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The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3)
by Hippolyte A. Taine
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[Footnote 3103: On the 19th of March, 1871, I met in the Rue de Varennes a man with two guns on his shoulder who had taken part in the pillage of the Ecole d'Etat-major and was on his way home. I said to him: "But this is civil war, and you will let the Prussians in Paris."—"I'd rather have the Prussians than Thiers. Thiers is Prussian on the inside!"]

[Footnote 3104: Today, 115 years after these words were written, we have seen others, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, etc following in the Jacobin's footsteps. Nobles, Bourgeois, Jews and other undesirables have been methodically put away. The sheeplike majority did not read Taine or did not profit from his warnings while most of the great tyrants learned from him or from the events he described (SR.)]

[Footnote 3105: Moniteur, Nov. 14, 1792.]

[Footnote 3106: "Archives Nationales," F7, 4426. Letter of the police administrators, Aug. 11. Declaration of Delaunay, Aug. 12.]

[Footnote 3107: Buchez et Roux, XVII. 59 (session of Aug. 12) Speech by Leprieur at the bar of the house.]

[Footnote 3108: Buchez et Roux, XVII. 47.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 31. Speech by Robespierre at the bar of the Assembly in the name of the commune, Aug. 15.]

[Footnote 3109: Brissot, in his report on Robespierre's petition.—The names of the principal judges elected show its character: Fouquier-Tinville, Osselin, Coffinhal.]

[Footnote 3110: Buchez et Roux, XVII.91 (Aug. 17).]

[Footnote 3111: Stated by Petion in his speech (Moniteur, Nov. 10, 1792).]

[Footnote 3112: Buchez et Roux, XVII. 116 (session of Aug. 23).]

[Footnote 3113: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 461.—Moore, I. 273 (Aug. 31).]

[Footnote 3114: Buchez et Roux, XVII. 267 (article by Prudhomme in the "Revolutions de Paris").]

[Footnote 3115: "Les Revolutions de Paris," Ibid., "A number of sans-culottes were there with their pikes; but these were largely outnumbered by the multitude of uniforms of the various battalions."—Moore, Aug, 31: "At present the inhabitants of the faubourgs Saint-Antoine and Saint-Marceau are all that is felt of the sovereign people in Paris."]

[Footnote 3116: More, Aug. 26.]

[Footnote 3117: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 471. Indictment against Jean-Julien.—In referring to M. Mortimer-Ternaux we do so because, like a true critic, he cites authentic and frequently unedited documents.]

[Footnote 3118: Retif de la Bretonne, "les Nuits de Paris," 11th night, p. 372.]

[Footnote 3119: Moore, Sept. 2.]

[Footnote 3120: Moore, Sept. 3.—Buchez et Roux, XVI. 159 (narrative by Tallien).—Official report of the Paris commune, Sept. 4 (in the collection of Barriere and Berville, the volume entitled "Memoires sur les journees de Septembre"). The commune adopts and expands the fable, probably invented by it. Prudhomme well says that the story of the prison plot, so scandalously circulated during the Reign of Terror, appears for the first time on the 2d of September. The same report was spread through the rural districts. At Gennevilliers, a peasant while lamenting the massacres, said to Malouet: "It is, too, a terrible thing for the aristocrats to want to kill all the people by blowing up the city" (Malouet, II. 244).]

[Footnote 3121: Official reports of the commune, Aug. 11.]

[Footnote 3122: Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 446. List of the section commissioners sitting at the Hotel-de-ville, Aug. 10, before 9 o'clock in the morning.]

[Footnote 3123: Official reports of the commune, Aug. 21. "Considering that, to ensure public safety and liberty, the council-general of the commune required all the power delegated to it by the people, at the time it was compelled to resume the exercise of its rights," sends a deputation to the National Assembly to insist that "the new department be converted, pure and simple, into a tax-commissioners' office."—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 25. Speech of Robespierre in the name of the commune: "After the people have saved the country, after decreeing a National Convention to replace you, what remains for you to do but to gratify their wishes?... The people, forced to see to its own salvation, has provided for this through its delegates... It is essential that those chosen by itself for its magistrates should enjoy the plenary powers befitting the sovereign."]

[Footnote 3124: Official reports of the commune, Aug. 10.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 155. Letter of the Minister Servan, Aug. 30.-Ibid., 149.—Ibid., 148. The commission on supplies having been broken up by the commune, Roland, the Minister of the Interior, begs the Assembly to act promptly, for "he will no longer be responsible for the supplies of Paris."]

[Footnote 3125: Official reports of the commune, Aug. 21. A resolution requiring that, on trials for lese-nation, those who appear for the defendants should be provided with a certificate of their integrity, issued by their assembled section, and that the interviews between them and the accused be public.—Ibid., Aug.17, a resolution to suspend the execution of the two assassins of mayor Simonneau, condemned to death by the tribunal of Seine-et-Oise.]

[Footnote 3126: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 11. Decree of Aug.11.]

[Footnote 3127: Prudhomme, "Revolutions de Paris" (number for Sep. 22).. Report by Roland to the National Assembly (Sept. 16, at 9 o'clock in the morning).]

[Footnote 3128: Madame Roland, "Memoires," II. 414 (Ed. Barriere et Berville). Report by Roland Oct. 29. The seizure in question tool place Aug.27.]

[Footnote 3129: "Memoirs sur les journees de Septembre" (Ed. Barriere et Berville, pp. 307-322). List of sums paid by the treasurer of the commune.—See, on the prolongation of this plundering, Roland's report, Oct. 29, of money, plate, and assignats taken from the Senlis Hospital (Sept. 13), the Hotel de Coigny emptied, and sale of furniture in the Hotel d'Egmont, etc.]

[Footnote 3130: Official reports of the commune, Aug. 17 and 20.—List of sums paid by the treasurer of the commune, p. 321.—On the 28th of August a "Saint-Roch in silver is brought to the bar of the National Assembly."]

[Footnote 3131: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 150, 161, 511.—Report by Roland, Oct. 29. P. 414.]

[Footnote 3132: Moniteur.514, 542 (sessions of Aug. 23 and 26).]

[Footnote 3133: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 99 (sessions of Aug.15 and 23). "Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Aug. 18, a resolution to obtain a law authorizing the commune "to collect together with wives and children of the emigres in places of security, and to make use of the former convents for this purpose."]

[Footnote 3134: "Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Aug. 12.—Ibid., Aug. 18. Not being able to find M. Geoffrey, the journalist, the commune "passes a resolution that seals be affixed to Madame Geoffroy's domicile and that she be placed in arrest until her husband appears to release her."]

[Footnote 3135: "Proces-verbaux de la Commune." Aug.17 and 18. Another resolution, again demanding of the National Assembly a list of the signers for publication.]

[Footnote 3136: "Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Aug. 18, 19, 20.—On the 20th of August the commune summons before it and examines the Venetian Ambassador. "A citizen claims to be heard against the ambassador, and states that several carriages went out of Paris in his name. The name of this citizen is Chevalier, a horse-shoer's assistant... The Council decrees that honorable mention be made of the affidavits brought forward in the accusation." On the tone of these examinations read Weber ("Memoires," II. 245), who narrates his own.]

[Footnote 3137: Buchez et Roux, XVII. 215. Narration by Peltier.—In spite of the orders of the National Assembly the affair is repeated on the following day, and it lasts from the 19th to the 31st of August, in the evening.—Moore, Aug.31. The stupid, sheep-like vanity of the bourgeois enlisted as a gendarme for the sans-culottes is here well depicted. The keeper of the Hotel Meurice, where Moore and Lord Lauderdale put up, was on guard and on the chase the night before: "He talked a good deal of the fatigue he had undergone, and hinted a little of the dangers to which he had been exposed in the course of this severe duty. Being asked if he had been successful in his search after suspected persons—'Yes my lord, infinitely; our battalion arrested four priests.' He could not have looked more lofty if he had taken the Duke of Brunswick,"]

[Footnote 3138: According to Roederer, the number arrested amounted to from 5,000 to 6,000 persons.]

[Footnote 3139: Mortimer-Ternaux, III.147, 148, Aug.28 and 29.—Ibid., 176. Other sections complain of the Commune with some bitterness.—Buchez et Roux, XVII. 358.—"Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Sept. 1. "The section of the Temple sends a deputation which declares that by virtue of a decree of the National Assembly it withdraws its powers entrusted to the commissioners elected by it to the council-general."]

[Footnote 3140: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 154 (session of Aug. 30).]

[Footnote 3141: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 171 (session of Aug. 31).—Ibid., 208.——On the following day, Sept. 1, at the instigation of Danton, Thuriot obtains from the National Assembly an ambiguous decree which seems to allow the members of the commune to keep their places, provisionally at least, at the Hotel-de-ville.]

[Footnote 3142: "Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Sept. 1.]

[Footnote 3143: "Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Sept. 1. "It is resolved that whatever effects fell into the hands of the citizens who fought for liberty and equality on the 10th of August shall remain in their possession; M. Tallien, secretary-general, is therefore authorized to return a gold watch to M. Lecomte, a gendarme."]

[Footnote 3144: Four circumstances, simultaneous and in full agreement with each other, indicate this date: 1. On the 23d of August the council-general resolves "that a tribune shall be arranged in the chamber for a journalist (M. Marat), whose duty it shall be to conduct a journal giving the acts passed and what goes on in the commune" ("Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Aug.23) 2. On the same day, "on the motion of a member with a view to separate the prisoners of lese-nation from those of the nurse's hospital and others of the same stamp in the different prisons, the council has adopted this measure" (Granier de Cassagnac, II. 100). 3. The same day the commune applauds the deputies of a section, which "in warm terms" denounce before it the tardiness of justice and declare to it that the people will "immolate" the prisoners in their prisons (Moniteur, Nov. 10, 1793, Narrative of Petion). The same day it sends a deputation to the Assembly to order a transfer of the Orleans prisoners to Paris (Buchez et Roux, XVII. 116). The next day, in spite of the prohibitions of the Assembly, It sends Fournier and his band to Orleans (Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 364), and each knows beforehand that Fournier is commissioned to kill them on the way. (Balleydier, "Histoire politique et militaire du people de Lyon," I.79. Letter of Laussel, dated at Paris, Aug.28): "Our volunteers are at Orleans for the past two or three days to bring the anti-revolutionary prisoners here, who are treated too well there." On the day of Fournier's departure (Aug. 24) Moore observes in the Palais Royal and at the Tuileries "a greater number than usual of stump-speakers of the populace, hired for the purpose of inspiring the people with a horror of monarchy."]

[Footnote 3145: Moniteur, Sept. 25,1792, speech by Marat in the Convention.]

[Footnote 3146: See his two journals, "L'Ami du people" and the "Journal de la Republic Francaise," especially for July and October 1792.—The number for August 16 is headed: "Development of the vile plot of the court to destroy all patriots with fire and sword."—That of August 19: "The infamous conscript Fathers of the Circus, betraying the people and trying to delay the conviction of traitors until Mottie arrives, is marching with his army on Paris to destroy all patriots!"—That of Aug. 21: "The rotters of the Assembly, the perfidious accomplices of Mottie arranging for flight... The conscript Fathers, the assassins of patriots at Nancy, the Champ de Mars and in the Tuileries, etc."—All this was yelled out daily every morning by those who hawked these journals through the streets.]

[Footnote 3147: Ami du Peuple, Aug.19 and 21.]

[Footnote 3148: "Lettres autographs de Madame Roland," published by Madame Bancal des Issarts, Sept. 9. "Danton leads all; Robespierre is his puppet; Marat holds his torch and dagger."]

[Footnote 3149: Madame Roland "Memoires," II. 19 (note by Roland).—Ibid., 21, 23, 24. Monge says: "Danton wants to have it so; if I refuse he will denounce me to the Commune and at the Cordeliers, and have me hung." Fournier's commission to Orleans was all in order, Roland probably having signed it unawares, like those of the commissioners sent into the departments by the executive council (Cf. Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 368.)]

[Footnote 3150: The person who gives me the following had it from the king, Louis Philippe, then an officer in Kellerman's corps: On the evening of the battle of Valmy the young officer is sent to Paris to carry the news. On his arrival (Sept. 22 or 23. 1792) he learns that he is removed from his post and appointed governor of Strasbourg. He goes to Servan's house, Minister of War, and at first they refuse to let him in. Servan is unwell and in bed, with the ministers in his room. The young man states that he comes from the army and is the bearer of dispatches. He is admitted, and finds, indeed, Servan in bed with various personages around him, and he announces the victory.—They question him and he gives the details.—He then complains of having been displaced, and, stating that he is too young to command with any authority at Strasbourg, requests to be reinstated with the army in the field. "Impossible," replies Servan; "your place is given to another." Thereupon one of the personages present, with a peculiar visage and a rough voice, takes him aside and says to him: "Servan is a fool! Come and see me to-morrow and I will arrange the matter." "Who are you?" "I am Danton, the Minister of Justice."—The next day he calls on Danton, who tells him: "It is all right; you shall have your post back—not under Kellerman, however, but under Dumouriez; are you content?" The young man, delighted, thanks him. Danton resumes: "Let me give you one piece of advice before you go: You have talent and will succeed. But get rid of one fault. You talk too much. You have been in Paris twenty-four hours, and already you have repeatedly criticized the affair of September. I know this; I have been informed of it" "But that was a massacre; how can one help calling it horrible?" "I did it," replies Danton, "The Parisians are all so many j—f—. A river of blood had to flow between them and the emigres. You are too young to understand these matters. Return to the army; it is the only place nowadays for a young man like you and of your rank. You have a future before you; but mind this—keep your mouth shut!"]

[Footnote 3151: Hua, 167.. Narrative by his guest, the physician Lambry, an intimate friend of Danton ultra-fanatical and member of a committee in which the question came up whether the members of the "Right" should likewise be put out of the way. "Danton had energetically repelled this sanguinary proposal. 'Everybody knows,' he said, 'that I do not shrink from a criminal act when necessary; but I disdain to commit a useless one."']

[Footnote 3152: Mortimer-Ternaux, Iv. 437. Danton exclaims, in relation to the hot-headed commissioners sent by him into the department: "Eh! damn it, do you suppose that we would send you young ladies?"]

[Footnote 3153: Philippe de Segur, "Memoires,"I.12. Danton, in a conversation with his father, a few weeks after the 2nd of September.]

[Footnote 3154: See above, narrative of the king, louis Philippe.]

[Footnote 3155: Buchez et Roux, xvii. 347. The words of Danton in the National Assembly, Sept. 2nd a little before two o'clock, just as the tocsin and cannon gave the signal of alarm agreed upon. Already on the 31st of August, Tailien, his faithful ally, had told the National Assembly: "We have arrested the priests who make so much trouble. They are in confinement in a certain domicile, and in a few days the soil of liberty will be purged of their presence."]

[Footnote 3156: Meillan, "Memoires," 325 (Ed. Barriere et Berville). Speech by Fabre d'Eglantine at the Jacobin Club, sent around among the affiliated clubs, May 1, 1793.]

[Footnote 3157: Robinet, "Proces des Dantonistes," 39, 45 (words of Danton in the committee on general defense).—Madame Roland, "Memoires," II. 30. On the 2nd of September Grandpre ordered to report to the Minister of the Interior on the state of the prisons, waits for Danton as he leaves the council and tells him his fears. "Danton, irritated by the description, exclaims in his bellowing way, suiting his word to the action. 'I don't give a damn about the prisoners! Let them take care of themselves! And he proceeded on in an angry mood. This took place in the second ante-room, in the presence of twenty persons."—Arnault, II. 101. About the time of the September massacres "Danton, in the presence of one of my friends, replied to someone that urged him to use his authority in stopping the spilling of blood: 'Isn't it time for the people to take their revenge?' "]

[Footnote 3158: Prudhomme, "Crimes de la Revolution," iv. 90. On the 2nd of September, at the alarm given by the tocsin and cannon, Prudhomme calls on Danton at his house for information. Danton gives him the agreed story and adds: "The people, who are now aroused and know what to do, want to administer justice themselves on the nasty imprisoned persons."—Camille Desmoulins enters: "Look here," says Danton, "Prudhomme has come to ask what is going to be done?"—"Didn't you tell him that the innocent would not be confounded with the guilty? All those that are demanded by their Sections will be given up."—On the 4th, Desmoulins calls at the office of the journal and says to the editors: "Well, everything has gone off in the most perfect order. The people even set free a good many aristocrats against whom there was no direct proof. I trust that you will state all this exactly, because the Journal des Revolutions is the compass of public opinion."]

[Footnote 3159: Prudhomme, "Crimes de la Revolution," IV. 123. According to the statements of Theophile Mandar, vice-president of a section, witness and actor in the scene; he authorizes Prudhomme to mention his name.——Afterwards, in the next room, Mandar proposes to Petion and Robespierre to attend the Assembly the next day and protest against the massacre; if necessary, the Assembly may appoint a director for one day. "Take care not to do that," replied Robespierre; "Brissot would be the dictator."—Petion says nothing. "The ministers were in perfect agreement to let the massacres continue."]

[Footnote 3160: Madame Roland, II. 37.—"Angers et le department de Maine-et-Loire de 1787 a 1830," by Blordier Langlois. Appended to the circular was a printed address bearing the title of Compte rendu au peuple souverain, "countersigned by the Minister of Justice and with the Minister's seal on the package," and addressed to the Jacobin Clubs of the departments, that they, too, might preach massacre.]

[Footnote 3161: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 391, 398.—Warned by Alquier, president of the criminal court of Versailles, of the danger to which the Orleans prisoners were exposed, Danton replied: "What is that to you? That affair does not concern you. Mind your own business, and do not meddle with things outside of it!"—"But, Monsieur, the law says that prisoners must be protected."—"What do you care? Some among them are great criminals, and nobody knows yet how the people will regard them and how far their indignation will carry them." Alquier wished to pursue the matter, but Danton turned his back on him]

[Footnote 3162: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 217]

[Footnote 3163: Madame Roland, "Lettres autographes, etc.," Sept. 5, 1792. "We are here under the knives of Marat and Robespierre. These fellows are striving to excite the people and turn them against the National Assembly and the council. They have organized a Star Chamber and they have a small army under pay, aided by what they found or stole in the palace and elsewhere, or by supplies purchased by Danton, who is underhandedly the chieftain of this horde."—Dusaulx, "Memoires," 441. "On the following day (Sept. 3) I went to see one of the most estimated personalities at this epoch. 'You know,' said I to him, 'what is going on?'—'Very well; but keep quiet; it will soon be over. A little more blood is still necessary.'—I saw others who explained themselves much more definitely. "—Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 445.]

[Footnote 3164: Madame Roland, "Lettres autographes, etc.," Sept. 5, 1792. "We are here under the knives of Marat and Robespierre. These fellows are striving to excite the people and turn them against the National Assembly and the council. They have organized a Star Chamber and they have a small army under pay, aided by what they found or stole in the palace and elsewhere, or by supplies purchased by Danton, who is underhandedly the chieftain of this horde."—Dusaulx, "Memoires," 441. "On the following day (Sept. 3) I went to see one of the most estimated personalities at this epoch. 'You know,' said I to him, 'what is going on?'—'Very well; but keep quiet; it will soon be over. A little more blood is still necessary.'—I saw others who explained themselves much more definitely. "—Mortimer-Ternaux, II. 445.]

[Footnote 3165: Madame de Stael, "Considerations sur la Revolution Francaise," 3rd part, ch. X.]

[Footnote 3166: Prudhomme, "Les Revolutions de Paris" (number for Sept. 22). At one of the last sessions of the commune "M. Panis spoke of Marat as of a prophet, another Simeon Stylite. 'Marat,' said he, 'remained six weeks sitting on one thigh in a dungeon.' "—Barbaroux, 64.]

[Footnote 3167: Weber, II. 348. Collot dwells at length, "in cool-blooded gaiety," on the murder of Madame de Lamballe and on the abominations to which her corpse was subjected. "He added, with a sigh of regret, that if he had been consulted he would have had the head of Madame de Lamballe served in a covered dish for the queen's supper."]

[Footnote 3168: On the part played by Robespierre and his presence constantly at the Commune see Granier de Cassagnac, II. 55.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 205. Speech by Robespierre at the commune, Sept. 1: "No one dares name the traitors. Well, I give their names for the safety of the people: I denounce the libertycide Brissot, the Girondist factionists, the rascally commission of the Twenty-One in the National Assembly; I denounce them for having sold France to Brunswick, and for having taken in advance the reward for their dastardly act." On the 2nd of September he repeats his denunciation, and consequently on that day warrants are issued by the committee of supervision against thirty deputies and against Brissot and Roland (Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 216, 247).]

[Footnote 3169: "Proces-verbaux de la Commune," Aug. 30.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 217 (resolutions of the sections Poissonniere and Luxembourg).—Granier de Cassagnac, II. 104 (adhesion of the sections Mauconseil, Louvre, and Quinze-Vingt).]

[Footnote 3170: Granier de Cassagnac, II. 156.]

[Footnote 3171: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 265.—Granier de Cassagnac, XII. 402. (The other five judges were also members of the commune.)]

[Footnote 3172: Granier de Cassagnac, II. 313. Register of the General Assembly of the sans-culottes, section, Sept. 2.—"Memoires sur les journees de Septembre," 151 (declaration of Jourdan).]

[Footnote 3173: "Memoires sur les journees de Septembre," narrative of Abbe Sicard, 111.]

[Footnote 3174: Buchez et Roux, XVIII. 109, 178. ("La verite tout entiere," by Mehee, Jr.)—Narrative of Abbe Sicard, 132, 134.]

[Footnote 3175: Granier de Cassagnac, II. 92, 93.—On the presence and complicity of Santerre. Ibid, 89-99.]

[Footnote 3176: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 277 and 299 (Sept. 3).—Granier de Cassagnac, II. 257. A commissary of the section of the Quatre-Nations states in his report that "the section authorized them to pay expenses out of the affair."—Declaration of Jourdan, 151.—Lavalette, "Memoires," I. 91. The initiative of the commune is further proved by the following detail: "Towards five o'clock (Sept. 2) city officials on horseback, carrying a flag, rode through the streets crying: 'To arms! To arms!' They added: 'The enemy is coming; you are all lost; the city will be burnt and given up to pillage. Have no fear of the traitors or conspirators behind your backs. They are in the hands of the patriots, and before you leave the thunderbolt of national justice will fall on them!"—Buchez et Roux, XXVIII. 105. Letter of Chevalier Saint-Dizier, member of the first committee of supervision, Sept. 10. "Marat, Duplain, Freron, etc., generally do no more in their supervision of things than wreak private vengeance... Marat states openly that 40,000 heads must still be knocked off to ensure the success of the revolution."]

[Footnote 3177: Buchez et Roux, XVIII. 146. "Ma Resurrection," by Mathon de la Varenne. "The evening before half-intoxicated women said publicly on the Feuillants terrace: 'To-morrow is the day when their souls will be turned inside out in the prisons."]

[Footnote 3178: "Memoires sur les journees de Septembre. Mon agonie," by Journiac de Saint-Meard.—Madame de la Fausse-Landry, 72. The 29th of August she obtained permission to join her uncle in prison: "M. Sergent and others told me that I was acting imprudently; that the prisons were not safe."]

[Footnote 3179: Granier de Cassagnac,—II. 27. According to Roch Marcandier their number "did not exceed 300." According to Louvet there were "200, and perhaps not that number." According to Brissot, the massacres were committed by about "a hundred unknown brigands."—Petion, at La Force (Ibid., 75), on September 6, finds only about a dozen executioners. According to Madame Roland (II. 35), "there were not fifteen at the Abbaye." Lavalette the first day finds only about fifty killers at the La Force prison.]

[Footnote 3180: Mathon de la Varenne, ibid., 137.]

[Footnote 3181: Buchez et Roux, XVII. 183 (session of the Jacobin Club, Aug. 27). Speech by a federate from Tarn.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 126.]

[Footnote 3182: Sicard, 80.—Mehee, 187.—Weber, II. 279.—Cf., in Journiac de Saint-Meard, his conversation with a Provencal.—Retif de la Bretonne, "Les Nuits de Paris," 375. "About 2 o'clock in the morning (Sept. 3) I heard a troop of cannibals passing under my window, none of whom appeared to have the Parisian accent; they were all strangers."]

[Footnote 3183: Granier de Cassagnac, II. 164, 502.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 530.—Maillard's assessors at the Abbaye were a watchmaker living in the Rue Childebert, a fruit-dealer in the Rue Mazarine, a keeper of a public house in the Rue du Four-Saint-Germain, a journeyman hatter in the Rue Sainte-Marguerite, and two others whose occupation is not mentioned.—On the composition of the tribunal at La Force, Cf. Journiac de Saint-Meard, 120, and Weber, II. 261.]

[Footnote 3184: Granier de Cassagnac, II. 507 (on Damiens), 513 (on L'empereur).—Meillan, 388 (on Laforet and his wife, old-clothes dealers on the Quai du Louvre, who on the 31st of May prepare for a second blow, and calculate this time on having for their share the pillaging of fifty houses).]

[Footnote 3185: Sicard, 98]

[Footnote 3186: De Ferrieres (Ed. Berville et Barriere), III. 486.—Retif de la Bretonne, 381. At the end of the Rue des Ballets a prisoner had just been killed, while the next one slipped through the railing and escaped. "A man not belonging to the butchers, but one of those thoughtless machines of which there are so many, interposed his pike and stopped him... The poor fellow was arrested by his pursuers and massacred. The pikeman coolly said to us: 'I couldn't know they wanted to kill him.'"]

[Footnote 3187: Granier de Cassagnac, II. 511.]

[Footnote 3188: The judges and slaughterers at the Abbaye, discovered in the trial of the year IV., almost all lived in the neighborhood, in the rues Dauphine, de Nevers, Guegenaud, de Bussy, Childebert, Taranne, de l'Egout, du Vieux Colombier, de l'Echaude-Saint-Benoit, du Four-Saint-Germain, etc.]

[Footnote 3189: Sicard, 86, 87, 101.—Jourdan, 123. "The president of the committee of supervision replied to me that these were very honest persons; that on the previous evening or the evening before that, one of them, in a shirt and wooden shoes, presented himself before their committee all covered with blood, bringing with him in his hat twenty-five louis in gold, which he had found on the person of a man he had killed."—Another instance of probity may be found in the "Proces-verbaux du conseil-general de la Commune de Versailles," 367, 371.—On the following day, Sept. 3, robberies commence and go on increasing.]

[Footnote 3190: Mehee, 179. "'Would you believe that I have earned only twenty-four francs?' said a baker's boy armed with a club. 'I killed more than forty for my share.'"]

[Footnote 3191: Granier de Cassagnac. II. 153.—Cf. Ibid., 202-209, details on the meals of the workmen and on the more delicate repast of Maillard and his assistants.]

[Footnote 3192: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 175-176.—Granier de Cassagnac. II. 84.——Jourdan, 222.—Mehee, 179. "At midnight they came back swearing, cursing, and foaming with rage, threatening to cut the throats of the committee in a body if they were not instantly paid."]

[Footnote 3193: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 320. Speech by Petion on the charges preferred against Robespierre.]

[Footnote 3194: Mathon de la Varenne, 156.—Journiac de Saint-Meard, 129.—Moore, 267.]

[Footnote 3195: Journiac de Saint-Meard, 115.]

[Footnote 3196: Weber, II. 265.—Journiac de Saint-Meard, 129.—Mathon de la Varenne, 155.]

[Footnote 3197: Moore, 267.—Cf. Malouet, II. 240. Malouet, on the evening of Sept. 1, was at his sister-in-law's; there is a domiciliary visit at midnight; she faints on hearing the patrol mount the stairs. "I begged them not to enter the drawing-room, so as not to disturb the poor sufferer. The sight of a woman in a swoon and pleasing in appearance affected them, and they at once withdrew, leaving me alone with her."—Beaulieu, "Essais," I. 108. (Regarding the two Abbaye butchers he meets in the house of Journiac-de-Saint-Meard, and who chat with him while issuing him with a safe-conduct): "What struck me was to detect generous sentiments through their ferocity, those of men determined to protect any one whose cause they adopted."]

[Footnote 3198: Weber, II. 265, 348.]

[Footnote 3199: Sicard, 101. Billaud-Varennes, addressing the slaughterers.—Ibid.75. "Greater power," replied a member of the committee of supervision, "what are you thinking of? To give you greater power would be limiting those you have already. Have you forgotten that you are sovereigns? That the sovereignty of the people is confided to you, and that you are now in full exercise of it?"]

[Footnote 31100: Mehee, 171.]

[Footnote 31101: Sicard, 81. At the beginning the Marseilles men themselves were averse to striking the disarmed, and exclaimed to the crowd: "Here, take our swords and pikes and kill the monsters!"]

[Footnote 31102: Macbeth by Shakespeare: "I have supped full with horrors."]

[Footnote 31103: Observe children drowning a dog or killing a snake. Tenacity of life irritates them, as if it were a rebellion against their despotism, the effect of which is to render them only the more violent against their victim.]

[Footnote 31104: One may recall to mind the effect of bull-fights, also the irresistible fascination which Saint-Augustin experienced on first hearing the death-cry of a gladiator in the amphitheater.]

[Footnote 31105: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 131. Trial of the September actors; the judge's summing up. "The third and forty-sixth witnesses stated that they saw Monneuse (member of the commune) go to and come from la Force, express his delight at those sad events that had just occurred, acting very immorally in relation thereto, adding that there was violin playing in his presence, and that his colleague danced."—Sicard, 88.]

[Footnote 31106: Sicard, 87, 91. This expression by a wine-merchant, who wants the custom of the murderers.—Granier de Cassagnac, II. 197-200. The original bills for wine, straw, and lights have been found.]

[Footnote 31107: Sicard, 91.—Maton de la Varenne, 150.]

[Footnote 31108: Mathon de la Varenne, 154. A man from the suburbs said to him (Mathon is an advocate): "All right, Monsieur Fine-skin; I shall treat myself to a glass of your blood."]

[Footnote 31109: Retif de la Bretonne, "Les Nuits de Paris," 9th night, p.388. "She screamed horribly, whilst the brigands amused themselves with their disgraceful acts. Her body even after death was not exempt. These people had heard that she had been beautiful."]

[Footnote 31110: Prudhomme, "Les Revolutions de Paris," number for Sept. 8, 1792. "The people subjected the flower-girl of the Palais-Royal to the law of retaliation."—Granier de Cassagnac, II. 329. According to the bulletin of the revolutionary tribunal, number for Sept. 3.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 291. Deposition of the caretaker's office of the Conciergerie prison.—Buchez et Roux, XVII.198. "Histoire des hommes de proi," by Roch Marcandier.]

[Footnote 31111: Mortimer-Ternaux III, 257. Trial of the September murderers; deposition of Roussel.—Ib., 628.]

[Footnote 31112: Deposition of the woman Millet, ibid., 63.—Weber, II. 350.——Roch Marcandier, 197, 198.—Retif de la Bretonne, 381.]

[Footnote 31113: Deposition of the woman Millet, ibid., 63.—Weber, II. 350.——Roch Marcandier, 197, 198.—Retif de la Bretonne, 381.]

[Footnote 31114: On this mechanical and murderous action Cf: Dusaulx, "Memoires," 440. He addresses the bystanders in favor of the prisoners, and, affected by his words, they hold out their hands to him. "But before this the executioners had struck me on the cheeks with the points of their pikes, from which hung pieces of flesh. Others wanted to cut off my head, which would have been done if two gendarmes had not kept them back."]

[Footnote 31115: Jourdan, 219.]

[Footnote 31116: Mehee, 179.]

[Footnote 31117: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 558. The same idea is found among the federates and Parisians composing the company of the Egalite, which brought the Orleans prisoners to Versailles and then murdered them. They explain their conduct by saying that they "hoped to put an end to the excessive expenditure to which the French empire was subject through the prolonged detention of conspirators."]

[Footnote 31118: Retif de la Bretonne, 388.]

[Footnote 31119: Mehee, 177.]

[Footnote 31120: Prudhomme, "Les Crimes de la Revolution." III. 272.]

[Footnote 31121: Retif de la Bretonne, 388. There were two sorts of women at the Salpetriere, those who were banded and young girls brought in the prison. Hence the two alternatives.]

[Footnote 31122: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 295. See list of names, ages, and occupations.]

[Footnote 31123: Barthelemy Maurice, "Histoire politique and anecdotique des prisons de la Seine," 329.]

[Footnote 31124: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 295. See list of names, ages, and occupations.]

[Footnote 31125: The Encyclopedia "QUID" (ROBERT LAFONT, PARIS 1998) advises us that the number of victims killed with "cold steel and clubs" etc total 1395 persons. The total number of French victims due to the Revolution is considered to be between 600,000 and 800,000 dead. (SR)]

[Footnote 31126: Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 399, 592, 602-606.—"Proces-verbal des 8, 9, 10 Septembre, extrait des registres de la municipalite de Versailles." (In the "Memoires sur les journees de Septembre"), p. 358 and following pages.—Granier de Cassagnac, II. 483. Bonnet's exploit at Orleans, pointed out to Fournier, Sept. I. Fournier replies: "In God's name, I am not to be ordered; when the bloody beggars have had their heads cut off the trial may be held later!"]

[Footnote 31127: Roch Marcandier, 210. Speech by Lazowski to the section of Finistere, fauborg Saint-Marceau. Lazowski had, in addition, set free the assassins of the mayor of Etampes, and laid their manacles on the bureau table.]

[Footnote 31128: Malouet, II. 243 (Sept. 2).—Moniteur, XIII. 48 (session of Sept. 27, 1792). We see in the speech of Panis that analogous scenes took place in the committee of supervision. "Imagine our situation. We were surrounded by citizens irritated against the treachery of the court. We were told: 'Here is an aristocrat who is going to fly; you must stop him, or your yourselves are traitors!' Pistols were pointed at us and we found ourselves obliged to sign warrants, not so much for our own safety as for that of the persons denounced."]

[Footnote 31129: Granier de Cassagnac, II. 258.—Prudhomme, "Les Crimes de la Revolution," III. 272.—Mortimer-Ternaux, III. 631.—De Ferriere, III. 391.—(The expression quoted was recorded by Retif de la Bretonne.)]

[Footnote 31130: That is how to do it, must any anarchist or hopeful revolutionary have thought, upon reading Taine's livid description.-But also: "Do not let the bourgeois read this, it might scare them and make our task more difficult." (SR).]

[Footnote 31131: Moniteur, XIII. 698, 698 (numbers for Sept. 15 and 16). Ibid., Letter of Roland, 701; of Petion, 711.—Buchez et Roux, XVIII. 33. 34.—Prudhomme's journal contains an engraving of this subject (Sept. 14)—"An Englishman admitted to the bar of the house denounces to the National Assembly a robbery committed in a house occupied by him at Chaillot by two bailiffs and their satellites. The robbery consisted of twelve louis, five guineas, five thousand pounds in assignats, and several other objects." The courts before which he appeared did not dare take up his case (Buchez et Roux, XVII. P. 1, Sept. 18).]

[Footnote 31132: Buchez et Roux, XVII. 461.—Prudhomme, "Les Revolutions de Paris," number for Sept. 22, 1792.]

[Footnote 31133: Moniteur, XIII. 711 (session of Sept. 16). Letter of Roland to the National Assembly.—Buchez et Roux, XVIII. 42.—Moniteur, XIII. 731 (session of Sept. 17). Speech by Petion: "Yesterday there was some talk of again visiting the prisons, and particularly the Conciergerie."]

[Footnote 31134: Perhaps Mao read this and later coined his famous slogan "that all political power emanates from the barrels of guns." (SR).]

[Footnote 31135: "Archives Nationales," II. 58 to 76. Official reports of the Paris electoral assembly.—Robespierre is elected the twelfth (Sept. 5), then Danton and Collot d'Herbois (Sept. 6) then Manuel and Billaud-Varennes (Sept. 7), next C. Desmoulins (Sept. 8), Marat (Sept. 9) etc.—Mortimer-Ternaux, IV. 35 (act passed by the commune at the instigation of Robespierre for the regulation of electoral operations).—Louvet, "Memoires." Louvet, in the electoral assembly asks to be heard on the candidacy of Marat, but is unsuccessful. "On going out I was surrounded by those men with big clubs and sabers by whom the future dictator was always attended, Robespierre's body-guard. They threatened me and told me in very concise terms: 'Before long you shall have your turn. This is the freedom of that assembly in which one declared his vote under a dagger pointed at him."']

[Footnote 31136: In reading this all socialist and communists and other potential manipulators of democracy would have taken and will continue to take note. Once the hidden combination can manage to invest all the different, in theory opponent, parties with their own men, an eternal control by a hidden mafia can now take place. (SR).]

[Footnote 31137: Such procedures set a precedence for 200 years of 'guided democracy' in many trade unions and elsewhere. (SR).]



CHAPTER II. THE DEPARTMENTS.—THE EPEDEMIC AND CONTAGIOUS CHARACTER OF THE REVOLUTIONARY DISEASE.

In the departments, it is by hundreds that we enumerate days like the 20th of June, August 10, September 2. The body has its epidemic, its contagious diseases; the mind has the same; the revolutionary malady is one of them. It appears throughout the country at the same time; each infected point infects others. In each city, in each borough, the club is a Center of inflammation which disorganizes the sound parts; and the example of each disorganized Center spreads afar like contagious fumes.[3201] Everywhere the same fever, delirium, and convulsions mark the presence of the same virus. That virus is the Jacobin dogma. By virtue of the Jacobin dogma, theft, usurpation, murder, take on the guise of political philosophy, and the gravest crimes against persons, against public or private property, become legitimate; for they are the acts of the legitimate supreme power, the power that has the public welfare in its keeping.



I. The Sovereignty of the People.

Its principle is the Jacobin dogma of the sovereignty of the people.——The new right is officially proclaimed.—Public statement of the new regime.—Its object, its opponents, its methods.—Its extension from Paris to the provinces.

That each Jacobin band should be invested with the local dictatorship in its own canton is, according to the Jacobins, a natural right. It becomes the written law from the day that the National Assembly declares the country in danger. "From that date," says their most widely read Journal,[3202] and by the mere fact of that declaration, "the people of France are assembled and insurgent. They have repossessed themselves of the sovereign power." Their magistrates, their deputies, all constituted authorities, return to nothingness, their essential state. And you, temporary and revocable representatives, "you are nothing but presiding officers for the people; you have nothing to do but to collect their votes, and to announce the result when these shall have been cast with due solemnity."—Nor is this the theory of the Jacobins only; it is also official theory. The National Assembly approves of the insurrection, recognizes the Commune, keeps in the background, abdicates as far as possible, and only remains provisionally in office in order that the place may not be left vacant. It abstains from exercising power, even to provide its own successors; it merely "invites" the French people to organize a national convention; it confesses that it has "no right to put the exercise of sovereign power under binding rules"; it does no more than "indicate to citizens" the rules for the elections "to which it invites them to conform." Meanwhile it is subject to the will of the sovereign people, then so-called; it dares not resist their crimes; it interferes with assassins only by entreaties.—Much more; it authorizes them, either by ministerial signature or counter-signature, to begin their work elsewhere. Roland has signed Fournier's commission to Orleans; Danton has sent the circular of Marat over all France. To reconstruct the departments the council of ministers sends the most infuriated members of the Commune and the party, Chaumette, Freron, Westerman, Auduoin, Huguenin, Momoro, Couthon, Billaud-Varennes,[3204] and others still more tainted and brutal, who preach the purest Jacobin doctrine. "They announce openly[3205] that laws no longer exist; that since the people are sovereign, every one is master; that each fraction of the nation can take such measures as suit it, in the name of the country's safety; that they have the right to tax corn, to seize it in the laborer's fields, to cut off the heads of the farmers who refuse to bring their grain to market." At Lisieux, agrarian law is preached by Fufour and Momoro. At Douai, other preachers from Paris say to the popular club, "Prepare scaffolds; let the walls of the city bristle with gallows, and hang upon them every man who does not accept our opinions."—Nothing is more logical, more in conformity with their principles. The journals, deducing their consequences, explain to the people the use they ought to make of their reconquered sovereignty.[3206] "Under the present circumstances, community of property is the law; everything belongs to everybody." Besides, "an equalizing of fortunes must be brought about, a leveling, which shall abolish the vicious principle of the domination of the rich over the poor." This reform is all the more pressing because "the people, the real sovereign people, have nearly as many enemies as there are proprietors, large merchants, financiers, and wealthy men. In a time of revolution, we must regard all men who have more than enough as the enemies, secret or avowed, of popular government." Therefore, "let the people of each commune, before they quit their homes" for the army, "put all those who are suspected of not loving liberty in a secure place, and under the safe-keeping of the law; let them be kept shut up until war is over; let them be guarded with pikes," and let each one of their guardians receive thirty sous per day.

* As for the partisans of the fallen government, the members of the Paris directory, "with Roederer and Blondel at their head,"

* as for the general officers, "with Lafayette and d'Affry at their head,"

* as for "the critical deputies of the Constituent Assembly, with Barnave and Lameth at their head,"

* as for the Feuillant deputies of the Legislative Assembly, "with Ramond and Jaucourt at their head,"[3207]

* as for "all those who consented to soil their hands with the profits of the civil list,"

* as for "the 40,000 hired assassins who were gathered at the palace on the night of August 9-10,

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

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



II.—In several departments it establishes itself in advance.

An instance of this in the Var.

In many departments[3208] they have forestalled the summons. In the Var, for example, pillages and proscriptions have begun with the month of May. According to custom, they first seize upon the castles and the monasteries, although these have become national property, at one time alleging as a reason for this that the administration "is too slow in carrying out sentence against the emigres," and again, that "the chateau, standing on an eminence, weighs upon the inhabitants."[3209] There is scarcely a village in France that does not contain twoscore wretches who are always ready to line their pockets, which is just the number of thieves who thoroughly sacked the chateau of Montaroux, carrying off "furniture, produce, clothing, even the jugs and bottles in the cellar." There are the same doings by the same band at the chateau of Tournon; the chateau of Salerne is burned, that of Flagose is pulled down; the canal of Cabris is destroyed; then the convent of Montrieux, the chateaux of Grasse, of Canet, of Regusse, of Brovaz, and many others, all devastated, and the devastations are made "daily."—It is impossible to suppress this country brigandage. The reigning dogma, weakening authority in the magistrates' hands, and the clubs, "which cover the department," have spread the fermentation of anarchy everywhere. "Administrators, judges, municipal officers, all who are invested with any authority, and who have the courage to use it in forcing respect for law, are one by one denounced by public opinion as enemies of the constitution and of liberty; because, people say, they talk of nothing but the law, as if they did not know that the will of the people makes the law, and that we are the people."[3210] This is the real principle; here, as at Paris, it instantly begets its consequences. "In many of these clubs nothing is discussed but the plundering of estates and cutting off the heads of aristocrats. And who are designated by this infamous title? In the cities, the great traders and rich proprietors; in the country, those whom we call the bourgeois; everywhere, all peaceable citizens, the friends of order, who wish to enjoy, under the shadow of the protecting law, the blessings of the Constitution. Such was the rage of their denunciations that in one of these clubs a good and brave peasant was denounced as an aristocrat; the whole of his aristocracy consisting in his having said to those who plundered the chateau of their seigneur, already mentioned, that they would not enjoy in peace the fruits of their crime."—Here is the Jacobin programme of Paris in advance, namely, the division of the French into two classes, the spoliation of one, the despotism of the other; the destruction of the well-to-do, orderly and honest under the dictation of those who are not so.

Here, as in Paris, the programme is carried out step by step. At Beausset, near Toulon, a man named Vidal, captain of the National Guard, "twice set at liberty by virtue of two consecutive amnesties,"[3211] punishes not resistance merely, but even murmurs, with death. Two old men, one of them a notary, the other a turner, having complained of him to the public prosecutor, the general alarm is beaten, a gathering of armed men is formed in the street, and the complainants are clubbed, riddled with balls, and their bodies thrown into a pit. Many of their friends are wounded, others take to flight; seven houses are sacked, and the municipality, "either overawed or in complicity," makes no interference until all is over. There is no way of pursuing the guilty ones; the foreman of the jury, who goes, escorted by a thousand men, to hold an inquest, can get no testimony. The municipal officers feign to have heard nothing, neither the general alarm nor the guns fired under their windows. The other witnesses say not a word; but they declare, sotto voce, the reason for their silence. If they should testify, "they would be sure of being killed as soon as the troops should have gone away." The foreman of the jury is himself menaced; after remaining three-quarters of an hour, he finds it prudent to leave the city.—After this the clubs of Beausset and of the neighborhood, gaining hardihood from the impotence of the law, break out into incendiary propositions: "It is announced that after the troops retreat, nineteen houses more will be sacked; it is proposed to behead all aristocrats, that is to say, all the land-owners in the country." Many have fled, but their flight does not satisfy the clubs. Vidal orders those of Beausset who took refuge in Toulon to return at once; otherwise their houses will be demolished, and that very day, in fact, by way of warning, several houses in Beausset, among them that of a notary, are either pulled down or pillaged from top to bottom; all the riff-raff of the town are at work, "half-drunken men and women," and, as their object is to rob and drink, they would like to begin again in the principal town of the canton.—The club, accordingly, has declared that "Toulon would soon see a new St. Bartholomew"; it has allies there, and arrangements are made; each club in the small towns of the vicinity will furnish men, while all will march under the leadership of the Toulon club. At Toulon, as at Beausset, the municipality will let things take their course, while the proceedings complained of by the public prosecutor and the district and department administrators will be applied to them. They may send reports to Paris, and denounce patriots to the National Assembly and the King, if they choose; the club will reply to their scribbling with acts. Their turn is coming. Lanterns and sabers are also found at Toulon, and the faction murders them because they have lodged complaints against the murderers.



III.—Each Jacobin band a dictator in its own neighborhood.

Saint-Afrique during the interregnum.

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

On the reception of the news of the 10th of August, the Jacobins of Saint-Afrique, a small town of the Aveyron,[3212] likewise undertook to save the country, and, to this end, like their fellows in other boroughs of the district, they organized themselves into an "Executive Power." This institution is of an old date, especially in the South; it had flourished for eighteen months from Lyons to Montpellier, from Agen to Nimes; but after the interregnum, its condition is still more flourishing; it consists of a secret society, the object of which is to carry out practically the motions and instructions of the club.[3213] Ordinarily, they work at night, wearing masks or slouched hats, with long hair falling over the face. A list of their names, each with a number opposite to it, is kept at the meeting-place of the society. A triangular club, decked with a red ribbon, serves them both as weapon and badge; with this club, each member "may go anywhere," and do what seems good to him. At Saint-Afrique they number about eighty, among whom must be counted the rascals forming the seventh company of Tarn, staying in the town; their enrollment in the band is effected by constantly "preaching pillage to them," and by assuring them that the contents of the chateaux in the vicinity belong to them.[3214]—Not that the chateaux excite any fear; most of them are empty; neither in Saint-Afrique nor in the environs do the men of the ancient regime form a party; for many months orthodox priests and the nobles have had to fly, and now the well-to-do people are escaping. The population, however, is Catholic; many of the shop-keepers, artisans, and farmers are discontented, and the object now is to make these laggards keep step.—In the first place, they order women of every condition, work-girls and servants, to attend mass performed by the sworn cure, for, if they do not, they will be made acquainted with the cudgel.—In the second place, all the suspected are disarmed; they enter their houses during the night in force, unexpectedly, and, besides their gun, carry off their provisions and money. A certain grocer who persists in his lukewarmness is visited a second time; seven or eight men, one evening, break open his door with a stick of timber; he takes refuge on his roof, dares not descend until the following day at dawn, and finds that everything in his store has been either stolen or broken to pieces.[3215] In the third place, there is "punishment of the ill-disposed." At nine o'clock in the evening a squad knocks at the door of a distrusted shoemaker; it is opened by his apprentice; six of the ruffians enter, and one of them, showing a paper, says to the poor fellow:

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

"What for?"

"If you have not done anything wrong, you are thinking about it."[3216]

And so they beat him in the presence of his family. Many others like him are seized and unmercifully beaten on their own premises.—As to the expenses of the operation, these must be defrayed by the malevolent. These, therefore, are taxed according to their occupations; this or that tanner or dealer in cattle has to pay 36 francs; another, a hatter, 72 francs; otherwise "they will be attended to that very night at nine o'clock." Nobody is exempt, if he is not one of the band. Poor old men who have nothing but a five-franc assignat are compelled to give that; they take from the wife of an unskilled laborer, whose savings consist of seven sous and a half, the whole of this, exclaiming, "that is good for three mugs of wine."[3217] When money is not to be had, they take goods in kind; they make short work of cellars, bee-hives, clothes-presses, and poultry-yards. They eat, drink, and break, giving themselves up to it heartily, not only in the town, but in the neighboring villages. One detachment goes to Brusque, and proceeds so vigorously that the mayor and syndic-attorney scamper off across the fields, and dare not return for a couple of days.[3218] At Versol, the dwelling of the sworn cure, and at Lapeyre, that of the sworn vicar, are both sacked; the money is stolen and the casks are emptied. In the house of the cure of Douyre, "furniture, clothes, cabinets, and window-sashes are destroyed"; they feast on his wine and the contents of his cupboard, throw away what they could not consume, then go in search of the cure and his brother, a former Carthusian, shouting that "their heads must be cut off; and sausage-meat made of the rest of their bodies!" Some of them, a little shrewder than the others, light on a prize; for example, a certain Bourguiere, a trooper of the line, seized a vineyard belonging to an old lady, the widow of a physician and former mayor;[3219] he gathered in its crop, "publicly in broad daylight," for his own benefit, and warns the proprietress that he will kill her if she makes a complaint against him, and, as she probably does complain of him, he obliges her, in the name of the Executive Power, to pay him fifty crowns damages.—As to the common Jacobin gangsters, their reward, besides food and drink, is perfect licentiousness. In all houses invaded at eleven o'clock in the evening. Whilst the father flies, or the husband screams under the cudgel, one of the villains stations himself at the entrance with a drawn saber in his hands, and the wife or daughter remains at the mercy of the others; they seize her by the neck and maintain their hold.[3220] In vain does she scream for help. "Nobody in Saint-Afrique dares go outdoors at night"; nobody comes, and, the following day, the juge-de-paix dares not receive the complaint, because "he is afraid himself."—Accordingly, on the 23rd of September, the municipal officers and the town-clerk, who made their rounds, were nearly beaten to death with clubs and stones; on the 10th of October another municipal officer was left for dead; a fortnight before this, a lieutenant of volunteers, M. Mazieres, "trying to do his duty, was assassinated in his bed by his own men." Naturally, nobody dares whisper a word, and, after two months of this order of things, it may be presumed that at the municipal elections of the 21st of October, the electors will be docile. In any event, as a precaution, their notification eight days before, according to law, is dispensed with; as extra precaution, they are informed that if they do not vote for the Executive Power, they will have to do with the triangular cudgel.[3221] Consequently, most of them abstain; in a town of over 600 active citizens, 40 votes give a majority; Bourgougnon and Sarrus, the two chiefs of the Executive Power, are elected, one mayor, and the other syndic-attorney, and henceforth the authority they seized by force is conferred on them by the law.



IV.—Ordinary practices of the Jacobin dictatorship.

The stationary companies of the clubs.—Their personnel. —Their leaders.

This is roughly the type of government which spring up in every commune of France after the 10th of August; the club reigns, but the form and processes of its dictatorship are different, according to circumstances.—Sometimes it operates directly through an executive gang or by lancing an excited mob; sometimes it operates indirectly through the electoral assembly it has had elected, or through the municipality, which is its accomplice. If the administrations are Jacobin, it governs through them. If they are passive, it governs alongside of them. If they are refractory, it purges them,[3222] or breaks them up,[3223] and, to put them down, it resorts not only to blows, but even to murder[3224] and massacre.[3225] Between massacre and threats, all intermediaries meet, the revolutionary seal being everywhere impressed with inequalities of relief.

In many places, threats suffice. In regions where the temperament of the people is cool, and where there is no resistance, it is pointless to resort to assault and battery. What is the use is killing in a town like Arras, for instance, where, on the day of the civic oath, the president of the department, a prudent millionaire, stalks through the streets arm in arm with Aunty Duchesne, who sells cookies down in a cellar, where, on election days, the townspeople, through cowardice, elect the club candidates under the pretense that "rascals and beggars" must be sent off to Paris to purge the town of them![3226] It would be labor lost to strike people who grovel so well.[3227] The faction is content to mark them as mangy curs, to put them in pens, keep them on a leash, and to annoy them.[3228] It posts at the entrance of the guard-room a list of inhabitants related to an emigre; it makes domiciliary visits; it draws up a fancied list of the suspected, on which list all that are rich are found inscribed. It insults and disarms them; it confines them to the town; it forbids them to go outside of it even on foot; it orders them to present themselves daily before its committee of public safety; it condemns them to pay their taxes for a year in twenty-four hours; it breaks the seals of their letters; it confiscates, demolishes, and sells their family tombs in the cemeteries. This is all in order, as is the religious persecution,

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

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

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

* with the expulsion of nuns, and

* with the pursuit, imprisonment and transportation of unsworn ecclesiastics.

But if the domination of the club is not always a bloody one, the judgments are always those of an armed man, who, putting his gun to his shoulder, aims at the wayfarers whom he has stopped on the road. Generally they kneel down, tender their purses, and the shot is not fired. But the gun is cocked, nevertheless, and, to be certain of this, we have only to look at the shriveled hand grasping the trigger. We are reminded of those swarms of banditti which infested the country under the ancient regime;[3229] the double-girdle of smugglers and receivers embraced within twelve hundred leagues of internal excise-duties, the poachers abounding on the four hundred leagues of guarded captaincies, the deserters so numerous that in eight years they amounted to sixty thousand, the beggars with which the prisons overflowed, the thousands of thieves and vagabonds thronging the highways, quarry of the police which the Revolution let loose and armed, and which, in its turn, from being prey, became the hunters of game. For three years these strong-armed prowlers have served as the hard-core of local jacqueries; at the present time they form the staff of the universal jacquerie. At Nimes,[3230] the head of the Executive Power is a "dancing-master." The two leading demagogues of Toulouse are a shoemaker, and an actor who plays valets.[3231] At Toulon,[3232] the club, more absolute than any Asiatic despot, is recruited from among the destitute, sailors, harbor-hands, soldiers, "stray peddlers," while its president, Sylvestre, sent down from Paris, is a criminal of the lowest degree. At Rheims,[3233] the principal leader is an unfrocked priest, married to a nun, aided by a baker, who, an old soldier, came near being hung. Elsewhere,[3234] it is some deserter tried for robbery; here, a cook or innkeeper, and there, a former lackey The oracle of Lyons is an ex-commercial traveler, an emulator of Marat, named Chalier, whose murderous delirium is complicated with morbid mysticism. The acolytes of Chalier are a barber, a hair-dresser, an old-clothes dealer, a mustard and vinegar manufacturer, a cloth-dresser, a silk-worker, a gauze-maker, while the time is near when authority is to fall into still meaner hands, those of "the dregs of the female population," who, aided by "a few bullies," elect "female commissaries," tax food, and for three days pillage the warehouses.[3235] Avignon has for its masters the Glaciere bandits. Arles is under the yoke of its porters and bargemen. Marseilles belongs to "a band of wretches spawned out of houses of debauchery, who recognize neither laws nor magistrates, and ruling the city through terror."[3236]—It is not surprising that such men, invested with such power, use it in conformity with their nature, and that the interregnum, which is their reign, spreads over France a circle of devastations, robberies, and murders.



V.—The companies of traveling volunteers.

Quality of the recruits.—Election of officers.—Robberies and murders.

Usually, the stationary band of club members has an auxiliary band of the same species which roves about. I mean the volunteers, who inspire more fear and do more harm, because they march in a body and are armed.[3237] Like their brethren in the ordinary walks of life, many of them are town and country vagabonds; most of them, living from hand to mouth, have been attracted by the pay of fifteen sous a day; they have become soldiers for lack of work and bread.[3238] Each commune, moreover, having been called upon for its army contingent, "they have picked up whatever could be found in the towns, all the scamps hanging around street-corners, men with no pursuit, and, in the country, wretches and vagabonds of every description; nearly all have been forced to march by money or drawing lots," and it is probable that the various administrations thought that "in this way they would purge France."[3239] To the wretched "bought by the communes," add others of the same stamp, procured by the rich as substitutes for their sons.[3240] Thus do they pick over the social dunghill and obtain at a discount the natural and predestined inmates of houses of correction, poor-houses and hospitals, with an utter disregard of quality, even physical, "the halt, the maimed and the blind," the deformed and the defective, "some too old, and others too young and too feeble to support the fatigues of war, others so small as to stand a foot lower than their guns," a large number of boys of sixteen, fourteen, and thirteen; in short, the reprobate of great cities as we now see him, stunted, puny, and naturally insolent and insurgent.[3241] "One-third of them are found unfit for service" on reaching the frontier.[3242]—But, before reaching the frontier, they act like "pirates" on the road.—The others, with sounder bodies and better hearts, become, under the discipline of constant danger, good soldiers at the end of a year. In the mean time, however, they make no less havoc, for, if they are less disposed to robbery, they are more fanatical. Nothing is more delicate than the military organization, owing to the fact that it represents force, and man is always tempted to abuse force; for any free company of soldiers to remain inoffensive in a civil community, it must be restrained by the strongest curbs, which curbs, either within or without, were wholly wanting with the volunteers of 1792.[3243]

Artisans, peasants, the petty bourgeois class, youthful enthusiasts stimulated by the prevailing doctrine, they are still much more Jacobin than patriotic; the dogma of popular sovereignty, like a heady wine, has turned their inexperienced brains; they are fully persuaded that, "destined to contend with the enemies of the republic, is an honor which permits them to exact and to dare all things."[3244] The least among them believes himself superior to the law, "as formerly a Conde,[3245]" and he becomes king on a small scale, self-constituted, an autocratic justiciary and avenger of wrongs, a supporter of patriots and the scourge of aristocrats, the disposer of lives and property, and, without delay or formality, taking it upon himself to complete the Revolution on the spot in every town he passes through.—He is not to be hindered in all this by his officers. "Having created his chiefs, they are of no more account to him than any of a man's creations usually are"; far from being obeyed, the officers are not even respected, "and that comes from resorting to analogies without considering military talent or moral superiority."[3246] Through the natural effects of the system of election, all grades of rank have fallen upon demagogues and blusterers.

"The intriguers, loud-talkers, and especially the great boozers, have prevailed against the capable."[3247]

Besides, to retain his popularity, the new officer will go to a bar and drink with his men,[3248] and he must show himself more Jacobin than they are, from which it follows that, not content with tolerating their excesses, he provokes them.—Hence, after March, 1792, and even before,[3249] we see the volunteers behaving in France as in a conquered country. Sometimes they make domiciliary visits, and break everything to pieces in the house they visit. Sometimes, they force the re-baptism of infants by the conventionalist cure, and shoot at the traditional father. Here, of their own accord, they make arrests; there, they join in with mutineers and stop grain-boats; elsewhere, they force a municipality to tax bread; farther on, they burn or sack chateaux, and, if a mayor happens to inform them that the chateau now belongs to the nation and not to an emigre; they reply with "thrusts," and threaten to cut his throat.[3250] As the 10th of August draws near, the phantom of authority, which still occasionally imposed on them, completely vanishes, and "they risk nothing in killing" whoever displeases them.[3251] Exasperated by the perils they are about to encounter on the frontier, they begin war in the interior. Provisionally, and as a precaution, they slaughter probable aristocrats on the way, and treat the officers, nobles and priests they meet on the road worse than their club allies. For, on the one hand, being merely on the march, they are much safer from punishment than local murderers; in a week, lost in the army, they will not be sought for in camp, and they may slay with perfect security. On the other hand, as they are strangers and newcomers, they are not able, like local persons, to identify a person. So on account of a name, a dress, qualifications, a coffee-house rumor, or an appearance, however venerable and harmless a man may be, they kill him, not because they know him, but because they do not know him.



VI.—A tour of France in the cabinet of the Minister of the Interior.

From Carcassonne to Bordeaux.—Bordeaux to Caen.—The north and the east.—Chalons-sur-Marne to Lyons.—The Comtat and Provence.—The tone and the responses of the Jacobin administration.—The programme of the party.

Let us enter the cabinet of Roland, Minister of the Interior, a fortnight after the opening of the Convention, and suppose him contemplating, some evening, in miniature, a picture of the state of the country administered by him. His clerks have placed the correspondence of the past few weeks on his table, arranged in proper order; his replies are noted in brief on the margin; he has a map of France before him, and, placing his finger on the southern section, he moves it along the great highway across the country. At every stage he recurs to the paper file of letters, and passing innumerable reports of violence, he merely gives his attention to the great revolutionary exploits.[3252] Madame Roland, I imagine, works with her husband, and the couple, sitting together alone under the lamp, ponder over the doings of the ferocious brute which they have set free in the provinces the same as in Paris.

Their eyes go first to the southern extremity of France. There,[3253] on the canal of the Deux-Mers, at Carcassonne, the population has seized three boats loaded with grain, demanded provisions, then a lower prices of bread, then guns and cannon from the magazine, and, lastly, the heads of the administrators; an inspector-general has been wounded by an axe, and the syndic-attorney of the department, M. Verdie; massacred.—The Minister follows with his eye the road from Carcassonne to Bordeaux, and on the right and on the left he finds traces of blood. At Castres,[3254] a report is spread that a dealer in grain was trying to raise the price, whereupon a mob gathers, and, to save the dealer, he is placed in the guard-house. The volunteers, however, force open the guard-house, and throw the man out of the first-story window; they then finish him off with "blows with clubs and weights," drag his body along the street and cast it into the river.—The evening before, at Clairac,[3255] M. Lartigue-Langa, an unsworn priest, pursued through the street by a troop of men and women, who wanted to remove his cassock and set him on an ass, found refuge, with great difficulty, in his country-house. They go there for him, however, fetch him back to the public promenade, and there they kill him. A number of brave fellows who interfered were charged with incivism, and severely handled. Repression is impossible; the department writes to the Minister that "at this time it would be impolitic to follow the matter up." Roland knows that by experience. The letters in his hands show him that there, as in Paris, murder engenders murder. M. d'Alespee; a gentleman, has just been assassinated at Nerac; "all reputable citizens formed around him a rampart with their bodies," but the rabble prevailed, and the murderers, "through their obscurity," escaped.—The Minister's finger stops at Bordeaux. There the federation festivities are marked with a triple assassination.[3256] In order to let this dangerous moment pass by, M. de Langoiran, vicar-general of the archbishopric, had retired half a league off; in the village of Cauderan, to the residence of an octogenarian priest, who, like himself; had never meddled with public matters. On the 15th of July the National Guards of the village, excited by the speeches of the previous night, have come to the residence to pick them up, and moreover, a third priest belonging in the neighborhood. There is nothing to lay to their charge; neither the municipal officers, nor the justices before whom they are brought, can avoid declaring them innocent. As a last recourse, they are conducted to Bordeaux, before the Directory of the department. But it is getting dark, and the riotous crowd becoming impatient, makes an attack on them. The octogenarian "receives so many blows that he cannot recover"; the abbe du Puy is knocked down and dragged along by a rope attached to his feet; M. de Langoirac's head is cut off, carried about on a pike, taken to his house and presented to the servant, who is told that "her master will not come home to supper." The torment of the priests has lasted from five o'clock in the morning to seven o'clock in the evening, and the municipal authorities were duly advised; but they cannot put themselves out of the way to give succor; they are too seriously occupied in erecting a liberty-pole.

Route from Bordeaux to Caen.—The Minister's finger turns to the north, and stops at Limoges. The day following the federation has been here celebrated the same as at Bordeaux.[3257] An unsworn priest, the abbe Chabrol, assailed by a gang of men and women, is first conducted to the guard-house and then to the dwelling of the juge-de-paix; for his protection a warrant of arrest is gotten out, and he is kept under guard, in sight, by four chasseurs, in one of the rooms. But the populace are not satisfied with this. In vain do the municipal officers appeal to it, in vain do the gendarmes interpose themselves between it and the prisoner; it rushes in upon them and disperses them. Meanwhile, volleys of stones smash in the windows, and the entrance door yields to the blows of axes; about thirty of the villains scale the windows, and pass the priest down like a bale of goods. A few yards off, "struck down with clubs and other instruments," he draws his last breath, his head "crushed" by twenty mortal wounds.—Farther up, towards Orleans, Roland reads the following dispatches, taken from the file for Loiret:[3258] "Anarchy is at its height," writes one of the districts to the Directory of the department; "there is no longer recognition of any authority; the administrators of the district and of the municipalities are insulted, and are powerless to enforce respect.... Threats of slaughter, of destroying houses and giving them up to pillage prevail; plans are made to tear down all the chateaux. The municipal authorities of Acheres, along with many of the inhabitants, have gone to Oison and Chaussy, where everything is smashed, broken up and carried off On the 16th of September six armed men went to the house of M. de Vaudeuil and obliged him to return the sum of 300 francs, for penalties pretended to have been paid by them. We have been notified that M. Dedeley will be visited at Acheres for the same purpose to-day. M. de Lory has been similarly threatened... Finally, all those people there say that they want no more local administrations or tribunals, that the law is in their own hands, and they will execute it. In this extremity we have decided on the only safe course, which is to silently accept all the outrages inflicted upon us. We have not called upon you for protection, for we are well aware of the embarrassment you labor under."—The best part of the National Guard, indeed, having been disarmed at the county-town, there is no longer an armed force to put riots down. Consequently, at this same date,[3259] the populace, increased by the afflux of "strangers" and ordinary nomads, hang a corn-inspector, plant his head on the end of a pike, drag his body through the streets, sack five houses and burn the furniture of a municipal officer in front of his own door. Thereupon, the obedient municipality sets the arrested rioters free, and lowers the price of bread one-sixth. Above the Loire, the dispatches of Orne and Calvados complete the picture. "Our district," writes a lieutenant of the gendarmerie,[3260] "is a prey to brigandage... About thirty rascals have just sacked the chateau of Dampierre. Calls for men are constantly made upon us," which we cannot satisfy, "because the call is general on all sides." The details are curious, and here, notwithstanding the Minister's familiarity with popular misdeeds, he cannot avoid noting one extortion of a new species. "The inhabitants of the villages[3261] collect together, betake themselves to different chateaux, seize the wives and children of their proprietors, and keep them as bail for promises of reimbursement which they force the latter to sign, not merely for feudal taxes, but, again, for expenses to which this taxation may have given rise," first under the actual proprietor and then under his predecessors; in the mean time they install themselves on the premises, demand payments for their time, devastate the buildings on the place, and sell the furniture.—All this is accompanied with the usual slaughter. The Directory of the department of Orne advises the Minister[3262] that "a former noble has been killed (homicide) in the canton of Sepf, an ex-cure in the town of Belleme, an unsworn priest in the canton of Putanges, an ex-capuchin in the territory of Alencon." The same day, at Caen, the syndic-attorney of Calvados, M. Bayeux, a man of sterling merit, imprisoned by the local Jacobins, has just been shot down in the street and bayoneted, while the National Assembly was passing a decree proclaiming his innocence and ordering him to be set at liberty.[3263]

Route of the East.—At Rouen, in front of the Hotel-de-ville, the National Guard, stoned for more than an hour, finally fire a volley and kill four men; throughout the department violence is committed in connection with grain, while wheat is stolen or carried off by force;[3264] but Roland is obliged to restrict himself; he can note only political disturbances. Besides, he is obliged to hurry up, for murders abound everywhere. In addition to the turmoil of the army and the capital,[3265] each department in the vicinity of Paris or near the frontier furnishes its quota of murders. They take place at Gisors, in the Eure, at Chantilly, and at Clermont in the Oise, at Saint-Amand in the Pas-de-Calais, at Cambray in the Nord, at Retel and Charleville in the Ardennes, at Rheims and at Chalons in the Marne, at Troyes in the Aube, at Meaux in Seine-et-Marne, and at Versailles in Seine-et-Oise.[3266]—Roland, I imagine, does not open this file, and for a good reason; he knows too well how M. de Brissac and M. Delessart, and the other sixty-three persons killed at Versailles; it was he who signed Fournier's commission, the commander of the murderers. At this very moment he is forced to correspond with this villain, to send him certificates of "zeal and patriotism," and to assign him, over and above his robberies, 30,000 francs to defray the expenses of the operation.[3267]—But among the dispatches there are some he cannot overlook, if he desires to know to what his authority is reduced, in what contempt all authority is held, how the civil or military rabble exercises its power, with what promptitude it disposes of the most illustrious and most useful lives, especially those who have been, or are now, in command, the Minister perhaps saying to himself that his turn will come next.

Let us look at the case of M. de la Rochefoucauld. A philanthropist since he was young, a liberal on entering the Constituent Assembly, elected president of the Paris department, one of the most persistent, most generous, and most respected patriots from first to last,—who better deserved to be spared than? Arrested at Gisors[3268] by order of the Paris Commune, he left the inn, escorted by the Parisian commissary, surrounded by the municipal council, twelve gendarmes and one hundred National Guards; behind him walked his mother, eighty years of age, his wife following in a carriage; there could be no fear of an escape. But, for a suspected person, death is more certain than a prison; three hundred volunteers of the Orne and the Sarthe departments, on their way through Gisors, collect and cry out: "We must have his head—nothing shall stop us!" A stone hits M. de la Rochefoucauld on the temple; he falters, his escort is broken up, and they finish him with clubs and sabers, while the municipal council "have barely time to drive off the carriage containing the ladies."—Accordingly, national justice, in the hands of the volunteers, has its sudden outbursts, its excesses, its reactions, the effect of which it is not advisable to wait for. For example, at Cambray,[3269] a division of foot-gendarmerie had just left the town, and it occurs to them that they had forgotten "to purge the prison". It returns, seizes the keeper, takes him to the Hotel-de-ville, examines the prison register, sets at liberty those whose crimes seem to it excusable, and provides them with passports. On the other hand, it kills a former royal procureur, on whom addresses are found tainted with "aristocratic principles," an unpopular lieutenant-colonel, and a suspected captain.—However slight or ill-founded a suspicion, so much the worse for the officer on whom it falls! At Charleville,[3270] two loads of arms having passed through one gate instead of another, to avoid a bad road, M. Juchereau, inspector of the manufacture of arms and commander of the place, is declared a traitor by the volunteers and the crowd, torn from the hands of the municipal officers, clubbed to the ground, stamped on, and stabbed. His head, fixed to a pike, is paraded through Charleville, then into Mezieres, where it is thrown into the river running between the two towns. The body remains, and this the municipality orders to be interred; but it is not worthy of burial; the murderers get hold of it, and cast it into the water that it may join the head. In the meantime the lives of the municipal officers hang by a single thread. One is seized by the throat; another is knocked out of his chair and threatened with hanging, a gun is aimed at him and he is beaten and kicked; subsequently a plot is devised "to cut off their heads and plunder their houses."

He who disposes of lives, indeed, also disposes of property. Roland has only to flick through two or three reports to see how patriotism furnishes a cloak for brutal license and greed. At Coucy, in the department of Aisne,[3271] the peasantry of seventeen parishes, assembled for the purpose of furnishing their military quota, rush with a loud clamor to two houses, the property of M. des Fosses, a former deputy to the Constituent Assembly, and the two finest in the town; one of them had been occupied by Henry IV. Some of the municipal officers who try to interfere are nearly cut to pieces, and the entire municipal body takes to flight. M. des Fosses, with his two daughters, succeed in hiding themselves in an obscure corner in the vicinity, and afterwards in a small tenement offered to them by a humane gardener, and finally, after great difficulty, they reach Soissons. Of his two houses, "nothing remains but the walls. Windows, casings, doors, and wainscoting, all are shattered"; twenty thousand francs of assignats in a portfolio are destroyed or carried off; the title-deeds of the property are not to be found, and the damage is estimated at 200,000 francs. The pillage lasted from seven o'clock in the morning to seven o'clock in the evening, and, as is always the case, ended in a fete. The plunderers, entering the cellars, drank "two hogsheads of wine and two casks of brandy; thirty or forty remained dead drunk, and were taken away with considerable difficulty." There is no prosecution, no investigation; the new mayor, who, one month after, makes up his mind to denounce the act, begs the Minister not to give his name, for, he says, "the agitators in the council-general of the Commune threaten, with fearful consequences, whoever is discovered to have written to you."[3272]—Such is the ever-present menace under which the gentry live, even when veterans in the service of freedom; Roland, foremost in his files, finds heartrending letters addressed directly to him, as a last recourse. Early in 1789, M. de Gouy d'Arcy[3273] was the first to put his pen to paper in behalf of popular rights. A deputy of the noblesse to the Constituent Assembly, he is the first to rally to the Third-Estate; when the liberal minority of the noblesse came and took their seats in the hall of the Communes, he had already been there eight days, and, for thirty months, he "invariably seated himself on the side of the 'Left.'" Senior major-general, and ordered by the Legislative Assembly to suppress the outbreak of the 6,000 insurgents at Noyon, "he kept his rigorous orders in his pocket for ten days"; he endured their insults; he risked his life "to save those of his misguided fellow-citizens, and he had the good fortune not to spill a drop of blood." Exhausted by so much labor and effort, almost dying, ordered into the country by his physicians, "he devoted his income to the relief of poverty"; he planted on his own domain the first liberty tree that was erected; he furnished the volunteers with clothes and arms; "instead of a fifth, he yielded up a third of his revenue under the forced system of taxation." His children live with him on the property, which has been in the family four hundred years, and the peasantry call him "their father." No one could lead a more tranquil or, indeed, a more meritorious existence. But, being a noble, he is suspected, and a delegate from the Paris Commune denounces him at Compiegne as having in his house two cannon and five hundred and fifty muskets. There is at once a domiciliary visit. Eight hundred men, infantry and cavalry, appear before the chateau d'Arcy in battle array. He meets them at the door and tenders them the keys. After a search of six hours, they find twelve fowling pieces and thirteen rusty pistols, which he has already declared. His disappointed visitors grumble, break, eat and drink to the extent of 2,000 crowns damage.[3274] Nevertheless, urged by their leaders they finally retire. But M. de Gouy has 60,000 francs in rentals which would be so much gain to the nation if he would emigrate; this must be effected, by expelling him, and, moreover during his expulsion, they may fill their pockets. For eight days this matter is discussed in the Compiegne club, in the bars, in the barracks, and, on the ninth day, 150 volunteers issue from the town, declaring that they are going to kill M. de Gouy and all who belong to him. Informed of this, he departs with his family, leaving the doors of his house wide open. There is a general pillage for five hours; the mob drink the costly wines, steal the plate, demand horses to carry their booty away, and promise to return soon and take the owner's head.—In effect, on the following morning at four o'clock, there is a new invasion, a new pillage, and, this time, the last one; the servants escape under a fire of musketry, and M. de Gouy, at the request of the villagers, whose vineyards are devastated, is obliged to quit that part of the country.[3275]—There is no need to go through the whole file. At Houdainville, at the house of M. de Saint-Maurice, at Nointel, on the estate of the Duc de Bourbon, at Chantilly, on the estate of the Prince de Conde, at the house of M. de Fitz-James, and elsewhere, a certain Gauthier, "commandant of the Paris detachment of Searchers, and charged with the powers of the Committee of Supervision," makes his patriotic circuit, and Roland knows beforehand of what that consists, namely, a dragonnade[3276] in regular form on the domains of all nobles, absent or present.[3277]

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