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The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3)
by Hippolyte A. Taine
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V.—The Jacobins forming alone the Sovereign People.

Opinion in Paris.—The majority of the population constitutional.—The new regime 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."[3353] "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.[3354] 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,[3355] 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."[3356] 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."[3357] The following week they compel the revolutionary committee of Saint-Eustache[3358] 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;[3359] 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,"[3360] 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."[3361]—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."[3362]—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,"[3363] 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;[3364] 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."[3365] '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."[3366] "Guadet, Petion, Brissot, would not find thirty persons in Paris who would take their part, or even take the first step to save them."[3367]

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.[3368]—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."[3369] According to the report of the Minister himself;[3370] "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 Thebaides (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.[3371] 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 regime, 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-Elysees;[3372] 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,"[3373] 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,[3374] 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 regime?" 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[3375] 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[3376] 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."[3377] 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."[3378] "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!"[3379] 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.[3380]



VI.—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.[3381] 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.[3382] Putting all together, there are not six thousand Jacobins in Paris, all of them sans-culottes and partisans of the "Mountain."[3383] 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 day."[3384]

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.[3385] 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 Saint-Antoine, 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.[3386] "The respectable class of the arts, says observers, "is gradually leaving the faction to join the sane party."[3387] "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.[3388]—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."[3389]—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,[3390]... 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,"[3391] 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[3392] 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.'"[3393]—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 Pitie, run through a career of disorder and end in Bicetre."[3394] "From La Pitie to Bicetre" 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,[3395] 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,[3396] 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."[3397] 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."[3398]—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!"[3399]—Along with these are the thieves and prostitutes out of the Chatelet and Conciergerie, set at liberty and then enlisted by the September slaughterers, under the command of an old hag named Rose Lacombe,[33100] 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.[33101]—Male and female, "this anti-social vermin"[33102] thus 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,[33103] "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[33104] 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[33105] "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 cafe Chretien,[33106] 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.[33107] In the meantime, even in Paris, they toast, rob, and rape on grand occasions. On the 25th and 26th of February, 1793,[33108] 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-Ble, before the Hotel-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;[33109] 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.[33110] 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 Vendee, at the accusation of Marat, the arrest of Hebert, 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.[33111] Such was Petion 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."[33112]—"But one only would remain,[33113] 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,[33114] 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,[33115]

* 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."[33116]

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![33117] 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?"[33118]

*****

[Footnote 3301: 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).]

[Footnote 3302: Duvergier, "Collection des lois et decrets," 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.]

[Footnote 3303: 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.)]

[Footnote 3304: Petion, "Memoires" (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."]

[Footnote 3305: Decrees of July 6, Aug. 15 and 20, Sept. 26, 1792.]

[Footnote 3306: Decree of Nov. 1, 1792.—Albert Babeau, II. 14, 39, 40.]

[Footnote 3307: Dumouriez, III. 309, 355.—Miot de Melito, "Memoires," 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 sense."]

[Footnote 3308: "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 sexagenaire"), 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."]

[Footnote 3309: Dumouriez, III. 339.—Meillan, "Memoires," 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, "Memoires" (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 pieces 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 to 35,000."]

[Footnote 3310: Decree of Aug. 11, 12, 1792.]

[Footnote 3311: Sauzay, III. 45. The number increases from 3,200 to 7,000.]

[Footnote 3312: Durand-Maillane, "Memoires," 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-Rhone "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."]

[Footnote 3313: Decree of Aug. 11, 12, "Archives Nationales," CII. 58 to 76. Official report of the Electoral Assembly of the Rhone-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.]

[Footnote 3314: "Archives Nationales," CII. 1 to 32. Official report of the Electoral Assembly of the Bouches-du-Rhone, 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?"]

[Footnote 3315: Moniteur, XIII. 623, session of Sept. 8, speech by Lariviere.—"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 forthwith.)]

[Footnote 3316: Retif 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 Revolution Francaise," I. 98. Letter of Damour, vice-president of the section of the Theatre-Francais, Oct.29.—" Un Sejour 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."]

[Footnote 3317: Albert Babeau, I. 518. At Troyes, Aug.26, the revolutionaries in most of the sections have it decided that the relations of an emigre, 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, Magere, "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."]

[Footnote 3318: 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.)]

[Footnote 3319: Sauzay, III. 45, 46, 221.—Albert Babeau, I. 517.—Lallie, "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 a Paris," towards the end of 1795.)]

[Footnote 3320: 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).]

[Footnote 3321: "Archives Nationales," CII. 1 to 76, passim, especially the official reports of the assemblies of the Bouches-du-Rhone, Herault and Paris. Speech by Barbaroux to the Electoral Assembly of the Bouches-du-Rhone: "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 Montleon, I, 135.]

[Footnote 3322: Durand-Maillane, I.33. In the Electoral Assembly of the Bouches-du-Rhone "there was a desire to kill an elector suspected of aristocracy."]

[Footnote 3323: Mortimer-Ternaux, IV. 52. "Archives Nationales," CII. I to 32.—Official report of the Electora1 Assembly of Bouches-du-Rhone. 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.]

[Footnote 3324: Barbaroux, "Memoires," 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."]

[Footnote 3325: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 338.—De Sybel, "Histoire de l'Europe pendant la Revolution Francaise" (Dosquet's translation), I. 525. (Correspondence of the army of the South, letter by Charles de Hesse, commanding the regular troops at Lyons.)]

[Footnote 3326: Mortimer-Ternaux, V.101, 122 and following pages.]

[Footnote 3327: Guillon de Montleon, I. 172, 196 and following pages.]

[Footnote 3328: 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.]

[Footnote 3329: 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."]

[Footnote 3330: 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."]

[Footnote 3331: Mercier, "Le nouveau Paris," II. 200.]

[Footnote 3332: 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.]

[Footnote 3333: "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.]

[Footnote 3334: 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, 338.]

[Footnote 3335: "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).]

[Footnote 3336: Meillan, "Memoires," 20.—Buchez et Roux, XXVI. Session of April 15, 1793. Denunciation of the Twenty-two Girondists by the sections of Paris: Royer-Fonfrede 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."]

[Footnote 3337: The Philosophe Denis Diderot (1713-84) was largely responsible for the 28 volume Encyclopedie (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. (Guinness Encyclopedia).]

[Footnote 3338: "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.]

[Footnote 3339: Cf. The memoirs of Buzot, Barbaroux, Louvet, Madame Roland, etc.]

[Footnote 3340: And for some incomprehensible reason still in fashion at the end of the 20th Century. (SR).]

[Footnote 3341: 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.]

[Footnote 3342: 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."]

[Footnote 3343: Cf. Edmond Bire. "La Legende des Girondins," on the part of the Girondists in all these odious measures.]

[Footnote 3344: These traits are well defined in the charges of the popular party against them made by Fabre d'Eglantine. Maillan, "Memoires," 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, Petion, 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."]

[Footnote 3345: Buzot, "Memoires," 78.]

[Footnote 3346: Edmond Bire, "La legende des Girondins." (Inedited fragments of the memoirs of Petion and Barbaroux, quoted by Vatel in "Charlotte Corday and the Girondists," III. 472, 478.)]

[Footnote 3347: Buchez et Roux, XXVI. A financial plan offered by the department of Herault adopted by Cambon and rejected by the Girondists.]

[Footnote 3348: 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."]

[Footnote 3349: Maillan, 22.]

[Footnote 3350: 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."]

[Footnote 3351: Buchez et Roux, 93. Session of the Jacobin Club, April 21, 1793.]

[Footnote 3352: Schmidt, "Tableaux de la revolution Francaise," 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.)]

[Footnote 3353: Buzot, "Memoires," 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.]

[Footnote 3354: Schmidt, ibid., I. 173, 179 (May 1, 1793).]

[Footnote 3355: "La Demagogie a 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 forthcoming events."]

[Footnote 3356: Schmidt, I. 198 (Dutard, May 9).]

[Footnote 3357: Schmidt, I. 350; II. 6 (Dutard, May 30, June 7 and 8).]

[Footnote 3358: 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 Gallican.]

[Footnote 3359: 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."]

[Footnote 3360: Schmidt, I. 278. (Dutard, May 23).]

[Footnote 3361: Schmidt, I. 216 (Dutard, May 13).]

[Footnote 3362: Schmidt, I. 240 (Dutard, May 17).]

[Footnote 3363: Schmidt, I. 217 (Dutard, May 13).]

[Footnote 3364: Schmidt, I. 163 (Dutard, April 30).]

[Footnote 3365: 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 section."]

[Footnote 3366: 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.]

[Footnote 3367: Schmidt, II. 37 (Dutard, June 13).]

[Footnote 3368: Schmidt, I. 328 (Perriere, 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."]

[Footnote 3369: Moniteur, XV. 95 (Letter of Charles Villette, deputy).]

[Footnote 3370: Moniteur, XV. 179 (Letter of Roland, Jan. 11. 1793).]

[Footnote 3371: 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 18).]

[Footnote 3372: 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).]

[Footnote 3373: Moniteur, XV. 67 (session of Jan. 5, 1793). Speech by the mayor of Paris.]

[Footnote 3374: Schmidt, I. 378 (Blanc, June 12).]

[Footnote 3375: Schmidt, II. 5 (Dutard, June 5).]

[Footnote 3376: 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.]

[Footnote 3377: Schmidt, I. 207 (Dutard, May 10).]

[Footnote 3378: Schmidt, II. 79 (Dutard, June 19).]

[Footnote 3379: Schmidt, II.70 (Dutard, June 10).]

[Footnote 3380: Lenin must have felt encouraged by reading these lines which can only have increase his disdain for the "capitalist" and bourgeoisie. (SR).]

[Footnote 3381: Mortimer-Ternaux, V. 101.]

[Footnote 3382: 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-revolutionary."]

[Footnote 3383: 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 decided revolutionaries."]

[Footnote 3384: 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).]

[Footnote 3385: Schmidt, II. 37 (Dutard, May 10, 1793).]

[Footnote 3386: 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."]

[Footnote 3387: 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."]

[Footnote 3388: Schmidt, II. 39 (Dutard, June 13).]

[Footnote 3389: Schmidt, II.87 (Dutard, June 14). The expression of these fish-women is still coarser.]

[Footnote 3390: Retif de la Bretonne ("Bibliographie de ses oeuvres, par Jacob," 287).—(On the pillage of shops, Feb.25 and 26, 1793).]

[Footnote 3391: Schmidt, II. 61; I. 265 (Dutard, May 21 and June 17).]

[Footnote 3392: 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 stopped them."]

[Footnote 3393: Schmidt, I. 246 (Dutard, May 18).—Gregoire, "Memoires," 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 Gregoire 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."]

[Footnote 3394: Schmidt, I. 189 (Dutard, May 6).]

[Footnote 3395: Cf. Retif de la Bretonne, "Nuits de Paris," vol. XVI. (July 12, 1789). At this date Retif 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."]

[Footnote 3396: 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."]

[Footnote 3397: 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."]

[Footnote 3398: 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).]

[Footnote 3399: De Concourt, "La Societe Francaise pendant 'a Revolution." (According to the "Courrier de l'Egalite," Jul. 1793).]

[Footnote 33100: Buzot, 72.]

[Footnote 33101: 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."]

[Footnote 33102: An expression of Gadol's in his letter to Roland.]

[Footnote 33103: Buzot, 57.]

[Footnote 33104: Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 80 (Letter of Gadolle to Roland).]

[Footnote 33105: Beaulieu, "Essais," I. 108 (an eye-witness).—Schmidt, II. 15. Report by Perrieres, June 8.]

[Footnote 33106: 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."]

[Footnote 33107: 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.]

[Footnote 33108: Moniteur, XV. 565.—Buchez et Roux, XXIV. 335 and following pages.—Retif de la Bretonne, "Nuits de Paris," VIII. 460. (an eye witness). The last of these details are given by him.]

[Footnote 33109: 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 arsouille 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 panaches at the Luxembourg." (Letter of the agent of the Bonne-Nouvelle section, April 13, 1796.)]

[Footnote 33110: The proportion, composition and spirit of the party are everywhere the same, especially at Lyons (Guillon de Montleon, "Memoires," and Balleydier, "Histoire du peuple de Lyon,". passim); at Toulon (Lauvergne, "Histoire du department du Var"); at Marseilles, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Besancon, etc.—At Bordeaux (Riouffe, "Memoires," 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, "Memoires," 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, Ventose 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."]

[Footnote 33111: 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).]

[Footnote 33112: Roederer, "Chronique des cinquante jours."]

[Footnote 33113: Schmidt, I. 246 (Dutard, May 18).]

[Footnote 33114: Schmidt, I. 215 (Dutard, May 25).]

[Footnote 33115: Buchez et Roux, XXV. 156 (extract from the Patriote Francais, 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 emigres 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 Republic!"]

[Footnote 33116: Mallet du Pan, the last expression.]

[Footnote 33117: Buzot, 64.]

[Footnote 33118: 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!'"]



CHAPTER IV. PRECARIOUS SITUATION OF A CENTRAL GOVERNMENT LOCKED UP WITHIN A LOCAL JURISDICTION.

"Citizen Danton," wrote the deputy Thomas Paine,[3401] "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.[3402]



I.—Jacobin advantages.

Their sway in the section assemblies.—Maintenance, re-election and completion of the Commune.—Its new chiefs, Chaumette, Hebert 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.[3403] "In nearly all the sections[3404] 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,[3405] 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; Hebert, called "Pere 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,[3406] 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.[3407] 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,[3408] and without including the lucrative offices at its disposition, four hundred of these being distributed by Pache alone, and four hundred more by Chaumette,[3409] 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.[3410] 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."[3411] On another side, the Duke of Orleans, become Philippe-Egalite, 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;[3412] 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.[3413]



II.—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.[3414] 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 Fouche, Guffroy and Javogues, crazy enthusiasts like David, savage maniacs like Carrier, paltry simpletons like Joseph Lebon, common fanatics like Levasseur, Baubot, Jeanbon-Saint-Andre, 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,[3415] "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.[3416] 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;[3417] 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.[3418] 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.[3419] 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."[3420] The chamber "has become an arena of gladiators."[3421] 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.[3422] 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,"[3423] 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.[3424]

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.[3425] The galleries of the Constituent and Legislative Assemblies, compared with these, were calm. Nothing is more disgraceful to the Convention, writes a foreign spectator,[3426] 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,[3427] "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."[3428] The day that Buzot obtains the floor to speak against Marat, "they break out furiously, yelling, stamping, and threatening";[3429] 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."[3430] 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."[3431] 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'Eveche 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,[3433] "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";[3434] 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."[3435] In January, "hawkers cry through the streets a list of the aristocrats and royalists who voted for an appeal to the people."[3436] 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."[3437] 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 Eveche 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.[3438] 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," Petion[3439] 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. Kervelegan, a deputy from Finistere, 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 Montagnards.

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."[3440]—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."[3441] 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"[3442] 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.[3443] Cambaceres hedges to find shelter in his Committee on Legislation.[3444] Barrere, 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. Sieyes, after casting his vote for death, maintains an obstinate silence, as much through disgust as through prudence:

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