The French Revolution, A History
by Thomas Carlyle
Hypertext Meanings and Commentaries
from the Encyclopedia of the Self
by Mark Zimmerman
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Meanwhile, the Varennes Notables, and all men, official, and non-official,
are hastily drawing on their breeches; getting their fighting-gear.
Mortals half-dressed tumble out barrels, lay felled trees; scouts dart off
to all the four winds,--the tocsin begins clanging, 'the Village
illuminates itself.'  Very singular: how these little Villages do manage,
so adroit are they, when startled in midnight alarm of war. Like little
adroit municipal rattle-snakes, suddenly awakened: for their stormbell
rattles and rings; their eyes glisten luminous (with tallow-light), as in
rattle-snake ire; and the Village will sting! Old-Dragoon Drouet is our
engineer and generalissimo; valiant as a Ruy Diaz:--Now or never, ye
Patriots, for the Soldiery is coming; massacre by Austrians, by
Aristocrats, wars more than civil, it all depends on you and the hour!--
National Guards rank themselves, half-buttoned: mortals, we say, still
only in breeches, in under-petticoat, tumble out barrels and lumber, lay
felled trees for barricades: the Village will sting. Rabid Democracy, it
would seem, is not confined to Paris, then? Ah no, whatsoever Courtiers
might talk; too clearly no. This of dying for one's King is grown into a
dying for one's self, against the King, if need be.

And so our riding and running Avalanche and Hurlyburly has reached the
Abyss, Korff Berline foremost; and may pour itself thither, and jumble:
endless! For the next six hours, need we ask if there was a clattering far
and wide? Clattering and tocsining and hot tumult, over all the
Clermontais, spreading through the Three Bishopricks: Dragoon and Hussar
Troops galloping on roads and no-roads; National Guards arming and starting
in the dead of night; tocsin after tocsin transmitting the alarm. In some
forty minutes, Goguelat and Choiseul, with their wearied Hussars, reach
Varennes. Ah, it is no fire then; or a fire difficult to quench! They
leap the tree-barricades, in spite of National serjeant; they enter the
village, Choiseul instructing his Troopers how the matter really is; who
respond interjectionally, in their guttural dialect, "Der Konig; die
Koniginn!" and seem stanch. These now, in their stanch humour, will, for
one thing, beset Procureur Sausse's house. Most beneficial: had not
Drouet stormfully ordered otherwise; and even bellowed, in his extremity,
"Cannoneers to your guns!"--two old honey-combed Field-pieces, empty of all
but cobwebs; the rattle whereof, as the Cannoneers with assured countenance
trundled them up, did nevertheless abate the Hussar ardour, and produce a
respectfuller ranking further back. Jugs of wine, handed over the ranks,
for the German throat too has sensibility, will complete the business.
When Engineer Goguelat, some hour or so afterwards, steps forth, the
response to him is--a hiccuping Vive la Nation!

What boots it? Goguelat, Choiseul, now also Count Damas, and all the
Varennes Officiality are with the King; and the King can give no order,
form no opinion; but sits there, as he has ever done, like clay on potter's
wheel; perhaps the absurdest of all pitiable and pardonable clay-figures
that now circle under the Moon. He will go on, next morning, and take the
National Guard with him; Sausse permitting! Hapless Queen: with her two
children laid there on the mean bed, old Mother Sausse kneeling to Heaven,
with tears and an audible prayer, to bless them; imperial Marie-Antoinette
near kneeling to Son Sausse and Wife Sausse, amid candle-boxes and treacle-
barrels,--in vain! There are Three-thousand National Guards got in; before
long they will count Ten-thousand; tocsins spreading like fire on dry
heath, or far faster.

Young Bouille, roused by this Varennes tocsin, has taken horse, and--fled
towards his Father. Thitherward also rides, in an almost hysterically
desperate manner, a certain Sieur Aubriot, Choiseul's Orderly; swimming
dark rivers, our Bridge being blocked; spurring as if the Hell-hunt were at
his heels. (Rapport de M. Aubriot (Choiseul, p. 150-7.)  Through the
village of Dun, he, galloping still on, scatters the alarm; at Dun, brave
Captain Deslons and his Escort of a Hundred, saddle and ride. Deslons too
gets into Varennes; leaving his Hundred outside, at the tree-barricade;
offers to cut King Louis out, if he will order it: but unfortunately "the
work will prove hot;" whereupon King Louis has "no orders to give."
(Extrait d'un Rapport de M. Deslons (Choiseul, p. 164-7.)

And so the tocsin clangs, and Dragoons gallop; and can do nothing, having
gallopped: National Guards stream in like the gathering of ravens: your
exploding Thunder-chain, falling Avalanche, or what else we liken it to,
does play, with a vengeance,--up now as far as Stenai and Bouille himself.
(Bouille, ii. 74-6.)  Brave Bouille, son of the whirlwind, he saddles Royal
Allemand; speaks fire-words, kindling heart and eyes; distributes twenty-
five gold-louis a company:--Ride, Royal-Allemand, long-famed: no Tuileries
Charge and Necker-Orleans Bust-Procession; a very King made captive, and
world all to win!--Such is the Night deserving to be named of Spurs.

At six o'clock two things have happened. Lafayette's Aide-de-camp,
Romoeuf, riding a franc etrier, on that old Herb-merchant's route,
quickened during the last stages, has got to Varennes; where the Ten
thousand now furiously demand, with fury of panic terror, that Royalty
shall forthwith return Paris-ward, that there be not infinite bloodshed.
Also, on the other side, 'English Tom,' Choiseul's jokei, flying with that
Choiseul relay, has met Bouille on the heights of Dun; the adamantine brow
flushed with dark thunder; thunderous rattle of Royal Allemand at his
heels. English Tom answers as he can the brief question, How it is at
Varennes?--then asks in turn what he, English Tom, with M. de Choiseul's
horses, is to do, and whither to ride?--To the Bottomless Pool! answers a
thunder-voice; then again speaking and spurring, orders Royal Allemand to
the gallop; and vanishes, swearing (en jurant). (Declaration du Sieur
Thomas (in Choiseul, p. 188).)  'Tis the last of our brave Bouille. Within
sight of Varennes, he having drawn bridle, calls a council of officers;
finds that it is in vain. King Louis has departed, consenting: amid the
clangour of universal stormbell; amid the tramp of Ten thousand armed men,
already arrived; and say, of Sixty thousand flocking thither. Brave
Deslons, even without 'orders,' darted at the River Aire with his Hundred!
(Weber, ii. 386.) swam one branch of it, could not the other; and stood
there, dripping and panting, with inflated nostril; the Ten thousand
answering him with a shout of mockery, the new Berline lumbering Paris-ward
its weary inevitable way. No help, then in Earth; nor in an age, not of
miracles, in Heaven!

That night, 'Marquis de Bouille and twenty-one more of us rode over the
Frontiers; the Bernardine monks at Orval in Luxemburg gave us supper and
lodging.'  (Aubriot, ut supra, p. 158.)  With little of speech, Bouille
rides; with thoughts that do not brook speech. Northward, towards
uncertainty, and the Cimmerian Night: towards West-Indian Isles, for with
thin Emigrant delirium the son of the whirlwind cannot act; towards
England, towards premature Stoical death; not towards France any more.
Honour to the Brave; who, be it in this quarrel or in that, is a substance
and articulate-speaking piece of Human Valour, not a fanfaronading hollow
Spectrum and squeaking and gibbering Shadow! One of the few Royalist
Chief-actors this Bouille, of whom so much can be said.

The brave Bouille too, then, vanishes from the tissue of our Story. Story
and tissue, faint ineffectual Emblem of that grand Miraculous Tissue, and
Living Tapestry named French Revolution, which did weave itself then in
very fact, 'on the loud-sounding 'LOOM OF TIME!'  The old Brave drop out
from it, with their strivings; and new acrid Drouets, of new strivings and
colour, come in:--as is the manner of that weaving.

Chapter 2.4.VIII.

The Return.

So then our grand Royalist Plot, of Flight to Metz, has executed itself.
Long hovering in the background, as a dread royal ultimatum, it has rushed
forward in its terrors: verily to some purpose. How many Royalist Plots
and Projects, one after another, cunningly-devised, that were to explode
like powder-mines and thunderclaps; not one solitary Plot of which has
issued otherwise! Powder-mine of a Seance Royale on the Twenty-third of
June 1789, which exploded as we then said, 'through the touchhole;' which
next, your wargod Broglie having reloaded it, brought a Bastille about your
ears. Then came fervent Opera-Repast, with flourishing of sabres, and O
Richard, O my King; which, aided by Hunger, produces Insurrection of Women,
and Pallas Athene in the shape of Demoiselle Theroigne. Valour profits
not; neither has fortune smiled on Fanfaronade. The Bouille Armament ends
as the Broglie one had done. Man after man spends himself in this cause,
only to work it quicker ruin; it seems a cause doomed, forsaken of Earth
and Heaven.

On the Sixth of October gone a year, King Louis, escorted by Demoiselle
Theroigne and some two hundred thousand, made a Royal Progress and Entrance
into Paris, such as man had never witnessed: we prophesied him Two more
such; and accordingly another of them, after this Flight to Metz, is now
coming to pass. Theroigne will not escort here, neither does Mirabeau now
'sit in one of the accompanying carriages.'  Mirabeau lies dead, in the
Pantheon of Great Men. Theroigne lies living, in dark Austrian Prison;
having gone to Liege, professionally, and been seized there. Bemurmured
now by the hoarse-flowing Danube; the light of her Patriot Supper-Parties
gone quite out; so lies Theroigne: she shall speak with the Kaiser face to
face, and return. And France lies how! Fleeting Time shears down the
great and the little; and in two years alters many things.

But at all events, here, we say, is a second Ignominious Royal Procession,
though much altered; to be witnessed also by its hundreds of thousands.
Patience, ye Paris Patriots; the Royal Berline is returning. Not till
Saturday: for the Royal Berline travels by slow stages; amid such loud-
voiced confluent sea of National Guards, sixty thousand as they count; amid
such tumult of all people. Three National-Assembly Commissioners, famed
Barnave, famed Petion, generally-respectable Latour-Maubourg, have gone to
meet it; of whom the two former ride in the Berline itself beside Majesty,
day after day. Latour, as a mere respectability, and man of whom all men
speak well, can ride in the rear, with Dame Tourzel and the Soubrettes.

So on Saturday evening, about seven o'clock, Paris by hundreds of thousands
is again drawn up: not now dancing the tricolor joy-dance of hope; nor as
yet dancing in fury-dance of hate and revenge; but in silence, with vague
look of conjecture and curiosity mostly scientific. A Sainte-Antoine
Placard has given notice this morning that 'whosoever insults Louis shall
be caned, whosoever applauds him shall be hanged.'  Behold then, at last,
that wonderful New Berline; encircled by blue National sea with fixed
bayonets, which flows slowly, floating it on, through the silent assembled
hundreds of thousands. Three yellow Couriers sit atop bound with ropes;
Petion, Barnave, their Majesties, with Sister Elizabeth, and the Children
of France, are within.

Smile of embarrassment, or cloud of dull sourness, is on the broad
phlegmatic face of his Majesty: who keeps declaring to the successive
Official-persons, what is evident, "Eh bien, me voila, Well, here you have
me;" and what is not evident, "I do assure you I did not mean to pass the
frontiers;" and so forth: speeches natural for that poor Royal man; which
Decency would veil. Silent is her Majesty, with a look of grief and scorn;
natural for that Royal Woman. Thus lumbers and creeps the ignominious
Royal Procession, through many streets, amid a silent-gazing people:
comparable, Mercier thinks, (Nouveau Paris, iii. 22.) to some Procession de
Roi de Bazoche; or say, Procession of King Crispin, with his Dukes of
Sutor-mania and royal blazonry of Cordwainery. Except indeed that this is
not comic; ah no, it is comico-tragic; with bound Couriers, and a Doom
hanging over it; most fantastic, yet most miserably real. Miserablest
flebile ludibrium of a Pickleherring Tragedy! It sweeps along there, in
most ungorgeous pall, through many streets, in the dusty summer evening;
gets itself at length wriggled out of sight; vanishing in the Tuileries
Palace--towards its doom, of slow torture, peine forte et dure.

Populace, it is true, seizes the three rope-bound yellow Couriers; will at
least massacre them. But our august Assembly, which is sitting at this
great moment, sends out Deputation of rescue; and the whole is got huddled
up. Barnave, 'all dusty,' is already there, in the National Hall; making
brief discreet address and report. As indeed, through the whole journey,
this Barnave has been most discreet, sympathetic; and has gained the
Queen's trust, whose noble instinct teaches her always who is to be
trusted. Very different from heavy Petion; who, if Campan speak truth, ate
his luncheon, comfortably filled his wine-glass, in the Royal Berline;
flung out his chicken-bones past the nose of Royalty itself; and, on the
King's saying "France cannot be a Republic," answered "No, it is not ripe
yet."  Barnave is henceforth a Queen's adviser, if advice could profit:
and her Majesty astonishes Dame Campan by signifying almost a regard for
Barnave: and that, in a day of retribution and Royal triumph, Barnave
shall not be executed. (Campan, ii. c. 18.)

On Monday night Royalty went; on Saturday evening it returns: so much,
within one short week, has Royalty accomplished for itself. The
Pickleherring Tragedy has vanished in the Tuileries Palace, towards 'pain
strong and hard.'  Watched, fettered, and humbled, as Royalty never was.
Watched even in its sleeping-apartments and inmost recesses: for it has to
sleep with door set ajar, blue National Argus watching, his eye fixed on
the Queen's curtains; nay, on one occasion, as the Queen cannot sleep, he
offers to sit by her pillow, and converse a little! (Ibid. ii. 149.)

Chapter 2.4.IX.

Sharp Shot.

In regard to all which, this most pressing question arises: What is to be
done with it? "Depose it!" resolutely answer Robespierre and the
thoroughgoing few. For truly, with a King who runs away, and needs to be
watched in his very bedroom that he may stay and govern you, what other
reasonable thing can be done? Had Philippe d'Orleans not been a caput
mortuum! But of him, known as one defunct, no man now dreams. "Depose it
not; say that it is inviolable, that it was spirited away, was enleve; at
any cost of sophistry and solecism, reestablish it!" so answer with loud
vehemence all manner of Constitutional Royalists; as all your Pure
Royalists do naturally likewise, with low vehemence, and rage compressed by
fear, still more passionately answer. Nay Barnave and the two Lameths, and
what will follow them, do likewise answer so. Answer, with their whole
might: terror-struck at the unknown Abysses on the verge of which, driven
thither by themselves mainly, all now reels, ready to plunge.

By mighty effort and combination this latter course, of reestablish it, is
the course fixed on; and it shall by the strong arm, if not by the clearest
logic, be made good. With the sacrifice of all their hard-earned
popularity, this notable Triumvirate, says Toulongeon, 'set the Throne up
again, which they had so toiled to overturn: as one might set up an
overturned pyramid, on its vertex; to stand so long as it is held.'

Unhappy France; unhappy in King, Queen, and Constitution; one knows not in
which unhappiest! Was the meaning of our so glorious French Revolution
this, and no other, That when Shams and Delusions, long soul-killing, had
become body-killing, and got the length of Bankruptcy and Inanition, a
great People rose and, with one voice, said, in the Name of the Highest:
Shams shall be no more? So many sorrows and bloody horrors, endured, and
to be yet endured through dismal coming centuries, were they not the heavy
price paid and payable for this same: Total Destruction of Shams from
among men? And now, O Barnave Triumvirate! is it in such double-distilled
Delusion, and Sham even of a Sham, that an Effort of this kind will rest
acquiescent? Messieurs of the popular Triumvirate: Never! But, after
all, what can poor popular Triumvirates and fallible august Senators do?
They can, when the Truth is all too-horrible, stick their heads ostrich-
like into what sheltering Fallacy is nearest: and wait there, a

Readers who saw the Clermontais and Three-Bishopricks gallop, in the Night
of Spurs; Diligences ruffling up all France into one terrific terrified
Cock of India; and the Town of Nantes in its shirt,--may fancy what an
affair to settle this was. Robespierre, on the extreme Left, with perhaps
Petion and lean old Goupil, for the very Triumvirate has defalcated, are
shrieking hoarse; drowned in Constitutional clamour. But the debate and
arguing of a whole Nation; the bellowings through all Journals, for and
against; the reverberant voice of Danton; the Hyperion-shafts of Camille;
the porcupine-quills of implacable Marat:--conceive all this.

Constitutionalists in a body, as we often predicted, do now recede from the
Mother Society, and become Feuillans; threatening her with inanition, the
rank and respectability being mostly gone. Petition after Petition,
forwarded by Post, or borne in Deputation, comes praying for Judgment and
Decheance, which is our name for Deposition; praying, at lowest, for
Reference to the Eighty-three Departments of France. Hot Marseillese
Deputation comes declaring, among other things: "Our Phocean Ancestors
flung a Bar of Iron into the Bay at their first landing; this Bar will
float again on the Mediterranean brine before we consent to be slaves."  
All this for four weeks or more, while the matter still hangs doubtful;
Emigration streaming with double violence over the frontiers; (Bouille, ii.
101.) France seething in fierce agitation of this question and prize-
question: What is to be done with the fugitive Hereditary Representative?

Finally, on Friday the 15th of July 1791, the National Assembly decides; in
what negatory manner we know. Whereupon the Theatres all close, the
Bourne-stones and Portable-chairs begin spouting, Municipal Placards
flaming on the walls, and Proclamations published by sound of trumpet,
'invite to repose;' with small effect. And so, on Sunday the 17th, there
shall be a thing seen, worthy of remembering. Scroll of a Petition, drawn
up by Brissots, Dantons, by Cordeliers, Jacobins; for the thing was
infinitely shaken and manipulated, and many had a hand in it: such Scroll
lies now visible, on the wooden framework of the Fatherland's Altar, for
signature. Unworking Paris, male and female, is crowding thither, all day,
to sign or to see. Our fair Roland herself the eye of History can discern
there, 'in the morning;' (Madame Roland, ii. 74.) not without interest. In
few weeks the fair Patriot will quit Paris; yet perhaps only to return.

But, what with sorrow of baulked Patriotism, what with closed theatres, and
Proclamations still publishing themselves by sound of trumpet, the fervour
of men's minds, this day, is great. Nay, over and above, there has fallen
out an incident, of the nature of Farce-Tragedy and Riddle; enough to
stimulate all creatures. Early in the day, a Patriot (or some say, it was
a Patriotess, and indeed Truth is undiscoverable), while standing on the
firm deal-board of Fatherland's Altar, feels suddenly, with indescribable
torpedo-shock of amazement, his bootsole pricked through from below; he
clutches up suddenly this electrified bootsole and foot; discerns next
instant--the point of a gimlet or brad-awl playing up, through the firm
deal-board, and now hastily drawing itself back! Mystery, perhaps Treason?
The wooden frame-work is impetuously broken up; and behold, verily a
mystery; never explicable fully to the end of the world! Two human
individuals, of mean aspect, one of them with a wooden leg, lie ensconced
there, gimlet in hand: they must have come in overnight; they have a
supply of provisions,--no 'barrel of gunpowder' that one can see; they
affect to be asleep; look blank enough, and give the lamest account of
themselves. "Mere curiosity; they were boring up to get an eye-hole; to
see, perhaps 'with lubricity,' whatsoever, from that new point of vision,
could be seen:"--little that was edifying, one would think! But indeed
what stupidest thing may not human Dulness, Pruriency, Lubricity, Chance
and the Devil, choosing Two out of Half-a-million idle human heads, tempt
them to? (Hist. Parl. xi. 104-7.)

Sure enough, the two human individuals with their gimlet are there. Ill-
starred pair of individuals! For the result of it all is that Patriotism,
fretting itself, in this state of nervous excitability, with hypotheses,
suspicions and reports, keeps questioning these two distracted human
individuals, and again questioning them; claps them into the nearest
Guardhouse, clutches them out again; one hypothetic group snatching them
from another: till finally, in such extreme state of nervous excitability,
Patriotism hangs them as spies of Sieur Motier; and the life and secret is
choked out of them forevermore. Forevermore, alas! Or is a day to be
looked for when these two evidently mean individuals, who are human
nevertheless, will become Historical Riddles; and, like him of the Iron
Mask (also a human individual, and evidently nothing more),--have their
Dissertations? To us this only is certain, that they had a gimlet,
provisions and a wooden leg; and have died there on the Lanterne, as the
unluckiest fools might die.

And so the signature goes on, in a still more excited manner. And
Chaumette, for Antiquarians possess the very Paper to this hour, (Ibid. xi.
113, &c.)--has signed himself 'in a flowing saucy hand slightly leaned;'
and Hebert, detestable Pere Duchene, as if 'an inked spider had dropped on
the paper;' Usher Maillard also has signed, and many Crosses, which cannot
write. And Paris, through its thousand avenues, is welling to the Champ-
de-Mars and from it, in the utmost excitability of humour; central
Fatherland's Altar quite heaped with signing Patriots and Patriotesses; the
Thirty-benches and whole internal Space crowded with onlookers, with comers
and goers; one regurgitating whirlpool of men and women in their Sunday
clothes. All which a Constitutional Sieur Motier sees; and Bailly, looking
into it with his long visage made still longer. Auguring no good; perhaps
Decheance and Deposition after all! Stop it, ye Constitutional Patriots;
fire itself is quenchable, yet only quenchable at first!

Stop it, truly: but how stop it? Have not the first Free People of the
Universe a right to petition?--Happily, if also unhappily, here is one
proof of riot: these two human individuals, hanged at the Lanterne.
Proof, O treacherous Sieur Motier? Were they not two human individuals
sent thither by thee to be hanged; to be a pretext for thy bloody Drapeau
Rouge? This question shall many a Patriot, one day, ask; and answer
affirmatively, strong in Preternatural Suspicion.

Enough, towards half past seven in the evening, the mere natural eye can
behold this thing: Sieur Motier, with Municipals in scarf, with blue
National Patrollotism, rank after rank, to the clang of drums; wending
resolutely to the Champ-de-Mars; Mayor Bailly, with elongated visage,
bearing, as in sad duty bound, the Drapeau Rouge! Howl of angry derision
rises in treble and bass from a hundred thousand throats, at the sight of
Martial Law; which nevertheless waving its Red sanguinary Flag, advances
there, from the Gros-Caillou Entrance; advances, drumming and waving,
towards Altar of Fatherland. Amid still wilder howls, with objurgation,
obtestation; with flights of pebbles and mud, saxa et faeces; with crackle
of a pistol-shot;--finally with volley-fire of Patrollotism; levelled
muskets; roll of volley on volley! Precisely after one year and three
days, our sublime Federation Field is wetted, in this manner, with French

Some 'Twelve unfortunately shot,' reports Bailly, counting by units; but
Patriotism counts by tens and even by hundreds. Not to be forgotten, nor
forgiven! Patriotism flies, shrieking, execrating. Camille ceases
Journalising, this day; great Danton with Camille and Freron have taken
wing, for their life; Marat burrows deep in the Earth, and is silent. Once
more Patrollotism has triumphed: one other time; but it is the last.

This was the Royal Flight to Varennes. Thus was the Throne overturned
thereby; but thus also was it victoriously set up again--on its vertex; and
will stand while it can be held.



Chapter 2.5.I.

Grande Acceptation.

In the last nights of September, when the autumnal equinox is past, and
grey September fades into brown October, why are the Champs Elysees
illuminated; why is Paris dancing, and flinging fire-works? They are gala-
nights, these last of September; Paris may well dance, and the Universe:
the Edifice of the Constitution is completed! Completed; nay revised, to
see that there was nothing insufficient in it; solemnly proferred to his
Majesty; solemnly accepted by him, to the sound of cannon-salvoes, on the
fourteenth of the month. And now by such illumination, jubilee, dancing
and fire-working, do we joyously handsel the new Social Edifice, and first
raise heat and reek there, in the name of Hope.

The Revision, especially with a throne standing on its vertex, has been a
work of difficulty, of delicacy. In the way of propping and buttressing,
so indispensable now, something could be done; and yet, as is feared, not
enough. A repentant Barnave Triumvirate, our Rabauts, Duports, Thourets,
and indeed all Constitutional Deputies did strain every nerve: but the
Extreme Left was so noisy; the People were so suspicious, clamorous to have
the work ended: and then the loyal Right Side sat feeble petulant all the
while, and as it were, pouting and petting; unable to help, had they even
been willing; the two Hundred and Ninety had solemnly made scission, before
that: and departed, shaking the dust off their feet. To such
transcendency of fret, and desperate hope that worsening of the bad might
the sooner end it and bring back the good, had our unfortunate loyal Right
Side now come! (Toulongeon, ii. 56, 59.)

However, one finds that this and the other little prop has been added,
where possibility allowed. Civil-list and Privy-purse were from of old
well cared for. King's Constitutional Guard, Eighteen hundred loyal men
from the Eighty-three Departments, under a loyal Duke de Brissac; this,
with trustworthy Swiss besides, is of itself something. The old loyal
Bodyguards are indeed dissolved, in name as well as in fact; and gone
mostly towards Coblentz. But now also those Sansculottic violent Gardes
Francaises, or Centre Grenadiers, shall have their mittimus: they do ere
long, in the Journals, not without a hoarse pathos, publish their Farewell;
'wishing all Aristocrats the graves in Paris which to us are denied.'
(Hist. Parl. xiii. 73.)  They depart, these first Soldiers of the
Revolution; they hover very dimly in the distance for about another year;
till they can be remodelled, new-named, and sent to fight the Austrians;
and then History beholds them no more. A most notable Corps of men; which
has its place in World-History;--though to us, so is History written, they
remain mere rubrics of men; nameless; a shaggy Grenadier Mass, crossed with
buff-belts. And yet might we not ask: What Argonauts, what Leonidas'
Spartans had done such a work? Think of their destiny: since that May
morning, some three years ago, when they, unparticipating, trundled off
d'Espremenil to the Calypso Isles; since that July evening, some two years
ago, when they, participating and sacreing with knit brows, poured a volley
into Besenval's Prince de Lambesc! History waves them her mute adieu.

So that the Sovereign Power, these Sansculottic Watchdogs, more like
wolves, being leashed and led away from his Tuileries, breathes freer. The
Sovereign Power is guarded henceforth by a loyal Eighteen hundred,--whom
Contrivance, under various pretexts, may gradually swell to Six thousand;
who will hinder no Journey to Saint-Cloud. The sad Varennes business has
been soldered up; cemented, even in the blood of the Champ-de-Mars, these
two months and more; and indeed ever since, as formerly, Majesty has had
its privileges, its 'choice of residence,' though, for good reasons, the
royal mind 'prefers continuing in Paris.'  Poor royal mind, poor Paris;
that have to go mumming; enveloped in speciosities, in falsehood which
knows itself false; and to enact mutually your sorrowful farce-tragedy,
being bound to it; and on the whole, to hope always, in spite of hope!

Nay, now that his Majesty has accepted the Constitution, to the sound of
cannon-salvoes, who would not hope? Our good King was misguided but he
meant well. Lafayette has moved for an Amnesty, for universal forgiving
and forgetting of Revolutionary faults; and now surely the glorious
Revolution cleared of its rubbish, is complete! Strange enough, and
touching in several ways, the old cry of Vive le Roi once more rises round
King Louis the Hereditary Representative. Their Majesties went to the
Opera; gave money to the Poor: the Queen herself, now when the
Constitution is accepted, hears voice of cheering. Bygone shall be bygone;
the New Era shall begin! To and fro, amid those lamp-galaxies of the
Elysian Fields, the Royal Carriage slowly wends and rolls; every where with
vivats, from a multitude striving to be glad. Louis looks out, mainly on
the variegated lamps and gay human groups, with satisfaction enough for the
hour. In her Majesty's face, 'under that kind graceful smile a deep
sadness is legible.' (De Stael, Considerations, i. c. 23.)  Brilliancies,
of valour and of wit, stroll here observant: a Dame de Stael, leaning most
probably on the arm of her Narbonne. She meets Deputies; who have built
this Constitution; who saunter here with vague communings,--not without
thoughts whether it will stand. But as yet melodious fiddlestrings twang
and warble every where, with the rhythm of light fantastic feet; long lamp-
galaxies fling their coloured radiance; and brass-lunged Hawkers elbow and
bawl, "Grande Acceptation, Constitution Monarchique:"  it behoves the Son
of Adam to hope. Have not Lafayette, Barnave, and all Constitutionalists
set their shoulders handsomely to the inverted pyramid of a throne?
Feuillans, including almost the whole Constitutional Respectability of
France, perorate nightly from their tribune; correspond through all Post-
offices; denouncing unquiet Jacobinism; trusting well that its time is nigh
done. Much is uncertain, questionable: but if the Hereditary
Representative be wise and lucky, may one not, with a sanguine Gaelic
temper, hope that he will get in motion better or worse; that what is
wanting to him will gradually be gained and added?

For the rest, as we must repeat, in this building of the Constitutional
Fabric, especially in this Revision of it, nothing that one could think of
to give it new strength, especially to steady it, to give it permanence,
and even eternity, has been forgotten. Biennial Parliament, to be called
Legislative, Assemblee Legislative; with Seven Hundred and Forty-five
Members, chosen in a judicious manner by the 'active citizens' alone, and
even by electing of electors still more active: this, with privileges of
Parliament shall meet, self-authorized if need be, and self-dissolved;
shall grant money-supplies and talk; watch over the administration and
authorities; discharge for ever the functions of a Constitutional Great
Council, Collective Wisdom, and National Palaver,--as the Heavens will
enable. Our First biennial Parliament, which indeed has been a-choosing
since early in August, is now as good as chosen. Nay it has mostly got to
Paris: it arrived gradually;--not without pathetic greeting to its
venerable Parent, the now moribund Constituent; and sat there in the
Galleries, reverently listening; ready to begin, the instant the ground
were clear.

Then as to changes in the Constitution itself? This, impossible for any
Legislative, or common biennial Parliament, and possible solely for some
resuscitated Constituent or National Convention,--is evidently one of the
most ticklish points. The august moribund Assembly debated it for four
entire days. Some thought a change, or at least reviewal and new approval,
might be admissible in thirty years; some even went lower, down to twenty,
nay to fifteen. The august Assembly had once decided for thirty years; but
it revoked that, on better thoughts; and did not fix any date of time, but
merely some vague outline of a posture of circumstances, and on the whole
left the matter hanging. (Choix de Rapports, &c. (Paris, 1825), vi. 239-
317.)  Doubtless a National Convention can be assembled even within the
thirty years: yet one may hope, not; but that Legislatives, biennial
Parliaments of the common kind, with their limited faculty, and perhaps
quiet successive additions thereto, may suffice, for generations, or indeed
while computed Time runs.

Furthermore, be it noted that no member of this Constituent has been, or
could be, elected to the new Legislative. So noble-minded were these Law-
makers! cry some: and Solon-like would banish themselves. So splenetic!
cry more: each grudging the other, none daring to be outdone in self-
denial by the other. So unwise in either case! answer all practical men.
But consider this other self-denying ordinance, That none of us can be
King's Minister, or accept the smallest Court Appointment, for the space of
four, or at lowest (and on long debate and Revision), for the space of two
years! So moves the incorruptible seagreen Robespierre; with cheap
magnanimity he; and none dare be outdone by him. It was such a law, not so
superfluous then, that sent Mirabeau to the Gardens of Saint-Cloud, under
cloak of darkness, to that colloquy of the gods; and thwarted many things.
Happily and unhappily there is no Mirabeau now to thwart.

Welcomer meanwhile, welcome surely to all right hearts, is Lafayette's
chivalrous Amnesty. Welcome too is that hard-wrung Union of Avignon; which
has cost us, first and last, 'thirty sessions of debate,' and so much else:
may it at length prove lucky! Rousseau's statue is decreed: virtuous
Jean-Jacques, Evangelist of the Contrat Social. Not Drouet of Varennes;
nor worthy Lataille, master of the old world-famous Tennis Court in
Versailles, is forgotten; but each has his honourable mention, and due
reward in money. (Moniteur (in Hist. Parl. xi. 473.)  Whereupon, things
being all so neatly winded up, and the Deputations, and Messages, and royal
and other Ceremonials having rustled by; and the King having now
affectionately perorated about peace and tranquilisation, and members
having answered "Oui! oui!" with effusion, even with tears,--President
Thouret, he of the Law Reforms, rises, and, with a strong voice, utters
these memorable last-words: "The National Constituent Assembly declares
that it has finished its mission; and that its sittings are all ended."
Incorruptible Robespierre, virtuous Petion are borne home on the shoulders
of the people; with vivats heaven-high. The rest glide quietly to their
respective places of abode. It is the last afternoon of September, 1791;
on the morrow morning the new Legislative will begin.

So, amid glitter of illuminated streets and Champs Elysees, and crackle of
fireworks and glad deray, has the first National Assembly vanished;
dissolving, as they well say, into blank Time; and is no more. National
Assembly is gone, its work remaining; as all Bodies of men go, and as man
himself goes: it had its beginning, and must likewise have its end. A
Phantasm-Reality born of Time, as the rest of us are; flitting ever
backwards now on the tide of Time: to be long remembered of men. Very
strange Assemblages, Sanhedrims, Amphictyonics, Trades Unions, Ecumenic
Councils, Parliaments and Congresses, have met together on this Planet, and
dispersed again; but a stranger Assemblage than this august Constituent, or
with a stranger mission, perhaps never met there. Seen from the distance,
this also will be a miracle. Twelve Hundred human individuals, with the
Gospel of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in their pocket, congregating in the name
of Twenty-five Millions, with full assurance of faith, to 'make the
Constitution:'  such sight, the acme and main product of the Eighteenth
Century, our World can witness once only. For Time is rich in wonders, in
monstrosities most rich; and is observed never to repeat himself, or any of
his Gospels:--surely least of all, this Gospel according to Jean-Jacques.
Once it was right and indispensable, since such had become the Belief of
men; but once also is enough.

They have made the Constitution, these Twelve Hundred Jean-Jacques
Evangelists; not without result. Near twenty-nine months they sat, with
various fortune; in various capacity;--always, we may say, in that capacity
of carborne Caroccio, and miraculous Standard of the Revolt of Men, as a
Thing high and lifted up; whereon whosoever looked might hope healing.
They have seen much: cannons levelled on them; then suddenly, by
interposition of the Powers, the cannons drawn back; and a war-god Broglie
vanishing, in thunder not his own, amid the dust and downrushing of a
Bastille and Old Feudal France. They have suffered somewhat: Royal
Session, with rain and Oath of the Tennis-Court; Nights of Pentecost;
Insurrections of Women. Also have they not done somewhat? Made the
Constitution, and managed all things the while; passed, in these twenty-
nine months, 'twenty-five hundred Decrees,' which on the average is some
three for each day, including Sundays! Brevity, one finds, is possible, at
times: had not Moreau de St. Mery to give three thousand orders before
rising from his seat?--There was valour (or value) in these men; and a kind
of faith,--were it only faith in this, That cobwebs are not cloth; that a
Constitution could be made. Cobwebs and chimeras ought verily to
disappear; for a Reality there is. Let formulas, soul-killing, and now
grown body-killing, insupportable, begone, in the name of Heaven and
Earth!--Time, as we say, brought forth these Twelve Hundred; Eternity was
before them, Eternity behind: they worked, as we all do, in the confluence
of Two Eternities; what work was given them. Say not that it was nothing
they did. Consciously they did somewhat; unconsciously how much! They had
their giants and their dwarfs, they accomplished their good and their evil;
they are gone, and return no more. Shall they not go with our blessing, in
these circumstances; with our mild farewell?

By post, by diligence, on saddle or sole; they are gone: towards the four
winds! Not a few over the marches, to rank at Coblentz. Thither wended
Maury, among others; but in the end towards Rome,--to be clothed there in
red Cardinal plush; in falsehood as in a garment; pet son (her last-born?)
of the Scarlet Woman. Talleyrand-Perigord, excommunicated Constitutional
Bishop, will make his way to London; to be Ambassador, spite of the Self-
denying Law; brisk young Marquis Chauvelin acting as Ambassador's-Cloak.
In London too, one finds Petion the virtuous; harangued and haranguing,
pledging the wine-cup with Constitutional Reform Clubs, in solemn tavern-
dinner. Incorruptible Robespierre retires for a little to native Arras:
seven short weeks of quiet; the last appointed him in this world. Public
Accuser in the Paris Department, acknowledged highpriest of the Jacobins;
the glass of incorruptible thin Patriotism, for his narrow emphasis is
loved of all the narrow,--this man seems to be rising, somewhither? He
sells his small heritage at Arras; accompanied by a Brother and a Sister,
he returns, scheming out with resolute timidity a small sure destiny for
himself and them, to his old lodging, at the Cabinet-maker's, in the Rue
St. Honore:--O resolute-tremulous incorruptible seagreen man, towards what
a destiny!

Lafayette, for his part, will lay down the command. He retires
Cincinnatus-like to his hearth and farm; but soon leaves them again. Our
National Guard, however, shall henceforth have no one Commandant; but all
Colonels shall command in succession, month about. Other Deputies we have
met, or Dame de Stael has met, 'sauntering in a thoughtful manner;' perhaps
uncertain what to do. Some, as Barnave, the Lameths, and their Duport,
will continue here in Paris: watching the new biennial Legislative,
Parliament the First; teaching it to walk, if so might be; and the Court to
lead it.

Thus these: sauntering in a thoughtful manner; travelling by post or
diligence,--whither Fate beckons. Giant Mirabeau slumbers in the Pantheon
of Great Men: and France? and Europe?--The brass-lunged Hawkers sing
"Grand Acceptation, Monarchic Constitution" through these gay crowds: the
Morrow, grandson of Yesterday, must be what it can, as To-day its father
is. Our new biennial Legislative begins to constitute itself on the first
of October, 1791.

Chapter 2.5.II.

The Book of the Law.

If the august Constituent Assembly itself, fixing the regards of the
Universe, could, at the present distance of time and place, gain
comparatively small attention from us, how much less can this poor
Legislative! It has its Right Side and its Left; the less Patriotic and
the more, for Aristocrats exist not here or now: it spouts and speaks:
listens to Reports, reads Bills and Laws; works in its vocation, for a
season: but the history of France, one finds, is seldom or never there.
Unhappy Legislative, what can History do with it; if not drop a tear over
it, almost in silence? First of the two-year Parliaments of France, which,
if Paper Constitution and oft-repeated National Oath could avail aught,
were to follow in softly-strong indissoluble sequence while Time ran,--it
had to vanish dolefully within one year; and there came no second like it.
Alas! your biennial Parliaments in endless indissoluble sequence; they, and
all that Constitutional Fabric, built with such explosive Federation Oaths,
and its top-stone brought out with dancing and variegated radiance, went to
pieces, like frail crockery, in the crash of things; and already, in eleven
short months, were in that Limbo near the Moon, with the ghosts of other
Chimeras. There, except for rare specific purposes, let them rest, in
melancholy peace.

On the whole, how unknown is a man to himself; or a public Body of men to
itself! Aesop's fly sat on the chariot-wheel, exclaiming, What a dust I do
raise! Great Governors, clad in purple with fasces and insignia, are
governed by their valets, by the pouting of their women and children; or,
in Constitutional countries, by the paragraphs of their Able Editors. Say
not, I am this or that; I am doing this or that! For thou knowest it not,
thou knowest only the name it as yet goes by. A purple Nebuchadnezzar
rejoices to feel himself now verily Emperor of this great Babylon which he
has builded; and is a nondescript biped-quadruped, on the eve of a seven-
years course of grazing! These Seven Hundred and Forty-five elected
individuals doubt not but they are the First biennial Parliament, come to
govern France by parliamentary eloquence: and they are what? And they
have come to do what? Things foolish and not wise!

It is much lamented by many that this First Biennial had no members of the
old Constituent in it, with their experience of parties and parliamentary
tactics; that such was their foolish Self-denying Law. Most surely, old
members of the Constituent had been welcome to us here. But, on the other
hand, what old or what new members of any Constituent under the Sun could
have effectually profited? There are First biennial Parliaments so
postured as to be, in a sense, beyond wisdom; where wisdom and folly differ
only in degree, and wreckage and dissolution are the appointed issue for

Old-Constituents, your Barnaves, Lameths and the like, for whom a special
Gallery has been set apart, where they may sit in honour and listen, are in
the habit of sneering at these new Legislators; (Dumouriez, ii. 150, &c.)
but let not us! The poor Seven Hundred and Forty-five, sent together by
the active citizens of France, are what they could be; do what is fated
them. That they are of Patriot temper we can well understand. Aristocrat
Noblesse had fled over the marches, or sat brooding silent in their unburnt
Chateaus; small prospect had they in Primary Electoral Assemblies. What
with Flights to Varennes, what with Days of Poniards, with plot after plot,
the People are left to themselves; the People must needs choose Defenders
of the People, such as can be had. Choosing, as they also will ever do,
'if not the ablest man, yet the man ablest to be chosen!'  Fervour of
character, decided Patriot-Constitutional feeling; these are qualities:
but free utterance, mastership in tongue-fence; this is the quality of
qualities. Accordingly one finds, with little astonishment, in this First
Biennial, that as many as Four hundred Members are of the Advocate or
Attorney species. Men who can speak, if there be aught to speak: nay here
are men also who can think, and even act. Candour will say of this ill-
fated First French Parliament that it wanted not its modicum of talent, its
modicum of honesty; that it, neither in the one respect nor in the other,
sank below the average of Parliaments, but rose above the average. Let
average Parliaments, whom the world does not guillotine, and cast forth to
long infamy, be thankful not to themselves but to their stars!

France, as we say, has once more done what it could: fervid men have come
together from wide separation; for strange issues. Fiery Max Isnard is
come, from the utmost South-East; fiery Claude Fauchet, Te-Deum Fauchet
Bishop of Calvados, from the utmost North-West. No Mirabeau now sits here,
who had swallowed formulas: our only Mirabeau now is Danton, working as
yet out of doors; whom some call 'Mirabeau of the Sansculottes.'

Nevertheless we have our gifts,--especially of speech and logic. An
eloquent Vergniaud we have; most mellifluous yet most impetuous of public
speakers; from the region named Gironde, of the Garonne: a man
unfortunately of indolent habits; who will sit playing with your children,
when he ought to be scheming and perorating. Sharp bustling Guadet;
considerate grave Censonne; kind-sparkling mirthful young Ducos; Valaze
doomed to a sad end: all these likewise are of that Gironde, or Bourdeaux
region: men of fervid Constitutional principles; of quick talent,
irrefragable logic, clear respectability; who will have the Reign of
Liberty establish itself, but only by respectable methods. Round whom
others of like temper will gather; known by and by as Girondins, to the
sorrowing wonder of the world. Of which sort note Condorcet, Marquis and
Philosopher; who has worked at much, at Paris Municipal Constitution,
Differential Calculus, Newspaper Chronique de Paris, Biography, Philosophy;
and now sits here as two-years Senator: a notable Condorcet, with stoical
Roman face, and fiery heart; 'volcano hid under snow;' styled likewise, in
irreverent language, 'mouton enrage,' peaceablest of creatures bitten
rabid! Or note, lastly, Jean-Pierre Brissot; whom Destiny, long working
noisily with him, has hurled hither, say, to have done with him. A
biennial Senator he too; nay, for the present, the king of such. Restless,
scheming, scribbling Brissot; who took to himself the style de Warville,
heralds know not in the least why;--unless it were that the father of him
did, in an unexceptionable manner, perform Cookery and Vintnery in the
Village of Ouarville? A man of the windmill species, that grinds always,
turning towards all winds; not in the steadiest manner.

In all these men there is talent, faculty to work; and they will do it:
working and shaping, not without effect, though alas not in marble, only in
quicksand!--But the highest faculty of them all remains yet to be
mentioned; or indeed has yet to unfold itself for mention: Captain
Hippolyte Carnot, sent hither from the Pas de Calais; with his cold
mathematical head, and silent stubbornness of will: iron Carnot, far-
planning, imperturbable, unconquerable; who, in the hour of need, shall not
be found wanting. His hair is yet black; and it shall grow grey, under
many kinds of fortune, bright and troublous; and with iron aspect this man
shall face them all.

Nor is Cote Droit, and band of King's friends, wanting: Vaublanc, Dumas,
Jaucourt the honoured Chevalier; who love Liberty, yet with Monarchy over
it; and speak fearlessly according to that faith;--whom the thick-coming
hurricanes will sweep away. With them, let a new military Theodore Lameth
be named;--were it only for his two Brothers' sake, who look down on him,
approvingly there, from the Old-Constituents' Gallery. Frothy professing
Pastorets, honey-mouthed conciliatory Lamourettes, and speechless nameless
individuals sit plentiful, as Moderates, in the middle. Still less is a
Cote Gauche wanting: extreme Left; sitting on the topmost benches, as if
aloft on its speculatory Height or Mountain, which will become a practical
fulminatory Height, and make the name of Mountain famous-infamous to all
times and lands.

Honour waits not on this Mountain; nor as yet even loud dishonour. Gifts
it boasts not, nor graces, of speaking or of thinking; solely this one gift
of assured faith, of audacity that will defy the Earth and the Heavens.
Foremost here are the Cordelier Trio: hot Merlin from Thionville, hot
Bazire, Attorneys both; Chabot, disfrocked Capuchin, skilful in agio.
Lawyer Lacroix, who wore once as subaltern the single epaulette, has loud
lungs and a hungry heart. There too is Couthon, little dreaming what he
is;--whom a sad chance has paralysed in the lower extremities. For, it
seems, he sat once a whole night, not warm in his true love's bower (who
indeed was by law another's), but sunken to the middle in a cold peat-bog,
being hunted out; quaking for his life, in the cold quaking morass;
(Dumouriez, ii. 370.) and goes now on crutches to the end. Cambon
likewise, in whom slumbers undeveloped such a finance-talent for printing
of Assignats; Father of Paper-money; who, in the hour of menace, shall
utter this stern sentence, 'War to the Manorhouse, peace to the Hut, Guerre
aux Chateaux, paix aux Chaumieres!'  (Choix de Rapports, xi. 25.)
Lecointre, the intrepid Draper of Versailles, is welcome here; known since
the Opera-Repast and Insurrection of Women. Thuriot too; Elector Thuriot,
who stood in the embrasures of the Bastille, and saw Saint-Antoine rising
in mass; who has many other things to see. Last and grimmest of all note
old Ruhl, with his brown dusky face and long white hair; of Alsatian
Lutheran breed; a man whom age and book-learning have not taught; who,
haranguing the old men of Rheims, shall hold up the Sacred Ampulla (Heaven-
sent, wherefrom Clovis and all Kings have been anointed) as a mere
worthless oil-bottle, and dash it to sherds on the pavement there; who,
alas, shall dash much to sherds, and finally his own wild head, by pistol-
shot, and so end it.

Such lava welters redhot in the bowels of this Mountain; unknown to the
world and to itself! A mere commonplace Mountain hitherto; distinguished
from the Plain chiefly by its superior barrenness, its baldness of look:
at the utmost it may, to the most observant, perceptibly smoke. For as yet
all lies so solid, peaceable; and doubts not, as was said, that it will
endure while Time runs. Do not all love Liberty and the Constitution? All
heartily;--and yet with degrees. Some, as Chevalier Jaucourt and his Right
Side, may love Liberty less than Royalty, were the trial made; others, as
Brissot and his Left Side, may love it more than Royalty. Nay again of
these latter some may love Liberty more than Law itself; others not more.
Parties will unfold themselves; no mortal as yet knows how. Forces work
within these men and without: dissidence grows opposition; ever widening;
waxing into incompatibility and internecine feud: till the strong is
abolished by a stronger; himself in his turn by a strongest! Who can help
it? Jaucourt and his Monarchists, Feuillans, or Moderates; Brissot and his
Brissotins, Jacobins, or Girondins; these, with the Cordelier Trio, and all
men, must work what is appointed them, and in the way appointed them.

And to think what fate these poor Seven Hundred and Forty-five are
assembled, most unwittingly, to meet! Let no heart be so hard as not to
pity them. Their soul's wish was to live and work as the First of the
French Parliaments: and make the Constitution march. Did they not, at
their very instalment, go through the most affecting Constitutional
ceremony, almost with tears? The Twelve Eldest are sent solemnly to fetch
the Constitution itself, the printed book of the Law. Archivist Camus, an
Old-Constituent appointed Archivist, he and the Ancient Twelve, amid blare
of military pomp and clangour, enter, bearing the divine Book: and
President and all Legislative Senators, laying their hand on the same,
successively take the Oath, with cheers and heart-effusion, universal
three-times-three. (Moniteur, Seance du 4 Octobre 1791.)  In this manner
they begin their Session. Unhappy mortals! For, that same day, his
Majesty having received their Deputation of welcome, as seemed, rather
drily, the Deputation cannot but feel slighted, cannot but lament such
slight: and thereupon our cheering swearing First Parliament sees itself,
on the morrow, obliged to explode into fierce retaliatory sputter, of anti-
royal Enactment as to how they, for their part, will receive Majesty; and
how Majesty shall not be called Sire any more, except they please: and
then, on the following day, to recal this Enactment of theirs, as too
hasty, and a mere sputter though not unprovoked.

An effervescent well-intentioned set of Senators; too combustible, where
continual sparks are flying! Their History is a series of sputters and
quarrels; true desire to do their function, fatal impossibility to do it.
Denunciations, reprimandings of King's Ministers, of traitors supposed and
real; hot rage and fulmination against fulminating Emigrants; terror of
Austrian Kaiser, of 'Austrian Committee' in the Tuileries itself: rage and
haunting terror, haste and dim desperate bewilderment!--Haste, we say; and
yet the Constitution had provided against haste. No Bill can be passed
till it have been printed, till it have been thrice read, with intervals of
eight days;--'unless the Assembly shall beforehand decree that there is
urgency.'  Which, accordingly, the Assembly, scrupulous of the
Constitution, never omits to do: Considering this, and also considering
that, and then that other, the Assembly decrees always 'qu'il y a urgence;'
and thereupon 'the Assembly, having decreed that there is urgence,' is free
to decree--what indispensable distracted thing seems best to it. Two
thousand and odd decrees, as men reckon, within Eleven months!
(Montgaillard, iii. 1. 237.)  The haste of the Constituent seemed great;
but this is treble-quick. For the time itself is rushing treble-quick; and
they have to keep pace with that. Unhappy Seven Hundred and Forty-five:
true-patriotic, but so combustible; being fired, they must needs fling
fire: Senate of touchwood and rockets, in a world of smoke-storm, with
sparks wind-driven continually flying!

Or think, on the other hand, looking forward some months, of that scene
they call Baiser de Lamourette! The dangers of the country are now grown
imminent, immeasurable; National Assembly, hope of France, is divided
against itself. In such extreme circumstances, honey-mouthed Abbe
Lamourette, new Bishop of Lyons, rises, whose name, l'amourette, signifies
the sweetheart, or Delilah doxy,--he rises, and, with pathetic honied
eloquence, calls on all august Senators to forget mutual griefs and
grudges, to swear a new oath, and unite as brothers. Whereupon they all,
with vivats, embrace and swear; Left Side confounding itself with Right;
barren Mountain rushing down to fruitful Plain, Pastoret into the arms of
Condorcet, injured to the breast of injurer, with tears; and all swearing
that whosoever wishes either Feuillant Two-Chamber Monarchy or Extreme-
Jacobin Republic, or any thing but the Constitution and that only, shall be
anathema marantha. (Moniteur, Seance du 6 Juillet 1792.)  Touching to
behold! For, literally on the morrow morning, they must again quarrel,
driven by Fate; and their sublime reconcilement is called derisively Baiser
de L'amourette, or Delilah Kiss.

Like fated Eteocles-Polynices Brothers, embracing, though in vain; weeping
that they must not love, that they must hate only, and die by each other's
hands! Or say, like doomed Familiar Spirits; ordered, by Art Magic under
penalties, to do a harder than twist ropes of sand: 'to make the
Constitution march.'  If the Constitution would but march! Alas, the
Constitution will not stir. It falls on its face; they tremblingly lift it
on end again: march, thou gold Constitution! The Constitution will not
march.--"He shall march, by--!" said kind Uncle Toby, and even swore. The
Corporal answered mournfully: "He will never march in this world."

A constitution, as we often say, will march when it images, if not the old
Habits and Beliefs of the Constituted; then accurately their Rights, or
better indeed, their Mights;--for these two, well-understood, are they not
one and the same? The old Habits of France are gone: her new Rights and
Mights are not yet ascertained, except in Paper-theorem; nor can be, in any
sort, till she have tried. Till she have measured herself, in fell death-
grip, and were it in utmost preternatural spasm of madness, with
Principalities and Powers, with the upper and the under, internal and
external; with the Earth and Tophet and the very Heaven! Then will she
know.--Three things bode ill for the marching of this French Constitution:
the French People; the French King; thirdly the French Noblesse and an
assembled European World.

Chapter 2.5.III.


But quitting generalities, what strange Fact is this, in the far South-
West, towards which the eyes of all men do now, in the end of October, bend
themselves? A tragical combustion, long smoking and smouldering
unluminous, has now burst into flame there.

Hot is that Southern Provencal blood: alas, collisions, as was once said,
must occur in a career of Freedom; different directions will produce such;
nay different velocities in the same direction will! To much that went on
there History, busied elsewhere, would not specially give heed: to
troubles of Uzez, troubles of Nismes, Protestant and Catholic, Patriot and
Aristocrat; to troubles of Marseilles, Montpelier, Arles; to Aristocrat
Camp of Jales, that wondrous real-imaginary Entity, now fading pale-dim,
then always again glowing forth deep-hued (in the Imagination mainly);--
ominous magical, 'an Aristocrat picture of war done naturally!'  All this
was a tragical deadly combustion, with plot and riot, tumult by night and
by day; but a dark combustion, not luminous, not noticed; which now,
however, one cannot help noticing.

Above all places, the unluminous combustion in Avignon and the Comtat
Venaissin was fierce. Papal Avignon, with its Castle rising sheer over the
Rhone-stream; beautifullest Town, with its purple vines and gold-orange
groves: why must foolish old rhyming Rene, the last Sovereign of Provence,
bequeath it to the Pope and Gold Tiara, not rather to Louis Eleventh with
the Leaden Virgin in his hatband? For good and for evil! Popes, Anti-
popes, with their pomp, have dwelt in that Castle of Avignon rising sheer
over the Rhone-stream: there Laura de Sade went to hear mass; her Petrarch
twanging and singing by the Fountain of Vaucluse hard by, surely in a most
melancholy manner. This was in the old days.

And now in these new days, such issues do come from a squirt of the pen by
some foolish rhyming Rene, after centuries, this is what we have: Jourdan
Coupe-tete, leading to siege and warfare an Army, from three to fifteen
thousand strong, called the Brigands of Avignon; which title they
themselves accept, with the addition of an epithet, 'The brave Brigands of
Avignon!'  It is even so. Jourdan the Headsman fled hither from that
Chatelet Inquest, from that Insurrection of Women; and began dealing in
madder; but the scene was rife in other than dye-stuffs; so Jourdan shut
his madder shop, and has risen, for he was the man to do it. The tile-
beard of Jourdan is shaven off; his fat visage has got coppered and studded
with black carbuncles; the Silenus trunk is swollen with drink and high
living: he wears blue National uniform with epaulettes, 'an enormous
sabre, two horse-pistols crossed in his belt, and other two smaller,
sticking from his pockets;' styles himself General, and is the tyrant of
men. (Dampmartin, Evenemens, i. 267.)  Consider this one fact, O Reader;
and what sort of facts must have preceded it, must accompany it! Such
things come of old Rene; and of the question which has risen, Whether
Avignon cannot now cease wholly to be Papal and become French and free?

For some twenty-five months the confusion has lasted. Say three months of
arguing; then seven of raging; then finally some fifteen months now of
fighting, and even of hanging. For already in February 1790, the Papal
Aristocrats had set up four gibbets, for a sign; but the People rose in
June, in retributive frenzy; and, forcing the public Hangman to act, hanged
four Aristocrats, on each Papal gibbet a Papal Haman. Then were Avignon
Emigrations, Papal Aristocrats emigrating over the Rhone River; demission
of Papal Consul, flight, victory: re-entrance of Papal Legate, truce, and
new onslaught; and the various turns of war. Petitions there were to
National Assembly; Congresses of Townships; three-score and odd Townships
voting for French Reunion, and the blessings of Liberty; while some twelve
of the smaller, manipulated by Aristocrats, gave vote the other way: with
shrieks and discord! Township against Township, Town against Town:
Carpentras, long jealous of Avignon, is now turned out in open war with
it;--and Jourdan Coupe-tete, your first General being killed in mutiny,
closes his dye-shop; and does there visibly, with siege-artillery, above
all with bluster and tumult, with the 'brave Brigands of Avignon,'
beleaguer the rival Town, for two months, in the face of the world!

Feats were done, doubt it not, far-famed in Parish History; but to
Universal History unknown. Gibbets we see rise, on the one side and on the
other; and wretched carcasses swinging there, a dozen in the row; wretched
Mayor of Vaison buried before dead. (Barbaroux, Memoires, p. 26.)  The
fruitful seedfield, lie unreaped, the vineyards trampled down; there is red
cruelty, madness of universal choler and gall. Havoc and anarchy
everywhere; a combustion most fierce, but unlucent, not to be noticed
here!--Finally, as we saw, on the 14th of September last, the National
Constituent Assembly, having sent Commissioners and heard them; (Lescene
Desmaisons: Compte rendu a l'Assemblee Nationale, 10 Septembre 1791 (Choix
des Rapports, vii. 273-93).) having heard Petitions, held Debates, month
after month ever since August 1789; and on the whole 'spent thirty
sittings' on this matter, did solemnly decree that Avignon and the Comtat
were incorporated with France, and His Holiness the Pope should have what
indemnity was reasonable.

And so hereby all is amnestied and finished? Alas, when madness of choler
has gone through the blood of men, and gibbets have swung on this side and
on that, what will a parchment Decree and Lafayette Amnesty do? Oblivious
Lethe flows not above ground! Papal Aristocrats and Patriot Brigands are
still an eye-sorrow to each other; suspected, suspicious, in what they do
and forbear. The august Constituent Assembly is gone but a fortnight,
when, on Sunday the Sixteenth morning of October 1791, the unquenched
combustion suddenly becomes luminous! For Anti-constitutional Placards are
up, and the Statue of the Virgin is said to have shed tears, and grown red.
(Proces-verbal de la Commune d'Avignon, &c. (in Hist. Parl. xii. 419-23.)
Wherefore, on that morning, Patriot l'Escuyer, one of our 'six leading
Patriots,' having taken counsel with his brethren and General Jourdan,
determines on going to Church, in company with a friend or two: not to
hear mass, which he values little; but to meet all the Papalists there in a
body, nay to meet that same weeping Virgin, for it is the Cordeliers
Church; and give them a word of admonition. Adventurous errand; which has
the fatallest issue! What L'Escuyer's word of admonition might be no
History records; but the answer to it was a shrieking howl from the
Aristocrat Papal worshippers, many of them women. A thousand-voiced shriek
and menace; which as L'Escuyer did not fly, became a thousand-handed hustle
and jostle; a thousand-footed kick, with tumblings and tramplings, with the
pricking of semstresses stilettos, scissors, and female pointed
instruments. Horrible to behold; the ancient Dead, and Petrarchan Laura,
sleeping round it there; (Ugo Foscolo, Essay on Petrarch, p. 35.) high
Altar and burning tapers looking down on it; the Virgin quite tearless, and
of the natural stone-colour!--L'Escuyer's friend or two rush off, like
Job's Messengers, for Jourdan and the National Force. But heavy Jourdan
will seize the Town-Gates first; does not run treble-fast, as he might: on
arriving at the Cordeliers Church, the Church is silent, vacant; L'Escuyer,
all alone, lies there, swimming in his blood, at the foot of the high
Altar; pricked with scissors; trodden, massacred;--gives one dumb sob, and
gasps out his miserable life for evermore.

Sight to stir the heart of any man; much more of many men, self-styled
Brigands of Avignon! The corpse of L'Escuyer, stretched on a bier, the
ghastly head girt with laurel, is borne through the streets; with many-
voiced unmelodious Nenia; funeral-wail still deeper than it is loud! The
copper-face of Jourdan, of bereft Patriotism, has grown black. Patriot
Municipality despatches official Narrative and tidings to Paris; orders
numerous or innumerable arrestments for inquest and perquisition.
Aristocrats male and female are haled to the Castle; lie crowded in
subterranean dungeons there, bemoaned by the hoarse rushing of the Rhone;
cut out from help.

So lie they; waiting inquest and perquisition. Alas! with a Jourdan
Headsman for Generalissimo, with his copper-face grown black, and armed
Brigand Patriots chanting their Nenia, the inquest is likely to be brief.
On the next day and the next, let Municipality consent or not, a Brigand
Court-Martial establishes itself in the subterranean stories of the Castle
of Avignon; Brigand Executioners, with naked sabre, waiting at the door,
for a Brigand verdict. Short judgment, no appeal! There is Brigand wrath
and vengeance; not unrefreshed by brandy. Close by is the Dungeon of the
Glaciere, or Ice-Tower: there may be deeds done--? For which language has
no name!--Darkness and the shadow of horrid cruelty envelopes these Castle
Dungeons, that Glaciere Tower: clear only that many have entered, that few
have returned. Jourdan and the Brigands, supreme now over Municipals, over
all Authorities Patriot or Papal, reign in Avignon, waited on by Terror and

The result of all which is that, on the 15th of November 1791, we behold
Friend Dampmartin, and subalterns beneath him, and General Choisi above
him, with Infantry and Cavalry, and proper cannon-carriages rattling in
front, with spread banners, to the sound of fife and drum, wend, in a
deliberate formidable manner, towards that sheer Castle Rock, towards those
broad Gates of Avignon; three new National-Assembly Commissioners following
at safe distance in the rear. (Dampmartin, i. 251-94.)  Avignon, summoned
in the name of Assembly and Law, flings its Gates wide open; Choisi with
the rest, Dampmartin and the Bons Enfans, 'Good Boys of Baufremont,' so
they name these brave Constitutional Dragoons, known to them of old,--do
enter, amid shouts and scattered flowers. To the joy of all honest
persons; to the terror only of Jourdan Headsman and the Brigands. Nay next
we behold carbuncled swollen Jourdan himself shew copper-face, with sabre
and four pistols; affecting to talk high: engaging, meanwhile, to
surrender the Castle that instant. So the Choisi Grenadiers enter with him
there. They start and stop, passing that Glaciere, snuffing its horrible
breath; with wild yell, with cries of "Cut the Butcher down!"--and Jourdan
has to whisk himself through secret passages, and instantaneously vanish.

Be the mystery of iniquity laid bare then! A Hundred and Thirty Corpses,
of men, nay of women and even children (for the trembling mother, hastily
seized, could not leave her infant), lie heaped in that Glaciere; putrid,
under putridities: the horror of the world. For three days there is
mournful lifting out, and recognition; amid the cries and movements of a
passionate Southern people, now kneeling in prayer, now storming in wild
pity and rage: lastly there is solemn sepulture, with muffled drums,
religious requiem, and all the people's wail and tears. Their Massacred
rest now in holy ground; buried in one grave.

And Jourdan Coupe-tete? Him also we behold again, after a day or two: in
flight, through the most romantic Petrarchan hill-country; vehemently
spurring his nag; young Ligonnet, a brisk youth of Avignon, with Choisi
Dragoons, close in his rear! With such swollen mass of a rider no nag can
run to advantage. The tired nag, spur-driven, does take the River Sorgue;
but sticks in the middle of it; firm on that chiaro fondo di Sorga; and
will proceed no further for spurring! Young Ligonnet dashes up; the
Copper-face menaces and bellows, draws pistol, perhaps even snaps it; is
nevertheless seized by the collar; is tied firm, ancles under horse's
belly, and ridden back to Avignon, hardly to be saved from massacre on the
streets there. (Dampmartin, ubi supra.)

Such is the combustion of Avignon and the South-West, when it becomes
luminous! Long loud debate is in the august Legislative, in the Mother-
Society as to what now shall be done with it. Amnesty, cry eloquent
Vergniaud and all Patriots: let there be mutual pardon and repentance,
restoration, pacification, and if so might any how be, an end! Which vote
ultimately prevails. So the South-West smoulders and welters again in an
'Amnesty,' or Non-remembrance, which alas cannot but remember, no Lethe
flowing above ground! Jourdan himself remains unchanged; gets loose again
as one not yet gallows-ripe; nay, as we transciently discern from the
distance, is 'carried in triumph through the cities of the South.'  (Deux
Amis vii. (Paris, 1797), pp. 59-71.)  What things men carry!

With which transient glimpse, of a Copper-faced Portent faring in this
manner through the cities of the South, we must quit these regions;--and
let them smoulder. They want not their Aristocrats; proud old Nobles, not
yet emigrated. Arles has its 'Chiffonne,' so, in symbolical cant, they
name that Aristocrat Secret-Association; Arles has its pavements piled up,
by and by, into Aristocrat barricades. Against which Rebecqui, the hot-
clear Patriot, must lead Marseilles with cannon. The Bar of Iron has not
yet risen to the top in the Bay of Marseilles; neither have these hot Sons
of the Phoceans submitted to be slaves. By clear management and hot
instance, Rebecqui dissipates that Chiffonne, without bloodshed; restores
the pavement of Arles. He sails in Coast-barks, this Rebecqui,
scrutinising suspicious Martello-towers, with the keen eye of Patriotism;
marches overland with despatch, singly, or in force; to City after City;
dim scouring far and wide; (Barbaroux, p. 21; Hist. Parl. xiii. 421-4.)--
argues, and if it must be, fights. For there is much to do; Jales itself
is looking suspicious. So that Legislator Fauchet, after debate on it, has
to propose Commissioners and a Camp on the Plain of Beaucaire: with or
without result.

Of all which, and much else, let us note only this small consequence, that
young Barbaroux, Advocate, Town-Clerk of Marseilles, being charged to have
these things remedied, arrived at Paris in the month of February 1792. The
beautiful and brave: young Spartan, ripe in energy, not ripe in wisdom;
over whose black doom there shall flit nevertheless a certain ruddy
fervour, streaks of bright Southern tint, not wholly swallowed of Death!
Note also that the Rolands of Lyons are again in Paris; for the second and
final time. King's Inspectorship is abrogated at Lyons, as elsewhere:
Roland has his retiring-pension to claim, if attainable; has Patriot
friends to commune with; at lowest, has a book to publish. That young
Barbaroux and the Rolands came together; that elderly Spartan Roland liked,
or even loved the young Spartan, and was loved by him, one can fancy: and
Madame--? Breathe not, thou poison-breath, Evil-speech! That soul is
taintless, clear, as the mirror-sea. And yet if they too did look into
each other's eyes, and each, in silence, in tragical renunciance, did find
that the other was all too lovely? Honi soit! She calls him 'beautiful as
Antinous:' he 'will speak elsewhere of that astonishing woman.'--A Madame
d'Udon (or some such name, for Dumont does not recollect quite clearly)
gives copious Breakfast to the Brissotin Deputies and us Friends of
Freedom, at her house in the Place Vendome; with temporary celebrity, with
graces and wreathed smiles; not without cost. There, amid wide babble and
jingle, our plan of Legislative Debate is settled for the day, and much
counselling held. Strict Roland is seen there, but does not go often.
(Dumont, Souvenirs, p. 374.)

Chapter 2.5.IV.

No Sugar.

Such are our inward troubles; seen in the Cities of the South; extant, seen
or unseen, in all cities and districts, North as well as South. For in all
are Aristocrats, more or less malignant; watched by Patriotism; which
again, being of various shades, from light Fayettist-Feuillant down to
deep-sombre Jacobin, has to watch itself!

Directories of Departments, what we call County Magistracies, being chosen
by Citizens of a too 'active' class, are found to pull one way;
Municipalities, Town Magistracies, to pull the other way. In all places
too are Dissident Priests; whom the Legislative will have to deal with:
contumacious individuals, working on that angriest of passions; plotting,
enlisting for Coblentz; or suspected of plotting: fuel of a universal
unconstitutional heat. What to do with them? They may be conscientious as
well as contumacious: gently they should be dealt with, and yet it must be
speedily. In unilluminated La Vendee the simple are like to be seduced by
them; many a simple peasant, a Cathelineau the wool-dealer wayfaring
meditative with his wool-packs, in these hamlets, dubiously shakes his
head! Two Assembly Commissioners went thither last Autumn; considerate
Gensonne, not yet called to be a Senator; Gallois, an editorial man. These
Two, consulting with General Dumouriez, spake and worked, softly, with
judgment; they have hushed down the irritation, and produced a soft
Report,--for the time.

The General himself doubts not in the least but he can keep peace there;
being an able man. He passes these frosty months among the pleasant people
of Niort, occupies 'tolerably handsome apartments in the Castle of Niort,'
and tempers the minds of men. (Dumouriez, ii. 129.)  Why is there but one
Dumouriez? Elsewhere you find South or North, nothing but untempered
obscure jarring; which breaks forth ever and anon into open clangour of
riot. Southern Perpignan has its tocsin, by torch light; with rushing and
onslaught: Northern Caen not less, by daylight; with Aristocrats ranged in
arms at Places of Worship; Departmental compromise proving impossible;
breaking into musketry and a Plot discovered! (Hist. Parl. xii. 131, 141;
xiii. 114, 417.)  Add Hunger too: for Bread, always dear, is getting
dearer: not so much as Sugar can be had; for good reasons. Poor Simoneau,
Mayor of Etampes, in this Northern region, hanging out his Red Flag in some
riot of grains, is trampled to death by a hungry exasperated People. What
a trade this of Mayor, in these times! Mayor of Saint-Denis hung at the
Lanterne, by Suspicion and Dyspepsia, as we saw long since; Mayor of
Vaison, as we saw lately, buried before dead; and now this poor Simoneau,
the Tanner, of Etampes,--whom legal Constitutionalism will not forget.

With factions, suspicions, want of bread and sugar, it is verily what they
call dechire, torn asunder this poor country: France and all that is
French. For, over seas too come bad news. In black Saint-Domingo, before
that variegated Glitter in the Champs Elysees was lit for an Accepted
Constitution, there had risen, and was burning contemporary with it, quite
another variegated Glitter and nocturnal Fulgor, had we known it: of
molasses and ardent-spirits; of sugar-boileries, plantations, furniture,
cattle and men: skyhigh; the Plain of Cap Francais one huge whirl of smoke
and flame!

What a change here, in these two years; since that first 'Box of Tricolor
Cockades' got through the Custom-house, and atrabiliar Creoles too rejoiced
that there was a levelling of Bastilles! Levelling is comfortable, as we
often say: levelling, yet only down to oneself. Your pale-white Creoles,
have their grievances:--and your yellow Quarteroons? And your dark-yellow
Mulattoes? And your Slaves soot-black? Quarteroon Oge, Friend of our
Parisian Brissotin Friends of the Blacks, felt, for his share too, that
Insurrection was the most sacred of duties. So the tricolor Cockades had
fluttered and swashed only some three months on the Creole hat, when Oge's
signal-conflagrations went aloft; with the voice of rage and terror.
Repressed, doomed to die, he took black powder or seedgrains in the hollow
of his hand, this Oge; sprinkled a film of white ones on the top, and said
to his Judges, "Behold they are white;"--then shook his hand, and said
"Where are the Whites, Ou sont les Blancs?"

So now, in the Autumn of 1791, looking from the sky-windows of Cap
Francais, thick clouds of smoke girdle our horizon, smoke in the day, in
the night fire; preceded by fugitive shrieking white women, by Terror and
Rumour. Black demonised squadrons are massacring and harrying, with
nameless cruelty. They fight and fire 'from behind thickets and coverts,'
for the Black man loves the Bush; they rush to the attack, thousands
strong, with brandished cutlasses and fusils, with caperings, shoutings and
vociferation,--which, if the White Volunteer Company stands firm, dwindle
into staggerings, into quick gabblement, into panic flight at the first
volley, perhaps before it. (Deux Amis, x. 157.)  Poor Oge could be broken
on the wheel; this fire-whirlwind too can be abated, driven up into the
Mountains: but Saint-Domingo is shaken, as Oge's seedgrains were; shaking,
writhing in long horrid death-throes, it is Black without remedy; and
remains, as African Haiti, a monition to the world.

O my Parisian Friends, is not this, as well as Regraters and Feuillant
Plotters, one cause of the astonishing dearth of Sugar! The Grocer,
palpitant, with drooping lip, sees his Sugar taxe; weighed out by Female
Patriotism, in instant retail, at the inadequate rate of twenty-five sous,
or thirteen pence a pound. "Abstain from it?" yes, ye Patriot Sections,
all ye Jacobins, abstain! Louvet and Collot-d'Herbois so advise; resolute
to make the sacrifice: though "how shall literary men do without coffee?"
Abstain, with an oath; that is the surest! (Debats des Jacobins, &c.
(Hist. Parl. xiii. 171, 92-98.)

Also, for like reason, must not Brest and the Shipping Interest languish?
Poor Brest languishes, sorrowing, not without spleen; denounces an
Aristocrat Bertrand-Moleville traitorous Aristocrat Marine-Minister. Do
not her Ships and King's Ships lie rotting piecemeal in harbour; Naval
Officers mostly fled, and on furlough too, with pay? Little stirring
there; if it be not the Brest Gallies, whip-driven, with their Galley-
Slaves,--alas, with some Forty of our hapless Swiss Soldiers of Chateau-
Vieux, among others! These Forty Swiss, too mindful of Nanci, do now, in
their red wool caps, tug sorrowfully at the oar; looking into the Atlantic
brine, which reflects only their own sorrowful shaggy faces; and seem
forgotten of Hope.

But, on the whole, may we not say, in fugitive language, that the French
Constitution which shall march is very rheumatic, full of shooting internal
pains, in joint and muscle; and will not march without difficulty?

Chapter 2.5.V.

Kings and Emigrants.

Extremely rheumatic Constitutions have been known to march, and keep on
their feet, though in a staggering sprawling manner, for long periods, in
virtue of one thing only: that the Head were healthy. But this Head of
the French Constitution! What King Louis is and cannot help being, Readers
already know. A King who cannot take the Constitution, nor reject the
Constitution: nor do anything at all, but miserably ask, What shall I do?
A King environed with endless confusions; in whose own mind is no germ of
order. Haughty implacable remnants of Noblesse struggling with humiliated
repentant Barnave-Lameths: struggling in that obscure element of fetchers
and carriers, of Half-pay braggarts from the Cafe Valois, of Chambermaids,
whisperers, and subaltern officious persons; fierce Patriotism looking on
all the while, more and more suspicious, from without: what, in such
struggle, can they do? At best, cancel one another, and produce zero.
Poor King! Barnave and your Senatorial Jaucourts speak earnestly into this
ear; Bertrand-Moleville, and Messengers from Coblentz, speak earnestly into
that: the poor Royal head turns to the one side and to the other side; can
turn itself fixedly to no side. Let Decency drop a veil over it: sorrier
misery was seldom enacted in the world. This one small fact, does it not
throw the saddest light on much? The Queen is lamenting to Madam Campan:
"What am I to do? When they, these Barnaves, get us advised to any step
which the Noblesse do not like, then I am pouted at; nobody comes to my
card table; the King's Couchee is solitary."  (Campan, ii. 177-202.)  In
such a case of dubiety, what is one to do? Go inevitably to the ground!

The King has accepted this Constitution, knowing beforehand that it will
not serve: he studies it, and executes it in the hope mainly that it will
be found inexecutable. King's Ships lie rotting in harbour, their officers
gone; the Armies disorganised; robbers scour the highways, which wear down
unrepaired; all Public Service lies slack and waste: the Executive makes
no effort, or an effort only to throw the blame on the Constitution.
Shamming death, 'faisant le mort!'  What Constitution, use it in this
manner, can march? 'Grow to disgust the Nation' it will truly, (Bertrand-
Moleville, i. c. 4.)--unless you first grow to disgust the Nation! It is
Bertrand de Moleville's plan, and his Majesty's; the best they can form.

Or if, after all, this best-plan proved too slow; proved a failure?
Provident of that too, the Queen, shrouded in deepest mystery, 'writes all
day, in cipher, day after day, to Coblentz;' Engineer Goguelat, he of the
Night of Spurs, whom the Lafayette Amnesty has delivered from Prison, rides
and runs. Now and then, on fit occasion, a Royal familiar visit can be
paid to that Salle de Manege, an affecting encouraging Royal Speech
(sincere, doubt it not, for the moment) can be delivered there, and the
Senators all cheer and almost weep;--at the same time Mallet du Pan has
visibly ceased editing, and invisibly bears abroad a King's Autograph,
soliciting help from the Foreign Potentates. (Moleville, i. 370.)  Unhappy
Louis, do this thing or else that other,--if thou couldst!

The thing which the King's Government did do was to stagger distractedly
from contradiction to contradiction; and wedding Fire to Water, envelope
itself in hissing, and ashy steam! Danton and needy corruptible Patriots
are sopped with presents of cash: they accept the sop: they rise
refreshed by it, and travel their own way. (Ibid. i. c. 17.)  Nay, the
King's Government did likewise hire Hand-clappers, or claqueurs, persons to
applaud. Subterranean Rivarol has Fifteen Hundred men in King's pay, at
the rate of some ten thousand pounds sterling, per month; what he calls 'a
staff of genius:'  Paragraph-writers, Placard-Journalists; 'two hundred and
eighty Applauders, at three shillings a day:'  one of the strangest Staffs
ever commanded by man. The muster-rolls and account-books of which still
exist. (Montgaillard, iii. 41.)  Bertrand-Moleville himself, in a way he
thinks very dexterous, contrives to pack the Galleries of the Legislative;
gets Sansculottes hired to go thither, and applaud at a signal given, they
fancying it was Petion that bid them: a device which was not detected for
almost a week. Dexterous enough; as if a man finding the Day fast decline
should determine on altering the Clockhands: that is a thing possible for

Here too let us note an unexpected apparition of Philippe d'Orleans at
Court: his last at the Levee of any King. D'Orleans, sometime in the
winter months seemingly, has been appointed to that old first-coveted rank
of Admiral,--though only over ships rotting in port. The wished-for comes
too late! However, he waits on Bertrand-Moleville to give thanks: nay to
state that he would willingly thank his Majesty in person; that, in spite
of all the horrible things men have said and sung, he is far from being his
Majesty's enemy; at bottom, how far! Bertrand delivers the message, brings
about the royal Interview, which does pass to the satisfaction of his
Majesty; d'Orleans seeming clearly repentant, determined to turn over a new
leaf. And yet, next Sunday, what do we see? 'Next Sunday,' says Bertrand,
'he came to the King's Levee; but the Courtiers ignorant of what had
passed, the crowd of Royalists who were accustomed to resort thither on
that day specially to pay their court, gave him the most humiliating
reception. They came pressing round him; managing, as if by mistake, to
tread on his toes, to elbow him towards the door, and not let him enter
again. He went downstairs to her Majesty's Apartments, where cover was
laid; so soon as he shewed face, sounds rose on all sides, "Messieurs, take
care of the dishes," as if he had carried poison in his pockets. The
insults which his presence every where excited forced him to retire without
having seen the Royal Family: the crowd followed him to the Queen's
Staircase; in descending, he received a spitting (crachat) on the head, and
some others, on his clothes. Rage and spite were seen visibly painted on
his face:' (Bertrand-Moleville, i. 177.)  as indeed how could they miss to
be? He imputes it all to the King and Queen, who know nothing of it, who
are even much grieved at it; and so descends, to his Chaos again. Bertrand
was there at the Chateau that day himself, and an eye-witness to these

For the rest, Non-jurant Priests, and the repression of them, will distract
the King's conscience; Emigrant Princes and Noblesse will force him to
double-dealing: there must be veto on veto; amid the ever-waxing
indignation of men. For Patriotism, as we said, looks on from without,
more and more suspicious. Waxing tempest, blast after blast, of Patriot
indignation, from without; dim inorganic whirl of Intrigues, Fatuities,
within! Inorganic, fatuous; from which the eye turns away. De Stael
intrigues for her so gallant Narbonne, to get him made War-Minister; and
ceases not, having got him made. The King shall fly to Rouen; shall there,
with the gallant Narbonne, properly 'modify the Constitution.'  This is the
same brisk Narbonne, who, last year, cut out from their entanglement, by
force of dragoons, those poor fugitive Royal Aunts: men say he is at
bottom their Brother, or even more, so scandalous is scandal. He drives
now, with his de Stael, rapidly to the Armies, to the Frontier Towns;
produces rose-coloured Reports, not too credible; perorates, gesticulates;
wavers poising himself on the top, for a moment, seen of men; then tumbles,
dismissed, washed away by the Time-flood.

Also the fair Princess de Lamballe intrigues, bosom friend of her Majesty:
to the angering of Patriotism. Beautiful Unfortunate, why did she ever
return from England? Her small silver-voice, what can it profit in that
piping of the black World-tornado? Which will whirl her, poor fragile Bird
of Paradise, against grim rocks. Lamballe and de Stael intrigue visibly,
apart or together: but who shall reckon how many others, and in what
infinite ways, invisibly! Is there not what one may call an 'Austrian
Committee,' sitting invisible in the Tuileries; centre of an invisible
Anti-National Spiderweb, which, for we sleep among mysteries, stretches its
threads to the ends of the Earth? Journalist Carra has now the clearest
certainty of it: to Brissotin Patriotism, and France generally, it is
growing more and more probable.

O Reader, hast thou no pity for this Constitution? Rheumatic shooting
pains in its members; pressure of hydrocephale and hysteric vapours on its
Brain: a Constitution divided against itself; which will never march,
hardly even stagger? Why were not Drouet and Procureur Sausse in their
beds, that unblessed Varennes Night! Why did they not, in the name of
Heaven, let the Korff Berline go whither it listed! Nameless incoherency,
incompatibility, perhaps prodigies at which the world still shudders, had
been spared.

But now comes the third thing that bodes ill for the marching of this
French Constitution: besides the French People, and the French King, there
is thirdly--the assembled European world? it has become necessary now to
look at that also. Fair France is so luminous: and round and round it, is
troublous Cimmerian Night. Calonnes, Breteuils hover dim, far-flown;
overnetting Europe with intrigues. From Turin to Vienna; to Berlin, and
utmost Petersburg in the frozen North! Great Burke has raised his great
voice long ago; eloquently demonstrating that the end of an Epoch is come,
to all appearance the end of Civilised Time. Him many answer: Camille
Desmoulins, Clootz Speaker of Mankind, Paine the rebellious Needleman, and
honourable Gallic Vindicators in that country and in this: but the great
Burke remains unanswerable; 'The Age of Chivalry is gone,' and could not
but go, having now produced the still more indomitable Age of Hunger.
Altars enough, of the Dubois-Rohan sort, changing to the Gobel-and-
Talleyrand sort, are faring by rapid transmutation to, shall we say, the
right Proprietor of them? French Game and French Game-Preservers did
alight on the Cliffs of Dover, with cries of distress. Who will say that
the end of much is not come? A set of mortals has risen, who believe that
Truth is not a printed Speculation, but a practical Fact; that Freedom and
Brotherhood are possible in this Earth, supposed always to be Belial's,
which 'the Supreme Quack' was to inherit! Who will say that Church, State,
Throne, Altar are not in danger; that the sacred Strong-box itself, last
Palladium of effete Humanity, may not be blasphemously blown upon, and its
padlocks undone?

The poor Constituent Assembly might act with what delicacy and diplomacy it
would; declare that it abjured meddling with its neighbours, foreign
conquest, and so forth; but from the first this thing was to be predicted:
that old Europe and new France could not subsist together. A Glorious
Revolution, oversetting State-Prisons and Feudalism; publishing, with
outburst of Federative Cannon, in face of all the Earth, that Appearance is
not Reality, how shall it subsist amid Governments which, if Appearance is
not Reality, are--one knows not what? In death feud, and internecine
wrestle and battle, it shall subsist with them; not otherwise.

Rights of Man, printed on Cotton Handkerchiefs, in various dialects of
human speech, pass over to the Frankfort Fair. (Toulongeon, i. 256.)  What
say we, Frankfort Fair? They have crossed Euphrates and the fabulous
Hydaspes; wafted themselves beyond the Ural, Altai, Himmalayah: struck off
from wood stereotypes, in angular Picture-writing, they are jabbered and
jingled of in China and Japan. Where will it stop? Kien-Lung smells
mischief; not the remotest Dalai-Lama shall now knead his dough-pills in
peace.--Hateful to us; as is the Night! Bestir yourselves, ye Defenders of
Order! They do bestir themselves: all Kings and Kinglets, with their
spiritual temporal array, are astir; their brows clouded with menace.
Diplomatic emissaries fly swift; Conventions, privy Conclaves assemble; and
wise wigs wag, taking what counsel they can.

Also, as we said, the Pamphleteer draws pen, on this side and that:
zealous fists beat the Pulpit-drum. Not without issue! Did not iron
Birmingham, shouting 'Church and King,' itself knew not why, burst out,
last July, into rage, drunkenness, and fire; and your Priestleys, and the
like, dining there on that Bastille day, get the maddest singeing:
scandalous to consider! In which same days, as we can remark, high
Potentates, Austrian and Prussian, with Emigrants, were faring towards
Pilnitz in Saxony; there, on the 27th of August, they, keeping to
themselves what further 'secret Treaty' there might or might not be, did
publish their hopes and their threatenings, their Declaration that it was
'the common cause of Kings.'

Where a will to quarrel is, there is a way. Our readers remember that
Pentecost-Night, Fourth of August 1789, when Feudalism fell in a few hours?
The National Assembly, in abolishing Feudalism, promised that
'compensation' should be given; and did endeavour to give it. Nevertheless
the Austrian Kaiser answers that his German Princes, for their part, cannot
be unfeudalised; that they have Possessions in French Alsace, and Feudal
Rights secured to them, for which no conceivable compensation will suffice.
So this of the Possessioned Princes, 'Princes Possessiones' is bandied from
Court to Court; covers acres of diplomatic paper at this day: a weariness
to the world. Kaunitz argues from Vienna; Delessart responds from Paris,
though perhaps not sharply enough. The Kaiser and his Possessioned Princes
will too evidently come and take compensation--so much as they can get.
Nay might one not partition France, as we have done Poland, and are doing;
and so pacify it with a vengeance?

From South to North! For actually it is 'the common cause of Kings.'
Swedish Gustav, sworn Knight of the Queen of France, will lead Coalised
Armies;--had not Ankarstrom treasonously shot him; for, indeed, there were
griefs nearer home. (30th March 1792 (Annual Register, p. 11). Austria
and Prussia speak at Pilnitz; all men intensely listening: Imperial
Rescripts have gone out from Turin; there will be secret Convention at
Vienna. Catherine of Russia beckons approvingly; will help, were she
ready. Spanish Bourbon stirs amid his pillows; from him too, even from
him, shall there come help. Lean Pitt, 'the Minister of Preparatives,'
looks out from his watch-tower in Saint-James's, in a suspicious manner.
Councillors plotting, Calonnes dim-hovering;--alas, Serjeants rub-a-dubbing
openly through all manner of German market-towns, collecting ragged valour!
(Toulongeon, ii. 100-117.)  Look where you will, immeasurable Obscurantism
is girdling this fair France; which, again, will not be girdled by it.
Europe is in travail; pang after pang; what a shriek was that of Pilnitz!
The birth will be: WAR.

Nay the worst feature of the business is this last, still to be named; the
Emigrants at Coblentz, so many thousands ranking there, in bitter hate and
menace: King's Brothers, all Princes of the Blood except wicked d'Orleans;
your duelling de Castries, your eloquent Cazales; bull-headed Malseignes, a
wargod Broglie; Distaff Seigneurs, insulted Officers, all that have ridden
across the Rhine-stream;--d'Artois welcoming Abbe Maury with a kiss, and
clasping him publicly to his own royal heart! Emigration, flowing over the
Frontiers, now in drops, now in streams, in various humours of fear, of
petulance, rage and hope, ever since those first Bastille days when
d'Artois went, 'to shame the citizens of Paris,'--has swollen to the size
of a Phenomenon of the world. Coblentz is become a small extra-national
Versailles; a Versailles in partibus: briguing, intriguing, favouritism,
strumpetocracy itself, they say, goes on there; all the old activities, on
a small scale, quickened by hungry Revenge.

Enthusiasm, of loyalty, of hatred and hope, has risen to a high pitch; as,
in any Coblentz tavern, you may hear, in speech, and in singing. Maury
assists in the interior Council; much is decided on; for one thing, they
keep lists of the dates of your emigrating; a month sooner, or a month
later determines your greater or your less right to the coming Division of
the Spoil. Cazales himself, because he had occasionally spoken with a
Constitutional tone, was looked on coldly at first: so pure are our
principles. (Montgaillard, iii. 517; Toulongeon, (ubi supra).)  And arms
are a-hammering at Liege; 'three thousand horses' ambling hitherward from
the Fairs of Germany: Cavalry enrolling; likewise Foot-soldiers, 'in blue
coat, red waistcoat, and nankeen trousers!'  (See Hist. Parl. xiii. 11-38,
41-61, 358, &c.)  They have their secret domestic correspondences, as their
open foreign: with disaffected Crypto-Aristocrats, with contumacious
Priests, with Austrian Committee in the Tuileries. Deserters are spirited
over by assiduous crimps; Royal-Allemand is gone almost wholly. Their
route of march, towards France and the Division of the Spoil, is marked
out, were the Kaiser once ready. "It is said, they mean to poison the
sources; but," adds Patriotism making Report of it, "they will not poison
the source of Liberty," whereat 'on applaudit,' we cannot but applaud.
Also they have manufactories of False Assignats; and men that circulate in
the interior distributing and disbursing the same; one of these we denounce
now to Legislative Patriotism: 'A man Lebrun by name; about thirty years
of age, with blonde hair and in quantity; has,' only for the time being
surely, 'a black-eye, oeil poche; goes in a wiski with a black horse,'
(Moniteur, Seance du 2 Novembre 1791 (Hist. Parl. xii. 212).)--always
keeping his Gig!

Unhappy Emigrants, it was their lot, and the lot of France! They are
ignorant of much that they should know: of themselves, of what is around
them. A Political Party that knows not when it is beaten, may become one
of the fatallist of things, to itself, and to all. Nothing will convince
these men that they cannot scatter the French Revolution at the first blast
of their war-trumpet; that the French Revolution is other than a blustering
Effervescence, of brawlers and spouters, which, at the flash of chivalrous
broadswords, at the rustle of gallows-ropes, will burrow itself, in dens
the deeper the welcomer. But, alas, what man does know and measure
himself, and the things that are round him;--else where were the need of
physical fighting at all? Never, till they are cleft asunder, can these
heads believe that a Sansculottic arm has any vigour in it: cleft asunder,
it will be too late to believe.

One may say, without spleen against his poor erring brothers of any side,
that above all other mischiefs, this of the Emigrant Nobles acted fatally
on France. Could they have known, could they have understood! In the
beginning of 1789, a splendour and a terror still surrounded them: the
Conflagration of their Chateaus, kindled by months of obstinacy, went out
after the Fourth of August; and might have continued out, had they at all
known what to defend, what to relinquish as indefensible. They were still
a graduated Hierarchy of Authorities, or the accredited Similitude of such:
they sat there, uniting King with Commonalty; transmitting and translating
gradually, from degree to degree, the command of the one into the obedience
of the other; rendering command and obedience still possible. Had they
understood their place, and what to do in it, this French Revolution, which
went forth explosively in years and in months, might have spread itself
over generations; and not a torture-death but a quiet euthanasia have been
provided for many things.

But they were proud and high, these men; they were not wise to consider.
They spurned all from them; in disdainful hate, they drew the sword and
flung away the scabbard. France has not only no Hierarchy of Authorities,
to translate command into obedience; its Hierarchy of Authorities has fled
to the enemies of France; calls loudly on the enemies of France to
interfere armed, who want but a pretext to do that. Jealous Kings and
Kaisers might have looked on long, meditating interference, yet afraid and
ashamed to interfere: but now do not the King's Brothers, and all French
Nobles, Dignitaries and Authorities that are free to speak, which the King
himself is not,--passionately invite us, in the name of Right and of Might?
Ranked at Coblentz, from Fifteen to Twenty thousand stand now brandishing
their weapons, with the cry: On, on! Yes, Messieurs, you shall on;--and
divide the spoil according to your dates of emigrating.

Of all which things a poor Legislative Assembly, and Patriot France, is
informed: by denunciant friend, by triumphant foe. Sulleau's Pamphlets,
of the Rivarol Staff of Genius, circulate; heralding supreme hope.
Durosoy's Placards tapestry the walls; Chant du Coq crows day, pecked at by
Tallien's Ami des Citoyens. King's-Friend, Royou, Ami du Roi, can name, in
exact arithmetical ciphers, the contingents of the various Invading
Potentates; in all, Four hundred and nineteen thousand Foreign fighting
men, with Fifteen thousand Emigrants. Not to reckon these your daily and
hourly desertions, which an Editor must daily record, of whole Companies,
and even Regiments, crying Vive le Roi, vive la Reine, and marching over
with banners spread: (Ami du Roi Newspaper (in Hist. Parl. xiii. 175).)--
lies all, and wind; yet to Patriotism not wind; nor, alas, one day, to
Royou! Patriotism, therefore, may brawl and babble yet a little while:
but its hours are numbered: Europe is coming with Four hundred and
nineteen thousand and the Chivalry of France; the gallows, one may hope,
will get its own.

Chapter 2.5.VI.

Brigands and Jales.

We shall have War, then; and on what terms! With an Executive
'pretending,' really with less and less deceptiveness now, 'to be dead;'
casting even a wishful eye towards the enemy: on such terms we shall have

Public Functionary in vigorous action there is none; if it be not Rivarol
with his Staff of Genius and Two hundred and eighty Applauders. The Public
Service lies waste: the very tax-gatherer has forgotten his cunning: in
this and the other Provincial Board of Management (Directoire de
Departmente) it is found advisable to retain what Taxes you can gather, to
pay your own inevitable expenditures. Our Revenue is Assignats; emission
on emission of Paper-money. And the Army; our Three grand Armies, of
Rochambeau, of Luckner, of Lafayette? Lean, disconsolate hover these Three
grand Armies, watching the Frontiers there; three Flights of long-necked
Cranes in moulting time;--wretched, disobedient, disorganised; who never
saw fire; the old Generals and Officers gone across the Rhine. War-
minister Narbonne, he of the rose-coloured Reports, solicits recruitments,
equipments, money, always money; threatens, since he can get none,- to
'take his sword,' which belongs to himself, and go serve his country with
that. (Moniteur, Seance du 23 Janvier, 1792; Biographie des Ministres para

The question of questions is: What shall be done? Shall we, with a
desperate defiance which Fortune sometimes favours, draw the sword at once,
in the face of this in-rushing world of Emigration and Obscurantism; or
wait, and temporise and diplomatise, till, if possible, our resources
mature themselves a little? And yet again are our resources growing
towards maturity; or growing the other way? Dubious: the ablest Patriots
are divided; Brissot and his Brissotins, or Girondins, in the Legislative,
cry aloud for the former defiant plan; Robespierre, in the Jacobins, pleads
as loud for the latter dilatory one: with responses, even with mutual
reprimands; distracting the Mother of Patriotism. Consider also what
agitated Breakfasts there may be at Madame d'Udon's in the Place Vendome!
The alarm of all men is great. Help, ye Patriots; and O at least agree;
for the hour presses. Frost was not yet gone, when in that 'tolerably
handsome apartment of the Castle of Niort,' there arrived a Letter:
General Dumouriez must to Paris. It is War-minister Narbonne that writes;
the General shall give counsel about many things. (Dumouriez, ii. c. 6.)
In the month of February 1792, Brissotin friends welcome their Dumouriez
Polymetis,--comparable really to an antique Ulysses in modern costume;
quick, elastic, shifty, insuppressible, a 'many-counselled man.'

Let the Reader fancy this fair France with a whole Cimmerian Europe
girdling her, rolling in on her; black, to burst in red thunder of War;
fair France herself hand-shackled and foot-shackled in the weltering
complexities of this Social Clothing, or Constitution, which they have made
for her; a France that, in such Constitution, cannot march! And Hunger
too; and plotting Aristocrats, and excommunicating Dissident Priests: 'The
man Lebrun by name' urging his black wiski, visible to the eye: and, still
more terrible in his invisibility, Engineer Goguelat, with Queen's cipher,
riding and running!

The excommunicatory Priests give new trouble in the Maine and Loire; La
Vendee, nor Cathelineau the wool-dealer, has not ceased grumbling and
rumbling. Nay behold Jales itself once more: how often does that real-
imaginary Camp of the Fiend require to be extinguished! For near two years
now, it has waned faint and again waxed bright, in the bewildered soul of
Patriotism: actually, if Patriotism knew it, one of the most surprising
products of Nature working with Art. Royalist Seigneurs, under this or the
other pretext, assemble the simple people of these Cevennes Mountains; men
not unused to revolt, and with heart for fighting, could their poor heads
be got persuaded. The Royalist Seigneur harangues; harping mainly on the
religious string: "True Priests maltreated, false Priests intruded,
Protestants (once dragooned) now triumphing, things sacred given to the
dogs;" and so produces, from the pious Mountaineer throat, rough growlings.
"Shall we not testify, then, ye brave hearts of the Cevennes; march to the
rescue? Holy Religion; duty to God and King?"  "Si fait, si fait, Just so,
just so," answer the brave hearts always: "Mais il y a de bien bonnes
choses dans la Revolution, But there are many good things in the Revolution
too!"--And so the matter, cajole as we may, will only turn on its axis, not
stir from the spot, and remains theatrical merely. (Dampmartin, i. 201.)

Nevertheless deepen your cajolery, harp quick and quicker, ye Royalist
Seigneurs; with a dead-lift effort you may bring it to that. In the month
of June next, this Camp of Jales will step forth as a theatricality
suddenly become real; Two thousand strong, and with the boast that it is
Seventy thousand: most strange to see; with flags flying, bayonets fixed;
with Proclamation, and d'Artois Commission of civil war! Let some
Rebecqui, or other the like hot-clear Patriot; let some 'Lieutenant-Colonel
Aubry,' if Rebecqui is busy elsewhere, raise instantaneous National Guards,
and disperse and dissolve it; and blow the Old Castle asunder, (Moniteur,
Seance du 15 Juillet 1792.) that so, if possible, we hear of it no more!

In the Months of February and March, it is recorded, the terror, especially
of rural France, had risen even to the transcendental pitch: not far from
madness. In Town and Hamlet is rumour; of war, massacre: that Austrians,
Aristocrats, above all, that The Brigands are close by. Men quit their
houses and huts; rush fugitive, shrieking, with wife and child, they know
not whither. Such a terror, the eye-witnesses say, never fell on a Nation;
nor shall again fall, even in Reigns of Terror expressly so-called. The
Countries of the Loire, all the Central and South-East regions, start up
distracted, 'simultaneously as by an electric shock;'--for indeed grain too
gets scarcer and scarcer. 'The people barricade the entrances of Towns,
pile stones in the upper stories, the women prepare boiling water; from
moment to moment, expecting the attack. In the Country, the alarm-bell
rings incessant: troops of peasants, gathered by it, scour the highways,
seeking an imaginary enemy. They are armed mostly with scythes stuck in
wood; and, arriving in wild troops at the barricaded Towns, are themselves
sometimes taken for Brigands.'  (Newspapers, &c. (in Hist. Parl. xiii.

So rushes old France: old France is rushing down. What the end will be is
known to no mortal; that the end is near all mortals may know.

Chapter 2.5.VII.

Constitution will not march.

To all which our poor Legislative, tied up by an unmarching Constitution,
can oppose nothing, by way of remedy, but mere bursts of parliamentary
eloquence! They go on, debating, denouncing, objurgating: loud weltering
Chaos, which devours itself.

But their two thousand and odd Decrees? Reader, these happily concern not
thee, nor me. Mere Occasional Decrees, foolish and not foolish; sufficient
for that day was its own evil! Of the whole two thousand there are not,
now half a score, and these mostly blighted in the bud by royal Veto, that
will profit or disprofit us. On the 17th of January, the Legislative, for
one thing, got its High Court, its Haute Cour, set up at Orleans. The
theory had been given by the Constituent, in May last, but this is the
reality: a Court for the trial of Political Offences; a Court which cannot
want work. To this it was decreed that there needed no royal Acceptance,
therefore that there could be no Veto. Also Priests can now be married;
ever since last October. A patriotic adventurous Priest had made bold to
marry himself then; and not thinking this enough, came to the bar with his
new spouse; that the whole world might hold honey-moon with him, and a Law
be obtained.

Less joyful are the Laws against Refractory Priests; and yet no less
needful! Decrees on Priests and Decrees on Emigrants: these are the two
brief Series of Decrees, worked out with endless debate, and then cancelled
by Veto, which mainly concern us here. For an august National Assembly
must needs conquer these Refractories, Clerical or Laic, and thumbscrew
them into obedience; yet, behold, always as you turn your legislative
thumbscrew, and will press and even crush till Refractories give way,--
King's Veto steps in, with magical paralysis; and your thumbscrew, hardly
squeezing, much less crushing, does not act!

Truly a melancholy Set of Decrees, a pair of Sets; paralysed by Veto!
First, under date the 28th of October 1791, we have Legislative
Proclamation, issued by herald and bill-sticker; inviting Monsieur, the
King's Brother to return within two months, under penalties. To which
invitation Monsieur replies nothing; or indeed replies by Newspaper Parody,
inviting the august Legislative 'to return to common sense within two
months,' under penalties. Whereupon the Legislative must take stronger
measures. So, on the 9th of November, we declare all Emigrants to be
'suspect of conspiracy;' and, in brief, to be 'outlawed,' if they have not
returned at Newyear's-day:--Will the King say Veto? That 'triple impost'
shall be levied on these men's Properties, or even their Properties be 'put
in sequestration,' one can understand. But further, on Newyear's-day
itself, not an individual having 'returned,' we declare, and with fresh
emphasis some fortnight later again declare, That Monsieur is dechu,
forfeited of his eventual Heirship to the Crown; nay more that Conde,
Calonne, and a considerable List of others are accused of high treason; and
shall be judged by our High Court of Orleans: Veto!--Then again as to
Nonjurant Priests: it was decreed, in November last, that they should
forfeit what Pensions they had; be 'put under inspection, under
surveillance,' and, if need were, be banished: Veto! A still sharper turn
is coming; but to this also the answer will be, Veto.

Veto after Veto; your thumbscrew paralysed! Gods and men may see that the
Legislative is in a false position. As, alas, who is in a true one?
Voices already murmur for a 'National Convention.'  (December 1791 (Hist.
Parl. xii. 257).)  This poor Legislative, spurred and stung into action by
a whole France and a whole Europe, cannot act; can only objurgate and
perorate; with stormy 'motions,' and motion in which is no way: with
effervescence, with noise and fuliginous fury!

What scenes in that National Hall! President jingling his inaudible bell;
or, as utmost signal of distress, clapping on his hat; 'the tumult
subsiding in twenty minutes,' and this or the other indiscreet Member sent
to the Abbaye Prison for three days! Suspected Persons must be summoned
and questioned; old M. de Sombreuil of the Invalides has to give account of
himself, and why he leaves his Gates open. Unusual smoke rose from the
Sevres Pottery, indicating conspiracy; the Potters explained that it was
Necklace-Lamotte's Memoirs, bought up by her Majesty, which they were
endeavouring to suppress by fire, (Moniteur, Seance du 28 Mai 1792; Campan,
ii. 196.)--which nevertheless he that runs may still read.

Again, it would seem, Duke de Brissac and the King's Constitutional-Guard
are 'making cartridges secretly in the cellars;' a set of Royalists, pure
and impure; black cut-throats many of them, picked out of gaming houses and
sinks; in all Six thousand instead of Eighteen hundred; who evidently gloom
on us every time we enter the Chateau. (Dumouriez, ii. 168.)  Wherefore,
with infinite debate, let Brissac and King's Guard be disbanded. Disbanded
accordingly they are; after only two months of existence, for they did not
get on foot till March of this same year. So ends briefly the King's new
Constitutional Maison Militaire; he must now be guarded by mere Swiss and
blue Nationals again. It seems the lot of Constitutional things. New
Constitutional Maison Civile he would never even establish, much as Barnave
urged it; old resident Duchesses sniffed at it, and held aloof; on the
whole her Majesty thought it not worth while, the Noblesse would so soon be
back triumphant. (Campan, ii. c. 19.)

Or, looking still into this National Hall and its scenes, behold Bishop
Torne, a Constitutional Prelate, not of severe morals, demanding that
'religious costumes and such caricatures' be abolished. Bishop Torne
warms, catches fire; finishes by untying, and indignantly flinging on the
table, as if for gage or bet, his own pontifical cross. Which cross, at
any rate, is instantly covered by the cross of Te-Deum Fauchet, then by
other crosses, and insignia, till all are stripped; this clerical Senator
clutching off his skull-cap, that other his frill-collar,--lest Fanaticism
return on us. (Moniteur, du 7 Avril 1792; Deux Amis, vii. 111.)

Quick is the movement here! And then so confused, unsubstantial, you might
call it almost spectral; pallid, dim, inane, like the Kingdoms of Dis!
Unruly Liguet, shrunk to a kind of spectre for us, pleads here, some cause
that he has: amid rumour and interruption, which excel human patience; he
'tears his papers, and withdraws,' the irascible adust little man. Nay
honourable members will tear their papers, being effervescent: Merlin of
Thionville tears his papers, crying: "So, the People cannot be saved by
you!"  Nor are Deputations wanting: Deputations of Sections; generally
with complaint and denouncement, always with Patriot fervour of sentiment:
Deputation of Women, pleading that they also may be allowed to take Pikes,
and exercise in the Champ-de-Mars. Why not, ye Amazons, if it be in you?
Then occasionally, having done our message and got answer, we 'defile
through the Hall, singing ca-ira;' or rather roll and whirl through it,
'dancing our ronde patriotique the while,'--our new Carmagnole, or Pyrrhic
war-dance and liberty-dance. Patriot Huguenin, Ex-Advocate, Ex-Carabineer,
Ex-Clerk of the Barriers, comes deputed, with Saint-Antoine at his heels;
denouncing Anti-patriotism, Famine, Forstalment and Man-eaters; asks an
august Legislative: "Is there not a tocsin in your hearts against these
mangeurs d'hommes!"  (See Moniteur, Seances (in Hist. Parl. xiii. xiv.).)

But above all things, for this is a continual business, the Legislative has
to reprimand the King's Ministers. Of His Majesty's Ministers we have said
hitherto, and say, next to nothing. Still more spectral these! Sorrowful;
of no permanency any of them, none at least since Montmorin vanished: the
'eldest of the King's Council' is occasionally not ten days old!
(Dumouriez, ii. 137.)  Feuillant-Constitutional, as your respectable Cahier
de Gerville, as your respectable unfortunate Delessarts; or Royalist-
Constitutional, as Montmorin last Friend of Necker; or Aristocrat as
Bertrand-Moleville: they flit there phantom-like, in the huge simmering
confusion; poor shadows, dashed in the racking winds; powerless, without
meaning;--whom the human memory need not charge itself with.

But how often, we say, are these poor Majesty's Ministers summoned over; to
be questioned, tutored; nay, threatened, almost bullied! They answer what,
with adroitest simulation and casuistry, they can: of which a poor
Legislative knows not what to make. One thing only is clear, That
Cimmerian Europe is girdling us in; that France (not actually dead,
surely?) cannot march. Have a care, ye Ministers! Sharp Guadet transfixes
you with cross-questions, with sudden Advocate-conclusions; the sleeping
tempest that is in Vergniaud can be awakened. Restless Brissot brings up
Reports, Accusations, endless thin Logic; it is the man's highday even now.
Condorcet redacts, with his firm pen, our 'Address of the Legislative
Assembly to the French Nation.'  (16th February 1792 (Choix des Rapports,
viii. 375-92).)  Fiery Max Isnard, who, for the rest, will "carry not Fire
and Sword" on those Cimmerian Enemies "but Liberty,"--is for declaring
"that we hold Ministers responsible; and that by responsibility we mean
death, nous entendons la mort."

For verily it grows serious: the time presses, and traitors there are.
Bertrand-Moleville has a smooth tongue, the known Aristocrat; gall in his
heart. How his answers and explanations flow ready; jesuitic, plausible to
the ear! But perhaps the notablest is this, which befel once when Bertrand
had done answering and was withdrawn. Scarcely had the august Assembly
begun considering what was to be done with him, when the Hall fills with
smoke. Thick sour smoke: no oratory, only wheezing and barking;--
irremediable; so that the august Assembly has to adjourn! (Courrier de
Paris, 14 Janvier, 1792 (Gorsas's Newspaper), in Hist. Parl. xiii. 83.)  A
miracle? Typical miracle? One knows not: only this one seems to know,
that 'the Keeper of the Stoves was appointed by Bertrand' or by some
underling of his!--O fuliginous confused Kingdom of Dis, with thy Tantalus-
Ixion toils, with thy angry Fire-floods, and Streams named of Lamentation,
why hast thou not thy Lethe too, that so one might finish?

Chapter 2.5.VIII.

The Jacobins.

Nevertheless let not Patriotism despair. Have we not, in Paris at least, a
virtuous Petion, a wholly Patriotic Municipality? Virtuous Petion, ever
since November, is Mayor of Paris: in our Municipality, the Public, for
the Public is now admitted too, may behold an energetic Danton; further, an
epigrammatic slow-sure Manuel; a resolute unrepentant Billaud-Varennes, of
Jesuit breeding; Tallien able-editor; and nothing but Patriots, better or
worse. So ran the November Elections: to the joy of most citizens; nay
the very Court supported Petion rather than Lafayette. And so Bailly and
his Feuillants, long waning like the Moon, had to withdraw then, making
some sorrowful obeisance, into extinction;--or indeed into worse, into
lurid half-light, grimmed by the shadow of that Red Flag of theirs, and
bitter memory of the Champ-de-Mars. How swift is the progress of things
and men! Not now does Lafayette, as on that Federation-day, when his noon
was, 'press his sword firmly on the Fatherland's Altar,' and swear in sight
of France: ah no; he, waning and setting ever since that hour, hangs now,
disastrous, on the edge of the horizon; commanding one of those Three
moulting Crane-flights of Armies, in a most suspected, unfruitful,
uncomfortable manner!

But, at most, cannot Patriotism, so many thousands strong in this
Metropolis of the Universe, help itself? Has it not right-hands, pikes?
Hammering of pikes, which was not to be prohibited by Mayor Bailly, has
been sanctioned by Mayor Petion; sanctioned by Legislative Assembly. How
not, when the King's so-called Constitutional Guard 'was making cartridges
in secret?'  Changes are necessary for the National Guard itself; this
whole Feuillant-Aristocrat Staff of the Guard must be disbanded. Likewise,
citizens without uniform may surely rank in the Guard, the pike beside the
musket, in such a time: the 'active' citizen and the passive who can fight
for us, are they not both welcome?--O my Patriot friends, indubitably Yes!
Nay the truth is, Patriotism throughout, were it never so white-frilled,
logical, respectable, must either lean itself heartily on Sansculottism,
the black, bottomless; or else vanish, in the frightfullest way, to Limbo!
Thus some, with upturned nose, will altogether sniff and disdain
Sansculottism; others will lean heartily on it; nay others again will lean
what we call heartlessly on it: three sorts; each sort with a destiny
corresponding. (Discours de Bailly, Reponse de Petion (Moniteur du 20
Novembre 1791).)

In such point of view, however, have we not for the present a Volunteer
Ally, stronger than all the rest: namely, Hunger? Hunger; and what
rushing of Panic Terror this and the sum-total of our other miseries may
bring! For Sansculottism grows by what all other things die of. Stupid
Peter Baille almost made an epigram, though unconsciously, and with the
Patriot world laughing not at it but at him, when he wrote 'Tout va bien
ici, le pain manque, All goes well here, victuals not to be had.'
(Barbaroux, p. 94.)

Neither, if you knew it, is Patriotism without her Constitution that can
march; her not impotent Parliament; or call it, Ecumenic Council, and
General-Assembly of the Jean-Jacques Churches: the MOTHER-SOCIETY, namely!
Mother-Society with her three hundred full-grown Daughters; with what we
can call little Granddaughters trying to walk, in every village of France,
numerable, as Burke thinks, by the hundred thousand. This is the true
Constitution; made not by Twelve-Hundred august Senators, but by Nature
herself; and has grown, unconsciously, out of the wants and the efforts of
these Twenty-five Millions of men. They are 'Lords of the Articles,' our
Jacobins; they originate debates for the Legislative; discuss Peace and
War; settle beforehand what the Legislative is to do. Greatly to the
scandal of philosophical men, and of most Historians;--who do in that judge
naturally, and yet not wisely. A Governing power must exist: your other
powers here are simulacra; this power is it.

Great is the Mother-Society: She has had the honour to be denounced by
Austrian Kaunitz; (Moniteur, Seance du 29 Mars, 1792.) and is all the
dearer to Patriotism. By fortune and valour, she has extinguished
Feuillantism itself, at least the Feuillant Club. This latter, high as it
once carried its head, she, on the 18th of February, has the satisfaction
to see shut, extinct; Patriots having gone thither, with tumult, to hiss it
out of pain. The Mother Society has enlarged her locality, stretches now
over the whole nave of the Church. Let us glance in, with the worthy
Toulongeon, our old Ex-Constituent Friend, who happily has eyes to see:
'The nave of the Jacobins Church,' says he, 'is changed into a vast Circus,
the seats of which mount up circularly like an amphitheatre to the very
groin of the domed roof. A high Pyramid of black marble, built against one
of the walls, which was formerly a funeral monument, has alone been left
standing: it serves now as back to the Office-bearers' Bureau. Here on an
elevated Platform sit President and Secretaries, behind and above them the
white Busts of Mirabeau, of Franklin, and various others, nay finally of
Marat. Facing this is the Tribune, raised till it is midway between floor
and groin of the dome, so that the speaker's voice may be in the centre.
From that point, thunder the voices which shake all Europe: down below, in
silence, are forging the thunderbolts and the firebrands. Penetrating into
this huge circuit, where all is out of measure, gigantic, the mind cannot
repress some movement of terror and wonder; the imagination recals those
dread temples which Poetry, of old, had consecrated to the Avenging
Deities.'  (Toulongeon, ii. 124.)

Scenes too are in this Jacobin Amphitheatre,--had History time for them.
Flags of the 'Three free Peoples of the Universe,' trinal brotherly flags
of England, America, France, have been waved here in concert; by London
Deputation, of Whigs or Wighs and their Club, on this hand, and by young
French Citizenesses on that; beautiful sweet-tongued Female Citizens, who
solemnly send over salutation and brotherhood, also Tricolor stitched by
their own needle, and finally Ears of Wheat; while the dome rebellows with
Vivent les trois peuples libres! from all throats:--a most dramatic scene.
Demoiselle Theroigne recites, from that Tribune in mid air, her
persecutions in Austria; comes leaning on the arm of Joseph Chenier, Poet
Chenier, to demand Liberty for the hapless Swiss of Chateau-Vieux. (Debats
des Jacobins (Hist. Parl. xiii. 259, &c.).)  Be of hope, ye Forty Swiss;
tugging there, in the Brest waters; not forgotten!

Deputy Brissot perorates from that Tribune; Desmoulins, our wicked Camille,
interjecting audibly from below, "Coquin!"  Here, though oftener in the
Cordeliers, reverberates the lion-voice of Danton; grim Billaud-Varennes is
here; Collot d'Herbois, pleading for the Forty Swiss; tearing a passion to
rags. Apophthegmatic Manuel winds up in this pithy way: "A Minister must
perish!"--to which the Amphitheatre responds: "Tous, Tous, All, All!"  But
the Chief Priest and Speaker of this place, as we said, is Robespierre, the
long-winded incorruptible man. What spirit of Patriotism dwelt in men in
those times, this one fact, it seems to us, will evince: that fifteen
hundred human creatures, not bound to it, sat quiet under the oratory of
Robespierre; nay, listened nightly, hour after hour, applausive; and gaped
as for the word of life. More insupportable individual, one would say,
seldom opened his mouth in any Tribune. Acrid, implacable-impotent; dull-
drawling, barren as the Harmattan-wind! He pleads, in endless earnest-
shallow speech, against immediate War, against Woollen Caps or Bonnets
Rouges, against many things; and is the Trismegistus and Dalai-Lama of
Patriot men. Whom nevertheless a shrill-voiced little man, yet with fine
eyes, and a broad beautifully sloping brow, rises respectfully to
controvert: he is, say the Newspaper Reporters, 'M. Louvet, Author of the
charming Romance of Faublas.'  Steady, ye Patriots! Pull not yet two ways;
with a France rushing panic-stricken in the rural districts, and a
Cimmerian Europe storming in on you!

Chapter 2.5.IX.

Minister Roland.

About the vernal equinox, however, one unexpected gleam of hope does burst
forth on Patriotism: the appointment of a thoroughly Patriot Ministry.
This also his Majesty, among his innumerable experiments of wedding fire to
water, will try. Quod bonum sit. Madame d'Udon's Breakfasts have jingled
with a new significance; not even Genevese Dumont but had a word in it.
Finally, on the 15th and onwards to the 23d day of March, 1792, when all is
negociated,--this is the blessed issue; this Patriot Ministry that we see.

General Dumouriez, with the Foreign Portfolio shall ply Kaunitz and the
Kaiser, in another style than did poor Delessarts; whom indeed we have sent
to our High Court of Orleans for his sluggishness. War-minister Narbonne
is washed away by the Time-flood; poor Chevalier de Grave, chosen by the
Court, is fast washing away: then shall austere Servan, able Engineer-
Officer, mount suddenly to the War Department. Genevese Claviere sees an
old omen realized: passing the Finance Hotel, long years ago, as a poor
Genevese Exile, it was borne wondrously on his mind that he was to be
Finance Minister; and now he is it;--and his poor Wife, given up by the
Doctors, rises and walks, not the victim of nerves but their vanquisher.
(Dumont, c. 20, 21.)  And above all, our Minister of the Interior? Roland
de la Platriere, he of Lyons! So have the Brissotins, public or private
Opinion, and Breakfasts in the Place Vendome decided it. Strict Roland,
compared to a Quaker endimanche, or Sunday Quaker, goes to kiss hands at
the Tuileries, in round hat and sleek hair, his shoes tied with mere riband
or ferrat! The Supreme Usher twitches Dumouriez aside: "Quoi, Monsieur!
No buckles to his shoes?"--"Ah, Monsieur," answers Dumouriez, glancing
towards the ferrat: "All is lost, Tout est perdu."  (Madame Roland, ii.

And so our fair Roland removes from her upper floor in the Rue Saint-
Jacques, to the sumptuous saloons once occupied by Madame Necker. Nay
still earlier, it was Calonne that did all this gilding; it was he who
ground these lustres, Venetian mirrors; who polished this inlaying, this
veneering and or-moulu; and made it, by rubbing of the proper lamp, an
Aladdin's Palace:--and now behold, he wanders dim-flitting over Europe,
half-drowned in the Rhine-stream, scarcely saving his Papers! Vos non
vobis.--The fair Roland, equal to either fortune, has her public Dinner on
Fridays, the Ministers all there in a body: she withdraws to her desk (the
cloth once removed), and seems busy writing; nevertheless loses no word:
if for example Deputy Brissot and Minister Claviere get too hot in
argument, she, not without timidity, yet with a cunning gracefulness, will
interpose. Deputy Brissot's head, they say, is getting giddy, in this
sudden height: as feeble heads do.

Envious men insinuate that the Wife Roland is Minister, and not the
Husband: it is happily the worst they have to charge her with. For the
rest, let whose head soever be getting giddy, it is not this brave woman's.
Serene and queenly here, as she was of old in her own hired garret of the
Ursulines Convent! She who has quietly shelled French-beans for her
dinner; being led to that, as a young maiden, by quiet insight and
computation; and knowing what that was, and what she was: such a one will
also look quietly on or-moulu and veneering, not ignorant of these either.
Calonne did the veneering: he gave dinners here, old Besenval
diplomatically whispering to him; and was great: yet Calonne we saw at
last 'walk with long strides.'  Necker next: and where now is Necker? Us
also a swift change has brought hither; a swift change will send us hence.
Not a Palace but a Caravansera!

So wags and wavers this unrestful World, day after day, month after month.
The Streets of Paris, and all Cities, roll daily their oscillatory flood of
men; which flood does, nightly, disappear, and lie hidden horizontal in
beds and trucklebeds; and awakes on the morrow to new perpendicularity and
movement. Men go their roads, foolish or wise;--Engineer Goguelat to and
fro, bearing Queen's cipher. A Madame de Stael is busy; cannot clutch her
Narbonne from the Time-flood: a Princess de Lamballe is busy; cannot help
her Queen. Barnave, seeing the Feuillants dispersed, and Coblentz so
brisk, begs by way of final recompence to kiss her Majesty's hand; augurs
not well of her new course; and retires home to Grenoble, to wed an heiress
there. The Cafe Valois and Meot the Restaurateur's hear daily gasconade;
loud babble of Half-pay Royalists, with or without Poniards; remnants of
Aristocrat saloons call the new Ministry Ministere-Sansculotte. A Louvet,
of the Romance Faublas, is busy in the Jacobins. A Cazotte, of the Romance
Diable Amoureux, is busy elsewhere: better wert thou quiet, old Cazotte;
it is a world, this, of magic become real! All men are busy; doing they
only half guess what:--flinging seeds, of tares mostly, into the Seed-field
of TIME"'  this, by and by, will declare wholly what.

But Social Explosions have in them something dread, and as it were mad and
magical: which indeed Life always secretly has; thus the dumb Earth (says
Fable), if you pull her mandrake-roots, will give a daemonic mad-making
moan. These Explosions and Revolts ripen, break forth like dumb dread
Forces of Nature; and yet they are Men's forces; and yet we are part of
them: the Daemonic that is in man's life has burst out on us, will sweep
us too away!--One day here is like another, and yet it is not like but
different. How much is growing, silently resistless, at all moments!
Thoughts are growing; forms of Speech are growing, and Customs and even
Costumes; still more visibly are actions and transactions growing, and that
doomed Strife, of France with herself and with the whole world.

The word Liberty is never named now except in conjunction with another;
Liberty and Equality. In like manner, what, in a reign of Liberty and
Equality, can these words, 'Sir,' 'obedient Servant,' 'Honour to be,' and
such like, signify? Tatters and fibres of old Feudality; which, were it
only in the Grammatical province, ought to be rooted out! The Mother
Society has long since had proposals to that effect: these she could not
entertain, not at the moment. Note too how the Jacobin Brethren are
mounting new symbolical headgear: the Woollen Cap or Nightcap, bonnet de
laine, better known as bonnet rouge, the colour being red. A thing one
wears not only by way of Phrygian Cap-of-Liberty, but also for convenience'
sake, and then also in compliment to the Lower-class Patriots and Bastille-
Heroes; for the Red Nightcap combines all the three properties. Nay
cockades themselves begin to be made of wool, of tricolor yarn: the
riband-cockade, as a symptom of Feuillant Upper-class temper, is becoming
suspicious. Signs of the times.

Still more, note the travail-throes of Europe: or, rather, note the birth
she brings; for the successive throes and shrieks, of Austrian and Prussian
Alliance, of Kaunitz Anti-jacobin Despatch, of French Ambassadors cast out,
and so forth, were long to note. Dumouriez corresponds with Kaunitz,
Metternich, or Cobentzel, in another style that Delessarts did. Strict
becomes stricter; categorical answer, as to this Coblentz work and much
else, shall be given. Failing which? Failing which, on the 20th day of
April 1792, King and Ministers step over to the Salle de Manege; promulgate
how the matter stands; and poor Louis, 'with tears in his eyes,' proposes
that the Assembly do now decree War. After due eloquence, War is decreed
that night.

War, indeed! Paris came all crowding, full of expectancy, to the morning,
and still more to the evening session. D'Orleans with his two sons, is
there; looks on, wide-eyed, from the opposite Gallery. (Deux Amis, vii.
146-66.)  Thou canst look, O Philippe: it is a War big with issues, for
thee and for all men. Cimmerian Obscurantism and this thrice glorious
Revolution shall wrestle for it, then: some Four-and-twenty years; in
immeasurable Briareus' wrestle; trampling and tearing; before they can come
to any, not agreement, but compromise, and approximate ascertainment each
of what is in the other.

Let our Three Generals on the Frontiers look to it, therefore; and poor
Chevalier de Grave, the Warminister, consider what he will do. What is in
the three Generals and Armies we may guess. As for poor Chevalier de
Grave, he, in this whirl of things all coming to a press and pinch upon
him, loses head, and merely whirls with them, in a totally distracted
manner; signing himself at last, 'De Grave, Mayor of Paris:' whereupon he
demits, returns over the Channel, to walk in Kensington Gardens; (Dumont,
c. 19, 21.) and austere Servan, the able Engineer-Officer, is elevated in
his stead. To the post of Honour? To that of Difficulty, at least.

Chapter 2.5.X.


And yet, how, on dark bottomless Cataracts there plays the foolishest
fantastic-coloured spray and shadow; hiding the Abyss under vapoury
rainbows! Alongside of this discussion as to Austrian-Prussian War, there
goes on no less but more vehemently a discussion, Whether the Forty or Two-
and-forty Swiss of Chateau-Vieux shall be liberated from the Brest Gallies?
And then, Whether, being liberated, they shall have a public Festival, or
only private ones?

Theroigne, as we saw, spoke; and Collot took up the tale. Has not
Bouille's final display of himself, in that final Night of Spurs, stamped
your so-called 'Revolt of Nanci' into a 'Massacre of Nanci,' for all
Patriot judgments? Hateful is that massacre; hateful the Lafayette-
Feuillant 'public thanks' given for it! For indeed, Jacobin Patriotism and
dispersed Feuillantism are now at death-grips; and do fight with all
weapons, even with scenic shows. The walls of Paris, accordingly, are
covered with Placard and Counter-Placard, on the subject of Forty Swiss
blockheads. Journal responds to Journal; Player Collot to Poetaster
Roucher; Joseph Chenier the Jacobin, squire of Theroigne, to his Brother
Andre the Feuillant; Mayor Petion to Dupont de Nemours: and for the space
of two months, there is nowhere peace for the thought of man,--till this
thing be settled.

Gloria in excelsis! The Forty Swiss are at last got 'amnestied.'  Rejoice
ye Forty: doff your greasy wool Bonnets, which shall become Caps of
Liberty. The Brest Daughter-Society welcomes you from on board, with
kisses on each cheek: your iron Handcuffs are disputed as Relics of
Saints; the Brest Society indeed can have one portion, which it will beat
into Pikes, a sort of Sacred Pikes; but the other portion must belong to
Paris, and be suspended from the dome there, along with the Flags of the
Three Free Peoples! Such a goose is man; and cackles over plush-velvet
Grand Monarques and woollen Galley-slaves; over everything and over
nothing,--and will cackle with his whole soul merely if others cackle!

On the ninth morning of April, these Forty Swiss blockheads arrive. From
Versailles; with vivats heaven-high; with the affluence of men and women.
To the Townhall we conduct them; nay to the Legislative itself, though not
without difficulty. They are harangued, bedinnered, begifted,--the very
Court, not for conscience' sake, contributing something; and their Public
Festival shall be next Sunday. Next Sunday accordingly it is. (Newspapers
of February, March, April, 1792; Iambe d'Andre Chenier sur la Fete des
Suisses; &c., &c. (in Hist. Parl. xiii, xiv.).)  They are mounted into a
'triumphal Car resembling a ship;' are carted over Paris, with the clang of
cymbals and drums, all mortals assisting applausive; carted to the Champ-
de-Mars and Fatherland's Altar; and finally carted, for Time always brings
deliverance,--into invisibility for evermore.

Whereupon dispersed Feuillantism, or that Party which loves Liberty yet not
more than Monarchy, will likewise have its Festival: Festival of
Simonneau, unfortunate Mayor of Etampes, who died for the Law; most surely
for the Law, though Jacobinism disputes; being trampled down with his Red
Flag in the riot about grains. At which Festival the Public again assists,
unapplausive: not we.

On the whole, Festivals are not wanting; beautiful rainbow-spray when all
is now rushing treble-quick towards its Niagara Fall. National repasts
there are; countenanced by Mayor Petion; Saint-Antoine, and the Strong Ones
of the Halles defiling through Jacobin Club, "their felicity," according to
Santerre, "not perfect otherwise;" singing many-voiced their ca-ira,
dancing their ronde patriotique. Among whom one is glad to discern Saint-
Huruge, expressly 'in white hat,' the Saint-Christopher of the Carmagnole.
Nay a certain, Tambour or National Drummer, having just been presented with
a little daughter, determines to have the new Frenchwoman christened on
Fatherland's Altar then and there. Repast once over, he accordingly has
her christened; Fauchet the Te-Deum Bishop acting in chief, Thuriot and
honourable persons standing gossips: by the name, Petion-National-Pique!
(Patriote-Francais (Brissot's Newspaper), in Hist. Parl. xiii. 451.)  Does
this remarkable Citizeness, now past the meridian of life, still walk the
Earth? Or did she die perhaps of teething? Universal History is not

Chapter 2.5.XI.

The Hereditary Representative.

And yet it is not by carmagnole-dances and singing of ca-ira, that the work
can be done. Duke Brunswick is not dancing carmagnoles, but has his drill
serjeants busy.

On the Frontiers, our Armies, be it treason or not, behave in the worst
way. Troops badly commanded, shall we say? Or troops intrinsically bad?
Unappointed, undisciplined, mutinous; that, in a thirty-years peace, have
never seen fire? In any case, Lafayette's and Rochambeau's little clutch,
which they made at Austrian Flanders, has prospered as badly as clutch need
do: soldiers starting at their own shadow; suddenly shrieking, "On nous
trahit," and flying off in wild panic, at or before the first shot;--
managing only to hang some two or three Prisoners they had picked up, and
massacre their own Commander, poor Theobald Dillon, driven into a granary
by them in the Town of Lille.

And poor Gouvion: he who sat shiftless in that Insurrection of Women!
Gouvion quitted the Legislative Hall and Parliamentary duties, in disgust
and despair, when those Galley-slaves of Chateau-Vieux were admitted there.
He said, "Between the Austrians and the Jacobins there is nothing but a
soldier's death for it;" (Toulongeon, ii. 149.) and so, 'in the dark stormy
night,' he has flung himself into the throat of the Austrian cannon, and
perished in the skirmish at Maubeuge on the ninth of June. Whom
Legislative Patriotism shall mourn, with black mortcloths and melody in the
Champ-de-Mars: many a Patriot shiftier, truer none. Lafayette himself is
looking altogether dubious; in place of beating the Austrians, is about
writing to denounce the Jacobins. Rochambeau, all disconsolate, quits the
service: there remains only Luckner, the babbling old Prussian Grenadier.

Without Armies, without Generals! And the Cimmerian Night, has gathered
itself; Brunswick preparing his Proclamation; just about to march! Let a
Patriot Ministry and Legislative say, what in these circumstances it will
do? Suppress Internal Enemies, for one thing, answers the Patriot
Legislative; and proposes, on the 24th of May, its Decree for the
Banishment of Priests. Collect also some nucleus of determined internal
friends, adds War-minister Servan; and proposes, on the 7th of June, his
Camp of Twenty-thousand. Twenty-thousand National Volunteers; Five out of
each Canton; picked Patriots, for Roland has charge of the Interior: they
shall assemble here in Paris; and be for a defence, cunningly devised,
against foreign Austrians and domestic Austrian Committee alike. So much
can a Patriot Ministry and Legislative do.

Reasonable and cunningly devised as such Camp may, to Servan and
Patriotism, appear, it appears not so to Feuillantism; to that Feuillant-
Aristocrat Staff of the Paris Guard; a Staff, one would say again, which
will need to be dissolved. These men see, in this proposed Camp of
Servan's, an offence; and even, as they pretend to say, an insult.
Petitions there come, in consequence, from blue Feuillants in epaulettes;
ill received. Nay, in the end, there comes one Petition, called 'of the
Eight Thousand National Guards:'  so many names are on it; including women
and children. Which famed Petition of the Eight Thousand is indeed
received: and the Petitioners, all under arms, are admitted to the honours
of the sitting,--if honours or even if sitting there be; for the instant
their bayonets appear at the one door, the Assembly 'adjourns,' and begins
to flow out at the other. (Moniteur, Seance du 10 Juin 1792.)

Also, in these same days, it is lamentable to see how National Guards,
escorting Fete Dieu or Corpus-Christi ceremonial, do collar and smite down
any Patriot that does not uncover as the Hostie passes. They clap their
bayonets to the breast of Cattle-butcher Legendre, a known Patriot ever
since the Bastille days; and threaten to butcher him; though he sat quite
respectfully, he says, in his Gig, at a distance of fifty paces, waiting
till the thing were by. Nay, orthodox females were shrieking to have down
the Lanterne on him. (Debats des Jacobins (in Hist. Parl. xiv. 429).)

To such height has Feuillantism gone in this Corps. For indeed, are not
their Officers creatures of the chief Feuillant, Lafayette? The Court too
has, very naturally, been tampering with them; caressing them, ever since
that dissolution of the so-called Constitutional Guard. Some Battalions
are altogether 'petris, kneaded full' of Feuillantism, mere Aristocrats at
bottom: for instance, the Battalion of the Filles-Saint-Thomas, made up of
your Bankers, Stockbrokers, and other Full-purses of the Rue Vivienne. Our
worthy old Friend Weber, Queen's Foster-brother Weber, carries a musket in
that Battalion,--one may judge with what degree of Patriotic intention.

Heedless of all which, or rather heedful of all which, the Legislative,
backed by Patriot France and the feeling of Necessity, decrees this Camp of
Twenty thousand. Decisive though conditional Banishment of malign Priests,
it has already decreed.

It will now be seen, therefore, Whether the Hereditary Representative is
for us or against us? Whether or not, to all our other woes, this
intolerablest one is to be added; which renders us not a menaced Nation in
extreme jeopardy and need, but a paralytic Solecism of a Nation; sitting
wrapped as in dead cerements, of a Constitutional-Vesture that were no
other than a winding-sheet; our right hand glued to our left: to wait
there, writhing and wriggling, unable to stir from the spot, till in
Prussian rope we mount to the gallows? Let the Hereditary Representative
consider it well: The Decree of Priests? The Camp of Twenty Thousand?--By
Heaven, he answers, Veto! Veto!--Strict Roland hands in his Letter to the
King; or rather it was Madame's Letter, who wrote it all at a sitting; one
of the plainest-spoken Letters ever handed in to any King. This plain-
spoken Letter King Louis has the benefit of reading overnight. He reads,
inwardly digests; and next morning, the whole Patriot Ministry finds itself
turned out. It is the 13th of June 1792. (Madame Roland, ii. 115.)

Dumouriez the many-counselled, he, with one Duranthon, called Minister of
Justice, does indeed linger for a day or two; in rather suspicious
circumstances; speaks with the Queen, almost weeps with her: but in the
end, he too sets off for the Army; leaving what Un-Patriot or Semi-Patriot
Ministry and Ministries can now accept the helm, to accept it. Name them
not: new quick-changing Phantasms, which shift like magic-lantern figures;
more spectral than ever!

Unhappy Queen, unhappy Louis! The two Vetos were so natural: are not the
Priests martyrs; also friends? This Camp of Twenty Thousand, could it be
other than of stormfullest Sansculottes? Natural; and yet, to France,
unendurable. Priests that co-operate with Coblentz must go elsewhither
with their martyrdom: stormful Sansculottes, these and no other kind of
creatures, will drive back the Austrians. If thou prefer the Austrians,
then for the love of Heaven go join them. If not, join frankly with what
will oppose them to the death. Middle course is none.

Or alas, what extreme course was there left now, for a man like Louis?
Underhand Royalists, Ex-Minister Bertrand-Moleville, Ex-Constituent
Malouet, and all manner of unhelpful individuals, advise and advise. With
face of hope turned now on the Legislative Assembly, and now on Austria and
Coblentz, and round generally on the Chapter of Chances, an ancient
Kingship is reeling and spinning, one knows not whitherward, on the flood
of things.

Chapter 2.5.XII.

Procession of the Black Breeches.

But is there a thinking man in France who, in these circumstances, can
persuade himself that the Constitution will march? Brunswick is stirring;
he, in few days now, will march. Shall France sit still, wrapped in dead
cerements and grave-clothes, its right hand glued to its left, till the
Brunswick Saint-Bartholomew arrive; till France be as Poland, and its
Rights of Man become a Prussian Gibbet?

Verily, it is a moment frightful for all men. National Death; or else some
preternatural convulsive outburst of National Life;--that same, daemonic
outburst! Patriots whose audacity has limits had, in truth, better retire
like Barnave; court private felicity at Grenoble. Patriots, whose audacity
has no limits must sink down into the obscure; and, daring and defying all
things, seek salvation in stratagem, in Plot of Insurrection. Roland and
young Barbaroux have spread out the Map of France before them, Barbaroux
says 'with tears:'  they consider what Rivers, what Mountain ranges are in
it: they will retire behind this Loire-stream, defend these Auvergne
stone-labyrinths; save some little sacred Territory of the Free; die at
least in their last ditch. Lafayette indites his emphatic Letter to the
Legislative against Jacobinism; (Moniteur, Seance du 18 Juin 1792.) which
emphatic Letter will not heal the unhealable.

Forward, ye Patriots whose audacity has no limits; it is you now that must
either do or die! The sections of Paris sit in deep counsel; send out
Deputation after Deputation to the Salle de Manege, to petition and
denounce. Great is their ire against tyrannous Veto, Austrian Committee,
and the combined Cimmerian Kings. What boots it? Legislative listens to
the 'tocsin in our hearts;' grants us honours of the sitting, sees us
defile with jingle and fanfaronade; but the Camp of Twenty Thousand, the
Priest-Decree, be-vetoed by Majesty, are become impossible for Legislative.
Fiery Isnard says, "We will have Equality, should we descend for it to the
tomb."  Vergniaud utters, hypothetically, his stern Ezekiel-visions of the
fate of Anti-national Kings. But the question is: Will hypothetic
prophecies, will jingle and fanfaronade demolish the Veto; or will the
Veto, secure in its Tuileries Chateau, remain undemolishable by these?
Barbaroux, dashing away his tears, writes to the Marseilles Municipality,
that they must send him 'Six hundred men who know how to die, qui savent
mourir.'  (Barbaroux, p. 40.)  No wet-eyed message this, but a fire-eyed
one;--which will be obeyed!

Meanwhile the Twentieth of June is nigh, anniversary of that world-famous
Oath of the Tennis-Court: on which day, it is said, certain citizens have
in view to plant a Mai or Tree of Liberty, in the Tuileries Terrace of the
Feuillants; perhaps also to petition the Legislative and Hereditary
Representative about these Vetos;--with such demonstration, jingle and
evolution, as may seem profitable and practicable. Sections have gone
singly, and jingled and evolved: but if they all went, or great part of
them, and there, planting their Mai in these alarming circumstances,
sounded the tocsin in their hearts?

Among King's Friends there can be but one opinion as to such a step: among
Nation's Friends there may be two. On the one hand, might it not by
possibility scare away these unblessed Vetos? Private Patriots and even
Legislative Deputies may have each his own opinion, or own no-opinion: but
the hardest task falls evidently on Mayor Petion and the Municipals, at
once Patriots and Guardians of the public Tranquillity. Hushing the matter
down with the one hand; tickling it up with the other! Mayor Petion and
Municipality may lean this way; Department-Directory with Procureur-Syndic
Roederer having a Feuillant tendency, may lean that. On the whole, each
man must act according to his one opinion or to his two opinions; and all
manner of influences, official representations cross one another in the
foolishest way. Perhaps after all, the Project, desirable and yet not
desirable, will dissipate itself, being run athwart by so many
complexities; and coming to nothing?

Not so: on the Twentieth morning of June, a large Tree of Liberty,
Lombardy Poplar by kind, lies visibly tied on its car, in the Suburb-
Antoine. Suburb Saint-Marceau too, in the uttermost South-East, and all
that remote Oriental region, Pikemen and Pikewomen, National Guards, and
the unarmed curious are gathering,--with the peaceablest intentions in the
world. A tricolor Municipal arrives; speaks. Tush, it is all peaceable,
we tell thee, in the way of Law: are not Petitions allowable, and the
Patriotism of Mais? The tricolor Municipal returns without effect: your
Sansculottic rills continue flowing, combining into brooks: towards
noontide, led by tall Santerre in blue uniform, by tall Saint-Huruge in
white hat, it moves Westward, a respectable river, or complication of
still-swelling rivers.

What Processions have we not seen: Corpus-Christi and Legendre waiting in
Gig; Bones of Voltaire with bullock-chariots, and goadsmen in Roman
Costume; Feasts of Chateau-Vieux and Simonneau; Gouvion Funerals, Rousseau
Sham-Funerals, and the Baptism of Petion-National-Pike! Nevertheless this
Procession has a character of its own. Tricolor ribands streaming aloft
from pike-heads; ironshod batons; and emblems not a few; among which, see
specially these two, of the tragic and the untragic sort: a Bull's Heart
transfixed with iron, bearing this epigraph, 'Coeur d'Aristocrate,
Aristocrat's Heart;' and, more striking still, properly the standard of the
host, a pair of old Black Breeches (silk, they say), extended on cross-
staff high overhead, with these memorable words: 'Tremblez tyrans, voila
les Sansculottes, Tremble tyrants, here are the Sans-indispensables!'
Also, the Procession trails two cannons.

Scarfed tricolor Municipals do now again meet it, in the Quai Saint-
Bernard; and plead earnestly, having called halt. Peaceable, ye virtuous
tricolor Municipals, peaceable are we as the sucking dove. Behold our
Tennis-Court Mai. Petition is legal; and as for arms, did not an august
Legislative receive the so-called Eight Thousand in arms, Feuillants though
they were? Our Pikes, are they not of National iron? Law is our father
and mother, whom we will not dishonour; but Patriotism is our own soul.
Peaceable, ye virtuous Municipals;--and on the whole, limited as to time!
Stop we cannot; march ye with us.--The Black Breeches agitate themselves,
impatient; the cannon-wheels grumble: the many-footed Host tramps on.

How it reached the Salle de Manege, like an ever-waxing river; got
admittance, after debate; read its Address; and defiled, dancing and ca-
ira-ing, led by tall sonorous Santerre and tall sonorous Saint-Huruge: how
it flowed, not now a waxing river but a shut Caspian lake, round all
Precincts of the Tuileries; the front Patriot squeezed by the rearward,
against barred iron Grates, like to have the life squeezed out of him, and
looking too into the dread throat of cannon, for National Battalions stand
ranked within: how tricolor Municipals ran assiduous, and Royalists with
Tickets of Entry; and both Majesties sat in the interior surrounded by men
in black: all this the human mind shall fancy for itself, or read in old
Newspapers, and Syndic Roederer's Chronicle of Fifty Days. (Roederer, &c.
&c. (in Hist. Parl. xv. 98-194).)

Our Mai is planted; if not in the Feuillants Terrace, whither is no ingate,
then in the Garden of the Capuchins, as near as we could get. National
Assembly has adjourned till the Evening Session: perhaps this shut lake,
finding no ingate, will retire to its sources again; and disappear in
peace? Alas, not yet: rearward still presses on; rearward knows little
what pressure is in the front. One would wish at all events, were it
possible, to have a word with his Majesty first!

The shadows fall longer, eastward; it is four o'clock: will his Majesty
not come out? Hardly he! In that case, Commandant Santerre, Cattle-
butcher Legendre, Patriot Huguenin with the tocsin in his heart; they, and
others of authority, will enter in. Petition and request to wearied
uncertain National Guard; louder and louder petition; backed by the rattle
of our two cannons! The reluctant Grate opens: endless Sansculottic
multitudes flood the stairs; knock at the wooden guardian of your privacy.
Knocks, in such case, grow strokes, grow smashings: the wooden guardian
flies in shivers. And now ensues a Scene over which the world has long
wailed; and not unjustly; for a sorrier spectacle, of Incongruity fronting
Incongruity, and as it were recognising themselves incongruous, and staring
stupidly in each other's face, the world seldom saw.

King Louis, his door being beaten on, opens it; stands with free bosom;
asking, "What do you want?"  The Sansculottic flood recoils awestruck;
returns however, the rear pressing on the front, with cries of "Veto!
Patriot Ministers! Remove Veto!"--which things, Louis valiantly answers,
this is not the time to do, nor this the way to ask him to do. Honour what
virtue is in a man. Louis does not want courage; he has even the higher
kind called moral-courage, though only the passive half of that. His few
National Grenadiers shuffle back with him, into the embrasure of a window:
there he stands, with unimpeachable passivity, amid the shouldering and the
braying; a spectacle to men. They hand him a Red Cap of Liberty; he sets
it quietly on his head, forgets it there. He complains of thirst; half-
drunk Rascality offers him a bottle, he drinks of it. "Sire, do not fear,"
says one of his Grenadiers. "Fear?" answers Louis: "feel then," putting
the man's hand on his heart. So stands Majesty in Red woollen Cap; black
Sansculottism weltering round him, far and wide, aimless, with in-
articulate dissonance, with cries of "Veto! Patriot Ministers!"

For the space of three hours or more! The National Assembly is adjourned;
tricolor Municipals avail almost nothing: Mayor Petion tarries absent;
Authority is none. The Queen with her Children and Sister Elizabeth, in
tears and terror not for themselves only, are sitting behind barricaded
tables and Grenadiers in an inner room. The Men in Black have all wisely
disappeared. Blind lake of Sansculottism welters stagnant through the
King's Chateau, for the space of three hours.

Nevertheless all things do end. Vergniaud arrives with Legislative
Deputation, the Evening Session having now opened. Mayor Petion has
arrived; is haranguing, 'lifted on the shoulders of two Grenadiers.'  In
this uneasy attitude and in others, at various places without and within,
Mayor Petion harangues; many men harangue: finally Commandant Santerre
defiles; passes out, with his Sansculottism, by the opposite side of the
Chateau. Passing through the room where the Queen, with an air of dignity
and sorrowful resignation, sat among the tables and Grenadiers, a woman
offers her too a Red Cap; she holds it in her hand, even puts it on the
little Prince Royal. "Madame," said Santerre, "this People loves you more
than you think."  (Toulongeon, ii. 173; Campan, ii. c. 20.)--About eight
o'clock the Royal Family fall into each other's arms amid 'torrents of
tears.'  Unhappy Family! Who would not weep for it, were there not a whole
world to be wept for?

Thus has the Age of Chivalry gone, and that of Hunger come. Thus does all-
needing Sansculottism look in the face of its Roi, Regulator, King or
Ableman; and find that he has nothing to give it. Thus do the two Parties,
brought face to face after long centuries, stare stupidly at one another,
This am I; but, Good Heaven, is that thou?--and depart, not knowing what to
make of it. And yet, Incongruities having recognised themselves to be
incongruous, something must be made of it. The Fates know what.

This is the world-famous Twentieth of June, more worthy to be called the
Procession of the Black Breeches. With which, what we had to say of this
First French biennial Parliament, and its products and activities, may
perhaps fitly enough terminate.

BOOK 2.VI.  


Chapter 2.6.I.

Executive that does not act.

How could your paralytic National Executive be put 'in action,' in any
measure, by such a Twentieth of June as this? Quite contrariwise: a large
sympathy for Majesty so insulted arises every where; expresses itself in
Addresses, Petitions 'Petition of the Twenty Thousand inhabitants of
Paris,' and such like, among all Constitutional persons; a decided rallying
round the Throne.

Of which rallying it was thought King Louis might have made something.
However, he does make nothing of it, or attempt to make; for indeed his
views are lifted beyond domestic sympathy and rallying, over to Coblentz
mainly: neither in itself is the same sympathy worth much. It is sympathy
of men who believe still that the Constitution can march. Wherefore the
old discord and ferment, of Feuillant sympathy for Royalty, and Jacobin
sympathy for Fatherland, acting against each other from within; with terror
of Coblentz and Brunswick acting from without:--this discord and ferment
must hold on its course, till a catastrophe do ripen and come. One would
think, especially as Brunswick is near marching, such catastrophe cannot
now be distant. Busy, ye Twenty-five French Millions; ye foreign
Potentates, minatory Emigrants, German drill-serjeants; each do what his
hand findeth! Thou, O Reader, at such safe distance, wilt see what they
make of it among them.

Consider therefore this pitiable Twentieth of June as a futility; no
catastrophe, rather a catastasis, or heightening. Do not its Black
Breeches wave there, in the Historical Imagination, like a melancholy flag
of distress; soliciting help, which no mortal can give? Soliciting pity,
which thou wert hard-hearted not to give freely, to one and all! Other
such flags, or what are called Occurrences, and black or bright symbolic
Phenomena; will flit through the Historical Imagination: these, one after
one, let us note, with extreme brevity.

The first phenomenon is that of Lafayette at the Bar of the Assembly; after
a week and day. Promptly, on hearing of this scandalous Twentieth of June,
Lafayette has quitted his Command on the North Frontier, in better or worse
order; and got hither, on the 28th, to repress the Jacobins: not by Letter
now; but by oral Petition, and weight of character, face to face. The
august Assembly finds the step questionable; invites him meanwhile to the
honours of the sitting. (Moniteur, Seance du 28 Juin 1792.)  Other honour,
or advantage, there unhappily came almost none; the Galleries all growling;
fiery Isnard glooming; sharp Guadet not wanting in sarcasms.

And out of doors, when the sitting is over, Sieur Resson, keeper of the
Patriot Cafe in these regions, hears in the street a hurly-burly; steps
forth to look, he and his Patriot customers: it is Lafayette's carriage,
with a tumultuous escort of blue Grenadiers, Cannoneers, even Officers of
the Line, hurrahing and capering round it. They make a pause opposite
Sieur Resson's door; wag their plumes at him; nay shake their fists,
bellowing A bas les Jacobins; but happily pass on without onslaught. They
pass on, to plant a Mai before the General's door, and bully considerably.
All which the Sieur Resson cannot but report with sorrow, that night, in
the Mother Society. (Debats des Jacobins (Hist. Parl. xv. 235).)  But what
no Sieur Resson nor Mother Society can do more than guess is this, That a
council of rank Feuillants, your unabolished Staff of the Guard and who
else has status and weight, is in these very moments privily deliberating
at the General's: Can we not put down the Jacobins by force? Next day, a
Review shall be held, in the Tuileries Garden, of such as will turn out,
and try. Alas, says Toulongeon, hardly a hundred turned out. Put it off
till tomorrow, then, to give better warning. On the morrow, which is
Saturday, there turn out 'some thirty;' and depart shrugging their
shoulders! (Toulongeon, ii. 180. See also Dampmartin, ii. 161.)
Lafayette promptly takes carriage again; returns musing on my things.

The dust of Paris is hardly off his wheels, the summer Sunday is still
young, when Cordeliers in deputation pluck up that Mai of his: before
sunset, Patriots have burnt him in effigy. Louder doubt and louder rises,
in Section, in National Assembly, as to the legality of such unbidden Anti-
jacobin visit on the part of a General: doubt swelling and spreading all
over France, for six weeks or so: with endless talk about usurping
soldiers, about English Monk, nay about Cromwell: O thou Paris Grandison-
Cromwell!--What boots it? King Louis himself looked coldly on the
enterprize: colossal Hero of two Worlds, having weighed himself in the
balance, finds that he is become a gossamer Colossus, only some thirty
turning out.

In a like sense, and with a like issue, works our Department-Directory here
at Paris; who, on the 6th of July, take upon them to suspend Mayor Petion
and Procureur Manuel from all civic functions, for their conduct, replete,
as is alleged, with omissions and commissions, on that delicate Twentieth
of June. Virtuous Petion sees himself a kind of martyr, or pseudo-martyr,
threatened with several things; drawls out due heroical lamentation; to
which Patriot Paris and Patriot Legislative duly respond. King Louis and
Mayor Petion have already had an interview on that business of the
Twentieth; an interview and dialogue, distinguished by frankness on both
sides; ending on King Louis's side with the words, "Taisez-vous, Hold your

For the rest, this of suspending our Mayor does seem a mistimed measure.
By ill chance, it came out precisely on the day of that famous Baiser de
l'amourette, or miraculous reconciliatory Delilah-Kiss, which we spoke of
long ago. Which Delilah-Kiss was thereby quite hindered of effect. For
now his Majesty has to write, almost that same night, asking a reconciled
Assembly for advice! The reconciled Assembly will not advise; will not
interfere. The King confirms the suspension; then perhaps, but not till
then will the Assembly interfere, the noise of Patriot Paris getting loud.
Whereby your Delilah-Kiss, such was the destiny of Parliament First,
becomes a Philistine Battle!

Nay there goes a word that as many as Thirty of our chief Patriot Senators
are to be clapped in prison, by mittimus and indictment of Feuillant
Justices, Juges de Paix; who here in Paris were well capable of such a
thing. It was but in May last that Juge de Paix Lariviere, on complaint of
Bertrand-Moleville touching that Austrian Committee, made bold to launch
his mittimus against three heads of the Mountain, Deputies Bazire, Chabot,
Merlin, the Cordelier Trio; summoning them to appear before him, and shew
where that Austrian Committee was, or else suffer the consequences. Which
mittimus the Trio, on their side, made bold to fling in the fire: and
valiantly pleaded privilege of Parliament. So that, for his zeal without
knowledge, poor Justice Lariviere now sits in the prison of Orleans,
waiting trial from the Haute Cour there. Whose example, may it not deter
other rash Justices; and so this word of the Thirty arrestments continue a
word merely?

But on the whole, though Lafayette weighed so light, and has had his Mai
plucked up, Official Feuillantism falters not a whit; but carries its head
high, strong in the letter of the Law. Feuillants all of these men: a
Feuillant Directory; founding on high character, and such like; with Duke
de la Rochefoucault for President,--a thing which may prove dangerous for
him! Dim now is the once bright Anglomania of these admired Noblemen.
Duke de Liancourt offers, out of Normandy where he is Lord-Lieutenant, not
only to receive his Majesty, thinking of flight thither, but to lend him
money to enormous amounts. Sire, it is not a Revolt, it is a Revolution;
and truly no rose-water one! Worthier Noblemen were not in France nor in
Europe than those two: but the Time is crooked, quick-shifting, perverse;
what straightest course will lead to any goal, in it?

Another phasis which we note, in these early July days, is that of certain
thin streaks of Federate National Volunteers wending from various points
towards Paris, to hold a new Federation-Festival, or Feast of Pikes, on the
Fourteenth there. So has the National Assembly wished it, so has the
Nation willed it. In this way, perhaps, may we still have our Patriot Camp
in spite of Veto. For cannot these Federes, having celebrated their Feast
of Pikes, march on to Soissons; and, there being drilled and regimented,
rush to the Frontiers, or whither we like? Thus were the one Veto
cunningly eluded!

As indeed the other Veto, about Priests, is also like to be eluded; and
without much cunning. For Provincial Assemblies, in Calvados as one
instance, are proceeding on their own strength to judge and banish
Antinational Priests. Or still worse without Provincial Assembly, a
desperate People, as at Bourdeaux, can 'hang two of them on the Lanterne,'
on the way towards judgment. (Hist. Parl. xvi. 259.)  Pity for the spoken
Veto, when it cannot become an acted one!

It is true, some ghost of a War-minister, or Home-minister, for the time
being, ghost whom we do not name, does write to Municipalities and King's
Commanders, that they shall, by all conceivable methods, obstruct this
Federation, and even turn back the Federes by force of arms: a message
which scatters mere doubt, paralysis and confusion; irritates the poor
Legislature; reduces the Federes as we see, to thin streaks. But being
questioned, this ghost and the other ghosts, What it is then that they
propose to do for saving the country?--they answer, That they cannot tell;
that indeed they for their part have, this morning, resigned in a body; and
do now merely respectfully take leave of the helm altogether. With which
words they rapidly walk out of the Hall, sortent brusquement de la salle,
the 'Galleries cheering loudly,' the poor Legislature sitting 'for a good
while in silence!'  (Moniteur, Seance du Juillet 1792.)  Thus do Cabinet-
ministers themselves, in extreme cases, strike work; one of the strangest
omens. Other complete Cabinet-ministry there will not be; only fragments,
and these changeful, which never get completed; spectral Apparitions that
cannot so much as appear! King Louis writes that he now views this
Federation Feast with approval; and will himself have the pleasure to take
part in the same.

And so these thin streaks of Federes wend Parisward through a paralytic
France. Thin grim streaks; not thick joyful ranks, as of old to the first
Feast of Pikes! No: these poor Federates march now towards Austria and
Austrian Committee, towards jeopardy and forlorn hope; men of hard fortune
and temper, not rich in the world's goods. Municipalities, paralyzed by
War-ministers are shy of affording cash: it may be, your poor Federates
cannot arm themselves, cannot march, till the Daughter-Society of the place
open her pocket, and subscribe. There will not have arrived, at the set
day, Three thousand of them in all. And yet, thin and feeble as these
streaks of Federates seem, they are the only thing one discerns moving with
any clearness of aim, in this strange scene. Angry buz and simmer; uneasy
tossing and moaning of a huge France, all enchanted, spell-bound by
unmarching Constitution, into frightful conscious and unconscious Magnetic-
sleep; which frightful Magnetic-sleep must now issue soon in one of two
things: Death or Madness! The Federes carry mostly in their pocket some
earnest cry and Petition, to have the 'National Executive put in action;'
or as a step towards that, to have the King's Decheance, King's Forfeiture,
or at least his Suspension, pronounced. They shall be welcome to the
Legislative, to the Mother of Patriotism; and Paris will provide for their

Decheance, indeed: and, what next? A France spell-free, a Revolution
saved; and any thing, and all things next! so answer grimly Danton and the
unlimited Patriots, down deep in their subterranean region of Plot, whither
they have now dived. Decheance, answers Brissot with the limited: And if
next the little Prince Royal were crowned, and some Regency of Girondins
and recalled Patriot Ministry set over him? Alas, poor Brissot; looking,
as indeed poor man does always, on the nearest morrow as his peaceable
promised land; deciding what must reach to the world's end, yet with an
insight that reaches not beyond his own nose! Wiser are the unlimited
subterranean Patriots, who with light for the hour itself, leave the rest
to the gods.

Or were it not, as we now stand, the probablest issue of all, that
Brunswick, in Coblentz, just gathering his huge limbs towards him to rise,
might arrive first; and stop both Decheance, and theorizing on it?
Brunswick is on the eve of marching; with Eighty Thousand, they say; fell
Prussians, Hessians, feller Emigrants: a General of the Great Frederick,
with such an Army. And our Armies? And our Generals? As for Lafayette,
on whose late visit a Committee is sitting and all France is jarring and
censuring, he seems readier to fight us than fight Brunswick. Luckner and
Lafayette pretend to be interchanging corps, and are making movements;
which Patriotism cannot understand. This only is very clear, that their
corps go marching and shuttling, in the interior of the country; much
nearer Paris than formerly! Luckner has ordered Dumouriez down to him,
down from Maulde, and the Fortified Camp there. Which order the many-
counselled Dumouriez, with the Austrians hanging close on him, he busy
meanwhile training a few thousands to stand fire and be soldiers, declares
that, come of it what will, he cannot obey. (Dumouriez, ii. 1, 5.)  Will a
poor Legislative, therefore, sanction Dumouriez; who applies to it, 'not
knowing whether there is any War-ministry?'  Or sanction Luckner and these
Lafayette movements?

The poor Legislative knows not what to do. It decrees, however, that the
Staff of the Paris Guard, and indeed all such Staffs, for they are
Feuillants mostly, shall be broken and replaced. It decrees earnestly in
what manner one can declare that the Country is in Danger. And finally, on
the 11th of July, the morrow of that day when the Ministry struck work, it
decrees that the Country be, with all despatch, declared in Danger.
Whereupon let the King sanction; let the Municipality take measures: if
such Declaration will do service, it need not fail.

In Danger, truly, if ever Country was! Arise, O Country; or be trodden
down to ignominious ruin! Nay, are not the chances a hundred to one that
no rising of the Country will save it; Brunswick, the Emigrants, and Feudal
Europe drawing nigh?

Chapter 2.6.II.

Let us march.

But to our minds the notablest of all these moving phenomena, is that of
Barbaroux's 'Six Hundred Marseillese who know how to die.'

Prompt to the request of Barbaroux, the Marseilles Municipality has got
these men together: on the fifth morning of July, the Townhall says,
"Marchez, abatez le Tyran, March, strike down the Tyrant;" (Dampmartin, ii.
183.) and they, with grim appropriate "Marchons," are marching. Long
journey, doubtful errand; Enfans de la Patrie, may a good genius guide you!
Their own wild heart and what faith it has will guide them: and is not
that the monition of some genius, better or worse? Five Hundred and
Seventeen able men, with Captains of fifties and tens; well armed all,
musket on shoulder, sabre on thigh: nay they drive three pieces of cannon;
for who knows what obstacles may occur? Municipalities there are,
paralyzed by War-minister; Commandants with orders to stop even Federation
Volunteers; good, when sound arguments will not open a Town-gate, if you
have a petard to shiver it! They have left their sunny Phocean City and
Sea-haven, with its bustle and its bloom: the thronging Course, with high-
frondent Avenues, pitchy dockyards, almond and olive groves, orange trees
on house-tops, and white glittering bastides that crown the hills, are all
behind them. They wend on their wild way, from the extremity of French
land, through unknown cities, toward an unknown destiny; with a purpose
that they know.

Much wondering at this phenomenon, and how, in a peaceable trading City, so
many householders or hearth-holders do severally fling down their crafts
and industrial tools; gird themselves with weapons of war, and set out on a
journey of six hundred miles to 'strike down the tyrant,'--you search in
all Historical Books, Pamphlets, and Newspapers, for some light on it:
unhappily without effect. Rumour and Terror precede this march; which
still echo on you; the march itself an unknown thing. Weber, in the back-
stairs of the Tuileries, has understood that they were Forcats, Galley-
slaves and mere scoundrels, these Marseillese; that, as they marched
through Lyons, the people shut their shops;--also that the number of them
was some Four Thousand. Equally vague is Blanc Gilli, who likewise murmurs
about Forcats and danger of plunder. (See Barbaroux, Memoires (Note in p.
40, 41.).)  Forcats they were not; neither was there plunder, or danger of
it. Men of regular life, or of the best-filled purse, they could hardly
be; the one thing needful in them was that they 'knew how to die.'  Friend
Dampmartin saw them, with his own eyes, march 'gradually' through his
quarters at Villefranche in the Beaujolais: but saw in the vaguest manner;
being indeed preoccupied, and himself minded for matching just then--across
the Rhine. Deep was his astonishment to think of such a march, without
appointment or arrangement, station or ration: for the rest it was 'the
same men he had seen formerly' in the troubles of the South; 'perfectly
civil;' though his soldiers could not be kept from talking a little with
them. (Dampmartin, ubi supra.)

So vague are all these; Moniteur, Histoire Parlementaire are as good as
silent: garrulous History, as is too usual, will say nothing where you
most wish her to speak! If enlightened Curiosity ever get sight of the
Marseilles Council-Books, will it not perhaps explore this strangest of
Municipal procedures; and feel called to fish up what of the Biographies,
creditable or discreditable, of these Five Hundred and Seventeen, the
stream of Time has not yet irrevocably swallowed?

As it is, these Marseillese remain inarticulate, undistinguishable in
feature; a blackbrowed Mass, full of grim fire, who wend there, in the hot
sultry weather: very singular to contemplate. They wend; amid the
infinitude of doubt and dim peril; they not doubtful: Fate and Feudal
Europe, having decided, come girdling in from without: they, having also
decided, do march within. Dusty of face, with frugal refreshment, they
plod onwards; unweariable, not to be turned aside. Such march will become
famous. The Thought, which works voiceless in this blackbrowed mass, an
inspired Tyrtaean Colonel, Rouget de Lille whom the Earth still holds,
(A.D. 1836.) has translated into grim melody and rhythm; into his Hymn or
March of the Marseillese: luckiest musical-composition ever promulgated.
The sound of which will make the blood tingle in men's veins; and whole
Armies and Assemblages will sing it, with eyes weeping and burning, with
hearts defiant of Death, Despot and Devil.

One sees well, these Marseillese will be too late for the Federation Feast.
In fact, it is not Champ-de-Mars Oaths that they have in view. They have
quite another feat to do: a paralytic National Executive to set in action.
They must 'strike down' whatsoever 'Tyrant,' or Martyr-Faineant, there may
be who paralyzes it; strike and be struck; and on the whole prosper and
know how to die.

Chapter 2.6.III.

Some Consolation to Mankind.

Of the Federation Feast itself we shall say almost nothing. There are
Tents pitched in the Champ-de-Mars; tent for National Assembly; tent for
Hereditary Representative,--who indeed is there too early, and has to wait
long in it. There are Eighty-three symbolical Departmental Trees-of-
Liberty; trees and mais enough: beautifullest of all these is one huge
mai, hung round with effete Scutcheons, Emblazonries and Genealogy-books;
nay better still, with Lawyers'-bags, 'sacs de procedure:' which shall be
burnt. The Thirty seat-rows of that famed Slope are again full; we have a
bright Sun; and all is marching, streamering and blaring: but what avails
it? Virtuous Mayor Petion, whom Feuillantism had suspended, was reinstated
only last night, by Decree of the Assembly. Men's humour is of the
sourest. Men's hats have on them, written in chalk, 'Vive Petion;' and
even, 'Petion or Death, Petion ou la Mort.'

Poor Louis, who has waited till five o'clock before the Assembly would
arrive, swears the National Oath this time, with a quilted cuirass under
his waistcoat which will turn pistol-bullets. (Campan, ii. c. 20; De
Stael, ii. c. 7.)  Madame de Stael, from that Royal Tent, stretches out the
neck in a kind of agony, lest the waving multitudes which receive him may
not render him back alive. No cry of Vive le Roi salutes the ear; cries
only of Vive Petion; Petion ou la Mort. The National Solemnity is as it
were huddled by; each cowering off almost before the evolutions are gone
through. The very Mai with its Scutcheons and Lawyers'-bags is forgotten,
stands unburnt; till 'certain Patriot Deputies,' called by the people, set
a torch to it, by way of voluntary after-piece. Sadder Feast of Pikes no
man ever saw.

Mayor Petion, named on hats, is at his zenith in this Federation; Lafayette
again is close upon his nadir. Why does the stormbell of Saint-Roch speak
out, next Saturday; why do the citizens shut their shops? (Moniteur,
Seance du 21 Juillet 1792.)  It is Sections defiling, it is fear of
effervescence. Legislative Committee, long deliberating on Lafayette and
that Anti-jacobin Visit of his, reports, this day, that there is 'not
ground for Accusation!'  Peace, ye Patriots, nevertheless; and let that
tocsin cease: the Debate is not finished, nor the Report accepted; but
Brissot, Isnard and the Mountain will sift it, and resift it, perhaps for
some three weeks longer.

So many bells, stormbells and noises do ring;--scarcely audible; one
drowning the other. For example: in this same Lafayette tocsin, of
Saturday, was there not withal some faint bob-minor, and Deputation of
Legislative, ringing the Chevalier Paul Jones to his long rest; tocsin or
dirge now all one to him! Not ten days hence Patriot Brissot, beshouted
this day by the Patriot Galleries, shall find himself begroaned by them, on
account of his limited Patriotism; nay pelted at while perorating, and 'hit
with two prunes.'  (Hist. Parl. xvi. 185.)  It is a distracted empty-
sounding world; of bob-minors and bob-majors, of triumph and terror, of
rise and fall!

The more touching is this other Solemnity, which happens on the morrow of
the Lafayette tocsin: Proclamation that the Country is in Danger. Not
till the present Sunday could such Solemnity be. The Legislative decreed
it almost a fortnight ago; but Royalty and the ghost of a Ministry held
back as they could. Now however, on this Sunday, 22nd day of July 1792, it
will hold back no longer; and the Solemnity in very deed is. Touching to
behold! Municipality and Mayor have on their scarfs; cannon-salvo booms
alarm from the Pont-Neuf, and single-gun at intervals all day. Guards are
mounted, scarfed Notabilities, Halberdiers, and a Cavalcade; with
streamers, emblematic flags; especially with one huge Flag, flapping
mournfully: Citoyens, la Patrie est en Danger. They roll through the
streets, with stern-sounding music, and slow rattle of hoofs: pausing at
set stations, and with doleful blast of trumpet, singing out through
Herald's throat, what the Flag says to the eye: "Citizens, the Country is
in Danger!"

Is there a man's heart that hears it without a thrill? The many-voiced
responsive hum or bellow of these multitudes is not of triumph; and yet it
is a sound deeper than triumph. But when the long Cavalcade and
Proclamation ended; and our huge Flag was fixed on the Pont Neuf, another
like it on the Hotel-de-Ville, to wave there till better days; and each
Municipal sat in the centre of his Section, in a Tent raised in some open
square, Tent surmounted with flags of Patrie en danger, and topmost of all
a Pike and Bonnet Rouge; and, on two drums in front of him, there lay a
plank-table, and on this an open Book, and a Clerk sat, like recording-
angel, ready to write the Lists, or as we say to enlist! O, then, it
seems, the very gods might have looked down on it. Young Patriotism,
Culottic and Sansculottic, rushes forward emulous: That is my name; name,
blood, and life, is all my Country's; why have I nothing more! Youths of
short stature weep that they are below size. Old men come forward, a son
in each hand. Mothers themselves will grant the son of their travail; send
him, though with tears. And the multitude bellows Vive la Patrie, far
reverberating. And fire flashes in the eyes of men;--and at eventide, your
Municipal returns to the Townhall, followed by his long train of volunteer
Valour; hands in his List: says proudly, looking round. This is my day's
harvest. (Tableau de la Revolution, para Patrie en Danger.)  They will
march, on the morrow, to Soissons; small bundle holding all their chattels.

So, with Vive la Patrie, Vive la Liberte, stone Paris reverberates like
Ocean in his caves; day after day, Municipals enlisting in tricolor Tent;
the Flag flapping on Pont Neuf and Townhall, Citoyens, la Patrie est en
Danger. Some Ten thousand fighters, without discipline but full of heart,
are on march in few days. The like is doing in every Town of France.--
Consider therefore whether the Country will want defenders, had we but a
National Executive? Let the Sections and Primary Assemblies, at any rate,
become Permanent, and sit continually in Paris, and over France, by
Legislative Decree dated Wednesday the 25th. (Moniteur, Seance du 25
Juillet 1792.)

Mark contrariwise how, in these very hours, dated the 25th, Brunswick
shakes himself 's'ebranle,' in Coblentz; and takes the road! Shakes
himself indeed; one spoken word becomes such a shaking. Successive,
simultaneous dirl of thirty thousand muskets shouldered; prance and jingle
of ten-thousand horsemen, fanfaronading Emigrants in the van; drum, kettle-
drum; noise of weeping, swearing; and the immeasurable lumbering clank of
baggage-waggons and camp-kettles that groan into motion: all this is
Brunswick shaking himself; not without all this does the one man march,
'covering a space of forty miles.'  Still less without his Manifesto,
dated, as we say, the 25th; a State-Paper worthy of attention!

By this Document, it would seem great things are in store for France. The
universal French People shall now have permission to rally round Brunswick
and his Emigrant Seigneurs; tyranny of a Jacobin Faction shall oppress them
no more; but they shall return, and find favour with their own good King;
who, by Royal Declaration (three years ago) of the Twenty-third of June,
said that he would himself make them happy. As for National Assembly, and
other Bodies of Men invested with some temporary shadow of authority, they
are charged to maintain the King's Cities and Strong Places intact, till
Brunswick arrive to take delivery of them. Indeed, quick submission may
extenuate many things; but to this end it must be quick. Any National
Guard or other unmilitary person found resisting in arms shall be 'treated
as a traitor;' that is to say, hanged with promptitude. For the rest, if
Paris, before Brunswick gets thither, offer any insult to the King: or,
for example, suffer a faction to carry the King away elsewhither; in that
case Paris shall be blasted asunder with cannon-shot and 'military
execution.'  Likewise all other Cities, which may witness, and not resist
to the uttermost, such forced-march of his Majesty, shall be blasted
asunder; and Paris and every City of them, starting-place, course and goal
of said sacrilegious forced-march, shall, as rubbish and smoking ruin, lie
there for a sign. Such vengeance were indeed signal, 'an insigne
vengeance:'--O Brunswick, what words thou writest and blusterest! In this
Paris, as in old Nineveh, are so many score thousands that know not the
right hand from the left, and also much cattle. Shall the very milk-cows,
hard-living cadgers'-asses, and poor little canary-birds die?

Nor is Royal and Imperial Prussian-Austrian Declaration wanting: setting
forth, in the amplest manner, their Sanssouci-Schonbrunn version of this
whole French Revolution, since the first beginning of it; and with what
grief these high heads have seen such things done under the Sun: however,
'as some small consolation to mankind,' (Annual Register (1792), p. 236.)
they do now despatch Brunswick; regardless of expense, as one might say, of
sacrifices on their own part; for is it not the first duty to console men?

Serene Highnesses, who sit there protocolling and manifestoing, and
consoling mankind! how were it if, for once in the thousand years, your
parchments, formularies, and reasons of state were blown to the four winds;
and Reality Sans-indispensables stared you, even you, in the face; and
Mankind said for itself what the thing was that would console it?--

Chapter 2.6.IV.


But judge if there was comfort in this to the Sections all sitting
permanent; deliberating how a National Executive could be put in action!

High rises the response, not of cackling terror, but of crowing counter-
defiance, and Vive la Nation; young Valour streaming towards the Frontiers;
Patrie en Danger mutely beckoning on the Pont Neuf. Sections are busy, in
their permanent Deep; and down, lower still, works unlimited Patriotism,
seeking salvation in plot. Insurrection, you would say, becomes once more
the sacredest of duties? Committee, self-chosen, is sitting at the Sign of
the Golden Sun: Journalist Carra, Camille Desmoulins, Alsatian Westermann
friend of Danton, American Fournier of Martinique;--a Committee not unknown
to Mayor Petion, who, as an official person, must sleep with one eye open.
Not unknown to Procureur Manuel; least of all to Procureur-Substitute
Danton! He, wrapped in darkness, being also official, bears it on his
giant shoulder; cloudy invisible Atlas of the whole.

Much is invisible; the very Jacobins have their reticences. Insurrection
is to be: but when? This only we can discern, that such Federes as are
not yet gone to Soissons, as indeed are not inclined to go yet, "for
reasons," says the Jacobin President, "which it may be interesting not to
state," have got a Central Committee sitting close by, under the roof of
the Mother Society herself. Also, what in such ferment and danger of
effervescence is surely proper, the Forty-eight Sections have got their
Central Committee; intended 'for prompt communication.'  To which Central
Committee the Municipality, anxious to have it at hand, could not refuse an
Apartment in the Hotel-de-Ville.

Singular City! For overhead of all this, there is the customary baking and
brewing; Labour hammers and grinds. Frilled promenaders saunter under the
trees; white-muslin promenaderess, in green parasol, leaning on your arm.
Dogs dance, and shoeblacks polish, on that Pont Neuf itself, where
Fatherland is in danger. So much goes its course; and yet the course of
all things is nigh altering and ending.

Look at that Tuileries and Tuileries Garden. Silent all as Sahara; none
entering save by ticket! They shut their Gates, after the Day of the Black
Breeches; a thing they had the liberty to do. However, the National
Assembly grumbled something about Terrace of the Feuillants, how said
Terrace lay contiguous to the back entrance to their Salle, and was partly
National Property; and so now National Justice has stretched a Tricolor
Riband athwart, by way of boundary-line, respected with splenetic
strictness by all Patriots. It hangs there that Tricolor boundary-line;
carries 'satirical inscriptions on cards,' generally in verse; and all
beyond this is called Coblentz, and remains vacant; silent, as a fateful
Golgotha; sunshine and umbrage alternating on it in vain. Fateful Circuit;
what hope can dwell in it? Mysterious Tickets of Entry introduce
themselves; speak of Insurrection very imminent. Rivarol's Staff of Genius
had better purchase blunderbusses; Grenadier bonnets, red Swiss uniforms
may be useful. Insurrection will come; but likewise will it not be met?
Staved off, one may hope, till Brunswick arrive?

But consider withal if the Bourne-stones and Portable chairs remain silent;
if the Herald's College of Bill-Stickers sleep! Louvet's Sentinel warns
gratis on all walls; Sulleau is busy: People's-Friend Marat and King's-
Friend Royou croak and counter-croak. For the man Marat, though long
hidden since that Champ-de-Mars Massacre, is still alive. He has lain, who
knows in what Cellars; perhaps in Legendre's; fed by a steak of Legendre's
killing: but, since April, the bull-frog voice of him sounds again;
hoarsest of earthly cries. For the present, black terror haunts him: O
brave Barbaroux wilt thou not smuggle me to Marseilles, 'disguised as a
jockey?'  (Barbaroux, p. 60.)  In Palais-Royal and all public places, as we
read, there is sharp activity; private individuals haranguing that Valour
may enlist; haranguing that the Executive may be put in action. Royalist
journals ought to be solemnly burnt: argument thereupon; debates which
generally end in single-stick, coups de cannes. (Newspapers, Narratives
and Documents (Hist. Parl. xv. 240; xvi. 399.)  Or think of this; the hour
midnight; place Salle de Manege; august Assembly just adjourning:
'Citizens of both sexes enter in a rush exclaiming, Vengeance: they are
poisoning our Brothers;'--baking brayed-glass among their bread at
Soissons! Vergniaud has to speak soothing words, How Commissioners are
already sent to investigate this brayed-glass, and do what is needful
therein: till the rush of Citizens 'makes profound silence:'  and goes home
to its bed.

Such is Paris; the heart of a France like to it. Preternatural suspicion,
doubt, disquietude, nameless anticipation, from shore to shore:--and those
blackbrowed Marseillese, marching, dusty, unwearied, through the midst of
it; not doubtful they. Marching to the grim music of their hearts, they
consume continually the long road, these three weeks and more; heralded by
Terror and Rumour. The Brest Federes arrive on the 26th; through hurrahing
streets. Determined men are these also, bearing or not bearing the Sacred
Pikes of Chateau-Vieux; and on the whole decidedly disinclined for Soissons
as yet. Surely the Marseillese Brethren do draw nigher all days.

Chapter 2.6.V.

At Dinner.

It was a bright day for Charenton, that 29th of the month, when the
Marseillese Brethren actually came in sight. Barbaroux, Santerre and
Patriots have gone out to meet the grim Wayfarers. Patriot clasps dusty
Patriot to his bosom; there is footwashing and refection: 'dinner of
twelve hundred covers at the Blue Dial, Cadran Bleu;' and deep interior
consultation, that one wots not of. (Deux Amis, viii. 90-101.)
Consultation indeed which comes to little; for Santerre, with an open
purse, with a loud voice, has almost no head. Here however we repose this
night: on the morrow is public entry into Paris.

On which public entry the Day-Historians, Diurnalists, or Journalists as
they call themselves, have preserved record enough. How Saint-Antoine male
and female, and Paris generally, gave brotherly welcome, with bravo and
hand-clapping, in crowded streets; and all passed in the peaceablest
manner;--except it might be our Marseillese pointed out here and there a
riband-cockade, and beckoned that it should be snatched away, and exchanged
for a wool one; which was done. How the Mother Society in a body has come
as far as the Bastille-ground, to embrace you. How you then wend onwards,
triumphant, to the Townhall, to be embraced by Mayor Petion; to put down
your muskets in the Barracks of Nouvelle France, not far off;--then towards
the appointed Tavern in the Champs Elysees to enjoy a frugal Patriot
repast. (Hist. Parl. xvi. 196. See Barbaroux, p. 51-5.)

Of all which the indignant Tuileries may, by its Tickets of Entry, have
warning. Red Swiss look doubly sharp to their Chateau-Grates;--though
surely there is no danger? Blue Grenadiers of the Filles-Saint-Thomas
Section are on duty there this day: men of Agio, as we have seen; with
stuffed purses, riband-cockades; among whom serves Weber. A party of these
latter, with Captains, with sundry Feuillant Notabilities, Moreau de Saint-
Mery of the three thousand orders, and others, have been dining, much more
respectably, in a Tavern hard by. They have dined, and are now drinking
Loyal-Patriotic toasts; while the Marseillese, National-Patriotic merely,
are about sitting down to their frugal covers of delf. How it happened
remains to this day undemonstrable: but the external fact is, certain of
these Filles-Saint-Thomas Grenadiers do issue from their Tavern; perhaps
touched, surely not yet muddled with any liquor they have had;--issue in
the professed intention of testifying to the Marseillese, or to the
multitude of Paris Patriots who stroll in these spaces, That they, the
Filles-Saint-Thomas men, if well seen into, are not a whit less Patriotic
than any other class of men whatever.

It was a rash errand! For how can the strolling multitudes credit such a
thing; or do other indeed than hoot at it, provoking, and provoked;--till
Grenadier sabres stir in the scabbard, and a sharp shriek rises: "A nous
Marseillais, Help Marseillese!"  Quick as lightning, for the frugal repast
is not yet served, that Marseillese Tavern flings itself open: by door, by
window; running, bounding, vault forth the Five hundred and Seventeen
undined Patriots; and, sabre flashing from thigh, are on the scene of
controversy. Will ye parley, ye Grenadier Captains and official Persons;
'with faces grown suddenly pale,' the Deponents say? (Moniteur, Seances du
30, du 31 Juillet 1792 (Hist. Parl. xvi. 197-210.)  Advisabler were instant
moderately swift retreat! The Filles-Saint-Thomas retreat, back foremost;
then, alas, face foremost, at treble-quick time; the Marseillese, according
to a Deponent, "clearing the fences and ditches after them like lions:
Messieurs, it was an imposing spectacle."

Thus they retreat, the Marseillese following. Swift and swifter, towards
the Tuileries: where the Drawbridge receives the bulk of the fugitives;
and, then suddenly drawn up, saves them; or else the green mud of the Ditch
does it. The bulk of them; not all; ah, no! Moreau de Saint-Mery for
example, being too fat, could not fly fast; he got a stroke, flat-stroke
only, over the shoulder-blades, and fell prone;--and disappears there from
the History of the Revolution. Cuts also there were, pricks in the
posterior fleshy parts; much rending of skirts, and other discrepant waste.
But poor Sub-lieutenant Duhamel, innocent Change-broker, what a lot for
him! He turned on his pursuer, or pursuers, with a pistol; he fired and
missed; drew a second pistol, and again fired and missed; then ran:
unhappily in vain. In the Rue Saint-Florentin, they clutched him; thrust
him through, in red rage: that was the end of the New Era, and of all
Eras, to poor Duhamel.

Pacific readers can fancy what sort of grace-before-meat this was to frugal
Patriotism. Also how the Battalion of the Filles-Saint-Thomas 'drew out in
arms,' luckily without further result; how there was accusation at the Bar
of the Assembly, and counter-accusation and defence; Marseillese
challenging the sentence of free jury court,--which never got to a
decision. We ask rather, What the upshot of all these distracted wildly
accumulating things may, by probability, be? Some upshot; and the time
draws nigh! Busy are Central Committees, of Federes at the Jacobins
Church, of Sections at the Townhall; Reunion of Carra, Camille and Company
at the Golden Sun. Busy: like submarine deities, or call them mud-gods,
working there in the deep murk of waters: till the thing be ready.

And how your National Assembly, like a ship waterlogged, helmless, lies
tumbling; the Galleries, of shrill Women, of Federes with sabres, bellowing
down on it, not unfrightful;--and waits where the waves of chance may
please to strand it; suspicious, nay on the Left side, conscious, what
submarine Explosion is meanwhile a-charging! Petition for King's
Forfeiture rises often there: Petition from Paris Section, from Provincial
Patriot Towns; From Alencon, Briancon, and 'the Traders at the Fair of
Beaucaire.'  Or what of these? On the 3rd of August, Mayor Petion and the
Municipality come petitioning for Forfeiture: they openly, in their
tricolor Municipal scarfs. Forfeiture is what all Patriots now want and
expect. All Brissotins want Forfeiture; with the little Prince Royal for
King, and us for Protector over him. Emphatic Federes asks the
legislature: "Can you save us, or not?"  Forty-seven Seconds have agreed
to Forfeiture; only that of the Filles-Saint-Thomas pretending to disagree.
Nay Section Mauconseil declares Forfeiture to be, properly speaking, come;
Mauconseil for one 'does from this day,' the last of July, 'cease
allegiance to Louis,' and take minute of the same before all men. A thing
blamed aloud; but which will be praised aloud; and the name Mauconseil, of
Ill-counsel, be thenceforth changed to Bonconseil, of Good-counsel.

President Danton, in the Cordeliers Section, does another thing: invites
all Passive Citizens to take place among the Active in Section-business,
one peril threatening all. Thus he, though an official person; cloudy
Atlas of the whole. Likewise he manages to have that blackbrowed Battalion
of Marseillese shifted to new Barracks, in his own region of the remote
South-East. Sleek Chaumette, cruel Billaud, Deputy Chabot the Disfrocked,
Huguenin with the tocsin in his heart, will welcome them there. Wherefore,
again and again: "O Legislators, can you save us or not?"  Poor
Legislators; with their Legislature waterlogged, volcanic Explosion
charging under it! Forfeiture shall be debated on the ninth day of August;
that miserable business of Lafayette may be expected to terminate on the

Or will the humane Reader glance into the Levee-day of Sunday the fifth?
The last Levee! Not for a long time, 'never,' says Bertrand-Moleville, had
a Levee been so brilliant, at least so crowded. A sad presaging interest
sat on every face; Bertrand's own eyes were filled with tears. For,
indeed, outside of that Tricolor Riband on the Feuillants Terrace,
Legislature is debating, Sections are defiling, all Paris is astir this
very Sunday, demanding Decheance. (Hist. Parl. xvi. 337-9.)  Here,
however, within the riband, a grand proposal is on foot, for the hundredth
time, of carrying his Majesty to Rouen and the Castle of Gaillon. Swiss at
Courbevoye are in readiness; much is ready; Majesty himself seems almost
ready. Nevertheless, for the hundredth time, Majesty, when near the point
of action, draws back; writes, after one has waited, palpitating, an
endless summer day, that 'he has reason to believe the Insurrection is not
so ripe as you suppose.'  Whereat Bertrand-Moleville breaks forth 'into
extremity at one of spleen and despair, d'humeur et de desespoir.'
(Bertrand-Moleville, Memoires, ii. 129.)

Chapter 2.6.VI.

The Steeples at Midnight.

For, in truth, the Insurrection is just about ripe. Thursday is the ninth
of the month August: if Forfeiture be not pronounced by the Legislature
that day, we must pronounce it ourselves.

Legislature? A poor waterlogged Legislature can pronounce nothing. On
Wednesday the eighth, after endless oratory once again, they cannot even
pronounce Accusation again Lafayette; but absolve him,--hear it,
Patriotism!--by a majority of two to one. Patriotism hears it; Patriotism,
hounded on by Prussian Terror, by Preternatural Suspicion, roars tumultuous
round the Salle de Manege, all day; insults many leading Deputies, of the
absolvent Right-side; nay chases them, collars them with loud menace:
Deputy Vaublanc, and others of the like, are glad to take refuge in
Guardhouses, and escape by the back window. And so, next day, there is
infinite complaint; Letter after Letter from insulted Deputy; mere
complaint, debate and self-cancelling jargon: the sun of Thursday sets
like the others, and no Forfeiture pronounced. Wherefore in fine, To your
tents, O Israel!

The Mother-Society ceases speaking; groups cease haranguing: Patriots,
with closed lips now, 'take one another's arm;' walk off, in rows, two and
two, at a brisk business-pace; and vanish afar in the obscure places of the
East. (Deux Amis, viii. 129-88.)  Santerre is ready; or we will make him
ready. Forty-seven of the Forty-eight Sections are ready; nay Filles-
Saint-Thomas itself turns up the Jacobin side of it, turns down the
Feuillant side of it, and is ready too. Let the unlimited Patriot look to
his weapon, be it pike, be it firelock; and the Brest brethren, above all,
the blackbrowed Marseillese prepare themselves for the extreme hour!
Syndic Roederer knows, and laments or not as the issue may turn, that 'five
thousand ball-cartridges, within these few days, have been distributed to
Federes, at the Hotel-de-Ville.'  (Roederer a la Barre (Seance du 9 Aout
(in Hist. Parl. xvi. 393.)

And ye likewise, gallant gentlemen, defenders of Royalty, crowd ye on your
side to the Tuileries. Not to a Levee: no, to a Couchee: where much will
be put to bed. Your Tickets of Entry are needful; needfuller your
blunderbusses!--They come and crowd, like gallant men who also know how to
die: old Maille the Camp-Marshal has come, his eyes gleaming once again,
though dimmed by the rheum of almost four-score years. Courage, Brothers!
We have a thousand red Swiss; men stanch of heart, steadfast as the granite
of their Alps. National Grenadiers are at least friends of Order;
Commandant Mandat breathes loyal ardour, will "answer for it on his head."
Mandat will, and his Staff; for the Staff, though there stands a doom and
Decree to that effect, is happily never yet dissolved.

Commandant Mandat has corresponded with Mayor Petion; carries a written
Order from him these three days, to repel force by force. A squadron on
the Pont Neuf with cannon shall turn back these Marseillese coming across
the River: a squadron at the Townhall shall cut Saint-Antoine in two, 'as
it issues from the Arcade Saint-Jean;' drive one half back to the obscure
East, drive the other half forward through 'the Wickets of the Louvre.'
Squadrons not a few, and mounted squadrons; squadrons in the Palais Royal,
in the Place Vendome: all these shall charge, at the right moment; sweep
this street, and then sweep that. Some new Twentieth of June we shall
have; only still more ineffectual? Or probably the Insurrection will not
dare to rise at all? Mandat's Squadrons, Horse-Gendarmerie and blue Guards
march, clattering, tramping; Mandat's Cannoneers rumble. Under cloud of
night; to the sound of his generale, which begins drumming when men should
go to bed. It is the 9th night of August, 1792.

On the other hand, the Forty-eight Sections correspond by swift messengers;
are choosing each their 'three Delegates with full powers.'  Syndic
Roederer, Mayor Petion are sent for to the Tuileries: courageous
Legislators, when the drum beats danger, should repair to their Salle.
Demoiselle Theroigne has on her grenadier-bonnet, short-skirted riding-
habit; two pistols garnish her small waist, and sabre hangs in baldric by
her side.

Such a game is playing in this Paris Pandemonium, or City of All the
Devils!--And yet the Night, as Mayor Petion walks here in the Tuileries
Garden, 'is beautiful and calm;' Orion and the Pleiades glitter down quite
serene. Petion has come forth, the 'heat' inside was so oppressive.
(Roederer, Chronique de Cinquante Jours: Recit de Petion. Townhall
Records, &c. (in Hist. Parl. xvi. 399-466.)  Indeed, his Majesty's
reception of him was of the roughest; as it well might be. And now there
is no outgate; Mandat's blue Squadrons turn you back at every Grate; nay
the Filles-Saint-Thomas Grenadiers give themselves liberties of tongue, How
a virtuous Mayor 'shall pay for it, if there be mischief,' and the like;
though others again are full of civility. Surely if any man in France is
in straights this night, it is Mayor Petion: bound, under pain of death,
one may say, to smile dexterously with the one side of his face, and weep
with the other;--death if he do it not dexterously enough! Not till four
in the morning does a National Assembly, hearing of his plight, summon him
over 'to give account of Paris;' of which he knows nothing: whereby
however he shall get home to bed, and only his gilt coach be left.
Scarcely less delicate is Syndic Roederer's task; who must wait whether he
will lament or not, till he see the issue. Janus Bifrons, or Mr. Facing-
both-ways, as vernacular Bunyan has it! They walk there, in the meanwhile,
these two Januses, with others of the like double conformation; and 'talk
of indifferent matters.'

Roederer, from time to time, steps in; to listen, to speak; to send for the
Department-Directory itself, he their Procureur Syndic not seeing how to
act. The Apartments are all crowded; some seven hundred gentlemen in black
elbowing, bustling; red Swiss standing like rocks; ghost, or partial-ghost
of a Ministry, with Roederer and advisers, hovering round their Majesties;
old Marshall Maille kneeling at the King's feet, to say, He and these
gallant gentlemen are come to die for him. List! through the placid
midnight; clang of the distant stormbell! So, in very sooth; steeple after
steeple takes up the wondrous tale. Black Courtiers listen at the windows,
opened for air; discriminate the steeple-bells: (Roederer, ubi supra.)
this is the tocsin of Saint-Roch; that again, is it not Saint-Jacques,
named de la Boucherie? Yes, Messieurs! Or even Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois,
hear ye it not? The same metal that rang storm, two hundred and twenty
years ago; but by a Majesty's order then; on Saint-Bartholomew's Eve (24th
August, 1572.)--So go the steeple-bells; which Courtiers can discriminate.
Nay, meseems, there is the Townhall itself; we know it by its sound! Yes,
Friends, that is the Townhall; discoursing so, to the Night. Miraculously;
by miraculous metal-tongue and man's arm: Marat himself, if you knew it,
is pulling at the rope there! Marat is pulling; Robespierre lies deep,
invisible for the next forty hours; and some men have heart, and some have
as good as none, and not even frenzy will give them any.

What struggling confusion, as the issue slowly draws on; and the doubtful
Hour, with pain and blind struggle, brings forth its Certainty, never to be
abolished!--The Full-power Delegates, three from each Section, a Hundred
and forty-four in all, got gathered at the Townhall, about midnight.
Mandat's Squadron, stationed there, did not hinder their entering: are
they not the 'Central Committee of the Sections' who sit here usually;
though in greater number tonight? They are there: presided by Confusion,
Irresolution, and the Clack of Tongues. Swift scouts fly; Rumour buzzes,
of black Courtiers, red Swiss, of Mandat and his Squadrons that shall
charge. Better put off the Insurrection? Yes, put it off. Ha, hark!
Saint-Antoine booming out eloquent tocsin, of its own accord!--Friends, no:
ye cannot put off the Insurrection; but must put it on, and live with it,
or die with it.

Swift now, therefore: let these actual Old Municipals, on sight of the
Full-powers, and mandate of the Sovereign elective People, lay down their
functions; and this New Hundred and forty-four take them up! Will ye nill
ye, worthy Old Municipals, ye must go. Nay is it not a happiness for many
a Municipal that he can wash his hands of such a business; and sit there
paralyzed, unaccountable, till the Hour do bring forth; or even go home to
his night's rest? (Section Documents, Townhall Documents (Hist. Parl. ubi
supra).)  Two only of the Old, or at most three, we retain Mayor Petion,
for the present walking in the Tuileries; Procureur Manuel; Procureur
Substitute Danton, invisible Atlas of the whole. And so, with our Hundred
and forty-four, among whom are a Tocsin-Huguenin, a Billaud, a Chaumette;
and Editor-Talliens, and Fabre d'Eglantines, Sergents, Panises; and in
brief, either emergent, or else emerged and full-blown, the entire Flower
of unlimited Patriotism: have we not, as by magic, made a New
Municipality; ready to act in the unlimited manner; and declare itself
roundly, 'in a State of Insurrection!'--First of all, then, be Commandant
Mandat sent for, with that Mayor's-Order of his; also let the New
Municipals visit those Squadrons that were to charge; and let the stormbell
ring its loudest;--and, on the whole, Forward, ye Hundred and forty-four;
retreat is now none for you!

Reader, fancy not, in thy languid way, that Insurrection is easy.
Insurrection is difficult: each individual uncertain even of his next
neighbour; totally uncertain of his distant neighbours, what strength is
with him, what strength is against him; certain only that, in case of
failure, his individual portion is the gallows! Eight hundred thousand
heads, and in each of them a separate estimate of these uncertainties, a
separate theorem of action conformable to that: out of so many
uncertainties, does the certainty, and inevitable net-result never to be
abolished, go on, at all moments, bodying itself forth;--leading thee also
towards civic-crowns or an ignominious noose.

Could the Reader take an Asmodeus's Flight, and waving open all roofs and
privacies, look down from the Tower of Notre Dame, what a Paris were it!
Of treble-voice whimperings or vehemence, of bass-voice growlings,
dubitations; Courage screwing itself to desperate defiance; Cowardice
trembling silent within barred doors;--and all round, Dulness calmly
snoring; for much Dulness, flung on its mattresses, always sleeps. O,
between the clangour of these high-storming tocsins and that snore of
Dulness, what a gamut: of trepidation, excitation, desperation; and above
it mere Doubt, Danger, Atropos and Nox!

Fighters of this section draw out; hear that the next Section does not; and
thereupon draw in. Saint-Antoine, on this side the River, is uncertain of
Saint-Marceau on that. Steady only is the snore of Dulness, are the Six
Hundred Marseillese that know how to die! Mandat, twice summoned to the
Townhall, has not come. Scouts fly incessant, in distracted haste; and the
many-whispering voices of Rumour. Theroigne and unofficial Patriots flit,
dim-visible, exploratory, far and wide; like Night-birds on the wing. Of
Nationals some Three thousand have followed Mandat and his generale; the
rest follow each his own theorem of the uncertainties: theorem, that one
should march rather with Saint-Antoine; innumerable theorems, that in such
a case the wholesomest were sleep. And so the drums beat, in made fits,
and the stormbells peal. Saint-Antoine itself does but draw out and draw
in; Commandant Santerre, over there, cannot believe that the Marseillese
and Saint Marceau will march. Thou laggard sonorous Beer-vat, with the
loud voice and timber head, is it time now to palter? Alsatian Westermann
clutches him by the throat with drawn sabre: whereupon the Timber-headed
believes. In this manner wanes the slow night; amid fret, uncertainty and
tocsin; all men's humour rising to the hysterical pitch; and nothing done.

However, Mandat, on the third summons does come;--come, unguarded;
astonished to find the Municipality new. They question him straitly on
that Mayor's-Order to resist force by force; on that strategic scheme of
cutting Saint-Antoine in two halves: he answers what he can: they think
it were right to send this strategic National Commandant to the Abbaye
Prison, and let a Court of Law decide on him. Alas, a Court of Law, not
Book-Law but primeval Club-Law, crowds and jostles out of doors; all
fretted to the hysterical pitch; cruel as Fear, blind as the Night: such
Court of Law, and no other, clutches poor Mandat from his constables; beats
him down, massacres him, on the steps of the Townhall. Look to it, ye new
Municipals; ye People, in a state of Insurrection! Blood is shed, blood
must be answered for;--alas, in such hysterical humour, more blood will
flow: for it is as with the Tiger in that; he has only to begin.

Seventeen Individuals have been seized in the Champs Elysees, by
exploratory Patriotism; they flitting dim-visible, by it flitting dim-
visible. Ye have pistols, rapiers, ye Seventeen? One of those accursed
'false Patrols;' that go marauding, with Anti-National intent; seeking what
they can spy, what they can spill! The Seventeen are carried to the
nearest Guard-house; eleven of them escape by back passages. "How is
this?"  Demoiselle Theroigne appears at the front entrance, with sabre,
pistols, and a train; denounces treasonous connivance; demands, seizes, the
remaining six, that the justice of the People be not trifled with. Of
which six two more escape in the whirl and debate of the Club-Law Court;
the last unhappy Four are massacred, as Mandat was: Two Ex-Bodyguards; one
dissipated Abbe; one Royalist Pamphleteer, Sulleau, known to us by name,
Able Editor, and wit of all work. Poor Sulleau: his Acts of the Apostles,
and brisk Placard-Journals (for he was an able man) come to Finis, in this
manner; and questionable jesting issues suddenly in horrid earnest! Such
doings usher in the dawn of the Tenth of August, 1792.

Or think what a night the poor National Assembly has had: sitting there,
'in great paucity,' attempting to debate;--quivering and shivering;
pointing towards all the thirty-two azimuths at once, as the magnet-needle
does when thunderstorm is in the air! If the Insurrection come? If it
come, and fail? Alas, in that case, may not black Courtiers, with
blunderbusses, red Swiss with bayonets rush over, flushed with victory, and
ask us: Thou undefinable, waterlogged, self-distractive, self-destructive
Legislative, what dost thou here unsunk?--Or figure the poor National
Guards, bivouacking 'in temporary tents' there; or standing ranked,
shifting from leg to leg, all through the weary night; New tricolor
Municipals ordering one thing, old Mandat Captains ordering another!
Procureur Manuel has ordered the cannons to be withdrawn from the Pont
Neuf; none ventured to disobey him. It seemed certain, then, the old Staff
so long doomed has finally been dissolved, in these hours; and Mandat is
not our Commandant now, but Santerre? Yes, friends: Santerre henceforth,-
-surely Mandat no more! The Squadrons that were to charge see nothing
certain, except that they are cold, hungry, worn down with watching; that
it were sad to slay French brothers; sadder to be slain by them. Without
the Tuileries Circuit, and within it, sour uncertain humour sways these
men: only the red Swiss stand steadfast. Them their officers refresh now
with a slight wetting of brandy; wherein the Nationals, too far gone for
brandy, refuse to participate.

King Louis meanwhile had laid him down for a little sleep: his wig when he
reappeared had lost the powder on one side. (Roederer, ubi supra.)  Old
Marshal Maille and the gentlemen in black rise always in spirits, as the
Insurrection does not rise: there goes a witty saying now, "Le tocsin ne
rend pas."  The tocsin, like a dry milk-cow, does not yield. For the rest,
could one not proclaim Martial Law? Not easily; for now, it seems, Mayor
Petion is gone. On the other hand, our Interim Commandant, poor Mandat
being off, 'to the Hotel-de-Ville,' complains that so many Courtiers in
black encumber the service, are an eyesorrow to the National Guards. To
which her Majesty answers with emphasis, That they will obey all, will
suffer all, that they are sure men these.

And so the yellow lamplight dies out in the gray of morning, in the King's
Palace, over such a scene. Scene of jostling, elbowing, of confusion, and
indeed conclusion, for the thing is about to end. Roederer and spectral
Ministers jostle in the press; consult, in side cabinets, with one or with
both Majesties. Sister Elizabeth takes the Queen to the window: "Sister,
see what a beautiful sunrise," right over the Jacobins church and that
quarter! How happy if the tocsin did not yield! But Mandat returns not;
Petion is gone: much hangs wavering in the invisible Balance. About five
o'clock, there rises from the Garden a kind of sound; as of a shout to
which had become a howl, and instead of Vive le Roi were ending in Vive la
Nation. "Mon Dieu!" ejaculates a spectral Minister, "what is he doing down
there?"  For it is his Majesty, gone down with old Marshal Maille to review
the troops; and the nearest companies of them answer so. Her Majesty
bursts into a stream of tears. Yet on stepping from the cabinet her eyes
are dry and calm, her look is even cheerful. 'The Austrian lip, and the
aquiline nose, fuller than usual, gave to her countenance,' says Peltier,
(In Toulongeon, ii. 241.) 'something of Majesty, which they that did not
see her in these moments cannot well have an idea of.'  O thou Theresa's

King Louis enters, much blown with the fatigue; but for the rest with his
old air of indifference. Of all hopes now surely the joyfullest were, that
the tocsin did not yield.

Chapter 2.6.VII.

The Swiss.

Unhappy Friends, the tocsin does yield, has yielded! Lo ye, how with the
first sun-rays its Ocean-tide, of pikes and fusils, flows glittering from
the far East;--immeasurable; born of the Night! They march there, the grim
host; Saint-Antoine on this side of the River; Saint-Marceau on that, the
blackbrowed Marseillese in the van. With hum, and grim murmur, far-heard;
like the Ocean-tide, as we say: drawn up, as if by Luna and Influences,
from the great Deep of Waters, they roll gleaming on; no King, Canute or
Louis, can bid them roll back. Wide-eddying side-currents, of onlookers,
roll hither and thither, unarmed, not voiceless; they, the steel host, roll
on. New-Commandant Santerre, indeed, has taken seat at the Townhall; rests
there, in his half-way-house. Alsatian Westermann, with flashing sabre,
does not rest; nor the Sections, nor the Marseillese, nor Demoiselle
Theroigne; but roll continually on.

And now, where are Mandat's Squadrons that were to charge? Not a Squadron
of them stirs: or they stir in the wrong direction, out of the way; their
officers glad that they will even do that. It is to this hour uncertain
whether the Squadron on the Pont Neuf made the shadow of resistance, or did
not make the shadow: enough, the blackbrowed Marseillese, and Saint-
Marceau following them, do cross without let; do cross, in sure hope now of
Saint-Antoine and the rest; do billow on, towards the Tuileries, where
their errand is. The Tuileries, at sound of them, rustles responsive: the
red Swiss look to their priming; Courtiers in black draw their
blunderbusses, rapiers, poniards, some have even fire-shovels; every man
his weapon of war.

Judge if, in these circumstances, Syndic Roederer felt easy! Will the kind
Heavens open no middle-course of refuge for a poor Syndic who halts between
two? If indeed his Majesty would consent to go over to the Assembly! His
Majesty, above all her Majesty, cannot agree to that. Did her Majesty
answer the proposal with a "Fi donc;" did she say even, she would be nailed
to the walls sooner? Apparently not. It is written also that she offered
the King a pistol; saying, Now or else never was the time to shew himself.
Close eye-witnesses did not see it, nor do we. That saw only that she was
queenlike, quiet; that she argued not, upbraided not, with the Inexorable;
but, like Caesar in the Capitol, wrapped her mantle, as it beseems Queens
and Sons of Adam to do. But thou, O Louis! of what stuff art thou at all?
Is there no stroke in thee, then, for Life and Crown? The silliest hunted
deer dies not so. Art thou the languidest of all mortals; or the mildest-
minded? Thou art the worst-starred.

The tide advances; Syndic Roederer's and all men's straits grow straiter
and straiter. Fremescent clangor comes from the armed Nationals in the
Court; far and wide is the infinite hubbub of tongues. What counsel? And
the tide is now nigh! Messengers, forerunners speak hastily through the
outer Grates; hold parley sitting astride the walls. Syndic Roederer goes
out and comes in. Cannoneers ask him: Are we to fire against the people?
King's Ministers ask him: Shall the King's House be forced? Syndic
Roederer has a hard game to play. He speaks to the Cannoneers with
eloquence, with fervour; such fervour as a man can, who has to blow hot and
cold in one breath. Hot and cold, O Roederer? We, for our part, cannot
live and die! The Cannoneers, by way of answer, fling down their
linstocks.--Think of this answer, O King Louis, and King's Ministers: and
take a poor Syndic's safe middle-course, towards the Salle de Manege. King
Louis sits, his hands leant on knees, body bent forward; gazes for a space
fixedly on Syndic Roederer; then answers, looking over his shoulder to the
Queen: Marchons! They march; King Louis, Queen, Sister Elizabeth, the two
royal children and governess: these, with Syndic Roederer, and Officials
of the Department; amid a double rank of National Guards. The men with
blunderbusses, the steady red Swiss gaze mournfully, reproachfully; but
hear only these words from Syndic Roederer: "The King is going to the
Assembly; make way."  It has struck eight, on all clocks, some minutes ago:
the King has left the Tuileries--for ever.

O ye stanch Swiss, ye gallant gentlemen in black, for what a cause are ye
to spend and be spent! Look out from the western windows, ye may see King
Louis placidly hold on his way; the poor little Prince Royal 'sportfully
kicking the fallen leaves.'  Fremescent multitude on the Terrace of the
Feuillants whirls parallel to him; one man in it, very noisy, with a long
pole: will they not obstruct the outer Staircase, and back-entrance of the
Salle, when it comes to that? King's Guards can go no further than the
bottom step there. Lo, Deputation of Legislators come out; he of the long
pole is stilled by oratory; Assembly's Guards join themselves to King's
Guards, and all may mount in this case of necessity; the outer Staircase is
free, or passable. See, Royalty ascends; a blue Grenadier lifts the poor
little Prince Royal from the press; Royalty has entered in. Royalty has
vanished for ever from your eyes.--And ye? Left standing there, amid the
yawning abysses, and earthquake of Insurrection; without course; without
command: if ye perish it must be as more than martyrs, as martyrs who are
now without a cause! The black Courtiers disappear mostly; through such
issues as they can. The poor Swiss know not how to act: one duty only is
clear to them, that of standing by their post; and they will perform that.

But the glittering steel tide has arrived; it beats now against the Chateau
barriers, and eastern Courts; irresistible, loud-surging far and wide;--
breaks in, fills the Court of the Carrousel, blackbrowed Marseillese in the
van. King Louis gone, say you; over to the Assembly! Well and good: but
till the Assembly pronounce Forfeiture of him, what boots it? Our post is
in that Chateau or stronghold of his; there till then must we continue.
Think, ye stanch Swiss, whether it were good that grim murder began, and
brothers blasted one another in pieces for a stone edifice?--Poor Swiss!
they know not how to act: from the southern windows, some fling
cartridges, in sign of brotherhood; on the eastern outer staircase, and
within through long stairs and corridors, they stand firm-ranked, peaceable
and yet refusing to stir. Westermann speaks to them in Alsatian German;
Marseillese plead, in hot Provencal speech and pantomime; stunning hubbub
pleads and threatens, infinite, around. The Swiss stand fast, peaceable
and yet immovable; red granite pier in that waste-flashing sea of steel.

Who can help the inevitable issue; Marseillese and all France, on this
side; granite Swiss on that? The pantomime grows hotter and hotter;
Marseillese sabres flourishing by way of action; the Swiss brow also
clouding itself, the Swiss thumb bringing its firelock to the cock. And
hark! high-thundering above all the din, three Marseillese cannon from the
Carrousel, pointed by a gunner of bad aim, come rattling over the roofs!
Ye Swiss, therefore: Fire! The Swiss fire; by volley, by platoon, in
rolling-fire: Marseillese men not a few, and 'a tall man that was louder
than any,' lie silent, smashed, upon the pavement;--not a few Marseillese,
after the long dusty march, have made halt here. The Carrousel is void;
the black tide recoiling; 'fugitives rushing as far as Saint-Antoine before
they stop.'  The Cannoneers without linstock have squatted invisible, and
left their cannon; which the Swiss seize.

Think what a volley: reverberating doomful to the four corners of Paris,
and through all hearts; like the clang of Bellona's thongs! The
blackbrowed Marseillese, rallying on the instant, have become black Demons
that know how to die. Nor is Brest behind-hand; nor Alsatian Westermann;
Demoiselle Theroigne is Sybil Theroigne: Vengeance Victoire,ou la mort!
From all Patriot artillery, great and small; from Feuillants Terrace, and
all terraces and places of the widespread Insurrectionary sea, there roars
responsive a red whirlwind. Blue Nationals, ranked in the Garden, cannot
help their muskets going off, against Foreign murderers. For there is a
sympathy in muskets, in heaped masses of men: nay, are not Mankind, in
whole, like tuned strings, and a cunning infinite concordance and unity;
you smite one string, and all strings will begin sounding,--in soft sphere-
melody, in deafening screech of madness! Mounted Gendarmerie gallop
distracted; are fired on merely as a thing running; galloping over the Pont
Royal, or one knows not whither. The brain of Paris, brain-fevered in the
centre of it here, has gone mad; what you call, taken fire.

Behold, the fire slackens not; nor does the Swiss rolling-fire slacken from
within. Nay they clutched cannon, as we saw: and now, from the other side,
they clutch three pieces more; alas, cannon without linstock; nor will the
steel-and-flint answer, though they try it. (Deux Amis, viii. 179-88.)
Had it chanced to answer! Patriot onlookers have their misgivings; one
strangest Patriot onlooker thinks that the Swiss, had they a commander,
would beat. He is a man not unqualified to judge; the name of him is
Napoleon Buonaparte. (See Hist. Parl. (xvii. 56); Las Cases, &c.)  And
onlookers, and women, stand gazing, and the witty Dr. Moore of Glasgow
among them, on the other side of the River: cannon rush rumbling past
them; pause on the Pont Royal; belch out their iron entrails there, against
the Tuileries; and at every new belch, the women and onlookers shout and
clap hands. (Moore, Journal during a Residence in France (Dublin, 1793),
i. 26.)  City of all the Devils! In remote streets, men are drinking
breakfast-coffee; following their affairs; with a start now and then, as
some dull echo reverberates a note louder. And here? Marseillese fall
wounded; but Barbaroux has surgeons; Barbaroux is close by, managing,
though underhand, and under cover. Marseillese fall death-struck; bequeath
their firelock, specify in which pocket are the cartridges; and die,
murmuring, "Revenge me, Revenge thy country!"  Brest Federe Officers,
galloping in red coats, are shot as Swiss. Lo you, the Carrousel has burst
into flame!--Paris Pandemonium! Nay the poor City, as we said, is in
fever-fit and convulsion; such crisis has lasted for the space of some half

But what is this that, with Legislative Insignia, ventures through the
hubbub and death-hail, from the back-entrance of the Manege? Towards the
Tuileries and Swiss: written Order from his Majesty to cease firing! O ye
hapless Swiss, why was there no order not to begin it? Gladly would the
Swiss cease firing: but who will bid mad Insurrection cease firing? To
Insurrection you cannot speak; neither can it, hydra-headed, hear. The
dead and dying, by the hundred, lie all around; are borne bleeding through
the streets, towards help; the sight of them, like a torch of the Furies,
kindling Madness. Patriot Paris roars; as the bear bereaved of her whelps.
On, ye Patriots: vengeance! victory or death! There are men seen, who
rush on, armed only with walking-sticks. (Hist. Parl. ubi supra. Rapport
du Captaine des Canonniers, Rapport du Commandant, &c. (Ibid. xvii. 300-
18).)  Terror and Fury rule the hour.

The Swiss, pressed on from without, paralyzed from within, have ceased to
shoot; but not to be shot. What shall they do? Desperate is the moment.
Shelter or instant death: yet How? Where? One party flies out by the Rue
de l'Echelle; is destroyed utterly, 'en entier.'  A second, by the other
side, throws itself into the Garden; 'hurrying across a keen fusillade:'
rushes suppliant into the National Assembly; finds pity and refuge in the
back benches there. The third, and largest, darts out in column, three
hundred strong, towards the Champs Elysees: Ah, could we but reach
Courbevoye, where other Swiss are! Wo! see, in such fusillade the column
'soon breaks itself by diversity of opinion,' into distracted segments,
this way and that;--to escape in holes, to die fighting from street to
street. The firing and murdering will not cease; not yet for long. The
red Porters of Hotels are shot at, be they Suisse by nature, or Suisse only
in name. The very Firemen, who pump and labour on that smoking Carrousel,
are shot at; why should the Carrousel not burn? Some Swiss take refuge in
private houses; find that mercy too does still dwell in the heart of man.
The brave Marseillese are merciful, late so wroth; and labour to save.
Journalist Gorsas pleads hard with enfuriated groups. Clemence, the Wine-
merchant, stumbles forward to the Bar of the Assembly, a rescued Swiss in
his hand; tells passionately how he rescued him with pain and peril, how he
will henceforth support him, being childless himself; and falls a swoon
round the poor Swiss's neck: amid plaudits. But the most are butchered,
and even mangled. Fifty (some say Fourscore) were marched as prisoners, by
National Guards, to the Hotel-de-Ville: the ferocious people bursts
through on them, in the Place de Greve; massacres them to the last man. 'O
Peuple, envy of the universe!'  Peuple, in mad Gaelic effervescence!

Surely few things in the history of carnage are painfuller. What
ineffaceable red streak, flickering so sad in the memory, is that, of this
poor column of red Swiss 'breaking itself in the confusion of opinions;'
dispersing, into blackness and death! Honour to you, brave men; honourable
pity, through long times! Not martyrs were ye; and yet almost more. He
was no King of yours, this Louis; and he forsook you like a King of shreds
and patches; ye were but sold to him for some poor sixpence a-day; yet
would ye work for your wages, keep your plighted word. The work now was to
die; and ye did it. Honour to you, O Kinsmen; and may the old Deutsch
Biederheit and Tapferkeit, and Valour which is Worth and Truth be they
Swiss, be they Saxon, fail in no age! Not bastards; true-born were these
men; sons of the men of Sempach, of Murten, who knelt, but not to thee, O
Burgundy!--Let the traveller, as he passes through Lucerne, turn aside to
look a little at their monumental Lion; not for Thorwaldsen's sake alone.
Hewn out of living rock, the Figure rests there, by the still Lake-waters,
in lullaby of distant-tinkling rance-des-vaches, the granite Mountains
dumbly keeping watch all round; and, though inanimate, speaks.

Chapter 2.6.VIII.

Constitution burst in Pieces.

Thus is the Tenth of August won and lost. Patriotism reckons its slain by
thousand on thousand, so deadly was the Swiss fire from these windows; but
will finally reduce them to some Twelve hundred. No child's play was it;--
nor is it! Till two in the afternoon the massacring, the breaking and the
burning has not ended; nor the loose Bedlam shut itself again.

How deluges of frantic Sansculottism roared through all passages of this
Tuileries, ruthless in vengeance, how the Valets were butchered, hewn down;
and Dame Campan saw the Marseilles sabre flash over her head, but the
Blackbrowed said, "Va-t-en, Get thee gone," and flung her from him
unstruck: (Campan, ii. c. 21.)  how in the cellars wine-bottles were
broken, wine-butts were staved in and drunk; and, upwards to the very
garrets, all windows tumbled out their precious royal furnitures; and, with
gold mirrors, velvet curtains, down of ript feather-beds, and dead bodies
of men, the Tuileries was like no Garden of the Earth:--all this let him
who has a taste for it see amply in Mercier, in acrid Montgaillard, or
Beaulieu of the Deux Amis. A hundred and eighty bodies of Swiss lie piled
there; naked, unremoved till the second day. Patriotism has torn their red
coats into snips; and marches with them at the Pike's point: the ghastly
bare corpses lie there, under the sun and under the stars; the curious of
both sexes crowding to look. Which let not us do. Above a hundred carts
heaped with Dead fare towards the Cemetery of Sainte-Madeleine; bewailed,
bewept; for all had kindred, all had mothers, if not here, then there. It
is one of those Carnage-fields, such as you read of by the name 'Glorious
Victory,' brought home in this case to one's own door.

But the blackbrowed Marseillese have struck down the Tyrant of the Chateau.
He is struck down; low, and hardly to rise. What a moment for an august
Legislative was that when the Hereditary Representative entered, under such
circumstances; and the Grenadier, carrying the little Prince Royal out of
the Press, set him down on the Assembly-table! A moment,--which one had to
smooth off with oratory; waiting what the next would bring! Louis said few
words: "He was come hither to prevent a great crime; he believed himself
safer nowhere than here.'  President Vergniaud answered briefly, in vague
oratory as we say, about "defence of Constituted Authorities," about dying
at our post. (Moniteur, Seance du 10 Aout 1792.)  And so King Louis sat
him down; first here, then there; for a difficulty arose, the Constitution
not permitting us to debate while the King is present: finally he settles
himself with his Family in the 'Loge of the Logographe' in the Reporter's-
Box of a Journalist: which is beyond the enchanted Constitutional Circuit,
separated from it by a rail. To such Lodge of the Logographe, measuring
some ten feet square, with a small closet at the entrance of it behind, is
the King of broad France now limited: here can he and his sit pent, under
the eyes of the world, or retire into their closet at intervals; for the
space of sixteen hours. Such quiet peculiar moment has the Legislative
lived to see.

But also what a moment was that other, few minutes later, when the three
Marseillese cannon went off, and the Swiss rolling-fire and universal
thunder, like the Crack of Doom, began to rattle! Honourable Members start
to their feet; stray bullets singing epicedium even here, shivering in with
window-glass and jingle. "No, this is our post; let us die here!"  They
sit therefore, like stone Legislators. But may not the Lodge of the
Logographe be forced from behind? Tear down the railing that divides it
from the enchanted Constitutional Circuit! Ushers tear and tug; his
Majesty himself aiding from within: the railing gives way; Majesty and
Legislative are united in place, unknown Destiny hovering over both.

Rattle, and again rattle, went the thunder; one breathless wide-eyed
messenger rushing in after another: King's orders to the Swiss went out.
It was a fearful thunder; but, as we know, it ended. Breathless
messengers, fugitive Swiss, denunciatory Patriots, trepidation; finally
tripudiation!--Before four o'clock much has come and gone.

The New Municipals have come and gone; with Three Flags, Liberte, Egalite,
Patrie, and the clang of vivats. Vergniaud, he who as President few hours
ago talked of Dying for Constituted Authorities, has moved, as Committee-
Reporter, that the Hereditary Representative be suspended; that a NATIONAL
CONVENTION do forthwith assemble to say what further! An able Report:
which the President must have had ready in his pocket? A President, in
such cases, must have much ready, and yet not ready; and Janus-like look
before and after.

King Louis listens to all; retires about midnight 'to three little rooms on
the upper floor;' till the Luxembourg be prepared for him, and 'the
safeguard of the Nation.'  Safer if Brunswick were once here! Or, alas,
not so safe? Ye hapless discrowned heads! Crowds came, next morning, to
catch a climpse of them, in their three upper rooms. Montgaillard says the
august Captives wore an air of cheerfulness, even of gaiety; that the Queen
and Princess Lamballe, who had joined her over night, looked out of the
open window, 'shook powder from their hair on the people below, and
laughed.'  (Montgaillard. ii. 135-167.)  He is an acrid distorted man.

For the rest, one may guess that the Legislative, above all that the New
Municipality continues busy. Messengers, Municipal or Legislative, and
swift despatches rush off to all corners of France; full of triumph,
blended with indignant wail, for Twelve hundred have fallen. France sends
up its blended shout responsive; the Tenth of August shall be as the
Fourteenth of July, only bloodier and greater. The Court has conspired?
Poor Court: the Court has been vanquished; and will have both the scath to
bear and the scorn. How the Statues of Kings do now all fall! Bronze
Henri himself, though he wore a cockade once, jingles down from the Pont
Neuf, where Patrie floats in Danger. Much more does Louis Fourteenth, from
the Place Vendome, jingle down, and even breaks in falling. The curious
can remark, written on his horse's shoe: '12 Aout 1692;' a Century and a

The Tenth of August was Friday. The week is not done, when our old Patriot
Ministry is recalled, what of it can be got: strict Roland, Genevese
Claviere; add heavy Monge the Mathematician, once a stone-hewer; and, for
Minister of Justice,--Danton 'led hither,' as himself says, in one of his
gigantic figures, 'through the breach of Patriot cannon!'  These, under
Legislative Committees, must rule the wreck as they can: confusedly
enough; with an old Legislative waterlogged, with a New Municipality so
brisk. But National Convention will get itself together; and then!
Without delay, however, let a New Jury-Court and Criminal Tribunal be set
up in Paris, to try the crimes and conspiracies of the Tenth. High Court
of Orleans is distant, slow: the blood of the Twelve hundred Patriots,
whatever become of other blood, shall be inquired after. Tremble, ye
Criminals and Conspirators; the Minister of Justice is Danton! Robespierre
too, after the victory, sits in the New Municipality; insurrectionary
'improvised Municipality,' which calls itself Council General of the

For three days now, Louis and his Family have heard the Legislative Debates
in the Lodge of the Logographe; and retired nightly to their small upper
rooms. The Luxembourg and safeguard of the Nation could not be got ready:
nay, it seems the Luxembourg has too many cellars and issues; no
Municipality can undertake to watch it. The compact Prison of the Temple,
not so elegant indeed, were much safer. To the Temple, therefore! On
Monday, 13th day of August 1792, in Mayor Petion's carriage, Louis and his
sad suspended Household, fare thither; all Paris out to look at them. As
they pass through the Place Vendome Louis Fourteenth's Statue lies broken
on the ground. Petion is afraid the Queen's looks may be thought scornful,
and produce provocation; she casts down her eyes, and does not look at all.
The 'press is prodigious,' but quiet: here and there, it shouts Vive la
Nation; but for most part gazes in silence. French Royalty vanishes within
the gates of the Temple: these old peaked Towers, like peaked Extinguisher
or Bonsoir, do cover it up;--from which same Towers, poor Jacques Molay and
his Templars were burnt out, by French Royalty, five centuries since. Such
are the turns of Fate below. Foreign Ambassadors, English Lord Gower have
all demanded passports; are driving indignantly towards their respective

So, then, the Constitution is over? For ever and a day! Gone is that
wonder of the Universe; First biennial Parliament, waterlogged, waits only
till the Convention come; and will then sink to endless depths.

One can guess the silent rage of Old-Constituents, Constitution-builders,
extinct Feuillants, men who thought the Constitution would march!
Lafayette rises to the altitude of the situation; at the head of his Army.
Legislative Commissioners are posting towards him and it, on the Northern
Frontier, to congratulate and perorate: he orders the Municipality of
Sedan to arrest these Commissioners, and keep them strictly in ward as
Rebels, till he say further. The Sedan Municipals obey.

The Sedan Municipals obey: but the Soldiers of the Lafayette Army? The
Soldiers of the Lafayette Army have, as all Soldiers have, a kind of dim
feeling that they themselves are Sansculottes in buff belts; that the
victory of the Tenth of August is also a victory for them. They will not
rise and follow Lafayette to Paris; they will rise and send him thither!
On the 18th, which is but next Saturday, Lafayette, with some two or three
indignant Staff-officers, one of whom is Old-Constituent Alexandre de
Lameth, having first put his Lines in what order he could,--rides swiftly
over the Marches, towards Holland. Rides, alas, swiftly into the claws of
Austrians! He, long-wavering, trembling on the verge of the horizon, has
set, in Olmutz Dungeons; this History knows him no more. Adieu, thou Hero
of two worlds; thinnest, but compact honour-worthy man! Through long rough
night of captivity, through other tumults, triumphs and changes, thou wilt
swing well, 'fast-anchored to the Washington Formula;' and be the Hero and
Perfect-character, were it only of one idea. The Sedan Municipals repent
and protest; the Soldiers shout Vive la Nation. Dumouriez Polymetis, from
his Camp at Maulde, sees himself made Commander in Chief.

And, O Brunswick! what sort of 'military execution' will Paris merit now?
Forward, ye well-drilled exterminatory men; with your artillery-waggons,
and camp kettles jingling. Forward, tall chivalrous King of Prussia;
fanfaronading Emigrants and war-god Broglie, 'for some consolation to
mankind,' which verily is not without need of some.






Chapter 3.1.I.

The Improvised Commune.

Ye have roused her, then, ye Emigrants and Despots of the world; France is
roused; long have ye been lecturing and tutoring this poor Nation, like
cruel uncalled-for pedagogues, shaking over her your ferulas of fire and
steel: it is long that ye have pricked and fillipped and affrighted her,
there as she sat helpless in her dead cerements of a Constitution, you
gathering in on her from all lands, with your armaments and plots, your
invadings and truculent bullyings;--and lo now, ye have pricked her to the
quick, and she is up, and her blood is up. The dead cerements are rent
into cobwebs, and she fronts you in that terrible strength of Nature, which
no man has measured, which goes down to Madness and Tophet: see now how ye
will deal with her!

This month of September, 1792, which has become one of the memorable months
of History, presents itself under two most diverse aspects; all of black on
the one side, all of bright on the other. Whatsoever is cruel in the panic
frenzy of Twenty-five million men, whatsoever is great in the simultaneous
death-defiance of Twenty-five million men, stand here in abrupt contrast,
near by one another. As indeed is usual when a man, how much more when a
Nation of men, is hurled suddenly beyond the limits. For Nature, as green
as she looks, rests everywhere on dread foundations, were we farther down;
and Pan, to whose music the Nymphs dance, has a cry in him that can drive
all men distracted.

Very frightful it is when a Nation, rending asunder its Constitutions and
Regulations which were grown dead cerements for it, becomes transcendental;
and must now seek its wild way through the New, Chaotic,--where Force is
not yet distinguished into Bidden and Forbidden, but Crime and Virtue
welter unseparated,--in that domain of what is called the Passions; of what
we call the Miracles and the Portents! It is thus that, for some three
years to come, we are to contemplate France, in this final Third Volume of
our History. Sansculottism reigning in all its grandeur and in all its
hideousness: the Gospel (God's Message) of Man's Rights, Man's mights or
strengths, once more preached irrefragably abroad; along with this, and
still louder for the time, and fearfullest Devil's-Message of Man's
weaknesses and sins;--and all on such a scale, and under such aspect:
cloudy 'death-birth of a world;' huge smoke-cloud, streaked with rays as of
heaven on one side; girt on the other as with hell-fire! History tells us
many things: but for the last thousand years and more, what thing has she
told us of a sort like this? Which therefore let us two, O Reader, dwell
on willingly, for a little; and from its endless significance endeavour to
extract what may, in present circumstances, be adapted for us.

It is unfortunate, though very natural, that the history of this Period has
so generally been written in hysterics. Exaggeration abounds, execration,
wailing; and, on the whole, darkness. But thus too, when foul old Rome had
to be swept from the Earth, and those Northmen, and other horrid sons of
Nature, came in, 'swallowing formulas' as the French now do, foul old Rome
screamed execratively her loudest; so that, the true shape of many things
is lost for us. Attila's Huns had arms of such length that they could lift
a stone without stooping. Into the body of the poor Tatars execrative
Roman History intercalated an alphabetic letter; and so they continue Ta-r-
tars, of fell Tartarean nature, to this day. Here, in like manner, search
as we will in these multi-form innumerable French Records, darkness too
frequently covers, or sheer distraction bewilders. One finds it difficult
to imagine that the Sun shone in this September month, as he does in
others. Nevertheless it is an indisputable fact that the Sun did shine;
and there was weather and work,--nay, as to that, very bad weather for
harvest work! An unlucky Editor may do his utmost; and after all, require

He had been a wise Frenchman, who, looking, close at hand, on this waste
aspect of a France all stirring and whirling, in ways new, untried, had
been able to discern where the cardinal movement lay; which tendency it was
that had the rule and primary direction of it then! But at forty-four
years' distance, it is different. To all men now, two cardinal movements
or grand tendencies, in the September whirl, have become discernible
enough: that stormful effluence towards the Frontiers; that frantic
crowding towards Townhouses and Council-halls in the interior. Wild France
dashes, in desperate death-defiance, towards the Frontiers, to defend
itself from foreign Despots; crowds towards Townhalls and Election
Committee-rooms, to defend itself from domestic Aristocrats. Let the
Reader conceive well these two cardinal movements; and what side-currents
and endless vortexes might depend on these. He shall judge too, whether,
in such sudden wreckage of all old Authorities, such a pair of cardinal
movements, half-frantic in themselves, could be of soft nature? As in dry
Sahara, when the winds waken, and lift and winnow the immensity of sand!
The air itself (Travellers say) is a dim sand-air; and dim looming through
it, the wonderfullest uncertain colonnades of Sand-Pillars rush whirling
from this side and from that, like so many mad Spinning-Dervishes, of a
hundred feet in stature; and dance their huge Desert-waltz there!--

Nevertheless in all human movements, were they but a day old, there is
order, or the beginning of order. Consider two things in this Sahara-waltz
of the French Twenty-five millions; or rather one thing, and one hope of a
thing: the Commune (Municipality) of Paris, which is already here; the
National Convention, which shall in few weeks be here. The Insurrectionary
Commune, which improvising itself on the eve of the Tenth of August, worked
this ever-memorable Deliverance by explosion, must needs rule over it,--
till the Convention meet. This Commune, which they may well call a
spontaneous or 'improvised' Commune, is, for the present, sovereign of
France. The Legislative, deriving its authority from the Old, how can it
now have authority when the Old is exploded by insurrection? As a floating
piece of wreck, certain things, persons and interests may still cleave to
it: volunteer defenders, riflemen or pikemen in green uniform, or red
nightcap (of bonnet rouge), defile before it daily, just on the wing
towards Brunswick; with the brandishing of arms; always with some touch of
Leonidas-eloquence, often with a fire of daring that threatens to outherod
Herod,--the Galleries, 'especially the Ladies, never done with applauding.'
(Moore's Journal, i. 85.)  Addresses of this or the like sort can be
received and answered, in the hearing of all France: the Salle de Manege
is still useful as a place of proclamation. For which use, indeed, it now
chiefly serves. Vergniaud delivers spirit-stirring orations; but always
with a prophetic sense only, looking towards the coming Convention. "Let
our memory perish," cries Vergniaud, "but let France be free!"--whereupon
they all start to their feet, shouting responsive: "Yes, yes, perisse
notre memoire, pourvu que la France soit libre!"  (Hist. Parl. xvii. 467.)
Disfrocked Chabot abjures Heaven that at least we may "have done with
Kings;" and fast as powder under spark, we all blaze up once more, and with
waved hats shout and swear: "Yes, nous le jurons; plus de roi!"  (Ibid.
xvii. 437.)  All which, as a method of proclamation, is very convenient.

For the rest, that our busy Brissots, rigorous Rolands, men who once had
authority and now have less and less; men who love law, and will have even
an Explosion explode itself, as far as possible, according to rule, do find
this state of matters most unofficial unsatisfactory,--is not to be denied.
Complaints are made; attempts are made: but without effect. The attempts
even recoil; and must be desisted from, for fear of worse: the sceptre is
departed from this Legislative once and always. A poor Legislative, so
hard was fate, had let itself be hand-gyved, nailed to the rock like an
Andromeda, and could only wail there to the Earth and Heavens; miraculously
a winged Perseus (or Improvised Commune) has dawned out of the void Blue,
and cut her loose: but whether now is it she, with her softness and
musical speech, or is it he, with his hardness and sharp falchion and
aegis, that shall have casting vote? Melodious agreement of vote; this
were the rule! But if otherwise, and votes diverge, then surely
Andromeda's part is to weep,--if possible, tears of gratitude alone.

Be content, O France, with this Improvised Commune, such as it is! It has
the implements, and has the hands: the time is not long. On Sunday the
twenty-sixth of August, our Primary Assemblies shall meet, begin electing
of Electors; on Sunday the second of September (may the day prove lucky!)
the Electors shall begin electing Deputies; and so an all-healing National
Convention will come together. No marc d'argent, or distinction of Active
and Passive, now insults the French Patriot: but there is universal
suffrage, unlimited liberty to choose. Old-constituents, Present-
Legislators, all France is eligible. Nay, it may be said, the flower of
all the Universe (de l'Univers) is eligible; for in these very days we, by
act of Assembly, 'naturalise' the chief Foreign Friends of humanity:
Priestley, burnt out for us in Birmingham; Klopstock, a genius of all
countries; Jeremy Bentham, useful Jurisconsult; distinguished Paine, the
rebellious Needleman;--some of whom may be chosen. As is most fit; for a
Convention of this kind. In a word, Seven Hundred and Forty-five
unshackled sovereigns, admired of the universe, shall replace this hapless
impotency of a Legislative,--out of which, it is likely, the best members,
and the Mountain in mass, may be re-elected. Roland is getting ready the
Salles des Cent Suisses, as preliminary rendezvous for them; in that void
Palace of the Tuileries, now void and National, and not a Palace, but a

As for the Spontaneous Commune, one may say that there never was on Earth a
stranger Town-Council. Administration, not of a great City, but of a great
Kingdom in a state of revolt and frenzy, this is the task that has fallen
to it. Enrolling, provisioning, judging; devising, deciding, doing,
endeavouring to do: one wonders the human brain did not give way under all
this, and reel. But happily human brains have such a talent of taking up
simply what they can carry, and ignoring all the rest; leaving all the
rest, as if it were not there! Whereby somewhat is verily shifted for; and
much shifts for itself. This Improvised Commune walks along, nothing
doubting; promptly making front, without fear or flurry, at what moment
soever, to the wants of the moment. Were the world on fire, one improvised
tricolor Municipal has but one life to lose. They are the elixir and
chosen-men of Sansculottic Patriotism; promoted to the forlorn-hope;
unspeakable victory or a high gallows, this is their meed. They sit there,
in the Townhall, these astonishing tricolor Municipals; in Council General;
in Committee of Watchfulness (de Surveillance, which will even become de
Salut Public, of Public Salvation), or what other Committees and Sub-
committees are needful;--managing infinite Correspondence; passing infinite
Decrees: one hears of a Decree being 'the ninety-eighth of the day.'
Ready! is the word. They carry loaded pistols in their pocket; also some
improvised luncheon by way of meal. Or indeed, by and by, traiteurs
contract for the supply of repasts, to be eaten on the spot,--too lavishly,
as it was afterwards grumbled. Thus they: girt in their tricolor sashes;
Municipal note-paper in the one hand, fire-arms in other. They have their
Agents out all over France; speaking in townhouses, market-places, highways
and byways; agitating, urging to arm; all hearts tingling to hear. Great
is the fire of Anti-Aristocrat eloquence: nay some, as Bibliopolic Momoro,
seem to hint afar off at something which smells of Agrarian Law, and a
surgery of the overswoln dropsical strong-box itself;--whereat indeed the
bold Bookseller runs risk of being hanged, and Ex-Constituent Buzot has to
smuggle him off. (Memoires de Buzot (Paris, 1823), p. 88.)

Governing Persons, were they never so insignificant intrinsically, have for
most part plenty of Memoir-writers; and the curious, in after-times, can
learn minutely their goings out and comings in: which, as men always love
to know their fellow-men in singular situations, is a comfort, of its kind.
Not so, with these Governing Persons, now in the Townhall! And yet what
most original fellow-man, of the Governing sort, high-chancellor, king,
kaiser, secretary of the home or the foreign department, ever shewed such a
phasis as Clerk Tallien, Procureur Manuel, future Procureur Chaumette, here
in this Sand-waltz of the Twenty-five millions, now do? O brother
mortals,--thou Advocate Panis, friend of Danton, kinsman of Santerre;
Engraver Sergent, since called Agate Sergent; thou Huguenin, with the
tocsin in thy heart! But, as Horace says, they wanted the sacred memoir-
writer (sacro vate); and we know them not. Men bragged of August and its
doings, publishing them in high places; but of this September none now or
afterwards would brag. The September world remains dark, fuliginous, as
Lapland witch-midnight;--from which, indeed, very strange shapes will
evolve themselves.

Understand this, however: that incorruptible Robespierre is not wanting,
now when the brunt of battle is past; in a stealthy way the seagreen man
sits there, his feline eyes excellent in the twilight. Also understand
this other, a single fact worth many: that Marat is not only there, but
has a seat of honour assigned him, a tribune particuliere. How changed for
Marat; lifted from his dark cellar into this luminous 'peculiar tribune!'
All dogs have their day; even rabid dogs. Sorrowful, incurable Philoctetes
Marat; without whom Troy cannot be taken! Hither, as a main element of the
Governing Power, has Marat been raised. Royalist types, for we have
'suppressed' innumerable Durosoys, Royous, and even clapt them in prison,--
Royalist types replace the worn types often snatched from a People's-Friend
in old ill days. In our 'peculiar tribune' we write and redact: Placards,
of due monitory terror; Amis-du-Peuple (now under the name of Journal de la
Republique); and sit obeyed of men. 'Marat,' says one, 'is the conscience
of the Hotel-de-Ville.'  Keeper, as some call it, of the Sovereign's
Conscience;--which surely, in such hands, will not lie hid in a napkin!

Two great movements, as we said, agitate this distracted National mind: a
rushing against domestic Traitors, a rushing against foreign Despots. Mad
movements both, restrainable by no known rule; strongest passions of human
nature driving them on: love, hatred; vengeful sorrow, braggart
Nationality also vengeful,--and pale Panic over all! Twelve Hundred slain
Patriots, do they not, from their dark catacombs there, in Death's dumb-
shew, plead (O ye Legislators) for vengeance? Such was the destructive
rage of these Aristocrats on the ever-memorable Tenth. Nay, apart from
vengeance, and with an eye to Public Salvation only, are there not still,
in this Paris (in round numbers) 'thirty thousand Aristocrats,' of the most
malignant humour; driven now to their last trump-card?--Be patient, ye
Patriots: our New High Court, 'Tribunal of the Seventeenth,' sits; each
Section has sent Four Jurymen; and Danton, extinguishing improper judges,
improper practices wheresoever found, is 'the same man you have known at
the Cordeliers.'  With such a Minister of Justice shall not Justice be
done?--Let it be swift then, answers universal Patriotism; swift and sure!-

One would hope, this Tribunal of the Seventeenth is swifter than most.
Already on the 21st, while our Court is but four days old, Collenot
d'Angremont, 'the Royal enlister' (crimp, embaucheur) dies by torch-light.
For, lo, the great Guillotine, wondrous to behold, now stands there; the
Doctor's Idea has become Oak and Iron; the huge cyclopean axe 'falls in its
grooves like the ram of the Pile-engine,' swiftly snuffing out the light of
men?'  'Mais vous, Gualches, what have you invented?'  This?--Poor old
Laporte, Intendant of the Civil List, follows next; quietly, the mild old
man. Then Durosoy, Royalist Placarder, 'cashier of all the Anti-
Revolutionists of the interior:'  he went rejoicing; said that a Royalist
like him ought to die, of all days on this day, the 25th or Saint Louis's
Day. All these have been tried, cast,--the Galleries shouting approval;
and handed over to the Realised Idea, within a week. Besides those whom we
have acquitted, the Galleries murmuring, and have dismissed; or even have
personally guarded back to Prison, as the Galleries took to howling, and
even to menacing and elbowing. (Moore's Journal, i. 159-168.)  Languid
this Tribunal is not.

Nor does the other movement slacken; the rushing against foreign Despots.
Strong forces shall meet in death-grip; drilled Europe against mad
undrilled France; and singular conclusions will be tried.--Conceive
therefore, in some faint degree, the tumult that whirls in this France, in
this Paris! Placards from Section, from Commune, from Legislative, from
the individual Patriot, flame monitory on all walls. Flags of Danger to
Fatherland wave at the Hotel-de-Ville; on the Pont Neuf--over the prostrate
Statues of Kings. There is universal enlisting, urging to enlist; there is
tearful-boastful leave-taking; irregular marching on the Great North-
Eastern Road. Marseillese sing their wild To Arms, in chorus; which now
all men, all women and children have learnt, and sing chorally, in
Theatres, Boulevards, Streets; and the heart burns in every bosom: Aux
Armes! Marchons!--Or think how your Aristocrats are skulking into covert;
how Bertrand-Moleville lies hidden in some garret 'in Aubry-le-boucher
Street, with a poor surgeon who had known me;' Dame de Stael has secreted
her Narbonne, not knowing what in the world to make of him. The Barriers
are sometimes open, oftenest shut; no passports to be had; Townhall
Emissaries, with the eyes and claws of falcons, flitting watchful on all
points of your horizon! In two words: Tribunal of the Seventeenth, busy
under howling Galleries; Prussian Brunswick, 'over a space of forty miles,'
with his war-tumbrils, and sleeping thunders, and Briarean 'sixty-six
thousand' (See Toulongeon, Hist. de France. ii. c. 5.) right-hands,--
coming, coming!

O Heavens, in these latter days of August, he is come! Durosoy was not yet
guillotined when news had come that the Prussians were harrying and
ravaging about Metz; in some four days more, one hears that Longwi, our
first strong-place on the borders, is fallen 'in fifteen hours.'  Quick,
therefore, O ye improvised Municipals; quick, and ever quicker!--The
improvised Municipals make front to this also. Enrolment urges itself; and
clothing, and arming. Our very officers have now 'wool epaulettes;' for it
is the reign of Equality, and also of Necessity. Neither do men now
monsieur and sir one another; citoyen (citizen) were suitabler; we even say
thou, as 'the free peoples of Antiquity did:'  so have Journals and the
Improvised Commune suggested; which shall be well.

Infinitely better, meantime, could we suggest, where arms are to be found.
For the present, our Citoyens chant chorally To Arms; and have no arms!
Arms are searched for; passionately; there is joy over any musket.
Moreover, entrenchments shall be made round Paris: on the slopes of
Montmartre men dig and shovel; though even the simple suspect this to be
desperate. They dig; Tricolour sashes speak encouragement and well-speed-
ye. Nay finally 'twelve Members of the Legislative go daily,' not to
encourage only, but to bear a hand, and delve: it was decreed with
acclamation. Arms shall either be provided; or else the ingenuity of man
crack itself, and become fatuity. Lean Beaumarchais, thinking to serve the
Fatherland, and do a stroke of trade, in the old way, has commissioned
sixty thousand stand of good arms out of Holland: would to Heaven, for
Fatherland's sake and his, they were come! Meanwhile railings are torn up;
hammered into pikes: chains themselves shall be welded together, into
pikes. The very coffins of the dead are raised; for melting into balls.
All Church-bells must down into the furnace to make cannon; all Church-
plate into the mint to make money. Also behold the fair swan-bevies of
Citoyennes that have alighted in Churches, and sit there with swan-neck,--
sewing tents and regimentals! Nor are Patriotic Gifts wanting, from those
that have aught left; nor stingily given: the fair Villaumes, mother and
daughter, Milliners in the Rue St.-Martin, give 'a silver thimble, and a
coin of fifteen sous (sevenpence halfpenny),' with other similar effects;
and offer, at least the mother does, to mount guard. Men who have not even
a thimble, give a thimbleful,--were it but of invention. One Citoyen has
wrought out the scheme of a wooden cannon; which France shall exclusively
profit by, in the first instance. It is to be made of staves, by the
coopers;--of almost boundless calibre, but uncertain as to strength! Thus
they: hammering, scheming, stitching, founding, with all their heart and
with all their soul. Two bells only are to remain in each Parish,--for
tocsin and other purposes.

But mark also, precisely while the Prussian batteries were playing their
briskest at Longwi in the North-East, and our dastardly Lavergne saw
nothing for it but surrender,--south-westward, in remote, patriarchal La
Vendee, that sour ferment about Nonjuring Priests, after long working, is
ripe, and explodes: at the wrong moment for us! And so we have 'eight
thousand Peasants at Chatillon-sur-Sevre,' who will not be ballotted for
soldiers; will not have their Curates molested. To whom Bonchamps,
Laroche-jaquelins, and Seigneurs enough, of a Royalist turn, will join
themselves; with Stofflets and Charettes; with Heroes and Chouan Smugglers;
and the loyal warmth of a simple people, blown into flame and fury by
theological and seignorial bellows! So that there shall be fighting from
behind ditches, death-volleys bursting out of thickets and ravines of
rivers; huts burning, feet of the pitiful women hurrying to refuge with
their children on their back; seedfields fallow, whitened with human
bones;--'eighty thousand, of all ages, ranks, sexes, flying at once across
the Loire,' with wail borne far on the winds: and, in brief, for years
coming, such a suite of scenes as glorious war has not offered in these
late ages, not since our Albigenses and Crusadings were over,--save indeed
some chance Palatinate, or so, we might have to 'burn,' by way of
exception. The 'eight thousand at Chatillon' will be got dispelled for the
moment; the fire scattered, not extinguished. To the dints and bruises of
outward battle there is to be added henceforth a deadlier internal

This rising in La Vendee reports itself at Paris on Wednesday the 29th of
August;--just as we had got our Electors elected; and, in spite of
Brunswick's and Longwi's teeth, were hoping still to have a National
Convention, if it pleased Heaven. But indeed, otherwise, this Wednesday is
to be regarded as one of the notablest Paris had yet seen: gloomy tidings
come successively, like Job's messengers; are met by gloomy answers. Of
Sardinia rising to invade the South-East, and Spain threatening the South,
we do not speak. But are not the Prussians masters of Longwi
(treacherously yielded, one would say); and preparing to besiege Verdun?
Clairfait and his Austrians are encompassing Thionville; darkening the
North. Not Metz-land now, but the Clermontais is getting harried; flying
hulans and huzzars have been seen on the Chalons Road, almost as far as
Sainte-Menehould. Heart, ye Patriots, if ye lose heart, ye lose all!

It is not without a dramatic emotion that one reads in the Parliamentary
Debates of this Wednesday evening 'past seven o'clock,' the scene with the
military fugitives from Longwi. Wayworn, dusty, disheartened, these poor
men enter the Legislative, about sunset or after; give the most pathetic
detail of the frightful pass they were in:--Prussians billowing round by
the myriad, volcanically spouting fire for fifteen hours: we, scattered
sparse on the ramparts, hardly a cannoneer to two guns; our dastard
Commandant Lavergne no where shewing face; the priming would not catch;
there was no powder in the bombs,--what could we do? "Mourir! Die!"
answer prompt voices; (Hist. Parl. xvii. 148.) and the dusty fugitives must
shrink elsewhither for comfort.--Yes, Mourir, that is now the word. Be
Longwi a proverb and a hissing among French strong-places: let it (says
the Legislative) be obliterated rather, from the shamed face of the Earth;-
-and so there has gone forth Decree, that Longwi shall, were the Prussians
once out of it, 'be rased,' and exist only as ploughed ground.

Nor are the Jacobins milder; as how could they, the flower of Patriotism?
Poor Dame Lavergne, wife of the poor Commandant, took her parasol one
evening, and escorted by her Father came over to the Hall of the mighty
Mother; and 'reads a memoir tending to justify the Commandant of Longwi.'
Lafarge, President, makes answer: "Citoyenne, the Nation will judge
Lavergne; the Jacobins are bound to tell him the truth. He would have
ended his course there (termine sa carriere), if he had loved the honour of
his country."  (Ibid. xix. 300.)

Chapter 3.1.II.


But better than raising of Longwi, or rebuking poor dusty soldiers or
soldiers' wives, Danton had come over, last night, and demanded a Decree to
search for arms, since they were not yielded voluntarily. Let 'Domiciliary
visits,' with rigour of authority, be made to this end. To search for
arms; for horses,--Aristocratism rolls in its carriage, while Patriotism
cannot trail its cannon. To search generally for munitions of war, 'in the
houses of persons suspect,'--and even, if it seem proper, to seize and
imprison the suspect persons themselves! In the Prisons, their plots will
be harmless; in the Prisons, they will be as hostages for us, and not
without use. This Decree the energetic Minister of Justice demanded, last
night, and got; and this same night it is to be executed; it is being
executed, at the moment when these dusty soldiers get saluted with Mourir.
Two thousand stand of arms, as they count, are foraged in this way; and
some four hundred head of new Prisoners; and, on the whole, such a terror
and damp is struck through the Aristocrat heart, as all but Patriotism, and
even Patriotism were it out of this agony, might pity. Yes, Messieurs! if
Brunswick blast Paris to ashes, he probably will blast the Prisons of Paris
too: pale Terror, if we have got it, we will also give it, and the depth
of horrors that lie in it; the same leaky bottom, in these wild waters,
bears us all.

One can judge what stir there was now among the 'thirty thousand
Royalists:' how the Plotters, or the accused of Plotting, shrank each
closer into his lurking-place,--like Bertrand Moleville, looking eager
towards Longwi, hoping the weather would keep fair. Or how they dressed
themselves in valet's clothes, like Narbonne, and 'got to England as Dr.
Bollman's famulus:' how Dame de Stael bestirred herself, pleading with
Manuel as a Sister in Literature, pleading even with Clerk Tallien; a pray
to nameless chagrins! (De Stael, Considerations sur la Revolution, ii. 67-
81.)  Royalist Peltier, the Pamphleteer, gives a touching Narrative (not
deficient in height of colouring) of the terrors of that night. From five
in the afternoon, a great City is struck suddenly silent; except for the
beating of drums, for the tramp of marching feet; and ever and anon the
dread thunder of the knocker at some door, a Tricolor Commissioner with his
blue Guards (black-guards!) arriving. All Streets are vacant, says
Peltier; beset by Guards at each end: all Citizens are ordered to be
within doors. On the River float sentinal barges, lest we escape by water:
the Barriers hermetically closed. Frightful! The sun shines; serenely
westering, in smokeless mackerel-sky: Paris is as if sleeping, as if
dead:--Paris is holding its breath, to see what stroke will fall on it.
Poor Peltier! Acts of Apostles, and all jocundity of Leading-Articles, are
gone out, and it is become bitter earnest instead; polished satire changed
now into coarse pike-points (hammered out of railing); all logic reduced to
this one primitive thesis, An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!--
Peltier, dolefully aware of it, ducks low; escapes unscathed to England; to
urge there the inky war anew; to have Trial by Jury, in due season, and
deliverance by young Whig eloquence, world-celebrated for a day.

Of 'thirty thousand,' naturally, great multitudes were left unmolested:
but, as we said, some four hundred, designated as 'persons suspect,' were
seized; and an unspeakable terror fell on all. Wo to him who is guilty of
Plotting, of Anticivism, Royalism, Feuillantism; who, guilty or not guilty,
has an enemy in his Section to call him guilty! Poor old M. de Cazotte is
seized, his young loved Daughter with him, refusing to quit him. Why, O
Cazotte, wouldst thou quit romancing, and Diable Amoureux, for such reality
as this? Poor old M. de Sombreuil, he of the Invalides, is seized: a man
seen askance, by Patriotism ever since the Bastille days: whom also a fond
Daughter will not quit. With young tears hardly suppressed, and old
wavering weakness rousing itself once more--O my brothers, O my sisters!

The famed and named go; the nameless, if they have an accuser. Necklace
Lamotte's Husband is in these Prisons (she long since squelched on the
London Pavements); but gets delivered. Gross de Morande, of the Courier de
l'Europe, hobbles distractedly to and fro there: but they let him hobble
out; on right nimble crutches;--his hour not being yet come. Advocate
Maton de la Varenne, very weak in health, is snatched off from mother and
kin; Tricolor Rossignol (journeyman goldsmith and scoundrel lately, a risen
man now) remembers an old Pleading of Maton's! Jourgniac de Saint-Meard
goes; the brisk frank soldier: he was in the Mutiny of Nancy, in that
'effervescent Regiment du Roi,'--on the wrong side. Saddest of all: Abbe
Sicard goes; a Priest who could not take the Oath, but who could teach the
Deaf and Dumb: in his Section one man, he says, had a grudge at him; one
man, at the fit hour, launches an arrest against him; which hits. In the
Arsenal quarter, there are dumb hearts making wail, with signs, with wild
gestures; he their miraculous healer and speech-bringer is rapt away.

What with the arrestments on this night of the Twenty-ninth, what with
those that have gone on more or less, day and night, ever since the Tenth,
one may fancy what the Prisons now were. Crowding and Confusion; jostle,
hurry, vehemence and terror! Of the poor Queen's Friends, who had followed
her to the Temple and been committed elsewhither to Prison, some, as
Governess de Tourzelle, are to be let go: one, the poor Princess de
Lamballe, is not let go; but waits in the strong-rooms of La Force there,
what will betide further.

Among so many hundreds whom the launched arrest hits, who are rolled off to
Townhall or Section-hall, to preliminary Houses of detention, and hurled in
thither, as into cattle-pens, we must mention one other: Caron de
Beaumarchais, Author of Figaro; vanquisher of Maupeou Parlements and
Goezman helldogs; once numbered among the demigods; and now--? We left him
in his culminant state; what dreadful decline is this, when we again catch
a glimpse of him! 'At midnight' (it was but the 12th of August yet), 'the
servant, in his shirt,' with wide-staring eyes, enters your room:--
Monsieur, rise; all the people are come to seek you; they are knocking,
like to break in the door! 'And they were in fact knocking in a terrible
manner (d'une facon terrible). I fling on my coat, forgetting even the
waistcoat, nothing on my feet but slippers; and say to him'--And he, alas,
answers mere negatory incoherences, panic interjections. And through the
shutters and crevices, in front or rearward, the dull street-lamps disclose
only streetfuls of haggard countenances; clamorous, bristling with pikes:
and you rush distracted for an outlet, finding none;--and have to take
refuge in the crockery-press, down stairs; and stand there, palpitating in
that imperfect costume, lights dancing past your key-hole, tramp of feet
overhead, and the tumult of Satan, 'for four hours and more!'  And old
ladies, of the quarter, started up (as we hear next morning); rang for
their Bonnes and cordial-drops, with shrill interjections: and old
gentlemen, in their shirts, 'leapt garden-walls;' flying, while none
pursued; one of whom unfortunately broke his leg. (Beaumarchais'
Narrative, Memoires sur les Prisons (Paris, 1823), i. 179-90.)  Those sixty
thousand stand of Dutch arms (which never arrive), and the bold stroke of
trade, have turned out so ill!--

Beaumarchais escaped for this time; but not for the next time, ten days
after. On the evening of the Twenty-ninth he is still in that chaos of the
Prisons, in saddest, wrestling condition; unable to get justice, even to
get audience; 'Panis scratching his head' when you speak to him, and making
off. Nevertheless let the lover of Figaro know that Procureur Manuel, a
Brother in Literature, found him, and delivered him once more. But how the
lean demigod, now shorn of his splendour, had to lurk in barns, to roam
over harrowed fields, panting for life; and to wait under eavesdrops, and
sit in darkness 'on the Boulevard amid paving-stones and boulders,' longing
for one word of any Minister, or Minister's Clerk, about those accursed
Dutch muskets, and getting none,--with heart fuming in spleen, and terror,
and suppressed canine-madness: alas, how the swift sharp hound, once fit
to be Diana's, breaks his old teeth now, gnawing mere whinstones; and must
'fly to England;' and, returning from England, must creep into the corner,
and lie quiet, toothless (moneyless),--all this let the lover of Figaro
fancy, and weep for. We here, without weeping, not without sadness, wave
the withered tough fellow-mortal our farewell. His Figaro has returned to
the French stage; nay is, at this day, sometimes named the best piece
there. And indeed, so long as Man's Life can ground itself only on
artificiality and aridity; each new Revolt and Change of Dynasty turning up
only a new stratum of dry rubbish, and no soil yet coming to view,--may it
not be good to protest against such a Life, in many ways, and even in the
Figaro way?

Chapter 3.1.III.


Such are the last days of August, 1792; days gloomy, disastrous, and of
evil omen. What will become of this poor France? Dumouriez rode from the
Camp of Maulde, eastward to Sedan, on Tuesday last, the 28th of the month;
reviewed that so-called Army left forlorn there by Lafayette: the forlorn
soldiers gloomed on him; were heard growling on him, "This is one of them,
ce b--e la, that made War be declared."  (Dumouriez, Memoires, ii. 383.)
Unpromising Army! Recruits flow in, filtering through Depot after Depot;
but recruits merely: in want of all; happy if they have so much as arms.
And Longwi has fallen basely; and Brunswick, and the Prussian King, with
his sixty thousand, will beleaguer Verdun; and Clairfait and Austrians
press deeper in, over the Northern marches: 'a hundred and fifty thousand'
as fear counts, 'eighty thousand' as the returns shew, do hem us in;
Cimmerian Europe behind them. There is Castries-and-Broglie chivalry;
Royalist foot 'in red facing and nankeen trousers;' breathing death and the

And lo, finally! at Verdun on Sunday the 2d of September 1792, Brunswick is
here. With his King and sixty thousand, glittering over the heights, from
beyond the winding Meuse River, he looks down on us, on our 'high citadel'
and all our confectionery-ovens (for we are celebrated for confectionery)
has sent courteous summons, in order to spare the effusion of blood!--
Resist him to the death? Every day of retardation precious? How, O
General Beaurepaire (asks the amazed Municipality) shall we resist him?
We, the Verdun Municipals, see no resistance possible. Has he not sixty
thousand, and artillery without end? Retardation, Patriotism is good; but
so likewise is peaceable baking of pastry, and sleeping in whole skin.--
Hapless Beaurepaire stretches out his hands, and pleads passionately, in
the name of country, honour, of Heaven and of Earth: to no purpose. The
Municipals have, by law, the power of ordering it;--with an Army officered
by Royalism or Crypto-Royalism, such a Law seemed needful: and they order
it, as pacific Pastrycooks, not as heroic Patriots would,--To surrender!
Beaurepaire strides home, with long steps: his valet, entering the room,
sees him 'writing eagerly,' and withdraws. His valet hears then, in a few
minutes, the report of a pistol: Beaurepaire is lying dead; his eager
writing had been a brief suicidal farewell. In this manner died
Beaurepaire, wept of France; buried in the Pantheon, with honourable
pension to his Widow, and for Epitaph these words, He chose Death rather
than yield to Despots. The Prussians, descending from the heights, are
peaceable masters of Verdun.

And so Brunswick advances, from stage to stage: who shall now stay him,--
covering forty miles of country? Foragers fly far; the villages of the
North-East are harried; your Hessian forager has only 'three sous a day:'
the very Emigrants, it is said, will take silver-plate,--by way of revenge.
Clermont, Sainte-Menehould, Varennes especially, ye Towns of the Night of
Spurs; tremble ye! Procureur Sausse and the Magistracy of Varennes have
fled; brave Boniface Le Blanc of the Bras d'Or is to the woods: Mrs. Le
Blanc, a young woman fair to look upon, with her young infant, has to live
in greenwood, like a beautiful Bessy Bell of Song, her bower thatched with
rushes;--catching premature rheumatism. (Helen Maria Williams, Letters
from France (London, 1791-93), iii. 96.)  Clermont may ring the tocsin now,
and illuminate itself! Clermont lies at the foot of its Cow (or Vache, so
they name that Mountain), a prey to the Hessian spoiler: its fair women,
fairer than most, are robbed: not of life, or what is dearer, yet of all
that is cheaper and portable; for Necessity, on three half-pence a-day, has
no law. At Saint-Menehould, the enemy has been expected more than once,--
our Nationals all turning out in arms; but was not yet seen. Post-master
Drouet, he is not in the woods, but minding his Election; and will sit in
the Convention, notable King-taker, and bold Old-Dragoon as he is.

Thus on the North-East all roams and runs; and on a set day, the date of
which is irrecoverable by History, Brunswick 'has engaged to dine in
Paris,'--the Powers willing. And at Paris, in the centre, it is as we saw;
and in La Vendee, South-West, it is as we saw; and Sardinia is in the
South-East, and Spain is in the South, and Clairfait with Austria and
sieged Thionville is in the North;--and all France leaps distracted, like
the winnowed Sahara waltzing in sand-colonnades! More desperate posture no
country ever stood in. A country, one would say, which the Majesty of
Prussia (if it so pleased him) might partition, and clip in pieces, like a
Poland; flinging the remainder to poor Brother Louis,--with directions to
keep it quiet, or else we will keep it for him!

Or perhaps the Upper Powers, minded that a new Chapter in Universal History
shall begin here and not further on, may have ordered it all otherwise? In
that case, Brunswick will not dine in Paris on the set day; nor, indeed,
one knows not when!--Verily, amid this wreckage, where poor France seems
grinding itself down to dust and bottomless ruin, who knows what miraculous
salient-point of Deliverance and New-life may have already come into
existence there; and be already working there, though as yet human eye
discern it not! On the night of that same twenty-eighth of August, the
unpromising Review-day in Sedan, Dumouriez assembles a Council of War at
his lodgings there. He spreads out the map of this forlorn war-district:
Prussians here, Austrians there; triumphant both, with broad highway, and
little hinderance, all the way to Paris; we, scattered helpless, here and
here: what to advise? The Generals, strangers to Dumouriez, look blank
enough; know not well what to advise,--if it be not retreating, and
retreating till our recruits accumulate; till perhaps the chapter of
chances turn up some leaf for us; or Paris, at all events, be sacked at the
latest day possible. The Many-counselled, who 'has not closed an eye for
three nights,' listens with little speech to these long cheerless speeches;
merely watching the speaker that he may know him; then wishes them all
good-night;--but beckons a certain young Thouvenot, the fire of whose looks
had pleased him, to wait a moment. Thouvenot waits: Voila, says
Polymetis, pointing to the map! That is the Forest of Argonne, that long
stripe of rocky Mountain and wild Wood; forty miles long; with but five, or
say even three practicable Passes through it: this, for they have
forgotten it, might one not still seize, though Clairfait sits so nigh?
Once seized;--the Champagne called the Hungry (or worse, Champagne
Pouilleuse) on their side of it; the fat Three Bishoprics, and willing
France, on ours; and the Equinox-rains not far;--this Argonne 'might be the
Thermopylae of France!'  (Dumouriez, ii. 391.)

O brisk Dumouriez Polymetis with thy teeming head, may the gods grant it!--
Polymetis, at any rate, folds his map together, and flings himself on bed;
resolved to try, on the morrow morning. With astucity, with swiftness,
with audacity! One had need to be a lion-fox, and have luck on one's side.

Chapter 3.1.IV.

September in Paris.

At Paris, by lying Rumour which proved prophetic and veridical, the fall of
Verdun was known some hours before it happened. It is Sunday the second of
September; handiwork hinders not the speculations of the mind. Verdun gone
(though some still deny it); the Prussians in full march, with gallows-
ropes, with fire and faggot! Thirty thousand Aristocrats within our own
walls; and but the merest quarter-tithe of them yet put in Prison! Nay
there goes a word that even these will revolt. Sieur Jean Julien, wagoner
of Vaugirard, (Moore, i. 178.) being set in the Pillory last Friday, took
all at once to crying, That he would be well revenged ere long; that the
King's Friends in Prison would burst out; force the Temple, set the King on
horseback; and, joined by the unimprisoned, ride roughshod over us all.
This the unfortunate wagoner of Vaugirard did bawl, at the top of his
lungs: when snatched off to the Townhall, he persisted in it, still
bawling; yesternight, when they guillotined him, he died with the froth of
it on his lips. (Hist. Parl. xvii. 409.)  For a man's mind, padlocked to
the Pillory, may go mad; and all men's minds may go mad; and 'believe him,'
as the frenetic will do, 'because it is impossible.'

So that apparently the knot of the crisis, and last agony of France is
come? Make front to this, thou Improvised Commune, strong Danton,
whatsoever man is strong! Readers can judge whether the Flag of Country in
Danger flapped soothing or distractively on the souls of men, that day.

But the Improvised Commune, but strong Danton is not wanting, each after
his kind. Huge Placards are getting plastered to the walls; at two o'clock
the stormbell shall be sounded, the alarm-cannon fired; all Paris shall
rush to the Champ-de-Mars, and have itself enrolled. Unarmed, truly, and
undrilled; but desperate, in the strength of frenzy. Haste, ye men; ye
very women, offer to mount guard and shoulder the brown musket: weak
clucking-hens, in a state of desperation, will fly at the muzzle of the
mastiff, and even conquer him,--by vehemence of character! Terror itself,
when once grown transcendental, becomes a kind of courage; as frost
sufficiently intense, according to Poet Milton, will burn.--Danton, the
other night, in the Legislative Committee of General Defence, when the
other Ministers and Legislators had all opined, said, It would not do to
quit Paris, and fly to Saumur; that they must abide by Paris; and take such
attitude as would put their enemies in fear,--faire peur; a word of his
which has been often repeated, and reprinted--in italics. (Biographie des
Ministres (Bruxelles, 1826), p. 96.)

At two of the clock, Beaurepaire, as we saw, has shot himself at Verdun;
and over Europe, mortals are going in for afternoon sermon. But at Paris,
all steeples are clangouring not for sermon; the alarm-gun booming from
minute to minute; Champ-de-Mars and Fatherland's Altar boiling with
desperate terror-courage: what a miserere going up to Heaven from this
once Capital of the Most Christian King! The Legislative sits in alternate
awe and effervescence; Vergniaud proposing that Twelve shall go and dig
personally on Montmartre; which is decreed by acclaim.

But better than digging personally with acclaim, see Danton enter;--the
black brows clouded, the colossus-figure tramping heavy; grim energy
looking from all features of the rugged man! Strong is that grim Son of
France, and Son of Earth; a Reality and not a Formula he too; and surely
now if ever, being hurled low enough, it is on the Earth and on Realities
that he rests. "Legislators!" so speaks the stentor-voice, as the
Newspapers yet preserve it for us, "it is not the alarm-cannon that you
hear: it is the pas-de-charge against our enemies. To conquer them, to
hurl them back, what do we require? Il nous faut de l'audace, et encore de
l'audace, et toujours de l'audace, To dare, and again to dare, and without
end to dare!"  (Moniteur (in Hist. Parl. xvii. 347.)--Right so, thou brawny
Titan; there is nothing left for thee but that. Old men, who heard it,
will still tell you how the reverberating voice made all hearts swell, in
that moment; and braced them to the sticking-place; and thrilled abroad
over France, like electric virtue, as a word spoken in season.

But the Commune, enrolling in the Champ-de-Mars? But the Committee of
Watchfulness, become now Committee of Public Salvation; whose conscience is
Marat? The Commune enrolling enrolls many; provides Tents for them in that
Mars'-Field, that they may march with dawn on the morrow: praise to this
part of the Commune! To Marat and the Committee of Watchfulness not
praise;--not even blame, such as could be meted out in these insufficient
dialects of ours; expressive silence rather! Lone Marat, the man forbid,
meditating long in his Cellars of refuge, on his Stylites Pillar, could see
salvation in one thing only: in the fall of 'two hundred and sixty
thousand Aristocrat heads.'  With so many score of Naples Bravoes, each a
dirk in his right-hand, a muff on his left, he would traverse France, and
do it. But the world laughed, mocking the severe-benevolence of a
People's-Friend; and his idea could not become an action, but only a fixed-
idea. Lo, now, however, he has come down from his Stylites Pillar, to a
Tribune particuliere; here now, without the dirks, without the muffs at
least, were it not grown possible,--now in the knot of the crisis, when
salvation or destruction hangs in the hour!

The Ice-Tower of Avignon was noised of sufficiently, and lives in all
memories; but the authors were not punished: nay we saw Jourdan Coupe-
tete, borne on men's shoulders, like a copper Portent, 'traversing the
cities of the South.'--What phantasms, squalid-horrid, shaking their dirk
and muff, may dance through the brain of a Marat, in this dizzy pealing of
tocsin-miserere, and universal frenzy, seek not to guess, O Reader! Nor
what the cruel Billaud 'in his short brown coat was thinking;' nor Sergent,
not yet Agate-Sergent; nor Panis the confident of Danton;--nor, in a word,
how gloomy Orcus does breed in her gloomy womb, and fashion her monsters,
and prodigies of Events, which thou seest her visibly bear! Terror is on
these streets of Paris; terror and rage, tears and frenzy: tocsin-miserere
pealing through the air; fierce desperation rushing to battle; mothers,
with streaming eyes and wild hearts, sending forth their sons to die.
'Carriage-horses are seized by the bridle,' that they may draw cannon; 'the
traces cut, the carriages left standing.'  In such tocsin-miserere, and
murky bewilderment of Frenzy, are not Murder, Ate, and all Furies near at
hand? On slight hint, who knows on how slight, may not Murder come; and,
with her snaky-sparkling hand, illuminate this murk!

How it was and went, what part might be premeditated, what was improvised
and accidental, man will never know, till the great Day of Judgment make it
known. But with a Marat for keeper of the Sovereign's Conscience--And we
know what the ultima ratio of Sovereigns, when they are driven to it, is!
In this Paris there are as many wicked men, say a hundred or more, as exist
in all the Earth: to be hired, and set on; to set on, of their own accord,
unhired.--And yet we will remark that premeditation itself is not
performance, is not surety of performance; that it is perhaps, at most,
surety of letting whosoever wills perform. From the purpose of crime to
the act of crime there is an abyss; wonderful to think of. The finger lies
on the pistol; but the man is not yet a murderer: nay, his whole nature
staggering at such consummation, is there not a confused pause rather,--one
last instant of possibility for him? Not yet a murderer; it is at the
mercy of light trifles whether the most fixed idea may not yet become
unfixed. One slight twitch of a muscle, the death flash bursts; and he is
it, and will for Eternity be it;--and Earth has become a penal Tartarus for
him; his horizon girdled now not with golden hope, but with red flames of
remorse; voices from the depths of Nature sounding, Wo, wo on him!

Of such stuff are we all made; on such powder-mines of bottomless guilt and
criminality, 'if God restrained not; as is well said,--does the purest of
us walk. There are depths in man that go the length of lowest Hell, as
there are heights that reach highest Heaven;--for are not both Heaven and
Hell made out of him, made by him, everlasting Miracle and Mystery as he
is?--But looking on this Champ-de-Mars, with its tent-buildings, and
frantic enrolments; on this murky-simmering Paris, with its crammed Prisons
(supposed about to burst), with its tocsin-miserere, its mothers' tears,
and soldiers' farewell shoutings,--the pious soul might have prayed, that
day, that God's grace would restrain, and greatly restrain; lest on slight
hest or hint, Madness, Horror and Murder rose, and this Sabbath-day of
September became a Day black in the Annals of Men.--

The tocsin is pealing its loudest, the clocks inaudibly striking Three,
when poor Abbe Sicard, with some thirty other Nonjurant Priests, in six
carriages, fare along the streets, from their preliminary House of
Detention at the Townhall, westward towards the Prison of the Abbaye.
Carriages enough stand deserted on the streets; these six move on,--through
angry multitudes, cursing as they move. Accursed Aristocrat Tartuffes,
this is the pass ye have brought us to! And now ye will break the Prisons,
and set Capet Veto on horseback to ride over us? Out upon you, Priests of
Beelzebub and Moloch; of Tartuffery, Mammon, and the Prussian Gallows,--
which ye name Mother-Church and God! Such reproaches have the poor
Nonjurants to endure, and worse; spoken in on them by frantic Patriots, who
mount even on the carriage-steps; the very Guards hardly refraining. Pull
up your carriage-blinds!--No! answers Patriotism, clapping its horny paw on
the carriage blind, and crushing it down again. Patience in oppression has
limits: we are close on the Abbaye, it has lasted long: a poor Nonjurant,
of quicker temper, smites the horny paw with his cane; nay, finding
solacement in it, smites the unkempt head, sharply and again more sharply,
twice over,--seen clearly of us and of the world. It is the last that we
see clearly. Alas, next moment, the carriages are locked and blocked in
endless raging tumults; in yells deaf to the cry for mercy, which answer
the cry for mercy with sabre-thrusts through the heart. (Felemhesi
(anagram for Mehee Fils), La Verite tout entiere, sur les vrais auteurs de
la journee du 2 Septembre 1792 (reprinted in Hist. Parl. xviii. 156-181),
p. 167.)  The thirty Priests are torn out, are massacred about the Prison-
Gate, one after one,--only the poor Abbe Sicard, whom one Moton a
watchmaker, knowing him, heroically tried to save, and secrete in the
Prison, escapes to tell;--and it is Night and Orcus, and Murder's snaky-
sparkling head has risen in the murk!--

From Sunday afternoon (exclusive of intervals, and pauses not final) till
Thursday evening, there follow consecutively a Hundred Hours. Which
hundred hours are to be reckoned with the hours of the Bartholomew
Butchery, of the Armagnac Massacres, Sicilian Vespers, or whatsoever is
savagest in the annals of this world. Horrible the hour when man's soul,
in its paroxysm, spurns asunder the barriers and rules; and shews what dens
and depths are in it! For Night and Orcus, as we say, as was long
prophesied, have burst forth, here in this Paris, from their subterranean
imprisonment: hideous, dim, confused; which it is painful to look on; and
yet which cannot, and indeed which should not, be forgotten.

The Reader, who looks earnestly through this dim Phantasmagory of the Pit,
will discern few fixed certain objects; and yet still a few. He will
observe, in this Abbaye Prison, the sudden massacre of the Priests being
once over, a strange Court of Justice, or call it Court of Revenge and
Wild-Justice, swiftly fashion itself, and take seat round a table, with the
Prison-Registers spread before it;--Stanislas Maillard, Bastille-hero,
famed Leader of the Menads, presiding. O Stanislas, one hoped to meet thee
elsewhere than here; thou shifty Riding-Usher, with an inkling of Law!
This work also thou hadst to do; and then--to depart for ever from our
eyes. At La Force, at the Chatelet, the Conciergerie, the like Court forms
itself, with the like accompaniments: the thing that one man does other
men can do. There are some Seven Prisons in Paris, full of Aristocrats
with conspiracies;--nay not even Bicetre and Salpetriere shall escape, with
their Forgers of Assignats: and there are seventy times seven hundred
Patriot hearts in a state of frenzy. Scoundrel hearts also there are; as
perfect, say, as the Earth holds,--if such are needed. To whom, in this
mood, law is as no-law; and killing, by what name soever called, is but
work to be done.

So sit these sudden Courts of Wild-Justice, with the Prison-Registers
before them; unwonted wild tumult howling all round: the Prisoners in
dread expectancy within. Swift: a name is called; bolts jingle, a
Prisoner is there. A few questions are put; swiftly this sudden Jury
decides: Royalist Plotter or not? Clearly not; in that case, Let the
Prisoner be enlarged With Vive la Nation. Probably yea; then still, Let
the Prisoner be enlarged, but without Vive la Nation; or else it may run,
Let the prisoner be conducted to La Force. At La Force again their formula
is, Let the Prisoner be conducted to the Abbaye.--"To La Force then!"
Volunteer bailiffs seize the doomed man; he is at the outer gate;
'enlarged,' or 'conducted,'--not into La Force, but into a howling sea;
forth, under an arch of wild sabres, axes and pikes; and sinks, hewn
asunder. And another sinks, and another; and there forms itself a piled
heap of corpses, and the kennels begin to run red. Fancy the yells of
these men, their faces of sweat and blood; the crueller shrieks of these
women, for there are women too; and a fellow-mortal hurled naked into it
all! Jourgniac de Saint Meard has seen battle, has seen an effervescent
Regiment du Roi in mutiny; but the bravest heart may quail at this. The
Swiss Prisoners, remnants of the Tenth of August, 'clasped each other
spasmodically,' and hung back; grey veterans crying: "Mercy Messieurs; ah,
mercy!"  But there was no mercy. Suddenly, however, one of these men steps
forward. He had a blue frock coat; he seemed to be about thirty, his
stature was above common, his look noble and martial. "I go first," said
he, "since it must be so: adieu!"  Then dashing his hat sharply behind
him: "Which way?" cried he to the Brigands: "Shew it me, then."  They
open the folding gate; he is announced to the multitude. He stands a
moment motionless; then plunges forth among the pikes, and dies of a
thousand wounds.'  (Felemhesi, La Verite tout entiere (ut supra), p. 173.)

Man after man is cut down; the sabres need sharpening, the killers refresh
themselves from wine jugs. Onward and onward goes the butchery; the loud
yells wearying down into bass growls. A sombre-faced, shifting multitude
looks on; in dull approval, or dull disapproval; in dull recognition that
it is Necessity. 'An Anglais in drab greatcoat' was seen, or seemed to be
seen, serving liquor from his own dram-bottle;--for what purpose, 'if not
set on by Pitt,' Satan and himself know best! Witty Dr. Moore grew sick on
approaching, and turned into another street. (Moore's Journal, i. 185-
195.)--Quick enough goes this Jury-Court; and rigorous. The brave are not
spared, nor the beautiful, nor the weak. Old M. de Montmorin, the
Minister's Brother, was acquitted by the Tribunal of the Seventeenth; and
conducted back, elbowed by howling galleries; but is not acquitted here.
Princess de Lamballe has lain down on bed: "Madame, you are to be removed
to the Abbaye."  "I do not wish to remove; I am well enough here."  There
is a need-be for removing. She will arrange her dress a little, then; rude
voices answer, "You have not far to go."  She too is led to the hell-gate;
a manifest Queen's-Friend. She shivers back, at the sight of bloody
sabres; but there is no return: Onwards! That fair hindhead is cleft with
the axe; the neck is severed. That fair body is cut in fragments; with
indignities, and obscene horrors of moustachio grands-levres, which human
nature would fain find incredible,--which shall be read in the original
language only. She was beautiful, she was good, she had known no
happiness. Young hearts, generation after generation, will think with
themselves: O worthy of worship, thou king-descended, god-descended and
poor sister-woman! why was not I there; and some Sword Balmung, or Thor's
Hammer in my hand? Her head is fixed on a pike; paraded under the windows
of the Temple; that a still more hated, a Marie-Antoinette, may see. One
Municipal, in the Temple with the Royal Prisoners at the moment, said,
"Look out."  Another eagerly whispered, "Do not look."  The circuit of the
Temple is guarded, in these hours, by a long stretched tricolor riband:
terror enters, and the clangour of infinite tumult: hitherto not regicide,
though that too may come.

But it is more edifying to note what thrillings of affection, what
fragments of wild virtues turn up, in this shaking asunder of man's
existence, for of these too there is a proportion. Note old Marquis
Cazotte: he is doomed to die; but his young Daughter clasps him in her
arms, with an inspiration of eloquence, with a love which is stronger than
very death; the heart of the killers themselves is touched by it; the old
man is spared. Yet he was guilty, if plotting for his King is guilt: in
ten days more, a Court of Law condemned him, and he had to die elsewhere;
bequeathing his Daughter a lock of his old grey hair. Or note old M. de
Sombreuil, who also had a Daughter:--My Father is not an Aristocrat; O good
gentlemen, I will swear it, and testify it, and in all ways prove it; we
are not; we hate Aristocrats! "Wilt thou drink Aristocrats' blood?"  The
man lifts blood (if universal Rumour can be credited (Dulaure: Esquisses
Historiques des principaux evenemens de la Revolution, ii. 206 (cited in
Montgaillard, iii. 205).)); the poor maiden does drink. "This Sombreuil is
innocent then!"  Yes indeed,--and now note, most of all, how the bloody
pikes, at this news, do rattle to the ground; and the tiger-yells become
bursts of jubilee over a brother saved; and the old man and his daughter
are clasped to bloody bosoms, with hot tears, and borne home in triumph of
Vive la Nation, the killers refusing even money! Does it seem strange,
this temper of theirs? It seems very certain, well proved by Royalist
testimony in other instances; (Bertrand-Moleville (Mem. Particuliers,
ii.213), &c. &c.) and very significant.

Chapter 3.1.V.

A Trilogy.

As all Delineation, in these ages, were it never so Epic, 'speaking itself
and not singing itself,' must either found on Belief and provable Fact, or
have no foundation at all (nor except as floating cobweb any existence at
all),--the Reader will perhaps prefer to take a glance with the very eyes
of eye-witnesses; and see, in that way, for himself, how it was. Brave
Jourgniac, innocent Abbe Sicard, judicious Advocate Maton, these, greatly
compressing themselves, shall speak, each an instant. Jourgniac's Agony of
Thirty-eight hours went through 'above a hundred editions,' though
intrinsically a poor work. Some portion of it may here go through above
the hundred-and-first, for want of a better.

'Towards seven o'clock' (Sunday night, at the Abbaye; for Jourgniac goes by
dates): 'We saw two men enter, their hands bloody and armed with sabres; a
turnkey, with a torch, lighted them; he pointed to the bed of the
unfortunate Swiss, Reding. Reding spoke with a dying voice. One of them
paused; but the other cried Allons donc; lifted the unfortunate man;
carried him out on his back to the street. He was massacred there.

'We all looked at one another in silence, we clasped each other's hands.
Motionless, with fixed eyes, we gazed on the pavement of our prison; on
which lay the moonlight, checkered with the triple stancheons of our

'Three in the morning: They were breaking-in one of the prison-doors. We
at first thought they were coming to kill us in our room; but heard, by
voices on the staircase, that it was a room where some Prisoners had
barricaded themselves. They were all butchered there, as we shortly

'Ten o'clock: The Abbe Lenfant and the Abbe de Chapt-Rastignac appeared in
the pulpit of the Chapel, which was our prison; they had entered by a door
from the stairs. They said to us that our end was at hand; that we must
compose ourselves, and receive their last blessing. An electric movement,
not to be defined, threw us all on our knees, and we received it. These
two whitehaired old men, blessing us from their place above; death hovering
over our heads, on all hands environing us; the moment is never to be
forgotten. Half an hour after, they were both massacred, and we heard
their cries.'  (Jourgniac Saint-Meard, Mon Agonie de Trente-huit heures
(reprinted in Hist. Parl. xviii. 103-135).)--Thus Jourgniac in his Agony in
the Abbaye.

But now let the good Maton speak, what he, over in La Force, in the same
hours, is suffering and witnessing. This Resurrection by him is greatly
the best, the least theatrical of these Pamphlets; and stands testing by

'Towards seven o'clock,' on Sunday night, 'prisoners were called
frequently, and they did not reappear. Each of us reasoned in his own way,
on this singularity: but our ideas became calm, as we persuaded ourselves
that the Memorial I had drawn up for the National Assembly was producing

'At one in the morning, the grate which led to our quarter opened anew.
Four men in uniform, each with a drawn sabre and blazing torch, came up to
our corridor, preceded by a turnkey; and entered an apartment close to
ours, to investigate a box there, which we heard them break up. This done,
they stept into the gallery, and questioned the man Cuissa, to know where
Lamotte (Necklace's Widower) was. Lamotte, they said, had some months ago,
under pretext of a treasure he knew of, swindled a sum of three-hundred
livres from one of them, inviting him to dinner for that purpose. The
wretched Cuissa, now in their hands, who indeed lost his life this night,
answered trembling, That he remembered the fact well, but could not tell
what was become of Lamotte. Determined to find Lamotte and confront him
with Cuissa, they rummaged, along with this latter, through various other
apartments; but without effect, for we heard them say: "Come search among
the corpses then: for, nom de Dieu! we must find where he is."

'At this time, I heard Louis Bardy, the Abbe Bardy's name called: he was
brought out; and directly massacred, as I learnt. He had been accused,
along with his concubine, five or six years before, of having murdered and
cut in pieces his own Brother, Auditor of the Chambre des Comptes at
Montpelier; but had by his subtlety, his dexterity, nay his eloquence,
outwitted the judges, and escaped.

'One may fancy what terror these words, "Come search among the corpses
then," had thrown me into. I saw nothing for it now but resigning myself
to die. I wrote my last-will; concluding it by a petition and adjuration,
that the paper should be sent to its address. Scarcely had I quitted the
pen, when there came two other men in uniform; one of them, whose arm and
sleeve up to the very shoulder, as well as the sabre, were covered with
blood, said, He was as weary as a hodman that had been beating plaster.

'Baudin de la Chenaye was called; sixty years of virtues could not save
him. They said, "A l'Abbaye:"  he passed the fatal outer-gate; gave a cry
of terror, at sight of the heaped corpses; covered his eyes with his hands,
and died of innumerable wounds. At every new opening of the grate, I
thought I should hear my own name called, and see Rossignol enter.

'I flung off my nightgown and cap; I put on a coarse unwashed shirt, a worn
frock without waistcoat, an old round hat; these things I had sent for,
some days ago, in the fear of what might happen.

'The rooms of this corridor had been all emptied but ours. We were four
together; whom they seemed to have forgotten: we addressed our prayers in
common to the Eternal to be delivered from this peril.

'Baptiste the turnkey came up by himself, to see us. I took him by the
hands; I conjured him to save us; promised him a hundred louis, if he would
conduct me home. A noise coming from the grates made him hastily withdraw.

'It was the noise of some dozen or fifteen men, armed to the teeth; as we,
lying flat to escape being seen, could see from our windows: "Up stairs!"
said they: "Let not one remain."  I took out my penknife; I considered
where I should strike myself,'--but reflected 'that the blade was too
short,' and also 'on religion.'

Finally, however, between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, enter
four men with bludgeons and sabres!--'to one of whom Gerard my comrade
whispered, earnestly, apart. During their colloquy I searched every where
for shoes, that I might lay off the Advocate pumps (pantoufles de Palais) I
had on,' but could find none.--'Constant, called le Sauvage, Gerard, and a
third whose name escapes me, they let clear off: as for me, four sabres
were crossed over my breast, and they led me down. I was brought to their
bar; to the Personage with the scarf, who sat as judge there. He was a
lame man, of tall lank stature. He recognised me on the streets, and spoke
to me seven months after. I have been assured that he was son of a retired
attorney, and named Chepy. Crossing the Court called Des Nourrices, I saw
Manuel haranguing in tricolor scarf.'  The trial, as we see, ends in
acquittal and resurrection. (Maton de la Varenne, Ma Resurrection (in
Hist. Parl. xviii. 135-156).)

Poor Sicard, from the violon of the Abbaye, shall say but a few words;
true-looking, though tremulous. Towards three in the morning, the killers
bethink them of this little violon; and knock from the court. 'I tapped
gently, trembling lest the murderers might hear, on the opposite door,
where the Section Committee was sitting: they answered gruffly that they
had no key. There were three of us in this violon; my companions thought
they perceived a kind of loft overhead. But it was very high; only one of
us could reach it, by mounting on the shoulders of both the others. One of
them said to me, that my life was usefuller than theirs: I resisted, they
insisted: no denial! I fling myself on the neck of these two deliverers;
never was scene more touching. I mount on the shoulders of the first, then
on those of the second, finally on the loft; and address to my two comrades
the expression of a soul overwhelmed with natural emotions. (Abbe Sicard:
Relation adressee a un de ses amis (Hist. Parl. xviii. 98-103).)

The two generous companions, we rejoice to find, did not perish. But it is
time that Jourgniac de Saint-Meard should speak his last words, and end
this singular trilogy. The night had become day; and the day has again
become night. Jourgniac, worn down with uttermost agitation, has fallen
asleep, and had a cheering dream: he has also contrived to make
acquaintance with one of the volunteer bailiffs, and spoken in native
Provencal with him. On Tuesday, about one in the morning, his Agony is
reaching its crisis.

'By the glare of two torches, I now descried the terrible tribunal, where
lay my life or my death. The President, in grey coats, with a sabre at his
side, stood leaning with his hands against a table, on which were papers,
an inkstand, tobacco-pipes and bottles. Some ten persons were around,
seated or standing; two of whom had jackets and aprons: others were
sleeping stretched on benches. Two men, in bloody shirts, guarded the door
of the place; an old turnkey had his hand on the lock. In front of the
President, three men held a Prisoner, who might be about sixty' (or
seventy: he was old Marshal Maille, of the Tuileries and August Tenth).
'They stationed me in a corner; my guards crossed their sabres on my
breast. I looked on all sides for my Provencal: two National Guards, one
of them drunk, presented some appeal from the Section of Croix Rouge in
favour of the Prisoner; the Man in Grey answered: "They are useless, these
appeals for traitors."  Then the Prisoner exclaimed: "It is frightful;
your judgment is a murder."  The President answered; "My hands are washed
of it; take M. Maille away."  They drove him into the street; where,
through the opening of the door, I saw him massacred.

'The President sat down to write; registering, I suppose, the name of this
one whom they had finished; then I heard him say: "Another, A un autre!"

'Behold me then haled before this swift and bloody judgment-bar, where the
best protection was to have no protection, and all resources of ingenuity
became null if they were not founded on truth. Two of my guards held me
each by a hand, the third by the collar of my coat. "Your name, your
profession?" said the President. "The smallest lie ruins you," added one
of the judges,--"My name is Jourgniac Saint-Meard; I have served, as an
officer, twenty years: and I appear at your tribunal with the assurance of
an innocent man, who therefore will not lie."--"We shall see that,"  said
the President: "Do you know why you are arrested?"--"Yes, Monsieur le
President; I am accused of editing the Journal De la Cour et de la Ville.
But I hope to prove the falsity"'--

But no; Jourgniac's proof of the falsity, and defence generally, though of
excellent result as a defence, is not interesting to read. It is long-
winded; there is a loose theatricality in the reporting of it, which does
not amount to unveracity, yet which tends that way. We shall suppose him
successful, beyond hope, in proving and disproving; and skip largely,--to
the catastrophe, almost at two steps.

'"But after all," said one of the Judges, "there is no smoke without
kindling; tell us why they accuse you of that."--"I was about to do so"'--
Jourgniac does so; with more and more success.

'"Nay," continued I, "they accuse me even of recruiting for the Emigrants!"
At these words there arose a general murmur. "O Messieurs, Messieurs," I
exclaimed, raising my voice, "it is my turn to speak; I beg M. le President
to have the kindness to maintain it for me; I never needed it more."--"True
enough, true enough," said almost all the judges with a laugh: "Silence!"

'While they were examining the testimonials I had produced, a new Prisoner
was brought in, and placed before the President. "It was one Priest more,"
they said, "whom they had ferreted out of the Chapelle."  After very few
questions: "A la Force!"  He flung his breviary on the table: was hurled
forth, and massacred. I reappeared before the tribunal.

'"You tell us always," cried one of the judges, with a tone of impatience,
"that you are not this, that you are not that: what are you then?"--"I was
an open Royalist."--There arose a general murmur; which was miraculously
appeased by another of the men, who had seemed to take an interest in me:
"We are not here to judge opinions," said he, "but to judge the results of
them."  Could Rousseau and Voltaire both in one, pleading for me, have said
better?--"Yes, Messieurs," cried I, "always till the Tenth of August, I was
an open Royalist. Ever since the Tenth of August that cause has been
finished. I am a Frenchman, true to my country. I was always a man of

'"My soldiers never distrusted me. Nay, two days before that business of
Nanci, when their suspicion of their officers was at its height, they chose
me for commander, to lead them to Luneville, to get back the prisoners of
the Regiment Mestre-de-Camp, and seize General Malseigne."'  Which fact
there is, most luckily, an individual present who by a certain token can

'The President, this cross-questioning being over, took off his hat and
said: "I see nothing to suspect in this man; I am for granting him his
liberty. Is that your vote?"  To which all the judges answered: "Oui,
oui; it is just!"'

And there arose vivats within doors and without; 'escort of three,' amid
shoutings and embracings: thus Jourgniac escaped from jury-trial and the
jaws of death. (Mon Agonie (ut supra), Hist. Parl. xviii. 128.)  Maton and
Sicard did, either by trial, and no bill found, lank President Chepy
finding 'absolutely nothing;' or else by evasion, and new favour of Moton
the brave watchmaker, likewise escape; and were embraced, and wept over;
weeping in return, as they well might.

Thus they three, in wondrous trilogy, or triple soliloquy; uttering
simultaneously, through the dread night-watches, their Night-thoughts,--
grown audible to us! They Three are become audible: but the other
'Thousand and Eighty-nine, of whom Two Hundred and Two were Priests,' who
also had Night-thoughts, remain inaudible; choked for ever in black Death.
Heard only of President Chepy and the Man in Grey!--

Chapter 3.1.VI.

The Circular.

But the Constituted Authorities, all this while? The Legislative Assembly;
the Six Ministers; the Townhall; Santerre with the National Guard?--It is
very curious to think what a City is. Theatres, to the number of some
twenty-three, were open every night during these prodigies: while right-
arms here grew weary with slaying, right-arms there are twiddledeeing on
melodious catgut; at the very instant when Abbe Sicard was clambering up
his second pair of shoulders, three-men high, five hundred thousand human
individuals were lying horizontal, as if nothing were amiss.

As for the poor Legislative, the sceptre had departed from it. The
Legislative did send Deputation to the Prisons, to the Street-Courts; and
poor M. Dusaulx did harangue there; but produced no conviction whatsoever:
nay, at last, as he continued haranguing, the Street-Court interposed, not
without threats; and he had to cease, and withdraw. This is the same poor
worthy old M. Dusaulx who told, or indeed almost sang (though with cracked
voice), the Taking of the Bastille,--to our satisfaction long since. He
was wont to announce himself, on such and on all occasions, as the
Translator of Juvenal. "Good Citizens, you see before you a man who loves
his country, who is the Translator of Juvenal," said he once.--"Juvenal?'
interrupts Sansculottism: "who the devil is Juvenal? One of your sacres
Aristocrates? To the Lanterne!"  From an orator of this kind, conviction
was not to be expected. The Legislative had much ado to save one of its
own Members, or Ex-Members, Deputy Journeau, who chanced to be lying in
arrest for mere Parliamentary delinquencies, in these Prisons. As for poor
old Dusaulx and Company, they returned to the Salle de Manege, saying, "It
was dark; and they could not see well what was going on."  (Moniteur,
Debate of 2nd September, 1792.)

Roland writes indignant messages, in the name of Order, Humanity, and the
Law; but there is no Force at his disposal. Santerre's National Force
seems lazy to rise; though he made requisitions, he says,--which always
dispersed again. Nay did not we, with Advocate Maton's eyes, see 'men in
uniform,' too, with their 'sleeves bloody to the shoulder?'  Petion goes in
tricolor scarf; speaks "the austere language of the law:" the killers give
up, while he is there; when his back is turned, recommence. Manuel too in
scarf we, with Maton's eyes, transiently saw haranguing, in the Court
called of Nurses, Cour des Nourrices. On the other hand, cruel Billaud,
likewise in scarf, 'with that small puce coat and black wig we are used to
on him,' (Mehee, Fils (ut supra, in Hist. Parl. xviii. p. 189).) audibly
delivers, 'standing among corpses,' at the Abbaye, a short but ever-
memorable harangue, reported in various phraseology, but always to this
purpose: "Brave Citizens, you are extirpating the Enemies of Liberty; you
are at your duty. A grateful Commune, and Country, would wish to
recompense you adequately; but cannot, for you know its want of funds.
Whoever shall have worked (travaille) in a Prison shall receive a draft of
one louis, payable by our cashier. Continue your work."  (Montgaillard,
iii. 191.)--The Constituted Authorities are of yesterday; all pulling
different ways: there is properly not Constituted Authority, but every man
is his own King; and all are kinglets, belligerent, allied, or armed-
neutral, without king over them.

'O everlasting infamy,' exclaims Montgaillard, 'that Paris stood looking on
in stupor for four days, and did not interfere!'  Very desirable indeed
that Paris had interfered; yet not unnatural that it stood even so, looking
on in stupor. Paris is in death-panic, the enemy and gibbets at its door:
whosoever in Paris has the heart to front death finds it more pressing to
do it fighting the Prussians, than fighting the killers of Aristocrats.
Indignant abhorrence, as in Roland, may be here; gloomy sanction,
premeditation or not, as in Marat and Committee of Salvation, may be there;
dull disapproval, dull approval, and acquiescence in Necessity and Destiny,
is the general temper. The Sons of Darkness, 'two hundred or so,' risen
from their lurking-places, have scope to do their work. Urged on by fever-
frenzy of Patriotism, and the madness of Terror;--urged on by lucre, and
the gold louis of wages? Nay, not lucre: for the gold watches, rings,
money of the Massacred, are punctually brought to the Townhall, by Killers
sans-indispensables, who higgle afterwards for their twenty shillings of
wages; and Sergent sticking an uncommonly fine agate on his finger ('fully
meaning to account for it'), becomes Agate-Sergent. But the temper, as we
say, is dull acquiescence. Not till the Patriotic or Frenetic part of the
work is finished for want of material; and Sons of Darkness, bent clearly
on lucre alone, begin wrenching watches and purses, brooches from ladies'
necks 'to equip volunteers,' in daylight, on the streets,--does the temper
from dull grow vehement; does the Constable raise his truncheon, and
striking heartily (like a cattle-driver in earnest) beat the 'course of
things' back into its old regulated drove-roads. The Garde-Meuble itself
was surreptitiously plundered, on the 17th of the Month, to Roland's new
horror; who anew bestirs himself, and is, as Sieyes says, 'the veto of
scoundrels,' Roland veto des coquins. (Helen Maria Williams, iii. 27.)--

This is the September Massacre, otherwise called 'Severe Justice of the
People.'  These are the Septemberers (Septembriseurs); a name of some note
and lucency,--but lucency of the Nether-fire sort; very different from that
of our Bastille Heroes, who shone, disputable by no Friend of Freedom, as
in heavenly light-radiance: to such phasis of the business have we
advanced since then! The numbers massacred are, in Historical fantasy,
'between two and three thousand;' or indeed they are 'upwards of six
thousand,' for Peltier (in vision) saw them massacring the very patients of
the Bicetre Madhouse 'with grape-shot;' nay finally they are 'twelve
thousand' and odd hundreds,--not more than that. (See Hist. Parl. xvii.
421, 422.)  In Arithmetical ciphers, and Lists drawn up by accurate
Advocate Maton, the number, including two hundred and two priests, three
'persons unknown,' and 'one thief killed at the Bernardins,' is, as above
hinted, a Thousand and Eighty-nine,--no less than that.

A thousand and eighty-nine lie dead, 'two hundred and sixty heaped
carcasses on the Pont au Change' itself;--among which, Robespierre pleading
afterwards will 'nearly weep' to reflect that there was said to be one
slain innocent. (Moniteur of 6th November (Debate of 5th November, 1793).)
One; not two, O thou seagreen Incorruptible? If so, Themis Sansculotte
must be lucky; for she was brief!--In the dim Registers of the Townhall,
which are preserved to this day, men read, with a certain sickness of
heart, items and entries not usual in Town Books: 'To workers employed in
preserving the salubrity of the air in the Prisons, and persons 'who
presided over these dangerous operations,' so much,--in various items,
nearly seven hundred pounds sterling. To carters employed to 'the Burying-
grounds of Clamart, Montrouge, and Vaugirard,' at so much a journey, per
cart; this also is an entry. Then so many francs and odd sous 'for the
necessary quantity of quick-lime!'  (Etat des sommes payees par la Commune
de Paris (Hist. Parl. xviii. 231).)  Carts go along the streets; full of
stript human corpses, thrown pellmell; limbs sticking up:--seest thou that
cold Hand sticking up, through the heaped embrace of brother corpses, in
its yellow paleness, in its cold rigour; the palm opened towards Heaven, as
if in dumb prayer, in expostulation de profundis, Take pity on the Sons of
Men!--Mercier saw it, as he walked down 'the Rue Saint-Jacques from
Montrouge, on the morrow of the Massacres:'  but not a Hand; it was a
Foot,--which he reckons still more significant, one understands not well
why. Or was it as the Foot of one spurning Heaven? Rushing, like a wild
diver, in disgust and despair, towards the depths of Annihilation? Even
there shall His hand find thee, and His right-hand hold thee,--surely for
right not for wrong, for good not evil! 'I saw that Foot,' says Mercier;
'I shall know it again at the great Day of Judgment, when the Eternal,
throned on his thunders, shall judge both Kings and Septemberers.'
(Mercier, Nouveau Paris, vi. 21.)

That a shriek of inarticulate horror rose over this thing, not only from
French Aristocrats and Moderates, but from all Europe, and has prolonged
itself to the present day, was most natural and right. The thing lay done,
irrevocable; a thing to be counted besides some other things, which lie
very black in our Earth's Annals, yet which will not erase therefrom. For
man, as was remarked, has transcendentalisms in him; standing, as he does,
poor creature, every way 'in the confluence of Infinitudes;' a mystery to
himself and others: in the centre of two Eternities, of three
Immensities,--in the intersection of primeval Light with the everlasting
dark! Thus have there been, especially by vehement tempers reduced to a
state of desperation, very miserable things done. Sicilian Vespers, and
'eight thousand slaughtered in two hours,' are a known thing. Kings
themselves, not in desperation, but only in difficulty, have sat hatching,
for year and day (nay De Thou says, for seven years), their Bartholomew
Business; and then, at the right moment, also on an Autumn Sunday, this
very Bell (they say it is the identical metal) of St. Germain l'Auxerrois
was set a-pealing--with effect. (9th to 13th September, 1572 (Dulaure,
Hist. de Paris, iv. 289.)  Nay the same black boulder-stones of these Paris
Prisons have seen Prison-massacres before now; men massacring countrymen,
Burgundies massacring Armagnacs, whom they had suddenly imprisoned, till as
now there are piled heaps of carcasses, and the streets ran red;--the Mayor
Petion of the time speaking the austere language of the law, and answered
by the Killers, in old French (it is some four hundred years old): "Maugre
bieu, Sire,--Sir, God's malison on your justice, your pity, your right
reason. Cursed be of God whoso shall have pity on these false traitorous
Armagnacs, English; dogs they are; they have destroyed us, wasted this
realm of France, and sold it to the English."  (Dulaure, iii. 494.)  And so
they slay, and fling aside the slain, to the extent of 'fifteen hundred and
eighteen, among whom are found four Bishops of false and damnable counsel,
and two Presidents of Parlement.'  For though it is not Satan's world this
that we live in, Satan always has his place in it (underground properly);
and from time to time bursts up. Well may mankind shriek, inarticulately
anathematising as they can. There are actions of such emphasis that no
shrieking can be too emphatic for them. Shriek ye; acted have they.

Shriek who might in this France, in this Paris Legislative or Paris
Townhall, there are Ten Men who do not shriek. A Circular goes out from
the Committee of Salut Public, dated 3rd of September 1792; directed to all
Townhalls: a State-paper too remarkable to be overlooked. 'A part of the
ferocious conspirators detained in the Prisons,' it says, 'have been put to
death by the People; and it,' the Circular, 'cannot doubt but the whole
Nation, driven to the edge of ruin by such endless series of treasons, will
make haste to adopt this means of public salvation; and all Frenchmen will
cry as the men of Paris: We go to fight the enemy, but we will not leave
robbers behind us, to butcher our wives and children.'  To which are
legibly appended these signatures: Panis, Sergent; Marat, Friend of the
People; (Hist. Parl. xvii. 433.) with Seven others;--carried down thereby,
in a strange way, to the late remembrance of Antiquarians. We remark,
however, that their Circular rather recoiled on themselves. The Townhalls
made no use of it; even the distracted Sansculottes made little; they only
howled and bellowed, but did not bite. At Rheims 'about eight persons'
were killed; and two afterwards were hanged for doing it. At Lyons, and a
few other places, some attempt was made; but with hardly any effect, being
quickly put down.

Less fortunate were the Prisoners of Orleans; was the good Duke de la
Rochefoucault. He journeying, by quick stages, with his Mother and Wife,
towards the Waters of Forges, or some quieter country, was arrested at
Gisors; conducted along the streets, amid effervescing multitudes, and
killed dead 'by the stroke of a paving-stone hurled through the coach-
window.'  Killed as a once Liberal now Aristocrat; Protector of Priests,
Suspender of virtuous Petions, and his unfortunate Hot-grown-cold,
detestable to Patriotism. He dies lamented of Europe; his blood spattering
the cheeks of his old Mother, ninety-three years old.

As for the Orleans Prisoners, they are State Criminals: Royalist
Ministers, Delessarts, Montmorins; who have been accumulating on the High
Court of Orleans, ever since that Tribunal was set up. Whom now it seems
good that we should get transferred to our new Paris Court of the
Seventeenth; which proceeds far quicker. Accordingly hot Fournier from
Martinique, Fournier l'Americain, is off, missioned by Constituted
Authority; with stanch National Guards, with Lazouski the Pole; sparingly
provided with road-money. These, through bad quarters, through
difficulties, perils, for Authorities cross each other in this time,--do
triumphantly bring off the Fifty or Fifty-three Orleans Prisoners, towards
Paris; where a swifter Court of the Seventeenth will do justice on them.
(Ibid. xvii. 434.)  But lo, at Paris, in the interim, a still swifter and
swiftest Court of the Second, and of September, has instituted itself:
enter not Paris, or that will judge you!--What shall hot Fournier do? It
was his duty, as volunteer Constable, had he been a perfect character, to
guard those men's lives never so Aristocratic, at the expense of his own
valuable life never so Sansculottic, till some Constituted Court had
disposed of them. But he was an imperfect character and Constable; perhaps
one of the more imperfect.

Hot Fournier, ordered to turn thither by one Authority, to turn thither by
another Authority, is in a perplexing multiplicity of orders; but finally
he strikes off for Versailles. His Prisoners fare in tumbrils, or open
carts, himself and Guards riding and marching around: and at the last
village, the worthy Mayor of Versailles comes to meet him, anxious that the
arrival and locking up were well over. It is Sunday, the ninth day of the
month. Lo, on entering the Avenue of Versailles, what multitudes,
stirring, swarming in the September sun, under the dull-green September
foliage; the Four-rowed Avenue all humming and swarming, as if the Town had
emptied itself! Our tumbrils roll heavily through the living sea; the
Guards and Fournier making way with ever more difficulty; the Mayor
speaking and gesturing his persuasivest; amid the inarticulate growling
hum, which growls ever the deeper even by hearing itself growl, not without
sharp yelpings here and there:--Would to God we were out of this strait
place, and wind and separation had cooled the heat, which seems about
igniting here!

And yet if the wide Avenue is too strait, what will the Street de
Surintendance be, at leaving of the same? At the corner of Surintendance
Street, the compressed yelpings became a continuous yell: savage figures
spring on the tumbril-shafts; first spray of an endless coming tide! The
Mayor pleads, pushes, half-desperate; is pushed, carried off in men's arms:
the savage tide has entrance, has mastery. Amid horrid noise, and tumult
as of fierce wolves, the Prisoners sink massacred,--all but some eleven,
who escaped into houses, and found mercy. The Prisons, and what other
Prisoners they held, were with difficulty saved. The stript clothes are
burnt in bonfire; the corpses lie heaped in the ditch on the morrow
morning. (Pieces officielles relatives au massacre des Prisonniers a
Versailles (in Hist. Parl. xviii. 236-249).)  All France, except it be the
Ten Men of the Circular and their people, moans and rages, inarticulately
shrieking; all Europe rings.

But neither did Danton shriek; though, as Minister of Justice, it was more
his part to do so. Brawny Danton is in the breach, as of stormed Cities
and Nations; amid the Sweep of Tenth-of-August cannon, the rustle of
Prussian gallows-ropes, the smiting of September sabres; destruction all
round him, and the rushing-down of worlds: Minister of Justice is his
name; but Titan of the Forlorn Hope, and Enfant Perdu of the Revolution, is
his quality,--and the man acts according to that. "We must put our enemies
in fear!"  Deep fear, is it not, as of its own accord, falling on our
enemies? The Titan of the Forlorn Hope, he is not the man that would
swiftest of all prevent its so falling. Forward, thou lost Titan of an
Enfant Perdu; thou must dare, and again dare, and without end dare; there
is nothing left for thee but that! "Que mon nom soit fletri, Let my name
be blighted:"  what am I? The Cause alone is great; and shall live, and
not perish.--So, on the whole, here too is a swallower of Formulas; of
still wider gulp than Mirabeau: this Danton, Mirabeau of the Sansculottes.
In the September days, this Minister was not heard of as co-operating with
strict Roland; his business might lie elsewhere,--with Brunswick and the
Hotel-de-Ville. When applied to by an official person, about the Orleans
Prisoners, and the risks they ran, he answered gloomily, twice over, "Are
not these men guilty?"--When pressed, he 'answered in a terrible voice,'
and turned his back. (Biographie des Ministres, p. 97.)  Two Thousand
slain in the Prisons; horrible if you will: but Brunswick is within a
day's journey of us; and there are Five-and twenty Millions yet, to slay or
to save. Some men have tasks,--frightfuller than ours! It seems strange,
but is not strange, that this Minister of Moloch-Justice, when any
suppliant for a friend's life got access to him, was found to have human
compassion; and yielded and granted 'always;' 'neither did one personal
enemy of Danton perish in these days.' (Ibid. p. 103.)

To shriek, we say, when certain things are acted, is proper and
unavoidable. Nevertheless, articulate speech, not shrieking, is the
faculty of man: when speech is not yet possible, let there be, with the
shortest delay, at least--silence. Silence, accordingly, in this forty-
fourth year of the business, and eighteen hundred and thirty-sixth of an
'Era called Christian as lucus a non,' is the thing we recommend and
practise. Nay, instead of shrieking more, it were perhaps edifying to
remark, on the other side, what a singular thing Customs (in Latin, Mores)
are; and how fitly the Virtue, Vir-tus, Manhood or Worth, that is in a man,
is called his Morality, or Customariness. Fell Slaughter, one the most
authentic products of the Pit you would say, once give it Customs, becomes
War, with Laws of War; and is Customary and Moral enough; and red
individuals carry the tools of it girt round their haunches, not without an
air of pride,--which do thou nowise blame. While, see! so long as it is
but dressed in hodden or russet; and Revolution, less frequent than War,
has not yet got its Laws of Revolution, but the hodden or russet
individuals are Uncustomary--O shrieking beloved brother blockheads of
Mankind, let us close those wide mouths of ours; let us cease shrieking,
and begin considering!

Chapter 3.1.VII.

September in Argonne.

Plain, at any rate, is one thing: that the fear, whatever of fear those
Aristocrat enemies might need, has been brought about. The matter is
getting serious then! Sansculottism too has become a Fact, and seems
minded to assert itself as such? This huge mooncalf of Sansculottism,
staggering about, as young calves do, is not mockable only, and soft like
another calf; but terrible too, if you prick it; and, through its hideous
nostrils, blows fire!--Aristocrats, with pale panic in their hearts, fly
towards covert; and a light rises to them over several things; or rather a
confused transition towards light, whereby for the moment darkness is only
darker than ever. But, What will become of this France? Here is a
question! France is dancing its desert-waltz, as Sahara does when the
winds waken; in whirlblasts twenty-five millions in number; waltzing
towards Townhalls, Aristocrat Prisons, and Election Committee-rooms;
towards Brunswick and the Frontiers;--towards a New Chapter of Universal
History; if indeed it be not the Finis, and winding-up of that!

In Election Committee-rooms there is now no dubiety; but the work goes
bravely along. The Convention is getting chosen,--really in a decisive
spirit; in the Townhall we already date First year of the Republic. Some
Two hundred of our best Legislators may be re-elected, the Mountain bodily:
Robespierre, with Mayor Petion, Buzot, Curate Gregoire, Rabaut, some three
score Old-Constituents; though we once had only 'thirty voices.'  All
these; and along with them, friends long known to Revolutionary fame:
Camille Desmoulins, though he stutters in speech; Manuel, Tallien and
Company; Journalists Gorsas, Carra, Mercier, Louvet of Faublas; Clootz
Speaker of Mankind; Collot d'Herbois, tearing a passion to rags; Fabre
d'Eglantine, speculative Pamphleteer; Legendre the solid Butcher; nay
Marat, though rural France can hardly believe it, or even believe that
there is a Marat except in print. Of Minister Danton, who will lay down
his Ministry for a Membership, we need not speak. Paris is fervent; nor is
the Country wanting to itself. Barbaroux, Rebecqui, and fervid Patriots
are coming from Marseilles. Seven hundred and forty-five men (or indeed
forty-nine, for Avignon now sends Four) are gathering: so many are to
meet; not so many are to part!

Attorney Carrier from Aurillac, Ex-Priest Lebon from Arras, these shall
both gain a name. Mountainous Auvergne re-elects her Romme: hardy tiller
of the soil, once Mathematical Professor; who, unconscious, carries in
petto a remarkable New Calendar, with Messidors, Pluvioses, and such like;-
-and having given it well forth, shall depart by the death they call Roman.
Sieyes old-Constituent comes; to make new Constitutions as many as wanted:
for the rest, peering out of his clear cautious eyes, he will cower low in
many an emergency, and find silence safest. Young Saint-Just is coming,
deputed by Aisne in the North; more like a Student than a Senator: not
four-and-twenty yet; who has written Books; a youth of slight stature, with
mild mellow voice, enthusiast olive-complexion, and long dark hair.
Feraud, from the far valley D'Aure in the folds of the Pyrenees, is coming;
an ardent Republican; doomed to fame, at least in death.

All manner of Patriot men are coming: Teachers, Husbandmen, Priests and
Ex-Priests, Traders, Doctors; above all, Talkers, or the Attorney-species.
Man-midwives, as Levasseur of the Sarthe, are not wanting. Nor Artists:
gross David, with the swoln cheek, has long painted, with genius in a state
of convulsion; and will now legislate. The swoln cheek, choking his words
in the birth, totally disqualifies him as orator; but his pencil, his head,
his gross hot heart, with genius in a state of convulsion, will be there.
A man bodily and mentally swoln-cheeked, disproportionate; flabby-large,
instead of great; weak withal as in a state of convulsion, not strong in a
state of composure: so let him play his part. Nor are naturalised
Benefactors of the Species forgotten: Priestley, elected by the Orne
Department, but declining: Paine the rebellious Needleman, by the Pas de
Calais, who accepts.

Few Nobles come, and yet not none. Paul Francois Barras, 'noble as the
Barrases, old as the rocks of Provence;' he is one. The reckless,
shipwrecked man: flung ashore on the coast of the Maldives long ago, while
sailing and soldiering as Indian Fighter; flung ashore since then, as
hungry Parisian Pleasure-hunter and Half-pay, on many a Circe Island, with
temporary enchantment, temporary conversion into beasthood and hoghood;--
the remote Var Department has now sent him hither. A man of heat and
haste; defective in utterance; defective indeed in any thing to utter; yet
not without a certain rapidity of glance, a certain swift transient
courage; who, in these times, Fortune favouring, may go far. He is tall,
handsome to the eye, 'only the complexion a little yellow;' but 'with a
robe of purple with a scarlet cloak and plume of tricolor, on occasions of
solemnity,' the man will look well. (Dictionnaire des Hommes Marquans,
para Barras.)  Lepelletier Saint-Fargeau, Old-Constituent, is a kind of
noble, and of enormous wealth; he too has come hither:--to have the Pain of
Death abolished? Hapless Ex-Parlementeer! Nay, among our Sixty Old-
Constituents, see Philippe d'Orleans a Prince of the Blood! Not now
d'Orleans: for, Feudalism being swept from the world, he demands of his
worthy friends the Electors of Paris, to have a new name of their choosing;
whereupon Procureur Manuel, like an antithetic literary man, recommends
Equality, Egalite. A Philippe Egalite therefore will sit; seen of the
Earth and Heaven.

Such a Convention is gathering itself together. Mere angry poultry in
moulting season; whom Brunswick's grenadiers and cannoneers will give short
account of. Would the weather only mend a little! (Bertrand-Moleville,
Memoires, ii. 225.)

In vain, O Bertrand! The weather will not mend a whit:--nay even if it
did? Dumouriez Polymetis, though Bertrand knows it not, started from brief
slumber at Sedan, on that morning of the 29th of August; with stealthiness,
with promptitude, audacity. Some three mornings after that, Brunswick,
opening wide eyes, perceives the Passes of the Argonne all seized; blocked
with felled trees, fortified with camps; and that it is a most shifty swift
Dumouriez this, who has outwitted him!

The manoeuvre may cost Brunswick 'a loss of three weeks,' very fatal in
these circumstances. A Mountain-wall of forty miles lying between him and
Paris: which he should have preoccupied;--which how now to get possession
of? Also the rain it raineth every day; and we are in a hungry Champagne
Pouilleuse, a land flowing only with ditch-water. How to cross this
Mountain-wall of the Argonne; or what in the world to do with it?--there
are marchings and wet splashings by steep paths, with sackerments and
guttural interjections; forcings of Argonne Passes,--which unhappily will
not force. Through the woods, volleying War reverberates, like huge gong-
music, or Moloch's kettledrum, borne by the echoes; swoln torrents boil
angrily  round the foot of rocks, floating pale carcasses of men. In vain!
Islettes Village, with its church-steeple, rises intact in the Mountain-
pass, between the embosoming heights; your forced marchings and climbings
have become forced slidings, and tumblings back. From the hill-tops thou
seest nothing but dumb crags, and endless wet moaning woods; the Clermont
Vache (huge Cow that she is) disclosing herself (See Helen Maria Williams.
Letters, iii. 79-81.) at intervals; flinging off her cloud-blanket, and
soon taking it on again, drowned in the pouring Heaven. The Argonne Passes
will not force: by must skirt the Argonne; go round by the end of it.

But fancy whether the Emigrant Seigneurs have not got their brilliancy
dulled a little; whether that 'Foot Regiment in red-facings with nankeen
trousers' could be in field-day order! In place of gasconading, a sort of
desperation, and hydrophobia from excess of water, is threatening to
supervene. Young Prince de Ligne, son of that brave literary De Ligne the
Thundergod of Dandies, fell backwards; shot dead in Grand-Pre, the
Northmost of the Passes: Brunswick is skirting and rounding, laboriously,
by the extremity of the South. Four days; days of a rain as of Noah,--
without fire, without food! For fire you cut down green trees, and produce
smoke; for food you eat green grapes, and produce colic, pestilential
dysentery, (Greek). And the Peasants assassinate us, they do not join us;
shrill women cry shame on us, threaten to draw their very scissors on us!
O ye hapless dulled-bright Seigneurs, and hydrophobic splashed Nankeens;--
but O, ten times more, ye poor sackerment-ing ghastly-visaged Hessians and
Hulans, fallen on your backs; who had no call to die there, except
compulsion and three-halfpence a-day! Nor has Mrs. Le Blanc of the Golden
Arm a good time of it, in her bower of dripping rushes. Assassinating
Peasants are hanged; Old-Constituent Honourable members, though of
venerable age, ride in carts with their hands tied; these are the woes of

Thus they; sprawling and wriggling, far and wide, on the slopes and passes
of the Argonne;--a loss to Brunswick of five-and-twenty disastrous days.
There is wriggling and struggling; facing, backing, and right-about facing;
as the positions shift, and the Argonne gets partly rounded, partly
forced:--but still Dumouriez, force him, round him as you will, sticks like
a rooted fixture on the ground; fixture with many hinges; wheeling now this
way, now that; shewing always new front, in the most unexpected manner:
nowise consenting to take himself away. Recruits stream up on him: full
of heart; yet rather difficult to deal with. Behind Grand-Pre, for
example, Grand-Pre which is on the wrong-side of the Argonne, for we are
now forced and rounded,--the full heart, in one of those wheelings and
shewings of new front, did as it were overset itself, as full hearts are
liable to do; and there rose a shriek of sauve qui peut, and a death-panic
which had nigh ruined all! So that the General had to come galloping; and,
with thunder-words, with gesture, stroke of drawn sword even, check and
rally, and bring back the sense of shame; (Dumouriez, Memoires, iii. 29.)--
nay to seize the first shriekers and ringleaders; 'shave their heads and
eyebrows,' and pack them forth into the world as a sign. Thus too (for
really the rations are short, and wet camping with hungry stomach brings
bad humour) there is like to be mutiny. Whereupon again Dumouriez 'arrives
at the head of their line, with his staff, and an escort of a hundred
huzzars. He had placed some squadrons behind them, the artillery in front;
he said to them: "As for you, for I will neither call you citizens, nor
soldiers, nor my men (ni mes enfans), you see before you this artillery,
behind you this cavalry. You have dishonoured yourselves by crimes. If
you amend, and grow to behave like this brave Army which you have the
honour of belonging to, you will find in me a good father. But plunderers
and assassins I do not suffer here. At the smallest mutiny I will have you
shivered in pieces (hacher en pieces). Seek out the scoundrels that are
among you, and dismiss them yourselves; I hold you responsible for them."'
(Ibid., Memoires iii. 55.)

Patience, O Dumouriez! This uncertain heap of shriekers, mutineers, were
they once drilled and inured, will become a phalanxed mass of Fighters; and
wheel and whirl, to order, swiftly like the wind or the whirlwind: tanned
mustachio-figures; often barefoot, even bare-backed; with sinews of iron;
who require only bread and gunpowder: very Sons of Fire, the adroitest,
hastiest, hottest ever seen perhaps since Attila's time. They may conquer
and overrun amazingly, much as that same Attila did;--whose Attila's-Camp
and Battlefield thou now seest, on this very ground; (Helen Maria Williams,
iii. 32.) who, after sweeping bare the world, was, with difficulty, and
days of tough fighting, checked here by Roman Aetius and Fortune; and his
dust-cloud made to vanish in the East again!--

Strangely enough, in this shrieking Confusion of a Soldiery, which we saw
long since fallen all suicidally out of square in suicidal collision,--at
Nanci, or on the streets of Metz, where brave Bouille stood with drawn
sword; and which has collided and ground itself to pieces worse and worse
ever since, down now to such a state: in this shrieking Confusion, and not
elsewhere, lies the first germ of returning Order for France! Round which,
we say, poor France nearly all ground down suicidally likewise into rubbish
and Chaos, will be glad to rally; to begin growing, and new-shaping her
inorganic dust: very slowly, through centuries, through Napoleons, Louis
Philippes, and other the like media and phases,--into a new, infinitely
preferable France, we can hope!--

These wheelings and movements in the region of the Argonne, which are all
faithfully described by Dumouriez himself, and more interesting to us than
Hoyle's or Philidor's best Game of Chess, let us, nevertheless, O Reader,
entirely omit;--and hasten to remark two things: the first a minute
private, the second a large public thing. Our minute private thing is:
the presence, in the Prussian host, in that war-game of the Argonne, of a
certain Man, belonging to the sort called Immortal; who, in days since
then, is becoming visible more and more, in that character, as the
Transitory more and more vanishes; for from of old it was remarked that
when the Gods appear among men, it is seldom in recognisable shape; thus
Admetus' neatherds give Apollo a draught of their goatskin whey-bottle
(well if they do not give him strokes with their ox-rungs), not dreaming
that he is the Sungod! This man's name is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He
is Herzog Weimar's Minister, come with the small contingent of Weimar; to
do insignificant unmilitary duty here; very irrecognizable to nearly all!
He stands at present, with drawn bridle, on the height near Saint-
Menehould, making an experiment on the 'cannon-fever;' having ridden
thither against persuasion, into the dance and firing of the cannon-balls,
with a scientific desire to understand what that same cannon-fever may be:
'The sound of them,' says he, 'is curious enough; as if it were compounded
of the humming of tops, the gurgling of water and the whistle of birds. By
degrees you get a very uncommon sensation; which can only be described by
similitude. It seems as if you were in some place extremely hot, and at
the same time were completely penetrated by the heat of it; so that you
feel as if you and this element you are in were perfectly on a par. The
eyesight loses nothing of its strength or distinctness; and yet it is as if
all things had got a kind of brown-red colour, which makes the situation
and the objects still more impressive on you.'  (Goethe, Campagne in
Frankreich (Werke, xxx. 73.)

This is the cannon-fever, as a World-Poet feels it.--A man entirely
irrecognisable! In whose irrecognisable head, meanwhile, there verily is
the spiritual counterpart (and call it complement) of this same huge Death-
Birth of the World; which now effectuates itself, outwardly in the Argonne,
in such cannon-thunder; inwardly, in the irrecognisable head, quite
otherwise than by thunder! Mark that man, O Reader, as the memorablest of
all the memorable in this Argonne Campaign. What we say of him is not
dream, nor flourish of rhetoric; but scientific historic fact; as many men,
now at this distance, see or begin to see.

But the large public thing we had to remark is this: That the Twentieth of
September, 1792, was a raw morning covered with mist; that from three in
the morning Sainte-Menehould, and those Villages and homesteads we know of
old were stirred by the rumble of artillery-wagons, by the clatter of
hoofs, and many footed tramp of men: all manner of military, Patriot and
Prussian, taking up positions, on the Heights of La Lune and other Heights;
shifting and shoving,--seemingly in some dread chess-game; which may the
Heavens turn to good! The Miller of Valmy has fled dusty under ground; his
Mill, were it never so windy, will have rest to-day. At seven in the
morning the mist clears off: see Kellermann, Dumouriez' second in command,
with 'eighteen pieces of cannon,' and deep-serried ranks, drawn up round
that same silent Windmill, on his knoll of strength; Brunswick, also, with
serried ranks and cannon, glooming over to him from the height of La Lune;
only the little brook and its little dell now parting them.

So that the much-longed-for has come at last! Instead of hunger and
dysentery, we shall have sharp shot; and then!--Dumouriez, with force and
firm front, looks on from a neighbouring height; can help only with his
wishes, in silence. Lo, the eighteen pieces do bluster and bark,
responsive to the bluster of La Lune; and thunder-clouds mount into the
air; and echoes roar through all dells, far into the depths of Argonne Wood
(deserted now); and limbs and lives of men fly dissipated, this way and
that. Can Brunswick make an impression on them? The dull-bright Seigneurs
stand biting their thumbs: these Sansculottes seem not to fly like
poultry! Towards noontide a cannon-shot blows Kellermann's horse from
under him; there bursts a powder-cart high into the air, with knell heard
over all: some swagging and swaying observable;--Brunswick will try!
"Camarades," cries Kellermann, "Vive la Patria! Allons vaincre pour elle,
Let us conquer."  "Live the Fatherland!" rings responsive, to the welkin,
like rolling-fire from side to side: our ranks are as firm as rocks; and
Brunswick may recross the dell, ineffectual; regain his old position on La
Lune; not unbattered by the way. And so, for the length of a September
day,--with bluster and bark; with bellow far echoing! The cannonade lasts
till sunset; and no impression made. Till an hour after sunset, the few
remaining Clocks of the District striking Seven; at this late time of day
Brunswick tries again. With not a whit better fortune! He is met by rock-
ranks, by shouts of Vive la Patrie; and driven back, not unbattered.
Whereupon he ceases; retires 'to the Tavern of La Lune;' and sets to
raising a redoute lest he be attacked!

Verily so: ye dulled-bright Seigneurs, make of it what ye may. Ah, and
France does not rise round us in mass; and the Peasants do not join us, but
assassinate us: neither hanging nor any persuasion will induce them! They
have lost their old distinguishing love of King, and King's-cloak,--I fear,
altogether; and will even fight to be rid of it: that seems now their
humour. Nor does Austria prosper, nor the siege of Thionville. The
Thionvillers, carrying their insolence to the epigrammatic pitch, have put
a Wooden Horse on their walls, with a bundle of hay hung from him, and this
Inscription: 'When I finish my hay, you will take Thionville.'  (Hist.
Parl. xix. 177.)  To such height has the frenzy of mankind risen.

The trenches of Thionville may shut: and what though those of Lille open?
The Earth smiles not on us, nor the Heaven; but weeps and blears itself, in
sour rain, and worse. Our very friends insult us; we are wounded in the
house of our friends: "His Majesty of Prussia had a greatcoat, when the
rain came; and (contrary to all known laws) he put it on, though our two
French Princes, the hope of their country, had none!"  To which indeed, as
Goethe admits, what answer could be made? (Goethe, xxx. 49.)--Cold and
Hunger and Affront, Colic and Dysentery and Death; and we here, cowering
redouted, most unredoubtable, amid the 'tattered corn-shocks and deformed
stubble,' on the splashy Height of La Lune, round the mean Tavern de La

This is the Cannonade of Valmy; wherein the World-Poet experimented on the
cannon-fever; wherein the French Sansculottes did not fly like poultry.
Precious to France! Every soldier did his duty, and Alsatian Kellermann
(how preferable to old Luckner the dismissed!) began to become greater; and
Egalite Fils, Equality Junior, a light gallant Field-Officer, distinguished
himself by intrepidity:--it is the same intrepid individual who now, as
Louis-Philippe, without the Equality, struggles, under sad circumstances,
to be called King of the French for a season.

Chapter 3.1.VIII.


But this Twentieth of September is otherwise a great day. For, observe,
while Kellermann's horse was flying blown from under him at the Mill of
Valmy, our new National Deputies, that shall be a NATIONAL CONVENTION, are
hovering and gathering about the Hall of the Hundred Swiss; with intent to
constitute themselves!

On the morrow, about noontide, Camus the Archivist is busy 'verifying their
powers;' several hundreds of them already here. Whereupon the Old
Legislative comes solemnly over, to merge its old ashes Phoenix-like in the
body of the new;--and so forthwith, returning all solemnly back to the
Salle de Manege, there sits a National Convention, Seven Hundred and Forty-
nine complete, or complete enough; presided by Petion;--which proceeds
directly to do business. Read that reported afternoon's-debate, O Reader;
there are few debates like it: dull reporting Moniteur itself becomes more
dramatic than a very Shakespeare. For epigrammatic Manuel rises, speaks
strange things; how the President shall have a guard of honour, and lodge
in the Tuileries:--rejected. And Danton rises and speaks; and Collot
d'Herbois rises, and Curate Gregoire, and lame Couthon of the Mountain
rises; and in rapid Meliboean stanzas, only a few lines each, they propose
motions not a few: That the corner-stone of our new Constitution is
Sovereignty of the People; that our Constitution shall be accepted by the
People or be null; further that the People ought to be avenged, and have
right Judges; that the Imposts must continue till new order; that Landed
and other Property be sacred forever; finally that 'Royalty from this day
is abolished in France:'--Decreed all, before four o'clock strike, with
acclamation of the world! (Hist. Parl. xix. 19.)  The tree was all so
ripe; only shake it and there fall such yellow cart-loads.

And so over in the Valmy Region, as soon as the news come, what stir is
this, audible, visible from our muddy heights of La Lune? (Williams, iii.
71.)  Universal shouting of the French on their opposite hillside; caps
raised on bayonets; and a sound as of Republique; Vive la Republique borne
dubious on the winds!--On the morrow morning, so to speak, Brunswick slings
his knapsacks before day, lights any fires he has; and marches without tap
of drum. Dumouriez finds ghastly symptoms in that camp; 'latrines full of
blood!'  (1st October, 1792; Dumouriez, iii. 73.)  The chivalrous King of
Prussia, for he as we saw is here in person, may long rue the day; may look
colder than ever on these dulled-bright Seigneurs, and French Princes their
Country's hope;--and, on the whole, put on his great-coat without ceremony,
happy that he has one. They retire, all retire with convenient despatch,
through a Champagne trodden into a quagmire, the wild weather pouring on
them; Dumouriez through his Kellermanns and Dillons pricking them a little
in the hinder parts. A little, not much; now pricking, now negotiating:
for Brunswick has his eyes opened; and the Majesty of Prussia is a
repentant Majesty.

Nor has Austria prospered, nor the Wooden Horse of Thionville bitten his
hay; nor Lille City surrendered itself. The Lille trenches opened, on the
29th of the month; with balls and shells, and redhot balls; as if not
trenches but Vesuvius and the Pit had opened. It was frightful, say all
eye-witnesses; but it is ineffectual. The Lillers have risen to such
temper; especially after these news from Argonne and the East. Not a Sans-
indispensables in Lille that would surrender for a King's ransom. Redhot
balls rain, day and night; 'six-thousand,' or so, and bombs 'filled
internally with oil of turpentine which splashes up in flame;'--mainly on
the dwellings of the Sansculottes and Poor; the streets of the Rich being
spared. But the Sansculottes get water-pails; form quenching-regulations,
"The ball is in Peter's house!"  "The ball is in John's!"  They divide
their lodging and substance with each other; shout Vive la Republique; and
faint not in heart. A ball thunders through the main chamber of the Hotel-
de-Ville, while the Commune is there assembled: "We are in permanence,"
says one, coldly, proceeding with his business; and the ball remains
permanent too, sticking in the wall, probably to this day. (Bombardement
de Lille (in Hist. Parl. xx. 63-71).)

The Austrian Archduchess (Queen's Sister) will herself see red artillery
fired; in their over-haste to satisfy an Archduchess 'two mortars explode
and kill thirty persons.'  It is in vain; Lille, often burning, is always
quenched again; Lille will not yield. The very boys deftly wrench the
matches out of fallen bombs: 'a man clutches a rolling ball with his hat,
which takes fire; when cool, they crown it with a bonnet rouge.'  Memorable
also be that nimble Barber, who when the bomb burst beside him, snatched up
a shred of it, introduced soap and lather into it, crying, "Voila mon plat
a barbe, My new shaving-dish!" and shaved 'fourteen people' on the spot.
Bravo, thou nimble Shaver; worthy to shave old spectral Redcloak, and find
treasures!--On the eighth day of this desperate siege, the sixth day of
October, Austria finding it fruitless, draws off, with no pleasurable
consciousness; rapidly, Dumouriez tending thitherward; and Lille too, black
with ashes and smoulder, but jubilant skyhigh, flings its gates open. The
Plat a barbe became fashionable; 'no Patriot of an elegant turn,' says
Mercier several years afterwards, 'but shaves himself out of the splinter
of a Lille bomb.'

Quid multa, Why many words? The Invaders are in flight; Brunswick's Host,
the third part of it gone to death, staggers disastrous along the deep
highways of Champagne; spreading out also into 'the fields, of a tough
spongy red-coloured clay;--like Pharaoh through a Red Sea of mud,' says
Goethe; 'for he also lay broken chariots, and riders and foot seemed
sinking around.'  (Campagne in Frankreich, p. 103.)  On the eleventh
morning of October, the World-Poet, struggling Northwards out of Verdun,
which he had entered Southwards, some five weeks ago, in quite other order,
discerned the following Phenomenon and formed part of it:

'Towards three in the morning, without having had any sleep, we were about
mounting our carriage, drawn up at the door; when an insuperable obstacle
disclosed itself: for there rolled on already, between the pavement-stones
which were crushed up into a ridge on each side, an uninterrupted column of
sick-wagons through the Town, and all was trodden as into a morass. While
we stood waiting what could be made of it, our Landlord the Knight of
Saint-Louis pressed past us, without salutation.'  He had been a Calonne's
Notable in 1787, an Emigrant since; had returned to his home, jubilant,
with the Prussians; but must now forth again into the wide world, 'followed
by a servant carrying a little bundle on his stick.

'The activity of our alert Lisieux shone eminent; and, on this occasion
too, brought us on: for he struck into a small gap of the wagon-row; and
held the advancing team back till we, with our six and our four horses, got
intercalated; after which, in my light little coachlet, I could breathe
freer. We were now under way; at a funeral pace, but still under way. The
day broke; we found ourselves at the outlet of the Town, in a tumult and
turmoil without measure. All sorts of vehicles, few horsemen, innumerable
foot-people, were crossing each other on the great esplanade before the
Gate. We turned to the right, with our Column, towards Estain, on a
limited highway, with ditches at each side. Self-preservation, in so
monstrous a press, knew now no pity, no respect of aught. Not far before
us there fell down a horse of an ammunition-wagon: they cut the traces,
and let it lie. And now as the three others could not bring their load
along, they cut them also loose, tumbled the heavy-packed vehicle into the
ditch; and, with the smallest retardation, we had to drive on, right over
the horse, which was just about to rise; and I saw too clearly how its
legs, under the wheels, went crashing and quivering.

'Horse and foot endeavoured to escape from the narrow laborious highway
into the meadows: but these too were rained to ruin; overflowed by full
ditches, the connexion of the footpaths every where interrupted. Four
gentlemanlike, handsome, well-dressed French soldiers waded for a time
beside our carriage; wonderfully clean and neat: and had such art of
picking their steps, that their foot-gear testified no higher than the
ancle to the muddy pilgrimage these good people found themselves engaged

'That under such circumstances one saw, in ditches, in meadows, in fields
and crofts, dead horses enough, was natural to the case: by and by,
however, you found them also flayed, the fleshy parts even cut away; sad
token of the universal distress.

'Thus we fared on; every moment in danger, at the smallest stoppage on our
own part, of being ourselves tumbled overboard; under which circumstances,
truly, the careful dexterity of our Lisieux could not be sufficiently
praised. The same talent shewed itself at Estain; where we arrived towards
noon; and descried, over the beautiful well-built little Town, through
streets and on squares, around and beside us, one sense-confusing tumult:
the mass rolled this way and that; and, all struggling forward, each
hindered the other. Unexpectedly our carriage drew up before a stately
house in the market-place; master and mistress of the mansion saluted us in
reverent distance.'  Dexterous Lisieux, though we knew it not, had said we
were the King of Prussia's Brother!

'But now, from the ground-floor windows, looking over the whole market-
place, we had the endless tumult lying, as it were, palpable. All sorts of
walkers, soldiers in uniform, marauders, stout but sorrowing citizens and
peasants, women and children, crushed and jostled each other, amid vehicles
of all forms: ammunition-wagons, baggage-wagons; carriages, single,
double, and multiplex; such hundredfold miscellany of teams, requisitioned
or lawfully owned, making way, hitting together, hindering each other,
rolled here to right and to left. Horned-cattle too were struggling on;
probably herds that had been put in requisition. Riders you saw few; but
the elegant carriages of the Emigrants, many-coloured, lackered, gilt and
silvered, evidently by the best builders, caught your eye. (See Hermann
and Dorothea (also by Goethe), Buch Kalliope.)

'The crisis of the strait however arose further on a little; where the
crowded market-place had to introduce itself into a street,--straight
indeed and good, but proportionably far too narrow. I have, in my life,
seen nothing like it: the aspect of it might perhaps be compared to that
of a swoln river which has been raging over meadows and fields, and is now
again obliged to press itself through a narrow bridge, and flow on in its
bounded channel. Down the long street, all visible from our windows, there
swelled continually the strangest tide: a high double-seated travelling-
coach towered visible over the flood of things. We thought of the fair
Frenchwomen we had seen in the morning. It was not they, however, it was
Count Haugwitz; him you could look at, with a kind of sardonic malice,
rocking onwards, step by step, there.'  (Campagne in Frankreich, Goethe's
Werke (Stuttgart, 1829), xxx. 133-137.)

In such untriumphant Procession has the Brunswick Manifesto issued! Nay in
worse, 'in Negotiation with these miscreants,'--the first news of which
produced such a revulsion in the Emigrant nature, as put our scientific
World-Poet 'in fear for the wits of several.'  There is no help: they must
fare on, these poor Emigrants, angry with all persons and things, and
making all persons angry, in the hapless course they struck into. Landlord
and landlady testify to you, at tables-d'hote, how insupportable these
Frenchmen are: how, in spite of such humiliation, of poverty and probable
beggary, there is ever the same struggle for precedence, the same
forwardness, and want of discretion. High in honour, at the head of the
table, you with your own eyes observe not a Seigneur but the automaton of a
Seigneur, fallen into dotage; still worshipped, reverently waited on, and
fed. In miscellaneous seats, is a miscellany of soldiers, commissaries,
adventurers; consuming silently their barbarian victuals. 'On all brows is
to be read a hard destiny; all are silent, for each has his own sufferings
to bear, and looks forth into misery without bounds.'  One hasty wanderer,
coming in, and eating without ungraciousness what is set before him, the
landlord lets off almost scot-free. "He is," whispered the landlord to me,
"the first of these cursed people I have seen condescend to taste our
German black bread."  (Ibid. 152.)  (Ibid. 210-12.)

And Dumouriez is in Paris; lauded and feasted; paraded in glittering
saloons, floods of beautifullest blond-dresses and broadcloth-coats flowing
past him, endless, in admiring joy. One night, nevertheless, in the
splendour of one such scene, he sees himself suddenly apostrophised by a
squalid unjoyful Figure, who has come in uninvited, nay despite of all
lackeys; an unjoyful Figure! The Figure is come "in express mission from
the Jacobins," to inquire sharply, better then than later, touching certain
things: "Shaven eyebrows of Volunteer Patriots, for instance?"  Also "your
threats of shivering in pieces?"  Also, "why you have not chased Brunswick
hotly enough?"  Thus, with sharp croak, inquires the Figure.--"Ah, c'est
vous qu'on appelle Marat, You are he they call Marat!" answers the General,
and turns coldly on his heel. (Dumouriez, iii. 115.--Marat's account, In
the Debats des Jacobins and Journal de la Republique (Hist. Parl. xix. 317-
21), agrees to the turning on the heel, but strives to interpret it
differently.)--"Marat!"  The blonde-gowns quiver like aspens; the dress-
coats gather round; Actor Talma (for it is his house), and almost the very
chandelier-lights, are blue: till this obscene Spectrum, or visual
Appearance, vanish back into native Night.

General Dumouriez, in few brief days, is gone again, towards the
Netherlands; will attack the Netherlands, winter though it be. And General
Montesquiou, on the South-East, has driven in the Sardinian Majesty; nay,
almost without a shot fired, has taken Savoy from him, which longs to
become a piece of the Republic. And General Custine, on the North-East,
has dashed forth on Spires and its Arsenal; and then on Electoral Mentz,
not uninvited, wherein are German Democrats and no shadow of an Elector
now:--so that in the last days of October, Frau Forster, a daughter of
Heyne's, somewhat democratic, walking out of the Gate of Mentz with her
Husband, finds French Soldiers playing at bowls with cannon-balls there.
Forster trips cheerfully over one iron bomb, with "Live the Republic!"  A
black-bearded National Guard answers: "Elle vivra bien sans vous, It will
probably live independently of you!"  (Johann Georg Forster's Briefwechsel
(Leipzig, 1829), i. 88.)



Chapter 3.2.I.

The Deliberative.

France therefore has done two things very completely: she has hurled back
her Cimmerian Invaders far over the marches; and likewise she has shattered
her own internal Social Constitution, even to the minutest fibre of it,
into wreck and dissolution. Utterly it is all altered: from King down to
Parish Constable, all Authorities, Magistrates, Judges, persons that bore
rule, have had, on the sudden, to alter themselves, so far as needful; or
else, on the sudden, and not without violence, to be altered: a Patriot
'Executive Council of Ministers,' with a Patriot Danton in it, and then a
whole Nation and National Convention, have taken care of that. Not a
Parish Constable, in the furthest hamlet, who has said De Par le Roi, and
shewn loyalty, but must retire, making way for a new improved Parish
Constable who can say De par la Republique.

It is a change such as History must beg her readers to imagine,
undescribed. An instantaneous change of the whole body-politic, the soul-
politic being all changed; such a change as few bodies, politic or other,
can experience in this world. Say perhaps, such as poor Nymph Semele's
body did experience, when she would needs, with woman's humour, see her
Olympian Jove as very Jove;--and so stood, poor Nymph, this moment Semele,
next moment not Semele, but Flame and a Statue of red-hot Ashes! France
has looked upon Democracy; seen it face to face.--The Cimmerian Invaders
will rally, in humbler temper, with better or worse luck: the wreck and
dissolution must reshape itself into a social Arrangement as it can and
may. But as for this National Convention, which is to settle every thing,
if it do, as Deputy Paine and France generally expects, get all finished
'in a few months,' we shall call it a most deft Convention.

In truth, it is very singular to see how this mercurial French People
plunges suddenly from Vive le Roi to Vive la Republique; and goes simmering
and dancing; shaking off daily (so to speak), and trampling into the dust,
its old social garnitures, ways of thinking, rules of existing; and
cheerfully dances towards the Ruleless, Unknown, with such hope in its
heart, and nothing but Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood in its mouth. Is
it two centuries, or is it only two years, since all France roared
simultaneously to the welkin, bursting forth into sound and smoke at its
Feast of Pikes, "Live the Restorer of French Liberty?"  Three short years
ago there was still Versailles and an Oeil-de-Boeuf: now there is that
watched Circuit of the Temple, girt with dragon-eyed Municipals, where, as
in its final limbo, Royalty lies extinct. In the year 1789, Constituent
Deputy Barrere 'wept,' in his Break-of-Day Newspaper, at sight of a
reconciled King Louis; and now in 1792, Convention Deputy Barrere,
perfectly tearless, may be considering, whether the reconciled King Louis
shall be guillotined or not.

Old garnitures and social vestures drop off (we say) so fast, being indeed
quite decayed, and are trodden under the National dance. And the new
vestures, where are they; the new modes and rules? Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity: not vestures but the wish for vestures! The Nation is for the
present, figuratively speaking, naked! It has no rule or vesture; but is
naked,--a Sansculottic Nation.

So far, therefore, in such manner have our Patriot Brissots, Guadets
triumphed. Vergniaud's Ezekiel-visions of the fall of thrones and crowns,
which he spake hypothetically and prophetically in the Spring of the year,
have suddenly come to fulfilment in the Autumn. Our eloquent Patriots of
the Legislative, like strong Conjurors, by the word of their mouth, have
swept Royalism with its old modes and formulas to the winds; and shall now
govern a France free of formulas. Free of formulas! And yet man lives not
except with formulas; with customs, ways of doing and living: no text
truer than this; which will hold true from the Tea-table and Tailor's
shopboard up to the High Senate-houses, Solemn Temples; nay through all
provinces of Mind and Imagination, onwards to the outmost confines of
articulate Being,--Ubi homines sunt modi sunt! There are modes wherever
there are men. It is the deepest law of man's nature; whereby man is a
craftsman and 'tool-using animal;' not the slave of Impulse, Chance, and
Brute Nature, but in some measure their lord. Twenty-five millions of men,
suddenly stript bare of their modi, and dancing them down in that manner,
are a terrible thing to govern!

Eloquent Patriots of the Legislative, meanwhile, have precisely this
problem to solve. Under the name and nickname of 'statesmen, hommes
d'etat,' of 'moderate-men, moderantins,' of Brissotins, Rolandins, finally
of Girondins, they shall become world-famous in solving it. For the
Twenty-five millions are Gallic effervescent too;--filled both with hope of
the unutterable, of universal Fraternity and Golden Age; and with terror of
the unutterable, Cimmerian Europe all rallying on us. It is a problem like
few. Truly, if man, as the Philosophers brag, did to any extent look
before and after, what, one may ask, in many cases would become of him?
What, in this case, would become of these Seven Hundred and Forty-nine men?
The Convention, seeing clearly before and after, were a paralysed
Convention. Seeing clearly to the length of its own nose, it is not

To the Convention itself neither the work nor the method of doing it is
doubtful: To make the Constitution; to defend the Republic till that be
made. Speedily enough, accordingly, there has been a 'Committee of the
Constitution' got together. Sieyes, Old-Constituent, Constitution-builder
by trade; Condorcet, fit for better things; Deputy Paine, foreign
Benefactor of the Species, with that 'red carbuncled face, and the black
beaming eyes;' Herault de Sechelles, Ex-Parlementeer, one of the handsomest
men in France: these, with inferior guild-brethren, are girt cheerfully to
the work; will once more 'make the Constitution;' let us hope, more
effectually than last time. For that the Constitution can be made, who
doubts,--unless the Gospel of Jean Jacques came into the world in vain?
True, our last Constitution did tumble within the year, so lamentably. But
what then, except sort the rubbish and boulders, and build them up again
better? 'Widen your basis,' for one thing,--to Universal Suffrage, if need
be; exclude rotten materials, Royalism and such like, for another thing.
And in brief, build, O unspeakable Sieyes and Company, unwearied! Frequent
perilous downrushing of scaffolding and rubble-work, be that an irritation,
no discouragement. Start ye always again, clearing aside the wreck; if
with broken limbs, yet with whole hearts; and build, we say, in the name of
Heaven,--till either the work do stand; or else mankind abandon it, and the
Constitution-builders be paid off, with laughter and tears! One good time,
in the course of Eternity, it was appointed that this of Social Contract
too should try itself out. And so the Committee of Constitution shall
toil: with hope and faith;--with no disturbance from any reader of these

To make the Constitution, then, and return home joyfully in a few months:
this is the prophecy our National Convention gives of itself; by this
scientific program shall its operations and events go on. But from the
best scientific program, in such a case, to the actual fulfilment, what a
difference! Every reunion of men, is it not, as we often say, a reunion of
incalculable Influences; every unit of it a microcosm of Influences;--of
which how shall Science calculate or prophesy! Science, which cannot, with
all its calculuses, differential, integral, and of variations, calculate
the Problem of Three gravitating Bodies, ought to hold her peace here, and
say only: In this National Convention there are Seven Hundred and Forty-
nine very singular Bodies, that gravitate and do much else;--who, probably
in an amazing manner, will work the appointment of Heaven.

Of National Assemblages, Parliaments, Congresses, which have long sat;
which are of saturnine temperament; above all, which are not 'dreadfully in
earnest,' something may be computed or conjectured: yet even these are a
kind of Mystery in progress,--whereby we see the Journalist Reporter find
livelihood: even these jolt madly out of the ruts, from time to time. How
much more a poor National Convention, of French vehemence; urged on at such
velocity; without routine, without rut, track or landmark; and dreadfully
in earnest every man of them! It is a Parliament literally such as there
was never elsewhere in the world. Themselves are new, unarranged; they are
the Heart and presiding centre of a France fallen wholly into maddest
disarrangement. From all cities, hamlets, from the utmost ends of this
France with its Twenty-five million vehement souls, thick-streaming
influences storm in on that same Heart, in the Salle de Manege, and storm
out again: such fiery venous-arterial circulation is the function of that
Heart. Seven Hundred and Forty-nine human individuals, we say, never sat
together on Earth, under more original circumstances. Common individuals
most of them, or not far from common; yet in virtue of the position they
occupied, so notable. How, in this wild piping of the whirlwind of human
passions, with death, victory, terror, valour, and all height and all depth
pealing and piping, these men, left to their own guidance, will speak and

Readers know well that this French National Convention (quite contrary to
its own Program) became the astonishment and horror of mankind; a kind of
Apocalyptic Convention, or black Dream become real; concerning which
History seldom speaks except in the way of interjection: how it covered
France with woe, delusion, and delirium; and from its bosom there went
forth Death on the pale Horse. To hate this poor National Convention is
easy; to praise and love it has not been found impossible. It is, as we
say, a Parliament in the most original circumstances. To us, in these
pages, be it as a fuliginous fiery mystery, where Upper has met Nether, and
in such alternate glare and blackness of darkness poor bedazzled mortals
know not which is Upper, which is Nether; but rage and plunge distractedly,
as mortals, in that case, will do. A Convention which has to consume
itself, suicidally; and become dead ashes--with its World! Behoves us, not
to enter exploratively its dim embroiled deeps; yet to stand with
unwavering eyes, looking how it welters; what notable phases and
occurrences it will successively throw up.

One general superficial circumstance we remark with praise: the force of
Politeness. To such depth has the sense of civilisation penetrated man's
life; no Drouet, no Legendre, in the maddest tug of war, can altogether
shake it off. Debates of Senates dreadfully in earnest are seldom given
frankly to the world; else perhaps they would surprise it. Did not the
Grand Monarque himself once chase his Louvois with a pair of brandished
tongs? But reading long volumes of these Convention Debates, all in a foam
with furious earnestness, earnest many times to the extent of life and
death, one is struck rather with the degree of continence they manifest in
speech; and how in such wild ebullition, there is still a kind of polite
rule struggling for mastery, and the forms of social life never altogether
disappear. These men, though they menace with clenched right-hands, do not
clench one another by the collar; they draw no daggers, except for
oratorical purposes, and this not often: profane swearing is almost
unknown, though the Reports are frank enough; we find only one or two
oaths, oaths by Marat, reported in all.

For the rest, that there is 'effervescence' who doubts? Effervescence
enough; Decrees passed by acclamation to-day, repealed by vociferation to-
morrow; temper fitful, most rotatory changeful, always headlong! The
'voice of the orator is covered with rumours;' a hundred 'honourable
Members rush with menaces towards the Left side of the Hall;' President has
'broken three bells in succession,'--claps on his hat, as signal that the
country is near ruined. A fiercely effervescent Old-Gallic Assemblage!--
Ah, how the loud sick sounds of Debate, and of Life, which is a debate,
sink silent one after another: so loud now, and in a little while so low!
Brennus, and those antique Gael Captains, in their way to Rome, to Galatia,
and such places, whither they were in the habit of marching in the most
fiery manner, had Debates as effervescent, doubt it not; though no Moniteur
has reported them. They scolded in Celtic Welsh, those Brennuses; neither
were they Sansculotte; nay rather breeches (braccae, say of felt or rough-
leather) were the only thing they had; being, as Livy testifies, naked down
to the haunches:--and, see, it is the same sort of work and of men still,
now when they have got coats, and speak nasally a kind of broken Latin!
But on the whole does not TIME envelop this present National Convention; as
it did those Brennuses, and ancient August Senates in felt breeches? Time
surely; and also Eternity. Dim dusk of Time,--or noon which will be dusk;
and then there is night, and silence; and Time with all its sick noises is
swallowed in the still sea. Pity thy brother, O Son of Adam! The angriest
frothy jargon that he utters, is it not properly the whimpering of an
infant which cannot speak what ails it, but is in distress clearly, in the
inwards of it; and so must squall and whimper continually, till its Mother
take it, and it get--to sleep!

This Convention is not four days old, and the melodious Meliboean stanzas
that shook down Royalty are still fresh in our ear, when there bursts out a
new diapason,--unhappily, of Discord, this time. For speech has been made
of a thing difficult to speak of well: the September Massacres. How deal
with these September Massacres; with the Paris Commune that presided over
them? A Paris Commune hateful-terrible; before which the poor effete
Legislative had to quail, and sit quiet. And now if a young omnipotent
Convention will not so quail and sit, what steps shall it take? Have a
Departmental Guard in its pay, answer the Girondins, and Friends of Order!
A Guard of National Volunteers, missioned from all the Eighty-three or
Eighty-five Departments, for that express end; these will keep
Septemberers, tumultuous Communes in a due state of submissiveness, the
Convention in a due state of sovereignty. So have the Friends of Order
answered, sitting in Committee, and reporting; and even a Decree has been
passed of the required tenour. Nay certain Departments, as the Var or
Marseilles, in mere expectation and assurance of a Decree, have their
contingent of Volunteers already on march: brave Marseillese, foremost on
the Tenth of August, will not be hindmost here; 'fathers gave their sons a
musket and twenty-five louis,' says Barbaroux, 'and bade them march.'

Can any thing be properer? A Republic that will found itself on justice
must needs investigate September Massacres; a Convention calling itself
National, ought it not to be guarded by a National force?--Alas, Reader, it
seems so to the eye: and yet there is much to be said and argued. Thou
beholdest here the small beginning of a Controversy, which mere logic will
not settle. Two small well-springs, September, Departmental Guard, or
rather at bottom they are but one and the same small well-spring; which
will swell and widen into waters of bitterness; all manner of subsidiary
streams and brooks of bitterness flowing in, from this side and that; till
it become a wide river of bitterness, of rage and separation,--which can
subside only into the Catacombs. This Departmental Guard, decreed by
overwhelming majorities, and then repealed for peace's sake, and not to
insult Paris, is again decreed more than once; nay it is partially
executed, and the very men that are to be of it are seen visibly parading
the Paris streets,--shouting once, being overtaken with liquor: "A bas
Marat, Down with Marat!"  (Hist. Parl. xx. 184.)  Nevertheless, decreed
never so often, it is repealed just as often; and continues, for some seven
months, an angry noisy Hypothesis only: a fair Possibility struggling to
become a Reality, but which shall never be one; which, after endless
struggling, shall, in February next, sink into sad rest,--dragging much
along with it. So singular are the ways of men and honourable Members.

But on this fourth day of the Convention's existence, as we said, which is
the 25th of September 1792, there comes Committee Report on that Decree of
the Departmental Guard, and speech of repealing it; there come
denunciations of anarchy, of a Dictatorship,--which let the incorruptible
Robespierre consider: there come denunciations of a certain Journal de la
Republique, once called Ami du Peuple; and so thereupon there comes,
visibly stepping up, visibly standing aloft on the Tribune, ready to speak,
the Bodily Spectrum of People's-Friend Marat! Shriek, ye Seven Hundred and
Forty-nine; it is verily Marat, he and not another. Marat is no phantasm
of the brain, or mere lying impress of Printer's Types; but a thing
material, of joint and sinew, and a certain small stature: ye behold him
there, in his blackness in his dingy squalor, a living fraction of Chaos
and Old Night; visibly incarnate, desirous to speak. "It appears," says
Marat to the shrieking Assembly, "that a great many persons here are
enemies of mine."  "All! All!" shriek hundreds of voices: enough to drown
any People's-Friend. But Marat will not drown: he speaks and croaks
explanation; croaks with such reasonableness, air of sincerity, that
repentant pity smothers anger, and the shrieks subside or even become
applauses. For this Convention is unfortunately the crankest of machines:
it shall be pointing eastward, with stiff violence, this moment; and then
do but touch some spring dexterously, the whole machine, clattering and
jerking seven-hundred-fold, will whirl with huge crash, and, next moment,
is pointing westward! Thus Marat, absolved and applauded, victorious in
this turn of fence, is, as the Debate goes on, prickt at again by some
dexterous Girondin; and then and shrieks rise anew, and Decree of
Accusation is on the point of passing; till the dingy People's-Friend bobs
aloft once more; croaks once more persuasive stillness, and the Decree of
Accusation sinks, Whereupon he draws forth--a Pistol; and setting it to his
Head, the seat of such thought and prophecy, says: "If they had passed
their Accusation Decree, he, the People's-Friend, would have blown his
brains out."  A People's Friend has that faculty in him. For the rest, as
to this of the two hundred and sixty thousand Aristocrat Heads, Marat
candidly says, "C'est la mon avis, such is my opinion."  Also it is not
indisputable: "No power on Earth can prevent me from seeing into traitors,
and unmasking them,"--by my superior originality of mind? (Moniteur
Newspaper, Nos. 271, 280, 294, Annee premiere; Moore's Journal, ii. 21,
157, &c. (which, however, may perhaps, as in similar cases, be only a copy
of the Newspaper).)  An honourable member like this Friend of the People
few terrestrial Parliaments have had.

We observe, however, that this first onslaught by the Friends of Order, as
sharp and prompt as it was, has failed. For neither can Robespierre,
summoned out by talk of Dictatorship, and greeted with the like rumour on
shewing himself, be thrown into Prison, into Accusation;--not though
Barbarous openly bear testimony against him, and sign it on paper. With
such sanctified meekness does the Incorruptible lift his seagreen cheek to
the smiter; lift his thin voice, and with jesuitic dexterity plead, and
prosper: asking at last, in a prosperous manner: "But what witnesses has
the Citoyen Barbaroux to support his testimony?"  "Moi!" cries hot
Rebecqui, standing up, striking his breast with both hands, and answering,
"Me!"  (Moniteur, ut supra; Seance du 25 Septembre.)  Nevertheless the
Seagreen pleads again, and makes it good: the long hurlyburly, 'personal
merely,' while so much public matter lies fallow, has ended in the order of
the day. O Friends of the Gironde, why will you occupy our august sessions
with mere paltry Personalities, while the grand Nationality lies in such a
state?--The Gironde has touched, this day, on the foul black-spot of its
fair Convention Domain; has trodden on it, and yet not trodden it down.
Alas, it is a well-spring, as we said, this black-spot; and will not tread

Chapter 3.2.II.

The Executive.

May we not conjecture therefore that round this grand enterprise of Making
the Constitution there will, as heretofore, very strange embroilments
gather, and questions and interests complicate themselves; so that after a
few or even several months, the Convention will not have settled every
thing? Alas, a whole tide of questions comes rolling, boiling; growing
ever wider, without end! Among which, apart from this question of
September and Anarchy, let us notice those, which emerge oftener than the
others, and promise to become Leading Questions: of the Armies; of the
Subsistences; thirdly, of the Dethroned King.

As to the Armies, Public Defence must evidently be put on a proper footing;
for Europe seems coalising itself again; one is apprehensive even England
will join it. Happily Dumouriez prospers in the North;--nay what if he
should prove too prosperous, and become Liberticide, Murderer of Freedom!--
Dumouriez prospers, through this winter season; yet not without lamentable
complaints. Sleek Pache, the Swiss Schoolmaster, he that sat frugal in his
Alley, the wonder of neighbours, has got lately--whither thinks the Reader?
To be Minister of war! Madame Roland, struck with his sleek ways,
recommended him to her Husband as Clerk: the sleek Clerk had no need of
salary, being of true Patriotic temper; he would come with a bit of bread
in his pocket, to save dinner and time; and, munching incidentally, do
three men's work in a day" punctual, silent, frugal,--the sleek Tartuffe
that he was. Wherefore Roland, in the late Overturn, recommended him to be
War-Minister. And now, it would seem, he is secretly undermining Roland;
playing into the hands of your hotter Jacobins and September Commune; and
cannot, like strict Roland, be the Veto des Coquins! (Madame Roland,
Memoires, ii. 237, &c.)

How the sleek Pache might mine and undermine, one knows not well; this
however one does know: that his War-Office has become a den of thieves and
confusion, such as all men shudder to behold. That the Citizen
Hassenfratz, as Head-Clerk, sits there in bonnet rouge, in rapine, in
violence, and some Mathematical calculation; a most insolent, red-
nightcapped man. That Pache munches his pocket-loaf, amid head-clerks and
sub-clerks, and has spent all the War-Estimates: that Furnishers scour in
gigs, over all districts of France, and drive bargains;--and lastly that
the Army gets next to no furniture. No shoes, though it is winter; no
clothes; some have not even arms: 'In the Army of the South,' complains an
honourable Member, 'there are thirty thousand pairs of breeches wanting,'--
a most scandalous want.

Roland's strict soul is sick to see the course things take: but what can
he do? Keep his own Department strict; rebuke, and repress wheresoever
possible; at lowest, complain. He can complain in Letter after Letter, to
a National Convention, to France, to Posterity, the Universe; grow ever
more querulous indignant;--till at last may he not grow wearisome? For is
not this continual text of his, at bottom a rather barren one: How
astonishing that in a time of Revolt and abrogation of all Law but Cannon
Law, there should be such Unlawfulness? Intrepid Veto-of-Scoundrels,
narrow-faithful, respectable, methodic man, work thou in that manner, since
happily it is thy manner, and wear thyself away; though ineffectual, not
profitless in it--then nor now!--The brave Dame Roland, bravest of all
French women, begins to have misgivings: the figure of Danton has too much
of the 'Sardanapalus character,' at a Republican Rolandin Dinner-table:
Clootz, Speaker of Mankind, proses sad stuff about a Universal Republic, or
union of all Peoples and Kindreds in one and the same Fraternal Bond; of
which Bond, how it is to be tied, one unhappily sees not.

It is also an indisputable, unaccountable or accountable fact that Grains
are becoming scarcer and scarcer. Riots for grain, tumultuous Assemblages
demanding to have the price of grain fixed abound far and near. The Mayor
of Paris and other poor Mayors are like to have their difficulties. Petion
was re-elected Mayor of Paris; but has declined; being now a Convention
Legislator. Wise surely to decline: for, besides this of Grains and all
the rest, there is in these times an Improvised insurrectionary Commune
passing into an Elected legal one; getting their accounts settled,--not
without irritancy! Petion has declined: nevertheless many do covet and
canvass. After months of scrutinising, balloting, arguing and jargoning,
one Doctor Chambon gets the post of honour: who will not long keep it; but
be, as we shall see, literally crushed out of it. (Dictionnaire des Hommes
Marquans, para Chambon.)

Think also if the private Sansculotte has not his difficulties, in a time
of dearth! Bread, according to the People's-Friend, may be some 'six sous
per pound, a day's wages some fifteen;' and grim winter here. How the Poor
Man continues living, and so seldom starves, by miracle! Happily, in these
days, he can enlist, and have himself shot by the Austrians, in an
unusually satisfactory manner: for the Rights of Man.--But Commandant
Santerre, in this so straitened condition of the flour-market, and state of
Equality and Liberty, proposes, through the Newspapers, two remedies, or at
least palliatives: First, that all classes of men should live, two days of
the week, on potatoes; then second, that every man should hang his dog.
Hereby, as the Commandant thinks, the saving, which indeed he computes to
so many sacks, would be very considerable. A cheerfuller form of
inventive-stupidity than Commandant Santerre's dwells in no human soul.
Inventive-stupidity, imbedded in health, courage and good-nature: much to
be commended. "My whole strength," he tells the Convention once, "is, day
and night, at the service of my fellow-Citizens: if they find me
worthless, they will dismiss me; I will return and brew beer."  (Moniteur
(in Hist. Parl. xx. 412).)

Or figure what correspondences a poor Roland, Minister of the Interior,
must have, on this of Grains alone! Free-trade in Grain, impossibility to
fix the Prices of Grain; on the other hand, clamour and necessity to fix
them: Political Economy lecturing from the Home Office, with demonstration
clear as Scripture;--ineffectual for the empty National Stomach. The Mayor
of Chartres, like to be eaten himself, cries to the Convention: the
Convention sends honourable Members in Deputation; who endeavour to feed
the multitude by miraculous spiritual methods; but cannot. The multitude,
in spite of all Eloquence, come bellowing round; will have the Grain-Prices
fixed, and at a moderate elevation; or else--the honourable Deputies hanged
on the spot! The honourable Deputies, reporting this business, admit that,
on the edge of horrid death, they did fix, or affect to fix the Price of
Grain: for which, be it also noted, the Convention, a Convention that will
not be trifled with, sees good to reprimand them. (Hist. Parl. xx. 431-

But as to the origin of these Grain Riots, is it not most probably your
secret Royalists again? Glimpses of Priests were discernible in this of
Chartres,--to the eye of Patriotism. Or indeed may not 'the root of it all
lie in the Temple Prison, in the heart of a perjured King,' well as we
guard him? (Ibid. 409.)  Unhappy perjured King!--And so there shall be
Baker's Queues, by and by, more sharp-tempered than ever: on every Baker's
door-rabbet an iron ring, and coil of rope; whereon, with firm grip, on
this side and that, we form our Queue: but mischievous deceitful persons
cut the rope, and our Queue becomes a ravelment; wherefore the coil must be
made of iron chain. (Mercier, Nouveau Paris.)  Also there shall be Prices
of Grain well fixed; but then no grain purchasable by them: bread not to
be had except by Ticket from the Mayor, few ounces per mouth daily; after
long swaying, with firm grip, on the chain of the Queue. And Hunger shall
stalk direful; and Wrath and Suspicion, whetted to the Preternatural pitch,
shall stalk;--as those other preternatural 'shapes of Gods in their
wrathfulness' were discerned stalking, 'in glare and gloom of that fire-
ocean,' when Troy Town fell!--

Chapter 3.2.III.


But the question more pressing than all on the Legislator, as yet, is this
third: What shall be done with King Louis?

King Louis, now King and Majesty to his own family alone, in their own
Prison Apartment alone, has been Louis Capet and the Traitor Veto with the
rest of France. Shut in his Circuit of the Temple, he has heard and seen
the loud whirl of things; yells of September Massacres, Brunswick war-
thunders dying off in disaster and discomfiture; he passive, a spectator
merely;--waiting whither it would please to whirl with him. From the
neighbouring windows, the curious, not without pity, might see him walk
daily, at a certain hour, in the Temple Garden, with his Queen, Sister and
two Children, all that now belongs to him in this Earth. (Moore, i. 123;
ii. 224, &c.)  Quietly he walks and waits; for he is not of lively
feelings, and is of a devout heart. The wearied Irresolute has, at least,
no need of resolving now. His daily meals, lessons to his Son, daily walk
in the Garden, daily game at ombre or drafts, fill up the day: the morrow
will provide for itself.

The morrow indeed; and yet How? Louis asks, How? France, with perhaps
still more solicitude, asks, How? A King dethroned by insurrection is
verily not easy to dispose of. Keep him prisoner, he is a secret centre
for the Disaffected, for endless plots, attempts and hopes of theirs.
Banish him, he is an open centre for them; his royal war-standard, with
what of divinity it has, unrolls itself, summoning the world. Put him to
death? A cruel questionable extremity that too: and yet the likeliest in
these extreme circumstances, of insurrectionary men, whose own life and
death lies staked: accordingly it is said, from the last step of the
throne to the first of the scaffold there is short distance.

But, on the whole, we will remark here that this business of Louis looks
altogether different now, as seen over Seas and at the distance of forty-
four years, than it looked then, in France, and struggling, confused all
round one! For indeed it is a most lying thing that same Past Tense
always: so beautiful, sad, almost Elysian-sacred, 'in the moonlight of
Memory,' it seems; and seems only. For observe: always, one most
important element is surreptitiously (we not noticing it) withdrawn from
the Past Time: the haggard element of Fear! Not there does Fear dwell,
nor Uncertainty, nor Anxiety; but it dwells here; haunting us, tracking us;
running like an accursed ground-discord through all the music-tones of our
Existence;--making the Tense a mere Present one! Just so is it with this
of Louis. Why smite the fallen? asks Magnanimity, out of danger now. He
is fallen so low this once-high man; no criminal nor traitor, how far from
it; but the unhappiest of Human Solecisms: whom if abstract Justice had to
pronounce upon, she might well become concrete Pity, and pronounce only
sobs and dismissal!

So argues retrospective Magnanimity: but Pusillanimity, present,
prospective? Reader, thou hast never lived, for months, under the rustle
of Prussian gallows-ropes; never wert thou portion of a National Sahara-
waltz, Twenty-five millions running distracted to fight Brunswick! Knights
Errant themselves, when they conquered Giants, usually slew the Giants:
quarter was only for other Knights Errant, who knew courtesy and the laws
of battle. The French Nation, in simultaneous, desperate dead-pull, and as
if by miracle of madness, has pulled down the most dread Goliath, huge with
the growth of ten centuries; and cannot believe, though his giant bulk,
covering acres, lies prostrate, bound with peg and packthread, that he will
not rise again, man-devouring; that the victory is not partly a dream.
Terror has its scepticism; miraculous victory its rage of vengeance. Then
as to criminalty, is the prostrated Giant, who will devour us if he rise,
an innocent Giant? Curate Gregoire, who indeed is now Constitutional
Bishop Gregoire, asserts, in the heat of eloquence, that Kingship by the
very nature of it is a crime capital; that Kings' Houses are as wild-
beasts' dens. (Moniteur, Seance du 21 Septembre, Annee 1er (1792).)
Lastly consider this: that there is on record a Trial of Charles First!
This printed Trial of Charles First is sold and read every where at
present: (Moore's Journal, ii. 165.)--Quelle spectacle! Thus did the
English People judge their Tyrant, and become the first of Free Peoples:
which feat, by the grace of Destiny, may not France now rival? Scepticism
of terror, rage of miraculous victory, sublime spectacle to the universe,--
all things point one fatal way.

Such leading questions, and their endless incidental ones: of September
Anarchists and Departmental Guard; of Grain Riots, plaintiff Interior
Ministers; of Armies, Hassenfratz dilapidations; and what is to be done
with Louis,--beleaguer and embroil this Convention; which would so gladly
make the Constitution rather. All which questions too, as we often urge of
such things, are in growth; they grow in every French head; and can be seen
growing also, very curiously, in this mighty welter of Parliamentary
Debate, of Public Business which the Convention has to do. A question
emerges, so small at first; is put off, submerged; but always re-emerges
bigger than before. It is a curious, indeed an indescribable sort of
growth which such things have.

We perceive, however, both by its frequent re-emergence and by its rapid
enlargement of bulk, that this Question of King Louis will take the lead of
all the rest. And truly, in that case, it will take the lead in a much
deeper sense. For as Aaron's Rod swallowed all the other Serpents; so will
the Foremost Question, whichever may get foremost, absorb all other
questions and interests; and from it and the decision of it will they all,
so to speak, be born, or new-born, and have shape, physiognomy and destiny
corresponding. It was appointed of Fate that, in this wide-weltering,
strangely growing, monstrous stupendous imbroglio of Convention Business,
the grand First-Parent of all the questions, controversies, measures and
enterprises which were to be evolved there to the world's astonishment,
should be this Question of King Louis.

Chapter 3.2.IV.

The Loser pays.

The Sixth of November, 1792, was a great day for the Republic: outwardly,
over the Frontiers; inwardly, in the Salle de Manege.

Outwardly: for Dumouriez, overrunning the Netherlands, did, on that day,
come in contact with Saxe-Teschen and the Austrians; Dumouriez wide-winged,
they wide-winged; at and around the village of Jemappes, near Mons. And
fire-hail is whistling far and wide there, the great guns playing, and the
small; so many green Heights getting fringed and maned with red Fire. And
Dumouriez is swept back on this wing, and swept back on that, and is like
to be swept back utterly; when he rushes up in person, the prompt
Polymetis; speaks a prompt word or two; and then, with clear tenor-pipe,
'uplifts the Hymn of the Marseillese, entonna la Marseillaise,' (Dumouriez,
Memoires, iii. 174.) ten thousand tenor or bass pipes joining; or say, some
Forty Thousand in all; for every heart leaps at the sound: and so with
rhythmic march-melody, waxing ever quicker, to double and to treble quick,
they rally, they advance, they rush, death-defying, man-devouring; carry
batteries, redoutes, whatsoever is to be carried; and, like the fire-
whirlwind, sweep all manner of Austrians from the scene of action. Thus,
through the hands of Dumouriez, may Rouget de Lille, in figurative speech,
be said to have gained, miraculously, like another Orpheus, by his
Marseillese fiddle-strings (fidibus canoris) a Victory of Jemappes; and
conquered the Low Countries.

Young General Egalite, it would seem, shone brave among the bravest on this
occasion. Doubtless a brave Egalite;--whom however does not Dumouriez
rather talk of oftener than need were? The Mother Society has her own
thoughts. As for the Elder Egalite he flies low at this time; appears in
the Convention for some half-hour daily, with rubicund, pre-occupied, or
impressive quasi-contemptuous countenance; and then takes himself away.
(Moore, ii. 148.)  The Netherlands are conquered, at least overrun.
Jacobin missionaries, your Prolys, Pereiras, follow in the train of the
Armies; also Convention Commissioners, melting church-plate,
revolutionising and remodelling--among whom Danton, in brief space, does
immensities of business; not neglecting his own wages and trade-profits, it
is thought. Hassenfratz dilapidates at home; Dumouriez grumbles and they
dilapidate abroad: within the walls there is sinning, and without the
walls there is sinning.

But in the Hall of the Convention, at the same hour with this victory of
Jemappes, there went another thing forward: Report, of great length, from
the proper appointed Committee, on the Crimes of Louis. The Galleries
listen breathless; take comfort, ye Galleries: Deputy Valaze, Reporter on
this occasion, thinks Louis very criminal; and that, if convenient, he
should be tried;--poor Girondin Valaze, who may be tried himself, one day!
Comfortable so far. Nay here comes a second Committee-reporter, Deputy
Mailhe, with a Legal Argument, very prosy to read now, very refreshing to
hear then, That, by the Law of the Country, Louis Capet was only called
Inviolable by a figure of rhetoric; but at bottom was perfectly violable,
triable; that he can, and even should be tried. This Question of Louis,
emerging so often as an angry confused possibility, and submerging again,
has emerged now in an articulate shape.

Patriotism growls indignant joy. The so-called reign of Equality is not to
be a mere name, then, but a thing! Try Louis Capet? scornfully ejaculates
Patriotism: Mean criminals go to the gallows for a purse cut; and this
chief criminal, guilty of a France cut; of a France slashed asunder with
Clotho-scissors and Civil war; with his victims 'twelve hundred on the
Tenth of August alone' lying low in the Catacombs, fattening the passes of
Argonne Wood, of Valmy and far Fields; he, such chief criminal, shall not
even come to the bar?--For, alas, O Patriotism! add we, it was from of old
said, The loser pays! It is he who has to pay all scores, run up by
whomsoever; on him must all breakages and charges fall; and the twelve
hundred on the Tenth of August are not rebel traitors, but victims and
martyrs: such is the law of quarrel.

Patriotism, nothing doubting, watches over this Question of the Trial, now
happily emerged in an articulate shape; and will see it to maturity, if the
gods permit. With a keen solicitude Patriotism watches; getting ever
keener, at every new difficulty, as Girondins and false brothers interpose
delays; till it get a keenness as of fixed-idea, and will have this Trial
and no earthly thing instead of it,--if Equality be not a name. Love of
Equality; then scepticism of terror, rage of victory, sublime spectacle of
the universe: all these things are strong.

But indeed this Question of the Trial, is it not to all persons a most
grave one; filling with dubiety many a Legislative head! Regicide? asks
the Gironde Respectability: To kill a king, and become the horror of
respectable nations and persons? But then also, to save a king; to lose
one's footing with the decided Patriot; and undecided Patriot, though never
so respectable, being mere hypothetic froth and no footing?--The dilemma
presses sore; and between the horns of it you wriggle round and round.
Decision is nowhere, save in the Mother Society and her Sons. These have
decided, and go forward: the others wriggle round uneasily within their
dilemma-horns, and make way nowhither.

Chapter 3.2.V.

Stretching of Formulas.

But how this Question of the Trial grew laboriously, through the weeks of
gestation, now that it has been articulated or conceived, were superfluous
to trace here. It emerged and submerged among the infinite of questions
and embroilments. The Veto of Scoundrels writes plaintive Letters as to
Anarchy; 'concealed Royalists,' aided by Hunger, produce Riots about Grain.
Alas, it is but a week ago, these Girondins made a new fierce onslaught on
the September Massacres!

For, one day, among the last of October, Robespierre, being summoned to the
tribune by some new hint of that old calumny of the Dictatorship, was
speaking and pleading there, with more and more comfort to himself; till,
rising high in heart, he cried out valiantly: Is there any man here that
dare specifically accuse me? "Moi!" exclaimed one. Pause of deep silence:
a lean angry little Figure, with broad bald brow, strode swiftly towards
the tribune, taking papers from its pocket: "I accuse thee, Robespierre,"-
-I, Jean Baptiste Louvet! The Seagreen became tallow-green; shrinking to a
corner of the tribune: Danton cried, "Speak, Robespierre, there are many
good citizens that listen;" but the tongue refused its office. And so
Louvet, with a shrill tone, read and recited crime after crime:
dictatorial temper, exclusive popularity, bullying at elections, mob-
retinue, September Massacres;--till all the Convention shrieked again, and
had almost indicted the Incorruptible there on the spot. Never did the
Incorruptible run such a risk. Louvet, to his dying day, will regret that
the Gironde did not take a bolder attitude, and extinguish him there and

Not so, however: the Incorruptible, about to be indicted in this sudden
manner, could not be refused a week of delay. That week, he is not idle;
nor is the Mother Society idle,--fierce-tremulous for her chosen son. He
is ready at the day with his written Speech; smooth as a Jesuit Doctor's;
and convinces some. And now? Why, now lazy Vergniaud does not rise with
Demosthenic thunder; poor Louvet, unprepared, can do little or nothing:
Barrere proposes that these comparatively despicable 'personalities' be
dismissed by order of the day! Order of the day it accordingly is.
Barbaroux cannot even get a hearing; not though he rush down to the Bar,
and demand to be heard there as a petitioner. (Louvet, Memoires (Paris,
1823) p. 52; Moniteur (Seances du 29 Octobre, 5 Novembre, 1792); Moore (ii.
178), &c.)  The convention, eager for public business (with that first
articulate emergence of the Trial just coming on), dismisses these
comparative miseres and despicabilities: splenetic Louvet must digest his
spleen, regretfully for ever: Robespierre, dear to Patriotism, is dearer
for the dangers he has run.

This is the second grand attempt by our Girondin Friends of Order, to
extinguish that black-spot in their domain; and we see they have made it
far blacker and wider than before! Anarchy, September Massacre: it is a
thing that lies hideous in the general imagination; very detestable to the
undecided Patriot, of Respectability: a thing to be harped on as often as
need is. Harp on it, denounce it, trample it, ye Girondin Patriots:--and
yet behold, the black-spot will not trample down; it will only, as we say,
trample blacker and wider: fools, it is no black-spot of the surface, but
a well-spring of the deep! Consider rightly, it is the apex of the
everlasting Abyss, this black-spot, looking up as water through thin ice;--
say, as the region of Nether Darkness through your thin film of Gironde
Regulation and Respectability; trample it not, lest the film break, and

The truth is, if our Gironde Friends had an understanding of it, where were
French Patriotism, with all its eloquence, at this moment, had not that
same great Nether Deep, of Bedlam, Fanaticism and Popular wrath and
madness, risen unfathomable on the Tenth of August? French Patriotism were
an eloquent Reminiscence; swinging on Prussian gibbets. Nay, where, in few
months, were it still, should the same great Nether Deep subside?--Nay, as
readers of Newspapers pretend to recollect, this hatefulness of the
September Massacre is itself partly an after-thought: readers of
Newspapers can quote Gorsas and various Brissotins approving of the
September Massacre, at the time it happened; and calling it a salutary
vengeance! (See Hist. Parl. xvii. 401; Newspapers by Gorsas and others
(cited ibid. 428.)  So that the real grief, after all, were not so much
righteous horror, as grief that one's own power was departing? Unhappy

In the Jacobin Society, therefore, the decided Patriot complains that here
are men who with their private ambitions and animosities, will ruin
Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood, all three: they check the spirit of
Patriotism, throw stumbling-blocks in its way; and instead of pushing on,
all shoulders at the wheel, will stand idle there, spitefully clamouring
what foul ruts there are, what rude jolts we give! To which the Jacobin
Society answers with angry roar;--with angry shriek, for there are
Citoyennes too, thick crowded in the galleries here. Citoyennes who bring
their seam with them, or their knitting-needles; and shriek or knit as the
case needs; famed Tricoteuses, Patriot Knitters;--Mere Duchesse, or the
like Deborah and Mother of the Faubourgs, giving the keynote. It is a
changed Jacobin Society; and a still changing. Where Mother Duchess now
sits, authentic Duchesses have sat. High-rouged dames went once in jewels
and spangles; now, instead of jewels, you may take the knitting-needles and
leave the rouge: the rouge will gradually give place to natural brown,
clean washed or even unwashed; and Demoiselle Theroigne herself get
scandalously fustigated. Strange enough: it is the same tribune raised in
mid-air, where a high Mirabeau, a high Barnave and Aristocrat Lameths once
thundered: whom gradually your Brissots, Guadets, Vergniauds, a hotter
style of Patriots in bonnet rouge, did displace; red heat, as one may say,
superseding light. And now your Brissots in turn, and Brissotins,
Rolandins, Girondins, are becoming supernumerary; must desert the sittings,
or be expelled: the light of the Mighty Mother is burning not red but
blue!--Provincial Daughter-Societies loudly disapprove these things; loudly
demand the swift reinstatement of such eloquent Girondins, the swift
'erasure of Marat, radiation de Marat.'  The Mother Society, so far as
natural reason can predict, seems ruining herself. Nevertheless she has,
at all crises, seemed so; she has a preternatural life in her, and will not

But, in a fortnight more, this great Question of the Trial, while the fit
Committee is assiduously but silently working on it, receives an unexpected
stimulus. Our readers remember poor Louis's turn for smithwork: how, in
old happier days, a certain Sieur Gamain of Versailles was wont to come
over, and instruct him in lock-making;--often scolding him, they say for
his numbness. By whom, nevertheless, the royal Apprentice had learned
something of that craft. Hapless Apprentice; perfidious Master-Smith! For
now, on this 20th of November 1792, dingy Smith Gamain comes over to the
Paris Municipality, over to Minister Roland, with hints that he, Smith
Gamain, knows a thing; that, in May last, when traitorous Correspondence
was so brisk, he and the royal Apprentice fabricated an 'Iron Press,
Armoire de Fer,' cunningly inserting the same in a wall of the royal
chamber in the Tuileries; invisible under the wainscot; where doubtless it
still sticks! Perfidious Gamain, attended by the proper Authorities, finds
the wainscot panel which none else can find; wrenches it up; discloses the
Iron Press,--full of Letters and Papers! Roland clutches them out; conveys
them over in towels to the fit assiduous Committee, which sits hard by. In
towels, we say, and without notarial inventory; an oversight on the part of

Here, however, are Letters enough: which disclose to a demonstration the
Correspondence of a traitorous self-preserving Court; and this not with
Traitors only, but even with Patriots, so-called! Barnave's treason, of
Correspondence with the Queen, and friendly advice to her, ever since that
Varennes Business, is hereby manifest: how happy that we have him, this
Barnave, lying safe in the Prison of Grenoble, since September last, for he
had long been suspect! Talleyrand's treason, many a man's treason, if not
manifest hereby, is next to it. Mirabeau's treason: wherefore his Bust in
the Hall of the Convention 'is veiled with gauze,' till we ascertain.
Alas, it is too ascertainable! His Bust in the Hall of the Jacobins,
denounced by Robespierre from the tribune in mid-air, is not veiled, it is
instantly broken to sherds; a Patriot mounting swiftly with a ladder, and
shivering it down on the floor;--it and others: amid shouts. (Journal des
Debats des Jacobins (in Hist. Parl. xxii. 296.)  Such is their recompense
and amount of wages, at this date: on the principle of supply and demand!
Smith Gamain, inadequately recompensed for the present, comes, some fifteen
months after, with a humble Petition; setting forth that no sooner was that
important Iron Press finished off by him, than (as he now bethinks himself)
Louis gave him a large glass of wine. Which large glass of wine did
produce in the stomach of Sieur Gamain the terriblest effects, evidently
tending towards death, and was then brought up by an emetic; but has,
notwithstanding, entirely ruined the constitution of Sieur Gamain; so that
he cannot work for his family (as he now bethinks himself). The recompense
of which is 'Pension of Twelve Hundred Francs,' and 'honourable mention.'
So different is the ratio of demand and supply at different times.

Thus, amid obstructions and stimulating furtherances, has the Question of
the Trial to grow; emerging and submerging; fostered by solicitous
Patriotism. Of the Orations that were spoken on it, of the painfully
devised Forms of Process for managing it, the Law Arguments to prove it
lawful, and all the infinite floods of Juridical and other ingenuity and
oratory, be no syllable reported in this History. Lawyer ingenuity is
good: but what can it profit here? If the truth must be spoken, O august
Senators, the only Law in this case is: Vae victis, the loser pays!
Seldom did Robespierre say a wiser word than the hint he gave to that
effect, in his oration, that it was needless to speak of Law, that here, if
never elsewhere, our Right was Might. An oration admired almost to ecstasy
by the Jacobin Patriot: who shall say that Robespierre is not a thorough-
going man; bold in Logic at least? To the like effect, or still more
plainly, spake young Saint-Just, the black-haired, mild-toned youth.
Danton is on mission, in the Netherlands, during this preliminary work.
The rest, far as one reads, welter amid Law of Nations, Social Contract,
Juristics, Syllogistics; to us barren as the East wind. In fact, what can
be more unprofitable than the sight of Seven Hundred and Forty-nine
ingenious men, struggling with their whole force and industry, for a long
course of weeks, to do at bottom this: To stretch out the old Formula and
Law Phraseology, so that it may cover the new, contradictory, entirely
uncoverable Thing? Whereby the poor Formula does but crack, and one's
honesty along with it! The thing that is palpably hot, burning, wilt thou
prove it, by syllogism, to be a freezing-mixture? This of stretching out
Formulas till they crack is, especially in times of swift change, one of
the sorrowfullest tasks poor Humanity has.

Chapter 3.2.VI.

At the Bar.

Meanwhile, in a space of some five weeks, we have got to another emerging
of the Trial, and a more practical one than ever.

On Tuesday, eleventh of December, the King's Trial has emerged, very
decidedly: into the streets of Paris; in the shape of that green Carriage
of Mayor Chambon, within which sits the King himself, with attendants, on
his way to the Convention Hall! Attended, in that green Carriage, by
Mayors Chambon, Procureurs Chaumette; and outside of it by Commandants
Santerre, with cannon, cavalry and double row of infantry; all Sections
under arms, strong Patrols scouring all streets; so fares he, slowly
through the dull drizzling weather: and about two o'clock we behold him,
'in walnut-coloured great-coat, redingote noisette,' descending through the
Place Vendome, towards that Salle de Manege; to be indicted, and judicially
interrogated. The mysterious Temple Circuit has given up its secret; which
now, in this walnut-coloured coat, men behold with eyes. The same bodily
Louis who was once Louis the Desired, fares there: hapless King, he is
getting now towards port; his deplorable farings and voyagings draw to a
close. What duty remains to him henceforth, that of placidly enduring, he
is fit to do.

The singular Procession fares on; in silence, says Prudhomme, or amid
growlings of the Marseillese Hymn; in silence, ushers itself into the Hall
of the Convention, Santerre holding Louis's arm with his hand. Louis looks
round him, with composed air, to see what kind of Convention and Parliament
it is. Much changed indeed:--since February gone two years, when our
Constituent, then busy, spread fleur-de-lys velvet for us; and we came over
to say a kind word here, and they all started up swearing Fidelity; and all
France started up swearing, and made it a Feast of Pikes; which has ended
in this! Barrere, who once 'wept' looking up from his Editor's-Desk, looks
down now from his President's-Chair, with a list of Fifty-seven Questions;
and says, dry-eyed: "Louis, you may sit down."  Louis sits down: it is
the very seat, they say, same timber and stuffing, from which he accepted
the Constitution, amid dancing and illumination, autumn gone a year. So
much woodwork remains identical; so much else is not identical. Louis sits
and listens, with a composed look and mind.

Of the Fifty-seven Questions we shall not give so much as one. They are
questions captiously embracing all the main Documents seized on the Tenth
of August, or found lately in the Iron Press; embracing all the main
incidents of the Revolution History; and they ask, in substance, this:
Louis, who wert King, art thou not guilty to a certain extent, by act and
written document, of trying to continue King? Neither in the Answers is
there much notable. Mere quiet negations, for most part; an accused man
standing on the simple basis of No: I do not recognise that document; I
did not do that act; or did it according to the law that then was.
Whereupon the Fifty-seven Questions, and Documents to the number of a
Hundred and Sixty-two, being exhausted in this manner, Barrere finishes,
after some three hours, with his: "Louis, I invite you to withdraw."

Louis withdraws, under Municipal escort, into a neighbouring Committee-
room; having first, in leaving the bar, demanded to have Legal Counsel. He
declines refreshment, in this Committee-room, then, seeing Chaumette busy
with a small loaf which a grenadier had divided with him, says, he will
take a bit of bread. It is five o'clock; and he had breakfasted but
slightly in a morning of such drumming and alarm. Chaumette breaks his
half-loaf: the King eats of the crust; mounts the green Carriage, eating;
asks now what he shall do with the crumb? Chaumette's clerk takes it from
him; flings it out into the street. Louis says, It is pity to fling out
bread, in a time of dearth. "My grandmother," remarks Chaumette, "used to
say to me, Little boy, never waste a crumb of bread, you cannot make one."
"Monsieur Chaumette," answers Louis, "your grandmother seems to have been a
sensible woman."  (Prudhomme's Newspaper (in Hist. Parl. xxi. 314.)  Poor
innocent mortal: so quietly he waits the drawing of the lot;--fit to do
this at least well; Passivity alone, without Activity, sufficing for it!
He talks once of travelling over France by and by, to have a geographical
and topographical view of it; being from of old fond of geography.--The
Temple Circuit again receives him, closes on him; gazing Paris may retire
to its hearths and coffee-houses, to its clubs and theatres: the damp
Darkness has sunk, and with it the drumming and patrolling of this strange

Louis is now separated from his Queen and Family; given up to his simple
reflections and resources. Dull lie these stone walls round him; of his
loved ones none with him. In this state of 'uncertainty,' providing for
the worst, he writes his Will: a Paper which can still be read; full of
placidity, simplicity, pious sweetness. The Convention, after debate, has
granted him Legal Counsel, of his own choosing. Advocate Target feels
himself 'too old,' being turned of fifty-four; and declines. He had gained
great honour once, defending Rohan the Necklace-Cardinal; but will gain
none here. Advocate Tronchet, some ten years older, does not decline. Nay
behold, good old Malesherbes steps forward voluntarily; to the last of his
fields, the good old hero! He is grey with seventy years: he says, 'I was
twice called to the Council of him who was my Master, when all the world
coveted that honour; and I owe him the same service now, when it has become
one which many reckon dangerous.'  These two, with a younger Deseze, whom
they will select for pleading, are busy over that Fifty-and-sevenfold
Indictment, over the Hundred and Sixty-two Documents; Louis aiding them as
he can.

A great Thing is now therefore in open progress;  all men, in all lands,
watching it. By what Forms and Methods shall the Convention acquit itself,
in such manner that there rest not on it even the suspicion of blame?
Difficult that will be! The Convention, really much at a loss, discusses
and deliberates. All day from morning to night, day after day, the Tribune
drones with oratory on this matter; one must stretch the old Formula to
cover the new Thing. The Patriots of the Mountain, whetted ever keener,
clamour for despatch above all; the only good Form will be a swift one.
Nevertheless the Convention deliberates; the Tribune drones,--drowned
indeed in tenor, and even in treble, from time to time; the whole Hall
shrilling up round it into pretty frequent wrath and provocation. It has
droned and shrilled wellnigh a fortnight, before we can decide, this
shrillness getting ever shriller, That on Wednesday 26th of December, Louis
shall appear, and plead. His Advocates complain that it is fatally soon;
which they well might as Advocates: but without remedy; to Patriotism it
seems endlessly late.

On Wednesday, therefore, at the cold dark hour of eight in the morning, all
Senators are at their post. Indeed they warm the cold hour, as we find, by
a violent effervescence, such as is too common now; some Louvet or Buzot
attacking some Tallien, Chabot; and so the whole Mountain effervescing
against the whole Gironde. Scarcely is this done, at nine, when Louis and
his three Advocates, escorted by the clang of arms and Santerre's National
force, enter the Hall.

Deseze unfolds his papers; honourably fulfilling his perilous office,
pleads for the space of three hours. An honourable Pleading, 'composed
almost overnight;' courageous yet discreet; not without ingenuity, and soft
pathetic eloquence: Louis fell on his neck, when they had withdrawn, and
said with tears, Mon pauvre Deseze. Louis himself, before withdrawing, had
added a few words, "perhaps the last he would utter to them:" how it pained
his heart, above all things, to be held guilty of that bloodshed on the
Tenth of August; or of ever shedding or wishing to shed French blood. So
saying, he withdrew from that Hall;--having indeed finished his work there.
Many are the strange errands he has had thither; but this strange one is
the last.

And now, why will the Convention loiter? Here is the Indictment and
Evidence; here is the Pleading: does not the rest follow of itself? The
Mountain, and Patriotism in general, clamours still louder for despatch;
for Permanent-session, till the task be done. Nevertheless a doubting,
apprehensive Convention decides that it will still deliberate first; that
all Members, who desire it, shall have leave to speak.--To your desks,
therefore, ye eloquent Members! Down with your thoughts, your echoes and
hearsays of thoughts: now is the time to shew oneself; France and the
Universe listens! Members are not wanting: Oration spoken Pamphlet
follows spoken Pamphlet, with what eloquence it can: President's List
swells ever higher with names claiming to speak; from day to day, all days
and all hours, the constant Tribune drones;--shrill Galleries supplying,
very variably, the tenor and treble. It were a dull tune otherwise.

The Patriots, in Mountain and Galleries, or taking counsel nightly in
Section-house, in Mother Society, amid their shrill Tricoteuses, have to
watch lynx-eyed; to give voice when needful; occasionally very loud.
Deputy Thuriot, he who was Advocate Thuriot, who was Elector Thuriot, and
from the top of the Bastille, saw Saint-Antoine rising like the ocean; this
Thuriot can stretch a Formula as heartily as most men. Cruel Billaud is
not silent, if you incite him. Nor is cruel Jean-Bon silent; a kind of
Jesuit he too;--write him not, as the Dictionaries too often do, Jambon,
which signifies mere Ham.

But, on the whole, let no man conceive it possible that Louis is not
guilty. The only question for a reasonable man is, or was: Can the
Convention judge Louis? Or must it be the whole People: in Primary
Assembly, and with delay? Always delay, ye Girondins, false hommes d'etat!
so bellows Patriotism, its patience almost failing.--But indeed, if we
consider it, what shall these poor Girondins do? Speak their convictions
that Louis is a Prisoner of War; and cannot be put to death without
injustice, solecism, peril? Speak such conviction; and lose utterly your
footing with the decided Patriot? Nay properly it is not even a
conviction, but a conjecture and dim puzzle. How many poor Girondins are
sure of but one thing: That a man and Girondin ought to have footing
somewhere, and to stand firmly on it; keeping well with the Respectable
Classes! This is what conviction and assurance of faith they have. They
must wriggle painfully between their dilemma-horns. (See Extracts from
their Newspapers, in Hist. Parl. xxi. 1-38, &c.)

Nor is France idle, nor Europe. It is a Heart this Convention, as we said,
which sends out influences, and receives them. A King's Execution, call it
Martyrdom, call it Punishment, were an influence! Two notable influences
this Convention has already sent forth, over all Nations; much to its own
detriment. On the 19th of November, it emitted a Decree, and has since
confirmed and unfolded the details of it. That any Nation which might see
good to shake off the fetters of Despotism was thereby, so to speak, the
Sister of France, and should have help and countenance. A Decree much
noised of by Diplomatists, Editors, International Lawyers; such a Decree as
no living Fetter of Despotism, nor Person in Authority anywhere, can
approve of! It was Deputy Chambon the Girondin who propounded this
Decree;--at bottom perhaps as a flourish of rhetoric.

The second influence we speak of had a still poorer origin: in the
restless loud-rattling slightly-furnished head of one Jacob Dupont from the
Loire country. The Convention is speculating on a plan of National
Education: Deputy Dupont in his speech says, "I am free to avow, M. le
President, that I for my part am an Atheist," (Moniteur, Seance du 14
Decembre 1792.)--thinking the world might like to know that. The French
world received it without commentary; or with no audible commentary, so
loud was France otherwise. The Foreign world received it with confutation,
with horror and astonishment; (Mrs. Hannah More, Letter to Jacob Dupont
(London, 1793); &c. &c.) a most miserable influence this! And now if to
these two were added a third influence, and sent pulsing abroad over all
the Earth: that of Regicide?

Foreign Courts interfere in this Trial of Louis; Spain, England: not to be
listened to; though they come, as it were, at least Spain comes, with the
olive-branch in one hand, and the sword without scabbard in the other. But
at home too, from out of this circumambient Paris and France, what
influences come thick-pulsing! Petitions flow in; pleading for equal
justice, in a reign of so-called Equality. The living Patriot pleads;--O
ye National Deputies, do not the dead Patriots plead? The Twelve Hundred
that lie in cold obstruction, do not they plead; and petition, in Death's
dumb-show, from their narrow house there, more eloquently than speech?
Crippled Patriots hop on crutches round the Salle de Manege, demanding
justice. The Wounded of the Tenth of August, the Widows and Orphans of the
Killed petition in a body; and hop and defile, eloquently mute, through the
Hall: one wounded Patriot, unable to hop, is borne on his bed thither, and
passes shoulder-high, in the horizontal posture. (Hist. Parl. xxii. 131;
Moore, &c.)  The Convention Tribune, which has paused at such sight,
commences again,--droning mere Juristic Oratory. But out of doors Paris is
piping ever higher. Bull-voiced St. Huruge is heard; and the hysteric
eloquence of Mother Duchesse: 'Varlet, Apostle of Liberty,' with pike and
red cap, flies hastily, carrying his oratorical folding-stool. Justice on
the Traitor! cries all the Patriot world. Consider also this other cry,
heard loud on the streets: "Give us Bread, or else kill us!"  Bread and
Equality; Justice on the Traitor, that we may have Bread!

The Limited or undecided Patriot is set against the Decided. Mayor Chambon
heard of dreadful rioting at the Theatre de la Nation: it had come to
rioting, and even to fist-work, between the Decided and the Undecided,
touching a new Drama called Ami des Lois (Friend of the Laws). One of the
poorest Dramas ever written; but which had didactic applications in it;
wherefore powdered wigs of Friends of Order and black hair of Jacobin heads
are flying there; and Mayor Chambon hastens with Santerre, in hopes to
quell it. Far from quelling it, our poor Mayor gets so 'squeezed,' says
the Report, and likewise so blamed and bullied, say we,--that he, with
regret, quits the brief Mayoralty altogether, 'his lungs being affected.'
This miserable Amis des Lois is debated of in the Convention itself; so
violent, mutually-enraged, are the Limited Patriots and the Unlimited.
(Hist. Parl. xxiii. 31, 48, &c.)

Between which two classes, are not Aristocrats enough, and Crypto-
Aristocrats, busy? Spies running over from London with important Packets;
spies pretending to run! One of these latter, Viard was the name of him,
pretended to accuse Roland, and even the Wife of Roland; to the joy of
Chabot and the Mountain. But the Wife of Roland came, being summoned, on
the instant, to the Convention Hall; came, in her high clearness; and, with
few clear words, dissipated this Viard into despicability and air; all
Friends of Order applauding. (Moniteur, Seance du 7 Decembre 1792.)  So,
with Theatre-riots, and 'Bread, or else kill us;' with Rage, Hunger,
preternatural Suspicion, does this wild Paris pipe. Roland grows ever more
querulous, in his Messages and Letters; rising almost to the hysterical
pitch. Marat, whom no power on Earth can prevent seeing into traitors and
Rolands, takes to bed for three days; almost dead, the invaluable People's-
Friend, with heartbreak, with fever and headache: 'O, Peuple babillard, si
tu savais agir, People of Babblers, if thou couldst but act!'

To crown all, victorious Dumouriez, in these New-year's days, is arrived in
Paris;--one fears, for no good. He pretends to be complaining of Minister
Pache, and Hassenfratz dilapidations; to be concerting measures for the
spring campaign: one finds him much in the company of the Girondins.
Plotting with them against Jacobinism, against Equality, and the Punishment
of Louis! We have Letters of his to the Convention itself. Will he act
the old Lafayette part, this new victorious General? Let him withdraw
again; not undenounced. (Dumouriez, Memoires, iii. c. 4.)

And still, in the Convention Tribune, it drones continually, mere Juristic
Eloquence, and Hypothesis without Action; and there are still fifties on
the President's List. Nay these Gironde Presidents give their own party
preference: we suspect they play foul with the List; men of the Mountain
cannot be heard. And still it drones, all through December into January
and a New year; and there is no end! Paris pipes round it; multitudinous;
ever higher, to the note of the whirlwind. Paris will 'bring cannon from
Saint-Denis;' there is talk of 'shutting the Barriers,'--to Roland's

Whereupon, behold, the Convention Tribune suddenly ceases droning: we cut
short, be on the List who likes; and make end. On Tuesday next, the
Fifteenth of January 1793, it shall go to the Vote, name by name; and, one
way or other, this great game play itself out!

Chapter 3.2.VII.

The Three Votings.

Is Louis Capet guilty of conspiring against Liberty? Shall our Sentence be
itself final, or need ratifying by Appeal to the People? If guilty, what
Punishment? This is the form agreed to, after uproar and 'several hours of
tumultuous indecision:'  these are the Three successive Questions, whereon
the Convention shall now pronounce. Paris floods round their Hall;
multitudinous, many sounding. Europe and all Nations listen for their
answer. Deputy after Deputy shall answer to his name: Guilty or Not

As to the Guilt, there is, as above hinted, no doubt in the mind of Patriot
man. Overwhelming majority pronounces Guilt; the unanimous Convention
votes for Guilt, only some feeble twenty-eight voting not Innocence, but
refusing to vote at all. Neither does the Second Question prove doubtful,
whatever the Girondins might calculate. Would not Appeal to the People be
another name for civil war? Majority of two to one answers that there
shall be no Appeal: this also is settled. Loud Patriotism, now at ten
o'clock, may hush itself for the night; and retire to its bed not without
hope. Tuesday has gone well. On the morrow comes, What Punishment? On
the morrow is the tug of war.

Consider therefore if, on this Wednesday morning, there is an affluence of
Patriotism; if Paris stands a-tiptoe, and all Deputies are at their post!
Seven Hundred and Forty-nine honourable Deputies; only some twenty absent
on mission, Duchatel and some seven others absent by sickness. Meanwhile
expectant Patriotism and Paris standing a-tiptoe, have need of patience.
For this Wednesday again passes in debate and effervescence; Girondins
proposing that a 'majority of three-fourths' shall be required; Patriots
fiercely resisting them. Danton, who has just got back from mission in the
Netherlands, does obtain 'order of the day' on this Girondin proposal; nay
he obtains further that we decide sans desemparer, in Permanent-session,
till we have done.

And so, finally, at eight in the evening this Third stupendous Voting, by
roll-call or appel nominal, does begin. What Punishment? Girondins
undecided, Patriots decided, men afraid of Royalty, men afraid of Anarchy,
must answer here and now. Infinite Patriotism, dusky in the lamp-light,
floods all corridors, crowds all galleries, sternly waiting to hear.
Shrill-sounding Ushers summon you by Name and Department; you must rise to
the Tribune and say.

Eye-witnesses have represented this scene of the Third Voting, and of the
votings that grew out of it; a scene protracted, like to be endless,
lasting, with few brief intervals, from Wednesday till Sunday morning,--as
one of the strangest seen in the Revolution. Long night wears itself into
day, morning's paleness is spread over all faces; and again the wintry
shadows sink, and the dim lamps are lit: but through day and night and the
vicissitude of hours, Member after Member is mounting continually those
Tribune-steps; pausing aloft there, in the clearer upper light, to speak
his Fate-word; then diving down into the dusk and throng again. Like
Phantoms in the hour of midnight; most spectral, pandemonial! Never did
President Vergniaud, or any terrestrial President, superintend the like. A
King's Life, and so much else that depends thereon, hangs trembling in the
balance. Man after man mounts; the buzz hushes itself till he have spoken:
Death; Banishment: Imprisonment till the Peace. Many say, Death; with what
cautious well-studied phrases and paragraphs they could devise, of
explanation, of enforcement, of faint recommendation to mercy. Many too
say, Banishment; something short of Death. The balance trembles, none can
yet guess whitherward. Whereat anxious Patriotism bellows; irrepressible
by Ushers.

The poor Girondins, many of them, under such fierce bellowing of
Patriotism, say Death; justifying, motivant, that most miserable word of
theirs by some brief casuistry and jesuitry. Vergniaud himself says,
Death; justifying by jesuitry. Rich Lepelletier Saint-Fargeau had been of
the Noblesse, and then of the Patriot Left Side, in the Constituent; and
had argued and reported, there and elsewhere, not a little, against Capital
Punishment: nevertheless he now says, Death; a word which may cost him
dear. Manuel did surely rank with the Decided in August last; but he has
been sinking and backsliding ever since September, and the scenes of
September. In this Convention, above all, no word he could speak would
find favour; he says now, Banishment; and in mute wrath quits the place for
ever,--much hustled in the corridors. Philippe Egalite votes in his soul
and conscience, Death, at the sound of which, and of whom, even Patriotism
shakes its head; and there runs a groan and shudder through this Hall of
Doom. Robespierre's vote cannot be doubtful; his speech is long. Men see
the figure of shrill Sieyes ascend; hardly pausing, passing merely, this
figure says, "La Mort sans phrase, Death without phrases;" and fares onward
and downward. Most spectral, pandemonial!

And yet if the Reader fancy it of a funereal, sorrowful or even grave
character, he is far mistaken. 'The Ushers in the Mountain quarter,' says
Mercier, 'had become as Box-openers at the Opera;' opening and shutting of
Galleries for privileged persons, for 'd'Orleans Egalite's mistresses,' or
other high-dizened women of condition, rustling with laces and tricolor.
Gallant Deputies pass and repass thitherward, treating them with ices,
refreshments and small-talk; the high-dizened heads beck responsive; some
have their card and pin, pricking down the Ayes and Noes, as at a game of
Rouge-et-Noir. Further aloft reigns Mere Duchesse with her unrouged
Amazons; she cannot be prevented making long Hahas, when the vote is not La
Mort. In these Galleries there is refection, drinking of wine and brandy
'as in open tavern, en pleine tabagie.'  Betting goes on in all
coffeehouses of the neighbourhood. But within doors, fatigue, impatience,
uttermost weariness sits now on all visages; lighted up only from time to
time, by turns of the game. Members have fallen asleep; Ushers come and
awaken them to vote: other Members calculate whether they shall not have
time to run and dine. Figures rise, like phantoms, pale in the dusky lamp-
light; utter from this Tribune, only one word: Death. 'Tout est optique,'
says Mercier, 'the world is all an optical shadow.'  (Mercier, Nouveau
Paris, vi. 156-59; Montgaillard, iii. 348-87; Moore, &c.)  Deep in the
Thursday night, when the Voting is done, and Secretaries are summing it up,
sick Duchatel, more spectral than another, comes borne on a chair, wrapt in
blankets, 'in nightgown and nightcap,' to vote for Mercy: one vote it is
thought may turn the scale.

Ah no! In profoundest silence, President Vergniaud, with a voice full of
sorrow, has to say: "I declare, in the name of the Convention, that the
Punishment it pronounces on Louis Capet is that of Death."  Death by a
small majority of Fifty-three. Nay, if we deduct from the one side, and
add to the other, a certain Twenty-six, who said Death but coupled some
faintest ineffectual surmise of mercy with it, the majority will be but

Death is the sentence: but its execution? It is not executed yet!
Scarcely is the vote declared when Louis's Three Advocates enter; with
Protest in his name, with demand for Delay, for Appeal to the People. For
this do Deseze and Tronchet plead, with brief eloquence: brave old
Malesherbes pleads for it with eloquent want of eloquence, in broken
sentences, in embarrassment and sobs; that brave time-honoured face, with
its grey strength, its broad sagacity and honesty, is mastered with
emotion, melts into dumb tears. (Moniteur (in Hist. Parl. xxiii. 210).
See Boissy d'Anglas, Vie de Malesherbes, ii. 139.)--They reject the Appeal
to the People; that having been already settled. But as to the Delay, what
they call Sursis, it shall be considered; shall be voted for to-morrow: at
present we adjourn. Whereupon Patriotism 'hisses' from the Mountain: but
a 'tyrannical majority' has so decided, and adjourns.

There is still this fourth Vote then, growls indignant Patriotism:--this
vote, and who knows what other votes, and adjournments of voting; and the
whole matter still hovering hypothetical! And at every new vote those
Jesuit Girondins, even they who voted for Death, would so fain find a
loophole! Patriotism must watch and rage. Tyrannical adjournments there
have been; one, and now another at midnight on plea of fatigue,--all Friday
wasted in hesitation and higgling; in re-counting of the votes, which are
found correct as they stood! Patriotism bays fiercer than ever;
Patriotism, by long-watching, has become red-eyed, almost rabid.

"Delay: yes or no?" men do vote it finally, all Saturday, all day and
night. Men's nerves are worn out, men's hearts are desperate; now it shall
end. Vergniaud, spite of the baying, ventures to say Yes, Delay; though he
had voted Death. Philippe Egalite says, in his soul and conscience, No.
The next Member mounting: "Since Philippe says No, I for my part say Yes,
Moi je dis Oui."  The balance still trembles. Till finally, at three
o'clock on Sunday morning, we have: No Delay, by a majority of Seventy;
Death within four-and-twenty hours!

Garat Minister of Justice has to go to the Temple, with this stern message:
he ejaculates repeatedly, "Quelle commission affreuse, What a frightful
function!"  (Biographie des Ministres, p. 157.)  Louis begs for a
Confessor; for yet three days of life, to prepare himself to die. The
Confessor is granted; the three days and all respite are refused.

There is no deliverance, then? Thick stone walls answer, None--Has King
Louis no friends? Men of action, of courage grown desperate, in this his
extreme need? King Louis's friends are feeble and far. Not even a voice
in the coffeehouses rises for him. At Meot the Restaurateur's no Captain
Dampmartin now dines; or sees death-doing whiskerandoes on furlough exhibit
daggers of improved structure! Meot's gallant Royalists on furlough are
far across the Marches; they are wandering distracted over the world: or
their bones lie whitening Argonne Wood. Only some weak Priests 'leave
Pamphlets on all the bournestones,' this night, calling for a rescue;
calling for the pious women to rise; or are taken distributing Pamphlets,
and sent to prison. (See Prudhomme's Newspaper, Revolutions de Paris (in
Hist. Parl. xxiii. 318).)

Nay there is one death-doer, of the ancient Meot sort, who, with effort,
has done even less and worse: slain a Deputy, and set all the Patriotism
of Paris on edge! It was five on Saturday evening when Lepelletier St.
Fargeau, having given his vote, No Delay, ran over to Fevrier's in the
Palais Royal to snatch a morsel of dinner. He had dined, and was paying.
A thickset man 'with black hair and blue beard,' in a loose kind of frock,
stept up to him; it was, as Fevrier and the bystanders bethought them, one
Paris of the old King's-Guard. "Are you Lepelletier?" asks he.--"Yes."--
"You voted in the King's Business?"--"I voted Death."--"Scelerat, take
that!" cries Paris, flashing out a sabre from under his frock, and plunging
it deep in Lepelletier's side. Fevrier clutches him; but he breaks off; is

The voter Lepelletier lies dead; he has expired in great pain, at one in
the morning;--two hours before that Vote of no Delay was fully summed up!
Guardsman Paris is flying over France; cannot be taken; will be found some
months after, self-shot in a remote inn. (Hist. Parl. xxiii. 275, 318;
Felix Lepelletier, Vie de Michel Lepelletier son Frere, p. 61. &c. Felix,
with due love of the miraculous, will have it that the Suicide in the inn
was not Paris, but some double-ganger of his.)--Robespierre sees reason to
think that Prince d'Artois himself is privately in Town; that the
Convention will be butchered in the lump. Patriotism sounds mere wail and
vengeance: Santerre doubles and trebles all his patrols. Pity is lost in
rage and fear; the Convention has refused the three days of life and all

Chapter 3.2.VIII.

Place de la Revolution.

To this conclusion, then, hast thou come, O hapless, Louis! The Son of
Sixty Kings is to die on the Scaffold by form of law. Under Sixty Kings
this same form of Law, form of Society, has been fashioning itself
together, these thousand years; and has become, one way and other, a most
strange Machine. Surely, if needful, it is also frightful this Machine;
dead, blind; not what it should be; which, with swift stroke, or by cold
slow torture, has wasted the lives and souls of innumerable men. And
behold now a King himself, or say rather Kinghood in his person, is to
expire here in cruel tortures;--like a Phalaris shut in the belly of his
own red-heated Brazen Bull! It is ever so; and thou shouldst know it, O
haughty tyrannous man: injustice breeds injustice; curses and falsehoods
do verily 'return always home,' wide as they may wander. Innocent Louis
bears the sins of many generations: he too experiences that man's tribunal
is not in this Earth; that if he had no Higher one, it were not well with

A King dying by such violence appeals impressively to the imagination; as
the like must do, and ought to do. And yet at bottom it is not the King
dying, but the Man! Kingship is a coat; the grand loss is of the skin.
The man from whom you take his Life, to him can the whole combined world do
more? Lally went on his hurdle, his mouth filled with a gag. Miserablest
mortals, doomed for picking pockets, have a whole five-act Tragedy in them,
in that dumb pain, as they go to the gallows, unregarded; they consume the
cup of trembling down to the lees. For Kings and for Beggars, for the
justly doomed and the unjustly, it is a hard thing to die. Pity them all:
thy utmost pity with all aids and appliances and throne-and-scaffold
contrasts, how far short is it of the thing pitied!

A Confessor has come; Abbe Edgeworth, of Irish extraction, whom the King
knew by good report, has come promptly on this solemn mission. Leave the
Earth alone, then, thou hapless King; it with its malice will go its way,
thou also canst go thine. A hard scene yet remains: the parting with our
loved ones. Kind hearts, environed in the same grim peril with us; to be
left here! Let the Reader look with the eyes of Valet Clery, through these
glass-doors, where also the Municipality watches; and see the cruellest of

'At half-past eight, the door of the ante-room opened: the Queen appeared
first, leading her Son by the hand; then Madame Royale and Madame
Elizabeth: they all flung themselves into the arms of the King. Silence
reigned for some minutes; interrupted only by sobs. The Queen made a
movement to lead his Majesty towards the inner room, where M. Edgeworth was
waiting unknown to them: "No," said the King, "let us go into the dining-
room, it is there only that I can see you."  They entered there; I shut the
door of it, which was of glass. The King sat down, the Queen on his left
hand, Madame Elizabeth on his right, Madame Royale almost in front; the
young Prince remained standing between his Father's legs. They all leaned
towards him, and often held him embraced. This scene of woe lasted an hour
and three-quarters; during which we could hear nothing; we could see only
that always when the King spoke, the sobbings of the Princesses redoubled,
continued for some minutes; and that then the King began again to speak.'
(Clery's Narrative (London, 1798), cited in Weber, iii. 312.)--And so our
meetings and our partings do now end! The sorrows we gave each other; the
poor joys we faithfully shared, and all our lovings and our sufferings, and
confused toilings under the earthly Sun, are over. Thou good soul, I shall
never, never through all ages of Time, see thee any more!--NEVER! O
Reader, knowest thou that hard word?

For nearly two hours this agony lasts; then they tear themselves asunder.
"Promise that you will see us on the morrow."  He promises:--Ah yes, yes;
yet once; and go now, ye loved ones; cry to God for yourselves and me!--It
was a hard scene, but it is over. He will not see them on the morrow. The
Queen in passing through the ante-room glanced at the Cerberus Municipals;
and with woman's vehemence, said through her tears, "Vous etes tous des

King Louis slept sound, till five in the morning, when Clery, as he had
been ordered, awoke him. Clery dressed his hair. While this went forward,
Louis took a ring from his watch, and kept trying it on his finger; it was
his wedding-ring, which he is now to return to the Queen as a mute
farewell. At half-past six, he took the Sacrament; and continued in
devotion, and conference with Abbe Edgeworth. He will not see his Family:
it were too hard to bear.

At eight, the Municipals enter: the King gives them his Will and messages
and effects; which they, at first, brutally refuse to take charge of: he
gives them a roll of gold pieces, a hundred and twenty-five louis; these
are to be returned to Malesherbes, who had lent them. At nine, Santerre
says the hour is come. The King begs yet to retire for three minutes. At
the end of three minutes, Santerre again says the hour is come. 'Stamping
on the ground with his right foot, Louis answers: "Partons, let us go."'--
How the rolling of those drums comes in, through the Temple bastions and
bulwarks, on the heart of a queenly wife; soon to be a widow! He is gone,
then, and has not seen us? A Queen weeps bitterly; a King's Sister and
Children. Over all these Four does Death also hover: all shall perish
miserably save one; she, as Duchesse d'Angouleme, will live,--not happily.

At the Temple Gate were some faint cries, perhaps from voices of pitiful
women: "Grace! Grace!"  Through the rest of the streets there is silence
as of the grave. No man not armed is allowed to be there: the armed, did
any even pity, dare not express it, each man overawed by all his
neighbours. All windows are down, none seen looking through them. All
shops are shut. No wheel-carriage rolls this morning, in these streets but
one only. Eighty thousand armed men stand ranked, like armed statues of
men; cannons bristle, cannoneers with match burning, but no word or
movement: it is as a city enchanted into silence and stone; one carriage
with its escort, slowly rumbling, is the only sound. Louis reads, in his
Book of Devotion, the Prayers of the Dying: clatter of this death-march
falls sharp on the ear, in the great silence; but the thought would fain
struggle heavenward, and forget the Earth.

As the clocks strike ten, behold the Place de la Revolution, once Place de
Louis Quinze: the Guillotine, mounted near the old Pedestal where once
stood the Statue of that Louis! Far round, all bristles with cannons and
armed men: spectators crowding in the rear; d'Orleans Egalite there in
cabriolet. Swift messengers, hoquetons, speed to the Townhall, every three
minutes: near by is the Convention sitting,--vengeful for Lepelletier.
Heedless of all, Louis reads his Prayers of the Dying; not till five
minutes yet has he finished; then the Carriage opens. What temper he is
in? Ten different witnesses will give ten different accounts of it. He is
in the collision of all tempers; arrived now at the black Mahlstrom and
descent of Death: in sorrow, in indignation, in resignation struggling to
be resigned. "Take care of M. Edgeworth," he straitly charges the
Lieutenant who is sitting with them: then they two descend.

The drums are beating: "Taisez-vous, Silence!" he cries 'in a terrible
voice, d'une voix terrible.'  He mounts the scaffold, not without delay; he
is in puce coat, breeches of grey, white stockings. He strips off the
coat; stands disclosed in a sleeve-waistcoat of white flannel. The
Executioners approach to bind him: he spurns, resists; Abbe Edgeworth has
to remind him how the Saviour, in whom men trust, submitted to be bound.
His hands are tied, his head bare; the fatal moment is come. He advances
to the edge of the Scaffold, 'his face very red,' and says: "Frenchmen, I
die innocent: it is from the Scaffold and near appearing before God that I
tell you so. I pardon my enemies; I desire that France--"  A General on
horseback, Santerre or another, prances out with uplifted hand:
"Tambours!"  The drums drown the voice. "Executioners do your duty!"  The
Executioners, desperate lest themselves be murdered (for Santerre and his
Armed Ranks will strike, if they do not), seize the hapless Louis: six of
them desperate, him singly desperate, struggling there; and bind him to
their plank. Abbe Edgeworth, stooping, bespeaks him: "Son of Saint Louis,
ascend to Heaven."  The Axe clanks down; a King's Life is shorn away. It
is Monday the 21st of January 1793. He was aged Thirty-eight years four
months and twenty-eight days. (Newspapers, Municipal Records, &c. &c. (in
Hist. Parl. xxiii. 298-349) Deux Amis (ix. 369-373), Mercier (Nouveau
Paris, iii. 3-8).)

Executioner Samson shews the Head: fierce shout of Vive la Republique
rises, and swells; caps raised on bayonets, hats waving: students of the
College of Four Nations take it up, on the far Quais; fling it over Paris.
Orleans drives off in his cabriolet; the Townhall Councillors rub their
hands, saying, "It is done, It is done."  There is dipping of
handkerchiefs, of pike-points in the blood. Headsman Samson, though he
afterwards denied it, (His Letter in the Newspapers (Hist. Parl. ubi
supra).) sells locks of the hair: fractions of the puce coat are long
after worn in rings. (Forster's Briefwechsel, i. 473.)--And so, in some
half-hour it is done; and the multitude has all departed. Pastrycooks,
coffee-sellers, milkmen sing out their trivial quotidian cries: the world
wags on, as if this were a common day. In the coffeehouses that evening,
says Prudhomme, Patriot shook hands with Patriot in a more cordial manner
than usual. Not till some days after, according to Mercier, did public men
see what a grave thing it was.

A grave thing it indisputably is; and will have consequences. On the
morrow morning, Roland, so long steeped to the lips in disgust and chagrin,
sends in his demission. His accounts lie all ready, correct in black-on-
white to the uttermost farthing: these he wants but to have audited, that
he might retire to remote obscurity to the country and his books. They
will never be audited those accounts; he will never get retired thither.

It was on Tuesday that Roland demitted. On Thursday comes Lepelletier St.
Fargeau's Funeral, and passage to the Pantheon of Great Men. Notable as
the wild pageant of a winter day. The Body is borne aloft, half-bare; the
winding sheet disclosing the death-wound: sabre and bloody clothes parade
themselves; a 'lugubrious music' wailing harsh naeniae. Oak-crowns shower
down from windows; President Vergniaud walks there, with Convention, with
Jacobin Society, and all Patriots of every colour, all mourning

Notable also for another thing, this Burial of Lepelletier: it was the
last act these men ever did with concert! All Parties and figures of
Opinion, that agitate this distracted France and its Convention, now stand,
as it were, face to face, and dagger to dagger; the King's Life, round
which they all struck and battled, being hurled down. Dumouriez,
conquering Holland, growls ominous discontent, at the head of Armies. Men
say Dumouriez will have a King; that young d'Orleans Egalite shall be his
King. Deputy Fauchet, in the Journal des Amis, curses his day, more
bitterly than Job did; invokes the poniards of Regicides, of 'Arras Vipers'
or Robespierres, of Pluto Dantons, of horrid Butchers Legendre and
Simulacra d'Herbois, to send him swiftly to another world than theirs.
(Hist. Parl. ubi supra.)  This is Te-Deum Fauchet, of the Bastille Victory,
of the Cercle Social. Sharp was the death-hail rattling round one's Flag-
of-truce, on that Bastille day: but it was soft to such wreckage of high
Hope as this; one's New Golden Era going down in leaden dross, and
sulphurous black of the Everlasting Darkness!

At home this Killing of a King has divided all friends; and abroad it has
united all enemies. Fraternity of Peoples, Revolutionary Propagandism;
Atheism, Regicide; total destruction of social order in this world! All
Kings, and lovers of Kings, and haters of Anarchy, rank in coalition; as in
a war for life. England signifies to Citizen Chauvelin, the Ambassador or
rather Ambassador's-Cloak, that he must quit the country in eight days.
Ambassador's-Cloak and Ambassador, Chauvelin and Talleyrand, depart
accordingly. (Annual Register of 1793, pp. 114-128.)  Talleyrand,
implicated in that Iron Press of the Tuileries, thinks it safest to make
for America.

England has cast out the Embassy: England declares war,--being shocked
principally, it would seem, at the condition of the River Scheldt. Spain
declares war; being shocked principally at some other thing; which
doubtless the Manifesto indicates. (23d March (Annual Register, p. 161).)
Nay we find it was not England that declared war first, or Spain first; but
that France herself declared war first on both of them; (1st February; 7th
March (Moniteur of these dates).)--a point of immense Parliamentary and
Journalistic interest in those days, but which has become of no interest
whatever in these. They all declare war. The sword is drawn, the scabbard
thrown away. It is even as Danton said, in one of his all-too gigantic
figures: "The coalised Kings threaten us; we hurl at their feet, as gage
of battle, the Head of a King."



Chapter 3.3.I.

Cause and Effect.

This huge Insurrectionary Movement, which we liken to a breaking out of
Tophet and the Abyss, has swept away Royalty, Aristocracy, and a King's
life. The question is, What will it next do; how will it henceforth shape
itself? Settle down into a reign of Law and Liberty; according as the
habits, persuasions and endeavours of the educated, monied, respectable
class prescribe? That is to say: the volcanic lava-flood, bursting up in
the manner described, will explode and flow according to Girondin Formula
and pre-established rule of Philosophy? If so, for our Girondin friends it
will be well.

Meanwhile were not the prophecy rather that as no external force, Royal or
other, now remains which could control this Movement, the Movement will
follow a course of its own; probably a very original one? Further, that
whatsoever man or men can best interpret the inward tendencies it has, and
give them voice and activity, will obtain the lead of it? For the rest,
that as a thing without order, a thing proceeding from beyond and beneath
the region of order, it must work and welter, not as a Regularity but as a
Chaos; destructive and self-destructive; always till something that has
order arise, strong enough to bind it into subjection again? Which
something, we may further conjecture, will not be a Formula, with
philosophical propositions and forensic eloquence; but a Reality, probably
with a sword in its hand!

As for the Girondin Formula, of a respectable Republic for the Middle
Classes, all manner of Aristocracies being now sufficiently demolished,
there seems little reason to expect that the business will stop there.
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, these are the words; enunciative and
prophetic. Republic for the respectable washed Middle Classes, how can
that be the fulfilment thereof? Hunger and nakedness, and nightmare
oppression lying heavy on Twenty-five million hearts; this, not the wounded
vanities or contradicted philosophies of philosophical Advocates, rich
Shopkeepers, rural Noblesse, was the prime mover in the French Revolution;
as the like will be in all such Revolutions, in all countries. Feudal
Fleur-de-lys had become an insupportably bad marching banner, and needed to
be torn and trampled: but Moneybag of Mammon (for that, in these times, is
what the respectable Republic for the Middle Classes will signify) is a
still worse, while it lasts. Properly, indeed, it is the worst and basest
of all banners, and symbols of dominion among men; and indeed is possible
only in a time of general Atheism, and Unbelief in any thing save in brute
Force and Sensualism; pride of birth, pride of office, any known kind of
pride being a degree better than purse-pride. Freedom, Equality,
Brotherhood: not in the Moneybag, but far elsewhere, will Sansculottism
seek these things.

We say therefore that an Insurrectionary France, loose of control from
without, destitute of supreme order from within, will form one of the most
tumultuous Activities ever seen on this Earth; such as no Girondin Formula
can regulate. An immeasurable force, made up of forces manifold,
heterogeneous, compatible and incompatible. In plainer words, this France
must needs split into Parties; each of which seeking to make itself good,
contradiction, exasperation will arise; and Parties on Parties find that
they cannot work together, cannot exist together.

As for the number of Parties, there will, strictly counting, be as many
Parties as there are Opinions. According to which rule, in this National
Convention itself, to say nothing of France generally, the number of
Parties ought to be Seven Hundred and Forty-Nine; for every unit entertains
his opinion. But now as every unit has at once an individual nature, or
necessity to follow his own road, and a gregarious nature or necessity to
see himself travelling by the side of others,--what can there be but
dissolutions, precipitations, endless turbulence of attracting and
repelling; till once the master-element get evolved, and this wild alchemy
arrange itself again?

To the length of Seven Hundred and Forty-nine Parties, however, no Nation
was ever yet seen to go. Nor indeed much beyond the length of Two Parties;
two at a time;--so invincible is man's tendency to unite, with all the
invincible divisiveness he has! Two Parties, we say, are the usual number
at one time: let these two fight it out, all minor shades of party
rallying under the shade likest them; when the one has fought down the
other, then it, in its turn, may divide, self-destructive; and so the
process continue, as far as needful. This is the way of Revolutions, which
spring up as the French one has done; when the so-called Bonds of Society
snap asunder; and all Laws that are not Laws of Nature become naught and
Formulas merely.

But quitting these somewhat abstract considerations, let History note this
concrete reality which the streets of Paris exhibit, on Monday the 25th of
February 1793. Long before daylight that morning, these streets are noisy
and angry. Petitioning enough there has been; a Convention often
solicited. It was but yesterday there came a Deputation of Washerwomen
with Petition; complaining that not so much as soap could be had; to say
nothing of bread, and condiments of bread. The cry of women, round the
Salle de Manege, was heard plaintive: "Du pain et du savon, Bread and
Soap."  (Moniteur &c. (Hist. Parl. xxiv. 332-348.)

And now from six o'clock, this Monday morning, one perceives the Baker's
Queues unusually expanded, angrily agitating themselves. Not the Baker
alone, but two Section Commissioners to help him, manage with difficulty
the daily distribution of loaves. Soft-spoken assiduous, in the early
candle-light, are Baker and Commissioners: and yet the pale chill February
sunrise discloses an unpromising scene. Indignant Female Patriots, partly
supplied with bread, rush now to the shops, declaring that they will have
groceries. Groceries enough: sugar-barrels rolled forth into the street,
Patriot Citoyennes weighing it out at a just rate of eleven-pence a pound;
likewise coffee-chests, soap-chests, nay cinnamon and cloves-chests, with
aquavitae and other forms of alcohol,--at a just rate, which some do not
pay; the pale-faced Grocer silently wringing his hands! What help? The
distributive Citoyennes are of violent speech and gesture, their long
Eumenides' hair hanging out of curl; nay in their girdles pistols are seen
sticking: some, it is even said, have beards,--male Patriots in petticoats
and mob-cap. Thus, in the streets of Lombards, in the street of Five-
Diamonds, street of Pullies, in most streets of Paris does it effervesce,
the livelong day; no Municipality, no Mayor Pache, though he was War-
Minister lately, sends military against it, or aught against it but
persuasive-eloquence, till seven at night, or later.

On Monday gone five weeks, which was the twenty-first of January, we saw
Paris, beheading its King, stand silent, like a petrified City of
Enchantment: and now on this Monday it is so noisy, selling sugar!
Cities, especially Cities in Revolution, are subject to these alternations;
the secret courses of civic business and existence effervescing and
efflorescing, in this manner, as a concrete Phenomenon to the eye. Of
which Phenomenon, when secret existence becoming public effloresces on the
street, the philosophical cause-and-effect is not so easy to find. What,
for example, may be the accurate philosophical meaning, and meanings, of
this sale of sugar? These things that have become visible in the street of
Pullies and over Paris, whence are they, we say; and whither?--

That Pitt has a hand in it, the gold of Pitt: so much, to all reasonable
Patriot men, may seem clear. But then, through what agents of Pitt?
Varlet, Apostle of Liberty, was discerned again of late, with his pike and
his red nightcap. Deputy Marat published in his journal, this very day,
complaining of the bitter scarcity, and sufferings of the people, till he
seemed to get wroth: 'If your Rights of Man were anything but a piece of
written paper, the plunder of a few shops, and a forestaller or two hung up
at the door-lintels, would put an end to such things.'  (Hist. Parl. xxiv.
353-356.)  Are not these, say the Girondins, pregnant indications? Pitt
has bribed the Anarchists; Marat is the agent of Pitt: hence this sale of
sugar. To the Mother Society, again, it is clear that the scarcity is
factitious; is the work of Girondins, and such like; a set of men sold
partly to Pitt; sold wholly to their own ambitions, and hard-hearted
pedantries; who will not fix the grain-prices, but prate pedantically of
free-trade; wishing to starve Paris into violence, and embroil it with the
Departments: hence this sale of sugar.

And, alas, if to these two notabilities, of a Phenomenon and such Theories
of a Phenomenon, we add this third notability, That the French Nation has
believed, for several years now, in the possibility, nay certainty and near
advent, of a universal Millennium, or reign of Freedom, Equality,
Fraternity, wherein man should be the brother of man, and sorrow and sin
flee away? Not bread to eat, nor soap to wish with; and the reign of
perfect Felicity ready to arrive, due always since the Bastille fell! How
did our hearts burn within us, at that Feast of Pikes, when brother flung
himself on brother's bosom; and in sunny jubilee, Twenty-five millions
burst forth into sound and cannon-smoke! Bright was our Hope then, as
sunlight; red-angry is our Hope grown now, as consuming fire. But, O
Heavens, what enchantment is it, or devilish legerdemain, of such effect,
that Perfect Felicity, always within arm's length, could never be laid hold
of, but only in her stead Controversy and Scarcity? This set of traitors
after that set! Tremble, ye traitors; dread a People which calls itself
patient, long-suffering; but which cannot always submit to have its pocket
picked, in this way,--of a Millennium!

Yes, Reader, here is a miracle. Out of that putrescent rubbish of
Scepticism, Sensualism, Sentimentalism, hollow Machiavelism, such a Faith
has verily risen; flaming in the heart of a People. A whole People,
awakening as it were to consciousness in deep misery, believes that it is
within reach of a Fraternal Heaven-on-Earth. With longing arms, it
struggles to embrace the Unspeakable; cannot embrace it, owing to certain
causes.--Seldom do we find that a whole People can be said to have any
Faith at all; except in things which it can eat and handle. Whensoever it
gets any Faith, its history becomes spirit-stirring, note-worthy. But
since the time when steel Europe shook itself simultaneously, at the word
of Hermit Peter, and rushed towards the Sepulchre where God had lain, there
was no universal impulse of Faith that one could note. Since Protestantism
went silent, no Luther's voice, no Zisca's drum any longer proclaiming that
God's Truth was not the Devil's Lie; and the last of the Cameronians
(Renwick was the name of him; honour to the name of the brave!) sank, shot,
on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh, there was no partial impulse of Faith
among Nations. Till now, behold, once more this French Nation believes!
Herein, we say, in that astonishing Faith of theirs, lies the miracle. It
is a Faith undoubtedly of the more prodigious sort, even among Faiths; and
will embody itself in prodigies. It is the soul of that world-prodigy
named French Revolution; whereat the world still gazes and shudders.

But, for the rest, let no man ask History to explain by cause-and-effect
how the business proceeded henceforth. This battle of Mountain and
Gironde, and what follows, is the battle of Fanaticisms and Miracles;
unsuitable for cause-and-effect. The sound of it, to the mind, is as a
hubbub of voices in distraction; little of articulate is to be gathered by
long listening and studying; only battle-tumult, shouts of triumph, shrieks
of despair. The Mountain has left no Memoirs; the Girondins have left
Memoirs, which are too often little other than long-drawn Interjections, of
Woe is me and Cursed be ye. So soon as History can philosophically
delineate the conflagration of a kindled Fireship, she may try this other
task. Here lay the bitumen-stratum, there the brimstone one; so ran the
vein of gunpowder, of nitre, terebinth and foul grease: this, were she
inquisitive enough, History might partly know. But how they acted and
reacted below decks, one fire-stratum playing into the other, by its nature
and the art of man, now when all hands ran raging, and the flames lashed
high over shrouds and topmast: this let not History attempt.

The Fireship is old France, the old French Form of Life; her creed a
Generation of men. Wild are their cries and their ragings there, like
spirits tormented in that flame. But, on the whole, are they not gone, O
Reader? Their Fireship and they, frightening the world, have sailed away;
its flames and its thunders quite away, into the Deep of Time. One thing
therefore History will do: pity them all; for it went hard with them all.
Not even the seagreen Incorruptible but shall have some pity, some human
love, though it takes an effort. And now, so much once thoroughly
attained, the rest will become easier. To the eye of equal brotherly pity,
innumerable perversions dissipate themselves; exaggerations and execrations
fall off, of their own accord. Standing wistfully on the safe shore, we
will look, and see, what is of interest to us, what is adapted to us.

Chapter 3.3.II.

Culottic and Sansculottic.

Gironde and Mountain are now in full quarrel; their mutual rage, says
Toulongeon, is growing a 'pale' rage. Curious, lamentable: all these men
have the word Republic on their lips; in the heart of every one of them is
a passionate wish for something which he calls Republic: yet see their
death-quarrel! So, however, are men made. Creatures who live in
confusion; who, once thrown together, can readily fall into that confusion
of confusions which quarrel is, simply because their confusions differ from
one another; still more because they seem to differ! Men's words are a
poor exponent of their thought; nay their thought itself is a poor exponent
of the inward unnamed Mystery, wherefrom both thought and action have their
birth. No man can explain himself, can get himself explained; men see not
one another but distorted phantasms which they call one another; which they
hate and go to battle with: for all battle is well said to be

But indeed that similitude of the Fireship; of our poor French brethren, so
fiery themselves, working also in an element of fire, was not
insignificant. Consider it well, there is a shade of the truth in it. For
a man, once committed headlong to republican or any other
Transcendentalism, and fighting and fanaticising amid a Nation of his like,
becomes as it were enveloped in an ambient atmosphere of Transcendentalism
and Delirium: his individual self is lost in something that is not
himself, but foreign though inseparable from him. Strange to think of, the
man's cloak still seems to hold the same man: and yet the man is not
there, his volition is not there; nor the source of what he will do and
devise; instead of the man and his volition there is a piece of Fanaticism
and Fatalism incarnated in the shape of him. He, the hapless incarnated
Fanaticism, goes his road; no man can help him, he himself least of all.
It is a wonderful tragical predicament;--such as human language, unused to
deal with these things, being contrived for the uses of common life,
struggles to shadow out in figures. The ambient element of material fire
is not wilder than this of Fanaticism; nor, though visible to the eye, is
it more real. Volition bursts forth involuntary; rapt along; the movement
of free human minds becomes a raging tornado of fatalism, blind as the
winds; and Mountain and Gironde, when they recover themselves, are alike
astounded to see where it has flung and dropt them. To such height of
miracle can men work on men; the Conscious and the Unconscious blended
inscrutably in this our inscrutable Life; endless Necessity environing

The weapons of the Girondins are Political Philosophy, Respectability and
Eloquence. Eloquence, or call it rhetoric, really of a superior order;
Vergniaud, for instance, turns a period as sweetly as any man of that
generation. The weapons of the Mountain are those of mere nature:
Audacity and Impetuosity which may become Ferocity, as of men complete in
their determination, in their conviction; nay of men, in some cases, who as
Septemberers must either prevail or perish. The ground to be fought for is
Popularity: further you may either seek Popularity with the friends of
Freedom and Order, or with the friends of Freedom Simple; to seek it with
both has unhappily become impossible. With the former sort, and generally
with the Authorities of the Departments, and such as read Parliamentary
Debates, and are of Respectability, and of a peace-loving monied nature,
the Girondins carry it. With the extreme Patriot again, with the indigent
millions, especially with the Population of Paris who do not read so much
as hear and see, the Girondins altogether lose it, and the Mountain carries

Egoism, nor meanness of mind, is not wanting on either side. Surely not on
the Girondin side; where in fact the instinct of self-preservation, too
prominently unfolded by circumstances, cuts almost a sorry figure; where
also a certain finesse, to the length even of shuffling and shamming, now
and then shews itself. They are men skilful in Advocate-fence. They have
been called the Jesuits of the Revolution; (Dumouriez, Memoires, iii. 314.)
but that is too hard a name. It must be owned likewise that this rude
blustering Mountain has a sense in it of what the Revolution means; which
these eloquent Girondins are totally void of. Was the Revolution made, and
fought for, against the world, these four weary years, that a Formula might
be substantiated; that Society might become methodic, demonstrable by
logic; and the old Noblesse with their pretensions vanish? Or ought it not
withal to bring some glimmering of light and alleviation to the Twenty-five
Millions, who sat in darkness, heavy-laden, till they rose with pikes in
their hands? At least and lowest, one would think, it should bring them a
proportion of bread to live on? There is in the Mountain here and there;
in Marat People's-friend; in the incorruptible Seagreen himself, though
otherwise so lean and formularly, a heartfelt knowledge of this latter
fact;--without which knowledge all other knowledge here is naught, and the
choicest forensic eloquence is as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.
Most cold, on the other hand, most patronising, unsubstantial is the tone
of the Girondins towards 'our poorer brethren;'--those brethren whom one
often hears of under the collective name of 'the masses,' as if they were
not persons at all, but mounds of combustible explosive material, for
blowing down Bastilles with! In very truth, a Revolutionist of this kind,
is he not a Solecism? Disowned by Nature and Art; deserving only to be
erased, and disappear! Surely, to our poorer brethren of Paris, all this
Girondin patronage sounds deadening and killing: if fine-spoken and
incontrovertible in logic, then all the falser, all the hatefuller in fact.

Nay doubtless, pleading for Popularity, here among our poorer brethren of
Paris, the Girondin has a hard game to play. If he gain the ear of the
Respectable at a distance, it is by insisting on September and such like;
it is at the expense of this Paris where he dwells and perorates. Hard to
perorate in such an auditory! Wherefore the question arises: Could we not
get ourselves out of this Paris? Twice or oftener such an attempt is made.
If not we ourselves, thinks Guadet, then at least our Suppleans might do
it. For every Deputy has his Suppleant, or Substitute, who will take his
place if need be: might not these assemble, say at Bourges, which is a
quiet episcopal Town, in quiet Berri, forty good leagues off? In that
case, what profit were it for the Paris Sansculottery to insult us; our
Suppleans sitting quiet in Bourges, to whom we could run? Nay even the
Primary electoral Assemblies, thinks Guadet, might be reconvoked, and a New
Convention got, with new orders from the Sovereign people; and right glad
were Lyons, were Bourdeaux, Rouen, Marseilles, as yet Provincial Towns, to
welcome us in their turn, and become a sort of Capital Towns; and teach
these Parisians reason.

Fond schemes; which all misgo! If decreed, in heat of eloquent logic, to-
day, they are repealed, by clamour, and passionate wider considerations, on
the morrow. (Moniteur, 1793, No. 140, &c.)  Will you, O Girondins, parcel
us into separate Republics, then; like the Swiss, like your Americans; so
that there be no Metropolis or indivisible French Nation any more? Your
Departmental Guard seemed to point that way! Federal Republic?
Federalist? Men and Knitting-women repeat Federaliste, with or without
much Dictionary-meaning; but go on repeating it, as is usual in such cases,
till the meaning of it becomes almost magical, fit to designate all mystery
of Iniquity; and Federaliste has grown a word of Exorcism and Apage-
Satanas. But furthermore, consider what 'poisoning of public opinion' in
the Departments, by these Brissot, Gorsas, Caritat-Condorcet Newspapers!
And then also what counter-poisoning, still feller in quality, by a Pere
Duchesne of Hebert, brutallest Newspaper yet published on Earth; by a
Rougiff of Guffroy; by the 'incendiary leaves of Marat!'  More than once,
on complaint given and effervescence rising, it is decreed that a man
cannot both be Legislator and Editor; that he shall choose between the one
function and the other. (Hist. Parl. xxv. 25, &c.)  But this too, which
indeed could help little, is revoked or eluded; remains a pious wish

Meanwhile, as the sad fruit of such strife, behold, O ye National
Representatives, how between the friends of Law and the friends of Freedom
everywhere, mere heats and jealousies have arisen; fevering the whole
Republic! Department, Provincial Town is set against Metropolis, Rich
against Poor, Culottic against Sansculottic, man against man. From the
Southern Cities come Addresses of an almost inculpatory character; for
Paris has long suffered Newspaper calumny. Bourdeaux demands a reign of
Law and Respectability, meaning Girondism, with emphasis. With emphasis
Marseilles demands the like. Nay from Marseilles there come two Addresses:
one Girondin; one Jacobin Sansculottic. Hot Rebecqui, sick of this
Convention-work, has given place to his Substitute, and gone home; where
also, with such jarrings, there is work to be sick of.

Lyons, a place of Capitalists and Aristocrats, is in still worse state;
almost in revolt. Chalier the Jacobin Town-Councillor has got, too
literally, to daggers-drawn with Nievre-Chol the Moderantin Mayor; one of
your Moderate, perhaps Aristocrat, Royalist or Federalist Mayors! Chalier,
who pilgrimed to Paris 'to behold Marat and the Mountain,' has verily
kindled himself at their sacred urn: for on the 6th of February last,
History or Rumour has seen him haranguing his Lyons Jacobins in a quite
transcendental manner, with a drawn dagger in his hand; recommending (they
say) sheer September-methods, patience being worn out; and that the Jacobin
Brethren should, impromptu, work the Guillotine themselves! One sees him
still, in Engravings: mounted on a table; foot advanced, body contorted; a
bald, rude, slope-browed, infuriated visage of the canine species, the eyes
starting from their sockets; in his puissant right-hand the brandished
dagger, or horse-pistol, as some give it; other dog-visages kindling under
him:--a man not likely to end well! However, the Guillotine was not got
together impromptu, that day, 'on the Pont Saint-Clair,' or elsewhere; but
indeed continued lying rusty in its loft: (Hist. Parl. xxiv. 385-93; xxvi.
229, &c.)  Nievre-Chol with military went about, rumbling cannon, in the
most confused manner; and the 'nine hundred prisoners' received no hurt.
So distracted is Lyons grown, with its cannon rumbling. Convention
Commissioners must be sent thither forthwith: if even they can appease it,
and keep the Guillotine in its loft?

Consider finally if, on all these mad jarrings of the Southern Cities, and
of France generally, a traitorous Crypto-Royalist class is not looking and
watching; ready to strike in, at the right season! Neither is there bread;
neither is there soap: see the Patriot women selling out sugar, at a just
rate of twenty-two sous per pound! Citizen Representatives, it were verily
well that your quarrels finished, and the reign of Perfect Felicity began.

Chapter 3.3.III.

Growing shrill.

On the whole, one cannot say that the Girondins are wanting to themselves,
so far as good-will might go. They prick assiduously into the sore-places
of the Mountain; from principle, and also from jesuitism.

Besides September, of which there is now little to be made except
effervescence, we discern two sore-places where the Mountain often suffers:
Marat and Orleans Egalite. Squalid Marat, for his own sake and for the
Mountain's, is assaulted ever and anon; held up to France, as a squalid
bloodthirsty Portent, inciting to the pillage of shops; of whom let the
Mountain have the credit! The Mountain murmurs, ill at ease: this
'Maximum of Patriotism,' how shall they either own him or disown him? As
for Marat personally, he, with his fixed-idea, remains invulnerable to such
things: nay the People's-friend is very evidently rising in importance, as
his befriended People rises. No shrieks now, when he goes to speak;
occasional applauses rather, furtherance which breeds confidence. The day
when the Girondins proposed to 'decree him accused' (decreter d'accusation,
as they phrase it) for that February Paragraph, of 'hanging up a
Forestaller or two at the door-lintels,' Marat proposes to have them
'decreed insane;' and, descending the Tribune-steps, is heard to articulate
these most unsenatorial ejaculations: "Les Cochons, les imbecilles, Pigs,
idiots!"  Oftentimes he croaks harsh sarcasm, having really a rough rasping
tongue, and a very deep fund of contempt for fine outsides; and once or
twice, he even laughs, nay 'explodes into laughter, rit aux eclats,' at the
gentilities and superfine airs of these Girondin "men of statesmanship,"
with their pedantries, plausibilities, pusillanimities: "these two years,"
says he, "you have been whining about attacks, and plots, and danger from
Paris; and you have not a scratch to shew for yourselves."  (Moniteur,
Seance du 20 Mai 1793.)--Danton gruffly rebukes him, from time to time: a
Maximum of Patriotism, whom one can neither own nor disown!

But the second sore-place of the Mountain is this anomalous Monseigneur
Equality Prince d'Orleans. Behold these men, says the Gironde; with a
whilom Bourbon Prince among them: they are creatures of the d'Orleans
Faction; they will have Philippe made King; one King no sooner guillotined
than another made in his stead! Girondins have moved, Buzot moved long
ago, from principle and also from jesuitism, that the whole race of
Bourbons should be marched forth from the soil of France; this Prince
Egalite to bring up the rear. Motions which might produce some effect on
the public;--which the Mountain, ill at ease, knows not what to do with.

And poor Orleans Egalite himself, for one begins to pity even him, what
does he do with them? The disowned of all parties, the rejected and
foolishly be-drifted hither and hither, to what corner of Nature can he now
drift with advantage? Feasible hope remains not for him: unfeasible hope,
in pallid doubtful glimmers, there may still come, bewildering, not
cheering or illuminating,--from the Dumouriez quarter; and how, if not the
timewasted Orleans Egalite, then perhaps the young unworn Chartres Egalite
might rise to be a kind of King? Sheltered, if shelter it be, in the
clefts of the Mountain, poor Egalite will wait: one refuge in Jacobinism,
one in Dumouriez and Counter-Revolution, are there not two chances?
However, the look of him, Dame Genlis says, is grown gloomy; sad to see.
Sillery also, the Genlis's Husband, who hovers about the Mountain, not on
it, is in a bad way. Dame Genlis has come to Raincy, out of England and
Bury St. Edmunds, in these days; being summoned by Egalite, with her young
charge, Mademoiselle Egalite, that so Mademoiselle might not be counted
among Emigrants and hardly dealt with. But it proves a ravelled business:
Genlis and charge find that they must retire to the Netherlands; must wait
on the Frontiers for a week or two; till Monseigneur, by Jacobin help, get
it wound up. 'Next morning,' says Dame Genlis, 'Monseigneur, gloomier than
ever, gave me his arm, to lead me to the carriage. I was greatly troubled;
Mademoiselle burst into tears; her Father was pale and trembling. After I
had got seated, he stood immovable at the carriage-door, with his eyes
fixed on me; his mournful and painful look seemed to implore pity;--"Adieu,
Madame!" said he. The altered sound of his voice completely overcame me;
not able to utter a word, I held out my hand; he grasped it close; then
turning, and advancing sharply towards the postillions, he gave them a
sign, and we rolled away.'  (Genlis, Memoires (London, 1825), iv. 118.)

Nor are Peace-makers wanting; of whom likewise we mention two; one fast on
the crown of the Mountain, the other not yet alighted anywhere: Danton and
Barrere. Ingenious Barrere, Old-Constituent and Editor from the slopes of
the Pyrenees, is one of the usefullest men of this Convention, in his way.
Truth may lie on both sides, on either side, or on neither side; my
friends, ye must give and take: for the rest, success to the winning side!
This is the motto of Barrere. Ingenious, almost genial; quick-sighted,
supple, graceful; a man that will prosper. Scarcely Belial in the
assembled Pandemonium was plausibler to ear and eye. An indispensable man:
in the great Art of Varnish he may be said to seek his fellow. Has there
an explosion arisen, as many do arise, a confusion, unsightliness, which no
tongue can speak of, nor eye look on; give it to Barrere; Barrere shall be
Committee-Reporter of it; you shall see it transmute itself into a
regularity, into the very beauty and improvement that was needed. Without
one such man, we say, how were this Convention bested? Call him not, as
exaggerative Mercier does, 'the greatest liar in France:'  nay it may be
argued there is not truth enough in him to make a real lie of. Call him,
with Burke, Anacreon of the Guillotine, and a man serviceable to this

The other Peace-maker whom we name is Danton. Peace, O peace with one
another! cries Danton often enough: Are we not alone against the world; a
little band of brothers? Broad Danton is loved by all the Mountain; but
they think him too easy-tempered, deficient in suspicion: he has stood
between Dumouriez and much censure, anxious not to exasperate our only
General: in the shrill tumult Danton's strong voice reverberates, for
union and pacification. Meetings there are; dinings with the Girondins:
it is so pressingly essential that there be union. But the Girondins are
haughty and respectable; this Titan Danton is not a man of Formulas, and
there rests on him a shadow of September. "Your Girondins have no
confidence in me:"  this is the answer a conciliatory Meillan gets from
him; to all the arguments and pleadings this conciliatory Meillan can
bring, the repeated answer is, "Ils n'ont point de confiance."  (Memoires
de Meillan, Representant du Peuple (Paris, 1823), p. 51.)--The tumult will
get ever shriller; rage is growing pale.

In fact, what a pang is it to the heart of a Girondin, this first withering
probability that the despicable unphilosophic anarchic Mountain, after all,
may triumph! Brutal Septemberers, a fifth-floor Tallien, 'a Robespierre
without an idea in his head,' as Condorcet says, 'or a feeling in his
heart:'  and yet we, the flower of France, cannot stand against them;
behold the sceptre departs from us; from us and goes to them! Eloquence,
Philosophism, Respectability avail not: 'against Stupidity the very gods
fight to no purpose,

  'Mit der Dummheit kampfen Gotter selbst vergebens!'

Shrill are the plaints of Louvet; his thin existence all acidified into
rage, and preternatural insight of suspicion. Wroth is young Barbaroux;
wroth and scornful. Silent, like a Queen with the aspic on her bosom, sits
the wife of Roland; Roland's Accounts never yet got audited, his name
become a byword. Such is the fortune of war, especially of revolution.
The great gulf of Tophet, and Tenth of August, opened itself at the magic
of your eloquent voice; and lo now, it will not close at your voice! It is
a dangerous thing such magic. The Magician's Famulus got hold of the
forbidden Book, and summoned a goblin: Plait-il, What is your will? said
the Goblin. The Famulus, somewhat struck, bade him fetch water: the swift
goblin fetched it, pail in each hand; but lo, would not cease fetching it!
Desperate, the Famulus shrieks at him, smites at him, cuts him in two; lo,
two goblin water-carriers ply; and the house will be swum away in Deucalion

Chapter 3.3.IV.

Fatherland in Danger.

Or rather we will say, this Senatorial war might have lasted long; and
Party tugging and throttling with Party might have suppressed and smothered
one another, in the ordinary bloodless Parliamentary way; on one condition:
that France had been at least able to exist, all the while. But this
Sovereign People has a digestive faculty, and cannot do without bread.
Also we are at war, and must have victory; at war with Europe, with Fate
and Famine: and behold, in the spring of the year, all victory deserts us.

Dumouriez had his outposts stretched as far as Aix-la-Chapelle, and the
beautifullest plan for pouncing on Holland, by stratagem, flat-bottomed
boats and rapid intrepidity; wherein too he had prospered so far; but
unhappily could prosper no further. Aix-la-Chapelle is lost; Maestricht
will not surrender to mere smoke and noise: the flat-bottomed boats must
launch themselves again, and return the way they came. Steady now, ye
rapidly intrepid men; retreat with firmness, Parthian-like! Alas, were it
General Miranda's fault; were it the War-minister's fault; or were it
Dumouriez's own fault and that of Fortune: enough, there is nothing for it
but retreat,--well if it be not even flight; for already terror-stricken
cohorts and stragglers pour off, not waiting for order; flow disastrous, as
many as ten thousand of them, without halt till they see France again.
(Dumouriez, iv. 16-73.)  Nay worse: Dumouriez himself is perhaps secretly
turning traitor? Very sharp is the tone in which he writes to our
Committees. Commissioners and Jacobin Pillagers have done such
incalculable mischief; Hassenfratz sends neither cartridges nor clothing;
shoes we have, deceptively 'soled with wood and pasteboard.'  Nothing in
short is right. Danton and Lacroix, when it was they that were
Commissioners, would needs join Belgium to France;--of which Dumouriez
might have made the prettiest little Duchy for his own secret behoof! With
all these things the General is wroth; and writes to us in a sharp tone.
Who knows what this hot little General is meditating? Dumouriez Duke of
Belgium or Brabant; and say, Egalite the Younger King of France: there
were an end for our Revolution!--Committee of Defence gazes, and shakes its
head: who except Danton, defective in suspicion, could still struggle to
be of hope?

And General Custine is rolling back from the Rhine Country; conquered Mentz
will be reconquered, the Prussians gathering round to bombard it with shot
and shell. Mentz may resist, Commissioner Merlin, the Thionviller, 'making
sallies, at the head of the besieged;'--resist to the death; but not longer
than that. How sad a reverse for Mentz! Brave Foster, brave Lux planted
Liberty-trees, amid ca-ira-ing music, in the snow-slush of last winter,
there: and made Jacobin Societies; and got the Territory incorporated with
France: they came hither to Paris, as Deputies or Delegates, and have
their eighteen francs a-day: but see, before once the Liberty-Tree is got
rightly in leaf, Mentz is changing into an explosive crater; vomiting fire,
bevomited with fire!

Neither of these men shall again see Mentz; they have come hither only to
die. Foster has been round the Globe; he saw Cook perish under Owyhee
clubs; but like this Paris he has yet seen or suffered nothing. Poverty
escorts him: from home there can nothing come, except Job's-news; the
eighteen daily francs, which we here as Deputy or Delegate with difficulty
'touch,' are in paper assignats, and sink fast in value. Poverty,
disappointment, inaction, obloquy; the brave heart slowly breaking! Such
is Foster's lot. For the rest, Demoiselle Theroigne smiles on you in the
Soirees; 'a beautiful brownlocked face,' of an exalted temper; and
contrives to keep her carriage. Prussian Trenck, the poor subterranean
Baron, jargons and jangles in an unmelodious manner. Thomas Paine's face
is red-pustuled, 'but the eyes uncommonly bright.'  Convention Deputies ask
you to dinner: very courteous; and 'we all play at plumsack.'  (Forster's
Briefwechsel, ii. 514, 460, 631.)  'It is the Explosion and New-creation of
a World,' says Foster; 'and the actors in it, such small mean objects,
buzzing round one like a handful of flies.'--

Likewise there is war with Spain. Spain will advance through the gorges of
the Pyrenees; rustling with Bourbon banners; jingling with artillery and
menace. And England has donned the red coat; and marches, with Royal
Highness of York,--whom some once spake of inviting to be our King.
Changed that humour now: and ever more changing; till no hatefuller thing
walk this Earth than a denizen of that tyrannous Island; and Pitt be
declared and decreed, with effervescence, 'L'ennemi du genre humain, The
enemy of mankind;' and, very singular to say, you make an order that no
Soldier of Liberty give quarter to an Englishman. Which order however, the
Soldier of Liberty does but partially obey. We will take no Prisoners
then, say the Soldiers of Liberty; they shall all be 'Deserters' that we
take. (See Dampmartin, Evenemens, ii. 213-30.)  It is a frantic order; and
attended with inconvenience. For surely, if you give no quarter, the plain
issue is that you will get none; and so the business become as broad as it
was long.--Our 'recruitment of Three Hundred Thousand men,' which was the
decreed force for this year, is like to have work enough laid to its hand.

So many enemies come wending on; penetrating through throats of Mountains,
steering over the salt sea; towards all points of our territory; rattling
chains at us. Nay worst of all: there is an enemy within our own
territory itself. In the early days of March, the Nantes Postbags do not
arrive; there arrive only instead of them Conjecture, Apprehension, bodeful
wind of Rumour. The bodefullest proves true! Those fanatic Peoples of La
Vendee will no longer keep under: their fire of insurrection, heretofore
dissipated with difficulty, blazes out anew, after the King's Death, as a
wide conflagration; not riot, but civil war. Your Cathelineaus, your
Stofflets, Charettes, are other men than was thought: behold how their
Peasants, in mere russet and hodden, with their rude arms, rude array, with
their fanatic Gaelic frenzy and wild-yelling battle-cry of God and the
King, dash at us like a dark whirlwind; and blow the best-disciplined
Nationals we can get into panic and sauve-qui-peut! Field after field is
theirs; one sees not where it will end. Commandant Santerre may be sent
thither; but with non-effect; he might as well have returned and brewed

It has become peremptorily necessary that a National Convention cease
arguing, and begin acting. Yield one party of you to the other, and do it
swiftly. No theoretic outlook is here, but the close certainty of ruin;
the very day that is passing over must be provided for.

It was Friday the eighth of March when this Job's-post from Dumouriez,
thickly preceded and escorted by so many other Job's-posts, reached the
National Convention. Blank enough are most faces. Little will it avail
whether our Septemberers be punished or go unpunished; if Pitt and Cobourg
are coming in, with one punishment for us all; nothing now between Paris
itself and the Tyrants but a doubtful Dumouriez, and hosts in loose-flowing
loud retreat!--Danton the Titan rises in this hour, as always in the hour
of need. Great is his voice, reverberating from the domes:--Citizen-
Representatives, shall we not, in such crisis of Fate, lay aside discords?
Reputation: O what is the reputation of this man or of that? Que mon nom
soit fletri, que la France soit libre, Let my name be blighted; let France
be free! It is necessary now again that France rise, in swift vengeance,
with her million right-hands, with her heart as of one man. Instantaneous
recruitment in Paris; let every Section of Paris furnish its thousands;
every section of France! Ninety-six Commissioners of us, two for each
Section of the Forty-eight, they must go forthwith, and tell Paris what the
Country needs of her. Let Eighty more of us be sent, post-haste, over
France; to spread the fire-cross, to call forth the might of men. Let the
Eighty also be on the road, before this sitting rise. Let them go, and
think what their errand is. Speedy Camp of Fifty thousand between Paris
and the North Frontier; for Paris will pour forth her volunteers! Shoulder
to shoulder; one strong universal death-defiant rising and rushing; we
shall hurl back these Sons of Night yet again; and France, in spite of the
world, be free! (Moniteur (in Hist. Parl. xxv. 6).)--So sounds the Titan's
voice: into all Section-houses; into all French hearts. Sections sit in
Permanence, for recruitment, enrolment, that very night. Convention
Commissioners, on swift wheels, are carrying the fire-cross from Town to
Town, till all France blaze.

And so there is Flag of Fatherland in Danger waving from the Townhall,
Black Flag from the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral; there is Proclamation, hot
eloquence; Paris rushing out once again to strike its enemies down. That,
in such circumstances, Paris was in no mild humour can be conjectured.
Agitated streets; still more agitated round the Salle de Manege!
Feuillans-Terrace crowds itself with angry Citizens, angrier Citizenesses;
Varlet perambulates with portable-chair: ejaculations of no measured kind,
as to perfidious fine-spoken Hommes d'etat, friends of Dumouriez, secret-
friends of Pitt and Cobourg, burst from the hearts and lips of men. To
fight the enemy? Yes, and even to "freeze him with terror, glacer
d'effroi;" but first to have domestic Traitors punished! Who are they
that, carping and quarrelling, in their jesuitic most moderate way, seek to
shackle the Patriotic movement? That divide France against Paris, and
poison public opinion in the Departments? That when we ask for bread, and
a Maximum fixed-price, treat us with lectures on Free-trade in grains? Can
the human stomach satisfy itself with lectures on Free-trade; and are we to
fight the Austrians in a moderate manner, or in an immoderate? This
Convention must be purged.

"Set up a swift Tribunal for Traitors, a Maximum for Grains:"  thus speak
with energy the Patriot Volunteers, as they defile through the Convention
Hall, just on the wing to the Frontiers;--perorating in that heroical
Cambyses' vein of theirs: beshouted by the Galleries and Mountain;
bemurmured by the Right-side and Plain. Nor are prodigies wanting: lo,
while a Captain of the Section Poissonniere perorates with vehemence about
Dumouriez, Maximum, and Crypto-Royalist Traitors, and his troop beat chorus
with him, waving their Banner overhead, the eye of a Deputy discerns, in
this same Banner, that the cravates or streamers of it have Royal fleurs-
de-lys! The Section-Captain shrieks; his troop shriek, horror-struck, and
'trample the Banner under foot:'  seemingly the work of some Crypto-
Royalist Plotter? Most probable; (Choix des Rapports, xi. 277.)--or
perhaps at bottom, only the old Banner of the Section, manufactured prior
to the Tenth of August, when such streamers were according to rule! (Hist.
Parl. xxv. 72.)

History, looking over the Girondin Memoirs, anxious to disentangle the
truth of them from the hysterics, finds these days of March, especially
this Sunday the Tenth of March, play a great part. Plots, plots: a plot
for murdering the Girondin Deputies; Anarchists and Secret-Royalists
plotting, in hellish concert, for that end! The far greater part of which
is hysterics. What we do find indisputable is that Louvet and certain
Girondins were apprehensive they might be murdered on Saturday, and did not
go to the evening sitting: but held council with one another, each
inciting his fellow to do something resolute, and end these Anarchists: to
which, however, Petion, opening the window, and finding the night very wet,
answered only, "Ils ne feront rien," and 'composedly resumed his violin,'
says Louvet: (Louvet, Memoires, p. 72.)  thereby, with soft Lydian
tweedledeeing, to wrap himself against eating cares. Also that Louvet felt
especially liable to being killed; that several Girondins went abroad to
seek beds: liable to being killed; but were not. Further that, in very
truth, Journalist Deputy Gorsas, poisoner of the Departments, he and his
Printer had their houses broken into (by a tumult of Patriots, among whom
red-capped Varlet, American Fournier loom forth, in the darkness of the
rain and riot); had their wives put in fear; their presses, types and
circumjacent equipments beaten to ruin; no Mayor interfering in time;
Gorsas himself escaping, pistol in hand, 'along the coping of the back
wall.'  Further that Sunday, the morrow, was not a workday; and the streets
were more agitated than ever: Is it a new September, then, that these
Anarchists intend? Finally, that no September came;--and also that
hysterics, not unnaturally, had reached almost their acme. (Meillan, pp.
23, 24; Louvet, pp. 71-80.)

Vergniaud denounces and deplores; in sweetly turned periods. Section
Bonconseil, Good-counsel so-named, not Mauconseil or Ill-counsel as it once
was,--does a far notabler thing: demands that Vergniaud, Brissot, Guadet,
and other denunciatory fine-spoken Girondins, to the number of Twenty-two,
be put under arrest! Section Good-counsel, so named ever since the Tenth
of August, is sharply rebuked, like a Section of Ill-counsel; (Moniteur
(Seance du 12 Mars), 15 Mars.) but its word is spoken, and will not fall to
the ground.

In fact, one thing strikes us in these poor Girondins; their fatal
shortness of vision; nay fatal poorness of character, for that is the root
of it. They are as strangers to the People they would govern; to the thing
they have come to work in. Formulas, Philosophies, Respectabilities, what
has been written in Books, and admitted by the Cultivated Classes; this
inadequate Scheme of Nature's working is all that Nature, let her work as
she will, can reveal to these men. So they perorate and speculate; and
call on the Friends of Law, when the question is not Law or No-Law, but
Life or No-Life. Pedants of the Revolution, if not Jesuits of it! Their
Formalism is great; great also is their Egoism. France rising to fight
Austria has been raised only by Plot of the Tenth of March, to kill Twenty-
two of them! This Revolution Prodigy, unfolding itself into terrific
stature and articulation, by its own laws and Nature's, not by the laws of
Formula, has become unintelligible, incredible as an impossibility, the
waste chaos of a Dream.'  A Republic founded on what they call the Virtues;
on what we call the Decencies and Respectabilities: this they will have,
and nothing but this. Whatsoever other Republic Nature and Reality send,
shall be considered as not sent; as a kind of Nightmare Vision, and thing
non-extant; disowned by the Laws of Nature, and of Formula. Alas! Dim for
the best eyes is this Reality; and as for these men, they will not look at
it with eyes at all, but only through 'facetted spectacles' of Pedantry,
wounded Vanity; which yield the most portentous fallacious spectrum.
Carping and complaining forever of Plots and Anarchy, they will do one
thing: prove, to demonstration, that the Reality will not translate into
their Formula; that they and their Formula are incompatible with the
Reality: and, in its dark wrath, the Reality will extinguish it and them!
What a man kens he cans. But the beginning of a man's doom is that vision
be withdrawn from him; that he see not the reality, but a false spectrum of
the reality; and, following that, step darkly, with more or less velocity,
downwards to the utter Dark; to Ruin, which is the great Sea of Darkness,
whither all falsehoods, winding or direct, continually flow!

This Tenth of March we may mark as an epoch in the Girondin destinies; the
rage so exasperated itself, the misconception so darkened itself. Many
desert the sittings; many come to them armed. (Meillan (Memoires, pp. 85,
24).)  An honourable Deputy, setting out after breakfast, must now, besides
taking his Notes, see whether his Priming is in order.

Meanwhile with Dumouriez in Belgium it fares ever worse. Were it again
General Miranda's fault, or some other's fault, there is no doubt whatever
but the 'Battle of Nerwinden,' on the 18th of March, is lost; and our rapid
retreat has become a far too rapid one. Victorious Cobourg, with his
Austrian prickers, hangs like a dark cloud on the rear of us: Dumouriez
never off horseback night or day; engagement every three hours; our whole
discomfited Host rolling rapidly inwards, full of rage, suspicion, and
sauve-qui-peut! And then Dumouriez himself, what his intents may be?
Wicked seemingly and not charitable! His despatches to Committee openly
denounce a factious Convention, for the woes it has brought on France and
him. And his speeches--for the General has no reticence! The Execution of
the Tyrant this Dumouriez calls the Murder of the King. Danton and
Lacroix, flying thither as Commissioners once more, return very doubtful;
even Danton now doubts.

Three Jacobin Missionaries, Proly, Dubuisson, Pereyra, have flown forth;
sped by a wakeful Mother Society: they are struck dumb to hear the General
speak. The Convention, according to this General, consists of three
hundred scoundrels and four hundred imbeciles: France cannot do without a
King. "But we have executed our King."  "And what is it to me," hastily
cries Dumouriez, a General of no reticence, "whether the King's name be
Ludovicus or Jacobus?"  "Or Philippus!" rejoins Proly;--and hastens to
report progress. Over the Frontiers such hope is there.

Chapter 3.3.V.

Sansculottism Accoutred.

Let us look, however, at the grand internal Sansculottism and Revolution
Prodigy, whether it stirs and waxes: there and not elsewhere hope may
still be for France. The Revolution Prodigy, as Decree after Decree issues
from the Mountain, like creative fiats, accordant with the nature of the
Thing,--is shaping itself rapidly, in these days, into terrific stature and
articulation, limb after limb. Last March, 1792, we saw all France flowing
in blind terror; shutting town-barriers, boiling pitch for Brigands:
happier, this March, that it is a seeing terror; that a creative Mountain
exists, which can say fiat! Recruitment proceeds with fierce celerity:
nevertheless our Volunteers hesitate to set out, till Treason be punished
at home; they do not fly to the frontiers; but only fly hither and thither,
demanding and denouncing. The Mountain must speak new fiat, and new fiats.

And does it not speak such? Take, as first example, those Comites
Revolutionnaires for the arrestment of Persons Suspect. Revolutionary
Committee, of Twelve chosen Patriots, sits in every Township of France;
examining the Suspect, seeking arms, making domiciliary visits and
arrestments;--caring, generally, that the Republic suffer no detriment.
Chosen by universal suffrage, each in its Section, they are a kind of
elixir of Jacobinism; some Forty-four Thousand of them awake and alive over
France! In Paris and all Towns, every house-door must have the names of
the inmates legibly printed on it, 'at a height not exceeding five feet
from the ground;' every Citizen must produce his certificatory Carte de
Civisme, signed by Section-President; every man be ready to give account of
the faith that is in him. Persons Suspect had as well depart this soil of
Liberty! And yet departure too is bad: all Emigrants are declared
Traitors, their property become National; they are 'dead in Law,'--save
indeed that for our behoof they shall 'live yet fifty years in Law,' and
what heritages may fall to them in that time become National too! A mad
vitality of Jacobinism, with Forty-four Thousand centres of activity,
circulates through all fibres of France.

Very notable also is the Tribunal Extraordinaire: (Moniteur, No. 70, (du 11
Mars), No. 76, &c.)  decreed by the Mountain; some Girondins dissenting,
for surely such a Court contradicts every formula;--other Girondins
assenting, nay co-operating, for do not we all hate Traitors, O ye people
of Paris?--Tribunal of the Seventeenth in Autumn last was swift; but this
shall be swifter. Five Judges; a standing Jury, which is named from Paris
and the Neighbourhood, that there be not delay in naming it: they are
subject to no Appeal; to hardly any Law-forms, but must 'get themselves
convinced' in all readiest ways; and for security are bound 'to vote
audibly;' audibly, in the hearing of a Paris Public. This is the Tribunal
Extraordinaire; which, in few months, getting into most lively action,
shall be entitled Tribunal Revolutionnaire, as indeed it from the very
first has entitled itself: with a Herman or a Dumas for Judge President,
with a Fouquier-Tinville for Attorney-General, and a Jury of such as
Citizen Leroi, who has surnamed himself Dix-Aout, 'Leroi August-Tenth,' it
will become the wonder of the world. Herein has Sansculottism fashioned
for itself a Sword of Sharpness: a weapon magical; tempered in the Stygian
hell-waters; to the edge of it all armour, and defence of strength or of
cunning shall be soft; it shall mow down Lives and Brazen-gates; and the
waving of it shed terror through the souls of men.

But speaking of an amorphous Sansculottism taking form, ought we not above
all things to specify how the Amorphous gets itself a Head? Without
metaphor, this Revolution Government continues hitherto in a very anarchic
state. Executive Council of Ministers, Six in number, there is; but they,
especially since Roland's retreat, have hardly known whether they were
Ministers or not. Convention Committees sit supreme over them; but then
each Committee as supreme as the others: Committee of Twenty-one, of
Defence, of General Surety; simultaneous or successive, for specific
purposes. The Convention alone is all-powerful,-- especially if the
Commune go with it; but is too numerous for an administrative body.
Wherefore, in this perilous quick-whirling condition of the Republic,
before the end of March, we obtain our small Comite de Salut Public;
(Moniteur, No. 83 (du 24 Mars 1793) Nos. 86, 98, 99, 100.) as it were, for
miscellaneous accidental purposes, requiring despatch;--as it proves, for a
sort of universal supervision, and universal subjection. They are to
report weekly, these new Committee-men; but to deliberate in secret. Their
number is Nine, firm Patriots all, Danton one of them: Renewable every
month;--yet why not reelect them if they turn out well? The flower of the
matter is that they are but nine; that they sit in secret. An
insignificant-looking thing at first, this Committee; but with a principle
of growth in it! Forwarded by fortune, by internal Jacobin energy, it will
reduce all Committees and the Convention itself to mute obedience, the Six
Ministers to Six assiduous Clerks; and work its will on the Earth and under
Heaven, for a season. 'A Committee of Public Salvation,' whereat the world
still shrieks and shudders.

If we call that Revolutionary Tribunal a Sword, which Sansculottism has
provided for itself, then let us call the 'Law of the Maximum,' a
Provender-scrip, or Haversack, wherein better or worse some ration of bread
may be found. It is true, Political Economy, Girondin free-trade, and all
law of supply and demand, are hereby hurled topsyturvy: but what help?
Patriotism must live; the 'cupidity of farmers' seems to have no bowels.
Wherefore this Law of the Maximum, fixing the highest price of grains, is,
with infinite effort, got passed; (Moniteur (du 20 Avril, &c. to 20 Mai,
1793).) and shall gradually extend itself into a Maximum for all manner of
comestibles and commodities: with such scrambling and topsyturvying as may
be fancied! For now, if, for example, the farmer will not sell? The
farmer shall be forced to sell. An accurate Account of what grain he has
shall be delivered in to the Constituted Authorities: let him see that he
say not too much; for in that case, his rents, taxes and contributions will
rise proportionally: let him see that he say not too little; for, on or
before a set day, we shall suppose in April, less than one-third of this
declared quantity, must remain in his barns, more than two-thirds of it
must have been thrashed and sold. One can denounce him, and raise

By such inextricable overturning of all Commercial relation will
Sansculottism keep life in; since not otherwise. On the whole, as Camille
Desmoulins says once, "while the Sansculottes fight, the Monsieurs must
pay."  So there come Impots Progressifs, Ascending Taxes; which consume,
with fast-increasing voracity, and 'superfluous-revenue' of men: beyond
fifty-pounds a-year you are not exempt; rising into the hundreds you bleed
freely; into the thousands and tens of thousands, you bleed gushing. Also
there come Requisitions; there comes 'Forced-Loan of a Milliard,' some
Fifty-Millions Sterling; which of course they that have must lend.
Unexampled enough: it has grown to be no country for the Rich, this; but a
country for the Poor! And then if one fly, what steads it? Dead in Law;
nay kept alive fifty years yet, for their accursed behoof! In this manner,
therefore, it goes; topsyturvying, ca-ira-ing;--and withal there is endless
sale of Emigrant National-Property, there is Cambon with endless cornucopia
of Assignats. The Trade and Finance of Sansculottism; and how, with
Maximum and Bakers'-queues, with Cupidity, Hunger, Denunciation and Paper-
money, it led its galvanic-life, and began and ended,--remains the most
interesting of all Chapters in Political Economy: still to be written.

All which things are they not clean against Formula? O Girondin Friends,
it is not a Republic of the Virtues we are getting; but only a Republic of
the Strengths, virtuous and other!

Chapter 3.3.VI.

The Traitor.

But Dumouriez, with his fugitive Host, with his King Ludovicus or King
Philippus? There lies the crisis; there hangs the question: Revolution
Prodigy, or Counter-Revolution?--One wide shriek covers that North-East
region. Soldiers, full of rage, suspicion and terror, flock hither and
thither; Dumouriez the many-counselled, never off horseback, knows now no
counsel that were not worse than none: the counsel, namely, of joining
himself with Cobourg; marching to Paris, extinguishing Jacobinism, and,
with some new King Ludovicus or King Philippus, resting the Constitution of
1791! (Dumouriez, Memoires, iv. c. 7-10.)

Is Wisdom quitting Dumouriez; the herald of Fortune quitting him?
Principle, faith political or other, beyond a certain faith of mess-rooms,
and honour of an officer, had him not to quit. At any rate, his quarters
in the Burgh of Saint-Amand; his headquarters in the Village of Saint-Amand
des Boues, a short way off,--have become a Bedlam. National
Representatives, Jacobin Missionaries are riding and running: of the
'three Towns,' Lille, Valenciennes or even Conde, which Dumouriez wanted to
snatch for himself, not one can be snatched: your Captain is admitted, but
the Town-gate is closed on him, and then the Prison gate, and 'his men
wander about the ramparts.'  Couriers gallop breathless; men wait, or seem
waiting, to assassinate, to be assassinated; Battalions nigh frantic with
such suspicion and uncertainty, with Vive-la-Republique and Sauve-qui-peut,
rush this way and that;--Ruin and Desperation in the shape of Cobourg lying
entrenched close by.

Dame Genlis and her fair Princess d'Orleans find this Burgh of Saint-Amand
no fit place for them; Dumouriez's protection is grown worse than none.
Tough Genlis one of the toughest women; a woman, as it were, with nine
lives in her; whom nothing will beat: she packs her bandboxes; clear for
flight in a private manner. Her beloved Princess she will--leave here,
with the Prince Chartres Egalite her Brother. In the cold grey of the
April morning, we find her accordingly established in her hired vehicle, on
the street of Saint-Amand; postilions just cracking their whips to go,--
when behold the young Princely Brother, struggling hitherward, hastily
calling; bearing the Princess in his arms! Hastily he has clutched the
poor young lady up, in her very night-gown, nothing saved of her goods
except the watch from the pillow: with brotherly despair he flings her in,
among the bandboxes, into Genlis's chaise, into Genlis's arms: Leave her
not, in the name of Mercy and Heaven! A shrill scene, but a brief one:--
the postilions crack and go. Ah, whither? Through by-roads and broken
hill-passes: seeking their way with lanterns after nightfall; through
perils, and Cobourg Austrians, and suspicious French Nationals; finally,
into Switzerland; safe though nigh moneyless. (Genlis, iv. 139.)  The
brave young Egalite has a most wild Morrow to look for; but now only
himself to carry through it.

For indeed over at that Village named of the Mudbaths, Saint-Amand des
Boues, matters are still worse. About four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon,
the 2d of April 1793, two Couriers come galloping as if for life: Mon
General! Four National Representatives, War-Minister at their head, are
posting hitherward, from Valenciennes: are close at hand,--with what
intents one may guess! While the Couriers are yet speaking, War-Minister
and National Representatives, old Camus the Archivist for chief speaker of
them, arrive. Hardly has Mon General had time to order out the Huzzar
Regiment de Berchigny; that it take rank and wait near by, in case of
accident. And so, enter War-Minister Beurnonville, with an embrace of
friendship, for he is an old friend; enter Archivist Camus and the other
three, following him.

They produce Papers, invite the General to the bar of the Convention:
merely to give an explanation or two. The General finds it unsuitable, not
to say impossible, and that "the service will suffer."  Then comes
reasoning; the voice of the old Archivist getting loud. Vain to reason
loud with this Dumouriez; he answers mere angry irreverences. And so, amid
plumed staff-officers, very gloomy-looking; in jeopardy and uncertainty,
these poor National messengers debate and consult, retire and re-enter, for
the space of some two hours: without effect. Whereupon Archivist Camus,
getting quite loud, proclaims, in the name of the National Convention, for
he has the power to do it, That General Dumouriez is arrested: "Will you
obey the National Mandate, General!"  "Pas dans ce moment-ci, Not at this
particular moment," answers the General also aloud; then glancing the other
way, utters certain unknown vocables, in a mandatory manner; seemingly a
German word-of-command. (Dumouriez, iv. 159, &c.)  Hussars clutch the Four
National Representatives, and Beurnonville the War-minister; pack them out
of the apartment; out of the Village, over the lines to Cobourg, in two
chaises that very night,--as hostages, prisoners; to lie long in Maestricht
and Austrian strongholds! (Their Narrative, written by Camus (in
Toulongeon, iii. app. 60-87).)  Jacta est alea.

This night Dumouriez prints his 'Proclamation;' this night and the morrow
the Dumouriez Army, in such darkness visible, and rage of semi-desperation
as there is, shall meditate what the General is doing, what they themselves
will do in it. Judge whether this Wednesday was of halcyon nature, for any
one! But, on the Thursday morning, we discern Dumouriez with small escort,
with Chartres Egalite and a few staff-officers, ambling along the Conde
Highway: perhaps they are for Conde, and trying to persuade the Garrison
there; at all events, they are for an interview with Cobourg, who waits in
the woods by appointment, in that quarter. Nigh the Village of Doumet,
three National Battalions, a set of men always full of Jacobinism, sweep
past us; marching rather swiftly,--seemingly in mistake, by a way we had
not ordered. The General dismounts, steps into a cottage, a little from
the wayside; will give them right order in writing. Hark! what strange
growling is heard: what barkings are heard, loud yells of "Traitors," of
"Arrest:"  the National Battalions have wheeled round, are emitting shot!
Mount, Dumouriez, and spring for life! Dumouriez and Staff strike the
spurs in, deep; vault over ditches, into the fields, which prove to be
morasses; sprawl and plunge for life; bewhistled with curses and lead.
Sunk to the middle, with or without horses, several servants killed, they
escape out of shot-range, to General Mack the Austrian's quarters. Nay
they return on the morrow, to Saint-Amand and faithful foreign Berchigny;
but what boots it? The Artillery has all revolted, is jingling off to
Valenciennes: all have revolted, are revolting; except only foreign
Berchigny, to the extent of some poor fifteen hundred, none will follow
Dumouriez against France and Indivisible Republic: Dumouriez's
occupation's gone. (Memoires, iv. 162-180.)

Such an instinct of Frenehhood and Sansculottism dwells in these men: they
will follow no Dumouriez nor Lafayette, nor any mortal on such errand.
Shriek may be of Sauve-qui-peut, but will also be of Vive-la-Republique.
New National Representatives arrive; new General Dampierre, soon killed in
battle; new General Custine; the agitated Hosts draw back to some Camp of
Famars; make head against Cobourg as they can.

And so Dumouriez is in the Austrian quarters; his drama ended, in this
rather sorry manner. A most shifty, wiry man; one of Heaven's Swiss that
wanted only work. Fifty years of unnoticed toil and valour; one year of
toil and valour, not unnoticed, but seen of all countries and centuries;
then thirty other years again unnoticed, of Memoir-writing, English
Pension, scheming and projecting to no purpose: Adieu thou Swiss of
Heaven, worthy to have been something else!

His Staff go different ways. Brave young Egalite reaches Switzerland and
the Genlis Cottage; with a strong crabstick in his hand, a strong heart in
his body: his Princedom in now reduced to that. Egalite the Father sat
playing whist, in his Palais Egalite, at Paris, on the 6th day of this same
month of April, when a catchpole entered: Citoyen Egalite is wanted at the
Convention Committee! (See Montgaillard, iv. 144.)  Examination, requiring
Arrestment; finally requiring Imprisonment, transference to Marseilles and
the Castle of If! Orleansdom has sunk in the black waters; Palais Egalite,
which was Palais Royal, is like to become Palais National.

Chapter 3.3.VII.

In Fight.

Our Republic, by paper Decree, may be 'One and Indivisible;' but what
profits it while these things are? Federalists in the Senate, renegadoes
in the Army, traitors everywhere! France, all in desperate recruitment
since the Tenth of March, does not fly to the frontier, but only flies
hither and thither. This defection of contemptuous diplomatic Dumouriez
falls heavy on the fine-spoken high-sniffing Hommes d'etat, whom he
consorted with; forms a second epoch in their destinies.

Or perhaps more strictly we might say, the second Girondin epoch, though
little noticed then, began on the day when, in reference to this defection,
the Girondins broke with Danton. It was the first day of April; Dumouriez
had not yet plunged across the morasses to Cobourg, but was evidently
meaning to do it, and our Commissioners were off to arrest him; when what
does the Girondin Lasource see good to do, but rise, and jesuitically
question and insinuate at great length, whether a main accomplice of
Dumouriez had not probably been--Danton? Gironde grins sardonic assent;
Mountain holds its breath. The figure of Danton, Levasseur says, while
this speech went on, was noteworthy. He sat erect, with a kind of internal
convulsion struggling to keep itself motionless; his eye from time to time
flashing wilder, his lip curling in Titanic scorn. (Memoires de Rene
Levasseur (Bruxelles, 1830), i. 164.)  Lasource, in a fine-spoken attorney-
manner, proceeds: there is this probability to his mind, and there is
that; probabilities which press painfully on him, which cast the Patriotism
of Danton under a painful shade; which painful shade he, Lasource, will
hope that Danton may find it not impossible to dispel.

"Les Scelerats!" cries Danton, starting up, with clenched right-hand,
Lasource having done: and descends from the Mountain, like a lava-flood;
his answer not unready. Lasource's probabilities fly like idle dust; but
leave a result behind them. "Ye were right, friends of the Mountain,"
begins Danton, "and I was wrong: there is no peace possible with these
men. Let it be war then! They will not save the Republic with us: it
shall be saved without them; saved in spite of them."  Really a burst of
rude Parliamentary eloquence this; which is still worth reading, in the old
Moniteur! With fire-words the exasperated rude Titan rives and smites
these Girondins; at every hit the glad Mountain utters chorus: Marat, like
a musical bis, repeating the last phrase. (Seance du 1er Avril, 1793 (in
Hist. Parl. xxv. 24-35).)  Lasource's probabilities are gone: but Danton's
pledge of battle remains lying.

A third epoch, or scene in the Girondin Drama, or rather it is but the
completion of this second epoch, we reckon from the day when the patience
of virtuous Petion finally boiled over; and the Girondins, so to speak,
took up this battle-pledge of Danton's and decreed Marat accused. It was
the eleventh of the same month of April, on some effervescence rising, such
as often rose; and President had covered himself, mere Bedlam now ruling;
and Mountain and Gironde were rushing on one another with clenched right-
hands, and even with pistols in them; when, behold, the Girondin Duperret
drew a sword! Shriek of horror rose, instantly quenching all other
effervescence, at sight of the clear murderous steel; whereupon Duperret
returned it to the leather again;--confessing that he did indeed draw it,
being instigated by a kind of sacred madness, "sainte fureur," and pistols
held at him; but that if he parricidally had chanced to scratch the outmost
skin of National Representation with it, he too carried pistols, and would
have blown his brains out on the spot. (Hist. Parl. xv. 397.)

But now in such posture of affairs, virtuous Petion rose, next morning, to
lament these effervescences, this endless Anarchy invading the Legislative
Sanctuary itself; and here, being growled at and howled at by the Mountain,
his patience, long tried, did, as we say, boil over; and he spake
vehemently, in high key, with foam on his lips; 'whence,' says Marat, 'I
concluded he had got 'la rage,' the rabidity, or dog-madness. Rabidity
smites others rabid: so there rises new foam-lipped demand to have
Anarchists extinguished; and specially to have Marat put under Accusation.
Send a Representative to the Revolutionary Tribunal? Violate the
inviolability of a Representative? Have a care, O Friends! This poor
Marat has faults enough; but against Liberty or Equality, what fault? That
he has loved and fought for it, not wisely but too well. In dungeons and
cellars, in pinching poverty, under anathema of men; even so, in such
fight, has he grown so dingy, bleared; even so has his head become a
Stylites one! Him you will fling to your Sword of Sharpness; while Cobourg
and Pitt advance on us, fire-spitting?

The Mountain is loud, the Gironde is loud and deaf; all lips are foamy.
With 'Permanent-Session of twenty-four hours,' with vote by rollcall, and a
dead-lift effort, the Gironde carries it: Marat is ordered to the
Revolutionary Tribunal, to answer for that February Paragraph of
Forestallers at the door-lintel, with other offences; and, after a little
hesitation, he obeys. (Moniteur (du 16 Avril 1793, et seqq).)

Thus is Danton's battle-pledge taken up: there is, as he said there would
be, 'war without truce or treaty, ni treve ni composition.'  Wherefore,
close now with one another, Formula and Reality, in death-grips, and
wrestle it out; both of you cannot live, but only one!

Chapter 3.3.VIII.

In Death-Grips.

It proves what strength, were it only of inertia, there is in established
Formulas, what weakness in nascent Realities, and illustrates several
things, that this death-wrestle should still have lasted some six weeks or
more. National business, discussion of the Constitutional Act, for our
Constitution should decidedly be got ready, proceeds along with it. We
even change our Locality; we shift, on the Tenth of May, from the old Salle
de Manege, into our new Hall, in the Palace, once a King's but now the
Republic's, of the Tuileries. Hope and ruth, flickering against despair
and rage, still struggles in the minds of men.

It is a most dark confused death-wrestle, this of the six weeks. Formalist
frenzy against Realist frenzy; Patriotism, Egoism, Pride, Anger, Vanity,
Hope and Despair, all raised to the frenetic pitch: Frenzy meets Frenzy,
like dark clashing whirlwinds; neither understands the other; the weaker,
one day, will understand that it is verily swept down! Girondism is strong
as established Formula and Respectability: do not as many as Seventy-two
of the Departments, or say respectable Heads of Departments, declare for
us? Calvados, which loves its Buzot, will even rise in revolt, so hint the
Addresses; Marseilles, cradle of Patriotism, will rise; Bourdeaux will
rise, and the Gironde Department, as one man; in a word, who will not rise,
were our Representation Nationale to be insulted, or one hair of a Deputy's
head harmed! The Mountain, again, is strong as Reality and Audacity. To
the Reality of the Mountain are not all furthersome things possible? A new
Tenth of August, if needful; nay a new Second of September!--

But, on Wednesday afternoon, twenty-fourth day of April, year 1793, what
tumult as of fierce jubilee is this? It is Marat returning from
Revolutionary Tribunal! A week or more of death-peril: and now there is
triumphant acquittal; Revolutionary Tribunal can find no accusation against
this man. And so the eye of History beholds Patriotism, which had gloomed
unutterable things all week, break into loud jubilee, embrace its Marat;
lift him into a chair of triumph, bear him shoulder-high through the
streets. Shoulder-high is the injured People's-friend, crowned with an
oak-garland; amid the wavy sea of red nightcaps, carmagnole jackets,
grenadier bonnets and female mob-caps; far-sounding like a sea! The
injured People's-friend has here reached his culminating-point; he too
strikes the stars with his sublime head.

But the Reader can judge with what face President Lasource, he of the
'painful probabilities,' who presides in this Convention Hall, might
welcome such jubilee-tide, when it got thither, and the Decreed of
Accusation floating on the top of it! A National Sapper, spokesman on the
occasion, says, the People know their Friend, and love his life as their
own; "whosoever wants Marat's head must get the Sapper's first."  (Seance
(in Moniteur, No. 116 (du 26 Avril, An 1er).)  Lasource answered with some
vague painful mumblement,--which, says Levasseur, one could not help
tittering at. (Levasseur, Memoires, i. c. 6.)  Patriot Sections,
Volunteers not yet gone to the Frontiers, come demanding the "purgation of
traitors from your own bosom;" the expulsion, or even the trial and
sentence, of a factious Twenty-two.

Nevertheless the Gironde has got its Commission of Twelve; a Commission
specially appointed for investigating these troubles of the Legislative
Sanctuary: let Sansculottism say what it will, Law shall triumph. Old-
Constituent Rabaut Saint-Etienne presides over this Commission: "it is the
last plank whereon a wrecked Republic may perhaps still save herself."
Rabaut and they therefore sit, intent; examining witnesses; launching
arrestments; looking out into a waste dim sea of troubles.--the womb of
Formula, or perhaps her grave! Enter not that sea, O Reader! There are
dim desolation and confusion; raging women and raging men. Sections come
demanding Twenty-two; for the number first given by Section Bonconseil
still holds, though the names should even vary. Other Sections, of the
wealthier kind, come denouncing such demand; nay the same Section will
demand to-day, and denounce the demand to-morrow, according as the
wealthier sit, or the poorer. Wherefore, indeed, the Girondins decree that
all Sections shall close 'at ten in the evening;' before the working people
come: which Decree remains without effect. And nightly the Mother of
Patriotism wails doleful; doleful, but her eye kindling! And Fournier
l'Americain is busy, and the two Banker Freys, and Varlet Apostle of
Liberty; the bull-voice of Marquis Saint-Huruge is heard. And shrill women
vociferate from all Galleries, the Convention ones and downwards. Nay a
'Central Committee' of all the Forty-eight Sections, looms forth huge and
dubious; sitting dim in the Archeveche, sending Resolutions, receiving
them: a Centre of the Sections; in dread deliberation as to a New Tenth of

One thing we will specify to throw light on many: the aspect under which,
seen through the eyes of these Girondin Twelve, or even seen through one's
own eyes, the Patriotism of the softer sex presents itself. There are
Female Patriots, whom the Girondins call Megaeras, and count to the extent
of eight thousand; with serpent-hair, all out of curl; who have changed the
distaff for the dagger. They are of 'the Society called Brotherly,'
Fraternelle, say Sisterly, which meets under the roof of the Jacobins.
'Two thousand daggers,' or so, have been ordered,--doubtless, for them.
They rush to Versailles, to raise more women; but the Versailles women will
not rise. (Buzot, Memoires, pp. 69, 84; Meillan, Memoires,  pp. 192, 195,
196. See Commission des Douze (in Choix des Rapports, xii. 69-131).)

Nay, behold, in National Garden of Tuileries,--Demoiselle Theroigne herself
is become as a brownlocked Diana (were that possible) attacked by her own
dogs, or she-dogs! The Demoiselle, keeping her carriage, is for Liberty
indeed, as she has full well shewn; but then for Liberty with
Respectability: whereupon these serpent-haired Extreme She-Patriots now do
fasten on her, tatter her, shamefully fustigate her, in their shameful way;
almost fling her into the Garden-ponds, had not help intervened. Help,
alas, to small purpose. The poor Demoiselle's head and nervous-system,
none of the soundest, is so tattered and fluttered that it will never
recover; but flutter worse and worse, till it crack; and within year and
day we hear of her in madhouse, and straitwaistcoat, which proves
permanent!--Such brownlocked Figure did flutter, and inarticulately jabber
and gesticulate, little able to speak the obscure meaning it had, through
some segment of that Eighteenth Century of Time. She disappears here from
the Revolution and Public History, for evermore. (Deux Amis, vii. 77-80;
Forster, i. 514; Moore, i. 70. She did not die till 1817; in the
Salpetriere, in the most abject state of insanity; see Esquirol, Des
Maladies Mentales (Paris, 1838), i. 445-50.)

Another thing we will not again specify, yet again beseech the Reader to
imagine: the reign of Fraternity and Perfection. Imagine, we say, O
Reader, that the Millennium were struggling on the threshold, and yet not
so much as groceries could be had,--owing to traitors. With what impetus
would a man strike traitors, in that case? Ah, thou canst not imagine it:
thou hast thy groceries safe in the shops, and little or no hope of a
Millennium ever coming!--But, indeed, as to the temper there was in men and
women, does not this one fact say enough: the height SUSPICION had risen
to? Preternatural we often called it; seemingly in the language of
exaggeration: but listen to the cold deposition of witnesses. Not a
musical Patriot can blow himself a snatch of melody from the French Horn,
sitting mildly pensive on the housetop, but Mercier will recognise it to be
a signal which one Plotting Committee is making to another. Distraction
has possessed Harmony herself; lurks in the sound of Marseillese and ca-
ira. (Mercier, Nouveau Paris, vi. 63.)  Louvet, who can see as deep into a
millstone as the most, discerns that we shall be invited back to our old
Hall of the Manege, by a Deputation; and then the Anarchists will massacre
Twenty-two of us, as we walk over. It is Pitt and Cobourg; the gold of
Pitt.--Poor Pitt! They little know what work he has with his own Friends
of the People; getting them bespied, beheaded, their habeas-corpuses
suspended, and his own Social Order and strong-boxes kept tight,--to fancy
him raising mobs among his neighbours!

But the strangest fact connected with French or indeed with human
Suspicion, is perhaps this of Camille Desmoulins. Camille's head, one of
the clearest in France, has got itself so saturated through every fibre
with Preternaturalism of Suspicion, that looking back on that Twelfth of
July 1789, when the thousands rose round him, yelling responsive at his
word in the Palais Royal Garden, and took cockades, he finds it explicable
only on this hypothesis, That they were all hired to do it, and set on by
the Foreign and other Plotters. 'It was not for nothing,' says Camille
with insight, 'that this multitude burst up round me when I spoke!'  No,
not for nothing. Behind, around, before, it is one huge Preternatural
Puppet-play of Plots; Pitt pulling the wires. (See Histoire des
Brissotins, par Camille Desmoulins (a Pamphlet of Camille's, Paris, 1793).)
Almost I conjecture that I Camille myself am a Plot, and wooden with
wires.--The force of insight could no further go.

Be this as it will, History remarks that the Commission of Twelve, now
clear enough as to the Plots; and luckily having 'got the threads of them
all by the end,' as they say,--are launching Mandates of Arrest rapidly in
these May days; and carrying matters with a high hand; resolute that the
sea of troubles shall be restrained. What chief Patriot, Section-President
even, is safe? They can arrest him; tear him from his warm bed, because he
has made irregular Section Arrestments! They arrest Varlet Apostle of
Liberty. They arrest Procureur-Substitute Hebert, Pere Duchesne; a
Magistrate of the People, sitting in Townhall; who, with high solemnity of
martyrdom, takes leave of his colleagues; prompt he, to obey the Law; and
solemnly acquiescent, disappears into prison.

The swifter fly the Sections, energetically demanding him back; demanding
not arrestment of Popular Magistrates, but of a traitorous Twenty-two.
Section comes flying after Section;--defiling energetic, with their
Cambyses' vein of oratory: nay the Commune itself comes, with Mayor Pache
at its head; and with question not of Hebert and the Twenty-two alone, but
with this ominous old question made new, "Can you save the Republic, or
must we do it?"  To whom President Max Isnard makes fiery answer: If by
fatal chance, in any of those tumults which since the Tenth of March are
ever returning, Paris were to lift a sacrilegious finger against the
National Representation, France would rise as one man, in never-imagined
vengeance, and shortly "the traveller would ask, on which side of the Seine
Paris had stood!"  (Moniteur, Seance du 25 Mai, 1793.)  Whereat the
Mountain bellows only louder, and every Gallery; Patriot Paris boiling

And Girondin Valaze has nightly conclaves at his house; sends billets;
'Come punctually, and well armed, for there is to be business.'  And
Megaera women perambulate the streets, with flags, with lamentable alleleu.
(Meillan, Memoires, p. 195; Buzot, pp. 69, 84.)  And the Convention-doors
are obstructed by roaring multitudes: find-spoken hommes d'etat are
hustled, maltreated, as they pass; Marat will apostrophise you, in such
death-peril, and say, Thou too art of them. If Roland ask leave to quit
Paris, there is order of the day. What help? Substitute Hebert, Apostle
Varlet, must be given back; to be crowned with oak-garlands. The
Commission of Twelve, in a Convention overwhelmed with roaring Sections, is
broken; then on the morrow, in a Convention of rallied Girondins, is
reinstated. Dim Chaos, or the sea of troubles, is struggling through all
its elements; writhing and chafing towards some creation.

Chapter 3.3.IX.


Accordingly, on Friday, the Thirty-first of May 1793, there comes forth
into the summer sunlight one of the strangest scenes. Mayor Pache with
Municipality arrives at the Tuileries Hall of Convention; sent for, Paris
being in visible ferment; and gives the strangest news.

How, in the grey of this morning, while we sat Permanent in Townhall,
watchful for the commonweal, there entered, precisely as on a Tenth of
August, some Ninety-six extraneous persons; who declared themselves to be
in a state of Insurrection; to be plenipotentiary Commissioners from the
Forty-eight Sections, sections or members of the Sovereign People, all in a
state of Insurrection; and further that we, in the name of said Sovereign
in Insurrection, were dismissed from office. How we thereupon laid off our
sashes, and withdrew into the adjacent Saloon of Liberty. How in a moment
or two, we were called back; and reinstated; the Sovereign pleasing to
think us still worthy of confidence. Whereby, having taken new oath of
office, we on a sudden find ourselves Insurrectionary Magistrates, with
extraneous Committee of Ninety-six sitting by us; and a Citoyen Henriot,
one whom some accuse of Septemberism, is made Generalissimo of the National
Guard; and, since six o'clock, the tocsins ring and the drums beat:--Under
which peculiar circumstances, what would an august National Convention
please to direct us to do? (Compare Debats de la Convention (Paris, 1828),
iv. 187-223; Moniteur, Nos. 152, 3, 4, An 1er.)

Yes, there is the question! "Break the Insurrectionary Authorities,"
answers some with vehemence. Vergniaud at least will have "the National
Representatives all die at their post;" this is sworn to, with ready loud
acclaim. But as to breaking the Insurrectionary Authorities,--alas, while
we yet debate, what sound is that? Sound of the Alarm-Cannon on the Pont
Neuf; which it is death by the Law to fire without order from us!

It does boom off there, nevertheless; sending a sound through all hearts.
And the tocsins discourse stern music; and Henriot with his Armed Force has
enveloped us! And Section succeeds Section, the livelong day; demanding
with Cambyses'-oratory, with the rattle of muskets, That traitors, Twenty-
two or more, be punished; that the Commission of Twelve be irrecoverably
broken. The heart of the Gironde dies within it; distant are the Seventy-
two respectable Departments, this fiery Municipality is near! Barrere is
for a middle course; granting something. The Commission of Twelve declares
that, not waiting to be broken, it hereby breaks itself, and is no more.
Fain would Reporter Rabaut speak his and its last-words; but he is bellowed
off. Too happy that the Twenty-two are still left unviolated!--Vergniaud,
carrying the laws of refinement to a great length, moves, to the amazement
of some, that 'the Sections of Paris have deserved well of their country.'
Whereupon, at a late hour of the evening, the deserving Sections retire to
their respective places of abode. Barrere shall report on it. With busy
quill and brain he sits, secluded; for him no sleep to-night. Friday the
last of May has ended in this manner.

The Sections have deserved well: but ought they not to deserve better?
Faction and Girondism is struck down for the moment, and consents to be a
nullity; but will it not, at another favourabler moment rise, still feller;
and the Republic have to be saved in spite of it? So reasons Patriotism,
still Permanent; so reasons the Figure of Marat, visible in the dim
Section-world, on the morrow. To the conviction of men!--And so at
eventide of Saturday, when Barrere had just got it all varnished in the
course of the day, and his Report was setting off in the evening mail-bags,
tocsin peals out again! Generale is beating; armed men taking station in
the Place Vendome and elsewhere for the night; supplied with provisions and
liquor. There under the summer stars will they wait, this night, what is
to be seen and to be done, Henriot and Townhall giving due signal.

The Convention, at sound of generale, hastens back to its Hall; but to the
number only of a Hundred; and does little business, puts off business till
the morrow. The Girondins do not stir out thither, the Girondins are
abroad seeking beds. Poor Rabaut, on the morrow morning, returning to his
post, with Louvet and some others, through streets all in ferment, wrings
his hands, ejaculating, "Illa suprema dies!"  (Louvet, Memoires, p. 89.)
It has become Sunday, the second day of June, year 1793, by the old style;
by the new style, year One of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. We have got
to the last scene of all, that ends this history of the Girondin

It seems doubtful whether any terrestrial Convention had ever met in such
circumstances as this National one now does. Tocsin is pealing; Barriers
shut; all Paris is on the gaze, or under arms. As many as a Hundred
Thousand under arms they count: National Force; and the Armed Volunteers,
who should have flown to the Frontiers and La Vendee; but would not,
treason being unpunished; and only flew hither and thither! So many,
steady under arms, environ the National Tuileries and Garden. There are
horse, foot, artillery, sappers with beards: the artillery one can see
with their camp-furnaces in this National Garden, heating bullets red, and
their match is lighted. Henriot in plumes rides, amid a plumed Staff: all
posts and issues are safe; reserves lie out, as far as the Wood of
Boulogne; the choicest Patriots nearest the scene. One other circumstance
we will note: that a careful Municipality, liberal of camp-furnaces, has
not forgotten provision-carts. No member of the Sovereign need now go home
to dinner; but can keep rank,--plentiful victual circulating unsought.
Does not this People understand Insurrection? Ye, not uninventive,

Therefore let a National Representation, 'mandatories of the Sovereign,'
take thought of it. Expulsion of your Twenty-two, and your Commission of
Twelve: we stand here till it be done! Deputation after Deputation, in
ever stronger language, comes with that message. Barrere proposes a middle
course:--Will not perhaps the inculpated Deputies consent to withdraw
voluntarily; to make a generous demission, and self-sacrifice for the sake
of one's country? Isnard, repentant of that search on which river-bank
Paris stood, declares himself ready to demit. Ready also is Te-Deum
Fauchet; old Dusaulx of the Bastille, 'vieux radoteur, old dotard,' as
Marat calls him, is still readier. On the contrary, Lanjuinais the Breton
declares that there is one man who never will demit voluntarily; but will
protest to the uttermost, while a voice is left him. And he accordingly
goes on protesting; amid rage and clangor; Legendre crying at last:
"Lanjuinais, come down from the Tribune, or I will fling thee down, ou je
te jette en bas!"  For matters are come to extremity. Nay they do clutch
hold of Lanjuinais, certain zealous Mountain-men; but cannot fling him
down, for he 'cramps himself on the railing;' and 'his clothes get torn.'
Brave Senator, worthy of pity! Neither will Barbaroux demit; he "has sworn
to die at his post, and will keep that oath."  Whereupon the Galleries all
rise with explosion; brandishing weapons, some of them; and rush out
saying: "Allons, then; we must save our country!"  Such a Session is this
of Sunday the second of June.

Churches fill, over Christian Europe, and then empty themselves; but this
Convention empties not, the while: a day of shrieking contention, of
agony, humiliation and tearing of coatskirts; illa suprema dies! Round
stand Henriot and his Hundred Thousand, copiously refreshed from tray and
basket: nay he is 'distributing five francs a-piece;' we Girondins saw it
with our eyes; five francs to keep them in heart! And distraction of armed
riot encumbers our borders, jangles at our Bar; we are prisoners in our own
Hall: Bishop Gregoire could not get out for a besoin actuel without four
gendarmes to wait on him! What is the character of a National
Representative become? And now the sunlight falls yellower on western
windows, and the chimney-tops are flinging longer shadows; the refreshed
Hundred Thousand, nor their shadows, stir not! What to resolve on? Motion
rises, superfluous one would think, That the Convention go forth in a body;
ascertain with its own eyes whether it is free or not. Lo, therefore, from
the Eastern Gate of the Tuileries, a distressed Convention issuing;
handsome Herault Sechelles at their head; he with hat on, in sign of public
calamity, the rest bareheaded,--towards the Gate of the Carrousel; wondrous
to see: towards Henriot and his plumed staff. "In the name of the
National Convention, make way!"  Not an inch of the way does Henriot make:
"I receive no orders, till the Sovereign, yours and mine, has been obeyed."
The Convention presses on; Henriot prances back, with his staff, some
fifteen paces, "To arms! Cannoneers to your guns!"--flashes out his
puissant sword, as the Staff all do, and the Hussars all do. Cannoneers
brandish the lit match; Infantry present arms,--alas, in the level way, as
if for firing! Hatted Herault leads his distressed flock, through their
pinfold of a Tuileries again; across the Garden, to the Gate on the
opposite side. Here is Feuillans Terrace, alas, there is our old Salle de
Manege; but neither at this Gate of the Pont Tournant is there egress. Try
the other; and the other: no egress! We wander disconsolate through armed
ranks; who indeed salute with Live the Republic, but also with Die the
Gironde. Other such sight, in the year One of Liberty, the westering sun
never saw.

And now behold Marat meets us; for he lagged in this Suppliant Procession
of ours: he has got some hundred elect Patriots at his heels: he orders
us in the Sovereign's name to return to our place, and do as we are bidden
and bound. The Convention returns. "Does not the Convention," says
Couthon with a singular power of face, "see that it is free?"--none but
friends round it? The Convention, overflowing with friends and armed
Sectioners, proceeds to vote as bidden. Many will not vote, but remain
silent; some one or two protest, in words: the Mountain has a clear
unanimity. Commission of Twelve, and the denounced Twenty-two, to whom we
add Ex-Ministers Claviere and Lebrun: these, with some slight extempore
alterations (this or that orator proposing, but Marat disposing), are voted
to be under 'Arrestment in their own houses.'  Brissot, Buzot, Vergniaud,
Guadet, Louvet, Gensonne, Barbaroux, Lasource, Lanjuinais, Rabaut,--Thirty-
two, by the tale; all that we have known as Girondins, and more than we
have known. They, 'under the safeguard of the French People;' by and by,
under the safeguard of two Gendarmes each, shall dwell peaceably in their
own houses; as Non-Senators; till further order. Herewith ends Seance of
Sunday the second of June 1793.

At ten o'clock, under mild stars, the Hundred Thousand, their work well
finished, turn homewards. This same day, Central Insurrection Committee
has arrested Madame Roland; imprisoned her in the Abbaye. Roland has fled,
no one knows whither.

Thus fell the Girondins, by Insurrection; and became extinct as a Party:
not without a sigh from most Historians. The men were men of parts, of
Philosophic culture, decent behaviour; not condemnable in that they were
Pedants and had not better parts; not condemnable, but most unfortunate.
They wanted a Republic of the Virtues, wherein themselves should be head;
and they could only get a Republic of the Strengths, wherein others than
they were head.

For the rest, Barrere shall make Report of it. The night concludes with a
'civic promenade by torchlight:' (Buzot, Memoires, p. 310. See Pieces
Justificatives, of Narratives, Commentaries, &c. in Buzot, Louvet, Meillan:
Documens Complementaires, in Hist. Parl. xxviii. 1-78.)  surely the true
reign of Fraternity is now not far?



Chapter 3.4.I.

Charlotte Corday.

In the leafy months of June and July, several French Departments germinate
a set of rebellious paper-leaves, named Proclamations, Resolutions,
Journals, or Diurnals 'of the Union for Resistance to Oppression.'  In
particular, the Town of Caen, in Calvados, sees its paper-leaf of Bulletin
de Caen suddenly bud, suddenly establish itself as Newspaper there; under
the Editorship of Girondin National Representatives!

For among the proscribed Girondins are certain of a more desperate humour.
Some, as Vergniaud, Valaze, Gensonne, 'arrested in their own houses' will
await with stoical resignation what the issue may be. Some, as Brissot,
Rabaut, will take to flight, to concealment; which, as the Paris Barriers
are opened again in a day or two, is not yet difficult. But others there
are who will rush, with Buzot, to Calvados; or far over France, to Lyons,
Toulon, Nantes and elsewhither, and then rendezvous at Caen: to awaken as
with war-trumpet the respectable Departments; and strike down an anarchic
Mountain Faction; at least not yield without a stroke at it. Of this
latter temper we count some score or more, of the Arrested, and of the Not-
yet-arrested; a Buzot, a Barbaroux, Louvet, Guadet, Petion, who have
escaped from Arrestment in their own homes; a Salles, a Pythagorean Valady,
a Duchatel, the Duchatel that came in blanket and nightcap to vote for the
life of Louis, who have escaped from danger and likelihood of Arrestment.
These, to the number at one time of Twenty-seven, do accordingly lodge
here, at the 'Intendance, or Departmental Mansion,' of the Town of Caen;
welcomed by Persons in Authority; welcomed and defrayed, having no money of
their own. And the Bulletin de Caen comes forth, with the most animating
paragraphs: How the Bourdeaux Department, the Lyons Department, this
Department after the other is declaring itself; sixty, or say sixty-nine,
or seventy-two (Meillan, p. 72, 73; Louvet, p. 129.) respectable
Departments either declaring, or ready to declare. Nay Marseilles, it
seems, will march on Paris by itself, if need be. So has Marseilles Town
said, That she will march. But on the other hand, that Montelimart Town
has said, No thoroughfare; and means even to 'bury herself' under her own
stone and mortar first--of this be no mention in Bulletin of Caen.

Such animating paragraphs we read in this Newspaper; and fervours, and
eloquent sarcasm: tirades against the Mountain, frame pen of Deputy
Salles; which resemble, say friends, Pascal's Provincials. What is more to
the purpose, these Girondins have got a General in chief, one Wimpfen,
formerly under Dumouriez; also a secondary questionable General Puisaye,
and others; and are doing their best to raise a force for war. National
Volunteers, whosoever is of right heart: gather in, ye National
Volunteers, friends of Liberty; from our Calvados Townships, from the Eure,
from Brittany, from far and near; forward to Paris, and extinguish Anarchy!
Thus at Caen, in the early July days, there is a drumming and parading, a
perorating and consulting: Staff and Army; Council; Club of Carabots,
Anti-jacobin friends of Freedom, to denounce atrocious Marat. With all
which, and the editing of Bulletins, a National Representative has his
hands full.

At Caen it is most animated; and, as one hopes, more or less animated in
the 'Seventy-two Departments that adhere to us.'  And in a France begirt
with Cimmerian invading Coalitions, and torn with an internal La Vendee,
this is the conclusion we have arrived at: to put down Anarchy by Civil
War! Durum et durum, the Proverb says, non faciunt murum. La Vendee
burns: Santerre can do nothing there; he may return home and brew beer.
Cimmerian bombshells fly all along the North. That Siege of Mentz is
become famed;--lovers of the Picturesque (as Goethe will testify), washed
country-people of both sexes, stroll thither on Sundays, to see the
artillery work and counterwork; 'you only duck a little while the shot
whizzes past.'  (Belagerung von Mainz (Goethe's Werke, xxx. 278-334).)
Conde is capitulating to the Austrians; Royal Highness of York, these
several weeks, fiercely batters Valenciennes. For, alas, our fortified
Camp of Famars was stormed; General Dampierre was killed; General Custine
was blamed,--and indeed is now come to Paris to give 'explanations.'

Against all which the Mountain and atrocious Marat must even make head as
they can. They, anarchic Convention as they are, publish Decrees,
expostulatory, explanatory, yet not without severity; they ray forth
Commissioners, singly or in pairs, the olive-branch in one hand, yet the
sword in the other. Commissioners come even to Caen; but without effect.
Mathematical Romme, and Prieur named of the Cote d'Or, venturing thither,
with their olive and sword, are packed into prison: there may Romme lie,
under lock and key, 'for fifty days;' and meditate his New Calendar, if he
please. Cimmeria and Civil War! Never was Republic One and Indivisible at
a lower ebb.--

Amid which dim ferment of Caen and the World, History specially notices one
thing: in the lobby of the Mansion de l'Intendance, where busy Deputies
are coming and going, a young Lady with an aged valet, taking grave
graceful leave of Deputy Barbaroux. (Meillan, p.75; Louvet, p. 114.)  She
is of stately Norman figure; in her twenty-fifth year; of beautiful still
countenance: her name is Charlotte Corday, heretofore styled d'Armans,
while Nobility still was. Barbaroux has given her a Note to Deputy
Duperret,--him who once drew his sword in the effervescence. Apparently
she will to Paris on some errand? 'She was a Republican before the
Revolution, and never wanted energy.'  A completeness, a decision is in
this fair female Figure: 'by energy she means the spirit that will prompt
one to sacrifice himself for his country.'  What if she, this fair young
Charlotte, had emerged from her secluded stillness, suddenly like a Star;
cruel-lovely, with half-angelic, half-demonic splendour; to gleam for a
moment, and in a moment be extinguished: to be held in memory, so bright
complete was she, through long centuries!--Quitting Cimmerian Coalitions
without, and the dim-simmering Twenty-five millions within, History will
look fixedly at this one fair Apparition of a Charlotte Corday; will note
whither Charlotte moves, how the little Life burns forth so radiant, then
vanishes swallowed of the Night.

With Barbaroux's Note of Introduction, and slight stock of luggage, we see
Charlotte, on Tuesday the ninth of July, seated in the Caen Diligence, with
a place for Paris. None takes farewell of her, wishes her Good-journey:
her Father will find a line left, signifying that she is gone to England,
that he must pardon her and forget her. The drowsy Diligence lumbers
along; amid drowsy talk of Politics, and praise of the Mountain; in which
she mingles not; all night, all day, and again all night. On Thursday, not
long before none, we are at the Bridge of Neuilly; here is Paris with her
thousand black domes,--the goal and purpose of thy journey! Arrived at the
Inn de la Providence in the Rue des Vieux Augustins, Charlotte demands a
room; hastens to bed; sleeps all afternoon and night, till the morrow

On the morrow morning, she delivers her Note to Duperret. It relates to
certain Family Papers which are in the Minister of the Interior's hand;
which a Nun at Caen, an old Convent-friend of Charlotte's, has need of;
which Duperret shall assist her in getting: this then was Charlotte's
errand to Paris? She has finished this, in the course of Friday;--yet says
nothing of returning. She has seen and silently investigated several
things. The Convention, in bodily reality, she has seen; what the Mountain
is like. The living physiognomy of Marat she could not see; he is sick at
present, and confined to home.

About eight on the Saturday morning, she purchases a large sheath-knife in
the Palais Royal; then straightway, in the Place des Victoires, takes a
hackney-coach: "To the Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine, No. 44."  It is the
residence of the Citoyen Marat!--The Citoyen Marat is ill, and cannot be
seen; which seems to disappoint her much. Her business is with Marat,
then? Hapless beautiful Charlotte; hapless squalid Marat! From Caen in
the utmost West, from Neuchatel in the utmost East, they two are drawing
nigh each other; they two have, very strangely, business together.--
Charlotte, returning to her Inn, despatches a short Note to Marat;
signifying that she is from Caen, the seat of rebellion; that she desires
earnestly to see him, and 'will put it in his power to do France a great
service.'  No answer. Charlotte writes another Note, still more pressing;
sets out with it by coach, about seven in the evening, herself. Tired day-
labourers have again finished their Week; huge Paris is circling and
simmering, manifold, according to its vague wont: this one fair Figure has
decision in it; drives straight,--towards a purpose.

It is yellow July evening, we say, the thirteenth of the month; eve of the
Bastille day,--when 'M. Marat,' four years ago, in the crowd of the Pont
Neuf, shrewdly required of that Besenval Hussar-party, which had such
friendly dispositions, "to dismount, and give up their arms, then;" and
became notable among Patriot men! Four years: what a road he has
travelled;--and sits now, about half-past seven of the clock, stewing in
slipper-bath; sore afflicted; ill of Revolution Fever,--of what other
malady this History had rather not name. Excessively sick and worn, poor
man: with precisely elevenpence-halfpenny of ready money, in paper; with
slipper-bath; strong three-footed stool for writing on, the while; and a
squalid--Washerwoman, one may call her: that is his civic establishment in
Medical-School Street; thither and not elsewhither has his road led him.
Not to the reign of Brotherhood and Perfect Felicity; yet surely on the way
towards that?--Hark, a rap again! A musical woman's-voice, refusing to be
rejected: it is the Citoyenne who would do France a service. Marat,
recognising from within, cries, Admit her. Charlotte Corday is admitted.

Citoyen Marat, I am from Caen the seat of rebellion, and wished to speak
with you.--Be seated, mon enfant. Now what are the Traitors doing at Caen?
What Deputies are at Caen?--Charlotte names some Deputies. "Their heads
shall fall within a fortnight," croaks the eager People's-Friend, clutching
his tablets to write: Barbaroux, Petion, writes he with bare shrunk arm,
turning aside in the bath: Petion, and Louvet, and--Charlotte has drawn
her knife from the sheath; plunges it, with one sure stroke, into the
writer's heart. "A moi, chere amie, Help, dear!"  No more could the Death-
choked say or shriek. The helpful Washerwoman running in, there is no
Friend of the People, or Friend of the Washerwoman, left; but his life with
a groan gushes out, indignant, to the shades below. (Moniteur, Nos. 197,
198, 199; Hist. Parl. xxviii. 301-5; Deux Amis, x. 368-374.)

And so Marat People's-Friend is ended; the lone Stylites has got hurled
down suddenly from his Pillar,--whither He that made him does know.
Patriot Paris may sound triple and tenfold, in dole and wail; re-echoed by
Patriot France; and the Convention, 'Chabot pale with terror declaring that
they are to be all assassinated,' may decree him Pantheon Honours, Public
Funeral, Mirabeau's dust making way for him; and Jacobin Societies, in
lamentable oratory, summing up his character, parallel him to One, whom
they think it honour to call 'the good Sansculotte,'--whom we name not
here. (See Eloge funebre de Jean-Paul Marat, prononce a Strasbourg (in
Barbaroux, p. 125-131); Mercier, &c.)  Also a Chapel may be made, for the
urn that holds his Heart, in the Place du Carrousel; and new-born children
be named Marat; and Lago-de-Como Hawkers bake mountains of stucco into
unbeautiful Busts; and David paint his Picture, or Death-scene; and such
other Apotheosis take place as the human genius, in these circumstances,
can devise: but Marat returns no more to the light of this Sun. One sole
circumstance we have read with clear sympathy, in the old Moniteur
Newspaper: how Marat's brother comes from Neuchatel to ask of the
Convention 'that the deceased Jean-Paul Marat's musket be given him.'
(Seance du 16 Septembre 1793.)  For Marat too had a brother, and natural
affections; and was wrapt once in swaddling-clothes, and slept safe in a
cradle like the rest of us. Ye children of men!--A sister of his, they
say, lives still to this day in Paris.

As for Charlotte Corday her work is accomplished; the recompense of it is
near and sure. The chere amie, and neighbours of the house, flying at her,
she 'overturns some movables,' entrenches herself till the gendarmes
arrive; then quietly surrenders; goes quietly to the Abbaye Prison: she
alone quiet, all Paris sounding in wonder, in rage or admiration, round
her. Duperret is put in arrest, on account of her; his Papers sealed,--
which may lead to consequences. Fauchet, in like manner; though Fauchet
had not so much as heard of her. Charlotte, confronted with these two
Deputies, praises the grave firmness of Duperret, censures the dejection of

On Wednesday morning, the thronged Palais de Justice and Revolutionary
Tribunal can see her face; beautiful and calm: she dates it 'fourth day of
the Preparation of Peace.'  A strange murmur ran through the Hall, at sight
of her; you could not say of what character. (Proces de Charlotte Corday,
&c. (Hist. Parl. xxviii. 311-338).)  Tinville has his indictments and tape-
papers the cutler of the Palais Royal will testify that he sold her the
sheath-knife; "all these details are needless," interrupted Charlotte; "it
is I that killed Marat."  By whose instigation?--"By no one's."  What
tempted you, then? His crimes. "I killed one man," added she, raising her
voice extremely (extremement), as they went on with their questions, "I
killed one man to save a hundred thousand; a villain to save innocents; a
savage wild-beast to give repose to my country. I was a Republican before
the Revolution; I never wanted energy."  There is therefore nothing to be
said. The public gazes astonished: the hasty limners sketch her features,
Charlotte not disapproving; the men of law proceed with their formalities.
The doom is Death as a murderess. To her Advocate she gives thanks; in
gentle phrase, in high-flown classical spirit. To the Priest they send her
she gives thanks; but needs not any shriving, or ghostly or other aid from

On this same evening, therefore, about half-past seven o'clock, from the
gate of the Conciergerie, to a City all on tiptoe, the fatal Cart issues:
seated on it a fair young creature, sheeted in red smock of Murderess; so
beautiful, serene, so full of life; journeying towards death,--alone amid
the world. Many take off their hats, saluting reverently; for what heart
but must be touched? (Deux Amis, x. 374-384.)  Others growl and howl.
Adam Lux, of Mentz, declares that she is greater than Brutus; that it were
beautiful to die with her: the head of this young man seems turned. At
the Place de la Revolution, the countenance of Charlotte wears the same
still smile. The executioners proceed to bind her feet; she resists,
thinking it meant as an insult; on a word of explanation, she submits with
cheerful apology. As the last act, all being now ready, they take the
neckerchief from her neck: a blush of maidenly shame overspreads that fair
face and neck; the cheeks were still tinged with it, when the executioner
lifted the severed head, to shew it to the people. 'It is most true,' says
Foster, 'that he struck the cheek insultingly; for I saw it with my eyes:
the Police imprisoned him for it.'  (Briefwechsel, i. 508.)

In this manner have the Beautifullest and the Squalidest come in collision,
and extinguished one another. Jean-Paul Marat and Marie-Anne Charlotte
Corday both, suddenly, are no more. 'Day of the Preparation of Peace?'
Alas, how were peace possible or preparable, while, for example, the hearts
of lovely Maidens, in their convent-stillness, are dreaming not of Love-
paradises, and the light of Life; but of Codrus'-sacrifices, and death well
earned? That Twenty-five million hearts have got to such temper, this is
the Anarchy; the soul of it lies in this: whereof not peace can be the
embodyment! The death of Marat, whetting old animosities tenfold, will be
worse than any life. O ye hapless Two, mutually extinctive, the Beautiful
and the Squalid, sleep ye well,--in the Mother's bosom that bore you both!

This was the History of Charlotte Corday; most definite, most complete;
angelic-demonic: like a Star! Adam Lux goes home, half-delirious; to pour
forth his Apotheosis of her, in paper and print; to propose that she have a
statue with this inscription, Greater than Brutus. Friends represent his
danger; Lux is reckless; thinks it were beautiful to die with her.

Chapter 3.4.II.

In Civil War.

But during these same hours, another guillotine is at work, on another:
Charlotte, for the Girondins, dies at Paris to-day; Chalier, by the
Girondins, dies at Lyons to-morrow.

From rumbling of cannon along the streets of that City, it has come to
firing of them, to rabid fighting: Nievre-Chol and the Girondins triumph;-
-behind whom there is, as everywhere, a Royalist Faction waiting to strike
in. Trouble enough at Lyons; and the dominant party carrying it with a
high hand! For indeed, the whole South is astir; incarcerating Jacobins;
arming for Girondins: wherefore we have got a 'Congress of Lyons;' also a
'Revolutionary Tribunal of Lyons,' and Anarchists shall tremble. So
Chalier was soon found guilty, of Jacobinism, of murderous Plot, 'address
with drawn dagger on the sixth of February last;' and, on the morrow, he
also travels his final road, along the streets of Lyons, 'by the side of an
ecclesiastic, with whom he seems to speak earnestly,'--the axe now
glittering high. He could weep, in old years, this man, and 'fall on his
knees on the pavement,' blessing Heaven at sight of Federation Programs or
like; then he pilgrimed to Paris, to worship Marat and the Mountain: now
Marat and he are both gone;--we said he could not end well. Jacobinism
groans inwardly, at Lyons; but dare not outwardly. Chalier, when the
Tribunal sentenced him, made answer: "My death will cost this City dear."

Montelimart Town is not buried under its ruins; yet Marseilles is actually
marching, under order of a 'Lyons Congress;' is incarcerating Patriots; the
very Royalists now shewing face. Against which a General Cartaux fights,
though in small force; and with him an Artillery Major, of the name of--
Napoleon Buonaparte. This Napoleon, to prove that the Marseillese have no
chance ultimately, not only fights but writes; publishes his Supper of
Beaucaire, a Dialogue which has become curious. (See Hazlitt, ii. 529-41.)
Unfortunate Cities, with their actions and their reactions! Violence to be
paid with violence in geometrical ratio; Royalism and Anarchism both
striking in;--the final net-amount of which geometrical series, what man
shall sum?

The Bar of Iron has never yet floated in Marseilles Harbour; but the Body
of Rebecqui was found floating, self-drowned there. Hot Rebecqui seeing
how confusion deepened, and Respectability grew poisoned with Royalism,
felt that there was no refuge for a Republican but death. Rebecqui
disappeared: no one knew whither; till, one morning, they found the empty
case or body of him risen to the top, tumbling on the salt waves;
(Barbaroux, p. 29.) and perceived that Rebecqui had withdrawn forever.--
Toulon likewise is incarcerating Patriots; sending delegates to Congress;
intriguing, in case of necessity, with the Royalists and English.
Montpellier, Bourdeaux, Nantes: all France, that is not under the swoop of
Austria and Cimmeria, seems rushing into madness, and suicidal ruin. The
Mountain labours; like a volcano in a burning volcanic Land. Convention
Committees, of Surety, of Salvation, are busy night and day: Convention
Commissioners whirl on all highways; bearing olive-branch and sword, or now
perhaps sword only. Chaumette and Municipals come daily to the Tuileries
demanding a Constitution: it is some weeks now since he resolved, in
Townhall, that a Deputation 'should go every day' and demand a
Constitution, till one were got; (Deux Amis, x. 345.) whereby suicidal
France might rally and pacify itself; a thing inexpressibly desirable.

This then is the fruit your Anti-anarchic Girondins have got from that
Levying of War in Calvados? This fruit, we may say; and no other
whatsoever. For indeed, before either Charlotte's or Chalier's head had
fallen, the Calvados War itself had, as it were, vanished, dreamlike, in a
shriek! With 'seventy-two Departments' on one's side, one might have hoped
better things. But it turns out that Respectabilities, though they will
vote, will not fight. Possession is always nine points in Law; but in
Lawsuits of this kind, one may say, it is ninety-and-nine points. Men do
what they were wont to do; and have immense irresolution and inertia: they
obey him who has the symbols that claim obedience. Consider what, in
modern society, this one fact means: the Metropolis is with our enemies!
Metropolis, Mother-city; rightly so named: all the rest are but as her
children, her nurselings. Why, there is not a leathern Diligence, with its
post-bags and luggage-boots, that lumbers out from her, but is as a huge
life-pulse; she is the heart of all. Cut short that one leathern
Diligence, how much is cut short!--General Wimpfen, looking practically
into the matter, can see nothing for it but that one should fall back on
Royalism; get into communication with Pitt! Dark innuendoes he flings out,
to that effect: whereat we Girondins start, horrorstruck. He produces as
his Second in command a certain 'Ci-devant,' one Comte Puisaye; entirely
unknown to Louvet; greatly suspected by him.

Few wars, accordingly, were ever levied of a more insufficient character
than this of Calvados. He that is curious in such things may read the
details of it in the Memoirs of that same Ci-devant Puisaye, the much-
enduring man and Royalist: How our Girondin National Forces, marching off
with plenty of wind-music, were drawn out about the old Chateau of
Brecourt, in the wood-country near Vernon, to meet the Mountain National
forces advancing from Paris. How on the fifteenth afternoon of July, they
did meet,--and, as it were, shrieked mutually, and took mutually to flight
without loss. How Puisaye thereafter, for the Mountain Nationals fled
first, and we thought ourselves the victors,--was roused from his warm bed
in the Castle of Brecourt; and had to gallop without boots; our Nationals,
in the night-watches, having fallen unexpectedly into sauve qui peut:--and
in brief the Calvados War had burnt priming; and the only question now was,
Whitherward to vanish, in what hole to hide oneself! (Memoires de Puisaye
(London, 1803), ii. 142-67.)

The National Volunteers rush homewards, faster than they came. The
Seventy-two Respectable Departments, says Meillan, 'all turned round, and
forsook us, in the space of four-and-twenty hours.'  Unhappy those who, as
at Lyons for instance, have gone too far for turning! 'One morning,' we
find placarded on our Intendance Mansion, the Decree of Convention which
casts us Hors la loi, into Outlawry: placarded by our Caen Magistrates;--
clear hint that we also are to vanish. Vanish, indeed: but whitherward?
Gorsas has friends in Rennes; he will hide there,--unhappily will not lie
hid. Guadet, Lanjuinais are on cross roads; making for Bourdeaux. To
Bourdeaux! cries the general voice, of Valour alike and of Despair. Some
flag of Respectability still floats there, or is thought to float.

Thitherward therefore; each as he can! Eleven of these ill-fated Deputies,
among whom we may count, as twelfth, Friend Riouffe the Man of Letters, do
an original thing. Take the uniform of National Volunteers, and retreat
southward with the Breton Battalion, as private soldiers of that corps.
These brave Bretons had stood truer by us than any other. Nevertheless, at
the end of a day or two, they also do now get dubious, self-divided; we
must part from them; and, with some half-dozen as convoy or guide, retreat
by ourselves,--a solitary marching detachment, through waste regions of the
West. (Louvet, pp. 101-37; Meillan, pp. 81, 241-70.)

Chapter 3.4.III.

Retreat of the Eleven.

It is one of the notablest Retreats, this of the Eleven, that History
presents: The handful of forlorn Legislators retreating there,
continually, with shouldered firelock and well-filled cartridge-box, in the
yellow autumn; long hundreds of miles between them and Bourdeaux; the
country all getting hostile, suspicious of the truth; simmering and buzzing
on all sides, more and more. Louvet has preserved the Itinerary of it; a
piece worth all the rest he ever wrote.

O virtuous Petion, with thy early-white head, O brave young Barbaroux, has
it come to this? Weary ways, worn shoes, light purse;--encompassed with
perils as with a sea! Revolutionary Committees are in every Township; of
Jacobin temper; our friends all cowed, our cause the losing one. In the
Borough of Moncontour, by ill chance, it is market-day: to the gaping
public such transit of a solitary Marching Detachment is suspicious; we
have need of energy, of promptitude and luck, to be allowed to march
through. Hasten, ye weary pilgrims! The country is getting up; noise of
you is bruited day after day, a solitary Twelve retreating in this
mysterious manner: with every new day, a wider wave of inquisitive
pursuing tumult is stirred up till the whole West will be in motion.
'Cussy is tormented with gout, Buzot is too fat for marching.'  Riouffe,
blistered, bleeding, marching only on tiptoe; Barbaroux limps with sprained
ancle, yet ever cheery, full of hope and valour. Light Louvet glances
hare-eyed, not hare-hearted: only virtuous Petion's serenity 'was but once
seen ruffled.'  (Meillan, pp. 119-137.)  They lie in straw-lofts, in woody
brakes; rudest paillasse on the floor of a secret friend is luxury. They
are seized in the dead of night by Jacobin mayors and tap of drum; get off
by firm countenance, rattle of muskets, and ready wit.

Of Bourdeaux, through fiery La Vendee and the long geographical spaces that
remain, it were madness to think: well, if you can get to Quimper on the
sea-coast, and take shipping there. Faster, ever faster! Before the end
of the march, so hot has the country grown, it is found advisable to march
all night. They do it; under the still night-canopy they plod along;--and
yet behold, Rumour has outplodded them. In the paltry Village of Carhaix
(be its thatched huts, and bottomless peat-bogs, long notable to the
Traveller), one is astonished to find light still glimmering: citizens are
awake, with rush-lights burning, in that nook of the terrestrial Planet; as
we traverse swiftly the one poor street, a voice is heard saying, "There
they are, Les voila qui passent!"  (Louvet, pp. 138-164.)  Swifter, ye
doomed lame Twelve: speed ere they can arm; gain the Woods of Quimper
before day, and lie squatted there!

The doomed Twelve do it; though with difficulty, with loss of road, with
peril, and the mistakes of a night. In Quimper are Girondin friends, who
perhaps will harbour the homeless, till a Bourdeaux ship weigh. Wayworn,
heartworn, in agony of suspense, till Quimper friendship get warning, they
lie there, squatted under the thick wet boscage; suspicious of the face of
man. Some pity to the brave; to the unhappy! Unhappiest of all
Legislators, O when ye packed your luggage, some score, or two-score months
ago; and mounted this or the other leathern vehicle, to be Conscript
Fathers of a regenerated France, and reap deathless laurels,--did ye think
your journey was to lead hither? The Quimper Samaritans find them
squatted; lift them up to help and comfort; will hide them in sure places.
Thence let them dissipate gradually; or there they can lie quiet, and write
Memoirs, till a Bourdeaux ship sail.

And thus, in Calvados all is dissipated; Romme is out of prison, meditating
his Calendar; ringleaders are locked in his room. At Caen the Corday
family mourns in silence; Buzot's House is a heap of dust and demolition;
and amid the rubbish sticks a Gallows, with this inscription, Here dwelt
the Traitor Buzot who conspired against the Republic. Buzot and the other
vanished Deputies are hors la loi, as we saw; their lives free to take
where they can be found. The worse fares it with the poor Arrested visible
Deputies at Paris. 'Arrestment at home' threatens to become 'Confinement
in the  Luxembourg;' to end: where? For example, what pale-visaged thin
man is this, journeying towards Switzerland as a Merchant of Neuchatel,
whom they arrest in the town of Moulins? To Revolutionary Committee he is
suspect. To Revolutionary Committee, on probing the matter, he is
evidently: Deputy Brissot! Back to thy Arrestment, poor Brissot; or
indeed to strait confinement,--whither others are fared to follow. Rabaut
has built himself a false-partition, in a friend's house; lives, in
invisible darkness, between two walls. It will end, this same Arrestment
business, in Prison, and the Revolutionary Tribunal.

Nor must we forget Duperret, and the seal put on his papers by reason of
Charlotte. One Paper is there, fit to breed woe enough: A secret solemn
Protest against that suprema dies of the Second of June! This Secret
Protest our poor Duperret had drawn up, the same week, in all plainness of
speech; waiting the time for publishing it: to which Secret Protest his
signature, and that of other honourable Deputies not a few, stands legibly
appended. And now, if the seals were once broken, the Mountain still
victorious? Such Protestors, your Merciers, Bailleuls, Seventy-three by
the tale, what yet remains of Respectable Girondism in the Convention, may
tremble to think!--These are the fruits of levying civil war.

Also we find, that, in these last days of July, the famed Siege of Mentz is
finished; the Garrison to march out with honours of war; not to serve
against the Coalition for a year! Lovers of the Picturesque, and Goethe
standing on the Chaussee of Mentz, saw, with due interest, the Procession
issuing forth, in all solemnity:

'Escorted by Prussian horse came first the French Garrison. Nothing could
look stranger than this latter: a column of Marseillese, slight, swarthy,
party-coloured, in patched clothes, came tripping on;--as if King Edwin had
opened the Dwarf Hill, and sent out his nimble Host of Dwarfs. Next
followed regular troops; serious, sullen; not as if downcast or ashamed.
But the remarkablest appearance, which struck every one, was that of the
Chasers (Chasseurs) coming out mounted: they had advanced quite silent to
where we stood, when their Band struck up the Marseillaise. This
Revolutionary Te-Deum has in itself something mournful and bodeful, however
briskly played; but at present they gave it in altogether slow time,
proportionate to the creeping step they rode at. It was piercing and
fearful, and a most serious-looking thing, as these cavaliers, long, lean
men, of a certain age, with mien suitable to the music, came pacing on:
singly you might have likened them to Don Quixote; in mass, they were
highly dignified.

'But now a single troop became notable: that of the Commissioners or
Representans. Merlin of Thionville, in hussar uniform, distinguishing
himself by wild beard and look, had another person in similar costume on
his left; the crowd shouted out, with rage, at sight of this latter, the
name of a Jacobin Townsman and Clubbist; and shook itself to seize him.
Merlin drew bridle; referred to his dignity as French Representative, to
the vengeance that should follow any injury done; he would advise every one
to compose himself, for this was not the last time they would see him here.
(Belagerung von Maintz (Goethe's Werke, xxx. 315.)  Thus rode Merlin;
threatening in defeat. But what now shall stem that tide of Prussians
setting in through the open North-East?'  Lucky, if fortified Lines of
Weissembourg, and impassibilities of Vosges Mountains, confine it to French
Alsace, keep it from submerging the very heart of the country!

Furthermore, precisely in the same days, Valenciennes Siege is finished, in
the North-West:--fallen, under the red hail of York! Conde fell some
fortnight since. Cimmerian Coalition presses on. What seems very notable
too, on all these captured French Towns there flies not the Royalist fleur-
de-lys, in the name of a new Louis the Pretender; but the Austrian flag
flies; as if Austria meant to keep them for herself! Perhaps General
Custines, still in Paris, can give some explanation of the fall of these
strong-places? Mother Society, from tribune and gallery, growls loud that
he ought to do it;--remarks, however, in a splenetic manner that 'the
Monsieurs of the Palais Royal' are calling, Long-life to this General.

The Mother Society, purged now, by successive 'scrutinies or epurations,'
from all taint of Girondism, has become a great Authority: what we can
call shield-bearer, or bottle-holder, nay call it fugleman, to the purged
National Convention itself. The Jacobins Debates are reported in the
Moniteur, like Parliamentary ones.

Chapter 3.4.IV.

O Nature.

But looking more specially into Paris City, what is this that History, on
the 10th of August, Year One of Liberty, 'by old-style, year 1793,'
discerns there? Praised be the Heavens, a new Feast of Pikes!

For Chaumette's 'Deputation every day' has worked out its result: a
Constitution. It was one of the rapidest Constitutions ever put together;
made, some say in eight days, by Herault Sechelles and others: probably a
workmanlike, roadworthy Constitution enough;--on which point, however, we
are, for some reasons, little called to form a judgment. Workmanlike or
not, the Forty-four Thousand Communes of France, by overwhelming
majorities, did hasten to accept it; glad of any Constitution whatsoever.
Nay Departmental Deputies have come, the venerablest Republicans of each
Department, with solemn message of Acceptance; and now what remains but
that our new Final Constitution be proclaimed, and sworn to, in Feast of
Pikes? The Departmental Deputies, we say, are come some time ago;--
Chaumette very anxious about them, lest Girondin Monsieurs, Agio-jobbers,
or were it even Filles de joie of a Girondin temper, corrupt their morals.
(Deux Amis, xi. 73.)  Tenth of August, immortal Anniversary, greater almost
than Bastille July, is the Day.

Painter David has not been idle. Thanks to David and the French genius,
there steps forth into the sunlight, this day, a Scenic Phantasmagory
unexampled:--whereof History, so occupied with Real-Phantasmagories, will
say but little.

For one thing, History can notice with satisfaction, on the ruins of the
Bastille, a Statue of Nature; gigantic, spouting water from her two
mammelles. Not a Dream this; but a Fact, palpable visible. There she
spouts, great Nature; dim, before daybreak. But as the coming Sun ruddies
the East, come countless Multitudes, regulated and unregulated; come
Departmental Deputies, come Mother Society and Daughters; comes National
Convention, led on by handsome Herault; soft wind-music breathing note of
expectation. Lo, as great Sol scatters his first fire-handful, tipping the
hills and chimney-heads with gold, Herault is at great Nature's feet (she
is Plaster of Paris merely); Herault lifts, in an iron saucer, water
spouted from the sacred breasts; drinks of it, with an eloquent Pagan
Prayer, beginning, "O Nature!" and all the Departmental Deputies drink,
each with what best suitable ejaculation or prophetic-utterance is in him;-
-amid breathings, which become blasts, of wind-music; and the roar of
artillery and human throats: finishing well the first act of this

Next are processionings along the Boulevards: Deputies or Officials bound
together by long indivisible tricolor riband; general 'members of the
Sovereign' walking pellmell, with pikes, with hammers, with the tools and
emblems of their crafts; among which we notice a Plough, and ancient Baucis
and Philemon seated on it, drawn by their children. Many-voiced harmony
and dissonance filling the air. Through Triumphal Arches enough: at the
basis of the first of which, we descry--whom thinkest thou?--the Heroines
of the Insurrection of Women. Strong Dames of the Market, they sit there
(Theroigne too ill to attend, one fears), with oak-branches, tricolor
bedizenment; firm-seated on their Cannons. To whom handsome Herault,
making pause of admiration, addresses soothing eloquence; whereupon they
rise and fall into the march.

And now mark, in the Place de la Revolution, what other August Statue may
this be; veiled in canvas,--which swiftly we shear off by pulley and cord?
The Statue of Liberty! She too is of plaster, hoping to become of metal;
stands where a Tyrant Louis Quinze once stood. 'Three thousand birds' are
let loose, into the whole world, with labels round their neck, We are free;
imitate us. Holocaust of Royalist and ci-devant trumpery, such as one
could still gather, is burnt; pontifical eloquence must be uttered, by
handsome Herault, and Pagan orisons offered up.

And then forward across the River; where is new enormous Statuary; enormous
plaster Mountain; Hercules-Peuple, with uplifted all-conquering club;
'many-headed Dragon of Girondin Federalism rising from fetid marsh;'--
needing new eloquence from Herault. To say nothing of Champ-de-Mars, and
Fatherland's Altar there; with urn of slain Defenders, Carpenter's-level of
the Law; and such exploding, gesticulating and perorating, that Herault's
lips must be growing white, and his tongue cleaving to the roof of his
mouth. (Choix des Rapports, xii. 432-42.)

Towards six-o'clock let the wearied President, let Paris Patriotism
generally sit down to what repast, and social repasts, can be had; and with
flowing tankard or light-mantling glass, usher in this New and Newest Era.
In fact, is not Romme's New Calendar getting ready? On all housetops
flicker little tricolor Flags, their flagstaff a Pike and Liberty-Cap. On
all house-walls, for no Patriot, not suspect, will be behind another, there
stand printed these words: Republic one and indivisible, Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity, or Death.

As to the New Calendar, we may say here rather than elsewhere that
speculative men have long been struck with the inequalities and
incongruities of the Old Calendar; that a New one has long been as good as
determined on. Marechal the Atheist, almost ten years ago, proposed a New
Calendar, free at least from superstition: this the Paris Municipality
would now adopt, in defect of a better; at all events, let us have either
this of Marechal's or a better,--the New Era being come. Petitions, more
than once, have been sent to that effect; and indeed, for a year past, all
Public Bodies, Journalists, and Patriots in general, have dated First Year
of the Republic. It is a subject not without difficulties. But the
Convention has taken it up; and Romme, as we say, has been meditating it;
not Marechal's New Calendar, but a better New one of Romme's and our own.
Romme, aided by a Monge, a Lagrange and others, furnishes mathematics;
Fabre d'Eglantine furnishes poetic nomenclature: and so, on the 5th of
October 1793, after trouble enough, they bring forth this New Republican
Calendar of theirs, in a complete state; and by Law, get it put in action.

Four equal Seasons, Twelve equal Months of thirty days each: this makes
three hundred and sixty days; and five odd days remain to be disposed of.
The five odd days we will make Festivals, and name the five Sansculottides,
or Days without Breeches. Festival of Genius; Festival of Labour; of
Actions; of Rewards; of Opinion: these are the five Sansculottides.
Whereby the great Circle, or Year, is made complete: solely every fourth
year, whilom called Leap-year, we introduce a sixth Sansculottide; and name
it Festival of the Revolution. Now as to the day of commencement, which
offers difficulties, is it not one of the luckiest coincidences that the
Republic herself commenced on the 21st of September; close on the Vernal
Equinox? Vernal Equinox, at midnight for the meridian of Paris, in the
year whilom Christian 1792, from that moment shall the New Era reckon
itself to begin. Vendemiaire, Brumaire, Frimaire; or as one might say, in
mixed English, Vintagearious, Fogarious, Frostarious: these are our three
Autumn months. Nivose, Pluviose, Ventose, or say Snowous, Rainous,
Windous, make our Winter season. Germinal, Floreal, Prairial, or Buddal,
Floweral, Meadowal, are our Spring season. Messidor, Thermidor, Fructidor,
that is to say (dor being Greek for gift) Reapidor, Heatidor, Fruitidor,
are Republican Summer. These Twelve, in a singular manner, divide the
Republican Year. Then as to minuter subdivisions, let us venture at once
on a bold stroke: adopt your decimal subdivision; and instead of world-old
Week, or Se'ennight, make it a Tennight or Decade;--not without results.
There are three Decades, then, in each of the months; which is very
regular; and the Decadi, or Tenth-day, shall always be 'the Day of Rest.'
And the Christian Sabbath, in that case? Shall shift for itself!

This, in brief, in this New Calendar of Romme and the Convention;
calculated for the meridian of Paris, and Gospel of Jean-Jacques: not one
of the least afflicting occurrences for the actual British reader of French
History;--confusing the soul with Messidors, Meadowals; till at last, in
self-defence, one is forced to construct some ground-scheme, or rule of
Commutation from New-style to Old-style, and have it lying by him. Such
ground-scheme, almost worn out in our service, but still legible and
printable, we shall now, in a Note, present to the reader. For the Romme
Calendar, in so many Newspapers, Memoirs, Public Acts, has stamped itself
deep into that section of Time: a New Era that lasts some Twelve years and
odd is not to be despised. Let the reader, therefore, with such ground-
scheme, help himself, where needful, out of New-style into Old-style,
called also 'slave-style, stile-esclave;'--whereof we, in these pages,
shall as much as possible use the latter only.

(September 22nd of 1792 is Vendemiaire 1st of Year One, and the new months
are all of 30 days each; therefore:

To the number of the          We have the number of the
day in                 Add    day in                      Days

    Vendemiaire         21        September                30
    Brumaire            21        October                  31
    Frimaire            20        November                 30

    Nivose              20        December                 31
    Pluviose            19        January                  31
    Ventose             18        February                 28

    Germinal            20        March                    31
    Floreal             19        April                    30
    Prairial            19        May                      31

    Messidor            18       June                     30
    Thermidor           18       July                     31
    Fructidor           17       August                   31

There are 5 Sansculottides, and in leap-year a sixth, to be added at the
end of Fructidor.

The New Calendar ceased on the 1st of January 1806. See Choix des
Rapports, xiii. 83-99; xix. 199.)

Thus with new Feast of Pikes, and New Era or New Calendar, did France
accept her New Constitution: the most Democratic Constitution ever
committed to paper. How it will work in practice? Patriot Deputations
from time to time solicit fruition of it; that it be set a-going. Always,
however, this seems questionable; for the moment, unsuitable. Till, in
some weeks, Salut Public, through the organ of Saint-Just, makes report,
that, in the present alarming circumstances, the state of France is
Revolutionary; that her 'Government must be Revolutionary till the Peace!'
Solely as Paper, then, and as a Hope, must this poor New Constitution
exist;--in which shape we may conceive it lying; even now, with an infinity
of other things, in that Limbo near the Moon. Further than paper it never
got, nor ever will get.

Chapter 3.4.V.

Sword of Sharpness.

In fact it is something quite other than paper theorems, it is iron and
audacity that France now needs.

Is not La Vendee still blazing;--alas too literally; rogue Rossignol
burning the very corn-mills? General Santerre could do nothing there;
General Rossignol, in blind fury, often in liquor, can do less than
nothing. Rebellion spreads, grows ever madder. Happily those lean
Quixote-figures, whom we saw retreating out of Mentz, 'bound not to serve
against the Coalition for a year,' have got to Paris. National Convention
packs them into post-vehicles and conveyances; sends them swiftly, by post,
into La Vendee! There valiantly struggling, in obscure battle and
skirmish, under rogue Rossignol, let them, unlaurelled, save the Republic,
and 'be cut down gradually to the last man.'  (Deux Amis, xi. 147; xiii.
160-92, &c.)

Does not the Coalition, like a fire-tide, pour in; Prussia through the
opened North-East; Austria, England through the North-West? General
Houchard prospers no better there than General Custine did: let him look
to it! Through the Eastern and the Western Pyrenees Spain has deployed
itself; spreads, rustling with Bourbon banners, over the face of the South.
Ashes and embers of confused Girondin civil war covered that region
already. Marseilles is damped down, not quenched; to be quenched in blood.
Toulon, terrorstruck, too far gone for turning, has flung itself, ye
righteous Powers,--into the hands of the English! On Toulon Arsenal there
flies a Flag,--nay not even the Fleur-de-lys of a Louis Pretender; there
flies that accursed St. George's Cross of the English and Admiral Hood!
What remnants of sea-craft, arsenals, roperies, war-navy France had, has
given itself to these enemies of human nature, 'ennemis du genre humain.'
Beleaguer it, bombard it, ye Commissioners Barras, Freron, Robespierre
Junior; thou General Cartaux, General Dugommier; above all, thou remarkable
Artillery-Major, Napoleon Buonaparte! Hood is fortifying himself,
victualling himself; means, apparently, to make a new Gibraltar of it.

But lo, in the Autumn night, late night, among the last of August, what
sudden red sunblaze is this that has risen over Lyons City; with a noise to
deafen the world? It is the Powder-tower of Lyons, nay the Arsenal with
four Powder-towers, which has caught fire in the Bombardment; and sprung
into the air, carrying 'a hundred and seventeen houses' after it. With a
light, one fancies, as of the noon sun; with a roar second only to the Last
Trumpet! All living sleepers far and wide it has awakened. What a sight
was that, which the eye of History saw, in the sudden nocturnal sunblaze!
The roofs of hapless Lyons, and all its domes and steeples made momentarily
clear; Rhone and Saone streams flashing suddenly visible; and height and
hollow, hamlet and smooth stubblefield, and all the region round;--heights,
alas, all scarped and counterscarped, into trenches, curtains, redouts;
blue Artillery-men, little Powder-devilkins, plying their hell-trade there,
through the not ambrosial night! Let the darkness cover it again; for it
pains the eye. Of a truth, Chalier's death is costing this City dear.
Convention Commissioners, Lyons Congresses have come and gone; and action
there was and reaction; bad ever growing worse; till it has come to this:
Commissioner Dubois-Crance, 'with seventy thousand men, and all the
Artillery of several Provinces,' bombarding Lyons day and night.

Worse things still are in store. Famine is in Lyons, and ruin, and fire.
Desperate are the sallies of the besieged; brave Precy, their National
Colonel and Commandant, doing what is in man: desperate but ineffectual.
Provisions cut off; nothing entering our city but shot and shells! The
Arsenal has roared aloft; the very Hospital will be battered down, and the
sick buried alive. A Black Flag hung on this latter noble Edifice,
appealing to the pity of the beseigers; for though maddened, were they not
still our brethren? In their blind wrath, they took it for a flag of
defiance, and aimed thitherward the more. Bad is growing ever worse here:
and how will the worse stop, till it have grown worst of all? Commissioner
Dubois will listen to no pleading, to no speech, save this only, 'We
surrender at discretion.'  Lyons contains in it subdued Jacobins; dominant
Girondins; secret Royalists. And now, mere deaf madness and cannon-shot
enveloping them, will not the desperate Municipality fly, at last, into the
arms of Royalism itself? Majesty of Sardinia was to bring help, but it
failed. Emigrant Autichamp, in name of the Two Pretender Royal Highnesses,
is coming through Switzerland with help; coming, not yet come: Precy
hoists the Fleur-de-lys!

At sight of which, all true Girondins sorrowfully fling down their arms:--
Let our Tricolor brethren storm us, then, and slay us in their wrath: with
you we conquer not. The famishing women and children are sent forth: deaf
Dubois sends them back;--rains in mere fire and madness. Our 'redouts of
cotton-bags' are taken, retaken; Precy under his Fleur-de-lys is valiant as
Despair. What will become of Lyons? It is a siege of seventy days. (Deux
Amis, xi. 80-143.)

Or see, in these same weeks, far in the Western waters: breasting through
the Bay of Biscay, a greasy dingy little Merchantship, with Scotch skipper;
under hatches whereof sit, disconsolate,--the last forlorn nucleus of
Girondism, the Deputies from Quimper! Several have dissipated themselves,
whithersoever they could. Poor Riouffe fell into the talons of
Revolutionary Committee, and Paris Prison. The rest sit here under
hatches; reverend Petion with his grey hair, angry Buzot, suspicious
Louvet, brave young Barbaroux, and others. They have escaped from Quimper,
in this sad craft; are now tacking and struggling; in danger from the
waves, in danger from the English, in still worse danger from the French;--
banished by Heaven and Earth to the greasy belly of this Scotch skipper's
Merchant-vessel, unfruitful Atlantic raving round. They are for Bourdeaux,
if peradventure hope yet linger there. Enter not Bourdeaux, O Friends!
Bloody Convention Representatives, Tallien and such like, with their
Edicts, with their Guillotine, have arrived there; Respectability is driven
under ground; Jacobinism lords it on high. From that Reole landingplace,
or Beak of Ambes, as it were, Pale Death, waving his Revolutionary Sword of
sharpness, waves you elsewhither!

On one side or the other of that Bec d'Ambes, the Scotch Skipper with
difficulty moors, a dexterous greasy man; with difficulty lands his
Girondins;--who, after reconnoitring, must rapidly burrow in the Earth; and
so, in subterranean ways, in friends' back-closets, in cellars, barn-lofts,
in Caves of Saint-Emilion and Libourne, stave off cruel Death. (Louvet, p.
180-199.)  Unhappiest of all Senators!

Chapter 3.4.VI.

Risen against Tyrants.

Against all which incalculable impediments, horrors and disasters, what can
a Jacobin Convention oppose? The uncalculating Spirit of Jacobinism, and
Sansculottic sans-formulistic Frenzy! Our Enemies press in on us, says
Danton, but they shall not conquer us, "we will burn France to ashes
rather, nous brulerons la France."

Committees, of Surete or Salut, have raised themselves 'a la hauteur, to
the height of circumstances.'  Let all mortals raise themselves a la
hauteur. Let the Forty-four thousand Sections and their Revolutionary
Committees stir every fibre of the Republic; and every Frenchman feel that
he is to do or die. They are the life-circulation of Jacobinism, these
Sections and Committees: Danton, through the organ of Barrere and Salut
Public, gets decreed, That there be in Paris, by law, two meetings of
Section weekly; also, that the Poorer Citizen be paid for attending, and
have his day's-wages of Forty Sous. (Moniteur, Seance du 5 Septembre,
1793.)  This is the celebrated 'Law of the Forty Sous;' fiercely stimulant
to Sansculottism, to the life-circulation of Jacobinism.

On the twenty-third of August, Committee of Public Salvation, as usual
through Barrere, had promulgated, in words not unworthy of remembering,
their Report, which is soon made into a Law, of Levy in Mass. 'All France,
and whatsoever it contains of men or resources, is put under requisition,'
says Barrere; really in Tyrtaean words, the best we know of his. 'The
Republic is one vast besieged city.'  Two hundred and fifty Forges shall,
in these days, be set up in the Luxembourg Garden, and round the outer wall
of the Tuileries; to make gun-barrels; in sight of Earth and Heaven! From
all hamlets, towards their Departmental Town; from all their Departmental
Towns, towards the appointed Camp and seat of war, the Sons of Freedom
shall march; their banner is to bear: 'Le Peuple Francais debout contres
les Tyrans, The French People risen against Tyrants.'  'The young men shall
go to the battle; it is their task to conquer: the married men shall forge
arms, transport baggage and artillery; provide subsistence: the women
shall work at soldiers' clothes, make tents; serve in the hospitals. The
children shall scrape old-linen into surgeon's-lint: the aged men shall
have themselves carried into public places; and there, by their words,
excite the courage of the young; preach hatred to Kings and unity to the
Republic.'  (Debats, Seance du 23 Aout 1793.)  Tyrtaean words, which tingle
through all French hearts.

In this humour, then, since no other serves, will France rush against its
enemies. Headlong, reckoning no cost or consequence; heeding no law or
rule but that supreme law, Salvation of the People! The weapons are all
the iron that is in France; the strength is that of all the men, women and
children that are in France. There, in their two hundred and fifty shed-
smithies, in Garden of Luxembourg or Tuileries, let them forge gun-barrels,
in sight of Heaven and Earth.

Nor with heroic daring against the Foreign foe, can black vengeance against
the Domestic be wanting. Life-circulation of the Revolutionary Committees
being quickened by that Law of the Forty Sous, Deputy Merlin, not the
Thionviller, whom we saw ride out of Mentz, but Merlin of Douai, named
subsequently Merlin Suspect,--comes, about a week after, with his world-
famous Law of the Suspect: ordering all Sections, by their Committees,
instantly to arrest all Persons Suspect; and explaining withal who the
Arrestable and Suspect specially are. "Are Suspect," says he, "all who by
their actions, by their connexions, speakings, writings have"--in short
become Suspect. (Moniteur, Seance du 17 Septembre 1793.)  Nay Chaumette,
illuminating the matter still further, in his Municipal Placards and
Proclamations, will bring it about that you may almost recognise a Suspect
on the streets, and clutch him there,--off to Committee, and Prison. Watch
well your words, watch well your looks: if Suspect of nothing else, you
may grow, as came to be a saying, 'Suspect of being Suspect!'  For are we
not in a State of Revolution?

No frightfuller Law ever ruled in a Nation of men. All Prisons and Houses
of Arrest in French land are getting crowded to the ridge-tile: Forty-four
thousand Committees, like as many companies of reapers or gleaners,
gleaning France, are gathering their harvest, and storing it in these
Houses. Harvest of Aristocrat tares! Nay, lest the Forty-four thousand,
each on its own harvest-field, prove insufficient, we are to have an
ambulant 'Revolutionary Army:'  six thousand strong, under right captains,
this shall perambulate the country at large, and strike in wherever it
finds such harvest-work slack. So have Municipality and Mother Society
petitioned; so has Convention decreed. (Ibid. Seances du 5, 9, 11
Septembre.)  Let Aristocrats, Federalists, Monsieurs vanish, and all men
tremble: 'The Soil of Liberty shall be purged,'--with a vengeance!

Neither hitherto has the Revolutionary Tribunal been keeping holyday.
Blanchelande, for losing Saint-Domingo; 'Conspirators of Orleans,' for
'assassinating,' for assaulting the sacred Deputy Leonard-Bourdon: these
with many Nameless, to whom life was sweet, have died. Daily the great
Guillotine has its due. Like a black Spectre, daily at eventide, glides
the Death-tumbril through the variegated throng of things. The variegated
street shudders at it, for the moment; next moment forgets it: The
Aristocrats! They were guilty against the Republic; their death, were it
only that their goods are confiscated, will be useful to the Republic; Vive
la Republique!

In the last days of August, fell a notabler head: General Custine's.
Custine was accused of harshness, of unskilfulness, perfidiousness; accused
of many things: found guilty, we may say, of one thing, unsuccessfulness.
Hearing his unexpected Sentence, 'Custine fell down before the Crucifix,'
silent for the space of two hours: he fared, with moist eyes and a book of
prayer, towards the Place de la Revolution; glanced upwards at the clear
suspended axe; then mounted swiftly aloft, (Deux Amis, xi. 148-188.)
swiftly was struck away from the lists of the Living. He had fought in
America; he was a proud, brave man; and his fortune led him hither.

On the 2nd of this same month, at three in the morning, a vehicle rolled
off, with closed blinds, from the Temple to the Conciergerie. Within it
were two Municipals; and Marie-Antoinette, once Queen of France! There in
that Conciergerie, in ignominious dreary cell, she, cut off from children,
kindred, friend and hope, sits long weeks; expecting when the end will be.
(See Memoires particuliers de la Captivite a la Tour du Temple (by the
Duchesse d'Angouleme, Paris, 21 Janvier 1817).)

The Guillotine, we find, gets always a quicker motion, as other things are
quickening. The Guillotine, by its speed of going, will give index of the
general velocity of the Republic. The clanking of its huge axe, rising and
falling there, in horrid systole-diastole, is portion of the whole enormous
Life-movement and pulsation of the Sansculottic System!--'Orleans
Conspirators' and Assaulters had to die, in spite of much weeping and
entreating; so sacred is the person of a Deputy. Yet the sacred can become
desecrated: your very Deputy is not greater than the Guillotine. Poor
Deputy Journalist Gorsas: we saw him hide at Rennes, when the Calvados War
burnt priming. He stole afterwards, in August, to Paris; lurked several
weeks about the Palais ci-devant Royal; was seen there, one day; was
clutched, identified, and without ceremony, being already 'out of the Law,'
was sent to the Place de la Revolution. He died, recommending his wife and
children to the pity of the Republic. It is the ninth day of October 1793.
Gorsas is the first Deputy that dies on the scaffold; he will not be the

Ex-Mayor Bailly is in prison; Ex-Procureur Manuel. Brissot and our poor
Arrested Girondins have become Incarcerated Indicted Girondins; universal
Jacobinism clamouring for their punishment. Duperret's Seals are broken!
Those Seventy-three Secret Protesters, suddenly one day, are reported upon,
are decreed accused; the Convention-doors being 'previously shut,' that
none implicated might escape. They were marched, in a very rough manner,
to Prison that evening. Happy those of them who chanced to be absent!
Condorcet has vanished into darkness; perhaps, like Rabaut, sits between
two walls, in the house of a friend.

Chapter 3.4.VII.


On Monday the Fourteenth of October, 1793, a Cause is pending in the Palais
de Justice, in the new Revolutionary Court, such as these old stone-walls
never witnessed: the Trial of Marie-Antoinette. The once brightest of
Queens, now tarnished, defaced, forsaken, stands here at Fouquier
Tinville's Judgment-bar; answering for her life! The Indictment was
delivered her last night. (Proces de la Reine (Deux Amis, xi. 251-381.)
To such changes of human fortune what words are adequate? Silence alone is

There are few Printed things one meets with, of such tragic almost ghastly
significance as those bald Pages of the Bulletin du Tribunal
Revolutionnaire, which bear title, Trial of the Widow Capet. Dim, dim, as
if in disastrous eclipse; like the pale kingdoms of Dis! Plutonic Judges,
Plutonic Tinville; encircled, nine times, with Styx and Lethe, with Fire-
Phlegethon and Cocytus named of Lamentation! The very witnesses summoned
are like Ghosts: exculpatory, inculpatory, they themselves are all
hovering over death and doom; they are known, in our imagination, as the
prey of the Guillotine. Tall ci-devant Count d'Estaing, anxious to shew
himself Patriot, cannot escape; nor Bailly, who, when asked If he knows the
Accused, answers with a reverent inclination towards her, "Ah, yes, I know
Madame."  Ex-Patriots are here, sharply dealt with, as Procureur Manuel;
Ex-Ministers, shorn of their splendour. We have cold Aristocratic
impassivity, faithful to itself even in Tartarus; rabid stupidity, of
Patriot Corporals, Patriot Washerwomen, who have much to say of Plots,
Treasons, August Tenth, old Insurrection of Women. For all now has become
a crime, in her who has lost.

Marie-Antoinette, in this her utter abandonment and hour of extreme need,
is not wanting to herself, the imperial woman. Her look, they say, as that
hideous Indictment was reading, continued calm; 'she was sometimes observed
moving her fingers, as when one plays on the Piano.'  You discern, not
without interest, across that dim Revolutionary Bulletin itself, how she
bears herself queenlike. Her answers are prompt, clear, often of Laconic
brevity; resolution, which has grown contemptuous without ceasing to be
dignified, veils itself in calm words. "You persist then in denial?"--"My
plan is not denial: it is the truth I have said, and I persist in that."
Scandalous Hebert has borne his testimony as to many things: as to one
thing, concerning Marie-Antoinette and her little Son,--wherewith Human
Speech had better not further be soiled. She has answered Hebert; a
Juryman begs to observe that she has not answered as to this. "I have not
answered," she exclaims with noble emotion, "because Nature refuses to
answer such a charge brought against a Mother. I appeal to all the Mothers
that are here."  Robespierre, when he heard of it, broke out into something
almost like swearing at the brutish blockheadism of this Hebert; (Vilate,
Causes secretes de la Revolution de Thermidor (Paris, 1825), p. 179.) on
whose foul head his foul lie has recoiled. At four o'clock on Wednesday
morning, after two days and two nights of interrogating, jury-charging, and
other darkening of counsel, the result comes out: Sentence of Death.
"Have you anything to say?"  The Accused shook her head, without speech.
Night's candles are burning out; and with her too Time is finishing, and it
will be Eternity and Day. This Hall of Tinville's is dark, ill-lighted
except where she stands. Silently she withdraws from it, to die.

Two Processions, or Royal Progresses, three-and-twenty years apart, have
often struck us with a strange feeling of contrast. The first is of a
beautiful Archduchess and Dauphiness, quitting her Mother's City, at the
age of Fifteen; towards hopes such as no other Daughter of Eve then had:
'On the morrow,' says Weber an eye witness, 'the Dauphiness left Vienna.
The whole City crowded out; at first with a sorrow which was silent. She
appeared: you saw her sunk back into her carriage; her face bathed in
tears; hiding her eyes now with her handkerchief, now with her hands;
several times putting out her head to see yet again this Palace of her
Fathers, whither she was to return no more. She motioned her regret, her
gratitude to the good Nation, which was crowding here to bid her farewell.
Then arose not only tears; but piercing cries, on all sides. Men and women
alike abandoned themselves to such expression of their sorrow. It was an
audible sound of wail, in the streets and avenues of Vienna. The last
Courier that followed her disappeared, and the crowd melted away.'  (Weber,
i. 6.)

The young imperial Maiden of Fifteen has now become a worn discrowned Widow
of Thirty-eight; grey before her time: this is the last Procession: 'Few
minutes after the Trial ended, the drums were beating to arms in all
Sections; at sunrise the armed force was on foot, cannons getting placed at
the extremities of the Bridges, in the Squares, Crossways, all along from
the Palais de Justice to the Place de la Revolution. By ten o'clock,
numerous patrols were circulating in the Streets; thirty thousand foot and
horse drawn up under arms. At eleven, Marie-Antoinette was brought out.
She had on an undress of pique blanc: she was led to the place of
execution, in the same manner as an ordinary criminal; bound, on a Cart;
accompanied by a Constitutional Priest in Lay dress; escorted by numerous
detachments of infantry and cavalry. These, and the double row of troops
all along her road, she appeared to regard with indifference. On her
countenance there was visible neither abashment nor pride. To the cries of
Vive la Republique and Down with Tyranny, which attended her all the way,
she seemed to pay no heed. She spoke little to her Confessor. The
tricolor Streamers on the housetops occupied her attention, in the Streets
du Roule and Saint-Honore; she also noticed the Inscriptions on the house-
fronts. On reaching the Place de la Revolution, her looks turned towards
the Jardin National, whilom Tuileries; her face at that moment gave signs
of lively emotion. She mounted the Scaffold with courage enough; at a
quarter past Twelve, her head fell; the Executioner shewed it to the
people, amid universal long-continued cries of 'Vive la Republique.'  (Deux
Amis, xi. 301.)

Chapter 3.4.VIII.

The Twenty-two.

Whom next, O Tinville? The next are of a different colour: our poor
Arrested Girondin Deputies. What of them could still be laid hold of; our
Vergniaud, Brissot, Fauchet, Valaze, Gensonne; the once flower of French
Patriotism, Twenty-two by the tale: hither, at Tinville's Bar, onward from
'safeguard of the French People,' from confinement in the Luxembourg,
imprisonment in the Conciergerie, have they now, by the course of things,
arrived. Fouquier Tinville must give what account of them he can.

Undoubtedly this Trial of the Girondins is the greatest that Fouquier has
yet had to do. Twenty-two, all chief Republicans, ranged in a line there;
the most eloquent in France; Lawyers too; not without friends in the
auditory. How will Tinville prove these men guilty of Royalism,
Federalism, Conspiracy against the Republic? Vergniaud's eloquence awakes
once more; 'draws tears,' they say. And Journalists report, and the Trial
lengthens itself out day after day; 'threatens to become eternal,' murmur
many. Jacobinism and Municipality rise to the aid of Fouquier. On the
28th of the month, Hebert and others come in deputation to inform a Patriot
Convention that the Revolutionary Tribunal is quite 'shackled by forms of
Law;' that a Patriot Jury ought to have 'the power of cutting short, of
terminer les debats , when they feel themselves convinced.'  Which pregnant
suggestion, of cutting short, passes itself, with all despatch, into a

Accordingly, at ten o'clock on the night of the 30th of October, the
Twenty-two, summoned back once more, receive this information, That the
Jury feeling themselves convinced have cut short, have brought in their
verdict; that the Accused are found guilty, and the Sentence on one and all
of them is Death with confiscation of goods.

Loud natural clamour rises among the poor Girondins; tumult; which can only
be repressed by the gendarmes. Valaze stabs himself; falls down dead on
the spot. The rest, amid loud clamour and confusion, are driven back to
their Conciergerie; Lasource exclaiming, "I die on the day when the People
have lost their reason; ye will die when they recover it."  (Greek,--Plut.
Opp. t. iv. p. 310. ed. Reiske, 1776.)  No help! Yielding to violence, the
Doomed uplift the Hymn of the Marseillese; return singing to their dungeon.

Riouffe, who was their Prison-mate in these last days, has lovingly
recorded what death they made. To our notions, it is not an edifying
death. Gay satirical Pot-pourri by Ducos; rhymed Scenes of Tragedy,
wherein Barrere and Robespierre discourse with Satan; death's eve spent in
'singing' and 'sallies of gaiety,' with 'discourses on the happiness of
peoples:'  these things, and the like of these, we have to accept for what
they are worth. It is the manner in which the Girondins make their Last
Supper. Valaze, with bloody breast, sleeps cold in death; hears not their
singing. Vergniaud has his dose of poison; but it is not enough for his
friends, it is enough only for himself; wherefore he flings it from him;
presides at this Last Supper of the Girondins, with wild coruscations of
eloquence, with song and mirth. Poor human Will struggles to assert
itself; if not in this way, then in that. (Memoires de Riouffe (in
Memoires sur les Prisons, Paris, 1823), p. 48-55.)

But on the morrow morning all Paris is out; such a crowd as no man had
seen. The Death-carts, Valaze's cold corpse stretched among the yet living
Twenty-one, roll along. Bareheaded, hands bound; in their shirt-sleeves,
coat flung loosely round the neck: so fare the eloquent of France;
bemurmured, beshouted. To the shouts of Vive la Republique, some of them
keep answering with counter-shouts of Vive la Republique. Others, as
Brissot, sit sunk in silence. At the foot of the scaffold they again
strike up, with appropriate variations, the Hymn of the Marseillese. Such
an act of music; conceive it well! The yet Living chant there; the chorus
so rapidly wearing weak! Samson's axe is rapid; one head per minute, or
little less. The chorus is worn out; farewell for evermore ye Girondins.
Te-Deum Fauchet has become silent; Valaze's dead head is lopped: the
sickle of the Guillotine has reaped the Girondins all away. 'The eloquent,
the young, the beautiful and brave!' exclaims Riouffe. O Death, what feast
is toward in thy ghastly Halls?

Nor alas, in the far Bourdeaux region, will Girondism fare better. In
caves of Saint-Emilion, in loft and cellar, the weariest months, roll on;
apparel worn, purse empty; wintry November come; under Tallien and his
Guillotine, all hope now gone. Danger drawing ever nigher, difficulty
pressing ever straiter, they determine to separate. Not unpathetic the
farewell; tall Barbaroux, cheeriest of brave men, stoops to clasp his
Louvet: "In what place soever thou findest my mother," cries he, "try to
be instead of a son to her: no resource of mine but I will share with thy
Wife, should chance ever lead me where she is."  (Louvet, p. 213.)

Louvet went with Guadet, with Salles and Valady; Barbaroux with Buzot and
Petion. Valady soon went southward, on a way of his own. The two friends
and Louvet had a miserable day and night; the 14th of November month, 1793.
Sunk in wet, weariness and hunger, they knock, on the morrow, for help, at
a friend's country-house; the fainthearted friend refuses to admit them.
They stood therefore under trees, in the pouring rain. Flying desperate,
Louvet thereupon will to Paris. He sets forth, there and then, splashing
the mud on each side of him, with a fresh strength gathered from fury or
frenzy. He passes villages, finding 'the sentry asleep in his box in the
thick rain;' he is gone, before the man can call after him. He bilks
Revolutionary Committees; rides in carriers' carts, covered carts and open;
lies hidden in one, under knapsacks and cloaks of soldiers' wives on the
Street of Orleans, while men search for him: has hairbreadth escapes that
would fill three romances: finally he gets to Paris to his fair Helpmate;
gets to Switzerland, and waits better days.

Poor Guadet and Salles were both taken, ere long; they died by the
Guillotine in Bourdeaux; drums beating to drown their voice. Valady also
is caught, and guillotined. Barbaroux and his two comrades weathered it
longer, into the summer of 1794; but not long enough. One July morning,
changing their hiding place, as they have often to do, 'about a league from
Saint-Emilion, they observe a great crowd of country-people;' doubtless
Jacobins come to take them? Barbaroux draws a pistol, shoots himself dead.
Alas, and it was not Jacobins; it was harmless villagers going to a village
wake. Two days afterwards, Buzot and Petion were found in a Cornfield,
their bodies half-eaten with dogs. (Recherches Historiques sur les
Girondins (in Memoires de Buzot), p. 107.)

Such was the end of Girondism. They arose to regenerate France, these men;
and have accomplished this. Alas, whatever quarrel we had with them, has
not their cruel fate abolished it? Pity only survives. So many excellent
souls of heroes sent down to Hades; they themselves given as a prey of dogs
and all manner of birds! But, here too, the will of the Supreme Power was
accomplished. As Vergniaud said: 'The Revolution, like Saturn, is
devouring its own children.'



Chapter 3.5.I.

Rushing down.

We are now, therefore, got to that black precipitous Abyss; whither all
things have long been tending; where, having now arrived on the giddy
verge, they hurl down, in confused ruin; headlong, pellmell, down, down;--
till Sansculottism have consummated itself; and in this wondrous French
Revolution, as in a Doomsday, a World have been rapidly, if not born again,
yet destroyed and engulphed. Terror has long been terrible: but to the
actors themselves it has now become manifest that their appointed course is
one of Terror; and they say, Be it so. "Que la Terreur soit a l'ordre du

So many centuries, say only from Hugh Capet downwards, had been adding
together, century transmitting it with increase to century, the sum of
Wickedness, of Falsehood, Oppression of man by man. Kings were sinners,
and Priests were, and People. Open-Scoundrels rode triumphant, bediademed,
becoronetted, bemitred; or the still fataller species of Secret-Scoundrels,
in their fair-sounding formulas, speciosities, respectabilities, hollow
within: the race of Quacks was grown many as the sands of the sea. Till
at length such a sum of Quackery had accumulated itself as, in brief, the
Earth and the Heavens were weary of. Slow seemed the Day of Settlement:
coming on, all imperceptible, across the bluster and fanfaronade of
Courtierisms, Conquering-Heroisms, Most-Christian Grand Monarque-isms.
Well-beloved Pompadourisms: yet behold it was always coming; behold it has
come, suddenly, unlooked for by any man! The harvest of long centuries was
ripening and whitening so rapidly of late; and now it is grown white, and
is reaped rapidly, as it were, in one day. Reaped, in this Reign of
Terror; and carried home, to Hades and the Pit!--Unhappy Sons of Adam: it
is ever so; and never do they know it, nor will they know it. With
cheerfully smoothed countenances, day after day, and generation after
generation, they, calling cheerfully to one another, "Well-speed-ye," are
at work, sowing the wind. And yet, as God lives, they shall reap the
whirlwind: no other thing, we say, is possible,--since God is a Truth and
His World is a Truth.

History, however, in dealing with this Reign of Terror, has had her own
difficulties. While the Phenomenon continued in its primary state, as mere
'Horrors of the French Revolution,' there was abundance to be said and
shrieked. With and also without profit. Heaven knows there were terrors
and horrors enough: yet that was not all the Phenomenon; nay, more
properly, that was not the Phenomenon at all, but rather was the shadow of
it, the negative part of it. And now, in a new stage of the business, when
History, ceasing to shriek, would try rather to include under her old Forms
of speech or speculation this new amazing Thing; that so some accredited
scientific Law of Nature might suffice for the unexpected Product of
Nature, and History might get to speak of it articulately, and draw
inferences and profit from it; in this new stage, History, we must say,
babbles and flounders perhaps in a still painfuller manner. Take, for
example, the latest Form of speech we have seen propounded on the subject
as adequate to it, almost in these months, by our worthy M. Roux, in his
Histoire Parlementaire. The latest and the strangest: that the French
Revolution was a dead-lift effort, after eighteen hundred years of
preparation, to realise--the Christian Religion! (Hist. Parl. (Introd.),
i. 1 et seqq.)  Unity, Indivisibility, Brotherhood or Death did indeed
stand printed on all Houses of the Living; also, on Cemeteries, or Houses
of the Dead, stood printed, by order of Procureur Chaumette, Here is
eternal Sleep: (Deux Amis, xii. 78.)  but a Christian Religion realised by
the Guillotine and Death-Eternal, 'is suspect to me,' as Robespierre was
wont to say, 'm'est suspecte.'

Alas, no, M. Roux! A Gospel of Brotherhood, not according to any of the
Four old Evangelists, and calling on men to repent, and amend each his own
wicked existence, that they might be saved; but a Gospel rather, as we
often hint, according to a new Fifth Evangelist Jean-Jacques, calling on
men to amend each the whole world's wicked existence, and be saved by
making the Constitution. A thing different and distant toto coelo, as they
say: the whole breadth of the sky, and further if possible!--It is thus,
however, that History, and indeed all human Speech and Reason does yet,
what Father Adam began life by doing: strive to name the new Things it
sees of Nature's producing,--often helplessly enough.

But what if History were to admit, for once, that all the Names and
Theorems yet known to her fall short? That this grand Product of Nature
was even grand, and new, in that it came not to range itself under old
recorded Laws-of-Nature at all; but to disclose new ones? In that case,
History renouncing the pretention to name it at present, will look honestly
at it, and name what she can of it! Any approximation to the right Name
has value: were the right name itself once here, the Thing is known
thenceforth; the Thing is then ours, and can be dealt with.

Now surely not realization, of Christianity, or of aught earthly, do we
discern in this Reign of Terror, in this French Revolution of which it is
the consummating. Destruction rather we discern--of all that was
destructible. It is as if Twenty-five millions, risen at length into the
Pythian mood, had stood up simultaneously to say, with a sound which goes
through far lands and times, that this Untruth of an Existence had become
insupportable. O ye Hypocrisies and Speciosities, Royal mantles, Cardinal
plushcloaks, ye Credos, Formulas, Respectabilities, fair-painted Sepulchres
full of dead men's bones,--behold, ye appear to us to be altogether a Lie.
Yet our Life is not a Lie; yet our Hunger and Misery is not a Lie! Behold
we lift up, one and all, our Twenty-five million right-hands; and take the
Heavens, and the Earth and also the Pit of Tophet to witness, that either
ye shall be abolished, or else we shall be abolished!

No inconsiderable Oath, truly; forming, as has been often said, the most
remarkable transaction in these last thousand years. Wherefrom likewise
there follow, and will follow, results. The fulfilment of this Oath; that
is to say, the black desperate battle of Men against their whole Condition
and Environment,--a battle, alas, withal, against the Sin and Darkness that
was in themselves as in others: this is the Reign of Terror.
Transcendental despair was the purport of it, though not consciously so.
False hopes, of Fraternity, Political Millennium, and what not, we have
always seen: but the unseen heart of the whole, the transcendental
despair, was not false; neither has it been of no effect. Despair, pushed
far enough, completes the circle, so to speak; and becomes a kind of
genuine productive hope again.

Doctrine of Fraternity, out of old Catholicism, does, it is true, very
strangely in the vehicle of a Jean-Jacques Evangel, suddenly plump down out
of its cloud-firmament; and from a theorem determine to make itself a
practice. But just so do all creeds, intentions, customs, knowledges,
thoughts and things, which the French have, suddenly plump down;
Catholicism, Classicism, Sentimentalism, Cannibalism: all isms that make
up Man in France, are rushing and roaring in that gulf; and the theorem has
become a practice, and whatsoever cannot swim sinks. Not Evangelist Jean-
Jacques alone; there is not a Village Schoolmaster but has contributed his
quota: do we not 'thou' one another, according to the Free Peoples of
Antiquity? The French Patriot, in red phrygian nightcap of Liberty,
christens his poor little red infant Cato,--Censor, or else of Utica.
Gracchus has become Baboeuf and edits Newspapers; Mutius Scaevola,
Cordwainer of that ilk, presides in the Section Mutius-Scaevola: and in
brief, there is a world wholly jumbling itself, to try what will swim!

Wherefore we will, at all events, call this Reign of Terror a very strange
one. Dominant Sansculottism makes, as it were, free arena; one of the
strangest temporary states Humanity was ever seen in. A nation of men,
full of wants and void of habits! The old habits are gone to wreck because
they were old: men, driven forward by Necessity and fierce Pythian
Madness, have, on the spur of the instant, to devise for the want the way
of satisfying it. The wonted tumbles down; by imitation, by invention, the
Unwonted hastily builds itself up. What the French National head has in it
comes out: if not a great result, surely one of the strangest.

Neither shall the reader fancy that it was all blank, this Reign of Terror:
far from it. How many hammermen and squaremen, bakers and brewers, washers
and wringers, over this France, must ply their old daily work, let the
Government be one of Terror or one of Joy! In this Paris there are Twenty-
three Theatres nightly; some count as many as Sixty Places of Dancing.
(Mercier. ii. 124.)  The Playwright manufactures: pieces of a strictly
Republican character. Ever fresh Novelgarbage, as of old, fodders the
Circulating Libraries. (Moniteur of these months, passim.)  The 'Cesspool
of Agio,' now in the time of Paper Money, works with a vivacity unexampled,
unimagined; exhales from itself 'sudden fortunes,' like Alladin-Palaces:
really a kind of miraculous Fata-Morganas, since you can live in them, for
a time. Terror is as a sable ground, on which the most variegated of
scenes paints itself. In startling transitions, in colours all intensated,
the sublime, the ludicrous, the horrible succeed one another; or rather, in
crowding tumult, accompany one another.

Here, accordingly, if anywhere, the 'hundred tongues,' which the old Poets
often clamour for, were of supreme service! In defect of any such organ on
our part, let the Reader stir up his own imaginative organ: let us snatch
for him this or the other significant glimpse of things, in the fittest
sequence we can.

Chapter 3.5.II.


In the early days of November, there is one transient glimpse of things
that is to be noted: the last transit to his long home of Philippe
d'Orleans Egalite. Philippe was 'decreed accused,' along with the
Girondins, much to his and their surprise; but not tried along with them.
They are doomed and dead, some three days, when Philippe, after his long
half-year of durance at Marseilles, arrives in Paris. It is, as we
calculate, the third of November 1793.

On which same day, two notable Female Prisoners are also put in ward there:
Dame Dubarry and Josephine Beauharnais! Dame whilom Countess Dubarry,
Unfortunate-female, had returned from London; they snatched her, not only
as Ex-harlot of a whilom Majesty, and therefore suspect; but as having
'furnished the Emigrants with money.'  Contemporaneously with whom, there
comes the wife of Beauharnais, soon to be the widow: she that is Josephine
Tascher Beauharnais; that shall be Josephine Empress Buonaparte, for a
black Divineress of the Tropics prophesied long since that she should be a
Queen and more. Likewise, in the same hours, poor Adam Lux, nigh turned in
the head, who, according to Foster, 'has taken no food these three weeks,'
marches to the Guillotine for his Pamphlet on Charlotte Corday: he 'sprang
to the scaffold;' said he 'died for her with great joy.'  Amid such fellow-
travellers does Philippe arrive. For, be the month named Brumaire year 2
of Liberty, or November year 1793 of Slavery, the Guillotine goes always,
Guillotine va toujours.

Enough, Philippe's indictment is soon drawn, his jury soon convinced. He
finds himself made guilty of Royalism, Conspiracy and much else; nay, it is
a guilt in him that he voted Louis's Death, though he answers, "I voted in
my soul and conscience."  The doom he finds is death forthwith; this
present sixth dim day of November is the last day that Philippe is to see.
Philippe, says Montgaillard, thereupon called for breakfast: sufficiency
of 'oysters, two cutlets, best part of an excellent bottle of claret;' and
consumed the same with apparent relish. A Revolutionary Judge, or some
official Convention Emissary, then arrived, to signify that he might still
do the State some service by revealing the truth about a plot or two.
Philippe answered that, on him, in the pass things had come to, the State
had, he thought, small claim; that nevertheless, in the interest of
Liberty, he, having still some leisure on his hands, was willing, were a
reasonable question asked him, to give reasonable answer. And so, says
Montgaillard, he lent his elbow on the mantel-piece, and conversed in an
under-tone, with great seeming composure; till the leisure was done, or the
Emissary went his ways.

At the door of the Conciergerie, Philippe's attitude was erect and easy,
almost commanding. It is five years, all but a few days, since Philippe,
within these same stone walls, stood up with an air of graciosity, and
asked King Louis, "Whether it was a Royal Session, then, or a Bed of
Justice?"  O Heaven!--Three poor blackguards were to ride and die with him:
some say, they objected to such company, and had to be flung in, neck and
heels; (Foster, ii. 628; Montgaillard, iv. 141-57.) but it seems not true.
Objecting or not objecting, the gallows-vehicle gets under way. Philippe's
dress is remarked for its elegance; greenfrock, waistcoat of white pique,
yellow buckskins, boots clear as Warren: his air, as before, entirely
composed, impassive, not to say easy and Brummellean-polite. Through
street after street; slowly, amid execrations;--past the Palais Egalite
whilom Palais-Royal! The cruel Populace stopped him there, some minutes:
Dame de Buffon, it is said, looked out on him, in Jezebel head-tire; along
the ashlar Wall, there ran these words in huge tricolor print, REPUBLIC ONE
Property. Philippe's eyes flashed hellfire, one instant; but the next
instant it was gone, and he sat impassive, Brummellean-polite. On the
scaffold, Samson was for drawing of his boots: "tush," said Philippe,
"they will come better off after; let us have done, depechons-nous!"

So Philippe was not without virtue, then? God forbid that there should be
any living man without it! He had the virtue to keep living for five-and-
forty years;--other virtues perhaps more than we know of. Probably no
mortal ever had such things recorded of him: such facts, and also such
lies. For he was a Jacobin Prince of the Blood; consider what a
combination! Also, unlike any Nero, any Borgia, he lived in the Age of
Pamphlets. Enough for us: Chaos has reabsorbed him; may it late or never
bear his like again!--Brave young Orleans Egalite, deprived of all, only
not deprived of himself, is gone to Coire in the Grisons, under the name of
Corby, to teach Mathematics. The Egalite Family is at the darkest depths
of the Nadir.

A far nobler Victim follows; one who will claim remembrance from several
centuries: Jeanne-Marie Phlipon, the Wife of Roland. Queenly, sublime in
her uncomplaining sorrow, seemed she to Riouffe in her Prison. 'Something
more than is usually found in the looks of women painted itself,' says
Riouffe, (Memoires (Sur les Prisons, i.), pp. 55-7.) 'in those large black
eyes of hers, full of expression and sweetness. She spoke to me often, at
the Grate: we were all attentive round her, in a sort of admiration and
astonishment; she expressed herself with a purity, with a harmony and
prosody that made her language like music, of which the ear could never
have enough. Her conversation was serious, not cold; coming from the mouth
of a beautiful woman, it was frank and courageous as that of a great men.'  
'And yet her maid said: "Before you, she collects her strength; but in her
own room, she will sit three hours sometimes, leaning on the window, and
weeping."'  She had been in Prison, liberated once, but recaptured the same
hour, ever since the first of June: in agitation and uncertainty; which
has gradually settled down into the last stern certainty, that of death.
In the Abbaye Prison, she occupied Charlotte Corday's apartment. Here in
the Conciergerie, she speaks with Riouffe, with Ex-Minister Claviere; calls
the beheaded Twenty-two "Nos amis, our Friends,"--whom we are soon to
follow. During these five months, those Memoirs of hers were written,
which all the world still reads.

But now, on the 8th of November, 'clad in white,' says Riouffe, 'with her
long black hair hanging down to her girdle,' she is gone to the Judgment
Bar. She returned with a quick step; lifted her finger, to signify to us
that she was doomed: her eyes seemed to have been wet. Fouquier-
Tinville's questions had been 'brutal;' offended female honour flung them
back on him, with scorn, not without tears. And now, short preparation
soon done, she shall go her last road. There went with her a certain
Lamarche, 'Director of Assignat printing;' whose dejection she endeavoured
to cheer. Arrived at the foot of the scaffold, she asked for pen and
paper, "to write the strange thoughts that were rising in her;" (Memoires
de Madame Roland (Introd.), i. 68.) a remarkable request; which was
refused. Looking at the Statue of Liberty which stands there, she says
bitterly: "O Liberty, what things are done in thy name!"  For Lamarche's
seek, she will die first; shew him how easy it is to die: "Contrary to the
order" said Samson.--"Pshaw, you cannot refuse the last request of a Lady;"
and Samson yielded.

Noble white Vision, with its high queenly face, its soft proud eyes, long
black hair flowing down to the girdle; and as brave a heart as ever beat in
woman's bosom! Like a white Grecian Statue, serenely complete, she shines
in that black wreck of things;--long memorable. Honour to great Nature
who, in Paris City, in the Era of Noble-Sentiment and Pompadourism, can
make a Jeanne Phlipon, and nourish her to clear perennial Womanhood, though
but on Logics, Encyclopedies, and the Gospel according to Jean-Jacques!
Biography will long remember that trait of asking for a pen "to write the
strange thoughts that were rising in her."  It is as a little light-beam,
shedding softness, and a kind of sacredness, over all that preceded: so in
her too there was an Unnameable; she too was a Daughter of the Infinite;
there were mysteries which Philosophism had not dreamt of!--She left long
written counsels to her little Girl; she said her Husband would not survive

Still crueller was the fate of poor Bailly, First National President, First
Mayor of Paris: doomed now for Royalism, Fayettism; for that Red-Flag
Business of the Champ-de-Mars;--one may say in general, for leaving his
Astronomy to meddle with Revolution. It is the 10th of November 1793, a
cold bitter drizzling rain, as poor Bailly is led through the streets;
howling Populace covering him with curses, with mud; waving over his face a
burning or smoking mockery of a Red Flag. Silent, unpitied, sits the
innocent old man. Slow faring through the sleety drizzle, they have got to
the Champ-de-Mars: Not there! vociferates the cursing Populace; Such blood
ought not to stain an Altar of the Fatherland; not there; but on that
dungheap by the River-side! So vociferates the cursing Populace;
Officiality gives ear to them. The Guillotine is taken down, though with
hands numbed by the sleety drizzle; is carried to the River-side, is there
set up again, with slow numbness; pulse after pulse still counting itself
out in the old man's weary heart. For hours long; amid curses and bitter
frost-rain! "Bailly, thou tremblest," said one. "Mon ami, it is for
cold," said Bailly, "c'est de froid."  Crueller end had no mortal. (Vie de
Bailly (in Memoires, i.), p. 29.)

Some days afterwards, Roland hearing the news of what happened on the 8th,
embraces his kind Friends at Rouen, leaves their kind house which had given
him refuge; goes forth, with farewell too sad for tears. On the morrow
morning, 16th of the month, 'some four leagues from Rouen, Paris-ward, near
Bourg-Baudoin, in M. Normand's Avenue,' there is seen sitting leant against
a tree, the figure of rigorous wrinkled man; stiff now in the rigour of
death; a cane-sword run through his heart; and at his feet this writing:
'Whoever thou art that findest me lying, respect my remains: they are
those of a man who consecrated all his life to being useful; and who has
died as he lived, virtuous and honest.'  'Not fear, but indignation, made
me quit my retreat, on learning that my Wife had been murdered. I wished
not to remain longer on an Earth polluted with crimes.'  (Memoires de
Madame Roland (Introd.), i. 88.)

Barnave's appearance at the Revolutionary Tribunal was of the bravest; but
it could not stead him. They have sent for him from Grenoble; to pay the
common smart, Vain is eloquence, forensic or other, against the dumb
Clotho-shears of Tinville. He is still but two-and-thirty, this Barnave,
and has known such changes. Short while ago, we saw him at the top of
Fortune's Wheel, his word a law to all Patriots: and now surely he is at
the bottom of the Wheel; in stormful altercation with a Tinville Tribunal,
which is dooming him to die! (Foster, ii. 629.)  And Petion, once also of
the Extreme Left, and named Petion Virtue, where is he? Civilly dead; in
the Caves of Saint-Emilion; to be devoured of dogs. And Robespierre, who
rode along with him on the shoulders of the people, is in Committee of
Salut; civilly alive: not to live always. So giddy-swift whirls and spins
this immeasurable tormentum of a Revolution; wild-booming; not to be
followed by the eye. Barnave, on the Scaffold, stamped his foot; and
looking upwards was heard to ejaculate, "This then is my reward?"

Deputy Ex-Procureur Manuel is already gone; and Deputy Osselin, famed also
in August and September, is about to go: and Rabaut, discovered
treacherously between his two walls, and the Brother of Rabaut. National
Deputies not a few! And Generals: the memory of General Custine cannot be
defended by his Son; his Son is already guillotined. Custine the Ex-Noble
was replaced by Houchard the Plebeian: he too could not prosper in the
North; for him too there was no mercy; he has perished in the Place de la
Revolution, after attempting suicide in Prison. And Generals Biron,
Beauharnais, Brunet, whatsoever General prospers not; tough old Luckner,
with his eyes grown rheumy; Alsatian Westermann, valiant and diligent in La
Vendee: none of them can, as the Psalmist sings, his soul from death

How busy are the Revolutionary Committees; Sections with their Forty
Halfpence a-day! Arrestment on arrestment falls quick, continual; followed
by death. Ex-Minister Claviere has killed himself in Prison. Ex-Minister
Lebrun, seized in a hayloft, under the disguise of a working man, is
instantly conducted to death. (Moniteur, 11 Decembre, 30 Decembre, 1793;
Louvet, p. 287.)  Nay, withal, is it not what Barrere calls 'coining money
on the Place de la Revolution?'  For always the 'property of the guilty, if
property he have,' is confiscated. To avoid accidents, we even make a Law
that suicide shall not defraud us; that a criminal who kills himself does
not the less incur forfeiture of goods. Let the guilty tremble, therefore,
and the suspect, and the rich, and in a word all manner of culottic men!
Luxembourg Palace, once Monsieur's, has become a huge loathsome Prison;
Chantilly Palace too, once Conde's:--and their Landlords are at
Blankenberg, on the wrong side of the Rhine. In Paris are now some Twelve
Prisons; in France some Forty-four Thousand: thitherward, thick as brown
leaves in Autumn, rustle and travel the suspect; shaken down by
Revolutionary Committees, they are swept thitherward, as into their
storehouse,--to be consumed by Samson and Tinville. 'The Guillotine goes
not ill, ne va pas mal.'

Chapter 3.5.III.


The suspect may well tremble; but how much more the open rebels;--the
Girondin Cities of the South! Revolutionary Army is gone forth, under
Ronsin the Playwright; six thousand strong; in 'red nightcap, in tricolor
waistcoat, in black-shag trousers, black-shag spencer, with enormous
moustachioes, enormous sabre,--in carmagnole complete;' (See Louvet, p.
301.) and has portable guillotines. Representative Carrier has got to
Nantes, by the edge of blazing La Vendee, which Rossignol has literally set
on fire: Carrier will try what captives you make, what accomplices they
have, Royalist or Girondin: his guillotine goes always, va toujours; and
his wool-capped 'Company of Marat.'  Little children are guillotined, and
aged men. Swift as the machine is, it will not serve; the Headsman and all
his valets sink, worn down with work; declare that the human muscles can no
more. (Deux Amis, xii. 249-51.)  Whereupon you must try fusillading; to
which perhaps still frightfuller methods may succeed.

In Brest, to like purpose, rules Jean-Bon Saint-Andre; with an Army of Red
Nightcaps. In Bourdeaux rules Tallien, with his Isabeau and henchmen:
Guadets, Cussys, Salleses, may fall; the bloody Pike and Nightcap bearing
supreme sway; the Guillotine coining money. Bristly fox-haired Tallien,
once Able Editor, still young in years, is now become most gloomy, potent;
a Pluto on Earth, and has the keys of Tartarus. One remarks, however, that
a certain Senhorina Cabarus, or call her rather Senhora and wedded not yet
widowed Dame de Fontenai, brown beautiful woman, daughter of Cabarus the
Spanish merchant,--has softened the red bristly countenance; pleading for
herself and friends; and prevailing. The keys of Tartarus, or any kind of
power, are something to a woman; gloomy Pluto himself is not insensible to
love. Like a new Proserpine, she, by this red gloomy Dis, is gathered;
and, they say, softens his stone heart a little.

Maignet, at Orange in the South; Lebon, at Arras in the North, become
world's wonders. Jacobin Popular Tribunal, with its National
Representative, perhaps where Girondin Popular Tribunal had lately been,
rises here and rises there; wheresoever needed. Fouches, Maignets,
Barrases, Frerons scour the Southern Departments; like reapers, with their
guillotine-sickle. Many are the labourers, great is the harvest. By the
hundred and the thousand, men's lives are cropt; cast like brands into the

Marseilles is taken, and put under martial law: lo, at Marseilles, what
one besmutted red-bearded corn-ear is this which they cut;--one gross Man,
we mean, with copper-studded face; plenteous beard, or beard-stubble, of a
tile-colour? By Nemesis and the Fatal Sisters, it is Jourdan Coupe-tete!
Him they have clutched, in these martial-law districts; him too, with their
'national razor,' their rasoir national, they sternly shave away. Low now
is Jourdan the Headsman's own head;--low as Deshuttes's and Varigny's,
which he sent on pikes, in the Insurrection of Women! No more shall he, as
a copper Portent, be seen gyrating through the Cities of the South; no more
sit judging, with pipes and brandy, in the Ice-tower of Avignon. The all-
hiding Earth has received him, the bloated Tilebeard: may we never look
upon his like again!--Jourdan one names; the other Hundreds are not named.
Alas, they, like confused faggots, lie massed together for us; counted by
the cartload: and yet not an individual faggot-twig of them but had a Life
and History; and was cut, not without pangs as when a Kaiser dies!

Least of all cities can Lyons escape. Lyons, which we saw in dread
sunblaze, that Autumn night when the Powder-tower sprang aloft, was clearly
verging towards a sad end. Inevitable: what could desperate valour and
Precy do; Dubois-Crance, deaf as Destiny, stern as Doom, capturing their
'redouts of cotton-bags;' hemming them in, ever closer, with his Artillery-
lava? Never would that Ci-devant d'Autichamp arrive; never any help from
Blankenberg. The Lyons Jacobins were hidden in cellars; the Girondin
Municipality waxed pale, in famine, treason and red fire. Precy drew his
sword, and some Fifteen Hundred with him; sprang to saddle, to cut their
way to Switzerland. They cut fiercely; and were fiercely cut, and cut
down; not hundreds, hardly units of them ever saw Switzerland. (Deux Amis,
xi. 145.)  Lyons, on the 9th of October, surrenders at discretion; it is
become a devoted Town. Abbe Lamourette, now Bishop Lamourette, whilom
Legislator, he of the old Baiser-l'Amourette or Delilah-Kiss, is seized
here, is sent to Paris to be guillotined: 'he made the sign of the cross,'
they say when Tinville intimated his death-sentence to him; and died as an
eloquent Constitutional Bishop. But wo now to all Bishops, Priests,
Aristocrats and Federalists that are in Lyons! The manes of Chalier are to
be appeased; the Republic, maddened to the Sibylline pitch, has bared her
right arm. Behold! Representative Fouche, it is Fouche of Nantes, a name
to become well known; he with a Patriot company goes duly, in wondrous
Procession, to raise the corpse of Chalier. An Ass, housed in Priest's
cloak, with a mitre on its head, and trailing the Mass-Books, some say the
very Bible, at its tail, paces through Lyons streets; escorted by
multitudinous Patriotism, by clangour as of the Pit; towards the grave of
Martyr Chalier. The body is dug up and burnt: the ashes are collected in
an Urn; to be worshipped of Paris Patriotism. The Holy Books were part of
the funeral pile; their ashes are scattered to the wind. Amid cries of
"Vengeance! Vengeance!"--which, writes Fouche, shall be satisfied.
(Moniteur (du 17 Novembre 1793), &c.)

Lyons in fact is a Town to be abolished; not Lyons henceforth but 'Commune
Affranchie, Township Freed;' the very name of it shall perish. It is to be
razed, this once great City, if Jacobinism prophesy right; and a Pillar to
be erected on the ruins, with this Inscription, Lyons rebelled against the
Republic; Lyons is no more. Fouche, Couthon, Collot, Convention
Representatives succeed one another: there is work for the hangman; work
for the hammerman, not in building. The very Houses of Aristocrats, we
say, are doomed. Paralytic Couthon, borne in a chair, taps on the wall,
with emblematic mallet, saying, "La Loi te frappe, The Law strikes thee;"
masons, with wedge and crowbar, begin demolition. Crash of downfall, dim
ruin and dust-clouds fly in the winter wind. Had Lyons been of soft stuff,
it had all vanished in those weeks, and the Jacobin prophecy had been
fulfilled. But Towns are not built of soap-froth; Lyons Town is built of
stone. Lyons, though it rebelled against the Republic, is to this day.

Neither have the Lyons Girondins all one neck, that you could despatch it
at one swoop. Revolutionary Tribunal here, and Military Commission,
guillotining, fusillading, do what they can: the kennels of the Place des
Terreaux run red; mangled corpses roll down the Rhone. Collot d'Herbois,
they say, was once hissed on the Lyons stage: but with what sibilation, of
world-catcall or hoarse Tartarean Trumpet, will ye hiss him now, in this
his new character of Convention Representative,--not to be repeated! Two
hundred and nine men are marched forth over the River, to be shot in mass,
by musket and cannon, in the Promenade of the Brotteaux. It is the second
of such scenes; the first was of some Seventy. The corpses of the first
were flung into the Rhone, but the Rhone stranded some; so these now, of
the second lot, are to be buried on land. Their one long grave is dug;
they stand ranked, by the loose mould-ridge; the younger of them singing
the Marseillaise. Jacobin National Guards give fire; but have again to
give fire, and again; and to take the bayonet and the spade, for though the
doomed all fall, they do not all die;--and it becomes a butchery too
horrible for speech. So that the very Nationals, as they fire, turn away
their faces. Collot, snatching the musket from one such National, and
levelling it with unmoved countenance, says "It is thus a Republican ought
to fire."

This is the second Fusillade, and happily the last: it is found too
hideous; even inconvenient. They were Two hundred and nine marched out;
one escaped at the end of the Bridge: yet behold, when you count the
corpses, they are Two hundred and ten. Rede us this riddle, O Collot?
After long guessing, it is called to mind that two individuals, here in the
Brotteaux ground, did attempt to leave the rank, protesting with agony that
they were not condemned men, that they were Police Commissaries: which two
we repulsed, and disbelieved, and shot with the rest! (Deux Amis, xii.
251-62.)  Such is the vengeance of an enraged Republic. Surely this,
according to Barrere's phrase, is Justice 'under rough forms, sous des
formes acerbes.'  But the Republic, as Fouche says, must "march to Liberty
over corpses."  Or again as Barrere has it: "None but the dead do not come
back, Il n'y a que les morts qui ne reviennent pas."  Terror hovers far and
wide: 'The Guillotine goes not ill.'

But before quitting those Southern regions, over which History can cast
only glances from aloft, she will alight for a moment, and look fixedly at
one point: the Siege of Toulon. Much battering and bombarding, heating of
balls in furnaces or farm-houses, serving of artillery well and ill,
attacking of Ollioules Passes, Forts Malbosquet, there has been: as yet to
small purpose. We have had General Cartaux here, a whilom Painter elevated
in the troubles of Marseilles; General Doppet, a whilom Medical man
elevated in the troubles of Piemont, who, under Crance, took Lyons, but
cannot take Toulon. Finally we have General Dugommier, a pupil of
Washington. Convention Representans also we have had; Barrases,
Salicettis, Robespierres the Younger:--also an Artillery Chef de brigade,
of extreme diligence, who often takes his nap of sleep among the guns; a
short taciturn, olive-complexioned young man, not unknown to us, by name
Buonaparte: one of the best Artillery-officers yet met with. And still
Toulon is not taken. It is the fourth month now; December, in slave-style;
Frostarious or Frimaire, in new-style: and still their cursed Red-Blue
Flag flies there. They are provisioned from the Sea; they have seized all
heights, felling wood, and fortifying themselves; like the coney, they have
built their nest in the rocks.

Meanwhile, Frostarious is not yet become Snowous or Nivose, when a Council
of War is called; Instructions have just arrived from Government and Salut
Public. Carnot, in Salut Public, has sent us a plan of siege: on which
plan General Dugommier has this criticism to make, Commissioner Salicetti
has that; and criticisms and plans are very various; when that young
Artillery Officer ventures to speak; the same whom we saw snatching sleep
among the guns, who has emerged several times in this History,--the name of
him Napoleon Buonaparte. It is his humble opinion, for he has been gliding
about with spy-glasses, with thoughts, That a certain Fort l'Eguillette can
be clutched, as with lion-spring, on the sudden; wherefrom, were it once
ours, the very heart of Toulon might be battered, the English Lines were,
so to speak, turned inside out, and Hood and our Natural Enemies must next
day either put to sea, or be burnt to ashes. Commissioners arch their
eyebrows, with negatory sniff: who is this young gentleman with more wit
than we all? Brave veteran Dugommier, however, thinks the idea worth a
word; questions the young gentleman; becomes convinced; and there is for
issue, Try it.

On the taciturn bronze-countenance, therefore, things being now all ready,
there sits a grimmer gravity than ever, compressing a hotter central-fire
than ever. Yonder, thou seest, is Fort l'Eguillette; a desperate lion-
spring, yet a possible one; this day to be tried!--Tried it is; and found
good. By stratagem and valour, stealing through ravines, plunging fiery
through the fire-tempest, Fort l'Eguillette is clutched at, is carried; the
smoke having cleared, wiser the Tricolor fly on it: the bronze-
complexioned young man was right. Next morning, Hood, finding the interior
of his lines exposed, his defences turned inside out, makes for his
shipping. Taking such Royalists as wished it on board with him, he weighs
anchor: on this 19th of December 1793, Toulon is once more the Republic's!

Cannonading has ceased at Toulon; and now the guillotining and fusillading
may begin. Civil horrors, truly: but at least that infamy of an English
domination is purged away. Let there be Civic Feast universally over
France: so reports Barrere, or Painter David; and the Convention assist in
a body. (Moniteur, 1793, Nos. 101 (31 Decembre), 95, 96, 98, &c.)  Nay, it
is said, these infamous English (with an attention rather to their own
interests than to ours) set fire to our store-houses, arsenals, warships in
Toulon Harbour, before weighing; some score of brave warships, the only
ones we now had! However, it did not prosper, though the flame spread far
and high; some two ships were burnt, not more; the very galley-slaves ran
with buckets to quench. These same proud Ships, Ships l'Orient and the
rest, have to carry this same young Man to Egypt first: not yet can they
be changed to ashes, or to Sea-Nymphs; not yet to sky-rockets, O Ship
l'Orient, nor became the prey of England,--before their time!

And so, over France universally, there is Civic Feast and high-tide: and
Toulon sees fusillading, grape-shotting in mass, as Lyons saw; and 'death
is poured out in great floods, vomie a grands flots' and Twelve thousand
Masons are requisitioned from the neighbouring country, to raze Toulon from
the face of the Earth. For it is to be razed, so reports Barrere; all but
the National Shipping Establishments; and to be called henceforth not
Toulon, but Port of the Mountain. There in black death-cloud we must leave
it;--hoping only that Toulon too is built of stone; that perhaps even
Twelve thousand Masons cannot pull it down, till the fit pass.

One begins to be sick of 'death vomited in great floods.'  Nevertheless
hearest thou not, O reader (for the sound reaches through centuries), in
the dead December and January nights, over Nantes Town,--confused noises,
as of musketry and tumult, as of rage and lamentation; mingling with the
everlasting moan of the Loire waters there? Nantes Town is sunk in sleep;
but Representant Carrier is not sleeping, the wool-capped Company of Marat
is not sleeping. Why unmoors that flatbottomed craft, that gabarre; about
eleven at night; with Ninety Priests under hatches? They are going to
Belle Isle? In the middle of the Loire stream, on signal given, the
gabarre is scuttled; she sinks with all her cargo. 'Sentence of
Deportation,' writes Carrier, 'was executed vertically.'  The Ninety
Priests, with their gabarre-coffin, lie deep! It is the first of the
Noyades, what we may call Drownages, of Carrier; which have become famous

Guillotining there was at Nantes, till the Headsman sank worn out: then
fusillading 'in the Plain of Saint-Mauve;' little children fusilladed, and
women with children at the breast; children and women, by the hundred and
twenty; and by the five hundred, so hot is La Vendee: till the very
Jacobins grew sick, and all but the Company of Marat cried, Hold!
Wherefore now we have got Noyading; and on the 24th night of Frostarious
year 2, which is 14th of December 1793, we have a second Noyade:
consisting of 'a Hundred and Thirty-eight persons.'  (Deux Amis, xii. 266-
72; Moniteur, du 2 Janvier 1794.)

Or why waste a gabarre, sinking it with them? Fling them out; fling them
out, with their hands tied: pour a continual hail of lead over all the
space, till the last struggler of them be sunk! Unsound sleepers of
Nantes, and the Sea-Villages thereabouts, hear the musketry amid the night-
winds; wonder what the meaning of it is. And women were in that gabarre;
whom the Red Nightcaps were stripping naked; who begged, in their agony,
that their smocks might not be stript from them. And young children were
thrown in, their mothers vainly pleading: "Wolflings," answered the
Company of Marat, "who would grow to be wolves."

By degrees, daylight itself witnesses Noyades: women and men are tied
together, feet and feet, hands and hands: and flung in: this they call
Mariage Republicain, Republican Marriage. Cruel is the panther of the
woods, the she-bear bereaved of her whelps: but there is in man a hatred
crueller than that. Dumb, out of suffering now, as pale swoln corpses, the
victims tumble confusedly seaward along the Loire stream; the tide rolling
them back: clouds of ravens darken the River; wolves prowl on the shoal-
places: Carrier writes, 'Quel torrent revolutionnaire, What a torrent of
Revolution!'  For the man is rabid; and the Time is rabid. These are the
Noyades of Carrier; twenty-five by the tale, for what is done in darkness
comes to be investigated in sunlight: (Proces de Carrier (4 tomes, Paris,
1795.)  not to be forgotten for centuries,--We will turn to another aspect
of the Consummation of Sansculottism; leaving this as the blackest.

But indeed men are all rabid; as the Time is. Representative Lebon, at
Arras, dashes his sword into the blood flowing from the Guillotine;
exclaims, "How I like it!"  Mothers, they say, by his order, have to stand
by while the Guillotine devours their children: a band of music is
stationed near; and, at the fall of every head, strikes up its ca-ira.
(Les Horreures des Prisons d'Arras (Paris, 1823).)  In the Burgh of
Bedouin, in the Orange region, the Liberty-tree has been cut down over
night. Representative Maignet, at Orange, hears of it; burns Bedouin Burgh
to the last dog-hutch; guillotines the inhabitants, or drives them into the
caves and hills. (Montgaillard, iv. 200.)  Republic One and Indivisible!
She is the newest Birth of Nature's waste inorganic Deep, which men name
Orcus, Chaos, primeval Night; and knows one law, that of self-preservation.
Tigresse Nationale: meddle not with a whisker of her! Swift-crushing is
her stroke; look what a paw she spreads;--pity has not entered her heart.

Prudhomme, the dull-blustering Printer and Able Editor, as yet a Jacobin
Editor, will become a renegade one, and publish large volumes on these
matters, Crimes of the Revolution; adding innumerable lies withal, as if
the truth were not sufficient. We, for our part, find it more edifying to
know, one good time, that this Republic and National Tigress is a New
Birth; a Fact of Nature among Formulas, in an Age of Formulas; and to look,
oftenest in silence, how the so genuine Nature-Fact will demean itself
among these. For the Formulas are partly genuine, partly delusive,
supposititious: we call them, in the language of metaphor, regulated
modelled shapes; some of which have bodies and life still in them; most of
which, according to a German Writer, have only emptiness, 'glass-eyes
glaring on you with a ghastly affectation of life, and in their interior
unclean accumulation of beetles and spiders!'  But the Fact, let all men
observe, is a genuine and sincere one; the sincerest of Facts: terrible in
its sincerity, as very Death. Whatsoever is equally sincere may front it,
and beard it; but whatsoever is not?--

Chapter 3.5.IV.

Carmagnole complete.

Simultaneously with this Tophet-black aspect, there unfolds itself another
aspect, which one may call a Tophet-red aspect: the Destruction of the
Catholic Religion; and indeed, for the time being of Religion itself. We
saw Romme's New Calendar establish its Tenth Day of Rest; and asked, what
would become of the Christian Sabbath? The Calendar is hardly a month old,
till all this is set at rest. Very singular, as Mercier observes: last
Corpus-Christi Day 1792, the whole world, and Sovereign Authority itself,
walked in religious gala, with a quite devout air;--Butcher Legendre,
supposed to be irreverent, was like to be massacred in his Gig, as the
thing went by. A Gallican Hierarchy, and Church, and Church Formulas
seemed to flourish, a little brown-leaved or so, but not browner than of
late years or decades; to flourish, far and wide, in the sympathies of an
unsophisticated People; defying Philosophism, Legislature and the
Encyclopedie. Far and wide, alas, like a brown-leaved Vallombrosa; which
waits but one whirlblast of the November wind, and in an hour stands bare!
Since that Corpus-Christi Day, Brunswick has come, and the Emigrants, and
La Vendee, and eighteen months of Time: to all flourishing, especially to
brown-leaved flourishing, there comes, were it never so slowly, an end.

On the 7th of November, a certain Citoyen Parens, Curate of Boissise-le-
Bertrand, writes to the Convention that he has all his life been preaching
a lie, and is grown weary of doing it; wherefore he will now lay down his
Curacy and stipend, and begs that an august Convention would give him
something else to live upon. 'Mention honorable,' shall we give him? Or
'reference to Committee of Finances?'  Hardly is this got decided, when
goose Gobel, Constitutional Bishop of Paris, with his Chapter, with
Municipal and Departmental escort in red nightcaps, makes his appearance,
to do as Parens has done. Goose Gobel will now acknowledge 'no Religion
but Liberty;' therefore he doffs his Priest-gear, and receives the
Fraternal embrace. To the joy of Departmental Momoro, of Municipal
Chaumettes and Heberts, of Vincent and the Revolutionary Army! Chaumette
asks, Ought there not, in these circumstances, to be among our intercalary
Days Sans-breeches, a Feast of Reason? (Moniteur, Seance du 17 Brumaire
(7th November), 1793.)  Proper surely! Let Atheist Marechal, Lalande, and
little Atheist Naigeon rejoice; let Clootz, Speaker of Mankind, present to
the Convention his Evidences of the Mahometan Religion, 'a work evincing
the nullity of all Religions,'--with thanks. There shall be Universal
Republic now, thinks Clootz; and 'one God only, Le Peuple.'

The French Nation is of gregarious imitative nature; it needed but a fugle-
motion in this matter; and goose Gobel, driven by Municipality and force of
circumstances, has given one. What Cure will be behind him of Boissise;
what Bishop behind him of Paris? Bishop Gregoire, indeed, courageously
declines; to the sound of "We force no one; let Gregoire consult his
conscience;" but Protestant and Romish by the hundred volunteer and assent.
From far and near, all through November into December, till the work is
accomplished, come Letters of renegation, come Curates who are 'learning to
be Carpenters,' Curates with their new-wedded Nuns: has not the Day of
Reason dawned, very swiftly, and become noon? From sequestered Townships
comes Addresses, stating plainly, though in Patois dialect, That 'they will
have no more to do with the black animal called Curay, animal noir, appelle
Curay.'  (Analyse du Moniteur (Paris, 1801), ii. 280.)

Above all things there come Patriotic Gifts, of Church-furniture. The
remnant of bells, except for tocsin, descend from their belfries, into the
National meltingpot, to make cannon. Censers and all sacred vessels are
beaten broad; of silver, they are fit for the poverty-stricken Mint; of
pewter, let them become bullets to shoot the 'enemies of du genre humain.'
Dalmatics of plush make breeches for him who has none; linen stoles will
clip into shirts for the Defenders of the Country: old-clothesmen, Jew or
Heathen, drive the briskest trade. Chalier's Ass Procession, at Lyons, was
but a type of what went on, in those same days, in all Towns. In all Towns
and Townships as quick as the guillotine may go, so quick goes the axe and
the wrench: sacristies, lutrins, altar-rails are pulled down; the Mass
Books torn into cartridge papers: men dance the Carmagnole all night about
the bonfire. All highways jingle with metallic Priest-tackle, beaten
broad; sent to the Convention, to the poverty-stricken Mint. Good Sainte
Genevieve's Chasse is let down: alas, to be burst open, this time, and
burnt on the Place de Greve. Saint Louis's shirt is burnt;--might not a
Defender of the Country have had it? At Saint-Denis Town, no longer Saint-
Denis but Franciade, Patriotism has been down among the Tombs, rummaging;
the Revolutionary Army has taken spoil. This, accordingly, is what the
streets of Paris saw:

'Most of these persons were still drunk, with the brandy they had swallowed
out of chalices;--eating mackerel on the patenas! Mounted on Asses, which
were housed with Priests' cloaks, they reined them with Priests' stoles:
they held clutched with the same hand communion-cup and sacred wafer. They
stopped at the doors of Dramshops; held out ciboriums: and the landlord,
stoop in hand, had to fill them thrice. Next came Mules high-laden with
crosses, chandeliers, censers, holy-water vessels, hyssops;--recalling to
mind the Priests of Cybele, whose panniers, filled with the instruments of
their worship, served at once as storehouse, sacristy and temple. In such
equipage did these profaners advance towards the Convention. They enter
there, in an immense train, ranged in two rows; all masked like mummers in
fantastic sacerdotal vestments; bearing on hand-barrows their heaped
plunder,--ciboriums, suns, candelabras, plates of gold and silver.'
(Mercier, iv. 134. See Moniteur, Seance du 10 Novembre.)

The Address we do not give; for indeed it was in strophes, sung viva voce,
with all the parts;--Danton glooming considerably, in his place; and
demanding that there be prose and decency in future. (See also Moniteur,
Seance du 26 Novembre.)  Nevertheless the captors of such spolia opima
crave, not untouched with liquor, permission to dance the Carmagnole also
on the spot: whereto an exhilarated Convention cannot but accede. Nay,
'several Members,' continues the exaggerative Mercier, who was not there to
witness, being in Limbo now, as one of Duperret's Seventy-three, 'several
Members, quitting their curule chairs, took the hand of girls flaunting in
Priest's vestures, and danced the Carmagnole along with them.'  Such Old-
Hallow-tide have they, in this year, once named of Grace, 1793.

Out of which strange fall of Formulas, tumbling there in confused welter,
betrampled by the Patriotic dance, is it not passing strange to see a new
Formula arise? For the human tongue is not adequate to speak what
'triviality run distracted' there is in human nature. Black Mumbo-Jumbo of
the woods, and most Indian Wau-waus, one can understand: but this of
Procureur Anaxagoras whilom John-Peter Chaumette? We will say only: Man
is a born idol-worshipper, sight-worshipper, so sensuous-imaginative is he;
and also partakes much of the nature of the ape.

For the same day, while this brave Carmagnole dance has hardly jigged
itself out, there arrive Procureur Chaumette and Municipals and
Departmentals, and with them the strangest freightage: a New Religion!
Demoiselle Candeille, of the Opera; a woman fair to look upon, when well
rouged: she, borne on palanquin shoulder-high; with red woolen nightcap;
in azure mantle; garlanded with oak; holding in her hand the Pike of the
Jupiter-Peuple, sails in; heralded by white young women girt in tricolor.
Let the world consider it! This, O National Convention wonder of the
universe, is our New Divinity; Goddess of Reason, worthy, and alone worthy
of revering. Nay, were it too much to ask of an august National
Representation that it also went with us to the ci-devant Cathedral called
of Notre-Dame, and executed a few strophes in worship of her?

President and Secretaries give Goddess Candeille, borne at due height round
their platform, successively the fraternal kiss; whereupon she, by decree,
sails to the right-hand of the President and there alights. And now, after
due pause and flourishes of oratory, the Convention, gathering its limbs,
does get under way in the required procession towards Notre-Dame;--Reason,
again in her litter, sitting in the van of them, borne, as one judges, by
men in the Roman costume; escorted by wind-music, red nightcaps, and the
madness of the world. And so straightway, Reason taking seat on the high-
altar of Notre-Dame, the requisite worship or quasi-worship is, say the
Newspapers, executed; National Convention chanting 'the Hymn to Liberty,
words by Chenier, music by Gossec.'  It is the first of the Feasts of
Reason; first communion-service of the New Religion of Chaumette.

'The corresponding Festival in the Church of Saint-Eustache,' says Mercier,
'offered the spectacle of a great tavern. The interior of the choir
represented a landscape decorated with cottages and boskets of trees.
Round the choir stood tables over-loaded with bottles, with sausages, pork-
puddings, pastries and other meats. The guests flowed in and out through
all doors: whosoever presented himself took part of the good things:
children of eight, girls as well as boys, put hand to plate, in sign of
Liberty; they drank also of the bottles, and their prompt intoxication
created laughter. Reason sat in azure mantle aloft, in a serene manner;
Cannoneers, pipe in mouth, serving her as acolytes. And out of doors,'
continues the exaggerative man, 'were mad multitudes dancing round the
bonfire of Chapel-balustrades, of Priests' and Canons' stalls; and the
dancers, I exaggerate nothing, the dancers nigh bare of breeches, neck and
breast naked, stockings down, went whirling and spinning, like those Dust-
vortexes, forerunners of Tempest and Destruction.'  (Mercier, iv. 127-146.)
At Saint-Gervais Church again there was a terrible 'smell of herrings;'
Section or Municipality having provided no food, no condiment, but left it
to chance. Other mysteries, seemingly of a Cabiric or even Paphian
character, we heave under the Veil, which appropriately stretches itself
'along the pillars of the aisles,'--not to be lifted aside by the hand of

But there is one thing we should like almost better to understand than any
other: what Reason herself thought of it, all the while. What articulate
words poor Mrs. Momoro, for example, uttered; when she had become
ungoddessed again, and the Bibliopolist and she sat quiet at home, at
supper? For he was an earnest man, Bookseller Momoro; and had notions of
Agrarian Law. Mrs. Momoro, it is admitted, made one of the best Goddesses
of Reason; though her teeth were a little defective. And now if the reader
will represent to himself that such visible Adoration of Reason went on
'all over the Republic,' through these November and December weeks, till
the Church woodwork was burnt out, and the business otherwise completed, he
will feel sufficiently what an adoring Republic it was, and without
reluctance quit this part of the subject.

Such gifts of Church-spoil are chiefly the work of the Armee
Revolutionnaire; raised, as we said, some time ago. It is an Army with
portable guillotine: commanded by Playwright Ronsin in terrible
moustachioes; and even by some uncertain shadow of Usher Maillard, the old
Bastille Hero, Leader of the Menads, September Man in Grey! Clerk Vincent
of the War-Office, one of Pache's old Clerks, 'with a head heated by the
ancient orators,' had a main hand in the appointments, at least in the

But of the marchings and retreatings of these Six Thousand no Xenophon
exists. Nothing, but an inarticulate hum, of cursing and sooty frenzy,
surviving dubious in the memory of ages! They scour the country round
Paris; seeking Prisoners; raising Requisitions; seeing that Edicts are
executed, that the Farmers have thrashed sufficiently; lowering Church-
bells or metallic Virgins. Detachments shoot forth dim, towards remote
parts of France; nay new Provincial Revolutionary Armies rise dim, here and
there, as Carrier's Company of Marat, as Tallien's Bourdeaux Troop; like
sympathetic clouds in an atmosphere all electric. Ronsin, they say,
admitted, in candid moments, that his troops were the elixir of the
Rascality of the Earth. One sees them drawn up in market-places; travel-
plashed, rough-bearded, in carmagnole complete: the first exploit is to
prostrate what Royal or Ecclesiastical monument, crucifix or the like,
there may be; to plant a cannon at the steeple, fetch down the bell without
climbing for it, bell and belfry together. This, however, it is said,
depends somewhat on the size of the town: if the town contains much
population, and these perhaps of a dubious choleric aspect, the
Revolutionary Army will do its work gently, by ladder and wrench; nay
perhaps will take its billet without work at all; and, refreshing itself
with a little liquor and sleep, pass on to the next stage. (Deux Amis,
xii. 62-5.)  Pipe in cheek, sabre on thigh; in carmagnole complete!

Such things have been; and may again be. Charles Second sent out his
Highland Host over the Western Scotch Whigs; Jamaica Planters got Dogs from
the Spanish Main to hunt their Maroons with: France too is bescoured with
a Devil's Pack, the baying of which, at this distance of half a century,
still sounds in the mind's ear.

Chapter 3.5.V.

Like a Thunder-Cloud.

But the grand, and indeed substantially primary and generic aspect of the
Consummation of Terror remains still to be looked at; nay blinkard History
has for most part all but overlooked this aspect, the soul of the whole:
that which makes it terrible to the Enemies of France. Let Despotism and
Cimmerian Coalitions consider. All French men and French things are in a
State of Requisition; Fourteen Armies are got on foot; Patriotism, with all
that it has of faculty in heart or in head, in soul or body or breeches-
pocket, is rushing to the frontiers, to prevail or die! Busy sits Carnot,
in Salut Public; busy for his share, in 'organising victory.'  Not swifter
pulses that Guillotine, in dread systole-diastole in the Place de la
Revolution, than smites the Sword of Patriotism, smiting Cimmeria back to
its own borders, from the sacred soil.

In fact the Government is what we can call Revolutionary; and some men are
'a la hauteur,' on a level with the circumstances; and others are not a la
hauteur,--so much the worse for them. But the Anarchy, we may say, has
organised itself: Society is literally overset; its old forces working
with mad activity, but in the inverse order; destructive and self-

Curious to see how all still refers itself to some head and fountain; not
even an Anarchy but must have a centre to revolve round. It is now some
six months since the Committee of Salut Public came into existence: some
three months since Danton proposed that all power should be given it and 'a
sum of fifty millions,' and the 'Government be declared Revolutionary.'  He
himself, since that day, would take no hand in it, though again and again
solicited; but sits private in his place on the Mountain. Since that day,
the Nine, or if they should even rise to Twelve have become permanent,
always re-elected when their term runs out; Salut Public, Surete Generale
have assumed their ulterior form and mode of operating.

Committee of Public Salvation, as supreme; of General Surety, as subaltern:
these like a Lesser and Greater Council, most harmonious hitherto, have
become the centre of all things. They ride this Whirlwind; they, raised by
force of circumstances, insensibly, very strangely, thither to that dread
height;--and guide it, and seem to guide it. Stranger set of Cloud-
Compellers the Earth never saw. A Robespierre, a Billaud, a Collot,
Couthon, Saint-Just; not to mention still meaner Amars, Vadiers, in Surete
Generale: these are your Cloud-Compellers. Small intellectual talent is
necessary: indeed where among them, except in the head of Carnot, busied
organising victory, would you find any? The talent is one of instinct
rather. It is that of divining aright what this great dumb Whirlwind
wishes and wills; that of willing, with more frenzy than any one, what all
the world wills. To stand at no obstacles; to heed no considerations human
or divine; to know well that, of divine or human, there is one thing
needful, Triumph of the Republic, Destruction of the Enemies of the
Republic! With this one spiritual endowment, and so few others, it is
strange to see how a dumb inarticulately storming Whirlwind of things puts,
as it were, its reins into your hand, and invites and compels you to be
leader of it.

Hard by, sits a Municipality of Paris; all in red nightcaps since the
fourth of November last: a set of men fully 'on a level with
circumstances,' or even beyond it. Sleek Mayor Pache, studious to be safe
in the middle; Chaumettes, Heberts, Varlets, and Henriot their great
Commandant; not to speak of Vincent the War-clerk, of Momoros, Dobsents,
and such like: all intent to have Churches plundered, to have Reason
adored, Suspects cut down, and the Revolution triumph. Perhaps carrying
the matter too far? Danton was heard to grumble at the civic strophes; and
to recommend prose and decency. Robespierre also grumbles that in
overturning Superstition we did not mean to make a religion of Atheism. In
fact, your Chaumette and Company constitute a kind of Hyper-Jacobinism, or
rabid 'Faction des Enrages;' which has given orthodox Patriotism some
umbrage, of late months. To 'know a Suspect on the streets:'  what is this
but bringing the Law of the Suspect itself into ill odour? Men half-
frantic, men zealous overmuch,--they toil there, in their red nightcaps,
restlessly, rapidly, accomplishing what of Life is allotted them.

And the Forty-four Thousand other Townships, each with revolutionary
Committee, based on Jacobin Daughter Society; enlightened by the spirit of
Jacobinism; quickened by the Forty Sous a-day!--The French Constitution
spurned always at any thing like Two Chambers; and yet behold, has it not
verily got Two Chambers? National Convention, elected for one; Mother of
Patriotism, self-elected, for another! Mother of Patriotism has her
Debates reported in the Moniteur, as important state-procedures; which
indisputably they are. A Second Chamber of Legislature we call this Mother
Society;--if perhaps it were not rather comparable to that old Scotch Body
named Lords of the Articles, without whose origination, and signal given,
the so-called Parliament could introduce no bill, could do no work?
Robespierre himself, whose words are a law, opens his incorruptible lips
copiously in the Jacobins Hall. Smaller Council of Salut Public, Greater
Council of Surete Generale, all active Parties, come here to plead; to
shape beforehand what decision they must arrive at, what destiny they have
to expect. Now if a question arose, Which of those Two Chambers,
Convention, or Lords of the Articles, was the stronger? Happily they as
yet go hand in hand.

As for the National Convention, truly it has become a most composed Body.
Quenched now the old effervescence; the Seventy-three locked in ward; once
noisy Friends of the Girondins sunk all into silent men of the Plain,
called even 'Frogs of the Marsh,' Crapauds du Marais! Addresses come,
Revolutionary Church-plunder comes; Deputations, with prose, or strophes:
these the Convention receives. But beyond this, the Convention has one
thing mainly to do: to listen what Salut Public proposes, and say, Yea.

Bazire followed by Chabot, with some impetuosity, declared, one morning,
that this was not the way of a Free Assembly. "There ought to be an
Opposition side, a Cote Droit," cried Chabot; "if none else will form it, I
will: people say to me, You will all get guillotined in your turn, first
you and Bazire, then Danton, then Robespierre himself."  (Debats, du 10
Novembre, 1723.)  So spake the Disfrocked, with a loud voice: next week,
Bazire and he lie in the Abbaye; wending, one may fear, towards Tinville
and the Axe; and 'people say to me'--what seems to be proving true!
Bazire's blood was all inflamed with Revolution fever; with coffee and
spasmodic dreams. (Dictionnaire des Hommes Marquans, i. 115.)  Chabot,
again, how happy with his rich Jew-Austrian wife, late Fraulein Frey! But
he lies in Prison; and his two Jew-Austrian Brothers-in-Law, the Bankers
Frey, lie with him; waiting the urn of doom. Let a National Convention,
therefore, take warning, and know its function. Let the Convention, all as
one man, set its shoulder to the work; not with bursts of Parliamentary
eloquence, but in quite other and serviceable ways!

Convention Commissioners, what we ought to call Representatives,
'Representans on mission,' fly, like the Herald Mercury, to all points of
the Territory; carrying your behests far and wide. In their 'round hat
plumed with tricolor feathers, girt with flowing tricolor taffeta; in close
frock, tricolor sash, sword and jack-boots,' these men are powerfuller than
King or Kaiser. They say to whomso they meet, Do; and he must do it: all
men's goods are at their disposal; for France is as one huge City in Siege.
They smite with Requisitions, and Forced-loan; they have the power of life
and death. Saint-Just and Lebas order the rich classes of Strasburg to
'strip off their shoes,' and send them to the Armies where as many as 'ten
thousand pairs' are needed. Also, that within four and twenty hours, 'a
thousand beds' are to be got ready; (Moniteur, du 27 Novembre 1793.) wrapt
in matting, and sent under way. For the time presses!--Like swift bolts,
issuing from the fuliginous Olympus of Salut Public rush these men,
oftenest in pairs; scatter your thunder-orders over France; make France one
enormous Revolutionary thunder-cloud.

Chapter 3.5.VI.

Do thy Duty.

Accordingly alongside of these bonfires of Church balustrades, and sounds
of fusillading and noyading, there rise quite another sort of fires and
sounds: Smithy-fires and Proof-volleys for the manufacture of arms.

Cut off from Sweden and the world, the Republic must learn to make steel
for itself; and, by aid of Chemists, she has learnt it. Towns that knew
only iron, now know steel: from their new dungeons at Chantilly,
Aristocrats may hear the rustle of our new steel furnace there. Do not
bells transmute themselves into cannon; iron stancheons into the white-
weapon (arme blanche), by sword-cutlery? The wheels of Langres scream,
amid their sputtering fire halo; grinding mere swords. The stithies of
Charleville ring with gun-making. What say we, Charleville? Two hundred
and fifty-eight Forges stand in the open spaces of Paris itself; a hundred
and forty of them in the Esplanade of the Invalides, fifty-four in the
Luxembourg Garden: so many Forges stand; grim Smiths beating and forging
at lock and barrel there. The Clockmakers have come, requisitioned, to do
the touch-holes, the hard-solder and filework. Five great Barges swing at
anchor on the Seine Stream, loud with boring; the great press-drills
grating harsh thunder to the general ear and heart. And deft Stock-makers
do gouge and rasp; and all men bestir themselves, according to their
cunning:--in the language of hope, it is reckoned that a 'thousand finished
muskets can be delivered daily.'  (Choix des Rapports, xiii. 189.)
Chemists of the Republic have taught us miracles of swift tanning; (Ibid.
xv. 360.) the cordwainer bores and stitches;--not of 'wood and pasteboard,'
or he shall answer it to Tinville! The women sew tents and coats, the
children scrape surgeon's-lint, the old men sit in the market-places; able
men are on march; all men in requisition: from Town to Town flutters, on
the Heaven's winds, this Banner, THE FRENCH PEOPLE RISEN AGAINST TYRANTS.

All which is well. But now arises the question: What is to be done for
saltpetre? Interrupted Commerce and the English Navy shut us out from
saltpetre; and without saltpetre there is no gunpowder. Republican Science
again sits meditative; discovers that saltpetre exists here and there,
though in attenuated quantity: that old plaster of walls holds a
sprinkling of it;--that the earth of the Paris Cellars holds a sprinkling
of it, diffused through the common rubbish; that were these dug up and
washed, saltpetre might be had. Whereupon swiftly, see! the Citoyens, with
upshoved bonnet rouge, or with doffed bonnet, and hair toil-wetted; digging
fiercely, each in his own cellar, for saltpetre. The Earth-heap rises at
every door; the Citoyennes with hod and bucket carrying it up; the
Citoyens, pith in every muscle, shovelling and digging: for life and
saltpetre. Dig my braves; and right well speed ye. What of saltpetre is
essential the Republic shall not want.

Consummation of Sansculottism has many aspects and tints: but the
brightest tint, really of a solar or stellar brightness, is this which the
Armies give it. That same fervour of Jacobinism which internally fills
France with hatred, suspicions, scaffolds and Reason-worship, does, on the
Frontiers, shew itself as a glorious Pro patria mori. Ever since
Dumouriez's defection, three Convention Representatives attend every
General. Committee of Salut has sent them, often with this Laconic order
only: "Do thy duty, Fais ton devoir."  It is strange, under what
impediments the fire of Jacobinism, like other such fires, will burn.
These Soldiers have shoes of wood and pasteboard, or go booted in hayropes,
in dead of winter; they skewer a bass mat round their shoulders, and are
destitute of most things. What then? It is for Rights of Frenchhood, of
Manhood, that they fight: the unquenchable spirit, here as elsewhere,
works miracles. "With steel and bread," says the Convention
Representative, "one may get to China."  The Generals go fast to the
guillotine; justly and unjustly. From which what inference? This among
others: That ill-success is death; that in victory alone is life! To
conquer or die is no theatrical palabra, in these circumstances: but a
practical truth and necessity. All Girondism, Halfness, Compromise is
swept away. Forward, ye Soldiers of the Republic, captain and man! Dash
with your Gaelic impetuosity, on Austria, England, Prussia, Spain,
Sardinia; Pitt, Cobourg, York, and the Devil and the World! Behind us is
but the Guillotine; before us is Victory, Apotheosis and Millennium without

See accordingly, on all Frontiers, how the Sons of Night, astonished after
short triumph, do recoil;--the Sons of the Republic flying at them, with
wild ca-ira or Marseillese Aux armes, with the temper of cat-o'-mountain,
or demon incarnate; which no Son of Night can stand! Spain, which came
bursting through the Pyrenees, rustling with Bourbon banners, and went
conquering here and there for a season, falters at such cat-o'-mountain
welcome; draws itself in again; too happy now were the Pyrenees impassable.
Not only does Dugommier, conqueror of Toulon, drive Spain back; he invades
Spain. General Dugommier invades it by the Eastern Pyrenees; General
Dugommier invades it by the Eastern Pyrenees; General Muller shall invade
it by the Western. Shall, that is the word: Committee of Salut Public has
said it; Representative Cavaignac, on mission there, must see it done.
Impossible! cries Muller,--Infallible! answers Cavaignac. Difficulty,
impossibility, is to no purpose. "The Committee is deaf on that side of
its head," answers Cavaignac, "n'entend pas de cette oreille la. How many
wantest thou, of men, of horses, cannons? Thou shalt have them.
Conquerors, conquered or hanged, forward we must."  (There is, in
Prudhomme, an atrocity a la Captain-Kirk reported of this Cavaignac; which
has been copied into Dictionaries of Hommes Marquans, of Biographie
Universelle, &c.; which not only has no truth in it, but, much more
singular, is still capable of being proved to have none.)  Which things
also, even as the Representative spake them, were done. The Spring of the
new Year sees Spain invaded: and redoubts are carried, and Passes and
Heights of the most scarped description; Spanish Field-officerism struck
mute at such cat-o'-mountain spirit, the cannon forgetting to fire. (Deux
Amis, xiii. 205-30; Toulongeon, &c.)   Swept are the Pyrenees; Town after
Town flies up, burst by terror or the petard. In the course of another
year, Spain will crave Peace; acknowledge its sins and the Republic; nay,
in Madrid, there will be joy as for a victory, that even Peace is got.

Few things, we repeat, can be notabler than these Convention
Representatives, with their power more than kingly. Nay at bottom are they
not Kings, Ablemen, of a sort; chosen from the Seven Hundred and Forty-nine
French Kings; with this order, Do thy duty? Representative Levasseur, of
small stature, by trade a mere pacific Surgeon-Accoucheur, has mutinies to
quell; mad hosts (mad at the Doom of Custine) bellowing far and wide; he
alone amid them, the one small Representative,--small, but as hard as
flint, which also carries fire in it! So too, at Hondschooten, far in the
afternoon, he declares that the battle is not lost; that it must be gained;
and fights, himself, with his own obstetric hand;--horse shot under him, or
say on foot, 'up to the haunches in tide-water;' cutting stoccado and
passado there, in defiance of Water, Earth, Air and Fire, the choleric
little Representative that he was! Whereby, as natural, Royal Highness of
York had to withdraw,--occasionally at full gallop; like to be swallowed by
the tide: and his Siege of Dunkirk became a dream, realising only much
loss of beautiful siege-artillery and of brave lives. (Levasseur,
Memoires, ii. c. 2-7.)

General Houchard, it would appear, stood behind a hedge, on this
Hondschooten occasion; wherefore they have since guillotined him. A new
General Jourdan, late Serjeant Jourdan, commands in his stead: he, in
long-winded Battles of Watigny, 'murderous artillery-fire mingling itself
with sound of Revolutionary battle-hymns,' forces Austria behind the Sambre
again; has hopes of purging the soil of Liberty. With hard wrestling, with
artillerying and ca-ira-ing, it shall be done. In the course of a new
Summer, Valenciennes will see itself beleaguered; Conde beleaguered;
whatsoever is yet in the hands of Austria beleaguered and bombarded: nay,
by Convention Decree, we even summon them all 'either to surrender in
twenty-four hours, or else be put to the sword;'--a high saying, which,
though it remains unfulfilled, may shew what spirit one is of.

Representative Drouet, as an Old-Dragoon, could fight by a kind of second
nature; but he was unlucky. Him, in a night-foray at Maubeuge, the
Austrians took alive, in October last. They stript him almost naked, he
says; making a shew of him, as King-taker of Varennes. They flung him into
carts; sent him far into the interior of Cimmeria, to 'a Fortress called
Spitzberg' on the Danube River; and left him there, at an elevation of
perhaps a hundred and fifty feet, to his own bitter reflections.
Reflections; and also devices! For the indomitable Old-dragoon constructs
wing-machinery, of Paperkite; saws window-bars: determines to fly down.
He will seize a boat, will follow the River's course: land somewhere in
Crim Tartary, in the Black Sea or Constantinople region: a la Sindbad!
Authentic History, accordingly, looking far into Cimmeria, discerns dimly a
phenomenon. In the dead night-watches, the Spitzberg sentry is near
fainting with terror: Is it a huge vague Portent descending through the
night air? It is a huge National Representative Old-dragoon, descending by
Paperkite; too rapidly, alas! For Drouet had taken with him 'a small
provision-store, twenty pounds weight or thereby;' which proved
accelerative: so he fell, fracturing his leg; and lay there, moaning, till
day dawned, till you could discern clearly that he was not a Portent but a
Representative! (His narrative (in Deux Amis, xiv. 177-86).)

Or see Saint-Just, in the Lines of Weissembourg, though physically of a
timid apprehensive nature, how he charges with his 'Alsatian Peasants armed
hastily' for the nonce; the solemn face of him blazing into flame; his
black hair and tricolor hat-taffeta flowing in the breeze; These our Lines
of Weissembourg were indeed forced, and Prussia and the Emigrants rolled
through: but we re-force the Lines of Weissembourg; and Prussia and the
Emigrants roll back again still faster,--hurled with bayonet charges and
fiery ca-ira-ing.

Ci-devant Serjeant Pichegru, ci-devant Serjeant Hoche, risen now to be
Generals, have done wonders here. Tall Pichegru was meant for the Church;
was Teacher of Mathematics once, in Brienne School,--his remarkablest Pupil
there was the Boy Napoleon Buonaparte. He then, not in the sweetest
humour, enlisted exchanging ferula for musket; and had got the length of
the halberd, beyond which nothing could be hoped; when the Bastille
barriers falling made passage for him, and he is here. Hoche bore a hand
at the literal overturn of the Bastille; he was, as we saw, a Serjeant of
the Gardes Francaises, spending his pay in rushlights and cheap editions of
books. How the Mountains are burst, and many an Enceladus is
disemprisoned: and Captains founding on Four parchments of Nobility, are
blown with their parchments across the Rhine, into Lunar Limbo!

What high feats of arms, therefore, were done in these Fourteen Armies; and
how, for love of Liberty and hope of Promotion, low-born valour cut its
desperate way to Generalship; and, from the central Carnot in Salut Public
to the outmost drummer on the Frontiers, men strove for their Republic, let
readers fancy. The snows of Winter, the flowers of Summer continue to be
stained with warlike blood. Gaelic impetuosity mounts ever higher with
victory; spirit of Jacobinism weds itself to national vanity: the Soldiers
of the Republic are becoming, as we prophesied, very Sons of Fire.
Barefooted, barebacked: but with bread and iron you can get to China! It
is one Nation against the whole world; but the Nation has that within her
which the whole world will not conquer. Cimmeria, astonished, recoils
faster or slower; all round the Republic there rises fiery, as it were, a
magic ring of musket-volleying and ca-ira-ing. Majesty of Prussia, as
Majesty of Spain, will by and by acknowledge his sins and the Republic:
and make a Peace of Bale.

Foreign Commerce, Colonies, Factories in the East and in the West, are
fallen or falling into the hands of sea-ruling Pitt, enemy of human nature.
Nevertheless what sound is this that we hear, on the first of June, 1794;
sound of as war-thunder borne from the Ocean too; of tone most piercing?
War-thunder from off the Brest waters: Villaret-Joyeuse and English Howe,
after long manoeuvring have ranked themselves there; and are belching fire.
The enemies of human nature are on their own element; cannot be conquered;
cannot be kept from conquering. Twelve hours of raging cannonade; sun now
sinking westward through the battle-smoke: six French Ships taken, the
Battle lost; what Ship soever can still sail, making off! But how is it,
then, with that Vengeur Ship, she neither strikes nor makes off? She is
lamed, she cannot make off; strike she will not. Fire rakes her fore and
aft, from victorious enemies; the Vengeur is sinking. Strong are ye,
Tyrants of the Sea; yet we also, are we weak? Lo! all flags, streamers,
jacks, every rag of tricolor that will yet run on rope, fly rustling aloft:
the whole crew crowds to the upper deck; and, with universal soul-maddening
yell, shouts Vive la Republique,--sinking, sinking. She staggers, she
lurches, her last drunk whirl; Ocean yawns abysmal: down rushes the
Vengeur, carrying Vive la Republique along with her, unconquerable, into
Eternity! (Compare Barrere (Chois des Rapports, xiv. 416-21); Lord Howe
(Annual Register of 1794, p. 86), &c.)  Let foreign Despots think of that.
There is an Unconquerable in man, when he stands on his Rights of Man: let
Despots and Slaves and all people know this, and only them that stand on
the Wrongs of Man tremble to know it.

Chapter 3.5.VII.


In this manner, mad-blazing with flame of all imaginable tints, from the
red of Tophet to the stellar-bright, blazes off this Consummation of

But the hundredth part of the things that were done, and the thousandth
part of the things that were projected and decreed to be done, would tire
the tongue of History. Statue of the Peuple Souverain, high as Strasburg
Steeple; which shall fling its shadow from the Pont Neuf over Jardin
National and Convention Hall;--enormous, in Painter David's head! With
other the like enormous Statues not a few: realised in paper Decree. For,
indeed, the Statue of Liberty herself is still but Plaster in the Place de
la Revolution! Then Equalisation of Weights and Measures, with decimal
division; Institutions, of Music and of much else; Institute in general;
School of Arts, School of Mars, Eleves de la Patrie, Normal Schools: amid
such Gun-boring, Altar-burning, Saltpetre-digging, and miraculous
improvements in Tannery!

What, for example, is this that Engineer Chappe is doing, in the Park of
Vincennes? In the Park of Vincennes; and onwards, they say, in the Park of
Lepelletier Saint-Fargeau the assassinated Deputy; and still onwards to the
Heights of Ecouen and further, he has scaffolding set up, has posts driven
in; wooden arms with elbow joints are jerking and fugling in the air, in
the most rapid mysterious manner! Citoyens ran up suspicious. Yes, O
Citoyens, we are signaling: it is a device this, worthy of the Republic; a
thing for what we will call Far-writing without the aid of postbags; in
Greek, it shall be named Telegraph.--Telegraphe sacre! answers Citoyenism:
For writing to Traitors, to Austria?--and tears it down. Chappe had to
escape, and get a new Legislative Decree. Nevertheless he has accomplished
it, the indefatigable Chappe: this Far-writer, with its wooden arms and
elbow-joints, can intelligibly signal; and lines of them are set up, to the
North Frontiers and elsewhither. On an Autumn evening of the Year Two,
Far-writer having just written that Conde Town has surrendered to us, we
send from Tuileries Convention Hall this response in the shape of Decree:
'The name of Conde is changed to Nord-Libre, North-Free. The Army of the
North ceases not to merit well of the country.'--To the admiration of men!
For lo, in some half hour, while the Convention yet debates, there arrives
this new answer: 'I inform thee, je t'annonce, Citizen President, that the
decree of Convention, ordering change of the name Conde into North-Free;
and the other declaring that the Army of the North ceases not to merit well
of the country, are transmitted and acknowledged by Telegraph. I have
instructed my Officer at Lille to forward them to North-Free by express.
Signed, CHAPPE.'  (Choix des Rapports, xv. 378, 384.)

Or see, over Fleurus in the Netherlands, where General Jourdan, having now
swept the soil of Liberty, and advanced thus far, is just about to fight,
and sweep or be swept, things there not in the Heaven's Vault, some
Prodigy, seen by Austrian eyes and spyglasses: in the similitude of an
enormous Windbag, with netting and enormous Saucer depending from it? A
Jove's Balance, O ye Austrian spyglasses? One saucer-hole of a Jove's
Balance; your poor Austrian scale having kicked itself quite aloft, out of
sight? By Heaven, answer the spyglasses, it is a Montgolfier, a Balloon,
and they are making signals! Austrian cannon-battery barks at this
Montgolfier; harmless as dog at the Moon: the Montgolfier makes its
signals; detects what Austrian ambuscade there may be, and descends at its
ease. (26th June, 1794 (see Rapport de Guyton-Morveau sur les aerostats,
in Moniteur du 6 Vendemiaire, An 2).)  What will not these devils incarnate

On the whole, is it not, O Reader, one of the strangest Flame-Pictures that
ever painted itself; flaming off there, on its ground of Guillotine-black?
And the nightly Theatres are Twenty-three; and the Salons de danse are
sixty: full of mere Egalite, Fraternite and Carmagnole. And Section
Committee-rooms are Forty-eight; redolent of tobacco and brandy: vigorous
with twenty-pence a-day, coercing the suspect. And the Houses of Arrest
are Twelve for Paris alone; crowded and even crammed. And at all turns,
you need your 'Certificate of Civism;' be it for going out, or for coming
in; nay without it you cannot, for money, get your daily ounces of bread.
Dusky red-capped Baker's-queues; wagging themselves; not in silence! For
we still live by Maximum, in all things; waited on by these two, Scarcity
and Confusion. The faces of men are darkened with suspicion; with
suspecting, or being suspect. The streets lie unswept; the ways unmended.
Law has shut her Books; speaks little, save impromptu, through the throat
of Tinville. Crimes go unpunished: not crimes against the Revolution.
(Mercier, v. 25; Deux Amis, xii. 142-199.)  'The number of foundling
children,' as some compute, 'is doubled.'

How silent now sits Royalism; sits all Aristocratism; Respectability that
kept its Gig! The honour now, and the safety, is to Poverty, not to
Wealth. Your Citizen, who would be fashionable, walks abroad, with his
Wife on his arm, in red wool nightcap, black shag spencer, and carmagnole
complete. Aristocratism crouches low, in what shelter is still left;
submitting to all requisitions, vexations; too happy to escape with life.
Ghastly chateaus stare on you by the wayside; disroofed, diswindowed; which
the National House-broker is peeling for the lead and ashlar. The old
tenants hover disconsolate, over the Rhine with Conde; a spectacle to men.
Ci-devant Seigneur, exquisite in palate, will become an exquisite
Restaurateur Cook in Hamburg; Ci-devant Madame, exquisite in dress, a
successful Marchande des Modes in London. In Newgate-Street, you meet M.
le Marquis, with a rough deal on his shoulder, adze and jack-plane under
arm; he has taken to the joiner trade; it being necessary to live (faut
vivre). (See Deux Amis, xv. 189-192; Memoires de Genlis; Founders of the
French Republic, &c. &c.)--Higher than all Frenchmen the domestic Stock-
jobber flourishes,--in a day of Paper-money. The Farmer also flourishes:
'Farmers' houses,' says Mercier, 'have become like Pawn-brokers' shops;'
all manner of furniture, apparel, vessels of gold and silver accumulate
themselves there: bread is precious. The Farmer's rent is Paper-money,
and he alone of men has bread: Farmer is better than Landlord, and will
himself become Landlord.

And daily, we say, like a black Spectre, silently through that Life-tumult,
passes the Revolution Cart; writing on the walls its MENE, MENE, Thou art
weighed, and found wanting! A Spectre with which one has grown familiar.
Men have adjusted themselves: complaint issues not from that Death-
tumbril. Weak women and ci-devants, their plumage and finery all
tarnished, sit there; with a silent gaze, as if looking into the Infinite
Black. The once light lip wears a curl of irony, uttering no word; and the
Tumbril fares along. They may be guilty before Heaven, or not; they are
guilty, we suppose, before the Revolution. Then, does not the Republic
'coin money' of them, with its great axe? Red Nightcaps howl dire
approval: the rest of Paris looks on; if with a sigh, that is much; Fellow-
creatures whom sighing cannot help; whom black Necessity and Tinville have

One other thing, or rather two other things, we will still mention; and no
more: The Blond Perukes; the Tannery at Meudon. Great talk is of these
Perruques blondes: O Reader, they are made from the Heads of Guillotined
women! The locks of a Duchess, in this way, may come to cover the scalp of
a Cordwainer: her blond German Frankism his black Gaelic poll, if it be
bald. Or they may be worn affectionately, as relics; rendering one
suspect? (Mercier, ii. 134.)  Citizens use them, not without mockery; of a
rather cannibal sort.

Still deeper into one's heart goes that Tannery at Meudon; not mentioned
among the other miracles of tanning! 'At Meudon,' says Montgaillard with
considerable calmness, 'there was a Tannery of Human Skins; such of the
Guillotined as seemed worth flaying: of which perfectly good wash-leather
was made:' for breeches, and other uses. The skin of the men, he remarks,
was superior in toughness (consistance) and quality to shamoy; that of
women was good for almost nothing, being so soft in texture!
(Montgaillard, iv. 290.)--History looking back over Cannibalism, through
Purchas's Pilgrims and all early and late Records, will perhaps find no
terrestrial Cannibalism of a sort on the whole so detestable. It is a
manufactured, soft-feeling, quietly elegant sort; a sort perfide! Alas
then, is man's civilisation only a wrappage, through which the savage
nature of him can still burst, infernal as ever? Nature still makes him;
and has an Infernal in her as well as a Celestial.



Chapter 3.6.I.

The Gods are athirst.

What then is this Thing, called La Revolution, which, like an Angel of
Death, hangs over France, noyading, fusillading, fighting, gun-boring,
tanning human skins? La Revolution is but so many Alphabetic Letters; a
thing nowhere to be laid hands on, to be clapt under lock and key: where
is it? what is it? It is the Madness that dwells in the hearts of men. In
this man it is, and in that man; as a rage or as a terror, it is in all
men. Invisible, impalpable; and yet no black Azrael, with wings spread
over half a continent, with sword sweeping from sea to sea, could be a
truer Reality.

To explain, what is called explaining, the march of this Revolutionary
Government, be no task of ours. Men cannot explain it. A paralytic
Couthon, asking in the Jacobins, 'what hast thou done to be hanged if the
Counter-Revolution should arrive;' a sombre Saint-Just, not yet six-and-
twenty, declaring that 'for Revolutionists there is no rest but in the
tomb;' a seagreen Robespierre converted into vinegar and gall; much more an
Amar and Vadier, a Collot and Billaud: to inquire what thoughts,
predetermination or prevision, might be in the head of these men! Record
of their thought remains not; Death and Darkness have swept it out utterly.
Nay if we even had their thought, all they could have articulately spoken
to us, how insignificant a fraction were that of the Thing which realised
itself, which decreed itself, on signal given by them! As has been said
more than once, this Revolutionary Government is not a self-conscious but a
blind fatal one. Each man, enveloped in his ambient-atmosphere of
revolutionary fanatic Madness, rushes on, impelled and impelling; and has
become a blind brute Force; no rest for him but in the grave! Darkness and
the mystery of horrid cruelty cover it for us, in History; as they did in
Nature. The chaotic Thunder-cloud, with its pitchy black, and its tumult
of dazzling jagged fire, in a world all electric: thou wilt not undertake
to shew how that comported itself,--what the secrets of its dark womb were;
from what sources, with what specialities, the lightning it held did, in
confused brightness of terror, strike forth, destructive and self-
destructive, till it ended? Like a Blackness naturally of Erebus, which by
will of Providence had for once mounted itself into dominion and the Azure:
is not this properly the nature of Sansculottism consummating itself? Of
which Erebus Blackness be it enough to discern that this and the other
dazzling fire-bolt, dazzling fire-torrent, does by small Volition and great
Necessity, verily issue,--in such and such succession; destructive so and
so, self-destructive so and so: till it end.

Royalism is extinct, 'sunk,' as they say, 'in the mud of the Loire;'
Republicanism dominates without and within: what, therefore, on the 15th
day of March, 1794, is this? Arrestment, sudden really as a bolt out of
the Blue, has hit strange victims: Hebert Pere Duchene, Bibliopolist
Momoro, Clerk Vincent, General Ronsin; high Cordelier Patriots, redcapped
Magistrates of Paris, Worshippers of Reason, Commanders of Revolutionary
Army! Eight short days ago, their Cordelier Club was loud, and louder than
ever, with Patriot denunciations. Hebert Pere Duchene had "held his tongue
and his heart these two months, at sight of Moderates, Crypto-Aristocrats,
Camilles, Scelerats in the Convention itself: but could not do it any
longer; would, if other remedy were not, invoke the Sacred right of
Insurrection."  So spake Hebert in Cordelier Session; with vivats, till the
roofs rang again. (Moniteur, du 17 Ventose (7th March) 1794.)  Eight short
days ago; and now already! They rub their eyes: it is no dream; they find
themselves in the Luxembourg. Goose Gobel too; and they that burnt
Churches! Chaumette himself, potent Procureur, Agent National as they now
call it, who could 'recognise the Suspect by the very face of them,' he
lingers but three days; on the third day he too is hurled in. Most
chopfallen, blue, enters the National Agent this Limbo whither he has sent
so many. Prisoners crowd round, jibing and jeering: "Sublime National
Agent," says one, "in virtue of thy immortal Proclamation, lo there! I am
suspect, thou art suspect, he is suspect, we are suspect, ye are suspect,
they are suspect!"

The meaning of these things? Meaning! It is a Plot; Plot of the most
extensive ramifications; which, however, Barrere holds the threads of.
Such Church-burning and scandalous masquerades of Atheism, fit to make the
Revolution odious: where indeed could they originate but in the gold of
Pitt? Pitt indubitably, as Preternatural Insight will teach one, did hire
this Faction of Enrages, to play their fantastic tricks; to roar in their
Cordeliers Club about Moderatism; to print their Pere Duchene; worship
skyblue Reason in red nightcap; rob all Altars,--and bring the spoil to

Still more indubitable, visible to the mere bodily sight, is this: that
the Cordeliers Club sits pale, with anger and terror; and has 'veiled the
Rights of Man,'--without effect. Likewise that the Jacobins are in
considerable confusion; busy 'purging themselves, 's'epurant,' as, in times
of Plot and public Calamity, they have repeatedly had to do. Not even
Camille Desmoulins but has given offence: nay there have risen murmurs
against Danton himself; though he bellowed them down, and Robespierre
finished the matter by 'embracing him in the Tribune.'

Whom shall the Republic and a jealous Mother Society trust? In these times
of temptation, of Preternatural Insight! For there are Factions of the
Stranger, 'de l'etranger,' Factions of Moderates, of Enraged; all manner of
Factions: we walk in a world of Plots; strings, universally spread, of
deadly gins and falltraps, baited by the gold of Pitt! Clootz, Speaker of
Mankind so-called, with his Evidences of Mahometan Religion, and babble of
Universal Republic, him an incorruptible Robespierre has purged away.
Baron Clootz, and Paine rebellious Needleman lie, these two months, in the
Luxembourg; limbs of the Faction de l'etranger. Representative Phelippeaux
is purged out: he came back from La Vendee with an ill report in his mouth
against rogue Rossignol, and our method of warfare there. Recant it, O
Phelippeaux, we entreat thee! Phelippeaux will not recant; and is purged
out. Representative Fabre d'Eglantine, famed Nomenclator of Romme's
Calendar, is purged out; nay, is cast into the Luxembourg: accused of
Legislative Swindling 'in regard to monies of the India Company.'  There
with his Chabots, Bazires, guilty of the like, let Fabre wait his destiny.
And Westermann friend of Danton, he who led the Marseillese on the Tenth of
August, and fought well in La Vendee, but spoke not well of rogue
Rossignol, is purged out. Lucky, if he too go not to the Luxembourg. And
your Prolys, Guzmans, of the Faction of the Stranger, they have gone;
Peyreyra, though he fled is gone, 'taken in the disguise of a Tavern Cook.'
I am suspect, thou art suspect, he is suspect!--

The great heart of Danton is weary of it. Danton is gone to native Arcis,
for a little breathing time of peace: Away, black Arachne-webs, thou world
of Fury, Terror, and Suspicion; welcome, thou everlasting Mother, with thy
spring greenness, thy kind household loves and memories; true art thou,
were all else untrue! The great Titan walks silent, by the banks of the
murmuring Aube, in young native haunts that knew him when a boy; wonders
what the end of these things may be.

But strangest of all, Camille Desmoulins is purged out. Couthon gave as a
test in regard to Jacobin purgation the question, 'What hast thou done to
be hanged if Counter-Revolution should arrive?'  Yet Camille, who could so
well answer this question, is purged out! The truth is, Camille, early in
December last, began publishing a new Journal, or Series of Pamphlets,
entitled the Vieux Cordelier, Old Cordelier. Camille, not afraid at one
time to 'embrace Liberty on a heap of dead bodies,' begins to ask now,
Whether among so many arresting and punishing Committees there ought not to
be a 'Committee of Mercy?'  Saint-Just, he observes, is an extremely solemn
young Republican, who 'carries his head as if it were a Saint-Sacrement;
adorable Hostie, or divine Real-Presence! Sharply enough, this old
Cordelier, Danton and he were of the earliest primary Cordeliers,--shoots
his glittering war-shafts into your new Cordeliers, your Heberts, Momoros,
with their brawling brutalities and despicabilities: say, as the Sun-god
(for poor Camille is a Poet) shot into that Python Serpent sprung of mud.

Whereat, as was natural, the Hebertist Python did hiss and writhe
amazingly; and threaten 'sacred right of Insurrection;'--and, as we saw,
get cast into Prison. Nay, with all the old wit, dexterity, and light
graceful poignancy, Camille, translating 'out of Tacitus, from the Reign of
Tiberius,' pricks into the Law of the Suspect itself; making it odious!
Twice, in the Decade, his wild Leaves issue; full of wit, nay of humour, of
harmonious ingenuity and insight,--one of the strangest phenomenon of that
dark time; and smite, in their wild-sparkling way, at various
monstrosities, Saint-Sacrament heads, and Juggernaut idols, in a rather
reckless manner. To the great joy of Josephine Beauharnais, and the other
Five Thousand and odd Suspect, who fill the Twelve Houses of Arrest; on
whom a ray of hope dawns! Robespierre, at first approbatory, knew not at
last what to think; then thought, with his Jacobins, that Camille must be
expelled. A man of true Revolutionary spirit, this Camille; but with the
unwisest sallies; whom Aristocrats and Moderates have the art to corrupt!
Jacobinism is in uttermost crisis and struggle: enmeshed wholly in plots,
corruptibilities, neck-gins and baited falltraps of Pitt Ennemi du Genre
Humain. Camille's First Number begins with 'O Pitt!'--his last is dated 15
Pluviose Year 2, 3d February 1794; and ends with these words of
Montezuma's, 'Les dieux ont soif, The gods are athirst.'

Be this as it may, the Hebertists lie in Prison only some nine days. On
the 24th of March, therefore, the Revolution Tumbrils carry through that
Life-tumult a new cargo: Hebert, Vincent, Momoro, Ronsin, Nineteen of them
in all; with whom, curious enough, sits Clootz Speaker of Mankind. They
have been massed swiftly into a lump, this miscellany of Nondescripts; and
travel now their last road. No help. They too must 'look through the
little window;' they too 'must sneeze into the sack,' eternuer dans le sac;
as they have done to others so is it done to them. Sainte-Guillotine,
meseems, is worse than the old Saints of Superstition; a man-devouring
Saint? Clootz, still with an air of polished sarcasm, endeavours to jest,
to offer cheering 'arguments of Materialism;' he requested to be executed
last, 'in order to establish certain principles,'--which Philosophy has not
retained. General Ronsin too, he still looks forth with some air of
defiance, eye of command: the rest are sunk in a stony paleness of
despair. Momoro, poor Bibliopolist, no Agrarian Law yet realised,--they
might as well have hanged thee at Evreux, twenty months ago, when Girondin
Buzot hindered them. Hebert Pere Duchene shall never in this world rise in
sacred right of insurrection; he sits there low enough, head sunk on
breast; Red Nightcaps shouting round him, in frightful parody of his
Newspaper Articles, "Grand choler of the Pere Duchene!"  Thus perish they;
the sack receives all their heads. Through some section of History,
Nineteen spectre-chimeras shall flit, speaking and gibbering; till Oblivion
swallow them.

In the course of a week, the Revolutionary Army itself is disbanded; the
General having become spectral. This Faction of Rabids, therefore, is also
purged from the Republican soil; here also the baited falltraps of that
Pitt have been wrenched up harmless; and anew there is joy over a Plot
Discovered. The Revolution then is verily devouring its own children. All
Anarchy, by the nature of it, is not only destructive but self-destructive.

Chapter 3.6.II.

Danton, No weakness.

Danton, meanwhile, has been pressingly sent for from Arcis: he must return
instantly, cried Camille, cried Phelippeaux and Friends, who scented danger
in the wind. Danger enough! A Danton, a Robespierre, chief-products of a
victorious Revolution, are now arrived in immediate front of one another;
must ascertain how they will live together, rule together. One conceives
easily the deep mutual incompatibility that divided these two: with what
terror of feminine hatred the poor seagreen Formula looked at the monstrous
colossal Reality, and grew greener to behold him;--the Reality, again,
struggling to think no ill of a chief-product of the Revolution; yet
feeling at bottom that such chief-product was little other than a chief
wind-bag, blown large by Popular air; not a man with the heart of a man,
but a poor spasmodic incorruptible pedant, with a logic-formula instead of
heart; of Jesuit or Methodist-Parson nature; full of sincere-cant,
incorruptibility, of virulence, poltroonery; barren as the east-wind! Two
such chief-products are too much for one Revolution.

Friends, trembling at the results of a quarrel on their part, brought them
to meet. "It is right," said Danton, swallowing much indignation, "to
repress the Royalists: but we should not strike except where it is useful
to the Republic; we should not confound the innocent and the guilty."--"And
who told you," replied Robespierre with a poisonous look, "that one
innocent person had perished?"--"Quoi," said Danton, turning round to
Friend Paris self-named Fabricius, Juryman in the Revolutionary Tribunal:
"Quoi, not one innocent? What sayest thou of it, Fabricius!"  (Biographie
de Ministres, para Danton.)--Friends, Westermann, this Paris and others
urged him to shew himself, to ascend the Tribune and act. The man Danton
was not prone to shew himself; to act, or uproar for his own safety. A man
of careless, large, hoping nature; a large nature that could rest: he
would sit whole hours, they say, hearing Camille talk, and liked nothing so
well. Friends urged him to fly; his Wife urged him: "Whither fly?"
answered he: "If freed France cast me out, there are only dungeons for me
elsewhere. One carries not his country with him at the sole of his shoe!"
The man Danton sat still. Not even the arrestment of Friend Herault, a
member of Salut, yet arrested by Salut, can rouse Danton.--On the night of
the 30th of March, Juryman Paris came rushing in; haste looking through his
eyes: A clerk of the Salut Committee had told him Danton's warrant was
made out, he is to be arrested this very night! Entreaties there are and
trepidation, of poor Wife, of Paris and Friends: Danton sat silent for a
while; then answered, "Ils n'oseraient, They dare not;" and would take no
measures. Murmuring "They dare not," he goes to sleep as usual.

And yet, on the morrow morning, strange rumour spreads over Paris City:
Danton, Camille, Phelippeaux, Lacroix have been arrested overnight! It is
verily so: the corridors of the Luxembourg were all crowded, Prisoners
crowding forth to see this giant of the Revolution among them.
"Messieurs," said Danton politely, "I hoped soon to have got you all out of
this: but here I am myself; and one sees not where it will end."--Rumour
may spread over Paris: the Convention clusters itself into groups; wide-
eyed, whispering, "Danton arrested!"  Who then is safe? Legendre, mounting
the Tribune, utters, at his own peril, a feeble word for him; moving that
he be heard at that Bar before indictment; but Robespierre frowns him down:
"Did you hear Chabot, or Bazire? Would you have two weights and measures?"
Legendre cowers low; Danton, like the others, must take his doom.

Danton's Prison-thoughts were curious to have; but are not given in any
quantity: indeed few such remarkable men have been left so obscure to us
as this Titan of the Revolution. He was heard to ejaculate: "This time
twelvemonth, I was moving the creation of that same Revolutionary Tribunal.
I crave pardon for it of God and man. They are all Brothers Cain: Brissot
would have had me guillotined as Robespierre now will. I leave the whole
business in a frightful welter (gachis epouvantable): not one of them
understands anything of government. Robespierre will follow me; I drag
down Robespierre. O, it were better to be a poor fisherman than to meddle
with governing of men."--Camille's young beautiful Wife, who had made him
rich not in money alone, hovers round the Luxembourg, like a disembodied
spirit, day and night. Camille's stolen letters to her still exist;
stained with the mark of his tears. (Apercus sur Camille Desmoulins (in
Vieux Cordelier, Paris, 1825), pp. 1-29.)  "I carry my head like a Saint-
Sacrament?" so Saint-Just was heard to mutter: "Perhaps he will carry his
like a Saint-Dennis."

Unhappy Danton, thou still unhappier light Camille, once light Procureur de
la Lanterne, ye also have arrived, then, at the Bourne of Creation, where,
like Ulysses Polytlas at the limit and utmost Gades of his voyage, gazing
into that dim Waste beyond Creation, a man does see the Shade of his
Mother, pale, ineffectual;--and days when his Mother nursed and wrapped him
are all-too sternly contrasted with this day! Danton, Camille, Herault,
Westermann, and the others, very strangely massed up with Bazires, Swindler
Chabots, Fabre d'Eglantines, Banker Freys, a most motley Batch, 'Fournee'
as such things will be called, stand ranked at the Bar of Tinville. It is
the 2d of April 1794. Danton has had but three days to lie in Prison; for
the time presses.

What is your name? place of abode? and the like, Fouquier asks; according
to formality. "My name is Danton," answers he; "a name tolerably known in
the Revolution: my abode will soon be Annihilation (dans le Neant); but I
shall live in the Pantheon of History."  A man will endeavour to say
something forcible, be it by nature or not! Herault mentions
epigrammatically that he "sat in this Hall, and was detested of
Parlementeers."  Camille makes answer, "My age is that of the bon
Sansculotte Jesus; an age fatal to Revolutionists."  O Camille, Camille!
And yet in that Divine Transaction, let us say, there did lie, among other
things, the fatallest Reproof ever uttered here below to Worldly Right-
honourableness; 'the highest Fact,' so devout Novalis calls it, 'in the
Rights of Man.'  Camille's real age, it would seem, is thirty-four. Danton
is one year older.

Some five months ago, the Trial of the Twenty-two Girondins was the
greatest that Fouquier had then done. But here is a still greater to do; a
thing which tasks the whole faculty of Fouquier; which makes the very heart
of him waver. For it is the voice of Danton that reverberates now from
these domes; in passionate words, piercing with their wild sincerity,
winged with wrath. Your best Witnesses he shivers into ruin at one stroke.
He demands that the Committee-men themselves come as Witnesses, as
Accusers; he "will cover them with ignominy."  He raises his huge stature,
he shakes his huge black head, fire flashes from the eyes of him,--piercing
to all Republican hearts: so that the very Galleries, though we filled
them by ticket, murmur sympathy; and are like to burst down, and raise the
People, and deliver him! He complains loudly that he is classed with
Chabots, with swindling Stockjobbers; that his Indictment is a list of
platitudes and horrors. "Danton hidden on the Tenth of August?"
reverberates he, with the roar of a lion in the toils: "Where are the men
that had to press Danton to shew himself, that day? Where are these high-
gifted souls of whom he borrowed energy? Let them appear, these Accusers
of mine: I have all the clearness of my self-possession when I demand
them. I will unmask the three shallow scoundrels,"  les trois plats
coquins, Saint-Just, Couthon, Lebas, "who fawn on Robespierre, and lead him
towards his destruction. Let them produce themselves here; I will plunge
them into Nothingness, out of which they ought never to have risen."  The
agitated President agitates his bell; enjoins calmness, in a vehement
manner: "What is it to thee how I defend myself?" cries the other: "the
right of dooming me is thine always. The voice of a man speaking for his
honour and his life may well drown the jingling of thy bell!"  Thus Danton,
higher and higher; till the lion voice of him 'dies away in his throat:'
speech will not utter what is in that man. The Galleries murmur ominously;
the first day's Session is over.

O Tinville, President Herman, what will ye do? They have two days more of
it, by strictest Revolutionary Law. The Galleries already murmur. If this
Danton were to burst your mesh-work!--Very curious indeed to consider. It
turns on a hair: and what a Hoitytoity were there, Justice and Culprit
changing places; and the whole History of France running changed! For in
France there is this Danton only that could still try to govern France. He
only, the wild amorphous Titan;--and perhaps that other olive-complexioned
individual, the Artillery Officer at Toulon, whom we left pushing his
fortune in the South?

On the evening of the second day, matters looking not better but worse and
worse, Fouquier and Herman, distraction in their aspect, rush over to Salut
Public. What is to be done? Salut Public rapidly concocts a new Decree;
whereby if men 'insult Justice,' they may be 'thrown out of the Debates.'
For indeed, withal, is there not 'a Plot in the Luxembourg Prison?'  Ci-
devant General Dillon, and others of the Suspect, plotting with Camille's
Wife to distribute assignats; to force the Prisons, overset the Republic?
Citizen Laflotte, himself Suspect but desiring enfranchisement, has
reported said Plot for us:--a report that may bear fruit! Enough, on the
morrow morning, an obedient Convention passes this Decree. Salut rushes
off with it to the aid of Tinville, reduced now almost to extremities. And
so, Hors des Debats, Out of the Debates, ye insolents! Policemen do your
duty! In such manner, with a deadlift effort, Salut, Tinville Herman,
Leroi Dix-Aout, and all stanch jurymen setting heart and shoulder to it,
the Jury becomes 'sufficiently instructed;' Sentence is passed, is sent by
an Official, and torn and trampled on: Death this day. It is the 5th of
April, 1794. Camille's poor Wife may cease hovering about this Prison.
Nay let her kiss her poor children; and prepare to enter it, and to

Danton carried a high look in the Death-cart. Not so Camille: it is but
one week, and all is so topsy-turvied; angel Wife left weeping; love,
riches, Revolutionary fame, left all at the Prison-gate; carnivorous Rabble
now howling round. Palpable, and yet incredible; like a madman's dream!
Camille struggles and writhes; his shoulders shuffle the loose coat off
them, which hangs knotted, the hands tied: "Calm my friend," said Danton;
"heed not that vile canaille (laissez la cette vile canaille)."  At the
foot of the Scaffold, Danton was heard to ejaculate: "O my Wife, my well-
beloved, I shall never see thee more then!"--but, interrupting himself:
"Danton, no weakness!"  He said to Herault-Sechelles stepping forward to
embrace him: "Our heads will meet there," in the Headsman's sack. His
last words were to Samson the Headsman himself: "Thou wilt shew my head to
the people; it is worth shewing."

So passes, like a gigantic mass, of valour, ostentation, fury, affection
and wild revolutionary manhood, this Danton, to his unknown home. He was
of Arcis-sur-Aube; born of 'good farmer-people' there. He had many sins;
but one worst sin he had not, that of Cant. No hollow Formalist, deceptive
and self-deceptive, ghastly to the natural sense, was this; but a very Man:
with all his dross he was a Man; fiery-real, from the great fire-bosom of
Nature herself. He saved France from Brunswick; he walked straight his own
wild road, whither it led him. He may live for some generations in the
memory of men.

Chapter 3.6.III.

The Tumbrils.

Next week, it is still but the 10th of April, there comes a new Nineteen;
Chaumette, Gobel, Hebert's Widow, the Widow of Camille: these also roll
their fated journey; black Death devours them. Mean Hebert's Widow was
weeping, Camille's Widow tried to speak comfort to her. O ye kind Heavens,
azure, beautiful, eternal behind your tempests and Time-clouds, is there
not pity for all! Gobel, it seems, was repentant; he begged absolution of
a Priest; did as a Gobel best could. For Anaxagoras Chaumette, the sleek
head now stript of its bonnet rouge, what hope is there? Unless Death were
'an eternal sleep?'  Wretched Anaxagoras, God shall judge thee, not I.

Hebert, therefore, is gone, and the Hebertists; they that robbed Churches,
and adored blue Reason in red nightcap. Great Danton, and the Dantonists;
they also are gone. Down to the catacombs; they are become silent men!
Let no Paris Municipality, no Sect or Party of this hue or that, resist the
will of Robespierre and Salut. Mayor Pache, not prompt enough in
denouncing these Pitts Plots, may congratulate about them now. Never so
heartily; it skills not! His course likewise is to the Luxembourg. We
appoint one Fleuriot-Lescot Interim-Mayor in his stead: an 'architect from
Belgium,' they say, this Fleuriot; he is a man one can depend on. Our new
Agent-National is Payan, lately Juryman; whose cynosure also is

Thus then, we perceive, this confusedly electric Erebus-cloud of
Revolutionary Government has altered its shape somewhat. Two masses, or
wings, belonging to it; an over-electric mass of Cordelier Rabids, and an
under-electric of Dantonist Moderates and Clemency-men,--these two masses,
shooting bolts at one another, so to speak, have annihilated one another.
For the Erebus-cloud, as we often remark, is of suicidal nature; and, in
jagged irregularity, darts its lightning withal into itself. But now these
two discrepant masses being mutually annihilated, it is as if the Erebus-
cloud had got to internal composure; and did only pour its hellfire
lightning on the World that lay under it. In plain words, Terror of the
Guillotine was never terrible till now. Systole, diastole, swift and ever
swifter goes the Axe of Samson. Indictments cease by degrees to have so
much as plausibility: Fouquier chooses from the Twelve houses of Arrest
what he calls Batches, 'Fournees,' a score or more at a time; his Jurymen
are charged to make feu de file, fire-filing till the ground be clear.
Citizen Laflotte's report of Plot in the Luxembourg is verily bearing
fruit! If no speakable charge exist against a man, or Batch of men,
Fouquier has always this: a Plot in the Prison. Swift and ever swifter
goes Samson; up, finally, to three score and more at a Batch! It is the
highday of Death: none but the Dead return not.

O dusky d'Espremenil, what a day is this, the 22d of April, thy last day!
The Palais Hall here is the same stone Hall, where thou, five years ago,
stoodest perorating, amid endless pathos of rebellious Parlement, in the
grey of the morning; bound to march with d'Agoust to the Isles of Hieres.
The stones are the same stones: but the rest, Men, Rebellion, Pathos,
Peroration, see! it has all fled, like a gibbering troop of ghosts, like
the phantasms of a dying brain! With d'Espremenil, in the same line of
Tumbrils, goes the mournfullest medley. Chapelier goes, ci-devant popular
President of the Constituent; whom the Menads and Maillard met in his
carriage, on the Versailles Road. Thouret likewise, ci-devant President,
father of Constitutional Law-acts; he whom we heard saying, long since,
with a loud voice, "The Constituent Assembly has fulfilled its mission!"
And the noble old Malesherbes, who defended Louis and could not speak, like
a grey old rock dissolving into sudden water: he journeys here now, with
his kindred, daughters, sons and grandsons, his Lamoignons, Chateaubriands;
silent, towards Death.--One young Chateaubriand alone is wandering amid the
Natchez, by the roar of Niagara Falls, the moan of endless forests:
Welcome thou great Nature, savage, but not false, not unkind, unmotherly;
no Formula thou, or rapid jangle of Hypothesis, Parliamentary Eloquence,
Constitution-building and the Guillotine; speak thou to me, O Mother, and
sing my sick heart thy mystic everlasting lullaby-song, and let all the
rest be far!--

Another row of Tumbrils we must notice: that which holds Elizabeth, the
Sister of Louis. Her Trial was like the rest; for Plots, for Plots. She
was among the kindliest, most innocent of women. There sat with her, amid
four-and-twenty others, a once timorous Marchioness de Crussol; courageous
now; expressing towards her the liveliest loyalty. At the foot of the
Scaffold, Elizabeth with tears in her eyes, thanked this Marchioness; said
she was grieved she could not reward her. "Ah, Madame, would your Royal
Highness deign to embrace me, my wishes were complete!"--"Right willingly,
Marquise de Crussol, and with my whole heart."  (Montgaillard, iv. 200.)
Thus they: at the foot of the Scaffold. The Royal Family is now reduced
to two: a girl and a little boy. The boy, once named Dauphin, was taken
from his Mother while she yet lived; and given to one Simon, by trade a
Cordwainer, on service then about the Temple-Prison, to bring him up in
principles of Sansculottism. Simon taught him to drink, to swear, to sing
the carmagnole. Simon is now gone to the Municipality: and the poor boy,
hidden in a tower of the Temple, from which in his fright and bewilderment
and early decrepitude he wishes not to stir out, lies perishing, 'his shirt
not changed for six months;' amid squalor and darkness, lamentably,
(Duchesse d'Angouleme, Captivite a la Tour du Temple, pp. 37-71.)--so as
none but poor Factory Children and the like are wont to perish, unlamented!

The Spring sends its green leaves and bright weather, bright May brighter
than ever: Death pauses not. Lavoisier famed Chemist, shall die and not
live: Chemist Lavoisier was Farmer-General Lavoisier too, and now 'all the
Farmers-General are arrested;' all, and shall give an account of their
monies and incomings; and die for 'putting water in the tobacco' they sold.
(Tribunal Revolutionnaire, du 8 Mai 1794 (Moniteur, No. 231).)  Lavoisier
begged a fortnight more of life, to finish some experiments: but "the
Republic does not need such;" the axe must do its work. Cynic Chamfort,
reading these Inscriptions of Brotherhood or Death, says "it is a
Brotherhood of Cain:"  arrested, then liberated; then about to be arrested
again, this Chamfort cuts and slashes himself with frantic uncertain hand;
gains, not without difficulty, the refuge of death. Condorcet has lurked
deep, these many months; Argus-eyes watching and searching for him. His
concealment is become dangerous to others and himself; he has to fly again,
to skulk, round Paris, in thickets and stone-quarries. And so at the
Village of Clamars, one bleared May morning, there enters a Figure, ragged,
rough-bearded, hunger-stricken; asks breakfast in the tavern there.
Suspect, by the look of him! "Servant out of place, sayest thou?"
Committee-President of Forty-Sous finds a Latin Horace on him: "Art thou
not one of those Ci-devants that were wont to keep servants? Suspect!"  He
is haled forthwith, breakfast unfinished, towards Bourg-la-Reine, on foot:
he faints with exhaustion; is set on a peasant's horse; is flung into his
damp prison-cell: on the morrow, recollecting him, you enter; Condorcet
lies dead on the floor. They die fast, and disappear: the Notabilities of
France disappear, one after one, like lights in a Theatre, which you are
snuffing out.

Under which circumstances, is it not singular, and almost touching, to see
Paris City drawn out, in the meek May nights, in civic ceremony, which they
call 'Souper Fraternel, Brotherly Supper? Spontaneous, or partially
spontaneous, in the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth nights of this May
month, it is seen. Along the Rue Saint-Honore, and main Streets and
Spaces, each Citoyen brings forth what of supper the stingy Maximum has
yielded him, to the open air; joins it to his neighbour's supper; and with
common table, cheerful light burning frequent, and what due modicum of cut-
glasses and other garnish and relish is convenient, they eat frugally
together, under the kind stars. (Tableaux de la Revolution, para Soupers
Fraternels; Mercier, ii. 150.)  See it O Night! With cheerfully pledged
wine-cup, hobnobbing to the Reign of Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood, with
their wives in best ribands, with their little ones romping round, the
Citoyens, in frugal Love-feast, sit there. Night in her wide empire sees
nothing similar. O my brothers, why is the reign of Brotherhood not come!
It is come, it shall come, say the Citoyens frugally hobnobbing.--Ah me!
these everlasting stars, do they not look down 'like glistening eyes,
bright with immortal pity, over the lot of man!'--

One lamentable thing, however, is, that individuals will attempt
assassination--of Representatives of the People. Representative Collot,
Member even of Salut, returning home, 'about one in the morning,' probably
touched with liquor, as he is apt to be, meets on the stairs, the cry
"Scelerat!" and also the snap of a pistol: which latter flashes in the
pan; disclosing to him, momentarily, a pair of truculent saucer-eyes, swart
grim-clenched countenance; recognisable as that of our little fellow-
lodger, Citoyen Amiral, formerly 'a clerk in the Lotteries!;  Collot shouts
Murder, with lungs fit to awaken all the Rue Favart; Amiral snaps a second
time; a second time flashes in the pan; then darts up into his apartment;
and, after there firing, still with inadequate effect, one musket at
himself and another at his captor, is clutched and locked in Prison.
(Riouffe, p. 73; Deux Amis, xii. 298-302.)  An indignant little man this
Amiral, of Southern temper and complexion, of 'considerable muscular
force.'  He denies not that he meant to "purge France of a tyrant;" nay
avows that he had an eye to the Incorruptible himself, but took Collot as
more convenient!

Rumour enough hereupon; heaven-high congratulation of Collot, fraternal
embracing, at the Jacobins, and elsewhere. And yet, it would seem the
assassin-mood proves catching. Two days more, it is still but the 23d of
May, and towards nine in the evening, Cecile Renault, Paper-dealer's
daughter, a young woman of soft blooming look, presents herself at the
Cabinet-maker's in the Rue Saint-Honore; desires to see Robespierre.
Robespierre cannot be seen: she grumbles irreverently. They lay hold of
her. She has left a basket in a shop hard by: in the basket are female
change of raiment and two knives! Poor Cecile, examined by Committee,
declares she "wanted to see what a tyrant was like:"  the change of raiment
was "for my own use in the place I am surely going to."--"What place?"--
"Prison; and then the Guillotine," answered she.--Such things come of
Charlotte Corday; in a people prone to imitation, and monomania! Swart
choleric men try Charlotte's feat, and their pistols miss fire; soft
blooming young women try it, and, only half-resolute, leave their knives in
a shop.

O Pitt, and ye Faction of the Stranger, shall the Republic never have rest;
but be torn continually by baited springs, by wires of explosive spring-
guns? Swart Amiral, fair young Cecile, and all that knew them, and many
that did not know them, lie locked, waiting the scrutiny of Tinville.

Chapter 3.6.IV.


But on the day they call Decadi, New-Sabbath, 20 Prairial, 8th June by old
style, what thing is this going forward, in the Jardin National, whilom
Tuileries Garden?

All the world is there, in holydays clothes: (Vilate, Causes Secretes de la
Revolution de 9 Thermidor.)  foul linen went out with the Hebertists; nay
Robespierre, for one, would never once countenance that; but went always
elegant and frizzled, not without vanity even,--and had his room hung round
with seagreen Portraits and Busts. In holyday clothes, we say, are the
innumerable Citoyens and Citoyennes: the weather is of the brightest;
cheerful expectation lights all countenances. Juryman Vilate gives
breakfast to many a Deputy, in his official Apartment, in the Pavillon ci-
devant of Flora; rejoices in the bright-looking multitudes, in the
brightness of leafy June, in the auspicious Decadi, or New-Sabbath. This
day, if it please Heaven, we are to have, on improved Anti-Chaumette
principles: a New Religion.

Catholicism being burned out, and Reason-worship guillotined, was there not
need of one? Incorruptible Robespierre, not unlike the Ancients, as
Legislator of a free people will now also be Priest and Prophet. He has
donned his sky-blue coat, made for the occasion; white silk waistcoat
broidered with silver, black silk breeches, white stockings, shoe-buckles
of gold. He is President of the Convention; he has made the Convention
decree, so they name it, decreter the 'Existence of the Supreme Being,' and
likewise 'ce principe consolateur of the Immortality of the Soul.'  These
consolatory principles, the basis of rational Republican Religion, are
getting decreed; and here, on this blessed Decadi, by help of Heaven and
Painter David, is to be our first act of worship.

See, accordingly, how after Decree passed, and what has been called 'the
scraggiest Prophetic Discourse ever uttered by man,'--Mahomet Robespierre,
in sky-blue coat and black breeches, frizzled and powdered to perfection,
bearing in his hand a bouquet of flowers and wheat-ears, issues proudly
from the Convention Hall; Convention following him, yet, as is remarked,
with an interval. Amphitheatre has been raised, or at least Monticule or
Elevation; hideous Statues of Atheism, Anarchy and such like, thanks to
Heaven and Painter David, strike abhorrence into the heart. Unluckily
however, our Monticule is too small. On the top of it not half of us can
stand; wherefore there arises indecent shoving, nay treasonous irreverent
growling. Peace, thou Bourdon de l'Oise; peace, or it may be worse for

The seagreen Pontiff takes a torch, Painter David handing it; mouths some
other froth-rant of vocables, which happily one cannot hear; strides
resolutely forward, in sight of expectant France; sets his torch to Atheism
and Company, which are but made of pasteboard steeped in turpentine. They
burn up rapidly; and, from within, there rises 'by machinery' an
incombustible Statue of Wisdom, which, by ill hap, gets besmoked a little;
but does stand there visible in as serene attitude as it can.

And then? Why, then, there is other Processioning, scraggy Discoursing,
and--this is our Feast of the Etre Supreme; our new Religion, better or
worse, is come!--Look at it one moment, O Reader, not two. The Shabbiest
page of Human Annals: or is there, that thou wottest of, one shabbier?
Mumbo-Jumbo of the African woods to me seems venerable beside this new
Deity of Robespierre; for this is a conscious Mumbo-Jumbo, and knows that
he is machinery. O seagreen Prophet, unhappiest of windbags blown nigh to
bursting, what distracted Chimera among realities are thou growing to!
This then, this common pitch-link for artificial fireworks of turpentine
and pasteboard; this is the miraculous Aaron's Rod thou wilt stretch over a
hag-ridden hell-ridden France, and bid her plagues cease? Vanish, thou and
it!--"Avec ton Etre Supreme," said Billaud, tu commences m'embeter: With
thy Etre Supreme thou beginnest to be a bore to me."  (See Vilate, Causes
Secretes. (Vilate's Narrative is very curious; but is not to be taken as
true, without sifting; being, at bottom, in spite of its title, not a
Narrative but a Pleading).)

Catherine Theot, on the other hand, 'an ancient serving-maid seventy-nine
years of age,' inured to Prophecy and the Bastille from of old, sits, in an
upper room in the Rue-de-Contrescarpe, poring over the Book of Revelations,
with an eye to Robespierre; finds that this astonishing thrice-potent
Maximilien really is the Man spoken of by Prophets, who is to make the
Earth young again. With her sit devout old Marchionesses, ci-devant
honourable women; among whom Old-Constituent Dom Gerle, with his addle
head, cannot be wanting. They sit there, in the Rue-de-Contrescarpe; in
mysterious adoration: Mumbo is Mumbo, and Robespierre is his Prophet. A
conspicuous man this Robespierre. He has his volunteer Bodyguard of Tappe-
durs, let us say Strike-sharps, fierce Patriots with feruled sticks; and
Jacobins kissing the hem of his garment. He enjoys the admiration of many,
the worship of some; and is well worth the wonder of one and all.

The grand question and hope, however, is: Will not this Feast of the
Tuileries Mumbo-Jumbo be a sign perhaps that the Guillotine is to abate?
Far enough from that! Precisely on the second day after it, Couthon, one
of the 'three shallow scoundrels,' gets himself lifted into the Tribune;
produces a bundle of papers. Couthon proposes that, as Plots still abound,
the Law of the Suspect shall have extension, and Arrestment new vigour and
facility. Further that, as in such case business is like to be heavy, our
Revolutionary Tribunal too shall have extension; be divided, say, into Four
Tribunals, each with its President, each with its Fouquier or Substitute of
Fouquier, all labouring at once, and any remnant of shackle or dilatory
formality be struck off: in this way it may perhaps still overtake the
work. Such is Couthon's Decree of the Twenty-second Prairial, famed in
those times. At hearing of which Decree the very Mountain gasped,
awestruck; and one Ruamps ventured to say that if it passed without
adjournment and discussion, he, as one Representative, "would blow his
brains out."  Vain saying! The Incorruptible knit his brows; spoke a
prophetic fateful word or two: the Law of Prairial is Law; Ruamps glad to
leave his rash brains where they are. Death, then, and always Death! Even
so. Fouquier is enlarging his borders; making room for Batches of a
Hundred and fifty at once;--getting a Guillotine set up, of improved
velocity, and to work under cover, in the apartment close by. So that
Salut itself has to intervene, and forbid him: "Wilt thou demoralise the
Guillotine," asks Collot, reproachfully, "demoraliser le supplice!"

There is indeed danger of that; were not the Republican faith great, it
were already done. See, for example, on the 17th of June, what a Batch,
Fifty-four at once! Swart Amiral is here, he of the pistol that missed
fire; young Cecile Renault, with her father, family, entire kith and kin;
the widow of d'Espremenil; old M. de Sombreuil of the Invalides, with his
Son,--poor old Sombreuil, seventy-three years old, his Daughter saved him
in September, and it was but for this. Faction of the Stranger, fifty-four
of them! In red shirts and smocks, as Assassins and Faction of the
Stranger, they flit along there; red baleful Phantasmagory, towards the
land of Phantoms.

Meanwhile will not the people of the Place de la Revolution, the
inhabitants along the Rue Saint-Honore, as these continual Tumbrils pass,
begin to look gloomy? Republicans too have bowels. The Guillotine is
shifted, then again shifted; finally set up at the remote extremity of the
South-East: (Montgaillard, iv. 237.)  Suburbs Saint-Antoine and Saint-
Marceau it is to be hoped, if they have bowels, have very tough ones.

Chapter 3.6.V.

The Prisons.

It is time now, however, to cast a glance into the Prisons. When
Desmoulins moved for his Committee of Mercy, these Twelve Houses of Arrest
held five thousand persons. Continually arriving since then, there have
now accumulated twelve thousand. They are Ci-devants, Royalists; in far
greater part, they are Republicans, of various Girondin, Fayettish, Un-
Jacobin colour. Perhaps no human Habitation or Prison ever equalled in
squalor, in noisome horror, these Twelve Houses of Arrest. There exist
records of personal experience in them Memoires sur les Prisons; one of the
strangest Chapters in the Biography of Man.

Very singular to look into it: how a kind of order rises up in all
conditions of human existence; and wherever two or three are gathered
together, there are formed modes of existing together, habitudes,
observances, nay gracefulnesses, joys! Citoyen Coitant will explain fully
how our lean dinner, of herbs and carrion, was consumed not without
politeness and place-aux-dames: how Seigneur and Shoeblack, Duchess and
Doll-Tearsheet, flung pellmell into a heap, ranked themselves according to
method: at what hour 'the Citoyennes took to their needlework;' and we,
yielding the chairs to them, endeavoured to talk gallantly in a standing
posture, or even to sing and harp more or less. Jealousies, enmities are
not wanting; nor flirtations, of an effective character.

Alas, by degrees, even needlework must cease: Plot in the Prison rises, by
Citoyen Laflotte and Preternatural Suspicion. Suspicious Municipality
snatches from us all implements; all money and possession, of means or
metal, is ruthlessly searched for, in pocket, in pillow and paillasse, and
snatched away; red-capped Commissaries entering every cell! Indignation,
temporary desperation, at robbery of its very thimble, fills the gentle
heart. Old Nuns shriek shrill discord; demand to be killed forthwith. No
help from shrieking! Better was that of the two shifty male Citizens, who,
eager to preserve an implement or two, were it but a pipe-picker, or needle
to darn hose with, determined to defend themselves: by tobacco. Swift
then, as your fell Red Caps are heard in the Corridor rummaging and
slamming, the two Citoyens light their pipes and begin smoking. Thick
darkness envelops them. The Red Nightcaps, opening the cell, breathe but
one mouthful; burst forth into chorus of barking and coughing. "Quoi,
Messieurs," cry the two Citoyens, "You don't smoke? Is the pipe
disagreeable! Est-ce que vous ne fumez pas?"  But the Red Nightcaps have
fled, with slight search: "Vous n'aimez pas la pipe?" cry the Citoyens, as
their door slams-to again. (Maison d'Arret de Port-Libre, par Coittant,
&c. (Memoires sur les Prisons, ii.)  My poor brother Citoyens, O surely, in
a reign of Brotherhood, you are not the two I would guillotine!

Rigour grows, stiffens into horrid tyranny; Plot in the Prison getting ever
riper. This Plot in the Prison, as we said, is now the stereotype formula
of Tinville: against whomsoever he knows no crime, this is a ready-made
crime. His Judgment-bar has become unspeakable; a recognised mockery;
known only as the wicket one passes through, towards Death. His
Indictments are drawn out in blank; you insert the Names after. He has his
moutons, detestable traitor jackalls, who report and bear witness; that
they themselves may be allowed to live,--for a time. His Fournees, says
the reproachful Collot, 'shall in no case exceed three-score;' that is his
maximum. Nightly come his Tumbrils to the Luxembourg, with the fatal Roll-
call; list of the Fournee of to-morrow. Men rush towards the Grate;
listen, if their name be in it? One deep-drawn breath, when the name is
not in: we live still one day! And yet some score or scores of names were
in. Quick these; they clasp their loved ones to their heart, one last
time; with brief adieu, wet-eyed or dry-eyed, they mount, and are away.
This night to the Conciergerie; through the Palais misnamed of Justice, to
the Guillotine to-morrow.

Recklessness, defiant levity, the Stoicism if not of strength yet of
weakness, has possessed all hearts. Weak women and Ci-devants, their locks
not yet made into blond perukes, their skins not yet tanned into breeches,
are accustomed to 'act the Guillotine' by way of pastime. In fantastic
mummery, with towel-turbans, blanket-ermine, a mock Sanhedrim of Judges
sits, a mock Tinville pleads; a culprit is doomed, is guillotined by the
oversetting of two chairs. Sometimes we carry it farther: Tinville
himself, in his turn, is doomed, and not to the Guillotine alone. With
blackened face, hirsute, horned, a shaggy Satan snatches him not
unshrieking; shews him, with outstretched arm and voice, the fire that is
not quenched, the worm that dies not; the monotony of Hell-pain, and the
What hour? answered by, It is Eternity! (Montgaillard, iv. 218; Riouffe,
p. 273.)

And still the Prisons fill fuller, and still the Guillotine goes faster.
On all high roads march flights of Prisoners, wending towards Paris. Not
Ci-devants now; they, the noisy of them, are mown down; it is Republicans
now. Chained two and two they march; in exasperated moments, singing their
Marseillaise. A hundred and thirty-two men of Nantes for instance, march
towards Paris, in these same days: Republicans, or say even Jacobins to
the marrow of the bone; but Jacobins who had not approved Noyading.
(Voyage de Cent Trente-deux Nantais (Prisons, ii. 288-335.)  Vive la
Republique rises from them in all streets of towns: they rest by night, in
unutterable noisome dens, crowded to choking; one or two dead on the
morrow. They are wayworn, weary of heart; can only shout: Live the
Republic; we, as under horrid enchantment, dying in this way for it!

Some Four Hundred Priests, of whom also there is record, ride at anchor,
'in the roads of the Isle of Aix,' long months; looking out on misery,
vacuity, waste Sands of Oleron and the ever-moaning brine. Ragged, sordid,
hungry; wasted to shadows: eating their unclean ration on deck,
circularly, in parties of a dozen, with finger and thumb; beating their
scandalous clothes between two stones; choked in horrible miasmata, closed
under hatches, seventy of them in a berth, through night; so that the 'aged
Priest is found lying dead in the morning, in the attitude of prayer!'
(Relation de ce qu'ont souffert pour la Religion les Pretres deportes en
1794, dans la rade de l'ile d'Aix (Prisons, ii. 387-485.)--How long, O

Not forever; no. All Anarchy, all Evil, Injustice, is, by the nature of
it, dragon's-teeth; suicidal, and cannot endure.

Chapter 3.6.VI.

To finish the Terror.

It is very remarkable, indeed, that since the Etre-Supreme Feast, and the
sublime continued harangues on it, which Billaud feared would become a bore
to him, Robespierre has gone little to Committee; but held himself apart,
as if in a kind of pet. Nay they have made a Report on that old Catherine
Theot, and her Regenerative Man spoken of by the Prophets; not in the best
spirit. This Theot mystery they affect to regard as a Plot; but have
evidently introduced a vein of satire, of irreverent banter, not against
the Spinster alone, but obliquely against her Regenerative Man! Barrere's
light pen was perhaps at the bottom of it: read through the solemn
snuffling organs of old Vadier of the Surete Generale, the Theot Report had
its effect; wrinkling the general Republican visage into an iron grin.
Ought these things to be?

We note further that among the Prisoners in the Twelve Houses of Arrest,
there is one whom we have seen before. Senhora Fontenai, born Cabarus, the
fair Proserpine whom Representative Tallien Pluto-like did gather at
Bourdeaux, not without effect on himself! Tallien is home, by recall, long
since, from Bourdeaux; and in the most alarming position. Vain that he
sounded, louder even than ever, the note of Jacobinism, to hide past
shortcomings: the Jacobins purged him out; two times has Robespierre
growled at him words of omen from the Convention Tribune. And now his fair
Cabarus, hit by denunciation, lies Arrested, Suspect, in spite of all he
could do!--Shut in horrid pinfold of death, the Senhora smuggles out to her
red-gloomy Tallien the most pressing entreaties and conjurings: Save me;
save thyself. Seest thou not that thy own head is doomed; thou with a too
fiery audacity; a Dantonist withal; against whom lie grudges? Are ye not
all doomed, as in the Polyphemus Cavern; the fawningest slave of you will
be but eaten last!--Tallien feels with a shudder that it is true. Tallien
has had words of omen, Bourdon has had words, Freron is hated and Barras:
each man 'feels his head if it yet stick on his shoulders.'

Meanwhile Robespierre, we still observe, goes little to Convention, not at
all to Committee; speaks nothing except to his Jacobin House of Lords, amid
his bodyguard of Tappe-durs. These 'forty-days,' for we are now far in
July, he has not shewed face in Committee; could only work there by his
three shallow scoundrels, and the terror there was of him. The
Incorruptible himself sits apart; or is seen stalking in solitary places in
the fields, with an intensely meditative air; some say, 'with eyes red-
spotted,' (Deux Amis, xii. 347-73.) fruit of extreme bile: the
lamentablest seagreen Chimera that walks the Earth that July! O hapless
Chimera; for thou too hadst a life, and a heart of flesh,--what is this the
stern gods, seeming to smile all the way, have led and let thee to! Art
not thou he who, few years ago, was a young Advocate of promise; and gave
up the Arras Judgeship rather than sentence one man to die?--

What his thoughts might be? His plans for finishing the Terror? One knows
not. Dim vestiges there flit of Agrarian Law; a victorious Sansculottism
become Landed Proprietor; old Soldiers sitting in National Mansions, in
Hospital Palaces of Chambord and Chantilly; peace bought by victory;
breaches healed by Feast of Etre Supreme;--and so, through seas of blood,
to Equality, Frugality, worksome Blessedness, Fraternity, and Republic of
the virtues! Blessed shore, of such a sea of Aristocrat blood: but how to
land on it? Through one last wave: blood of corrupt Sansculottists;
traitorous or semi-traitorous Conventionals, rebellious Talliens, Billauds,
to whom with my Etre Supreme I have become a bore; with my Apocalyptic Old
Woman a laughing-stock!--So stalks he, this poor Robespierre, like a
seagreen ghost through the blooming July. Vestiges of schemes flit dim.
But what his schemes or his thoughts were will never be known to man.

New Catacombs, some say, are digging for a huge simultaneous butchery.
Convention to be butchered, down to the right pitch, by General Henriot and
Company: Jacobin House of Lords made dominant; and Robespierre Dictator.
(Deux Amis, xii. 350-8.)  There is actually, or else there is not actually,
a List made out; which the Hairdresser has got eye on, as he frizzled the
Incorruptible locks. Each man asks himself, Is it I?

Nay, as Tradition and rumour of Anecdote still convey it, there was a
remarkable bachelor's dinner one hot day at Barrere's. For doubt not, O
Reader, this Barrere and others of them gave dinners; had 'country-house at
Clichy,' with elegant enough sumptuosities, and pleasures high-rouged!
(See Vilate.)  But at this dinner we speak of, the day being so hot, it is
said, the guests all stript their coats, and left them in the drawing-room:
whereupon Carnot glided out; groped in Robespierre's pocket; found a list
of Forty, his own name among them; and tarried not at the wine-cup that
day!--Ye must bestir yourselves, O Friends; ye dull Frogs of the Marsh,
mute ever since Girondism sank under, even ye now must croak or die!
Councils are held, with word and beck; nocturnal, mysterious as death.
Does not a feline Maximilien stalk there; voiceless as yet; his green eyes
red-spotted; back bent, and hair up? Rash Tallien, with his rash temper
and audacity of tongue; he shall bell the cat. Fix a day; and be it soon,
lest never!

Lo, before the fixed day, on the day which they call Eighth of Thermidor,
26th July 1794, Robespierre himself reappears in Convention; mounts to the
Tribune! The biliary face seems clouded with new gloom; judge whether your
Talliens, Bourdons listened with interest. It is a voice bodeful of death
or of life. Long-winded, unmelodious as the screech-owl's, sounds that
prophetic voice: Degenerate condition of Republican spirit; corrupt
moderatism; Surete, Salut Committees themselves infected; back-sliding on
this hand and on that; I, Maximilien, alone left incorruptible, ready to
die at a moment's warning. For all which what remedy is there? The
Guillotine; new vigour to the all-healing Guillotine: death to traitors of
every hue! So sings the prophetic voice; into its Convention sounding-
board. The old song this: but to-day, O Heavens! has the sounding-board
ceased to act? There is not resonance in this Convention; there is, so to
speak, a gasp of silence; nay a certain grating of one knows not what!--
Lecointre, our old Draper of Versailles, in these questionable
circumstances, sees nothing he can do so safe as rise, 'insidiously' or not
insidiously, and move, according to established wont, that the Robespierre
Speech be 'printed and sent to the Departments.'  Hark: gratings, even of
dissonance! Honourable Members hint dissonance; Committee-Members,
inculpated in the Speech, utter dissonance; demand 'delay in printing.'
Ever higher rises the note of dissonance; inquiry is even made by Editor
Freron: "What has become of the Liberty of Opinions in this Convention?"   
The Order to print and transmit, which had got passed, is rescinded.
Robespierre, greener than ever before, has to retire, foiled; discerning
that it is mutiny, that evil is nigh.

Mutiny is a thing of the fatallest nature in all enterprises whatsoever; a
thing so incalculable, swift-frightful; not to be dealt with in fright.
But mutiny in a Robespierre Convention, above all,--it is like fire seen
sputtering in the ship's powder-room! One death-defiant plunge at it, this
moment, and you may still tread it out: hesitate till next moment,--ship
and ship's captain, crew and cargo are shivered far; the ship's voyage has
suddenly ended between sea and sky. If Robespierre can, to-night, produce
his Henriot and Company, and get his work done by them, he and
Sansculottism may still subsist some time; if not, probably not. Oliver
Cromwell, when that Agitator Serjeant stept forth from the ranks, with plea
of grievances, and began gesticulating and demonstrating, as the mouthpiece
of Thousands expectant there,--discerned, with those truculent eyes of his,
how the matter lay; plucked a pistol from his holsters; blew Agitator and
Agitation instantly out. Noll was a man fit for such things.

Robespierre, for his part, glides over at evening to his Jacobin House of
Lords; unfolds there, instead of some adequate resolution, his woes, his
uncommon virtues, incorruptibilities; then, secondly, his rejected screech-
owl Oration;--reads this latter over again; and declares that he is ready
to die at a moment's warning. Thou shalt not die! shouts Jacobinism from
its thousand throats. "Robespierre, I will drink the hemlock with thee,"
cries Painter David, "Je boirai la cigue avec toi;"--a thing not essential
to do, but which, in the fire of the moment, can be said.

Our Jacobin sounding-board, therefore, does act! Applauses heaven-high
cover the rejected Oration; fire-eyed fury lights all Jacobin features:
Insurrection a sacred duty; the Convention to be purged; Sovereign People
under Henriot and Municipality; we will make a new June-Second of it: to
your tents, O Israel! In this key pipes Jacobinism; in sheer tumult of
revolt. Let Tallien and all Opposition men make off. Collot d'Herbois,
though of the supreme Salut, and so lately near shot, is elbowed, bullied;
is glad to escape alive. Entering Committee-room of Salut, all
dishevelled, he finds sleek sombre Saint-Just there, among the rest; who in
his sleek way asks, "What is passing at the Jacobins?"--"What is passing?"
repeats Collot, in the unhistrionic Cambyses' vein: "What is passing?
Nothing but revolt and horrors are passing. Ye want our lives; ye shall
not have them."  Saint-Just stutters at such Cambyses'-oratory; takes his
hat to withdraw. That report he had been speaking of, Report on Republican
Things in General we may say, which is to be read in Convention on the
morrow, he cannot shew it them this moment: a friend has it; he, Saint-
Just, will get it, and send it, were he once home. Once home, he sends not
it, but an answer that he will not send it; that they will hear it from the
Tribune to-morrow.

Let every man, therefore, according to a well-known good-advice, 'pray to
Heaven, and keep his powder dry!'  Paris, on the morrow, will see a thing.
Swift scouts fly dim or invisible, all night, from Surete and Salut; from
conclave to conclave; from Mother Society to Townhall. Sleep, can it fall
on the eyes of Talliens, Frerons, Collots? Puissant Henriot, Mayor
Fleuriot, Judge Coffinhal, Procureur Payan, Robespierre and all the
Jacobins are getting ready.

Chapter 3.6.VII.

Go down to.

Tallien's eyes beamed bright, on the morrow, Ninth of Thermidor 'about nine
o'clock,' to see that the Convention had actually met. Paris is in rumour:
but at least we are met, in Legal Convention here; we have not been
snatched seriatim; treated with a Pride's Purge at the door. "Allons,
brave men of the Plain," late Frogs of the Marsh! cried Tallien with a
squeeze of the hand, as he passed in; Saint-Just's sonorous organ being now
audible from the Tribune, and the game of games begun.

Saint-Just is verily reading that Report of his; green Vengeance, in the
shape of Robespierre, watching nigh. Behold, however, Saint-Just has read
but few sentences, when interruption rises, rapid crescendo; when Tallien
starts to his feet, and Billaud, and this man starts and that,--and
Tallien, a second time, with his: "Citoyens, at the Jacobins last night, I
trembled for the Republic. I said to myself, if the Convention dare not
strike the Tyrant, then I myself dare; and with this I will do it, if need
be," said he, whisking out a clear-gleaming Dagger, and brandishing it
there: the Steel of Brutus, as we call it. Whereat we all bellow, and
brandish, impetuous acclaim. "Tyranny; Dictatorship! Triumvirat!"  And the
Salut Committee-men accuse, and all men accuse, and uproar, and impetuously
acclaim. And Saint-Just is standing motionless, pale of face; Couthon
ejaculating, "Triumvir?" with a look at his paralytic legs. And
Robespierre is struggling to speak, but President Thuriot is jingling the
bell against him, but the Hall is sounding against him like an Aeolus-Hall:
and Robespierre is mounting the Tribune-steps and descending again; going
and coming, like to choke with rage, terror, desperation:--and mutiny is
the order of the day! (Moniteur, Nos. 311, 312; Debats, iv. 421-42; Deux
Amis, xii. 390-411.)

O President Thuriot, thou that wert Elector Thuriot, and from the Bastille
battlements sawest Saint-Antoine rising like the Ocean-tide, and hast seen
much since, sawest thou ever the like of this? Jingle of bell, which thou
jinglest against Robespierre, is hardly audible amid the Bedlam-storm; and
men rage for life. "President of Assassins," shrieks Robespierre, "I
demand speech of thee for the last time!"  It cannot be had. "To you, O
virtuous men of the Plain," cries he, finding audience one moment, "I
appeal to you!"  The virtuous men of the Plain sit silent as stones. And
Thuriot's bell jingles, and the Hall sounds like Aeolus's Hall.
Robespierre's frothing lips are grown 'blue;' his tongue dry, cleaving to
the roof of his mouth. "The blood of Danton chokes him," cry they.
"Accusation! Decree of Accusation!"  Thuriot swiftly puts that question.
Accusation passes; the incorruptible Maximilien is decreed Accused.

"I demand to share my Brother's fate, as I have striven to share his
virtues," cries Augustin, the Younger Robespierre: Augustin also is
decreed. And Couthon, and Saint-Just, and Lebas, they are all decreed; and
packed forth,--not without difficulty, the Ushers almost trembling to obey.
Triumvirat and Company are packed forth, into Salut Committee-room; their
tongue cleaving to the roof of their mouth. You have but to summon the
Municipality; to cashier Commandant Henriot, and launch Arrest at him; to
regular formalities; hand Tinville his victims. It is noon: the Aeolus-
Hall has delivered itself; blows now victorious, harmonious, as one
irresistible wind.

And so the work is finished? One thinks so; and yet it is not so. Alas,
there is yet but the first-act finished; three or four other acts still to
come; and an uncertain catastrophe! A huge City holds in it so many
confusions: seven hundred thousand human heads; not one of which knows
what its neighbour is doing, nay not what itself is doing.--See,
accordingly, about three in the afternoon, Commandant Henriot, how instead
of sitting cashiered, arrested, he gallops along the Quais, followed by
Municipal Gendarmes, 'trampling down several persons!'  For the Townhall
sits deliberating, openly insurgent: Barriers to be shut; no Gaoler to
admit any Prisoner this day;--and Henriot is galloping towards the
Tuileries, to deliver Robespierre. On the Quai de la Ferraillerie, a young
Citoyen, walking with his wife, says aloud: "Gendarmes, that man is not
your Commandant; he is under arrest."  The Gendarmes strike down the young
Citoyen with the flat of their swords. (Precis des evenemens du Neuf
Thermidor, par C.A. Meda, ancien Gendarme (Paris, 1825).)

Representatives themselves (as Merlin the Thionviller) who accost him, this
puissant Henriot flings into guardhouses. He bursts towards the Tuileries
Committee-room, "to speak with Robespierre:"  with difficulty, the Ushers
and Tuileries Gendarmes, earnestly pleading and drawing sabre, seize this
Henriot; get the Henriot Gendarmes persuaded not to fight; get Robespierre
and Company packed into hackney-coaches, sent off under escort, to the
Luxembourg and other Prisons. This then is the end? May not an exhausted
Convention adjourn now, for a little repose and sustenance, 'at five

An exhausted Convention did it; and repented it. The end was not come;
only the end of the second-act. Hark, while exhausted Representatives sit
at victuals,--tocsin bursting from all steeples, drums rolling, in the
summer evening: Judge Coffinhal is galloping with new Gendarmes to deliver
Henriot from Tuileries Committee-room; and does deliver him! Puissant
Henriot vaults on horseback; sets to haranguing the Tuileries Gendarmes;
corrupts the Tuileries Gendarmes too; trots off with them to Townhall.
Alas, and Robespierre is not in Prison: the Gaoler shewed his Municipal
order, durst not on pain of his life, admit any Prisoner; the Robespierre
Hackney-coaches, in confused jangle and whirl of uncertain Gendarmes, have
floated safe--into the Townhall! There sit Robespierre and Company,
embraced by Municipals and Jacobins, in sacred right of Insurrection;
redacting Proclamations; sounding tocsins; corresponding with Sections and
Mother Society. Is not here a pretty enough third-act of a natural Greek
Drama; catastrophe more uncertain than ever?

The hasty Convention rushes together again, in the ominous nightfall:
President Collot, for the chair is his, enters with long strides, paleness
on his face; claps on his hat; says with solemn tone: "Citoyens, armed
Villains have beset the Committee-rooms, and got possession of them. The