The French Revolution, Volume 2 The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3
Hippolyte A. Taine
Part 8 out of 10
and by female wretches demanding arms. The Pas-de-Calais
assemblage sets free and applauds a woman imprisoned for having beaten
a drum in a mob. The Paris assembly fraternizes with the Versailles
slaughterers and the assassins of the mayor of Etampes. The assembly
of the Bouches-du-Rhône gives a certificate o virtue to Jourdan, the
Glacière murderer. The assembly of Seine-et-Marne applauds the
proposal to cast a cannon which might contain the head of Louis XVI.
for a cannon-ball to be fired at the enemy. -- It is not surprising
that an electoral body without self-respect should respect nothing,
and practice self-mutilation under the pretext of purification.
The object of the despotic majority was to reign at once, without any
contest, on its own authority, and to expel all offensive electors. At
Paris, in the Aisne, in Haute-Loire, in Ille-et-Vilaine, in Maine-et-
Loire, it excludes as unworthy the members of old Feuillants and
monarchical clubs, and the signers of Constitutionalist protests. In
Hérault it cancels the elections in the canton of Servian, because the
elected men, it says, are "mad aristocrats." In Orne it drives away an
old Constituent, Goupil de Préfeln, because he voted for the revision,
also, his son-in-law, because he is his son-in-law. In the Bouches-
du-Rhône, where the canton of Seignon, by mistake or through routine,
swore "to maintain the constitution of the kingdom," it sets aside
these retrograde elected representatives, commences proceedings
against the "crime committed," and sends troops against Noves because
the Noves elector, a justice who is denounced and in peril, has
escaped from the electoral den. -- After the purification of persons
it proceeds to the purification of sentiments. At Paris, and in at
least nine departments, and in contempt of the law, is suppresses
the secret ballot, the last refuge of timid conservatives, and imposes
on each elector a verbal public vote, loud and clear, on his name
being called; that is to say, if he does not vote as he ought to, he
risks the gallows. Nothing could more surely convert hesitation
and indecision into good sense, while, in many a place, still more
powerful machinery is violently opposed to the elections. At Paris the
elections are carried on in the midst of atrocities, under the pikes
of the butchers, and con ducted by their instigators. At Meaux and at
Rheims the electors in session were within hearing of the screeches of
the murdered priests. At Rheims the butchers themselves ordered the
electoral assembly to elect their candidates, Drouet, the famous post-
master, and Armonville, a tipsy wool-carder, upon which one-half of
the assembly withdrew, while the two candidates of the assassins are
elected. At Lyons, two days after the massacre, the Jacobin commander
writes to the Minister: "Yesterday's catastrophe puts the aristocrats
to flight, and ensures us the majority in Lyons." From universal
suffrage thus subjected to so much sifting, submitted to such heavy
pressure, heated and refined in the revolutionary alembic, those who
control it obtain all they want, a concentrated extract, the
quintessence of the Jacobin spirit.
And yet, should this extract not seem to them sufficiently strong,
wherever they are sovereign, they throw it away and begin over again.
At Paris, by means of a purifying and surplus ballot, the new
Council of the Commune undertakes the expulsion of its lukewarm
members, while d'Ormesson, the mayor elect of the moderates, is
assailed with so many threats that, on the verge of his installation,
he resigns. At Lyons, another moderate, Nivière-Chol, twice
elected, and, by 9,000 out of 11,000 votes, is twice compelled to
abandon his place; after him, Gilibert, the physician, who, supported
by the same voters, is about to obtain the majority, is seized
suddenly and cast into prison; even in prison, he is elected; the
clubbists confine him there more rigidly, and do not let him out even
after extorting his resignation. -- Elsewhere in the rural cantons,
for example, in Franche-Comté, a number of elections are canceled
when the person elected happens to be a Catholic. The Jacobin
minority frequently secede, meet in a tavern, elect their mayor or
justice of the peace, and the validity of his election is secured
because he is a patriot; so much the worse for that of the majority,
whose more numerous votes are null because given by "fanatics." -- The
response of universal suffrage thus appealed to cannot be other than
that which is framed for it. Indisputable facts are to show to what
extent this response is compulsive or perverted, what a distance there
is between an official choice and public opinion, how the elections
give a contrary meaning to popular sentiment. The departments of
Deux-Sèvres, Maine-et-Loire, la Vendée, Loire-Infèrieure, Morbihan,
and Finistère, send only anti-Catholic republicans to the Convention,
while these same departments are to become the inexhaustible nursery
of the great catholic and royalist insurrection. Three regicides out
of four deputies represent Lozère, where, six months later, thirty
thousand peasants are to march under the Royal white banner. Six
regicides out of nine deputies represent la Vendée, which is going to
rise from one end of it to the other in the name of the King.
Composition of the National Convention. - Number of Montagnards at the
start. - Opinions and sentiments of the deputies of the Plain. - The
Gironde. - Ascendancy of the Girondins in the Convention. - Their
intellectual character. - Their principles. - The plan of their
Constitution. - Their fanaticism. - Their sincerity, culture and
tastes. - How they differ from pure Jacobins. - How they comprehend
popular sovereignty. - Their stipulations with regard to the
initiative of individuals and of groups. - Weakness of philosophic
thought and of parliamentary authority in times of anarchy.
However vigorous the electoral pressure may have been, the voting
machine has not provided the expected results. At the opening of the
session, out of 749 deputies, only about fifty are found to
approve of the Commune, nearly all of the elected in places where, as
at Rheims and Paris, terror has the elector by the throat, "under the
clubs, axes, daggers, and bludgeons of the butchers." But where
the physical impressions of murder have not been so tangible and
impressive, some sense of decency has prevented too glaring elections.
The inclination to vote for well-known names could not wholly be
arrested; seventy-seven former members of the Constituent Assembly,
and one hundred and eighty-six of the previous Legislative Assembly
enter the Convention, and the practical knowledge which many of these
have of government business has given them some insights. In short,
the consciences of six hundred and fifty deputies are only in part
They are all, unquestionably, decided republicans, enemies of
tradition, apostles of reason, and trained in deductive politics;
only on these conditions could they be elected. Every candidate is
supposed to possess the Jacobin faith, or, at least, to recite the
revolutionary creed. The Convention, consequently, at its opening
session votes unanimously, with cheers and enthusiasm, the abolition
of royalty, and three months later it pronounces, by a large majority,
"guilty of conspiring against the liberty of the nation, and of
the general welfare of the State."
Nevertheless, social habitudes still subsist under political
prejudices. A man who is born in and lives for a long time in an old
community, is, through this alone, marked with its imprint; the
customs to which he conforms have crystallized in him in the shape of
sentiments: if it is well-regulated and civilized, he has
involuntarily arrived at respect for property and for human life, and,
in most characters, this respect has taken very deep root. A theory,
even if adopted, does not wholly succeed in destroying this respect;
only in rare instances is it successful, when it encounters coarse and
defective natures; to take full hold, it is necessary that it should
fall on the scattered inheritors of former destructive appetites, on
those hopelessly degenerate souls in which the passions of an anterior
date are slumbering; then only does its malevolence fully appear, for
it rouses the ferocious or plundering instincts of the barbarian, the
raider, the inquisitor, and the pasha. On the contrary, with the
greatest number, do what it will, integrity and humanity always remain
powerful motives. Nearly all these legislators, who originate in the
middle class, are at bottom, irrespective of a momentary delusion,
what they always have been up to now, advocates, attorneys, merchants,
priests, or physicians of the ancient regime, and what they will
become later on, docile administrators or zealous functionaries of
Napoleon's empire, that is to say, ordinary civilized persons
belonging to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, sufficiently
honest in private life to have a desire to be equally so in public
life. -- Hence their horror of anarchy, of Marat, and of the
September butchers and robbers. Three days after their assembling
together they vote, "almost unanimously," the preparation of a law
"against the instigators of murder and assassination." "Almost
unanimously," they desire to raise a guard, recruited in the 83
departments, against the armed bands of Paris and the Commune.
Pétition is elected as their first president by "almost the totality
of suffrages." Roland who has just read his report to them, is greeted
with the "loudest" applause from nearly the "entire" Assembly. In
short they are for the ideal republic against actual brigands. This
accounts for their ranging themselves around those upright and sincere
deputies, who, in the two preceding Assemblies or alongside of them,
were the ablest defenders of both principles and humanity, around
Buzot, Lanjuinais, Pétition, and Rabaut-Saint-Etienne; around Brissot,
Vergniaud, Guadet, Gensonné, Isnard, and Condorcet; around Roland,
Louvet, Barbaroux, and the five hundred deputies of the "Plain,"
marching in one body under the leadership of the 180 Girondists who
now form the "Right."
These latter, among the republicans, are the most sincere and have the
most faith; for they have long been such, after much thought, study
and as a matter of principle. Nearly all of them are well-read
educated men, reasoners, philosophers, disciples of Diderot or of
Rousseau, satisfied that absolute truth had been revealed by their
masters, thoroughly imbued with the Encyclopédie or the Contrat
Social, the same as the Puritans formerly were with the Bible. At
the age when the mind is maturing, and fondly clings to general
ideas, they embraced the theory and aimed at a reconstruction of
society according to abstract principles. They have accordingly set to
work as pure logicians, rigorously applying the superficial and false
system of analysis then in vogue. They have formed for themselves
an idea of man in general, the same in all times and ages, an extract
or minimum of man; they have pondered over several thousands of or
millions of these abstract mortals, erected their imaginary wills into
primordial rights, and drawn up in anticipation the chimerical
contract which is to regulate their impossible union. There are to be
no more privileges, no more heredity, no qualifications of any kind;
all are to be electors, all eligible and all of equal members of the
sovereignty; all powers are to be of short date, and conferred through
election; there must be but one assembly, elected and entirely renewed
annually, one executive council elected and one-half renewed annually,
a national treasury-board elected and one-third renewed annually; all
local administrations and tribunals must be elected; a referendum to
the people, the electoral body endowed with the initiative, a constant
appeal to the sovereignty, which, always consulted and always active,
will manifest its will not alone by the choice of its mandatories but,
again, through "the censure" which it will apply to the laws -- such
is the Constitution they forge for themselves. "The English
Constitution," says Condorcet, "is made for the rich, that of America
for citizens well-off; the French Constitution should be made for all
men." - It is, for this reason, the only legitimate one; every
institution that deviates from it is opposed to natural rights and,
therefore, fit only to be put down.-This is what the Girondists have
done during the Legislative sessions; we know how they, armed with the
illusions of their new philosophy and triumphing through a rigid,
rash and hasty reason, have
* persecuted Catholic consciences,
* violated feudal property,
* encroached on the legal authority of the King,
* persecuted the remains of the ancient regime,
* tolerated crimes committed by the crowds,
* even plunged France into an European war,
* armed even the paupers,
* caused the overthrow of all government. -
As far as his Utopia is concerned, the Girondist is a sectarian, and
he knows no scruples.
* Little does he care that nine out of ten electors do not vote: he
regards himself as the authorized representative of all ten.
* Little does he care whether the great majority of Frenchmen favor
the Constitution of 1791; it is his business to impose on them his
* Little does he care whether his former opponents, King, émigrés,
unsworn ecclesiastics, are honorable men or at least excusable; he
will launch against them every rigorous legal proceeding,
transportation, confiscation, civil death and physical death.
In his own eyes he is the justiciary, and his investiture is bestowed
upon him by eternal right. There is no human infatuation so pernicious
to man as that of absolute right; nothing is better calculated for the
destruction in him of the hereditary accumulation of moral
conceptions. -- Within the narrow bounds of their creed, however, the
Girondins are sincere and consistent. They are masters of their
formulae; they know how to deduce consequences from them; they believe
in them the same as a surveyor in his theorems, and a theologian in
the articles of his faith; they are anxious to apply them, to devise a
constitution, to establish a regular government, to emerge from a
barbarous state, to put an end to fighting in the street, to
pillaging, to murders, to the sway of brutal force and of naked arms.
The disorder, mover, so repugnant to them as logicians is still more
repugnant to them as cultivated, polished men. They have a sense of
what is proper, of becoming ways, and their tastes are even
refined. They are not familiar with, nor do they desire to imitate,
the rude manners of Danton, his coarse language, his oaths, and his
low associations with the people. They have not, like Robespierre,
gone to lodge with a master joiner, to live him and eat with his
family. Unlike Pache, Minister of War, no one among them "feels
honored" by "going down to dine with his porter," and by sending his
daughters to the club to give a fraternal kiss to drunken
Jacobins. At Madame Roland's house there is a salon, although it
is stiff and pedantic; Barbaroux send verses to a marchioness, who,
after the 2nd of June, elopes with him to Caen. Condorcet has
lived in high society, while his wife, a former canoness, possess the
charms, the repose, the instruction, and the elegance of an
accomplished woman. Men of this stamp cannot endure close alongside
of them the inept and gross dictatorship of an armed rabble. In
providing for the public treasury they require regular taxes and not
tyrannical confiscations. To repress the malevolent they propose
"punishment and not banishment." In all State trials they oppose
irregular courts, and strive to maintain for those under indictment
some of the usual safeguards. On declaring the King guilty they
hesitate in pronouncing the sentence of death, and try to lighten
their responsibility by appealing to the people. The line "laws and
not blood," was a line which, causing a stir in a play of the day,
presented in a nutshell their political ideas. And, naturally, the
law, especially Republican law, is the law of all; once enacted,
nobody, no citizen, no city, no party, can refuse to obey it without
being criminal. It is monstrous that one city should arrogate to
itself the privilege of ruling the nation; Paris, like other
departments, should be reduced to its on-eighty-third proportion of
influence. It is monstrous that, in a capital of 700,000 souls, five
or six thousand radical Jacobins should oppress the sections and alone
elect their candidates; in the sections and at the polls, all
citizens, at least all republicans, should enjoy an equal and free
vote. It is monstrous that the principle of popular sovereignty should
be used to cover up attacks against popular sovereignty, that, under
the pretense of saving the State, the first that comes along may kill
whom he pleases, that, on the pretext that they are resisting
oppression, each mob should have the "Right" to put the government
down. -- Hence, this militant "Right" must be pacified, enclosed
within legal boundaries, and subjected to a fixed process. Should
any individual desire a law, a reform or a public measure, let him
state his on paper over his own signature and that of fifty other
citizens of the same primary assembly; then the proposition must be
submitted to his own primary assembly; then in case it obtains a
majority, to the primary assemblies of his arrondissement; then, in
case of a majority, to the primary assemblies of his department; then,
in case of a majority, to all the primary assemblies of the nation, so
that after a second verdict of the same assemblies twice consulted,
the Legislative body, yielding to the majority of primary suffrages,
may dissolve and a new Legislative body, in which all old members
shall be declared ineligible, take its place. -- This is the final
expression and the master idea, of the theory. Condorcet, its able
constructor, has outdone himself. Impossible to design on paper a more
ingenious or complicated mechanism. The Girondists, in the closing
article of this faultless constitution, believe that they have
discovered a way to muzzle the beast and allow the sovereign people to
fully assert their rights.
As if, with some kind of constitution and especially with this one,
one could muzzle the beast! As if it was in the mood to crane the
neck allowing them to put the muzzle on! Robespierre, on behalf of the
Jacobins, counters with a clause radically opposed to the one drafted
" To submit 'the right to resist oppression' to legal formalities is
the ultimate refinement of tyranny. . . When a government violates the
people's rights, a general insurrection of the people, as well as
portions of the people, is the most sacred of duties."
Political orthodoxy, close reasoning, and oratorical talent are,
however, no weapon against this ever-muttering insurrection.
"Our philosophers," says a good observer, "want to attain their
ends by persuasion; which is equivalent to saying that battles may be
won by eloquence, fine speeches, and plans of constitution. Very soon,
according to them, . . . . if will suffice to carry complete copies
of Macchiavelli, Rousseau and Montesquieu into battle instead of
cannon, it never occurring to them that these authors, like their
works, never were, and never will be, anything but fools when put up
against a cut-throat provided with a good sword."
The parliamentary landscape has fallen away; things have returned to a
state of nature, that is, to a state of war, and one is no longer
concerned with debate but with brute force. To be in the right, to
convince the convention, to obtain majorities, to pass decrees, would
be appropriate in ordinary times, under a government provided with an
armed force and a regular administration, by which, from the summits
of public authority, the decrees of a majority descend through
submissive functionaries to a sympathetic and obedient population.
But, in times of anarchy, and above all, in the den of the Commune, in
Paris, such as the 10th of August and the 2nd of September made it,
all this is of no account.
V. The Jacobins forming alone the Sovereign People.
Opinion in Paris. -- The majority of the population constitutional. --
The new régime unpopular. -- Scarcity and high cost of food. -
Catholic customs obstructed. -Universal and increasing discontent. --
Aversion or indifference to the Girondins. -- Political resignation of
the majority. -- Modern customs incompatible with pure democracy. --
Men of property and income, manufacturers and tradesmen, keep aloof. -
- Dissension, timidity, and feebleness of the Conservatives. -- The
Jacobins alone form the sovereign people.
And it is of no account because, first of all, in this great city of
Paris the Girondists are isolated, and have no group of zealous
partisans to depend upon. For, if the large majority is opposed to
their adversaries, that is not in their favor, it having secretly, at
heart, remained "Constitutionalists." "I would make myself master
of Paris," says a professional observer, "in ten days without striking
a blow if I had but six thousand men, and one of Lafayette's stable-
boys to command them." Lafayette, indeed, since the departure or
concealment of the royalists, represents the old, fixed, and innermost
opinion of the capital. Paris submits to the Girondists as well as to
the Montagnards as usurpers; the mass of the public regards them with
ill-will, and not only the bourgeoisie, but likewise the majority of
the people loathe the established government.
Work is scarce and food is dear; brandy has tripled in price; only
four hundred oxen are brought in at the Poissy market instead of seven
or eight thousand; the butchers declare that there will be no meat in
Paris next week except for the sick. To obtain a small ration of
bread it is necessary to wait five or six hours in a line at the
baker's shops, and, as is customary, workmen and housekeepers
impute all this to the government. This government, which so poorly
provides for its needs, offends them yet more in their deepest
feelings, in the habits most dear to them, in their faith and worship.
The common people, even at Paris, is still at this time very
religious, much more so than at the present day. When the priest
bearing the Host passes along the street, the crowd "gathers from all
sides, men, women, and children, young and old, and fall on their
knees in worship." The day on which the relics of saint Leu are
borne in procession through the Rue St. Martin, "everybody kneels; I
did not see a man," says a careful observer, "that did not take off
his hat. At the guard-house of the Mauconseil section, the entire
company presented arms." At the same time the "citoyennes around the
markets talked with each other to know if there was any way of decking
houses with tapestry." The following week they compel the
revolutionary committee of Saint-Eustache to authorize another
procession, and again each one kneels: "everybody approved of the
ceremony, no one, that I heard of; making any objection. This is a
striking picture. . . . I saw repentance, I saw the parallel each is
forced to draw between the actual state of things and the former one.
I saw what a privation the people had to endure in the loss of that
which, formerly, was the most imposing of all church ceremonies.
People of all ranks and ages were deeply affected and humble, and many
had tears in their eyes." Now, in this respect, the Girondists, by
virtue of being philosophers, are more iconoclastic, more intolerant
than any one, and there is no reason for preferring them to their
adversaries. At bottom, the government installed by the recent
electoral comedy, for the major portion of the Parisians, has no
authority but the fact of its existence; people put up with it because
there is no other, fully recognizing its worthlessness; it is a
government of strangers, of interlopers, of bunglers, of cantankerous,
weak and violent persons. The Convention has no hold either on the
people or on the bourgeois class, and in proportion as it glides more
rapidly down the revolutionary hill, it breaks one by one the ties
with which it is still connected to the undecided.
In a reign of eight months the Convention has alienated public opinion
entirely. "Almost all who have property of any kind are
conservative," and all the conservatives are against it. "The
gendarmes here openly speak up against the Revolution, even up to the
revolutionary tribunal, whose judgments they loudly condemn. All the
old soldiers detest the actual order of things." -- The volunteers
"who come back from the army appear angry at putting the King to
death, and on that account they would flay all the Jacobins." --
No party in the Convention escapes this universal disaffection and
growing aversion. "If the question of guillotining the members of the
Convention could be put to an open vote, it would be carried against
them by a majority of nineteen-twentieths," which, in fact, is
about the proportion of electors who, through fright or disgust, keep
away from the polls. Let the "Right" or the "Left" of the Convention
be victors or vanquished, that is a matter which concerns them; the
public at large does not enter into the discussions of its conquerors,
and no longer cares for either Gironde or "Mountain." Its old
grievances always revive "against the Vergniauds, Guadets" and
company; it does not like them, and has no confidence in them, and
will let them be crushed without helping them. The infuriates may
expel the Thirty-Two, if they choose, and put them under lock and key.
"There is nothing the aristocracy (meaning by this, owners of
property, merchants, bankers, the rich, and the well-to-do), desire so
much as to see them guillotined." 'Even the inferior aristocracy
(meaning petty tradesmen and head-workmen) take no more interest in
their fate than if they were so many escaped wild beasts . . .
again caught and put in their cages." "Guadet, Pétion, Brissot,
would not find thirty persons in Paris who would take their part, or
even take the first step to save them."
Apart from all this, it makes little difference whether the majority
has any preferences; its sympathies, if it has any, will never be
other than platonic. It no longer counts for anything in either camp,
it has withdrawn from the battle-field, it is now simply the stakes of
the conflict, the prey and the booty of the winner. For, unable or
unwilling to comply with the political system imposed on it, it is
self-condemned to utter powerlessness. This system is the direct
government of the people by the people, with all that ensues,
permanence of the section assemblies, club debates in public, uproar
in the galleries, motions in the open air, mobs and manifestations in
the streets; nothing is less attractive and more impracticable to
civilized and busy people. In our modern communities, work, the
family, and social intercourse absorb nearly all our time; hence, such
a system suits only the idle and rough outcasts who feel at home
there; the others refuse to enter an environment expressly set up for
singles, orphans, unskilled persons, living in lodgings, foul-mouthed,
lacking the sense of smell, with a gift of the gab, robust arms, tough
hide, solid haunches, expert in hustling, and with whom blows replace
arguments. -- After the September massacres, and on the opening
of the barriers, a number of proprietors and persons living on their
incomes, not alone the suspected but those who thought they might
become so, escaped from Paris, and, during the following months, the
emigration increases along with the danger. Towards December rumor has
it that lists have been made up of former Feuillants; "we are assured
that during the past eight days more than fourteen thousand persons
have left the capital." According to the report of the Minister
himself; "many who are independent in fortune and position abandon
a city where the renewal of proscription is talked of daily." -- "
Grass grows in the finest streets," writes a deputy, "while the
silence of the grave reigns in the Thébaïdes (isolated villas) of the
faubourg Saint-Germain." -- As to the conservatives who remain, they
confine themselves to private life, from which it follows that, in the
political balance, those present are of no more account than the
absentees. At the municipal elections in October, November, and
December, out of 160,000 registered voters, there are at first
144,000, then 150,000, and finally 153,000 who stay away from the
polls; these, certainly, and for a much better reason, do not show
themselves at the assemblies of their sections. Commonly, out of three
or four thousand citizens, only fifty or sixty attend; one of these,
called a general assembly, which signifies the will of the people to
the Convention, is composed of twenty-five voters. Accordingly,
what would a sensible man, a friend of order, do in these dens of
fanatics? He stays at home, as on stormy days; he lets the shower of
words spend itself, not caring to be spattered in the gutter of
nonsense which carries off the filth of this district.
If he leaves his house at all he goes out for a walk, the same as in
old times, to indulge the tastes he had under the old régime, those of
a talkative, curious on-looker and friendly stroller, of a Parisian
safe in his well run town. "Yesterday evening," writes a man who
feels the coming Reign of Terror, "I took my stand in the middle of
the right alley of the Champs-Elysées; it was thronged with -- who
do you think? Would you believe it, with moderates, aristocrats,
owners of property, and very pretty women, elegantly dressed, seeking
the caresses of the balmy spring breeze! It was a charming sight. All
were gay and smiling. I was the only one that was not so. . . I
withdrew hastily, and, on passing through the Tuileries garden, I saw
a repetition of what I had seen before, forty thousand wealthy people
scattered here and there, almost as many as Paris contains." -- These
are evidently the sheep ready for the slaughter-house. They no longer
think of defense, they have abandoned their posts to the sans-
culottes, "they refuse all civil and military functions," they
avoid doing duty in the National Guard and instead pay their
substitutes. In short, they withdraw from a game which, in 1789, they
desired to play without understanding it, and in which, since the end
of 1791, they have always burnt their fingers. The cards may be handed
over to others, especially as the cards are dirty and the players
fling them in each others' faces; as for themselves they are
spectators, they have no other ambitions. -- "Leave them their old
enjoyments, leave them the pleasure of going and coming throughout
the kingdom; but do not force them to take part in the war. Subject
them to the heaviest taxation and they will not complain; nobody will
even know that they exist, while the most serious question that
disturbs them in their thoughtful days is, can one amuse one's self as
much under a republican form of government as under the ancient
régime?" They hope, perhaps, to escape under cover of inoffensive
neutrality. Is it likely that the victor, whoever he is, will regard
people as enemies who are resigned to his rule before-hand? "A
dandy alongside of me remarked, yesterday morning, 'They will not
take my arms away, for I never had any.' Alas,' I replied to him,
'don't make a boast of it, for you may find forty thousand simpletons
in Paris that would say the same thing, and, indeed, it is not at all
to the credit of Paris.'" -- Such is the blindness or self-complacency
of the city dweller who, having always lived under a good police, is
unwilling to change his habits, and is not aware that the time has
come for him to turn fighting man in his turn.
The manufacturers, the merchants and the man living on his income are
even less disposed than the independent gentleman, to give up his
private affairs for public affairs. His business will not wait for
him, he being confined to his office, store or counting-room. For
example, "the wine-dealers are nearly all aristocrats in the sense
of this word at this period," but "never were their sales so great as
during the insurrections of the people and in revolutionary days."
Hence the impossibility of obtaining their services in those days.
"They are seen on their premises very active, with three or four of
their assistants," and turn a deaf ear to every appeal. "How can we
leave when custom is so good? People must have their wants supplied.
Who will attend to them if I and the waiters should go away? " --
There are other causes of their weakness. All grades in the National
Guard and all places in the municipality having been given up to the
Jacobin extremists, they have no chiefs: the Girondists are incapable
of rallying them, while Garat, the Minister, is unwilling to employ
them. Moreover, they are divided amongst themselves, no one having any
confidence in the other, "it being necessary to chain them together to
have anything accomplished." Besides this, the remembrance of
September weighs upon their spirits like a nightmare. -- All this
converts people into a timid flock, ready to scamper at the slightest
alarm. "In the Contrat Social section," says an officer of the
National Guard, "one-third of those who are able to defend the section
are off in the country; another third are hiding away in their houses,
and the other third dare not do anything." "If, out of fifty
thousand moderates, you can collect together three thousand, I shall
be very much astonished. And if; out of these three thousand, five
hundred only are found to agree, and have courage enough to express
their opinion, I shall be still more astonished. The latter, for
instance, must expect to be Septemberized!" This they know, and
hence they keep silent and bend beneath the yoke. "What, indeed, would
the majority of the sections do when it is demonstrated that a dozen
raving maniacs at the head of a sans-culottes section puts the other
forty-seven sections of Paris to flight? " -- Through this desertion
of the state and themselves, they surrender in advance, and, in this
great city, as formerly in ancient Athens and Rome, we see alongside
of an immense population of subjects without any rights, a small
despotic oligarchy in itself composing the sovereign people.
Composition of the party. -- Its numbers and quality decline. -- The
Underlings. -- Idle and dissipated workmen. -- The suburban rabble. --
Bandits and blackguards. -- Prostitutes. -- The September actors.
Not that this minority has been on the increase since the 10th of
August, quite the reverse. -- On the 19th of November, 1792, its
candidate for the office of Mayor of Paris, Lhuillier, obtains only
4,896 votes. On the 18th of June, 1793, its candidate for the
command of the National Guard, Henriot, will secure but 4,573 votes;
to ensure his election it will be necessary to cancel the election
twice, impose the open vote, and relieve voters from showing their
section tickets, which will permit the trusty to vote successively in
other quarters and apparently double their number by allowing each to
vote two or three times. Putting all together, there are not six
thousand Jacobins in Paris, all of them sans-culottes and partisans of
the "Mountain." Ordinarily, in a section assembly, they number
"ten or fifteen," at most "thirty or forty," "organized into a
permanent tyrannical board." . . . "The rest listen and raise their
hands mechanically." . . . "Three or four hundred Visionaries, whose
devotion is as frank as it is stupid, and two or three hundred more to
whom the result of the last revolution did not bring the places and
honors they too evidently relied on," form the entire staff of the
party; "these are the clamorers of the sections and of the groups, the
only ones who have clearly declared themselves against order, the
apostles of a new sedition, scathed or ruined men who need disturbance
to keep alive," while under these comes the train of Marat, vile
women, worthless wretches, and "paid shouters at three francs a
To this must be added that the quality of the factious is still more
reduced than their number. Plenty of honest men, small tradesmen, wine
dealers, cook-shop keepers, clerks, who, on the 10th of August, were
against the Court, are now against the Commune. The September
affair, probably, disgusted them, and they were not disposed to
recommence the massacres. A workman named Gonchon, for example, the
usual spokesman of the faubourg SaintAntoine, an upright man, sincere
and disinterested, supports Roland, and, very soon, at Lyons, seeing
how things are with his own eyes, he is to loyally endorse the revolt
of the moderates against the Maratists. "The respectable class
of the arts, says observers, " is gradually leaving the faction to
join the sane party." "Now that water-carriers, porters and the
like storm the loudest in the sections, it is plain to all eyes that
the gangrene of disgust has reached the fruit-sellers, tailors, shoe-
makers, bar owners," and others of that class. -- Towards the
end, "butchers of both classes, high and low, are aristocratized." --
In the same way, "the women in the markets, except a few who are paid
and whose husbands are Jacobins, curse and swear, fume, fret and
storm." "This morning," says a merchant, "four or five of them were
here; they no longer insist on being called citoyennes; they declare
that they "spit on the republic." - The only remaining patriot
females are from the lowest of the low class, the harpies who pillage
shops as much through envy as through necessity, "boat-women,
embittered by hard labor, . . . jealous of the grocer's wife,
better dressed than herself, as the latter was of the wives of the
attorney and counselor, as these were of those of the financier and
noble. The woman of the people thinks she cannot do too much to lower
the grocer's wife to her own level."
Thus reduced to its dregs through the withdrawal of its tolerably
honest recruits, the faction now comprises none but the scum of the
populace, first, "subordinate workmen who look upon the downfall of
their employers with a certain satisfaction," then, the small
retailers, the old-clothes dealers, plasterers, "those who offer
second-hand coats for sale on the fringes of the market, fourth-rate
cooks who, at the cemetery of the Innocents, sell meat and beans under
umbrella tops," next, domestics highly pleased with now being
masters of their masters, kitchen helpers, grooms, lackeys, janitors,
every species of valet, who, in contempt of the law, voted at the
elections and at the Jacobin club form a group of "silly people"
satisfied "that they were universal geographers because they had
ridden post once or twice," and that they were politicians "because
they had read 'The Four Sons of Aymon.'" -- But, in this mud,
spouting and spreading around in broad daylight, it is the ordinary
scum of great cities which forms the grossest flux, the outcasts of
every trade and profession, dissipated workmen of all kinds, the
irregular and marauding troops of the social army, the class which,
"discharged from La Pitié, run through a career of disorder and end in
Bicêtre." "From La Pitié to Bicêtre" is a well known popular
adage. Men of this stamp are without any principle whatever. If they
have fifty francs they live on fifty, and if they have only five they
live on five; spending everything, they are always out of pocket and
save nothing. This is the class that took the Bastille, got up the
10th of August, etc. It is the same class which filled the galleries
in the Assembly with all sorts of characters, filling up the groups,"
and, during all this time it never did a stroke of work. Consequently,
"a wife who owns a watch, ear-rings, finger-rings, any jewels, first
takes them to the pawnbrokers where they end up being sold. At this
period many of these people owe the butcher, the baker, the wine-
dealer, etc.; nobody trusts them any more. They have ceased to love
their wives, and their children cry for food, while the father is at
the Jacobin club or at the Tuileries. Many of them have abandoned
their position and trade," while, either through "indolence" or
consciousness "of their incapacity," . . . "they would with a kind of
sadness see this trade come back to life." That of a political gossip,
of a paid claqueur, is more agreeable, and such is the opinion of all
the idlers, summoned by the bugle to work on the camps around Paris. -
- Here, eight thousand men are paid forty sous a day "to do
nothing"; "the workmen come along at eight, nine and ten o'clock in
the morning. If they remain after roll-call . . . they merely trundle
about a few wheelbarrow loads of dirt. Others play cards all day, and
most of them leave at three or four o'clock, after dinner. On asking
the inspectors about this they reply that they are not strong enough
to enforce discipline, and are not disposed to have their throats
slit." Whereupon, on the Convention decreeing piece-work, the
pretended workers fall back on their equality, remind it that they had
risen on the 10th of August, and wish to massacre the commissioners.
It is not until the 2nd of November that they are finally dismissed
with an allowance of three sous per league mileage for those of the
departments. Enough, however, remain in Paris to increase
immeasurably the troop of drones which, accustomed to consuming the
store of honey, think they have a right to be paid by the public for
buzzing around the State.
As a rear-guard, they have "the rabble of the suburbs of Paris, which
flocks in at every tap of the drum because it hopes to make
something." As advance-guard they have "brigands," while the front
ranks contain "all the robbers in Paris, which the faction has
enrolled in its party to use when required;" the second ranks are made
up of "a number of former domestics, the bullies of gambling-houses
and of houses of ill-fame, all the vilest class." -- Naturally,
lost women form a part of the crowd "Citoyennes," Henriot says,
addressing the prostitutes of the Palais-Royal, whom he has assembled
in its garden, "citoyennes, are you good republicans?" "Yes, general,
yes!" "Have you, by chance, any refractory priest, any Austrian, any
Prussian, concealed in your apartments?" "Fie, fie! We have nobody
but sans-culottes! " -- Along with these are the thieves and
prostitutes out of the Châtelet and Conciergerie, set at liberty and
then enlisted by the September slaughterers, under the command of an
old hag named Rose Lacombe, forming the usual audience of the
Convention; on important days, seven or eight hundred of these may be
counted, sometimes two thousand, stationed at the entrance and in the
galleries, from nine o'clock in the morning. -- Male and female,
"this anti-social vermin "102thus crawls around at the sessions of the
Assembly, the Commune, the Jacobin club, the revolutionary tribunal,
the sections and one may imagine the physiognomies it offers to view.
"It would seem," says a deputy, "as if every sink in Paris and
other great cities had been scoured to find whatever was foul, the
most hideous, and the most infected. . . . Ugly, cadaverous features,
black or bronzed, surmounted with tufts of greasy hair, and with eyes
sunken half-way into the head. . . . They belched forth with their
nauseous breath the grossest insults amidst sharp cries like those of
carnivorous animals." Among them there can be distinguished "the
September murderers, whom" says an observer in a position to know
them, "I can compare to nothing but lazy tigers licking their paws,
growling and trying to find a few more drops of blood just spilled,
awaiting a fresh supply." Far from hiding away they strut about and
show themselves. One of them, Petit-Mamain, son of an innkeeper at
Bordeaux and a former soldier, "with a pale, wrinkled face, sharp eyes
and bold air, wearing a scimitar at his side and pistols at his belt,"
promenades the Palais-Royal "accompanied or followed at a
distance by others of the same species," and "taking part in every
conversation." "It was me," he says, "who ripped open La Lamballe and
tore her heart out. . . . All I have to regret is that the massacre
was such a short one. But we shall have it over again. Only wait a
fortnight!" and, thereupon, he calls out his own name in defiance. --
Another, who has no need of stating his well-known name, Maillard,
president of the Abbaye massacres, has his head-quarters at the café
Chrétien, Rue Favart, from which, guzzling drams of brandy, "he
dispatches his mustached men, sixty-eight cutthroats, the terror of
the surrounding region;" we see them in coffee-houses and in the
foyers of the theaters "drawing their huge sabers," and telling
inoffensive people: "I am Mr. so and so; if you look at me with
contempt I'll cut you down! -- A few months more and, under the
command of one of Henriot's aids, a squad of this band will rob and
toast (chauffer) peasants in the environment of Corbeil and
Meaux. In the meantime, even in Paris, they toast, rob, and rape
on grand occasions. On the 25th and 26th of February, 1793, they
pillage wholesale and retail groceries, "save those belonging to
Jacobins," in the Rue des Lombards, Rue des Cinq-Diamants, Rue
Beaurepaire, Rue Montmartre, in the Ile Saint-Louis, on the Port-au-
Blé, before the Hôtel-de-ville, Rue Saint-Jacques, in short, twelve
hundred of them, not alone articles of prime necessity, soap and
candles, but again, sugar, brandy, cinnamon, vanilla, indigo and tea.
"In the Rue de la Bourdonnaie, a number of persons came out with
loaves of sugar they had not paid for and which they re-sold." The
affair was arranged beforehand, the same as on the 5th of October,
1789; among the women are seen "several men in disguise who did not
even take the precaution of shaving," and in many places, thanks to
the confusion, they heartily abandon themselves to it. With his feet
in the fire or a pistol at his head, the master of the house is
compelled to give them "gold, money, assignats and jewels," only too
glad if his wife and daughters are not raped before his eyes as in a
town taken by assault.
VII. The Jacobin Chieftains.
The make up of the rulers. -- The nature and scope of their intellect.
-- The political views of M. Saule.
Such are the politicians who, after the last months of the year 1792,
rule over Paris, and, through Paris, over the whole of France, five
thousand brutes and blackguards with two thousand hussies, just about
the number a good police force would expel from the city, were it
important to give the capital a cleaning out; they too, were
convinced of their rights, all the more ardent in their revolutionary
faith, because the creed converts their vices into virtues, and
transforms their misdeeds into public services. They are the
actual sovereign people, this is why we should try to unravel their
innermost thoughts. If we truly are to comprehend the past events we
must discern the spontaneous feelings moving them on the trial of the
King, the defeat of Neerwinden, at the defection of Dumouriez, on the
insurrection in La Vendée, at the accusation of Marat, the arrest of
Hébert, and each of the dangers which in turn fall on their heads.
For, this is not borrowed emotion; it does not descend from above;
they are not a trusty army of disciplined soldiers, but a suspicious
accumulation of temporary adherents. To command them requires
obedience to them, their leaders always remaining their tool. However
popular and firmly established a chief may seem to be, he is there
only for a short time, at all times subject to their approval as the
bullhorn for their passions and the purveyor to their appetites.
Such was Pétion in July, 1792, and such is Marat since the days of
September. "One Marat more or less (which will soon be seen) would not
change the course of events." -- "But one only would remain,
Chaumette, for instance; one would suffice to lead the horde," because
it is the horde itself which leads. "Its attachment will always be
awarded to whoever shows a disposition to follow it the closest in its
outrages without in any respect caring for its former leaders. . .
Its liking for Marat and Robespierre is not so great as for those who
will exclaim, Let us kill, let us plunder!" Let the leader of the day
stop following the current of the day, and he will be crushed as an
obstacle or cast off as a piece of wreckage. -- Judge if they are
willing to be entangled in the spider's web which the Girondins put in
their way. Instead of the metaphysical constitution with which the
Girondins confront them, they have one in their own head ready made,
simple to the last point, adapted to their capacity and their
instincts. The reader will call to mind one of their chiefs, whom we
have already met, M. Saule, "a stout, stunted little old man, drunk
all his life, formerly an upholsterer, then a peddler of quackeries in
the shape of four-penny boxes of hangman's grease, to cure pains in
the loins, afterwards chief of the claque in the galleries of the
Constituent Assembly and driven out for rascality, restored under the
Legislative Assembly, and, under the protection of a groom of the
Court, favored with a spot near the Assembly door, to set up a
patriotic coffee-shop, then awarded six hundred francs as a
recompense, provided with national quarters, appointed inspector of
the tribunes, a regulator of public opinion, and now "one of the
madcaps of the Corn-market." Such a man is typical, an average
specimen of his party, not only in education, character and conduct,
but, again, in ambition, principles, logic and success. "He swore that
he would make his fortune, and he did it. His constant cry was that
nobles and priests should be put down, and we no longer have either.
He has constantly shouted against the civil list, and the civil list
has been suppressed. At last, lodged in the house belonging to Louis
XVI., he told him to his face that his head ought to be struck off,
and the head of Louis XVI. has fallen." -- Here, in a nutshell, is the
history and the portrait of all the others; it is not surprising that
genuine Jacobins see the Revolution in the same way as M. Saule,
* when, for them, the sole legitimate Constitution is the definitive
establishment of their omnipotence;
* when they designate as order and justice the boundless despotism
they exercise over property and life;
* when their instinct, as narrow and violent as that of a Turkish bey,
comprises only extreme and destructive measures, arrests,
deportations, confiscations, executions, all of which is done with
head erect, with delight as if a patriotic duty, by right of a moral
priesthood, in the name of the people, either directly and
tumultuously with their own hands, or indirectly and legally by the
hands of their docile representatives.
This is the sum of their political system, from which nothing will
detach them; for they are anchored fast to it with the full weight and
with every hold upon it that characterizes their immorality, ignorance
and folly. Through the hypocritical glitter of compulsory parades,
their one fixed idea imposes itself on the orator that he may utter it
in tirades, on the legislator that he may put it into decrees, on the
administrator that he may put it in practice, and, from their opening
campaign up to their final victory, they will tolerate but one
variation, and this variation is trifling. In September, 1792, they
declare by their acts:
"Those whose opinions are opposed to ours will be assassinated, and
their gold, jewels and pocketbooks will belong to us."
In November, 1793, they are to declare through the official
inauguration of the revolutionary government:
"those whose opinions differ from ours will be guillotined and we
shall be their heirs."
Between this program, which is supported by the Jacobin population
and the program of the Girondins which the majority in the Convention
supports, between Condorcet's Constitution and the summary articles of
M. Saule, it is easy to see which will prevail. "These Parisian
blackguards," says a Girondist, "take us for their valets! Let a
valet contradict his master and he is sure to lose his place. From the
first day, when the Convention in a body traversed the streets to
begin its sessions, certain significant expressions enabled it to see
into what hands it had fallen:
"Why should so many folks come here to govern France," says a
bystander, "haven't we enough in Paris?"
 Any contempory Western reader take notice ! ! The proof of any
Jacobin or Socialist or Communist take-over, surreptitious or open-
handed, lies in their take-over of the important posts in politics,
the judicial system, the media and the administration. They may be
years in doing this, placing convinced or controlled men and women,
first in the faculties, later in career post, so that they, 30 years
later, have their people on all leading posts; or they may do it all
at once, like the Jacobins in France, Lenin in Russia or Stalin in
the conquered territories after the second world war. (SR).
 Duvergier, "Collection des lois et décrets," decrees of Sept. 22
and Oct. 19, 1792. The electoral assemblies and clubs had already
proceeded in many places to renew on their own authority the decree
rendering their appointments valid.
 The necessity of placing Jacobins everywhere is well shown in the
following letter: "Please designate by a cross, on the margin of the
jury-panel for your district, those Jacobins that it will do to put on
the list of 200 for the next quarter. We require patriots." (Letter
from the attorney-general of Doubs, Dec. 23, 1792. Sauzay, III. 220.)
 Pétion, "Mémoires" (Ed. Dauban), p. 118: "The justice who
accompanied me was very talkative, but could not speak a word of
French. He told me that he had been a stone-cutter before he became a
justice, having taken this office on patriotic grounds. He wanted to
draw up a statement and give me a guard of two gendarmes; he did not
know how, so I dictated to him what to say; but my patience was
severely taxed by his incredibly slow writing.
 Decrees of July 6, Aug. 15 and 20, Sept. 26, 1792.
 Decree of Nov. 1, 1792.-- Albert Babeau, II. 14, 39, 40.
 Dumouriez, III. 309, 355. -- Miot de Melito, "Mémoires," I.31,
33.-- Gouverneur Morris, letter of Feb. 14, 1793: "The state of
disorganization appears to be irremediable. The venality is such that,
if there be no traitors, it is because the enemy have not common
 "Archives Nationales," F7, 3268. Letter of the municipal officers
of Rambouillet, Oct. 3, 1792. They denounce a petition of the Jacobins
of the town, who strive to deprive forty foresters of their places,
nearly all with families, 'on account of their once having been in the
pay of a perjured king." -- Arnault ("Souvenirs d'un sexagénaire"),
II. 15. He resigns a small place he had in the assignate manufacture,
because, he says, "the most insignificant place being sought for, he
found himself exposed to every kind of denunciation."
 Dumouriez, III. 339. -- Meillan, "Mémoires," 27. "Eight days
after his installation as Minister of War, Beurnonville confessed to
me that he had been offered sums to the amount of 500,000 francs to
lend himself to embezzlements." He tries to sweep out the vermin of
stealing employees, and is forthwith denounced by Marat. -- Barbaroux,
"Mémoires" (Ed. Dauban). (Letter of Feb. 5, 1793.) "I found the
Minister of the Interior in tears at the obstinacy of Vieilz, who
wanted him to violate the law of Oct. 12, 1791 (on promotion)." Vieilz
had been in the service only four months, instead of five years, as
the law required, and the Minister did not dare to make an enemy of a
man of so much influence in the clubs. Buchez et Roux, XXVIII.19
("Publication des pièces relatives au 31 Mai," at Caen, by Bergoing,
June 28, 1793): "My friend learned that the place had been given to
another, who had paid 50 louis to the deputy. -- The places in the
bureaus, the armies, the administrations and commissions are estimated
at 9,000. The deputies of the Mountain have exclusive disposal of them
and set their price on them, the rates being almost publicly stated."
The number greatly increases during the following year (Mallet du Pan,
II.56, March, 1794). "The public employees at the capital alone amount
 Decree of Aug. 11, 12, 1792.
 Sauzay, III. 45. The number increases from 3,200 to 7,000.
 Durand-Maillane, "Mémoires," p. 30: "This proceeding converted
the French proletariat, which had no property or tenacity, into the
dominant party at electoral assemblages.. . . The various clubs
established in France (were) then masters of the elections." In the
Bouches-du-Rhône "400 electors in Marseilles, one-sixth of whom had
not the income of a silver marc, despotically controlled our Electoral
Assembly. Not a voice was allowed to be raised against them. . . Only
those were elected whom Barbaroux designated."
 Decree of Aug. 11, 12, "Archives Nationales," CII. 58 to 76.
Official report of the Electoral Assembly of the Rhône-et-Loire, held
at Saint-Etienne. The electors of Saint-Etienne demand remuneration
the same as the others, considering that they gave their time in the
same way. Granted.
 "Archives Nationales," CII. 1 to 32. Official report of the
Electoral Assembly of the Bouches-du-Rhône, speech by Durand-Maillane:
"Could I in the National Convention be otherwise than I have been in
relation to the former Louis XVI., who, after his flight on the 22d of
June, appeared to me unworthy of the throne? Can I do otherwise than
abhor royalty, after so many of our regal crimes?"
 Moniteur, XIII. 623, session of Sept. 8, speech by Larivière. -
"Archives Nationales," CII., 1 to 83. (The official reports make
frequent mention of the dispatch of this comparative lists, and the
Jacobins who send it request the Electoral Assembly to have it read
 Rétif de la Bretonne, "Les Nuits de Paris," Night X. p. 301: "As
soon as the primary assemblies had been set up, the plotters began to
work, electors were nominated, and through the vicious system adopted
in the sections, an uproar made it out for a majority of voices. --
Cf. Schmidt, "Tableaux de la Révolution Française," I. 98. Letter of
Damour, vice-president of the section of the Théatre-Français, Oct.29.
-- " Un Séjour en France," p.29: "The primary assemblies have already
begun in this department (Pas-de-Calais). We happened to enter a
church, where we found young Robespierre haranguing an audience as
small in point of number as it was in that of respectability. They
applauded vigorously as if to make up for their other shortcomings."
 Albert Babeau, I. 518. At Troyes, Aug.26, the revolutionaries in
most of the sections have it decided that the relations of an émigré,
designated as hostages and the signers of royalist addresses, shall
not be entitled to vote: "The sovereign people in their primary
assembly may admit among its members only pure citizens against whom
there is not the slightest reproach" (resolution of the Madeleine
section). -- Sauzay, III. 47, 49 and following pages. At Quinsy, Aug.
26, Lout, working the Chattily furnaces, along with a hundred of his
men armed with clubs, keeps away from the ballot-box the electors of
the commune of Courcelles, "suspected of incivisme. " -- " Archives
Nationales," F7, 3217. Letters of Gilles, justice an the canton of
Roquemaure (Gard), Oct. 31, 1792, and Jan. 23, 1793, on the electoral
proceedings employed in this canton: Dutour, president of the club,
left his chair to support the motion for "lanterning" the grumpy and
all the false patriots. . . On the 4th of November "he forced
contributions by threatening to cut off heads and destroy houses." He
was elected juge-de-paix. -- Another, Magère, "approved of the motion
for setting up a gallows, provided that it was not placed in front of
his windows, and stated openly in the club that if people followed the
law they would never accomplish anything to be remembered." He was
elected member of the department directory. -- A third, Fournier,
"wrote that the gifts which citizens made to save their lives were
voluntary gifts." He is made a department councilor. "Peaceable
citizens are storing their furniture in safe places in order to take
to flight . . . There is no security in France; the epithet of
aristocrat, of Feuillant, of moderate affixed to the most honest
citizen's name is enough to make him an object of spoliation and to
expose him to losing his life. . . I insist on regarding the false
idea which is current in relation to popular sovereignty as the
principal cause of the existing anarchy."
 Schmidt, "Pariser Zustande," I. 50 and following pages. --
Mortimer-Ternaux, V. 95. 109, 117, 129. (Ballot of Oct. 4, 14,137
voters; Oct. 22, 14,006; Nov.19, 10,223, Dec. 6, 7062.)
 Sauzay, III. 45, 46, 221. -- Albert Babeau, I. 517. -- Lallié,
"Le district de Machecoul, 225. -- Cf. in the above the history of the
elections 'of Saint-Affrique: out of more than 600 registered electors
the mayor and syndic-attorney are elected by forty votes. -- The
plebiscite of September, 1795, on the constitution of the year III.
calls out only 958,000 voters. Repugnance to voting still exists.
"Ninety times out of a hundred, on asking: 'Citizen, how did the
Electoral Assembly of your canton go off?' they would reply (in
patois): 'Me, citizen? why should I go there? They have a good deal of
trouble in getting along together.' Or, 'What would you? Only a few
will come; honest people will stay at home!'" (Meissner, "Voyage à
Paris," towards the end of 1795.)
 Stalin easily found a remedy. He obliged all to vote and
falsified the count so that 99% now voted for him and his men. (SR).
 " Archives Nationales," CII. 1 to 76, passim, especially the
official reports of the assemblies of the Bouches-du-Rhône, Hérault
and Paris. Speech by Barbaroux to the Electoral Assembly of the
Bouches-du-Rhône: "Brothers and friends, liberty will perish if you do
not elect men to the National Convention whose hearts are filled with
hatred of royalty. . . Mine is the soul of a freeman; ever since my
fourth year it has been nourished on hatred to kings. I will relieve
France from this detestable race, or I will die in the attempt. Before
I leave you I will sign my own death-warrant, I will designate what I
love most, I will show you all my possessions, I will lay a dagger on
the table which shall pierce my heart if ever for an instant I prove
false to the cause of the people!" (session of Sept. 3). - Guillon de
Montléon, I, 135.
 Durand-Maillane, I.33. In the Electoral Assembly of the Bouches-
du-Rhône "there was a desire to kill an elector suspected of
 Mortimer-Ternaux, IV. 52. "Archives Nationales," CII. I to 32. --
Official report of the Electora1 Assembly of Bouches-du-Rhône. Speech
by Pierre Bayle, Sept. 3: "That man is not free who tries to conceal
his conscience in the shadow of a vote. The Romans openly elected
their tribunes. . . Who amongst us would reject so wise a measure? The
galleries of the National Assembly have had as much to do with
fostering the Revolution as the bayonets of patriots. " -- In Seine-
et-Marne the Assembly at first decided for the secret vote; at the
request of the Paris commissaries, Ronsin and Lacroix, it rescinds its
decision and adopts voting aloud and by call.
 Barbaroux, "Mémoires," 379: "One day, on proceeding to the
elections, tumultuous shouts break out: 'That is an anti-revolutionary
from Arles, hang him!' An Arlesian had, indeed, been arrested on the
square, brought into the Assembly, and they were lowering the lantern
to run him up."
 Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 338. -- De Sybel, "Histoire de l'Europe
pendant la Révolution Française" (Dosquet's translation), I. 525.
(Correspondence of the army of the South, letter by Charles de Hesse,
commanding the regular troops at Lyons.)
 Mortimer-Ternaux, V.101, 122 and following pages.
 Guillon de Montléon, I. 172, 196 and following pages.
 Sauzay, III. 220 and following pages. -- Albert Babeau, II. 15.
At Troyes, two mayors elected refuse in turn. At the third ballot in
this town of from 32,000 to 35,000 souls, the mayor-elect obtains 400
out of 555 votes.
 Moniteur, XV. 184 to 233 (the roll-call of those who voted for
the death of Louis XVI).--Dumouriez, II. 73 (Dumouriez reaches Paris
Feb. 2, 1793, after visiting the coasts of Dunkirk and Antwerp): "All
through Picardy, Artois, and maritime Flanders Dumouriez found the
people in consternation at the tragic end of Louis XVI. He noticed
that the very name of Jacobin excited horror as well as fear."
 This number, so important, is verified by the following passages:
-- Moniteur, session of Dec. 39, 1792. Speech by Birotteau: "Fifty
members against 690. . . About twenty former nobles, fifteen or twenty
priests, and a dozen September judges (want to prevail against) 700
deputies." -- Ibid., 851 (Dec.26, on the motion to defer the trial of
the king): "About fifty voices, with energy, No! no! " -- Ibid., 865,
(Dec.27, a violent speech by Lequinio, applauded by the extreme "Left"
and the galleries; the president calls them to order): "The applause
continues of about fifty members of the extreme 'Left.' " -- Mortimer-
Ternaux, VI. 557. (Address by Tallien to the Parisians, Dec.23,
against the banishment of the Duke of Orleans): "To-morrow, under the
vain pretext of another measure of general safety, the 60 or 80
members who on account of their courageous and inflexible adherence to
principles are offensive to the Brissotine faction, will be driven
out." -- Moniteur, XV. 74 (Jan. 6). Robespierre, addressing Roland,
utters this expression: "the factious ministers." "Cries of Order! A
vote of censure! To the Abbaye/ 'Is the honest minister whom all
France esteems,' says a member, 'to be treated in this way?' -- Shouts
of laughter greet the exclamation from about sixty members." -- Ibid.,
XV. 114. (Jan. 11). Denunciation of the party of anarchists by Buzot.
Garnier replies to him: "You calumniate Paris; you preach civil war!"
"Yes! yes! 'exclaim about sixty members. -- Buchez et Roux, XXIV. 368
(Feb. 26). The question is whether Marat shall be indicted. "Murmurs
from the extreme left, about a dozen members noisily demanding the
order of the day."
 Mercier, "Le nouveau Paris," II. 200.
 Buchez et Roux, XIX. 17. XXVIII. 168. - The king is declared
guilty by 683 votes; 37 abstain from voting, as judges; of these 37,
26, either as individuals or legislators, declare the king guilty.
None of the other 11 declare him innocent.
 "Dictionnaire biographique," by Eymery, 1807 (4 vols). The
situation of the conventionists who survive the Revolution may here be
ascertained. Most of them will become civil or criminal judges,
prefects, commissaries of police, heads of bureaus, post-office
employees, or registry clerks, collectors, review-inspectors, etc. The
following is the proportion of regicides among those thus in office:
Out of 23 prefects 21 voted for the king'' death; 42 out of 43
magistrates voted for it, the 43rd being ill at the time of the
sentence. Of 5 senators 4 voted for his death, and 14 deputies out of
16. Out of 36 other functionaries of various kinds 35 voted for death.
Among the remaining regicides we again find 2 councillors of state, 4
diplomatic agents and consuls, 2 generals, 2 receiver-generals, 1
commissary-general of the police, 1 minister in the cabinet of King
Joseph, the minister of police, and the arch-chancellor of the empire.
 Buchez et Roux, XIX, 97, session of Sept. 25, 1792. Marat states:
" 'I have many personal enemies in this assembly.' 'All! all!' exclaim
the entire Assembly, indignantly rising." - Ibid., XIX. 9, 49, 63,
 "Right" and "Left", only refers to the right and left wings of
the hemicycles of the hall in which the Assembly meets. The Plain and
the Mountain refer to the same Assembly but here to those on the lower
or the upper benches.(SR).
 Meillan, "Mémoires," 20. - Buchez et Roux, XXVI. Session of April
15, 1793. Denunciation of the Twenty-two Girondists by the sections of
Paris: Royer-Fonfrède regrets "that his name is not inscribed on this
honorable list. 'And all of us - all! All!' exclaim three-quarters of
the Assembly, rising from their seats."
 The Philosophe Denis Diderot (1713-84) was largely responsible
for the 28 volume Encyclopédie (1751-729, which incorporated the
latest knowledge and progressive ideas, and which helped spread the
ideas of the Enlightenment in France and in other parts of Europe.
 "Archives Nationales," A.F. 45. Letter of Thomas Paine to
Danton, May 6, 1792 (in English). "I do not know better men or better
patriots." This letter, compared with the speeches or publications of
the day, produces a singular impression through its practical good
sense. This Anglo-American, however radical he may be, relies on
nothing but experience and example in his political discussions.
 Cf. The memoirs of Buzot, Barbaroux, Louvet, Madame Roland, etc.
 And for some incomprehensible reason still in fashion at the end
of the 20th Century. (SR).
 Buchez et Roux, XXIV. 102. (Plan drawn up by Condorcet, and
reported in the name of the Committee on the Constitution, April 15
and 16, 1793.) Condorcet adds to this a report of his own, of which he
publishes and abstract in the Chronique de Paris.
 Buchez et Roux, XXIV. 102. Condorcet's abstract contains the
following extraordinary sentence: "In all free countries the influence
of the populace is feared with reason; but give all men the same
rights and there will be no populace."
 Cf. Edmond Biré. "La Légende des Girondins," on the part of the
Girondists in all these odious measures.
 These traits are well defined in the charges of the popular
party against them made by Fabre d'Eglantine. Maillan, "Mémoires,"
323. (Speech of Fabre d'Eglantine at the Jacobin Club in relation to
the address of the commune, demanding the expulsion of the Twenty-
Two.) "You have often taken the people to task; you have even
sometimes tried to flatter them; but there was about this flattery
that aristocratic air of coldness and dislike which could deceive
nobody. Your ways of a bourgeois patrician are always perceptible in
your words and acts; you never wanted to mix with the people. Here is
your doctrine in few words: after the people have served in
revolutions they must return to dust, be of no account, and allow
themselves to be led by those who know more than they and who are
willing to take the trouble to lead them. You, Brissot, and especially
you, Pétion, you have received us formally, haughtily, and with
reserve. You extend to us one finger, but you never grasp the whole
hand. You have not even refused yourselves that keen delight of the
ambitious, insolence and disdain."
 Buzot, "Mémoires," 78.
 Edmond Biré, "La légende des Girondins." (Inedited fragments of
the memoirs of Pétion and Barbaroux, quoted by Vatel in "Charlotte
Corday and the Girondists," III. 472, 478.)
 Buchez et Roux, XXVI. A financial plan offered by the department
of Hérault adopted by Cambon and rejected by the Girondists.
 Buchez et Roux, XXV. Speech by Vergniaud (April 10), pp. 376,
377, 378. "An effort is made to accomplish the Revolution by terror. I
would accomplish it through love."
 Maillan, 22.
 Buchez et Roux, XXIV. 109. Plan of a constitution presented by
Condorcet. Declaration of rights, article 32. "In every free
government the mode of resistance to different acts of oppression
should be regulated by law." - Ibid., 136. Title VIII. Of the
Constitution "De la Censure des lois."
 Buchez et Roux, 93. Session of the Jacobin Club, April 21, 1793.
 Schmidt, "Tableaux de la révolution Française," II.4 (Report of
Dutard, June 6, 1793.) - The mental traits of the Jacobins form a
contrast and are fully visible in the following speeches: "We desire
despotically a popular constitution." (Address of the Paris Jacobin
Club to the clubs in the departments, Jan. 7, 1793.) - Buchez et Roux,
XXIII. 288 - Ibid., 274. (Speech by Legros in the Jacobin Club, Jan.
1.) "Patriots are not counted; they go by weight. . . One patriot in
a scale weights more than 100,000 aristocrats. One Jacobin weights
more than 10,000 Feuillants. One republican weights more than 100,000
monarchists. One patriot of the Mountain weights more than 100,000
Brissotins. Hence I conclude that the convention should not be stopped
by the large number of votes against the death-sentence of Louis XVI.,
(and that) even (if there should be) but a minority of the nation
desiring Capet's death." - "Applauded." (I am obliged to correct the
last sentence, as it would otherwise be obscure.)
 Buzot, "Mémoires," 33: "The majority of French people yearned
after royalty and the Constitution of 1790. This was the strongest
feeling, and especially at Paris . . This people is only republican
because it is threatened by the guillotine. . All its desires, all
its hopes incline to the constitution of 1791."---Schmidt, I. 232
(Dutard, May 16). Dutard, an old advocate and friend of Garat, is one
of those rare men who see facts behind words; clear-sighted,
energetic, active, abounding in practical counsels, and deserving of a
better chief than Garat.
 Schmidt, ibid., I. 173, 179 (May 1, 1793).
 "La Démagogie à en Paris en 1793," p.152. Dauban ("Diurnal de
Beaulieu," April 17). - "Archives Nationales," AF II. 45 (report by
the police, May 20). "The dearness of supplies is the leading cause of
agitation and complaints." -- (Ib., May 24). "The calm which now
appear to prevail in Paris will soon be disturbed if the prices of the
prime necessities of life do not shortly diminish." -- (Ibid., May
25). "Complaints against dear food increase daily end this
circumstance looks as if it might become one of the motives of
 Schmidt, I. 198 (Dutard, May 9).
 Schmidt, I. 350; II. 6 (Dutard, May 30, June 7 and 8).
 Durand-Maillane,100: "The Girondist party was yet more impious
than Robespierre." -- A deputy having demanded that mention should be
made of the Supreme Being in the preamble of the constitution,
Vergniaud replied: "We have no more to do with Numa's nymph than with
Mahomet's pigeon; reason is sufficient to give France a good
constitution." -- Buchez et Roux, XIII. 444. Robespierre having spoken
of the Emperor Leopold's death as a stroke of Providence, Guadet
replies that he sees "no sense in that idea," and blames Robespierre
for "endeavoring to return the people to slavery of superstition." -
Ibid., XXVI. 63 (session of April 19, 1793). Speech by Vergniaud
against article IX of the Declaration of Rights, which states that
"all men are free to worship as they please." This article, says
Vergniaud, "is a result of the despotism and superstition under which
we have so long languished." -- Salle : "I ask the Convention to draw
up an article by which each citizen, whatever his form of worship,
shall bind himself to submit to the law " - Lanjuinais, who often
ranked along with the Girondists, is a Catholic and confirmed
 Schmidt, I. 347 (Dutard, May 30). "What do I now behold? A
discontented people hating the Convention, all its administrators, and
the actual state of things generally."
 Schmidt, I. 278. (Dutard, May 23).
 Schmidt, I. 216 (Dutard, May 13).
 Schmidt, I. 240 (Dutard, May 17).
 Schmidt, I. 217 (Dutard, May 13).
 Schmidt, I. 163 (Dutard, April 30).
 Schmidt, II. 377 (Dutard, June 13). Cf. Ibid., II. 80. (Dutard,
June 21): "If the guillotining of the Thirty-Two were subject to a
roll call, and the vote a secret one I declare to you no respectable
man would fail to hasten in from the country to give his vote and that
none of those now in Paris would fail to betake themselves to their
 Schmidt, II. 35 (Dutard, June 13). On the sense of these two
words, inferior aristocracy, Cf. All of Dutard's reports and those
of other observers in the employ of Garat.
 Schmidt, II. 37 (Dutard, June 13).
 Schmidt, I. 328 (Perrière, May 28): "Intelligent men and
property-owners abandoned the section assemblies and handed them to
others as these were places where the workman's fist prevailed against
the speaker's tongue." - Moniteur. XV. 114 (session of Jan. 11,
speech by Buzot). "There is not a man in this town who owns anything,
that is not afraid of being insulted and struck in his section if he
dares raise his voice against the ruling power. . . The permanent
assemblies of Paris consist of a small number of men who have
succeeded in keeping other citizens away." - Schmidt, I. 235 (Dutard,
May 28): "Another plan would be to drill young men in the use of the
staff. One must be a sans-culotte, must live with sans-culottes, to
discover the value of expedients of this kind. There is nothing the
sans-culotte fears as much as a truncheon. A number of young men
lately carried them in their trousers, and everybody trembled as they
passed. I wished that the fashion were general."
 Moniteur, XV. 95 (Letter of Charles Villette, deputy).
 Moniteur, XV. 179 (Letter of Roland, Jan. 11. 1793).
 Moniteur, XV. 66, session of Jan. 5, speech of the mayor of
Paris; (Chambon) - Ib., XV 114, session of Jan. 14, speech by Buzot; -
- Ib., XV. 136, session of Jan. 13. Speech by a deputation of
Federates. - Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 91 (Letter of Gadolle to Roland,
October, 1792). -- XXI. 417 (Dec. 20, article by Marat): " Boredom and
disgust have emptied the assemblies. -- Schmidt, II, 69 (Dutard, June
 Schmidt, I. 203. (Dutard, May 10). The engravings published
during the early period of the Revolution and under the directory
exhibit this scene perfectly (cabinet des estampes, Paris).
 Moniteur, XV. 67 (session of Jan. 5, 1793). Speech by the mayor
 Schmidt, I. 378 (Blanc, June 12).
 Schmidt, II. 5 (Dutard, June 5).
 Schmidt, II. (Dutard, June 11) -- Ibid., II. (Dutard, June i8):
"I should like to visit with you," if it were possible, "the 3,000 or
4,000 wine-dealers, and the equally numerous places of refreshment in
Paris; you would find the 15,000 clerks they employ constantly busy.
If we should then go to the offices of the 114 notaries, we should
again find two-thirds of these gentlemen in their caps and red
slippers, also very much engaged. We might then, again, go to the 200
or 300 printing establishments, where we should find 4,000 or 5,000
editors, compositors, clerks, and porters all conservatized because
they no longer earn what they did before; and some because they have
made a fortune." -- The incompatibility between modern life and direct
democratic rule strikes one at every step, owing to modern life being
carried out under other conditions than those which characterized life
in ancient times. For modern life these conditions are, the magnitude
of States, the division of labor, the suppression of slavery and the
requirements of personal comforts and prosperity. Neither the
Girondists nor the Montagnards, who aimed to revive Athenian and
Spartan ways, comprehended the precisely opposite conditions on which
Athens and Sparta flourished.
 Schmidt, I. 207 (Dutard, May 10).
 Schmidt, II. 79 (Dutard, June 19).
 Schmidt, II.70 (Dutard, June 10).
 Lenin must have felt encouraged by reading these lines which can
only have increase his disdain for the "capitalist" and bourgeoisie.
 Mortimer-Ternaux, V. 101.
 Meillan, 54. -- Raffet, Henriot's competitor and denounced as an
aristocrat, had at first the most votes, 4,953 against 4,578. At the
last ballot, out of about 15,000 he still has 5,900 against 9,087 for
Henriot. -- Mortimer-Ternaux, VIII. 31: "The electors had to vote
thirty at a time. All who dared give their votes to Raffet were marked
with a red cross on the roll-call, followed by the epithet of anti-
 Schmidt, II. 37 (Dutard, June 13): "Marat and others have a party
of from 4,000 to 6,000 men, who would do anything to rescue them." --
Meillan, 155 (depositions taken by the Commission of the Twelve):
Laforet has stated that there were 6,000 sans-culottes to massacre
objectionable deputies at the first signal. -- Schmidt, II, 87
(Dutard, June 24): "I know that there are not in all Paris 3,000
 Moniteur, XV. 114, session of Jan. 11, speech by Buzot. --
Ibid., 136, session of Jan. 13, speech of the Federates of Finisterre.
- Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 80, 81, 87, 91, 93 (Letter of Gadolle to
Roland, October 1792). - Schmidt, I. 207 (Dutard, May 10, 1793).
 Schmidt, II. 37 (Dutard, May 10, 1793).
 Mortimer-Ternaux, IV. 269 (petition presented by Gonchon.) -
"Archives Nationales, AF, II 43. Letters of Gonchon to the Minister
Garat, May 31, June 1, June 3, 1793). These are very odd and naive. He
addresses the Minister Garat: "Citizen Garra."
 Schmidt, I, 254 (Dutard, May 19). - Moniteur, XIV. 522 (Letter
addressed to Roland number for Nov. 21, 1792): "The sections (are)
composed of, or at least frequented, nineteen-twentieth of them, by
the lowest class, both in manners and information."
 Schmidt, II. 39 (Dutard, June 13).
 Schmidt, II.87 (Dutard, June 14). The expression of these fish-
women is still coarser.
 Rétif de la Bretonne ("Bibliographie de ses oeuvres, par Jacob,
287). -- (On the pillage of shops, Feb.25 and 26, 1793).
 Schmidt, II. 61; I. 265 (Dutard, May 21 and June 17).
 Schmidt, I.96 (Letter of citizen Lauchou to the president of the
Convention, Oct. 11, 1792). - II. 37 (Dutard, June 13). Statement of a
wigmaker's wife: "They are a vile set, the servants. Some of them come
here every day. They chatter away and say all sorts of horrible things
about their masters. They are all just alike. Nobody is crazier than
they are. I knew that some of them had received benefits from their
masters, and others who were :still being kindly treated; but nothing
 Schmidt, I. 246 (Dutard, May 18). -- Grégoire, "Mémoires," I.
387. The mental and moral decline of the party is well shown in the
new composition of the Jacobin Club after September, 1792: "I went
back there," says Grégoire in September, 1792 (after a year's
absence), "and found it unrecognizable; no opinions could be expressed
there other than those of the Paris section . . . I did not set foot
there again; (it was) a factious disreputable drinking place." --
Buchez et Roux, XXVI. 214 (session of April 30,1793, speech by Buzot).
"Behold that once famous club. But. thirty of its founders remain
there; you find there none but men steeped in debt and crime."
 Schmidt, I. 189 (Dutard, May 6).
 Cf. Rétif de la Bretonne, "Nuits de Paris," vol. XVI. (July 12,
1789). At this date Rétif is in the Palais-Roya1, where "since the
13th of June numerous meetings have been held and motions made. . . I
found there none but brutal fellows with keen eyes, preparing
themselves for plunder rather than for liberty."
 Mortimer-Ternaux, V.226 and following pages (address of the sans-
culottes section, Sept. 25). -- "Archives Nationales," F7, 146
(address of the Roule section, Sept. 23). In relation to the
threatening tone of those at work on the camp, the petitioners add:
"Such was the language of the workshops in 1789 and 1790."
 Schmidt, II.12 (Dutard, June 7): "During a few days past I have
seen men from Neuilly, Versailles, and Saint-Germain staying here,
attracted by the scent."
[98 Schmidt, I.254 (Dutard, May 19) .-- At this date robbers swarm in
Paris; Mayor Chambon, in his report to the Convention, himself admits
it (Moniteur, XV. 67, session of Jan. 5, 1793).
 De Concourt, "La Société Française pendant 'a Révolution."
(According to the" Courrier de l'Egalité, Jul. 1793).
 Buzot, 72.
 Moore, Nov.10, 1792 (according to an article in the Chronique de
Paris). 'The day Robespierre made his "apology," "the galleries
contained from seven to eight hundred women, and two hundred men at
most. Robespierre is a priest who has his congregation of devotees." -
- Mortimer-Ternaux, VII. 562 (letter of the deputy Michel, May 20,
1793): "Two or three thousand women, organized and drilled by the
Fraternal Society in session at the Jacobin Club, began their uproar.
which lasted until 6 o'clock, when the house adjourned. Most of these
creatures are prostitutes."
 An expression of Gadol's in his letter to Roland.
 Buzot, 57.
 Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 80 (Letter of Gadolle to Roland).
 Beaulieu, "Essais," I. 108 (an eye-witness). - Schmidt, II. 15.
Report by Perrières, June 8.
 Beaulieu, "Essais," I. 100. "Maillard died, his stomach eaten
away by brandy" (April 15, 1794). - Alexandre Sorel, "Stanislas
Maillard," pp. 32 to 42. Report of Fabre d'Eglantine on Maillard, Dec.
17, 1793. A decree subjecting him to indictment along with Ronsin and
Vincent, Maillard publishes his apology, in which we see that he was
already active in the Rue Favart before the 31st of May. "I am one of
the members of that meeting of true patriots and I am proud of it, for
it is there that the spark of that sacred insurrection of the 31st of
May was kindled."
 Alexandre Sorel, ibid. (denunciation of the circumstance by
Lecointre, Dec.14, 1793 accompanied with official reports of the
justices). -- "Archives Nationales," F7, 3268 (letter of the directory
of Corbeil to the Minister, with official report, Nov. 28,1792). On
the 26th of November eight or ten armed men, foot-soldiers, and others
on horseback, entered the farm-house of a man named Ruelle, in the
commune of Lisse. They dealt him two blows with their sabers, then put
a bag over his head, kicked him in the face, tormented him, and almost
smothered his wife and two women servants, to make him give up his
money. A carter was shot with a pistol in the shoulder and twice
struck with a saber; the hands about the premises were tied and bound
like so many cattle. Finally the bandits went away, carrying with them
silver plate, a watch, rings, laces, two guns, etc.
 Moniteur, XV. 565. -- Buchez et Roux, XXIV. 335 and following
pages. - Rétif de la Bretonne, "Nuits de Paris," VIII. 460. (an eye
witness). The last of these details are given by him.
 Cf. Ed. Fleury, "Baboeuf;" pp.139 and 150. Through a striking
coincidence the party staff is still of the same order in 1796.
Baboeuf estimates his adherents in Paris as "4,000 revolutionaries,
1,500 members of the former authorities, and 1,000 bourgeois gunners,"
besides soldiers, prisoners, and a police force. He also recruited a
good many prostitutes. The men who come to him are workmen who pretend
to have arsouillé109 in the Revolution and who are ready to repeat
the job, provided it is for the purpose of killing those rich rascals,
the monopolizers, merchants, informers, and panachés at the
Luxembourg." (Letter of the agent of the Bonne-Nouvelle section, April
 The proportion, composition and spirit of the party are
everywhere the same, especially at Lyons (Guillon de Montléon,
"Mémoires," and Balleydier, "Histoire du peuple de Lyon,". passim); at
Toulon (Lauvergne, "Histoire du department du Var"); at Marseilles,
Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Besançon, etc. -- At Bordeaux
(Riouffe, "Mémoires," 23) "it consisted wholly of vagabonds,
Savoyards, Biscayans, even Germans, . .brokers, and water-carriers,
who had become so powerful that they arrested the rich, and so well-
off that they traveled by post" Riouffe adds: "When I read this
passage in the Conciergerie men from every corner of the republic
exclaimed in one voice: 'It is the same in all the communes!'" -- Cf.
Durand-Maillane, "Mémoires," 67: "This people, thus qualified, since
the suppression of the silver marc has been the most vicious and most
depraved in the community." - Dumouriez, II. 51. "The Jacobins, taken
for the most part, from the most abject and most brutal of the nation,
unable to furnish men of sufficient dignity for offices, have degraded
offices to their own level. . . They are drunken, barbarous Helots
that have taken the places of the Spartans." -- The sign of their
advent is the expulsion of the liberals and of the refined of 1789.
("Archives Nationales," F7, 4434, No.6. Letter of Richard to the
committee on Public Safety, Ventôse 3, year II.). During the
proconsulate of Baudot at Toulouse "almost all the patriots of 1789
were excluded from the popular club they had founded; an immense
number were admitted whose patriotism reached only as far back as the
10th of August 1792, if it even went so far as the 31st of last May.
It is an established fact that out of more than 1,000 persons who now
compose the club there are not fifty whose patriotism as far back as
the beginning of the Revolution."
 Any tribune taking command of a mob of brutes is well advised
to understand Taine's analysis. One might think Hitler had read Taine
pr somebody who had learned from his wisdom, somewhat like the Devil
who had read the Bible. See page 208, The Secret of Ruling the Masses,
in Rauschning's book, "Hitler Speaks". (SR).
 Rderer, "Chronique des cinquante jours."
 Schmidt, I. 246 (Dutard, May 18).
 Schmidt, I. 215 (Dutard, May 25).
 Buchez et Roux, XXV. 156 (extract from the Patriote Français,
March 30, 1793).Speech by Chasles at the Jacobin Club, March 27: "We
have announced to our fellow-citizens in the country that by means of
the war-tax the poor could be fed by the rich, and that they would
find in the purses of those egoists the wherewithal to live on."
Ibid., 269. Speech by Rose Lacombe: "Let us make sure of the
aristocrats; let us force them to meet the enemies which Dumouriez is
bringing against Paris. Let us give them to understand that if they
prove treacherous their wives and children shall have their throats
cut, and that we will burn their houses. . I do not want patriots to
leave the city; I want them to guard Paris. And if we are beaten, the
first man who hesitates to apply the torch, let him be stabbed at
once. I want all the owners of property who have grabbed everything
and excited the people's anger, to kill the tyrants themselves or else
be killed." [Applause -- April 3.] - Ibid., 302 (in the Convention,
April 8): "Marat demands that 100,000 relatives and friends of the
émigrés be seized as hostages for the safety of the commissioners in
the hands of the enemy." -- Cf. Balleydier, 117, 122. At Lyons, Jan.
26, 1793, Challier addresses the central club: "Sans-culottes,
rejoice! the blood of the royal tiger has flowed in sight of his den!
But full justice is not yet done to the people There are still 500
among you deserving of the tyrant's fate! " -- He proposes on the 5th
of February a revolutionary tribunal for trying arrested persons in a
revolutionary manner. "It is the only way to force it (the Revolution)
on royal and aristocratic factionists, the only rational way to avenge
the sovereignty of the brave sans-culottes, who belong only to us." -
- Hydens, a national commissioner adds: "Let 25,000,000 of Frenchmen
perish a hundred times over rather than one single indivisible
 Mallet du Pan, the last expression.
 Buzot, 64.
 Michelet, IV. 6 (according to an oral statement by Daunou). --
Buchez et Roux, 101 (Letter of Louvet to Roland): "At the moment of
the presentation of their petition against armed force (departmental)
by the so-called commissioners of the 48 sections of Paris, I heard
Santerre say in a loud tone to those around him, somewhat in these
words: 'You see, now, these deputies are not up to the Revolution. . .
That all comes from fifty, a hundred two hundred leagues off; they
don't understand one word you say!'"
PRECARIOUS SITUATION OF A CENTRAL GOVERNMENT LOCKED UP WITHIN A LOCAL
"Citizen Danton," wrote the deputy Thomas Paine, "the danger,
every day increasing, is of a rupture between Paris and departments.
The departments did not send their deputies to Paris to be insulted,
and every insult shown to them is an insult to the department that
elected them. I see but one effective plan to prevent this rupture
taking place, and that is to fix the residence of the Convention and
of the future assemblies at a distance from Paris. . . . I saw, during
the American Revolution, the exceeding inconvenience that arose from
having the government of Congress within the limits of any municipal
jurisdiction. Congress first resided in Philadelphia, and, after a
residence of four years, it found it necessary to leave it. It then
adjourned to the State of Jersey. It afterwards removed to New York.
It again removed from New York to Philadelphia, and, after
experiencing in every one of these places the great inconvenience of a
government within a government, it formed the project of building a
town not within the limits of any municipal jurisdiction for the
future residence of Congress. In every one of the places where
Congress resided, the municipal authority privately or publicly
opposed itself to the authority of Congress, and the people of each of
those places expected more attention from Congress than their equal
share with the other States amounted to. The same thing now takes
place in France, but in a greater excess."
Danton knew all this, and he is sufficiently clear-headed to
comprehend the danger; but the furrow is laid out, traced, and by
himself. Since the 10th of August Paris holds France down while a
handful of revolutionaries tyrannize Paris.
Jacobin advantages. -- Their sway in the section assemblies. --
Maintenance, re-election and completion of the Commune.-- Its new
chiefs, Chaumette, Hébert and Pache. -- The National Guard recast. --
Jacobins elected officers and sub-officers.-- The paid band of roughs.
-- Public and secret funds of the party.
Owing to the composition and the holding of the section assemblies,
the original source of power has remained Jacobin, and has become of
a darker and darker hue; accordingly, the electoral processes which,
under the legislative body, had fashioned the usurping Commune of the
10th of August, are perpetuated and aggravated under the
Convention. "In nearly all the sections it is the sans-culottes
who occupy the chair, arrange things inside the chamber, place the
sentinels and provide the censors and auditors. Five or six spies,
familiar with the section, and paid forty sous a day, remain during
the session, and ready to undertake any enterprise. These same
individuals will take orders from one Committee of Surveillance to
another, . . so that if the sans-culottes of one section are not
strong enough they may call in those of a neighboring section." -- In
such assemblies the elections are decided beforehand, and we see how
the faction keeps forcibly in its hands, or obtains by force, every
elective position. The Council of the Commune, in spite of the hostile
inclinations of the Legislative Assembly and the Convention, succeeds
at first in maintaining itself four months; then, in December, when
it is at last compelled to break up, it reappears through the
authorization of the suffrage, reinforced and completed by its own
class, with three chiefs, a syndic-attorney, a deputy and a mayor, all
three authors or abettors of the September massacre; with Chaumette,
Anaxagoras, so-called, once a cabin-boy, then a clerk, always in debt,
a windbag, and given to drink; Hébert, called "Père Duchesne," which
states about all that is necessary for him; Pache, a subaltern busy-
body, a bland, smooth-faced intriguer, who, with his simple air and
seeming worth, pushes himself up to the head of the War Department,
where he used all its resources for pillaging, and who, born in a
door-keeper's lodgings, returns there, either through craft or
inclination, to take his dinner. -- The Jacobins, with the civil power
in their hands, also grab the military power. Immediately after the
10th of August, the National Guard is reorganized and distributed
in as many battalions as there are sections, each battalion thus
becoming "a section in arms"; by this we may judge its composition,
and the kind of rabble-rousers they select as officers and non-
commissioned officers. "The title of National Guard," writes a deputy,
"can no longer be given to the lot of pikemen and substitutes, mixed
with a few bourgeois, who, since the 10th of August, maintain the
military service in Paris." There are, indeed, 110,000 names on paper;
when called out on important occasions, all who are registered may
respond, if not disarmed, but, in general, almost all stay at home and
pay a sans-culotte to mount guard in their place. In fact, there is
for the daily service only a hired reserve in each section, about one
hundred men, always the same individuals. This makes in Paris a band
of four or five thousand roughs, in which the squads may be
distinguished which have already been seen in September: Maillard and
his 68 men at the Abbaye, Gauthier and his 40 men at Chantilly,
Audouin, the Sapper of the Carmelites," and his 350 men in the suburbs
of Paris, Fournier, Lazowski and their 1,500 men at Orleans and
Versailles. As to the pay of these and that of their civil
auxiliaries, the faction is not troubled about that; for, along with
power, it has seized money. To say nothing of its rapine in
September, and without including the lucrative offices at its
disposition, four hundred of these being distributed by Pache alone,
and four hundred more by Chaumette, the Commune has 850,000 francs
per month for its military police. Other bleedings at the Treasury
cause more public money to flow into the pockets of its clients. One
million per month supports the idle workmen which fife and drum have
collected together to form the camp around Paris. Five millions of
francs protect the petty tradesmen of the capital against the
depreciation in value of certificates of credit. Twelve thousand
francs a day keep down the price of bread for the Paris poor. To
these regularly allowed subsidies add the funds which are diverted or
extorted. On one side, in the War Department, Pache, its accomplice
before becoming its mayor, organizes a steady stream of waste and
theft; in three months he succeeds in bringing about a deficiency of
130,000,000, "without vouchers." On another side, the Duke of
Orleans, become Philippe-Egalité, dragged along by the men once in his
pay, with a rope around his neck and almost strangled, has to pay out
more than ever, even down to the very depths of his purse; to save his
own life he consents to vote for the King's death, besides resigning
himself to other sacrifices; it is probable that a large portion
of his 74,000,000 of indebtedness at his death is due to all this. --
Thus in possession of civil and military offices, of arms and money,
the faction, masters of Paris, has nothing to do but master the
isolated Convention, and this it invests on all sides.
Its parliamentary recruits. -- Their characters and minds. -- Saint-
Just. -- Violence of the minority in the Convention. -- Pressure of
the galleries. -- Menaces of the streets.
Through the elections, the Jacobin advance-guard of fifty deputies is
already posted there; while, owing to the fascination it has to
excitable and despotic natures, to brutal temperaments, narrow,
disjointed minds, weak imaginations, doubtful honesty, and old
religious or social rancor, it succeeds in doubling this number at the
end of six months. On the benches of the extreme "Left," around
Robespierre, Danton and Marat, the original nucleus of the September
faction, sit men of their stamp, first, the corrupt, like Chabot,
Tallien and Barras, wretches like Fouché, Guffroy and Javogues, crazy
enthusiasts like David, savage maniacs like Carrier, paltry simpletons
like Joseph Lebon, common fanatics like Levasseur, Baubot, Jeanbon-
Saint-André, Romme and Lebas. Add also, and especially, the future
iron-handed representatives, uncouth, authoritarian, and narrow-
minded, excellent troopers for a political militia, Bourbotte,
Duquesnoy, Rewbell, and Bentabole, "a lot of ignorant bastards," said
Danton, "without any common sense, and patriotic only when drunk.
Marat is nothing but a bawler. Legendre is fit for nothing but to cut
up his meat. The rest are good for little else than voting by either
sitting down or standing up, but they are cold blooded and have broad
shoulders." From amongst these energetic nonentities we see ascending
a young monster, with calm, handsome features, Saint-Just. He is a
kind of precocious Sylla, 25 years old and a new-comer, who springs at
once from the ranks and, by dint of atrocities, obtains a prominent
position. Six years before this he began life by a domestic
robbery; on a visit to his mother, he left the house during the night,
carrying off the plate and jewels, which he squandered while living in
a lodging house in the Rue Fromenteau, in the center of Parisian
prostitution; on the strength of this, and at the demand of his
friends, he is shut up in a house of correction for six months. On
returning to his lodgings he occupied himself with writing an obscene
poem in the style of La Pucelle and then, through a fit of rage
resembling a spasm, he plunged headlong into the Revolution. He
possessed a "blood calcified by study," a colossal pride, an unhinged
conscience, a pompous, gloomy imagination haunted with the bloody
recollections of Rome and Sparta, an intelligence so warped and
twisted as to be comfortable only among excessive paradoxes, shameless
sophistry, and devastating lies. All these dangerous ingredients
which, mingled in the crucible of suppressed, concentrated ambition,
long and silently boiling within him, have led to a constant defiance,
a determined callousness, an automatic rigidity, and to the summary
politics of the Utopian dictator and exterminator. -- It is plain
that such a minority will not obey parliamentary rules, and, rather
than yield to the majority that it will introduce into the debate boos
and hisses, insults, threats, and scuffles with daggers, pistols,
sabers and even the "blunder busses" of a veritable combat.
"Vile intriguers, calumniators, scoundrels, monsters, assassins,
blackguards, fools and hogs," such are the usual terms in which they
address each other, and these form the least of their outrages.
The president, at certain sessions, is obliged three times to put on
his hat and, at last, breaks his bell. They insult him, force him to
leave his seat and demand that "he be removed.' Bazire tries to snatch
a declaration presented by him "out of his hands." Bourdon, from the
department of Oise, cries out to him that if he "dares to read it he
will assassinate him." The chamber "has become an arena of
gladiators." Sometimes the entire "Mountain" darts from its
benches on the left, while a similar human wave rolls down from those
on the right; both clash in the center of the room amidst furious
screams and shouts; in one of these hubbubs one of the "Mountain"
having drawn a pistol the Girondist Duperret draws his sword.
After the middle of December prominent members of the "Right,"
constantly persecuted, threatened and outraged," reduced to "being out
every night, are compelled to carry arms in self-defense," and,
after the King's execution, "almost all" bring them to the sessions of
the Convention. Any day, indeed, they may look for the final attack,
and they are not disposed to die unavenged: during the night of March
9, finding that they are only forty-three, they agree to launch
themselves in a body "at the first hostile movement, against their
adversaries and kill as many as possible" before perishing.
It is a desperate resource, but the only one. For, besides the madmen
belonging to the Convention, they have against them the madmen in the
galleries, and these likewise are September murderers. The vilest
Jacobin rabble purposely takes its stand near them, at first in the
old Riding-school, and then in the new hall in the Tuileries. They see
above and in a circle around them drilled adversaries, eight or nine
hundred heads packed "in the great gallery at the bottom, under a deep
and silent vault," and, besides these, on the sides, a thousand or
fifteen hundred more, two immense tribunes completely filled. The
galleries of the Constituent and Legislative Assemblies, compared with
these, were calm. Nothing is more disgraceful to the Convention,
writes a foreign spectator, than the insolence of the audience.
One of the regulations prohibits, indeed, any mark of approval or
disapproval, "but it is violated every day, and nobody is ever
punished for this delinquency." The majority in vain expresses its
indignation at this "gang of hired ruffians," who beset and oppress
it, while at the very time that it utters its complaints, it endures
and tolerates it. "The struggle is frightful," says a deputy,
"screams, murmurs, stampings, shouts. . . The foulest insults were
launched from the galleries." "For a long time," says another, "no one
can speak here without obtaining their permission." The day that
Buzot obtains the floor to speak against Marat, "they break out
furiously, yelling, stamping, and threatening"; every time that
Buzot tries to begin his voice is drowned in the clamor, while he
remains half an hour in the tribune without completing a sentence. On
the calls of the House, especially, their cries resemble those of the
excited crowd at a Spanish bull-fight, with their eager eyes and
heaving breasts, watching the contest between the bull and the
picadores; every time that a deputy votes against the death of the
King or for an appeal to the people, there are the "vociferations of
cannibals," and "interminable yells" every time that one votes for the
indictment of Marat. "I declare," say deputies in the tribune, "that I
am not free here; I declare that I am forced to debate under the
knife." Charles Villette is told at the entrance that "if he does
not vote for the King's death he will be massacred." -- And these are
not empty threats. On the 10th of March, awaiting the promised riot,
"the tribunes, duly advised, . . . had already loaded their
pistols." In the month of May, the tattered women hired for the
purpose, under the title of "Ladies of the Fraternity," formed a club,
came daily early in the morning to mount guard, with arms in their
hands, in the corridors of the Convention; they tear up all tickets
given to men or women not of their band; they take possession of all
the seats, show pistols and daggers, and declare that "eighteen
hundred heads must be knocked off to make things go on right."
Behind these two first rows of assailants is a third, much more
compact, the more fearful because it is undefined and obscure, namely,
the vague multitude forming the anarchical set, scattered throughout
Paris, and always ready to renew the 10th of August and 2nd of
September against the obstinate majority. Incendiary motions and
demands for riots come incessantly from the Commune, and Jacobin,
Cordeliers, and l'Evêché clubs; from the assemblies of the sections
and groups stationed at the Tuileries and in the streets.
"Yesterday," writes the president of the Tuileries section, "at
the same moment, at various points about Paris, the Rue du Bac, at the
Marais, in the Church of St. Eustache, at the Palace of the
Revolution, on the Feuillants terrace, scoundrels were preaching
pillage and assassination." -- On the following day, again on the
Feuillants terrace, that is to say, right under the windows of the
Convention, "they urge the assassination of Louvel for having
denounced Robespierre. " -- Minister Roland writes: "I hear of nothing
but conspiracy and plans to murder." -- Three weeks later, for several
days, "an up-rising is announced in Paris"; the Minister is warned
that "alarm guns would be fired," while the heads are designated
beforehand on which this ever muttering insurrection will burst. In
the following month, in spite of the recent precise law, "the
electoral assembly prints and circulates gratis the list of members of
the Feuillants and Sainte-Chapelle clubs; it likewise orders the
printing and circulation of the list of the eight thousand, and of the
twenty thousand, as well as of the clubs of 1789 and of Montaigu."
In January, "hawkers cry through the streets a list of the aristocrats
and royalists who voted for an appeal to the people." Some of the
appelants are singled out by name through placards; Thibaut, bishop of
Cantal, while reading the poster on the wall relating to him, hears
some one along side of him say: "I should like to know that bishop of
Cantal; I would make bread tasteless to him." Roughs point out certain
deputies leaving the Assembly, and exclaim: "Those are the beggars to
cut up!" -- From week to week signs of insurrection increase and
multiply, like flashes of lightning in a coming tempest. On the 1st of
January, "it is rumored that the barriers are to be closed at night,
and that domiciliary visits are going to begin again." On the 7th
of January, on the motion of the Gravilliers section, the Commune
demands of the Minister of War 132 cannon stored at Saint Denis, to
divide among the sections. On the 15th of January the same section
proposes to the other forty-seven to appoint, as on the 10th of
August, special commissaries to meet at the Evêché and watch over
public safety. That same day, to prevent the Convention from
misunderstanding the object of these proceedings, it is openly stated
in the tribunes that the cannon brought to Paris "are for another 10th
of August against that body." The same day, military force has to be
employed to prevent bandits from going to the prisons "to renew the
massacres." On the 28th of January the Palais-Royal, the resort of the
pleasure-seeking, is surrounded by Santerre, at eight o'clock in the
evening, and "about six thousand men, found without a certificate of
civism," are arrested, subject to the decision one by one of their
section. -- Not only does the lightning flash, but already the bolt
descends in isolated places. On the 31st of December a man named
Louvain, formerly denounced by Marat as Lafayette's agent, is slain in
the faubourg St. Antoine, and his corpse dragged through the streets
to the Morgue. On the 25th of February, the grocer shops are pillaged
at the instigation of Marat, with the connivance or sanction of the
Commune. On the 9th of March the printing establishment of Gorsas is
sacked by two hundred men armed with sabers and pistols. The same
evening and on the next morning the riot extends to the Convention
itself; "the committee of the Jacobin club summons every section in
Paris to arms to "get rid" of the appelant deputies and the ministers;
the Cordeliers club requests the Parisian authorities "to take
sovereignty into their own hands and place the treacherous deputies
under arrest"; Fournier, Varlet, and Champion ask the Commune "to
declare itself in insurrection and close the barriers"; all the
approaches to the Convention are occupied by the "dictators of
massacre," Pétion and Beurnonville being recognized on their
passing, pursued and in danger of death, while furious mobs gather on
the Feuillants terrace "to award popular judgment," "to cut off heads"
and "send them into the departments." -- Luckily, it rains, which
always cools down popular effervescence. Kervélegan, a deputy from
Finistère, who escapes, finds means of sending to the other end of the
faubourg St. Marceau for a battalion of volunteers from Brest that had
arrived a few days before, and who were still loyal; these come in
time and save the Convention. -- Thus does the majority live under the
triple pressure of the "Mountain," the galleries and the outside
populace, and from month to month, especially after March 10, the
pressure gets to be worse and worse.
III. Physical fear and moral cowardice.
Defection among the majority. -- Effect of physical fear. -- Effect
of moral cowardice. -- Effect of political necessity. -- Internal
weakness of the Girondins. -- Accomplices in principle of the
Month by month the majority relents under this pressure. -- Some are
simply overcome by physical fear. On the King's trial, at the third
call of the House, as the deputies on the upper benches voted one by
one for his death, the deputy alongside Daunou "showed in a most
energetic manner his disapproval of this." On his turn coming, "the
galleries, which had undoubtedly noticed his attitude," burst out in
such violent threats that for some minutes his voice could not be
heard; "silence was at length restored, and he voted -- death." --
Others, like Durand-Maillane, "warned by Robespierre that the
strongest party is the safest," say to themselves "that it is prudent,
and necessary not to annoy the people in their furor," make up their
minds "to keep aloof shielded by their silence and
insignificance." Among the five hundred deputies of the Plain,
many are of this stamp. They begin to be called "the Marsh Frogs." In
six months they settle down of themselves into so many silent
onlookers, or, rather, homicidal puppets, "whose hearts, shrunk
through fear, rise in their throats" every time that Robespierre
looks at them. Long before the fall of the Girondists, "downcast at
the present state of things, and no longer finding any inspiration in
their heart," their faces already disclosing "the pallor of fear or
the resignation of despair. Cambacérès hedges to find shelter in
his Committee on Legislation. Barrère, born a valet, and a valet
ready for anything, places his southern mode of doing things at the
service of the probable majority, up to the time of devoting his cruel
rhetoric to the service of the dominant minority. Sièyes, after
casting his vote for death, maintains an obstinate silence, as much
through disgust as through prudence:
"What does my glass of wine matter in this torrent of booze?"
Many, even among the Girondists, use sophistry to color their
concessions in their own eyes. Some among these "think that they enjoy
some degree of popularity, and fear that this will be compromised.
Again, they put forth the pretext of the necessity of maintaining
one's influence for important occasions. Occasionally, they affect to
say, or say it in good faith, Let them (the extravagant) keep on, they
will find each other out and use themselves up." -- Frequently, the
motives alleged are scandalous or grotesque. According to Barbaroux,
immediate execution must be voted, because that is the best way to
exculpate the Gironde and shut the mouths of their Jacobin
calumniators. According to Berlier, it is essential to vote death
for, why vote for exile? Louis XVI. would be torn to pieces before
reaching the frontier. -- On the eve of the verdict, Vergniaud
says to M. de Ségur: "I vote Death? It is an insult to suppose me
capable of such a disgraceful act!" And, "he sets forth the frightful
iniquity of such a course, its uselessness, and even its danger." "I
would rather stand alone in my opinion than vote Death!" The next
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