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The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3)
by Hippolyte A. Taine
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Always the same alimentary system, the same long lines of people waiting at, and before, dawn in every quarter of Paris, in the dark, for a long time, and often to no purpose, subject to the brutalities of the strong and the outrages of the licentious! On the 9th of Thermidor, the daily trot of the multitude in quest of food has lasted uninterruptedly for seventeen months, accompanied with outrages of the worst kind because there is less terror and less submissiveness, with more obstinacy because provisions at free sale are dearer, with greater privation because the ration distributed is smaller, and with more sombre despair because each household, having consumed its stores, has nothing of its own to make up for the insufficiencies of public charity.—And to cap it all, the winter of 1794-1795 is so cold[42137] that the Seine freezes and people cross the Loire on foot. Rafts no longer arrive and, to obtain fire-wood, it is necessary "to cut down trees at Boulogne, Vincennes, Verrieres, St. Cloud, Meudon and two other forests in the vicinity." Fuel costs "four hundred francs per cord of wood, forty sous for a bushel of charcoal, twenty sous for a small basket. The needy are seen in the streets sawing the wood of their bedsteads to cook with and to keep from freezing." On the resumption of transportation by water amongst the cakes of ice "rafts are sold as fast as the raftsmen can haul the wood out of the water, the people being obliged to pass three nights at the landing to get it, each in turn according to his number." "On Pluviose 3 at least two thousand persons are at the Louviers landing," each with his card allowing him four sticks at fifteen sous each. Naturally, there is pulling, hauling, tumult and a rush; "the dealers take to flight for fear, and the inspectors come near being murdered;" they get away along with the police commissioner and "the public helps itself." Likewise, the following day, there is "an abominable pillage;" the gendarmes and soldiers placed there to maintain order, "make a rush for the wood and carry it away together with the crowd." Bear in mind that on this day the thermometer is sixteen degrees below zero, that one hundred, two hundred other lines of people likewise stand waiting at the doors of bakers and butchers, enduring the same cold, and that they have already endured it and will yet endure it a month and more. Words are wanting to describe the sufferings of these long lines of motionless beings, during the night, at daybreak, standing there five or six hours, with the blast driving through their rags and their feet freezing.—Ventose is beginning, and the ration of bread is reduced to a pound and a half;[42138] Ventose ends, and the ration of bread, kept at a pound and a half for the three hundred and twenty-four laborers, falls to one pound; in fact, a great many get none at all, many only a half and a quarter of a pound. Germinal follows and the Committee of Public Safety, finding that its magazines are giving out, limits all rations to a quarter of a pound. Thereupon, on the 12th of Germinal, an insurrection of workmen and women breaks out; the Convention is invaded and liberated by military force. Paris is declared in a state of siege and the government, again in the saddle, tightens the reins. Thenceforth, the ration of meat served out every four or five days, is a quarter of a pound; bread averages every day, sometimes five, sometimes six and sometimes seven ounces, at long intervals eight ounces, often three, two and one ounce and a half, or even none at all; while this bread, black and "making mischief," becomes more and more worthless and detestable.[42139] People who are well off live on potatoes, but only for them, for, in the middle of Germinal, these cost fifteen francs the bushel and, towards the end, twenty francs; towards the end of Messidor, forty-five francs; in the first month of the Directory, one hundred and eighty francs, and then two hundred and eighty-four francs, whilst other produce goes up at the same rates.—After the abolition of the "maximum" the evil springs not from a lack of provisions, but from their dearness: the shops are well supplied. Whoever comes with a full purse gets what he wants[42140]: The former rich, the property owners and large capitalists, may eat on the condition that they hand their bundles of assignats over, that they withdrawing their last louis from its hiding-place, that they sell their jewelry, clocks, furniture and clothes. And the nouveaux rich, the speculators, the suppliers, the happy and extravagant robbers, spend four hundred, one thousand, three thousand, then five thousand francs for their dinner, and revel in the great eating establishments on fine wines and exquisite cheer: the burden of the scarcity is transferred to other shoulders.—At present, the class which suffers, and which suffers beyond all bounds of patience is, together with employees and people with small incomes,[42141] the crowd of workmen, the City plebeians, the low Parisian populace

* which lives from day to day,

* which is Jacobin at heart,

* which made the Revolution in order to better itself,

* which finds itself worse off,

* which gets up one insurrection more on the 1st of Prairial,

* which forcibly enters the Tuileries yelling "Bread and the Constitution of '93,"

* which installs itself as sovereign in the Convention,

* which murders the Representative Feraud,

* which decrees a return to Terror, but which, put down by the National Guard, disarmed and forced back into lasting obedience, has only to submit to the consequences of its own outrages, the socialism it has itself instituted and the economical system it itself has organized.

Because the workers of Paris have been usurpers and tyrants they are now beggars. Owing to the ruin brought on proprietors and capitalists by them, individuals can no longer employ them. Owing to the ruin they have brought on the Treasury, the State can provide them with only the semblance of charity, and hence, while all are compelled to go hungry, a great many die, and many commit suicide.

* On Germinal 6th, "Section of the Observatory,"[42142] at the distribution, "forty-one persons had been without bread; several pregnant women desired immediate confinement so as to destroy their infants; others asked for knives to stab themselves."

* On Germinal 8th," a large number of persons who had passed the night at the doors of the bakeries were obliged to leave without getting any bread."

* On Germinal 24th, "the police commissioner of the Arsenal section states that many become ill for lack of food, and that he buries quite a number.... The same day, he has heard of five or six citizens, who, finding themselves without bread, and unable to get other food, throw themselves into the Seine."

* Germinal 27, "the women say that they feel so furious and are in such despair on account of hunger and want that they must inevitably commit some act of violence.... In the section of 'Les Amis de la Patrie,' one half have no bread.... Three persons tumbled down through weakness on the Boulevard du Temple."

* Floreal 2, "most of the workmen in the 'Republique' section are leaving Paris on account of the scarcity of bread."

* Floreal 5, "eighteen out of twenty-four inspectors state that patience is exhausted and that things are coming to an end."

* Floreal 14, "the distribution is always unsatisfactory on account of the four-ounce ration; two thirds of the citizens do without it. One woman, on seeing the excitement of her husband and her four children who had been without bread for two days, trailed through the gutter tearing her hair and striking her head; she then got up in a state of fury and attempted to drown herself."

* Floreal 20, "all exclaim that they cannot live on three ounces of bread, and, again, of such bad quality. Mothers and pregnant women fall down with weakness."

* Floreal 21, "the inspectors state that they encounter many persons in the streets who have fallen through feebleness and inanition."

* Floreal 23, "a citoyenne who had no bread for her child tied it to her side and jumped into the river. Yesterday, an individual named Mottez, in despair through want, cut his throat."

* Floreal 25, "several persons, deprived of any means of existence, gave up in complete discouragement, and fell down with weakness and exhaustion.... In the 'Gravilliers' section, two men were found dead with inanition.... The peace officers report the decease of several citizens; one cut his throat, while another was found dead in his bed." Floreal 28, "numbers of people sink down for lack of something to eat; yesterday, a man was found dead and others exhausted through want."

* Prairial 24, "Inspector Laignier states that the indigent are compelled to seek nourishment in the piles of garbage on the corners."

* Messidor 1,[42143] "the said Picard fell through weakness at ten o'clock in the morning in the rue de la Loi, and was only brought to at seven o'clock in the evening; he was carried to the hospital on a hand-barrow."

* Messidor 11, "There is a report that the number of people trying to drown themselves is so great that the nets at St. Cloud scarcely suffice to drag them out of the water."

* Messidor 19, "A man was found on the corner of a street just dead with hunger."

* Messidor 27, "At four o'clock in the afternoon, Place Maubert, a man named Marcelin, employed in the Jardin des Plantes, fell down through starvation and died while assistance was being given to him." On the previous evening, the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille, a laborer on the Pont-au-Change, says "I have eaten nothing all day. ''Another replies: "I have not been home because I have nothing to give to my wife and children, dying with hunger." About the same date, a friend of Mallet-Dupan writes to him "that he is daily witness to people amongst the lower classes dying of inanition in the streets; others, and principally women, have nothing but garbage to live on, scraps of refuse vegetables and the blood running out of the slaughter houses. Laborers, generally, work on short time on account of their lack of strength and of their exhaustion for want of food."[42144]—

Thus ends the rule of the Convention. Well has it looked out for the interests of the poor! According to the reports of its own inspectors, "famished stomachs on all sides cry vengeance, beat to arms and sound the tocsin of alarm[42145].... Those who have to dwell daily on the sacrifices they make to keep themselves alive declare that there is no hope except in death." Are they going to be relieved by the new government which the Convention imposes on them with thunders of artillery and in which it perpetuates itself?[42146]—

* Brumaire 28, "Most of the workmen in the 'Temple' and 'Gravilliers' sections have done no work for want of bread."

* Brumaire 24, "Citizens of all classes refuse to mount guard because they have nothing to eat."

* Brumaire 25, "In the 'Gravilliers' section the women say that they have sold all that they possessed, while others, in the 'Faubourg-Antoine' section, declare that it would be better to be shot down."

* Brumaire 30, "A woman beside herself came and asked a baker to kill her children as she had nothing to give them to eat."

* Frimaire 1, 2, 3, and 4, "In many of the sections bread is given out only in the evening, in others at one o'clock in the morning, and of very poor quality.... Several sections yesterday had no bread."

* Frimaire 7, the inspectors declare that "the hospitals soon will not be vast enough to hold the sick and the wretched."

* Frimaire 14, At the central market a woman nursing her child sunk down with inanition." A few days before this, "a man fell down from weakness, on his way to Bourg l'Abbe."

"All our reports," say the district administrators, "resound with shrieks of despair." People are infatuated; "it seems to us that a crazy spirit prevails universally, we often encounter people in the street who, although alone, gesticulate and talk to themselves aloud." "How many times," writes a Swiss traveller,[42147] who lived in Paris during the latter half of 1795, "how often have I chanced to encounter men sinking through starvation, scarcely able to stand up against a post, or else down on the ground and unable to get up for want of strength!" A journalist states that he saw "within ten minutes, along the street, seven poor creatures fall on account of hunger, a child die on its mother's breast which was dry of milk, and a woman struggling with a dog near a sewer to get a bone away from him."[42148] Meissner never leaves his hotel without filling his pockets with pieces of the national bread. "This bread," he says, "which the poor would formerly have despised, I found accepted with the liveliest gratitude, and by well educated persons;" the lady who contended with the dog for the bone was a former nun, without either parents or friends and everywhere repulsed." "I still hear with a shudder," says Meissner, "the weak, melancholy voice of a well-dressed woman who stopped me in the rue du Bac, to tell me in accents indicative both of shame and despair: 'Ah, Sir, do help me! I am not an outcast. I have some talent—you may have seen some of my works in the salon. I have had nothing to eat for two days and I am crazy for want of food.'" Again, in June, 1796, the inspectors state that despair and despondency have reached the highest point, only one cry being heard-misery!.... Our reports all teem with groans and complaints.. .. Pallor and suffering are stamped on all faces.... Each day presents a sadder and more melancholy aspect." And repeatedly,[42149] they sum up their scattered observations in a general statement:

* "A mournful silence, the deepest distress on every countenance;

* the most intense hatred of the government in general developed in all conversations;

* contempt for all existing authority;

* an insolent luxuriousness, insulting to the wretchedness of the poor rentiers who expire with hunger in their garrets, no longer possessing the courage to crawl to the Treasury and get the wherewithal to prolong their misery for a few days;

* the worthy father of a family daily deciding what article of furniture he will sell to make up for what is lacking in his wages that he may buy a half-pound of bread;

* every sort of provision increasing in price sixty times an hour;

* the smallest business dependent on the fall of assignats;

* intriguers of all parties overthrowing each other only to get offices;

* the intoxicated soldier boasting of the services he has rendered and is to render, and abandoning himself shamelessly to every sort of debauchery;

* commercial houses transformed into dens of thieves;

* rascals become traders and traders become rascals; the most sordid cupidity and a mortal egoism—such is the picture presented by Paris."[42150]

One group is wanting in this picture, that of the governors who preside over this wretchedness, which group remains in the background; one might say that it was so designed and composed by some great artist, a lover of contrasts, an inexorable logician, whose invisible hand traces human character unvaryingly, and whose mournful irony unfailingly depicts side by side, in strong relief, the grotesqueness of folly and the seriousness of death. How many perished on account of this misery? Probably more than a million persons.[42151]—

Try to take in at a glance the extraordinary spectacle presented on twenty-six thousand square leagues of territory:

* The immense multitude of the starving in town and country,

* the long lines of women for three years waiting for bread in all the cities,

* this or that town of twenty-three thousand souls in which one-third of the population dies in the hospitals in three months,

* the crowds of paupers at the poor-houses,

* the file of poor wretches entering and the file of coffins going out,

* the asylums deprived of their property, overcrowded with the sick, unable to feed the multitude of foundlings pining away in their cradles the very first week, their little faces in wrinkles like those of old men,

* the malady of want aggravating all other maladies, the long suffering of a persistent vitality amidst pain and which refuses to succumb, the final death-rattle in a garret or in a ditch.

Contrast this with this the small, powerful, triumphant group of Jacobins which, having understood how to place themselves in the good places, is determined to stay there at any cost.—About ten o'clock in the morning,[42152] Cambaceres, president of the Committee of Public Safety, is seen entering its hall in the Pavillon de l'Egalite. He is a large, cautious and shrewd personage who will, later on, become arch-chancellor of the Empire and famous for his epicurean inventions and other peculiar tastes revived from antiquity. Scarcely seated, he orders an ample pat-au-feu to be placed on the chimney hearth and, on the table, "fine wine and fine white bread; three articles," says a guest, "not to be found elsewhere in all Paris." Between twelve and two o'clock, his colleagues enter the room in turn, take a plate of soup and a slice of meat, swallow some wine, and then proceed, each to his bureau, to receive his coterie, giving this one an office and compelling another to pay up, looking all the time after his own special interests. At this moment, especially, towards the close of the Convention, there are no public interests, all interests being private and personal.—In the mean time, the deputy in charge of provisions, Roux de la Haute Marne, an unfrocked Benedictine, formerly a terrorist in the provinces, subsequently the protege and employee of Fouche, with whom he is to be associated in the police department, keeps the throng of women in check which daily resorts to the Tuileries to beg for bread. He is well adapted for this duty, being tall, chubby, ornamental, and with vigorous lungs. He has taken his office in the right place, in the attic of the palace, at the top of long, narrow and steep stairs, so that the line of women stretching up between the two walls, piled one above the other, necessarily becomes immovable. With the exception of the two or three at the front, no one has her hands free to grab the haranguer by the throat and close the oratorical stop-cock. He can spout his tirades accordingly with impunity, and for an indefinite time. On one occasion, his sonorous jabber rattles away uninterruptedly from the top to the bottom of the staircase, from nine o'clock in the morning to five o'clock in the afternoon. Under such a voluble shower, his hearers become weary and end by going home.—About nine or ten o'clock in the evening, the Committee of Public Safety reassembles, but not to discuss business. Danton and La Revelliere preach in vain; each is too egoistic and too worn-out; they let the rein slacken on Cambaceres. As to him, he would rather keep quiet and drag the cart no longer; but there are two things necessary which he must provide for on pain of death.—"It will not do," says he in plaintive tones, "to keep on printing the assignats at night which we want for the next day. If that lasts, ma foi, we run the risk of being strung up at a lantern...Go and find Hourier-Eloi, as he has charge of the finances, and tell him that we entreat him to keep us a-going for a fortnight or eighteen days longer, when the executive Directory will come in and do what it pleases." "But food—shall we have enough for to-morrow?

"Aha, I don't know—I'll send for our colleague Roux, who will post us on that point." Roux enters, the official spokesman, the fat, jovial tamer of the popular dog. "Well, Roux, how do we stand about supplying Paris with food?" "The supply, citizen President, is just as abundant as ever, two ounces per head,—at least for most of the sections." "Go to the devil with your abundant supply! You'll have our heads off!" All remain silent, for this possible denouement sets them to thinking. Then, one of them exclaims: "President, are there any refreshments provided for us? After working so hard for so many days we need something to strengthen us!" "Why, yes; there is a good calf's-tongue, a large turbot, a large piece of pie and some other things." They cheer up, begin to eat and drink champagne, and indulge in drolleries. About eleven or twelve o'clock the members of other Committees come in; signatures are affixed to their various decrees, on trust, without reading them over. They, in their turn, sit down at the table and the conclave of sovereign bellies digests without giving itself further trouble about the millions of stomachs that are empty.

*****

[Footnote 4201: On the other more complicated functions, such as the maintenance of roads, canals, harbors, public buildings, lighting, cleanliness, hygiene, superior secondary and primary education, hospitals, and other asylums, highway security, the suppression of robbery and kindred crimes, the destruction of wolves, etc., see Rocquam, "Etat de la France au 18 Brumaire," and the "Statistiques des Departements," published by the prefets, from years IX. to XIII.—These branches of the service were almost entirely overthrown; the reader will see the practical results of their suppression in the documents referred to.]

[Footnote 4202: "St. John de Crevecoeur," by Robert de Crevecoeur, p.216. (Letter of Mdlle. de Gouves, July, 1800.) "We are negotiating for the payment of, at least, the arrearages since 1789 on the Arras property." (M. de Gouves and his sisters had not emigrated, and yet they had had no income from their property for ten years.)]

[Footnote 4203: Cf. "The Revolution," vol. I., 254-261, 311-352; vol. II., 234-272.]

[Footnote 4204: Cf. "The Revolution," II., 273-276.]

[Footnote 4205: Buchez et Roux, XXII., 178. (Speech by Robespierre in the Convention, December 2, 1792.)—Mallet-Dupan, "Memoires." I., 400. About the same date, "a deputation from the department of Gard expressly demands a sum of two hundred and fifty millions, as indemnity to the cultivator, for grain which it calls national property."—This fearful sum of two hundred and fifty millions, they add, is only a fictive advance, placing at its disposal real and purely national wealth, not belonging in full ownership to any distinct member of the social body any more than the pernicious metals minted as current coin."]

[Footnote 4206: Buchez et Roux, XXVI., 95. (Declaration of Rights presented in the Jacobin Club, April 21, 1793.)]

[Footnote 4207: Decrees in every commune establishing a tax on the rich in order to render the price of bread proportionate to wages, also in each large city to raise an army of paid sans-culottes, that will keep aristocrats under their pikes, April 5-7.—Decree ordering the forced loan of a billion on the rich, May 20-25—Buchez et Roux, XXV., 156. (Speech by Charles, March 27.—Gorsas, "Courrier des Departements," No. for May I5, 1793. (Speech by Simon in the club at Annecy.)—Speech by Guffroy at Chartres, and of Chalier and associates at Lyons, etc.]

[Footnote 4208: Report by Minister Clavieres, February 1, 1793, p. 27.—Cf. Report of M. de Montesquiou, September 9, 1791, p. 47. "During the first twenty-six months of the Revolution the taxes brought in three hundred and fifty-six millions less than they should naturally have done."—There is the same deficit in the receipts of the towns, especially on account of the abolition of the octroi. Paris, under this head, loses ten millions per annum.]

[Footnote 4209: Report by Cambon, Pluviose 3, year III. "The Revolution and the war have cost in four years five thousand three hundred and fifty millions above the ordinary expenses." (Cambon, in his estimates, purposely exaggerates ordinary expenses of the monarchy. According to Necker's budget, the expenditure in 1759 was fixed at five hundred and thirty-one millions and not, as Cambon states, seven hundred millions. This raises the expenses of the Revolution and of the war to seven thousand one hundred and twenty-one millions for the four and a half years, and hence to one thousand five hundred and eighty-one millions per annum, that is to say, to triple the ordinary expenses.) The expenses of the cities are therefore exaggerated like those of the State and for the same reasons.]

[Footnote 4210: Schmidt, "Pariser Zustaende," I. 93, 96. "During the first half of the year 1789 there were seventeen thousand men at twenty sous a day in the national workshops at Montmartre. In 1790, there were nineteen thousand. In 1791, thirty-one thousand costing sixty thousand francs a day. In 1790, the State expends seventy-five millions for maintaining the price of bread in Paris at eleven sous for four pounds.—Ibid., 113. During the first six months of 1793 the State pays the Paris bakers about seventy-five thousand francs a day to keep bread at three sous the pound.]

[Footnote 4211: Ibid. I., 139-144.]

[Footnote 4212: Decree of September 27, 1790. "The circulation of assignats shall not extend beyond one billion two hundred millions.... Those which are paid in shall be destroyed and there shall be no other creation or emission of them, without a decree of the Corps Legislatif, always subject to this condition that they shall not exceed the value of the national possessions nor obtain a circulation above one billion two hundred millions.]

[Footnote 4213: Schmidt, ibid., I., 104, 138, 144.]

[Footnote 4214: Felix Rocquam, "L'Etat de la France au 18 Brumaire," p.240. (Report by Lacuee, year IX.—Reports by prefets under the Consulate (Reports of Laumont, prefet of the Lower-Rhine, year X.; of Coichen, prefet of the Moselle, year XI., etc.)—Schmidt, Pariser Zustaende," III., 205. ("The rate of interest during the Revolution was from four to five per cent. per month; in 1796 from six to eight per cent. per month, the lowest rate being two per cent. per month with security.")]

[Footnote 4215: Arthur Young, "Voyage en France," II., 360. (Fr. translation.) "I regard Bordeaux as richer and more commercial than any city in England except London."]

[Footnote 4216: Ibid., II., 357. The statistics of exports in France in 1787 give three hundred and forty-nine millions, and imports three hundred and forty millions (leaving out Lorraine. Alsace, the three Eveches and the West Indies).-Ibid., 360. In 1786 the importations from the West Indies amounted to one hundred and seventy-four millions, of which St. Domingo furnished one hundred and thirty-one millions; the exports to the West Indies amounted to sixty-four millions, of which St. Domingo had forty-four millions. These exchanges were effected by five hundred and sixty-nine vessels carrying one hundred and sixty-two thousand tons, of which Bordeaux provided two hundred and forty-six vessels, carrying seventy-five thousand tons.—On the ruin of manufactures cf. the reports of prefets in the year X., with details from each department.—Arthur Young (II., 444) states that the Revolution affected manufactures more seriously than any other branch of industry.]

[Footnote 4217: Reports of prefets. (Orme, year IX.) "The purchasers have speculated on the profits for the time being, and have exhausted their resources. Many of them have destroyed all the plantations, all the enclosures and even the fruit trees."—Felix Rocquam, ibid., 116. (Report by Fourcroy on Brittany.) "The condition of rural structures everywhere demands considerable capital. But no advances, based on any lasting state of things, can be made."—Ibid., 236. (Report of Lacuee on the departments around Paris.) "The doubtful owners of national possessions cultivate badly and let things largely go to ruin."]

[Footnote 4218: Reports by prefets, years X. and XI. In general, the effect of the partition of communal possessions was disastrous, especially pasture and mountain grounds.—(Doubs.) "The partition of the communal property has contributed, in all the communes, rather to the complete ruin of the poor than to any amelioration of their fate."—(Lozere.) "The partition of the communal property by the law of June 10, 1792, has proved very injurious to cultivation." These partitions were numerous. (Moselle.) "Out of six hundred and eighty-six communes, one hundred and seven have divided per capitum, five hundred and seventy-nine by families, and one hundred and nineteen have remained intact."]

[Footnote 4219: Ibid. (Moselle.) Births largely increase in 1792. "But this is an exceptional year. All kinds of abuses, paper-money, the non-payment of taxes and claims, the partition in the communes, the sale for nothing of national possessions, has spread so much comfort among the people that the poorer classes, who are the most numerous, have had no dread of increasing their families, to which they hope some day to leave their fields and render them happy."]

[Footnote 4220: Mallet-Dupan, "Memoires," II., 29. (February 1, 1794.) "The late crop in France was generally good, and, in some provinces, it was above the average... I have seen the statements of two returns made from twenty-seven departments; they declare an excess of fifteen, twenty, thirty and thirty-five thousand bushels of grain. There is no real dearth."]

[Footnote 4221: Schmidt, ibid., I., 110, and following pages.—Buchez et Roux, XX., 416. (Speeches of Lequinio, November 27, 1792.)—Moniteur, XVII., 2. (Letter by Clement, Puy-de-Dome, June 15, 1793.) "For the past fifteen days bread has been worth sixteen and eighteen sous the pound. There is the most frightful distress in our mountains. The government distributes one-eighth of a bushel to each person, everybody being obliged to wait two days to take his turn. One woman was smothered and several were wounded."]

[Footnote 4222: Cf. "La Revolution," I., 208; II., 294, 205, 230.—Buchez et Roux, XX., 431. (Report of Lecointe-Puyraveau, Nov. 30, 1792.) (Mobs of four, five and six thousand men in the departments of Eure-et-Loire, Eure, Orme, Calvados, Indre-et-Loire, Loiret, and Sarthe cut down the prices of produce. The three delegates of the Convention disposed to interfere have their lives saved only on condition of announcing the rate dictated to them.—Ibid., 409. (Letter of Roland, Nov.27, 1792.)—XXI., 198. (Another letter by Roland, Dec. 6, 1792.) "All convoys are stopped at Lissy, la Ferte, Milan, la Ferte-sous-Jouarre... Carts loaded with wheat going to Paris have been forced to go back near Lonjumeau and near Meaux."]

[Footnote 4223: Archives Nationales, F. 7, 3265. (Letter of David, cultivator, and administrator of the department of Seine-Inferieure, Oct.11, 1792; letter of the special committee of Rouen, Oct.22; letter of the delegates of the executive power, Oct.20, etc.) "Reports from all quarters state that the farmers who drive to market are considered and treated in their parishes as aristocrats..... Each department keeps to itself: they mutually repel each other."]

[Footnote 4224: Buchez et Roux, XX., 409. (Letter of Roland, Nov. 271 1792.) "The circulation of grain has for a long time encountered the greatest obstacles; scarcely a citizen now dares to do that business."—Ibid., 417. (Speech by Lequinio.) "The monopoly of wheat by land-owners and farmers is almost universal. Fright is the cause of it.... And where does this fear come from? From the general agitation, and threats, with the bad treatment in many places of the farmers, land-owners and traffickers in wheat known as bladiers."—Decrees of Sep.16, 1792, and May 4, 1793.]

[Footnote 4225: Buchez et Roux, XIX. (Report by Cambon, Sep.22, 1792.) "The taxes no longer reach the public treasury, because they are used for purchasing grain in the departments." Ibid., XIX., 29. (Speech by Cambon, Oct.12, 1792.) "You can bear witness in your departments to the sacrifices which well-to-do people have been obliged to make in helping the poor class. In many of the towns extra taxes have been laid for the purchase of grain and for a thousand other helpful measures."]

[Footnote 4226: Buchez et Roux, XX., 409. (Letter of Roland, Nov.29, 1792)—XXI., 199. (Deliberations of the provisional executive council, Sep. 3, 1792.)—Dauban, "La Demagogie en 1793," p. 64. (Diary kept by Beaulieu.) Ibid., 152.)]

[Footnote 4227: Schmidt, I., 110-130.—Decrees against the export of coin or ingots, Sep. 5 and 15, 1792.-Decree on stocks or bonds payable to bearer, Aug.14, 1792.]

[Footnote 4228: We might today call this sentiment a desire to acquire and retain. (Sentiment of acquisiton). (SR.)]

[Footnote 4229: Taine's remark in a footnote. (SR.)]

[Footnote 4230: Archives Nationales, D., 55, I., file 2. (Letter by Joifroy, national agent in the district of Bar-sur-Aube, Germinal 5, year III.) "Most of the farmers, to escape the requisition, have sold their horses and replaced them with oxen."—Memoirs (in ms.) of M. Dufort de Cheverney (communicated by M. Robert de Crevecoeur). In June, 1793, "the requisitions fall like hail, every week, on wheat, hay, straw, oats, etc.," all at prices fixed by the contractors, who make deductions, postpone and pay with difficulty. Then come requisitions for hogs. "This was depriving all the country folks of what they lived on." As the requisitions called for live hogs, there was a hog St. Bartholomew. Everybody killed his pig and salted it down." (Environs of Blois.) In relation to refusing to gather in crops, see further on.—Dauban, "Paris in 1794, p.229. (Ventose 24, general orders by Henriot.) "Citizen Guillon being on duty outside the walls, saw with sorrow that citizens were cutting their wheat to feed rabbits with."]

[Footnote 4231: Decree of Messidor 23, year II., on the consolidation with the national domain of the assets and liabilities of hospitals and other charitable institutions. (See reports of prefets on the effect of this law, on the ruin of the hospitals, on the misery of the sick, of foundlings and the infirm, from years IX. to XIII.)—Decrees of August 8 and 12, 1793, and July 24, 1794, on academies and literary societies.—Decree of August 24, 1793, P 29, on the assets and liabilities of communes.]

[Footnote 4232: Schmidt, I., 144. (Two billions September 27, 1793; one billion four hundred millions June 19, 1794.)—Decree of August 24, September 13, 1793, on the conversion of title-deeds and the formation of the Grand Ledger.—Decrees of July 31, August 30 and September 5, on calling in the assignats a face royale.—Decrees of August 1 and September 5, 1793, on the refusal to accept assignats at par.]

[Footnote 4233: Archives Nationales, F.7, 4421. (Documents on the revolutionary taxes organized at Troyes, Brumaire 11, year II.) Three hundred and seventy-three persons are taxed, especially manufacturers, merchants and land-owners; the minimum of the tax is one hundred francs, the maximum fifty thousand francs, the total being one million seven hundred and sixty-two thousand seven hundred francs. Seventy-six petitions attached to the papers show exactly the situation of things in relation to trade, manufactures and property, the state of fortunes and credit of the upper and lower bourgeois class.]

[Footnote 4234: Mallet-Dupan, "Memoires," II., 17. "I have seen the thirty-second list of emigres at Marseilles, merely of those whose possessions have been confiscated and sold; there are twelve thousand of them, and the lists were not finished."—Reports of prefets. (Var by Fanchet, year IX.) "The emigration of 1793 throws upon Leghorn and the whole Italian coast a very large number of Marseilles and Toulon traders. These men, generally industrious, have established (there) more than one hundred and sixty soap factories and opened a market for the oil of this region. This event may be likened to the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes."—Cf. the reports on the departments of the Rhone, Aude, Lot and Garonne, Lower Pyrenees, Orme, etc.]

[Footnote 4235: Archives des Affaires Etrangeres, vol. 332. (Letter of Desgranges, Bordeaux, Brumaire 12, year II.) "Nobody here talks about trade any more than if it had never existed."]

[Footnote 4236: Dr. Jain, "Choix de documents et lettres privees trouvees dans des papiers de famille," p.144. (Letter of Gedeon Jain, banker at Paris, November 18, 1793.) "Business carried on with difficulty and at a great risk occasion frequent and serious losses, credit and resources being almost nothing."]

[Footnote 4237: Archives Nationales, F.7, 2475. (Letters of Thullier, procureur-syndic of the Paris department, September 7 and 10, 1793.—Report by a member of the Piques section, September 8 and 10, 1793.—Cf. the petitions of traders and lawyers imprisoned at Troyes, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, etc.—Archives Nationales, AF.,II., 271. Letter of Francastel: "At least three thousand monopolist aristocrats have been arrested at Nantes.... and this is not the last purification."]

[Footnote 4238: Decrees of May 4, 15, 19, 20 and 23, and of August 30, 1793.—Decrees of July 26, August 15, September II, 1793, and February 24, 1794.—Camille Boursier, "Essai sur la Terreur en Anjou," p. 254. (Letter of Buissart to his friend Maximilian Robespierre, Arras, Pluviose 14, year II.) "we are dying with starvation in the midst of abundance; I think that the mercantile aristocracy ought to be killed out like the nobles and priests. The communes, with the help of a storehouse of food and goods must alone be allowed to trade. This idea, well carried out, can be realized; then, the benefits of trade will turn to the advantage of the Republic, that is to say, to the advantage of buyer and seller."]

[Footnote 4239: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 49. (Documents on the levy of revolutionary taxes, Belfort, Brumaire 30, year II.) "Verneur, sr., taxed at ten thousand livres, for having withheld goods deposited with him by his sister, in order to save them from the coming taxation." Campardon I., 292. (Judgments of the revolutionary commission at Strasbourg.)—"The head-clerk in Hecht's apothecary shop is accused of selling two ounces of rhubarb and manna at fifty-four sous; Hecht, the proprietor, is condemned to a fine of fifteen thousand livres. Madeleine Meyer, at Rosheim, a retailer, is accused of selling a candle for ten sous and is condemned to a fine of one thousand livres, payable in three days. Braun, butcher and bar-keeper, accused of having sold a glass of wine for twenty sous, is condemned to a fine of forty thousand francs, to be imprisoned until this is paid, and to exposure in the pillory before his own house for four hours, with this inscription: debaser of the national currency."—"Recueil de Pieces, etc., at Strasbourg," (supplement, pp. 21, 30, 64). "Marie Ursule Schnellen and Marie Schultzmann, servant, accused of monopolising milk. The former is sentenced to the pillory for one day under a placard, monopoliser of milk, and to hold in one hand the money and, in the other, the milk-pot; the other, a servant with citizen Benner. ... he, the said Benner, is sentenced to a fine of three hundred livres, payable in three days."—"Dorothy Franz, convicted of having sold two heads of salad at twenty sous, and of thus having depreciated the value of assignats, is sentenced to a fine of three thousand livres, imprisonment for six weeks and exposure in the pillory for two hours."—Ibid., I., 18. "A grocer, accused of having sold sugar-candy at lower than the rate, although not comprised in the list, is sentenced to one hundred thousand livres fine and imprisonment until peace is declared."—Orders by Saint-Just and Lebas, Nivose 3, year II. "The criminal court of the department of the Lower-Rhine is ordered to destroy the house of any one convicted of having made sales below the rates fixed by the maximum," consequently, the house of one Schauer, a furrier, is torn down, Nivose 7.]

[Footnote 4240: Archives des Affaires Etrangeres, vol. 322. (Letter by Haupt, Belfort, Brumaire 3, year II.) "On my arrival here, I found the law of the maximum promulgated and in operation... (but) the necessary steps have not been taken to prevent a new monopoly by the country people, who have flocked in to the shops of the dealers, carried off all their goods and created a factitious dearth."]

[Footnote 4241: Archives Nationales, F.7, 4421. (Petitions of merchants and shop-keepers at Troyes in relation to the revolutionary tax, especially of hatters, linen, cotton and woollen manufacturers, weavers and grocers. There is generally a loss of one-half, and sometimes of three-fourths of the purchase money.)]

[Footnote 4242: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol.330. (Letter of Brutus, Marseilles, Nivose 6, year II.) "Since the maximum everything is wanting at Marseilles."—Ibid. (Letter by Soligny and Gosse, Thionville, Nivose 5, year II.) "No peasant is willing to bring anything to market... They go off six leagues to get a better price and thus the communes which they once supplied are famishing.. According as they are paid in specie or assignats the difference often amounts to two hundred per cent., and nearly always to one hundred per cent."—"Un Sejour en France," pp. 188-189.—Archives Nationales, D.. P I., file 2. (Letter of Representative Albert, Germinal 19, year II., and of Joffroy, national agent, district of Bar-sur-Aube, Germinal 5, year III. "The municipalities have always got themselves exempted from the requisitions, which all fall on the farmers and proprietors unable to satisfy them.... The allotment among the tax-payers is made with the most revolting inequality.... Partiality through connections of relatives and of friendship."]

[Footnote 4243: Decrees of September 29, 1793 (articles 8 and 9); of May 4 and 20, and June 26, 1794.—Archives Nationales, AF., II., 68-72. (Orders of the Committee of Public Safety, Prairial 26, year II.) "The horses and wagons of coal peddlers, the drivers accustomed to taking to Paris by law a portion of the supply of coal used in baking in the department of Seine-et-Marne, are drafted until the 1st of Brumaire next, for the transportation of coal to Paris. During this time they cannot be drafted for any other service." (A good many orders in relation to provisions and articles of prime necessity may be found in these files, mostly in the handwriting of Robert Lindet.)]

[Footnote 4244: Cf. "The Revolution," II., 69.—Dauban, "Paris en 1794." (Report by Pouvoyeur, March 15, 1794.) "A report has been long circulated that all the aged were to be slaughtered; there is not a place where this falsehood is not uttered."]

[Footnote 4245: Archives Nationales, F.7, 4435, file 10, letters of Collot d'Herbois, Brumaire 17 and 19, year II.—De Martel, "Fouche," 340, 341. Letters of Collot d'Herbois, November 7 and 9, 1793.]

[Footnote 4246: De Martel, ibid., 462. (Proclamation by Javogues, Pluviose 13, year II.)]

[Footnote 4247: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol. 330. (Letter of Brutus, political agent, Nivose 6.)]

[Footnote 4248: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 116. (Orders of Taillefer and Marat-Valette, and Deliberations of the Directory of Lot, Brumaire 20, year II.)]

[Footnote 4249: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol. 331. (Letter of the agent Bertrand, Frimaire 3.)]

[Footnote 4250: Ibid., vol. 1332. (Letter of the agent Chepy, Brumaire 2.)]

[Footnote 4251: Ibid., vol.1411. (Letter of Blessmann and Hauser, Brumaire 30.)—Ibid. (Letter of Haupt, Belfort, Brumaire 29.) "I believe that Marat's advice should be followed here and a hundred scaffolds be erected; there are not guillotines enough to cut off the heads of the monopolists. I shall do what I can to have the pleasure of seeing one of these damned bastards play hot cockles."]

[Footnote 4252: Ibid., vol.333. (Letter of Garrigues, Pluviose 16.)]

[Footnote 4253: "Souvenirs et Journal d'un Bourgeois d'Evreux," pp.83-85. (June and July, 1794.)—Ibid., at Nantes.—Dauban, "Paris en 1794," p.194, March 4.]

[Footnote 4254: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vols. 331 and 332. (Letters of Desgranges, Frimaire 3 and 8 and 10.) "Many of the peasants have eaten no bread for a fortnight. Most of them no longer work." Buchez et Roux, XVIII., 346. (Session of the convention, Brumaire 14, Speech by Legendre.)]

[Footnote 4255: Moniteur, xix., 671. (Speech by Tallien, March 12, 1794.) Buchez et Roux, XXXII., 423. (Letter of Jullien, June 15, 1794.)]

[Footnote 4256: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 111. (Letters of Michaud, Chateauroux, Pluviose 18 and 19, year II.)]

[Footnote 4257: Dauban, "Paris en 1794," 410, 492, 498. (Letters frora the national agent of the district of Sancoins, Thermidor 9, year II.; from the Directory of Allier, Thermidor 9; from the national agent of the district of Villefort, Thermidor 9.)—Gouverneur Morris, April 10, 1794, says in a letter to Washington that the famine in many places is extremely severe. Men really die of starvation who have the means to buy bread if they could only get it.]

[Footnote 4258: Volney, "Voyage en Orient," II., 344. "When Constantinople lacks food twenty provinces are starved for its supply."]

[Footnote 4259: Archives Nationales, AF., II, 46, 68. (Decree of committee of Public Safety.) The Treasury pays over to the city of Paris for subsistence, on Aug. 2, 1793, two millions, August 14, three, and September 2nd, one million; September 8, 16, and 23, one million each, and so on.... Between August 7, 1793 and Germinal '9, year II., the Treasury paid over to Paris, thirty one millions.]

[Footnote 4260: Ibid, AF., II., 68. Decrees of Brumaire 14, Nivose 7 and Germinal 22 on the departments assigned to the supply of Paris. Buchez et Roux, XXVIII., 489. (Speech by Danton in Jacobin club, Aug.28, '793.) "I constantly asserted that it was necessary to give all to the mayor of Paris if he exacted it to feed its inhabitants.. .. Let us sacrifice one hundred and ten millions and save Paris and through it, the Republic."]

[Footnote 4261: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vols. 1410 and 1411. Reports of June 20 and 21, 1793, July 21, 22, 28, 29 and 31, and every day of the months of August and September, 1793. Schmidt, "Tableaux de la Revolution Francaise," vol. II., passim—Dauban, "Paris in 1794," (especially throughout Ventose, year II.).—Archives Nationales, F.7, 31167. (Reports for Nivose, year II.)]

[Footnote 4262: Dauban, "Paris en 1794,". (Report of Ventose 2.)]

[Footnote 4263: Mercier, "Paris Pendant la Revolution," I., 355.]

[Footnote 4264: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, 141 I. (Reports of August 1 and 2, 1763.) "At one o'clock in the morning, we were surprised to find men and women lying along the sides of the houses patiently waiting for the shops to open."—Dauban, 231. (Report of Ventose 24.) To obtain the lights of a hog, at the slaughter house near the Jardin des Plantes, at the rate of three francs ten sous, instead of thirty sous as formerly, women "were lying on the ground with little baskets by their side and waiting four and five hours."]

[Footnote 4265: Archives Nationales, F.7, 31167. (Reports of Nivose 9 and 28.) "The streets of Paris are always abominable; they are certainly afraid to use those brooms." Dauban, 120. (Ventose 9.) "The rue St. Anne is blocked up with manure. In that part of it near the Rue Louvois, heaps of this stretch along the walls for the past fortnight."]

[Footnote 4266: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol.1411. (Reports of August 9, 1793.) Mercier, I., 353.—Dauban, 530. (Reports of Fructidor 27, year II. "There are always great gatherings at the coal depots. They begin at midnight. one, two o'clock in the morning. Many of the habitues take advantage of the obscurity and commit all sorts of indecencies."]

[Footnote 4267: Schmidt, "Tableaux de la Revolution Francaise," II., 155. (Reports of Ventose 25.)—Dauban, 188. (Reports of Ventose 19).—Ibid., (Reports of Ventose 2.) Ibid., 126. (Reports of Ventose 10.)—Archives Nationales, F. 7, 31167. (Reports of Nivose 28, year II.) The women "denounce the butchers and pork sellers who pay no attention to the maximum law, giving only the poorest meat to the poor." Ibid., (Reports of Nivose 6.) "It is frightful to see what the butchers give the people."]

[Footnote 4268: Mercier, 363. "The women struggled with all their might against the men and contracted the habit of swearing. The last on the row knew how to worm themselves up to the head of it." Buchez et Roux, XXVIII., 364. ("Journal de la Montague," July 28, 1793. "One citizen was killed on Sunday, July 21, one of the Gravilliers (club) in trying to hold on to a six pound loaf of bread which he had just secured for himself and family. Another had a cut on his arm the same day in the Rue Froid-Manteau. A pregnant woman was wounded and her child died in her womb."]

[Footnote 4269: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol.1410. (Reports of August 6 and 7, 1793.)]

[Footnote 4270: Dauban, 144. (Reports of Ventose 19.)]

[Footnote 4271: Dauban, 199. (Reports of Ventose 19.)—Dauban, "La Demagogie en 1793," p. 470. "Scarcely had the peasants arrived when harpies in women's clothes attacked them and carried off their goods.... Yesterday, a peasant was beaten for wanting to sell his food at the 'maximum' rate." (October 19, 1793.)—Dauban, "Paris en 1794," 144, 173, 199. (Reports of Ventose 13, 17 and 19.)—Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol. 1410. (Reports of June 26 and 27, 1793.) Wagons and boats are pillaged for candles and soap.]

[Footnote 4272: Dauban, 45. (Reports of Pluviose 17.) 222. (Reports of Ventose 23.)—160. (Reports of Ventose 15.)—340. (Reports of Germinal 28.)—87. (Reports of Ventose 5.)]

[Footnote 4273: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 116. (Order of Paganel, Castres, Pluviose 6 and 7, year II. "The steps taken to obtain returns of food have not fulfilled the object.... The statements made are either false or inexact.") Cf., for details, the correspondence of the other representatives on mission.—Dauban," Paris en 1794." 190. (Speech by Fouquier-Tinville in the Convention, Ventose 19.) "The mayor of Pont St. Maxence has dared to say that 'when Paris sends us sugar we will then see about letting her have our eggs and butter.'"]

[Footnote 4274: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol. 1411. (Reports of August 7 and 8, 1793.) "Seven thousand five hundred pounds of bread, about to be taken out, have been stopped at the barriers."—Dauban, 45. (Orders of the day. Pluviose 17.) Lamps are set up at all the posts, "especially at la Greve and Passy, so as to light up the river and see that no eatables pass outside."—Mercier, I., 355.—Dauban, 181. (Reports of Ventose 18.)—210. (Reports of Ventose 21.)—190. Speech by Fouquier, Ventose 19.) "The butchers in Paris who cannot sell above the maximum carry the meat they buy to the Sevres butchers and sell it at any price they please. "—257. (Reports of Ventose 27.) "You see, about ten o'clock in the evening, aristocrats and other egoists coming to the dealers who supply Egalite's mansion (the Duke of Orleans) and buy chickens and turkeys which they carefully conceal under their overcoats."]

[Footnote 4275: Dauban, 255. (Orders of the day by Henriot, Ventose 27.) "I have to request my brethren in arms not to take any rations whatever. This little deprivation will silence the malevolent who seek every opportunity to humble us."—Ibid.,359. "On Floreal 29, between five and six o'clock in the morning, a patrol of about fifteen men of the Bonnet Rouge section, commanded by a sort of commissary, stop subsistences on the Orleans road and take them to their section."]

[Footnote 4276: Dauban, 341. (Letter of the Commissioner on Subsistences, Germinal 23.) "The supplies are stolen under the people's eyes, or what they get is of inferior quality." The commissioner is surprised to find that, having provided so much, so little reaches the consumers.]

[Footnote 4277: Archives des Affaires etrangeres, vol.1411. (Reports of August 11-12 and 31, and Sept. 1, 1793.)—Archives Nationales, F. 7, 31167.) (Reports of Nivose 7 and 12, year II.)]

[Footnote 4278: Dauban, "Paris" en 1794, 60, 68, 69, 71, 82, 93, 216, 231.—Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," 187, 190.—Archives Nationales, F. 7, 31167. (Report of Leharivel, Nivose 7.)—The gunsmiths employed by the government likewise state that they have for a long time had nothing to eat but bread and cheese.]

[Footnote 4279: Dauban, 231. (Report of Perriere, Ventose 24.) "Butter of which they make a god."]

[Footnote 4280: Ibid., 68. (Report of Ventose 2.)]

[Footnote 4281: Archives Nationales, F.7, 31167. (Report of Nivose 28.)—Dauban, 144. (Report of Nivose 14.)]

[Footnote 4282: Dauban, 81. (Report of Latour-Lamontagne, Ventose 4.)]

[Footnote 4283: "Souvenirs et Journal d'un Bourgeois d'Evreux," 83. "Friday, June 15, 1794, a proclamation is made that all who have any provisions in their houses, wheat, barley, rye, flour and even bread, must declare them within twenty four hours under penalty of being regarded as an enemy of the country and declared 'suspect,' put under arrest and tried by the courts."—Schmidt, "Tableaux de la Revolution Francaise," II.. 214. A seizure is made at Passy of two pigs and forty pounds of butter, six bushels of beans, etc., in the domicile of citizen Lucet who had laid in supplies for sixteen persons of his own household.]

[Footnote 4284: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 68. Orders of the Committee of Public Safety, Pluviose 23, referring to the law of Brumaire 25, forbidding the extraction of more than fifteen pounds of bran from a quintal of flour. Order directing the removal of bolters from bakeries and mills; he who keeps or conceals these on his property "shall be treated as 'suspect' and put under arrest until peace is declared."—Berryat Saint Prix, 357, 362. At Toulouse, three persons are condemned to death for monopoly. At Montpelier, a baker, two dealers and a merchant are guillotined for having invoiced, concealed and kept a certain quantity of gingerbread cakes intended solely for consumption by anti-revolutionaries.]

[Footnote 4285: "Un Sejour en France," (April 22, 1794).]

[Footnote 4286: Ludovic Sciout, IV., 236. (Proclamation of the representatives on mission in Finisterre.) "Magistrates of the people tell all farmers and owners of land that their crops belong to the nation and that they are simply its depositaries." Archives Nationales, AF., II., 92. (Orders by Bo, representative in Cautal, Pluviose 8.) "Whereas, as all citizens in a Republic form one family.... all those who refuse to assist their brethren and neighbors under the specious pretext that they have not sufficient supplies must be regarded as 'suspect' citizens."]

[Footnote 4287: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 68. (Orders of the Committee of Public Safety, Prairial 28.) The maximum price is fourteen francs the quintal; after Messidor 30, it is not to be more than eleven francs.]

[Footnote 4288: Ibid., AF., II., 116 and 106, orders of Paganel, Castres, Pluviose 6 and 7. Orders of Dartigoyte, Floreal 23, 25, and 29.]

[Footnote 4289: Ibid., AF., II., 147. (Orders of Maignet, Avignon, Prairial 2.)]

[Footnote 4290: Moniteur, XXIII., 397 (Speech by Dubois-Crance, May 5, 1795.) "The Committee on Commerce (and Supplies) had thirty-five thousand employees in its service."]

[Footnote 4291: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 68. (Orders of the Committee of Public Safety, Prairial 28.) Decret of Messidor 8, year II. "All kinds of grain and the hay of the present crop are required by the government." A new estimate is made, each farmer being obliged to state the amount of his crop; verification, confiscation in case of inaccurate declarations, and orders to thrash out the sheaves.—Dauban, 490. (Letter of the national agent of Villefort, Thermidor 19.) Calculations and the reasoning of farmers with a view to avoid sowing and planting: "Not so much on account of the lack of hands as not to ruin oneself by sowing and raising an expensive crop which, they say, affords them small returns when they sell their grain at so low a price." Archives Nationales, AF., II. 106. (Letter of the national agent in Gers and Haute-Garonne, Floreal 25.) "They say here, that as soon as the crop is gathered, all the grain will be taken away, without leaving anything to live on. It is stated that all salt provisions are going to be taken and the agriculturists reduced to the horrors of a famine."]

[Footnote 4292: Moniteur, XXII., 21. (Speech by Lindet, September 7, 1794.) "We have long feared that the ground would not be tilled, that the meadows would be covered with cattle while the proprietors and farmers were kept in prison." Archives Nationales, D., P I, No. I. (Letter from the district of Bar-sur-Seine, Ventose 14, year III.) "The 'maximum' causes the concealment of grain. The quit-claims ruined the consumers and rendered them desperate. How many wretches, indeed, have been arrested,—attacked, confiscated, fined and ruined for having gone off fifteen or twenty leagues to get grain with which to feed their wives and children?"]

[Footnote 4293: AF., II., 106. (Circular by Dartigoyte, Floreal 25.) "You must apply this rule, that is, make the municipal officers responsible for the non cultivation of the soil." "If any citizen allows himself a different kind of bread, other than that which all the cultivators and laborers in the commune use, I shall have him brought before the courts conjointly with the municipality as being the first culprit guilty of having tolerated it... Reduce, if necessary, three fourths of the bread allowed to non laboring citizens because muscadins and muscadines: have resources and, besides, lead an idle life."]

[Footnote 4294: AF., II., III. (Letters of Ferry, Bourges, Messidor 23, to his "brethren in the popular club," and "to the citoyennes (women) of Indre-et-Cher.")]

[Footnote 4295: Moniteur, XXI., 171. (Letter from Avignon, Messidor 9, and letter of the Jacobins of Arles.]

[Footnote 4296: Moniteur, XXI., 184. (Decree of Messidor 21.)]

[Footnote 4297: Gouverneur Morris. (correspondence with Washington. Letters of March 27 and April 10, 1794.) He says that there is no record of such an early spring. Rye has headed out and clover is in flower. It is astonishing to see apricots in April as large as pigeons' eggs. In the south, where the dearth is most severe, he has good reason to believe that the ground is supplying the inhabitants with food. A frost like that of the year before in the month of May (1793) would help the famine more than all the armies and fleets in Europe.]

[Footnote 4298: Stalin was to test the system and prove Taine right. (SR.)]

[Footnote 4299: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 73. (Letter by the Directory of Calvados, Prairial 26, year III.) "We have not a grain of wheat in store, and the prisons are full of cultivators." Archives Nationales, D., p 1, file No.3. (Warrants of arrest issued by Representative Albert, Pluviose 19, year III., Germinal 7 and 16.) On the details of the difficulties and annoyances attending the requisitions, cf. this file and the five preceding or following files. (Letter of the National agent, district of Nogent-sur-Seine, Germinal 13.) "I have had summoned before the district court a great many cultivators and proprietors who are in arrears in furnishing the requisitions made on them by their respective municipalities.... A large majority declared that they were unable to furnish in full even if their seed were taken. The court ordered the confiscation of the said grain with a fine equal to the value of the quantity demanded of those called upon.. It is now my duty to execute the sentence. But, I must observe to you, that if you do not reduce the fine, many of them will be reduced to despair. Hence I await your answer so that I may act accordingly." (Another letter from the same agent, Germinal 9.) "It is impossible to supply the market of Villarceaux; seven communes under requisition prevented it through the district of Sozannes which constantly keeps an armed force there to carry grain away as soon as thrashed."—It is interesting to remark the inquisitorial sentimentality of the official agents and the low stage of culture. (Proces verbal of the Magincourt municipality, Ventose 7.) Of course I am obliged to correct the spelling so as to render it intelligible. The said Croiset, gendarme, went with the national agent into the houses of citizens in arrears, of whom, amongst those in arrears, nobody refused but Jean Mauchin, whom we could not keep from talking against him, seeing that he is wholly egoist and only wants for himself. He declared to us that, if, the day before his harvesting he had any left, he would share it with the citizens that needed it.. .. Alas, yes, how could one refrain from shutting up such an egoist who wants only for himself to the detriment of his fellow citizens? A proof of the truth is that he feeds in his house three dogs, at least one hundred and fifty chickens and even pigeons, which uses up a lot of grain, enough to hinder the satisfaction of all the requisitions. He might do without dogs, as his court is enclosed he might likewise content himself with thirty chickens and then be able to satisfy the requisitions." This document is signed "Bertrand, Agen."—Mauchin, on the strength of it, is incarcerated at Troyes "at his own expense."]

[Footnote 42100: Ibid. Letter from the district of Bar sur Seine, Ventose 14, year III. Since the abolition of the "maximum," "the inhabitants travel thirty and forty leagues to purchase wheat." (Letter from the municipality of Troyes, Ventose 15.) "According to the price of grain, which we keep on buying, by agreement, bread will cost fifteen sous (the pound) next decade."]

[Footnote 42101: Schmidt, "Pariser Zustaende," 145-220. The re-opening of the Bourse, April 25, 1795; ibid., 322, II., 105.—"Memoirs of Theobald Wolf," vol. I., p.200, (February 3, 1796). At Havre, the louis d'or is then worth five thousand francs, and the ecu of six francs in proportion. At Paris (February 12), the louis d'or is worth six thousand five hundred; a dinner for two persons at the Palais Royal costs one thousand five hundred francs.—Mayer, ("Frankreich in 1796.") He gives a dinner for ten persons which costs three hundred thousand francs in assignats. At this rate a cab ride costs one thousand francs, and by the hour six thousand francs.]

[Footnote 42102: "Correspondance de Mallet du Pan avec la cour de Vienne," I., 253 (July 18, 1795). "It is not the same now as in the early days of the Revolution, which then bore heavily only on certain classes of society; now, everybody feels the scourge, hourly, in every department of civil life. Goods and provisions advance daily (in price) in much greater proportion than the decline in assignats.... Paris is really a city of furnishing shops... The immense competition for these objects raises all goods twenty five per cent. a week.... It is the same with provisions. A sack of wheat weighing three quintals is now worth nine thousand francs, a pound of beef thirty six francs, a pair of shoes one hundred francs. It is impossible for artisans to raise their wages proportionately with such a large and rapid increase."—Cf. "Diary of Lord Malmesbury," III., 290 (October 27, 1796). After 1795, the gains of the peasants, land owners and producers are very large; from 1792 to 1796 they accumulate and hide away most of the current coin. They were courageous enough and smart enough to protect their hoard against the violence of the revolutionary government; "hence, at the time of the depreciation of assignats, they bought land extraordinarily cheap." In 1796 they cultivate and produce a great deal.]

[Footnote 42103: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 72. (Letter of the administrators of the district of Montpelier to the Convention, Messidor 26, year II.) "Your decree of Nivose 4 last, suppressed the 'maximum,' which step, provoked by justice and the 'maximum,' did not have the effect you anticipated." The dearth ceases, but there is a prodigious increase in prices, the farmer selling his wheat at from four hundred and seventy to six hundred and seventy francs the quintal.]

[Footnote 42104: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 71. (Deliberations of the commune of Champs, canton of Lagny, Prairial 22, year III. Letter of the procureur-syndic of Meaux, Messidor 3. Letter of the municipality of Rozoy, Seine et Marne, Messidor 4.)—Ibid., AF., II., 74. (Letter of the municipality of Emerainville, endorsed by the Directory of Meaux, Messidor 14.) "The commune can procure only oat-bread for its inhabitants, and, again, they have to go a long way to get this. This food, of so poor a quality, far from strengthening the citizen accustomed to agricultural labor, disheartens him and makes him ill, the result being that the hay cannot be got in good time for lack of hands."—At Champs, "the crop of hay is ready for mowing, but, for want of food, the laborers cannot do the work."]

[Footnote 42105: Ibid., AF., II., 73. (Letter from the Directory of the district of Dieppe, Prairial 22.)]

[Footnote 42106: Ibid. (Letter of the administrators of the district of Louviers, Prairial 26.)]

[Footnote 42107: Ibid. (Letter of the procureur-syndic of the Caen district, Caen, Messidor 23.—Letter of Representative Porcher to the Committee of Public Safety, Messidor 26.—Letter of the same, Prairial 24. "The condition of this department seemed to me frightful.... The privations of the department with respect to subsistence cannot be over-stated to you; the evil is at its height."]

[Footnote 42108: Archives Nationales, AF. II., 74. (Letter of the Beauvais administrators, Prairial 15.—Letter of the Bapaume administrator, Prairial 24.—Letter of the Vervier administrator, Messidor 7.—Letter of the commissary sent by the district of Laon, Messidor.)—Cf., I6id., letter from the Abbeville district, Prairial 11. "The quintal of wheat is sold at one thousand assignats, or rather, the farmers will not take assignats any more, grain not to be had for anything but coin, and, as most people have none to give they are hard-hearted enough to demand of one his clothes, and of another his furniture, etc."]

[Footnote 42109: Ibid., AF., II., 71. (Letter of the Rozoy municipality. Seine-et-Marne, Messidor 4, year III.) A bushel of wheat in the vicinity of Rozoy brings three hundred francs.]

[Footnote 42110: Ibid., AF., II., 74. (Letter of the Montreuil-sur-Mer municipality, Prairial 29.)]

[Footnote 42111: Ibid. (Letter of the Vervins administrators, Prairial 11 Letter of the commune of La Chapelle-sur-Somme, Prairial 24.)]

[Footnote 42112: Ibid., AF., II., 70. (Letter of the procureur-syndic of the district of Saint-Germain, Thermidor 10.) This file, which depicts the situation of the communes around Paris, is specially heartrending and terrible. Among other instances of the misery of workmen the following petition of the men employed on the Marly water-works may be given, Messidor 28. "The workmen and employees on the machine at Marly beg leave to present to you the wretched state to which they are reduced by the dearness of provisions. Their moderate wages, which at the most have reached only five livres twelve sous, and again, for four months past, having received but two francs sixteen sous, no longer provide them with half a pound of bread, since it costs fifteen and sixteen francs per pound. We poor people have not been wanting in courage nor patience, hoping that times would mend. We have been reduced to selling most of our effects and to eating bread made of bran of which a sample is herewith sent, and which distresses us very much (nous incommode beaucoup); most of us are ill and those who are not so are in a very feeble state."—Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," Thermidor 9. "Peasants on the market square complain bitterly of being robbed in the fields and on the road, and even of having their sacks (of grain) plundered."]

[Footnote 42113: Archives Nationales, D., P I, file 2. (Letter of the Ervy municipality, Floreal 17, year III.) "The indifference of the egoist farmers in the country is at its height; they pay no respect whatever to the laws, killing the poor by refusing to sell, or unwilling to sell their grain at a price they can pay."—(It would be necessary to copy the whole of this file to show the alimentary state of the departments.)]

[Footnote 42114: Ibid., AF., II., 74. (Letter of the district administrators of Bapaume, Prairial 24.—Letter of the municipality of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Prairial 24.)]

[Footnote 42115: Ibid.,, AF., II., 73. (Letter of the municipality of Brionne, district of Bernay, Prairial 7.) The farmers do not bring in their wheat because they sell it elsewhere at the rate of fifteen hundred and two thousand francs the sack of three hundred and thirty pounds.]

[Footnote 42116: Ibid., AF., II., 71. (Letter of the procureur-syndic of the district of Meaux, Messidor 2.) "Their fate is shared by many of the rural communes" and the whole district has been reduced to this dearth "to increase the resources of Paris and the armies."]

[Footnote 42117: Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports of the Police, Pluviose 6, year III.)—Ibid., Germinal 16. "A letter from the department of Drome states that they are dying of hunger there, bread selling at three francs the pound."]

[Footnote 42118: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 70. (Deliberations of the council-general of Franciade, Thermidor 9, year III.)]

[Footnote 42119: Ibid. (Letter of the procureur-syndic of the district of Saint-Germain, Thermidor 10.)—Delecluze, "Souvenirs de Soixante Annees," p. 10. (The Delecluze family live in Mendon in 1794 and for most of 1795. M. Delecluze, senior, and his son go to Meaux and obtain of a farmer a bag of good flour weighing three hundred and twenty five pounds for about ten louis d'or and fetch it home, taking the greatest pains to keep it concealed. Both father and son "after having covered the precious sack with hay and straw in the bottom of the cart, follow it on foot at some distance as the peasant drives along." Madame Delecluze kneads the bread herself and bakes it.]

[Footnote 42120: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 74. The following shows some of the municipal expenditures. (Deliberations of the commune of Annecy, Thermidor 8, year II I.) "Amount received by the commune from the government, 1,200,000 francs. Fraternal subscriptions, 400,000 francs. Forced loan, 2,400,000 francs. Amount arising from grain granted by the government, but not paid for, 400,000 francs." (Letter from the municipality of Lille, Fructidor 7 ) "The deficit, at the time we took hold of the government, which, owing to the difference between the price of grain bought and the price obtained for bread distributed among the necessitous, had amounted to 2,270,023 francs, so increased in Thermidor as to amount to 8,312,956 francs." consequently, the towns ruin themselves with indebtedness to an incredible extent.—Archives Nationales, AF., II., 72. (Letter of the municipality of Tours, Vendemiaire 19, year IV.) Tours has not sufficient money with which to buy oil for its street lamps and which are no longer lit at night. A decree is passed to enable the agent for provisions at Paris to supply its commissaries with twenty quintals of oil which, for three hundred and forty lamps, keeps one hundred agoing up to Germinal 1. The same at Toulouse. (Report of Destrene, Moniteur, June 24, 1798.) On November 26, 1794, Bordeaux is unable to pay seventy two francs for thirty barrels of water to wash the guillotine. (Granier de Cassagnac, I., 13. Extract from the archives of Bordeaux.) Bordeaux is authorized to sell one thousand casks of wine which had formerly been taken on requisition by the government, the town to pay for them at the rate at which the Republic bought them and to sell them as dear as possible in the way of regular trade. The proceeds are to be employed in providing subsistence for its inhabitants. (Archives Nationales, AF., II., 72, orders of Vendemiaire 4, year IV.) As to aid furnished by the assignats granted to towns and departments cf. the same files; 400,000 francs to Poitiers, Pluviose 18, four millions to Lyons, Pluviose 17, three millions a month to Nantes, after Thermidor 14, ten millions to the department of Herault in Frimaire and Pluviose, etc.]

[Footnote 42121: Archives Nationales, II., P 1, file 2. (Deliberations of the commune of Troyes, Ventose 15, year III.)—"Un Sejour en France." (Amiens, May 9, 1795.) "As we had obtained a few six franc crowns and were able to get a small supply of wheat.... Mr. D and the servants eat bread made of three fourths bran and one fourth flour. When we bake it we carefully close the doors, paying no attention to the door bell, and allow no visitor to come in until every trace of the operation is gone... The distribution now consists of a mixture of sprouted wheat, peas, rye, etc., which scarcely resembles bread." (April 12.) "The distribution of bread (then) was a quarter of a pound a day. Many of those who in other respects were well off, got nothing at all."]

[Footnote 42122: Ibid. (Letters of the municipality of Troyes, Ventose 15, year III., and Germinal 6.) Letter of the three deputies, sent by the municipality to Paris, Pluviose, year III. (no date.)]

[Footnote 42123: "Un Sejour en France." (Amiens, Jan. 30, 1795.) Archives Nationales. AF.,II., 74. (Deliberation of the commune of Amiens, Thermidor 8, and Fructidor 7, year III.)]

[Footnote 42124: "Souvenirs et Journal d'un Bourgeois d'Evreux," p. 97. (The women stop carts loaded with wheat, keep them all night, stone and wound Representative Bernier, and succeed in getting, each, eight pounds of wheat.)]

[Footnote 42125: Archives Nationales, AF.,II., 73. (Letter of the municipality of Dieppe, Prairial 22.)—AF.,II., 74. (Letter of the municipality of Vervins, Messidor 7. Letter of the municipality of Lille, Fructidor 7.)]

[Footnote 42126: "Correspondance de Mallet du Pan avec la Cour de Vienne," I., 90. Ibid., 131. One month later a quintal of flour at Lyons is worth two hundred francs and a pound of bread forty-five sous.]

[Footnote 42127: Archives Nationales, AF., II., 13. (Letter of the deputies extraordinary of the three administrative bodies of Chartres, Thermidor 15: "In the name of this commune dying of hunger ")—"The inhabitants of Chartres have not even been allowed to receive their rents in grain; all has been poured into the government storehouses."]

[Footnote 42128: Ibid. (Petition of the commune of La Rochelle, Fructidor 25, that of Painboeuf, Fructidor 9, that of the municipality of Nantes, Thermidor 14, that of Rouen, Fructidor 1.)—Ibid., AF.,II, 72. (Letter of the commune of Bayonne, Fructidor 1.) "Penury of provisions for more than two years.... The municipality, the past six months, is under the cruel necessity of reducing its subjects to half-a-pound of corn-bread per day.... at the rate of twenty-five sous the pound, although the pound costs over five francs." After the suppression of the "maximum" it loses about twenty-five thousand francs per day.]

[Footnote 42129: Ibid. (Letter of Representative Porcher, Caen, Prairial 24, Messidor 3 and 26. Letter of the municipality of Caen, Messidor 3.)]

[Footnote 42130: Ibid. AF.,II., 71. (Letter of the municipality of Auxerre, Messidor 19.) "We have kept alive thus far through all sorts of expedients as if by miracle. It has required incalculable efforts, great expenditure, and really supernatural means to accomplish it. But there is still one month between this and the end of Thermidor. How are we going to live! Our people, the majority of whom are farmers and artisans, are rationed at half-a-pound a day for each person and this will last but ten or twelve days at most."]

[Footnote 42131: Meissner, "Voyage a Paris," 339. "There was not a morsel of bread in our inn. I went myself to five or six bakeries and pastry shops and found them all stripped." He finds in the last one about a dozen of small Savoy biscuits for which he pays fifteen francs.—See, for the military proceedings of the government in relation to bread, the orders of the Committee of Public Safety, most of them by the hand of Lindet, AF., II., 68-74.]

[Footnote 42132: Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," vols. II. and III.,passim.]

[Footnote 42133: Archives Nationales, AF.,II., 68. (Orders of Ventose 20, year III.; Germinal 19 and 20; Messidor 8, etc.)]

[Footnote 42134: ibid. Orders of Nivose 5 and 22.]

[Footnote 42135: Ibid. Orders of Pluviose 19, Ventose 5, Floreal 4 and 24. (The fourteen brewers which the Republic keeps agoing for itself at Dunkirk are excepted.)—The proceedings are the same in relation to other necessary articles,—returns demanded of nuts, rape-seed, and other seeds or fruits producing oil, also the hoofs of cattle and sheep, with requisitions for every other article entering into the manufacture of oil, and orders to keep oil-mills agoing. "All administrative bodies will see that the butchers remove the fat from their meat before offering it for sale, that they do not themselves make candles out of it, and that they do not sell it to soap-factories, etc. "—(Orders of Veridemiaire 28, year III.) The executive committee will collect eight hundred yoke of oxen and distribute them among the dealers in hay in order to transport wood and coal from the woods and collieries to the yards. They will distribute proportionately eight hundred sets of wheels and harness. The wagoners will be paid and guarded the same as military convoys, and drafted as required. To feed the oxen, the district administrators will take by pre-emption the necessary fields and pasturages, etc." (Orders of Pluviose 10, year III.)]

[Footnote 42136: Moniteur, XXIV., 397.—Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports of Frimaire 16, year IV.) "Citizens in the departments wonder how it is that Paris costs them five hundred and forty six millions per month merely for bread when they are starving. This isolation of Paris, for which all the benefits of the Revolution are exclusively reserved. has the worst effect on the public mind."—Meissner, 345.]

[Footnote 42137: Mercier, "Paris Pendant la Revolution," I., 355-357.—Schmidt, "Pariser Zustande," I., 224. (The Seine is frozen over on November 23 and January 23, the thermometer standing at sixteen degrees (Centigrade) below zero.)—Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports of the Police, Pluviose 2, 3 and 4.)]

[Footnote 42138: Schmidt, "Pariser Zustande," I., 228, and following pages. (February 25, the distribution of bread is reduced to one and one-half pounds per person; March 17, to one and onehalf pounds for workmen and one pound for others. Final reduction to one-quarter of a pound, March 31.)—Ibid., 251, for ulterior rates.—Dufort de Cheverney, (MS. Memoires, August, 1795.) M. de Cheverney takes up his quarters at the old Louvre with his friend Sedaine. "I had assisted them with food all I could: they owned to me that, without this, they would have died of starvation notwithstanding their means."]

[Footnote 42139: Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports of Germinal 15 and 27, and Messidor 28, year III., Brumaire 14 and Frimaire 23, year IV.)—Ibid. (Germinal 15, year III.) Butter is at eight francs the pound, eggs seven francs for four ounces.—Ibid., (Messidor 19) bread is at sixteen francs the pound, (Messidor 28) butter at fourteen francs the pound, (Brumaire 29) flour at 14,000 francs the bag of 325 pounds.]

[Footnote 42140: Ibid. (Report of Germinal 12, year III.) "The eating houses and pastry-cooks are better supplied than ever."?"Memoires (manuscript) of M. de Cheverney." "My sister-in-law, with more than forty thousand livres income, registered in the 'Grand Ledger,' was reduced to cultivating her garden, assisted by her two chambermaids. M. de Richebourg, formerly intendant-general of the Post-Office, had to sell at one time a clock and at another time a wardrobe to live on. 'My friends,' he said to us one day, 'I have been obliged to put my clock in the pot.' "—Schmidt. (Report of Frimaire 17, year IV.) "A frequenter of the Stock-Exchange sells a louis at five thousand francs. He dines for one thousand francs and loudly exclaims: 'I have dined at four francs ten sous. They are really superb, these assignats! I couldn't have dined so well formerly at twelve francs.'"]

[Footnote 42141: Schmidt. (Reports of Frimaire 9, year IV.) "The reports describe the sad condition of those who, with small incomes and having sold their clothes, are selling their furniture, being, so to say, at their last piece; and, soon without anything, are reduced to the last extremity by committing suicide."—Ibid., Frimaire 2, "The rentier is ruined, not being able to buy food. Employees are all in the same situation."—Naturally, the condition of employees and rentiters grows worse with the depreciation of assignats. Here are house-keeping accounts at the end of 1795. (Letter of Beaumarchais' sister Julie to his wife, December, 1794. "Beaumarchais et son temps," by De Lomenie, p.486.) "When you gave me those four thousand francs (assignats), my dear friend, my heart went pit-a-pat. I thought that I should go crazy with such a fortune. I put them in my pocket at once and talked about other things so as to get the idea out of my mind. On returning to the house, get some wood and provisions as quick as possible before prices go higher! Dupont (the old domestic) started off and did his best. But the scales fell from my eyes on seeing, not counting food for a month, the result of those 4,275 francs:

1 load of wood 1460 francs 9 pounds of candles, from 8 to 100 francs per pound 900 4 pounds of sugar, at 100 francs per pound 400 3 measures of grain, at 40 francs 120 7 pounds oil, at 100 francs 700 12 wicks, at 5 francs 60 1 1/2 bushels potatoes, at 200 francs per bushel 300 1 month's washing 215 1 pound ground powder 70 2 ounces pomatum (formerly 3 sous, now 25 francs) 50 Sub-total 4,275 francs

There remains the month's supply of butter and eggs, as you know, 200 francs, meat 25 or 30 francs, and other articles in proportion 507

There was no bread for two days... I have bought only four pounds the last two days, at 45 francs 180

Total 5,022 francs.

"When I think of this royal outlay, as you call it, which makes me spend from18,000 to 20,000 francs for nothing, I wish the devil had the system.... 10,000 francs which I have scattered about the past fortnight, alarm and trouble me so much that I do not know how to calculate my income in this way. In three days the difference (in the value of assignats) has sent wood up from 4,200 to 6,500 francs, and extras in proportion so that, as I wrote you, a load piled up and put away costs me 7,100 francs. Every week now, the pot-au-feu and other meats for ragouts, without any butter, eggs and other details, cost from seven to eight hundred francs. Washing also goes up so fast that eight thousand francs do not suffice. All this puts me out of humor, while in all this expenditure I declare on my honor (je jure par la saine verite de mon coeur) that for two years I have indulged no fancy of my own or spent anything except on household expenses. Nevertheless, I have urgent need of some things for which I should require piles of assignats."—We see by Beaumarchais' correspondence that one of his friends travels around in the environs of Paris to find bread. "It is said here (he writes from Soizy, June 5, 1795) that flour may be had at Briare. If this were so I would bargain with a reliable man there to carry it to you by water-carriage between Briare and Paris... In the mean time I do not despair of finding a loaf."—Letter of a friend of Beaumarchais: "This letter costs you at least one hundred francs, including paper, pen, ink, and lamp-oil. For economy's sake I write it in your house."]

[Footnote 42142: Cf. Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," vols. II. and III. (Reports of the Police, at the dates designated.)]

[Footnote 42143: Dauban, "Paris en 1794," pp.562, 568, 572.]

[Footnote 42144: Mallet-Dupan, "Correspondance avec la cour de Vienne," I., 254. (July 18, 1795.)]

[Footnote 42145: Schmidt, ibid. (Report of Fructidor 3, year III.)]

[Footnote 42146: Schmidt, ibid., vols. II. and III. (Reports of the police at the dates designated.)]

[Footnote 42147: Meissner, "Voyage a Paris," 132. Ibid., 104. "Bread is made with coarse, sticky black flour, because they put in potatoes, beans, Indian corn and millet, and moreover it is badly baked."—Granier de Cassagnac, "Histoire du Directoire," I., 51. (Letter of M. Andot to the author.) "There were three-quarter pound days, one-half pound and one-quarter pound days and many at two ounces. I was a child of twelve and used to go and wait four hours in the morning in a line, rue de l'Ancienne Comedie. There was a fourth part of bran in the bread, which was very tender and very soft.... and it contained one-fourth excess of water. I brought back eight ounces of bread a day for the four persons in our household."]

[Footnote 42148: Dauban, 586.]

[Footnote 42149: Schmidt, ibid. (Reports of Brumaire 24, and Frimaire 13, year IV.)]

[Footnote 42150: This state of misery is prolonged far beyond this epoch in Paris and the provinces. ~f. Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," vol. III.-Felix Rocquam, "L'Etat de la France au 18e Brumaire," p.156. (Report by Fourcroy, Nivose 5, year IX.) Convoys of grain fail to reach Brest because the English are masters at sea, while the roads on land are impassable. "we are assured that the people of Brest have long been on half-rations and perhaps on quarter-rations."]

[Footnote 42151: 1st It is difficult to arrive at even approximate figures, but the following statements will render the idea clear. I. Wherever I have compared the mortality of the Revolution with that of the ancient regime I have found the former greater than the latter, even in those parts of France not devastated by the civil war; and the increase of this mortality is enormous, especially in years II. and III.—At Troyes, with 25,282 inhabitants (in 1790), during the five years of 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789 and 1792 (1790 and 1791 are missing), the average annual mortality is 991 deaths, or 39 per thousand inhabitants; during the years II, III, IV, this average is 1,166 or 47 per thousand inhabitants; the increase is then 7 deaths per year, nearly one fifth. (Documents provided by M. Albert Babeau.)—At Rheims, the average mortality from 1780 to 1789 is 1,350, which, for a population of 35,597, (1790), gives 41 deaths per annum to every thousand inhabitants. In the year II., there are 1,836 deaths which gives for each of the two years 64 deaths to every thousand persons; the increase is 23 deaths a year, that is to say more than one-half above the ordinary rate. (Statistics communicated by M. Jadart, archiviste at Rheims.)—At Limoges, the yearly average of mortality previous to 1789 was 825 to 20,000 inhabitants, or at the rate of 41 to a thousand. From January 1, 1792, to September 22, 1794, there are 3,449 deaths, that is to say, a yearly average of 63 deaths to one thousand inhabitants, that is to say, 22 extra per annum, while the mortality bears mostly on the poor, for out of 2,073 persons who die between January 17, 1793, and September 22, 1794, over one-half, 1,100, die in the hospital.—(Louis Guibert, "Ancien registre des paroisses de Limoges," pp. 40, 45, 47.)—At Poitiers, in year IX., the population is 18,223, and the average mortality of the past ten years was 724 per annum. But in year II., there are 2,094 deaths, and in year III. 2,032, largely in the hospitals. Thus, even on comparing the average mortality of the ten years of the Revolution with the mortality of years II. and III., the average rate has almost trebled.—The same applies to Loudens, where the average death-rate being 151, in year II., it rises to 425. Instead of the triple for Chatellerault, it is double, where, the average rate being 262, the death-rate rises to 482, principally in the military hospitals. ("Statistique de la Vienne," by Cochon, prefet, year IX.)—At Niort, population 11,000, the annual mortality of the ten years preceding 1793 averaged 423, or 38 per thousand. In year II., there are 1,872, or 170 per thousand inhabitants, the number being more than quadrupled. In year III., there are 1,122 deaths, or 122, which is almost the triple. ("Statistique des Deux-Sevres," by Dupin, prefet, 2nd memorial, year IX.)—At Strasbourg, ("Recueil des Pieces Authentiques," etc., vol. I., p.32, declaration of the Municipality,) "twice as many died last year (year II.) as during any of the preceding years."—According to these figures and the details we have read, the annual mortality during years II. and III. and most of year IV., may be estimated as having increased one-half extra. Now, previous to 1789, according to Moheau and Necker, (Peuchet, "Statistique elementaire de la France," 1805, p.239,) the yearly mortality in France was one person to every thirty, that is to say, 866,666 deaths to a population of 26 millions. One-half in addition to this for two and a half years gives, consequently, one million and eighty thousand deaths.]

2nd. During the whole of the Directory episode, privation lasted and the rate of mortality rose very high, especially for sick children, the infirm and the aged, because the convention had confiscated the possessions of the hospitals and public charity was almost null. For example, at Lyons, "The Asylums having been deprived of sisters of charity during years II., III. and IV., and most of year V., the children gathered into them could neither be fed nor suckled and the number that perished was frightful." ("Statistique du Rhone," by Vernier, prefet, year X.)—In Necker's time, there were about eight hundred asylums, hospitals and charitable institutions, with one hundred thousand or one hundred and ten thousand inmates. (Peuchet, ibid., 256.) For lack of care and food they die in myriads, especially foundlings, the number of which increases enormously: in 1790, the figures do not exceed 23,000; in year IX., the number surpasses 62,000, (Peuchet, 260): "It is a 'perfect deluge,'" say the reports; in the department of Aisne, there are 1,097 instead of 400; in that of Lot-et-Garonne, fifteen hundred, (Statistiques des prefets de l'Aisne, Gers, Lot-et-Garonne), and they are born only to die. In that of Eure, after a few months, it is six out of seven; at Lyons, 792 out of 820; (Statistique des Prefets du Rhone et de l'Eure). At Marseilles, it is '600 out of 618; at Toulon, 101 out of 104; in the average, 19 out of 20. (Rocquam, "Etat de France au 18e Brumaire," p.33. Report of Francois de Nantes.) At Troyes, out of 164 brought in in year IV., 134 die; out of 147 received in year VII., 136 die. (Albert Babeau, II., 452.) At Paris, in year IV., out of 3,122 infants received 2,907 perish. (Moniteur, year V., No. 231.)—The sick perish the same. "At Toulon, only seven pounds of meat are given each day to eighty patients; I saw in the civil Asylum," says Francois de Nantes, "a woman who had just undergone a surgical operation to whom they gave for a restorative a dozen beans on a wooden platter." (Ibid., 16, 31, and passim, especially for Bordeaux, Caen, Alencon, St. Lo, etc.)—As to beggars, these are innumerable: in year IX., it is estimated that there are 3 or 4,000 by department, at least 300,000 in France. "In the four Brittany departments one can truly say that a third of the population live at the expense of the other two-thirds, either by stealing from them or through compelling assistance." (Rocquain, "Report by Barbe-Marbois," p.93.)]

3rd. In year IX., the Consells-generaux are called upon to ascertain whether the departments have increased or diminished in population since 1789. ("Analyse des proces-verbaux des Conseils-Generaux de l'an XI." In four volumes.) Out of 58 which reply, 37 state that the population with them has diminished; 12, that it has increased; 9, that it remains stationary. Of the 22 others, 13 attribute the maintenance or increase of population, at least for the most part, to the multiplication of early marriages in order to avoid conscription and to the large number of natural children.—Consequently, the average rate of population is kept up not through preserving life, but through the substitution of new lives for the old ones that are sacrificed. Bordeaux, nevertheless, lost one-tenth of its population, Angers one-eighth, Pau one-seventh, Chambery one-fourth, Rennes one-third. In the departments where the civil-war was carried on, Argenton-Chateau lost two-thirds of its population, Bressuire fell from 3,000 to 630 inhabitants; Lyons, after the siege, fell from a population of 140,000 thousand to 80,000. ("Analyse des proces-verbaux des Conseils-Generaux" and Statistiques des Prefets.")]

[Footnote 42152: Lareveillere-Lepeaux, "Memoires." I, 248. (He belongs to the Committee and is an eye-witness.)]



BOOK FIFTH. THE END OF THE REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT.



CHAPTER I. THE CONVENTION.



I. The Convention.

The Convention after Thermidor 9.—Reaction against the Terrorists.—Aversion to the Constitutionalists.—The danger they run if they lose power.

Nevertheless they too, these glutted sovereigns, are anxious, and very much so, we have just seen why; it's a question of remaining in office in order to remain alive, and henceforth this is their sole concern.—A good Jacobin, up to the 9th of Thermidor, could, by shutting his eyes, still believe in his creed.[5101] After the 9th of Thermidor, unless born blind, like Soubrany, Romme and Goujon, a fanatic whose intellectual organs are as rigid as the limbs of a fakir, nobody in the Convention can any longer believe in the Contrat-Social, in a despotic equalizing socialism, in the merits of Terror, in the divine right of the pure. For, to escape the guillotine of the pure, the purest had to be guillotined, Saint-Just, Couthon and Robespierre, the high-priest of the sect. That very day the "Montagnards," in giving up their doctor, abandoned their principles, and there is no longer any principle or man to which the Convention could rally. In effect, before guillotining Robespierre and his associates as orthodox, it guillotined the Girondins, Hebert and Danton, as heretics. Now, "the existence of popular idols and of head charlatans is irrevocably ended."[5102] Ever the same conventional symbol before the empty sanctuary in the blood-stained temple, and ever the same loud-intoned anthem; but faith is gone, and only the acolytes remain to drone out the revolutionary litany, old train-bearers and swingers of incense, the subaltern butchers who, through a sudden stroke, have become pontiffs; in short, the valets of the church who have donned the mitres and croziers of their masters after having assassinated them.

From month to month, under the pressure of public opinion, they detach themselves from the worship at which they have officiated, for, however blunted or perverted their consciences, they cannot avoid admitting that Jacobinism, as they have practiced it, was the religion of robbery and murder. Previous to Thermidor an official phraseology[5103] drowned with its doctrinal roar the living truth, while each Conventional sacristan or beadle, confined to his own chapel, saw clearly only the human sacrifices in which he himself had taken part. After Thermidor, the friends and kindred of the dead, the oppressed, make their voices heard, and he is forced to see collectively and in detail all the crimes to which, nearly or remotely, he has contributed either through his assent or through his vote, the same as in Mexico, the priest of Huichilobos walks about in the midst of the six hundred thousand skulls amassed in the vaults of his temple.—In quick succession, during the whole of year III., through the freedom of the press and the great public discussions, the truth becomes known. First, comes an account of the funereal journey of one hundred and thirty-two Nantese, dragged from Nantes to Paris,[5104] and the solemn acquittal, received with transports, of the ninety-four who survive. After this, come the trials of the most prominent terrorists, that of Carrier and the Revolutionary Committee of Nantes, that of Fouquier-Tinville and the old revolutionary Tribunal of Paris, that of Joseph Lebon,[5105] and, during thirty or forty consecutive sessions, hundreds of minute, verified depositions ending in the most complete and satisfactory testimony.—In the mean time, revelations multiply at the tribune of the Convention; these consist of the letters of the new representatives on mission and the denunciations of the towns against their overthrown tyrants; against Maignet, Dartigoyte, Piochefer-Bernard, Levasseur, Crassous, Javogues, Lequinio, Lefiot, Piorry, Pinet, Monestier, Fouche, Laplanche, Lecarpentier, and many others. Add to these the reports of commissions charged with examining into the conduct of old dictators, Collot d'Herbois, Billaud-Varennes, Barere, Amar, Vouland, Vadier and David, the reports of the representatives charged with investigating certain details of the abolished system, that of Gregoire on revolutionary vandalism, that of Cambon on revolutionary taxes, that of Courtois on Robespierre's papers.—All these rays combine in a terrible illumination which imposes itself even on the eyes that turn away from it: It is now but too plain that France, for fourteen months, has been devastated by a gang of bandits. All that can be said in favor of the least perverted and the least vile is that they were born so, or had become crazy.[5106]—The majority of the Convention cannot evade this growing testimony and the Montagnards excite its horror; and all the more, because it bears them a grudge: the 73 who were imprisoned and the sixteen who were proscribed have resumed their seats, the 400 silent who have for so long held their seats under the knife, remember the oppression to which they have been subject. They now recover and turn first against the most tainted scoundrels, and then against the members of the old committees.—Whereupon the "Mountain," as was its custom, launches its customary supporters, the starved populace, the Jacobin rabble, in the riots of Germinal and Prairial, in year III., and proclaims anew the reign of Terror; the Convention again sees the knife over its head. Saved by young men, by the National Guard, it becomes courageous through fear, and, in its turn, it terrorizes the terrorists. The Faubourg Saint-Antoine is disarmed, ten thousand Jacobins are arrested,[5107] and more than sixty Montagnards are decreed under indictment; Collot, Billaud, Barere and Vadier are to be deported; nine other members of former committees are to be imprisoned. The last of the veritable fanatics, Romme, Goujon, Soubrany, Duquesnoy, Bourbotte and Duroy are condemned to death, Immediately after the sentence five of them stab themselves on the stairs of the tribunal; two of the wounded who survive are borne, along with the sixth, to the scaffold and guillotined. Two Montagnards of the same stamp, Rhul and Maure, kill themselves before their sentence.—Henceforth the purged Convention regards itself as pure; its final rigor has expiated its former baseness, the guilty blood which it spills washing away the stains of the innocent blood it had shed before.

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