The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3)
by Hippolyte A. Taine
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

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

Now, had peace been maintained all this was impossible; moreover the ascendance of the party was compromised. Entire classes that had adhered to the party when it launched insurrection against the privileged, broke loose from it now that insurrection was directed against them; among thoughtful men and among those with property, most were disgusted with anarchy, and likewise disgusted with the abettors of it. Many administrators, magistrates and functionaries recently elected, loudly complained of their authority being subject to the mob. Many cultivators, manufacturers and merchants have become silently exasperated at the fruits of their labor and economy being surrendered at discretion to robbers and the indigent. It was hard for the flour-dealers of Etampes not to dare send away their wheat, to be obliged to supply customers at night, to tremble in their own houses, and to know that if they went out-doors they risked their lives.[2367] It was hard for wholesale grocers in Paris to see their warehouses invaded, their windows smashed, their bags of coffee and boxes of sugar valued at a low price, parceled out and carried away by old hags or taken gratis by scamps who ran off and sold them at the other end of the street.[2368] It was hard in all places for the families of the old bourgeoisie, for the formerly prominent men in each town and village, for the eminent in each art, profession or trade, for reputable and well-to-do people, in short, for the majority of men who had a good roof over their heads and a good coat on their backs, to undergo the illegal domination of a crowd led by a few hundred or dozens of stump-speakers and firebrands.—Already, in the beginning of 1792, this dissatisfaction was so great as to be denounced in the tribune and in the press. Isnard[2369] railed against "that multitude of large property-holders, those opulent merchants, those haughty, wealthy personages who, advantageously placed in the social amphitheater, are unwilling to have their seats changed." The bourgeoisie," wrote Petion,[2370] "that numerous class free of any anxiety, is separating itself from the people; it considers itself above them,... they are the sole object of its distrust. It is everywhere haunted by the one idea that the revolution is a war between those who have and those who have not."—It abstains, indeed, from the elections, it keeps away from patriotic clubs, it demands the restoration of order and the reign of law; it rallies to itself "the multitude of conservative, timid people, for whom tranquility is the prime necessity," and especially, which is still more serious, it charges the disturbances upon their veritable authors. With suppressed indignation and a mass of undisputed evidence, Andre Chenier, a man of feeling, starts up in the midst of the silent crowd and openly tears off the mask from the Jacobins.[2371] He brings into full light the daily sophism by which a mob, "some hundreds of idlers gathered in a garden or at a theater, are impudently called the people." He portrays those "three or four thousand usurpers of national sovereignty whom their orators and writers daily intoxicate with grosser incense than any adulation offered to the worst of despots;" those assemblies where "an infinitely small number of French appears large, because they are united and yell;" that Paris club from which honest, industrious, intelligent people had withdrawn one by one to give place to intriguers in debt, to persons of tarnished reputations, to the hypocrites of patriotism, to the lovers of uproar, to abortive talents, to corrupted intellects, to outcasts of every kind and degree who, unable to manage their own business, indemnify themselves by managing that of the public. He shows how, around the central factory and its twelve hundred branches of insurrection, the twelve hundred affiliated clubs, which, "holding each other's hands, form a sort of electric chain around all France" and giving it a shock at every touch from the center; their confederation, installed and enthroned, is not only as a State within the State, but rather as a sovereign State in a vassal State; summoning their administrative bodies to their bar, judicial verdicts set aside through their intervention, private individuals searched, assessed and condemned through their verdicts. All this constitutes a steady, systematic defense of insubordination and revolt; as, "under the name of hoarding and monopoly, commerce and industry are described as misdemeanors;" property is unsettled and every rich man rendered suspicious, "talent and integrity silenced." In short, a public conspiracy made against society in the very name of society, "while the sacred symbol of liberty is made use of as a seal" to exempt a few tyrants from punishment. Such a protest said aloud what most Frenchmen muttered to themselves, and from month to month, graver excesses exited greater censure.

"Anarchy exists[2372] to a degree scarcely to be paralleled, wrote the ambassador of the United States. The horror and apprehension, which the licentious associations have universally inspired, are such that there is reason to believe that the great mass of the French population would consider even despotism a blessing, if accompanied with that security to persons and property, experienced even under the worst governments in Europe."

Another observer, not less competent,[2373] says:

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

The truth of this, indeed, was frequently verified at the end of 1791 and beginning of 1792, by various investigations.[2374] "Eighteen thousand officers of every grade, elected by the constitutionalists, seventy-one department administrations out of eighty-two, most of the tribunals,[2375] all traders and manufacturers, every chief and a large portion of the National Guard of Paris," in short, the elite of the nation, and among citizens generally, the great majority who lived from day to day were for him, and for the "Right" of the Assembly against the "Left". If internal trouble had not been complicated by external difficulties, there would have been a change in opinion, and this the King expected. In accepting the Constitution, he thought that its defects would be revealed in practical operation and that they would lead to a reform. In the mean time he scrupulously observed the Constitution, and, through interest as well as conscience, kept his oath to the letter. "The most faithful execution of the Constitution," he said to one of his ministers, "is the surest way to make the nation see the changes that ought to be made in it."[2376]—In other words, he counted on experience, and it is very probable that if there had been nothing to interfere with experience, his calculations would have finally chosen between the defenders of order and the instigators of disorder. It would have decided for the magistrates against the clubs, for the police against rioters, for the king against the mob. In one or two years more it would have learned that a restoration of the executive power was indispensable for securing the execution of the laws; that the chief of police, with his hands tied, could not do his duty; that it was undoubtedly wise to give him his orders, but that if he was to be of any use against knaves and fools, his hands should first be set free.

V.—Effects of the war on the common people.

Its alarms and fury.—The second revolutionary outburst and its characteristics.—Alliance of the Girondists with the mob.—The red cap and pikes.—Universal substitution of government by force for government by law.

Just the contrary with war; the aspect of things changes, and the alternative is the other way. It is no longer a choice between order and disorder, but between the new and the old regime, for, behind foreign opponents on the frontier, there stand the emigres. The commotion is terrible, especially amongst the lower classes which mainly bore the whole weight of the old establishment; among the millions who live by the sweat of their brow, artisans, small farmers, metayers, day-laborers and soldiers, also the smugglers of salt and other articles, poachers, vagabonds, beggars and half-beggars, who, taxed, plundered, and harshly treated for centuries, have to endure, from father to son, poverty, oppression and disdain. They know through their own experience the difference between their late and their present condition. They have only to fall back on personal knowledge to revive in their imaginations the enormous royal, ecclesiastical, and seignorial taxes, the direct tax of eighty-one per cent., the bailiffs in charge, the seizures and the husbandry service, the inquisition of excise men, of inspectors of the salt tax, wine tax (rats de cave) and game-keepers, the ravages of wild birds and of pigeons, the extortions of the collector and his clerk, the delay and partiality in obtaining justice, the rashness and brutality of the police, the kicks and cuffs of the constabulary, the poor wretches gathered like heaps of dirt and filth, the promiscuousness, the over-crowding, the filth and the starvation of the prisons.[2377] They have simply to open their eyes to see their immense deliverance; all direct or indirect taxes for the past two years legally abolished or practically suppressed, beer at two pennies a pot, wine at six, pigeons in their meat-safes, game on their turn-spits, the wood of the national forests in their lofts, the gendarmerie timid, the police absent, in many places the crops all theirs, the owner not daring to claim his share, the judge avoiding condemning them, the constable refusing to serve papers on them, privileges restored in their favor, the public authorities cringing to the crowds and yielding to their exactions, remaining quiet or unarmed in the face of their misdeeds, their outrages excused or tolerated, their superior good sense and deep feeling lauded in thousands of speeches, the jacket and the blouse considered as symbols of patriotism, and supremacy in the State claimed for the sans-culottes[2378] in the name their merits and their virtues.—And now the overthrow of all this is announced to them, a league against them of foreign kings, the emigrants in arms, an invasion imminent, the Croats and Pandours in the field, hordes of mercenaries and barbarians crowding down on them again to put them in chains.—From the workshop to the cottage there rolls along a formidable outburst of anger, accompanied with national songs, denouncing the plots of tyrants and summoning the people to arms.[2379] This is the second wave of the Revolution, fast swelling and roaring, less general than the first, since it bears along with it but little more than the lower class, but higher and much more destructive.

Not only, indeed, is the mass now launched forth coarse and crude, but a new sentiment animates it, the force of which is incalculable, that of plebeian pride, that of the poor man, the subject, who, suddenly erect after ages of debasement, relishes, far beyond his hopes and unstintedly, the delights of equality, independence, and dominion. "Fifteen millions white Negroes," says Mallet du Pan,[2380] worse fed, more miserable than those of St. Domingo, like them rebelled and freed from all authority by their revolt, accustomed like them, through thirty months of license, to ruling over all that is left of their former masters, proud like them of the restoration of their caste and exulting in their horny hands. One may imagine their transports of rage on hearing the trumpet-blast which awakens them, showing them on the horizon the returning planters, bringing with them new whips and heavier manacles?—Nothing is more distrustful than such a sentiment in such breasts—quickly alarmed, ready to strike, ready for any act of violence, blindly credulous, headlong and easily impelled, not merely against real enemies on the outside, but at first against imaginary enemies on the inside,[2381] but also against the King, the ministers, the gentry, priests, parliamentarians, orthodox Catholics; against all administrators and magistrates imprudent enough to have appealed to the law; all manufacturers, merchants, and owners of property who condemn disorder;the wealthy whose egotism keeps them at home; all those who are well-off, well-bred and well-dressed.

They are all under suspicion because they have lost by the new regime, or because they have not adopted its ways.—Such is the colossal brute which the Girondins introduce into the political arena.[2382] For six months they shake red flags before its eyes, goad it on, work it up into a rage and drive it forward by decrees and proclamations,

* against their adversaries and against its keepers,

* against the nobles and the clergy,

* against aristocrats inside France in complicity with those of Coblentz,

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

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

* against the whole government to which they impute the anarchy they excite, and the war of which they themselves are the instigators.[2383]

Thus over-excited and topsy-turvy, the proletariat require only arms and a rallying-point. The Girondins furnish both. Through a striking coincidence, one which shows that the plan was concerted,[2384] they start three political engines at the same time. Just at the moment when, through their deliberate saber-rattling, they made war inevitable, they invented popular insignia and armed the poor. At the end of January, 1792, almost during one week, they announced their ultimatum to Austria using a fixed deadline, they adopted the red woolen cap and began the manufacture of pikes.—It is evident that pikes are of no use in the open field against cannon and a regular army; accordingly the are intended for use in the interior and in towns. Let the national-guard who can pay for his uniform, and the active citizen whose three francs of direct tax gives him a privilege, own their guns; the stevedore, the market-porter, the lodger, the passive citizen, whose poverty excludes them from voting must have their pikes, and, in these insurrectionary times, a ballot is not worth a good pike wielded by brawny arms.—The magistrate in his robes may issue any summons he pleases, but it will be rammed down his throat, and, lest he should be in doubt of this he is made to know it beforehand. "The Revolution began with pikes and pikes will finish it."[2385] "Ah," say the regulars of the Tuileries gardens, "if the good patriots of the Champs de Mars only had had pikes like these the blue-coats (Lafayette's guards) would not have had such a good hand!"—"They are to be used everywhere, wherever there are enemies of the people, to the Chateau, if any can be found there!" They will override the veto and make sure that the National Assembly will approve the good laws. To this purpose, the Faubourg St. Antoine volunteers its pikes, and, to mark the use made of them, it complains that "efforts are made to substitute an aristocracy of wealth for the omnipotence of inherited rank." It demands "severe measures against the rascally hypocrites who, with the Constitution in their hands, slaughter the people." It declares that "kings, ministers and a civil list will pass away, but that the rights of man, national sovereignty and pikes will not pass away," and, by order of the president, the National Assembly thanks the petitioners, "for the advice their zeal prompts them to give.

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

"The object of the Girondists[2386] is not a republic in name, but an actual republic through a reduction of the civil lists to five millions, through the curtailment of most of the royal prerogatives, through a change of dynasty of which the new head would be a sort of honorary president of the republic to which they would assign an executive council appointed by the Assembly, that is to say, by themselves." As to the Jacobin extremists we find no principle with them but "that of a rigorous, absolute application of the Rights of Man. With the aid of such a charter they aim at changing the laws and public officers every six months, at extending their leveling process to every constituted authority, to all legal pre-eminence and to property. The only regime they long for is the democracy of a contentious rabble... The vilest instruments, professional agitators, brigands, fanatics, every sort of wretch, the hardened and armed poverty-stricken, who, in wild disorder" march to the attack of property and to "universal pillage" in short, barbarians of town and country "who form their ordinary army and never leave it inactive one single day."—Under their universal, concerted and growing usurpation the substance of power melts wholly away in the hand of the legal authorities; little by little, these are reduced to vain counterfeits, while from one end of France, to the other, long before the final collapse, the party, in the provinces as well as at Paris, substitutes, under the cry of public danger, a government of might for the government of law.


[Footnote 2301: Mercure de France, September 24, 1791.—Cf. Report of M. Alquier (session of Sept. 23).]

[Footnote 2302: Mercure de France, Oct. 15, 1792 (the treaty with England was dated Sep. 26, 1786).—Ibid., Letter of M. Walsh, superior of the Irish college, to the municipality of Paris. Those who use the whips, come out of a neighboring grog-shop. The commissary of police, who arrives with the National Guard, "addresses the people, and promises them satisfaction," requiring M. Walsh to dismiss all who are in the chapel, without waiting for the end of the mass.—M. Walsh refers to the law and to treaties.—The commissary replies that he knows nothing about treaties, while the commandant of the national guard says to those who laving the chapel, "In the name of human justice, I order you to follow me to the church of Saint-Etienne, or I shall abandon you to the people."]

[Footnote 2303: "The French Revolution," Vol. I. pp.261, 263.—"Archives Nationales," F7, 3185 and 3186 (numerous documents on the rural disturbances in Aisne).—Mercure de France, Nov. 5 and 26, Dec. 10, 1791.—Moniteur, X. 426 (Nov.22, 1791).]

[Footnote 2304: Moniteur, X. 449, Nov. 23, 1791. (Official report of the crew of the Ambuscade, dated Sep. 30). The captain, M. d'Orleans, stationed at the Windward Islands, is obliged to return to Rochefort and is detained there on board his ship: "Considering the uncertainty of his mission, and the fear of being ordered to use the same hostilities against brethren for which he is already denounced in every club in the kingdom, the crew has forced the captain to return to France."]

[Footnote 2305: Mercure de France, Dec. 17, address of the colonists to the king.]

[Footnote 2306: Moniteur, XIII. 200. Report of Sautereau, July 20, on the affair of Corporal Lebreton. (Nov. 11, 1791).]

[Footnote 2307: Saint Huruge is first tenor. Justine (Sado-machosistic book by de Sade) makes her appearance in the Palais-Royal about the middle of 1791. They exhibit two pretended savages there, who, before a paying audience, revive the customs of Tahiti. ("Souvenirs of chancelier Pasquier." Ed. Plon, 1893)]

[Footnote 2308: Mercure de France, Nov. 5, 1791.—Buchez et Roux, XII. 338. Report by Petion, mayor, Dec. 9, 1791. "Every branch of the police is in a state of complete neglect. The streets are dirty, and full of rubbish; robbery, and crimes of every kind, are increasing to a frightful degree." "Correspondance de M. de Stael" (manuscript), Jan. 22, 1792. "As the police is almost worthless, freedom from punishment, added to poverty, brings on disorder."]

[Footnote 2309: Moniteur, XI. 517 (session of Feb. 29, 1792). Speeches by de Lacepede and de Mulot.]

[Footnote 2310: Lacretelle, "Dix ans d'Epreuves." "I know no more dismal and discouraging aspect than the interval between the departure of the National Assembly, on the 10th August consummated by that of September 2."]

[Footnote 2311: Mercure de France, Sept. 3, 1791, article by Mallet du Pan.]

[Footnote 2312: Moniteur, XI. 317 (session of Feb. 6, 1792). Speech by M. Cahier, a minister. "Many of the emigrants belong to the class formerly called the Third-Estate. No reason for emigrating, on their part, can be supposed but that of religious anxieties."]

[Footnote 2313: Decree of Nov. 9, 1791. The first decree seems to be aimed only at the armed gatherings on the frontier. We see, however, by the debates, that it affects all emigrants. The decrees of Feb. 9 and March 30, 1792, bear upon all, without exception.—"Correspondance de Mirabeau et du Comte de la Marck," III. 264 (letter by M. Pellenc, Nov. 12, 1791) "The decree (against the emigrants) was prepared in committee; it was expected that the emigrants would return, but there was fear of them. It was feared that the nobles, associated with the unsworn priests in the rural districts, might add strength to a troublesome resistance. The decree, as it was passed, seemed to be the most suitable for keeping the emigrants beyond the frontiers."]

[Footnote 2314: Decree of Feb. 1, 1792.—Moniteur, XI. 412 (session of Feb. 17). Speech by Goupilleau. "Since the decree of the National Assembly on passports, emigrations have redoubled." People evidently escaped from France as from a prison.]

[Footnote 2315: Decrees of June 18 and August 25.]

[Footnote 2316: Decree of June 19.—Moniteur, XIII. 331. "In execution of the law... there will be burnt, on Tuesday, August 7, on the Place Vendome, at 2 o'clock: 1st, 600, more or less, of files of papers, forming the last of genealogical collections, titles and proofs of nobility; 2nd, about 200 files, forming part of a work composed of 263 volumes, on the Order of the Holy Ghost."]

[Footnote 2317: Decree of Nov. 29, 1791. (This decree is not in Duvergier's collection~)—Moniteur, XII. 59, 247 (sessions of April 5 and 28, 1792).]

[Footnote 2318: At the Jacobin Club, Legendre proposes a much a more expeditious measure for getting rid of the priests. "At Brest, he says, boats are found which are called Marie-Salopes, so constructed that, on being loaded with dirt, they go out of the harbor themselves. Let us have a similar arrangement for priests; but, instead of sending them out of the harbor, let us send them out to sea, and, if necessary, let them go down." ("Journal de Amis de la Constitution," number 194, May 15, 1792.)]

[Footnote 2319: Moniteur, XII. 560 (decree of June 3).]

[Footnote 2320: Decrees of July 19 and Aug. 4, completed by those of Aug. 16 and 19.]

[Footnote 2321: Moniteur, XII. 59, 61 (session of April 3); X. 374 (session of Nov. 13; XII 230), (session of April 26).—The last sentence quoted was uttered by Francois de Nantes.]

[Footnote 2322: Moniteur, XI. 43. (session of Jan. 5, speech by Isnard).]

[Footnote 2323: Moniteur, XI. 356 (session of Feb. 10).]

[Footnote 2324: Moniteur, XI. 230 (session of April 26).]

[Footnote 2325: When I was a child the socialists etc. had substituted aristocracy with capitalists and today, in France, when the capitalists have largely disappeared, a great many evils are caused by the 'patronat'. (SR).]

[Footnote 2326: Moniteur (session of June 22).]

[Footnote 2327: The words of Brissot (Patriote Francais), number 887.—Letter addressed Jan. 5 to the club of Brest, by Messrs. Cavalier and Malassis, deputies to the National Assembly: "As to the matter of the sieur Lajaille, even though we would have taken an interest in him, that decorated aristocrat only deserved what he got... We shall not remain idle until all these traitors, these perjurers, whom we have spared so long, shall be exterminated" (Mercure de France, Feb. 4).—This Jaille affair is one of the most instructive, and the best supported by documents (Mercure de France, Dec.10 and 17).—"Archives Nationales," F7, 3215, official report of the district administrators, and of the municipal officers of Brest, Nov. 27, 1791.—Letter by M. de Marigny, commissary in the navy, at Brest, Nov. 28.—Letters by M. de la Jaille, etc.—M. de la Jaille, sent to Brest to take command of the Dugay-Trouin, arrives there Nov.27. While at dinner, twenty persons enter the room, and announce to him, "in the name of many others," that his presence in Brest is causing trouble, that he must leave, and that "he will not be allowed to take command of a vessel." He replies, that he will leave the town, as soon as he has finished his dinner. Another deputation follows, more numerous than the first one, and insists on his leaving at once; and they act as his escort. He submits, is conducted to the city gates, and there the escort leaves him. A mob attacks him, and "his body is covered with contusions. He is rescued, with great difficulty, by six brave fellows, of whom one is a pork-dealer, sent to bleed him on the spot. "This insurrection is due to an extra meeting of 'The Friends of the constitution,' held the evening before in the theater, to which the public were invited." M. de la Jaille, it must be stated, is not a proud aristocrat, but a sensible man, in the style of Florian's and Berquin's heroes. But just pounded to a jelly, he writes to the president of the "Friends of the Constitution," that, "could he have flown into the bosom of the club, he would have gladly done so, to convey to it his grateful feelings. He had accepted his command only at the solicitation of the Americans in Paris, and of the six commissioners recently arrived from St. Domingo."—Mercure de France, April 14, article by Mallet du Pan "I have asked in vain for the vengeance of the law against the assassins of M. de la Jaille. The names of the authors of this assault in full daylight, to which thousands can bear witness, are known to everybody in Brest. Proceedings have been ordered and begun, but the execution of the orders is suspended. More potent than the law, the motionnaires, protectors of assassins, frighten or paralyze its ministrants."]

[Footnote 2328: Mercure de France, Nov. 12 (session of Oct. 31st, 1792).]

[Footnote 2329: Decree of Feb. 8, and others like it, on the details, as, for instance, that of Feb. 7.]

[Footnote 2330: April 9, at the Jacobin Club, Vergniaud, the president, welcomes and compliments the convicts of Chateau-vieux.]

[Footnote 2331: Mortimer-Ternaux, book I, vol. I. (especially the session of April 15).]

[Footnote 2332: Comtat (or comtat Venaisssin) ancient region in France under papal authority from 1274 to 1791.(SR)]

[Footnote 2333: Moniteur, XII. 335.—Decree of March 20 (the triumphal entry of Jourdan and his associates belongs to the next month).]

[Footnote 2334: Moniteur, XII. 730 (session of June 23).]

[Footnote 2335: Moniteur, XII. 230 (session of April 12).]

[Footnote 2336: Moniteur. XI. 6, (session of March 6).]

[Footnote 2337: Moniteur, XI. 123, (session of Jan. 14)]

[Footnote 2338: 150 years later these rights were written into the International Declaration of Human Rights in Paris in 1948. (SR).]

[Footnote 2339: Mercure de France, Dec. 23 (session of Dec. 23), p.98.]

[Footnote 2340: Moniteur, X. 178 (session of Oct. 20, 1791). Information supplied by the deputies of the Upper and Lower Rhine departments.—M. Koch says: "An army of emigres never existed, unless it be a petty gathering, which took place at Ettenheim, a few leagues from Strasbourg... (This troop) encamped in tents, but only because it lacked barracks and houses."—M.—, deputy of the lower Rhine, says: "This army at Ettenheim is composed of about five or six hundred poorly-clad, half-paid men, deserters of all nations, sleeping in tents, for lack of other shelter, and armed with clubs, for lack of fire-arms and deserting every day, because money is getting scarce. The second army, at Worms, under the command of a Conde, is composed of three hundred gentlemen, and as many valets and grooms. I have to add, that the letters which reach me from Strasbourg, containing extracts of inside information from Frankfort, Munich, Regensburg, and Vienna, announce the most pacific intentions on the part of the different courts, since receiving the notification of the king's submission." The number of armed emigrants increases, but always remain very small (Moniteur, X. 678, letter of M. Delatouche, an eyewitness, Dec. 10). "I suppose that the number of emigrants scattered around on the territories of the grand-duke of Baden, the bishop of Spires, the electorates, etc., amounts to scarcely 4,000 men."]

[Footnote 2341: Moniteur, X. 418 (session of Nov. 15, 1791). Report by the minister Delessart. In August, the emperor issued orders against enlistments, and to send out of the country all Frenchmen under suspicion; also, in October, to send away the French who formed too numerous a body at Ath and at Tournay (Now in Belgium).—Buchez et Roux, XII. 395, demands of the king, Dec. 14,—Ibid., XIII. 15, 16, 19, 52, complete satisfaction given by the Elector of Treves, Jan. 1, 1792, communicated to the Assembly Jan. 6; publication of the elector's orders in the electorate, Jan. 3. The French envoy reports that they are fully executed, which news with the documents, are communicated to the Assembly, on the 8th, 16, and 19th of January.—" Correspondance de Mirabeau et M. de la Marck," III.287. Letter of M. de Mercy-Argenteau, Jan. 9, 1792. "The emperor has promised aid to the elector, under the express stipulation that he should begin by yielding to the demands of the French, as otherwise no assistance would be given to him in case of attack."]

[Footnote 2342: Mallet du Pan, "Memoires," I. 254 (February, 1792).—" Correspondance de Mirabeau et du M. de la Marck," III. 232 (note of M. de Bacourt). On the very day and at the moment of signing the treaty at Pilnitz, at eleven o'clock in the evening, the Emperor Leopold wrote to his prime minister, M. de Kaunitz, "that the convention which he had just signed does not really bind him to anything; that it only contains insignificant declarations, extorted by the Count d'Artois." He ends by assuring him that "neither himself nor his government is in any way bound by this instrument."]

[Footnote 2343: Words of M. de Kaunitz, Sept. 4, 1791 ("Recueil," by Vivenot, I. 242).]

[Footnote 2344: Moniteur, XI. 142 (session of Jan. 17).—Speech by M. Delessart.—Decree of accusation against him March 10.—Declaration of war, April 20.—On the real intentions of the King, cf. Malouet, "Malouet, Memoires" II. 199-209; Lafayette, "Memoires," I. 441 (note 3); Bertrand de Molleville, "Memoires," VI. 22; Governor Morris, II. 242, letter of Oct. 23, 1792.]

[Footnote 2345: Moniteur, X. 172 (session of Oct. 20, 1791). Speech by Brissot.——Lafayette, I. 441. "It is the Girondists who, at this time, wanted a war at any price"—Malouet, II. 209. "As Brissot has since boasted, it was the republican party which wanted war, and which provoked it by insulting all the powers."]

[Footnote 2346: Buchez et Roux, XII. 402 (session of the Jacobin Club, Nov. 28, 1791).]

[Footnote 2347: Gustave III., King of Sweden, assassinated by Ankerstrom, says: "I should like to know what Brissot will say."]

[Footnote 2348: On Brissot's antecedents, cf. Edmond Bire, "La Legende des Girondins." Personally, Brissot was honest, and remained poor. But he had passed through a good deal of filth, and bore the marks of it. He had lent himself to the diffusion of an obscene book, "Le Diable dans un benitier," and, in 1783, having received 13,355 francs to found a Lyceum in London, not only did not found it, but was unable to return the money.]

[Footnote 2349: Moniteur, XI. 147. Speech by Brissot, Jan. 17. Examples from whom he borrows authority, Charles XII., Louis XIV., Admiral Blake, Frederic II., etc.]

[Footnote 2350: Moniteur. X. 174. "This Venetian government, which is nothing but a farce... Those petty German princes, whose insolence in the last century despotism crushed out... Geneva, that atom of a republic...That bishop of Liege, whose yoke bows down a people that ought to be free... I disdain to speak of other princes... That King of Sweden, who has only twenty-five millions income, and who spends two-thirds of it in poor pay for an army of generals and a small number of discontented soldiers... As to that princess (Catherine II.), whose dislike of the French constitution is well known, and who is about as good looking as Elizabeth, she cannot expect greater success than Elizabeth in the Dutch revolution." (Brissot, in this last passage, tries to appear at once witty and well read.)]

[Footnote 2351: Letter of Roland to the king, June 10, 1792, and letter of the executive council to the pope, Nov. 25, 1792. Letter of Madame Roland to Brissot, Jan. 7, 1791. "Briefly, adieu. Cato's wife need not gratify herself by complimenting Brutus."]

[Footnote 2352: Buchez et Roux, XII. 410 (meeting of the Jacobin club, Dec. 10, 1791). "A Louis XIV. declares war against Spain, because his ambassador had been insulted by the Spanish ambassador. And we, who are free, might hesitate for an instant!"]

[Footnote 2353: Moniteur, X, 503 (session of Nov.29). The Assembly orders this speech to be printed and distributed in the departments.]

[Footnote 2354: Moniteur, X. 762 (session of Dec. 28).]

[Footnote 2355: Moniteur, XI. 147, 149 (session of Jan.17); X. 759 (session of Dec. 28).—Already, on the 10th of December, he had declared at the Jacobin club: "A people that has conquered its freedom, after ten centuries of slavery, needs war. War is essential to it for its consolidation." (Buchez et Roux, XII. 410).—On the 17th of January, in the tribune, he again repeats: "I have only one fear, and that is, that we may not have war."]

[Footnote 2356: Moniteur, XI. 119 (session of Jan.13). Speech by Gensonne, in the name of the diplomatic committee, of which he is the reporter.]

[Footnote 2357: Moniteur, XI. 158 (session of Jan. 18). The Assembly orders the printing of this speech.]

[Footnote 2358: Moniteur, XI. 760 (session of Dec. 28).]

[Footnote 2359: Moniteur, XI. 149 (session of Jan. 17). Speech by Brissot.]

[Footnote 2360: Moniteur, XI. 178 (session of Jan.20). Fauchet proposes the following decree: "All partial treaties actually existent are declared void. The National Assembly substitutes in their place alliances with the English, the Anglo-American, the Swiss, Polish, and Dutch nations, as long as they will be free.. When other nations want our alliance, they have only to conquer their freedom to have it. Meanwhile, this will not prevent us from having relations with them, as with good natured savages... Let us occupy the towns in the neighborhood which bring our adversaries too near us... Mayence, Coblentz, and Worms are sufficient"—Ibid.,, p.215 (session of Jan.25). One of the members, supporting himself with the authority of Gelon, King of Syracuse, proposes an additional article: "We declare that we will not lay down our arms until we shall have established the freedom of all peoples." These stupidities show the mental condition of the Jacobin party.]

[Footnote 2361: The decree is passed Jan. 25. The alliance between Prussia and Austria takes place Feb. 7 (De Bourgoing, "Histoire diplomatique de l'Europe pendant la Revolution Francaise," I. 457).]

[Footnote 2362: Albert Sorel, "La Mission du Comte de Segur a Berlin" (published in the Temps, Oct. 15, 1878). Dispatch of M. de Segur to M. Delessart, Feb. 24, 1792. "Count Schulemburg repeated to me that they had no desire whatever to meddle with our constitution. But, said he with singular animation, we must guard against gangrene. Prussia is, perhaps, the country which should fear it least; nevertheless, however remote a gangrened member may be, it is better to it off than risk one's life. How can you expect to secure tranquility, when thousands of writers every day... mayors, office-holders, insult kings, and publish that the Christian religion has always supported despotism, and that we shall be free only by destroying it, and that all princes must be exterminated because they are all tyrants?"]

[Footnote 2363: A popular jig of these revolutionary times, danced in the streets and on the public squares.—TR.]

[Footnote 2364: Buchez et Roux, XXV. 203 (session of April 3, 1793). Speech by Brissot.—Ibid., XX. 127. "A tous les Republicains de France, par Brissot," Oct. 24, 1792. "In declaring war, I had in view the abolition of royalty." He refers, in this connection, to his speech of Dec. 30, 1791, where he says, "I fear only one thing, and that is, that we shall not be betrayed. We need treachery, for strong doses of poison still exist in the heart of France, and heavy explosions are necessary to clear it out."]

[Footnote 2365: Mallet du Pan, "Memoires," I. 260 (April, 1792), and I. 439 (July, 1792).]

[Footnote 2366: Any revolutionary leader, from Lenin, through Stalin to Andropov may confirm the advantage of acting in secret. (SR).]

[Footnote 2367: "The French Revolution," I. 262 and following pages.]

[Footnote 2368: Buchez et Roux, XIII. 92-99 (January, 1792); (February).—Coral, "Lettres inedites," 33. (One of these days, out of curiosity, he walked along as far as the Rue des Lombards.) "Witness of such crying injustice, and indignant at not being able to seize any of the thieves that were running along the street, loaded with sugar and coffee to sell again, I suddenly felt a feverish chill over all my body." (The letter is not dated. The editors conjectures that the year was 1791. I rather think that it was 1792.)]

[Footnote 2369: Moniteur, XI. 45 and 46 (session of Jan. 5). The whole of Isnard's speech should be read.]

[Footnote 2370: Buchez et Roux, XIII. 177. Letter by Petion, Feb. 10.]

[Footnote 2371: Buchez et Roux, XIII. 252. Letter of Andre Chenier, in the Journal de Paris, Feb. 26.—Schmidt, "Tableaux de la Revolution Franaise," I. 76. Reply of the Directory of the Department of the Seine to a circular by Roland, June 12, 1792. The contrast between the two classes is here clearly defined. "We have not resorted to those assemblages of men, most of them foreigners, for the opinion of the people, among the enemies of labor and repose standing by themselves and having no part in common interests, already inclined to vice through idleness, and who prefer the risks of disorder to the honorable resources of indigence. This class of men, always large in large cities, is that whose noisy harangues fill the streets, Squares, and public gardens of the capital, that which excites seditious gatherings, that which constantly fosters anarchy and contempt for the laws—that, in fine, whose clamor, far from reflecting public Opinion, indicates the extreme effort made to prevent the expression of public opinion... We have studied the opinion of the people of Paris among those useful and laborious men warmly attached to the State at all points of their existence through every object of their affection, among owners of property, tillers of the soil, tradesmen and workers... An inviolable attachment... to the constitution, and mainly to national Sovereignty, to political equality and constitutional monarchy, which are its most important characteristics and their almost unanimous sentiment."]

[Footnote 2372: Governor Morris, letter of June 20, 1792.]

[Footnote 2373: "Souvenirs", by Pasquier (Etienne-Dennis, duc), chancelier de France. in VI volumes, Librarie Plon, Paris 1893. Vol. I. page 84.]

[Footnote 2374: Malouet, II. 203. "Every report that came in from the provinces announced (to the King and Queen) a perceptible amelioration of public opinion, which was becoming more and more perverted. That which reached them was uninfluenced, whilst the opinions of clubs, taverns, and street-corners gained enormous power, the time being at hand when there was to be no other power." The figures given above are by Mallet du Pan, "Memoires," II. 120.]

[Footnote 2375: Moniteur, XII. 776 (session of June 28). Speech by M. Lamarque, in a district court: "The incivism of the district courts in general is well known."]

[Footnote 2376: Bertand de Molleville, "Memoires," VI. 22.—After having received the above instructions from the King, Bertrand calls on the Queen, who makes the same remark: "Do you not think that fidelity to one's oath is the only plan to pursue?" "Yes, Madame, certainly." "Very well; rest assured that we shall not waver. Come, M. Bertrand, take courage; I hope that with firmness, patience, and what comes of that, all is not yet lost."]

[Footnote 2377: M. de Lavalette, "Memoires," I. 100.—Lavalette, in the beginning of September, 1792, enlists as a volunteer and sets out, along with two friends, carrying his knapsack on his back, dressed in a short and wearing a forage cap. The following shows the sentiments of the peasantry: In a village of makers of wooden shoes, near Vermanton (in the vicinity of Autun), "two days before our arrival a bishop and two vicars, who were escaping in a carriage, were stopped by them. They rummaged the vehicle and found some hundreds of francs, and, to avoid returning these, they thought it best to massacre their unfortunate owners. This sort of occupation seeming more lucrative to these good people than the other one, they were on the look-out for all wayfarers." The three volunteers are stopped by a little hump-backed official and conducted to the municipality, a sort of market, where their passports are read and their knapsacks are about to be examined. "We were lost, when d'Aubonnes, who was very tall jumped on the table... and began with a volley of imprecations and market slang which took his hearers by surprise. Soon raising his style, he launched out in patriotic terms, liberty, sovereignty of the people, with such vehemence and in so loud a voice, as to suddenly effect a great change and bring down thunders of applause. But the crazy fellow did not stop there. Ordering Leclerc de la Ronde imperiously to mount on the table, he addressed the assemblage: "You shall see whether we are not Paris republicans. Now, sir, say your republican catechism—'What is God? what are the People? and what is a King?' His friend, with an air of contrition and in a nasal tone of voice, twisting himself about like a harlequin, replies: 'God is matter, the People are the poor, and the King is a lion, a tiger, an elephant who tears to pieces, devours, and crushes the people down.'"—"They could no longer restrain themselves. The shouts, cries, and enthusiasm were unbounded. They embraced the actors, hugged them, and bore them away. Each strove to carry us home with him, and we had to drink all round."]

[Footnote 2378: The reader will meet the French expression sans-culottes again and again in Taine's or any other book about the French revolution. The nobles wore a kind of breeches terminating under the knee while tight long stockings, fastened to the trousers, exposed their calves. The male leg was as important an adornment for the nobles as it was to be for the women in the 20th Century. The poor, on the other hand, wore crude long trousers, mostly without a crease, often without socks or shoes, barefoot in the summer and wooden shoed in the winter. (SR).]

[Footnote 2379: The song of "Veillons au salut de l'empire" belongs to the end of 1791. The "Marseillaise" was composed in April, 1792.]

[Footnote 2380: Mercure de France, Nov. 23, 1791.]

[Footnote 2381: Philippe de Segur, "Memoires," I. (at Fresnes, a village situated about seven leagues from Paris, a few days after Sep. 2, 1792). "A band of these demagogues pursued a large farmer of this place, suspected of royalism and denounced as a monopoliser because he was rich. These madmen had seized him, and, without any other form of trial, were about to put an end to him, when my father ran up to them. He addressed them, and so successfully as to change their rage into a no less exaggerated enthusiasm for humanity. Animated by their new transports, they obliged the poor farmer, still pale and trembling, and whom they were just going to hang on its branches, to drink and dance along with them around the tree of liberty."]

[Footnote 2382: Lacretelle, "Dix ans d'Epreuves," 78. "The Girondists wanted to fashion a Roman people out of the dregs of Romulus, and, what is worse, out of the brigands of the 5th of October."]

[Footnote 2383: These pages must have made a strong impression upon Lenin when he read them in the National Library in Paris around 1907. (SR).]

[Footnote 2384: Lafayette, I. 442. "The Girondists sought in the war an opportunity for attacking with advantage, the constitutionalists of 1791 and their institutions."—Brissot (Address to my constituents). "We sought in the war an opportunity to set traps for the king, to expose his bad faith and his relationship with the emigrant princes."—Moniteur, (session of April 3, 1793). Speech by Brissot: "'I had told the Jacobins what my opinion was, and had proved to them that war was the sole means of unveiling the perfidy of Louis XVI. The event has justified my opinion."—Buchez et Roux, VIII. 60, 216, 217. The decree of the Legislative Assembly is dated Jan. 25, the first money voted by a club for the making of pikes is on Jan. 31, and the first article by Brissot, on the red cap, is on Feb. 6.]

[Footnote 2385: Buchez et Roux, XIII. 217 (proposal of a woman, member of the club of l'Eveche, Jan. 31, 1792).—Articles in the Gazette Universelle, Feb.11, and in the Patriote Francais, Feb. 13.—Moniteur, XI. 576 (session of March 6).—Buchez et Roux, XV. (session of June 10). Petition of 8,000 national guards in Paris: "This faction which stirs up popular vengeance... which seeks to put the caps of labor in conflict with the military casques, the pike with the gun, the rustic's dress with the uniform."]

[Footnote 2386: Mallet du Pan, "Memoires," II 429 (note of July, 1792).—Mercure de France, March 10, 1792, article by Mallet du Pan.]


I.—Provence in 1792.—Early supremacy of the Jacobins in Marseilles.

Composition of the party.—The club and the municipality. —Expulsion of the "Earnest" regiment.

Should you like to see the revolutionary tree when, for the first time, it came fully into leaf, it is in the department of the Bouches-du-Rhone you have to look. Nowhere else had it been so precocious, nowhere were local circumstances and native temperament so well adapted to enhance its growth.—"A blistering sky, an excessive climate, an arid soil, rocks,... savage rivers, torrential or dry or overburdened," blinding dust, nerves upset by steady northern blasts or by the intermittent gusts of the sirocco. A sensual race choleric and impetuous, with no intellectual or moral ballast, in which the mixture of Celt and Latin has destroyed the humane suavity of the Celt and the serious earnestness of the Roman; "complete, tough, powerful, and restless men,"[2401] and yet gay, spontaneous, eloquent, dupes of their own bombast, suddenly carried away by a flow of words and superficial enthusiasm. Their principal city numbering 120,000 souls, in which commercial and maritime risks foster innovating and adventurous spirits; in which the sight of suddenly-acquired fortunes expended on sensual enjoyments constantly undermines all stability of Character; in which politics, like speculation, is a lottery offering its prizes to audacity; besides all this, a free port and a rendezvous for lawless nomads, disreputable people, without steady trade,[2402] scoundrels, and blackguards, who, like uprooted, decaying seaweed, drift from coast to coast around the entire circle of the Mediterranean sea; a veritable sink filled with the dregs of twenty corrupt and semi-barbarous civilizations, where the scum of crime cast forth from the prisons of Genoa, Piedmont, Sicily, indeed, of all Italy, of Spain, of the Archipelago, and of Barbary,3 accumulates and ferments.2 No wonder that, in such a time the reign of the mob should be established there sooner than elsewhere.[2403]—After many an explosion, this reign is inaugurated August 17, 1790, by the removal of M. Lieutaud, a sort of bourgeois, moderate Lafayette, who commands the National Guard. Around him rally a majority of the population, all men "honest or not, who have anything to lose."[2404] After he is driven out, then proscribed, then imprisoned, they resign themselves, and Marseilles belongs to the low class, to 40,000 destitute and rogues led by the club.

The better to ensure their empire, the municipality, one month after the expulsion of M. Lieutaud, declared every citizen "active" who had any trade or profession[2405]; the consequence is that vagabonds attend the meetings of the sections in contempt of constitutional law. The consequence, was that property-owners and commercial men withdrew, which was wise on their part, for the usual demagogic machinery is set in motion without delay. "Each section-assembly is composed of a dozen factious spirits, members of the club, who drive out honest people by displaying cudgels and bayonets. The deliberations are prepared beforehand at the club, in concert with the municipality, and woe to him who refuses to adopt them at the meeting! They go so far as to threaten citizens who wish to make any remarks with instant burial in the cellars under the churches."[2406] The argument proved irresistible: "the majority of honest people are so frightened and so timid" that not one of them dare attend these meetings, unless protected by public force. "More than 80,000 inhabitants do not sleep peacefully," while all the political rights are vested in "five or six hundred individuals," legally disqualified. Behind them marches the armed rabble, "the horde of brigands without a country,"[2407] always ready for plundering, murder, and hanging. In front of them march the local authorities, who, elected through their influence, carry on the administration under their guidance. Patrons and clients, members of the club and its satellites, they form a league which plays the part of a sovereign State, scarcely recognizing, even in words, the authority of the central government.[2408] The decree by which the National Assembly gives full power to the Commissioners to re-establish order is denounced as plebecide; these conscientious and cautious moderators are qualified as "dictators"; they are denounced in circular letters to all the municipalities of the department, and to all Jacobin clubs throughout the kingdom;[2409] the club is somewhat disposed to go to Aix to cut off their heads and send them in a trunk to the president of the National Assembly, with a threat that the same penalty awaits himself and all the deputies if they do not revoke their recent decrees. A few days after this, four sections draw up an act before a notary, stating the measures they had taken towards sending an army of 6,000 men from Marseilles to Aix, to get rid of the three intruders. The commissioners dare not enter Marseilles, where "gibbets are ready for them, and a price set on their heads." It is as much as they can do to rescue from the faction M. Lieutaud and his friends, who, accused of lese-nation, confined without a shadow of proof, treated like mad dogs, put in chains,[2410] shut up in privies and holes, and obliged to drink their own urine for lack of water, impelled by despair to the brink of suicide, barely escape murder a dozen times in the courtroom and in prison.[2411] Against the decree of the National Assembly ordering their release, the municipality makes reclamations, contrives delays, resists, and finally stirs up its usual instruments. Just as the prisoners are about to be released a crowd of "armed persons without uniform or officer," constantly increased "by vagabonds and foreigners," gathers on the heights overlooking the Palais de Justice, and makes ready to fire on M. Lieutaud. Summoned to proclaim martial law, the municipality refuses, declaring that "the general detestation of the accused is too manifest"; it demands the return of the Swiss regiment to its barracks, and that the prisoners remain where they are; the only thing which it grants them is a secret permission to escape, as if they were guilty; they, accordingly, steal away clandestinely and in disguise.[2412]—The Swiss regiment, however, which prevents the magistrates from violating the law, must pay for its insolence, and, as it is incorruptible, they decide to drive it out of the town. For four months the municipality multiplies against it every kind of annoyance,[2413] and, on the 16th of October, 1791, the Jacobins provoke a row in the theater against its officers. The same night, outside the theater, four of these are attacked by armed bands; the post to which they retreat is nearly taken by assault; they are led to a prison for safety, and there they still remain five days afterwards, "although their innocence is admitted." Meanwhile, to ensure "public tranquility," the municipality has required the commander of the post to immediately replace the Swiss Guard with National Guards on all the military posts; the latter yields to force, while the useless regiment, insulted and threatened, has nothing to do but to pack off.[2414] This being done, the new municipality, still more Jacobin than the old one,[2415] separates Marseilles from France, erects the city into a marauding republican government, gets up expeditions, levies contributions, forms alliances, and undertakes an armed conquest of the department.

II.—The expedition to Aix.

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

The first thing is to lay its hand on the district capital, Aix, where the Swiss regiment is stationed in garrison and where the superior authorities are installed. This operation is the more necessary inasmuch as the Directory of the department loudly commends the loyalty of the Swiss Guard and takes occasion to remind the Marseilles municipality of the respect due to the law. Such remonstrance is an insult, and the municipality, in a haughty tone, calls upon the Directory to avow or disavow its letter; "if you did not write it, it is a foul report which it is our duty to examine into, and if you did, it is a declaration of war made by you against Marseilles."[2416] The Directory, in polite terms and with great circumspection, affirms both its right and its utterance, and remarks that "the prorata list of taxes of Marseilles for 1791 is not yet reported;" that the municipality is much more concerned with saving the State than with paying its contribution and, in short, it maintains its censure.—If it will not bend it must break, and on the 4th of February, 1792, the municipality sends Barbaroux, its secretary, to Paris, that he may mitigate the outrages they are preparing. During the night of the 25-26, the drums beat the general alarm, and three or four thousand men gather and march to Aix with six pieces of cannon. As a precaution they pretend to have no leaders, no captains or lieutenants or even corporals; to quote them, all are equal, all volunteers, each being summoned by the other; in this fashion, as all are responsible, no one is.[2417] They reach Aix at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, find a gate open through the connivance of those in league with them among the populace of the town and its suburbs, and summon the municipality to surrender the sentinels. In the mean time their emissaries have announced in the neighboring villages that the town was menaced by the Swiss regiment; consequently four hundred men from Aubagne arrive in haste, while from hour to hour the National Guards from the surrounding villages likewise rush in. The streets are full of armed men; shouts arise and the tumult increases; the municipal body, in the universal panic, loses its wits. This body is afraid of a nocturnal fight "between troops of the line, citizens, National Guards and armed strangers, no one being able to recognize one another or know who is an enemy." It sends back a detachment of three hundred and fifty Swiss Guards, which the Directory had ordered to its support, and consigns the regiment to its quarters.—At this the Directory takes to flight. Military sentinels of all kinds are disarmed while the Marseilles throng, turning its advantages to account, announces to the municipality at two o'clock in the morning that, "allow it or not" it is going to attack the barracks immediately; in fact, cannon are planted, a few shots are fired, a sentinel killed, and the hemmed-in regiment is compelled to evacuate the town, the men without their guns and the officers without their swords. Their arms are stolen, the people seize the suspected, the street-lamp is hauled down and the noose is made ready. Cayol, the flower-girl, is hung. The municipality, with great difficulty, saves one man who is already lifted by the rope two feet from the ground, and obtains for three others "a temporary refuge" in prison.

Henceforth there is no authority at the department headquarters, or rather it has changed hands. Another Directory, more pliable, is installed in the place of the fugitive Directory. Of the thirty-six administrators who form the Council only twelve are present at the election. Of the nine elected only six consent to sit, while often only three are found at its sessions, which three, to recruit their colleagues, are obliged to pay them.[2418] Hence, notwithstanding their position is the best in the department, they are worse treated and more unfortunate than their servants outside. The delegates of the club, with the municipal officers of Marseilles seated alongside of them, oblige them either to keep silent, or to utter what they dictate to them.[2419] "Our arms are tied," writes one of them, "we are wholly under the yoke" of these intruders. "We have twice in succession seen more than three hundred men, many of them with guns and pistols, enter the hall and threaten us with death if we refused them what they asked. We have seen infuriate motionnaires, nearly all belonging to Avignon, mount the desks of the Directory, harangue their comrades and excite them to rioting and crime. "You must decide between life or death," they exclaimed to us, "you have only a quarter of an hour to choose." "National guards have offered their sabers through the windows, left open on account of the extreme heat, to those around us and made signs to them to cut our throats."—Thus fashioned, reduced and drilled, the Directory is simply an instrument in the hands of the Marseilles demagogues. Camoin, Bertin and Rebecqui, the worst agitators and usurpers, rule there without control. Rebecqui and Bertin, appointed delegates in connection with matters in Arles, have themselves empowered to call for defensive troops; they immediately demand them for attack, to which the Directory vainly remonstrates; they declare to it that "not being under its inspection, it has no authority over them; being independent of it, they have no orders to receive from it nor to render to it any account of their conduct." So much the worse for the Directory on attempting to revoke their powers. Bertin informs its vice-president that, if it dares do this he will cut off his head. They reply to the Minister's observations with the utmost insolence.[2420] They glory in the boldness of the stroke and prepare another, their march on Aix being only the first halt in the long-meditated campaign which involves the possession of Arles.

III.—The Constitutionalists of Arles.

The Marseilles expedition against Arles.—Excesses committed by them in the town and its vicinity.—Invasion of "Apt," the club and its volunteers.

No city, indeed, is more odious to them.—For two years, led or pushed on by its mayor, M. d'Antonelle, it has marched along with them or been dragged along in their wake. D'Antonelle, an ultra-revolutionary, repeatedly visited and personally encouraged the bandits of Avignon. To supply them with cannon and ammunition he stripped the Tour St. Louis of its artillery, at the risk of abandoning the mouths of the Rhone to the Barbary pirates.[2421] In concert with his allies of the Comtat, the Marseilles club, and his henchmen from the neighboring boroughs, he rules in Arles "by terror." Three hundred men recruited in the vicinity of the Mint, artisans or sailors with strong arms and rough hands, serve him as satellites. On the 6th of June 1791, they drive away, on their own authority, the unsworn priests, who had taken refuge in the town.[2422]—At this, however, the "property-owners and decent people," much more numerous and for a long time highly indignant, raise their heads; twelve hundred of them assemble in the church of Saint-Honorat, swore to maintain the constitution and public order,"[2423] and then moved to the (Jacobin) club, where, in their quality of national guards and active citizens and in conformity with its by-laws, they were admitted en masse. At the same time, acting in concert with the municipality, they reorganize the National Guard and form new companies, the effect of which is to put an end to the Mint gang, thus depriving the faction of all its strength. Thenceforth, without violence or illegal acts, the majority of the club, as well as of the National Guard, consists of constitutional monarchists, the elections of November, 1791, giving to the partisans of order nearly all the administrative offices of the commune and of the district. M. Loys, a physician and a man of energy, is elected mayor in the place of M. d'Antonelle; he is known as able to suppress a riot, "holding martial law in one hand, and his saber in the other."—This is too much; so Marseilles feel compelled to bring Arles under control "to atone for the disgrace of having founded it."[2424] In this land of ancient cities political hostility is embittered with old municipal grudges, similar to those of Thebes against Platoee, of Rome against Veii, of Florence against Pisa. The Guelphs of Marseilles brooded over the one idea of crushing the Ghibellins of Arles.—Already, in the electoral assembly of November, 1791, M. d'Antonelle, the president, had invited the communes of the department to take up arms against this anti-jacobin city.[2425] Six hundred Marseilles volunteers set out on the instant, install themselves at Salon, seize the syndic-attorney of the hostile district, and refuse to give him up, this being an advance-guard of 4,000 men promised by the forty or fifty clubs of the party.[2426] To arrest their operations requires the orders of the three commissioners, resolutions passed by the Directory still intact, royal proclamations, a decree of the Constituent Assembly, the firmness of the still loyal troops and the firmer stand taken by the Arlesians who, putting down an insurrection of the Mint band, had repaired their ramparts, cut away their bridges and mounted guard with their guns loaded.[2427] But it is only a postponement. Now that the commissioners have gone, and the king's authority a phantom, now that the last loyal regiment is disarmed, the terrified Directory recast and obeying like a servant, with the Legislative Assembly allowing everywhere the oppression of the Constitutionalists by the Jacobins, a fresh Jacobin expedition may be started against the Constitutionalists with impunity. Accordingly, on the 23rd of March, 1792, the Marseilles army of 4,500 men sets out on its march with nineteen pieces of cannon.

In vain the commissioners of the neighboring departments, sent by the Minister, represent to them that Arles submits, that she has laid down her arms, and that the town is now garrisoned with troops of the line;—the Marseilles army requires the withdrawal of this garrison.—In vain the garrison departs. Rebecqui and his acolytes reply that "nothing will divert them from their enterprise; they cannot defer to anybody's decision but their own in relation to any precaution tending to ensure the safety of the southern departments."—In vain the Minister renews his injunctions and counter-orders. The Directory replies with a flagrant falsehood, stating that it is ignorant of the affair and refuses to give the government any assistance.—In vain M. de Wittgenstein, commander-in-chief in the south, offers his services to the Directory to repel the invaders. The Directory forbids him to take his troops into the territory of the department.[2428]—Meanwhile, on the 29th of March, the Marseilles army effects a breach with its cannon in the walls of defenseless Arles; its fortifications are demolished and a tax of 1,400,000 francs is levied on the owners of property. In contempt of the National Assembly's decree the Mint bandits, the longshoremen, the whole of the lowest class again take up their arms and lord it over the disarmed population. Although "the King's commissioner and most of the judges have fled, jury examinations are instituted against absentees," the juries consisting of the members of the Mint band.[2429] The conquerors imprison, smite and slaughter as they please. Countless peaceable individuals are struck down and mauled, dragged to prison and many of them are mortally wounded. An old soldier, eighty years of age, retired to his country home three months earlier, dies after twenty days' confinement in a dungeon, from a blow received in the stomach by a rifle butt; women are flogged. "All citizens that with an interest in law and order," nearly five thousand families, have emigrated; their houses in town and in the country are pillaged, while in the surrounding boroughs, along the road leading from Arles to Marseilles, the villains forming the hard core of the Marseilles army, rove about and gorge themselves as in a vanquished country.[2430]

They eat and drink voraciously, force the closets, carry off linen and food, steal horses and valuables, smash the furniture, tear up books, and burn papers.[2431] All this is only the appropriate punishment of the aristocrats. Moreover, it is no more than right that patriots should be indemnified for their toil, and a few blows too many are not out of place in securing the rule of the right party.—For example, on the false report of order being disturbed at Chateau-Renard, Bertin and Rebecqui send off a detachment of men, while the municipal body in uniform, followed by the National Guard, with music and flags, comes forth to meet and salute it. Without uttering a word of warning, the Marseilles troop falls upon the cortege, strikes down the flags, disarms the National Guard, tears the epaulettes off the officers' shoulders, drags the mayor to the ground by his scarf, pursues the counselors, sword in hand, puts the mayor and syndic-attorney in arrest, and, during the night, sacks four dwellings, the whole under the direction of three Jacobins of the place under indictment for recent crimes or misdemeanors. Henceforth at Chateau-Renard they will look twice before subjecting patriots to indictment.[2432]—At Velaux "the country house of the late seignior is sacked, and everything is carried away, even to the tiles and window-glass." A troop of two hundred men "overrun the village, levy contributions, and put all citizens who are well-off under bonds for considerable sums." Camoin, the Marseille chief, one of the new department administrators, who is in the neighborhood, lays his hand on everything that is fit to be taken, and, a few days after this, 30,000 francs are found in his carpet-bag.-Taught by the example others follow and the commotion spreads. In every borough or petty town the club profits by these acts to satiate its ambition its greed, and its hatred. That of Apt appeals to its neighbors, whereupon 1,500 National Guards of Gordes, St. Saturnin, Gouls and Lacoste, with a thousand women and children armed with clubs and scythes, arrive one morning before the town. On being asked by whose orders they come in this fashion, they reply, "by the orders which their patriotism has given them."—"The fanatics," or partisans of the sworn priests, "are the cause of their journey": they therefore "want lodgings at the expense of the fanatics only." The three day's occupation results for the latter and for the town in a cost of 20,000 livres.[2433] They begin by breaking everything in the church of the Recollets, and wall up its doors. They then expel unsworn ecclesiastics from the town, and disarm their partisans. The club of Apt, which is the sole authority, remains in session three days: "the municipal bodies in the vicinity appear before it, apologize for themselves, protest their civism, and ask as a favor that no detachment be sent to their places. Individuals are sent for to be interrogated"; several are proscribed, among whom are administrators, members of the court, and the syndic-attorney. A number of citizens have fled;—the town is purged, while the same purging is pursued in numbers of places in and out of the district.[2434] It is, indeed, attractive business. It empties the purses of the ill-disposed, and fills the stomachs of patriots; it is agreeable to be well entertained, and especially at the expense of one's adversaries; the Jacobin is quite content to save the country through a round of feastings. Moreover, he has the satisfaction of playing king among his neighbors, and not only do they feed him for doing them this service, but, again, they pay him for it.[2435]—All this is enlivening, and the expedition, which is a "sabbath," ends in a carnival. Of the two Marseilles divisions, one, led back to Aix, sets down to "a grand patriotic feast," and then dances fandangoes, of which "the principal one is led off by the mayor and commandant";[2436] the other makes its entry into Avignon the same day, with still greater pomp and jollity.

IV.—The Jacobins of Avignon.

How they obtain recruits.—Their robberies in the Comtat. —The Avignon municipality in flight or in prison.—Murder of Lecuyer and the Glaciere massacre.—Entry of the murderers, supported by their Marseilles allies.—Jacobin dictatorship in Vaucluse and the Buches-du-Rhone.

Nowhere else in France was there another nest of brigands like it: not that a great misery might have produced a more savage uprising; on the contrary, the Comtat, before the Revolution, was a land of plenty. There was no taxation by the Pope; the taxes were very light, and were expended on the spot. "For one or two pennies, one here could have meat, bread, and wine."[2437] But, under the mild and corrupt administration of the Italian legates, the country had become "the safe asylum of all the rogues in France, Italy, and Genoa, who by means of a trifling sum paid to the Pope's agents, obtained protection and immunity." Smugglers and receivers of stolen goods abounded here in order to break through the lines of the French customs. "Bands of robbers and assassins were formed, which the vigorous measures of the parliaments of Aix and Grenoble could not wholly extirpate. Idlers, libertines, professional gamblers,"[2438] kept-cicisbeos, schemers, parasites, and adventurers, mingle with men with branded shoulders, the veterans "of vice and crime, "the scapegraces of the Toulon and Marseilles galleys." Ferocity here is hidden in debauchery, like a serpent hidden in its own slime, here all that is required is some chance event and this bad place will be transformed into a death trap.

The Jacobin leaders, Tournal, Rovere, the two Duprats, the two Mainvielles, and Lecuyer, readily obtain recruits in this sink.—They begin, aided by the rabble of the town and of its suburbs, peasants enemies of the octroi, vagabonds opposed to order of any kind, porters and watermen armed with scythes, turnspits and clubs, by exciting seven or eight riots. Then they drive off the legate, force the Councils to resign, hang the chiefs of the National Guard and of the conservative party,[2439] and take possession of the municipal offices.—After this their band increases to the dimensions of an army, which, with license for its countersign and pillage for its pay, is the same as that of Tilly and Wallenstein, "a veritable roving Sodom, at which the ancient city would have stood aghast." Out of 3,000 men, only 200 belong in Avignon; the rest are composed of French deserters, smugglers, fugitives from justice, vagrant foreigners, marauders and criminals, who, scenting a prey, come from afar, and even from Paris;[2440] along with them march the women belonging to them, still more base and bloodthirsty. In order to make it perfectly plain that with them murder and robbery are the order of the day, they massacred their first general, Patrix, guilty of having released a prisoner, and elected in his place an old highway tramp named Jourdan, condemned to death by the court at Valence, but who had escaped on the eve of his execution, and who bore the nickname of Coupe-tete, because he is said to have cut off the heads at Versailles of two of the King's guards.[2441]—Under such a commander the troop increases until it forms a body of five or six thousand men, which stops people in the streets and forcibly enrolls them; they are called Mandrins, which is severe for Mandrin,[2442] because their war is not merely on public persons and property, as his was, but on the possessions, the proprieties, and the lives of private individuals. One detachment alone, at one time, extorts in Cavaillon 25,000 francs, in Baume 12,000, in Aubignon 15,000, in Pioline 4,800, while Caumont is taxed 2,000 francs a week. At Sarrians, where the mayor gives them the keys, they pillage houses from top to bottom, carry off their plunder in carts, set fire, violate and slay with all the refinements of torture of so many Hurons. An old lady of eighty, and a paralytic, is shot at arms length, and left weltering in her blood in the midst of the flames. A child five years of age is cut in two, its mother decapitated, and its sister mutilated; they cut off the ears of the cure, set them on his brow like a cockade, and then cut his throat, along with that of a pig, and tear out the two hearts and dance around them.[2443] After this, for fifty days around Carpentras, to which they lay siege in vain, the unprovoked, cruel instincts of the chauffeurs manifested at a later date, the ancient cannibalistic desires which sometimes reappear in convicts, and the perverted and over-strained sensuality found in maniacs, have full play.

On beholding the monster it has nourished, Avignon, in alarm, utters cries of distress.[2444] But the brute, which feels its strength, turns against its former abettors, shows its teeth, and exacts its daily food. Ruined or not, Avignon must furnish its quota. "In the electoral assembly, Mainvielle the younger, elected elector, although he is only twenty-two, draws two pistols from his belt and struts around with a threatening air."[2445] Duprat, the president, the better to master his colleagues, proposes to them to leave Avignon and go to Sorgues, which they refuse to do; upon this he orders cannon to be brought, promises to pay those who will accompany him, drags along the timid, and denounces the rest before an upper national court, of which he himself has designated the members. Twenty of the electors thus denounced are condemned and proscribed; Duprat threatens to enter by force and have them executed on the spot, and, under his leadership, the army of Mandrins advances against Avignon.—Its progress is arrested, and, for two months, restrained by the two mediating commissioners for France; they reduce its numbers, and it is on the point of being disbanded, when the brute again boldly seizes its prey, about to make its escape. On the 21st of August, Jourdan, with his herd of miscreants, obtains possession of the palace. The municipal body is driven out, the mayor escapes in disguise, Tissot, the secretary, is cut down, four municipal officers and forty other persons are thrown into prison, while a number of houses belonging to the fugitives and to priests are pillaged, and thus supply the bandits with their first financial returns.[2446]—Then begins the great fiscal operation which is going to fill their pockets. Five front men, chosen by Duprat and his associates, compose, with Lecuyer as secretary, a provisional municipal body, which, taxing the town 300,000 francs and suppressing the convents, offers the spoils of the churches for sale. The bells are taken down, and the hammers of the workmen engaged in breaking them to pieces are heard all day long. A strong-box full of plate, diamonds, and gold crosses, left with the director of the Mont-de-Piete, on deposit, is taken and carried off to the commune; a report is spread that the valuables pawned by the poor had been stolen by the municipality, and that those "robbers had already sent away eighteen trunks full of them." Upon this the women, exasperated at the bare walls of the churches, together with the laborers in want of work or bread, all the common class, become furious, assemble of their own accord in the church of the Cordeliers, summon Lecuyer to appear before them, drag him from the pulpit and massacre him.[2447]

This time there seems to be an end of the brigand party, for the entire town, the populace and the better class, are against them, while the peasants in the country shoot them down wherever they come across them.—Terror, however, supplies the place of numbers, and, with the 350 hired killers bravos still left to them, the extreme Jacobins undertake to overcome a city of 30,000 souls. Mainvielle the elder, dragging along two cannon, arrives with a patrol, fires at random into the already semi-abandoned church, and kills two men. Duprat assembles about thirty of the towns-people, imprisoned by him on the 31st of August, and, in addition to these, about forty artisans belonging to the Catholic brotherhoods, porters, bakers, coopers, and day-laborers, two peasants, a beggar, a few women seized haphazard and on vague denunciations, one of them, "because she spoke ill of Madame Mainvielle." Jourdan supplies the executioners; the apothecary Mende, brother-in-law of Duprat, plies them with liquor, while a clerk of Tournal, the newsman, bids them "kill all, so that there shall be no witnesses left." Whereupon, at the reiterated orders of Mainvielle, Tournal, Duprat, and Jourdan, with a complications of hilarious lewdness,[2448] the massacre develops itself on the 16th of October and following days, during sixty-six hours, the victims being a couple of priests, three children, an old man of eighty, thirteen women, two of whom are pregnant, in all, sixty-one persons, with their throats slit or knocked out and then cast one on top of each other into the Glaciere hole, a mother on the body of her infant, a son on the body of his father, all finished off with rocks, the hole being filled up with stones and covered over with quicklime on account of the smell.[2449] In the meantime about a hundred more, killed in the streets, are pitched into the Sorgues canal; five hundred families make their escape. The ousted bandits return in a body, while the assassins who are at the head of them, enthroned by murder, organize for the benefit of their new band a legal system of brigandage, against which nobody defends himself.[2450]

These are the friends of the Jacobins of Arles and Marseilles, the respectable men whom M. d'Antonelle has come to address in the cathedral at Avignon.[2451] These are the pure patriots, who, with their hands in the till and their feet in gore, caught in the act by a French army, the mask torn off through a scrupulous investigation, universally condemned by the emancipated electors, also by the deliberate verdict of the new mediating commissioners,[2452] are included in the amnesty proclaimed by the Legislative Assembly a month before their last crime.—But the sovereigns of the Bouches-du-Rhone do not regard the release of their friends and allies as a pardon: something more than pardon and forgetfulness must be awarded to the murderers of the Glaciere. On the 29th of April, 1792, Rebecqui and Bertin, the vanquishers of Arles, enter Avignon[2453] along with a cortege, at the head of which are from thirty to forty of the principal murderers whom the Legislative Assembly itself had ordered to be recommitted to prison, Duprat, Mainvielle, Toumal, Mende, then Jourdan in the uniform of a commanding general crowned with laurel and seated on a white horse, and, lastly, the dames Duprat, Mainvielle and Tournal, in dashing style, standing on a sort of triumphal chariot; during the procession the cry is heard, "The Glaciere will be full this time!"—On their approach the public functionaries fly; twelve hundred persons abandon the town. Forthwith each terrorist, under the protection of the Marseilles bayonets, resumes his office, like a man at the head of his household. Raphel, the former judge, along with his clerk, both with warrants of arrest against them, publicly officiate, while the relatives of the poor victims slain on the 16th of October, and the witnesses that appeared on the trial, are threatened in the streets; one of them is killed, and Jourdan, king of the department for an entire year, begins over again on a grand scale, at the head of the National Guard, and afterwards of the police body, the same performance which, on a small scale, he pursued under the ancient regime, when, with a dozen "armed and mounted" brigands, he traversed the highways, forced open lonely houses at night, and, in one chateau alone, stole 24,000 francs.

V.—The other departments.

Uniform process of the Jacobin conquest.—Preconceived formation of a Jacobin State.

The Jacobin conquest takes place like this: already in during April, 1792, through acts of violence almost equal to those we have just described, it spreads over more than twenty departments and, to a smaller degree, over the other sixty.[2454] The composition of the parties is the same everywhere. On one side are the irresponsible of all conditions,

"squanderers who, having consumed their own inheritance, cannot tolerate that of another, men without property to whom disorder is a door open to wealth and public office, the envious, the ungrateful whose obligations to their benefactors the revolution cancels, the hot-headed, all those enthusiastic innovators who preach reason with a dagger in their hand, the poor, the brutal and the wretched of the lower class who, possessed by one leading anarchical idea, one example of immunity, with the law dumb and the sword in the scabbard, are stimulated to dare all things

On the other side are the steady-going, peaceable class, minding their own business, upper and lower middle class in mind and spirit,

"weakened by being used to security and wealth, surprised at any unforeseen disturbance and trying to find their way, isolated from each other by diversity of interests, opposing only tact and caution to persevering audacity in defiance of legitimate means, unable either to make up their mind or to remain inactive, perplexed over sacrifices just at the time when the enemy is going to render it impossible to make any in the future, in a word, bringing weakness and egoism to bear against the liberated passions, great poverty and hardened immorality."[2455]

The issue of the conflict is everywhere the same. In each town or canton an aggressive squad of unscrupulous fanatics and resolute adventurers imposes its rule over a sheep-like majority which, accustomed to the regularity of an old civilization, dares neither disturb order for the sake of putting and end to disorder, or get together a mob to put down another mob. Everywhere the Jacobin principle is the same.

"Your system," says one of the department Directories to them,[2456] "is to act imperturbably on all occasions, even after a constitution is established, and the limitations to power are fixed, as if the empire would always be in a state of insurrection, as if you were granted a dictatorship essential for the city's salvation, as if you were given such full power in the name of public safety."

Everywhere are Jacobin tactics the same. At the outset they assume to have a monopoly of patriotism and, through the brutal destruction of other associations, they are the only visible organ of public opinion. Their voice, accordingly, seems to be the voice of the people; their control is established on that of the legal authorities; they have taken the lead through persistent and irresistible misdeeds; their crimes are consecrated by exemption from punishment.

"Among officials and agents, good or bad, constituted or not constituted, that alone governs which is inviolable. Now the club, for a long time, has been too much accustomed to domineering, to annoying, to persecuting, to wreaking vengeance, for any local administration to regard it in any other light than as inviolable."[2457]

They accordingly govern and their indirect influence is promptly transformed into direct authority.—Voting alone, or almost alone, in the primary meetings, which are deserted or under constraint, the Jacobins easily choose the municipal body and the officers of the National Guard.[2458] After this, through the mayor, who is their tool or their accomplice, they have the legal right to launch or arrest the entire armed force and they avail themselves of it.—Two obstacles still stand in their way. One the one hand, however conciliatory or timid the Directory of the district or department may be, elected as it is by electors of the second degree, it usually contains a fair proportion of well-informed men, comfortably off, interested in keeping order, and less inclined than the municipality to put up with gross violations of the law. Consequently the Jacobins denounce it to the National Assembly as an unpatriotic and anti-revolutionary center of "bourgeois aristocracy." Sometimes, as at Brest,[2459] they shamefully disobey orders which are perfectly legal and proper, often repeated and strictly formal; afterward, still more shamefully, they demand of the Minister if, "placed in the cruel alternative of giving offense to the hierarchy of powers, or of leaving the commonwealth in danger, they ought to hesitate." Sometimes, as at Arras, they impose themselves illegally on the Directory in session and browbeat it so insolently as to make it a point of honor with the latter to solicit its own suspension.[2460] Sometimes, as a Figeac, they summon an administrator to their bar, keep him standing three-quarters of an hour, seize his papers and oblige him, for fear of something worse, to leave the town.[2461] Sometimes, as at Auch, they invade the Directory's chambers, seize the administrators by the throat, pound them with their fists and clubs, drag the president by the hair, and, after a good deal of trouble, grant him his life.[2462]—On the other hand, the gendarmerie and the troops brought for the suppression of riots, are always in the way of those who stir up the rioters. Consequently, they expel, corrupt and, especially purify the gendarmerie together with the troops. At Cahors they drive out a sergeant of the gendarmerie, "alleging that he keeps company with none but aristocrats."[2463] At Toulouse, without mentioning the lieutenant-colonel, whose life they threaten by anonymous letters and oblige to leave the town, they transfer the whole corps to another district under the pretense that "its principles are adverse to the Constitution."[2464] At Auch, and at Rennes, through the insubordination which they provoke among the men, they exhort resignations from their officers. At Perpignan, by means of a riot which they foment, they seize, beat and drag to prison, the commandant and staff whom they accuse "of wanting to bombard the town with five pounds of powder."[2465]—Meanwhile, through the jacquerie, which they let loose from the Dordogne to Aveyron, from Cantal to the Pyrenees and the Var, under the pretence of punishing the relatives of emigres and the abettors of unsworn priests, they create an army of their own made up of robbers and the destitute who, in anticipation of the exploits of the coming revolutionary army, freely kill, burn, pillage, hold to ransom and prey at large on the defenseless flock of proprietors of every class and degree.[2466]

In this operation each club has its neighbors for allies, offering to them or receiving from them offers of men and money. That of Caen tenders its assistance to the Bayeux association for expelling unsworn priests, and to help the patriots of the place "to rid themselves of the tyranny of their administrators."[2467] That of Besancon declares the three administrative bodies of Strasbourg "unworthy of the confidence with which they have been honored," and openly enters into a league with all the clubs of the Upper and Lower Rhine, to set free a Jacobin arrested as a fomenter of insurrections.[2468] Those of the Puy-de-Dome and neighboring departments depute to and establish at Clermont a central club of direction and propaganda.[2469] Those of the Bouches-du-Rhone treat with the commissioners of the departments of Drome, Gard, and Herault, to watch the Spanish frontier, and send delegates of their own to see the state of the fortifications of Figuieres.[2470]—There is no recourse to the criminal tribunals. In forty departments, these are not yet installed, in the forty-three others, they are cowed, silent, or lack money and men to enforce their decisions.[2471]

Such is the foundation of the Jacobin State, a confederation of twelve hundred oligarchies, which maneuver their proletariat clients in obedience to the word of command dispatched from Paris. It is a complete, organized, active State, with its central government, its active force, its official journal, its regular correspondence, its declared policy, its established authority, and its representative and local agents; the latter are actual administrators alongside of administrations which are abolished, or athwart administrations which are brought under subjection.—In vain do the latest ministers, good clerks and honest men, try to fulfill their duties; their injunctions and remonstrances are only so much waste paper.[2472] They resign in despair, declaring that,

"in this overthrow of all order,... in the present weakness of the public forces, and in the degradation of the constituted authorities,... it is impossible for them to maintain the life and energy of the vast body, the members of which are paralyzed."—

When the roots of a tree are laid bare, it is easy to cut it down; now that the Jacobins have severed them, a push on the trunk suffices to bring the tree to the ground.


[Footnote 2401: De Lomenie, "Les Mirabeaus," I. 11. (Letter of the Marquis de Mirabeau).]

[Footnote 2402: "Archives Nationales," F7, 7171, No. 7915. Report on the situation in Marseilles, by Miollis, commissioner of the Directory in the department, year V. Nivose 15. "A good many strangers from France and Italy are attracted there by the lust of gain, a love of pleasure, the want of work, a desire to escape from the effects of ill conduct. .. Individuals of both sexes and of every age, with no ties of country or kindred, with no profession, no opinions, pressed by daily necessities that are multiplied by debauched habit, seeking to indulge these without too much effort, the means for this being formerly found in the many manual operations of commerce, gone astray during the Revolution and, subsequently, scared of the dominant party, accustomed unfortunately at that time to receiving pay for taking part in political strife, and now reduced to living on almost gratuitous distributions of food, to dealing in small wares, to the menial occupations which chance rarely presents—in short, to swindling. Such is what the observer finds in that portion of the population of Marseilles most in sight; eager to profit by whatever occurs, easily won over, active through its necessities, flocking everywhere, and appearing very numerous... The patriot Escalon had twenty rations a day; Feri, the journalist, had six; etc... Civil officers and district commissioners still belong, for the most part, to that class of men which the Revolution had accustomed to live without work, to making those who shared their principles the beneficiaries of the nation's favors, and finally, to receiving contributions from gambling halls and brothels. These commissioners give notice to their proteges, even the crooks, when warrants against them are to be enforced."]

[Footnote 2403: Blanc-Gilly, "Reveil d'alarme d'un depute de Marseilles" (cited in the Memoirs" of Barbaroux, 40, 41). Blanc-Gilly must have been acquainted with these characters, inasmuch as he made use of them in the August riot, 1789, and for which he was indicted.—Cf. Fabre "Histoire de Marseilles," II. 422.]

[Footnote 2404: "Archives Nationales," F7, 3197. Correspondence of Messrs. Debourge, Gay, and Lafitte, commissioners sent to Provence to restore order in accordance with an act of the National Assembly. Letter of May 10, 1791. Letter of May 10. 1791, and passim.]

[Footnote 2405: Mayor Martin, says Juste, was a sort of Petion, weak and vain.—Barbaroux, clerk of the municipality, is the principal opponent of M. Lieutaud.—The municipal decree referred to is dated Sept. 10, 1790.]

[Footnote 2406: "Archives Nationales," F7, 3197. Letters of three commissioners, April 13, 17, 18, and May 10, 1791.]

[Footnote 2407: Blanc-Gilly, "Reveil d'Alarme." Ibid., "Every time that the national guard marched outside the city walls, the horde of homeless brigands never failed to close up in their rear and carry devastation wherever they went."]

[Footnote 2408: "Archives Nationales," F7, 3197. Correspondence of the three commissioners, letter of May 10,1791. "The municipality of Marseilles obeys only the decrees it pleases, and for eighteen months has not paid a cent into the city treasury.-Proclamation of April 13.—Letters of April 13 and 18.]

[Footnote 2409: "Archives Nationales," letter of the municipal officers of Marseilles to the minister, June 11, 1791.—They demand the recall of the three commissioners, one of their arguments being as follows: "In China, every mandarin against whom public opinion is excited is dismissed from his place; he is regarded as an ignorant instructor, who is incapable of gaining the love of children for their parent."]

[Footnote 2410: "Archives Nationales," letter of the commissioners, May 25, 1791. "It is evident, on recording the proceedings at Aix and Marseilles, that only the accusers and the judges were guilty."—Petition of the prisoners, Feb. 1. "The municipality, in despair of our innocence and not knowing how to justify its conduct, is trying to buy up witnesses. They say openly that it is better to sacrifice one innocent man than disgrace a whole body. Such ale the speeches of the sieur Rebecqui, leading man, and of Madame Elliou, wife of a municipal officer, in the house of the sieur Rousset."]

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12     Next Part
Home - Random Browse