcassonne to Bordeaux, and on the right and on the left he finds
traces of blood. At Castres,[54] a report is spread that a dealer in
grain was trying to raise the price, whereupon a mob gathers, and, to
save the dealer, he is placed in the guard-house. The volunteers,
however, force open the guard-house, and throw the man out of the
first-story window; they then finish him off with "blows with clubs
and weights," drag his body along the street and cast it into the
river. -- The evening before, at Clairac,[55] M. Lartigue-Langa, an
unsworn priest, pursued through the street by a troop of men and
women, who wanted to remove his cassock and set him on an ass, found
refuge, with great difficulty, in his country-house. They go there for
him, however, fetch him back to the public promenade, and there they
kill him. A number of brave fellows who interfered were charged with
incivism, and severely handled. Repression is impossible; the
department writes to the Minister that "at this time it would be
impolitic to follow the matter up." Roland knows that by experience.
The letters in his hands show him that there, as in Paris, murder
engenders murder. M. d'Alespée; a gentleman, has just been
assassinated at Nérac; "all reputable citizens formed around him a
rampart with their bodies," but the rabble prevailed, and the
murderers, "through their obscurity," escaped. -- The Minister's
finger stops at Bordeaux. There the federation festivities are marked
with a triple assassination.[56] In order to let this dangerous moment
pass by, M. de Langoiran, vicar-general of the archbishopric, had
retired half a league off; in the village of Cauderan, to the
residence of an octogenarian priest, who, like himself; had never
meddled with public matters. On the 15th of July the National Guards
of the village, excited by the speeches of the previous night, have
come to the residence to pick them up, and moreover, a third priest
belonging in the neighborhood. There is nothing to lay to their
charge; neither the municipal officers, nor the justices before whom
they are brought, can avoid declaring them innocent. As a last
recourse, they are conducted to Bordeaux, before the Directory of the
department. But it is getting dark, and the riotous crowd becoming
impatient, makes an attack on them. The octogenarian "receives so
many blows that he cannot recover"; the abbé du Puy is knocked down
and dragged along by a rope attached to his feet; M. de Langoirac's
head is cut off, carried about on a pike, taken to his house and
presented to the servant, who is told that "her master will not come
home to supper." The torment of the priests has lasted from five
o'clock in the morning to seven o'clock in the evening, and the
municipal authorities were duly advised; but they cannot put
themselves out of the way to give succor; they are too seriously
occupied in erecting a liberty-pole.

Route from Bordeaux to Caen. -- The Minister's finger turns to the
north, and stops at Limoges. The day following the federation has
been here celebrated the same as at Bordeaux.[57] An unsworn priest,
the abbé Chabrol, assailed by a gang of men and women, is first
conducted to the guard-house and then to the dwelling of the juge-de-
paix; for his protection a warrant of arrest is gotten out, and he is
kept under guard, in sight, by four chasseurs, in one of the rooms.
But the populace are not satisfied with this. In vain do the
municipal officers appeal to it, in vain do the gendarmes interpose
themselves between it and the prisoner; it rushes in upon them and
disperses them. Meanwhile, volleys of stones smash in the windows,
and the entrance door yields to the blows of axes; about thirty of the
villains scale the windows, and pass the priest down like a bale of
goods. A few yards off, "struck down with clubs and other
instruments," he draws his last breath, his head "crushed" by twenty
mortal wounds. -- Farther up, towards Orleans, Roland reads the
following dispatches, taken from the file for Loiret:[58] "Anarchy is
at its height," writes one of the districts to the Directory of the
department; "there is no longer recognition of any authority; the
administrators of the district and of the municipalities are insulted,
and are powerless to enforce respect. . . . Threats of slaughter,
of destroying houses and giving them up to pillage prevail; plans are
made to tear down all the châteaux. The municipal authorities of
Achères, along with many of the inhabitants, have gone to Oison and
Chaussy, where everything is smashed, broken up and carried off On
the 16th of September six armed men went to the house of M. de
Vaudeuil and obliged him to return the sum of 300 francs, for
penalties pretended to have been paid by them. We have been notified
that M. Dedeley will be visited at Achères for the same purpose to-
day. M. de Lory has been similarly threatened. . . Finally, all
those people there say that they want no more local administrations or
tribunals, that the law is in their own hands, and they will execute
it. In this extremity we have decided on the only safe course, which
is to silently accept all the outrages inflicted upon us. We have not
called upon you for protection, for we are well aware of the
embarrassment you labor under." -- The best part of the National
Guard, indeed, having been disarmed at the county-town, there is no
longer an armed force to put riots down. Consequently, at this same
date,[59] the populace, increased by the afflux of "strangers" and
ordinary nomads, hang a corn-inspector, plant his head on the end of a
pike, drag his body through the streets, sack five houses and burn the
furniture of a municipal officer in front of his own door. Thereupon,
the obedient municipality sets the arrested rioters free, and lowers
the price of bread one-sixth. Above the Loire, the dispatches of Orne
and Calvados complete the picture. "Our district," writes a
lieutenant of the gendarmerie,[60] "is a prey to brigandage. . . About
thirty rascals have just sacked the château of Dampierre. Calls for
men are constantly made upon us," which we cannot satisfy, "because
the call is general on all sides." The details are curious, and here,
notwithstanding the Minister's familiarity with popular misdeeds, he
cannot avoid noting one extortion of a new species. "The inhabitants
of the villages[61] collect together, betake themselves to different
chateaux, seize the wives and children of their proprietors, and keep
them as bail for promises of reimbursement which they force the latter
to sign, not merely for feudal taxes, but, again, for expenses to
which this taxation may have given rise," first under the actual
proprietor and then under his predecessors; in the mean time they
install themselves on the premises, demand payments for their time,
devastate the buildings on the place, and sell the furniture. -- All
this is accompanied with the usual slaughter. The Directory of the
department of Orne advises the Minister[62] that "a former noble has
been killed (homicide) in the canton of Sepf, an ex-curé in the town
of Bellême, an unsworn priest in the canton of Putanges, an ex-
capuchin in the territory of Alençon." The same day, at Caen, the
syndic-attorney of Calvados, M. Bayeux, a man of sterling merit,
imprisoned by the local Jacobins, has just been shot down in the
street and bayoneted, while the National Assembly was passing a decree
proclaiming his innocence and ordering him to be set at liberty.[63]

Route of the East. -- At Rouen, in front of the Hôtel-de-ville, the
National Guard, stoned for more than an hour, finally fire a volley
and kill four men; throughout the department violence is committed in
connection with grain, while wheat is stolen or carried off by
force;[64] but Roland is obliged to restrict himself; he can note only
political disturbances. Besides, he is obliged to hurry up, for
murders abound everywhere. In addition to the turmoil of the army and
the capital,[65] each department in the vicinity of Paris or near the
frontier furnishes its quota of murders. They take place at Gisors, in
the Eure, at Chantilly, and at Clermont in the Oise, at Saint-Amand in
the Pas-de-Calais, at Cambray in the Nord, at Retel and Charleville in
the Ardennes, at Rheims and at Chalons in the Marne, at Troyes in the
Aube, at Meaux in Seine-et-Marne, and at Versailles in Seine-et-
Oise.[66] -- Roland, I imagine, does not open this file, and for a
good reason; he knows too well how M. de Brissac and M. Delessart, and
the other sixty-three persons killed at Versailles; it was he who
signed Fournier's commission, the commander of the murderers. At this
very moment he is forced to correspond with this villain, to send him
certificates of "zeal and patriotism," and to assign him, over and
above his robberies, 30,000 francs to defray the expenses of the
operation.[67] -- But among the dispatches there are some he cannot
overlook, if he desires to know to what his authority is reduced, in
what contempt all authority is held, how the civil or military rabble
exercises its power, with what promptitude it disposes of the most
illustrious and most useful lives, especially those who have been, or
are now, in command, the Minister perhaps saying to himself that his
turn will come next.

Let us look at the case of M. de la Rochefoucauld. A philanthropist
since he was young, a liberal on entering the Constituent Assembly,
elected president of the Paris department, one of the most persistent,
most generous, and most respected patriots from first to last, -- who
better deserved to be spared than? Arrested at Gisors[68] by order of
the Paris Commune, he left the inn, escorted by the Parisian
commissary, surrounded by the municipal council, twelve gendarmes and
one hundred National Guards; behind him walked his mother, eighty
years of age, his wife following in a carriage; there could be no fear
of an escape. But, for a suspected person, death is more certain than
a prison; three hundred volunteers of the Orne and the Sarthe
departments, on their way through Gisors, collect and cry out: "We
must have his head -- nothing shall stop us!" A stone hits M. de la
Rochefoucauld on the temple; he falters, his escort is broken up, and
they finish him with clubs and sabers, while the municipal council
"have barely time to drive off the carriage containing the ladies." --
Accordingly, national justice, in the hands of the volunteers, has its
sudden outbursts, its excesses, its reactions, the effect of which it
is not advisable to wait for. For example, at Cambray,[69] a division
of foot-gendarmerie had just left the town, and it occurs to them that
they had forgotten "to purge the prison". It returns, seizes the
keeper, takes him to the Hôtel-de-ville, examines the prison register,
sets at liberty those whose crimes seem to it excusable, and provides
them with passports. On the other hand, it kills a former royal
procureur, on whom addresses are found tainted with "aristocratic
principles," an unpopular lieutenant-colonel, and a suspected captain.
-- However slight or ill-founded a suspicion, so much the worse for
the officer on whom it falls! At Charleville,[70] two loads of arms
having passed through one gate instead of another, to avoid a bad
road, M. Juchereau, inspector of the manufacture of arms and commander
of the place, is declared a traitor by the volunteers and the crowd,
torn from the hands of the municipal officers, clubbed to the ground,
stamped on, and stabbed. His head, fixed to a pike, is paraded through
Charleville, then into Mézières, where it is thrown into the river
running between the two towns. The body remains, and this the
municipality orders to be interred; but it is not worthy of burial;
the murderers get hold of it, and cast it into the water that it may
join the head. In the meantime the lives of the municipal officers
hang by a single thread. One is seized by the throat; another is
knocked out of his chair and threatened with hanging, a gun is aimed
at him and he is beaten and kicked; subsequently a plot is devised "to
cut off their heads and plunder their houses."

He who disposes of lives, indeed, also disposes of property. Roland
has only to flick through two or three reports to see how patriotism
furnishes a cloak for brutal license and greed. At Coucy, in the
department of Aisne,[71] the peasantry of seventeen parishes,
assembled for the purpose of furnishing their military quota, rush
with a loud clamor to two houses, the property of M. des Fossés, a
former deputy to the Constituent Assembly, and the two finest in the
town; one of them had been occupied by Henry IV. Some of the
municipal officers who try to interfere are nearly cut to pieces, and
the entire municipal body takes to flight. M. des Fossés, with his
two daughters, succeed in hiding themselves in an obscure corner in
the vicinity, and afterwards in a small tenement offered to them by a
humane gardener, and finally, after great difficulty, they reach
Soissons. Of his two houses, "nothing remains but the walls. Windows,
casings, doors, and wainscoting, all are shattered"; twenty thousand
francs of assignats in a portfolio are destroyed or carried off; the
title-deeds of the property are not to be found, and the damage is
estimated at 200,000 francs. The pillage lasted from seven o'clock in
the morning to seven o'clock in the evening, and, as is always the
case, ended in a fête. The plunderers, entering the cellars, drank
"two hogsheads of wine and two casks of brandy; thirty or forty
remained dead drunk, and were taken away with considerable
difficulty." There is no prosecution, no investigation; the new mayor,
who, one month after, makes up his mind to denounce the act, begs the
Minister not to give his name, for, he says, "the agitators in the
council-general of the Commune threaten, with fearful consequences,
whoever is discovered to have written to you."[72] -- Such is the
ever-present menace under which the gentry live, even when veterans in
the service of freedom; Roland, foremost in his files, finds
heartrending letters addressed directly to him, as a last recourse.
Early in 1789, M. de Gouy d'Arcy[73] was the first to put his pen to
paper in behalf of popular rights. A deputy of the noblesse to the
Constituent Assembly, he is the first to rally to the Third-Estate;
when the liberal minority of the noblesse came and took their seats in
the hall of the Communes, he had already been there eight days, and,
for thirty months, he "invariably seated himself on the side of the
'Left.'" Senior major-general, and ordered by the Legislative
Assembly to suppress the outbreak of the 6,000 insurgents at Noyon,
"he kept his rigorous orders in his pocket for ten days"; he endured
their insults; he risked his life "to save those of his misguided
fellow-citizens, and he had the good fortune not to spill a drop of
blood." Exhausted by so much labor and effort, almost dying, ordered
into the country by his physicians, "he devoted his income to the
relief of poverty"; he planted on his own domain the first liberty
tree that was erected; he furnished the volunteers with clothes and
arms; "instead of a fifth, he yielded up a third of his revenue under
the forced system of taxation." His children live with him on the
property, which has been in the family four hundred years, and the
peasantry call him "their father." No one could lead a more tranquil
or, indeed, a more meritorious existence. But, being a noble, he is
suspected, and a delegate from the Paris Commune denounces him at
Compiègne as having in his house two cannon and five hundred and fifty
muskets. There is at once a domiciliary visit. Eight hundred men,
infantry and cavalry, appear before the chateau d'Arcy in battle
array. He meets them at the door and tenders them the keys. After a
search of six hours, they find twelve fowling pieces and thirteen
rusty pistols, which he has already declared. His disappointed
visitors grumble, break, eat and drink to the extent of 2,000 crowns
damage.[74] Nevertheless, urged by their leaders they finally retire.
But M. de Gouy has 60,000 francs in rentals which would be so much
gain to the nation if he would emigrate; this must be effected, by
expelling him, and, moreover during his expulsion, they may fill their
pockets. For eight days this matter is discussed in the Compiègne
club, in the bars, in the barracks, and, on the ninth day, 150
volunteers issue from the town, declaring that they are going to kill
M. de Gouy and all who belong to him. Informed of this, he departs
with his family, leaving the doors of his house wide open. There is a
general pillage for five hours; the mob drink the costly wines, steal
the plate, demand horses to carry their booty away, and promise to
return soon and take the owner's head. -- In effect, on the following
morning at four o'clock, there is a new invasion, a new pillage, and,
this time, the last one; the servants escape under a fire of musketry,
and M. de Gouy, at the request of the villagers, whose vineyards are
devastated, is obliged to quit that part of the country.[75] -- There
is no need to go through the whole file. At Houdainville, at the house
of M. de Saint-Maurice, at Nointel, on the estate of the Duc de
Bourbon, at Chantilly, on the estate of the Prince de Condé, at the
house of M. de Fitz-James, and elsewhere, a certain Gauthier,
"commandant of the Paris detachment of Searchers, and charged with the
powers of the Committee of Supervision," makes his patriotic circuit,
and Roland knows beforehand of what that consists, namely, a
dragonnade[76] in regular form on the domains of all nobles, absent or

Favorite game is still found in the clergy, more vigorously hunted
than the nobles; Roland, charged with the duty of maintaining public
order, asks himself how the lives of inoffensive priests, which the
law recommends to him, can be protected. -- At Troyes, at the house of
M. Fardeau, an old non-conformist curé, an altar decked with its
sacred vessels is discovered, and M. Fardeau, arrested, refuses to
take the civic oath. Torn from his prison, and ordered to shout "Vive
la Nation!" he again refuses. On this, a volunteer, borrowing an ax
from a baker, chops off his head, and this head, washed in the river,
is borne to the Hôtel-de-ville.[78] -- At Meaux, a brigade of Parisian
gendarmerie murders seven priests, and, as an extra, six ordinary
malefactors in confinement.[79] At Rheims, the Parisian volunteers
first make way with the post-master and his clerk, both under
suspicion because the smell of burnt paper had issued from their
chimney, and, next, M. de Montrosier, an old retired officer, which is
the opening of the hunt. Afterwards they fall upon two ecclesiastics
with pikes and sabers, whom their game-beaters have brought in from
the country, then on the former curé of Saint-Jean, and on that of
Rilly; their corpses are cut up, paraded through the streets in
portions, and burnt in a bonfire; one of the wounded priests, the abbé
Alexandre, is thrown in still alive.[80] -- Roland recognizes the men
of September, who, exposing their still bloody pikes, came to his
domicile to demand their wages; wherever the band passes it announces,
"in the name of the people," its "plenary power to spread the example
of the capital." Now, as 40,000 unsworn priests are condemned by the
decree of August 26 to leave their departments in a week and France in
a fortnight, shall they be allowed to depart? Eight thousand of them
at Rouen, in obedience to the decree, charter transports, which the
riotous population of both sides of the Seine prevent from leaving.
Roland sees in his dispatches that in Rouen, as elsewhere, they crowd
the municipalities for their passports,[81] but that these are often
refused. Better still, at Troyes; at Meaux, at Lyons, at Dôle, and in
many other towns, the same thing is done as at Paris; they are
confined in particular houses or in prisons, at least, provisionally,
"for fear that they may congregate under the German eagle"; so that,
made rebellious and declared traitors in spite of themselves, they may
still remain in their pens subject to the knife. As the exportation
of specie is prohibited, those who have procured the necessary coin
are robbed of it on the frontier, while others, who fly at all
hazards, tracked like wild boars, or run down like hares, escape like
the bishop of Barral, athwart bayonets, or like the abbé Guillon,
athwart sabers, when they are not struck down, like the abbé Pescheur,
by the blows of a gun-stock.[82]

It is soon dawn. The files are too numerous and too large; Roland
finds that, out of eighty-three, he can examine but fifty; he must
hasten on; leaving the East, his eyes again turn to the South. -- On
this side, too, there are strange sights. On the 2nd of September,
at Châlons-sur-Marne[83], M. Chanlaire, an octogenarian and deaf, is
returning, with his prayer-book under his arm, from the Mall, to which
he resorted daily to read his prayers. A number of Parisian
volunteers who meet him, seeing that he looks like a devotee, order
him to shout, "Vive la Liberté" Unable to understand them, he makes
no reply. They then seize him by the ears, and, not marching fast
enough, they drag him along; his old ears give way, and, excited by
seeing blood, they cut off his ears and nose, and thus, the poor old
man dripping with blood, they reach the Hôtel-de-Ville. At this sight
a notary, posted there as sentinel, and who is a man of feeling, is
horror-stricken and escapes, while the other National Guards hasten to
shut the iron gates. The Parisians, still dragging along their
captive, go to the district and then to the department bureau "to
denounce aristocrats"; on the way they continue to strike the
tottering old man, who falls down; they then decapitate him, place
pieces of his body on pikes, and parade these about. Meanwhile, in
this same town, twenty-two gentlemen; at Beaune, forty priests and
nobles; at Dijon, eighty-three heads of families, locked up as
suspected without evidence or examination, and confined at their own
expense two months under pikes, ask themselves every morning whether
the populace and the volunteers, who shout death cries through the
streets, mean to release them in the same way as in Paris.[84] -- A
trifle is sufficient to provoke a murder. On the 19th of August, at
Auxerre as the National Guard is marching along, three citizens, after
having taken the civic oath, "left the ranks," and, on being called
back, "to make them fall in," one, either impatient or in ill-humor,
"replied with an indecent gesture". The populace, taking it as an
insult, instantly rush at them, and shoving aside the municipal body
and the National Guards, wound one and kill the other two.[85] A
fortnight after, in the same town, several young ecclesiastics are
massacred, and "the corpse of one of them remains three days on a
manure heap, the relatives not being allowed to bury it." About the
same date, in a village of sabot makers, five leagues from Autun, four
ecclesiastics provided with passports, among them a bishop and his two
grand-vicars, are arrested, then examined, robbed, and murdered by the
peasantry. --Below Autun, especially in the district of Roanne, the
villagers burn the rent-rolls of national property; the volunteers put
property-owners to ransom; both, apart from each other or together,
give themselves up "to every excess and to every sort of iniquity
against those whom they suspect of incivism under pretense of
religious opinions."[86] However preoccupied or upset Roland's mind
may be by the philosophic generalities with which it is filled, he has
long inspected manufactures in this country; the name of every place
is familiar to him; objects and forms are this time clearly defined to
his arid imagination, and he begins to see things through and beyond
mere words.

Madame Roland rests her finger on Lyons, so familiar to her two years
before; she becomes excited against "the quadruple aristocracy of the
town, petty nobles, priests, heavy merchants, and limbs of the law; in
short, those formerly known as honest folks, according to the
insolence of the ancient régime."[87] She may now find an aristocracy
of another kind there, that of the gutter. Following the example of
Paris, the Lyons clubbists, led by Charlier, have arranged for a
massacre on a grand scale of the evil-disposed or suspected Another
ringleader, Dodieu, has drawn up a list by name of two hundred
aristocrats to he hung; on the 9th of September, women with pikes, the
maniacs of the suburbs, bands of "the unknown," collected by the
central club,[88] undertake to clean out the prisons. If the butchery
is not equal to that of Paris, it is because the National Guard, more
energetic, interferes just at the moment when a Parisian emissary,
Saint-Charles, reads off a list of names in the prison of Roanne
already taken from the prison register. But, in other places, it
arrives too late. -- Eight officers of the Royal-Pologne regiment, in
garrison at Auch, some of them having been in the service twenty and
thirty years, had been compelled to resign owing to the
insubordination of their men; but, at the express desire of the
Minister of War, they had patriotically remained at their posts, and,
in twenty days of laborious marching, they had led their regiment from
Auch to Lyons. Three days after their arrival, seized at night in
their beds, conducted to Pierre-Encize, pelted with stones on the way,
kept in secret confinement, and with frequent and prolonged
examinations, all this merely put their services and their innocence
in stronger light. They are taken from the prison by the Jacobin mob;
of the eight, seven are killed in the street, and four priests along
with them, while the exhibition of their work by the murderers is
still more brazen than at Paris. They parade the heads of the dead all
night on the ends of their pikes; they carry them to the Place des
Terreaux into the coffee-houses; they set them on the tables and
derisively offer them beer; they then light torches, enter the
Célestins theater, and, marching on the stage with their trophies,
blending real and mock tragedy. -- The epilogue is both grotesque and
horrible. Roland, at the bottom of the file, finds a letter from his
colleague, Danton,[89] who begs him to release the officers, murdered
three months ago, "for," says Danton, "if no charge can be found
against them, it would be crying injustice to keep them longer in
irons." Roland's clerk makes a minute on Danton's letter: "This
matter disposed of." At this I imagine the couple looking at each
other in silence. Madame Roland may remember that, at the beginning
of the Revolution, she herself demanded heads, especially "two
illustrious heads," and hoped "that the National Assembly would
formally try them, or that some generous Decius"[90] would devote
himself to "striking them down."[91] Her prayers are granted. The
trial is about to begin in the regular way, and the Decius she has
invoked is everywhere found throughout France.

The south-east corner remains, that Provence, described to him by
Barbaroux as the last retreat of philosophy and freedom. Roland
follows the Rhône down with his finger, and on both banks he finds, as
he passes along, the usual characteristic misdeeds. - On the right
bank, in Cantal and in the Gard, "the defenders of the country" fill
their pockets at the expense of taxpayers designated by
themselves;[92] this forced subscription is called "a voluntary gift."
"Poor laborers at Nismes were taxed 50 francs, others 200, 300, 900,
1,000, under penalty of devastation and of bad treatment." -- In the
country near Tarascon the volunteers, returning to the old-fashioned
ways of bandits, brandish the saber over the mother's head, threaten
to smother the aunt in her bed, hold the child over a deep well, and
thus extort from the farmer or proprietor even as much as 4,000 or
5,000 francs. Generally the farmer keeps silent, for, in case of
complaint, he is sure to have his buildings burnt and his olive trees
cut down.[93] - On the left bank, in the Isère, Lieutenant-colonel
Spendeler, seized by the populace of Tullins, was murdered, and then
hung by his feet in a tree on the roadside;[94]-- in the Drôme, the
volunteers of Gard forced the prison at Montélimart and hacked an
innocent person to death with a saber;[95] in Vaucluse, the pillaging
is general and constant. With all public offices in their hands, and
they alone admitted into the National Guard, the old brigands of
Avignon, with the municipality for their accomplice, sweep the town
and raid about the country; in town, 450,000 francs of "voluntary
gifts" are handed over to the Glacière murderers by the friends and
relatives of the dead; -- in the country, ransoms of 1,000 and 10,000
francs are imposed on rich cultivators, to say nothing of the orgies
of conquest and the pleasures of despots, money forcibly obtained in
honor of innumerable liberty trees, banquets at a cost of five or six
hundred francs, paid for by extorted funds, reveling of every sort and
unrestrained havoc on the invaded farms;[96] in short, the abuse
drunken force amusing itself with brutality and proud of its violence.

Following this long line of murders and robbery, the Minister reaches
Marseilles, and I imagine him stopping at this city some-what
dumbfounded. Not that he is in any way astonished at widespread
murders; undoubtedly he has had received information of them from Aix,
Aubagne, Apt, Brignolles, and Eyguières, while there are a series of
them at Marseilles, one in July, two in August, and two in
September;[97] but this he must be used to. What disturbs him here is
to see the national bond dissolving; he sees departments breaking
away, new, distinct, independent, complete governments forming on the
basis of popular sovereignty;[98] publicly and officially, they keep
funds raised for the central government for local uses; they institute
penalties against their inhabitants seeking refuge in France; they
organize tribunals, levy taxes, raise troops, and undertake military
expeditions.[99] Assembled together to elect representatives to the
Convention, the electors of the Bouches-du-Rhône were, additionally,
disposed to establish throughout the department "the reign of liberty
and equality," and to this effect they found, says one of them, "an
army of 1,200 heroes to purge the districts in which the bourgeois
aristocracy still raises its bold, imprudent head." Consequently, at
Sonas, Noves, St. Remy, Maillane, Eyrages, Graveson, Eyguières,
extended over the territory consisting of the districts of Tarascon,
Arles and Salon, these twelve hundred heroes are authorized to get a
living out of the inhabitants at pleasure, while the rest of the
expenses of the expedition are to be borne "by suspected
citizens."[100] These expeditions are prolonged six weeks and more;
one of them goes outside of the department, to Monosque, in the
Basses-Alpes, and Monosque, obliged to pay 104,000 francs to its
"saviors and fathers," as an indemnity for traveling expenses, writes
to the Minister that, henceforth, it can no longer meet his

What kind of improvised sovereigns are these who have instituted
perambulating brigandage? Roland, on this point, has simply to
question his friend Barbaroux, their president and the executive agent
of their decrees. "Nine hundred persons," Barbaroux himself writes,
"generally of slight education, impatiently listening to
conservatives, and yielding all attention to the effervescent, cunning
in the diffusion of calumnies, petty suspicious minds, a few men of
integrity but unenlightened, a few enlightened but cowardly; many of
them patriotic, but without judgment, without philosophy"; in short, a
Jacobin club, and Jacobin to such an extent as to "make the hall ring
with applause[101] on receiving the news of the September massacre";
in the foremost ranks, "a crowd of men eager for office and money,
eternal informers, imagining trouble or exaggerating it to obtain for
themselves lucrative commissions;"[102] in other words, the usual pack
of hungry appetites in full chase. - To really know them, Roland has
only to examine the last file, that of the neighboring departments,
and consider their colleagues in Var. In this great wreck of reason
and of integrity, called the Jacobin Revolution, a few stray waifs
still float on the surface; many of the department administrations are
composed of liberals, friends of order, intelligent men, upright and
firm defenders of the law. Such was the Directory of Var.[103] To get
rid of it the Toulon Jacobins contrived an ambush worthy of the
Borgias and Oliverettos of the sixteenth century.[104] On the 28th of
July, in the forenoon, Sylvestre, president of the club, distributed
among his trusty men in the suburbs and purlieus of the town an
enormous sack of red caps, while he posted his squads in convenient
places. In the mean time the municipal body, his accomplices,
formally present themselves at the department bureau, and invite the
administrators to join them in fraternizing with the people. The
administrators, suspecting nothing, accompany them, each arm in arm
with a municipal officer or delegate of the club. They scarcely reach
the square when there rushes upon it from every avenue a troop of red-
caps lying in wait. The syndic-attorney, the vice-president of the
department, and two other administrators, are seized, cut down and
hung; another, M. Debaux, succeeding in making his escape, hides away,
scales the ramparts during the night, breaks his thigh and lies there
on the ground; he is discovered the next morning; a band, led by
Jassaud, a harbor-laborer, and by Lemaille, calling him self "the
town hangman," come and raise him up, carry him away in a barrow, and
hang him at the first lamppost. Other bands dispatch the public
prosecutor in the same fashion, a district administrator, and a
merchant, and then, spreading over the country, pillage and slay among
the country houses. -- In vain has the commandant of the place, M.
Dumerbion, entreated the municipality to proclaim martial law. Not
only does it refuse, but it enjoins him to order one-half of his
troops back to their barracks. By way of an offset, it sets free a
number of soldiers condemned to the galleys, and all that are confined
for insubordination. -- Henceforth every shadow of discipline
vanishes, and, in the following month, murders multiply. M. de
Possel, a navy administrator, is taken from his dwelling, and a rope
is passed around his neck; he is saved just in time by a bombardier,
the secretary of the club. M. Senis, caught in his country-house, is
hung on the Place du Vieux Palais. Desidery, a captain in the navy,
the curé of La Valette, and M. de Sacqui des Thourets, are beheaded in
the suburbs, and their beads are brought into town on the ends of
three poles. M. de Flotte d'Argenson, vice-admiral, a man of
Herculean stature, of such a grave aspect, and so austere that he is
nicknamed the "Père Eternel" is treacherously enticed to the entrance
of the Arsenal, where he sees the lantern already dropping; he seizes
a gun, defends himself; yields to numbers, and after having been
slashed with sabers, is hung. M. de Rochemaure, a major-general of
marines, is likewise sabred and hung in the same manner; a main artery
in the neck, severed by the blow of the saber, spouts blood from the
corpse and forms a pool on the pavement; Barry, one of the
executioners, washes his hands in it and sprinkles the by-standers as
if bestowing a blessing on them. -- Barry, Lemaille, Jassaud,
Sylvestre, and other leading assassins, the new kings of Toulon,
sufficiently resemble those of Paris. Add to these a certain Figon,
who gives audience in his garret, straightens out social inequalities,
forces the daughters of large farmers to marry poor republicans, and
rich young men to marry prostitutes,[105] and, taking the lists
furnished by the club or neighboring municipalities, ransoming all the
well-to-do and opulent persons inscribed on them. In order that the
portraiture of the band may be complete, it must be noted that, on the
23rd of August, it attempted to set free the 1800 convicts; the
latter, not comprehending that they were wanted for political allies,
did not dare sally forth, or, at least, the reliable portion of the
National Guard arrived in time to put their chains on again. But here
its efforts cease, and for more than a year public authority remains
in the hands of a Jacobin faction which, as far as public order is
concerned, does not even have the morals of a convict.

More than once during the course of this long review the Minister must
have flushed with shame; for to the reprimands dispatched by him to
these apathetic administrations, they reply by citing himself as an

"You desire us to denounce the arbitrary arrests to the public
prosecutor; have you denounced those guilty of similar and yet greater
crimes committed at the capital? "[106] -

From all quarters come the cries of the oppressed appealing to "the
patriot Minister, the sworn enemy of anarchy," to "the good and
incorruptible Minister of the Interior, his only reproach, the common
sense of his wife," and he could only reply with empty phrases and

"To lament the events which so grievously distress the province, all
administrations being truly useful when they forestall evils, it being
very sad to be obliged to resort to such remedies, and recommend to
them a more active supervision."[107]

"To lament and find consolation in the observations made in the
letter," which announces four murders, but calls attention to the fact
that "the victims immolated are counter-revolutionaries."[108]

Roland has carried on written dialogues with the village
municipalities, and given lessons in constitutional law to communities
of pot-breakers.[109] -- But, on this territory, he is defeated by
his own principles, while the pure Jacobins read him a lesson in turn;
they, likewise, are able to deduce the consequences of their own

"Brother and Friend, Sir," write those of Rouen, "not to be always at
the feet of the municipality, we have declared ourselves permanent,
deliberative sections of the Commune."[110]

Let the so-called constituted authorities, the formalists and pedants
of the Executive Council and the Minister of the Interior, look twice
before censuring the exercise of popular sovereignty. This sovereign
raises his voice and drives his clerks back into their holes;
spoliation and murder, all this is just.

"Can you have forgotten that, after the tempest, as you yourself
declared in the height of the storm, it is the nation which saves
itself? Well, sir, this is what we have done.[111] . . What! when
all France was resounding with that long expected proclamation of the
abolition of tyranny, you were willing that the traitors, who strove
to reestablish it, should escape public prosecution! My God, what
century is this in which we find such Ministers!"

Arbitrary taxes, penalties, confiscations, revolutionary expeditions,
nomadic garrisons, pillage, what fault can be found with all that?

"We do not pretend that these are legal methods; but, drawing nearer
to nature, we demand what object the oppressed have in view in
invoking justice. Is it to lag behind and vainly pursue an equitable
adjustment which is rendered fleeting by judicial forms? Correct these
abuses or do not complain of the sovereign people suppressing them in
advance. . . . You, sir, with so many reasons for it, would do well
to recall your insults and redeem the wrongs you have inflicted before
we happen to render them public." . . . "Citizen Minister, people
flatter you; you are told too often that you are virtuous; the moment
this gives you pleasure you cease to be so. . . . Discard the
astute brigands who surround you, listen to the people, and remember
that a citizen Minister is merely the executor of the sovereign will
of the people."

However narrow Roland's outlook may be, he must finally comprehend
that the innumerable robberies and murders which he has just noted
over are not a thoughtless eruption, a passing crisis of delirium, but
a manifesto of the victorious party, the beginning of an established
system of government. Under this system, write the Marseilles

"to-day, in our happy region, the good rule over the bad, and
constitute a party which allows no contamination; whatever is vicious
has gone into hiding or has been exterminated."-

The programme is very precise, and acts form its commentary. This is
the programme which the faction, throughout the interregnum, sets
openly before the electors.


[1] Guillon de Montléon, I. 122. Letter of Laussel, dated Paris, 28th
of August, 1792, to the Jacobins of Lyons: "Tell me how many heads
have been cut off at home. It would be infamous to let our enemies

[2] "Les Révolutions de Paris," by Prudhomme, Vol. XIII. pp. 59-63
(14th of July, 3 Decrees of the 10th and 11th of August, 1792.

[4] Prudhomme, number of the 15th of September, p. 483. - Mortimer-
Ternaux, IV. 430.

[5] Mortimer-Ternaux. IV. II. Fauchet's report, Nov. 6, 1792. - Ib.,
IV. 91, 142. Discourse of M. Fockedey, administrator of the department
of the north, and of M. Bailly, deputy de Seine-et-Marne.

[6] Prudhomme, number of Sept. 1, 1792, pp. 375, 381, 385: number of
Sept. 22, pp. 528-530, -Cf. Guillon de Montléon, I. 144. Here are some
of the principles announced by the Jacobin leaders of Lyons, Châlier,
Laussel, Cusset, Rouillot, etc. "The time has come when this prophecy
must be fulfilled: The rich shall be put in the place of the poor, and
the poor in the place of the rich." - If a half of their property be
left them the rich will still be happy." - "If the laboring people of
Lyons are destitute of work and of bread, they can profit by these
calamities in helping themselves to wealth in the quarter where they
find it." - "No one who is near a sack of wheat can die of hunger. Do
you wish the word that will buy all that you want? Slay! - or perish!"

[7] Prudhomme, number for the 28th of August, 1792, pp. 284-287.

[8] Cf.. "The French Revolution," I.346. In ten of the departments the
seventh jacquerie continues the sixth without a break. Among other
examples, this letter from the administrators of Tarn, June 18, 1792,
may be read ("Archives Nationales," F7, 3271). "Numerous bands overran
both the city (Castres) and the country. They forcibly entered the
houses of the citizens, broke the furniture to pieces, and pillaged
everything that fell into their hands. Girls and women underwent
shameful treatment. Commissioners sent by the district and the
municipality to advocate peace were insulted and menaced. The pillage
was renewed; the home of the citizen was violated." The administrators
add: "In many places the progress made by the constitution was
indicated by the speedy and numerous emigrations of its enemies."

[9] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3272. Letter of the administrators of
the Var, May 27, 1792. --Letter of the minister, Duranthon, May 28.--
Letter of the commission composing the directory Oct. 31.

[10] "Archives Nationales," Letter of the administrators of Var, May.
27.-- The saying is the summary of the revolutionary spirit; it recurs
constantly. -- Cf. the Duc de Montpensier, "Mémoires," p. 11. At Aix
one of his guards said to the sans-culotte who were breaking into the
room where he had been placed: "Citizens, by what order do you enter
here? and why have you forced the guard at the door?" One of them.
answered: "By order of the people. Don't you know that the people is

[11] "Archives Nationales," letter of the public prosecutor, May 23. -
Letters of the administrators of the department, May 22, and 27 (on
the events of the 13th of May at Beausset).

[12] "Archives Nationales," F7 3193 and 3194. Previous details may be
found in these files. This department is one of those in which the
seventh jacquerie is merely a prolongation of the sixth. -Cf. F7,
3193. Letter of the royal Commissioner at Milhau, May 5, 1791.

"The situation is getting worse; the administrative bodies continue
powerless and without resources. Most of their members are still
unable to enter upon their duties; while the factions, who still rule,
multiply their excesses in every direction. Another house in the
country, near the town, has been burnt; another broken into, with a
destruction of the furniture and a part of the dinner-service, and
doors and windows broken open and smashed; several houses visited,
under the pretense of arms or powder being concealed in them; all that
is found with private persons and dealers not of the factious party is
carried off; tumultuous shouts, nocturnal assemblages, plots for
pillage or burning; disturbances caused by the sale of grain, searches
under this pretext in private granaries, forced prices at current
reductions; forty louis taken from a lady retired into the country,
found in her trunk, which was broken into, and which, they say, should
have been in assignats. The police and municipal officers witnesses of
these outrages, are sometimes forced to sanction them with their
presence; they neither dare suppress them nor punish the well-known
authors of them. Such is a brief statement of the disorders committed
in less than eight days." - In relation specially to Saint-Afrique.
Cf. F7, 3194, the letter, among others, of the department
administrator, march 29, 1792.

[13] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3193. Extract from the registers of
the clerk of the juge-de-paix of Saint-Afrique, and report by the
department commissioners, Nov. 10, 1792, with the testimony of the
witnesses, forming a document of 115 pages.

[14] Deposition of Alexis Bro, a volunteer, and three others.

[15] Deposition of Pons, a merchant. After this devastation he is
obliged to address a petition to the executive power, asking
permission to remain in the town.

[16] Deposition of Capdenet, a shoemaker.

[17] Depositions of Marguerite Galzeng, wife of Guibal a miller,
Pierre Canac and others.

[18] Depositions of Martin, syndic-attorney of the commune of Brusque;
Aussel, curé of Versol; Martial Aussel, vicar of Lapeyre and others.

[19] Deposition of Anne Tourtoulon.

[20] Depositions of Jeanne Tuffon, of Marianne Terral, of Marguerite
Thomas, of Martin syndic-attorney of the commune of Brusque, of Virot,
of Brassier, and othes. The details are too specific to allow

[21] Depositions ,of Moursol, wool-carder; Louis Grand, district-
administrator, and others.

[22] For example, at Limoges, Aug. 16. - Cf. Louis Guibert, "le Parti
Girondin dans la Haute-Vienne," p. 14.

[23] Paris, "Histoire de Joseph Lebon," I. 60. Restoration of the
Arras municipality. Joseph Lebon is proclaimed mayor Sept. 16.

[24] For example, at Caen and at Carcassonne.

[25] For example, at Toulon.

[26] "Un séjour en France," 19, 29. ("Letters of a Wittness to the
French Revolution," translated by H. Taine.1872)

[27] Ibid., p. 38: 2M. de M ---, who had served for thirty years
gave up his arms to a boy who treated him with the greatest

[28] Paris, Ibid., p. 55 and the following pages. - Albert Babeau,
"Histoire de Troyes," I. 503-515. - Sausay, III. ch. I.

[29] "The Ancient Régime," 381, 391, 392.

[30] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3217. Letter of Castanet, an old
gendarme, Aug. 21 1792.

[31] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3219. Letter of M. Alquier to the
first consul, Pluviôse 18, year VIII.

[32] Lauvergne, "Histoire du Var," p. 104.

[33] Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 325, 327.

[34] "Archives-Nationales," F7, 3271. Letter of the Minister of
Justice, with official reports of the municipality of Rabastens. "The
juge-de-paix of Rabastens was insulted in his place by putting an end
to the proceedings commenced against an old deserter at the head of
the municipality, and tried for robbery. They threatened to stab the
judge if he recommenced the trial. Numerous gangs of vagabonds overrun
the country, pillaging and putting to ransom all owners of property. .
. The people has been led off by a municipal officer, a constitutional
curé, and a brother of sieur Tournal, one of the authors of the evils
which have desolated the Comtat." (March 5, 1792).

[35] Guillon de Montléon, I. 84, 109, 139, 155, 158, 464. -- Ibid.,
p.441, details concerning Châlier by his companion Chassagnon. --
"Archives Nationales," F7, 3255. Letter by Laussel, Sept. 22, 1792.

[36] Barbaroux, "Mémoires," 85. Barbaroux is an eye-witness, for he
has just returned to Marseilles and is about to preside over the
electoral assembly of the Bouches-du-Rhône.

[37] C. Rousset, "Les Volontaires," p. 67. -- In his report of June
27, 1792, Albert Dubayet estimates the number of volunteers at 84,000.

[38] C. Rousset, "Les Volontaires," 101. Letter of Kellermann, Aug.23,
1792. -- " Un séjour en France," I. 347 and following pages. --
"Archives Nationales," F7, 3214. Letter of an inhabitant of Nogent-le-
Rotrou (Eure). "Out of 8,000 inhabitants one-half require assistance,
and two-thirds of these are in a sad state, having scarcely straw
enough to sleep on.(Dec. 3, 1792). -- In his report of June 27, 1792,
Albert Dubayet estimates the number of volunteers at 84,000.

[39] C. Rousset, "Les Volontaires," 106 (Letter of General Biron, Aug.
23, 1792).- -- 226, Letter of Vezu, major, July 24, 1793.

[40] C. Rousset, "Les Volontaires," 144 (Letter of a district
administrator of Moulins to General Custines, Jan. 27, 1793).-- "Un
séjour en France," p.27: "I am sorry to see that most the volunteers
about to join the army are old men or very young boys." -- C. Rousset,
Ibid., 74, 108, 226 (Letter of Biron, Nov. 7, 1792); 105 (Letter of
the commander of Fort Louis, Aug. 7); 127 (Letter of Captain Motmé).
One-third of the 2d battalion of Haute-Saône is composed of children
13 and 14 years old.

[41] Moniteur, XIII. 742 (Sept. 21). Marshal Lückner and his aids-de-
camp just miss being killed by Parisian volunteers. -- Archives
Nationales," BB, 16703. Letter by Labarrière aide-de-camp of General
Flers, Antwerp, March 19, 1793. On the desertion en masse of
gendarmes from Dumouriez's army, who return to Paris.

[42] Cf. "L'armée et la garde nationale," by Baron Poisson, III. 475.
"On hostilities being declared (April, 1792), the contingent of
volunteers was fixed at 200,000 men. This second attempt resulted in
nothing but confused and disorderly levies. Owing to the spinelessness
of the volunteer troops it was impossible to continue the war in
Belgium, which allowed the enemy to cross the frontier." -- Gouverneur
Morris, so well informed, had already written, under date of Dec.27,
1791: "The national guards, who have turned out as volunteers, are in
many instances that corrupted scum of overgrown population of which
large cities purge themselves, and which, without constitutions to
support the fatigues.. . of war, have every vice and every disease
which can render them the scourge of their friends and the laughing
stock of their foes." -- Buchez et Roux, XXVI. 177. Plan of the
administrators of Hérault, presented to the Convention April 27, 1793.
"The composition of the enlistment should not be concealed. Most of
those of which it is made up are not volunteers; they are not citizens
all classes of society, who, submitting to draft on the ballot, have
willingly made up their minds to go and defend the Republic. The
larger part of the recruits are substitutes who, through the
attraction of a large sum, have concluded to leave their homes."

[43] C. Rousset, 47. Letter of the directory of Somme, Feb. 26, 1792.

[44] "Archives Nationales," F 7, 3270. Deliberations of the council-
general of the commune of Roye, Oct. 8, 1792 (in relation to the
violence committed by two divisions of Parisian gendarmerie during
their passage, Oct. 7 and 8).

[45] Moore, I. 338 (Sept. 8, 1792). - (The Condés were proud princes
from a branch of the royal house of Bourbon. (SR).

[46] C Rousset, 189 (Letter of the Minister of War, dated at Dunkirk,
April 29, 1793). -- Archives Nationales," BB, 16, 703. (Parisian
national guard staff major-general, order of the day, letter of
citizen Férat, commanding at Ostend, to the Minister of War, March 19,
1793): "Since we have had the gendarmes with us at Ostend there is
nothing but disturbance every day. They attack the officers and
volunteers, take the liberty of pulling off epaulettes and talk only
of cutting and slashing, and declare that they recognize no superior
being equals with everybody, and that they will do as they please.
Those who are ordered to arrest them are chased and attacked with
saber cuts and pistols

[47] C. Rousset, 20 (Letter of General Wimpfen, Dec. 30, 1791). --
"Souvenirs" of General Pelleport, pp.7 and 8.

[48] C. Rousset, 45 (Report of General Wimpfen, Jan. 20, I792). -
Letter of General Biron, Aug. 23, 1792.

[49] C. Rousset, 47, 48. -- "Archives Nationales," F7, 3249. Official
report of the municipality of Saint-Maxence, Jan. 21, 1792. -- F 7,
3275. Official report of the municipality of Châtellerault, Dec. 27,
1791. -- F7, 3285 and 3286 -- F7, 3213. Letter of Servan, Minister of
War, to Roland, June 12, 1792: "I frequently receive, as well as
yourself and the Minister of Justice, complaints against the national
volunteers. They commit the most reprehensible offenses daily in
places where they are quartered, and through which they pass on their
way to their destination." - Ibid., Letter of Duranthon, Minister of
Justice, May 5: "These occurrences are repeated, under more or less
aggravating circumstances, in all the departments."

[50] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3193. Official report of the
commissaries of the department of Aveyron, April 4, 1792. "Among the
pillagers and incendiaries of the chateaux of Privesac, Vaureilles,
Péchins, and other threatened mansions, were a number of recruits who
had already taken the road to Rhodez to join their respective
regiments." Nothing remains of the château of Privesac but a heap of
ruins. The houses in the village "are filled to over flowing with
pillaged articles, and the inhabitants have divided the owners'
animals amongst themselves." -- Comte de Seilhac, "Scènes et portraits
de la Révolution dans le bas Limousin," P.305. Pillage of the
châteaux of Saint-Jéal and Seilhac, April 12, 1792, by the 3rd
battalion of la Corrèze, commanded by Bellegarde, a former domestic in
the château.

[51] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3270. Deliberation of the council-
general of the commune of Roye, Oct. 8, 1792 (passage of two divisions
of Parisian gendarmes). "The inhabitants and municipal officers were
by turns the sport of their insolence and brutality, constantly
threatened in case of refusal with having their heads cut off, and
seeing the said gendarmes, especially the gunners, with naked sabers
in their hands, always threatening. The citizen mayor especially was
treated most outrageously by the said gunners . . . forcing him to
dance on the Place d'armes, to which they resorted with violins and
where they remained until midnight, rudely pushing and hauling him
about, treating him as an aristocrat, clapping the red cap on his
head, with constant threats of cutting it off and that of every
aristocrat in the town, a threat they swore to carry out the next day,
openly stating, especially two or three amongst them, that they had
massacred the Paris prisoners on the 2nd of September, and that it
cost them nothing to massacre."

[52] Summaries, in the order of their date or locality, and similar to
those about to be placed before the reader, sometimes occur in these
files. I pursue the same course as the clerk, in conformity with
Roland's methodical habits.

[53] Aug. 17, 1792 (Moniteur, XIII, 383, report of M. Emmery).

[54] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3271. Letter of the administrators of
Tarn, July 21.

[55] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3234. Report of the municipal officers
of Clairac, July 20.-Letter of the syndic-attorney of Lot-et-Garonne,
Sept. 16.

[56] Mercure de France, number for July 28, (letters from Bordeaux).

[57] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3275. Letter of the administrators of
Haute-Vienne, July 28 (with official reports).

[58] '"Archives Nationales," F7, 3223. Letter of the directory of the
district of Neuville to the department-administrators, Sept 18.

[59] "Archives Nationales," report of the administrators of the
department and council-general of the commune of Orleans, Sept 16 and
17. (The disarmament had been effected through the decrees of Aug.26
and Sept. 2.)

[60] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3249. Letter of the lieutenant of the
gendarmerie of Dampierre, Sept 23 (with official report dated Sept

[61] "Archives Nationales," draft of a letter by Roland, Oct 4, and
others of the same kind. --Letter of the municipal officers of Ray,
Sept 24. -- Letter of M. Desdouits, proprietor, Sept 30. -- Letter of
the permanent council of Aigle, Oct 1, etc.

[62] "Archives Nationales," Letter of the administrators of the Orne
department, Sept 7.

[63] Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 337 (Sept. 6).

[64] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3265. Letter of the lieutenant-general
of the gendarmerie, Aug. 30. -- Official report of the Rouen
municipality on the riot of Aug. 29. -- Letters of the department-
administrators, Sept 18 and Oct. 11. -- Letter of the same, Oct 13,
etc. -- Letter of David, cultivator and department administrator Oct

[65] Albert Babean, "Letters of a deputy of the municipality of Troyes
to the army of Dumuriez," p. 8. -- (Sainte-Menehould, Sept. 7, 1792):
"Our troops burn with a desire to meet the enemy. The massacre
reported to have taken place in Paris does not discourage them; on the
contrary, they are glad to know that suspected persons in the interior
are got rid of."

[66] Moore, I.338 (Sept. 4). At Clermont, the murder of a fish-dealer,
killed for insulting the Breton volunteers. -- 401 (Sept. 7), the son
of the post-master at Saint-Amand is killed on suspicion of
communicating with the enemy. -- "Archives Nationales," F7; 3249.
Letter of the district-administrators of Senlis, Oct. 31 (Aug. 15). At
Chantilly, M. Pigean is assassinated in the midst of 1,200 persons. --
C. Rousset, p.84 (Sept. 21), lieutenant-colonel Imonnier is
assassinated at Châlons-sur-Marne. - Mortimer-Ternaux, IV. 172. Four
Prussian deserters are murdered at Rethel, Oct. 5, by the Parisian

[67] Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 378, 594 and following pages.

[68] Lacretelle, "Dix années d'épreuves," p. 58. Description of
Liancourt. - "Archives Nationales," F7, 3249. Letter of the
department-administrators of the Eure, Sept. 11 (with official report
of the Gisors municipality, Sept 4). - Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 550.

[69] Archives Nationales," F7, 4394. Letter of Roland to the
convention, Oct. 31 (with a copy of the documents sent by the
department of the Nord on the events of Oct. 10 and 11).

[70] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3191. Official report of the
municipality of Charleville; Sept. 4, and letter, Sept. 6.-- Moniteur,
XIII. 742, number for Sept. 21,1792 (letter of Sept. 17, On the
Parisian volunteers of Marshal Lückner's army). "The Parisian
volunteers again threatened to have several heads last evening, among
others those of the marshal and his aids. He had threatened to return
some deserters to their regiments. At this the men exclaimed that the
ancient régime no longer existed, that brothers should not be treated
in that way, and that he general should be arrested. Severa1 of them
had already seized the horse's bridle."

[71] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3185. Documents relating to the case
of M. de Fossés. (The pillage takes place Sept. 4.)

[72] Letter of Goulard, mayor of Coucy, Oct. 4. -- Letter of Osselin,
notary, Nov. 7. "Threats of setting fire to M. de Fossés' two
remaining farm-houses are made." -- Letter of M. de Fossés, Jan. 28,
1793. He states that he has entered no complaint, and if anybody has
done so for him he is much displeased. "A suit might place me in the
greatest danger, from my knowledge of the state of the public mind in
Coucy, and of what the guilty have done and will do to affect the
minds of the people in the seventeen communes concerned in the

[73] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3249 letter of M. de Gouy to Roland,
Sept. 21. (An admirable letter, which, if copied entire, would show
the character of the gentleman of 1789. Lots of heart, many illusions
and much verbosity.) The first attack was made Sept. 4 and the second
on the 13th.

[74] Most of the domiciliary visits end in similar damages. For
example, ("Archives Nationales," F7, 3265, letter of the
administrators of Seine-Inferieure, Sept. 18, 1792). Visit to the
château de Catteville, Sept. 7, by the national guard of the
neighborhood. "The national guard get drunk, break the furniture to
pieces, and fire repeated volleys at the windows and mirrors; the
château is a complete ruin." The municipal officers on attempting to
interfere are nearly killed.

[75] The letter ends with the following: "No, never will I abandon the
French soil!" He is guillotined at Paris, Thermidor 5, year II., as an
accomplice in the pretended prison-plot.

[76] Raid on Protestants under Louis XIV. (SR).

[77] '"Archives Nationales," Letter of the Oise administrators, Sept.
12 and 15. -- Letter of the syndic-attorney of the department, Sept.
23. -- Letter of the administrators, Sept. 20 (on Chantilly). "The
vast treasures of this domain are being plundered." In the forest of
Hez and in the park belonging to M. de Fitz-James, now national
property, "the finest trees are sold on the spot, cut down, and
carried off." - F7, 3268, Letter of the overseer of the national
domains at Rambouillet, Oct. 31. Woods devastated "at a loss of more
than 100,000 crowns since August 10." -- "The agitators who preach
liberty to citizens in the rural districts are the very ones who
excite the disorders with which the country is menaced. They provoke
the demand for a partition of property, with all the accompanying

[78] Albert Babeau, I.504 (Aug.20).

[79] Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 322 (Sept 4).

[80] Mortimer-Ternaux, III.325. -"Archives Nationales," F7, 3239.
Official report of the municipality of Rheims, Sept 6.

[81] "Archives Nationales," F7, 4394. Correspondence of the ministers
in 1792 and 1793. Lists presented by Roland to the convention, on the
part of various districts and departments, containing the names of
priests demanding passports to go abroad, those who have gone without
passports, and of sick or aged priests in the department asylums.

[82] Albert Babeau, I. 515-517. Guillon de Montléon, I. 120. At Lyons
after the 10th of August the unsworn conceal themselves; the
municipality offers them passports; many who come for them are
incarcerated; others receive a passport with a mark on it which serves
for their recognition on the road, and which excites against them the
fury of the volunteers. "A majority of the soldiers filled the air
with their cries of 'Death to kings and priests!' " -- Sauzay, III.
ch. IX., and especially p. 193: "M. Pescheu; while running along the
road from Belfort to Porentruy, is seen by a captain of the
volunteers, riding along the same road with other officers; demanding
his gun, he aimed at M. Pescheur and shot him."

[83] "Histoire de Chalons-sur-Marne et de ses monuments," by L.
Barbat, pp. 420, 425

[84] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3207. Letter of the directory of the
Côte d'Or, Aug. 28 and Sept. 26. Address of the Beaune municipality,
Sept. 2. Letter of M. Jean Sallier, Oct. 9: "Allow me to appeal to you
for justice and to interest yourself in behalf of my brother, myself,
and five servants, who on the 14th of September last, at the order of
the municipality of La Roche-en-Bressy, where we have lived for three
years, were arrested by the national guard of Saulieu, and, first
imprisoned here in this town, were on the 18th transferred to Semur,
no reason for our detention being given, and where we have in vain
demanded a trial from the directory of the district, which body,
making no examination or inquiry into our case, sent us on the 25th,
at great expense, to Dijon, where the department has imprisoned us
again without, as before, giving any reason therefore." -- The
directory of the department writes "the communes of the towns and of
the country arrest persons suspected by them, and instead of caring
for these themselves, send them to the district" -- Such arbitrary
imprisonment multiply towards the end of 1792 and early in 1793. The
commissaries of the convention arrest at Sedan 55 persons in one day:
at Nancy, 104 in three weeks; at Arras, more than 1,000 in two months;
in the Jura, 4,000 in two months. At Lons-le-Saulnier all the nobles
with their domestics, at Aix all the inhabitants of one quarter
without exception are put in prison. (De Sybel, II. 305.)

[85]"Archives Nationales," F7, 3276. Letters of the administrators of
the Yonne, Aug. 20 and 21 .-Ibid., F7, 3255. Letter of the
commissary, Bonnemant, Sept. 22. -- Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 338. --
Lavalette, "Mémoires," I.100.

[86] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3,255. Letter of the district
administrator of Roanne, Aug. 18. Fourteen volunteers of the canton of
Néronde betake themselves to Chenevoux, a mansion belonging to M.
Dulieu, a supposed émigré. They exact 200 francs from the keeper of'
the funds of the house under penalty of death, which he gives them. --
Letter of the same. Sept. 1. "Every day repressive means are non-
existent. Juges-de-paix before whom complaints are made dare not
report them, nor try citizens who cause themselves to be feared.
Witnesses dare not give testimony for fear of being maltreated or
pillaged by the criminals." -- Letter of the same, Aug. 22. --
Official report of the municipality of Charlieu, Sept. 9, on the
destruction of the land registry books. "We replied that not having
the force with which to oppose them, since they themselves were the
force, we would abstain." -- Letter of an officer of the gendarmerie,
Sept.9, etc.

[87] "Lettres autographes de Madame Roland," published by Madame
Bancal des Issarts, p. 5 (June 2, 1790)

[88] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3245. -- Letter of the mayor and
municipal officers of Lyons, Aug. 2. -- Letter of the deputy procureur
of the commune, Aug. 29. -- Copy of a letter by Dodieu, Aug. 27.
(Roland replies with consternation and says that there must be a
prosecution.) -- Official report of the 9th of September, and letter
of the municipality, Sept. 11. -- Memorandum of the officers of the
Royal-Pologne regiment, Sept. 7. -- Letter of M. Perigny, father-in-
law of one of the officers slain, Sept. 19. -- Mortimer-Ternaux, III.
342. - Guillon de Montléon, I. 124. - Balleyder, "Histoire du peuple
de Lyon," 91.

[89] "Archives Nationales," Letter of Danton, Oct. 3.

[90] Decius, Roman emperor from 248 to 251 famous for having
persecuted the Christians. He was unable to tolerate their refusal to
join in communal corporate pagan observances. He insisted that they do
so and once they had done it, a Certificate of Sacrifice (libellus),
was issued. (SR).

[91] "Etude sur Madame Roland," by Dauban, 82. Letter of Madame
Roland to Bosc, July 26, 1798. "You busy yourselves with a
municipality and allow heads to escape which will devise new horrors.
You are mere children; your enthusiasm is merely a straw bonfire! If
the National Assembly does not try two illustrious heads in regular
form or some generous Décius strike them down, you are all lost. -- "
Ibid.,, May 17, 1790: "Our rural districts are much dissatisfied with
the decree on feudal privileges . . . A reform is necessary, in which
more châteaux must be burnt. It would not be a serious evil were there
not some danger of the enemies of the Revolution profiting by these
discontents to lessen the confidence of the people in the National
Assembly." -- Sept. 27, 1790. "The worst party is successful; it is
forgotten that insurrection is the most sacred of duties when the
country is in danger." -- Jan.24, 1791. "The wise man shuts his eyes
to the grievances or weaknesses of the private individual; but the
citizen should show no mercy, even to his father, when the public
welfare is at stake."

[92] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3202. Report of the commissary, member
of the Cantal directory, Oct. 24. On the 16th of October at
Chaudesaigues the volunteers break open a door and then kill one of
their comrades who opposes them, whom the commissary tries to save.
The mayor of the place, in uniform, leads them to the dwellings of
aristocrats, urging them on to pillage; they enter a number of houses
by force and exact wine. The next day at Saint-Urcize they break into
the house of the former curé, devastate or pillage it, and "sell his
furniture to different persons in the neighborhood." The same
treatment is awarded to sieur Vaissier, mayor, and to lady Lavalette;
their cellars are forced open, barrels of wine are taken to the public
square, and drinking takes place from the tap. After this "the
volunteers go in squads into the neighboring parishes and compel the
inhabitants to give them money or effects." The commissary and
municipal officers of St. Urcize who tried to mediate were nearly
killed and were saved only through the efforts of a detachment of
regular cavalry. As to the Jacobin mayor of Chaudesaigues, it was
natural that he should preach pillage; on the sale of the effects of
the nuns "he kept all bidders away, and had things knocked down to him
for almost nothing."

[93] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3217. Letter or Castanet, an old
gendarme, Nîmes, Aug.21. -- Letter of M. Griolet, syndic-attorney of
the Gard, Sept. 8: "I beg, sir, that this letter may he considered as
confidential; I pray you do not compromise me. " -- Letter of M.
Gilles, juge-de-paix at Rocquemaure, Oct.31 (with official reports).

[94] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3227. Letter of the municipal officers
of Tullins, Sept. 8.

[95] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3190. Letter of Danton, Oct. 9. --
Memorandum of M. Casimir Audiffret (with documents in support of it).
His son had been locked up by mistake, instead of another Audiffret,
belonging to the Comtat; he was slashed with a saber in prison Aug.25.
Report of the surgeon, Oct. 17: "The wounded man has two gashes more
on the head, one on the left cheek and the right leg is paralyzed; he
has been so roughly treated in carrying him from prison to prison as
to bring on an abscess on the wrist; if he is kept there he will soon

[96] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3195. Letter of M. Amiel, president
of the bureau of conciliation, Oct. 28. -- Letter of an inhabitant of
Avignon, Oct. 7. -- Other letters without signatures. -- Letter of M.
Gilles, juge-de-paix, Jan. 23, 1793.

[97] Fabre, "Histoire de Marseilles," II. 478 and following pages. --
"Archives Nationales," F7, 3195. Letter of the Minister of Justice, M.
de Joly (with supporting documents), Aug. 6. -- Official reports of
the Marseilles municipality, July 21, 22, 23. -- Official report of
the municipality of Aix, Aug. 24. -- Letter of the syndic-attorney of
the department (with a letter of the municipality of Aubagne), Sept.
22, etc., in which M. Jourdan, a ministerial officer, is accused of
"aristocracy." A guard is assigned to him. About midnight the guard is
overcome, he is carried off, and then killed in spite of the
entreaties of his wife and son. The letter of the municipality ends
with the following: "Their lamentations pierced our hearts. But, alas,
who can resist the French people when aroused? We remain, gentlemen,
very cordially yours, the municipal officers of Aubagne."

[98] This stage of revolution seems to be sought after by the secret
communist revolutionaries arranging for the break-up of formerly
powerful independent states such as Germany, Yougoslavia, India etc.

[99] Moniteur, XIII. 560. Act passed by the administrators of the
Bouches-du-Rhône, Aug. 3, "forbidding special collectors from
henceforth paying taxes with the national treasury." -Ibid., 744. A
report by Roland. The department of Var, having called a meeting of
commissaries at Avignon to provide for the defense of these regions,
the Minister says: "This step, subversive of all government, nullifies
the general regulations of the executive power." -- "Archives
Nationales," F7, 3195. Deliberation of the three administrative bodies
assembled at Marseilles, Nov. 5, 1792. -- Petition of Anselme, a
citizen of Avignon, residing in Paris, Dec. 14. - Report of the Saint-
Rémy affair, etc.

[100] "Archives Nationales," CII. I. 32. Official Report of the
Electoral Assembly of Bouches-du-Rhône, Sept. 4. "To defray the
expenses of this expenditure the syndic-attorney of the district of
Tarascon is authorized to draw upon the funds of public registry and
vendor of revenue stamps, and in addition thereto on the collector of
direct taxation. The expenses of this expedition will be borne by the
anti-revolutionary agitators who have made it necessary. A list,
therefore, is to be drawn up and sent to the National Assembly. The
commissioners will be empowered to suspend the district
administrations, municipal officers, and generally all public
functionaries who, through incivism or improper conduct, shall have
endangered the public weal. They may even arrest them as well as
suspected citizens. They will see that the law regarding the disarming
of suspected citizens and the banishment of priests be faithfully
executed." - Ibid., F7, 3195. Letter of Truchement, commissary of the
department, Nov. 15. -- Memorandum of the community of Eyguières and
letter of the municipality of Eyguières, Sept. 13. -- Letter of M.
Jaubert, secretary of the Salon popular club, Oct. 22: "The department
of Bouches-du-Rhône has for a month past been ravaged by commissions.
. . The despotism of one is abolished, and we now stagger under the
much more burdensome yoke of a crowd of despots." -- Situation of the
department in September and October, 1792 (with supporting documents).

[101] Barbaroux, "Mémoires," 89.

[102] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3196 .-- Letters and petition of
citizen de Sades, Nov., 1792, Feb.17, 1793, and Ventose 8, year III.:
"Towards the middle of Sept., 1792 (old style), some Marseilles
brigands broke into a house of mine near Apt. Not content with
carrying away six loads of furniture . . they broke the mirrors and
wood-work." The damage is estimated at 80,000 francs. Report of the
executive council according to the official statement of the
municipality of Coste. On the 27th of September Montbrion,
commissioner of the administration of the Bouche-du-Rhône, sends two
messengers to fetch the furniture to Apt. On reaching Apt Montbrion
and his colleague Bergier have the vehicles unloaded, putting the most
valuable effects on one cart, which they appropriate to themselves,
and drive away with it to some distance out of sight, paying the
driver out of their own pockets: "No doubt whatever exists as to the
knavery of Montbrion and Bergier; administrators and commissioners of
the administration of the department." -- De Sades, the author of
"Justine," pleads his well-known civism and the ultra-revolutionary
petitions drawn up by him in the name of the section of the Pikes.

[103] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3272. Read in this file the entire
correspondence of the directory and the public prosecutor.

[104] Deliberation of the commune of Toulon. July 28 and following
days. -- That of the three administrative bodies, Sep. 10 --
Lauvergne, "Histoire du department du Var," 104-137.

[105] "Mémoires" of Chancelier Pasquier. Vol. I. p. 106. Librarie
Plon, Paris 1893 - Pasquier and his wife stopped in Picardy, brought
to Paris by a member of the commune, a small, bandy-legged fellow
formerly a chair-letter in his parish church, imbued with the
doctrines of the day and a determined leveler. At the village of
Saralles they passed the house of M. de Livry, a rich man enjoying an
income of 50,000 francs, and the lover of Saunier, an opera-dancer.
"He is a good fellow," exclaims Pasquier's bandy-legged guardian: "we
have just made hint marry. Look here, we said to him, it is time that
to put a stop to that behavior! Down with prejudice! Marquises and
dancers ought to marry each other. He made her his wife, and it is
well he did; otherwise he would have been done for a long time ago, or
caged behind the Luxembourg walls." - Elsewhere, on passing a chateau
being demolished, the former chair-letter quotes Rousseau: "For every
chateau that falls, twenty cottages rise in its place." His mind was
stored with similar phrases and tirades, uttered by him as the
occasion warranted. This man may be considered as an excellent
specimen of the average Jacobin.

[106] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3,207. Letter of the administrators
of the Côte d'Or to the Minister, Oct. 6, 1792.

[107] "Archives Nationales" F7, 3195. Letter of the administrators
of the Bouche-du-Rhône, Oct 29, and the Minister's answer on the

[108] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3249. Letter of the administrators
of the Orne, Sept. 7, and the Minister's reply noted on the margin.

[109] "Archives Nationales," F', 3,249. Correspondence with the
municipality of Saint-Firmin (Oise). Letter of Roland, Dec. 3: "I have
read the letter addressed to me on the 25th of the past month, and I
cannot conceal from you the pain it gives me to find in it principles
so destructive of all the ties of subordination existing between
constituted authorities, principles so erroneous that should the
communes adopt them every form of government would be impossible and
all society broken up. Can the commune of Saint-Firmin, indeed, have
persuaded itself that it is sovereign, as the letter states? and have
the citizens composing it forgotten that the sovereign is the entire
nation, and not the forty-four thousandth part of it? that Saint-
Firmin is simply a fraction of it, contributing its share to endowing
the deputies of the National Convention, the administrators of
departments and districts with the power of acting for the greatest
advantage of the commune, but which, the moment it elects its own
administrators and agents, can no longer revoke the powers it has
bestowed, without a total subversion of order? etc." -- All the
documents belonging to this affair ought to be quoted; there is
nothing more instructive or ludicrous, and especially the style of the
secretary-clerk of Saint-Firmin: "We conjure you to remember that the
administrators of the district of Senlis strive to play the part of
the sirens who sought to enchant Ulysses."

[110] Letter of the central bureau of the Rouen sections, Aug. 30.

[111] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3195. Letter of the three
administrative bodies and commissaries of the sections of Marseilles,
Nov. 15, 1792. Letter of the electors of Bouches-du-Rhône, Nov. 28. --
(Forms of politeness are omitted at the end of these letters, and no
doubt purposely.) Roland replies (Dec. 31): "While fully admiring the
civism of the brave Marseilles people, . . . do not fully agree with
you on the exercise of popular Sovereignty." He ends by stating that
all their letters with replies have been transmitted to the deputies
of the Bouches-du-Rhône, and that the latter are in accord with him
and will arrange matters.



The second stage of the Jacobin conquest. -- The importance and
multitude of vacant offices.

The second stage of the Jacobin conquest will,[1] after August 10th
and during the next three months, extend and multiply all vacancies
from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy, for the purpose of
filling them with their own men. -- In the first place, the faction
(the party) installs representatives on the summits of public
authority which represent itself alone, seven hundred and forty-nine
omnipotent deputies, in a Convention which, curbed neither by
collateral powers nor by a previously established constitution,
disposes at pleasure of the property, the lives and the consciences of
all French people. -- Then, through this barely installed convention,
it decrees the complete renewal[2] of all administrative and judicial
bodies, councils and directories of departments, councils and communal
municipalities, civil, criminal and commercial tribunals, justices and
their assistants in the lower courts, deputies of the justices,
national commissaries of the civil courts, with secretaries and
bailiffs belonging to the various tribunals and administrations.[3]
The obligation of having practiced as a lawyer is abolished by the
same stroke, so that the first comer, if he belongs to the club
(party) may become a judge without knowing how to write, and even
without being able to read.[4] -- Just before this the staff of the
National Guard, in all towns above fifty thousand souls, and
afterwards in all the towns on the frontier, has again passed through
the electoral sieve.[5] In like manner, the officers of the
gendarmerie at Paris and throughout France once more undergo an
election by their men. Finally, all post-masters and post-office
comptrollers have to submit to election. -- Even better, below or
alongside the elected officials, this administrative purge concerns
all non-elective functionaries and employees, no matter how
insignificant their service, however feeble and indirect their office
may be connected with political matters. This is because tax receivers
and assessors, directors and other agents of rivers and forests,
engineers, notaries, attorneys, clerks and scribes belonging to the
administrative branch, are all subject to dismissal if they do not
obtain a certificate of civism from their municipality. At Troyes, out
of fifteen notaries, it is refused to four,[6] which leaves four
places to be filled by their Jacobin clerks. At Paris,[7] "all honest
folks, all clerks who are educated," are driven out of the navy
offices; the war department is getting to be "a den where everybody on
duty wears a red cap, where all thee-and-thou each other, even the
Minister, where four hundred employees, among which are a number of
women, show off in the dirtiest dress, affect the coolest cynicism, do
nothing, and steal on all sides." -- Under the denunciation of the
clubs, the broom is applied even at the bottom of the hierarchical
scale, even to secretaries of village councils, to messengers and
call-boys in the towns, to jail-keepers and door-keepers, to beadles
and sextons, to foresters, field-custodians, and others of this
class.[8] All these persons must be, or appear to be, Jacobin;
otherwise, their place slips away from them, for there is always some
one to covet it, apply for it and take it. -- Outside of employees
the sweeping operation reaches the suppliers and contractors; even
here there are the faithful to be provided for, and nowhere is the
bait so important. The State, even in ordinary times, is always the
largest of consumers, and, at this moment, it is expending monthly,
merely on the war, two hundred millions extra. What fish may be caught
in such disturbed waters![9] -- All these lucrative orders as well as
all these remunerated positions are at the disposition of the
Jacobins, and they seize the opportunity; they are the lawful owner,
who comes home after a long absence and gives or withdraws his custom
as the pleases, while he makes a clean sweep in his own household. --
The administrative and judicial services alone number 1,300,000
places, all those in the treasury department, in that of public works,
in that of public education, and in the Church; all posts in the
National Guard and in the army, from that of commander-in-chief down
to a drummer; the whole of the central or local power, with the vast
patronage flowing from this. Never had such rich spoils been made
available to the general public in one go. Lots will be drawn,
apparently, by vote; but it is evident that the Jacobins have no
intention of surrendering their prey to the hazards of a free ballot;
they mean to keep it the way they got it; by force, and will leave no
stone unturned to control the elections.


The elections. -- The young and the poor invited to the ballot-box.--
Danger of the Conservatives if candidates. - -Their chiefs absent
themselves. -- Proportion of absentees at the primary assemblies.

They begin by paving their way.[10] A new decree has at once
suppressed the feeble and last legal requirement for impartiality,
integrity and competence of the elector and the eligible candidate. No
more discrimination between active and passive citizens; no longer any
difference between poll tax of an elector of the first degree and
that of the second degree: no electoral poll tax qualification
whatever. All Frenchmen, except domestics, of whom they are
distrustful, supposing them under their employer's influence, may vote
at the primary assemblies, and not longer at the age of twenty-five,
but at twenty-one, which brings to the polls the two most
revolutionary groups, on the one hand the young, and on the other the
poor, the latter in great numbers in these times of unemployment,
dearth and poverty, amounting in all to two millions and a half, and,
perhaps, three millions of new electors. - At Besançon the number of
the registered voters is doubled.[11] -- Thus are the usual clients of
the Jacobins admitted within the electoral boundaries, from which they
had hitherto been excluded,[12] and, to ensure their coming, their
leaders decide that every elector obliged to travel "shall receive
twenty sous mileage," besides "three francs per diem during his

While attracting their supporters they drove their adversaries away.
The political banditry, through which they dominate and terrify
France, has already taken care of that. Many arbitrary arrests and
unpunished murders are a warning to all candidates who do not belong
to their party; and I do not speak about to the nobles or friends of
the ancient regime that have fled or are in prison, but the
Constitutionalists and the Feuillants. Any electoral enterprise on
their part would be madness, almost a suicide. Accordingly, none of
them call attention to themselves. If any outrageous moderate, like
Durand de Maillane, appears on a list, it is because the
revolutionaries have adopted him without knowing him, and because he
swears that he hates royalty.[14] The others, more honest, do not
want to don the popular livery and resort to club patronage, so they
carefully stay away; they know too well that to do otherwise would
mark their heads for pikes and their homes for pillage. At the very
moment of depositing the vote the domains of several deputies are
sacked simply because, "on the comparative lists of seven calls by
name," sent to the departments from Paris by the Jacobins, their names
are found on the right.[15] -- Through an excess of precaution the
Constitutionalists of the Legislative body are kept at the capital,
their passports being refused to them to prevent them from returning
into the provinces and obtaining votes by publicly stating the truth
in relation to the recent revolution. -- In the same way, all
conservative journals are suppressed, reduced to silence, or compelled
to become turncoats. -- Now, when one has neither the possibility to
speak up nor a candidate which might become one's representative, of
what use is it to vote? And especially, since the primary assemblies
are places of disorder and violence,[16] patriots alone, in many
places, being admitted,[17] a conservative being "insulted and
overwhelmed with numbers," and, if he utters an opinion, exposed to
danger, also, if he remains silent, incurring the risk of
denunciations, threats, and blows. To keep in the background, remain
on the sidelines, avoid being seen, and to strive to be forgotten, is
the rule under a pasha, and especially when this pasha is a mob. Hence
the absenteeism of the majority; around the ballot-box there is an
enormous void. At Paris, in the election of mayor and municipal
officers, the balloting of October, November and December collect
together only 14,000 out of 160,000 registered voters, later 10,000,
and, later again, only 7,000.[18] At Besançon, 7,000. registered
voters result in less than 600; there is the same proportion in other
towns, as for example, in Troyes. In like manner, in the rural
cantons, east of Doubs and west of Loire-Inférieure, but one-tenth of
the electors dare exercise their right to vote.[19] The electoral
source is so exhausted, so often disturbed, and so stopped up as to be
almost dry: in these primary assemblies which, directly or indirectly,
delegate all public powers, and which, in the expression of the common
will, should be full, there are lacking six millions three hundred
thousands electors out of seven millions.[20]


Composition and tone of the secondary assemblies. - Exclusion of
"Feuillant" electors. - Pressure on other electors.- Persons elected
by the conservatives obliged to resign. - Elections by the Catholics
canceled. - Secession of the Jacobin minorities. - The election of
their men made valid. - Public opinion not in accord with official

Through this anticipated purge the assemblies of the first degree find
themselves, for the most part, Jacobin; consequently the electors of
the second degree, appointed by them, are for the most part, Jacobin;
in many departments, their assembly becomes the most anarchical, the
most turbulent, and the most usurping of all the clubs. Here there is
only shouting, denunciations, oath-taking, incendiary motions,
cheering which carry all questions, furious speeches by Parisian
commissaries, by delegates from the local club, by passing Federates,


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