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VOL. II ^ h 


^h\ 1 




Mauern seh' ich gestiirzt, und Mauern seh' ich errichtet, 
Hier Gefangene, dort auch der Gefangenen viel. 

1st vielleicht nur die Welt ein grosser Kerker ? Und frei ist 
Wohl der Tolle, der sich Ketten zu Kranzen erkiest ? 




Book I. The Feast of Pikes. 


I. In the Tuileries i 

II. In the Salle de Manage ..... 7 

III. The Muster 23 

IV. Journalism 32 

V. Clubbism 38 

VI. JE le jure 44 

VII. Prodigies 49 

VIII. Solemn League and Covenant .... 53 

IX. Symbolic 60 

X. Mankind 62 

XI. As IN the Age of Gold 69 

XII. Sound and Smoke 76 

Book II. Nanci. 


II. Arrears and Aristocrats 88 

III. BouiLL^ at Metz ....... 96 

IV. Arrears at Nanci loi 

V. Inspector Malseigne 107 

VI. Bouille at Nanci 112 

Book III. The Tuileries. 

I. Epimenides 123 

II. The Wakeful 129 

III. Sword in Hand 136 

IV. To fly or not to fly 143- 

V. The Day of Poniards 153 

VI. Mirabeau 161 

VII. Death of Mirabeau 166 



Book IV. Varennes. 


I. Easter at Saint-Cloud 176 

II. Easter at Paris 181 

III. Count Fersen 185 

IV. Attitude 194 

V. The New Berline 199 

VI. Old-Dragoon Drouet 204 

VII. The Night of Spurs 208 

VIII. The Return 218 

IX. Sharp Shot 222 

Book V. Parliament First. 

I. Grande Acceptation 229 

II. The Book of the Law 239 

III. Avignon 249 

IV. No Sugar 258 

V. Kings and Emigrants 262 

VI. Brigands and Jales 274 

VII. Constitution will not march .... 278 

VIII. The Jacobins 284 

IX. Minister Roland 289 

X. Petion-National-Pique 295 

XI. The Hereditary Representative . . , 298 

XII. Procession of the Black Breeches . . . 303 

Book VI. The Marseillese. 

I. Executive that does not act . . . .310 

II. Let us march 319 

III. Some Consolation to Mankind .... 322 

IV. Subterranean 328 

V. At Dinner 332 

VI. The Steeples at Midnight 337 

VII. The Swiss 347 

VIII. Constitution burst in Pieces . . . -355 

Appendix I : Mirabeau's Plans for Louis XVI 363 

Appendix II: The Declaration of Pilnitz . 368 



Marquis de Mirabeau .... Frojitispiece 

Madame Roland 58, 

Anacharsis Clootz 64 

The People working at the Champ de Mars . . 74 

The Federation Festival, July 14th, 1790 ... 80 

Water-Tournament, July i8th, 1790 82 

The Hotel Castries sacked 142 

The Riot at Vincennes 154 

The Funeral of Mirabeau in St.-Eustache . .172 

Return of the Royal Family from Varennes . . 220 

Publication of Martial Law 228 

The Camp at Jales dispersed 276 

J. M. Roland 289 

Fete of Liberty on the Return of the Forty Swiss 296 

J. POTION . 322 

Proclamation of "La Patrie en Danger" . . . 324 

Attack on the Tuileries, August 10th, 1792 . . . 352 

Plan of Central Paris page viii 

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THE victim having once got his stroke-of-grace, the 
catastrophe can be considered as almost come. 
There is small interest now in watching his long low 
moans : notable only are his sharper agonies, what con- 
vulsive struggles he may make to cast the torture off 
from him ; and then finally the last departure of life 
itself, and how he lies extinct and ended, either wrapt 
like Caesar in decorous mantle-folds, or unseemly sunk 
together, like one that had not the force even to die. 

Was French Royalty, when wrenched forth from its 
tapestries in that fashion, on that Sixth of October 1789, 
such a victim ? Universal France, and Royal Proclama- 
tion to all the Provinces, answers anxiously. No} Never- 

\ [If Louis had been an able man and had had a competent chief 

Minister, he might have saved the monarchy. Most people were 

alike disgusted and alarmed by the orgies of October 5th and 6th, 

and would have rallied around a qonstituiional monarchy, had the 

II. B 

2 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. i 

theless one may fear the worst. Royalty was beforehand 
so decrepit, moribund, there is little life in it to heal an 
injury. How much of its strength, which was of the 
imagination merely, has fled ; Rascality having looked 
plainly in the King's face, and not died ! When the 
assembled crows can pluck up their scarecrow, and say to 
it, Here shalt thou stand and not there ; and can treat 
with it, and make it, from an infinite, a quite finite Con- 
stitutional scarecrow, — what is to be looked for? Not 
in the finite Constitutional scarecrow, but in what still 
unmeasured, infinite-seeming force may rally round it, is 
there thenceforth any hope. For it is most true that all 
available Authority is mystic in its conditions, and comes 
" by the grace of God." 

Cheerfuller than watching the death-struggles of Roy- 
alism will it be to watch the growth and gambollings of 
Sansculottism ; for, in human things, especially in human 
society, all death is but a death-birth : thus if the sceptre 
is departing from Louis, it is only that, in other forms, 
other sceptres, were it even pike-sceptres, may bear sway. 
In a prurient element, rich with nutritive influences, we 
shall find that Sansculottism grows lustily, and even 
frisks in not ungraceful sport : as indeed most young 
creatures are sportful ; nay, may it not be noted further, 
that as the grown cat, and cat species generally, is the 
crudest thing known, so the merriest is precisely the 
kitten, or growing cat ? 

But fancy the Royal Family risen from its truckle-beds 
on the morrow of that mad day : fancy the Municipal 
inquiry, " How would your Majesty please to lodge ? " — 
and then that the King's rough answer, " Each may lodge 

King frankly declared for it. But Paris was the danger. Mirabeau, 
always royalist at heart, besought his friend La Marck, a very 
influential officer, to get the King and Queen away from Paris to 
Rouen, whither the Assembly must then have followed. La Marck 
took a Memorandum to this etf( ct, drawn up by Mirabeau, to the 
Comte de Provence, who replied that the King's resolves had no 
more cohesion than a pile of oiled billiard balls. (For Mirabeau's 
relations to the Court see Appendi.x to this volume.) — Ed ] 


as he can, I am well enough," is congeed and bowed 
away, in expressive grins, by the Townhall Functionaries, 
with obsequious upholsterers at their back ; and how the 
Chateau of the Tuileries is repainted, regarnished into a 
golden Royal Residence ; and Lafayette with his blue 
National Guards lies encompassing it, as blue Neptune 
(in the language of poets) does an island, wooingly. 
Thither may the wrecks of rehabilitated Loyalty gather, 
if it will become Constitutional ; for Constitutionalism 
thinks no evil ; Sansculottism itself rejoices in the King's 
countenance. The rubbish of a Menadic Insurrection, 
as in this ever-kindly world all rubbish can and must be, 
is swept aside ; and so again, on clear arena, under new 
conditions, with something even of a new stateliness, we 
begin a new course of action. 

Arthur Young has witnessed the strangest scene: 
Majesty walking unattended in the Tuileries Gardens ; 
and miscellaneus tricolor crowds, who cheer it, and re- 
verently make way for it : the very Queen commands at 
lowest respectful silence, regretful avoidance.^ Simple 
ducks, in those royal waters, quackle for crumbs from 
young royal fingers : the little Dauphin has a little railed 
garden, where he is seen delving, with ruddy cheeks and 
flaxen curled hair ; also a little hutch to put his tools in, 
and screen himself against showers. VVhat peaceable 
simplicity! Is it peace of a Father restored to his children? 
Or of a Taskmaster who has lost his whip ? Lafayette 
and the Municipality and universal Constitutionalism 
assert the former, and do what is in them to realise it. 
Such Patriotism as snarls dangerously and shows teeth, 
Patrollotism shall suppress ; or far better, Royalty shall 
soothe down the angry hair of it, by gentle pattings ; 
and, most effectual of all, by fuller diet. Yes, not only 
shall Paris be fed, but the King's hand be seen in that 
work. The household goods of the Poor shall, up to a 
certain amount, by royal bounty, be disengaged from 
pawn, and that insatiable Mont de Piete shall disgorge ; 

^ Arthur Young's " Travels," i. 264-2S0. 


rides in the city with their Viv e-le- Rot n&ed not fail : and 
so, by substance and show, shall Royalty, if man's art 
can popularise it, be popularised/ 

Or, alas, is it neither restored Father nor diswhipped 
Taskmaster that walks there ; but an anomalous complex 
of both these, and of innumerable other heterogeneities : 
reducible to no rubric, if not to this newly-devised one : 
King Louis Restorer of Frejtch Liberty ? Man indeed, and 
King Louis like other men, lives in this world to make 
rule out of the ruleless ; by his living energy, he shall 
force the absurd itself to become less absurd.' But then 
if there be no living energy ; living passivity only ? King 
Serpent, hurled into its unexpected watery dominion, did 
at least bite, and assert credibly that he was' there : but 
as for the poor King Log, tumbled hither and thither as 
thousandfold chance and other will than his might direct, 
how happy for him that he was indeed wooden ; and, 
doing nothing, could also see and suffer nothing ! It is a 
distracted business. 

For his French Majesty, meanwhile, one of the worst 
things is, that he can get no hunting. Alas, no hunting 
henceforth ; only a fatal being-hunted ! Scarcely, in the 
next June weeks, shall he taste again the joys of the 
game-destroyer ; in next June, and never more. He 
sends for his smith-tools ; gives, in the course of the day, 
official or ceremonial business being ended, " a few 
strokes of the file, qiielques coups de lime." ^ Innocent 
brother mortal, why wert thou not an obscure substantial 

^ "Deux Amis," iii. c. lo. 

" [Those who knew Louis well assert that he approved of con- 
stitutional monarchy and was not sorry to be rid of absolute power 
and of the reactionary cviigrcs. Thus Count La Alarck wrote of 
him : " Never greedy of power, he was not at all jealous of keeping 
his authority as it was exercised by him up to 1789. Not only did 
he resign himself, but, in his constant love for his people, he 
believed constitutional government more suitable for them, and he 
desired it" (" Coiresp. de Mirabeau et La Marck,'" vol. i., p. 6). — 

' "Le Chateau des Tuileries, ou recit," etc., par Roussel (in 
"Hist, Pari.," iv. 195-219). 


maker of locks ; but doomed in that other far-seen craft, 
to be a maker only of world-follies, unrealities ; things 
self-destructive, which no mortal hammering could rivet 
into coherence ! 

Poor Louis is not without insight, nor even without the 
elements of will ; some sharpness of temper, spurting at 
times from a stagnating character. If harmless inertness 
could save him, it were well ; but he will slumber and 
painfully dream, and to do aught is not given him. 
Royalist Antiquarians still show the rooms where Majesty 
and suite, in these extraordinary circumstances, had 
their lodging. Here sat the Queen ; reading, — for she 
had her library brought hither, though the King refused 
his ; taking vehement counsel of the vehement uncoun- 
selled ; sorrowing over altered times ; yet with sure hope 
of better : in her young rosy Boy has she not the living 
emblem of hope? It is a murky, working sky ; yet with 
golden gleams — of dawn, or of deeper meteoric night ? 
Here again this chamber, on the other side of the main 
entrance, was the King's : here his Majesty breakfasted, 
and did official work ; here daily after breakfast he re- 
ceived the Queen ; sometimes in pathetic friendliness ; 
sometimes in human sulkiness, for flesh is weak ; and when 
questioned about business, would answer : " Madame, 
your business is with the children." Nay, Sire, were it 
not better you, your Majesty's self, took the children ? 
So asks impartial History ; scornful that the thicker 
vessel was not also the stronger ; pity-struck for the 
porcelain-clay of humanity rather than for the tile-clay, 
— though indeed both were broken ! ' 

^ [It is generally admitted that Louis had more "common 
sense " than his Queen. Count La Marck, who knew them both, 
wrote : " In fact, Marie Antoinette had no taste for public affairs " ; 
and he shows that she had little influence in politics — except the 
bestowal of "places" (" Correspondance," vol. i., pp. 156-158). 
But Louis lacked foresight and resolution. Droz (" Hist, du regne 
de Louis XVI," vol. i., p. 117) well says : "His good qualities, his 
uprightness, and love of the public weal, became useless or hurt- 
ful because he could not in the least see the way to lead to the 
desired end. It has not been sufficiently observed that his weakness 


So, however, in this Medicean Tuileries, shall the 
French King and Queen now sit for one -and -forty 
months ; and see a wild-fermenting France work out its 
own destiny, and theirs. Months bleak, ungenial, of 
rapid vicissitude ; yet with a mild pale splendour, here 
and there : as of an April that were leading to leafiest 
Summer ; as of an October that led only to everlasting 
Frost. Medicean Tuileries, how changed since it was a 
peaceful Tile-field ! Or is the ground itself fate-stricken, 
accursed : an Atreus' Palace ; for that Louvre window is 
still nigh, out of which a Capet, whipt of the Furies, fired 
his signal of the Saint Bartholomew ! Dark is the way of 
the Eternal as mirrored in this world of Time : God's 
way is in the sea, and His path in the great deep. 

resulted from his upbringing still more than from his disposition. 
When a man feels himself deficient in intelligence, the more he 
wishes to do well, the more he hesitates in making up his mind : 
he temporises, changes his plans, because he wishes to take the 
best course and cannot discern it. The weakness of this unfortunate 
prince was especially irresolution and distrust of himself. A dif- 
ferent education would have strengthened his character by widening 
the circle of his ideas." — Ed.] 




TO believing Patriots, however, it is now clear that 
the Constitution will march, marcher, — had it once 
legs to stand on. Quick, then, ye Patriots, bestir your- 
selves, and make it ; shape legs for it ! In the Archevcche, 
or Archbishop's Palace, his Grace himself having fled ; 
and afterwards in the Riding-hall, named Manege, close 
on the Tuileries : there does a National Assembly apply 
itself to the miraculous work. Successfully, had there 
been any heaven-scaling Prometheus among them ; not 
successfully, since there was none ! There, in noisy de- 
bate, for the sessions are occasionally " scandalous," and 
as many as three speakers have been seen in the Tribune 
at once, — let us continue to fancy it wearing the slow 

Tough, dogmatic, long of wind is Abbe Maury; Ci- 
ceronian pathetic is Cazales. Keen-trenchant, on the 
other side, glitters a young Barnave ; abhorrent of so- 
phistry ; shearing, like keen Damascus sabre, all sophistry 
asunder, — reckless what else he shear with it. Simple 
seemest thou, O solid Dutch -built Petion ; if solid, 
surely dull. Nor lifegiving is that tone of thine, livelier 
polemical Rabaut. With ineffable serenity sniffs great 
Sieyes, aloft, alone ; his Constitution ye may babble over, 
ye may mar, but can by no possibility mend : is not 
Polity a science he has exhausted ? Cool, slow, two 
military Lameths are visible, with their quality sneer, or 
demi-sneer ; they shall gallantly refund their Mother's 
Pension, when the Red Book is produced ; gallantly be 
wounded in duels, A Marquis Toulongeon, whose Pen 

8 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. ii 

we yet thank, sits there ; in stoical meditative humour, 
oftenest silent, accepts what Destiny will send. Thouret 
and Parlementary Duport produce mountains of Re- 
formed Law ; liberal, Anglomaniac ; available and un- 
available. Mortals rise and fall. Shall goose Gobel, for 
example, — or Gobel, for he is of Strasburg German 
breed, — be a Constitutional Archbishop ? 

Alone of all men there, Mirabeau may begin to discern 
clearly whither all this is tending. Patriotism, accord- 
ingly, regrets that his zeal seems to be getting cool. In 
that famed Pentecost-Night of the P^ourth of August, 
when new Faith rose suddenly into miraculous fire, and 
old Feudality was burnt up, men remarked that Mirabeau 
took no hand in it ; that, in fact, he luckily happened to 
be absent. But did he not defend the Veto, nay Veto 
Absohc ; and tell vehement Barnave that six hundred 
irresponsible senators would make of all tyrannies the 
insupportablest ? Again, how anxious was he that the 
King's Ministers should have seat and voice in the 
National Assembly ; — doubtless with an eye to being 
Minister himself! Whereupon the National Assembly 
decides, what is very momentous, that no Deputy shall 
be Minister ; he, in his haughty stormful manner, ad- 
vising us to make it, " no Deputy called Mirabeau." ' 
A man of perhaps inveterate Feudalisms ; of stratagems ; 
too often visible leanings towards the Royalist side : a 
man suspect ; whom Patriotism will unmask ! Thus, in 
these June days, when the question. Who shall have right 
to declare ivar? comes on, you hear hoarse Hawkers 
sound dolefully through the streets, " Grand Treason of 

' " Moniteur," Nos. 65, 86 (September 29th, November 7tli, 
1789). [Early in September, 1789, Mirabeau had shown the need 
of Ministers sitting in the Assembly, as in England, so as to bring 
the legislative and executive powers into close touch. But the 
theory of the "division of powers'' held sway. On October 27th 
Petion suggested that Ministers be ineligible for seats in the 
Assembly, and on November 7th it was definitely proposed and 
carried by a large majority. Mirabeau, seeing the case hopeless, 
scornfully proposed an amendment that Mirabeau and the mover 
of the motion, an obscure member, should be ineligible. — Ed.] 


Count Mirabeau, price only one sou " ; — because he pleads 
that it shall be not the Assembly, but the King ! Pleads ; 
nay prevails : for in spite of the hoarse Hawkers, and an 
endless Populace raised by them to the pitch even of 
" Laiiterne," he mounts the Tribune next day ; grim- 
resolute ; murmuring aside to his friends that speak of 
danger : " I know it : I must come hence either in tri- 
umph, or else torn in fragments " ; and it was in triumph 
that he came.^ 

A man stout of heart ; whose popularity is not of the 
populace, '^ pas popidaciere " ; whom no clamour of un- 
washed mobs without doors, or of washed mobs within, 
can scare from his way ! Dumont remembers hearing 
him deliver a Report on Marseilles ; " every word was 
interrupted on the part of the Cote Droit by abusive 
epithets ; calumniator, liar, assassin, scoundrel {scclerai) : 
Mirabeau pauses a moment, and, in a honeyed tone, 
addressing the most furious, says : ' I wait, Messieurs, 
till these amenities be exhausted.' " ' A man enigmatic, 
difficut to unmask ! For example, whence comes his 
money ? Can the profit of a Newspaper, sorely eaten 
into by Dame Le Jay ; can this, and the eighteen francs 
a-day your National Deputy has, be supposed equal to 
this expenditure ? House in the Chaussee d'Antin ; 
Country-house at Argenteuil ; splendours, sumptuosities, 

^ [Carlyle here leaps forward to the events of June, 1790. It 
then seemed likely that war would break out between England 
and Spain over a dispute about Nootka Sound (north of Cali- 
fornia) ; for by the Family Compact France was bound to take 
up the cause of Spain, that is, if Louis XVI. had the sole right of 
declaring war. Mirabeau, now secretly pledged to support the 
King (see Appendix), did not carry his point completely as Carlyle 
asserts. A compromise was arrived at, to the effect that, while 
the King should conduct negotiations and conclude treaties, the 
Assembly should control the negotiations and ratify the treaties. 
The Assembly also passed a decree (which formed Article VI. 
of the Constitution of 179O that the French nation renounced 
all wars of conquest, and would never employ its forces against 
a free people (see Sorel, " L'Europe et la Rev. Fr.," vol. ii., p. 89). 

■^ Dumont "Souvenirs," p. 278. 

lo THE FEAST OF PIKES [ek. I, CH. n 

orgies ; — living as if he had a mint ! All saloons, barred 
against Adventurer Mirabeau, are flung wide-open to 
King Mirabeau, the cynosure of Europe, whom female 
France flutters to behold, — though the Man Mirabeau 
is one and the same. As for money, one may conjec- 
ture that Ro\'alism furnishes it ; which if Royalism do, 
will not the same be welcome, as money always is to 

" Sold," whatever Patriotism thinks, he cannot readily 
be : the spiritual fire which is in that man ; which shining 
through such confusions is nevertheless Conviction, and 
makes him strong, and without which he had no strength, 
— is not buyable nor saleable ; in such transference of 
barter, it would vanish and not be. Perhaps " paid and 
not sold, payc pas vendii " : as poor Rivarol, in the un- 
happier converse way, calls himself " sold and not paid " ! 
A man travelling, comet-like, in splendour and nebu- 
losity, his wild way ; whom telescopic Patriotism may 
long watch, but, without higher mathematics, will not 
make out. A questionable, most blamable man ; yet to 
us the far notablest of all. With rich munificence, as we 
often say, in a most blinkard, bespectacled, logic-chopping 
generation. Nature has gifted this man with an eye. 
Welcome is his word, there where he speaks and works ; 
and growing ever welcomer ; for it alone goes to the 
heart of the business : logical cobwebbery shrinks itself 
together ; and thou seest a thing, how it is, how it may 
be worked with. 

Unhappily our National Assembly has much to do : a 
France to regenerate ; and France is short of so many 
requisites, short even of cash. These same Finances 
give trouble enough ; no choking of the Deficit ; which 
gapes ever, Give, give! To appease the Deficit we venture 
on a hazardous step, sale of the Clergy's Lands and su- 
perfluous Edifices ; most hazardous. Nay, given the 
sale, who is to buy them, ready-money having fled ? 
Wherefore, on the 19th day of December, a paper-money 
of ^^ Assignats," of Bonds secured, or assigned, on that 
Clerico-National Property, and unquestionable at least 


in payment of that, — is decreed : the first of a long series 
of like financial performances, which shall astonish man- 
kind.' So that now, while old rags last, there shall be no 
lack of circulating medium : whether of commodities to 
circulate thereon, is another question. But, after all, does 
not this Assignat business speak volumes for modern 
science ? Bankruptcy, we may say, was come, as the end 
of all Delusions needs must come : yet how gently, in 
softening diffusion, in mild succession, was it hereby 
made to fall ; — like no all-destroying avalanche ; like 
gentle showers of a powdery impalpable snow, shower 
after shower, till all was indeed buried, and yet little was 
destroyed that could not be replaced, be dispensed with ! 
To such length has modern machinery reached. Bank- 
ruptcy, we said, was great ; but indeed Money itself is a 
standing miracle. 

On the whole, it is a matter of endless difficulty, that 
of the Clergy. Clerical property may be made the 
Nation's, and the Clergy hired servants of the State ; 
but if so, is it not an altered Church ? Adjustment 
enough, of the most confused sort, has become unavoid- 
able. Old landmarks, in any sense, avail not in a new 
France. Nay literally, the very Ground is new divided ; 
your old particoloured Provinces become new uniform 
Departments Eighty-three in number ; — whereby, as in 
some sudden shifting of the Earth's axis, no mortal knows 
his new latitude at once.^ The Twelve old Parlements 

^ [The confiscation of Church lands (November 3rd, 1789) was 
due, not only to the financial needs of the State, but also to the 
resolve of deputies to demolish every powerful body that impaired 
the authority of the "general will" (see Appendix L to vol. i. 
on Rousseau's doctrines and their influence on the Revolution). 
The priests were thenceforth to be paid by the State ; but this 
lapsed in 1793-1801. The Assignats were first suggested by 
Clavi^re to Mirabeau, who warmly adopted the plan. The dissolu- 
tion of monasteries was decreed on February 13th, 1790. This led 
to the Jacobins and other monastic buildings coming into use for 
secular purposes. In March, 1790, four million francs of assignats 
were issued, to be received as purchase money at the sales of 
Church property. — Ed.] 

" [Departments. These were nearly uniform in size and popula- 

12 THE FEAST OF PIKES [p,k. i, CH. ii 

too, what is to be done with them ? The old Parlements 
are declared to be all " in permanent vacation," — till 
once the new equal-justice, of Departmental Courts, 
National Appeal-Court, of elective Justices, Justices of 
Peace, and other Thouret-and-Duport apparatus be got 
ready. They have to sit there, these old Parlements, 
uneasily waiting ; as it were, with the rope round their 
neck; crying as they can. Is there none to deliver ms? 
But happily the answer being. None, jione, they are a 
manageable class, these Parlements. They can be bullied, 
even, into silence ; the Paris Parlement, wiser than most, 
has never whimpered. They will and must sit there, in 
such vacation as is fit ; their Chamber of Vacation dis- 
tributes in the interim what little justice is going. With 
the rope round their neck, their destiny may be succinct ! 
On the 13th of November 1790, Mayor Bailly shall walk 
to the Palais de Justice, few even heeding him ; and with 
municipal seal stamp and a little hot wax, seal up the 
Parlementary Paper-rooms, — and the dread Parlement 
of Paris pass away, into Chaos, gently as does a Dream ! 
So shall the Parlements perish, succinctly ; and in- 
numerable eyes be dry.' 

tion, and were so designed as to dull the old provincial spirit (Sieyes 
had even proposed to divide France into eighty districts known 
solely by nntnbers 1). Whereas the old provinces represented his- 
toric diversities and the privileges of classes and localities, the new 
Departments cut through the diversities, abolished the privileges, 
and remained a standing symbol of the unity of France as a nation, 
with liberty of action for local affairs. They were subdivided into 
districts and cantons. These, as well as the parishes, or co7)wneites, 
received extensive rights of self-government, and had their own 
elective bodies, with the result that in the whole of France one 
man in thirty-four was an official (Von Sybel, vol. i., p. 153, Eng. 
edit.).— Ed.] 

' [The last protest of the Parlement of Paris is printed by 
Mortimer-Ternaux, " Hist, de la Terreur," vol. i., p. 306. It laments 
the outcome of a movement which was largely due to its initiative. 
M.Flammermont in the introduction of his work," Remontrances du 
Pari, de Paris au XVI IP' Siecle," shows that this body had kept 
alive the desire for a charter of rights, as also the notion of the 
supremacy of law over the King's will. See too Rocquain's " The 
Revolutionary Spirit before the Revolution." — Ed.] 


Not so the Clergy. For, granting even that Religion 
were dead ; that it had died, half-centuries ago, with un- 
utterable Dubois ; or emigrated lately to Alsace, with 
Necklace-Cardinal Rohan ; or that it now walked as 
goblin revenant, with Bishop Talleyrand of Autun ; yet 
does not the Shadow of Religion, the Cant of Religion, 
still linger ? The Clergy have means and material : 
means, of number, organisation, social weight ; a material, 
at lowest, of public ignorance, known to be the mother of 
devotion. Nay withal, is it incredible that there might, 
in simple hearts, latent here and there like gold-grains 
in the mud-beach, still dwell some real Faith in God, of 
so singular and tenacious a sort that even a Maury or 
a Talleyrand could still be the symbol for it ? — Enough, 
the Clergy has strength, the Clergy has craft and indig- 
nation. It is a most fatal business this of the Clergy. 
A weltering hydra-coil, which the National Assembly 
has stirred up about its ears ; hissing, stinging ; which 
cannot be appeased, alive ; which cannot be trampled 
dead ! Fatal, from first to last ! Scarcely after fifteen 
months' debating, can a Civil Constitution of the Clergy 
be so much as got to paper ; and then for getting it into 
reality ? ^ Alas, such Civil Constitution is but an agree- 

^ [The chief items of this very important decree (July 12th, 1790) 
were : that each Department should form a Diocese having the 
same limits (this reduced the number of bishoprics to eighty- 
three) ; that there should be ten archbishoprics ; that no church 
in France and no citizen might acknowledge the authority of 
a bishop or archbishop whose see was under the supremacy 
of a foreign power or of its representatives ; that a new arrange- 
ment of the parishes should be made in concert with the bishops 
and the administration ; that all bishops and parish priests 
should be chosen by popular election (by ballot). The follow- 
ing articles were the cause of the schism : "The new bishop may 
not apply to the Pope for any form of confirmation, but shall 
write to him as to the visible Head of the Catholic Church as a 
testimony to the unity of faith and communion maintained with 
him." Also the exaction of an oath (to be taken before consecra- 
tion) " to be loyal to the Nation, the Law, and the King, and to 
support with all his power the Constitution decreed by the National 
Assembly and accepted by the King." Those who refused to take 

14 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. ii 

ment to disagree. It divides France from end to end, 
with a new split, infinitely complicating all the other 
splits : — Catholicism, what of it there is left, with the 
Cant of Catholicism, raging on the one side, and sceptic 
Heathenism on the other ; both, by contradiction, wax- 
ing fanatic. What endless jarring, of Refractory hated 
Priests, and Constitutional despised ones ; of tender 
consciences, like the King's, and consciences hot-seared, 
like certain of his People's : the whole to end in Feasts 
of Reason and a War of La Vendee ! So deep-seated is 
Religion in the heart of man, and holds of all infinite 
passions. If the dead echo of it still did so much, what 
could not the living voice of it once do ? ^ 

Finance and Constitution, Law and Gospel : this surely 
were work enough ; yet this is not all. In fact, the 
Ministry, and Necker himself, whom a brass inscription, 
" fastened by the people over his door-lintel," testifies to 
be the " Ministre adore" are dwindling into clearer and 
clearer nullity. Execution or legislation, arrangement 
or detail, from their nerveless fingers all drops undone ; 
all lights at last on the toiled shoulders of an august 
Representative Body. Heavy-laden National Assembly! 
It has to hear of innumerable fresh revolts, Brigand ex- 
peditions ; of Chateaus in the West, especially of Charter- 
Chests, Chartiers, set on fire ; for there too the overloaded 
Ass frightfully recalcitrates. Of Cities in the South full 
of heats and jealousies ; which will end in crossed sabres, 
Marseilles against Toulon, and Carpentras beleaguered 
by Avignon ; — of so much Royalist collision in a career 
of Freedom ; nay of Patriot collision, v/hich a mere differ- 
ence of velocity will bring about ! Of a Jourdan Coup- 
tete, who has skulked thitherward, to those southern 

this oath were termed non-jurors or " orthodox " priests ; those 
who took it were called constitutional priests, and were regarded 
as schismatics by the faithful. — Ed.] 

' [The fact that about one-half of the " orthodox" priests suffered 
persecution for conscience' sake and were supported by a very 
large part of rural France sufficiently refutes Carlyle's taunt that 
Catholicism was a canting half-belief. — Eu.] 


regions, from the claws of the Chatelet ; and will raise 
whole scoundrel regiments. 

Also it has to hear of Royalist Camp of J ales: J ales 
mountain-girdled Plain, amid the rocks of the Cevennes ; 
whence Royalism, as is feared and hoped, may dash 
down like a mountain deluge, and submerge France ! A 
singular thing this Camp of Jales ; existing mostly on 
paper. For the Soldiers at Jales, being peasants or 
National Guards, were in heart sworn Sansculottes ; 
and all that the Royalist Captains could do, was, with 
false words, to keep them, or rather keep the report of 
them, drawn up there, visible to all imaginations, for a 
terror and a sign, — if peradventure France might be re- 
conquered by theatrical machinery, by the picture of a 
Royalist army done to the life!' Not till the third 
summer was this portent, burning out by fits and then 
fading, got finally extinguished ; was the old Castle of 
Jales, no Camp being visible to the bodily eye, got blown 
asunder by some National Guards." 

Also it has to hear not only of Brissot and h.\s Friends 
of the Blacks, but by and by of a whole St Domingo 
blazing skyward ; blazing in literal fire, and in far worse 
metaphorical; beaconing the nightly main.'' Also of the 
shipping interest, and the landed interest, and all manner 
of interests, reduced to distress. Of 1 ndustry everywhere 
manacled, bewildered ; and only Rebellion thriving. Of 
sub-officers, soldiers and sailors in mutiny by land and 
water. Of soldiers, at Nanci, as we shall see, needing to 
be cannonaded by a brave Bouille. Of sailors, nay the 

^ Dampmartin, " Evenemens," i. 208. 

* [Michelet and other historians give facts to show that the 
Camp of Jales was not a mere phantom, but that many of the 
National Guards were gathered there by royalist and religious 
zeal.— Ed.] 

^ [The Assembly passed a decree declaring that all slaves in 
French colonies were thenceforth free. The masters denied the 
right of the Assembly to legislate for the colonies. The blacks 
rose and massacred Europeans in San Domingo, and gave trouble 
in the smaller French islands. See Morse Stephens, " Fr. Rev., 
vol. i., chap. xvi. — Ed.] 


very galley-slaves, atBrest,needing also to be cannonaded, 
but with no Bouille to do it. For indeed, to say it in a 
word, in those days there was no King in Israel, and 
every man did that which was right in his own eyes.^ 

Such things has an august National Assembly to hear 
of, as it goes on regenerating France. Sad and stern : 
but what remedy ? Get the Constitution ready ; and all 
men will swear to it : for do not " Addresses of adhesion " 
arrive by the cartload ? " In this manner, by Heaven's 
blessing, and a Constitution got ready, shall the bottom- 
less fire-gulf be vaulted in, with rag-paper ; and Order 
will wed Freedom, and live with her there, — till it 
grow too hot for them. O Cote Gauche, worthy are ye, 
as the adhesive Addresses generally say, to " fix the 
regards of the Universe " ; the regards of this one poor 
Planet, at lowest ! — 

Nay, it must be owned, the Cote Droit makes a still 
madder figure. An irrational generation ; irrational, 
imbecile, and with the vehement obstinacy characteristic 
of that ; a generation which will not learn. Falling 
Bastilles, Insurrections of Women, thousands of smoking 
Manorhouses, a country bristling with no crop but that 
of Sansculottic steel : these were tolerably didactic 
lessons ; but them they have not taught. There are still 
men, of whom it was of old written. Bray them in a 
mortar ! Or, in milder language. They have wedded their 
delusions : fire nor steel, nor any sharpness of Experience, 
shall sever the bond ; till death do us part ! On such 
may the Heavens have mercy ; for the Earth, with her 
rigorous Necessity, will have none. 

Admit, at the same time, that it was most natural. 

^ See "Deux Amis," ill. c. 14 ; iv. c. 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 14. " Expedi- 
tion desVolontaires de Brest sur Lannion" ; " Les Lyonnais Sauveurs 
des Dauphinois" ; " Massacre aii Mans"; "Troubles du Maine" 
(Pamphlets and Excerpts, in "Hist. Pari.," iii. 251 ; iv. 162-168), 

■* [See Michelet's " French Rev.," bk. ii., chap, i., for the touching 
character of many of these addresses, drawn up by the unlettered 
officials of the new "communes." He calls them " the love-letters 
of rural France to la patrie.^' — Ed.] 


Man lives by Hope : Pandora, when her box of gods'- 
gifts flew all out, and became gods'-curses, still retained 
Hope. How shall an irrational mortal, when his high- 
place is never so evidently pulled down, and he, being 
irrational, is left resourceless, part with the belief that it 
will be rebuilt? It would make all so straight again ; it 
seems so unspeakably desirable ; so reasonable, — would 
you but look at it aright ! For, must not the thing which 
was continue to be ; or else the solid World dissolve ? 
Yes, persist, O infatuated Sansculottes of France! Revolt 
against constituted Authorities ; hunt out your rightful 
Seigneurs, who at bottom so loved you, and readily shed 
their blood for you, — in country's battles as at Rossbach 
and elsewhere ; and, even in preserving game, were pre- 
serving jt"?/, could ye but have understood it : hunt them 
out, as if they were wild wolves ; set fire to their Chateaus 
and Chartiers as to wolf-dens ; and what then ? Why, 
then turn ever)^ man his hand against his fellow ! In 
confusion, famine, desolation, regret the days that are 
gone ; rueful recall them, recall us with them. To re- 
pentant prayers we will not be deaf 

So, with dimmer or clearer consciousness, must the 
Right Side reason and act. An inevitable position 
perhaps ; but a most false one for them. Evil, be thou 
our good : this henceforth must virtually be their prayer. 
The fiercer the effervescence grows, the sooner will it 
pass ; for, after all, it is but some mad effervescence ; 
the World is solid, and cannot dissolve. 

For the rest, if they have any positive industry, it is 
that of plots, and backstairs conclaves. Plots which 
cannot be executed; which are mostly theoretic on their 
part ; — for which nevertheless this and the other practical 
Sieur Augeard, Sieur Maillebois, Sieur Bonne Savardin, 
gets into trouble, gets imprisoned, and escapes with 
difficulty.^ Nay there is a poor practical Chevalier 

' [Augeard, the Queen's Keeper of the Seals, was arrested on 
October 25th, 1789, and papers were found relative to a scheme for 
carrying off the King to Metz. Augeard in his Memoirs claims to 
have advised Marie Antoinette to flee alone and disguised so as to 

II. C 

i8 THE FEAST OF PIKES [r.K. i, CH. li 

Favras.vvho, not without some passing reflex on Monsieur 
himself, gets hanged for them, amid loud uproar of the 
world. Poor Favras, he keeps dictating his last will *' at 
the H6tel-de-Ville, through the whole remainder of the 
day," a weary February day ; offers to reveal secrets, if 
they will save him ; handsomely declines since they will 
not ; then dies, in the flare of torchlight, with politest 
composure ; remarking, rather than exclaiming, with 
outspread hands : " People, I die innocent ; pray for me." ' 
Poor Favras ; — type of so much that has prowled inde- 
fatigable over France, in days now ending ; and, in freer 
field, might have earned instead of prowling, — to thee it 
is no theory ! 

In the Senate-house again, the attitude of the Right 
Side is that of calm unbelief. Let an august National 
Assembly make a Fourth-of- August Abolition of Feud- 
ality ; declare the Clergy State-servants, who shall have 
wages ; vote Suspensive Vetos, new Law-Courts ; vote 
or decree what contested thing it will ; have it responded 
to from the four corners of France, nay get King's 
Sanction, and what other Acceptance were conceivable, 
— the Right Side, as we find, persists, with imperturb- 
ablest tenacity, in considering, and ever and anon shows 
that it still considers, all these so-called Decrees as mere 

make a personal appeal to her brother Leopold, the Emperor. 
Augeard had an interview with Leopold at Aix-la-Chapelle in the 
early autumn of 1 790, when Leopold is said to have suggested that 
Louis should declare war on him. — Ed.] 

' See " Deu.x Amis," iv. c. 14, 7 ; " Hist. Pari.," vi. 384. [Favras 
was an agent of Monsieur (the Comte de Provence) and was sup- 
posed to be concerned in a plot for carrymg off the King from 
Paris, whereupon Monsiciir was to have been Regent. Lafayette 
asserts in his Memoirs that Favras meant to begin by killing him 
and Bailly. When Favras was arrested (December 25th, 1789), 
Monsieur took the strange step of goinS to the Municipality of 
Paris to justify himself. The mystery of this affair has never been 
cleared up. Many believe Favras to have been guilty only of folly 
in boasting that he would bring up the Swiss Guards and other 
troops to rescue the King. Lafayette says that his papers were 
secretly sent to Monsieur when he became King in 18 14, by the 
daughter of the magistrate who received them, and that they were 
at once burnt, — Ed.I 


temporary whims, which indeed stand on paper, but in 
practice and fact are not, and cannot be. Figure the 
brass head of an Abb6 Maury flooding forth Jesuitic 
eloquence in this strain ; dusky D'Espremenil, Barrel 
Mirabeau (probably in liquor), and enough of others, 
cheering him from the Right ; and, for example, with 
what visage a seagreen Robespierre eyes him from the 
Left. And how Sieyes ineffably sniffs on him, or does 
not deign to sniff; and how the Galleries groan in spirit, 
or bark rabid on him : so that to escape the Lanterne, 
on stepping forth, he needs presence of mind, and a pair 
of pistols in his girdle ! For he is one of the toughest of 

Here indeed becomes notable one great difference 
between our two kinds of civil war ; between the modern 
lingual or Parliamentary-logical kind, and the ancient or 
manual kind in the steel battlefield ; — much to the dis- 
advantage of the former. In the manual kind, where 
you front your foe with drawn weapon, one right stroke 
is final ; for, physically speaking, when the brains are 
out the man does honestly die, and trouble you no more. 
But how different when it is with arguments you fight ! 
Here no victory yet definable can be considered as final. 
Beat him down with Parliamentary invective, till sense be 
fled ; cut him in two, hanging one half on this dilemma- 
horn, the other on that ; blow the brains or thinking- 
faculty quite out of him for the time : it skills not ; he 
rallies and revives on the morrow ; tomorrow he repairs 
his golden fires ! The thing that ivill logically extinguish 
him is perhaps still a desideratum in Constitutional 
civilisation. For how, till a man know, in some measure, 
at what point he becomes logically defunct, can Parlia- 
mentary Business be carried on, and Talk cease or slake? 

Doubtless it was some feeling of this difficulty ; and 
the clear insight how little such knowledge yet existed 
in the French Nation, new in the Constitutional career, 
and how defunct Aristocrats would continue to walk for 
unlimited periods, as Partridge the Almanac-maker did, 
— that had sunk into the deep mind of People's-friend 

20 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. ii 

Marat, an eminently practical mind ; and had grown 
there, in that richest putrescent soil, into the most original 
plan of action ever submitted to a People. Not yet has 
it grown ; but it has germinated, it is growing ; rooting 
itself into Tartarus, branching towards Heaven : the 
second season hence, we shall see it risen out of the 
bottomless Darkness, full-grown, into disastrous Twilight, 
— a Hemlock-tree, great as the world ; on or under whose 
boughs all the People's-friends of the world may lodge. 
" Two hundred and Sixty thousand Aristocrat heads " : 
that is the precisest calculation, though one would not 
stand on a few hundreds ; yet we never rise as high as 
the round Three hundred thousand. Shudder at it, 
O People ; but it is as true as that ye yourselves, and 
your People's-friend, are alive. These prating Senators 
of yours hover ineffectual on the barren letter, and will 
never save the Revolution. A Cassandra-Marat cannot 
do it, with his single shrunk arm ; but with a few deter- 
mined men it were possible. " Give me," said the People's- 
friend, in his cold way, when young Barbaroux, once his 
pupil in a course of what was called Optics, went to see 
him, " Give me two hundred Naples Bravoes, armed each 
with a good dirk, and a muff on his left arm by way of 
shield : with them I will traverse P'rance, and accomplish 
the Revolution." ^ Nay, be grave, young Barbaroux ; for 
thou seest there is no jesting in those rheumy eyes, in 
that soot-bleared figure, most earnest of created things ; 
neither indeed is there madness, of the strait-waistcoat 

Such produce shall the Time ripen in cavernous Marat, 
the man forbid ; living in Paris cellars, lone as fanatic 
Anchorite in his Thebaid ; say, as far-seen Simon on his 
Pillar, — taking peculiar views therefrom. Patriots may 
smile ; and, using him as bandog now to be muzzled, 
now to be let bark, name him, as Desmoulins does, 
"Maximum of Patriotism " and "Cassandra-Marat " : but 

^ " Memoires de Barbaroux" (Paris, 1822), p. 57. [For examples 
of Marat's homicidal mania see Michelet's " French Rev.," pp. 
544-551, Bohn edit.— Ed.] 


were it not singular if this dirk-and-muff plan of his 
(with superficial modifications) proved to be precisely 
the plan adopted ? 

After this manner, in these circumstances, do august 
Senators regenerate France. Nay, they are, in very deed, 
believed to be regenerating it ; on account of which great 
fact, main fact of their history, the wearied eye can never 
be permitted wholly to ignore them. 

But, looking away now from these precincts of the 
Tuileries, where Constitutional Royalty let Lafayette 
water it as he will, languishes too like a cut branch ; 
and august Senators are perhaps at bottom only perfect- 
ing their " theory of defective verbs," — how does the 
young Reality, young Sansculottism thrive ? The atten- 
tive observer can answer : It thrives bravely ; putting 
forth new buds ; expanding the old buds into leaves, 
into boughs. Is not French Existence, as before, most 
prurient, all loosened, most nutrient for it ? Sansculottism 
has the property of growing by what other things die 
of: by agitation, contention, disarrangement ; nay in a 
word, by what is the symbol and fruit of all these : 

In such a France as this. Hunger, as we have remarked, 
can hardly fail. The Provinces, the Southern Cities feel 
it in their turn ; and what it brings : Exasperation, pre- 
ternatural Suspicion. In Paris some halcyon days of 
abundance followed the Menadic Insurrection, with its 
Versailles grain-carts, and recovered Restorer of Liberty; 
but they could not continue. The month is still October, 
when famishing Saint-Antoine, in a moment of passion, 
seizes a poor Baker, innocent " Francois the Baker " ; ^ 
and hangs him, in Constantinople wise; — but even this, 
singular as it may seem, does not cheapen bread ! Too 
clear it is, no Royal bounty, no Municipal dexterity can 
adequately feed a Bastille-destroying Paris. Wherefore, 
on view of the hanged Baker, Constitutionalism in sorrow 

' October 21st, 1789 (" Moniteur," No. 76). 

22 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. ii 

and anger demands " Loi Martiale" a kind of Riot Act ; 
— and indeed gets it most readily, almost before the sun 
goes down. 

This is that is-vaQd Alartial Law,\^\\.h its Red Flag, its 
" Drapeau Rouge" in virtue of which Mayor Bailly, or 
any Mayor, has but henceforth to hang out that new 
Oriflavniie of his ; then to read or mumble something 
about the King's peace ; and, after certain pauses, serve 
any undispersing Assemblage with musket-shot, or what- 
ever shot will disperse it. A decisive Law ; and most 
just on one proviso : that all Patrollotism be of God, and 
all mob-assembling be of the Devil ; — otherwise not so 
just. Mayor Bailly, be unwilling to use it ! Hang not 
out that new Oriflamme, flame not of gold but of the 
want of gold ! The thrice-blessed Revolution is done, 
thou thinkest? If so, it will be well with thee. 

But now let no mortal say henceforth that an august 
National Assembly wants riot : all it ever wanted was 
riot enough to balance Court-plotting ; all it now wants, 
of Heaven or of Earth, is to get its theory of defective 
verbs ' perfected. 

^ [For this phrase see vol. i., bk. vi., chap, i., note. — Ed.] 

1789-90 THE MUSTER 23 



WITH Famine and a Constitutional theory of de- 
fective verbs going on, all other excitement is 
conceivable. A universal shaking and sifting of French 
Existence this is : in the course of which, for one thing, 
what a multitude of low-lying figures are sifted to the top, 
and set busily to work there ! 

Dogleech Marat, now far-seen as Simon Stylites, we 
already know ; him and others, raised aloft. The mere 
sample these of what is coming, of what continues com- 
ing, upwards from the realm of Night ! — Chaumette,'^ by 
and by Anaxagoras Chaumette, one already descries : 
mellifluous in street-groups ; not now a seaboy on the 
high and giddy mast : a mellifluous tribune of the com- 
mon people, with long curling locks, on bournesione of 
the thoroughfares ; able sub-editor too ; who shall rise, 
— to the very gallows. Clerk Tallien,^ he also is become 
sub-editor ; shall become able-editor ; and more. Biblio- 
polic Momoro, Typographic Prudhomme see new trades 
opening. Collot d'Herbois, tearing a passion to rags, 
pauses on the Thespian boards ; listens, with that black 

^ [Chaumette (1763- 1794) first came into notice as a member of 
the Cordeliers' Club ; advocated extreme socialistic and atheistic 
views ; was allied with Hebert in the Cult of Reason, and guillotined 
with him. — Ed.] 

^ [Tallien (1769-1820), clerk to a notary, became associated with 
the Paris Commune in 1792 ; went as a representani eii viission 
(Commissioner) to Bordeaux during the Terror, but his own and 
his wife's hatred of Robespierre led him to attack that leader in 
1794.— Ed.] 

24 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. ill 

bushy head, to the sound of the world's drama : shall 
the Mimetic become Real ? Did ye hiss him, O men of 
Lyons ? ' Better had ye clapped ! 

Happy now, indeed, for all manner of viinietic, half- 
original men ! Tumid blustering, with more or less of 
sincerity, which need not be entirely sincere, yet the 
sincerer the better, is like to go far. Shall we say, the 
Revolution-element works itself rarer and rarer ; so that 
only lighter and lighter bodies will float in it ; till at last 
the mere blown-bladder is your only swimmer? Limita- 
tion of mind, then vehemence, promptitude, audacity, 
shall all be available ; to which add only these two : 
cunning and good lungs. Good fortune must be pre- 
supposed. Accordingly, of all classes the rising one, we 
observe, is now the Attorne}- class : witness Bazires, 
Carriers, Fouquier-Tinvilles, Basoche-Captain Bourdons : 
more than enough. Such figures shall Night, from her 
wonder-bearing bosom, emit ; swarm after swarm. Of 
another deeper and deepest swarm, not yet dawned on 
the astonished eye ; of pilfering Candle-snuffers, Thief- 
valets, disfrocked Capuchins, and so many Heberts, 
Henriots, Ronsins, Rossignols, let us, as long as possible, 
forbear speaking. 

Thus, over France, all stirs that has what the Physio- 
logists call irritability in it : how much more all wherein 
irritability has perfected itself into vitality, into actual 
vision, and force that can will ! All stirs ; and if not in 
Paris, flocks thither. Great and greater waxes President 
Danton in his Cordeliers Section ;" his rhetorical tropes 
are all " gigantic" : energy flashes from his black brows, 
menaces in his athletic figure, rolls in the sound of his 

' Buzot, "Memoires" (Paris, 1823), p. 90. [Collot d'Herbois 
(1750-1796), an actor ; deputy to the National Convention in 1792, 
and Commissioner to the army which captured and sacked Lyons 

'^ [Danton was, four times running, elected president of the 
Cordeliers' Club, which now began to propel both the populace of 
Paris and the Jacobins' Club. In January, 1790, he was elected to 
the Paris Municipality, but had no wide influence until the illegal 
Commune seized power on August loth, 1792.— Ed.] 

1789-90] THE MUSTER 25 

voice " reverberating from the domes" : this man also, like 
Mirabeau, has a natural eye^ and begins to see whither 
Constitutionalism is tending, though with a wish in it 
different from Mirabeau's. 

Remark, on the other hand, how General Dumouriez 
has quitted Normandy and the Cherbourg Breakwater, 
to come — whither we may guess. It is his second or 
even third trial at Paris, since this New Era began ; but 
now it is in right earnest, for he has quitted all else. 
Wiry, elastic, unwearied man ; whose life was but a 
battle and a march ! No, not a creature of Choiseul's ; 
" the creature of God and of my sword," — he fiercely 
answered in old days. Overfalling Corsican batteries, 
in the deadly fire-hail ; wriggling invincible from under 
his horse, at Closterkamp of the Netherlands, though 
tethered with " crushed stirrup - iron and nineteen 
wounds" ; tough, minatory, standing at bay, as forlorn 
hope, on the skirts of Poland ; intriguing, battling in 
cabinet and field ; roaming far out, obscure, as King's 
spial, or sitting sealed up, enchanted in Bastille ; fencing, 
pamphleteering, scheming and struggling from the very 
birth of him,^ — the man has come thus far. How re- 
pressed, how irrepressible ! Like some incarnate spirit 
in prison, which indeed he was ; hewing on granite 
walls for deliverance ; striking fire-flashes from them. 
And now has the general earthquake rent his cavern 
too ? Twenty years younger, what might he not have 
done ! But his hair has a shade of gray ; his way 
of thought is all fixed, military. He can grow no 
further, and the new world is in such growth. We 
will name him, on the whole, one of Heaven's Swiss ; 
without faith ; wanting above all things work, work 
on any side. Work also is appointed him ; and he will 
do it. 

^ Dumouriex, "Memoires," i. 28, etc. [Dumouriez (1739- 1823), 
in command at Cherbourg, became Minister of War for a short 
space in 1792 ; gained Battle of Jemappes over the Austrians 
(November, 1792) ; deserted to them in 1793 ; fled to England and 
gave advice to our Government in ensuing wars. — Ed.] 

26 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. hi 

Not from over France only are the unrestful flocking 
towards Paris ; but from all sides of Europe. Where 
the carcass is, thither will the eagles gather. Think 
how many a Spanish Guzman, Martinico Fournier named 
" Fournier V Amcricain" Engineer Miranda from the very 
Andes, were flocking or had flocked. Walloon Fereyra 
might boast of the strangest parentage : him, they say, 
Prince Kaunitz the Diplomatist heedlessly dropped ; 
like ostrich -egg, to be hatched of Chance, — into an 
osXx\c\i-eatcr\ Jewish or German Freys do business in 
the great Cesspool of Agio ; which Cesspool this As- 
signat-^2X has quickened, into a Mother of dead dogs. 
Swiss Claviere could found no Socinian Genevese Colony 
in Ireland ; but he paused, years ago, prophetic, before 
the Minister's Hotel at Paris ; and said, it was borne on 
his mind that he one day was to be Minister, and 
laughed.^ Swiss Pache, on the other hand, sits sleek- 
headed, frugal ; the wonder of his own alley, and even 
of neighbouring ones, for humility of mind, and a thought 
deeper than most men's r sit there, Tartufife, till wanted ! 
Ye Italian Dufournys, Flemish Prolys, flit hither all ye 
bipeds of prey ! Come whosesoever head is hot ; thou of 
mind tmgoverned, be it chaos as of undevelopment or 
chaos as of ruin ; the man who cannot get known, the 
man who is too well known ; if thou have any vendible 
faculty, nay if thou have but edacity and loquacity, 
come ; They come ; with hot unutterabilities in their 
heart ; as Pilgrims towards a miraculous shrine. Nay 
how many come as vacant Strollers, aimless, of whom 
Europe is full, merely towards something \ For benighted 
fowls, when you beat their bushes, rush towards any 
light. Thus Frederick Baron Trenck too is here ; 

^ Dumont, "Souvenirs sur Mirabeau," p. 399. [Claviere, a 
Genevese banker ; acted as collaborator of Mirabeau, especially 
on financial matters, and suggested the plan of assii^nats ; became 
Finance Minister in the Girondist Ministry of 1792. — Ed.] 

^ [Pache was befriended by Roland, Minister of the Interior in 
1792, but proved false to him after he (Pache) was chosen War 
Minister. As Mayor of Paris in 1793 he also intrigued for the 
downfall of the Girondins.— Eu.] 

1789-90] THE MUSTER 27 

mazed, purblind, from the cells of the Magdeburg ; 
Minotauric cells, and his Ariadne lost! Singular to 
say, Trenck, in these years, sells wine ; not indeed in 
bottle, but in wood. 

Nor is our England without her missionaries. She 
has her life-saving Needham ;^ to whom was solemnly 
presented a " civic sword," — long since rusted into 
nothingness. Her Paine : " rebellious Staymaker ; un- 
kempt ; who feels that he, a single Needleman, did, by 
his " Common-Sense" Pamphlet, free America ; — that he 
can and will free all this world ; perhaps even the other. 
Price-Stanhope Constitutional Association sends over 
to congratulate ; ' welcomed by National Assembly, 
though they are but a London Club ; whom Burke and 
Toryism eye askance. 

On thee too, for country's sake, O Chevalier John 
Paul, be a word spent, or misspent ! In faded naval 
uniform, Paul Jones lingers visible here ; like a wineskin 
from which the wine is all drawn. Like the ghost of 
himself! Low is his once loud bruit; scarcely audible, 
save, with extreme tedium, in ministerial ante-chambers, 
in this or the other charitable dining-room, mindful of 
the past. What changes ; culminatings and declinings ! 
Not now, poor Paul, thou lookest wistful over the Sol- 
way brine, by the foot of native Criffel, into blue 
mountainous Cumberland, into blue Infinitude ; en- 
vironed with thrift, with humble friendliness ; thyself, 
young fool, longing to be aloft from it, or even to be 

^ A trustworthy gentleman writes to me, three years ago, with a 
feeling which I cannot but respect, that his Father, "the late 
Admiral Nesham" (not Needham, as the French Journalists give 
it), is the Englishman meant ; and furthermore that the sword is 
" not rusted at all," but still lies, with the due memory attached to 
it, in his (the son's) possession, at Plymouth, in a clear state. 
(Note of 1857.) 

^ [Tom Paine, the well-known democrat and freethinker, author 
of "Common Sense," " The Rights of Man," " The Age of Reason," 
etc., settled at Paris and was elected deputy to the National Con- 
vention ; he voted that Louis be exiled to the United States. — Ed.] 

' " Moniteur," 10 Ncvembre, 7 Decembre, 1789. 

28 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. ill 

away from it. Yes, beyond that sapphire Promontory, 
which men name St. Bees, which is not sapphire either, 
but dull sandstone, when one gets close to it, there is a 
world. Which world thou too shalt taste of! — From 
yonder White Haven rise his smoke-clouds ; ominous 
though ineffectual. Proud Forth quakes at his bellying 
sails ; had not the wind suddenly shifted. P"lamborough 
reapers, homegoing, pause on the hill-side : for what 
sulphur-cloud is that that defaces the sleek sea ; sulphur- 
cloud spitting streaks of fire ? A sea cock-fight it is, and 
of the hottest ; where British " Serapis " and French- 
American " Bon Homme Richard " do lash and throttle 
each other, in their fashion ; and lo the desperate valour 
has suffocated the deliberate, and Paul Jones too is of 
the Kings of the Sea ! 

The P^uxine, the Meotian waters felt thee next, and 
long-skirted Turks, O Paul ; and thy fiery soul has 
wasted itself in thousand contradictions ; — to no pur- 
pose. For, in far lands, with scarlet Nassau-Siegens, 
with sinful Imperial Catherines, is not the heart broken, 
even as at home with the mean ? Poor Paul ! hunger 
and dispiritment track thy sinking footsteps : once, or 
at most twice, in this Revolution-tumult the figure of 
thee emerges ; mute, ghostlike, as " with stars dim- 
twinkling through." And then, when the light is gone 
quite out, a National Legislature grants " ceremonial 
funeral " ! As good had been the natural Presbyterian 
Kirk-bell, and six feet of Scottish earth, among the 
dust of thy loved ones. — Such world lay beyond the 
Promontory of St. Bees. Such is the life of sinful man- 
kind here below. 

Jean Baptiste de Clootz ; — or, dropping baptisms and 
feudalisms, World-Citizen Anacharsis Clootz, fromCleves. 
Him mark, judicious Reader. Thou hast known his 
Uncle, sharp-sighted, thorough-going Cornelius de Pauw, 
who mercilessly cuts down cherished illusions ; and of 
the finest antique Spartans will make mere modern cut- 

1789-90] THE MUSTER 29 

throat Mainots.^ The like stuff is in Anacharsis : hot 
metal ; full of scoriae, which should and could have been 
smelted out, but which will not. He has wandered over 
this terraqueous Planet ; seeking, one may say, the 
Paradise we lost long ago. He has seen English Burke ; 
has been seen of the Portugal Inquisition ; has roamed, 
and fought, and written ; is writing, among other things, 
" Evidences of the Mahometan Religion." But now, like 
his Scythian adoptive godfather, he finds himself in the 
Paris Athens ; surely, at last, the haven of his soul. A 
dashing man, beloved at Patriotic dinner-tables ; with 
gaiety, nay with humour ; headlong, trenchant, of free 
purse ; in suitable costume ; though what mortal ever 
more despised costumes ? Under all costumes Anacharsis 
seeks the man ; not Stylites Marat will more freely 
trample costumes, if they hold no man. This is the faith 
of Anacharsis : That there is a Paradise discoverable ; 
that all costumes ought to hold men. O Anacharsis, it 
is a headlong, swift-going faith. Mounted thereon, me- 
seems, thou art bound hastily for the City of Nowhere ; 
and wilt arrive ! At best, we may say, arrive in good 
riding attitude ; which indeed is something. 

So many new persons and new things have come to 
occupy this France. Her old Speech and Thought, and 
Activity which springs from these, are all changing ; 
fermenting towards unknown issues. To the dullest 
peasant, as he sits sluggish, overtoiled, by his evening 
hearth, one idea has come : that of Chateaus burnt ; of 
Chateaus combustible. How altered all Coffeehouses, in 
Province or Capital! The Antre de Procope has now 
other questions than the Three Stagyrite Unities to 
settle; not theatre -controversies, but a world -contro- 
versy : there, in the ancient pigtail mode, or with modern 
Brutus' heads, do well-frizzed logicians hold hubbub, and 
Chaos umpire sits. The ever-enduring melody of Paris 
Saloons has got a new ground-tone : ever-enduring ; 

1 De Pauw, " Recherches sur les Grecs," etc, 

30 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. I, CH. ill 

which has been heard, and by the listening Heaven too, 
since JuHan the Apostate's time and earHer ; mad now 
as formerly. 

Ex-Censor Suard, £,t'-Censor, for we have freedom of 
the Press ; he may be seen there ; impartial, even neutral. 
Tyrant Grimm rolls large eyes, over a questionable 
coming Time. Atheist Naigeon, beloved-disciple of 
Diderot, crows, in his small difficult way, heralding glad 
dawn.' But on the other hand, how many Morellets, 
Marmontels, who had sat all their life hatching Philo- 
sophe eggs, cackle now, in a state bordering on distrac- 
tion, at the brood they have brought out ! ' It was .so 
delightful to have one's Philosophe Theorem demon- 
strated, crowned in the saloons : and now an infatuated 
people will not continue speculative, but have Practice ! 

There also observe Preceptress Genlis, or Sillery, or 
Sillery-Genlis, — for our husband is both Count and Mar- 
quis, and we have more than one title. Pretentious, 
frothy ; a puritan yet creedless ; darkening counsel by 
words without wisdom ! ' For, it is in that thin element 
of the Sentimentalist and Distinguished-Female that 
Sillery-Genlis works ; she would gladly be sincere, yet 
can grow no sincerer than sincere-cant : sincere-cant of 
many forms, ending in the devotional form. For the 
present, on a neck still of moderate whiteness, she wears 
as jewel a miniature Bastille, cut on mere sandstone, but 
then actual Bastille sandstone. M. le Marquis is one of 
D'Orleans's errand-men ; in National Assembly, and 
elsewhere. Madame, for her part, trains up a youthful 
D'Orleans generation in what superfinest morality one 
can ; gives meanwhile rather enigmatic account of fair 
Mademoiselle Pamela, the Daughter whom she has 
adopted. Thus she, in Palais-Royal Saloon ;— whither, 

* Naigeon, "Adresse h I'Assemblee Nationale (Paris, 179°). sur 
la liberty des opinions." . 

- See Marmontel, " Memoires,"/«J.ym ; Morellet, "Memoires," 

^ [Mme, de Genlis wrote several moralising works.— Ed.J 

1789-90] THE MUSTER 31 

we remark, D'Orleans himself, spite of Lafayette, has 
returned from that English " mission " of his : surely no 
pleasant mission : for the English would not speak to 
him ; and Saint Hannah More of England, so unlike 
Saint Sillery-Genlis of France, saw him shunned, in 
Vauxhall Gardens, like one peststruck,^ and his red-blue 
impassive visage waxing hardly a shade bluer. 

^ Hannah More's " Life and Correspondence," ii. c. 5. [Talley- 
rand said of the Duke of Orleans : " He is the slop-pail into which 
is thrown all the filth of the Revolution" (Dumont, "Souvenirs"). 
La Marck asserts that while the duke was in England, he urgently 
entreated Mme. de Buffon, whom he had entirely estranged from 
her husband, to go with him to America ; but she refused. Her 
influence was generally used to restrain the duke's factious opposi- 
tion to the Court. La Marck gives many instances of the duke's 
timidity and nervousness, but personal rancour against the Queen 
(" Corresp. de Mirabeau et La Marck," vol. i., pp. 74-83). Barras 
(" Memoires," vol. i., chap, viii.) echoes the general belief when he 
states that, had the duke been bold and ambitious, he could have 
seized the Crown. — Ed.] 

THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. iv 



AS for Constitutionalism, with its National Guards, it 
is doing what it can ; and has enough to do : it 
must, as ever, with one hand wave persuasively, repress- 
ing Patriotism ; and keep the other clenched to menace 
Royalist plotters. A most delicate task ; requiring tact. 
Thus, if People's-friend Marat has today his writ of 
^'' prise dc corps, or seizure of body," served on him, and 
dives out of sight, tomorrow he is left at large ; or is even 
encouraged, as a sort of bandog whose baying may be 
useful. President Danton, in open Hall, with rever- 
berating voice, declares that, in a case like Marat's, " force 
may be resisted by force." Whereupon the Chatelet 
serves Danton also with a writ ; — which however, as the 
whole Cordeliers District responds to it, what Constable 
will be prompt to execute ? Twice more, on new occa- 
sions, does the Chatelet launch its writ ; and twice 
more in vain : the body of Danton cannot be seized by 
Chatelet ; he unseized, should he even fly for a season, 
shall behold the Chatelet itself flung into limbo/ 

' [The Chatelet was an old legal body having ill-defined powers, 
and that was soon to be swept away for a body having a popular 
origin. Marat had of late been satirising Bailly for his affectation 
of pomp, and had been hunted from his temporary hiding-place on 
Montmartre to another in the Cordeliers district. There Lafayette 
sought to arrest him on January 22nd, 1790, by sending 3,000 
National Guards to enforce the writ of the Chatelet. But Danton, 
who held a high official position in that district, proved to the 
servers of the writ that it was technically defective. An appeal to 
the Assembly resulted in a demand for Marat's arrest : but by this 

1789-90] JOURNALISM 33 

Municipality and Brissot, meanwhile, are far on with 
their Municipal Constitution. The Sixty Districts shall 
become Forty-eight Sections ; much shall be adjusted, 
and Paris have its Constitution. A Constitution wholly 
Elective ; as indeed all French Government shall and 
must be. And yet, one fatal element has been introduced : 
that of citoyen actif. No man who does not pay the 
marc d' argent, or yearly tax equal to three-days labour, 
shall be other than a passive citizen : not the slightest 
vote for him ; were he acting, all the year round, with 
sledge-hammer, with forest-levelling axe ! Unheard of ! 
cry Patriot Journals. Yes truly, my Patriot Friends, if 
Liberty, the passion and prayer of all men's souls, means 
Liberty to send your fifty-thousandth part of a new 
Tongue-fencer into National Debating-club, then, be 
the gods witness, ye are hardly entreated. O, if in Na- 
tional Palaver (as the Africans name it), such blessed- 
ness is verily found, what tyrant would deny it to Son 
of Adam ! Nay, might there not be a Female Parlia- 
ment too, with " screams from the Opposition benches," 
and " the honourable Member borne out in hysterics " ? 
To a Children's Parliament would I gladly consent ; or 
even lower if ye wished it. Beloved Brothers ! Liberty, 
one may fear, is actually, as the ancient wise men said, 
of Heaven. On this Earth, where, thinks the enlightened 
public, did a brave little Dame de Staal (not Necker's 
Daughter, but a far shrewder than she) find the nearest 
approach to Liberty? After mature computation, cool as 
Dilworth's, her answer is. In the Bastille} " Of Heaven ? " 
answer many, asking. Wo that they should ask ; for 
that is the very misery ! " Of Heaven " means much ; 
share in the National Palaver it may, or may as probably 
not mean. 

One Sansculottic bough that cannot fail to flourish is 
Journalism. The voice of the People being the voice of 
God, shall not such divine voice make itself heard ? To 

time Marat had flown to England for a time (Belloc's " Danton," 
pp. 97-104).— Ed.] 

' De Staal, " Memoires " (Paris, 1821), i. 169-280. 

II. D 

34 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. iv 

the ends of France ; and in as many dialects as when 
the yirst great Babel was to be built ! Some loud as the 
lion ; some small as the sucking dove. Mirabeau him- 
self has his instructive Journal or Journals, with Geneva 
hodmen working in them ; and withal has quarrels 
enough with Dame le Jay, his Female Bookseller, so 
ultra-compliant otherwise/ 

King s-fi'iend Royou still prints himself Barrere 
sheds tears of loyal sensibility in " Break-of-Day " Journal, 
though with declining sale. But why is Freron so hot, 
democratic ; Freron, the King's-friend's Nephew ? He 
has it by kind, that heat of his : wasp Freron begot him ; 
Voltaire's " Frelon " ; who fought stinging, while sting 
and poison-bag were left, were it only as Reviewer, and 
over Printed Waste-paper. Constant, illuminative, as 
the nightly lamplighter, issues the useful " Moniteur," 
for it is now become diurnal : with facts and few com- 
mentaries ; official, safe in the middle ; — its Able 
Editors sunk long since, recoverably or irrecoverably, in 
deep darkness. Acid Loustalot, with his " vigour," as of 
young sloes, shall never ripen, but die untimely : his 
Frudhomme, however, will not let that " Revolutions de 
Paris " die ; but edit it himself, with much else, — dull- 
blustering Printer though he be. 

Of Cassandra-Marat we have spoken often ; yet the 
most surprising truth remains to be spoken : that he 
actually does not want sense ; but, with croaking gelid 
throat, croaks out masses of the truth, on several things. 
Nay sometimes, one might almost fancy he had a per- 
ception of humour, and were laughing a little, far down 
in his inner man. Camille is wittier than ever, and 

' Dumont, " Souvenirs," 6. [The " Geneva hodmen " were three 
able collaborators — Dumont, Claviere, and Duroveray. They often 
drew up notes for his speeches, or even composed the speeches. 
Dumont translated for him the account which Romilly sent of the 
procedure of our House of Commons, and says of it : " Revising, 
with a man [Mirabeau] whose boisterous impatience you well 
know, was hurried work." So too, after Mirabeau's death : "If 
Mirabeau did not work himself, he made others work" (Romilly's 
" Memoirs," vol. i., pp. 271, 322). — Ed.] 

1789-90] JOURNALISM 35 

more outspoken, cynical ; yet sunny as ever.' A light 
melodious creature ; " born," as he shall yet say with 
bitter tears, " to write verses " ; light Apollo, so clear, 
soft-lucent, in this war of the Titans, wherein he shall 
not conquer ! 

Folded and hawked Newspapers exist in all coun- 
tries ; but, in such a Journalistic element as this of 
France, other and stranger sorts are to be anticipated. 
What says the English reader to a " Journal-Affiche," 
Placard Journal ; legible to him that has no halfpenny ; 
in bright prismatic colours, calling the eye from afar ? 
Such, in the coming months, as Patriot Associations, 
public and private, advance, and can subscribe funds, 
shall plenteously hang themselves out : leaves, limed 
leaves, to catch what they can ! The very Government 
shall have its Pasted Journal ; Louvet, busy yet with a 
new " charming romance," shall write " Sentinelles," and 
post them with effect ; nay Bertrand de Moleville, in his 
extremity, shall still more cunningly try it." Great is 
Journalism. Is not every Able Editor a Ruler of the 
World, being a persuader of it ; though self-elected, yet 
sanctioned, by the sale of his Numbers ? Whom indeed 
the world has the readiest method of deposing, should 
need be : that of merely doing nothing to him ; which 
ends in starvation.' 

Nor esteem it small what those Bill-stickers had to do 
in Paris : above Threescore of them : all with their 
crosspoles, haversacks, pastepots ; nay with leaden 
badges, for the Municipality licenses them. A Sacred 
College, properly of World-rulers' Heralds, though not 
respected as such in an Era still incipient and raw. 
They made the walls of Paris didactic, suasive, with an 

' [For a good specimen of his banter of Marat (about the 
"2 50,000 heads ") see Michelet's " Fr. Rev.,"p. 5 19 (Bohn edit.).— Ed.] 

-^ See Bertrand-Moleville, " Memoires," ii. 100, etc. 

■^ [Sergent Marceau (" Reminiscences of a Regicide," p. 103) 
says that a Mr. Routledge, who was a member of the Jacobins' 
Club, tried to start in Paris a paper like Addison's "Spectator" 
He later on slandered Necker in a notorious pamphlet. — Ed.] 

36 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. iv 

ever-fresh Periodical Literature, wherein he that ran 
might read : Placard Journals, Placard Lampoons, 
Municipal Ordinances, Royal Proclamations ; the whole 
other or vulgar Placard-department superadded, — or 
omitted from contempt ! What unutterable things the 
stone-walls spoke, during these five years ! But it is all 
gone ; Today swallowing Yesterday, and then being in 
its turn swallowed of Tomorrow, even as Speech ever is. 
Nay what, O thou immortal Man of Letters, is Writing 
itself but Speech conserved for a time ? The Placard 
Journal conserved it for one day ; some Books conserve 
it for the matter of ten years ; nay some for three 
thousand : but what then ? Why, then, the years being 
all run, it also dies, and the world is rid of it. O, were 
there not a spirit in the word of man, as in man himself, 
that survived the audible bodied word, and tended either 
godward or else devilward forevermore, why should he 
trouble himself much with the truth of it, or the false- 
hood of it, except for commercial purposes ? His im- 
mortality indeed, and whether it shall last half a lifetime 
or a lifetime and half; is not that a very considerable 
thing? Immortality, mortality: — there were certain 
runaways whom Fritz the Great bullied back into the 
battle with a : " R — , zvollt iJir ezvig Icben, Unprintable 
Offscouring of Scoundrels, would ye live forever ! " 

This is the Communication of Thought ; how happy 
when there is any Thought to communicate ! Neither 
let the simpler old methods be neglected, in their sphere. 
The Palais-Royal Tent, a tyrannous Patrollotism has 
removed ; but can it remove the lungs of man ? Anaxa- 
goras Chaumette we saw mounted on bourne-stones, 
while Tallien worked sedentary at the sub-editorial 
desk. In any corner of the civilised world, a tub can 
be inverted, and an articulate-speaking biped mount 
thereon. Nay, with contrivance, a portable trestle, or 
folding-stool, can be procured, for love or money ; this 
the peripatetic Orator can take in his hand, and, driven 
out here, set it up again there : saying mildly, with a 
Sage Bias, Omnia men ineciini porto. 

1789-90] JOURNALISM 37 

Such is Journalism, hawked, pasted, spoken. How 
changed since One old Metra walked this same Tuileries 
Garden, in gilt cocked-hat, with Journal at his nose, or 
held loose-folded behind his back ; and was a notability 
of Paris, " Metra the Newsman " ; ^ and Louis himself 
was wont to say : Qu'en dit Metra ? Since the first 
Venetian News-sheet was sold for a gazza, or farthing, 
and named " Gazette " ! We live in a fertile world. 

' Dulaure, " Histoire de Paris," viii. 483 ; Mercier, " Nouveau 
Paris," etc. 

3« THE FEAST OF PIKES [kk. I, CH. v 



WHERE the heart is full, it seeks, for a thousand 
reasons, in a thousand ways, to impart itself. 
How sweet, indispensable, in such cases, is fellowship ; 
soul mystically strengthening soul ! The meditative 
Germans, some think, have been of opinion that En- 
thusiasm in general means simply excessive Congre- 
gating — Schwdnnerey^ or Swarviing. At any rate, do 
we not see glimmering half-red embers, if laid together, 
get into the brightest white glow ? 

In such a France, gregarious Reunions will needs 
multiply, intensify ; French Life will step out of doors, 
and, from domestic, become a public Club Life. Old 
Clubs, which already germinated, grow and flourish ; 
new everywhere bud forth. It is the sure symptom of 
Social Unrest : in such way, most infallibly of all, does 
Social Unrest exhibit itself ; find solacement, and also 
nutriment. In every French head there hangs now, 
whether for terror or for hope, some prophetic picture of 
a New France : prophecy which brings, nay which 
almost is, its own fulfilment ; and in all ways, consciously 
and unconsciously, works towards that. 

Observe, moreover, how the Aggregative Principle, 
let it be but deep enough, goes on aggregating, and this 
even in a geometrical progression ; how when the whole 
world, in such a plastic time, is forming itself into Clubs, 
some One Club, the strongest or luckiest, shall by friendly 
attracting, by victorious compelling, grow ever stronger, 
till it become immeasurably strong ; and all the others, 
with their strength, be either lovingly absorbed into it, 

1789-90] CLUBBISM 39 

or hostilely abolished by it. This if the Club-spirit is 
universal ; if the time is plastic. Plastic enough is the 
time, universal the Club-spirit: such an all-absorbing, 
paramount One Club cannot be wanting. 

What a progress, since the first salient-point of the 
Breton Committee ! It worked long in secret, not lan- 
guidly ; it has come with the National Assembly to 
Paris ; calls itself Club ; calls itself, in imitation, as is 
thought, of those generous Price-Stanhope English who 
sent over to congratulate, French Revolution Club ; but 
soon, with more originality. Club of Friends of the Con- 
stitution. Moreover it has leased for itself, at a fair rent, 
the Hall of the Jacobins Convent, one of our "super- 
fluous edifices"; and does therefrom now, in these 
spring months, begin shining out on an admiring Paris. 
And so, by degrees, under the shorter popular title of 
facobins Club, it shall become memorable to all times 
and lands.' Glance into the interior: strongly yet 
modestly benched and seated ; as many as Thirteen 

^ [The dub was due to the desire of a great many provincial 
deputies to have some meeting-place. They first leased the 
refectory of the Jacobins' Monastery for two hundred francs a year. 
Barnave, Le Chapelier, Duport, Lameth, and Target were the first 
secretaries (Aulard, " Societe des Jacobins," vol. i., p. xix of Intro- 
duction). All deputies were eligible for admission ; but at first 
only such outsiders as had written useful works could be elected to 
the club. Condorcet and other savants were admitted thus ; but 
the restriction was soon given up, and then the number of members 
quickly rose to four hundred. They then leased the library, and 
later on, the church (for a description of which see Michelet, p. 
492, Bohn edit.). Sergent Marceau (" Reminiscences of a Regicide," 
pp. 39, 84, Eng. edit.) describes the club as most orderly up to the 
end of the Constituent Assembly (September, 179O : "There was 
more dignity than was often to be found in the National Assembly 
because there was no opposition inspired by personal interests and 
passions. The members were all agreed as to principles ; they 
differed only as to means. The discussions were always on the 
questions then before the National Assembly. . . . Robespierre 
had not yet taken possession of the tribune [at the club] : his 
diffuse, ill-written, declamatoiy speeches did not yet lay down the 
law. He was listened to because the purity of his principles was 
respected, and rightly at that time." — Ed.] 

40 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. v 

Hundred chosen Patriots ; Assembly Members not a 
few. Barnave, the two Lameths are seen there ; oc- 
casionally Mirabeau, perpetually Robespierre ; also the 
ferret-visage of Fouquier-Tinville with other attorneys ; 
Anacharsis of Prussian Scythia, and miscellaneous 
Patriots, — though all is yet in the most perfectly clean- 
washed state ; decent, nay dignified. President on 
platform, President's bell are not wanting ; oratorical 
Tribune high-raised ; nor strangers' galleries, wherein 
also sit women. Has any French Antiquarian Society 
preserved that written Lease of the Jacobins Convent 
Hall ? Or was it, unluckier even than Magna Charta, 
f/z)!'/' by sacrilegious Tailors ? Universal History is not 
indifferent to it. 

These Friends of the Constitution have met mainly, 
as their name may foreshadow, to look after Elections 
when an Election comes, and procure fit men : but like- 
wise to consult generally that the Commonweal take no 
damage ; one as yet sees not how. For indeed let two 
or three gather together anywhere, if it be not in Church, 
where all are bound to the passive state ; no mortal can 
say accurately, themselves as little as any, for wJiat they 
are gathered. How often has the broached barrel proved 
not to be for joy and heart-effusion, but for duel and 
head-breakage ; and the promised feast become a Feast 
of the Lapithae ! This Jacobins Club,' which at first 
shone resplendent, and was thought to be a new celestial 
Sun for enlightening the Nations, had, as things all have, 
to work through its appointed phases : it burned unfor- 
tunately more and more lurid, more sulphurous, dis- 
tracted ; — and swam at last, through the astonished 
Heaven, like a Tartarean Portent, and lurid-burning 
Prison of Spirits in Pain. 

Its style of eloquence ? Rejoice, Reader, that thou 

1 [The Jacobins' Club was just to the west of the Church of St. 
Roch, and was not far from the Salic de Manege where the 
Assembly sat — at the place where the Rue de Rivoli (constructed 
by Napoleon) cuts the Rue de Castiglione. — Ed.] 

1789-90] CLUBBISM 41 

knowest it not, that thou canst never perfectly know. 
The Jacobins published a Journal of Debates, where they 
that have the heart may examine : impassioned, dull- 
droning Patriotic eloquence ; implacable, unfertile — save 
for Destruction, which was indeed its work : most weari- 
some, though most deadly. Be thankful that Oblivion 
covers so much ; that all carrion is by and by buried in 
the green Earth's bosom, and even makes her grow the 
greener. The Jacobins are buried ; but their work is 
not ; it continues " making the tour of the world," as it 
can. It might be seen lately, for instance, with bared 
bosom and death-defiant eye, as far on as Greek Misso- 
longhi ; strange enough, old slumbering Hellas was re- 
suscitated, into somnainbulisni which will become clear 
wakefulness, by a voice from the Rue St. Honore ! All 
dies, as we often say ; except the spirit of man, of what 
man does. Thus has not the very House of the Jacobins 
vanished : scarcely lingering in a few old men's memo- 
ries ? The St. Honor6 Market has brushed it away, and 
now where dull-droning eloquence, like a Trump of 
Doom, once shook the world, there is pacific chaffering 
for poultry and greens. The sacred National Assembly 
Hall itself has become common ground ; President's 
platform permeable to wain and dustcart ; for the Rue 
de Rivoli runs there. Verily, at Cockcrow (of this Cock 
or the other), all Apparitions do melt and dissolve in 

The Paris Jacobins became " the Mother Society, 
Societe Mere " ; and had as many as "three hundred " 
shrill-tongued daughters in " direct correspondence " 
with her. Of indirectly corresponding, what we may 
call grand-daughters and minute progeny, she counted 
" forty-four thousand " ! — But for the present we note 
only two things : the first of them a mere anecdote. 
One night, a couple of brother Jacobins are door-keepers ; 
for the members take this post of duty and honour in 
rotation, and admit none that have not tickets : one 
door-keeper was the worthy Sieur Lais, a patriotic 
Opera-singer, stricken in years, whose windpipe is long 

42 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. I, CH. v 

since closed without result ; the other, young, and named 
Louis Philippe, D'Orl^ans's firstborn, has in this latter 
time, after unheard-of destinies, become Citizen-King, 
and struggles to rule for a season. AH flesh is grass ; 
higher reedgrass, or creeping herb. 

The second thing we have to note is historical : that 
the Mother Society, even in this its effulgent period, 
cannot content all Patriots. Already it must throw off, 
so to speak, two dissatisfied swarms ; a swarm to the 
right, a swarm to the left. One party, which thinks the 
Jacobins lukewarm, constitutes itself into Club of the 
Co7'deliers ; ' a hotter Club : it is Danton's element ; with 
whom goes Desmoulins. The other party, again, which 
thinks the Jacobins scalding-hot, flies off to the right, 
and becomes " Club of 1789, Friends of the Monarchic 
Constitution." ' They are afterwards named '■^ Feiiillans 
Club'' ; their place of meeting being the Feuillans Con- 
vent. Lafayette is, or becomes, their chief man ; sup- 
ported by the respectable Patriot everywhere, by the 
mass of Property and Intelligence, — with the most 
flourishing prospects. They, in these June days of 
1790, do, in the Palais Royal, dine solemnly with open 
windows ; to the cheers of the people ; with toasts, with 
inspiriting songs, — with one song at least, among the 
feeblest ever sung.' They shall, in due time, be hooted 
forth, over the borders, into Cimmerian Night. 

^ [For vivid sketches of the Cordeliers' Club and its leaders 
see Michelet's "French Rev.," pp. 510-524, Bohn edit.; also 
Belloc's " Danton." The latter points out that the club derived its 
strength from allowing all the voters of the Cordeliers district to 
be members : these included many barristers and students. — Ed.] 

- This club was first called the " Club des Impartiaux," but 
was revived as " Club of the Friends of the Monarchic Constitution." 
During the scarcity of the winter of 1789- 1790, it distributed bread 
to the poor, until Barnave, at the Jacobins, lyingly asserted that 
the bread was poisoned : thereupon the people set on them and 
closed the club (Michelet, p. 553). They are distinct from the 
Feuillant Club (though of similar principles), which was formed 
later and sat at the Feuillants' Monastery, opposite the Salle de 
Manage. — Ed.] 

•^ " Hist. Pari.," vi. 334. 

1789-90] CLUBBISM 43 

Another expressly Monarchic or Royalist Club, " Club 
des Monarchiens," though a Club of ample funds, and all 
sitting on damask sofas, cannot realise the smallest 
momentary cheer : realises only scoffs and groans ; — 
till, ere long, certain Patriots in disorderly sufficient 
number, proceed thither, for a night or for nights, and 
groan it out of pain. Vivacious alone shall the Mother 
Society and her family be. The very Cordeliers may, 
as it were, return into her bosom, which will have grown 
warm enough. 

Fatal-looking ! Are not such Societies an incipient 
New Order of Society itself? The Aggregative Principle 
anew at work in a Society grown obsolete, cracked 
asunder, dissolving into rubbish and primary atoms ? 

THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. vi 



WITH these signs of the times, is it not surprising 
that the dominant feeling all over France was 
still continually Hope? O blessed Hope, sole boon of 
man : whereby, on his strait prison -walls, are painted 
beautiful far-stretching landscapes ; and into the night 
of very Death is shed holiest dawn ! Thou art to all an 
indefeasible possession in this God's-world ; to the wise 
a sacred Constantine's-banner, written on the eternal 
skies ; under which they shall conquer, for the battle 
itself is victory : to the foolish some secular mirage, or 
shadow of still waters, painted on the parched Earth ; 
whereby at least their dusty pilgrimage, if devious, be- 
comes cheerfuler, becomes possible. 

In the death tumults of a sinking Society, French 
Hope sees only the birth-struggles of a new unspeakably 
better Society ; and sings, with full assurance of faith, 
her brisk Melody, which some inspired fiddler has In 
these very days composed for her, — the world-famous 
" Qa-ira." ' Yes ; " that will go " : and then there will 

* [The "C^a-ira" of 1790 had a distinctly hopeful and religious 
tone : 

" Le peuple en ce jour sans cesse repute 

Ah ! 5a ira ! 9a ira ! 5a ira ! 
Suivant les maximes de I'Evangile 

(Ah ! §a ira ! 5a ira ! 9a ira !) 
Du legislateur tout s'accomplira ; 
Celui qui s'eleve, on I'abaissera, 
Et qui s'abaisse, on I'elevera." 

The " Ca-ira" of 1793 was a fierce revengeful song. — Eu.] 

i79o] JE LE JURE 45 

come — ? All men hope ; even Marat hopes — that 
Patriotism will take muff and dirk. King Louis is not 
without hope : in the chapter of chances ; in a flight to 
some Bouille ; in getting popularised at Paris. But 
what a hoping People he had, judge by the fact, and 
series of facts, now to be noted. 

Poor Louis, meaning the best, with little insight and 
even less determination of his own, has to follow, in that 
dim wayfaring of his, such signal as may be given him ; 
by backstairs Royalism, by official or backstairs Con- 
stitutionalism, whichever for the month may have con- 
vinced the royal mind. If flight to Bouille, and (horrible 
to think !) a drawing of the civil sword do hang as 
theory, portentous in the background, much nearer is 
this fact of these Twelve Hundred Kings, who sit in the 
Salle de Manege. Kings uncontrollable by him, not yet 
irreverent to him. Could kind management of these but 
prosper, how much better were it than armed Emigrants, 
Turin intrigues, and the help of Austria ! Nay are the 
two hopes inconsistent ? Rides in the suburbs, we have 
found, cost little ; yet they always brought vivatsJ' Still 
cheaper is a soft word ; such as has many times turned 
away wrath. In these rapid days, while France is all 
getting divided into Departments, Clergy about to be 
remodelled. Popular Societies rising, and Feudalism and 
so much else is ready to be hurled into the melting-pot, 
— might not one try ? 

On the 4th of February, accordingly, M. le President 
reads to his National Assembly a short autograph, 
announcing that his Majesty will step over, quite in an 
unceremonious way, probably about noon. Think, there- 
fore. Messieurs, what it may mean ; especially, how ye 
will get the Hall decorated a little. The Secretaries' 
Bureau can be shifted down from the platform ; on the 
President's chair be slipped this cover of velvet, " of a 
violet colour sprigged with gold fleur-de-lys " ; — for in- 
deed M. le President has had previous notice underhand, 

' See Bertrand-Moleville, i. 241, etc. 

46 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. vi 

and taken counsel with Doctor Guillotin. Then some 
fraction of " velvet carpet," of like texture and colour, 
cannot that be spread in front of the chair, where the 
Secretaries usually sit? So has judicious Guillotin ad- 
vised : and the effect is found satisfactory. Moreover, 
as it is probable that his Majesty, in spite of the fleur- 
de-lys velvet, will stand and not sit at all, the President 
himself, in the interim, presides standing. And so, while 
some honourable Member is discussing, say, the division 
of a Department, Ushers announce : " His Majesty ! " 
In person, with small suite, enter Majesty : the honour- 
able Member stops short ; the Assembly starts to its 
feet : the Twelve Hundred Kings " almost all," and the 
Galleries no less, do welcome the Restorer of French 
Liberty with loyal shouts. His Majesty's Speech, in 
diluted conventional phraseology, expresses this mainly : 
That he, most of all Frenchmen, rejoices to see France 
getting regenerated ; is sure, at the same time, that they 
will deal gently with her in the process, and not re- 
generate her roughly. Such was his Majesty's Speech : 
the feat he performed was coming to speak it, and going 
back again.' 

Surely, except to a very hoping People, there was not 
much here to build upon. Yet what did they not build ! 
The fact that the King has spoken, that he has volun- 
tarily come to speak, how inexpressibly encouraging ! 
Did not the glance of his royal countenance, like con- 
centrated sunbeams, kindle all hearts in an august 
Assembly ; nay thereby in an inflammable enthusiastic 
France ? To move " Deputation of thanks " can be the 

' [The end of Louis' speech is by no means trivial : " I should 
have many losses to reckon, if, in the midst of the greatest interests 
of the State, I stopped at personal considerations. But I find a 
reward which satisfies me, namely, the happiness of the nation. 
May this day, on which your monarch comes to unite himself with 
you in the frankest manner, be a memorable epoch in the history of 
this realm. It will be so, if my ardent vows and earnest exhorta- 
tions are a signal of peace and reconciliation among you." Mira- 
beau, however, in a letter to La Marck termed the whole scene a 
" pantomime." — Ed.] 

179°] JE LE JURE 47 

happy lot of but one man ; to go in such Deputation the 
lot of not many. The Deputed have gone, and returned 
with what highest-flown compliment they could ; whom 
also the Queen met, Dauphin in hand. And still do not 
our hearts burn with insatiable gratitude ; and to one 
other man a still higher blessedness suggests itself: To 
move that we all renew the National Oath. 

Happiest honourable Member, with his word so in 
season as word seldom was ; magic Fugleman of a 
whole National Assembly, which sat there bursting to 
do somewhat ; Fugleman of a whole onlooking France ! 
The President swears ; declares that every one shall 
swear, in distinct yie lejiire. Nay the very Gallery sends 
him down a written slip signed, with their Oath on it ; 
and as the Assembly now casts an eye that way, the 
Gallery all stands up and swears again. And then out 
of doors, consider at the H6tel-de-Ville how Bailly, the 
great Tennis-Court swearer, again swears, towards night- 
fall, with all the Municipals, and Heads of Districts 
assembled there. And " M. Danton suggests that the 
public would like to partake " : ^ whereupon Bailly, with 
escort of Twelve, steps forth to the great outer staircase ; 
sways the ebullient multitude with stretched hand ; takes 
their oath, with a thunder of " rolling drums," with 
shouts that rend the welkin. And on all streets the 
glad people, with moisture and fire in their eyes, " spon- 
taneously formed groups, and swore one another," ' — and 
the whole City was illuminated. This was the Fourth 
of February 1790 : a day to be marked white in Con- 
stitutional annals. 

Nor is the illumination for a night only, but partially 
or totally it lasts a series of nights. For each District, 
the Electors of each District will swear specially ; and 
always as the District swears, it illuminates itself. Be- 
hold them, District after District, in some open square, 
where the Non-electing People can all see and join : 
with their uplifted right-hands, and je le jure ; with 

' [Danton was now a member of the Municipal Council. — Ed.] 
- Newspapers (in " Hist. Pari.," iv. 445). 

48 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. vi 

rolling drums, with embracings, and that infinite hurrah 
of the enfranchised, — which any tyrant that there may 
be can consider ! Faithful to the King, to the Law, to 
the Constitution which the National Assembly shall 

Fancy, for example, the Professors of Universities 
parading the streets with their young France, and swear- 
ing, in an enthusiastic manner, not without tumult. By 
a larger exercise of fancy, expand duly this little word : 
The like was repeated in every Town and District in 
France ! Nay one Patriot Mother, in Lagnon of Brit- 
tany, assembles her ten children ; and, with her own 
aged hand, swears them all herself, the high-souled 
venerable woman. Of all which, moreover, a National 
Assembly must be eloquently apprised. Such three 
weeks of swearing ! Saw the Sun ever such a swear- 
ing people ? Have they been bit by a swearing 
tarantula ? No : but they are men and Frenchmen ; 
they have Hope ; and, singular to say, they have Faith, 
were it only in the Gospel according to Jean Jacques. 
O my Brothers, would to Heaven it were even as ye 
think and have sworn ! But there are Lover's Oaths, 
which, had they been true as love itself, cannot be kept ; 
not to speak of Dicer's Oaths, also a known sort. 

i78g-9o] PRODIGIES 49 




O such length had the " Contrat Social " brought it, 
in believing hearts. Man, as is well said, lives by 
faith ; each generation has its own faith, more or less ; 
and laughs at the faith of its predecessor, — most un- 
wisely. Grant indeed that this faith in the Social Con- 
tract belongs to the stranger sorts ; tliat an unborn 
generation may very wisely, if not laugh, yet stare at it, 
and piously consider. For, alas, what is Contrat} If 
all men were such that a mere spoken or sworn Contract 
would bind them, all men were then true men, and 
Government a superfluity. Not what thou and I have 
promised to each other, but what the balance of our 
forces can make us perform to each other : that, in so 
sinful a world as ours, is the thing to be counted on. 
But above all, a People and a Sovereign promising to 
one another ; as if a whole People^ changing from 
generation to generation, nay from hour to hour, could 
ever by any method be made to speak or promise ; and 
to speak mere solecisms : " We, be the Heavens witness, 
which Heavens, however, do no miracles now ; we, ever- 
changing Millions, will allow thee, changeful Unit, to 
force us or govern us " ! The world has perhaps seen 
few faiths comparable to that. 

So nevertheless had the world then construed the 
matter. Had they 7iot so construed it, how different had 
their hopes been, their attempts, their results ! But so 
and not otherwise did the Upper Powers will it to be. 
Freedom by social Contract : such was verily the Gospel 
of that Era. And all men had believed in it, as in a 

II. E 

so THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. I, CH. vil 

Heaven's Glad-tidings men should ; and with overflow- 
ing heart and uplifted voice clave to it, and stood front- 
ing Time and Eternity on it. Nay smile not ; or only 
with a smile sadder than tears ! This too was a better 
faith than the one it had replaced ; than faith merely in 
the Everlasting Nothing and man's Digestive Power; 
lower than which no faith can go. 

Not that such universally prevalent, universally jurant, 
feeling of Hope could be a unanimous one. Far from 
that. The time was ominous : social dissolution near 
and certain ; social renovation still a problem, difficult 
and distant, even though sure. But if ominous to some 
clearest onlooker, whose faith stood not with the one 
side or with the other, nor in the ever- vexed jarring of 
Greek with Greek at all, — how unspeakably ominous to 
dim Royalist participators ; for whom Royalism was 
Mankind's palladium ; for whom, with the abolition of 
Most-Christian Kingship and Most-Talleyrand Bishop- 
ship, all loyal obedience, all religious faith was to expire, 
and final Night envelop the Destinies of Man ! On 
serious hearts, of that persuasion, the matter sinks down 
deep ; prompting, as we have seen, to backstairs plots, 
to Emigration with pledge of war, to Monarchic Clubs ; 
nay to still madder things. 

The Spirit of Prophecy, for instance, had been con- 
sidered extinct for some centuries : nevertheless these 
last-times, as indeed is the tendency of last-times, do 
revive it ; that so, of French mad things, we might have 
sample also of the maddest. In remote rural districts, 
whither Philosophism has not yet radiated, where a 
heterodox Constitution of the Clergy is bringing strife 
round the altar itself, and the very Church-bells are 
getting melted into small money-coin,^ it appears prob- 
able that the End of the World cannot be far off. Deep- 
musing atrabiliar old men, especially old women, hint in 

^ [The church bells were not melted down until the time of the 
Terror, and then by no means generally, save in the most Jacobinical 
towns. — Ed.] 

1789-90] PRODIGIES 51 

an obscure way that they know what they know. The 
Holy Virgin, silent so long, has not gone dumb ; — and 
truly now, if ever more in this world, were the time for 
her to speak. One Prophetess, though careless His- 
torians have omitted her name, condition and where- 
about, becomes audible to the general ear ; credible to 
not a few ; credible to Friar Gerle, poor Patriot Chartreux, 
in the National Assembly itself! She, in Pythoness 
recitative, with wild-staring eye, sings that there shall 
be a Sign ; that the heavenly Sun himself will hang out 
a Sign, or Mock Sun, — which, many say, shall be stamped 
with the Head of hanged Favras. List, Dom Gerle, 
with that poor addled poll of thine ; list, O, list ; — and 
hear nothing.' 

Notable, however, was that " magnetic vellum, velin 
magnctigue" of the Sieurs d'Hozier and Petit-Jean, Parle- 
menteers of Rouen. Sweet young D'Hozier, " bred in 
the faith of his Missal, and of parchment genealogies," 
and of parchment generally ; adust, melancholic, middle- 
aged Petit-Jean : why came these two to Saint-Cloud, 
where his Majesty was hunting, on the festival of 
St. Peter and St. Paul ; and waited there, in ante- 
chambers, a wonder to whispering Swiss, the livelong 
day ; and even waited without the Grates, when turned 
out ; and had dismissed their valets to Paris, as with 
purpose of endless waiting ? They have a magnetic 
vellum, these two ; whereon the Virgin, wonderfully 
clothing herself in Mesmerean Cagliostric Occult-Philo- 
sophy, has inspired them to jot down instructions and 
predictions for a much-straitened King. To whom, by 
Higher Order, they will this day present it ; and save 
the Monarchy and World. Unaccountable pair of visual- 
objects ! Ye should be men, and of the Eighteenth 
Century ; but your magnetic vellum forbids us so to 
interpret. Say, are ye aught ? Thus ask the Guard- 
house Captains, the Mayor of Saint-Cloud ; nay, at 
great length, thus asks the Committee of Researches, 

' " Deux Amis," v. 7. 

52 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. vii 

and not the Municipal, but the National Assembly one. 
No distinct answer, for weeks. At last it becomes plain 
that the right answer is negative. Go, ye Chimeras, with 
your magnetic vellum ; sweet young Chimera, adust 
middle-aged one ! The Prison-doors are open. Hardly 
again shall ye preside the Rouen Chamber of Accounts ; 
but vanish obscurely into Limbo.' 

' See " Deux Amis," v. 190. 



SUCH dim masses, and specks of even deepest black, 
work in that white-hot glow of the French mind, 
now wholly in fusion and confusion. Old women here 
swearing their ten children on the new Evangel of Jean 
Jacques ; old women there looking up for Favras' Heads 
in the celestial Luminary : these are preternatural signs, 
prefiguring somewhat. 

In fact, to the Patriot children of Hope themselves^ it 
is undeniable that difficulties exist : emigrating Seig- 
neurs ; Parlements in sneaking but most malicious 
mutiny ' (though the rope is round their neck) ; above 
all, the most decided " deficiency of grains." Sorrowful ; 
but, to a Nation that hopes, not irremediable. To a 
Nation which is in fusion and ardent communion of 
thought ; which, for example, on signal of one Fugle- 
man, will lift its right-hand like a drilled regiment, and 
swear and illuminate, till every village from Ardennes 
to the Pyrenees has rolled its village-drum, and sent up 
its little oath, and glimmer of tallow-illumination some 
fathoms into the reign of Night ! 

If grains are defective, the fault is not of Nature or 
National Assembly, but of Art and Anti-National In- 
triguers. Such malign individuals, of the scoundrel 
species, have power to vex us, while the Constitution is 
a-making. Endure it, ye heroic Patriots : nay rather, 

^ [The " Parlements " made scarcely any attempts at resistance 
except in Dauphine, where Mounier and others stirred up the old 
provincial feeling : it was against this that the towns of Etoile and 
Montelimart protested in their civic oath and federation. — Ed.] 

54 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. viii 

why not cure it ? Grains do grow, they He extant there 
in sheaf or sack ; only that regraters and Royalist 
plotters, to provoke the People into illegality, obstruct 
the transport of grains.' Quick, ye organised Patriot 
Authorities, armed National Guards, meet together ; 
unite your goodwill ; in union is tenfold strength : let 
the concentred flash of your Patriotism strike stealthy 
Scoundrelism blind, paralytic, as with a coup de soleil. 

Under which hat or nightcap of the Twenty-five 
millions, this pregnant Idea first arose, for in some one 
head it did rise, no man can nov/ say. A most small 
idea, near at hand for the whole world : but a living one, 
fit ; and which waxed, whether into greatness or not, 
into immeasurable size. When a Nation is in this state 
that the Fugleman can operate on it, what will the word 
in season, the act in season, not do ! It will grow verily, 
like the Boy's Bean, in the Fairy-Tale, heaven-high, with 
habitations and adventures on it, in one night. It is 
nevertheless unfortunately still a Bean (for your long- 
lived Oak grows not so) ; and the next night, it may lie 
felled, horizontal, trodden into common mud. — But re- 
mark, at least, how natural to any agitated Nation, which 
has Faith, this business of Covenanting is. The Scotch, 
believing in a righteous Heaven above them, and also in 
a Gospel far other than the Jean-Jacques one, swore, in 
their extreme need, a Solemn League and Covenant, — 
as Brothers on the forlorn-hope, and imminence of battle, 
who embrace, looking god ward : and got the whole Isle 
to swear it ; and even, in their tough Old-Saxon, Hebrew- 
Presbyterian way, to keep it more or less ; — for the thing, 
as such things are, was heard in Heaven and partially 
ratified there : neither is it yet dead, if thou wilt look, 
nor like to die. The French too, with their Gallic-Ethnic 
excitability and effervescence, have, as we have seen, real 

' [The Assembly had swept away all customs barriers and 
decreed freedom of transit for all goods ; but the old habits of 
hoarding corn (especially in time of scarcity) were deep-rooted. 
The talk about a royalist plot to starve the people (Pacte de 
Famine) was merely hysterical, but it was widely believed. — Ed.] 


Faith, of a sort ; they are hard bested, though in the 
middle of Hope: a National Solemn League and Covenant 
there may be in France too ; under how different con- 
ditions ; with how different development and issue ! 

Note, accordingly, the small commencement ; first 
spark of a mighty firework : for if the particular hat 
cannot be fixed upon, the particular District can. On 
the 29th day of last November, were National Guards 
by the thousand seen filing, from far and near, with 
military music, with Municipal officers in tricolor sashes, 
towards and along the Rhone-stream, to the little town of 
Etoile. There with ceremonial evolution and manoeuvre, 
with fanfaronading, musketry salvoes, and what else the 
Patriot genius could devise, they made oath and obtesta- 
tion to stand faithfully by one another, under Law and 
King ; in particular, to have all manner of grains, while 
grains there were, freely circulated, in spite both of robber 
and regrater. This was the meeting of Etoile, in the 
mild end of November 1789. 

But now, if a mere empty Review, followed by Review- 
dinner, ball, and such gesticulation and flirtation as there 
may be, interests the happy County-town, and makes it 
the envy of surrounding County-towns, how much more 
might this! In a fortnight, larger Montelimart, half 
ashamed of itself, will do as good, and better. On the 
Plain of Montelimart, or what is equally sonorous, " under 
the Walls of Montelimart, the 13th of December sees 
new gathering and obtestation ; six thousand strong ; 
and now indeed, with these three remarkable improve- 
ments, as unanimously resolved on there. First, that the 
men of Montelimart do federate with the already federated 
men of Etoile. Second, that, implying not expressing 
the circulation of grain, they " swear in the face of God 
and their Country " with much more emphasis and com- 
prehensiveness, "to obey all decrees of the National 
Assembly, and see them obeyed, till death, jusqiCa la 
mortr Third, and most important, that official record 
of all this be solemnly delivered in, to the National 
Assembly, to M. de Lafayette, and " to the Restorer of 

56 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. viii 

French Liberty " ; who shall all take what comfort from 
it they can. Thus does larger Montelimart vindicate its 
Patriot importance, and maintain its rank in the muni- 
cipal scale/ 

And so, with the New-year, the signal is hoisted : for 
is not a National Assembly, and solemn deliverance 
there, at lov/est a National Telegraph ? Not only grain 
shall circulate, while there is grain, on highways or the 
Rhone-waters, over all that South-Eastern region, — where 
also if Monseigneur d'Artois saw good to break in from 
Turin, hot welcome might await him ; but whatsoever 
Province of France is straitened for grain, or vexed with 
a mutinous Parlement, unconstitutional plotters, Mon- 
archic Clubs, or any other Patriot ailment, can go and 
do likewise, or even do better. And now, especially, 
when the February swearing has set them all agog ! 
From Brittany to Burgundy, on most Plains of France, 
under most City-walls, it is a blaring of trumpets, waving 
of banners, a Constitutional maneuvering : under the 
vernal skies, while Nature too is putting forth her green 
Hopes, under bright sunshine defaced by the stormful 
East ; like Patriotism victorious, though with difficulty, 
over Aristocracy and defect of grain ! There march and 
constitutionally wheel, to the ga-z'ra-ing mood of fife and 
drum, under their tricolor Municipals, our clear-gleaming 
Phalanxes ; or halt, with uplifted right-hand, and artillery 
salvoes that imitate Jove's thunder ; and all the Country, 
and metaphorically all " the Universe," is looking on. 
Wholly, in their best apparel, brave men, and beautifully 
dizened women, most of whom have lovers there ; swear- 
ing, by the eternal Heavens and this green-growing all- 
nutritive Earth, that France is free ! 

Sweetest days, when (astonishing to say) mortals have 
actually met together in communion and fellowship ; 
and man, were it only once through long despicable 
centuries, is for moments verily the brother of man ! — 
And then the Deputations to the National Assembly, 

' "Hist. Pari.," vii. 4. 


with high-flown descriptive harangue ; to M. de La- 
fayette, and the Restorer ; very frequently moreover to 
the Mother of Patriotism, sitting on her stout benches in 
that Hall of the Jacobins! The general ear is filled 
with Federation. New names of Patriots emerge, which 
shall one day become familiar : Boyer-Fonfrede eloquent 
denunciator of a rebellious Bordeaux Parlement ; Max 
Isnard eloquent reporter of the Federation of Dra- 
guignan ; eloquent pair, separated by the whole breadth 
of France, who are nevertheless to meet. Ever wider 
burns the flame of Federation ; ever wider and also 
brighter. Thus the Brittany and Anjou brethren men- 
tion a Fraternity of all true Frenchmen ; and go the 
length of invoking " perdition and death " on any rene- 
gade : moreover, if in their National-Assembly harangue, 
they glance plaintively at the marc d' argent which makes 
so many oS.'iizQXi^ passive, they, over in the Mother-Society, 
ask, being henceforth themselves "neither Bretons nor 
Angevins but French," Why all France has not one 
Federation, and universal Oath of Brotherhood, once 
for all > ' A most pertinent suggestion ; dating from 
the end of March. Which pertinent suggestion the 
whole Patriot world cannot but catch, and reverberate 
and agitate till it become loud; — which in that case the 
Townhall Municipals had better take up, and meditate. 
Some universal Federation seems inevitable : the 
Where is given ; clearly Paris : only the When, the 
How ? These also productive Time will give ; is already 
giving. For always as the Federative work goes on, it 
perfects itself, and Patriot genius adds contribution after 
contribution. Thus, at Lyons, in the end of the May 
month, we behold as many as fifty, or some say sixty 
thousand, met to federate ; and a multitude looking on, 
which it would be difficult to number. From dawn to 
dusk ! For our Lyons Guardsmen took rank, at five in 
the bright dewy morning ; came pouring in, bright- 
gleaming, to the Quai de Rhone, to march thence to the 

' Reports, etc. (in " Hist. Pari.," ix. 122-147). 

58 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. viii 

Federation-field ; amid wavings of hats and lady-hand- 
kerchiefs ; glad shoutings of some two hundred thousand 
Patriot voices and hearts ; the beautiful and brave ! 
Among whom, courting no notice, and yet the notablest 
of all, what queen-like Figure is this ; with her escort of 
house-friends and Champagneux the Patriot Editor ; 
come abroad with the earliest ? Radiant with enthusiasm 
are those dark eyes, is that strong Minerva-face, looking 
dignity and earnest joy ; joyfulest she where all are joy- 
ful. It is Roland de la Platriere's Wife ! ' Strict elderly 
Roland, King's Inspector of Manufactures here ; and 
now likewise, by popular choice, the strictest of our new 
Lyons Municipals : a man who has gained much, if 
worth and faculty be gain ; but, above all things, has 
gained to wife Phlipon the Paris Engraver's daughter. 
Reader, mark that queen-like burgher-woman : beautiful, 
Amazonian-graceful to the eye ; more so to the mind. 
Unconscious of her worth (as all worth is), of her great- 
ness, of her crystal clearness ; genuine, the creature of 
Sincerity and Nature, in an age of Artificiality, Pollution 
and Cant ; there, in her still completeness, in her still 
invincibility, she, if thou knew it, is the noblest of all 
living Frenchwomen, — and will be seen, one day. O, 
blessed rather while ?/?zseen, even of herself! For the 
present she gazes, nothing doubting, into this grand 
theatricality ; and thinks her young dreams are to be 

From dawn to dusk, as we said, it lasts ; and truly a 
sight like few. Flourishes of drums and trumpets are 
something : but think of an " artificial Rock fifty feet 
high," all cut into crag-steps, not without the similitude 
of " shrubs" ! The interior cavity, — for in sooth it is 
made of deal, — stands solemn, a " Temple of Concord " : 
on the outer summit rises " a Statue of Liberty," colossal, 
seen for miles, with her Pike and Phrygian Cap,' and 

' Madame Roland, " Memoires," i. (Discours Preliminaire, p. 


■* [Phrygian cap : the cap of liberty, because associated with the 
wild rites of Cybele and Bacchus. This cap was not generally 

*^. '(S^:sss:viiaiA -< 

3](3anon- fcan M^hlif>on, cVciiiJainc cl'ooland. 
From "Tableaux historiques. ' 

P. 58 


civic column ; at her feet a Country's Altar, " Autel de 
la Patrie " :— on all which neither deal-timber nor lath- 
and-plaster, with paint of various colours, have been 
spared. But fancy then the banners all placed on the 
steps of the Rock ; high-mass chanted ; and the civic 
oath of fifty thousand : with what volcanic outburst of 
sound from iron and other throats, enough to frighten 
back the very Soane and Rhone ; and how the brightest 
fireworks, and balls, and even repasts closed in that night 
of the gods!' And so the Lyons Federation vanishes 
too, swallowed of darkness ; — and yet not wholly, for 
our brave fair Roland was there ; also she, though in the 
deepest privacy, writes her Narrative of it in Cham- 
pagneux's " Courrier de Lyons " ; a piece which " circu- 
lates to the extent of sixty thousand" ; which one would 
like now to read. 

But on the whole, Paris, we may see, will have little 
to devise ; will only have to borrow and apply. And 
then as to the day, what day of all the calendar is fit, if 
the Bastille Anniversary be not? The particular spot 
too, it is easy to see, must be the Champ-de-Mars ; 
where many a Julian the Apostate has been lifted on 
bucklers, to France's or the world's sovereignty ; and 
iron Franks, loud-clanging, have responded to the voice 
of a Charlemagne ; and from of old mere sublimities 
have been familiar. 

worn in France until the release of the Swiss Chateau-Vieux. See 
vol. ii., bk. v., chap. x. — Ed.] O 

^ "Hist. Pari.," xii. 274. 




HOW natural, in all decisive circumstances, is Sym- 
bolic Representation to all kinds of men ! Nay, 
what is man's whole terrestrial Life but a Symbolic Re- 
presentation, and making visible, of the Celestial invis- 
ible Force that is in him ? By act and word he strives 
to do it ; with sincerity, if possible ; failing that, with 
theatricality, which latter also may have its meaning. 
An Almacks^ Masquerade is not nothing; in more 
genial ages, your Christmas Guisings, Feasts of the Ass, 
Abbots of Unreason, were a considerable something : 
sincere sport they were ; as Almacks may still be sincere 
wish for sport. But what, on the other hand, must not 
sincere earnest have been ; say, a Hebrew Feast of 
Tabernacles have been ! A whole Nation gathered, in 
the name of the Highest, under the eye of the Highest ; 
imagination herself flagging under the reality ; and all 
noblest Ceremony as yet not grown ceremonial, but 
solemn, significant to the outmost fringe ! Neither, in 
modern private life, are theatrical scenes, of tearful 
women wetting whole ells of cambric in concert, of im- 
passioned bushy-whiskered youth threatening suicide, 
and suchlike, to be so entirely detested : drop thou a 
tear over them thyself rather. 

At any rate, one can remark that no Nation will 
throw-by its work, and deliberately go out to make a 
.scene, without meaning something thereby. For in- 
deed no scenic individual, with knavish hypocritical 
views, will take the trouble to soliloquise a scene : and now 

' [Almack's was a fashionable lounge and gambling-house in 
London. — Ed.] 

I790] SYMBOLIC 6i 

consider, is not a scenic Nation placed precisely in that 
predicament of soliloquising ; for^its own behoof alone ; 
to solace its own sensibilities, maudlin or other ? — Yet in 
this respect, of readiness for scenes, the difference of 
Nations, as of men, is very great. If our Saxon Puri- 
tanic friends, for example, swore and signed their 
National Covenant, without discharge of gunpowder, or 
the beating of any drum, in a dingy Covenant-Close of 
the Edinburgh High-street, in a mean room, where men 
now drink mean liquor, it was consistent with their ways 
so to swear it. Our Gallic-Encyclopedic friends, again, 
must have a Champ-de-Mars, seen of all the world, or 
universe ; and such a Scenic Exhibition, to which the 
Coliseum Amphitheatre was but a strollers' barn, as this 
old Globe of ours had never or hardly ever beheld. 
Which method also we reckon natural, then and there. 
Nor perhaps was the respective keeping of these two 
Oaths far out of due proportion to such respective dis- 
play in taking them : inverse proportion, namely. For 
the theatricality of a People goes in a compound ratio : 
ratio indeed of their trustfulness, sociability, fervency ; 
but then also of their excitability, of their porosity, not 
continent ; or say, of their explosiveness, hot-flashing, 
but which does not last. 

How true also, once more, is it that no man or Nation 
of men, conscious of doing a great thing, was ever, in that 
thing, doing other than a small one ! O Champ-de-Mars 
Federation, with three hundred drummers, twelve hun- 
dred wind-musicians, and artillery planted on height 
after height to boom the tidings of it all over France, in 
few minutes ! Could no Atheist-Naigeon ^ contrive to 
discern, eighteen centuries off, those Thirteen most poor 
mean-dressed men, at frugal Supper, in a mean Jewish 
dwelling, with no symbol but hearts god-initiated into 
the " Divine depth of Sorrow," and a Do this in remem- 
brance of me \ — and so cease that small difficult crowing 
of his, if he were not doomed to it ? 

' [Naigeon, a follower of Diderot, author of some atheistical 
writings. — Ed.] 




PARDONABLE are human theatricalities ; nay, 
perhaps touching, Hke the passionate utterance of a 
tongue which with sincerity stammers ; of a head which 
with insincerity babbles, — having gone distracted. Yet, 
in comparison with unpremeditated outbursts of Nature, 
such as an Insurrection of Women, how foisonless,' 
unedifying, undelightful ; like small ale palled, like an 
effervescence that has effervesced ! Such scenes, coming 
of forethought, were they world-great, and never so cun- 
ningly devised, are at bottom mainly pasteboard and 
paint. But the others are original ; emitted from the 
great everliving heart of Nature herself: what figure 
they will assume is unspeakably significant. To us, 
therefore, let the French National Solemn League and 
Federation be the highest recorded triumph of the 
Thespian Art : triumphant surely, since the whole Pit, 
which was of Twenty-five Millions, not only claps hands, 
but does itself spring on the boards and passionately 
set to playing there. And being such, be it treated as 
such : with sincere cursory admiration ; with wonder 
from afar. A whole Nation gone mumming deserves so 
much ; but deserves not that loving minuteness a Mena- 
dic Insurrection did. Much more let prior, and as it 
were rehearsal scenes of Federation come and go, hence- 
forward, as they list ; and, on Plains and under City- 
walls, innumerable regimental bands blare-off into the 
Inane, without note from us. 

1 [Foisonless (a Scotticism) = weak : from the old French word 
foison — plenty. — Ed.] 

JUNE 1790] MANKIND 63 

One scene, however, the hastiest reader will moment- 
arily pause on : that of Anacharsis Clootz and the 
Collective sinful Posterity of Adam. — For a Patriot 
Municipality has now, on the 4th of June, got its plan 
concocted, and got it sanctioned by National Assembly ; 
a Patriot King assenting ; to whom, were he even free to 
dissent. Federative harangues, overflowing with loyalty, 
have doubtless a transient sweetness. There shall come 
Deputed National Guards, so many in the hundred, 
from each of the Eighty-three Departments of France. 
Likewise from all Naval and Military King's Forces 
shall Deputed quotas come ; such Federation of Na- 
tional with Royal Soldier has, taking place spontane- 
ously, been already seen and sanctioned. For the rest, it 
is hoped, as many as forty thousand may arrive : ex- 
penses to be borne by the Deputing District ; of all 
which let District and Department take thought, and 
elect fit men, — whom the Paris brethren will fly to meet 
and welcome. 

Now, therefore, judge if our Patriot Artists are busy ; 
taking deep counsel how to make the Scene worthy of 
a look from the Universe ! As many as fifteen thousand 
men, spademen, barrow-men, stonebuilders, rammers, 
with their engineers, are at work on the Champ-de- 
Mars ; hollowing it out into a National Amphitheatre, fit 
for such solemnity. For one may hope it will be annual 
and perennial ; a " Feast of Pikes, Fete des Piques',^ 
notablest among the hightides of the year : in any case, 
ought not a scenic Free Nation to have some permanent 
National Amphitheatre } The Champ-de-Mars is get- 
ting hollowed out ; and the daily talk and the nightly 
dream in most Parisian heads is of Federation and that 
only. Federate Deputies are already under way. 
National Assembly, what with its natural work, what 
with hearing and answering harangues of these Feder- 
ates, of this Federation, will have enough to do ! 
Harangue of " American Committee," among whom is 
that faint figure of Paul Jones as " with the stars dim- 
twinkling through it," — come to congratulate us on the 

64 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. I, CH. x 

prospect of such auspicious day. Harangue of Bastille 
Conquerors, come to " renounce " any special recom- 
pense, any peculiar place at the solemnity ; ' — since the 
Centre Grenadiers rather grumble. Harangue of " Ten- 
nis-Court Club," who enter with far-gleaming Brass-plate, 
aloft on a pole, and the Tennis-Court Oath engraved 
thereon ; which far-gleaming Brass-plate they purpose 
to affix solemnly in the Versailles original locality, on 
the 20th of this month, which is the anniversary, as a 
deathless memorial, for some years : they will then dine, 
as they come back, in the Bois de Boulogne ;^ — cannot, 
however, do it without apprising the world. To such 
things does the august National Assembly ever and anon 
cheerfully listen, suspending its regenerative labours ; 
and with some touch of impromptu eloquence, make 
friendly reply ; — as indeed the wont has long been ; for 
it is a gesticulating, sympathetic People, and has a 
heart, and wears it on its sleeve. 

In which circumstances, it occurred to the mind of 
Anacharsis Clootz, that while so much was embodying 
itself into Club or Committee, and perorating applauded, 
there yet remained a greater and greatest ; of which, if 
it also took body and perorated, what might not the 
effect be : Humankind namely, le Genre Huniain itself! 
In what rapt creative moment the Thought rose in 
Anacharsis's soul ; all his throes, while he went about 
giving shape and birth to it ; how he was sneered at by 
cold worldlings ; but did sneer again, being a man of 
polished sarcasm ; and moved to and fro persuasive in 
coffeehouse and soiree, and dived down assiduous-obscure 
in the great deep of Paris, making his Thought a Fact : 
of all this the spiritual biographies of that period say 

' [The leaving out of the Bastille heroes is regarded by M. 
Aulard (" Hist, politique de la Rev. Fr.," p. 84) as a sign of Lafay- 
ette's influence and of the general fear of the populace. The 
National Guard was, in Paris, entirely composed of active citizens 
(z>., taxpayers) and was essentially a bourgeois force up to the 
close of 1 79 1. — Ed.] 

- See " Deux Amis," v. 122 ; " Hist. Pari.," etc. 

Jcan-tlOi-ii'ti.slc-Cl^nacliai.u^ Oiloott, 

From "Tableaux historiqiies." 

JUNE 19, 1790] MANKIND 65 

nothing. Enough that on the 19th evening of June 1790, 
the sun's slant rays lighted a spectacle such as our foolish 
little Planet has not often had to show : Anacharsis 
Clootz entering the august Salle de Manege, with the 
Human Species at his heels, Swedes, Spaniards, Polacks ; 
Turks, Chaldeans, Greeks, dwellers in Mesopotamia ; 
behold them all ; they have come to claim place in the 
grand Federation, having an undoubted interest in it.^ 

" Our Ambassador titles," said the fervid Clootz, " are 
not written on parchment, but on the living hearts of all 
men." These whiskered Polacks, long-flowing turbaned 
Ishmaelites, astrological Chaldeans, who stand so mute 
here, let them plead with you, august Senators, more 
eloquently than eloquence could. They are the mute 
representatives of their tongue-tied, befettered, heavy- 
laden Nations ; who from out of that dark bewilderment 
gaze wistful, amazed, with half-incredulous hope, towards 
you, and this your bright light of a French Federation : 
bright particular daystar, the herald of universal day. 
We claim to stand there, as mute monuments, pathetic- 
ally adumbrative of much. — From bench and gallery 
comes " repeated applause " ; for what august Senator 
but is flattered even by the very shadow of Human 
Species depending on him ? From President Sieyes, who 
presides this remarkable fortnight, in spite of his small 
voice, there comes eloquent though shrill reply. Ana- 
charsis and the " Foreigners Committee " shall have place 
at the Federation ; on condition of telling their respective 
Peoples what they see there. In the mean time, we invite 
them to the " honours of the sitting, honneur de la seance!' 
A long-flowing Turk, for rejoinder, bows with Eastern 
solemnity, and utters articulate sounds : but owing to 
his imperfect knowledge of the French dialect,^ his words 
are like spilt water ; the thought he had in him remains 
conjectural to this day. 

^ [For a full account of Clootz's deputation see Mr. Alger's 
"Glimpses of the Fr. Rev.," pp. 88-114. There was one English- 
man in it, named Pigott. — Ed.] 

^ " Moniteur," etc. (in " Hist. Pari.," xii. 283). 
II. F 

66 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. x 

Anacharsis and Mankind accept the honours of the 
sitting ; and have forthwith, as the old Newspapers still 
testify, the satisfaction to see several things. First and 
chief, on the motion of Lameth, Lafayette, Saint-Fargeau 
and other Patriot Nobles, let the others repugn as they 
will : all Titles of Nobility, from Duke to Esquire, or 
lower, are henceforth abolished} Then, in like manner. 
Livery Servants, or rather the Livery of Servants. Neither, 
for the future, shall any man or woman, self-styled 
noble, be " incensed," — foolishly fumigated with incense, 
in Church ; as the wont has been. In a word, Feudalism 
being dead these ten months, why should her empty 
trappings and scutcheons survive? the very Coats-of- 
arms will require to be obliterated ; — and yet Cassandra- 
Marat on this and the other coach-panel notices that 
they" are but painted over," and threaten to peer through 

So that henceforth De Lafayette is but the Sieur 
Motier, and Saint-Fargeau is plain Michel Lepelletier ; 
and Mirabeau soon after has to say huffingly, " With 
your Riqiietti you have set Europe at cross-purposes for 
three days." For his Counthood is not indifferent to this 
man ; which indeed the admiring People treat him with 
to the last. But let extreme Patriotism rejoice, and 
chiefly Anacharsis and Mankind ; for now it seems to 
be taken for granted that one Adam is Father of us 

Such was, in historical accuracy, the famed feat of 
Anacharsis. Thus did the most extensive of Public 
Bodies find a sort of spokesman. Whereby at least we 
may judge of one thing : what a humour the once sniffing 
mocking City of Paris and Baron Clootz had got into ; 
when such exhibition could appear a propriety, next 
door to a sublimity. It is true. Envy did, in after-times, 

^ [The abolition of all titles of nobility was another concession to 
the spirit of social equality, which proved to be a stronger feeling 
than the desire for political liberty. The decree (passed June 
2oth, 1790) was, however, much evaded until the monarchy fell. — 

JUNE 1790] MANKIND 67 

pervert this success of Anacharsis ; making him, from 
incidental " Speaker of the Foreign-Nations Committee," 
claim to be official permanent " Speaker, Orateur, of the 
Human Species," which he only deserved to be ; and 
alleging, calumniously, that his astrological Chaldeans, 
and the rest, were a mere French tagrag-and-bobtail dis- 
guised for the nonce ; and, in short, sneering and fleering 
at him in her cold barren way : all which however, he, 
the man he was, could receive on thick enough panoply, 
or even rebound therefrom, and also go his way. 

Most extensive of Public Bodies, we may call it ; and 
also the most unexpected : for who could have thought 
to see All Nations in the Tuileries Riding-Hall? But so 
it is ; and truly as strange things may happen when a 
whole People goes mumming and miming. Hast not thou 
thyself perchance seen diademed Cleopatra, daughter of 
the Ptolemies, pleading, almost with bended knee, in 
unheroic tea-parlour, or dimlit retail-shop, to inflexible 
gross Burghal Dignitary, for leave to reign and die ; 
being dressed for it, and moneyless, with small children ; 
— while suddenly Constables have shut the Thespian 
barn, and her Antony pleaded in vain ? Such visual 
spectra flit across this Earth, if the Thespian Stage be 
rudely interfered with : but much more, when, as was 
said. Pit jumps on Stage, then is it verily, as in Herr 
Tieck's Drama, a Verkehrte Welt, or World Topsy- 
turvied ! 

Having seen the Human Species itself, to have seen 
the " Dean of the Human Species " ceased now to be a 
miracle. Such " Doyen du Genre Humain, Eldest of 
Men," had shown himself there, in these weeks : Jean 
Claude Jacob, a born Serf, deputed from his native Jura 
Mountains to thank the National Assembly for enfran- 
chising them. On his bleached worn face are ploughed 
the furrowings of one hundred and twenty years. He 
has heard dim patois-\.2W, of immortal Grand-Monarch 
victories ; of a burned Palatinate, as he toiled and moiled 
to make a little speck of this Earth greener ; of Cevennes 

68 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. x 

Dragoonings ; ' of Marlborough going to the war. Four 
generations have bloomed out, and loved and hated, and 
rustled off: he was forty-six when Louis Fourteenth 
died. The Assembly, as one man, spontaneously rose, 
and did reverence to the Eldest of the World ; old Jean 
is to take seance among them, honourably, with covered 
head. He gazes feebly there, with his old eyes, on that 
new wonder-scene ; dreamlike to him, and uncertain, 
wavering amid fragments of old memories and dreams. 
For Time is all growing unsubstantial, dreamlike ; Jean's 
eyes and mind are weary, and about to close, — and open 
on a far other wonder-scene, which shall be real. Patriot 
Subscription, Royal Pension was got for him, and he 
returned home glad ; but in two months more he left it 
all, and went on his unknown way."^ 

^ [The dragonnades ordered by Louis XIV. against the Pro- 
testants after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. — Ed.] 
2 " Deux Amis," iv. iii. 




MEANWHILE to Paris, ever going and returning, 
day after day, and all day long, towards that Field 
of Mars, it becomes painfully apparent that the spade- 
work there cannot be got done in time. There is such 
an area of it ; three hundred thousand square feet : for 
from the Ecole Militaire (which will need to be done up 
in wood with balconies and galleries) westward to the 
Gate by the River (where also shall be wood, in triumphal 
arches), we count some thousand yards of length ; and 
for breadth, from this umbrageous Avenue of eight rows, 
on the South side, to that corresponding one on the 
North, some thousand feet more or less. All this to be 
scooped out, and wheeled up in slope along the sides ; 
high enough ; for it must be rammed down there, and 
shaped stair- wise into as many as " thirty ranges of con- 
venient seats," firm-trimmed with turf, covered with 
enduring timber ; — and then our huge pyramidal Father- 
land's- Altar, Autel de la Patrie, in the centre, also to be 
raised and stair-stepped. Force-work with a vengeance ; 
it is a World's Amphitheatre ! There are but fifteen days 
good : and at this languid rate, it might take half as 
many weeks. What is singular too, the spademen seem 
to work lazily ; they will not work double-tides, even for 
offer of more wages, though their tide is but seven hours ; 
they declare angrily that the human tabernacle requires 
occasional rest ! 

Is it Aristocrats secretly bribing? Aristocrats were 
capable of that. Only six months since, did not evid- 
ence get afloat that subterranean Paris, — for we stand 

70 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. xi 

over quarries and catacombs, dangerously, as it were 
midway between Heaven and the Abyss, and are hollow 
underground, — was charged with gunpowder, which 
should make us " leap " ? Till a Cordeliers Deputation 
actually went to examine, and found it — carried off 
again ! ' An accursed, incurable brood ; all asking for 
" passports," in these sacred days. Trouble, of rioting, 
chateau-burning, is in the Limousin and elsewhere ; for 
they are busy ! Between the best of Peoples and the 
best of Restorer Kings they would sow grudges ; with 
what a fiend's grin would they see this Federation, 
looked for by the Universe, fail ! 

Fail for want of spadework, however, it shall not. He 
that has four limbs and a French heart can do spade- 
work ; and will ! On the first July Monday, scarcely 
has the signal-cannon boomed ; scarcely have the lan- 
guescent mercenary Fifteen Thousand laid down their 
tools, and the eyes of onlookers turned sorrowfully to 
the still high Sun ; when this and the other Patriot, fire 
in his eye, snatches barrow and mattock, and himself 
begins indignantly wheeling. Whom scores and then 
hundreds follow ; and soon a volunteer Fifteen Thou- 
sand are shovelling and trundling ; with the heart of 
giants : and all in right order, with that extemporaneous 
adroitness of theirs : whereby such a lift has been given, 
worth three mercenary ones ; — which may end when the 
late twilight thickens, in triumph-shouts, heard or heard 
of beyond Montmartre ! 

A sympathetic population will wait, next day, with 
eagerness, till the tools are free. Or why wait ? Spades 
elsewhere exist ! And so now bursts forth that effulg- 
ence of Parisian enthusiasm, good-heartedness and 
brotherly love ; such, if Chroniclers are trustworthy, as 
was not witnessed since the Age of Gold. Paris, male 
and female, precipitates itself towards its Southwest ex- 
tremity, spade on shoulder. Streams of men, without 

' December 23d, 1789 (Newspapers in " Hist. Pari.," iv. 44). 

JULY 1-2, 1790] AS IN THE AGE OF GOLD 71 

order ; or in order, as ranked fellow-craftsmen, as natural 
or accidental reunions, march towards the Field of Mars. 
Three-deep these march ; to the sound of stringed music ; 
preceded by young girls with green boughs and tricolor 
streamers : they have shouldered, soldier-wise, their 
shovels and picks ; and with one throat are singing 
qa-ira. Yes, pardieu ca-ira, cry the passengers on the 
streets. All corporate Guilds, and public and private 
Bodies of Citizens, from the highest to the lowest, 
march ; the very Hawkers, one finds, have ceased bawl- 
ing for one day. The neighbouring Villages turn out : 
their able men come marching, to village fiddle or tam- 
bourine and triangle, under their Mayor, or Mayor and 
Curate, who also walk bespaded, and in tricolor sash. 
As many as one hundred and fifty thousand workers ; 
nay at certain seasons, as some count, two hundred and 
fifty thousand ; for, in the afternoon especially, what 
mortal but, finishing his hasty day's work, would run ! 
A stirring City : from the time you reach the Place 
Louis-Quinze, southward over the River, by all Avenues, 
it is one living throng. So many workers ; and no mer- 
cenary mock-workers, but real ones that lie freely to 
it : each Patriot stretches himself against the stubborn 
glebe ; hews and wheels with the whole weight that is 
in him. 

Amiable infants, aimables enfans ! They do the ^^ police 
de r atelier'^ too, the guidance and governance, them- 
selves ; with that ready will of theirs, with that extem- 
poraneous adroitness. It is a true brethren's work ; all 
distinctions confounded, abolished ; as it was in the be- 
ginning, when Adam himself delved. Long-frocked 
tonsured Monks, with short-skirted Water-carriers, with 
swallow-tailed well-frizzled Incroyahles of a Patriot turn ; 
dark Charcoalmen, meal-white Peruke-makers ; or Per- 
uke-wearers, for Advocate and Judge are there, and all 
Heads of Districts : sober Nuns sisterlike with flaunting 
Nymphs of the Opera, and females in common circum- 
stances named unfortunate : the patriot Ragpicker, and 
perfumed dweller in palaces ; for Patriotism, like New- 

72 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. xi 

birth, and also like Death, levels all. The Printers have 
come marching, Prudhomme's all in Paper-caps with 
Reiwlutions de Paris printed on them ; — as Camille 
notes ; wishing that in these great days there should 
be a Facte des Ecrivains too, or Federation of Able 
Editors/ Beautiful to see ! The snowy linen and deli- 
cate pantaloon alternates with the soiled check-shirt and 
bushel-breeches ; for both have cast their coats, and 
under both are four limbs and a set of Patriot muscles. 
There do they pick and shovel ; or bend forward, yoked 
in long strings to box-barrow or overloaded tumbril ; 
joyous, with one mind. Abbe Sieyes is seen pulling, 
wiry, vehement, if too light for draught ; by the side of 
Beauharnais, who shall get Kings though he be none. 
Abb6 Maury did not pull ; but the Charcoalmen brought 
a guised like him, and he had to pull in effigy. 
Let no august Senator disdain the work : Mayor Bailly, 
Generalissimo Lafayette are there ; — and, alas, shall be 
there again another day ! The King himself comes 
to see: sky-rending Vive-le-roi ! "and suddenly with 
shouldered spades they form a guard of honour round 
him." Whosoever can come comes ; to work, or to look, 
and bless the work. 

Whole families have come. One whole family we see 
clearly of three generations : the father picking, the 
mother shovelling, the young ones wheeling assiduous ; 
old grandfather, hoary with ninety-three years, holds in 
his arms the youngest of all : " frisky, not helpful this 
one ; who nevertheless may tell it to his grandchildren ; 
and how the Future and the Past alike looked on, and 
with failing or with half-formed voice, faltered their 
^a-ira. A vintner has wheeled in, on Patriot truck, 
beverage of wine : " Drink not, my brothers, if ye are 
not thirsty ; that your cask may last the longer " : neither 
did any drink but men " evidently exhausted." A dapper 
Abbe looks on, sneering : " To the barrow ! " cry several ; 
whom he, lest a worst thing befall him, obeys : neverthe- 

^ See Newspapers, etc. (in "Hist. Pari.," vi. 381-406). 
^ Mercier, ii. 76, etc. 

JULY 2-12, 1790] AS IN THE AGE OF GOLD Ti 

less one wiser Patriot barrowman, arriving now, inter- 
poses his " arretez " ; setting down his own barrow, he 
snatches the Abb6's ; trundles it fast, like an infected 
thing, forth of the Champ-de-Mars circuit, and discharges 
it t^ere. Thus too a certain person (of some quality, or 
private capital, to appearance), entering hastily, flings 
down his coat, waistcoat and two watches, and is rush- 
ing to the thick of the work : " But your watches ? " 
cries the general voice. — "Does one distrust his brothers?" 
answers he ; nor were the watches stolen. How beautiful 
is noble-sentiment : like gossamer gauze, beautiful and 
cheap ; which will stand no tear and wear ! Beautiful 
cheap gossamer gauze, thou film-shadow of a raw- 
material of Virtue, which art not woven, nor likely to 
be, into Duty ; thou art better than nothing, and also 
worse ! 

Young Boarding-school Boys, College Students, shout 
Vive la Nation^ and regret that they have yet " only 
their sweat to give." What say we of Boys ? Beauti- 
fulest Hebes ; the loveliest of Paris, in their light air- 
robes, with riband-girdle of tricolor, are there ; shovel- 
ling and wheeling with the rest ; their Hebe eyes brighter 
with enthusiasm, and long hair in beautiful dishevel- 
ment ; broad-pressed are their small fingers ; but they 
make the patriot barrow go, and even force it to the 
summit of the slope (with a little tracing, which what 
man's arm were not too happy to lend ?) — then bound 
down with it again, and go for more ; with their long 
locks and tricolors blown back ; graceful as the rosy 
Hours. O, as that evening Sun fell over the Champ- 
de-Mars, and tinted with fire the thick umbrageous 
boscage that shelters it on this hand and on that, and 
struck direct on those Domes and two-and-forty Win- 
dows of the Ecole Militaire, and made them all of 
burnished gold, — saw he on his wide zodiac road other 
such sight? A living garden spotted and dotted with 
such flowerage ; all colours of the prism ; the beautifulest 
blent friendly with the usefulest ; all growing and work- 
ing brotherlike there under one warm feeling, were it 

74 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. I, CH. xi 

but for days ; once and no second time ! But Night is 
sinking ; these Nights, too, into Eternity. The hastiest 
traveller Versailles-ward has drawn bridle on the heights 
of Chaillot : and looked for moments over the River ; 
reporting at Versailles what he saw, not without tears/ 

Meanwhile, from all points of the compass, Federates 
are arriving : fervid children of the South, " who glory 
in their Mirabeau " ; considerate North-blooded Moun- 
taineers of Jura ; sharp Bretons, with their Gaelic sudden- 
ness ; Normans, not to be overreached in bargain : all 
now animated with one noblest fire of Patriotism. Whom 
the Paris brethren march forth to receive ; with military 
solemnities, with fraternal embracing, and a hospitality 
worthy of the heroic ages. They assist at the Assembly's 
Debates, these Federates ; the Galleries are reserved for 
them. They assist in the toils of the Champ-de-Mars ; 
each new troop will put its hand to the spade ; lift a 
hod of earth on the Altar of the Fatherland. But the 
flourishes of rhetoric, for it is a gesticulating People ; the 
moral-sublime of those Addresses to an august Assembly, 
to a Patriot Restorer ! Our Breton Captain of Federates 
kneels even, in a fit of enthusiasm, and gives up his 
sword ; he wet-eyed to a King wet-eyed. Poor Louis ! 
These, as he said afterwards, were among the bright 
days of his life. 

Reviews also there must be ; royal Federate-reviews, 
with King, Queen and tricolor Court looking on : at 
lowest, if, as is too common, it rains, our Federate 
Volunteers will file through the inner gateways, Royalty 
standing dry. Nay there, should some stop occur, the 
beautifulest fingers in France may take you softly by 
the lapelle, and, in mild flute-voice, ask : " Monsieur, of 
what Province are you ? " Happy he who can reply, 
chivalrously lowering his sword's point, " Madame, from 
the Province your ancestors reigned over." He that 
happy " Provincial Advocate," now Provincial Federate, 

^ Mercier, ii. 8i. 


JULY 2-12, 1790] AS IN THE AGE OF GOLD 75 

shall be rewarded by a sun-smile, and such melodious 
glad words addressed to a King : " Sire, these are your 
faithful Lorrainers." Cheerier verily, in these holidays, 
is this " skyblue faced with red " of a National Guards- 
man, than the dull black and gray of a Provincial Advo- 
cate, which in workdays one was used to. For the same 
thrice-blessed Lorrainer shall, this evening, stand sentry 
at a Queen's door ; and feel that he could die a thousand 
deaths for her : then again, at the outer gate, and even 
a third time, she shall see him ; nay he will make her do 
it ; presenting arms with emphasis, " making his musket 
jingle again " : and in her salute there shall again be a 
sun-smile, and that little blonde-locked too hasty Dau- 
phin shall be admonished, " Salute, then. Monsieur ; 
don't be unpolite " ; and therewith she, like a bright 
Sky-wanderer or Planet with her little Moon, issues 
forth peculiar.' 

But at night, when Patriot spadework is over, figure 
the sacred rites of hospitality ! Lepelletier Saint-Far- 
geau, a mere private senator, but with great possessions, 
has daily his " hundred dinner-guests " ; the table of 
Generalissimo Lafayette may double that number. In 
lowly parlour, as in lofty saloon, the wine-cup passes 
round ; crowned by the smiles of Beauty ; be it of lightly- 
tripping Grisette or of high-sailing Dame, for both 
equally have beauty, and smiles precious to the brave. 

' Narrative by a Lorraine Federate (given in " Hist. Pari.," vi. 
389-391). [Marie Antoinette's father was Francis, Duke of Lorraine : 
he renounced this duchy in 1738 (see note, bk. ii., chap. iv,). — Ed.] 

76 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. xii 



AND SO now, in spite of plotting Aristocrats, lazy 
hired spademen, and almost of Destiny itself (for 
there has been much rain too), the Champ-de-Mars, on 
the 1 3th of the month, is fairly ready : trimmed, rammed, 
buttressed with firm masonry ; and Patriotism can stroll 
over it admiring ; and as it were rehearsing, for in every 
head is some unutterable image of the morrow. Pray 
Heaven there be not clouds. Nay what far worse cloud 
is this, of a misguided Municipality that talks of admit- 
ting Patriotism to the solemnity by tickets ! Was it by 
tickets we were admitted to the work ; and to what 
brought the work ? Did we take the Bastille by tickets ? 
A misguided Municipality sees the error ; at late mid- 
night, rolling drums announce to Patriotism starting half 
out of its bed-clothes, that it is to be ticketless. Pull 
down thy nightcap therefore ; and, with demi-articulate 
grumble, significant of several things, go pacified to sleep 
again. Tomorrow is Wednesday morning ; unforget- 
table among the/astz of the world. 

The morning comes, cold for a July one ; but such a 
festivity would make Greenland smile. Through every 
inlet of that National Amphitheatre (for it is a league in 
circuit, cut with openings at due intervals), floods-in the 
living throng ; covers, without tumult, space after space. 
The Ecole Militaire has galleries and overvaulting 
canopies, wherein Carpentry and Painting have vied, for 
the Upper Authorities ; triumphal arches, at the Gate 
by the River, bear inscriptions, if weak, yet well-meant 


and orthodox. Far aloft, over the Altar of the Father- 
land, on their tall crane standards of iron, swing pensile 
our antique Cassolettes or Pans of Incense ; dispensing 
sweet incense-fumes, — unless for the Heathen Mytho- 
logy, one sees not for whom. Two hundred thousand 
Patriotic Men ; and, twice as good, one hundred thousand 
Patriotic Women, all decked and glorified as one can 
fancy, sit waiting in this Champ-de-Mars. 

What a picture : that circle of bright-dyed Life, 
spread up there, on its thirty-seated Slope ; leaning, one 
would say, on the thick umbrage of those Avenue-Trees, 
for the stems of them are hidden by the height ; and all 
beyond it mere greenness of Summer Earth, with the 
gleams of waters, or white sparklings of stone edifices : 
little circular enamel picture in the centre of such a vase 
— of emerald ! A vase not empty : the Invalides Cupolas 
want not their population, nor the distant Windmills of 
Montmartre ; on remotest steeple and invisible village 
belfry stand men with spy-glasses. On the heights of 
Chaillot are many-coloured undulating groups ; round 
and far on, over all the circling heights that embosom 
Paris, it is as one more or less peopled Amphitheatre ; 
which the eye grows dim with measuring. Nay heights, 
as was before hinted, have cannon ; and a floating-battery 
of cannon is on the Seine. When eye fails, ear shall 
serve ; and all France properly is but one Amphitheatre ; 
for in paved town and unpaved hamlet men walk listen- 
ing ; till the muffled thunder sound audible on their 
horizon, that they too may begin swearing and firing ! ' 
But now, to streams of music, come Federates enough,— 
for they have assembled on the Boulevard Saint-Antoine 
or thereby, and come marching through the City, with 
their Eighty-three Department Banners, and blessings 
not loud but deep ; comes National Assembly, and takes 
seat under its Canopy ; comes Royalty, and takes seat 
on a throne beside it. And Lafayette, on white charger, 
is here, and all the civic Functionaries ; and the 

^ " Deux Amis," V. 168. 

78 THE FEAST OF PIKES [ek. I, CH. xii 

Federates form dances, till their strictly military evolu- 
tions and manoeuvres can begin. 

Evolutions and manoeuvres ? Task not the pen of 
mortal to describe them : truant imagination droops ; — 
declares that it is not worth while. There is wheeling 
and sweeping, to slow, to quick and double-quick time : 
Sieur Motier, or Generalissimo Lafayette, for they are 
one and the same, and he is General of France, in the 
King's stead, for four-and-twenty hours ; Sieur Motier 
must step forth, with that sublime chivalrous gait of his ; 
solemnly ascend the steps of the Fatherland's Altar, in 
sight of Heaven and of the scarcely breathing Earth ; 
and, under the creak of those swinging Cassolettes, 
" pressing his sword's point firmly there," pronounce the 
Oath, To King, to Law, and Nation (not to mention 
" grains " with their circulating), in his own name and 
that of armed France. Whereat there is waving of ban- 
ners, and acclaim sufficient. The National Assembly 
must swear, standing in its place ; the King himself 
audibly. The King swears ; ^ and now be the welkin 
split with vivats : let citizens enfranchised embrace, each 
smiting heartily his palm into his fellow's ; and armed 
Federates clang their arms ; above all, that floating bat- 
tery speak ! It has spoken, — to the four corners of 
France. From eminence to eminence bursts the thunder ; 
faint-heard, loud-repeated. What a stone, cast into 
what a lake ; in circles that do not grow fainter. From 
Arras to Avignon ; from Metz to Bayonne ! Over Or- 
leans and Blois it rolls, in cannon-recitative ; Puy bellows 

^ [Lafayette's oath was : " We swear to maintain to the utmost of 
our power the Constitution decreed by the National Assembly and 
accepted by the King : we swear to protect the safety of persons 
and property : we swear to live united with all the French in the 
indissoluble ties of fraternity." The King's oath was : " I, King of 
the French, swear to employ all the power which is confided to me 
by the constitutional law, to maintain the Constitution decreed by 
the National Assembly, and accepted by me ; and to promote the 
execution of the laws." The Queen raised the Dauphin aloft and 
cried : " Behold my son : he shares with me the same sentiments." 
— En.l 

JULY 14, 1790] SOUND AND SMOKE 79 

of it amid his granite mountains ; Fau where is the 
shell-cradle of Great Henri. At far Marseilles, one can 
think, the ruddy evening witnesses it ; over the deep- 
blue Mediterranean waters, the Castle of If ruddy- 
tinted darts forth, from every cannon's mouth, its tongue 
of fire ; and all the people shout : Yes, France is free. 
O glorious France, that has burst out so ; into universal 
sound and smoke ; and attained — the Phrygian Cap of 
Liberty ! In all Towns, Trees of Liberty also may be 
planted ; with or without advantage. Said we not, it 
was the highest stretch attained by the Thespian Art on 
this Planet, or perhaps attainable ? ^ 

The Thespian Art, unfortunately, one must still call 
it ; for behold there, on this Field of Mars, the National 
Banners, before there could be any swearing, were to be 
all blessed. A most proper operation ; since surely 
without Heaven's blessing bestowed, say even, audibly 
or inaudibly sought, no Earthly banner or contrivance 
can prove victorious : but now the means of doing it ? 
By what thrice-divine Franklin thunder-rod shall mira- 
culous fire be drawn out of Heaven ; and descend gently, 
lifegiving, with health to the souls of men ? Alas, by the 
simplest: by Two Hundred shaven-crowned Individuals, 
" in snow-white albs, with tricolor girdles," arranged on 
the steps of Fatherland's Altar ; and, at their head for 

' [Cf. Coleridge's " France : an Ode " : 

"When France in wrath her giant limbs upreared, 
And with that oath which smote air, earth, and sea, 
Stamped her strong foot and said she would be free, 
— Bear witness for me how I hoped and feared." 

Wordsworth also, landing at Calais on that very day, records his 

impressions : 

" There we saw 
In a mean city, and among a few, 
How bright a face is worn when joy of one 
Is joy for tens of millions." 

For a very different scene see the way in which the/?/<: was kept at 
Issoudun (Taine, "French Rev.," bk. iii., chap. i.). — Ed.] 

8o THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. xii 

spokesman, Soul's-Overseer Talleyrand-Perigord !' These 
shall act as miraculous thunder-rod, — to such length as 
they can. O ye deep azure Heavens, and thou green 
all-nursing Earth ; ye Streams ever-flowing ; deciduous 
Forests that die and are born again, continually, like the 
sons of men ; stone Mountains that die daily with every 
rain-shower, yet are not dead and levelled for ages of 
ages, nor born again (it seems) but with new world- 
explosions, and such tumultuous seething and tumbling, 
steam halfway to the Moon ; O thou unfathomable 
mystic All, garment and dwelling-place of the UN- 
NAMED ; and thou, articulate-speaking Spirit of Man, 
who mouldest and modellest that Unfathomable Un- 
nameable even as we see, — is not there a miracle : That 
some French mortal should, we say not have believed, 
but pretended to imagine he believed that Talleyrand 
and Two Hundred pieces of white Calico could do it ! 

Here, however, we are to remark with the sorrowing 
Historians of that day, that suddenly, while Episcopus 
Talleyrand, long-stoled, with mitre and tricolor belt, 
was yet but hitching up the Altar-steps to do his miracle, 
the material Heaven grew black ; a north-wind, moan- 
ing cold moisture, began to sing ; and there descended 
a very deluge of rain. Sad to see ! The thirty-staired 
Seats, all round our Amphitheatre, get instantaneously 
slated with mere umbrellas, fallacious when so thick 
set : our antique Cassolettes become water-pots ; their 
incense-smoke gone hissing, in a whiff of muddy vapour. 
Alas, instead of vivats, there is nothing now but the 
furious peppering and rattling. From three to four 
hundred thousand human individuals feel that they have 
a skin ; happily zwpervious. The General's sash runs 
water : how all military banners droop ; and will not 
wave, but lazily flap, as if metamorphosed into painted 
tin-banners ! Worse, far worse, these hundred thousand, 

^ [Owing to the schism in the Church produced by the Civil 
Constitution of the Clergy, Talleyrand was the only high ecclesiastic 
who would officiate. His well-known scepticism justifies Carlyle's 
sarcasm at his action here. — Ed.] 

JULY 14-18, 1790] SOUND AND SMOKE 81 

such is the Historian's testimony, of the fairest of France ! 
Their snowy muslins all splashed and draggled ; the 
ostrich-feather shrunk shamefully to the backbone of a 
feather : all caps are ruined ; innermost pasteboard 
molten into its original pap : Beauty no longer swims 
decorated in her garniture, like Love-goddess hidden- 
revealed in her Paphian clouds, but struggles in disastrous 
imprisonment in it, for " the shape was noticeable " ; and 
now only sympathetic interjections, titterings, teheeings, 
and resolute good-humour will avail. A deluge ; an 
incessant sheet or fluid-column of rain ; — such that our 
Overseer's very mitre must be filled ; not a mitre, but a 
filled and leaky fire-bucket on his reverend head ! — Re- 
gardless of which. Overseer Talleyrand performs his 
miracle : the Blessing of Talleyrand, another than that 
of Jacob, is on all the Eighty-three departmental flags 
of France ; which wave or flap, with such thankfulness 
as needs. Towards three o'clock, the sun beams out 
again : the remaining evolutions can be transacted 
under bright heavens, though with decorations much 

On Wednesday our Federation is consummated : but 
the festivities last out the week, and over into the next. 
Festivities such as no Bagdad Caliph, or Aladdin with 
the Lamp, could have equalled. There is a Jousting on 
the River ; with its water-somersets, splashing and haha- 
ing : Abbe Fauchet, Te-Deuni Fauchet, preaches, for his 
part, in the " rotunda of the Corn-Market," a funeral 
harangue on Franklin ; for whom the National Assembly 
has lately gone three days in black. The Motier and 
Lepelletier tables still groan with viands ; roofs ringing 
with patriotic toasts. On the fifth evening, which is the 
Christian Sabbath, there is a universal Ball. Paris, out 
of doors and in, man, woman and child, is jigging it, to 
the sound of harp and four-stringed fiddle. The hoariest- 
headed man will tread one other measure, under this 
nether Moon ; speechless nurseHngs, infants as we call 

' "Deux Amis," V. 143-179. 
II. G 

82 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, CH. xii 

them, vYiTTia TExva, crow in arms ; and sprawl out numb- 
plump little limbs, — impatient for muscularity, they 
know not why. The stiffest balk bends more or less ; 
all joists creak. 

Or out, on the Earth's breast itself, behold the Ruins 
of the Bastille. All lamplit, allegorically decorated ; a 
Tree of Liberty sixty feet high ; and Phrygian Cap on 
it, of size enormous, under which King Arthur and his 
round-table might have dined ! In the depths of the 
background is a single lugubrious lamp, rendering dim- 
visible one of your iron cages, half-buried, and some 
Prison stones, — Tyranny vanishing downwards, all gone 
but the skirt : the rest wholly lamp-festoons, trees real 
or of pasteboard ; in the similitude of a fairy grove ; 
with this inscription, readable to runner : " Id Von danse, 
Dancing Here." As indeed had been obscurely fore- 
shadowed by Cagliostro ^ prophetic Quack of Quacks, 
when he, four years ago, quitted the grim durance ; — 
to fall into a grimmer, of the Roman Inquisition, and 
not quit it. 

But, after all, what is this Bastille business to that of 
the Champs Elysces ! Thither, to these Fields well 
named Elysian, all feet tend. It is radiant as day with 
festooned lamps ; little oil-cups, like variegated fire- 
flies, daintily illume the highest leaves : trees there are 
all sheeted with variegated fire, shedding far a glimmer 
into the dubious wood. There, under the free sky, do 
tight-limbed Federates, with fairest newfound sweet- 
hearts, elastic as Diana, and not of that coyness and 
tart humour of Diana, thread their jocund mazes, all 
through the ambrosial night ; and hearts were touched 
and fired ; and seldom surely had our old Planet, in 
that huge conic Shadow of hers, " which goes beyond 
the Moon, and is named Night^' curtained such a Ball- 
room. O if, according to Seneca, the very gods look 
down on a good man struggling with adversity, and 
smile ; what must they think of Five-and-twenty million 

' See his " Lettre au Peuple Fran^ais " (London, 1786). 

JULY 14-18, 1790] SOUND AND SMOKE 83 

indifferent ones victorious over it, — for eight days and 
more ? 

In this way, and in such ways, however, has the Feast 
of Pikes danced itself off: gallant Federates wending 
homewards,! towards every point of the compass, with 
feverish nerves, heart and head much heated ; some of 
them, indeed, as Dampmartin's elderly respectable friend 
from Strasburg, quite "burnt out with liquors," and 
flickering towards extinction.^ The Feast of Pikes has 
danced itself off, and become defunct, and the ghost of 
a Feast ; — nothing of it now remaining but this vision in 
men's memory ; and the place that knew it (for the slope 
of that Champ-de-Mars is crumbled to half the original 
height^) now knowing it no more. Undoubtedly one of 
the memorablest National Hightides. Never or hardly 
ever, as we said, was Oath sworn with such heart-effu- 
sion, emphasis and expenditure of joyance ; and then it 
was broken irremediably within year and day. Ah, 
why ? When the swearing of it was so heavenly-joyful, 
bosom clasped to bosom, and Five-and-twenty million 
hearts all burning together ; O ye inexorable Destinies, 
why? — Partly because it was sworn with such overjoy- 
ance ; but chiefly, indeed, for an older reason : that Sin 
had come into the world, and Misery by Sin ! These 
Five-and-twenty millions, if we will consider it, have 
now henceforth, with that Phrygian Cap of theirs, no 
force over them, to bind and guide ; neither in them, 
more than heretofore, is guiding force, or rule of just 
living : how then, while they all go rushing at such a 
pace, on unknown ways, with no bridle, towards no aim, 

' [Wordsworth met some of these federates as he journeyed 
down the Rhone : 

" Like bees they swarmed, gaudy and gay as bees : 
Some vapoured in the unruliness of joy 
And with their swords flourished as if to fight 
The saucy air." — Ed.] 

^ Dampmartin, " Evenemens," i. 144-184. 
' Dulaure, "Histoire de Paris," viii. 25. 

84 THE FEAST OF PIKES [bk. i, ch. xii 

can hurlyburly unutterable fail ? For verily not Federa- 
tion-rosepink is the colour of this Earth and her work: 
not by outbursts of noble-sentiment, but with far other 
ammunition, shall a man front the world. 

But how wise, in all cases, to " husband your fire " ; to 
keep it deep down, rather, as genial radical-heat ! Explo- 
sions, the forciblest, and never so well directed, are 
questionable ; far oftenest futile, always frightfully 
wasteful : ' but think of a man, of a Nation of men, 
spending its whole stock of fire in one artificial Fire- 
work ! So have we seen fond weddings (for individuals, 
like Nations, have their Hightides) celebrated with an 
outburst of triumph and deray, at which the elderly 
shook their heads. Better had a serious cheerfulness 
been ; for the enterprise was great. Fond pair ! the 
more triumphant ye feel, and victorious over terrestrial 
evil, which seems all abolished, the wider-eyed will your 
disappointment be to find terrestrial evil still extant. 
" And why extant ? " will each of you cry : " Because 
my false mate has played the traitor : evil was abolished ; 
I, for one, meant faithfully, and did, or would have 
done ! " Whereby the over-sweet moon of honey changes 
itself into long years of vinegar : perhaps divulsive 
vinegar, like Hannibal's. 

Shall we say, then, the French Nation has led Royalty, 
or wooed and teased poor Royalty to lead her^ to the 
hymeneal Fatherland's Altar, in such over-sweet manner; 
and has, most thoughtlessly, to celebrate the nuptials 
with due shine and demonstration, — burnt her bed ? 

^ [Far from being mere waste, the Federation had a most direct 
and practical bearing on events. It tended to unify France (even 
the outlying German, Flemish, Breton, and Spanish districts) far 
more effectively than any mere law-making could do. Mme. de 
Stael calls it "The last movement of a truly national enthusiasm" 
during the Revolution. It offered also a great chance to Louis to 
found the monarchy on a truly popular basis. During the return 
from Varennes, Barnave said to Madame Elizabeth: "Ah! 
Madame, we should have been lost if you had known how to profit 
by the Federation " (" Mems. of the Duchesse de Tourzel ")■ — Ed.] 




DIMLY visible, at Metz on the North -Eastern 
frontier, a certain brave Bouill6, last refuge of 
Royalty in all straits and meditations of flight, has for 
many months hovered occasionally in our eye ; some 
name or shadow of a brave Bouille : let us now, for a 
little, look fixedly at him, till he become a substance 
and person for us. The man himself is worth a glance ; 
his position and procedure there, in these days, will 
throw light on many things. 

For it is with Bouille as with all French Commanding 
Officers ; only in a more emphatic degree. The grand 
National Federation, we already guess, was but empty 
sound, or worse : a last loudest universal Hep-hep-hurrah, 
with full bumpers, in that National Lapithae-feast of 
Constitution-making ; as in loud denial of the palpably 
existing ; as if, with hurrahings, 3^ou would shut out 
notice of the inevitable, already knocking at the gates ! 
Which new National bumper, one may say, can but 
deepen the drunkenness ; and so, the louder it swears 
Brotherhood, will the sooner and the more surely lead 
to Cannibalism. Ah, under that fraternal shine and 
clangour, what a deep world of irreconcilable discords 
lie momentarily assuaged, damped-down for one mo- 
ment ! Respectable military Federates have barely got 

86 NANCI [bk. II, CH. i 

home to their quarters ; and the inflammablest, " dying, 
burnt up with liquors and kindness," has not yet got 
extinct ; the shine is hardly out of men's eyes, and still 
blazes filling all men's memories,— when your discords 
burst forth again, very considerably darker than ever.' 
Let us look at Bouille, and see how. 

Bouill6 for the present commands in the Garrison of 
Metz, and far and wide over the East and North ; being 
indeed, by a late act of Government with sanction of 
National Assembly, appointed one of our Four supreme 
Generals. Rochambeau and Mailly, men and Marshals of 
note in these days, though to us of small moment, are two 
of his colleagues ; tough old babbling LUckner, also of 
small moment for us, will probably be the third. Marquis 
de Bouille is a determined Loyalist ; not indeed disin- 
clined to moderate reform, but resolute against immod- 
erate. A man long suspect to Patriotism ; who has 
more than once given the august Assembly trouble ; 
who would not, for example, take the National Oath, 
as he was bound to do, but always put it off on this or 
the other pretext, till an autograph of Majesty requested 
him to do it as a favour. There, in this post, if not of 
honour yet of eminence and danger, he waits, in a silent 
concentred manner ; very dubious of the future. "Alone," 
as he says, or almost alone, of all the old military Not- 
abilities, he has not emigrated ; but thinks always, in 
atrabiliar moments, that there will be nothing for him 
too but to cross the marches. He might cross, say, to 
Treves or Coblentz, where Exiled Princes will be one 
day ranking ; or say, over into Luxemburg, where old 

' [Such was Mirabeau's belief. On August 4th, 1790, he wrote 
to Major de Mauvillon : " The throne has neither ideas, nor power 
of movement, nor will. The people, ignorant and sapped by 
anarchy {anarchise) floats about at the mercy of political jugglers 
and of its own illusions. Certainly one cannot walk in a path more 
thickly strewn with pit-falls. ... I see no remedy e.xcept in the 
formation of a good and trustworthy Ministry, which is impossible 
as long as the insensate decree lasts which forbids to members of 
the Assembly any place in the administration " (" Corresp. de Mira- 
beau et La Marck," vol. i., p. 324). — Ed.] 

I790] BOUILLE 87 

Broglie loiters and languishes. Or is there not the 
great dim Deep of European Diplomacy ; where your 
Calonnes, your Breteuils are beginning to hover, dimly 
discernible ? 

With immeasurable confused outlooks and purposes, 
with no clear purpose but this of still trying to do his 
Majesty a service, Bouille waits ; struggling what he can 
to keep his district loyal, his troops faithful, his garrisons 
furnished. He maintains, as yet, with his Cousin La- 
fayette some thin diplomatic correspondence, by letter 
and messenger ; chivalrous constitutional professions on 
the one side, military gravity and brevity on the other ; 
which thin correspondence one can see growing ever the 
thinner and hollower, towards the verge of entire vacuity.^ 
A quick, choleric, sharply discerning, stubbornly endea- 
vouring man ; with suppressed-explosive resolution, with 
valour, nay headlong audacity : a man who was more in 
his place, lionlike defending those Windward Isles, or, 
as with military tiger-spring, clutching Nevis and Mont- 
serrat from the English, — than here in this suppressed 
condition, muzzled and fettered by diplomatic pack- 
threads ; looking out for a civil war, which may never 
arrive. Few years ago Bouille was to have led a French 
East-Indian Expedition, and reconquered or conquered 
Pondicherry and the Kingdoms of the Sun : but the 
whole world is suddenly changed, and he with it ; Destiny 
willed it not in that way, but in this. 

1 Bouille, "Memoires" (London, 1797), i- c. 8. [Bouille (i739- 
1800) had won renown in the West Indies during the War of 
American Independence, capturing from us Tobago, St. Eustache, 
St, Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat : was appointed Governor of 
Metz in 1784: he sat in the Assembly of Notables and professed 
fervent royalism : died in London. — Ed.] 

88 NANCI [bk. II, CH. ii 



INDEED, as to the general outlook of things, Bouill^ 
himself augurs not well of it. The French Army, 
ever since those old Bastille days, and earlier, has been 
universally in the questionablest state, and growing daily 
worse. Discipline, which is at all times a kind of miracle, 
and works by faith, broke down then ; one sees not with 
what near prospect of recovering itself The Gardes 
Frangaises played a deadly game ; but how they won it, 
and wear the prizes of it, all men know. In that general 
overturn, we saw the hired Fighters refuse to fight. The 
very Swiss of Chateau-Vieux, which indeed is a kind of 
French Swiss, from Geneva and the Pays de Vaud, are 
understood to have declined. Deserters glided over ; 
Royal-Allemand itself looked disconsolate, though stanch 
of purpose. In a word, we there saw Military Rtile, in 
the shape of poor Besenval with that convulsive un- 
manageable Camp of his, pass two martyr-days on the 
Champ-de-Mars ; and then, veiling itself, so to speak, 
" under cloud of night," depart " down the left bank of 
the Seine," to seek refuge elsewhere ; this ground having 
clearly become too hot for it. 

But what new ground to seek, what remedy to try ? 
Quarters that were " uninfected " : this doubtless, with 
judicious strictness of drilling, were the plan. Alas, in 
all quarters and places, from Paris onward to the re- 
motest hamlet, is infection, is seditious contagion : in- 
haled, propagated by contact and converse, till the dullest 
soldier catch it! There is speech of men in uniform 
with men not in uniform ; men in uniform read journals, 


and even write in them.' There are pubh'c petitions or 
remonstrances, private emissaries and associations ; there 
is discontent, jealousy, uncertainty, sullen suspicious 
humour. The whole French Army, fermenting in dark 
heat, glooms ominous, boding good to no one. 

So that, in the general social dissolution and revolt, 
we are to have this deepest and dismalest kind of it, a 
revolting soldiery? Barren, desolate to look upon is 
this same business of revolt under all its aspects ; but 
how infinitely more so, when it takes the aspect of 
military mutiny ! The very implement of rule and re- 
straint, whereby all the rest was managed and held in 
order, has become precisely the frightfulest immeasurable 
implement of misrule ; like the element of Fire, our in- 
dispensable all-ministering servant, when it gets the 
mastery, and becomes conflagration. Discipline we called 
a kind of miracle : in fact, is it not miraculous how one 
man moves hundreds of thousands ; each unit of whom, 
it may be, loves him not, and singly fears him not, yet 
has to obey him, to go hither or go thither, to march 
and halt, to give death, and even to receive it, as if a 
Fate had spoken ; and the word-of-command becomes, 
almost in the literal sense, a magic-word ? 

Which magic- word, again, if it be once foi^gotten ; the 
spell of it once broken ! The legions of assiduous 
ministering spirits rise on you now as menacing fiends ; 
your free orderly arena becomes a tumult-place of the 
Nether Pit, and the hapless magician is rent limb from 
limb. Military mobs are mobs with muskets in their 
hands ; and also with death hanging over their heads, 
for death is the penalty of disobedience, and they have 
disobeyed. And now if all mobs are properly frenzies, 
and work frenetically with mad fits of hot and of cold, 
fierce rage alternating so incoherently with panic terror, 
consider what your military mob will be, with such a 
conflict of duties and penalties, whirled between remorse 
and fury, and, for the hot fit, loaded fire-arms in its 

' See Newspapers of July 1789 (in " Hist. Pari,," ii. 35), etc. 

90 NANCI [bk. II, CH. II 

hand ! To the soldier himself, revolt is frightful, and 
oftenest perhaps pitiable ; and yet so dangerous, it can 
only be hated, cannot be pitied. An anomalous class of 
mortals these poor Hired Killers ! With a frankness, 
which to the Moralist in these times seems surprising, 
they have sworn to become machines ; and nevertheless 
they are still partly men. Let no prudent person in 
authority remind them of this latter fact ; but always 
let force, let injustice above all, stop short clearly on 
this side of the rebounding-point ! Soldiers, as we often 
say, do revolt : were it not so, several things which are 
transient in this world might be perennial. 

Over and above the general quarrel which all sons of 
Adam maintain with their lot here below, the grievances 
of the French soldiery reduce themselves to two. First, 
that their Officers are Aristocrats ; secondly, that they 
cheat them of their Pay. Two grievances ; or rather we 
might say one, capable of becoming a hundred ; for in 
that single first proposition, that the Officers are Aris- 
tocrats, what a multitude of corollaries lie ready ! It is 
a bottomless ever-flowing fountain of grievances this ; 
what you may call a general raw-material of grievance, 
wherefrom individual grievance after grievance will daily 
body itself forth. Nay there will even be a kind of 
comfort in getting it, from time to time, so embodied. 
Peculation of one's Pay ! It is embodied ; made tangible, 
made denounceable ; exhalable, if only in angry words. 

For unluckily that grand fountain of grievances does 
exist : Aristocrats almost all our Officers necessarily are; 
they have it in the blood and bone. By the law of the 
case, no man can pretend to be the pitifulest lieutenant 
of militia till he have first verified, to the satisfaction of 
the Lion-King, a Nobility of four generations. Not 
nobility only, but four generations of it : this latter is 
the improvement hit upon, in comparatively late years, by 
a certain War-minister much pressed for commissions,' 

^ Dampmartin, " Evenemens," i. 80. [This was by a royal 
decree of 1781. — Ed.] 


An improvement which did relieve the oppressed War- 
minister, but which split France still further into 
yawning contrasts of Commonalty and Nobility, nay 
of new Nobility and old ; as if already with your 
new and old, and then with your old, older and oldest, 
there were not contrasts and discrepancies enough ; — 
the general clash whereof men now see and hear, and 
in the singular whirlpool, all contrasts gone together 
to the bottom ! Gone to the bottom or going ; with 
uproar, without return ; going everywhere save in the 
Military section of things ; and there, it may be asked, 
can they hope to continue always at the top ? Appar- 
ently, not. 

It is true, in a time of external Peace, when there is no 
fighting, but only drilling, this question. How you rise 
from the ranks, may seem theoretical rather. But in 
reference to the Rights of Man it is continually practical. 
The soldier has sworn to be faithful not to the King 
only, but to the Law and the Nation. Do our com- 
manders love the Revolution? ask all soldiers. Un- 
happily no, they hate it, and love the Counter-Revolution, 
Young epauletted men, with quality-blood in them, 
poisoned with quality-pride, do sniff openly, with indig- 
nation struggling to become contempt, at our Rights of 
Man, as at some newfangled cobweb, which shall be 
brushed down again. Old Officers, more cautious, keep 
silent, with closed uncurled lips ; but one guesses what 
is passing within. Nay who knows, how, under the 
plausiblest word of command, might lie Counter-Revo- 
lution itself, sale to Exiled Princes and the Austrian 
Kaiser : treacherous Aristocrats hoodwinking the small 
insight of us common men ? — In such manner works that 
general raw-material of grievance ; disastrous ; instead 
of trust and reverence, breeding hate, endless suspicion, 
the impossibility of commanding and obeying. And now 
when this second more tangible grievance has articulated 
itself universally in the mind of the common man : Pe- 
culation of his Pay ! Peculation of the despicablest sort 
does exist, and has long existed ; but, unless the new- 

92 NANCI [bk. II, CH. II 

declared Rights of Man, and all rights whatsoever, be a 
cobweb, it shall no longer exist. 

The French Military System seems dying a sorrowful 
suicidal death. Nay more, citizen, as is natural, ranks 
himself against citizen in this cause. The soldier finds 
audience, of numbers and sympathy unlimited, among 
the Patriot lower-classes. Nor are the higher wanting 
to the officer. The officer still dresses and perfumes 
himself for such sad unemigrated soiree as there may still 
be ; and speaks his woes, — which woes, are they not 
Majesty's and Nature's ? Speaks, at the same time, his 
gay defiance, his firm-set resolution. Citizens, still more 
Citizenesses, see the right and the wrong ; not the Mili- 
tary System alone will die by suicide, but much along 
with it. As was said, there is yet possible a deeper 
overturn than any yet witnessed : that deepest ?^/turn of 
the black-burning sulphurous stratum whereon all rests 
and grows ! 

But how these things may act on the rude soldier- 
mind, with its military pedantries, its inexperience of all 
that lies off the parade-ground ; inexperience as of a 
child, yet fierceness of a man, and vehemence of a 
Frenchman ! It is long that secret communings in mess- 
room and guard-room, sour looks, thousandfold petty 
vexations between commander and commanded, measure 
everywhere the weary military day. Ask Captain Damp- 
martin ; an authentic, ingenious literary officer of horse ; 
who loves the Reign of Liberty, after a sort : yet has had 
his heart grieved to the quick many times, in the hot 
South-Western region and elsewhere ; and has seen riot, 
civil battle by daylight and by torchlight, and anarchy 
hatefulcr than death. How insubordinate Troopers, with 
drink in their heads, meet Captain Dampmartin and 
another on the ramparts, where there is no escape or side- 
path ; and make military salute punctually, for we look 
calm on them ; yet make it in a snappish, almost insulting 
manner : how one morning they " leave all their chamois- 
shirts " and superfluous buffs, which they are tired of, 
laid in piles at the Captains' doors ; whereat " we laugh," 


as the ass does eating thistles : nay how they " knot two 
forage-cords together," with universal noisy cursing, with 
evident intent to hang the Quartermaster : — all this the 
worthy Captain, looking on it through the ruddy-and- 
sable of fond regretful memory, has flowingly written 
down.' Men growl in vague discontent ; officers fling up 
their commissions and emigrate in disgust. 

Or let us ask another literary Officer ; not yet Captain ; 
Sublieutenant only, in the Artillery Regiment La Fere : 
a young man of twenty-one ; not unentitled to speak ; 
the name of him is Napoleon Buonaparte. To such height 
of Sublieutenancy has he now got promoted, from Brienne 
School, five years ago ; " being found qualified in mathe- 
matics by La Place." He is lying at Auxonne, in the 
West, in these months ; not sumptuously lodged — " in 
the house of a Barber, to whose wife he did not pay the 
customary degree of respect " ; or even over at the Pa- 
vilion, in a chamber with bare walls ; the only furniture 
an indifferent " bed without curtains, two chairs, and in 
the recess of a window a table covered with books and 
papers : his Brother Louis sleeps on a coarse mattress in 
an adjoining room." However, he is doing something 
great : writing his first Book or Pamphlet, — eloquent 
vehement " Letter to M. Matteo Buttafuoco," our Corsican 
Deputy, who is not a Patriot, but an Aristocrat unworthy 
of Deputyship. Joly of Dole is Publisher. The literary 
Sublieutenant corrects the proofs ; " sets out on foot from 
Auxonne every morning at four o'clock, for Dole : after 
looking over the proofs, he partakes of an extremely 
frugal breakfast with Joly, and immediately prepares for 
returning to his Garrison ; where he arrives before noon, 
having thus walked above twenty miles in the course of 
the morning." 

This Sublieutenant can remark that, in drawing-rooms, 
on streets, on highways, at inns, everywhere men's minds 
are ready to kindle into a flame. That a Patriot, if he 
appear in the drawing-room, or amid a group of officers, 

' Dampmartin, " Evenemens," i 122- [46. 

94 NANCI [bk. ii, ch. ii 

is liable enough to be discouraged, so great is the majority 
against him : but no sooner does he get into the street, 
or among the soldiers, than he feels again as if the whole 
Nation were with him/ That after the famous Oath, To 
the King, to the Nation, and Law, Xh^xo. was a great change ; 
that before this, if ordered to fire on the people, he for 
one would have done it in the King's name ; but that 
after this, in the Nation's name, he would not have done 
it. Likewise that the Patriot officers, more numerous 
too in the Artillery and Engineers than elsewhere, were 
few in number ; yet that having the soldiers on their 
side, they ruled the regiment ; and did often deliver the 
Aristocrat brother officer out of peril and strait. One 
day, for example, " a member of our own mess roused 
the mob, by singing, from the windows of our dining- 
room, ' O Richard, O my King' ; and I had to snatch him 
from their fury." " 

All which let the reader multiply by ten thousand ; 
and spread it, with slight variations, over all the camps 
and garrisons of France. The French Army seems on 
the verge of universal mutiny. 

Universal mutiny ! There is in that what may well 
make Patriot Constitutionalism and an august Assembly 
shudder. Something behoves to be done ; yet what to 
do no man can tell. Mirabeau proposes even that the 
Soldiery, having come to such a pass, be forthwith dis- 
banded, the whole Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand 

' [Wordsworth often conversed at Orleans with an officer (" Pre- 
lude," bk. ix.) : 

" A patriot, thence rejected by the rest, 
And with an oriental loathing spurned 
As of a different caste." — Ed.] 

^ Norvins, "Histoire de Napoleon," i. 47 ; Las Cases, "Me'moires" 
(translated into Hazlitt's "Life of Napoleon," i. 23-31). [Carlyle 
has here anticipated events somewhat. Buonaparte's second period 
of garrison duty at Auxonne was January- May, 1791 : he had 
already written a pamphlet replying to a Genevese pastor who had 
attacked Rousseau ; and at Auxonne he also worked at a projected 
work, "The History of Corsica." — Ed.] 


of them ; and organised anew.^ Impossible this, in so 
sudden a manner! cry all men. And yet literally, 
answer we, it is inevitable, in one manner or another. 
Such an army, with its four-generation Nobles, its pecu- 
lated Pay, and men knotting forage-cords to hang their 
Quartermaster, cannot subsist beside such a Revolution. 
Your alternative is a slow-pining chronic dissolution and 
new organisation ; or a swift decisive one ; the agonies 
spread over years, or concentred into an hour. With 
a Mirabeau for Minister or Governor, the latter had 
been the choice ; with no Mirabeau for Governor, it will 
naturally be the former. 

' "Moniteur," 1790, No. 233. [This number is overstated, if the 
regular army only is meant. Early in 1789 the infantry numbered 
only 133,000, the cavalry and artillery about 14,000 and 11,000 
respectively, and the Guards about 6,000. Since then the numbers 
had been reduced by desertion, and at the close of the year the 
Military Committee of the National Assembly abolished the Guards 
(Maison du Roi) and reduced the regular army to 150,000 men. 
A motion for conscription was made by Dubois de Crance, but was 
rejected as an infringement of the Rights of Man (Morse Stephens, 
vol. i., chap. xiii. ; Jung's "Dubois-Crance," vol. i., chaps, i.-ii. ; 
and *' L'CEuvre sociale de la Rev. Fr.," pp. 345-360). — Ed.] 

96 NANCI [bk. II, CH. Ill 



TO Bouille, in his North-Eastern circle, none of these 
things are altogether hid. Many times flight over 
the marches gleams-out on him as a last guidance in 
such bewilderment : nevertheless he continues here ; 
struggling always to hope the best, not from new organ- 
isation, but from happy Counter-Revolution and return 
to the old. For the rest, it is clear to him that this 
same National Federation, and universal swearing and 
fraternising of People and Soldiers, has done " incalcul- 
able mischief" So much that fermented secretly has 
hereby got vent, and become open : National Guards 
and Soldiers of the line, solemnly embracing one an- 
other on all parade-fields, drinking, swearing patriotic 
oaths, fall into disorderly street-processions, constitu- 
tional unmilitary exclamations and hurrahings. On 
which account the Regiment Picardie, for one, has to be 
drawn out in the square of the barracks, here at Metz, 
and sharply harangued b}- the General himself ; but 
expresses penitence.^ 

Far and near, as accounts testify, insubordination has 
begun grumbling louder and louder. Officers have been 
seen shut up in their mess-rooms ; assaulted with 
clamorous demands, not without menaces. The insub- 
ordinate ringleader is dismissed with "yellow furlough," 
yellow infamous thing the}' call cartouche jaunc : but ten 
new ringleaders rise in his stead, and the yellow car- 
toucJie ceases to be thought disgraceful. " Within a 

^ Bouille, " Memoires," i. 113. 


fortnight," or at furthest a month, of that sublime Feast 
of Pikes, the whole French Army, demanding Arrears, 
forming Reading Clubs, frequenting Popular Societies, 
is in a state which Bouille can call by no name but 
that of mutiny. Bouille knows it as few do ; and 
speaks by dire experience. Take one instance instead 
of many. 

It is still an early day of August, the precise date 
now undiscoverable, when Bouille, about to set out for 
the waters of Aix-la-Chapelle, is once more suddenly 
summoned to the barracks of Metz. The soldiers stand 
ranged in fighting order, muskets loaded, the officers all 
there on compulsion ; and required with many-voiced 
emphasis to have their arrears paid. Picardie was 
penitent ; but we see it has relapsed : the wide space 
bristles and lours with mere mutinous armed men. 
Brave Bouille advances to the nearest Regiment, opens 
his commanding lips to harangue ; obtains nothing but 
querulous-indignant discordance, and the sound of so 
many thousand livres legally due. The moment is 
trying ; there are some ten thousand soldiers now in 
Metz, and one spirit seems to have spread among them. 

Bouille is firm as the adamant ; but what shall he do ? 
A German Regiment, named of Salm,> is thought to be of 
better temper : nevertheless Salm too may have heard of 
the precept, Thou shalt not steal ; Salm too may know 
that money is money. Bouille walks trustfully towards 
the Regiment de Salm, speaks trustful words ; but here 
again is answered by the cry of forty-four thousand 
livres odd sous. A cry waxing more and more voci- 
ferous, as Salm's humour mounts ; which cry, as it will 
produce no cash or promise of cash, ends in the wide 
simultaneous whirr of shouldered muskets, and a deter- 
mined quick-time march on the part of Salm — towards 
its Colonel's house, in the next street, there to seize 

^ [The Salm-Salm Regiment was one of the German proprietary 
regiments in the French service : it was owned by the Count of 
that name, who held an Imperial fief in the Vosges Mountains. — 

II. H 

98 NANCI [bk. II, CH. Ill 

the colours and military chest. Thus does Salm, for 
its part ; strong in the faith that meum is not tuuni, 
that fair speeches are not forty-four thousand livres odd 

Unrestrainable ! Salm tramps to military time, quick 
consuming the way. Bouill^ and the officers, drawing 
sword, have to dash into double-quick pas-de-charge, or 
unmilitary running ; to get the start ; to station them- 
selves on the outer staircase, and stand there with what 
of death-defiance and sharp steel they have ; Salm 
truculently coiling itself up, rank after rank, opposite 
them, in such humour as we can fancy, which happily 
has not yet mounted to the murder-pitch. There will 
Bouille stand, certain at least of one man's purpose : in 
grim calmness, awaiting the issue. What the intrepidest 
of men and generals can do is done. Bouille, though 
there is a barricading picket at each end of the street, 
and death under his eyes, contrives to send for a 
Dragoon Regiment with orders to charge : the dragoon 
officers mount ; the dragoon men will not : hope is none 
there for him. The street, as we say, barricaded ; the 
Earth all shut out, only the indifferent heavenly Vault 
overhead : perhaps here or there a timorous householder 
peering out of window, with prayer for Bouille ; copious 
Rascality, on the pavement, with prayer for Salm : there 
do the two parties stand ; — like chariots locked in a 
narrow thoroughfare ; like locked wrestlers at a dead- 
grip! For two hours they stand: Bouille's sword glitter- 
ing in his hand, adamantine resolution clouding his 
brows: for two hours by the clocks of Metz, Moody-silent 
stands Salm, with occasional clangour ; but does not 
fire. Rascality, from time to time, urges some grenadier 
to level his musket at the General ; who looks on it as a 
bronze General would : and always some corporal or 
other strikes it up. 

In such remarkable attitude, standing on that staircase 
for two hours, does brave Bouille, long a shadow, dawn 
on us visibly out of the dimness, and become a person. 
For the rest, since Salm has not shot him at the first 


instant, and since in himself there is no variableness, the 
danger will diminish. The Mayor, " a man infinitely 
respectable," with his Municipals and tricolor sashes, 
finally gains entrance ; remonstrates, perorates, pro- 
mises ; gets Salm persuaded home to its barracks. Next 
day, our respectable Mayor lending the money, the 
officers pay-down the half oit\i& demand in ready cash. 
With which liquidation Salm pacifies itself; and for the 
present all is hushed up, as much as may be.^ 

Such scenes as this of Metz, or preparations and 
demonstrations towards such, are universal over France : 
Dampmartin, with his knotted forage-cords and piled 
chamois-jackets, is at Strasburg, in the South-East ; in 
these same days or rather nights, Royal Champagne is 
" shouting Vive la Nation, au diable les Aristocrates, 
with some thirty lit candles," at Hesdin, on the far 
North- West. " The garrison of Bitche," Deputy Rew- 
bell is sorry to state, " went out of the town with drums 
beating ; deposed its officers ; and then returned into 
the town, sabre in hand."' Ought not a National 
Assembly to occupy itself with these objects ? Military 
France is everywhere full of sour inflammatory humour, 
which exhales itself fuliginously, this way or that : a 
whole continent of smoking flax ; which, blown here or 
there by any angry wind, might so easily start into 
a blaze, into a continent of fire. 

Constitutional Patriotism is in deep natural alarm at 
these things. The august Assembly sits diligently deli- 
berating ; dare nowise resolve, with Mirabeau, on an 
instantaneous disbandment and extinction ; finds that 
a course of palliatives is easier. But at least and lowest, 
this grievance of the Arrears shall be rectified. A plan, 
much noised of in those days, under the name " Decree 
of the Sixth of August," has been devised for that. In- 
spectors shall visit all armies ; and, with certain elected 

Bouille, i. 140-145. 

"Moniteur" (in "Hist. Pari.,''' vii. 29). 

loo NANCI [bk. II, CH. in 

corporals and " soldiers able to write," verify what arrears 
and peculations do lie due, and make them good. Well 
if in this way the smoky heat be cooled down ; if it be 
not, as we say, ventilated overmuch, or, by sparks and 
collision somewhere, sent up ! 




WE are to remark, however, that of all districts, this 
of Bouill6's seems the inflammablest. It was 
always to Bouill6 and Metz that Royalty would fly: 
Austria lies near ; here more than elsewhere must the 
disunited People look over the borders, into a dim sea of 
Foreign Politics and Diplomacies, with hope or appre- 
hension, with mutual exasperation. 

It was but in these days that certain Austrian troops, 
marching peaceably across an angle of this region, seemed 
an Invasion realised ; and there rushed towards Stenai, 
with musket on shoulder, from all the winds, some thirty 
thousand National Guards, to inquire what the matter 
was.' A matter of mere diplomacy it proved ; the 
Austrian Kaiser, in haste to get to Belgium,- had bar- 
gained for this short cut. The infinite dim movement of 
European Politics waved a skirt over these spaces, pass- 
ing on its way ; like the passing shadow of a condor ; 
and such a winged flight of thirty thousand, with mixed 
cackling and crowing, rose in consequence ! For, in 
addition to all, this people, as we said, is much divided : 
Aristocrats abound ; Patriotism has both Aristocrats 
and Austrians to watch. It is Lorraine, this region ; not 
so illuminated as old France: it remembers ancient Feud- 
alisms ; nay within man's memory it had a Court and 
King of its own, or indeed the splendour of a Court and 

^ " Moniteur," Seance du 9 Aout 1790. 

^ [The whole of Belgium (except the independent bishopric of 
Liege) owned the sway of the Hapsburgs, and was called the 
Austrian Netherlands. — Ed.] 

I02 NANCI [bk. II, CH. IV 

King, without the burden. Then, contrariwise, the 
Mother Society, which sits in the Jacobins Church at 
Paris, has Daughters in the Towns here ; shrill-tongued, 
driven acrid : consider how the memory of good King 
Stanislaus, and ages of Imperial Feudalism, may com- 
port with this New acrid Evangel, and what a virulence 
of discord there may be ! In all which, the Soldiery, 
officers on one side, private men on the other, takes part, 
and now indeed principal part ; a Soldiery, moreover, all 
the hotter here as it lies the denser, the frontier Pro- 
vince requiring more of it. 

So stands Lorraine : ^ but the capital City more es- 
pecially so. The pleasant City of Nanci, which faded 
Feudalism loves, where King Stanislaus personally 
dwelt and shone, has an Aristocrat Municipality, and 
then also a Daughter Society : it has some forty thousand 
divided souls of population ; and three large Regiments, 
one of which is Swiss Chateau-Vieux, dear to Patriotism 
ever since it refused fighting, or was thought to refuse, 
in the Bastille days. Here unhappily all evil influences 
seem to meet concentred ; here, of all places, may 
jealousy and heat evolve itself. These many months, 
accordingly, man has been set against man, Washed 
against Unwashed ; Patriot Soldier against Aristocrat 
Captain, ever the more bitterly : and a long score of 
grudges has been running up, 

Nameable grudges, and likewise unnameable : for there 
is a punctual nature in Wrath ; and daily, were there 
but glances of the eye, tones of the voice, and minutest 
commissions or omissions, it will jot-down somewhat, 
to account, under the head of sundries, which always 
swells the sum-total. For example, in April last, in 
those times of preliminary Federation, when National 

' [Lorraine was one of the most famous and favoured provinces 
of the Holy Roman Empire, Francis, the husband of Maria 
Theresa, was Duke of Lorraine, and in 1738, at the end of the 
PoHsh War of Succession, received Tuscany in exchange for 
Lorraine, which went to Stanislaus L of Poland, who had recently 
abdicated. He was only Duke in Lorraine : the duchy became 
wholly French on his death in 1766. — Ed.] 


Guards and Soldiers were everywhere swearing brother- 
hood, and all France was locally federating, preparing 
for the grand National Feast of Pikes, it was observed 
that these Nanci Officers threw cold water on the whole 
brotherly business ; that they first hung back from ap- 
pearing at the Nanci Federation ; then did appear, but 
in mere rcdingote and undress, with scarcely a clean shirt 
on ; nay that one of them, as the National Colours 
flaunted by in that solemn moment, did, without visible 
necessity, take occasion to spit} 

Small " sundries as per journal," but then incessant 
ones ! The Aristocrat Municipality, pretending to be 
Constitutional, keeps mostly quiet ; not so the Daughter 
Society, the five thousand adult male Patriots of the 
place, still less the five thousand female : not so the 
young, whiskered or whiskerless, four-generation Noblesse 
in epaulettes ; the grim Patriot Swiss of Chateau-Vieux, 
effervescent infantry of Regiment du Roi, hot troopers 
of Mestre-de-Camp ! Walled Nanci, which stands so 
bright and trim, with its straight streets, spacious 
squares, and Stanislaus' Architecture, on the fruitful al- 
luvium of the Meurthe ; so bright, amid the yellow 
cornfields in these Reaper- Months, — is inwardly but a 
den of discord, anxiety, inflammability, not far from 
exploding. Let Bouille look to it. If that universal 
military heat, which we liken to a vast continent of 
smoking flax, do anywhere take fire, his beard, here in 
Lorraine and Nanci, may the most readily of all get 
singed by it. 

Bouille, for his part, is busy enough, but only with 
the general superintendence ; getting his pacified Salm, 
and all other still tolerable Regiments, marched out of 
Metz, to southward towns and villages ; to rural Canton- 
ments as at Vic, Marsal and thereabout, by the still 
waters ; where is plenty of horse-forage, sequestered 
parade-ground, and the soldier's speculative faculty can 

^ "Deux Amis," v. 217. 

I04 NANCI [bk. II, CH. IV 

be stilled by drilling. Salm, as we said, received only 
half payment of arrears ; naturally not without grum- 
bling. Nevertheless that scene of the drawn sword may, 
after all, have raised Bouille in the mind of Salm ; for 
men and soldiers love intrepidity and swift inflexible 
decision, even when they suffer by it. As indeed is not 
this fundamentally the quality of qualities for a man ? 
A quality which by itself is next to nothing, since in- 
ferior animals, asses, dogs, even mules have it ; yet, in 
due combination, it is the indispensable basis of all. 

Of Nanci and its heats, Bouill6, commander of the 
whole, knows nothing special : understands generally 
that the troops in that City are perhaps the ivorst) The 
Officers there have it all, as they have long had it, to 
themselves ; and unhappily seem to manage it ill. 
"Fifty yellow furloughs," given out in one batch, do 
surely betoken difficulties. But what was Patriotism to 
think of certain light-fencing Fusileers " set on," or sup- 
posed to be set on, "to insult the Grenadier-club," — 
considerate speculative Grenadiers and that reading- 
room of theirs ? With shoutings, with hootings ; till 
the speculative Grenadier drew his side-arms too ; and 
there ensued battery and duels ! Nay more, are not 
swashbucklers of the same stamp " sent out " visibly, or 
sent out presumably, now in the dress of Soldiers, to 
pick quarrels with the Citizens ; now, disguised as 
Citizens, to pick quarrels with the Soldiers? For a 
certain Roussiere, expert in fence, was taken in the very 
fact ; four Officers (presumably of tender years) hound- 
ing him on, who thereupon fled precipitately ! Fence- 
master Roussiere, haled to the guardhouse, had sentence 
of three months' imprisonment : but his comrades de- 
manded " yellow furlough " for him of all persons ; nay 
thereafter they produced him on parade ; capped him 
in paper-helmet, inscribed Iscariot ; marched him to the 
gate of the City ; and there sternly commanded him to 
vanish forevermore. 

Bouille, i. c. 9. 


On all which suspicions, accusations and noisy pro- 
cedure, and on enough of the like continually accumu- 
lating, the Officer could not but look with disdainful 
indignation ; perhaps disdainfully express the same in 
words, and " soon after fly over to the Austrians." 

So that when it here, as elsewhere, comes to the ques- 
tion of Arrears, the humour and procedure is of the 
bitterest : Regiment Mestre-de-Camp getting, amid loud 
clamour, some three gold louis a-man, — which have, as 
usual, to be borrowed from the Municipality ; Swiss 
Chateau-Vieux applying for the like, but getting instead 
instantaneous courrois, or cat-o'-nine-tails, with subse- 
quent unsufferable hisses from the women and children : ^ 
Regiment du Roi, sick of hope deferred, at length seiz- 
ing its military chest, and marching it to quarters, but 
next day marching it back again, through streets all 
struck silent : — unordered paradings and clamours, not 
without strong liquor ; objurgation, insubordination ; 
your military ranked Arrangement going all (as the 
Typographers say of set types, in a similar case) rapidly 
to pie \ Such is Nanci in these early days of August; 
the sublime Feast of Pikes not yet a month old. 

Constitutional Patriotism, at Paris and elsewhere, may 
well quake at the news. War-Minister Latour du Pin 
runs breathless to the National Assembly, with a written 
message that " all is burning, totct brttle, tout pressed 
The National Assembly, on the spur of the instant, 
renders such Decret, and " order to submit and repent," 
as he requires ; if it will avail anything. On the other 
hand, Journalism, through all its throats, gives hoarse 
outcry, condemnatory, elegiac-applausive. The Forty- 
eight Sections lift up voices ; sonorous Brewer, or call 
him now Colonel Santerre, is not silent, in the Faubourg 

^ " Deux Amis," v. c. 8. [The Swiss regiments in the service of 
France were under very strict discipline (see p. 119). 

The Regiment du Roi mutinied on August 9th, 1 790, when two men 
from each company stepped forth and demanded the accounts of 
the regiment — it was a proprietary regiment. The officers finally 
agreed to pay the men 170,000 francs, which appeased them. — Ed. 

io6 NANCI [bk. II, CH. IV 

Saint-Antofne. For, meanwhile, the Nanci Soldiers 
have sent a Deputation of Ten, furnished with docu- 
ments and proofs ; who will tell another story than the 
" all-is-burning " one. Which deputed Ten, before ever 
they reach the Assembly Hall, assiduous Latour du Pin 
picks up, and, on warrant of Mayor Bailly, claps in 
prison ! Most unconstitutionally ; for they had officers' 
furloughs. Whereupon Saint-Antoine, in indignant un- 
certainty of the future, closes its shops. Is Bouille a 
traitor, then, sold to Austria? In that case, these 
poor private sentinels have revolted mainly out of 
Patriotism ? 

New Deputation, Deputation of National Guardsmen 
now, sets forth from Nanci to enlighten the Assembly. 
It meets the old deputed Ten returning, quite unex- 
pectedly ^whanged ; and proceeds thereupon with better 
prospects ; but effects nothing. Deputations, Govern- 
ment Messengers, Orderlies at hand-gallop. Alarms, 
thousand-voiced Rumours, go vibrating continually ; 
backwards and forwards, — scattering distraction. Not 
till the last week of August does M. de Malseigne, 
selected as Inspector, get down to the scene of mutiny ; 
with Authority, with cash, and " Decree of the Sixth of 
August." He now shall see these Arrears liquidated, 
justice done, or at least tumult quashed. 

24-25, i79o] INSPECTOR MALSEIGNE 107 



OF Inspector Malseigne we discern, by direct light, 
that he is "of Herculean stature" ; and infer, with 
probability, that he is of truculent mustachioed aspect, — 
for Royalist Officers now leave the upper lip unshaven ; 
that he is of indomitable bull-heart ; and also, unfor- 
tunately, of thick bull-head. 

On Tuesday the 24th of August 1790, he opens 
session as Inspecting Commissioner; meets those "elected 
corporals, and soldiers that can write." He finds the 
accounts of Chateau-Vieux to be complex ; to require 
delay and reference : he takes to haranguing, to repri- 
manding ; ends amid audible grumbling. Next morning, 
he resumes session, not at the Townhall as prudent 
Municipals counselled, but once more at the barracks. 
Unfortunately Chateau-Vieux, grumbling all night, will 
now hear of no delay or reference ; from reprimanding 
on his part, it goes to bullying, — answered with con- 
tinual cries of ' Jugez tout de suite. Judge it at once " ; 
whereupon M. de Malseigne will off in a huff. But lo, 
Chateau-Vieux, swarming all about the barrack-court, 
has sentries at every gate ; M. de Malseigne, demanding 
egress, cannot get it, not though Commandant Denoue 
backs him, can get only '' Jugez tout de suite!' Here is 
a nodus ! 

Bull-hearted M. de Malseigne draws his sword ; and 
will force egress. Confused splutter. M. de Malseigne's 
sword breaks : he snatches Commandant Denoue's : the 
sentry is wounded. M. de Malseigne, whom one is loth 
to kill, does force egress, — followed by Chateau-Vieux 

io8 NANCI [rk. II, CH. V 

all in disarray ; a spectacle to Nanci. M. de Malseigne 
walks at a sharp pace, yet never runs ; wheeling from 
time to time, with menaces and movements of fence ; 
and so reaches Denoue's house, unhurt ; which house 
Chateau- Vieux, in an agitated manner, invests, — hindered 
as yet from entering, by a crowd of officers formed on 
the staircase. M. de Malseigne retreats by back ways 
to the Townhall, flustered though undaunted ; amid an 
escort of National Guards. From the Townhall he, on 
the morrow, emits fresh orders, fresh plans of settlement 
with Chateau-Vieux ; to none of which will Chateau- 
Vieux listen : whereupon he finally, amid noise enough, 
emits order that Chateau-Vieux shall march on the 
morrow morning, and quarter at Sarre Louis. Chateau- 
Vieux flatly refuses marching ; M. de Malseigne " takes 
act^' due notarial protest, of such refusal, — if happily that 
may avail him. 

This is the end of Thursday ; and, indeed, of M. de 
Malseigne's Inspectorship, which has lasted some fifty 
hours. To such length, in fifty hours, has he unfortun- 
ately brought it. Mestre-de-Camp and Regiment du 
Roi hang, as it were, fluttering ; Chateau-Vieux is clean 
gone, in what way we see. Overnight, an Aide-de-Camp 
of Lafayette's, stationed here for such emergency, sends 
swift emissaries far and wide to summon National Guards. 
The slumber of the country is broken by clattering hoofs, 
by loud fraternal knockings ; everywhere the Constitu- 
tional Patriot must clutch his fighting-gear, and take the 
road for Nanci. 

And thus the Herculean Inspector has sat all Thursday, 
among terror-struck Municipals, a centre of confused 
noise : all Thursday, Friday, and till Saturday towards 
noon. Chateau-Vieux, in spite of the notarial protest, 
will not march a step. As many as four thousand 
National Guards are dropping or pouring in ; uncertain 
what is expected of them, still more uncertain what will 
be obtained of them. For all is uncertainty, commotion 
and suspicion : there goes a word that Bouill^, beginning 
to bestir himself in the rural Cantonments eastward, is 

AUG. 25-28, 1790] INSPECTOR MALSEIGNE 109 

but a Royalist traitor ; that Chateau-Vieux and Patriotism 
are sold to Austria, of which latter M. de Malseigne is 
probably some agent. Mestre-de-Camp and Roi flutter 
still more questionably : Chateau-Vieux, far from march- 
ing, " waves red flags out of two carriages," in a passionate 
manner, along the streets ; and next morning answers 
its Ofiicers : " Pay us, then ; and we will march with you 
to the world's end ! " 

Under which circumstances, towards noon on Saturday, 
M. de Malseigne, thinks it were good perhaps to inspect 
the ramparts, — on horseback. He mounts, accordingly, 
with escort of three troopers. At the gate of the City, 
he bids two of them wait for his return ; and with the 
third, a trooper to be depended upon, he — gallops off for 
Luneville ; where lies a certain Carbineer Regiment not 
yet in a mutinous state ! The two left troopers soon get 
uneasy ; discover how it is, and give the alarm. Mestre- 
de-Camp, to the number of a hundred, saddles in frantic 
haste, as if sold to Austria ; gallops out pellmell in chase 
of its Inspector. And so they spur, and the Inspector 
spurs ; careering, with noise and jingle, up the valley of 
the River Meurthe, towards Luneville and the midday 
sun : through an astonished country ; indeed almost to 
their own astonishment. 

What a hunt; Actaeon-like; — which Actaeon de Mal- 
seigne happily gains. To arms, ye Carbineers of Lune- 
ville : to chastise mutinous men, insulting your General 
Officer, insulting your own quarters ; — above all things, 
fire soon, lest there be parleying and ye refuse to fire ! 
The Carbineers fire soon, exploding upon the first 
stragglers of Mestre-de-Camp ; who shriek at the very 
flash, and fall back hastily on Nanci, in a state not far 
from distraction. Panic and fury: sold to Austria without 
an if; so much per regiment, the very sums can be 
specified ; and traitorous Malseigne is fled ! Help, O 
Heaven ; help, thou Earth, — ye unwashed Patriots ; ye 
too are sold like us ! 

Effervescent Regiment du Roi primes its firelocks, 
Mestre-de-Camp saddles wholly : Commandant Denoue 

no NANCI [bk. II, CH. V 

is seized, is flung in prison with a " canvas-shirt {sarreau 
de. toile) " about him ; Chateau-Vieux bursts-up the 
magazines ; distributes " three thousand fusils " to a 
Patriot people : Austria shall have a hot bargain. Alas, 
the unhappy hunting-dogs, as we said, have Jiunted away 
their huntsman ; and do now run howling and baying, 
on what trail they know not ; nigh rabid ! 

And so there is tumultuous march of men, through the 
night ; with halt on the heights of Flinval, whence Lune- 
ville can be seen all illuminated. Then there is parley, 
at four in the morning ; and reparley ; finally there is 
agreement : the Carbineers gave in ; Malseigne is sur- 
rendered, with apologies on all sides. After weary con- 
fused hours, he is even got under way ; the Lunevillers 
all turning out, in the idle Sunday, to see such departure: 
home-going of mutinous Mestre-de-Camp with its In- 
spector captive. Mestre-de-Camp accordingly marches ; 
the Lunevillers look. See ! at the corner of the first 
street, our Inspector bounds off again, bull-hearted as he 
is ; amid the slash of sabres, the crackle of musketry ; 
and escapes, full gallop, with only a ball lodged in his 
hvS^-jerkin. The Herculean man ! And yet it is an escape 
to no purpose. For the Carbineers, to whom after the 
hardest Sunday's ride on record, he has come circling 
back, " stand deliberating by their nocturnal watch-fires" ; 
deliberating of Austria, of traitors, and the rage of 
Mestre-de-Camp. So that, on the whole, the next sight 
we have is that of M. de Malseigne, on the Monday 
afternoon, faring bull-hearted through the streets of 
Nanci ; in open carriage, a soldier standing over him 
with drawn sword ; amid the " furies of the women," 
hedges of National Guards, and confusion of Babel : to 
the Prison beside Commandant Denoue ! That finally is 
the lodging of Inspector Malseigne.^ 

Surely it is time Bouille were drawing near. The 
Country all round, alarmed with watch-fires, illuminated 

' "Deux Amis," v. 206-251 ; Newspapers and Documents (in 
"Hist. Pari.," vii. 59-162;. 


towns, and marching and rout, has been sleepless these 
several nights. Nanci, with its uncertain National Guards, 
with its distributed fusils, mutinous soldiers, black panic 
and redhot ire, is not a City but a Bedlam. 

NANCI [bk. II, CH. VI 



HASTE with help, thou brave Bouille : if swift help 
come not, all is now verily " burning " ; and may 
burn, — to what lengths and breadths ! Much, in these 
hours, depends on Bouille ; as it shall now fare with 
him, the whole Future may be this way or be that. If, for 
example, he were to loiter dubitating, and not come ; if 
he were to come, and fail : the whole Soldiery of France 
to blaze into mutiny. National Guards going some this 
way, some that ; and Royalism to draw its rapier, and 
Sansculottism to snatch its pike ; and the Spirit of 
Jacobinism, as yet young, girt with sun-rays, to grow 
instantaneously mature, girt with hell-fire, — as mortals, 
in one night of deadly crisis, have had their heads turned 

Brave Bouille is advancing fast, with the old inflexi- 
bility ; gathering himself, unhappily " in small affluences," 
from East, from West and North ; and now on Tuesday 
morning, the last day of the month, he stands all con- 
centred, unhappily still in small force, at the village of 
Frouarde, within some few miles. Son of Adam with a 
more dubious task before him is not in the world this 
Tuesday morning. A weltering inflammable sea of doubt 
and peril, and Bouille sure of simply one thing, his own 
determination. Which one thing, indeed, may be worth 
many. He puts a most firm face on the matter: "Sub- 
mission, or unsparing battle and destruction ; twenty- 
four hours to make your choice " : this was the tenor of 
his Proclamation ; thirt\- copies of which he sent }'ester- 

AUG. 31, I790] BOUILLE AT NANCI 113 

day to Nanci : — all which, we find, were intercepted and 
not posted.^ 

Nevertheless, at half-past eleven this morning, seem- 
ingly by way of answer, there does wait on him at 
Frouarde some Deputation from the mutinous Regiments, 
from the Nanci Municipals, to see what can be done. 
Bouille receives this Deputation " in a large open court 
adjoining his lodging " : pacified Salm, and the rest, 
attend also, being invited to do it, — all happily still in 
the right humour. The Mutineers pronounce themselves 
with a decisiveness, which to Bouille seems insolence ; 
and happily to Salm also. Salm, forgetful of the Metz 
staircase and sabre, demands that the scoundrels " be 
hanged " there and then. Bouille represses the hanging ; 
but answers that mutinous Soldiers have one course, and 
not more than one : To liberate, with heartfelt contrition. 
Messieurs Denoue and De Malseigne ; to get ready 
forthwith for marching off, whither he shall order ; and 
"submit and repent," as the National Assembly has 
decreed, as he yesterday did in thirty printed Placards 
proclaim. These are his terms, unalterable as the decrees 
of Destiny, Which terms as they, the Mutineer deputies, 
seemingly do not accept, it were good for them to vanish 
from this spot, and even to do it promptly ; with him 
too, in few instants, the word will be. Forward ! The 
Mutineer deputies vanish, not unpromptly ; the Municipal 
ones, anxious beyond right for their own individualities, 
prefer abiding with Bouille. 

Brave Bouill6, though he puts a most firm face on the 
matter, knows his position full well : how at Nanci, what 
with rebellious soldiers, with uncertain National Guards, 
and so many distributed fusils, there rage and roar some 
ten thousand fighting men ; while with himself is scarcely 
the third part of that number, in National Guards also 
uncertain, in mere pacified Regiments, — for the present 
full of rage, and clamour to march ; but whose rage and 
clamour may next moment take such a fatal new figure. 

^ Compare Bouille, " Memoires," i. 153-176; " Deux Amis," v. 
251-271 ; "Hist. Pari.," itbi st/pra. 
II. I 

114 NANCI [bk. II, CH. VI 

On the top of one uncertain billow, therewith to calm 
billows ! Bouille must " abandon himself to Fortune " ; 
who is said sometimes to favour the brave. At half- 
past twelve, the Mutineer deputies having vanished, our 
drums beat ; we march : for Nanci ! Let Nanci bethink 
itself, then ; for Bouille has thought and determined. 

And yet how shall Nanci think : not a City but a 
Bedlam ! Grim Chateau-Vieux is for defence to the 
death ; forces the Municipality to order, by tap of drum, 
all citizens acquainted with artillery to turn out, and 
assist in managing the cannon. On the other hand, 
effervescent Regiment du Roi is drawn up in its bar- 
racks ; quite disconsolate, hearing the humour Salm is 
in ; and ejaculates dolefully from its thousand throats : 
'■'■ La loi, la loi, Law, Law!" Mestre-de-Camp blusters, 
with profane swearing, in mixed terror and furor ; 
National Guards look this way and that, not knowing 
what to do. What a Bedlam-City : as many plans as 
heads ; all ordering, none obeying : quiet none, — except 
the Dead, who sleep underground, having done their 

And, behold, Bouille proves as good as his word : 
" at half-past two " scouts report that he is within half 
a league of the gates ; rattling along, with cannon and 
array ; breathing nothing but destruction. A new De- 
putation, Municipals, Mutineers, Officers, goes out to 
meet him ; with passionate entreaty for yet one other 
hour. Bouill6 grants an hour. Then, at the end there- 
of, no Denoue or Malseigne appearing as promised, he 
rolls his drums, and again takes the road. Towards four 
o'clock, the terror-struck Townsmen may see him face 
to face. His cannons rattle there, in their carriages ; 
his vanguard is within thirty paces of the Gate Stanis- 
laus. Onward like a Planet, by appointed times, by 
law of Nature ! What next ? Lo, flag of truce and 
chamade ; conjuration to halt : Malseigne and Denoue 
are on the street, coming hither ; the soldiers all re- 
pentant, ready to submit and march ! Adamantine 
Bouille's look alters not ; yet the word Halt is given : 

AUG. 31, I790] BOUILLE AT NANCI 115 

gladder moment he never saw. Joy of joys ! Malseigne 
and Denoue do verily issue ; escorted by National 
Guards ; from streets all frantic, with sale to Austria 
and so forth : they salute Bouille, unscathed. Bouill6 
steps aside to speak with them, and with other heads of 
the Town there ; having already ordered by what Gates 
and Routes the mutineer Regiments shall file out. 

Such colloquy with these two General Officers and 
other principal Townsmen was natural enough ; never- 
theless one wishes Bouille had postponed it, and not 
stepped aside. Such tumultuous inflammable masses, 
tumbling along, making way for each other ; this of 
keen nitrous oxide, that of sulphurous firedamp, — were 
it not well to stand between them, keeping them well 
separate, till the space be cleared ? Numerous stragglers 
of Chateau-Vieux and the rest have not marched with 
their main columns, which are filing out by the appointed 
Gates, taking station in the open meadows. National 
Guards are in a state of nearly distracted uncertainty ; 
the populace, armed and unarmed, roll openly delirious, 
— betrayed, sold to the Austrians, sold to the Aristocrats. 
There are loaded cannon, with lit matches, among them, 
and Bouille's vanguard is halted within thirty paces of 
the Gate. Command dwells not in that mad inflam- 
mable mass ; which smoulders and tumbles there, in 
blind smoky rage ; which will not open the Gate when 
summoned ; says it will open the cannon's throat sooner ! 
— Cannonade not, O Friends, or be it through my body ! 
cries heroic young Desilles, young Captain of Roi, 
clasping the murderous engine in his arms, and holding 
it Chateau-Vieux Swiss, by main force, with oaths and 
menaces, wrench off the heroic youth ; who undaunted, 
amid still louder oaths, seats himself on the touchhole. 
Amid still louder oaths, with ever louder clangour, — 
and, alas, with the loud crackle of first one, and then of 
three other muskets ; which explode into his body ; 
which roll it in the dust, — and do also, in the loud 
madness of such moment, bring lit cannon-match to 
ready priming ; and so, with one thunderous belch of 

Ii6 NANCI [bk. II, CH. VI 

grapeshot, blast some fifty of Bouille's vanguard into 
air ! 

Fatal ! That sputter of the first musket-shot has 
kindled such a cannon-shot, such a death-blaze ; and 
all is now redhot madness, conflagration as of Tophet. 
With demoniac rage, the Bouille vanguard storms 
through that Gate Stanislaus ; with fiery sweep, sweeps 
Mutiny clear away, to death, or into shelters and cellars ; 
from which latter, again. Mutiny continues firing. The 
ranked Regiments hear it in their meadow ; they rush 
back again through the nearest Gate ; Bouille gallops 
in, distracted, inaudible ; — and now has begun in Nanci, 
as in that doomed Hall of the Nibelungen, " a murder 
grim and great." 

Miserable : such scene of dismal aimless madness as 
the anger of Heaven but rarely permits among men ! 
From cellar or from garret, from open street in front, 
from successive corners of cross-streets on each hand, 
Chateau-Vieux and Patriotism keep up the murderous 
rolling-fire, on murderous not Unpatriotic fires. Your 
blue National Captain, riddled with balls, one hardly 
knows on whose side fighting, requests to be laid on 
the colours to die : the patriotic Woman (name not 
given, deed surviving) screams to Chateau-Vieux that it 
must not fire the other cannon ; and even flings a pail 
of water on it, since screaming avails not.' Thou shalt 
fight ; thou shalt not fight ; and with whom shalt thou 
fight ! Could tumult awaken the old Dead, Burgundian 
Charles the Bold might stir from under that Rotunda of 
his : never since he, raging, sank in the ditches, and lost 
Life and Diamond, was such a noise heard here. 

Three thousand, as some count, lie mangled, gory : 
the half of Chateau-Vieux has been shot, without need 
of Court-Martial. Cavalry, of Mestre-de-Camp or their 
foes, can do little. Regiment du Roi was persuaded to 
its barracks ; stands there palpitating. Bouille, armed 
with the terrors of the Law, and favoured of Fortune, 

' " Deux Amis," v. 268. 

AUG. 31, 179°] BOUILLE AT NANCI 117 

finally triumphs. In two murderous hours, he has pene- 
trated to the grand Squares, dauntless, though with loss 
of forty officers and five hundred men : the shattered 
remnants of Chateau-Vieux are seeking covert. Regi- 
ment du Roi, not effervescent now, alas no, but having 
effervesced, will offer to ground its arms ; will " march 
in a quarter of an hour." Nay these poor effervesced 
require " escort " to march with, and get it ; though they 
are thousands strong, and have thirty ball-cartridges a 
man ! The Sun is not yet down, when Peace, which 
might have come bloodless, has come bloody : the 
mutinous Regiments are on march, doleful, on their 
three Routes ; and from Nanci rises wail of women and 
men, the voice of weeping and desolation ; the City 
weeping for its slain who awaken not. These streets 
are empty but for victorious patrols. 

Thus has Fortune, favouring the brave, dragged 
Bouill6, as himself says, out of such a frightful peril 
"by the hair of the head." An intrepid adamantine 
man, this Bouill6 : — had he stood in old Broglie's place 
in those Bastille days, it might have been all different ! 
He has extinguished mutiny, and immeasurable civil 
war. Not for nothing, as we see ; yet at a rate which 
he and Constitutional Patriotism consider cheap. Nay, 
as for Bouille, he, urged by subsequent contradiction 
which arose, declares coldly, it was rather against his 
own private mind, and more by public military rule of 
duty, that he did extinguish it,' — immeasurable civil 
war being now the only chance. Urged, we say, by 
subsequent contradiction ! Civil war, indeed, is Chaos ; 
and in all vital Chaos there is new Order shaping itself 
free : but what a faith this, that of all new Orders out 
of Chaos and Possibility of Man and his Universe, Louis 
Sixteenth and Two-Chamber Monarchy were precisely 
the one that would shape itself! It is like undertaking 
to throw deuce-ace, say only five hundred successive 

^ Bouille, i. 175. 

Ii8 NANCI [bk. II, CH. VI 

times, and any other throw to be fatal — for Bouill6. 
Rather thank Fortune, and Heaven, always, thou in- 
trepid Bouille ; and let contradiction go its way ! Civil 
war, conflagrating universally over France at this 
moment, might have led to one thing or to another 
thing : meanwhile, to qiiench conflagration, wheresoever 
one finds it, wheresoever one can ; this, in all times, is 
the rule for man and General Officer. 

But at Paris, so agitated and divided, fancy how it 
went, when the continually vibrating Orderlies vibrated 
thither at hand-gallop, with such questionable news ! 
High is the gratulation ; and also deep the indignation. 
An august Assembly, by overwhelming majorities, pas- 
sionately thanks Bouille ; a King's autograph, the voices 
of all Loyal, all Constitutional men run to the same 
tenor. A solemn National funeral-service, for the Law- 
defenders slain at Nanci, is said and sung in the Champ- 
de-Mars ; Bailly, Lafayette and National Guards, all 
except the few that protested, assist. With pomp and 
circumstance, with episcopal Calicoes in tricolor girdles, 
Altar of Fatherland smoking with cassolettes, or incense- 
kettles ; the vast Champ-de-Mars wholly hung round 
with black mortcloth, — which mortcloth and expendi- 
ture Marat thinks had better have been laid out in bread, 
in these dear days, and given to the hungry living 
Patriot.^ On the other hand, living Patriotism, and Saint- 
Antoine, which we have seen noisily closing its shops 
and suchlike, assembles now " to the number of forty 
thousand " ; and, with loud cries, under the very windows 
of the thanking National Assembly, demands revenge 
for murdered Brothers, judgment on Bouille, and instant 
dismissal of War-Minister Latour du Pin. 

At sound and sight of which things, if not War- 

^ "Ami du Peuple" (in "Hist. Pari.," iibi supra). [The public 
workshops (where the State paid a franc a day) were a great 
expense, there being in October, 1790, 19,000 men thus supported 
in Paris, 15,000 in Amiens, and 11,000 in Toulouse, etc. The State 
in 1790 also spent 75,000,0000 francs in buying corn for Paris, which 
it sold at half price (Von Sybel, vol. i., pp. 252 et seq. ; Morse 
Stephens, vol. i., chap. xii.). — Ed.] 


Minister Latour, yet " Adored Minister Necker " sees 
good, on the 3d of September 1790, to withdraw softly, 
almost privily,' — with an eye to the " recovery of his 
health." Home to native Switzerland ; not as he last 
came ; lucky to reach it alive ! Fifteen months ago, we 
saw him coming, with escort of horse, with sound of 
clarion and trumpet ; and now, at Arcis-sur-Aube, while 
he departs, unescorted, soundless, the Populace and 
Municipals stop him as a fugitive, are not unlike 
massacring him as a traitor ; the National Assembly, 
consulted on the matter, gives him free egress as a 
nullity. Such an unstable *' drift-mould of Accident " is 
the substance of this lower world, for them that dwell in 
houses of clay; so, especially in hot regions and times, 
do the proudest palaces we build of it take wings, and 
become Sahara sand-palaces, spinning many-pillared in 
the whirlwind, and bury us under their sand ! — 

In spite of the forty thousand, the National Assembly 
persists in its thanks ; and Royalist Latour du Pin con- 
tinues Minister. The forty thousand assemble next day, 
as loud as ever ; roll towards Latour's Hotel ; find can- 
non on the porch-steps with flambeau lit ; and have to 
retire elsewhither, and digest their spleen, or reabsorb it 
into the blood. 

Over in Lorraine meanwhile, they of the distributed 
fusils, ringleaders of Mestre-de-Camp, of Roi, have got 
marked out for judgment ; — yet shall never get judged. 
Briefer is the doom of Chateau-Vieux. Chateau-Vieux 
is, by Swiss law, given up for instant trial in Court- 
Martial of its own officers. Which Court-Martial, with 
all brevity (in not many hours), has hanged some Twenty- 
three, on conspicuous gibbets ; marched some Three- 

' [Necker's resignation was largely due to Mirabeau carrying a 
motion, against his wishes, for the issue of an additional amount of 
800,000,000 francs in assignats so as to meet the enormous deficit. 
The finances were going from bad to worse. The patriotic con- 
tribution of a quarter of one's income had been a failure, and, as the 
old indirect taxes had mostly been rescinded, there was an enormous 
deficit of some 220,000,000 francs (;i{^8,8oo,ooo) while 640,000,000 
francs were needed to meet the most necessary expenses.— Ed.] 


score in chains to the Galleys ; and so, to appearance, 
finished the matter off. Hanged men do cease for ever 
from this Earth ; but out of chains and the Galleys there 
may be resuscitation in triumph. Resuscitation for the 
chained Hero ; and even for the chained Scoundrel or 
Semi-scoundrel ! Scottish John Knox, such World-Hero 
as we know, sat once nevertheless pulling grim-taciturn 
at the oar of French Galley, " in the Water of Lore " ; and 
even flung their Virgin-Mary over, instead of kissing 
her, — as a ^^ petited bredd^^ or timber Virgin, who could 
naturally swim.' So, ye of Ch^teau-Vieux, tug patiently, 
not without hope ! 

But indeed at Nanci generally, Aristocracy rides 
triumphant, rough. Bouill^ is gone again, the second 
day ; an Aristocrat Municipality, with free course, is as 
cruel as it had before been cowardly. The Daughter 
Society, as the mother of the whole mischief, lies ig- 
nominiously suppressed ; the Prisons can hold no more ; 
bereaved down-beaten Patriotism murmurs, not loud but 
deep. Here and in the neighbouring Towns, " flattened 
balls " picked from the streets of Nanci are worn at 
buttonholes : balls flattened in carrying death to Patriot- 
ism ; men wear them there, in perpetual memento of 
revenge. Mutineer deserters roam the woods ; have to 
demand charity at the musket's end. All is dissolution, 
mutual rancour, gloom and despair : — till National 
Assembly Commissioners arrive, with a steady gentle 
flame of Constitutionalism in their hearts ; who gently 
lift up the down-trodden, gently pull down the too 
uplifted ; reinstate the Daughter Society, recall the 
mutineer deserter ; gradually levelling, strive in all wise 
ways to smoothe and soothe. With such gradual mild 
levelling on the one side ; as with solemn funeral- 
service, cassolettes, Courts-Martial, National thanks, on 
the other, — all that Officiality can do is done. The 
buttonhole will drop its flat ball ; the black ashes, so far 
as may be, get green again. 

' Knox's " History of the Reformation," b. i. 


This is the " Affair of Nanci " ; by some called the 
" Massacre of Nanci " ; — properly speaking, the unsightly 
wrong-side of that thrice-glorious Feast of Pikes, the 
right-side of which formed a spectacle for the very gods. 
Right-side and wrong lie always so near : the one was 
in July, in August the other! Theatres, the theatres 
over in London, are bright with their pasteboard simu- 
lacrum of that "Federation of the French people," 
brought out as Drama: this of Nanci, we may say, 
though not played in any pasteboard Theatre, did for 
many months enact itself, and even walk spectrally, in 
all French heads. For the news of it fly pealing 
through all France : awakening, in town and village, in 
clubroom, messroom, to the utmost borders, some mimic 
reflex or imaginative repetition of the business ; always 
with the angry questionable assertion : It was right ; It 
was wrong. Whereby come controversies, duels ; em- 
bitterment, vain jargon ; the hastening forward, the 
augmenting and intensifying of whatever new explosions 
lie in store for us. 

Meanwhile, at this cost or at that, the mutiny, as we 
say, is stilled. The French Army has neither burst-up 
in universal simultaneous delirium ; nor been at once 
disbanded, put an end to, and made new again. It 
must die in the chronic manner, through years, by 
inches ; with partial revolts, as of Brest Sailors or the 
like, which dare not spread ; with men unhappy, insub- 
ordinate ; officers unhappier, in Royalist mustachioes, 
taking horse, singly or in bodies, across the Rhine : ' 
sick dissatisfaction, sick disgust on both sides ; the 
Army moribund, fit for no duty : — till it do, in that 
unexpected manner, phoenix-like, with long throes, get 
both dead and new-born ; then start forth strong, nay 
stronger and even strongest." 

' See Dampmartin, i. 249, etc., etc. 

^ [The army in the autumn of 1790 definitely ranged itself on the 
side of the Revolution. This significant fact inspired Burke 
(" Reflections on the French Rev.," pt. ii., § 4) with the prediction 
(his work was published in October, 1790) that, as the Assembly 

122 NANCI [BK. II, CH. VI 

Thus much was the brave Bouilld hitherto fated to do. 
Wherewith let him again fade into dimness ; and, at 
Metz or the rural Cantonments, assiduously drilling, 
mysteriously diplomatising, in scheme within scheme, 
hover as formerly a faint shadow, the hope of Royalty. 

had succeeded in " debauching the soldiers from their officers," a 
time of anarchy must ensue, leading up to a military dictatorship 
— a true forecast of Bonaparte's career. — Ed.] 




HOW true, that there is nothing dead in this Uni- 
verse ; that what we call dead is only changed, 
its forces working in inverse order ! " The leaf that lies 
rotting in moist winds," says one, " has still force ; else 
how could it rotl'" Our whole Universe is but an 
infinite Complex of Forces ; thousandfold, from Gravita- 
tion up to Thought and Will ; man's Freedom environed 
with Necessity of Nature : in all which nothing at any 
moment slumbers, but all is forever awake and busy. 
The thing that lies isolated inactive thou shalt nowhere 
discover ; seek everywhere, from the granite mountain, 
slow-mouldering since Creation, to the passing cloud- 
vapour, to the living man ; to the action, to the spoken 
word of man. The word that is spoken, as we know, 
flies irrevocable : not less, but more, the action that is 
done. "The gods themselves," says Pindar, "cannot 
annihilate the action that is done." No: this, once 
done, is done always ; cast forth into endless Time ; 
and, long conspicuous or soon hidden, must verily work 
and grow forever there, an indestructible new element 
in the Infinite of Things. Or, indeed, what is this In- 
finite of Things itself, which men name Universe, but an 
Action, a sum-total of Actions and Activities? The 
living ready-made sum-total of these three, — which Cal- 

124 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. i 

culation cannot add, cannot bring on its tablets ; yet the 
sum, we say, is written visible : All that has been done, 
All that is doing, All that will be done ! Understand it 
well, the Thing thou beholdest, that Thing is an Action, 
the product and expression of exerted Force : the All of 
Things is an infinite conjugation of the verb To do. 
Shoreless Fountain-Ocean of Force, of power to do ; 
wherein Force rolls and circles, billowing, many-streamed, 
harmonious ; wide as Immensity, deep as Eternity ; 
beautiful and terrible, not to be comprehended : this is 
what man names Existence and Universe ; this thousand- 
tinted Flame-image, at once veil and revelation, reflex 
such as he, in his poor brain and heart, can paint, of One 
Unnameable, dwelling in inaccessible light ! From 
beyond the Star-galaxies, from before the Beginning of 
Days, it billows and rolls, — round thee, nay thyself art of 
it, in this point of Space where thou now standest, in 
this moment which thy clock measures. 

Or, apart from all Transcendentalism, is it not a plain 
truth of sense, which the duller mind can even consider 
as a truism, that human things wholly are in continual 
movement, and action and reaction ; working continually 
forward, phasis after phasis, by unalterable laws, towards 
prescribed issues ? How often must we say, and yet not 
rightly lay to heart : The seed that is sown, it will spring ! 
Given the summer's blossoming, then there is also given 
the autumnal withering : so is it ordered not with seed- 
fields only, but with transactions, arrangements, philo- 
sophies, societies, French Revolutions, whatsoever man 
works with in this lower world. The Beginning holds in 
it the End, and all that leads thereto ; as the acorn does 
the oak and its fortunes. Solemn enough, did we think 
of it, — which unhappily, and also happily, we do not very 
much ! Thou there canst begin ; the Beginning is for 
thee, and there : but where, and of what sort, and for 
whom will the End be? All grows, and seeks and en- 
dures its destinies : consider likewise how much grows, 
as the trees do, whether we think of it or not. So that 
when your Epimenides, your somnolent Peter Klaus, 


since named Rip van Winkle, awakens again, he finds it 
a changed world. In that seven-years sleep of his, so 
much has changed ! All that is without us will change 
while we think not of it ; much even that is within us. 
The truth that was yesterday a restless Problem, has 
today grown a Belief burning to be uttered : on the 
morrow, contradiction has exasperated it into mad 
Fanaticism ; obstruction has dulled it into sick Inertness; 
it is sinking towards silence, of satisfaction or of resigna- 
tion. Today is not Yesterday, for man or for thing. 
Yesterday there was the oath of Love ; today has come 
the curse of Hate. Not willingly : ah, no ; but it could 
not help coming. The golden radiance of youth, would 
it willingly have tarnished itself into the dimness of old 
age ? — Fearful : how we stand enveloped, deep-sunk, in 
that Mystery of Time ; and are Sons of Time ; fashioned 
and woven out of Time ; and on us, and on all that we 
have, or see, or do, is written : Rest not, Continue not, 
Forward to thy doom ! 

But in seasons of Revolution, which indeed distinguish 
themselves from common seasons by their velocity mainly, 
your miraculous Seven-sleeper might,with miracle enough, 
awake sooner : not by the century, or seven years, need 
he sleep ; often not by the seven months. Fancy, for 
example, some new Peter Klaus, sated with the jubilee 
of that Federation day, had lain down, say directly after 
the blessing of Talleyrand ; and, reckoning it all safe 
now, had fallen composedly asleep under the timber- 
work of the Fatherland's Altar ; to sleep there, not 
twenty-one years, but as it were year and day. The 
cannonading of Nanci, so far off, does not disturb him ; 
nor does the black mortcloth, close at hand, nor the re- 
quiems chanted, and minute-guns, incense-pans and con- 
course right over his head : none of these ; but Peter 
sleeps through them all. Through one circling year, as 
we say ; from July the 14th of 1790, till July the 17th of 
1791 : but on that latter day, no Klaus, nor most leaden 
Epimenides, only the Dead could continue sleeping : and 

126 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, ch. i 

so our miraculous Peter Klaus awakens. With what 
eyes, O Peter! Earth and sky have still their joyous 
July look, and the Champ-de-Mars is multitudinous with 
men : but the jubilee-huzzahing has become Bedlam- 
shrieking, of terror and revenge ; not blessing of Talley- 
rand, or any blessing, but cursing, imprecation and shrill 
wail ; our cannon-salvoes are turned to sharp shot ; for 
swinging of incense-pans and Eighty-three Departmental 
Banners, we have waving of the one sanguineous Drapeau 
Rouge. — Thou foolish Klaus ! The one lay in the other, 
the one was the other minus Time ; ^ even as Hannibal's 
rock-rending vinegar lay in the sweet new wine. That 
sweet Federation was of last year ; this sour Divulsion 
is the selfsame substance, only older by the appointed 

No miraculous Klaus or Epimenides sleeps in these 
times ; and yet, may not many a man, if of due opacity 
and levity, act the same miracle in a natural way ; we 
mean, with his eyes open ? Eyes has he, but he sees not, 
except what is under his nose. With a sparkling brisk- 
ness of glance, as if he not only saw but saw through, 
such a one goes whisking, assiduous, in his circle of 
officialities ; not dreaming but that it is the whole world : 
as indeed, where your vision terminates, does not inanity 
begin there, and the world's end clearly disclose itself — 
to you ? Whereby our brisk-sparkling assiduous official 
person (call him, for instance, Lafayette), suddenly 
startled, after year and day, by huge grapeshot tumult, 
stares not less astonished at it than Peter Klaus would 
have done. Such natural-miracle can Lafayette perform ; 
and indeed not he only but most other officials, non- 
officials, and generally the whole French People can 
perform it ; and do bounce up, ever and anon, like 
amazed Seven-sleepers awakening ; awakening amazed 
at the noise they themselves make. So strangely is 

^ [Carlyle, with his rigorous fatalism, omits to note how readily 
things might have turned out differently, had Louis formed a 
stronger Ministry, and brought about an understanding between 
Lafayette and Mirabeau. — Ed.] 

i79o] EPIMENIDES 127 

Freedom, as we say, environed in Necessity ; such a 
singular Somnambulism, of Conscious and Unconscious, 
of Voluntary and Involuntary, is this life of man. If 
anywhere in the world there was astonishment that the 
Federation Oath went into grapeshot, surely of all per- 
sons the French, first swearers and then shooters, felt 
astonished the most. 

Alas, offences must come. The sublime Feast of Pikes 
with its effulgence of brotherly love, unknown since the 
Age of Gold, has changed nothing. That prurient heat 
in Twenty-five millions of hearts is not cooled thereby ; 
but is still hot, nay hotter. Lift off the pressure of com- 
mand from so many millions ; all pressure or binding 
rule, except such melodramatic Federation Oath as they 
have bound themselves with ! For TJioit shall was from 
of old the condition of man's being, and his weal and 
blessedness was in obeying that. Wo for him when, 
were it on the hest of the clearest necessity, rebellion, 
disloyal isolation, and mere / will, becomes his rule ! 
But the Gospel of Jean-Jacques has come, and the first 
Sacrament of it has been celebrated : all things, as we 
say, are got into hot and hotter prurience ; and must go 
on pruriently fermenting, in continual change noted or 

" Worn out with disgusts," Captain after Captain, in 
Royalist mustachioes, mounts his war-horse, or his Rozi- 
nante war-garron, and rides minatory across the Rhine ; 
till all have ridden. Neither does civic Emigration cease ; 
Seigneur after Seigneur must, in like manner, ride or 
roll ; impelled to it, and even compelled. For the very 
Peasants despise him, in that he dare not join his order 
and fight.^ Can he bear to have a Distaff, a Quenouille 
sent to him : say in copper-plate shadow, by post ; or 
fixed up in wooden reality over his gate-lintel : as if he 
were no Hercules, but an Omphale? Such scutcheon 
they forward to him diligently from beyond the Rhine ; 
till he too bestir himself and march, and in sour humour 

^ Dampmartin, ^aj'i'/w. 

128 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. i 

another Lord of Land is gone, not taking the Land with 
him. Nay, what of Captains and emigrating Seigneurs ? 
There is not an angry word on any of those Twenty-five 
milHon French tongues, and indeed not an angry thought 
in their hearts, but is some fraction of the great Battle. 
Add many successions of angry words together, you 
have the manual brawl ; add brawls together, with the 
festering sorrows they leave, and they rise to riots and 
revolts. One reverend thing after another ceases to meet 
reverence : in visible material combustion, chateau after 
chateau mounts up ; in spiritual invisible combustion, 
one authority after another. With noise and glare, or 
noiselessly and unnoted, a whole Old System of things is 
vanishing piecemeal : the morrow thou shalt look, and it 
is not. 

1790-91] THE WAKEFUL 129 



SLEEP who will, cradled in hope and short vision, like 
Lafayette, who " always in the danger done sees the 
last danger that will threaten him," — Time is not sleep- 
ing, nor Time's seedfield. 

That sacred Herald's-College of a new Dynasty ; we 
mean the Sixty and odd Billstickers with their leaden 
badges, are not sleeping. Daily they, with pastepot and 
cross-staff, new-clothe the walls of Paris in colours of the 
rainbow : authoritative-heraldic, as we say, or indeed 
almost magical-thaumaturgic ; for no Placard-Journal 
that they paste but will convince some soul or souls of 
men. The Hawkers bawl ; and the Balladsingers : great 
Journalism blows and blusters, through all its throats, 
forth from Paris towards all corners of France, like an 
Aeolus' Cave ; keeping alive all manner of fires. 

Throats or Journals there are, as men count,^ to the 
number of some Hundred and thirty-three. Of various 
calibre ; from your Cheniers, Gorsases, Camilles, down 
to your Marat, down now to your incipient Hubert of 
the Pere Duchesne ; these blow, with fierce weight of 
argument or quick light banter, for the Rights of Man : 
Durosoys, Royous, Peltiers, Sulleaus, equally with mixed 
tactics (inclusive, singular to say, of much profane 
Parody),' are blowing for Altar and Throne. As for 
Marat the People's-Friend, his voice is as that of the 
bullfrog, or bittern by the solitary pools ; he, unseen of 
men, croaks harsh thunder, and that alone continually, — 

' Mercier, iii. 163. • - See "Hist. Pari," vii. 51. 


130 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, ch. ii 

of indignation, suspicion, incurable sorrow. The People 
are sinking toward ruin, near starvation itself: " My 
dear friends," cries he, " your indigence is not the fruit 
of vices nor of idleness ; you have a right to life, as good 
as Louis XVI., or the happiest of the century. What 
man can say he has a right to dine, when you have no 
bread ? " ' The People sinking on the one hand : on the 
other hand, nothing but wretched Sieur Motiers, trea- 
sonous Riquetti Mirabeaus : traitors, or else shadows 
and simulacra of Quacks to be seen in high places, look 
where you will ! Men that go mincing, grimacing, with 
plausible speech and brushed raiment ; hollow within : 
Quacks political ; Quacks scientific, academical : all with 
a fellow-feeling for each other, and kind of Quack public- 
spirit ! Not great Lavoisier himself, or any of the Forty 
can escape this rough tongue ; which wants not fanatic 
sincerity, nor, strangest of all, a certain rough caustic 
sense. And then the " three thousand gaming-houses " 
that are in Paris ; cesspools for the scoundrelism of the 
world ; sinks of iniquity and debauchery, — whereas with- 
out good morals Liberty is impossible ! There, in these 
Dens of Satan, which one knows, and perseveringly de- 
nounces, do Sieur Motier's mouchards consort and col- 
league ; battening vampyre-like on a People next-door 
to starvation. " O Peuple ! " cries he ofttimes, with heart- 
rending accent. Treason, delusion, vampyrism, scoun- 
drelism, from Dan to Beersheba ! The soul of Marat is 
sick with the sight : but what remedy ? To erect " Eight 
Hundred gibbets," in convenient rows, and proceed to 
hoisting ; " Riquetti on the first of them ! " Such is the 
brief recipe of Marat, Friend of the People. 

So blow and bluster the Hundred and thirty-three : 
nor, as would seem, are these sufficient ; for there are 
benighted nooks in France, to which Newspapers do not 
reach ; and everywhere is " such an appetite for news as 
was never seen in any country." Let an expeditious 
Dampmartin, on furlough, set out to return home from 

' "Ami du Peuple," No. 306. See other Excerpts in "Hist. 
Pari.," viii. 139-149, 428-433 ; i.\. 85-93, etc. 

I790-9I] THE WAKEFUL 131 

Paris,* he cannot get along for " peasants stopping him 
on the highway ; overwhelming him with questions " : 
the Maitre de Poste will not send out the horses till you 
have well-nigh quarrelled with him, but asks always. 
What news ? At Autun, in spite of the dark night and 
"rigorous frost," for it is now January 1791, nothing will 
serve but you must gather your wayworn limbs and 
thoughts, and " speak to the multitudes from a window 
opening into the market-place." It is the shortest 
method : This, good Christian people, is verily what an 
august Assembly seemed to me to be doing ; this and 
no other is the news : 

Now my weary lips I close ; 
Leave me, leave me to repose ! 

The good Dampmartin ! — But, on the whole, are not 
Nations astonishingly true to their National character ; 
which indeed runs in the blood ? Nineteen hundred 
years ago, Julius Caesar, with his quick sure eye, took 
note how the Gauls waylaid men. " It is a habit of 
theirs," says he, " to stop travellers, were it even by con- 
straint, and inquire whatsoever each of them may have 
heard or known about any sort of matter : in their towns, 
the common people beset the passing trader ; demanding 
to hear from what regions he came, what things he got 
acquainted with there. Excited by which rumours and 
hearsays, they will decide about the weightiest matters ; 
and necessarily repent next moment that they did it, on 
such guidance of uncertain reports, and many a traveller 
answering with mere fictions to please them, and get 
off." " Nineteen hundred years ; and good Dampmartin, 
wayworn, in winter frost, probably with scant light of 
stars and fish-oil, still perorates from the Inn-window ! 
This People is no longer called Gaulish ; and it has 
wholly become braccattis, has got breeches, and suffered 
change enough : certain fierce German Franken came 
storming over ; and, so to speak, vaulted on the back of 

^ Dampmartin, i. 1S4. - "De Bello Gallico," lib. iv. 5. 

132 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, ch. ii 

It ; and always after, in their grim tenacious way, have 
ridden it bridled ; for German is, by his very name, 
Guer7'e-m-&x\^ or man that wars and gars. And so the 
People, as we say, is now called French or Prankish : 
nevertheless, does not the old Gaulish and Gaelic Celt- 
hood, with its vehemence, effervescent promptitude, and 
what good and ill it had, still vindicate itself little 
adulterated ? — ^ 

For the rest, that in such prurient confusion, Clubbism 
thrives and spreads, need not be said. Already the 
Mother of Patriotism, sitting in the Jacobins, shines 
supreme over all ; and has paled the poor lunar light 
of that Monarchic Club near to final extinction. She, 
we say, shines supreme, girt with sunlight, not yet with 
infernal lightning ; reverenced, not without fear, by 
Municipal Authorities ; counting her Barnaves, Lameths, 
Petions, of a National Assembly ; m.ost gladly of all, her 
Robespierre. Cordeliers, again, your Hebert, Vincent, 
Bibliopolist Momoro, groan audibly that a tyrannous 
Mayor and Sieur Motier harrow them with the sharp 
tribula of Law, intent apparently to suppress them by 
tribulation. How the Jacobin Mother Society, as hinted 
formerly, sheds forth Cordeliers on this hand, and then 
Feuillans on that ; the Cordeliers " an elixir or double 
distillation of Jacobin Patriotism " ; the other a wide- 
spread weak dilution thereof: how she will reabsorb the 
former into her mother bosom, and stormfully dissipate 
the latter into Nonentity : how she breeds and brings 
forth Three Hundred Daughter Societies ; her rearing 
of them, her correspondence, her endeavourings and 
continual travail : how, under an old figure, Jacobinism 
shoots forth organic filaments to the utmost corners of 

' [This derivation is unscientific. The word is derived from a 
Celtic word meaning "shouter." — Ed.] 

'■' [Dumont (a Genevese, who knew England and France well) 
says that if one stopped a hundred persons at random in London 
and Paris, and asked them to undertake the national government, 
ninety-nine would accept the offer at Paris, and ninety-nine would 
refuse it at London (Dumont, "Recollections of Mirabeau," chap. 
viii.).— Ed.] 

I790-9I] THE WAKEFUL 133 

confused dissolved France ; organising it anew : — this 
properly is the grand fact of the Time. 

To passionate Constitutionalism, still more to Royal- 
ism, which see all their own Clubs fail and die, Clubbism 
will naturally grow to seem the root of all evil. Never- 
theless Clubbism is not death, but rather new organisa- 
tion, and life out of death : destructive, indeed, of the 
remnants of the Old ; but to the New important, indis- 
pensable. That man can cooperate and hold communion 
with man, herein lies his miraculous strength. In hut 
or hamlet. Patriotism mourns not now like voice in the 
desert : it can walk to the nearest Town ; and there, in 
the Daughter Society, make its ejaculation into an 
articulate oration, into an action, guided forward by the 
Mother of Patriotism herself. All Clubs of Constitu- 
tionalists, and suchlike, fail, one after another, as shallow 
fountains : Jacobinism alone has gone down to the deep 
subterranean lake of waters; and may, unless j^//^<^ /«, 
flow there, copious, continual, like an Artesian well. 
Till the Great Deep have drained itself up ; and all be 
flooded and submerged, and Noah's Deluge out-deluged ! 
On the other hand, Claude Fauchet, preparing man- 
kind for a Golden Age now apparently just at hand, has 
opened his Cercle Social, with clerks, corresponding 
boards, and so forth ; in the precincts of the Palais 
Royal. It is Te-Deum Fauchet ; the same who preached 
on Franklin's Death, in that huge Medicean rotunda of 
the Halle-aux-bleds. He here, this winter, by Printing- 
press and melodious Colloquy, spreads bruit of himself 
to the utmost City-barriers. " Ten thousand persons of 
respectability" attend there; and listen to this '' Pro- 
cureur-Ghieral de la Vcrite, Attorney-General of Truth,' 
so has he dubbed himself; to his sage Condorcet, or 
other eloquent coadjutor. Eloquent Attorney-General ! 
He blows out from him, better or worse, what crude or 
ripe thing he holds: not without result to himself; for 
it leads to a Bishopric, though only a Constitutional 
one. Fauchet approves himself a glib-tongued, strong- 
lunged, whole-hearted human individual : much flowing 

134 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. ii 

matter there is, and really of the better sort, about 
Right, Nature, Benevolence, Progress ; which flowing 
matter, whether " it is pan-theistic," or is pot-theistic, 
only the greener mind, in these days, need examine. 
Busy Brissot was long ago of purpose to establish pre- 
cisely some such regenerative Social Circle : nay he had 
tried it in " Newman-street Oxford-street," of the Fog 
Babylon ; and failed, — as some say, surreptitiously 
pocketing the cash. Fauchet, not Brissot, was fated 
to be the happy man ; whereat, however, generous 
Brissot will with sincere heart sing a timber-toned Nunc 
Doviine} But " ten thousand persons of respectability " : 
what a bulk have many things in proportion to their 
magnitude ! This Cercle Social, for which Brissot chants 
in sincere timber-tones such Nujic Doviine, what is it ? 
Unfortunately wind and shadow. The main reality one 
finds in it now, is perhaps this : that an " Attorney- 
General of Truth" did once take shape of a body, as 
Son of Adam, on our Earth, though but for months or 
moments ; and ten thousand persons of respectability 
attended, ere yet Chaos and Nox had reabsorbed him. 

Hundred and thirty-three Paris Journals ; regenerative 
Social Circle; oratory, in Mother and Daughter Societies, 
from the balconies of Inns, by chimney-nook, at dinner- 
table, — polemical, ending many times in duel ! And 
ever, like a constant growling accompaniment of bass 
Discord : scarcity of work, scarcity of food. The winter 
is hard and cold ; ragged Bakers'-queues, like a black 
tattered flag-of-distress, wave out ever and anon. It is 
the third of our Hunger-years, this new year of a glorious 
Revolution. The rich man when invited to dinner, in 
such distress-seasons, feels bound in politeness to carry 
his own bread in his pocket : how the poor dine ? And 
your glorious Revolution has done it, cries one. And 
our glorious Revolution is subtilely, by black traitors 
worthy of the Lamp-iron,/^;'z^^r/^<2'to do it, cries another. 

^ See Brissot, " Patriote-Frangais " Newspaper ; Fauchet, 
" Bouche-de-Fer," etc. (excerpted in " Hist. Pari.," viii. ix. el 

i79i] THE WAKEFUL 135 

Who will paint the huge whirlpool wherein France, all 
shivered into wild incoherence, whirls ? The jarring that 
went on under every French roof, in every French heart ; 
the diseased things that were spoken, done, the sum-total 
whereof is the French Revolution, tongue of man can- 
not tell. Nor the laws of action that work unseen in 
the depths of that huge blind Incoherence ! With 
amazement, not with measurement, men look on the 
Immeasurable ; not knowing its laws ; seeing, with all 
different degrees of knowledge, what new phases, and re- 
sults of event, its laws bring forth. France is as a mon- 
strous Galvanic Mass, wherein all sorts of far stranger 
than chemical galvanic or electric forces and substances 
are at work ; electrifying one another, positive and 
negative ; filling with electricity your Leyden-jars, — 
Twenty-five millions in number ! As the jars get full, 
there will, from time to time, be, on slight hint, an 

136 THE TUILERIES [bk. iii, CH. iii 



ON such wonderful basis, however, has Law, Royalty, 
Authority, and whatever yet exists of visible Order, 
to maintain itself, while it can. Here, as in that Com- 
mixture of the Four Elements did the Anarch Old, has 
an august i\ssembly spread its pavilion ; curtained by 
the dark infinite of discords ; founded on the wavering 
bottomless of the Abyss ; and keeps continual hubbub. 
Time is around it, and Eternity, and the Inane ; and it 
does what it can, what is given it to do. 

Glancing reluctantly in, once more, we discern little 
that is edifying : a Constitutional Theory of Defective 
Verbs struggling forward, with perseverance, amid end- 
less interruptions : Mirabeau, from his tribune, with the 
weight of his name and genius, awing- down much 
Jacobin violence ; which in return vents itself the louder 
over in its Jacobins Hall, and even reads him sharp lec- 
tures there.^ This man's path is mysterious, questionable ; 
difficult, and he walks without companion in it. Pure 
Patriotism does not now count him among her chosen ; 
pure Royalism abhors him : yet his weight with the 
world is overwhelming. Let him travel on, companion- 
less, unwavering, whither he is bound, — while it is yet 
day with him, and the night has not come. 

But the chosen band of pure Patriot brothers is small ; 
counting only some Thirty, seated now on the extreme 
tip of the Left, separate from the world. A virtuous 
Petion ; an incorruptible Robespierre, most consistent 

' Camille's Journal (in " Hist. Pari.," ix. 366-385). 

AUG. 1790] SWORD IN HAND 137 

incorruptible of thin acrid men ; Triumvirs Barnave, 
Duport, Lameth, great in speech, thought, action, each 
according to his kind ; a lean old Goupil de Prefeln : on 
these and what will follow them has pure Patriotism to 

There too, conspicuous among the Thirty, if seldom 
audible, Philippe d'Orleans may be seen sitting : in dim 
fuliginous bewilderment ; having, one might say, arrived 
at Chaos ! Gleams there are, at once of a Lieutenancy 
and Regency ; debates in the Assembly itself, of suc- 
cession to the Throne " in case the present Branch 
should fail " ; and Philippe, they say, walked anxiously, 
in silence, through the corridors, till such high argument 
were done : but it came all to nothing ; Mirabeau, glaring 
into the man, and through him, had to ejaculate in strong 
untranslatable language : " Cej — f— 7U vaut pas la peine 
qu'on se donne pour luir^ It came all to nothing; and 
in the mean while Philippe's money, they say, is gone ! 
Could he refuse a little cash to the gifted Patriot, in want 
only of that ; he himself in want of all but that ? Not a 
pamphlet can be printed without cash ; or indeed written 
without food purchasable by cash. Without cash your 
hopefulest Projector cannot stir from the spot ; individual 
patriotic or other Projects require cash : how much more 
do widespread Intrigues, which live and exist by cash ; 
lying widespread, with dragon-appetite for cash ; fit to 
swallow Princedoms ! And so Prince Philippe, amid his 
Sillerys, Lacloses and confused Sons of Night, has rolled 
along : the centre of the strangest cloudy coil ; out of 

^ [The correspondence between Mirabeau and La Marck (vol. i., 
pp. 126-128, 353) shows that there was no connection between 
Mirabeau and the duke, of whom he said (after his tame departure 
for London at Lafayette's bidding) : " They say I am of his party : 
I would not have him for my valet." Yet Dumont, who knew 
Mirabeau well, says ("Recollections of Mirabeau"): "It is im- 
possible not to think there was some connection between them. 
' Instead of a glass of brandy a bottle was given.' — This is the figure 
by which Mirabeau explained the movement of Paris on Versailles 
[on October 5th, 1789]." 

Louis Blanc tried to prove that Mirabeau was an ai^i-tit of the 
Comte de Provence ! — Ed.] 

138 THE TUILERIES [bk. ill, CH. lii 

which has visibly come, as we often say, an Epic Preter- 
natural Machinery of SUSPICION ; and withiyi which 
there has dwelt and worked, — what specialities of treason, 
stratagem, aimed or aimless endeavour towards mischief, 
no party living (if it be not the presiding Genius of it, 
Prince of the Power of the Air) has now any chance to 
know, Camille's conjecture is the likeliest : that poor 
Philippe did mount up, a little way, in treasonable spe- 
culation, as he mounted formerly in one of the earliest 
Balloons ; but, frightened at the new position he was 
getting into, had soon turned the cock again, and come 
down. More fool than he rose ! To create Preternatural 
Suspicion, this was his function in the Revolutionary 
Epos. But now if he have lost his cornucopia of ready- 
money, what else had he to lose? In thick darkness, 
inward and outward, he must welter and flounder on, in 
that piteous death-element, the hapless man. Once, or 
even twice, we shall still behold him emerged ; struggling 
out of the thick death-element : in vain. For one 
moment, it is the last moment, he starts aloft, or is flung 
aloft, even into clearness and a kind of memorability, — 
to sink then forevermore ! 

The Cote Droit persists no less ; nay with more anima- 
tion than ever, though hope has now well-nigh fled. 
Tough Abb^ Maury, when the obscure country Royalist 
grasps his hand with transport of thanks, answers, rolling 
his indomitable brazen head : " Helas^ Monsieur, all that 
I do here is as good as simply nothing!' Gallant Faus- 
signy, visible this one time in History, advances frantic 
into the middle of the Hall, exclaiming : " There is but 
one way of dealing with it, and that is to fall sword in 
hand on those gentry there, sabre a la main sur ces gail- 
lards Id,"'^ franticly indicating our chosen Thirty on 
the extreme tip of the Left ! Whereupon is clangour 
and clamour, debate, repentance, — evaporation. Things 
ripen towards downright incompatibility, and what is 
called " scission " : that fierce theoretic onslaught of 

' " Moniteur,'" Seance du 21 Aout 1790. 

i79o] SWORD IN HAND 139 

Faussigny's was in August 1790 ; next August will not 
have come, till a famed Two Hundred and Ninety-two, 
the chosen of Royalism, make solemn final " scission " 
from an Assembly given up to faction ; and depart, 
shaking the dust off their feet. 

Connected with this matter of sword in hand, there is 
yet another thing to be noted. Of duels we have some- 
times spoken : how, in all parts of France, innumerable 
duels were fought ; and argumentative men and mess- 
mates, flinging down the wine-cup and weapons of reason 
and repartee, met in the measured field ; to part bleeding ; 
or perhaps not to part, but to fall mutually skewered 
through with iron, their wrath and life alike ending, — 
and die as fools die. Long has this lasted, and still lasts. 
But now it would seem as if in an august Assembly itself, 
traitorous Royalism, in its despair, had taken to a new 
course : that of cutting off Patriotism by systematic 
duel ! Bully swordsmen, " Spadassins " of that party, go 
swaggering ; or indeed they can be had for a trifle of 
money. " Twelve Spadassins " were seen, by the yellow 
eye of Journalism, "arriving recently out of Switzer- 
land " ; also " a considerable number of Assassins, nombre 
considerable d' assassins, exercising in fencing-schools and 
at pistol-targets." Any Patriot Deputy of mark can be 
called out ; let him escape one time, or ten times, a time 
there necessarily is when he must fall, and France mourn. 
How many cartels has Mirabeau had ; especially while 
he was the People's champion ! Cartels by the hundred : 
which he, since the Constitution must be made first, and 
his time is precious, answers now always with a kind of 
stereotype formula : " Monsieur, you are put upon my 
List ; but I warn you that it is long, and I grant no 

Then, in Autumn, had we not the Duel of Cazales and 
Barnave ; the two chief masters of tongue-shot meeting 
now to exchange pistol-shot ? For Cazales, chief of the 
Royalists, whom we call " Blacks or Noirs," said, in a 
moment of passion, " the Patriots were sheer Brigands," 

I40 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. iii 

nay in so speaking, he darted, or seemed to dart, a fire- 
glance specially at Barnave ; who thereupon could not 
but reply by fire-glances, — by adjournment to the Bois- 
de-Boulogne. Barnave's second shot took effect : on 
Cazales' hat. The " front nook " of a triangular Felt, 
such as mortals then wore, deadened the ball ; and saved 
that fine brow from more than temporary injury. But 
how easily might the lot have fallen the other way, and 
Barnave's hat not been so good ! Patriotism raises its 
loud denunciation of Duelling in general ; petitions an 
august Assembly to stop such Feudal barbarism by law. 
Barbarism and solecism : for will it convince or convict 
any man to blow half an ounce of lead through the head 
of him ? Surely not. — Barnave was received at the 
Jacobins with embraces, yet with rebukes. 

Mindful of which, and also that his reputation in 
America was that of headlong foolhardiness rather, and 
want of brain not of heart, Charles Lameth does, on the 
eleventh day of November, with little emotion, decline 
attending some hot young Gentleman from Artois, come 
expressly to challenge him : nay indeed he first coldly 
engages to attend ; then coldly permits two Friends to 
attend instead of him, and shame the young Gentleman 
out of it, which they successfully do. A cold procedure ; 
satisfactory to the two Friends, to Lameth and the hot 
young Gentleman ; whereby, one might have fancied, 
the whole matter was cooled down. 

Not so, however : Lameth, proceeding to his senatorial 
duties, in the decline of the day, is met in those Assem- 
bly corridors by nothing but Royalist bi-ocards ; sniffs, 
huffs and open insults. Human patience has its limits : 
" Monsieur," said Lameth, breaking silence to one Lau- 
trec, a man with hunchback, or natural deformity, but 
sharp of tongue, and a Black of the deepest tint, " Mon- 
sieur, if you were a man to be fought with ! " — " I am 
one," cries the young Duke de Castries. Fast as fire- 
flash Lameth replies, " Tout a rheure, On the instant, 
then ! " And so, as the shades of dusk thicken in that 

NOV. 11-13, 1790] SWORD IN HAND 141 

Bois-de-Boulogne, we behold two men with lion-look, 
with alert attitude, side foremost, right foot advanced ; 
flourishing and thrusting, stoccado and passado, in tierce 
and quart ; intent to skewer one another. See, with most 
skewering purpose, headlong Lameth, with his whole 
weight, makes a furious lunge ; but deft Castries whisks 
aside : Lameth skewers only the air, — and slits deep and 
far, on Castries' sword's-point, his own extended left 
arm ! Whereupon, with bleeding, pallor, surgeon's-lint 
and formalities, the Duel is considered satisfactorily done. 

But will there be no end, then? Beloved Lameth 
lies deep-slit, not out of danger. Black traitorous Aris- 
tocrats kill the People's defenders, cut up not with 
arguments, but with rapier-slits. And the Twelve Spa- 
dassins out of Switzerland, and the considerable number 
of Assassins exercising at the pistol-target? So medi- 
tates and ejaculates hurt Patriotism, with ever-deepen- 
ing, ever-widening fervour, for the space of six-and-thirty 

The thirty-six hours past, on Saturday the 13th, one 
beholds a new spectacle : The Rue de Varennes, and 
neighbouring Boulevard des Invalides, covered with a 
mixed flowing multitude : the Castries Hotel gone dis- 
tracted, devil-ridden, belching from every window, " beds 
with clothes and curtains," plate of silver and gold with 
filigree, mirrors, pictures, images, commodes, chiffoniers, 
and endless crockery and jingle : amid steady popular 
cheers, absolutely without theft : for there goes a cry, 
" He shall be hanged that steals a nail." It is a Plebi- 
scitum^ or informal iconoclastic Decree of the Common 
People, in the course of being executed ! — The Muni- 
cipality sit tremulous ; deliberating whether they will 
hang out the Drapcau Rouge and Martial Law : National 
Assembly, part in loud wail, part in hardly suppressed 
applause ; Abbe Maury unable to decide whether the 
iconoclastic Plebs amount to forty thousand or to two 
hundred thousand. 

Deputations, swift messengers, — for it is at a distance 
over the River, — come and go. Lafayette and National 

142 THE TUILERIES [bk. iii, CH. ill 

Guards, though without Drapeau Rouge, get under way ; 
apparently in no hot haste. Nay, arrived on the scene, 
Lafayette salutes with doffed hat, before ordering to fix 
bayonets. What avails it ? The Plebeian " Court of 
Cassation" as Camille might punningly name it, has 
done its work ; steps forth, with unbuttoned vest, with 
pockets turned inside out : sack, and just ravage, not 
plunder ! With inexhaustible patience, the Hero of two 
Worlds remonstrates ; persuasively, with a kind of sweet 
constraint, though also with fixed bayonets, dissipates, 
hushes down : on the morrow it is once more all as usual.^ 

Considering which things, however, Duke Castries 
may justly "write to the President," justly transport 
himself across the Marches ; to raise a corps, or do 
what else is in him. Royalism totally abandons that 
Bobadilian method of contest, and the twelve Spadassms 
return to Switzerland — or even to Dreamland through 
the Horn-gate, whichsoever their true home is. Nay 
Editor Prudhomme is authorised to publish a curious 
thing : " We are authorised to publish," says he, dull- 
blustering Publisher, " that M. Boyer champion of good 
Patriots is at the head of Fifty Spadassinicides or Bully- 
killers. His address is : Passage du Bois-de-Boulogne, 
Faubourg St. Denis."' One of the strangest Institutes, 
this of Champion Boyer and the Bully-killers ! Whose 
services, however, are not wanted ; Royalism having 
abandoned the rapier method, as plainly impracticable. 

' [Lafayette (" Memoires," vol. iii., p. 152) says the onset of the 
mob was sudden : " In half an hour everything was broken, 
nothing stolen. They were talking of demolishing and burning 
the house : the National Guard arrived in time to prevent these 
misfortunes. . . . Nothing was saved but a cabinet defended by a 
National Guard." It seems that some one had spread the malicious 
rumour that De Castries' sword had been poisoned. 

Mirabeau, perhaps in order to recover his waning popularity, 
palliated this "generous fury" of the mob, which stopped respect- 
fully before a portrait of the King. This speech led the King (as 
also La Marck) once more to mistrust him (" Corresp. de Mirabeau 
et La Marck," vol. ii., pp. 328-335). — Ed.] 

■ ''Revolutions de Paris" (in "Hist. Pari,," viii. 440). 

1790-91] TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY 143 



THE truth is, Royalism sees itself verging towards 
sad extremities ; nearer and nearer daily. From 
over the Rhine it comes asserted that the King in his 
Tuileries is not free : this the poor King may contradict 
with the official mouth, but in his heart feels often to be 
undeniable. Civil Constitution of the Clergy ; Decree 
of ejectment against Dissidents from it : not even to 
this latter, though almost his conscience rebels, can he 
say Nay ; but, after two months' hesitating, signs this 
also. It was "on January 21st," of this 1791, that he 
signed it ; to the sorrow of his poor heart yet, on another 
Twenty-first of January ! ^ Whereby come Dissident 
ejected Priests ; unconquerable Martyrs according to 
some, incurable chicaning Traitors according to others. 
And so there has arrived what we once foreshadowed : 
with Religion, or with the Cant and Echo of Religion, 
all France is rent asunder in a new rupture of continuity ; 
complicating, embittering all the older ; — to be cured 
only by stern surgery, in La Vendue ! 

^ [Louis gave his sanction to the Civil Constitution of the 
Clergy on August 24th, 1790. But the cardinals at Rome and the 
majority of the bishops in France moved the Pope to intervene 
and sustain the conscientious objections which three-fourths of the 
clergy felt to this measure. The Assembly persisted ; it also 
decreed (November 27th, 1790) that all the clergy must take the 
oath to the constitution, including the further clerical decrees. 
After further hesitations Louis signed this decree (December 
26th, 1790 — not January 21st, 1791). He said, after signing it: 
" I had rather be King of Metz than remain King of France in this 
position : however, this will all finish soon " (Droz, " R^gne de 
Louis XVI," vol. iii., p. 299). — Ed.] 

144 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, ch. iv 

Unhappy Royalty, unhappy Majesty, Hereditary Re- 
presentative, Representant Hercditaire, or howsoever they 
may name him ; of whom much is expected, to whom 
little is given ! Blue National Guards encircle that 
Tuileries ; a Lafayette, thin constitutional Pedant ; clear, 
thin, inflexible, as water turned to thin ice ; whom no 
Queen's heart can love. National Assembly, its pavilion 
spread where we know, sits near by, keeping continual 
hubbub. From without, nothing but Nanci Revolts, 
sack of Castries Hotels, riots and seditions ; riots North 
and South, at Aix, at Douai, at Befort, Usez, Perpignan, 
at Nismes,' and that incurable Avignon of the Pope's : 
a continual crackling and sputtering of riots from the 
whole face of France ; — testifying how electric it grows. 
Add only the hard winter, the famished strikes of opera- 
tives ; that continual running-bass of Scarcity, ground- 
tone and basis of all other Discords ! 

The plan of Royalty, so far as it can be said to have 
any fixed plan, is still, as ever, that of flying towards 
the frontiers. In very truth, the only plan of the smallest 
promise for it ! Fly to Bouille ; bristle yourself round 
with cannon, served by your " forty-thousand unde- 
bauched Germans": summon the National Assembly 
to follow you, summon what of it is Royalist, Constitu- 
tional, gainable by money ; dissolve the rest, by grape- 
shot if need be." Let Jacobinism and Revolt, with one 

' [At Nismes and Monlauban the old feuds between Protestants 
and Catholics burst forth, provoked by the anti-religious policy of 
the Assembly, or (as some say) by non-juring priests. — Ed.] 

^ [Louis had consulted Bouille in October, 1790, and he advised 
him to choose one of three places — Valenciennes, Besangon, or 
Montmedy. The King chose the last as being the place whence 
succour from Germany was the easiest (Croker, " Essays on the 
Fr. Rev.," p. 114). Early in February, 1901, Louis sent La Marck 
to Bouille, who advised the King to "cover Mirabeau with gold," 
to help on his plan of setting the Departments against the 
Assembly, and of preparing for war (" Corresp. de Mirabeau et La 
Marck," vol. i., pp. 326-329; Bouille, " Mems.," chap. x.). The 
details of the flight were arranged by Count Fersen : the order for 
the famous Berline was given as early as December, 1790; and 


wild wail, fly into Infinite Space ; driven by grapeshot. 
Thunder over France with the cannon's mouth ; com- 
manding, not entreating, that this riot cease. And then 
to rule afterwards with utmost possible Constitutionality; 
doing justice, loving mercy ; beiiig Shepherd of this in- 
digent People, not Shearer merely, and Shepherd's- 
similitude ! All this, if ye dare. If ye dare not, then, 
in Heaven's name, go to sleep : other handsome alterna- 
tive seems none. 

Nay, it were perhaps possible ; with a man to do it. 
For if such inexpressible whirlpool of Babylonish con- 
fusions (which our Era is) cannot be stilled by man, but 
only by Time and men, a man may moderate its 
paroxysms, may balance and sway, and keep himself 
unswallowed on the top of it, — as several men and 
Kings in these days do. Much is possible for a man ; 
men will obey a man that kens and cans, and name him 
reverently their Ken-ning or King. Did not Charle- 
magne rule? Consider, too, whether he had smooth 
times of it ; hanging " four-thousand Saxons over the 
Weser-Bridge," at one dread swoop ! So likewise, who 
knows but, in this same distracted fanatic France, the 
right man may verily exist ? An olive-complexioned 
taciturn man ; for the present. Lieutenant in the Artil- 
lery-service, who once sat studying Mathematics at 
Brienne ? The same who walked in the morning to 
correct proof-sheets at Dole, and enjoyed a frugal 
breakfast with M. Joly? Such a one is gone, whither 
also famed General Paoli his friend is gone, in these 
very days, to see old scenes in native Corsica, and what 
Democratic good can be done there.' 

Royalty never executes the evasion plan, yet never 

Marie Antoinette's secret correspondence with Mercy d'Argenteau 
(edited recently by Arneth) shows that she was planning escape 
early in 1791 : but delays multiplied. — Ed.] 

^ [Bonaparte's furlough in Corsica (September, 1789-February, 
1791) was marked by an estrangement from Paoli, which during 
his second furlough resulted in an open breach in the spring of 
1792. — Ed.] 

II. L 

146 THE TUILERIES [rk. iii, ch. iv 

abandons it ; living in variable hope ; undecisive, till 
fortune shall decide. In utmost secrecy, a brisk Corre- 
spondence goes on with Bouill6 ; there is also a plot, 
which emerges more than once, for carrying the King 
to Rouen : ' plot after plot emerging and submerging, 
like ignes fatiii in foul weather, which lead nowhither. 
" About ten o'clock at night," the Hereditary Repre- 
sentative, in partie quarrcc, with the Queen, with Brother 
Monsieur, and Madame, sits playing " wisk," or whist. 
Usher Campan enters mysteriously, with a message he 
only half comprehends : How a certain Comte D'Inisdal 
waits anxious in the outer antechamber ; National 
Colonel, Captain of the watch for this night, is gained 
over ; post-horses ready all the way ; party of Noblesse 
sitting armed, determined ; will his Majesty, before mid- 
night, consent to go ? Profound silence ; Campan wait- 
ing with upturned ear. " Did your Majesty hear what 
Campan said ? " asks the Queen. " Yes, I heard," answers 
Majesty, and plays on. " 'Twas a pretty couplet, that 
of Campan's," hints Monsieur, who at times showed a 
pleasant wit : Majesty, still unresponsive, plays wisk. 
" After all, one must say something to Campan," re- 
marks the Queen. "Tell M. D'Inisdal," said the King, 
and the Queen puts an emphasis on it, " That the King 
cannot consent to be forced away." — " I see ! " said 
D'Inisdal, whisking round, peaking himself into flame 
of irritancy : " we have the risk ; we are to have all 
the blame if it fail," ^ — and vanishes, he and his plot, 
as will-o'-wisps do. The Queen sat till far in the night, 
packing jewels : but it came to nothing ; in that peaked 
flame of irritancy the will-o'-wisp had gone out. 

Little hope there is in all this. Alas, with whom to 
fly? Our loyal Gardes-du-Corps, ever since the Insur- 
rection of Women, are disbanded ; gone to their 
homes ; gone, many of them, across the Rhine towards 

^ See " Hist. Pari.," vii. 316 ; Bertrand-Moleville, etc. 

^ Campan, ii. 105. [Little or nothing is known about this plan 
of Inisdal. .A.S other plans were being formed by Fersen, Louis 
probably thought this one was a trap.^ — Ed.] 

i79i] TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY 147 

Coblentz and Exiled Princes : brave Miomandre and 
brave Tardivet, these faithful Two, have received, in 
nocturnal interview with both Majesties, their viaticum 
of gold louis, of heartfelt thanks from a Queen's lips, 
though unluckily " his Majesty stood, back to fire, not 
speaking";^ and do now dine through the Provinces; 
recounting hairs-breadth escapes, insurrectionary horrors. 
Great horrors, to be swallowed yet of greater. But, on the 
whole, what a falling-off from the old splendour of Ver- 
sailles ! Here in this poor Tuileries a National Brewer- 
Colonel, sonorous Santerre, parades officially behind her 
Majesty's chair. Our high dignitaries all fled over the 
Rhine : nothing now to be gained at Court ; but hopes, 
for which life itself must be risked ! Obscure busy men 
frequent the back stairs ; with hearsays, wind-projects, 
unfruitful fanfaronades. Young Royalists, at the Theatre 
de Vaudeville, "sing couplets"; if that could do any- 
thing. Royalists enough, Captains on furlough, burnt- 
out Seigneurs, may likewise be met with, " in the Cafe 
de Valois, and at M6ot the Restaurateur's." There they 
fan one another into high loyal glow ; drink, in such 
wine as can be procured, confusion to Sansculottism ; 
show purchased dirks, of an improved structure, made to 
order ; and, greatly daring, dine.^ It is in these places, 
in these months, that the epithet Sansculotte first gets 
applied to indigent Patriotism ; in the last age we had 
Gilbert Sansculotte, the indigent Poet.^ Destitute-of- 
Breeches : a mournful Destitution ; which however, if 
Twenty millions share it, may become more effective 
than most Possessions ! 

Meanwhile, amid this vague dim whirl of fanfaronades, 
wind-projects, poniards made to order, there does dis- 
close itself one punctuin-s aliens of life and feasibility : 
the finger of Mirabeau ! Mirabeau and the Queen of 

^ Campan, ii. 199-201. - Dampmartin, ii. 129. 

' Mercier, " Nouveau Paris," iii. 204. [The term sansci/totie was 
first used contemptuously by Maury as a taunt to interrupters in 
the gallery of the National Assembly. It was taken up by them 
and used with pride by patriots. — Ed.] 

148 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, ch. iv 

France have met ; have parted with mutual trust ! It is 
strange ; secret as the Mysteries ; but it is indubitable. 
Mirabeau took horse, one evening ; and rode westward, 
unattended, — to see Friend Claviere in that country- 
house of his? Before getting to Claviere's, the much- 
musing horseman struck aside to a back gate of the 
Garden of Saint-Cloud : some Duke D'Aremberg, or the 
like, was there to introduce him ; the Queen was not 
far ; on a " round knoll, rond point, the highest of the 
Garden of Saint-Cloud," he beheld the Queen's face ; 
spake with her, alone, under the void canopy of Night. 
What an interview ; fateful, secret for us, after all search- 
ing; like the colloquies of the gods!' She called him 
" a Mirabeau " ; elsewhere we read that she " was 
charmed with him," the wild submitted Titan ; as indeed 
it is among the honourable tokens of this high ill-fated 
heart that no mind of any endowment, no Mirabeau, nay 
no Barnave, no Dumouriez, ever came face to face with 
her but, in spite of all prepossessions, she was forced to 
recognise it, to draw nigh to it, with trust. High im- 
perial heart; with the instinctive attraction towards all 
that had any height ! " You know not the Queen," said 
Mirabeau once in confidence ; " her force of mind is 
prodigious ; she is a man for courage."" — And so, under 
the void Night, on the crown of that knoll, she has 
spoken with a Mirabeau : he has kissed loyally the 
queenly hand, and said with enthusiasm : " Madame, the 
Monarchy is saved ! " — Possible ? The Foreign Powers, 
mysteriously sounded, gave favourable guarded re- 
sponse;^ Bouill^ is at Metz, and could find forty-thou- 
sand sure Germans. With a Mirabeau for head, and a 
Bouille for hand, something verily is possible, — if Fate 
intervene not. 

But figure under what thousandfold wrappages, and 
cloaks of darkness, Royalty, meditating these things, 
must involve itself. There are men with " Tickets of 
Entrance" ; there are chivalrous consultings, mysterious 

' Campan, ii. c. 17. ^ Dumont, p. 211. 

■' " Correspondan:;e Secrete" (in " Hist. Pari.,'' viii. 169-173). 


plottings. Consider also whether, involve as it like, 
plotting Royalty can escape the glance of Patriotism ; 
lynx-eyes, by the ten thousand, fixed on it, which see in 
the dark ! Patriotism knows much : knows the dirks 
made to order, and can specify the shops ; knows Sieur 
Motier's legions of moiichards ; the Tickets of Entree, 
and men in black ; and how plan of evasion succeeds 
plan, — or may be supposed to succeed it. Then conceive 
the couplets chanted at the Theatre de Vaudeville ; or 
worse, the whispers, significant nods of traitors in mus- 
tachioes. Conceive, on the other hand, the loud cry of 
alarm that came through the Hundred- and -Thirty 
Journals ; the Dionysius'-Ear of each of the Forty-eight 
Sections, wakeful night and day. 

Patriotism is patient of much ; not patient of all. 
The Cafe de Procope has sent, visibly along the streets, a 
Deputation of Patriots, " to expostulate with bad 
Editors," by trustful word of mouth : singular to see and 
hear. The bad Editors promise to amend, but do not. 
Deputations for change of Ministry were many ; Mayor 
Bailly joining even with Cordelier Danton in such ; and 
they have prevailed. With what profit ? Of Quacks, 
willing or constrained to be Quacks, the race is ever- 
lasting : Ministers Duportail and Dutertre will have to 
manage much as Ministers Latour-du-Pin and Cic6 did. 
So welters the confused world. 

But now, beaten on forever by such inextricable con- 
tradictory influences and evidences, what is the indigent 
French Patriot, in these unhappy days, to believe, and 
walk by ? Uncertainty all ; except that he is wretched, 
indigent ; that a glorious Revolution, the wonder of the 
Universe, has hitherto brought neither Bread nor Peace ; 
being marred by traitors, difficult to discover. Traitors 
that dwell in the dark, invisible there ; — or seen for 
moments, in pallid dubious twilight, stealthily vanishing 
thither ! Preternatural Suspicion once more rules the 
minds of men. 

" Nobody here," writes Carra, of the " Annales Patrio- 
tiques," so early as the first of February, " can entertain 

I50 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, ch. iv 

a doubt of the constant obstinate project these people 
have on foot to get the King away ; or of the perpetual 
succession of manoeuvres they employ for that." No- 
body : the watchful Mother of Patriotism deputed two 
Members to her Daughter at Versailles, to examine how 
the matter looked there. Well, and there ? Patriotic 
Carra continues : " The Report of these two deputies we 
all heard with our own ears last Saturday. They went 
with others of Versailles, to inspect the King's Stables, 
also the stables of the whilom Gardes-du- Corps : they 
found there from seven to eight hundred horses standing 
always saddled and bridled, ready for the road at a 
moment's notice. The same deputies, moreover, saw with 
their own two eyes several Royal Carriages, which men 
were even then busy loading with large well-stuffed lug- 
gage-bags," leather cows, as we call them, " vaches de cuir ; 
the Royal Arms on the panels almost entirely effaced." 
Momentous enough ! Also " on the same day the whole 
Marc'chaussi'e, or Cavalry Police, did assemble with arms, 
horses and baggage," — and disperse again. They want 
the King over the marches, that so Emperor Leopold 
and the German Princes, whose troops are ready, may 
have a pretext for beginning : " this," adds Carra, " is 
the word of the riddle : this is the reason why our 
fugitive Aristocrats are now making levies of men on 
the frontiers ; expecting that, one of these mornings, the 
Executive Chief Magistrate will be brought over to 
them, and the civil war commence."^ 

If indeed the Executive Chief Magistrate, bagged, say 
in one of these leather cows, were once brought safe over 

^ Carra's Newspaper, February ist, 1791 (in "Hist. Pari.," ix. 
39). [The Emperor Leopold (Marie Antoinette's brother) was to 
n:iuster 10,000 men in Luxemburg, in order to help the civil war 
which was soon to begin (Mr. Oscar Browning, "The Flight to 
Varennes," p. 55). The notion that the Emperor Leopold wanted 
war was natural, seeing the number of I'lntgres then at Coblentz 
and Worms ; but it is now known that Leopold did not want war. 
He had his hands tied by the aristocratic and clerical ferment in 
Belgium; his troops there were to be shown on the frontier only 
in order to overawe the democrats of France. — Ed.] 

FEB. 1791] TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY 151 

to them ! But the strangest thing of all is, that Patriotism, 
whether barking at a venture, or guided by some instinct 
of preternatural sagacity, is actually barking aright this 
time ; at something, not at nothing. Bouille's Secret 
Correspondence, since made public, testifies as much. 

Nay, it is undeniable, visible to all, that Mesdames the 
King's Aunts are taking steps for departure : asking 
passports of the Ministry, safe-conducts of the Mu- 
nicipality ; which Marat warns all men to beware of. 
They will carry gold with them, " these old Bcguines " ; 
nay they will carry the little Dauphin, " having nursed a 
changeling, for some time, to leave in his stead " ! Be- 
sides, they are as some light substance flung up, to show 
how the wind sits ; a kind of proof-kite you fly off to 
ascertain whether the grand paper-kite. Evasion of the 
King, may mount ! 

In these alarming circumstances. Patriotism is not 
wanting to itself. Municipality deputes to the King ; 
Sections depute to the Municipality ; a National As- 
sembly will soon stir. Meanwhile, behold, on the 19th 
of February 1791, Mesdames, quitting Bellevue and 
Versailles with all privacy, are off! Towards Rome, 
seemingly ; or one knows not whither. They are not 
without King's passports, countersigned ; and what is 
more to the purpose, a serviceable Escort. The Patriotic 
Mayor or Mayorlet of the village of Moret tried to 
detain them : but brisk Louis de Narbonne, of the 
Escort, dashed off at hand-gallop ; returned soon with 
thirty dragoons, and victoriously cut them out. And so 
the poor ancient women go their way ; to the terror of 
France and Paris, whose nervous excitability is become 
extreme. Who else would hinder poor Loque and 
Graille, now grown so old, and fallen into such unex- 
pected circumstances, when gossip itself turning only on 
terrors and horrors is no longer pleasant to the mind, 
and you cannot get so much as an orthodox confessor in 
peace, — from going what way soever the hope of any 
solacement might lead them ? 

They go, poor ancient dames, — whom the heart were 

152 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. iv 

hard that did not pity : they go ; with palpitations, with 
unmelodious suppressed screechings ; all France screech- 
ing and cackling, in loud z^?zsuppressed terror, behind 
and on both hands of them : such mutual suspicion is 
among men. At Arnay le Due, above halfway to the 
frontiers, a Patriotic Municipality and Populace again 
takes courage to stop them : Louis Nar bonne must now 
back to Paris, must consult the National Assembly. 
National Assembly answers, not without an effort, that 
Mesdames may go. Whereupon Paris rises worse than 
ever, screeching half-distracted. Tuileries and precincts 
are filled with women and men, while the National 
Assembly debates this question of questions ; Lafayette 
is needed at night for dispersing them, and the streets 
are to be illuminated. Commandant Berthier, a Berthier 
before whom are great things unknown, lies for the 
present under blockade at Bellevue in Versailles. By no 
tactics could he get Mesdames' Luggage stirred from 
the Courts there ; frantic Versaillese women came scream- 
ing about him ; his very troops cut the wagon-traces ; 
he " retired to the interior," waiting better times.^ 

Nay in these same hours, while Mesdames, hardly cut 
out from Moret by the sabre's edge, are driving rapidly, 
to foreign parts, and not yet stopped at Arnay, their 
august Nephew poor Monsieur, at Paris, has dived deep 
into his cellars of the Luxembourg for shelter ; and, 
according to Montgaillard, can hardly be persuaded up 
again. Screeching multitudes environ that Luxembourg 
of his ; drawn thither by report of his departure : but at 
sight and sound of Monsieur, they become crowing 
multitudes ; and escort Madame and him to the Tuileries 
with vivats.' It is a state of nervous excitability such as 
few nations know. 

^ Campan, ii. 132. 

^ Montgaillard, ii. 282 ; " Deux Amis," vi. c. 1. 




OR, again, what means this visible reparation of 
the Castle of Vincennes ? Other Jails being all 
crowded with prisoners, new space is wanted here : that 
is the Municipal account. For in such changing of 
Judicatures, Parlements being abolished, and New Courts 
but just set up, prisoners have accumulated. Not to say 
that in these times of discord and club-law, offences and 
committals are, at any rate, more numerous. Which 
Municipal account, does it not sufficiently explain the 
phenomenon ? Surely, to repair the Castle of Vincennes 
was of all enterprises that an enlightened Municipality 
could undertake the most innocent. 

Not so, however, does neighbouring Saint-Antoine 
look on it : Saint-Antoine, to whom these peaked turrets 
and grim donjons, ail-too near her own dark dwelling, 
are of themselves an offence. Was not Vincennes a 
kind of minor Bastille ? Great Diderot and Philosophes 
have lain in durance here ; great Mirabeau, in disastrous 
eclipse, for forty-two months. And now when the old 
Bastille has become a dancing-ground (had any one the 
mirth to dance), and its stones are getting built into the 
Pont Louis-Seize, does this minor, comparative insig- 
nificance of a Bastille flank itself with fresh-hewn mul- 
lions, spread out tyrannous wings ; menacing Patriotism .-' 
New space for prisoners : and what prisoners ? A 
D'Orleans, with the chief Patriots on the tip of the Left ? 
It is said, there runs " a subterranean passage " all the 
way from the Tuileries hither. Who knows ? Paris, 
mined with quarries and catacombs, does hang wondrous 
over the abyss ; Paris was once to be blown up, — though 

154 THE TUILERIES [rk. iii, CH. v 

the powder, when we went to look, had got withdrawn. 
A Tuileries, sold to Austria and Coblentz, should have 
no subterranean passage. Out of which might not Cob- 
lentz or Austria issue, some morning ; and, with cannon 
of long range, '' fojidroycr," bethunder a patriotic Saint- 
Antoine into smoulder and ruin ! 

So meditates the benighted soul of Saint-Antoine, as 
it sees the aproned workmen, in early spring, busy on 
these towers. An official-speaking Municipality, a Sieur 
Motier with his legions of vioiichards, deserve no trust at 
all. Were Patriot Santerre, indeed. Commander ! But 
the sonorous Brewer commands only our own Battalion : 
of such secrets he can explain nothing, knows nothing, 
perhaps suspects much. And so the work goes on ; and 
afflicted benighted Saint-x'\ntoine hears rattle of ham- 
mers, sees stones suspended in air.' 

Saint-Antoine prostrated the first great Bastille : will 
it falter over this comparative insignificance of a Bas- 
tille ? Friends, what if we took pikes, firelocks, sledge- 
hammers ; and helped ourselves ! — Speedier is no 
remedy ; nor so certain. On the 28th day of February, 
Saint-Antoine turns out, as it has now often done ; and, 
apparently with little superfluous tumult, moves eastward 
to that eye-sorrow of Vincennes. With grave voice of 
authority, no need of bullying and shouting, Saint- 
Antoine signifies to parties concerned there, that its 
purpose is. To have this suspicious Stronghold razed 
level with the general soil of the country. Remonstrance 
may be proffered, with zeal ; but it avails not. The 
outer gate goes up, drawbridges tumble ; iron window- 
stanchions, smitten out with sledge-hammers, become 
iron-crowbars : it rains a rain of furniture, stone-masses, 
slates : with chaotic clatter and rattle, Demolition 
clatters down. And now hasty expresses rush through 
the agitated streets, to warn Lafayette, and the Municipal 
and Departmental Authorities; Rumour warns a National 
Assembly, a Royal Tuileries, and all men who care to 

• Montgaillard, ii. 285. 

FEB. 28, 1791] THE DAY OF PONIARDS 155 

hear it : That Saint- Antoine is up ; that Vincennes, and 
probably the last remaining Institution of the Country, 
is coming down.' 

Quick, then ! Let Lafayette roll his drums and fly 
eastward ; for to all Constitutional Patriots this is again 
bad news. And you, ye Friends of Royalty, snatch 
your poniards of improved structure, made to order ; 
your sword-canes, secret arms, and tickets of entry ; 
quick, by backstairs passages, rally round the Son of 
Sixty Kings. An effervescence probably got up by 
D'Orl^ans and Company, for the overthrow of Throne 
and Altar : it is said her Majesty shall be put in prison, 
put out of the way ; what then will Ids Majesty be ? 
Clay for the Sansculottic Potter ! Or were it impossible 
to fly this day ; a brave Noblesse suddenly all rallying ? 
Peril threatens, hope invites : Dukes de Villequier, de 
Duras, Gentlemen of the Chamber give Tickets and 
admittance ; a brave Noblesse is suddenly all rallying. 
Now were the time to " fall sword in hand on those 
gentry there," could it be done with effect. 

The Hero of two Worlds is on his white charger : 
blue Nationals, horse and foot, hurrying eastward ; San- 
terre, with the Saint- Antoine Battalion, is already there, 
— apparently indisposed to act. Heavy-laden Hero of 
two Worlds, what tasks are these ! The jeerings, provo- 
cative gambollings of that Patriot Suburb, which is all 
out on the streets now, are hard to endure ; unwashed 
Patriots jeering in sulky sport ; one unwashed Patriot 
" seizing the General by the boot," to unhorse him. San- 
terre, ordered to fire, makes answer obliquely, " These 
are the men that took the Bastille " ; and not a trigger 
stirs. Neither dare the Vincennes Magistracy give 
warrant of arrestment, or the smallest countenance : 
wherefore the General " will take it on himself" to arrest. 
By promptitude, by cheerful adroitness, patience and 
brisk valour without limits, the riot may be again blood- 
lessly appeased. 

' "Deux Amis," vi. 11-15 ; Newspapers (in "Hist. Pari.," ix. 

156 THE TUILERIES [bk. iii, ch. v 

Meanwhile the rest of Paris, with more or less uncon- 
cern, nmay mind the rest of its business : for what is this 
but an effervescence, of which there are now so many ? 
The National Assembly, in one of its stormiest m-oods, 
is debating a law against Emigration ; Mirabeau de- 
claring aloud, " I swear beforehand that I will not obey 
it." ^ Mirabeau is often at the Tribune this day ; with 
endless impediments from without ; with the old un- 
abated energy from within. What can murmurs and 
clamours, from Left or from Right, do to this man ; like 
Teneriffe or Atlas unremoved ? With clear thought ; 
with strong bass voice, though at first low, uncertain, he 
claims audience, sways the storm of men : anon the 
sound of him waxes, softens : he rises into far-sounding 
melody of strength, triumphant, which subdues all hearts ; 
his rude seamed face, desolate, fire-scathed, becomes 
fire-lit, and radiates : once again men feel, in these 
beggarly ages, what is the potency and omnipotency of 
man's word on the souls of men. " I will triumph, or be 
torn in fragments," he was once heard to say. " Silence," 
he cries now, in strong word of command, in imperial 
consciousness of strength, " Silence, the thirty voices. 
Silence aux trente voix ! " — and Robespierre and the 
Thirty Voices die into mutterings ; and the Law is once 
more as Mirabeau would have it. 

How different, at the same instant, is General Lafay- 
ette's street-eloquence; wrangling with sonorous Brewers, 
with an ungrammatical Saint-Antoine ! Most different, 
again, from both is the Cafe-de-Valois eloquence, and 
suppressed fanfaronade, of this multitude of men with 
Tickets of Entry ; who are now inundating the Corridors 
of the Tuileries. Such things can go on simultaneously 
in one City. How much more in one Country ; in one 
Planet with its discrepancies, every Day a mere crack- 
ling infinitude of discrepancies, — which nevertheless do 

' [Le Chapelier proposed on February 28th that no one should 
be allowed to leave France unless leave were granted by a com- 
mittee of three, appointed by the King. Robespierre as well as 
Mirabeau opposed it, and it was dropped. — Ed.] 

FEB. 28, 1791] THE DAY OF PONIARDS 157 

yield some coherent net-product, though an infinitesim- 
ally small one ! 

But be this as it may, Lafayette has saved Vincennes ; 
and is marching homewards with some dozen of arrested 
demolitionists. Royalty is not yet saved ; — nor indeed 
specially endangered. But to the King's Constitutional 
Guard, to these old Gardes Frangaises, or Centre Grena- 
diers, as it chanced to be, this affluence of men with 
Tickets of Entry is becoming more and more unin- 
telligible. Is his Majesty verily for Metz, then ; to be 
carried off by these men, on the spur of the instant ? 
That revolt of Saint-Antoine got up by traitor Royalists 
for a stalking-horse? ^ Keep a sharp outlook, ye Centre 
Grenadiers on duty here : good never came from the 
" men in black." Nay they have cloaks, redingotes ; 
some of them leather-breeches, boots, — as if for instant 
riding ! Or what is this that sticks visible from the 
lapelle of Chevalier de Court } ^ Too like the handle of 
some cutting or stabbing instrument ! He glides and 
goes ; and still the dudgeon sticks from his left lapelle, 
" Hold, Monsieur ! " — a Centre Grenadier clutches him ; 
clutches the protrusive dudgeon, whisks it out in the 
face of the world : by Heaven, a very dagger ; hunting- 
knife or whatsoever you will call it ; fit to drink the life 
of Patriotism ! 

So fared it with Chevalier de Court, early in the day ; 
not without noise ; not without commentaries. And 
now this continually increasing multitude at nightfall ? 
Have they daggers too? Alas, with them too, after 
angry parleyings, there has begun a groping and a 
rummaging ; all men in black, spite of their Tickets of 
Entry, are clutched by the collar, and groped. Scandal- 
ous to think of: for always, as the dirk, sword-cane, 
pistol, or were it but tailor's bodkin, is found on him, 
and with loud scorn drawn forth from him, he, the 

' [It was said that while Lafayette, the National Guards, and 
the patriots of the faubourgs were away at Vincennes, the royalists 
were to carry off the King from Paris. — Ed.] 

•-• Weber ii. 286. 

158 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. v 

hapless man in black, is flung ail-too rapidly down 
stairs. Flung ; and ignominiously descends, head fore- 
most ; accelerated by ignominious shovings from sentry 
after sentry ; nay, as it is written, by smitings, twitch- 
ings,— spurnings a posteriori, not to be named. In this 
accelerated way emerges, uncertain which end upper- 
most, man after man in black, through all issues, into 
the Tuileries Garden ; emerges, alas, into the arms of 
an indignant multitude, now gathered and gathering 
there, in the hour of dusk, to see what is toward, and 
whether the Hereditary Representative is carried off or 
not. Hapless men in black ; at last convicted oi poniards 
made to order ; convicted " Chevaliers of the Poniard" !' 
Within is as the burning ship ; without is as the deep 
sea. Within is no help ; his Majesty, looking forth, one 
moment, from his interior sanctuaries, coldly bids all 
visitors " give up their weapons " ; and shuts the door 
again. The weapons given up form a heap : the con- 
victed Chevaliers of the Poniard keep descending pell- 
mell, with impetuous velocity ; and at the bottom of all 
staircases the mixed multitude receives them, hustles, 
buffets, chases and disperses them." 

Such sight meets Lafayette, in the dusk of the evening, 
as he returns, successful with difficulty at Vincennes : 
Sansculotte Scylla hardly weathered, here is Aristocrat 
Charybdis gurgling under his lee ! The patient Hero 
of two Worlds almost loses temper. He accelerates, 
does not retard, the flying Chevaliers ; delivers, indeed, 
this or the other hunted Loyalist of quality, but rates 
him in bitter words, such as the hour suggested ; such 
as no saloon could pardon. Hero ill-bested ; hanging, 
so to speak, in mid-air ; hateful to Rich divinities 
above ; hateful to Indigent mortals below ! Duke de 

^ [This affair of the poniards was ridiculously exaggerated. The 
rising of the rabble of St. Antoine had seemed at first to threaten 
the King ; so some three hundred royalist gentlemen, who had 
come to Paris expressly to defend him, made their way to the 
Tuileries to defend him, with the result described above. — Ed.] 

- "Hist. Pari.," i.x. 139-148. 


Villequier, Gentleman of the Chamber, gets such con- 
tumeHous rating, in presence of all people there, that he 
may see good first to exculpate himself in the News- 
papers ; then, that not prospering, to retire over the 
Frontiers, and begin plotting at Brussels.^ His Apart- 
ment will stand vacant ; usefuller, as we may find, than 
when it stood occupied. 

So fly the Chevaliers of the Poniard ; hunted of 
Patriotic men, shamefully in the thickening dusk. A 
dim miserable business ; born of darkness ; dying away 
there in the thickening dusk and dimness. In the midst 
of which, however, let the reader discern clearly one 
figure running for its life : Crispin-Catiline d'Espre- 
menil, — for the last time, or the last but one. It is not 
yet three years since these same Centre Grenadiers, 
Gardes Frangaises then, marched him towards the 
Calypso Isles, in the gray of the May morning ; and he 
and they have got thus far. Buffeted, beaten down, 
delivered by popular P6tion, he might well answer bit- 
terly : " And I too. Monsieur, have been carried on the 
People's shoulders." ^ A fact which popular Petion, if 
he like, can meditate. 

But happily, one way and another, the speedy night 
covers up this ignominious Day of Poniards ; and the 
Chevaliers escape, though maltreated, with torn coat- 
skirts and heavy hearts, to their respective dwelling- 
houses. Riot twofold is quelled ; and little blood shed, 
if it be not insignificant blood from the nose : Vincennes 
stands undemolished, reparable ; and the Hereditary 
Representative has not been stolen, nor the Queen 
smuggled into Prison. A day long remembered : com- 
mented on with loud hahas and deep grumblings ; with 
bitter scornfulness of triumph, bitter rancour of defeat. 
Royalism, as usual, imputes it to D'Orleans and the 
Anarchists intent on insulting Majesty : Patriotism, as 
usual, to Royalists, and even Constitutionalists, intent 
on stealing Majesty to Metz : we, also as usual, to Pre- 

' Montgaillard, ii. 286. - See Mercier, ii. 40, 202. 

l6o THE TUILERIES [rk. iii, CH. v 

ternatural Suspicion, and Phoebus Apollo having made 
himself like the Night. 

Thus, however, has the reader seen, in an unexpected 
arena, on this last day of February 1791, the Three 
long-contending elements of French Society dashed 
forth into singular comico-tragical collision ; acting and 
reacting openly to the eye. Constitutionalism, at once 
quelling Sansculottic riot at Vincennes, and Royalist 
treachery in the Tuileries, is great, this day, and pre- 
vails. As for poor Royalism, tossed to and fro in that 
manner, its daggers all left in a heap, what can one 
think of it ? Every dog, the Adage says, has its day : 
has it ; has had it ; or will have it. For the present, the 
day is Lafayette's and the Constitution's. Nevertheless 
Hunger and Jacobinism, fast growing fanatical, still 
work ; their day, were they once fanatical, will come. 
Hitherto, in all tempests, Lafayette, like some divine 
Sea-ruler, raises his serene head : the upper Aeolus blasts 
fly back to their caves, like foolish unbidden winds : the 
under sea-billows they had vexed into froth allay them- 
selves. But if, as we often write, the i-?^/;marine Titanic 
Fire-powers came into play, the Ocean-bed from beneath 
being biirsfi If they hurled Poseidon Lafayette and 
his Constitution out of Space ; and, in the Titanic melly, 
sea were mixed with sky ? 

MARCH 1 791] MIRABEAU 161 



THE spirit of France waxes ever more acrid, fever- 
sick : towards the final outburst of dissolution and 
delirium. Suspicion rules all minds : contending parties 
cannot now commingle ; stand separated sheer asunder, 
eyeing one another, in most aguish mood, of cold terror 
or hot rage. Counter-Revolution, Days of Poniards, 
Castries Duels ; Flight of Mesdames, of Monsieur and 
Royalty ! Journalism shrills ever louder its cry of 
alarm. The sleepless Dionysius-Ear of the Forty-eight 
Sections, how feverishly quick has it grown ; convulsing 
with strange pangs the whole sick Body, as in such 
sleeplessness and sickness the ear will do ! 

Since Royalists get Poniards made to order, and a 
Sieur Motier is no better than he should be, shall not 
Patriotism too, even of the indigent sort, have Pikes, 
secondhand P'irelocks, in readiness for the worst .'' The 
anvils ring, during this March month, with hammering 
of Pikes. A Constitutional Municipality promulgated 
its Placard, that no citizen except the " active " or cash- 
citizen was entitled to have arms ; but there rose, 
instantly responsive, such a tempest of astonishment 
from Club and Section, that the Constitutional Placard, 
almost next morning, had to cover itself up, and die 
away into inanity, in a second improved edition.' So 
the hammering continues ; as all that it betokens does. 

Mark, again, how the extreme tip of the Left is mount- 
ing in favour, if not in its own National Hall, yet with 

' Ordonnance du 17 Mars 1791 (" Hist. Pari.," ix. 257). 
11. M 

i62 THE TUILERIES [bk. iii, CH. vi 

the Nation, especially with Paris. For in such universal 
panic of doubt, the opinion that is sure of itself, as the 
meagrest opinion may the soonest be, is the one to which 
all men will rally. Great is Belief, were it never so 
meagre ; and leads captive the doubting heart. Incor- 
ruptible Robespierre has been elected Public Accuser in 
our new Courts of Judicature ; virtuous Petion, it is 
thought, may rise to be Mayor. Cordelier Danton, called 
also by triumphant majorities, sits at the Departmental 
Council-table ; colleague there of Mirabeau. Of incor- 
ruptible Robespierre it was long ago predicted that he 
might go far, mean meagre mortal though he was ; for 
Doubt dwelt not in him. 

Under which circumstances ought not Royalty likewise 
to cease doubting,and begin deciding and acting? Royalty 
has always that sure trump-card in its hand : Flight out 
of Paris. Which sure trump-card Royalty, as we see, 
keeps ever and anon clutching at, grasping ; and swashes 
it forth tentatively ; yet never tables it, still puts it back 
again. Play it, O Royalty ! If there be a chance left, 
this seems it, and verily the last chance ; and now every 
hour is rendering this a doubtfuler.' Alas, one would so 
fain both fly and not fly ; play one's card and have it to 
play. Royalty, in all human likelihood, will not play its 
trump-card till the honours, one after one, be mainly 
lost ; and such trumping of it prove to be the sudden 
finish of the game ! 

Here accordingly a question always arises ; of the pro- 
phetic sort ; which cannot now be answered. Suppose 
Mirabeau, with whom Royalty takes deep counsel, as 
with a Prime Minister that cannot yet legally avow 
himself as such, had got his arrangements completed^ 
Arrangements he has ; far-stretching plans that dawn 
fitfully on us, by fragments, in the confused darkness. 
Thirty Departments ready to sign loyal Addresses, of 
prescribed tenor : King carried out of Paris, but only to 

^ [Marie Antoinette's secret correspondence shows that very 
early in 1791 the King and she had resolved on flight. M. de la 
Rocheterie's " Life of Marie Antoinette," vol. ii., chaps, vii.-viii, 


Compiegne and Rouen, hardly to Metz, since, once for 
all, no Emigrant rabble shall take the lead in it : National 
Assembly consenting, by dint of loyal Addresses, by 
management, by force of Bouille, to hear reason, and 
follow thither! ' Was it so, on these terms, that Jacobinism 
and Mirabeau were then to grapple, in their Hercules-and- 
Typhon duel ; Death inevitable for the one or the other ? 
The duel itself is determined on, and sure : but on what 
terms ; much more, with what issue, we in vain guess. It 
is vague darkness all : unknown what is to be ; unknown 
even what has already been. The giant Mirabeau walks 
in darkness, as we said ; companionless, on wild ways : 
what his thoughts during these months were, no record 
of Biographer, nor vague " Fils Adoptif," will now ever 

To us, endeavouring to cast his horoscope, it of course 
remains doubly vague. There is one Herculean Man ; 
in internecine duel with him, there is Monster after 
Monster. Emigrant Noblesse return, sword on thigh, 
vaunting of their Loyalty never sullied ; descending from 
the air, like Harpy-swarms with ferocity, with obscene 
greed. Earthward there is the Typhon of Anarchy, 
Political, Religious ; sprawling hundred-headed, say with 
Twenty-five million heads ; wide as the area of France ; 
fierce as Frenzy; strong in very Hunger. With these 
shall the Serpent-queller do battle continually, and 
expect no rest. 

As for the King, he as usual will go wavering 
chameleon-like ; changing colour and purpose with the 
colour of his environment ; — good for no Kingly use. 
On one royal person, on the Queen only, can Mirabeau 
perhaps place dependence. iTis possible, the greatness 
of this man, not unskilled too in blandishments, courtier- 
ship, and graceful adroitness, might, with most legitimate 
sorcery, fascinate the volatile Queen, and fix her to him. 
She has courage for all noble daring ; an eye and a 
heart : the soul of Theresa's Daughter. " Faiit-il done, Is 

^ See "Fils Adoptif," vii. 1. 6; Dumont, c. 11, 12, 14. 
- [For these plans see Appendix I. — Ed.] 

i64 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. vi 

it fated then," she passionately writes to her Brother, 
" that I with the blood I am come of, with the sentiments 
I have, must live and die among such mortals ? " ^ Alas, 
poor Princess, Yes. " She is the only man" as Mirabeau 
observes, " whom his Majesty has about him." Of one 
other man Mirabeau is still surer: of himself There He 
his resources ; sufficient or insufficient. 

Dim and great to the eye of Prophecy looks that 
future. A perpetual life-and-death battle ; confusion 
from above and from below ; — mere confused darkness 
for us ; with here and there some streak of faint lurid 
light. We see a King perhaps laid aside ; not tonsured, 
— tonsuring is out of fashion now, — but say, sent away 
anywhither, with handsome annual allowance, and stock 
of smith-tools. We see a Queen and Dauphin, Regent 
and Minor; a Queen "mounted on horseback," in the 
din of battles, with Moriainur pro rege nostra! "Such a 
day," Mirabeau writes, "may come." 

Din of battles, wars more than civil, confusion from 
above and from below : in such environment the eye of 
Prophecy sees Comte de Mirabeau, like some Cardinal 
de Retz, stormfully maintain himself; with head all- 
devising, heart all-daring, if not victorious, yet unvan- 
quished, while life is left him. The specialities and issues 
of it, no eye of Prophecy can guess at : it is clouds, we 
repeat, and tempestuous night ; and in the middle of it, 
now visible, far-darting, now labouring in eclipse, is 
Mirabeau indomitably struggling to be Cloud-Com- 
peller ! — One can say that, had Mirabeau lived, the 
History of France and of the World had been different.'"' 
Further, that the man would have needed, as few men 

' " Fils Adoptif,'' ubi supra. 

- [The fuller knowledge which we now possess seems to sliow 
that Mirabeau's plans were all but hopeless. He was distrusted 
both by the King and by the populace ; the rank and file of the 
army were almost wholly for the Revolution ; and the Jacobin 
clubs were fast making the Provinces (except the far West and the 
South) almost as democratic as Paris. The language used by 
Mirabeau in his Notes to the King (especially Note 47) shows how 
desperate he thought the position to be. — Ed.] 


ever did, the whole compass of that same " Art of Daring, 
Art d'Oser" which he so prized; and Hkewise that he, 
above all men then living, would have practised and 
manifested it. Finally, that some substantiality, and no 
empty simulacrum of a formula, would have been the 
result realised by him : a result you could have loved, a 
result you could have hated ; by no likelihood, a result 
you could only have rejected with closed lips, and swept 
into quick forgetfulness forever. Had Mirabeau lived 
one other year ! 

i66 THE TUILERIES [bk. in, CH. vii 



BUT Mirabeau could not live another year, any more 
than he could live another thousand years. Men's 
years are numbered, and the tale of Mirabeau's was now 
complete. Important or unimportant ; to be mentioned 
in World-History for some centuries, or not to be men- 
tioned there beyond a day or two, — it matters not to 
peremptory Fate. From amid the press of ruddy busy 
Life, the Pale Messenger beckons silently : wide-spreading 
interests, projects, salvation of French Monarchies, what 
thing soever man has on hand, he must suddenly quit it 
all, and go. Wert thou saving French Monarchies ; wert 
thou blacking shoes on the Pont Neuf ! The most im- 
portant of men cannot stay ; did the World's History 
depend on an hour, that hour is not to be given. Whereby, 
indeed, it comes that these same zvould-have-bcens are 
mostly a vanity ; and the World's History could never in 
the least be what it would, or might, or should, by any 
manner of potentiality, but simply and altogether what 
it is. 

The fierce wear and tear of such an existence has 
wasted out the giant oaken strength of Mirabeau. A fret 
and fever that keeps heart and brain on fire : excess of 
effort,of excitement; excess of all kinds: labour incessant, 
almost beyond credibility ! " If I had not lived with him," 
says Dumont, " I never should have known what a man 
can make of one day ; what things may be placed within 
the interval of twelve hours. A day for this man was 
more than a week or a month is for others : the mass of 


things he guided on together was prodigious ; from the 
scheming to the executing not a moment lost." — " Mon- 
sieur le Comte," said his Secretary to him once, "what 
you require is impossible." — " Impossible ! " — answered 
he, starting from his chair, ^'Ne me dites jamais ce bete de 
mot, Never name to me that blockhead of a word." ' 
And then the social repasts ; the dinner which he gives 
as Commandant of National Guards, which " cost five 
hundred pounds " ; alas, and " the Syrens of the Opera " ; 
and all the ginger that is hot in the mouth : — down what 
a course is this man hurled ! Cannot Mirabeau stop ; 
cannot he fly, and save himself alive ? No ! there is a 
Nessus-Shirt on this Hercules ; he must storm and burn 
there, without rest, till he be consumed. Human strength, 
never so Herculean, has its measure. Herald shadows 
flit pale across the fire-brain of Mirabeau ; heralds of the 
pale repose. While he tosses and storms, straining every 
nerve, in that sea of ambition and confusion, there comes, 
sombre and still, a monition that for him the issue of it 
will be swift death. 

In January last, you might see him as President of 
the Assembly;' "his neck wrapt in linen cloths, at the 
evening session " : there was sick heat of the blood, 
alternate darkening and flashing in the eyesight ; he 
had to apply leeches, after the morning labour, and pre- 
side bandaged. " At parting he embraced me," says 
Dumont, " with an emotion I had never seen in him : 
' I am dying, my friend ; dying as by slow fire ; we shall 
perhaps not meet again. When I am gone, they will 
know what the value of me was. The miseries I have 
held back will burst from all sides on France.' " ^ Sick- 

' Dumont, p. 311. 

- [This was the only time that Mirabeau acted as President, viz. : 
January 3ist-February 14th. Nonenties were generally chosen. — 

^Dumont, p. 267. [The question of the Regency had much 
excited him. He furiously opposed Sieyes' motion that the Regent 
should be named by the Assembly, and carried the day (March 
22nd). The question on the 27th was whether mines belonged to 
the State, or to the owner of the soil. This nearly concerned his 

i68 THE TUILERIES [bk. iii, CH. vii 

ness gives louder warning ; but cannot be listened to. 
On the 27th day of March, proceeding towards the As- 
sembly, he had to seek rest and help in Friend de 
Lamarck's, by the road ; and lay there, for an hour, 
half-fainted, stretched on a sofa. To the Assembly 
nevertheless he went, as if in spite of Destiny itself; 
spoke, loud and eager, five several times ; then quitted 
the Tribune — forever. He steps out, utterly exhausted, 
into the Tuileries Gardens ; many people press round 
him, as usual, with applications, memorials ; he says 
to the Friend who was with him : " Take me out of 
this ! " 

And so, on the last day of March 1791, endless 
anxious multitudes beset the Rue de la Chaussee d'An- 
tin ; incessantly inquiring : within doors there, in that 
House numbered, in our time, 42, the overwearied giant 
has fallen down, to die.' Crowds of all parties and 
kinds ; of all ranks from the King to the meanest man ! 
The King sends publicly twice a-day to inquire ; pri- 
vately besides : from the world at large there is no end 
of inquiring. " A written bulletin is handed out every 
three hours," is copied and circulated ; in the end, it is 
printed. The People spontaneously keep silence ; no 
carriage shall enter with its noise : there is crowding 
pressure ; but the Sister of Mirabeau is reverently re- 
cognised, and has free way made for her. The People 
stand mute, heart-stricken ; to all it seems as if a great 
calamity were nigh : as if the last man of France, who 
could have swayed these coming troubles, lay there at 
hand-grips with the unearthly Power. 

The silence of a whole People, the wakeful toil of 
Cabanis, Friend and Physician, skills not : on Saturday 
the second day of April, Mirabeau feels that the last of 

friend La Marck, and he eagerly defended the rights of property. 
From notes supplied by his secretary, Pellenc, he " replied to every 
objection " (says La Marck) " and gave all the explanations witli 
the most admirable precision" (La Marck, " Correspondance," 
vol. i., p. 249). — Ed.] 

' " Fils Adoptif," viii. 420-479. 


the Days has risen for him ; that on this day he has to 
depart and be no more. His death is Titanic, as his 
life has been ! Lit up, for the last time, in the glare of 
coming dissolution, the mind of the man is all glowing 
and burning ; utters itself in sayings, such as men long 
remember. He longs to live, yet acquiesces in death, 
argues not with the inexorable. His speech is wild 
and wondrous : unearthly Phantasms dancing now their 
torch-dance round his soul ; the soul itself looking out, 
fire-radiant, motionless, girt together for that great hour ! 
At times comes a beam of light from him on the world 
he is quitting. " I carry in my heart the death-dirge of 
the French Monarchy ; the dead remains of it will now 
be the spoil of the factious." Or again, when he heard 
the cannon fire, what is characteristic too : " Have we 
the Achilles' Funeral already?" So likewise, while 
some friend is supporting him : " Yes, support that 
head ; would I could bequeath it thee ! " For the man 
dies as he has lived ; self-conscious, conscious of a world 
looking on.^ He gazes forth on the young Spring, 
which for him will never be Summer. The Sun has 
risen ; he says, " St ce n'est pas la Dieii, dest dii moins 
son cousin gennain." ' — Death has mastered the out- 
works ; power of speech is gone ; the citadel of the heart 
still holding out : the moribund giant, passionately, by 
sign, demands paper and pen ; writes his passionate de- 
mand for opium, to end these agonies. The sorrowful 
Doctor shakes his head : Donnij% " To sleep," writes 
the other, passionately pointing at it ! So dies a gigantic 
Heathen and Titan ; stumbling blindly, undismayed, 
down to his rest. At half-past eight in the morning, 
Doctor Petit, standing at the foot of the bed, says, " // 
ne souffre plus." His suffering and his working are now 

^ [So too he said to La Marck : "Well, my dear'connoisseur in 
beautiful deaths, are you satisfied with me?" (La Marck, " Corre- 
spondance," vol. i., p. 259). — Ed.] 

^ " Fils Adoptif," viii. 450 ; " Journal de la maladie et de la mort 
ds Mirabeau," par P. J. G. Cabanis (Paris, 1803). 

I70 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, ch. vii 

Even so, ye silent Patriot multitudes, all ye men of 
France ; this man is rapt away from you. He has fallen 
suddenly, without bending till he broke ; as a tower 
falls, smitten by sudden lightning. His word ye shall 
hear no more, his guidance follow no more. — The multi- 
tudes depart, heartstruck ; spread the sad tidings. How 
touching is the loyalty of men to their Sovereign Man ! 
All theatres, public amusements close ; no joyful meet- 
ing can be held in these nights, joy is not for them : 
the People break in upon private dancing-parties, and 
sullenly command that they cease. Of such dancing- 
parties apparently but two came to light ; and these 
also have gone out. The gloom is universal ; never in 
this City was such sorrow for one death ; never since 
that old night when Louis XH. departed, "and the 
Crieurs des Corps went sounding their bells, and crying 
along the streets : Le bo7i rot Louis, pere du peuple, est 
inort, The good King Louis, Father of the People, is 
dead ! " ' King Mirabeau is now the lost King ; and 
one may say with little exaggeration, all the People 
mourns for him. 

For three days there is low wide moan ; weeping in 
the National Assembly itself. The streets are all 
mournful ; orators mounted on the bornes, with large 
silent audience, preaching the funeral sermon of the 
dead. Let no coachman whip fast, distractively with 
his rolling wheels, or almost at all, through these groups ! 
His traces may be cut ; himself and his fare, as incur- 
able Aristocrats, hurled sulkily into the kennels. The 
bourne-stone orators speak as it is given them ; the 
Sansculottic People, with its rude soul, listens eager, — 
as men will to any Sermon, or Senno, when it is a 
spoken Word meaning a Thing, and not a Babblement 
meaning No-thing. In the Restaurateur's of the Palais- 
Royal, the waiter remarks, " P'ine weather. Monsieur " : 
— " Yes, my friend," answers the ancient Man of Letters, 
" very fine ; but Mirabeau is dead." Hoarse rhythmic 

' Renault, "Abrege Chronologique,'' p. 429. 


threnodies come also from the throats of ballad-singers ; 
are sold on gray-white paper at a sou each.^ But of 
Portraits, engraved, painted, hewn and written ; of 
Eulogies, Reminiscences, Biographies, nay Vaudevilles, 
Dramas and Melodramas, in all Provinces of France, 
there will, through these coming months, be the due 
immeasurable crop ; thick as the leaves of Spring. Nor, 
that a tincture of burlesque might be in it, is Gobel's 
Episcopal Mandeinent wanting ; goose Gobel, who has 
just been made Constitutional Bishop of Paris. A Man- 
dement wherein (^a ira alternates very strangely with 
Nomine Domini \ and you are, with a grave counten- 
ance, invited to " rejoice at possessing in the midst of 
you a body of Prelates created by Mirabeau, zealous 
followers of his doctrine, faithful imitators of his vir- 
tues." ' So speaks, and cackles manifold, the Sorrow of 
P"rance ; wailing articulately, inarticulately, as it can, 
that a Sovereign Man is snatched away. In the National 
Assembly, when difficult questions are astir, all eyes will 
" turn mechanically to the place where Mirabeau sat," — 
and Mirabeau is absent now. 

On the third evening of the lamentation, the fourth 
of April, there is solemn Public Funeral ; such as de- 
ceased mortal seldom had. Procession of a league in 
length ; of mourners reckoned loosely at a hundred 
thousand. All roofs are thronged with onlookers, all 
windows, lamp-irons, branches of trees. " Sadness is 
painted on every countenance ; many persons weep." 
There is double hedge of National Guards ; there is 
National Assembly in a body ; Jacobin Society, and 
Societies ; King's Ministers, Municipals, and all Not- 
abilities, Patriot or Aristocrat. Bouille is noticeable 
there, " with his hat on " ; say, hat drawn over his brow, 
hiding many thoughts! Slow-wending, in religious 
silence, the Procession of a league in length, under the 
level sun-rays, for it is five o'clock, moves and marches : 

' " Fils Adoptif," viii. 1. 10 ; Newspapers and Excerpts (in "Hist. 
Pari.," ix. 366-402). 

- " Hist. Pari.," ix. 405. 

172 THE TUILERIES [bk. hi, CH. vii 

with its sable plumes ; itself in a religious silence ; but, 
by fits with the muffled roll of drums, by fits with some 
long-drawn wail of music, and strange new clangour of 
trombones,' and metallic dirge-voice ; amid the infinite 
hum of men. In the Church of Saint-Eustache, there 
is funeral oration by Cerutti ; and discharge of fire-arms, 
which " brings down pieces of the plaster," Thence, 
forward again to the Church of Sainte-Genevieve ; which 
has been consecrated, by supreme decree, on the spur of 
this time, into a Pantheon for the Great Men of the 
Fatherland, ^?/A- Grands Homines la Patric rccomiaissantc. 
Hardly at midnight is the business done ; and Mirabeau 
left in his dark dwelling : first tenant of that Father- 
land's Pantheon. 

Tenant, alas, who inhabits but at will, and shall be 
cast out. For, in these days of convulsion and disjec- 
tion, not even the dust of the dead is permitted to rest. 
Voltaire's bones are, by and by, to be carried from their 
stolen grave in the Abbey of Scellieres, to an eager 
stealing grave, in Paris his birth-city : all mortals pro- 
cessioning and perorating there ; cars drawn by eight 
white horses, goadsters in classical costume, with fillets 
and wheat-ears enough ; — though the weather is of the 
wettest." Evangelist Jean Jacques too, as is most proper, 
must be dug up from Ermenonville, and processioned, 
with pomp, with sensibility, to the Pantheon of the 
Fatherland.^ He and others : while again Mirabeau, 
we say, is cast forth from it, happily incapable of being 
n-placed ; and rests now, irrecognisable, reburied hastily 
at dead of night " in the central part of the Churchyard 
Sainte-Catherine, in the Suburb Saint-Marceau," to be 
disturbed no farther. 

So blazes out, far-seen, a Man's Life, and becomes 
ashes and a caput viortunui, in this World-Pyre, which 
we name French Revolution : not the first that con- 

^ [Trombones first came into prominent notice in this procession. 

- " IVIoniteur," du 13 Juillet 1791. 

^ Ibid., du 18 Septcmbre 1794. See also du 30 Aout, etc., 1791. 


sumed itself there ; nor, by thousands and many millions, 
the last ! A man who " had swallowed all formulas " ; 
who, in these strange times and circumstances, felt called 
to live Titanically, and also to die so. As he, for his 
part, had swallowed all formulas, what Formula is there, 
never so comprehensive, that will express truly V\^& plus 
and the inimts of him, give us the accurate net-result of 
him ? There is hitherto none such. Moralities not a 
few must shriek condemnatory over this Mirabeau ; the 
Morality by which he could be judged has not yet got 
uttered in the speech of men. We will say this of him 
again : That he is a Reality and no Simulacrum ; a 
living Son of Nature our general Mother ; not a hollow 
Artifice, and mechanism of Conventionalities, son of 
nothing, brother to nothing. In which little word, let 
the earnest man, walking sorrowful in a world mostly of 
" Stuffed Clothes-suits," that chatter and grin meaning- 
less on him, quite ghastly to the earnest soul, — think 
what significance there is ! 

Of men who, in such sense, are alive, and see with 
eyes, the number is now not great : it may be well, if in 
this huge French Revolution itself, with its all-develop- 
ing fury, we find some Three.' Mortals driven rabid 
we find ; sputtering the acridest logic ; baring their 
breast to the battle-hail, their neck to the guillotine : — 
of whom it is so painful to say that they too are still, 
in good part, manufactured Formalities, not Facts but 
Hearsays ! 

Honour to the strong man, in these ages, who has 
shaken himself loose of shams, and is something. For 
in the way of being worthy, the first condition surely is 
that one be. Let Cant cease, at all risks and at all 
costs : till Cant cease, nothing else can begin. Of human 
Criminals, in these centuries, writes the Moralist, I find 
but one unforgivable : the Quack. " Hateful to God," 
as divine Dante sings, " and to the Fnemies of God, 
" A Dio spiacente ed a! nemici siti .' " 

' [Evidently the three are Mirabeau, Danton, Bonaparte. — Ed.] 

741 THE TUILERIES [rk. in, CH. vii 

But whoever will, with sympathy, which is the first 
essential towards insight, look at this questionable 
Mirabeau, may find that there lay verily in him, as the 
basis of all, a Sincerity, a great free Earnestness ; nay 
call it Honesty, for the man did before all things see, 
with that clear flashing vision, into what ivns, into what 
existed as fact ; and did, with his wild heart, follow that 
and no other. Whereby on what ways soever he travels 
and struggles, often enough falling, he is still a brother 
man. Hate him not ; thou canst not hate him ! Shining 
through such soil and tarnish, and now victorious efful- 
gent, and oftenest struggling eclipsed, the light of genius 
itself is in this man ; which was never yet base and 
hateful ; but at worst was lamentable, lovable with pity. 
They say that he was ambitious, that he wanted to be 
Minister. It is most true. And was he not simply the 
one man in France who could have done any good as 
Minister? Not vanity alone, not pride alone; far from 
that ! Wild burstings of affection were in this great 
heart ; of fierce lightning, and soft dew of pity. So 
sunk bemired in wretchedest defacements, it may be said 
of him, like the Magdalen of old, that he loved much : 
his Father, the harshest of old crabbed men, he loved 
with warmth, with veneration. 

Be it that his falls and follies are manifold, — as him- 
self often lamented even with tears.' Alas, is not the 
Life of every such man already a poetic Tragedy ; made 
up " of Fate and of one's own Deservings," of Schicksal 
unci eigene Schuld; full of the elements of Pity and 
Fear ? This brother man, if not Epic for us, is Tragic ; 
if not great, is large ; large in his qualities, world-large 
in his destinies. Whom other men, recognising him as 
such, may, through long times, remember, and draw 
nigh to examine and consider : these, in their several 
dialects, will say of him and sing of him, — till the right 
thing be said ; and so the Formula that cati judge him 
be no longer an undiscovered one. 

' Dumont, p. 287. 


Here then the wild Gabriel Honore drops from the 
tissue of our History ; not without a tragic farewell. 
He is gone : the flower of the wild Riquetti or Arrighetti 
kindred ; which seems as if in him, with one last effort, 
it had done its best, and then expired, or sunk down to 
the undistinguished level. Crabbed old Marquis Mira- 
beau, the Friend of Men, sleeps sound. The Bailli 
Mirabeau, worthy Uncle, will soon die forlorn, alone. 
Barrel-Mirabeau, already gone across the Rhine, his 
Regiment of Emigrants will drive nigh desperate. 
" Barrel-Mirabeau," says a biographer of his, "went in- 
dignantly across the Rhine, and drilled Emigrant Regi- 
ments. But as he sat one morning in his tent, sour of 
stomach doubtless and of heart, meditating in Tartarean 
humour on the turn things took, a certain Captain or 
Subaltern demanded admittance on business. Such 
Captain is refused ; he again demands, with refusal ; 
and then again ; till Colonel Viscount Barrel-Mirabeau, 
blazing up into a mere burning brandy-barrel, clutches 
his sword, and tumbles out on this canaille of an in- 
truder, — alas, on the canaille of an intruder's sword- 
point, who had drawn with swift dexterity ; and dies, 
and the Newspapers name it apoplexy and alarming 
accident r So die the Mirabeaus. 

New Mirabeaus one hears not of: the wild kindred, 
as we said, is gone out with this its greatest. As fami- 
lies and kindreds sometimes do ; producing, after long 
ages of unnoted notability, some living quintessence of 
all the qualities they had, to flame forth as a man world- 
noted ; after whom they rest as if exhausted ; the sceptre 
passing to others. The chosen Last of the Mirabeaus 
is gone ; the chosen man of France is gone. It was he 
who shook old France from its basis ; and, as if with his 
single hand, has held it toppling there, still unfallen. 
What things depended on that one man ! He is as a 
ship suddenly shivered on sunk rocks : much swims on 
the waste waters, far from help. 





THE French Monarchy may now therefore be con- 
sidered as, in all human probability, lost ; as 
struggling henceforth in blindness as well as weakness, 
the last light of reasonable guidance having gone out. 
What remains of resources their poor Majesties will waste 
still further, in uncertain loitering and wavering. Mira- 
beau himself had to complain that they only gave him 
half confidence, and always had some plan within his 
plan. Had they fled frankly with him to Rouen or any- 
whither, long ago ! They may fly now with chance im- 
measurably lessened ; which will go on lessening towards 
absolute zero. Decide, O Queen ; poor Louis can decide 
nothing : execute this Flight-project, or at least abandon 
it. Correspondence with Bouille there has been enough ; 
what profits consulting and hypothesis, while all around 
is in fierce activity of practice ? The Rustic sits waiting 
till the river run dry : alas, with you it is not a common 
river, but a Nile Inundation ; snows melting in the un- 
seen mountains ; till all, and you where you sit, be 
submerged. / l 

Many things invite to flight. The voice of Journals ■ 
invites ; Royalist Journals proudly hinting it as a threat, ■ 

Patriot Journals rabidly denouncing it as a terror. 
Mother Society, waxing more and more emphatic, in- 


vites ; — so emphatic that, as was prophesied, Lafayette 
and your limited Patriots have ere long to branch off 
from her, and form themselves into Feuillans ; ' with 
infinite public controversy ; the victory in which, doubt- 
ful though it look, will remain with the ?/«limited Mother. 
Moreover, ever since the Day of Poniards, we have seen 
unlimited Patriotism openly equipping itself with arms. 
Citizens denied " activity," which is facetiously made to 
signify a certain weight of purse, cannot buy blue uni- 
forms, and be Guardsmen ; but man is greater than blue 
cloth ; man can fight, if need be, in multiform cloth, 
or even almost without cloth, — as Sansculotte. So pikes 
continue to be hammered, whether those Dirks of im- 
proved structure with barbs be " meant for the West-. 
India market," or not meant. Men beat, the wrong way, 
their ploughshares into swords. Is there not what we 
may call an " Austrian Committee," Coniite Atttrichien, 
sitting daily and nightly in the Tuileries ? Patriotism, by 
vision and suspicion, knows it too well ! If the King fly, 
will there not be Aristocrat- Austrian invasion ; butchery ; 
replacement of P'eudalism ; wars more than civil ? The 
hearts of men are saddened and maddened. 

Dissident Priests likewise give trouble enough. Ex- 
pelled from their Parish Churches, where Constitutional 
Priests, elected by the Public, have replaced them, these 
unhappy persons resort to Convents of Nuns, or other 
such receptacles ; and there, on Sabbath, collecting as- 
semblages of Anti-Constitutional individuals, who have 
grown devout all on a sudden,^ they worship or pretend 
to worship in their strait-laced contumacious manner ; to 
the scandal of Patriotism. Dissident Priests, passing 
along with their sacred wafer for the dying, seem wishful 
to be massacred in the streets ; wherein Patriotism will 
not gratify them. Slighter palm of martyrdom, how- 
ever, shall not be denied : martyrdom not of massacre, 
yet of fustigation. At the refractory places of worship, 
Patriot men appear ; Patriot women with strong hazel 

* [This was not till after the flight to Varennes. — Ed.] 
- Toulongeon, i. 262, ['S&e. note, p. 14. — Ed.J 
II. N 

178 VARENNES [bk. iv, CH. i 

wands, which they apply. Shut thy eyes, O Reader ; 
see not this misery, pecuHar to these later times, — of 
martyrdom without sincerity, with only cant and con- 
tumacy ! A dead Catholic Church is not allowed to lie 
dead ; no, it is galvanised into the detestablest death- 
life ; whereat Humanity, we say, shuts its eyes. For the 
Patriot women take their hazel wands, and fustigate, 
amid laughter of bystanders, with alacrity : broad bottom 
of Priests ; alas, Nuns too, reversed and cotillons rc- 
troiisses ! The National Guard does what it can : Muni- 
cipality " invokes the Principles of Toleration "; grants 
Dissident worshippers the Church of the TJicatijis : pro- 
mising protection. But it is to no purpose : at the door 
of that TJicatins Church appears a Placard, and suspended 
atop, like Plebeian QonsvXd.x fasces — a Bundle of Rods ! 
The Principles of Toleration must do the best they ma}' : 
but no Dissident man shall worship contumaciously ; 
there is a Plcbiscituni to that effect ; which, though un- 
spoken, is like the laws of the Medes and Persians. 
Dissident contumacious Priests ought not to be har- 
boured, even in private, by any man : the Club of the Cor- 
deliers openly denounces Majesty himself as doing it.^ 

Many things invite to flight : but probably this thing 
above all others, that it has become impossible ! On the 
15th of April, notice is given that his Majesty, who has 
suffered much from catarrh lately, will enjoy the Spring 
weather, for a few days, at Saint-Cloud. Out at Saint- 
Cloud } Wishing to celebrate his Easter, his Pdques or 
Pasch, there ; with refractory Anti-Constitutional Dis- 
sidents ? — Wishing rather to make off for Compicgne, 
and thence to the Frontiers .■* As were, in good sooth, 
perhaps feasible, or would once have been ; nothing but 
some two chasseurs attending you ; chasseurs easily cor- 
rupted ! It is a pleasant possibility, execute it or not. 
Men say there are thirty thousand Chevaliers of the 
Poniard lurking in the woods there : lurking in the 
woods, and thirty thousand, — for the human Imagina- 

' Newspapers of April and June 1791 (in "Hist. Pari.," ix. 449 ; 
X. 217). 


tion is not fettered. But now, how easily might these, 
dashing out on Lafayette, snatch off the Hereditary Re- 
presentative ; and roll away with him, after the manner 
of a whirl-blast, whither they listed! — Enough, it were 
well the King did not go. Lafayette is forewarned and 
forearmed : but, indeed, is the risk his only ; or his and 
all France's ? 

Monday the eighteenth of April is come ; the Easter 
Journey to Saint-Cloud shall take effect. National 
Guard has got its orders ; a First Division, as Advanced 
Guard, has even marched, and probably arrived. His 
Majesty's Maison-boucJu\ they say, is all busy stewing 
and frying at Saint-Cloud ; the King's dinner not far from 
ready there. About one o'clock, the Royal Carriage, 
with its eight royal blacks, shoots stately into the Place 
du Carrousel ; draws up to receive its royal burden.' 
But hark ! from the neighbouring Church of Saint-Roch, 
the tocsin begins ding-dong-ing. Is the King stolen, 
then ; is he going ; gone .-* Multitudes of persons crowd 
the Carrousel : the Royal Carriage still stands there, — 
and, by Heaven's strength, shall stand ! 

Lafayette comes up, with aides-de-camp and oratory ; 
pervading the groups : " Taisez-vous','' answer the groups ; 
" the King shall not go." Monsieur appears, at an upper 
window : ten thousand voices bray and shriek, " Nous ne 
voulons pas que le Roi parte" Their Majesties have 
mounted. Crack go the whips ; but twenty Patriot 
arms have seized each of the eight bridles : there is rear- 
ing, rocking, vociferation ; not the smallest headway. In 
vain does Lafayette fret, indignant ; and perorate and 
strive : Patriots in the passion of terror bellow round the 
Royal Carriage ; it is one bellowing sea of Patriot terror 
run frantic. Will Royalty fly off towards Austria; like 
a lit rocket, towards endless Conflagration of Civil War .' 
Stop it, ye Patriots, in the name of Heaven ! Rude 
voices passionately apostrophise Royalty itself Usher 
Campan, and other the like official persons, pressing for- 

' [It was not the royal carriage, but a travelling baiinc (Klin- 
kowstrom's " Comte de Fei'sen," vol. i., p. 103). — Ed.] 

i8o VARENNES [bk. iv, CH. i 

ward with help or advice, are clutched by the sashes, and 
hurled and whirled, in a confused perilous manner ; so 
that her Majesty has to plead passionately from the 

Order cannot be heard, cannot be followed ; National 
Guards know not how to act. Centre Grenadiers, of the 
Observatoire Battalion, are there ; not on duty ; alas, in 
quasi-mutiny ; speaking rude disobedient words ; threat- 
ening the mounted Guards with sharp shot if they hurt 
the people. Lafayette mounts and dismounts ; runs 
haranguing, panting ; on the verge of despair. For an 
hour and three-quarters ; " seven quarters of an hour," 
by the Tuileries Clock ! Desperate Lafayette will open 
a passage, were it by the cannon's mouth, if his Majesty 
will order. Their Majesties, counselled to it by Royalist 
friends, by Patriot foes, dismount ; and retire in, with 
heavy indignant heart ; giving up the enterprise. Maison- 
bouclie may eat that cooked dinner themselves : his Ma- 
jesty shall not see Saint-Cloud this day, — nor any day.^ 
The pathetic fable of imprisonment in one's own Palace 
has become a sad fact, then ? Majesty complains to 
Assembly ; Municipality deliberates, proposes to petition 
or address ; Sections respond with sullen brevity of 
negation. Lafayette flings down his Commission ; ap- 
pears in civic pepper-and-salt frock ; and cannot be 
flattered back again ; not in less than three days ; and 
by unheard-of entreaty ; National Guards kneeling to 
him, and declaring that it is not sycophancy, that they 
are free men kneeling here to the Statue of Liberty. For 
the rest, those Centre Grenadiers of the Observatoire are 
disbanded, — yet indeed are reinlisted, all but fourteen, 
under a new name, and with new quarters. The King 
must keep his Easter in Paris ; meditating much on this 
singular posture of things ; but as good as determined 
now to fly from it, desire being whetted by difficulty." 

"' " Deux Amis," vi. c. 1. ; " Hist. Pari.," ix. 407-414. 

- [Mme. Campan says that the whole affair was not very deeply 
felt by the King and Queen ; they looked on it as legitimising their 
determination to fly secretly. — Ed.] 




FOR above a year, ever since March 1790, it would 
seem, there has hovered a project of FHght before 
the royal mind ; and ever and anon has been condensing 
itself into something like a purpose ; but this or the 
other difficulty always vaporised it again. It seems so 
full of risks, perhaps of civil war itself; above all, it can- 
not be done without effort. Somnolent laziness will not 
serve : to fly, if not in a leather vache, one must veril)- 
stir oneself Better to adopt that Constitution of theirs ; 
execute it so as to show all men that it is //^executable ? 
Better or not so good : surely it is easier. To all diffi- 
culties you need only say, There is a lion in the path, 
behold your Constitution will not act ! For a somnolent 
person it requires no effort to counterfeit death, — as 
Dame de Stael and Friends of Liberty can see the King's 
Government long ^o\x\^,faisant la inort. 

Nay now, when desire whetted by difficulty has 
brought the matter to a head, and the royal mind no 
longer halts between two, what can come of it ? Grant 
that poor Louis were safe with Bouille, what, on the 
whole, could he look for there } Exasperated Tickets of 
Entry answer : Much, all. But cold Reason answers : 
Little, almost nothing. Is not loyalty a law of Nature .^ 
ask the Tickets of Entry. Is not love of your King, and 
even death for him, the glory of all Frenchmen, — except 
these few Democrats ? Let Democrat Constitution- 
builders see what they will do without their Keystone ; 
and France rend its hair, having lost the Hereditary 

i82 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. ii 

Thus will King Louis fly ; one sees not reasonably to- 
wards what.' As a maltreated Boy, shall we say, who, 
having a Stepmother, rushes sulky into the wide world ; 
and will wring the paternal heart ? — Poor Louis escapes 
from known unsupportable evils, to an unknown mixture 
of good and evil, coloured by Hope. He goes, as Rabe- 
lais did when dying, to seek a great May-be : je vais 
cJierche}- n?i grand Peut-etre ! As not only the sulk)- Boy 
but the wise grown Man is obliged to do, so often, in 

For the rest, there is still no lack of stimulants, and 
stepdame maltreatments, to keep one's resolution at the 
due pitch. Factious disturbances cease not: as indeed 
how can they, unless authoritatively <:^;{;>/r£'rt', in a Revolt 
which is by nature bottomless ? If the ceasing of faction 
be the price of the King's somnolence, he may awake 
when he will and take wing. 

Remark, in any case, what somersets and contortions 
a dead Catholicism is making, — skilfully galvanised : 
hideous, and even piteous, to behold ! Jurant and Dis- 
sident, with their shaved crowns, argue frothing every- 
where ; or are ceasing to argue, and stripping for battle. 
In Paris was scourging while need continued: contrari- 
wise, in the Morbihan of Brittany, without scourging, 
armed Peasants are up, roused by pulpit-drum, they 
know not why. General Dumouriez, who has got mis- 
misioned thitherward, finds all in sour heat of darkness ; 
finds also that explanation and conciliation will still do 

But again, consider this : that his Holiness, Pius 
Sixth, has seen good to excommunicate Bishop Talley- 
rand ! Surely, we will say then, considering it, there is 
no living or dead Church in the Earth that has not the in- 
dubitablest right to excommunicate Talleyrand. Pope 
Pius has right and might, in his way. But truly so Hke- 

' [The aim was to get to Bouilld and his i&w loyal troops, and 
wait for the aid given by the ^miqres and, perhaps, by Austria. — 

- "Deux Amis," v. 410-421 ; Dumomiez, ii. c. 5. 

MAY 4, 1791] EASTER AT PARIS 183 

wise has Father AddiVa, ci-devant Marquis Saint-Huruge, 
in his way. Behold, therefore, on the Fourth of May, in 
the Palais Royal, a mixed loud-sounding multitude ; in 
the middle of whom, Father Adam, bull-voiced Saint- 
Huruge, in white hat, towers visible and audible. With 
him, it is said, walks Journalist Gorsas, walk many 
others of the washed sort ; for no authority will interfere. 
Pius Sixth, with his plush and tiara, and power of the 
Keys, they bear aloft : of natural size, — made of lath 
and combustible gum. Royou, the King's Friend, is 
borne too in Q^gy ; with a pile of Newspaper " King's- 
Friends," condemned Numbers of the " Ami-du-Roi " ; fit 
fuel of the sacrifice. Speeches are spoken ; a judgment 
is held, a doom proclaimed, audible in bull-voice, towards 
the four winds. And thus, amid great shouting, the 
holocaust is consummated, under the summer sky ; and 
our lath-and-gum Holiness, with the attendant victims 
mounts up in flame, and sinks down in ashes ; a decom- 
posed Pope : and right or might, among all the parties, 
has better or worse accomplished itself, as it could.' 
But, on the whole, reckoning from Martin Luther in the 
Market-place of Wittenberg to Marquis Saint-Huruge 
in this Palais Royal of Paris, what a journey have we 
gone ; into what strange territories has it carried us ! 
No Authority can now interfere. Nay Religion herself, 
mourning for such things, may after all ask. What have 
/ to do with them ? 

In such extraordinary manner does dead Catholicism 
somerset and caper, skilfully galvanised. For, does the 
reader inquire into the subject-matter of controversy in 
this case ; what the difference between Orthodoxy or 
My-doxy and Heterodoxy or Tliy-doxy might here be ? 
My-doxy is, that an august National Assembly can 
equalise the extent of Bishopricks ; that an equalised 
Bishop, his Creed and Formularies being left quite as 
they were, can swear Fidelity to King, Law and Nation, 
and so become a Constitutional Bishop. Thy-doxy, if 
thou be Dissident, is that he cannot ; but that he must 
' "Hist. Par].," x. 99-102 

i84 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. li 

become an accursed thing. Human ill-nature needs but 
some Homoiousian iota, or even the pretence of one; 
and will flow copiously through the eye of a needle : 
thus always must mortals go jargoning and fuming, 

And, like the ancient Stoics in their porches, 
With fierce dispute maintain their churches. 

This ^«/'^-rt'ir7-yt''of Saint-Huruge's was on the Fourth of 
May 1 79 1. Royalty sees it ; but says nothing. 




ROYALTY, in fact, should, by this time, be far on 
with its preparations. Unhappily much preparation 
is needful. Could a Hereditary Representative be carried 
in leather vache, how easy were it ! But it is not so. 

New Clothes are needed ; as usual, in all Epic trans- 
actions, were it in the grimmest iron ages ; consider 
" Queen Chrimhilde, with her sixty sempstresses," in 
that iron " Nibelungen Song " ! No Queen can stir without 
new clothes. Therefore, now, Dame Cam pan whisks 
assiduous to this mantua-maker and to that : and there 
is clipping of frocks and gowns, upper clothes and 
under, great and small ; such a clipping and sewing as — 
might have been dispensed with. Moreover, her Majesty 
cannot go a step anywhither without her Nccessaire ; 
dear Nccessaire, of inlaid ivory and rosewood ; cunningly 
devised ; which holds perfumes, toilette-implements, 
infinite small queen-like furnitures : necessary to ter- 
restrial life. Not without a cost of some five hundred 
louis, of much precious time, and difficult hoodwinking 
which does not blind, can this same Necessary of life be 
forwarded by the Flanders Carriers, — never to get to 
hand.' All which, you would say, augurs ill for the 
prospering of the enterprise. But the whims of women 
and queens must be humoured. 

Bouille, on his side, is making a fortified Camp at 

Montmedi ; gathering Royal-Allemand, and all manner 

of other German and true French Troops thither, " to 

watch the Austrians." His Majesty will not cross the 

^ Campan, ii. c. 18. 



[bk. IV, CH. Ill 

frontiers, unless on compulsion. Neither shall the 
Emigrants be much employed, hateful as they are to all 
people.' Nor shall old war-god Broglie have any hand 
in the business ; but solely our brave Bouill6 ; to whom, 
on the day of meeting, a Marshal's Raton shall be de- 
livered, by a rescued King, amid the shouting of all the 
troops. In the mean while, Paris being so suspicious, 
were it not perhaps good to write your Foreign Ambas- 
sadors an ostensible Constitutional Letter ; desiring all 
Kings and men to take heed that King Louis loves the 
Constitution, that he has voluntarily sworn, and does 
again swear, to maintain the same, and will reckon those 
his enemies who affect to say otherwise? Such a Con- 
stitutional Circular is despatched by Couriers, is com- 
municated confidentially to the Assembly, and printed 
in all Newspapers ; with the finest effect." Simulation 
and dissimulation mingle extensively in human affairs. 

We observe, however, that Count Fersen is often using 
his Ticket of Entry ; which surely he has clear right to 
do. A gallant Soldier and Swede, devoted to this fair 
Queen ; — as indeed the Highest Swede now is. Has 
not King Gustav, famed fiery Chevalier du Nord, sworn 
himself, by the old laws of chivalry, her Knight ? He 
will descend on fire-wings, of Swedish musketry, and 
deliver her from these foul dragons, — if, alas, the assassin's 
pistol intervene not ! 

But, in fact, Count Fersen does seem a likely young 
soldier, of alert decisive ways : he circulates widel}-, 
seen, unseen ; and has business on hand. Also Colonel 
the Duke de Choiseul, nephew of Choiseul the great, of 
Choiseul the now deceased ; he and Engineer Goguelat 
are passing and repassing between Metz and the 
Tuileries : and Letters go in cipher, — one of them, a 
most important one, hard to aVcipher ; Fersen having 
ciphered it in haste.' As for Duke de Villequier, he is 

' Bouille, " Memoires," ii. c. lo. 

- " Moniteur," Stance du 23 Avril 1791. 

^ Choiseul, "Relation duDtfpartde Louis XVr'( Paris, 1822), p. 39. 

JUNE 20-21, I79I] COUNT FERSEN 187 

gone ever since the Day of Poniards ; but his Apartment 
is useful for her Majesty. 

On the other side, poor Commandant Gouvion, watch- 
ing at the Tuileries, second in National command, sees 
several things hard to interpret. It is the same Gouvion 
who sat, long months ago, at the Townhall, gazing help- 
less into that Insurrection of Women ; motionless, as 
the brave stabled steed when conflagration rises, till 
Usher Maillard snatched his drum, Sincerer Patriot 
there is not ; but many a shiftier. He, if Dame Campan 
gossip credibly, is paying some similitude of love-court 
to a certain false Chambermaid of the Palace, who 
betrays much to him : the Nt'cessaire, the clothes, the 
packing of jewels,^ — could he understand it when be- 
trayed. Helpless Gouvion gazes with sincere glassy 
eyes into it ; stirs up his sentres to vigilance ; walks 
restless to and fro ; and hopes the best. 

But, on the whole, one finds that, in the second week 
of June, Colonel deChoiseulis privately in Paris ; having 
come " to see his children." Also that Fersen has got 
a stupendous new Coach built, of the kind named 
Berime ; ' done by the first artists ; according to a model : 
they bring it home to him, in Choiseul's presence ; the 
two friends take a proof-drive in it, along the streets ; in 
meditative mood ; then send it up to "Madame Sullivan's, 
in the Rue de Clichy," far North, to wait there till 
wanted. Apparently a certain Russian Baroness de 
Korff, with Waiting-woman, Valet, and two Children, 
will travel homewards with some state : in whom these 
young military gentlemen take interest? A Passport 
has been procured for her ; and much assistance shown, 
with Coachbuilders and suchlike ;— so helpful-polite are 

' Campan, ii. 141. 

- [Choiseul's narrative shows that a new and strotis^ Berline was 
needed owing to the badness of the roads (since corvees had been 
aboUshed). It also carried materials for repairing in case of a 
breakdown. It was not "stupendous." The Duchesse de Tourzel 
in her " Memoires " (vol. i., chap, xii.) says : " We travelled in a large 
Berline, very comfortable, but not at all extraordinary in appear- 
ance. "^ — Ed. I 


[bK. IV, CH. Ill 

young military men. Fersen has likewise purchased a 
Chaise fit for two, at least for two waiting-maids ; 
further, certain necessary horses : one would say, he is 
himself quitting France, not without outlay? We ob- 
serve finally that their Majesties, Heaven willing, will 
assist at Corpus - Christi Day, this blessed Summer 
Solstice, in Assumption Church, here at Paris, to the joy 
of all the world. For which same day, moreover, brave 
BouilM, at Metz, as we find, has invited a party of 
friends to dinner ; but indeed is gone from home, in the 
interim, over to Montmedi. 

These are of the Phenomena, or visual Appearances, 
of this wide-working terrestrial world : which truly is all 
phenomenal, what they call spectral ; and never rests 
at any moment ; one never at any moment can know 

On Monday night, the Twentieth of June 1791, about 
eleven o'clock, there is many a hackney-coach, and 
glass-coach icarrosse de remise), still rumbling, or at 
rest, on the streets of Paris. But of all glass-coaches, 
we recommend this to thee, O Reader, which stands 
drawn up in the Rue de I'Echelle, hard by the Carrousel 
and outgate of the Tuileries ; in the Rue de I'Echelle 
that then was ; " opposite Ronsin the saddler's door," as 
if waiting for a fare there ! Not long does it wait : a 
hooded Dame, with two hooded Children has issued 
from Villequier's door, where no sentry walks, into the 
Tuileries Court-of-Princes ; into the Carrousel ; into the 
Rue de I'Echelle ; where the Glass-coachman readily 
admits them; and again waits. Not long; another 
Dame, likewise hooded or shrouded, leaning on a servant, 
issues in the same manner; bids the servant good-night; ' 
and is, in the same manner, by the Glass-coachman, 
cheerfully admitted. Whither go so many Dames? 
'Tis his Majesty's Conc]icc, Majesty just gone to bed, and 

* [The hooded dame was the Duchesse de Tourzel, governess 
of the royal children, who has described the escape in her 

" Memoires" (vol. i., chnp. xii.). — Ed.] 


all the Palace-world is retiring home. But the Glass- 
coachman still waits ; his fare seemingly incomplete. 

By and by, we note a thickset Individual, in round 
hat and peruke, arm-and-arm with some servant, seem- 
ingly of the Runner or Courier sort ; he also issues 
through Villequier's door ; starts a shoebuckle as he 
passes one of the sentries, stoops down to clasp it again ; 
is however, by the Glass-coachman, still more cheerfully 
admitted.' And now, is his fare complete ? Not yet ; 
the Glass-coachman still waits. — Alas ! and the false 
Chambermaid has warned Gouvion that she thinks the 
Royal Family will fly this very night ; and Gouvion, 
distrusting his own glazed eyes, has sent express for 
Lafayette ; and Lafayette's Carriage, flaring with lights, 
rolls this moment through the inner Arch of the Car- 
rousel, — where a Lady shaded in broad gypsy-hat, and 
leaning on the arm of a servant, also of the Runner or 
Courier sort, stands aside to let it pass, and has even the 
whim to touch a spoke of it with her badine, — light little 
magic rod which she calls badine, such as the Beautiful 
then wore. The flare of Lafayette's Carriage rolls past : 
all is found quiet in the Court-of-Princes ; sentries at 
their post ; Majesties' Apartments closed in smooth rest. 
Your false Chambermaid must have been mistaken ? 
Watch thou, Gouvion, with Argus' vigilance ; for, of a 
truth, treachery is within these walls. 

But where is the Lady that stood aside in gypsy-hat, 
and touched the wheel-spoke with her badine ? O Reader, 
that Lady that touched the wheel-spoke was the Queen 
of France ! She has issued safe through that inner Arch, 
into the Carrousel itself; but not into the Rue de 
I'Echelle. Flurried by the rattle and rencounter, she 
took the right hand not the left ; neither she nor her 
Courier knows Paris ; he indeed is no Courier, but a 
loyal stupid ci-devant Bodyguard disguised as one. They 

' [The Duchesse de Tourzel states that the King left the Tuileries 
quite easily by the front door because the Uuc de Coigny, who 
much resembled him, had left by that for many nights past. 
Carlyle's version is perhaps more trustworthy.— Ed.] 

igo VARENNES [lk. iv ch. hi 

are off, quite wrong, over the Pont Royal and River ; 
roaming disconsolate in the Rue du Bac ; far from the 
Glass-coachman, who still waits. Waits, with flutter of 
heart ; with thoughts — which he must button close up, 
under his jarvie-surtout ! ' 

Midnight clangs from all the City-steeples ; one 
precious hour has been spent so ; most mortals are 
asleep. The Glass-coachman waits ; and in what mood ! 
A brother jarvie drives up, enters into conversation ; is 
answered cheerfully in jarvie-dialect : the brothers of the 
whip exchange a pinch of snuff;' decline drinking to- 
gether ; and part with good-night. Be the Heavens 
blest ! here at length is the Queen-lady, in gypsy-hat ; 
safe after perils ; who has had to inquire her way. She 
too is admitted ; her Courier jumps aloft, as the other, 
who is also a disguised Bodyguard, has done : and now, 
O Glass-coachman of a thousand, — Count Fersen, for 
the Reader sees it is thou, — drive ! 

Dust shall not stick to the hoofs of Fersen : crack ! 
crack ! the Glass-coach rattles, and every soul breathes 
lighter. But is Fersen on the right road ? North-east- 
ward, to the Barrier of Saint-Martin and Metz Highway, 
thither were we bound : and lo, he drives right North- 
ward ! The royal Individual, in round hat and peruke, 
sits astonished ; but right or wrong, there is no remedy. 
Crack, crack, we go incessant, through the slumbering 
City. Seldom, since Paris rose out of mud, or the Long- 
haired Kings went in Bullock-carts, was there such a 
drive. Mortals on each hand of you, close by, stretched 
out horizontal, dormant ; and we alive and quaking ! 

' [Carlyle here followed the narrative of (he Aichbishop of 
Toulouse, which had already been discredited by Croker's article 
in the " Quarterh' Review" of January, 1823 (since reprinted in 
his "Essays on the French Rev.," p. 124). The narratives of 
P'ersen and of the Duchesse de Tourzel (vol. i., p. 324, Eny. edit.) 
show that the Queen came after the King. The little princess, 
who became the Duchesse d'Angouleme, states in her narrative 
that it was Madame Elizabeth, the King's sister, who ran the risk 
of discovery by Lafayette. — Eu.] 

^ Weber, ii. 340-342 ; Choiseul, pp. 44-56. 

JUNE 20-3I, 1791] COUNT FERSEN 191 

Crack, crack, through the Rue de Grammont ; across the 
Boulevard ; up the Rue de la Chaussee d'Antin, — these 
windows, all silent, of Number 42, were Mirabeau's. 
Towards the Barrier not of Saint-Martin, but of Clichy 
on the utmost North ! Patience, ye royal Individuals ; 
Fersen understands what he is about. Passing up the 
Rue de Clichy, he alights for one moment at Madame 
Sullivan's : " Did Count Fersen's Coachman get the 
Baroness de Korff's new Berline ? " — " Gone with it an 
hour-and-half ago," grumbles responsive the drowsy 
Porter. — " Cest bienr Yes, it is well ; — though had not 
such hour-and-half been lost, it were still better. Forth 
therefore, O Fersen, fast, by the Barrier de Clichy ; then 
Eastward along the Outer Boulevard, what horses and 
whipcord can do ! 

Thus Fersen drives, through the ambrosial night. 
Sleeping Paris is now all on the right-hand of him ; 
silent except for some snoring hum : and now he is 
Eastward as far as the Barrier de Saint-Martin ; looking 
earnestly for Baroness de Korff's Berline. This Heaven's 
Berline he at length does descry, drawn up with its six 
horses, his own German Coachman waiting on the box. 
Right, thou good German : now haste, whither thou 
knowest ! — And as for us of the Glass-coach, haste too, 
O haste ; much time is already lost ! The august Glass- 
coach fare, six Insides, hastily packs itself into the new 
Berline ; two Bodyguard Couriers behind. The Glass- 
coach itself is turned adrift, its head towards the City ; 
to wander whither it lists, — and be found next morning 
tumbled in a ditch. But Fersen is on the new box, with 
its brave new hammer-cloths ; flourishing his whip ; he 
bolts forward towards Bondy. There a third and final 
Bodyguard Courier of ours ought surely to be, with 
post-horses ready-ordered. There likewise ought that 
purchased Chaise, with the two Waiting-maids and their 
bandboxes, to be ; whom also her Majesty could not 
travel without. Swift, thou deft Fersen, and may the 
Heavens turn it well ! 

Once more, by Heaven's blessing, it is all well. Here 

192 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. in 

is the sleeping Hamlet of Bondy ; Chaise with Waiting- 
women ; horses all ready, and postillions with their 
churn-boots, impatient in the dewy dawn. Brief harness- 
ing done, the postillions with their churn-boots vault 
into the saddles ; brandish circularly their little noisy 
whips. Fersen, under his jarvie-surtout, bends in lowly 
silent reverence of adieu ; royal hands wave speechless 
inexpressible response ; Baroness de Korff's Berline, 
with the Royalty of France, bounds off : forever, as it 
proved. Deft Fersen dashes obliquely Northward, 
through the country, towards Bougret ; ^ gains Bougret, 
finds his German Coachman and chariot waiting there ; 
cracks off, and drives undiscovered into unknown space. 
A deft active man, we say ; what he undertook to do is 
nimbly and successfully done. 

And so the Royalty of France is actually fled ? This 
precious night, the shortest of the year, it flies, and 
drives ! Baroness dc Korff is, at bottom, Dame de Tourzel, 
Governess of the Royal Children : she who came hooded 
with the two hooded little ones ; little Dauphin ; little 
Madame Royale, known long afterwards as Duchesse 
d'Angouleme. Baroness de Korff's Waiting-maid is the 
Queen in gypsy-hat. The royal Individual in round hat 
and peruke, he is Valet for the time being. That other 
hooded Dame, styled Travelling-conipa^iion^ is kind 
Sister Elizabeth ; she had sworn, long since, when the 
Insurrection of Women was, that only death should part 
her and them. And so they rush there, not too im- 
petuously, through the Wood of Bondy : — over a Rubicon 
in their own and France's Histor\'. 

Great; though the future is all vague! If we reach 
Bouille ? If we do not reach him .-' O Louis ! and this 
all round thee is the great slumbering Earth (and over- 
head, the great watchful Heaven) ; the slumbering W^ood 
of Bondy, — where Longhaired Childeric Donothing was 

' [Bougret should be Bourget. For this and other sHght cor- 
rections see Mr. Oscar Browning's " Flight to Varennes," pp. 6i- 
63.— Ed.] 


JUNE20-2I, I79i] COUNT FERSEN 193 

struck through with iron ; ^ not unreasonably, in a world 
like ours. These peaked stone-towers are Raincy ; towers 
of wicked D'Orleans. All slumbers save the multiplex 
rustle of our new Berline, Loose-skirted scarecrow of 
an Herb-merchant, with his ass and early greens, toil- 
somely plodding, seems the only creature we meet. But 
right ahead the great Northeast sends up evermore his 
gray brindled dawn : from dewy branch, birds here and 
there, with short deep warble, salute the coming Sun. 
Stars fade out, and Galaxies ; Street-lamps of the City 
of God. The Universe, O my brothers, is flinging wide 
its portals for the Levee of the Great High King. 
Thou, poor King Louis, farest nevertheless, as mortals 
do, towards Orient lands of Hope ; and the Tuileries 
with its Levees, and France and the Earth itself, is but 
a larger kind of doghutch, — occasionally going rabid. 

' Henault, "Abrege Chronologique," p. 36. 


194 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. iy 



BUT in Paris, at six in the morning ; when some 
Patriot Deputy, warned by a billet, awoke Lafayette, 
and they went to the Tuileries ? — Imagination may 
paint, but words cannot, the surprise of Lafayette ; or 
with what bewilderment helpless Gouvion rolled glassy 
Argus' eyes, discerning now that his false Chambermaid 
had told true ! 

However, it is to be recorded that Paris, thanks to an 
august National Assembly, did, on this seeming dooms- 
day, surpass itself. Never, according to Historian eye- 
witnesses, was there seen such an " imposing attitude." ' 
Sections all " in permanence " ; our Townhall too, having 
first, about ten o'clock, fired three solemn alarm-cannons : 
above all, our National Assembly ! National Assembly, 
likewise permanent, decides what is needful ; with 
unanimous consent, for the Cote Droit sits dumb, afraid 
of the Lanterne. Decides with a calm promptitude, 
which rises towards the sublime. One must needs vote, 
for the thing is self-evident, that his Majesty has been 
abducted^ or spirited away, " enlevc," by some person or 
persons unknown : in which case, what will the Con- 
stitution have us do ? Let us return to first principles, 
as we always say : ^^ revenons aux principcs" 

By first or by second principles, much is promptl}' 
decided : Ministers are sent for, instructed how to con- 
tinue their functions ; Lafayette is examined ; and 

^ "Deux Amis," vi. 67-178; Toulongeon, ii. 1-38; Camille, 
Prudhomme and Editors (in " Hist. Pari.," x. 240-244). 

JUNE 21, 1791] ATTITUDE 195 

Gouvion, who gives a most helpless account, the best 
he can. Letters are found written : one Letter, of 
immense magnitude ; all in his Majesty's hand, and 
evidently of his Majesty's own composition ; addressed 
to the National Assembly. It details with earnestness, 
with a childlike simplicity, what woes his Majesty has 
suffered. Woes great and small : A Necker seen ap- 
plauded, a Majesty not ; then insurrection ; want of 
due furniture in Tuileries Palace ; want of due cash 
in Civil List ; general want of cash, of furniture and 
order ; anarchy everywhere : Deficit never yet, in the 
smallest, " choked or coinblc" : — wherefore, in brief, his 
Majesty has retired towards a place of Liberty ; and, 
leaving Sanctions, Federation, and what Oaths there 
may be, to shift for themselves, does now refer — to what, 
thinks an august Assembly ? To that " Declaration of 
the Twenty-third of June," with its '' Seul il fei-a. He 
alone will make his People happy." As if tJiat were not 
buried, deep enough, under two irrevocable Twelve- 
months, and the wreck and rubbish of a whole Feudal 
World ! ^ This strange autograph Letter the National 
Assembly decides on printing ; on transmitting to the 
Eighty-three Departments, with exegetic commentary, 
short but pithy. Commissioners also shall go forth on 
all sides ; the People be exhorted ; the Armies be in- 
creased ; care taken that the Commonweal suffer no 
damage. — And now, with a sublime air of calmness, nay 
of indifference, we " pass to the order of the day " ! 

By such sublime calmness, the terror of the People is 
calmed. These gleaming Pike-forests, which bristled 
fateful in the early sun, disappear again ; the far-sound- 
ing Street-orators cease, or spout milder. We are to 
have a civil war ; let us have it then. The King is 
gone ; but National Assembly, but France and we 
remain. The People also takes a great attitude ; the 
People also is calm ; motionless as a couchant lion. 

^ [The King, however, also declared that he would recognise the 
abolition of Feudalism, the authority of the Assembly, the sus- 
pensive veto, and other democratic changes. — Ed.] 

196 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. iv 

With but a few broolings, some waggings of the tail ; to 
show what it ivill do ! Cazales, for instance, was beset 
by street-groups, and cries of Lanternc ; but National 
Patrols easily delivered him. Likewise all King's effigies 
and statues, at least stucco ones, get abolished. Even 
King's names ; the word Roi fades suddenly out of all 
shop-signs ; the Royal Bengal Tiger itself, on the 
Boulevards, becomes the National Bengal one, Tigve 

How great is a calm couchant People! On the morrow, 
men will say to one another : " We have no King, yet 
we slept sound enough." On the morrow, fervent Achille 
de Chatelet, and Thomas Paine the rebellious Needleman, 
shall have the walls of Paris profusely plastered with 
their Placard ; announcing that there must be a Repiiblic'.- 
— Need we add, that Lafayette too, though at first 
menaced by Pikes, has taken a great attitude, or indeed 
the greatest of all ? Scouts and Aides-de-camp fly forth, 
vague, in quest and pursuit ; young Romoeuf towards 
Valenciennes, though with small hope. 

Thus Paris ; sublimely calmed, in its bereavement. 
But from the Messagcj-ies Royales, in all Mail-bags, 
radiates forth far-darting the electric news : our Here- 
ditary Representative is flown. Laugh, black Royalists : 
yet be it in your sleeve only ; lest Patriotism notice, and 
waxing frantic, lower the Lanterne ! In Paris alone is a 
sublime National Assembly with its calmness ; truly, 
other places must take it as they can : with open mouth 
and eyes ; with panic cackling, with wrath, with con- 
jecture. How each one of those dull leathern Diligences, 
with its leathern bag and " The King is fled," furrows 
up smooth France as it goes ; through town and hamlet, 
ruffles the smooth public mind into quivering agitation 
of death-terror ; then lumbers on, as if nothing had 
happened ! Along all highways ; towards the utmost 
borders ; till all France is ruffled, — roughened up (meta- 
phorically speaking) into one enormous, desperate- 
minded, red guggling Turkey Cock! 

' "Walpoliana." '■ Dumont, c. i6. 

JUNE 21, 1791] ATTITUDE 197 

For example, it is under cloud of night that the 
leathern Monster reaches Nantes ; deep sunk in sleep. 
The word spoken rouses all Patriot men ; General 
Dumouriez, enveloped in roquelaures, has to descend 
from his bedroom ; finds the street covered with " four 
or five thousand citizens in their shirts." ^ Here and 
there a faint farthing rushlight, hastily kindled ; and so 
many swart-featured haggard faces with nightcaps pushed 
back ; and the more or less flowing drapery of nightshirt : 
open-mouthed till the General say his word ! And over- 
head, as always, the Great Bear is turning so quiet round 
Bootes ; steady, indifferent as the leathern Diligence 
itself. Take comfort, ye men of Nantes ; Bootes and 
the steady Bear are turning ; ancient Atlantic still sends 
his brine, loud-billowing, up your Loire stream ; brandy 
shall be hot in the stomach : this is not the Last of the 
Days, but one before the Last. — The fools! If they 
knew what was doing, in these very instants, also by 
candlelight, in the far Northeast ! 

Perhaps, we may say, the most terrified man in Paris 
or France is — who thinks the Reader ? — seagreen Robes- 
pierre. Double paleness, with the shadow of gibbets 
and halters, overcasts the seagreen features : it is too 
clear to him that there is to be " a Saint-Bartholomew 
of Patriots," that in four-and-twenty hours he will not 
be in life. These horrid anticipations of the soul he is 
heard uttering at Petion's : by a notable witness. By 
Madame Roland, namely ; her whom we saw, last year, 
radiant at the Lyons P^deration. These four months, 
the Rolands have been in Paris ; arranging with Assembly 
Committees the Municipal affairs of Lyons, affairs all 
sunk in debt ; — communing, the while, as was most 
natural, with the best Patriots to be found here, with 
our Brissots, Petions, Buzots, Robespierres : who were 
wont to come to us, says the fair Hostess, four evenings 
in the week. They, running about, busier than ever this 
day, would fain have comforted the seagreen man ; 

^ Dumouriez, " Memoires," ii, 109. 

198 VARENNES [bk. iv, CH. iv 

spake, of Achille de Chatelet's Placard ; of a Journal 
to be called " The Republican " ; of preparing men's 
minds for a Republic. " A Republic ? " said the Sea- 
green, with one of his dry husky ««sportful laughs, 
" What is that? " ' O seagreen Incorruptible, thou shalt 

^ Madame Roland, ii. 70. 




BUT scouts, all this while, and aides-de-camp, have 
flown forth faster than the leathern Diligences. 
Young Romceuf, as we said, was off early towards 
Valenciennes : distracted Villagers seize him, as a traitor 
with a finger of his own in the plot ; drag him back to 
the Townhall ; to the National Assembly, which speedily 
grants a new passport. Nay now, that same scarecrow 
of an Herb-merchant with his ass has bethought him of 
the grand new Berline seen in the Wood of Bondy ; and 
delivered evidence of it : * Romceuf, furnished with new 
passport, is sent forth with double speed on a hopefuler 
track ; by Bondy, Claye and Chalons, towards Metz, to 
track the new Berline ; and gallops a franc etrier. 

Miserable new Berline ! Why could not Royalty go 
in some old Berline similar to that of other men ? Flying 
for life, one does not stickle about his vehicle. Monsieur, 
in a commonplace travelling-carriage is off Northwards ; 
Madame, his Princess, in another, with variation of route : 
they cross one another while changing horses, without 
look of recognition ; and reach Flanders, no man question- 
ing them. Precisely in the same manner, beautiful 
Princess de Lamballe set off, about the same hour ; and 
will reach England safe : — would she had continued 
there ! The beautiful, the good, but the unfortunate ; 
reserved for a frightful end ! 

All runs along, unmolested, speedy, except only the 
new Berline. Huge leathern vehicle : — huge Argosy, let 

^ " Moniteur " etc. (in " Hist. Pari.," x. 244-253). 

200 VARENNES [bk iv, ch. v 

us say, or Acapulco ship ; with its heavy stern-boat of 
Chaise-and-pair ; with its three yellow Pilot-boats of 
mounted Bodyguard Couriers, rocking aimless round it 
and ahead of it to bewilder, not to guide ! It lumbers 
along, lurchingly with stress, at a snail's pace ; noted of 
all the world. The Bodyguard Couriers, in their yellow 
liveries, go prancing and clattering ; loyal but stupid ; 
unacquainted with all things. Stoppages occur ; and 
breakages, to be repaired at Etoges. King Louis too 
will dismount, will walk up hills, and enjoy the blessed 
sunshine : — with eleven horses and double drink-money, 
and all furtherances of Nature and Art, it will be found 
that Royalty, flying for life, accomplishes Sixty-nine 
miles in Twenty-two incessant hours.^ Slow Royalty ! 
And yet not a minute of these hours but is precious : on 
minutes hang the destinies of Royalty now. 

Readers, therefore, can judge in what humour Duke 
de Choiseul might stand waiting, in the village of Pont- 
de-Sommevelle, some leagues beyond Chalons, hour after 
hour, now when the day bends visibly westward. Choiseul 
drove out of Paris, in all privity, ten hours before their 
Majesties' fixed time ; his Hussars, led by Engineer 
Goguelat, are here duly, come " to escort a Treasure 
that is expected " : but, hour after hour, is no Baroness 
de Korff's Berline. Indeed, over all that Northeast 
Region, on the skirts of Champagne and of Lorraine, 
where the great Road runs, the agitation is considerable. 
For all along, from this Pont-de-Sommevelle Northeast- 
ward as far as Montmedi, at Post-villages and Towns, 
escorts of Hussars and Dragoons do lounge waiting ; 

' [Carlyle here made an unaccountable mistake. The distance 
from Paris to Chalons-sur-Marne is loi miles ; from Paris to 
Varennes it is about 150 miles. They left Paris soon after mid- 
night and reached Chalons at 5 p.m. They covered the whole 
distance, inclusive of delays for changing horses and two slight 
breakdowns, in twenty-three hours. This gives an average rate 
of nearly seven miles an hour — not slow travelling, considering the 
state of the roads. (See Mr. Oscar Browning, op. cit., p. 64.) — 


a train or chain of Military Escorts ; at the Montmedi 
end of it our brave Bouille : an electric thunder-chain ; 
which the invisible Bouille, like a father Jove, holds in 
his hand — for wise purposes ! Brave Bouille has done 
what man could ; has spread out his electric thunder- 
chain of Military Escorts, onwards to the threshold of 
Chalons : it waits but for the new Korff Berline ; to re- 
ceive it, escort it, and, if need be, bear it off in whirlwind 
of military fire. They lie and lounge there, we say, 
these fierce Troopers ; from Montmedi and Stenai, 
through Clermont, Sainte-Menehould to utmost Pont- 
de-Sommevelle, in all Post-villages ; for the route shall 
avoid Verdun and great Towns : they loiter impatient, 
" till the Treasure arrive." 

Judge what a day this is for brave Bouille : perhaps 
the first day of a new glorious life ; surely the last day 
of the old ! Also, and indeed still more, what a day, 
beautiful and terrible, for your young full-blooded 
Captains : your Dandoins, Comte de Damas, Duke de 
Choiseul, Engineer Goguelat, and the like ; intrusted 
with the secret ! — Alas, the day bends ever more west- 
ward ; and no Korff Berline comes to sight. It is four 
hours beyond the time, and still no Berline. In all 
Village-streets, Royalist Captains go lounging, looking 
often Paris-ward ; with face of unconcern, with heart full 
of black care : rigorous Quartermasters can hardly keep 
the private dragoons from cafes and dramshops.^ Dawn 
on our bewilderment, thou new Berline ; dawn on us, 
thou Sun-Chariot of a new Berline, with the destinies of 
France ! 

It was of his Majesty's ordering, this military array of 
Escorts : a thing solacing the Royal imagination with a 
look of security and rescue ; yet, in reality, creating 
only alarm, and, where there was otherwise no danger, 
danger without end. P"or each Patriot, in these Post- 
villages, asks naturally : This clatter of cavalry, and 
marching and lounging of troops, what means it ? To 

^ " Declaration du Sieur La Cache du Regiment Royal-Dragons" 
(in Choiseul, pp. 125-139). 

202 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. v 

escort a Treasure? Why escort, when no Patriot will 
steal from the Nation ; or where is your Treasure? — 
There has been such marching and counter-marching : 
for it is another fatality, that certain of these Military 
Escorts came out so early as yesterday ; the Nineteenth 
not the Twentieth of the month being the day first 
appointed ; which her Majesty, for some necessity or 
other, saw good to alter. And now consider the sus- 
picious nature of Patriotism ; suspicious, above all, of 
Bouille the Aristocrat ; and how the sour doubting 
humour has had leave to accumulate and exacerbate for 
four-and-twenty hours ! 

At Pont-de-Sommevelle, these Forty foreign Hussars 
of Goguelat and Duke Choiseul are becoming an un- 
speakable mystery to all men. They lounged long- 
enough, already, at Sainte-Menehould ; lounged and 
loitered till our National Volunteers there, all risen into 
hot wrath of doubt, " demanded three hundred fusils of 
their Townhall," and got them. At which same moment 
too, as it chanced, our Captain Dandoins was just coming- 
in, from Clermont with his troop, at the other end of the 
Village. A fresh troop ; alarming enough ; though 
happily they are only Dragoons and French ! So that 
Goguelat with his Hussars had to ride, and even to do 
it fast ; till here at Pont-de-Sommevelle, where Choiseul 
lay waiting, he found resting-place. Resting-place as 
on burning marie. For the rumour of him flies abroad ; 
and men run to and fro in fright and anger : Chalons 
sends forth exploratory pickets of National Volunteers 
towards this hand ; which meet exploratory pickets, 
coming from Sainte-Menehould, on that. VVhat is it, 
ye whiskered Hussars, men of foreign guttural speech ; 
in the name of Heaven, what is it that brings you ? A 
Treasure ? — exploratory pickets shake their heads. The 
hungry Peasants, however, know too well what Treasure 
it is ; Military seizure for rents, feudalities ; which no 
Bailiff could make us pay ! This they know ; — and set 
to jingling their Parish-bell by way of tocsin ; with rapid 
effect ! Choiseul and Goguelat, if the whole country is 


not to take fire, must needs, be there Berline, be there 
no Berline, saddle and ride. 

They mount ; and this parish tocsin happily ceases.' 
They ride slowly Eastward ; towards Sainte-Menehould ; 
still hoping the Sun-Chariot of a Berline may overtake 
them. Ah me, no Berline ! And near now is that 
Sainte-Menehould, which expelled us in the morning, 
with its " three hundred National fusils " ; which looks, 
belike, not too lovingly on Captain Dandoins and his 
fresh Dragoons, though only French ; — which, in a word, 
one dare not enter the second time, under pain of explo- 
sion ! With rather heavy heart, our Hussar Party strikes 
off to the left ; through by-ways, through pathless hills 
and woods, they, avoiding Sainte-Menehould and all 
places which have seen them heretofore, will make direct 
for the distant Village of Varennes. It is probable they 
will have a rough evening ride. 

This first military post, therefore, in the long thunder- 
chain, has gone off with no effect ; or with worse, and 
your chain threatens to entangle itself! — The Great 
Road, however, is got hushed again into a kind of 
quietude, though one of the wakefulest. Indolent 
Dragoons cannot, by any Quartermaster, be kept alto- 
gether from the dramshop ; where Patriots drink, and 
will even treat, eager enough for news. Captains, in a 
state near distraction, beat the dusty highway, with a 
face of indifference ; and no Sun-Chariot appears. Why 
lingers it ? Incredible, that with eleven horses, and such 
yellow Couriers and furtherances, its rate should be under 
the weightiest dray-rate, some three miles an hour ! 
Alas, one knows not whether it ever even got out of 
Paris ; — and yet also one knows not whether, this very 
moment, it is not at the Village-end ! One's heart 
flutters on the verge of unutterabilities. 

^ [Croker shows ("Essays," pp. 131-133) that Choiseul's departure 
was quite unjustifiable, and largely accounts for the failure of the 
whole plan. The Duchesse de Tourzel says he "completely lost 
his head." A hot correspondence took place between him and 
Bouille in 1800. — Ed.] 

204 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. vi 



IN this manner, however, has the Day bent down- 
wards. Wearied mortals are creeping home from 
their field-labour ; the village-artisan eats with relish his 
supper of herbs, or has strolled forth to the village-street 
for a sweet mouthful of air and human news. Still 
summer-eventide everywhere ! The great Sun hangs 
flaming on the utmost Northwest ; for it is his longest 
day this year. The hill-tops rejoicing will ere long be 
at their ruddiest, and blush Good-night. The thrush, in 
green dells, on long-shadowed leafy spray, pours gush- 
ing his glad serenade, to the babble of brooks grown 
audibler ; silence is stealing over the Earth. Your dusty 
Mill of Valmy, as all other mills and drudgeries, may 
furl its canvas, and cease swashing and circling. The 
swenkt grinders in this Treadmill of an Earth have 
ground out another Day ; and lounge there, as we say, 
in village-groups ; movable, or ranked on social stone- 
seats ; ^ their children, mischievous imps, sporting about 
their feet. Unnotable hum of sweet human gossip rises 
from this Village of Sainte-Menehould, as from all other 
villages. Gossip mostly sweet, unnotable ; for the very 
Dragoons are French and gallant ; nor as yet has the 
Paris-and-Verdun Diligence, with its leathern bag, 
rumbled in, to terrify the minds of men. 

One figure nevertheless we do note at the last door of 
the Village : that figure in loose-flowing nightgown, of 
Jean Baptiste Drouet, Master of the Post here. An 

^ "Rapport de M. Remy" (in Choiseul, p. 143). 


acrid choleric man, rather dangerous-looking ; still in 
the prime of life, though he has served, in his time, as a 
Cond6 Dragoon.' This day, from an early hour Drouet 
got his choler stirred, and has been kept fretting. Hussar 
Goguelat in the morning saw good, by way of thrift, to 
bargain with his own Innkeeper, not with Drouet regular 
Mnitre dc Post, about some gig-horse for the sending 
back of his gig ; which thing Drouet perceiving came 
over in red ire, menacing the Innkeeper, and would not 
be appeased. Wholly an unsatisfactory day. For 
Drouet is an acrid Patriot too, was at the Paris Feast of 
Pikes: and what do these Bouill^ soldiers mean? 
Hussars, — with their gig, and a vengeance to it ! — have 
hardly been thrust out, when Dandoins and his fresh 
Dragoons arrive from Clermont, and stroll. For what 
purpose? Choleric Drouet steps out and steps in, 
with long-flowing nightgown ; looking abroad, with 
that sharpness of faculty which stirred choler gives to 

On the other hand, mark Captain Dandoins on the 
street of that same Village ; sauntering with a face of 
indifference, a heart eaten of black care ! For no Korff 
Berline makes its appearance. The great Sun flames 
broader towards setting : one's heart flutters on the verge 
of dread unutterabilities. 

By Heaven ! here is the yellow Bodyguard Courier ; 
spurring fast, in the ruddy evening light ! Steady, O 
Dandoins, stand with inscrutable indifferent face ; though 
the yellow blockhead spurs past the Post-house ; inquires 
to find it ; and stirs the Village, all delighted with his 
fine livery. — Lumbering along with its mountains of 
bandboxes, and Chaise behind, the Korff Berline rolls 
in ; huge Acapulco ship with its Cockboat, having got 
thus far. The eyes of the Villagers look enlightened, as 
such eyes do when a coach-transit, which is an event, 
occurs for them. Strolling Dragoons respectfully, so 
fine are the yellow liveries, bring hand to helmet ; and 

' [Drouet was only twenty-eight years old. Ste. Menehould 
was a town of 5,000 inhabitants. — Ed.] 

2o6 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. vi 

a Lady in gypsy-hat responds with a grace peculiar to 
her.' Dandoins stands with folded arms, and what look 
of indifference and disdainful garrison-air a man can, 
while the heart is like leaping out of him. Curled dis- 
dainful mustachio ; careless glance, — which however 
surveys the Village-groups, and does not like them. 
With his eye he bespeaks the yellow Courier, Be quick, 
be quick ! Thick-headed Yellow cannot understand the 
eye ; comes up mumbling, to ask in words : seen of the 
Village ! 

Nor is Post-master Drouet unobservant all this while : 
but steps out and steps in, with his long-flowing night- 
gown, in the level sunlight ; prying into several things. 
When a man's faculties, at the right time, are sharpened 
by choler, it may lead to much. That Lady in slouched 
gypsy-hat, though sitting back in the Carriage, does she 
not resemble some one we have seen, some time ; — at 
the Feast of Pikes, or elsewhere? And this Grosse-Tcte 
in round hat and peruke, which, looking rearward, pokes 
itself out from time to time, methinks there are features 

in it ? Quick, Sieur Guillaume, Clerk of the Di- 

rectoire, bring me a new Assignat ! Drouet scans the 
new Assignat ; compares the Paper-money Picture with 
the Gross Head in round hat there : by Day and Night ! 
you might say the one was an attempted Engraving of 
the other. And this march of Troops ; this sauntering 
and whispering, — I see it ! 

Drouet Post-master of this Village, hot Patriot, Old- 
Dragoon of Conde, consider, therefore, what thou wilt 
do. And fast, for behold the new Berline, expeditiously 
yoked, cracks whipcord, and rolls away ! — Drouet dare 
not, on the spur of the instant, clutch the bridles in his 
own two hands ; Dandoins, with broadsword, might hew 
you off. Our poor Nationals, not one of them here, 
have three hundred fusils, but then no powder ; besides 
one is not sure, only morally-certain. Drouet, as an 
adroit Old-Dragoon of Cond^, does what is advisablest ; 

' " Declaration de La Cache '' (in Choiseul, nbi supra). 


privily bespeaks Clerk Guillaume, Old-Dragoon of Condc 
he too ; privily, while Clerk Guillaume is saddling two 
of the fleetest horses, slips over to the Townhall to 
whisper a w^ord ; then mounts with Clerk Guillaume ; 
and the two bound eastward in pursuit, to see what can 
be done/ 

They bound eastward, in sharp trot : their moral-cer- 
tainty permeating the Village, from the Townhall out- 
wards, in busy whispers. Alas ! Captain Dandoins orders 
his Dragoons to mount ; but they, complaining of long 
fast, demand bread-and-cheese first ; — before which brief 
repast can be eaten, the whole Village is permeated ; 
not whispering now, but blustering and shrieking ! 
National Volunteers, in hurried muster, shriek for gun- 
powder ; Dragoons halt between Patriotism and Rule 
of the Service, between bread-and-cheese and fixed 
bayonets : Dandoins hands secretly his Pocket-book, 
with its secret despatches, to the rigorous Quarter- 
master : the very Ostlers have stable-forks and flails. 
The rigorous Quartermaster, half-saddled, cuts out his 
way with the sword's edge, amid levelled bayonets, amid 
Patriot vociferations, adjurations, flail-strokes ; and rides 
frantic ; " — few or even none following him ; the rest, so 
sweetly constrained, consenting to stay there. 

And thus the new Berline rolls ; and Drouet and 
Guillaume gallop after it, and Dandoins' Troopers or 
Trooper gallops after them ; and Sainte-Menehould, with 
some leagues of the King's Highway, is in explosion ; — 
and your Military thunder-chain has gone off in a self- 
destructive manner ; one may fear, with the frightfulest 

' [The proch-verbal drawn up at Ste. Menehould on this aftair 
shows that the municipality 07-dered Drouet and his companion to 
go in pursuit. — Ed.] 

- "Declaration de La Cache" (in Choiseul, p. 134). 

2o8 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. vii 



THIS comes of mysterious Escorts, and a new 
Berline with eleven horses : " he that has a secret 
should not only hide it, but hide that he has it to hide." 
Your first Military Escort has exploded self-destructive ; 
and all Military Escorts, and a suspicious Country will 
now be up, explosive ; comparable not to victorious 
thunder. Comparable, say rather, to the first stirring of 
an Alpine Avalanche ; which, once stir it, as here at 
Sainte-Menehould, will spread, — all round, and on and 
on, as far as Stenai ; thundering with wild ruin, till 
Patriot Villagers, Peasantry, Military Escorts, new Ber- 
line and Royalty are down, — jumbling in the Abyss! 

The thick shades of Night are falling. Postillions 
crack and whip : the Royal Berline is through Clermont, 
where Colonel Comte de Damas got a word whispered 
to it ; is safe through, towards Varennes ; rushing at the 
rate of double drink-money : an Unknown, ^' Incotitm on 
horseback," shrieks earnestly some hoarse whisper, not 
audible, into the rushing Carriage-window, and vanishes, 
left in the night.^ August Travellers palpitate ; never- 
theless overwearied Nature sinks every one of them into 
a kind of sleep. Alas, and Drouet and Clerk Guillaume 
spur ; taking side-roads, for shortness, for safety ; scat- 
tering abroad that moral-certainty of theirs ; which flies, 
a bird of the air carrying it ! 

And your rigorous Quartermaster spurs ; awakening 
hoarse trumpet-tone, — as here at Clermont, calling out 
Dragoons gone to bed. Brave Colonel de Damas has 

' Campan, ii. 159. 


them mounted, in part, these Clermont men ; young 
Cornet Remy dashes off with a few. But the Patriot 
Magistracy is out here at Clermont too ; National Guards 
shrieking for ball-cartridges ; and the Village " illu- 
minates itself" ; — deft Patriots springing out of bed ; 
alertly, in shirt or shift, striking a light ; sticking up 
each his farthing candle, or penurious oil-cruse, till all 
glitters and glimmers ; so deft are they ! A cainisado, 
or shirt-tumult, everywhere : storm-bell set a-ringing ; 
village-drum beating furious generale, as here at Cler- 
mont, under illumination ; distracted Patriots pleading 
and menacing ! Brave young Colonel de Damas, in that 
uproar of distractedPatriotism, speaks some fire-sentences 
to what Troopers he has : " Comrades insulted at Sainte- 
Menehould : King and Country calling on the brave " ; 
then gives the fire- word, Draiv swords. Whereupon, 
alas, the Troopers only smite their sword-handles, driv- 
ing them farther home ! " To me, whoever is for the 
King ! " cries Damas in despair ; and gallops, he with 
some poor loyal Two, of the Subaltern sort, into the 
bosom of the Night.^ 

Night unexampled in the Clermontais ; shortest of 
the year ; remarkablest of the century : Night deserving 
to be named of Spurs ! Cornet Remy, and those Few 
he dashed off with, has missed his road ; is galloping for 
hours towards Verdun ; then, for hours, across hedged 
country, through roused hamlets, towards Varennes. 
Unlucky Cornet Remy ; unluckier Colonel Damas, with 
whom there ride desperate only some loyal Two ! More 
ride not of that Clermont Escort : of other Escorts, in 
other Villages, not even Two may ride ; but only all 
curvet and prance, — impeded by storm-bell and your 
Village illuminating itself 

^ " Proces-verbal du Directoire de Clermont "(in Choiseul, pp. 
189-195). [So too La Marck says that, though Bouille had chosen 
the best squadrons of cavalry (which were more loyal than the 
infantry), yet, when the officers called "Vive le Roi," the men 
replied with " Vive la Nation " ( La Marck, " Correspondance," vol. i., 
p. 241, note). —Ed.] 

n. p 

2IO VARENNES [bk. ii, CH. vii 

And Drouet rides and Clerk Guillaume ; and the 
Country runs. — Goguelat and Duke Choiseul are plung- 
ing through morasses, over cliffs, over stock and stone, 
in the shaggy woods of the Clermontais ; by tracks ; or 
trackless, with guides ; Hussars tumbling into pitfalls, 
and l3'ing " swooned three quarters of an hour," the rest 
refusing to march without them. What an evening ride 
from Pont-de-Sommevelle ; what a thirty hours, since 
Choiseul quitted Paris, with Queen's-valet Leonard in 
the chaise by him ! Black Care sits behind the rider. 
Thus go they plunging ; rustle the owlet from his 
branchy nest ; champ the sweet-scented forest-herb, 
queen -of- the -meadows spilling her spikenard ; and 
frighten the ear of Night. But hark ! towards twelve 
o'clock, as one guesses, for the very stars are gone out : 
sound of the tocsin from Varennes ? Checking bridle, 
the Hussar Officer listens : " Some fire undoubtedly ! " — 
yet rides on, with double breathlessness, to verify. 

Yes, gallant friends that do your utmost, it is a certain 
sort of fire : difficult to quench. — The Korff Berline, fairly 
ahead of all this riding Avalanche, reached the little 
paltry Village of Varennes about eleven o'clock ; hopeful, 
in spite of that hoarse-whispering Unknown. Do not 
all Towns now lie behind us ; Verdun avoided, on our 
right? Within wind of Bouille himself, in a manner; 
and the darkest of midsummer nights favouring us ! And 
so we halt on the hill-top at the South end of the Village ; 
expecting our relay ; which young Bouille, Bouille's own 
son, with his escort of Hussars, was to have ready ; for 
in this Village is no Post. Distracting to think of: 
neither horse nor Hussar is here ! Ah, and stout horses, 
a proper relay belonging to Duke Choiseul, do stand at 
hay, but in the Upper Village over the Bridge ; and we 
know not of them. Hussars likewise do wait, but drink- 
ing in the taverns. For indeed it is six hours beyond 
the time ; young Bouille, silly stripling, thinking the 
matter over for this night, has retired to bed. And so 
our yellow Couriers, inexperienced, must rove, groping, 
bungling, through a Village mostl)- asleep : Postillions 



will not, for any money, go on with the tired horses ; 
not at least without refreshment ; not they, let the Valet 
in round hat argue as he likes. 

Miserable ! " For five-and-thirty minutes " by the 
King's watch, the Berline is at a dead stand : Round- 
hat arguing with Churn-boots ; tired horses slobbering 
their meal-and-water ; yellow Couriers groping, bungling ; 
— young Bouille asleep, all the while, in the Upper 
Village, and Choiseul's fine team standing there at hay. 
No help for it ; not with a King's ransom ; the horses 
deliberately slobber, Round-hat argues, Bouille sleeps. 
And mark now, in the thick night, do not two Horsemen, 
with jaded trot, come clank-clanking ; and start with 
half-pause, if one noticed them, at sight of this dim mass 
of a Berline, and its dull slobbering and arguing ; then 
prick off faster, into the Village? It is Drouet, he and 
Clerk Guillaume ! Still ahead, they two, of the whole 
riding hurlyburly ; unshot, though some brag of having 
chased them. Perilous is Drouet's errand also ; but he 
is an Old-Dragoon, with his wits shaken thoroughly 

The Village of Varennes lies dark and slumberous ; a 
most unlevel Village, of inverse saddle-shape, as men 
write. It sleeps ; the rushing of the River Aire singing 
lullaby to it. Nevertheless from the Golden Arm, Bras 
if Or Tavern, across that sloping Marketplace, there still 
comes shine of social light ; comes voice of rude drovers, 
or the like, who have not yet taken the stirrup-cup ; 
Boniface Le Blanc, in white apron, serving them : cheer- 
ful to behold. To this Bras d'Or Drouet enters, alacrity 
looking through his eyes ; he nudges Boniface, in all 
privacy, " Camarade, cs-tn bou Patriate, Art thou a good 
Patriot ? " — " Si je suis ! " answers Boniface. — " In that 
case," eagerly whispers Drouet — what whisper is needful, 
heard of Boniface alone.' 

And now see Boniface Le Blanc bustling, as he never 
did for the jolliest toper. See Drouet and Guillaume, 
dexterous Old-Dragoons, instantly down blocking the 
' " Deux Amis,"^vi 139-178. 

212 VARENNES [bk. iv, CH. vii 

Bridge, with a " furniture-wagon they find there," with 
whatever wagons, tumbrils, barrels, barrows their hands 
can lay hold of ; — till no carriage can pass. Then swiftly, 
the Bridge once blocked, see them take station hard by, 
under Varennes Archway : joined by Le Blanc, Le 
Blanc's Brother, and one or two alert Patriots he has 
roused. Some half-dozen in all, with National muskets, 
they stand close, waiting under the Archway, till that 
same Korff Berline rumble up. 

It rumbles up : A lie la ! lanterns flash out from under 
coat-skirts, bridles chuck in strong fists, two National 
muskets level themselves fore and aft through the two 
Coach-doors : " Mesdames, your Passports ?" — A las, alas! 
Sieur Sausse,Procureur of the Township,Tallow-chandler 
also and Grocer, is there, with official grocer-politeness ; 
Drouet with fierce logic and ready wit : — The respected 
Travelling Party, be it Baroness de Korff's, or persons 
of still higher consequence, will perhaps please to rest 
itself in M. Sausse's till the dawn strike up ! 

O Louis ; O hapless Marie-Antoinette, fated to pass 
thy life with such men ! Phlegmatic Louis, art thou but 
lazy semi-animate phlegm, then, to the centre of thee? 
King, Captain-General, Sovereign P'rank ! if thy heart 
ever formed, since it began beating under the name of 
heart, any resolution at all, be it now then, or never in 
this world : — " Violent nocturnal individuals, and if it 
were persons of high consequence ? And if it were the 
King himself? Has the King not the power, which all 
beggars have, of travelling unmolested on his own High- 
way ? Yes : it is the King ; and tremble ye to know it ! 
The King has said, in this one small matter ; and in 
France, or under God's Throne, is no power that shall 
gainsay. Not the King shall ye stop here under this 
your miserable Archway ; but his dead body only, and 
answer it to Heaven and Earth. To me. Bodyguards ; 
Postillions, en avant!" — One fancies in that case the 
pale paralysis of these two Le Blanc musketeers ; the 
drooping of Drouet's underjaw ; and how Procureur 
Sausse had melted like tallow in furnace-heat : Louis 


faring on ; in some few steps awakening Young Bouille, 
awakening relays and Hussars : triumphant entry, with 
cavalcading high-brandishing Escort, and Escorts, into 
Montmedi ; and the whole course of French History 
different ! 

Alas, it was not in the poor phlegmatic man. Had it 
been in him, French History had never come under this 
Varennes Archway to decide itself — He steps out ; all 
step out. Procureur Sausse gives his grocer-arms to the 
Queen and Sister Elizabeth ; Majesty taking the two 
children by the hand. And thus they walk, coolly back, 
over the Marketplace to Procureur Sausse's ; mount into 
his small upper story ; where straightway his Majesty 
" demands refreshments." Demands refreshments, as is 
written ; gets bread-and-cheese with a bottle of Bur- 
gundy ; and remarks, that it is the best Burgundy he 
ever drank ! * 

Meanwhile the Varennes Notables, and all men, official 
and non-official, are hastily drawing-on their breeches ; 
getting their fighting gear. Mortals half-dressed tumble 
out barrels, lay felled trees ; scouts dart off to all the 
four winds, — the tocsin begins clanging, " the Village 
illuminates itself" Very singular : how these little Vill- 
ages do manage, so adroit are they, when startled in 
midnight alarm of war. Like little adroit municipal 
rattle-snakes suddenly awakened : for their storm-bell 
rattles and rings ; their eyes glisten luminous (with 
tallow-light), as in rattle-snake ire ; and the Village will 
sti7ig. Old-Dragoon Drouet is our engineer and general- 
issimo ; valiant as a Ruy Diaz : — Now or never, ye 
Patriots, for the soldiery is coming ; massacre by Aus- 
trians, by Aristocrats, wars more than civil, it all depends 
on you and the hour ! — National Guards rank themselves, 
half-buttoned : mortals, we say, still only in breeches, in 
under-petticoat, tumble out barrels and lumber, lay 
felled trees for barricades : the Village will sting. Rabid 
Democracy, it would seem, is 7iot confined to Paris, 
then ? Ah no, whatsoever Courtiers might talk ; too 
' [This last is quite apocryphal.— Ed.] 

214 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. vii 

clearly no. This of dying for one's King is grown into 
a dying for one's self, against the King, if need be. 

And so our riding and running Avalanche and Hurly- 
burly has reached the Abyss, Korff Berline foremost ; 
and may pour itself thither, and jumble : endless ! For 
the next six hours, need we ask if there was a clattering 
far and wide ? Clattering and tocsining and hot tumult, 
over all the Clermontais, spreading through the Three- 
Bishopricks : Dragoon and Hussar Troops galloping on 
roads and no-roads; National Guards arming and starting 
in the dead of night ; tocsin after tocsin transmitting 
the alarm. In some forty minutes, Goguelat and 
Choiseul, with their wearied Hussars, reach Varennes. 
Ah, it is no fire, then ; or a fire difficult to quench ! They 
leap the tree-barricades, in spite of National sergeant ; 
they enter the village, Choiseul instructing his Troopers 
how the matter really is ; who respond interjectionally, 
in their guttural dialect, '^ Der Kdnig ; die Koniginn!" 
and seem stanch. These now, in their stanch humour, 
will, for one thing, beset Procureur Sausse's house. Most 
beneficial : had not Drouet stormfully ordered otherwise ; 
and even bellowed, in his extremity, " Cannoneers, to 
your guns ! " — two old honeycombed Field-pieces, empty 
of all but cobwebs ; the rattle whereof, as the Cannoneers 
with assured countenance trundled them up, did never- 
theless abate the Hussar ardour, and produce a respect- 
fuler ranking farther back. Jugs of wine, handed over 
the ranks, — for the German throat too has sensibility, — 
will complete the business. When Engineer Goguelat, 
some hour or so afterwards, steps forth, the response to 
him is — a hiccuping Vive la Nation ! ' 

What boots it ? Goguelat, Choiseul, now also Count 

' [It is strange that Carlyle had no censure for Choiseul (as also 
for Deslons), who ought to have acted ivitJiout the King's order. 
Louis's words to Deslons were : " I am a prisoner, and have no 
orders to give" — a foolish enough utterance, but one that almost 
invited Deslons to take the responsibility. .Madame Royale says 
in her account of the stoppage at Varennes : " Six resolute men 
would have intimidated them all (the peasants), and might have 
saved the King."— Ed.] 


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

Young Bouill6, roused by this Varennes tocsin, has 
taken horse, and — fled towards his Father. Thitherward 
also rides, in an almost hysterically desperate manner, a 
certain Sieur Aubriot, Choiseul's Orderly ; swimming 
dark rivers, our Bridge being blocked ; spurring as if the 
Hell-hunt were at his heels.^ Through the village of Dun, 
he galloping still on, scatters the alarm ; at Dun, brave 
Captain Deslons and Jiis Escort of a Hundred saddle 
and ride. Deslons too gets into Varennes ; leaving his 
Hundred outside, at the tree-barricade ; offers to cut 
King Louis out, if he will order it : but unfortunately 
" the work will prove hot " : whereupon King Louis has 
" no orders to give." '" 

And so the tocsin clangs, and Dragoons gallop, and 
can do nothing, having galloped : National Guards 
stream in like the gathering of ravens : your exploding 
Thunder-chain, falling Avalanche, or what else we liken 
it to, does play, with a vengeance, — up now as far as 
Stenai and Bouille himself^ Brave Bouill^, son of the 
whirlwind, he saddles Royal-Allemand ; speaks fire- 

' "Rapport de M. Aubriot" (in Choiseul, pp. 150-157). 
- " Extrait d'un Rapport de M. Deslons" (in ChoiseuD, pp. 164- 
^ Bouille, ii. 74-76. 

2i6 VARENNES [bk. iv, CH. vii 

words, kindling heart and eyes ; distributes twenty-five 
gold-louis a company : — Ride, Royal-Allemand, long- 
famed : no Tuileries Charge and Necker-OrMans Bust- 
Procession ; a very King made captive, and world all 
to win ! — Such is the Night deserving to be named of 

At six o'clock two things have happened. Lafayette's 
Aide-de-camp, Romoeuf, riding a fra7ic ctricr, on that old 
Herb-merchant's route, quickened during the last stages, 
has got to Varennes ; where the Ten thousand now 
furiously demand, with fury of panic terror, that Royalty 
shall forthwith return Paris-ward, that there be not in- 
finite bloodshed. Also, on the other side, " English 
Tom," Choiseul's jokei, flying with that Choiseul relay, 
has met Bouille on the heights of Dun ; the adamantine 
brow flushed with dark thunder ; thunderous rattle of 
Royai-Allemand at his heels. English Tom answers as 
he can the brief question, How it is at Varennes? — then 
asks in turn. What he, English Tom, with M. de 
Choiseul's horses, is to do, and whither to ride ? — To the 
Bottomless Pool ! answers a thunder-voice ; then again 
speaking and spurring, orders Royal-Allemand to the 
gallop ; and vanishes, swearing (r« jurant)} 'Tis the 
last of our brave Bouille. Within sight of Varennes, 
he having drawn bridle, calls a council of officers ; finds 
that it is in vain. King Louis has departed, consenting : 
amid the clangour of universal storm-bell ; amid the 
tramp of Ten thousand armed men, already arrived ; 
and say, of Sixty thousand flocking thither. Brave 
Deslons, even without " orders," darted at the River 
Aire with his Hundred ;" swam one branch of it, could 
not the other ; and stood there, dripping and panting, 
with inflated nostril ; the Ten thousand answering him 
with a shout of mockery, the new Berline lumbering 
Paris-ward its weary inevitable way. No help, then, in 
Earth ; nor, in an age not of miracles, in Heaven ! 

' "Declaration du Sienr Thomas" (in Choiseul, p. i88). 
■■^ Weber, ii. 386. 


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

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

^ Anhx'xot, id S7{pra,Y>- 158. <j> 

VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. viii 



SO, then, our grand Royalist Plot, of Flight to Metz, 
has executed itself. Long hovering in the back- 
ground, as a dread royal tiltinintwn^ it has rushed for- 
ward in its terrors : verily to some purpose. How many 
Royalist Plots and Projects, one after another, cun- 
ningly-devised, that were to explode like powder-mines 
and thunder-claps ; not one solitary Plot of which has 
issued otherwise ! Powder-mine of a Seance Royale on 
the Twenty-third of June 1789, which exploded as we 
then said, " through the touchhole " ; which next, your 
wargod Broglie having rHoaded it, brought a Bastille 
about your ears. Then came fervent Opera-Repast, with 
flourishingofsabres,and"0 Richard, O my King"; which, 
aided by hunger, produces Insurrection of Women, and 
Pallas Athene in the shape of Demoiselle Theroigne. 
Valour profits not ; neither has fortune smiled on fan- 
faronade. The Bouille Armament ends as the Broglie 
one had done. Man after man spends himself in this 
cause, only to work it quicker ruin ; it seems a cause 
doomed, forsaken of Earth and Heaven. 

On the Sixth of October gone a year. King Louis, 
escorted by Demoiselle Theroigne and some two hun- 
dred thousand, made a Royal Progress and Entrance 
into Paris, such as man had never witnessed ; we pro- 
phesied him Two more such ; and accordingly another 
of them, after this Flight to Metz, is now coming to 
pass. Theroigne will not escort here ; neither does 
Mirabeau now " sit in one of the accompanying car- 
riages." Mirabeau lies dead, in the Pantheon of Great 

JUNE25, I79i] THE RETURN 219 

Men. Theroigne lies living, in dark Austrian Prison ; 
having gone to Li6ge, professionally, and been seized 
there. Bemurmured now by the hoarse-flowing Danube : 
the light of her Patriot Supper-parties gone quite out ; 
so lies Theroigne : she shall speak with the Kaiser face 
to face, and return. And P'rance lies — how ! Fleeting 
Time shears down the great and the little ; and in two 
years alters many things. 

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

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

^ [Sergent Marceau ("Reminiscences of a Regicide," p. 116, 
Eng. edit.) says: "The Staff of the National Guard called out, 
' No cries, citizens ; keep silence and remain covered.' — I affirm 
that this order was executed majestically."— Ed.] 

220 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. viii 

with Sister Elizabeth, and the Children of France, are 

Smile of embarrassment, or cloud of dull sourness, is 
on the broad phlegmatic face of his Majesty ; who keeps 
declaring to the successive Official persons, what is evid- 
ent, " Ell bie?i, vie voila, Well, here you have me " ; and 
what is not evident, " I do assure you I did not mean to 
pass the frontiers " ; and so forth : speeches natural for 
that poor Royal Man ; which Decency would veil. Silent 
is her Majesty, with a look of grief and scorn ; natural 
for that Royal Woman. Thus lumbers and creeps the 
ignominious Royal Procession, through many streets, 
amid a silent-gazing people : comparable, Mercier thinks,' 
to some Procession du Rot de Basoche ; or say, Procession 
of King Crispin, with his Dukes of Sutormania and royal 
blazonry of Cordwainery. Except indeed that this is 
not comic ; ah no, it is comico-tragic ; with bound 
Couriers, and a Doom hanging over it ; most fantastic, 
yet most miserably real. Miserablest flebile litdibriiini 
of a Pickleherring Tragedy ! It sweeps along there, in 
most ?/;/gorgeous pall, through many streets in the dust}' 
summer evening ; gets itself at length wriggled out of 
sight ; vanishing in the Tuileries Palace, — towards its 
doom, of slow \.oYt\.n-Q, peine forte et dure. 

Populace, it is true, seizes the three rope-bound yellow 
Couriers ; will at least massacre theiii. But our august 
Assembl}', which is sitting at this great moment, sends 
out Deputation of rescue ; and the whole is got huddled 
up. Barnave, " all dusty," is already there, in the 
National Hall ; making brief discreet address and re- 
port. As indeed, through the whole journey, this Bar- 
nave has been most discreet, sympathetic ; and has 
gained the Queen's trust, whose noble instinct teaches 
her always who is to be trusted. Very different from 
heavy Petion ; who, if Campan speak truth, ate his 
luncheon, comfortably filled his wine-glass, in the Royal 
Berline ; flung out his chicken-bones past the nose of 
Royalty itself; and, on the King's saying, " France can- 
' " Nouveau Paris," iii. 22. 


not be a Republic," answered, " No, it is not ripe yet." 
Barnave is henceforth a Queen's adviser, if advice could 
profit : and her Majesty astonishes Dame Campan by 
signifying almost a regard for Barnave ; and that, in a 
day of retribution and Royal triumph, Barnave shall not 
be executed.' 

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

^ Campan, ii. c. iS. [The story that Barnave was converted to 
royalism by the Queen's demeanour on this journey is more pic- 
turesque than correct. For some time past the increase of anarchy 
had sobered his views and drawn him and Lameth to an attempted 
reconciliation with Montmorin, the King's Minister. — Ed.] 

- Ibid.^ ii. 149. 

VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. ix 



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

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

' [Probably the Assembly would have deposed Louis but for 
fear of provoking war with Austria. — Ed.] 

JULY 1791] SHARP SHOT 223 

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

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

^ [This ferment had one veiy practical result not noted by 
Carlyle, namely, the organisation of 169 battalions of national 
volunteers ready for campaigning, of whom 60 were soon can- 
tonned on the northern frontier. The menaces of the Austrian 
and Prussian sovereigns at Pilnitz (see bk. v., chap, v.) were quite 
helpless in face of this national movement. — Ed.] 

224 VARENNES [bk. iv, CH. ix 

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

Finally, on I^Viday the 15th of July 1791, the National 
Assembly decides ; in what negatory manner we know. 
Whereupon the Theatres all close, the Bouj'.ne-stones and 
Portable-chairs begin spouting. Municipal Placards 
flaming on the walls, and Proclamations published by 
sound of trumpet, " invite to repose " ; with small effect. 
And so, on Sunday the 17th, there shall be a thing seen, 
worthy of remembering. Scroll of a Petition, drawn up 
by Brissots, Dantons, by Cordeliers, Jacobins ; for the 
thing was infinitely shaken and manipulated, and many 
had a hand in it : ^ such Scroll lies now visible, on the 
wooden framework of the Fatherland's Altar, for signa- 
ture. Unworking Paris, male and female, is crowding 
thither, all day, to sign or to see. Our fair Roland 

' [A member of the Jacobins, Sergent Marceau, says that the 
club was at this time rcLOiistrnded. It was dissolved, but ap- 
pointed twelve commissioners to invite back all who were thought 
to be good patriots : "We refused re-admission to many who got 
in afterwards, and who, by their subsequent conduct, justified our 
severity'' (" Reminiscences of a Regicide," p. 232). — El).] 

* Bouille, ii. 101. 

' [For the different versions of this petition, none of them frankly 
republican, see Aulard, " La Rev. Fran^aise," pp. 149-152. — Ed.] 

JULY 17, 1791] SHARP SHOT 225 

herself the eye of History can discern there " in the 
morning" ; 1 not without interest. In few weeks the fair 
Patriot will quit Paris ; yet perhaps only to return. 

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

Sure enough, the two human individuals with their 
gimlet are there. Ill-starred pair of individuals ! For 
the result of it all is, that Patriotism, fretting itself, in 
this state of nervous excitability, with hypotheses, sus- 

' Madame Roland, ii. 74. - "Hist. Pari.," xi. 104-107. 

II. O 

226 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. ix 

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

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

Stop it, truly : but how stop it ? Have not the first free 
People of the Universe a right to petition ? — Happily, if 

' " Hist. Pari.," xi. 113, etc. 

JULY 17, 1791] SHARP SHOT 227 

also unhappily, here is one proof of riot : these two 
human individuals hanged at the Lanterne. Proof, O 
treacherous Sieur Motier? Were they not two human 
individuals sent hither by thee to be hanged ; to be a 
pretext for thy bloody Drapeaii Rouge ? This question 
shall many a Patriot, one day, ask ; and answer affirma- 
tively, strong in Preternatural Suspicion. 

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

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

' [Danton went to England, but returned to Paris on September 
9th. For his flight see M. Aulard's article in the Review, " La 
Rev. Fran^aise," vol. xxiv. — Ed.] 

- [Madame Roland tells how terrified Robespierre was, believing 
that he would be dead before twenty-four hours. Buzot and she 
tried to encourage him. 

It seems that, if Lafayette and the moderates had pushed their 

228 VARENNES [bk. iv, ch. ix 

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

advantage to the uttermost by arresting Robespierre, Danton, and 
Marat, the excesses of the future might have been avoided. Mira- 
beau had foretold the danger of letting anarchy organise itself: 
and this was what now took place — the reconstituted Jacobins' 
Club becoming more aggressive and dangerous, while the National 
Guards were soon to be swamped by sansculottes. — Ed.] 

' [M. Aulard has proved ("La Rev. Fran^aise," pp. 86-1 18) that 
the most important result of the flight to Varennes was the birth of 
a republican party. Up to that time even Robespierre and Marat 
had, practically, been monarchists. On February 17th, 1791, the 
latter wrote in " L'Ami du Peuple " : "A very limited monarchy is 
what best suits us to-day. . . . Louis XV L is the King that we 
want. We ought to thank Heaven for having given him to us." 
Even after his flight the general wish was (to quote M. Aulard) : 
" Let Louis XVI. ascend the throne, and let him be better advised." 
But the virtual suspension of Louis for three months — up to his 
acceptance of the Constitution — gave life to the republican idea, 
which had only floated vaguely in the minds of certain writers, e.g.., 
Erissot, Desmoulins, and Mme. Roland. Robespierre and the 
Jacobins' Club still wished for a limited monarchy ; but the repub- 
lican idea was taken up by the Cordeliers' Club, and was advocated 
by a new journal, " Le Republicain," conducted by Condorcet and 
Tom Paine. — Ed.] 




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

The Revision, especially with a throne standing on its 
vertex, has been a work of difficulty, of delicacy. In the 
way of propping and buttressing, so indispensable now, 
something could be done ; and yet, as is feared, not 
enough. A repentant Barnave Triumvirate, our Rabauts, 
Duports, Thourets, and indeed all Constitutional De- 
puties did strain every nerve : but the Extreme Left was 
so noisy ; the People were so suspicious, clamorous to 
have the work ended : and then the loyal Right Side sat 

230 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. i 

feeble-petulant all the while, and as it were pouting and 
petting ; unable to help, had they even been willing. 
The Two Hundred and Ninety had solemnly made 
scission, before that; and departed, shaking the dust off 
their feet/ To such transcendency of fret, and desperate 
hope that worsening of the bad might the sooner end it 
and bring back the good, had our unfortunate loyal Right 
Side now come ! " 

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

' [The 290 were the members of the Cotd Droit, or royalist side, 
of the National Assembly. Most went to join the e'fiu'gfes.—'Eri.] 

^ Toulongeon, ii. 56, 59. 

■' "Hist. Pari.," xiii. 72>- [It is incorrect to call the Centre 
Grenadiers sajisculottic : they had recently obeyed Lafayette's 
order to disperse the rabble on the Champ de Mars. — Ed.] 

SEPT. 14-18, 1791] GRANDE ACCEPTATION 231 

Isles ; since that July evening, some two years ago, when 
they, participating and sacre'mg with knit brows, poured 
a volley into Besenval's Prince de Lambesc ! History 
waves them her mute adieu. 

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

Nay, now that his Majesty has accepted the Constitu- 
tion, to the sound of cannon-salvoes, who would not 
hope? Our good King was misguided, but he meant 
well. Lafayette has moved for an Amnesty, for universal 
forgiving and forgetting of Revolutionary faults ; and 
now surely the glorious Revolution, cleared of its rubbish, 
is complete ! Strange enough, and touching in several 
ways, the old cry of Vive le Roi once more rises round 
King Louis the Hereditary Representative. Their Ma- 
jesties went to the Opera ; gave money to the Poor : the 
Queen herself, now when the Constitution is accepted, 
hears voice of cheering. Bygone shall be bygone ; the 
New Era sJiall begin ! To and fro, amid those lamp- 
galaxies of the Elysian Fields, the Royal Carriage slowly 
wends and rolls ; everywhere with vivats, from a multi- 
tude striving to be glad. Louis looks out, mainly on the 
variegated lamps and gay human groups, with satisfac- 
tion enough for the hour. In her Majesty's face, " under 


that kind graceful smile a deep sadness is legible." ' 
Brilliancies, of valour and of wit stroll here observant: a 
Dame de Stael, leaning most probably on the arm of 
her Narbonne. She meets Deputies ; who have built 
this Constitution ; who saunter here with vague com- 
munings, not without thoughts whether it will stand. 
But as yet melodious fiddle-strings twang and warble 
everywhere, with the rhythm of light fantastic feet ; long 
lamp-galaxies fling their coloured radiance ; and brass- 
lunged Hawkers elbow and bawl, " Grande Acceptation, 
Co7istitutio7i Monarchiqtie " : it behoves the Son of Adam 
to hope. Have not Lafayette, Barnave, and all Con- 
stitutionalists set their shoulders handsomely to the in- 
verted pyramid of a throne ? Feuillans, including almost 
the whole Constitutional Respectability of France, per- 
orate nightly from their tribune ; correspond through all 
Post-offices ; denouncing unquiet Jacobinism ; trusting 
well that its time is nigh done. Much is uncertain, 
questionable ; but if the Hereditary Representative be 
wise and lucky, may one not, with a sanguine Gaelic 
temper, hope that he will get in motion better or worse ; 
that what is wanting to him will gradually be gained and 
added ? 

For the rest, as we must repeat, in this building of the 
Constitutional Fabric, especially in this Revision of it, 
nothing that one could think of to give it new strength, 
especially to steady it, to give it permanence, and even 
eternity, has been forgotten. Biennial Parliament, to be 
called Legislative, Assemblce Legislative-, with Seven 
Hundred and Forty-five Members, chosen in a judicious 
manner by the " active citizens " alone, and even by 
electing of electors still more active : ' this, with privi- 

^ De Stael, " Considerations," i. c. 23. [This was the hey-day of 
Mme. de Stael's influence. Her saioji was frequented by all the 
notables and was the social centre of the political and literary 
world, as Mme. Roland's afterwards became. — Ed.] 

^ [By the decree of August 27th, 1791, only those citizens might 
sit in the " primary assemblies," and act as " electors," who paid 
direct taxes equal to ten days' average wages. Only those who 

SEPT. 14-18, 1791] GRANDE ACCEPTATION 233 

leges of Parliament, shall meet, self-authorised if need 
be, and self-dissolved ; shall grant money-supplies and 
talk ; watch over the administration and authorities ; 
discharge forever the functions of a Constitutional Great 
Council, Collective Wisdom and National Palaver — as 
the Heavens will enable. Our First biennial Parliament, 
which indeed has been a-choosing since early in August, 
is now as good as chosen. Nay it has mostly got to 
Paris : it arrived gradually ; — not without pathetic greet- 
ing to its venerable Parent, the now moribund Con- 
stituent ; and sat there in the Galleries, reverently 
listening ; ready to begin, the instant the ground were 

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

Furthermore be it noted that no member of this Con- 
stituent has been, or could be, elected to the new Legis- 

paid a marc d'argait in taxes could become members of the 
Assembly. — Ed.] 

^ " Choix de Rapports," etc. (Paris, 1825), vi. 239-317. [It was 
not left wholly vague. If three consecutive Assemblies (each 
sitting for two years) voted for revision, it could take place. — Ed.] 

234 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. I 

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

Welcomer meanwhile, welcome surely to all right 
hearts, is Lafayette's chivalrous Amnesty.^ Welcome 
too is that hard-wrung Union of Avignon ; ^ which has 
cost us, first and last, " thirty sessions of debate," and so 
much else : may it at length prove lucky ! Rousseau's 
statue is decreed : virtuous Jean-Jacques, Evangelist of 
the Contrat Social. Not Drouet of Varennes ; nor 
worthy Lataille, master of the old world-famous Tennis- 
Court in Versailles, is forgotten ; but each has his honour- 
able mention, and due reward in money.'^ Whereupon, 
things being all so neatly winded up, and the Deputa- 
tions, and Messages, and royal and other ceremonials 
having rustled by ; and the King having now affection- 

^ [Lafayette's amnesty, referring to all those who had con- 
nived at the flight to Varennes, was supplemented on the next 
day (September 4th) by an amnesty for all political offences of 
the last two years, and the repeal of the law against emigres. — 

^ [This annexation of Avignon, without any compensation to its 
sovereign, the Pope, was one of the causes of the war with Europe. 

^ "Moniteur" (in "Hist. Pari.," xi. 473), [Drouet and Sausse 
each received 30,000 francs ; and a musket and sword were pre- 
sented to every National Guard of Varennes. — Ed.] 


ately perorated about peace and tranquillisation/ and 
members having answered " Oui ! oui ! " with effusion, 
even with tears, — President Thouret, he of the Law 
Reforms, rises, and, with a strong voice, utters these 
memorable last-words : " The National Constituent 
Assembly declares that it has finished its mission ; and 
that its sittings are all ended." Incorruptible Robespierre, 
virtuous Petion are borne home on the shoulders of the 
people ; with vivats heaven-high. The rest glide quietly 
to their respective places of abode. It is the last after- 
noon of September 1791 ; on the morrow morning the 
new Legislative will begin. 

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

^ [For the slights put upon the King when he took the oath to 
the constitution see Tourzel, " Mems.," vol. i., chap. xiii. — Ed.] 

236 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, CH. i 

Jacques. Once it was right and indispensable, since 
such had become the Belief of men ; but once also is 

They have made the Constitution, these Twelve Hun- 
dred Jean - Jacques Evangelists ; not without result. 
Near twenty-nine months they sat, with various fortune ; 
in various capacity ; — always, we may say, in that capacity 
of car-borne Carroccio, and miraculous Standard of the 
Revolt of Men, as a Thing high and lifted up ; whereon 
whosoever looked might hope healing. They have seen 
much, cannons levelled on them ; then suddenly, by 
interposition of the Powers, the cannons drawn back ; 
and a wargod Broglie vanishing, in thunder not his own, 
amid the dust and downrushing of a Bastille and Old 
Feudal France. They have suffered somewhat : Royal 
Session, with rain and Oath of the Tennis-Court; Nights 
of Pentecost ; Insurrections of Women. Also have they 
not done somewhat.? Made the Constitution, and managed 
all things the while ; passed, in these twenty-nine months, 
" twenty-five hundred Decrees," which on the average is 
some three for each day, including Sundays! Brevity, one 
finds, is possible, at times : had not Moreau de St. M6ry 
to give three thousand orders before rising from his seat ? 
— There was valour (or value) in these men ; and a kind 
of faith, were it only faith in this, That cobwebs are not 
cloth ; that a Constitution could be made. Cobwebs 
and chimeras ought verily to disappear ; for a Reality 
there is. Let formulas, soul-killing, and now grown 
body-killing, insupportable, begone, in the name of 
Heaven and Earth !— Time, as we say, brought forth 
these Twelve Hundred ; Eternity was before them, 
Eternity behind : they worked, as we all do, in the con- 
fluence of Two Eternities ; what work was given them. 
Say not that it was nothing they did. Consciously they 
did somewhat ; unconsciously how much ! They had 
their giants and their dwarfs, they accomplished their 
good and their evil ; they are gone, and return no more. 
Shall they not go with our blessing, in these circum- 
stances ; with our mild farewell .? 


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

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

Thus these : sauntering in a thoughtful manner ; 
travelling by post or diligence, — whither Fate beckons. 
Giant Mirabeau slumbers in the Pantheon of Great 

238 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, CH. i 

Men: and France? and Europe? — the brass -lunged 
Hawkers sing " Grand Acceptation, Monarchic Constitu- 
tion " through these gay crowds : the Morrow, grandson 
of Yesterday, must be what it can, as Today its father 
is. Our new biennial Legislative begins to constitute 
itself on the first of October 1791. 




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

On the whole, how unknown is a man to himself; or a 
public Body of men to itself! Aesop's fly sat on the 
chariot-wheel, exclaiming. What a dust I do raise ! 
Great Governors, clad in purple with fasces and insignia. 

240 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. ii 

are governed by their valets, by the pouting of their 
women and children ; or, in Constitutional countries, by 
the paragraphs of their Able Editors. Say not, I am 
this or that ; I am doing this or that ! For thou knovvest 
it not, thou knowest only the name it as yet goes by. 
A purple Nebuchadnezzar rejoices to feel himself now 
verily Emperor of this great Babylon which he has 
builded ; and is a nondescript biped-quadruped, on the 
eve of a seven-years course of grazing ! These Seven 
Hundred and Forty-five elected individuals doubt not 
but they are the first biennial Parliament, come to govern 
France by parliamentary eloquence : and they are what ? 
And they have come to do what ? Things foolish and 
not wise ! ^ 

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

Old-Constituents, your Barnaves, Lameths and the 
like, for whom a special Gallery has been set apart, 
where they may sit in honour and listen, are in the 
habit of sneering at these new Legislators ; " but let not 
us ! The poor Seven Hundred and Forty-five, sent to- 
gether by the active citizens of France, are what they 

^ [Of the new legislators more than half were under thirty years 
of age. The great defect of the constitution was that the King's 
Ministers, who held the executive powers, had no real power : they 
were little more than head clerks registering the decrees of the new 
Assembly. The chief authority now lay with the Jacobin clubs : 
despite the law of September 29th, 1791, forbidding their affiliation, 
and their interference in politics, their motions soon had the force 
of law.— Ed.] 

- Dumouriez, ii. 150, etc. 


could be ; do what is fated them. That they are of 
Patriot temper we can well understand. Aristocrat 
Noblesse had fled over the marches, or sat brooding 
silent in their unburnt Chateaus ; small prospect had 
they in Primary Electoral Assemblies. What with 
Flights to Varennes, what with Days of Poniards, with 
plot after plot, the People are left to themselves ; the 
People must needs choose Defenders of the People, such 
as can be had. Choosing, as tJiey also will ever do, " if 
not the ablest man, yet the man ablest to be chosen " ! 
Fervour of character, decided Patriot-Constitutional 
feeling ; these are qualities : but free utterance, master- 
ship in tongue-fence ; this is the quality of qualities. 
Accordingly one finds, with little astonishment, in this 
First Biennial, that as many as Four hundred Members 
are of the Advocate or Attorney species. Men who can 
speak, if there be aught to speak : nay here are men 
also who can think, and even act. Candour will say of 
this ill-fated First French Parliament, that it wanted 
not its modicum of talent, its modicum of honesty ; that 
it, neither in the one respect nor in the other, sank below 
the average of Parliaments, but rose above the average. 
Let average Parliaments, whom the world does not 
guillotine, and cast forth to long infamy, be thankful 
not to themselves but to their stars ! 

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

Nevertheless we have our gifts, — especially of speech 

^ [Sergent Marceau says : " The first time that Isnard was heard 
in the Jacobins, a tumult of applause from every part of the house 
spread to the galleries : all rules were broken through " ("Reminisc. 
of a Regicide," p. 250). — Ed.] 

II. H 

242 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. ii 

and logic. An eloquent Vergniaud we have ; most 
mellifluous yet most impetuous of public speakers ; from 
the region named Gironde, of the Garonne : a man un- 
fortunately of indolent habits ; who will sit playing with 
your children, when he ought to be scheming and per- 
orating.^ Sharp -bustling Guadet ; considerate grave 
Gensonne ; kind-sparkling mirthful young Ducos ; Valaze 
doomed to a sad end : all these likewise are of that 
Gironde or Bordeaux region : men of fervid Constitu- 
tional principles ; of quick talent, irrefragable logic, clear 
respectability ; who will have the Reign of Liberty es- 
tablish itself, but only by respectable methods. Round 
whom others of like temper will gather ; known by and 
by as Girondins, to the sorrowing wonder of the world. 
Of which sort note Condorcet, Marquis and Philosopher ; 
who has worked at much, at Paris Municipal Constitu- 
tion, Differential Calculus, Newspaper " Chronique de 
Paris," Biography, Philosophy ; and now sits here as 
two-years Senator : a notable Condorcet, with stoical 
Roman face and fiery heart ; " volcano hid under snow " ; 
styled likewise, in irreverent language, " inouton e7i- 
rage," peaceablest of creatures bitten rabid ! Or note, 
lastly, Jean-Pierre Brissot ; ' whom Destiny, long working 
noisily with him, has hurled hither, say, to have done 
with him. A biennial Senator he too ; nay, for the 
present, the king of such. Restless, scheming, scribbling 
Brissot ; who took to himself the style de Wai'ville, 
heralds know not in the least why ; — unless it were that 
the father of him did, in an unexceptional manner, per- 
form Cookery and Vintnery in the Village of Oiiar\\\\& ? 
A man of the windmill species, that grinds always, turn- 
ing towards all winds ; not in the steadiest manner. 

^ [Vergniaud(i753-i793),sonofacontractorof Limoges,attracted 
the notice of Turgot and was educated at St. Sulpice, entered the 
bar at Bordeaux in 1781, and in 1790 made a memorable "eloge" 
on Mirabeau, was elected fourth deputy for the Gironde in 1791. — 

* [Brissot (1754-1793), editor of the " Patriote Frangais,"' a leader 
of the Girondins, guillotined in 1793. — Ed.] 


In all these men there is talent, faculty to work ; and 
they will do it : working and shaping, not witliout effect, 
though alas not in marble, only in quicksand ! — But the 
highest faculty of them all remains yet to be mentioned ; 
or indeed has yet to unfold itself for mention : Captain 
Hippolyte Carnot, sent hither from the Pas de Calais ; 
with his cold mathematical head, and silent stubborn- 
ness of will : iron Carnot, far-planning, imperturbable, 
unconquerable ; who, in the hour of need, shall not be 
found wanting/ His hair is yet black ; and it shall 
grow gray, under many kinds of fortune, bright and 
troublous ; and with iron aspect this man shall face 
them all. 

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

Honour waits not on this Mountain ; nor as yet even 
loud dishonour. Gifts it boasts not, nor graces, of speak- 
ing or of thinking ; solely this one gift of assured faith, 
of audacity that will defy the Earth and the Heavens. 
Foremost here are the Cordelier Trio : hot Merlin from 

' [Carnot (1753- 1823), who supervised war affairs in the Com- 
mittee of PulaHc Safety and organised victory : voted for Louis' 
death. It was he who first saw Bonaparte's mihtary genius ; but 
he went into exile when the Empire was estabhshed in 1804. — 

244 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. ii 

Thionville, hot Bazaire, Attorneys both ; Chabot, dis- 
frocked Capuchin, skilful in agio. Lawyer Lacroix, who 
wore once as subaltern the single epaulette, has loud 
lungs and a hungry heart. There too is Couthon, little 
dreaming what he is ; — whom a sad chance has paralysed 
in the lower extremities. For, it seems, he sat once a 
whole night, not warm in his true-love's bower (who in- 
deed was by law another's), but sunken to the middle 
in a cold peat-bog, being hunted out from her ; quaking 
for his life, in the cold quaking morass ; ^ and goes now 
on crutches to the end. Cambon likewise, in whom 
slumbers undeveloped such a finance-talent for printing 
of Assignats ; Father of Paper-money ; ' who, in the 
hour of menace, shall utter this stern sentence, " War to 
the Manor-house, peace to the Hut, Guerre aux Chateaux, 
paix aux Chaumieres ! " ^ Lecointre, the intrepid Draper 
of Versailles, is welcome here ; known since the Opera- 
Repast and Insurrection of Women. Thuriot too ; 
Elector Thuriot, who stood in the embrasures of the 
Bastille, and saw Saint-Antoine rising in mass ; who 
has many other things to see. Last and grimmest of 
all, note old Ruhl, with his brown dusky face and long 
white hair ; of Alsatian Lutheran breed ; a man whom 
age and book-learning have not taught ; who, haranguing 
the old men of Rheims, shall hold up the Sacred Ampulla 
(Heaven-sent, wherefrom Clovis and all Kings have been 
anointed) as a mere worthless oil-bottle, and dash it to 
sherds on the pavement there ; who, alas, shall dash 
much to sherds, and finally his own wild head by pistol- 
shot, and so end it. 

Such lava welters redhot in the bowels of this Moun- 
tain ; unknown to the world and to itself! A mere 
commonplace Mountain hitherto ; distinguished from 
the Plain chiefly by its superior barrenness, its baldness 
of look : at the utmost it may, to the most observant, 
perceptibly smoke. For as yet all lies so solid, peace- 

^ Dumouriez, ii. 370. 

- [This is incorrect : paper-money was due to Claviere. — Ed.] 

^ "Choix de Rapports," xi. 25. 


able ; and doubts not, as was said, that it will endure 
while Time runs. Do not all love Liberty and the Con- 
stitution ? All heartily ; — and yet with degrees. Some, 
as Chevalier Jaucourt and his Right Side, may love 
Liberty less than Royalty, were the trial made ; others, 
as Brissot and his Left Side, may love it more than 
Royalty. Nay again, of these latter some may love 
Liberty more than Law itself ; others not more. Parties 
will unfold themselves ; no mortal as yet knows how. 
Forces work within these men and without : dissidence 
grows opposition ; ever widening ; waxing into incom- 
patibility and internecine feud ; till the strong is 
abolished by a stronger; himself in his turn by a 
strongest ! Who can help it ? Jaucourt and his Monarch- 
ists, Feuillans, or Moderates ; Brissot and his Brissotins, 
Jacobins, or Girondins ; these, with the Cordelier Trio, 
and all men, must work what is appointed them, and in 
the way appointed them.^ 

And to think what fate these poor Seven Hundred 
and Forty-five are assembled, most unwittingly, to meet ! 
Let no heart be so hard as not to pity them. Their soul's 
wish was to live and work as the First of the French 
Parliaments ; and make the Constitution march. Did 
they not, at their very instalment, go through the most 
affecting Constitutional ceremony, almost with tears ? 
The Twelve eldest are sent solemnly to fetch the Con- 
stitution itself, the printed Book of the Law. Archivist 
Camus, an Old-Constituent appointed Archivist, he and 
the Ancient Twelve, amid blare of military pomp and 
clangour, enter, bearing the divine Book : and President 
and all Legislative Senators, laying their hand on the 
same, successively take the Oath, with cheers and heart- 

' [There was no clear dividing line between Jacobins and 
Girondins at first, but early in 1792 they gradually separated on 
the question of war, which the Gironde — especially the Brissotins 
— strongly advocated, and the Jacobins (including Robespierre, 
Danton and Marat) firmly opposed. Neither party was as yet 
republican (see Aulard, "La Rev. Fran.," pp. 74-75, 180-183). — 

246 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, CH. ii 

effusion, universal three-times-three.' In this manner 
they begin their Session. Unhappy mortals ! For, that 
same day, his Majesty having received their Deputation 
of welcome, as seemed, rather drily, the Deputation can- 
not but feel slighted, cannot but lament such slight : 
and thereupon our cheering swearing First Parliament 
sees itself, on the morrow, obliged to explode into fierce 
retaliatory sputter of anti-royal Enactment as to how 
they, for their part, will receive Majesty ; and how 
Majesty shall not be called Sire any more, except they 
please : and then, on the following day, to recall this 
Enactment of theirs, as too hasty, and a mere sputter, 
though not unprovoked. 

An effervescent well-intentioned set of Senators ; too 
combustible, where continual sparks are flying ! Their 
History is a series of sputters and quarrels ; true desire 
to do their function, fatal impossibility to do it. Denun- 
ciations, reprimandings of King's Ministers, of traitors 
supposed and real ; hot rage and fulmination against 
fulminating Emigrants ; terror of Austrian Kaiser, of 
" Austrian Committee " in the Tuileries itself ; rage and 
haunting terror, haste and doubt and dim bewilder- 
ment ! — Haste, we say ; and yet the Constitution had 
provided against haste. No Bill can be passed till it 
have been printed, till it have been thrice read, with in- 
tervals of eight days ; — " unless the Assembly shall 
beforehand decree that there is urgency." Which, 
accordingly the Assembly,scrupulous of theConstitution, 
never omits to do. Considering this, and also consider- 
ing that, and then that other, the Assembly decrees 
always " qu'il y a urgence " ; and thereupon " the As- 
sembly, having decreed that there is urgence," is free to 
decree — what indispensable distracted thing seems best 
to it. Two thousand and odd decrees, as men reckon, 
within Eleven months ! - The haste of the Constituent 
seemed great ; but this is treble-quick. For the time 
itself is rushing treble-quick ; and they have to keep 

^ "Moniteur," Seance du 4 Octobre 1791. 
^ Monty aillard, iii. i, 237 

1791-92] THE BOOK OF THE LAW 247 

pace with that. Unhappy Seven Hundred and Forty- 
five : true-patriotic, but so combustible ; being fired, they 
must needs fling fire : Senate of touchwood and rockets, 
in a world of smoke-storm, with sparks wind-driven con- 
tinually flying ! 

Or think, on the other hand, looking forward some 
months, of that scene they call Baiser de Lamourette ! 
The dangers of the country are now grown imminent, 
immeasurable ; National Assembly, hope of France, is 
divioed against itself. In such extreme circumstances, 
honey-mouthed Abbe Lamourette, new Bishop of Lyons, 
rises, whose name, r amourette^ signifies tJie sweetheart, or 
Delilah doxy, — he rises, and, with pathetic honeyed elo- 
quence, calls on all august Senators to forget mutual 
griefs snd grudges, to swear a new oath, and unite as 
brothen. Whereupon they all, with vivats, embrace and 
swear ; Left Side confounding itself with Right ; barren 
Mountan rushing down to fruitful Plain, Pastoret into 
the arms of Condorcet, injured to the breast of injurer, 
with tears : and all swearing that whosoever wishes 
either Feuillant Two-Chamber Monarchy or Extreme- 
Jacobin Republic, or any thing but the Constitution and 
that only, shall be anathema maranatha.^ Touching to 
behold ! P"or, literally on the morrow morning, they 
must again quarrel, driven by Fate ; and their sublime 
reconcilenent is called derisively the Baiser de U amour- 
ette, or Delilah Kiss. 

Like fated Eteocles-Polynices Brothers, embracing, 
though in vain ; weeping that they must not love, that 
they mus: hate only, and die by each other's hands ! Or 
say, like doomed Familiar Spirits ; ordered, by Art 
Magic urder penalties, to do a harder than twist ropes 
of sand: "to make the Constitution march." If the 
Constitution would but march ! Alas, the Constitution 
will not >tir. It falls on its face ; they tremblingly lift 
it on end again : march, thou gold Constitution ! The 
Constitution will not march. — " He shall march, by 

^ " Moniteur," Seance du 6 Juillet 1792. 

248 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. ii 

!" said kind Uncle Toby, and even swore. The 

Corporal answered mournfully : " He will never march 
in this world." 

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

1789-91] AVIGNON 249 



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

Hot is that Southern Proven9al blood : alas, collisions, 
as was once said, must occur in a career of Freedom ; 
different directions will produce such ; nay different 
velocities in the same direction will ! To much that 
went on there. History, busied elsewhere, would not 
specially give heed : to troubles of Uzez, troubles of 
Nismes, Protestant and Catholic, Patriot and Aristocrat ; 
to troubles of Marseilles, Montpellier, Aries ; to Aristo- 
crat Camp of Jales, that wondrous real-imaginary Entity, 
now fading pale-dim, then always again glowing forth 
deep-hued (in the imagination mainly) ; — ominous magi- 
cal, " an KnsX.ocx'aX picUire of war done naturally"! All 
this was a tragical deadly combustion, with plot and 
riot, tumult by night and by day ; but a dark combus- 
tion, not luminous, not noticed ; which now, however, 
one cannot help noticing. 

Above all places, the unluminous combustion in Avig- 
non and the Comtat Venaissin was fierce. Papal 
Avignqn, with its Castle rising sheer over the Rhone- 
stream ; beautifulest Town, with its purple vines and 
gold-orange groves ; why must foolish old rhyming 
R^ne, the last Sovereign of Provence, bequeath it to the 
Pope and Gold Tiara, not rather to Louis Eleventh with 

250 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. hi 

the Leaden Virgin in his hatband? For good and for 
evil.! Popes, Antipopes, with their pomp, have dwelt in 
that Castle of Avignon rising sheer over the Rhone- 
stream : there Laura de Sade went to hear mass ; her 
Petrarch twanging and singing by the Fountain of Vau- 
cluse hard by, surely in a most melancholy manner. 
This was in the old days. 

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

For some twenty-five months the confusion has lasted. 
Say three months of arguing ; then seven of_ raging ; 
then finally some fifteen months now of fighting, and 
even of hanging. For already in February 1790, the 
Papal Aristocrats had set up four gibbets, for a sign ; 
but the People rose in June, in retributive frenzy ; and, 

^ Dampmartin, " Evenemens," i. 267. 

1789-91] AVIGNON 251 

forcing the public Hangman to act, hanged four Aris- 
tocrats, on each Papal gibbet a Papal Haman. Then 
were Avignon Emigrations, Papal Aristocrats emigrating 
over the Rhone River ; demission of Papal Consul, 
flight, victory : reentrance of Papal Legate, truce, and 
new onslaught ; and the various turns of war. Petitions 
there were to National Assembly ; Congresses of Town- 
ships ; threescore and odd Townships voting for French 
Reunion and the blessings of Liberty ; while some 
twelve of the smaller, manipulated by Aristocrats, gave 
vote the other way : with shrieks and discord ! Town- 
ship against Township, Town against Town : Carpentras, 
long jealous of Avignon, is now turned out in open war 
with it ; — and Jourdan Coupe-tcte, your first General 
being killed in mutiny, closes his dye-shop ; and does 
there visibly, with siege-artillery, above all with bluster 
and tumult, with the " brave Brigands of Avignon," be- 
leaguer the rival Town, for two months, in the face of 
the world/ 

Feats were done, doubt it not, far-famed in Parish 
History ; but to Universal History unknown. Gibbets 
we see rise, on the one side and on the other ; and 
wretched carcasses swinging there, a dozen in the row ; 
wretched Mayor of Vaison buried before dead." The 
fruitful seedfields lie unreaped, the vineyards trampled 
down ; there is red cruelty, madness of universal choler 
and gall. Havoc and anarchy everywhere ; a combus- 
tion most fierce, but unlxxcQnt, not to be noticed here ! — 
Finally, as we saw, on the 14th of September last, the 
National Constituent Assembly, — having sent Com- 
missioners and heard them ; ' having heard Petitions, 
held Debates, month after month ever since August 

^ [The siege really lasted from April 6th to May 6th (1791), 
when the garrison routed the assailants ; these killed their leader 
and returned to Avignon. On August 21st the French party 
triumphed, overthrew the "moderate" municipality, and elected 
Jourdan commander of the National Guards of Avignon. — Ed.] 

" Barbaroux, " Memoires," p. 26. 

^ Lescene Desmaisons, " Compte rendu a I'Assemblee Nationale," 
10 Septembre 1791 (" Choix des Rapports," vii. 273-293). 


1789 ; and on the whole " spent thirty sittings " on this 
matter, — did solemnly decree that Avignon and the 
Comtat were incorporated with France, and his Holiness 
the Pope should have what indemnity was reasonable. 

And so hereby all is amnestied and finished ? Alas, 
when madness of choler has gone through the blood of 
men, and gibbets have swung on this side and on that, 
what will a parchment Decree and Lafayette Amnesty 
do ? Oblivious Lethe flows not above ground ! Papal 
Aristocrats and Patriot Brigands are still an eye-sorrow 
to each other ; suspected, suspicious, in what they do 
and forbear. The august Constituent Assembly is gone 
but a fortnight, when, on Sunday the Sixteenth morning 
of October 1791, the unquenched combustion suddenly 
becomes luminous. For Anti-constitutional Placards 
are up, and the Statue of the Virgin is said to have shed 
tears, and grown red.^ Wherefore, on that morning. 
Patriot I'Escuyer, one of our " six leading Patriots," hav- 
ing taken counsel with his brethren and General Jour- 
dan, determines on going to Church, in company with a 
friend or two : not to hear mass, which he values little ; 
but to meet all the Papalists there in a body, nay to 
meet that same weeping Virgin, for it is the Cordeliers 
Church ; and give them a word of admonition. Adven- 
turous errand ; which has the fatalest issue ! What 
L'Escuyer's word of admonition might be, no History 
records ; but the answer to it was a shrieking howl from 
the Aristocrat Papal worshippers, many of them women. 
A thousand-voiced shriek and menace ; which, as 
L'Escuyer did not fly, became a thousand-handed hustle 
and jostle ; a thousand-footed kick, with tumblings and 
tramplings, with the pricking of sempstress stilettoes, 
scissors and female pointed instruments. Horrible to 
behold ; the ancient Dead, and Petrarchan Laura, sleep- 
ing round it there : - high Altar and burning tapers 

^ " Procfes-verbal de la Commune d'Avignon," etc. (in "Hist. 
Pari.," xii. 419-423). 

- Ugo Foscolo, "Essay on Petrarch," p. 35. 

NOV. 1791] AVIGNON 253 

looking down on it ; the Virgin quite tearless, and of the 
natural stone-colour! — L'Escuyer's friend or two rush 
off, like Job's Messengers, for Jourdan and the National 
Force. But heavy Jourdan will seize the Town-Gates 
first ; does not run treble-fast, as he might : on arriving 
at the Cordeliers Church, the Church is silent, vacant ; 
L'Escuyer, all alone, lies there, swimming in his blood, 
at the foot of the high Altar; pricked with scissors, 
trodden, massacred ; — gives one dumb sob, and gasps 
out his miserable life forevermore. 

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

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

254 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. hi 

now over Municipals, over all authorities Patriot or 
Papal, reign in Avignon, waited on by Terror and 

The result of all which is, that, on the 15th of Novem- 
ber 1 791, we behold friend Dampmartin, and subalterns 
beneath him, and General Choisi above him, with Infan- 
try and Cavalry, and proper cannon-carriages rattling in 
front, with spread banners, to the sound of fife and drum, 
wend, in a deliberate formidable manner, towards that 
sheer Castle Rock, towards those broad Gates of Avig- 
non ; three new National-Assembly Commissioners 
following at safe distance in the rear.' Avignon, sum- 
moned in the name of Assembly and Law, flings its 
Gates wide open ; Choisi with the rest, Dampmartin 
and the " Bons Enfaiis, Good Boys, of Baufi-einont" — so 
they name these brave Constitutional Dragoons, known 
to them of old, — do enter, amid shouts and scattered 
flov/ers. To the joy of all honest persons ; to the terror 
only of Jourdan Headsman and the Brigands. Nay 
next we behold carbuncled swollen Jourdan himself 
show copper-face, with sabre and four pistols ; affecting 
to talk high ; engaging, meanwhile, to surrender the 
Castle that instant. So the Choisi Grenadiers enter with 
him there. They start and stop, passing that Glaciere, 
snuffing its horrible breath ; with wild yell, with cries of 
" Cut the Butcher down ! " — and Jourdan has to whisk 
himself through secret passages, and instantaneously 

Be the mystery of iniquity laid bare, then ! A Hun- 
dred and Thirty Corpses, of men, nay of women and 
even children (for the trembling mother, hastily seized, 
could not leave her infant), lie heaped in that Glaciere ; 
putrid, under putridities : the horror of the world. For 

^ Dampmartin, i. 25 1-294. [Soullier ("Hist, de la Rev. d' Avignon") 
has shown that the French mediator and 1,800 troops were but 
six miles away when these horrors were done : and only on the 
command of the King and Assembly did they enter the town, 
November 7th : not till November 9th was the fact of the massacre 
revealed.— Ed.] 


NOV. 1791] AVIGNON 255 

three days there is mournful Hfting out, and recognition ; 
amid the cries and movements of a passionate Southern 
people, now kneeling in prayer, now storming in wild 
pity and rage : lastly there is solemn sepulture, with 
muffled drums, religious requiem, and all the people's 
wail and tears. Their Massacred rest now in holy 
ground ; buried in one grave. 

And Jourdan Coupe-tcte ? Him also we behold again, 
after a day or two : in flight, through the most romantic 
Petrarchan hill-country ; vehemently spurring his nag ; 
young Ligonnet, a brisk youth of Avignon, with Choisi 
Dragoons, close in his rear ! With such swollen mass 
of a rider no nag can run to advantage. The tired nag, 
spur-driven, does take the River Sorgue ; but sticks in 
the middle of it ; firm on that chiaro fondo di Sorga ; 
and will proceed no farther for spurring ! Young 
Ligonnet dashes up ; the Copper-face menaces and 
bellows, draws pistol, perhaps even snaps it ; is never- 
theless seized by the collar ; is tied firm, ankles under 
horse's belly, and ridden back to Avignon, hardly to be 
saved from massacre on the streets there.^ 

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

' Dampmartin, ubi supra. 

2 " Deux Amis" (Paris, 1797), vii. pp. 59-71. [Jourdan was finally 
taken to Paris, where the Jacobins amnestied him : he returned 
to the south and was guillotined in 1794 as a moderate !— Ed.] 

256 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. hi 

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

Of all which, and much else, let us note only this 
small consequence, that young Barbaroux, Advocate, 
Town-Clerk of Marseilles, being charged to have these 
things remedied, arrives at Paris in the month of 
February 1792. The beautiful and brave: young 
Spartan, ripe in energy, not ripe in wisdom ; over whose 
black doom there shall flit nevertheless a certain ruddy 
fervour, streaks of bright Southern tint, not wholly swal- 
lowed of Death ! Note also that the Rolands of Lyons 
are again in Paris ; for the second and final time. King's 
Inspectorship is abrogated at Lyons, as elsewhere : 
Roland has his retiring-pension to claim, if attainable ; 
has Patriot friends to commune with ; at lowest, has a 
Book to publish. That young Barbaroux and the 

' Barbaroux, p. 21 ; "Hist. Pari.,'' xiii. 421-424. 

1792] AVIGNON 257 

Rolands came together ; that elderly Spartan Roland 
liked, or even loved the young Spartan, and was loved 

by him, one can fancy : and Madame ? Breathe 

not, thou poison-breath, Evil-speech ! That soul is taint- 
less, clear as the mirror-sea. And yet if they two did 
look into each other's eyes, and each, in silence, in 
tragical renunciance, did find that the other was ail-too 
lovely ? Honi soit ! She calls him " beautiful as 
Antinous " : he will speak elsewhere of that astonishing 
woman." ^ — A Madame d'Udon (or some such name, for 
Dumont does not recollect quite clearly) gives copious 
Breakfast to the Brissotin Deputies and us Friends of 
Freedom, at her House in the Place Vendome ; with 
temporary celebrity, with graces and wreathed smiles ; 
not without cost. There, amid wide babble and jingle, 
our plan of Legislative Debate is settled for the day, 
and much counselling held. Strict Roland is seen there, 
but does not go often," 

^ [Mme. Roland's later judgment on Barbaroux was that he 
was volatile. — " When I see such fine young men too proud of the 
impression they make, I cannot help thinking that they adore 
themselves too much to have much adoration left for the Father- 
land."— Ed.] 

* Dumont, "Souvenirs," p. 374. 


2S8 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. iv 



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

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

The General himself doubts not in the least but he 


1791-92] NO SUGAR 259 

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

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

What a change here, in these two years ; since that 
first " Box of Tricolor Cockades " got through the 
Custom-house and atrabiliar Creoles too rejoiced that 

' Dumouriez, ii. 129. 

^ "Hist. Pari.," xii. 131, 141 ; xiii. 114,417. 

26o PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. iv 

there was a levelling of Bastilles ! Levelling is com- 
fortable, as we often say : levelling, yet only down to 
oneself Your pale-white Creoles have their griev- 
ances : — and your yellow Ouarteroons ? And your dark- 
yellow Mulattoes? And your Slaves soot-black? Ouar- 
teroon Oge, Friend of our Parisian -Brissotin Friends of 
the Blacks^ felt, for his share too, that Insurrection was 
the most sacred of duties. So the tricolor Cockades 
had fluttered and swashed only some three months on 
the Creole hat, when Oge's signal-conflagrations went 
aloft ; with the voice of rage and terror. Repressed, 
doomed to die, he took black powder or seedgrains in 
the hollow of his hand, this Og6 ; sprinkled a film of 
white ones on the top, and said to his Judges, "Behold 
they are white ; " then shook his hand, and said, "Where 
are the whites, Oh sont les blancs ? " 

So now, in the Autumn of 1791, looking from the 
sky-windows of Cap Frangais, thick clouds of smoke 
girdle our horizon, smoke in the day, in the night fire ; 
preceded by fugitive shrieking white women, by Terror 
and Rumour. Black demonised squadrons are massacring 
and harrying, with nameless cruelty. They fight and 
fire " from behind thickets and coverts," for the Black 
man loves the Bush ; they rush to the attack, thousands 
strong, with brandished cutlasses and fusils, with caper- 
ings, shoutings and vociferation, — which, if the White 
Volunteer Company stands firm, dwindle into stagger- 
ings, into quick gabblement, into panic flight at the first 
volley, perhaps before it' Poor Oge could be broken 
on the wheel ; this fire-whirlwind too can be abated, 
driven up into the Mountains : but Saint-Domingo is 

^ " Deux Amis," x. 157. [Oge and some two hundred mulattoes 
and blacks claimed the " Rights of Man " decreed by the National 
Assembly but denied by the governing classes of St. Domingo : he 
was broken on the wheel on March 9th, 1791. On May 15th 
Gregoire carried a decree at Paris for the emancipation of the 
blacks in French colonies. Again the planters rejected the juris- 
diction of the Assembly : but the blacks rose in September, 1791. 
massacred the whites and wrecked the colony. Troubles also took 
place at Martinique and Cayenne. — Ed.] 

1791-92] NO SUGAR 261 

shaken, as Og6's seedgrains were ; shaking, writhing in 
long horrid death-throes, it is Black without remedy ; 
and remains, as African Haiti, a monition to the world. 

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

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

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

^ " Debats des Jacobins," etc. (" Hist. Pari.," xiii. 171, 92-9S). 

262 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. v 



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


King's Couchee is solitary." ^ In such a case of dubiety, 
what is one to do ? Go inevitably to the ground ! 

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

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

The thing v/hich the King's Government did do was 
to stagger distractedly from contradiction to contradic- 
tion ; and wedding Fire to Water, envelope itself in 
hissing and ashy steam. Danton and needy corruptible 
Patriots are sopped with presents of cash : they accept 
the sop ; they rise refreshed by it, and — travel their own 

^ Campan, ii. 177, 202. 

- [The King's Ministers were rendered practically helpless by 
the Constitution itself.— Ed.] 

^ Bertrand-Moleville, i. c. 4. ^ lb., i. 370. 

264 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. v 

vvay.^ Nay, the King's Government did likewise hire 
Hand-clappers, or claqiieurs^ persons to applaud. Sub- 
terranean Rivarol has Fifteen Hundred Men in King's 
pay, at the rate of some ;^ 10,000 sterling per month ; 
what he calls " a staff of genius " : Paragraph-writers, 
Placard Journalists ; " two hundred and eighty Ap- 
plauders, at three shillings a day " : one of the strangest 
Staffs ever commanded by man. The muster-rolls and 
account-books of which still exist.- Bertrand-Moleville 
himself, in a way he thinks very dexterous, contrives to 
pack the Galleries of the Legislative ; gets Sansculottes 
hired to go thither, and applaud at a signal given, they 
fancying it was Petion that bade them : a device which 
was not detected for almost a week. Dexterous enough ; 
as if a man, finding the Day fast decline, should deter- 
mine on altering the Clock-hands : tJiat is a thing possible 
for him. 

Here too let us note an unexpected apparition of 
Philippe d'Orleans at Court : his last at the Levee of 
any King, D'Orleans, some time in the winter months 
seemingly, has been appointed to that old first-coveted 
rank of Admiral, — though only over ships rotting in 
port. The wished-for comes too late ! However, he 
waits on Bertrand-Moleville to give thanks : nay to state 
that he would willingly thank his Majesty in person ; 
that, in spite of all the horrible things men have said 
and sung, he is far from being his Majesty's enemy ; at 
bottom, how far ! Bertrand delivers the message, brings 
about the royal Interview, which does pass to the satis- 
faction of his Majesty ; D'Orleans seemingly clearly 
repentant, determined to turn over a new leaf And yet, 
next Sunday, what do we see ? " Next Sunday," says 
Bertrand, " he came to the King's Levee ; but the 
Courtiers ignorant of what had passed, the Crowd of 
Royalists who were accustomed to resort thither on that 
day specially to pay their court, gave him the most 
humiliating reception. They came pressing round him ; 

' Bertrand-Moleville, i. c. 17. ^ Montf^raillard, iii. 41. 


managing, as if by mistake, to tread on his toes, to elbow 
him towards the door, and not let him enter again. He 
went down stairs to her Majesty's Apartments, where 
cover was laid ; so soon as he showed face, sounds rose 
on all sides, ' Messieurs, take care of the dishes^ as if he 
had carried poison in his pockets. The insults, which his 
presence everywhere excited, forced him to retire without 
having seen the Royal family : the crowd followed him 
to the Queen's staircase ; in descending, he received a 
spitting {crachat) on the head, and some others on his 
clothes. Rage and spite were seen visibly painted on 
his face : " ^ as indeed how could they miss to be ? He 
imputes it all to the King and Queen, who know nothing 
of it, who are even much grieved at it ; and so descends 
to his Chaos again. Bertrand was there at the Chateau 
that day himself, and an eye-witness to these things. 

For the rest, Non-jurant Priests, and the repression of 
them, will distract the King's conscience ; Emigrant 
Princes and Noblesse will force him to double-dealing : 
there must be veto on veto ; amid the ever-waxing indig- 
nation of men. For Patriotism, as we said, looks on 
from without, more and more suspicious. Waxing 
tempest, blast after blast, of Patriotic indignation, from 
without ; dim inorganic whirl of Intrigues, Fatuities, 
within ! Inorganic, fatuous ; from which the eye turns 
away. De Stael intrigues for her so gallant Narbonne, 
to get him made War- Minister ; and ceases not, having 
got him made.' The King shall fly to Rouen ; shall 

^ Bertrand-Moleville, i. 177. 

^ [Narbonne, Comte de (1755-1813), studied law under Koch at 
Strassburg, and diplomacy at the French Foreign Office : a 
chivalrous brave man, whose dominating trait was (according to 
Mme. de Stael) military honour and French bravery. Talleyrand 
was his private political adviser. Along with Barnave they desired 
war with Austria so as to improve the army, enhance the royal 
power, enable the successful general (Lafayette — or Narbonne ?) and 
further the interests of constitutional monarchy (Sorel, "L'Europe 
et la Rev. Francaise," Pt. ii., pp. 323-326). Narbonne became an 
ambassador under Napoleon — the successful general of his dreams. 

266 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. v 

there, with the gallant Narbonne, properly " modify the 
Constitution." This is the same brisk Narbonne, who, 
last year, cut out from their entanglement, by force of 
dragoons, those poor fugitive Royal Aunts : men say 
he is at bottom their Brother, or even more, so scandalous 
is scandal. He drives now, with hisDe Statil, rapidly to the 
Armies, to the Frontier Towns ; produces rose-coloured 
Reports, not too credible; perorates, gesticulates; wavers 
poising himself on the top, for a moment, seen of men ; 
then tumbles, dismissed, washed away by the Time-flood. 

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

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

But now comes the third thing that bodes ill for the 
marching of this French Constitution : besides the French 
People, and the French King, there is thirdly — the 


assembled European World. It has become necessary 
now to look at that also. Fair France is so luminous : 
and round and round it, is troublous Cimmerian Night. 
Calonnes, Breteuils hover dim, far-flown ; overnetting 
Europe with intrigues. From Turin to Vienna ; to Ber- 
lin, and utmost Petersburg in the frozen North ! Great 
Burke has raised his great voice long ago ; eloquently 
demonstrating that the end of an Epoch is come, to all 
appearance the end of Civilised Time. Him many 
answer : Camille DesmouHns, Clootz Speaker of Man- 
kind, Paine the rebellious Needleman, and honourable 
Gaelic Vindicators in that country and in this : ^ but the 
great Burke remains unanswerable ; " the Age of Chivalry 
is gone," and could not but go, having now produced 
.the still more indomitable Age of Hunger. Altars 
enough, of the Dubois-Rohan sort, changing to the 
Gobel-and-Talleyrand sort, are faring by rapid trans- 
mutations to — shall we say, the right Proprietor of them ? 
French Game and French Game-Preservers did alight 
on the Cliffs of Dover, with cries of distress. Who will 
say that the end of much is not come ? A set of mortals 
has risen, who believe that Truth is not a printed Specu- 
lation, but a practical Fact ; that Freedom and Brother- 
hood are possible in this Earth, supposed always to be 
Belial's, which " the Supreme Quack " was to inherit ! 
Who will say that Church, State, Throne, Altar are not 
in danger ; that the sacred Strongbox itself, last Pal- 
ladium of effete Humanity, may not be blasphemously 
blown upon, and its padlocks undone ? 

The poor Constituent Assembly might act with what 
delicacy and diplomacy it would ; declared that it ab- 
jured meddling with its neighbours, foreign conquest, 
and so forth ; but from the first this thing was to be 
predicted : that old Europe and new France could not 
subsist together. A Glorious Revolution, oversetting 
State-Prisons and Feudalism ; publishing, with outburst 
of Federative Cannon, in face of all the Earth, that 

' [Mackintosh's "Vindiciae Gallicae" was the best reply. — Ed.] 

268 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. v 

Appearance is not Reality, how shall it subsist amid 
Governments which, if Appearance is 7iot Reality, are 
— one knows not what ? In death-feud, and internecine 
wrestle and battle, it shall subsist with them ; not other- 

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

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

^ Toulongeon, i. 256. 

'^ [Priestley (1733-1804), a dissenting minister who made im- 
portant scientific discoveries, including that of oxygen : settled at 
Birmingham in 1780 and proclaimed his ardent sympathy with the 
F>ench Revolution. While celebrating the Bastille anniversary 
the riot took place : he went to the United States in 1794. — Ed.] 


their threatenings, their Declaration ' that it was " the 
common cause of Kings." 

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

From South to North ! For actually it is " the com- 
mon cause of Kings." Swedish Gustav, sworn Knight 
of the Queen of France, will lead Coalised Armies ; — 
had not Ankarstrom treasonously shot him ; for, indeed, 
there were griefs nearer home." Austria and Prussia 
speak at Pilnitz ; all men intensely listening. Imperial 
Rescripts have gone out from Turin ; there will be secret 
Convention at Vienna. Catherine of Russia beckons 
approvingly ; will help, were she ready.' Spanish Bour- 

' [The Declaration of Pilnitz. See Appendix.— Ed.] 
■^ March 30th, 1792 ("Annual Register," p. 11). [Gustavus had 
assembled the Bourbon princes at Aix-la-Chapelle in July and recog- 
nized the Comte de Provence as Regent of France, Louis being under 
restraint at Paris. Gustavus was assassinated at a masquerade by 
Ankerstrom, a discharged officer, March 15th, 1792. — Ed.] 

■^ [This is incorrect. Catherine's policy is summed up in her 
own words—" I want to engage them [Austria and Prussia] in 
these affairs in order that I may have elbow-room [in Poland]." 
This was well known at Vienna and Berlin, and made those Courts 

270 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, CH. v 

bon stirs amid his pillows ; from him too, even from 
him, shall there come help. Lean Pitt, " the Minister of 
Preparatives," looks out from his watch-tower in Saint 
James's, in a suspicious manner.^ Councillors plotting, 
Calonnes dim-hovering ; — alas, Sergeants rub-a-dubbing 
openly through all manner of German market-towns, 
collecting ragged valour ! " Look where you will, im- 
measurable Obscurantism is girdling this fair France ; 
which, again, will not be girdled by it. Europe is in 
travail ; pang after pang ; what a shriek was that of 
Pilnitz ! The birth will be : War. 

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

reluctant to have a war with France. It was suspected at Paris 
(Sorel, ii. 216-217 ; Clapham, p. 174).— Ed.] 

' [This is incorrect. Pitt's neutrahty prevented the league of 
the monarchs from taking effect : he reduced our armed forces 
considerably early in 1792. The King's Speech declared that peace 
had never seemed better assured.— Ed.] 

■^ Toulongeon, ii. 100-117. [The French Princes in a publicletter 
to Louis XVI. sought to intimidate France, but only exasperated 
her (Sorel, vol. ii., p. 262). — Ed.] 


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

Unhappy Emigrants, it was their lot, and the lot of 
France ! They are ignorant of much that they should 
know : of themselves, of what is around them. A 

' Montgaillard, iii. 5-17 ; Toulongeon, ubi supra. 
* See " Hist. Pari.," xiii. 1 1-38, 41-61, 35^, etc. 
^ "Moniteur," Seance du 2 Novembre 1791 ("Hist. Pari.," xii. 

272 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. v 

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

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

But they were proud and high, these men ; they w^ere 
not wise to consider. They spurned all from them in 
disdainful hate, they drew the sword and flung away 
the scabbard. France has not only no Hierarchy of 
Authorities, to translate command into obedience ; its 


Hierarchy of Authorities has fled to the enemies of 
France ; calls loudly on the enemies of France to inter- 
fere armed, who want but a pretext to do that.' Jealous 
Kings and Kaisers might have looked on long, meditat- 
ing interference, yet afraid and ashamed to interfere : 
but now do not the King's Brothers, and all French 
Nobles, Dignitaries and Authorities that are free to 
speak, which the King himself is not, — passionately 
invite us, in the name of Right and of Might ? Ranked 
at Coblentz, from Fifteen to Twenty thousand stand 
now brandishing their weapons, with the cry : On, on ! 
Yes, Messieurs, you shall on ! — and divide the spoil 
according to your dates of emigrating. 

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

1 [See Appendix II. at end of this volume. — Ed.] 
- "Ami du Roi" Newspaper (in " Hist. Parl.,"xiii. 175). [Conde's 
best plan was to seize Strassburg, where the feeble Liickner com- 
manded ; but this was foiled by the patriotic mayor, Dietrich.— 

II, T 

274 PARLIAMENT FIRST [p,k. v, CH. vi 



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

Public Functionary in vigorous action there is none ; 
if it be not Rivarol with his Staff of Genius and Two 
hundred and eighty Applauders. The Public Service 
lies waste ; the very Taxgatherer has forgotten his cun- 
ning : in this and the other Provincial Board of Manage- 
ment {Directoire de Departenienf) it is found advisable to 
retain what Taxes you can gather, to pay your own in- 
evitable expenditures.' Our Revenue is Assignats ; 
emission on emission of Paper-money. And the Army ; 
our Three grand Armies, of Rochambeau,' of Liickner, 
of Lafayette? Lean, disconsolate hover these Three 
grand Armies, watching the Frontiers there ; three 
Flights of long-necked Cranes in moulting-time ; — 
wrecked, disobedient, disorganised ; who never saw fire ; 
the old Generals and Officers gone across the Rhine. 
War-Minister Narbonne, he of the rose-coloured Reports, 
solicits recruitments, equipments, money, always money; 

' [These irregularities did not wholly cease till 1800, when 
Bonaparte intrusted the collection of taxes to a State Director who 
had subordinates in every Department. See the " Mems." of 
Gaudin, Due de Gacta.— Ed.] 

^ [Rochambeau (172 5- 1807) commanded the French regulars sent 
in 1780 to help the United States : in May, 1792, he was superseded 
by Liickner (who had been at Strassburg) : he narrowly escaped 
death in the Terror.— Ed.I 


threatens, since he can get none, to " take his sword," 
which belongs to himself, and go serve his country with 

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

Let the Reader fancy this fair France with a whole 
Cimmerian Europe girdling her, rolling in on her, black, 
to burst in red thunder of War ; fair France herself 
hand-shackled and foot-shackled in the weltering com- 
plexities of this Social Clothing, or Constitution, which 
they have made for her ; a France that, in such Con- 
stitution, cannot march ! And Hunger too ; and plotting 

^ " Moniteur," Seance du 23 Janvier 1792; "Biographic des 
Ministres," § Narbonne. 
- Dumouriez, ii. c. 6. 

276 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, CH. vi 

Aristocrats, and excommunicating Dissident Priests : 
" the man Lebrun by name " urging his black zviski, 
visible to the eye ; and, still more terrible in his invisi- 
bility. Engineer Goguelat, with Queen's cipher, riding 
and running ! 

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

Nevertheless deepen your cajolery, harp quick and 
quicker, ye Royalist Seigneurs ; with a dead-lift effort 
you may bring it to that. In the month of June next, 
this Camp of falcs will step forth as a theatricality 
suddenly become real ; Two thousand strong, and with 
the boast that it is Seventy thousand : most strange to 

' Dampmartin, i. 201. 


see ; with flags flying, bayonets fixed ; with Proclama- 
tion, and D'Artois Commission of civil war ! Let some 
Rebecqui, or other the like hot-clear Patriot ; let some 
" Lieutenant-Colonel Aubry," if Rebecqui is busy else- 
where, raise instantaneous National Guards, and disperse 
and dissolve it ; and blow the Old Castle asunder,^ that 
so, if possible, we hear of it no more ! 

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

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

^ " Moniteur," Seance du 15 Juillet 1792. 

^ Newspapers, etc. (in "Hist. Pari.," xiii. 325). 

278 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. vii 



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

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

Less joyful are the Laws against Refractory Priests ; 
and yet not less needful ! Decrees on Priests and 
Decrees on Emigrants : these are the two brief Series of 
Decrees, worked out with endless debate, and then can- 
celled by Veto, which mainly concern us here. For an 
august National Assembly must needs conquer these 


Refractories, Clerical or Laic, and thumbscrew them 
into obedience : yet, behold, always as you turn your 
legislative thumbscrew, and will press and even crush till 
Refractories give way, — King's Veto steps in with magi- 
cal paralysis ; and your thumbscrew, hardly squeezing, 
much less crushing, does not act ! 

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

^ [" Monsieur " was still posing as Regent of France on the ground 
that Louis was under restraint. — Ed.] 

- [The decree of November 29th, 1791, ordered that every non- 
juring priest (see note on p. 13) should be deprived of his rights 
as a citizen, subjected to surveillance, and removed from his place 
of abode by the Directory of the Department. In spite of the veto 
of the King this decree was generally put in force. 

Sorel points out that this and the other persecuting decrees 

28o PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. vii 

turn is coming ; but to this also the answer will be, 

Veto after Veto ; your thumbscrew paralysed ! Gods 
and men may see that the Legislative is in a false 
position. As, alas, who is in a true one ? Voices already 
murmur for a " National Convention."^ This poor 
Legislative, spurred and stung into action by a whole 
France and a whole Europe, cannot act ; can only ob- 
jurgate and perorate ; with stormy " motions," and 
motion in which is no way ; with effervescence, with 
noise and fuliginous fury ! 

What scenes in that National Hall ! President jingling 
his inaudible bell ; or, as utmost signal of distress, 
clapping on his hat ; " the tumult subsiding in twenty 
minutes," and this or the other indiscreet Member sent 
to the Abbaye Prison for three days ! Suspected Per- 
sons must be summoned and questioned ; old M. de 
Sombreuil of the Invalidcs has to give account of him- 
self, and why he leaves his Gates open. Unusual smoke 
rose from the Sevres Pottery, indicating conspiracy ; the 
Potters explained that it was Necklace-Lamotte's " Me- 
moires," bought up by her Majesty, which they were 
endeavouring to suppress by fire,'"' — which nevertheless 
he that runs may still read. 

Again, it would seem, Duke de Brissac and the King's 
Constitutional-Guard are " making cartridges secretly in 
the cellars" : a set of Royalists, pure and impure ; black 
cut-throats many of them, picked out of gaming-houses 
and sinks ; in all Six thousand instead of Eighteen 
hundred ; who evidently gloom on us every time we 
enter the Chateau.^ Wherefore, with infinite debate, let 
Brissac and King's Guard be disbanded. Disbanded ac- 
cordingly they are ; after only two months of existence, 
for they did not get on foot till March of this same year. 

alienated the lower clergy and caused the Vendean War (" L'Europe 
et la Rev. Franqaise," pt. ii., pp. 306-308). — Ed.] 

^ December 1791 ("Hist. Pari.," xii. 257). 

^ *' Moniteur," Seance du 28 Mai 1792 ; Campan, ii. 196. 

^ Dumouriez, ii. 168. 


So ends briefly the King's new Constitutional Maison 
Militairc ; he must now be guarded by mere Swiss and 
blue Nationals again. It seems the lot of Constitutional 
things. New Constitutional Maison Civile he would 
never even establish, much as Barnave urged it ; old 
resident Duchesses sniffed at it, and held aloof; on the 
whole her Majesty thought it not worth while, the No- 
blesse would so soon be back triumphant.^ 

Or, looking still into this National Hall and its scenes, 
behold Bishop Torne, a Constitutional Prelate, not of 
severe morals, demanding that " religious costumes and 
such caricatures" be abolished. Bishop Torne warms, 
catches fire ; finishes by untying, and indignantly fling- 
ing on the table, as if for gage or bet, his own pontifical 
cross. Which cross, at any rate, is instantly covered by 
the cross of Te-Detwi Fauchet, then by other crosses 
and insignia, till all are stripped ; this clerical Senator 
clutching off his skull-cup, that other his frill-collar, — 
lest Fanaticism return on us." 

Quick is the movement here ! And then so confused, 
unsubstantial, you might call it almost spectral: pallid, 
dim, inane, like the Kingdoms of Dis ! Unruly Linguet, 
shrunk to a kind of spectre for us, pleads here some 
cause that he has ; amid rumour and interruption, which 
excel human patience : he " tears his papers, and with- 
draws," the irascible adust little man. Nay honourable 
Members will tear their papers, being effervescent : Mer- 
lin of Thionville tears his papers, crying : " So, the 
People cannot be saved hy you !" Nor are Deputations 
wanting : Deputations of Sections ; generally with com- 
plaint and denouncement, always with Patriot fervour of 
sentiment : Deputation of Women, pleading that they 
also may be allowed to take Pikes, and exercise in the 

^ Campan, ii. c. 19. [Whether Mme. Campan knew much of the 
Queen's inmost thoughts may be doubled. Marie Antoinette's 
letters to Mercy Argenteau breathe little else than despair, owing 
to the cruel apathy of the Emperor Leopold (see Arneth's " Brief- 
wechsel von Marie Antoinette und Leopold II.," pp. 226, 231).— Ed.] 

- " Moniteur," du 7 Avril 1792 ; "Deux Amis," vii. iii. 

282 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. vii 

Champ-de-Mars. Why not, ye Amazons, if it be in you ? 
Then occasionally, having done our message and got 
answer, we " defile through the Hall singing qa-ira" ; or 
rather roll and whirl through it, " dancing our ronde 
patriotique the while," — our new Carmagnole^ or Pyrrhic 
war-dance and liberty-dance. Patriot Huguenin, Ex- 
Advocate, Ex-Carbineer, Ex-Clerk of the Barriers, comes 
deputed, with Saint-Antoine at his heels ; denouncing 
Anti-patriotism, Famine, Forestalment and Man-eaters ; 
asks an august Legislative : " Is there not 2i tocsin in your 
hearts against these viangeiirs d' homines V'^ 

But above all things, for this is a continual business, 
the Legislative has to reprimand the King's Ministers. 
Of his Majesty's Ministers we have said hitherto, and 
say, next to nothing. Still more spectral these ! Sorrow- 
ful ; of no permanency any of them, none at least since 
Montmorin vanished : the " eldest of the King's Council " 
is occasionally not ten days old.^ Feuillant-Constitu- 
tional, as your respectable Cahier de Gerville, as your 
respectable unfortunate Delessarts ; or Royalist-Consti- 
tutional, as Montmorin last Friend of Necker ; or Aris- 
tocrat, as Bertrand-Moleville : they flit there phantom- 
like, in the huge simmering confusion ; poor shadows, 
dashed in the racking winds ; powerless, without mean- 
ing ; — whom the human memory need not charge itself 

But how often, we say, are these poor Majesty's 
Ministers summoned over ; to be questioned, tutored ; 
nay threatened, almost bullied ! They answer what, 
with adroitest simulation and casuistry, they can : of 
which a poor Legislative knows not what to make. 
One thing only is clear. That Cimmerian Europe is 
girdling us in ; that France (not actually dead, surely ?) 
cannot march. Have a care, ye Ministers ! Sharp 
Guadet transfixes you with cross-questions, with sudden 

^ See " Moniteur," Seances (in " Hist. Pari.," xiii., xiv.). 
^ Dumouriez, ii. 137. 

^ [For a list of them see Morse Stephens' " Fr. Rev.," vol. ii., 
Appendix. — Ed.] 



Advocate-conclusions ; the sleeping tempest that is in 
Vergniaud can be awakened. Restless Brissot brings 
up Reports, Accusations, endless thin Logic ; it is the 
man's highday even now. Condorcet redacts, with his 
firm pen, our " Address of the Legislative Assembly to 
the French Nation." ^ Fiery Max Isnard, who, for the 
rest, will " carry not Fire and Sword " on those Cim- 
merian Enemies, " but Liberty," — is for declaring " that 
we hold Ministers responsible ; and that by responsibility 
we mean death, nous entendons la inort." 

For verily it grows serious : the time presses, and 
traitors there are. Bertrand-Moleville has a smooth 
tongue, the known Aristocrat ; gall in his heart. How 
his answers and explanations flow ready ; Jesuitic, 
plausible to the ear ! But perhaps the notablest is this, 
which befell once when Bertrand had done answering 
and was withdrawn. Scarcely had the august Assembly 
begun considering what was to be done with him, when 
the Hall fills with smoke. Thick sour smoke : no ora- 
tory, only wheezing and barking ; — irremediable ; so 
that the august Assembly has to adjourn ! '^ A miracle ? 
Typical miracle ? One knows not : only this one seems 
to know, that " the Keeper of the Stoves was appointed 
by Bertrand" or by some underling of his! — O fuli- 
ginous confused Kingdom of Dis, with thy Tantalus- 
Ixion toils, with thy angry Fire-floods, and Streams 
named of Lamentation, why hast thou not thy Lethe 
too, that so one might _/f«zV/^? 

' February i6th, 1792 (" Choix des Rapports," viii. 375-92). 
- "Courrier de Paris," 14 Janvier 1792 (Gorsas's Newspaper), in 
" Hist. Pari.," xiii. 83. 

284 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. viii 



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

But, at worst, cannot Patriotism, so many thousands 
strong in this Metropolis of the Universe, help itself? 
Has it not right-hands, pikes? Hammering of Pikes, 

^ "Discours de Bailly, Reponse de Petion" ("Moniteur" du 
20 Novembre 1791). 

1792] THE JACOBINS 285 

which was not to be prohibited by Mayor Bailly, has 
been sanctioned by Mayor Petion ; sanctioned by Legis- 
lative Assembly. How not, when the King's so-called 
Constitutional Guard "was making cartridges in secret " ? 
Changes are necessary for the National Guard itself; 
this whole Feuillant-Aristocrat Staff of the Guard must 
be disbanded. Likewise, citizens without uniform may 
surely rank in the Guard, the pike beside the musket, in 
such a time : the " active " citizen and the passive who 
can fight for us, are they not both welcome? — O my 
Patriot friends, indubitably Yes! Nay the truth is, 
Patriotism throughout, were it never so white-frilled, 
logical, respectable, must either lean itself heartily on 
Sansculottism, the black, bottomless ; or else vanish, in 
the frightfulest way, to Limbo ! Thus some, with up- 
turned nose, will altogether sniff and disdain Sansculot- 
tism ; others will lean heartily on it ; nay others again 
will lean what we call Jieartkssly on it : three sorts ; each 
sort with a destiny corresponding. 

In such point of view, however, have we not for the 
present a Volunteer Ally, stronger than all the rest ; 
namely. Hunger? Hunger ; and what rushing of Panic 
Terror this and the sum-total of our other miseries may 
bring ! For Sansculottism grows by what all other 
things die of Stupid Peter Bailie almost made an epi- 
gram, though unconsciously, and with the Patriot world 
laughing not at it but at him, when he wrote : " Tout va 
Men id, le pain manque, All goes well here, food is not 
to be had." ^ 

Neither, if you knew it, is Patriotism without her Con- 
stitution that can march ; her not impotent Parliament ; 
or call it, Ecumenic Council, and General-Assembly of 
the Jean-Jacques Churches: the MOTHER SOCIETY, 
namely ! Mother Society with her three hundred full- 
grown Daughters ; with what we can call little Grand- 
daughters trying to walk, in every village of France, 
numerable, as Burke thinks, by the hundred thousand. 

> Barbaroux, p. 94. 

286 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. viii 

This is the true Constitution ; made not by Twelve 
hundred august Senators, but by Nature herself; and 
has grown, unconsciously, out of the wants and the 
efforts of these Twenty-five Millions of men. They are 
" Lords of the Articles," our Jacobins ; they originate 
debates for the Legislative ; discuss Peace and War ; 
settle beforehand what the Legislative is to do. Greatly 
to the scandal of philosophical men, and of most His- 
torians ; — who do in that judge naturally, and yet not 
wisely. A Governing Power must exist : your other 
powers here are simulacra ; this power is it. 

Great is the Mother Society ; she has had the honour 
to be denounced by Austrian Kaunitz ; ^ and is all the 
dearer to Patriotism. By fortune and valour she has 
extinguished Feuillantism itself, at least the Feuillant 
Club. This latter, high as it once carried its head, she, 
on the 1 8th of February, has the satisfaction to see shut, 
extinct ; Patriots having gone thither, with tumult, to 
hiss it out of pain. The Mother Society has enlarged 
her locality, stretches now over the whole nave of the 
Church. Let us glance in, with the worthy Toulongeon, 
our old Ex-Constituent Friend, who happily has eyes to 
see. " The nave of the Jacobins Church," says he, " is 
changed into a vast Circus, the seats of which mount up 
circularly like an amphitheatre to the very groin of the 
domed roof. A high Pyramid of black marble, built 
against one of the walls, which was formerly a funeral 
monument, has alone been left standing : it serves now 
as back to the Office-bearers' Bureau. Here on an 
elevated Platform sit President and Secretaries, behind 
and above them the white Busts of Mirabeau, of Frank- 
lin, and various others, nay finally of Marat. Facing 
this is the Tribune, raised till it is midway between 
floor and groin of the dome, so that the speaker's voice 
may be in the centre. From that point thunder the 
voices which shake all Europe : down below, in silence, 
are forging the thunderbolts and the firebrands. Pene- 

* " Moniteur," Seance du 29 Mars 1792. 


1792] THE JACOBINS 287 

trating into this huge circuit, where all is out of measure, 
gigantic, the mind cannot repress some movement of 
terror and wonder ; the imagination recalls those dread 
temples which Poetry, of old, had consecrated to the 
Avenging Deities." ' 

Scenes too are in this Jacobin Amphitheatre, — had 
History time for them. Flags of the " Three Free 
Peoples of the Universe," trinal brotherly flags of Eng- 
land, America, France, have been waved here in con- 
cert ; by London Deputation, of Whigs or PVz^/is and 
their Club, on this hand, and by young French Citoyennes 
on that ; beautiful sweet-tongued Female Citizens, who 
solemnly send over salutation and brotherhood, also Tri- 
color stitched by their own needle, and finally Ears of 
Wheat ; while the dome rebellows with Vivent les trois 
penples libres ! ' from all throats : — a most dramatic 
scene. Demoiselle Theroigne recites, from that Tribune 
in mid air, her persecutions in Austria ; comes leaning 
on the arm of Joseph Chenier, Poet Ch^nier, to demand 
Liberty for the hapless Swiss of Chateau-Vieux.' Be 
of hope, ye forty Swiss ; tugging there, in the Brest 
waters ; not forgotten ! 

Deputy Brissot perorates from that Tribune ; Des- 
moulins, our wicked Camille, interjecting audibly from 
below, " Coqidn ! " Here, though oftener in the Cor- 
deliers, reverberates the lion-voice of Danton ; grim 
Billaud-Varennes is here ; Collot d'Herbois, pleading for 
the forty Swiss, tearing a passion to rags. Apophtheg- 
matic Manuel winds up in this pithy way : " A Minister 
must perish ! " — to which the Amphitheatre responds : 
" Tous, Tous, All, All ! " But the Chief Priest and 

^ Toulongeon, ii. 124. 

"^ [It should be noted that early in 1793 Talleyrand went over to 
London to see whether England was really determined to be 
neutral. He wrote on January 27th: "A rapprochement with 
England is not a chimaera." He intrigued with the Whigs. So 
did Brissot and Clavicre, who opined that an alliance with us 
might readily be obtained (see Sorel, pt. ii., pp. 335, 387-389).— 

' "Debats des Jacobins" ("Hist. Pari.," xiii. 259, etc.). 

288 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. viii 

Speaker of this place, as we said, is Robespierre, the 
long-winded incorruptible man. What spirit of Patriot- 
ism dwelt in men in those times, this one fact, it seems 
to us, will evince : that fifteen hundred human creatures, 
not bound to it, sat quiet under the oratory of Robes- 
pierre ; nay listened nightly, hour after hour, applausive ; 
and gaped as for the word of life. More insupportable 
individual, one would say, seldom opened his mouth in 
any Tribune. Acrid, implacable-impotent ; dull-drawl- 
ing, barren as the Harmattan wind. He pleads, in 
endless earnest-shallow speech, against immediate War, 
against Woollen Caps, or Bonnets Rotiges, against many 
things ; and is the Trismegistus and Dalai-Lama of 
Patriot men. Whom nevertheless a shrill-voiced little 
man, yet with fine eyes and a broad beautifully sloping 
brow, rises respectfully to controvert ; he is, say the 
Newspaper Reporters, " M. Louvet, Author of the charm- 
ing Romance of Faublas." Steady, ye Patriots ! Pull 
not yet two ways ; with a France rushing panic-stricken 
in the rural districts, and a Cimmerian Europe storming 
in on you ! 

Jca n - ,^Vva i ic -' /"^ , ola n J Jc - la - .'1^1 a t ichc. 
From "Tableaux historiques." 




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

General Dumouriez," with the Foreign Portfolio, shall 
ply Kaunitz and the Kaiser, in another style than did 
poor Delessarts ; whom indeed we have sent to our 
High Court of Orleans for his sluggishness. War- 
Minister Narbonne is washed away by the Time-flood ; ^ 
poor Chevalier de Grave, chosen by the Court, is fast 

' [The attacks of the Girondins on the Court, the death of the 
Emperor Leopold and the accession of his more warlike brother, 
Francis II., led the Queen, and even perhaps Louis, to hope that 
war might end their dangers. They therefore accepted a Girondin 
Ministry as a last desperate device for assuring war — and deliver- 
ance. See Sorel, pt. ii., pp. 400-402 ; Clapham, pp. 180-182. — Ed.] 

- [Dumouriez (1739-1823) was a soldier of fortune and a restless 
intriguer, for whom (as Sorel says) "the Revolution was not the 
regeneration of Humanity, but merely a career." He was a con- 
stitutional of a rather democratic type : he was fond of the King 
and now secretly offered to serve him, playing thus the role of a 
Mirabeau. — Ed.] 

* [The Queen on one side and the Girondins on the other under- 
mined Narbonne's influence, and Louis replaced him by De Grave 
on March 9th.— Ed.] 

II. U 

290 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. ix 

washing away : then shall austere Servan, able Engineer- 
Officer, mount suddenly to the War Department. Gene- 
vese Claviere sees an omen realised : passing the Finance 
Hotel, long years ago, as a poor Genevese exile, it was 
borne wondrously on his mind that he was to be Fin- 
ance-Minister ; and now he is it ; — and his poor Wife, 
given up by the Doctors, rises and walks, not the victim 
of nerves but their vanquisher.^ And above all, our 
Minister of the Interior? Roland de la Platriere, he of 
Lyons ! So have the Brissotins, public or private Opinion, 
and breakfasts in the Place Vendome, decided it. Strict 
Roland, compared to a Quaker endimandie^ or Sunday 
Quaker, goes to kiss hands at the Tuileries, in round hat 
and sleek hair, his shoes tied with mere riband or 
ferrat. The Supreme Usher twitches Dumouriez aside : 
" Quoi, Mo7isieur ! No buckles to his shoes ? " — " Ah, 
Monsieur," answers Dumouriez, glancing towards the 
ferrat : " All is lost. Tout est perdu!' ^ 

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

Envious men insinuate that the Wife Roland is 

' Dumont, c. 20, z\. '^ Madame Roland, ii. So- 11 5. 



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

So wags and wavers this unrestful World, day after 
day, month after month. The streets of Paris, and all 
Cities, roll daily their oscillatory flood of men ; which 
flood does nightly disappear, and lie hidden horizontal 
in beds and truckle-beds ; and awakes on the morrow to 
new perpendicularity and movement. Men go their 
roads, foolish or wise ; — Engineer Goguelat to and fro, 
bearing Queen's cipher. A Madame de Stael is busy ; 
cannot clutch her Narbonne from the Time-flood : a 
Princess de Lamballe is busy ; cannot help her Queen. 
Barnave, seeing the Feuillants dispersed, and Coblentz 
so brisk, begs by way of final recompense to kiss her 
Majesty's hand ; " augurs not well of her new course " ; 
and retires home to Grenoble, to wed an heiress there.' 
The Cafe Valois and Meot the Restaurateur's hear daily 
gasconade ; loud babble of Half-pay Royalists, with or 
without poniards. Remnants of Aristocrat saloons call 
the new Ministry Mmistere- Sansculotte. A Louvet, of 
the Romance " Faublas," is busy in the Jacobins. A 

^ [He retired in January. After this the two Lameths were the 
parliamentary leaders of the Feuillant party. — Ed.] 

292 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, CH. ix 

Cazotte, of the Romance "Diable Amoureux," is busy else- 
where : better wert thou quiet, old Cazotte ; it is a world, 
this, of magic become realX All men are busy ; doing 
they only half guess what : — flinging seeds, of tares 
mostly, into the " Seed-field of Time " : this, by and by, 
will declare wholly what. 

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

The word Liberty is never named now except in con- 
junction with another; Liberty and Equality. In like 
manner, what, in a reign of Liberty and Equality, can 
these words, " Sir," " Obedient Servant," " Honour to be," 
and suchlike, signify ? Tatters and fibres of old Feud- 
ality ; which, were it only in the Grammatical province, 
ought to be rooted out ! The Mother Society has long 
since had proposals to that effect : these she could not 
entertain ; not, at the moment. Note too how the Jaco- 
bin Brethren are mounting new Symbolical head-gear: 
the Woollen Cap or Nightcap, bonnet de laine, better 
known as bonnet rouge, the colour being red. A thing 
one wears not only by way of Phrygian Cap-of- Liberty, 
but also for convenience-sake, and then also in com- 
pliment to the Lower-class Patriots and Bastille Heroes ; 
for the Red Nightcap combines all the three properties. 
Nay cockades themselves begin to be made of wool, of 
tricolor yarn : the riband-cockade, as a symptom of 



Feuillant Upper-class temper, is becoming suspicious. 
Signs of the times. 

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

War, indeed ! Paris came all crowding, full of expect- 
ancy, to the morning, and still more to the evening, 
session. D'Orleans with his two sons is there ; looks on, 
wide-eyed, from the opposite gallery/ Thou canst look, 
O Philippe : it is a War big with issues, for thee and for 
all men. Cimmerian Obscurantism and this thrice- 
glorious Revolution shall wrestle for it, then : some 
Four-and-Twenty years ; ' in immeasurable Briareus 

' [Kaunitz was Chancellor, Cobenzl was Vice -Chancellor at 
Vienna ; but Metternich had not yet taken any important post. 
Ambassadors had only been " cast out " by Sweden and Russia. 

^ [Dumouriez' pert demand for an immediate disarmament of 
Austria and a repudiation of any " concert " with the other Powers 
against France was ignored at Vienna. This meant war. M. Sorel 
well says : " The Emperor could not leave on the ground the glove 
which this adventurer flung down to him." The National Assembly, 
on its side, voted the declaration of war with only seven dissentients. 
Mme. de Stael says of Louis' demeanour : " A mixture of resigna- 
tion and dignity repressed in him all outward signs of his feelings. 
He proposed war in the same tone of voice with which he would 
have ordered the most insignificant decree to be law." — Ed.] 

^ " Deux Amis," vii. 146-166. 

* [This is incorrect. The renewal of war between England and 
France in 1803, after the Peace of Amiens, was due to the conflict 

294 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. ix 

wrestle ; trampling and tearing ; before they can come 
to any, not agreement, but compromise, and approximate 
ascertainment each of what is in the other. 

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

of Napoleon's colonial plans with those of Britain. No question 
of political principle was involved. See my " Life of Napoleon," 
vol. i., chaps, xv.-xvii. — Ed.] 
^ Dumont, c. 19, 21. 





AND yet, how, on dark bottomless Cataracts there 
plays the foolishest fantastic-coloured spray and 
shadow ; hiding the Abyss under vapoury rainbows ! 
Alongside of this discussion as to Austrian-Prussian 
War, there goes on not less but more vehemently a dis- 
cussion, Whether the Forty or Two-and-forty Swiss of 
Chateau-Vieux shall be liberated from the Brest Galleys? 
And then, Whether, being liberated, they shall have a 
public Festival, or only private ones ? 

Theroigne, as we saw, spoke ; and Collot took up the 
tale. Has not Bouille's final display of himself, in that 
final Night of Spurs, stamped your so-called " Revolt of 
Nanci " into a " Massacre of Nanci," for all Patriot judg- 
ments ? Hateful is that massacre ; hateful the Lafayette- 
Feuillant " public thanks " given for it ! For indeed, 
Jacobin Patriotism and dispersed Feuillantism are now 
at death-grips ; and do fight with all weapons, even with 
scenic shows. The walls of Paris, accordingly, are 
covered with Placard and Counter-Placard, on the sub- 
ject of Forty Swiss blockheads. Journal responds to 
Journal ; Player Collot to Poetaster Roucher ; Joseph 
Ch^nier the Jacobin, squire of Theroigne, to his Brother 
Andr6 the Feuillant ; ' Mayor Petion to Dupont de 
Nemours : and for the space of two months, there is no- 
where peace for the thought of man,— -till this thing be 

^ [Andre Chenier, the poet, was a moderate royalist ; was guil- 
lotined in 1794 with the last victims of the Terror at Paris. — Ed.] 

296 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. x 

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

On the ninth morning of April, these Forty Swiss 
blockheads arrive. From Versailles ; with vivats heaven- 
high ; with the affluence of men and women. To the 
Townhall we conduct them ; nay to the Legislative 
itself, though not without difficulty. They are harangued, 
bedinnered, begifted, — the very Court, notiox conscience- 
sake, contributing something ; and their Public Festival 
shall be next Sunday. Next Sunday accordingly it is.' 
They are mounted into a " triumphal Car resembling a 
ship " ; are carted over Paris, with the clang of cymbals 
and drums, all mortals assisting applausive ; carted to 
the Champ-de-Mars and Fatherland's Altar ; and finally 
carted, for Time always brings deliverance, — into in- 
visibility forevermore. 

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

'Newspapers of February, March, April 1792 ; lambe d' Andre 
Chenier "sur la Fete des Suisses" ; etc., etc. (in " Hist. Pari.," xiii. 


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

^ "Patriote-Francais" (Brissot's Newspaper), in "Hist. Pari.," 
xiii. 451 

298 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. xi 



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

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

And poor Gouvion : he who sat shiftless in that In- 
surrection of Women ! Gouvion quitted the Legislative 
Hall and Parliamentary duties, in disgust and despair, 
when those Galley-slaves of Chateau-Vieux were ad- 
mitted there. He said, " Between the Austrians and the 
Jacobins there is nothing but a soldier's death for it " ; ^ 
and so, " in the dark stormy night," he has flung himself 
into the throat of the Austrian cannon, and perished in 
the skirmish at Maubeuge on the ninth of June. Whom 

^ Toulongeon, ii. 149. 


Legislative Patriotism shall mourn, with black mort- 
cloths and melody in the Champ-de-Mars : many a 
Patriot shiftier, truer none. Lafayette himself is looking 
altogether dubious ; in place of beating the Austrians, is 
about writing to denounce the Jacobins. Rochambeau, 
all disconsolate, quits the service : there remains only 
Liickner, the babbling old Prussian Grenadier. 

Without Armies, without Generals ! And the Cim- 
merian Night //(3:j- gathered itself; Brunswick preparing 
his proclamation ; just about to march ! Let a Patriot 
Ministry and Legislative say, what in these circumstances 
it will do ? Suppress internal enemies, for one thing, 
answers the Patriot Legislative ; and proposes, on the 
24th of May, its Decree for the Banishment of Priests.^ 
Collect also some nucleus of determined internal friends, 
adds War-Minister Servan ; and proposes, on the 7th of 
June, his Camp of Twenty-thousand. Twenty-thousand 
National Volunteers ; Five out of each Canton, picked 
Patriots, for Roland has charge of the Interior : they 
shall assemble here in Paris ; and be for a defence, 
cunningly devised, against foreign Austrians and dom- 
estic Austrian Coinviittee alike. So much can a Patriot 
Ministry and Legislative do. 

Reasonable and cunningly devised as such Camp may, 
to Servan and Patriotism, appear, it appears not so to 
Feuillantism ; to that Feuillant- Aristocrat Staff of the 
Paris Guard ; a Staff, one would say again, which will 
need to be dissolved. These men see, in this proposed 
Camp of Servan's, an offence ; and even, as they pretend 
to say, an insult. Petitions there come, in consequence, 
from blue Feuillants in epaulettes ; ill received. Nay, 
in the end, there comes one Petition, called " of the 
Eight-thousand National Guards " : so many names are 
on it, including women and children. Which famed 
Petition of the Eight-thousand is indeed received : and 

^ [This was on the 27th of May : on the 29th it discharged the 
King's Constitutional Guard. It was known that Louis would veto 
the decree of banishment ; and the Camp of Volunteers was to be 
the means of overthrowing the Monarchy. — Ed.] 

300 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. xi 

the Petitioners, all under arms, are admitted to the 
honours of the sitting, — if honours or even if sitting there 
be ; for the instant their bayonets appear at the one 
door, the Assembly " adjourns," and begins to flow out 
at the other.^ 

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

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

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

It will now be seen, therefore. Whether the Hereditary 
Representative is for us or against us ? Whether or not, 
to all our other woes, this intolerablest one is to be 

' " Moniteur," Seance du lo Juin 1792. 

- " Debats des Jacobins" (in " Hist. Pari.," xiv. 429). 

^ [This was the name of a rich central " section." — Ed.] 


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

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

Unhappy Queen, unhappy Louis ! The two Vetos 
were so natural : ' are not the Priests martyrs ; also 

^ Madame Roland, ii. 115. [The letter ended thus : "La Revo- 
lution est faite dans les esprits : elle s'achevera au prix du sang et 
sera cimentee par le sang, si la sagesse ne previent pas des mal- 
heurs qu'il est encore possible d'eviter." — Ed.] 

- [Dumouriez, who had advised Louis to dismiss Roland, Claviere, 
and Servan {not the whole Ministry), now took the Ministry for 
War, being succeeded by Naillac for Foreign Affairs. Like Mira- 
beau he advised Louis to accept the hostile decrees, but was not 
trusted, and therefore resigned on June 15th. — Ed.] 

^ [Louis did not definitely announce his veto on these decrees 
until June 19th. This did much to provoke the armed demonstra- 
tion of the next day. The King expected it : on the 19th he wrote 

302 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. xi 

friends? This Camp of Twenty-thousand, could it be 
other than of stormfulest Sansculottes ? Natural ; and 
yet, to France, unendurable. Priests that cooperate 
with Coblentz must go elsewhither with their martyr- 
dom : stormful Sansculottes, these and no other kind of 
creatures will drive back the Austrians. If thou prefer 
the Austrians, then, for the love of Heaven, go join them. 
If not, join frankly with what will oppose them to the 
death. Middle course is none. 

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

these pathetic words : " J'ai fini avec les hommes ; je dois me 
tourner vers Dieu." — Ed.] 



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

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

1 [Taken from the well-known boast of the Orangemen. The 
whole idea (as Mme. Roland has shown in her " Memoires") was to 
furnish material for the charge of federahsing France, which the 
Jacobins brought against the Girondins. — Ed.] 

- " Moniteur," Seance du 18 Juin 1792. 

304 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. xii 

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

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

Among King's Friends there can be but one opinion 
as to such a step : among Nation's PViends there may 
be two. On the one hand, might it not by possibility 
^ Barbiiroux, p. 40. 


scare away these unblessed Vetos ? Private Patriots 
and even Legislative Deputies may have each his own 
opinion, or own no-opinion : but the hardest task falls 
evidently on Mayor Petion and the Municipals, at once 
Patriots and Guardians of the public Tranquillity. Hush- 
ing the matter down with the one hand ; tickling it up 
with the other ! Mayor Petion and Municipality may 
lean this way ; Department-Directory with Procureur- 
Syndic Roederer, having a Feuillant tendency, may 
lean that. On the whole, each man must act according 
to his one opinion or to his two opinions ; and all manner 
of influences, official representations cross one another 
in the foolishest way. Perhaps after all, the Project, de- 
sirable and yet not desirable, will dissipate itself, being run 
athwart by so many complexities ; and come to nothing ? 
Not so ; on the Twentieth morning of June, a large 
Tree of Liberty, Lombardy Poplar by kind, lies visibly 
tied on its car, in the Suburb Saint-Antoine. Suburb 
Saint-Marceau too, in the uttermost Southeast, and all 
that remote Oriental region, Pikemen and Pikewomen, 
National Guards, and the unarmed curious are gathering, 
— with the peaceablest intentions in the world. A tri- 
color Municipal arrives ; speaks. Tush, it is all peace- 
able, we tell thee, in the way of Law : are not Petitions 
allowable, and the Patriotism of Mais? The tricolor 
Municipal returns without effect : your Sansculottic rills 
continue flowing, combining into brooks : towards noon- 
tide, led by tall Santerre in blue uniform, by tall Saint- 
Huruge in white hat, it moves westward, a respectable 
river, or complication of still-swelling rivers. 

What Processions have we not seen : Corpus-Christi 
and Legendre waiting in his Gig ; Bones of Voltaire 
with bullock-chariots, and goadsmen in Roman Cos- 
tume ; Feasts of Chateau-Vieux and Simoneau ; Gouvion 
Funerals, Rousseau Sham-funeral, and the Baptism of 
P^tion-National-Pike ! Nevertheless this Procession has 
a character of its own. Tricolor ribands streaming aloft 
from Pike-heads ; ironshod batons ; and emblems not a 
few ; among which see specially these two, of the tragic 

n. X 

3o6 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v. ch. xil 

and the untragic sort : a Bull's heart transfixed with iron, 
bearing this epigraph, '^ Cceur d'Aristocrate, Aristocrat's 
heart " ; and, more striking still, properly the standard 
of the host, a pair of old Black Breeches (silk, they say), 
extended on cross-staff, high overhead, with these me- 
morable words : " Tremble::, tyi-ans ; voila les Sansculottes, 
Tremble, tyrants; here are the Sans-indispensables ! " 
Also, the Procession trails two cannons. 

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

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

' Roederer, etc., etc. (in "Hist. Pari.," xv. 98-194). [The de- 
monstration has often been ascribed to the Gironde party {e.g., by 


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

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

King Louis, his door being beaten on, opens it ; stands 
with free bosom ; asking, " What do you want ? " The 
Sansculottic flood recoils awestruck ; returns however, 
the rear pressing on the front, with cries of " Veto ! 
Patriot Ministers ! Remove Veto ! " — which things, Louis 
valiantly answers, this is not the time to do, nor this the 
way to ask him to do. Honour what virtue is in a man. 

Sergent Marceau in the "Revue Retrospective" for 1834): but 
surely the Gironde had too httle hold on the workmen to get up so 
huge a demonstration. It seems clear that men like Santerre had 
for some days been planning a great demonstration to frighten the 
King ; and the ardent democrats of the Assembly allowed it to 
come in armed, which was illegal. The invasion of the Tuileries 
was possibly the result of accident. See Morse Stephens, " Fr. 
Rev.," vol. ii., chap. iii. — Ed.] 

3o8 PARLIAMENT FIRST [bk. v, ch. xil 

Louis does not want courage ; he has even the higher 
kind called moral-courage ; though only the passive-half 
of that. His few National Grenadiers shuffle back with 
him, into the embrasure of a window : there he stands, 
with unimpeachable passivity, amid the shouldering and 
the braying ; a spectacle to men. They hand him a red 
Cap of Liberty ; he sets it quietly on his head, forgets it 
there. He complains of thirst ; half-drunk Rascality 
offers him a bottle, he drinks of it. " Sire, do not fear," 
says one of his Grenadiers. " Fear ? " answers Louis : 
" feel then," putting the man's hand on his heart. So 
stands Majesty in Red woollen Cap ; black Sansculottism 
weltering round him, far and wide, aimless, with inarticu- 
late dissonance, with cries of" Veto ! Patriot Ministers ! " 

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

Nevertheless all things do end. Vergniaud arrives 
with Legislative Deputation, the Evening Session having 
now opened. Mayor Petion has arrived ; is haranguing, 
"lifted on the shoulders of two Grenadiers." In this 
uneasy attitude and in others, at various places with- 
out and within, Mayor Petion harangues ; many men 
harangue ; finally Commandant Santerre defiles ; passes 
out, with his Sansculottism, by the opposite side of the 
Chateau. Passing through the room where the Queen, 
with an air of dignity and sorrowful resignation, sat 
among the tables and Grenadiers, a woman offers her too 
a Red Cap ; she holds it in her hand, even puts it on 
the little Prince Royal. " Madame," said Santerre, " this 
People loves you more than you think." ' — About eight 

^ Toulongeon, ii. 173 ; Campan, ii. c. 20. [Earl Gower (Des- 
patches, p. 194— edited by Mr. Oscar Browning) says: "The 


o'clock the Royal Family fall into each other's arms 
amid " torrents of tears." Unhappy family ! Who would 
not weep for it, were there not a whole world to be 
wept for? 

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

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

admission of the mob is entirely to be attributed to the infamous 
conduct of the municipal officers : the commander of the National 
Guard had in his pocket an order from the administrators of the 
Department to oppose force by force, but the orders of the Muni- 
cipality were wanting. A dreadful responsibility would have 
awaited M. Pethion had any unfortunate event taken place."— Ed.] 
^ [Quinet (" La Rev. Frang.," bk. x., chap, i.) says of the 20th 
June : " The day was more fatal to the Republic than to the 
Monarchy. The Republic was struck before it was born, and the 
abortion of the Revolution was brought about." — Ed.] 





HOW could your paralytic National Executive be 
put " in action," in any measure, by such a 
Twentieth of June as this? Quite contrariwise : a large 
sympathy for Majesty so insulted arises everywhere ; 
expresses itself in Addresses, Petitions, " Petition of the 
Twenty-thousand inhabitants of Paris," and suchlike, 
among all Constitutional persons ; a decided rallying 
round the throne. 

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


each do what his hand findeth ! Thou, O Reader, at 
such safe distance, wilt see what they make of it among 

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

The first phenomenon is that of Lafayette at the Bar 
of the Assembly ; after a week and day. Promptly, on 
hearing of this scandalous Twentieth of June, Lafayette 
has quitted his Command on the North P'rontier, in 
better or worse order ; and got hither, on the 28th, to 
repress the Jacobins : not by letter now ; but by oral 
Petition, and weight of character, face to face. The 
august Assembly finds the step questionable ; invites 
him meanwhile to the honours of the sitting.^ Other 
honour, or advantage, there unhappily came almost 
none ; the Galleries all growling ; fiery Isnard gloom- 
ing ; sharp Gaudet not wanting in sarcasms. 

And out of doors, when the sitting is over, Sieur 
Resson, keeper of the Patriot Caje in these regions, 
hears in the street a hurlyburly ; steps forth to look, he 
and his Patriot customers : it is Lafayette's carriage, 
with a tumultuous escort of blue Grenadiers, Cannoneers, 
even Officers of the Line, hurrahing and capering round 
it. They make a pause opposite Sieur Resson's door ; 
wag their plumes at him ; nay shake their fists, bellow- 
ing A bas les Jacobins ! but happily pass on without 
onslaught. They pass on, to plant a Mai before the 

' " Moniteur," Seance du 28 Juin 1792. 

312 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. i 

General's door, and bully considerably. All which the 
Sieur Resson cannot but report with sorrow, that night, 
in the Mother Society.' But what no Sieur Resson nor 
Mother Society can do more than guess is this, That a 
council of rank Feuillants, your unabolished Staff of the 
Guard and who else has status and weight, is in these 
very moments privily deliberating at the General's : Can 
we not put down the Jacobins by force ? Next day, a 
Review shall be held, in the Tuileries Gardens, of such 
as will turn out, and try. Alas, says Toulongeon, hardly 
a hundred turned out. Put it off till tomorrow, then, to 
give better warning. On the morrow, which is Satur- 
day, there turn out " some thirty " ; and depart shrugging 
their shoulders ! " Lafayette promptly takes carriage 
again ; returns musing on many things. 

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

In a like sense, and with a like issue, works our De- 
partment-Directory here at Paris ; who, on the 6th of 
July, take upon them to suspend Mayor Petion and 
Procureur Manuel from all civic functions, for their con- 

^ " Ddbats des Jacobins" (" Hist. Pari.," xv. 235). 

'^ Toulongeon, ii. 180. See also Dampmartin, ii. 161. 

^ [Lafayette's failure was largely due to the shortsighted hostility 
of the Court. The Queen said she would rather die than be saved 
by him. — Ed.J 


duct, replete, as is alleged, with omissions and commis- 
sions, on that delicate Twentieth of June. Virtuous 
Potion sees himself a kind of martyr, or pseudo-martyr, 
threatened with several things ; drawls out due heroical 
lamentation ; to which Patriot Paris and Patriot Legis- 
lative duly respond. King Louis and Mayor Potion 
have already had an interview on that business of the 
Twentieth ; an interview and dialogue, distinguished by 
frankness on both sides ; ending on King Louis's side 
with the words " Taisez-vous, Hold your peace." 

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

Nay there goes a word that as many as Thirty of our 
chief Patriot Senators are to be clapped in prison, by 
mittimus and indictment of Feuillant Justices, /«^^j de 
Paix ; who here in Paris were well capable of such a 
thing. It was but in May last "Ca^X Jiige-de-Paix Lari- 

' [See p. 247.— Ed.] 

^ [This thrilling scene of July 7th shows the strength of the 
monarchical feeling. The King came to the Assembly, was warmly 
cheered, and said : " . . . The Nation and the King are one and 
the same : they march towards the same end, and their united 
efforts will save France." All the King's words were heartily 
acclaimed. Disputes arose again chiefly about the decrees of 
July 5th, nth and 20th, decreeing the country to be in danger: 
these were a serious menace to the King, and he vetoed them 
until the 22nd. It should be noted that Petion was discharged on 
July 7th, not by Louis, but by the Department of Paris. The King 
did not confirm this act till July 12th. The Assembly reversed the 
King's decision on the 13th. — Ed.] 

314 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. i 

viere, on complaint of Bertrand-Moleville touching that 
Austrian Committee, made bold to launch his mittimus 
against three heads of the Mountain, Deputies Bazire, 
Chabot, Merlin, the Cordelier Trio ; summoning them 
to appear before him, and show where that Austrian 
Committee was, or else suffer the consequences. Which 
mittimus the Trio, on their side, made bold to fling in 
the fire : and valiantly pleaded privilege of Parliament. 
So that, for his zeal without knowledge, poor Justice 
Lariviere now sits in the prison of Orleans, waiting trial 
from the Haute Cour there. Whose example, may it 
not deter other rash Justices ; and so this word of the 
Thirty arrestments continue a word merely 1 - 

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

Another phasis which we note, in these early July 
days, is that of certain thin streaks of Federate National 
Volunteers wending from various points towards Paris, 
to hold a new Federation-Festival, or Feast of Pikes, on 
the F'ourteenth there. So has the National Assembly 
wished it, so has the Nation willed it. In this way, 
perhaps, may we still have our Patriot Camp in spite 
of Veto. For cannot these Federes, having celebrated 


their Feast of Pikes, march on to Soissons ; and, there 
being drilled and regimented, rush to the Frontiers, or 
whither we like? Thus were the one Veto cunningly- 
eluded ! 

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

It is true, some ghost of a War-minister, or Home- 
minister, for the time being, ghost whom we do not 
name, does write to Municipalities and King's Com- 
manders, that they shall, by all conceivable methods, 
obstruct this Federation, and even turn back the Fed6r^s 
by force of arms : a message which scatters mere doubt, 
paralysis and confusion ; irritates the poor Legislature ; 
reduces the Feder^s, as we see, to thin streaks. But 
being questioned, this ghost and the other ghosts, What 
it is then that they propose to do for saving the country ? 
— they answer, That they cannot tell ; that indeed they, 
for their part, have, this morning, resigned in a body ; 
and do now merely respectfully take leave of the helm 
altogether. With which words they rapidly walk out of 
the Hall, sortent brusquement de la salle, the " Galleries 
cheering loudly," the poor Legislature sitting " for a good 
while in silence"!'" Thus do Cabinet-ministers them- 
selves, in extreme cases, strike work ; one of the strang- 
est omens. Other complete Cabinet-ministry there will 
not be ; only fragments, and these changeful, which 
never get completed ; spectral Apparitions that cannot 
so much as appear ! King Louis writes that he now views 
this Federation Feast with approval ; and will himself 
have the pleasure to take part in the same. 

^ "Hist. Pari.," xvi. 259. 

- " Moniteur," Seance du Juillet 1792. 

3i6 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. i 

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

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


are the unlimited subterranean Patriots, who with light 
for the hour itself, leave the rest to the gods.^ 

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

The poor Legislative knows not what to do. It 
decrees, however, that the Staff of the Paris Guard, and 
indeed all such Staffs, for they are Feuillants mostly, 
shall be broken and replaced.' It decrees earnestly, in 

1 [M. Aulard has shown ("La Rev. Frang.," pp. 187-211) how 
slowly even professed republicans like Brissot came to believe 
that a Republic was possible in France. The 3,000 Federes repre- 
sented most of the extreme clubs of the provinces. — Ed.] 

^ Dumouriez, ii. i, 5. 

^ [The decree ordered the re-election of the Staff of the National 
Guards in towns of more than 50,000 inhabitants. In the middle 
of July the Assembly caused three faithful regiments of the line to 
be sent to the frontiers : thereafter only the Swiss regiment could 
be relied on by Louis. — Ed.] 

3i8 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. i 

what manner one can declare, that the Country is in 
Danger. And finally, on the i ith of July, the morrow of 
that day when the Ministry struck work, it decrees that 
the Cou7itry be, with all despatch, declared in Danger. 
Whereupon let the King sanction ; let the Municipality 
take measures : if such Declaration will do service, it 
need not fail. 

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

JULY 5, 1792] LET US MARCH 319 



BUT, to our minds, the notablest of all these moving 
phenomena is that of Barbaroux's " Six-hundred 
Marseillese who know how to die." 

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

Much wondering at this phenomenon, and how, in a 

* Dampmartin, ii. 183. 

320 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. ii 

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

^ See Barbaroux, " Memoires " (Note in pp. 40, 41). [The Com- 
munes of Marseilles and some other towns of Provence were the 
first bodies in France to pronounce for a Republic. Petitions to 
this effect were read on July 12th, 1792, to the National Assembly, 
which reprobated them. Marseilles of its own accord voted 
(June 29th) the sending of 500 Marseillese patriots : some of them 
(says M. Aulard, " La Rev. Fr.," p. 199) were of good family. He 
proves the republican movement to have been at first inunicipal, 
and chiefly Provencal. — Ed.] 

"^ Dampmartin, ubi supra. — As to Dampmartin himself and what 
became of him farther, see " Memoires de la Comtesse de Lichtenau," 
ecrits par elle-meme ; traduits de I'Allemand (;\ Londres 1809), i. 
200-207 ; ii. 78-91. 

JULY 1792] LET us MARCH 321 

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

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

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

^ A.D. 1836. [The stanza "Nous entrerons dans la carri^re" 
was added to the hymn at Vienne on the Rhone. — Ed.] 

II. Y 

THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. ill 



OF the Federation Feast itself we shall say almost 
nothing. There are tents pitched in the Champs- 
de-Mars ; tent for National Assembly ; tent for Here- 
ditary Representative, — who indeed is there too early, 
and has to wait long in it. There are Eighty-three 
symbolic Departmental Trees-of- Liberty ; trees and 
innis enough : beautifulest of all, there is one huge inai, 
hung round with effete Scutcheons, Emblazonries and 
Genealogy-books, nay better still, with Lawyers'-bags, 
" sacs de procedure " ; which shall be burnt. The Thirty 
seat-rows of that famed Slope are again full ; we have a 
bright Sun ; and all is marching, streamering and blar- 
ing : but what avails it ? Virtuous Mayor P6tion, whom 
Feuillantism had suspended, was reinstated only last 
night, by Decree of the Assembly. Men's humour is of 
the sourest. Men's hats have on them, written in chalk, 
" Vive Petion " ; and even, " Petion or Death, Petion ou 
la Mortr 

Poor Louis, who has waited till five o'clock before the 
Assembly would arrive, swears the National Oath this 
time, with a quilted cuirass under his waistcoat which 
will turn pistol-bullets.' Madame de Stael, from that 
Royal Tent, stretches out the neck in a kind of agony, 
lest the waving multitude which received him may 
not render him back alive. No cry of Vive le Rot 
salutes the ear ; cries only of Vive Petion; Petion ou la 
Mort. The National Solemnity is as it were huddled 

^ Caiiii)an, ii. c. 20 ; De Slacl, ii. c. 7. 

From "Tableaux historiqiies." 


by ; each cowering off almost before the evolutions are 
gone through. The very Mai with its Scutcheons and 
Lawyers'-bags is forgotten, stands unburnt ; till " certain 
Patriot Deputies," called by the people, set a torch to it, 
by way of voluntary after-piece. Sadder Feast of Pikes 
no man ever saw. 

Mayor Petion, named on hats, is at his zenith in this 
Federation : Lafayette again is close upon his nadir. 
Why does the storm-bell of Saint-Roch speak out, next 
Saturday ; why do the citizens shut their shops ? ^ It is 
Sections defiling, it is fear of effervescence. Legislative 
Committee, long deliberating on Lafayette and that 
Anti-jacobin visit of his, reports, this day, that there is 
" not ground for Accusation " ! Peace, ye Patriots, never- 
theless ; and let that tocsin cease : the Debate is not 
finished, nor the Report accepted ; but Brissot, Isnard 
and the Mountain will sift it, and resift it, perhaps for 
some three weeks longer. 

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

The more touching is this other Solemnity, which 
happens on the morrow of the Lafayette tocsin : Pro- 
clamation that the Country is in Danger. Not till the 
present Sunday could such Solemnity be. The Legis- 
lative decreed it almost a fortnight ago ; but Royalty 

^ " Moniteur," Seance du 21 Juillet 1792. 
" [Paul Jones died of dropsy at Paris.— Ed.] 
^ "Hist. Pari.," xvi. 185. 

324 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. ill 

and the ghost of a Ministry held back as they could. 
Now however, on this Sunday, 22d day of July 1792, it 
will hold back no longer ; and the Solemnity in very 
deed is. Touching to behold ! Municipality and Mayor 
have on their scarfs ; cannon-salvo booms alarm from 
the Pont-Neuf, and single-gun at intervals all day. 
Guards are mounted, scarfed Notabilities, Halberdiers, 
and a Cavalcade ; with streamers, emblematic flags ; es- 
pecially with one huge Flag, flapping mournfully : Citoy- 
ens, la Patrie est en Danger. They roll through the 
streets, with stern-sounding music, and slow rattle of 
hoofs ; pausing at set stations, and with doleful blast of 
trumpet singing out through Herald's throat, what the 
Flag says to the eye : " Citizens, our Country is in 
Danger ! " ^ 

Is there a man's heart that hears it without a thrill ? 
The many-voiced responsive hum or bellow of these 
multitudes is not of triumph ; and yet it is a sound 
deeper than triumph. But when the long Cavalcade and 
Proclamation ended ; and our huge Flag was fixed on 
the Pont-Neuf, another like it on the H6tel-de-Ville, to 
wave there till better days ; and each Municipal sat in 
the centre of his Section, in a Tent raised in some open 
square. Tents surmounted with flags of Patrie eft Dan- 
ger, and topmost of all a Pike and Bonnet Rouge ; and, 
on two drums in front of him, there lay a plank-table, 
and on this an open Book, and a Clerk sat, like record- 
ing-angel, ready to write the lists, or as we say to enlist ! 
O, then, it seems, the very gods might have looked down 
on it. Young Patriotism, Culottic and Sansculottic, 
rushes forward emulous : That is my name ; name, 
blood and life is all my country's ; why have I nothing 
more ! Youths of short stature weep that they are below 

' [Sergent Marceau says (" Reminiscences," p. 192) there were 
several places of enrolment, and, in all, sixty bands of music : "As 
each volunteer enrolled himself, a venerable officer embraced him, 
presented him with a laurel leaf, and a roll of drums proclaimed 
the enlistment. This went on for two days, and 5,000 were en- 
rolled at Paris." — Eu.J 

~ .2" 


size. Old men come forward, a son in each hand. 
Mothers themselves will grant the son of their travail ; 
send him, though with tears. And the multitude bellows 
Vive la Patrie, far reverberating. And fire flashes in 
the eyes of men ; — and at eventide, your Municipal 
returns to the Townhall followed by his long train of 
Volunteer valour ; hands-in his List ; says proudly, 
looking round, This is my day's harvest.^ They will 
march, on the morrow, to Soissons ; small bundle hold- 
ing all their chattels. 

So, with Vive la Patrie, Vive la Liberie, stone Paris 
reverberates like Ocean in his caves ; day after day, 
Municipals enlisting in tricolor Tent ; the Flag flapping 
on Pont-Neuf and Townhall, Citoyens, la Patrie est en 
Danger. Some Ten-thousand fighters, without disci- 
pline but full of heart, are on march in few days. The 
like is doing in every Town of France. — Consider, there- 
fore, whether the Country will want defenders, had we 
but a National Executive ? Let the Sections and Primary 
Assemblies, at any rate, become Permanent ! They do 
become Permanent, and sit continually in Paris, and over 
France, by Legislative Decree, dated Wednesday the 

Mark contrariwise how, in these very hours, dated the 
25th, Brunswick " shakes himself, s'ebranle" in Coblentz ; 
and takes the road ! Shakes himself indeed ; one spoken 
word oecomes such a shaking. Successive, simultaneous 
dirl of thirty-thousand muskets shouldered ; prance and 
jingle of ten-thousand horsemen, fanfaronading Emi- 
grants in the van ; drum, kettle-drum ; noise of weeping, 
swearing ; and the immeasurable lumbering clank of 
baggage-wagons and camp-kettles that groan into 
motion: all this is Brunswick shaking himself; not 
without all this does the one man march, " covering a 

' " Tableau de la Revolution," ^ Patrie en Danger. 

^ " Moniteur," Seance du 25 Juillet 1792. [Every man who had 
arms was bound to notify the fact : all arms were requisitioned. 
All this was to help the democrats in the overthrow of the mon- 
archy.— Ed.] 

326 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. hi 

space of forty miles." Still less without his Manifesto, 
dated, as we say, the 25th ; a State-Paper worthy of 
attention ! 

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

' [Brunswick issued this declaration against his own better 
judgment. It was not the work of Louis XVI., as has sometimes 
been wrongly stated. Louis sent Mallet du Pan, a Swiss publicist 


Nor is Royal and Imperial Prussian-Austrian Declara- 
tion wanting : setting forth, in the amplest manner, their 
Sans-souci-Schonbrunn version of this whole French 
Revolution, since the first beginning of it ; and with 
what grief these high heads have seen such things done 
under the Sun. However, " as some small consolation 
to mankind," ' they do now despatch Brunswick ; regard- 
less of expense, as one might say, or of sacrifices on 
their own part ; for is it not the first duty to console 
men ? 

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

in his confidence, to the allied headquarters to urge that (i) the 
two Powers should confine themselves to complaints about breaches 
of international law by the revolutionists : (2) they should leave to 
Louis entire freedom in the arrangement of French affairs : (3) they 
should declare that the Feudal System would not be revived in 
France. Unluckily these wise proposals were altered by one of 
the French anigres who had the ear of the Emperor Francis, and 
the declaration took the blustering tone which every far-seeing man 
among the allies deplored. It swept away any chances that Louis 
still had left. A royalist journal at Paris, " Le Journal de la Cour 
et de la Ville," boasted that the declaration was but the flash that 
preceded the crash of the thunderbolt. — Ed.] 
^ "Annual Register" (1792), p. 236. 

328 ' THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. iv 



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

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

Much is invisible ; the very Jacobins have their 
reticences. Insurrection is to be : but when ? This 
only we can discern, that such Fed6res as are not yet 
gone to Soissons, as indeed are not inclined to go yet, 

> [Lord Gower, however, reported from Paris (August 3rd) that 
the declaration "has produced very httle sensation here. The 
aristocratcs are dissatisfied with it and the cUmocrates affect to 
despise it." So too Mallet du Pan, " Memoires,'"' vol. i., p. 322. — Ed.] 



" for reasons," says the Jacobin President, " which it 
may be interesting not to state," — have got a Central 
Committee sitting close by, under the roof of the Mother 
Society herself Also, what in such ferment and danger 
of effervescence is surely proper, the Forty-eight Sec- 
tions have got their Central Committee ; intended " for 
prompt communication." To which Central Committee 
the Municipality, anxious to have it at hand, could not 
refuse an Apartment in the H6tel-de-Ville. 

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

Look at that Tuileries and Tuileries Garden. Silent 
all as Sahara ; none entering save by ticket ! They shut 
their Gates, after the Day of the Black Breeches ; a 
thing they had the liberty to do. However, the National 
Assembly grumbled something about Terrace of the 
Feuillants, how said Terrace lay contiguous to the back- 
entrance to their Salle, and was partly National Property ; 
and so now National Justice has stretched a Tricolor 
Riband athwart it, by way of boundary-line ; respected 
with splenetic strictness by all Patriots.^ It hangs there, 
that Tricolor boundary-line ; carries " satirical inscrip- 
tions on cards," generally in verse ; and all beyond this 
is called Coblentz, and remains vacant ; silent as a faithful 
Golgotha ; sunshine and umbrage alternating on it in 
vain. Fateful Circuit : what hope can dwell in it ? 
Mysterious Tickets of Entry introduce themselves ; 
speak of Insurrection very imminent. Rivarol's Staff of 
Genius had better purchase blunderbusses ; Grenadier 
bonnets, red Swiss uniforms may be useful. Insurrec- 

' [Not that they kept the peace there. D'Espre'menil while 
walking there was set upon by some federes and nearly beaten to 
death.— Ed.] 

330 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. iv, ch. iv 

tion will come ; but likewise will it not be met ? Staved 
off, one may hope, till Brunswick arrive ? 

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

Such is Paris ; the heart of a France like to it. Pre- 
ternatural suspicion, doubt, disquietude, nameless anti- 
cipation, from shore to shore : — and those blackbrowed 
Marseillese marching, dusty, unwearied, through the 
midst of it ; not doubtful they. Marching to the grim 
music of their hearts, they consume continually the long 
road, these three weeks and more ; heralded by Terror 

^ Barbaroux, p. 60. 

- Newspapers, Narratives and Documents (" Hist. Pari.," xv. 
240 ; xvi. 399). 


and Rumour. The Brest Federes arrive on the 26th ; 
through hurrahing streets. Determined men are these 
also/ bearing or not bearing the Sacred Pikes of Chateau- 
Vieux ; and on the whole decidedly disinclined for 
Soissons as yet. Surely the Marseillese Brethren do 
draw nigher all days. 

^ [After partaking of a civic banquet " on the ruins of the Bastille, 
they seized upon some cannon in a neighbouring church and were 
proceeding to the palace, but M. Pethion and M. Santerre harangued 
the inob and dissuaded them from their wicked purpose" (Des- 
patches of Earl Gower, p. 203). — Ed.] 

332 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. iv, ch. 



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

Of which public entry the Day-Historians, Diurnalists^ 
or Journalists as they call themselves, have preserved 
record enough. How Saint-Antoine male and female, 
and Paris generally, gave brotherly welcome, with bravo 
and hand-clapping, in crowded streets ; and all passed 
in the peaceablest manner ; — except it might be our 
Marseillese pointed out here and there a riband-cockade, 
and beckoned that it should be snatched away, and 
exchanged for a wool one ; which was done. How the 
Mother Society in a body has come as far as the Bastille- 
ground, to embrace you. How you then wend onwards, 
triumphant, to the Townhall, to be embraced by Mayor 
Potion ; to put down your muskets in the Barracks of 
Nouvelle France, not far off; — then towards the ap- 
pointed Tavern in the Champs Elys6es, to enjoy a frugal 
Patriot repast." 

' " Deu.x Amis," viii. 90-101. 

^ "Hist. Pari.," xvi. 196. See Barbaroux, pp. 5i-=;5- 

JULY 29, 1792] AT DINNER 333 

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

It was a rash errand ! For how can the strolling mul- 
titude credit such a thing ; or do other indeed than hoot 
at it, provoking and provoked ? — till Grenadier sabres 
stir in the scabbard, and thereupon a sharp shriek rises : 
A nous, Marseillais, Help, Marseillese ! " Quick as light- 
ning, for the frugal repast is not yet served, that Mar- 
seillese Tavern flings itself open : by door, by window ; 
running, bounding, vault forth the Five-hundred and 
Seventeen undined Patriots ; and, sabre flashing from 
thigh, are on the scene of controversy. Will ye parley, 
ye Grenadier Captains and Official Persons ; " with faces 
grown suddenly pale," the Deponents say ? ^ Advisabler 
were instant moderately swift retreat ! The Filles-Saint- 
Thomas men retreat, back foremost ; then, alas, face 
foremost at treble-quick time ; the Marseillese, accord- 

^ " Moniteur," Seances du 30, du 31 Juillet 1792 ("Hist. Pari," 
xvi. 197-210). 

334 THE MARSEILLESE [kk. iv, CH. v 

ing to a Deponent, " clearing the fences and ditches 
after them, like lions : Messieurs, it was an imposing 

Thus they retreat, the Marseillese following. Swift 
and swifter, towards the Tuileries : where the Draw- 
bridge receives the bulk of the fugitives ; and, then sud- 
denly drawn up, saves them ; or else the green mud of 
the Ditch does it. The bulk of them ; not all ; ah, no ! 
Moreau de Saint-M6ry, for example, being too fat, could 
not fly fast ; he got a stroke, Jlat-stroke. only, over the 
shoulder-blades, and fell prone ; — and disappears there 
from the History of the Revolution. Cuts also there 
were, pricks in the posterior fleshy parts ; much rending 
of skirts, and other discrepant waste. But poor Sub- 
lieutenant Duhamel, innocent Change-broker, what a lot 
for him ! He turned on his pursuer, or pursuers, with a 
pistol ; he fired and missed ; drew a second pistol, and 
again fired and missed ; then ran : unhappily in vain. 
In the Rue Saint-Florentin, they clutched him ; thrust 
him through, in red rage : that was the end of the New 
Era, and of all Eras, to poor Duhamel. 

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

And how your National Assembly, like a ship water- 
logged, helmless, lies tumbling ; the Galleries, of shrill 
Women, of Fedcres with sabres, bellowing down on it, 

AUG. 3-5, 1792] AT DINNER 335 

not unfrightful ; — and waits where the waves of chance 
may . please to strand it ; suspicious, nay on the Left- 
side, conscious, what submarine Explosion is meanwhile 
a-charging ! Petition for King's Forfeiture rises often 
there : Petition from Paris Section, from Provincial 
Patriot Towns ; " from Alen^on, Brian^on, and the 
Traders at the Fair of Beaucaire." Or what of these ? 
On the 3d of August, Mayor Petion and the Municipality 
come petitioning for Forfeiture : they openly, in their 
tricolor Municipal scarfs. Forfeiture is what all Patriots 
now want and expect. All Brissotins want Forfeiture ; 
with the little Prince Royal for King, and us for Pro- 
tector over him. Emphatic Federes ask the Legislature : 
" Can you save us, or not ? " Forty-seven Sections have 
agreed to Forfeiture; only that of the Filles- Saint- 
Thomas pretending to disagree.' Nay Section Maucon- 
seil declares Forfeiture to be, properly speaking, come ; 
Mauconseil, for one, "does from this day," the last of 
July, " cease allegiance to Louis," and take minute of the 
same before all men." A thing blamed aloud ; but which 
will be praised aloud ; and the name MatLconseil, of Ill- 
counsel, be thenceforth changed to Bonconseil, of Good- 

President Danton, in the Cordeliers Section, does 
another thing : invites all Passive Citizens to take place 
among the Active in Section-business, one peril threaten- 
ing all. Thus he, though an official person ; cloudy Atlas 
of the whole. Likewise he manages to have that black- 
browed Battalion of Marseillese shifted to new Barracks, 
in his own region of the remote Southeast. Sleek 
Chaumette, cruel Billaud, Deputy Chabot the Disfrocked, 
Huguenin with the tocsin in his heart, will welcome 

' [This is inexact. Mortimer-Ternaux has shown ("Hist, de la 
Terreur," vol. ii., pp. 393 et scq.) that " commissaires " claiming to re- 
present forty-seven sections, many of whom were irregularly chosen, 
made such a motion : but when the Mauconseil motion to a similar 
effect came before the sections, sixteen rejected it, fourteen accepted 
it, and ten took no notice of it. — Ed.] 

- [The Legislative Assembly annulled this decree of the " section." 

336 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. iv, ch. v 

them there. Wherefore again and again, " O Legislators, 
can you save us or not ? " Poor Legislators ; with their 
Legislature water-logged, volcanic Explosion charging 
under it ! Forfeiture shall be debated on the ninth of 
August ; that miserable business of Lafayette may be 
expected to terminate on the eighth. 

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

^ " Hist. Pari.," xvi. 337-339. 

- Bertrand-Moleville, " Memoires," ii. 129. [The King's inaction 
was due, not to apathy, but to his conscientiousness. He had given 
his word that he would stay in Paris, and he would not break his 
word ! — Ed.] 




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

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

The Mother Society ceases speaking ; groups cease 
haranguing : Patriots, with closed lips now, " take one 
another's arm " ; walk off, in rows, two and two, at a brisk 

' [This acquittal of Lafayette exasperated the Jacobins. The 
" section " of Quinze-Vingts (the Ste. Antoine quarter) voted that 
it would begin the insurrection at midnight of the 9th if the As- 
sembly did not dethrone Louis. The Assembly did nothing. — 

II. Z 

338 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. vi 

business-pace ; and vanish afar in the obscure places of 
the East.' Santerre is ready ; or we will make him ready. 
Forty-seven of the Forty-eight Sections are ready ; nay, 
Filles-Saint-Thomas itself turns up the Jacobin side of it, 
turns down the Feuillant side of it, and is ready too. 
Let the unlimited Patriot look to his weapon, be it pike, 
be it firelock ; and the Brest brethren, — above all, the 
blackbrowed Marseillese prepare themselves for the ex- 
treme hour ! Syndic Roederer knows, and laments or 
not as the issue may turn, that " five-thousand ball- 
cartridges, within these few days, have been distributed 
to Federes, at the Hotel-de-Ville."" 

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

Commandant Mandat has corresponded with Mayor 
Petion ; carries a written Order from, him these three 
days, to repel force by force. A squadron on the Pont- 
Neuf with cannon shall turn back these Marseillese 
coming across the River : a squadron at the Townhall 
shall cut Saint-Antoine in two, " as it issues from the 
Arcade Saint-Jean " ; drive one-half back to the obscure 
East, drive the other half forward " through the Wickets 
of the Louvre." Squadrons not a few, and mounted 

' " Deux Amis," viii. 129-188. 

^ Rcederer a la Barre (Stance du 9 Aout, in " Hist. Pari.," xvi. 



squadrons ; squadrons in the Palais Royal, in the Place 
Vendome : all these shall charge, at the right moment ; 
sweep this street, and then sweep that. Some new 
Twentieth of June we shall have ; only still more in- 
effectual ? Or probably the Insurrection will not dare 
to rise at all ? Mandat's Squadrons, Horse-gendarmerie 
and blue Guards march, clattering, tramping ; Mandat's 
Cannoneers rumble. Under cloud of night ; to the 
sound of his generale, which begins drumming when 
men should go to bed. It is the ninth night of August 1792. 
On the other hand, the Forty-eight Sections correspond 
by swift messengers ; are choosing each their " three 
Delegates with full powers." ^ Syndic Roederer, Mayor 
Petion are sent for to the Tuileries : courageous Legis- 
lators, when the drum beats danger, should repair to 
their Salle. Demoiselle Theroigne has on her grenadier- 
bonnet, short-skirted riding-habit ; two pistols garnish 
her small waist, and sabre hangs in baldric by her side. 

Such a game is playing in this Paris Pandemonium, 
or City of All the Devils ! — And yet the Night, as 
Mayor Petion walks here in the Tuileries Garden, "is 
beautiful and calm " ; Orion and the Pleiades glitter 
down quite serene. Petion has come forth, the " heat " 
inside was so oppressive.^ Indeed, his Majesty's reception 
of him was of the roughest ; as it well might be. And 
now there is no outgate ; Mandat's blue Squadrons turn 
you back at every Grate ; nay the Filles-Saint-Thomas 
Grenadiers give themselves liberties of tongue, How a 
virtuous Mayor " shall pay for it, if there be mischief," 
and the like ; though others again are full of civility. 
Surely if any man in France is in straits this night, it is 
Mayor Petion : bound, under pain of death, one may 
say, to smile dexterously with the one side of his face^ 

^ [This again was on the vote of the Quinze-Vingts " section " 
on August 9th ; but only twenty-eight out of the forty-eight re- 
sponded at present — Ed.] 

^ Roederer, "Chronique de Cinquante Jours " ; " Recit de Petion"; 
Townhall Records, etc. (in "Hist. Pari.," xvi. 399-466) 

340 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. vi 

and weep with the other ; — death if he do it not dexter- 
ously enough ! Not till four in the morning does a 
National Assembly, hearing of his plight, summon him 
over " to give account of Paris " ; of which he knows 
nothing : whereby, however, he shall get home to bed, 
and only his gilt coach be left. Scarcely less delicate 
is Syndic Roederer's task ; who must wait, whether he 
will lament or not, till he see the issue. Janus Bifrons, 
or Mr. Facing-botli-wnys, as vernacular Bunyan has it ! 
They walk there, in the meanwhile, these two Januses, 
with others of the like double conformation ; and " talk 
of indifferent matters." 

Roederer, from time to time, steps in ; to listen, to 
speak ; to send for the Department-Directory itself, he 
their Procureur Syndic not seeing how to act. The 
Apartments are all crowded ; some seven-hundred gentle- 
men in black elbowing, bustling ; red Swiss standing 
like rocks ; ghost, or partial-ghost of a Ministry, with 
Rcederer and advisers, hovering round their Majesties ; 
old Marshal Maille kneeling at the King's feet to say, 
He and these gallant gentlemen are come to die for him. 
List ! through the placid midnight ; clang of the distant 
storm-bell ! So, in very sooth : steeple after steeple takes 
up the wondrous tale. Black Courtiers listen at the 
windows, opened for air ; discriminate the steeple-bells : ' 
this is the tocsin of Saint-Roch ; that again, is it not 
Saint-Jacques, named dc la Boucheriel Yes, Messieurs ! 
Or even Saint-Germain I'Auxerrois, hear yet it not? 
The same metal that rang storm, two hundred and 
twenty years ago ; but by a Majesty's order then ; on 
Saint-Bartholomew's Eve ! ' — So go the steeple-bells ; 
which Courtiers can discriminate. Nay, meseems, there 
is the Townhall itself; we know it by its sound! Yes, 
Friends, that is the Townhall ; discoursing so, to the 
Night. Miraculously ; by miraculous metal-tongue and 
man's-arm : Marat himself, if you knew it, is pulling at 
the rope there ! Marat is pulling ; Robespierre lies deep, 

' Roederer, /^/v jw/^ri. ^ August 24th, 1572. 


invisible for the next forty hours ; and some men have 
heart, and some have as good as none, and not even 
frenzy will give them any.^ 

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

Swift now, therefore : let these actual Old Municipals, 
on sight of the Full-powers, and mandate of the Sovereign 
elective People, lay down their functions ; and this New 
Hundred and Forty-four take them up ! Will ye nill ye, 
worthy Old Municipals, go ye must. Nay is it not a 
happiness for many a Municipal that he can wash his 
hands of such a business ; and sit there paralysed, unac- 
countable, till the hour do bring forth ; or even go home 
to his night's rest ? " Two only of the Old, or at most 

^ [M. Aulard has proved (" La Rev. Fr.," p. 201) that Robes- 
pierre's speeches were noi repubHcan up to the close of July, 1792 : 
but then he began slowly to follow the lead given by the federes 
and the Cordeliers' Club (Danton's). — Ed.] 

^ [This is incorrect. Only eighty-two commissioners, nearly all 
obscure persons, were present at this first sitting. For their names 
see Mortimer-Ternaux, "Hist, de la Terreur," vol. ii., pp. 444-450: 
eleven of them perished with Robespierre in Thermidor, an II. — 

^ Section Documents, Townhall Documents ("Hist. Pari.," ubi 

342 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. vi 

three, we retain : Mayor Petion, for the present walking 
in theTuileries; Procureur Manuel; Procureur-Substitute 
Danton, invisible Atlas of the whole. And so, with our 
Hundred and Forty-four, among whom are a Tocsin- 
Huguenin, a Billaud, a Chaumette ; and Editor-Talliens, 
and Fabre d'Eglantines, Sergents, Panises ; and in brief, 
either emergent or else emerged and full-blown, the 
entire Flower of unlimited Patriotism : have we not, as 
by magic, made a new Municipality ; ready to act in 
the unlimited manner ; and declare itself roundly, " in a 
state of Insurrection"! — First of all, then, be Commandant 
Mandat sent for, with that Mayor's-Order of his ; also 
let the New Municipals visit those Squadrons that were 
to charge ; and let the storm-bell ring its loudest ; — and, 
on the whole, Forward, ye Hundred and Forty-four ; 
retreat is now none for you ! 

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

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


excitation, desperation ; and above it mere Doubt, Danger, 
Atropos and Nox ! 

Fighters of this Section draw out ; hear that the next 
Section does not; and thereupon draw in. Saint- Antoine, 
on this side the River, is uncertain of Saint-Marceau on 
that. Steady only is the snore of Dulness, are the Six- 
hundred Marseillese that know how to die. Mandat, 
twice summoned to the Townhall, has not come. Scouts 
flyincessant, in distracted haste; and the many-whispering 
voices of Rumour. Th6roigne and unofficial Patriots 
flit, dim-visible, exploratory, far and wide ; like Night- 
birds on the wing. Of Nationals some Three-thousand 
have followed Mandat and his generale ; the rest follow 
each his own theorem of the uncertainties : theorem, 
that one should march rather with Saint-Antoine : in- 
numerable theorems, that in such a case the wholesomest 
were sleep. And so the drums beat, in mad fits, and the 
storm-bells peal. Saint-Antoine itself does but draw 
out and draw in : Commandant Santerre, over there, 
cannot believe that the Marseillese and Saint-Marceau 
will march. Thou laggard sonorous Beervat, with the 
loud voice and timber-head, is it time now to palter } 
Alsatian Westermann clutches him by the throat with 
drawn sabre : whereupon the Timber-headed believes. 
In this manner wanes the slow night ; amid fret, uncer- 
tainty and tocsin ; all men's humour rising to the 
hysterical pitch ; and nothing done. 

However, Mandat, on the third summons, does come ; 
— come, unguarded ; astonished to find the Municipality 
new. They question him straitly on that Mayor's-Order 
to resist force by force ; on that strategic scheme of 
cutting Saint-Antoine in two halves : he answers what 
he can : they think it were right to send this strategic 
National Commandant to the Abbaye Prison, and let a 
Court of Law decide on him. Alas, a Court of Law, 
not Book-Law but primeval Club-Law, crowds and 
jostles out of doors ; all fretted to the hysterical pitch ; 
cruel as Fear, blind as the Night : such Court of Law, 
and no other, clutches poor Mandat from his constables ; 

344 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. vi 

beats him down, massacres him, on the steps of the 
Townhall.' Look to it, ye new Municipals ; ye People, 
in a state of Insurrection ! Blood is shed, blood must 
be answered for ; — alas, in such hysterical humour, more 
blood will flow : for it is as with the Tiger in that ; he 
has only to begin. 

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

Or think what a night the poor National Assembly has 
had : sitting there, " in great paucity," "' attempting to de- 

' [Mortimer-Ternaux (vol. ii., p. 280) proves that he was shot on 
the steps of the Hotel de Ville. It was probably on Danton's instiga- 
tion : it is said that he ordered him to be sent away — " pour sa 
plus grande surete." As Mandat was a brave man, faithful to the 
King, and popular with his men, this probably decided the course 
of events. The National Guards began to desert when commanded 
by another less known leader. — Ed.] 

- [Only 285 deputies out of 745 were present— nearly all Girondins 
or Jacobins : the royalists had been bullied by the mob on August 
9th, and the Assembly then declared that it was not free (La- 
fayette, " Mems.,'" vol. i., p. 467). — Ed.] 


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

King Louis meanwhile had laid him down for a little 
sleep ; his wig when he reappeared had lost the powder 
on one side.' Old Marshal Maille and the gentlemen in 
black rise always in spirits, as the Insurrection does not 
rise : there goes a witty saying now, " Le tocsin ne rend 
pas" The tocsin, like a dry milk-cow, does not yield. For 
the rest, could not one proclaim Martial Law .-' Not 
easily ; for now, it seems, Mayor Petion is gone. On the 
other hand,our Interim Commandant, poor Mandat being 
off " to the H6tel-de-Ville," complains that so many 

^ Rcederer, ubi supra. 

346 THE MARSEILLESE [p.k. vi, CH. vi 

Courtiers in black encumber the service, are an eyesorrow 
to the National Guards, To which her Majesty answers 
with emphasis, That they will obey all, will suffer all, 
that they are sure men these. 

And so the yellow lamplight dies out in the gray of 
morning, in the King's Palace, over such a scene. Scene 
of jostling, elbowing, of confusion, and indeed conclusion, 
for the thing is about to end. Rcederer and spectral 
Ministers jostle in the press ; consult, in side-cabinets, 
with one or with both Majesties. Sister Elizabeth takes 
the Queen to the window : " Sister, see what a beautiful 
sunrise," right over the Jacobins Church and that quarter ! 
How happy if the tocsin did not yield ! But Mandat 
returns not ; Potion is gone : much hangs wavering in 
the invisible Balance. About five o'clock, there rises 
from the Garden a kind of sound ; as of a shout which 
had become a howl, and instead of Vive le Roi were 
ending in Vive la Nation. "■ Mon Dieu !" ejaculates a 
spectral Minister, " what is he doing down there?" For 
it is his Majesty, gone down with old Marshal Maill6 to 
review the troops ; and the nearest companies of them 
answer so} Her Majesty bursts into a stream of tears. 
Yet on stepping from the cabinet, her eyes are dry and 
calm, her look is even cheerful. " The Austrian lip, and 
the aquiline nose, fuller than usual, gave to her coun- 
tenance," says Peltier,' "something of majesty, which 
they that did not see her in these moments cannot well 
have an idea of." O thou Theresa's Daughter ! 

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

^ [Lavalette, who then served in a loyal regiment of National 
Guards, says in his " Memoirs" (chap, v.): "At 5 a.m. we learned 
that the King was about to review us. He soon appeared. . . . 
His cold tranquillity and apathy under such terrible circumstances 
produced a painful impression. He addressed to us, as he was 
passing by, a few words that we did not hear, and returned to the 
palace."— El).] 

- In Toulongeon, ii. 241. 

AUG. lo, 1792] THE SWISS 347 



UNHAPPY Friends, the tocsin does yield, has 
yielded ! Lo ye, how with the first sunrays its 
Ocean-tide, of pikes and fusils, flows glittering from the 
far East ; — immeasurable ; born of the Night ! They 
march there, the grim host ; Saint-Antoine on this side 
the River ; Saint-Marceau on that, the blackbrowed 
Marseillese in the van. With hum, and grim murmur, 
far-heard ; like the Ocean-tide, as we say : drawn up, as 
if by Luna and Influences, from the great Deep of Waters, 
they roll gleaming on ; no King, Canute or Louis, can 
bid them roll back. Wide-eddying side-currents, of on- 
lookers, roll hither and thither, unarmed, not voiceless ; 
they, the steel host, roll on. New-Commandant San- 
terre, indeed, has taken seat at the Townhall ; rests 
there, in his halfway-house. Alsatian W-estermann, with 
flashing sabre, does not rest ; nor the Sections, nor the 
Marseillese, nor Demoiselle Th6roigne ; but roll con- 
tinually on. 

And now, where are Mandat's Squadrons that were to 
charge ? Not a Squadron of them stirs : or they stir in 
the wrong direction, out of the way ; their officers glad 
that they will do even that. It is to this hour uncertain 
whether the Squadron on the Pont-Neuf made the 
shadow of resistance, or did not make the shadow : 
enough, the blackbrowed Marseillese, and Saint-Marceau 
following them, do cross without let ; do cross, in sure 
hope now of Saint-Antoine and the rest ; do billow on, 
towards the Tuileries, where their errand is. The 

348 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. vii 

Tuileries, at sound of them, rustles responsive : the red 
Swiss look to their priming ; Courtiers in black draw 
their blunderbusses, rapiers, poniards, some have even 
fire-shovels ; every man his v/eapon of war. 

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

The tide advances ; Syndic Roederer's and all men's 
straits grow straiter and straiter. Fremescent clangour 
comes from the armed Nationals in the Court ; far and 
wide is the infinite hubbub of tongues. What counsel ? 
And the tide is now nigh ! Messengers, forerunners 
speak hastily through the outer Grates ; hold parley 
sitting astride the walls. Syndic Rcederer goes out and 
comes in. Cannoneers ask him : Are we to fire against 
the people ? King's Ministers ask him : Shall the King's be forced ? Syndic Rcederer has a hard game to 
play. He speaks to the (Cannoneers with eloquence, 
with fervour ; such fervour as a man can, who has to blow 
hot and cold in one breath. Hot and cold, O Rcederer? 
We, for our part, cannot live and die ! The Cannoneers, 
by way of answer, fling down their linstocks. — Think of 
this answer, O King Louis, and King's Ministers ; and 

AUG. lo, 1792] THE SWISS 349 

take a poor Syndic's safe middle-course, towards the 
Salle de Manage. King Louis sits, his hands leant on 
his knees, body bent forward ; gazes for a space fixedly 
on Syndic Roederer ; then answers, looking over his 
shoulder to the Queen : Marchons ! ^ They march ; 
King Louis, Queen, Sister Elizabeth, the two royal 
children and governess : these, with Syndic Rcederer, 
and Officials of the Department ; amid a double rank of 
National Guards. The men with blunderbusses, the 
steady red Swiss gaze mournfully, reproachfully ; but 
hear only these words from Syndic Roederer : " The 
King is going to the Assembly ; make way." It has 
struck eight, on all clocks, some minutes ago : the King 
has left the Tuileries — forever. 

O ye stanch Swiss, ye gallant gentlemen in black, for 
what a cause are ye to spend and be spent ! Look out 
from the western windows, ye may see King Louis 
placidly hold on his way ; the poor little Prince Royal 
" sportfully kicking the fallen leaves." ' Fremescent 
multitude on the Terrace of the Feuillants whirls parallel 
to him ; one man in it, very noisy, with a long pole : 
will they not obstruct the outer Staircase, and back- 
entrance of the Salle, when it comes to that? King's 
Guards can go no ikrther than the bottom step there, 
Lo, Deputation of Legislators come out ; he of the long 
pole is stilled by oratory ; Assembly's Guards join them- 
.selves to King's Guards, and all may mount in this case 
of necessity ; the outer Staircase is free, or passable. 
See, Royalty ascends ; a blue Grenadier lifts the poor 

^ [According to the Duchesse de Tourzel, the Queen observed to 
Roederer that it was impossible to abandon their brave defenders : 
whereupon he said curtly that if she opposed this proposal she 
would be responsible for the lives of the King and their children. 
Louis's surrender is not to be viewed as an act of cowardice, but as 
a last token of his determination to avoid civil war. The Minister, 
Joly, who was by him, asserts that he raised his right hand and 
said : " Let us go : let us give, as it is necessary, this last mark of 
our devotion." — Ed.] 

* [According to Roederer, Louis said : " See how many leaves 
there are : they fall early this year." — Ed.] 

350 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. vii 

little Prince Royal from the press ; Royalty has entered 
in. ■ Royalty has vanished forever from your eyes. — And 
ye? Left standing there, amid the yawning abysses, 
and earthquake of Insurrection ; without course ; with- 
out command : if ye perish, it must be as more than 
martyrs, as martyrs who are now without a cause ! The 
black Courtiers disappear mostly ; through such issues 
as they can. The poor Swiss know not how to act : one 
duty only is clear to them, that of standing by their 
post ; and they will perform that. 

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

Who can help the inevitable issue ; Marseillese and 
all France on this side ; granite Swiss on that ? The 
pantomime grows hotter and hotter ; Marseillese sabres 
flourishing by way of action ; the Swiss brow also cloud- 
ing itself, the Swiss thumb bringing its firelock to the 
cock. And hark ! high thundering above all the din, 
three Marseillese cannon from the Carrousel, pointed by 
a crunner of bad aim, come rattling over the roofs ! Ye 

AUG. lo, 1792] THE SWISS 351 

Swiss, therefore : Fire ! The Swiss fire ; by volley, by 
platoon, in rolling-fire : Marseillese men not a few, and 
"a tall man that was louder than any," lie silent, 
smashed upon the pavement ; — not a few Marseillese, 
after the long dusty march, have made halt here. The 
Carrousel is void ; the black tide recoiling ; " fugitives 
rushing as far as Saint-Antoine before they stop." The 
Cannoneers without linstock have squatted invisible, 
and left their cannon ; which the Swiss seize.' 

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

Behold, the fire slackens not ; nor does the Swiss 
rolling-fire slacken from within. Nay they clutched 
cannon, as we saw ; and now, from the other side, they 
clutch three pieces more ; alas, cannon without linstock ; 

^ [Lavalette asserts positively that the Swiss were the first to 
fire, when pushed back by Marseillais forcing an entrance to the 

palace. This is uncertain. — Ed.1 

352 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. vii 

nor will the steel-and-flint answer, though they try it.' 
Had it chanced to answer ! Patriot onlookers have their 
misgivings ; one strangest Patriot onlooker thinks that 
the Swiss, had they a commander, would beat. He is a 
man not unqualified to judge ; the name of him Napoleon 
Buonaparte.' And onlookers, and women, stand gazing, 
and the witty Dr. Moore of Glasgow among them, on 
the other side of the river : cannon rush rumbling past 
them ; pause on the Pont Royal ; belch out their iron en- 
trails there, against the Tuileries ; and at every new 
belch, the women and onlookers " shout and clap 
hands." ' City of all the Devils ! In remote streets, 
men are drinking breakfast-coffee ; following their af- 
fairs ; with a start now and then, as some dull echo 
reverberates a note louder. And here ? Marseillese fall 
wounded ; but Barbaroux has surgeons ; Barbaroux is 
close by, managing, though underhand and under cover. 
Marseillese fall death-struck ; bequeath their firelock, 
specify in which pocket are the cartridges ; and die 
murmuring, " Revenge me, Revenge thy country ! " 
Brest Federe Officers, galloping in red coats, are shot as 
Swiss. Lo you, the Carrousel has burst into flame ! — 
Paris Pandemonium ! Nay the poor city, as we said, is 
in fever-fit and convulsion : such crisis has lasted for the 
space of some half hour. 

But what is this that, with Legislative Insignia, ven- 
tures through the hubbub and death-hail, from the 
back-entrance of the Manage ? Towards the Tuileries 
and Swiss : written Order from his Majesty to cease 
firing ! O ye hapless Swiss, why was there no order not 
to begin it ? Gladly would the Swiss cease firing : but 
who will bid mad Insurrection cease firing? To Insur- 

' " Deux Amis," viii. 179-188. 

- See " Hist. Pari.," xvii. 56 ; Las Cases, etc. [So too Barbaroux 
said in his " Memoires " : " Everything betokened the victory of the 
Court, if the King had not left his post. . . . If he had shown him- 
self, mounted on horseback, the great majority of t. , battalions of 
Paris would have declared for him. — Ed.] 

^ Moore, "Journal during a Residence in France" (Dublin 
1793), i. 26. 


AUG. lo, 1792] THE SWISS 353 

rection you cannot speak ; neither can it, hydra-headed, 
hear. The dead and dying, by the hundred, lie all 
around ; are borne bleeding through the streets, towards 
help ; the sight of them, like a torch of the Furies, 
kindling Madness. Patriot Paris roars ; as the bear 
bereaved of her whelps. On, ye Patriots : Vengeance ! 
Victory or death ! There are men seen, who rush on, 
armed only with walking-sticks.' Terror and Fury rule 
the hour. 

The Swiss, pressed on from without, paralysed from 
within, have ceased to shoot ; but not to be shot. What 
shall they do ? Desperate is the moment. Shelter or 
instant death : yet How, Where ? One party flies out by 
the Rue de I'Echelle ; is destroyed utterly, " en entierP 
A second, by the other side, throws itself into the Gar- 
den ; " hurrying across a keen fusillade " ; rushes suppliant 
into the National Assembly ; finds pity and refuge in 
the back benches there. The third, and largest, darts 
out in column, three hundred strong, towards the Champs 
Elysees : " Ah, could we but reach Courbevoye, where 
other Swiss are ! " Wo ! see, in such fusillade the 
column " soon breaks itself by diversity of opinion," 
into distracted segments, this way and that ; — to escape 
in holes, to die fighting from street to street. The firing 
and murdering will not cease ; not yet for long. The 
red Porters of Plotels are shot at, be they Suisse by 
nature, or Suisse only in name. The very Firemen, 
who pump and labour on that smoking Carrousel, are 
shot at : why should the Carrousel not burn ? Some 
Swiss take refuge in private houses ; find that mercy too 
does still dwell in the heart of man. The brave Mar- 
seillese are merciful, late so wroth ; and labour to save. 
Journalist Gorsas pleads hard with infuriated groups. 
Clemence, the Wine-merchant, stumbles forward to the 
Bar of the Assembly, a rescued Swiss in his hand ; tells 
passionately how he rescued him with pain and peril, 
how he will henceforth support him, being childless 

^ " Hist. Pari.," ubi supra. " Rapport du Capitaine des Ca- 
nonniers," "Rapport du Commandant," etc. {Ibid., xvii. 300-318). 
II. A A 

354 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vr, CH. vii 

himself; and falls a-swoon round the poor Swiss's neck : 
amid plaudits. But the most are butchered, and even 
mangled. Fifty (some say Fourscore) were marched as 
prisoners, by National Guards, to the H6tel-de-Ville : 
the ferocious people bursts through on them, in the 
Place-de-Greve ; massacres them to the last man. " O 
Peiiple, envy of the universe ! " Peuple, in mad Gaelic 
effervescence ! 

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




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

How deluges of frantic Sansculottism roared through 
all passages of this Tuileries, ruthless in vengeance ; 
how the Valets were butchered, hewn down ; and Dame 
Campan saw the Marseillese sabre flash over her head, 
but the Black-browed said, " Va-t-en, Get thee gone," 
and flung her from him unstruck ;" how in the cellars 
wine-bottles were broken, wine-butts were staved-in and 
drunk ; and, upwards to the very garrets, all windows 
tumbled out their precious royal furnitures : and, with 
gold mirrors, velvet curtains, down of ript feather-beds, 
and dead bodies of men, the Tuileries was like no 

' [Even this lower estimate is a wild exaggeration. Mortimer- 
Ternaux (" Hist, de la Terreur," vol. ii., pp. 491-495) has proved 
from official sources that the losses were : 

Parisians, 50 killed, 34 wounded 
Marseillais, 22 „ 14 „ 
^x&'ilfederes, 2 „ 5 „ 
Probably there were a few other losses in the smaller bands of 
federes : but 90 killed and 70 wounded is the outside number. The 
Swiss regiment lost 26 officers and 760 men. The survivors 
perished, almost all, in the September massacres.— Ed.] 
^ Campan, ii. c. 21. 

356 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, CH. viii 

Garden of the Earth : — all this let him who has a taste 
for it see amply in Mercier, in acrid Montgaillard, or 
Beaulieu of the " Deux Amis." A hundred and eighty 
bodies of Swiss lie piled there ; naked, unremoved till 
the second day. Patriotism has torn their red coats 
into snips ; and marches with them at the Pike's point : 
the ghastly bare corpses lie there, under the sun and 
under the stars ; the curious of both sexes crowding to 
look. Which let not us do. Above a hundred carts, 
heaped with Dead, fare towards the Cemetery of Sainte- 
Madeleine ; bewailed, bewept ; for all had kindred, 
all had mothers, if not here, then there. It is one of 
those Carnage-fields, such as you read of by the name 
" Glorious Victory," brought home in this case to one's 
own door. 

But the blackbrowed Marseillese have struck down 
the tyrant of the Chateau. He is struck down ; low, and 
hardly again to rise. What a moment for an august 
Legislative was that when the Hereditary Representa- 
tive entered, under such circumstances ; and the Grena- 
dier, carrying the little Prince Royal out of the press, set 
him down on the Assembly-table ! A moment, — which 
one had to smooth-off with oratory ; waiting what the 
next would bring ! Louis said few words : " He was 
come hither to prevent a great crime ; he believed him- 
self safer nowhere than here." President Vergniaud 
answered briefly, in vague oratory as we say, about 
" defence of Constituted Authorities," about dying at 
our post.' And so King Louis sat him down ; first here, 
then there ; for a difficulty arose, the Constitution not 
permitting us to debate while the King is present : 
finally he settles himself with his Family in the " Loge of 
the Logograpke,'' in the Reporter's-Box of a Journalist ; 
which is beyond the enchanted Constitutional Circuit, 
separated from it by a rail. To such Lodge of the Logo- 
grapJie, measuring some ten feet square, with a small 

' " Moniteur," Seance du lo Aout 1792. 


closet at the entrance of it behind, is the King of broad 
France now Hmited : here can he and his sit pent, under 
the eyes of the world, or retire into their closet at 
intervals ; for the space of sixteen hours. Such quite 
peculiar moment has the Legislative lived to see. 

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

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

The New Municipals have come and gone ; with 
Three Flags, Liberie^ Egalitc, Patrie, and the clang of 
vivats. Vergniaud, he who as President few hours ago 
talked of dying for Constituted Authorities, has moved, 
as Committee-Reporter, that the Hereditary Representa- 
tive be suspended ; that a NATIONAL Convention do 
forthwith assemble to say what farther ! An able Re- 
port ; which the President must have had ready in his 
pocket? A President, in such cases, must have much 
ready, and yet not ready ; and Janus-like look before 
and after. ^ 

^ [The decree of suspension was provisional until the National 
Convention should decide : but a second decree passed a few 

358 THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. viii 

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

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

The tenth of August was Friday. The week is not 
done, when our old Patriot Ministry is recalled, what of 
it can be got : strict Roland, Genevese Claviere ; add 
heavy Monge the Mathematician, once a stone-hewer ; 
and, for Minister of Justice, — Danton, " led hither," as 
himself says, in one of his gigantic figures, " through the 

minutes after declared that the King and his family should be 
detained " as hostages" ! The Civil List was at once to cease.— Ed.] 
' Montgaillard, ii. 135-167. 


breach of Patriot cannon ! " These, under Legislative 
Committees, must rule the wreck as they can : con- 
fusedly enough ; with an old Legislative water-logged, 
with a new Municipality so brisk.' But National Con- 
vention will get itself together ; and tJien ! Without 
delay, however, let a new Jury-Court and Criminal Tri- 
bunal be set up in Paris, to try the crimes and con- 
spiracies of the Tenth. High Court of Orleans is distant, 
slow : the blood of the Twelve-hundred Patriots, what- 
ever become of other blood, shall be inquired after. 
Tremble, ye Criminals and Conspirators ; the Minister 
of Justice is Danton ! Robespierre too, after the victory, 
sits in the New Municipality ; insurrectionary " impro- 
vised Municipality," which calls itself Council General of 
the Commune. 

For three days now, Louis and his Family have heard 
the Legislative Debates in the Lodge of the Logographe ; 
and retired nightly to their small upper rooms. The 
Luxembourg and safeguard of the Nation could not be 
got ready : nay, it seems the Luxembourg has too many 
cellars and issues ; no Municipality can undertake to 
watch it. The compact Prison of the Temple, not so 
elegant indeed, were much safer. To the Temple, there- 
fore!^ On Monday 13th day of August 1792, in Mayor 
Petion's carriage, Louis and his sad suspended Household 
fare thither ; all Paris out to look at them. As they pass 
through the Place Vendome, Louis Fourteenth's Statue 

' [Each Minister in turn was to act as President of the Conseil 
Executif, or Cabinet. This arrangement of the executive powers 
held good till April 19th, 1794, when the Cabinet was replaced by 
twelve executive commissions. — Ed.] 

^ [The Assembly had decided to install the royal family in the 
residence of the Minister of Justice, in the Place Vendome, as 
preferable to the Luxembourg ; but Manuel came in the name of 
the Paris Commune to say that, as that body was charged with 
their custody, it proposed the Temple as being the safest place. 
The Queen shuddered when she heard this, and said to the Duchesse 
de Tourzel : " You will see, they will put us in the tower and make 
it a regular prison for us " — a presentiment which was only too 
true. They at first occupied the small tower. — Ed.] 

36o THE MARSEILLESE [bk. vi, ch. viii 

lies broken on the ground. Petion is afraid the Queen's 
looks may be thought scornful, and produce provocation ; 
she casts down her eyes, and does not look at all. The 
" press is prodigious," but quiet : here and there, it 
shouts Vive la Nation ; but for most part gazes in 
silence. French Royalty vanishes within the gates of 
the Temple : these old peaked Towers, like peaked Ex- 
tinguisher or Bonsoir, do cover it up ; — from which same 
Towers, poor Jacques Molay and his Templars were 
burnt out, by French Royalty, five centuries since. Such 
are the turns of Fate below. Foreign Ambassadors, 
English Lord Gower have all demanded passports ; are 
driving indignantly towards their respective homes. 

So, then, the Constitution is over ? Forever and a 
day ! Gone is that wonder of the Universe ; First bien- 
nial Parliament, water-logged, waits only till the Con- 
vention come ; and will then sink to endless depths. 
One can guess the silent rage of Old-Constituents, Con- 
stitution-builders, extinct Feuillants, men who thought 
the Constitution would march ! Lafayette rises to the 
altitude of the situation ; at the head of his Army. 
Legislative Commissioners are posting towards him and 
it, on the Northern Frontier, to congratulate and per- 
orate ; he orders the Municipality of Sedan to arrest 
these Commissioners, and keep them strictly in ward as 
Rebels, till he say farther. The Sedan Municipals obey. 

The Sedan Municipals obey ; but the Soldiers of the 
Lafayette Army ? The Soldiers of the Lafayette Army 
have, as all Soldiers have, a kind of dim feeling that they 
themselves are Sansculottes in buff belts ; that the 
victory of the Tenth of August is also a victory for them. 
They will not rise and follow Lafayette to Paris ; they 
will rise and send him thither! On the i8th, which is 
but next Saturday, Lafayette, with some two or three 
indignant Staff-officers, one of whom is Old-Constituent 
Alexandre de Lameth, having first put his Lines in 
what order he could, — rides swiftly over the marches to- 
wards Holland. Rides, alas, swiftly into the claws of 


Austrians ! He, long wavering, trembling on the verge 
of the Horizon, has set, in Olmiitz Dungeons;' this 
History knows him no more. Adieu, thou Hero of two 
Worlds ; thinnest, but compact honour-worthy man ! 
Through long rough night of captivity, through other 
tumults, triumphs and changes, thou wilt swing well, 
" fast-anchored to the Washington Formula " ; and be 
the Hero and Perfect-character, were it only of one idea. 
The Sedan Municipals repent and protest ; the Soldiers 
shout Vive la Nation. Dumouriez Polymetis, from his 
Camp at Maulde, sees himself made Commander-in- 

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

^ [He was kept under restraint by the Austrians until Bonaparte, 
when he compelled them to sue for peace in 1797, insisted on his 
release. — Ed.] 



IN order to understand the relations that subsisted between 
Mirabeau and the Court, it is well to remember that he 
firmly believed in the advantages of a constitutional monarchy 
resembhng that of England. His residence in England, as 
also his firm friendship with Fox and Romilly, confirmed these 
predilections. (See his panegyric on England in the National 
Assembly as reported in his " Travaux a I'Assemblee Nat.," 
vol. i., p. 338.) 

In a letter of December 28th, 1788, to the Minister, Mont- 
morin, he hinted at the outline of a constitution " which would 
save us from the plots of aristocracy, the excesses of democracy, 
and the excesses into which the kingly power, for having wished 
to be absolute, is plunged with us." He besought the Minister 
to show it to the King. 

At the close of May, 1789, he sought to come to an un- 
derstanding with Necker. In his interview with him, he 
said : "I wish for a free constitution, but a monarchical con- 
stitution : I do not at all wish to weaken the monarchy." 
Necker, however, played the part of virtuous Pharisee so well 
that Mirabeau came away in a rage, saying to Malouet : " I 
will go there no more, but they shall hear of me." ' 

This accounts for the violence of his subsequent attacks on 
absolute power, which were designed to frighten the King and 
his Ministers into dependence on the nation at large. Never- 
theless, he remained at heart a constitutional reformer. The 
Comte de la Marck (the chief of one of the foreign regiments 
in the French service, and now a deputy of the noblesse in the 
States-General) had had some connection with the great orator, 
and now ventured to remonstrate with him on his violence. 

^ "Recueil des Discours de M. Malouet." 


To this the orator made the significant rejoinder : " The day 
when the King's Ministers will consent to reason with me, I 
shall be found devoted to the royal cause and to the safety of 
the monarchy.'" Unfortunately, the resentment of the Queen, 
the mental dulness of Louis, and the pedantic morality of 
Necker, prevented any rappi-ochevient, such as La Marck now 
strove to bring about. 

When matters were going from bad to worse, in September, 
1789, Mirabeau spoke to La Marck words, the substance of 
which was evidently meant to reach the ears of the King and 
Queen : " Do they not see the abysses yawning at their feet ? 
All is lost. The King and Queen will perish, and — you will 
see it — the populace will spurn their bodies." This was clearly 
designed to frighten the King ; but again no reply was forth- 
coming, even when Mirabeau went so far as to defend the ab- 
solute veto in the ensuing debates. 

After the conquest of the King by Paris in the days of the 
5th and 6th of October (in which La Marck shows that Mira- 
beau had no share, though Dumont hints that he may have 
had), the orator drew up for "Monsieur " (le Comte de Provence) 
a " Memoire " urging Louis XVL to acquiesce in the abolition 
of the Feudal System, but also advising the withdrawal of the 
King and Queen from Paris to Rouen, even if it led to civil 
war. This war, he said to La ]\Iarck, would not be of long 
duration : " for every Frenchman wants a ' place,' or money : 
you should promise these, and you would soon see the King's 
party in the ascendant." ' All this, however, depended on the 
King becoming the King of the Revolution, and founding his 
monarchy on the new social basis. 

For a long time Mirabeau made no headway. He was dis- 
trusted alike by royalists and progressives, and saw no one 
at Court whose character and ability might retrieve matters. 
For the Comte de Provence, after the Favras affair, he felt 
supreme contempt. " He has the purity of a child, but also its 
weakness," he wrote to La Marck on December 29th, 1789; 
and twelve days later he penned the despondent sentence : 
" Always reduced to give advice, but never able to act, I shall 

' " Correspondance entre Mirabeau et La Marck (1789-1791)," 
edited by M. de Bacourt, 3 vols. (185 1). This, the most important 
source of information for Mirabeau's policy, was of course unknown 
to Carlyle. 

" Ibid.^ vol. i., pp. 126, 364-382. 


probably experience the fate of Cassandra — ' I shall always 
foretell the truth and never be believed.' " 

The absence of La Marck in Belgium increased his diffi- 
culties ; but after his return he came into direct relations with 
Louis, to whom he offered his services in a secret note (May 
loth, 1790), He therein stated his belief that a counter- 
revolution (that is, a royalist reaction) would be alike dan- 
gerous and criminal, but that any government in France, which 
had not a chief endowed with the necessary executive power, 
would be chimerical. He would, therefore, strive to restore the 
executive functions, confided to the King, to their proper place 
in the constitution. A little earlier he had made written over- 
tures to Lafayette, with a view to co-operation against the 
forces of anarchy in the Chamber and the country. But this 
frank and manly overture met with no return ; and thus was 
lost the chance of strengthening the cause of constitutional 
monarchy, at the time when the federations were vivifying 
France with a fresh national enthusiasm. 

There are grounds for thinking that Lafayette knew of Mira- 
beau's acceptance of the King's money. This was a fact. 
Through La Marck, Louis secretly offered to pay his debts, to 
grant him 6,000 francs (;^24o) a month, as well as a million 
francs at the end of the Constituent Assembly, if he proved 
himself useful. The King rightly insisted on secrecy; but 
Mirabeau's vanity and extravagance speedily revealed the fatal 
truth, which blasted all chances of success. The warmth with 
which, in June, 1790, the great orator supported the royal pre- 
rogative of declaring war seemed a further proof of his having 
been bought over by the Court. As a matter of fact, his 
opinions were in no wise changed by these monetary transac- 
tions. He wrote with perfect justice to Louis on June ist, 
1790: "I shall be what I have always been — the defender of 
the monarchical power as regulated by the laws, and the 
apostle of liberty as guaranteed by monarchical power." But 
by midsummer his influence was hopelessly impaired. 

The King and Queen also never fully trusted him, but looked 
on him as a demagogue bought over. This accounts for the 
occasional bitterness of the secret Notes which he drew up for 
the guidance of the Court. It is impossible fully to describe 
the plans set forth in these Notes ; but the following ideas are 
fundamental : 

(i) Civil liberty had been irreversibly gained by the reforms 


of 1789: it now remained to guarantee those reforms by the 
erection of a durable constitution. [" The Revolution is con- 
summated, but not so the constitution." (Note of September, 
28th, 1790.)] 

(2) It remained, then, that the King should accept the chief 
civil and social reforms of the Revolution, form a strong 
Ministry, and, in concert with the moderate reformers, help to 
build up a political structure that would be democratic at the 
base and monarchical at the apex. [" The royal authority will 
be stronger with a single Legislature than it was in a kingdom 
broken up by privileged and intermediary bodies." (Note of 
December 23th, 1790.)] 

These being the principles to be aimed at, the means indi- 
cated were : 

(a) The King should support the moderate party, which was 
actually in the ascendant in the Constituent Assembly, and, if 
possible, form a Ministry in concert with that party. ["Jacobins, 
when Ministers, would not be Jacobinical Ministers. . . . The 
most violent demagogue when placed at the helm, and seeing 
more clearly the evils of the kingdom, would recognise the in- 
sufficiency of the royal power." (Note of October 14th, 1790.)] 

(d) If the Assembly proved to be irreconcilable, the King 
should assemble faithful troops in a loyal province, such as 
Normandy, where a union with Brittany and Anjou would weld 
together great resources. He should summon the Assembly to 
his side, and in case of refusal dissolve it, call a National Con- 
vention, and with its aid {not by royal decree alone) reform the 
constitution. This would probably lead to civil war, but 
Mirabeau feared it not, provided that the King's side was the 
national side. But there must be no interference of foreigners, 
or emigres, on his behalf: this would ruin everything. 

Such were the chief proposals set forth in his Notes to the 
Court, especially in the long and masterly Note 47, of Decem- 
ber 23rd, 1790. This Note concluded with various schemes 
for influencing public opinion in the provinces and Paris, for 
buying over journalists and demagogues, hurrying on the 
Assembly to unpopular acts (such as the persecution of ortho- 
dox priests), and, in the last resort, setting the provinces against 
Paris. He saw that the chief danger was that great city — 
"accustomed for a year to successes and crimes" ... "a 
whole mass of decrees has been the result of its influence 


In this, as in most parts of these Notes, we recognise the 
judgment of a statesman— a judgment which is marred, how- 
ever, by a MacchiaveUian latitude in the choice of means. ^ 
And these dicta are set forth with a trenchant energy of expres- 
sion worthy of Tacitus — as when, in Note 2, he says of the 
King's entourage : " Le roi n'a qu'un homme, c'est sa femme." 

But were these plans feasible ? Perhaps they would have 
been, had Louis and Marie Antoinette really trusted Mirabeau, 
and taken timely steps to carry out his advice. Unfortunately, 
they never did so. Though, in the autumn of 1790, he gained 
the confidence of Montmorin, the most influential of the Minis- 
ters, yet, at that very time, the anti-clerical conduct of the 
Assembly (which Mirabeau aided and abetted) filled Louis and 
his Queen with invincible loathing of the Revolution and all its 
works. Early in 1791 they began to correspond regularly with 
Bouille in order to concert plans of flight to the eastern frontier, 
where they would come into touch with the emig?-es and the 
forces of Austria. Against any such move Mirabeau had most 
earnestly protested. 

Then again it is certain that no part of the regular army 
could be trusted after the autumn of 1790; and it is very 
questionable whether the power of the Jacobins' Club, and of 
its very numerous branches, would not have carried the pro- 
vinces along with the democrats of Paris in case matters had 
come to the sword. The enormous influence of the capital 
was to be seen in the failure of the Girondins in 1793 to rally 
the provinces against the new central tyranny. 

Lastly, Mirabeau was admired by everyone for his genius 
and eloquence, but he gained the trust of very few, and the 
adhesion of a mere handful. He had no party ; and to be 
without an organised following is to court failure in political 
Hfe at all times, especially in a period of popular upheaval. 

' M. Sorel finely notes this as characteristic of a society that 
longed for regeneration, but was condemned by its past to effect 
reforms by corrupt means, and to found liberty by the customs of 
despotism (" L'Europe et la Rev. F'rancjaise," pt. ii., p. -^j). 



(See p. 269 of this volume.) 

CARLYLE'S dislike of diplomatic affairs leads him to treat 
this important matter far too briefly. The Declaration was a 
result of three chief causes : (i) the clearing up of the Eastern 
Question, for the time being, by the Peace of Sistova (July, 
1 791); the desire of the Emperor Leopold to go no further 
than diplomatic menaces against the French Revolution; (3) 
the eager desire of the French emigres (warmly shared by 
Gustavus III. of Sweden, and, in part, by Frederick William II. 
of Prussia) to crush the Revolution by force of arms. 

The forward party failed to persuade Leopold to do more 
than issue this Declaration : that he and Frederick William re- 
garded the situation of the King of France " as an object of 
interest to all the sovereigns of Europe." They expressed the 
hope "that they will not refuse to employ, conjointly with their 
Majesties, the most efficacious means, relatively to their power. 
. . . Then, and in that case, their Majesties, the Emperor and 
the King of Prussia, are resolved to act promptly and by mutual 
accord, with the forces necessary to attain the proposed common 

Leopold said of this last sentence : " These words ' Then, 
and in that case,' are for me the law and the prophets : if Eng- 
land fails us, the case does not exist." Now, he knew that 
England intended to keep strict neutrality ; therefore the whole 
declaration was only an imposing but empty threat : it was 
recognised as such by the well-informed, even in France. The 
only secret article that related to France was that she should be 
requested, or required, to observe treaties — a reference to 
Avignon and the rights of the German princes in Alsace. 

The annoyance caused in France was because the Comtes 
de Provence and d'Artois were at Pilnitz during the conference, 


and, when the " Declaration " was made known at Paris, they 
pubUshed a manifesto urging Louis XVI. not to sign away the 
rights of the French monarchy, but to refuse his assent to 
the new Constitution. (See Sybel, bk. ii., chap. vi. ; Sorel, 
" L'Europe et la Rev. Fran(jaise," pt. ii., pp. 236-258; Clap- 
ham, " The Causes of the War of 1792," chap, iv.) 



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