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Full text of "The French Revolution : a history in three parts: 1. The Bastille; II. The constitution; III. The guillotine"



U4 In memory of 
Ptrof. D.J. McDougai; 
Z! 1983 _ 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 













VOL. Ill 









1. Cause and Effect i 

II. Culottic and Sansculottic 8 

III. Growing shrill 14 

IV. Fatherland in Danger 19 

V. Sansculottism accoutred 30 

VI. The Traitor 36 

VII. In Fight 41 

VIII. In Death-Grips 45 

IX. Extinct 52 



I. Charlotte Corday 61 

II. In Civil War 72 

III. Retreat of the Eleven 77 

IV. O Nature 82 

V. Sword of Sharpness 88 

VI. Risen against Tyrants 92 

VII. Marie-Antoinette 98 

VIII. The Twenty-Two 102 



I. Rushing down 108 

II. Death 114 

III. Destruction I22 



IV. Carmagnole complete 134 

V. Like a Thunder-Cloud 143 

VI. Do thy Duty 149. 

VII. Flame-Picture 159 



I. The Gods are athirst 167 

II. Danton, no Weakness 175 

III. The Tumbrils 182 

IV. Mumbo-Jumbo . . . 191 

V. The Prisons 196 

VI. To finish the Terror 200 

VII. Go down to 207 



I. Decadent 217 

II. La Cabarus 222 

III. Quiberon 228 

IV. Lion not dead 232 

V. Lion sprawling its last 237 

VI. Grilled Herrings . . 245 

VII. The Whiff of Grapeshot 249 

VIII. Finis 258 

Chronological Summary 261 

Appendices : — 

Justice, Part 1 279 

Justice, Part II 292 

The French Army in the Revolution 295 

The French Navy in the Revolution 310 

La Vendue . ; 318 

The Debt and Deficit and the Financial Conditions of France 

1789-95 329 

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy 342 

Index 347 


VOL. Ill 
La Vendee To face page ^^^ 





This huge Insurrectionary Movement, which we liken to a break- 
ing 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 pre- 
scribe ? 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 ; pro- 
bably 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 

VOL. III. 1 


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 fulfil- 
ment thereof.^ Hunger and nakedness, and nightmare oppres- 
sion 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 anything 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 im- 
measurable 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 

1 [Carlyle here shows himself an adherent of Lord Bacon's views, who in his 
essay " Of Seditions and Troubles " declares that the " rebellions of the belly are 
the worst," but we may well doubt whether the truer view be not that of Mr. 
Herbert Spencer {vide my introduction).] 


itself good, contradiction, exasperation will arise ; and Parties on 
Parties find that they cannot work together, cannot exist 

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 dissolu- 
tions, precipitations, endless turbulence of attracting and repell- 
ing ; till once the master-element get evolved, and this wild 
alchemy arrange itself again ? 

To the length of Seven-hundred and Forty-nine Parties, how- 
ever, 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 Re- 
volutions, 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 

But, quitting these somewhat abstract considerations, let His- 
tory note this concrete reality which the streets of Paris exhibit, 
on Monday the 2oth of February 179'^- 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." ^ 

And now from six o'clock, this Monday morning, one perceives 
the Bakers' Queues unusually expanded, angrily agitating them- 
selves. 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 dis- 
closes 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 elevenpence a pound ; likewise coffee-chests, soap- 
chests, nay cinnamon and cloves-chests, with aquaviice 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 y — male Patriots in petticoats and mob-cap. Thus, in the 
street of Lombards, in the street of Five-Diamonds, street of 
Pulleys, 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, 

1 Moniteur, &c. (Hist. Pari. xxiv. 332-348). 


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 Pulleys 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 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.' 2 Are not these, say the Girondins, pregnant indica- 
tions ? 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 ; wish- 
ing 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 wash with ; and the reign of 
Perfect Felicity ready to arrive, due always since the Bastille 

1 [A good stock ' cry. ' As far back as the Bastille day the ' gold of Pitt ' was a 
common belief in France : even Mercy believed that Pitt had a hand in the troubles 
of July '89, and the Duke of Dorset was obliged to write to the Constituent Assembly 
denying the charge [see Taine, i. 126).] 

2 Hist. Pari. xxiv. 353-356. [Ami du Peuple , Feb. 25th. Santerre was at 
Versailles on that day, and no attempt was made to call out the National Guard 
to stop the pillage.] 


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 the miracle. Out of that putrescent 
rubbish of Scepticism, Sensualism, Sentimentalism, hollow Mac- 
chiavelism, 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, 
noteworthy. 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 Came- 
ronians (Ren wick 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 un- 

1 [James Renvvick, born 1662, hanged in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, aged 
26, Feb. 17th 1688, the last of the Martyrs of the Covenant. See Diet. Nat. 
Biogr., sub verb. Renwick.] 


doubtedly 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 study- 
ing ; 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 Inter- 
jections, 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 re-acted 
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 
crew 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, frighten- 
ing 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 

1 [This is not strictly true, though it seemed truer when Carlyle wrote than it is 
now. Bar^re and Barras have both left Mimoires, though utterly untrustworthy : 
Levasseur's spurious Mimoires were about the only Montagnard ones extant in 
Carlyle's time; but P'ere Duchesne and C Ami du Peuple, as well as Carnot and 
Couthon's Correspondences, are Mdmoires in themselves.] 


thoroughly attained, the rest will become easier. To the eye of 
equal brotherly pity, innumerable perversions dissipate them- 
selves ; exaggerations and execrations fall off, of their own ac- 
cord. Standing wistfully on the safe shore, we will look, and 
see, what is of interest to us, what is adapted to us. 


GiRONDE and Mountain are now in full quarrel ; ^ their mutual 
rage, says Toulongeon, is growing a ' pale ' rage. Curious, lament- 
able : 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, how- 
ever, are men made. Creatures who live in confusion ; who, 
once thrown together, can readily fall into that confusion of con- 
fusions which quarrel is, simply because their confusions differ 
from one and 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 misunderstanding. 

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 

i[The strife may be said to have definitely begun with Roland's resignation 
(Jan. 23rd), if not with Gensonn^'s motion on 20th that the Minister of Justice be 
authorised to institute proceedings against the Septemberers. This was carried ; 
but repealed, in spite of a solitary protest by Lanjuinais, on Feb. 8th.] 


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 involun- 
tary-voluntary ; 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 Freewill ! 

The weapons of the Girondins are Political Philosophy, Re- 
spectability 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 Im- 
petuosity 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 


Pahs who do not read so much as hear and see, the Girondins 
altogether lose it, and the Mountain carries it. 

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 shows 
itself. They are men skilful in Advocate-fence. They have 
been called the Jesuits of the Revolution ^ ; 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 Revolu- 
tion 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 
formulary, 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, un- 
substantial 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 : 

1 Dumouriez, Mdmoires, iii. 314. 


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 Supp/dans 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 

i[May i8th.] 

2 [It is not true that * every deputy has his suppliant. ' In Sept. '92, 298 supplians 
in all were elected, and these should have been called up in turn to fill the vacancies 
happening in their respective deputations. It is evident however that a fair number 
of persons elected to the Convention refused to sit, or never sat ; for on Sept. ist 
'93 a member complained that in many deputations the whole list of supplians had 
been called up, and yet these deputations were not full. The whole system shows 
how imperfectly France understood the parliamentary idea of ' an appeal to the 
country : ' any appeal to the provinces, if free and thorough, would have been 
answered in favour of Constitutional Royalty, and it is very doubtful if even at this 
time such an appeal would have helped the Gironde seriously. As it was the Pro- 
vinces were utterly without leaders, and the Jacobin Clubs were almost the only 
" authorities " existing. Still out of the supplians 170 were at one time or another 
called up : on Oct. 14th '93 the Convention voted that no suppliant who had pro- 
tested against June 2nd, or had been suspended from any office by a Reprisentant 
en mission, or had taken part in any ' liberticide measures,' should be allowed to sit. 
On Dec. 15th the names of all the supplians were ' pooled,' irrespective of their 
several deputations, and names to fill vacancies drawn by lot, subject to the above 
restrictions. Not till Feb. 25th 1795 were the supplians freely admitted in turn in 
spite of their opinions {see Guiffrey, cap. iii. , and Rev. de la R^v. iv. ii. 205-7). 

What Guadet actually proposed (on May 18th) was that the supplians should 
be called together at Bourges, but should not deliberate till they had actual news 
of the destruction of the Convention (which he, Guadet, thought imminent). 
Vergniaud supported the motion ; but at that very time there were mdications that 
the Montagne would not have it all their own way ; several Sections (notably 
Tuileries, Fraternity and Buttes des Moulins) presented addresses of moderate 
temper, and Dutard (vid. Infr. cap. viii. ) had hopes from addresses drawn up at 
Bordeaux, which the Convention had ordered to be printed and circulated, and so 
Guadet's motion was not pushed.] 


new orders from the Sovereign People; and rightglad 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 elo- 
quent logic, today, they are repealed, by clamour and passionate 
wider considerations, on the morrow.^ 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 Fed&raliste, with or without much Dictionary-mean- 
ing ; 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 
GuiFroy ; ^ 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 

iMoniteur, 1793, No. 140, &c. 

2 [That the accusation of ' Federalism ' was not without ground may be gathered 
from several passages in Mme Roland and Buzot. ' We (meaning her friends in 
1792) discussed the proposal for a Republican government and spoke of the excellent 
temper of the cities of the South' (Mme Roland, 249). 'The French Republic is 
only possible in a form nearly like that of the American ' (Buzot, 58). The Gironde 
were fond of harping upon the excellencies of the American model. But it suited 
the Montag7ie to treat any appeal to the Provinces against Paris as treason, and 
' Federalism ' was a convenient name to give it. How far the movement of the 
summer of '93 in Normandy and Provence was Girondin is difficult to say ; Mallet 
du Pan thought it merely the revolt of respectability against mob rule, and that 
it might be utilised for the restoration of Constitutional Monarchy (Corresp. i. 
392) ; he placed even more confidence in it than in La Vendue, which he regarded 
as having risen too soon and too much for the Ancien Rdgime tout pur. '\ 

^[Rougyff, ou le Franc en vedette (July 9th '93 — May 29th '94), a blasphemous 
and filthy print (with a motto from a Eucharistic hymn, twisted and adorned with 
oaths and filth). (Tourneux, ii. 698.) Guffroy, a savage from Arras, born 1740, 
sat for the Pas-de-Calais in the Convention. He sat in the Comitdde Siireti Gdndrale 
and quarrelled with Robespierre a little while before Thermidor ; denounced all his 
former associates, and died a clerk in the Ministry of Justice.] 


between the one function and the other. ^ But this too, which 
indeed could help little, is revoked or eluded ; remains a pious 
wish mainly. 

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 Sans- 
culottic, man against man. From the Southern Cities come Ad- 
dresses 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 Sans- 
culottic. 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 Moderan- 
iin 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 Guillo- 
tine 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 

1 Hist. Pari. xxv. 25, &c. 

-[Marseilles began to show signs of restlessness as early as April 22nd ; (Carlyle 
has got dreadfully ahead of his subject at this part of the book, and his chronology 
becomes wild, and never quite recovers). It was levying troops of its own accord ; 
the Convention sent for its Maire, and forbade the levy (Aulard, Recueil, ill. 382).] 


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 Guil- 
lotine was not got together impromptu, that day, 'on the Pont 
Saint-Clair,' or elsewhere ; but indeed continued lying rusty in 
its loft : ^ 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 cannons 
rumbling. Convention Commissioners must be sent thither forth- 
with : if even they can appease it, and keep the Guillotine in 
its loft ? 2 

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 sea- 
son ! 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. 


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. 

1 Hist. Pari. xxiv. 385-93 ; xxvi, 229, &c. 

2 [The first Commissioners of the Convention to Lyons (of whom Boissy d'Anglas 
was one) had to deal, after Jan. 30th, with a considerable Royalist reaction there ; 
domiciliary visits were instituted and over 300 persons imprisoned. Chalier had 
been beaten for the Mayoralty by Niviere- (not Nievre-) Choi, on whose resignation 
another Moderate was elected ; but this election was quashed by the new Convention 
Commissioners, Bar^re and Legendre (who arrived in March). This produced 
great rage in Lyons among all but the few extreme Radicals. More Convention 
Commissioners were sent, including Dubois-Cranc^, but failed to keep the Radicals 
in power or the Moderates in check. At last on May 29th the so-called ' Girondin ' 
Insurrection in Lyons broke out, and, on the news of June 2nd, became a small 
civil war {vid. infr. , 72 sqq. ). 

In Tallien's report to the Convention on the commencement of troubles in Lyons, 
read on Feb. 25th, the jealousy of starving and ruined Paris against still com- 
paratively prosperous Lyons is manifest in every line [see Aulard, Recueil, ii. 198 ; 
Mortimer-Ternaux, vi. 250).] 


Besides September, of which there is now little to be made 
except effervescence, we discern two sore-places where the Moun- 
tain 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, in- 
citing 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 ' de- 
cree him accused ' (ddcriter 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 cochom; les imbdcil/es, 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, pusillani- 
mities : "these two years," says he, "you have been whining 
about attacks, and plots, and danger from Paris ; and you have 
not a scratch to show for yourselves." ^ — Danton gruffly rebukes 
him, from time to time : a Maximum of Patriotism, whom one 
can neither own nor disown ! ^ 

i[6>^ Danton's speech, Sept. 25th '92 (Stephens' Orators, vol. ii.), in which he 
avows that he is no Maratist, does not like Marat, and compares him to Royou 
the extreme Royalist. Robespierre in his reply to Louvet (Nov. 4th) is equally 
careful to clear himself from the accusation of acquaintance with Marat. The 
'pillage of shops' refers to the article in L'Ami of Feb. 2Sth {vid. supr., p. 5).] 

2 Moniteur, Stance du 20 Mai 1793. 

^ [Danton's position was becoming an awkward one ; as a statesman he wished 
for order and peace, but, like Mirabeau, he at times believed himself compelled to 
use the Marats and Huberts, in order to keep his popularity. The two things were 
incompatible, and, while he was hesitating, more violent men gradually deprived 
him of his power over Paris. He left Paris, on his second mission to Belgium, Jan. 
31st, and returned on Feb. i8th.] 


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 pro- 
duce 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 bedrifted hither and thither, to what 
comer 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 

i[For Madame de Genlis, vid. supr., i. 380, in/r., iii. 38.] 

2 [The Comte de Genlis, afterwards Marquis de Sillery, was deputy to the Con- 
stituent and Convention, and one of the chief of the so-called ' Orl^anist ' party in 
the former ; guillotined Oct. 31st '93. He was separated from his wife, but remained 
upon good terms with her till this period.] 

3 [" Mdlle Egalite" (or rather Princess Adelaide of Orleans), born 1777, joined 
her brother the Due de Chartres (afterwards King Louis-Philippe) in Switzerland 
after her father's death, and also led a wandering life ; she contributed much to 
put her brother on the throne in 1830, and died a few weeks before the Revolution 
of 1848 (vid. in/r., iii. 38).] 


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 ; 
' unable to utter a word, I held out my hand ; he grasped it close ; 
' then turning, and advancing sharply towards the postilions, he 
'gave them a sign, and we rolled away.' ^ 

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 Barr^re. 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 win- 
ning 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 Famish 
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 Conven- 
tion bested ? Call him not, as exaggerative Mercier does, ' the 

* Genlis, M^moires (London, 1825), iv. 118. [The first emigration of Mme de 
Genlis with the Princess was Oct. nth '91 ; they returned to France Nov. '92. 
Madame does not give the exact date in November when they reached Paris, but 
immediately on their arrival the Duke sent them off to Belgium, where they 
remained till March 31st '93 (at Tournay),] 
VOL. III. 2 


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, "lis nont point de con- 
Jiance." ^ — The tumult will get ever shriller ; rage is growing 

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, Philo- 

iM^moires de Meillan, Reprdsentant du Peuple (Paris, 1823), p. 51, [Meillan 
was deputy for the Basses- Pyr^n^es, proscribed with the Girondins, escaped and re- 
appeared in the Convention after Thermidor. His ' M^moires' are specially valuable 
for the events of May '93. The story of the meeting of Danton with the Girondin 
leaders at Sceaux in Nov. '92, though repeated by Mr. Belloc (198), is probably 
apocryphal ; Danton would possibly have welcomed a reconciliation with them as 
late as March 29th ; Madame Roland, in every line of whose writings bitter hatred 
of Danton is visible, no doubt did much to keep them from any such reconciliation : 
all March Danton strove for strong government, while the Girondins, to keep their 
popularity, tried to outdo him in violent motions, instead of uniting with him, and 
on April ist the storm broke (see Mortimer-Ternaux, vii. 297; vid. in/r., iii. 42),] 


sophism. Respectability avail not : ' against Stupidity the very 
gods fight to no purpose, 

' Mit der Dummheit kdmpfen Cotter 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 danger- 
ous 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 


Or rather we will say, this Senatorial war might have lasted long ; 
and Party tugging and throttling with Party might have sup- 
pressed 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 : Maastricht 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. ^ Nay worse : 
Dumouriez himself is perhaps secretly turning traitor? Very 
sharp is the tone in which he writes to our Committees. Com- 
missioners 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 sacred 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 

^ [While Dumouriez was preparing to advance towards Maestricht the situation 
in Belgium was becoming desperate ; after Jemappes orders had been issued for a 
Belgian National Convention ; the Montagnards were determined that this should 
never meet ; and, by their commissioners, they jobbed and bullied the electors 
accordingly. This was bitter for Dumouriez, who honestly wished to see Belgium 
free, and perhaps drove him towards his treason; but his resistance was in vam, 
and the union of the various Netherland provinces to France was voted by the 
French Convention early in March. 

Meanwhile the Austrians were re-forming on the lower Rhine, Catharine of 
Russia was coming to terms as to Poland with Frederick William, whose hands 
would soon be free to attack France again. Dumouriez's own army was in a 
dreadful condition, the reorganisation beg^n by Dubois-Cranc^'s measures of 
February had not had time to work ; so when Dumouriez crossed the Dutch 
frontier (Feb. 17th), and sent Miranda to besiege Maestricht, he was unable to 
supply any siege guns, and unable himself to cross the Meuse. On March 8th the 
French Government ordered him to retreat, and on the 12th Carnot was sent as 
Commissioner to his army— a mission which lasted till August. Coburg followed 
up the French retreat hard {vid. infr., iii. 29).] 

2 Dumouriez, iv. 16-73. 

•"[Dumouriez' letter of March 12th to the Convention is called by Sorel (iii. 339) 
' a manifesto of Civil war. '] 


King of France : there were an end for our Revolution ! — Com- 
mittee 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.2 How sad a reverse for Mentz ! Brave Forster, brave 
Lux planted Liberty-trees, amid ga-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.^ Forster has been round the Globe ; he saw 
Cook perish under Owyhee clubs ; but like this Paris he has yet 

1 [Dec.— April. Custine had to face both the Prussians under Brunswick, and the 
Austrians under Wiirmser ; his army, enriched by the spoils of the Palatinate, had 
become a horde of brigands. On Dec. and '92 Brunswick retook Frankfort. In 
March he crossed the Rhine at Bacharach and Lorch, and gradually drove Custine 
out of all the Palatinate strongholds. Custine retired on Landau April ist, and was 
at once threatened with accusations of treason. Robespierre, however, defended him 
for the time, and he was shortly after sent to replace Dampierre in the Army of the 

2 [Dec. — July 23rd,] 

^[The Republic of Mainz was short-lived, nor was Forster by any means a 
typical founder of it. He was a naturalist, who had sailed with Captain Cook, and 
afterwards became librarian to the Elector of Mainz. He was somewhat more of 
a German patriot than the majority of the founders of the "Jacobin Club" of 
Mainz, such as Boehmer, Lux, etc. ; even of these only the very smallest (and 
noisiest) minority had desired incorporation with France ; Forster however concluded 
that the left bank of the Rhine would probably fall to her. The Prussian troops 
began a slow and desultory siege of Mainz in December ; the place was defended 
with extreme tenacity, not only by Merlin and Rewbell, the Convention Commis- 
sioners, but by Kl^ber, d'Oyr^, Meusnier, Aubert-Dubayet and Marigny. The 
bombardment began in June, and the capitulation was signed on July 23rd, after 
extreme privations had been endured. The garrison marched out with the honours 
of war, and engaged not to serve against the allies again for a year ; in fulfilment 
of which pledge the Convention afterwards sent them to La Vendue (but vld. infr. , 
iii. 80).] 


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 
Forster'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 unmelo- 
dious 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 plumpsack.' ^ 'It 
'is the Explosion and New-creation of a World,' says Forster ; 
'and the actors in it, such small mean objects, buzzing round 
' one like a handful of jflies.' — 

Likewise there is war with Spain. 2 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'emiemi 

1 Forster's Briefwechsel, ii. 514, 460, 631. 

2 [The Spanish Nation threw itself heartily into the war and made a far better 
show in it than its Government had expected. Godoy was in fact carried off his 
legs by a wave of popular feeling, excited by the priests against an apostate and 
regicide nation : Spanish feeling had been also profoundly excited by the loose 
talk of the Jacobin clubs in Perpignan and Bayonne, who coolly prepared measures 
for revolutionising Spain. Carnot had been on mission to the Pyrenees in Dec. 
and Jan., but without much success, and the first dlan of the Spanish armies 
carried them up to the walls of Bayonne and Perpignan ; Bellegarde fell (June 14th) 
to the Spanish General Ricardos \vid. infr., iii. 153).] 

3 [The English plans were simple : to subsidise Austria and, if possible, Prussia 
also, for the defence of Belgium ; to subsidise Portugal, Spain, Sardinia, Naples; 
to utilise the Royalist movements in the South ; to send an army of 40,000 English 
and Hanoverians to advance from Holland, by the coast road, on Dunkirk, 
Dunkirk was to be England's Continental share of the spoil ; for the rest she 
would recoup herself in the West Indies. Tlie advent of Thugut to power in 
Austria (March 27th) spoilt these plans, for Thugut had no intention of really de- 
fending Belgium, unless it could be increased by a large strip of French Flanders ; 
with Thugut' s advent also vanished the last shred of Austrian interest in the fate 
of Marie Antoinette and her children.] 


du genre humain,^ The enemy of mankind ; ' and, very singular 
to say, you make 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. 2 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, bodeftil 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-qid-peut ! Field after 
field is theirs ; one sees not where it will end. Commandant 
Santerre may be sent there ; but with non-effect ; he might as 
well have returned and brewed beer. 

It has become peremptorily necessary that a National Conven- 

i[It was on Aug. 7th that this remarkably childish decree was passed, on an 
amendment of Couthon's to a motion that Pitt was outside the pale of nations, and 
that any one might assassinate him (who could).] 

*See Dampmartin, Ev^nemens, ii. 213-30. 

3 [The actual news of the insurrection at Machecoul did not arrive till March 
i8th. (For La Vendue see Appendix. )] 


tion 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 us 
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 soil Jl6tri ; que la France 
soil 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. Instan- 
taneous recruitment in Paris ; let every Section of Paris furnish 
its thousands ; every Section of France ! Ninety-six Commis- 
sioners 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 ! 2 

1 [March 8th.] 

^Moniteur (in Hist. Pari. xxv. 6) [i.e., Moniteur, March loth. Danton added 
in this great speech some partial defence of Dumouriez : ' It is not all his fault, 
' you promised him 30,000 more men on Feb. ist, but not a man has reached him : 
' we must send a new army into Belgium. Dumouriez has his faults, but he is dear 
* to the soldiers.' Carlyle mixes up some phrases from Danton's later speech of 


— 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'dtat, 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 ; 

April with those of this earlier one {see Stephens' Orators, Danton, March 8th, 
April ist). 

The Sections of Paris were slow to respond to Danton' s call ; most of their 
Revolutionary Committees were entirely "run" by the fanatics of the Commune, 
and indicated that they were more afraid of domestic traitors than of the Austrians 
{i.e., wanted to make a new September massacre) and demanded the establish- 
ment of a Tribunal swifter than that of Aug. 17th. This naturally led to the 
imeute of March loth {see Aulard, Recueil, ii. 284-6).] 

i[The extreme Radicals actually issued from the Jacobin club a manifesto on 
March 9th, fixing 5 a.m. on loth for the commencement of the Insurrection, The 
first thing to be attacked was the Girondin printing presses : this was the only part 
of the business which came off (Mortimer-Ternaux, vi. J84-5).] 


— 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 Du- 
mouriez, 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, horrorstruck, and ' trample the Banner 
under foot : ' seemingly the work of some Crypto-Royalist Plotter ? 
Most probable : ^ — 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 ! ^ 

History, looking over the Girondin Memoirs, anxious to dis- 
entangle 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 Girondius 
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, " lis neferont rien," 
and 'composedly resumed his violin,' says Louvet ;3 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 

^Choix des Rapports, xi. 277. [March 12th.] 

2 Hist. Pari. xxv. 72. 

'Louvet, M^m. p. 74. [^ II pleuf,' dit-il^ ^ il n'y aura rien' (I can find no 
mention of Petion's violin in this passage, nor in Meillan, with whose account I 
thought at first Carlyle might have confused Louvet's),] 


had their houses broken into ^ (by a tumult of Patriots, among 
whom redcapped 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.^ 

Vergniaud denounces and deplores ; in sweetly turned 
periods.*^ Section Bonconseil, Good-counsel so-named, not Mau- 
conseil 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 : ^ but its word is spoken, and will not fall to the 

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 

1 [March loth.J 

2 [Gorsas' printing press was in Rue Tiquetonne ; what were the exact further 
designs of the Insurgents is not clear, but it is evident there was an attempt at 
surrounding the Convention, such as was successful eleven weeks later.] 

^ Meillan, pp. 23, 24 ; Louvet, pp. 71-80. 

•* [March 13th. Carlyle can hardly have read Vergniaud 's speech of March 13th, 
which was anything but ' sweetly turned periods,' but an unusually brave and out- 
spoken outburst against the Insurrectionists. It is there that the phrase occurs of the 
' Revolution devouring its own children ; ' there that the members of the ' Committee 
of Insurrection ' are denounced by name and a demand for their arrest put forward ; 
there is made also an open demand that the minute books of the Cordeliers and 
Jacobins be produced in the Convention {see Stephens' Orators, vol. ii.). 

Garat was forthwith ordered to arrest the Committee of Insurrection, and 
weakly replied that ' he couldn't find any Committee so called.' The Cafd Corazza 
all through March was the centre of this not very secret committee, whose leaders 
were Collot, Guzman, Desfieux, Proly, Lazowski, Chabot, and perhaps Tallien 
(three of these were foreigners). This Committee transferred its sittings to the 
old Archevechd in April. {See Schmidt, Tableaux, i, 146 ; Dauban, Paris en 1793, 
p. 97. -f^?-)] 

5 Moniteur (Stance du 12 Mars), 15 Mars. 


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 we 
call the Virtues ; on what we call the Decencies and Respecta- 
bilities : 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 for- 
ever 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 cam. 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, down- 
wards to the utter Dark ; to Ruin, which is the great Sea of 
Darkness, whither all falsehoods, winding or direct, continually 

This Tenth of March we may mark as an epoch in the 
Girondin destinies ; the rage so exasperated itself, the miscon- 


ception so darkened itself.^ Many desert the sittings ; many come 
to them armed. 2 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 1 8th 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 Com- 

^ [March loth was really fatal to the Gironde because of the support which most 
of its leaders gave to the creation of the Tribunal Criminel Extraordinaire {vid. 
infr., iii. 32) : also because on the same day Danton's motion for the creation of a 
strong Committee of Government, in which they might then have had a share, was 
shelved, to reappear as the motion for the Comitd de Salut Public on April 6th, when 
it was too late for them. The ' authorities,' so called, were as weak now as in Sept. 
'92. Garat, the new Minister of the Interior on whom they henceforward relied 
(March 14th — Aug. 15th), was a weaker edition of Roland. He was born 1749, 
had been Professor of History at the LyUe, deputy to States-General, Minister of 
Justice on Danton's resignation, Oct. '92, was afterwards ambassador to Naples 
'98, Senator and Count of the Empire, died 1833.] 

2Meillan, M6m. 85, 24. [' The Coti Droit was deserted, we were only 44 . . . 
for some time nearly all of us were armed with sabres, pistols, etc' This refers 
apparently to March loth.] 

3 [The retreat once begun had been a disastrous one (March 8th — i8th) ; the 
army was thoroughly dispirited : Dumouriez, in order to give it heart, determined to 
risk a battle for which his numbers, some 47,000, were not too small. Coburg how- 
ever wisely posted himself on the heights of Neerwinden ; the French right and centre, 
under Valence and the Due de Chartres, charged with the greatest valour, and 
won a footing on the heights, but Miranda on the left was chased from the field by 
the young Archduke Karl ; to prevent his flank being uncovered Dumouriez had 
to withdraw his centre and left again, and the retreat was continued, viA Louvain 
and Brussels, on Valenciennes (reached March 27th).] 


missioners ^ once more, return very doubtful ; even Danton now 

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 Jacohus ? " " Or Philippus ! " rejoins Proly ; 
— and hastens to report progress. Over the Frontiers such hope 
is there. 2 



Let us look, however, at the grand internal Sansculottism and 
Revolution Prodigy, whether it stirs and waxes : there and not 
elsewhere may hope still be for France. The Revolution 
Prodigy, as Decree after Decree issues from the Mountain, like 
creative, A«^*, accordant with the nature of the Thing, — is shaping 
itself rapidly, in these days, into terrific stature and articulation, 
limb after limb. Last March, 1 792, 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 Jiat ! 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 de- 
nouncing. The Mountain must speak new^/iat, and new^ats. 

^ [Danton's third mission to Belgium ; he reached Dumouriez on 19th, the morn- 
ing after Neerwinden, found there was nothing to be made of him, and returned 
at once to denounce him.] 

2 [Proly, Pereira and Dubuisson were not sent to Dumouriez — they had been 
sent to revolutionise Holland (when it should have been conquered) and met the 
General on their return from this fruitless errand, March 26th. Danton in his 
speech, April ist, confirms the fact of Dumouriez's excellent criticism on the com- 
position of the Convention, adding, however, that he had not heard the words 


And does it not speak such ? Take, as first example, those 
Comit&s Revolution naires 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, gener- 
ally, that the Republic suffer no detriment. Chosen by universal 
suffrage, each in its Section, they are a kind of elixir of Jacobin- 
ism ; 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 ; 2 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 

i[The Revolutionary Committees of the 48 Sections of Paris (and of each 
Commune of France) were the small Committees which got themselves nominated 
first in June, July, Aug. '92 to guide the Insurrection against the Monarchy. 
They were intended to be temporary in character ; but from Jan. '93 onwards such 
Committees are found (apart from the whole body of their sections) presenting peti- 
tions, etc. The various extreme Revolutionary measures, such as raising troops for 
the levy of 300,000 men (Feb. 24th), the arrest of suspected persons, and especially the 
granting of ' certificates of civism,' were put into their hands subject always to 
appeal to the Commune. Each Committee was ordered to correspond with the 
Comity de Suretd G^nirale every ten days ; and the members received three 
francs a day : until the passing of the ' law of the 40 sous ' (Sept. 4th '93, vid. 
infr. , iii. 93) the Section meetings probably consisted of few people besides the 
Revolutionary Committees. Dutard [see Schmidt's Tableaux, vol. i. passim) con- 
tinually speaks of these meetings as being the source of all disorder ; ' if the Moderates 
ever get the upper hand in any section, the rowdy men come over from the next 
section, and outvote them.'] 

'^{Cartes de Civisme, called also Cartes de SHret^, were enforced by an order 
of the Commune April 29th '93, Garat feebly allowing it. They were made out 
by the Revolutionary Committees of the Section to which the man belonged, and 
the issue, examination and revocation of these certificates became the principal 
business of those bodies and the most potent agent of the Terror. Besides the 
signature of the President of the Section that of two other witnesses was required, 
who had to testify to the unspotted Radicalism of the applicant ; a vote given for 
a Moderate at a municipal election, an expression of pity for ' the Tyrant ' were 
enough to dumn him. The cards had to be presented to any police officer who 
asked for them, and even in the queues at the Bakers' shops. Perriere, one of 
Garat's spies, speaks of the extreme difficulty of getting his carte made out {see 
Schmidt, i. 156, 355 ; ii. 79, 193).] 

■■'[March ist.] *[Fid, supr., ii. 190, note.] 


Mive yet fitly 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, circu<- 
lates through all fibres of France. 

Very notable also is the Tribunal Extraordinaire : ^ decreed by 
the Mountain ; ^ some Girondins dissenting, for surely such a 
Court contradicts every formula ; — other Girondins assenting, 
nay cooperating, 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 

1 Moniteur, No. 70 (du 11 Mars), No. 76, etc. [The great authority on the 
Revolutionary Tribunal ( Tribunal Revolutionnaire) is M. Emile Campardon. The 
Tributial oiAngnsl 17th — Nov. 29th '92 was only a temporary one {vid. sup?-. , ii. 282). 
The new Tribunal Criminel Extraordinaire was to be permanent, and to take 
account of all cases of conspiracy against the nation. It was demanded by Carrier 
(then so unknown that the Journal des Dibats calls him Cartier), and supported by 
Isnard and Danton : no doubt the Gironde hoped to use it to put down the Mon- 
tagne : Lanjuinais courageously protested against its creation. On July 31st it was 
divided into two courts ; on Sept. 14th into four ; on Oct. 29th it is first called Tribunal 
Revolutionnaire. It then had two Presidents, 16 Judges and 60 Jurors. By the ' law of 
22 Prairial' (June loth '94) it could judge even members of the Convention without a 
decree. From April— Nov. '93 the monthly average was 13 condemnations to death ; 
from Nov. '93 — March '94, 65 ; then Ventose (Feb. 19th — March 19th), 116 condem- 
nations ; Germinal (March 20th— April 19th), 155 ; Flordal (April 20th— May 19th), 
355 ; Prairial ist to 22nd (May 20th — June loth), 281 ; Prairial 23rd to 9th Thermidor 
(June nth— July 27th), 1,366 ; July 27th '94— Sept. 22nd '95, 166, nearly all these 
last being victims of the Thermidorian reaction.] 

2 [March loth.] 

3 [Herman (or Hermann), one of Robespierre's legal friends from Arras, born 
1759, first President of Tribunal, resigned shortly before Thermidor : guillotined 
with Fouquier May 7th '95.] 

4[R. F. Dumas, another close follower of Robespierre, Vice-President of Tri- 
bunal; guillotined with Robespierre, loth Thermidor.] 

5 [Antoine-Quentin Fouquier-Tinville, born 1746, well educated by a rich peasant 
father, called to the Paris bar {Chdtclef) 1774, married and had children (a daughter 
of his was living at Vervins in 1848) ; in 1783 Fouquier retired from practice and 


Attorney-General, and a Jury of such as Citizen Leroi, who 
has surnamed himself Dix-AoHly ' 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 teiTor 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 Govern- 
ment continues hitherto in a very anarchic state. Executive 
Council of Ministers, Six in number, there is : but they, espe- 
cially 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 Conven- 
tion 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 Comity de Salut Public ; 
as it were, for miscellaneous accidental purposes requiring des- 
patch ; — 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 re-elect 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 Com- 
mittee ; but with a principle of growth in it ! Forwarded by 
fortune, by internal Jacobin energy, it will reduce all Com- 

his history is obscure till Aug. 20th '92, when he wrote to C. Desmoulins asking 
for a place. Camille, who was distantly related to him, got him named Director of 
Juries on the Tribunal of Aug. 17th. He became Public Accuser to the new 
Tribunal at this date, and was guillotined May 7th '95 (Campardon, i. 13).] 
1 [April 6th.] 

VOL. III. 3 


mittees 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. 1 

If we call that Revolutionary Tribunal a Sword, which Sans- 
culottism 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 ; ^ and 

1 Moniteur, No. 83 (du 24 Mars 1793), Nos, 86, 98, 99, loo. {Vid. supr., ii. 279. 
It was during the debates on the King's trial (Jan. 3rd, on Kersaint's motion) 
that the name Comitd de Defense Gdnlrale was first given to the revived '• Com- 
mittee of 25.' Three members were to be elected to it by each of the principal 
Committees of the Convention. Its business was the War and all measures which 
could help the War. Its membership was divided, during the months of Jan., 
Feb., March, between Montagnards and Girondists. Now, on April 6th, on 
Isnard's motion it was reduced to 9 members (Danton, Bar^re, Cambon, Delmas, 
Brdard, Guyton-Morveau, Treilhard, Lacroix, Lindet), and its debates were to be 
secret ; Gasparin and Saint-Andr(5 joined it later. This Committee was re-elected 
May loth and June loth. It was entirely under Danton's influence and it represents 
his effort to govern France. There exists in the French archives (A. F. ii. 45-50) a 
series of registers of its deliberations : Danton's signature is comparatively infre- 
quent, Cambon, Lindet, Barere and Guyton-Morveau are the most regular attend- 
ants. This bears out the tradition of Danton's laziness [see Mortimer- Ternaux, vi. 
10 ; see Aulard, Recueil des Actes et Monuments du Comitd de Salut Public (Paris 
1889 — 91), ii. 83, 113 ; and (throughout) Gros, Le Comitd de Salut Public (Paris, 
1893), vid. infr.y iii. 71).] 

2 [May 3rd.] 

3 Ibid, (du 20 Avril, &c., to 20 Mai 1793.) {The Maximum. Carlyle probably 
here refers to the petition of the Commune^ April i8th '93, in favour of a fixed 
price for all necessaries of life, which had been hinted at by Saint-Just as early as 
Nov. 20th '92. There was nothing new in the idea, or in the partial or municipal 
enforcement of it. The harvest of '92 had not been a bad one (though not a very 
good one), and the Executive Council had, on Sept. i6th, issued a proclamation that 
all owners of grain stores should consider themselves simple trustees, that a register 
was to be kept of the quantity each man possessed, and requisitions made for the 
public market accordingly. The Convention at once voted 20 millions to be at 
Roland's disposal for the supply of the Paris market, and that bakers were to sell at 
3 sous the lb. (we hear no more of the 4 lb. loaf) ; the price in the country round was 
often double that. Further a regular open account was to be kept between the baker 
and each of his customers, weekly inspected by the Commissioners of the Commune. 
This arrangement lasted until May 3rd '93, and Mortimer-Ternaux (vi. 40) calcu- 
lates that the Commune spent 12,000 fr. a day in ' keeping prices down.' On May 


shall gradually extend itself into a Maximum for all manner of 
comestibles and commodities : with such scrambling and topsy- 
turvying 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 bams, more 
than two-thirds of it must have been thrashed and sold. One 
can denounce him, and raise penalties. 

By such inextricable overturning of all Commercial relations 
will Sansculottism keep life in ; since not otherwise. On the 
whole, as Camille Desmoulins says once, " while the Sansculot- 
tes fight, the Monsieurs must pay." So there come Impdis Pro- 
gressifs, Ascending Taxes ; which consume, with fast-increasing 
voracity, the ' 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 

3rd the Maximum was actually voted, for corn only, over the whole of France, the 
price to vary according to the condition of the crops and stores in each department 
On Sept. 17th '93 it was voted to extend the principle to other commodities also, 
and to enforce it at once in the matter of corn. The same law defines the crime 
of accaparement as the "withdrawing from public daily sale articles of prime 
necessity which you possess, grow or manufacture." The crime is punishable by 
death and confiscation, the informer receiving one-third of the goods confiscated. 
Further no miller or baker may abandon his craft, or sell privately ; no man may 
store more than one month's provisions for his family ; lands left uncultivated shall 
immediately be put in cultivation. But it seems that little was done to enforce all 
this as yet. In Nov. '93 a table of prices of all articles of necessity was to be pre- 
pared in each Department, and these tables were presented to the Convention 
in a report of Barere's, in Feb. '94, His speech on that occasion (Feb. 22nd) shows 
that the basis of the Maximum was taken to be the cost of production in 1790 in- 
creased by one-third to allow for the rise in the price of everything, plus 5 per cent, 
profit for the wholesale, plus 10 per cent, profit for the retail dealer. The tables of 
prices so prepared needed constant revision (I have quoted one, infr., iii. 164), and 
the Maximum was in fact only enforced by Terror and for the sake of Terror. It 
was used as a means of confiscating the property of the agricultural class newly 
enriched by the Revolution ; and a very large proportion of the victims of the 
' Red Terror ' (May — July '94) were peasant proprietors, who suffered for evading 
it. {Cf. Rev. de la R6v. viii. 162, 282, 336, 442 ; Schmidt, ii. 240, 254.) The Com- 
mittee of Public Safety constantly evaded it for the needs of the Armies ; Aulard's 
Recueil teems with orders of Committee authorising the purchase of provisions, 
equipments and munitions of War at prices above the Maximum.'\ 


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, qa-ira-m^ ; — 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 

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! 2 



But Dumouriez, with his fugitive Host, with his King Ludoxicux 
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, 

1 [This is the Impot Progressif oi April 27th (Danton's proposal). The forced 
loan of a milliard vfdis on May 20th. The details were not finally settled till June 
22nd, by Ramel. On Sept. 3rd it was added that a jury of your neighbours should 
assess you for this loan (one can imagine how equitably it would be done). We 
hear no more of the loan or tax after the summer of '93 ; the Government lived by 
confiscations and requisitions, not by taxes. {See Appx. on Debt and Deficit ; 
Mortimer-Ternaux, viii. 333, sqg.)] 

2 [For a sensible view of the situation see the letter of La Coste and Saint-Andrd 
to Barere (from the Department of the Lot), March 26th: 'Every one, rich and 
poor alike, is weary of the Revolution, the Municipal authorities are hopelessly 
against us, the Convention is despised and the cause lost, but we Conventionals 
have to save our heads, and the only way to do it is to feed the poor from public 
granaries with cheap bread' (Aulard, Recueil, ii. 533).] 


the many-counselled, never off horseback, knows now no counsel 
that were not worse than none : ^ the counsel, namely, of join- 
ing himself with Cobourg ; marching to Paris, extinguishing 
Jacobinism, and, with some new King Ludovicus or King 
Philippus, restoring the Constitution of 1791!^ 

Is Wisdom quitting Dumouriez ; the herald of Fortune quit- 
ting 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 Representa- 
tives, Jacobin Missionaries are riding and running ; of the 
'three Towns,' Lille, Valenciennes or even Conde, which Du- 
mouriez wanted to snatch for himself, not one can be snatched ; 
your Captain is admitted, but the Town-gate is closed on him, 
and then alas 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 Viie-la-Ri- 
publique 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 6galite her Brother. In the cold gray 

1 [March 23rd— April 5th.] 

'^ Dumouriez, M^moires, iv. c. 7, c. 10. [His plan was to propose to Coburg 
an armistice of sufficient duration to enable him to go to Paris, and restore the 
Monarchy (Louis XVII.). It seems incredible that such an astute person should 
have relied on the good faith of the Austrian Government — though Coburg, who 
most unwillingly signed the agreement with him, was honourably disposed to 
keep it. The negotiations between them lasted from March 23rd— April 5th, 
Dumouriez agreeing to put the frontier fortresses in Coburg's hands as a guarantee 
of good faith. Meanwhile, on March 30th, the Convention sent to summon 
Dumouriez to the Bar ; the Commissioners sent were Beumonville (the War 
minister) and four deputies {vid. infr., iii. 39).] 


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.^ 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 Mudbat/is, 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 Repre- 
sentatives, 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 G&n&ral had time to 
order out the Hussar 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 fol- 
lowing him. 

They produce Papers, invite the General to the bar of the Con- 

1 Genlis, iv. 139. [Madame de Genlis and the Princess quitted Mons in Belgium, 
April 13th, and drove via Wiesbaden to Switzerland, where they established them- 
selves at the Convent of Bremgarten, which they left separately in May '94, 
Mademoiselle to join her brother, and Madame for Hamburg (Genlis in loc. cit.).\ 

2 [Beurnonville, Minister of War ; Camus, Quinette, Lamarque and BancaL] 


vention : 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 Ar- 
chivist getting loud. Vain to reason loud w\th this Dumouriez ; 
he answers mere angry irreverences. And so, amid plumed staff- 
officers, veiy 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 dam ce moment-ci, Not at this par- 
ticular 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.^ 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 ! ^ 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 ap- 
pointment, in that quarter. Nigh the Village of Doumet, three 
National Battalions, a set of men always full of Jacobinism, 

1 Dumouriez, iv. 159, &c. 

2 Their narrative, written by Camus in Toulongeon, iii. app. 60-87. [^t was 
these deputies who formed the subject of the often proposed exchange for the 
prisoners in the Temple ; and who were eventually exchanged for the sole survivor 
of them, Madame Royale, in the autumn of '95.] 


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," oi" 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 ; be- 
whistled 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 Re- 
public : Dumouriez's occupation's gone.^ 

Such an instinct of Frenchhood 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-peui, 
but will also be of Vive-la-R&puhlique. New National Represen- 
tatives 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 un- 
noticed, but seen of all countries and centuries ; then thirty 
other years again unnoticed, of Memoir-writing, English Pension, 

1 M^moires, iv. 162-80. [Dumouriez escaped with great difficulty ; Colonel 
Thouvenot, who was with him, had two horses shot under him ; and Quentin, his 
Secretary, was taken prisoner (Carnot, Corresp. ii. 70). Something over 800 men 
altogether followed Dumouriez, but most of them deserted the allies afterwards 
(Mortimer-Ternaux, vi. 458).] 

2 [April 8th.] 


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 is now re- 
duced 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 ! ^ Examination, requiring Arrest- 
ment ; 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 



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 de- 
fection 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.^ 

^ [Dumouriez was badly received at the Conference of the Allies at Antwerp, 
which followed immediately on his flight (April 8th) ; no one listened to him ; he 
wandered about Europe for some time, and finally accepted an English pension, 
dying at Turville near Henley-on-Thames, 1823.] 

2 [The Due de Chartres refused to serve in the Austrian ranks, and escaped to 
Zurich (May 8th). He became professor of mathematics at the College of 
Reichenau for a short time, then wandered over Europe till 1795, finally sailing 
from Stockholm for North America in 1796. After long travel in America, he 
returned to Europe, and passed seven years at Twickenham near London. In 
1809 he married Marie Amdlie, daughter of Ferdinand of Sicily ; on the fall of the 
Empire he returned to France where he was well treated by both Louis XVHL and 
Charles X. : finally became King Louis-Philippe 1830, and died, in exile again, at 
Claremont 1850.] 

■''See Montgaillard, iv. 144. [April 7th.] 

■^[Danton, in the midst of the struggle with the Gironde, did not lose heart as 
regards the National defence. On April 13th he carried a decree that the Republic 
will not concern itself with the internal affairs of other nations, but will bury itself 


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 jesuiti- 
cally 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. ^ Lasource, in 
a fine-spoken attorney-manner, proceeds : there is this proba- 
bility 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 ScMerats I " 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 proba- 
bilities 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 

in ruins before allowing other nations to interfere in France. On 30th Cambon 
carried a decree for the establishment of eleven armies on the frontier, and the 
raising of two more within France as recruiting depots ; with each army there were 
to be permanent Commissioners of the Convention with unlimited powers. But 
this led to frequent denunciations of Generals. (Now it is Kellermann who speaks 
too much of mon armJe, mes soldats, etc. ; now Custine whose ' liaisons are to be 
carefully watched ; ' now all the staff officers, etc. , see Aulard, Recueil, iii, 286. ) And 
Beurnonville was replaced at the War Office by the incapable Bouchotte, a tool of 
Hubert and the Cotmnune ; meanwhile, so unpopular had the Convention Com- 
missioners become, that the Austrians were received almost as liberators in Belgium.] 
' M^moires de Rend Levasseur (Bruxelles, 1830), i. 164. 


worth reading, in the old Moniieur. With fire-words the ex- 
asperated rude Titan rives and smites these Girondins ; at 
every hit the glad Mountain utters chorus ; Marat, like a 
musical bis, repeating the last phrase.^ 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 re- 
turned 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.^ 

But now in such posture of affairs, virtuous Petion rose, next 
morning, to lament these effervescences,* this endless Anarchy 

1 Stance du ler Avril 1793 (in Hist. Pari. xxv. 24-35). [The gist of Danton's 
speech, in reply to Lasource, was that, when in Belgium on March 19th, he did 
discover something of Dumouriez's treason ; but that if any attempt had been 
made to seize Dumouriez there and then, his army would have fallen to pieces, 
and the Austrians have walked into France unopposed. He concluded by de- 
manding a commission of inquiry into the relations between the Gironde and 
Dumouriez, ] 

•2 [It was the speech of Vergniaud on loth and that of Guadet on the nth 
(partly an answer to some vague accusations of Robespierre on 3rd and loth, 
partly a clear denunciation of the violence of the Commune) that gave the Con- 
vention courage to accuse Marat.] 

3 Ibid. xxv. 397. 

■* [This seems to refer to Petion 's denunciation of the petition of the Section 
Halle-au-BU, which was on loth. The Section Bonconseil had already petitioned 
against the Gironde on 8th. (Mortimer- Ternaux, vii. loi, sqq.)'\ 


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, " 1 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 deadlift 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. -^ 

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

^[The figures were 210 to 92.] 2 [April 12th.] 

' Moniteur du 16 Avril, 1793, ^^ ^^^^- [This is inaccurate ; Marat refused to obey. 
His friends smuggled him out of the Hall and he took refuge in his sewers again : 
but on April 23rd he thought better of it and gave himself up at the Conciergerie. 
He was immediately sent for to the Tribunal and interrogated [vid. infr., iii. 46).] 
* [The best day by day account of the final struggle between the Gironde and the 
Montagne (April and May) is to be found in Schmidt's Tableaux de la R6v., 
which are virtually police reports of the spies of Garat, notably those of a highly in- 
telligent man called Dutard. It was immediately after this attack of Petion (and 
Guadet) on Marat that the extremist Sections of Paris demanded the expulsion of 
the 22 Girondin leaders (April 8th and 15th) ; the publication of Camille Desmou- 
lins' ' Histoire des Brissotins ' was at the end of May. [Vid. i -fr., iii. 50. Cf. 
throughout Mortiraer-Ternaux, books xxxv.-xxxviii.)] 




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 struggle 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 under- 
stand 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 
Reprcseniation 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 further- 

1 [The alterations necessary in the TMdtre des Tuileries (or Salle des Spectacles, 
or Salle des Machines, as it was sometimes called) had taken six months to effect. 
Dutard regarded the move as a good one for the cause of order ; ' on the narrow 
terrace of the Feuillans it was easy for Revolutionary groups to assemble outside 
the Hall; but here [i.e., on the Tuileries terrace) they get lost in the crowd of 
peaceable people.' The new Hall was enormous, but badly adapted for sound; 
the galleries would contain 2,000 persons. (Dauban, 183 ; Mortimer-Ternaux, 
vii. 527.)] 

2 [No serious movement of this sort took place till after June 2nd (vid. infr,, iii. 
61, sqq.).'\ 


some 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 the Revolutionary Tribunal ! A week or more 
of death-peril : and now there is triumphant acquittal ; Revolu- 
tionary 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 night- 
caps, carmagnole jackets, grenadier bonnets and female mobcaps ; 
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 Lasouree, 
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." ^ Lasouree answered with some 

^[On Marat being brought before the Tribunal certain numbers of L'Ami du 
Peuple were put in evidence against him. He did not deny the authorship of 
the passages, but asserted that they had been mutilated and twisted from their true 
sense. No real attempt was made to bring witnesses against him, and the whole 
trial was held with a mob of Marat's friends shouting applause at every word he 
spoke. (Campardon, i. 30-38.) 

Dutard saw how wrong it was to make Marat a martyr, ' let Marat live, and if 
' he dies create another Marat to show the bourgeoisie what anarchy means' (Schmidt, 
i. 258). . . . ' Marat is the hero of Saint-Antoine because (i.) they don't believe 
' him guilty of September, or if they do they sympathise with him in that, (ii.) his 
' hands are clean, (iii.) his predictions have hitherto always been verified, (iv.) he 
' speaks logically and they can understand him ; they don't understand your Ver- 
' gniauds, etc. : nor do you understand the people.' (Dutard to Garat, May 24th, 
Schmidt, i. 282. Cf. also Dubois-Crancd's prophetic speech quoted in Mortimer- 
Ternaux, vii. 141, sqq.W 

2 Stance (in Moniteur, No. 116, du 26 Avril, An ler. [This Sapper was Rocher, 
who had been on guard at the Temple, and amused himself by puffing smoke into 
the faces of the King and Queen when they passed him on the stairs. (Campardon, 
i. 38 note.)] 


vague painful mumblement, — which, says Levasseur, one could 
not help tittering at.^ 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 pre- 
sides 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 today, and denounce the demand tomorrow, 
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 eifect. And nightly the Mother of Patriotism 
wails doleful ; doleful, but her eye kindling ! And Foumier 
I'Americain is busy, and the two banker Freys, and Varlet 
Apostle of Liberty ; the bull-voice of Marquis St.-Huruge is 
heard. And shrill women vociferate from all Galleries, the 
Convention ones and downwards. Nay a ' Central Committee ' 

1 Levasseur, M6moires, i. c. 6. 

■^[May 2ist. Boyer-Fonfrede, Rabaut-Saint-Etienne, Kervelegan, Boileau, 
Mollevault, Lariviere, Bergoeing, Valogne, Gommalre, Bertrand, Gardien, Viger, 
were the Commission of Twelve, expressly charged to investigate the recent acts of the 
Commune -eLXid Sections, and to guard against conspiracies against the Convention ; 
the first report was presented by Viger, May 24th. (Mortimer-Ternaux, vii. 245-9. )] 

2 [Tuileries, Fraternity, Buttes des Moulins : also note an address from Bordeaux, 
of May 15th, which produced great discussion. (Mortimer-Ternaux, vii. 223, sqq.)] 

4 [May 24th. j 


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 August ! 

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 Giron- 
dins 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,' 
Fratemelle, 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.^ 

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 Demoi- 
selle, keeping her carriage, is for Liberty indeed, as she has full 
well shown ; but then for Liberty with Respectability : whereupon 
these serpent-haired Extreme She-Patriots do now 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 

1 [Nothing is more bewildering than the way in which the Sections change and 
rechange their names. The Constituent named the Sections in some cases after 
the old Arrondissemertts, in some cases after the principal buildings in them, A 
complete list of Sections and their changes of name is given in the index to Schmidt's 
Tableaux de la Revolution. 

This central Committee of Sections at the old Archeveche is first mentioned in 
a letter of Terrasson's to Garat on May 13th. It was from this body that Dutard 
expected the Insurrection to come ; Dobsen, its president, was imprisoned by order 
of the Convention on 26th ; the Sections demanded other things besides blood ; 
under pretence of equipping Volunteers for the front they plundered the treasury 
to a fearful extent. ( Mortimer- Ternaux, vii. 230.)] 

^Buzot, M^moires, pp. 69, 84; Meillan, M^moires, pp. 192, 195, 196. Sec 
Commission des Douze (in Choix des Rapports, xii. 69-131). 

'[May 15th.] 


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 the Eighteenth Century of Time. She disappears here from 
the Revolution and Public History forevermore.^ 

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 Mil- 
lennium 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 
Marseillaise and Qa-ira.^ 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 

1 Deux Amis, vii. 77-80 ; Forster, i. 514; Moore, i. 70. She did not die till 1817 ; 
in the Salpetribre, in the most abject state of insanity : see Esquirol, Des Maladies 
Mentales (Paris, 1838), i. 445-50. [Th^roigne had presented herself at the door 
of the Convention Hall with a ticket of admission to the galleries (May 15th) : a 
strong detachment of market women was there (evidently posted with some deliber- 
ate intention), who prevented the entry of all women possessing tickets of admission 
(these tickets were shortly afterwards abolished). Cries of Brissotine were heard 
as Th^roigne approached, and she was flogged. She did not lose her reason till 
about October, when she was sent to an asylum in Faubourg Saint-Mar9eau, thence 
to Hotel-Dieu, and thence to the Salpetritre, where she died 1817. (Th^roigne de la 
Mdricourt par M. Pellet, pp. 110-113 (Paris, 1886} ; R6v. de Paris, No. 201 (May 
nth— i8th).)] 

2 Mercier, Nouveau Paris, vi. 63. 

VOL. III. 4 


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. 1 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-Substi- 
tute Hebert, P^re Duchesiie ; a Magistrate of the People, sitting 

1 See Histoire des Brissotins par Camille Desmoulins (a pamphlet of Camille's, 
Paris, 1793). [It was on May 19th that the Jacobin club ordered the printing of 
this pamphlet, which was the substance of two speeches delivered by Camille there 
on 2nd and 19th. Camille afterwards regretted his pamphlet, and believed it was 
that which had destroyed the Gironde. it is hopelessly dull and a ludicrous per- 
version of facts. /. P. Brissot dhnasqu^ (Feb. ist '93, to which this was a sequel) 
is equally dull. It did not need Camille to tell us that Brissot was a charlatan.'] 

2 [May 25th.] 


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 sacri- 
legious 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 ! ' ^ 
Whereat the Mountain bellows only louder, and every Gallery ; 
Patriot Paris boiling round. 

And Girondin Valaze has nightly conclaves at his house ; ^ sends 
billets, ' Come punctually, and well armed, for there is to be busi- 
ness.' And Megaera women perambulate the streets, with flags, 
with lamentable alleleu.^ And the Convention-doors are obstructed 
by roaring multitudes : fine-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 

i[Dutard applauded the arrest of Hubert, saying that his party was strong 
enough to raise an Insurrection, ' but I doubt if they will, if you can keep him 
locked up ' (Schmidt, i. 300). This is a shrewd comment, because, when Robes- 
pierre arrested Hubert ten months later, there was just as much threat of Insurrec- 
tion in his favour (Hubert being Roi de la Rue in a sense in which neither Danton 
nor even Marat ever were) ; but Robespierre was firmer than the Gironde, and did 
keep Hubert locked up and cut his head off.] 

2 Moniteur, Stance du 25 Mai 1793. [It must not be forgotten that every one 
of the fortnightly elections to the Presidency in April and May went in favour of 
the Gironde (April i8th, Lasource; May 2nd, Boyer-Fonfrede; May i6th, Isnard). 
The misfortune of Isnard's speech was that it contained a threat so very like that 
of Brunswick in his Manifesto of July '92.] 

3 [These meetings at Valaz^'s house had been watched by the police of the 
Commune since the end of January ; Valaz^ avowed that there were sometimes 30 
or 40 people present. (Mortimer-Ternaux, vii. 253-4.)] 

•* Meillan, M^moires, p. 195 ; Buzot, pp. 69, 84. 


to quit Paris, there is order of the day. What help ? Substitute 
Hubert, Apostle Varlet, must be given back ; to be crowned with 
oak-garlands. The Commission of Twelve, in a Convention over- 
whelmed 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. ^ 



Accordingly, on Friday, the Thirty-first of May 1 793,^ there comes 
forth into the summer sunlight one of the strangest scenes. Mayor 
Pache with Municipality arrives at the Tuileries Hall of Conven- 
tion ; sent for, Paris being in visible ferment ; and gives the 
strangest news. 

How, in the gray 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 pleni- 
potentiary 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 Sove- 

1 [The release of Hubert and the abolition of the Commission of Twelve were 
carried in deference to the petition of the Commune of the 27th, on the motion of 
Lacroix. The reinstatement of the Conmiission on the 28th was on the motion of 
Lanjuinais, the only Moderate who had any real courage (and he no Girondist). 
It is to be noticed that Danton played almost no part, or no open part, in the 
Convention in these days. He was busy in the Comitd de Salut Public, but it is 
difficult after reading the Actes of the Comiti de Salut Public, in Aulard's Recueil 
(iv. 264, aqq.), to acquit that body of sympathy with the Commune. As early as 
20th it sent for Pache, and chose to believe him that there was no danger of dis- 
turbance in Paris : it received daily reports from him and Garat {vid. infr., iii. 59). 

Hubert prudently used his triumph to obtain 135,000 fr. from Bouchotte, the 
War Minister, to cover the free distribution of sundry copies of Pere Duchesne to 
the Armies. (Mortimer- Ternaux, vii. 299.)] 

2 [The sitting on the 31st lasted from 6 A.M.-9.30 p.m., but there appears to have 
been no debating, merely listening to petitions from the Sections.] 


reign 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,2 is made Generalissimo of the National Guard ; 
and, since six o'clock, the tocsins ring, and the drums beat : 
— Under which pecuhar circumstances, what would an august 
National Convention please to direct us to do ? ^ 

Yes, there is the question ! " Break the Insurrectionary Autho- 
rities," answer 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 stound 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 ! 

^[This reinforcement of the Cotntnune arose from the machinations at the 
Archevechi : on the night of 28th the conspirators assembled there (Tallien, Varlet, 
Collot, Guzman, Proly, Desfieux, etc. ) called a meeting of deputies from all Sections 
for 30th. To this 33 sections sent deputies ' provided with full powers to save the 
Republic ; ' early on 31st these persons appeared in the Hotcl-de- Ville, and declared 
the power of the Commune suspended ; Pache and Chaumette played into their 
hands, and it was Chaumette who in the name of the Commune ' rendered up its 
powers to the Sovereign people ; ' which gave them back, as Carlyle states. The 
Commune, thus reinforced, nominated Hanriot : and within an hour Hanriot was 
drawing up his forces, (Schmidt, i. 147, 323.) The legal Commune however con- 
tinued to sit till the new elections in August. (Mortimer-Ternaux, vii. 473.)] 

2[Fran9ois Hanriot, an employ^ in the Octroi of Paris, dismissed for deserting 
his post when the barriers were burnt in July '89, joined the police, was imprisoned for 
theft, served the Coimnune as a Septemberer, was legally confirmed as Commander 
of National Guard June 8th '93, was suspected of H^bertist leanings in March 
'94, but was probably a coward, as he showed then and at Thermidor ; he was 
guillotined with Robespierre,] 

^DfJbats de la Convention (Paris, 1828), iv. 187-223 ; Moniteur, Nos. 152, 3, 4, 
An ler. 

*[yiz. Lanjuinais.] ^ [40,000 men in all.] 


Barrere is for a middle course ; granting something. The Com- 
mission 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 tonight. Friday the last of May has ended in this manner. 

The Sections have deserved well : but ought they not to de- 
serve 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 the thing all varnished by 
the labour of a night and 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.^ 

i[They had also not done badly for themselves, the new Commune having 
voted that each man was to be paid 40 sous a day while under arms. Vergniaud' s 
cowardice is inexplicable; '■ il se fait un Barere ;' his apologist, M. Vatel (Ver- 
gniaud, ii. 159, sqq.), vainly endeavours to justify him. The only honourable course 
would have been to support the Commission of Twelve through thick and thin ; 
Guadet and Valaz6 saw this and endeavoured to do so. [Cf. Mortimer-Ternaux, 
vii, 242.)] 

2 [June ist was quiet till 7 p. M. The Convention met at 10 A. M. and listened to 
a long report of Barere, drawn up no doubt at the Comitd de. Salut Public, which 
concluded nothing. It met again at 9 p.m. but was very thinly attended, and, 
after receiving a fresh petition from the Commune for the impeachment of the 
Gironde, adjourned at midnight, apparently without hindrance from the armed 
forces outside. It was Marat who definitely called on the Commune to force 
the thing through that evening — he rang the tocsin with his own hands. (Dauban, 
Paris en 1793, 210-n,)] 


The Convention, at sound oi g&n&rale, 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, ejaculat- 
ing, " Ilia supretna dies ! " ^ It has become Sunday, the second day 
of June, year 1 793, 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 Senatorship. 

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 : Na- 
tional 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, fiot uninventive, 
Gualches ! — 

Therefore let a National Representation, ' mandatories of the 

1 Louvet, M^moires, p. 89. [The Gironde held a meeting late at night on 1st, 
at Meillan's house in the Rue des Moulins ; at which Louvet proposed flight in 
order to raise a Departmental Insurrection, but the proposal was not well received. 
(Mortimer- Ternaux, vii. 372.)] 

'•^[The Convention met at 10.30 A.M. on 2nd, few of the actual leaders of the 
Gironde were present : many of them remained at Meillan's house.] 


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 i 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 clangour ; Legendre crying at last : " Lanjuinais, come 
down from the Tribune, or I will fling thee down, oiije tejette en 
has ! " 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 : " Allans, 

^ Qean Denis Lanjuinais, born at Rennes 1753, practised at the Breton Bar, and 
drew up the cahier for the Tiers-Iitaf of Rennes, for which he sat in the Constituent, 
helped to found the Breton club in Paris, was a member of the Ecclesiastical Com- 
mittee, sat in the Convention for Ile-et-Vilaine, repeatedly endeavoured to save the 
King, denounced the massacres and the Tribunal Rivolutionnah-e, fought almost 
alone against all the violent measures from Jan. — June '93 : was proscribed, escaped to 
Rennes and lay hidden in a loft for i8 months : returned to the Convention in March 
95, went en mission to Brittany and helped to pacify the Chouans ; helped also to 
draw up the Constitution of the year III. At the first election under that Constitution 
he was elected for 63 separate Departments, sat in the Ancients, and after Brumaire 
in the Senate, but protested both against the Consulate for life and the Empire : 
became a peer of France 1814, and died 1827. Though throughout his life an 
ardent politician, and, compared to many of the men of '89, an advanced Liberal, 
Lanjuinais was never a party man and was a consistent lover of liberty. Perhaps 
no character in the whole Revolution appears so honourable, pure and disinterested. 

A very interesting ' Examen de sa conduite,' written by himself when in hiding, 
is published in the Rev. de la R^v. (xi. 303 ; xii. 157, 353, 528).] 

2 [The scene made by Lanjuinais is wrongly put by Carlyle after Isnard's 
cowardly surrender — it followed Barere's speech. Carlyle might also have quoted 
Lanjuinais' witty reply to Legendre, ' Get a decree that I am an ox, and you may. ' 
(Legendre was a butcher.)] 


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 them- 
selves ; but this Convention empties not, the while : a day of 
shrieking contention, of agony, humiliation and tearing of coat- 
skirts ; ilia suprema dies ! Round stand Henriot and his Hundred 
Thousand, copiously refreshed from tray and basket : nay he is 
^distributing five francs apiece,' 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 Thou- 
sand, 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 way does Henriot 
make : " I receive no orders, till the Sovereign, yours and mine, 
have been obeyed." The Convention presses on ; Henriot prances 
back, with liis staiF, 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 Sup- 
pliant 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, Barba- 
roux, 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. Already yesterday. 
Central Insurrection Committee had arrested Madame Roland ; 

1 [Claviere was no great loss, but Lebrun had managed Foreign affairs fairly well, 
and was entirely at the disposal of Danton ; so much was this felt, that Lebrun con- 
tinued to conduct Foreign affairs in confinement till June 2ist, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Deforgues {a nonentity) : Lebrun was guillotined Dec. 27th '93.] 

2 [' Arrest at their own houses under the safeguard of the French people, the 
National Convention and the loyalty of the citizens of Paris ' (Mortimer-Ternaux, 
vii. 417).] 

3[Brissot was not arrested till June 20th at Villejuif (near Mouhns), Vergniaud 
not till 24th. By that date (24ih) 15 of the Girondists liad succeeded in escaping 
into the country : on July 28th these were declared outlaws in accordance with Saint- 
Just's report of July 8th. Many were not arrested till long after ; e.^. , Ducos, Boyer- 
Fonfrede, Boileau and Viger not till Amar 's report of Oct. 3rd {vid. in/r., iii. 102).] 


imprisoned her in the Abbaye.^ Roland has fled, no man knows 

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 condenmable in that they were but 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 : ' ^ surely the 
true reign of Fraternity is now not far ? * 

i[June ist.] 

2[Bar6re's report, read on 7th in the name of the ComiU de Salut Public and 
adopted by the Convention, is a masterpiece of shuffling. Apart from the some- 
what humorous suggestion that a member of the Convention should be sent as a 
hostage to each of the Departments whose deputies had been arrested, it evidently 
indicated the wish of the Committee to curb the Commune as far as it dared, and 
to prevent the recurrence of such scenes, yet it does not dare openly to denounce 
the Cotnmune, and concludes with a sort of judicious flattery all round. ' Every 
' one has deserved well of every one else, but don't do it again,' is the keynote. 
{See Mortimer-Ternaux, viii. 11, sqq.)] 

3 Buzot, M6moires, p. 310. See Pieces Justificatives, of Narratives, Comment- 
aries, &c. in Buzot, Louvet, Meillan. Documens Complc^mentaires in Hist. Pari, 
xxviii. 1-78. [The minutes of the proceedings of the Convention on May 31st and 
June 2nd were not printed, so the Moniteur remains the best available authority. 
There are also the ' M^moires de Meillan,' 1823 (Berville and Barriere, see esp. p. 
48 sqq.), and 'Souvenirs sur les Journ^es du 31 Mai et 2 Juin,' by Dulaure, the 
author of the History of Paris, who sat in the Convention and escaped to Switzer- 
land after Jime 2nd. {See Lescure, ' Journ6es R6volutionnaires,' ii. 278.)] 

The attitude of the ComiU de Salut Public continues suspicious all through the 
31st, ist, 2nd ; at its evening session of the 30th it is voted that no authority is to 
disturb the measures taken, but that they must be grandes, sages et justes, that 
order must be maintained and the Convention respected. Danton was not there : 
the Session lasted all night and ended by warning the members of the Convention 
to be early in their places. At its morning session on 31st the Committee decreed 
the suppression of the Commission of Twelve, and proposed an inquiry into the 
conspiracies against the Republic : Danton was there. At its evening session on 
31st it protested against the Commune' s threatened arrest of Lebrun (who was a 
willing servant of Danton's in Foreign affairs). On ist it took no practical steps 
at all, but received several deputations. On 2nd it merely wrote to the 22 Girondists 
inviting them to suspend themselves, but that was the day on which it received 
news of the insurrection at Lyons on May 29th, and sent Lindet to try and suppress 
it. (.S^^ Aulard, Recueil, iv. 379, 388, sqq.y^ 

* [The profit of the insurrection of June 2nd turned all to the strong Radicals of the 
Mountain, among whom Danton was still a leading figure. Neither Danton nor 
Robespierre had any intention of letting the Commune dominate the situation. But 


this day was the death knell of the Convention as a power : it never raised its head 
again till 9th Thermidor. And until the second ComiU de Salut Public (inaugurated 
July loth, but not complete till September 4th) put forth all its powers, the period 
was very critical. As Von Sybel (iii. 159 and 226) well puts it, four great questions 
presented themselves : 

(i) Would the Army obey the Clubs or the Committees? 

(2) Would the Clubs obey the Committees ? 

(3) Would the people of the Faubourgs obey the Clubs, or the Commune, or the 
Committees ? 

(4) Would the Commune obey the Committees ? 

Much valuable light upon the state of parties in France may be gleaned from 
Mallet du Pan, who had undoubtedly shrewd and able correspondents in Paris, 
whose names have not transpired. {See the first part of the 2nd vol. of his Mimoires 
(edn. Sayous); and especially ii. ii.)] 





In the leafy months of June and July, several French Depart- 
ments germinate a set of rebellious paper-leaves, named Pro- 
clamations, 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 Editor- 
ship 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 Depart- 
ments ; 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 

1 [M. Eugene Hatin in his ' Bibliographic de la presse p^riodique,' Paris, 1866 (p. 
240), says * the Bulletin de Caen is a very curious journal of the Girondists who had 
' taken refuge at Caen and of the Federal Army ; I only know of one perfect copy, in 

* the Library of M. de la Sicotiere. ' A portion of it is however published at the end of 
Meillan's M^moires (pp. 241-270), and gives an account of the events of June 22nd 
and 23rd, and July 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, loth, 13th, 14th.] 


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 in 
Calvados ; 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 Depart- 
ment after the other is declaring itself; sixty, or say sixty-nine, 
or seventy-two 2 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 de 

Such animating paragraphs we read in this new Newspaper ; 
and fervours and eloquent sarcasm : tirades against the Mountain, 
from the pen of Deputy Salles ; which resemble, say friends, Pas- 
cal'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,^ 

i[The Girondist deputies above mentioned, to whom we may add Lesage, 
arrived at Caen successively from June 12th — July loth, but the insurrection of 
Calvados had been proclaimed independently of them, and Wimpfen had already 
accepted the command from the Municipal authorities. When they arrived they 
did nothing to help the insurrection (Bir6, Legende, 357-8), but the risings were 
undoubtedly attributed in Paris to their machinations, and as a consequence of 
this Buzot was 'decreed accused.' ( Mortimer- Ternaux, viii. 48.)] 

^Meillan, pp. 72, 73; Louvet, p. 129. 

■''[Montelimart is the capital of a district in the Department Drome, and had 
been the scene of the federation of the National Guards of the Vivarais and 
Dauphin^ in Dec. '89.] 

4[F61ix Wimpfen, an Alsatian, born 1744, defended Thionville against the allies 
in 1792, was accused of treason for that deed and acquitted ; appointed Com- 
mander of the Army of the Cotes de Cherbourg in May '93, and now in June 
General of the Army of I'Eure: escaped and remained in hiding after July 13th, 
died a Baron of the Empire 1814.] 

^[Joseph, Comte de Puisaye, born 1754, served in the old Army, sat for the 
Noblesse of Perche in the States-General : became chief of Wimpfen's staff, escaped 
to Brittany and organised the Chouans there, and afterwards commanded the 
Royalists against Hoche at Quiberon, July '95 {vid. infr., iii. 75-6 and 232).] 


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 Town- 
ships, 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 Carnbots,^ 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 el 
durum, the Proverb says, non faciunt murum. La Vendue 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.' ^ 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 

i[The Carabots existed as a Sansculotte club in several Norman towns, the 
members wore the badge of a death's head on the left arm of their coats; they 
appear to have been violent Radicals, and to have been won over by some of the 
moderates to enlist in Wimpfen's little army, which was called L'Armee departe- 
mentaie de V Eure. There are several explanations of the etymology of the word, 
but it is probably connected with the Norman patois word ' Carabin,' meaning ' a 
rook ' and (in Paris argot) a thief or scoundrel. {Cf. our English ' rook.') Another 
explanation is given by M, Vaultier in his ' Souvenirs de I'lnsurrection Normande 
en 1793' (Caen, 1858), pp. 9, 10, viz., that the word is a corruption of caporaux 
(corporals) derisively applied to the lower ranks of the National Guard at Caen. 
The expression, writes M. Tourneux, whose kindness in replying to the question 
I here acknowledge, is also applied to the labourers in the ports of Havre and 
Rouen, and to rogues and vagabonds in Cherbourg ; but he too is unable to trace 
the etymology of the word. ] 

2 Belagerung von Mainz (Goethe's Werke, xxx. 278-334). 


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. Commis- 
sioners 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, La Vendee, and Civil 
War ! Never was Republic One and Indivisible at a lower ebb. — 

Amid which dim ferment of Caen and the World, History spe- 
cially notices one thing : in the lobby of the Mansion de I'lnten- 
dance, where busy Deputies are coming and going, a young Lady 

1 [The disasters of the summer followed hard on that of Neerwinden. Dampierre 
(Army of the North) was killed May ist, and Custine replaced him, Houchard 
replacing Custine (Army of Rhine). The Spaniards forced the Pyrenees and the 
Vend^ans took Fontenay in May. The impotence of the Government sought its 
revenge in attacking the Generals, whose armies they left without supplies or weapons. 
Custine, Biron and Kellermann were successively haled to the bar of the Convention 
and imprisoned, and this condition of things lasted till August. Had it not been for 
the hopeless discussions of the allies, France might have &en overrun ; (Cond^ fell 
on July i2th, Valenciennes on 28th). But England alone was in earnest. Coburg 
dreaded a repetition of Brunswick's misfortunes of 1792, and even refused to assist 
York in the siege of Dunkirk. One learns from Mercy {see Bacourt, iii. 411, 426) 
how the wisest Austrian statesmen chafed against Thugut's hesitating policy. 
But with the exception of the recapture of Mainz the Prussians were just as slack. 
And no attention was paid to the excellent chance for the allies offered by La 
Vendue until October, when England made an attempt to induce the French princes 
to join a descent there ; which the princes would not do. 

Some of the French disasters were no doubt due to the wretched character of 
the three men who successively held the War Office, Pache, Beurnonville and Bou- 
chotte (the latter held the office far into the period of victory, i.e., till March '94, 
but from August he had Carnot to keep him in order). The state of the Army of 
the North may be judged from some passages in Carnot's Correspondence. In one 
garrison (Douai) he found 350 men and 3,000 women lodged in barracks : "the new 
" law has ordered that married soldiers may be lodged in barracks — by their own 
"account they are all married" (ii. ii6). '' Pcrc Duchesne and the Petit Rdpu- 
blicain are distributed gratis to the soldiers, and are full of attacks on their Generals.' 
Custine complained of it [ibid, 204). There was a constant drain of men for La 
Vendue (by order of May 4th 54 men were drafted from each battalion from the 
Armies of North and Ardennes {ibid 245)).] 

2 [Prieur and Romme were arrested at Caen June 2nd, and released July 23rd.] 


with an aged valet, taking grave graceful leave ^ of Deputy Barba- 
roux.2 sj^e jg 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, sud- 
denly like a Star ; cruel-lovely, with half-angelic, half-daemonic 
splendour ; to gleam for a moment, and in a moment be extin- 
guished ; 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 bums forth 
so radiant, then vanishes swallowed of the Night. 

With Barbaroux's Note of Introduction, and slight stock of lug- 
gage, 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 noon, 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 

iQuly 9th.] 2Meillan, p. 75 ; Louvet, p. 114. 

■■'[Marie-Anne-Charlotte-Corday d'Armans, born 1768, educated at a convent in 
Caen, where she met and fell in love with Colonel de Belzunce, who was murdered 
by the mob of Caen in 1790. (See Campardon, i. 62 note, who however is not 
convinced of the truth of the story that it was revenge for his murder that prompted 
her to kill Marat. )] 

4[Duperret was one of the still unproscribed Girondin deputies.] 

5 [July nth.] 

VOL. III. 5 


des Vieux Augustins,^ Charlotte demands a room ; hastens to bed ; 
sleeps all afternoon and night, till the morrow morning. 

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 return- 
ing. 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 I'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 ? Hap- 
less 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. Char- 
lotte 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 simmer- 
ing, 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 

1 [Now Rue d'Argout.] 

2 [It is probable that she had intended to assassinate Marat in the Convention, 
or at the Fete of July 14th, which however did not take place in 1793.] 

'[The Rue de I'Ecole de Medecine was then called Rue des Cordeliers, and 
Marat's number was 30. (Campardon, i. 31.)] 


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 eleven-pence-halfpenny of ready money, in 
paper ; with slipper-bath ; strong three-footed stool for writing 
on, the while ; and a squalid — Washer woman, ^ 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 Loiivef, and — Charlotte has 
drawn her knife from the sheath ; plunges it, with one sure stroke, 
into the writer's heart. " J moi, Mre 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, indig- 
nant, to the shades below.^ 

1 [Nothing is known of the origin of Simonne Evrard, who passed as Marat's 
mistress. She seems to have made his acquaintance early in the Revolution (about 
May '90, says Chevremont, i. 255), and to have devoted her small fortune to the 
publication of L'Ami du Peuple : the sister of Marat (vid. tnfr., iii. 68) recognised 
her devotion to her brother, and took her to live with her after his death. M. 
Bougeart weeps hysterically over these two females having to earn their living and 
finding it difficult to do so. [See also Cabanis, Marat Inconnu, p. 261.)] 

^Moniteur, Nos. 197, 8, 9; Hist. Pari, xxviii, 301-5; Deux Amis, x. 368-74. 


And so Marat People's-friend is ended ; the lone Stylites has 
got hurled down suddenly from his Pillar — whitherward He that 
made him knows. 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 assassi- 
* nated,' may decree him Pantheon Honours, Public Funeral, Mira- 
beau'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 ; ^ 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-di-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 cir- 
cumstance 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.' ^ For Marat too had a brother, and natural affec- 
tions ; 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 re- 
compense of it is near and sure. The chere amie, and neighbours 
of the house, flying at her, she 'overturns some movables,' en- 
trenches herself till the gendarmes arrive ; then quietly surren- 
ders ; goes quietly to the Abbaye Prison : she alone quiet, all 

1 See Eloge funebre de Jean-Paul Marat, prononc6 k Strasbourg (in Barbaroux, 
pp. 125-131) ; Mercier, &c. 

2 [Marat was deified at once: on July 14th a deputation of the Section Contrat 
Social came to the Convention, demanding that Charlotte should be put to death 
with extraordinary and horrible tortures : it is greatly to the credit of the Conven- 
tion that it refused this demand : the funeral of Marat was organised with the greatest 
splendour for July 19th.] 

3 Stance du 16 Septembre 1793. 

^[Albertine Marat, born at Paris 1757, much resembled her brother in personal 
appearance, and was a devoted sister. She earned her living by making fine springs 
of watches, and died in Paris in the greatest poverty 1841. (Cabanis, 265, sqq.)'\ 


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 Fauchet. 

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 mur- 
mur ran through the Hall, at sight of her ; you could not say of 
what character.'-^ 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 Char- 
lotte ; "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 lim- 
ners 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, any ghostly or other 
aid from him.* 

On this same evening therefore, about half-past seven o'clock, 

i[July 17th.] 

2Proces de Charlotte Corday, &c. (Hist. Pari, xxviii. 311-338). 

3 [Charlotte was defended by Chauveau-Lagarde : she had written to ask Pont6- 
coulant to defend her, but the letter did not reach him ; Lagarde made no attempt 
to disprove the facts. The interrogatory began on i6th, the trial was on 17th. 
(Campardon, i. 70, sqq. ) She desired to be painted, but the request was refused ; she 
had intended to send her portrait to her native Department, a curious instance of 
the vanity of a homicide [ibid. 75).] 

'*[We have no evidence of Charlotte's religious feeling, but it is probable — 
practically certain — that the ' priest ' was an assermenie and therefore, if she were a 
Catholic, no priest to her.] 


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 ; journey- 
ing towards death, — alone amid the World. Many take oif their 
hats, saluting reverently ; for what heart but must be touched ? ^ 
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 show it to the people. ' It is most true,' says Forster, 
' that he struck the cheek insultingly ; for I saw it with my eyes : 
'the Police imprisoned him for it.' ^ 

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 dream- 
ing 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 embodiment ! 
The death of Marat, whetting old animosities tenfold, will be 

1 Deux Amis, x. 374-384, 

2 [Adam Lux, born 1766, was one of the deputies for the ' Rhenish Convention ' 
of Mainz, who came to Paris to arrange for the incorporation of the Electorate 
with France. He actually placarded the walls of Paris with a demand that a 
statue should be erected to Charlotte ; he was arrested July 28th, guillotined Nov. 
4th ; Andr6 Ch^nier also celebrated Charlotte in some eloquent verses. (Mortimer- 
Ternaux, viii. 163.)] 

3 Briefwechsel, i. 508, [The executioner's assistant called Legros is the man re- 
ferred to. (Campardon, i. 81.)] 


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 is the History of Charlotte Corday; most definite, 
most complete ; angelic-daemonic : 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 

[The Epoch of the death of Marat is also that of the creation of the Final or 
• Great' Committee of Public Safety {vid. supr., iii. 34). This Committee was to 
pass under the influence of Robespierre almost as completely as that of April 6th had 
passed under that of Danton. Its members (elected July loth by the whole Conven- 
tion) were Saint-Andr6, Gasparin, Couthon, H6rault-S6chelles, Prieur de la Mama, 
Saint-Just, Lindet, Thuriot, Barere ; Gasparin resigned July 27th and was replaced 
by Robespierre; Thuriot also resigned, H6rault was eliminated, Dec. '93. Carnot 
and Prieur de la Cote d'Or were elected Aug. 14th ; Collot d'Herbois and Billaud- 
Varennes Sept. 6th. All Damon's wise plans for peace and moderation vanished 
with the creation of this Committee. The report of the outgomg Committee made 
by Cambon on July nth should be compared with that of the incoming one made 
by Barere Aug. ist. (Stephens' Orators of the Fr. Rev. i. 507 and ii. 10.) 

This is essentially the Government of the Terror : but not all its members were 
equally guilty of the acts of terror. The real workers in the Committee, the " men 
who saved France" (so far as she was saved), were (besides Carnot and Saint- 
Andr6), (i) Prieur de la Marne, an advocate, deputy for Chalons to States-General 
and for the Marne to the Convention, President of the Criminal Tribunal of Paris 
1791, compromised in the rising of Prairial 1795, banished 1816, died at Brussels 

(2) Prieur du Vernois (de la C6te d'Or), born 1763, Captain in the Engineers 
in the old Army, deputy for Cote d'Or to Legislative and Convention, member of 
Council of 500, Chef de Brigade 1801, died at Dijon 1832. 

{3) Robert Lindet, born 1746, an advocate, deputy for the Eure to the Legislative 
and Convention, implicated m Prairial and in Baboeuf's plot, finance minister for 
a short time in the last days of the Directory, died in obscurity 1825. 

It is extremely difficult to pass a fair judgment on the acts of the Committee as a 
whole. It is generally understood that the special measures of ' Terror ' owed their 
origin to the savage character of Billaud and Collot even more than to Robespierre, 
Couthon and Saint-Just, who were more busy scheming against their private enemies 
both within and without the Committee (for there is ample evidence of fierce quarrels 
inside it) ; the Navy was mainly turned over to Saint-Andr6, the Army to Carnot, 
Lindet and Prieur Cote d'Or ; the signatures appended to the Actes in Aulard's 
vast Recueil are sometimes as few as two to each, and Carnot constantly avowed 
afterwards that he often signed Actes which he had never read, being far too busy 
to do so. No Government ever disposed so absolutely of the whole resources of a 
very rich country, with one good (1793) and one splendid (1794) harvest to aid it : 
if it was ultimately victorious, it was so at a most unheard-of cost of treasure, and 
mere bankruptcy was left behind it ; at a most unheard-of cost of lives, as all the 
military historians bear witness ; and, worst of all perhaps, at the entire cost of local 
freedom, such as might have taken root from a reconstruction of the Ancien Regime. 
The Committee increased ten-fold the despotism of the old Monarchy, and handed 


it on to Napoleon. It taught once more to all local authorities the lesson to look 
to the centre alone for the initiative ; in so doing it was forced to over-burden itself 
with details to a ludicrous extent. Finally one is tempted to conclude that even its 
working members were industrious and resolute men indeed, but without any marked 
talents for administration. 

The Subordinate Committee of General Security, the second and much smaller 
wheel of the governmental machine, was organised on June i6th '93, and recon- 
stituted on Sept. 14th. It was mainly concerned with matters of police, and became 
in the end more specially devoted to Robespierre than the Greater Committee. 
Its members were Vadier, Amar, Panis, David, Guffroy, Lavicomterie, Ruhl, Vou- 
land, Bayle, Lebas, Lebon, Louis. 

For the methods of work of the Committees, vid. infr., iii. 144.] 



But during these same hours, another guillotine is at work, on 
another : Charlotte, for the Girondins, dies at Paris today ; ^ 
Chalier, by the Girondins, dies at Lyons tomorrow.^ 

From rumbling of cannon along the streets of that City, it 
has come to firing of them, to rabid fighting : Nievre Choi 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 Anar- 
chists 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 nigh. He could weep, in old years, this man, 
and 'fall on his knees on the pavement,' blessing Heaven at 
sight of Federation Programs or the 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, 

1 [July 17th.] 2Quly i6th.] 


when the Tribunal sentenced him, made answer : " My death 
will cost this City dear." ^ 

Montelimart Town is not buried under its ruins; yet Mar- 
seilles 2 is actually marching, under order of a ' Lyons Congress ; ' 
is incarcerating Patriots ; the very Royalists now showing 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.* 
Unfortunate Cities, with their actions and their reactions ! 
Violence to be paid with violence in geometrical ratio ; Royal- 
ism 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. 

^[On July 3rd the Convention ordered the Commissioners who were with the 
Army of the Alps to proceed against Lyons, and on 12th proscribed the whole of 
the Moderate faction of that city, ordering distribution of their property to their 
rivals. Pre9y became commander at Lyons on 14th, Chalier was guillotined on 
i6th ; he was a Piedmontese by birth.] 

2 [The preparations of Marseilles for resistance were more noisy, but less effica- 
cious than those of Lyons ; it expelled its Convention Commissioners (Bayle and 
Boisset), named a central committee and collected Volunteers, who managed to 
cross the Durance and to push as far as Orange, hoping to join with the insurgents 
of Nimes : but they retired upon Avignon before the end of July. (See Mortimer- 
Ternaux, viii. loi, sqq.)] 

^[Carteaux was detached with 1,500 men from the Army of the Alps (sent against 
Lyons) by order of the Convention. On July 27th he drove the Marseillais from 
Avignon, beat them at Cadenet and Salon in August, and finally entered Marseilles 
on Aug. 25th [vid. infr., iii. 124). No serious resistance was made and the Terror 
there tegan early in September. Carteaux had been in the old Army, but had re- 
tired and became an artist ; he had also served on Lafayette's staff; he was arrested 
in Dec. 1793, and imprisoned till after Thermidor ; died 1813.] 

** See Hazlitt, ii. 529-41. [The Souper de Beaucaire has been republished with 
an historical introduction by M. Charvet (Avignon, 1881). Napoleon during the 
struggle outside Marseilles happened to dine at Beaucaire at an inn, and to get in 
conversation with four merchants from Nimes, who were attending the fair at Beau- 
caire (July 29th), A few days afterwards he published at Avignon the substance 
of the conversation (at the expense of the Commune ; Napoleon was very poor at 
the time). Each of the five speakers is represented as having a separate remedy 
for the existing evils of France ; but the gist of the whole is that the Montagne is 
right because it is the stronger of the contending factions. Neither Carlyle, nor 
Napoleon himself in his later days, could have contended more stoutly than the 
young author that Providence is on the side of the big battalions,] 

^[May 3rd '94.] 


Hot Rebecqui, seeing how confusion deepened, and Respect- 
ability 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 ; ^ and perceived that Rebecqui had withdrawn forever. 
— Toulon 2 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 Com- 
mittees, of Surety, of Salvation, are busy night and day : Con- 
vention Commissioners whirl on all highways ; bearing olive-branch 
and sword, or now perhaps sword only.^ Chaumette and Muni- 
cipals 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 ; ^ whereby suicidal France might rally and 
pacify itself; a thing inexpressibly desirable. 

This then is the fruit your Antianarchic 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 

1 Barbaroux, p. 29. [Rebecqui had resigned his seat in the Convention in April, 
and so does not figure at first on the list of the proscribed : but he appears in 
Amar's report Oct. 3rd : he remained in hiding, and drowned himself in May 

2 [As far back as 1789 Dr. Rigby (p. 139) noticed that there were no signs of 
rejoicing at the Revolution in Toulon, where all the chief people were in Govern- 
ment employment, or connected with the dockyard {vid. in/r., iii. 89).] 

2 [We must distinguish between the three Reprdsentants en mission voted to be 
perpetually with each army {^id. supr., ii. 279), and the Special Commissions, like 
those of Saint-Just to Alsace, Carrier to Nantes, Couthon and Collot to Lyons, Le 
Bon to Arras, Maignet to Orange, etc. It is these last who get the nickname of 
' proconsuls,' and correspond directly with the Comitd de Salut Public ; they take 
their orders mainly from Billaud and Collot.] 

* Deux Amis, x. 345. [It is obvious that the loud talk about a new Constitution 
gave an excellent breathing space to the Monfagne, for it gave Paris the needful 
Ti Kaivov to talk about, and so diverted the populace from the fate of the imprisoned 


had, as it were, vanished, dreamlike, in a shriek ! With 
' seventy-two Departments ' on our side, one might have hoped 
better things. But it turns out that Respectabilities, though 
they will vote, will not fight. Possession always is nine points 
in Law ; but in Lawsuits of tids 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'Ciiy ; rightly so named : all the rest are but 
as her children, her nurslings. 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 innuendos he flings 
out, to that effect : whereat we Girondins start, horror-struck. 
He produces as his Second in command a certain ' Cidevanl,' 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 
Cidevant 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 I^ 

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 lot, into Outlawry ; placarded by our Caen Magis- 
trates ; — 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 uni- 
form 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 

^ Mdmoires de Puisaye (London, 1803), ii. 142-67. [This refers to the little 
skirmish known as the ' combat of Vernon' (in the Dept. of I'Eure), on July 13th, 
where the little army of Calvados met some Parisian volunteers plus the National 
Guards of Vernon and its neighbourhood. No one was killed, but Puisaye's troops 
seem to have run away the faster : when the news reached Caen, the Girondin 
deputies left Caen for Quimper and Brest to take ship for Bordeaux,] 

2 [Bordeaux would not have been of much use if they had reached it: on 
the news of June 2nd the Bordelais declaimed and created Committees, but levied 
no troops and manifested no enthusiasm to proceed to the extremities of rebellion ; 
there were however certain popular outbreaks in the Department of the Gironde, 
and the Convention Commissioners (Treilhard and Mathieu) were unable to reach 
Bordeaux : on Aug. 2nd the governing Committee of Moderates at Bordeaux dis- 
solved itself, but the Convention spared no threats of vengeance : at the end of 
August the citizens in despair prepared for resistance, ejected two new Convention 
Commissioners, who had managed to get in, and who retired and gathered together 
some sort of Jacobin army outside : a blockade began in September ; the city sur- 
rendered on Sept. 19th, but the Conventionals dared not trust themselves inside 
till Oct. i6th, when fresh troops had been moved up. Then the massacres began 
under Ysabeau and Tallien. (Mortimer-Ternaux, viii. 116, 197, sqq.^l 


as convoy or guide, retreat by ourselves, — a solitary marching 
detachment, through waste regions of the West.^ 

[Roughly speaking there were three serious centres of resistance to the Montagne 
in the summer of '93, viz., (i. ) La Vendue, (ii.) Normandy, (iii.) Lyons, Marseilles 
and Toulon. The news of the Southern Insurrection began to filter into Paris in 
the first week in June, that of the Northern when the Convention Commissioners 
were seized, in the same week. Although some 50 departments gave encouraging 
answers to the manifesto from Calvados, yet when a review of the National Guard 
was held on July 7th at Caen, and Volunteers for the Civil War asked for, it was 
found impossible to collect any serious number. The flag of the Moderate Republic 
was in fact not a flag at all, and La Vendue had the only flag in the West that was 
worth raising. Dutard {see his letter of June 13th in Schmidt, vol. ii.) evidently ex- 
pects the Venddans in Paris, and thinks the Parisians as a whole will be pleased 
with their coming. 

The Southern Insurrection was more serious ; help for that might be expected 
from the excellent fighting material of Piedmont and even from Switzerland. This 
danger was not really over till the fall of Lyons on Oct. 9th ; Lindet (sent to Lyons 
June 2nd) was soon recalled as being too mild; his letter of June 9th (Aulard, 
Recueil, iv. 497) shows the deep cleavage l)etween North and South. He was soon 
after sent as Commissioner to his native Normandy, where he succeeded, as no one 
else could have done, in pacifying the province almost without executions. He 
remained there till Nov. ist.j 


It is one of the notablest Retreats, this of the Eleven, that His- 
tory 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 suspi- 
cious ; we have need of energy, of promptitude and luck, to be 
1 Louvet, pp. 101-137; Meillan, pp. 81, 241-70. 


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, marches 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 virtu- 
ous Petion's serenity ' was but once seen ruffled.' ^ 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 geo- 
graphical 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 rushlights 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 voild qui passent ! " ^ 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, heartwom, in agony of sus- 
pense, till Quimper friendship get warning, they lie there, squatted 

i[The twelve were, according to Louvet, himself, Barbaroux, Salles, Buzot, 
Cussy {director of the Mint at Caen and deputy for Calvados to the Convention), 
Lesage, Bergoeing, Giroust, Meillan, Girey-Dupr^, Petion and Riouflfe.] 
^Meillan, pp. 119-137. s Louvet, pp. 138-164. 


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 tJie Traitor Btizot 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 : wliere ? 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 supsect. 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 fated 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 

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 Moun- 
tain still victorious? Such Protesters, 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 Mar- 
' seillese, slight, swarthy, parti-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 ad- 
'vanced 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 ; 

1 [The protest had been drawn up as early as June 6th, and ought to have been 
published at once : it might have had a great effect on the Departmental risings 
{see Deux Amis, x. 337). The terms of it are printed by Mortimer-Ternaux (vii, 541), 
who mentions three other collective protests (of the Departments Seine, Aisne, and 
Haute Vienne), and a good number of individual ones,] 

2 [ Vid. supr. , iii. 21. It is hardly fair to say that it was a violation of the terms 
of this agreement to send this garrison to La Vendue, for the allies had as yet taken 
no notice of La Vendue. The gallant soldiers of K16ber did not much relish their 
new task of civil war, as may be gathered from Carnot's Corresp. (iii. 147), in 
which it appears that some of them cursed the Republic and all its works in no 
measured terms.] 


' 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 Commis- 
' sioners or RepHsentans. Merlin of Thionville, in hussar uniform, 
' distinguishing himself by wild beard and look, had another per- 
' son 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.' ^ Thus rode Merlin ; threatening in defeat. But 
what now shall stem that tide of Prussians setting- in through the 
opened Northeast ? Lucky if fortified Lines of Weissembourg,^ 
and impassabilities 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 Northwest : — 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 Custine,^ 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 

1 Belagerung von Mainz (Goethe's Werke, xxx. 315). 

2 [It was Custine who, on quitting the Rhenish Electorates early in the year, 
estabUshed himself in the lines of Weissembourg, the best natural defence of 
Alsace ; they were not forced till October, long after Custine had been recalled 
[vid. infr., iii. 155).] 

3 [July 28th. Valenciennes, gallantly defended by Ferraud, was besieged from 
June 14th— July 28th by Coburg and the Duke of York. It is an important 
fortress commanding the upper waters of the Scheldt ; it was retaken by Scherer 
on Aug. 27th '94 : Cond6 had been besieged since April, but more languidly : it was 
retaken Aug. 30th '94 [yid. infr., iii. 161).] 

4 [July i2th.] 

'^ [Custine's neglect of any attempt to relieve either Mainz or the two Northern 
fortresses is rather inexplicable ; he was decreed accused July 29th, and guillotined 
Aug. 28th (yid. infr.^ iii. 96).] 

VOL. HI. 6 


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 

But looking more especially into Paris City, what is this that 
History, on the 1 0th 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,i by Herault 
Sechelles and others ; probably a workmanlike, roadworthy Con- 
stitution 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 vener- 
ablest 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 ; ^ 

1 [June 8th— 24th.] 2 [June 27th.] 

3 [Aug. 6th. The new Constitutional Committee, created June 2nd, comprised 
Cambon, Bar^re, Guyton-Morveau, Treilhard, Danton, Lacroix, Berlier, Delmas, 
Lindet, Hdrault-S^chelles, Ramel, Couthon, Saint-Just, Mathieu. It reported on June 
loth, and the Constitution was voted on 24th — 27th en bloc. But the substance of it 
had been prepared in the Jacobin club long before (Duvergier de Hauranne, i. 273) ; 
it was certainly neither ' workmanlike ' nor ' roadworthy ' (although it contains the 
remarkable phrase that ' ' where Government violates the Rights of the People, In- 
surrection becomes the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties "). 
It is difficult to believe that any one ever seriously contemplated putting it in force : 
by it each Commune is almost entirely independent of any central authority ; it 


Chaumette very anxious about them, lest Girondin Monsieurs, 
Agio-jobbers, or were it even Filles dejoie of a Girondin temper, 
corrupt their morals. ^ 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 occu- 
pied 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 Multi- 
tudes, 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 

remained however an ideal and a useful watchword for the extreme Robespierrists, 
although it was suspended almost as soon as issued {vid. infr., iii. 88). It was 
worshipped in the distance, and there is a copy of it, said to be bound in human skin, 
in the Musie Carnavalet. A summary of it may be read in Mortiraer-Ternaux, 
viii. (Bk. xlii.) in Dauban (Paris en 1793). p. 325, and it may be read at length in 
H61ie, Constitutions de la France (i. 376). 

Meanwhile, though Danton's motion of Aug. 2nd, that the Comiti de Salut 
Public be openly recognised as the Provisional Government, was lost, the second 
half of the motion, that 50 millions be paid at once to it ' for extraordinary ex- 
penses,' was carried. Into this 50 millions however every one dipped a hand, and 
the Commune began to get a million a week allotted for the purchase of food for 

1 Deux Amis, xi. 73. [Deux Amis in loc. cit. say nothing of ' Girondin temper,' 
but in David's preliminary announcement of the ritual of the Fete order is given that 
' our brothers ' are not to be ' lodged in the houses of aristocrats,' and Chaumette's 
order to the Garde de Surveillance at the barriers (both quoted in Dauban, Paris en 
1793, p. 312 sqq.) warns the deputies against being corrupted by the 'filles de 
mauvaise vie.' The deputies from the Departments presented an address to the 
Convention on 8th.] 

2 [Called also the ' Fountain of Regeneration ; ' beautifully got up inscriptions 
were found on the stones of the Bastille, indicating the sufferings of the prisoners 
of former days (Dauban, 3x8).] 


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 solemnity. 1 

Next are processionings along the Boulevards : Deputies or 
Officials bound together by long indivisible tricolor riband ; 
general 'members of the Sovereign' walking pell-mell, 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 bedizen- 
ment ; firm seated on their Cannons. To whom handsome 
Herault, making pause of admiration, addresses soothing elo- 
quence ; 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 canvass, — which swiftly we 
shear off by pulley and cord } The Statue of LiheHy ! 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 word, 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-Pez^/j/e, with 
uplifted all-conquering club ; ' many-headed Dragon of Girondin 
Federalism rising from fetid march : ' — needing new eloquence 

1 [David had intended the Marseillaise to be chanted here : but it was not 
(Dauban, 319).] 

2 [And a printing press, ' this formidable yEgis against tyrants,' with the inscrip- 
tion "without this no hberty" {i.e., presumably without P^re Duchesne and 
IJAvti du Peuple) {ibid. 320).] 

^[On the Boulevard Poissonni^re : Herault made no less than six speeches that 
day (Mortimer-Ternaux, viii, 357).] 


from Herault.1 To say nothing of Champ-de-Mars,^ and Father- 
land's Altar there ; with urn of slain Defenders, Carpenter's- 
level of the Law ; and such exploding, gesticulating and perorat- 
ing, that Herault's lips must be growing white, and his tongue 
cleaving to the roof of his mouth. ^ 

Towards six o'clock let the wearied President, let Paris Patriot- 
ism 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 
flagstaffa 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 

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 supersti- 
tion : 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 

1 [On the Place des Invalides : the Statue of the People bore the inscription, 
L Aristocratie a pris cent formes diverses ; le Peuple tout puissant I'a partout 
terrassde. ] 

2 [The object of going to the Autel de la Patrie was to deposit there the 
registers of acceptances of the new Constitution by the primary Assemblies of 
France [ibid. 323).] 

3 Choix des Rapports, xii. 432-42. 

^[When the Constitution was accepted by France, the Convention ought of 
course to have at once dissolved itself : a roundabout motion to that effect was 
made by Lacroix on Aug. nth ; but the Mountain had no difficulty in shelving it, 
and the real answer to it was the decree of the Levde en masse on 23rd.] 

'^[The Almanack des honnetes gens of Pierre Sylvain Mardchal (1788) was 
not exactly a new calendar, but a suggestion for making one, and replacing the 
names of the Saints' days, etc., with the names of persons celebrated in History : it 
was sufficiently blasphemous to secure his imprisonment. He was born 1750 and 
died 1803 ; his best known work is the ' Dictionnaire des Ath^es,' but he contributed 
to Prudhomme's Revolutions de Paris, and was the author of the ludicrous farce 
(?) called ' Le Dernier Jugement des Rois,' printed in Moland, Thd&tre de la Riv.'\ 


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' Eglan- 
tine 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 Fes- 
tivals, 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. Vend&mi- 
aire, Brumaire, Frimaire ; or as one might say, in mixed English, 
Viniagearious, Fogarious, Frostarious : these are our three Autumn 
months. Nivose, Pluviose, Ventose, or say, Snorvous, Rainous, Windous, 
make our Winter season. Germinal, Floreal, Prairial, or Buddal, 
Floweral, Meadowal, are our Spring season. Messidor, Thermidory 
Fructidor, that is to say (dor being Greek for gift) Reapidor, Heati- 
dor, 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 the world-old Week, or Se' en- 
night, make it a Tennight, or Ddcade ; — 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, is the New Calendar of Romme and the Conven- 
tion ; 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 Messi- 
dors, 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, siile-esclave ; ' — whereof we, in these pages, shall as much 
as possible use the latter only.^ 

1 September 22d of 1792 

is Vend^miaire ist of Year One, and the new months 

are all of 30 days each ; therefore : 





Vend^miaire . 

. 21 


September . 

. 30 


. 21 






. 20 


November . 

. 30 




Nivose . 

. 20 


December . 

• 31 



. 19 



• 31 

Ventose . 

. 18 



. 28 



. 20 


March . 

• 31 


Flor^al . 

. 19 


April . 

. 30 


Prairial . 

. 19 


May . 

• 31 



. 18 


June . 

• 30 


Thermidor . 

. 18 


July . . . 

. 31 


• 17 



• 31 

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

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

2 [The names first proposed in this calendar of Romme's were simply numeral for 
months as well as for the days, but from the latter part of Oct. the ' nature names ' 


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 ques- 
tionable ; 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 con- 
ceive 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. 

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 Ros- 
signol 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 

begin to be used. The Comity de Salut Public begins to date its acts in the new style 
from Oct. 6th, but the usage is irregular and intermittent at first. [See Aulard, Re- 
cueil, vii. 245. ) The Ddcadi is to be spent in each Commune of France in a patriotic 
service of hymns before the Autel de la Patrie, the reading of a report on the State 
of the Republic, in martial exercises and public dances [ibid. viii. 312) ; the keeping 
of Sunday is not prohibited anywhere that I can find, but it is of course discouraged, 
and no Sundays, holidays or religious observances are allowed for men engaged in 
making arms or munitions of war {ibid. viii. 292). As late as Dec. 6th liberty of 
worship is enjoined by the Convention, and several representatives are scolded for 
forcibly shutting churches ; probably nothing provoked more sullen resistance to 
the proconsuls than the attempt to establish the ddcadi [ibid. xi. 356). The 
Calendar is not at all an unreasonable one, as Sept. 22nd is the first day of 
Autumn, and is the ancient Egyptian and Babylonian New Year's Day.] 

i[Oct. loth.] 

2 [This suspension of the ' Constitution of the year I,' before it had been put in 
force, was further made clear by a formal decree on Dec. 4th, putting the Ministers 
under direct control of the Committee.] 


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, unlaureled, save the 
Republic, and 'be cut down gradually to the last man.' ^ 

Does not the Coalition, like a fire-tide, pour in ; Prussia through 
the opened Northeast ; -^ Austria, England through the Northwest ? 
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 Bour- 
bon banners, over the face of the South. Ashes and embers of 
confused Girondin civil war covered that region already. Mar- 
seilles 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 remnant 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.^ 

1 Deux Amis, xi. 147 ; xiii. 160-92, &c. 

^\_Sic ; presumably for East and North-East respectively.] 

3 [Houchard, born 1740, had served in the old army (in the Seven Years' War and 
m Corsica), became Colonel in Custine's army and succeeded to the command suc- 
cessively of the Armies of the Rhine, Moselle, and North {vid. infr., iii. 121).] 

4 [Aug. 28th.] 

^[The immediate cause of the insurrection of Toulon (July 26th) is attributed by 
Barras and Freron to the demand of the dockyard workmen to be paid in cash 
instead of in Assignats (see Aulard, Recueil, v. 382). The Sections of Toulon de- 
manded in August that the Comte de Provence should come and take the Regency 
there in the name of Louis XVII. He did in fact start from Hamm in Westphalia, 
where he then was, and travelled slowly towards Turin ; but the English ministry, 
in spite of the representations of Gilbert Eliot, preferred to recognise no authority 
but that of Louis XVII. , and professed to hold Toulon for the King of France 


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, redoubts ; 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 the 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,' bom- 
barding 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,^ 

• until the peace : ' the flag hoisted was the white flag of Louis XVII. and that 
only : the Austrians promised to send 6,000 troops from Italy, but did not send 
them. {See R6v. Fr. xxxiii. 39, sgq. ; vid. infr.^ iii. 130.)] 
i[Aug. 24th.] 

2 [Mortimer-Ternaux(viii. 230) says the Lyons Arsenal was fired by Jacobins inside 
the town : the siege began on 8th under Kellermann ; but he had not enough troops 
to invest so large a city, and on 22nd Dubois-Crancd, the Convention Com- 
missioner, resorted to bombardment ; Kellermann was called off to face the Pied- 
montese, who were invading Savoy ; the bombardment lasted for 45 days and some 
quarters of the town were reduced to ruins ; famine began to be serious about Sept. 
17th, more troops were brought by Couthon, Maignet, and Chateauneuf-Randon, 
and at last there were 50,000 men round the city ; by the end of September the 
outworks were stormed (vid. infr., iii. 125),] 

3 [The Comte de Pr^cy, born 1742, served in the Seven Years' War and in 
Corsica, Lieut. -Colonel 1788, served in the defence of the Tuileries Aug. loth, 
undertook the defence of Lyons in the Royalist interest, but opinions were too 
much divided inside the town to allow much weight to this [vid. in/r., iii, 125).] 


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 besiegers ; 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 ciinnon-shot envelop- 
ing 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 d'Autichamp, in name of the Two Pre- 
tender 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 ' redoubts 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.^ 

Or see, in these same weeks, far in the Western waters : 
breasting through the Bay of Biscay, a greasy dingy little 

iDeux Amis, xi. 80143. {{Vid. infr.^ iii. 125.) This story of the white flag Dubois- 
Crane^ skilfully and industriously circulated ; and one day, before the investment 
was complete, some countrymen, thinking to please the Lyonnais, arrived at the gates 
with white cockades, but were at once arrested. There is in fact no evidence that 
Pr6cy ever raised the white flag at all — no doubt he would have liked to do so, but 
it would have been a hopeless move. {See Balleydier, Hist, du peuple de Lyon 
pendant la R6v. (Paris, 1845), i, 362.) The phrase "we conquer not with you" 
probably refers to the cowardly flight of the two Girondin deputies, Biroteau and 
Chasset, immediately on the arrival of the Republican forces ; Biroteau was arrested 
as he left Lyons, and sent to the guillotine at Bordeaux (Oct. 24th) ; Chasset escaped 
to Switzerland.] 


Merchant-ship, with Scotch skipper ; under hatches whereof sit, 
disconsolate, — the last forlorn nucleus of Girondism, the Deputies 
from Quimper ! Several have dissipated themselves, whitherso- 
ever they could. Poor RioufFe fell into the talons of Revolu- 
tionary Committee and Paris Prison. The rest sit here under 
hatches; reverend Petion with his gray 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 landing place, 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 Bee 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- 
^milion and Libourne, stave off cruel Death, i Unhappiest of all 
Senators I 


Against all which incalculable impediments, horrors and dis- 
asters, what can a Jacobin Convention oppose ? The uncalcu- 
lating 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 
bmierom la France." 

1 Louvet, pp. 180-199. 


Committees, of SHreU, of Salut, have raised themselves, ' d la 
hauteur, to the height of circumstances.' Let all mortals raise 
themselves d la hauteur. Let the Forty-fom* 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 ; i also, that the Poorer Citizen be paid for 
attending, and have his day's- wages of Forty Sous.'-^ This is the 
celebrated ' Law of the Forty Sous ; ' fiercely stimulant to Sans- 
culottism, 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 fifly 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 Departmental Towns, towards the appointed Camp and 
seat of war, the Sons of Freedom shall march ; their banner is to 
bear : ' L^ Peuple Franqais dehout contre 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 

i[Sept. 5th.] 

2 Moniteur, Stance du 5 Septembre 1793. [For Danton's speech on the Forty 
Sous see Stephens' Orators (ii. 262). The same speech supported the motion of 
Billaud for the creation of a Revolutionary Army {vid. infr., iii. 95). The law of 
\h&fo7-ty sous was repealed Aug. 22nd '94 : complaint was made that even workmen 
earning X^nx^^ francs a day had taken advantage of the law. {See Schmidt, ii. 192. ) 
Danton left Paris Oct. 12th and was away till Nov. 21st.] 

3 [Aug. i6th and 23rd.] 

^[The Levde en masse {vid. supr., ii. 234, and iii. 24) must be distinguished from 
the later Conscription which was decreed by the Council of Ancients on the motion 
of Jourdan in 1798. In spite of Danton's appeal in Sept. '92, the total number 
of men with the colours at the beginning of '93 was only 228,000 : on Feb. 24th a 
new levy of 300,000 was decreed, but the Convention allowed the men requisitioned 


' 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' ^ 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 conse- 
quence ; 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 ven- 
geance 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 explain- 
ing withal who the Arrestable and Suspect specially are. ' Are 
' suspect,' says he, ' all who by their actions, by their connexions, 

to find substitutes — and with the worst results. The present movement came from 
the deputies of the provincial Communes, who had come to Paris for the fete oi Aug. 
loth : they demanded an universal levy, and presented a petition to that effect to 
the Convention, which adopted the principle on Aug. i6th. Carnot then worked 
out the details. {See Gros, ' Comit6 de Salut Public,' p. 226. ) All between 18 and 25 
were to be called out except those in the Civil Service of the State : this levy got 
the name of ih&Jirst requisition and produced 450,000 men, and the total figures 
with the colours at the end of 1793 were 569,000. (Sorel, iii. 538.)] 

^ D6bats, Stance du 23 AoM 1793. 

2 [Philippe Antoine Merlin was a celebrated jurist, born 1754, deputy for Douai 
to States-General and for the Department of Nord to the Convention ; was one of 
the leading law reformers in the former Assembly ; a fierce Montagnard in '93 — 4, 
rallied to the^ Thermidorians, became Minister of Justice in '95, a Director after 
the Coup (Vlliat of Fructidor, and one of the principal authors of the Code ; a 
Count of the Empire, exiled at the Restoration, returned 1830, died 1838,] 


'speakings, writings have* — in short become Suspect. ^ 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 com- 
panies of reapers or gleaners, gleaning France, are gathering 
their harvest, and storing it in these Houses. Harvest of Aristo- 
crat 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.* 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 ; ' Conspira- 

1 Moniteur, Stance du 17 Septembre 1793. [The ' Law of the Suspect ' had its 
origin in a petition of the Commune that a hst of suspected persons might be drawn 
up (Sept. i2th) ; Merlin's ' Law ' defined, vaguely it is true but very widely, the 
twelve classes into which * suspects ' fell ; the law was not repealed until the end 
of the Convention : practically it put all power in the hands of the Revolutionary 
Committees of Sections, who were authorised to draw up the lists of the suspects, 
and send them to the ComiU de Sureti Gindrale.'\ 

2 [Sept. 17th.] 3 [Sept. 5th.] 
"* Ibid., Stances du 5, 9, 11 Septembre. 

^ [The Revolutionary Army was to be at the requisition of the Municipal authorities 
of any Commurie of France. It was often accompanied by a portable guillotine, 
and was entirely dominated by the H^bertists : it was chiefly instrumental in smashing 
church furniture during the autumn and winter of '93 — 4 ; it was disbanded on the 
fall of the H6bertists,in March '94; Ronsin was its general. {Vid. infr., iii. 122 ; 
see Wallon, La Terreur, i. 282, sqq.)^^ 

6 [Blanchelande had been successively governor of Tobago and Dominica, and 
in 1789 was Lieut. -Governor of San Domingo ; Campardon gives the date of his 
execution as April 15th '93. When the rising of the negroes finally threatened the 
French planters with destruction, they applied for assistance to Lord Effingham, the 


tors 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 R^publique ! 

In the last days of August fell a notabler head : 2 General Cus- 
tine's. Custine was accused of harshness, of unskilfulness, perfi- 
diousness ; accused of many things : found guilty, we may say, of 
one thing, unsuccessfalness. Hearing his unexpected Sentence, 
' Custine fell down before the Crucifix,' silent for the space of two 
hours : he fared, with moist eyes and a look of prayer, towards the 
Place de la Revolution ; glanced upwards at the clear suspended 
axe ; then mounted swiftly aloft,^ swiftly was struck away from 

governor of Jamaica, and he sent three frigates, which saved a great number of 
people : the English occupied many parts of the island, but did not take possession 
of Port-au-Prince till June ist '94 (Lecky, v. 567). Mahan (i. 112) criticises the 
policy of the British Government in occupying and garrisoning the vi^rong ports ; 
it was vain for them to hope to hold the whole island. In 1798 they finally 
abandoned the island to Toussaint I'Ouverture the negro.] 

i[July 13th. Leonard Bourdon, a schoolmaster and barrister, born 1758, deputy 
to Convention for the Loiret, a leading Montagnard, was passing through Orleans on 
a mission to the Jura on March 15th '93, and was slightly wounded in a street row, 
which one of his companions provoked, on his way home from the Jacobin Club in 
that city. He made immense capital out of this, representing himself as a second 
Lepelletier. The Convention, on Barere's motion, voted a fierce decree against 
the city of Orleans : thirteen of its citizens were sent to the Tribunal Rdvolutionnaire at 
Paris for the " assassination," and nine of them were condemned to death, four being 
acquitted. (Campardon, i. 56.) If the story from Prudhomme, quoted by Campar- 
don, be true, Leonard Bourdon must have been disappointed at the smallness of 
the vengeance, as he told the surgeon who dressed his wound that he would have 
twenty-five heads for it ; he was humourously known as Liopard Bourdon after 
this bloodshed. He assisted Barras on the night of 9th Thermidor, became a 
leading Thermidorian, and a member of the Council of 500, disappeared from 
politics under the Consulate and died 1815.] 

2 [Aug. 28th. Custine's trial lasted thirteen days, and created great excite- 
ment. His confessor, the Abb6 Lothringer, was afterwards examined at length 
to try and extort from him some of the secrets of the confession; Custine's guilt 
is not improbable, for he had undoubtedly entered into secret negotiations with 
Prussia on his own account, but the accusation that he wished to make Brunswick 
King of France appears to rest on no ground of fact : rather, like Dumouriez, he 
probably clung to the idea of separating Prussia from the cause of the Allies. {See 
Campardon, i. 88, sqq.Y^ 

3 Deux Amis, xi. 148-188. 


the lists of the Living. He had fought in America ; he was a 
proud, brave man ; and his fortune led him hither. 

On the 2d of this same month, at three in the morning, a 
vehicle rolled off, with closed blinds, from the Temple to the 
Conciergerie.i Within it were two Municipals ; and Marie-An- 
toinette, once Queen of France ! There in that Conciergerie, in 
ignominious dreary cell, she, secluded from children, kindred, 
friends and hope, sits long weeks ; expecting when the end will 

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 Revo- 
lution. He died, recommending his wife and children to the pity 
of the Republic. It is the ninth day of October 179^. 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 

1 [The Conciergerie dates from the 13th century, and, as its name indicates, 
was the ' Servants' Hall ' of the old Royal Palace. Its first storey was in 1793 a 
row of shops for the sale of articles de Paris : the cells were mostly underground, 
and, though much improved in Louis XVI. 's reign, were damp and unwholesome. 
Richard, the gaoler, and his wife were humane persons, and the latter, if tradition 
may be trusted, was specially kind to the Queen. The Queen's cell is still to be 
seen : it was on the ground floor, and its window gave on to the ' Courtyard of the 
Women,' but owing to its proximity to the river it was very damp. Louis XVIII. 
placed in it an altar and a Latin inscription (not, one is afraid, the first elegantice 
lie had written about his sister-in-law). (Dauban, Les Prisons, p. 136 sqq.)\ 

2 See Mt^moires Particuliers de la Captivity a la Tour du Temple (by the 
Duchesse d'Angouleme, Paris, 21 Janvier 1817). 

VOL. III. 7 


and our poor Arrested Girondins have become Incarcerated In- 
dicted Girondins ; universal Jacobinism clamouring for their 
punishment. Duperret's Seals are broken I Those Seventy-three 
Secret Protesters, suddenly one day, are reported upon, are de- 
creed accused ; the Convention-doors being ' previously shut,' that 
none implicated might escape. They were marched, in a very 
rough manner, to Prison that evening. i 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 



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, de- 
faced, forsaken, stands here at Fouquier-Tinville's Judgment-bar ; 
answering for her life. The Indictment was delivered her last 
night. 3 To such changes of human fortune what words are 
adequate ? Silence alone is adequate. 

There are few Printed things one meets with, of such tragic, 

1 [Oct, 3rd.] 

2 [It was on Aug. ist that the trial of Marie Antoinette was decreed, on the 
motion of Barere, Ilfautfrapper I' A utriche et VA utrichienne ; on the same day the 
Convention decreed the violation of the Royal tombs at Saint-Denis and the depor- 
tation of all living Bourbons except the children of Louis XVI. Nothing whatever 
was done by Austria in favour of the Queen of France even by way of protest. 
Mercy, Fersen and La Marck, her truest friends, implored the Governments of the 
Allies in vain : up till the end of June they had placed some confidence in Danton, 
who had showed some disposition to make the deliverance of the Queen a possible 
overture for peace. [See Fersen's Journal et Corresp. ii., May — Aug. '93 ; vid. infr. , 
iii. 190). 

The Queen was interrogated on Sept. 4th by Amar and some others in the 
Conciergerie. The interrogations of the children in the Temple by.H^bert, Pache, 
Chaumette and Simon (vid. infr., iii. 190) took place on Oct. 6th. On Oct. loth 
Fouquier wrote to Committee that all the documents were ready ; and on 12th the 
Queen was again interrogated by Herman. The Counsel assigned to her were 
Tronson-Ducoudray and Chauveau-Lagarde ; after their first conversation with 
her these men were arrested and examined as to what she had ' confessed.' They 

f)ractically said she had given them no confidence, and were at once liberated. 
Campardon, i. 106, sqq.)] 

3 Proems de la Reine (Deux Amis, xi. 251-381). 


almost ghastly, significance as those bald Pages of the Bulletin du 
Tribunal Revolutionnairc, 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 
show 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.^ 

^[The Comte d'Estaing, born 1729, served first in the Army and then in the 
Navy, fought in the Seven Years' War and the War of American independence ; 
became Admiral in 1792 ; as Commander of the National Guard of Versailles, he 
had tried to protect the Royal Family on Oct. 5th '89 ; guillotined, April 28th '94.] 

2[Fouquier's indictment began with a comparison between the Queen and all 
the wicked Queens of History, and the technical charges brought were : — 

(i) Plundering the French exchequer for the benefit of Austria before 1789. 

(2) Producing famine. 

(3) Designing a Coup d Atat on Oct. 4th '89. 

(4) Instigating the Flight to Varennes. 

(5) Instigating the ' massacre ' of the Champ-de-Mars, the meetings of the 

" Austrian Committee," the Vetos, the declaration of War. 

(6) Betraying the French plan of campaign to the Allies. 

(7) The "conspiracy" of Aug. loth against the Nation. 

(8) Incestuous intercourse with her son. 

The witnesses called were Lecointre to the affair of Oct. 4th '89 ; La Pierre (an 
adjutant general) to the events of June 20th '91 ; Roussillon to the events of Aug. loth; 
Hubert to the deposition in the matter of incest ; Terrasson to the fact that the Queen 
on June 26th looked fiercely at the National Guard (whence resulted the ' massacre ' 
of July 17th) ; Manuel to certain pretended intrigues in the Temple (but he gave no 
evidence and was reprimanded) ; Millot, a female servant, to the sending of money 
to Austria (she deposed also that the Queen tried to assassinate d' Orleans) ; Simon 
to her attempts to corrupt the warders in the Temple ; Tissot (a police spy, and 
author of the ' Eloge de La Sainte Dame Guillotine ') to her attempts to defraud 
the Civil List for the benefit of the Ii,migrds ; D'Estaing deposed to nothing but 
that the Queen had prevented him from being created a Marshal ; Bailly seems 
only to have been called to give a handle against himself, he deposed to nothing ; 
there were several more witnesses of no importance (as to the Queen's influence 


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, con- 
tinued 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." Robes- 
pierre, when he heard of it, broke out into something almost like 
swearing at the brutish blockheadism of this Hebert ; ^ 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 Ac- 
cused shook her head, without speech. Night's candles are 

over the King in the matter of places and pensions, etc.). Then the goods taken 
from the Queen at the Temple were brought in, and she was examined as to their 
several uses. She attempted no cross-examination of witnesses, but was herself 
cross-examined the whole time as to their evidence. She concluded by saying : 
' Yesterday I knew not who were to give evidence against me, or of what I was to 
be accused. No one has proved any positive fact against me. I was the King's 
wife and had to obey him.' Fouquier then spoke again, and the two counsel for 
the defence made a formal attempt to disprove some of the evidence, but cross- 
examined no witnesses, and called none of their own. Herman summed up without 
the least pretence at impartiality, inculpating the accused of everything (except the 
incest, which charge he passed over in silence). The jury were away one hour and 
found the Queen guilty on all counts. The trial terminated at 4.30 A.M. on i6th. 
(Campardon, i. 106, sgg.)'] 

iVilate, Causes secretes de la Revolution de Thermidor (Paris, 1825), p. 179. 
[This was at a dinner given by Barere the next day. Vilate is a professional liar, 
but there is nothing improbable in the story.] 


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 

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 ap- 
* peared : 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 dis- 
' appeared, and the crowd melted away.' ^ 

The young imperial Maiden of Fifteen has now become a worn 
discrowned Widow of Thirty-eight ; gray 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 thou- 
' sand foot and horse drawn up under arms. At eleven, Marie- 
' Antoinette was brought out. She had on an undress of piqu& 
' blanc : she was led to the place of execution, in the same manner 
' as an ordinary criminal ; bound, on a Cart ; accompanied by a 

1 Weber, i. 6. 


* Constitutional Priest in Lay dress ; escorted by numerous de- 
'tachments 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 Five la Republique and 
' Down with Tyranny, which attended her all the way, she seemed 

* to pay no need. 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 showed it to the people, 
'amid universal long-continued cries of Vive la Republique.' ^ 

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.^ 

^ Deux Amis, xi. 301. [On being taken back to the Conciergerie the Queen 
breakfasted calmly and wrote to her sister-in-law (Mme Elisabeth). She was 
offered a "Constitutional Curd" but replied 'There are no curds left in Paris.' 
(M. Campardon neither accepts nor rejects M. de Beauchene's statement that area! 
priest was secretly admitted. See Beauchdne's Louis XVII. , ii. 129. ) The ' ' Consti- 
tutional Cu7'd" accompanied her to the scaffold, but she never looked at nor spoke 
to him ; she was overwhelmed with outrages by the mob the whole way. (Cam- 
pardon, i. 147-151.) In Dauban's Paris en 1793 (frontispiece) is a rough drawing 
by David, of the Queen in the cart going to the scaffold.] 

2 [This was in consequence of a report of Amar on October 3rd : when a decree 
had been passed, repeating the outlawry of the 15 escaped Girondists {vid. supr., iii. 
98), and ordering the arrest of the 75 Conventionals who had protested against June 
2ncl. Altogether by Amar's report 129 persons (deputies or ex-deputies) were in- 


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 ouglit to have ' the power of cutting short, 
of terminer les d&bats, when they feel themselves convinced.' 
Which pregnant suggestion, of cutting short, passes itself, with 
all despatch, into a Decree. ^ 

Accordingly, at ten o'clock on the night of the 30th of October, 
the Twenty-two, summoned back once more, receive this informa- 
tion. 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 confisca- 
tion of goods. 

criminated, several miscellaneous persons being added to the original victims of 
June 2nd, e.g., Egalit^, who had been in prison since April, Rebecqui and Kersaint, 
who had resigned their seats before June 2nd. The report was read with locked 
doors so that no one could escape (Bir6, L^gende, 380). 

The Girondists brought to trial on 24th were twenty-one in number : 
Brissot, Vergniaud, Gensonn^, Duperret, Carra, Gardien, Valaz6, Duprat, Sillery, 
Fauchet, Ducos, Boyer-Fonfrede, Lasource, Beauvais, Duchatel, Mainvielle, Lacaze, 
Le Hardy, Boileau, Antiboul, Viger. The seat of honour at the Tribunal was re- 
served for Brissot not Vergniaud, for Brissot had been the real working head of the 
party (Bir6, L^gende, 36). The accused did not, according to Campardon, conduct 
themselves with any particular heroism ; even Vergniaud only found his tongue 
for a few minutes, but they cross-examined their witnesses with some skill, and gen- 
erally tried to prove themselves Montagtmrds. (Campardon, i. 152, sqq.)'\ 

i[It was Fouquier's letter to the Convention, stating that the trial had now lasted 
five days and that only nine witnesses had been heard, " each of whom wishes to 
give the whole history of the Revolution," that led to the decree of 29th, which 
was proposed by Robespierre, that after three days of a trial the President of the 
Tribunal may ask the jurors if they are convinced ; if they reply ' no,' the trial may 
continue ; if they reply ' yes,' verdict and judgment may be delivered at once. At 
the same time the title of the Tribunal was changed from Tribunal Criminel 
Extraordinaire to Tribunal Rdvolutionnaire {ibid. ),] 


Loud natural clamour rises among the poor Girondins ; tumult ; 
which can only be repressed by the gendarmes. Valaze stabs him- 
self ; 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." ^ 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 the 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 Giron- 
dins, with wild coruscations of eloquence, with song and mirth. 
Poor human Will struggles to assert itself ; if not in this way, 
then in that.^ 

^ Ar}iJ.o(rd4vovs clir6uTos, ^ATroKTcvovai <re 'A6-qua7oi, ^cokiwv • *Av ixavSxfiv, elirf, 
(Tt S', eoj' auxppovujai. — Plut. 0pp. t. iv. p. 310, ed. Reiske, 1776. 

2 [A few days before his death, on the news of the arrest of his friend Bailleul at 
Provins, Ducos composed this pot-pourri beginning with the words 

' Un jour de cet automne 

De Provins revenant ' 
set to a well-known air. It is really (for a French Revolution skit) almost humorous, 
and may be read at length in the Appx. to Riouffe's M6moires (M6m. sur les Prisons, 
278 sgq. ). There is no mention in Riouffe of the ' rhymed tragedy ' wherein Bar^re 
and Robespierre discourse with Satan, but there were several such skits put out in 
the period after Thermidor, which were very likely composed in the prisons, 
notably the ' Dialogue des Morts ' composed at La Force — the ' Club Infernal ' of 
'Pilpay' (gn III.), etc. Possibly the reference is to the poem of Taschereau- 
Fargues, A Maximilien Robespierre aux en/ers (twenty stanzas of twelve lines 
each), in British Museum, 935, b. 17.] 

3 M^moires de Riouffe (in M^moires sur les Prisons, Paris, 1823), pp. 48-55. [Did 
Carlyle know Charles Nodier's book, published 1831, ' Le Dernier Banquet des 
Girondins,' afterwards dramatised by Dumas in ' Le Chevalier de Maison Rouge ? ' 
For Riouffe, who speaks (in loc. cii.) much of their gaiety and courage, and men- 


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 R&publique, some of them keep answering with 
counter-shouts of Vive la lUpublique. 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 wearing weak ; 
the chorus is worn out; — farewell forevermore, 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 ? 1 

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 fare- 
well ; 2 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 

tions Vergniaud's dose of poison, says not a word of the banquet. On the face 
of it the story of Nodier, as repeated by Thiers, Michelet and Lamartine, is 
ridiculous, for an expensive banquet in the Conciergcrie is about the last thing 
the Government would allow. There is no reason why they should not have 
supped together, but had the supper been of the kind to have earned the fame that 
has grown up about it, Riouffe would certainly have mentioned it. (Bir6, L^gende, 
418-21.) As a matter of fact seven of them confessed to the Abb6 Lothringer (and 
Fauchet, who was one of these, received the confession of another, Sillery), and 
four to the Abb6 Lambert {ibid.).'\ 

1 [The execution lasted only 38 minutes, which speaks well for the adroitness of 
the executioners {ibid. 423).] 

2 [June 17th '94.] 


but 1 will share with thy Wife, should chance ever lead me where 
she is." ^ 

Louvet went with Guadet, with Salles and Valadi ; Barbaroux 
with Buzot and Petion. Valadi soon went southward, on a way 
of his own. The two friends and Louvet had a miserable day 
and night ; the 14th of the 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. Valadi 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 after- 
wards, Buzot and Petion were found in a Corn-field, their bodies 
half-eaten by dogs.^ 

1 Louvet, p. 213. 2 1- June 19th '94.] 

^Recherches Historiques sur les Girondins (in M6m. de Buzot), p. 108. , 
[Carlyle's chronology is wild : Salles and Guadet were arrested at Saint-Emilion 
on June 17th '94 and executed at Bordeaux on 19th (? or 20th). It was on the day 
of their arrest that Barbaroux joined Petion and Buzot in the open country : the 


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 ac- 
complished. As Vergniaud said : ^ ' the Revolution, Uke Saturn, 
is devouring its own children.' 

place where they were seen by the villagers was Saint-Magne de Castillon, near 
Saint-Emilion. Barbaroux did not shoot himself dead, but lived to be executed 
at Bordeaux on June 25th, though in a horribly mutilated state. 

It was on June 26th that the bodies of Buzot and Petion were found in a state 
of decomposition in the same CommuTic of Saint-Magne ; this warrants the sup- 
position that they shot themselves about a week before. (Bir6, L^gende, 428-30.) 

Louvet reached Paris Dec. 6th, and left Feb. 6th '94 (in disguise of course). (See 
Louvet, 273, 295.)] 

1 [March 13th '93.] 





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 con- 
summated itself; and in this wondrous French Revolution, as in 
a Doomsday, a World have been rapidly, if not born again, yet 
destroyed and engulfed. Terror has long been terrible : but to 
the actors themselves it has now become manifest that their 
appointed coiu*se is one of Terror ; and they say. Be it so. 
" Que la Terreur soil d rordre du jour." ^ 

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 imper- 

1 [The decree that ' Terror is the Order of the Day ' is in one of Harare's rhodo- 
montades (Sept. 5th) : it was followed by a series of decrees against strangers residing 
in France, and for the rigorous treatment of the conquered countries — decrees 
which, it is almost needless to point out, completely give the lie to the earlier 
principles of the Revolution. (Sorel, iii. 475, sqq.)] 


ceptible, 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 while, 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 an- 
other, Well-speed-ye, are at work, .solving the 7vind. And yet, 
as God lives, they shall reap the whirlnmid : no other thing, we 
say, is possible, — since God is a Truth and His World is a 

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 pro- 
perly, 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 in- 
ferences 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 Parlemenlaire, 
The latest and the strangest : that the French Revolution was a 
dead-lift effiart, after eighteen hundred years of preparation, to 


realise — the Christian Religion ! ^ Unity, Indivisibility, Brother- 
hood 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 : ^ 
but a Christian Religion realised by the Guillotine and Death- 
Eternal ' is suspect to me,' as Robespierre was wont to say, ' m'est 

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 Con- 
stitution. A thing different and distant toto ccelo, 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 ?iame 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 

1 Hist. Pari, (Introd.), i. i ei seqq. [The Histoire Parlementaire de la R^v. Fr,, 
ou journal des Assemblies Rationales depuis 1789 jusqu'a 1815, by P. J. B. Buchez 
(sometime Maire of Paris, deputy for Paris after the Revolution of '48, died 1865) 
and P. C. Roux-Lavergne, was first published in 40 volumes at Paris, 1834 — 48. 
A second edition was begun in 1846 but only seven volumes appeared. 

M. Aulard, quoted in Tourneux, i. 23, calls it ' a gigantic work without propor- 
tions, plan or style, but containing a mass of documents, the reprint of a part of 
the iMoniieur, of numberless newspaper articles, pamphlets and Mdmoires.' The 
authors are interesting people, as they were both apostles of Carbonarism, Saint- 
Simonism and what is now called " Christian Socialism." Both had the bitterest 
experience, in the Chamber of 1848, of Democracy as it really is ; and Roux-Lavergne 
ended by becoming a priest. The passage referred to by Carlyle is the opening 
sentence, "the French Revolution is the last and most advanced product of modern 
civilisation, and modern civilisation is the child of the Gospel."] 

2 Deux Amis, xii. 78. [Deux Amis (in loc. cit.) says the inscription suggested by 
Chaumette was '■ L ho mme juste tie meurt pas, il vit dans la tndmoire de ses con- 
citoyens : ' but the inscription over cemeteries ' here is eternal sleep ' was often to 
be found in the Provinces. Nor is anything said in the passage cited about the in- 
scriptionson houses (but see Deux Amis, xii. 157). Fouch^ did actually order thewords 
' Death is an eternal sleep ' to be inscribed on all graveyards in the Departments of 
the West while he was en mission there (m the Nievre ; see his letter of Oct. loth, 
quoted in la R6v. ii. ii, 56).] 


came not to range itself under old recorded Laws of Nature at 
all, but to disclose new ones ? In that case, History renouncing 
the pretension 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 henceforth ; the Thing is then ours, and can be dealt with. 

Now surely not realisation, 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 simultane- 
ously to say, with a sound which goes through far lands and 
times, that this Untruth of an Existence had become insupport- 
able. O ye Hypocrisies and Speciosities, Royal mantles, Cardinal 
plush-cloaks, 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. Wherefrora 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. Transcen- 
dental 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, 
verj^ strangely in the vehicle of a Jean-Jacques Evangel, sud- 


denly 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 night-cap of Liberty, 
christens his poor little red infant Cato, — Censor, or else of 
Utica. Gracchus has become Baboeuf,^ and edites 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. 4^ 

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 

1 [F. N. Babeuf, born 1764, founded a violent newspaper at Amiens called Le 
Correspondent Pi card Sind was indicted for it (1790). He held various Municipal 
appointments in his Department during the Revolution — was tried for forgery, but 
acquitted. In July '94 he began to publish in Paris his Tribun du peuple, 
preaching community of goods and absolute socialism. He is best known as the 
author of a violent plot against Society and the Directory in '97, for which he was 
condemned to death. A great number of the old Septemberers and Jacobins were 
involved in the plot and many of them were transported for it. In the Tribun 
Baebeuf took the name of ' Caius Gracchus ; ' it is believed that the Tribun had 
much to do with the insurrections of ' Germinal ' and ' Prairial ' in the spring of 
'95- 1 

2 [Between Sept. and Nov. '93 the Section Luxembourg got itself called ' Mutius 
Scaevola ;' the president of this Section at the beginning of '94 was one Rocher, 
perhaps the sapper who carried Marat in triumph {vid. supr. , iii. 46, and Campardon, 
i. 38 note). But I have been unable to trace any person taking the name of 
' Mutius Scaevola.*] 


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 black, 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. 1 The Play-wright manufactures, — pieces of a strictly 
Republican character.^ Ever fresh Novel-garbage, as of old, 
fodders the Circulating Libraries.^ The 'Cesspool of Agio,' now 
in a time of Paper Money, works with a vivacity unexampled, 
unimagined ; exhales from itself ' sudden fortunes,' like Aladdin- 
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 

^ Mercier, ii. 124. 

2 [Abundant evidence is at hand of the extreme dulness of these ' Republican ' 
pieces at the theatres, which were under the strict surveillance of the Comiti de 
Salut Public and naturally fell to CoUot's imagination to regulate. One Agent 
National, who seems to have possessed a sense of humour rare in his kind, writes 
to the Committee that he thinks it a pity to substitute Citoyen and Citoyenne 
for Monsieur and Madame in all pieces, and also to decorate Jupiter or Armida 
with the tricolor cockade (May 3rd '94 ; Schmidt, ii. 203). Perri^re in Sept. 
'93 finds all the big theatres except that of the Ripublique to be anti-Revolu- 
tionary — the Feydeau and the Franfais the worst. The TMdtre Franfais was 
accordingly closed on Sept. 3rd, the author of the piece then being played 
(Pamela) and all the actors arrested, and free weekly performances of Republican 
tragedies, such as 'Brutus,' ' William Tell ' and ' Caius Gracchus,' ordered (Aulard, 
Recueil, vi. 236). 

Your Parisian will of course dance and go to the theatre if he can, but Dutard's 
evidence (Schmidt, ii. passim) is rather to the effect that the respectable bourgeoisie, 
during the Terror and the famine, avoided all public places of amusement, in the 
same way as they avoided politics.] 

^ Moniteur of these months, passim. 

■* [The rage for gambling on the Stock Exchange, which had been growing ever 
since the times of Law and the Regent, probably reached its height after Thermidor, 
but we have plenty of evidence that it was active in '93 — 4, although the Bourse was 
legally shut ; also of the existence of numberless small ' gaming hells ' which at- 
tracted the very poorest class ; see especially the report of Latour-Lamontagne to 
Garat, June i6th '93 (Schmidt, ii. 58).] 

VOL. III. 8 


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 



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 ^galite. 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 re- 
turned 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 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 Forster, ' 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 

1 [Madame Dubarry, vid. supr. , i, 5. Josephine Beauharnais was arrested on April 
20th '94, on presenting herself at her Section to demand a passport to leave Paris, and 
released on Aug. 6th (ten days after Thermidor), at Mme de Fontenay's intercession. 
She was confined at the Carmes, where Coittant saw her and said she was much 
liked. (Coittant's Journal in M6m. sur les Prisons, quoted in Dauban, Prisons, p. 375 ; 
Aubenas, Hist, de Josephine, Paris, 1857, i. 241 ; Fr^d^ric Masson, Josephine de 
Beauharnais, Paris, 1899, p. 240.)] 

DEATH 115 

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 a reasonable answer. And so, says 
Montgaillard, he leant his elbow on the mantel-piece, and con- 
versed in an undertone, 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 

i[Nov. 4th.] 

2[D'Orl6ans had been sent to Chateau d'lf, at Marseilles, on April 7th '93 : he 
was now transferred to the Conciergerie, and brought before the Tribunal on Nov, 6th. 
He was chiefly incriminated as regards his relations with Dumouriez, and as to a 
journey to England to see his daughter. (Campardon, i. 167.)] 

^[This story occurs only in Montgaillard (of contemporary authorities), who 
says ' ' he cannot give the name of the member of the Tribunal who received the 
" last rtz//j- of the Duke because (1827) the man is still ahve." Toulongeon does 
not mention it, nor does Vautibault (Les d'Orl^ans) ; but the story is repeated, 
apparently from Montgaillard, in M. Tournois, Hist, de L. P. J. Due d'Orl6ans 
(Paris, 1842), vol. ii. p. 387.] 


objected to such company, and had to be flung in, neck and heels ; ^ 
but it seems not true. Objecting or not objecting, the gallows- 
vehicle gets under way. Philippe's dress is remarked for its 
elegance ; green frock, waistcoat of white piqu6, 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 
I^galite, whilom Palais Royal ! The cruel Populace stopped him 
there, some minutes : Dame de Buffon, it is said, looked out on 
him, in Jezebel headtire ; along the ashlar Wall there ran these 
words in huge tricolor print, Republic one and indivisible ; 
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity or Death : National Froperty, 
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 off" his boots : " Tush," said 
Philippe, 'Hhey will come better off" after ; let us have done, 
d&pechons-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. But probably no mortal ever had such 
things recorded of him : such facts, and also such lies. For he 
was a Jacobin Piince 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 
^galite, deprived of all, only not deprived of himself, is gone 

1 Forster, ii. 628 ; Montgaillard, iv. 141-57. [Carlyle quotes Forster in the Leip- 
zig edition 1829. "The three poor blackguards" were the Deputy Coustard, a 
nobleman called Laroque, Pierre Gondier a stockbroker, and Anioine Brousse a 
locksmith (really four). According to Montgaillard it was the last who objected to 
go in the same cart with the infdme sceUrat d' Orleans. D'Orl^ans certainly 
confessed to the Abb6 Lothringer, and confessed especially the sin of having helped 
to the King's death. [See the letter written by the Abb6 quoted in Cam pardon, i. 
168 note. ) 

According to Dauban (who however does not give his authority, Paris en 1793, 
p. 501) it was Laroque who declared it humiliated him to go to death in the same 
cart with d'Orl6ans. Forster calls the fellow prisoners a ' couple of labouring men ' 
and only says they jeered d'Orl^ans on his arrival at the scaffold (in loc, cif.).^ 

2 [This part of the story is confirmed by Gazeau de Vautibault, Les d'Orl^ans 
(Paris, 1889), p. 88.] 

DEATH 117 

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 Ro- 
land.i 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 Riouife,^ '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 courage- 
'ous as that of a great man.' '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 has 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 

1 [For my judgment on Mme Roland v/d. snpr. , i. 406 . She was transferred to 
the Concicrgetic on Nov. ist ; she was twice interrogated before her trial and con- 
demned on the usual charge of complicity with the deputies at Caen. ( Dauban, Etude, 
239 -f^^-)] 

2 M^moires (Sur les Prisons, i.), pp. 55-7. 


' brutal ; ' offended female honour ^ flung them back on him, with 
scorn, not without tears. And now, short preparation soon done, 
she too 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 : " ^ 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 sake,^ she will die first ; show 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 

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 her. 

1 [The reference to ' offended female honour ' refers to some question asked her 
by David, at the Tribunal, with reference to her private relations with some of the 
incriminated deputies : she avoided a direct answer, and merely said she had known 
them with her husband and through her husband. Her first interrogatory was on 
Nov. ist, her second on 3rd; her trial was on 8th. (Campardon, i. 191, sqq.)] 

2M6moires de Madame Roland (Introd.), i. 68. 

3 [Simon Fran9ois Lamarche, Director- General oi Assignats. Dauban (244) 
calls him Lamarque. He was condemned for the "conspiracy of Aug. loth." 
Both Campardon and Dauban say just the reverse about the order of dying — to 
soothe Lamarche she let him die first. (Campardon, i. 174 ; Dauban, 242.)] 

DEATH 119 

Still crueller was the fate of poor Bailly,^ First National Presi- 
dent, 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 inno- 
cent 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 Father- 
land : not there ; but on that dung-heap 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. " Man 
ami, it is for cold," said Bailly, "cest de froid." Crueller end 
had no mortal. 2 

Some days afterwards, Roland, hearing the news of what hap- 
pened 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, l6th 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 a rigorous wrinkled man ; stiff 
now in the rigour of death ; a cane-sword run through his heart ; 

i[Nov. nth.] 

2 Vie de Bailly (in M6m. i.), p. 29. [Campardon (i. 179) adds that Bailly was 
himself compelled to carry some of the planks of the scaffold from the Champ-de- 
Mars to the dung-heap, and that he fainted under the heavy load. 

Bailly had retired into private life in Sept. '91 and had gone to live near Nantes, 
but after Aug. loth he wrote to a friend who lived at Melun to ask whether he could 
find him a quiet retreat there. This friend (M. Laplace) offered to share his house 
with him, but just as Bailly arrived at Melun he was arrested by one of those am- 
bulatory ' Revolutionary Armies,' which were scattering themselves over France, 
authorised or unauthorised, in the autumn of '93. While in prison he addressed an 
appeal, printed in the Appx. to the first vol. of his M^moires, /. 5. Bailly a ses 
Concitoyetis, and also wrote the M^moires themselves from notes in his possession.] 


and at his feet this writing : ' Whoever thou art that findest me 
' lying, respect my remains : they are those of a man who con- 
' secrated 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.' ^ 

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 ! ^ 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 im- 
measurable tormentum of a Revolution : wild-booming ; not to be 
followed by the eye. Barnave, on the scaffold, stamped with 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 ! 

^Mdmoires de Madame Roland (Introd.), i- 88. 

2 [Nov. 27th. Barnave was tried vi^ith Duport-du-Tertre : their trial' lasted two 
days. Barnave conducted his own case with great eloquence ; he had been under 
arrest at Grenoble since Aug. 31st '92.] 

3 Forster, ii. 629. ^ [Nov. 28th.] ^[Nov. 14th.] 
6 [June 26th ('94).] '[Dec. 5th '93.] 

8 [Manuel was really condemned for having behaved too humanely to the 
prisoners in the Temple, and especially to the Queen (Cam pardon, i. 179, sqq.). He 
had resigned his seat in the Convention after the King's death and retired to Mon- 
targis ; he was only arrested on Nov. 12th. He seems to have been a strange 
mixture of violence and humanity ; a Septemberer, he yet saved numerous friends 

DEATH 121 

And Generals : the memory of General Custine cannot be de- 
fended 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 Liickner, 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 deliver J 

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 

from the massacres ; but, when bribed to save Mme de Lamballe, took the bribe 
and did nothing to save her (ibid. 184). Osselin had been one of the judges of the 
August Tribunal QXid. deputy for Paris to Convention : in Nov. '93 he was condemned 
to transportation, but on June 26th '94 guillotined instead. Rabaut-Saint-Etienne 
and his brother Rabaut-Pommier had been hidden in the Faubourg Poissonni^re, 
in the house of Madame Peyssac (who with her husband was executed for hiding 
them, June 25th '94), but both were discovered and sent to prison. But Rabaut- 
Poramier was forgotten in prison and lived to sit in the Council of 500. (Campardon, 
i. 184-199.)] 

i[Jan. 3rd '94.] 

2 [Houchard had been the first General to reassume the offensive against the 
Allies after the failure of Custine to relieve Cond6 and Valenciennes. Carnot 
ordered him to fight a battle to deliver Dunkirk : but he advanced somewhat tenta- 
tively, and the victory of Hondschoote, Sept. 6th— 8th, is attributed not so much to 
the General as to his lieutenants, Jourdan and Vandamme, and to the lucky sortie 
of the garrison of Dunkirk directed by Hoche. Moreover Houchard omitted to 
follow up his success ; and, though he beat the Dutch troops a few days afterwards 
at Menin, he was unable to prevent Coburg from taking Quesnoy (Sept. nth). 
Houchard was immediately deprived of his command (which was given to Jourdan, 
Sept. 22nd), and accused of treason by Robespierre at the Jacobins, in a speech 
which was a mere tissue of lies. Houchard's condemnation was perhaps as in- 
famous as any act of the Tribunal Rdvolutionnaire ; he was guillotined Nov. 17th. 
(See Carnot's Corresp. iii. 199 ; vid. infr., iii. 153, for Hondschoote).] 

3 [Nov. 17th '93.] 

^[The Due de Biron, born 1747, entered the army at the age of 14 and rose 
steadily, was deputy to States-General for the Noblesse of Quercy, commanded Army 
of Rhine, July '92 ; of Italy, Dec. '92 ; of Rochelle, May '93 ; arrested June i6th '93 ; 
guillotined Dec, 31st '93. He was one of the very few leading soldiers who heartily 
accepted the Republic ; Carnot's early letters cannot praise his patriotism enough.] 

^ [The Vicomte de Beauharnais, born in Martinique 1760, deputy to States-General 
for Nobless,' of Blois ; General of Division, March '93 ; guillotined, July 23rd '94.] 

^[Brunet, an artillery officer in the old army on the retired list, rejoined Sept. '92 ; 
General of Army of Italy, April 25th '93 ; arrested Sept. loth ; guillotined Nov. 14th 


'[Luckner, vid. supr., ii, 2 ; Westermann, vid. supr., ii. 251.] 


killed himself in Prison. ^ Ex-Minister Lebrun, seized in a hay- 
loft,2 under the disguise of a working man, is instantly conducted 
to death. 3 Nay, withal, is it not what Barrere calls 'coining 
money on the Place de la Revolution ? ' For always the ' pro- 
perty 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 Revolu- 
tionary Committees, they are swept thitherward, as into their 
storehouse, — to be consumed by Samson and Tinville. 'The 
Guillotine goes not ill, La Guillotine ne va pas mal.' 



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 ; 

1 [Dec. 8th.] 2 [Dec. 26th.] 

^Moniteur, ii, 30 D^cembre 1793; Louvet, p. 287. 

^[On the Prisons, vid. supr., ii. 291.] 

5 [Ronsin, one of the worst of Hubert's satelUtes, had been a private in the old 
army, then a poetaster and dramatic author : he served in the Ministry of War for 
a short time, and re-entered the army in 1793. When made General of the Revolu- 
tionary Army [vid. supr. , iii. 95) in Sept. '93 he took a part of it to La Vendue, where 
he played into the hands of Rossignol {vid. supr. , ii. 290). He was guillotined March 
24th '94. Ph^lippeaux, the Representant en mission in La Vendue, never ceased 
denouncing the luxury, corruption and brutality of the Paris battalions {i.e., of the 
Revolutionary Army) employed under Rossignol ; as early as July 31st he contrasts 
their behaviour with that of the milder Vend^ans (Aulard, v. 432). At the end of Aug. 
Bourdon de I'Oise suspended Rossignol for various acts of theft from his lodgings, 
and for arrant cowardice in the field ; but he was defended by Tallien in the Con- 
vention, and reinstated. On Jan. 7th '94 Ph^lippeaux again denounced Rossignol 
and Ronsin ; but covertly alluded to the fact that CoUot and Billaud were pro- 
tecting them {ibid. x. 106, 221).] 


'in red nightcap, in tricolor waistcoat, in black-shag trousers, 
'black-shag spencer, with enormous moustachioes, enormous 
' sabre, — in carmagnole complete ; ' ^ and has portable guillotines. 
Representative Carrier has got to Nantes, by the edge of blaz- 
ing 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 muscle?; can no more.^ Where- 
upon you must try fusillading ; to which perhaps still frightfuUer 
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, many fall ; 
the bloody Pike and Nightcap bearing supreme sway ; the Guillo- 
tine 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 

iSee Louvet, p. 301. [The Carmagnole is a Southern name for a particular 
kind of long waistcoat, such as that worn by the Marseillais Fidiris in Aug. '92. 
The song beginning ' Madame Veto avait promis de faire dgorger tout Paris ' got 
the name Carmagnole from the circumstances and date (Aug. loth) in which it 
was composed ; and the dance got the name from the song. Louvet uses the phrase 
in the passage cited to describe the disgfuise in which he made his escape from 
Charenton, on Feb. 7th '94, adding that it was the 'costume of all good patriots 
of the time. '] 

2 Deux Amis, xii. 249-51. [Carrier was sent to Nantes Sept. 29th. His pro- 
consulate has attained a fame above that of all the others not only on account of 
his own trial, but of that of the remnants of the 132 Nantese whom he sent in 
January '94 to Paris to be tried, and whose trial began in the first tide of reaction 
in the following September. There all the facts about Carrier came out : the history 
of no other proconsulate was ever quite so fully disclosed. The order constituting 
the ' Company of Marat ' and defining its duties is printed in Campardon (ii. 50). 
It is dated Oct. 28th '93, and signed ' Francastel and Carrier.'] 

3 [Tallien had been sent to Bordeaux in Sept. '93. Th^r^se de Cabarrus, born 
at Saragossa 1775, was the daughter of the Spanish Minister of Finance, and had 
married at sixteen the Marquis de Fontenay. She was arrested at Bordeaux , to- 
gether with her husband, on her way to Spain ; Tallien allowed Fontenay to escape 
on condition of Theresa becoming his mistress. Her return with him to Paris 
excited Robespierre's suspicion. She was arrested again in Paris, March 22nd '94, 
and no one owed her deliverance to the Revolution of Thermidor so completely as 


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 burning. 

Marseilles is taken, and put under martial law : lo, at Mar- 
seilles, 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 Des- 
huttes'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 

she. {See Von Sybel, iv. 192-3.) She married Tallien on Dec. 26th '94, brought him 
four children, divorced him in 1802 and married the Comte de Caraman, afterwards 
Prince de Chimay, in 1805 ; she died 1835. {See Arsene Houssaye, Notre Dame 
de Thermidor, Paris 1867.)] 

1 [Maignet ' proconsul ' in the Bouches-du-Rh6ne and Vaucluse, had a turn at 
Marseilles before going to Orange ; on Feb. 13th '94 he writes to apologise for the 
executions going on so slowly (only 13 that day) ; but says he has invented a plan 
by which the judges will be able to condemn men in batches. ' There are only 
' 1,500 people arrested here as yet, and in a city of such a size, there must be more 
'jCounter-Revolutionists than that ; and I am going to find them ' ( Aulard, Recueil, 
xi. 34) : on Feb. 28th he has ' finished off 43 scoundrels who have left the Republic 
heir to 30 millions ' {ibid. xi. 472).] 


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 cart-load : 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 ' redoubts 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.3 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.^ Lyons, on the 9th 
of October, surrenders at discretion ; it is become a devoted Town. 

i[May 28th '94. Poor Maignet was in sad trouble when he found that old 
Revolution hero Jourdan ' acting without orders at Avignon ' and becoming a 
terror to the country, and even had to recommend his being removed from the post 
of Chef d" Escadron of National Guard [ibid. xi. 708 ; vid. supr., i, 171). Jourdan 
was sent to Paris and brought before the Tribunal Rivolutionnaire , May 27th '94, 
and guillotined next day. ] 

2 [Dubois-Cranc^, who had borne the brunt of the fighting before Lyons, was re- 
called Oct. 6th ; Couthon arrived Oct, 3rd.] 

^[Blankenberg, viz., the castle of that name in the Duchy of Brunswick, where 
the Comte de Provence was then residing. Neither Forneron nor Sorel mentions 
Autichamp's help, and Carlyle takes it from Deux Amis (xi. 134), where it is expressly 
said Autichamp arrived in Switzerland as an agent of the Princes, to stir up the 
Swiss Government to help Lyons. Pr^cy in a long letter written just after his 
escape does not mention it [see Metzger, Lyon en 1793 (Lyons, n. d.)), but Balley- 
dier (Hist, du Peuple de Lyon pendant la R^v. (Paris, 1845), ii. p. 79) expressly says 
that, early in Sept. , Pr^cy, seeing that the mod'ere cause was lost, called a council of 
war, and presented to it an agent of d'Artois, who had arrived that day (which 
day?), and who went away again charged with a particular mission.] 

*[Oct, 9th. Pr^cy, thinking further defence hopeless, as the outposts of the de- 
fenders were already in the hands of the Republicans, cut his way out with some 
2,000 men, escaped to Piedmont, and afterwards to England. He returned to 
France 1810, and commanded the Royalist National Guard at Lyons 1814; died 

5 Deux Amis, xi. 145. 


Abbe Lamourette, now Bishop Lamourette,i 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 ! Re- 
presentative 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 his 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 

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 

^[Jan. nth.] 2 j^Por Lamourette, vid. supr., ii. 157.] 

3 [Joseph Fouche, born at Nantes 1754, became an Oratorian, but put off his 
orders in 1790, deputy for the Loire to the Convention, served on various missions, 
but this to Lyons was his most important one. He seems to have been driven 
into opposition to Robespierre as early as May '94. He vi^as excluded from the 
Jacobins in June ; thereupon he commenced secretly to pull the wires of the opposi- 
tion, which resulted in Thermidor. Fouch6's close connection with Collot involved 
him in some suspicion in '94 — 5, and he hardly resumed his public position till he 
had betrayed Babeuf to Barras in '97. He was then sent as ambassador to the 
Cisalpine, and to Holland ('98—9) ; and in July '99 became for the first time Minister 
of Police, which office he held under every successive government till 1810 (he was 
created Duke of Otranto in 1809). Twice more in 1815 he held the same office, but 
only for a short while on each occasion. In 1816 he left France, and died at 
Trieste 1820.] 

* Moniteur (du 17 Novembre 1793), &c. '^[Oct. 12th.] 


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 tefrappe, 
The Law strikes thee ; " ^ masons, with wedge and crowbar, begin 
demolition. Crash of downfal, 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. CoUot 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 

^ [Couthon was scolded by the Comitd de Salut Publiciox not being severe enough, 
and a military commission of five was appointed to judge the Lyonnais (Aulard, 
Recueil, vii. 376). Fouch6 and Collot were sent on Oct. 30th ; on Nov. 23rd CoUot 
writes to Robespierre of the awful difficulty of ' regenerating ' Lyons. He wishes to 
deport 100,000 individuals from it into the Interior of France ' where they may learn 
patriotism,' and admits that no one of his colleagues is bloodthirsty enough to 
satisfy him {ibid. viii. 668). Fouch6 however must soon have given satisfaction, for 
on Dec. 20th he writes, apropos of the fall of Toulon, ' with tears of joy in his eyes . . . 
' we have only one method of celebrating the victory here, viz., sending this evening 
' two hundred and thirteen rebels to be shot in a batch. ' The same day a deputation 
of Lyonnais appeared at the bar of the Convention to protest against these cruelties 
{ibid. ix. 556) ; but the Convention turned a deaf ear, and voted entire approval of 
Collot and Fouchd The destruction of the houses in the Place Bellecour began 
Oct. 26th, and cost 400,000 fr. per decade. '\ 

2 [Dec. 5th.] 


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. There 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 ! ^ 
Such is the vengeance of an enraged Republic. Surely this, ac- 
cording 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,'-^ // ny 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 batter- 
ing and bombarding, heating of balls in furnaces or farm-houses, 

1 Deux Amis, xil. 251-62. [The first fusillade or mitrailladc took place Dec. 
4th, when 64 were killed ; the second Dec. 5th, when 209 were killed ; the third 
Dec. 8th, when 68 were killed. No more dates are given, but from Dec. 4th to 
April '94, 1,682 persons were put to death at Lyons. (Balleydier, Hist, du peuple 
de Lyon, vol. i. p. 253, sqq.)\ 

2 [This remark of Barere occurs in a speech of his in the Convention on May 
28th '94. It is not applied to the victims of the Revolution, but to the English 
soldiers, whom, he says, Houchard ought to have exterminated after raising the siege 
of Dunkirk ; ' then England would not have come back this year to insult our 
'frontiers: it is only the dead who return not; but Kings and their slaves are in- 
' corrigible and they must disappear' {i.e., presumably no prisoners must be made) 
' if you wish a durable peace and the maintenance of your liberty,' {See 1 )isodes et 
Curiosit6s R6v. par L. Combes, Paris, 1872.)] 


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 Repr&sentans 
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 ; De- 
cember in slave-style ; Frostarious or Frimaire, in new-style : 
and still their cursed Red-Blue Flag flies there. They are pro- 
visioned 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 Snorvous or Nivose, 
when a Council of W^ar is called ; Instructions have just arrived 
from Government and Sahit Public. Camot, 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 

^ [Carteaux had about 4,000 men when he began to advance against Toulon : he 
was joined by another division of the Army of Italy under La Poype, with whom 
were Barras and Fr^ron ; but nothing very serious could be attempted till the fall 
of Lyons (Oct. 9th) ; Carteaux was then replaced by Doppet, and he by Dugommier, 
who at the time got the principal credit of the final success.] 

2 [I can find no reason for calling Dugommier a 'pupil of Washington. ' He 
was born at Guadaloupe 1738, and served in the Seven Years' War, both in Europe 
and West Indies; during the American War he vainly solicited employment, as he 
had retired in 1763 and was living on his plantation in Guadaloupe. See Guadaloupe, 
Ses enfants c^lebres — Dugommier, by Vauchelet (Montreuil, 1899).] 

3 [Napoleon was not Major (as Carlyle several times calls him), but Captain 
[capitaine en premier, 8th March '93) in the 4th Regiment of Artillery ; on Sept. 
26th Saliceti, one of the Convention Commissioners employed before Toulon, 
writes that Citizen Bonaparte, capitaine instruit, has been appointed to command 
the Artillery in the place of Dommartin who had been wounded. Napoleon was 
then on his wav to join the Army of Italy. (Aulard, Recueil, vii. 79.) He reached 
Toulon Sept. i6th.] 

VOL. III. 9 


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 I'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 I'Eguil- 
lette ; 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 TEguillette is clutched at, is carried ; the smoke having 
cleared, we see 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 1 9th 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. 2 Nay, it is said, 

i[" Here we are shooting rebels in force ... all the naval officers have already 
been shot . . . the Republic shall be avenged in a manner worthy of it. " (The irony 
of this phrase seems to be unconscious : see the letter of the proconsuls at Toulon 
to the Committee ; Aulard, Recueil, ix. 559, Dec. 20th. A few days later they write 
' 800 have already been put to death ; ' ibid. x. 79. )] 

2 Moniteur, 1793, Nos. loi (31 Ddcembre), 95, 96, 98, &c. 


these infamous English (with an attention rather to their own 
interests than to ours) set fire to our store-houses, arsenals, war- 
ships in Toulon Harbour, before weighing ; some score of brave 
war-ships, the only ones we now had ! However, it did not 
prosper, though the flame spread far and high ; some two ships 
were burned, not more ; the very galley-slaves ran with buckets 
to quench. These same proud Ships, Ship I'Dnent 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 r Orient ; nor become the prey of England, — 
before their time I ^ 

And so, over France universally, there is Civic Feast and high- 
tide : and Toulon sees fusillading, grapeshotting in mass, as Lyons 
saw ; and ' death is poured out in great floods, vomie d grands 
jiots ; ' 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, 

1 [' They ' (the English) on Dec. i8th ' blew up the Th^mistocle, burnt nine and 
towed away three ships of war, leaving 15 uninjured ' (Aulard, Recueil, ix. 557).] 


' 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 forever. ^ 

Guillotining there was at Nantes, till the Headsman sank worn 
out : then fusillading ' in the Plain of Saint-Mauve ; ' ^ little chil- 
dren 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 ^^th night of Frostarious year 2, which 
is 14th of December 1793, we have a second Noyade ; consisting 
of 'a Hundred and Thirty-eight persons.' ^ 

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 Manage Republicain, Republican Marriage. 

1 [Carrier's idea was not original. Legendre had suggested it at the Jacobin Club 
as far back as May '92 ; see Bir^, L6gende (quoting journal of the Jacobins May 15th 
'92), p. 78. There seem to have been many Noyades— nsn^Wy at night — the first 
one, Nov. i6th '93(90 priests) ; the second, Dec. 9th (58 priests) ; the third, Dec. 14th 
(130 persons) ; no exact dates are given for the rest, but on one occasion as many 
as 800 were drowned. [See Gu6pin, Hist, de Nantes (1839), p. 460 sqq.) 

Carrier in his letter to the Comitd de Salut Public, Nov. 17th, describing the first 
Noyade seems almost to pretend that it was an accident. " An event of another 
kind has just diminished the number of priests. . . . Ninety of them were shut up 
in a boat in the Loire, and I have just learned that they have all been drowned." 
(Aulard, Recueil, viii. 505.)] 

2 [ Viz. , La Prairie de Mauves. ] 

^ Deux Amis, xii. 266-72 ; Moniteur, du 2 Janvier 1794. 

* [The evidence for this and other horrors is given in the trial of the Revolutionary 
Committee of Nantes. (Carapardon, ii. 42, sqq.)] 


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 rdvo/utionnaire, 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 sun- 
light:^ not to be forgotten for centuries. — We will turn to another 
aspect of the Consummation of Sansculottism ; leaving this as the 

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 sbind by while the Guillotine devours their 
children : a band of music is stationed near ; and, at the fall of 
every head, strikes up its ^a-ira.^ In the Burgh of Bedouin, in 
the Orange region, the Liberty-tree has been cut down overnight. 
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. '^ Republic one and In- 
divisible ! 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 

1 [The words actually occur in a letter of Carrier to the Committee (Aulard, ix. 
316) : on Feb. 8th '94 the Committee became alarmed at Carrier's methods, " which 
cause the national authority not to be loved," and he was scolded ; and, when a 
little later he maltreated Robespierre's pet spy Jullien, his recall was ordered {ibid. 
X. 777), but he did not come : fresh hints against too great severity were gently 
given in March (xi. 571).] 

2 Proems de Carrier (4 tomes, Paris, 1795). 

^ Les Horreurs des Prisons d' Arras (Paris, 1823). [I have been unable to identify 
any separate edition of this work, but it is printed in vol. ii. of M6m. sur les Prisons, 
p. 335 sqq. The Arras story is by ' Citoyens Poirier and Mongey ; ' Lebon's 
massacres did not begin till Jan. '94. I do not however find in this pamphlet the 
quotation Carlyle gives about Lebon and his sword, which comes from Prudhomme 
(vi. 380). I suspect that Carlyle, while working through the M6m. sur les Prisons, 
often touched them up with a few of Prudhomme' s least traceable but most picturesque 

■* Montgaillard, iv. 200. 


not with a whisker of her ! Swift-rending is her stroke ; look 
what a paw she spreads ; — pity has not entered into 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 meta- 
phor, 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 ? — 



Simultaneously with this Tophet-black aspect, there unfolds it- 
self 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 estab- 
lish 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 1 792, the whole world, and Sovereign Authority itself, 
walked in religious gala, with a quite devout air ; — Butcher Legen- 
dre, 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 Encyclopedic. Far and wide, 
alas, like a brown-leaved Vallorabrosa : which waits but one whirl- 
blast of the November wind, and in an hour stands bare ! Since 
that Corpm-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 slovly, 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 ; where- 
fore 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 Com- 
mittee 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 ac- 
knowledge ' 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 ? ^ Proper surely ! Let 
Atheist Marechal, Lalande, and little Atheist Naigeon rejoice ; * 
let Clootz, Speaker of Mankind, present to the Convention ^ his 

1 \Fete-Dieu was however celebrated in 1793, and reverently by the respectable 
classes in Paris {see Dutard to Gar at, in Schmidt, i. 347), but there was no official 
recognition of it, and Dutard writes on June 6th that the bourgeoisie were very 
angry at this. "The people will have their religious festivals: you ought to 
make a religion ; Chaumette understands the value of this." Chaumette apparently 
acted on the hint in the following November. ] 

2 [Nov. 7th.] 

^Moniteur, Stance du 17 Brumaire (7th November), 1793. 

^[For Marechal, vid. supr., iii. 85. Lalande was an astronomer, rather mad, 
who is supposed to have been in the habit of eating live spiders, and a collaborator 
of Marechal in the ' Dictionnaire des Ath^es '. Naigeon was the editor of Diderot's 
works and author of ' La Th^ologie portative' (1768).] 

5 [Nov. 17th.] 


Evidences of the Mahometan Religion,'^ a work evincing the nullity 
of all Religions/ — with thanks. There shall be Universal Re- 
public 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 come Addresses, 
stating plainly, though in Patois dialect. That ' they will have no 
more to do with the black animal called Curay, animal noir appeU 
Cur ay.' ^ 

Above all things, there come Patriotic Gifts, of Church-furni- 
ture. 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 tliem become bullets, 
to shoot the ' enemies du genre humain.' Dalmatics of plush make 
breeches for him who had 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 

^ [' La Certitude des preuves du Mahom6tisme ' was published in 1780.] 
2 [Laloi, the President of the Convention on the 7th, gave a doubtful ansvi^er,to the 
Gobel-Chaumette movement, but Thomas Lindet, ' Constitutional Bishop ' of Evreux 
and two more ' Bishops,' several ' priests ' and one Protestant pastor, being members 
of Convention, at once followed Gobel's example. Gregoire only entered while these 
abdications were going on, and at once spoke out {Moniteur in loc. cit.) : Siey^s 
abjured on Nov. loth, not his priestly office, for he had given that up long ago, but 
his faith (Dauban, 304).] 

^ Analyse du Moniteur (Paris, 1801), ii. 280. [This is a wrong reference, nor can 
I find anywhere among the numerous petitions of Communes, given in the Moniteur 
itself, anything of the kind. The petition most likely to contain it is that of Clamars, 
Nov. 18th.] 


Towiis. 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 ^ Oiasse 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, Patriot- 
ism has been down among the Tombs, rummaging ; ^ the Revolu- 
tionary 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, hys- 
' sops ; — 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 mum- 
* mers in fantastic sacerdotal vestments ; bearing on hand-barrows 
'their heaped plunder, — ciboriums, suns, candelabras, plates of 
'gold and silver.' ^ 

^ [Nov. 7th. The Church of Sainte-Genevi^ve, patron saint of Paris, who died in 
512, is not to be confused with the Abbey of Sainte-Genevi^ve beside Saint-Etienne 
du Mont ; it dated from the 12th century. Her relics were enclosed in a magnificent 
shrine and were now taken down and burnt on the Place de Greve, the gold work 
of the shrine melted down : the church was destroyed in 1807.] 

2 [On Aug. ist '93 the Convention decreed the destruction of the Royal Tombs at 
Saint- Denis within eight days : the bodies were to be thrown into a common grave : on 
Oct. i2th — 25th the destruction was carried out by a Paris mob, not without protest 
from the inhabitants of Saint-Denis : Henri IV. 's body was found almost entire,] 

3 Mercier, iv. 134. See Moniteur, Stance du 10 Novembre. 


The Address we do not give ; for indeed it was in strophes, 
sung vivd voce, with all the parts ; — Danton glooming considerably, 
in his place ; ^ and demanding that there be prose and decency in 
future. 2 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 ac- 
cede. Nay ' several Members,' continues the exaggerative Mer- 
cier, 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 Priests' vestures, and 
* danced the Carmagnole along with them.' Such Old-Hallowtide 
have they, in this year, once named of Grace 1 793. 

Out of which strange fall of Formulas, tumbling there in con- 
fused 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 M umbo- J umbo 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, A-zgA^ 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 

1 [Nov. 26th.] 

2 See also Moniteur, Stance du 26 Nov. [Robespierre also 'gloomed,' and be- 
fore Danton, e.g. , in his report on the State of the Nation, Nov. 17th ; and at the 
Jacobins on Nov. 21st he denounced the whole Atheistical movement. This union 
of Danton and Robespierre led to the Jirsi arrest of the H(5bertist 'tail' (Vincent, 
Ronsin, etc.) on Dec. 17th. But Robespierre wavered, and CoUot, returning from 
Lyons on Dec. 20th, made a temporary alliance with the H6bertists and procured 
their release {vid. infr. iii. 169). The Committee as a whole were decidedly averse 
to the worship of Reason ; they had subsidised Phe Duchesne (5,400 fr. a month), 
just as they subsidised the Jacobin Club (100,000 fr. a month), but they prohibited 
a piece by Leonard Bourdon called Le Totnheau dcs Itnposteurs, Dec. 22nd. 
(Aulard, Recueil, viii. 389, 432; ix. 582.)] 

3 [The chronology is all wrong : the Fete of Reason on Nov. loth preceded by 
16 days the protest of Danton against these disgraceful scenes in the Convention re- 
corded above. The name of the Goddess of Reason on loth is variously given as 
Mdlle Aubry (Stephens' Orators, ii. 267), Mdlle Maillard (Martin, ii. 150 ; Dauban, 
p. 505), and by Carlyle here as Mdlle Candeille ; Challamel in the ' Dictionnaire de la 
R6v,' speaks (in two different places) both of Mdlle Aubry and Mdlle Maillard as 
having been the Goddess of Reason on this occasion : Carlyle's authority, Mercier, 
was in prison at the time.] 


hardly jigged itself out, there arrive Proeureur 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 shoulderhigh ; with red woollen 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 Con- 
vention wonder of the universe, is our New Divinity ; Goddess of 
Reason, worthy, and alone worthy of revering. Her henceforth we 
adore. Nay, were it too much to ask of an august National Repre- 
sentation 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 night- 
caps, and the madness of the world. And so, straightway. Reason 
taking seat on the high-altar of Notre-Dame, the requisite wor- 
ship 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,' 

i[Nov. loth.] 

2 [It was on the motion of Thuriot that the Convention decided to go to Notre- 
Dame to chant the hymn : only a few out of the small number of members actually 
present went. Gr^goire protested again, but there was no debate in the Conven- 
tion, Thuriot 's motion being carried by acclamation. (Rev. de la R6v. vi. 91.)] 

^{I.e., Marie- Joseph (not Andr6) Ch^nier : the words of the hymn (which is a 
very beautiful one) are printed in Dauban, pp. 508-9. It begins : 
Descends 6 Libert^ ! fille de la Nature, 
Le peuple a reconquis son pouvoir immortel ; 
Sur le pompeux debris de I'antique imposture 
Ses mains relevent ton autel. 1 


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 
' overloaded 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.' ^ 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 char- 
acter, we leave under the Veil, which appropriately stretches 
itself ' along the pillars of the aisles,' — not to be lifted aside by 
the hand of History. 

But there is one thing we should like almost better to under- 
stand 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 Agra- 
rian Law. Mrs. Momoro, it is admitted, made one of the best 
Goddesses of Reason ; though her teeth were a little defec- 
tive. — 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, 

^Mercier, iv. 127-146. [Mercier in prison at the time.] 


he will perhaps 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 Armde 
RSvolutiojinaire ; 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 Gray ! 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 staff-appointments.- 

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 

^ [The organisation of the ceremonies in honour of ' Reason ' was energetically 
pushed on by the Commune : on Nov. 24th it ordered all the churches of Paris to be 
closed, and priests to be held responsible for any troubles which might ensue : every 
one demanding the opening of a church to be treated as a suspect ; and a petition was 
presented to the Convention to exclude all priests from public functions. The Con- 
vention took no notice of this petition, and looked coldly on the whole thing ; yet 
within 20 days 2,436 churches in France were turned into 'Temples of Reason.' 
It depended on the views of the various Reprisentants en mission whether or no the 
people in the provinces were forced to dance to this tune. Aulard's Recueil teems 
with letters from them on the subject, seldom answered by the Committee. {See 
also R^v. Fr. xxxi. 9 ; Rev. de la R6v. vi. 91, sqq.) Among the minor results of the 
movement it is worth while to notice the certificate of value given by Hubert to the 
Christian Religion : ' I declare, ' said he, * that in my newspaper, Ptre Duchesne^ I 
' preach that one ought to read the Gospel. This moi al book appears to me excel- 
' lent, and one must follow its maxims if one is to be a good Jacobin. Christ 
* seems to me to be the founder of popular societies' (Dec. nth). This was of course 
a mere sop to Robespierre [see R6v. Fr. xxxi. 44-5). J 

2 [We gather that bands of ruffians went about France on their own business, 
calling themselves Armies Rivolutiotinaires, from the fact that on Dec. 17th '93 
the Convention issued a decree which disbands all such unauthorised ' armies ' 
under pain of death.] 


were the elixir of the RascaUty of the Earth. One sees them 
drawn up in market-places ; travel-splashed, 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. ^ Pipe in cheek, sabre on thigh ; in Carma- 
gnole 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. 

1 Deux Amis, xii. 62-5. [E'g-, at Auxerre they did nothing because one brave 
man threatened to shoot the first man of them ' who even frowned. ' (Deux Amis 
in loc. cii.)] 

[By a decree of Sept, i8th '93 all the salaries of clergy above the rank of Curds 
were reduced and called ' pensions,' because, in the words of Cambon, it would not 
do to let them pose as functionaries of the State. On Nov. 6th the Convention 
decreed that any Commune wishing to get rid of its Curd might do so. Then came 
the abdications described by Carlyle : on Nov. nth the Convention voted pensions 
to all abdicating ' priests, ' and authorised all constituted authorities to receive such 
abdications. This is what M. Aulard (R6v. Fr. xxx. 492) calls ' ' establishing complete 
liberty of worship. " Rather it was a deliberate attempt to decatholicise France. 
No law was passed enjoining the continuance of salaries to non-abdicating ' priests,' 
in spite of a strong remonstrance from Danton (Nov. 26th, see Stephens' Orators, 
ii. 265) : and as the salaries were supposed to be paid by the departmental authorities 
they were practically not paid at all. Cambon in a speech, Sept. i8th '94, admits 
this fact, and adds that most of the churches were shut after Nov. '93. At that date 
(Sept. '94) the Convention refused any longer to recognise any form of religion, but 
promised to pay pensions to all ' priests,' abdicated or not, who had been in service 
before that date, and this was confirmed by the law of Feb. 21st '95. 

Carnot, himself a fierce and rather gloomy Republican, had long ago seen to 
what all this was tending ; he speaks on Jan. 12th '93 (Corresp. i. 342) of the new 
spirit ' as a new set of prejudices which will soon take the place of the old ; one sees 
'citizens who pride themselves on their intolerance and sternness, who treat as 
* enemies of the Revolution all those who find friendship or domesticity attractive 
' . . . who instruct their children to judge of a man's patriotism only by the terror he 
' inspires ... a disastrous impression which will soon make the French a nation of 


' savages.' The Ape, however, was never far from the Tiger in the Revolutionist ; the 
Convention on Jan. 14th '94 had to listen to, and make honourable mention of, a 
letter from one Ehrmann to the effect that ' he once loved a young Republicaness, 
'who married some one else; and as she didn't think it right under the circum- 
' stances to keep a watch and chain which he had given her, he begged to offer them 
' as a wedding gift to the most constant and faithful of all mistresses, the French 
' Republic' (Aulard, Recueil, x. 251.) Note also the solemn execution by a police 
commissary of the dog of M. de Saint-Prix, a^ an accomplice of his master, who 
had been condemned for correspondence with Emigres, Nov. 17th '93 (Campardon, 
i. 186-7).] 

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 oy^rlooked 
this aspect, the soul of the whole ; that which makes it terrible 
to the Enemies of France. Let Despotism and Cimmerian Coali- 
tions consider. All French men and French things are in a 
State of Requisition ; Fourteen Armies are got on foot ; Patriot- 
ism, 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 Camot, in Saliit 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 ' d 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-destructive. ^ 

1 [The most potent agent of despotism and centralisation yet contrived was the 
celebrated ' Law of the 14th Frimaire' (Dec. 4th) : it was the first stroke of power 
of the Committee against the Commune. The discussion on it had lasted since Bil- 
laud's first proposal of it on Nov. 21st, and on Dec. 4th it was carried. 

(i.) It created the Bulletin des Lois, a daily publication which has gone on ever 
since (the mere publication of a law in this Bulletin now gives that law validity). 

(ii.) It created the Agents Nationaux, as direct delegates of the two great 
Committees, to replace the local authorities {Procureurs and Conseils Gdneraux of 
Departments, which were suppressed). 

(iii.) It put all remaining constituted authorities directly under the two great 


Curious to see how all still refers itself to some head and 
fountain ; not even an Anarchy but must have a centre to re- 
volve 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 sura 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, SHrete G&nerale have assumed their 
ulterior form and mode of operating. 

(iv.) It compelled the Revolutionary Committee of Sections of Paris to correspond 
directly with the Comity de SCtreU Gdndrale and forbade them to correspond with 
the Commune. It forbade all Central Committees of these Sections. 

(v. ) It forbade all local authorities to levy rates or taxes. 

(vi.) It forbade all public meetings. 

(vii.) It compelled the Reprisentants en mission \.o correspond every ten days 
with the Comitd de Salut Public, forbade them to dismiss any General except pro- 
visionally, and ordered them to inform the Committee of such dismissal within 24 

In short, it showed that the men who were now grasping the reins of government 
had thoroughly learned the lesson that local self-government was at present im- 
possible ; the Ancien Rdgime was restored in its procedure, though without its 
practical alleviations of despotism. Chaumette was alarmed and attempted for a 
moment to rouse the sections of Paris on Dec. 4th, but his or their courage failed 
and nothing came of it. Even the Convention was alarmed, and on 12th Bourdon 
plucked up spirit to demand fresh elections to the Committee, which would then 
probably have been filled with Dantonists, but on 13th, on the motion of Cambacdr^S, 
the existing Committee was continued, Robespierre having a majority in the Centre 
of the Convention. {See Gros, Le Comity de Salut Public, p. 81 sqq. ; Aulard, 
Recueil, ix. 351.) 

The analysis of the methods of work of the Committee {vid. supr.^ iii. 72) has 
been admirably done by M. Gros ; it sat in the former petits appaj-tements du Roi, 
Pavilion de Flore, ground floor, guarded on both sides with cannons and matches 
burning ; several rooms adjoining contained its agents and subordinates. The 
Committee met at 10 a.m., and again at 8 p.m. There was no President nor order 
of deliberation, but there were six Sections of it for working purposes, (i.) Corres- 
pondance Gindi-alc : Billaud arid CoUot ; (ii. ) Foreign : Barere (but this was a 
sinecure : we have abundant evidence that the ministers resident abroad received 
neither pay nor instructions during the height of the Terror, see Sorel, iii. 527) ; 
(iii.) War : Carnot, Lindet, Prieur-Cote-d'Or; (iv.) Admiralty : Saint-Andr^, Prieur- 
Marne ; (v.) Interior (meaning police) : Robespierre, Couthon, Samt-Just ; (|vi. ) Rd- 
clamations {i.e., to receive petitions) : two members in turn. The morning session 
was unimportant, and was chiefly occupied in the opening of letters and distributing 
work to the sections. The evening session received reports from the Sections, and 
decided what decrees were to be dictated to the Convention ; once a week the Comild 
de Salut Public met the Coniiti de Sfiretd Ghidrale (which usually sat in the Rue 
de Varennes) in a ' General Session. ' It must be remembered that many members 
of both Committees were often absent for long periods en missio7i (Saint-Andr6 and 
Lindet nearly always, Saint-Just and CoUot at critical times).] 


Committee of Public Salvation, as Supreme ; of General Surety, 
as subaltern : these, like a Lesser and Greater Council, most har- 
monious 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-Compel- 
lers the Earth never saw. A Robespierre, a Billaud, a Collot, 
Couthon, Saint-Just ; not to mention still meaner Amars,i Vadiers,^ 
in Silrete G&nerale : 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 con- 
siderations, 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 

i[Amar, born at Grenoble 1750, deputy to Convention for Is^re, the leading 
member of the SHreU Gdn^rale ; 3. ferocious Jacobin, but took a strong line against 
Robespierre in Thermidor : was accused in Sept. '94 of having been Robespierre's 
accomplice, and again after the insurrection of Germinal of having been the 
accomplice of Collot. This time he was imprisoned but released by the amnesty 
of Brumaire— retired from public life, and died 18 15.] 

2 [Vadier was one of the very few Revolutionists who had passed their 50th year, 
born 1736, sat in the Constituent for Foix, and in the Convention for Ari^ge ; 
member of the Sutefd Ginirale, and often President of it : played first into the hands 
of Robespierre and then into those of the Thermidorians : sentenced to exile after 
Germinal, with Billaud and Collot, he escaped by hiding till 1798, when he was 
arrested as a Babouviste, but again escaped. In 1816 was exiled, and died at 
Brussels in 1828 at the age of 92. ] 

2 [This is obviously an utter mistake. The ' great dumb whirlwind' (if by that 
Carlyle means the French people) wanted peace and an end to the Terror as the first 
thing necessary to the re-establishment of Constitutional Monarchy. The ' cloud 
compellers' in question were determined not to listen to the voice of the people, 
one of the earliest of whose articulate cries would have been for their heads.] 
VOL. III. 10 


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 carry- 
ing the matter too far ? Danton was heard to grumble at the 
civic strophes ; and to recommend prose and decency. Robes- 
pierre also grumbles that, in overturning Superstition, we did 
not mean to make a religion of Atheism. In fact, your Chau- 
mette and Company constitute a kind of Hyper-Jacobinism, or 
rabid ' Faction des Enrages ; ' which has given orthodox Patriot- 
ism some umbrage, of late months. To ^ know a Suspect on the 
streets ; ' what is this but bringing the haw of the Suspect itself 
into ill odour ? Men half-frantic, men zealous overmuch, — tliey 
toil there, in their red nightcaps, restlessly, rapidly, accomplish- 
ing what of Life is allotted them. 

And the Forty-four Thousand other Townships, each with Re- 
volutionary Committee, based on Jacobin Daughter-Society ; en- 
lightened 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-pro- 
cedures ; 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 
A/iicles, 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 incor- 
ruptible lips copiously in the Jacobins Hall. Smaller Council 
of Salut Public, Greater Council of Surete G&nerale, 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 9 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 Giron- 
dins 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 Cdte 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." ^ So spake the Dis- 
frocked, 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.^ 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 Conven- 
tion, 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 
serviceabler ways ! 

i[* A pack of trembling cowards,' as Madame Roland said long ago (p. 292) : 
she was right for once. There were at this time hardly ever 200 members present 
at the debates : the one aim of a ' respectable ' member was to get put on to a sub- 
ordinate Committee which would keep him at work, and so obviate the necessity of 
voting or being sent on a ?mssion. ] 

2 D^bats, du 10 Nov. 1793. [Fo'^ Chabot and Bazire, vid. supr.^ ii. 153 ; they 
were arrested Jan. i6th '94 ; this probably refers to Bazire's opposition to the motion 
of Nov. loth, that members of the Convention should give an account of their in- 
comes. {See Moniteur, Nov. 12th.)] 

3 Dictionnaire des Hommes Marquans, i. 115. 


Convention Commissioners, what we ought to^call Representa- 
tives, ' Repr&sentans 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 flow- 
' ing 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 ' be got 
ready ; ^ 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 Revolu- 
tionary thunder-cloud. 

^ Moniteur du 27 Nov, 1793. [The Mission of Saint-Just and Lebas to Alsace 
lasted Oct. 17th — Dec. 28th. The Revolutionary army and Revolutionary Tribunal 
there had already been established before their arrival (with Euloge Schneider in 
the place of Fouquier-Tinville). Saint- Just quarrelled vi^ith Schneider in Dec. and had 
him sent to the Tribunal aX Paris (April ist 94), which quickly despatched him. 
Before the end of November Saint-Just had levied three compulsory loans on the 
Department of the Bas-Rhin, two of 4 and one of 9 millions, and requisitioned all 
the shoes, cloaks and beds in the city of Strasburg. "All the aristocrats," wrote 
Saint-Just to Robespierre, "of the Municipality, the Law Courts and the Regi- 
ments, have been put to death" (Robespierre in Jacobins, Nov. 21st). " Sainte 
Guillotine is in the most brilliant activity, the masterful b — h," writes another 
Strasburg Jacobin (Von Sybel, iii. 232). 

Saint-Just then went to the Army of the North, Jan. 26th — Feb. 20th.] 

[Carlyle makes the great, but natural, mistake if not of attributing the Victories 
to the Terror, yet of attributing the Terror and the Victories to the same source. 
It is the greatest Service to History of the greatest of modern French Historians 
(M. Sorel) to have proved that the Victories were in spite of and not because of the 
Terror. In spite of all the horrors of Paris, in spite of the abject condition of the 
cowering ' Sovereign ' Convention, the great heart of France was beating soundly 
with one impulse, namely, to drive back the enemy. If you were at the front, you 
might hide or forget the fact that you were fighting for the most bloodstained set 
of rascals that ever called themselves a government ; you could not doubt that you 
were fighting for France. Meanwhile the very Terror itself, by reflex action, 
turned all activity towards the frontiers : where the Terror and the Defence met 
the former thwarted the latter far more than it helped it ; e.g. . the Repr^sentant en 
mission at Bordeaux seized the supplies which were on their way to the Army of the 
Pyrenees, to feed the Sansculottes of Bordeaux with, ' otherwise the Counter-Revolu- 
tion would have triumphed there : ' his colleagues at Perpignan were naturally furious 


with him. ( Aulard, Recueil, vii. 476. ) The incessant denunciations of the Generals 
by the Proconsuls, if here and there they succeeded in removing a feeble or traitorous 
personality, must in the long run have hampered the general scheme of the Defence : 
e.g., when Houchard (afterwards himself a victim) reached the Army of the North, 
as successor to Custine, he learned that Billaud had just arrested the whole of 
his Staff. The denunciations were not always well received by the ComiU de 
Salut Public, but too often were : yet the acts and orders of the Committee were 
very often set at naught by the Proconsuls. On Sept. 15th '93 we have an important 
decree, on the motion of Saint- Andr^, that the Generals of the Republic ' renouncing 
the idea of making foreigners feel the value of liberty ' are henceforward to exercise 
the ordinary laws of war in all conquered countries, though the ' ordinary laws of 
war ' are somewhat liberally interpreted by an order of the Committee to its 
Generals to seize and drive off into the interior of France all sheep, beasts and pigs 
in that part of the Palatinate which is in French hands {ibid. x. 413, Jan. 24th "94). 
That the Terror was not established in the most Republican provinces with any 
ease is manifest from the constant recriminations of Refrisentants en mission against 
each other. At Rochefort there might for once be a brisk competition for the post 
of public executioner [ibid. viii. 280) ; but one only needs to look at the despairing 
letters even of the most savage Proconsuls, e.g., Lebon, Nov. 8th, Collot, Nov. 23rd, 
all complaining of constant and hopeless overwork and of failing health. ' Jurors 
of sufficient bloodthirstiness cannot be found to serve at Arras ' (xi. 124), ' the local 
administrations are always hostile and must be renewed en bloc ;^ ' this is difficult 
as the only real patriots are those who cannot write or read ' (xi. 207) ; a roving 
commission has to be given to a spy called JuUien (July '93), to visit the missions 
all round Western France, to be in fact a spy on spies (vi. 397) ; and this leads to 
the creation of Agents Nationaux (a further wheel to the overladen coach of 
Officialdom), who are to be peripatetic, each in a district. One representative 
humourously complains that it ' is not fitting that his whole time should be taken 
up in marrying priests at the foot of the tree of liberty ' (viii. 152). Collot describes, 
as far back as April 22nd '93, a scene in the department of the Nievre : ' We had 
' the guillotine set up in all pomp here, and the executioner performed on five lay 
' figures representing Dumouriez, etc., there were tremendous cheers as each head 
' fell. Then we burned all the ancient title deeds we could find ; the executioner 
' spat on these papers and smote his rump over them. These acts of contempt 
• were most suitable, and the people returned vowing tyrants and despots to the 
' execration of posterity ' (iii. 198). We may doubt whether such scenes as this 
had much to do with the Victories ; they were the very life and soul of the Terror.] 



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 ;i and, by aid of Chemists, she has 

^ [Carnot calculated at the end of August (Corresp. iii. 455, sqq.), to be able to turn 
out 1,000 muskets a day when his machinery should be in full work ; but Sweden 
was one of the very few countries from which the Repubhc was not cut off. The 
Regent of Sweden was only too anxious to break off all the designs of his pre- 


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 them- 
selves 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 file-work. 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.^ Chemists of the Republic have taught us 
miracles of swift tanning : ^ 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 surgeons'- 
lint, the old men sit in the marketplaces ; 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 

decessor Gustavus III., and hoped to renew the old subsidy treaty with France, for 
which he was prepared to pay with the neutrality of his country, though, if possible, 
not with her active alliance. The Baron de Stael was sent back to Paris at the 
beginning of March '93, and was well received by Lebrun, who hoped to induce 
the Swedes to invade Russia, or even Prussia : a subsidy treaty was actually drawn 
up in May ; but, after June 2nd, the Regent confined himself to neutrality, and 
Robespierre, when in power, suspended the negotiations ; commercial relations how- 
ever continued between France and Sweden (Sorel, iii. 305, 399, 527 ; iv. 65).] 

1 [Add sixty-six forges in the Place de la Revolution ; Charleville (in the Ardennes 
Department) had been, previous to the Revolution, the seat of the largest gun 

2 Choix des Rapports, xiii. 189. ^ ibjfj. xv. 360. 


shut us out from saltpetre ; and without saltpetre there is no 
giinpowder. Republican Science again sits meditative ; discovers 
thfct 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 up- 
shoved 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.i 

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 hatreds, suspicions, scaffolds 
and Reason-worship, does, on the Frontiers, show itself as a 
glorious Fro patria mori. Ever since Dumouriez's defection, three 
Convention Representatives attend every General. Committee 
of Saiut has sent them ; often with this Laconic order only : " Do 
thy duty. Pais ton devoir." It is strange, under what impedi- 
ments the fire of Jacobinism, like other such fires, will bum. 
These Soldiers have shoes of wood and pasteboard, or go booted 
in hay-ropes, in dead of winter ; they skewer a bast mat round 
thsir shoulders, and are destitute of most things. What then ? 
It is for Rights of Frenchhood, of Manhood, that they fight : the 
un^juenchable spirit, here as elsewhere, works miracles. "With 

^[The making of gunpowder had, previous to the Revolution been a monopoly of 
the 4gence des Poudres et des Salpetres, established at Saint-Denis. The monopoly 
was abolished in 1791 : with the result that in '93 saltpetre had to be imported from 
abrcad : in Sept. '93 all materials requisite for the manufacture of saltpetre were 
put in requisition ; on Feb. ist '94 a speech of Barere's in the Convention led to 
the pulling down of old walls and houses here described by Carlyle, and to the 
establishment of raffineries for extracting saltpetre ; all through '94 the Com- 
mittee had been busy trying to increase the quantity, and had sent chemists to the 
Indre-et-Loire and to Vaucluse, to set up raffineries there. (Boursin and Chal- 
larae. (Art. Poudre) ; Moniieur, Feb. 3rd and 4th '94.)] 


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 con- 
quer or die is no theatrical palabra, in these circumstances, but 
a practical truth and necessity. All Girondism, Halfness, Com- 
promise 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 end ! 

See, accordingly, on all Frontiers, how the Sons of Night, 
astonished after short triumph, do recoil ; — the Sons of the Re- 
public flying at them, with wild Qa-ira or Marseillese Aux caineSf 
with the temper of cat-o'-mountain, or demon incarnate ; vhich 
no Son of Night can stand ! Spain, which came bursting through 
the Pyrenees, rustling with Bourbon banners, and went conquer- 
ing 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 Dugom- 
mier invades it by the Eastern Pyrenees ; General Miiller shall 
invade it by the Western. Shall, that is the word : Committee 
of Solid Public has said it ; Representative Cavaignac, on mission 
there, must see it done. Impossible ! cries Miiller. — Infallible ! 
answers Cavaignac. Difficulty, impossibility, is to no purpose. 
^'The Committee is deaf on that side of its head," answers 
Cavaignac, "nentend pas de cette oreille Id. How many w^ntest 
thou, of men, of horses, cannons .'' Thou shalt have them. Con- 
querors, conquered or hanged, forward we must." ^ Which things 
also, even as the Representatives spake them, were done. The 

i[' With steel and bread to China.' Hoche's words (which are probably tiose 
to which Carlyle here refers, though Hoche was not a Representative but a General) 
occur in a letter to Desaix, afterwards the hero of Marengo, Dec. 27th 1793 : 
"With bayonets and bread we can conquer all the brigands of Europe." (See 
Vie de L, Hoche par A, Rousselin (Paris, 1798), ii. 42.)] 

2 There is, in Prudhomme, an atrocity a la Captain-Kirk reported of this Civai- 
gnac ; which has been copied into dictionaries, of Hommes Marquans, of Biogrcphie 


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.^ Swept are the Pyrenees ; Town 
after Town flies open, 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, Able-men, 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 Hond- 
schooten,^ far in the afternoon, he declares that the Battle is not 

Universelle, &c. ; which not only has no truth in it, but, much more singular, is 
still capable of being proved to have none. [Cavaignac, born 1762, deputy to Con- 
vention for Haute-Garonne, en mission in La Vendue and with army of West 
Pyrenees ; a leading Thermidorian, and defender of the Convention in Prairial and 
Vend^miaire, died in exile 1829 : was the father of General Cavaignac of 1848 fame 
and of Mrs. Carlyle's friend Godefroi Cavaignac. The atrocity referred to in 
Prudhomme (vi. 222) is that Cavaignac promised to save a certain M. Labarrere 
at the price of his daughter's honour, and then sent him to the scaffold after all. 
' Capable of being disproved,' i.e., upon evidence which came out when Cavaignac 
was tried for a Jacobin rising in 1834, and was defended by M. Etienne Arago.] 

^ Deux Amis, xiii. 205-30 ; Toulongeon, &c. 

2 [Two of the fourteen armies of the Republic were directed against Spain : (i. ) 
That of the Eastern Pyrenees, successively under Dagobert (May '93) ; Barbantane 
(Aug.); Thureau (Sept.); Doppet (Oct./; and Dugoramier (Jan. '94); the war 
continued on the whole favourable to France, but it was not till Sept i8th '94 that 
the Spaniards evacuated Bellegarde, which they had held since June '93 : on Nov. 
i8th '94 Dugommier was killed in battle, and was succeeded by Scherer (March 
3rd '95), and he by Moncey, as general of both armies East and West, who ended 
the war by taking Bilbao. 

(ii. ) That of the Western Pyrenees : the Spaniards were besieging St. Jean-Pied- 
de-Port in July and Aug. '93. The Generals for France were successively d'El- 
becq, Dumas, Miiller and Moncey ; it was the last who in the summer of '94 
really turned the tide of Spanish successes by the storming of the lines of Fontarabia 
and Ernani. 

Peace with Spain was signed at Bale July 22nd '95 {vid. in/r., iii, 231).] 

^ [Sept 6th — 8th '93. The accounts of Levasseur's bravery are fully confirmed 
by Carnot (Corresp. G6n. iii. 115) ; for Leva.sseur vid. supr., ii. 328 ; for the victory 
oi Hondschooie vid. su/>r., iii. 121.] 


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 Repre- 
sentative 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. 1 

General Houchard,^ it would appear, stood behind a hedge on 
this Hondschooten occasion ; wherefore they have since guillo- 
tined him. A new General Jourdan,^ late Sergeant Jourdan, 
commands in his stead : he, in long-winded Battles of Watigny, 
'murderous artillery-fire mingling itself with sound of Revolu- 
' tionary battle-hymns,' forces Austria behind the Sambre again ; 
has hopes for purging the soil of Liberty.* With hard wrestling, 
with artillerying and ga-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 to be put to the sword ; ' — a high saying, which, though 
it remains unfulfilled, may show what spirit one is of. 

1 Levasseur, M^moires, ii. c. 2-7. [The great importance of raising the siege of 
Dunkirk is again and again noticed by Carnot [see esp. Corresp. iii. 55 and 114)1; 
it was the first step towards clearing the enemy out of Maritime Flanders.] 

2[Houchard, vid. supr., iii, 121.] 

3 [Jourdan was the son of a surgeon, born 1762 ; entered the army as a private 
and retired early, went into trade in Limoges 1784 ; served in the National Guard 
1789, and rejoined the army as a volunteer 1792 ; commanded the Army of the 
Ardennes, Sept. nth ; North, Sept. 22nd '93 ; Moselle, March 20th '94; Sambre- 
et-Meuse, June 13th '95 ; was on the whole, after Hoche, the most distinguished 
of the early Republican soldiers. Napoleon always dreaded him, though he was 
one of the first Generals created a Marshal of the Empire. At the Restoration 
he became a Peer of France and died as Governor of the Invalides, 1833.] 

4 [Oct. i6th '93. Carnot paid two short visits at this time to the Army of the 
North (Sept. 25th— 28th, and Oct. 6th— 20th), and sketched out Jourdan' s course for 
him. Maubeuge was being besieged by Coburg ; Jourdan advanced from Guise 
50,000 strong : the battle began on 15th, on i6th the position of Wattignies was 
carried, whereon the enemy withdrew, and raised the siege of Maubeuge that night. 
Carnot wanted Jourdan to press on after Wattignies and prevent the re-junction of 
York and Coburg, but this was not done. {See Carnot's Corresp. iii. 315 and the 
interesting fragment there quoted from Jourdan's unpubUshed Mimoires.)\ 


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 show of him, 
as King-taker of Varennes. They flung him into carts ; sent 
him far into the interior of Cimmeria, to ' a Fortress called Spitz- 
berg ' 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 pheno- 
menon. 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 Paper-kite ; 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 Repre- 
sentative. ^ 

Or see Saint-Just, in the Lines of Weissembourg,^ though phy- 
sically 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 Weissem- 
bourg were indeed forced, and Prussia and the Emigrants rolled 
through : but we re-force ^ the Lines of Weissembourg ; and 

1 [Oct. 2nd.] 2 His Narrative (in Deux Amis, xiv. 177-86). 

3[( Vid. supr. , iii. 81.) Since the loss of Mainz the two Armies of the Moselle and 
the Rhine had been greatly disorganised, Commander after Commander being dis- 
missed by Bouchotte to please the Paris Radicals ; Wiirmser had forced the lines 
of Weissembourg on Oct. 13th, while the Prussians had advanced as far as Worth ; 
Strasburg was thus in great danger.] 

* [Dec. 26th '93.] 


Prussia and the emigrants roll back again still faster, — hurled 
with bayonet-charges and fiery ga-ira-ing. 

Ci-devant Sergeant Pichegru, ci-devant Sergeant Hoche,i 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 Sergeant of the Gardes Frangaises, 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 Four- 
teen Armies ; and how, for love of Liberty and hope of Promotion, 
lowborn valour cut its desperate way to Generalship ; and, from 
the central Camot in Salut Public to the outmost drummer on the 

^ [For Hoche vld. supr., i. 218. Pichegru, a rus^ peasant, born 1761 ; joined 
the Artillery 1783, after teaching mathematics at Brienne ; became Colonel of a 
battalion of Volunteers (Gard), 1792 ; General of Division in Army of Rhine in 
summer of '93, and now its Commander-in-Chief; on the arrest of Hoche he 
received from Saint-Just the command of the two Armies united, and later in the year 
'94 was sent to command the Army of the North, with which he delivered Valen- 
ciennes and Cond^, and finally overran the Netherlands and conquered Holland 
(Jan. 19th '95). He put down the insurrection of Germinal successfully, and then 
began to think of ' playing Monk,' intrigued with Cond6, etc. He was disgraced 
and retired ; elected to the Council of 500 he continued his intrigues, was arrested 
in '98 and transported to Cayenne : escaped to England, organised Cadoudal's 
conspiracy, was arrested in Paris, and was mysteriously "found strangled" in 
prison, April 5th 1804, probably a victim to Napoleon's jealousy.] 

2 [Pichegru was sent to the Army of the Rhine Oct. 2nd, Hoche to that of the 
Moselle Oct. 22nd ; their first task was to relieve Landau, which was besieged : in 
November Hoche pushed Brunswick back to Kaiserslautern, but had to retire from 
before his lines (Nov. 30th) ; Pichegru spent October and November hardening his 
army with sallies from under the walls of Strasburg ; in the latter half of December 
the two Generals acting in concert succeeded in driving back Wiirmser with some 
very bloody fighting ; and, as Brunswick was unable to come to their assistance, the 
Austrians were at last driven from Weissembourg Dec. 26th ; Landau was relieved 
thereby, and Strasburg freed from all immediate danger ; the Prussians took winter 
quarters at Neustadt, and the Austrians at Philipsburg (beyond the Rhine).] 


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 ga-ira-ing. Majesty of Prussia,^ as Majesty 
of Spain,2 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 as of war-thunder borne from 
the Ocean too, of tone most piercing .-^ War-thunder from off 
thejBrest 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 

1 [April 5th '95.] 2 [juiy 22nd '95.] 

^ [The Committee had gigantic and far-reaching plans for Naval construction : on 
May loth orders were given to lay down 100 ships of the line and 160 frigates, but 
meanwhile not to compromise the small fleet that France possessed, unless it were 
by a projected descent on the Channel Islands, which was being prepared in great 
secrecy at Saint-Malo from Jan. '94 ; the only effect of this project seems to have 
been to ruin the Saint-Malo fishermen, who were forbidden to go out at night lest 
they should betray the secret : it had to be given up owing to the profound 
disaffection of the town and the rotten state of the roads leading to it. (See Aulard, 
Recueil, x. 562; xi. 87, etc.)] 

^ [Saint-Andr^ and Villaret were ordered to go out from Brest to convoy a fleet of 
merchant vessels coming from America with wheat : in this they were successful, in 
spite of the defeat of the French fleet (R6v. Fr. xxxii. 428). The French fleet which 
went out from Brest, May i6th, comprised 23 of the line and was subsequently 
raised to 26 ; Howe left Spithead with 34 of the line and 18 frigates on May 2nd, 
but he detached 8 of the line to convoy some merchantmen : he did not find the 
French fleet till May 28th, and the fight began that night ; Mahan. while admirmg 
Howe's tactics in the preliminary manoeuvres, criticises some part of the final action 
on June ist ; at any rate too many of the French ships were allowed to escape. 
(Mahan, i. 146, S(/g.)] 

°[May 28th— June ist.] 


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.^ 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. — So has 
History written, nothing doubting, of the sunk Vengeur.^ 

Reader ! Mendez Pinto, Miinchausen, Cagliostro, Psalma- 

nazar have been great ; but they are not the greatest. O Barrere, 
Barrere, Anacreon of the Guillotine ! must inquisitive pictorial 
History, in a new edition, ask again, ' How is it with the Vengeur,' 
in this its glorious suicidal sinking ; and, with resentful brush, dash 
a bend-sinister of contumelious lampblack through thee and it ? 
Alas, alas ! The Vengeur, after fighting bravely, did sink alto- 
gether as other ships do, her captain and above two-hundred of 
her crew escaping gladly in British boats ; and this same enormous 
inspiring Feat, and rumour ' of sound most piercing,' turns out to 
be an enormous inspiring Non- entity, extant nowhere save, as 
falsehood, in the brain of Barrere ! Actually so.^ Founded, like 

1 Compare Bar^re (Choix des Rapports, xiv. 416-21) ; Lord Howe (Annual 
Register of 1794, p. 86), &c. 

2 [The next paragraph does not appear in the ist edition of Carlyle's French 
Revolution. It was a letter written by Admiral Griffiths to the Sun newspaper 
in Nov. 1838, and copied into other papers, giving the true details of the sinking of 
the Vengeur that led Carlyle to add it {see his article on it in Erasers Magazine for 
July 1839, now reprinted in his Miscellanies).] 

'Carlyle's Miscellanies, § Sinking of the Vengeur. [The Vengeur had collided 
with the Driinswick, and remained locked with her for three hours, during which 


the World itself, on Nothing ; proved by Convention Report, by 
solemn Convention Decree and Decrees, and wooden ' Model of 
the Ve7igeur;' believed, bewept, besung by the whole French 
People to this hour, it may be regarded as Barrere's masterpiece ; 
the largest, most inspiring piece of blague manufactured, for some 
centuries, by any man or nation. As such, and not otherwise, be 
it henceforth memorable. 

[If it be asked how could such a bankrupt Government live and feed its armies, 
the answer is not so difficult as it might seem, and is briefly this. The Committee 
possessed unlimited power of taking by force everything that it required from any 
one who had it : it paid, even after the creation of the Grand Livre in Sept. '93, no 
interest to the fundholders who had not within a limited time inscribed their claims 
to such payment ; practically no rich people dared to inscribe such claims (and 
before '89 the national debt was held largely by persons in at least easy circum- 
stances) : it threw all the expenses of local Administration on the Departments : 
it possessed the plunder of the provinces occupied in 1792 (the riches of Belgium 
had been immense) : every fresh execution or confiscation threw more and more 
property into its hands; for small transactions, and to feed Paris, the Maximum 
really did work, at least after the commencement of 1794 ; Switzerland, the United 
States, and the traitorous little states of Germany poured goods into France to 
take advantage of the high prices. If we consider all these things it is hardly an 
exaggeration to say that the Committee disposed of more resources than the Allied 
Sovereigns combined. Von Sybel however points out (iii. 310) how enormously 
wasteful its expenditure was : the mere wages of the Rev. Committees (3 fr. a day 
per man) came to 590 millions a year (a trifle more than a whole budget of xS\& Ancien 
Regime). The Army cost 200 millions a month : the purchase of corn for Paris cost 
enormous sums : all taxes and rates passed through the hands of the Revolutionary 
Committees, and, in spite of the law of 14th Frimaire, were shorn on their way to meet 
local needs, such as free theatres andytV<?j.] 



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

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 

time the Brunswick as well as the Vengeur lost heavily in men, and had 23 of 
her guns dismounted : some 400 of the Vengeur' s crew were saved, but the last 
cries of those who were drowned were Vive la Republiqiie. But the captain 
Renaudin had already struck his flag and signalled for assistance, which the English 
ships hastened to give ; Mr. Stephens in the 'Orators' (ii. 95) suggests that it was 
Renaudin's account of the event on which Barere grafted his stupendous lie. [See 
Mahan, i. 143-4,)] 


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 enor- 
mous 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 farther, 
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 

1 [See Moniteur, Nov. 9th and Nov. 17th 1793 ; on Nov. 6th David proposed 
to erect a monument to the Sovereign People on the Pont-Neuf, the pedestal to be 
composed of the ruins of all the Royal statues, to which Leonard Bourdon added 
' and all the ecclesiastical monuments ' (carried). It was to be the Image du 
peuple g^ant, du peuple FraiK^ais, and to have the club of Hercules in hand. The 
final decree was Nov. 17th : nothing was said about the ' height of Strasburg steeple ' 
(nor can I find any reference to that), but it was to be ' colossal ' and the figure was 
to be 15 metres (49^ English feet) high. It was to be at West point of the Island : 
and artists were invited to send designs,] 

2 [The decree for the equalisation of Weights and Measures was on Aug. ist 
1793- On April 7th 1795 the date for the coming into force of the new system 
was fixed to be Dec. 22nd '95. 

The InstitiU National was founded by decree of the Convention Oct. 25th '95 
(its last sitting but one), the first meeting of the Institut was held Dec. 6th '96 (it 
must be remembered that the Convention had, on Aug. 8th '93, suppressed all 
Academies and literary societies whatsoever which had any connection with the 
State, or ever had had any). 

The Acole de Mars on the plain of Sablons was a military school created by 
decree of Convention June ist '94 and dissolved soon after its creation : it was a 
Robespierrist job : the ^cole Polytechnique dates from Sept, 21st '94 ; the ^cole 
Normale (to teach the art of teaching) Oct. 30th '95. 

The Acoles des Enfants de la patrie were a design of Leonard Bourdon's for 
the education of the sons of soldiers who fell in the war ; they were supposed to 
exist in each section of Paris, and were combined with creches for infants. [See 
note at end of chapter. ) 

These great works (to which Carlyle might have added the Foundation of the 
Archives Nationales, Feb. '93 ; the attempt at Consolidation of the Public Debt in 
the Grand Livre by Cambon, Sept. '93 ; the first sketch of the Code Civil, 
presented by Cambac^r^s, Oct. '93) were carried on during '93, '94, '95 by the really 
useful and working members of the Convention in its smaller Committees ; in 
which work such men found a refuge from the horrors enacted around them. ] 


mysterious manner ! Citoyens ran up, suspicious. Yes, O Cito- 
yens, we are signalling ; it is a device this, worthy of the Republic ; 
a thing for what we will call Far-writing without the aid of post- 
bags ; in Greek it shall be named Telegraph. ^ — Tel&graphe xacr4 ! 
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 his Far-writer, with its wooden arms and elbow-joints, 
can intelligibly signal ; and Unes 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 sur- 
rendered to us, we send from the 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 in- 
'structed my Officer at Lille to forward them to North-Free by 
'express. Signed, Chappe.' ^ 

^[Aug. 30th '94. The brothers Claude and Ignace Chappe, born 1763 and 1760, 
both mechanical engineers, were the creators of the semaphore system of telegraphs. 
The scheme was presented to the Legislative Assembly, March 22nd '92 ; on April 
4th '93 the Convention voted a sum of money for experiments, and on Aug. 4th 
ordered the establishment of a line from Paris to Lille (Aulard, Recueil, v. 471). For 
the outcry against the invention (there is no word of " tearing anything down ") see 
the Report of the Committee of public mstruction by Lakanal, July 26th '93.] 

2 [The first place actually to change its name seems to have been Bar-le-Duc to 
Bar-sur-Ornain in Oct. '92. In the 5th vol, of the Rev. de la R^v. M. Gustave 
Bord gives long lists of places which changed their names, amounting in all to over 
1,000. The new names show little inventive power, and the practice became a 
nuisance : the Committee issued a circular requesting that in all cases the old name 
of the place should be given (in correspondence) as well as the new (Aulard,, Recueil, 
xi. 584). The best known changes are Dunquerque to Dunelibre ; Saint-Etienne to 
Armes-Commune ; Havre de Grace to Havre-Marat ; Compi^gne to Marat-sur- 
Oise ; Toulon to Port de la Montague. Marseilles however stoutly resisted being 
called ' Sans-Nom ' and prevailed, the Committee writing that the "glorious 
souvenirs of loth Aug. forbade it " {ibzJ. x. 403).] 

^Choix des Rapports, xv. 378, 384. 

VOL. III. 11 


Or see, over Fleurus in the Netherlands, where General Jour- 
dan, having now swept the soil of Liberty,^ and advanced thus 
far, is just about to fight,^ and sweep or be swept, hangs there not 
in the Heaven's Vault, some Prodigy, seen by Austrian eyes and 
spy-glasses : in the similitude of an enormous Windbag, with 
netting and enormous Saucer depending from it? A Jove's 
Balance, O ye Austrian spy-glasses ? One saucer-scale of a Jove's 
Balance ; your poor Austrian scale having kicked itself quite aloft, 
out of sight ? By Heaven, answer the spy-glasses, it is a Mont- 
golfier, 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.^ — What will 
not these devils incarnate contrive ? 

1 [The Campaign of 1794, which cleared France from the Allies, drove them 
through and from Belgium, and ended by the Conquest of Holland in Jan. '95, 
was fought upon plans drawn up by Carnot. The greatest danger France had to 
fear was the execution of the treaty of the Hague of April '94, by which Prussia 
agreed to help in the defence of the Netherlands : but Thugut was' most unwilling 
that Belgium should be saved in this way, and Thugut' s diplomacy was in the 
ascendant, and besides, as affairs developed in Poland, Prussia not only refused to 
come to help the Netherlands, but would hardly stay on the Rhine : it was therefore 
with a half-hearted Austrian and a whole-hearted English defence alone that 
France had to deal ; it is indeed open to doubt whether the rapid ' scuttling ' of 
Austria out of Belgium was due more to political or to military reasons. [See Sorel, 
vol. iv. cap. iii.) 

When the Campaign opened Coburg was in command of the Allies (some 
140,000 Austrians and English) between the Sambre and the sea, and was aiming 
at the capture of Landrecies and Guise on the road to Paris. Pichegru faced him 
with 130,000, but was unable to prevent Landrecies falling, April 20th, while the 
French left under Souham and Moreau was more successful, and was advancing 
towards Ghent : Carnot thereon resolved to denude the army of the Rhine and 
bring all available troops to Pichegru, risking the chance that Mollendorf with a 
large Prussian army might advance into France, either by the gate of Lorraine or 
the gate of Burgundy. The result was the victory of Tourcoing, May i8th, won by 
Souham and Moreau, and the capture of Ypres by Pichegru, June 17th. Mean- 
while Jourdan (the French right) after six failures contrived to force the passage of 
the Sambre (June 3rd), and 75,000 men were united under his command with the 
name of the Army of 'Sambre et Meuse.' He captured Charleroy, to succour 
which Coburg, with far inferior forces, fought and lost the battle of Fleurus, June 
26th ; Pichegru was then able to advance by Ghent on Brussels, Jourdan by way 
off Mons driving the Austrians back on Louvain and Li^ge : the English retired to 
cover Holland via Malines and Antwerp. (Sorel, iv. 77, sqq.)'\ 

2 [June 26th 94.] 

^June 26th '94; see 'Rapport de Guyton-Morveau sur les Aerostats,' in the 
Moniteur of 6 Vend^miaire, an H. [Gu)^on-Morveau, who had long studied 
aerostatics in company with his friend Carnot, was the experimentalist with the 
balloon at the battle of Fleurus [see Carnot, Corresp. i. 381). He was born 1737, 


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, 
Frateniite 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 
Bakers' -queues ; wagging themselves ; not in silence ! for we 
still Hve 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. ^ ' The number 
of foundling children,' as some compute, 'is doubled.' 

How silent now sits Royalism ; sits all Aristocratism ; Respec- 
tability 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 re- 
quisitions, vexations ; too happy to escape with life. Ghastly 

avocat-gdniral at Dijon, deputy for Cote-d'Or to Legislative and Convention, 
member of the first Comitd de Salut Public and afterwards of the Council of 500, 
died 1816. The project for a war balloon was first brought before the Committee 
by Guyton-Morveau, July '93 (Aulard, Recueil, v. 414).] 

1 [Paris was supplied with food by ' requisitions ' from the surrounding districts : 
regular boundaries within which these were to be levied were mapped out ; a list is 
given in Aulard (Recueil, viii. 220). This practice led to bitter hostility between the 
Capital and the neighbouring Communes, and led to such scenes of pillage as are 
described in Dauban (Paris en 1794, p. 245).] 

2 Mercier, v. 25 ; Deux Amis, xii. 142-199. [Many letters, but especially one of 
Dubois-Cranc6, March 9th '94, complain of the fact that there are 50,000 or 60,000 
men wandering over France, pretending to be on their way to join the different 
armies : they draw pay (of 3 sous a league) on this pretence, but never do join the 
armies, and only pillage and rob everywhere (Aulard, Recueil, xi. 615).] 


chateaux stare on you by the wayside ; disroofed, diswindowed ; 
which the National Housebroker 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 (faui 
vivre).^ — 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 Pawnbrokers' 
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. 2 

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 

1 See Deux Amis, xv. 189-192 ; M^moires de Genlis ; Founders of the French 
Republic, &c. &c. 

2 [Carlyle's imagination, powerful as it was, never led him to conceive any agri- 
cultural conditions other than those of his own country ; it is doubtful if he had 
ever realised the existence of a peasant proprietary in old France ; a rent-paying 
farmer is to him the normal cultivator. The prosperity of the Agricultural class in 
1794, so far as it is not a myth, rests entirely on the fact of the splendid harvest of that 
year, and the extremely early and beautiful spring. But the enforcement of the 
Maximum (where it was enforced, vid. supr., iii. 35), more than counteracted this, 
and the state of the roads, which were not repaired at all during the anarchic 
period, w§,s as disastrous to agriculture as to industry. And all the industries in 
France were ruined {see the figures collected in Rev. de la R^v, vii. 85, 210, 256) : 
in which case how could the ' Farmer flourish ? ' It is of course quite true that a 
great number of peasant proprietors acquired more land, but it is also clear that 
the actual number of landowners did not increase, and that by far the greater part 
of the confiscated property was bought by speculators who did nothing to cultivate 
it during the anarchic period. The interference with freedom was perhaps most 
startlingly manifested by the order of the Committee, May 31st '94, to all agricultural 
labourers to work at the coming harvest at wages fixed by their several Municipalities. 
The lowest rate of wages which I have come across is one fixed in the poor district 
of Morlaix in Brittany (as far back as Oct. '93, but to last till Sept. '94), viz., i fr, 
2S. 6d. a day : the same table fixes the following among other Maximum prices ; 
prime beef 12 sous the lb. , mutton 8, pork 12, butter 12, salt cod 12, red wine 15 the 
bottle, live cattle from 350 to 100 fr. according to sex and age [not according to 
weight or condition), sheep at 10 fr. (I confess that some of these figures, especially 
the last, seem to me absolutely unintelligible). {See Rev. de la R6v. viii. 345.)] 


with which one has grown familiar. Men have adjusted them- 
selves : 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 Up 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 clutched. 

One other thing, or rather two other things, we will still men- 
tion ; and no more : The Blond Perukes ; ^ the Tannery at Meudon. 
Great talk is of these Ferruques 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 
blonde German Frankism his black Gaelic poll, if it be bald. Or 
they may be worn affectionately, as relics ; rendering one suspect ? ^ 
Citizens use them, not without mockery ; of a rather cannibal 

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 (comistance) and quality to 
shamoy ; that of the women was good for almost nothing, being 
so soft in texture ! ^ — History looking back over Cannibalism, 

i[Vilate (p. 243) is the only other authority for the 'perruques blondes' story, 
and, as I have already said, he is a professional liar.] 

2 Mercier, ii. 134. 

3 Montgaillard, iv. 320. [The old Ch&teau and Park of Meudon were by order 
of the Committee, Oct. 20th 1793, put at the disposal of certain engineers for ex- 
periments in military science ; the workmen were all lodged within the walls, and 
were under strict surveillance, lest the secret (whatever it was) should leak out ; it 
was almost certainly connected with military ballooning {see Aulard, Recueil, vii. 


The fable of the tannery of human skins was widespread, but appears to have 


through Purchass 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. 

only legendary foundation. It is mentioned by Georges Duval in his ' Souvenirs 
sur la Terreur,' as a matter of common belief, that Billaud appeared at the Fete of 
2oth Prairial in breeches of human leather. M. Wallon in Rev. dela R6v. (ix. 178, 
sqq.) says that experiments in such tannery were made in the reign of Louis XV., 
and at Meudon, simply from scientific curiosity ; and this perhaps gave rise to the 
fable. The Convention declined to discuss the matter v^^hen it was reported to 
it March 2nd '95. In the Archives (A. F. ii. ; Carton 136) is an actual letter from 
a firm at Strasburg, Ziegler and Mauss, breeches-makers, addressed to Garnerin, 
an agent of the Committee in Alsace, proving that they had tanned human skin 
and made breeches out of it, and were prepared to do it again. Garnerin laid the 
letter before the Committee, which prohibited it altogether.] 

[The originator of the system of schools in France had been the Abb^ Lasalle, 
at the end of the 17th century ; and before '89 the majority of parishes contained a 
primary school. The overwhelming majority of the cahiers demand the establish- 
ment of such schools in every parish under the superintendence of the parish Clergy. 
None of the cahiers, so far as I am aware, put forward any demand for the modern 
idea of " Secularisation of Education," which is wholly a tradition of the attempt to 
decatholicise France in the Revolution. The increase of the salaries of the school- 
masters and the provision of more schoolmistresses for girls are both demanded by 
XXiQ cahiers. The Revolution, in sweeping away the church, swept away all the 
parish schools with it ; and, although many projects for replacing them were mooted 
in the Constituent, no law on the subject was passed until Oct. '93, when in conse- 
quence of a report by Lakanal in the name of the ' Committee of Instruction,' 
June 26th '93, the Convention created three grades of schools with free instruction, 
' primary,' * secondary' and ' normal.' There was to be a primary school wi,th a 
schoolmaster and mistress for every 1,000 inhabitants. [See Alfred Babeau, L'Ecole 
de Village pendant la Revolution (Paris, 1881), and an article in Rev. des Deux 
Mondes (1881) on the same subject.] 





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. In- 
visible, 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 Re- 
volutionary Government, be no task of ours. Man cannot explain 
it. A paralytic Couthon, asking in the Jacobins, ' What hast thou 
done to be hanged if Counter- Revolution should arrive ? ' a sombre 
Saint-Just,2 not yet six-and-twenty, declaring that ' for Revolution- 

^ [F61ix Rocquain (L' Esprit Rdvolutionnaire avant La Revolution) explains the 
deification of La Revolution ; from 1751 onwards, says he, it was in every one's 
thoughts and the word was in most people's mouths ; D' Argenson continually speaks 
of La Rdvolution as if it was a perfectly well known thing. Voltaire seems never to 
have regarded it from a political point of view, but only as an abstraction, a Revolution 
in thought : in 1770 he says ' it is already accomplished and has even gone too far.' 
(Rocquain, 183, 279, 289.) 

We might look forward 100 years and say that La Revolution is regarded by 
many Frenchmen as not yet accomplished : she is, and probably will remain, a 
Goddess to whom a thousand altars smoke.] 

2 [From the fall of Danton Saint-Just begins to appear as the leader of the Con- 
vention (though not of the Committees). He had a real scheme for regenerating 
France, whose inhabitants were to be forced to return to the two primitive occupa- 
tions of the savage freeman, war and agriculture ; the State was to educate the young 
from the tenderest years on the Spartan plan ; marriage was to be controlled by the 


ists 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 that 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 revolu- 
tionary 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 show 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 bright- 
ness 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 consum- 
mating 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. 

State (which is to exercise its judgment in sexual selection) ; property was to be 
annually redistributed. No one really supported these chimerical views, but 
Robespierre, Couthon and Lebas gave them apparent support [cf. Stephens' Orators, 
ii. 418 ; Gros, 107 ; Von Sybel, iv. 15, 16).] 

1 [The quotation from Saint-Just here given is in Montgaillard (iv. 244) ; he assigns 
no date or place to the remark.] 


therefore, on the 15th day of March 179^, is this ? ^ Arrestment, 
sudden really as a bolt out of the Blue, has hit strange victims : 
Hebert P^re Duchesne, Bibliopolist Momoro, Clerk Vincent, 
General Ronsin ; high CordeUer 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 P^re 
Duchesne had " held his tongue and his heart these two months, 
at sight of Moderates, Crypto- Aristocrats, Camilles, Sc&Urats 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 CordeUer Session ; with vivats, till the roofs 
rang again.- 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 

1 [March 14th. The chronology of this and the succeeding pages is wild. The dates 
are these : Nov. 17th '93, first arrest of Hubert's ' tail ' (at instance of Robespierre) ; 
early in December gradual attack of Dantonists, especially Ph^lippeaux, (i.) on 
CoUot's cruelty at Lyons, (ii.) on the horrors committed in La Vendue, especially on 
Turreau, Ronsin, Rossignol (the Vieux Cordelier is a move in this direction) ; 
Dec. 2oth, return of Collot from Lyons ; end of Dec. and all January, struggles in 
Jacobin Club, Robespierre turning more and more against Danton ; Feb. and, 
release of Hubert's tail ; Feb. 20th, return of Saint-Just from the North ; Feb. 26th, 
his resolve to act against both H^bertists and Dantonists ; March 14th, arrest of 
Hubert and all his party (this at first favourable to Danton {vid. infr., iii. 175)) ; 
then ten days of great danger from the Coimnune, which would like to make an 
Insurrection to save Hubert ; March 24th, execution of Hubert and his party ; 
March 31st, arrest of Dantonists ; April 5th, their execution.] 

2 Moniteur du 17 Ventose (March 7th) 1794. [Carlyle mixes them all up. The 
' H^bertists ' brought to trial on March 21st were not all H6bertists proper, e.g. , 
Clootz was not strictly of that party as Carlyle rightly says below (vid. , iii. 173) ; 
and not all the H^bertists or even their leaders were of that fournde, which com- 
prised of them only Hubert, Ronsin, Momoro, Vincent, Kock, Proly, Desfieux, 
Pereira and Dubuisson. 

Chaumette was not arrested till April 4th and was brought to trial on loth ; with 
him were Gobel, the widows of Desmoulins and Hubert, Dillon , etc. ( Vid. infr. , iii. 
182 ; and see Cam pardon, i. 234, 295.) 

The mistake in mixing Chaumette and Hubert's gang here is a very unfortunate 
one, because Chaumette was still Procureur of the Commune when, on March 6th, 
the Section of the Cordeliers came to the Commune declaring itself to be in 
Insurrection {i.e., in favour of Hubert), and Chaumette rebuked them for this and 
also for veiling the Rights of Man, thus separating his cause from that of his old 
ally Hubert. (Martin, ii. 176.)] 


in.i 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 masque- 
rades of Atheism, fit to make the Revolution odious : where 
indeed could they originate but in the gold of Pitt ? Pitt in- 
dubitably, as Preternatural Insight will teach one, did hire this 
Faction of Enragh, to play their fantastic tricks ; to roar in their 
Cordeliers Club about Moderatism ; to print their Pere Duchesne ; 
worship skyblue Reason in red nightcap ; rob all Altars, — and 
bring the spoil to us ! 

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 re- 
peatedly 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.' ^ 

1 [April 4th.] 

2 [This is from the ' Journal de la prison du Luxembourg,' p. 148.] 

'^ [March 4th. Carlyle ignores the danger which this implied. The Commune, so 
far as it had any opinion other than desire for plunder for each of its members, was 
solidaire for Hubert. Pache the Maire undoubtedly inclined to him. Bouchotte 
at the war office had always played into the hands of this party, and all the 
antecedents of Hanriot looked the same way : finally the lowest type of gaol-bird 
and gutter-bird, the Septembrisers and the foreigners attracted to Paris for plunder, 
were all in that interest. M. Dauban in his Paris en 1794 (204-288) has collected a 
mass of evidence pointing to the gravity of the crisis. Yet now for the first time 
the Government, i.e., the Committee, triumphed over an Insurrection, and without 
the threatened whiff of grapeshot. We learn from Schmidt (ii. 141) how very 
nearly Pache, Bouchotte, Hanriot and Santerre were sacrificed at the same time ; 
but they probably turned government evidence, and were able to prove gigantic 
peculation against the H^bertists. The joy at Hubert's execution, even among 
those who had hung on his words most, was universal [ibid. 142-3).] 

^[The ^puration at the Jacobin Club began in the middle of November. 
Every member's name was brought up, and the question of his ' pure patriotism ' 


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, ' dc I'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 Re- 
public, 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 H stranger. Represen- 
tative 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.^ Re- 
presentative Fabre d';^glantine, famed Nomenclator of Romme's 
Calendar, is purged out ; nay, is cast into the Luxembourg : * 
accused of Legislative Swindling 'in regard to moneys 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 ; Pereyra, though he fled, is ' 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 

was discussed. Danton was ' tried ' on Dec. 3rd, and only escaped being purged 
because Robespierre supported him. Camille was tried and also escaped purging 
(Dec. 14th) by the same protection. It was the publication cf the Vieux Cordelier, 
No, 4, that led to Camille being cited again by the Club, and an inquiry being 
made into his conduct, together with that of Phelippeaux and Fabre: again on 
Jan. 7th he was jtist saved from purgation by Robespierre, but gravely blamed 
and ceased to attend the Club. Robespierre also was absent from the Club Feb. 
15th — March 13th.] 

^[Dec. 24th.] 

2 [Phelippeaux was deputy for the Sarthe to Convention, a staunch friend of 
Danton and one of the most humane and sensible of the Refrisentants en mission (in 
La Vendee 1793). His complaints of the cruelties exercised there by the Republican 
Generals begin as early as Aug. 30th '93, and increase in fierceness till December, 
when he returned to Paris. (Aulard, Recueil, viii. ix. x. passim.)] 

'Qan. 1 2th.] 


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. 2 
Couthon gave as a test in regard to Jacobin purgation the ques- 
tion, ^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 Decem- 
ber 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-Sacrament,' adorable 
Hostie, or divine Real- Presence ! Sharply enough, this old 
Cordelier, — Danton and he were of the earliest primary Cor- 
deliers, — ^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 phenomena of that dark time ; 
and smite, in their wild-sparkling way, at various monstrosities, 

i[Not now, but Oct. 12th— Nov. 21st '93.] 2[No ; vid. supr., note on iii. 171.] 


Saint-Sacrament heads, and Juggernaut idols, in a rather reckless 
manner. To the great joy of Josephine Beauhamais, 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 Re- 
volutionary spirit, this Camille ; but with the unwisest sallies ; 
whom Aristocrats and Moderates have the art to corrupt ! Jaco- 
binism 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 ' Pitt ! — 
his last is dated 1 5 Pluviose Year 2, 3d February 1 794" ; and ends 
with these words of Montezuma's, ' Les dietuo 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 

1 [ ' That bloodstained Goddess, whose high priests, Hubert and Momoro, etc, , 
dare to demand a temple built of the bones of three million citizens, like that of 
Mexico ; men who incessantly say to the Jacobins, the Commune, the Cordeliers, 
as the Spanish priests said to Montezuma, ' the Gods are athirst. ' (Desmoulins, 
CEuvres, i. 242.) But Camille misquotes his authority (Raynal, iii. 390, ed. 1780) 
as Carlyle misquotes Camille. The text of Raynal is " Quand lapaix avait durd 
quelque temps, les pretres faisaient di7'e a V empereur que les Dieux avaientfaim 
(the Gods were hungry), et dans la seule vue defaire des prisonniers on recommenfait 
la guerre.^' 

In the ist number of the Vieiix Cordelier (Dec. 5th) Camille ridicules the 
Commune: the 3rd (Dec. 15th) denounces in fiery language the Noyades and 
Mitraillades, the news of which was every day reaching Paris ; the 4th (Dec. 20th) 
is the one which demands a Committee of Mercy ; the 5th (Dec. 25th) gently rallied 
Bar^re as a weathercock, and openly attacked the Hebertists, calling Hubert an 
infamous scoundrel and thief ; the 6th number continues in the same strain ; it was 
these two last which Robespierre proposed at the Jacobins to burn, although he 
himself had been steadily flattered throughout the paper: 'Fire is no answer,' 
returned Camille. The 7th number, of which M. Henri Martin (ii. 173) said that 
it will ever remain one of the immortal monuments of French thought, spared no 
one ; Robespierre, Committee men, and Hebertists alike are attacked. The 
publisher dared not publish it, but it is contained in the ' CEuvres de DesmouHns ' 
(vol. i.) together with fragments of an 8th number. It is the 7th which contains the 
dialogue between two old Cordeliers , ending with the words ' les Dieux ont Soif.^'\ 


now their last road. No help. They too must ' look through the 
little window ; ' they too must ' sneeze into the sack/ Memuer dans 
le sac ; as they have done to others, so is it done to them. Sainie- 
GuiUotine, meseems, is worse than the old Saints of Superstition ; 
a man-devouring Saint ? Clootz, still with an air of polished sar- 
casm, endeavours to jest, to offer cheering 'arguments of Material- 
ism ; ' he requested to be executed last, ' in order to establish 
certain principles,' — which hitherto, I think. Philosophy has got 
no good of. General Ronsin too, he stills looks forth with some 
air of defiance, eye of command : ^ the rest are sunk in a stony pale- 
ness 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 Pei^e 
Duchesne shall never in this world rise in sacred right of insurrec- 
tion ; he sits there low enough, head sunk on breast ; Red Night- 
caps shouting round him, in frightful parody of his Newspaper 
Articles, " Grand choler of the Pere Duchesne ! " Thus perish 
they ; the sack receives all their heads. Through some section of 
History, Nineteen spectre -chimeras shall flit, squeaking and gib- 
bering ; till Oblivion swallow them. 

In the course of a week, the Revolutionary Army itself is dis- 
banded ; 2 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 harm- 
less ; and anew there is joy over a Plot Discovered. The Revolu- 
tion then is verily devouring its own children ? All Anarchy, by 
the nature of it, is not only destructive but ;?e//-destructive. 

^ [Ronsin of the true H^bertist gang alone behaved with courage. Clootz was 
a fanatic and a madman, but undoubtedly brave : but he was no H6bertist. 
Hubert was insensible with terror. (Campardon, i. 247.)] 

'^ [March 31st.] 




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 windbag, 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 eastwind ! 
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 

1 [Danton left Paris Oct. 12th and returned Nov. 21st '93 ; it is a pity to re- 
present his return as connected with the events of March '94. It seemed as if a 
current was setting in his favour at the date of the arrest of the H^bertists, for 
on March i8th Tallien was elected President of the Convention, and Legendre of 
the Jacobins ; and on the same day, on the demand of Bourdon de I'Oise, H6ron, a 
favourite spy of Robespierre's, was arrested. But on 20th H^ron was liberated 
again. It was not perhaps Robespierre who made up his mind to kill Danton : it 
was Billaud who in the Committee first said ' ilfaut tuer Danton,' and it was on 
the night of March 23rd — 24th that Robespierre at last gave way to Billaud and 
Saint-Just (Gros, p. 98). It was on the night of 30th— 31st that Saint-Just read his 
report against the Dantonists (which he was to deliver in the Convention the next 
day) to the two Committees in united session. All signed this report except Lindet 
and Ruhl (Robinet, Frocks des Dantonists, 123). The trial has been minutely 
described by Dr. Robinet. M. Sorel however to my mind sees the true greatness 
of Danton better than this professional apologist. Dr. Robinet is too ardent a 
believer in the entire ' legend of the Revolution,' and too unreasoning a hater of 
all forms of religion to be able to be quite fair ; but his condemnation of the 
' retrograde movement,' after April 5th '94, is excellent.] 


confound the innocent and the guilty." — " And who told you/' re- 
plied 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 ! " ^ — Friends, Westermann, this Paris and others urged 
him to show himself, to ascend the Tribune and act. The man 
Danton was not prone to show 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 arrest- 
ment 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, " lis noseraient, 
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 

1 Biographic des Ministres, § Danton, Brussels 1826. [The tradition of this 
meeting at Charenton comes from Lacretelle, and is not confirmed elsewhere ; the 
Biographie des Ministres places it after the arrest of Fabre (Jan. 13th).] 

2 [Herault had resigned his place in the Committee Dec. 29th '93: he was 
arrested March ic;th.] 

3[Carlyle mixes up Piris with Panis the old Septemberer. It was Pan is who 
came to Danton' s lodging late on 30th, and urged him to fly. Lindet also sent 
him warning (evidently direct from the Committee-meeting, see Robinet, 125). Fdix 
P^ris had been one of Danton's subordinates in Belgium : he got leave to change 
his name to Fabricius after the assassination of Lepelletier by Paris. He escaped 
during the Terror, and became ^^(S^gr of Tribunal in Jan. '95.] 

•1 [March 31st.] 

;^[The warrant declares these four to be arrested as accomplices of Fabre 
d'Eglantine (ibid. 124, vid. next page).] 


Luxembourg were all crowded, Prisoners crowding forth to see 
this giant of the Revolution enter 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 (gdchis epouvantahle) : 
not one of them understands anything of government. Robes- 
pierre 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, hke a dis- 

^[Legendre's motion was not put to the vote, as Robespierre spoke most 
furiously against Danton, and Barere followed on the same side. Saint-Just then 
began to read his report, which he had read to the Committee the night before: 
it was a long string of supposed crimes, for which Robespierre had given him notes ; 
one is amazed that the Convention listened to such absurdities {see Stephens' Orators, 
ii. 253, sg^.), but (i.) the Centre was paralysed by fear, and Robespierre was posing 
as its protector against the Montagnards, (ii. ) the Centre also probably regarded 
Danton, Robespierre, Saint-Just, Billaud and Barere with equal horror, and thought 
the sooner they massacred each other the better.] 

2 [Dr. Robinet rejects the story of his having asked pardon of God and man for 
creating the Tribunal : but Campardon (ii. 260) accepts it, and places it at the 
Conciergerie, not at the Luxembourg. We learn from the ' M^moires sur les Prisons ' 
(ii. 152) that Camille brought with him to the Luxembourg two English books, 
Young's Night Thoughts and Hervey's Meditations, and from the same source 
that Danton spoke kindly to Tom Paine in English (Tom Paine being one of the 
first people he met in the prison ; ibid. 154).] 
VOL. III. 12 


embodied spirit, day and night. Caraille's stolen letters to her 
still exist ; stained with the mark of his tears. ^ " I carry my 
head like a Saint-Sacrament ? " so Saint-Just was heard to mutter : 
"perhaps he will carry his like a Saint-Denis." 

Unhappy Danton, thou still unhappier light Camille, once 
light Procut^eur 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 ; 2 — and days when his Mother nursed and wrapped 
him are ail-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 1 794. 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 

lAperpus sur Camille Desmoulins (in Vieux Cordelier, Paris, 1825), pp. 1-29. 
[The letter never reached Lucile — Camille gave it to Beaurepaire before leaving 
the Luxe7nbourg, with instructions to send it on. Lucile was guillotined before this 
could happen, and Beaurepaire gave the letter to Jules Par6, in whose possession it 
remamed (Campardon, ii, 254). 

The Apergus are a reprint m Berville and Barriere (1825) of the first 28 pages of 
the Vieux Cordelier, and the remark of Saint-Just is given in a note on p. 19, and is 
said to have been in answer to a letter of Camille' s to a friend, which was printed 
and hawked in the streets, in which he said that Saint-Just carried his head as if 
it were the Host.] 

2['^HA0e 5' eTTt if/ux'^ /xrjTphs KaTaredvrfvlr]s (Odyssey, xi. 84).] 

'^ [Fabre had been arrested on Jan. 12th, and was at the Luxembourg. On March 
19th the Convention ordered him to be sent to the Tribunal Rdvolutionnaire, and 
on March 26th the act of accusation was made out against him, Chabot, Bazire, 
Julien and Delaunay, alleging a conspiracy to destroy the Republic. (Robinet, 
Frocks, 125.) Westermann was not arrested till April 2nd, and did not appear 
before the Tribunal UW 3rd [ibid. 361). Delaunay, Julien and the Abb^ L'Espagnac 
were condemned for corruption, agiotage and forgery, Chabot for manipulating the 
shares of the Compagnie des Indes and for wholesale peculation, Bazire for com- 
plicity in, or at least silence about, the same ; Dr. Robinet considers the guilt of 
most of these persons proved, but is more doubtful about the brothers Frey, who 
had been army contractors in Belgium and who were accused of being foreign 
spies. It is obvious that this whole batch was brought together in order to discredit 
Danton, and to colour the charge of venality, which was pushed home against him 
{ibid. 2>9^sqq.).'\ 


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 Ndant) ; 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 epigram- 
matically that he " sat in this Hall, and was detested of Parle- 
menteers." Camille makes answer, "My age is that of the hon 
Sansculotte J&sus ; an age fatal to Revolutionists." O Camille, 
Camille ! And yet in that Divine Transaction, let us say, there 
did lie, among other things, the fa tallest 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 Wit- 
nesses, 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. 2 "Danton hidden on the 10th of 

1 [April 2nd was entirely taken up with swearing in the jury and reading the 
act of accusation : it was on the 3rd that Danton's famous answer was made as to 
his name, and his defence begun and cut short.] 

2 [The heads of the accusation may be roughly summed up : — 
(i) Venality to the Court, by the channel of Montmorin. 

(2) Peculation of the monies granted for his mission to Belgium. 

(3) Participation in Dumouriez's treason. 

(4) Hostility to May 31st and June 2nd. 

(5) Complicity with the Baron de Batz (!). 

His defence is weakest on No. 2. On No. 4 he hardly cares to defend himself at 
all. (Robinet, 189 .f^^.)] 


August ? " reverberates he, with the roar of a lion in the toils : 
" where are the men that had to press Danton to show 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 them- 
selves 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 doom- 
ing 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. 

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 meshwork ! 
— 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 ' in- 

1 [Bulletin du Tribunal Rdvolutionnaire, p. 281 sqq. Carlyle does not mention 
that Danton's defence was stopped by Herman on 3rd under pretext that there 
wouldn't be time to hear the other prisoners. It was resumed on 4th but he said 
little, and that day was mainly taken up with the defences of Camille and H^rault.J 

2[Campardon (ii. 269) says that Danton's voice rang so loud that it was heard 
by the crowd outside, and even across the river.] 
3 [April 4th.] 


suit 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, over- 
set 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. Salui rushes off with it to the 
aid of Tinville, reduced now almost to extremities.^ And so, Hors 
de Ddbats, Out of the Debates, ye insolents ! Policemen do your 
duty ! In such manner, with a dead-lift effort, Salut, Tinville, 
Herman, Leroi Dix AoiU, 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 follow ! — 

Danton carried a high look in the Death-cart. Not so Camille : 
it is but one week, and all is so topsyturvied ; 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 Id 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, interrupt- 
ing 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 

1 [April 5th. Fouquier and Herman did not ' rush over,' but wrote a letter which 
is printed in Robinet (p. 177) ; it calls the prisoners forcen^s ; it was Saint-Just 
who read the letter to the Convention, and tacked on to it the story about the 
'plot in the prison.' Billaud followed, with Laflotte's denunciation of the same 
imaginary plot. The decree of the Convention was passed without a dissentient 
voice and brought to Fouquier by Amar on the evening of the 4th. It was at a fresh 
session on the morning of the 5th that the decree was notified to the prisoners and 
the verdict given (Robinet in loc. cii.).] 


Samson the Headsman himself: "Thou wilt show my head to 
the people ; it is worth showing." 

So passes, like a gigantic mass, of valour, ostentation, fury, 
affection and wild revolutionary force and manhood, this Danton, 
to his unknown home. He was of Arcis-sur-Aube ; bom 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.^ 



Next week, it is still but the 10th of April, there comes a new 
Nineteen ; Chaumette, Gobel, Hebert's Widow, the Widow of Ca- 
mille : 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, beauti- 
ful, eternal behind your tempests and Time -clouds, is there not 
pity in store for all ! Gobel, it seems, was repentant ; he begged 
absolution of a Priest ; died as a Gobel best could. ^ For Anaxa- 
goras 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 Hebei-tists ; they that rob- 
bed Churches, and adored blue Reason in red nightcap. Great 
Danton, and the Dantonists ; they also are gone. Down to the 

1 [Morris to Washington (April i8th) : ' The fall of Danton seems to terminate 
• the idea of a triumvirate ' {which Morris had expected as a step to Dictatorship). 
' The chief, who would have been in such case one of his colleagues, (Robespierre) 
' has wisely put out of the way a dangerous competitor. Hence it seems that the 
' way must be through the ComiU de Salut Public, unless indeed the Army should 
' interfere ; but as to the Army no character seems as yet to have appeared with 
'any prominent feature.'] 

2 [This is confirmed in Campardon (i. 393), as is also the firmness of Lucile 


catacombs ; they are become silent men ! Let no Paris Munici- 
pality, no Sect or Party of this hue or that, resist the will of 
Robespierre and 6^/^/. Mayor Pache, not prompt enough in 
denouncing these Pitt 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 Robespierre.^ 

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, ' Foum&es,' a score or more at a time ; his 

1 [May loth. The Coinynune had lost all its force with the fall of Chaumette and 
the H6bertists ; the new members were entirely creatures of Robespierre, and only 
lifted their head for a moment when he was attacked at Thermidor : even to his 
voice the Commune was deaf at times, e.g., when, at the end of Messidor, he 
persuaded Fleuriot to call a meeting of Section Committees, contrary to the law of 
14th Frimaire ; the Committee prohibited it and the Commune yielded. 

Fleuriot-Lescot, born at Brussels 1761, had been one of Fouquier's substitutes 
on the Tribunal Rivolutionnaire : nominated Maire, to replace Pache, May loth, 
executed loth Thermidor. 

Payan, born 1766, had been also a judge in the Tribunal ; was executed loth 
Thermidor, Shortly before this time (April ist) the Executive Council (and there- 
with the corrupt War Office) had been suppressed, and was replaced (April 20th) 
by twelve ' ' Executive Commissions " of Government, more absolutely at the dis- 
posal of the Committee ,than the Council had been : their heads were mere nonentities, 
and Masson (Affaires Etrangeres, 312) quotes an excellent story of how Buchot, the 
soi-disant head of the new Foreign Office, had to be fetched from a neighbouring 
billiard-caf6 when there were any papers to sign,] 


Jurymen are charged to make feu dejile, file -firing 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. 

dusky D'Espremenil, what a day is this, the 2 2d 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 gray 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 Tum- 
brils, 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 
gray 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 Chateau- 
briand alone is wandering amid the Natchez,^ by the roar of 

1 [It is of d'Epr^mesnil and Chapelier (the extreme partisan of the Ancien Rdgitne 
and the advanced liberal of '89 respectively) that the fine story is told by Rioufife 
(p. 86) how^, as they were going to execution, the latter asked the former " Which 
of us is the crowd hissing? " and d'Epr^mesnil rightly answered ' Both.'] 

2 [The Parlementeers were guillotined in consequence of a secret protest, signed 
by a g^eat number of members of the old Parlements, and deposited in the hands of 
Rosambo (President of the Chambre de.s Vacations), against the decree of Oct. 4th 
'90, which abolished the Parlefnents. This paper fell into the hands of the Comity de 
SHreU Gdndrale when Rosambo was denounced by his Section. The amnesty of Sept. 
14th '91 ought to have covered it ; it had been invoked to pardon the Chateau- Vieux 
Swiss and the massacres of Avignon, but the Radicals naturally did not allow such 
justice to their enemies. Twenty-six persons were executed for it on April 20th ; 
Malesherbes and his kindred two days afterwards ; d'Epr^mesnil had not signed 
the protest {vid. Mortimer-Ternaux, i. 301, sqq.; Campardon, i. 305).] 

3 [Fran9ois Auguste, Comte de Chateaubriand, born 1768, came to Paris to begin 
ja literary career, 1790 ; went to America Jan. '91 ; returned at the date of the 


Niagara Falls, the moan of endless forests : Welcome thou great 
Nature, savage, but not false, not unkind, unmotherly ; no 
Formula thou, or rabid 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 Eliza- 
beth, the Sister of Louis. ^ Her Trial was like the rest ; for 
Plots, for Plots. 2 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 com- 
plete ! " — " Rig'it willingly. Marquise de Crussol, and with my 
whole heart." ^ Thus they : at the foot of the Scaffold. The 
Royal Family is now reduced to two : * a girl and a little boy. 

King's suspension after Varennes, July 1791 ; emigrated to serve with the Prussian 
army, and was wounded at the siege of Thionville ; retired to England and 
lived m great want till 1797, when he published his ' Essay on Revolutions,' the 
first note towards his more famous ' G^nie du Christianisme ' (1802). He 
returned to France 1801 ; became secretary of the embassy at Rome under the 
Consulate, resigned on the news of d'Enghien's murder ; wandered all over the 
near East till 1814, when he aided the Restoration of Louis XVIII. He refused to 
serve the Monarchy of 1830, died in 1848. 

He was thus certainly not "wandering amid the Natchez" at the date of 
Malesherbes' execution.] 

1 [Madame Elisabeth was the youngest child of the Dauphin, born 1764. There 
was at one time a talk of her marriage with an Infante of Portugal, at another to 
the Due d'Aosta, at another to Joseph II. ; in 1781 the King presented her with 
the little estate of Gu^m^n^e in Versailles, and she spent most of her days there, 
largely occupied with charitable work, returning to sleep at the Chateau. She 
accompanied the Royal Family with the most faithful devotion in all the troubles 
of '89, '90, '91, '92, '93. In the Temple she at first shared a room with Mme de 
Tourzel : on Oct. 26th '92 she, with the Queen and the children, was transferred 
to the Great 'lower. That she and the Queen sometimes disagreed is not unlikely, 
but has never been proved, and to her the last and most affectionate ,letter of the 
Queen was written on the morning of her death. {See Vie de Mme Elisabeth, by 
M. de Beauchesne, Paris, 1869 ; La Vraie Marie Antoinette, by M. de Lescure, Paris, 
1863 ; Campardon, i. 314.)] 

'-^[May loth.] 

' Montgaillard, iv. 200. [The Marquis de Crussol (of the Vivarais) was of the 
s^me family as the great house of Uzes. His wife was executed with Madame 
Elisabeth, and he on July 26th (the eve of Thermidor).] 

^^See ftote at end of chapter, J 


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, ^ — so as none 
but poor Factory Children and the like are wont to perish, and 
7iot be lamented ! 

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 moneys and in- 
comings ; and die for ' putting water in the tobacco ' they sold. 
Lavoisier begged a fortnight more of life, to finish some experi- 
ments : but " the Republic does not need such ; " the axe must do 
its work. 3 Cynic Chamfort, reading these inscriptions of Brother- 
hood 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 with- 
out 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 ^ 

1 Duchesse d' Angouleme, Captivity a la Tour du Temple, pp. 37-71. 

2 [May 8th.] 

'Trib. R6v. du 8 Mai 1794, Moniteur No. 231, [There were two 'batches' of 
Farmers-General ; Lavoisier was in the first with 27 others. It was Coffinhal, the 
President of the Tribunal ^i Lavoisier's trial, who answered him that " the Republic 
had no need of chemists." It was neither witty nor true, for the Convention 
Committees were exhausting all their energy to find men of science to serve them, 
e.g., in the making of gunpowder {vid, supr., iii. 151).] 

^ [April 13th.] 

^ [Condorcet's arrest was ordered Aug. loth '93 ; but he escaped and remained 
hid in Paris, which he had only left a few days before he was taken at Clainars 


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 I " 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 dis- 
appear, 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 Fratemel,' 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-glass and other garnish and relish is convenient, 
they eat frugally together, under the kind stars. ^ 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 

March 27th (not May), going by the name of Pierre Simon. During his captivity 
he wrote his ' Tableau des Progr^s de 1' Esprit humain ' (Rev. de la. R6v. x. ii. 

1 [April 9th.] 

2 Tableaux de la Revolution, § Soupers Fraternels ; Mercier ii. 150. [The origin 
of these seems to have been in the Repas Civique held on Aug. loth '93, designed 
to win over the Fddirh who had come to Paris to accept the Constitution. 
These fraternal banquets seem to play no great part in the history of the streets, 
they degenerated into drunken orgies, and were suppressed at the end of the 
Terror. {See Dauban, Paris en 1793 (306), where a contemporary engraving repre- 
senting one is given. )] 


not come ; It is come, it shall have 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. ^ 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 Col- 
lot, 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 

i [May 23rd. ] 

2 Riouffe, p. 73 ; Deux Amis, xii. 298-302. [Collot lived in Rue Favart, No. 4. 
Amiral declared at his interrogatory that he had been at the Convention that 
morning with intent to assassinate Robespierre (Campardon, i. 351). He was four 
times interrogated, and brought to trial with a large batch June 17th. J 


female change of raiment and two knives ! Poor C^cile, 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 woman try it, and, only half-resolute, leave their 
knives in a shop.^ 

Pitt, and ye Faction of the Stranger, shall the Republic 
never have rest ; but be torn continually by baited springes, 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. 

1 [Cecile Renault was only 21 ; she was interrogated on 24th ; her words above 
•quoted were ' I desire a King, because I prefer one tyrant to 50,000 ; and I only 
went to see Robespierre in order to see what a tyrant was like ; ' the knives were 
found on her person, the raiment in a basket at the shop ; she owned to no con- 
nection with Amiral, and none is probable, but she knew him by sight ; out of the 
two "assassinations" the Government made a vast plot, and 52 persons were 
brought to trial on June 17th, among them some of Batz's subordinates, in the hope 
that they would betray their chief. 

It was after this trial that the symptoms of discontent in the respectable parts 
of Paris caused the transference of the Guillotine to the East end ( Place du Trone) 
{vid. iftfr., iii. 195), but already, on the Fete of January 21st, 1794, the oxen yoked 
to one of the allegorical cars had refused to draw their load past the place where the 
guillotine was wont to stand, though it had been removed for the day and all traces 
of blood washed away. {See A. Houssaye, Notre Dame de Thermidor, p, 320.)] 

[Note on " the Royal Family is now reduced to two " {supra, iii. 185). 

The Dauphin, or Louis XVII. , was the second son of Louis XVI. {vid. note supr. , 
i. 41). There is a most interesting letter from the Queen to Mme de Tourzel written 
in July '89, when the prince was four, pointing out the merits and defects of his 
i:haracter, his extreme sensitiveness, backwardness at lessons, childish pride and 
gaiety, but somewhat delicate health, for which she recommends constant play in 
the open air (La Vraie Marie Antoinette, Lescure, 95 sq^.). Arthur Young saw the 
boy gardening in the Tuileries, Jan. 1790. The Dauphin shared the fortunes of 
his family down to the separation in the Temple. His father made kirn swear, the 
other members of the family only promise, that they would not seek to avenge his 
death. He was proclaimed King of France by the Comte de Provence in Jan. 
1793, ^""^ by ^^^ English at Toulon in the following August : on July 3rd he was 
■separated from his mother and given to Simon and his wife (a working cobbler 
and an uneducated domestic servant, who had been neighbours and protdgis of 
Marat). Many stories were current about the plots for the liberation of the 
Temple prisoners, and as many of Simon's stupid brutality towards the young 
prince. It seems to have been the object of the Government that the boy should 
•die a «a^«ra/ death as soon as possible. He waited on Simon as a servant, was 
often cruelly beaten and was accustomed to hear filthy songs and language. On 
Oct. 6th 1793, after a heavy drugging with brandy, his signature was obtained to the 


accusation of indecency which the leaders of the Commune (Hubert in particular) 
wished to bring against his mother at her trial ; again on Oct. 26th to a similar 
accusation against his aunt {vid. supr., iii. 99). Illness began to appear in the boy 
in September '93, somnambulism and ' night terrors ' in the winter, Simon wearied 
of the job, and resigned his charge in Jan. '94. From that time till 9th Thermidor 
(6 njonths) no guardian was appointed, and the child was in solitary confinement 
in a ground-floor room, without light and oftenest without fire: his meals were 
passed in to him by a grating : he was supposed to remove his own ordures and 
pass them out by the same grating, but appears to have been too feeble to do so. 
He was occasionally visited by Convention Commissioners with the sole motive of 
seeing that he was alive. After Thermidor he at once obtained better treatment ; 
a respectable guardian called Laurent was appointed, who found the child covered 
with sores and vermin, the odour of the cell pestilential, and the only answer given, 
" /e veux mourir." He was now removed to a better apartment and allowed to 
take the air. In November another guardian was appointed for the Prince and his 
sister (who however were kept entirely apart). The Prince often asked to see his 
mother, but no one dared to tell him the truth. Lasne succeeded Laurent as 
guardian March '95, and the boy spoke much more to Lasne than he had done to 
any one else. Early in May he was very ill, and M. Dusault, a leading doctor, 
was sent to attend him. He found rickets, incipient scrofula and mere exhaustion. 
Dusault died suddenly and Pelletan the new doctor immediately demanded extra 
advice. Dumangier was named to assist Pelletan : nothing could however be done 
and the child died in Lasne's arms at 2.15 A.M. on June loth ; his last words being 
that he " heard heavenly music and the voice of his mother ; did Lasne think his 
" sister could hear it? " 

The Princesse Marie Th^r^se Charlotte, aftepyards Duchess of AngoulSme, was 
not quite so badly treated. After Madame Elisabeth's death she continued to 
occupy alone the room she had shared with her aunt. Somewhat similar endeavours 
were made to obtain indecent evidence from her (a girl of 15), but were quite 
unsuccessful. In Nov. '94 she was found to be without shoes and stockings, and 
her linen was very scanty. After her brother's death a lady (Mme Bocquet de 
Chantereine) was appointed to attend on her, and she was allowed to walk in the 
garden. On Nov. 27th '95 the Directory ordered her exchange for some Republican 
prisoners detained in Austria, and on Dec. i8th she departed incognito for Basle. 
In 1808 the tower of the Temple in which the Royal family had been confined was 
pulled down by Napoleon's order. 

It is noticeable that Austria [i.e., Thugut) had several times been approached 
on the subject of an exchange, and shown herself by no means eager for it. To 
avoid recognising any successor to Louis XVI. seems to have been Thugut's aim. 
The only real friends of the Royal family outside France, Fersen, Mercy, and La 
Marck moved Heaven and Earth, and even appealed to Danton ; but the names 
of the Queen of France and her children are never mentioned in the deliberation of 
the Allies, except occasionally by the Courts of Spain and Naples. Spain once 
(Oct. '94) proposed that Louis XVII. should be recognised as King of Navarre; 
and she continued to demand the extradition of the children as a preliminary to 
peace. [See Sorel, iii. 369, 424, 469, 472 ; iv, 146, 321, 348 ; and de Beauchesne, Vie 
de Louis XVII., Paris, 1853.)] 




But on the day they call D&cadi, 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 holyday clothes : ^ 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 Pavilion ci-devant of Flora ; rejoices in the bright-looking 
multitudes, in the brightness of leafy June, in the auspicious 
D&cadi, 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 Pre- 
sident of the Convention ; he has made the Convention decree, so 
they name it, decreter the ' Existence of the Supreme Being,' and 

1 [The Fi'fe had its origin in a report read by Robespierre on May 7th on the 
necessity of organising National Fetes : this was followed by a decree, in 15 
articles, " recognising the Supreme Being" and appointing first-class Fe/es on the 
great Revolutionary epochs (July 14th, Aug, loth, Jan. 21st, May 31st), together 
with thirty-six second-class Fefes, one for each decade of the year ; the Moniteur 
of June 13th gives a most glowing account of this (first of the second-class Fetes) ; 
the Provinces followed the example of Paris, and there were Fetes of the Supreme 
Being all over France. It is unfortunate that Vilate is almost the only independent 
authority on it, for the impression it made abroad was considerable ; e.g., Mallet du 
Pan thought that it would be the inauguration of Robespierre's dictatorship. 
(Corresp. ii. 102, note.)] 

2 Vilate, Causes Secretes de la Revolution du 9 Thermidor [p. 196]. 


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,' 2 
— 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 rOise ; peace, or it may be worse for thee ! 

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 

i[May 7th.] 

2 [^See Stephens' Orators (ii. 418). It is a rdchauffi of Rousseau's ' Confession 
of a Savoyard Vicar,' and quite the dullest even of Robespierre's own speeches.] 

^^[Carlyle's topography is vague: one v^'ould gather from him that the whole 
thing took place in the Tuileries garden, whereas really there was a procession 
from that garden to the Chainp de Mars, where the Monticule was erected ; 
the Statue of ' Wisdom obscured by Atheism ' was in the Tuileries garden ; and the 
burning took place before the procession to the Champ de Mars {see Dauban, Paris 
en 1794, p. 385 sijf^. ; Rev. de la Rdv. viii. i, sqq. ; d'H^ricault, La Revolution de 
Therraidor (Paris, 1878), p. 212).] 


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 
art thou growing to ! This then, this common pitch-hnk 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 
a m'embcter : With thy Etre Supreme thou beginnest to be a bore 
to me." 1 

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 honour- 
able 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 Robes- 

1 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.) [C/. also the remark of a Sansculotte, quoted in Gros 
(p. 107), " Le b — , dit-il, il n'est pas content d'etre maitre, il lui faut etre Dieu.'^ 
The Fete in fact was a dismal failure from beginning to end. Among those whose 
jeers were openly heard by the crowd were Bourdon, Merlin, Ruamps and Lecointre. 
It is probable that Robespierre himself heard many of them (Gros, 107). 

Vilate, born 1768, a juryman of the Tribiaial R^volutionnairc, took the name of 
' Sempronius Gracchus : ' after Thermidor he was denounced by Legendre as a spy 
of the Committee, and tried to excuse himself by writing this book ; executed May 
7th '95.] 

2 [Catherine Th^ot had been in the Bastille as a lunatic, April 12th — May 29th 
1779 ; she seems to have fancied herself enceinte by heavenly agencies : she held 
regular seances with Gerle acting as priest ; she was arrested June 17th by order 
of the Comitd de SCirett! Ginirale^ and died in prison in the following September. 
It seems probable that Robespierre had only attended one or two sdances out of 
curiosity. For Dom Gerle, vid. supr., i. 398.] 

VOL. III. 13 


pierre. 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 Imw 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. 2 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 Repre- 
sentative, "would blow his brains out." Vain saying! The 
Incorruptible knit his brows ; spoke a prophetic fateful word or 
two : the La7v of Prairial^ is Law ; Ruamps glad to leave his rash 

1 [The question of Robespierre's ' bodyguard ' has often been raised, but is 
hardly solved, as Campardon regards it to be, by the letter written by Girard to 
the Comiti de Surety Gindrale (Aug. i8th '94). That letter however says that 
Robespierre used to be accompanied to and from the Convention and the Jacobins 
by a number of his friends and that he, Girard, was sometimes invited to serve 
Robespierre in this way : most of these men were jurors or judges of the Tribunal, 
Nicolas, Chretien, Garnier-Launay, etc. (Campardon, i. 342).] 

2 [June loth.] 

' [The law of the 22nd Prairial was presented to the Convention by Couthon 
and Robespierre alone, without previous consultation with the other members of 
the Committee ; Billaud furiously accused them of this the next day. Carlyle 
misses the points of the law which are contained in its eighth, ninth and tenth 
articles, viz., (i.) that 'evidence may be taken from any sort of document, material 
'or moral, verbal or written, which could naturally convince a just and reasonable 
' mind ; ' (in other words the whole existing formulae of the law of evidence are 
annulled), (ii. ) ' Any citizen has the right to seize and bring before the magistrates 


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 Sa/ut 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 

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 Southeast: Suburbs 

' any conspirator, and is bound to denounce such.' (iii.) ' No one can be handed 
' over to the Tribunal Rdvolutionnaire except by the Convention, the two great Com- 
' mittees, the R^presentants en mission and the Accuser Public' This last destroyed 
the last feeble protection which the members of the Convention enjoyed, that of not 
being decreed accused except by the Convention itself. It was this which provoked 
Bourdon, Ruamps, etc., to protest ; with the result that this obnoxious clause was 
repealed next day on the motion of Merlin-Thionville ; and on the 12th Robespierre 
and Couthon tried to explain that they had never intended to include Conventionals 
(but this was not believed). The rest of the clauses became law. Further the law 
removed the privilege of having Counsel except from " calumniated patriots ; " and 
suppressed the previous interrogatories (Arts, xii., xvi.). 

The law is printed i7i extenso in Campardon (i. 328) together with the speeches 
of Couthon in introducing it and of Robespierre in forcing it through ; the author 
however points out that its effect was not so great as might be supposed : there 
were a few moderate judges removed to make way for bloodier ones ; but Dumas 
and Coffinhall had already been Presidents ; and the fourndes and feu de file 
had gone on for some time : still the numbers of the condemned increased 
enormously, an average of 29 persons per day being executed between the passing 
of the law and Thermidor 9th.] 


Saint- Antoine and Saint Marceau, it is to be hoped, if they have 

bowels, have very tough ones.^ 

1 Montgaillard, iv. 237 [vid. supr., iii. 189, note. The Place du Trdne is some 
way outside the Porte Saint- Antoine on the Vincennes road: in the adjoining 
Convent of Picpus most of the victims of the Red Terror, as these 47 days are 
called, are buried,] 

[The remains of all parties gradually coalesced against Robespierre, Couthon and 
Saint- Just ; we may doubt if the theories of these fanatics were ever considered by 
the hard-working members of the Committee, but Robespierre in particular 
must have wasted a lot of its time. From January onwards we get an endless 
number of circulars issued by the Committee to the constituted authorities all over 
France, and bearing evident marks of having been drawn up by Robespierre him- 
self ; they are generally quite vague, and end with injunctions to embrace all round 
at the foot of the tree of liberty [see especially Aulard, Recueil, x. 679). Moreover we 
know that Carnot and Saint-Just used to have fierce quarrels in the Committee-room : 
and as the days went on the tension between the three dreamers and the practical men 
grew continually greater. Robespierre's power rested (i.) on Hanriot (a forgiven 
H^bertist, remember), and his armed force ; (ii. ) on Fleuriot, Payan, Coffinhall, at 
the Mairie and Hotel-de- Ville ; (iii. ) on his own pet spies in the police, such as 
H^ron and JuUien (but these were in daily quarrel with the Surety Gdnirale and 
alienated many of its members from Robespierre) ; (iv.) on four votes in the two 
great committees {viz. , Saint-Just and Couthon ; David and Lebas) ; (v. ) on the 
majority in the Jacobins after the ^puration of Nov. and Dec. '93 ; (vi. ) on the 
claque in the galleries of the Convention led by Nicolas and Duplay, Robespierre's 
landlord ; (vii.) but most of all on the Marais in the Convention, as whose friend he 
had always posed {vid. infr., iii. 202, 208 ; cf. Gros, p. 107 ; Von Sybel, iv. 15, 16).] 



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. Continu- 
ally 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. 

2 [The Memoires sur les Prisons, in 2 vols., in MM, Berville and Barriere's 
Collection (1823) begin with the celebrated Mdmoires d'un^DHenu {i.e., Riouffe) ; 
and contain, besides, L Humanitd Mdconnue by Paris de I'Epinard (which describe 
\hs.Abbaye, Conciergerie, Hotel-Dieu^^vech^, College du Plessis) ; V Incarceration de 
Beaumarchais (which however refers wholly to the eve of the September massacres 
in '92) ; Tableau Historique de la Maison Lazare (describing the Maison d'arrH in 


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 Coittant 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-Tear- 
sheet, flung pell-mell into a heap, ranked themselves according 
to method : at what hour ' the Citoyennes took to their needle- 
work ; ' 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 flirta- 
tions, 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, in paillasse, and snatched 
away : red-capped Commissaries entering every cell. Indigna- 
tion, 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 imple- 
ment or two, were it but a pipe-picker, or needle to darn hose 
with, determined to defend themselves : by tobacco. Swift 

the Rue de Sevres, Picpus, Saint-Lazare, which last was only opened as a prison on 
Jan. 9th '94) ; Maison (V arret de Port Libre (Coittant's journal, describing Porte 
Libre and the C amies) ; Le L7/xembour^ {sLnonymous, though Dauban (Les Prisons, 
234) says that the facts related correspond so exactly with Beaulieu's journal of the 
Luxembourg that one would be inclined to attribute it to him were not the spirit 
altogether different) ; Precis Historique sur la Maison d' arret de la Rue de Sivres 
(also anonymous) ; Madelonnettes (anonymous, but known to be by Coittant) ; La 
Mairie, La Force et le College du Plessis (anonymous, by an old soldier). They 
also contain the Voyage des 132 Natttais, Les Horreurs des Prisons d' Arras and the 
account of the priests on board ship at Rochefort. 

Some of these accounts were published in the Almanack des Prisons of the year 
III. ; and, in a larger work by Nougaret, Hist, des Prisons de Paris et des 
D^partements (1797); others are reproduced in Dauban, Les Prisons (1870), and 
Wallon, La Terreur, vol. ii. The registers of several of the prisons, notably of the 
Abhaye and La Force at the date of the massacres, and of the Conciergerie, were 
dest-oyed by the Commune in 1871 (Wallon, ii. 3, note) ; and all attempt to 
estimate accurately the number of prisoners at any given time must be abandoned.] 


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. " Quoij Messieurs," cry the two 
Citoyens, " you don't smoke } Is the pipe disagreeable ? Est- 
ce que vous nefumez pas ? " But the Red Nightcaps have fled, 
with slight search : " Vous naimezpas la pipe?" cry the Citoyens, 
as their door slams-to again.^ 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 rifer. 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 jackals, 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 threescore ; ' that is his maximuvi. Nightly come 
his Tumbrils to the Luxembourg, with the fatal Roll-call ; list 
of the Fournee of tomorrow. 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 Concier- 
gerie ; through the Palais misnamed of Justice, to the Guillotine, 

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 

1 Maison d'ArrSt de Port- Libre, par Coittant, &c. (M6moires sur les Prisons, ii.) 
[pp. 101-2]. 


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 
further : 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 ; shows him, with out- 
stretched 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.^ 

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.^ Vive la R6publique 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- 

1 Montgaillard, iv. 218 ; Riouffe, p. 273. [A wrong reference ; Riouffe, in the 
supplement to his Mhnoires quoted in Dauban (Prisons, p. 126), gives the story of 
this taking place in the Conciergerie, cell No. 13. In the M^moires d'un Detenu, 
i.e., the first edition of Riouffe (Paris, I'An III.), the story is told on pp. 151-3, 
but it is not in Berville and Barri^re's edition, which Carlyle generally used,] 

2 Voyage de Cent Trente-deux Nantais, Prisons, ii. 288-335. [There are two 
accounts of this journey given, the first written at Paris and signed by ' ten citizens : ' 
it is dated in the Mimoires sur les Prisons ' 30 Thermidor ' (Aug, 17th) ; but the last 
two pages are a postscript, and Campardon (ii, 245) restores the real date, ' ist 
Messidor ' (June 29th). The second account, of only a few pages (Prisons, ii, 328), 
is by Citizen Desbouchauds. The 132 Nantais left Nantes Nov, 27th '93, and 
reached Paris Jan. 5th '94, reduced to 97, They were lodged at the Mairie and 
in two days transferred to the Conciergerie {vid. infr., iii. 220).] 


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 ! ' i — How long, O Lord ! 

Not forever ; no. All Anarchy, all Evil, Injustice, is, by the 
nature of it, dragons-teeth ; suicidal, and cannot endure. 


It is very remarkable, indeed, that since the Etre-Supr&me 
Feast, and the sublime continued harangues on it, which Billaud 

1 Relation de ce qu'ont souffert pour la Religion les pretres Franfais inserment^s, 
d6port6s en 1794, dans la rade de I'ile d'Aix (Prisons, ii. 387-485). [The Isle of 
Aix is off the mouth of the Charente near Rochefort. The anonymous author says 
that three-fourths of the priests died in eleven months (from Feb. '94 to Jan. '95).] 

2 [The best and clearest account of Thermidor is to be found in M. d'H^ricault's 
La Revolution de Thermidor (Paris, 1878). It is based on a great many contem- 
porary works, notably on the really trustworthy memoirs of three members of 
the marais, Daunou, Thibaudeau and Durand-Maillane (afterwards leaders in the 
Convention), on the evidence which came out at the subsequent state trials, on 
researches in the Archives, as well as on the less trustworthy Rapport of Courtois 
on the events of 9th Thermidor, and his two (mutilated) reports of the papers found 
at Robespierre's house; on the Hist, de la Conjuration de M. Robespierre, by 
Montjoie (an IV.); on the Crimes de sept inembres des Anciens Comitis, by 
Lecointre, and the answers of those members to Lecointre ; on the Report of 
Saladin, in the name of the Committee of 21 {i.e.^ the report against Billaud, CoUot 
and Bar^re, March '95) ; and on Dussault's Fragment pour servir a VHistoire de 
la Conv. Nat. (an III.). 

M. d'H^ricault admits the difficulty of reconciling the various stories (even the 
exact course of events on July 27th is difficult to ascertain), but I think that 
he explains many of the difficulties. Carlyle appears to have relied largely on 
the Moniteur, Vilate and the Continuators of Deux Amis. 

The threads of the combination of the remnants of the other parties against 
Robespierre are not easy to unravel ; and perhaps in such a state of society, where 
no man could trust nnother, one ought not to speak of parties at all, but at most of 
groups of individuals. Each of the Montagnards had his own personal reasons for 
hatred or for fear ; but undoubtedly the coalition of Billaud and CoUot with the 
Dantonists comes as a surprise to us ; it is probable, however, as I have stated 
below, that they expected to dominate the Jacobin Club in place of Robespierre when 
he should be overthrown. The game of the old Septemberers and Hdbertists had 
been entirely checked by Robespierre, and some of them may have looked to revive 
it under the leadership of Billaud ; some of them again, especially Panis, were 
attached to the memory of Danton. But the real explanation may after all be 
best sought in the peculiar talents of Fouch^ for every kind of dark intrigue and 
combination ; the materials he had to work upon being cupidity, fear and hatred, 
he might be trusted to make an effective use of them.] 


feared would become a bore to him, Robespierre has gone little 
to Committee: but held himself apart, as if in a kind of pet.i 
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 SHretd G&nerale, 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. Sen- 
hora Fontenai, bom Cabarus, the fair Proserpine whom Represen- 
tative 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 

1 [Robespierre's position became more and more awkward through June and July ; 
he was hated and despised by his colleagues in the Committee ; he bored them to 
extinction as well, but his prestige in the Convention and at the Jacobins was useful 
to them. What faculty of decision he ever possessed he appears to have lost in 
this period of loneliness. He desired to govern ? Yes, but he desired far more to 
head the opposition to government : he knew enough of the foul mob which he 
had idolised, to know that the man in opposition always has the hearts of the 
" people." And if it came to governing he probably found in himself no faculty 
for it {c/. Gros, p. 8i): d'H^ricault thinks, probably with truth, that he did not 
wish to be dictator in name, and did not want a new May 31st, but did want a 
gradual elimination of all persons hostile to himself in the Convention and the 
Committees : he would preserve a phantom Convention and a phantom Committee 
to veil his own real power (d'H^ricault, p. 49). 

Too much has been made of the story of his retirement : he signed many acts of 
Committee during the alleged period of retirement ; but only once (July 22nd) 
attended a meeting of the two Committees united : probably he used to come to 
the Sa/uf only late at night, and when there were only one or two members there 
(d'Hdricault, p. 252 j^^.).] 

2 [June 15th,] 

^ [The Report was undoubtedly a feeler in the direction of inculpating Robes- 
pierre, but he came to the Committee, and with some difficulty succeeded in 
preventing the accused persons (5 in number) from being sent to the Tribunal, and 
in stifling all further inquiry as to their accomplices (d'H^ricault, p. 248).] 

4Qune 14th.] 


Robespierre growled at him words of omen from the Convention 
Tribune. And now his fair Cabarus, hit by denunciation, Hes 
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 Conven- 
tion, not at all to Committee ; speaks nothing except to his 
Jacobin House of Lords, amid his body-guard of Tappe-durs. 
These ' forty-days,' for we are now far in July, he has not showed 
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,' ^ fruit of extreme bile : the lamentablest seagreen 
Chimera that walks the Earth that July ! O hapless Chimera ; 
for thou too hadst a life, and heart of flesh, — what is this that 
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 

^[Vid. supr., iii, 123.] 

2[Couthon was less present (owing to his ill health) than any other member of 
the Committee : Saint- Just and Lebas were absent (with the Army of the North) 
from April 29th to June 29th (except for five days in Prairial). There had already 
been two outbursts in the Committee against Robespierre, one on the part of 
Carnot against his secret police, who had arrested two of Carnot's clerks, and one 
on the part of Billaud about the law of Prairial {vid. supr., iii. 194). Messidor (June 
19th — July i8th) was quiet, except for Jourdan's victories in the Netherlands and 
the increasing rapidity of the guillotine, but towards the end of that month Fouch6, 
the real wire-puller, began to organise his party, always keeping himself out of sight. 
The two Committees, if united, might have struck the blow themselves, but they 
were not united ; many of them were cowards, and many of them feared that, 
on the overthrow of the system of Terror, they themselves would be called to 
account. Hence the lead fell to the Montagnards outside the Committees, and 
these had no choice but to win over the marais, which on this occasion Robespierre 
omitted to conciUate (d'H^ricault, p. 271 sqq.).] 

3 Deux Amis, xii. 347-73. 


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 Eti-e Supreme ; — and so, through seas of blood, 
to Equahty, 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 Conven- 
tionals, rebellious Talliens, Billauds, to whom with my Eire 
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 7vhat his schemes or his thoughts were will never 
be known to man. 

New Catacombs, some say, are digging for a huge simultaneous 
butchery. Q)nvention to be butchered, down to the right pitch, 
by General Henriot and Company : Jacobin House of Lords made 
dominant ; and Robespierre Dictator. ^ 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.^ But at this dinner 
we speak of, the day being so hot, it is said, the guests all stript 

1 Deux Amis, xii. 350-8. 

2 See Vilate [p. 184. The story of Barere's Maison de Plaisance at Clichy, to 
which Voulland and Vadier had the entrie and to which Bar^re retired twice in the 
decade, is not in itself improbable, but rests solely on Vilate. Macaulay in his 
famous Essay on Barere says it has ' often been repeated,' but I know of no good 
authority for it.] 


their coats, and left them in the drawing-room: whereupon 
Camot ghded out ; groped in Robespierre's pocket ; found a hst 
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 you now must croak or die ! Councils are held, with word 
and beck ; nocturnal, mysterious as death. Does not a feline 
MaximiUen 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 hell the caO 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, Bour- 
dons, 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 ; SUreU, Salut Committees themselves in- 
fected ; 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 

i[The struggle really entered its final stage on July 19th (ist Thermidor) with 
the arrest of Vilate and Naulin (juror and judge of Tribunal Rdvolutionnaire), on a 
report of Barere's, and with the acquittal of Rousselin (an enemy of Robespierre) at 
the Tribunal. On 20th there was a meeting of the two Committees united, the result 
of which seems to have been unfavourable to Robespierre : but on 22nd at a similar 
meeting, at which Robespierre was present, the ^'a/z^/P/fif/^/zV reconciled itself with him 
to the prejudice of the Sdi-etd Gdndrale : it was at this meeting that Saint-Just proposed 
a practical dictatorship in Robespierre's hands, and the Committees did not dare 
to oppose ; Saint-Just was intrusted with the drawing up of a report on the State of 
the Nation, which should include some such proposal (d'H6ricault, p. 340 se/q. ). Ac- 
cording to Billaud {Rlponse a Lecointre), Robespierre named thirty members of the 
Convention who must die at once. The StireU Ginirale was terrified at the result, 
and so were the Montagnards. On 24th Carnot adroitly got a number of the 
cannons belonging to the Sections of Paris sent to the front (and thus deprived 
Hanriot of a good deal of material for a new May 31st), but this was angrily criticised 
at the Jacobins as an ' insult to Paris.' Also on 24th there was a meeting of the 
two Committees, but the secret of their deliberations has never transpired. On 
the 25th there was a petition of the Jacobins to the Convention denouncing the 
enemies of Robespierre ; but not naming any leaders ; CoUot (President of the 
Convention that day) and Harare promised them satisfaction (ibid, 352 sqq.W 


sings the prophetic voice ; into i^s Convention sounding-board.^ 
The old song this : but today, 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 fnght. But mutiny in a Robespierre Convention, 
above all, — it is Hke 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, 
tonight, produce his Henriot and Company, and get his work 

1 [It is impossible to make much of this speech of Robespierre [see Stephens' 
Orators, i. 423, where it occupies 43 pages), but note that he says, (i.) all the surviv- 
ing members of Danton's and Hubert's factions are being ' caressed by some people ' 
{i.e. , the Committees) ; (ii.) he does mention one or two names, Cambon, Mallarm^, 
Ramel ; (iii. ) he says that ' the splendid victories of which you are being told in 
splendid language ' (one for Barere) ' are a myth, the Army is really being betrayed '.] 

2 [Here Carlyle is wrong ; the printing was all that Lecointre moved ' without 
sending to the Committee to be examined : ' it was Couthon who moved the sending 
to all Departments ; this re-provoked the discussion, and the vote was rescinded. 
Vadier then attacked Robespierre, followed by Andr6 Dumont, Billaud, Panis and 
Charlier in the same direction ; Freron made the last and boldest speech and 
demanded the repeal of the law of 22nd Prairial ; the Convention rose at 5 P.M. 
(d'H^ricault, p. 376^^^.).] 


done by them, he and Sansculottism may still subsist some time ; 
if not, probably not. Oliver Cromwell, when that Agitator 
Sergeant 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 resolu- 
tion, 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 thou- 
sand 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 

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, CoUot 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 

^ [This probably refers to the execution — after trial by Court-Martial and not by 
Oliver's own hand — of Arnald at Corkbush field, Nov. 15th 1647 (Carlyle, Cromwell, 
i. 266). There is no evidence for Cromwell having shot any one himself, but 
" Cromwell rode along the ranks . . . dashed among the mutineers with his sword 
drawn." {See Gardiner, Hist, of the Great Civil War, iii. 254.)] 


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 show it them, 
at 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 Silrete and Saliit ; 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 Jaco- 
bins are getting ready. 



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 

i[The Committee met at lo P.M. and sat till 5 A.M. on the night 26th — 27th; 
Carlyle is correct about the quarrel between Saint-Just and Collot at i a.m. ; how- 
ever Saint-Just did not go out, but went on quietly writing his speech for the next 
day (d'H^ricault, p. 397 sqq.). 

Fr6ron vainly endeavoured, with Lecointre and Cambon, to get into the Com- 
mittee room to urge the arrest of Hanriot.] 

2 [July 27th. Tallien, Barras and Fr^ron dined with Mme St. Brice on 26th and 
swore on a bottle of champagne that they would lead the attack next day(d'H^ricault, 
P- 391)-] 

3 [Both the Committee and the Convention met at 10 A.M. on 27th ; the heat 
was intense, and members walked up and down in the corridors to get cool ; it was 
from outside that Tallien perceived Saint-Just in the Tribune, and cried ' Voild / il 
faut en j^nir,' and then the members crowded in. Robespierre (who was dressed 

in his Etre-Supreme clothes) was sitting at the foot of the Tribune to show that he 
had broken with the Montagne ; Collot was in the chair (d'Hericault, p. 401 sqq.)."] 


passed in ; Saint- Just's sonorous voice being now audible from 
the Tribune, and the game of games begun. 

Saint-Just is verily reading that Report of his ; green Venge- 
ance, in the shape of Robespierre, watching nigh. Behold, 
however, Saint-Just has read but few sentences, when interrup- 
tion 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 ! Triumvirate ! " And the Salui 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 ^Eolus-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.i 

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 
bolus's Hall. Robespierre's frothing lips are grown ' blue ; ' his 
tongue dry, cleaving to the roof of his mouth. " The blood of 
1 Moniteur, Nos. 311, 312 ; D^bats, iv. 421-42 ; Deux Amis, xii. 390-411. 


Dantou chokes him," cry they. " Accusation ! Decree of Accusa- 
tion ! " 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. Triumvirate 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 regulate formalities ; hand Tinville his 
victims. It is noon; the iEolus-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, 

1 [Billaud and the rest of the Committee hurried in at once as soon as they heard 
that Saint-Just was in the Tribune ; and to Billaud fell the honour of first denouncmg 
Robespierre by name "as beinga woc/tW (d'H^ricault, p. 409) ; but his attack was 
weak, and it was Tallien's second speech that roused the Convention. S dance per- 
manente was decreed on his motion. Couthon and Saint-Just lost their nerve quite as 
much as Robespierre, and sat silent all day at the foot of the Tribune. At 2 p.m. came 
the cry for Barere, and Barere moved the suppression of the office of Commander of 
National Guard (Hanriot), and spoke covertly against Robespierre. At 2.30 Thuriot 
succeeded CoUot in the chair and took care that no Robespierrist should speak. 
At 4 Louchet demanded a decree of accusation against Robespierre, and the Right 
and Centre rose as one man ; Robespierre was taken out of the Convention in 
custody a little after 4 p.m. At 5 it seemed all over and many members left the 
Convention {ibid. 412 sqq.).'\ 

VOL. III. 14 


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.^ 

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 Gen- 
darmes, earnestly pleading and drawing sabre, seize this Henriot ; 
get the Henriot Gendarmes persuaded not to fight ; get Robes- 
pierre 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 o'clock ? ' 

An exhausted Convention did it ; and repented it.^ The end 
was not come ; only the end of the second-act. Hark, while ex- 
hausted 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 Tuile- 
ries Committee-room ; and does deliver him I 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 
showed his Municipal order, durst not, on pain of his life, admit 
any Prisoner ; the Robespierre Hackney-coaches, in this confused 
jangle and whirl of uncertain Gendarmes, have floated safe — into 

1 Precis des 6v6nemens du Neuf Thermidor ; par C. A. M6da, ancien Gendarme 
(Paris, 1825). 

2 [The ease of the victory nearly lost it all again, for the Convention left the 
Comtnune time to act. Though the orders for the arrest of Robespierre's friends 
arrived one by one at iheHotel-de-Ville, theyiwere not quickly obeyed, and Hanriot 
was actually not arrested till 7.30 P.M. (d'H^ricault 427).] 

3 [The accused wei'e all arrested, and sent to various prisons ; Robespierre v^^as 
taken to the Luxembourg ax 5 p.m., where the gaoler refused to receive him, and 
from thence to the Mairie, where the police officials greeted him with acclaim (8.30 
P.M.) ; from that hour till 11 p.m., when he arrived at the H6tel-de- Ville, we know 
nothing of what he was doing : probably he was hesitating to " disobey the orders 
of justice," lest he should be outlawed by the Convention. At the Mairie he was 
a prisoner, but was among friends, and would be let go any moment he chose 
(d'H^ricault, p. 458 sqq.). At length at 11 P.M., after repeated entreaties, on hear- 
ing the Commune had organised a good Insurrection in his favour, he yielded and 
went to the H6tel-de-ViUe.'\ 


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 tlie 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 hour is come, to die at our 
post ! " " Oui" answer one and all : " We swear it ! " It is no 
rhodomontade, this time, but a sad fact and necessity ; unless we 
do at our posts, we must verily die. Swift therefore, Robespierre, 
Henriot, the Municipality, are declared Rebels ; put Hors la Loi, 
Out of Law. Better still, we appoint Barras Commandant of what 
Armed -force is to be had ; send Missionary Representatives to all 
Sections and quarters, to preach, and raise force ; ^ will die at 
least with harness on our back. 

What a distracted City ; men riding and running, reporting and 
hearsaying ; the Hour clearly in travail, — child not to be named 
till bom ! The poor Prisoners in the Luxembourg hear the 
rumour ; tremble for a new September. They see men making 

1 [The Commune were the better prepared to act, for it is certain that from the 
night of 26th they had prepared a general attack on the Convention under Hanriot. 
Hanriot was delivered from prison at 9 p.m., and everything looked favourable for 
Robespierre. The tocsin was rung from 6 till 10, and by 10 P.M. a large number of 
Hanriot's men had assembled on the Grtve, seventeen out of forty-eight Sections 
sending pretty well their full complement of men. The Commune ordered the arrest 
of the two Great Committees and of all the leaders of the Montagne : if Hanriot 
had advanced on the Convention, say at 10 P.M., he would have won ; but Robes- 
pierre's arrival was really fatal to his cause : even at that hour he dreaded Hanriot 
and militarism. Saint-Just and Lebas were the last to arrive at the H6tel-de- Ville 
(shortly before midnight) ; by that time it had begun to rain and the Sections were 
getting weary of being under arms (d'H^ricault, p. 462 sqq.W 

2 [The Convention, (remember a fair number were left to keep Siance perma- 
nente), met in force again at 7 P.M. : at 10 Barras had been appointed Commander 
and had ridden out with only twelve followers to rally respectable Paris to the de- 
fence of the Convention. The rain increased, and at midnight it was pouring in 
torrents, but by i A.M. Barras had collected some 6,000 men on the Carrousel, 
chiefly from Sections Tuileries, Halles, Picques^ and Filles St. Thomas ; at mid- 
night the decree outlawing Robespierre had been published in the streets {ibid. 470 


signals to them, on skylights and roofs, apparently signals of 
hope ; cannot in the least make out what it is.^ We observe, 
however, in the eventide, as usual,^ the Death-tumbrils faring 
Southeastward, through Saint- Antoine, towards their Barrier du 
Trone. Saint- Antoine' s tough bowels melt; Saint- Antoine sur- 
rounds the Tumbrils ; says. It shall not be. O Heavens, why 
should it! Henriot and Gendarmes, scouring the streets that 
way, bellow, with waved sabres, that it must. Quit hope, ye poor 
Doomed ! ^ The Tumbrils move on. 

But in this set of Tumbrils there are two other things notable : 
one notable person ; and one want of a notable person. The 
notable person is Lieutenant -General Loiserolles, a nobleman by 
birth and by nature ; laying down his life here for his son. In 
the Prison of Saint- Lazare, the night before last, hurrying to the 
Grate to hear the Death-list read, he caught the name of his son. 
The son was asleep at the moment. " I am Loiserolles," * cried 
the old man : at Tinville's bar, an error in the Christian name is 
little ; small objection was made. — The want of the notable person, 
again, is that of Deputy Paine ! Paine has sat in the Luxem- 
bourg since January ; and seemed forgotten ; but Fouquier had 
pricked him at last. The Turnkey, List in hand, is marking with 
chalk the outer doors of to-morrow's Founi&e.^ Paine's outer door 

1 M6moires sur les Prisons, ii. 277. ^j-^ p.m.] 

3 [Forty-five persons were in that day's batch : in one of the depositions against 
Fouquier in May '95 it is stated that a letter was written to him suggesting that, 
as there were troubles in Paris, it would be better to defer execution ; Fouquier 
answered 'Nothing must interrupt the course of justice.' But the same day 
Dumas was arrested on the seat of judgment (Campardon, i. 419-20).] 

^ [Loizerolles was guillotined on 26th, not on 27th. M. Campardon is obliged 
to spoil the pretty story, though not wholly. It was Loizerolles pei-e who was de- 
nounced by spies as being a " conspirator in the prison" (of Saint- Lazare), and it 
was he who was sent for on 26th : but the turnkey when asked for the register gave 
the name, age and quality of the son instead, and these appeared on the indictment : 
being a manifest error they were changed by the President of the Tribunal (Coffin- 
hall) to those of the father, whose person had been sent to the Conciergerie, though 
under the description of his son. The son afterwards believed that his father had 
sacrificed himself for him, and gave evidence to that effect at Fouquier's trial ; but 
Fouquier was able to prove the denunciation of the father by his spies, and so to 
clear the Tribunal of the worst part of the charge (Campardon, i. 414 ; ii, 182).] 

^ [I find no accurate confirmation of this story ; Paine was arrested Dec. 28th 
'93, and liberated Nov. 6th '94 (M. D. Conway, Life of Tom Paine, 104, 151). Mr. 
Conway repeats the story (pp. 131-2), but derives it from an old life of Paine by J. 
Cheethara (London, 1817), pp. 159-60 (whence Carlyle probably took it, for it is not 


happened to be open, turned back on the wall ; the Turnkey 
marked it on the side next him, and hurried on : another Turn- 
key came, and shut it ; no chalk-mark now visible, the Foum&e 
went without Paine. Paine's life lay not there. — 

Our fifth-act of this natural Greek Drama, with its natural 
unities, can only be painted in gross ; somewhat as that antique 
Painter, driven desperate, did the foam. For through this blessed 
July night, there is clangour, confusion very great, of marching 
troops ; of Sections going this way. Sections going that ; of Mis- 
sionary Representatives reading Proclamations by torchlight ; 
Missionary Legendre, who has raised force somewhere, emptying 
out the Jacobins, and flinging their key on the Convention table : 
" I have locked their door ; ^ it shall be Virtue that reopens it." 
Paris, we say, is set against itself, rushing confused, as Ocean- 
currents do ; a huge Mahlstrom, sounding there, under cloud of 
night. Convention sits permanent on this hand ; Municipality 
most permanent on that. The poor prisoners hear tocsin and 
rumour ; strive to bethink them of the signals apparently of hope. 
Meek continual Twilight streaming up, which will be Dawn and 
a Tomorrow, silvers the Northern hem of Night ; it wends and 
wends there, that meek brightness, like a silent prophecy, along 
the great ring-dial of the Heaven. So still, eternal ! and on 
Earth all is confused shadow and conflict ; dissidence, tumultuous 
gloom and glare ; and ' Destiny as yet sits wavering, and shakes 
her doubtful urn.' 

About three in the morning, the dissident Armed Forces have 
met. Henriot's Armed Force stood ranked in the Place de Greve ; 
and now Barras's, which he has recruited, arrives there ; and they 

in Mhnoires sur les Prisons). Two separate accounts are given in these books, (i.) 
that Paine used to tell the story of the chalk mark in later years, saying that he 
knew nothing of it till afterwards, (ii.) that " in a letter to Washington " (Conway 
(p. 132) gives no date or verification of this) Paine attributed his being passed over 
to a violent fever from which he suffered at the time : the first thing he heard on 
his recovery was the fall of Robespierre, but he had ' good reason to believe ' that 
he was included in a list of 200 proscribed, etc. The best evidence adduced in 
favour of the story is that Barere had evidently signed some sort of warrant against 
Paine, for he apologised to him for it afterwards {ibid. p. 134).] 

'^{Vid. infr., iii. 221. The Jacobins were in Stance permanente, but their Hall 
was not crowded, when Legendre appeared with two pistols and ten followers ; 
Vivier, who was presiding, was one of the first to run away (d' H^ricault, 505).] 


front each other, cannon bristling against cannon. Citoyens ! 
cries the voice of Discretion loudly enough. Before coming to 
bloodshed, to endless civil-war, hear the Convention Decree read : 
' Robespierre and all rebels Out of Law ! ' — Out of Law ? There 
is terror in the sound. Unarmed Citoyens disperse rapidly home. 
Municipal Cannoneers, in sudden whirl, anxiously unanimous, range 
themselves on the Convention side, with shouting. At which shout, 
Henriot descends from his upper room, far gone in drink as some 
say ; finds his Place de Greve empty ; the cannons' mouth turned 
towards him ; ^ and on the whole, — that it is now the catastrophe ! 
Stumbling in again, the wretched drunk-sobered Henriot an- 
nounces : "All is lost!" "Miserable, it is thou that hast lost 
it I " cry they ; and fling him, or else he flings himself, out of 
window : far enough down ; into masonwork and horror of cess- 
pool ; not into death but worse. Augustin Robespierre follows 
him ; with the like fate. Saint- Just, they say, called on Lebas 
to kill him ; who would not. Couthon crept under a table ; 
attempting to kill himself; not doing it. — On entering that 
Sanhedrim of Insurrection, we find all as good as extinct ; undone, 
ready for seizure. Robespierre was sitting on a chair, with pistol- 
shot blown through not his head but his under- jaw ; the suicidal 
hand had failed. ^ With prompt zeal, not without trouble, we 
gather these wrecked Conspirators ; fish up even Henriot and 

i[At 2 A.M. the police officers in the Mairie were arrested, and shortly after- 
wards the decree outlawing the Robespierrists was read to Hanriot's troops. 
Meanwhile Barras' troops had advanced to the Greve in two lines (by the Quais 
and by the Rue Saint-Honor^), had fraternised with and overpersuaded Hanriot's 
men, already half-hearted. At 2.30 p.m., there being still about 40 members of the 
Commune sitting, the cannons were pointed at the H6tel-de- Ville : then the Com- 
munards either tried to kill themselves, or awaited their arrest passively (d'H^ricault, 
p. 491 .r^^.).] 

2 M6da, p. 384. (M^da asserts that it was he who, with infinite courage, though 
in a lefthanded manner, shot Robespierre. M6da got promoted for his services of 
this night ; and died General and Baron. Few credited M^da, in what was other- 
wise incredible.) 

[There is no possibility of ascertaining exactly what happened in the upper 
room of the Hoiel-de- Ville. A. C. M^da, or rather Merda (killed in Russia 
1812, a Colonel not General), was a young man of 19 who had served in the paid 
National Guard of Paris and then entered the service of the Committee ; he after- 
wards became a brave soldier, but was extremely vain and boastful ; there is no 
reliance to be placed on the tract, and attempted suicide is the more probable 
explanation of Robespierre's wound ; Courtois, who at least is no worse witness 
than Merda, affirmed that he saw him shoot himself (Cam pardon, i. 423 ; d'H^ricault, 


Augustin, bleeding and foul ; pack them all, rudely enough, into 
carts ; and shall, before sunrise, have them safe under lock and 
key. Amid shoutings and embracings. 

Robespierre lay in an anteroom of the Convention Hall,^ while 
his Prison-escort was getting ready ; the mangled jaw bound up 
rudely with bloody linen : a spectacle to men. He lies stretched 
on a table, a deal-box his pillow ; the sheath of the pistol is still 
clenched convulsively in his hand. Men bully him, insult him : 
his eyes still indicate intelligence ; he speaks no word. ' He had- 
' on the sky-blue coat he had got made for the Feast of the Eire 
' Supreme ' — O Reader, can thy. hard heart hold out against that ? 
His trousers were nankeen ; the stockings had fallen down over 
the ankles. He spake no word more in this world. 

And so, at six in the morning, a victorious Convention adjourns. 
Report flies over Paris as on golden wings ; penetrates the Prisons ; 
irradiates the faces of those that were ready to perish : turnkeys 
and moutotis, fallen from their high estate, look mute and blue. 
It is the 28th day of July, called 10th of Thermidor, year 1794-. 

Fouquier had but to identify ; his Prisoners being already Out 
of Law. 2 At four in the afternoon, never before were the streets 
of Paris seen so crowded. From the Palais de Justice to the 
Place de la Revolution, for thither again go the Tumbrils this 
time, it is one dense stirring mass ; all windows crammed ; the 
very roofs and ridge-tiles budding forth human Curiosity, in 
strange gladness. The Death-tumbrils, with their motley Batch 
of Outlaws, some Twenty-three or so, from Maximilien to Mayor 
Fleuriot and Simon the Cordwainer, roll on. All eyes are on 

p. 497). L. Bourdon however presented Merda to the Convention on 28th as the 
hero of the day. The tract is in Berville and Barriere's collection ; it was written 
an IX., but not published until, by them, in 1825.] 

1 [Robespierre was made a sort of show of on the long journey from the HStel- 
de-Ville to the Tuileries ; he reached the Tuileries at 3.30 A.M. ; his wounds were 
dressed at 5 A.M. : he was sent to the Concicrgerie just after 10 A.M. {ibid. 501 

2 [Scellier presided at the identification ; Fouquier and his substitute Liendon 
appeared for the Government : twenty-one persons in all were condemned to death ; 
the next day (29tb) sixty-two ; and on 30th twelve ; total of the "tail" of Robes- 
pierre 95 (Campardon, i. 429). Coffinhall was the only one who succeeded in 
escaping, by hidings till Aug. 4th, when he was given up by a friend and executed 
on 5th.] 


Robespierre's Tumbril, where he, his jaw bound in dirty linen, 
with his half-dead Brother, and half-dead Henriot, lie shattered ; 
their ' seventeen hours ' of agony about to end. The Gendarmes 
point their swords at him, to show the people which is he. A 
woman springs on the Tumbril ; clutching the side of it with one 
hand ; waving the other Sibyl-like ; and exclaims : " The death 
of thee gladdens my very heart, m'enivre de joie ; " Robespierre 
opened his eyes ; '' Sc&Urat, go down to Hell, with the curses of 
all wives and mothers ! " — At the foot of the scaffold, they 
stretched him on the ground till his turn came. Lifted aloft, 
his eyes again opened ; caught the bloody axe. Samson wrenched 
the coat off him ; wrenched the dirty linen from his jaw : the 
jaw fell powerless, there burst from him a cry ; — hideous to hear 
and see. Samson, thou canst not be too quick ! 

Samson's work done, there bursts forth shout on shout of ap- 
plause. Shout, which prolongs itself not only over Paris, but over 
France, but over Europe, and down to this generation. Deservedly, 
and also undeservedly. O unhappiest Advocate of Arras, wert 
thou worse than other Advocates .? Stricter man, according to 
his Formula, to his Credo and his Cant, of probities, benevolences, 
pleasures-of-virtue, and such like, lived not in that age. A man 
fitted, in some luckier settled age, to have become one of those 
incorruptible barren Pattern- Figures, and have had marble-tablets 
and funeral-sermons. His poor landlord, the Cabinet-maker in 
the Rue Saint-Honore, loved him;i his Brother died for him. 
May God be merciful to him, and to us ! 

This is the end of the Reign of Terror ; new glorious Revolution 
named of Thermidor ; of Thermidor 9th, year 2 ; which being in- 
terpreted into old slave-style means 27th of July 1794. Terror 
is ended; and death in the Place de la Revolution, were the 
' Tail of Robespierre ' once executed ; which service Fouquier in 
large Batches is swiftly managing. 

^ [The whole family of the Duplays were imprisoned at Thermidor in Sainte- 
Pilagie, and Mme Duplay hanged herself there on July 29th ; Duplay had been 
made a juror of the Tribunal Rdvohitionnaire by Robespierre. There is a notice 
of the Duplays in prison in Dauban (Les Prisons, 381). Duplay was acquitted 
by the Tribunal May 6th '95 (Campardon, ii. 210).] 




How little did any one suppose that here was the end not of 
Robespierre only, but of the Revolution System itself ! Least of 
all did the mutinying Committee-men suppose it ; who had 
mutinied with no view whatever except to continue the National 
Regeneration with their own heads on their shoulders. ^ And 
yet so it verily was. The insigniificant stone they had struck 
out, so insignificant anywhere else, proved to be the Keystone ; 
the whole arch-work and edifice of Sansculottism began to loosen, 
to crack, to yawn ; and tumbled piecemeal, with considerable 
rapidity, plunge after plunge ; till the Abyss had swallowed it 
all, and in this upper world Sansculottism was no more. 

For despicable as Robespierre himself might be, the death of 
Robespierre was a signal at which great multitudes of men, struck 
dumb with terror heretofore, rose out of their hiding-places ; and, 

1 [Parties were fairly equally balanced in the Convention, but we may distinguish 
three groups of leaders in the months immediately following 9th Thermidor, (i. ) the 
Terrorists, Billaud, Collot and Barere ; (ii.) the Montagnards now more generally 
called Thermidorians, Legendre, Lecointre, Tallien, Fr^ron ; (iii. ) the Moddris, 
Boissy d'Anglas, Durand-Maillane. The two latter gradually coalesced against the 
Terrorists, but the preponderance tended more and more to rest in the Moderate 
section of the group, and new leaders such as Merlin and Sieyes appear at its head ; 
some few Montagnards^ e.g., Cambon, were inclined to coalesce rather with the 
Terrorists ; all this while public opinion was becoming more and more Constitutional- 
royalist, and not only the Thermidorians but the Convention itself was becoming 
more and more hateful to the mass of the Parisians. 

Carlyle had evidently got so tired of his task by this time that he runs everything 
together in a few short (but very brilliant) chapters. Yet one of the most interest- 
ing points in the ' Natural History of Revolutions,' of which the earlier part of his 
book is such a brilliant study, is the gradual establishment of the old order in new 
forms ; and in spite of the social disturbances of '95 it is to '95 quite as much as to 
the Consulate and the Empire that we ought to look for the consolidation of the 
'legal conquests of the Revolution:' while, from the point of view of foreign 
politics, the years '94 and '95 are of transcendent importance.] 


as it were, saw one another, how multitudinous they were ; and 
began speaking and complaining. They are countable by the 
thousand and the million ; who have suffered cruel wrong. Ever 
louder rises the plaint of such a multitude ; into a universal sound, 
into a universal continuous peal, of what they call Public Opinion. 
Camille had demanded a ' Committee of Mercy,' and could not 
get it ; but now the whole Nation resolves itself into a Com- 
mittee of Mercy : the Nation has tried Sansculottism, and is 
weary of it. Force of Public Opinion ! What King or Conven- 
tion can withstand it .'' You in vain struggle : the thing that is 
rejected as 'calumnious' today must pass as veracious with 
triumph another day : gods and men have declared that Sans- 
culottism cannot be. Sansculottism, on that Ninth night of 
Thermidor suicidally ' fractured its under-jaw ; ' and lies writhing, 
never to rise more. 

Through the next fifteen months, it is what we may call the 
death-agony of Sansculottism. Sansculottism, Anarchy of the 
Jean- Jacques Evangel, having now got deep enough, is to perish 
in a new singular system of Culottism and Arrangement. For 
Arrangement is indispensable to man ; Arrangement, were it 
grounded only on that old primary Evangel of Force, with 
Sceptre in the shape of Hammer ! Be there method, be there 
order, cry all men ; were it that of the Drill-sergeant ! More 
tolerable is the drilled Bayonet-rank, than that undrilled 
Guillotine, incalculable as the wind. — How Sansculottism, 
writhing in death-throes, strove some twice, or even three 
times, to get on its feet again ; but fell always, and was flung re- 
supine, the next instant ; and finally breathed out the life of it, and 
stirred no more : this we are now, from a due distance, with due 
brevity, to glance at ; and then — O Reader ! — Courage, I see land !: 

Two of the first acts of the Convention, very natural for it 
after this Thermidor, are to be specified here : the first is, 
renewal of the Governing Committees. ^ Both Silreie Gendrale 

^ [There was a tierce debate on July 29th — 31st on the subject of the renewal of 
the ComiU de Salut Public; but the first actual victory of the Thermidorians over 
the Committee men was the suspension of Tribunal Rivolutionnaire^ carried on 


and Salut Public, thinned by the Guillotine, need filling up : we 
naturally fill them up with Talliens, Frerons, victorious Thermi- 
dorian men. Still more to the purpose, we appoint that they 
shall, as Law directs, not in name only but in deed, be renewed 
and changed from period to period ; a fourth part of them going 
out monthly.! The Convention will no more lie under bondage 
of Committees, under terror of death ; but be a free Convention ; 
free to follow its own judgment, and the Force of Public Opinion. 
Not less natural is it to enact that Prisoners and Persons under 
Accusation shall have right to demand some ' Writ of Accusa- 
tion,' and see clearly what they are accused of. Very natural 
acts : the harbingers of hundreds not less so. 

For now Fouquier's trade, shackled by Writ of Accusation, 
and legal proof, is as good as gone ; effectual only against 
Robespierre's Tail.'^ The Prisons give up their Suspect ; emit 
them faster and faster. The Committees see themselves besieged 
with Prisoners' friends ; complain that they are hindered in 
their work : it is as with men rushing out of a crowded place ; 
and obstructing one another. ^ Turned are the tables : Prisoners 

July 29th, to date a fortnight later (on motion of Br^ard), in the teeth of Billaud. 
The power of the Committee would legally expire on Aug. 8th, and Barere proposed, 
as a via media, the choice of three Thermidorians to fill up the places of Robes- 
pierre, Couthon and Saint-Just. At last, after a fierce attack of the Moddris on the 
whole constitution of the Committee, it was carried to renew it by quarters monthly : 
the first six members elected(July 31st) were Br^ard, Eschass^riaux, Laloi, Thuriot, 
Treilhard, Tallien (nearly all Dantonists) ; these filled the places of H^rault (dead) 
J. Bon-Saint-Andr6, Prieur de la Marne (absent e7i mission), and of the three dead 
Terrorists. During the month of August the powers of the Committee were very 
much curtailed by various votes of the Convention. Any member might be re- 
elected to it after a month's exclusion, and, during the remaining life of the Con- 
vention, we find some sixty persons altogether having seats in it at different times : 
but those most often re-elected were Merlin of Douai, Cambac^res, Br6ard, Delmas, 
Fourcroy, Treilhard, Sieyes, Rewbell, Boissy d'Anglas, Tallien, Debry, Aubry, 
Dubois-Cranc6. Carnot is the only member of the Great Committee who was ever 
re-elected (Nov. 5th '94 — March '95) {see Gros, 121 sqq.).'] 

1 [July 31st.] 


2 [Aug. loth. Fouquier had been decreed accused on Aug. ist on Frt^ron's 
motion, and the Tribunal Rivolution?iaire was suspended on 13th : Fouquier gave 
himself up at the Conciergerie ; he demanded to be heard at the bar of the Convention 
(to reveal important secrets), and was heard on Aug. 8th ; he had nothing to reveal, 
and was sent back to prison (Campardon, i. 431, sqq.). This was followed by a 
proposition of Merlin of Douai to continue the Tribjinal, but with a completely 
new set of judges and jurors, and to repeal the law of 22 Prairial (carried).] 

3 [There were still, says Aulard (Lavisse et Rambaud, Hist. G6n. viii. 216) 5,261 
prisoners on Sept. 6th, and 4,445 on Oct. 7th, but these were principally royalists : 
as the Mod^rds gained power during the year III. nearly every one was let out.] 


pouring out in floods ; Jailors, Moutons and the Tail of Robes- 
pierre going now whither they were wont to send ! — The Hun- 
dred and thirty-two Nantese Republicans, whom we saw marching 
in irons, have arrived ; shrunk to Ninety-four, the fifth man of 
them choked by the road. They arrive : and suddenly find 
themselves not pleaders for life, but denouncers to death. ^ 
Their Trial is for acquittal, and more. As the voice of a trum- 
pet, their testimony sounds far and wide, mere atrocities of a 
Reign of Terror. For a space of nineteen days ; with all solem- 
nity and publicity. 2 Representative Carrier, Company of Marat ; 
Noyadings, Loire Marriages, things done in darkness, come forth 
into light : clear is the voice of these poor resuscitated Nantese ; 
and Journals, and Speech, and universal Committee of Mercy 
reverberate it loud enough, into all ears and hearts. Deputation 
arrives from Arras ; denouncing the atrocities of Representative 
Lebon. A tamed Convention loves its own life : yet what help ? 
Representative Lebon, Representative Carrier must wend towards 
the Revolutionary Tribunal ; ^ struggle and delay as we will, the 
cry of a Nation pursues them louder and louder. Them also 
Tinville must abolish ; — if indeed Tinville himself be not 

We must note moreover the decrepit condition into which 
a once omnipotent Mother- Society has fallen, Legendre flung 
her keys on the Convention table, that Thermidor night ; her 
President was guillotined with Robespierre. The once mighty 
Mother came, some time after, with a subdued countenance, 

i[Carlyle makes a strange mistake : they arrived in Paris on Jan. '94 and were 
not brought to trial till Sept. 7th ; why they were kept in prison so long is a 
mystery, but we know that the Committee had been discontented with Carrier (z/?</. 
supr. , iii. 133) ; Fouquier asserted at his own trial that the depositions of accusation 
sent with these men appeared to him insufficient, and that he had wished to save 
their Hves. (Campardon, ii. 13.)] 

2 [The trial lasted three weeks. Carrier was called as a witness, but was practic- 
ally put upon his own trial {see especially the dialogue between him and Ph^lippes, 
quoted in Campardon (ii. 21)). It was followed by the trial of the Revolutionary Com- 
mittee of Nantes, Oct. i6th ; of whom two were condemned to death, and thirty 
acquitted : but these were re-imprisoned immediately afterwards. During the trial 
of the Revolutionary Committee Carrier was brought to trial also (Nov. 27th), after 
a report by a Committee of 21 members of the Convention, and on Dec. i6th 
he was executed.] 

'[Lebon was not brought before the Tribunal Rdvolutioymaire at all, but before 
the Criminal Tribunal of his Department at Amiens, and executed Oct. i8th '95.] 


begging back her keys : the keys were restored her ; ^ but the 
strength could not be restored her ; the strength had departed 
forever. Alas, one's day is done. Vain that the Tribune in 
mid-air sounds as of old : to the general ear it has become 
a horror, and even a weariness. By and by, Affiliation is pro- 
hibited : 2 the mighty mother sees herself suddenly childless ; 
mourns as so hoarse a Rachel may.^ 

The Revolutionary Committees, without Suspects to prey 
upon, perish fast ; as it were, of famine. In Paris the old Forty- 
eight of them are reduced to Twelve ; their Forty sous are 
abolished : yet a little while, and Revolutionary Committees are 
no more.* Maximum will be abolished ; let Sansculottism find 
food where it can. Neither is there now any Municipality ; any 
centre at the Townhall. Mayor Fleuriot and Company perished ; 
whom we shall not be in haste to replace. The Townhall re- 
mains in a broken submissive state ; knows not well what it is 
growing to ; knows only that it is grown weak, and must obey. 
What if we should split Paris into, say, a Dozen separate 
Municipalities ; incapable of concert ! The Sections were thus 
rendered safe to act with : — or indeed might not the Sections 
themselves be abolished.'' You had then merely your Twelve 
manageable pacific Townships, without centre or subdivision,^ 
and sacred right of Insurrection fell into abeyance ! 

1 [Aug. 4th.] 2[0ct. i6th.] 

3 [The Jacobins were allowed to sit again on Aug. 4th, the Thermidorians hoping 
to dominate them after an dpuration ; but Billaud and Collot, especially the 
former, at once found support in the Club ; and so, after a report on Oct. i6th, all 
affiliation of clubs, and all street placards signed by Clubs were prohibited, all existing 
Clubs were ordered to send in a list of their members, and on Nov. 12th the Jacobin 
Club was finally closed. Some of the old members of the club formed themselves 
into the SocWi du Panthdon, and for a short time in '95 actually met in the old 
Jacobin Convent. ^See Aulard in R^v. Fr. xxvi. 392 ; Schmidt, ii. 234.)] 

•* Dec. 24th 1794 ; Monileur, No. 97. [The Law of the 40 sous was repealed 
Aug. 22nd, Cambon having reported that many people drew their pay without 
attending. When the Revolutionary Committees were reduced to 12, the Section 
Assemblies were also reduced to one per decade (Schmidt, ii. 228 and 254). Schmidt 
collects a lot of opinion expressed in the streets for and against the abolition of 
the Maxim7im (chiefly in favour of abolition), all tending to show how great was the 
scarcity of food, wood and coal {idid. 257).] 

5 October 1795 (Dulaure, viii. 441-2). [From July 27th — Aug. 31st '94 there was no 
Municipal organisation of Paris, and only a provisional police : on Aug. 31st twelve 
commissions of Municipal Government were created, the members of which were 
nominated by the Convention {i.e. , by the Committee) ; {see R€v. Fr. xxxiii. 253, 


So much is getting abolished ; fleeting swiftly into the Inane. 
For the Press speaks, and the human tongue ; Journals, heavy 
and light, in Philippic and Burlesque : a renegade Fr^ron, a 
renegade Prudhomme, loud they as ever, only the contrary way. 
And Ci-devants show themselves, almost parade themselves ; 
resuscitated as from death- sleep ; publish what death-pains they 
have had. The very Frogs of the Marsh croak with emphasis. 
Your protesting Seventy-three shall, with a struggle, be emitted 
out of Prison,^ back to their seats ; your Louvets, Isnards, 
Lanjuinais, and wrecks of Girondism, recalled from their haylofts, 
and caves in Switzerland, will resume their place in the Conven- 
tion : natural foes of Terror ! ^ 

Thermidorian Talliens, and mere foes of Terror, rule in this 
Convention, and out of it. The compressed Mountain shrinks 
silent more and more. Moderatism rises louder and louder : not 
as a tempest, with threatenings ; say rather, as the rushing of a 
mighty organ-blast, and melodious deafening Force of Public 
Opinion, from the Twenty-five million windpipes of a Nation all 
in Committee of Mercy : which how shall any detached body of 
individuals withstand } 


How, above all, shall a poor National Convention withstand it } 
In this poor National Convention, broken, bewildered by long 
terror, perturbations and guillotinement, there is no Pilot, there 
is not now even a Danton, who could undertake to steer you any- 

i[Dec. 8th.] 

2 Deux Amis, xiii. 3-39. [March 8th '95. This measure divided the Convention 
more sharply than before. Tallien had no principles, but Merlin and the true 
Montagnards naturally disliked a disavowal of May 31st ; the restoration of the 
Gironde however turned the balance completely in favour of the Modirh. In all, 
15 Girondists and Lanjuinais (whom, as I have said, one must not label as a 
Girondist) were restored on March 8th : among the 73 the most notable were 
Saladin, Mercier and Daunou. 

Much more to the point was the restoration of the older administrators in the 
government offices (many of whom had been in prison), not merely the men of 
1791, but of the Ancien Rdgime : e.g., Mallet hears in November that Rayneval, 
one of Montmorin's best Foreign-Office clerks, is likely to be made Foreign 
Minister (Mallet, ii. 118).] 


whither, in such press of weather. The utmost a bewildered 
Convention can do, is to veer, and trim, and try to keep itself 
steady ; and rush, undrowned, before the wind. Needless to 
struggle ; to fling helm a-lee, and make 'bout ship ! A bewildered 
Convention sails not in the teeth of the wind ; but is rapidly 
blown round again. So strong is the wind, we say; and so 
changed ; blowing fresher and fresher, as from the sweet South- 
west ; your devastating Northeasters, and wild Tornado-gusts of 
Terror, blown utterly out ! All Sansculottic things are passing 
away ; all things are becoming Culottic.^ 

Do but look at the cut of clothes ; that light visible Result, 
significant of a thousand things which are not so visible. In 
winter 1 793, men went in red nightcap ; Municipals themselves 
in sabots ; the very Citoyennes had to petition against such head- 
gear. But now in this winter 1 794^, where is the red nightcap ? 
With the things beyond the Flood. Your moneyed Citoyen 
ponders in what elegantest style he shall dress himself ; whether 
he shall not even dress himself as the Free Peoples of Antiquity. 
The more adventurous Citoyenne has already done it. Behold her, 
that beautiful adventurous Citoyenne : in costume of the Ancient 
Greeks, such Greek as Painter David could teach ; her sweeping 
tresses snooded by glittering antique fillet ; bright-dyed tunic of 
the Greek women ; her little feet naked, as in Antique Statues, with 
mere sandals, and winding-strings of riband, — defying the frost ! 

There is such an effervescence of Luxury. For your Emigrant 
Ci-devants carried not their mansions and furnitures out of the 
country with them ; but left them standing here : and in the 
swift changes of property, what with money coined on the 
Place de la Revolution, what with Army-furnishings, sales of 
Emigrant Domains and Church Lands and King's Lands, and 

1 [Carlyle has drawn much of the rest of his book from Mercier (born 1740, died 
1814), of whom there is an excellent appreciation in the Rev. de la R6v. (xiv. 223), 
pointing out his colossal vanity, his contempt for the past, his cynical effrontery, his 
careful concealment of what principles he possessed : yet the man had wit and courage, 
and showed the latter in voting against the King's death and protesting against 
June 2nd. He had already written the ' Tableau de Paris,' and now, when restored 
to the Convention, he immediately set to work to make what a modern journalist 
would call " copy " out of the Revolution with ' Le Nouveau Paris '.] 


then with the Aladdin's-lamp of Agio in a time of Paper-money, 
such mansions have found new occupants. Old wine, drawn 
from Ci-devant bottles, descends new throats. Paris has swept 
herself, relighted herself; Salons, Soupers not Fraternal, beam 
once more with suitable effulgence, very singular in colour. The 
fair Cabarus is come out of Prison wedded to her red-gloomy 
Dis,i whom they say she treats too loftily : fair Cabarus gives the 
most brilliant soirees. ^ Round her is gathered a new Republican 
Army, of Citoyennes in sandals ; Ci-devants or other : what 
remnants soever of the old grace survive are rallied there. At 
her right-hand, in this cause, labours fair Josephine the Widow 
Beauhamais, though in straitened circumstances : intent, both of 
them, to blandish down the grimness of Republican austerity, 
and recivilise mankind. 

Recivilise, even as of old they were civilised : by witchery of 
the Orphic fiddle-bow, and Euterpean rhythm ; by the Graces, 
by the Smiles ! Thermidorian Deputies are there in those soirees : 
Editor Freron, Orateur du Peuple ^ ; Barras, who has known other 
dances than the Carmagnole. Grim Generals of the Republic 
are there ; in enormous horse-collar neckcloth, good against 
sabre-cuts ; the hair gathered all into one knot, ' flowing down 
behind, fixed with a comb/ Among which latter do we not 
recognise, once more, that little bronze-complexioned Artillery- 
Officer of Toulon, home from the Italian Wars ! Grim enough ; 
of lean, almost cruel aspect : for he has been in trouble, in ill 
health ; also in ill favour, as a man promoted, deservingly or not, 
by the Terrorists and Robespierre Junior. But does not Barras 
know him } Will not Barras speak a word for him } Yes, — if 
at any time it will serve Barras so to do. Somewhat 
forlorn of fortune, for the present, stands that Artillery- 

i[Dec. 26th.] 

2 [The ease with which the Moddris triumphed over the Thermidorians proper 
is well illustrated by the case of Tallien, who, though lending all his influence to 
the outcry against the Terrorists and being re-elected to the Committee in April '95, 
never possessed any power in it. His day was over when he returned from a mission 
to Quiberon, where he had persuaded Hoche to have the royalist prisoners mas- 
sacred, July '95 {vid. infr., iii. 231-2). 'La Cabarrus' divorced him in i8o2.[ 

•■'[The Orateur du Peuple {vid. supr., i. 384) was resumed by Fr6ron Sept. nth 
and continued to Aug. 12th '95.] 


Officer ; looks, with those deep earnest eyes of his, into a future 
as waste as the most. Taciturn ; yet with the strangest utter- 
ances in him, if you awaken him, which smite home, like light 
or lightning ; — on the whole, rather dangerous ? A ' dissocial ' 
man? Dissocial enough; a natural terror and horror to all 
Phantasms, being himself of the genus Reality ! He stands 
here, without work or outlook, in this forsaken manner ; — glances 
nevertheless, it would seem, at the kind glance of Josephine 
Beauharnais ; and, for the rest, with severe countenance, with 
open eyes, and closed lips, waits what will betide.^ 

That the Balls, therefore, have a new figure this winter, we 
can see. Not Carmagnoles, rude ' whirlblasts of rags,* as Mercier 
called them, ' precursors of storm and destruction : ' no, soft 
Ionic motions ; fit for the light sandal, and antique Grecian 
tunic ! Efflorescence of Luxury has come out : for men have 
wealth ; nay new-got wealth ; and under the Terror you durst 
not dance, except in rags. Among the innumerable kinds of 
Balls, let the hasty reader mark only this single one : the kind 
they call Victim Balls, Bals a Victime. The dancers, in choice 
costume, have all crape round the left arm : to be admitted, it 
needs that you be a Victime ; that you have lost a relative under 
the Terror. Peace to the Dead ; let us dance to their memory ! 
For in all ways one must dance. 

1 [Napoleon was created Brigadier-General of Artillery, Dec. 22nd '93, in re- 
cognition of his services at Toulon. Augustin Robespierre recommended his case 
particularly to the Committee in April '94, and he was invited to draw up a plan of 
campaign for Italy ; was sent to Genoa in July '94, with a view to concerting plans for 
the seizure of Piedmont ; on his return to Nice at the end of July, he learned the 
fall of Robespierre, and Saliceti, one of his previous patrons, accused him of being 
le faiseur des plans dii dictateur ; he was deprived and imprisoned Aug. 12th — 
29th '94 ; on Sept. 14th his rank of General was restored to him, and he was at- 
tached to a corps destined for the reconquest of Corsica from the English. This 
failing, he was out of employment and came to Paris May loth '95. At the end of 
the month he was attached as supernumerary to the Army of the West {i.e., to 
finish off La Vendue). It was then that Barras and Fr^ron, who had known him 
before Toulon, began to patronise him again, and saved him from having to go to 
the West in a subordinate capacity. Yet this again brought (Sept. 15th '95) his de- 
privation of rank, and it was not till Oct. 4th that Barras was able to give him the 
post of second in command of the Army of the Interior. It is pretty certain that, 
before the stroke of luck which came to him in Vend^miaire, Napoleon was not 
thinking of Josephine at all, but of D6sir6e Clary, afterwards Queen of Sweden. 
(Fournier, Nap. ler, i, 50-71.)] 

VOL. in. 15 


It is very remarkable, according to Mercier, under what 
varieties of figure this great business of dancing goes on. ' The 
' women/ says he, ' are Nymphs, Sultanas ; sometimes Minervas, 
' Junos, even Dianas. In lightly-unerring gyrations they swim 
' there ; with such earnestness of purpose ; with perfect silence, 
'so absorbed are they. What is singular,' continues he, Hhe 
' onlookers are as it were mingled with the dancers ; form, as it 
'were, a circumambient element round the different contre- 
' dances, yet without deranging them. It is rare, in fact, that 
'a Sultana in such circumstances experiences the smallest col- 
* lision. Her pretty foot darts down, an inch from mine ; she is 
' off again ; she is as a flash of light : but soon the measure recalls 
' her to the point she set out from. Like a glittering comet she 
' travels her ellipse ; revolving on herself, as by a double effect of 
'gravitation and attraction.' ^ Looking forward a little way, into 
Time, the same Mercier discerns Merveilleuses in 'flesh-coloured 
drawers ' with gold circlets ; mere dancing Houris of an artificial 
Mahomet's-Paradise : much too Mahometan. Montgaillard, 
with his splenetic eye, notes a no less strange thing ; that every 
fashionable Citoyenne you meet is in an interesting situation. 
Good Heavens, every ? Mere pillows and stuffing ! adds the 
acrid man ; — such in a time of depopulation by war and guillo- 
tine, being the fashion. 2 No further seek its merits to disclose. 

Behold also, instead of the old grim Tappe-durs of Robespierre, 
what new street-groups are these } Young men habited not in 
black-shag Carmagnole spencer, but in superfine habit carre, or 
spencer with rectangular tail appended to it ; ' square-tailed 
coat,' with elegant anti-guillotinish speciality of collar ; ' the 
hair plaited at the temples,' and knotted back, long-flowing, in 
military wise : young men of what they call the Muscadin or 
Dandy species ! Freron, in his fondness, names them Jeunesse 
Doree, Golden or Gilt Youth. They have come out, these Gilt 
Youths, in a kind of resuscitated state ; they wear crape round 
the left arm, such of them as were Victims. More, they carry 
clubs loaded with lead ; in an angry manner : any Tappe-dur, or 

^ Mercier, Nouveau Paris, iii. 138, 153. ^ Montgaillard, iv. 436-42. 


remnant of Jacobinism they may fall in with, shall fare the 
worse. They have suffered much : their friends guillotined ; 
their pleasures, frolics, superfine collars ruthlessly repressed: 
'ware now the base Red Nightcaps who did it ! Fair Cabarus 
and the Army of Greek sandals smile approval. In the TheMre 
Feydeau, ^ young Valour in square-tailed coat eyes Beauty in 
Greek sandals, and kindles by her glances : Down with Jacobin- 
ism ! No Jacobin hymn or demonstration, only Thermidorian 
ones, 2 shall be permitted here : we beat down Jacobinism with 
clubs loaded with lead. 

But let any one who has examined the Dandy nature, how 
petulant it is, especially in the gregarious state, think what an 
element, in sacred right of insurrection, this Gilt Youth was ! 
Broils and battery ; war without truce or measure ! Hateful is 
Sansculottism, as Death and Night. For indeed is not the Dandy 
culoftic, habilatory, by law of existence ; ' a cloth-animal ; one 
that lives, moves and has his being in cloth ? ' 

So goes it, waltzing, bickering ; fair Cabarus, by Orphic 
witchery, struggling to recivilise mankind. Not unsuccessfully, 
we hear. What utmost Republican grimness can resist Greek 
sandals, in Ionic motion, the very toes covered with gold rings ? ' 
By degrees the indisputablest new-politeness rises ; grows, with 
vigour. And yet, whether, even to this day, that inexpressible 
tone of society known under the old Kings, when Sin had ' lost 
all its deformity' (with or without advantage to us), and airy 
Nothing had obtained such a local habitation and establishment 

1 [The TM&tre de la Rue Feydeau was the rallying place of the Royalist reaction- 
aries ; it was the predecessor of the Opdra Comique, and the most fashionable 
theatre of Paris in the ensuing period. It was the representation of a Republican 
piece called the Concert de la Rue Feydeau, at the Thdatre Audinot, early in 
Feb. '95, which provoked the first riots of the Jeunesse dorie against the Govern- 
ment. (5^^ Schmidt, ii. 280, sqq.)\ 

2 [Especially the celebrated Reveil du peuple (words by Souriguieres de Saint- 
Marc, music by Gaveaux) beginning 

' Peuple Fran9ais, peuple des freres, 
Peux-tu voir, sans frdmir d'horreur, 
Le Crime arborer les bannieres 
Du carnage et de la terreur ? '] 
' Ibid. , Mercier {ubi suprd). 


as she never had, — be recovered ? Or even, whether it be not 
lost beyond recovery ■? ^ — Either way, the world must contrive to 
struggle on. 


But indeed do not these long-flowing hair-queues of a Jeunesse 
Doree in semi-military costume betoken, unconsciously, another 
still more important tendency ? The Republic, abhorrent of her 
Guillotine, loves her Army. 

And with cause. For, surely, if good fighting be a kind of 
honour, as it is in its season ; and be with the vulgar of men, 
even the chief kind of honour ; then here is good fighting, in 
good season, if there ever was. These Sons of the Republic, they 
rose, in mad wrath, to deliver her from Slavery and Cimmeria. 
And have they not done it ? Through Maritime Alps, through 
gorges of Pyrenees, through Low Countries, Northward along 
the Rhine-valley, far is Cimmeria hurled back from the sacred 
Motherland. Fierce as fire, they have carried her Tricolor over 
the faces of all her enemies ; — over scarped heights, over cannon- 
batteries, it has flown victorious, winged with rage. She has 
' Eleven hundred-thousand fighters on foot,' this Republic : ' at 
one particular moment she had,' or supposed she had, ' Seventeen- 
hundred thousand.' ^ Like a ring of lightning, they, volleying 
and qa-ira-'mg, begirdle her from shore to shore. Cimmerian 
Coalition of Despots recoils, smitten with astonishment and strange 

Such a fire is in these Gaelic Republican men ; high-blazing ; 
which no Coalition can withstand ! Not scutcheons, with four 
degrees of nobility ; but ci-devant Sergeants, who have had to 

1 De Stael, Considerations, iii. c. lo, &c. 

2Toulongeon, iii. c. 7 ; v. c, 10 (p. 194). [Sorel well points out (iv. 131) that 
the Government could not afford to disband the armies, as, if it did, itself and the 
Convention would probably be overthrown by some victorious general— the continu- 
ance of the war then became a necessity, when the desire of every one except the 
Government was really for peace. Von Sybel (iii. 316) gives the figures at 871,000 
in all, 690,000 effective. But cf. Appx. on Army.] 


clutch Generalship out of the cannon's throat, a Pichegru, a 
Jourdan, a Hoche lead them on.^ They have bread, they have 
iron ; ' with bread and iron you can get to China.' — See Pichegru's 
soldiers, this hard winter, in their looped and windowed destitu- 
tion, in their ' strawrope shoes and cloaks of bast-mat,' how they 
overrun Holland, like a demon-host, the ice having bridged all 
waters ; and rush shouting from victory to victory ! Ships in the 
Texel are taken by hussars on horseback : fled is York ; fled is 
the Stadtholder, glad to escape to England, and leave Holland 
to fraternise.^ Such a Gaelic fire, we say, blazes in this People, 
like the conflagration of grass and dry -jungle ; which no mortal 
can withstand — for the moment. 

And even so it will blaze and run, scorching all things ; and, 
from Cadiz to Archangel, mad Sansculottism, drilled now into 
Soldiership, led on by some ' armed Soldier of Democracy ' (say, 
that monosyllabic Artillery-Officer), will set its foot cruelly on 
the necks of its enemies ; and its shouting and their shrieking 
shall fill the world ! — Rash Coalised Kings, such a fire have ye 
kindled ; yourselves fireless, your fighters animated only by drill- 
sergeants, mess-room moralities, and the drummer's cat ! How- 
ever, it is begun, and will not end : not for a matter of twenty 
years. So long, this Gaelic fire, through its successive changes 
of colour and character, will blaze over the face of Europe, and 

^[Carlyle does not mention the fact of Hoche's arrest (April 8th '94), and dehver- 
ance at Thermidor. It is usually to Saint-Just that the arrest is attributed, but Car- 
not, who was angry with Hoche for not seizing Trier and for not squeezing the 
population of the Rhenish Electorates more, cannot be exonerated. {See Chuquet, 
Hoche et la lutte pour 1' Alsace (Paris, 1893), p. 233.)] 

2 January 19th 1795 (iMontgaillard, iv. 287-311). [When the general retirement 
of the Allies took place in the four months following Jourdan's victory of Fleurus, 
it became manifest that Holland was at the mercy of the French Republic. The 
English garrison was profoundly unpopular, and the little Dutch army of 30,000 
as good as useless. Pichegru took Bois-le-Duc Oct. loth, and Nymwegen Nov. 
3rd, caressed the republican party (already strong there and bitterly hostile to 
England), promising them independence and a French alliance. The English 
troops having left Holland, the Stadtholder at the begmning of Dec. approached 
the French Government with proposals of peace. These were badly received, as the 
Committee was quite determined to revolutionise Holland. The early frost (Dec. 
2oth) destroyed the natural defences of the country. Pichegru, who feared to be cut 
off by a thaw, hesitated, but was compelled by the RepHsentants en mission to go 
on, Dec. 27th. On Jan. 25th the submission of Holland was announced in the 
Convention : the Stadtholder escaped to England on 18th (Sorel, iv. 164, 197 sqq.\^ 


afflict and scorch all men : — till it provoke all men ; till it kindle 
another kind of fire, the Teutonic kind, namely ; and be swallowed 
up, so to speak, in a day ! For there is a fire comparable to the 
burning of dry -jungle and grass ; most sudden, high-blazing : 
and another fire which we liken to the burning of coal, or even 
of anthracite coal ; difficult to kindle, but then which no known 
thing will put out. The ready Gaelic fire, we can remark further, 
— and remark not in Pichegrus only, but in innumerable Voltaires, 
Racines, Laplaces, no less ; for a man, whether he fight, or sing, 
or think, will remain the same unity of a man, — is admirable for 
roasting eggs, in every conceivable sense. The Teutonic anthra- 
cite again, as we see in Luthers, Leibnitzes, Shakespeares, is 
preferable for smelting metals. How happy is our Europe that 
has both kinds ! — 

But be this as it may, the Republic is clearly triumphing. In 
the spring of the year, Mentz Town again sees itself besieged ; 
will again change master : did not Merlin the Thionviller, ' with 
wild beard and look,' say it was not for the last time they saw 
him there ? The Elector of Mentz circulates among his brother 
Potentates this pertinent query. Were it not advisable to treat of 
Peace ? Yes ! answers many an Elector from the bottom of his 
heart. 1 But, on the other hand, Austria hesitates ; finally refuses, 
being subsidied by Pitt. As to Pitt, whoever hesitate, he, sus- 
pending his Habeas-corpus, suspending his Cash-payments, stands 

1 [There was no fresh siege of Mainz, because none was needed : the Prussians 
delivered their last blows on the Rhine at Kaiserslautern in Oct. '94, and were 
then withdrawn : the whole left bank was open. In the same month a Provisional 
Government was established at Aix-la-Chapelle for all countries between the Meuse 
and the Rhine, which proceeded to plunder the rich inhabitants without mercy (Sorel, 
iv. 162). The most influential party in the French Government got firmly hold of the 
principle of " natural frontiers," and the limits of old Gaul (Rhine, Alps, Pyrenees) ; 
and this meant the absorption of the greater part of the electorates of Mainz, Trier 
and Koln. In the state to which they were reduced the Rhenish populations of the 
left bank would have welcomed this solution ; the peace of Bale (April 5th '95) took 
away from the Governments of these countries all hope of protection except from 
Austria (and they knew that not much hope could be placed in her) ; the two Land- 
graves of Hesse showed themselves disposed to negotiate before the end of April, 
though the Elector of Mainz wrote of ' defending himself to the last ' unless France 
renounced the Rhine frontier, April 15th [ibid. 301). Carlyle probably refers here 
to the proposal of the Elector of Mainz to the Diet of the Empire that the Kings of 
Denmark and Sweden should be arbitrators between France and the Empire. (Von 
Sybel, iv. 130.)] 


inflexible, — spite of foreign reverses ; spite of domestic obstacles, 
of Scotch National Conventions and English Friends of the People, 
whom he is obliged to aiTaign, to hang, or even to see acquitted 
with jubilee : a lean inflexible man. The Majesty of Spain, as 
we predicted, makes Peace ; ^ also the Majesty of Prussia : and 
there is a Treaty of Bale.'^ Treaty with black Anarchists and 
Regicides ! Alas, what help ? You cannot hang this Anarchy ; 
it is like to hang you : you must needs treat with it. 

Likewise, General Hoche has even succeeded in pacificating 
La Vendee. Rogue Rossignol and his ' Infernal Columns ' have 
vanished : by firmness and justice, by sagacity and industry. 
General Hoche has done it. Taking ' Movable Columns,' not 
infernal ; girdling-in the Country ; pardoning the submissive, 
cutting down the resistive, limb after limb of the Revolt is 
brought under. La Rochejacquelin, last of our Nobles, fell in 
battle ; Stofflet himself makes terms ; Georges-Cadoudal is back 
to Brittany, among his Chouans : the frightful gangrene of La 
Vendee seems veritably extirpated. It has cost, as they reckon 
in round numbers, the lives of a Hundred-thousand fellow - 
mortals ; with noyadings, conflagratings by infernal column, 
which defy arithmetic. This is the La Vendee War.^ 

Nay in few months, it does burst up once more, but once only ; 
— blown upon by Pitt, by our Ci-devant Puisaye of Calvados, 

^ [After the capture of Fontarabia and Saint-S^bastien (early in August), the re- 
capture of Bellegarde (Sept. 17th) and the invasion of the Basque provinces which 
followed, the Spanish Government had no resource but to sue for peace : the 
negotiations were slow, but they were conducted with great skill by Barth^lemy at 
Bale; and the death of Louis XVII. (whom the Spanish Government honourably 
refused to forsake) brought about the conclusion of the Treaty, July 22nd, France 
giving up all her conquests, and contenting herself with the illusory cession of the 
Spanish half of San Domingo (Sorel, iv. 369).] 

2 April 5th 1795 ; Montgaillard, iv. 319. [By the treaty of Bale, April 5th, (i.) 
the French troops are to evacuate the Prussian possessions on the right bank of the 
Rhine, but to continue to occupy those on the left ; (ii.) all engagements as to the 
final settlement of the left bank are to be avoided until the general peace with the 
Empire; (iii.) Prussia will undertake nothing against Holland or any of the States 
conquered by France ; (iv. ) North Germany is to be neutral behind a ' line of 
demarcation' under the guarantee of the King of Prussia (Sorel, iv. 285).] 

3 Hist, de la Guerre de la Vendue, par M. le Comte de Vauban ; M^moires de 
Mme de la Rochejacquelin, etc. {See Appx. on La Vendue. The execution of 
Stofflet, Feb. 25th 1796, and Charette, March 29th, must be taken as the final dates 
of the pacification, although a few bands under Auticharap, Sc^peaux and Sapinaud 
kept the field a few weeks longer.] 


and others. In the month of July 1 795, English Ships will ride 
in Quiberon roads. There will be debarkation of chivalrous 
Ci-devants, of volunteer Prisoners -of- war — eager to desert ; of 
fire-arms. Proclamations, clothes-chests, Royalists and specie. 
Whereupon also, on the Republican side, there will be rapid 
stand-to-arras ; with ambuscade marchings by Quiberon beach, 
at midnight ; storming of Fort Penthievre ; war-thunder mingling 
with the roar of the nightly main ; and such a morning light as 
has seldom dawned : debarkation hurled back into its boats, or 
into the devouring billows, with wreck and wail ; — in one word, 
a Ci-devant Puisaye as totally ineffectual here as he was in 
Calvados, when he rode from Vernon Castle without boots. ^ 

Again, therefore, it has cost the lives of many a brave man. 
Among whom the whole world laments the brave Son of Som- 
breuil. Ill-fated family ! The father and younger son went to 
the guillotine ; the heroic daughter languishes, reduced to want, 
hides her woes from History : the elder son perishes here ; shot 
by military tribunal as an Emigrant ; Hoche himself cannot save 
him. If all wars, civil and other, are misunderstandings, what 
a thing must right-understanding be ! 



The Convention, borne on the tide of Fortune towards foreign 
Victory, and driven by the strong wind of Public Opinion towards 
Clemency and Luxury, is rushing fast ; all skill of pilotage is 
needed, and more than all, in such a velocity. 

Curious to see, how we veer and whirl, yet must ever whirl 

1 Deux Amis, xiv. 94-106 ; Puisaye, M^moires, iii.-vii. [The project of a descent 
on Brittany was first suggested to Pitt in Sept. '94, and Puisaye was entrusted 
with the task of recruiting Afnigr^s : the Comte d'Artois was invited to take part ; 
on June 27th 3,600 men were disembarked at Quiberon {^^migrh and French 
prisoners who had become Royahsts to escape from English prisons), with munitions 
of war for 6,000 men ; 4,000 or 5,000 Venddans joined them : but the Committee 
sent off Tallien and Blad as Commissioners extraordinary to the army of the West ; 
on July 20th Hoche annihilated the whole Amigr^- Vendian force, and took 6,000 
prisoners, of whom 1,000 were P.migrds : 690 of these were shot, against the will of 
Hoche, by the orders of the Convention conveyed by Tallien. (Sorel, iv. 365, sqq.^^ 


round again, and scud before the wind. If, on the one hand, 
we re-admit the Protesting Seventy-three, we, on the other hand, 
agree to consummate the Apotheosis of Marat ; Uft his body 
from the Cordehers Church, and transport it to the Pantheon of 
Great Men, — flinging out Mirabeau to make room for him. To 
no purpose : so strong blows PubHc Opinion ! A Gilt Youthhood, 
in plaited hair-tresses, tears down his Busts from the Theatre 
Feydeau ; tramples them under foot ; scatters them, with voci- 
feration, into the Cesspool of Montmartre.^ Swept is his Chapel 
from the Place du Carrousel ; the Cesspool of Montmartre will 
receive his very dust. Shorter godhood had no divine man. 
Some four months in this Pantheon, Temple of All the Im- 
mortals ; then to the Cesspool, grand Cloaca of Paris and the 
World ! ' His Busts at one time amounted to four thousand.' 
Between Temple of All the Immortals and Cloaca of the World, 
how are poor human creatures whirled ! 

Furthermore the question arises. When will the Constitution 
of Ninety-three, of 179'^, come into action? Considerate heads 
surmise, in all privacy, that the Constitution of Ninety-three will 
never come into action. Let them busy themselves to get ready 
a better. 

Or, again, where now are the Jacobins ? Childless, most de- 
crepit, as we saw, sat the mighty Mother ; gnashing not teeth, 
but empty gums, against a traitorous Thermidorian Convention 
and the current of things. Twice were Billaud, Collot, and 
Company accused in Convention, by a Lecointre, by a Legendre ; 
and the second time, it was not voted calumnious. Billaud from 
the Jacobin tribune says,"^ " The lion is not dead, he is only sleep- 

1 Moniteur, du 25 Sept. 1794, du 4 F^vrier 1795. [On Sept. 21st '94 Marat was 
transferred to the Pantheon {vid. supr. , ii. 79 ; iii. 68) ; but on Feb. 27th '95 his bones 
were removed to the neighbouring cemetery of S/e Genevitue (Cabanas, 256 sqq.).~\ 

2 [Nov. 3rd. The first, but futile, denunciation of Billaud, Collot, and Bar^re 
by Lecointre was Aug 29th ; the words of Billaud at the Jacobins on Nov. 3rd were 
used in consequence of the Convention decreeing an inquiry into the conduct of 
Carrier, whom the Club protected, and the speech led to the closing of the Club 
already described. The second denunciation led to the appointment of a com- 
mittee of 21 to examine the conduct of Collot, Billaud, Barere, Vadier, Dec. 27th, 
which reported (by Saladin) March i8th '95. In Dec. '94 Lecointre published his 
book ' Les Crimes de sept membres des Anciens Comit^s,' which was printed by 
order of the Convention. Aulard in his introduction to ' Recueil des Actes du 


ing." They ask him in Convention, What he means by the 
awakening of the Hon ? And bickerings, of an extensive sort, 
arose in the Palais-EgaUte between Tappe-durs and the Gilt 
Youthhood ; cries of "Down with the Jacobins, the Jacoquins," 
coquiii meaning scoundrel ! The Tribune in mid-air gave battle- 
sound ; answered only by silence and uncertain gasps. Talk 
was, in Government Committees, of ^suspending' the Jacobin 
Sessions. Hark, there ! — it is in AUhallow-time, or on the Hal- 
low-eve itself, month ci-devant November, year once named of 
Grace 1794, sad eve for Jacobinism, — volley of stones dashing 
through our windows, with jingle and execration ! The female 
Jacobins, famed Tricoteuses with knitting-needles, take flight ; 
are met at the doors by a Gilt Youthhood and ^mob of four 
thousand persons ; ' are hooted, flouted, hustled ; fustigated, in 
a scandalous manner, cotillons retrousses ; — and vanish in mere 
hysterics. Sally out, ye male Jacobins ! The male Jacobins 
sally out ; but only to battle, disaster and confusion. So that 
armed Authority has to intervene : and again on the morrow to 
intervene ; and suspend the Jacobin Sessions forever and a day.^ 
— Gone are the Jacobins ; into invisibility ; in a storm of laughter 
and howls. Their Place is made a Normal School, the first of 
the kind seen ; it then vanishes into a ' Market of Thermidor 
Ninth ; ' into a Market of Saint-Honore, where is now peaceable 
chaffering for poultry and greens. The solemn temples, the 
great globe itself ; the baseless fabric ! Are not we such stuff, 
we and this world of ours, as Dreams are made of ? 

Maximum being abrogated. Trade was to take its own free 

Comit6 de Salut Public ' enumerates seven answers to this book published by the 
Committee men, while the working members of the old Committee, Carnot, C. A. 
Prieur, Lindet all replied in their places in the Convention. Early in Jan. '95 also 
Courtois issued his " Report on the papers found in Robespierre's house," which 
inculpated many of the Terrorists. But this was not a complete report ; nor even 
was the second edition of it (with additions), published in 1828, complete (Aulard, 
Recueil, Introduction). Two other pamphlets of immense effect were Morellet's ' Le 
Cri des Families ' (Dec. '94) ; and * La Cause des Peres ' (May '95), which led, to the 
partial restoration of the property of the victims of the Terror (Lavergne, Econo- 
mistes Fran9ais, 370-2).] 

1 Moniteur, Stances du 10-12 Novembre 1794 ; Deux Amis, xiii. 43-49. [Nov. 


course. 1 Alas, Trade, shackled, topsyturvied in the way we saw, 
and now suddenly let-go again, can for the present take no course 
at all ; but only reel and stagger. There is, so to speak, no 
Trade whatever for the time being. Assignats, long sinking, 
emitted in such quantities, sink now with an alacrity beyond 
parallel. " Comhien ? " said one, to a Hackney-coachman, " What 
fare ? " " Six thousand livres," answered he : some three hun- 
dred pounds sterling, in Paper-money.^ Pressure of Maximum 
withdrawn, the things it compressed likewise withdraw. 'Two 
ounces of bread per day ' is the modicum allotted : ^ wide-waving, 
doleful are the Bakers' Queues ; Farmers' houses are become 
pawnbrokers' shops. 

One can imagine, in these circumstances, with what humour 
Sansculottism growled in its throat, "La Cabarm;" beheld Ci- 
devants return dancing, the Thermidor effulgence of recivilisa- 
tion, and Balls in flesh-coloured drawers. Greek tunics and 
sandals ; hosts of Muscadins parading, with their clubs loaded 
with lead ; — and we here, cast out, abhorred, ' picking offals 
from the street ; ' ^ agitating in Baker's Queue for our two ounces 
of bread ! Will the Jacobin lion, which they say is meeting 
secretly ' at the Archeveche, in bonnet rouge with loaded pistols,' 
not awaken .'* Seemingly, not. Our Collot, our Billaud, Barrere, 
Vadier, in these last days of March 1795,^ are found worthy of 
D&poriation, of Banishment beyond seas ; and shall, for the present, 
be trundled off to the Castle of Ham. The lion is dead ; — or 
writhing in death-throes ! 

i[The decree of April 27th '95, allowing free export of gold and silver, practic- 
ally reopened the Botirse : but for the moment sent up the prices of everything 
(remember this came between the Insurrections of Germinal and Prairial). (Schmidt, 
ii. 326.)] 

2 Mercier, ii. '94 (' ist Feb. 96 ; at the Bourse of Paris, the gold louis of 20 francs 
in silver costs 5,300 francs in assignats,' Montgaillard, iv. 419). [Cf. Schmidt, ii. 
327, where a gold louis is offered for sale for goo /ra?ics in the Palais Royal (April 


' [This is a well-known story : but the lowest figure quoted by Von Sybel, generally 
an extremely accurate authority on economics (iv. 309), is just before the Insurrec- 
tion of Prairial, i.e., half a pound of bread and half a pound of rice. This is not 
enough to keep life in ; and there was an enormous floating population not domiciled 
and so not entitled to a place in the queues.'\ 

■* Fantin Desodoards, Histoire de la Revolution, vii. c. 4. 

'^ [April ist.] 


Behold, accordingly, on the day they call Twelfth of Germinal 
(which is also called First of April, not a lucky day), how lively 
are these streets of Paris once more ! Floods of hungry women, 
of squalid hungry men ; ejaculating : " Bread, Bread, and the 
Constitution of Ninety-three ! " Paris has risen, once again, 
like the Ocean-tide ; is flowing towards the Tuileries, for 
Bread and a Constitution. Tuileries Sentries do their best ; but 
it serves not : the Ocean-tide sweeps them away ; inundates 
the Convention Hall itself ; howling, " Bread and the Constitu- 
tion ! " 1 

Unhappy Senators, unhappy People, there is yet, after all toils 
and broils, no Bread, no Constitution. " Du pain, pas tant de longs 
discours, Bread, not bursts of Parliamentary eloquence ! " so wailed 
the Menads of Maillard, five years ago and more ; so wail ye to 
this hour. The Convention, with unalterable countenance, with 
what thought one knows not, keeps its seat ^ in this waste howling 
chaos ; rings its storm-bell from the Pavilion of Unity. Section 
Lepelletier, old Filles Saint- Thomas, who are of the money-chang- 
ing species ; these and Gilt Youthhood fly to the rescue : sweep 
chaos forth again, with levelled bayonets. Paris is declared ' in 
a state of siege.' Pichegru, Conqueror of Holland, who happens 
to be here, is named Commandant, till the disturbance end. He, 
in one day so to speak, ends it. He accomplishes the transfer of 
Billaud, Collot and Company ; dissipating all opposition ' by two 
cannon-shots,' blank cannon-shots, and the terror of his name ; 
and thereupon, announcing, with a Laconicism which should be 

1 [It must be thoroughly understood that the Insurrection of i2th Germinal was 
a social and economic movement, not a political one ; it was utilised by some of the 
Mo7itagnards (furious at the restoration of the relics of the Girondist party, which 
was on March 8th) for political ends, but the question in the minds of the insurgents 
was simply the price of bread ; one particular decree of the Convention, that 
citizens who had no fixed domicile in Paris, but only lodgings, should not be 
entitled to the regulation number of ounces of bread per day, excited popular rage : 
had the Convention been able to keep to its promise of March 13th, of i lb. per day 
per man, there would have been no disturbance ; on 19th the unstable Lecointre, 
who had gone over to the Terrorists again, demanded the putting in force of the 
Constitution of '93 : on 21st the Convention voted that if it was disturbed by in- 
surrection it would migrate to Chalons : and further voted to proceed to the drawing 
up of a new Constitution. (Schmidt, ii. 307-12 ; Von Sybel, iv. 552, sqq.)\ 

2 [For four hours.] 


imitated, " Representatives, your decrees are executed," ^ lays 
down his Commandantship.^ 

This Revolt of Germinal, therefore, has passed, like a vain cry. 
The Prisoners rest safe in Ham, waiting for ships ; some nine- 
hundred ' chief Terrorists of Paris ' are disarmed.^ Sansculottism, 
swept forth with bayonets, has vanished, with its misery, to the 
bottom of Saint-Antoine and Saint- Marceau. — Time was when 
Usher Maillard with Menads could alter the course of Legis- 
lation; but that time is not. Legislation seems to have got 
bayonets ; Section Lepelletier takes its firelock, not for us ! We 
retire to our dark dens ; our cry of hunger is called a Plot of Pitt ; 
the Saloons glitter, the flesh-coloured Drawers gyrate as before. 
It was for " The Cahanis " then, and her Muscadins and Money- 
changers that we fought ? It was for Balls in flesh-coloured 
drawers that we took Feudalism by the beard, and did, and dared, 
shedding our blood like water ? Expressive Silence, muse thou 
their praise ! — 



Representative Carrier went to the Guillotine, in December 
last ; protesting that he acted by orders. The Revolutionary 
Tribunal, after all it has devoured, has now only, as Anarchic 
things do, to devour itself. In the early days of May, men see 
a remarkable thing : Fouquier-Tinville pleading at the Bar once 
his own. He and his chief Jurymen, Leroi August-Tenth, Jury- 
man Vilate, a Batch of Sixteen ; pleading hard, protesting that 
they acted by orders : but pleading in vain. Thus men break 
the axe with which they have done hateful things ; the axe itself 
having grown hateful. For the rest Fouquier died hard enough : ^ 

1 Moniteur, Stance du 13 Germinal (2d April), 1795. 

2 [April 3rd.] 

^[Sixteen other Jacobin leaders were arrested, Choudieu, Chasles, Leonard 
Bourdon, Duhem, Ruamps, Amar, Cambon, Thuriot, Maignet, Levasseur, Le- 
cointre, Granet, Hentz, Bayle, Crassous, Foussedoire. ] 

*[Fouquier's trial may be read at length in Campardon, ii. (151 sqq.). It began 
March 28th and ended May 6th. Twenty-four judges and jurors of the Tribunal 


"Where are thy Batches?" howled the people. — "Hungry 
canaille," asked Fouquier, "is thy Bread cheaper, wanting 
them ? " 

Remarkable Fouquier ; once but as other Attorneys and Law- 
beagles, which hunt ravenous on this Earth, a well-known phasis 
of human nature ; and now thou art and remainest the most re- 
markable Attorney that ever lived and hunted in the Upper Air ! 
For, in this terrestrial Course of Time, there was to be an Avalar 
of Attorneyism ; the Heavens had said. Let there be an Incarna- 
tion, not divine, of the venatory Attorney-spirit which keeps its 
eye on the bond only ; — and lo, this was it ; and they have attor- 
neyed it in its turn. Vanish, then, thou rat-eyed Incarnation of 
Attorneyism ; who at bottom wert but as other Attorneys 
and too hungry sons of Adam ! Juryman Vilate had striven 
hard for life, and published, from his Prison, an ingenious Book, 
not unknown to us ; but it would not stead : he also had to 
vanish ; and this his Book of the Secret Causes of Thermidor, full 
of lies, with particles of truth in it undiscoverable otherwise, is 
all that remains of him. 

Revolutionary Tribunal has done ; but vengeance has not 

done. Representative Lebon, after long struggling, is handed 

over to the ordinary Law Courts, and by them guillotined.^ 

Nay at Lyons and elsewhere, resuscitated Moderatism, in its 

vengeance, will not wait the slow process of Law ; but bursts 

into the Prisons, sets fire to the Prisons : burns some threescore 

imprisoned Jacobins to dire death, or chokes them 'with the 

smoke of straw.' ^ There go vengeful truculent ' Companies of 

Jesus,' ' Companies of the Sun ; ' slaying Jacobinism wherever 

they meet with it ; flinging it into the Rhone-stream ; which 

once more bears seaward a horrid cargo. ^ Whereupon, at Toulon, 

Rdvolutionnaire were brought to trial with him : and of these there were condemned 
to death himself, Foucault, Scellier, Gamier- Launay, Leroy-Dix-Ao<it, Renaudin, 
Prieur, Vilate, Chatelet, Girard, Boyaval, Benott, Lanne, Verney, Dupannier and 
Herman. They were executed on May 7th. It was the last serious work of the 
Tribunal, which held its last sitting on May 17th, and was abolished on 31st, its 
business being transferred to the ordinary Criminal Tribunals in each department.] 
1 [Oct. i8th '95.] 2[May 5th '95.] 

^Moniteur, du 27 Juin, du 31 AoM 1795 ; Deux Amis, xiii. 121-9. [This refers 
to the so-called ' White Terror ' of which Lyons, Toulon, Marseilles, Avignon, 


Jacobinism rises in revolt ; ^ and is like to hang the National 
Representatives. 2 — With such action and reaction, is not a poor 
National Convention hard bested ? It is like the settlement of 
winds and waters, of seas long tornado-beaten ; and goes on 
with jumble and with jangle. Now flung aloft, now sunk in 
trough of the sea, your Vessel of the Republic has need of all 
pilotage and more. 

What Parliament that ever sat under the Moon had such a 
series of destinies as this National Convention of France ? It 
came together to make the Constitution ; and instead of that, it 
has had to make nothing but destruction and confusion : to bum 
up Catholicisms, Aristocratisms ; to worship Reason and dig Salt- 
petre ; to fight Titanically with itself and with the whole world. 
A Convention decimated by the Guillotine ; above the tenth 
man has bowed his neck to the axe. Which has seen Car- 
magnoles danced before it, and patriotic strophes sung amid 
Church-spoils ; the wounded of the Tenth of August defile in 
handbarrows ; and, in the Pandemonial Midnight, Egalite's 
dames in tricolor drink lemonade, and spectrum of Sieyes 

Orange, Aix and Aries were the principal centres. Few of the actual ' Red ' 
Terrorists in these cities had been arrested, and, although there were undoubtedly 
Royalist agencies mixed up in the movement that now followed, at bottom personal 
revenge was the cause of the murders. During the early months of '95 several 
armed bands were formed in Lyons, from whence the movement spread to other 
cities of the South, the victims being principally the members of the old Revolu- 
tionary Committees, or the executioners employed by the proconsuls in '93 — 4. 
The outbreak of May 5th was simply a horrible piece of lynch law ; one of CoUot's 
old spies was being tried for his life and the mob broke in to the Tribunal, murdered 
the man, rushed to the prisons, and killed 97 imprisoned Terrorists. The Con- 
vention sent in haste a special Commission, which included Isnard, to maintain 
order, but its members seem to have sympathised with the assassins. Thirty 
Terrorists were murdered at Aix on May nth, and it was this that led to the rising 
of some Jacobin ouvriers at Toulon, prepared to march on Marseilles. The last 
of these massacres took place at Marseilles, June 5th ; but isolated murders of 
Terrorists occurred from time to time during the next two or three years. (Von 
Sybel, iv. 307-8.)] 

^ [May 17th.] 

2 [It is curious that Toulon, which had never been Jacobin before, should have 
turned Jacobin at the date of the White Terror, but the explanation must be sought 
in the number of workmen thrown out of employment by the utter ruin of the 
French Marine, which followed the victories of England, and the devastation 
of the city by the Jacobins at the beginning of '94. One of the Convention 
Commissioners shot himself, another escaped on board the fleet (which was being 
prepared for an attack on Corsica) ; it needed all the vigour of Isnard and some 
9,000 men (mostly detached from the Army of Italy) to defeat the Insurrection 
(May 31st). (Von Sybel, iv. 315-6.)] 


mount, saying, Death sans phrase. A Convention which has 
effervesced, and which has congealed ; which has been red with 
rage, and also pale with rage ; sitting with pistols in its pocket, 
drawing sword (in a moment of effervescence) : now storming 
to the four winds, through a Danton-voice, Awake, O France, 
and smite the tyrants ; now frozen mute under its Robespierre, 
and answering his dirge-voice by a dubious gasp. Assassinated, 
decimated ; stabbed at, shot at, in baths, on streets and stair- 
cases ; which has been the nucleus of Chaos. Has it not heard 
the chimes at midnight ? It has deliberated, beset by a Hundred- 
thousand armed men with artillery-furnaces and provision-carts. 
It has been betocsined, bestormed ; overflooded by black deluges 
of Sansculottism ; and has heard the shrill cry. Bread and Soap. 
For, as we say, it was the nucleus of Chaos : it sat as the centre 
of Sansculottism ; and had spread its pavilion on the waste Deep, 
where is neither path nor landmark, neither bottom nor shore. 
In intrinsic valour, ingenuity, fidelity, and general force and 
manhood, it has perhaps not far surpassed the average of 
Parliaments ; but in frankness of purpose, in singularity of 
position, it seeks its fellow. One other Sansculottic submersion, 
or at most two, and this wearied vessel of a Convention reaches 

Revolt of Germinal Twelfth ended as a vain cry ; moribund 
Sansculottism was swept back into invisibility. There it has 
lain moaning, these six weeks : moaning, and also scheming. 
Jacobins disarmed, flung forth from their Tribune in mid-air, 
must needs try to help themselves, in secret conclave under 
ground. Lo therefore, on the First day of the month Prairial, 
20th of May 17.95, sound of the generate once more; beating 
sharp, ran-tan. To arms. To arms ! 

Sansculottism has risen, yet again, from its death-lair ; waste, 

1 [Of the 782 members 17 refused to sit, 35 voluntarily resigned their seats during 
the sessions, 19 died natural deaths, 9 were killed in battle, 4 were kept in 
Austrians prisons, 73 died on the scaffold or by murder, 26 were deported or in- 
carcerated for long periods ; very rarely had the Convention sat over 350 strong ; 
from June 2nd '93 seldom more than 200 [see Guiffrey, cap. iii.).] 


wild-flowing, as the unfruitful Sea. Saint-Antoine is afoot : ^ 
" Bread and the Constitution of Ninety-three," so sounds it ; 
so stands it written with chalk on the hats of men. They have 
their pikes, their firelocks ; Paper of Grievances ; standards ; 
printed Proclamation, drawn up in quite official manner, — 
considering this, and also considering that, they, a much-en- 
during Sovereign People, are in Insurrection ; will have Bread 
and the Constitution of Ninety-three. And so the Barriers are 
seized, and the genSrale beats, and tocsins discourse discord. 
Black deluges overflow the Tuileries ; spite of sentries, the 
Sanctuary itself is invaded : enter, to our Order of the Day, 
a torrent of dishevelled women, wailing, " Bread ! Bread ! " 
President may well cover himself; and have his own tocsin 
rung in ' the Pavilion of Unity ; ' the ship of the State again 
labours and leaks ; overwashed, near to swamping, with un- 
fruitful brine. 

What a day, once more ! Women are driven out : men storm 
irresistibly in ; choke all corridors, thunder at all gates. De- 
puties, putting forth head, obtest, conjure ; Saint-Antoine rages, 
"Bread and Constitution." Report has risen that the 'Conven- 
tion is assassinating the women ; ' crushing and rushing, clangor 
and furor ! The oak doors have become as oak tambourines, 
sounding under the axe of Saint-Antoine ; plaster- work crackles, 
wood- work booms and jingles ; door starts up ; — bursts-in Saint- 
Antoine with frenzy and vociferation ; with Rag-standards, printed 
Proclamation, drum-music : astonishment to eye and ear. Gen- 
darmes, loyal Sectioners charge through the other door ; they 
are recharged ; musketry exploding : Saint-Antoine cannot be 
expelled. Obtesting Deputies obtest vainly : Respect the Pre- 
sident ; approach not the President ! Deputy Feraud,^ stretching 
out his hands, baring his bosom scarred in the Spanish wars, 
obtests vainly ; threatens and resists vainly. Rebellious Deputy 
of the Sovereign, if thou have fought, have not we too } We 
have no Bread, no Constitution ! They wrench poor Feraud ; 
they tumble him, trample him, wrath waxing to see itself work : 
i[May 20th.] ^j^F^raud, vid. supr,^ ii. 328], 

VOL. III. 16 


they drag him into the corridor, dead or near it ; sever his head, 
and fix it on a pike. Ah, did an unexampled Convention want 
this variety of destiny, too, then ? Feraud's bloody head goes 
on a pike. Such a game has begun ; Paris and the Earth may 
wait how it will end.^ 

And so it billows free through all Corridors ; within and with- 
out, far as the eye reaches, nothing but Bedlam, and the great 
Deep broken loose ! President Boissy d'Anglas sits like a rock : 
the rest of the Convention is floated ' to the upper benches ; ' 
Sectioners and Gendarmes still ranking there to form a kind of 
wall for them. And Insurrection rages ; rolls its drums ; will 
read its Paper of Grievances, will have this decreed, will have 
that. Covered sits President Boissy; unyielding; like a rock 
in the beating of seas. They menace him, level muskets at him, 
he yields not ; they hold up Feraud's bloody head to him, with 
grave stern air he bows to it, and yields not. 

And the Paper of Grievances cannot get itself read for uproar ; 
and the drums roll, and the throats bawl ; and Insurrection, like 
sphere-music, is inaudible for very noise : Decree us this. Decree 
us that. One man we discern bawling ^ for the space of an hour 
at all intervals,' " Je demande l' arrestation des coquins et des laches." 
Really one of the most comprehensive Petitions ever put up ; ^ 

1 [' The people were in a state of starvation all the month of May — one meets men 
' dropping of inanition in the streets. . . . the rentiers almost as badly off as 
* the ouvriers . . . numbers of households live by selling off their furniture . . .' 
(Schmidt, ii. 333). The Insurrection of Prairial was also entirely a social one like 
that of Germinal, but it was carefully prepared ; regular programmes of it were 
distributed and even sold in the Faubourg St. Antoine {ibid. 338). Endless 
additional 'grievances' had been added to the Terrorists since Germinal, e.g., the 
disarming of all persons who had taken part in the bloodshed of the I'error, (April 
loth) ; the new organisation of the National Guard putting it once more in the 
hands of the bourgeoisie ; the repeal of the law of 14th Frimaire against the local 
authorities of districts and Departments ; above, all the law of May 3rd restoring 
all property confiscated since May 31st '93 to the families of the victims of the 
Terror. Thuriot and Cambon had escaped from prison, and, with Goujon and 
Bourbotte, seem to have been the principal organisers of the Insurrection. The 
Session of the Convention began at 11 A.M. ; it was interrupted from the first by 
women in the galleries, but the actual arrival of the armed insurgents in the Hall 
was not till 4 P. M. , when F6raud was murdered by a pistol shot in trying to protect 
the President, Boissy d'Anglas. (Von Sybel, iv. 310 sqq.).'] 

2 [This charming story is actually in the Moniteur for May 24th (except that it 
is half an hour, not an hour) : and one man did even better for he shouted a de- 
mand for the "arrest of every one" L' arrestation de tous ! {ibid.) referring of 
course to the members of the Convention.] 


which indeed, to this hour, includes all that you can reasonably 
ask Constitution of the Year One, Rotten-Borough, Ballot-Box, or 
other miraculous Political Ark of the Covenant to do for you to 
the end of the world ! I also demand arrestment of the Knaves and 
Dastards, and nothing more whatever. — National Representation, 
deluged with black Sansculottism, glides out ; for help elsewhere, 
for safety elsewhere ; here is no help. 

About four in the afternoon, there remain hardly more than 
some Sixty Members : mere friends, or even secret-leaders ; a 
remnant of the Mountain-crest, held in silence by Thermi- 
dorian thraldom. Now is the time for them ; now or never 
let them descend, and speak ! They descend, these Sixty, in- 
vited by Sansculottism : Romme of the New Calendar, Ruhl of 
the Sacred Phial, Goujon, Duquesnoy, Soubrany, and the rest. 
Glad Sansculottism forms a ring for them ; Romme takes 
the President's chair; they begin resolving and decreeing. 
Fast enough now comes Decree after Decree, in alternate brief 
strains, or strophe and antistrophe, — what will cheapen bread, 
what will awaken the dormant lion. And at every new de- 
cree, Sansculottism shouts " Decreed, decreed ! " and rolls its 

Fast enough ; the work of months in hours, — when see, a 
Figure enters, whom in the lamp-light we recognise to be 
Legendre ; and utters words : fit to be hissed out ! And then 
see. Section Lepelletier or other Muscadin Section enters, and 
Gilt Youth, with levelled bayonets, countenances screwed to 
the sticking-place ! Tramp, tramp, with bayonets gleaming in 
the lamp-light : what can one do, worn down with long riot, 
grown heartless, dark, hungry, but roll back, but rush back, and 
escape who can ? The very windows need to be thrown up, 
that Sansculottism may escape fast enough. Money-changer 
Sections and Gilt Youth sweep them forth, with steel besom, 
far into the depths of Saint- An toine. Triumph once more ! 
The Decrees of that Sixty are not so much as rescinded ; they 
are declared null and non-extant. Romme, Ruhl, Goujon and 
the ringleaders, some thirteen in all, are decreed Accused. 


Permanent-session ends at three in the morning.^ Sanseulottism, 
once more flung resupine, lies sprawling ; sprawling its last. 

Such was the First of Prairial, 20th of May 1795.2 Second 
and Third of Prairial, during which Sanseulottism still sprawled, 
and unexpectedly rang its tocsin, and assembled in arms, availed 
Sanseulottism nothing.^ What though with our Romraes and 
Ruhls, accused but not yet arrested, we make a new ' True Na- 
tional Convention ' of our own, over in the East ; and put the 
others Out of Law ? What though we rank in arms and march ? 
Armed Force and Muscadin Sections, some thirty-thousand men, 
environ that old False Convention : we can but bully one another ; 
bandying nicknames, " Muscadins," against " Blood-drinkers, 
Buveurs de Sang." Feraud's Assassin, taken with the red hand, 
and sentenced, and now near to Guillotine and Place de Greve, 
is retaken ; is carried back into Saint -Antoine : — to no purpose. 
Convention Sectionaries and Gilt Youth come, according to 
Decree, to seek him ; nay to disarm Saint- Antoine ! And they 
do disarm it : by rolling of cannon, by springing upon enemy's 
cannon ; by military audacity, and terror of the Law. Saint- 
Antoine surrenders its arms ; Santerre even advising it, anxious 
for life and brewhouse. Feraud's Assassin flings himself from a 
high roof: and all is lost.^ 

1 Deux Amis, xiii. 129-46. [Boissy did not leave the chair till 9 p.m., when the 
Montagnard deputies forced Vernier into it ; then the ' patriotic ' motions were made 
by Goujon, Romme and Soubrany ; by 11 P.M. the respectable Sections of the 
National Guard had appeared with Legendre, Ch^nier and other Thermidorians at 
their head. They quickly cleared the Hall, and Boissy was back in the chair before 
midnight. Thirteen of the leading Montagnard deputies were arrested (Von Sybel, 
iv. 312).] 

2 [Early the next morning news was brought that a ' Convention of the Sovereign 
People ' was assembling at the Hotel-de- Ville, but by midday it had retreated to 
Saint- A ntoine. Two attempts were made during the day to force a passage into the 
Faubourg, but the second of these under General Kilmaine was driven back by the 
mob to the very gates of the Tuileries. The Convention had spent the day in great 
trepidation, passmg conciliatory votes about hastening up corn supplies, and hasten- 
ing on the New Constitution (it even had the feebleness to repeal its laws opening 
the Bourse and restoring the confiscated property) ; but meanwhile it was sending 
expresses everywhere for troops, and 3,000 cavalry of the Army of the North were 
galloping towards Paris ; late at night on 21st a deputation of the Insurgents was 
received in the Convention and beguiled with fair words. By the next night, 22nd, 
there were enough troops to force Saint- Antoine under a threat of bombardment to 
yield. There was no bloodshed in the reprisals on Saint- Antoine : only the assassin 
of F^raud was condemned to death (Von Sybel, 313-4).] 

3 [May 2ist — 22nd.] ^Toulongeon, v. 247; Moniteur, Nos. 244, 5, 6. 


Discerning which things, old Ruhl shot a pistol through his 
old white head ; dashed his life in pieces, as he had done the 
Sacred Phial of Rheims. Romme, Goujon and the others stand 
ranked before a swiftly-appointed, swift Military Tribunal. 
Hearing the sentence, Goujon drew a knife, struck it into his 
breast, passed it to his neighbour Romme ; and fell dead.^ 
Romme did the like ; and another ail-but did it ; Roman-death 
rushing on there, as in electric-chain, before your Bailiffs could 
intervene ! The Guillotine had the rest.^ 

They were the Ultimi Romanomm. Billaud, Collot and Com- 
pany are now ordered to be tried for life ; but are found to be 
already off, shipped for Sinamarri, and the hot mud of Surinam. 
There let Billaud surround himself with flocks of tame parrots ; 
Collot take the yellow fever, and drinking a whole bottle of 
brandy, burn up his entrails. ^ Sansculottism sprawls no more. 
The dormant lion has become a dead one ; and now, as we see, 
any hoof may smite him. 



So dies Sansculottism, the body of Sansculottism ; or is changed. 
Its ragged Pythian Carmagnole-dance has transformed itself into 
a Pyrrhic, into a dance of Cabarus Balls. Sansculottism is dead ; 
extinguished by new isms of that kind, which were its own natural 
progeny ; and is buried, we may say, with such deafening jubila- 
tion and disharmony of funeral-knell on their part, that only after 
some half-century or so does one begin to learn clearly why it 
ever was alive. 

And yet a meaning lay in it : Sansculottism verily was alive, a 
New-Birth of Time ; nay it still lives, and is not dead but changed. 

i[June 17th,] 

2 [A special commission tried Ruhl, Romme, Du Roy, Goujon, Forestier, Albitte, 
Bourbotte, Duquesnoy, Soubrany, Prieur (de la Marne), and Peyssard for abetting 
the Insurrection. Peyssard and Forestier were acquitted, Albitte and Prieur 
escaped ; Ruhl committed suicide before the trial ; the rest were condemned to 
death : even Carnot and Lindet were in danger for some days.] 

3 Dictionnaire des Hommes Marquans, §§, Billaud, Collot,. 


The soul of it still lives ; still works far and wide, through one 
bodily shape into another less amorphous, as is the way of cun- 
ning Time with his New-Births : — till, in some perfected shape, 
it embrace the whole circuit of the world ! For the wise man 
may now everywhere discern that he must found on his manhood, 
not on the garnitures of his manhood. He who, in these Epochs 
of our Europe, founds on garnitures, formulas, culottisms of what 
sort soever, is founding on old cloth and sheepskin, and cannot 
endure. But as for the body of Sansculottism, that is dead and 
buried, — and, one hopes, need not reappear, in primary amorphous 
shape, for another thousand years. 

It was the frightfullest thing ever born of Time } One of the 
frightfullest. This Convention, now grown Antijacobin, did, with 
an eye to justify and fortify itself, publish Lists of what the Reign 
of Terror had perpetrated : Lists of Persons Guillotined. The 
Lists, cries splenetic Abbe Montgaillard, were not complete. 
They contain the names of. How many persons thinks the 
Reader } — Two-thousand all but a few. There were above Four- 
thousand, cries Montgaillard : so many were guillotined, fusilladed, 
noyaded, done to dire death ; of whom Nine-hundred were women. ^ 
It is a horrible sum of human lives, M. TAbbe : — some ten times 
as many shot rightly on a field of battle, and one might have had 
his Glorious- Victory with Te Deum. It is not far from the two- 
hundredth part of what perished in the entire Seven- Years War. 
By which Seven- Years War, did not the great Fritz wrench 
Silesia from the great Theresa ; and a Pompadour, stung by epi- 
grams, satisfy herself that she could not be an Agnes Sorel .'' The 
head of man is a strange vacant sounding-shell, M. TAbbe ; and 
studies Cocker to small purpose. 

But what if History somewhere on this Planet were to hear 
of a Nation, the third soul of whom had not, for thirty weeks 
each year, as many third-rate potatoes as would sustain him ? ^ 
History, in that case, feels bound to consider that starvation is 
starvation ; that starvation from age to age presupposes much ; 

1 Montgaillard, iv. 241. 

2 Report of the Irish Poor-Law Commission, 1836, 


History ventures to assert that the French Sansculotte of 
Ninety-three, who, roused from long death-sleep, could rush at 
once to the frontiers, and die fighting for an immortal Hope and 
Faith of Deliverance for him and his, was but the second-miser- 
ablest of men ! The Irish Sans-potato, had he not senses then, 
nay a soul ! In his frozen darkness, it was bitter for him to die 
famishing ; bitter to see his children famish. It was bitter for 
him to be a beggar, a liar and a knave. Nay, if that dreary 
Greenland-wind of benighted Want, perennial from sire to son, 
had frozen him into a kind of torpor and numb callosity, so that 
he saw not, felt not, — was this, for a creature with a soul in it, 
some assuagement ; or the cruellest wretchedness of all ? 

Such things were ; such things are ; and they go on in silence 
peaceably : — and Sansculottisms follow them. History, looking 
back over this France through long times, back to Turgot's time 
for instance, when dumb Drudgery staggered up to its King's 
Palace, and in wide expanse of sallow faces, squalor and winged 
raggedness, presented hieroglyphically its Petition of Grievances ; 
and for answer got hanged on a 'new gallows forty feet high,' — 
confesses mournfully that there is no period to be met with, in 
which the general Twenty-five Millions of France suffered less 
than in this period which they name Reign of Terror ! ^ But it 
was not the Dumb Millions that suffered here ; it was the Speak- 
ing Thousands, and Hundreds and Units ; who shrieked and 
published, and made the world ring with their wail, as they 
could and should: that is the grand peculiarity. The fright- 
fullest Births of Time are never the loud-speaking ones, for these 
soon die ; they are the silent ones, which can live from century 
to century ! Anarchy, hateful as Death, is abhorrent to the 
whole nature of man ; and so must itself soon die. 

Wherefore let all men know what of depth and of height is 
still revealed in man; and, with fear and wonder, with just 
sympathy and just antipathy, with clear eye and open heart, 

i[The presumption that the Twenty-five Millions were better off during the 
anarchic period than ever before is of course a mere assumption, which all 
evidence utterly refutes ; but it is an assumption which underlies the whole of Carlyle'5 


contemplate it and appropriate it ; and draw innumerable in- 
ferences from it. This inference, for example, among the first : 
That ' if the gods of this lower world will sit on their glittering 
'thrones, indolent as Epicurus' gods, with the living Chaos of 
' Ignorance and Hunger weltering uncared-for at their feet, and 
'smooth Parasites preaching. Peace, peace, when there is no 
' peace,' then the dark Chaos, it would seem, will rise ; — has risen, 
and O Heavens ! has it not tanned their skins into breeches for 
itself? That there be no second Sansculottism in our Earth for 
a thousand years, let us understand well what the first was ; and 
let Rich and Poor of us go and do otherwise. — But to our tale. 

The Muscadin Sections greatly rejoice ; Cabarus Balls gyrate : 
the well-nigh insoluble problem. Republic without Anarchy, have we 
not solved it ? — Law of Fraternity or Death is gone : chimerical 
Ohtain-who-need has become practical Hold-who-have, To anarchic 
Republic of the Poverties there has succeeded orderly Republic 
of the Luxuries ; which will continue as long as it can. 

On the Pont au Change, on the Place de Greve, in long sheds, 
Mercier, in these summer evenings, saw working men at their 
repast. One's allotment of daily bread has sunk to an ounce 
and a half ' Plates containing each three grilled herrings, 
'sprinkled with shorn onions, wetted with a little vinegar; to 
' this add some morsel of boiled prunes, and lentils swimming 
' in a clear sauce : at these frugal tables, the cook's gridiron 
' hissing near by, and the pot simmering on a fire between two 
' stones, I have seen them ranged by the hundred ; consuming, 
'without bread, their scant messes, far too moderate for the 
'keenness of their appetite, and the extent of their stomach.' ^ 
Seine water, rushing plenteous by, will supply the deficiency. 

O Man of Toil, thy struggling and thy daring, these six long 
years of insurrection and tribulation, thou hast profited nothing 
by it then? Thou consumest thy herring and water, in the 
blessed gold-red evening. O why was the Earth so beautiful, 
becrimsoned with dawn and twilight, if man's dealings with man 

iNouveau Paris, iv. ii8. 


were to make it a vale of scarcity, of tears, not even soft tears ? 
Destroying of Bastilles, discomfiting of Brunswicks, fronting of 
Principalities and Powers, of Earth and Tophet, all that thou 
hast dared and endured, — it was for a Republic of the Cabarus 
Saloons ? Patience ; thou must have patience : the end is not 



In fact, what can be more natural, one may say inevitable, as a 
Post-Sansculottic transitionary state, than even this ? Confused 
wreck of a Republic of the Poverties, which ended in Reign of 
Terror, is arranging itself into such composure as it can. Evangel 
of Jean-Jacques, and most other Evangels, becoming incredible, 
what is there for it but return to the old Evangel of Mammon ? 
Contrat- Social is true or untrue. Brotherhood is Brotherhood or 
Death ; but money always will buy money's worth : in the 
wreck of human dubitations, this remains indubitable, that 
Pleasure is pleasant. Aristocracy of Feudal Parchment has 
passed away with a mighty rushing ; and now, by a natural 
course, we arrive at Aristocracy of the Moneybag. It is the 
course through which all European Societies are, at this hour, 
travelling. Apparently a still baser sort of Aristocracy } An 
infinitely baser ; the basest yet known. 

In which, however, there is this advantage, that, like Anarchy 
itself, it cannot continue. Hast thou considered how Thought is 
stronger than Artillery-parks, and (were it fifty years after death 
and martyrdom, or were it two thousand years) writes and un- 
writes Acts of Parliament, removes mountains ; models the 
World like soft clay } Also how the beginning of all Thought, 
worth the name, is Love ; and the wise head never yet was, 
without first the generous heart ? The Heavens cease not their 
bounty ; they send us generous hearts into every generation. 
And now what generous heart can pretend to itself, or be 
hoodwinked into believing, that Loyalty to the Moneybag is a 


noble Loyalty ? Mammon, cries the generous heart out of all 
ages and countries, is the basest of known Gods, even of known 
Devils. In him what glory is there, that ye should worship him ? 
No glory discernible ; not even terror : at best, detestability, 
ill-matched with despicability ! — Generous hearts, discerning, on 
this hand, wide-spread Wretchedness, dark without and within, 
moistening its ounce-and-half of bread with tears ; and, on that 
hand, mere Balls in flesh-coloured drawers, and inane or foul 
glitter of such sort, — cannot but ejaculate, cannot but announce : 
Too much, O divine Mammon ; somewhat too much ! — The voice 
of these, once announcing itself, carries fiat and pereat in it, for 
all things here below. 

Meanwhile we will hate Anarchy as Death, which it is ; and 
the things worse than Anarchy shall be hated more. Surely 
Peace alone is fruitful. Anarchy is destruction ; a burning up, 
say, of Shams and Insupportabilities ; but which leaves Vacancy 
behind. Know this also, that out of a world of Unwise nothing 
but an Unwisdom can be made. Arrange it, constitution-build 
it, sift it through ballot-boxes as thou wilt, it is and remains an 
Unwisdom, — the new prey of new quacks and unclean things, 
the latter end of it slightly better than the beginning. Who 
can bring a wise thing out of men unwise ? Not one. And so 
Vacancy and general Abolition having come for this France, 
what can Anarchy do more ? Let there be Order, were it under 
the Soldier's Sword ; let there be Peace, that the bounty of the 
Heavens be not spilt ; that what of Wisdom they do send us 
bring fruit in its season ! — It remains to be seen how the quellers 
of Sansculottism were themselves quelled, and sacred right of 
Insurrection was blown away by gunpowder ; wherewith this 
singular eventful History called French Revolution ends. 

The Convention, driven such a course by wild wind, wild tide, 
and steerage and non-steerage, these three years, has become 
weary of its own existence, sees all men weary of it ; and wishes 
heartily to finish. To the last, it has to strive with contradictions : 
it is now getting fast ready with a Constitution, yet knows no 


peace. Sieyes, we say, is making the Constitution once more ; 
has as good as made it.^ Warned by experience, the great 

1 [Siey^s' share in the Constitution of the year III. was in fact far less than in that 
of 1791 ; yet this seems to be the place to attempt some further summary of his posi- 
tion during the Revolution. While almost every other great figure of the Revolution 
has its monograph, Sieyes has had none or as gqod as none devoted to him, for his 
own * Notice sur la Vie et les Travaux de Sieyes, Ecrite par lui-meme ' (Messidor, I'an 
II. ) is, from its date, necessarily incomplete. Now Sieyes seems to be one of the most 
important persons, yet his personality escapes one. To him more than to any one 
else is due the tabula rasa made of the past, the contempt for the realities of history, 
yet to him also many of the Civil Institutions which remain till to-day. To him 
too came the decision at several critical moments, e.g.^ his pamphlets of 1788 ; June 
17th '89; June 23rd '89; Jan. 21st '93 (for it is most probable that the Marais 
would have followed him, had he voted against the King's death) ; to him perhaps 
a little of this Directorial Constitution, and the decrees of August '95 ; finally to 
him the acceptance of the Coup d Atat of Brumaire and most of the Constitution 
of the year VIII. Yet withal, the man does not seem real ; he is, as M. Aulard 
wittily says, " an incomplete syllogism : " all men are to him ciphers, 'economic 
men, whose passions need not be taken into account ; when for a while they get out 
of hand and refuse to listen to his oracles, sua virtute se involvit, and feels sure that 
they will ask his counsel by and by. Napoleon, in whose government he entirely 
acquiesced, found out his weak point, avarice ; but lauded his probity. ^ He had 
probably committed enough infamy during the early years of the Revolution, if the 
reports (consistent but not entirely confirmed) are true that he backed up Brissot 
and Mme Roland in the summer of '92 {see Von Sybel, L 378-9), or that he gave 
much secret counsel to Robespierre during the Red Terror : see Dropmore papers 
(Hist. MSS. Commission, 14th Report, Appx. Part v. 1894). Cf. also my note 
supra, i. 148. 

The Constitutional Committee was formed on April 23rd in consequence of a 
report of Cambac^res on i8th on the means of carrying out the resolution of March 
2ist (fzV/. jz^/r.,iii.236). Three of those elected on it (Sieyes, Cambac^res, and Merlin 
of Douay) refused to sit ; and the Committee comprised Thibaudeau, Larevelliere, 
Lesage, Boissy d'Anglas, Creuze-La-Touche, Louvet, Daunou, Berlier, Lanjuinais, 
Durand-Maillane, Baudin : of these some four were really Royalists at heart, and 
would have liked to put Louis XVII. in the Presidential chair of a nominal Re- 
public ; but the boy's death prevented that, and no serious schemes were pro- 
pounded till the end of June, when on 23rd Boissy d'Anglas brought forward the 
first report. The debate on this report lasted three weeks. The main principles 
may thus be summed up : — 

(i.) Separation of executive and legislative to be complete. 

(ii.) Property qualification for franchise and for all offices. 

(iii. ) Simplification of local government by abolishing districts and (except in 
purely rural localities) cantons ; the Department to be the mainspring, and the 
Commune to be subordinated entirely to that; much greater centralisation of 
power than in 1791. 

(iv.) Two chambers each with an age qualification : the Council of Five Hundred 
one of 30 years, the Council of ' Ancients ' one of 40. 

(v.) Quadrennial Chambers, renewable by halves every two years. 

(vi.) Executive of five elected by the Chambers. 

The principal discussions took place on the shape of the Executive power ; the 
Royalists would all have preferred a President to the five directors ; but Sorel (iv. 
37S) well points out that the Directory was the natural child of the ComiU de Salut 
Public : it was the making of that Committee into a permanent Executive. The 
great difference however between the Constitution of the Year III. and the previous 
efforts Ues in the careful safeguards provided here for individual rights and opinions 
and properties ; — as we should say in England, the distinction is drawn for the first 
time between "Common-law rights" and "Political rights." The best criticism 


Architect alters much, admits much. Distinction of Active and 
Passive Citizen, that is, Money-quaUfication for Electors : nay 
Two Chambers, ' Council of Ancients,' as well as ' Council of 
Five-hundred ; ' to that conclusion have we come ! In a like 
spirit, eschewing that fatal self-denying ordinance of your Old 
Constituents, we enact not only that actual Convention Members 
are re-eligible, but that Two-thirds of them must be re-elected.^ 
The Active Citizen Electors shall for this time have free choice 
of only One-third of their National Assembly. Such enactment, 
of Two-thirds to be re-elected, we append to our Constitution ; 
we submit our Constitution to the Townships of France, and say. 
Accept both, or reject both. Unsavoury as this appendix may 
be, the Townships, by overwhelming majority, accept and ratify. 
With Directory of Five ; with Two good Chambers, double- 
majority of them nominated by ourselves, one hopes this Con- 
stitution may prove final. March it will ; for the legs of it, the 
re-elected Two-thirds, are already here, able to march. Sieyes 
looks at his paper- fabric with just pride.^ 

But now see how the contumacious Sections, Lepelletier fore- 
most, kick against the pricks ! Is it not manifest infraction of 

of the Constitution is to be found in Duvergier de Hauranne, vol. i. cap. vi. : and 
the Constitution may be seen at length in H^lie, Les Constitutions de la France, 
vol. i. p. 436. On Aug, 17th the Constitution was read over a second time and 
pronounced complete ; the subsequent discussions were all on the time and 
method of bringing it into force.] 

^ [Aug. 22nd — 30th. It was in Baudin's report on Aug. i8th that the proposal 
was made that two-thirds of the new Chambers should be chosen from the Con- 
vention ; after a debate of four days, as to whether this choice should be made by 
lot, or by vote of the Convention, or by a special Commission, or by the PClectors, 
it was decided, on Aug. 22nd, that it should be done by the Electors. This was 
ratified on Aug. 30th, and these are the two celebrated 'decrees of Fructidor,' 
against which the insurrection of 13th Venddmiaire took place. It is obvious that 
such measures were simply dictated in the interest of the lives or property of the 
Republican majority of the Convention. France was royalist in spite of the 
Afnigr^s, and free elections would have been followed by some sort of restoration of 
Monarchy. It is interesting to compare with these decrees the proposal of Sir 
Henry Vane's committee in the Long Parliament, first mooted in 1650, that new 
elections should be made to the vacant seats only, but that the sitting members 
should retain their seats. Cromwell proved in the spring of 1653 more fortunate 
against this parliamentary tyranny than the insurgents of Vend^miaire against the 
similar proposal of the Conventions. 

2 [On Sept. 23rd the Convention registered the acceptance of the Constitution by 
914,000 votes out of 958,000 given in the Primary Assemblies; but the "decrees 
of the two-thirds " were only accepted by 167,000 out of 263,000, a significant drop 
in the "government majority." (Sorel, iv. 438.)] 


one's Elective Franchise, Rights of Man, and Sovereignty of the 
People, this appendix of re-electing ymir Two-thirds ? Greedy 
tyrants who would perpetuate yourselves ! — For the truth is, 
victory over Saint- Antoine, and long right of Insurrection, has 
spoiled these men. Nay spoiled all men. Consider too how 
each man was free to hope what he liked ; and now there is to 
be no hope, there is to be fruition, fruition of this. 

In men spoiled by long right of Insurrection, what confused 
ferments will rise, tongues once begun wagging ! Journalists 
declaim, your Lacretelles, Laharpes ; Orators spout. There is 
Royalism traceable in it, and Jacobinism.^ On the West Frontier, 
in deep secrecy, Pichegru, durst he trust his Army, is treating 
with Conde : in these Sections, there spout wolves in sheep's 
clothing, masked Emigrants and Royalists. ^ All men, as we 
say, had hoped, each that the Election would do something for 
his own side : and now there is no Election, or only the third of 
one. Black is united with white against this clause of the 
Two-thirds ; all the Unruly of France, who see their trade 
thereby near ending. 

Section Lepelletier, after Addresses enough, finds that such 
clause is a manifest infraction ; that it, Lepelletier, for one, will 

1 [We must carefully distinguish between the moderate Royalism of the central 
Sections of Paris, a Royalism entirely opposed to all the plans of the llmigrds, and 
to the non-possumus attitude of Louis XVIII., and the schemes of Pichegru 
mentioned in the next note which were*to promote an unconditional restoration of 
the exiled King, which at this time would simply have meant the Ancien Rigime, 
and unlimited vengeance. The misfortune of the first kind of Royalism, led by such 
men as Dupont de Nemours and Morellet outside, and by Boissy d'Anglas inside 
the Convention, was that they had no King to bring forward : they were therefore 
willing to accept any form of government freely chosen by the people of France, 
provided honourable men were in the van of it, and to live in hopes that Louis 
XVIII. would change his mind, throw over the lijnigrds, and accept a constitution at 
no very distant date. But the decrees of Fructidor showed the manifest intention 
of the Republican majority to prevent this at all costs.] 

2 Napoleon, Las Cases (in Choix des Rapports, xvii. 389-411). [Pichegru, cun- 
ning and mistrustful, undecided and yet obstinate, allowed himself to be led, from 
merely sordid motives, by the stupidest of the Royalist agents. It was Fauche- 
Borel who proposed to him the union of his army with that of Cond^ for the 
restoration of Louis XVIII. Pichegru, however, insisted upon an autograph letter 
from Cond6, whose movements were as keenly watched by the Austrians as Piche- 
gru's were by the Republicans of Alsace. The threads of the whole scheme fell 
into the hands of Wiirmser, who informed Thugut, who most characteristically 
betrayed Pichegru to the French Directory, which deprived him of his command. 
(Forneron, ii. 205, sqq.)} 


simply not conform thereto ; and invites all other free Sections 
to join it, ' in central Committee/ in resistance to oppression.^ 
The Sections join it, nearly all ; strong with their Forty- thousand 
fighting men. The Convention therefore may look to itself! 
Lepelletier, on this 12th day of Vendemiaire, 4th of October 
1795, is sitting in open contravention, in its Convent of Filles 
Saint-Thomas, Rue Vivienne, with guns primed. The Convention 
has some Five-thousand regular troops at hand ; Generals in 
abundance ; and a Fifteen-hundred of miscellaneous persecuted 
Ultra-Jacobins, whom in this crisis it has hastily got together 
and armed, under the title Patriots of Eighty-nine. Strong in 
Law, it sends its General Menou to disarm Lepelletier.^ 

General Menou marches accordingly, with due summons and 
demonstration ; with no result. General Menou, about eight in 
the evening, finds that he is standing ranked in the Rue Vivienne, 
emitting vain summonses ; with primed guns pointed out of 
every window at him ; and that he cannot disarm Lepelletier. 
He has to return, with whole skin, but without success ; and be 
thrown into arrest, as 'a. traitor.' Whereupon the whole Forty- 
thousand join this Lepelletier which cannot be vanquished : to 
what hand shall a quaking Convention now turn? Our poor 
Convention, after such voyaging, just entering harbour, so to 
speak, has struck on the bar ; — and labours there frightfully, with 

1 Deux Amis, xiii. 375-406. 

2 [The Convention showed the weakness of its position early in August by draw- 
ing to Paris detachments from all the armies : preparing in fact to defend its 
Coup cVAtat by force, as it had been beheved that the Court had prepared in July '89 : 
as early as Aug. 28th petitions had been presented to the Convention against the 
increase of troops. The troops were to be depended upon just so much as they 
believed the Insurgents to be pure Royalists and in league with the Amigrds : they 
had fought under the Tricolor, and were by this time attached to the name of 
' Republic ' — but not by any means attached to the Convention : the Insurrection 
actually began on Oct. 3rd, when the Section Lepelletier summoned a meeting of 
all the Sections, and, on the morning of 4th, 44 out of the 48 sections were in full 
revolt against the decrees of Fructidor, disposing in all of some 30,000 National 
Guards, but without artillery. The Baron de Menou, an officer of the old army, 
who had sat in States-General for the Noblesse of Touraine (and who subse- 
quently served every Government till his death, 1810, even becoming a Mussulman, 
at the close of the expedition to Egypt), was not a traitor at all ; but he shrank from 
the task of shooting down the respectable citizens of Paris. It was Barras who 
suggested calling on the dregs of the Terrorists or " Patriots of '89 " (the true 
patriots of '89 were all on the other side), which of course only made the respectable 
Sections determined to fight to the death.] 


breakers roaring round it, Forty-thousand of them, like to wash 
it, and its Siey^s Cargo and the whole future of France, into the 
deep ! Yet one last time it struggles, ready to perish. 

Some call for Barras to be made Commandant ; he conquered 
in Thermidor. Some, what is more to the purpose, bethink 
them of the Citizen Buonaparte, unemployed Artillery-Officer, 
who took Toulon. A man of head, a man of action : Barras is 
named Commandant's -CI oak ; this young Artillery-Officer is 
named Commandant. He was in the Gallery at the moment, 
and heard it; he withdrew, some half-hour, to consider with 
himself: after a half-hour of grim compressed considering, to 
be or not to be, he answers Yea. 

And now, a man of head being at the centre of it, the whole 
matter gets vital. Swift, to Camp of Sablons ; to secure the 
Artillery, there are not twenty men guarding it ! A swift 
Adjutant, Murat is the name of him, gallops; gets thither some 
minutes within time, for Lepelletier was also on march that 
way : the Cannon are ours. And now beset this post, and beset 
that ; rapid and firm : at Wicket of the Louvre, in Cul-de-sac 
Dauphin, in Rue Saint-Honore, from Pont-Neuf all along the 
north Quays, southward to Pont ci-devanl Royal, — rank round 
the Sanctuary of the Tuileries, a ring of steel discipline ; let 
every gunner have his match burning, and all men stand to 
their arms ! ^ 

Thus there is Permanent -session through the night ; and thus 
at sunrise of the moiTow, there is seen sacred Insurrection once 
again : vessel of State labouring on the bar ; and tumultuous 
sea all round her,'^ beating generate, arming and sounding, — not 

1 [The Convention appointed a Commission of five members to concert plans 
for its defence, of whom Barras was one (night of Oct. 4th— 5th) ; but Barras had 
already on the night of 3rd sent for Buonaparte to come to see him early on 4th. 
Napoleon afterwards told a beautifully circumstantial lie on the subject to Mme 
de R^musat {see her M^moires, i. 269), attributing his selection to chance (or, as he 
would have it, 'to his star of destiny') on the early morning of 5th ; but there is 
no foundation for this [see Fournier, i. 66). Nor is there any better foundation for 
the story, repeated by Carlyle from the Memorial de Saint- H^lene, that he hesitated 
for half an hour before accepting. 'I'he story of Murat fetching the cannon is, how- 
ever, true ; the cannon were at Meudon (Fournier, i. 67).] 

2[Oct. sth.] 


ringing tocsin, ^ for we have left no tocsin but our own in the 
Pavilion of Unity. It is an imminence of shipwreck, for the 
whole world to gaze at. Frightfully she labours, that poor 
ship, within cable-length of port ; huge peril for her. However, 
she has a man at the helm. Insurgent messages, received and 
not received ; messenger admitted blindfolded ; counsel and 
counter- counsel : the poor ship labours! — Vendemiaire 13th, 
year 4: curious enough, of all days, it is the fourth day of 
October, eve of the anniversary of that Menad-raarch, six years 
ago ; by sacred right of Insurrection we are got thus far. 

Lepelletier has seized the Church of Saint- Roch ; has seized 
the Pont-Neuf, our piquet there retreating without fire. Stray 
shots fall from Lepelletier ; rattle down on the very Tuileries 
Staircase. 2 On the other hand, women advance dishevelled, 
shrieking. Peace ; Lepelletier behind them waving its hat in 
sign that we shall fraternise. Steady! The Artillery-Officer 
is steady as bronze ; can, if need were, be quick as lightning. 
He sends eight-hundred muskets with ball-cartridges to the 
Convention itself; honourable Members shall act with these in 
case of extremity : whereat they look grave enough. Four of 
the afternoon is struck. ^ Lepelletier, making nothing by mes- 
sengers, by fraternity or hat-waving, bursts out, along the 
Southern Quai Voltaire, along streets and passages, treble-quick, 
in huge veritable onslaught ! Whereupon, thou bronze Artillery- 
Officer — ? " Fire ! " say the bronze lips. And roar and thunder, 
roar and again roar, continual, volcano-like, goes his great gun, 
in the Cul-de-sac Dauphin against the Church of Saint- Roch ; 
go his great guns on the Pont- Royal ; go all his great guns ; — 
blow to air some two-hundred men, mainly about the Church 
of Saint- Roch ! Lepelletier cannot stand such horse-play ; no 

1 [The Sectionaries had chosen an incapable General, Danican, to command 
them, and it had been a fatal mistake on their part not to advance on the night of 
4th ; when they did advance on the afternoon of 5th it was too late. (Von Sybel, iv. 

2 [No one knows who fired the first shots : it is more probable that they came 
from the Convention side, as the Sectionaries had no need to fire while they could 
advance unchecked. (Von Sybel, iv. 424. )] 

5 Moniteur, Stance du 5 Octobre 1795. 


Sectioner can stand it ; the Forty-thousand yield on all sides, 
scour towards covert. ' Some hundred or so of them gathered 
'about the Theatre de la Republique; but/ says he, 'a few 
'shells dislodged them. It was all finished at six.' 

The Ship is over the bar, then ; free she bounds shoreward, — 
amid shouting and vivats ! Citoyen Buonaparte is ' named 
General of the Interior, by acclamation ; ' quelled Sections have 
to disarm in such humour as they may : sacred right of Insurrec- 
tion is gone forever ! The Sieyes Constitution can disembark 
itself, and begin marching. The miraculous Convention Ship 
has got to land ; — and is there, shall we figuratively say, changed, 
as Epic Ships are wont, into a kind of Sea Nymph, never to sail 
more ; to roam the waste Azure, a Miracle in History ! 

'It is false,' says Napoleon, 'that we fired first with blank 
' charge ; it had been a waste of life to do that.' Most false : 
the firing was with sharp and sharpest shot : to all men it was 
plain that here was no sport ; the rabbets and plinths of Saint- 
Roch Church show splintered by it to this hour. — Singular : in 
old Broglie's time, six years ago, this Whiff of Grapeshot was 
promised ; but it could not be given then ; could not have 
profited then.i Now, however, the time is come for it, and the 
man ; and behold, you have it ; and the thing we specifically 
call French Revolution is blown into space by it, and become a 
thing that was ! — ^ 

i[This again is an assumption which underlies the whole of Carlyle's book, and 
one which I entirely decline to accept.] 

2[' C(fsar viendra,' wrote the great Catherine as far back as 1791. * // vietidra, 
gardez-vous d^en dotiter ; ' and in 1794 she wrote, " If France escapes from this " (the 
Terror) " she will be more vigorous than ever ; and as obedient as a lamb, if she 
"can find some man of genius and courage, a head and shoulders above his con- 
" temporaries, above his century. Is he born yet?" (Cath. Corresp. avec Grimm, 
Jan. '91, Feb. '94, quoted in Sorel, iv, 472.) 

And M. Sorel's own great work ends with the words, " The Convention, in its 
fears of raising up a Cromwell, or paving the way for a Monk, marked out the 
path for a Caesar." Veritably Napoleon was " Ni Monk, ni Cromwell, C^sar."\ 

VOL. III. 17 




Homer's Epos, it is remarked, is like a Bas-Relief sculpture : it 
does not conclude, but merely ceases. Such, indeed, is the Epos 
of Universal History itself. Directorates, Consulates, Emperor- 
ships, Restorations, Citizen- Kingships succeed this Business in 
due series, in due genesis one out of the other. Nevertheless 
the First-parent of all these may be said to have gone to air in 
the way we see. A Baboeuf Insurrection, next year, will die in 
the birth ; stifled by the Soldiery. A Senate, if tinged with 
Royalism, can be purged by the Soldiery ; and an Eighteenth 
of Fructidor transacted by the mere show of bayonets.^ Nay 
Soldiers' bayonets can be used a posterioii on a Senate, and 
make it leap out of window, — still bloodless ; and produce an 
Eighteenth of Brumaire.^ Such changes must happen : but they 
are managed by intriguings, caballings, and then by orderly word 
of command ; almost like mere changes of Ministry. Not in 
general by sacred right of Insurrection, but by milder methods 
growing ever milder, shall the events of French History be 
henceforth brought to pass. 

It is admitted that this Directorate, which owned, at its start- 
ing, these three things, an ' old table, a sheet of paper, and an 
inkbottle,' and no visible money or arrangement whatever, ^ did 
wonders : that France, since the Reign of Terror hushed itself, 
has been a new France, awakened like a giant out of torpor ; 
and has gone on, in the Internal Life of it, with continual pro- 
gress. As for the External form and forms of Life, what can 
we say, except that out of the Eater there comes Strength ; out 
of the Unwise there comes not Wisdom ! — Shams are burnt up ; 
nay, what as yet is the peculiarity of France, the very Cant of 
them is burnt up. The new Realities are not yet come : ah no, 

1 Moniteur, du 4 Septembre 1797. 

29th November 1799 (Choix des Rapports, xvii. 1-96). 

3 Bailleul, Examen critique des Considerations de Madame de Stael, ii. 275. 

FINIS 259 

only Phantasms, Paper models, tentative Prefigurements of such ! 
In France there are now Four Million Landed Properties ; ^ that 
black portent of an Agrarian Law is, as it were, realised. What 
is still stranger, we understand all Frenchmen have ' the right 
of duel ; ' the Hackney-coachman with the Peer, if insult be 
given : such is the law of Public Opinion. Equality at least in 
death ! The Form of Government is by Citizen King, frequently 
shot at, not yet shot. 

On the whole, therefore, has it not been fulfilled what was 
prophesied, ex-post facto indeed, by the Arch-quack Cagliostro, 
or another? He, as he looked in rapt vision and amazement 
into these things, thus spake : ^ ' Ha ! What is this ? Angels, 
' Uriel, Anachiel, and ye other Five ; Pentagon of Rejuvenes- 
' cence ; Power that destroyedst Original Sin ; Earth, Heaven, 
' and thou Outer Limbo, which men name Hell ! Does the 
'Empire of Imposture waver! Burst there, in starry sheen 
' updarting. Light-rays from out of its dark foundations ; as it 
'rocks and heaves, not in travail-throes but in death - throes ? 
'Yea, Light-rays, piercing, clear, that salute the Heavens, — lo, 
' they kindle it ; their starry clearness becomes as red Hellfire ! 

' Imposture is in flames. Imposture is burnt up : one red sea 
' of Fire, wild-bellowing, enwraps the World ; with its fire-tongue 
' licks at the very Stars. Thrones are hurled into it, and Dubois 
' Mitres, and Prebendal Stalls that drop fatness, and — ha ! what 
' see I ? — all the Gigs of Creation : all, all ! Wo is me ! Never 
'since Pharaoh's Chariots, in the Red Sea of water, was there 
' wreck of Wheel-vehicles like this in the Sea of Fire. Desolate, 
' as ashes, as gases, shall they wander in the wind. 

' Higher, higher yet flames the Fire-Sea ; crackling with new 
' dislocated timber ; hissing with leather and prunella. The 
' metal Images are molten ; the marble Images become mortar- 
' lime ; the stone Mountains sulkily explode. Respectability, 
' with all her collected Gigs inflamed for funeral pyre, wailing, 

i[As we have seen, there were about the same number before the Revolution.] 
2 Diamond Necklace (Carlyle's Miscellanies). 


' leaves the Earth : not to return save under new Avatar. Im- 
' posture how it bums, through generations : how it is burnt up ; 
' for a time. The World is black ashes ; — which, ah, when will 
' they grow green ? The Images all run into amorphous Corinthian 
' brass ; all Dwellings of men destroyed ; the very mountains 
' peeled and riven, the valleys black and dead : it is an empty 

' World ! Wo to them that shall be bom then ! A King, a 

' Queen (ah me !) were hurled in ; did rustle once ; flew aloft, 
' crackling, like paper-scroll. Iscariot Egalite was hurled in ; 
' thou grim de Launay, with thy grim Bastille ; whole kindreds 
' and peoples ; five millions of mutually destroying Men. For it 
'is the End of the dominion of Imposture (which is Darkness and 
' opaque Firedamp) ; and the burning up, with unquenchable fire, 
'of all the Gigs that are in the Earth.' This Prophecy, we say, 
has it not been fulfilled, is it not fulfilling ? 

And so here, O Reader, has the time come for us two to part. 
Toilsome was our journeying together ; not without offence ; but 
it is done. To me thou wert as a beloved shade, the disembodied 
or not yet embodied spirit of a Brother. To thee I was but as a 
Voice. Yet was our relation a kind of sacred one ; doubt not 
that ! For whatsoever once sacred things become hollow jargons, 
yet while the Voice of Man speaks with Man, hast thou not there 
the living fountain out of which all sacrednesses sprang, and will 
yet spring? Man, by the nature of him, is definable as 'an 
incarnated Word.' Ill stands it with me if I have spoken falsely : 
thine also it was to hear truly. Farewell. 





[Drawn up by "Philo," for Edition 1857] 


(May lOtk, 1774!— October 5th, 1789) 


Louis XV. dies, at Versailles, May lOth, 1774 ; of small-pox, after a 
short illness : Great-grandsou of Louis XIV. ; age then 64 ; in the 
59th year of his nominal 'reign.' Retrospect to 1774: sad decay of 
' Realised Ideals,' secular and sacred. Scenes about Louis XV. 's death- 
bed. Scene of the Noblesse entering, ' with a noise like thunder,' to 
do homage to the New King and Queen. New King, Louis XVI., 
was his Predecessor's Grandson ; age then near 20, — born August 23d, 
1754. New Queen was Marie Antoinette, Daughter (8th daughter, 
12th child) of the great Empress Maria-Theresa and her Emperor 
Francis (originally '^ Duke of Lorraine,' but with no territory there) ; 
her age at this time was under 19 (born November 2d, 1775). Louis 
and she were wedded four years ago {May 16th, 1770) ; but had as yet 
no children ; — none till 1778, when their first was born ; a Daughter 
known long afterwards as Duchess d'Angouleme. Two Sons followed, 
who were successively called '^ Dauphin ;" but died both, the second 
in very miserable circumstances, while still in boyhood. Their fourth 
and last child, a Daughter (1786), lived only 11 months. These two 
were now King and Queen, piously reckoning themselves " too young 
to reign." 


December IQth, 1773, Tea, a celebrated cargo of it, had been flung 
out in the harbour of Boston, Massachusetts : June 7th, 1775, Battle of 
Bunker's Hill, first of the American War, is fought in the same neigh- 
bourhood, — far over seas. 


Change of Administration. Maurepas, a man now 73 years old and 
of great levity, is appointed Prime-Minister ; Vergennes favourably 
known for his correct habits, for his embassies in Turkey, in Sweden, 
gets the Department of Foreign Afiairs. Old Parlement is reinstated ; 
'' Parlement Maupeou," which had been invented for getting edicts, 
particularly tax-edicts, ' registered,' and made available in law, is dis- 
missed. Turgot, made Controller-General of Finances (*^ Chancellor 
of the Exchequer" and something more), August 24cth, 1774, gives 
rise to high hopes, being already known as a man of much intelligence 
speculative and practical, of noble patriotic intentions, and of a probity 
beyond question. 

There are many changes ; but one steady fact, of supreme signifi- 
cance, continued Deficit of Revenue, — that is the only History of the 
Period. Noblesse and Clergy are exempt from direct imposts ; no tax 
that can be devised, on such principle, will yield due ways and means. 
Meanings of that fact ; little surmised by the then populations of 
France. Turgot, aiming at juster principles, cannot ; ^ Corn-trade ' 
(domestic) ' made free,' and many improvements and high intentions ; 
— much discontent at Court in consequence ; famine-riots withal, and 
^ gallows forty feet high.' Turgot will tax Noblesse and Clergy like the 
other ranks ; tempest of astonishment and indignation in consequence : 
Turgot dismissed. May 1776. Flat snuiF-boxes come out, this summer, 
under the name of Turgotines, as being " platitudes " (in the notion of 
a fashionable snuffing public), like the plans of this Controller. Necker, 
a Genevese become rich by Banking in Paris, and well seen by the 
Philosophe party, is appointed Controller in his stead (1776) ; — and 
there is continued Deficit of Revenue. 

For the rest. Benevolence, Tolerance, Doctrine of universal Love 
and Charity to good and bad. Scepticism, Philosophism, Sensualism : 
portentous ^Electuary,' of sweet taste, into which '^Good and Evil,' 
the distinctions of them lost, have been mashed up. Jean-Jacques, 
Contrat-Social : universal Millennium, of Liberty, Brotherhood, and 
whatever is desirable, expected to be rapidly approaching on those 


terms. Balloons, Horse-races, Anglomania. Continued Deficit of 
Revenue. Necker's plans for * tilling up the Deficit ' are not approved 
of, and are only partially gone into : Frugality is of slow operation ; 
curtailment of expenses occasions numerous dismissals, numerous dis- 
contents at Court : from Noblesse and Clergy, if their privilege of 
exemption be touched, what is to be hoped ? 

American-English War (since April 1775) ; Franklin, and Agents o*' 
the Revolted Colonies, at Paris (1776 and afterwards), where their 
Cause is in high favour. Treaty with Revolted Colonies, February 
&h, 1778 ; extensive Official smugglings of supplies to them (in which 
Beaumarchais is much concerned) for some time before. Departure of 
French ^'^ volunteer " Auxiliaries, under Lafayette, 177B. "Volun- 
teers" these, not sanctioned, only countenanced and furthered, the 
public clamour being strong that way. War from England, in con- 
sequence ; Rochambeau to America, with public Auxiliaries, in 1780 : 
— War not notable, except by the Siege of Gibraltar, and by the 
general result arrived at shortly after. 

Continued Deficit of Revenue : Necker's ulterior plans still less ap- 
proved of ; by Noblesse and Clergy, least of all. January 1781, he 
publishes a Compte Rendu {' Account Rendered,' of himself and them), 
' Two hundred thousand copies of it sold ; ' — and is dismissed in the 
May following. Returns to Switzerland ; and there writes New Books, 
on the same interesting subject or pair of subjects. Maurepas dies, 
November 21s/, 1781: the essential "Prime-Minister" is henceforth 
the Controller-General, if any such could be found ; there being an 
ever-increasing Deficit of Revenue, — a Millennium thought to be just 
coming on, and evidently no money in its pocket. 

Siege of Gibraltar {September I3th, to middle of November 1782) : 
Siege futile on the part of France and Spain ; hopeless since that day 
{Sept. 13th) of the red-hot balls. General result arrived at is important : 
American Independence recognised {Peace of Versailles, January 20thy 
1783). Lafayette returns in illustrious condition ; named Scipio Ameri- 
canus by some able-editors of the time. 


Ever-increasing Deficit of Revenue. Worse, not better, since 
Necker's dismissal. After one or two transient Controllers, who can 
do nothing, Calonne, a memorable one, is nominated, November 1783. 
Who continues, with lavish expenditure raised by loans, contenting all 


the world by his liberality, ' quenching fire by oil thrown on it ; ' for 
three years aud more. "All the world was holding out its hand, I 
held out my hat." Ominous scandalous Aifair called of the Diamond 
Necklace (Cardinal de Rohan, Dame de la Motte, Arch-Quack Cagliostro 
the principal actors), tragically compromising the Queen's name who 
had no vestige of concern with it, becomes public as Criminal-Trial, 
1785 ; penal sentence on the above active parties and others. May 21st, 
1786 : with immense rumour and conjecture from all mankind. Calonne, 
his borrowing resources being out, convokes the Notables (First Convo- 
cation of the Notables) February 22d, 1787, to sanction his new Plans 
of Taxing ; who will not hear of him or them : so that he is dismissed, 
and ^exiled,' April Sth, 1787. First Convocation of Notables, — who 
treat not of this thing only, but of all manner of public things, and 
mention States-General among others, — sat from February 22d to May 
25th, 1787. 


Cardinal Lomenie de Brieune, who had long been ambitious of the 
post, succeeds Calonne. A man now of sixty ; dissolute, worthless ; — 
devises Tax-Edicts, Stamptax (^dit du Timbre, July 6th, 1787) and 
others, with ^ successive loans,' and the like ; which the Parlement, 
greatly to the joy of the Public, will not register. Ominous condition 
of the Public, all virtually in opposition ; Parlements, at Paris and 
elsewhere, have a cheap method of becoming glorious. Contests of 
Lomenie and Parlement. Beds-of-Justice (first of them, August Gth, 
1787) ; Lettres-de-Cachet, and the like methods : general ' Exile ' of 
Parlement {Aug. 15th, 1787), who return upon conditions, September 
20th. Increasing ferment of the Public. Lomenie helps himself by 
temporary shifts till he can, privately, get ready for wrestling down 
the rebellious Parlement, 

1788 Januarij — September 

Spring of 1788, grand scheme of dismissing the Parlement altogether, 
and nominating instead a ^' Plenary Court (Cour Pleniere)," which shall 
be obedient in ' registering ' and in other points. Scheme detected 
before quite ripe : Parlement in permanent session thereupon ; har- 
anguing all night (May 8d) ; applausive idle crowds inundating the 
Outer Courts : D'Espremenil and Goeslard de Monsabert seized by 
military in the gray of the morning {May 4th), and whirled oft" to 


distant places of imprisonment : Parlement itself dismissed to exile. 
Attempt to govern (that is, to raise supplies) by Royal Edict simply, — 
" Plenary Court " having expired in the birth. Rebellion of all the 
Provincial Parlements ; idle Public more and more noisily approving 
and applauding. Destructive hailstorm, July 13th, which was remem- 
bered next year. Royal Edict {August Sth), That States-General, 
often vaguely promised before, shall actually assemble in May next. 
Proclamation {A ug. Wth), That * Treasury Payments be henceforth three- 
fifths in cash, two-fifths in paper,' — in other words, that the Treasury 
is fallen insolvent. Lomenie thereupon immediately dismissed ; with 
immense explosion of popular rejoicing, more riotous than usual. 
Necker, favourite of all the world, is immediately {Aug. 24tth) recalled 
from Switzerland to succeed him, and be " Saviour of France." 

1788 November, December 

Second Convocation of the Notables {November 6th — December 12th), 
by Necker, for the purpose of settling how, in various essential particu- 
lars, the States-General shall be held. For instance. Are the Three 
Estates to meet as one Deliberative Body ? Or as Three, or Two ? Above 
all, what is to be the relative force, in deciding, of the Third Estate or 
Commonalty.'* Notables, as other less formal Assemblages had done 
and do, depart without settling any of the points in question ; most 
points remain unsettled, — especially that of the Third Estate and its 
relative force. Elections begin everywhere, January next. Troubles 
of France seem now to be about becoming Revolution in France. Com- 
mencement of the " French Revolution," — henceforth a phenomenon 
absorbing all others for mankind, — is commonly dated here. 

1789 Mai/, June 

Assembling of States-General at Versailles ; Procession to the Church 
of St. Louis there. May ith. Third Estate has the Nation behind it ; 
wishes to be a main element in the business. Hopes, and (led by 
Mirabeau and other able heads) decides, that it must be the main 
element of all, — and will continue '^ inert,' and do nothing, till that 
come about : namely, till the other Two Estates, Noblesse and Clergy, 
be joined with it ; in which conjunct state it can outvote them, and 
may become what it wishes. ' Inertia,' or the scheme of doing only 
harangues and adroit formalities, is adopted by it ; adroitly persevered 
in, for seven weeks : much to the hope of France ; to the alarm of 
Necker and the Court, 


Court decides to intervene. Hall of Assembly is found shut {Satur- 
day, June 20th) ; Third-Estate Deputies take Oath, celebrated " Oath 
of the Tennis-Courtj" in that emergency. Emotion of French mankind. 
Monday, June 22^,^Court does intervene, but with reverse effect : Seance 
Royale, Royal Speech, giving open intimation of much significance, 
" If you. Three Estates, cannot agree, I the King will myself achieve 
the happiness of my People." Noblesse and Clergy leave the Hall 
along with King ; Third Estate remains pondering this intimation. 
Enter Supreme-Usher de Br6ze, to command departure ; Mirabeau's 
fulminant words to him : exit de Breze, fruitless and worse, ' amid seas 
of angry people. ' All France on the edge of blazing out : Court recoils ; 
Third Estate, other Two now joining it on order, triumphs, successful 
in every particular. The States-General are henceforth '^National 
Assembly ; " called in Books distinctively '^ Constituent Assembly ; " 
that is. Assembly met ^^ to make the Constitution," — perfect Constitu- 
tion, under which the French People might realise their Millennium. 

1789 Jtme, July 

Great hope, great excitement, great suspicion. Court terrors and 
plans : old Marechal Broglio, — this is the Broglio who was young in 
the Seven- Years War ; son of a Marshal Broglio, and grandson of 
another, who much filled the Newspapers in their time. Gardes Fran- 
gaises at Paris need to be confined to their quarters ; and cannot (June 
26th). Sunday, July 12th, news that Necker is dismissed, and gone 
homewards overnight : panic terror of Paris, kindling into hot frenzy ; 
— ends in besieging the Bastille ; and in taking it, chiefly by infinite 
noise, the Gardes Frangaises at length mutely assisting in the rear. 
Bastille falls, ' like the City of Jericho, by sound,' Tuesday, July \4:th, 
1789. Kind of 'fire-baptism' to the Revolution; which continues in- 
suppressible thenceforth, and beyond hope of suppression. All France, 
' as National Guards, to suppress Brigands and enemies to the making 
of the Constitution,' takes arms. 

1789 August — October 

Scipio Americanus, Mayor Bailly and ' Patrollotism versus Patriotism' 
{August, September). Hope, terror, suspicion, excitement, rising ever 
more, towards the transcendental pitch ; continued scarcity of grain. 
Progress towards Fifth of October, called here ' Insurrection of Women.' 
Regiment de Flandre has come to Versailles {Sept. 23d) ; OflScers have 


had a dinner {Oct. 8d), with much demonstration and gesticulative 
foolery, of an anti-constitutional and monarchic character. Paris, semi- 
delirious, hears of it {Sunday, Oct. 4th), with endless emotion ; —next 
day, some ^ 10,000 women ' (men being under awe of ' Patrollotism ') 
march upon Versailles ; followed by endless miscellaneous multitudes, 
and finally by Lafayette and National Guards. Phenomena and procedure 
there. Result is, they bring the Royal Family and National Assembly 
home with them to Paris ; Paris thereafter Centre of the Revolution, 
and October Five a memorable day. 

1789 October — December 

' First Emigration,' of certain higher Noblesse and Princes of the 
Blood ; which more or less continues through the ensuing years, and 
at length on an altogether profuse scale. Much legal enquiring and 
procedure as to Philippe d'C)rl6ans and his (imaginary) concern in this 
Fifth of October ; who retires to England for a while, and is ill seen by 
the polite classes there. 



(Jatmajy 1790 — August 12th, 1792) 


Constitution-building, and its difficulties and accompaniments. Clubs, 
Journalisms ; advent of anarchic souls from every quarter of the world. 
February 4th, King's visit to Constituent Assembly ; emotion there- 
upon and National Oath, which flies over France. Progress of swearing 
it, detailed. General " Federation," or mutual Oath of all Frenchmen, 
otherwise called ^ Feast of Pikes ' {July lUh, Anniversary of Bastille- 
day), which also is a memorable Day. Its effects on the Military, in 
Lieutenant Napoleon Buonaparte's experience. 

General disorganisation of the Army, and attempts to mend it. 
Affair of Nanci (catastrophe is August 31s^) ; called '^Massacre of 
Nanci : " irritation thereupon. Mutineer Swiss sent to the Galleys ; 
solemn Funeral-service for the Slain at Nanci {September 20th) , and 
riotous menaces and mobs in consequence. Steady progress of disor- 
ganisation, of anarchy spiritual and practical. Mirabeau, desperate 
of Constitution-building under such accompaniments, has interviews 
with the Queen, and contemplates great things. 

1791 April— July 

Death of Mirabeau {April 2d) : last chance of guiding or controlling 
this Revolution gone thereby. Royal Family, still hopeful to control 
it, means to get away from Paris as the first step. Suspected of such 
intention ; visit to St. Cloud violently prevented by the Populace 
{April ISHh). Actual Flight to Varennes {June 20th) ; and misventures 
there ; return captive to Paris, in a frightfully worsened position, the 
fifth evening after {June 25th). "^Republic" mentioned in Placards, 
during King's Flight ; generally reprobated. Queen and Barnave. A 
Throne held up ; as if 'set on its vertex,' to be held there by hand. 


Should not this runaway King be deposed ? Immense assemblage, 
petitioning at Altar of Fatherland to that effect (Sunday, July Vlth), 
is dispersed by musketry, from Lafayette and Mayor Bailly, with ex- 
tensive shrieks following, and leaving remembrances of a very bitter 

1791 August 

Foreign Governments, who had long looked with disapproval on the 
French Revolution, now set about preparing for actual interference. 
Convention of Pilnitz (August 25th-27th) : Emperor Leopold II., Fried- 
rich Wilhelm II. King of Prussia, with certain less important Poten- 
tates, and Emigrant Princes of the Blood, assembling at this Pilnitz 
(Electoral Country-House near Dresden), express their sorrow and 
concern at the impossible posture of his now French Majesty, which 
they think calls upon regular Governments to interfere and mend it : 
they themselves, prepared at present to '^ resist French aggression " 
on their own territories, will cooperate with said Governments in 
"interfering by effectual methods." This Document, of date Aug. 
27th, 1791, rouses violent indignations in France ; which blaze up 
higher and higher, and are not quenched for twenty-five years 
after. Constitution finished ; accepted by the King (September 14:th). 
Constituent Assembly proclaims 'in a sonorous voice' (Sept. SOth), 
that its Sessions are all ended ; — and goes its ways amid ' illumina- 

1791 October — December 

Legislative Assembly, elected according to the Constitution, the first 
and also the last Assembly of that character, meets October 1st, 1791 : 
sat till September 2lst, 1792 ; a Twelvemonth all but nine days. More 
republican than its predecessor ; inferior in talent ; destitute, like it, 
of parliamentary experience. Its debates, futilities, staggering parlia- 
mentary procedure (Book V. cc. 1-3). Court ' pretending to be dead,' 
— not 'aiding the Constitution to march.' Sunday, October 16th, 
L'Escuyer, at Avignon, murdered in a Church ; Massacres in the Ice- 
Tower follow. Suspicions of their King, and of each other ; anxieties 
about foreign attack, and whether they are in a right condition to meet 
it ; painful questionings of Ministers, continual changes of Ministry, — 
occupy France and its Legislative with sad debates, growing ever more 
desperate and stormy in the coming months. Narbonne (Madame de 


Stael's friend) made War-Minister, December 7th ; continues for nearly 
half a year ; then Servan, who lasts three months ; then Dumouriez, 
who, in that capacity, lasts only five days (had, with Roland as Home- 
Minister, been otherwise in place for a year or more) ; mere ' Ghosts of 

1792 February — April 

Terror of rural France {February -March) ; Camp of Jales ; copious 
Emigration. Feb. 7th, Emperor Leopold and the King of Prussia, 
mending their Pilnitz oiFer, make public Treaty, That they specially 
will endeavour to keep down disturbance, and if attacked will assist 
one another. Sardinia, Naples, Spain, and even Russia and the Pope, 
understood to be in the rear of these two. April 20th, French Assembly, 
after violent debates, decrees War against Emperor Leopold. This is 
the first Declaration of War ; which the others followed, pro and contr^, 
all round, like pieces of a great Firework blazing out now here now 
there. The Prussian Declaration, which followed first, some months 
after, is the immediately important one. 

1792 June 

In presence of these alarming phenomena, Government cannot act ; 
will not, say the People. Clubs, Journalists, Sections (organised 
population of Paris) growing ever more violent and desperate. Issue 
forth {June 20th) in vast Procession, the combined Sections and leaders, 
with banners, with demonstrations ; marching through the streets of 
Paris, ^^To quicken the Executive," and give it a fillip as to the time 
of day. Called ^Procession of the Black Breeches' in this Book. 
Immense Procession, peaceable but dangerous ; finds the Tuileries 
gates closed, and no access to his Majesty ; squeezes, crushes, and is 
squeezed, crushed against the Tuileries gates and doors till they give 
way ; and the admission to his Majesty, and the dialogue with him, 
and behaviour in his House, are of an utterly chaotic kind, dangerous 
and scandalous, though not otherwise than peaceable. Giving rise to 
much angry commentary in France and over Europe. June twenty 
henceforth a memorable Day. General Lafayette suddenly appears in 
the Assembly ; without leave, as is splenetically observed : makes 
fruitless attempt to reinstate authority in Paris {June 28th) ; withdraws 
as an extinct popularity. 


1792 July 

July &h, Reconciliatory Scene in the Assembly, derisively called 
Baiser L' Amourette. 'Third Federation/ Jiily 14:th, being at hand, — 
could not the assembling ' Federates ' be united into some Nucleus of 
Force near Paris ? Court answers, No ; not without reason of its own. 
Barbaroux writes to Marseilles for ^' 500 men that know how to die ; " 
who accordingly get under way, though like to be too late for the 
Federation. Sunday, July 22d, Solemn Proclamation that the " Country 
is in Danger." 

July 2Uh, Prussian Declaration of War ; and Duke of Brunswick's 
celebrated Manifesto, threatening France ' with military execution ' if 
Royalty were meddled with : the latter bears date, Cobleiitz, July 27th, 
1792, in the name of both Emperor and King of Prussia. Duke of 
Brunswick commands in chief: Nephew (sister's son) of Frederick the 
Great ; and Father of our unlucky ' Queen Caroline : ' had served, very 
young in the Seven-Years War, under his Father's Brother, Prince 
Ferdinand ; often in command of detachments bigger or smaller ; and 
had gained distinction by his swift marches, audacity and battle-spirit : 
never hitherto commanded any wide system of operations ; nor ever 
again till 1806, when he suddenly encountered ruin and death at the 
very starting (Battle of Jena, October \Uh of that year). This pro- 
clamation, which awoke endless indignation in France and much 
criticism in the world elsewhere, is understood to have been prepared 
by other hands (French-Emigrant chiefly, who were along with him in 
force), and to have been signed by the Duke much against his will. 
' Insignc vengeance,' ' military execution,' and other terms of overbear- 
ing menace : Prussian Army, and Austrians from Netherlands, are 
advancing in that humour. Marseillese, 'who know how to die,' 
arrive in Paris {July 29th) ; dinner-scene in the Champs Ely sees. 

1792 August 

Indignation waxing desperate at Paris : France, boiling with ability 
and will, tied up from defending itself by " an inactive Government " 
(fatally unable to act). Secret conclaves, consultations of Municipality 
and Clubs ; Danton understood to be the presiding genius there. 
Legislative Assembly is itself plotting and participant ; no other course 
for it. August lOth, Universal Insurrection of the Armed Population 
of Paris ; Tuileries forced, Swiss Guards cut to pieces. King, when 


once violence was imminent, and before any act of violence, had with 
Queen and Dauphin sought shelter in the Legislative-Assembly Hall. 
They continue there till Aug. ISth (Friday-Monday), listening to the 
debates, in a reporter's box. Are conducted thence to the Temple 
''as Hostages," — do not get out again except to die. Legislative 
Assembly has its Decree ready. That in terms of the Constitution in 
such alarming crisis a National Convention (Parliament with absolute 
powers) shall be elected ; Decree issued that same day, Aug. 10th, 
1792. After which the Legislative only waits in existence till it be 



(August \Oth, 179^— October 4>th, 1795) 

1792 August — September 

Legislative continues its sittings till Election be completed. Enemy 
advancing, with armed Emigrants, enter France, Luxembourg region ; 
take Longwy, almost without resistance {August 'I'Sd) ; prepare to take 
Verdun. Austrians besieging Thionville ; cannot take it. Dumouriez 
seizes the Passes of Argonne, Aug. 29th. Great agitation in Paris. 
Sunday, September 2d and onwards till Thursday Qth, September 
Massacres : described. Book I. cc. 4-6. Prussians have taken Verdun, 
Sept. 2d {Sunday J while the Massacres are beginning) : except on the 
score of provisions and of weather, little or no hindrance. Dumouriez 
waiting in the passes of Argonne. Prussians detained three weeks 
forcing these. Famine, and torrents of rain. Battle or Cannonade of 
Valmy {Sept. 20th) : French do not fly, as expected. Convention meets, 
Sept. 22d, 1792 ; Legislative had sat till the day before, and now gives 
place to it : Republic decreed, same day. Austrians, renouncing 
Thionville, besiege Lille {Sept. 28th — October 8th) ; cannot : ' fashion- 
able shaving-dish,' the splinter of a Lille bombshell. Prussians, 
drenched deep in mud, in dysentery and famine, are obliged to retreat : 
Goethe's account of it. Total failure of that Brunswick Enterprise. 

1792 December — 1793 January 

Revolutionary activities in Paris and over France ; King shall be 
brought to "trial." Trial of the King {Tuesday, December Wth — 
Sunday I6th). Three Votes {January I5th-l7th, 1793) : Sentence, 
Death without respite. Executed, Monday, Jan. 2\st, 1793, morning 
about 10 o'clock. English Ambassador quits Paris ; French Ambassador 
ordered to quit England {Jan. 24:th). War between the two countries 

VOL. III. 18 


17P3 February 

Dumouriez^ in rear of the retreating Austrians, has seized the whole 
Austrian Netherlands, in a month or less {November 4ith — 2d December 
last) ; and now holds that territory, February Isf, France declares 
War against England and Holland ; England declares in return, 
Feb. 11th: Dumouriez immediately invades Holland; English, under 
Duke of York, go to the rescue : rather successful at first. Committee 
of Salut Public (instituted January 21st, day of the King's Execution) 
the supreme Administrative Body at Paris. 

17.93 March— July 

Mutual quarrel of Parties once the King was struck down : Girondins 
or Limited '' legal " Republicans versus Mountain or Unlimited : their 
strifes detailed. Book HI. cc. 3, 7-9. War to Spain, March 7th. Three 
Epochs in the wrestle of Girondins and Mountain : first, March lOth, 
when the Girondins fancy they are to be ' Septembered ' by the anarchic 
population : anarchic population does demand "Arrestment of Twenty- 
two," by name, in return. Revolutionary Tribunal instituted, Danton's 
contrivance, that same day {March 10th). Battle of Neerwinden in 
Holland {March ISth) ; Dumouriez, quite beaten, obliged to withdraw 
homewards faster and faster. Second Girondin Epoch, April 1st, when 
they broke with Danton. General Dumouriez, a kind of Girondin in 
his way, goes over to the Enemy {April 3d). Famine, or scarcity in 
all kinds : Law of Maximum (fixing a price on commodities). May 
20th. Third Girondin Epoch, 'ilia suprema dies," Convention begirt 
by Armed Sections under Henriot {Sunday, June 2d) ; Girondins, the 
Twenty-two and some more, put "under arrest in their own houses ;" 
— never got out again, but the reverse, as it proved. 

1793 July 

Revolt of the Departments in consequence, who are of Girondin 
temper ; their attempt at civil war. Comes to nothing ; ends in ' a 
mutual shriek ' (at Vernon in Normandy, July 15th) : Charlotte Corday 
has assassinated Marat at Paris two days before {Saturday, July 13th). 
Great Republican vengeances in consequence ; Girondin Deputies, 
Barbaroux, Petion, Louvet, Guadet, &c., wander ruined, disguised over 
France ; the Twenty-two, Brissot, Vergniaud, &c., now imprisoned, 


await trial ; Lyons and other Girondin cities to be signally punished. 
Valenciennes, besieged by Duke of York, since May, surrenders, July 

1793 August — October 

Mountain, victorious, resting on the ' Forty-four thousand Jacobin 
Clubs and Municipalities ; ' its severe summary procedure rapidly 
developing itself into a "Reign of Terror." Law of the Forty Sous 
(Sectioners to be paid for attending meetings), Danton's Contrivance, 
August 5th. Austrians force the Lines of Weissembourg, penetrate 
into France on the East side : Dunkirk besieged by Duke of York 
{A ug. 22d) : Lyons bombarded by Dubois-Crauc6 of the Mountain, 
Powder-Magazine explodes ; Harare's Proclamation of Levy in Mass, 
^'^ France risen against Tyrants " (Aug. 2Sd). * Revolutionary Army ' 
(anarchic Police-force of the Mountain), September 5th-llth. Law of 
the Suspect, Sept. 17 th. Lyons, after frightful sufferings, surrenders 
to Dubois-Cranc6 (October 9th) : "To be rased from the Earth." Same 
day Gorsas at Paris, a Girondin Deputy, captured in a state of out- 
lawry, is ' immediately guillotined ' (Oct. 9th) : first Deputy who died 
in that manner. Execution of the Queen Marie-Antoinette, Wednes- 
day, Oct. ICith. Execution of the Twenty-two, after trial of some 
length, ^Marseillaise sung in chorus' at the scaffold (Oct. 'Slst). — 
General Jourdan has driven Cobourg and the Austrians over the Sambre 
again, Oct. 16th (day of the Queen's death) ; Duke of York repulsed 
from Dunkirk, ^ like to be swallowed by the tide,' a month before. 

1 793 November — December 

Reign of Terror, and Terror the Order of the Day. Execution of 
d'Orl6ans Egalit6, November 6th; of Madame Roland, Nov. 8th; of 
Mayor Bailly, Nov. 10th. Goddess of Reason (first of them, at Paris) 
sails into the Convention, same day (Nov. 10th) : Plunder of Churches ; 
^Carmagnole complete.' Convention "Representatives on Mission:" 
Saint-Just and Lebon, at Strasburg, " Strip off your shoes ; 10,000 pairs 
wanted ; likewise 1000 beds, — under way in 24 hours " (Nov. 27th). 
Spanish War, neglected hitherto, and not successful ; may become 
important ? Toulon, dangerously Girondin in dangerous vicinity. Hood 
and the English and even ^'^ Louis XVIL" there ; is besieged, Napoleon 
serving in the Artillery ; is captured, December 19th : " To be rased 
from the Earth." Carrier at Nantes: Noyadings by night, second of 
them Dec. lUh ; become " Marriages of the Loire," and other horrors. 


Lebon at Arras. Maignet at Orange. ^ Death poured out in great 
floods (vomie a grands flots). ' Lines of Weissembourg ^ retaken by 
Saint-Just charging with Peasants ' {mds the Year). 


* Revolution eating its own children : ' the Hebertists guillotined, 
Anacharsis Clootz among them, March 24th ; Danton himself and the 
Dantonists (April 8d), which is the acme of the process. Armies suc- 
cessful : Pichegru in the Netherlands ; defeat of Austrians, at Moneron, 
April 29th ; of Austrian Emperor at Turcoing, May ISth : successes of 
Dugommier against Spain (May 2Sd), which continue in brilliant series, 
till the business ends, and he ends ' killed by a cannon-shot,' six months 
hence. June 1st, Howe's Sea-victory ; and Fable of the Vengeur, 
General Jourdan : Battle of Fleurus, sore stroke against the Austrian 
Netherlands (June 2mh). 

Conspiracy of Mountain against Robespierre : Tallien and others 
desirous not to be ^ eaten.' Last scenes of Robespierre: July 28th 
(10 Thermidor, Year 2), guillotined with his Consorts ; — which, un- 
expectedly, ends the Reign of Terror. Victorious French Armies : 
enter Cologne, October 6th ; masters of Spanish bulwarks (Dugommier 
shot), Oct. Vjth : Duke of York and Dutch Stadtholder in a ruinous 
condition. Reaction against Robespierre : ^ whole Nation a Committee 
of Mercy.' Jacobins Club assaulted by mob ; shut up, November 10th- 
12th. Law of Maximum abolished, December 2Uh. Duke of York 
gone home ; Pichegru and 70,000 overrun Holland ; frost so hard, 
'hussars can take ships.' 

Stadtholder quits Holland, January 19th; glad to get across to 
England : Spanish Cities ' opening to the petard ' (Rosas first, Jan. 5th, 
and rapidly thereafter, till almost Madrid come in view). Continued 
downfall of Sansculottism. EiFervescence of luxury ; La Cabarrus ; 
Greek Costumes; Jeunesse Doree; balls in flesh-coloured drawers. Sans- 
culottism rises twice in Insurrection ; both times in vain. Insurrection 
of Germinal ('12 Germinal,' Year 3, April 1st, 1795); ends by 'two 
blank cannon-shot ' from Pichegru. 

1795 Ayril — October 

Prussia makes peace of Bdle (Basel), April 5th ; Spain, Peace of Bdle 
a three months later. Armies everywhere successful : Catalogue of 


Victories and Conquests hung up in the Convention Hall. Famine of 
the lower classes. Fouquier-Tinville guillotined (May 8th). Insurrec- 
tion of Prairial, the Second attempt of Sansculottism to recover power 
{' 1 Prairial,' May 20th) ; Deputy Feraud massacred : — issues in the 
Disarming and Finishing of Sansculottism. Emigrant Invasion, in 
English ships, lands at Quiberon, and is blown to pieces (July loth-20th) : 
La Vendee, which had before been three years in Revolt, is hereby 
kindled into a ' Second ' less impoi*tant ' Revolt of La Vendee,' which 
lasts some eight months. Reactionary " Companies of Jesus," '' Com- 
panies of the Sun," assassinating Jacobins in the Rhone Countries (July- 
A Hgust). New Constitution : Directory and Consuls, — Two-thirds of 
the Convention to be reelected. Objections to that clause. Section 
Lepelletier, and miscellaneous Discontented, revolt against it : Insurrec- 
tion of Vend6miaire, Last of the Insurrections (' 13 Vendemiaire, Year 
4,' October Uh, 179o) ; quelled by Napoleon. On which "The Re- 
volution," as defined here, ends, — Anarchic Government, if still anarchic, 
proceeding by softer methods than that of continued insurrection. 





By Richard Lodge, M.A., Professor of History in the Uni- 
versity OF Edinburgh. 

References : Dareste de la Chavanne, Histoire de rAdministration en France 
(Paris, 1848) ; A. Ch^ruel,, Histoire de I'Administration Monarchique en France 
(Paris, 1855) ; Boiteau, L'Etatde France en 1789 (Paris, 1861) ; Babeau, Le Village 
sous I'Ancien Regime (Paris, 1878) ; Ch. V. Langlois, Textes relatifs k 1' Histoire du 
Parlement depuis les Origines jusqu'en 1314 (Paris, 1888) ; F6V\x Aubert, Le Par- 
lement de Paris de Philippe-le-Bel a Charles VH (Paris, 1886) ; and Histoire du 
Parlement de Paris de I'Origine a Franfois I (Paris, 1894) ; Bastard d'Estang, Les 
Parlements de France (Paris, 1858) ; Charles Desmaze, Le Parlement de Paris 
(Paris, i860), and Le Chatelet de Paris (Paris, 1870); Alphonse Callery, Histoire 
des Attributions du Parlement, de la Cour des Aydes et de la Chambre des Comptes 
depuis la Feodalit^ jusqu'^ la Revolution Fran9aise (Paris, 1880) ; F. M^rilhou, Les 
Parlements de France : leur caract^re politique depuis Philippe-le-Bel jusqu'en 
1789 (Paris, 1863) ; E. Glasson, Le Parlement de Paris, son role politique depuis 
le regne de Charles VH jusqu'a la Revolution (Paris, 1901). Gasquet, Precis des 
Institutions de I'ancienne France, gives a useful summary ; and reference may 
conveniently be made on particular topics to Ludovic Lalanne, Dictionnaire 
Historique de la France (Paris, 1877), which contains a very good article s. v. 
Parlement ; and to Ch^ruel, Dictionnaire Historique des Institutions de la France 
(Paris, 1884). 

A. Central jurisdiction. 

In the tenth century, when Western Francia or France was finally severed 
from the other dominions of the Karolings and became a separate state, the 
power of the monarchy was extremely weak and inefficient. The early Cape- 
tian kings were lords of Paris and of the He de France, but outside their own 
domain they could exercise very little authority. Within the various duchies 
and counties of which their kingdom was made up, the territorial lords were 
practically supreme. For the next five centuries the history of France is the 
history of the growth of the French monarchy, and under its guidance France 
was enabled to play a prominent, in some ways the most prominent, part 
among the states of Europe during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. Although the religious wars in the later part of the sixteenth cen- 
tury rendered it necessary to do some of the work afresh, the substantial 
victory of the monarchy over opposing forces may be considered to have 
been woo i" the previous century in the reigns of Charles VII. and Louis XI, 


In the history of the growth of royal authority we may note three chief 
processes: (i) the great fiefs were gradually absorbed by conquest, inheri- 
tance or escheat, in the royal domain, so that the king became, not merely 
the suzerain of his great vassals, but the direct lord of all his subjects ; (2) 
the royal administration and especially the royal jurisdiction was extended 
over the whole of France and territorial or seigneurial justice was either 
abolished or else reduced to insignificance ; (3) the mutual jealousy of the 
classes or estates was encouraged, and the monarchy was enabled to play off 
one class against the other and so to abase each in turn before itself. It is 
the second of these processes which gave rise to the judicial system of France 
under the Ancien Regime. 

The early Capetian kings had a double jurisdiction : (i) within their own 
domain they had the same authority as any other great lord, and were aided 
in its exercise by a court or council, consisting of the immediate tenants on 
the domain ; (2) as suzerains, they were from time to time called upon to 
decide disputes between the great tenants-in-chief, and by the essential 
principles of feudalism these could only be submitted to the judgment of 
their equals, per judicium parium suorum. For their trial, therefore, the king 
had to call together some of his tenants-in-chief, and thus to constitute what 
came to be known as the "court of peers." Both these bodies, the domain 
court and the court of peers, are indiscriminately called in contemporary 
documents the curia regis or cour du roy. And under Philip Augustus and 
his successors the distinction between the two courts, never very distinct, 
became more and more slight. The domain court could, at need, be trans- 
formed into a court of peers by the addition to it of some of the great vassals 
of the crown. But the efficient members of the court were the trained lawyers, 
both clerks and laymen, who were introduced by Louis IX., and as the judicial 
system became more technical and elaborate, the unlearned barons found 
themselves more and more unable to hold their own with their professional 
colleagues. The court of the king, thus organised, resembled the English 
curia regis of the reign of Henry II. Its business was to aid and advise the 
king in all the functions of government, administrative, judicial and financial. 

The work of the court was enormously increased in the thirteenth century, 
partly by the annexation of great provinces, such as Normandy and Langue- 
doc, and partly by such deliberate encroachments upon feudal independence 
as the encouragement of appeals from the seigneurial courts to the king, and 
the reservation of certain cas royaux, which had to be brought in the first 
instance for royal decision. To cope with this increased mass of business, 
the principle of the division of labour was perforce adopted. In England 
the cicria gradually split into a concilitim ordinarium, a court of king's 
bench and of common pleas, and a court of exchequer. So in France the 
cour du roy split into three subdivisions, (i) a co7iseil, or general advising 
body ; (2) a judicial court, to which the name parlement (originally applied 
to any meeting or discussion) came in time to be exclusively applied ; and 
(3) a financial court, the chamhre des comptes. There is no precise date 
to be given to this differentiation, either in France or in England, In both 
countries the change was gradual and due to the pressure of practical needs, 
and in both countries the division was very imperfect. The functions of the 
different bodies overlapped and the same persons often belonged to more 
than one division at the same time. 

The great organiser of the administrative system of France was Philippe 
le Bel (1285-13 14), and it is to his reign that we may attribute, not exactly 
the creation, but the final sub-division of the three original courts, From 


the beginning of the fourteenth century is to be traced the separate history 
of the most famous court of justice in Europe, the parlement du roy, or, as 
it came to be called from its fixed home, the Parlement de Paris. Just as 
the court of common pleas was, for the convenience of suitors, fixed at 
Westminster, so the parlement, instead of following the king as the earlier 
curia had done, was stationed in Paris. There it took up its abode in the 
old royal palace, which was vacated in its favour when the kings in the 
fifteenth century quitted the island of the Cite for a more luxurious abode on 
the right bank of the Seine. And Philippe le Bel must be credited, not only 
with the severance of the parlement from the other parts of the central 
administration, but also with its first subdivision into chambers with separate 
functions. In an ordinance of his later years (see Langlois, Textes relatifs 
a I'Histoire du Parlement, p. 178) we find three such subdivisions: (i) the 
Parliament proper, or grande chamhre, containing two bishops and two 
counts, and under them eleven clerks and eleven laymen ; (2) a chambre des 
enquetcs, consisting of two bishops and seven other members ; and (3) two 
chambres des reqitetes, four members for the Langue d'oc, and seven for the 
Langue d'oil or Langue fran<?aise. But the parlement was not yet a per- 
manent body : it met twice a year, at Easter and All Saints, each session 
lasted only two months, and the members of the court were nominated for 
each session. It was not till 1345 that sittings became continuous and life- 
membership became the rule. 

By the reign of Louis XI. the parlement had become the supreme court 
of justice in France, and territorial independence had ceased to be a source 
of danger to the authority of the King. All the great provinces except 
Brittany had fallen in to the monarchy, and the absorption of Brittany was 
close at hand. The enormous growth of the central jurisdiction neces- 
sitated a double process of specialisation. The work of the Court had to be 
curtailed by the creation of provincial parliaments {see below), which were 
modelled, both in composition and powers, upon the parent court. The 
area within which the parlement of Paris was active was still extensive, 
as it included the Ile-de-France, Picardy, Champagne, Brie, Maine, Anjou, 
Touraine, Poitou, Angoumois, Berry, with the districts of Bourbon, Niver- 
nais, Lyonnais, Auvergne, Macon and Auxerre. And while the territorial 
limits of the parlement's jurisdiction were restricted, the number of its 
members and its divisions for special work were increased. It is needless to 
trace in detail the various changes made from time to time in its organisation. 
In the eighteenth century there were no less than nine chambers or com- 
mittees sitting for the discharge of judicial duties. 

The grande chambre was by far the largest and most important of these 
divisions, and is often spoken of as if it were the whole parlement. It was 
in this chamber that the peers retained the right of sitting (only exercised on 
formal occasions) which had descended to them from their membership of 
the original cour du roy. A throne was reserved for the king, whose dele- 
gated authority was exercised by the parlement when he was not present in 
person, but who could in theory resume at any moment the judicial power 
which was his by right. Its ordinary members were the senior judges, who 
had passed through the work of the lower chambers. Just before its sup- 
pression the chamber was composed of a premier president, nine presidents 
d mortier (so-called because they wore a velvet cap shaped like an inverted 
mortar), and thirty-seven counsellors, of whom twenty-five were laymen and 
twelve clerks. But the following had also a right to sit : princes of the blood 
and peers ; the chancellor and the garde des sceaux with all conseillcrs d'etat ; 


four maitres des requetes de V hotel du roi {see below) ; the Archbishop of 
Paris and the Abbot of Cluny. Before the grande chamhre came all appeals 
of importance from the local courts ; charges of High Treason ; and cases 
of first instance concerning the regale and other crown rights, the peers, the 
great officers of the crown, the university and hospitals under royal protec- 
tion, etc. 

At one time there were as many as five chambres des enquetes, but two 
were suppressed in 1756. The three which remained at the outbreak of the 
Revolution were each composed of two presidents and twenty-four coun- 
sellors. The chief business of these courts was to conduct a preliminary 
enquiry into all appeals sent up to the Parlement. The lesser cases were 
settled in the enquetes, but those of importance were simply prepared and 
reported upon for the consideration of the grande chamhre. 

Until the suppression of the parlement by Maupeou in 1770 {see below), 
there were two chambres des requetes, but only one was restored in 1774. It 
contained two presidents and fourteen counsellors called maitres des requetes. 
This court decided the lesser cases of first instance which came before the 

During the annual vacation from September to Martinmas the general 
business of the parlement was continued in a chamhre des vacations. The 
first appointment of this chamber was in 1405, and it was confirmed in 1499 
and 1519. It was not really a permanent division of the parlement^ as its 
members were appointed annually from the grande chamhre and the enquetes. 
In the eighteenth century it usually consisted of a president and twenty- 
four counsellors. 

The origin of the tournelle, or criminal court of the parlement, is obscure. 
From a very early date it was a custom to hand over criminal cases to a 
small number of judges from the grande chamhre, and they were tried in the 
tournelle, or small tower in the palace.^ There are several references to 
such a practice from 1436 onwards. But its final organisation seems to 
belong to the reign of Francis I. At the time of the Revolution the tour- 
nelle contained five presidents, twelve counsellors from the grande chambre, 
and four from each chamhre des enquetes. 

The chamhre de la maree was a small committee, consisting of a president 
and two counsellors, with cognisance of all cases connected with the fishing 

Connected with the parlement by their ordinary duties, though not by 
membership, were all the numerous followers of the various branches of the 
legal profession. The procureur general, whose office dates back to the 
thirteenth century, was an official of immense importance in the criminal 
jurisdiction of France. He was not only a public prosecutor, but was also 
charged with the superintendence of the police system and of prisons, with 
the protection of the royal domain, the maintenance of ecclesiastical disci- 
pline, etc. During a vacancy he acted as prevot of Paris. Even more 
important in relation to the parlement was the avocat general, who ranked 
as chief of the gens du roi, and had often to act as intermediary between the 
crown and the contumacious judges. T\\&avocats, who pleaded cases before 
i\\G parlement, constituted an exclusive, privileged and dignified body, like the 
bar in England, though they had not, as in England, the prospect of promotion 
to the bench to stimulate their eloquence. Below them were the notaries, 

1 An absurd derivation of the name has been suggested, viz., that it arose from 
the alternation of the members, who were chosen tour a, totir from the other 
chambers for three or six months at a time- 


ushers, clerks and other officials. The bazoche was a famous and often a 
turbulent association of the clerks oi \h& palais de justice. 

If the Parlement of Paris had been nothing but a great court of justice, 
this brief sketch of its organisation and functions might suffice. But its 
peculiar and unique prominence in French history is due to the fact that it 
claimed to be far more than a court of justice, and though its powers never 
equalled its pretensions, it actually was for two centuries the only public 
corporation which ventured to offer open and resolute opposition to the 
despotism of the crown. To understand this it is necessary to examine with 
some attention (i) the manner of appointment of members oi the parlement, 
and (2) the claim advanced by a corporation of judges to have any voice in 
political affairs. 

(i) In the middle ages the judges in France, as in England, were appointed 
by the crown, at first for temporary sessions, and then for life or during the 
royal pleasure. But in the fifteenth century we find a marked and curious 
divergence between the history of the two countries. In England, where the 
monarchy was never so strong as it became in France, the crown retained the 
right both of appointing and (until 1701) of dismissing judges. In the great 
struggles of the seventeenth century the control thus exercised over the bench 
was perhaps the strongest weapon in the hands of the Stuart kings. In 
France, on the other hand, the crown lost, first the right of dismissal, and 
then the power of free selection. This was due to a practice which is at the 
bottom of many peculiarities in French history, the sale of offices {la vcnalite 
des charges). This practice, so fatal in many ways to the interests of the 
monarchy, was gradually introduced, for financial reasons, just at the time 
when the monarchy seemed to have won its greatest victory, in the reigns of 
Charles VII., Louis XL, Charles VIII. and Louis XII. It was in the last of 
these reigns that this ruinous method of raising money became a regular 
practice and was extended to membership of the parlement and the other 
sovereign courts. This had a double result. In the first place it was necessary 
to give security of tenure (inamovibilite). No man would pay a large sum for an 
office from which he might be dismissed at any moment, and so the king, in 
order to increase the value of his saleable appointments, had to resign the power 
of dismissal and to grant a life-tenure to the judges. In the second place it was 
desirable to make the offices more attractive by increasing the pay. Hitherto 
the judges had a salary {gages) from the crown. To increase this would 
constitute a new charge upon the revenue, and would be giving back with one 
hand what had been received by the other. But there was a cheaper way of 
achieving the same end. There had often been an informal custom by which 
the suitors, and especially victorious suitors, gave presents either in money or 
kind to the judges. Such presents, at a time when special value was attached 
to the rare and expensive products of the east, were called epices. This practice 
the better and wiser kings had endeavoured to check or even to prohibit 
altogether, so as to give their subjects the boon of gratuitous justice. But in 
the fifteenth century these payments became practically compulsory, and in 
the seventeenth century they were formally regulated as a normal system, 
suitors being taxed in proportion to the length of procedure and the value of 
the property at stake. From these two changes arose two important charac- 
teristics of French justice before the Revolution. It was, on the whole, 
impartial and fair, except where the prejudices or interests of the judges 
themselves were concerned. On the other hand it was extremely expensive 
and dilatory, and this was a frequent cause of grumbling and at times of 
formal complaint. The gages or salaries from the crown remained stationary, 


and it was the epices of the suitors which furnished the greater part of the 
incomes which made the office of judge worth purchasing for a considerable 

In the sixteenth century seats in the parlemcnt and other sovereign courts 
were sold to the highest bidder on each vacancy. As a financial expedient 
this had the defect of bringing to the exchequer occasional windfalls rather 
than a steady revenue. Sully, the most conservative of reformers, sought to 
remedy the result without altering the cause. In 1604 the existing office- 
holders were allowed to hold their seats as private property, to transmit them 
to their heirs or to sell them for their own benefit, on condition of paying a 
droit annuel or paulette (so-called from Charles Paulet, who is said to have 
suggested the scheme, and who certainly farmed the proceeds for the first few 
years). Attempts were more than once made to abolish the pmilette, but 
they always met with the energetic and successful resistance of the official 
classes. Thus the parlement became a small judicial oligarchy, a hereditary 
corporation of judges, who could only be removed by violent or revolutionary 
means. The acquisition of hereditary right gave to the members of the 
sovereign courts the rank and privileges of nobility. They became the 
noblesse de la robe as distinguished from the older noblesse de V'epee. And 
they shared with the other members of their class that exemption from ordi- 
nary taxation which became in the eighteenth century the most cherished 
badge of noble rank. Von Sybel is not far from the truth when he says that 
the French judges were paid by privileges. And it was their interest in de- 
fending their privileges which made them the resolute opponents of all serious 
attempts to introduce financial reform. 

(2) That so anomalous a body as the Parlemcnt of Paris could claim a 
voice in the government of France was due to the custom v/hich imposed upon 
the parlement the task of registering all public documents, royal edicts, treaties 
of peace, etc. This originated at a time when the parlement was still the 
submissive agent of the monarchy, and was certainly then regarded as a duty 
rather than a right. Yet the fact that such registration was in most cases ne- 
cessary to give to an edict the force of law could not but suggest the possibility 
of remonstrance, or even refusal, if the measure was in any way repugnant 
to the members of the court. The kings themselves did not hesitate to 
encourage such a practice when it suited their own ends. Thus Louis XI. 
revoked the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges and the parlement refused to 
register the decree, thus enabling the king, to his own profit, to withhold 
from the pope the concession he had proffered. So Francis I. used the opposi- 
tion of the parlement as a pretext for evading the humiliating treaty of 
Madrid. There seemed little reason to dread the resistance of a body which 
had no armed strength behind it, and could be easily coerced. If the par- 
lement opposed any measure, the king could send lettres de jiission ordering 
it to proceed to registration. If these were disobeyed, the final expedient 
was a lit de justice. This was a formal session of the parlemcnt^ at which 
the king appeared in person, and resumed the powers which he had delegated 
to the court : adveniente rege cessat magistratus. Registration was ordered 
by the king, and all that the parlement could do was to add a note that its 
action had been contraint et force. 

Yet in spite of its apparent impotence, the opposition of the parlement to 
the crown became a matter of very considerable importance in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries. The last meeting of the States-General before 
1789 was held in 1614, and with them perished any semblance of national 
control over the administration. The absence of regular constitutional 


machinery, added to the greater independence conferred by the droit annuel, 
impelled the parlement to advance pretensions which, in view of its composi- 
tion and functions, seem ludicrous to Englishmen, and to claim a decisive 
veto upon all acts of the government. There can be no doubt that the 
similarity of name with the English Parliament, then beginning its great 
struggle with the Stuarts, encouraged the French institution to believe that 
it could discharge similar functions. Richelieu, with characteristic thorough- 
ness, met these pretensions by the edict of 1641, which ordered the parlement 
to confine itself to its judicial functions and to abstain from all intervention 
in affairs of State. His death was followed by the disorders of the Fronde, 
when the parlement and the nobles made a last effort to free themselves from 
the yoke that had been imposed upon them by the monarchy. Louis XIV, 
never forgave the parlement for its share in these disturbances, and a series 
of restrictive edicts in his reign culminated in that of 1673, which forbade 
the parlement to offer any remonstrance until after the registration of an 

With the death of Louis XIV. in 1715 there set in a few years of reaction- 
ary administration under the regency of Orleans. For his own purposes 
Orleans used the parlement to annul the will of the late king, and he rewarded 
it by restoring the right of remonstrance. This rendered possible a long and at 
times envenomed contest between the court and the parlement, which assumes 
a somewhat wearisome prominence in the reign of Louis XV. All sorts of 
expedients, lits de justice, exile to Pontoise, threats of wholesale dismissal, 
were vainly employed to intimidate the judges. At last in 1770 the Chancellor 
Maupeou determined to take a final step. The Parlement de Paris was 
abolished, and in its place was created a court of seventy-five members, 
nominated by the king and holding office at his pleasure, while their salary 
was to be adequate for their dignity and epices were to be abolished. The 
provincial parlements were also suppressed, and their duties entrusted to 
reconstituted courts (1771). The change, if accomplished at another time 
and by other hands, might have been both beneficial and popular. But the 
ministry was discredited and detested : the new court, nicknamed the Par- 
lement Maupeou, never gained the confidence of the people, who had regarded 
with approbation the almost heroic, if somewhat selfish and short-sighted, 
resistance of the dispossessed judges. It was, accordingly, an extremely 
popular act of the young king, Louis XVI., when, on his accession (1774), he 
restored the parlements to their former power and organisation, although 
shrewd observers, like Voltaire, saw that they were more likely to be the 
champions of privilege and reaction than of any real measures of reform. 
This was soon discovered when the National Assembly set to work to form 
a new constitution, and the old judicial system of France, with all its ano- 
malies and not a few merits, was swept away in 1790. 

The Parlement de Paris was so much the most prominent and picturesque 
part of the judicial system, that it requires and receives more detailed con- 
sideration than any other court. The twelve provincial parlements may be 
more briefly dismissed. In a literal sense, they may be looked upon as 
local courts, but in a truer sense they were fragments or delegated commis- 
sions of the central judicature which were stationed, for administrative con- 
venience, in local centres. Although we find traces at times of rivalry and 
ill-feeling between the Parlement of Paris and the parlements de province, 
yet on the whole they were united by the defence of common interests and 
may be regarded as forming one great corporation. The oldest and most 
influential of the local Parlements was that of Toulouse, for the province 


of Languedoc. Originally instituted in 1302, it was reunited with the Parle- 
ment de Paris in 13 12, and was not revived till the reign of Charles VII. 
(1443). In the eighteenth century it was divided into a grande chambre, a 
tournelle, three chambers of enquetes, and one of requetes. The energy and 
self-confidence of its members were shown in the vigorous resistance which 
they offered to the decrees of the national assembly in 1790. At Grenoble 
a. parlcment was instituted by the dauphin Louis in 1451 and confirmed by 
Charles VII. in 1453. Similar courts were created at Bordeaux for Guienne 
in 1462 ; at Dijon for the duchy of Burgundy in 1477 ; at Rouen for Nor- 
mandy in 1499 ; at Aix for Provence in 1501 ; at Rennes for Brittany in 
1553 ; at Pau for Beam and French Navarre in 1620; at Metz for the Three 
Bishoprics in 1633 ; at Tournay for Flanders in 1668 (transferred in 1688 
to Douay) ; at Besan^on for Franche-Comte (taking the place of an earlier 
parliament at Dole) in 1676 ; and at Nancy for Lorraine after the annexa- 
tion of that province in 1769, There were also four conseils-sonverains in 
outlying provinces : at Ensisheim (1657) and after 1698 at Colmar for Alsace ; 
at Perpignan for Roussillon (1660) ; at Arras for Artois (restored in 1677) ; 
and in Corsica (1770). All of these were supreme courts in their respective 

While the parlenients were the chief agents in the central administration 
of justice, there were other sovereign courts which possessed independent 
fragments of jurisdiction, especially in matters of finance. The chamhre 
des comptes was, like the Parlement de Paris, an original subdivision of the 
cour du roy, and its separate existence dates from the reign of Philip IV. 
Its primary function was to look after the royal domain, which at the time 
of its origin was the sole source of royal revenue. It received and audited 
the accounts of local collectors ; settled all disputes as to what was due from 
those who had to pay to the crown ; and kept a careful register of all edicts 
concerning the domain, of all transfers of property, and oilcttres d'anoblisse- 
ment. The chamber was made stationary in Paris in 1319, and the appoint- 
ment of its members followed the same changes as have been traced in the 
case of the Parlcment de Paris. Though far less prominent in history than 
the latter court, the chamhre des comptes was enabled by the practice ot 
registration to advance similar claims to a right of remonstrance and from 
time to time to oppose the monarchy. In the fifteenth century it obtained 
a sepsira.te procureur-general and avocat-general, and in the eighteenth century 
it was composed of a premier president, twelve presidents, seventy-eight 
mattres des comptes, thirty-eight correcteurs, and eighty-two auditeurs. Its 
jurisdiction had, however, been limited by the creation of provincial chamhres 
des comptes at Rouen, Grenoble, Nantes, Aix, Dole, Blois, Pau, Metz, Dijon 
and Montpellier. 

In 1355 and 1356, when the English War had involved France in grave 
financial difficulties, the States-General sought to add to the revenue from 
domain by the institution of indirect taxes, a tax upon salt and upon the 
sale of certain commodities. The levy of these new impositions, collectively 
known as aides, required a new machinery in addition to the chamhre des 
comptes. Hence arose the cour des aides, which became a permanent court 
under Charles V. Its functions with regard to the indirect taxes were similar 
to those discharged by the chamhre des comptes in connection with the domain. 
It consisted in 1789 of a first and nine other presidents and fifty-four coun- 
sellors, and a proctireur general and three avocats-generaux were attached to 
it. Most of the provinces which had a local chamhre des comptes had also 
a local cour des aides. In some the two courts were combined together, or 


one or other was attached to the provincial parliament. [On the difficult 
question as to the precise limits of the financial jurisdiction of parlementy 
chambre dcs comptes and cour dcs aides, see Gallery, Histoire des Attributions 
du Parlement, de la Cour des Aydes, et de la Chambre des Comptes depuis 
la Feodalite jusqu'a la Revolution Frangaise (Paris, 1880),] 

In the fourteenth century the French kings gained an important victory 
for centralisation by establishing the principle that coinage was a royal right. 
Hitherto questions pertaining to the currency had concerned only the domain 
and came before the chambre des comptes. In 1358 a separate cour des 
monnaies was created, and in 155 1 it was made a cotir sonverain, its members 
taking rank immediately after those of the cour des aides. Its jurisdiction 
included all charges against officials and workmen of the mints, money- 
changers, jewellers, and generally all concerned with manufacture or trade in 
precious metals. It consisted at the time of its abolition in 1790 of a premier 
president, eight presidents, and thirty-five conseillcrs. From 1704 to 1771 
there was a separate conr des monnaies at Lyons. 

Jurisdiction in the department of eaux ^^/or^is, originally belonging to the 
parlement, was given in 1558 to a court in Paris known as the table de 
marbre. Similar courts were created locally in connection with the provincial 
parlements. These bodies, though they had a large amount of business in 
hearing appeals against the action of local officers, never attained to the 
dignity of sovereign courts. 

The chdtelct was geographically a central court, and it is of great pro- 
minence in the history of France. But in strict theory it is the local court 
of the prevote of Paris, and only differs from the courts of other prevotes on 
account of its position in the capital and the consequent importance of its 

The institutions enumerated above constitute the normal machinery of 
central jurisdiction in France before the Revolution. But side by side with 
them there existed what was, in origin and theory, an exceptional jurisdiction, 
and this was in practice almost as active and important as the work of the 
ordinary courts. An illustration from English history will serve to make the 
matter clear. In England the ordinary exercise of royal jurisdiction was 
delegated in the thirteenth century to the great courts of King's Bench, 
Common Pleas and Exchequer. But the king did not surrender his judicial 
power, and as time went on he was called upon to exercise it more and more. 
Hence arose, side by side with the ordinary courts, the jurisdiction of the 
concilium ordinarium or Privy Council, and of its numerous oif-shoots such 
as the Court of Chancery, the Star Chamber, the High Commission, etc. In 
France we can trace a similar course of events. The king never abdicated his 
judicial power. He could, if he chose, preside in the Parlement de Paris, 
when the session became a lit de justice and the personal authority of the 
king overrode the power of the ordinary counsellors. He had the right of 
evocation, i.e., he could transfer a suit from any court to another or to his own 
council. He could appoint special judicial commissions for the trial of any 
particular case. He could, of course, grant a pardon from any sentence, and 
he possessed a power of arbitrary imprisonment by lettres de cachet. 

In the exercise of his judicial authority the king was aided, as in the other 
work of government, by his conseil. So burdensome did this judicial work 
become that it was found necessary in 1497 to create a new court, the grand 
conseil, which bears in its origin the same relation to the conseil du roy as 
the English Chancery Court bore to the concilium ordinarium. But the 
French court, though it was recognised as a cour souveraine, never played so 


important a part as its English analogue. Its jurisdiction was mainly con- 
cerned with disputes connected with administration, and with cases touching 
ecclesiastical temporalities, though questions as to the regale were specially 
reserved for the grande chambre of the Paris parlement. The grand 
conseil was less independent, or at any rate less obstructive than the parle- 
ment. Dubois, when he quarrelled with the parlement about the Bull 
' Unigenitus,'' tried to humiliate his opponents by extending the powers of the 
grand conseil, and even had the Bull registered by it. In 1753, with the 
same object, Louis XV. handed over all ecclesiastical questions to the more 
submissive court. In 1771 Maupeou abolished the grand conseil, not because 
it had given any offence, but because he wished its members to fill the new 
courts which he was forming to take the place of the dissolved parlement. 
But in 1774 the old judicial machinery was restored, and the grand conseil 
continued to exist till 1790. It was composed in its last days of z. premier 
president, four presidents a mortier, and forty-eight counsellors. Its sessions 
were held in the Louvre. 

In spite of the creation of this court, the judicial work of the royal 
council continued to be very heavy, and in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries we find it in the hands of a regular committee of the council, 
called the conseil des parties, which sat under the presidency of the 
Chancellor. In some ways this was the most important and efficient court 
in France, because it represented an omnipotent executive authority, and 
also because its special duty was to facilitate and strengthen the work of 
administration. Its nearest equivalent in English History is the Court of 
Star-Chamber under the Tudors. Before it were brought most of the suits 
which were "evoked" by royal authority from the lower courts, important 
cases affecting officers of the crown, and appeals against the action of the 
local intendants. 

The preparation of cases for the consideration of the conseil des parties 
was in the hands of a body of men known as the maitres des requetes de 
Vhotel du roi. These are to be carefully distinguished from the maitres des 
requetes du parlement, though at an early period the distinction was by no 
means clearly marked. These men, who were under the control of the 
Chancellor, were not unlike the English clerks in Chancery in the Middle 
Ages. They acted as rapporteurs to the royal council. All administrative 
appeals, all demands for the evocation of suits or for the quashing of judicial 
decisions, came in the first instance before them. They prepared all docu- 
ments for the great seal. There were about eighty of these officials, but 
only half of them were in attendance on the council for alternate periods of 
three months. The other half formed a judicial court, called les requetes de 
Vhotel, which was the court of first instance for suits in which persons were 
involved who had letters of committimus. These letters, which were granted 
to nearly all members of the official and privileged classes in France, 
exempted the holders from ordinary jurisdiction and entitled them to bring 
their cases before the hotel du roi. This system of droit administratif {see 
Dicey, Law of the Constitution, xii.), by which servants of the state are 
protected from the rules of ordinary law as enforced in the ordinary courts — 
a system for which there is no name in English — is one of the dominant 
features of the judicial administration of France. It undoubtedly lent itself 
to serious abuses under the Ancien Regime, but the system was so deeply 
rooted in the French mind that the Revolution not only failed to effect its 
destruction, but systematised it and gave it a definite procedure and termin- 
ology which it had not possessed before. 


The mattres des requetes de Vhotel formed the great nursery of French 
administrators. Most of the prominent ministers of the eighteenth century 
began their official career as members of this body, from which were usually 
chosen the intendants^ the conseillers d'etat, and the secretaries of state. 

B. Local Jurisdiction. 

The local administration of justice in France is rendered obscure, partly 
because the monarchy retained, in order to make money by their sale, a number 
of offices which were practically obsolete, and partly because judicial functions 
were never sharply divided from financial and general business. The earliest 
royal officials under the Capet kings were the prevots of the original duchy 
of Paris. They were busied with all branches of administration, and looked 
after all the interests of the King in his domain. By far the most important 
of the prevots was the prevot of Paris, whose court came to be known as the 
chutelet from the ancient fortress, part of which dated back to Roman times, 
in which it sat. In later days it was split into three chambers, in which 
were respectively judged civil suits, criminal cases, and appeals from lesser 
courts. The importance of the chutelet, as the chief criminal court in the 
capital, may be measured by the fact that in 1771 there were more than 
1,550 of its agents at work in Paris. 

As the royal domain increased, and especially after the great acquisitions 
of Philip Augustus, the number of the prevots was increased until it became 
inconveniently large. To simplify and centralise the administration, new 
officials, called baillis, were appointed in the thirteenth century, and their 
district, which was larger than a prcvote, was called a hailliage. In Langue- 
doc, after its annexation, similar officers were created, but they were called 
senechaux, and their districts senechaussees. The baillis and senechaux, to 
whom the prevots became subordinate, may be compared with the English 
sheriffs in the Norman and Plantagenet times. Like the sheriffs they 
superintended within their district justice, finance and military organisation. 
Like the sheriffs they were first employed and promoted as royal officers, 
and then regarded by their employer with jealousy and suspicion. Gradually 
their powers were taken away or carefully restricted. Their financial ad- 
ministration was carefully supervised by the chambre des comptes, and many 
of their functions in this department were in the fourteenth century handed 
over to the elus. The command of the local troops was taken from them 
and entrusted to special military officers. Their jurisdiction, once very 
extensive, was subordinated by the encouragement of appeals to the parlement, 
and was practically annihilated by the creation of presidiaux in the sixteenth 
century. Thus, again like the English sheriffs, the baillis sunk to the posi- 
tion of purely ornamental officials, with no important function at all. Their 
district, the bailliage or senechaussee, became as obsolete as their powers, 
until it was revived in 1789 as an electoral division for the choice of deputies 
to the States-General. 

There were a number of local officials whose functions were mainly 
financial, but who had judicial duties in connection with finance. The chief 
of these were (i) the tresoriers, who collected the dues from the domain and 
accounted for them to the chambre des comptes; (2) the elus, who were 
originally appointed by the States-General of 1356 in connection with the 
new taxes or aides which were then imposed (their district was called an 
election, and they were subordinated to the coiir des aides) ; (3) the receveurs- 

VOL. III. 19 


generaux created in the sixteenth century. An edict of 1577 divided France 
into sixteen districts, in each of which was appointed a bureau des finances. 
Each bureau contained two tresoriers, two receveurs-generaux, and three 
other members. These districts were called generalites, and by 1789 their 
number had grown from sixteen to thirty-three. The elections in those pro- 
vinces in which they existed (there were 179 elections in the eighteenth 
century) were now subdivisions of the generalite, and the elus were sub- 
ordinated to the control of the bureaux. The generalite, originally instituted 
for financial reasons, remained until the Revolution the chief administrative 
division of France. 

The most important judicial change of the sixteenth century was the 
creation of a court midway between the parlements and the courts of the 
bailliages. This was the presidial, composed of nine judges who tried with- 
out appeal all civil cases in which property not exceeding 250 livres in value 
was involved. From 250 to 500 livres, they could try the case, but subject to 
appeal to a parlement. They had also a criminal jurisdiction similiar to that 
of the baillis, whom they practically superseded. The nuniher of presidiaux 
was originally thirty-two, but was afterwards increased to a hundred. 

By the eighteenth century most of the presidiaux had fallen into such 
decay that seats in them were hardly saleable. The chief causes of this were, 
(i) the old money limits were retained though the value of money had 
enormously decreased ; and (2) the number of persons who had letters of 
committimus had been lavishly multiplied. Thus most of the local courts 
had hardly any work to do, and their profits were proportionately small. 

Another cause of the declining importance of local jurisdiction was the 
appointment of the most famous and influential agents of the central ad- 
ministration, the intendants. In the sixteenth century it was a not uncommon 
practice to send out maitres des requetes de Vhotel into the provinces with 
special commissions. Richelieu appointed similar officials and made them 
permanent. Their full title was Intendants of justice, police and finance, 
and their district was the generalite. Their posts were never sold, and they 
could be dismissed at pleasure. They were thus completely under the con- 
trol of the central government, and there was never any attempt on their part 
to obtain independence. From the first they were regarded with bitter 
jealousy both by the nobles and by the parlements. One of the earliest demands 
of the Fronde was for their suppression, and an edict to that effect was 
actually extorted by the Parlement de Paris (July 13th, 1648). But the 
failure of the Fronde was followed by the revival of the intendants, and 
the reign of Louis XIV. witnessed their establishment in every generalite and 
an enormous increase in their powers. Each intendant had a subdelegue, 
nominated by himself. 

The intendant was not primarily a judicial officer, any more than the 
conseil du roi was primarily a court of justice. But the conseil was a court 
of justice, and the intendant had a dominant voice in controlling local juris- 
diction. In fact the manifold functions of the intendant may be best grasped 
by regarding him as the agent and representative of the dominant council. 
And his influence was the greater because it was from his reports and those 
of his colleagues that the council received the information and the sugges- 
tions upon which the royal edicts were based. The efficient government of 
France, apart from the carrying on of routine duties, was in the hands of the 
council and its trusted agents. As De Tocqueville says (p. 130 of the Eng- 
lish translation), " the administrative engine built up was so vast, so compli- 
cated, so clumsy, and so unproductive, that at last it was left swinging on 


in space, while a more simple and handy instrument of government was 
framed beside it ; and this really performed the duties which these innumer- 
able officials were supposed to be doing." 

One great object of the local administration which the central government 
built up in France had been to supplant or destroy the territorial power of 
the nobles and especially the seigneurial right of justice. This object had 
been satisfactorily achieved long before the Revolution. In the Middle 
Ages the feudal lords had enjoyed very extensive power, haute, moyenne, 
or basse justice according to their rank and influence. Haute justice included 
criminal cases, and its holder could erect a gallows and a pillory. But these 
distinctions had long disappeared before 1789. It is true that seigneurial 
justice remained, but it had been immensely curtailed, and it had lost all real 
independence. The surviving rights were valued, not as a basis of power, 
but as a source of revenue. The lord no longer took any personal part in 
jurisdiction, and his authority consisted merely in the right to appoint a 
judge to represent him. And even in this the government stepped in to 
direct his choice. A series of edicts prescribed a number of qualifications 
for the seigneurial judges, with the result that the office was usually en- 
trusted to educated and capable men, instead of to mere tools of the lord. 
And their functions were narrowly limited. Ever since the thirteenth 
century a number of cases, such as treason, sedition, false coinage, etc., 
had been reserved, as cas royaux, to the justice of the king, and the number 
of these cases had been steadily increased. Also appeals from the decisions 
of the seigneurial courts to the parlements had been, first allowed, and then 
encouraged. In this we see the constant policy of the French government 
to gain the favour of the people by protecting them against arbitrary 
oppression on the part of the nobles. One benefit, however, they failed to 
grant, in local as in central administration, viz., gratuitous justice. The 
seigneurial judges were ill-paid, and they gained their income by exacting 
contributions from the suitors. The less they had to do, the higher their 
charges became. It was as necessary to pay the local judges for the decision 
of a petty case, as it was to pay the grande chambre for the settlement of an 
important appeal. The multiplicity of local tribunals in the provinces, 
where the seigneurial judges sat side by side with the royal presidiaux and 
prevots, with the intendants and sub-delegates, constituted a serious burden 
upon the people. But it had one beneficial result. It spread through 
France a number of trained and educated lawyers, familiar with local needs 
and capable of giving expression to them. This serves in some measure to 
explain the marked ability shown in many of the electoral assemblies in 1789. 
It was these trained lawyers who drew up the cahiers of grievances, often 
admirable both in matter and style, and it was from among^them that were 
chosen many of the most competent delegates of the Tiers-Etat in the States- 




By The Editor 

The judicial changes made by the Revolution were not by any means so 
absurd as the administrative changes : there were many good lawyers in the 
Constituent, and although the codification of law was not begun before the 
Committee of the Convention, appointed for that purpose in the summer of 
1793, and although it was not completed till 1804, it was evident from the 
first that the droit coutumier would get the better of the droit ecrit, in spite 
of the protests of the Southern lawyers. 

In the meantime, with the abolition of the provinces, all provincial privi- 
leges and customs, legal as well as administrative, were swept away, and 
yet no one system of law was substituted for the old diversities : until the 
end of the Convention, it was impossible to say M^hat law any one judge — 
departmental or district — was administering. 

The reorganisation of justice is heralded in a law of Oct. ist, 1789, which 
(Helie, Les Constitutions de la France, i. p. 45) asserts the strange principle 
of election of judges, and declares that, though in the name of the King, justice 
must be administered by legally established tribunals according to the prin- 
ciples of the Constitution. The first actual blow at the Parlements was 
dealt on Nov. 3rd, 1789, on the motion of Lameth, that for the moment 
the legal business of the country was to be transacted by the Chambres de 
Vacation only. Meanwhile the amount of compensation for the judicial 
offices to be abolished was fixed at 350 millions. On August i6th — 24th, 1790, 
further and more detailed legislation was carried, which (Helie, i. 146, sqq.) 
abolished sale of office and made justice gratuitous ; all judges were made 
elective ; the form of election was through the " secondary electors," and 
office was tenable for six years, when a judge might be re-elected. Thouret's 
committee proposed that the King should have the power of selecting the 
judge from candidates proposed by the electors, and this proposal was only 
lost by 53 votes, a fact which shows that the assembly was alive to the 
dangers of an elective magistracy (Helie, i. 159). Once elected, a judge 
might be shifted from one court to another without the necessity of re- 
election (Helie, i. 159). The King had to confirm elections and hand over 
the patents to the judges, but he had no power to refuse them. A judge 
had to be thirty years old or more, and either to have practised at the bar or 
sat on the bench for five years previous to election : judges were not to legis- 
late or make reglements, but to refer to the assembly if a law required 
interpretation or if a new law was wanted. The legislative, judicial and 
administrative bodies were specifically separated. To all citizens was given 
the right to plead their own causes either verbally or in writing. There 


were to be Elective Juries of at least twelve for criminal cases, and the 
prisoner was to have the right of challenging twenty jurors without cause 
assigned ; juries in civil cases were rejected after some discussion ; much 
encouragement was given to arbitration ; privileged justice was abolished : 
causes were not to be delayed, but to come up in their regular order ; 
measures were to be taken for the simplification of civil procedure ; the 
criminal code to be subject to perpetual revision. 

A juge dc pttix and two prudhommcs (assessors), to be elected biennially by 
the " primary electors " in each canton, and in each town of over 2,000 inhabi- 
tants, had jurisdiction in matters concerning personal property only, without 
an appeal where the property involved was of less than 50 liv. in value ; these 
courts also dealt with cases of local disputes, slanders, ?ssault and battery 
and the like, when not coming within the cognisance of the Criminal Courts : 
appeals from the Juges de Paix lay to ih&juges de district. In each district 
there was to be a Civil Tribunal of five judges (and four siipplcants) — in cases 
where there was a town in the district of 50,000 inhabitants or upwards, six 
judges sitting in two courts — they were to have jurisdiction, in addition to 
appeals from the Juges de Paix, in all personal property cases, except such as 
were cognisable by the jfuges de Paix and also, excepting affaires de commerce, 
in districts where there were Tribnnaux dc Commerce {vide infra) ; the limit was 
an involved value of 100 liv. personalty, and for real property 50 liv. Appeals 
from these tribunals were much discouraged, but an arrangement was intro- 
duced by which parties could agree to appeal to any district tribunal in 

The District Tribunals constituted by this new law were far too numerous ; 
there were 544 Tribunals in all, and the result was that the judges were both 
idle and inexperienced. (The Constitution of the year III. saw this, and sub- 
stituted Departmental Tribunals ; an error in the opposite direction (Helie, i. 
454, 474).) Some of the commissaires du roi were to practise in each court: 
their duties were to insist on the enforcement of laws which concern public 
order : to see that the interests of absent parties were not neglected : they were 
to insist on the observance of the regular forms and, after judgment, on the 
execution of the laws. To the innumerable Municipalities was unfortun- 
ately given the entire system of police, with only an ill-defined appeal to 
the district tribunals. 

Commercial courts of five judges each were established in commercial 
centres : they had the final decision in commercial cases where not more than 
1,000 liv. were involved: as these judges were elected by an assembly of 
merchants, bankers, etc., they would probably be local and experienced 
business men. On Sept. nth, 1790, regular " Administrative Tribunals " were 
established to have cognisance of matters concerning tax-collecting, public 
works, high roads, police. 

Paris, that is the City and Department, was (by the law of Aug. 25th, 
1790) to have six civil Tribunals each with five juges, four suppliants and a 
commissaire du roi : and (by the law of Sept. 25th, 1790) (Helie, i. 168) a 
yuge de Paix in each section. 

By a decree of Nov. 27th, 1790, the new judicial system was augmented 
by the establishment of a Cour de Cassation (Helie, i. 185, sqq.) which had 
jurisdiction over all the lower courts except the juges de paix when judging 
en dernier ressort ; but the decisions of this court were restricted to the 
annulling of previous judgment on account of bad law, errors in procedure, 
etc. ; it could not pronounce a judgment of its own. The judges of the Cour 
de Cassation were elected by the departmental authorities, forty-two at a time 


for four years ; forty-two departments being drawn to elect at the first elec- 
tion, the remaining forty-one electing at the next. 

By laws of Jan. 20th, and Feb. 25th, 1791, a Criminal Tribunal was estab- 
lished in each department, — a presidentnamed by the electors of the department, 
and three judges chosen to serve every three months from the District Tribunals 
(this was the only point in which the legislators condescended to copy old 
French Law) : also a public accuser elected by the department for six years ; 
this last is a very curious item, as it shows how profound was the mistrust of 
the executive : the public accuser is in fact ' the voice of common fame : ' the 
executive might arrest a man suspected of crime but it might not bring him 
to judgment. Small criminal cases were cognisable by Juges de Paix ; but 
there was to be a King's Commissary in each tribunal and the accuser might 
hear what he had to say. 

Finally, on May 15th, 1791, a High Court was established at Orleans for 
trying persons accused of treason (lese-natioii) ; four judges and a jury of 
twenty-four, the latter chosen from a list of persons elected, two by each 
department, biennially : they can only act on accusations made by the Legis- 
lative Assembly : royal pardon is no bar to an impeachment before this court : 
the four judges are chosen by lot from the Cour de Cassation : it is usually 
said that the judges in this court were nominated by the King: the text of 
the constitution, as printed by M. Helie, expressly says the reverse (pp. 290 
and 230). 

It is probable that if the old judicial system was too complicated, the new 
one reproduced that error : Mirabeau (writing to la Marck, Bacourt, i. 437) 
says that the new system was far too complicated. 

Again, if the new system was less expensive, it was certainly less pure : 
we have seen that the judges of the Ancien Regime were at least independent 
and in practice irremovable ; the elective judges of the new regime were 
under the most direct control of the new mob-sovereign, and to expect pure 
justice from a bench so constituted was foolish. At the same time there 
was much that was good in the new judicial system ; it is at any rate less 
easy to point out in it glaring absurdities than in the new administrative 



By Christopher T. Atkinson, M.A., Fellow of Exeter College, 


Authorities : Hauterive, L'Arm^e sous la Revolution [Paris, 1894 : especially 
good for the attitude of the troops towards the Ancien Rdgime and towards 
the Revolution, but gives practically no references and no statistics] ; Duruy, 
L'Arm^e Royale en 1789 [Paris, 1888 : careful and fairly complete, but gives 
more about the organisation and administration of the Army than about its ten- 
dencies, ideas and sympathies]; Chuquet, Les Guerres de la Revolution [Paris: 
a series published at various dates and dealing in great detail with the campaigns 
of 1792-3: Vols. i. ("La Premiere Invasion Prussienne "), ii.( "Valmy"), iii. 
(" La Retraite de Brunswick ") give a complete account of the first campaign in the 
East of France, with copious references, etc. : vol. xi. brings the series down to 
" Hondschoote " ; the chapters in vol. i. on the French and Prussian armies are of 
great value] ; Dubail, Precis de I'Histoire Militaire [Paris, 1879 : gives a few par- 
ticulars as to the organisation, tactics, etc., of the Republican armies] ; and other 

The great victories won by French arms between 1792 and 1815 have not 
always been assigned to their true causes. The ardent patriotism and fervid 
enthusiasm with which Frenchmen rallied to repel the invasion of 1792, the 
great organising genius of Carnot and of Bonaparte, the new spirit of Liberty, 
Fraternity and Equality, of which Valmy and Jemmappes are said to be the 
first-fruits, these and other reasons are often given, but one hears very little 
about the reforms by which the War Ministers of the Ancien Regime between 
1763 and 1789 had laid the foundation for subsequent successes. It would be 
a great mistake to suppose that the work of Choiseul, of Saint-Germain and 
of Segur had entirely perished with the Monarchy which they served, or to 
overlook the fact that the Army which checked Brunswick and saved the 
Republic in 1792 was only the old Army of the Bourbon Monarchy in a 
slightly different aspect. 

In 1789 the "paper strength" of the French Army was some 180,000, 
besides 55,000 Militia as a reserve. [N.B. — The various estimates differ 
between 160,000 and 180,000, but Duruy (" L'Armee Royale en 1789," pp. 7-9) 
gives iSi,ooo.] Of these the Maison du Roi accounted for 8,000, one half 
belonging to the Gardes Frangaises, the regiment which was soon to earn 
an unenviable notoriety for ill-discipline by being the first in which serious 
disorders occurred, while the faithful but unfortunate Swiss amounted to 
1,000. But the Maison du Roi was no longer the magnificent force which 
had decided the day at Steenkirk and won such fame under Louis XIV. ; it 
had not been in action since Fontenoy and had lost much of its old prestige. 
Indeed it was felt that it was " under a King like Louis XVI. merely a costly 
anachronism " (Duruy, p. 49), as was shown by the disbanding of several 
corps, amongst others the Grenadiers a Cheval and the Mousquet aires, and 


the reduction of the strength of the rest in 1775. But a more important 
change had been effected among the infantry of the line. Hitherto regiments 
had differed in organisation, in establishment, in pay, in privileges, in their 
relations to the general administration of the Army, according as they 
belonged to the Vieux (the oldest regiments in the Army, tracing their 
descent from the handes raised by Francis I., the senior of which was the 
regiment de Picardie), to the Petits Vieux {e.g., the Auvergne, which 
dated back to Henry IV.), or were regiments royaux (g in number), 
regiments des princes (10), regiments a prevote {i.e., free from the Provost 
Marshal's jurisdiction and forming their own courts-martial), regiments de 
gentilshommes, regiments des provinces, or regiments fournis de Vustensile 
(i.e., provided with baggage and camp equipment by the King) (Duruy, 
pp. 51-53). This chaos was now reduced to order, and practical uni- 
formity in organisation and equipment introduced, each regiment having 
a definite establishment of two battalions each of ten companies, one being 
a grenadier company and one light infantry. The Regiment du Roi, which 
had four battalions, and the 12 regiments of light infantry, which had only 
one apiece, were the only exceptions to this rule. Of foreigners there were 
23 regiments of infantry of the line, 11 being Swiss, 8 German, 3 Irish 
and I Italian, while in May 1778 to each of the 78 ordinary regiments of the 
line was attached a battalion of militia (known as garrison battalions) 
to serve as depot in case of war. The Militia also included 3 regiments 
of royal grenadiers and 14 regiments provinciaux, 7 of them being artillery, 
5 pioneers and 2 gendarmerie for Corsica and Paris, and were raised by 
ballot in a manner which bore very heavily on the classes subjected to it, 
as exemptions were readily obtained even by the lesser bourgeoisie. This 
service was exceedingly unpopular, as in case of war the militiamen were 
not discharged when their nominal period of 6 years' service expired, and 
were even drafted without their consent into the Regulars to fill up the gaps 
{cf. Duruy, pp. 141-149). Another reform was the large increase in light 
troops after the Seven Years' War (Duruy, p. 55), the light infantry and 
light cavalry being increased, while the comparatively useless heavy cavalry 
were reduced, 6 regiments being disbanded and the rest cut down from 4 
squadrons apiece to 3. There were in 1789 24 regiments of " cavalry," 2 of 
"carabineers," 18 of "dragoons" (all these counted as "heavies"), 12 of 
chasseurs and 6 of "hussars" (these "light cavalry" had 4 squadrons 
per regiment), a total of 204 squadrons, averaging perhaps 150 strong. The 
artillery included 7 regiments each of two battalions, besides 6 companies of 
miners and 10 of pioneers, the engineers having no rank and file but only 
some 300 officers. In these " scientific arms " France was well ahead of 
all other powers (Duruy, p. 158), the reforms of Valliere and Gribeauval, 
the latter the greatest artillerist of the age, having had great results. An 
uniform standard of construction had been introduced at the different arsenals, 
together with many technical improvements in manufacture of the greatest 
importance (Duruy, pp. 162, 163), the multiplicity of types prevailing among 
the guns in use had been reduced, and while the 24-pounders and i6-pounders 
had been relegated to the siege-train, lighter pieces, which could co-operate 
freely with the other arms, had taken their place. In a word, the way had been 
paved for the great achievements of the French artillery under the Revolution 
and the Empire. Similarly it was universally acknowledged that the French 
engineers were unequalled in the other Armies of Europe, for even in the 
days of Frederick II. the Prussian Army had been distinctly weak in this 
branch, weaker far than the Austrians, who, in their turn, had to own the 


superiority of the French (Duruy, pp. 175-184). In administration the 
French Army left more to be desired : the Supply Department had been 
efficient enough under Louis XIV., but had broken down under the different 
conditions which prevailed in the more distant campaigns of 1741-1748 and 
1757-1762. Choiseul and Saint-Germain had tried hard to effect reforms, but 
maladministration, extravagance and inefficiency seemed too deeply rooted 
to be easily dislodged ; the contractors continued to flourish and grow rich. 
Nevertheless in the Medical Department and in the hospitals a series of 
reforms had made France well ahead of Europe in 1789 [cf. Duruy, p. 200), 
and the reorganisation of the Supply Department in March 1788 might have 
been equally successful had it only had time to get into working order {ibid., 
p. 196). In like manner the careful and systematic division of the country 
into 17 cotnmandements en chef (March loth, 1788), and the formation of 
permanent divisions and brigades {cf. Duruy, pp. 60-64), ^^^ overthrown 
before it had had a fair chance, but the influence of the tactical teaching of 
Guibert, who died in 1791 at the early age of 47, can be clearly traced in the 
wars of the Republic {cf. Duruy, pp. 250-254). Such work as fell to the lot 
of the French Army in the war of 1778-1783 was done in a fashion which 
testified to the improvements effected, and as the chief obstacles to these 
and wider reforms lay in those privileges and vested interests on which the 
Revolution declared war, it is not wonderful that when the Army fell into 
the strong hands of Carnot success should have crowned the efforts of 
France. The Revolution inherited from the Ayicien Regime an Army with 
great possibilities ; while it wrecked the Navy it only purged the Army and 
made it capable, now that it was freed from the incubus of Court favour and 
of privilege, of profiting by the improvements which the last years of the 
Ancien Regime had introduced. If the Revolution had had to create an 
entirely new Army all the fervour and "patriotism" of the volunteers of 
1791 and 1792 could hardly have saved it even from the mild attacks of the 
Coalition ; it was the Army of the Monarchy transformed into the Army of 
the Revolution which preserved the Republic. 

It is in the conditions of service prevailing in the Army of the Monarchy 
and in the relations of officers to men that one must seek for the explanation 
of this change, and for the reason why the effect of the Revolution on the 
Army was so much less disastrous than its influence on the Navy of 
France. The officers must be taken first. From the standpoint of pro- 
fessional attainments they certainly left a good deal to be desired: brave, 
adventurous and high-spirited almost to a fault, they were for the most part 
ignorant of the military art, neglectful of their duties, idle, quarrelsome 
and overbearing towards civilians. But there was practically no incentive 
to make an officer devote himself to the study of his profession. Promotion 
and the giving of appointments and places went almost entirely by favouritism 
{cf. Duruy, pp. 76-78 ; Hauterive, p. 25). Court favour, the friendship of 
a Royal mistress or favourite, family influence, money, were all more 
powerful than merit. The majority of the regimental officers were drawn 
from the lesser noblesse, who, in common with the bourgeoisie, had little 
chance of obtaining advancement ; indeed, while a bourgeois might buy his 
promotion, the provincial noble was too poor for that. It is true that the 
purchase of commissions was in 1789 almost extinct, thanks to the ordinance 
of 1776 on the subject {cf. Duruy, p. 74) — the Ancien Regime v^diS, in this 
respect almost a hundred years ahead of England — but the absence of a regular 
system of promotion and the glut of officers, especially in the higher ranks 
(there were over 2,000 officers of the rank of Colonel or higher, and 


the Staff of the Army mustered 1,159, mainly holders of sinecures, in 1789), 
were most unfavourable to efficiency. When young nobles in their cradles 
received the command of regiments over grizzled veterans without influence 
at Court, when there were 36,000 officers, only 13,000 of whom were actually 
with the colours, in an Army of 180,000 (Hauterive, p. 26), the rest merely 
holding commissions because they obtained in this way that State sup- 
port which every nobleman considered his due (ibid.), when out of a 
military budget of 91,000,000 livres 47,000,000 were devoted to the payment 
of the officers, when these officers were, in Saxe's words, " mal instruits, 
plus mal exerces, ne connaissant pas le soldat, a peine connus de lui en 
temps de guerre, jamais en temps de paix," when Belleisle was forced to 
complain of the want of subordination among the junior officers, who, as 
nobles, felt themselves the social equals of their superiors {cf. Duruy, pp. 
91-93), when as a rule the officers were completely out of touch with their 
men and left nearly all the work to the non-commissioned officers (Hauterive, 
pp. 8-15), it is not wonderful that M. Chuquet goes to the length of calling 
the emigration " a blessing in disguise " (La Premiere Invasion Prussienne, 
pp. 67-69). The fact that even under the Monarchy the sous-officiers had 
done the greater part of the work of regimental administration goes far to 
explain the readiness with which they filled the vacancies left by the 
emigres ; they were on the whole a good set of men, old soldiers who had 
seen service and who embodied the regimental traditions and feeling (Duruy, 
p. 126 ; cf. Hauterive, p. 19). Saint-Germain had tried, though without success, 
to open the commissioned ranks to them, but the ordinance of July ist 1788, 
which forbade the promotion of privates to be corporals, or of corporals to 
be sergeants without due examination, bears out the statement that one 
result of the American War had been to attract to the Army young men 
of a rather higher class and of better education, among whom were Hoche, 
Jourdan and Marceau (Duruy, pp. 127-130). Not divided from the rank 
and file, as the noble officers were, by prejudice and caste-feeling, the sous- 
officiers seem as a whole to have enjoyed the confidence of the men and to 
have been in touch with them. " Nowhere, " says M. Hauterive (p. i), " was 
the gulf between nobles and people so widely felt as in the Army . . . 
there was between the officers and the men a world of prejudices." More- 
over, in zeal and in professional attainments the sous-officiers seem to have 
surpassed the officers. They had nothing but their own ability to which to 
look for promotion. Achille Duchatelet said that the officers were to the 
sergeants as amateurs to professionals {cf. Chuquet, i. 67), and he is sup- 
ported by the testimony of many other witnesses, among them Bouille and 

In theory the rank and file were raised by voluntary enlistment, and the 
employment of force or false pretences was strongly discouraged, but in 
practice fraud and deception played a large part in the recruiting system, 
which had fallen into the hands of "crimps" of a low class, ruffians who 
found ready victims among ne'er-do-weels, runaway apprentices, lackeys 
out of place, loafers and " broken men " of every description, to whom the 
Army was as a rule a refuge from destitution or from justice (Duruy, pp. 
26-29). Soldiers of fortune, they had the virtues and the vices of their class, 
turbulent, drunken, dissolute, needing a strong hand to keep them within 
bounds, but brave, spirited in attack, stubborn in defence, and ready, if well 
led, to follow anywhere. Between an Army composed of such materials and 
the soldier-politicians of the New Model there is little in common ; the 
French rank and file of 1789 were not the sort of men to trouble about 


principles and theories of government, to care for the " Rights of Man " or 
to be influenced by Constitutionalist or Republican leanings. People often 
talk as if the regiments which had seen service in America had returned 
to France ardent Republicans to a man, to serve as the leaven with which 
the whole French Army was to be leavened, until the troops were all 
adherents of 4th of July doctrines ; but this view does not seem to be sup- 
ported by the facts, and it ignores the practical difficulty of the mere difference 
in language which must have made communication between the soldiery 
and the colonists anything but easy. Not every man in the Auvergne or 
the Royal Deux-Ponts was a Lafayette, and it is interesting to notice that 
the Deux-Ponts was one of the regiments which is reported to have been 
loyal and in good order as late as the autumn of 1790, which hardly looks as 
if Republicanism had gained much hold over its ranks {cf. Hauterive, p. 130). 

The truth of the matter seems to be that, like the English sailors in 1642, 
the rank and file of the French Army were influenced by strictly practical 
questions : the Monarchy was to them associated with the hardships of their 
lot, they looked to the Revolution as a chance of improving their conditions. 
It is true that judged by the "standard of comfort" of the classes from 
which they came the soldiers were by no means badly off for food and 
lodging, and that both in these matters and as regards the enforcement of 
discipline their lot compared very favourably with that of the Prussian or 
Austrian private {cf. Duruy, p. 137). Nominally the terms of service were 
not less than 8 years or more than 12 (Duruy, p. 32), but it seems probable 
that men often found it a little difficult to obtain their discharge when it 
became due ; if time-expired Militiamen were compelled to continue in the 
ranks, there is no reason to suppose that equal pressure was not put on their 
Regular comrades. Desertion was rampant : men who had been entrapped 
into enlisting were not likely to remain in the ranks when they found that 
the promises made to them were not kept : enlistment was a contract, why 
should the soldier fulfil his share of the bargain ? Indeed the gentle treat- 
ment meted out to deserters (Hauterive, pp. 6-7 ; cf. Duruy, p. 230) looks as 
if it was considered a very natural step on the part of the private. One may 
perhaps form some^dea of the position of the soldier from a memorandum 
addressed to the Etats-Generaux by the officers of the garrison of Lille 
(quoted by Hauterive, pp. 75-76, cf. pp. 45-46, on the demands relating to the 
Army in the Cahiers). It draws attention especially to the inadequate pay 
and heavy duties of the soldiers, the exclusions and humiliations inflicted on 
the troops, the absolute lack of incentive or encouragement, " le soldat ne 
gagne rien a rester au service. On ne lui permet de se retirer que lorsqu'il 
est incapable de faire quoi que ce soit. S'il est reforme par accident ou par 
maladie il n'a aucun moyen de vivre." One may compare with this the 
declaration of a veteran captain of the 6e Infanterie to Lafayette, that he did not 
love the Revolution, but that he fought for it because it gave him the pension 
which the Ancien Regime denied him (Lafayette's Memoirs, iii. 297 ; cf. 
Chuquet's summary of what the Revolution had done for the troops, i. 57). 

Had Louis XVI. made a firm stand in defence of his threatened prerogative 
and position, and had he taken the necessary precaution of conceding the 
claims of the troops, and by improving their material position taken away 
the inducement which led them to favour the Revolutionary movement, 
he could have relied on the Army to follow him. The officers were 
loyal and the men, once their own grievances had received attention, 
would not have been deterred from doing their duty by constitutionalist 
scruples. Some sympathy between the troops and the mob there undoubtedly 


was : in the summer of 1789 one finds the regiment Saint-Remi fraternising with 
the rioters at Bordeaux and teaching them how to handle arms ; at Rennes 
the regiments oi Artois and Lorraine refused to fire on a disorderly crowd, to 
disperse which they had been called out, and swore never to imbrue their 
hands in French blood ; but of adherence to the doctrines of philosophers and 
economists there are practically no traces. The disorders in the Army in 
the course of 1789 afford evidence rather of insubordination and of the neglect 
of the officers to keep a proper control over their men than of political dis- 
affection. M. Hauterive sums up the matter by saying (p. 99, cf. pp. 56-65) 
"toutesces insurrections eurent la debauche comme principe." The out- 
break of the Gardes Fran^aises at the Palais Royal on June 27th, 1789, is 
perhaps the most typical of these disturbances, and it shows clearly that all 
the men wished for was to escape from the bonds of discipline and to indulge 
freely in the wildest orgies. 

One may perhaps sum up the situation existing in 1789 by saying that the 
Army, though somewhat out of hand and to some extent affected by the 
prevalent unrest, was as yet loyal on the whole. The most serious feature 
was that the officers, who should have formed a link between the King and 
the rank and file, had quite lost touch with their men and had lost their 
authority over them also. Thus while material interests induced the men to 
favour res novas, the loyalty of the officers was no guarantee for that of 
the men, nor was there any tradition of victory or other sentimental links to 
bind the rank and file to the Ancien Regime. Rossbach and Minden had 
not been effaced by the exploits of the small contingent which had served in 
America, and the disastrous effects on discipline of the defeats of the Seven 
Years' War {cf. Duruy, pp. 209-216 : the bad example of self-indulgence set 
by those in command had had a very bad effect) had not been overcome by 
the efforts of Rochambeau and Saint-Germain. Indeed the very severity of 
the military code tended to defeat its own ends, since it was enforced with 
such laxity as to be merely an empty threat. 

Still the elements for a successful resistance to the rising tide of revolution 
were not lacking, had there only been a man capable of doing justice to them. 
Indeed it might be said that the Monarchy of Louis XVI. fell for want of 
any real effort to save it. Louis XVI. was in himself the most unsuitable 
champion of a theoretically indefensible position : " benevolent " he certainly 
was, but nobody could have been less of a " despot." Thus where a stronger 
man, unhampered by Louis' scruples and his desire to do the best for France, 
might have made a firm stand and so given the Army the lead which above 
all things it needed, Louis XVI. fell through sheer helplessness. Philo- 
sophers might condemn a system devoid of moral justification, over-burdened 
tax-payers might grumble and murmur, the peasantry might meet and even 
proceed to violence, but as long as the Army remained loyal the Monarchy 
was secure. And grave as was the state of the Army in 1789, the lesson of 
the events of the next three years would seem to be that discipline and the 
habit of obedience had still so strong a hold on the troops that vigorous and 
decisive action on the part of the authorities, coupled with due attention to 
the complaints of the soldiery, might have saved the Monarchy. The Army 
did not really cease to be the Army of the King rather than the Army of the 
French nation until the flight to Varennes proved to it that the assertions of 
the agitators were true, and that the King, rather than rely on the nation, was 
looking to the foreigner for help against his own subjects (cf. Hauterive, p. 
232). M. Hauterive takes June 20th, 1791, as the date which marks "the 
change of the Army of the Monarchy into the Army of the Revolution " 


(p. 163), but it would be a grave misconception to look on this change as 
other than a very gradual process, and an investigation of the course of events 
must show how slowly the Army drifted away from the cause of Royalty, 
and how discipline and military subordination retained a hold on the troops 
in the face of the most adverse circumstances. 

When troubles first broke out in 1789, the troops on the whole did their 
duty admirably, any popular leanings they may have entertained being quite 
overpowered by the habit of obedience. Corn riots and incendiarism found 
them loyal, and though in some cases they displayed reluctance or even 
refused to fire on crowds which had assembled for political purposes, there 
was little hesitation when they were called upon to protect convoys of grain 
or to suppress riots or attacks on property [cf. Hauterive, pp. 52-53 and 
71-73). Discipline, though somewhat relaxed, might easily have been restored 
hy the tonic of firmness, but this was not forthcoming, and the failure of the 
authorities to punish the leaders of the outbreak of the Gardes Frattgaises 
had the effect of encouraging similar occurrences in other regiments, the bad 
example of impunity being irresistible. However, the first really serious 
blow to discipline was given by the surrender of the King to the Parisian 
rabble on Oct. 6th ; his ignominious return to Paris seems to have shattered 
his prestige in the eyes of the soldiery. How could a King who obeyed the 
mandates of a mob expect to retain the respect of his Army ? {cf. Hauterive, 


From this point one may date the steady decay of discipline. During the 
winter of 1789-1790 the troops were restrained from active insubordination 
by being constantly occupied against marauders and rioters, but the " Federa- 
tion " movement, which was now rampant, did not fail to affect the Army, 
and its progress went hand in hand with the decline of discipline. The 
Revolutionary propagandists knew the importance of gaining the support of 
the Army, and left no stone unturned : bit by bit the soldiers were taught to 
look upon themselves as the soldiers of France and not of the King, as 
citizens, not as a caste apart, to suspect their officers as reactionaries, to take 
a share in the " union of the nation " {cf. Hauterive, p. 88, etc.). It was in 
vain that the officers sought to regain the confidence of their men, and to 
recover the touch which they had lost (cf. Hauterive, p. 74) : these belated 
efforts were bound to fail. And while the great majority of the officers were 
ardently attached to the Monarchy, there was even among them an influential 
minority who were in sympathy with the new ideas, and one cannot help 
suspecting that in these officers and in the non-commissioned officers of the 
type of Souham (an ex-soldier of the Royal Cavalerie) and Oudinot (a 
sergeant in the Medoc) the Revolutionary clubs and societies must have 
found agents ready to further their designs on the loyalty of the troops. 
These "pro-Revolutionary" officers, says M. Chuquet (i. p. 59; cf. Hauterive, 
p. 91), formed "an influential party" ; all the young and ambitious men 
who had nothing to lose and everything to gain from the Revolution were 
devoted to its cause. Practically all the non-noble officers and some of the 
nobles who saw the chance of rising which they could not hope to gain by 
remaining loyal, those who had no influence at Court, those who were 
conscious of their capacities and only wanted a fair opening, were all on the 
side of the Revolution. Though a minority, they were formidable by their 
quality, including, as subsequent years were to show, many men of great 
military talent. 

Meanwhile the uncertain attitude of the King greatly weakened his hold 
over the troops. Had he done what his enemies alleged he intended to do, 


and, after incurring unpopularity by collecting the foreign regiments, on 
whom he could most rely, round Paris, used them to reassert his authority, 
the troops would at least have been given a clear lead, but it could not be 
expected that they should of their own accord rally round a King who did 
not seem to know whether he wanted to be defended. Thus the soldiers, at 
first mere spectators of the "federations," gradually came forward to take 
the oath themselves when they realised that the nation was proclaiming its 
unity and was anxious for them to throw down the barriers which had 
hitherto kept Army and people apart (Hauterive, p. no). One can see 
how the foundations of discipline were being sapped, and how the new ideas 
were steadily making progress, when one finds the regiment of the Vexin 
refusing to quit Marseilles (Aug. 1790), and carrying its point by the aid of 
the townsfolk (Hauterive, p. 120), when one reads of the demands of the 
troops that the regimental accounts should be submitted to their inspection, 
when one finds them accusing their officers of robbing them of their due and 
falsifying the regimental books. The great mutiny at Nancy (Aug. 1790) of 
the regiments Chdteauvieiix (Swiss foot), Mestre du Camp (cavalry) and du 
Roi (French foot) rose out of the demand of the Chdteauvicux that they 
should be shown their books, but this mutiny, though a very serious affair, 
ended in a triumph for reaction, as Bouille was able to collect a large force 
and to repress the rising, the bulk of the disaffected regiments taking no 
part in the proceedings. 

The fete of July 14th, 1790, is another of the important epochs in the 
transition of the Army's allegiance: in Bouille's words "it poisoned the 
troops" (Hauterive, p. 113). Delegates from every regiment were present, 
and the leaders of the advanced party took this opportunity of instilling 
among them distrust and suspicion of their officers, alleging that they were 
about to use the troops to support the cause of reaction. The delegates 
were cajoled, flattered and bribed : they returned to their regiments full of 
the new ideas, and from that moment independence and insubordination 
increased greatly. The officers felt that their authority was being under- 
mined, they had by now realised the danger, and, full of disgust at seeing the 
King ordered about by the dregs of the nation, were preaching to the soldiers 
that the authority of the King was superior to that of the nation (Hauterive, 
p. 115). There was a struggle between the old ideas and habits of discipline 
and military obedience and the new spirit of independence and democratic 
equality so sedulously fostered by the extremists. Gradually one finds the 
men slipping over to the side of the Revolution, while emigration begins to 
drain the country of those who ought to have rallied round the King, and not 
to have given colour, by taking refuge with the foreigner, to the allegations of 
those who identified the Monarchy with the hated Austrians and Prussians 
{cf. Hauterive, p. 156). 

The growth of the Revolutionary clubs and societies during the autumn 
and winter of 1790 marks yet another stage in the process. It was when 
the men began to attend the meetings of the clubs and to demand a voice in 
the administration of their regiments, when the clubs applied themselves to 
undermining the authority of the officers and tried to interfere in such matters 
as the movement of the troops from one garrison to another (Hauterive, pp. 
142-148), that it became clear that the Army had got out of hand. Yet even 
now there was in Bouille's army a strong minority of Royalists, including 
the foreign regiments and most of the cavalry (cf. Hauterive, pp. 130- 131 : 
the Lauzun regiment of cavalry cried au diable la nation). The first 
success for the reactionaries would probably have decided numbers of 


waverers, but it was just at this time that the failure of the flight to Varennes 
(July, 1791) dealt the Monarchy a fatal blow. While the rank and file saw 
in it a complete confirmation of the accusations which the agitators had 
levelled against the Monarchy, the officers hailed it as giving them leave to 
abandon a distasteful and hopeless struggle against the rising tide of dis- 
affection. Once the King had set the example of emigrating, the officers 
were practically released from their oaths and were free to follow his pre- 
cedent. *' The flight of the King, which did more for the Revolution than 
any other event, was the proof by which the Revolution recognised that it 
could count on the Army ... it marks the transformation of the Army of 
the Monarchy into the Army of the Revolution " (Hauterive, p. i6i). 

Emigration on a large scale now set in and was accelerated by the action 
of the Assembly, which administered to the Army an oath of fidelity to the 
nation and to the Constitution which it should decree. Far more than the 
rank and file the officers felt themselves bound to the King's cause. " The 
nation " was nothing to them. Drawn mainly from the noblesse, they were 
attached to the Monarchy by birth, by caste-feeling, by family and professional 
traditions, by caste prejudices and by the training they had received. Senti- 
ment and not interest was the foundation of their loyalty, for the lesser 
noblesse, who provided the majority of the regimental officers, stood little 
chance of promotion or distinction. Equally with the bourgeoisie they found 
themselves sacrificed to those who could invoke Court favour on their behalf, 
but their loyalty was proof even against neglect, and up till July, 179 1, it had 
not been the lesser but the greater nobles who had been foremost in deserting 
the post of danger.^ But after the King's return to Paris the regimental 
officers also began to emigrate. In some regiments the soldiers compelled 
officers who had refused the oath to quit the service, sous-officiers and privates 
formed committees to expel officers suspected of incivisme — a serious blow to 
discipline (Hauterive, p. 160). Whole regiments were left without officers, 
the 236 Infanterie had only i captain at the beginning of 1792. To meet this 
emergency the Assembly declared all emigres to be deserters, and proceeded to 
fill up the vacancies by the promotion of those officers and sous-officiers who 
remained faithful. Then began the meteoric rise of men like Kleber and 
Houchard, who rushed with extraordinary rapidity up from the lower grades : 
Ronsin, a captain on July ist, 1793, was a General of Division by Oct. 5th, 
which would appear to be the "record" {cf. Hauterive, p. 294). Ambitious 
men saw their chance, the old officers gave place to sous-officiers, insubordina- 
tion, fanned by local clubs, grew more rampant, and by the beginning of 1792 
6,000 officers out of 9,000 had emigrated. 

The events of the spring and summer of 1792, the declaration of war on 
Austria, Brunswick's manifesto, the outbreak of Aug. loth, the advance of 
the Allies and the establishment of the Republic only serve to show how 

^ N.B. — The return of 1788 proves clearly that in the higher ranks of the Army 
the vast majority of the officers were nobles : all the Marshals (11), Lieutenant- 
Generals (196), all but 136 of the 770 Mar^chaux de Camp, all but 6 of the 109 
Colonels of infantry were titled, and even of the Brigadiers — a rank created by 
Turenne mainly to enable non-noble officers of ability to rise {cf. Duruy, p. 79) 
— 123 out of 180 were of noble blood. S^gur's ordinance of May 22nd, 1781, seems 
to have been intended to provide employment for the great number of nobles of 
poor but old families, to whom no other avocation save the Church was open, and 
one object of it was to prevent the sale of certificates of noble birth to the bourgeoisie, 
who, despite all attempts to check them, were steadily buying their way into the 
Army (Duruy, p. 83) ; for the Artillery and Engineers no certificate of nobility was 
required, and these corps suffered much less from emigration than any other. 


completely the Army had changed since 1789. The determined stand 
which might have saved the situation a little earlier was not forthcoming. 
Lafayette's half-hearted Royalism failed to awake any answering chord 
among the soldiery, he saw that his men were not with him and fled across 
the frontier (Aug. i6th, 1792). One or two regiments, the 6th Hussars and the 
Chdteauvieux (Swiss foot), followed his example and a great many officers, 
Moderate Royalists and Constitutionalists, who had hitherto remained at 
their posts, now abandoned the hopeless struggle. There was, however, no 
general movement, the Army had made its decision and had thrown in its 
lot with the nation ; a Monarchy which had displayed its want of confidence 
in its Army by appealing to the foreigner for assistance in a domestic crisis 
could hardly expect the Army to adhere to it in time of need. Yet even so 
the Army was rather Modere than Montagnard ; despite all the efforts of 
the Assembly to imbue the troops with Republican principles (Hauterive, pp. 
255-257) the troops of the line seem to have been but little affected by 
political sympathies. They acquiesced in the death of the King but do not 
seem to have been anxious for it ; when the news of his execution arrived 
there were no manifestations either of sympathy or disapproval, the men 
remained calm and indifferent (Hauterive, p. 258). Their task was to 
defend France against the foreigner, the trial and death of the King were 
matters in which they did not feel themselves immediately concerned. 

That the great upheaval which had taken place in France since 1789, and 
by which the Army, like every other institution in France, had been so much 
influenced, must have greatly affected its capacity for carrying out its proper 
function of defending the country is obvious. The Constituent Assembly had 
introduced certain reforms, regulating the promotion of officers (one-fourth of 
the vacancies were in future to be filled from the ranks ; up to the grade of 
captain promotion was to be by seniority, afterwards by selection), substituting 
numbers for the names by which the regiments had hitherto been known ; 
thus the Auvergne became the 17^ Infanterie, the Chartres Dragoons the 
I4« Dragoons, the famous Cuirassiers of Louis XIV., which had been so 
prominent at the passage of the Rhine in 1672, veiled its identity in the title 
of 8« Cavalerie, while the io« Cavalerie were the old Royal Cravate. A 
more important step was the abolition of the Militia, a step due no doubt 
to the unpopularity of that force among the classes liable to serve in its 
ranks, but one of which the wisdom was at least open to question. The 
force ought to have been so organised as to be a link between the regiments 
of the line and the districts from which the Militia were recruited, and so it 
might have been a valuable portion of a '• territorial system." 

During the summer and autumn of 1789 there had been formed spon- 
taneously all over the country local forces for local purposes, to keep order 
and preserve the peace. These National Guards were independent bodies 
of armed citizens, unconnected with the central military organisation or with 
the similar forces in other localities. With the possible exception of those 
of Paris, in whose ranks there were a large number of soldiers, who had 
deserted from the Regulars, attracted by the laxer discipline and easier terms 
of service which prevailed in these new forces, the National Guards were 
soldiers only in name, with not much more organisation, cohesion or discipline 
than the " brigands," to repress whom they were raised (Hauterive, p. 78). It 
can be easily understood that they added little to the military power of the 
country ; indeed they seriously weakened the Army, not only by inviting de- 
sertion — the Paris National Guard is said to have included 16,000 ex-soldiers 


— but by competing with it in the recruit-market. Thus while discipline and 
military subordination were being attacked and undermined, the ranks of the 
Army were being thinned by desertion, the flow of recruits had practically 
ceased, and absolute chaos seems to have prevailed in the administrative de- 
partments. There was an atmosphere of suspicion within and without : the 
troops expected their officers to desert to the foreigner at any minute, while 
the Extreme Left, looking upon the Army as Monarchical and Royalist, lost 
no opportunity of attacking it or of comparing it with the National Guards, 
to the advantage of the latter. Indeed it is rather remarkable that the Army 
continued to exist at all : not only was its organisation completely thrown 
out of gear by the emigration of so many officers, but the unceasing inter- 
ference of the Legislative Assembly with every detail of discipline or ad- 
ministration made it impossible for such officers as were left to retain any 
vestige of control or authority over their men. It was only the war of 1792 
which could cure the disorders by which the Army was being ruined : dis- 
cipline regained its hold over the troops when the activity of the field of war 
replaced the idleness of the garrison, when the soldiers resumed their true 
work and had one pre-occupation only, war (Hauterive, p. 175). 

After the flight to Varennes, when matters appeared to be approaching 
a crisis, the Constituent lAssembly had decided to augment the " squeezed 
lemons" of the Regular Army by levying 169 battalions of Volunteers from 
among the National Guards. These battalions, each composed of nine com- 
panies, with a nominal establishment of 574 men, did not at first display many 
military qualities. Ideas of independence and equality did duty for discipline, 
their officers, elected by the rank and file, had practically no control over 
their men, though it must be admitted that they were for the most part 
chosen from ex-soldiers of the Army or Militia (Chuquet, i. 72), and the first 
exploits of these new forces were disorderly outbreaks and political demon- 
strations. They included, however, a great deal of good material, and active 
service in the end made good soldiers of them {cf. Chuquet, i. 70-71), but 
their movement to the frontier in 1791 was marked by rioting and by mal- 
treatment of the unfortunate inhabitants among whom they were quartered, 
especially in Alsace (Hauterive, pp. 181 ff.). 

At this time the Army of the line was 50,000 below its established strength, 
and, the influx of recruits having been entirely diverted into the Volunteers, 
was dwindling daily. The Assembly in July,'i79i, had voted the increase of 
each battalion of infantry to 750 and every squadron of cavalry to 170 
(Chuquet, i. 29), but so far from these numbers being attained, no infantry 
regiment seems to have been able to produce more than one of its two 
battalions for field service, and the cavalry regiments likewise had to leave 
one squadron behind them to act as a depot. Even then Lajard and others 
were advising that the already existing forces should be brought up to full 
strength before new corps were raised (Chuquet, i. 31), and Narbonne at Kel- 
lermann's advice proposed to incorporate the Volunteers in the line (ibid.), 
but the jealousy which the Left entertained of the Army prevented the 
adoption of this salutary measure, and the confusion continued to increase. 
Luckner, in order to keep his line regiments up to strength, was forced to 
release from prison 600 men convicted of crimes against discipline [ibid., 

J- 33]. 

The levy of the 169 " battalions of 1791 " had not yet been completed, 
indeed only 83 of them were fit even for garrison duty when the Assembly, 
on the outbreak of war in 1792, decreed the formation of yet another 45 
battalions. As M. Chuquet says, " the Legislative Assembly aimed at 

VOL. III. 20 


nothing but numbers and, believing that any mob will make an army, kept 
on voting new levies without deigning to estimate the cost, or vote the 
necessary funds." These " Volunteers of 1792 " were even more disorderly, 
more political and less soldierly than their predecessors of 1791, who, by the 
summer of 1792, were beginning to acquire some degree of discipline and 
efficiency, and to learn that patriotism cannot by itself compensate for the 
absence of military training and habits. " Plus embarrassants qu'utiles, 
plus redoutes que desires par les officiers-generaux " is Biron's description 
of the new levies (Chuquet, i. 71). 

The campaign of 1792 opened with an advance into Belgium, which 
broke down mainly owing to the indiscipline of the Volunteers, though the 
condition of the Regulars was little better. In May Rochambeau declared 
that he could do nothing with an army " indisciplinee et mefiante a I'exces." 
Indeed the whole force was in an incredible condition. Chaos reigned 
supreme in the administration ; supplies, arms, ammunition were wanting 
in some places and exceeded all needs at others, suspicion and insubordina- 
tion were universal. Regulars and Volunteers were at bitter feud and even 
amongst the Regulars regiments were continually fighting one another 
{cf. Chuquet, i. 44). Bad as were the Regulars, the Volunteers were worse. 
Many of them had availed themselves of the permission given them by the 
Assembly to return home at the end of the campaign, which was taken 
to be the ist of December in each year. Had the Allies been ready to take 
the field in June, had their troops been reasonably efficient, had their 
co-operation been sincere, and had Brunswick possessed a tithe of the military 
capacity of his great kinsman Ferdinand, the campaign might have proved 
the " walk over " so many people anticipated. But though, if one considers 
the condition of the French Army only, it must seem remarkable that any 
attempt at resistance was made at all and positively miraculous that this 
resistance was successful, this apparent miracle can be explained by the 
condition of the Prussian army, which, if not as unsoldierly as the French, 
was quite as unfitted for practical warfare. Frederick II. 's system had be- 
come fossilised, pipe-clay and parade were all-important, and the portentous 
baggage-train, the obsolete and inefficient administration would have 
hampered the most energetic and capable of organizers and generals. 
When, however, the unthinking precipitation of Frederick William II. was 
combined with the lethargic movements, the irresolution and the hesitation 
of Brunswick, the result was not likely to be a conspicuous success. 

It was during the months of July and August, 1792, that France was being 
saved, not indeed by the Assembly which declared la patrie in danger, 
which voted the levy of yet another 42 battalions of volunteers and authorised 
the formation of various motley gangs of pseudo-warriors, compagnies /ranches, 
legion Allobroge (Savoyards), legion Batave (Dutch exiles), compagnies de 
chasseurs nationaux, while Servan decided on the formation of a camp of 
20,000 men to be drawn in fives from each canton, the famous federes of 
the camp at Soissons, but by Dumouriez, Lafayette, Kellermann and the 
other commanders of the forces in the field who seem to have met with 
some success in their eiforts to establish discipline, notably among the old 
regiments of the line, and by accustoming their men to the sight of an enemy 
in various petty skirmishes {cf. Chuquet, i. 63-66) gradually restored them to 
a condition of efficiency. '• La vie des camps," says Chuquet, "avait exerce 
sa bienfaisante influence sur les soldats. Les desordres causes par les clubs 
avaient cesse." 

The popular legend which ascribes the credit for the repulse of Brunswick 


and for the victories of Jemmappes and Fleurus to the Volunteers, the Sans- 
culottes, the uncertain " heap of shriekers," is absolutely unfounded, and the 
belief based upon this legend in the inherent superiority of democratic freedom 
and enthusiasm over discipline and professional skill rests on equally theoretical 
foundations. The figures given by Chuquet (ii. i6i) as to the composition 
of the troops engaged in the " affair " of Valmy — from the military point of 
view it hardly deserves to be described as a "battle" — perhaps afford the 
best clue to an estimate of the relative shares of credit to be ascribed 
to Regulars and to Volunteers. Dumouriez had under his command i8 
regiments of cavalry (regulars), 12 of infantry of the line, 2 battalions of 
light infantry, 6 of grenadiers detached from line regiments and 16 battalions 
of Volunteers of 1791. Kellermann's corps included 4 regiments of cavalry, 
6 of infantry of the line, 2 battalions of detached grenadiers and i of 
detached light infantry, the only Volunteers being 12 battalions of 1791, a 
total in round numbers of 7,500 cavalry, 18,000 regular infantry and 14,000 
Volunteers of 1791 — not any of the levies of 1792 ; besides which the artillery, 
who practically decided the day, were all regulars, and were the arm of the ser- 
vice which had lost fewest officers through the emigration, and which had 
probably been least influenced by the events of 1789- 1792. " Ce ne sont pas 
les volontaires de 1792 qui triompherent a Valmy et a Jemmappes," is M. 
Hauterive's conclusion (p. 246) ; " ce furent nos vieilles troupes de ligne. 
. . . Nos premiers succes sont dus a notre ancienne armee, comme nos 
premiers revers sont la consequence de I'indiscipline des volontaires." M. 
Chuquet is no less emphatic (ii. 243) : he ascribes the credit for the success 
— more moral than material it is true, but still sufficient to give the battle an 
importance which as a military event it cannot claim — to the old Army of 
the Monarchy supported by those of the Volunteers of 179 1 who, from associa- 
tion with the Regulars and by experience of active service, had acquired 
something of discipline and soldierly qualities. The experience then of the 
campaign of 1792 can hardly be said to confirm the Carmagnole theory ; 
it rather shows that the unregulated and unchastened *' patriotism " of the 
volunteers, devoid of that cohesion and solidarity which in the end they 
received from being amalgamated with the professional soldiery of the old 
Army, was more dangerous to France than to the foreigner, that outbursts 
of frenzied enthusiasm will not suffice to defend a country by themselves, 
that a rampant democracy unrestrained by discipline is a double-edged mili- 
tary weapon. 

But even after Valmy and Jemmappes all did not go well. The disorders 
from which the French Army was suffering were too deeply rooted to be 
cured in a moment. The defeat of Neerwinden lost much of the ground 
that had been gained just at the time (March, 1793) when the outbreak of 
the insurrection in La Vendee had added a new trouble to the difficulties 
of France, while Custine and the Army of the Rhine were being forced to 
retire behind that river. The desertion of Dumouriez (April) seemed to be 
the prelude to a complete collapse. The Army appeared to be quite de- 
moralised and disorganised, the troops were practically a banditti and the 
officers were worth little more than the men (Hauterive, p. 270) ; desertion, 
pillage and misconduct of every kind were rampant, " an alarming lack of 
discipline was combined with an even greater cowardice " (ibid.). A little 
activity on the part of the Allies and such troops would hardly have proved 
an effectual barrier on the road to Paris. Two things only saved France. 
Even at this moment the troops of the Line retained some cohesion and 
were more or less in hand. Their officers were still able to exercise a control 


over them (Hauterive, p. 273, cf. p. 277 : '* on peut dire qu'a ce moment ou 
le desordre le plus affreux mena9a de dissoudre les bataillons des volontaires, 
c'est-a-dire la partie la plus nombreuse de nos forces, les soldats de I'ancienne 
armee, les vrais ceux-la, conserverent plus d'unite, plus de discipline, et, 
malgre nos echecs de I'ete, sauverent la France de I'invasion "). Secondly, 
the reins of government fell into the hands of the Committee of Public Safety, 
a body whose rule was certainly not lacking in vigour or in efficiency, and 
in that Committee the Republic found a master, while, in place of corrupt 
and inefficient administrators like Pache, Carnot proved himself to be a 
capable Director of the War, and utilised to the fullest extent the nucleus of 
good material which the relics of the old Army of the Monarchy provided. 
Even Carnot could hardly have welded the undisciplined Volunteers into 
an efficient Army. Notwithstanding the bitter hostility of journalists, of 
popular societies and commissioners of the executive, who lost no chance of 
attacking the Army, of accusing it wholesale of incivisme, and of denouncing 
all the officers as aristocrats, it formed the leaven with which the chaotic 
armed forces of the Republic were worked up into that magnificent military 
machine which Napoleon was to lead to victory. The Terrorists, whatever 
their faults, deserve the greatest credit for the steps which they took to re- 
store discipline and to infuse energy into the Army : during the summer and 
autumn of 1793 representants of the Committee succeeded in putting down 
most of the disorders which were threatening to dissolve the Army, in 
restoring discipline and establishing order in the administrative services. 
It is true that in many cases they neutralised the good they had done by 
ill-advised and officious interference with the work of the generals, by 
attempting to decide questions of tactics and strategy, and that many of 
them repeated the mistake which the Volunteers had made of imagining 
that demonstrative "patriotism" could compensate for ignorance and in- 
experience, but on the whole they did good work and among the results oi 
the year 1794 must be set down the restoration of discipline and the infusion 
of energy into the Army which soon manifested itself in the suppression 
of the Vendeens, in the repulse of the Allies, the recapture of Toulon, and 
the conquest of Belgium and the frontier of old Gaul. 

The date which one may take as marking the close of the " Revolution " 
period in the history of the French Army is the reorganisation effected in 
the spring of 1794. As long ago as Jan. 1792 it had been proposed to draft 
the Volunteers into the line, and in the campaign of 1792 Dumouriez, fol- 
lowing the example of Lafayette, had brigaded line and Volunteers together 
(Chuquet, i. 76), not actually incorporating the two classes of troops in one 
force but practically uniting them. Thus the 17^ Infanterie (ex-Auvergne) 
was brigaded with the ist battalion of Volunteers of the Meurthe and the 2« de 
Saone-et-Loire, the 2ge {ex-Dauphine) served alongside of the i« de VAllier 
and i« de la Charente, the 99^ (ex-Deux-Ponts) with the 2^ de la Marne and 
3« dti Nord {ibid.). In June, 1793, in response to the advice of the Repre- 
sentants (Hauterive, p. 273) this temporary arrangement received official 
sanction as the authorised organisation, though it was not till Jan. 1794 that 
it was carried out. By this time two years of active service and the zeal 
with which the Committee of Public Safety had enforced discipline had had 
good effects even on the Volunteers of 1792 and the Requisitionnaires, and 
had turned them into real soldiers : the Volunteers of 179 1 had done well in 
1792 {cf. Chuquet, i. pp. 70-78) and together with the regulars were by now 
veterans. By the decree of Nivose 19th (Jan. 8th, 1794) the infantry were 
organised in brigades, each consisting of one regiment of regulars and 


four battalions of volunteers or requisitionnaires, these brigades being 
in turn divided into demi-brigades (one battalion Regulars and two of 
auxiliaries) to each of which six guns were attached (in the Napoleonic 
era these demi-brigades appear as regiments, usually consisting of three 
battalions, occasionally of two). At the same time the cavalry were re- 
organised, the heavy cavalry being formed into regiments of four squadrons, 
the light cavalry having six squadrons to each regiment. Other reforms 
followed {cf. Dubail, Precis de I'Histoire Militaire, p. 51 ff.), but this date 
— 1794 — may be taken as marking the close of that period of transition 
which saw the Army of the Bourbon Monarchy transformed, while preserv- 
ing the continuity of its existence, into the Army of Republican France. 

Still one may trace in the Armies of the Republic and Empire the influence 
of this time of storm and stress, of upheaval and disturbance. The fighting 
capacities of the French troops of the Napoleonic period were marvellous, 
but their discipline failed to keep pace with their other military virtues ; 
insubordination was checked, but it could never be said of the armies ot 
Napoleon, as it was of the troops of Rochambeau, that " France could offer 
to the world the spectacle of an Army in which there has not been a single 
act of plundering or disorder" (Duruy, p. 221). The special circumstances 
of the occasion may perhaps account for the want of discipline which made 
the French Army in 1815 so untrustvvorthy and so incapable of standing the 
shock of defeat {cf. H. Houssaye, " 1815," p. 83), but the taint of the 
excesses of 1789- 1793 adhered to the French throughout the period, and the 
habits of plundering and pillaging, which made it so easy to trace their career 
of conquest through Italy and through Germany, were another legacy from 
those times of license and disorder. Indeed one may look upon the principle 
of '• making war support war " as the official adoption of the private plunder- 
ing which went on wherever French armies found their way : and if it is true 
that one reason for Napoleon's failure in Spain and in Russia was that in 
countries so poor this system of dealing with the question of supplies, so 
successful in more fertile lands, broke down, there can be little doubt that 
the robberies and devastations of the French armies played no small share 
in arousing that violent antipathy to Napoleon and his system which aroused 
Europe in 1813 and 1814 (cf. Thiebault's Memoirs, especially vol. ii.). 



By Christopher T. Atkinson, M.A., Fellow of Exeter College, 


Authorities : E, Chevalier, La Marine Francaise sous la premiere R^publique 
(quoted as Chevalier ii., being sequel to a vv'ork on the American War), Paris, 
1886 ; La Marine Fran9aise sous le Consulat et la premiere Empire (quoted as 
Chevalier iii.), Paris, 1886; L. Gu^rin, Histoire Maritime de la France, vol. iii., 
Paris, 1849; William James, Naval History of England, vol. i., London (stereo- 
typed edition) ; Maurice Loir, La Marine Royale en 1789, Paris, 1892 ; A. T. 
Mahan, Influence of Sea Power on the French Revolution and Empire, London, 
1893. Besides these Troude (Batailles Navales de la France, vol. iii.) and Jurien de 
la Graviere (Guerres Maritimes de la France) are also useful. Of the above works 
Chevalier is much less biassed than Gu6rin and embodies the fruits of considerable 

It is a somewhat remarkable fact that the Revolution, which breathed a 
new vigour and a new spirit into the Armies of France, and launched them 
on the paths which were to lead to Marengo, to Austerlitz and to Jena, 
should have been for the French Navy a season of disaster after disaster, 
culminating in the Nile and Trafalgar. The contrast moreover is accentu- 
ated when one reflects that the last campaigns on a considerable scale in 
which the French Army had taken part were those of Rossbach and Minden, 
while in the American War of 1778-1783, if the Navy had not actually 
succeeded in wresting from the British Navy the command of the seas, it 
had at any rate been nearer to success than ever before. 

It is in the peculiar character of naval war and in the special qualities 
needed in it that the explanation of this fact is to be found. It is far harder 
to create a Fleet than to raise an Army, a seaman takes longer to train than 
a hussar or even an artilleryman. It is because a Navy employs machines 
as well as men that the untrained enthusiasm and courage of Revolutionary 
France failed to achieve at sea results commensurate with those it accom- 
plished on land. The naval officer has to handle his ship as well as to fight 
her, and so neither the soldier, unused to the sea, however brave, nor the 
merchant-seaman, a skilful navigator but unaccustomed to discipline and 
unacquainted with tactics, could take the place of the trained naval officer, 
at once navigator and fighting man. The fiery, undisciplined spirit of the 
Revolution was out of its element at sea ; there organisation and experience 
are the moftt essential of all things, and without them courage can do little. 
" Since his Majesty," wrote Villeneuve, when stung to action by Napoleon's 
reproaches, " thinks that nothing but audacity and resolve are needed to 
succeed in the naval officer's calling, I shall leave nothing to be desired" 
(Troude, iii. 390). In failing to appreciate what qualities are really needed 
in the Navy, Napoleon was only following in the steps of the Convention : 
Jean Bon-Saint-Andre had looked forward hopefully to the day when *' dis- 
daining skilful evolutions our seamen will think it more fitting and useful to 
try those boarding-actions in which the French were always conquerors" 
(Chevalier, ii, 49) ; and the only qualifications required for the command of a 


ship of war had been certificates of patriotism and civisme from the 
" Society of Adorers of Liberty and Equality" of Toulon (Guerin, iii. 240). 

The naval revival in France, begun by Choiseul by 1761 and continued 
by de Praslin (Minister of Marine 1766-1771), de Sartines (1774-1780), and 
de Castries (1780- 1787), had resulted in raising the French Navy to a condi- 
tion of great efficiency, when the outbreak of the Revolution brought a 
complete reorganisation in its train. Up to 1791 the officers of the French 
Navy had been almost exclusively drawn from the ranks of the nobility, 
especially from that of Brittany and Provence. In addition to this 
aristocratic corps, so-called Rouges from the colour of their breeches, 
there had existed for many years a subordinate class of officers, drawn from 
the merchant-service and other non-noble sources and known as Bleus, 
on whom had devolved an undue share of the drudgery of the service with a 
disproportionate quota of rewards. In 1786, owing partly to the deficiency 
in the lower ranks of officers shown to exist by the events of the American 
War (Chevalier, ii. 20), a complete reorganisation had taken place. The 
Gardes de la Marine, established in 1689 by Colbert, now became Sieves 
de la marine, who, after six years of systematic training both practical and 
theoretical, took rank as lieutenants de vaisseau, nobles alone being 
eligible. At the same time the sons of privateer and merchant captains, of 
ship-owners and other non-noble persons, were admitted as " volontaires," 
being appointed sons-lieutenants de vaisseau after passing certain examina- 
tions and serving at sea for a specified time. Beyond this rank, however, 
they could not advance unless promoted for specially distinguished services. 

Bent on attacking privilege wherever it was found, the Constituent 
Assembly abolished the exclusively noble character of the naval profession 
and opened its ranks to everybody. The schools at Alais and Vannes were 
done away with. Hives and volontaires disappeared. A competitive 
examination was held annually for youths of from 15 to 20, the successful 
candidates passing three years on ships of war as aspirants learning their 
duties. At the end of this time, however, they received no preference over 
any one else of from 18 to 30 years of age who had four years' experience 
at sea, and could pass the examination for the rank of enseigne. En- 
seignes, though all alike ranked by seniority, were of two classes, entre- 
tenus, those actually serving on ships of war, and non-entretenus, who 
returned to the merchant-service. Both classes were eligible up to the age of 
40 to pass as lieutenants, but at 40 a man had to choose definitely between 
the Navy and the merchant-service. All lieutenants were "entretenus" 
and from among them captains were chosen, half by seniority, half by 
selection, though enseignes non-entretenus of over 40 years of age and 
with 8 years' sea-experience might be specially promoted captains for 
distinguished services. By practically identifying the junior ranks of 
the Navy and the Merchant-Marine, this system struck a deadly blow at 
the efficiency of the Navy. Officers who fluctuated in this fashion as in- 
clination or interest dictated between the two services, could not devote 
themselves to the careful study of the naval profession. Malouet pleaded 
before the Assembly that, if distinctions could exist in the Army between the 
training of the artillery, cavalry, engineers and infantry, the Navy might 
without any injury to civic Hberty and equality be permitted to have officers 
of its own (Chevalier, ii. p. 26). His entreaties proved vain. Blind to 
the special needs of the naval service, ignoring the necessity that the officers 
should devote themselves exclusively to it, the Constituent Assembly in its 
zeal for the abolition of privileges was undermining the foundations of the 


efficiency of the Navy. Though the officers of the old Navy were not 
actually dismissed they soon found it impossible to retain their commissions. 
As nobles and as Royalists they could hardly regard the new conditions 
with anything but disfavour : their esprit de corps was outraged by the 
reorganisation, and the utter decay of discipline and the demoralisation 
of the whole service soon produced their natural effects. The sailors were 
contaminated by the prevailing spirit of lawlessness, mutiny followed mutiny. 
The failure of the executive to restore order or to check the spread of 
anarchy was quickly followed by the disappearance of the old corps of 
officers. In July lygi three-fourths of them had quitted a service in which 
neither their honour nor their persons were any longer safe. By March 
1792, out of an establishment of 170 captains there were but 42, and 390 
lieutenants out of 750. Not only was the quantity deficient, but the quality 
had deteriorated sadly. " The meanest officer of the merchant-service," 
says Guerin (iii, 135), " pretended rashly that there was no difference between 
the management of a merchantman and a warship, between a flotilla of 
fishing-boats and a naval armament, and that the man fit to command one 
was fit to command the other. No account was taken of instruction and 
theory ; practice in handling warships, manoeuvring and tactics were looked 
upon as prejudices and abuses. Every master of a fishing smack, nay, 
every seaman considered himself fit to be an admiral." Before long the 
dearth of officers was so great that the Legislative Assembly had to lower 
the qualifications for commissions in the hope of thereby filling the ranks, 
and the Convention had to go still further. The period of service as captain 
qualifying for flag-rank was reduced to one year, all lieutenants were eligible 
for post-rank, as were also merchant-captains of five years' experience. 
Finally in July, 1793, the Convention directed that all vacancies should be 
filled without regard to the existing laws (Troude, ii. 260). All that was 
needed was a certificate of civisme from the local , Republican clubs, and 
the Society Les adorateurs de la Liberie et de UEgalite of Toulon drew 
up lists of men who, as being " excellent patriots," were therefore eminently 
fitted for the command of warships. Was it surprising that Villaret-Joyeuse 
should have written to the Minister of Marine in January 1793, " I cannot 
hide from you, and the representatives of the people will not conceal from the 
Committee of Public Safety, that we have a set of captains who do not even 
attain to mediocrity" ? (Chevalier, ii, 168.) From the fact that of the three 
French admirals on June ist, 1794, two had been lieutenants in 1791 and 
one a sub-lieutenant, one may form some idea of the breach in continuity 
between the Navy of the American War and that of the Revolution. Of 
the captains three had been lieutenants in 1791, eleven sub-lieutenants {i.e., 
Bleus), nine in the merchant-service, one a boatswain and one an ordinary 
sailor (Guerin, iii. 411). The reports of the courts-martial held after that 
action {cf. Chevalier, ii. 153-164) are an instructive commentary on the 
possibility of substituting mere patriotism and courage for experience and 
skill, and on the wisdom of replacing a corps of well-trained professional 
officers by merchant-captains and ordinary sailors. Courage indeed was 
never wanting in the French Navy, but courage and devotion, unsupported 
by experience, formed a poor equipment with which to face men trained in 
the schools of Jervis and Nelson. 

The men were on a level with the officers. In the American War France 
had owed much to possessing a highly efficient corps of trained gunners, 
the bombardiers tnarins. In the reorganisation of 1786 this force had 
become the canonniers matelots (seamen gunners), composed of nine 


divisions amounting in all to 5,400 men, recruited by voluntary enlistment 
and kept on a permanent footing during peace (Loir, p. 150). But despite 
the great services and the efficiency of this corps, it was disbanded by the 
Constituent Assembly, and for it was substituted a corps of marine artillery 
commanded by artillery officers, a step which could not but lead to friction 
with the naval officers. " One would have thought," says Chevalier, " that 
there was nothing left to be done towards ruining the Navy after the Con- 
stituent and Legislative Assemblies had had their way. It was reserved for 
the Convention to go yet further " (p. 125). In the existence of regiments of 
marine artillery and infantry Jean Bon-Saint-Andre discovered a new and 
scandalous abuse. That there should be troops enjoying the exclusive 
privilege of defending the Republic at sea appeared to him monstrous. It 
was the right of every patriot. "Are we not all," he asked, "called upon 
to fight for liberty ? Why should not the victors of Landau and Toulon go 
on board our fleets to display their courage to Pitt and to lower the flag 
of George ? " (Chevalier, ii. 126.) • Accordingly the marines disappeared, 
and it was decided that detachments of National Guards should be embarked 
in their place to whom should be entrusted the service of the artillery. 
"Thus," says Chevalier (ii. 126), "a marine-artilleryman, a soldier trained 
in the difficult art of naval gunnery and specially told off to this service, 
became a sort of aristocrat." Henceforward perfect equality in serving at 
sea prevailed among all patriots, greatly to the advantage of the enemies 
of the Republic (cf. Jurien de la Graviere, i. p. 138). 

The disbanding of the marines, practically the only permanent part of the 
naval rank and file, and the force on whom, as in the English Navy, the 
maintenance of discipline principally depended, did for the lower ranks what 
the reorganisation and emigration had done for the officers. " The war- 
navy," says Loir (p. 148), "had no sailors of its own, in case of need it 
borrowed them from the merchant-marine." Thus, although under the 
system of conscription introduced by Colbert in 1665, and somewhat modi- 
fied by de Sartines in 1784, the sailor had always been at the beck and call 
of the State, he was not in permanent service. Ill-paid and that irregularly, 
ill-lodged and ill-fed, he was always liable to be called out for service and 
could never feel himself his own master. The oppressiveness and unfairness 
of the system was great, discipline was harsh, the service unhealthy and 
unpopular. What wonder if desertion was frequent and that the discipline 
of the crews disappeared completely under the influences of the Revolution ? 

In the last months of the year 1789 the disorder which had invaded every 
other branch of the public service penetrated on board the fleet. At the 
chief naval ports serious outbreaks occurred. On the one hand, the workmen 
at the arsenals, ill-paid and in arrears, provided a fruitful source of riot and 
sedition, while, on the other, the local civil authorities showed themselves 
only too ready to encourage any disobedience to the naval officers and to 
interfere in the affairs of the fleet. The naval officers, finding themselves 
unsupported by the central government, could do little to stem the rising 
tide of mutiny : unable to resist they had to make concessions which only 
added fuel to the flames of disorder. At Toulon the mob espoused the 
cause of two petty officers dismissed their ship for inciting the crews to 
mutiny : d'Albret de Rions, after vainly attempting to conciliate the rioters, 
was dragged off to prison, the marines being powerless to save him, and the 
National Guard, which, contrary to all rules, was largely recruited from the 
dockyard labourers, looked on favourably at the proceedings of the mob. 
The National Assembly investigated the affair, but its fatuous verdict is an 


eloquent testimony to the disappearance of discipline. " The National 
Assembly, taking a favourable view of the motives which actuated M. 
d'Albret de Rions, the other naval officers involved, the municipal officers 
and the National Guards of Toulon, declares that there is no occasion to 
blame any one" (Moniteur, Jan. 17th, 1790). The successor of de Rions, 
M. de Glandeves, was also attacked by the mob, seized and thrown into 
prison, for which he could obtain no redress from the Assembly. At Brest, 
in Sept. 1790, de Rions found himself involved in fresh disturbances, even 
more formidable from the fact that they were the work of the crews them- 
selves and not — as those at Toulon had been — of the dockyardmen and 
the mob. An attempt to punish a sailor of the Leopard for insulting one 
of the Patriate' s officers roused the crew of the Patriate to take up the 
sailor's cause, the mutiny spread through the whole squadron and was 
only appeased by the intervention of the Society of Friends of the Con- 
stitution and of some commissioners from the National Assembly. In the 
following years things grew steadily worse ; the last vestiges of discipline 
vanished : at Toulon, in Sept. 1792, Rear-Admiral de Flotte was murdered by 
some convicts employed in the dockyard, under the eyes of a detachment 
of marines who did not stir to save him, nor was he the only officer 
murdered. The seamen refused to obey orders and presumed to direct the 
movements of the fleet. In 1797 the English mutineers at Spithead declared 
themselves ready to return to duty should the enemy's fleet put to sea ; but 
in May, 1793, it was only by the aid of the " Friends of Liberty and Equality " 
that the Brest fleet could be induced to put to sea at all, and Morard de 
Galle found himself powerless to prevent a return to Brest when the news 
of the surrender of Toulon to the EngUsh filled the crews with apprehensions 
for the security of Brest. But the most remarkable incident of all was the 
demand of the crew of the £ole whose captain had been seized by the 
Assembly of Cap Fran9ais in San Domingo, that he should be turned over 
to them, " since they alone had the right to take cognisance of and pronounce 
verdict on his behaviour " (Guerin, iii. 195). 

Not until the Committee of Public Safety succeeded in restoring some 
degree of order to the administration, and in imparting vigour and decision 
into the executive, was discipline restored, and the excesses of revolutionary 
equality and Hberty curtailed. But by that time anarchy had done its work, 
the old Navy of France was a thing of the past, and the history of the war is 
a long record of the inefficiency of the makeshift crews which had replaced 
it. Seamanship they had none : the simplest manoeuvres were beyond them. 
Even in good weather accidents were numerous. In June, 1793, Morard de 
Galle wrote, "I have sailed in the most numerous squadrons, but never 
in a year did I see so many collisions as in the month this squadron has 
been together." On the celebrated "winter-cruise" of the Brest fleet in 
December, 1794, and Jan. 1795, no less than five ships perished and three others 
were within an ace of sharing their fate (Chevalier, ii. 166-167). Gunnery 
was on a par with seamanship. There was hardly a single ship action 
between vessels of equal force in which the French loss did not far exceed the 
English. The Alexander, a British 74, which was taken by a squadron 
of four ships of the line in Nov. 1794, inflicted as heavy a loss on each of 
her three principal opponents as she herself suffered. The frigate Phoebe 
of 44 guns only lost 2 killed and 12 wounded in taking the Africaine of the 
same force, which lost no fewer than 127 killed and 176 wounded (Chevalier, 
iii. 48). In the action ofl" Isle Groix (June 23rd, 1795) the eight British 
vessels engaged had 144 killed and wounded, the nine French vessels which 


escaped had 220 between them, the three which were taken having respec- 
tively 130, 220 and 320. At the Nile the British had 220 killed and 680 
wounded, the French — excluding the Orient which blew up with nearly 
all hands — 980 killed and 1,500 wounded. The French officers themselves 
were among the first to admit the inferiority of their gunnery. " You need 
trained gunners to serve guns at sea," wrote Admiral Kerguelen ; "the 
experience of the late actions should teach you that our gunners are inferior 
to those of the enemy" (Jurien de la Graviere, i. p. 138). Something 
may perhaps be attributed to the French preference for firing at the masts 
so as to disable the enemy and permit their fleet to withdraw at leisure, and 
the loss of the Africaine elicited from Bonaparte a letter to the Minister 
of Marine, bidding him " call the attention of officers to the inconvenience 
of always trying to dismast, and point out the truth of the principle that, 
under all circumstances, one should do as much harm to the enemy as 
possible" (Chevalier, iii. 49). 

The ships of the French Navy did not escape the fate of the crews. The 
dockyardmen were too much occupied with politics and with riots to attend 
to the needs of the fleet, and in the hands of incompetent officers and in- 
efficient crews the ships rapidly deteriorated. Not the least of the mistakes 
of the Legislative Assembly was to deprive the naval officers of all control 
of the management of the dockyards, in which civilians replaced them 
(Guerin, iii. 154). But even had the administration been good and the crews 
capable, they would have found the task of keeping the ships efficient very 
difficult. France was even more dependent than was Great Britain on 
foreign naval stores (Loir, p. 210), and the British control of the seas soon 
cut her oft' from her sources of supply. Once the stock of spare stores was 
exhausted it could not be replenished, for the dockyards could not create 
out of nothing the hemp, timber, pitch and other necessary materials. By 
Jan. 1799 French commerce had vanished off the seas (Moniteiir, An. VIL 
478); and by classing "naval stores" as contraband of war, England pre- 
vented neutrals from filling the empty storehouses of Brest and Toulon. 
Thus when the Brest fleet put to sea for its "winter cruise" in December, 
1794, many ships had not repaired the injuries received on June ist (Chevalier, 
ii. 165) ; and when Villaret-Joyeuse put to sea in June, 1795, out of the twenty 
or thirty ships of the line in the Biscay ports only twelve could take the sea, 
and these were in bad condition and short of men (Chevalier, ii. 201). The 
very strategy which partly from necessity, partly from choice, the French 
had adopted, tended still further to reduce the efficiency of their Navy. No 
longer risking any fleet actions, they lay snugly in port until bad weather 
should drive the English away from blockading the ports and permit them 
to slip out unperceived. It was the traditional French naval policy of 
"ulterior objects," which sought to gain its ends by evasion rather than as 
the result of victory in a pitched battle ; which failed to see that the truest 
way to evade the enemy is to place one's self alongside him and render 
him incapable of further mischief. Such a policy could not but have a fatal 
etfect on the morale of those who adopt it : crews trained to avoid battle 
cannot face it, when it can be put off no longer, with the same confidence 
as those who have been taught to seek it above all things. Further, by 
abandoning the seas to their enemies, the French were cutting themselves 
off from the only drill-ground where a Navy can be trained and where a 
collection of individual ships can be welded together into the harmonious 
whole which deserves to be called a '* fleet." 

As to the strength of the French Navy statistics differ. Louis XVL in 


1786 had fixed the establishment at 8i ships of the Une (Loir, p. i) ; but in 
1788 financial reasons had caused the proportion maintained in readiness 
for sea to be fixed at seven-ninths. For 1789 Loir (p. 56) gives 78 ships of 
the line as available, Guerin (iii. 65) gives 81. For 1792 Guerin gives 74 
ships, but in the detailed list given by James (vol. i. appendix 3), which is 
on the whole to be accepted, there appear eight three-deckers, ten 8o-gun 
ships and sixty-four 74's, a total of 82, of which two are described as 
" unserviceable," and seven old vessels, which had served under Suffren and de 
Grasse, were soon afterwards cut down and employed on other services, 
leaving serviceable 73 ships in all. At the same time England had 115 ships 
of the line: {Loir (p. 4) says 118, Guerin (iii. 65) 135, but James' figures are 
based on exhaustive research and can be relied upon) ; Spain had 76, of 
which 56 were in good condition ; Holland 49, many of which were lighter 
and smaller than those of other countries ; Denmark 38 ; Portugal 6, and 
Naples 4. As a rule the French ships were larger and more heavily armed 
than English vessels of the same nominal strength ; indeed a French " 80 " 
fired a greater weight of metal than an English "98," and James calculates 
that in aggregate weight of broadside (the fairest method of calculation) 
England had only a superiority of 6 to 5, 89,000 lb. as against the French 
74,000 lb. 

To trace the strength of the French Navy during the war is very difficult, 
as with each change of government the names of the ships were altered to 
reflect the political complexion of the party in power. Thus the overthrow 
of the Monarchy saw the Bretagne become the Revolutionnairc and the 
Auguste the jfacohin. The fine three-decker Etats de Bourgogne was the 
Cote d'Or in 1793, the Montagne in 1794, the Peuple in 1795, and finally 
became the Ocean in 1796. The Dauphin Royal, after figuring for a period 
as the Sans-Culottes, perished at the Nile as the Orient. The Barras, 
launched in 1794, was successively the Pegase and the Hoche. The Lan- 
guedoc figured as Anti-federaliste and Victoire. A name appears in one 
year and is then heard no more : the same ship makes the next campaign 
under a new title. Thus of the 73 serviceable ships of 1793, forty-two 
(including three three-deckers, seven 8o's and thirty-two 74's) had been lost 
before the Peace of Amiens, sixteen reappear after the outbreak of hostilities 
in 1803, and fifteen (two 8o's and thirteen 74's) cannot be traced. During 
these years the names of thirty-two ships not mentioned in 1793 appear ; 
four of them were taken from England, two were handed over by Spain, 
twelve at least seem to have been new ships. Whether the remainder are 
identical with some of the fifteen "missing" ships of the list of 1793 is a 
matter of conjecture, but it is probable that at least some, if not all, are so. 
Nine of these thirty-two were lost before 1801, eleven reappear in 1803, 
leaving twelve unaccounted for. 

Thus the Revolution, by destroying the organisation, traditions and esprit 
de corps of the old Royal Navy of France, rendered it inevitable that in the 
struggle for the mastery of the seas France should be worsted. The emigra- 
tion of the old officers, the disbanding of the seamen-gunners, the deterioration 
of the ships, due to the impossibility of obtaining naval stores in the face of 
the vigilant British cruisers, the inevitable loss of prestige and spirit involved 
in the mistaken policy of evasion and skulking in harbour, form a partial 
explanation of the paradoxical difference in the effects of the Revolution on 
the French Army and Navy. But in justice to the British Navy one must 
not exaggerate or unduly insist upon the deterioration of the French. In 
the words of Captain Mahan : "The elder Pitt had not to contend with such 


a Navy as confronted his son at the outbreak of the French Revolution. The 
French Navy had received great and judicious care throughout the reign of 
Louis XVI. ; it had a large and splendid body of ships in 1793, and, although 
its efficiency was fatally affected by the legislation of the National Assembly 
and by the emigrations, it was still an imposing force" (ii. 387). It was 
because the Navy and the admirals of England were enemies of a very 
different order to those whom the French Army had to face, that the Republic's 
record at sea was one of continued disasters : and it was only because the 
English Navy was well led, and was thoroughly efficient, that it was capable 
of seizing the opportunities which the demoralisation of its enemy presented 
to it. 



By Christopher T. Atkinson, M.A., Fellow of Exeter 
College, Oxford 

Authorities : M^moires pour servir k I'Histoire de la Vendue par le G^n^raJ 
Turreau, 2me Edition (Berville et Barriere), Paris, 1824; M^moires sur la Vendue 
comprenant les m^moires in^dits d'un ancien administrateur des Armies R^publi- 
caines, et ceux de Mme de Sapinaud (Berville et Barriere), Paris, 1823 ; M^moires 
de Mme de la Rochejacquelin, 5me Edition (Berville et Barriere), Paris, 1821 ; 
Guerres de la Vendue et des Chouans contre la R^publique Fran9aise (Baudouin 
freres), Paris, 1824 ; Mdmoires pour servir k I'Histoire de la guerre de la Vendue 
par M. le Comte de . . ., Paris, 1806, 

Although the romantic interest of the insurrection in La Vendee has made 
it one of the most famous passages in the history of the French Revolution, 
it is owing to this atmosphere of romance that the real truth as to the rising 
has been obscured by semi-legendary versions of the episode. It is not 
uncommon, for example, to find the peasants represented as having been 
actuated merely by a desire to avenge their murdered King, a view which 
lays an undue stress upon one — and that not the most important — of the 
various motives for the insurrection. 

It does not, indeed, appear that in the year 1789 the peasants of La 
Vendee were distinguished from those of other provinces by any devoted 
attachment to the existing order of things, or by any special adherence to 
monarchical and feudal principles. Though they were not, as to some extent 
the Alsatian peasants were,*in a condition of serfdom, and though the propor- 
tion of residents among the nobles of the province was somewhat larger 
than was general, the Noblesse of La Vendee did include many absentees 
and frequenters of the Court, who communicated with their tenants merely 
through agents and bailiffs. Thus, while there was in 1789 nothing of the 
nature of general jfacquerie in the district, there do seem to have been 
troubles, especially one rising against the feudal " agents " at Maulevrier 
(Mdmoires pour servir pour I'histoire de La Vendee, i. 39). Still, one may 
say that in La Vendee there was less antagonism between nobles and 
peasants than there was in provinces where the nobles were richer and more 
closely connected with the Court. The Vendeen nobles were as a rule very 
poor, and many lived on their own estates all the year, spending their time 
mainly in hunting and shooting, diversions in which the peasantry to some 
extent shared. But the nobles had little influence over the peasants, and 
though after 1789 they seem to have tried to ingratiate themselves with 
them (M^m, i. 34), it was not to the seigneur but to the cure that the peasant 
turned for guidance at every juncture. 

Ignorant, knowing little and caring little as to what happened outside 
their own province (Martin, " France depuis 1789," i. 442), credulous and 


intensely superstitious, the peasants of La Vendue followed their priests with 
an obedience as unquestioning as that which their ancestors, the Veneti, had 
paid to the Druids. "The nobles," says one writer, "had only threats 
and menaces with which to influence the peasantry, the priests had at their 
disposal the keys of Heaven and Hell " (Mdm. i. 32). In the sixteenth century, 
when Calvinism had found many adherents among the clergy of Lower Poitou, 
the peasantry had followed their pastors against the forces of Catholicism as 
readily and as unthinkingly as more than two centuries later they charged 
up to the muzzles of Republican cannon in the cause of that same Catholic 
faith. " A Christian people," Montaigne has called them, '* having churches 
and altars, but at bottom so simple that of the religion which they observe 
so scrupulously they do not understand a single word." Superstition, indeed, 
rather than devotion was their dominant characteristic, and one can observe 
in their ideas and practices no slight traces of the pagan faith and rites of 
their ancestors. Though the fertility of the country enabled it to support a 
somewhat unusually dense population, the district was purely agricultural ; 
manufactures, except for home consumption, hardly existed, the towns were 
few in number, small and far apart, and took but a small share in an insur- 
rection from which they were in the end the heaviest sufferers. Such, indeed, 
was the antagonism between the townsfolk and the peasants that Mme de 
Sapinaud relates (Mdmoires de Mme de Sapinaud, p. 81) that some country 
youths who had come in to Chollet to draw their lots in the requisition were 
attacked and ill-treated by the citizens. 

The execution of Louis XVL does not appear to have been the real 
motive which induced the peasants to take arms against the Republic. Such 
hopes as the Revolution may have aroused within them had been disappointed ; 
it had not benefited them very much, it certainly had not produced the 
millennium, but it had brought with it the Civil Constitution of the Clergy 
against which their priests never ceased to inveigh. As early as April 1791, 
there had been disturbances at La Roche-sur-Yon, and Gallais and Gensonne, 
the commissioners sent down to hold an inquiry, reported to the National 
Assembly that they were caused by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, 
before which La Vendee had been quiet (M6m. i. 45). During the next two 
years the priests kept on stirring up their flocks against the " atheistical " 
government, forbade them to recognise the " constitutional " clergy and put 
every possible obstacle in the path of these backsliding cures. Thus, though 
when once the standard of insurrection had been raised Royalists and reac- 
tionaries flocked to it in numbers which made the Royalist the preponderating 
element, the origin of the insurrection was not Royalist, but religious. " We 
do not care about the nobles," a peasant on guard over the prisoners at 
Chollet admitted to one of his captives, the President of the local tribunal, 
" we do not ask for a King, but we do want our good priests and you do not 
love them " (Mem. i. 84). Carefully watched as they were by the local 
Republicans, the nobles had taken no part in organising the revolt ; that 
was the work of the priests (M^m. i. 39), but in the spring of '93 they 
hastened to put themselves at the head of the movement and to make the 
restoration of the Monarchy an object equal in importance to the liberation 
of the Church. 

It is hardly an exaggeration to call La Vendee a district which affords 
almost unparalleled facilities for guerilla warfare and for a protracted popular 
revolt. Fertile enough to support a large population, it combines in striking 
fashion the fens, forests and mountains, which are the usual homes of long 
and desperate resistance to superior forces. The Vendeens, no less than the 


Scottish Highlanders or such semi-legendary heroes as Robin Hood and 
Hereward the Wake, owed much to the character of the country in which it 
was their lot to fight : it was — to quote Turreau's words (p. 169) — " very much 
cut up, although there are no large rivers, very uneven, although there are 
no mountains, very much wooded, although there are no forests." Bounded 
on the North by the Loire and on the West by the Bay of Biscay, La Vendee 
included those portions of Brittany and Anjou which lie to the South of the 
Loire, as well as the North and North- Western districts of Poitou. To East 
and South its limits are harder to fix ; a line drawn from Saumur to Niort 
through Thouars might be taken as its Eastern boundary, one following the 
course of the Sevre Niortaisefrom Niort to Le Pertuis Breton as the Southern : 
the whole area being, roughly speaking, rather smaller than Yorkshire. 

The principal watershed of the country is formed by a cluster of hills in 
the S.E. around Les Herbiers and Fontenay, from which one range branches 
off N.E. towards the Loire, forming a natural frontier in that direction, while 
another runs almost due from S.E. to N.W. along the course of the Sevre 
Nantaise. This river, which divides the country into the two districts of 
Upper and Lower Vendee is one of the several small streams which flow from 
these hills, some Northward to the Loire, some Westward to the Atlantic. 
Another division, based on the natural features, distinguished the hilly 
and well-wooded " Bocage " in the S.E. from the " Plaine," otherwise called 
'* Loroux" (Turreau, p. 161), along the left bank of the Loire, and this again 
from the marshy district along the coast, called the " Marais," which is much 
intersected by canals and streams. In addition to these natural difficulties 
of swamp, stream, hill and wood, the country was cut up in every direction 
by stout banks, thick hedges and stone walls, often as much as five feet in 
height, to prevent the cattle (cattle-rearing was one of the chief occupations 
of the inhabitants) from straying on to the wrong lands. The roads were 
few and bad in winter, often indeed impassable quagmires, while the high- 
ways were so much shut in by hedges as to afford splendid shelter for 
ambushes (Turreau, p. i6g). " A deep and obscure labyrinth in which one 
can only grope one's way" Kleber called it (Mem. i. 18), and it was indeed 
admirably calculated to assist nimble irregulars to defy their enemies. In 
its recesses cavalry were almost useless and artillery a hindrance : cohesion 
was impossible and the rigid tactics of the parade-ground a positive peril. 
The Vendeens had the same advantages over the Repubhcans as the Afridis 
of the North-Western Frontier enjoy against their British enemies, and 
they were more fortunate inasmuch as most of their opponents hardly merited 
the name of " soldiers ". 

The tactics of the Vendeens were admirably adapted to make the most of 
the conditions under which they fought. By careful skirmishing they felt 
the pulse of their adversaries, attacking or withdrawing as circumstances 
dictated. The best shots — and there were among them poachers, smugglers 
and gamekeepers in plenty — formed the wings which were thrust forward, 
like the "horns " of a Zulu " impi," to get in touch with the enemy ; the 
main body, the " chest " of the army, being " refused," so that it need not 
be committed to a pitched battle, should the skirmishers find the enemy too 
strong to be attacked with a reasonable prospect of success. Thus, while 
to the Republicans' defeat usually spelt complete disaster, loss of guns, 
muskets and ammunition, a victory meant little more than the occupation of 
the field of battle from which their slippery adversaries had retired. The 
skirmishers, so skilful and so agile that, as Turreau describes, they could 
load when on the move, would gather on their enemy's flanks, threaten his 


rear and shake his confidence by their well-sustained and well-directed fire, 
which paved the way for the headlong charge of the main body ; while, like 
all irregulars, the Vendeens had no prestige to lose, no organisation to be 
upset, no cohesion and no discipline to be ruined by a retreat, however 

The match which fired the train of insurrection was the law of Feb. 23rd, 
1793, which ordered all unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 40 to 
hold themselves in readiness to be called out for service to complete the 
levy of 300,000 men to repel the threatened Austro-Prussian attack. Military 
service had never been popular with the Vendeens, and now, abetted and 
incited by the priests, they took arms against their country to avoid having 
to take arms to defend her frontiers. On March 14th several thousand 
peasants, with Barbotin, a priest, and Stofflet, a peasant, at their head, came 
rushing into Chollet and made themselves masters of the town. All over 
the district simultaneous risings took place according to a preconcerted plan. 
The authority of the Republic was swept away, little resistance was offered, 
and, where it was, it only served to enrage the peasants whose reply took 
the form of ill-treating and even massacring their prisoners. 

That the insurrection would be opened by Vendeen successes might have 
been prophesied by any one acquainted with the quality of the forces brought 
against them. The outbreak found the West of France all but denuded of 
regular troops, for the danger on the Eastern frontier had withdrawn all the 
effective forces to defend the Moselle and the Rhine. Composed for the 
most part of hommes dc la requisition, raw levies equally devoid of 
discipline, zeal and experience, the isolated columns which entered La 
Vendee about the middle of April met with almost uniform disaster. In 
reply to the frantic appeals of the defeated Republicans, reinforcements from 
the Armies of the North and of the Ardennes were dispatched to Orleans to 
form the nucleus of a fresh army of 10,000 men, but before this corps could 
be organised the Vendeens had taken the offensive, Thouars (May 5th), 
Parthenay and Fontenay (30th) fell into their power one after another ; and 
then, driving before them a division posted at Doue to cover Saumur, they 
fell upon that town, drove the garrison out headlong with great loss (June 
9th) and thus possessed themselves of an access to the right bank of the 
Loire. The utmost consternation prevailed in all the country round. Angers, 
Tours, Niort and La Rochelle all trembled at the prospect of receiving the 
next attack. It was indeed suggested that the insurgents should advance on 
Paris, but it was to the Westward that they turned. By Angers and Ancenis 
they moved to Nantes, expecting the co-operation of Charette and the insur- 
gents from Lower Vendee in an attack on that town. It was the critical 
moment of the rising. Had Nantes fallen, in all probability the insurrection 
would have spread all over Brittany, and Brest, the headquarters of the 
Atlantic fleet of France, would have been cut off from Paris and exposed to 
an English attack. But though the garrison was outnumbered by nearly 
four to one, though the hastily improvised defences were of the weakest, they 
proved sufficient. The brave defence of the passage of the Erdre at Nort 
retarded the advance of the insurgents and prevented proper co-operation 
between Cathelineau and Charette : the attack, being delayed till broad day- 
light, was repulsed with the loss of Cathelineau and many others, and the 
insurgents were forced to retire (June 28th, 29th). 

Thus, while the Vendeens had shown themselves capable of defending 
their own country, they had failed to press their successes any further. 
Between achieving isolated successes of considerable importance and the 

VOL. III. 21 


sustained conduct of a protracted campaign there is a great gulf, which it is 
hard for the bravest army of mere irregulars to cross. And in the case of 
the Vendeens it must be admitted that their successes were in large measure 
due to the nature of their country, an advantage upon which they could no 
longer count when they issued out to meet the enemy on ground more of his 
own choosing. Moreover, the petty quarrels and jealousies of their leaders 
frittered away their strength, and the inactivity which resulted allowed the 
Republican commander Biron to devote his undisturbed energies to the 
reorganisation of his troops, a difficult task, which was not made more easy 
by the presence (in the double capacity of spies on the generals and of 
amateur strategists) of Representatives of the Convention and of the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety. Not only did these gentlemen interfere with every 
detail (Mem. i. 311), and interpose between the commander and his sub- 
ordinates, but they even gave orders on their own initiative (Mem. i. 132), so 
that their presence was a powerful auxiliary on the side of the insurgents 
{c/. Biron's dispatches, June, 1793, Mdm. i. 282). When at length Biron so 
far succeeded in restoring the discipline of his demoralised troops as to 
venture on renewing the attack (July), the rashness of Westermann and the 
failure of the other columns to act in concert only resulted in fresh disasters. 

But the Vendeens were in no condition to improve their victory, the 
necessity of carrying on the usual autumn agricultural work drew off large 
numbers of men and left d'Elbee too weak to take the offensive. Biron's 
failure caused him to be superseded in favour of a new general, Rossignol 
(July 27th), and towards the end of August the Republicans were reinforced 
by the arrival at Nantes of the garrisons of Mainz and Valenciennes, which 
had capitulated (July), on parole not to serve against the Allies for a year, 
but which were available for service in La Vendee. At the beginning of 
September a joint advance was made from Nantes, Saumur, Fontenay and 
Lufon. But the defeat of Beysser at Montaigu (Sept. i8th) neutralised the 
earlier successes of the troops from Mainz, the rout of two of Rossignol's 
divisions at Coron (18th) and Saint-Lambert (19th) threw away the fruits of 
Turreau's success at Doue and of the repulse of the Vendeen leader Lescure 
from Thouars (14th) and once again the attempt was given up. ^ 

After yet another reorganisation and change of generals, L'Echelle being 
the new commander of the united Armies of Nantes and Saumur, in October 
a fresh move was made, and this time the concentration was carried out 
successfully. The ex-garrison of Mainz moved by Montaigu and Mortagne 
(Oct. 15th) on Chollet, pushing the Vendeens before it; at Tiffauge it was 
joined by a division from Lu9on, at Chollet (17th) by columns from Doue, 
Thouars and La Chataignerie, which had united at Bressuire under Chalbos 
and had repulsed a Vendeen attack (Oct. nth). On the 18th over 40,000 
Vendeens hurled themselves in desperation on the united forces of the 
Republic near the little town of Chollet. For a time the issue was in doubt, 
but Kleber rallied his wavering left, Marceau with the centre beat off a 
dangerous attack and the fall of d'Elbee and de Bonchamps decided the day 
in favour of the Republicans. 

But though Barere now said in the Convention " nous pouvons dire qu'il 
n'existe plus de Vendee " (M^m. ii. 287) the war was not over yet. Many of 
the peasants dispersed to their homes, but over 20,000 men, including all the 
non-Vendeens, crossed the Loire at Saint-Florent, and marched northward on 
Laval. So unutterly unexpected was this desperate stroke that no prepara- 
tions had been made to dispute their passage, and it was some few days 
before a pursuit was begun, mistakes which lost the fruits of the victory of 


ChoUet. Even then L'fichelle's blunder in making the whole army advance 
along one road when two were available resulted in a sharp check for the 
Republicans at Entrames (Oct. 27th), and they fell back behind the Oudon for 
a rest and the usual " reorganisation." The Vendeens, hampered by the 
great train of baggage and non-combatants which accompanied their march, 
moved forward by Mayenne (Nov. ist), Dol, Fougeres and Avranches (12th) 
to Granville, which they attacked (Nov. 13th), hoping by taking it to place 
themselves in easy communication with their English well-wishers in the 
Channel Islands. But once again, as at Nantes, the fortifications, weak as 
they were, proved sufficient to defy them, and the attack was repulsed with 
heavy loss. It was a fatal blow to their hopes, but without a siege train or 
scaling ladders the attempt was bound to fail. The Vendeens had made a 
bad mistake in attempting Granville ; they would have done better to move 
by Saint-Brieuc and Dinan into Lower Brittany, where they would have found 
a friendly population, a country well-adapted for defence and within easy 
reach of England ; even if they had pushed on into the Cotentin, taken Cher- 
bourg in rear where it had no fortifications, and held the neck of the peninsula 
against their pursuers {cf. report of d'Obenheim, M^moires, ii. 347), they 
might have resisted till aid from England arrived. But the nearness of 
Granville to the Channel Islands was a fatal attraction. 

Meanwhile the eloquence of Jean Bon-Saint-Andre, who had been sent 
to " electrify " the Army of the West, and the possibly more effective 
efforts of Marceau and Kleber had so far restored the discipline and the 
tone of that force that preparations were made to block the retreat of 
the insurgents towards La Vendee by occupying Pontorson. Yet the 
galvanising process had not instilled enough courage into Tribout's division 
to enable it to stand firm against the Vendeen rush ; it was driven headlong 
from its post, and the Vendeens made their way to Dol (Nov. i8th). 
Another attempt to check them ended in another reverse, owing to Wester- 
mann's impetuosity and neglect of orders, which resulted in the defeat of his 
own division and left that of Marceau unsupported so that it also was beaten 
back. In great confusion the Republicans fell back on Rennes, leaving the 
way to the Loire open to the insurgents. But these were in too bad a 
plight to profit by the discomfiture of their adversaries ; " a wild boar 
wounded to the death, and only able to injure the clumsy hunters who cross 
his path " one writer calls them (M^m. ii. 351) : the sufferings and privations 
of their march were terrible, disease was raging among them, many perished 
of cold and hunger (cf. M^m. ii. 338-341) ; an attempt on Angers (Dec. 3rd) 
was repulsed with loss and at Le Mans (12th) they were overtaken by Marceau, 
the commander for the time being of the ever-reorganised Army of the West, 
which had been reinforced by 10,000 men from that of the Western Pyre- 
nees. Once again they had to resume their march with the Republicans 
pressing close upon them. Stofflet and La Rochejaquelin managed to cross 
the Loire on the i6th, but Marceau's prompt pursuit forced the main body 
to continue its flight westward, where it hoped to find help and succour in 
the disaffected district of Morbihan. But they never reached the Vilaine, for, 
on Dec. 22nd, Marceau and Kleber overtook them at Savenay and a desperate 
battle ended in the annihilation of the Vendeen army. Only a few escaped, 
many perished in trying to cross the Loire, the rest fell either on the battle- 
field or at the hands of the brutal Carrier. 

In La Vendee itself matters had somewhat quieted down since the main 
body of the insurgents had crossed the Loire : Charette was still carrying on 
operations in Lower Vendue, but, had a general amnesty been issued, the 


peasants in all probability would have submitted (M6m. ii, 484, cf. iii. 28, 
45). As it was, the massacres perpetrated by Carrier and the barbarous 
system adopted by Turreau, the new commander in La Vendee, goaded the 
peasants to desperation, and La Rochejaquelin, Stofflet and Charette found 
themselves once more at the head of a considerable force (Feb. and March, 
1794). The system of wholesale slaughter and destruction inaugurated by 
Turreau surpassed in its brutality and stringency even the ferocious decree 
of Aug. ist, 1793 (cf. M^m. iii. 49). Columns swept the country in all 
directions with fire and sword giving no quarter, sparing neither people, 
animals, crops, nor houses {cf. Aulard, x. 384). But this policy, for which 
Turreau must be held responsible, despite his efforts to pose as the " agent 
passif des volontds du corps l^gislatif " (cf. M^m. iii. 38-41), proved almost 
as futile as it was brutal. The Vendeens took arms once more and carried 
on a guerilla warfare with no little success, answering massacre with massacre, 
outrages with outrages. Turreau, his boasted successes and his brutality 
notwithstanding, was forced to confess that the insurrection was not over 
yet (Mem. iii. in) ; and his failure to prevent the escape of Charette drew 
down on him a savage rebuke from the Committee of Public Safety (Aulard, 
Recueil, xi. 75). The Republican troops had suffered greatly from the hard- 
ships of the winter campaign : they were without shoes, uniforms or proper 
equipment : their pay was in arrears, their discipline left much to be desired, 
no ambulances were forthcoming and the transport service was practically 
non-existent (M6m. iii. 137). Thus the war lingered on, while in Brittany 
the Chouans, gangs of smugglers, deserters, fugitive Vendeens and other 
"broken men," "brigands rather than political insurgents" (Martin, ii. 137), 
were daily becoming a more serious danger. Even after Turreau's recall, 
his successor Vimeux failed to bring the struggle to a close, and the fear 
that England would come to the aid of the insurgents and use La Vendue as 
she had used Toulon, finally led to the despatch of Hoche, the best general 
of the Republic, to take his place (Nov. 1794). Systematic and well- 
organised measures soon showed the insurgents that they had a capable 
man to deal with : a strong cordon of posts surrounded the disaffected 
districts, flying columns harassed the insurgents and kept them on the 
move, but severity was tempered with clemency and humanity, outrages 
were repressed and discipline maintained. The Vendeens were weary of the 
struggle and reahsed that they had little to gain by protracting their resistance. 
The Convention, now under the milder sway of the Thermidorians, had aban- 
doned the system of Terror and was anxious to be rid of a tiresome and 
unprofitable affair, and so set its hands free for greater efforts on the Rhine 
and in Italy, and in February, 1795, a treaty was concluded at La Jaunaye, 
by which the Vendeens, in return for an amnesty and a guarantee of liberty 
of worship, undertook to lay down their arms and recognise the Republic. 

But, though the insurrection was for the moment at an end, and though 
the Vendeens, tired of bloodshed and sick of the aimless struggle, had little 
wish to take up again the arms they had once laid down, it was different 
with the Chouans. Having suffered but slightly they took advantage of 
the peace to reorganise themselves and to prepare for a new encounter, 
only waiting for aid from England as the signal for a new rising. Negotia- 
tions between the Chouan leaders and the English Government were carried 
on through the Comte de Puisaye, a Royalist refugee, and in June 1795, 
a squadron, under Sir John Borlase Warren, escorted fifty transports carry- 
ing about 4,000 Frenchmen with arms and other supplies in large quantities 
to Quiberon Bay. Numbers of the Chouans flocked to join them, but the 


arrest of Bois-Hardi and Cormatin (May) had deprived them of their chiefs ; 
the leaders of the insurrection were at odds with one another ; the Chouans 
fell out with the Emigres ; the French prisoners of war, who had somewhat 
unwisely been drafted into the expeditionary force, took every opportunity 
of deserting to the Republicans, and the inevitable disaster overtook the 
expedition on July 21st. Barely 1,000 Emigres and 2,000 peasants succeeded 
in regaining the British ships, the rest were taken or killed to a man [cf. 
James, Naval History of England, i. 278-280). 

Meanwhile Charette and Stotflet, encouraged by the news of the arrival of 
de Puisaye at Quiberon, had once more taken arms in La Vendue, though 
the enthusiasm of the peasants for the Royalist cause was but a shadow 
of its former self. Hoche, after his victory at Quiberon, moved into La 
Vendue with an overwhelming force, posted a cordon of troops all along the 
sea-coast, and thus prevented any communication between the insurgents and 
the 4,000 English and ^migris under the Comte d'Artois, whom Warren's 
squadron had disembarked on the He de Yeu (October). Finding that nothing 
could be done the English withdrew their forces (Nov.), and Charette found 
himself left to his own resources. With Carnot at the Ministry of War 
Hoche had no longer any cause for complaint against the support he received : 
the Armies of Brest, of Cherbourg and of the West had by this time been 
united under his command, and his clemency and humanity were worth 
another Army by themselves. Stofflet's efforts to rouse the peasants ended 
in his capture and execution (Jan. 1796), and a few weeks later Charette 
shared his fate. " With him," says Martin (i, 444), " the war in La Vendue 
began, with him it ended." This remarkable man indeed is the most 
striking figure of the insurrection. Unscrupulous, cruel, passionate, pleasure- 
loving and violent, he resembles nothing so much as one of the buccaneers 
of the West Indies. As a partisan chief he can hardly have ever been 
equalled : time after time he evaded the net in which the Republicans 
sought to catch him. But if typical of the Vend^ens in his adventures and 
his successes, he was no less typical of them in his failures. He was in- 
capable of co-operating with his fellow insurgents, and, though the quarrel 
over some booty, which caused him to be absent when d'Elbee was beaten 
at Chollet, kept him out of the desperate move across the Loire and enabled 
him to maintain for another year his skilful resistance in the Marais, he 
was bound to fail sooner or later. Refusing all overtures towards an 
accommodation he perished as he had lived, the typical guerilla. 

Were the memoirs and journals of the insurgents and their friends the 
only authorities available for the history of the Vendeen risings, one would 
be at a complete loss to understand how it was that the insurrection was 
not subdued in a couple of months : while if one had only the letters and 
reports of the Republican generals and commissioners to draw upon, it 
would not be the successes but the defeats of the Vendeens which would 
appear remarkable. Without effective support from abroad, without disci- 
pline, without organisation, without any definite plan, directed by leaders of 
little military skill and bitterly jealous of each other, the Vendeens could not 
have existed for so long a time had there been opposed to them an efficient 
force in capable hands. Their enthusiasm and their almost fanatical courage 
made them formidable opponents; but enthusiasm, religious zeal and the 
most daring courage did not save the Irish insurgents of 1798 from a com- 
plete and speedy overthrow at the hands of a somewhat indifferent force of 
English militia and yeomanry. The forces which the Republic opposed 
to the Vendeeyis were composed of raw recruits, as undisciplined and as 


unskilled as themselves, but without their devotion and zeal. The columrts 
which entered La Vendee in April, 1793, were mainly composed of so-called 
" volunteers," the bataillons de requisition, middle-aged peasants dragged 
from the plough against their will to serve in a cause for which they had no 
enthusiasm, and far more anxious to get home to their farms and their 
families than to stand up to the fierce rush of the fanatical Vendeem. As 
a rule they fled at the first shot, divesting themselves of arms and equip- 
ment with all possible speed, and leaving the small party of gendarmes 
or regulars, who served as the nucleus of the column, to be overwhelmed 
and cut to pieces. Chalbos, it is true, on one occasion gained a slight 
success by posting his gendarmes in rear of his volunteers, who, finding 
flight impossible, of necessity took heart and beat off their assailants, but 
the expedient shows the quality of the average " volunteer." Berruyer 
wrote to the Minister of War to declare that without regular troops it would 
be impossible to bring the war to an end (Turreau, p. 169) : the Army, he 
wrote, was without a staff, without supplies and without discipline, and the 
cavalry were of no use in "a country as bad as Corsica." In May, 1793, 
Biron, Chief of the Staff to Canclaux, complained that it was not National 
Guards, hastily raised and without experience or discipline that were wanted 
in La Vendee, but light infantry who would not let themselves be surprised 
and who would not give way to panic (Mem. i. 186). It was indeed not 
uncommon for a whole battalion to depart, declaring that their time was up 
and that they had served enough (Mdm. i. 128). 

Nor was there less jealousy and discord among the generals of the Re- 
public than among the insurgent leaders, and the Republicans, moreover, 
were hampered by the inefficiency of the Ministry of War in Paris, and by 
the presence of the " Representatives," deputies and other interfering civilians. 
Sound Radical views rather than an acquaintance with tactics or strategy 
was the chief claim for selection to a command, and it was not according to 
success and failure but to party influence that rewards and punishments were 
meted out. The knife of the guillotine was permanently suspended over 
every Republican general's head, and it was not so much on those who de- 
served it as on those who had no influence with the Committee of Public 
Safety that it descended. Biron, who was guillotined, was a capable com- 
mander compared with the incapable Rossignol, whose influence in high 
places saved him. To the intrigues which paralysed the Republican armies 
and to the perpetual reorganisations which these underwent the insurgents 
owed no small share of their success, and even at the time of these successes 
the Vend6ens met with several important checks when they left the rough 
country, which so much favoured them, and ventured to accept battle on 
ground where artillery could operate easily and where a cavalry charge was 
possible. Thus it was the Republican cavalry to whom is due the credit of 
the Vendien repulse at Fontenay on May 16, 1793 (Memoires of Mme de 
Sapinaud, p. 86), and the victory of Chollet was in a large measure their 
work {ibid., p. 93). Against fortifications the Vcndeens were almost uniformly 
unsuccessful : at Nantes, at Angers and at Granville they failed before the 
weakest of defences ; and Les Sables d'Olonne, though often cut off, defied 
the insurgents of the Marais throughout the war. But if sieges and pitched 
battles on level country were foreign to their genius, in guerilla warfare, in 
surprises and in ambushes they had few superiors : in such encounters they 
could make the best of their agility and their local knowledge, and it was in 
the sudden swoop down upon some column hampered by a convoy and 
harassed by sharpshooters, throughout a long march, almost to the breaking 


point, that the dash and reckless zeal of the VencUens was most terrible. 
In the tactics of the Napoleonic era one sees a growing tendency to break 
away from the merely mechanical rigidity into which the traditions of 
Frederick the Great's system of drill had degenerated, some movement 
towards making the light-infantry man the ideal soldier. Would it be 
fanciful to trace in the clouds of skirmishers, which paved the way for the 
attack of Napoleon's massive columns, the lessons which the Vendiens may 
have taught to Marceau and Kleber ? Thus the Vendien on his native 
heath had an advantage even over the trained soldier, and his opponents 
had neither that superiority in weapons, nor — as regards the greater part of 
them — in discipline, on which the regular can usually rely to give him victory 
over superior numbers of irregulars. Moreover, they were generally handled 
in a miserable fashion ; of the Republican generals, only two, Marceau and 
Kleber, can be said to have acquitted themselves with credit, and they were 
hampered by being in subordinate positions. Want of co-operation was the 
most striking feature of the Republican operations, due sometimes to mere 
carelessness and slovenliness, but at times rising to criminal negligence : 
every new general started with an infallible scheme which must reduce the 
rebels to subjection in a few weeks, but every new plan came to hopeless 
grief owing to insubordination and indiscipline, not only in the non-com- 
missioned but even in the commissioned ranks. Want of organisation, 
especially in the supply departments, is not to be wondered at, in the 
disorganised condition of all the departments of Government, but it is 
noticeable that not until October, 1793, were the hitherto separate armies of 
Brest and La Rochelle united in one command as the Army of the West. 

After their failure to take Nantes the Vendieiis ceased to be a very serious 
danger to the Republic : the repulse broke the spell of their successes and, 
though it did not end the insurrection, it checked its further spread, and 
showed that the Vendeen on the strategical offensive was a less formidable 
foe than the Vendeen defending his own country. The move across the 
Loire after Chollet was never more than the despairing effort of a beaten 
Army, and what little chance of success it ever possessed was thrown away 
when the march was directed on Granville instead of upon Lower Brittany. 

One subject remains that should perhaps be discussed — England's failure 
to aid the Vendiens. If England could lend a helping hand to French 
Royalists as far away as Toulon, surely she might have done more for the 
Vendeens at her very doors. On the face of it, it does seem that an oppor- 
tunity was cast away. That England's honour was in any way concerned 
is not suggested ; she had not urged them to rise or pledged them her sup- 
port ; her failure to aid them was not a repetition of Bolingbroke's treatment 
of the Catalans in 1713; but just as the European powers had used the 
Jacobites, whenever they could, as a means towards annoying the Hanoverian 
Government in England, so England might have used the Vendeens to 
weaken the French Republic. But it must be remembered that in 1793 the 
Army of Great Britain was on a peace establishment and quite inadequate 
to face a European war. Not only had England not got the troops to spare 
— there was in January, 1793, only barrack accommodation for 20,000 men — 
but the tone of the Army had been seriously affected by the failures of the 
American War ; the organisation was corrupt and inefficient, the regiments 
were little more than skeletons, and the story of the Duke of York's campaigns 
in the Netherlands is a sufficient proof that England would have been ill 
fitted to embark on a campaign in La Vendee. Moreover there is nothing 
more dangerous than to send a contingent to support a political insurrection 


in a foreign country : in the words of Captain Mahan (Influence of Sea 
Power upon the French Revolution, i. 97), " The natives of the soil, among 
whom such a force appears, either view it with suspicion or expect it to do 
all the work; not unfrequently are both jealous and inactive. It is well 
then to give malcontents all the assistance they require in material of war, 
to keep alive as a diversion every such focus of trouble . . . but it is not safe 
to reckon on the hatred of the insurgents for their own countrymen out- 
weighing their dislike for the foreigner. It is not good policy to send a force 
that is incapable of successful independent action, relying on the support 
of the natives in a civil war." England might certainly have done more in 
supplying the Vend6ens with munitions of war, a light squadron off the 
mouth of the Loire might have cut the communication by sea between 
Nantes and La Rochelle, reduced Les Sables d'Olonne and Noirmoutier, 
and kept open a means of retreat, though in 1793 the command of the sea 
had not yet been assured to England by a pitched battle and the great Brest 
fleet was intact : but the failure of the Vendeens was due to their want of 
something England could never have given, unity and discipline. 



By J. R. Moreton-Macdonald, M.A. 

It is a common fallacy to trace the outbreak of the Revolution to one main 
cause, the financial collapse of the Ancien Rigime. To quote only the most 
recent authority, Mr. J. E. Bodley (France, ed. 1899, p. 77) argues that 
" It (the Revolution) was inevitable because of the immense misery and 
"discontent caused, first by the mismanagement of the public finances, 
" together with the extravagance of the Government and the Court, and 
" secondly by the ever increasing multitude of privileged persons, whose 
" exemption from taxation threw the burden more grievously on the poorest 
"portion of the population." 

Now this conclusion has just so much truth in it (i.) that the States- 
General were summoned primarily to consider the financial crisis, and, in 
the eyes of Necker and the King at least, to consider very little else ; (ii.) that 
a great radical change in the incidence and method of collecting the taxes 
was necessary. It does not however follow that a remedy for this financial 
crisis could not have been found by the Monarchy (whether with or without 
the aid of States-General), without recourse to so violent a method as a 
complete political and social Revolution. 

Ever since the close of Louis XIV.'s reign the annual expenditure had 
exceeded the income, and things had consequently been going from bad to 
worse. Louis XV. 's reign is marked by five compulsory reductions of the 
interest on the National Debt, or operations of a similar nature (1715, 1721, 
1726, 1759, 1770), the most complete of which was the last, carried out by 
Terrai : and one after another of the finance ministers in Louis XV. 's and 
Louis XVI. 's time had been driven to extremities by the increase of the 
deficit. Still Louis XVI. was, to use an expression of Mirabeau's, " King of 
the richest Kingdom in Europe : " the riches of the kingdom increased by 
leaps and bounds during his reign ; and, considering these riches, the ex- 
penditure on government was not excessive. 

The fact was that the best use was not made of the resources of the 
nation: owing to-the number of privileges and exemptions, vast numbers 
of the wealthier inhabitants escaped taxes altogether or paid an insufficient 
proportion ; ^ the mediaeval and unequal methods of collection, most cumber- 
some and costly in themselves, were rendered worse owing to the arbitrary 
divisions of the country for taxative purposes ; while the leakage in the 

^ Dupont de Nemours put the situation epigrammatically, though he overstated 
it, in the Cahier of the Bailliage of Nemours : " One will hardly believe that in order 
" to become noble, it is sufficient to become rich ; and to cease to pay taxes it is 
' ' sufficient to become noble. So there is only one way of escaping taxation and that 
" is to make a fortune." 


process of collection was enormous, amounting to sometimes half the total 
revenue collected.^ Reforms which would have simplified the collection, 
suppressed all privileges and exemptions, and abolished some of the more 
obnoxious indirect taxes (especially the gahelle) would most certainly have 
restored a credit balance to the Government, and lightened the burden of 
the taxpayer ; nor were such reforms beyond the capacity of such ministers 
as Turgot or even Necker, had they been allowed a few years of office and 
backed by the steady support of the King. Turgot, Necker and Calonne did 
indeed each contribute much in their respective short terms of office towards the 
amendment of the financial status ; Turgot by the suppression of the Corvee 
Royale, and (far more) by the abolition of Contraintes Solidaires for the 
Taille and Vingtiemes ; Necker by valuable and drastic reforms in the adminis- 
tration of the Taille, and Calonne by his proposals, made to the Notables, to 
abolish all exemptions and introduce an equitable land tax. Each of these 
men may have failed for a particular reason to stave off the Revolution : 
Turgot both because of a certain rigidity of mind and want of tact in dealing 
with men, and because his free trade ideas were very unpopular; Necker 
from indecision and shiftiness of policy ; and Calonne because he was not 
believed to be sincere ; but all three failed mainly because of Louis' downright 
stupidity and inability to see that the situation was serious : never setting 
his face seriously to grapple with any problem, ever ready to take (without 
listening to) a new adviser, the King was content with his own good inten- 
tions, and at last agreed to trust himself on the unknown sea of a States- 
General, without a course charted out or a firm hand at the helm. 

It is in fact true that all the changes in taxation demanded by the " men of 
1789 " had been attempted by some minister of the Ancien Regime, ilgalite 
devant Vltnpot was not a new cry invented by the Constituent or the 
Convention ; it had been accepted in principle by the Notables in 1787 
as well as by all the Provincial Assemblies ; and in an overwhelming majority 
of the Cahiers of the Noblesse the pecuniary exemptions and privileges are 
expressly resigned. The Impot fancier of the Constituent (1790) was closely 
modelled on the land tax proposed by Calonne to the Notables, and this 
again was derived from Turgot and the Economists : when the Revolution 
attempted to strike out a path of its own, as in the Assignats and forced 
loans, it merely landed itself in bankruptcy ; and even the one financial 
reform generally believed to be great and good, the Gratid Livre of Cambon 
in 1793, has now been proved to be a worthless sham. 

The Provincial Assemblies in the last year before the Revolution had 
already successfully tackled the question of the assessment of direct taxes by 
elective assemblies (Stourm, ii. 479), and invented the system of porteurs 
de contraintes, by which at the present day the government recovers its 
taxes in disputed cases. They had further laid down the principle that 
the revenu net not the revenu brxit was in all cases to be the basis of 
taxation. The arbitrary increase of the Taille upon particular provinces, 
without a general edict touching the whole kingdom, had been impossible 
since Necker's great reform of 1780 : the contraintes solidaires had already 
been abolished by Turgot. The corvees, after two attempts and two 
restorations, had been definitely condemned by the Notables in 1787. The 
absurd liberality of the Crown towards individuals, in the shape of pensions,^ 

1 Cf. Revue de la Revolution, xiii. 124, which gives the approximate figures for 

2 The pension list was valued by Necker in 1789 at 25 millions, but the Com- 
mittee of the Assembly put it in Dec. 1789 at 31. If the working expenses of 


croupes (gifts out of the taxes) and exchanges of demesne lands, had been 
stopped by Necker and his successors. The indirect taxes remained to be 
reformed, but both Necker and Calonne (to the Notables) presented schemes 
for the reform of the worst of these, the gahelle. Both Turgot and Necker 
ardently desired the abolition of the douanes inUrieures, though the latter 
wished to keep the regulation of the corn trade in the hands of the Govern- 
ment. Calonne's commercial treaty with England seemed to be the herald 
of the new system of frontier tariffs prepared and warmly supported in the 
Notables. Calonne began the regular payment of the interest of the debt 
on the half-yearly day on which it fell due, and established a perfectly sound 
sinking fund which would have paid off 700 millions in 25 years ; and another 
scheme for repaying the principal, which would have knocked off another 
500 millions in the same time : his recoinage of Oct. 1785 established for 
the first time the proportionate equality between gold and silver; and he 
paid in full the sufferers by Terrai's bankruptcy of 1770 (Stourm, i. 238). 

Well does Dupont de Nemours say (M^moire sur la Vie de Turgot) •' It 
is inconceivable that an Empire so powerful and so enlightened, whose 
prosperity was increasing every year, whose agriculture, manufactures and 
commerce were growing every day, whose population had increased by 4 
millions in 27 years, should have been overthrown for 52 miserable millions 
of livres. The king and France might have been saved in ten perfectly 
simple ways." Well, too, does Leonce de Lavergne remark that France 
made more progress in the ideas of justice, equality and liberty in the 15 
years of Louis XVI. 's reign (up to Aug. 1789) than in the 25 years from 
1789 to 1815. 

Let us try then to consider the subject under the following heads : — 
(i.) The debt and deficit. 

(ii.) The taxes of the Ancien Regime. 

(iii.) The taxative legislation of the Revolution. 

(iv.) The Assignats and forced loans. 

The leading authorities on whom I have relied are : (i) Rene Stourm, 
Les Finances de I'Ancien Regime et la Rev. (Paris, 1885) ; (2) Viihrer, His- 
toire de la Dette publique de la France (Paris, 1886) ; (3) Gomel, Les Causes 
Financieres de la Rev. Fr. (Paris, 1893) ; (4) Bailly, Hist. Financiere de la 
France (Paris, 1830). 

To these add some smaller works, reports, etc., the most important of 
which is Montesquiou's report to the Constituent in Nov, 1789. 

I. The Debt and Deficit. One is confronted at the beginning with the most 
extraordinary diversity of figures ; and one of the worst faults of the Ancien 
Regime was its utterly unsystematic way of keeping accounts. Necker 
perhaps " knew the ropes " better than any one else, but even Necker often 
confesses how difficult it is to present the ^tats au Vrai in an intelligible 
light {Compte Rendu of 1781 and L^ Administration des Finances, 1784, 

Roughly speaking, the interest on most of the interminable loans may be 
said to have been about 5 per cent. ; and this on an admitted debt of 2^ 
milliards in 1789 would give interest of 125 millions a year (Stourm, ii. 
276). But this is but slightly in excess of the debt at the close of the 
Seven Years' War (2,360 millions). Yet enormous sums were added to the 

the government be estimated at 350, this gives something of the same proportion 
(7 per cent.) that is given by the modern French pension list of 150 to working 
expenses of 1,900 millions. Of these 31, M. Stourm thinks that some 7 millions 
were "abusive" pensions, i.e., not conferred for real service to the State (ii. 138). 


debt between those years (certainly over 2 milliards). The answer to this 
seeming puzzle is (i.) that a great deal of the old, and some of the new debt 
also, was held in tontines, terminable annuities and "lottery loans;" that 
Turgot paid off large sums without contracting new debts, and Necker and 
Calonne did the same while contracting new debts. Again, one must not 
be surprised to find that at the final bankruptcy (Faillite du Tiers Consolide, 
Sept. 1797) the interest dealt with, i.e., the interest on the remaining debt 
of the Ancien Regime is only 119 millions, in spite of the vast extravagance 
of, and vaster debt created by, the Revolution (none of which was ever 
paid at all). The comparative persistence of this exact figure of 119 (Turgot's 
calculation, 1774; see Viihrer, i. 258) is very remarkable: and it must be 
remembered that such an annual payment (under 5 millions sterling) was 
a drop in the bucket ; ^ especially when one estimates that the interest on 
the contemporary debt of Great Britain, with something over half the popula- 
tion of France, and at a lower rate of interest, would, if reduced to livres, be 
equivalent to about 175 millions. 

This then is more or less the state of the permanent debt.^ But it must 
always be remembered that the charges in respect of the debt in 1789 con- 
siderably exceeded this 125 or iig millions. There were a great number of 
annuities and tontines, and these were estimated, together with the floating 
debt, in 1789 at almost 100 millions more. It was obvious, however, that 
charges like these would soon terminate. Are we then to seek in the deficit 
the really serious crisis ? or in the anticipations of next year's revenue, some- 
times as high as 150 millions ? The deficit was of course nothing short of a 
scandal, i.e., it was scandalous that such a rich government should have lived 
in such a haphazard way as not to have wiped it out long ago. Only once in 
the eighteenth century, viz., in 1738, in Fleury's ministry, did the Government 
really manage to balance its books. Terrai on his resignation acknowledged 
a deficit of 27 millions ; ^ Bailly (ii. 190-2) says that he underestimated it and 
that it was really 41 ; Turgot had no time to tackle it seriously, and his suc- 
cessor Clugny acknowledged the same figure as Terrai. Under Necker it 
seems to have averaged about 40 millions a year, although Calonne in his 
famous controversy with Necker claims to have inherited a deficit of 80. 
One cannot help blushing a little for the good Necker when one finds him 
resorting to lottery loans and tontines and the like,'* yet so great was the 

^ The American War seems to have cost something between 1,200 and 1,400 
millions. Necker borrowed at easy rates 530 millions ; Joly de Fleury and 
d'Ormesson (May, 1781-Nov. 1783) 400 ; Calonne (Nov. 1783-Feb. 1787) 700 ; 
Fourqueux and Lom^nie (Feb. 1787-Aug. 1788) 320 ; total since 1777 something 
under 2 milliards. 

2 In 1815 the interest of the French debt was 198 millions ; in 1848, 230 ; in 
1871 (before the war indemnity), 687 ; in 1872, 1,132 ; in 1889, 1,330 (capital value 
of debt 31 milliards). Rev. de la R^v, xiv. 281. At the present day there is an 
annual deficit varying from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000 sterling (thus about equal to 
the highest estimated deficit of the old Monarchy) ; and this with a population at 
least stationary, if not decreasing, and every source of revenue apparently taxed up 
to the extremest possible limit. 

^ This in spite of his conversion of tontines into life annuities, his reduction of 
interest by 50 per cent, on many of the loans, his suspension of promised repay- 
ments of capital and his appropriation of the sinking fund. Remember, however, 
that Calonne paid all the Terrai creditors in full. 

* Necker, in spite of his supposed genius for banking, really shines far more as 
an economic administrator, a reformer of methods of collection, than as a power in 
credit ; his system of loans was old-fashioned and hand-to-mouth. 


riches of the kingdom, so great the quantity of capital seeking investment,^ 
that neither Necker nor his successors had any difficulty in getting almost 
any loan subscribed. Still more, however, is one compelled to blush for him 
when one reads his Compte Rendu of 1781, in which he tried to prove that in 
an ordinary year there would be a surplus of 10 millions. This, it is to be 
feared, was only due to his desire to stand well with the financiers and to be 
able to borrow easily. M. Stourm (ii. 186) seems to me to take an unaccount- 
ably lenient view of this conduct of Necker : and Calonne was, I think, 
essentially right when he threw the blame of the increasing deficit on this 
policy {cf. Viihrer, i. 263). But Calonne kept on paying off some and borrow- 
ing more and feeling the pulse of the Bourse just as Necker had done : he 
would have appeared more honest in the eyes of posterity had his proposals 
of 1787 come three years earlier ; and he left a deficit probably at least twice 
as great as that which he inherited — a deficit which he avowed to be 115 and 
which his successor Lomenie put at 1^0 plus anticipations of 255. In spite 
of the partial suspension of cash payments (which lasted just a month) made 
by Lomenie on Aug. i6th, 1788, his Compte Rendu avowed a great increase in 
the deficit during his short ministry (160 millions in all) : and Necker, whose 
second ministry was inaugurated on Sept. 14th, 1788, by the resumption of 
cash payments, must therefore have been deliberately concealing the truth 
when he asserted at the meeting of the States- General that the deficit was 
only 57 millions. The real figure was nearer to Lomenie's i6o with arrears 
of 175 (Stourm, ii. 274). Yet Necker was right when he declared that this 
deficit " which has made such a noise in Europe " could be made to disappear 
without fresh taxes " et avec des simples objets inaper^us" {ibid., ii. 247). 
All that was needed was a readjustment of the system of collection and of 
incidence, and these reforms had already been begun. 

Necker then came into office pledged to remove this deficit with the help 
of the States-General : the suggestions which he made for its gradual ex- 
tinction were good and sensible, and he was probably the right man in the 
right place had he been given free hand and firm support. The minute 
reforms of system which he proposed for this end were, however, entirely 
distasteful to the Constituent Assembly, which, after its victories of June 
and July, 1789, proposed to reconstruct the entire financial system of France 
defond en comhle (Stourm, ii. 247, sqq.). All the ministerial proposals were re- 
jected and after attempting to carry through two abortive loans in the autumn 
of 1789,2 Necker looked on in impotent protest at the commencement of the 
paper monty regime till his own retirement, Sept. 3rd, 1790. The first year of 
the Revolution closed with a deficit of 177 millions, and the last three months 
of 1790 alone added go millions to this. By the end of 1790 there was a 
deficit of 350 with arrears of 268. No serious attempt whatever to deal 
with the " debt and deficit " question was made till Cambon's famous Grand 
Livre of Aug. 24th, 1793, concerning which M. Stourm remarks (ii. 334) 
that it was really the herald of a bankruptcy, that it did nothing to con- 
solidate the debt except to impose a tax of ^ per cent, on all arrears due to 

1 It is calculated that the ordinary revenue had increased by 130 millions in the 
13 years preceding the Revolution (the Ferme Gindrale whose contracts were 
renewed every six years showed an enormous increase on each contract) (Stourm, ii, 
232, i. 19, etc.). But the expenses of government increased out of proportion to 
this increase. 

2 What a shock the events of June and July had given to credit may be gathered 
from the fact that even Necker {ministre ndorS) was unable to get his two trifling 
loans subscribed in the autumn of 1789. 


creditors, and another tax on all transference of rentes, amounting in all to 2 
per cent. : it did indeed enumerate the claims of the State creditors, but only 
as a merchant about to fail schedules his debts. The " colossal bankruptcy," 
which alone could wipe out the milliards of debt created by the Revolution, 
together with the trifling arrears of the Ancien Regime, did not come till 
1797 (Law of demonetisation of Assignais, Feb. 4th, and faillite dti tiers 
consolide, Sept. 30th). Two-thirds of the rentes were then struck off the 
Grand Livre and paid in paper of practically no value at all, which was 
equivalent to a bankruptcy of 63 per cent. : the amount of the debt of the 
Ancien Regime then and there accounted for was 1,900 millions ; the rest 
of the 35 milliards of these two bankruptcies was the debt of the Revolution 
alone ! 

II. We must now go back and examine the system of taxes in use in old 
France. The direct taxes were the Taille, Capitation and Vingtiemes. Of these 
the Taille was by far the largest and oldest. It had originally been a levy on 
the Royal Domain, but had in the fifteenth century become a general tax in 
lieu of military service, a fact which exempted the clergy wholly and the 
noblesse partially from its incidence. In the Pays d'Etat the Taille was a 
direct land tax assessed by a committee of the local estates and paid through 
them into the Treasury. In the Pays d'Elections there were two tailles, one 
"real" the other "accessory," and the amount of the latter up to the year 
1780 varied from year to year and from district to district according to the 
needs of the government and the reports sent in by the Intendants of the 
ability of their districts to bear the tax. The repartition {i.e., distributive 
assessment) was deputed to the Intendants, who appointed " collectors " from 
among the richer peasants for the unpleasant task of valuing and assessing 
the property of their neighbours, these collectors being themselves responsible 
for the total to be collected from each parish. This contrainte solidaire was 
abolished by Turgot (Stourm, i. 51-2; Gasquet, Precis, i. 335, sqq.; Adam 
Smith, bk. v. cap. ii.). The nobles were obliged to pay taille in the Pays de 
droit Ecrit — Languedoc, Provence, Dauphine, part of Guyenne, Burgundy, 
Alsace, Flanders, Artois and Quercy — on all their lands held by non-noble 
tenure,^ while in the Pays de droit coutumier they paid on nearly all the 
lands farmed by themselves. But there were numerous exemptions even to 
these rules, and the nobles were in a position to compound very favourably 
for all direct taxes. Many efforts were made to equalise the burden of the 
taille, e.g., by Turgot, who, during his Intendance in the Limousin ^ made 
a valuation of all properties and a register of the due arnounts of payment ; 
cadastres on this model were introduced into the Pays d'Etat. Necker made 
an attempt to supplant the collectors by regular paid officials, but made it 
optional to retain the old system : and in 1780 he laid down that the 
" accessory " taille could never be increased except by a general edict 
common to the kingdom. In the few years immediately preceding the 
Revolution, this, the principal direct tax of France, amounted to about 91 
millions on the average (Necker, L' Administration des Finances, 1784). 

1 The Marquis de Mirabeau in 1779 paid 400 livr. iail/e on one of his non-noble 
fiefs. See Lora^nie, Las Mirabeau (ii. 93), for this and a general refutation of the view 
that the nobles were wholly exempt {see also Gomel, iii. 82). Remember always 
that service and taxes were paid by the land whoever owned it. There was constant 
buying and sale of land going on, and innumerable cases of rohiriers becoming 
possessed of fiefs by mere purchase, and of nobles becoming possessed of lands 
owing taille "real." 

2 Turgot found that in some parishes the taille was as low as i sou in the livre, 
in others as high as 6 (Lavergne, Les Econ. Fr. 228). 


The Capitation dated from 1695 and was of the nature of a hearth tax plus 
a poll tax, and there were supposed to be no exemptions from it, not even for 
the clergy ; but these compounded for it immediately, and the composition 
which they made formed part of their don gratuit which on the eve of the 
Revolution amounted to 18 millions, and this only paid quinquennially. The 
nobles too, though nowhere getting exemption on any large scale, seem al- 
ways to have been able to compound favourably.^ 

The idea of an Itnpot General or Impot Unique, proportional on all revenues, 
was Vauban's : it was adopted in principle by Desmarets at the end of 
Louis XIV. 's reign, but so far from being "unique" was made additional to 
the other taxes : it was called a Vingtieme, and was several times suppressed 
and renewed ; a second Vingtieme was added in 1756, and a third in 1783 to 
meet the expenses of the American War. Here again exemptions and com- 
positions stepped in ; but Gasquet (i, 343) says that the Vingtiemes touched 
the upper classes much more than the Capitation, because there was but one 
assessment roll for each province. Although intended to be levied on both 
personal and real property, the Vingtiemes, like the English " land tax," fell 
almost wholly on land (out of 76,000,000 in 1785 only 2,500,000 fell on per- 
sonal property, Stourm, i, 61). 

If we turn to the indirect taxes we find (Stourm, i. 295, sqq., Gomel, i. 
cap. ii.) the Gabelle, Aides, Traites, Octrois, and Tahac together with several 
smaller ones such as the Stamp Tax. 

For the Gabelle or Salt Tax France was divided into six divisions, or pro- 
vinces : (i.) des grandes gabelles, (ii.) des petitcs gabelles, (iii.) de saline, (iv.) 
/ranches, (v.) redimees, (vi.) de quart bouillon. In each of these divisions the 
gabelle differed, and the price of salt varied accordingly .2 Necker in his 
Administration des Finances (ii. 57) calculates that 300 men were sentenced 
every year to the galleys for smuggling salt. The tax was farmed by the 
corporation of Farmers-General and one could only buy salt from their maga- 
zines : moreover every family was obliged to buy a fixed quantity in pro- 
portion to its numbers, or be reputed to smuggle it. An equal tax on salt, 
say 15 livr. per quintal, would probably have brought in a larger aggregate 
revenue to the government than this absurd system. Even the Constituent 
hesitated to abolish the gabelle altogether, and (March 30th, 1790) attempted 
to substitute for it an impot de remplacement to produce 50 millions : but 
this, like all other taxes of the Revolution, simply remained unpaid (Stourm, 

i- 317)-' 

Aides (or Excise) were levied on all fermented liquors, gold and silver 
work, iron, starch. Wines paid \ when sold wholesale and another \ when 
sold retail. No very great complaint is made of this tax, but like the 
gabelle it was worked on a very complicated system.^ 

Traites (or Customs) were exacted at the douanes interieures or 
barriers between the three " custom-house " divisions of France, i.e., between 
the central provinces (or pays de cinq grosses fermes) and the pays r'e- 

1 Necker gives the capitation as producing 42 millions. 

2 From 62 livres the quintal in the provinces des grandes gabelles to 2 livres in 
the provinces /ra«cA(?i'. 

3 Necker estimates the produce of the gabelle at 52 millions. 

4 The most curious part of which was that the aides proper were only levied 
within the jurisdiction {ressort) of the Parlements of Paris and Rouen, i.e. some 
two-fifths of the kingdom ; nevertheless they produced from 50 to 60 millions 
(Stourm, i. 325, sqq.). (The Parlement of Paris had jurisdiction over 10 million 
persons, that of Rouen over 2 millions.) 


putes etrangers (the next outer ring comprising those provinces reunited to 
the Crown in the later Middle Ages) and again between these and the pays 
etrangers, Alsace, Flanders, Lorraine,^ as well as at all the maritime ports ; 
but between the pays etrangers and Germany and Netherlands there were 
no custom houses at all. These douanes interieures and their tariffs were 
no doubt often worked in the interest of keeping the price of corn level in 
the different parts of the kingdom, but Turgot, Necker and Calonne were at 
one in desiring their removal, although free trade in corn was the most 
unpopular idea imaginable in old France ; and perhaps the greatest blessing 
the Revolution brought was the sweeping away of these barriers, from which 
removal, after the anarchic period, perfect internal free trade arose. In 1787 
a scheme was presented in the Notables for new custom houses at the frontier 
only, based upon a low tariff: the privileged provinces however made a good 
deal of resistance. 

Of the lesser indirect taxes the Tobacco Monopoly produced about 30 
millions ; L'Enregistrement, La Controle and Le Centihne Denier (taxes 
on conveyances and successions) produced 41, the stamp tax 6, hall marks 
on gold and silver plate 2 ; excise on oil and soap, messageries, paper tax, 
and duty on playing cards, somewhat lesser sums ; the total of indirect taxes 
being not much over 200 millions (say 215). Besides these resources the 
Government laid hands on half the Octroi of Paris and some other large 
towns — say 20 millions ; the post office brought in 15 ; the " woods and 
forests" (Royal Domain) 50. That br>gs us to 300 millions without the 
direct taxes, and if we accept Necker's figures quoted above these will amount 
to 209. Total 509 millions. But we must beware of too great definiteness. 
So carelessly were the accounts kept that even such auditing as there was 
was not unfrequently eight or nine years in arrear ; Turgot however we 
know estimated the ordinary revenue at 377 in his ministry, and our previous 
estimate of increase (130 in the last 13 years before the Revolution) would just 
about bring the sum right. All the indirect taxes of course hit the upper 
classes as well as the lower, and of the direct taxes von Sybel calculates (i. 
44) that the noblesse should have paid, supposing perfect equality of taxation, 
from 33 to 36 millions more than they did. 

The expenses of the Government are however perfectly impossible to 
ascertain ; guesses can be made, e.g., working expenses 350 to 400, interest 
on loans terminable and interminable 200, pensions 30 and the like ; but 
there will still remain a huge deficit unaccounted for. It is practically 
certain that 600 to 650 is a moderate estimate of the whole, although Necker 
was probably not too sanguine in telling the States-General that he hoped that 
the expenses of the four years following 1789 would not amount to above 530 
a year (Stourm, ii. 429) ; for, as we have said, he was the man for economies. 

III. The Constituent however would have nothing to say to Necker's plans, 
and their own budgetary legislation was of the wildest ; in consequence of 
which, deficit, arrears and capital of debt increased at the most alarming 
rate : a rate moreover which no one in the Assembly dared to avow. 

No actual estimate was ever made of the expenses of 1789-90, but on Aug. 

^ Pays de cinq grosses fennes where Colbert's tariff of 1664 prevailed, viz.. Isle 
de France, Orl^annais, Burgundy, Berri, Poitou, Normandy, Picardy : pays riputds 
strangers, under the tariff of 1667, Limousin, Auvergne, Lyonnais, Dauphin^, Pro- 
vence, Languedoc, Guienne, Xaintonge, Brittany and Franche-Comt6. The pays 
itrangers also included one or two little islets of territory or privileged cities, e.g., 
Bayonne, Marseilles, Gex (Stourm, i. 471). Traites amounted to about 20 millions, 
some six of which only came from the douanes inUrieures. 


i8th, 1790, the Comite de V Imposition printed a report giving 580 as the 
probable normal expenses of central government, adding 60 for departmental 
and 76 for extraordinary expenses (Gomel, iii. 39, 124, 239 ; von Sybel, i. 254). 
On Feb. iSth, 1791, a still more optimistic report was drawn up giving the pro- 
bable expenses of that year at 520 and the probable receipts at 580 (Stourm, 
ii. 296), whereas it was already notorious that neither old nor new taxes 
were being paid. These estimates were considerably below those of the 
expenses of the Ancien Regime; the Committees dared not avow that the 
new government was far more costly, while the " liquidation " of the Ancien 
Regime alone {i.e., the payment of pensions to the holders of suppressed 
offices, or the capitalisation of such pensions) was estimated to cost 
1,300,000,000. Yet this second estimate, says Stourm, is the only thing 
approaching a budget which any Revolution Assembly has left us. A rough 
estimate of the expenses of 1792 was made in the Legislative by Laffon de 
Ladebat in Dec. 1791, which gives expenses 650, receipts 511, deficit 139 : but 
in Feb. 1792 Cambon, who had already stepped upon the scene, raised the 
expenses to 821, while in May he declared that 550 was the most that could 
be expected in the most prosperous year. The commencement of the war at 
about the time of this pronouncement of Cambon's renders further researches 
into budgets somewhat ludicrous ; from Oct. ist, 1792, to June, 1793, the 
total expenditure seems to have reached 1,900 millions, while the total 
revenue collected in 1792 probably did not exceed 300 and that of 1793 did not 
exceed 80 millions (Stourm, ii. 416, sqq.). With one more calculation of Cam- 
bon's we may leave this part of the subject ; on Sept. ist, 1793, he estimated 
that since May 5th, 1789, 6 milliards odd had been spent, of which i milliard 
and three hundred millions had gone, as we have seen, to the liquidation of the 
Ancien Regime, although he put this a little lower. The Ancien Regime, re- 
formed on Necker's valuation of 530 odd millions a year, would have spent 
in the same time, including the liquidation, something over 3 milliards for 
the 4J years ; the new Government was thus over 2J thousand millions of 
livres more expensive than the old would have been : a milliard more than 
the preceding four years had been. 

We may say at once that with the exception of the colossal blunder of 
the Assignats the Constituent may fairly be acquitted of all blame except 
for timidity in this matter. It found itself at once compelled to accept vast 
responsibilities entailing vast expenditure in every direction — though chiefly 
in the direction of Revolutionary propaganda. It was all very well for 
Montesquiou in Nov. 1789 to talk of " economies to the extent of 119 millions," 
but there was Paris to be fed, National Guards to be equipped, fetes to be 
organised ; and all this by the hands of incompetent and insatiable municipal 
officers who simply revelled in the opportunity of boundless expenditure of 
other people's money. To meet this demand there were with regard to 
taxation two policies which the Assembly might pursue : (1.) either retain the 
old taxes, gradually eliminating the hardships and inequalities from them, (ii.) 
or make a tabula rasa of the old system and levy new taxes with a strong hand. 
The Assembly did neither. 

On Dec. 14th, 1789, a mdmoire was received declaring it to be impossible in 
many places to collect any taxes at all : the same on Jan. 2nd and Aug. loth 
and i8th, 1790 (Gomel, iii. 543 ; iv. 30, 235). Yet the Assembly maintained the 
old taxes until they were compelled reluctantly to drop them one by one by 
the outcry of the mob.^ When these were dropped it was not ready with 

^Gadel/e was not abolished till March 30th, 1790; Aides not till March 2nd, 

VOL. III. 22 


anything new, and no new taxes came into force till Sept. 1791 ; by which 
time people had become but too much habituated to paying nothing at all. 
The period between the dropping of the old and the institution of the new 
taxes was tided over by little loans (which were hardly subscribed at all), " pat- 
riotic gifts," "patriotic income tax" and the commencement of the ^ssi^na^ 
When the scheme of taxation was produced the Committee recommended the 
sweeping away of all indirect taxes, and hence they are credited with an 
attempt to live up to the physiocratic ideal in which many of them believed. 
But as a matter of fact only those indirect taxes which principally affected 
the lower class were abolished, while the stamp tax and registration dues 
were retained ^ (von Sybel, i. 257). The sale of patents, a sensible innovation, 
was calculated to produce 22 millions, a poll tax 60, and the Impot Fonder, 
falling on all landowners equally (not on occupiers), 300. The basis of its 
levy was to be the average net produce of the land for the last 15 years ; 
and it was not to exceed i of this (Stourm, i. 124, 315). This tax came into 
force Nov. 23rd, 1790, and would obviously have been a fairly heavy burden : 
the difficulty of collecting it however was enormously enhanced by the im- 
possibility of calculating the average product for the past 15 years. 

The indirect taxes which, in spite of the " ideal," were retained to supple- 
ment this system consisted chiefly of a new tarif des douanes for new 
custom houses (on the frontiers only), copied from that of 1787, which, 
with an increase in the stamp tax, would, it was hoped, bring in no 
millions (Gomel, iii. 345).^ 

The manifest failure of this Impot Foncier led, on Jan. 13th, 1791, to its 
being supplemented by an Impot Mobilier (Stourm, i. 328), under which 
head was then lumped the poll tax (3 days' wages at rate current in district) 
from every "active citizen," an inhabited house duty, a tax on salaries of 
officials, and an " inland revenue " duty on horses, mules and domestic 
servants. But it is distinctly not an income tax ; the Assembly considered 
that the rentiers were sufficiently touched by its details. 

But what was the use of a new tax if it could never be collected ? 
Claviere in a report, Feb. ist, 1793, declared that in 1791 only half the Impot 
Foncier due had been paid, in 1792 nothing at all (Gomel, iv. 567). How 
then did the Revolution Governments live ? One great windfall was granted 
them, the Biens Nationaux ; let us see what use they made of them. 

IV. The Biens Nationaux included not only the real and personal property 
of the clergy taken over by the State in Nov. 1789,^ but the Crown lands also, 
and, from 1792, a steady increase in the confiscated property of Emigrds]a.nd 
condemned persons. I shall make an attempt below to estimate the total 
value of the riches thus acquired ; in the meantime let us consider the use 
made of them by the successive Governments. There was a dispute at the 
outset between the Comitc des Finances, as represented by Montesquiou 
and backed up by Mirabeau, and its critics led by Dupont de Nemours 
(supported by Necker outside), as to whether paper money guaranteed by 
the State should be issued directly by the Treasury on the security of these 
lands, or notes should be issued by the Caisse d'Escompte as the specie 

1 These were of course just as irritating to the genuine physiocrat as Gazelles or 

2 The more ordinary indirect taxes remained in abeyance till the Empire, when 
they were reimposed on liquors 1804, salt 1806, tobacco 1808 (Stourm, i 301). 

3 Remember that the debt of the clergy was taken over also, and that the 
"expenses of worship" (salaries of bishops, priests, etc.) far exceeded the most 
optimistic estimate of the income derivable from the church lands {see Appx. on 
Civil Constitution of the Clergy). 


from the sale of these lands came in (Gomel, iii, 478) ; obviously Dupont 
was right in supporting the latter view ; and it is pathetic to think that Necker, 
when he became at last the advocate of a really sound scheme which he 
thoroughly understood, should have so far lost all his former influence as 
to be unable to prevent the commission of one of the greatest financial 
blunders known to history. ^ The whole wretched history of the Assignat 
proves the wisdom of their criticism : the biens were not immediately 
realisable, and they were therefore not a legitimate security for the issue 
even of a limited paper money. 

Still less for an unlimited issue. At first a guarantee was given that 
there should never be more than 1,200 millions of Assignats in circulation, 
and that as these returned to the Treasury they should be destroyed ; 
holders of Assignats were to have a premiere hypotheque on the Biens 
Nationaux (Gomel, iv. 269). Even the Constituent exceeded the promised 
limit by 600 millions, and that with its eyes open, from a cowardly resolve not 
to risk its popularity by taxing the nation adequately, or enforcing the 
taxes it ordered. After its close issue followed issue with startUng rapidity, 
and on April 27th, 1792, the Legislative deliberately abandoned all principle of 
limitation. By the summer of 1793 there were 4,320 millions in circulation 
and Assignats were issued for sums as low as 10 sous. In its latter days the 
Convention went on with feverish haste in the same direction, the workmen 
engaged in making assignats were kept at work daily from 6 a.m. till 8 p.m. ; 
and at last the issues were voted by the Committees and kept secret from the 
Convention itself. 

The Directory increased the pace a hundredfold, and after a final issue of 
12 milliards, destroyed the die of the Assignats, but immedialely replaced 
them by Mandats Territoriaux which rapidly followed the same course. In 
Feb. 1797, when the astounding figure of 47^ milliards of paper money had 
been issued, the State demonetised the whole quantity then in circulation, 
i.e., failed for some 35 milliards (Stourm, ii. 325, sqq.).^ 

The steady depreciation of this paper money ^ may be understood from 
the following table given by Stourm (ii. 311): — 

In Jan. '90 the Assignat of 100 livr. was worth 96 
» '91 ., M » 91 

„ '92 ,, „ ,, 72 

., '93 » .. ,. 51 

M '94 » M ». 40 

,. '95 M » » 18 

June '95 „ „ „ 2-973 

The only remarkable fluctuation in the table (which I have not given in 
full) is between July, 1793 (when they were down to 23) and Jan, 1794 (when 
they were up to 40 again), but this is accounted for by the fierce measures 
taken by the Committee of Public Safety against persons who refused to 

1 Dupont [see Lavergne, Econ. Fr. 403) put the case against Montesquiou with 
his usual clearness, " Toute rente de terres demande un temps moral pour etre 
"effective: aucun papier ne peut remplir I'office de monnaie si les porteurs ne 
" sont k chaque instant maitres de le changer centre la monnaie." See also 
Gomel (iii. 493 ; iv, 128, 259, 310) for Dupont' s arguments on various occasions. 

2 The Constituent had created 1,800 millions, the Legislative added 900 millions, 
the Convention a mere trifle of 7,000 millions. The rest of the issue is to be 
ascribed to the Directory ! (35,000 millions), 

3 The lowest quotation is the 100 franc note at 6 sous (shall we say twof>ence 
halfpenny?) in Feb. 1796. 


accept the notes at par, especially by the law of Sept. 5th, 1793 (six months im- 
prisonment for the first offence, 20 years for the second, and, if the intention 
of the refuser were inciviqtie, — death !). No power on earth however could 
long check depreciation : and the bankruptcy was foreseen at least as early 
as July, 1793, when all those Assignats bearing the old royal stamp were de- 
monetised ; ^ while on a proposal by Vernier that one half the nominal value 
should be paid, every one was delighted at the idea of the State paying its 
creditors ten shillings in the pound (Stourm, ii. 321-2) ! But nothing of the 
kind was done. Yet it was continually urged by those who were responsible 
for the issue that there really was a sound basis for the Assignats; Cambon, 
for instance, as late as Feb. 1795, declared that " the Nation was under great 
obligation to the Constituent for their creation." Let us examine what 
truth there is in the " sound basis" theory, to what, supposing all the Biens 
Nationaux to have been sold, would their capitalised value amount ? {see von 
Sybel, i. 164 ; Gomel, iv. 275 ; Stourm, ii. 145.) The accounts of contempor- 
aries vary considerably, but the report of Montesquiou at the end of the Con- 
stituent (Sept. 9th, 1791) gives a total capitalised value of Church and Crown 
lands at 3,500,050,000 livres, of which 900 millions are Crown lands — say 
roughly 3^ milliards ; Lavoisier on Jan. ist, 1792, put it somewhat lower, at 
2,800,000,000 ; Cambon, Oct. 17th, 1792, put it at 3,310,000,000. It is not these 
original JBiens Nationaux that are so difficult to value,^ but the subsequent 
confiscations. Already in Jan. and Feb. 1793, Roland and Cambon put these at 
4,800 and 4,000 millions respectively. Johannotin areport of April, 1795, puts 
them at 9J milliards (it was the object of these gentlemen to exaggerate the 
advantages derived from them by the State). But these figures are quite 
upset by the calculation made by Charles X.'s government in 1825 with a 
view to restoring some of the confiscated property. The figures then were 
put at 2,500,000,000, giving, with the total of Church and Crown lands above 
mentioned, a grand total of 6 milliards. And this was the sum on the 
security of which the Revolution issued paper up to 47J milliards ! 

The only other financial experiment of the Revolution is the graduated 
income tax and forced loan of the summer of 1793 {see Helie, i. 359) to fall 
on all incomes above 1,000 livres for bachelors and above 1,500 livres for 
married men, increasing by ^ on every 1,000 livres above that amount. 
In this scheme the tax started at 10 per cent, on your first 1,000 livres, 
and increased in geometrical progression until 9,000 livres was reached, on 
which you would be paying 4,500 (50 per cent.) ; above 9,000 the tax was 
100 per cent., i.e., confiscation of your entire income above that maximum ; a 

1 558 millions bearing the King's head were then demonetised, but the State 
agreed to receive such notes in payment of debts due to it till Jan. ist, 1794 : and 354 
millions were so paid over (probably holders of these notes suddenly bethought 
them of the civic duty of paying some taxes) ; so only 204 millions became waste 
paper at the moment (Stourm, ii. 324), a "superb experience" as Cambon 
called it. 

2 Nor indeed is this vast resumption of lands held in mortmain anything so very 
iniquitous, provided the salaries of clergy were adequately secured out of them. 
It was however calculated that 2,310 millions of clerical property would yield 70 
millions a year and would sell at 32 years' purchase. This is ludicrous when we 
reflect on the effect of throwing a great deal of land on the market at once. That 
so much was actually sold is evidence of the great prosperity of France in 1789-90. 
Besides, much of this clerical property was not lands at all, but mortgages and 
rents : twenty millions belonged to schools and hospitals not confiscated ; and finally 
the sum for the expenses of worship worked out at 134 millions, nearly double the 
amount of the confiscated income ! 


man then whose nominal income was 100,000 livres would enjoy less than ^ of 
it. This wild proposal was the work of Cambon, R^al and Ramel, and Danton 
supported them ; it was thoroughly to the taste of Cambon, whose historical 
position as a financier is due to the fact that by hook or crook he did manage 
to tide over the dreadful years of 1793 and 1794. But it also explains the great 
outcry for his head in 1795, which, as he was not a particularly bloodthirsty 
man, is otherwise rather unintelligible {see Stourm, ii. 369). Lanjuinais 
made his usual protest against this tax, but in vain ; but we do not hear of it 
after the autumn of 1793, and the Committee of Public Safety in its later days 
simply took from private individuals any property that it required. 

Nothing but bankruptcy could end this state of things ; it cost you 800 
francs to drive across Paris and 1,000 francs to get a decent meal at a 
restaurant. But the double bankruptcy of 1797 (Feb. 4th and Sept. 30th) 
was made in the most cynical manner. First, as we have seen, the law of 
Feb. 4th demonetised 35 milliards of notes which the State had expressly 
pledged itself to redeem in cash (Stourm, ii. 327) ; then the Faillite du Tiers 
Consolide consummated the ruin of the hapless creditor who had carefully 
preserved his credentials of shares in the National Debt : for the 119 millions 
then inscribed on the Grand Livrc (so called) of 1793, the Directory simply 
took its bill and wrote 43, thus striking out an annual debt of 76 or a capital 
of 1,500 millions. By the same law of Sept. 30th the annuities and pensions 
were also reduced by ^ and thereby 400 millions added to the bankruptcy. 
Thus in the spring France failed for thirty-five milliards and in the autumn 
for almost two milliards more. 



By The Editor 

The Law of July 12th, 1790, founding the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, 
is divided into four " Titles " and may be summarised thus: — 

Title I. (a) The reduction of the bishoprics to 83, each diocese to be 
conterminous with a department. 

{/3) No foreign bishop or metropolitan has any jurisdiction in France.^ 

(7) Appeals lie from the diocesan synod to the metropolitan synod.^ 

(5) A complete rearrangement of the parishes of the kingdom is to be 
made on the basis of one parish for each 6,000 souls. 

(e) All chapters, etc., are swept away, but there is to be a number of 
"vicars" attached to each cathedral for the maintenance of the services and 
for the instruction of candidates for the ministry,^ and to form a permanent 
consultative council or synod to the bishop. 

Title II. (a) Both bishops and ciiris are to be elected, the former by the 
secondary electors, the latter by the primary : the departmental authorities 
are to conduct the former elections, the municipal the latter ; but the 
elections are to be in the cathedral and parish churches respectively, after 
the celebration of mass at which all the electors must be present,^ 

(/3) A bishop must have been in the exercise of priestly functions for at least 
fifteen years and have served some office in the Church for that time. Within 
one month from his election he must apply to his metropolitan for institution : 
the metropolitan to the next oldest bishop in his diocese. If the metropolitan 
thinks fit to refuse institution he must state his reasons in writing and the 
case may then be referred to the civil courts : the elected bishop must before 
institution take an oath that he professes the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman 
religion. No confirmation by the Pope is necessary or permissible,-^ but a 

1 This was perhaps not intended to be aimed at the Holy See, but at the Great 
German archdioceses, which extended far into the newly conquered provinces of 
Flanders, Alsace, Lorraine, Franche-Comtd, etc. It was one of the causes of 
complaint made at the Diet by the Ecclesiastical Electors. 

2 Here it is not so clear that appeals to Rome were not intended to be forbidden. 
M. H6lie in his Commentary on the Law (Constit. de la Fr. i. 136) thinks that 
this did not aim at the destruction of the Pope's jurisdiction over metropolitans in 
the matters of faith or discipline. 

'In each diocese there is to be a seminary of instruction presided over by a 
" Vicar Superior. " 

* It is true of course that this would exclude all honest non-Catholics, but it would 
not legally exclude any one possessing the electoral qualifications (which are the 
same as those for municipal and parliamentary office), whether he were Protestant, 
Jew, Turk or Infidel. 

^ It is here that we have the definite breach with the Papacy ; yet a breach that 
might have been conceivably bridged over, for the King had nominated before, and 


letter notifying the election shall be sent to him, "in proof" of the unity of 
the faith and communion which the elected bishop holds with him. The 
oath of fealty to the Nation, the Law and the King, and another oath to 
maintain with all his might the Constitution (which was to be) decreed by the 
National Assembly, must be taken before consecration. 

(7) A cure to be eligible for a parish must have been employed in some 
vicarial function (at the cathedral or in some hospital or charitable institution) 
for at least 5 years. The institution and oaths of the cure correspond exactly 
to those of the bishop : and neither bishop nor cur6 may enter upon his office 
till he have taken the said oaths. 

Title III. (a) Residence and salary, varying in the case of the bishops 
from 6,000 to 50,000 livres, and in the case olcur^s from 6,000 to 12,000, is to 
be provided by the State, the salary is to be paid quarterly, and a small 
pension is provided for cures past work. 

()8) No fees of any sort may be charged for any episcopal or priestly 

Title IV. (a) Residence is obligatory, though bishops and cures are 
allowed a fortnight's consecutive holiday in the year. 

()8) Bishops, curis and vicars may enjoy the full municipal and parliament- 
ary franchise, both primary and secondary, and may sit in the Legislative 
Assembly or in the Conseils-GeMraux of their commune, district or depart- 
ment, but may not be maires or members of departmental directories. 

Such was the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of which the chief drafts- 
men were the members of the Ecclesiastical Committee nominated on Aug. 
20th, 1789, and shortly afterwards reinforced. It comprised two bishops (those 
of Clermont and Lugon) ; three cur6s, one of whom was the " pious " Gr^goire 
of Embermdsnil (one of the most fanatical revolutionists in France who 
afterwards sat in the Convention and desired leave to record his vote for the 
King's death even though absent) ; Lanjuinais and Durand-Maillane, two 
scholars in Canon law; Camus, a fanatical Jansenist; Dom Gerle, a Carthusian 
monk, who then or afterwards was mad and became the dupe of two suc- 
cessive "prophetesses"; Talleyrand and Montesquiou (two free-thinking 
abbes of wholly secular life) ; Treilhard, an avowed Voltairean ; the eminently 
respectable Due de la Rochefoucauld- Liancourt, and Dupont de Nemours. 

Now every one will admit that the riches of the old Church of France were 
far too great, and too unequally distributed. There were 134 bishopricks 
ranging from that of Strasburg with an income of half a million down to 
little sees of scarce 6,000 livres per annum. There were large, rich and powerful 
chapters attached to these bishopricks, there were some 800 monasteries and 
some 300 collegiate churches. That religion was " right well kept," as Henry 
VIII. said, in all these rich foundations is not probable ; but we have every 
reason to believe that the Church of France as a whole was in a sound 
condition, that its hold on the nation at large was enormous and practically 
unshaken by the assaults of the philosophers. There had certainly been a 
falling off in the number of professed monks and nuns, but the best tendency 

it might fairly be argued that the change was a mere transference of power from 
the Sovereign King to the Sovereign People. It might be argued that the secular 
tribunal which would decide in the last resort as to the confirmation of the election was 
usurping little more power than the old law courts had exercised by their entertain- 
ment of appeals comtne d'abus, by which they had always resisted the encroach- 
ments of Rome. But a nominal confirmation by the Pope had in all cases been a 
necessity, and it was grossly impolitic to refuse it so bluntly. Further notice that 
the words " ordination " or " orders " are never mentioned in speaking of the person 
eligible for bishopricks and parishes. 


of the age was towards an active and practical rather than an ascetic and 
devotional form of religion. The cahiers had energetically demanded reform 
in many of the Church questions, such as pluralities, non-residence and abbeys 
held in commendam ; but these and many other abuses might have been 
rooted out without an open declaration of war upon the Catholic Church and 
its head. 

Was the Civil Constitution such an attack ? There have been two views 
held on the subject ; and the first is that the Church had such a hold on the 
nation that the Revolution could not help tackling the question in some 
shape or other ; that it could not sever the Church from the State altogether,^ 
as perhaps from the point of view of modern radicalism would have seemed 
to be the natural course (hardly a voice however was raised for the favourite 
theory of the nineteenth century) ; and that therefore the only course which the 
Revolution had open to it was that of bending the Church to its will, making 
the Church its servant or partner in some way or other. There was much to 
be said for such a course, and especially this, that the large majority of the 
curis in the States-General were upon the side of the liberals until the Church 
was touched. Further it has been argued that the Civil Constitution did not 
touch any doctrinal question, that it merely rearranged the disciplinary system 
of the Church, that this was little more than an extension of the principle 
of the pragmatic sanction of St. Louis and the " Articles of the Gallican 
Church " of 1682, and that the Pope's opposition was little more than plenty 
of kings had beaten down. These views were put forward by Treilhard in 
the debates of May, 1790. 

The other view, to which most modern writers, and some distinctly not on 
the Catholic side, such as M. Aulard, have subscribed, is that the Civil Con- 
stitution was the great mistake of the Revolution — a view which has behind 
it the great names of de Tocqueville, Taine, von Sybel and Sorel. Sorel ^ 
boldly saj'S that the ecclesiastical committee " sinned against light with their 
eyes open, and were prepared to let the schism come if it liked to come : 
that the only thing wanting to it was a respectable number of schismatics" 
(but this is an exaggeration, for a considerable minority of the cures did take 
the oath at one time or another, though most of them retracted it afterwards). 
That it was absolutely certain to drive the King into final hostility to the 
Revolution seems either not to have occurred to its supporters or to have 
been ignored by them. The reasonable proposal of an appeal to a council of 
the Gallican Church (the Pope's permission for which might have been ob- 
tained), a proposal supported not only by the Archbishop of Aix and d'^prd- 
mesnil but also by Gobel afterwards " Constitutional Archbishop " of Paris, 
was scouted by the Assembly, whose majority cried out for the bill, the whole 
bill and nothing but the bill. 

And so the bill was carried. No sort of attempt was made to manage the 
Pope, who was allowed to learn from the newspapers the whole of the anti- 
clerical legislation of the Assembly. The King's position was now a most 
painful one ; the Pope (Pius VI.), far away and a man of most autocratic 
nature, did not appreciate his difficulties. His two ecclesiastic ministers, Cice 
and Pompignan, gave Louis little help, and Bernis, his minister at Rome, was 
red hot against the Assembly and all its works. On ist Aug. therefore Louis 

^ Lafayette, a most nobly tolerant man in religious matters, whose own family 
steadily refused communion with the Civil Church, and who acknowledges the brutal 
fierceness of the mob against the true priests, really seems to have wished the 
severance of Church and State {see his M6m. and Corresp. iii. 59). 

2 See L' Europe et la R6v. Fr. ii, 115-128. 


weakly threw on the Pope the responsibility of refusing assent to the decrees, 
and on 26th he accepted them himself. The bishops were firmer : in October 
they published a vigorous protest against all the ecclesiastical legislation of 
the Assembly (" Exposition des principes de la Constitution Civile du Clerge ") 
drawn up by Boisgelin (Abp. of Aix) and signed by thirty bishop-deputies.^ 
A motion of Voidel's on Nov, 26th to compel the clergy to take the prescribed 
oath led to a fierce debate, which prolonged itself till the end of December, 
and, the motion being carried, the King had the incredible weakness of 
mind to sanction this also (Dec. 26th). This must be taken as the point at 
which he definitely declared war on the Revolution, for no more popular 
plank of resistance could have been found than this. In February, 1791, Bernis 
resigned his mission at the Court of Rome,'^ to die three years later in 
poverty. Strongly opposed as the shrewd little man had been to the whole 
business, he did his best to persuade the Pope to temporise and to find a 
via media, but Pius would none of it and on April 13th, 1791, he launched 
the brief Charitas, which declared that the Civil Constitution meant nothing 
less than the ruin of religion in France. On May 30th the Papal Nuncio 
left Paris and the schism was complete. It would be difficult to condemn 
too strongly the attitude taken by Mirabeau on the whole question ; while 
incessantly urging the Court to make a plank of popularity by secretly 
undermining the Civil Constitution, he continued to declaim in the Assembly 
in the strongest language against the refractory clergy and the Exposition of 
the Bishops.^ 

While I feel little doubt that M. Sorel's view is the true one, yet I 
think that the Constituent as a whole must be cleared of the charge of im- 
piety or anti-Christianism, I think with M. Duvergier de Hauranne (i. i6i 
sqq.) that many of the members did regard the Civil Church as a development 
of the anti- Roman Legislation of the Monarchy, and that the idea of a schism 
was repugnant to most of their minds. Moreover I think the Constituent 
must be cleared of the charge of persecution ; it seems to have done its feeble 
best to protect the non-juring priests during the last six months of its exist- 
ence (the only months of its office during which that question was a burning 
one). But it had got itself into an exceedingly awkward dilemma; and 
no condemnation can be too strong for the gravest mistake in the Civil 
Constitution itself, viz., the application of the principle of election on muni- 
cipal lines to the parish clergy and bishops. 

The oath was taken by four occupants of French sees and three persons 
in episcopal orders ; of whom the only well-known names are those of Talley- 
rand, Gobel and Lom^nie de Brienne. There was much difficulty in filling 
up the (seventy odd) vacant sees ; still greater difficulty in getting consecra- 
tion of the new "bishops." The first nominated was the Abb6 Expilly to 
the diocese of Finisterre, and he had the honour of being " consecrated " by 
Talleyrand and Gobel ! 

The persecution of the non-jurors began almost immediately on the meet- 
ing of the Legislative Assembly, and may be thus briefly tabulated : — 

(i) Decree of Nov. 29th, 1791, ordering all ecclesiastics who had not taken 
the oath to take it within eight days, or be deprived of salary and rendered 
'* suspect." 

(2) Decree of May 27th, 1792 (vetoed by Louis but re-enacted immediately 

1 The exposition was signed by 130 of the 134 French bishops. 
^ See Cardinal de Bernis depuis son ministere (edn. Masson). See especially 
pp. 479-494- 

3 See Bacourt, ii. 355-60. 


after the fall of the Monarchy, Aug. 26th), ordering all non-juring priests to 
quit the kingdom within a fortnight or to be deported to Cayenne. 

(3) Decrees of Aug. 17th and i8th, 1792, dissolving all the religious houses 
and turning out all the professed rehgious who had remained in them in spite 
of the abolition of vows and monasticism decreed on Feb. 13th, 1790 ;^ abolish- 
ing and making illegal the monastic dress, and allotting a pension only to 
such of them as would take the oath. 

(4) This was re-enacted more stringently on April 24th, 1793. 

(5) Decree of Aug. 12th, 1793, sanctioning marriage of clergy (a good many 
constitutional " priests " and even a " bishop " had married already). 

With the autumn of 1793 the persecution came to include the Constitutional 
" Church " also : and the only later law which draws any distinction between 
jurors and non-jurors is that of April, 1794, which adds to the penalty of depor- 
tation that of death if found in hiding, and that of death to any one conceal- 
ing a non-juring priest. 

The persecution no doubt produced innumerable instances of martyrdom 
bravely suffered for the Catholic faith, but it was disastrous to the religious life 
of the country. It uprooted the Church from the soil of France, and all subse- 
quent Governments have either not dared or not cared to replant it deeply 
enough. The restored Church having no longer roots in its own country 
was forced to lean upon Rome, and upon Rome it has leaned till this day. 
But the schism did more than this; friends and foes alike agree that it 
wrecked the Revolution ; the " men of 1789 " may have been driven into in- 
tolerance against their wills, but they were driven thither ; to the men of 1792 
and 1793 intolerance was the very breath of their nostrils. And it was intoler- 
ance that ruined the Revolution : yet one has only to consider the methods of 
Government of the Third Republic towards the Church to see how deeply 
the idea is rooted in France that intolerance is a necessary and laudable com- 
plement of democracy. So loudly do modern French " statesmen " proclaim 
this creed that one is often tempted to take them at their word, and to be- 
lieve it to be true. 

1 The ordinary date given for the dissolution of the monasteries is this earlier 
one, but all that was then done was to annul the obligation of vows, and to disperse 
the monks to " houses which shall be allotted to them," and to leave such nuns 
as wished to stay where they were. The law of August, 1792, forcibly broke up 
all religious associations and confiscated their property ; including that of the 
charitable corporations, hospitals, etc. 



[Books quoted in the notes are only mentioned once in the Index] 

Aachen, tomb of Charlemagne at, I., ii n. ; Dumouriez proposes to seize, 

III., 19, 20 ; Provisional Government at. III., 230 n. 
Abbaye, prison of the, Gardes-Fran^aises imprisoned at, I., 219; murder of 

Swiss officers at, II., 262 n. ; massacres at, 303 n., 304 and n. 
Academie des Sciences, investigates mesmerism, I., 67 and «. 
Academic Frangaise, Voltaire's reception at, I., 53 n. ; attacked by Marat, II., 

Academies, suppressed by Convention, III., 160 n. 
Accaparement, defined, III., 35 n. 
Actes des Apotres, I., 121 n., II., 289 n. 
Adelaide, Mme, daughter of Louis XV. {see also ' Mesdames de France '), 

notice of, I., 23 and n. ; favours Maurepas, I., 39 n. ; distrusts the Queen, 

41 n. ; escapes from France, II., 60, 61. 
Adelaide of Orleans, Princess, III., 16 and n., 38 and n. 
Adelung, * Geschichte der menschlichen Narrheit,' I., 64 n. 
Administrative system, reconstructed, I., 361 and n. 
Administrative tribunals. III., 293. 
Aetius, II., 333. 

Africaine, French frigate. III., 314-5. 
Agents Nationaux, III., 143 n., 149 n. 
Agiotage {see also Stock Exchange), I., 88 ; * Mirabeau's Denonciation de VA.y 

92, 95 ; during Terror, 113 and «. ; after Thermidor, 223-4. 
Agoult, Marquis d', I., 129, 131 and n. ; II., 96 «. 
Aides, account and amount of. III., 335 and n. ; abolition of, 337 «. 
Aides, Cour des, registers edicts under protest, I., 112 «. ; its duties. III., 286-7, 

Aiguillon, Armand, Due d', Minister of Louis XV., in troubles in Brittany, I., 

4, 5, 6 and n. 
Aiguillon, Armand, Ducd', son of the above, against Feudal Rights, I., 271 n. 
Aire, river, II., 119 n. and sqq, 

Aisne, protest of Department of. III., 80 n. , 

Aix-en-Provence, Parlement of, L, 74'. Mirabeau represents Tiers-Etat of, 

riots at, Garde Boiirgeoise at, 158 and n. ; Mirabeau pleads before 

Parlement of, 175; riots at (1791), II., 53; 'White Terror 'at, III., 

239 n. ; Parlement and Chambre des Comptes of, 286 ; Intendant of, 

288 n. ; Archbishop of, 344. 
Aix, tie d', * Relation de ce qu'ont souffert pour la Religion les pretres dans 

I'ile d'A.', III., 200 and n. 
Aix-la-Chapelle. See Aachen. 
Alais, naval college at. III., 311. 
Albignac, General d', puts down second Federation of Jales, I., 363 n. ; II., 

187 n. 

348 INDEX 

Albitte, A. L., tried for his conduct in Prairial, III., 245 n. 

Alembert, J. le R. d', philosophe, hails the 'Golden Age,' I., 39; favours 

Lomenie, 99. 
Alen9on, petition for King's deposition from, II., 243. 
Alexander, British ship. III., 314. 

Aligre, E. F. d'. President, I., 105 n., 107 »., 131 »., 132 n. 
Allier, Claude, Cure of Chambonas, I., 363 n. ; and his brother Dominique, 

II., 187 n. 
Allies, dissensions of the, III., 64 n. 
Alsace, chateaux burnt in, I., 280; Pichegru's treason in, III., 253 n. ; taille 

in, 334 ; German archdioceses in, 342. 
Amar, J. P. A., reports on Girondists, III., 58 n., 102 n. ; in Comite de Surete 

Generale, 72 n. ; interrogates Queen, 98 n. ; notice of, 145 and n. ; brings 

Fouquier a letter, 181 ; is arrested, 237 n. 
Amari, ' Storia della Guerra del Vespro Siciliano,' II., 318 n. 
Ambigu, L\ skit of Peltier, II., 289 11. 
America, revolts from England, helped by France, I., 54-57 and nn. ; remains 

at peace with France, II., 402 w.; federalism in, III., 12 n. ; wheat sent 

from, 157 n. ; pours goods into France, 159 n. ; French Army in, 299, 

300; French Navy in, 310. 
Ami des Citoyens (Tallien's paper), I., 373 n. ; II., 183 and n. 
Ami des Lois, riot at performance of, II., 361 n., 385 and n. 
Ami des Soldats, II., 39 n. 
Ami du Peuple, account of, I., 290 n. ; on Mirabeau and the Court, II., 57 n. ; 

suspects the King's circular, 89 n. ; called journal de la Republique, 281 

and n. ; is ' Memoire ' in itself. III., 7 n. ; used in evidence against Marat, 

46 M. 
Ami du Roi, I., 291 and n. ; II., 92, 183. 
Amiens, Lebon tried at, III., 220 n. ; peace of, 316. 
Amiral (or Admiral), H., attempts to kill Collot, III., 188 and n. ; execution 

of, 195. 
Ampoule, Riihl smashes the, II., 154 and n. 
Anaxagoras, II., 361 and n. 

Andoins, d'. Captain in Royal Allemand, II., 114 sqq. 
Angers, will help Rennes, I., 156 and n. ; threatened by Vendeans, III., 321, 

323* 326. 
Angerville, continuator of Bachaumont, I., 73 n. 
Angouleme, Duchesse d'. See Marie-Therese-Charlotte. 
Anisson-Duperron, Director of I mprimerie Nationale, II., 281 n. 
Anjou, threatens to join Brittany, I., 120 n. 
Annales Patriotiques et Litteraires, I., 291 and n. 

Annales Politiques, Carra's newspaper, approves the massacres, II., 372 m. 
Annee Litteraire, I., 384 n. 
Annonay, balloons at, I., 66. 

Anselme, J. B. M., General, takes Nice, II., 345 ». 
Antiboul, trial of. III., 103 n. sqq. 
Antraigues, Comte d', pamphleteer, notice of, I., 147-8 and n. ; at Versailles. 

183 and n. 
Antwerp, conference of Allies at, II., 41 n. ; English driven back on, 162 ». 
Aragon, Mme d', niece of Mirabeau, II., 57 n. 
Arblay, Mme d', diary of, I., 169 n. 
Archeveche, Committee of Districts at the, I., 288 n. ; Assembly sits for three 

weeks in, 356 and n. ; Committee oi Sections at. III., 27 n., 48 and n., 

53 and n. ; secret meetings of Jacobins at, 235. 

INDEX 349 

Archives Nationales, III., i6o n. 

Arcis-sur-Aube, Necker nearly stopped at, II., 30; Danton in retirement at, 
II., 136 w. ; III., 172. 

Ar9on, engineer, at siege of Gibraltar, I., 59 n. 

Aremberg. See Lamarck. 

Argenson, Marquis d', on 'La Revolution,' III., 167 n. 

Argonne, strategic importance of, II., 293 »., 297 and n., 330. 

Arlandes, Marquis d', aeronaut, I., 66 n. 

Aries, special representation of, in States-General, I., 152 n. ; Archbishop of, 
198 n. ; riots at, II., 159 ; secret society at, 165 ; ' White Terror ' at. III., 
239 n. 

Armagnacs, massacres in Paris by the, II., 319 and n. 

Army, bad condition of the, II., 184-5 and n. ; figures of, in 1795, III., 228 n. ; 
history of, during the Revolution, 295 sqq. 

Arnald, 'agitator,' shot in England, 1647, III., 206 n. 

Arnay-le-Duc, ' Mesdames de France' stopped at, II., 61. 

Arneth, Ritter von, et Geoffroy, ' Correspondance Secrete entre Marie-Th^rese 
et le Comte de Mercy-Argenteau,' I., 42 n. ; ' Maria Theresia und 
Josef II.,' etc., 56 n. 

Arras, Robespierre born at, I., 177 ; Robespierre educated and employed at, 
192 and n. ; * Les Horreurs des Prisons d'A.,' III., 133 n. ; Lebon at, ibid. ; 
Conseil-Souverain at, 286. 

Arrondissements of Paris, III., 48 n. 

Arsenal, no arms found at the, I., 228 ; Section of the, II., 237 n. 

Artaud, editor of Courrier d' Avignon, I., 147 w. 

Artillery, state of the. III., 296, 303 «. 

Artois, taille in the province of. III., 334. 

Artois, Charles-Philippe, Comte d', makes the Court laugh, I., 33 ; his duel 
with Due de Bourbon, his wonderful breeches, notice of, 42-3 and n. ; at 
siege of Gibraltar, 59 ; his racing stable, employs Marat, 64 ; in Notables, 
92, 102; comes to expunge protest of Parlement, 112; remonstrates 
with Queen, 139 ; signs memorial to King, 149 and n. ; is supposed to 
set on the ' Brigands,' 160 ; member of ' Court Triumvirate,' elected to 
States-General, does not sit, 199 ; his colours rejected by mob, 228 ; 
emigrates, 252 and n. ; mentions the ' Cause of Kings,' 343 n. ; expected 
to help Southern Royalists, 363 n. ; expected to invade France, 40a ; 
kisses Maury, II., 180; sends commission to Jales, 187; supposed to be 
in Paris, January, 1793, 393 ; sends an agent to Lyons, III., 125 n. ; at 
I'ile d'Yeu, 232 «., 325. 

Artois, Regiment d\ refuses to obey orders. III., 300. 

Ashbee, H. S., ' Marat en Angleterre,' I., 68 n. 

Aspirants, naval cadets. III., 311. 

Assembly, National Constituent, takes its title, I., 204 n. ; appoints com- 
mittees, 205 and n. ; takes oath in Tennis Court, 207 and n. ; declares 
itself inviolable, 212; petitions on behalf of mutineers, 220 ». ; demands 
withdrawal of troops, regrets Necker, decrees Seance Permanente, 232-3 ; 
receives King well, 250; sends deputation to Paris, 251 andw. ; method 
of its work, 268 n. ; attitude of, on Oct. 5th, 313 ; receives deputation 
of women, 319 ; is invaded by women, 325 ; question of its loyalty, 327 n. ; 
discusses penal code, 332 ; adjourns, 333 ; resolves to follow King to 
Paris, 342-3 ; diplomatic committee of, 358 n. ; ' heavy-laden,' 363 ; 
King visits, 394 ; renews Tennis-Court oath, 395 ; sanctions plan for 
Federation, 409 ; at the Federation, 423 ; wears black for Franklin, 425 ; 
decrees new military oath, II., 5 ». ; appoints Inspectors of Regiments, 

350 INDEX 

lo n., 14 ; prohibits clubs in Army, 14 ; orders mutineers to submit, i8, 19 ; 
desires King to change Ministry, 30 n. ; debate on emigration of 

* Mesdames de France,' 61 ; Comitc de Surveillance of, 85 n. ; takes away 
King's right of pardon, gi n. ; votes at news of King's flight, 103 and n., 
104, 128 ; not RepubHcan in June, lygi, 131 and n. ; votes on the King's 
enlevement, 133 and n. ; amnesty at end of, 136-7 and w., 140 ; dissolution 
of, 144 ; its mistaken votes on the Army, III., 304-5 ; its mistaken votes on 
the Navy, 311, 314 ; its financial mistakes, 333, 337 ; refuses to listen to 
Necker, 336 ; exceeds promised limit of Assignats, 339 and n. ; its 
Ecclesiastical Committee, 343 ; cleared from charge of impiety or 
persecution, 345. 

Assembly, Legislative, elections to, II., 142 ; to begin at once, 144 ; suffers 
from the ' self-denying ordinance,' 148 ; composition of, 149 and n. ; de- 
nounces Ministers, 156 ; Diplomatic Committee of, 171 n. ; Comite de 
Sxirveillance of, 176 n. ; votes to print Lafayette's letter, 213 n. ; sends 
deputation to King, 218 ; receives Lafayette well, 221 n. ; declares Patrie 
en danger, 226 n. ; acquits Lafayette, 232 n., 245 ; orders Tuileries 
Garden to be opened, 238 ; thinly attended on Aug. loth, 252-3 and «., 
266 n. ; King flies to the, 257 and n. ; at mercy of Commune, 276 ; dis- 
solves Commune, but reinstates it, 288 n. ; does nothing to stop 
massacres, 314, 324 n. ; mismanages Army, III., 306 ; continues destruc- 
tion of Navy, 312; puts dockyards under civilians, 315; increases out- 
put of Assignats, 339 ; persecutes priests, 345-6. 

Assignats, first appearance of, I., 360 and n. ; fresh creation of, II., 30 n. ; 
forgery of, 182 and n. ; over-issue of, 184 ; state of, October, 1792, 
358 n. ; Belgium flooded with, 368 w. ; ludicrous depreciation of, III., 
235 and «., 339, 340-1 ; demonetisation of, 334, 339, 340-1. 

AstrcBa Redux, Dryden's poem, I., 35 n. 

Atheism, statue of, burnt. III., 192 «. 

Attila, II., 274, 333. 

Aubenas, ' Histoire de Josephine,' III., 114 n. 

Aubert, F., ' Le Parlement de Paris de Philippe-le-Bel a Charles VII., 
' Histoire du Parlement de Paris de I'Origine a Fran9ois ler,' HI., 

Aubert-du-Bayet, J. B. A., defends Mainz, III., 21 n. 

Aubriot, orderly of the Due de Choiseul, II., 124. 

Aubry, Colonel, breaks up the camp of Jales, II., 187. 

Aubry, F., in Comite de Salut Public, 1795, HL, 219 ». 

Aubry, Mdlle, ' Goddess of Reason,' HI., 138 w. 

Auckland, Lord, on situation in July, 1789, 1., 227 n. ; promises English help 
to Holland, II., 401 n. 

Augeard, J. M,, Royalist plotter, I., 366. 

Auguie, Mme, arrested for having assisted Queen, II., 266 n. 

Auguste, French ship, renamed jacobin, HI., 316. 

Aulard, F. A., ' Orateurs de I'Assemblee Constituante,' I., 178 «. ; ' Orateurs 
de la Legislative et de la Convention,' 294 n. ; ' La Societe des Jacobins,' 
389 n. ; ' Recueil des documents relatifs au Club Jacobin,' II., 16 n. ; 

• Recueil des Actes et Monuments du Comite de Salut Public,' 279 n. ; 
' fitudes sur la Revolution,' 325 n. ; his strange ideas on liberty of 
worship, HI., 142 ; on Civil Constitution of Clergy, 344. 

Aumale, residence of Due de Penthievre, II., 108 n. 

Aumont, le Due d', refuses proffered command of National Guard, I., 227 n. 
Austria, fears expressed of, II., 14 ; France declares war on, 204-5 ; means 
to keep Conde and Valenciennes, III., 81 ; fails to help England at 

INDEX 351 

Toulon, go n. ; utterly ignores French Royal Family, 98 n. ; evacuates 

Belgium, 162 n. ; will continue to fight, 230 and n. 
•Austrian Committee,' II., 85, 156, 176 and «. 
Autel de la Patrie, I., 410 n., 421 sqq. ; II., 134-5 > ^m 85 and n. 
Autichamp, J. F. Marquis d', expected to send help to Lyons, III., gi and w., 

125 and n. 
Autichamp, C. Comte d', son of the above, holds out in Vendee, III., 231 n. 
Autun, Dampmartin at, II., 41. 

Auvergne, Regiment d\ in America, III., 299 ; becomes I7nie Infanterie, 304. 
Auxerre, Revolutionary Army frightened at, III., 142. 
Avenel, G., 'A. Clootz, I'orateur du genre humain,' I., 379 «. 
Avignon, civil war in, I., 363 ; riots at, II., 53 ; union with France, 143, 161 ; 

account of, 143 n. ; civil war in, 159 and n. and sqq. ; amnesty to 

murderers at, 164-5 andn. ; Jourdan continues his career at. III., 125 n. ; 

the ' White Terror ' at, 238 n. 
Avocat-General, III., 282. 
Avocats, Corporation of, III., 282. 

Babeau, A., ' L'Ecole pendant la Revolution,' III., 166 n. ; ' Le Parlement de 
Paris a Troyes,' I., no n. ; ' Le Village sous I'Ancien Regime,' I., 18 n. 

Baboeuf, F. N., notice of. III., 112 and n. 

Bacharach, Brunswick crosses Rhine at. III., 21 n. 

Bachaumont, ' Memoires Secrets,' on Turgot, I., 38 n. ; account of, 73 and n. 

Bacon, Lord, ' Essay of Seditions and Troubles,' III., 2. 

Bacourt, ' Correspondance entre le Comte de Mirabeau at le Comte de la 
Marck,' I., 371 n. 

Bacs {see also Feudal Rights), I., 276 n. 

Baden, Margraf of, complains to Diet, II., 179 n. 

• Badinguet,' nickname of Napoleon III., I., 119 n. 

Bagatelle, d'Artois' villa, I., 253. 

Bailie, P., his epigram, II., 197. 

Bailleul, J. C, one of the ' Seventy-three protesters,' III., 80. 

Bailliages, or Electoral districts, I., 153 and n. ; origin of, III., 289. 

Bailliages, Grands, to be substituted for Parlements, I., 125 sqq. ; complete 
failure of, 132, 134. 

Baillis, origin and history of the, III., 289-90. 

Bailly, A., ' Histoire Financiere de la France,' III., 331. 

Bailly, Jean Sylvain, reports against Mesmer, I., 67 and n. ; conduct in 
office, 155 n. ; alters arrangement of Hall of States-General, 166 n. ; 
likes costume of Tiers-^tat, 167 n. ; notice of, i8i and n. ; on Petition, 
195 «. ; to be President of National Assembly, 204 ; in Tennis Court, 
206 sqq. ; eloquence of, 213 ; anxiety of, 222-3 nn. ; to be Maire of Paris, 
251 ; resigns and resumes office, 259, 260 ; on ' Rights of Man,' 270 n. ; 
his gilt coach, 287; on Oct. 5th, 315; harangues the King, 347; seals 
up door of Parlement, 361; unwilling to use ^ Loi Martiale,'' 370-1; 
swears in the multitude, 395 ; at work on Champ-de-Mars, 417 ; re- 
elected Maire, 429 w. ; at funeral mass of Bouille's troops, II., 29; 
demands change of Ministry, 58 ; is informed of escape of King, 96 n. ; 
at ' massacre ' of Champ-de-Mars, 136 and n. ; his farewell speech as 
Maire, 195 and n., 196; in prison. III., 97 and n. ; called as witness on 
Queen's trial, 99 and n. ; execution of, 119 and n. 

Bale, Bishop of, complains to Diet, II., 179 n. ; Treaties of Peace signed at, 
III., 153 and «., 157 and n., 230 n., 231 and n. 

Balleydier, ' Histoire du peuple de Lyon,' III., 91 n. 

352 INDEX 

Balloons, invention and use of, i, 66 and n. ; at battle of Fleurus, III., 162 

and n. 
Banalites {see also Feudal Rights), I., 276 n. 
Bancal des Issarts, J. H., sent to arrest Dumouriez, arrested himself, III., 

38-9 nn. 
Bankruptcy, probable in 1783, I., 85 ; colossal in 1797, III., 341. 
Bannes, Castle of, surrendered, II., 187 n. 
Baptiste, turnkey at Abbaye, II., 309. 
Barbantane, P. F. H. Puget Marquis de, General in Eastern Pyrenees, III., 

153 «. 

' Barbarossa,' Frederick, buried at Salzburg, I., 11 n. 

Barbaroux, C. J. M., Marat's remark to, notice of, I., 369 and n. ; comes to 
Paris, II., 165-6 and n.; discusses resistance, 213 ; sends for Marseillais, 
214 ; his plans for attack on Tuileries, 231 w., 240 and n, ; Marat appeals 
to, 238-9 and w.; a Republican, 265 w. ; in the Convention, 327; on 
departmental guard, 354 ; denounces Robespierre, 357 ; votes death of 
King, 391 n. ; is miserable and angry, III., 19 ; is proscribed, 58 ; escapes, 
61 ; sees C. Corday, 65 ; Marat condemns him to death, 67 ; in flight, 
77 sqq. ; at sea, 92 ; last days of, 105-6-7 and n. 

Barbotin, Vendean priest. III., 321. 

Bardy, I'Abb^ Louis, massacred, II., 309. 

Barentin, C. L. F. de P., garde-des-sceaux, I., 143 n. ; against double Tiers- 
Etat, 152 n. ; speech at opening of States- General, 189 and n. ; to preside 
over conferences of Orders, 203 ; chagrin of, 208 ; at Seance Royale, his 
controversy with Necker, 209 and n. ; in hiding, II., 50 n. 

Barere, or Barrere, Bertrand, edits Point-du-Jotir, I., 201 n. ; journalist, 291 
and n. ; notice of, 384 w. ; in Convention, II., 348 ; on first Constitutional 
Committee, 349 n. ; commences weathercock, 371 ; presides at King's 
interrogatories, 377 and n. ; his ' Memoires,' III., 7 w. ; sent to Lyons, 
14 n. ; peacemaker and liar, 17, 18 ; on first Comite de Salut Public, 
34 «. ; on Maximum, 35 n. ; reads report on June ist, 54 n. ; suggests 
withdrawal of Girondin leaders, 56 ; reads report of June 2nd, 59 n. ; on 
second Comite de Salut Public, 71 «. ; on second Constitutional Com- 
mittee, 82 n. ; on Levee-en-masse, 93 ; moves trial of Queen, 98 n. ; 
declares ' Terror ' the order of the day, 108 n. ; his bon mot about 
'coining money,' 122 ; on the advantage of killing prisoners, 128 and 
n. ; reports fall of Toulon, 130; on saltpetre, 151 n. ; on the Vengeur, 
158 and n. ; is rallied by Desmoulins, 173 n. ; against Danton, 177 n. ; 
draws report on C. Th^ot, 201 and n. ; at Clichy, 203 and n. ; moves 
arrest of Vilate, 204 n. ; wavering on 9th Thermidor, 209 n. ; apologises 
to Paine, 213 n. ; remains Terrorist, 217 n. ; proposes to fill up Comite, 
219 n. ; denunciation of, 233-4 ^' j transportation of, ordered, 235-6-7 ; 
on extinction of La Vendee, 322. 

Barnave, A. P. J. M., Secretary to jfacobins, notice of, I., 133 and n. ; his 
vehemence, 179, 197 ; his mot on Berthier, 259 ; trenchant speaker, 
356-7 ; moves home-rule for San Domingo, 364 n. ; at jfacobins, 389, 
II., 42 ; in Assembly, 46 ; fights duel, 49 and n. ; forms Feuillants Club, 
85 n. ; appointed to escort king to Paris, 128 sqq. ; opposes Robespierre, 
131 w. ; on Committee of Revision, 138 and n. ; will stay in Paris, 147 ; 
sneers at new Assembly, 149 ; advises King to stick by Constitution, 171 ; 
urges King to establish Maison Civile, 192 ; retires to Grenoble, 203 ; 
imprisoned there, 282 n. ; his ' treason ' revealed by Iron Press, 374 ; 
execution of, III., 120 and n. 

Barras, family of, I., 189 n. 

INDEX 353 

Barras, P. F. Comte de, notice of, II., 329 ; supports war of propaganda, 
383 n. ; his * Mdmoires,' III., 7 ; at siege of Toulon, 8g, 129 n. ; his 
savagery, 124 ; in danger, 202 ; swears to attack Robespierre, 207 n. ; 
on gth Thermidor, 2u sqq. nn.; leader of new Society, 224; relations 
with Napoleon, 225 and n. ; at Vendemidire, 254-5 and n. 

Barras, French ship renamed Pegase and Hoche, III., 316. 

Barriers of Paris, burnt, I., 227 and w. ; shut after Aug. loth, II., 283 and n. 

Barthelemy, E., • Mesdames de France filles de Louis XV,' I., 23 n. 

Barthelemy, F., twice offered the Foreign Office, II., 170 n. ; ambassador in 
Switzerland, 402 n. ; negotiator at Bslle, III., 231 «. 

Bassompierre, Mar^chal de, I., 377. 

' Bastide,' corruption of the name into Bastille, I., 165 n. 

Bastide-de-Malbos, Royalist leader in South, I., 363 n. 

Bastide, Abbe de la, nephew of above, I., 363 n. ; II., 187 n. 

Bastille, notice of, I., 165 and n. ; talk of demolishing, 201 n. ; authorities 
for siege of, 221-2 n. ; siege of, 239 sqq. and nn. ; surrendered on parole, 
245 ; " heroes " of, 247 ; prisoners of, 248 ; demolition ordered, 251 n. ; 
carried out, 260 n. ; dances on ruins of, Cagliostro's • prophecy ' of, 
426 n. ; a dancing ground, II., 62. 

Bastille devoilee (Linguet), I., 73. 

Batz, Baron J. de, his plot for rescuing King, notice of, II., 397 n. ; some of 
his agents caught, III., 189 n. 

Baudin, P. C. L., on Constitutional Committee of 1795, III., 251 «., 252 n. 

Bayle, M., in Comite de Surete Generale, III., 72 n. ; expelled from Marseilles, 
73 n. 

Bayonne, Revolutionary Army at, III., 22 n. 

Bayou, or Baillou, aide-de-camp to Lafayette, II., 105 »., 125 n. 

Bazire, C, attorney, I., 374 ; notice of, II., 153 and n. ; proposes an Opposi- 
tion, III., 147 and n. ; in prison, 171 ; Danton treated as accomplice of, 

Bazoche, account of, I., log n.; rejoices over Lom^nie's fall, 142 ; clerks of the, 
237 ; Roi de B., II., 129 and n. ; corporation of, III., 283. 

Beaucaire, camp proposed at, II., 165 ; petition for King's deposition from, 
243 ; Le SoHper de B. See Napoleon. 

Beauchesne, M. de, 'Vie de Louis XVII,' III., 102 n. ; 'Vie de Mme Elisa- 
beth,' 185 n. 

Beauharnais, Alexandre Vicomte de, at work on Champ-de-Mars, I., 417 ; 
presides at Fete-Dieu, II., 104 n. ; execution of, notice of, III., 121 and n. 

Beauharnais, Hortense de, pupil of Mme Campan, I., 16 n. 

Beauharnais, Josephine de, in prison, III., 114 n. ; in Society, 224-5 ^^^ ^• 

Beaujolais, chateaux burnt in the, I., 280. 

Beaulieu, A. F., his journal. III., 197 n. 

Beaumarchais, P. A. Caron de, notice of, I., 54 and n. ; his ' Mariage de 
Figaro,' 77-8 ; imports arms from Holland, II., 284; imprisoned, 290; 
escapes, reimprisoned, 292 ; 'L'Incarceration de B.,' III., 196 n. 

Beaumetz, B. A. B. Chevalier de, on Committee of Revision, II., 138 «. 

Beaumont, Christophe de, Archbishop of Paris, I., 22 and n., 24, 48. 

Beaurepaire, N. J., Commander at Verdun, II., 286 and n. ; suicide of, 294 
and n., 295. 

Beauvais, B, Lesterp, tried with other Girondins, III., 103 n. 

Bee d'Ambes, III., 92. 

Bedouin, town burnt by Maignet, III., 133. 

Belfort, Necker's reception at, I., 284; riots at, II., 53; 'gate of B.,' II., 
VOL. III. 23 

354 INDEX 

Belgium, Leopold suppressing revolt in, II., 14 n. ; revolutionary propaganda 
in, 53 n. ; Convention Commissioners sent to, 368 and n. ; union with 
France voted, III., 20 n, ; immensity of spoils from, 159 n. 

Bellegarde, taken by Spain, III., 22 n. ; retaken, 153 h., 231 n. 

Bellevue, residence of ' Mesdames de France,' II., 60. 

Belloc, Hilaire, •' Danton : a study," I., 294 n. 

Belzunce, Colonel de, killed at Caen, III., 65. 

Benoit, P. G., executed. III., 238 n. 

Bentham, J., naturalised, II., 278. 

Bequart, an Invalide at Bastille, I., 244 n. ; massacred, 246 n, 

Berchigny, Regiment de, III., 38-40. 

Bergasse, Nicolas, believes in Mesmer, I., 67 and n. ; in first Constitutional 
Committee, 262 n. ; contributor to Actes des Apotres, II., 289 n. 

Bergoeing, F., on Commission of Twelve, III., 47 n. ; in flight to the West, 
78 sqq. and n. 

Berlier, T., on second Constitutional Committee, III., 82 n. ; on Constitu- 
tional Committee, 1795, 251 n. 

Berlin, Mirabeau's journey to, I., 191 n. ; treaty of, II., 179 n. 

Berline, the coach in which the royal family fled, II., 96 sqq. and nn. 

Bernard, C, notice of, II., 396 n. 

Bernay (Bernaie), Momoro nearly hanged at, II., 279 n. 

Bernis, F. J. Cardinal de, ' Memoires' of, I., 27 and n. ; his hostility to the 
Revolution, III., 344-5. 

Berruyer, Republican Commander in Vendee, III., 326. 

Berthier (or Bertier), de Sauvigny, L. B. F., Intendant of Paris, notice of, I., 
87 and n. ; massacred, 258-9. 

Berthier, P. A. (afterwards Marshal), at Versailles, II., 61 and n. 

Berthollet, C. L. Comte de, chemist, I., 67. 

Bertin, G., ' Mme de Lamballe d'apres des documents inedits,' II., 108 n. 

Bertrand-l'Hodiesniere, C. A., member of Commission of Twelve, III., 47 n. 

Bertrand-Molevile, A. F. de, ' Memoires Particuliers,' I., 60 n. ; Intendant 
of Brittany, 132-3 and n. ; counterfeits La Sentinelle, 385 and n. ; on 
'Austrian Committee,' arrests Carra, II., 85 n. ; denounced by Brestois, 
170; notice of, 171 and n. ; his schemes, 172-3 nn.; on d'Orleans, 174; 
his hostility to Narbonne, 193 n. ; faces the Assembly, 194-5 5 secret 
adviser of King, 213 ; on King's hesitation, 224 n. ; at last levee, 244 ; 
decreed accused, 282-3 nn. ; on the weather, 288 ; his schemes revealed, 
375 n. ; writes a defence of King, 378 n. 

Besan9on, Parlement of, I., 74, 134, 156; III., 286. 

Besenval, P. V. Baron de, his 'Memoires,' I., 4 n. ; on Louis XV.'s death, 
24, 32 ; and funeral, 33 ; finds the Court triste, notice of, 83-4 n. ; on 
Calonne, 94-5, 97 ; conversation with Queen, 120-1 ; bitter against Court, 
124; anxious about treasury, 138; on Necker, 140- 1 ; as Commandant 
of Paris, 143 ; on ' Brigands,' 160 and n. ; employs force at Reveillon 
riot, 162 sqq. ; awkward position on ' Bastille days,' 217 sqq. \ leaves 
Paris, 249 ; his story of King's impatience, 276. 

Bessieres, J. B., officer in Volunteers, II., 185 n. 

Bethune, bread-riot at, I., 218. 

Beugnot, J. C, in Legislative Assembly, II., 149 ». 

Beurnonville, J. P., Minister of War, II., 358 n. ; arrested by Dumouriez, 
III., 38-9 nn. ; replaced by Bouchotte, 42 n. ; his bad administration, 
64 n. 

Beysser, J. M., General, defeated by Vendeans, III., 322. 

Bibliotkeque-du-Roi, at Paris, I., 12 ; Section of. Royalist, II., 237 n. 

INDEX 355 

Bicetre, I., 8 and n. ; massacres at, II., 303 and n. 

Biens Nationaux, III,, 338. 

Bilbao, Fall of, III., 153 n. 

Billaud-Varennes, J. N., notice of, II., 195 ; in jfacobin Club, igg ; welcomes 
the Marseillais, 243 ; on Aug. loth, 249, 250 n.; prepares the massacres, 
300; encourages the murderers, 315; in Convention, 327 n. ; proposes 
new Great Seal, 338 n. ; on King's trial, 382 ; in Comite de Salut Public, 
III., 71 ; his duties there, 74 n. ; moves for a Revolutionary Army, 93 n.; 
protects Ronsin and Rossignol, 122 «.; 'cloud-compeller,' 145; arrests 
Houchard's staff, 149 n. ; his breeches, i66 n. ; against Danton, 175 n. ; 
on 'plot in prisons,' 181 n. ; finds Robespierre a bore, 193 ; his attitude 
at Thermidor, 200 n., 204-5 »., 209 n. ; remains Terrorist, 227 n. ; opposes 
abolition of Tribunal, 219 w. ; expects to dominate Jacobins, 221 n. ; 
denunciation of, 233 and n. ; transportation and end of, 235-6-7 and n., 

Bimbenet, ' Fuite de Louis XVI a Varennes d'apres des documents judi- 
ciaires,' II., 90 n. 

* Biographic des Ministres,* II., 184. 

' Biographic Univcrselle,' notice of, I., 45 n. ; Nouvelle Biographie Generale, 

Bire, E., ' Legende des Girondins,' II., 155 n. 

Birmingham, Priestley riot at, II., 178. 

Biron, L. A. de G. Due de, Mar^chal, Commandant of Paris, dies, I., 144 
and n. 

Biron, A. L. de G. Due de, nephew of the above, accompanies Talleyrand 
to London, II., 146 ; occupies Quievrain and retreats, 209 n. ; denounced 
in Convention, III., 64 n. ; executed, notice of, 121 n. ; on bad quality 
of Volunteers, 306 ; his success in La Vendee, 322 ; his opinion on La 
Vendee, 326. 

Biroteau, J. B., sent to Chartres, II., 362 n. ; refugee in Lyons, III., 91 n. 

Bishops, numbers of. III., 342, 3 ; election of, 342 and sqq. 

Bitche, mutiny of garrison at, II., 13. 

Blad, Convention Commissioner at Quiberon, III., 232 n. 

Blanc-Gilli, on the Marseillais, II., 229 and n. 

Blanchelande, P. F. R., General, guillotined. III., 95. 

Blankenberg, Chateau de, III., 122, 125 n, 

Blcus, in old Royal Navy, III., 311. 

Blois, a Chambre des Comptes at. III., 286. 

Boarhounds (sec also Vautrait), suppressed, I., 83 and n., 120. 

Bocage, in Vendee, III., 320. 

Bodley, J. E. C, ' France,' III., 329. 

Boehmer, a Mainz Radical, III., 21 n. 

Bohmer et Bassange, Court jewellers, I., 75 n. 

Boileau, J., votes King's death, II., 391 n. ; on Commission of Twelve, III., 
47 n. ; arrest of, 58 and n. ; trial of, 103 n. 

Boishardi, Chouan chief, arrested, III., 325. 

Bois-le-Duc, Pichegru takes. III., 229 n. 

Boisset, S. de. Convention Commissioner, expelled from Marseilles, III., 

73 «. 

Boissy d'Anglas, F. A., 'Vie de Malesherbes,' I., 48 ; notice of, 123 and n. ; 
Convention Commissioner to Lyons, III., 14 n. ; re-elected on Comite de 
Salut Public, 219 n. ; firmness on ist Prairial, 242, 244 n. ; on Constitu- 
tional Committee of 1795, 251 n. 

Boiteau, • Etat de France en 1789,' III., 279. 

356 INDEX 

BoUer^don, M., denounces a manufacturer of false Assignats, II., 182 n. 

Bollman, Dr., assists at escape of Narbonne, II., 288 and n. 

Bombardiers Marins, III., 312. 

Bonaparte, Louis, shares Napoleon's room at Auxonne, II., 9 and n. 

Bonaparte, Napoleon. See Napoleon. 

Bonchamp, C. M. A. de, Vendean leader, II., 285 ; killed at Chollet, III., 

Bonconseil {see also Mauconseil), Section of, III., 27 and »., 43 and »., 47. 

Bondet, Capitaine, at Pont-Sommevesle, II., 109 n. 

Bondy, first stage out of Paris, II., 100 and n., 109 n. 

Bon-Homme-Richard, privateer, I., 378. 

Bonnemere, Aubin, at siege of Bastille, I., 240; saves a lady, 242. 

Bonne-Savardin, Royalist plotter, I., 366. 

Bonnet-Rouge, origin of the, I., 423 n. ; II., 204, 

Bon-Saint-Andre. See Saint-Andre. 

Bordeaux, Parlement of, I., 134, III., 286; address to Convention from, 
III., II n. ; signs of revolt in, 13, 45; in favour of Girondists, 47 n. ; 
insurrection at, 62, 74, 76 n. ; triumph of Convention at, 92 ; Terror 
thwarting victory at, 148 ». 

Bosc, editor of Mme Roland's M^moires, I., 404 n. 

Boston, ' tea party' at, I., 11. 

Bouche de Fer, Fauchet's paper, II., 44 n. 

Bouchotte, J. B. N., as War Minister, III., 52 n., 64 ». ; disorganises armies, 
155 ». ; a H^bertist, 170 n. 

Bougeart, ' Vie de Marat,' I., 67 ; ' Vie de Danton,' 294. 

Bouille, Charles, son of the Marquis, in command at Varennes, II., 
119 n. sqq. 

Bouille, F. C. A. Marquis de, in American War, I., 5j n.; ' Memoires sur 
la Revolution Fran^aise,' 182 n. ; suspected by mob, 300-1 ; King thinks 
of flight to his Army, 393 ; notice of, II., i n. ; opinions of, 2-3 ; on 
effect of Feast of Pikes on Army, 11-12 ; faces and puts down mutiny at 
Nancy and elsewhere, 16 sqq. and nn. ; returns to Metz, 33 ; on chances of 
King's escape, 53 «., 58-60; at Mirabeau's funeral, 79; correspondence 
with King, 84, 90 n. ; his action at the period of the flight, 94 sqq. and nn. ; 
emigrates, 126; to be prosecuted, 131 n. ; assists Brunswick in planning 
campaign, 209 n. ; on the effect of the Federations, III., 302. 

Bouille, Louis, son of the Marquis, * Memoire sur le depart de Louis XVI,' 
II., 90 n. 

Bourbon, L. J. Due de, afterwards Prince de Conde, fights duel with d'Artois, 
I., 43 and n. 

Bourbon, Louise Duchesse de, wife of the above, duel about her, I., 43 and n. 

Bourbons, genealogical table of the, I., 25 ; proposed proscription of all the, 
II., 307; III., 98 n. 

Bourbotte, P., organiser of insurrection of Prairial, III., 242 n. ; execution 
of, 245 n. 

Bourdon, F. L. (de I'Oise), attorney, I., 374 ; suspends Rossignol, III., 122 n. ; 
has H^ron arrested, 175 «. ; grumbles at Robespierre, 192 ; protests 
against Law of 22nd Prairial, 195 n. ; in danger, 202. 

Bourdon, Leonard, on Aug. loth, II., 250 n. ; notice of. III., 96 and n. ; 
• Le Tombeau des Imposteurs,' 138 «. ; demands renewal of Comite, 
144 n. ; proposes national orphanages, 160 n. ; presents Merda to Con- 
vention, 215 n. ; arrested, 237 n. 

Bourg-Baudoin, Roland found dead at. III., 119. 

Bourg-la-Reine, Condorcet taken to, III., 187. 

INDEX 357 

Bourgeoisie, cowardice of the, III., 130 n. 

Bourges, suppleans to meet at, III., 11 and n, ; pragtrtatic sanction of, 284. 

Bourget, Le, II., loi and w. 

Bourgoing, J. F. de, French ambassador in Spain, II., 313 n., 402 «. 

Bournon, F., ' La Bastille, Hist, et description de ses batiments,' I., 165 w. 

Bourse, situation of the, I., 88 «. ; closed during Terror, III., 113 n. ; re- 
opened, 235 and «. ; closed again in Prairial, 244 n. 

Boursin et Challamel, ' Dictionnaire de la Revolution,' I., 8 n. 

Bouthillier, victim of mutiny at Nancy, II., 27 n. 

Bouvard de Fourqueux, Controller-General, I., 98 and n. 

Bouze, Suzanne Le, ' prophetess,' I., 398 and 71. 

Boyaval or Boyenval, P. J., execution of. III., 238 n. 

Boyer, Spadassinicide, II., 52. 

Boyer-Fonfrede, J. B., notice of, I., 403 and n. ; votes King's death, II., 
391 «. ; on Commission of Twelve, III., 47 n. ; President of Convention, 
51 and w. ; arrest of, 58 and n. ; trial of, 103 n. sqq. 

Bras d'Or, tavern at Varennes, II., 120-1. 

Bread, price of, L, 45 «., 155 w., 285 n. ; III., 34 n. ; quantity allotted per 
day. III., 235-6 nn. ; riots about, I., 215 n., 278, 287-8 ; II., 360 and n. 

Brdard, J. J., on first Comite de Salut Public, III., 34 n. ; re-elected after 
Thermidor, 219 n. 

Brecourt, chdteau of. III., 75. 

Bremgarten, convent of. III., 38 n. 

Bremond, undertakes to raise defenders for Tuileries, II., 244 n. 

Brennus, II., 353. 

Bressuire, Republican place of concentration in Vendee, III., 322. 

Brest, mutiny of galley slaves at, I., 365 ; insurrection at, II., 32 ; galley 
slaves at, II., 170; Jacobin club of, 206; Saint-Andre at. III., 123; 
fleet sails from, 157 n. ; naval riots at, 314; winter cruise from, 315 ; in 
danger from La Vendee, 321. 

Bretagne, French ship, renamed RCvolutionnaire, III., 316. 

Breteuil, L. A. le T. Baron de, Minister, 222-3 n. ; notice of, 97-8 and n. ; 
beautifying Paris, 126; closes clubs, 133; 'home secretary,' 203; 
hovering on frontier, II., 3 ; is King's agent to Leopold, 53-4 n. ; in- 
triguing on frontier, 177; is against Calonne, 235 n. 

Breton Club {see also Jacobin Club), I., 132, 133 «., 197, 202. 

Briangon, petition for King's deposition from, II., 243. 

Bridges, of Paris, being built and altered, I., 126 and w. 

Brienne, Chateau de, I., 136; Napoleon studying at, ibid.; Lom6nie dc, 
See Lomenie. 

Brigades, of Volunteers and Regulars, III., 308-9. 

'Brigands,' rumours of, I., 159, 160, 255; II., 64; the B. of Avignon, 159 
sqq. ; amnesty to the, 164 n., 165. 

Brissac, L. H. T. Due deCoss^, Commander of Garde-Constitutionelle, 
II., 66 «., 139 ; accused of making cartridges secretly, 191 n., 196 ; 
massacre of, 321-2 wn. 

Brissot, J. P., editor of Courrier de VEurope, I., 73 «. ; notice of, 170 and 
n. ; acquainted with Mirabeau, 191 n. ; busy, 288 ; B. and Les Amis des 
Noirs, 364 ; in Genevese politics, 376 n. ; in Municipality, 382 ; in 
Cercle Social, II., 44 ; becomes Republican as soon as he dares, 107 n. ; 
in Legislative Assembly, 151 ; on Diplomatic Committee, 171 n. ; 
accused by Bertrand of taking bribes, 173 n. ; in favour of war, 185 
and n. ; on denunciation, 194 and n. ; mocked by Desmoulins, 199, 
200 n. ; his head getting turned, 202 and n. ; his name given to 

358 INDEX 

children, 208 n. ; attacks King, 226 and n. ; attacks Lafayette, 232 ; 
hissed, 233 ; in favour of Regency, 243 ; attacks Lafayette again, 
245 ; complains of Commune, 276-7 ; sits in the Commission of Twenty- 
five, 279 n. ; on first Constitutional Committee, 349 n. ; on King's trial, 
382 «. ; supports v/ar of propaganda, 383 n. ; votes King's death and 
respite, 391 n. ; arrested, IIL, 58 and n. ; hides and escapes, 61 ; seized 
at Villejuif, 79 ; in prison, 97 ; trial of, 102 sqq. mi. 

Brissotine, bad name applied to Theroigne, IIL, 49 n. 

Brittany, disturban