Skip to main content

Full text of "Symbol and satire in the French Revolution"

See other formats

: ,i' '.. ' 'I 



0351 01 29 



By Ernest F. Henderson 

Symbol and Satire in the French Revolution 

Bliicher, and the Uprising of Prussia against 

Symbol and Satire in the 
French Revolution 

Ernest F. Henderson, Ph.D., L.H.D. 

Author of " A Short History of Germany," " Bliicher," " A Lady 
of the Old Regime." etc. 

With 171 Illustrations 


G. P. Putnam's Sons 

New York and London 

Ube K<mcl;crlvcl;cr press 





Ube Itnfcfterbocfter prcsa, Hew JDorfc 





HAS sufficient attention been paid to the fact 
that, apart from all its horrors and injust- 
ice, the French Revolution was a beautiful 
dream? Imagination ran riot as never before. 
People seemed utterly unable to speak or to think 
in plain language. In what period of the world's 
history do we meet with so many fables and 
personifications, symbols, satires, and emblems? 
The dawn of French liberty is like the dawn of the 
world's religion; there is the same conflict between 
great shapeless monsters that forms the legendary 
basis of every modern creed. The war of liberty 
against slavery is one of Titans against gods; the 
favourite symbol for despotism is the many- headed 
hydra. The number of these hydras that were 
slain, of the chains that were broken, of the yokes 
that were cast off, is simply appalling. The cap 
of Liberty, the carpenter's level to denote Equality, 
the scales of Justice, the eye of Vigilance, the 
bundle of fagots to denote Unity and Indivisi- 
bility: all these and many more recur literally 
thousands of times. Thrones totter, tyrants bite 
the dust, Liberty accomplishes wonderful feats 
of prowess and agility, while even the mountain, 

vi Preface 

symbol of one of the great political parties, shakes 
or quakes, jumps or falls, belches forth destructive 
lava or in some other way makes life unpleasant 
for its opponents. 

More interesting in their wealth of symbols than 
even the speeches and writings of the time are the 
pictorial satires and allegories, great numbers of 
which have been preserved. They are documents 
of real historical importance and have hitherto 
been much neglected. They reveal the spirit of 
the time as no mere printed words could ever do. 
They are products of this special revolution, for 
nothing like them had ever been known before. 
They filled a real need, for they appealed even to 
the illiterate ; and three fourths of the population 
of France at that time could neither read nor write. 
They show us the Revolution as it was shown to 
the common man of the period. 

But more than this. We find that some, if not 
all, of these productions were issued as a means of 
political propaganda, with the direct and avowed 
intention of influencing public opinion. Cartoons 
were a strong weapon in the hands of those who 
held the public funds, and there is reason to believe 
that millions were spent in producing them. Take, 
for instance, this extract from a speech of Lequinio's 
at the Jacobin Club in November, 1791: "You 
know all the evils that fanaticism caused by spread- 
ing pictures throughout the country. I propose 
that the Society undertake to engage all artists to 
labour in opposition to this by making pictures 
that have to do with the Revolution." 

Preface vii 

In October, 1792, we find an artist accorded 
honourable mention in the National Convention 
because of a cartoon representing the soldiers of 
despotism quitting their standards to enrol under 
those of Liberty and Equality. The proems verbal 
or Journal of the Convention records the statement 
that such productions are "one of the most effica- 
cious means of instructing the hamlets and speak- 
ing to the eyes of the ignorant and unfortunate 
inhabitants." The accounts of the Committee of 
Public Safety later contain an item of three thousand 
francs paid to an artist for two caricatures, one of 
which represents a turkey pulling King George of 
England by the nose. Later still we find the same 
Committee decreeing that a picture glorifying the 
patriotic act of a boy, Barra, who died rather than 
cry "God save the King!" shall be distributed 
among the pupils of all the schools in France. 
The patriotic almanac was another means of propa- 
ganda employed by the Jacobins. 

My cartoons were photographed direct from the 
originals almost all of which are anonymous loose 
sheets. They are to be found for the most part 
in the Collection Hennin of the Bibliotheque 
Nationale in Paris. Others came from the Musee 
Carnavalet and a few I was able to purchase from 
antiquaries. But the demand for such material is 
very keen, and the productions bring prices beyond 
the reach of ordinary individuals. 

A word about the narrative that accompanies 
the cartoons. I have taken great pains to avoid 
what is old and hackneyed, and have consulted 



original authorities for every phase of the subject. 
I have not endeavoured to prove new points or 
indeed to indulge in controversy of any sort. My 
single aim has been to illumine. With this end 
in view I have consulted a number of manuscripts 
which have proved very inspiring. The National 
Archives are rich in Revolutionary material, and 
it is interesting to note how many documents they 
contain that were written at critical moments : The 
defiance left behind by Louis XVI on the day 
that he fled to Varennes; the letter written by 
Charlotte Corday after the murder of Marat; 
Marie Antoinette's letter written four hours be- 
fore her execution; the note pinned by Roland 
to his coat just before he committed suicide; 
Robespierre's appeal to Couthon to come to the 
Hotel de Ville on the Qth of Thermidor, and a 
host of others. When we come to think of it, it is 
just such documents that were most likely to be 
preserved, because they were at once seized by the 
police and placed on file. There are autographs, 
of course, of all sorts of interesting personages of 
Dr. Guillotin, of Danton, of Marat, of Madame 
Roland. There is the protest of the seventy-five 
at the expulsion of the Girondists; Petion's account 
of his return from Varennes in the royal coach; 
Fouquier-Tinville's complaint that the Dantonists 
on trial for their life are so insolent as to demand 
that witnesses be heard in their defence; the order 
of the Committee of Public Safety to separate 
Marie Antoinette from her son; an indignant pro- 
test on Executioner Samson's part that he has not 

Preface ix 

been selling Louis XVTs hair; the decree in the 
minutes of the Convention abolishing the Christian 
Era in short, there is no end to the treasures of 
this kind, and the actual handling of them gives one 
a vivid sense of the reality of the happenings. 

I have tried to do justice to the modern authori- 
ties; but the literature is very vast and even 
important works may have escaped me. AuJard, 
his journal as well as his monographs; Brette, 
Flammermont, Sorel, Jaures, Wallon, Mortimer- 
Terneux, Hamel all have been of great assistance. 
I regret that a general account of the Revo- 
lution by Madelin has not reached me in time 
to be of service. I could not begin to mention 
here the works from which I have extracted some 
one or more facts; I have given some references 
in the footnotes. I have chosen the form of a 
chronological narrative because only thus did it 
seem possible to show the juncture at which the 
cartoons were issued and the part that they played 
as the Revolution progressed. 

E. F. H. 

BOSTON, May 25, 1912. 











IX WAR 295 





INDEX 443 



PLATE i. Liberty Crowning Benjamin Franklin . 7 

PLATE 2. Born to Trouble. A Comparison of the 

Peasant with Domestic Animals. . 9 

PLATE 3. Post Tenebras Lux. An Allegorical Re- 
presentation in Honour of Necker's 
Recall in 1788 21 

PLATE 4. The Coach Ornamented with Symbols in 
which Louis XVI Went to his Corona- 
tion in 1774 22 

PLATE 5. A Symbolical Representation of the 
Three Estates Proceeding to Versailles 
in May, 1789 23 

PLATE 6. Another Version of the Symbolical 
Representation of the Three Estates 
Proceeding to Versailles in May, 1 789. 24 

PLATE 7. The Three Estates in their Respective 

Costumes of Ceremony ... 26 

PLATE 8. The Costume of a Deputy of the Third 

Estate 27 

PLATE 9. A Symbolical Representation Entitled 

"Ah, how Hard Are the Times!" . 30 

PLATE 10. A Cartoon Showing the Third Estate 
Welcoming the Clergy to the Ranks of 
the National Assembly, June 13, 1789. 31 



PLATE 1 1 


PLATE 14. A Cartoon Showing Concord Holding the 
Three Estates United by Flowery 
Chains . 

PLATE 15. 

PLATE 16. 

A Cartoon Showing the Three Estates 
Shouldering in Common the Burden of 
the National Debt . 

A Cartoon Entitled "The Triumph of 
the Three Orders," Showing France 
and her Three Sons, the Clergy, Nobil- 
ity and Third Estate, on their Way to 
the Temple of Justice 


Mirabeau in the Name of the National 
Assembly Defying De Bre*ze*, Master 
of Ceremonies of the King . . - 37 

PLATE 12. A Cartoon Showing the Third Estate 
Welcoming the other Two Estates to 
the Ranks of the National Assembly, 
June 30, 1789 . . . . . 41 

PLATE 13. A Cartoon Showing the Three Estates as 

Musicians at Last Playing in Tune . 42 

PLATE 17. 




Facsimile of Medals Commemorating 
the Harmony of the Three Estates in 
the Summer of 1789 ... 46 

PLATE 18. A Cartoon Representing the Third 
Estate Awakening from his Long 
Slumber, Casting off his Chains and 
Terrifying the Other Two Estates . 47 

PLATE 19. A Cartoon Entitled "This Time Justice 
Is the Strongest," and Representing 
Justice and the Third Estate Weighing 
Down the Clergy and Nobility . . 51 

Illustrations xv 


PLATE 20. A Cartoon Entitled "The Noble Two- 
Step," in which a Noble and an Abbe* 
are Dancing to the Piping of the Third 
Estate ...... 52 

PLATE 21. A Cartoon Entitled "Despotism Over- 
thrown," and Likening the Storming 
of the Bastile to the Slaying of a 
Hydra 53 

PLATE 22. A Representation of Louis XVI Driving 
up to the H6tel de Ville in Paris on 
July 17, 1789, where he was Acclaimed 

1 ' Restorer of French Liberty " . 57 

PLATE 23. An Engraving Showing Louis XVI with 
the Cap of Liberty which he Publicly 
Donned on July 1 7, 1 789 . . . 59 

PLATE 24. Louis XVI Depicted as the "Restorer 

of French Liberty" . . . .61 

PLATE 25. A Portrait of Bailly over which Is the 
National Cockade with the Motto In 
Hoc Signo Vicimus .... 63 

PLATE 26. A Satirical Production Called " The Con- 
clusion of the Diet," Showing the 
Evil Results of Forcing one Cap upon 
the Three Estates .... 64 

PLATE 27. A Bloodthirsty Cartoon Called "The 
Patriotic Calculator," Showing the 
Frenchman Making out a Bill for 
Eight Heads Paid on Account, Twelve 
Still Due. .... 65 


PLATE 28. 


PLATE 29. 

PLATE 30. 


PLATE 32. 

PLATE 33. 

PLATE 34. 


A Cartoon Called "The Great Step 
Accomplished, or the Dawn of a Fine 
Day," which Shows the Frenchman 
Advancing over the Heads, Bastiles, 
etc., to Join with the King and Observe 
the Law . . . . .66 

A Cartoon Called the " Constitution of 
France," Showing Necker Borne Aloft 
by the Due d' Orleans and Lafayette 
while the Chains of Servitude are 
Trampled Under Foot ... 67 

An Allegorical Representation to the 
Glory of Necker Entitled "Virtue Sur- 
mounts all Obstacles." (Remarkable 
because the Recall of Necker is Attri- 
buted to the Queen.). . . . 68 

An Elaborate Allegorical Representa- 
tion in which Louis XVI Conducts 
Necker along the Path of Glory and 
Presents him to the National Assem- 
bly .-...-'. 69 

A Cartoon in which the King and Necker 
are Breaking the Chains of a Grate- 
ful Third Estate while Discord takes 
to Flight . . . . . 71 

A Cartoon Showing the Three Estates 
Forging Away at the New Constitu- 
tion ...... 74 

A Cartoon Representing the French 
Nation in a Patriotic Delirium Break- 
ing Down Feudalism on August 4, 
1789 77 

PLATE 35. 

PLATE 36. 

PLATE 37. 

PLATE 38. 

PLATE 39. 

PLATE 40. 

PLATE 41. 

PLATE 42. 


An Allegorical Representation which 
Shows France Inscribing on a Monu- 
ment the Feudal Privileges Re- 
nounced on August 4, 1789. 

A Representation of the Frenchwoman 
Become Free . 





PLATE 43. 

A Double Cartoon Representing the 
Change Wrought in the Condition of 
the Peasant by the Renunciations of 
August 4th. Before . . .84 

A Double Cartoon Representing the 
Change Wrought in the Condition of 
the Peasant by the Renunciations of 
August 4th. After .... 85 

A Double Cartoon Representing the 
Frenchman Formerly and the French- 
man Now. The Frenchman Formerly. 86 

A Double Cartoon Representing the 
Frenchman Formerly and the French- 
man Now. The Frenchman Now . 87 

A National Guard in Uniform . . 88 

A Representation Intended to Show 
What an Advantage the Free French- 
man Has over the Enslaved English- 
man. Pitt is Trampling on the Crown 
and Holding the Parliament En- 
chained ...... 91 

A Cartoon Showing the Contrast 
Between an Englishman's Manner of 
Doing Homage to Liberty and a 
Frenchman's ..... 92 


PLATE 44. 


A Caricature of the First Emigres 
Leaving France. Madame de Polig- 
nac, the Queen's Favourite Is in the 
Donkey-Basket. The King's Brother 
Is on Horseback . 


PLATE 45. 

PLATE 46. 

PLATE 47. 


A Cartoon Showing Chabroud Endeav- 
ouring to Clear the Due d' Orleans of 
Complicity in the Events of October 
6,1789 ' - 97 

A Contemporary Drawing of the Expedi- 
tion of the Women of Paris to Ver- 
sailles on October 5, 1789 99 

A Contemporary Drawing Represent- 
ing the Women of Paris Returning 
from Versailles on October 6, 1789 . 104 

PLATE 48. A Representation of the Arrival of the 
King and Queen in Paris on October 
6, 1789. One Sees the Women Leading 
the Cortege .... . 105 

PLATE 49. A Cartoon Representing Charon Re- 
fusing to Ferry over any of the Head- 
less Ones Save a Baker who had been 
Killed by Mistake . . . . 108 

PLATE 50. A Symbolical Production Showing Rea- 
son in the Act of Explaining the New 
Divisions of France while Envy and 
Hatred seek to Hamper Her . .109 

PLATE 51. A Symbolical Production Showing the 
Genius of France Adopting Liberty 
and Equality . . . . ; . 112 

PLATE 52. A Dutch Engraving Showing the Hall of 

the Jacobin Club in Paris . . .113 


PLATE 53. A Representation of the Typical Jacobin. 
One Sees the Eye of Vigilance on his 

PLATE 54. A Cartoon Showing the Clergy Despoiled 
of its Possessions. Once it Was Fat, 
Now it Is Lean .... 

PLATE 55. A Caricature Called "The Overthrow," 
Relating to the Confiscation of the 
Estates of the Clergy 

PLATE 56. A Caricature Called "The Present 
Time," Showing the Clergy Reduced 
to a Skeleton and Standing Humbly 
before the Other Two Estates . 

PLATE 57. A Caricature Against the Clergy En- 
titled "The Patriotic Reducer of Fat ". 

PLATE 58. A Cartoon Representing the Marquis de 
Favras being Received in Hades by 
Foulon, Berthier and other Headless 

PLATE 59. A Symbolical Representation of France 
Making her Children Clasp Hands in 
Token of Fraternity . 

PLATE 60. A Representation of the Fete of 
Federation on the Champ de Mars, 
July 14, 1790 . 

PLATE 61 . A Facsimile of a Portion of the Frieze on 
the Great Arch at the Fte of Federa- 
tion ...... 

PLATE 62. A Contemporary Illustration Showing 
the People of Paris at Work Trans- 
forming the Champ de Mars in Prepa- 
ration for the F6te . 











PLATE 63. 

PLATE 64. 

PLATE 65. 

PLATE 66. 

PLATE 67. 

PLATE 68. 

PLATE 69. 

PLATE 70. 

PLATE 71. 

PLATE 72. 

PLATE 73. 


Another View of the People of Paris at 
Work on the Champ de Mars 

The Representation of the Awful Fate in 
Store for the Priest who will not Take 
the Civic Oath. The Wind Whistles 
through his Bones .... 



A Fanciful Representation of the King 
Aiding in the Work of Transforming 
the Champ de Mars . . 135 

A Caricature of Mirabeau's Brother 
Called ' ' Barrel- Mirabeau ' because 
of his Love of Drink . . 137 

A Representation of the Fte of Federa- 
tion Showing the Deputies Dancing 
Around in Glee . . . .141 

A Representation of the Typical ' 'Con- 
queror of the Bastile" . . . 143 

A Representation of the Dancing on the 
Ruins of the Bastile on the Anniver- 
sary of the Fall of the Fortress . -144 

An Allegorical Representation Showing 
the King Accepting from the Hand of 
France the Pact of Federation . .148 

A Cartoon which Shows the Clergy 
Asking in Desperation ' ' What Am I ? " 1 49 

A Cartoon Showing the Proper Treat- 
ment for an Abbe who will not Take the 
Civic Oath. The Mother Applauds 
the Castigation . . . .151 

A Representation of the Beatitude of a 
Priest who has Taken the Patriotic 
Oath. A Bishop's Mitre is Within his 



Illustrations xxi 


PLATE 74. A Representation of an Aristocrat-Priest 
Cursing the Revolution. Turn the 
Page Upside Down . . . -157 

PLATE 75. A Caricature of Marie Antoinette as a 
Vile Harpy Treading on the Constitu- 
tion 158 

PLATE 76. A Caricature of Louis XVI as a Horned 

Pig - 159 

PLATE 77. A Caricature of Marie Antoinette as an 

Austrian Pantheress . . .160 

PLATE 78. A Cartoon which Shows the Devil Incit- 
ing Pope Pius VI to Sign the Bull 
Condemning the Civil Constitution of 
the Clergy 161 

PLATE 79. A Cartoon Showing the Papal Bull, To- 
gether with all the Different Journals 
which Favoured the Aristocratic 
Party Being Consigned to the Flames . 1 63 

PLATE 80. An Exaggerated Representation of what 
took Place in the Tuileries on the 
' ' Day of Daggers, ' ' February 28, 1 79 1 . 1 65 

PLATE 81. What Purports to be the Exact Form of 
the Infamous Poniards Wielded by 
those who Had their Ears Boxed, or 
were Arrested or Driven Away from 
the Tuileries by the National Guards 
on the 28th of February, 1791 . . 168 

PLATE 82. A Contemporary Representation of the 
Pantheon "Dedicated by a Grateful 
Country to its Great Men. " . . 169 


PLATE 83. 

PLATE 84. 

PLATE 85. 

PLATE 86. 

PLATE 87. 

PLATE 88. 

PLATE 89. 


A Portrait of Mirabeau, Issued at the 
Time of his Death, which Recalls the 
Episode of June 23, 1789, when he 
Defied the Master of Ceremonies of 
the King . . . . ^ 

A Facsimile of an Assignat with the Por- 
trait of Louis XVI. This one Pur- 
ports to have been Issued the Day 
Before the Flight but is Officially 
Stamped as a Forgery 




A Representation of the Return from 
Varennes of the Royal Family under 
Escort of National Guards. . .184 

Barnave Represented as a Double- 
Faced Man because of his Friendliness 
to the King and Queen after the Flight 
to Varennes . . . . .187 

A Satire on the Failure of the Attempted 
Flight to Varennes. The King is 
Pleading for Mercy, the Queen is 
Beating her Breast and Crying "My 
Fault, all my Fault!" . . .189 

A Representation of the Happenings on 
the Champ de Mars on July 17, 1791. 
Mayor Bailly after Seeking in Vain to 
Quell a Disturbance that had Arisen 
Ordered the National Guards to Fire 
on the Mob . . . . 193 

A Satirical Representation Called "The 
Future Legislator" and Directed 
Against the Requirement that a 
Deputy to be Eligible must Pay Taxes. 
The Mark of Silver Destroys all Indi- 
viduality . . . . 195 

PLATE 90. 

PLATE 91. 

PLATE 92. 

PLATE 93. 

PLATE 94. 

PLATE 95. 

PLATE 96. 


An Allegorical Representation of the 
Acceptance of the Constitution by 
Louis XVI. The Faces seem to be 
Actual Likenesses. The Republic 
Personified is being Driven from the 
Hall by Cupids with Whips 




A Cartoon Intended to Show under what 
Constraint Louis XVI had Sanctioned 
the Constitution . . . . 2OI 

A Representation of a Foreigner Joyfully 
Quitting the Land of Slaves for the 
Land of Liberty where Everything Is 
Gay and Joyous .... 205 

A Representation Showing the Effect 
Wrought upon an Austrian Sentinel 
at the First Sight of the French Na- 
tional Cockade. The Austrian Re- 
verses his Bayonet and Places his 
Hand upon his Heart . . . 206 

A Cartoon Showing the Perilous Situa- 
tion of Louis XVI. He has Handed 
Down Several Cornucopias full of 
Sweets to the People but they are Call- 
ing for More ..... 207 

A Cartoon Representing an EmigrS Re- 
turning as a Beggar to the Country 
that he had Abandoned . . .215 

A Cartoon Showing the Elector of 
Treves Foaming at the Mouth with 
Rage, Owing to the Action of the 
French Government in Demanding 
the Dispersal of the Emigres . .217 


PLATE 97. 
PLATE 98. 

PLATE 99. 

PLATE 100. 

PLATE 101 

PLATE 102. 

PLATE 103. 


A Cartoon Representing Louis XVI as 
"King Janus" with one Face Turned 
towards the Constitution and the 
Other towards the Non- Juring Clergy . 

A Cartoon Showing the Political Situa- 
tion at the End of the Year 1791. 
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, 
Curiously enough, are Stemming the 
Course of Invasion which Sweden, 
Denmark, Russia and the Emigres 
are Furthering .... 

A Cartoon Showing the Nations in the 
Act of Closing in upon Louis XVI 
whose only Hope of Rescue is in 
Blanchard the Famous Balloonist who 
is Hovering over the Scene 





A Cartoon Showing the Emigres and 
the Foreign Powers Stirring the 
Flames and Giving the Deputies 
Assembled at the Jacobin Club a Hot 
Time. The Deputies are Dancing 
Round in Agony . . . .227 

A Cartoon Showing Lafayette Upheld 
by Luckner and Rochambeau, Trying 
to Take the Moon in his Teeth. The 
Invasion of the German Empire Is a 
similar Foolhardy Enterprise . . 229 

A Depiction of Cupid as a Sans Culotte 
Placing a Wreath on the Altar of 
Equality. . . . . .231 

A Depiction of the Typical Sans Cu- 
lotte of Paris with his Pike, the 
Weapon of the Revolution, and the 
Cockade in his Hat. . . .235 

Illustrations xxv 


PLATE 104. A Representation of the Scene in the 
Tuileries Palace on June 20, 1792, 
when the Mob Broke in and Tried to 
Force Louis XVI to Rescind his Veto 
of the Decrees Providing for a Camp 
near Paris and Enacting still Severer 
Penalties against the Non-Juring 
Clergy . . 237 

PLATE 105. A Portrait of Potion, Man of the Hour 
and Idolized Mayor of Paris. He is 
Enshrined in the Popular Heart under 
the Protecting Folds of the Tri- 
Colored Ribbon. Note the Heart . 240 

PLATE 106. A Newspaper Illustration from the 
Revolutions de Paris which Incident- 
ally Shows the Flag with "The Coun- 
try is in Danger!" Hanging from the 
H6teldeVille . . . .241 

PLATE 107. A Representation of the Burning Em- 
blems of Feudalism at the Celebration 
in Memory of the I4th of July, 1789, 
Held on July 14, 1792 . . 243 

PLATE 108. A Representation of Devotion to Coun- 
try. At the Call, "The Country in 
Danger," all Prepare to Sacrifice that 
which they Hold Most Dear Hus- 
bands, Children, Jewels . . . 244 

PLATE 109. A Representation of Cupid as a Volun- 
teer, Showing that the Thought of 
Marching Against the Ehemy was the 
One Dominant Sentiment of the 
Moment ..... 245 


PLATE no. 
PLATE in. 
PLATE 112. 
PLATE 113. 

PLATE 114. 

PLATE 115. 

PLATE 116. 

PLATE 117. 
PLATE 118. 



The Words and Music of the Marseil- 
laise. From a Copy of the Song Pub- 
lished in London in November, 1792 . 249 

A Representation of French Soldiers, mil 
of Grim Determination Marching to 
the Chorus ' ' To Arms, Citizens ! " . 251 

A Representation of the Storming of the 
Tuileries. From a Contemporary Oil 
Painting . . . . . 257 

A Representation of the Lion Carved in 
the Rock at Lucerne by Thorwaldsen 
in Memory of the Swiss Guards who 
Fell on August loth and September 
3rd. From an Old Engraving . 

A Contemporary Newspaper Illustra- 
tion (from the Revolutions de Paris) 
of the Pulling Down of the Statues of 
Louis XIV in the Place Venddme and 
the Place des Victoires 

A Representation of the Faced Cards in 
a Revolutionary Pack. The Kings 
are Supplanted by "Geniuses," the 
Queens by "Liberties" and the 
Knaves by "Equalities" . 

A Portrait of Robespierre. 
Oil Painting . 

From an 

A Portrait of Lafayette Engraved at the 
Time of his Appointment as Com- 
mander of the National Guards 




A Representation of Revolutionary 
Playing Cards in which the Kings are 
"Sages," the Queens "Virtues," the 
Knaves " Heroes " . . . . 267 



Illustrations xxvii 


PLATE 119. A Representation of the Guillotine as 

a fine Prop for Liberty . . . 275 

PLATE 120. A Portrait of Danton. From an Oil 

Painting ..... 277 

PLATE 121. A Cartoon Representing the Opening of 
the Secret Iron Safe and Showing 
Roland and the Man who had Be- 
trayed the Secret Facing the Skeleton 
of Mirabeau which Holds the Crown 
in One Hand and a Bag of Money in 
the Other 283 

PLATE 122. A Cartoon Representing the Hand- 
writing on the Wall and Bidding Louis 
the Traitor Read his Sentence. God 
has Weighed him in the Balance and 
Found him Wanting. Below, the 
Guillotine Awaits him . . .285 

PLATE 123. A Cartoon Likening Louis XVI to a 
Piece of Out-of-Date Money and Re- 
commending that he be Melted up . 286 

PLATE 124. A Gruesome Cartoon Making Fun of the 
Priests who were Massacred on Sep- 
tember 3 , 1 792 . They are Represented 
as Having had Their Noses Pulled . 291 

PLATE 125. A Portrait of Roland. From an Old 

Engraving 297 

PLATE 126. A Portrait of Madame Roland Taken 
From the Cover of a Bonbonniere in 
the Muse*e Carnavalet . . . 299 

PLATE 127. A Caricature of Monsieur and Madame 

Roland ...... 300 




PLATE 128. A Complicated Political Rebus Warning 
the Honn&tes Gens or True Patriots 
Against Three Prominent Girondists: 
Potion, Roland and Clavi&re . .301 

PLATE 129. A Caricature on the Withdrawal of the 
Austrians and Prussians after the 
Battles of Valmy and Genappes . 303 

PLATE 130. A German Puzzle Showing the Hydra of 
Revolution Devouring the Fleur-de-lis 
and Breaking the Crown, Sceptre and 
Sword. There are Four Concealed 
Silhouettes . . . . 304 

PLATE 131. A Symbolical Representation of Victory 

Traversing the Republic . . . 306 

PLATE 132. A Symbolical Representation of the Pro- 
gress of Liberty, Enlightenment and 
Republicanism . . . . 307 

PLATE 133. A Cartoon Showing the Progress of 
Republicanism and the Inevitable 
Fate of Each and All of the Rulers of 
Europe. Time is Mowing Them 
Down and Extinguishing their Life- 
Lights . . 308 

PLATE 134. The Official Letter-Head of Genet, 
Minister of the French Republic to 
the United States of America . .310 

PLATE 135. A Republican Medal . . . .311 

PLATE 136. The French Republic Represented as a 

Ship Guided by Liberty . . .312 

PLATE 137. A Personification of Republican France 313 

PLATE 138. A Personification of Liberty with the 

Broken Yoke. .... 314 

PLATE 139. 
PLATE 140. 
PLATE 141. 

PLATE 142. 

PLATE 143. 

PLATE 144. 

PLATE 145. 

PLATE 146. 
PLATE 147. 


A Personification of Equality with the 
Carpenter's Level .... 

A Personification of Fraternity with the 
Belt of Hearts . 

A Cartoon Entitled " Matter for Reflec- 
tion for Crowned Jugglers." Under 
the Severed Head of Louis XVI is the 
Line from the Marseillaise, "May an 
Impure Blood Water our Furrows!". 





A Portrait of Louis XVI Engraved by 
some Royalist and with the Line 
underneath: "O My King! The Uni- 
verse did Abandon Thee !" . . 323 

A Memorial to Lepelletier St.-Fargeau 
Covered with Inscriptions in his 
Honour and Pronouncing the Death- 
Penalty Against Anyone who Should 
Harbour his Murderer . . 325 

An Allegorical Representation Entitled 
"The Coalition" and Showing the 
Powers of Europe Attacking the 
Young French Republic. She, Calm 
and Smiling will not let them Touch 
so much as a Hair of her Head . . 327 

A Caricature on the Subject of the 
Arrest by Dumouriez of the Com- 
missioners Sent by the National Con- 
vention to Arrest him . . . 329 

A Portrait of Charlotte Corday. From 
the Painting by Hauer . . -351 

A Portrait of Marat Engraved from his 
Death- Mask and Showing the Gaping 
Wound in his Breast 


PLATE 148. 

PLATE 149. 

PLATE 150. 

PLATE 151 

PLATE 152. 

PLATE 153. 

PLATE 154. 


A Representation of the Tomb in which 
Marat's Remains were Placed before 
being Transferred to the Pantheon. It 
Faced the "National Palace," for- 
merly the Tuileries . 



A Representation of the First Stage of 
the Fete to Unity and Indivisibility. 
The Fountain of Regeneration is to be 
Erected on the Site of the Bastile . 356 

A Representation of the Second Stage of 
the Fete to Unity and Indivisibility. 
The Meeting with the "Heroines of 
Liberty" . . . . . 360 

A Representation of the Third Stage of 
the Fete to Unity and Indivisibility. 
The Statue of the Goddess of Liberty 
was on the Pedestal of the Old Statue 
of Louis XV . . . . 362 

A View of the Place de la Revolution 
(now Place de la Concorde) with the 
Statue of the Goddess of Liberty . 363 

A Representation of the Fourth Stage of 
the Fete to Unity and Indivisibility. 
A Colossal Figure Symbolizing the 
French People is Annihilating the 
Monster Called Federalism . . 364 

A Representation of the Fifth Stage of 
the Fete to Unity and Indivisibility. 
On the Altar of the Fatherland 
(Champ de Mars) the President of the 
Convention is Announcing the Accept- 
ance of the New Constitution . . 365 


PLATE 155. 

PLATE 156. 
PLATE 157. 

PLATE 158. 
PLATE 159. 

PLATE 160. 

PLATE 161. 

PLATE 162. 

PLATE 163. 



A Representation of the Sixth Stage of 
the Fe"te to Unity and Indivisibility. 
The Temple Is in Honour of the Dead 
Warriors ..... 367 

A Symbolical Representation of Unity 
and Indivisibility .... 

A Representation of Marie Antoinette in 
her Prison Cell in the Conciergerie. 
The Plan Shows the Arrangement of 
the Cell and also of the one Occupied 
by the Gendarmes .... 

A Representation of a Memorial Urn 
with the Silhouettes of Louis XVI and 
Marie Antoinette . 


A Symbolical Representation of Unity 
and Indivisibility Watched Over by 
the Vigilant Eye of the Jacobins . 369 

An Emblem of the Reign of Terror. 
There Is to be no Mean between 
Liberty and Death .... 372 

A Representation of Liberty and her 
Great Martyrs Lepelletier, Marat and 
Chalier whose Deaths Cry for Ven- 
geance . . 373 

A Cartoon Summing up the Regime of 
Robespierre and Showing the French- 
man Blindly Groping for Liberty, 
Equality and Fraternity with Death 
Ever at Hand as the Alternative 



A Sketch of Marie Antoinette made by 
David as she Passed his Window in the 
Death-Cart on her Way to Execution . 387 



PLATE 164. 

PLATE 165. 
PLATE 166. 
PLATE 167. 

PLATE 168. 

PLATE 169. 
PLATE 170. 

PLATE 171, 



A Revolutionary Calendar. This Served 
as well for one Year as for Another and 
for one Month as for Another . . 400 

A Representation of Reason. 
Eye, the Jacobin Emblem 

Note the 

A Representation of Love and Reason 
Embracing. By Bartolozzi 

A Production Representing Robespierre 
as the Sun Rising Above the Moun- 
tain and Giving Light to the Universe. 
There is a Text in the original which 
Is omitted here as it could not be 
Brought within Compass . 




A Representation of the Mountain 
Erected over the Altar to the Father- 
land on the Champ de Mars and of the 
National Convention Marching up to 
the Summit at the Fte to the Supreme 
Being . . . . . 422 

A Caricature of Robespierre's Re*gime. 
Other Victims Failing him the Execu- 
tioner is Guillotining himself . . 427 

An Allegorical Representation of Equal- 
ity Triumphing Over Robespierre and 
his Adherents. The Workmanship 
Looks like that of David who so Re- 
cently had Glorified Robespierre . 437 

The Place de la Concorde, formerly 
Place de la Revolution and Place Louis 
Quinze ...... 440 

Symbol and Satire in the French 

Symbol and Satire in the 
French Revolution 



IN dealing with the causes of the French Revolu- 
tion, too little stress has been laid by historians 
on the peculiar characteristics of the people- 
characteristics that have since, let us hope, been 
modified by education, by contact with other 
nations, and by the general progress of the race. 
Looking back on the course of events, one can 
hardly avoid subscribing to the criticism of Senac 
de Meilhan, x a Frenchman himself, who wrote 
frankly, in 1795, that the frivolity and hot-headed- 
ness of the French character bore in it "all the 
germs of a revolution that one would vainly seek 
in the multitude of abuses." Marat himself once 
wrote of France as "unfortunately the most frivol- 
ous of all the nations of the world" 2 ; while 

1 Du gouvernement . . . en France avanl la Revolution, Hamburg, 

1795, P- 134. 

* Journal de la RSpublique Fran$aist, No. 15. 


2 The French Revolution 

Dumouriez, too, the famous general, speaks of 
"the impetuous character of this volcanic na- 
tion." 1 Certainly there seems to have been a 
great lack of ability to form calm judgments or to 
appreciate the logic of facts. 

This was undoubtedly due in part to misgovern- 
ment under the old regime. It is incredible how 
little had been done for the education of the people. 
There were parts of the kingdom in which educa- 
tional establishments were altogether lacking; 
there were others where the public-school teachers 
were so scantily paid that they had to beg from 
door to door ; the universities turned out graduates 
not fitted to teach even the most elementary 
branches. In a list of complaints handed in to 
the States- General by the Paris clergy, there is a 
request that the university henceforth give degrees 
to no one "who has not done a piece of work and 
acquired some knowledge," while the clergy of 
Mantes petition that the children of their district at 
least be taught to read, "so that when they grow 
up they will be less likely to be surprised. " 2 

Doubtless the example of Louis XV, too, had 
done much to encourage immorality. "Morals?" 
writes a journalist, 3 "alas! we no longer have any; 
no nation is more immoral." In the National 
Assembly itself, there are allusions to the dangers the 
country members run in coming to wicked Paris. 
A formal report fixes the number of gambling 
hells in the capital at no less than three thou- 

1 Memoires, ii., 24. 
3 Prudhomme. 

3 Champion, Les Cahiers de 1789, 199-209. 

Introductory 3 

sand. The clergy ascribe the evils to the increas- 
ing disregard for religion, to the frightful progress 
of incredulity, to the "unbridled license with which 
in our day men hurl themselves on so vener- 
able a cult." They speak of the "impious and 
audacious sect that desecrates its false wisdom 
with the name of philosophy and labours to over- 
throw the altars.'* As the prelude to a music- 
drama contains strains that are to recur later, so 
these complaints sent in to the States- General 
sound the first notes of much that was to be 
distinctive of the Revolution. 

The more one studies the period the more one 
finds what an immense influence was exercised by 
the teachings of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Doubt- 
less it is his followers who are referred to as an 
"impious and audacious sect." Already in 1791, 
Mercier, better known for his Tableau de Paris, 
published a work entitled Jean Jacques Rousseau 
Considered as One of the Prime Authors of the 
Revolution in which he declares that Rousseau's 
maxims had been incorporated in the majority of 
the existing French laws and that the Contrat 
Social was the lever by which the enormous 
Colossus of despotism had been overthrown. Terms 
invented by the philosophers had become the coin 
of common parlance. 

Rousseau, doubtless, is even responsible for the 
symbolism as we know he is for the sentimental- 
ism of the period. The vignette of the original 
edition of the Contrat Social displays Justice with 
the scales in one hand and the spear and cap of 

4 The French Revolution 

Liberty in the other. The worship of reason and 
of the Supreme Being are outgrowths of his teach- 
ings; it is he who inspired Robespierre with the 
idea of reducing God to a tutelary deity of France. 
Rousseau insists on this adoration of one's country, 
declaring that to die for it is martyrdom, to violate 
its laws impiety yes, he urges the putting to death 
of any one who is false to a patriotic profession of 
faith once made: such a one "has committed the 
gravest of crimes, he has lied before the law. " 

Rousseau gave precepts, but another great influ- 
ence, too, was at work: that of example the ex- 
ample of the young republic that had been founded 
across the seas and the Constitution of which had 
been adopted in the year in which the French dis- 
turbances began. 

Already in 1778, Turgot, who had been dismissed 
from his position as Minister of Finance under 
Louis XVI, writes that America is the hope of the 
human race and may become its model; that the 
world will now learn to exist without the chains 
imposed by tyrants and charlatans in every dress; 
that the earth may seek consolation in the thought 
of the asylum now open to the down-trodden of all 
nations. What a commentary on the state of 
things in his own country when he asks his corre- 
spondent not to answer these reflections because the 
letter would surely be opened in the post and he, 
Turgot, would be looked upon as too great a 
friend of liberty! 1 

1 Turgot's letter, to Dr. Price, is published as an appendix to Mira- 
beau's Considerations sur Vordre de Cincinnatus, London, 1785. 

Introductory 5 

In 1781, Abbe Raynal writes of the American 
Revolution : ' ' At the sound of the snapping chains 
our own fetters seem to grow lighter and we 
imagine for a moment that the air we breathe 
grows purer at the news that the universe counts 
some tyrants the less." In 1783, the Due de la 
Rochefoucauld with his own hand translated all 
thirteen of the constitutions of the American 
States, publishing them anonymously 1 ; while 
Mercier, in 1791, states distinctly: "The emanci- 
pation of America gave us the thoughts and 
presently the voice of free men ; it made us see the 
possibility of resistance and the need of a consti- 
tution." He tells us that the troops sent across 
the ocean had come back as if electrified. 

From 1777 to 1785 there had resided at Paris the 
great American to whom the whole civilized world 
looked up with reverence. When people would 
come to Franklin to ask how the American Revolu- 
tion was progressing, his stereotyped answer was 
$a ira; and later these words were adopted as the 
refrain of one of the most popular French revolu- 
tionary songs. "Homage to Franklin!" cried the 
Mayor of Auteuil at a civic fte held in 1792; "he 
gave us our first lessons in liberty ; he was the first 
journalist of the hamlets; he wrote the proverbs 
of Poor Richard; he even invented the refrain $a 
ira, an air so dear to patriots! 2 " 

1 My own copy was a presentation copy ex done Domini Duds de la 
Rochefoucauld, and the dedication goes on to state that the Duke was 
the translator. 

' Both the Moniteur and the FeuilU Villageoisc give this credit to 
Franklin for the (a ira. 

6 The French Revolution 

Franklin once declared that through the many 
portraits that had been made of him his face must 
have become as familiar as that of the man in the 
moon. Men dressed a la Franklin; mothers loved 
to give his name to their babies. His bust, long 
after his departure, figured side by side with that 
of Rousseau at republican fetes. x 

Editor Prudhomme, in 1790, declared that philo- 
sophy and America had brought about the Revolu- 
tion. What then of the oppression by the nobles, 
the want and misery of the people? Both have 
been exaggerated. We know now from a careful 
study of the plaints and grievances submitted to 
the States- General that actually more assemblages 
of nobles demanded reform of some of the chief 
abuses than was the case with assemblages of the 
people. It was the nobles of Paris who first 
demanded the destruction of the Bastile. The 
nobles and clergy in general were just as eager for a 
constitution, for responsible ministers, and for cur- 
tailment of the king's privileges, as was the third 
estate itself. To be sure these same nobles were 
consumed by pride of caste and showed a galling 
contempt for the roturier. In these very com- 
plaints some of them demanded that nobles of 
either sex be distinguished from the common herd 
by some distinctive mark -a cross, a scarf, a cord, 
the exclusive right to wear the sword as an emblem 
of their courage and their virtues. 

The old explanation of the Revolution as the 

1 In Plate I, p. 7, we have Liberty crowning Franklin at one of these 

Plate i. Liberty crowning Benjamin Franklin, 
child is pointing out the close proximity of 
Philadelphia to Paris.) 


8 The French Revolution 

sudden uprising of a people wronged and oppressed 
beyond human endurance is no longer satisfactory. 
It has been estimated 1 that the feudal dues about 
which so much has been written could not have 
amounted to much more than two per cent, of the 
gross product of the soil. Carlyle speaks, indeed, 
of a "dark, living chaos of ignorance and hunger 
five and twenty millions strong," but the whole 
population of France was only 25,000,000 and 
there must have been a great number of persons 
engaged in profitable commercial enterprises, for 
statistics show that the exports and imports 
amounted in 1787 to eight hundred million francs. 
When the lands of the clergy were placed on sale 
in 1790, the lower classes invested in them to the 
extent of billions. We know now that those who 
started the Revolution were not the impecunious 
but the comparatively well-to-do those who 
feared for their investments, for their annuities 
should the state become bankrupt; those who 
dreaded the influence of the proletariat. These 
same earliest Revolutionists had a clause inserted 
in their new constitution restricting the ballot to 
property owners. 

Were the peasants then not oppressed and un- 
happy? Assuredly, though probably not much 
more so than at any time during the previous two 
centuries. But the cost of living had increased 
for all; the harvest in 1788 had been bad; unrest 
was spreading; the fundamental injustice of it all 
was beginning to be appreciated. It is to be 

1 Jaures, I, 19. 



Plate 2. Bora to trouble. (A comparison of the peasant with 

domestic animals.) 


io The French Revolution 

feared, too, that agitators, for political ends, delib- 
erately stirred up the people. By whom else could 
the cartoon entitled "Born to trouble" have been 
issued? 1 The peasant would not have gone to the 
expense himself, nor is it likely that the production 
emanated either from the clergy or the nobles. 
The engraving shows the poor peasant burdened 
down with his tools and his flail and feeding his 
poultry. The cock, perched on his hat, is there to 
wake him at daybreak with its crowing. Through 
heat and through cold, from year's end to year's 
end, he has to toil early and late. And for what? 
All roads lead to the house of the tax-collector. 
In what do the attributes of the peasant differ 
from those of the animals around him? He works 
merely for others, even as the cow gives milk or 
the bee amasses honey for others to enjoy. No 
more respect is paid to him than to the pig, which 
is scorned and despised even by those who know 
that it is necessary. 

Productions like this, of course, tended to make 
the so-called privileged classes the clergy and the 
nobility more and more unpopular. Louis XVI 
was not, as yet, personally attacked. The fiction 
was long to be kept up that even where his acts 
seemed oppressive, foolish, or bad, this was to 
be credited not to himself but to his evil coun- 
sellors. For this good but weak king there was 
still a great feeling of love and loyalty. He was 
such a vast improvement over his predecessor, 
under the hie jacet of whose tombstone some wag, 

1 See Plate 2, p. 9 

Introductory n 

voicing the common sentiment, had written 
Deo gr alias! 

But how incredibly incompetent Louis XVI was! 
Already before he came to the throne the Austrian 
minister, Mercy d'Argenteau, had written of him 1 : 
'Though endowed with sense and good qualities, 
the Dauphin will probably never have either the 
force or the will to rule by himself. If not by the 
Dauphiness, he will be governed by some one else." 
What are we to think of a man who burst into 
tears when scolded by his wife for being late to 
dinner, and who, at one time, was so enraptured of 
the game of blind man's buff that serious-minded 
persons could suspect a plot to withdraw his atten- 
tion from an impending war? 

This Mercy d'Argenteau who relates these inci- 
dents was himself the evil genius of France. If 
Marie Antoinette was to govern her husband, it 
was Mercy's avowed intention, as accredited agent 
of Austria, to govern Marie Antoinette. He never 
quite accomplished his object, but he tainted all 
her conceptions, encouraged her in underhanded 
intrigue, impressed her with a sense of her power 
and influence, and did more than any one else to 
make her deserve the epithet, later to be hurled 
at her with such deadly effect, of V Autrichienne! 
Mercy once writes to Marie Antoinette's mother, 
the Empress Maria Theresa, that he has spies in 
every room the Dauphiness is likely to enter; again 
and again he tells how he has insinuated opinions 
and advised not merely courses of action, but even 

1 Correspondence, ii., 31. 

12 The French Revolution 

the very attitude and style of language he wishes 
her to adopt. 

It was a poor service this imperial mother and 
her minister rendered the poor young Queen of 
France. They helped her to consummate the ruin 
of her adopted country. There were times when 
the most important matters of state were decided 
by her mere whim. She writes herself in 1775 that 
the departure of Minister Aiguillon has been en- 
tirely her work. Still worse, in the following year, 
her intrigues contributed largely to driving out 
Turgot, the one man who still could have saved 
France. "The Queen's project," writes Mercy, 
"was to make the King dismiss Turgot and even 
put him in the Bastile. " And Mercy writes of 
Breteuil who wishes a place in the ministry: "I 
shall show him that his best means of achieving 
this lies in the protection of the Queen." "I 
insinuated to the Queen every shade of language 
she is to use either to the ministers or to the King, " 
Mercy writes in 1778, in connection with French 
policies of the utmost importance. He tells how, 
with the Queen's aid, he means to hoodwink the 
French Prime Minister and, later, he gravely con- 
siders the wisdom of putting another, Lomenie de 
Brienne, in the Prime Minister's place and induces 
Marie Antoinette to procure the cordon bleu for 

The recklessness with which the Queen indulged 
in the pursuit of pleasure must have made her 
seem all the more unfit to exercise such enormous 
political influence. She was constantly rushing to 

Introductory 13 

Paris to attend public balls which lasted until six 
or seven in the morning. Mercy himself reports 
that in February, 1777, she has been to two balls 
at the Palais Royal and to five or six masqued ones 
at the Opera-House; that she has talked to all sorts 
of people and has walked round accompanied by 
young men, among them many Englishmen, for 
whom she shows a marked preference; and that her 
familiarity of manner is sure to offend the public. 
Meanwhile, the extravagance of the court was 
becoming more and more of a popular grievance, 
and the blame for it was being more and more 
thrown on Marie Antoinette's shoulders. She has 
favourites, Madame de Lamballe and Madame de 
Polignac, on whom she showers gifts and pensions 
that not only help to deplete the Treasury but also 
serve to make others envious and jealous. For her- 
self she spends enormous sums on jewels. Once, in 
almost the same breath in which she is discussing 
the hardships caused by certain financial meas- 
ures, she announces her intention of buying dia- 
monds worth 460,000 francs. Her own special 
palace and park the little Trianon devour im- 
mense sums. The whole park is transformed from 
a French formal, into an English informal, garden, 
with a lake, a grotto, a hamlet of thatched cottages, 
a stream meandering through a meadow, wonderful 
little marble pavilions, a theatre, a temple of love. 
Her gambling, too, becomes a public scandal. The 
King once, without a murmur, pays her debts to 
the amount of half a million francs, while Mercy 
objects not so much to her playing as to her careless 

14 The French Revolution 

methods, which make it almost inevitable that she 
should lose. And there are indecorous scenes, too 
accusations of false play, the letting down of the 
social barriers in favour of those who have money 
to stake. 

These were things that the French nation never 
forgot. The chief charge later hurled against 
Marie Antoinette was that she had wantonly dissi- 
pated the resources of France; that, sunk deep in 
frivolity, she had failed in her duty as wife and 

She had begun to reform had consented that 
her new-born daughter should have a retinue of 
but eighty instead of two hundred and fifty people ; 
had submitted to having the appropriation for 
lighting the Versailles palace cut by Necker from 
450,000 to 50,000 francs a year; had refrained from 
buying costly jewels that she coveted, when an 
affair in which she was merely an innocent victim 
revived all the hatred against her and ruined her 
irrevocably in the minds of the French people. 

It was a diabolical plot, this diamond-necklace 
affair one of the most remarkable in all the 
annals of crime. A clever adventuress, pretending 
to be a friend of the Queen, duped the ambitious 
Cardinal de Rohan who was convinced that 
Marie Antoinette's disfavour barred him from 
playing the political r61e he desired and ac- 
quired such boundless influence over him that 
she could dispose of his enormous fortune almost 
at will. 

A very few words must suffice us for this epi- 

Introductory 15 

sode. x Madame de la Motte brought to Cardinal 
de Rohan letters apparently in Marie Antoinette's 
handwriting; she persuaded the Cardinal that the 
Queen was relenting; that on a certain occasion the 
Queen would make a sign to him later, that 
the Queen really had made the sign. All this was 
not sufficient for the Cardinal. He demanded a 
personal interview with the Queen. This, too, 
Madame de la Motte, who herself had never had a 
word with Marie Antoinette, promised to procure. 
So she decked out a woman of the streets in a 
mode of dress the Queen was known to affect, 
brought her at dusk into the park of the palace, 
had her give the Cardinal a rose as a sign of forgive- 
ness and begin to murmur soft words which were 
immediately interrupted by the alarm that the 
Comte d'Artois was approaching. 

Thoroughly convinced now that all was as repre- 
sented, Cardinal de Rohan, ostensibly for the 
Queen's use, gave hundreds of thousands of francs 
to Madame de la Motte. Then the latter per- 
suaded him that Marie Antoinette, who from 
motives of economy had refused to buy a certain 
diamond necklace worth more than one and a 
half million francs, was secretly most desirous of 
possessing it, and, if the Cardinal would make the 
arrangements with the jewellers, would agree to 
pay them for it by instalments. We cannot follow 
here the web of deceit drawn about the jewellers as 
well as about the Cardinal. The necklace found 
its way into Madame de la Motte's hands and the 

1 Funk Brentano, L 'affaire du Collier, 5th edition. 

16 The French Revolution 

diamonds were sold separately in London and in 

Then came the partial unravelling of the mys- 
tery, the falling of suspicion on the Cardinal, his 
arrest at the very moment when, clad in all his 
pontifical robes, he was proceeding down the Galerie 
des Glaces to read mass in the chapel of the palace. 

In the long trial that ensued, Marie Antoinette 
lost her last vestige of reputation. She was a party, 
and many believed not an innocent one, in a 
cause celebre. Pamphlets unspeakably vile were cir- 
culated against her. Her portrait was mutilated; 
she was hissed at the opera. 

The Cardinal, on the other hand, when finally 
acquitted, was accompanied to his home by ten 
thousand people. 

But mere animosity against the Queen did 
not account for the outbreak of the Revolution. 
There were problems of government involved that 
demand, however briefly, some treatment here. 

Turgot, 1 in 1774, had inaugurated a regime of 
order and economy that might have staved off 
disaster. He had even demanded that the other 
ministers should draw up budgets for their depart- 
mental expenses a radical innovation. For a 
time, upheld by the King's favour, he had been a 
sort of financial dictator. But the pedantic Parle- 
ment, or highest law court, had treated him as an 

1 In these financial matters, I have followed mainly the works of 
Gomel, of Glagan, and of Chereste. 

Introductory 17 

enemy of the state and of the monarchy. Writings 
directly inspired by him were condemned to be 
publicly burned as "contrary to the laws and 
customs of France, the sacred and inalienable privi- 
leges of the throne, and the rights of private pro- 
perty. " Turgot himself was satirized as a wild 
innovator, a dreamer, a subverter of customs that 
had done very well for a thousand years. His real 
crime had been that he tried to equalize taxation. 
The Parlement finally decreed that those who even 
discussed established rights were "rebels against 
the law and disturbers of the peace. " 

Yet Turgot 's final fall as has only recently 
become clear was due not so much to opposition 
to his reforms as to his attitude on the question of 
sending aid to the American colonies. He con- 
sidered it suicidal to engage in a war with England 
when the Treasury was so in need of replenishment 
and the future was to justify his attitude. The 
threatening bankruptcy that precipitated the call- 
ing of the States-General was the direct result of 
the American war. 

Loaded down with debt, all future ministerial 
efforts at reform were to prove in vain. Necker 
was considered for a time a wizard of finance, but 
his panacea for all ills to contract new loans 
was as dangerous to the national health as the 
worst kind of a narcotic. Not until years after- 
wards was it recognized on what disadvantageous 
terms these loans had been incurred. 

The episode of Calonne's administration reads 
like a romance. Brought to the King's notice by 

1 8 The French Revolution 

intriguers in the palace who adroitly left an open 
letter praising his abilities where Louis was sure 
to find and read it, Calonne adopted a policy that 
for a time made him the very idol of the court. To 
be rich one had only to seem rich. The good old 
days of Louis XIV returned once more. The King 
was encouraged to spend 18,000,000 francs in pur- 
chasing the estate of Rambouillet. The Queen 
bought St. Cloud for 6,000,000 francs, and her pin- 
money was more than doubled. Pensions were 
once more showered right and left. The debts of 
the King's brothers, amounting to millions of 
francs, were paid in full. In a single year, Louis 
XVI drew sight-drafts to the amount of 136,- 
000,000 francs, of which 20,000,000 were made 
payable simply to "bearer. " 

Not merely the court but the people at large 
were to be made to believe that the millennium had 
come. Public works were undertaken on a large 
scale: the docks at Havre, the harbour at Cher- 
bourg. Disallowed or superannuated claims were 
cheerfully paid, new subsidies given. And how was 
this accomplished? By clever jugglery. People 
were delighted to find that old obligations were 
being paid off by the Government, but they were 
not informed when new ones were contracted. 
When credit runs high, much is possible there 
Calonne was perfectly right. But there is a point 
beyond which inflation cannot go, and that point 
was finally reached. 

It was reached when the Parlement refused any 
longer to follow Calonne in his flights and register 

Introductory 19 

more fiscal edicts. Parlements could be coerced 
by so-called beds of justice, but how would the 
money-lenders respond to such violence? Brought 
to bay, Calonne proposed reforms which Louis XVI 
designated in horror as " Necker pure and simple " ; 
they included taxation of the privileged classes and 
also the summoning of notable men from all parts 
of France to serve as a sort of advisory council. 

Calonne 's notables finally came together, but he 
treated them so superciliously, intimating that 
they were to have no voice in affairs but merely to 
give advice when asked, that nothing was gained 
by the measure. Carlyle speaks of a caricature of 
the time 1 which represents a farmer asking his 
fowls with what sauce they would like to be 
roasted, and telling them when they demurred at 
being roasted at all that they were wandering 
from the point. Calonne, for his part, refused to 
give a plain statement of the causes of the deficit 
in the Treasury, merely saying sarcastically, 
'The gentlemen are very curious." Calonne's 
successor, Lomenie de Brienne, brought matters 
to the breaking-point with the Parlement, which 
flatly declined to register the decrees he required, 
and demanded an Assembly not merely of men 
designated by the King, but one that should be 
really representative. The old antagonism of the 
Crown and the lawyers revived in full force. The 
most drastic means were employed against the 
Parlement; members were even banished and im- 
prisoned. Louis finally legislated the whole Parle- 

1 I have not been able to procure it. 

2O The French Revolution 

ment out of existence and established a new court : 
he was reminded that " there are laws which may 
not be violated without shaking the world's founda- 
tions and preparing the fall of empires." Yet he 
continued on his course by Lomenie's advice. At 
dead of night the Palais de Justice was surrounded 
by troops and the members still to be found there 
were bodily carried off. There was an uprising in 
southern France led by the adherents of the local 
Parlement, and troops were despatched to the 
neighbourhood of Vizille, where the rebels were 

Louis and his ministers finally found that the 
States-General, to be composed of delegates from 
every part of France, was their own last hope. A 
complicated system of election was adopted with 
an equally complicated system of sending in books 
of plaints and grievances from each and every 
district. Lomenie was dismissed, and Necker, al- 
though he himself expressed a fear that it was 
already too late, was recalled. When this became 
known, government bonds rose thirty points in the 
course of a single morning. Mirabeau declared 
that in summoning the States-General the na- 
tion had progressed a century in twenty-four 

Post tenebras lux 1 is the title of a broadside 
issued at this juncture and representing the King 
and Necker emerging from the clouds, united by a 
double chain. Both have the same love and the 
same care for the people, we are told in an inscrip- 

1 Plate 3, p. 21. 




The French Revolution 

tion; while underneath are texts and emblems to 
the glory of the reunited pair. 

The formal summons to the States-General was 

Plate 4. The coach ornamented with symbols in which Louis XVI went 
to his coronation in 1774. 

issued on January 24, 1789, and the date finally 
set was May 5th of the same year. 

Off to Versailles! That was the cry that now 
rang through France and the artists were inspired 
by the theme. The King had gone to his corona- 
tion in a coach adorned with symbols 1 France 
pointing the way, suppliants falling at the King's 
feet, Fame heralding the royal progress, crowns, 

1 Plate 4, above. 

Introductory 23 

fleurs-de-lis, the blazing sun of the Bourbons. It 
was a coach with symbols, too, though of a different 
kind, in which the three estates were now repre- 


Platr 5. A symbolical representation of the three estates proceeding to 
Versailles in May, 1789 

sented as departing for Versailles. 1 The coach is 
drawn by six owls representing wisdom. The 
clergy drives, the nobility sits at ease and waves 
his sword, while the peasantry stands behind, his 
spade across his shoulder, and supports the orb 
and the crown. 

An interesting variation of the theme 2 in allu- 
sion possibly to the fact that the third estate had 
meanwhile been accorded double representation 

1 Plate 5, above. * Plate 6, p. 24 

24 The French Revolution 


shows the peasantry driving, while both the clergy 
and the nobility are in the body of the coach. 
Each order has an animal for its emblem: the 

Plate 6. Another version of the symbolical representation of the three 
estates proceeding to Versailles in May, 1789 

peasantry, a sheep ; the nobility, a lion which, inci- 
dentally, does all the supporting of the orb and 
crown; and the clergy, a leopard. 



ON Saturday, May 2, 1789, the representatives 
of the French people were received by the 
King in his palace of Versailles: the clergy 
at eleven, the nobility at one, the third estate at 
four o'clock. Two days later came the religious 
consecration of the assemblage in the local church 
of Notre Dame, after which the three orders filed 
past the King and Queen who returned the saluta- 
tion of each individual member. 1 Through streets 
gay with flags and hangings they then passed in 
procession, every available space being crowded 
with spectators. 

The deputies wore their costumes of ceremony 2 
symbolical of their relative pretensions. The robes 
of the clergy were rich and trailing, calculated only 
for display; the nobles were in evening dress with 
facings of cloth of gold. Their mantles were of 
silk, their broad cravates of lace, their hats adorned 
with plumes. The deputies of the third were in 
plain black suits, with cloaks of cloth and cravates 

1 Le Hodey, Journal des Etats GSnkraux. 

2 Plate 7, p. 26 



The French Revolution 

of simple muslin. It is thus that the Marquis de 
Ferrieres describes them and thus that our artist 
depicts them. A separate representation of a 
deputy of the third estate 1 gives us a chance to 
study his costume more fully. 

Plate 7. The three estates in their respective costumes of ceremony. 

Many were impressed by the dignified bearing 
of these popular deputies, while from one of them, 
Mirabeau, Madame de Stael, Necker's daughter, 
tells us it was difficult to turn the eye away. 
Though his face was strikingly ugly, his "whole 

1 Plate 8, p. 27. 

Plate 8. The costume of a deputy of the third 

28 The French Revolution 

person gave the impression of an unrestrained 
power, but of such power as one associates with a 
tribune of the people." 1 

Ferrieres describes himself 2 as plunged in the 
sweetest ecstasy at the sight of the procession. 
He seemed, he says, to hear France calling: "Lay 
aside your childish quarrels, for the moment has 
come which will give me new life or annihilate me 
forever. ' ' Yet, far from being laid aside, these same 
childish quarrels had by May 6th brought matters 
to a complete deadlock. 

The fatal mistake had been made by the King's 
ministers of having no definite programme to pre- 
sent for the consideration of the States- General. 
The deficit? Necker spoke of that as a mere trifle 
something that could very easily be remedied. 
But if so, why then these elaborate preparations? 
Why this urgent appeal to the people? 

The deputies began to wrangle over matters that 
should have been settled long beforehand whether 
they should verify their powers in common or 
separately: whether they should vote as orders or 
as individuals. The nobles and clergy finally re- 
fused flatly to have their credentials passed upon 
in presence of the third estate and withdrew from 
the common meeting-hall to separate apartments 
in the same building. It was an unwise move 
from every point of view. Sitting there in their 
great hall in the midst of a crowd of spectators, the 
third estate represented the nation far more than 
did the other two assemblies. 

1 Considerations, i., 186. a Memoires, L, 19-20. 

Liberty 29 

Week after week passed and the deadlock con- 
tinued unbroken. The whole machinery, not only 
of reform, but even of government, had been thrown 
out of gear. In the country at large, all the evils of 
anarchy broke loose. Trade was at a standstill; 
money was hoarded; labour could find no employ- 
ment. Organized bands of thieves began to scour 
the country. A great panic fell upon the peasants. 
From everywhere came tales of brigands, the actual 
evils being exaggerated tenfold. Arthur Young, 
the English traveller, found the peasants of one 
district in a dreadful fright because they had heard 
that the Queen meant to blow them all up with 
gunpowder. And the States- General, the assem- 
bling of which had been welcomed as a panacea for 
all evils, was accomplishing literally nothing. In 
strife with each other, the people's deputies were 
not lifting a finger to alleviate the general misery. 

The third estate held firm. The clergy tried 
to throw upon them the odium of the schism and 
of the sufferings of the peasants, and made bitter 
recriminations. Once a clerical emissary appeared 
in the hall and flourished a piece of the loathsome 
black bread that the poor were condemned to eat. 
The clergy and nobles, it was declared, were all 
eagerness to take in hand the work of relief, but the 
people's deputies stood in the way. If the clergy 
are so troubled about the poor, was the response, 
why do they not join the third estate, or why do 
they not furnish relief from their own vast surplus 
of wealth? 

This idea that the people's representatives were 

30 The French Revolution 

turning the needy away from the sanctuary of the 
law was exploited, doubtless in the interests of the 
clergy, by means of an engraving entitled "Ah, 
how hard are the times!" 1 An agonized mother 
with four children has appealed in vain for aid but 

Plate 9. A symbolical representation entitled " Ah, how hard 
are the times!" 

is sternly being repulsed by the Genius of France 

The last attempt at conciliation was made on 
June 9, 1789. On the loth, Mirabeau declared 

1 Plate 9, above. 



Plate 10. A cartoon showing the thi: welcoming the 

to the ranks of the National Assembly, June 13, 1789. 

32 The French Revolution 

that some decision must be made, and Sieyes 
moved to proceed to a roll-call and begin to verify 
powers no matter who might fail to appear. "The 
time has come," he declared, "to cut the cable!" 

"Seneschalry of Aix, gentlemen of the clergy? 
No one present. Gentlemen of the nobility? No 
one present. " So the roll-calling began, the mem- 
bers of the third alone stepping forward as the 
names of their districts were called. On the I3th 
of June when "Seneschalry of Poitou, gentlemen 
of the clergy?" had been reached, there suddenly 
was a profound sensation. Three ecclesiastics 
stepped forward and offered to produce their cred- 
entials. First there was a stir and a bustle, and 
then the hall resounded with applause. The next 
day, six more of the clergy responded when their 
districts were called, and it was made known that a 
majority of the order were in favour of joining the 
third estate. 

It is this moment that one of our cartoonists 
chose for his theme. 1 He shows the peasant leav- 
ing his plough, doffing his hat, and going forward to 
greet the curate: "Shake hands, Mr. Curate, I 
knew that you were going to join our side!" 

Fiery debates began on June I5th concerning 
the name that should be given to the new Assembly. 
Should it be called, as Mirabeau wished, "Repre- 
sentatives of the French nation," or, as a deputy 
from Berry proposed, simply "The National As- 
sembly " ? On June 1 7th, the latter designation was 
formally adopted and at the same time it was voted 

1 Plate 10, p. 31. 

Liberty 33 

to proceed to the work of national regeneration 
stopping at no obstacle or interruption. The die 
had been cast and there were to be no half meas- 
ures. The Assembly boldly seized the reins of 
government and exercised a formal act of sover- 
eignty. It declared that all the existing taxes had 
been illegally imposed. It did not suddenly abro- 
gate them, however, but ordered that they be col- 
lected, exactly as before, so long as the Assembly 
should remain in session a clever move, for should 
the King dissolve the Assembly it could be claimed 
that the taxes were not legal, and many, of course, 
would have rejoiced to escape payment. The 
general feeling towards Louis was that at heart he 
was the people's friend, but that, like Luther's pope, 
he was badly advised. There were still hearty 
Vive le roi's when his name was mentioned. He had 
summoned the States- General ; he would eventually 
himself head the Liberal movement. But the 
National Assembly meanwhile felt its own dignity 
and importance. The members agreed to bind 
themselves by a solemn oath. In the midst of 
a crowd of excited spectators, all rose and stood 
with raised right hand while President Bailly 
pronounced the formula: "We swear and promise 
to fulfil with zeal and fidelity the functions we 
have assumed." "We swear and promise," was 
repeated by all. 

It was realized that the task of regeneration 
might take long and the National Assembly pro- 
ceeded to make itself as much at home as possible. 
The ventilation of the hall was bad, the seats were 

34 The French Revolution 

uncomfortable ; but there was a man with consid- 
erable mechanical ingenuity among the members, 
and he was entrusted with the task of finding a 
remedy. x His name was Dr. Guillotin and he was 
presently to invent one kind of a remedy at least for 
all the ills to which flesh is heir. " With my ma- 
chine I chop off your head in the twinkling of an eye 
and you don't even notice it," he explained when 
exhibiting his invention in one of the sessions, which 
remark caused such inextinguishable laughter 
that the Assembly had to adjourn. 

President Bailly, in his famous memoirs, com- 
plains bitterly that from the first the members of 
the National Assembly, according as their individ- 
ual votes were pleasing or not to the spectators, 
were subject to praises or insults. He sees in this 
calling in of the people the source of the worst 
evils of the Revolution. The judgment of a mob 
at a time of crisis is about as reliable as that of a 
drove of horses that has been stampeded; and 
decisions had far better be left to those who at 
calmer moments have been chosen as legislators 
because of their sound views and their thorough 
training. In the case of the National Assembly, 
there was an organized system of intimidation. 
Lists of deputies who were supposed to be not 
voting as they should were distributed among the 
masses, and Bailly tells of members who came to 
him in great alarm because they had heard that 
their names had been placed on such a list. 

It was June I7th, as we have said, when the first 

1 Debats et Decrets, June 17. 

Liberty 35 

revolutionary measures were passed. For the next 
three days the court party remained abashed and 
disconcerted, the nobles railing at the third estate 
and accusing it of a desire to usurp the whole 
power. Then the King acted most unwisely, as 
it was to prove. 

It was apparently to frustrate the joining of the 
National Assembly by a considerable number of 
the clergy who, on June I9th, had made their 
decision to that effect, that Louis XVI, on the 
twentieth, ordered the doors of the Assembly-hall 
to be shut and no members to be admitted. The 
pretext was that his Majesty had determined to 
hold a royal session of all three orders combined 
and that it was necessary to have carpenters make 
certain changes in the hall. Seeing that the three 
orders had met together in that very hall on the 
fifth day of the preceding month, the reasons 
advanced could not have seemed very cogent. 

The King's treatment of the National Assembly 
was unceremonious to say the least. The Presi- 
dent, Bailly, was officially informed of the closing of 
the hall only an hour or so before the regular 
session was to have begun. The first intimation to 
the members themselves was the finding of the 
entrance barred by troops. There were bitter 
recriminations on the one hand, threats of violence 
on the other. "Strike, it will bring revolution all 
the sooner !" cried a deputy when a bayonet was 
pressed against his breast. ' 

It was Dr. Guillotin, always quick and inventive, 

* Dtbats et Dlcrtls; Brette, Serment du Jeu de Paumt. 

36 The French Revolution 

who made the suggestion of adjourning to a build- 
ing not controlled altogether by the court, although 
its chief patron was the Comte d'Artois and its 
owner enjoyed the title of purveyor to the royal 
family. Over the door blazed the sun of Louis 
XIV, and on the blue ceiling were golden fleurs-de- 
lis. In all other respects, the Tennis Court was a 
thing of utility rather than of beauty. The walls 
were painted black in order that the white balls 
might be more visible, and a net, waist high, divided 
the hall in halves. 1 The proprietor of the estab- 
lishment received the deputies with every token 
of joy but could do little to make them comfortable. 
A few benches and a writing-table were the extent 
of the furniture. 

Only an hour and a half had been lost by the 
unexpected change of locality. The deputies had 
gained enormously in popularity because of their 
firm attitude, and a crowd of people surrounded 
the door and stretched far back into the streets. 
Excitement was at the highest pitch. Sieyes 
would have liked to have the Assembly cut loose 
from the King and move in a body to Paris 2 ; but 
Mounier intervened with the proposition then 
and there to take an oath " never to separate, but 
always to reassemble, when circumstances required, 
until the constitution of the kingdom should be 
established on solid and firm foundations." To 
this oath, each member subscribed in writing, 
though one member quickly wrote " opposing" 

1 Aulard, Etudes et Le$ons, i., 62. 

a Mallet du Pan, Memoires, i., 165, note. 

Plate ii. Mirabcau in the name of the National Assembly defying De 
Bre"zd, Master of Ceremonies of the King. 


38 The French Revolution 

after having affixed his signature. 1 That he left 
the hall alive seems to have been due only to 
Bailly's interference. Yet the Assembly decided 
not to erase his name. 

The King, it will be remembered, had announced 
his intention to hold a royal session. This the 
National Assembly voted to attend, but it also 
voted to remain in the hall after the session should 
be over and transact its own business. It had 
meanwhile been joined by the majority of the 
clergy not in the Tennis Court, for the Comte 
d'Artois had sent word to the proprietor that he 
wished to play a game of tennis but in the church 
of St. Louis. The royal session was held on the 
23d of June. Never again was a king of France 
to appear with such pomp and circumstance. 
Through the crowded streets, Louis XVI' s carriage 
advanced in the midst of the falconry, the pages, 
the squires, the regiments of body-guards. Arrived 
at the hall, the King, followed by the princes of the 
blood, the dukes and peers of France, the captains 
of the guards, the king-at-arms, and the heralds, 
advanced to the platform and seated himself on the 
throne that had once done service for Louis XIV. 

The nobles and what remained of the clergy had 
been allowed to enter from the Avenue de Paris, 
and to take their seats without delay. Was it 
accident, was it negligence, now, that the National 
Assembly was kept waiting for an hour at the back 
entrance where only a portion of the members 

1 The modern restorers of the Tennis Court have foolishly stricken 
Martin Dauch's name from the list of signers. (Jaures, i., 246.) 

Liberty 39 

could find shelter from the rain? De Br6z6, the 
King's master of ceremonies, declared that the 
delay was due to the sudden death of one of the 
royal secretaries, but Bailly maintained that these 
"vain puerilities" had been resorted to in order to 
prevent any attempt to take the seats reserved 
for the clergy and nobility. 

Louis XVTs opening speech was a defiance 
which he proceeded to soften by the offer of great 
concessions. "The King wills," it began, "that 
the ancient distinction of the three orders in the 
state be preserved in its entirety as a fundamental 
part of the constitution of his kingdom." The 
measures passed by the Assembly on June I7th 
were simply annulled, and the King "willed to 
make it known" in what manner future delib- 
erations should be held. We know now that all 
this was contrary to the advice of Necker but 
that the counsels of Marie Antoinette and the 
Comte d'Artois had prevailed. Necker had then 
remained away from the session. 

The concessions offered were indeed considerable 
and would have been hailed with enthusiasm had 
they been presented as a programme on the 5th of 
May. Reform in taxation, a yearly budget, event- 
ual suppression of the lettres de cachet, partial 
liberty of the press all this formed a tempting 
bait. The King grew pathetic over his intended 
generosity: "If by an unanticipated fatality you 
abandon me in so fine an enterprise alone I shall 
accomplish the good of my people; alone I shall 
consider myself their veritable representative." 

4O The French Revolution 

He ended by ordering the members to disperse and 
to resume their sessions as separate bodies on the 
following day. The court filed out, as did also the 
nobility and the loyal remnant of the clergy. The 
National Assembly did not move. 

If defiance was in order, the National Assembly 
could be defiant. Mirabeau's answer to Master of 
Ceremonies De Breze, when he approached and 
asked if the King's intentions had been understood, 
was one of those shots fired round the world: 

Yes, Sir, we have heard the intentions imputed to the 
King. But you who are not his proper representative in 
the States-General, you who are out of place here and have 
no authority to speak, you are not the one to remind us of 
his discourse. Yet, to avoid all ambiguity and all delay, I 
will say to you : if you have been commissioned to make us 
leave here, you had better procure orders to use force ; for 
nothing short of bayonets will make us quit our places! 1 

There was a cry of "That is the will of the 
Assembly! " and De Breze was so astonished at the 
storm he had conjured up that he retired backing 
out, we are told, as he was accustomed to do from 
the presence of royalty. 

An engraving of the time 2 shows Mirabeau 
addressing De Breze. It would be interesting to 
know whether the symbolical representations of 
liberty and law could possibly have been included 
among the decorations that Louis XVI had sanc- 
tioned for the hall of the States- General. More 
likely the liberation of captives and the breaking 

1 This is the version given by the Debats et Decrets which is, on the 
whole, the most reliable of the newspapers. 
3 Plate u, p. 37. 

Liberty 41 

of chains were a fanciful addition of the artist 
first inspired by the fall of the Bastile. 

The King's command to disperse had been flatly 
and openly disobeyed. The National Assembly 

Plate 12. A cartoon showing the third estate welcoming the other two 
estates to the ranks of the National Assembly, June 30, 1789 

seized that very occasion to reaffirm emphatically 
its previous decrees. And what action was taken 
by Louis XVI ? None. He very characteristically 
remarked to De Breze: "If the gentlemen of the 
third estate do not wish to leave the hall, there is 
nothing to do but to allow them to remain there. " 
Indirectly, indeed, there was some action taken. 

42 The French Revolution 

Thirty carpenters were despatched to the hall. 
"It was hoped," wrote Ferrieres, "that the noise 

Plate 13. A cartoon showing the three estates as musicians 
at last playing in tune. 

of such a house-moving would force the gentlemen 
of the third to end their session and go away. The 
gentlemen of the third remained impassive and 



continued their deliberations/* They crowned 
their work by declaring the person of each and 
every national deputy inviolable. 

Louis XVI had renounced further conflict. He 

Plate 14. A cartoon showing concord holding the three estates united by 

flowery chains. 

wrote and requested his faithful clergy and nobility 
to unite with the third estate and hasten the 
a 'complishment of his paternal views. This both 

Jers finally voted to do, taking their seats on the 
3Oth of June. 

It was a busy time for symbolists! We have 
first a production 1 in which the peasant welcomes 

1 Plate 12, p. 41 


The French Revolution 

the other two orders, using the same terms with 
which he had previously welcomed the advance- 
guard of the clergy: " Shake, gentlemen, I knew 
very well that you would join our side!" Then 
again, 1 under what may be meant for a tree of 

Plate 15. A cartoon showing the three estates shouldering in common 
the burden of the national debt. 

liberty, we have the three estates, easily recognized 
by their respective costumes, playing each on a 
different instrument, while beneath are the words, 
" Good, now we are in tune ! " Or still again, 2 Con- 
cord, clasping a bundle of fagots, holds the estates 
by flowery chains, while to her right are the medal- 
lions of three good kings, to her left those of three 
good ministers. 

In one representation 3 the three orders in com- 

1 Plate 13, p. 42 a Plate 14, p. 43 3 Plate 15, see above. 



mon have shouldered the immense burden of the 
national debt and are sharing the land-tax in 
common. They do not look happy, but each, at 
any rate, is bravely doing his duty. 

Much more elaborate is "The Triumph of the 
three Orders." 1 On a huge car, drawn by prancing 

Plate 1 6. A cartoon entitled "The Triumph of the Three 

Orders," showing France and her three sons, the 

clergy, nobility, and third estate, on their 

way to the Temple of Justice. 

steeds, France and her three sons are borne towards 
the Temple of Justice where Father Time awaits 
them, holding open the book of history at the page 
entitled "Age of Louis XVI. " Headlong into the 
abyss are plunging horrible envy and the furies; 
while behind the car, with dignified tread, are 
marching Hope, Peace, Justice, and Commerce. 
One knows them by their attributes: Hope has the 
anchor; Peace, the extinguished torch; Justice, the 

1 Plate 1 6, see above. 

Plate 17. Facsimile of medals commemorating the harmony of the three 
estates in the summer of 1789 




sword; and Commerce, the bundle of hemp and 
various implements. 

Not alone in broadsides and loose-sheet engrav- 
ings, but also on coins and medals 1 do we see this 

Plate 1 8. A cartoon representing the third estate awakening from his long 
slumber, casting off his chains and terrifying the other two estates. 

new harmony of the estates celebrated with ingen- 
ious allegories and patriotic utterances. It all 
shows with what breathless interest these first 
experiments in government by representatives were 
followed by the country at large. 

A new series of events gave a fresh direction to 

1 Plate 17, p. 46. 

48 The French Revolution 

artistic endeavour. But first we must trace briefly 
the rapid decline of the royal power. 

Louis XVI could neither lead nor follow; he 
blew neither hot nor cold; his acts and his words 
did not agree. On June 3Oth, eleven of his guards 
who had sworn to disregard any orders that might 
seem to be directed against the National Assembly 
were incarcerated; they were released by the mob 
and Louis XVI pardoned them. A few days later, 
there was general panic and dismay at the news 
that royal troops were converging on Paris and 
Versailles. Mirabeau, in the Assembly, drew a 
lurid picture of the situation and of the thousands 
of soldiers who had arrived, were arriving, or were 
about to arrive: "It is thus that revolutions 
begin," he cried; "thus that excesses are com- 
mitted; thus that blood is shed!" The Assembly 
sent fiery petitions to the King: 

Sire, we conjure you in the name of the fatherland, in 
the name of your happiness and of your glory, send back 
your soldiers to the posts whence your councillors have 
drawn them. . . . Your Majesty does not need them. 
Ah, why should a monarch adored by twenty-five million 
Frenchmen summon several thousand foreigners around the 
throne at great expense? 

Louis's reply only increased the consternation. 
The troops were there to maintain order, he de- 
clared; and he suggested that if their presence 
gave umbrage to the National Assembly, the latter 
should move to Noyon or Soissons ! On July nth, 
the King dismissed his ministry. Yet Necker had 

Liberty 49 

seemed to the people the only man living who could 
avert bankruptcy. The worst horrors were immi- 
nent: blood was about to flow, eternal shame to 
fall upon France. The Assembly voted that Necker 
carried with him its esteem and its regret, and 
continued to insist on the removal of the troops. 

Through the streets of Paris, Necker's bust was 
carried veiled in crepe; the foreign troops were 
stoned and reviled; the theatres were forcibly 
closed; the toll-bars of the city burned. A revolu- 
tionary body established itself in the Hotel de 
Ville, and Dr. Guillotin, that useful man, was 
commissioned to make this latter measure of safety 
acceptable to the National Assembly. The pro- 
tection of Paris was handed over to a citizen 

On July I4th, after barricades had been erected, 
paving-stones torn up, muskets seized, and an 
entry forced into the Hotel de Ville, attention was 
turned to the Bastile. Here was a symbol of 
tyranny that threw all others into the shade. Into 
those dark dungeons any one could be thrown on 
the mere signing of a slip of paper by the King. 

The Bastile might have resisted a sudden storm 
but was not provisioned for a siege. The old 
governor, De Launay, surrendered even before the 
cannon that the mob brought with them had been 
fired. It was a day of misunderstandings. Did 
De Launay purposely lower the drawbridge to lure 
the people into the courtyard and there shoot them 
down? Had the garrison made signs to the people 
to approach, or had these signs been for the purpose 

5o The French Revolution 

of warding them off? Had flags of truce been 
used as decoys? One will answer these questions, 
even to-day, according to one's sympathies, and it 
can easily be imagined what fierce protestations 
and denials there were at the time. 

The bald facts can be briefly stated. The 
besiegers, joined by a detachment of the King's 
former guards, dragged cannon through the court- 
yards while the garrison fired shots and missiles at 
them from above, killing some eighty- three persons 
and wounding as many more. There are curious 
discrepancies as to the intensity of the struggle. 
" World-bedlam roaring"; " noise as of the crack 
of doom," are expressions used by Carlyle in this 
connection. Yet one eye-witness, Pasquier, de- 
clares "the so-called fighting was not serious; the 
resistance was absolutely nil"; while a reputable 
modern authority, The Cambridge History, speaks of 
the whole affair as "a petty incident that holds an 
altogether disproportionate place in the imagination 
of mankind." 

That the storming of the Bastile did hold this 
place in the popular imagination is, however, 
undisputed, and that is what particularly interests 
us here. It mattered little that only seven prison- 
ers were found -not in dungeons but in well- 
lighted cells; that of these seven all were there 
for just cause. These seven prisoners, all the same, 
were borne along in a great procession while every 
sort of an emblem of tyranny was flourished as a 
product of the dark depths: bits of armour, keys, 
handcuffs, chains, old bones, caps of liberty, and 

Liberty 51 

crowns of laurel. In the country at large, too, and 
even in other countries, the fall of the Bastile 
created an immense sensation. It was as though a 
second David had slain his Goliath. We only need 


Plate 19. A cartoon entitled " This time Justice is the strongest," and 
representing Justice and the third estate weighing down the 
clergy and nobility. 

to look at the cartoons of the period to find proofs 
of the excitement. 

"Faith it was time for me to wake up, for the 
weight of my chains gave me a little too bad a 
nightmare" is the text under a broadside 1 entitled 
"The awakening of the third estate." The third 
with fierce determination in his countenance, has 
broken the great iron ring to which his chains were 

1 Plate 1 8, p. 47. 

52 The French Revolution 

attached and is stretching out his hand to seize 
his weapons, at which sight the clergy and nobility 
start back in horror. In the background, the Bas- 
tile is being demolished, while the two heads borne 

i/&njr ,,mn.r yr/snaee el J<e bvsiftf vclwtJf \rotez, ().af.ce>rd m/ef swus et rwe /a /.{J>er/e'..S 

Plate 20. A cartoon entitled "The noble Two-step," in which a noble 
and an abbe are dancing to the piping of the third estate. 

on stakes are those of the governor, De Launay 
who had been jeered at, pelted with filth, pricked 
with sword and spear, stabbed, finally, and his 
head severed by a cook with a penknife and of 
the provost of the merchants, Flesselles, whose 
great crime had been that, when ordered by 
the sovereign people to furnish arms, he had sent 
up to the Hotel de Ville some boxes which had 
then been found to contain nothing but old linen. 



" This time Justice is on the side of the strongest " 
is the heading of another representation, 1 where 
Justice stands with the third estate on one end of 
the see-saw and weighs down the clergy and 

Plate 21. A cartoon entitled " Despotism overthrown," and likening the 
storming of the Bastile to the slaying of a hydra. 

nobility; while in "The noble Two-step, " a we 
have a nobleman and an abbe dancing to the piping 
of a national guard. 

Occasionally we find productions that are ex- 
tremely elaborate, like the one entitled " Despotism 
overthrown/' 3 Here a band of determined pike- 
and swords-men, who have a cannon in reserve if it 

1 Plate 19, p. 510 a Plate 20, p. 520 Plate 21, see above. 

54 The French Revolution 

shall be needed, are attacking a frightful many- 
headed monster whose great claw is outstretched 
to rend them in pieces. A number of heads have 
already been severed and lie on the ground. They 
are those doubtless of De Launay and Flesselles and 
Foulon and Berthier, of whom we shall speak 
presently. One head on a pole is being carried 
about. We have a banner waving from the parapet 
of the conquered Bastile, while in the corner sits 
a weeping figure intended to represent royalty, for 
on the head is a crown, while the hand rests on a 
shield covered with fleurs-de-lis. The text tells 
us at considerable length that 

On July 12, 1789, towards four o'clock in the afternoon, a 
wild beast in the form of a horrible monster was seen on 
the road from Versailles to Paris. Connoisseurs assured us 
that it was preparing to enter and ravage the capital. At 
once there were cries of "To arms! to arms!" With guns 
and halberds all the citizens ran out and vainly sought the 
devastating monster. On the fourteenth, at last, it was 
learned that he had retired to a den called the Bastile near 
the Porte St. Antoine. There was a rush to besiege it in 
that place and, having forced it from this last entrenchment, 
it was a question of who should cut off the greatest number 
of heads. For the monster had several and, as was the 
case with the hydra, all had to be cut off to keep them from 
growing again. 

The deliberations in the National Assembly on 
the day after the storming of the Bastile took on a 
tone that had as yet been lacking one full of bitter- 
ness against the court. Mirabeau maintained that 
the princes and princesses had visited the "foreign 

Liberty 55 

hordes'* whom the King had called in; that they 
had caressed, exhorted, and rewarded them; that 
"these foreign satellites gorged with gold and wine 
had foretold in their impious songs the enslave- 
ment of France"; that this barbarous music had 
served as an accompaniment to the dancing of the 
courtiers, and that "such was the prologue of 
St. Bartholomew!" 

There was a change in the attitude of the Assem- 
bly when, as mid-day was approaching, the King 
suddenly appeared in their hall. In a short speech 
he announced that he had given orders to the troops 
to withdraw and that the Assembly was authorized 
to make known the news in Paris. It was a sur- 
render at discretion. Louis's discourse made a 
touching impression on the Assembly and, as it 
ended, "transports and tenderness reached their 
climax" to quote a contemporary newspaper, the 
Journal de Paris. 

But danger lurked in all this emotional folly. 
The Assembly was establishing the precedent that 
the King was to be lauded to the skies when doing 
its will; that it could coerce him by showing dis- 
approval. Had Louis been a different kind of a 
man, he might have established his position as at 
least a co-ordinated and equal power in the state. 
But now he entered into explanations; he allowed 
the president to chide and warn him, and then 
seemed to enjoy the "signs of love and gratitude, " 
the acclamations, the renewed "inexpressible trans- 
ports" that his humility called forth. When he 
finally spoke words "seemingly less prepared and 

56 The French Revolution 

therefore coming more directly from the heart," 
the liveliest emotions were excited. Almost the 
whole Assembly rose and followed him back to the 
palace. Deputies of all three orders, joining hands, 
formed a sort of precinct, a semicircle, in the 
centre of which walked the deluded monarch and 
his two brothers. An immense crowd followed 
behind shouting Vive le roi ! Some one was heard 
to remark: "He needs no other body-guards!" 
Every one spoke to him and he spoke to every one, 
which was very unwise and unkingly. A woman 
of the people, we are told, threw herself on his 
neck and he showed no objection to being kissed 
by her. Quite the contrary! To those who 
attempted to pull her off he said, "Let her come!" 
And the band of the Swiss guards gaily played the 
vulgar popular song of the hour: "Where is one 
better off than in the bosom of one's family?" 
Louis was to hear that song again at a less happy 
moment, as we shall see in time. He was all 
amiability now, all subservience. He went so far 
as to say of De Launay who had tried to defend his 
Bastile : "Ah, he merited his fate ! " ' 

The cortege followed him to his chapel; the 
crowd called him out onto his balcony; the ap- 
plause was deafening. The Queen and the Dau- 
phin, too, appeared on the balcony before their 
loving people. Only too soon they were to appear 
there again under different circumstances. 

The deputation from the Assembly sent to bring 
the news to Paris were greeted literally as "angels 

1 Bailly, ii., 42. 

/ - 




58 The French Revolution 

of peace. " "Never, " so they themselves reported 
to the Assembly, ' ' ' was public festival so beautiful, 
so touching. . . . History offers no other such 
example; history will never succeed in reproduc- 
ing what we saw, and, above all, what we felt." 
It was in the midst of all this enthusiasm that 
Lafayette was appointed commander-general of 
the Parisian militia, and Bailly, mayor of Paris. 
A crown of laurels was placed on the latter's head 
and he was hailed as the man who had laid the 
corner-stone of French liberty. 

Louis XVI, in response to the clamours of the 
people, now sent a letter recalling Necker to the 
Assembly, begging that it be forwarded to its 
destination. He himself prepared to harvest more 
"transports and tenderness" by appearing among 
his beloved Parisians. 

The visit took place on July iyth and all Paris 
joined in the welcome. The streets, the windows, 
and the roofs, were thronged with people. Rich 
and poor consorted together. Affable and charm- 
ing ladies scattered tri-coloured cockades from 
their balconies. The tufts of ribbon floated in the 
air, rose, fell and were fought for by eager warriors. 

We have an elaborate engraving showing Louis 
XVI approaching the Hotel de Ville. 2 Bailly had 
already met him at the city gate and presented 
him with the keys of Paris, explaining that they 
were the same keys which had once been presented 
to Henry IV. His words were slightly double- 
edged: "He [Henry IV] had re-conquered his people 

1 Debats et Decrets, July 16, 1789. a Plate 22, p. 57 

I Illlllllimlffllfflllllllffllllllllll!'' ' ; ilil!lllilllllil 

iiiiiDii iiiiuuiiiiiiiiinur 

1 I! lUllHUmffl 

Plate 23. An engraving showing Louis XVI with the cap 
of Liberty, which he publicly donned on July 17, 1789. 


60 The French Revolution 

but now it is the people who have re-conquered 
their king. " Through the Place de Greve Louis 
advanced in his coach and eight. In front of him, 
on the face of the clock that surmounted the Hotel 
de Ville, was the inscription: "To Louis XVI, father 
of the French and King of a free people." All 
around him were national guards and behind them 
was a vast concourse of people. Bailly now gave 
him a tri-coloured cockade with "Sire, I have the 
honour to present your Majesty with the distinct- 
ive mark of the French. " Louis took the cockade 
and affixed it to his hat, and an engraving com- 
memorates the moment. 1 On the edge of the cap 
the words are inscribed: "The second crown of 
Louis XVI." Louis stood at a window of the 
Hotel de Ville to show the crowd that he had 
accepted the cockade. Cries of joy rent the air, 
and the ladies of the market presented him with 
boughs of laurel, symbol of peace. It was voted 
by acclamation to erect a statue on the site of 
the Bastile to "Louis XVI, Restorer of French 
Liberty." 2 

The revolutionary newspapers are wild with joy, 
of course, over this self-abasement of the King and 
take occasion to glorify the French people: " O my 
country, thou alone knowest how to adore, even 
as thou knowest how to avenge!" 3 It is consid- 
ered remarkable that a people which has just been 
"snatching from the breasts of traitors their palpi- 
tating entrails" should now "go with radiant brow 

1 Plate 23, p. 59 a Plate 24, p. 61 

3 Revolutions de Paris, July 17. 

LO i 

//< a \'<'/\rti///r.t 

Hrsianraiciir (U- la 

Plate 24. Louis XVI depicted as the " Restorer of French 


62 The French Revolution 

to offer its king the palm of peace'. " " Frenchmen 
what loyalty, what confidence!" 
f~ The cult of the revolution was fast becoming a 
Religion. Over a portrait of Bailly 1 engraved in 
connection with his appointment as mayor, we 
have the tri-coloured cockade with a motto other- 
wise associated only with the cross of Christ: 
In hoc signo vicimus. 

Adoring and avenging were indeed to be very 
closely associated in these first exciting days of the 
Revolution. A week after the storming of the Bas- 
tile, there was another bloody demonstration in 
Paris. Foulon, Necker's temporary successor, and 
Foulon's son-in-law, Berthier, fell as victims to the 
popular hatred. Had not Foulon enriched him- 
self at the expense of a starving people? Had he 
not, fearing the people's wrath, pretended to be 
dead and caused a dead servant in his place to be 
given a pompous burial? As a matter of fact, he 
had probably done neither of these things but the 
mere rumour of them sufficed to ruin him. Foulon 
was arrested at the country house of a friend, a 
Monsieur de Sartines, and because either he or 
Monsieur de Sartines no one was quite sure which 
had asked why the people if they were so hun- 
gry did not eat hay, was sent to Paris with a 
bundle of hay on his back and a bunch of thistles 
in his button-hole. He was strung up to the lamp- 
bracket at one corner of the Place de Greve. The 
rope broke with his weight; he was strung up 
again, this time successfully. He was decapitated; 

' Plate 25, p. 63 

Plate 25. A portrait of Bailly over which is the national cockade 
with the motto In hoc signo vicimus. 

6 4 

The French Revolution 

his head was stuck on a lance and, with a wisp of 
hay fastened in his mouth, was paraded about the 
streets. The wisp of hay in his mouth was, says 
the Revolutions de Paris, 1 "a striking allusion to 
the inhuman sentiments of this barbarous man"; 


Plate 26. A satirical production called "The Conclusion of the Diet," 
showing the evil results of forcing one cap upon the three estates. 

and the same journal tells us that Foulon's body 
was dragged everywhere through the mud and 
"announced to the tyrants the terrible vengeance 
of a justly irritated people. " 

Some one had the humourous idea of thrusting 
Foulon's gory head into the carriage which bore 
Berthier, his son-in-law, to Paris. It was a fine 

1 July 23d. 

Plate 27. A bloodthirsty cartoon called " The Patriotic Calculator," 

showing the Frenchman making out a hill for eight heads 

paid on account, twelve still due. 


The French Revolution 

reminder of the fate that was impending for Ber- 
thier himself. Each zealous patriot vied with the 
other in showing disgust for such enemies of the 
people. Berthier's head on a stake already seemed 
too tame an emblem. His heart, too, was cut out 

Plate 28. A cartoon called "The great Step accomplished, or the Dawn 

of a fine Day," which shows the Frenchman advancing over heads, 

Bastiles, etc., to join with the King and observe the law. 

of his body, was stuck on the point of a knife and 
carried about. The Revolutions de Paris seems 
rather to gloat over the episode. . It tells how some 
went so far as to dip the shreds of flesh into the 
beverage they were consuming: " Frenchmen, you 
exterminate tyrants ; your hatred is revolting, it is 
frightful but at last you shall be free!" 

Plate 29. A cartoon called the " Constitution of France," showing 
Neckcr borne aloft by the Due d 'Orleans and Lafayette, while the 
chains of servitude are trampled under foot. 


The French Revolution 

A satire of the time entitled "The Conclusion of 
the Diet " x shows the net result of trying to fit the 
cap of liberty onto the heads of the three orders. 

Plate 30. An allegorical representation to the glory of Necker, entitled 
"Virtue surmounts all Obstacles." (Remarkable because the 
recall of Necker is attributed to the Queen.) 

All have woe-begone expressions of countenance, 
while everywhere one sees nothing but death and 

The blood-thirstiness of the time is well shown 

1 Plate 26, p. 64 


Plate 31. An elaborate allegorical representation in which Louis 
XVI conducts Necker along the path of glory and 
presents him to the National Assembly. 

70 The French Revolution 

forth in some of these artistic productions. In the 
" Patriotic Calculator" 1 the worthy citizen smiles 
as he sits before his table of heads one sees that of 
Foulon among the others, with the wisp of hay in 
its mouth. On his tablet the citizen writes : ' ' Due, 
twenty ; paid on account, eight ; remainder, twelve. ' ' 
In "The great Step accomplished, or the Dawn of 
a fine Day," 2 we see how, over the ruins of the 
Bastile, with one foot planted squarely on the 
heads of the fallen, the French patriot is hastening 
to join hands with Louis XVI so that together they 
may govern in the name of the law ; while the sun, 
rising in full splendour, gives promise of brightness 
for the coming day. 

The next great popular excitement, also mir- 
rored freely in the artistic productions of the time, 
was the return of Necker in answer to the invita- 
tion sent him by Louis XVI. He came like a 
conquering hero, an immense multitude going out 
to the city gate to welcome him. Tears of joy, 
we are told, fell from almost every eye, and each 
would have been glad of a thousand voices, a 
thousand hands: "Oh, who will paint the delicious 
transports of this fete?" asks a newspaper. . . . 
"Here, crowns of flowers are offered to the liberator 
of France ; there, tributes of the ingenious muses 
who celebrate his talents and his virtues. " Among 
the "tributes of the ingenious muses" we must 
reckon our allegorical representations. In one en- 
titled the "Constitution of France," 3 we have 
Necker borne aloft by Lafayette and D' Orleans 

1 Plate 27, p. 65. a Plate 28, p. 66. 3 plate 29, p. 67. 

Liberty 71 

while with his feet he tramples on the instruments 
of slavery. With one hand he holds up the crown 
of France; in the other he carries a pole with a cap 

Plate 32. A cartoon in which the King and Necker are breaking 

the chains of a grateful third estate while Discord 

takes to flight. 

of liberty. In " Virtue surmounting all Obstacles, ' ' ' 
we have France showing Necker to her children 
while Fame announces him with her trumpet. 
Justice, Abundance, and Prudence sit at his feet, 

1 Plate 30, p. 68. 

72 The French Revolution 

and Apollo with his darts chases away loathsome 
Envy, Hatred, and Discord. 

More elaborate still is a production called, "The 
Epoch of French Liberty" 1 where an ermine-clad 
and fleurs-de-lis-covered Louis XVI conducts 
Necker along the path of glory towards the three 
estates, which stand together under the equally- 
balanced scales. A hand in the clouds holds the 
torch of truth which Diogenes is pointing out to 
Jean Jacques Rousseau. The sage of the tub is 
trampling on his lantern. What need has he now 
of any artificial light? Is not his search ended? 
Has he not found in every French citizen that for 
which he was looking a man? 

In still another allegory, 2 the King and his minis- 
ter are breaking the chains of the third estate, while 
hideous Discord is taking to flight. 

1 Plate 31, p. 69. 2 Plate 32, p. 71. 



AFTER the fall of the Bastile, the National 
Assembly began to busy itself in earnest 
with the new constitution. A cartoon 1 
shows the three estates, each with his great ham- 
mer, welding into shape the book of the law which 
lies on an anvil. On the very day of the attack on 
the fortress a committee had been appointed to 
formulate the rights of man his fundamental, 
inalienable rights and this was to serve as a pre- 
amble to the whole. 

Already on July i ith Lafayette had handed in a 
draft of "rights," 2 reminiscent of the American 
constitution, that would have answered very well 
for every practical purpose. They included liberty 
of person, speech, and opinion, the right to one's 
own property, the right to be happy and to resist 
oppression. But instead of adopting this bodily 
and proceeding to take up the evils that were cry- 
ing aloud for remedy, these twelve hundred men 
debated hour after hour and week after week on 
purely theoretical matters. Ignorance of these 
rights of man, it was argued, had kept the French 

1 Plate 33, p. 74 ' Buchez et Roux, ii., 78. 



The French Revolution 

under the heel of despotism; the programme must 
first be laid down before any individual measures 
were discussed. In vain Dumouriez, the future 


tot t# 

boil ( 


Plate 33. A cartoon showing the three estates forging away at the new 


victor of Valmy and Genappe, declared that what 
Frenchmen needed was a knowledge of their duties 
rather than of their rights ; in vain he pleaded that 
this was the plan on which the much-admired 
Americans had proceeded. r 

1 Memoir es (Hamburg, 1795), ii., 24. 

Equality 75 

Triumphantly at last the world was told that 
''all men are equal before the law;" that "liberty 
consists in doing whatever does not harm others;" 
that "no one may be punished save by a law 
established and promulgated previously to the 
crime;" that "every man is to be presumed in- 
nocent until he has been declared guilty;" that 
"no one is to be molested on account of his 
opinions." These and there were many more 
were laid down as those rights of man "ig- 
norance, forgetfulness, or scorn of which are the 
sole causes of public misfortunes." 1 Had these 
"rights" been formulated for the very purpose of 
presenting a contrast to the principles that were to 
govern the Revolution they could not have been 
worded more strongly. How many persons, for 
instance, were to be presumed innocent until they 
had been declared guilty? Foulon, perhaps? Or 
Berthier? And the rights of property how about 
the forced loans, the "voluntary" contributions? 
As for non-molestation on account of opinions, 
it is safe to say that the grand majority of arrests 
and guillotinings were to be more because of opin- 
ions expressed, or even supposed to be cherished 
in secret, than for any other cause. 

Never could there have been a less favourable 
time for prolonged and unpractical deliberations. 
Brigands some few, perhaps, in the flesh, but many 
thousands more in the frightened popular imag- 
ination were terrorizing the country districts; 

1 Duguit et Mounier: Les constitutions et Us principals lois politiques 
de la France depuis 1789. 

76 The French Revolution 

chateaux and monasteries were being sacked in 
search of title-deeds and feudal charters ; the skies 
were red with burning buildings. Feudal dues and 
rents could no longer be collected; the laws were 
without force, the magistrates without authority. 
"The peasants/' writes a newspaper, * "declare that 
neither their persons nor their goods can form part 
of the property of the seigneurs. " It was a new 
phase of the eternal dispute between capital and 
labour. Beyond a doubt there were evils that 
needed reforming; but in this imperfect world the 
cooperation of the capitalist, be he feudal lord or 
merely a more enterprising fellow-citizen, is neces- 
sary to make labour of any tangible value. 

What course could the National Assembly pur- 
sue? It was bound to respect the rights of prop- 
erty, yet it stood for freedom and for emancipation 
from the old trammels. It could not well attempt 
to suppress the troubles by force of arms; it could 
not even permit this to be done by the King, the 
chief executive power. How could it entrust him 
with an army after the uproar caused by his order- 
ing a few regiments to Paris? The Assembly had 
already declared itself in favour of enjoining on 
the peasantry the necessity of paying the custom- 
ary feudal dues; it had spoken of the "sacred 
rights of property" and of the "ancient laws that 
still subsist and that must be obeyed until the 
authority of the nation shall have modified or 
abrogated them," when there suddenly was enacted 
one of the most striking scenes in all French his- 

1 Journal de Paris, Aug. 6. 



tory, one that changed the whole course of events. 
But was it altogether wise this sweeping concession 
to popular demands, demands presented, so to 
speak, sword in hand? 

In the National Assembly on the evening of 

Plate 34. A cartoon representing the French nation in a patriotic delirium 
breaking down feudalism on August 4, 1789. 

August 4, 1789, the measures to be adopted with 
regard to the peasants were under discussion, when 
the Vicomte de Noailles, seconded by other nobles, 
rose and proposed the abolition of all feudal rights 
over persons and the redemption for money of all 
feudal dues that had to do with landed property. 
This proposal of De Noailles seems to have been 
made partly from a spirit of pure devotion and 

78 The French Revolution 

generosity, but also partly because by renouncing 
possessions that had become untenable it was hoped 
to secure other advantages. Whatever the motives, 
a strong wave of renunciation swept over the 
Assembly. The members were seized with what a 
cartoonist depicts as a patriotic delirium. I They 
are hammering to bits with their flails all the 
emblems of the feudal system the armour, the 
shield; the sword of the noble, the crozier and 
mitre of the ecclesiastical prince. 

The allegory is no exaggeration. The system 
that had lasted for nearly a thousand years fell 
in a single night. Those four hours saw greater 
changes than had been witnessed by many cen- 
turies. 2 Never, we are told, had so many deputies 
claimed the floor, and no one spoke but to offer, 
promise, or consummate some sacrifice. There 
were eloquent appeals, too: 

"Be just, sirs," cried a Breton deputy; "let them bring 
to us here those title-deeds that outrage not merely mod- 
esty but even humanity ! Let them bring those deeds that 
humiliate the human race by requiring men to be harnessed 
to a plough like beasts of burden; let them bring those 
deeds which oblige men to pass nights in beating the edges 
of ponds to keep the frogs from troubling the sleep of their 
voluptuous lords ! Who of us, sirs, would not make of these 
infamous parchments an expiatory pyre and would not 
apply the torch to consummate their sacrifice on the altar 
of the fatherland?" 

Motions of renunciation were made, seconded 

1 Plate 34, p. 77 

2 The Debats et Decrets and the Journal de Paris give the best accounts. 


Plate 35. An allegorical representation which shows France inscribing on a 
monument the feudal privileges renounced on August 4, 1 789. 


8o The French Revolution 

and passed with such rapidity that they could 
scarcely be recorded. Seigniorial jurisdictions; 
whole categories of tithes and clerical fees; the 
odious hunting privileges that had so often been the 
ruin of the farmer's fields ; the right to keep doves 
who lived on his grain ; the main morte or exemption 
of church lands: all this and much more was de- 
clared abolished. Taxation was to be equalized; 
the administration of justice reformed so that the 
poor might more readily be given satisfaction; 
local barriers of privilege even between province 
and province to be thrown down. 

"At last," writes the Journal de Paris, "this magnificent 
scene, so worthy to be transmitted to all ages and to serve 
as a model for all nations, was terminated by a motion of the 
Due de Liancourt to consecrate it by a medal on which 
should be engraved the inscription : ' To the abolition of 
all privileges and to the perfect reunion of all the provinces, 
and all the citizens.' In a moment so beautiful, of such 
great felicity, it was natural for souls full of joy and tender- 
ness to be uplifted to Heaven. The Archbishop of Paris 
proposed a general prostration at the feet of the altars of 
Notre Dame and the singing of a Te Deum. All the 
deputies seemed as religious as this prelate." 

An allegorical representation 1 entitled "The lib- 
erty of France" shows France inscribing on a monu- 
ment all the achievements of August 4th. To the 
right, youths and maidens are gaily dancing on the 
turf ; to the left, we have Commerce reviving, while 
above, in the air, we have Fame blowing her trumpet 

* Plate 35, p. 79. 

Plate 36. A representation of the Frenchwoman 
become free. 


82 The French Revolution 

and the devil flying away with the tithes and 

The Revolutions de Paris 1 tells us with what an 
intoxication of joy the news of the happenings 
in the Assembly was everywhere greeted. The 
deputies were hailed as fathers of their country. 
A new day was believed to be dawning for France. 
Groups formed in the streets or waited to tell the 
good news to those who came over the bridges. 
Every one congratulated every one else nay one 
saw citizens fall into each other's arms. 

Happier than any one else seem to have been 
the women of the market. Whether they really 
ever dressed as an engraving of the time represents 
them 5 is not certain. At all events, they love to 
place themselves in evidence, now, on all occasions. 
A number of them appeared at the palace of Ver- 
sailles and congratulated the King and Queen on 
the general progress of events. They addressed 
the former as "dear man, " "good friend/* and the 
like, and said to the Queen, "Open your heart [the 
word used is entr allies!] to us even as we open ours 
to you. " Their majesties, we are told, received 
them in the warmest manner. The people were 
not slow to take advantage of their new privileges. 
What a joy to kill the game the does and stags, 
the rabbits, hares, partridges, and pigeons that 
had so long been looked upon as nothing but a 
scourge! We hear of districts where not even a 
sparrow was left alive. Only the preserves of the 
Due d' Orleans, that cousin of the King who had 

1 Aug. 5th. 2 Plate 36, p. 8 1. 

Equality 83 

taken his seat in the States-General as a simple 
deputy, were spared. His name was everywhere 
uttered with tenderness. 

One can imagine that the artists were not idle 
at this time. More than once we find the subject 
of the abolition of the privileges treated on the 
plan of before and after. In one such production 1 
we have first the peasant, "the man of tears," bent 
double beneath the weight of the fat prelate and 
the smug noble, the latter with a sword that is "red- 
dened with blood. ' ' One sees the rabbits busily eat- 
ing the peasant's cabbage and the pigeons his grain. 

But in the pendant to the picture, 2 all is changed. 
The peasant shouting "Long live the King, long 
live the nation!" is riding on the back of a most 
chastened noble who wears the tri-coloured cockade 
in his hat and whose sword bears the inscription, 
"To protect the nation." The noble in turn is 
leaning on a chastened clergy who bears in his 
hand the emblems of liberty and equality and relief 
for the people. The peasant is clapping his hands 
in glee ; on his shoulder is a sword with the inscrip- 
tion, "Full of courage," and from the end of it 
dangles a dead rabbit. The pigeons lie prone on 
their backs, their stiffened legs in the air, while the 
cabbage, no longer nibbled and gnawed at, has 
thrown out fine curling leaves. 

A somewhat similar double production is called 
"The Frenchman hitherto," 3 and "The French- 
man to-day." 4 It is consecrated to the abuses of 

1 Plate 37, p. 84. Plate 38, p. 85. 

a Plate 39, p. 86. Plate 40, p. 87. 


Plate 37. A double cartoon representing the change wrought in the 
condition of the peasant by the renunciations of 
August 4th. Before. 


. .._ 

J ' S \\01S lu:\"qr\IAl'R ION SNOT tOl'R. 

Plate 38. A double cartoon representing the change wrought in 

the condition of the peasant by the renunciations of 

August 4th. After. 

Je /st/J /t\< csfrj 


Plate 39. A double cartoon representing the Frenchman 

formerly and the Frenchman now. The Frenchman 



Plate 40. A double cartoon representing the Frenchman formerly and the 
Frenchman now. The Frenchman now. 


The French Revolution 

the law-courts remedied by these decrees of August 
4th and by subsequent ones. All the different 

Plate 41. A national guard in uniform. 

fees and exactions are represented as so many rats 
gnawing at one who cannot escape, being held in 

Equality 89 

a sort of crate which is chained to the mill and bak- 
ing-oven of the feudal lord. The former police is 
represented as the very devil, as a spy and a rogue. 
But in the companion picture, all is changed, and 
the ghastly heap of heads on the ground at the left 
gives one an inkling of how it has been accomplished. 
The rats are all dead and hang by the tails from 
the shaft of the national weapon, the pike. If we 
compare the dress of the peasant with the uniform 
of the National Guards x we shall see that we are 
dealing with a defender of his country. The coat 
was of royal blue, the collar red, the trousers, 
waistcoat, and facings white. 

An era of peace and good-will did, indeed, seem 
to have dawned. Ladies of the market in proces- 
sions gay with garlands and ribbons give thanks to 
patron saints; the great lantern is put back on its 
bracket in the Place de Greve as though no further 
hangings were anticipated ; the National Guards are 
given a new ensign, representing not an eagle but 
a cock which, we are told in an inscription, can 
sing as well as fight. A banner is to display the 
sentence: "Under Louis XVI the Frenchman has 
become free and a soldier, and the soldier has 
shown himself a citizen." This is to replace the 
old oriflamme of the Bourbons. 

Meanwhile the work on the Constitution made 
such progress that, by the beginning of October, 
the Rights of Man and nineteen articles had been 
completed. Friction in the Assembly, indeed, had 
delayed the work considerably. One faction saw 

1 Plate 41, p. 88. 

90 The French Revolution 

no reason for not taking over from England what 
was best in her Parliamentary institutions; but 
this idea was opposed tooth and nail by others who 
professed to think that England was under an 
oppressive government. Horrible were the pic- 
tures, literally pictures, in which these ideas found 
vent. In one called "The English Constitution, " z 
we have Pitt trampling the crown under foot. In 
his right hand he holds the ends of the chains that 
are around the necks of the king, the lords, and the 
commons; in his left is the staff of the flag of 
tyranny, with fetters, flails, and instruments of 
torture. In the background are a gallows with its 
noosed ropes, and a scaffold with the headsman and 
his axe. 

Equally specific is the cartoon entitled "The 
Frenchman and the Englishman rendering homage 
to Liberty each after his own fashion." 2 The 
Englishman is chained to his constitution, his 
civil list, his House of Lords, his Parliament, his 
clergy, his taxes on the very air one breathes. One 
sees that he is cursing Liberty and is trying to 
escape. But the Frenchman is burning incense to 
her on an altar ; he waves his hand in her direction 
with a happy, satisfied air of proprietorship. 
Behind him are a tree of liberty, a cap, a tri-col- 
oured banner. One sees broken chains, and he is 
treading on the fleur-de-lis. 

One must make large allowances for artistic 
license in all this. Very far was the Frenchman at 
this juncture from being happy and contented. 

1 Plate 42, p. 91. * Plate 43, p. 92. 

Plate 42. A representation intended to show what an advantage the free 

Frenchman has over the enslaved Englishman. Pitt is trampling 

on the crown and holding the parliament enchained. 

92 The French Revolution 

The rich and the poor, the common man and the 
aristocrat, were in bitter enmity. More and more 
the latter were taking to flight. We have a cari- 
cature x of the first batch of emigres which included 

Plate 43. A cartoon showing the contrast between an Englishman's 
manner of doing homage to Liberty and a Frenchman's. 

the Queen's favourite, Madame de Polignac, and 
the King's younger brother, the Comte d'Artois. 
It is Madame de Polignac who is sitting in the 
basket and belabouring her donkey. 

The whole relation of employer and employed 
had been radically changed. Gone were the re- 

1 Plate 44, p. 93. 



spectful lackeys and grooms of other days. The 
army of the unemployed grew from day to day, 
almost from hour to hour; and want and misery 
now did, indeed, assume frightful proportions. The 
necessaries of life were growing appallingly scarce; 

Plate 44. A caricature of the first emigres leaving France. Madame 

de Polignac, the Queen's favourite, is in the donkey- basket. The 

King's brother is on horseback. 

the whole machinery of supplying them had broken 
down. The discontent grew in proportion among 
the women, especially, who had to stand in line 
many hours at a time waiting to purchase a few 
pennies' worth of bread at the bakeries. 

Patient the French never were. The present 
crisis was not the fault of any one or two persons 
not of the King, not of the Queen. Indeed the 
royal pair did their best to alleviate the suffering 

94 The French Revolution 

by sending their silver plate to the mint and having 
the waters of Versailles harnessed to the flour 
mills. It was the fault of circumstances: of the 
disorganisation of trade, the upsetting of credit, 
the general unrest. The harvest of 1789 was 
excellent, 1 but those who should have been gather- 
ing it were busy elsewhere, busy playing politics or 
enrolling in the National Guard. 

"To-day there were violent struggles at the 
doors of the bakeries happy is he who can get 
bread," writes the Revolutions de Paris on August 
25th, "there is no more in the villages near the capi- 
tal they are living on vegetables ; at Sevres they 
are making cakes/' 2 The same paper accuses the 
court and the aristocrats of a diabolical plot, with 
deliberately causing famine and fomenting anarchy 
in order to disgust the people with the new order 
of things. 

The National Assembly itself was in financial 
straits and was glad to receive voluntary gifts. 
There was something sentimentally gratifying in 
the sight of these ladies entering the august pre- 
cincts and laying down their jewels on the altar of 
the fatherland. In a moment of patriotic exalta- 
tion, the deputies even removed the silver buckles 
from their own shoes. But it was a most uncert- 
ain manner of providing revenue for the govern- 
ment of a great state; and moreover the time 
wasted in receiving and duly honouring generous- 
minded deputations was considerable. We hear 
of young women haranguing and being harangued, 

1 Jaures, i., 331. 2 Brioches is the French word. 

Equality 95 

of honours accorded to them hitherto reserved 
exclusively for crowned heads. Necker finally in- 
vented an effective compromise. He called for a 
general "voluntary contribution " which was to 
amount to one quarter of each person's income. 
Where the voluntary part of it came in is difficult 
to see. There was to be a tax, too, on all silver 
and gold plate. One might assess oneself, but the 
amounts were to be publicly listed. 

As the poverty increased so did the general 
excitement. The women began to give louder and 
louder voice to their grievances, sending deputa- 
tions to the Hotel de Ville, demanding lower 
prices, less delay. They were goaded on by the 
newspapers and especially by the hysterical shrieks 
of Marat's Publiciste de Paris, forerunner of his 
Ami du Peuple. Marat is the enemy of all who 
are not zealous Revolutionists: "I am the eye of 
the people, you are but its little finger!" he said 
proudly to the authorities in the Hotel de Ville. 1 

There were two main grievances against the court 
at this time. The King had not yet sanctioned, 
indeed had dared to criticise, the "Rights of Man, " 
and with the consent of the local authorities, 
as well as of the National Assembly 2 indeed had 
summoned a fresh regiment, the regiment of Flan- 
ders, to Versailles. On October ist his guards had 
f ted this regiment in what was reported as an anti- 
national orgy; a Versailles newspaper published the 

'Jaures, i., 332 ff. 

1 See the testimony of Miomandre de Chateauneuf in the Procedure 
criminette instruite au Chatelet, ii., 350. 

96 The French Revolution 

announcement that the national cockade had been 
publicly insulted and trodden under foot. 

In not sanctioning the "Rights of Man*' and 
the other constitutional articles that were presented 
to him, the King was fully within his rights. He 
had not even gone so far as to veto them, although 
a suspensive veto had just been accorded him by 
the terms of the constitution itself. His whole 
crime now was that he had suggested delay. He 
had proposed postponing the adoption of the 
Rights of Man until the laws for which they were 
to serve as a basis had been put into operation. 
Yet Robespierre cried out in the National Assem- 
bly: "The King's reply is destructive not merely 
of any constitution but even of the national right 
to have a constitution. " 

The reports concerning the banquet or "orgy" 
at Versailles had been grossly exaggerated. Such 
attentions to a visiting regiment had been in 
accordance with old-established custom. Among 
the guests, furthermore, had been some twenty 
officers of the citizen-guard of the town. All that 
actually happened was that enthusiastic cheers 
were given for the King and Queen when, by invi- 
tation, they appeared in the hall and made the 
round of the tables. Some one, a National Guard 
doubtless, had suggested playing the inevitable 
"Where is one better off than in the bosom of one's 
family?" but the bandmaster had refused and had, 
instead, struck up the tune of Blondel's song in 
Gretry's Richard Lion-hearted: "O Richard, oh 
my king, the universe abandons thee!" The 

Equality 97 

implication, of course, was that Louis XVI would 
find here adherents as faithful as Blondel had been 
when the latter ended his long search by finding 
his master in the tower. 

Plate 45. A cartoon showing Chabroud endeavouring to clear the Due 
d'Orleans of complicity in the events of October 6, 1789. 

Never in history did the playing of a refrain have 
such consequences! Not only was the episode 
made the most of at the time but it was treasured 
up for the trials for treason both of the King and 
of the Queen. 

The assertion that the tri-coloured or national 
cockade was trampled under foot and a white 

98 The French Revolution 

cockade substituted for it has often been made. 1 
The man who presided at the banquet, De Cane- 
caude, asserted positively in his testimony during 
the Chatelet investigation that nothing of the 
kind took place. He is corroborated by another 
eye-witness. The whole story was a newspaper 
invention and has been traced to the Courier de 
Versailles. 2 

On October 4th, in the garden of the Palais 
Royal, a woman rose and exhorted her hearers to 
follow her to Versailles and demand bread from the 
King and his family. She gave a box on the ear 
to an individual who made light of her exhorta- 
tions. But that same day the details of the expedi- 
tion must have been arranged. Whether or not 
the gold of the Due d'Orleans played any part in 
the matter is a question that has been much 
debated. We have a cartoon 3 showing his official 
defender at the Chatelet investigation vainly 
attempting to wash him clean; and when public 
indignation against him was at its height he dis- 
appeared from view, accepting a mission to Eng- 

The events of the 5th and 6th of October can 
be described only briefly. 4 On the morning of 
the 5th a bevy of women entered the courtyard of 
the Hotel de Ville. They were for the most part 
young, and many were clad in white as for a fete. 

1 Carlyle speaks of "fair fingers handing white Bourbon cockades," 
of "trampling of national cockades," etc. 

3 Procedure, i., 58. 3 Plate 45, p. 97. 

4 Morse Stephens's account is teeming with errors. I have tried to 
Compare the testimony of all the different witnesses before the Chatelet. 



Their manner was playful, their intentions appar- 
ently harmless. They peered into different rooms 
as if from curiosity. But their numbers kept 
increasing ; worse elements came in ; there was soon 
a regular rabble and acts of violence were com- 

Plate 46. A contemporary drawing of the expedition of the women of Paris 
to Versailles on October 5, 1789. 

mitted. Some mounted the belfry and sounded 
the tocsin; others liberated some persons who had 
been arrested and were awaiting a hearing; others, 
still, proceeded to sack the building. 

By way of diversion some one cried, "To Ver- 
sailles, to Versailles!*' A certain Stanislas Mail- 
lard, a conqueror of the Bastile, placed himself at 
their head and they marched. 

ioo The French Revolution 

Both the printed descriptions and an artist's 
hasty sketch of them as they passed 1 show them 
to have been armed with every sort of weapon: 
pikes, bayonets, scythes, axes, and pitchforks, and 
even brooms. One eye-witness declares that they 
reminded him of an army of crusaders. 2 Their 
cry was for bread and for the King's removal from 
Versailles to Paris. They demanded that the 
Paris National Guards march with them and exter- 
minate these body-guards and these officers of the 
regiment of Flanders who had dared to trample 
under foot the emblem of French liberty, the 
national cockade. The guards themselves urged 
their commander, Lafayette, to let them go, but 
he held them in leash throughout the greater part 
of the day. 

Very quickly the women covered the distance to 
Versailles. They appeared before the hall of the 
National Assembly; Stanislas Maillard made an 
address and the women finally invaded the hall, 
took the seats of the deputies and even that of the 
president. There was disorder and drunkenness. 

A band of the women had gathered in front of 
the palace railing, and those within the building 
could hear coarse and cruel threats against the 
Queen. They called for her head, for her heart. 
They persuaded the regiment of Flanders to desert 
the King. They held a sort of awful revelry in the 
Place d'Armes. When the King and Queen tried 
to escape, their horses were seized and their coaches 
led back to the stable. 

1 Plate 46, p. 99. 2 Testimony of Grandchamp, Procedure, i., 108. 

Equality 101 

As night came on the scene grew bacchanalian. 
Fires were lighted in the square, for a chill rain had 
begun to fall. One saw groups cutting up and 
roasting the flesh of a horse that had fallen. A 
deputation which the President of the National 
Assembly, Mounier, accompanied, had been ad- 
mitted by the King and their requests granted. 
The women came back radiant over their recep- 
tion, some of them kissing the gardes du corps as 
they passed. ' 

But enthusiasm for the graciousness of the King 
was not what the crowd wanted. They kicked, 
hit, and almost strangled the fairest of the emissar- 
ies declaring that she had been bought with royal 
gold. She was obliged to return to the King with 
the other women and obtain the concessions from 
him in writing. . He signed a paper exculpating 
her and appeared with her on the balcony. 2 

Late that night, Lafayette's army approached 
with flaring torches and beating drums. Was he 
coming as friend or foe? "What does your army 
want?" was the first question asked him as he 
entered the Assembly. "There goes Cromwell !" 
some one cried, as he crossed the ceil-de-bceuf 
on his way to pay his respects to the King. 
"Sir, Cromwell would not have come alone," he 

Lafayette undertook to guard the palace, but 
retired about dawn having seen that all was quiet. 
He felt that he had earned an hour's rest. 

The blame for what followed should fall on the 

1 Procedure, ii., 318. "Testimony of Louison, Procidure, ii., 33 ff. 

102 The French Revolution 

Paris National Guards. They gave no alarm, 
offered no resistance, when armed bands filed into 
the Place d'Armes or outer courtyard. 1 There 
was an inner court, and even an inmost one, each 
separated by a strong iron railing. The crowd 
penetrated into both no one knows whether the 
locks were forced or turned. 2 Then like tigers the 
mob fell on the sentinels. Two were dragged all 
the way to the Place d'Armes and their heads 
hewn off with axes and carried about in triumph 
for hours. 

Never were fouler passions generated than by 
this revolution. As the bodies lay there, gloating 
bystanders dipped their hands in the blood and 
smeared their own faces with it. Women jumped 
on the corpses, kicked them, tore off shreds of the 
bloody clothing. 3 

But the real object of pursuit was the Queen. 
The King from his window saw them rush for her 
staircase and he hurried through a secret passage 
to her rescue. It all passed with the utmost 
rapidity: The attack on the gardes du corps at the 
head of the staircase ; their retreat into the great 
hall of guards through the door that faces the 
stairs; their rescue of one of their companions; 
their final entrenchment in the ceil-de-bceuf after 
the other doors had been broken in. 

In the Queen's apartments there was less resist- 
ance. The double door of her hall of guards was 

1 Mounier, Appel au Tribunal de V Opinion Publique, 173. 
The question was asked at the time. Procedure, ii., 6. 
3 Procedure, ii., 260. 

Equality 103 

on the right of the little landing. Through it 
poured a cursing, howling mass of men and women 
clamouring for the Queen's head, heart, and en- 
trails. x One of the guards was struck down and 
left for dead, but not until he had given the alarm 
to the ladies-in-waiting who hurried Marie Antoi- 
nette, half-dressed, through the four little rooms 
that connect with the ceil-de-bcsuf. A closed door 
almost checked the flight, but it was finally opened 
from the other side. 2 

The arrival of Lafayette with his guards quieted 
the troubled waters. The King appeared on the 
balcony and asked pardon for his defenders. There 
was a sudden fraternisation between the forces that 
had just been opposing each other. Then the 
Queen was told that the people wished to see her 
on the balcony. The Marquis de Degoine, who 
was present, relates that she hesitated, that Lafay- 
ette urged her, that she answered courageously, 
"it may be to execution, but I will go!" 3 Another 
eye-witness 4 tells us that as she stepped out on to 
the balcony, holding her children by the hand, there 
were shouts that children were not wanted. She 
thrust them back and came out alone. 

It had all been such an ordeal for the King and 
Queen of France that it is a wonder Louis XVI th 
did not abdicate then and there. Judging from 
what we know of the sentiments of the people, such 
a course would probably have resulted in his keep- 

1 Numerous witnesses specify these cries. 

'Procedure, i., 172, 184, 243; ii., 368, 370, 378 ff. 

* Procedure, i. f 330. * Derosnet, Procedure, ii., 79, 


The French Revolution 

ing, instead of losing, his throne. But he chose 
to suffer every possible humiliation rather than 
relinquish his hereditary rights. 

As they stood there on the balcony, a voice called 
out, "The King to Paris!" The cry was taken 
up until it became a roar. Wavering, Louis XVI 

,^,,,, ! , 

K ^ *W* 

Plate 47. A contemporary drawing representing the women of Paris return- 
ing from Versailles on October 6, 1789. 

passed back and forth between his room and the 
balcony, and then made one of the most fateful and 
fatal decisions of his life. Leaning far out over 
the railing, he declared that he would go to Paris 
with his wife and children. Lafayette repeated 
the announcement in a louder tone, and, in order to 
spread the news more quickly it was written on 
bits of paper and thrown down among the crowd. I 
A few hours later the cortege started ; the heads of 

1 Batiffol: Les journees des 5 et 6 Octobre, 1789. 



I 8 


ctf bfi 


~ o 
"3 o 




io6 The French Revolution 

the slain guards, stuck on poles, had gone on 

To the descendant of St. Louis and the daughter 
of Maria Theresa, that procession must have 
seemed like some old grotesque dance of death. 
It would have seemed still more so could they have 
looked into the near future. Until the Revolution 
began, they had been isolated from the world by 
their great body of noble pensioners and their 
thousands of attendants. Nine hundred body- 
guards had always been at hand to do their bidding. 
Now, that armour was pierced. They had become 
the plaything of the mob. Their carriage was 
accompanied by fishwives and street-walkers for 
whom the affair was a continuous frolic. These 
women danced by the roadside, sat on the cannon, 
tried to mount the horses of the soldiers, and 
screamed with delight when they fell back into the 
mud. They broke boughs from the trees; they 
snatched ribbons from the head-dresses of those of 
their sex whom they passed on the road. 

We have an artistic production 1 illustrating all 
this, and Heaven only knows whether it was in- 
tended seriously or as a caricature. It is called 
"The triumphant Return of the French-Heroines 
from Versailles to Paris/' "Heroines of liberty " 
was the name by which these women were to be 
known throughout the remainder of the Revolu- 
tion, and we shall see them still glorified in 1793. 

The attitude of the crowd in general seems to 
have been respectful, but people jested among 

1 Plate 47, p. 104. 

Equality 107 

themselves. Louis was the baker because he was 
bringing with him bread for hungry Paris. Marie 
Antoinette was the baker's wife, the Dauphin the 
baker's boy. 

We have an elaborate representation 1 of the 
arrival in the Place Louis Quinze which famous 
square we shall soon learn to know under quite 
other names. As yet the great equestrian statue 
of Louis XV stood in its midst. Round this the 
cortege wound on its way to the Tuileries palace. 
In front of the cannon and the maidens, one sees 
what may have been intended for the heads of the 
murdered guards ; then follows a waggon with bags 
of meal, and then come the royal coaches. 

We have a most curious and bloody satire on the 
subject of these murdered guards 2 a satire which 
shows the pitiless attitude throughout the Revolu- 
tion towards the vanquished and slain. One can 
well imagine the smiles that this ingenious produc- 
tion called forth. It is of value to us as showing 
that the cartoonist must have counted on a suffici- 
ently large public to make his enterprise profitable 
Nor could he have feared suppression. 

Bearing their own heads on stakes, the two 
guards appear on the banks of the Styx, together 
with the unfortunate governor of the Bastile, with 
Flesselles, Foulon, and Berthier, and a baker 
who in these days was killed by mistake because 
accused of hoarding bread. Such mistakes were 
small matters, for it was easy to shift the odium 
on to the aristocrats. Charon clubs back with his 

1 Plate 48, p. 105. Plate 49, p. 108. 


The French Revolution 

oar all the headless ones save the baker, the "vic- 
tim of aristocratic fury"; him he ferries across to 
where Galas, once persecuted by the Church and 
defended by Voltaire, awaits him in the company 
of other martyrs. 

Plate 49. A cartoon representing Charon refusing to ferry over any of the 
headless ones save a baker who had been killed by mistake. 

We have meanwhile lost sight every one lost 
sight of the National Assembly of France. From 
first to last it had played an undignified role 
allowing the women to enter its precincts and 
conduct themselves as though they were in a cafe 
chantant; taking no apparent interest in what was 
going on at the palace ; allowing so vital a matter as 


Plate 50. A symbolical production showing Reason in the act of 
explaining the new divisions of France while Envy and 
Hatred seek to hamper her. 

no The French Revolution 

that of the King's change of residence, which would 
necessarily affect them deeply, to be decided by a 
lawless mob. 

There were those who felt all this keenly. The 
president of the Assembly, Mounier, fled from 
France and took refuge in Geneva. On one pre- 
text or another some two hundred members left 
Versailles. x We have the defiance that one of them 
hurled at those who remained 2 : 

Neither this guilty town nor this still guiltier Assembly 
deserve that I justify myself. I had not strength any 
longer to endure the horror inspired by this blood, these 
heads, this queen all but butchered ; this king led as a slave 
and made to enter Paris in the midst of his assassins and 
behind the heads of his unfortunate guards ; these perfidious 
janissaries, these murderers, these cannibal women, this 
cry of " all bishops to the lantern ! " as the King was entering 
Paris with his two episcopal councillors in his coach; the 
shot I saw fired at one of the Queen's carriages; Monsieur 
Bailly calling this a great day; the Assembly declaring 
coldly that morning that it was beneath its dignity to go 
and protect the King; Monsieur Mirabeau telling this same 
Assembly with impunity that the ship of state would not 
only not be impeded in its course but would hasten towards 
regeneration more rapidly than ever; Monsieur Barnave 
joining with him in a laugh when waves of blood were 
lapping round us ; virtuous Mounier escaping as by a mira- 
cle from the twenty assassins who tried to add his head to 
their trophies: now you know my reasons for swearing 
never again to set foot in this cave of anthropophagi where 
I could no longer find strength to raise my voice, where I 
had raised it vainly for six weeks, I, Mounier, and all 
honest folk. 

1 Stance of Oct. 9, RSv. de Paris, No. xiv. 

3 Appendix to Bailly's Memoirs, iii., 435. It was Lally-Tollendal. 

Equality in 

The Assembly voted to follow the King to Paris 
where the City Council promised it absolute liberty. 
It held its first sessions in the Archiepiscopal 
Palace and then moved to the Manage or riding- 
school near the Tuileries. Here in the course of 
the next five months it passed a number of epoch- 
making decrees all tending still further to weaken 
the authority of the King. 

The old provinces of France, products of the 
feudal system, were divided up into eighty- three 
departments; the towns became self-governing 
communes. 1 The importance of this will be 
realised when one learns that these changes left 
far more than a million offices of one kind or 
another to be filled, and that the King no longer 
had any voice in the matter. 

We have a symbolical representation 2 in which 
Reason, aided by the genius of Geography, is 
explaining the new divisions. She is trampling 
under foot the old title-deeds which horrible Pride 
vainly tries to snatch away. Citizens from all 
parts of the kingdom embrace mutually ; a foreigner 
asks permission to marry a Frenchwoman and 
thus become a citizen. Behind Reason is 
Law whose votaries are swearing to observe 

France has adopted Equality, now, and has 
placed her quite on a level with Liberty. In an 
engraving of the time 3 we see them both under the 
outstretched arms of the Genius of the Fatherland. 

1 Decrees of Nov. n and 12, 1789; also Jan. 15 and Feb. 26, 1790. 
1 Plate 50, p. 109. * Plate 51, p. 1 12. 


The French Revolution 

Equality has the crude carpenter's level of the 
day, while Liberty has the usual pike and cap. 

It is unquestionable that neither Liberty nor 
Equality would have prevailed as they did but 

Plate 51. A symbolical production showing the Genius of France adopting 
Liberty and Equality. 

for the aid of an organisation, daily becoming more 
powerful, which soon grasped with its tentacles 
all the thousands of new communes. The Jacobin 
Club was to the Revolution what the Jesuit Order 
had been to the Roman Catholic reaction of the 
1 6th century. The monastery of the Rue St. 
Honore became the centre of a regular network of 
supervision and control. We have a representa- 
tion of it 1 that belongs to a later period of the 

'Plate 52, p. 113. 


Revolution but that gives us a clear idea of its 
general appearance. The facade was adorned with 
such emblems and inscriptions as befitted the main 
citadel of libertv. 

Plate 52. A Dutch engraving showing the Hall of the Jacobin Club in Paris. 

The chief virtue that the Jacobins ascribed to 
themselves was vigilance, and a great open eye 
became their symbol. It floated on their banners ; 
we even see it on the cap of the typical Jacobin 1 
drawn by a patriotic artist. In his hand is the 
bell with which he is to be ever ready to sound the 
alarm. Exercising inquisitorial power over men's 

'Plate 53, p. 114. 


The French Revolution 

opinions, supervising the conduct of those in au- 
thority, and controlling elections by all manner 


Plate 53. A representation of the typical Jacobin. One 
sees the eye of vigilance on his cap. 

of intimidation and bribery: those were the chief 
activities of the omnipresent Jacobins. On 

If Comme- It/fore <Jf ^ 
f\>u .UJ < .finS ovrw -m*r< 

Plate 54. A cartoon showing the clergy despoiled of its possessions. Once 
it was fat, now it is lean. 


The French Revolution 

innumerable occasions, the measures that were 
passed in the National Assembly had been con- 
cocted or hatched out at a session of the famous club. 

Plate 55. A caricature called "The Overthrow" relating to the 
confiscation of the estates of the clergy. 

A measure quite as radical as the division of 
France into departments was the confiscation of 
all the landed property of the Church, amounting 
to nearly one third of all French territory. Already 
in September, 1789, the clergy had been invited 
to carry to the mint all silver not essential to the 



carrying on of Divine Service. 1 After that had 
come the demand for a voluntary (?) contribution, 
and finally, on October loth, Talleyrand, bishop of 
Autun, began the great onslaught on his own order: 
"There is one immense resource which can be 

Plate 56. A caricature called "the present time," showing the clergy reduced 
to a skeleton and standing humbly before the other two estates. 

reconciled with the rigid respect for property; it 
consists in the estates of the clergy. " 2 He reck- 
oned the sum that would accrue from their sale at 
two billion one hundred million francs. Two 
days later, Mirabeau moved that these estates be 
declared the property of the nation, fair provision 
being made for the clergy. This opened up, as 
may be imagined, a heated discussion as to what 

1 Duvergier, Collection complete, i., 44. 
> Dtbats et Dtcrcts, Oct. 10 ff. 


The French Revolution 

right the National Assembly had to take such 
action and provoked the bitterest attacks from the 
clergy. The debates lasted from October I2th 
to November 2d, and the motion was finally passed 
by 568 to 346 votes. The contention was that the 

Plate 57. A caricature against the clergy entitled " The 
patriotic Reducer of Flesh " 

clergy were tenants, not owners of the property, 
and that furthermore, by recent decrees of 
the Assembly, there was no such thing as an 
order of the clergy in which the ownership could be 

The glee of the radicals knew no bounds. Never 
were the cartoonists more active, more full of 
ideas. One such satire 1 showing the same man 
before and after, bears the inscription: "Once I 

1 Plate 54, p. 115. 

Equality 119 

was a big fat monk, as full up to the neck with food 
as St. Anthony's pig; but now I am as thin as a 
cuckoo/' In a production labelled "The Over- 
throw," 1 one of the clergy is toppling over back- 
wards, while his tormenters pursue him with 
unseemly gestures implying "I told you so." In 
another entitled "Here the first shall be last, " 2 
we have the third estate commanding the other 
two. The noble stands meekly at attention, while 
the clergy is an actual skeleton resting his hands 
on a spade. 

Grotesque in the extreme is the cartoon en- 
titled ' ' The patriotic Reducer of Flesh. ' ' 3 A great 
fat priest is held fast, but is told "Patience, sir, your 
turn will come next." In a press formed of two 
boards another priest is being flattened and is dis- 
gorging gold from his mouth; while others still, 
thin and making gestures of absolute despair, are 
disappearing in the distance. 

It would lead us too far to deal with the manner 
of disposing of these confiscated estates and how 
they became the basis or guarantee for the as- 
signats or new paper money of France. The first 
emission of assignats, in the spring of 1790, was for 
400,000,000 francs. The clergy offered to raise 
that amount if only they might retain their title 
to the lands. This was refused and the bitterness 
increased. A member of the clergy after the turn- 
ing down of a motion at least to decree that the 
" Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion" was the 
state religion, solemnly pronounced the Divine 

1 Plate 55, p. 1 16. a Plate 56, p. 117. J Plate 57, p. 118. 

I2O The French Revolution 

malediction over the whole National Assembly. 1 
Another clerical firebrand, D'Epresmesnil, re- 
minded the Assembly of the crucifixion of Christ. 
To still another, who cited a compact made by 
Louis XIV with his clergy, Mirabeau made a 
stinging retort: if historical reminiscences were in 
order, he begged to remind him that from the very 
platform where he was standing he could see the 
spot where benighted ecclesiastics caused a French 
king to give the signal for the St. Bartholomew 
massacre! 2 

That crime of the French monarchy was in 
every one's mind at this period. A play called 
Charles IX was being given at the Comedie Fran- 
gaise. It threw all the blame for St. Bartholomew 
on the intriguing Cardinal de Lorraine. 

"The performance of this tragedy," writes a contem- 
porary, 3 ' ' brought a fatal change into the character of the 
Parisian people. They came forth drunken with vengeance 
and tormented with a thirst for blood. When, at the end 
of the fourth act, a tolling bell announces the moment of 
the massacre, one heard them groan dismally or else cry out 
furiously: "Silence! Silence!" as though they feared that 
the sound of the death-bell would not penetrate deeply 
enough into their hearts and they thus lose some of the 
sensations of hatred it was intended to encourage." 

1 Journal de Paris, Apr. 14, 1790. 
3 Journal de Paris; also in Ferrieres. 
3 Ferri&res, Memoires, i., 351. 



AN event happened on Christmas Day, 1789, 
that placed Louis XVI in an embarrassing 
position. An apparent plot to carry him 
off, to murder Bailly, Lafayette, and Necker, and 
reduce Paris to submission by famine, was dis- 
covered, and the chief conspirator, the Marquis de 
Favras, was arrested. Favras was then tried, con- 
victed, condemned to death, and executed. A 
cartoon ' shows us what a warm reception he met 
with in Hades from DeLaunay, Flesselles, Foulon, 
and Berthier, not to speak of Cerberus and a 
poisoner named Desrues. 

Louis XVI was advised to give some proof of 
his patriotic sentiments, and accordingly, on Febru- 
ary 4, 1790, appeared in the Assembly without 
pomp or ceremony and ended a conciliatory dis- 
course by uttering a vow to uphold constitutional 
liberty and to see that his son was brought up in 
sympathy with the new order of things. 2 The 
whole Assembly then took the civic oath the oath 
of fidelity to the nation, the law, and the King. 
Such a chorus of "I swear it's" had never been 

1 Plate 58, p. 123. Journal de Paris, Feb. 4th, Feb. 6th. 


122 The French Revolution 

heard in France. Not only did the deputies take 
the oath, but all the spectators, and, later, all the 
National Guards. 

It was at this time that the strangest secret 
alliance was concluded one between Mirabeau, 
whose influence in the National Assembly was so 
great that he said himself: "When I shake my 
terrifying mane no one dares to interrupt," 1 and 
the King and Queen. Louis XVI would not believe 
in Mirabeau's sincerity until the latter had com- 
mitted himself in writing. 2 Yet Mirabeau was no 
ordinary traitor. He called himself a constitu- 
tional royalist. He believed that he could be true 
to both sides. He promised the King "a loyalty, 
zeal, activity, energy, and courage of which no one 
can have the least conception." Unfortunately 
he accepted pay, and very high pay, for these loyal 
services: he was to have a million francs on the 
dispersal of the Constituent Assembly should he 
have lived up to all his promises, while the King, 
in addition, was to expend some 200,000 francs in 
paying Mirabeau's debts. He was to have a sal- 
ary, too, of 6000 francs a month. Is it strange that 
the King and Queen never looked on Mirabeau in 
any other light than a paid agent? They so 
doubted his honesty that they would not trust to 
him the sums for the payment of his creditors. 
Yet Mirabeau seems to have served the court as 
well as circumstances permitted. 

The stream was too strong to be held back. 
One by one the King's prerogatives were voted 

1 Stern, ii., 133. 2 Stern, ii., 140. 

Plate 58. A cartoon representing the Marquis de Fa 
being received in Hades by Foulon, Berthier, and 
other headless ones. 


124 The French Revolution 

away by the National Assembly. Even the royal 
title was no longer ' ' Louis by the grace of God King 
of France and of Navarre, " but plain " Louis, King 
of the French," and an attempt had even been made 
to add "by consent of the nation." 1 All persons 
imprisoned under lettres de cachet had been de- 
clared at liberty; the lists of the King's pensioners, 
with the amounts accorded, had been published. 
Mirabeau had endeavoured to have the King 
retain his right to declare war or to make peace, 
but in vain. He had carried his efforts so far that 
he had been called a traitor and reminded of the 
Tarpeian rock, but had finally saved appearances. 
On November 5th the natural supporters of the 
King, the nobles and the clergy, had been pro- 
nounced equal before the law with the third 

Constitutionalism was making very rapid 
strides. The first steps had been taken towards 
introducing trial by jury, towards establishing one 
general system of weights and measures; educa- 
tional problems were under discussion even such a 
matter as self-government in schools. The city of 
Paris decided to put this latter plan into execution. 2 

France had gone wild in turn over Liberty, as 
typified by the storming of the Bastile, and Equal- 
ity, as furthered by the decrees of August 4th and 
the subsequent legislation. There was now to be 
a new object for patriotic enthusiasm Fraternity. 
France herself was to encourage her children to 

1 Revolutions de Paris, Oct. 8th. 
* Ibid., Ixi. (Sept. 4-11, 1790). 



clasp hands. In one of our cartoons we find her 
actually fulfilling this benign duty. 1 

Plate 59. A symbolical representation of France making her 
children clasp hands in token of fraternity. 

From various districts there had come news of so- 
called ftes of federation to celebrate the brotherly 
feeling between the old soldiers of the line and the 
new National Guards. It was considered highly 

1 Plate 59. 

126 The French Revolution 

desirable that France should learn the number of 
her true defenders. There were patriotic assem- 
blages in which the warriors publicly swore to 
defend unto death the new constitution of the 
kingdom and to perish together rather than re- 
nounce liberty for a single instant. There were 
scenes of supreme exaltation, 1 with endless cheering, 
waving of hats on the points of bayonets, fraternal 
embraces. There were joyous dances in which all 
differences of rank and station were forgotten. 
There were rhapsodies like this: "Barbarous 
ages ! Ages of fanaticism ! Ages of slavery : How 
hideous you seem when compared to our own 
beautiful days! . . . We are born anew to glory 
and have recovered all our dignity!" 

In Paris, on June 5th, a deputation from the 
municipality submitted to the National Assembly 
what the Journal de Paris calls " one of the happiest 
and most brilliant ideas inspired by patriotism since 
the Revolution began to elevate and fecundate 
men's minds." This was, no longer to have sep- 
arate fetes of federation in the provinces, but 
rather one grand general fete in the capital under 
the eyes of the monarch and the legislators. 2 
From every section of France were to come dele- 
gates of the National Guards and of the troops of 
the line. As the orator of the deputation unfolded 
his plan, he grew more and more fervid: 

Scarcely ten months have elapsed since the memorable 
epoch when, from the walls of the conquered Bastile, arose 

1 Such a fete is described in La Revolution Fran$aise, i., 15. 
a Journal de Paris, June 7, 1790. 

Fraternity 127 

a sudden cry of "Frenchmen, we are free!" On the corre- 
sponding day let there be heard this still more touching cry 
of "Frenchmen, we are brothers!" . . . How bright will 
be the day of the alliance of the French! A people of 
brothers, an empire's regenerators, a citizen king, all rally- 
ing round the altar of the fatherland to take one common 
oath what a new and imposing spectacle for the nations ! * 

\ ^The spark thus communicated soon became a 
\ roaring flame. This Revolution which was to 
\ bring forth so many scenes of the bloodiest cruelty 

\ and injustice was also to become memorable for 

I scenes of popular rejoicing which have scarcely 
been equalled in any other land or at any other 
period. It is a side of the movement which we, in 

I our present study, can least of all afford to ignore. 

I It was chiefly in symbolism that all this enthusiasm 
found vent. 

"The trumpet/' declared Anacharsis Cloots on 
June 1 9th, 2 has sounded the resurrection of the 
French; a joyful chorus twenty -five millions strong 
has awakened all the peoples long buried in slavery." 
He begged to be allowed to bring a band of for- 
eigners to rally round a liberty pole and appear at 
the Fte of Federation, not as slaves in a Roman 
triumph, but as men freed of their chains by 
France's wise laws. The petition was granted 
and, when doing so, the president of the Assembly 
took occasion to give what he considered whole- 
some advice to the respective rulers of Cloots's 
foreigners. Cloots himself became known as the 
"orator of the human race. " 

1 Buchez et Roux, vi. ( 275. Dtbats ct Dtcrets, June I9th. 

128 The French Revolution 

Alexander von Lameth, in this same session, 
moved that as the French were no longer slaves 
they should no longer have their sight offended by 
"monuments recalling to the eye the servitude of 
our fathers/' This was amended to read that all 
inscriptions, all attributes, and all emblems in 
connection with such monuments should be effaced 
in favour of simple recitals of fine actions. In 
especial it was voted that the four chained figures 
under the statue of Louis XIV in the Place des 
Victoires should be removed before the Fte of 
Federation. 1 

It was then moved by Lambel and seconded by 
Lafayette and Noailles 2 that hereditary nobility 
be forever abolished in France; that the titles 
prince, marquis, baron, excellency, highness, emin- 
ence and the like be no longer conferred on any 
one whatsoever ; that no one might display armor- 
ial bearings or clothe his servants in livery. In 
short, " incense is to be offered to no one but is 
only to be burned in temples of worship to honour 
the Divinity." 

Yet it was something very like incense that the 
National Assembly in this same session of June 
1 9th accorded to the " Conquerors of the Bastile" 
for having "flung off the yoke of slavery and made 
their country free." Each was to be given the 
complete uniform and equipment of a National 
Guard. On the sleeve or lapel of each coat was 
to be a mural crown, on the barrel of each gun a 
dedication. The Conquerors were to be accorded 

1 Revolutions de Paris, No. 51. a Ib. 












130 The French Revolution 

an honourable and conspicuous place in the 
celebration of July 14th. 1 

The Assembly soon found, indeed, that it had 
jumped into a hornet's nest; that jealousies were 
rampant between the citizens and the military as 
to who had played the more important role on the 
great day; that hundreds claimed to be Conquerors 
who had not been near the spot ; that the pecuni- 
ary gratifications the prospect of which was held 
out in this same decree were likely to amount to 
considerable sums. The various disputes threat- 
ened to end in violence and bloodshed when 
the Conquerors themselves voted to refuse the 
proffered honours. 

The preparations for the Fte were made on an 
enormous scale. It was solemnly declared by the 
committee of arrangements that as the spectacle 
of a whole nation renewing its vows of mutual 
fraternity was worthy of being witnessed by all the 
inhabitants of the universe, the first thing to do 
was to choose a stage of vast dimensions. 2 The 
Champ de Mars or great parade-ground, with its 
natural amphitheatre and its surrounding trees, 
seemed to offer the most advantages. The artists 
of Paris proffered their assistance and threw them- 
selves enthusiastically into the work. It was no 
light task. There was a prejudice against the use 
of wood in making tiers of benches, therefore it was 
determined to throw up a great bank of earth 
which should provide seats for 160,000 people. 
There was to be standing-room for 100,000 more; 

1 Duvergier, i., 218. 3 Journal de Paris, July 8th. 

Plate 61. A facsimile of a portion of the frieze on the great arch 
at the Fete of Federation. 

132 The French Revolution 

and 40,000 delegates from the provinces were 
to take part in the evolutions in the centre. 
There was to be an altar to the Fatherland of 
magnificent proportions, with huge flights of steps 
leading up to it on all four sides. The entrance to 
the field was to be through a great triumphal arch 
adorned with patriotic scenes, emblems, and in- 
scriptions. We have many representations of the 
scene during the celebration. The one given here 1 
was drawn by Gentot on the spot and gives one a 
very clear view of the whole. We have the details, 
too, doubtless the artist's own drawings of the 
frieze and inscriptions on the triumphal arch. 2 
Bas-reliefs are to show every kind of act of sacrifice 
and devotion and there are to be mottoes of a 
patriotic nature: "Petty tyrants, you who op- 
pressed us under a hundred different names, we fear 
you no longer!" "The only powerful king is the 
king of a free people!" "The rights of man were 
not appreciated, they have been revived for all 
humanity." "You longed for liberty, you are 
now its possessor: show that you are worthy to 
retain it." 

The preparations for the Fete fostered the spirit 
of fraternity in a truly remarkable manner. There 
came a sudden fear lest with all the thousands of 
hired labourers the whole would not be completed 
in time. Then, indeed, one saw extraordinary 
sights! There was a sudden outpouring of all 
patriotic Paris. Old and young, rich and poor, 
even the halt and the blind hurried to the spot and 

1 Plate 60, p. 129. a Plate 61, p. 131. 


Plate 62. A contemporary illustration showing the people of 

Paris at work transforming the Champ de Mars in 

preparation for the F6te. 


The French Revolution 

began picking and delving. Gaily dressed women 
with waving feathers in their hats and with the 
blush of rouge still on their cheeks wielded pick- 
axes or carried earth or pushed wheelbarrows 
and carts. Side by side with them worked abbes 
and curates. We can see them toiling thus in two 

L'tfiet Ju yir/ 

Plate 63. Another view of the people of Paris at work on the Champ de 


of our illustrations. 1 ' 2 In another, 3 purely imag- 
inary of course, the King himself has taken a hand. 
The Revolutions de Paris, with some exaggera- 
tion, speaks of 300,000 persons as taking part in 
these labours. All greeted each other, we are told, 
and talked together. The young people danced, 
sang, waved branches of trees, and otherwise dis- 
ported themselves in the neighbourhood. That 

1 Plate 62, p. 133. a Plate 63, p. above. * Plate 64, p. 135. 

LE Rol 

Plate 64. A fanciful representation of the King aitling in the 
work of transforming the Champ de Mars. 


136 The French Revolution 

they were all of great assistance in furthering the 
work cannot be maintained. On July 8th the 
municipal commissioners, by placard, were ungal- 
lant enough to beg that the citizens kindly remain 
at home. The request was not heeded, so far as 
we know. 

When the day's work or play was done, a great 
cortege formed, the men giving the women their 
arms. They marched through the streets of Paris 
to wave after wave of applause. Each day was a 
veritable civic fete in itself, and the air was rent 
with cries of " Long live the nation!", "Long live 
liberty!" 1 

A vital question for a time was what part should 
be conceded to the King in the approaching feast 
to Fraternity. It is curious to note the intense 
fear of conceding to him too much, of yielding 
some jot or tittle of the newly attained Liberty and 
Equality. Was he already head and chief of the 
Federation by virtue of his office? If not, should 
he be appointed by the nation to that position? 
There was a grave question of precedence too: 
Should the King sit on the right of the president 
of the National Assembly or should the president 
sit on the King's right? And what form of oath 
should Louis take, and in what capacity? As king 
of the French, or as first citizen? It was objected 
at the time that such discussions smacked too 
much of the etiquette, the haughty feebleness, the 
vain jealousies of courts. But the Journal de 
Paris 2 invoked the example of antiquity and 

1 Revolutions de Paris, July 3d-ioth. a July 10, 1790. 

Plate 65. A caricature of Mirabeau's brother called " Barrel 
Mirabeau" because of his love of drink. 


138 The French Revolution 

declared that magnificent spectacles displayed to 
men should serve to engrave forever on the inmost 
surface of their souls the ineffaceable impression of 
their duty to their country; and that, therefore, it 
was right to attach high importance to the forms 
of the solemnities. The disputes finally ended 
with ingenious compromises. The King was to be 
invited to be nominal head and commander of the 
troops sent as delegates by the different depart- 
ments, but was to appoint substitutes. He was to 
sit on the left of the president, which might be 
equally well construed to mean that he, the King, 
was the chief personage and had accorded the 
position on his right to the president. - Mirabeau's 
brother known to the satirists as Barrel- Mira- 
beau 1 because of his love of drink had asked dur- 
ing the discussion of this matter that the National 
Assembly determine by a decree whether the right 
or the left was the place of honour. He was 
answered with one of those clinching arguments 
that the French Revolutionist loved: God the 
Father had sat on the left of God the Son, so why 
should any one quarrel with that position? A 
place in the centre of the representatives of France 
was the most glorious that a king could occupy 
on earth. The form of oath was to be this: "I, 
citizen, King of the French, swear to the nation 
to employ all the power delegated to me by the 
constitutional law of the state in maintaining the 
constitution, and providing for the execution of 
the laws." 

1 Plate 65, p. 137. 

Fraternity 139 

There was an undercurrent of radicalism in the 
Paris press that even the approaching fte could 
not divert. There is much growling at the depu- 
ties because they had allowed the King so large an 
income as 25,000,000 francs and the Queen, in 
addition, 4,000,000 francs. Brutal insults are ut- 
tered against the Queen and sarcasms against the 
King because of the revelations in the book of 
pensions, the lime rouge. There are attempts to 
boost up the waning prestige of the Conquerors of 
the Bastile, sneers at the dangers of making an 
idol of Lafayette. 

It is the fate of revolutions to engender dema- 
gogues with crude ideas and enough brute force 
to ensure for them a wide hearing. Representative 
government was exactly a year old in France, yet 
here were men already raising the cry that no 
nation is really free when the will of its representa- 
tives takes the place of its own. 1 All sober- 
minded men know that there is no such thing as 
government by the whole people. Human nature 
is so made that one portion of a community always 
will guide the other; and men chosen with calm 
deliberateness after full discussion of their merits 
will in nine cases out of ten be safer guides than 
those who emerge as heroes of the moment from 
the troubled waters of popular excitement. The 
immediate future was to show how easily such 
heroes of the moment can come to be the intolerant 
heads of political factions, and end as fanatics and 
persecutors. This development was proceeding 

1 Revolutions de Paris, June 5-12, 1790. 

140 The French Revolution 

fast at the time of the Fete of Federation. Pru- 
dhomme with his Revolutions de Paris was soon to 
yield the palm to Marat and his Ami du Peuple. 
Yet, in general, there was delirious joy at the pros- 
pect of the Fete. There was a fierce outcry, 
indeed, at the announcement that only ticket- 
holders would be admitted. How unfraternal! But 
the municipality was soon made to see the error 
of its ways, and, at dead of night, sent men with 
drums to awaken the citizens and tell them that 
cards would not be needed. * 

The next day, the great Fte of Federation took 
place. The elements were unpropitious. The 
rain came down in torrents as the various process- 
ions formed at daybreak. "It was desolating," 
writes a deputy, 2 "but we chose the better part; 
everything can readily be made a source of joy if 
only joy abides in the soul. We determined to 
smile at our disaster." And this optimist deputy 
even took occasion to admire the effect of the 
umbrellas of the spectators which formed above 
their heads " a sort of roof of many-coloured silks. " 

The showers ceased, then began again. They 
seemed to have conspired to sadden the Fete but 
the glorious optimism continued. No one would 
acknowledge to himself that here was an evil omen 
for the progress of Fraternity in France. In the 
midst of the downpour, some of the military dele- 
gates started to dance. We have a representation 
of the scene in which the artist seems to have 

1 Revolutions de Paris, July ioth-i7th. 
a Journal de Paris, July I5th. 


142 The French Revolution 

seized this moment. 1 The Journal de Paris de- 
scribes how circles were formed, small and few at 
first, then multiplying surprisingly sometimes 
broadening out again until a very few of them 
covered the whole Champ de Mars, then contract- 
ing again into a greater number. One saw nothing 
but guards and grenadiers running and jumping 
hand in hand, while the air was filled with bits of 
song and cries of joy. " Never," writes a mem- 
ber of the National Assembly, "was there a spec- 
tacle at once more agreeable and more impressive 
than that of this army, at the moment of swearing 
to shed its last drop of blood for liberty, dancing 
around the altar of the fatherland under the gaze 
of the legislators/' 

One sees from this why an artist thought it 
worth while to include the dancing members in his 
representation of the scene. But it must be 
chronicled that some persons did not view the 
episode in the same light. Count Axel Fersen, a 
Swedish military attache and the especial friend 
of the Queen, is aghast at the want of discipline 
exhibited by men who called themselves soldiers. 
He had seen them run up to the altar, seize a 
priest and two monks, force caps and guns upon 
them, and then parade them round the field "sing- 
ing and dancing as savages do before eating a 
Christian." 2 

We need not dwell on the evolutions, the cheers, 
the vows, the frantic enthusiasm for Lafayette 
whose very legs were covered with kisses as he sat 

1 Plate 66, p. 141. 2 Klinckowstrom, p. 56. 

Plate 67. A representation of the typical "Conqueror 
of theBastile," 



The French Revolution 

on horseback; the celebration of mass on the altar 
of the fatherland by three hundred priests wear- 

Plate 68. A representation of the dancing on the ruins of the Bastile on the 
anniversary of the fall of the fortress. 

ing tri-coloured scarves ; the consecration of the 
banners of the eighty-three departments. 

The radicals were angry because the King had 
taken the oath from his seat in the gallery and not 
on the altar of the fatherland ; because white flags 
had waved among the tri-coloured ones; because 
the royal family had been too warmly applauded, 

Fraternity 145 

and last but not least, because the Conquerors of 
the Bastile had been ignored. We have an illus- 
tration of a "Conqueror" 1 which may have been 
intended to represent him in the costume he wore 
that day. It was a pity to have gone to such 
expense and then not have it appreciated! Yet 
we are told by the Revolutions de Paris that there 
was "not a word, not a single homage to the mem- 
ory of those who, on the corresponding day, per- 
ished under the walls of that horrible fortress!" 
The delegates from the eighty-three departments 
had not even asked to see the Conquerors. They 
had danced on the ruins of the Bastile (indeed one 
of our illustrations 2 shows them thus occupied) and 
had not said to themselves, "Last year nearly a 
hundred citizens perished here; they have wives 
and children, let us visit, embrace, and succor them." 
It was utterly in vain that the poor Conquerors 
tried to make the delegates from the provinces take 
an interest in them. They announced a memorial 
celebration, on the scene of their former glory, in 
honour of the glorious slain. Around an impromptu 
mausoleum they grouped all the widows, orphans, 
maimed, and wounded. They sent a special invita- 
tion to the delegates, yet few came at all and none 
officially. "The standards of the eighty-three 
departments were not there, " wrote the Revolutions 
de Paris, and it published a formal "Complaint to 
the departments on the conduct of the delegates to 
the federation." The latter, it declared, had 
missed seeing the Conquerors of the Bastile and 

1 Plate 67, p. 143. * Plate 68, p. 144. 

146 The French Revolution 

pressing to their bosoms the cripples, orphans, and 
widows. There was surely some conspiracy, some 
plan to discourage others from following the noble 
example of the Conquerors. 

The matter was not so unimportant as might at 
first appear. Is it not the first symptom of the 
cleft that was to yawn between the capital and the 
provinces? The ideals were different. The prov- 
inces cared much more for the larger aspects of 
the Revolution; the self-glorification, the narrow- 
ness, the violence of the Parisians disgusted them. 
The Parisians on the other hand were consistently 
to maintain the same attitude here adopted. It 
was they who had given liberty to France : all who 
believed otherwise must be in league with the 
aristocrats. We shall see later how this attitude 
paved the way for one of the most incredible, in- 
defensible, and cowardly acts of the Revolution 
the expulsion of the Girondist members from the 
lap of the National Convention. 



FOR a short time after the Fte of Federation 
things were seen in a rosy light. We have an 
allegorical representation 1 which shows the 
King, father of a free people, accepting from the 
hand of France the Constitution and the pact of 
federation. Abundance is pouring out her gifts, 
while Justice is settling matters with the speculator 
who has been fattening on the poor man's money. 
Above, in the full glare of the sunlight, the rays of 
which she reflects with her mirror, Truth is guid- 
ing the sentiments of a prince beloved by his people 
and is pointing to the portraits of his august pre- 
decessors. Fame with her trumpet announces to 
Europe the nation's liberty and the destruction of 

But meanwhile a brand of discord that was not 
to be extinguished for many years was being 

Between July 12 and August 24, 1790, were 
passed the laws that are known collectively as the 
civil constitution of the clergy. 2 They meant an 
entire transformation of that body, a rooting-up of 

1 Plate 69, p. 148. 3 The text will be found in Duvergier, i., 242. 


Plate 69. An allegorical representation showing the King accepting from the 
hand of France the pact of federation. 


Plate 70. A cartoon which shows the clergy asking in 
desperation, " What am I? " 


150 The French Revolution 

all its old traditions, the reduction of all its mem- 
bers to mere salaried officials of the state. The 
great question of the investiture, about which the 
Holy Roman Church and the Holy Roman Empire 
had once carried on a bitter struggle lasting fifty 
years, was now decided between France and Rome 
by a few strokes of the pen. New ecclesiastical 
districts were established corresponding to the new 
departments ; the election of bishops was to be 
wholly in the hands of the state, neither the Pope 
nor the King having any voice in the matter. 
Before consecration each bishop, and each cure or 
parish priest, was to take the civic oath; the salar- 
ies were to be fixed by law, which meant that, in 
general, they would be vastly reduced. 

The result of the passing of these laws by the 
National Assembly was utterly to disrupt the 
clergy. The allegiance to the Pope was not some- 
thing that could be put on or taken off like an old 
glove. And new candidates would have to accept 
their election from bodies composed, as often as not, 
of Jews and Protestants as well as Catholics. We 
have a cartoon 1 where a member of the clergy is 
asking himself in desperation, "What am I?" 

By November, 1790, 130 bishops and 46,000 
cures had refused to adhere to the new order of 
things and take the oath required of them. The 
Assembly then began a policy of reprisal and laid 
heavy penalties on disobedience: deprivation of 
office and prosecution as disturbers of the peace. 
About one third of the total number were cowed 

1 Plate 70, p. 149. 

Plate 71. A cartoon showing the proper treatment for an Abbe" 

who will not take the civic oath. The mother applauds 

the castigation. 

152 The French Revolution 

into acquiescence by such measures, but the rest 
prepared for an all the more bitter fight. 

Louis XVI himself did not dare to veto the civil 
constitution. In his last will and testament he 
was to express his regret for having given it his 
sanction. He wrote to the Pope, now, how scan- 
dalized he was at the measure and how he was sign- 
ing it with ' ' death in his heart. ' ' He would rather, 
he declared, be king of Metz than king of France. 

In a matter that aroused such fierce passions as 
this, it was only to be expected that the cartoonists 
should be active, though the productions of course 
are all one-sided. In one entitled "The return of 
Abbe M. to his father, "'we have the patriotic old 
man, with the cap of liberty on his head, soundly 
thrashing his cowering son, the abbe, who has 
refused to take the civic oath. From the window 
above, the mother looks on and claps her hands, 
with "Bravo! bravo! he has long been playing us 
dirty tricks!" 

We have an interesting double representation 2 
showing, on the one hand, the patriot-priest tak- 
ing the civic oath in good faith, and, on the other, 
the aristocrat-priest fleeing from the civic oath. 
In the first, the cure, with one hand on his heart 
and with a liberty cap in the other, is standing in 
front of the cross of Christ against which rests the 
civil constitution of the clergy. In the air float the 
bishop's crook and mitre that will one day be his 
because of his obedience. But the second picture 
shows the aristocrat-priest out on the cold, wind- 

1 Plate 71, p. 151. a Plates 72 and 73. 

U& , 

Plate 72. A representation of the beatitude of a priest who has 
taken the patriotic oath. A bishop's mitre is within his reach. 


154 The French Revolution 

swept, snow-covered hillside. He is reduced to a 
mere skeleton and he is asking himself, "Where 
shall I go?" To call a man an aristocrat in those 
days was to say the very worst of him that the 
mind of man could conceive. The Revolutions de 
Paris came out with an illustration of a most novel 
kind. 1 At first view it represents a member of the 
clergy, with the clerical tie and cross, and grinding 
his teeth with rage. Above is the inscription, " An 
aristocrat cursing the Revolution." But turning 
the page upside down and the reader can do it as 
well with our book as with the Revolutions de 
Paris you see nothing but a Simon-pure noble, 
with his titles of nobility for a collar and his privi- 
leges for a cravat, giving forth hearty guffaws of 
laughter. Above one reads: "An aristocrat trust- 
ing in counter-revolution." 

Mirabeau had not attempted to stand by the 
King openly in this matter of the civil constitution 
of the clergy. Indeed he made so violent an on- 
slaught on the latter that he was elected president 
of the Jacobin Club. 2 Yet in secret he continued 
his relations with the court, declaring that the more 
acts of folly the Assembly could be induced to com- 
mit the sooner there would come a revision of the 
whole Constitution. The King and Queen were 
meanwhile to increase their own popularity by vis- 
iting hospitals and asylums and seeking to improve 
the condition of the working classes. There was to 
be an extensive system of spies and secret agents to 
influence public opinion in favour of the monarchy, 

1 Plate 74, p. 157. 3 Stern, ii., 219 ft. 


' Cl\ I'|UO 

Plate 73. A representation of the awful fate in store for the priest 

who will not take the civic oath. The wind whistles through 

his bones. 


156 The French Revolution 

and a heavily subsidized press as well. 1 When we 
reflect that Mirabeau's programme included incit- 
ing the clergy not to take the civic oath, it is diffi- 
cult to see in him anything but a common traitor 
to his cause. 

What Mirabeau merely planned to do for the 
King was meanwhile being done on a large scale 
for the opposite party, the leaders of which were 
Robespierre, Petion and others. Their friends 
packed the galleries in the Assembly, while the 
Jacobin clubs disseminated their teachings through- 
out France. Those holding opposite opinions were 
hounded as execrable criminals. Whether or not 
the Revolutions de Paris was paid for its good 
offices is not clear, but it keeps up its attacks on the 
King and Queen like a gadfly. Louis is railed at 
for not visiting the ruins of the Bastile; for allow- 
ing the Assembly to come to him to pay its respects 
on New Year's Day instead of going to it as a 
"salaried functionary" ought to do; for not prop- 
erly educating the Dauphin. The latter should be 
given such books to read as Crimes of the Kings of 
France from the Time ofClovis down to Our Own Day. 2 

But the worst arraignment was one of the 
Queen early in October, I79O. 3 It is in the form 
of an "open letter to the wife of the King," for 
that is the only title they are willing to accord her. 
People have changed their minds about the Semi- 
ramises, Elizabeths, Maria Theresas, and the like, 
and want no more of their kind. What they do 
want is a good wife and mother. 

1 Stern, ii., 230 ff. * No. 81. 3 No. 65. 

Plate 74. A representation of an aristocrat priest cursing the Revolution. 
Turn the page upside down. 



The French Revolution 

The tone of the letter is cruel and cutting in the 
extreme. France once idolized her, now she has 
to sue for approbation. It was a good lesson she 

Plate 75. A caricature of Marie Antoinette as a vile harpy treading on the 


had been given on the 5th and 6th of October. She 
has been cherishing vile harpies, indulging in fan- 
tastic luxury, playing the Austrian, and diverting 
French funds to Austrian uses. She doubtless still 
holds in her hands the threads of a plot to remove 
the King to Marseilles, Metz, or Rouen. 



Marie Antoinette, probably at this period, is 
herself represented by a cartoonist as a vile 
harpy. 1 She is tearing with her great claws at the 

Plate 76. A caricature of Louis XVI as a horned pig. 

Rights of Man and the Constitution of France. 

It must be said in extenuation of such attacks 
that Marie Antoinette actually was engaged in a 
plot to remove Louis XVI from Paris at the mom- 
ent when the "open letter" in the Revolutions de 

1 Plate 75, p. 158. 


The French Revolution 

Paris appeared. Count Louis de Bouille who was 
concerned in the flight to Varennes wrote later in 
connection with that affair: "It was in the month 

Plate 77. A caricature of Marie Antoinette as an Austrian pantheress. 

of October, 1790, when the King and Queen adopted 
the project of delivering themselves from slavery. " 
Indeed Marie Antoinette played more than a 
passive part. " It was at her desire," writes Count 
Bouille, "that Count Fersen, who had access to the 

; fo Francois crvesv/tt pue A: fltyf 

virus i/uf 

Plate 78* A cartcxin wliicli shows the devil inciting Pope Pius VI to sign 

the bull condemning the civil constitution of the clergy. 

162 The French Revolution 

King, caused the project for his deliverance to be 
laid before him." 1 

The hostility against the King and Queen goes 
on increasing. We have two caricatures 2 that we 
can date only by conjecture but that may well 
be ascribed to this time. The court's attitude 
towards the refractory priests, whom it undoubt- 
edly encouraged in secret, had much to do with the 
matter. The horns on the head of the pig that 
represents Louis XVI are understandable in the 
light of a passage from the correspondence of 
Stael -Holstein, the Swedish ambassador 3 : 

It is much to be feared that there will soon be a new scene 
of horror; De la Motte is here with his wife [the De la 
Mottes of diamond necklace fame!] and there seems to be 
a demand that the Assembly re-try the case and that she 
[Madame de la Motte] appear before the bar. They intend 
to employ against the Queen every means that the blackest 
of imaginations could invent. It is believed that it will soon 
be a question of divorce proceedings and that the motion 
conceals the darkest designs. 

And again, a fortnight later: " There are horribly 
black machinations against the Queen. It is she 
whom the enrages fear and mean to ruin because 
they regard her as their implacable enemy, the only 
one who can rally a party around her." Lord 
Gower, too, the English ambassador, speaks of an 
impending crisis due largely to "the fanaticism of 
liberty and democratic rage." 4 

1 Memoires sur V affaire de Varennes, p. 18. 2 Plates 76 and 77. 

a Pp. 177-178. The month is October. 
* Gower's Despatches, p. 43. 


Plate 79. A cartoon showing the papal bull, together with all the different 

journals which favoured the aristocratic party, being consigned 

to the flames. 


1 64 The French Revolution 

The civil constitution of the clergy, which had 
been condemned by a bull of the Pope (we have a 
caricature 1 where the devil is inciting Pius VI to 
sign it and another 2 where the bull is being burnt), 
had called forth rebellion in Brittany, in Nimes, in 
Montauban, and in various other places. To 
Nancy, where the soldiers had revolted against 
their officers, Bouille was despatched with an 
army, and the fact that blood was shed in restoring 
order engendered extreme bitterness. In Decem- 
ber, there were disturbances at Lyons, Strasburg, 
and Metz. In Paris itself, there were scenes of 
disorder. During a performance of Iphigenie in 
the Opera-House, the air Celebrons notre reine was 
hissed, and the singers were forced to trample on a 
wreath that had been thrown them by way of 
approval. 3 Early in February there was a regular 
panic because three hundred and sixty horses had 
been found standing in stables in Versailles ; but it 
was discovered that they had been there for months 
ana for legitimate purposes. 4 Soon afterwards the 
Assembly made the Queen's old friends the Poli- 
gnacs disgorge 800,000 francs and an estate bought 
with money given them by the King. 5 Next, the 
departure of the King's aged aunts for Rome 
threw all France into a ferment. No one cared 
for the old ladies themselves disagreeable, med- 
dlesome personalities for whom no one has a good 
word to say. But were they not testing the 
patience of the people? And might they not be 

1 Plate 78, p. 161. 2 Plate, p. 79163. * Stael-Holstein, 183. 

<Gower, 55. s Ib., 62. 


i66 The French Revolution 

useful as hostages? 1 A mob of fishwives stopped 
them on their journey at Arnay-le-Duc, but Mira- 
beau obtained a decree in the Assembly permitting 
them to continue their journey. The price of gold 
went up because of the amount they were supposed 
to be carrying with them, while, as a result of the 
agitation in the matter, a crowd of Parisian women 
went to the Luxembourg to see if Monsieur was safe, 
and the latter consented to walk in their company 
all the way to the Tuileries. 2 

The air was thick with storm-clouds. February 
28th is known in French history as "the day of 
daggers." We have a representation of it 3 that 
almost rises to the height of the symbolical so 
greatly is it exaggerated. For several days the 
mob had been surrounding the Tuileries because, 
it was reported, the King was having that palace 
joined by a subterranean passage to the distant 
fortress of Vincennes. Friends of the King had 
gone secretly armed to his assistance, but one of 
them had inadvertently dropped a hunting knife. 
All visitors were then searched by the National 
Guards and a number of pistols and daggers were 
found. The King commanded their immediate 
surrender. 4 Lafayette, meanwhile, in the effort 
to keep order at Vincennes, had fired on the 
people, and in consequence had fallen from his 
niche as an idol. Mirabeau, too, who expressed 
his indignation at the searching of the King's visi- 
tors, was bitterly attacked at the Jacobin Club and, 

1 Revolutions de Paris, No. 85. 2 Gower, 59-64. 

a Plate 80, p. 165. < Gower, 66-7. 

Flight 167 

if Camille Desmoulins can be believed, was made 
to sweat drops of agony and was left more dead 
than alive. A fictitious account was published of 
the sums he had received for passing laws against 
the people. 

The episode of the daggers was of course ex- 
ploited to the utmost by the King's enemies. We 
have a cartoon entitled "The disarming of the 
good nobility" 1 and purporting to represent the 
" exact form of the infamous poniards wielded by 
those who had their ears boxed, or were arrested or 
driven away from the Tuileries by the National 
Guards on the 28th of February, 1791." On the 
ugly blade was an inscription declaring that it had 
been forged by aristocrats and that the monarchists 
had been led astray by the refractory priests. 

In March, the Revolutions de Paris 2 published a 
decree demanding a republic, which, it said, had 
emanated from the eighty-three departments. It 
has no mercy any longer for Louis XVI. "It is 
absurd and revolting," it declared, "to have to 
recognize as supreme head an individual with no 
other claim to the place than that he took the 
trouble to be born." This was not original, for 
Beaumarchais, in his Figaro, had applied the same 
words to the nobles. The Revolutions went on to 
say that "the throne petrifies the most human of 
hearts from the moment that one is seated upon 
it, " and that " a crown compresses and narrows the 
best organized brain." 

It was this juncture that Mirabeau chose for 

1 Plate 81, p. 168. : X<>. 90. 

Plate 81. What purports to be " the exact form of the infamous 

poniards wielded by those who had their ears boxed, or were 

arrested or driven away from the Tuileries by the 

National Guards on the 28th of 

February, 1791." 





17 The French Revolution 

dying. 1 In spite of the attacks on him at the 
Jacobin Club, he was still enormously popular. 
Over and above all the eulogies that were pub- 
lished at the time, there are still in the National 
Archives one hundred and fifty manuscripts con- 
cerning his death. He had the fullest sense of his 
own importance to the last, remarking as he lay 
on his bed and heard the roar of cannon, "Is that 
for the funeral of Achilles?" 2 He realized the 
hold that he had on the people and he said of his 
opponent at the Jacobins', Lameth, who had re- 
fused to be one of a deputation to enquire about 
his condition: "I knew he was clumsy but never 
thought him quite so stupid!" 3 

The Revolutions de Paris did not dare to speak 
disparagingly of him. There is merely a hint that 
Mirabeau never did anything otherwise than oppor- 
tunely and that his end seemed to furnish new 
proof of this assertion. He had died when at the 
apex of his glory. 

It is doubtful if Paris had ever seen such a 
funeral. The church of St. Genevieve, just near- 
ing completion, was turned into a Pantheon with 
the inscription over the portico: " A grateful coun- 
try to her great men." A contemporary print 4 
shows us the Pantheon before the great city had 
closed up around it. All France followed in the 
procession that took Mirabeau to his last rest. 
The ashes of Rousseau and of Voltaire were soon to 
be brought to keep him company. Of all his acts, 

1 April 2, 1791. 3 Stern, ii., 303. 3 Gower, 78. 

4 Plate 82, p. 169. 

Plate 83. A portrait of Mirabeau, issued at the time of his 

death, which recalls the episode of June 23, 1789, when 

he defied the Master of Ceremonies of the King. 


172 The French Revolution 

if we can judge by a memorial portrait 1 published 
in connection with the decree according him the 
honours reserved for the country's great men, the 
one that had made the deepest impression was his 
impassioned address to the King's master of cere- 
monies on June 23, 1789: "Go tell those who sent 
you that we are here by the will of the people and 
shall yield only to the force of bayonets ! ' ' We see 
him in front of the Temple of Liberty motioning 
back the royal emissary, while the bayonets are 
already pointed in his direction. 

"The ministers and the court are in conster- 
nation," writes the Swedish ambassador 2 in con- 
nection with Mirabeau's death; "the strength of 
what they flattered themselves was their party 
rested entirely on the prodigious talents of this 
man, who, by thought, speech, and action in- 
fluenced all events . ' ' The general disorder alarmed 
the court greatly, and, indeed, with cause. Lord 
Gower 3 writes that there is a set of men whose 
object is the total annihilation of the monarchy 
however limited. As the heads of this party, he 
designates Robespierre, Petion, Buzot, and Prieur. 
He tells in the same breath how the fish wives have 
given the grey nuns a regular whipping because 
they had heard mass celebrated by non-juring 

But was not this exactly what the King and 
Queen were doing? They, too, needed chastening 
by the mob. When, on April i8th, Louis XVI and 
Marie Antoinette prepared to drive with their 

1 Plate 83, p. 171. a Stael-Holstein, 198. * Despatches, 79. 

Flight 173 

family to St. Cloud, it was believed, and probably 
rightly, that their object was to celebrate the 
Easter service with priests of their own choice. 
Both were sincerely religious according to their 

Doubtless many of the same fishwives who had 
flagellated the grey nuns were among the crowd 
that entered the courtyard of the Tuileries and 
induced the National Guards to refuse to open the 
gates for the royal family to pass out. The latter 
were in a position that was ludicrous because of 
their helplessness. Neither pleading nor com- 
manding was of any avail. Lafayette, as com- 
mander of the National Guards, would have used 
force had the King given his consent; but Louis 
was not willing to go to such lengths. Insulted 
and laughed at, they sat there for more than two 
hours. The King was told that he was unfit to 
reign, that he was paid too much, that he was a 
big pig. What was there to do? It was suggested 
to Bailly to proclaim martial law, but he refused. 
The King and Queen gave up the struggle. Angry, 
deeply humiliated, they alighted and re-entered the 
palace. Their last scruples were gone. Fersen 1 
tells us that they are now determined to go to any 
length of deception in order to inspire confidence 
in the canaille, and then escape from Paris. They 
will pretend to accept the Revolution absolutely. 

The King did, indeed, make a formal protest 
in the Assembly against the indignities to which he 
had been subjected; but the Assembly itself was 

i., 97- 

174 The French Revolution 

in a ludicrous state of indecision. Was it their 
inherited political inexperience or was it pure col- 
lective pusillanimity that subjected each of these 
legislative bodies in turn to the least change in 
popular opinion? No king was ever more in the 
thrall of cabinet advisers than were these great 
bodies of men at the mercy of those who crowded 
around the doors or thronged the spectators' 
benches. As Louis entered the hall, now, the 
president advanced some distance to meet him, 
then suddenly bethinking himself that he was 
doing too much honour to a mere functionary of 
the people, turned and scurried back to his place. 
When the King ended his speech asking the Assem- 
bly to aid him in showing the nation that he was 
free, the members were at a loss to know whether 
or not to applaud. 1 

The one idea, the one longing now, was to 
escape from Paris. The King had, unfortunately 
very few friends among any class of the population, 
a fact of which he himself seems to have been ignor- 
ant. Even from the camp of the emigres, the 
Marquise de Bombelles 2 writes of her sovereign: 
"You cannot imagine to what an extent he is 
despised abroad and what his nearest relatives 
say of him/' 

A faithful follower, however, was the Queen's 
old friend, Count Axel Fersen. Through him, Louis 
and Marie Antoinette hoped to win the aid of the 
Swedish king. But what are we to think when 
we find them willing to dismember France in order 

1 Debats et Decrets, April 19, 1791. * Correspondence, 130. 

Flight 175 

to procure this assistance? Fersen is to tell his 
king that the French sovereigns are inclined to 
offer "advantages or reasonable sacrifices" if they 
can secure the neutrality of England, and that he 
thinks they would also accord Sweden " advantages 
proportionate to the extent and importance of the 
aid rendered." r They still, then, regard the soil 
of France as their own property, but are ready to 
barter a part of it away! The King waits anx- 
iously to see what "advantages or sacrifices" the 
powers will demand ; his idea is not to offer them 
but to "accord them if it becomes absolutely neces- 
sary " ; there is talk of the part or the whole of "the 

Fersen himself was something more than the 
mere chivalrous knight of a fair queen in distress. 
He is a plotter on no mean scale. We find him 
seriously discussing with Breteuil, Louis's former 
minister, a plan for throwing France into bank- 
ruptcy which, however, "the King thinks should 
be only partial. " 2 The clergy are to recover their 
estates but burdened with the nine hundred mil- 
lion assignats already issued. Nine hundred mil- 
lion? The King thinks it would be better to say 
one billion, then the court will have something upon 
which to fall back! 

Idle dreams! The first thing to do was to get 
away from Paris. But there were difficulties. 
Austria, for instance, delayed sending troops. Yet 
Breteuil considered the Emperor the person "most 
authorized to punish the insults heaped on the 

1 Fersen, i., 90-97. ' I., 123, 128. 

176 The French Revolution 

daughter of the Caesars, and the only sovereign who 
could and should give the impulsion to all the rest. " 
Again and again the day was set for the escape, but 
there was always some reason for postponement. 
This or that person was suspected but would soon 
be out of the way. It seemed best to wait finally 
until the Assembly should have paid the amount 
due on the King's salary a sordid consideration, 
for Louis had to humour the Assembly and lull it 
into security or run the risk of losing his money. 

The day finally set for the great venture was the 
20th of June. General Bouille had mapped out the 
route: through Chalons, Montmirail, St. Mene- 
hould, Varennes, and then to the strong fortress of 
Montmedy on the border. The King would lodge 
not in the fortress itself but in the neighbouring 
chateau of Thonelle. After Chalons, Bouille would 
have detachments of soldiers waiting at points 
along the route so that rescue would be almost 
impossible. We have evidence to show that 
Bouille himself did not know whether or not 
the King's ultimate intention was to leave the 
country. I 

How was the escape to be made when the palace 
of the Tuileries had been double-sentried because 
it was realized that flight might be attempted? 
And Lafayette was there, alert, with his National 
Guards. That very night he and Bailly had come 
to attend the King's retiring and remained unusu- 
ally late. After they had taken their departure, 
the door of the King's apartment was locked and 

1 Fersen, i., 126. 

Flight 177 

the key given to a sentinel who placed it under his 
mattress which was dragged in front of the door. 
Surely such precautions were sufficient ! 

But no! Fersen and the Queen had been very 
adroit and had begun their preparations days 
before. Between the royal apartments and a rear 
entrance to the palace was the apartment formerly 
used by the Due de Villequier who had emigrated 
after the Day of Daggers. On the pretext of 
changing a partition, carpenters had been sum- 
moned who secretly cut a door through to one of 
the disused rooms. 1 

There is no need to follow the movements in 
detail. The Queen took the lead, first descending 
with her children and their governess and seeing 
them into a carriage, driven by Fersen, which 
moved off to a short distance; then the Queen 
returned, not to leave until the King and Madame 
Elizabeth were ready to go with her. In the 
King's very bedchamber an attendant was wont 
to sleep, but Louis, after having retired and closed 
the curtains of his bed, seized a moment when the 
attendant was out of the room to escape, redraw 
the curtains, and pass into another room where a 
disguise was laid ready for him to assume. 

Fersen was waiting at the corner of the Rue de 
1'Echelle and the Place du Petit-Carrousel. The 
preparations had taken longer than he had ex- 
pected, and it was growing late. To avoid suspi- 
cion, the members of the party came up separately, 
the Queen, for some reason, appearing only after 

1 Fournier, Varennes, p. 76. 

178 The French Revolution 

a considerable time. She had passed so near to 
Lafayette's carriage that she could have touched 
it. The King, for his part, had walked close to a 
sentinel, but had disarmed suspicion by stopping 
unconcernedly and bending down as if to tie his 
shoe-string. He was dressed as a servant, as was 
also the Queen. Fersen had procured them a pass- 
port as the attendants of a great Russian lady, 
Madame de Korff, who was represented by the 
governess, Madame de Tourzel. The Dauphin 
was disguised as a girl, and he and his sister 
figured as Madame de Korff 's children. 1 

It was in Madame de Korff's name, too, that 
Fersen had caused to be constructed a comfortable 
travelling-coach that was waiting for the party at 
the Porte St. Martin. Opinions, even of eye-wit- 
nesses, differ as to whether or not there was any- 
thing unusual in its appearance. 2 That it would 
have been wiser to go in separate vehicles is un- 
doubted. Monsieur and Monsieur's wife escaped 
without difficulty that same night in common 
fiacres. But Marie Antoinette had positively 
refused to divide her little party. 

A greater disadvantage even than the size and 
appearance of the coach was the fact that, after 
the first halting- place, Bondy, where Fersen quitted 
them, there was no cool, clear-headed person left 
with the fugitives. Bouille had arranged that one 
of his officers, D'Agoult, should ride in the coach; 

1 Fournier, 1 14 ff. 

"Bouille (Comte Louis de), 94, speaks of the lourdeur of the coach 
and of its forme singuliere. 

Flight 179 

but Madame de Tourzel would have had to cede 
her place, and this, that "female Cerberus," as the 
Revolutions de Paris once called her, utterly refused 
to do. The etiquette of the court of France 
required her to remain with the children! 1 Eti- 
quette of the court of France! The question was 
whether or not there should ever again be a court of 
France. Louis XVI could not be firm even with 
a Madame de Tourzel! The actual progress of 
the flight with the questions incidental to it 2 does 
not concern us here so much as its effect on public 
opinion in Paris. 

The flight was discovered at daybreak and soon 
the cry spread, "The King is gone!" Crowds 
rushed into the Tuileries and wreaked their venge- 
ance on inanimate objects. The Queen's hat, 
we are told, was trampled under foot; her bed was 
taken possession of by a vendor of cherries; the 
King's portrait was mocked at and insulted. 
Meanwhile the city gates were closed, the tocsin 
or alarm bell was rung, cannon were fired at ten- 
minute intervals so as to spread the news and "tell 
the executive power to return to his post." 3 

1 Bouille" (Comte Louis de), 92-93. 

a Oscar Browning in "The Flight to Varennes and Other Essays" 
berates Carlyle for mistaking the distance travelled, and then pro- 
ceeds to mistake it himself. It was not sixty-nine miles, nor yet 150 
miles: it was about 128 miles. In reducing leagues to miles, Browning 
must have overlooked the difference between the common league, or 
lieue commune, and the posting league, or lieue de paste. The former 
equals 2.76 miles, the latter 2.422 miles. Now Bouille* says expressly 
in connection with his mapping-out of the route that he is calculating 
in posting leagues. See his letter in Fersen, i., 122. 

i The FeuiUe Villageoise, the Debate et Decrets, and the Revolutions de 
Paris all give vivid accounts of these happenings. 

i8o The French Revolution 

Couriers were despatched to every department to 
urge the arrest of persons trying to leave France. 
The Assembly itself assumed the executive power, 
giving its commands to the ministers as well as to 
the municipal authorities, and appropriating a 
large sum of money, twenty-eight millions, from 
the Treasury. As Abbe Gregoire remarked, "If 
the heavens should fall, they would strike men who 
were dauntless." All necessary measures taken, 
the Assembly passed calmly to the order of the day, 
and "a stranger would scarcely have suspected the 
fatal event that threatened France with a new 
revolution. " The shops opened, Paris went about 
its business as usual. "No one would have 
thought he was looking on a nation without a 
head." 1 

Louis .XVI had left a declaration; it may still 
be read in the Archives. As the result of all his 
efforts and all his sacrifices, he had seen religion 
profaned, the throne debased, crime unpunished. 
He protests against all the decrees he has been 
forced to sanction, complains of the sins com- 
mitted against him that Necker had been more 
applauded than himself; that the Tuileries is an 
uncomfortable place of residence; that twenty-five 
million a year is not sufficient ; that his queen was 
in danger on October 6th and his guards were mas- 
sacred; that violence had been employed against 
him on February 28th and on April i8th; that 
he has been shorn of his prerogatives; that the 
Jacobin Club dominates everything. 

1 Feuille Villageoise. 

Flight 181 

The Assembly received all this with equanimity, 
and took a calm and lofty attitude. It vowed to 
defend the country against internal as well as 
external enemies and to die rather than suffer the 
invasion of French territory by foreign troops. 
That, of course, was the danger that was most 
imminent. An address was sent to the provinces 
declaring that conspirators and slaves would now 
learn to know the intrepidity of the founders of 
French liberty. 1 

The session had just ended and all were in this 
exalted mood when, from without, growing louder 
and louder, was heard the roar of a great disturb- 
ance. There were shouts and bursts of applause, 
and above it all could soon be distinguished the 
words, "The King is taken!" A surgeon from 
Varennes who had been riding post-haste since two 
o'clock in the morning then presented himself 
before the Assembly. He reported how, late at 
night, 2 a carriage with couriers and some hussars 
had entered Varennes; how the postmaster of St. 
Menehould had followed and unfolded his sus- 
picions; how the coach had been stopped at the 
point of the pistol and the travellers forced to 
alight ; how, within an hour, four thousand National 
Guards had assembled and the whole countryside 
had been aroused. The Assembly thereupon de- 
spatched deputies Petion, Barnave, and Latour- 
Maubourg to escort the fugitives back to the 

Then the legislators relaxed. A military band 

1 Dtbats et Dtcrcts, June 22d. * In reality it was not so late. 

1 82 

The French Revolution 

was called in and played airs which "mingled an air 
of gaiety with profounder sentiments. " And what 
was the air that won the most applause? None 
other than that old vulgar popular song that the 
bandmaster had refused to play at the banquet 
given in Versailles to the regiment of Flanders, 
"Where is one better off than in the bosom of one's 

Plate 84. A facsimile of an assignat with the portrait of Louis XVI. This 

one purports to have been issued the day before the flight, but is 

officially stamped a forgery. 

family ?" At last, worn out by their long vigils, 
the deputies, as well as a number of National 
Guards, stretched themselves out on the hard 
benches and sought rest in slumber. But in one 
of them at least there still lingered the spirit of fun. 
The sound of a bell was heard and the deputies 
started up in alarm. It was a practical joke on the 
part of the funny deputy. But we have it on the 
assurance of the Debats et Decrets that " all laughed 
at the little pleasantry." It was another proof 

Flight 183 

that "everything can readily be made a source of 
joy if only joy abides in the soul." 1 

On June 24th, the postmaster of St. Menehould 
appeared and told his tale. He also provoked the 
members to merriment. He told how he had 
recognised the King from his likeness on an assig- 
nat 2 and the Queen from having seen her before; 
how he and a certain Guillaume had chased them 
by short cuts to Varennes and had barred the 
route by overturning an ox-cart ; how, after the ar- 
rest, hussars had ridden up and demanded the 
King's release, but how cannon had been called for 
and so placed that the hussars would be between 
two fires. "They still insisted, and when they 
threatened to shoot at us I called, 'Cannoneers, 
to your places, quick-match in hand!' I have the 
honour to observe to you, sirs, that there was 
nothing in the cannon!" "Applause," writes the 
Debats et Decrets, "had frequently interrupted 
the orator; here bursts of laughter mingled with 
the applause." 

The coach had reached Chalons in safety, but 
far behind the scheduled time. From that time 
on there had been one long series of blunders and 
misunderstandings. Choiseul, commanding the 
detachment at Pont de Sommevelle, had despaired 
of the game too soon and sent word which flew 
from post to post that the royal party was no 
longer to be expected. In Varennes itself there 
might easily have been a rescue but for further mis- 
understandings. A body of dragoons heard a 

1 See p. 140. * Plate 84, p. 182. 

1 84 

The French Revolution 

distant disturbance without suspecting that it was 
caused by the stopping of the King's coach. 1 

We have a representation of the return from 
Varennes 2 which is difficult to classify. The plight 

Plate 85. A representation of the return from Varennes of the royal 
family under escort of National Guards. 

of the royal family was so wretched that it could 
scarcely have been exaggerated. The journey 
took three days and the whole route was lined with 
spectators for the most part hostile. Was it from 
a fellow-feeling for their condition that Louis as he 
passed the jail of St. Menehould handed a purse 
of gold to the mayor for the benefit of the prison- 
ers? At Chalons there was some show of loyalty 

1 Carlyle follows Choiseul's narrative and that of the elder Bouille 
both of whom, of course, try to extenuate their own conduct. He seems 
to have been ignorant of the younger Bound's narrative. 

2 Plate 85, above. 

Flight 185 

but not the least attempt at rescue. Elsewhere 
there were threats of violence, shaking of fists, and 
attempts to spit in the King's face. It seemed at 
one time as though the royal pair would never 
reach Paris alive. 1 

On the Marne, near Port a Binson, the commis- 
sioners from the National Assembly met the cap- 
tives. Barnave took his place in the coach between 
the King and Queen ; Petion sat between Madame 
de Tourzel and Madame Elizabeth. Petion has 
left an extraordinary account in his own hand- 
writing of the remainder of the journey. He 
describes the conversation as " cackling," and has 
the vanity to think that Madame Elizabeth, one 
of the few real saints of the Revolution, has suc- 
cumbed to a passion for him and has been unable 
to refrain from little affectionate pressures of the 
arms. Barnave, on the other hand, really does 
seem to have been affected by the proximity of 
Marie Antoinette, and a little later made such 
efforts on her behalf that he was bitterly satirized 
as a double-faced man. 2 

What a scene was that entry into Paris! The 
whole city had come out to the Champs Elyses 
to meet its humiliated royal family. The balcon- 
ies, the roofs of the houses, even the very trees 
swarmed with people. The cortege entered by the 
Porte Chaillot, and then passed down the Champs 
Elys6es to the Place Louis Quinze and the Tuiler- 
ies. 3 There were no less than thirty thousand 

1 Lenfttre's Drame de Varennes gives many small details. 

a Plate 86, p. 187. J Gower, 99. 

1 86 The French Revolution 

National Guards in line and they had with them 
sixteen cannon. The coach was followed by car- 
riages containing the heroes of the day Maugin, 
who had brought the first news of the capture, and 
Drouet and Guillaume. Placards on the walls 
had warned the people under heavy penalties 
neither to applaud nor to insult the captives, and 
the silence was broken only by occasional cries of 
' ' Petion ! " , " Barnave ! " as they passed along. No 
hats were raised to the King or Queen. 

The irrepressible gamins of Paris, indeed, caused 
smiles that were not of disapproval when it was 
found that they had climbed up on the great eques- 
trian statue of Louis XV, had first bandaged the 
statue's eyes, then pretended, as the cortege was 
passing, to wipe away the tears the old King must 
be supposed to be weeping at the sight of his 
humiliated grandson. 1 On the walls were witty 
placards too, such as "Lost, a King and Queen. 
A reward is offered for not finding them. " 2 

Just before reaching the Tuileries, there was a 
disturbance, which Petion declares threatened to 
become a massacre. But he relates how majestic- 
ally he himself quelled it, how he "commanded 
with an authority that imposed," and how even 
the mere mention of his name worked like a charm. 

A deputation from the Assembly received the 
King at the palace. "I promise never to do it 
again!" he is said to have remarked to them. He 
wished the deputation to thank the Assembly and 
to explain that he had gone away quite against his 

1 Revolutions de Paris, No. 103. 3 Feuitte Villageoise, June 3Oth. 

Plate 86. Barnave represented as a double-faced man 

because of his friendliness to the King and Queen 

after the flight to Varennes. 


1 88 The French Revolution 

own will. He was later to make other and more 
exhaustive explanations. 

By a decree of the Assembly, 1 the King, the 
Queen, and the Dauphin were each to have a 
special guard, and all lesser persons concerned in 
the flight were to be regularly imprisoned. Fer- 
sen, indeed, after leaving the party at Bondy, had 
escaped across the frontier. 

The Queen had to suffer the humiliation of being 
allowed no privacy whatever 2 ; but she was still 
hopeful and courageous. She managed to de- 
spatch a letter to Fersen which was later found 
among his effects. 3 

I exist. How anxious I have been about you and how 
I pity you for all you suffer in having no news from us! 
Heaven grant that this reach you! Do not write me. It 
would be too great a risk for us. And above all do not 
come back under any consideration. It is known that you 
got us away from here; if you were to appear all would be 
lost. We are guarded day and night. That is a matter of 
indifference to me. Be reassured, nothing will be done to 
me. The Assembly means to deal gently with us. Adieu. 
I shall not be able to write to you again. 

Bouille meanwhile had hurled a terrific defiance 
at the Assembly, speaking of "all the crimes you 
have committed or sanctioned during these two 
years," and of "the anarchy of which you have 
made a regular system. " He declares that if a 
hair of the head of the King or Queen is injured, 
he will lead the foreign armies against Paris and 
annihilate it utterly. 

1 Duvergier, iii., 64. Revolutions de Paris, No. 103- 

3 Fersen, i., 152. 



We have a satirical representation 1 on the 
theme of the penance the royal pair are presumed 
to have performed after the return from their ill- 
starred expedition. They are kneeling at an altar 
which is consecrated to the law and the nation. In 

LJtlt > ' 

Plate 87. A satire on the failure of the attempted flight to Varennes. The 

King is pleading for mercy, the Queen is beating her breast and crying 

"My fault, all my fault!" 

front of it is a cock, emblem of the French vigilance 
that has not permitted them to make good their 
escape. Behind Louis are bottles, which must 
mean to imply that he drinks. With clasped hands 
the King is supplicating, "Have mercy on me, oh 
my people, according to thy great mercy." But 
the Queen is beating her breast and shrieking, " My 
fault! My fault! All my fault! 11 

1 Plate 87, above. 



TE flight of her hereditary monarch was a 
more serious matter to France than would 
at first appear. To be sure, Louis XVI was 
not the kind of man with whom it would have been 
difficult to dispense. But his crossing the frontier 
would have meant civil war, and in his parting 
declaration he had scorned the Constitution on 
which the representatives had been at work for 
two years. That Constitution had taken ac- 
count of him, the King, at every turn. It would 
therefore be worthless in his absence. 

Not that there was anything in the Constitution 
to prevent a simple change of residence. It would 
have been wise of Louis to have followed Mira- 
beau's advice and gone openly and with head high 
to Fontainebleau or some other neighbouring 
town. But this slipping away in the night leaving 
none who could serve as hostage, this being caught 
and brought back like naughty truants, these lame 
attempts at explanation: was there any chance 
that the wound thus caused should ever really heal? 

Yet Barnave pleaded eloquently 1 that all be 

1 Point du Jour, No. 737: July I7th. 


Probation 191 

forgotten and forgiven, that the Revolution stop 
right there: "Enough that we have destroyed 
what needed destruction. A continuance may 
sweep away all the good you have accomplished." 

The battle raged in the Assembly and also in 
the Jacobin Club with fierce intensity. Some 
maintained that by the terms of the Constitution 
the King's person was inviolable and that therefore 
he was immune from any consequences. "So," 
answered Petion, "a king may slaughter men like 
sheep, may devastate his country with fire and 
flame, may be a Caligula, a Nero and all for 
the greater glory of God and happiness of man! 
But we must respect his bloody and atrocious in- 
clinations! " I Vadier hurled the epithet at Louis 
of "crowned brigand." 

The flight had brought the idea of a republic 
very much into prominence. For more than two 
months France managed very well without her 
hereditary monarch. But few were ready to face 
a complete change in the form of government. 
Even Robespierre, the leaden-coloured deputy 
from Arras who was no friend of kings, declared 
that he feared the reign of faction perhaps he 
saw that his own faction as yet had no chance of 

It was finally determined to complete the Con- 
stitution, revise some of its clauses, and then say 
to Louis XVI, " Will you accept this document and 
loyally execute its provisions, or will you cease to 
be our king?" 

1 Point du Jour, July 14, 1791. 

The French Revolution 

Passions ran too high indeed for the matter to 
be so peacefully settled. A petition opposing this 
solution of it was drawn up in the Jacobin Club and 
laid on the altar of the fatherland for all to sign. 
It recounted the crimes of the King and called for 
a new executive power. On July iyth there was 
rioting around the very altar where a year before 
there had been such rejoicings in the name of Fra- 
ternity. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity all were 
to end in the same way : Liberty in worse despotism 
than ever before; Equality in the uppermost being 
crushed under the heel of the nethermost ; Fratern- 
ity in the proclaiming of martial law and the firing 
on the mob by the National Guards. Martial law 
prevailed for the moment 1 but the memory of a 
mob is long, as Mayor Bailly, he who had ordered 
the red flag to be unfurled, was later to experience. 

Marat declared that this episode of the Champ 
de Mars had caused an " infernal gulf" to yawn 
between the bourgeoisie [as represented by the Na- 
tional Guards] and the democrats [as represented 
by himself and his followers]. The Jacobin Club 
was rent asunder and a part split off into the more 
moderate club of the Feuillants. But for the 
most part the affiliated societies in the country 
districts remained loyal to the mother club. 

We have a representation of the affair on the 
Champ de Mars which cannot have been greatly 
exaggerated. 2 On the whole, the party that had 
stood for order was for the moment high in the 

1 Report of the Municipality, Point du Jour, July lyth. See also 
Aulard, Histoire Politique, 148. 2 Plate 88, p. 193. 


194 The French Revolution 

ascendant, and it was a sad time for demagogues 
like Marat, Robespierre, and Danton. This atti- 
tude is reflected in the conservative manner in 
which the revision of the Constitution was carried 
to its completion. One exception, indeed, was 
the abandoning of the requirement that a man to 
be eligible for the position of deputy must be a 
taxpayer to the amount at least of a mark of silver. 

We have a caricature that must have been 
issued during the debates on this latter subject 
and that is entitled "The future legislator." 1 
The face is covered with a mask of silver that 
makes all men look as much alike as though they 
were door-knockers. On the margin are the 
words: "Tell me yourself: in the age in which we 
live, is it by weight, forsooth, that men are mea- 
sured ? " And below are rhymes to the same effect. 
Brains do not matter, it is only a question of being 
worth a mark of silver! 

On the third of September, 1791, the Assembly 
formally declared the Constitution completed, 
and a delegation of deputies carried the document 
to the King in the Tuileries. After devoting ten 
days to its consideration, Louis declared that he 
had made up his mind to accept and carry out its 

And what was the real attitude of those who so 
long had sat in half -imprisonment within the walls 
of their own palace; or rather what was the atti- 
tude of the woman who served as the King's right 
hand? We have unpardonable letters of Marie 

1 Plate 89, p. 195. 


Plate 89. A satirical representation called the " The Future 

Legislator," and directed against the requirement that a 

deputy to be eligible must pay taxes. The mark of 

silver destroys all individuality. 


196 The French Revolution 

Antoinette to show how deeply she involved her 
husband in a policy of ruse and deception. It was 
all her doing. Louis XVI is evidently not in 
sympathy with all of her projects: "You know the 
person I have to deal with, " she writes to her old 
mentor, Mercy d'Argenteau; "just as one thinks 
one has persuaded him, a word, an argument, 
makes him unsuspectingly change his mind." 1 
But she wishes it to be known that one person at 
least is looking out for the dignity of the family: 
"Never will I consent to anything unworthy of 
myself," she writes. ". . . It is in misfortune 
that one realizes all the more what one is. My 
blood runs in the veins of my son and I hope that 
some day he will prove himself a worthy grandson 
of Maria Theresa!" 

She has some slight glimmering that the course 
of action she is planning may not, indeed, be quite 
worthy of herself: "It is impossible, " she writes, 
"for the King to refuse his acceptance. You must 
believe me when I say that this is the case. You 
know my character and that it inclines me to a 
noble and courageous way of acting. But there 
is no courage in running into a more than certain 
danger. So our last hope is in the foreign armies. " 

Marie Antoinette prevaricates in every word 
and act. At the suggestion of Barnave, Duport, 
and Lameth, she writes and urges her brother to 
make an alliance with revolutionary France; she 
declares that she herself has experienced a change 
of heart. Then she follows this by secret denials, 

' * Lettres de Marie Antoinette (La Rocheterie), ii., 275 ff. 

Plate 90. An allegorical representation of the acceptance of the Constitution 

by Louis XVI. The faces seem to be actual likenesses. The republic 

personified is being driven from the hall by cupids with whips. 


198 The French Revolution 

by complaint that she is coerced into writing what 
her enemies require, by requests for ostensible 
replies which she can show to those around her. 
She calls the Constitution which her husband, 
before God and man, is about to swear to maintain, 
' ' a tissue of impracticable absurdities. ' ' She means, 
however, to pursue such a course of action "as 
will remove all suspicion of us and at the same time 
serve to outwit them [the Assembly] and over- 
throw at the very first opportunity the monstrous 
production we have to adopt." 

It is not pleasant to see Marie Antoinette so 
vindictive. In December, 1791, she confides to 
Fersen 1 that she thinks on the whole the r61e she 
is obliged to play all day long is succeeding; but 
for her, things would be much worse. She con- 
cludes with "what happiness if I could only regain 
sufficient power to show all these beggars [ces 
gueux} that I was not their dupe!" 

It all sounded so noble and spontaneous, this 
spurious acceptance of the King's, with its naive 
admissions, its bursts of confidence, its loyal 
appeals. They produced, we are told, "a most 
acute and tender impression!" The acceptance 
was made in writing and orally. In a letter Louis 
analysed his own feelings; told his reasons for 
taking flight and how greatly things had since al- 
tered for the better: "I must tell you, if you had 
presented to me the Constitution at that juncture, 
I should not have considered that the interests of 
the people, my sole and constant rule of conduct, 

1 Fersen, ii., 267. 

Probation 199 

permitted of its acceptance. " But now! Well, 
there might be some flaws in the Constitution, 
but if there were, time would easily reveal and 
remedy them. 

When he appeared in the Assembly on Septem- 
ber 1 4th, Louis found the members well disposed to 
him. We have an allegorical representation of 
this formal and public acceptance. 1 One hand on 
his heart, Louis is pointing with the other to the 
constitutional document. A crowned figure that 
looks very much like Marie Antoinette is doing like- 
wise from the other side and her free hand rests on 
the shoulder of a deputy who somewhat resembles 
Robespierre. Or it may be France, leaning on her 
representative and preferring the Constitution to 
the King. To the left we see another crowned 
figure, bearing a bundle of fagots, emblem of a 
republic, and taking to wild flight chased by angry 
cupids. One of the cupids seems to have the 
British lion on his shield. All the spectators are in 
different attitudes of ecstasy. Beneath is the 
oath that Louis took: "I swear to be faithful to the 
nation and to the law, to employ all the power 
delegated to me in maintaining the Constitution 
decreed by the National Constituent Assembly in 
the years 1789, 1790, and 1791, and to see that the 
laws are executed." 

Both the English and the Swedish ambassadors, 2 
who of course were present, record a significant little 
episode. While Louis was reading his speech it 
occurred to the deputies, who had remained stand- 

1 Plate 90, p. 1 97. * Gower and StaSl-Holstein. 

200 The French Revolution 

ing, that it was beneath their dignity to continue 
in that attitude of respect. Obeying a signal of one 
of their number, they all sat down. Louis, however, 
showed unusual courage and presence of mind. 
Without interrupting his reading, he, too, took a 
chair, a proceeding which, strange to say, called 
forth rapturous applause. ' ' This instance, ' ' writes 
Stael-Holstein, "should have taught him that if 
throughout the Revolution he had shown the proper 
feeling of what was due to himself he would have 
rendered dutiful those who have most abused his 
weakness." r 

The occasion ended with joyful demonstrations, 
the whole Assembly escorting the King back to the 
Tuileries amid strains of music and salvos of 

Marie Antoinette was not altogether happy, 
as we can see from her letters to Fersen. 2 She 
acknowledges that it would have been nobler to 
refuse the acceptance, but declares that, in their 
actual situation, such a course was out of the ques- 
tion. She wishes the acceptance could have been 
shorter and simpler; evidently the long mockery 
had jarred on her nerves. It had been necessary, 
however, to remove every doubt of its not being in 
good faith. She is confident that so soon as the 
Constitution is put in practice all its absurdities 
will be made manifest: "the farther we go and the 
more these beggars feel their misery the sooner they 
may themselves come to desire the foreigners." 
Meanwhile, there have been kindly demonstra- 

1 Page 235. * Fersen, i., 192. 



tions towards her, but she steels her heart. One 
might be touched by them "if one were not forced 

Plate 91. A cartoon intended to show under what constraint 
Louis XVI had sanctioned the Constitution. 

to remember that these were the same people who 
insulted us two months ago and who can be swayed 
at will. " 

2O2 The French Revolution 

Louis had acted under constraint in signing the 
Constitution: that was now the watchword of all 
his adherents. We have an amusing cartoon 1 
where he is shown sitting at a table, pen in hand, 
inside of a great iron cage. Up walks the Austrian 
Emperor and asks in astonishment, " Brother-in- 
law, what are you doing?" "I 'm sanctioning." 

And this foreign sympathy on which Louis and 
Marie Antoinette had so fondly based their hopes, 
to what did it amount? Emperor Leopold did 
bestir himself in a mild sort of way on his sister's 
behalf, but he had shown no great anxiety to fur- 
nish the fifteen million francs that had been re- 
quested of him at the time of the flight. 2 He did, 
indeed, appeal to his fellow-rulers in Europe and 
suggest forming a great league. He was met 
everywhere either by refusals or by empty promises. 
It is true the annexation by France of Avignon 
it was proclaimed on the very day on which Louis 
XVI publicly accepted the Constitution was an 
alarming symptom, but each country was busy with 
its own schemes, and Prussia and Austria finally 
united with Saxony in a declaration at Pillnitz that 
was merely an "august comedy," to quote a 
contemporary. The three powers agreed to inter- 
vene in French affairs if they could be certain 
that the rest of Europe would do likewise. By that 
time they were absolutely certain that the rest of 
Europe would do nothing of the kind. 

1 Plate 91, p. 201. 

a For these foreign relations, see Sorel, L' Europe et la Revolution 
FranQaise, passim. 

Probation 203 

The declaration of Pillnitz, indeed, was not to be 
altogether without effect. The emigres exploited 
it in an open letter from Coblenz seeking to give 
the impression that immense foreign armies were 
at once to fall upon France. It was a futile means 
of intimidation but interfered with the plans of 
Louis XVI, whose policy, as we have seen, was to 
make the Revolutionists believe in his absolute 
sincerity. It was natural to suspect him of col- 
lusion with his brothers, and this their open letter 
was to form part of the evidence against him at 
Louis' trial before the revolutionary tribunal. 

But the Revolutionists, too, were disappointed, 
were misled by the enthusiasm shown in foreign 
countries for the first great popular victories 
They had believed that these enslaved peoples 
would rise at their call and join their banners, that 
no one could long remain deaf to the tones of 
liberty. We have a cartoon ' showing one of these 
supposed slaves in the very act of hastening to the 
happy land where youths and maidens have 
nothing to do but dance around trees, and their 
elders sit at tables and quaff flowing bowls. We 
have a production with similar tendency 2 in which 
an Austrian sentinel stands at one end, a French at 
the other, of a bridge that spans a border stream. 
The elaborate text tells us that "no sooner has 
our sentinel pointed out the national cockade on 
his hat to the German than the latter lays his hand 
on his heart, reverses his gun, and makes known his 
amicable intentions towards a free nation. " 

' Plate92, p. 205. ' Plate93, p. 206. 

204 The French Revolution 

But for some reason or other these liberated 
slaves did not come over in any great numbers. 
The flagrant violation of the rights of property in 
Alsace where the abolition of feudalism by the 
decrees of August 4th was made to apply to the 
subjects of foreign princes as well; the extreme 
radicalism of a Camille Desmoulins, who declared 
in his influential journal 1 that international law 
ought to be treated as Martin Luther had treated 
the canon law: all this had offended subjects as 
well as their masters. It was a mere delusion 
that the whole world, save for a few gangrened 
rulers, was hanging breathless on the happenings 
in Paris. The National Assembly might have 
spared itself the expense it continually incurred of 
having decrees of which it was especially proud 
translated into every known language. The hope 
of having liberty prevail the world over was as 
vain as the boast of the Comte de Provence that 
he would enter France with an army and " subdue 
by force the fanaticism of public opinion. " Even 
Marie Antoinette speaks of the " follies of the 
princes and emigres.' 11 On the other hand, 
she is utterly mistaken as to the general temper 
of the Revolutionists. She believes that they 
have a horrible dread of foreign invasion: "fear 
crops out in all their deeds and in all their 
words." 2 Yet she herself is growing politic. At- 
rocious as the French people are, she writes to Fer- 
sen, it may be necessary to continue to live with 
them; so she must be careful not to give grounds 

1 The Revolutions de Paris et de Brabant. 2 Lettres, ii. , 3 1 4. 

)2. A representation of a foreigner joyfully quitting the land of slaves 
for the land of liberty where everything is gay and joyous. 



The French Revolution 

for reproach either to "those here" or to " those 
outside." 1 

A cartoonist gives us an excellent view of Louis 
XVI 's exact position at this time. 2 The King is 

Plate 93. A representation showing the effect wrought upon an Austrian 

sfentinel by the first sight of the French national cockade. The 

Austrian reverses his bayonet and places his hand 

upon his heart. 

dancing on a tight-rope and trying to balance 
himself with a pole that is weighted at one end 
with the Constitution, at the other with a cap 
containing cornucopias full of sweets. The crowd 
below are clamouring for the sweets and causing 
the pole to incline very much in their direction. 
On the ground are cornucopias that have already 

Lettres, ii., 321 (October 19, 1791). 

Plate 94, p. 207. 



been emptied. "Look out for false Steps" is the 

Meanwhile, the Constituent Assembly, having 
completed the work it had sworn in the Tennis 
Court to perform, prepared to give place to the 

Plate 94. A cartoon showing the perilous situation of Louis XVI. He has 

handed down several cornucopias full of sweets to the people but 

they are calling for more. 

new legislative body for which the terms of the Con- 
stitution provided. The members were in a kindly 
mood towards this king who was now so humbled. 
They requested him to have his portrait painted 
for the adornment of the hall, and to have himself 
represented at the moment of telling his son that 

208 The French Revolution 

he has accepted the Constitution. 1 They decreed 
a form of ceremonial to be observed when he should 
appear in their midst for the final closing exercises 
that was altogether respectful. 2 The members 
were all to rise as the King entered ; after that they 
were to be guided in their movements by him to 
rise or sit, to keep their hats on or take them off, 
according as he should give the example. He was 
to sit in the centre of the platform in a special 
arm-chair covered with gold-embroidered fleurs-de- 
lis, and no one was to presume to address him 
without an express decree of the Assembly. The 
president of that body was to sit on the King's 
right hand. 

On September 3Oth, interrupted each moment 
by enthusiastic applause, Louis XVI bade fare- 
well to the men who had robbed him of all but 
the merest vestige of his power. There was the 
usual emotion, the usual hypocrisy. 3 "Going 
back to your homes, sirs, " Louis said, "I count on 
your being the interpreters to your fellow-citizens 
of the uprightness of my sentiments. Tell them 
each and all that their king will be their best and 
most faithful friend, that he feels the need of their 
love, that he cannot be happy save with and for 

"Your Majesty/' answered the president, "has 
terminated the Revolution by your so loyal and 
frank acceptance of the Constitution. . . . Your 

1 Debats et Decrets, September 29, 1791. 

2 Ib., and also Duvergier, iii., 457. 

3 See Point du Jour, September 3Oth, for the speeches of farewell. 

Probation 209 

heart, sire, has already received its reward; your 
Majesty has rejoiced in the touching spectacle 
of the joy of the people/' The King withdrew, 
the proces verbal or protocol was read, it was 
formally declared that the Assembly had completed 
its labours. Then the president concluded: "Let 
the kings of the earth tell us if their absolute power 
can give joys like this, if their beds of justice and 
their formal audiences have ever produced such 
sweet and deep emotions, such communion of 
peoples and kings!" 

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were playing 
their part well. They went about as if free from 
care to the opera, to the Comedie Francaise, to 
the municipal ftes. They illuminated the Tuile- 
ries, they interested themselves in the poor of 
Paris, sending fifty thousand francs to the mayor to 
be distributed for their benefit. t ' It seems to me, ' ' 
writes the Swedish ambassador, "that the conduct 
of this prince would be incomprehensible unless he 
really cherished the sentiments he seems to have 
adopted. Force can tear certain responses from 
one: but this frequenting of the opera and of pub- 
lic places in search of applause inspired by the 
acceptance would make retraction very difficult. '" 

The new legislative body which met on the day 
after the dispersal of the old one was far less friendly 
to the King. It was made up largely of men whose 
whole interests were bound up in the new order of 

1 Stafil-Holstein, 237. 

210 The French Revolution 

things; those who held or hoped to hold offices 
in the communes, barristers, journalists, rising 
authors. They were all new, alas ! to the business 
of governing, for the Constituent Assembly had 
passed a self-denying ordinance which prevented 
the election of any of the old members. 

The whole number of deputies, as the Constitu- 
tion had directed, was 745, of whom 160 were 
constitutional royalists, the rest being about equally 
divided between Jacobins and moderates or in- 
dependents. 1 The strongest bond of union was a 
desire to see that the executive power should learn 
to keep its place and not imagine it was in any way 
superior to the legislative. 

The King, doubtless to test his strength, endeav- 
oured to fix his own day for receiving a deputation 
from the Assembly, but then yielded the point. 
On October 5th, Couthon, the crippled henchman 
of Robespierre, was carried to the platform and 
uttered severe words against Louis. One by one 
other attacks followed. 2 Grangeneuve moved the 
suppression of the title " Your Majesty "; Guadet 
wished the president of the Assembly always to 
be admitted to the King's presence "without having 
to pass through the antechambers of the keeper of 
the seals. " Then the question came up, what cere- 
monial should be observed when the King came 
to the Assembly? One deputy thought that the 

1 Aulard in his Eloquence Parliamentaire gives the Jacobin patriots as 
280, the extreme left as 20, the independents as 300, the monarchists as 
160. But that would make 760 members in all! 

2 Debats et Decrets, October 5th. 

Probation 211 

members ought to be free to sit or stand without 
awaiting the King's pleasure. As if, cried another, 
"the representatives of the people were turning 
themselves into perfect automatons in the presence 
of its first functionary and were unable to act, 
think, or move, except as willed by another." A 
king, declared Guadet, who regulates one's bodily 
movements will soon be claiming to regulate the 
movements of one's soul. 

Each and every provision that the former 
Assembly had so recently made for the King's 
reception was made a special object of attack. 
Why call him Sire? Why give him a chair "scan- 
dalous in its richness"? He ought to have one 
neither more nor less magnificent than that of the 
president. A decree in five articles embodying all 
these restrictions was then passed. 

But the members in their censoriousness had far 
out-distanced public opinion. The galleries, the 
former deputies, the citizens in general were highly 
indignant. It was pointed out that the relations 
between the Assembly and the chief executive had 
been regulated by the Constitution ; moreover that 
a decree to become law must pass through three 
readings. The Assembly was accused of pride 
and conceit, even of crime and fanaticism; it was 
declared that public credit was being shaken, 
public enemies encouraged. 

It was a tempest in a teapot but significant. 
It shows that Louis XVI still had a hold on the 
affection of his people. The Assembly finally 
reconsidered its decree and adjourned the matter 

212 The French Revolution 

indefinitely. 1 On October yth, Louis appeared in 
the hall. He was addressed by the president as 
"Sire" and as "Majesty," was given the "scanda- 
lously rich" chair, and was allowed to set the 
example in the matter of standing up or sitting 

In the souls of the friends of liberty the reconsid- 
eration of the hostile decree spread fierce indig- 
nation. In all seriousness, the Revolutions de 
Paris compares it to the revocation of the Edict 
of Nantes ! Both national glory and the happiness 
of the human race are at stake! 

This much is important to note. The Jacobins, 
for they were "the friends of liberty," are utterly 
in the minority in this matter. Couthon and 
others complain bitterly of being threatened and 
insulted. Gouverneur Morris, the American min- 
ister, writes 2 : "The people of this city are be- 
come wonderfully fond of the King and have a 
thorough contempt for the Assembly who are in 
general what used to be called at Philadelphia 
' the blue-stockings.' ... At the Italian Comedy, 
people continually cried, Vive le roil, Vive la reine!, 
Vive la famille royale, Sire, vive votre Majeste! 

One can imagine Marie Antoinette's indigna- 
tion at the men who had tried to pluck the whole 
royal nimbus from her husband's head. "There is 
nothing whatever to be gained from this Assem- 
bly," she wrote to Fersen; "it is a conglomeration 
of rogues, madmen, and brutes." 3 One of the 

1 Debats et Decrets, October 7th. a Morris, i., 462 (Oct. 10) . 

s Fersen, i., 208. 

Probation 213 

members, Brissot, glorifying the pike as the new 
national weapon had just declared that it must be 
pointed against every enemy of the country "even 
if he inhabit the Chateau of the Tuileries." ' 

1 Aulard (Eloquence), i., 238. 



IT was with the burning questions of the day, not 
with abstract legislation, that the new Assem- 
bly was to busy itself. What should be done 
about these emigres who were stirring up the 
foreign powers to invasion? What about this 
refractory clergy that refused to take the civic 
oath? And what about the foreign powers them- 
selves? Were they to be pacified or irritated, 
treated amicably or intimidated into submission? 
In connection with the acceptance of the Con- 
stitution, a general amnesty had been declared, 
and the emigres had been invited to return. Few 
availed themselves of the privilege. Only a month 
later we find Brissot, one of the first men of the 
Legislative Assembly to assume leadership, urging 
that a blow be struck not at the obscure crowd but 
at their chiefs, the brothers of the King. Ver- 
gniaud, the brilliant orator from the Gironde, de- 
nounced "these agitators, as ridiculous as they are 
insolent, who give the bizarre name of 'external 
France' to their convulsive assemblage"; these 
" haughty beggars" who had scorned the land of 
equality but would soon "expiate in shame and 


Cmiqrand* Revefro/i/7 a .Paris. 

Plate 95. A cartoon representing an tmigrf returning as a beggar 
to the country that he had abandoned. 


2i6 The French Revolution 

misery their criminal pride and turn eyes bathed in 
tears towards the country they have abandoned" ; 
these "miserable pygmies who in an access of 
delirium dared to parody the enterprise of the 
Titans against heaven. " l " Let us rid the nation, ' ' 
he cried, "of these buzzing insects, greedy for 
its blood, that are annoying and harassing it!" 
This idea of the haughty beggar coming back with 
his eyes bathed in tears was exploited by a car- 
toonist. 2 Possibly he drew his direct inspiration 
from Vergniaud's speech, or was even commissioned 
to work up the theme. 

On October 3ist, "Louis Stanislas Xavier, 
French prince, adult relative, next in line for the 
regency," was summoned to return to France within 
sixty days or relinquish his rights of succession. 
Two weeks later the emigres in general were de- 
clared suspected of conspiracy and were threat- 
ened with death if, by January ist, they should 
still be found banded together. 3 The only real 
hold, indeed, that the Assembly had was in its 
ability to confiscate the lands and revenues of the 
emigres, and this course it now announced its 
intention of pursuing. 

On December I4th, Louis XVI was forced to 
send an ultimatum to the Elector of Treves, 
brother of Marie Antoinette, whose territory had 
become a chief rallying-point for the emigres. The 
latter were no longer to be harboured but were to 
be told to disperse within a month. 

1 Aulard, Eloquence, i., 318. 2 Plate 95, p. 215. 

3 Debats et Decrets, November 9, 1791. 



A vigorous 
caricature 1 
is entitled 
"Rage and 
Despair of 
the little 
Elector of 
Treves on 
learning the 
of the King 
of the French 
to make War 
upon him 
should he 
any longer 
protect the 
of the Emig- 
res." The El- 
ector seems 
to be foam- 
ing at the 
mouth and 
is exclaim- 

dm*, m+i eta/* 
Qi.f <f> rtir t& ^atria/fJ fnn*J 

great Heav- 
ens, what a 
fix I have 
got into! I 
had rather 

1 Plate 96, above. 

I f 

Plate 96. A cartoon showing the Elector of Trev< 
foaming at the mouth with rage owing to the 
action of the French Government in de- 
manding the dispersal of the Emigres. 

2i 8 The French Revolution 

see the devil in my territory than to see the 
French patriots there!" 

Louis XVI delayed sanctioning the severest 
decrees against the emigres, and secretly urged 
Breteuil to rally the powers of Europe in defence 
of the Elector of Treves. He writes at this time: 
"It is clear to every person who walks on two feet 
that I cannot approve of the Revolution and of 
the absurd and detestable Constitution which puts 
me on a lower plane than even the King of Poland." r 
The Elector, for his part, obeyed the summons, ex- 
cept in the case of his nephews, the princes. 

The question of the refractory clergy was causing 
quite as much alarm and excitement as that of the 
emigres. "They would like to swim in the blood 
of the patriots, " declared Abbe Fauchet on October 
2Oth, "that is their sweet and familiar expression. 
In comparison with these priests atheists are angels. 
. . . Good God, what a Church! ... If hell 
could found one among men it would be animated 
by just this spirit." 2 And Isnard, the Girondist, 
made this reply to a plea to treat the non-jurors 
with more toleration: 

Toleration for those who will not tolerate either the law 
or your Constitution? Indulgence for those who conspire 
against their country? Indulgence for those who with the 
torch of fanaticism are setting the whole kingdom ablaze? 
Ah, what! When the corpses of your brothers are crying 
for vengeance, when floods of French blood have gone to 
swell the floods of the sea is it then they come to suggest 

1 Sorel, ii., 331. 2 Aulard, Eloquence, ii., 121. 

Plat r Q7. A cartoon representing Louis XVI as "King Janus" with one 

face turned towards the Constitution and the other towards the 

non-juring clergy. 


220 The French Revolution 

to you indulgence? It is time for the pride of the censer 
like the pride of the diadem to bow before the sceptre of 
the sovereignty of the people. x 

In November, rigid laws were passed against 
those who should refuse to take the civic oath 
within a week. 2 They were to lose all claim on the 
public treasury; they were "to be considered under 
suspicion of revolt against the law and of harbour- 
ing evil intentions against their country and, on this 
ground, to be particularly, subjected and recom- 
mended to the surveillance of all the constituted 
authorities. " On May 27th the severity reached 
its climax. "It would be compromising public 
safety, " says the preamble of a new series of laws, 
"any longer to regard as members of society men 
who are evidently seeking to dissolve it." On 
denunciation by twenty active citizens of his 
canton, a priest is to be ordered to leave his district 
within twenty-four hours, his department within 
three days, and the kingdom within a month. 
Should he attempt to return he is to be punished 
by imprisonment for ten years. 3 

These laws the King had the courage to refuse 
to sign until further consideration. One can 
imagine the fury of a mob grown accustomed to 
have its way in everything. We have a cartoon 4 
where Louis is represented as "King Janus, or the 
man with two faces/' With one he looks towards 
the book of the law declaring, "I will uphold the 
Constitution " ; with the other he looks towards the 

1 Aulard Eloquence, ii., 68-9. a Debats et Decrets, Nov. 16-18. 

3 Buchez et Roux, 14, 247. 4 Plate 97, p. 219. 

Downfall 221 

clergy and promises to destroy the Constitution. 
The crown sits firm on the one head; on the other 
it is toppling over. 

Two great parties were forming in the Assembly : 
the Girondists, or provincials, and the enrages, the 
party that was later to be known as the Mountain, 
which stood for centralization and the domination 
of Paris. Just now, however, it might have been 
said that the Girondists were for warring against 
external enemies, the enrages for ferreting out 
conspiracies at home. 

It is not clear why Brissot and his adherents 
took such delight in hounding on the French nation 
to war with Europe. Was it merely for the sake 
of currying favour with the people? Did they see 
that it was absolutely necessary to divert all the 
empty enthusiasm into some practical channel? 
Or did they, as has recently been advanced, ' seek 
to apply a supreme test to the loyalty of the King 
by making him declare war against his own flesh 
and blood? 

There is another assumption that seems most 
plausible. These Girondists were fanatical ideal- 
ists, and Vergniaud was sincere when he cried 
out, "To arms! To arms! . . . Assure the 
hope of liberty to the human race!" Brissot be- 
lieved that if he could only bring the soldiers of 
liberty into contact with the soldiers of tyrants 
the latter would at once desert in a body. We 
have seen the various cartoons that were based on 
this idea. 2 Brissot was fond of illustrating the 

1 Jaures, 815. See Plate 92, p. 205 and Plate 93, p. 206. 

222 The French Revolution 

virtues of the soldiers of Liberty from examples 
in the American Revolution, in which he had taken 
part. Washington, he once cried (it was after 
crossing the Delaware), "told me himself his 
soldiers had no shoes ; the ice which tore their feet 
was dyed with their blood. ' We shall have shoes 
to-morrow/ they said, 'we shall beat the English/ 
And they did!" 

Isnard, another of the fiery orators of the party, 
was sure that if even in the moment of combat 
the light of philosophy should shine forth, the 
peoples would embrace and the face of the world 
be changed. 1 He once, at the Jacobin Club, 
brandished a sword that was to be given to the 
first French general who struck down an enemy of 
the Revolution, and urged the French people to 
utter a loud cry to which all other peoples on earth 
would respond, with the result that "the earth will 
be covered with combatants and all the enemies of 
Liberty effaced from the lists of free men." 

It may have been, then, this firm belief that the 
tyrants would really "tremble on their thrones of 
clay, ' ' that ' ' the fire of Liberty armed with the sword 
of reason and eloquence " would and must prevail, 
that so inflamed the Girondists for war at any cost. 
"The sole calamity to be dreaded," cried Brissot on 
December 29th, "is not to have war "; and again, 
at the Jacobin Club: "I have but one fear, that we 
shall not be betrayed. We need some treason; it 
will be our salvation!" 2 

On January 9th, there was a passage at arms 

1 Aulard, Eloquence, ii., 72. 2 Ib., i. T 249. 



between Louvet, the Girondist, and Robespierre, 
head of the enrages, that is characteristic of the 
mutual attitude of the two parties. Louvet 
concluded a speech with a dramatic appeal to 
1 ' march against Leopold ! ' ' There was tremendous 

/ /fW//r/Vi 

' WAV 

/'if i 


A I N SI YA l.K M()N1>K 

','/!<<',' (', 

tf./.t- /'<?/>< 

if //<; 
' <(< i\ift:.- 
/// /,/// 

Plate 98. A cartoon showing the political situation at the end of the year 

1791. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, curiously enough, are 

stemming the course of invasion which Sweden, Denmark, 

Russia and the emigres are furthering. 

enthusiasm, hats were swung in the air, and voices 
repeated in chorus, "March against Leopold!" 
But Robespierre the next day admonished his 
hearers roundly, first to subdue the enemies at 
home, first to follow up conspirators and put down 
despotism, and then but not until then to 
"march against Leopold/' 1 

1 Aulard, Eloquence, ii., 11-12. 

224 The French Revolution 

With the sympathies of the Emperor Leopold 
being worked upon in favour of his sister, with 
Fersen and the King of Sweden plotting to over- 
turn the French Constitution, with the Pope and his 
Cardinals urging any course that would restore the 
Church's prestige in France, and with the French 
Assembly irritating all its neighbours by its 
blatant claims and threats, it is no wonder that war 
became inevitable. 

We have an elaborate cartoon 1 called "Thus 
the world wags ! " which characterises the situation. 
The powers are playing about the roles just in- 
dicated. The King of Sweden drives the Em- 
peror, who is pulling the coach; the princes and 
others who have burdened the coach with their 
own baggage push from behind ; in the coach itself 
sit a number of Rhenish princes and bishops. On 
top the Czarina with a long whip touches up the 
Emperor, but Marie Antoinette has hold of her 
brother's pigtail and pulls him back while Louis 
puts a bar between the spokes of the wheel. Pitt 
on the cliffs of his island is at a very safe distance, 
but wishes the party a bon voyage; while on the 
steps of St. Peter's the Pope and the Cardinals are 
giving their blessing to the enterprise. 

This theme of France's difficulties inspired more 
than one clever artist. We have a representation 2 
where Louis XVI is trying to escape in his chariot 
drawn by six swift hares. The nations pursue 
him with every sort of attack. England in the 
fcrm of a leopard, with two other wild beasts at her 

1 Plate 98, p. 223. a Plate 99, p. 225. 



side, blocks his way; down on him swoops the Ger- 
man eagle; after him run the Pope and Cardinals 
threatening him with their crooks; Spain makes 
the sign of the cross to exorcise him; Denmark 

Plate 99. A cartoon showing the nations in the act of closing in upon Louis 

XVI whose only hope of rescue is in Blanchard the famous balloonist 

who is hovering over the scene. 

barks at him; Holland calls him "poor stuff"; 
Savoy and Switzerland won't receive him. His 
only hope is Blanchard, the famous balloonist, who 
hovers overhead ready to "carry him off from the 
just fury of his enemies. " In a caricature entitled 
"Ah, Things are going badly, '" we see the foreign 
powers and the brothers of the King, in the base- 

1 Plate i oo, p. 227. 

226 The French Revolution 

ment beneath the Jacobin Club, stirring flames the 
heat from which makes the enrages above jump and 
dance around in pain. 

By the middle of January the situation as re- 
garded France and Austria had become acute. 
The Queen was accused of heading an Austrian 
committee that met in secret in the Tuileries. The 
constant cry was that France must not wait to be 
attacked but must act as Frederick the Great had 
done when he seized Silesia. It is strange to see 
Frederick the Great set up as a pattern for the 
French Revolutionists to follow ! On January 25th 
a belligerent message was sent to Austria. 

From the camp of the emigres came a cartoon 1 
showing the utter absurdity of the three revolu- 
tionary generals, Lafayette, Luckner, and Rocham- 
beau, trying to fall upon the Germanic Empire. 
It was issued in Mainz three days before the official 
ultimatum to Austria. It represents Lafayette 
raised on the batons of Marshals Luckner and 
Rochambeau and endeavouring to take the moon 
in his teeth an allusion to the well-known French 
idiom which means attempting the impossible. 

Marie Antoinette and the court were in a regu- 
lar panic. The Queen wrote to her faithful Mercy 
d'Argenteau and begged him to see that the 
army raised by the Emperor be sufficiently large. 
But she is sure, she says, that all the insolence 
comes at bottom from fear. The Queen's old 
admirer, Fersen, was so impressed by the peril of 
the royal family that he braved every danger and 

1 Plate 1 01, p. 229. 

Plate 100. A cartoon showing the tmigrts and the foreign powers stirring 

the flames and giving the deputies assembled at the Jacobin Club a 

hot time. The deputies are dancing around in agony. 


228 The French Revolution 

suddenly appeared at the Tuileries in disguise. 
He was ready to arrange a new flight. The King 
this time, however, was deaf to the voice of the 
charmer, but agreed finally that should the allied 
troops draw sufficiently near he would conveniently 
go astray in the woods and fall into their hands. * 
Fersen was quite sure that, with the aid of the 
foreigners, the King could easily restore his power 
to its full former extent. This was the old delu- 
sion of Marie Antoinette. Did she inspire Fersen 
with it or did he inspire her? 

Austria, on February yth, concluded an alliance 
with Prussia, which power agreed to send, if need be, 
40,000 men into the field. On March ist, Emperor 
Leopold died after a very short illness and was 
succeeded by his son Francis II., a youth of twenty- 
three who was not likely to endure France's threats 
complacently and the party in power in France 
was ready to push things to extremes. Vergniaud 
in the Assembly made a wildly savage onslaught on 
the corrupt councillors who perverted the King 
and were seeking to betray the nation to the House 
of Austria. He could see the palace windows, he 
cried, where they were plotting counter-revolution, 
anarchy, and a return to slavery. But the moment 
had come for putting an end to all this insolence 
and he apostrophized Terror and Fright bidding 
them re-enter in the name of the law that famous 
palace whence they had so often issued in the name 
of despotism. ' ' And let all who dwell there know, ' ' 
he concluded, "that our Constitution accords in- 

1 Sorel, ii., 365 ff. 

Plate 101. A cartoon showing Lafayette, upheld by and Rocham- 

beau, trying to take the moon in his teeth. The invasion of the German 

Empire is a similar foolhardy enterprise. 


230 The French Revolution 

violability to the King alone; let them know that 
the law will reach without distinction all the guilty, 
and that not one single head convicted of crime 
shall escape its sword!" 1 

Fright and Terror obeyed their orders. The 
King is reported to have acted like a man preparing 
for death. 2 He accepted a new ministry at the 
hands of the Girondists themselves. It consisted 
of Roland, Claviere, Servan, Dumouriez, and one 
or two insignificant personages. Dumouriez, who 
was now Minister of War, was as eager for the 
conflict with Europe as Brissot himself, and had 
already begun to form his plan of campaign. 
Austria was told to cease her armaments and give 
satisfaction by April I5th or take the consequences. 
Satisfaction for what? Dumouriez accused her of 
breaking all treaties concluded in the past four 
hundred years. It was a sweeping charge! No 
satisfaction was given, and on April 2Oth France 
declared war. The poor King himself had been 
obliged to appear in the Assembly and make the 
decisive motion. 

A modern writer of repute, 3 but hostile to 
Marie Antoinette, avers that the latter now be- 
trayed to Mercy d'Argenteau the results of a 
cabinet council held on the 25th of March. 

So to all her internal troubles France had added 
a war of utterly incalculable dimensions. Hostili- 
ties began in a mild way already on April 28th. 

1 Aulard, Eloquence, i., 323. a Sorel, ii., 401. * Jaures, 957. 



There were skirmishes on the Belgian frontier 
with Austrian detachments. To the Belgian 
people a manifesto had been issued proclaiming 
war to tyrants but liberty to the people. The 


Plate 1 02. A depiction of Cupid as a sans-culotte placing a 
wreath on the altar of Equality. 

Belgian lion was called upon to awake, the Belgian 
people to cast off their thraldom: "How are you 
nourished? Worse than the dogs of France! 
Come, come and die with your brothers the 
French!" 1 

The Belgians were not so ill-nourished that they 


232 The French Revolution 

felt the necessity of dying. They did not desert. 
On the contrary in each small encounter they put 
the French to flight. The successes were but 
temporary indeed, for with Dumouriez himself in 
the field the French were to make quite another 
showing. But for the present all was in confusion. 
The state had not sufficient funds to stand the 
heavy drain, and on May I5th partially repudiated 
its debts. And then this king! Everything was 
now done to humiliate and annoy him. On May 
2Qth, even the guards that had been allowed him 
by the Constitution were dismissed ; on June 8th, 
a decree authorizing a camp of 20,000 patriots 
under the walls of Paris was passed. The measure 
was directed against himself and he vetoed it 
as he did, too, the decree of May 2yth against 
the clergy. His Girondist ministry was dismissed. 

All this was regarded as treason, 1 and perfect 
torrents of abuse descended on his head. The 
Revolutions de Paris calls the veto "the corner- 
stone on which the court intends to re-edify the 
system of despotism." The National Assembly 
it declares, is hampered [by its own Constitution!] 
like a convict tied to a cannon-ball. The King is 
doubtless saying : ' ' Bah ! This veto alone avenges 
all the grief you have caused me these two years. 
. . . Bah! You are meant to be slaves, you 
know you are, so long as I have the veto ; and your 
own idolized Constitution gave it to me. " 

It was on June iQth that official notification of 
the King's exercise of the veto power was given. 

1 Aulard, Hist. Politique, 179, still regards it thus. 

Downfall 233 

By the 2Oth, indignation had reached the boiling- 
point. At mid-day a vast crowd gathered before 
the hall of the National Assembly and clamoured 
for admittance. 1 They were armed with every 
imaginable weapon, including scythes, pitchforks, 
and axes, and dragged a score of cannon with them. 
Their orator declared that they had come to pour 
their woes and their fears into the lap of the 
Assembly. Everything was wrong. The army was 
not doing its duty, the courts were not swift 
enough in their judgments, the perfidious chateau of 
the Tuileries was causing the blood of patriots to 
flow merely to satisfy its own pride and ambition. 
The phrases were marshalled like an army of scare- 
crows. Every other word was ' ' crowned despots, ' ' 
" ulcerated hearts," "majesty of an outraged 
people," "vengeance on conspirators." 

The mob defiled before its legislators displaying 
every kind of emblem: liberty caps, tri-coloured 
ribbons, pikes, even the bloody heart of a calf 
with the inscription, "Heart of an aristocrat." 
This last was too much for the nerves of the 
president and he ordered its removal. 

For hours the motley procession continued. 2 
There was beat of drums, there was light of torches, 
there was waving of branches. An old pair of 
seatless trousers was carried aloft in honour of the 
appellation sans-culotte in which the radicals were 
now beginning to glory, although the name had 

1 Letter of a deputy, Aze"ma in La Revolution Fran$aisc, xxviii., 170. 
In general, see Mortimer-Terneux, Histoire de la Terreur. 
Az&na. See also La Revolution Fran$aise t xxxv., 554. 

234 The French Revolution 

first been given to them by the artistocrats. We 
have a pretty engraving called " Cupid, the Sans- 
Culotte" 1 

There were transparencies with threats against 
tyrants: "Obey the laws or tremble!" "The 
people are tired of suffering ! " "Liberty or death ! " 
"Warning to Louis XVI!" The whole was a bitter 
humiliation for the National Assembly, showing 
as it did only too plainly that the mob was taking 
matters entirely into its own control. It was 
adopting, to quote a modern writer, 2 the device 
of Louis XIV: "It entered whip in hand within 
the legislative precincts and proffered to the dazed 
representatives of the law the brutal and insolent 
formula, ' The state? I am the state ! ' " 

And now these good sans-culottes, of whom some 
artist thought it worth while to preserve the type, 3 
determined to administer a direct lesson to the 
King and Queen and invade their privacy at 
the Tuileries. The royal family were enjoying 
their afternoon coffee when there was a crashing 
of railings, a forcing of gates, and a beating open of 
doors with axes. There were cries of " Down with 
the King!" "Down with Monsieur and Madame 
Veto ! " 4 Louis was threatened with dethronement 
if he did not at once sanction the decrees of the 
Assembly and recall his Girondist ministers. 

The King had ordered his retainers to cease all 
opposition and retired to the shelter of a bay win- 

1 Plate 102, p. 231. a Sorel. * Plate 103, p. 235. 

4 Aze"ma (Rev. Fr. xxviii., 170); also von Sybel, ii., 405, and Mortimer- 

Sans culortc rar 

Plate 103. A depiction of the typical sans-adottc of Paris with 

his pike, the weapon of the Revolution, and the cockade 

in his hat 

236 The French Revolution 

dow, while Marie Antoinette and the children took 
refuge behind a table. The Dauphin and his sister, 
we are told, fell on their knees and with folded 
hands begged for " mercy for Mama!" 

Never had son of St. Louis had his person treated 
with such brutal familiarity. He was made to 
put on a red cap of Liberty, which was reached 
over to him on the end of a pike, and to hold in his 
hand a sword twined with flowers and with a tri- 
coloured cockade on its point. One good sans- 
culotte made repeated dabs at him with his pike, 
and others tried to reach him with the points of 
their swords. 

Order was finally restored after three deputations 
had been sent from the National Assembly. "All 
is perfectly quiet at this moment," writes a mem- 
ber," 1 but it is a terrible lesson for the King, Queen, 
and the rest. They are very much affected." 
This member maintains that the King ground his 
teeth with rage but that the Queen was politic 
and tried to be pleasant, even inviting the deputa- 
tion to see the Dauphin put to bed. Some of the 
deputies seemed flattered by this, "but we, the 
patriots, told them the truth and the whole truth 
which made them sulk and make faces in spite of 
being so politic." There was quite a lengthy 
discussion: "for our principles are so very opposed 
to theirs!" 

We have a glimpse of the Queen indignantly 
showing the deputies the broken doors and asking 
their advice about how to report the affair. They 

1 Az&na. 



told her it was a matter for the Justice of the Peace. 
He was summoned and drew up a protocol. 

We have a royalist representation ' of this 

WA~^^i. ~~ *-**- - 


Plate 104. A representation of the scene in the Tuileries palace on June 20, 

1792, when the mob broke in and tried to force Louis XVI to rescind 

his veto of the decrees providing for a camp near Paris and enacting 

still severer penalties against the non-juring clergy. 

famous 2Oth of June. The fierce countenances and 
rolling eyes of the wicked Revolutionists are amus- 
ingly contrasted with the saint-like though troubled 
expressions of the royal pair and their guards. 
There is a long text which, allowing for bias, does 
no great violence to the truth: 

1 Plate 1 04, above. 

238 The French Revolution 

The door of the csil-de-bceuf was closed; they shake it. 
It was on the point of being broken in ; all was over with the 
royal family. One man and one alone stopped these tigers 
thirsting for blood. That man was Louis XVI. He ran 
to the door and cried to the Swiss guards: "Open, open! 
I need fear nothing from Frenchmen ! ' ' This firmness allays 
all the fury. Louis retires to the back of the room. The 
bandits rush in crying, "Where is he that we may slay him? " 
The Swiss guards draw their swords." The King says to 
them calmly, "No, no, I command you to sheathe your 
swords!" Louis was surrounded by assassins and every 
moment had to listen to the most frightful threats, when 
Petion, Mayor of Paris, mounted a stool and said to him: 
"Sire, you have nothing to fear!" "Nothing to fear?" 
replied the King with emotion, "a good man with a pure 
conscience never trembles; only those need to fear who 
have cause for self-reproach.'* "Look," he added, taking 
the hand of a grenadier who was beside him, "give me your 
hand, place it on my heart and tell this man if it beats more 
quickly than usual!" 

The occurrences of June 2Oth served, above all, 
to widen the rift between the different political 
factions. Lafayette, who was busy in the field, 
first wrote a letter to the Assembly which caused 
Guadet to cry out: "When Cromwell used similar 
language liberty was lost in England!" 1 then left 
his post and hurried to Paris trusting to his old- 
time popularity a step which made Robespierre 
and the Jacobins denounce him as in league with 
Austria. But even among the people many boiled 
with indignation at the insults that had been offered 
the King, and a petition of protest sent to the 
National Assembly was signed by twenty thousand. 

1 Sorel, ii., 484-5. 

Downfall 239 

Louis XVI himself issued a proclamation re- 
hearsing all the events of the day, declaring that 
no amount of violence would make him consent to 
measures that were opposed to the general welfare, 
and bidding the enemies of the monarchy, if they 
wished one crime more, to commit it now. 1 The 
Assembly, finally, on June 23d, put itself on record 
as "intending to maintain the Constitution and the 
inviolability of the hereditary representative of 
the nation," spoke of " enemies of the people 
and of Liberty who had usurped the language of 
patriotism," and urged all good citizens to aid the 
constituted authorities in preserving order. 2 

Yet only ten days later Vergniaud, in one of the 
most stirring harangues of the whole Revolution, 
accused Louis XVI of conspiring with foreigners 
to enslave and dismember France. The fact, too, 
that Petion, Mayor of Paris, was suspended at 
Louis' instigation for not having taken better 
measures for his protection, added to the ferment. 
Dumouriez sent alarming reports of the condition of 
the army ; yet the enemies were rapidly approach- 
ing the frontier, Prussia having formally declared 
war on July 6th. In Brittany, in La Vendee, 
there were the beginnings of insurrection. 

In the Assembly there were fierce debates as to 
whether or not Petion should be dismissed from 
office. We have a representation of Petion 3 that 
must have been issued by his partisans at this 
very crisis and that is interesting in various regards. 
Potion's portrait in the form of a medallion is 

1 Duvergier, iv., 223. Ib., iv., 225. Plate 105, p. 240. 

The French Revolution 

suspended by a tri-coloured ribbon in or over 
a great heart. The text underneath reads: " Je- 

Mire iu !)( 

Plate 105. A portrait of Petion, man of the hour and idolized Mayor of 

Paris. He is enshrined in the popular heart under the protecting 

folds of the tri-coloured ribbon. Note the heart. 

rome Petion, Mayor of Paris, illegally suspended 
by the counter-revolutionary department-direc- 
tory at the instigation of a superior authority 



more revolutionary still." Around the medallion 
are the words, "His love for liberty has placed him 
in our hearts. He was an incorruptible legislator. 
He is a mayor without fear and without reproach. " 
Events now followed thick and fast. On July 
7th, after frightful bickerings in the Assembly, 

Plate 1 06. A newspaper illustration from the Revolutions de Paris which 

incidentally shows the flag with "The country is in danger!" hanging 

from the H6tel de Ville. 

Abbe Lamourette rose and made an eloquent 
appeal to forget all differences and unite all parties 
against this foreign enemy that was about to 
invade France. There was an extraordinary scene 
of enthusiasm and brotherly love during which 
political enmities were forgotten and deputies of 
the right and deputies of the left crossed the hall 
and literally kissed each other. But how long 
did this harmony last? On the following day 


242 The French Revolution 

matters were as bad as ever. The kiss, it was 
declared, was the kiss of Judas ; a Hercules and his 
club, not a weeping priest, were needed against 
crowned robbers and ogres. The King's friends 
believed that he was in danger of being assassinated, 
and Lafayette as well as Madame de Stael are 
really said to have been concerned in a new plot for 
the escape of the royal family. 1 

On July 9th, the ministers presented a most 
alarming report on the general state of affairs in 
the kingdom, and resigned in a body. On the nth 
the Assembly resorted to its last and most des- 
perate measure a measure borrowed from ancient 
Rome and proclaimed the country in danger. 2 
A great flag with an inscription to that effect was 
hung out from the Hotel de Ville. 3 A public an- 
nouncement was made that troops were converg- 
ing on the frontier. Every functionary, every 
soldier, was ordered to remain at his post; every 
patriot was to wear the national cockade. Dis- 
obedience was to be considered as rebellion, and 
those who failed to denounce were to be treated 
as accomplices. 

It was in a frenzied state of mind that the anni- 
versary of the storming of the Bastile was cele- 
brated on the Champ de Mars and the emblems of 
feudalism were once more consigned to the flames. 4 
We have a serious representation of the scene, 5 by 
the conscientious Prieur, which shows every sort of 

1 Sorel, ii., 489. 

a Debats et Decrets, July n, 1792. See also number of July 4th. 

a Plate 106, p. 241 . 4 Feuille Villageoise iv., 384. s Plate 107, p. 243. 



13 o> 

.9 I 

S 1 


< -3 




v r OK, 

Plate 109. A representation of Cupid as a volunteer, showing that the 

thought of marching against the enemy was the one dominant 

sentiment of the moment. 


246 The French Revolution 

emblem hung on a tree which the flames are rapidly 

The King appeared at the fte and this time 
mounted the steps of the altar of the fatherland 
to take the oath to maintain the Constitution. 
But he reminded Madame de Stae'l of a sacrificial 
victim. The decree of "The country in danger " 
inspired one of the best artistic productions of the 
whole Revolutionary period. 1 It is entitled "De- 
votion to Country," and there is a life and move- 
ment to it that must have thrilled men to the heart 
at a moment of such danger and excitement. On a 
throne, the base of which is adorned with all the 
Revolutionary emblems, including the huge eye 
of the Jacobins, sits France; while another figure, 
on a tall pedestal, bears the device: "Citizens, the 
country is in danger ! ' ' Heroic mothers are offering 
up their children; jewels are being laid on an altar, 
while wives are speeding their husbands to the 
front, and an old man, leaning on a crutch, is 
giving his blessing. Another engraving, called 
"Cupid, the Volunteer," 2 shows us the spirit that 
undoubtedly did animate the French patriots at 
that time. This military ardour, which was to 
accomplish great things, is the most sympathetic 
aspect of the Revolution. Here was something 
definite to do. All the wild exaltation, all the 
vows, all the hopes, were to be transmuted into 

Meanwhile a stirring message of patriotic good 
fellowship had been received from the south, from 

1 Plate 108, p. 244. 2 Plate 109, p. 245. 

Downfall 247 

Marseilles. A picked band of fiery Revolutionists 1 
announced that they were under way. Already 
on June 2Oth the Assembly had received a letter 
signed by one hundred citizens declaring that 
French liberty was in peril; that the men of the 
South had risen to defend it; that the day of the 
wrath of the people had come, and the too greatly 
angered lion was about to quit its repose and spring 
upon its enemies. 

These men of Marseilles came in a spirit that 
was hostile to the very idea of monarchy; they 
were ready, if need be, to invoke the aid of fire 
and sword. They sang a hymn of revolution that 
everywhere roused patriots to frenzy. The words 
and music, combining fervid sentiments and stir- 
ring strains of melody, gripped all hearts. Rouget 
de Lille, the composer, had caught the very es- 
sence of the Jacobin gospel. The " Marseillaise " 
was a hymn to the God of Liberty. It found most 
rapid acceptance everywhere. It was taught in 
the schools, was preached from the pulpit, was sung 
in the field. We find it published in London, in 
that same year, 2 and the vignette at the head shows 
the troop rollicking on to the scene with fife playing 
and drum beating. 

There is nothing original in the words of the 
"Marseillaise." It is simply a concentration and 
co-ordination of the old well-known similes and 
metaphors. The day of glory has arrived when the 
impure blood of the slaves of traitors and tyrants 

1 Aulard declares that they were recruited from the best families, 
Mortimer-Terneux that they were ex-bandits. a Plate 1 10, p. 249. 

248 The French Revolution 

shall water the free furrows of France. The piti- 
less tigers who are ready to tear their mother's 
breasts shall learn what Liberty and love of 
country can accomplish. We have a representa- 
tion 1 of some of this devoted band hurrying forward 
and singing the chorus: "To arms, citizens! 
Form your battalions!" 

Into all this seething mass of excitement the 
Duke of Brunswick, commander-in-chief of the 
forces of Austria and Prussia, hurled a bomb that 
was like a flash of lightning setting loose all the 
thunders of heaven. He lent his name to a 
blatant manifesto, composed mainly by Calonne 
and Fersen, and intended "to inspire a wholesome 
terror. " A year later Brunswick declared that he 
would give his life not to have signed the docu- 
ment and that he should repent of it to his dying 
day. 2 Pains were taken to recount in detail all the 
sins of the French, all their "attacks on the throne 
and the altar." On the word of honour of the 
sovereigns, " should the palace of the Tuileries be as- 
sailed, should the least act of violence be attempted 
against the royal family, vengeance will be taken 
at once exemplary and memorable; the guilty will 
be handed over to their merited punishment, and 
the city of Paris to military execution and total 
overthrow!" 3 

If you lash a spirited horse with a whip and it 
takes to flight, the damage is apt to assume un- 
expected forms. The immediate result of Bruns- 

1 Plate 1 1 1 , p. 25 1 . a Massenbach, Memoiren, i., 236. 

3 La Revolution Frangaise, vii., 87. 


/;//'AA'/\ ////:./// 

~. I 

,,,tfttt* ktrJr J,.. 

. /tff<j ctHi-rt* * !'.,+*** 

*. *,.,*',.,. pr+* , /M 
<j^iliM* ^* ntvrf rf/i y^/ **Awy<v *./^*//*r**^*v*W f .tmtlm *W; 

^^^^^^.^If, '1+0*, 

<j*r *"t 

- tt& /y - - M/k<. 

Plate no. The words and music of the Marseillaise. From a copy of the 

song published in London in November, 1792. 


250 The French Revolution 

wick's manifesto was to cause intense irritation 
against the King. There were loud calls for the 
overthrow of the monarchy. Assemblages in 
forty-seven out of forty-eight sections of Paris 
joined in a declaration that "the first link in the 
counter-revolutionary chain is the chief executive 
power. " One section openly cast off its allegiance 
to Louis. 1 

The next day, it is true, a delegation from one of 
the sections came to protest that the declaration 
did not represent the sentiment of the majority 
in the district; but the agitators in such a case 
always have the upper hand. Danton and other 
able leaders had undoubtedly resorted to all the 
tricks of which demagogy is capable. There was 
an organized plot to join with the Marseilles 
patriots and hurl Louis XVI from the throne. 

Petitioners kept coming to demand that the 
"persecutive power" be destroyed; that the Tuile- 
ries be razed as the Bastile had been; that all 
decrees passed since the flight to Varennes be 
rescinded; that the rights of man be veiled as the 
ancients veiled the statues of the gods. 2 Excite- 
ment was running so high that deputies whose 
sentiments were unpopular were not only insulted 
and threatened but were subjected to actual 
violence. If they ventured to complain in the 
Assembly, the recital of their woes was greeted with 
roars of laughter from the galleries. One had been 
stoned, another pelted with filth, another almost 

1 Debats et Decrets, August 4th. 

3 Debats et Decrets, August 5th~9th. 

Plate in. A ivpivsintution of French soldiers, full of grim determination, 
marching to the chorus "To arms, citizens!" 


252 The French Revolution 

hung to the lantern-bracket. The more gruesome 
the details the louder the mirth. "In your very 
precincts I was struck/* cried a deputy. "Where? " 
cried a voice. "I am asked where I was struck 
it was behind. Assassins never strike anywhere 
else.'* A member, Vanblanc, furious at all the 
disorder, spoke plain words to the Assembly 
itself, declaring that its authority was gone and 
that it was simply ridiculous to hear the president 
attempting to call the galleries to order. 

The view of these legislators that one gains 
from their own records shows them to have been 
one of the feeblest bodies that ever attempted to 
rule a state. They made no opposition when the 
sections of Paris, after midnight elections con- 
ducted without a shadow of fairness, installed a 
new governing council in the Hotel de Ville. This 
council then delivered an ultimatum to the As- 
sembly itself. If by eleven that evening it was 
August 9th the dethronement of Louis XVI had 
not been decreed, the Tuileries would be stormed 
and pillaged. 

The Assembly was not intimidated quite to the 
extent of at once obeying this order, but through 
the long night the deputies remained in session 
anxiously awaiting developments. At half-past 
four they dispersed, at half -past five they were 
hastily summoned together again. 

They knew that the King was in great danger. 
Should they or should they not send to aid him as 
they had done on the twentieth of June? It was 
objected that those former deputations had not 

Downfall 253 

been treated with sufficient respect. Brissot sug- 
gested inviting the King to take refuge with the 

The Journal des Debats et Decrets 1 tells us 
that in the midst of these idle debates a National 
Guard appeared at the bar. He announced that a 
body of troops was drawn up in line of battle and 
had pointed its cannon against the gates of the 
Tuileries. "If our king has sinned/* he added, 
"he should be punished; but they ought not to 
mur " and his voice choked with emotion. Mes- 
sengers kept coming with fresh announcements: 
a head on a pole, that of Suleau, the journalist, 
struck down by Theroigne de Mericourt whom he 
had defamed; an armed mob surging around the 
Tuileries. The members fell to discussing once 
more, should they or should they not go to the 
King's aid? The question was answered for them. 
The royal party stood there on the very thresh- 
old. A deputation was appointed to receive them. 
"Their clothes were all in disorder/' writes the 
same deputy who had spoken such plain but unwel- 
come words to them on the twentieth of June, "and 
they hung their heads just like wet chickens." 

What had happened? Louis had guards with- 
in the palace grounds to the number of nearly 
three thousand. Many to be sure were National 
Guards on whose fidelity no reliance could be 
placed. But there were the loyal Swiss merce- 
naries, obedient to the death. And had Louis 
shown courage, fully half of the National Guards 

1 August loth. Az&na (Rto. Fr. xxvil, 177). 

254 The French Revolution 

would have rallied to him. 1 Not all had refused 
to cheer him when he reviewed them at dawn that 
morning, though some had cried "Down with the 
veto ! " ' ' Down with the King ! ' ' 

But he had given up the struggle although the 
Queen urged him to resist. They had walked 
across the garden past men who were raking leaves. 
"The leaves are falling early this year," was the 
King's only recorded remark. His own life was 
blighted like the leaves. 

They entered and were escorted through the 
hall. First came the King accompanied by his 
ministers, and followed by the Queen, by the little 
Madame, by Madame Elizabeth, Louis' sister t 
and by three ladies of the court. A grenadier 
bore the little Dauphin in his arms and placed him 
on the president's desk under the care of the secre- 
taries. 2 Standing beside the president, Louis ad- 
dressed the house: "I have come here to prevent a 
great crime. I shall always consider myself and 
my family safe in the midst of the nation's repre- 
sentatives. I shall pass the day there." 

His reception was not unfriendly. Vergniaud, 
the president, declared that the National Assembly 
knew its duties and that it regarded as one of the 
most cherished of these the maintenance of the 
constituted authorities. It would know how, 
if need be, to die at its post. Would one believe it, 
later, as evidences of royalism, these remarks were 
to prove fatal to Vergniaud! 

Objection was presently made on constitutional 

1 v. Sybel, i., 442. 2 Debats et Decrcts, August loth. 

Downfall 255 

grounds to Louis' presence on the floor of the 
Assembly hall. He and his family were rele- 
gated to the alcove reserved for the newspaper 

The Debats et Decrets describes what next 
happened in the simplest and most unsensational 
language, but with a wealth of detail that puts to 
.shame the highest dramatic art. Nor does the 
narrative suffer from the fact that the reporter's 
point of observation was the hall of the National 
Assembly and not the Tuileries palace. These mes- 
sengers, these sounds that penetrate the hall, the 
confusion, the dread all render the scene more 
vivid, the succession of events more compre- 

First, the commander of the National Guards 
at the palace appeared and announced that the 
gates had been forced. What line of action did the 
Assembly wish him to pursue? " There are citi- 
zens about to be massacred," he said; "something 
must be done to save them!" Anxious and agi- 
tated, the Assembly sent an appeal to the people 
and despatched a deputation of twenty members 
to the spot. It was voted to send commissioners, 
too, to confer with the new Revolutionary authori- 
ties in the Hotel de Ville. They were to seek out 
" all those in whose hands, either legally or illegally, 
there may reside at this moment any authority 
whatever." The naming of the commissioners 
was in progress when the roar of cannon was heard 
and with it other sounds of a great tumult. What 
was happening can be grasped by a glance at the 

256 The French Revolution 

painting of Bertaux, I an artist well known for the 
general correctness of his productions. 

At the first shot the spectators in the galleries 
rose, stretched out their arms to the deputies and 
cried, "Long live the National Assembly! Long 
live the nation ! Long live Liberty and Equality ! ' ' 
Then an officer of the national guard rushed in 
shouting that the Swiss guards had given way. 
The delegation that had been sent now returned 
having been unable to penetrate the crowd. It 
declared that it was already too late to interfere. 
Between the volleys from the cannon there could 
be heard quick discharges of musketry. No one 
could tell how the struggle had begun. 

The din increased from moment to moment; 
the tocsin was sounding in every quarter. There 
was a sudden rattle of bullets against the window- 
panes of the hall of the Assembly. There were 
cries of "To arms! to arms!" Some deputies rose 
intending to make their escape. Others cried, 
"No, no, our post is here, and here we must die!" 
The galleries cheered; the whole Assembly rose 
and repeated, "Long live the nation!" 

Soon voices were heard; there were shouts of 
joy: "The Swiss are vanquished! Victory!" The 
Assembly broke out in rejoicings. Some one cried 
that Petion, the adored Mayor of Paris, must be 
set at liberty. A decree was passed and promul- 
gated to the sound of a trumpet, inviting "the 
magistrate whom the people cherishes to appear 
before the people's eyes." 

'Plate 1 12, p. 257. 


258 The French Revolution 

A curious change had come over the Assembly. 
These men had been willing to die for the Constitu- 
tion. Now when it was proposed to preface the 
new proclamation with ' ' Long live Liberty, Long 
live Equality, Long live the Constitution!" there 
was applause for the first two sentiments but 
silence for the last one. 

What had happened at the Tuileries was this. 
The National Guards had gone over to the mob 
in a body. The Swiss had refused to yield and 
had stationed themselves on the stairway of the 
palace. It is not known who fired the first 

The King had failed to leave any instructions 
for his guards. This was pardonable, it would 
seem, as he could only imagine that the attacks 
were intended for his person. At the first sound 
of the firing he had despatched an order to the 
guards to retire. It was a well-meant but fatal 
order. Seeing the Swiss yield, the mob pressed on. 
The retreat became a massacre. The palace was 
pillaged and set on fire. Some eight hundred 
guards perished now or were slaughtered in the 
prisons in the early September days. 

A worthy monument 1 was erected to their 
memory by their own fellow- citizens. In the living 
rock at Lucerne, Thorwaldsen carved his splendid 
symbol: the great lion wounded to death yet still 
guarding his trust. The names are inscribed 
below of " those who, lest they should break their 
plighted faith, died most bravely fighting." 

1 Plate 1 13, p. 259. 

Plate 113. A representation of the lion carved in the rock at Lucerne by 

Thorwaldsen in memory of the Swiss guards who fell on August loth 

and September 3rd. From an old engraving. 


26o The French Revolution 

There was no longer any talk in the Assembly of 
" upholding the constituted powers." The rabble 
was in complete control. Every word in defence 
of the King was cried down as treason, for the 
ordeal of battle had declared against him. The 
"new magistrates of the people," as the members 
of the Commune called themselves, dictated every- 
thing to the National Assembly, declaring grandly 
that they still regarded the Assembly as worthy of 
confidence but would brook no criticism of their 
recent actions. Only the French people, "your 
sovereign and ours, united in primary assemblies," 
could be the judge of their conduct. "Know that 
fire has broken out in the Tuileries, " declared 
another delegation from the Commune, "and that 
we shall not put it out until the vengeance of the 
people is assuaged!" As if any political agitators 
when appealing to the sovereignty of the people 
ever included as "people " those whose opinions did 
not coincide with their own ! 

The National Assembly sacrificed the King and 
at the same time shifted all responsibility on to 
other shoulders. In a decree it declared that the 
dangers of the country had reached their climax; 
that it was necessary to strike at the root of 
the evil; that the whole trouble came from dis- 
trust of the chief executive, and that there was a 
general desire to see the authority of Louis XVI 
revoked. It, the Assembly, would "bury itself 
under the ruins of the temple of Liberty rather 
than see that Liberty perish," and therefore now 
had recourse to the sovereignty of the people and 

Downfall 261 

was issuing a solemn summons to a national 
convention. ' 

The King was provisionally suspended from 
power, and the royal family were to remain within 
the precincts of the National Assembly until safe 
quarters could be provided for them elsewhere. 

1 Debats et Decrets (also La Revolution Fran$aisc, vii., 183). 



THE place of detention finally decided upon 
for the royal family was the so-called Tem- 
ple, built by the Knights Templars in the 
Middle Ages and situated in the heart of Paris. As 
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette drove to this 
their last earthly abiding place in common, they 
were subjected to every kind of insult. Proclama- 
tion had been made that no one might take off his 
hat to them under penalty of death. Among the 
cries recorded were : ' ' Down with the pig I" " Down 
with the perfidious Austrian woman!" 

For two days the royal apartments at the Tuile- 
ries were thrown open to the public, and any one, 
we are told, " might go and satisfy his sad and 
stupid curiosity in this palace once so full of glory, 
but now heaped high with corpses and dyed red 
with blood." r On August i6th it was decreed that 
the contents of all the royal palaces should be sold 
for the benefit of the Treasury. Already many 
articles of value had been transferred from the 
Tuileries to the Hotel de Ville. The palace of 
Versailles to-day, bare and empty as it stands, is 

1 Peltier, Tableau de Paris, i., 193. 


Plate 114. A contemporary newspaper illustration (from the 

Revolutions de Paris) of the pulling down of the statues 

of Louis XIV in the Place Venddme and the 

Place des Victoircs. 


264 The French Revolution 

yet the grandest monument of modern history: 
what would it have been if the thousands of 
objects which represented all that was best in the 
different arts of the time had remained intact ! 

There was relentless war now on every symbol, 
every emblem, every reminder of royalty. Formal 
decrees of the Assembly ordered that "all monu- 
ments raised to pride, prejudice, and tyranny," 
all "statues, bas-reliefs, inscriptions, and other 
memorials erected in public squares, temples, 
gardens, parks, etc.," be removed. The huge 
equestrian statue of Louis XIV in the Place 
Vendome, as also the statue of the same king in 
the Place des Victoires from the base of which the 
chained slaves had already been removed as an 
insult to Equality, came crashing down. 1 Yes, to 
such incredible lengths did the hatred and disgust 
for the name of King and Queen lead these ardent 
republicans that the very playing-cards had to be 
changed throughout the length and breadth of the 
land. Knaves also were tabooed as contrary to 
Equality. And what was offered in return? We 
find in one pack 2 four Geniuses (war, art, com- 
merce, and peace); four Liberties (worship, the 
press, the professions, marriage), and four Equal- 
ities (of duties, of rank, of colour, and of rights). 
Liberty of marriage includes Liberty of divorce, an 
achievement of which the Revolutionists seemed 
particularly proud. 

We have another pack 3 where the Kings are 
Sages (Solon, Cato, Rousseau, Brutus) ; the Queens, 

1 Plate 1 14, p. 263. 2 Plate 1 15, p. 265. 3 Plate 1 16, p. 267. 

Plate 115. A representation of the faced cards in a Revolutionary pack. 
The Kings are supplanted by "Geniuses," the Queens by " Liberties," 
and the Knaves by "Equali: i 

266 The French Revolution 

Virtues (Justice, Prudence, Union, and Force) ; and 
the Knaves Heroes (Hannibal, Horatius, Mutius 
Scaevola, and Publius Decius Mus). Doubtless 
there were many other ingenious substitutes for 
the real thing. 

Horace Walpole is authority for the fact that 
the royal Bengal tiger became the National Bengal 
tiger. If you once begin to wipe out so general a 
conception as that of king, there is no length to 
which one will not have to go. All dramatic 
literature that had to do with kings was banished 
from the stage; books dedicated to kings or even 
printed with their permission were destroyed, and 
it was seriously proposed to burn the whole national 
library. Dead kings in their marble sarcophagi 
were special objects of attack, and it is well known 
how the tombs in the church of St. Denis were 
opened and the royal corpses dragged out and 
insulted. Henry IV was found in a good state of 
preservation; he was placed against a column and 
a patriotic soldier cut off his beard with his sword. 

Infinite damage to art was done by all this van- 
dalism. Later a committee was appointed by the 
National Convention to restrain the patriotic ardour 
and rescue objects of real artistic value. Its report z 
is a terrible arraignment not only of all the vindic- 
tiveness but of the gross stupidity that was often 
shown. Paintings had been defaced merely be- 
cause of the supposed political sentiments of the 
owners or artists; the committee managed to save 
a sculptured stag that had been doomed because it 

1 Moniteur, Sept. 2, 1794. 


Plate 1 1 6. A representation of Revolutionary playing cards in which the 
Kings are " Sages," the Queens " Virtues," the Knaves " Heroes." 


268 The French Revolution 

recalled to mind the odious hunting privileges of 
the nobles ! 

In honour of the storming of the Tuileries and 
at the same time as a memorial to the dead, a 
great fete was celebrated at which was displayed 
every sort of patriotic symbol and emblem. Over 
the little sheet of water in front of the Tuileries 
palace was erected a pyramid in Egyptian style, 
and it bore the inscription: "Silence, they are at 
rest!" There were banners with the names of the 
dead and others with recitals of the King's iniqui- 
ties. These names and these sentiments, we are 
told, "first desolated the hearts of the onlookers, 
but then roused them to the highest pitch of 
indignation against the authors of so many crimes." 
There was a "touching group" of women in white 
and black who bore the petition for Louis XVI's 
dethronement that had been drawn up after the 
flight to Varennes, and it was explained that a whole 
year of liberty would have been gained had it been 
heeded at the time. France would have been 
delivered of a despot who was the born enemy of 
the rights of man. 

A huge sarcophagus containing the bodies of 
the fallen (possibly they were merely symbolical 
bodies) approached, drawn by oxen, through 
clouds of incense. The swords of the patriots 
who formed the escort were twined with oak leaves, 
and the inscriptions on their banners breathed 
terrible threats of vengeance and exhorted widows 
and mothers to weep for their slain. There was 

Plate 117. A portrait of Robespierre. From an oil painting. 


270 The French Revolution 

an image of Liberty and another of Law, the 
escort of Law being made up of judges. 

Such celebrations undoubtedly were a means of 
fanning revolutionary passions into flame. But 
here, as on many another similar occasion, one sees 
the ropes and pulleys behind the scenes. Had it 
not been for a body of agitators who made it their 
chief occupation to hound and lure others on, 
the Revolution might have ended with the com- 
pletion of the Constitution. The Revolutions de 
Paris itself is authority for the statement that all 
this display of patriotism at the fete in honour 
of the tenth of August failed of its effect ; that the 
"proper sadness and holy indignation" were not 
displayed by the spectators ; that the mourning was 
evidenced more in the garments than in the faces ; 
that "an air of dissipation and even of noisy joy" 
formed too great a contrast to the symbols of 
grief; that the desired illusion was destroyed. 

The overthrow of royalty had been the work 
of a very few men. The chief of these had been 
enrolled in the new council of the Commune 
which now governed Paris. To all intents and 
purposes it also governed France. Its first act 
was to appoint a new ministry. It recalled 
several of those whom Louis XVI had dismissed. 
Roland, having quitted his post of Minister of 
Justice with the nimbus of martyrdom, was now 
given the post of Minister of the Interior. Claviere 
was made Minister of Finance. Danton took the 
important position of Minister of Justice and, for 
a time, was the leading man in France. Robes- 

Massacre 271 

pierre and Marat were members of the council 
and worked for the cause with voice and pen. 
Petion, against whom all proceedings in connection 
with his attitude on the 2Oth of June were at once 
dropped, was now the idol of Paris and resumed the 
position of mayor, from which he had been 

When one reflects how hastily the chief offices 
of state were filled it is not surprising that mis- 
takes were made, even from the point of view of the 
enrages. Some weeks, however, were to elapse 
before these mistakes were found out. Found out 
by whom? By the Jacobin Club, of whom Robes- 
pierre was the leading spirit. It is safe to say that 
opposition to, or agreement with, Robespierre's 
views was henceforth to mark a man out for ruin 
or advancement. The transactions of the club 1 
show him ever in the foreground, sternly denounc- 
ing, coldly disapproving. 

The great Mirabeau had once said of Robes- 
pierre: "This young man will go far; he believes 
all that he says." It was that quality of fanati- 
cal sincerity that had advanced him to a posi- 
tion where he was to the Jacobins what the 
Grand Inquisitor had been to the Spanish 
Tribunal. He was perfectly consistent when he 
declared it possible and necessary to banish every 
enemy of Liberty from the soil of France. 

Robespierre's face, as seen in his portraits, 2 is 
almost benign: not at all in accord with the de- 
scriptions given of him by some of his contempo- 

1 Published by Aulard in five volumes. " Plate 1 17, p. 269. 

272 The French Revolution 

raries. But possibly Merlin de Thionville is right 
when he dwells on the changeableness of the man's 
expression. He likens him to a cat: sometimes a 
sweet domestic cat with merely a certain restive- 
ness in his eyes, but then again a ferocious wild- 
cat. A Miss Williams, who saw and heard 
Robespierre in 1794 declares that his very manner 
of manipulating his eye-glasses could freeze the 
beholder with terror. Several complain of the 
unsteadiness of his gaze, of his inability to look one 
in the face. 

Robespierre strongly repelled and as strongly 
attracted. That he stood so firmly for hatred of 
tyranny, for liberty, and for the sovereignty of the 
people gave him a strong hold, even though the 
more penetrating must have realized his enormous 
egotism. His ideas were drawn mainly from Rous- 
seau, and we find him fighting for things that 
Rousseau advocated, even though they might 
seem outside the sphere of the politician. One has 
heard of a modern statesman entering the lists for 
large families; just so Robespierre, in season and 
out of season, insisted that the mothers in France 
should nurse their own children. Robespierre 
even went so far in his later measures for the relief 
of the indigent as to make this a condition of 
rendering state aid to destitute mothers. 

Robespierre and Danton were occasionally in 
accord; fundamentally they differed. Danton was 
a man more of action than of ideas. He had been 
ward politician and had engineered the whole 
conspiracy that broke out on August loth. Not 


Plate 1 1 8. A portrait of Lafayette engraved at the time of his appointment 

as commander of the National Guards. 


274 The French Revolution 

that he was uneducated. He is known to have 
read Shakespeare, Adam Smith, and Rousseau, 
and rumour even went so far as to credit him with 
reading the whole of the Encyclopaedia. Strange 
to say, Robespierre was eventually to find Danton 
too moderate. Yet it was Danton who uttered 
the famous " Audacity, more audacity, still more 
audacity." It was now, while the foreign enemies 
were at the gate, that Danton was at his best. 
Robespierre was more concerned about the ene- 
mies at home. He had his own little group, a 
conspirator's club, to which continually he kept 
adding. The members of this club were men 
whose worst crime was to hold views contrary to 
his own. 

The Commune, of which Robespierre was the 
mouthpiece, now simply dictated its will to the 
moribund Legislative Assembly. It was the Com- 
mune that had insisted on the Temple, rather than 
the Luxembourg, as a place of residence for the 
royal family. Through the Commune's influence, 
too, Lafayette, after having long been the object 
of the bitterest attacks in the Jacobin Club, was 
removed from his command as head of the Na- 
tional Guards. We have a portrait of Lafayette 
engraved under far other circumstances. x 

It was the Commune which insisted on the 
formation of a separate Revolutionary Tribunal 
to deal exclusively with "traitors." When the 
National Assembly sought to modify the plan, it 
was simply told that by midnight the measure 

1 Plate 1 1 8, p. 273. 



must be passed or else the tocsin would be sounded 
and the citi- 
zens called to 
arms. Within 
less than a week 
after the storm- 
ing of the 
Tuileries the 
sessions of the 
tribunal had 
begun, and on- 
ly four days 
later the first 
victim had 
perished by 
the guillotine 
which was set 
up in the Place 
du Carrousel. 
"Ah, what a 
fine prop for 
Liberty!" is 
the inscription 
under a repre- 
sentation of the 
guillotine 1 that 
very likely was 
issued at this 
juncture. Good Plate "9- 


Dr. Guillotin! 
How proud he 

1 Plate 119, above. 

A representation of the guillotine as 
a fine prop for liberty. 

had been of his invention and 

276 The French Revolution 

of the merciful promptitude with which it put an 
end to the misery of the condemned! "With my 
machine I cut off your head in the twinkling of 
an eye and you don't notice it at all!" The inex- 
tinguishable laughter of the members had broken 
up the session for the rest of the day. But, alas, 
how many were now to have the experience the 
thought of which had caused them such merriment ! 

Guillotin's machine at the moment had been 
a mere curiosity. He had offered to decapitate a 
few sheep, or some bodies of dead men, in the 
presence of the Assembly: but that body had not 
felt equal to the experience. Many members were 
opposed to capital punishment. As late as May, 
1791,' even Robespierre had denounced it as "a 
cowardly abuse of the infinite power of all against 
one," as "a solemn form of assassination," as 
"unjust, ineffectual, and barbarous like the 
slaying of a vanquished and captured enemy." 

From the very first there were instances of fine 
bravery and self-possession among the victims of 
the guillotine. One, a scientist, wrote and begged 
the National Assembly to have his blood, which 
would no longer be of any use to himself, transfused 
into the veins of an older man to see if the result 
would be rejuvenation. There were cases innu- 
merable where retributive justice overtook those 
who had sent others to the guillotine, but doubtless 
none more striking than when, also in these earliest 
days, the executioner in the very act of holding up a 
severed head fell off the platform and was killed 

1 Debats et Decrets, May 3<rth. 



himself. That Doctor Guillotin perished by means 
of his own invention is a statement often met with, 

Plate 1 20. A portrait of Danton. From an oil painting. 

but it is untrue. There is a letter of his in the 
National Archives, written long after the Reign of 
Terror a mere little note, but enough to show that 

278 The French Revolution 

he was alive. He incidentally sends his love to 
Madame Guillotin, which would tend, even, to 
show that he was happy. 

With such props as the Revolutionary Tribunal 
and the guillotine and with a Legislative Assembly 
only too anxious to efface itself and be gone, the 
Commune of Paris reigned supreme. x To read its 
addresses to the provinces, however, one would 
imagine it imbued with the strongest sense of the 
power and dignity of the National Assembly. 

Bull-faced Danton 2 and his fellows had inau- 
gurated a marvellous campaign for the control 
of public opinion. On the very day of the storming 
of the Tuileries, an iron hand had descended on the 
press. Every sheet with the least royalist tend- 
ency was permanently prohibited. But more 
than this: the city gates had immediately been 
closed and none but patriots allowed to go out and 
spread the news. Throughout the city there were 
carefully planned nocturnal visits, and thousands 
of persons suspected of royalism were arrested and 
carried off to prison. 

Aided by the Jacobin Society the work of 
propaganda was undertaken on an enormous scale. 
Cost was a mere detail. The Legislative Assembly 
was made to vote an appropriation of six million 
francs for secret purposes. One hundred thousand 
francs was to be used immediately, "for the print- 
ing and distributing throughout the departments 
and in the armies of all writings fitted to enlighten 

1 Mortimer-Terneux has the best account of the Commune's excesses. 

2 Plate 120, p. 277. 

Massacre 279 

men's minds as to the criminal plots of the enemies 
of the state." 1 Emissaries were instructed to 
visit even the smallest towns and the loneliest 
country districts and "seek to discover the zealous 
patriots." They were to spread their literature 
"not with economy, but with discernment/' and to 
rouse the energy of the people "by all sorts of power- 
ful reasonings calculated to elevate it and to sustain 
it at the highest pitch of ardour and firmness. 2 ' 
It was constantly in the mouths of the Communist 
orators that the will of the people was supreme: 
but it was a will doctored, moulded, and beaten 
into shape by a few demagogues with an almost 
superhuman talent for organization. 

The National Assembly employed the eloquent 
Condorcet to pen a defence of its own conduct 
and to explain the reasons for calling a National 
Convention. The document shows most clearly 
how one and the same event can be made to assume 
two totally different aspects. Even the irruption 
into the Tuileries on the 2Oth of June was repre- 
sented as a most pleasant and harmless affair: 
"few crowded assemblies have passed off with less 
disorder. " The fault lay with the King who had 
issued a proclamation full of calumnies; while his 
ministers had persistently sowed discord between 
Paris and the departments, between the people 
and the army, between those at home and those 
on the frontier. All the iniquities of the King 
himself, of the emigres, of the refractory priests, 

1 Decree of August i8th, Duvergier, iv., 423. 
1 Revolutions de Paris, xiii., 473. 

280 The French Revolution 

are passed in review. Louis had gone to the extent 
of hiring journalists to make the Parisians odious 
to the rest of France. And then that manifesto 
of the Duke of Brunswick! To such an aristocrat, 
twenty-six million men were as nothing compared 
with one privileged family! Things had come to 
such a pass, continues Condorcet, that the Assem- 
bly had finally thought best to accede to the 
demand of the Commune of Paris for the downfall 
of the King and to vote for the calling of the 
National Convention. In the new elections, 
nature's laws alone were to prevail; there were to 
be no restrictions that could hamper the sovereign 
people, no distinction between those who paid 
taxes and those who did not. 

In spite of all this eloquent pleading, the high- 
handed action of the Parisians in overthrowing the 
French monarchy would never have been accepted 
with such equanimity but for another factor. The 
enemy was literally at the gates : the spectre of for- 
eign invasion had become a reality. The sacred 
soil of France was imperilled: whatever happened, 
whoever suffered, these foes must be driven back. 
All other feelings, even those of common humanity, 
were stifled. 

It was a case where Paris alone could take the 
lead. The National Assembly, on the eve of dis- 
persing and cowed into submission by the Com- 
mune, was powerless. Where could such energy 
be found, as with Danton and his like? Their 
methods might be brutal, diabolical, including, as 
they did, the searching of domiciles, wholesale 

Massacre 281 

arrests and proscriptions, arbitrary sequestrations. 
All of the twenty thousand, for instance, who had 
signed the petition protesting against the violence 
done to the King on June 2Oth were regarded as 
unpatriotic and shadowed as enemies. But all 
murmurs against injustice, all groans of distress, 
were silenced by the high notes of patriotism. The 
whole city was full of the clang of arms and the 
rush of warriors: "We burn to face the enemy," 
cried the spokesman of one of the innumerable 
little bands that came to the Assembly's hall before 
departing for the frontier; " let them tremble, those 
proud soldiers of despotism. . . . Continue, legis- 
lators, to combat tyranny and strengthen liberty, 
and with their bodies the French soldiers will make 
for you a rampart ! " 

We have the form of oath that the young warriors 
pronounced in the Assembly: "I swear to be faith- 
ful to the nation, to uphold liberty and equality, 
to die in defending them!" And these men were 
sincere and really brave. The brightest feature of 
the Revolution was this military ardour that was 
to carry all before it. From first to last something 
like a million men were put into the field. When 
arms and ammunition failed, pikes were hastily 
welded from iron gratings, bullets were moulded 
from church bells, and saltpetre for gunpowder 
was scraped from the floors of cellars. 

The armies in the field all recognized the new 
order of things, and Lafayette's troops abandoned 
him when he tried to organize revolt. He was 
obliged to fly for his life, and crossed the frontier 

282 The French Revolution 

to remain a prisoner of the Austrians for years. 
How the patriots execrated him! No symbol of 
shame was considered too vile. It was proposed 
to raze his house to the ground and erect on the spot 
a column that should perpetuate his infamy. He 
was burned in effigy, and a medal that had once 
been decreed in his honour was publicly broken 
by the executioner on the scaffold. 

Hatred against the King, meanwhile, was kept 
at a white heat. Compromising letters had been 
found in a secret hiding place an iron safe let 
into the wall. There was mystery about the dis- 
covery. The man who had made the safe had 
informed Roland, and Roland had kept the papers 
in his possession for more than two hours before 
imforming the committee appointed to search for 
such evidence. Had Roland tampered with the 
letters for his own purposes and extracted such 
ones as would have compromised his Girondist 
friends? Or it is possible that other documents 
were inserted in order to make the case more plain 
against the King? Louis XVI at his trial denied 
their authenticity and urged that the letters be 
submitted to an expert in handwriting; but this 
his accusers refused to permit. 

Among the secrets revealed by the iron safe was 
that of Mirabeau's dealings with the court. In an 
instant the great man's glory faded to an ashen 
grey. We have a remarkable cartoon, entitled 
" Royal Correspondence." 1 The doors of the 
great cupboard are thrown open and the skeleton 

1 Plate 121, p. 283. 

Plate 121. A cartoon rep resenting the opening of the secret iron safe, and 

showing Roland and the man who had betrayed the secret facing the 

skeleton of Mirabeau, which holds the crown in one hand and a 

bag of money in the other. 


284 The French Revolution 

of Mirabeau appears throned on the books and 
papers. One hand rests on the royal crown, in 
the other is a bag of money. Roland, in the corner, 
spreads out his hands in amazement, while above, 
Louis XVI, as a serpent, vomits into a cap of 

One can imagine to what frenzied denunciations 
of Louis these revelations gave rise. He is a 
monster who has been fattening on crime. With his 
Austrian pantheress he had plotted the annihila- 
tion of those in authority as well as of the Jacobin 
Club yes, he had intended to set fire to Paris and 
reduce it to a heap of ruins and of corpses. One 
paper regrets that the "holy wrath of the country" 
has not yet sent to the guillotine " Louis Nero 
and Medicis Antoinette." The rabble is bidden 
to rise and shed blood: "Despotism has been the 
aggressor, now it succumbs. No mercy! Let it 

The cartoons reflect the same tone. We have 
one called " Louis the Traitor, read thy sentence, " x 
where a great hand is writing on the wall: "God 
has judged thy reign and put an end to it. Thou 
hast been weighed in the balance and found 
wanting." Beneath is a guillotine with "She 
awaits the guilty one," while a long text reads as 
follows : 

A hundred times guilty and a hundred times pardoned 
Louis the Last has too greatly tried the amiability and 
generosity of the people not to realize himself that he must 
have worn out all the sentiments of humanity that alone 

1 Plate 122, p. 285. 

Plate 122. A cartoon representing the handwriting on the wall and bidding 

Louis the Traitor read his sentence. God has weighed him in the balance 

and found him wanting. Below, the guillotine awaits him. 



The French Revolution 

a remnant of pity could have retained for him these four 
years. His conscience is doubtless his cruelest executioner, 
and would that it were possible to abandon him to this 
internal torment a thousand times worse than death. But 
the most sacred of laws, the safety of twenty-four million 

Plate 123. A cartoon likening Louis XVI to a piece of out-of-date money 
and recommending that he be melted up. 

people, requires that he be judged ; and the glory of France, 
bound up in the judgment of the present and of future 
generations, requires that he be punished. In the present 
state of France and the dangerous agitation of Europe, 
how can this monster be considered in any other light than 
that of a rallying point for counter-revolutionists and a 
nucleus of counter-revolution ? Does sound policy, then, 
permit in his favour a clemency which, sooner or later, might 
cause the overthrow of the Republic ? 

We have another representation in a jocose vein. 1 

1 Plate 123, above. 

Massacre 287 

A National Guard stands at attention before a 
great coin with Louis XVI's likeness and a Dei 
Gratia. A bystander asks him: "What are you 
doing there?*' "I am guarding this great coin 
that nobody wants any more." "Ah, why don't 
you melt it up; you might get something at all 

On August 26, 1792, came tidings that threw 
the most excitable nation in the world into a 
deadly panic. Despatches from Verdun announced 
the surrender of the fortress of Longwy. So the 
enemy was actually in possession of French soil! 
The Assembly sanctioned the most astounding 
measure ever passed by a parliament. Twelve 
hundred volunteers were to be called out to act as 
tyrannicides and compass the death by any means 
whatever of the hostile kings and generals. It is 
true the measure was soon reconsidered, but the 
wonder of it is that it could ever have been passed. 
Another measure, voted in holy indignation 
against the inhabitants of Longwy for being so 
base as to surrender, was that every private house 
in the place should be razed to the ground and 
every inhabitant lose his rights as a French citizen 
for ten years to come. 

The one idea of the Commune was to spread 
alarm in Paris and make people believe that they 
were in danger from those about them as well as 
from those at the frontier. An address and a 
deputation were sent to the National Assembly 
itself "to unmask the traitors that are in its 
midst." Yes, in the very committee meetings 

288 The French Revolution 

so it was declared plots were being hatched. 
The Commune decreed the arrest of a journalist, 
Girey Dupr6, who had dared to criticize the noc- 
turnal domiciliary visits, and its troops even sur- 
rounded the house of the Minister of War, where 
Girey Dupre was supposed to be in hiding. 1 

The National Assembly was at last stung into 
retaliation. It cashiered the council of the Com- 
mune and ordered new elections. The council 
refused to be intimidated. One of the members 
called to mind that all had taken oath never to 
abandon their posts so long as the country was in 
danger. This fierce internal conflict, therefore, 
was added to all the other horrors. The Commune 
won. It had sent a deputation to the Assembly 
with an address drawn up by Robespierre. Weight 
was laid upon the great services of the Commune 
to the Revolution: " You have heard us," was the 
peroration. "Speak! we are there! . . . Never 
will we betray the interests of the people. Such 
cowardice is unworthy of us, unworthy of our 
fellow-citizens!" The perils of the moment made 
reconciliation more easy: "This is no time for 
disputing," cried Vergniaud; "we must dig the 
grave of our enemies or each step in advance will 
dig our own." The Assembly was finally trapped 
into a decree that virtually restored to the Com- 
mune all its old power. 

Graves were to be needed soon enough and in 
great quantities. 

On September 2d came the terrible announce- 

1 All this is described at length by Mortimer- Terneux. 

Massacre 289 

ment that the Austrians and Prussians were be- 
sieging Verdun and that this, the only fortress 
between the invaders and Paris, could not hold out 
for more than a week. As before, the Commune 
seemed to think that the best policy was to frighten 
people as badly as possible. It voted that its own 
members should disperse among the sections, 
should " depict with energy to their fellow- 
citizens" the desperate state of affairs, and should 
"represent to them forcibly how liberty is threat- 
ened, French territory invaded." All suspects and 
cowards were to be disarmed, all able-bodied 
men enrolled. Even the horses in Paris were 
declared public property to be used in the great 

There were dramatic incitements to bravery 
and constancy. Frenchmen were urged to let 
themselves be buried under their country's ruins 
rather than return to ignominious slavery; not to 
surrender their homes before they were reduced 
to mere heaps of ashes. 

But there were other cries, more fraught 
with danger. These priests who had refused 
to take the civic oath, were they not equally 
the enemies of good republicans? Should not 
the earth be rid of these traitors with whom the 
prisons were filled? One section of Paris, the 
Poissoniere, decreed on its own responsibility 
that all priests and all suspects in the prisons 
of Paris, Orleans, and elsewhere should be put 
to death. 

It would carry us too far to enter into all the 

290 The French Revolution 

details of these awful massacres of September. 1 
Some fourteen hundred victims fell in three days 
slaughtered in the prison yards as one butchers 
animals. The claim that there was any legality 
whatever to the matter is absurd. We do find 
tribunals active in the case of every prison. But 
they were popular tribunals in the worst sense of 
the word, for no one can imagine for a moment 
that they represented the real will of the French 
people. Judges hastily appointed by themselves 
or by those around them asked a few perfunctory 
questions and then let loose the victims among the 
so-called travailleurs or workers in blood. Some 
few of the prisoners were acquitted; them "the 
people" received with extravagant joy. They 
have left harrowing tales of their experiences. 2 

Who, in especial, perpetrated these massacres? 
It is safe to infer that it was the same band of men 
who had successfully plotted to overthrow Louis 
XVI about three weeks before. Among them now, 
as then, were many federes of the kind that had 
marched from Marseilles. But they were merely 
instruments of a higher will. The chief responsi- 
bility rested with the Commune, and it is indeed 
strange to witness the spectacle of a recognized city 
government, lending its countenance to such 
murderous orgies. 

We have the protocol of the proceedings of the 
Commune during the critical days. 3 It requires 

1 Many original documents are contained in the Memoires de Sep- 
tembre (Paris, 1823). 

2 Riouffe's narrative went through countless editions. 
s Memoires de Septembre, 166 ff. 



little astuteness to be able to read between the 
lines. In the very midst of the massacres it sends 
to the different prisons to protect those incarcerated 
for debt. So the others it considers fair prey! On 

Plate 124. A gruesome cartoon making fun of the priests who were massacred 

on September 3, 1792. They are represented as having had their 

noses pulled. 

September 3d, indeed, the Commune expresses 
itself as "greatly alarmed and touched by the 
rigorous measures being employed against the 
prisoners. " It even appointed delegates to "calm 
the effervescence and bring back to right principles 
those who may have gone astray." This from a 
body of men ready to surround the hall of the 
National Assembly at a moment's notice and put 

292 The French Revolution 

through some decree at the point of the bayonet! 
How different the language employed when the 
Commune was really distressed or alarmed! And 
how sympathetically now it listens to every argu- 
ment in favour of the murderers, to every alleged 
proof of a vast conspiracy on the part of the pris- 
oners to elude their jailors and massacre all the 
patriots ! 

There are strange entries in the financial accounts 
of the Commune 1 : " For those labouring to preserve 
the salubrity of the air on September 3d, 4th, and 
5th, and for those who presided at these dangerous 
operations, " so and so much ; or so much "for time 
spent in expediting priests of St. Firmin." If any 
one doubts the bloodthirsty spirit, the absolute 
suppression of all merciful feeling in certain circles 
at that time, he has only to look at the cartoon 
entitled, "Last procession of the refractory priests 
on August 31,1 792 . " 2 It must have been thought 
out, drawn, and published in the very midst of the 
massacres. More than once we have seen such 
pitiless, tigerish productions, but none equal in 
heartlessness to this. 

A banner above bears the inscription, "Who 
laughs Friday shall weep Sunday" (The mas- 
sacres had corne between !) The clergy are repre- 
sented as entering the church of the Carmelites, 
which was to be their prison, after having their 
noses pulled! 

France possessed at that time a Minister of 
Justice, Danton, who was probably one of the 

1 Also in Memoires de Septembre. 2 Plate 124, p. 291. 

Massacre 293 

chief instigators of the massacres. At all events 
he later assumed the responsibility, declaring: 
" It was I who caused them. Rivers of blood had 
to flow between us and our enemies/' 1 He made 
no recorded protest, took no steps to prevent the 

But, indeed, the general absence of protest, at 
the moment at least, is one of the strangest features 
of this whole affair. It speaks volumes for the 
cowed condition of all, Assembly and press included. 
The Assembly did not issue any decree on the 
subject until the massacres had already been in 
progress for thirty-six hours. Even then, it merely 
urged cessation and called for reports. The 
Commune reassured it. Only the guilty had 
fallen. Both judges and executioners had acted 
from the purest motives. Why a man who tried 
to steal a pocket handkerchief had been put to 
death for the crime! 2 

The silence of the press would have been in- 
comprehensible there was not a single case of 
outspoken disapproval of the massacres did we 
not have to remember that all newspapers not in 
good favour with the Commune had been sup- 
pressed on the tenth of August. 

And how did the Commune render account of 
its actions to the provinces? As follows; and the 
wording of the circular drawn up by Marat and 
countersigned by Danton (his defenders have all 

1 My authority for this is oral. Danton used these words to the 
future Louis Philippe, whose son repeated them to my informant, a 
well-known Dutch diplomat. * Duvergier, iv., 414. 

294 The French Revolution 

sorts of theories to explain the latter 's action) 
fairly makes one's flesh creep. There is talk of 
"acts of justice which seemed indispensable in 
order to check by terror these legions of traitors"; 
then the hope is expressed that the entire nation 
"will hasten to adopt this most necessary means 
of public salvation," and that all will cry with the 
Parisians: "We march against the enemy but we 
leave behind us no brigands to slaughter our women 
and children!" 



THE National Convention called for the pur- 
pose of dealing with the King the name 
National Convention was borrowed directly 
from America met on September 21,1 792. That 
unfair methods were used in the elections is un- 
doubted. Even among the ardent upholders of the 
Revolution to-day it is merely a question of how far 
the results were affected by intimidation. Knowing 
the general spirit of the Jacobins as we do, and con- 
sidering that the hall of their club was the chief 
election booth in Paris; considering, too, their atti- 
tude towards aristocrats and the fact that each 
voter was compelled to give an account of himself 
before casting his ballot and then to do so orally and 
publicly, it is difficult to see why the whole pro- 
ceeding was not a farce as far as finding out the 
real will of the people was concerned. 

It is a curiosity in parliamentary history that so 
small a minority as that formed by the enrages or 
extreme Jacobins should have been so powerful. 
They numbered but about fifty out of seven 
hundred and forty-five members. But among 


296 The French Revolution 

them were fanatics like Robespierre, Danton, and 
Marat, not to speak of St. -Just and Collot-d' 
Herbois; while the whole radical element of Paris 
was at their beck and call. Just why the party 
was called the Mountain is not clear. Because of 
the loftiness of their sentiments, is an explanation 
one of them gave at the time. Or was it, as has 
often been stated, because they occupied a higher 
tier of seats in the hall? 

The Girondists, who stood to the Mountaineers 
as the Ghibellines had stood to the Guelphs, out- 
numbered them by more than two to one. It is 
generally considered that their organizing power was 
defective as compared with that of their opponents ; 
but it must be remembered that they had no such 
backing as that of the Mountain by the Commune. 
While the members who formed the nucleus of the 
party, save for Brissot, were from the department 
of the Gironde, many were from other departments. 
Almost immediately they felt the need of some 
counterpoise to this enormous influence of the 
Parisian rabble, and one of their chief sins in the 
eyes of the Mountain was the bringing forward of a 
measure to have the National Convention guarded 
by an armed force drawn equally from all the 

The Minister of the Interior, Roland, was of 
their party, and so were the Minister of Finance, 
Claviere, and the Mayor of Paris, Petion. Roland 
and Petion especially had for a time enjoyed 
enormous popularity. But to judge by the de- 
bates in the Jacobin Club, all through the months 


Plate 125. A portrait of Roland. From an old engraving. 


298 The French Revolution 

of October and November, 1792, the chief task of 
that society was to shatter these idols. 

Roland was really Madame Roland; for he, 
himself, whose face 1 reminds one more of some 
gentle, stolid equine than of anything else, was 
guided in all things by her powerful personality. 
Her influence was no secret. It was well known 
that she wrote his speeches and letters. At the 
very outset, when it was a question of inviting 
Roland to retain the post of Minister of the Interior, 
Danton had cried: "If you invite him you must 
also invite Madame Roland, for every one knows 
that Roland has not been alone in his department " ; 
and Marat, once demanded that an address "be 
returned to its place of origin, the boudoir of the 
woman Roland." 

But Madame Roland was more than the alter 
ego of her husband. She has been well called the 
mother of the Girondists. She was in constant 
communication with the leading members of the 
party, some of whom were always dining at her 
house. Her salon was a hotbed of new ideas. 
She was a woman of great beauty and had her 
warm admirers who treated her as a saint some 
one had her face reproduced on the cover of a 
bonbonniere and it is one of the finest portraits of 
her. 2 She was a very human saint, for she fell 
in love with Buzot, one of her Girondists. It was 
impossible for her to love dry old Roland as well, 
and honesty compelled her to tell him so; which 
greatly embittered his life. But such fidelity 

1 Plate 125, p. 297. 2 Plate 126, p. 299. 

War 299 

and loyalty as she could give were his to the 

The transactions of the Jacobin Club show that 

Plate 126. A portrait of Madame Roland taken from the cover of a 
bonbonntire in the Muse*c Carnavalet. 

one of the chief grievances against Roland was his 
disseminating, with public funds, of an address 
in which Louvet bitterly assailed the great pillar 
of the Mountain Party, Robespierre. Week after 
week the tirades on this subject continue and, as 
usual, the cartoonists were pressed into the service. 

The French Revolution 

We have a caricature of Roland as a cock and 
Madame Roland as a hen. J Some of the details 
of the production are unintelligible to the author 

Plate 127. A caricature of Monsieur and Madame Roland. 

at least but Coco is a term of endearment that 
Madame Roland was wont to apply to her husband. 
This caricature gives the clue to a very clever 
rebus 2 which, to the author of this book, long 
seemed undecipherable. It may be that even now 
the solution is incomplete and the author will be 

1 Plate 127, p. 300. 2 Plate 128, p. 301. 






302 The French Revolution 

grateful for any corrections. The puzzle has been 
a sleep-wrecker. Avis aux honnetes gens. (A 
warning to honest folk, i.e., to the good Jacobins.) 
Petion de Villeneuve deux fois mai-re de Paris grand 
premier mouchard. (Petion de Villeneuve, twice 
mayor of Paris, [is] an A No. I spy.) Egalement en 
preeminence la sont Roland qui foule la liberte et 
Clavier e qui la Iraine dans la boue avec cent torts a la 
fraternite. Des trois le meilleur ne vaut rien. 
(Prominent equally there are Roland who tramples 
on Liberty and Claviere who drags it in the mire 
with a hundred wrongs against Fraternity. Of the 
three the best is no good.) The little figure clasp- 
ing Claviere around the neck and making of him 
a centaur a la fraternite is ingenious to say the least. 
The date, to judge by the political conjuncture, is 
October or November, 1792. 

For a while after the opening of the National 
Convention the Girondists were high in the ascend- 
ant. The war that they had so strenuously 
advocated was succeeding beyond all hope. On 
September 2Oth, the day before the opening session 
of the National Convention, Dumouriez, himself 
a Girondist in sympathies, had defeated and turned 
back the Duke of Brunswick at Valmy. We have 
a caricature 1 showing "The joyous and triumphal 
re-entry of the Prussian Don Quixotes into Ger- 
many, after the conquest of France, under the 
guidance of the Austrian eagle." The Duke of 

1 Plate 129, p. 303. 



Brunswick on one dejected steed and the Prussian 
King on another both with their faces tailwards 
are being addressed by the double eagle which 
holds the reins: "Let us fly to new conquests!" 
Brunswick with scowling brow is saying: "How 

Plate 129. A caricature on the withdrawal of the Austrians and Prussians 
after the battles of Valmy and Genappes. 

they do fight, these dogs of Sans- Culottes!" Fred- 
erick William's words are too inelegant to repeat. 
The first vote of the first session of the Conven- 
tion was that royalty was abolished in France. 1 
Hard words were spoken during the debates. 
Kings in general were monsters; dynasties were 
devouring hordes; courts were the workshops of 

1 For all that concerns the Convention up to January 21, 1793, my 
authority has been the minutes of the sessions, published by the Librairie 
Populaire no date. 

304 The French Revolution 

crime; the history of kings was the "martyrology 
of nations." When the vote was passed, says the 
Gazette de France, "all arms remained raised to 
Heaven as if to thank it for delivering France 

Plate 130. A German puzzle showing the hydra of Revolution devouring 
the fleur-de-lis and breaking the crown, sceptre, and sword. There are 
four concealed silhouettes. 

from the greatest scourge that ever afflicted the 
earth." The news was proclaimed in the public 
squares to the sound of trumpets, and the prisoners 
in the Temple could plainly make out the words 
of the town-criers. 

It was all political hysteria, of course. France 
herself after trying many ruinous experiments 
was to come back to kings, for a while at least. 
Louis had sinned from almost any point of view. 
But were these Robespierres, these Dantons, these 

War 305 

Marats so free from sin themselves? It was to be 
the fate of almost every one who was in any way 
prominent in the Revolution to succumb to the 
rage of the next faction in power. There were 
some who considered the vote of the Convention 
abolishing royalty not valid ; for at the time when 
it was taken many of the provincial members had 
not yet arrived, and only 371 out of a possible 745 
were present. The Parisian deputation, of course, 
was out in full force. And they controlled the 
press of the capital! 

There seems to have been no effort to reconsider 
the vote. Instead it was decreed that the golden 
crown and sceptre should be publicly broken in 

We have a German puzzle that seems to refer to 
this episode. 1 It is entitled "Four secret silhou- 
ettes of extraordinary resemblance." Two are 
the King and Queen of England and two are "The 
unhappy King and Queen of France." The hydra 
of revolution is tearing with its teeth at the lily 
of France. With the folds of its body it has sun- 
dered the crown and broken the sword and the 
sceptre. The silhouettes, which really are good 
likenesses, will be discovered by the reader with 
the smallest expenditure of patience. 

How the victories now piled up ! On October 2 1 st 
Custine took Mainz; on November 6th, Dumouriez 
defeated the Austrians at Genappes; or the 27th 
Savoy was annexed as an eighty-fourth department 
of France. One can well imagine the enthusiasm 

1 Plate 130, p. 304 


The French Revolution 

of the rulers of the infant republic. The president 
of the National Assembly, referring to the fact that 
Mont Blanc was in the new department, declared 

Plate 131. A symbolical representation of victory, 
traversing the republic. 

that Liberty's throne on the summit of that 
mountain was the only throne in Europe that was 
not tottering, and that the goddess herself would 
soon be embracing the whole universe. There are 



a number of artistic productions that deal with the 

Plate 132. A symbolical representation of the progress of Liberty, enlighten- 
ment, and republicanism. 

In "Victory traversing the republic" 1 the 
goddess is springing with nimble feet over that 
portion of the globe. We have another representa- 
tion 2 apparently without a title, but the meaning 

1 Plate 131, p. 306. Plate 132, above. 


The French Revolution 

of which is plain. Held up by National Guards, all 
the emblems of liberty the banners, the cap, the 

Plate 133. A cartoon showing the progress of republicanism and the inevit- 
able fate of each and all of the rulers of Europe. Time is mowing them 
down and extinguishing their life-lights. 

cockade, the garland of oak, the bundle of staves 
are floating through space on what might be a 
magic carpet. 

Still more curious and very complicated is 
"The new French Star or the tri-coloured Cockade 
following the Course of the Zodiac." 1 Above are 

1 Plate 133, above. 

War 309 

the twelve signs, below are twelve sovereigns on 
pedestals, each with a life-light above his crown. 
But Father Time has already extinguished that of 
Louis XVI, those of Joseph II, and Leopold, and is 
in the act of extinguishing that of Gustave III of 
Sweden. The others will follow in due course. 
The crown of Catherine II, who is represented as 
a most hideous old hag, is already falling off. 
Louis XVI has been toppled over completely, pedes- 
tal and all. His severed head lies on the ground 
with the crown and some other object at a short 
distance. At the base of the overturned pedestal 
is the inscription, " Louis the Traitor and the last." 
There are other inscriptions in every imaginable 
part of the picture as well as underneath. In one, 
Father Time is speaking: "Let me destroy at 
last this cohort of ambitious ones, these vile usurp- 
ers of the rights of their fellows!" And again: 
"Peoples, resume your rights. Soon there will be 
no more tyrants. Time, too just, gives you liberty 
and equality." In the clouds, below the signs of 
the zodiac, one finds this "Announcement to future 
ages": "Pride formed, reason destroys them." 
To the right, also among the clouds, we have: 
"The work of Time, or Prejudice conquered, " and 
"Triumph of Philosophy and Reason." 

On coins, on official documents of every kind, 
on letter-heads, we now find some emblem of the 
republic. Some show little imagination, like the 
letter-head of Edmond Charles Gent, Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the United States of America, l 

1 Plate 134, p. 310. 

The French Revolution 

or a medal where the emblems are merely the cap 
and the bundle of staves. 1 But one vignette, 
signed by way of exception (it is by Gatteaux) 
is of real artistic beauty. 2 It is the ship of state 

Plate 134. The official letterhead of Genet, Minister of the French Republic 
to the United States of America. 

bowling along with all banners waving and Liberty 
holding to the mast. There is evidently a tem- 
pest in progress for the sails are tightly furled. But 
France will weather it. Beneath is the inscription, 
' ' Live free or die ! ' ' 

We have a personification of republican France 

Plate 135, p. 311. 

2 Plate 136, p. 312. 


engraved by Darcis r that is interesting. A female 
figure wears a liberty-cap which, curiously enough, 
turns into a cock at its extremity. A carpenter's 

Plate 135. A republican medal. 

level hangs from her neck while oak-leaves adorn 
the border of her cap. Boizot and Darcis together 
have given us similar personifications of Liberty, 
Equality, and Fraternity. 2 Liberty has the cap 
and a broken yoke; Equality the inevitable level, 

1 Plate 137, p. 313. * Plates 138, 139, 140, pp. 314, 315, 316. 


The French Revolution 

while Fraternity has the oak-leaves and a belt of 

On December 4th the penalty of death was de- 
creed for any one who should even propose to 
re-establish royalty in France. Barere had gone 
so far as to declare that kings were no longer to be 

Plate 136. The French Republic represented as a ship guided by Liberty. 

considered members of the human race. There 
were beginning to be loud demands for the judg- 
ment of Louis XVI. 

And how had the royal family fared all this time 
since the loth of August? In the beginning their 
treatment had not been harsh. Half a million 
francs had been appropriated for their maintenance 
and the expenses of their table alone amounted to 
between eight and nine thousand francs a month. z 
The bills for their wearing apparel between August 

1 Clery's Journal, Eclair dssements, 297 ff. 

War 313 

loth and October 3Oth amounted to 29,505 francs 
14 sous. But this the King and Queen found 
excessive, and overcharges were detected to the 
amount of four thousand francs. 

The life in the Temple has been minutely de- 

Plate 137. A personification of Republican France. 

scribed by the King's valet, Clery. Hope had not 
altogether vanished, and faithful servitors even 
managed to find a way for keeping up communica- 
tion with the outer world. The chief intermediary 
was one Hue, a former servitor, and harm- 
less looking bits of paper thrown into a waste- 
paper basket and removed by a friendly sweeper 
played the chief part. The messages were written 

314 The French Revolution 

in ink that was invisible for the time being. 
One of the most unhappy days of Marie An- 
toinette's life was probably that third of September 
when her beloved Madame de Lamballe perished 
with a great number of other victims of the prison 

Plate 138. A personification of Liberty with the broken yoke. 

of La Force. The mob insisted that the captive 
Queen should look on the bloody corpse of her 
former favourite. The head with the hair waving 
round the stake was brought on a pike and paraded 
under her window. Attempts were made to drag 
the body up the stairs. Marie Antoinette fainted 

With the beginning of the King's trial on 
December i ith, even the consolation of each other's 


presence was denied the unhappy pair; nor was 
any communication allowed. 

The trial was a farce from first to last. The 
Convention was not a Court of Justice. Louis, 
indeed, was allowed official defenders, but was not 

Plate 139. A personification of Equality with the carpenter's level. 

permitted to proauce witnesses. An outburst of 
Lepelletier St.-Fargeau, ' an ardent Mountaineer, 
is characteristic of the whole proceedings: 

"A dangerous proposition has just been made: it is that 
Roland and others be heard at the bar. I am opposed to 
this as I am to all proof in the way of testimony. For, if 
one admits proof against, one would have to admit proof 

1 On Dec. I5th (see Minutes of Convention). 

316 The French Revolution 

in favour ; and I must confess all such proofs seem to me 
suspicious, since I saw a man about to be condemned to 
death on testimony of two men which had been bought for 
six francs." 

Louis was condemned on the strength of docu- 

Plate 140. A personification of Fraternity with the belt of 

ments of which he himself denied the authenticity. 
He was ably and eloquently defended by his 
counsel. If Louis was to be judged as king, he 
said, then dethronement was the only penalty pro- 
vided by the Constitution; if as a man, then the 
proper and customary legal forms had been omitted 
a three fourths vote, for instance, would be 
necessary for condemnation. Furthermore, all 

War 317 

had formed their own opinions of the case irre- 
spective of the evidence: "Is Louis, then, to be the 
only Frenchman for whom neither law nor forms 
shall exist? Is he to have neither the rights of a 
citizen nor the prerogatives of a king? Shall he 
benefit neither by his old nor his new position? 
Strange and inconceivable destiny!" 

Wilder scenes had never been witnessed in a 
National Assembly than took place during this 
trial. 'This enclosure has become an arena of 
gladiators," once cried the deputy Jullien. He 
demanded that the president go and hide himself 
in a corner of the hall in the darkest corner. 
Once Billaud-Varennes ordered an usher to drag 
Petion from the speaker's desk; again Legendre 
moved that Manuel be decreed to have gone out 
of his head; still again Louvet cried to Danton: 
"You are not yet king!" 

The King still had friends who dared to plead 
in his behalf. One of them was Thomas Paine, 
chosen a member of the Convention on account 
of his writings in the cause of liberty. Paine 
repeatedly urged that Louis XVI be not put to 
death, but be sent instead to the United States 
of America. It is well known that a number 
of Americans had an organized plan to this end. 
Paine's argument was diplomatic. Louis would 
not only be safely out of harm's way, but would 
have an opportunity to learn the meaning of true 
representative government. Paine told, too, of 
the universal affliction that the King's death would 
cause Americans and the pleasure it would give 

318 The French Revolution 

"the despot of England" to see one who had been 
the aider and abettor of his enemy sent to the 

But the King's opponents were too strong. 
This was the one point on which the Gironde and 
the Mountain were ever in accord, though the 
Gironde, as a whole, was not as bloodthirsty as 
the Mountain, and many members would gladly 
have seen an appeal to the people or at least a delay 
of execution. The Mountain on the other hand, 
through the Commune, used every means to 
inspire horror of the tyrant. Those who had been 
wounded on the tenth of August were made to 
defile before the bar, and one man, whose wounds 
were still gaping, was carried by on a litter. 

It came to the final voting. It began on January 
1 5th. The verdict was almost unanimous that 
Louis was guilty. But the debates and votes on 
the questions of appealing to the people, on what 
penalty should be imposed on Louis, and whether 
it should be immediate or subject to delay, occupied 
five days. The first reading of the ballots that 
condemned the King to death gave a majority, 
in favour, of only five votes. A recount gave a 
majority of fifty-three. 

Robespierre, Couthon, and Barere were the 
strongest advocates of haste. Robespierre, indeed, 
had been in favour of not holding a regular trial 
over Louis, but of putting him to death at once as 
an enemy of the state. "Louis is not an accused," 
he had said on December 3d, x "you are no judges. 

1 Proces-verbal. 

A brou v o nos Sill 

W/rx M/I tfiuu-f Ju "t.ttin sttr la , 

///./i R.*i/>iff . ef-fr^f /tt rtsmf-.. 'te'^^^^ji'i yi 

v.^. dM> /hut 

<v .//> 

Plate 141. A cartoon entitled *' Matter for Reflection for crowned Jugglers." 

Under the severed head of Louis XVI is the line from the Marseillaise: 

" May an impure blood water our furrows! " 


320 The French Revolution 

You are not and you cannot be anything else but 
statesmen and the representatives of the nation. 
. . . Peoples do not judge like law-courts ; they do 
not sell their sentences, they hurl thunderbolts; 
they do not condemn kings, they replunge them 
unto nothingness. . . . Louis must die that the 
country may live." 

The ballot on the question of delay stood 380 
against 310. It was cast on Sunday, January 2Oth, 
and on Monday Louis was to die. Permission 
was accorded him for one last interview with his 
family. The valet Clery describes it all minutely 
in simple, heart-rending terms. In parting, Louis 
kept up the fiction that they would all meet again 
on the following morning. 

There is no need to dwell on that well-known 
scene on the scaffold, which had been erected in the 
Place de la Revolution, between the pedestal of 
Louis XV's statue and the Champs Ely sees. 
Louis tried to address the crowd, but was silenced 
by the roll of drums. He had objected to the 
tying of his hands, but had been told by the abbe 
who accompanied him that it was only one more 
insult among the many that made him like unto 
the persecuted Christ. "Son of St. Louis, ascend 
to Heaven!" were the abbe's words as the axe fell. 

Danton in railing against France's enemies was 
now able to declare: "We have thrown them as 
gage of battle the head of a king!" 

A cartoonist 1 shows us the head held up by the 
hair, while from it the blood is falling in great 

'Plate 141, p. 319. 

War 321 

drops. Above are the words, ' ' Matter for reflection 
for crowned jugglers," while below is the line from 
the Marseillaise: "May an impure blood water 
our furrows!" An elaborate text informs us: 

On Monday, January 2ist, at quarter past ten in the 
morning, on the Place de la Revolution hitherto called 
Place Louis XV, the Tyrant fell under the swords of the 
law. This grand act of justice has thrown consternation 
among the aristocracy, annihilated the royal superstition, 
and created the republic. It impresses a great character 
on the National Convention and renders it worthy of the 
confidence of the French. It was in vain that an auda- 
cious faction and insidious orators exhausted all the resources 
of calumny, of charlatanism, and of chicanery. The cour- 
age of the republicans triumphed ; the majority of the Con- 
vention remained unshakable in its principles, and the 
Genius of Intrigue yielded to the Genius of Liberty and the 
Ascendency of Virtue. 

These fine sentiments, as one might have 
recognized by the style, are from the pen of Maxi- 
milien Robespierre; for the whole text is an extract 
from one of his letters to his constituents. 

Relic hunters in those days were as persistent as 
in our own. No sooner was the execution over 
than many rushed to the spot to secure at least a 
few drops of blood. They dipped their handker- 
chiefs in it, they gathered it up on bits of paper. 
It was widely asserted that Samson, the executioner, 
had sold the hair; but this he indignantly denied 
in a letter that may still be read in the National 
Archives. 1 

We have a portrait of Louis XVI 2 that is evi- 

1 See also Buchez et Roux, xxiii, 355. * Plate 142, p. 323. 

322 The French Revolution 

dently a sort of "in memoriam." Above is the 
national cockade, but combined with funeral em- 
blems. Below is the inscription, both in French and 
German: "Louis XVI, last King of France, was 
born August 23, 1754, mounted the throne May 10, 
1774, an d the scaffold, January 21, 1793." Then 
comes a reminiscence of the song played by the 
band at the memorable banquet given by the 
King's body-guards to the visiting regiment of 
Flanders on October i, 1789. But the verse is 
now in the past, just as a dirge should be in a 
minor key: "O my King! The universe did 
abandon thee!" 

How did the Parisians as a whole take the 
execution of their king? Marat speaks in his 
paper of their "serene joy" when all was over. 
But the Revolutions de Paris has to confess that 
"the women in general were pretty sad" and that 
"perhaps a few tears were shed." This, however, 
it considers "pardonable in a frivolous, fragile sex 
still under the glamour of the last fine days of a 
brilliant court." They will soon recover and come 
to realize that they are "less enslaved, more 
honoured, and better loved than before." 

Louis XVI left a will a noble and dignified 
document, breathing the highest spirit of Christian 
resignation. He declares before God that he is 
guiltless of the crimes charged against him and 
urges that his son do not attempt to avenge his 
death. He prays God to pardon him for ever 
having signed the civil constitution of the clergy. 

To a small extent, indeed, his death had been 

\/ / 

.'i.iym/ .;' 

( / 

/ /// 

, \// 


Plate 142. A portrait of Louis "X.VI, engraved by some royalist and with the 
line underneath: "O my King! The universe did abandon thee!" 


324 The French Revolution 

avenged on the day of his own execution. For 
on that day died a patriot deputy, Lepelletier St.- 
Fargeau, who had been struck down by a former 
guardsman of the King. The only grievance had 
been that St.-Fargeau had voted for Louis XVI's 

One wail went up from all the patriots. St.- 
Fargeau was solemnly adjudged among the Mar- 
tyrs of Liberty and was given a burial worthy of 
antiquity. There were thirty distinct features to 
the procession: one included the carrying of the 
victim's bloody garments on the end of a pike, 
which was festooned with oak and cypress. The 
body was exposed to view on the pedestal, in the 
Place des Piques, now Place Vendome, where had 
stood the statue of Louis XIV. 1 Lepelletier's 
bust was given a place in the hall of the Assembly 
next to that of Brutus. Brutus was there, of 
course, because he had killed Caesar. 

We have a pictorial representation which is 
partly a memorial of Lepelletier, partly an appeal 
to arrest his murderer. 2 It is headed, "He voted 
the abolition of royalty and the death of the 
tyrant." That then was Lepelletier's chief title 
to fame. So zealous was the search for the mur- 
derer on the part of "the committee of general 
security and surveillance," that the Palais Royal 
gardens were surrounded by troops and some six 
thousand persons examined. It was pointed out 
at the time that this was acting as Louis XIV at 
the height of his power would never have dared to 

1 Revolutions de Paris, xv., 226. 2 Plate 143, p. 325. 

>r i \ v. 

Plate 143. A memorial to Lepclletier St. -Fargeau, covered with 

inscriptions in his honour and pronouncing the death penalty 

against anyone who should harbour his murderer. 


326 The French Revolution 

do, nor were such methods accepted with equa- 
nimity. An agent of the police reports widespread 
discontent with the Revolution and declares that 
only the fear of the guillotine keeps the women of 
the market from shouting " Vive le roi!" 1 There 
were constant disturbances in which "the heroines 
of liberty" played no small part. They would 
stand at the door of the Assembly Hall and vilify 
the deputies. 2 "From the smallest groups to the 
largest assemblies," writes another police spy on 
June ist, "there is everywhere the same spirit: 
everywhere dissension, everywhere a mortal hatred. 
The patriots detest each other more than ever did 
the aristocrats and plebeians." 3 The Convention's 
own commissioners made similar reports from the 
provinces that everywhere people were tired of 
the Revolution. 

It was indeed a critical time for the new republic. 
Insurrections were breaking out in Normandy, 
in Lyons, in Toulon, in Corsica, and in La Vendee, 
in which latter province the struggle was to last 
long and to be of unprecedented bitterness. And 
all Europe was taking up the gage of battle that 
Danton had flung down. 

The revolutionary press and the revolutionary 
orators simply gloried in the prospect. "A like 
zeal inflames us all," writes the Revolutions de 
Paris, "the Genius of Liberty hovers over France. 
As if we had anything to fear from the tyrants and 
their flocks of slaves!" And again: "Let Russia, 

1 See Schmidt, Tableaux de la Revolution Frangaise, i., 173. 

3 Ib., i., 267. 3/fc., i., 376. 



England, Sweden, Holland, Spain, Sardinia, join 
Prussia, Austria, and all Germany well, so much 


Plato 144. An allegorical representation entitled "The Coalition," and 

showing the Powers of Europe attacking the young French Republic. 

She, calm and smiling, will not let them touch so much as a 

hair of her head. 

the better! The Frenchman needs a little danger, 
then only is he great ! " The delusion was kept up 

328 The French Revolution 

that all the foreign soldiers would desert to the 
French ranks ; it was declared that they were merely 
being made to fight as bulls are in the arena: were 
pricked and goaded into the fray. 

England declared war on February ist ; on March 
7th hostilities were begun with Spain. Dumouriez 
was ordered to invade Holland and Kellermann 
prepared to overrun Italy. "I am going, under 
your auspices" so he wrote to the Convention 
"to carry back to the ancient Romans the liberty 
so long excluded from their beautiful climes." 1 
The Revolutions de Paris hopes that he will capture 
the Pope and seize all the church treasure. 

Towards the end of March, the Holy Roman 
Empire formally joined with France's enemies. 
Incredible as it may sound, that power was now 
at war with all Europe save for the relatively 
unimportant states of Denmark, Sweden, Switzer- 
land, and Turkey. We have an allegorical view of 
the situation drawn with all the characteristic 
gaiety of heart of the time. 2 The picture is 
called "The Coalition." The powers are rending 
away at the young republic, but she holds her own 
calmly smiling. They shall not touch a hair of her 
head. Their own faces, on the other hand, are 
horribly contorted with evil passions. 

As a climax to the ills, Dumouriez, the most 
illustrious general, victor of Valmy and Genappes, 
turned traitor to the cause. Disgusted with the 
whole conduct of affairs at Paris, he would gladly 
have seen the restoration of constitutional mon- 

1 Mortimer-Terneux, v., 85. 2 Plate 144, p. 327. 



archy with the Dauphin on the throne. He had 
uttered fierce diatribes against the Convention, 
had declared that it consisted of 745 tyrants, all 
regicides, and that in it 400 imbeciles let themselves 
be guided by 300 brigands. He feared that all 

Plate 145. A caricature on the subject of the arrest by Dumouriez of the 
commissioners sent by the National Convention to arrest him. 

Frenchmen were about to perish "massacring each 
other like the Jews of Jerusalem." He denounced 
the "atrocities" of the Jacobins and spoke proudly 
of himself as a man who had "several times had 
the good fortune to save his country," and who 
would still save it in spite of all. 

The Convention sent commissioners to arrest 
this Lucifer: he turned the tables by calling in 
Austrian hussars to arrest the commissioners. Oh 

33 The French Revolution 

how surprised and enraged they were! We have 
a caricature entitled "Evil overtakes those who 
wish Evil." 1 The commissioners are tied up by 
ropes to the wall and each is uttering an appropriate 
exclamation: " It is all up with us" ; "Not a hole 
to creep out of"; "Damnation take this traitor 
Dumouriez"; "Now I begin to have a little sym- 
pathy for these poor prisoners in the Temple," and 
more of the kind. Their expressions of counte- 
nance are really comical. 

At Marat's instigation, the Convention set a 
price of three hundred thousand francs on the head 
of Dumouriez, and decreed the extraordinary 
measure of holding the fathers, mothers, wives or 
children of all officers implicated with him as 
hostages for the imprisoned commissioners. 

The tide of invasion rolled on. Why France was 
not swamped by it is a marvel and a mystery. By 
July, 1793, no less than five foreign armies were 
crossing the French frontiers, and the English were 
in possession of the harbour of Toulon. 

Yet France, as we know, was saved. She was 
saved by her mad and imbecile Convention and by 
her atrocious Jacobin Club; by the ardour of her 
soldiers and the general patriotic enthusiasm; 
by a system of terrorism such as the world has 
never seen, but which kept in check the internal 

The patriotic enthusiasm was fostered in every 
way: by cartoons such as those we have been 
considering; by plays that "retraced the glorious 

1 Plate 145, p. 329. 

War 331 

events of the Revolution and the virtues of the 
defenders of liberty." Brutus, William Tell, and 
the Gracchi were frequently seen upon the stage, 
while other subjects that might tend to "deprave 
public sentiment and awaken the shameful super- 
stition of royalty" were tabooed. The public 
squares and streets of the city received republican 
names; the very words ville and village were thrust 
out of the language because related to villeinage; 
the coinage had to be changed, for of course there 
could no longer be louis (Tors. There were to be 
instead "republicans" and "gold francs," which 
were to bear the inscription, "The people alone is 
sovereign." 1 Children were to be given only 
republican names in baptism: no more of your 
Charles's, Louis's, Henrys; of your Maries and 
Elizabeths. Victors and Franklins and Pierres 
were to take their places. The Due d'Orleans 
became Philippe Egalite. We have names so 
bizarre that they excited the derision even of 
patriotic newspapers: for instance, "Liberty 
of Conscience." The Feuille Villageoise writes of 
this name: "A father when giving his daughter a 
paternal kiss, a comrade in the joyous games of 
youth, a lover in the transports of a legitimate 
affection will they call her 'Liberty of Con- 
science'?" It insists that the purpose of a name is 
to call or designate some one, and maintains that 
this does not fulfil its purpose. 

As a real concession to Equality the old com- 
munal lands of France were divided up among the 

1 Duvergier, vi., 212. 

332 The French Revolution 

citizens, 1 exception being made in the cases of 
mountains, marshes, etc., that were more useful 
to the community as a whole. Old obligations, 
like that which compelled the town of Schoeffers- 
heim to maintain an ever-burning lamp for the 
repose of the soul of its old Seigneur, were declared 
null and void. The lamp had been burning for 
four hundred years, but it now went out. 2 

Zealous converts were won for the Revolution 
by playing fast and loose with all the old-established 
rights of property. Illegitimate children, being 
"the elders of the human race and the founders of 
all society, " were to inherit equally with legitimate ; 
mothers and fathers who, on account of the size of 
their families could not make both ends meet, were 
to be given national aid. 3 Those about to be- 
come mothers might demand this aid beforehand 
and Oh shades of Rousseau! will get a layette 
worth eighteen francs in addition if they promise 
to nurse their babies themselves. Foundlings are 
to be the special care of the nation but, lest their 
feelings should be hurt, they are never to be called 
anything but "orphans." 

Revenue for all this was to be obtained by taxing 
the "superfluity" of the rich; and the actual need 
of the father of a family was placed at 1500 francs 
a year. All else was superfluity. To have a larger 
income than 30,000 francs a year was prohibited. 
Thus, if one's income happened to be 50,000 francs 
the tax would amount to at least 20,000 francs. 4 

1 Duvergier, v., 325 (Decree of June 10, 1793). 2 Ib., v., 347. 

3 Ib., v., 362. 4 Buchez et Roux, xxvi., 399. 

War 333 

There were times when even such taxation as this 
did not produce sufficient revenue; but in one case, 
at least, we have this laconic decree: " There shall 
be a forced loan of one billion on all rich citizens. " l 

In the course of the debate on this latter measure 
Cambon remarked: " It is only just that those who 
never served Liberty with their arms should serve 
it with their fortunes." Such sentiments were 
becoming very popular, and we are told that the 
passing of the decree summarily borrowing a 
billion francs was greeted with great applause on 
the part of the citizens in the gallery. 2 

These were drastic measures of course, but like 
all the terrorism and all the artificial inspiring of 
patriotism they helped towards the final result. 
That there was another way of producing that 
result namely, ceasing from the belligerent atti- 
tude towards the other powers, many of which were 
very much averse to the war does not seem to have 
entered any patriotic head. 

The Commune of Paris, as was to be expected, 
went much farther even than the National Con- 
vention in catering to the proletariat. In Novem- 
ber, 1793, it decreed that riches and poverty were 
alike abolished; to be idle and to beg were alike 
forbidden. The sick, the indigent, the old, and 
the orphans were to be lodged, nourished, and 
clothed at the expense of their neighbours; 
bakers must bake only one kind of bread, the 
11 bread of equality." 1 In December Danton pro- 

1 Buchez et Roux, xxvii., 150. a Dtbats et Dfcrcts, May 20, 1793. 
For these measures of the Commune see Moniteur, Nov. 26, 1793. 

334 The French Revolution 

cured a vote in the Convention confiscating the 
property of those who had sons among the emigres 
unless they could prove that they were ardent 
patriots. Already decrees had been issued forbid- 
ding any rich persons to hide their gold, silver, or 
jewels. Those who gave information of such con- 
cealment were entitled to five per cent, of the value. 1 

Such, then, was the spirit of legislation during 
these anxious days. The same spirit reigned in 
the armies and helped to make them effective. 
The Convention kept a tight rein by means of its 
representatives-on-mission, an institution old as 
the days of Charlemagne who was wont to send 
out his mis si dominici, two by two, to control and 
supervise all the local authorities. 

The authority of these emissaries of the Conven- 
tion was practically unlimited. Life and death 
were in their hands, and it is well known how Carrier 
in Nantes was able to invent and carry out a 
method of disposing of his prisoners in batches 
by sending them out on the Loire in scows that 
were then scuttled. 

St.-Just and Le Bas, 2 on mission to the army, 
once called for a loan of nine millions to be paid 
by the rich citizens of Strassburg within twenty- 
four hours. Similar peremptory orders brought 
in ten thousand pairs of shoes, one thousand beds, 
and every cloak belonging to a civilian. The 
representatives could summarily remove even the 
most renowned of the generals. 

1 Moniteur, Nov. 14, 1793. 

3 BuchezetRoux, vol.xxvii., passim, has accounts of such confiscations. 

War 335 

Over the heads of all, now, floated the dread of 
the Revolutionary Tribunal. It was no longer the 
comparatively gentle institution that had been 
established on August 17, 1792. It had been re- 
organized on March 9, 1793, after Danton had 
cried: "Let us be terrible to spare the people 
from so being. . . . Let us drink, if we must, the 
blood of humanity's enemies!" 1 The first official 
bulletin of the tribunal 2 announced that "it has 
been found needful once more to swing the 
avenging axe ... to destroy the ferocious beast 
that nothing could tame." The Cordelier Club, 
which Danton had founded, voted to "veil for a 
time the rights of man." The chief function of the 
tribunal was to be the inquiring into plots. It was 
to deal especially with such persons as "by their 
conduct or the manifestation of opinions should 
have tried to lead the people astray." Those who 
had held any office or position under the old regime 
were especially recommended to its supervision. 3 

No wonder that Vergniaud cried out against 
"this inquisition a thousand times more formid- 
able than that of Venice," and declared that he 
would die rather than consent to its establishment. 
Cambon was prophetic when he feared that the 
Convention itself might fall a victim to the tribunal. 

In its first public prosecutor, Fouquier-Tinville, 
the extremists found a man after their own heart. 4 
A more cruel, more ferocious man never existed. 

1 Wallon, i., 51 ff. J Buchez et Roux, xxv., 305. 

3 /&., XXV., 1 8 ff. 

* Domenget, Fouquier-Timrille et le Tribunal RSvolutijnnaire. 

336 The French Revolution 

He had advocated bleeding the condemned that 
they might give the executioner less trouble. 

On April 6, 1793, was established another insti- 
tution that was to be most closely allied to the 
Revolutionary Tribunal the Committee of Public 
Safety. 1 It might arrest whom it pleased, might 
issue edicts, and was not to be asked to account 
for its expenditures. Even Marat announced that 
this was setting up a new tyrant, but declared 
that it was necessary in order to crush the despot- 
ism of kings. Among its members when at the 
height of its influence after July, 1793 were 
Robespierre, Couthon, St. -Just and Billaud-Va- 
rennes. By that time the whole government was 
in its hands. It gave its orders to the civil and 
military officials, instructed the representatives 
on mission, and negotiated with foreign powers. 
It had under it the local committees of surveillance 
all over France. To these committees it once 
addressed the following circular: 

The activity originating in the bosom of the Convention 
culminates in you. You are, so to speak, the hands of the 
body politic of which the Convention is the head and we 
are the eyes. It is through you that the national will, 
once formulated, strikes. You are the levers by which it 
crushes resistance. You, then, are like those formidable 
engines of war which are placed in front by the general and 
merely await the electric spark before launching terror 
and death. 2 

The Committee of Public Safety used its eyes 

1 J. Gros, Le Comite de Salut Public, Paris, 1893. 

2 Aulard, Hist. Pol., 353. 

War 337 

well with regard to these local committees and 
frequently " purified" them: that is, expelled those 
members who gave it grounds for disapproval. 

One sees here in France, throughout 1793 and 
1794, a marvellous network of supervision not 
unlike that commonly attributed to the great 
Jesuit Order in the 1 6th and 1 7th centuries. These 
people really seem to have believed that they could 
keep track of the political opinions of every man 
in France. The Convention was made to decree 
that even its own members were not inviolable 1 
and that on the exterior of every house in France 
must be placed the names, forenames, surnames, 
ages, and professions of those inhabiting it. Cards 
of civism were to be required of every person and 
those who could not produce them were to be 
placed under arrest. 2 Domiciliary visits were 
made in search of suspected persons, and even the 
galleries of the National Convention were passed 
in review. 

To this it had come in the land of Liberty, 
Equality, and Fraternity! 

1 Afoniteur, April I, 1793. 2 Buchez et Roux-, xxv., 150-155. 



HOT as had been the passions during the 
struggle against royalty they were as nothing 
compared to those which party strife now 
engendered. 1 There had been some excuse for de- 
posing the King; he had broken his promises, vio- 
lated his oaths. There was not the shadow of such 
an excuse for the treatment of the Gironde by the 
Mountain. It was simply a case of one faction 
saying to another: "If you do not vote as we 
please we will coerce you into doing so, or force you 
out of the Assembly." There was the pretence, of 
course, that the good of the state demanded such 
action, but woe to the state where there is no check 
on arbitrariness. 

From the first this arbitrariness was the real 
question at issue. The Parisian delegation, headed 
by Danton, Robespierre, and Marat, was bound to 
have its way. When accused of wishing to exercise 
despotic power, the Mountain retaliated by a 
charge that the Gironde was trying to decentralize 
France, to cut it up into separate states like the 
United States of America. Between dictatorship 

1 Mortimer-Terneux has the best account of this whole struggle. 


Proscription 339 

and federalism: there lay the real conflict. It was 
no fair struggle. The Gironde had the majority, 
as we have seen. But the Mountain had combat- 
iveness, ruthlessness, and good organization. It 
could rely, too, on insurrection in Paris; it could, 
and did, pack the galleries of the Convention with 
its adherents. 

There had been clashes in the very first sessions. 
The Gironde wished an inquiry into the whole 
subject of the September massacres. This the 
Mountain opposed not unnaturally, seeing that 
some of its leading members had personally been 
concerned in the matter. The general tone was so 
autocratic that Buzot asked if, then they were all 
slaves to certain members from Paris. 

The Gironde finally brought forward the sug- 
gestion that the Convention have its own body- 
guard, to be recruited in equal measure from all 
of the eighty-three departments. It was a fair 
proposition but was frantically resented by the 
Mountain. There had been no attempt to conceal 
the fact that the measure was directed against 
Paris. Lasource had openly declared in debate 
that " Paris must be reduced to one eighty- 
third of influence." Marat and Robespierre had 
been denounced by name. Marat, in his defence, 
made a theatrical coup. Suddenly pointing a pistol 
to his brow, he declared that, had he been con- 
demned unheard, he would have blown out his 
brains at the foot of the Speaker's desk. "Pro- 
found sensation!' 1 say the minutes, 1 which, of 

1 Prods-verbal, Sept. 25, 1792. 

34 The French Revolution 

course, was what Marat desired. He more than 
any other man was to be responsible in the next 
few months for keeping excitement at fever pitch. 
His newspaper, the Ami du Peuple, was one long 
shriek of denunciation. 

Among the grievances of the Girondists were: 
that Paris was unduly favoured by legislation; 
that the taxes from the provinces went to further 
her special interests; that army supplies were 
ordered exclusively from her merchants. And 
what had she done to deserve all this? She had 
permitted the September massacres! That was 
the taunt that ever recurred. The investigation 
hung over the head of the Mountain like the sword 
of Damocles. It was staved off as long as possible. 

The violence of some of the scenes in the Conven- 
tion when such matters were being discussed fairly 
beggars description. Accusations were bandied 
to and fro. Bazire once even tried to prove that 
the aristocrats had instigated the massacres in 
order to throw the odium on the Commune. 1 
The Girondists were charged with wishing to have 
a Pretorian guard at their disposal. 

The personal attacks were virulent. Marat's 
very name made him shiver with horror, declared 
Boileau; and he demanded that the desk where 
Marat had just spoken should be disinfected! 
Louvet likened Robespierre to "all the usurpers 
from Caesar to Cromwell, from Sulla to Masa- 
niello, " and, indeed, uttered such a tirade against 
him, that the great leader for a moment was nearly 

1 Traces-verbal, Nov. 6, 1792. 

Proscription 341 

crushed. When Lou vet had ceased speaking, 
Cambon shook his fist in the direction of the 
Mountain and cried: " Wretches, that is the death- 
sentence of dictators!" But Robespierre had 
asked for delay to prepare his reply and then had 
come forth triumphant from the ordeal. He even 
dared to defend the massacres as a necessary 
measure of safety; and that was the theory now 
boldly adopted by his party: "It cannot be dis- 
guised," cried Collot-d'Herbois in the Jacobin 
Club, "that the terrible affair of September 2d 
is the main article of our creed of liberty!" His 
theory was that but for the massacres the Revo- 
lution would never have been accomplished. 

Gensonne reviled the men of the Mountain as 
"sycophants" and "demagogues"; as "charlatans 
of patriotism and false adorers of liberty"; as 
"shriekers" who pretended to have saved the 
state and who had played no greater part in the 
matter than the geese in the capitol when they 
saved ancient Rome. Robespierre was once lik- 
ened to the Old Man of the Mountain of crusading 
times, whose hired band gave to the world the name 
and conception of Assassins. Guadet likened 
Marat to a croaking toad, and Marat promptly 
responded with "Shut up, vile bird!" 

Marat accused the Girondists of being accom- 
plices of the traitor Dumouriez. He meant to force 
them from their last intrenchments, he wrote, and 
make them declare themselves royalists. He him- 
self had been decreed under arrest and haled before 
the Revolutionary Tribunal. But the judges were all 

34 2 The French Revolution 

adherents of the Commune and Marat was escorted 
back to his seat in the Convention garlanded with 
laurels. The idea had already taken form with him 
that a number of the Girondists must be expelled. 
He wrote a proud letter during his arrest: "Before 
belonging to the Con vent ion I belonged to the father- 
land; I am at the service of the people, of whom I 
am the eyes. ... I do not wish the Assembly dis- 
solved: I demand that it be purged of the traitors 
who seek to destroy the nation by restoring despot- 
ism." Traitors, thieves, conspirators, are his ever- 
recurring appellations for the Girondists. 

The Girondists were stung and goaded into fury. 
The deliberations in the Convention were no longer 
free. Isnard, one of the chief orators, was led into 
using language that was to serve as a millstone 
around his own neck: "If the national representa- 
tives are molested, I declare in the name of all 
France that Paris shall fall and men shall be search- 
ing the banks of the Seine to see if it ever existed ! " 
Searching the banks of the Seine ! The utterance, 
to these blind fanatics, was criminal. It betrayed 
the existence of a plot to overthrow Paris. It was 
full evidence of a conspiracy! 

The next development in the quarrel was that a 
deputation from the Commune formally demanded 
the expulsion of twenty-two Girondist deputies 
as "guilty of the crime of felony against the 
sovereign people." Guadet asked in this con- 
nection if the Convention was the highest power 
in the land or if there was one above it. There 
was one above it and that was the Commune of 

Proscription 343 

Paris. This body began corresponding with other 
communes now, with regard to this matter of the 
expulsion. Its own deputations assume an ever 
lordlier tone. It wishes more money taken from 
the rich for the benefit of the poor; it proposes 
measures for the salvation of the republic: "If 
you do not adopt them, we who do intend to save 
it shall declare ourselves in a state of insurrection!" 

On May loth the Convention moved to the Tui- 
leries palace where a hall had been prepared 
for it. The "sovereign" had come into its own 
and manifested its power by acts of great oppres- 
sion. In other words, the adherents of the Mount- 
ain forcibly kept from the galleries the adherents 
of the Gironde. It even seemed as though the 
Commune were meditating new massacres. Gua- 
det, the Girondist, moved that the wound be 
probed to the bottom and the whole Municipal 
Council cashiered. His motion was not carried, 
but the Gironde obtained the appointing of a com- 
mittee to inquire into the conduct of the Communal 
Council as well as of the sections of Paris. This 
Committee of Twelve was as hateful to the Mount- 
ain as had been the contemplated guard from the 
departments, and the climax was reached when the 
demagogue Hebert, editor of the Pere Duchene, 
was declared under arrest. 

The members of the Mountain knew all the 
ruses in parliamentary tactics much better than 
did their opponents. At dead of night they unex- 
pectedly called a vote disbanding the Committee 
of Twelve and ordering the release of Hubert. 

344 The French Revolution 

The next day, of course, the vote was rescinded, 
but Hebert was at liberty. 

With the arrival of bad news from the frontier 
on May 29th, Paris fell into one of its period- 
ical fits of frenzy. The Communal Council de- 
clared itself in permanence, and announced that 
it would save the republic. On May 3ist it gave 
the signal for an attack on the " aristocratic 
factions" in other words on the Girondist mem- 
bers of the National Convention! Marat had 
been foremost in bringing things to this pass. 
How he had railed at those who had tried "to 
crush the Mountain, bulwark of Liberty ! ' ' He had 
urged the people to take up arms and not lay them 
down until the Convention should have been 
"purified." Purification was the technical term 
in the Jacobin Club for removing those whose 
opinions were not orthodox. When insurrection 
was finally proclaimed, Marat himself climbed the 
tower of Notre Dame and sounded the tocsin with 
his own hand. The Communal forces were re- 
cruited by paying those willing to join in the 
enterprise. Hanriot, one of the workers in blood 
during the September massacres, was made 
Commander of the National Guards. 

All was ready now for one of the greatest blows 
at liberty that ever Frenchmen had struck. The 
Commune sent its commands to the National 
Convention: the Committee of Twelve as well as 
twenty-two other Girondists were to be arrested 
and brought to trial. Among the sins of the 
members it proscribed, the Commune mentioned, 

Proscription 345 

particularly, Isnard's speech about searching the 
banks of the Seine to see if Paris ever existed. 
Was not such a speech in itself proof positive of a 
conspiracy to destroy Paris? 

The Commune sent forces to surround ex-Minister 
Roland 's house, but Roland had already been spir- 
ited away. Madame Roland, however, was taken 
and carried off to prison. We have her energetic 
protest to the Convention, but it was of no avail. 

The 3 ist of May ended with a strange sort of 
reconciliation, and Girondists and Mountaineers 
embraced, sang, danced, and generally revelled 
until dawn. The next day a revised list was 
handed in with the peremptory demand that "all 
these traitors be made to bite the dust." The 
grand climax was reserved for the 2d of June. 

The attitude of the Convention in general re- 
minds one of that of the Legislative Assembly 
when it was a question of protecting Louis XVI. 
The Mountain had no esprit de corps as far as the 
other members were concerned ; its orators taunted 
and goaded the Girondists in every way. It was 
proposed that for the sake of peace the denounced 
members voluntarily suspend themselves; but 
Marat cried out against this, declaring that "one 
must be pure to offer sacrifices to one's country!" 

In answer to the taunts, the Girondist orators 
unfolded a very lofty eloquence. Barbaroux 
chided his opponents. He had seen victims led 
to the altar, he said, garlanded with flowers and 
decked with ribbons, but the priest who offered 
them in sacrifice had not insulted them. Lanjui- 

346 The French Revolution 

nais unfolded a prophetic vision of the horrible 
monster of dictatorship advancing over heaps of 
ruins and piles of corpses, swallowing the deputies 
one by one and overthrowing the republic. 
These were swan songs: the last efforts of great 

For Hanriot was closing in around the Tuileries 
with the hired assassins of the Commune. What 
a message to send to one's legislators! If the 
inculpated members were not handed over within 
one hour, he, Hanriot, would have the president of 
the National Convention dragged out and shot ! 

The Convention determined to march out of 
its hall and see if none among these National 
Guards would rally to its aid. Barere had declared 
that slaves could no longer make laws. Stranger 
procession never was! Individual deputies were 
seized by the tricoteuses who rushed down from 
the galleries and tried to hold them back. Shouts 
of "Long live the Mountain!" filled the air. 
Marat, too, was loudly cheered. At sight of the 
members, Hanriot bade his cannoneers stand to 
their guns. 

The procession held together and crossed the 
garden. But all attempts to pass out by the Pont 
Tournant were in vain. The line broke. The 
deputies slunk back to their hall much as Louis XVI 
and his family had done after the refusal of the 
crowd to let them drive to St. Cloud in April, 1791. 
The Mountain was victorious. The members 
once more took their seats. Couthon moved the 
arrest of the twelve, of the twenty-two, and of the 

Proscription 347 

Ministers Clavi&re and Lebrun. His prefatory 
remark makes one wonder if he was sarcastic: 
"Now that you are free to deliberate . . .!" It 
was a strange kind of freedom! And after Marat 
had personally revised the lists, and thirty-one 
Girondists, including all the greatest orators, had 
been taken into custody, the Commune sent and 
thanked the Convention for its patriotic conduct 
and congratulated it on having voted without 
coercion ! 

How did France take the news of this treatment 
of its elected deputies? There was a bright flare 
of rebellion in almost every department. The 
town of Lyons raised twenty thousand men and 
declared the whole Mountain in the ban. Armies 
mustered in Calvados and elsewhere. Moreover, 
in the Convention, seventy-five members found 
courage to sign an energetic protest. Of the 
arrested members themselves, a number escaped, 
rallied at Caen in Normandy, and prepared for 
civil war. 

But just as the Commune had controlled public 
opinion in the case of the storming of the Tuileries 
and the September massacres, so now it spread 
its own version of this affair through the press and 
through the post-office. The people should know 
the truth about these insurgents: they were 
counter-revolutionists in league with royalists! 
The Mountain was soon able to pit army against 
army, and on July I3th, a day otherwise memorable, 
the opposing forces met in the neighbourhood of 
the Norman town of Vernon. The encounter, 

34 8 The French Revolution 

indeed, was nearer to the ridiculous than to the 
sublime. One man only was killed and both sides 
ran away! 

Yet the combat sealed the fate of the Girondists. 
They had staked all and their opponents were 
hourly gaining ground. They were abandoned by 
the town of Caen, and on the door of the room that 
had served as their place of assembly a placard 
announced that they were outlaws. The Conven- 
tion itself declared them traitors to their country. 
Petion, once the idol of Paris; Buzot, the man 
whom Madame Roland loved more than she did 
her husband; Louvet, the popular author; Bar- 
baroux, and others, started off, disguised as soldiers, 
to reach the sea and take ship for their own beloved 
province where they expected to be welcomed 
with open arms. After incredible hardships they 
reached Bordeaux only to find that here, too, 
the insurrection had been quelled. Then began 
the awful flight, the tracking like wild beasts, the 
hiding in caves, cellars, and deserted quarries: all of 
which Louvet has so graphically described in his 

We have said that the day of the encounter at 
Vernon was otherwise memorable. On that day 
Charlotte Corday avenged the expulsion of the 
Girondists from the Convention by stabbing to 
the heart their worst enemy, Marat. The inspira- 
tion to the deed she had acted entirely of her own 
initiative had come from consorting with the 
fugitive deputies at Caen. "What finally decided 
me," she wrote to Barbaroux, "was the courage 

Proscription 349 

with which our volunteers enrolled on July 7th. " 
She had been present when the forces mustered. 

Charlotte Corday, however, was far from having 
acted on the spur of the moment. She had been 
a close student of Revolutionary affairs. She de- 
clared at her trial that she had read over five 
hundred pamphlets dealing with the subject. 
One of her special admirations in history was the 
mother of the Gracchi. Just before the bloody 
deed, of which there is no need to recount the -well- 
known details, she wrote a letter to " law-abiding 
and peace-loving Frenchmen," in which she 
bitterly arraigned the Mountain and justified^ her 
intended act. She called Marat an odious monster, 
a "wild beast fattening on human blood. " "He 
told me that in a few days he would have you all 
guillotined in Paris/' she wrote to Barbaroux; 
"these last words sealed his fate." 

Like the Tragic Muse in person she had risen 
above all the little sordid details of her hard task. 
Twice, if not three times, she had gone to Marat's 
house with the great knife concealed in the folds 
of her dress. Like the Tragic Muse, too so 
indifferent to her own fate that even her worst 
enemies marvelled she went to her execution in 
the scarlet robe of a murderess. Her one request 
was not for any alleviation of her lot but for 
permission to hand down her features to posterity. 
She wrote to the Committee of Public Safety: 
"As I still have a few minutes to live, may I hope, 
Citizens, for permission to have my portrait 

35 The French Revolution 

We have a portrait, x generally recognized as the 
most authentic, which was painted by Hauer. 
He was present at her trial and is said to have 
been allowed to visit her in her cell. 

Of Marat in the act of being stabbed and of 
Marat dead there were numerous representations. 
His crooked, leering face was easy to reproduce. 
Louis David, the artist, painted a famous picture 
of the scene, and we have an engraving by Verite 
for which the plaster cast of Marat's features 
served as model. 2 The gaping wound is there, 
with the blood oozing from it, and the demagogue 
is quoted as saying: "Unable to corrupt, they have 
assassinated me ! ' ' 

There was a sudden wave of Marat worship. 
He was likened to Christ. On the temporary tomb 3 
in which he was laid until he could be transferred to 
the Pantheon was placed the inscription: "From 
the depths of his black cave he made traitors 
tremble. A perfidious hand snatched him away 
from the love of his people." The representation 
of the tomb is headed: "To the immortal glory of 
Marat, the people's friend." 

But Marat's death was not looked upon as a 
closed episode. There lay the chief tragedy. 
Charlotte Corday's act had been more than in 
vain for Marat became a martyr. 

Over the door of the house where Marat had 
lived was placed this line: "Weep, but remember 
that he must be avenged!" Everything was done 
to inflame passions that were already at fever heat. 

' Plate 146, p. 351. 2 Plate 147, p. 353. 3 Plate 148, p. 355. 

Plate 146. A portrait of Charlotte Corday. From the painting 
by Hauer. 


35 2 The French Revolution 

The body was exposed to view in the bath and 
with the blood-stained shirt hanging near. Orator 
succeeded orator and wrung tears by plaintive 
laments : 

Citizens, strew flowers over the pale corpse of Marat. 
He was our friend, the friend of the people. For the people 
he lived, for the people he died. . . . Marat, rare and 
sublime soul, we will imitate thee, we will crush all traitors! 
Our courage, our virtue shall avenge thy death. We swear 
it on thy bloody corpse, on the dagger which has pierced 
thy breast! We swear it! x 

The Chronique de Paris, 2 after telling how a fury 
from Caen has plunged a dagger into the breast 
of the apostle and martyr of liberty, declares 
solemnly that the hour of freedom has sounded 
and that the blood that has just flowed is the 
fulminating decree of condemnation for all traitors. 
The laws and coercive measures become now more 
uncompromisingly severe, more utterly tyrannical. 
Speculators in grain, for instance who are scourged 
as vampires, beasts of prey, and assassins of the 
poor are declared to be guilty of a capital crime. 3 
A repetition of a refusal to receive assignats as 
legal tender is to be punishable with twenty years 
in irons. 4 On August ist all Bourbons not in prison 
were expelled from the soil of France, while the 
expenditures for the captives in the Temple were 
reduced to a minimum. A special decree had 

1 Journal de la Montague, in Buchez et Roux, xxviii., 388. 

2 July 1 7th. 3 Moniteur, July 26th. 4 ft., July 3Oth. 

j, r , ;M A K A ; 

\ /-. i t . i \ i i / / * / '4 . ) 

/ . 

/)<y>///< if A/ < 

/////// .' 

Plat i- 147. A portrait of Marat engraved from his death- 
mask and showing the gaping wound in his breast. 


354 The French Revolution 

already ordered that Marie Antoinette be separated 
from her son. 1 

On August 6th the Journal de la Montague 
tells us : 

The administration has taken steps to arrest all sus- 
pected persons. Last Friday the so-called National 
Theatre, the Vaudeville, and the Opera, were surrounded 
by an armed force between eight and nine o'clock. No 
one might leave without showing his card [of civism]. 
The number of young men arrested is estimated at five 

Under the Girondist regime a new Constitution 
had been drawn up and almost brought to com- 
pletion. It was, of course, now a dead letter for 
it was tainted with federalism. But a new one 
was ready in about seven weeks. It had become 
as easy to make laws as to issue paper money; 
more than eleven thousand of them were passed 
under France's first three Assemblies. 

What shall we say of the new Constitution? It 
was more socialistic than its predecessors, going 
so far as to formulate the theory that society 
owed support to those unable to find work and to 
declare insurrection a sacred duty under certain 
circumstances. The right of forming popular 
societies like the Jacobin Club was also vindicated. 
On July 25th the Convention had decreed it a 
crime against liberty, and punishable as such, to 
attempt to dissolve such societies. 2 

1 The original manuscript of the decree, National Archives. 
3 Duvergier, vi., 54. 

Plate 148. A representation of the tomb in which Marat's remains were 
placed before being transferred to the Pantheon. It faced the 
"National Palace," formerly the Tuileries. 


The French Revolution 

This Constitution of 1793, although it was 
accepted by nearly all France, was never to be 
applied; for, as we shall see presently, permanent 

Plate 149. A representation of the first stage of the Fte to Unity 

and Indivisibility. The Fountain of Regeneration is to be 

erected on the site of the Bastile. 

laws of any kind were to prove too hampering for 
liberty. But for the moment the Mountain was 
intensely proud of its work. In honour of the 
acceptance of the Constitution and at the same 
time of the victory over federalism, it was deter- 
mined to give one of the grandest fetes that the 
mind of man had ever imagined. The day chosen 

Proscription 357 

was August loth, anniversary of the storming of 
the Tuileries. 

The arrangements were made by David, the 
famous painter, to whom it seems to have been 
indifferent whether he glorified the republic or the 
Empire, Robespierre or Napoleon. His full pro- 
gramme for the occasion has been preserved ' but 
would be much less intelligible were it not for a 
series of six sketches, possibly also by David, 
which show the different stages of the fete. 

We have reached the highest point of symbol- 
ism in the French Revolution. Alas, these poor 
people needed to be dazzled and blinded in order 
to make them forget the hideous realities beneath 
it all! Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity had 
proved hollow mockeries; all the more were they 
to be clung fast to as high ideals. David's report 
to the Convention embodying his programme for 
the day is such a treasure-trove of Revolutionary 
allegory that it is necessary to give it here in full: 

The French assembled to celebrate the f6 te of Unity and 
Indivisibility will rise before dawn. The touching scene 
of their reunion will be lightened by the first rays of the 
sun. This beneficent star whose light extends throughout 
the universe will be to them the symbol of truth to which 
they will address praises and hymns. 

The gathering will take place on the site of the 
Bastilc. 2 In the midst of its ruins will be erected the 
fountain of Regeneration representing nature. From her 
fertile breasts (which she will press with her hands) will 
spurt an abundance of pure and healthful water of which 

1 In the Chronique de Paris, July i8th. Plate 149, p. 356. 

35 8 The French Revolution 

shall drink, each in his turn, eighty-six commissioners, sent 
by the primary assemblies one, namely, from each depart- 
ment, seniority being given the preference. 

A single cup shall serve for all. After the president of 
the National Convention shall have watered the soil of 
liberty by a sort of libation, he shall be the first to drink; 
he shall then pass the cup in succession to the commission- 
ers of the primary assemblies. They shall be summoned 
alphabetically to the sound of the drum and trumpet. 
Each time a commissioner shall have drunk, a salvo of 
artillery shall announce the consummation of this act of 

Then, to the beloved air of the "Children of Marseilles," 
strophes shall be sung that bear analogy to the ceremony. 
The surrounding scene shall be simple; its richness shall 
be adopted from nature. Here and there one shall see, 
traced on stones, inscriptions which shall recall the monu- 
ment of our ancient servitude; and the commissioners, 
having all drunk, shall reciprocally give each other the 
fraternal kiss. 

The cortege shall march along the boulevards. At its 
head shall be the popular societies in a body. They shall 
bear a banner on which shall be painted the eye of vigilance 
penetrating a thick cloud. 

The second group shall be composed of the National 
Convention marching in a body, its ushers in the lead. 
As the one and only distinctive mark, each of its members 
shall bear in his hand a bouquet, formed of sheaves of wheat 
and of different fruits. Eight of them shall carry on a 
litter an ark ; it shall be open ; it shall have in it the tablets 
on which are engraved the rights of man and the constitu- 
tional document. The commissioners delegated from the 
primary assemblies of the eighty-six departments shall 
form a chain around the National Convention. They shall 
be joined one to another by the light but indissoluble bond 
of Unity and Indivisibility formed by a tri-coloured cordon. 
Each one of them shall be distinguished by a pike or portion 

Proscription 359 

of the fascicle his department will have confided to him 
which he shall hold in one hand with a little banner in- 
scribed with the name of his department and by an olive- 
branch, symbol of peace, which he shall carry in the other. 
The delegates from the primary assemblies shall likewise 
carry the olive-branch in their hands. 

The third group shall be composed of the whole worthy 
mass of the sovereign: here everything is eclipsed, every- 
thing mingled in the presence of the primary assemblies. 
Here there is no longer such a thing as a corporation. All 
useful members of society shall be massed together indis- 
criminately, although characterized by their distinctive 

Thus shall one see the president of the provisional 
executive council on a line with the blacksmith; the mayor 
with his scarf side by side with the wood-chopper or mason; 
the judge, in his robes and his plumed hat, next to the 
dyer or shoemaker. The black African, differing only in 
colour, shall walk beside the white European. The inter- 
esting scholars of the institution for the blind, drawn on a 
moving platform, shall present the touching spectacle of 
misfortune honoured. You, too, shall be there, tender 
nurslings of the foundling asylum, carried in white bassi- 
nettes: you shall begin to enjoy your civil rights which you 
have so justly recovered ! And you, worthy labourers, you 
shall carry in triumph the useful and honourable tools of 
your calling! Finally in the midst of this numerous and in- 
dustrious family, one will especially notice a true triumphal 
car formed by a simple plough on which will be seated an 
old man and his old wife, drawn by their own children a 
touching example of filial piety and of veneration for old 

Among the attributes of all its different trades one will 
read these words written in large letters: "Such is the 
service which an indefatigable people renders to human 

A military group shall follow this one, escorting in 


The French Revolution 

triumph a car drawn by eight white horses. It will 
contain an urn, depository of the ashes of the heroes who 
have died gloriously for their country. This car, adorned 
with garlands and civic crowns, shall be surrounded by the 

Plate 150. A representation of the second stage of the Fe"tc to 

Unity and Indivisibility. The meeting with the 

" Heroines of Liberty. " 

relatives of those whose virtue and courage are being 
honoured; the citizens of every age and of every sex [sic] 
shall each carry garlands of flowers in their hands. Braziers 
shall burn perfumes around the car and military music 
shall make the air resound with its warlike tones. A de- 
tachment of infantry and cavalry shall bring up the rear 
and in the midst of it shall be drawn carts covered with 

Proscription 361 

hangings shot through with fleurs-de-lis and filled with the 
plunder of the vile attributes of royalty and all these 
haughty gewgaws of ignorant nobility. On banners in 
these carts one will read these words: "People, here is 
what has caused all the misfortunes of human society." 

When the procession has arrived in this order on the 
Boulevard Poissoniere, one will meet, 1 under a portico 
or triumphal arch, the heroines of the fifth and sixth 
of October, seated as they were then on their cannon. 
Some will bear branches of trees, others trophies which shall 
be unequivocal signs of the brilliant victory these courageous 
citizenesses won at that time over the servile body-guards. 
There they shall receive from the hands of the president 
or the National Convention a branch of laurel and then, 
with their cannon turned round, they shall follow the line 
of march and, always with a proud attitude, shall join the 
sovereign. On the monument will be inscriptions recalling 
these two memorable days. The harangues, the joyous 
songs, the salvos of artillery, will be renewed at each 

Citizens, we have reached the immortal and imperishable 
day of the loth. 2 It is in the Place dc la Revolution, it is 
on the spot where the tyrant died that it must be celebrated. 

On the remains of the pedestal of Tyranny which are still 
there shall be erected the statue of Liberty, which shall be 
inaugurated with due solemnity. Tufted oaks shall form 
around her an imposing mass of shade and verdure. 3 
The branches shall be covered with offerings from all free 
French people. Tri-coloured ribbons, liberty caps, hymns, 
inscriptions, paintings, will be the fruits that will please 
the goddess. At her feet will be an enormous pyre, reached 
by steps from on all sides : there in profoundest silence shall 
be offered in expiatory sacrifice the impostured attributes 
of royalty. There, in the presence of the beloved goddess 
of the French, the eighty-six commissioners, each with a 

1 Plate 150, p. 360. * Plate 151, p. 362. 

* For a better view of this statue of Liberty, see Plate 152, p. 363. 


The French Revolution 

torch in his hand, shall vie with each other in applying the 
flame; there the memory of the tyrant shall be devoted to 
public execration and then immediately thousands of birds, 
restored to liberty and bearing on their necks light bands 

Plate 151. A representation of the third stage of the Fete to Unity 

and Indivisibility. The statue of the Goddess of Liberty was 

on the pedestal of the old statue of Louis XV. 

on which shall be written some articles of the declaration 
of the rights of man, shall take their rapid flight through 
the air and carry to heaven the testimony of liberty restored 
to earth. 

The fourth halt 1 shall be made in the Place des Invalides. 
In the middle of the Place, on the summit of a mountain, 

1 Plate 1 53, p. 364. 



The French Revolution 

shall be represented a colossal figure, the French people, 
gathering in its vigorous arms the departmental bundle of 
staves. Ambitious federalism, coming forth from its slimy 
marsh, with one hand brushing aside the reeds, tries with 

Plate 153. A representation of the fourth stage of the Fte to 

Unity and Indivisibility. A colossal figure symbolizing the 

French people is annihilating the monster called 


the other to detach some of the staves; the French people 
catches sight of it, takes its club, strikes it, and makes it 
return to its pullulating waters never to quit them again. 

The fifth and last halt, 1 finally, shall be at the Champ de 
Mars. Before entering it, a striking homage shall be paid 
to Equality a rightful and necessary act in a republic. 

' Plate 154, p. 365. 



They will pass under a gateway of which nature will seem 
to have borne the whole expense. Two figures, 1 symbols 
of Equality and Liberty, shaded by dense foliage and facing 
each other with some distance between, shall hold at a 

Plate 154. A representation of the fifth stage of the F6te to Unity 

and Indivisibility. On the altar of the Fatherland (Champ de 

Mars), the president of the Convention is announcing 

the acceptance of the new Constitution. 

proper height a tri-coloured garland drawn to full length 
from which shall be hung an enormous level the national 
level. It shall soar over the heads of all without distinction 
of persons. Ye proud ones, ye shall bend your necks! 
Arrived at the Champ de Mars, the president of the 

1 Termes in the original, being busts rising directly out of the pedestal 
as one sees them to-day in Versailles. 

366 The French Revolution 

National Convention, the Convention, the eighty-six 
commissioners of the primary assemblies shall mount the 
steps of the altar of the fatherland. At the same time 
every one shall go and attach to the outer surface of the 
altar his offering: the fruits of his labour, the implements of 
his trade or art. It will thus be more magnificently adorned 
than by the far-fetched emblems of insignificant painting. 

Here we have an immense and industrious people doing 
homage to its country with the instruments of the calling 
by which it supports wife and children. When this cere- 
mony is over, the people shall range themselves round the 
altar. Then the president of the National Convention, 
having laid on the altar of the Fatherland all the counts of 
the ballots in the primary assemblies, the will of the French 
people regarding the Constitution shall be proclaimed in 
the presence of all the delegates of the sovereign and under 
the vault of heaven. The people shall take a vow to 
defend it unto death. A general salvo shall announce this 
sublime taking of the oath. This done, the eighty-six 
commissioners delegated by the primary assemblies shall 
advance towards the president of the Convention and 
shall deliver over to him, each in turn, the portion of the 
bundle of staves he has been carrying in his hand throughout 
the whole march. The president shall seize them and shall 
bind them all together with a tri- coloured ribbon; then 
shall give back to the people the bundle tightly tied, ex- 
plaining that the people will be invincible if there be no 
division among them. He will also hand over to them the 
ark holding the Constitution and will proclaim aloud: 
" People, I make you the depositary of the Constitution 
under the safeguard of all the virtues." 

The people will respectfully receive the ark and the bundle 
of staves and will carry them in triumph. Fraternal 
kisses, a thousand times repeated, will terminate this novel 
and touching scene. 

In the engraving we have a sixth stage of the 



proceedings ' taking place around a funeral monu- 
ment erected in the Champ de Mars in memory 
of the warriors who had died for their country. 
This was probably only a project, the times being 

Plate 155. A representation of the sixth stage of the F6te to Unity 
and Indivisibility. The temple is in honour of the dead warriors. 

too troubled for the erection of so elaborate a 
monument. David himself was occupied with 
Marat's funeral, and we see from the newspapers 
how, in the very articles describing the f&te, the 
call to arms is interwoven. The Chronique de 
Paris writes on August i6th: 

1 Plate 155, above. 


The French Revolution 

Never since men and empires existed did a greater social 
act culminate in a fte so august and so touching. . . . 
O spectacle the most magnificent and the most moving 
that Earth ever displayed to the eyes of the Eternal! 

)e M C /\ (%Mff/tf//e 

Plate 156. A symbolical representation of Unity and Indivisibility. 

To arms, Frenchmen! At the very moment when a nation 
of friends and brothers are clasping each other in their 
embraces the despots of Europe are violating our property 
and devastating our frontiers. . . . This time let all 
perish; and let their bones bleaching in our fields rise like 
trophies in the ground that their blood will have rendered 
more fertile ! 

The ark with the Constitution and the bundle of 



staves representing Unity and Indivisibility were 
carried the next day into the hall of the National 
Convention and David promised to design a 
resting-place for them. Yet before the Constitu- 
tion could go into effect it was found necessary to 





Plate 157. A symbolical representation of Unity and 

Indivisibility watched over by the vigilant eye 

of the Jacobins. 

decree that "the government of France is to be 
revolutionary until peace is proclaimed" and that 
terror was the order of the day. It remained 
forever a dead letter. 

We have various symbolical representations that 
have to do with this theme of indivisibility. In one, ' 
France is looking forward to a new day, her feet on 

1 Plate 156, p. 368. 


37 The French Revolution 

the dead hydra of Federalism, her arm resting on 
a shield with the bundle of staves tightly tied to- 
gether, while beneath is the inscription, "In the 
name of the republic one and indivisible." In an- 
other production 1 the most prominent feature is an 
eye the eye of vigilance of the Jacobins. David, it 
will be remembered, had given the most prominent 
place in his procession to the so-called popular 
societies, and this emblem of the eye had figured 
on their banner. Then, indeed, the eye had been 
represented as piercing a thick cloud: now it is in 
the very centre of the blazing sun. From that sun, 
in all directions, emanate vivifying rays, and to it 
are turning the barking dog and the crowing cock, 
watchers-out for France's safety. Unity has 
become as much of an attribute of the young 
republic as Liberty, Equality, or Fraternity. But 
there is a dark presence now on almost all 
the symbols. In different forms we are told 
again and again that the alternative is death. 
The Reign of Terror has begun. 

1 Plate 157, p. 369. 



AN engraving ' published after the victory over 
the Girondists, and glorifying the unity and 
indivisibility of the French republic, has a 
cap of liberty and a grinning skull with the words 
between, "No middle course"; and that was to be 
the policy of those governing France during the 
whole of the next dark year. We have a repre- 
sentation, too, of the Martyrs of Liberty 2 whose 
deaths are to be avenged: Lepelletier, who was 
murdered at the time of Louis XVI 's execution; 
Marat, and Chalier, who was put to death four 
days after Marat by adherents of the Girondists, 
in the town of Lyons. In the background on the 
left one sees the Bastile with the inevitable "Live 
free or die," on the right the Pantheon, where 
these three are to be received among France's 
great men. 

Qn July 2jth Robespierre became a member of 
the Committee of Public Safety, and the SITU 
severe measures began that were to send so many 
hundreds to the guillotine merely because of their 
political opinions and that made a pure mockery 

1 Plate 158, p. 372. Plate 159, p. 373. 



The French Revolution 

of all legal forms. On July 3Oth the Revolutionary 
Tribunal was divided into two sections, thus doubl- 
ing its activity, ^jew days later it was redivided 
into four. We now begin to hear frequently of 
a new class of criminals, the suspects. We have 

Plate 158. An emblem of the Reign of Terror. There is to 
be no mean between Liberty and Death. 

harangues like this in the Convention: "No more 
quarter, no more mercy for traitors" (simultan- 
eous cries from all parts of the hall of "No! No!") 
"If we do not get ahead of them they will get 
ahead of us. Let us cast between them and us 
the barrier of Eternity . . . The day of justice 
and of wrath has come." 

Billaud-Varennes moved the establishment of a 

Plate 159. A representation of Liberty and her great martyrs, Lepellcticr, 
Marat, and Chalier, whose deaths cry for vengeance. 


374 The French Revolution 

Revolutionary army, and Danton, in supporting 
him, called for bi-weekly assemblies of the sections 
of Paris, each person attending to be given forty 
sous a day and a hundred million francs being 
appropriated to supply these citizens with arms 
measures which were immediately passed. The 
Revolutionary committees were given power to 
issue warrants of arrest, as well as to make domi- 
ciliary visits and seize what weapons they might 

The satellites of tyrants [cried the spokesman of a Ja- 
cobin deputation on September 6th], the ferocious islanders, 
the tyrants of the North who spread devastation among 
us, are less to be feared than the traitors who disquiet us 
within, who sow discord, who arm us one against the 
other. ... It is time that Equality wield her scythe above 
all heads. It is time to frighten all conspirators. Yes, 
Legislators, make terror the order of the day! (Vehement 
applause !) 

"The day has come to be as inflexible as you have 
hitherto been weak!" cried Drouet; "the moment 
is there for shedding the blood of the guilty ! . . . 
Let us be brigands " but here, to its credit, there 
were murmurs in the Assembly. Drouet had to 
explain away his forcible utterance and contented 
himself with extolling the words of the delegate 
from the Commune, "Let us make terror the 
order of the day," and with apostrophizing the 
enemies of the Mountain "Well, the Mountain 
will crush you!" It was decided that the Revolu- 
tionary army should number six thousand men. 

Terror 375 

As at the time of the September massacres, so 
now the happenings in the field served as an excuse 
for all the severities. On July 23d, Mainz had 
been lost to France after its garrison had been 
reduced to eating cats and mice; on the 28th 
Valenciennes had been recovered by the Austrians; 
on August 27th Toulon admitted the English to 
its harbour. The rebels were in the ascendant in 
La Vendee and in Lyons. The Convention decreed 
the levee en masse, and ordered the young men to 
hurry to the battle-line and the old men to sit in 
the public squares and preach hatred of kings and 
the unity of the republic. The women were to 
make tents and uniforms and act as nurses, while 
even the children were to fray lint. The public 
buildings were turned into barracks, the squares 
into arsenals. All horses not needed for agricul- 
ture were requisitioned ; all cellar floors were to be 
scraped for saltpetre to be used in the manufacture 
of gunpowder. 

In September strong fetters were laid upon 
commerce by fixing a maximum price at which the 
necessaries of life might be sold, a measure which 
very soon resulted in famine. It was characteristic 
of these men to accomplish their narrowest views, 
regardless of consequences. Their one idea was 
that the patriots must be clothed and fed at a price 
within their means. This, they declared, was more 
important to the national welfare than that mer- 
chants should grow rich. So a long list was pre- 
pared fixing the prices of objects of prime necessity; 
and these objects were made to range from meat 

3?6 The French Revolution 

to white paper. The blow to enterprise was 

No wonder such measures roused discontent 
and that the women of the market armed them- 
selves with whips and declared they would trounce 
all who wore the national cockade. "All agree 
on one point," writes an agent of the police, "the 
need of a new order of things." One of the govern- 
ment spies reported that a pack of playing-cards 
was circulating in which the Kings were made in 
the likeness of Dumouriez, the Queens were 
Charlotte Cordays, and the Knaves were the 
soldiers of the republic! Alarming symptoms, 
cankerous sores, for which Hebert and Chaumette, 
Robespierre and St. -Just, could think of no reme- 
dies but more and more Draconic laws l_J These 
reptiles with venomous stings must be crushed, 
this impious struggle must cease, the enemies of 
the republic must be destroyed lest they in turn 
destroy. "Hercules is ready! Give the club into 
his robust hands," cried Chaumette," and soon the 
soil of Liberty will be purged of all the brigands 
that infest it!" It was Chaumette who wished 
all parks and gardens of the rich to be ploughed 
up and planted to vegetables. He urged the 
arrest of all nobles as enemies of humanity. 

On September iyth it was decreed that "all 
suspects who are still at liberty shall be placed 
under arrest," and the decree applied to all French 
..territory; . Suspects were defined as those who had 
shown themselves the friends of tyranny_and 
federalism either by words they might have 

Terror 377 

written or remarks they might have made, and 
even those who cannot prove their patriotism 
and "have not constantly manifested their attach- 
ment to the Revolution." Tribunals were author- 

ized to retain in jail even those who had been 
legally acquitted. 

No wonder the number of prisons had to be 
trebled and quadrupled. The law was to be no 
dead letter. We have the instructions that 
Chaumette issued to the "sections" of Paris as to 
how the suspects were to be recognized. Included 
are those who have tried to impede the work of the 
local assemblies by " astute discourses," as well 
as those who "speak mysteriously of the mis- 
fortunes of the republic and bewail the fate of the 
people but are always ready to spread bad news, 
even when affecting to grieve over it." Those who 
"while they have done nothing aamst__Ljbeiy_ 
yet have done nothing for it" are likewise to be 
classed among the suspects. When we reflect that 
informers were always welcomed and rewarded, 
and that in each town of France the Jacobin Club, 
receiving its orders from the mother society in 
Paris kept open the eye of vigilance, one wonders 
if even religious persecution in the ignorant 
Middle Ages ever went so far. 

The all-important certificates of civism were 
refused by the Commune of Paris to whole cate- 
gories of persons to all of the twenty thousand, 
for instance, who had signed the petition protesting 
against the violence done to the King on June 20, 
1792. The actors of the Th64tre Frangais were 

37 8 The French Revolution 

arrested for uttering a verse that occurred in the 
play of Pamela: " The party that triumphs is the 
only legitimate one." 

The sufferings to which the flower of France 
those who made the least attempt to think or act 
independently were now subjected are almost 
inconceivable. It is true the fiction was kept up 
for a while that this detention was merely a 
measure of public safety and that the prisoners 
might make themselves as comfortable as the 
circumstances permitted. Those who were sent 
tcTthe Luxembourg, especially, occupied fine airy 
apartments, and the accounts of some of the doings 
remind one of Boccaccio. In Port-Royal, which 
had been rechristened Port-Libre, it was the same. 
There were irrepressible spirits who feasted, en- 
joyed music, played games, and made love. The 
usages of polite society were observed, and a 
Monsieur de Nicolai, we are told, never could meet 
a fellow-prisoner at a door without disputing who 
should pass out first. Visitors were admitted, 
and the prisoners might send out and purchase 
what they wished or could pay for. There are 
records of kindly concierges who did all in their 
power to make their charges comfortable. 

But the ignominy, the shame, the injustice, the 
separation from those near and dear and the un- 
certainty as to their fate: the eventual crowding, 
too, and the daily dread of the summons from the 
Revolutionary Tribunal, soon made life a perfect 
hell. And -a great number of prisons were little 
^better than duneeons. The most dreaded of all 

Terror 379 

was the Conciergerie, always the last halting-place 
on the path to the guillotine. In the so-called 
Souriciere which was inexpressibly foul and dis- 
gusting, one had to fight all night to save one's 
extremities from rats. Madame Roland, in Saint- 
Pelagie, complained of the narrowness, of the dirt, 
of the annoyance of hearing the great bolts fastened, 
of the want of air, of the exposure to the gaze of 
the jailor. Yet Madame Roland exceeded almost 
all in the fortitude with which she bore her long 
sufferings and the kindliness and self-sacrifice 
with which she tried to alleviate the lot of those 
about her. She found sufficient composure of 
mind while in prison to write her memoirs and to 
provide for their being spirited away to a place of 
safety. Only half, indeed, of what she wrote has 
been preserved. 

Those Girondists, too, who had not escaped 
from Paris bore the inevitable philosophically, and 
passed the time in profitable conversation and in 
singing the songs of their southern home the 
home of the Troubadours. 

The gaiety on which some writers are pleased 
to dwell was often mere hysterical desperation. 
Riouffe, himself long a prisoner, tells of bursts of 
mad joy, of mock-guillotinings, of repasts where 
one tried not to realize that half of those present 
were there for the last time. Suicides were fre- 
quent: the ex- Minister Claviere silently hammered 
a dagger into his own heart. 

Every now and then the Moniteur, the official 
organ of the government, gave the total number 

380 The French Revolution 

of prisoners confined in Paris, though probably 
the truth was but half told. After October, 1793, 
when all pretence of constitutionalism had van- 
ished, the numbers rose by leaps and bounds, and, 
at the height of the Terror, there were about eight 
thousand in prison at one time. 

On October loth it was decreed by the Con- 
vention that the government of France should be 
revolutionary so long as war continued. There 
could be no prosperity, declared St. -Just, so long 
as one enemy of Liberty continued to draw the 
breath of life. Steel was to take the place of 
justice. The people were to reign over the rich 
and "make them bathe their proud brows in 

On that same day the Convention hurled its 
anathema at the whole flourishing town of Lyons, 
which, it will be remembered, had raised an army 
and outlawed the Mountain: 

The town of Lyons shall be destroyed; the name Lyons 
shall be effaced from the list of towns of the Republic. 
What remains of the houses shall henceforth be called 
Ville Affranchie. A column shall be erected on the ruins to 
attest to posterity the crimes and the punishment of the 
royalists of this town. On it shall be inscribed: "Lyons 
made war on Liberty. Lyons is no more." 

We have interesting letters from Collot-d'Herbois 1 
who was sent to oversee the demolition and the 
punishment of the rebels : 

Terror, salutary terror, is truly here the order of the day 
1 Buchez et Roux, xxx., 399. 

Pl.i-.o 1 60. A cartoon summing up the regime of Robespierre and showing the 

Frenchman blindly groping for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity with 

Death ever at hand as the alternative. 


382 The French Revolution 

. . . when we are able, we use cannon and mines in the 
work of destruction, but you can imagine that among a 
population of 150,000 these measures find many obstacles. 
. . . Sixty-four of these conspirators were shot yesterday. 
. . . Two hundred and thirty are to fall to-day. ... I 
do not think I have once shown weakness, though health 
and strength have often failed me. . . . There are sixty 
thousand individuals here who will never make republicans : 
we must have them sent away and carefully scattered over 
the republic. . . . The long siege and general daily dan- 
ger have inspired a sort of indifference to life: yes, a total 
scorn of death. Yesterday, returning from an execution 
a spectator said: " There 's no great hardship about that. 
What shall I do to be guillotined? Insult the representa- 
tives?" ... I have new measures in mind, weighty and 

We have letters from other "patriots" sent to 
Lyons that are even more horrible than those of 
Collot-d'Herbois, because in them one detects a 
note of actual glee: 

Heads, more heads every day! . . . How you would 
have enjoyed seeing national justice meted out to two 
hundred and nine rogues! . . . What cement for the 
republic! ... I say fete, citizen president yes, fete 
is the right word ! . . . The guillotining and fusilading 
are not going badly ! 

Probably at this juncture appeared a cartoon 1 
called " The French people or the regime of Robes- 
pierre." It must have been issued in the same 
defiant spirit as that of the spectator above quoted. 
The figure in the middle represents the people, 
and he is blindfolded. Around him are Liberty, 

1 Plate 160, p. 381. 

Terror 383 

Equality, Fraternity, and Death. He tries in 
vain to catch any one of them and comes to the 
conclusion: "It is I in this game that they are 
trying to catch." 

On October ad the Convention had decreed 
jDutlaws twenty fugitive Girondists, had ordered 
brought to trial twenty-one others, and had sent 
to arrest all of the seventy-five of its own members 
who had dared to remonstrate at the happenings 
of June 2d. The time had come to sentence Marie 
Antoinette, too, and Madame Roland. 

For the former Queen of France the day even 
of respectful treatment had long since passed. 
On August 2d she had been removed to the Con- 
ciergerie, and in September, having been found 
corresponding with some one by means of pin- 
pricks in paper, had been placed in a double- 
doored, heavily barred cell and obliged to submit 
to the scrutiny of jailors, by night as well as by day. 
We know the sums that were spent for her main- 
tenance: fifteen francs a day for her food; three 
francs and eighteen sous for trimming a skirt; 
eighteen sous for hair ribbon and shoe-strings; 
three francs twelve sous for tooth- wash, and 
sixteen francs for books. She had had two new 
caps fourteen francs for the two. Not much 
for a woman who had found her husband's salary 
of twenty-five million francs and her own pin- 
money of four million francs entirely too small ! 

We have an engraving of Marie Antoinette 1 
as she sits in her lonely cell looking up at the 

1 Plate 161, p. 384. 


Terror 385 

scant rays of light that come though the small 
window. We can see in the accompanying plan the 
opening that separated her from the gendarmes. 
A screen was her only protection. 

On the nth of October the unhappy woman 
appeared before the Revolutionary Tribunal. 
Clothed in black, she entered the great hall of 
audience and seated herself in front of Fouquier- 
Tinville, the relentless public prosecutor, being 
guarded on either side by an officer of the law. 
The president of the tribunal, Hermann, carried 
on the interrogation. The mere dry protocol of 
the hearing is more eloquent than any rhetoric 
and shows what an ordeal it must have been. 
The hall was dim, being lighted only by two candles 
on the table of the scribe, who wrote down the 
minutes of the proceedings, which we still have. 
She could scarcely see the president, so the minutes 
tell us, and behind, completely in the shadow, 
were a number of faces that she could not recognize 
"which greatly disquieted Antoinette." 

Her answers showed courage and ability. The 
questions ranged over the whole period since her 
arrival in France, and dealt with her extravagance, 
her political activity, the banquet at Versailles 
where the band played "O Richard, O my King," 
the flight to Varennes, the loth of August. For 
the bloodshed on that latter date Fouquier-Tinville 
held her responsible. The man had a sort of 
lurid power of expression and must have thrilled 
his hearers as he depicted this fury sweeping into 
the hall of the Swiss guards, fiercely urging them 


386 The French Revolution 

on, even taking in her mouth the lead they were man- 
ipulating and biting off pieces to serve as bullets. 
She had, Fouquier said, secretly advocated the 
firing on the people and had thrust a pistol into 
Louis XVI's unwilling hand. Some of the ques- 
tions asked her were useless and cruel. Did she 
consider kings necessary to the happiness of the 
people? Did she regret that her son had lost his 

On October I5th Fouquier gave his summing up. 
Marie Antoinette was a Messalina, a Brunhilda, 
a Fredegunda, a Marie de Medicis. She had been 
a scourge, a leech to the French people. She had 
corrupted the morals of her own son and Fouquier 
charged her with abominable doings, the mere 
idea of which makes one shudder with horror. 
And the worst of it was that such a confession as 
Fouquier wished had been extorted from the little 
Dauphin who could not in the least have known 
the import of what he was saying. Marie An- 
toinette's only answer was, "Could a mother have 
done such things?" 

All the different accusations were finally con- 
centrated in the charge that she had " attempted 
to destroy budding Liberty." The jury rendered 
a unanimous verdict of death within twenty-four 

The next morning before dawn she wrote a 
queenly letter to Madame Elizabeth. It was 
never delivered, but was placed among the public 
documents and thus has been preserved. No 
one can read it to-day without feeling a tugging 


Plate 162. A sketch of Marie Antoinette made by David as she passed his 
window in the death-cart on her way to execution. 

388 The French Revolution 

at the heart-strings. She has been condemned, 
she says, to death, but not to shame that is only 
for criminals. Her own conscience is free from 
reproach. But how she regrets leaving those poor 
children! "You know I only lived for them and 
you." She prays that they may remain united 
through life and that Madame Elizabeth may be 
spared to watch over them. She expresses humility, 
religious fervour, and contrition for her shortcom- 
ings and ends pathetically with: 

Farewell, my good and gentle sister. May this letter 
reach you! Think of me always. With my whole heart 
I embrace you and those poor dear children. My God, 
how heart-rending it is to part from them forever ! Farewell, 
farewell! I shall give myself up to my spiritual duties. 
As I am not free, they will probably bring me one of their 
priests, but I swear here that I will say no word to him 
but treat him like an absolute alien. 

The artist David, sitting at the side of the noto- 
rious Madame Tallien, sketched Marie Antoinette 
as she passed him on the way to execution. x Was 
it meant for a caricature, or did the once beautiful 
Queen really look like that? Her hair had, indeed, 
been cut short in order that it might not interfere 
when the blade of the guillotine descended on her 
neck ; she had been obliged to don the cap of Liber- 
ty ; she rode in a common cart with her hands tied 
behind her back. At all events, the sketch is a 
striking symbol of the passing of the glory of this 
world, and months of loneliness and dread may 

1 Plate 162, p. 387. 



well have given her that rigid look. The drawing 
is a more creditable memorial to her than it is to 

Plate 163. A representation of a memorial urn with the silhouettes of 
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. 

We have the representation of a funeral urn 
with the hidden silhouettes of the King and Queen ' 
which scarcely would have been allowed to circulate 
in France. There must have been many, however, 

1 Plate 163, above. 

39 The French Revolution 

who felt inclined to weep, and we shall see in our 
next chapter that artists treated very dangerous 

The trial of the Girondists followed immediately 
upon that of the Queen. The general charge was 
conspiracy against the unity and indivisibility of 
the republic.! These men had dared to recom- 
d a different public policy from that of the 
blind fanatics who were now in power that was 
their real crime. How far removed were those 
dreams of liberty, those broken yokes and sundered 
chains, that filled the minds of the first Revolu- 
tionists! The rights of man, where now were 
they? The very essence of the parliamentary 
system is that men may not be called to account 
for honest opinions they may have expressed in 
debate. Yet now, every old grievance of the 
Mountain against the Gironde was aired anew. 
There was no attempt at a legal conviction for 
conspiracy. The only proofs adduced were utter- 
ances in the National Assembly, in the press, or in 
private letters that had been seized. Vergniaud's 
remark to Louis on August loth declaring that 
the Assembly would uphold the constituted 
authorities was now imputed as a crime; every 
Girondist objection to the supremacy of Paris 
was rehearsed. One member had called it a den 
of crime, another a scene of carnage, still another 
had declared that it was "the tomb of national 
representation." The city which was the mother 
and protectress of Liberty, which had given birth 
to the republic, had been painted by these wretches 

Terror 391 

"under odious aspects/' had been reported as 
"swimming in blood !" All France had been 
called in to destroy it. One can imagine that 
Isnard's unfortunate remark about the future 
traveller searching the banks of the Seine to see 
if Paris ever existed was not forgotten: "He has 
dared to unveil the intentions of the conspirators 
by this atrocious word." 

Few trials have been more ludicrous both as 
regarded the charges and the kind of evidence 
admitted. Convictions and impressions were sol- 
emnly listened to, real arguments accorded no 
weight whatever. Brissot interrupted a witness 
by declaring that he never had uttered any such 
calumnies against Paris as were imputed to him. 
But did you ever deny those calumnies? asked the 
president of the tribunal, as if that settled the ques- 
tion. It was taken as proof of calumniating Paris 
that Brissot had once contrasted Robespierre's 
followers with honest people. Hebert accom- 
plished a master-stroke by turning the odium for 
the September massacres on to the Girondists 
themselves. They had instigated them simply 
for the pleasure of throwing the blame on the 
Parisians. There was no objection when Hebert 
gave evidence against Roland that had come to 
him not even at second but at third hand. Lou vet, 
he said, who was known to be Roland's agent, 
had told it to a deputy who had repeated it to him, 
Hebert. In the same way another witness, Mon- 
taut, said that Guadet had told Soul6s who had told 
him, Montaut, of a certain plot to murder Marat. 

39 2 The French Revolution 

Every patriotic action of the Girondists was 
treated as having been hypocritical and performed 
with ulterior motives in view: they "had taught all 
the enemies of the Revolution the hateful art of 
assassinating Liberty by adopting its rallying cry" ; 
they had made a habit of imputing to real patri- 
ots the crimes they themselves were meditating. 
In short, our modern minds fairly reel when 
brought into the presence of such false reasoning. 

Trial by jury was in its infancy in France and 
was intrenched by no bulwark of long-established 
procedure. Essential features of it were now 
calmly set aside. On October 2 9th, after the 
trial of the Girondists had lasted three days, the 
Jacobin Club petitioned the Convention to free 
the Revolutionary Tribunal "of formalities that! 
stifle the conscience and hinder conviction" and 
permit the jury to give a verdict whenever, after 
'three days, their consciences were sufficiently 
satisfied. The decree was passed, and the Revolu- 
tionary Tribunal decided on June 3Qth not to waste 
y time in listening to the defence, but at once to 
sentence the Girondists. 

We have the minutes of the tribunal for the 
session in which judgment was passed and they 
tell us with some detail what a commotion there 
was among the condemned when the sentence 
was read, what majesty of demeanour the pa- 
triots of the Mountain preserved, how some of 
the Girondists hurled invectives at their judges 
while others threw assignats to the people and 
cried, "Rally to us, friends!" how the people 

Terror 393 

trampled the assignats under foot and cried, " Long 
live the republic! " proving by this truly admirable 
conduct that they are inaccessible to corruption. 

Despairing of the pass to which French justice 
had come, one of the condemned Girondists, 
Valaze, stabbed himself to the heart as he went out 
from the hall. He had cheated the guillotine. We 
have it on the authority of a clerk of the court 
that Fouquier-Tinville wished to have the corpse 
beheaded, but the tribunal merely decreed that 
"the corpse of said Valaze shall lie in a cart 
accompanying those that transport his accomplices 
to their place of punishment," and that he should 
be buried in the same grave. The session broke 
up late with cries of "Perish all traitors!" A 
fellow-prisoner of the Girondists 1 tells how that 
night they sang their own dirges and how "we were 
so uplifted by their courage that we only felt the 
blow long after it had fallen." Then, indeed, 
"despair seized us and, weeping, we showed each 
other the wretched straw-heap great Vergniaud 
had left to go with bound hands and lay his head 
upon the scaffold." 

Rarely a day passed now without executions. 
Philippe d 'Orleans had toyed with the Revolution, 
had changed his name to Philippe Egalite", had 
voted for the death of the King: but it availed him 
nothing. He was condemned as "an author or 
accomplice" of the Girondist plot. He showed 
pride and courage. "One would have taken him 
for a conqueror at the head of his soldiers," writes 

1 RioufiV. 

394 The French Revolution 

a contemporary, 1 "rather than for a wretch being 
led by the minions of the law to execution." "I 
have merited death in expiation of my sins," 
d' Orleans said at the last; "I have contributed to 
the death of an innocent man. . . . May God 
unite us both with St. Louis!" 

The real head of the Girondists remained 
Madame Roland. She had been their guide and 
counsellor to the end and from her prison to theirs 
had sent letters of encouragement. She had ex- 
pected to be called as a witness at their trial and 
had made all her arrangements for ending her 
career with as much eclat as possible. She had asked 
a friend to procure her "a sufficient quantity of 
opium," telling him that she intended to " thunder 
without reserve and then end it." Her friend had 
refused her the poison, and the decision of the court 
to hear no evidence for the defence had foiled her 
plan of plain speaking. On the very day of the exe- 
cution of the Girondists she had been moved from 
the prison of St. Pelagie to the Conciergerie. 

Few women have managed to stand out from 
their surroundings in bolder relief than Madame 
Roland. Her memoirs, which she called "an ap- 
peal to impartial posterity," have justly become 
famous. She was always effective, always dra- 
matic, always in the lead. She appeared now at her 
trial strikingly dressed in white, with her long hair 
floating behind her, but was not allowed to read 
her defence. She drew up her own account of 
the questions that were asked her and the answers 

1 Beaulieu. 

Terror 395 

that she made. She was condemned to die to- 
gether with a forger, and together they ate their 
last meal. Her concierge's daughter relates that 
Madame Roland tried to cheer the poor dejected 
man, that she made fun of him, telling how becom- 
ing it was to him to have the hair cut away from 
his neck. He entered the death-cart ahead of her; 
she told him that that was not showing proper 
politeness to a lady. We have a last glimpse of 
her from the pen of one who saw the cart go by. 
Fresh, calm, and smiling, the indomitable woman 
passed on. She was still trying to inspire with a 
little courage the wretched man at her side. His 
pallor and dejection were in striking contrast to 
her brilliant colouring and air of assurance. Two 
contemporaries, Riouffe and Des Essarts, vouch 
for the statement that on her arrival at the Place 
de la Revolution she turned to the statue of 
Liberty erected for the celebration on August loth 
and cried: "O Liberty, what crimes they commit 
in thy name!" 1 

Madame Roland had once remarked that were 
her husband to be guillotined, she would perish 
at the foot of the scaffold, and that she was confi- 
dent that he in turn would pierce his heart when 
he heard of her death. Exactly that happened 
now ; there was no delay. In the park of a chateau 
about twelve miles from Rouen, where he had 
found refuge, he fell on the point of his sword-cane, 
having carefully pinned to his coat a note that has 

1 Lord Acton disbelieves the anecdote, but Perroud, the learned editor 
of the memoirs, sees no reason to doubt its truth. 

39 6 The French Revolution 

been preserved 1 and that is as full of dignity as of 
pathos. No one doubts its genuineness. He asks 
that respect be shown to his remains as those of an 
honest man, foretells an awful judgment for 
France, and prays that his country may one day 
come to abhor its terrible crimes. On the back 
of the note is written: "Not fear but indignation. 
I left my retreat at the moment of hearing that 
they were about to murder my wife ; nor do I care 
longer to remain in a world filled with crime." 

No less sad than the fate of Roland was the end 
of those Girondists who had seen their hopes 
blasted by the outcome of the battle in Normandy 
and had found their way to Bordeaux. Tracked 
and hounded, Barbaroux, Guadet, and Salles were 
at last found hiding in a cave and put to death. 
Rabaut St.-Etienne was betrayed by a friend. 
Two bodies discovered in a field, the flesh gnawed 
by animals, proved to be Petion, once mayor of 
Paris, and Buzot, the object of Madame Roland's 

The guillotine was to continue its work without 
cessation now. The leaves were falling early, as 
Louis XVI had said. They were also falling thick 
and fast. 

1 It is in the National Archives where the author photographed it. 



TE last and most daring enterprise of the 
French Revolution remains to be chronicled 
the storming of heaven. It was a logical 
outcome of the overthrow of all authority. Al- 
ready in their complaints to the States-General 
of 1789, the clergy speak of the growing disre- 
gard of the Sabbath, of "the frightful progress 
of incredulity," of "the audacity with which im- 
piety attacks even the Divinity Himself." They 
inveigh against an "impious and audacious sect 
that desecrates its false wisdom with the name 
of philosophy and seeks to overthrow the altars." 
This was literally what was now to be accom- 
plished; for a time at least the altars in France 
were to be overthrown. The Christian Era 
was to be abolished, the Sabbath to be done 
away with, Christ to be publicly denied by hund- 
reds of priests and bishops, the churches to be 
closed or handed over to ceremonies that were 
purely pagan. 

All the measures that tended to secularize the 
clergy the confiscation of their lands, the segre- 
gation into patriotic and unpatriotic priests, the 


398 The French Revolution 

persecution of the refractory, the putting down 
the rebellion in La Vendee which was headed 
largely by priests: all these had been so many steps 
in the downward progress. The encouragement of 
sacerdotal marriages tended to throw ridicule on 
the whole old church system. In the conception 
of the party in power in France, God now merges 
into a sort of tutelary deity of patriotism, into 
Liberty, then into Reason, and finally into the 
amorphous Supreme Being of Robespierre. There 
is no phase of the Revolution more absorbingly 
interesting 'than this. 

We cannot attempt here to follow the progress 
of irreligion in detail, but a few examples will 
show whither men's minds were tending. 

Already in December, 1792, a deputy named 
Dupont had been allowed to make a regular 
tirade in the Convention against religion. He 
asked why when thrones were tottering, scep- 
tres breaking, kings expiring, the altars of the 
gods were allowed to stand. A breath of Reason 
would make them disappear: " Nature and Reason 
those are the gods of a man, those are my gods ! " 
There were bursts of laughter as an abbe, in 
disgust, left the room. Dupont 's open declaration 
that he was an atheist did, however, rouse opposi- 
tion, but many cried: "Never mind, you're an 
honest man!" 

Freedom of speech was bearing strange fruits. 
After the death of Marat, his heart was placed in 
a sort of shrine in the garden of the Luxembourg, 
and an orator made the following invocation: 

Idolatry 399 

"O heart of Jesus, O heart of Marat! . . . You 
have an equal right to our homage!" Or take 
this extract from the proceedings of the Conven- 
tion about six weeks later, the occasion being 
a deputation that demanded compulsory secular 
education: "One of the children accompanying 
the deputation demands that instead of being 
preached to in the name of a so-called God they 
be instructed in the principles of Equality and of 
the Rights of Man and the Constitution." 

On October 5th 1 the Convention adopted the 
Revolutionary calendar that was a further step 
towards paganism, and that interests us here, in 
addition, because of the many symbols employed. 
The decree states that the new era is to date from 
the 22d of September, 1792, of the common era, 
which is now declared abolished. The 22d was 
chosen as the day of the founding of the republic 
and at the same time the day on which the sun 
arrived at the true autumnal equinox omen that 
Liberty would soon enlighten both halves of the 
sphere. We are fortunate enough to possess one 
of these calendars, 2 which, being perpetual, did 
not vary from year to year. There are four seasons 
as before, and our artist has given us pretty little 
pictures to illustrate them. They show the 
progress of a loving pair. In autumn, the man is 
on horseback hunting; in winter, he kneels at her 
feet and avows his passion ; in spring, the maid sits 

'Aulard's Revolution Frangaise, viii., 747 gives the date as 4th 
Frimaire, which would be Nov. 25th. But the MS. of the decree, 
which I photographed in the Archives, is plainly dated Oct. 5th. 

1 Plate 164, p. 400. 



^ rt 






Idolatry 401 

pensive and watches the flocks and the birds, 
while in summer we see them arrived in the bridal 

Each season has three months of thirty days 
each and each month has a name significant of its 
season. Take, for instance, the months: Vende- 
miaire, Brumaire, and Frimaire: they are the 
months of vintage, of mists, and of frosts, and the 
common ending aire shows that they all belong to 
autumn. Fabre d'Eglantine, one of the com- 
mittee appointed to draw up the calendar, declares 
that in these names he has tried to "profit by the 
imitative harmony of the language." Nivose, 
Plumose, and Ventose are the sad -sounding winter 
months; Germinal, Floreal, and Prairial have to do 
with the buds of spring, while all comes to its 
fruition in Messidor, Thermidor and Fructidor. 
There are no weeks in the Revolutionary calendar 
and one gains the impression that one of its chief 
aims was to eliminate Sunday. Each month is 
divided into three equal parts or decades, and the 
days are known by number: primidi, duodi, tridi, 
continuing up to decadi which is to be a holiday. 

One main idea of the new system was to consecrate 
agriculture. The old Saints* calendar, Fabre tells 
us, had been a "repertory of lying, duplicity, and 
charlatanism " ; but this "canonized crowd " is now 
to be expelled. The names are to be replaced by 
objects of rational interest, such as plants, trees, 
fruits, agricultural implements, and domestic ani- 
mals. These are objects, writes witty Fabre, if 
not of cult at least of cultivation, and domestic 


The French Revolution 

animals should be "far more precious in the sight 
of Reason than beatified skeletons dragged from 
the catacombs of Rome." 

Plate 165 A representation of Reason. Note the Eye, the Jacobin emblem. 

"In the sight of Reason." Reason, as yet 
often confounded with Liberty, was fast becoming 
the goddess of France. We have a representation 
of her, 1 showing how she sits on the crouching lion 
of French courage and restrains his fierce ardour. 

1 Plate 165, above, 

Idolatry 403 

In one hand is the torch of truth from the flame 
of which looks out the bright Jacobin eye of 

So the cat, the horse, the plough, the grape, the 
saffron, the chestnut, were to replace the old St. 
Johns, St. Georges, and St. Peters, and especially 
the St. Louises, though it is not clear that any 
serious attempt was made to have them do so. 
The calendar remained in actual force from 1793 
to 1806 and has since served to make life bitter 
for many a historian. 

If there were to be twelve equal months of 
thirty days each, there would remain five addi- 
tional days, and, every four years, a sixth one. 
Fabre's disposal of these shows the flowery 
spirit of the Revolution. These days, writes Fabre, 
were first entitled epagomenal days, but this name 
he finds "mute to the imagination," giving to the 
people "but a cold idea." So he has thought of a 
collective name expressive both of the joy and of 
the wit of the French people. He would call 
these days the sans-culottides, declaring that even 
in classic times the region around rebellious Lyons 
had beeen called Gallia bracata, and the rest of 
Gaul must, accordingly, have been non-ctdottee. 
But old or new this appellation had been made 
illustrious by Liberty and ought to be solemnly 

The five sans-culottides were all to be holidays 
and were to be celebrated in a manner that should 
be emblematic of the virtues of the French. There 
was to be a day for Genius, a day for Labour, a day 

404 The French Revolution 

for Actions, a day for Recompense, and a day for 
Opinion. The sixth day, recurring every four 
years, is to be known as the Sans-culottide par 
excellence and to be celebrated by national games. 
In the programme for the Fete of Opinion, Fabre's 
fancy has a chance to soar. On that one day the 
French people may make to its officials what 
personal remarks or criticisms it pleases: "The 
law gives full sway to the humorous and gay im- 
agination of the French . . . and we venture to 
say that this one fete day will better restrain the 
magistrates within the bounds of duty throughout 
the year than even Draconian laws or all the tri- 
bunals of France." 

It was very shortly after the issue of the Revolu- 
tionary calendar that Christ was formally and 
publicly denied first in the region around Corbeil 
where there were public abjurations of faith, then 
within the very precincts of the National Conven- 
tion. In the session of November yth, an abbe 
designated himself as "priest, curate, and, there- 
.fore, charlatan" and received honourable mention. 
The Archbishop of Paris, Gobel, renounced super- 
stition, as he called it, and declared that Liberty 
and "holy Equality " should henceforth be his gods. 
He laid down his ring and crozier and took up a 
cap of Liberty. Others followed suit. The Com- 
mune of Paris opened a regular bureau for abjura- 
tions and sent the Pope a copy of its decrees "to 
cure him of his errors." It announced a fete in 
Notre Dame, at which hymns would be sung to a 
statue of Liberty ' 'erected in place of the ci-devant 

Idolatry 405 

Holy Virgin/' The cathedral was transformed for 
the occasion, a mountain being erected with a 
Greek temple on the summit, wherein was an 
altar on which burned the torch of Truth. White- 
clad maidens with tri-coloured scarfs ascended 
the mountain and bowed before the altar. Reason, 
clad in a white skirt, blue mantle, and red cap, 
then came forth from the temple, and sitting on a 
bank of verdure, received the homage of the repub- 
licans. A hymn was sung in her praise and then 
she disappeared within the temple, turning however 
"to cast one more beneficent glance upon her 

We are at the heyday of what is known as 
Hebertism, for Hebert's Pere Duchene was the 
foremost advocate of this worship of reason, 
though Chaumette was the most active worker 
in the cause. One is astonished to find so well 
known an artist as Bartolozzi lending his aid to 
the propaganda, though he doubtless was well 
rewarded for it. We have a charming drawing 1 
of Love and Reason embracing, while beneath 
is the text in verse: 

Peoples, can you look with indifference on Love, long blind 
but to-day without a bandage; on Reason, sublime, 
borrowing the torch in order to change through its beams 
the destinies of France? Do thou, Love of Count ry, and 
thou, sage Reason, set aflame the horizon of this vast 
universe! Spring up in all hearts; your holy alliance is the 
firmest hope of good citizens. Show us the virtues as well 
as Liberty hovering over the ruins of overturned thrones! 

'Plate 166, p. 407. 

406 The French Revolution 

And thou, God of the humans, Supreme Intelligence, 
make the French the avengers of debased mortals. And 
everywhere the shield with the three colours shall be the 
happy emblem of omnipotence. 

It is an everlasting blot on the National Con- 
vention that it submitted to be a participator in 
all this anti-Christian mummery, that it allowed 
itself to be swayed by such evanescent passions. 
The legislators were not directing public opinion 
or making laws according to their own consciences. 
But what could one expect of an Assembly that 
had allowed seventy-five of its members to be 
imprisoned for merely signing a protest ! It was 
no longer representative of anything but tyranny. 
We shall soon see its factions devouring each other. 

The Assembly-hall in the Tuileries was now 
treated to much the same scenes as had taken 
place in Notre Dame. Reason was borne in on 
a sort of throne to the sound of drums and music, 
and around her were maidens with garlands of 
roses. There were cries of "Long live Reason!'* 
"Down with Fanaticism" [in other words Christi- 
anity!] Chaumette then told how Fanaticism's 
squinting eyes could no longer, bear the light, how 
the Gothic vaults of Notre Dame had now for 
the first time heard the truth, how dead idols had 
made place for an animated image chef-d'ceuvre 
of nature and he pointed to the young goddess 
who is described as young and infinitely pretty. 
Incredible as it may sound, he asked and obtained 
a decree of the Convention henceforth consecrat- 
ing the world-famous cathedral to the worship of 

Plate 1 66. A representation of Love and Reason embracing. By 


408 The French Revolution 

Reason. ' ' Amid a thousand bravos * ' the president 
of the Convention gave the goddess a fraternal 
kiss, whereupon his secretaries asked and obtained 
the same privilege. The Convention in a body 
then repaired to Reason's new temple, although a 
number of the deputies silently escaped. "Ah, 
what a fine fete we had last decadi!" writes the 
Pere Duchene. ". . . How angry the good God 
must be! No doubt the last trump is about to 

There were similar celebrations in various places. 
At Rochefort, the orator of the day began his 
speech with "No, citizens, there is no future life!" 
At Nantes, the American consul played a promi- 
nent part in the celebration, holding one end of a 
tri-coloured ribbon of which the infamous Carrier, 
whose specialty was drowning his victims in 
great batches, held the other. 

It will be remembered that the Convention 
supervised the government of France at this time 
by means of its representatives on mission, who 
were given almost dictatorial powers. Some out- 
did even the Parisian iconoclasts in their attacks on 
religion. One representative forced priests of 
Abbeville (department of the Somme) to mount 
the pulpit and confess that they were merely 
harlequins who played monkey tricks in order 
to cheat the people of their money. He, the 
representative, was then acclaimed with cries of 
' ' Long live the Convention ! ' ' and ' ' We are saved ! ' ' 
At Amiens it was decreed that priests who ven- 
tured to celebrate mass should be handed over to 

Idolatry 409 

the Revolutionary Tribunal. 1 At Nevers, Chau- 
mette and Fouche paid religious honours to the 
bust of Brutus, and Fouche ordered every priest 
either to marry, adopt a child, or nourish an 
indigent old man. It was Fouche, too, who 
ordered all outward signs of religion, even figures 
on tombstones, to be suppressed or replaced by 
effigies of sleep. He wished nuptials celebrated 
in a temple of love, and he officiated at a fete 
before an altar to Vesta on which was burning a 
sacred flame. 

It was real iconoclasm, the iconoclasm of the 
eighth century. The images of the patron saints 
were replaced by those of Brutus, Lepelletier, and 
Marat, and at the same time we find the spoils 
of the churches actually brought into the hall of 
the Convention and paraded before the members. 
In a single day, November I3th, a dozen litter- 
loads of candelabra, chalices, gilded busts of 
bishops and monks and other church treasure 
were dumped upon the floor amid loud cries of 
"Long live the republic!" Again, among other 
objects, a deputation from St. Denis bore the head 
of that famous saint and apostrophized it as a 
"stinking relic." The department of the Nidvre 
sent spoils in silverware and in money to the value 
of nearly three million francs. 

Chaumette reported in the Jacobin Club on No- 
vember 1 8th that a f te had been celebrated in Lyons 
in honour of Chalier a f&te where "Fanaticism" 
had been struck to earth and where the chief actor 

1 Aulard, Cidte de la, Raison, pp. 24 ff. 

410 The French Revolution 

had been "an ass decorated with all the pontifical 
trappings and bearing a mitre on its head." Four 
days later took place one of the great masquerades 
in the Convention and a deputation swore with 
raised hands to have no other cult than that of 
Reason, Liberty, Equality, and the Republic. 
The president, Laloi, replied to this deputation: 
"In one single instant you make vanish into 
nothingness eighteen centuries of errors." 

We still have the official account in the Moniteur 
of one of the wildest of the iconoclastic orgies 
countenanced by the Convention. 

The section of Gravilliers is admitted. At its head 
marches a troop of men clad in sacerdotal and pontifical 
robes. The music plays the Carmagnole and Malbrough 
s'en va-t-en guerre. Banners and crosses are borne aloft. 
Ah, le bel oiseau! is played as the dais enters. Simultane- 
ously all the citizens of the section disrobe, and from under 
the bedizenments of fanaticism one sees defenders of their 
country issue forth clothed in the national uniform. Each 
casts away his discarded vestments and the air is full of 
stoles, mitres, chasubles, and dalmatics. 

A child then read a discourse doing homage to 

The culmination of Hebertism was the decree 
passed by the Commune that all the churches of 
Paris be closed and all priests be excluded from 
public functions and employments, which latter 
measure was rescinded two days later. Hebert 
also obtained a vote that all the church steeples 
in Paris be levelled and all statues of saints be 

Idolatry 411 

demolished; but his influence was not of long 
duration and the measure was not carried out. 

For this we have to thank Robespierre. Like 
many popular leaders, he was as hostile to those 
who went beyond him as to those who failed to 
come up to his personal standard. He could not 
recognize any righteousness but that which con- 
sisted in following his admonishments. "Timid 
goodness" was as abhorrent to him as open crime. 
He considered the ordinary practices of the church 
fanaticism, indeed, but now thundered away in 
the Jacobin Club against "the pompous and 
exaggerated zeal" with which they were being 
attacked. He accused Hebert and his followers 
of "usurping a false popularity" and of "attaching 
the bells of folly to the very sceptre of philosophy." 

As a matter of fact, Robespierre had his own 
little religion all ready to impose. It was radical 
enough, too. He believed in a Divinity and de- 
clared that did God not exist one would have to 
invent him. But his Supreme Being was a mere 
personification of the attributes that he, Robes- 
pierre, admired a defender of the free institutions 
of the French, a death-dealer to tyrants. 

In the face of Robespierre's attacks the H6bert- 
ists were driven from one intrenchment to another. 
On November 28th, the decree closing all the 
churches was rescinded, and it was voted that the 
Council of the Commune should listen to no more 
discussions regarding religious or metaphysical 
ideas. The worship of Reason was soon dead in 
Paris though it persisted surprisingly long in the 

412 The French Revolution 

provinces. The Convention, on December 5th, 
declared that "the French nation and its repre- 
sentatives respect the liberty of all forms of worship 
and proscribe none." 

We shall soon see what were the consequences 
to Hebert of incurring Robespierre's enmity. 
The Committee of Public Safety, of which the 
latter was the leading spirit, was daily becoming 
more terrible. No former services in the cause of 
the Revolution were allowed to count. Gentle old 
Bailly, the hero of the Tennis Court oath and once 
Mayor of Paris, was executed for having pro- 
claimed martial law against the sovereign people 
at the time of the petition of the Champ de 
Mars (July 17, 1791). The guillotine was set up 
on the scene of the crime, and the red flag Bailly 
had used was ignited and thrust in his face, 
causing him acute pain. His death was quickly 
followed by that of a long succession of ministers, 
deputies, generals (Luckner among them), magis- 
trates, merchants, and artisans. There were a 
number of women, too, ranging in character from 
the infamous Madame du Barry, who unlike most 
of those of the real aristocracy died hard and uttered 
shrieks of despair, to innocent Carmelite nuns. 

Robespierre's theory was that republics are 
founded on repression of crime as well as on 
virtues, that the land on which Liberty shines 
must see all monsters thrust back into the shadow, 
that the guilty must roll in the dust and be 
trampled under foot. And if one is to punish one 
must punish promptly, purging one's soul of all 

Idolatry 413 

feebleness. One's arm must be brazen and, like 
Brutus, one must be willing to sacrifice, if need be, 
children, brothers, friends. As Collot-d'Herbois 
expressed it, if patriotism drop from its height for 
an instant it is no longer patriotism. "Let 
Europe know/' cried St. -Just, Robespierre's truest 
disciple, "that you mean to leave not one unhappy 
man nor one oppressor on French soil!" 

In February, the Hebertists endeavoured to 
have the Committee of Public Safety dissolved; 
Robespierre denounced them in the Jacobin Club 
in his most scathing manner as "these patriots of 
yesterday who try to scale the Mountain and expel 
the veterans of the Revolution!" Yet he is quite 
as severe against the so-called "moderates" of 
whom Danton, strange to say, was the chief repre- 
sentative. The one, he declared, would transport 
you into the torrid, the other into the frigid zone; 
the one would make of Liberty a Bacchante, the 
other a common prostitute. 

Robespierre's egotism as regards political tenets 
is simply astounding. He and he alone knows 
what is right and all others are enemies of the 
republic, not fit to cumber its soil. Yet the dis- 
tinctions are often too fine for us to recognize. 
He is almost infantile when he seeks to expose 
the hidden motives of his enemies, and here he 
includes both Dantonists and Hebertists. Their 
zeal and their laxness are alike suspicious to him: 
"they oppose energetic measures, but, when un- 
able to prevent them, carry these same measures 
to extremes;" "they will tell the truth just enough 

414 The French Revolution 

to be able to lie with impunity;" "they are aflame 
for great resolutions that mean nothing and more 
than indifferent to those that can further the cause 
of the people." 

The conclusion of one of his great speeches 
against these enemies 1 is full of naive self -betrayal : 
"In their perfidious hands the remedies for our 
evils become so many poisons. All you can do, 
all you can say, they turn against you even the 
truths we have just been expounding!" A terrible 
and dangerous man this Robespierre, because of 
his absolute faith in himself! 

The Hebertists had never been noted for modera- 
tion of language and they used expressions against 
the Dantonists which gave Robespierre the handle 
he desired. Hebert and his adherents, in speeches 
at the Cordelier Club, glorified insurrection 
1 ' holy insurrection ' ' one of them called it. Further 
than such incendiary talk they do not seem to 
have gone. But, on March I3th, St. -Just read a 
report "concerning conspiracies against the French 
people and Liberty," and that night Hebert and 
nineteen of his followers, one, Ronsin, was 
commander of the "revolutionary army" were 
placed under arrest. The conspiracy was painted 
in the blackest colours imaginable and popular 
opinion became bitterly hostile to the men who 
had been idols the week before. "My God, who 
would ever have thought it!" a woman was heard 
to exclaim. People looked forward to the execution 
as to a fte. 

1 Hamel, iii., 390. 

Idolatry 415 

Rumour supplied all the necessary evidence and 
distorted remarks and disjointed passages from 
Pere Duchene were the weapons that destroyed 
the Hebertists. Had not Ronsin declared that he 
wished he were Cromwell for twenty-four hours? 
Had not Dessieux said that "morals amount to 
nothing "? The trial lasted three days; on the 
fourth, the jury pronounced its conscience satisfied, 
although the counsel for the defence had not been 
heard. One prisoner was acquitted; he had been 
merely a decoy-duck sent to spy on the others. 
A woman was spared for the moment because she 
declared herself enceinte. The rest were executed 
within twenty-four hours, and when it came 
Hebert's turn, caps were swung in the air and there 
were prolonged shouts of "Long live the republic!" 

On the very day of Hebert's execution, Robes- 
pierre yielded, we are told, to the instances of St.- 
Just and Billaud-Varennes, and the Committee 
of Public Safety decreed the arrest of Danton and 
all the chief men of his party. The blow was so 
heavy that the recoil almost overthrew Robespierre. 
This Danton had once been his friend; together 
they had risen to eminence. But Danton now 
stood in his way. He was too moderate, too 
much inclined to conciliation. Although he had 
served his country well his policy was different. 
At the news of his arrest by Robespierre there 
were cries in the Convention of "Down with the 
dictator!" Legendre, declaring that Danton was 
as pure as himself, demanded a hearing for the 
accused; but Robespierre's threatening eloquence 

416 The French Revolution 

reduced him to such a state that he stammered 
forth excuses. Danton was a rotten idol which 
must not, in falling, be allowed to crush the Con- 
vention, though he, Robespierre, for his part, 
was ready to die. Danton and his partisans had 
followed Liberty, St. -Just declared, merely as a 
tiger follows its prey. In reality they were royal- 
ists. St. -Just, too, offered to die in defence of 
the truth ; the friendly tomb would hide him from 
the shame of seeing the wicked triumph. 

We must hasten over the trial of the Dantonists, 
mentioning merely enough to enable the reader to 
appreciate the symbolism of Robespierre's final 
great fete to the Supreme Being that had delivered 
France of its enemies. Never were men prouder in 
the presence of a tribunal. "Your age?" Camille 
Desmoulins was asked. " That of the sans-culotte 
Jesus, thirty-three years." "Your name and 
dwelling-place?" they said to Danton. "One will 
soon be in the Pantheon, the other in space!" 
The passionate replies to every question drove 
Fouquier-Tinville to desperation; he complained 
of "these accused who, like bandits, clamour to 
have wit nesses heard in their defence." We still 
have the letter that he wrote to the Convention 
from the courtroom. "A horrible storm," it 
began, "has been raging ever since the session 

In discussing this letter, St. -Just cried: "What 
innocent man ever revolted against the law?" 
and the Convention decreed: "Any one who 
resists or insults national justice shall instantly 

Idolatry 417 

be deprived of the right to debate!*' The Dan- 
tonists, accordingly, were led away while sentence 
was passed in their absence. Eighteen were 
condemned and executed. As Danton stood at 
the foot of the scaffold, he spoke tenderly of his 

Plate 167. A production representing Robespierre as the sun rising above the 
mountain and giving light to the universe. There is a text in the original 
which is omitted here as it could not be brought within compass. It reads: 

Notre montagne, enfin, est couverte de gloire; 
L'intrigue est renvers^e; et la saine raison, 
Sous le glaive des lois livrant la trahison, 
Nous rend libre a jamais le champ de la victoire. 

A Paris chez la C'enne Bergny Mde. d'Estampes, rue du Coq St. Honore, No. ijj. 

young wife, then straightened himself up with 
" Danton, no weakness! " 

We have a most curious production 1 that must 
have been issued at this juncture. The text 
applies well to the fall of the Dantonists: "Our 
Mountain at last is covered with glory; intrigue 
is overthrown and sane Reason delivering treason 
to the sword of the law frees for us forever the 
field of victory. " Robespierre's head, rising like 

1 Plate 167, above. 

4i 8 The French Revolution 

the sun over the summit of the mountain, with the 
inscription, "I light up the whole universe," would 
seem to be an allusion to his new religion. It is 
more than probable that the whole was meant 
seriously and not sarcastically. 

In order properly to introduce this new religion, 
Robespierre had, in May, 1794, procured from the 
Convention a decree recognizing not only the Su- 
preme Being but also the immortality of the soul 
and announcing a great Fete. His report at the 
time had been ordered to be translated into every 
known tongue. A zealous commissioner of pub- 
lic instruction had proposed to banish all who 
did not believe in the divinity; but this Robes- 
pierre himself could not conscientiously advocate. 
But the Committee of Public Safety decreed that 
on every church should be placed the inscription : 
" The French people recognizes the Supreme 
Being and the immortality of the soul." There 
are churches to-day on which these words, graven 
in the stone, still stand. 

An attempt to murder Robespierre, or rather 
a harmless incident exploited as such, gave him 
at this juncture the martyr-halo that he had long 
desired. The Moniteur declares that when, after 
his escape, he entered the Jacobin Club, "all 
hearts bounded in unison." He was chosen 
president of the National Convention. In an 
address at the Jacobin Club he swore ' ' by the dag- 
gers red with the blood of the martyrs of the Revolu- 
tion and recently pointed against us "to exterminate 
to the last rascal those who attacked Liberty. 

Idolatry 419 

David had charge of the projected F6te to the 
Supreme Being, just as he had had charge of 
the fete of the year before. Would he rise to the 
task? This was to be the final consecration of the 
whole work of the Revolution. Some repetition 
was unavoidable, but, on the whole, David was 
equal to the occasion. We need not dwell on the 
homage to the rising sun, on the fluttering em- 
blems, the flowers and branches of trees. Each 
deputy wore a tri-coloured scarf and a hat with 
red, white, and blue plumes; each carried in his 
hand, too, a huge bouquet of flowers, fruits, and 
wheat-sheaves. All classes of the population were 
pressed into the service: the aged, whose eyes 
so David had arranged it at least were wet with 
tears of joy; the chaste spouses twining the floating 
hair of their daughters yes, even the very infants 
at the breast had their r61e assigned them. 

There was a huge car drawn by eight white 
bullocks with garlands around their horns. On 
this car sat Liberty under the shadow of a good- 
sized tree, and behind her was every known 
implement and emblem of agriculture. 

The Convention assembled at the Tuileries, 
while an orchestra discoursed slow music and an 
immense crowd of spectators gathered. Robes- 
pierre, from an elevation, delivered the great 
speech of his life: "It has come at last the day 
forever blessed which the French people con- 
secrates to the Supreme Being." He goes on to 
tell how tyranny, crime, and imposture have 
hitherto reigned in the world but how now the 

420 The French Revolution 

immortal hand of the Supreme Being has graven 
in the hearts of men the death-sentence of despots. 
No longer shall kings prey upon the human species; 
no longer shall priests practice pride, perfidy, 
avarice, and debauchery. The Supreme Being 
adorns with modesty the brow of beauty, makes 
the mother's heart thrill with tenderness, fills the 
son's eyes with delicious tears as he falls on that 
mother's bosom, unites all mortals with a great 
chain of love and fidelity. Perish the tyrant who 
dares to break it ! 

Pausing in his harangue, Robespierre, at the 
head of the Convention, advanced to a sort of 
amphitheatre in the garden where, after addressing 
the crowd once more, he applied a lighted torch 
to a group of wooden statues representing atheism, 
ambition, discord, etc. As the wood burned away 
it disclosed one single statue wisdom; and 
Robespierre cried exultingly: 

It has vanished into space, the monster that the genius 
of kings once vomited against France may there go with it 
all the crime and all the misery of the world! . . . Being 
of beings, author of nature, the vile pander of despotism, 
the cruel and perfidious aristocrat outrages thee by invok- 
ing thee, but the defenders of Liberty can confidently 
throw themselves on thy paternal breast ! 

From which we learn that the Supreme Being is a 

From the Tuileries the great procession, the car 
in its midst, marched to the Champ de Mars. 
A tri-coloured ribbon, held by groups representing 
infancy, youth, manhood, and old age, separated 

Idolatry 421 

the Convention from the crowd. Robespierre 
wore a sky-blue coat, trousers of nankeen, and white 
stockings, and walked alone and in the lead. 

Now came the last and greatest flight of David's 
imagination. Mountains we have had before in 
celebrations, but never one like this. Fortunate 
we are to have a graphic illustration of it ' to aid 
us in understanding the descriptions. The new 
mountain covered the altar of the fatherland- 
did it possibly occur to David that the Mountain 
Party actually had taken the place of the nation? 
and was of huge dimensions, culminating in a 
great tree of Liberty. There were other trees, too, 
and grottoes, and arches, and winding paths, and 
there must have been room on its surface for many 
hundreds of people. Incense rose in clouds from 
enormous braziers, while flags and banners waved 
and trophies were brandished. 

Could symbolism, could idolatry go farther? 
It was an apotheosis, a transfiguration. And all 
was action, all movement. While Liberty's great 
car drew up to one side, the deputies, gay with 
their tri-coloured plumes and their huge bouquets 
one can see even the latter in the picture 
formed in a double line and slowly climbed the 
mountain up to the very summit. Beneath 
them, groups of men and maidens had taken their 
places, each group with its appointed task of 
glorification to perform. The maidens threw 
flowers high in the air; the youths drew their 
swords and vowed with loud voices to conquer 

1 Plate 1 68, p. 422. 


Idolatry 423 

the enemy or die; while the old men placed then- 
hands on the heads of the youths and gave them the 
paternal benediction. Then cannon crashed re- 
peatedly to signify vengeance on the hated foe, and 
the day ended with a rapturous clasping of all by 
all in embraces of fraternity. 

The F6te to the Supreme Being was over. 



EVEN as he walked at the head of the proces- 
sion in the Fete to the Supreme Being, Robes- 
pierre had heard ominous mutterings and 
sarcastic comments allusions to his ambition, to 
his kingly aspirations, and to the Tarpeian rock. 
He noted the names of these detractors for future 
use the notes were later found among his papers. 
At the Jacobin Club on July ist, he speaks of calum- 
nies that have been uttered "you would shudder 
were I to tell you where!" 

The increased severity of the Revolutionary Tri- 
bunal undermined even Robespierre's popularity. 
A commission at Orange prepared to try some 
twelve or fifteen thousand persons too many to 
send to Paris, writes the Convention's emissary. 
At the same time, the so-called laws of Prairial made 
many deputies fear for their own safety. In Paris 
alone, the daily executions averaged twenty-eight 
for seven successive weeks, and the guillotine had 
to be moved because the continual passing of death- 
carts along the Rue St. Honore injured business. 
There would be batches of forty and sixty persons 

at a time. And there was no longer even a shadow 


Reaction 425 

of justice in the trials en masse, where the judges 
had the sentences already signed, with room left to 
fill in the names, while the death-carts stood wait- 
ing at the door. People who had never even seen 
each other were executed as fellow-conspirators. 

By these new laws death was to be the immediate 
penalty for such vague crimes as spreading false 
news or "trying to mar the purity of republican 
principles.'* Anything was to be admitted by 
way of proof that would convince "a just and 
reasonable mind." As if, any such were still to 
be found among these advocates of Liberty gone 
mad! No legal forms were any longer to be 
observed. There were no longer to be judges or 
juries, but merely commissioners, who were to 
proceed from prison to prison and dispose of the 
cases of all the inmates. "The only delay needed 
when punishing the country's enemies," declared 
Couthon, "is time to recognize them." He be- 
lieved that it was a question of "exterminating the 
implacable satellites of tyranny' ' or of perishing with 
the republic. Robespierre exerted his whole in- 
fluence in favour of these drastic laws, maintain- 
ing that there was not a single paragraph in them 
but what was founded on justice and on reason, and 
that true lovers of their country would welcome 
with transports the means of striking its enemies. 
He kept harping on all the good the government 
had done by killing traitors, and if he wished to 
ruin any one he referred to him as an ally of 
Danton. In the Convention he spoke like a 
Christian martyr and was doubtless as sincere: 

426 The French Revolution 

"Give us strength to bear the immense, the 
almost superhuman burden you have imposed 
upon us!" Barere made the Convention shudder 
by telling how avid were the nation's enemies, 
especially the English, of Robespierre's blood, 
and how at an English masquerade-ball a woman 
dressed as Charlotte Corday had, with a raised 
dagger, pursued some one disguised as Robespierre 
and threatened to Maratize him! Robespierre 
himself referred to caricatures of him that were 
circulating in London, but declared that virtue 
and courage were his allies and that he was ready 
to die fighting tyrants and conspirators. 

Within the seven weeks beginning June 10, 
1794, more persons were guillotined than in the 
whole thirteen months preceding. We have a 
caricature of Robespierre's regime 1 that represents 
the executioner at last placing his own head under 
the blade as there was no one else left to guillotine. 
The goddess of Liberty looks on complacently, 
while beneath are heads in heaps sorted out 
according to calling: the clergy, the parlement, the 
nobility, the Constituent and Legislative Assem- 
blies, the Convention. But by far the largest heap 
is that of the common people. 

But what, now, was coming over Robespierre? 
During the six weeks that followed on the Fte 
to the Supreme Being, he kept away from the 
sessions of the Committee of Public Safety. Was 
it, as his defenders maintain, because he disap- 
proved of all the bloodshed? If so, a very sudden 

1 Plate 169, p. 427. 

( . . 

Plate 169. A caricature of Robespierre's regime. Other 

victims failing him, the executioner is guillotining 


428 The French Revolution 

change must have come over him since the days 
when he championed the laws of Prairial. Or was 
it because he read the signs of the times and saw 
ominous tokens that his rule was over? More 
than once he had to defend himself in the Jacobin 
Club, to refute the "absurd charges" that he was 
aiming at dictatorship and that members of the 
Convention were in danger from him. 

He was harmed at this critical juncture by being 
involved in the charge of having protected an old 
woman, Catherine Theot, who was now brought 
to trial and who posed as the founder of a new 
religion and even called herself the Mother of God. 

But what finally ruined Robespierre was not 
his personal ambition, not his dealings with an old 
sorceress, but the fact that France was gaining 
victories. They fell on him, writes Barere in his 
memoirs, like so many furies. So long as the 
enemies threatened the ruin and disruption of the 
country, men had deliberately closed their eyes 
to the hideous doings at home. But at Fleurus 
the French won, and both the Austrians and the 
English were driven out of Belgium. From day to 
day the feeling gained ground that the bloody 
system irrevocably associated with Robespierre's 
name was no longer necessary, that the national 
existence was no longer at stake. 

We have the letters of a secret agent who warned 
Robespierre that storms were gathering round 
him, but who saw in still further severity his only 
hope of salvation. Robespierre was urged to ap- 
pear in the Convention and strike a blow that 

Reaction 429 

should utterly terrify his antagonists. " Go to work 
on a grand scale ; go to work like the legislators of 
a great republic," writes the agent, who lays stress 
on the opposition to Robespierre's religious system 
and also on the affair of Catherine Theot. ' 

On July 26th, Robespierre did appear in the 
Convention and did make the speech his agent 
had advised. He began in a wheedling tone: he 
had come to dispel cruel errors; they were no 
tyrants, so the cries of outraged innocence would 
not offend them. It was not the Committee of 
Public Safety who were responsible for the Reign 
of Terror, it was the monsters who accused it. 
None but conspirators could have invented this 
idea of dictatorship. To think that he, Robes- 
pierre, should seem an object of dread to the men 
he loved and revered! For a sensitive soul like 
his, what a punishment! They call him a tyrant, 
but if he was one, these would be the very men 
to crawl at his feet and to let him stuff them with 
gold. No, he is no tyrant, he declares, he is a 
slave of Liberty, a living martyr of the republic. 

Here we may imagine that the tame cat expres- 
sion left him and the tigerish gleam flashed from 
his eyes. He has truths to utter, but if they wish 
him to conceal them, let them bring the hemlock 
and he will drink it. He must do his duty, he has 
traitors to denounce! In the very heart of the 
Convention there is a criminal coalition; among 
the conspirators are members even of the Com- 

1 All the chief documents for the last dealings of Robespierre with 
the Convention are to be found in Buchez et Roux, vol. xxxiii. 

43 The French Revolution 

mittee of Public Safety. They are seeking the 
ruin of their country. What is the remedy? To 
seize these traitors! To rid the defenders of 
Liberty of this horde of rascals! 

So completely was the Convention under the 
spell of Robespierre's rushing eloquence that the 
full import of these remarks was not at first per- 
ceived. It was voted to print his discourse and 
distribute it among all the departments of France. 
Then a vague fear came over the deputies. What 
was this charge of treason? Whose turn would 
come next? A member courageously called upon 
Robespierre to name those whom he accused, and 
others joined in the chorus. Robespierre had 
dared all and lost. He would not name them, he 
declared, not then, at least. The Convention 
revoked its decree to print his discourse and send 
it to the departments. Robespierre's prestige had 
received a crushing blow. 

But the closing scene in this greatest of all 
political dramas was reserved for the next day. 
Shortly after mid-day, St.-Just rose to speak; but 
when it became evident that he meant to defend 
Robespierre, he encountered a towering wave of 
opposition. One whom Robespierre had person- 
ally injured, Tallien, threw caution to the winds. 
His heart ached, he declared, at all the woes of 
his country; the moment had come for rending 
the veil asunder! There were cries of approval 
from all sides: "Yes, yes, let the truth shine 
forth and let the traitors be known!" Among 
those denouncing St.-Just was one of Robes- 

Reaction 431 

pierre's own Committee of Public Safety, Billaud- 

It was a supreme moment: tensest with passion 
of any in the Revolution. In this one man the 
whole policy of blood was now being condemned. 
The members applauded each blow that was 
struck at their former idol; they rose in a body, 
they waved their hats, they cheered the republic, 
the Convention, the Committee of Public Safety. 
They offered to die for Liberty. When Lebas, a 
friend of Robespierre's, tried to take the floor, he 
was shouted down, and when Robespierre himself 
made a dash for the speaker's desk, there were 
cries of "Down with him ! Down with the tyrant !" 

It was as though dogs had tasted blood. All 
hurled themselves on Robespierre. Billaud-Va- 
rennes threw the whole odium for the laws of 
Prairial on his former associate and, to quote the 
minutes literally, "all eyes are turned on Robes- 
pierre and express the horror he inspires; a general 
shudder is perceptible." Tallien threatened to 
stab "this new Cromwell" to the heart should the 
Convention not punish him. He now denounced 
others as adherents of Robespierre. 

A score of times the hounded man tried to reply. 
Unanimous cries prevented him from speaking. 
He grew more and more agitated and furiously 
waved his arms. "Down with the tyrant!" 
came in a steady roar. "He turns for a moment 
to St.-Just," say the minutes, "whose attitude pro- 
claims his despair at seeing himself unmasked and 
who has no encouragement to offer." Once more he 

43 2 The French Revolution 

insisted on the floor, once more all the members 
cry, "Down with the tyrant!" and at last force 
him into silence. 

All constraint was gone. A member even 
evoked laughter by ridiculing Robespierre as the 
one and only defender of Liberty, the martyr, the 
man of rare modesty. The latter found breath 
to accuse Tallien of falsehood, then the din silenced 
him again. 

We have a most vivid and detailed account in 
the Moniteur of the scenes that followed: how 
Robespierre made a mute appeal with his eyes to 
his former friends of the Mountain, how some 
remained immovable, others turned away their 
heads but the great majority showed hostility; 
how the frantic man then appealed to the whole 
Assembly against these "bandits" and how finally 
he shrieked at the president of the Convention: 
"President of assassins, I demand the floor!" 
There was a violent commotion. The noise was so 
great that Robespierre wore himself out with efforts 
to make himself heard. His voice died away. He 
seemed at the last gasp. Then a member ex- 
claimed: "It is the blood of Danton that is 
suffocating him ! " This brought Robespierre back 
to life: " Then it is Danton you are trying to 
avenge!" he cried, and the tumult began anew. 

There was now a demand, first isolated then 
becoming unanimous, for Robespierre's arrest. 
He begged them to decree his death, and it was 
declared that he well deserved such a fate. There- 
upon the younger Robespierre rushed to his 

Reaction 433 

brother's side and asked to die with him; "both," 
say the minutes, "their eyes sparkling with rage 
and seeing the uselessness of a further pretence of 
calmness, insult, abuse, and threaten the National 

The whole Convention rose. With an air of 
fury Robespierre runs to different parts of the hall ; 
he mounts and descends the steps of the platform; 
he finally falls panting on a chair. His arrest is 
decreed amid thunders of applause, as is like- 
wise that of Couthon, St.-Just, and Lebas. The 
ushers are summoned to bring them before the 

In the course of the next few hours, all the 
wildest scenes of the Revolution were re-enacted 
in swift succession. The tocsin rang, the barriers 
were closed, the Commune armed its satellites 
who rescued the Convention's prisoners. Save the 
paralytic Couthon, they were soon all in the Hotel 
de Ville. 

To the Convention came news that a new Re- 
volutionary government was being set up and 
that the meeting-place of the Committee of Public 
Safety was being surrounded. But the Conven- 
tion itself was upheld now by many of the spec- 
tators and by the National Guards and showed 
a different spirit from what the Legislative Assem- 
bly had done on a similar occasion. Hanriot, 
again a leader of the mob, was arrested, then torn 
from his captors. The Convention proclaimed 
Hanriot, as well as the two Robespierres, St.-Just, 
Lebas, and Couthon, rebels and outlaws to be shot 


434 The French Revolution 

down by any one at sight. A force of guards was 
despatched to the Hotel de Ville. 

In the National Archives of France is a note, 
addressed to Couthon and signed by the Robes- 
pierres and St.- Just: " Couthon, all the patriots 
are outlawed; the entire people has risen; it would 
be treason to it not to come to us at the 
Commune !" 

The cause of the Convention was rapidly gaining. 
There were deputations, protestations of fidelity, 
cheers. Word was sent to the guards that before 
the sun rose the conspirators must be snatched 
from their retreat and punished. A drenching 
rain helped to scatter the disorganized mob. 

A pall of despair settled down upon the besieged. 
Then came acts of violence, of self-destruction. 
Hanriot was thrown from a window by a member 
of the Council of the Commune for daring to say 
that all was lost. Robespierre shot himself, 
shattering his jaw, and Lebas succeeded better 
with a similar attempt at suicide. St. -Just and 
some twenty adherents were arrested. 

Over at the Tuileries, for a brief moment, the 
National Convention was thrown into a fresh 
panic. The president announced "the cowardly 
Robespierre is there. ... It is doubtless your will 
that he do not come in.'* The suffering man had 
been borne on a litter to the scene of his former 
triumphs. A thousand voices cried ' ' No. ' ' It was 
declared that the corpse of the tyrant would bring 
naught but the plague, that he and his accom- 
plices must be guillotined on the Place de la 

Reaction 435 

Revolution. He was carried to the quarters of 
the Committee of Public Safety. 

One shudders at the accounts of the insults 
heaped upon the helpless Robespierre: how he 
was reproached, struck, spat upon, and pricked with 
knives. He lay long impassive, though suffering 
terribly; then for a moment the old Adam rose 
in him mightily. As he was being carried down 
the great staircase of the Tuileries, he suddenly 
collected all his strength and struck out savagely 
at one of his bearers. 

He had been recognized as an enemy of his 
country, and therefore, according to Billaud- 
Varennes' maxim, needed no trial. Eighty- two 
of his partisans were guillotined with him. 

As the last in our series of symbolical repre- 
sentations we have an allegory called "Equality 
triumphant or the Triumvirate punished." 1 
Underneath is the text: 

Equality with the scales in one hand and the sword in 
the other hovers over the republic, her foot lightly resting 
on a level. She crushes the heads of the tyrant Robes- 
pierre, the hypocrite Couthon, and the insolent St.-Just. 
Their agents lie with them in the tomb of ignominy. The 
National Convention which, in the night from the 9th to 
the loth of Thermidor displayed as much courage as virtue 
in putting down the triumvirs, has saved the country. Let 
us all repeat with it : Long live the Republic, Liberty, and 

The complete reversal of what Robespierre 

' Plate 170, p. 437- 

436 The French Revolution 

might have called "my policies" did not come 
quite as swiftly as one would have imagined, 
although the influence of his fall was felt immedi- 
ately. Space forbids our going into this matter 
of the reaction in detail, but it is interesting to 
look at the dates at least of some of the chief 
legislative acts, remembering that the date of 
Robespierre's execution was July 28, 1794. 

Already on August 5th it was decreed that all 
categories of suspects not especially designated 
by the laws of September, 1793, should be at once 
set at liberty and that the reasons for their arrest 
should be furnished to those still detained or to 
their relatives and friends. In October a check was 
put on the reckless denunciations in the Convention 
that had caused that body to lose so many of its 

The Convention was still chary of stirring up 
the question of the ownership of property confis- 
cated during the Terror, and as late as December, 
1794, declared formally that it would admit no 
demands for reversal of judgments in this matter. 
But in June, 1795, all confiscations of property 
made since March, 1793, were annulled, and with 
certain exceptions, restitution was made either 
to the owners or their heirs. 

The Revolutionary Tribunal still continued in 
existence for a while, but with many modifications 
in the severity of the procedure; the accused were 
allowed not only to call witnesses but also to 
confront them one with another. In May, 1795, 
the whole institution was abolished and a return 

iOM I'M \\ 

Plate 170. An allegorical representation of Equality triumphing over 

Robespierre and his adherents. The workmanship looks like that of 

David who so recently had glorified Robespierre. 


43 8 The French Revolution 

made to the state of affairs in September 1791. 
On February 21, 1795, freedom of worship was 
decreed, but within proper bounds. There was 
to be no state-religion, no salaried clergy, no flaunt- 
ing of religious emblems. 

The penalties against the emigres continued in 
force, but in April it was decreed that their rela- 
tives and friends should be free from molestation. 

Women, as we have seen, had played a very 
great part throughout the Revolution. But in a 
movement where so much harm was done by the 
frequent giving way to the excitement of the 
moment, their influence had been particularly 
baneful. This the National Convention fully 
recognized. On May 23, 1795, it had the courage 
for it takes courage to oppose a whole sex and 
deprive it of rights long enjoyed but not worthily 
exercised to decree that women might no longer 
be present at any political assembly and, further- 
more, that they should be liable to arrest if they 
assembled in the streets to the number of more than 
five. This, then, was the outcome of woman's 
rights agitation during the Revolution. 

In June, 1795, the daughter of Louis XVI and 
Marie Antoinette, the last survivor of the royal 
party that had been incarcerated in the Temple 
in August, 1792, was formally handed over by 
agreement to the Austrians. She became the 
Duchesse d'Angouleme. Her brother, the Dau- 
phin, had died in captivity; or, at all events, not 
one of the thirty or more pretenders who afterwards 
cropped up ever succeeded in telling a really 

Reaction 439 

plausible story. Even clever investigators like 
Le N6tre and Barbey, who claim to have proved 
the Dauphin's escape from the Temple, do not 
profess to follow him farther than the door. 

On August, 15, 1795, all sentences passed in Revo- 
lutionary matters since March 10, 1793, were re- 
voked and all prisoners ordered to be released, 
unless the regular courts should have found reason 
to reindict them, and even then the period of 
detention already served was to be taken into 

A great step forward was the abolition on 
August 23, 1795, of the Jacobin Club, and, indeed, 
of all political clubs or popular societies. The 
Convention was coming now to the very root of 
the matter. The name of sans-culotte had be- 
come odious, and on August 24th the term sans- 
culottides was voted out of the calendar. The 
priests those at least who had refused to take 
the oath in the form required by a law of the 1 1 th 
of Prairial of the year II remained unforgiven. 
Indeed, by a law passed on October 14, 1795, 
those emigres and refractory priests who had re- 
turned to France without permission were form- 
ally expelled once more, as well as all pronounced 

There remained two acts of expiation. The 
surviving members of the Girondist party, so 
cruelly expelled on June 2, 1793, had been formally 
received back into the bosom of the Convention, 
and by decree of October 3, 1795, a day was 
solemnly consecrated to the memory of forty- 


Reaction 441 

seven of them, who were mentioned by name as 
having perished in the prisons, or in the fortresses 
or on the scaffold, or as having taken their own 
lives "during the tyranny of the decemvirs/' We 
find among them the eloquent Vergniaud, Valaze, 
Barbaroux, Petion, Buzot, and Roland. 

The last great act was a purely symbolical one 
the renaming of what had been the great stage on 
which the drama of the Revolution had been acted. 
Once the Place Louis Quinze, then the Place de la 
Revolution, it hence-forward was to be the Place 
de la Concorde. 1 

Whatever ingenious historians may say as to 
the date of the conclusion of the Revolution, 
the decree of the fourth of Brumaire of the 
year IV (October 26, 1795) stands there as a 
great terminal monument. From that day all 
warrants of arrest, whether served as yet or not, 
all prosecutions, proceedings, and sentences that 
had to do with purely Revolutionary matters, 
were declared null and void. In connection with 
the naming of the Place de la Concorde it was 
expressly and literally decreed as follows: " The 
street which leads to this Place shall bear the name 
of Rue de la Revolution" meaning that the old 
troubled epoch had served its turn, but was now 

1 Plate 171, p. 440. 


Abbeville, 408 

Abundance, personified, 147 

Achilles, 170 

Acton, Lord, 395 n. 

Agoult, see d' Agoult 

Aiguillon, Minister, 12 

Aix, seneschalry of, 32 

Alsace, violation of property 

rights in, 204 
America, 4, 6, 295, 317 
American colonies, 17 
American Constitution, the, 4, 73 
American Revolution, the. 5, 222 
American States, constitutions of 

the, 5; example dreaded, 338 
Americans, the, 74; wished Louis 

XVI sent to them, 317 
Ami du Peuple, the, of Marat, 95, 

140, 340 
Amiens, 408 
Anthony, St., 119 
Archiepiscopal palace, ill 
Archives, National, see National 
Aristocrat, hatred of the, 155, 157 
A rmoire de fer, the, finding of, 282 ; 

cartoon concerning, 283-4 
Arras, 191 
Artois, Comte d', 15; patron of 

Tennis Court, 36; wishes to play 

tennis, 38; advises Louis AVI, 

39; emigrates, 92-3 
Assembly, National, see National 
Assignats, emission of, 119 
August 4, 1789, decrees of, 88, 

1 24,204 
August 10, 1792, events of, 252- 

6i;f6te in honour of, 268-70, 

Aulard,36n., 192 n.,2ion., 21311., 
216 n., 218 n., 220 n., 222 n., 

223 n., 230 n., 231 n., 247 n., 
271 n., 336 n., 399 n., 409 n. 
Aunts, the King's, 164, 166 
Austria, joins in declaration of 
Pillnitz, 202; ultimatum sent to, 
226; allies herself with Prussia, 
228; war declared against, by 
France, 230; her forces com- 
manded by Brunswick, 248; 
scorned by France, 327 
Austrians, the, besiege Verdun, 
289; defeated at Genappes, 305; 
driven out of Belgium, 428 
Auteuil, 5 

Autun, Talleyrand, bishop of, 117 
Avignon, annexed to France, 202 
Aze"ma, deputy, 233 n., 234 n., 
236 n., 253 n. 


Bailly, Jean Sylvain, administers 
oath, 33; complains of specta- 
tors, 34; badly treated, 35; 
protects Martin Dauch, 38; ob- 
jects to treatment of Assembly, 
39, 56 n.; Mayor of Paris, 58; 
presents keys of Paris, 58; gives 
cockade to Louis XVI, 60, 
62-3, no n.; plot to murder, 
121, 173, 176; fires on mob, 192- 
3; execution of, 412 

Barbaroux, Girondist deputy, 345, 
348-9; death of, 396; justice 
done to, 441 

Barbey, 439 

Barere, 312; advocates haste with 
King's trial, 318; makes the 
Convention shudder, 426, 428 

Barnave, deputy, no; sent to 
bring back royal family, 181, 
185, 186-7; pleads for Louis 
XVI, 190, 196 




Barry, Madame du, dies hard, 412 

Bartholomew, St., massacre of, 55 

Bartolozzi, artist, 405 

Bastile, the, 6, 12; condition of, 49; 
storming of, 50-1; demolition 
of, 52, 60, 73, 99, 107, 124, 126; 
Conquerors of the, 123, 130, 139, 
143, 145-6; anniversary of the 
fall of, 242-3, 250, 356-7, 371 

Batiffol, 104 n. 

Bazire, deputy, 340 

Beaulieu, 394 n. 

Beaumarchais, 167 

Belgians, the, 231 

Belgium, 231; the English and 
Austrians driven out of, 428 

Berry, 32 

Bertaux, artist, 256 

Berthier, 54, 64, 121, 123; his 
corpse mutilated, 66, 75 

Billaud-Varennes, deputy, 317; 
member of the Committee of 
Public Safety, 336, 372, 415; 
denounces St.-Just, 431 

Blan chard, balloonist, 225 

Blondel, 97 

Boileau, deputy, 340 

Boizot, engraver, 311 

Bombelles, Marquise de, 174 

Bondy, 178, 188 

Bordeaux, 348, 396 

Bouille, General, 178, 184 n. 

Bouille", Comte Louis de, 178 n., 
179 n., 184 n. 

Bourbons, the, 23, 89; expelled, 


Breteuil, minister, 12, 175, 218 
Br6ze", de, see de 
Brienne, Lomenie de, minister, 

12; breaks with the Parlement, 

19; dismissal, 20 
Brigands, the, 75 
Brissot, deputy, 214, 221, 253; 

trial of, 391 
Brumaire, month of, 401 
Brunswick, Duke of, his mani- 
festo, 248, 280; defeated at 

Valmy, 302; caricature of, 303 
Brutus, 264, 324, 331, 409, 413 
Buchez (et Roux), 73 n., 127 n., 

321 n., 333 n., 334 n., 337 n., 

352 n., 380 n., 429 n. 
Buzot, deputy, 172; beloved by 

Madame Roland, 298, 348; 

death of, 396; rehabilitated, 441 

Ca ira, the, 5 

Caen, 347; abandons the Giron- 
dists, 348, 352 

Caesar, Julius, 324, 340 

Galas, victim of persecution, 108 

Calendar, the Revolutionary, see 

Caligula, 191 

Calonne, his policy, 17-18; op- 
posed by Parlement, 18; pro- 
poses reforms, 19; refuses to 
give statement, 19; helps draw 
up Brunswick's manifesto, 248 

Calvados, department of the, 347 

Cambon, deputy, 333, 335, 341 

Cambridge, 50 

Camille Desmoulins, see Des- 

Canecaude, de, 98 

Carlyle, Thomas, 8, 19, 50, 98 n., 
179 n., 184 n. 

Carmagnole, the, 410 

Carrier, at Nantes, 334; at Fe"te 
to Reason, 406 

Carrousel, Place du, see Place 

Catherine II, Czarina, 224, 309 

Catherine Theot, see Theot 

Cato, 264 

Cerberus, 121 

Chabroud, 97-8 

Chalier, deputy and martyr of 
Liberty, 37 1, 373, 409 

Chalons, 176, 183-4 

Champ de Mars, 129-30, 133, 
135, 142; affair of July I7th on, 
192-3; anniversary held on, 
242-3; Fte held on, 365 ff.; 
Bailly executed on, 412; Fte 
to the Supreme Being held on, 

Champion, 2 n. 

Champs Elysees, 185 

Charlemagne, 334 

Charles IX, play of, 120 

Charlotte, Queen of England, 305 

Charon, 107-8 

Chateauneuf, Miomandre de, see 

Chatelet, the, 95 n. 

Chaumette, deputy, 376-7; wor- 
ships reason, 406, 409 

Cherbourg, harbour of, 18 

Chereste, i6n. 



Christ, denial of, 404 

Christian Era, abolished, 397-9 

Chronique de Paris, 352, 357 n., 

Church, landed property of the, 

Cincinnatus, order of, 4 n. 

Claviere,firstministry,23o; Minis- 
ter of Finance, 270, 296 

Cle"ry, valet of Louis XVI, 312 n. t 
313, 320 

Cloots, Anacharsis, 127 

Clovis, 156 

Coalition, the, 327-8 

Coblenz, 203 

Collier, V affaire du, 15 n. 

Collot d' Herbois, 296; and the 
September massacres, 341; in 
Lyons, 380, 382, 413 

Come"die Francaise, 120, 209 

Committee of Public Safety, its 
organization, 336 ff., 349; joined 
by Robespierre, 371; dissolu- 
tion of, attempted by Hubert, 
413; decrees Danton's arrest, 
415; recognizes the Supreme 
Being and the immortality of 
the soul, 429-31, 433, 435 

Committee of Twelve, 343, 346 

Committee of surveillance, 336-7 

Commune, the, of Paris, on August 

10, 1792, 260 ff.; council of the, 
270,274; its work of propaganda, 
278-9, 280; spreads alarm, 287- 
9; cashiered, 288; favors the 
September massacres, 290-4, 
296, 333, 340; demands expul- 
sion of Girondist members, 
342-7, 374; refuses certificates 
of civism, 377; opens bureau 
for abjurations, 404 

Conciergerie, prison, 379; Marie 
Antoinette in the, 383-5; 
Madame Roland in the, 394 

Condorcet, defends the men of 
August loth, 279-80 

Conquerors of the Bastile, see 

Constitution, the, of 1789-91, 
<>ath never to separate until 
completed, 36; forging away 
at the, 73-4; completed, 194; 
accepted, 197-202, 206-8, 210- 

11, 219-21, 224, 228, 232, 239, 
246, 258, 270, 316 

Constitution, the American, see 

Constitution, the Girondist, of 

f 1793. 354 

Constitution, the Jacobin, cf 1793, 
354. 356; F6te in honour of, 
357 ff.; oath to defend, 366; 
a dead letter, 368-9 

Control Social, 3 

Corbeil, 404 

Corday, Charlotte, stabs Marat, 
348 ; a close student of the Revo- 
lution, 349; executed, 349; 
painted by Hauer, 350-1; her 
effigy on playing cards, 376; 
an English masquerader as, 426 

Cordelier Club, 335, 414 

Corsica, 326 

Courier de Versailles, 98 

Couthon, and the trial of Louis 
XVI, 318; joins the Committee 
of Public Safety, 336; moves 
arrest of the Committee of 
Twelve, 346, 425; under arrest, 
433; summoned by Robespierre, 
St.-Just., etc., 434; executed, 


Cromwell, 101, 238 
Custine, General, takes Mainz, 


Daggers, the day of, 165-8, 177 

d'Agoult, 178 

Danton, 194, 250; made Minister 
of Justice, 270; his career, 27^; 
characteristics of, 274; his 
activity on August loth, 278; 
and the September massacres, 
292-4, 296, 298, 304, 320, 326, 
333. 335. 338, 374; incurs 
Robespierre's enmity, 413; at 
the foot of the scaffold, 417, 425 
Dantonists the, assailed by Robes- 
pierre, 413: under arrest, 415; 
trial and execution, 416-17 
Darcis, engraver, 311 
d'Argentegu, Mercy, see Mercy 
omte, see Artois 
artin, 36, 38 n. 

the, 156, 178, 1 88, 
rried to the National 
, 254; testifies against 
386; his fate, 438-9 

d' Artois, 







David, artist, 350; arranges F6te 
to Unity and Indivisibility, 
357-67; arranges Marat's fu- 
neral, 367, 369-70; sketches 
Marie Antoinette, 387-9; ar- 
ranges F6te to the Supreme 
Being, 419, 421, 437 

David, King, 51 

Debats et Decrets, Journal des, 34 
n., 35 n., 40 n., 58 n., 78 n., 117 
n., 174 n., 179 n., 181 n., 182 n., 
183 n., 208 n., 210 n., 212 
n., 220 n., 242 n., 255 n., 261 
n., 276 n., 333 n. 

de Bre"ze", Master of Ceremonies, 
40, 172-3 

de Canecaude, 98 

Declaration of Pillnitz, see Pill- 

d'Eglantine, see Fabre 

Degoine, Marquis de, 103 

De la Motte see Motte 

De Launay, governor of the 
Bastile, surrenders, 49; mur- 
dered, 52, 56; satire on, 107-8, 

Delaware, the, 222 

Denis, St., see St. 

Denmark, 223, 225, 328 

d'Epre"smesnil, see Epre*smesnil 

Derosnet, 103 n. 

Des Essarts, 395 

Desmoulins, Camille, 167, 204 

Desrues, poisoner, 121, 123 

Diogenes, 72 

Drouet, postmaster of St. Mene- 
hould, 1 8 1, 1 86 

Drouet, deputy, 374 

Duche"ne, Pere, see Pere 

Duguit et Mounier, 75 n. 

Dumouriez, minister and general, 
2, 74, 232; sends alarming 
reports, 239; told to invade 
Holland, 328; turns traitor, 
328; arrests commissioners, 329- 
30, 341; his effigy on playing 
cards, 376 

Duvergier, 117 n., 130 n., 147 n., 
188 n., 208 n., 239 n., 279 n., 
293 n., 331 n., 332 n., 354 n. 

Echelle, Rue de 1', see Rue 
d'Eglantine, see Fabre 

Elizabeth, Madame, 177; made 
love to by Potion, 185; on 
August 10, 1792, 254; letter of 
Marie Antoinette to, 388 

Elizabeth, Queen of England, 156 

Eloquence parlementaire (Aulard), 
213 n., 216 n., 218 n., 220 n., 
, 222 n., 230 n. 

Emigres, the first, 92-3; exploit 
declaration of Pillnitz, 203; 
their follies, 204; summoned to 
return, 214; as haughty beggars, 
215; threats against, 216; Treves 
made to abandon, 217-18; 
measures against, not sanc- 
tioned by King, 218; carica- 
tured, 223; cartoon concerning, 
226, 229; property of fathers, of 
confiscated, 334; not pardoned, 

Empire, the Germanic, or Holy 
Roman, 226, 229, 328 

Encyclopaedia, the, 274 

England, constitution of, 90-92, 
305, 318, 327; declares war, 328 

English, the, in possession of 
Toulon, 330; driven from Bel- 
gium, 428 . 

Envy, personified, 109 

Enrages, the, 221; caricatured, 
226-7; their power, 295 

Epr6smesnil, d', 120 

Equality, personified, 311, 315 

Era, the Christian, see Christian 

Estate, the third, awakening of, 
51; leads nobles and clergy a 
dance, 52 

Estates, the three, depart for 
Versailles, 23-4; received by 
King, 25; costumes of, 25-7; 
deadlock between, 28-30; re- 
uniting of, 41-7 

Estates of the clergy, see Clergy 

Fabre d'Eglantine, his report on 
the Calendar, 401-2, 403-4 

Fame, personified, 147 

Fargeau, Lepelletier St., see 

Fauchet, Abbe", 218 

Favras, Marquis de, arrest and 
execution of, 121; satire on, 123 

Federation, F6te of, see Fte 



Ferrieres, Marquis de, 26; his 
hopefulness, 28, 42 

Fersen, Count Axel, 142; plans 
flight to Varennes, 160, 162, 
173; negotiates with Swedish 
king, 174; plans to bankrupt 
France, 175; assists in details 
of flight to Varennes, 177; as 
coachman, 178, 188, 198 n., 
200 n., 204, 212 n.. 224; returns 
to Paris, 226, 228; helps with 
Brunswick manifesto, 248 

F6te of Actions, 404 

F6te of Federation, inception of, 
126-7; a representation of, 129; 
preparations for, 130-2; en- 
thusiasm for, 132-6; questions 
in connection with, 136, 138; 
unpropitious circumstances of, 
140; merriment at, 141-2; r61e 
of Conquerors of the Bastile 
at, 145-6, 147 

F6te of Genius, 403 

F6te of Labour, 403 

F6te of Opinion, 404 

F6te of Recompense, 404 

F6te to the Supreme Being, 
decreed by Convention, 418; 
arranged by David, 419; Robes- 
pierre at the, 419-424; rdle of 
the Mountain at, 421-2 

Ffite to Unity and Indivisibility, 
its purpose, 356; arranged by 
David, 357; programme of, 
357 ff.; first stage, 357~6i; 
second stage, 361; third stage, 
361-2; fourth stage, 362-4; 
fifth stage, 364-6; sixth stage, 

Fcuillants, club of the, 192 

Feuille Villageoise, 179 n., 180 n., 
186 n., 242 n., 331 

Figaro, 167 

Firmin, St., priests of, 292 

Flanders, regiment of, summoned 
to Versailles, 95; f6ted, 95-6; 
deserts the King, 100, 182 

Flesselles, murder of, 52, 54; 
satire on, 107-8, 1 21, 123 

Fleurus, battle of. 428 

Floreal, month of, 401 

Fontainebleau, 190 

Force, la, prison of, 314 

Fouche", deputy, 409 

Foulon, 54; arrest of, 62; murder 

of, 62; violence to body of, 64, 
70, 75; satire on, 107-8; 121, 123 

Fouquier-Tinville, public prose- 
cutor, 385; arraigns Marie 
Antoinette, 385-6; would be- 
head ValazS's corpse, 393; and 
the Dantonists, 416 

France, population of, 8 

Franklin, Benjamin, and the 
fa ira, 5; popularity of, 6; 
crowned by Liberty, 7 

Fraternity, personified, 311 

Frederick the Great, 226 

Fright, personified, 230 

Frimaire, month of, 401 

Fructidor, month of, 401 

Funk-Brentano, 15 

Galerie des Glaces, 16 

Gallia bracata, 403 

Gazette de France, 304 

Genappes, battle of, 74, 303, 305, 

Geneva, no 

Genevieve, St., Church of, see 

Genius, the, of France, 30 

Gensonne*, Girondist deputy, 341 

Gentot, artist, 132 

Geography, the Genius of, in 

George III, of England, 305 

Germanic Empire, see Empire 

Germany, 327 

Germinal, month of, 401 

Ghibellines, the, 296 

Girey Dupre", 288 

Gironde, the, and the trial of 
Louis XVI, 318; treatment of, 
by the Mountain, 338-46; mem- 
bers of, arrested, 346-8; re- 
habilitated, 439 

Girondists, the, their policy, 221; 
their ministers dismissed, 232, 
296; in the ascendant, 302; 
expelled, 344-7; start rebellion, 
347-8; Charlotte Corday and 
the, 348, 371; in prison', 379; 
outlawed, 383; trial and execu- 
tion of the, 390-3, 394, 396 

Gobel, archbishop of Paris, re- 
pudiates Christianity, 404 

Goliath, 51 

Gomel, 169 



Gower, Lord, 162, 162 n., 166 n., 

172, 185 n., 199 n. 
Gracchi, the, 331; mother of the, 


Grandchamp, 100 n. 

Grangeneuve, deputy, attacks 
King, 210 

Granvilliers, section of, 410 

Gre"goire, Abbe", 180 

Greve, Place de, see Place 

Guadet, Girondist deputy, attacks 
King, 210-11, death of, 395 

Guards, the National, see Na- 

Guelphs, the, 296 

Guillaume, 183, 186 

Guillotin, Dr., exhibits machine, 
34; suggests adjourning to the 
Tennis Court, 35; mediates, 49, 
275-6; did not perish by own 
machine, 277-8 

Guillotin, Madame, 278 


Hamburg, I n., 74 n. 

Hamel, 414 n. 

Hannibal, 266 

Hanriot, would shoot president of 
the Assembly, 346; outlawed, 
433? thrown from a window, 


Hatred, personified, in 

Havre, docks of, 18 

Hubert, 376, 391; against church 
s teeples ,410; attacked by Robes- 
pierre, 411-12; arrested, 414; 
executed, 415 

He"bertists, the, denounced by 
Robespierre, 413; glorify in- 
surrection, 414; denounced by 
St.-Just, 414; trial of the, 415 

Henry IV, King, 58; beard 
chopped off, 266 

Hercules, 242 

Heroines of Liberty, the, 106; 
feted on August 10, 1793, 

Histoire Politique (Aulard), 336 n. 

Hodey, Le, see Le 

Holland, 225, 327 

Holy Roman Empire, see Empire 

Honore", Rue St., see Rue 

Horatius, 266 

H6tel de Ville, revolutionary 
body in, 49; entry into, 49, 52, 
57-8; visited by Louis XVI, 
60; deputations to, 95; invaded 
by women, 98; "country in 
danger" proclaimed from, 242; 
new council installed in, 252, 
262; on 9th of Thermidor, 434 

Hue*, servitor of Louis XVI, 313 

I phi genie, opera, 164 

Isnard, Girondist deputy, inveighs 
against clergy, 218; urges war, 
222; threatens Paris, 342, 345, 

3? i 

Italian Comedy, 212 

Jacobin, the typical, 113-14 

Jacobin Club, the, its place in the 
Revolution, 112-13, IJ 6; elects 
Mirabeau its president, 154, 
156, 166, 180, 191; division in, 
192, 222; satire against, 225-7, 
271, 278, 284, 296; transactions 
of the, 299; helps to save France, 
330, 341, 344, 354, 377; peti- 
tions the Convention, 392, 409, 

Jacobins, the, 210, 212, 238, 246, 
295, 302, 329, 369-70, 374, 

Jaures, 8 n., 38 n., 94 n., 95 n., 
221 n., 230 n. 

Jean Jacques Rousseau, see Rous- 

Jerusalem, 329 

Jesuit order, the, 337 

Jews, 329 

Joseph II., Emperor, 309 

Journal des Debats et Decrets, see 

Journal des Etats Generaux, 25 

Journal de la Republique Fran^aise, 
i n. 

Journal de Paris, 76 n., 78 n., 
80, 121 n. 

Judas, 242 

Jullien, deputy, 317 

June 20, 1792, events of, 233 ff., 
252, 281 



Just, St., 296; on mission to the 
army, 334; on Committee of 
Public Safety, 336, 376, 380, 
413; denounces the Hl. 
414; induces Robespierre to 
abandon the Dantonists, 415; 
assails the Dantonists, 416; de- 
fends Robespierre, 430, 431 ; ar- 
rested, 433; writes to Couthon, 
434; executed, 435 

Justice, personified, 147 

Lafayette, made commander of 
the National Guards, 58; hands 
in draft of Rights of Man, 73; 
on October 5, 1789, 100; on 
October 6th, 103; on August 
4, 1789, 128, 139; idolized, 142; 
nres on the people at Vincennes, 
1 66; sends protest to the 
Assembly, 173; spends evening 
with the King, 176, 178, 226, 
229; on June 20, 1792, 238; 
concerned in plot for King's 
escape, 242; portrait of, 273; 
declared infamous, 282 

Laloi, deputy, 410 

Lamballe, Madame de, gifts of 
Queen to, 13; murder of, 314 

Lambel, deputy, 128 

Lameth, deputy, 128, 170 

La Motte, Madame de, see Motte 

Lamourette, Abbe", 241 

La Ri'-volntion Fran$aise, review, 
see Revolution, la 

La Rochefoucauld, see Roche- 

Lasource, deputy, 339 

Latour-Maubourg, deputy, 181 

Launay, de, see De Launay 

La Vended, see Vended 

Le Bas, deputy, 334, 431 ; arrested, 
433; commits suicide, 434 

Legendre, deputy, 415 

Le Hodey, 25 n. 

Lendtre, 185 n. 

Leopold II, Emperor, 202, 224, 
226; dies, 228 

Lepelletier, St.-Fargeau, murder 
of, 324; memorial to, 325, 371, 
373. 4<x> 

Liancourt, Due de, 80 

Liberty of Conscience, as proper 
name, 331 

Lillr, Rouget de, see Rouget 

Lomenie de Brienne, see Brienne 

London, 16, 247, 249 

Lorraine, Cardinal de, 120 

Louis, St., see Saint 

Louis XIV, 18, 36, 38, 114, 120, 

Louis XV, 2, 10, 186, 320, 362; 
statue of, 107 

Louis XV, Place, see Place 

Louis XVI, 4; charitable feelings 
towards, 10; his utter incom- 
petency, ii; pays his wife's 
debts, 13; squanders money, 18; 
opposed by Parlentent, 19-20; 
recalls Necker, 2021, 22; re- 
ceives deputies, 25; hopes still 
placed in, 33; orders Assembly- 
hall closed, 35, 36-37; holds 
royal session, 38; speech of, at 
royal session, 39; defied by the 
National Assembly, 40; yields 
to the National Assembly, 41; 
renounces further conflict, 43, 
45; pardons guards, 48; appears 
in National Assembly, 55; dem- 
onstrations over, 56; at H6tel 
de Ville, 57-60; again recalls 
Necker, 58 ; dons cap of liberty, 
59-60; restorerof French liberty, 
6 1 , 66; and the return of Necker, 
69-70, 72, 76; visited by 
women of the market, 82, 89, 
92; tries to alleviate suffering, 
93 ; criticises Rights of Man, 95- 
6; at banquet at Versailles, 
96, 97, 98; on October 5, 1789, 
100-1; hastens to Queen's res- 
cue, 102; appears on balcony, 
103 ; consents to leave Versailles, 
104-5; moves to Paris, 106-7; 
called "the baker," 107, no; 
followed by National Assembly, 
in; appears in Assembly, 121: 
alliance with Mirabeau, 122; 
loses prerogatives, 124; on 
Champ 5; privi- 

leges of, at Fete of federation, 
136-8; salary considered too 
large, 139; radicals angry at, 
144; accepts the pact of federa- 
tion, i =,0; sanctions 
civil constitution of the clergy, 



Louis XVI Con tinned 

152; courts popularity, 154; bit- 
terly attacked by press, 156,157; 
caricatured as a horned pig, 
159, 162, 167, 171; prepares to 
drive to St. Cloud, 172; pre- 
vented from leaving the Tuiler- 
ies, 172-3; protest of, to the 
Assembly, 173; appears in the 
Assembly, 174; willing to sacri- 
fice French soil, 175; and the 
flight to Varennes, 170-189; 
his fate in the balance, 190-1, 
192; accepts the Constitution, 
194-202; shows courage, 200, 
203; his perilous position, 206- 
7; bids farewell to Assembly, 
208; plays his part well, 209; 
attacks on, in the Assembly, 
210-11; appears in the Assem- 
bly, 212, 214; sends ultimatum 
to Treves, 216; withholds his 
sanction, 218; as King Janus, 
219; refuses sanction, 220, 221, 
224, 225, 228; in terror, 230; 
efforts to humiliate, 232; warn- 
ing to, 234; on June 20, 1792, 
236-8; issues proclamation, 239, 
242; takes oath to Constitution, 
246; indignation against, 250; 
dethronement demanded, 252; 
on August 10, 1792, 253-5, 
260-1; sent to the Temple, 
262, 270, 280-1 ; and the armoire 
de fer, 282-4; denunciations of, 
285-7, 290, 295, 304, 305, 309; 
in the Temple, 312-13; trial of, 
,-214-7; condemnation of, 318; 
execution of, 319-22; memorial 

of, 323, 324, 338, 345, 346, 377, 
386, 389, 390, 396, 438 

Louison, 1 01 n. 

Lucerne, the lion of, 258-9 

Luckner, General, 226; executed, 

Luther, Martin, 33, 204 

Luxembourg, 166, 378 

Lyons, disturbances in, 164; re- 
bellion in, 347, 371, 375; 
anathema against, 380; blood- 
shed in, 382, 403, 409 

Maillard, Stanislas, leads women 

to Versailles, 99; addresses 
Assembly, 100 

Mainz, 226, 375 

Mallet du Pan, 36 n. 

Manege, the, in 

Manifesto, the, of the Duke of 
Brunswick, 248, 280 

Mantes, 2 

Manuel, deputy, 317 

Marat, i, 140, 192, 194; member 
of Council of the Commune, 
271; his circular concerning the 
massacres, 293-4, 296; reflects 
on Madame Roland, 298, 305, 
322 ; has price set on Dumouriez 's 
head, 330, 336; draws pistol, 
339-4O; fosters excitement, 340; 
attacks on, 340; arrested, 341; 
freed, 342; sounds the tocsin, 
344, 345; revises lists of Giron- 
dists, 347; stabbed by Charlotte 
Corday, 348-50; a martyr of 
liberty, 350-2, 367, 371, 373; 
his heart in a shrine, 398; 
apostrophized, 399, 409 
Maria Theresa, Empress, 11-12, 

106, 156, 196 

Marie Antoinette, influenced by 
Mercy d'Argenteau, n; her 
intrigues, 12; her extravagance, 
13; involved in the diamond- 
necklace affair, 14-15; her repu- 
tation gone, 1 6; buys St. Cloud, 
1 8; receives the deputies at Ver- 
sailles, 25; counsels coercion of 
National Assembly, 39; appears 
on balcony, 56, 68; visited 
by women of the market, 82, 
92; tries to alleviate suffering, 
93 ; at banquet to the Regiment 
of Flanders, 96, 97; on October 
5th, 100; on October 6th, 102-5, 
no; insults heaped upon, 139, 
142; courts popularity, 154; 
bitterly assailed by the press, 
156-62; plots to remove Louis 
XVI from Paris, 159-60; machi- 
nations against, 162; prevented 
from leaving Tuileries, 172-3; 
hopes to win Swedish king, 
174-5; manages the flight to 
Varennes, 177-189; her atti- 
tude after the flight, 194; 
prevaricates, 196; her vindic- 
tiveness, 198, 199; and the 


Marie Antoinette Continued 
acceptance of the Constitution, 
200, 202; migrcs, 

204; plays her part well, 209; 
indignant at Legislative As- 
sembly, 212, 2 1 6, 223-4; in a 
panic, 226, 228; on June 20, 
i-t)2, 234-238; on August 10, 
1792, 254; sent to the Tcmpk-, 
262; denunciations of, in Jaco- 
bin Club, 284; in the Temple, 
312; during the massacres, 314; 
separated from her son, 354; in 
prison, 383-5; trial of, 385-6; 
letter to Madame Elizabeth, 
386 ff.; sketched by David, 387- 

. the river, 185 

Marseillaise, the, 247-9, 3 J 9. 321, 

Marseilles, 158; the patriots from, 
247, 250, 290 

s, the, of September, 
see September 

Massenbach, 248 

Maximum, law of the, 375-6 

Medicis, Marie de, 386 

Mcilhan, Senac de, i 

Memoires de Septembre, see Sep- 

"ires sur I' affaire de Varennes, 
i(>2 n. 

Menehould, St., 176, l8i, 183-4 

Merrier, 3, 5 

y d'Argenteau, his intrigues, 

ii, 12, 13, 226 

Mcrieourt, Theroigne de, 253 
Merlin de Thionville, 272 
Messalina, 386 
Messidor, month of, 401 

i5-\ 158 

Mioinandre de Chateauneuf, 95 n. 
Mirabeau, Barrel, brother of 

Honord Riquetti, 137-8 
Miraheau, Honore" Riquetti, 4 n., 

20; impression made by, 26, 28; 

seeks to break deadlock, 32; 

detirs de Kreze, 37, 40; speech 

of, in the Assembly, 48; att 

the lourt, 54, no; D 

cor "Tgy's lands, 117; 

retorts to clergy. iao; 

King and Queen, 122; del 

roy. Datives, 124; his 

attitude to civil constitution 

of the clergy, 154; president 
of Jacobin Club, 154; his pro- 
gramme, 156; (! .ing's 
aunts, 1 66; death and burial, 
170-2, 190, 271; dealings 
with the court discovt 

Monitcur, the, 5 n., 266 n., 333 n., 
334 n., 337 n., 379, 410, 418; its 
account of Rob< fall, 


Monsieur, brother of the King, 
166, 178 

Mont Blanc, 306 

Montauban, 104 

Montmirail, 176 

Morris, Gouverneur, 212, 212 n. 

Morse Stephens, see Stephens 

Mortimer-Terneux, 247 n., 278 n., 
288 n., 328 n., 338 n. 

Motte, Madame de la, 14-16; 
returns to Paris, 162 

Mounier, president of National 
Assembly, 36, 102 n.; escapes 
from France, no 

Mountain, the, political party, 
296, 299; and the trial of Louis 
XVI, 318; its strength, 339; 
and the September massacres, 
340; denounced by Gensonne", 
341; its tactics, 343, 344, 346; 
declared in the ban by Lyons, 
347; celebrates fall of the 
Girondists, 356 ff., 374, 380, 390, 
392, 413; apotheosis of the, 421 

Mountain, Old Man of the, 341 


Nantes, edict of, 212 

National Assembly (Constituent), 
2; formation of, 31-33; 
Ciuillotin's measures for its 
comfort, 34; spectators in- 
fluence it, 34; its hall closed on 
June 2Oth, 35; holds session in 
the Tennis Court . 
to attend royal session, t8; 
kept waiting by King, 39; defies 
the King's c rnmand to dis- 

41; ds petitions to the King. 
48: dismissal, 

49; is bitter against t 
54; is impressed by the King's 



National Assembly Continued 
discourse, 55; accompanies the 
King to his palace, 56, 58, 69; 
busies itself with the Constitu- 
tion, 73; on August 4th, 76-78, 
82; friction in, 89; voluntary 
gifts to, 94; its hall invaded by 
women, 100, 101; plays undigni- 
fied rdle, 1 08, no; votes to 
follow King to Paris, in, 116; 
and the estates of the clergy, 
118; malediction pronounced 
over, 120; takes civic oath, 121; 
votes away King's prerogatives, 
124; honours Conquerors of the 
Bastile, 128, 130, 136, 138, 142; 
passes civil constitution of the 
clergy, 147, 149-50; galleries 
of, packed, 156, 166, 173; 
receives the King, 174, 176, 185, 
1 88; debates on the King's 
fate, 191 ; declares the Constitu- 
tion completed, 194, 198; the 
King appears in, 199; escorts 
the King to the Tuileries, 200, 
204; prepares to disperse, 207; 
bidden farewell by Louis XVI, 
209; passes self-denying ordin- 
ance, 210, 211, 276, 426 
National Assembly (Legislative), 
unfriendly to the King, 209-2 12 ; 
busies itself with emigres, 214- 
216; passes laws against the 
clergy, 220, 228; hampered 
by Constitution, 232, 233; on 
June 20, 1792, 234-6; La- 
fayette's letter to, 238; fierce 
debates over Petion, 239; the 
kiss of Lamourette in, 241; 
receives letter from Marseilles, 
247; demands for King's de- 
thronement in, 250, 252; on 
August 10, 1792, 253-261 ; votes 
destruction of emblems of royal- 
ty, 264; votes six millions for 
secret purposes, 278; employs 
Condorcet to write defence of 
August loth, 279, 280, 281; 
sanctions band of tyrannicides, 
287; cashiers council of the 
Commune, 288, 291; and the 
September massacres, 293, 345, 
x 357, 426 

National Assembly (Convention), 
146, 266, 280; first session of, 

295; parties in the, 296; Giron- 
dists control, 302; abolishes 
royalty, 303, 305; tries Louis 
XVI for his life, 314-321, 326, 
328; sends commission to arrest 
Dumouriez, 329-330, 333; con- 
fiscates property of fathers of 
emigres, 334; reorganizes Revo- 
lutionary Tribunal, 335; estab- 
lishes Committee of Public- 
Safety, 336; decrees its own 
members not inviolable, 337, 
338; debates question of body- 
guard, 339; scenes of violence 
m > 34 342; moves to the 
Tuileries, 343; on May 3ist, 
344J on June 2d, 345-7; 
seventy-five members protest, 
347 1 348; takes part in the 
Fete to Unity and Indivisibility, 
358, 361, 365; terrorist ha- 
rangues in, 372; hurls anathema 
at Lyons, 380; outlaws Girond- 
ists, 383 ; irreligious tirade in , 398 ; 
adopts Revolutionary Calendar, 
399; countenances worship of 
Reason, 406-10; declares for 
toleration, 412, 415-16; de- 
clares for worship of Supreme 
Being, 418; participates in 
Fete to the Supreme Being, 419- 
23, 424; and the laws of Prai- 
rial, 424-425, 426, 428; Robes- 
pierre's last speech in, 429; 
turns against Robespierre, 430; 
on the 9th of Thermidor, 431-3; 
relations with the Commune, 
434; refuses to see Robespierre, 
434. 435; releases suspects, 436; 
annuls confiscations, 436-8; de- 
crees freedom of worship, 438; 
tries to suppress women, 438 
National Guards, 94; urge march 
on Versailles, 100; guard palace 
badly, 102; take civic oath, 122, 
125, 126, 167, 173, 176, 181-2; 
escort King from Varennes, 184- 
5; fire on the mob, 192; play 
part on August loth, 253, 287, 
308, 344 

National Palace, 355 
National Theatre, 354 
Meeker, minister, 17, 19; his 
recall, 21, 26; and the States- 
General, 28; dismissed, 48-9; 



Necker, minister Continued 
bust paraded, 49; again r. 
58, 62, 67-70; returns, 70-72; 
imposes contribution, 95; plot 
to murder, 121 

Nicolai, Monsieur de, 378 

Noailles, Vicomte de, on August 
4th, 77 

Notables, assembly of the, 19 

Notre Dame, Church of, in Paris, 
80; worship of Reason in, 406 

Notre Dame, Church of, in Ver- 
sailles, 25 

Noyon, 48 

Opfra, the, 354 

Opinion, Ffite of, 404 

Orange, commission at, 424 

Orleans, 289 

Orleans, Due d', 67, 70; his 
hunting preserves spared, 82 ; at- 
tempt to cleanse him of sus- 
picion, 97-8; becomes Philippe 
6galite", 331; executed, 393-4 

Paine, Thomas, defends Louis 

XVI, 317 

Palais Royal, 13, 324 
Pamela, quotation from, 378 
Pantheon, the, 169-70, 350, 355, 


Paris, 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 16, 36; troops 
converging on, 48; on July I4th, 
4 ( ). 54-5, 57; visit of Louis XVI 
to, 58, 60 n., 62, 64, 66, 76 n., 
80, 82, 94-5, loo, 104-^6, 1 10, 
in, 121 n., 124 n., 126 n., 
us n., 130, 133-4, 136 n., 139, 
140 n., 142, 145, 156, 159; 
scenes of disorder in, 164, 170, 
173-4, 1 79 n.; entry into, after 
Varennes, 185, 186 n., 188 n., 
204, 212; camp under the walls 
of, 232, 2,^7, 241; threatened 
in Brunswick's manifesto, 248, 
250, 252; commune of, 260 ff., 
262, 270-1, 279 n., 289, 295, 
302, 326, 328, 333, 339, 34 : 
348-9, 352, 367, 374, 377: 
number of prisoners in, 380, 
390-1, 404; churches of, to be 

closed, 410; number of execu- 
tions in, 424 

Pnrlement, the, opposes Turgot, 
16-17; opposes Calonne, 18; 
coercion of, 19-20; suppression 
of, 20 

Pasquier, 50 

Pelagic, St., prison of, 394 

Perc Duchene, the, 343, 408, 415 

Potion de Villeneuve, 156, 172; 
after Varennes, 181; and Ma- 
dame Elizabeth, 185, 186, 191; 
on Tune 20, 1792, 238; sus- 
pended, 239-40; freed, 256; re- 
instated, 271; rebus concerning, 
301-2, 317; tracked, 348; found 
dead, 396; rehabilitated, 441 

Philadelphia, 7, 212 

Pillnitz, declaration of, 202-3 

Pitt, William, 90-1, 224 

Pius VI, Pope, 161; and the civil 
constitution of the clergy, 163- 
4, 224-5, 328, 404 

Place d Armes, 100-102 

Place de Greve, 89 

Place de la Concorde, 363, 440-1 

Place de la Revolution, 328, 361, 

363, 395, 441 

Place des Invalides, 362 

Place des Piques, 324 

Place des Victoires, 263-4 

Place du Petit-Carrousel, 177 

Place Louis Quinze, 185, 441 

Place Venddme, 263-4 

Pluvidsc, month of, 401 

Point du Jour, the, 190 n., 191 n., 
192 n., 208 n. 

Poissoniere, section of Paris, 289 

Poitou, seneschalry of, 32 

Poland, 218 

Polignac, Madame de, 13; emi- 
grates, 92-3 

Pont de Sommevelle, 183 

Pont Tournant, the, 346 

Port a Binson, 185 

Port-Libre, see Port-Royal 

Port-Royal, 378 

Porte Chaillot, 185 

Porte St. Antoine, 54 

Porte St. Martin, 178 

IVairial, month of, 401; laws o 
424, 428 

Pnde, personified, in 

Prieur, 242-3 

Prisons, the, 377 ff. 



Procedure criminelle instruite au 

Chatelet, 95 n. 
Proces-verbal, 339-40 
Provence, Comte de, summoned to 

return, 216 

Prudhomme, 2 n., 6, 140 
Prussia, issues declaration of Pill- 

nitz, 202-3; joins Austria, 228, 

248, 327 
Publius Decius Mus, 266 


Rabaut St.-Etienne, death of, 396 

Rambouillet, 18 

Raynal, Abbe, 5 

Reason, personified, 109, in, 

402-3; the goddess of, 405-9; 

worship of, 406-8; Fetes to, 


Recompense, Fte of, 404 
Representatives-on-mission , 408 
Revolution Franqaise, la, (review), 

126 n., 233 n., 234 n., 248 n., 

253 n. 
Revolutionary army, established, 

37 2 -4 

Revolutionary Calendar, 399-400 

Revolutionary Tribunal, estab- 
lished, 274-5, 2 7$; reorganized, 
335-6; subdivided, 372, 378; 
freed from formalities, 392, 409; 
increases its severity, 424; abol- 
ished, 436 

Revolution de Paris, 64, 66, 82, 94, 
no n., 124 n., 126 n., 128 n., 
134, 136 n., 139 n., 140, 140 n., 
145, 154, 156, 159, 166 n. 

Revolutions de Paris et de Brabant, 
204 n. 

Richard, Coeur de Lion, 96 

Rights of Man, the, 89 

Riouffe, 290, 370, 395 

Robespierre, influenced by Rous- 
seau, 4; attacks Louis XVI, 96, 
156, 172, 191, 194, 199; answers 
Louvet, 223; denounces Lafay- 
ette, 238; portrait of, 269; mem- 
ber of Communal Council, 2 70-1 ; 
character and appearance of, 
271-2; opposed to capital pun- 
ishment, 276, 296, 304; wants 
Louis XVI executed as enemy, 
318-20; his account of the 
execution, 321, 336, 338; called 

usurper, 340; triumph of, 341, 
357; on Committee of Public 
Safety, 371, 376, 381-2, 391; 
his Supreme Being, 398; attacks 
the He~bertists, 411; his theories 
of punishment, 412; attacks 
Dantonists as well as Heber- 
tists, 413; overthrows Danton, 
416-17; introduces his religion, 
418; supposed attempt to mur- 
der, 418; at the Fete to the 
Supreme Being, 418-24; hears 
mutterings, 424; advocates laws 
cf Prairial, 425; his regime 
caricatured, 426-7; ruined by 
victories, 428; last speech, 429- 
30; assailed in Convention, 
431-3; at the Hotel de Ville, 
434; shoots himself, 434; exe- 
cuted, 435-8 

Rochambeau, general, 226, 229 

Rochefort, 408 

Rochefoucauld, Due de la, 5 

Rohan, Cardinal de, and the 
diamond necklace, 14-16 

Roland, first ministry of, 230; 
Minister of the Interior, 270; 
and the armoire de fer, 282-4, 
296^7; grievance of Mountain 
against, 299; caricatured, 300; 
rebus concerning, 301-2, 315; 
his house surrounded, 345, 391 ; 
falls on his sword, 395-6; 
rehabilitated, 441 

Roland, Madame, mother of the 
Girondists, 298-9; caricatured, 
300; imprisoned, 345, 348; in 
St. Pelagic, 379; writes memoirs, 
379. 383: trial of, 394~5; execu- 
tion of, 395 

Rome, 150, 242 

Ronsin, deputy, 414-15 

Rouen, 158 

Rouget de Lille, composes Mar- 
seillaise, 247 

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, his in- 
fluence, 3-4, 72 ; inspires Robes- 
pierre, 272 

Rue de la Revolution, 441 

Rue St. Honore", 112, 424 

Russia, 223 

St. Anthony, 119 



St. Bartholomew, massacre, 55, 


St. Cloud, 1 8, 173 
St. Denis, 409 
vSt. Denis, church of, 266 
St. Pirrnin, 292 

,<>uis, 320, 3<>4 

St. Menehould, 176, 181, 1X3-4 
Salles, (jirondist deputy, 396 
Samson, executioner, 321, 427 

culotte, 231, 233-6, 303 
Sans-culottides, 403-4; abolished, 


Sardinia, 327 

Sartines, Monsieur de, 62 

Saxony, 202 

Schoeffersheim, ever-burning lamp 

of, 332 

Seme, river, 342 
Scmiramis, 156 
September massacres, 290-4, 339- 

Septembre, Mcmoires de, 290 n., 

292 n. 
Sevres, 94 
Shakespeare, 274 
Sieyes, would "cut the cable," 32; 

would break loose from King, 


Silesia, 226 
Smith, Adam, 274 
Soissons, 48 
Solon, 204 
Sorel, 202 n., 218 n., 228 n., 231 n., 

234 n., 238 n., 242 n. 
Spain, 225; hostilities with, 

Stael, Madame de, 242, 246 

1-Holstein, Swedish ambassa- 
dor, 162, 164 n., 172 n., 199 n., 

200, 209 n. 
Stephens, Morse, 98 n. 
Stern (Mirabeau). 122 n., 154 n., 

156 n., 170 n. 
Strasburg, 164, 334 
Styx, the, 107 
Su'leau, 253 
Sulla, 340 
Supreme Being, worshipped, 411 

IT.; Fete to the, 418-24 
Sweden, 224, 327-8 
Swiss Guards, 56, 288 ; on August 

loth, 253-8, 259 
Switzerland* 224, 328 
Syhel, von, 234 n., 254 n. 

df Paris, 3 
Talleyrand, 1 17 

Tullien, deputy, assails Robes- 
pierre, 432 

Tarpeian rock, the, 124 
Tell. William. 331 
Temple, the, 262, 274, 304, 313, 

330. 352 
Tennis Court, the, 36; oath in the, 

36, 38, 207 

Terror, personified, 228, 230 
Terror, Reign of, 370 ff. 
Theatre Francais, 377 
Theot, Catherine, 429 
Thermidor, month of, 401 
Thiunville, Merlin de, 272 
Third estate, the, 28 ff., 47, 51 ff. 
Time, personified, 308 
Titans, the, 216 
Toulon, 330 

Tourzel, Madame de, 178-9, 185 
Treves, elector of, 217-18 
Trial by jury, 124 
Trianon, the little, 13 
Truth, personified, 147 
Tuileries, 107, in, 165-6, 167-8, 

172-3, 176, 179, 180, 185-6, 194, 

209, 213, 228, 233 
Turgot, 4, 4 n.; incurs Queen's 

enmity, 12; and the Parlement, 


Vadier, deputy, 191 

Valaze", deputy, kills himself, 393 

Valenciennes. 375 

Valmy, battle of, 74, 303, 328 

Varennes, flight to, 160, 162 n., 


Vanblanc, deputy, 252 
Vaudeville Theatre, 354 
Vendee, La, 326, 375, 398 
V.ndcmiaire, month of, 401 

'>se, month of, 401 
Verdun, 287, 289 
Vergniaud, deputy, attacks court, 

228; arraigns Louis XVI, 239. 

288, 335, 390 
Vernon, battle of. 347-8 
Versailles. 14. 

95-6. 98. 99 ff-. 101, 106, no, 

164, 182, 262-3 



Victory, personified, 306-7 
Ville Affranchie (Lyons), 380 
Villequier, Due de, 177 
Vizille, 20 
Voltaire, 170 

Washington, George, 222 

Young, Arthur, 29 

Zodiac, signs of the, 309 

A Selection from the 
Catalogue of 


Complete Catalogue sent 
on application 


And the Uprising of Prussia Against 

Napoleon, 1806-1815 

Author of " Symbol and Satire in the French Revolution " 
Cr. 8vo. Fully Illustrated. Cloth, $1.50 net. Half leather, 

$1.75 net. Postage, 15 cents 
No. 46 in Heroes of the Nations Series 

" Mr. Henderson's narrative of the thrilling years that ended with 
Waterloo is clearly and competently unfolded. The author has 
shown special skill in conjuring up the background of the age and in 
making clear how fear and hatred of the name of Napoleon paralyzed 
the allies and rendered them incapable of decisive action. We may 
thank Dr. Henderson for his orderly and scholarly volume." Man- 
chester Guardian. 

" Mr. Henderson writes with the skill of an expert and his book is 
intensely interesting reading. The history may fairly be described as 
masterly." London Pall Mall Gazette. 

The Lowell Lectures, Spring 1912 



Reader in Modern History to the University of Cambridge 
Author of " The Development of the European Nations," etc. 

8vo. $2.50 net. By mail, $2.75 

This volume by a scholar of authority will include a series of 

studies of the most important sides of Napoleon's character (i) Man 

(including the salient features of his character); (2) jacobin; (3) 

r; (4) Lawgiver; (5) Emperor; (6) Thinker; (7) World Ruler; 

(8) Exile. 

This method of treatment, supported by numerous extracts from 
Napoleon's letters, etc., will offer new points of view in an oft -treated 



fa France, England, and the United States, this work is recognized as 
the most important of all the contributions to modern history. It placet 
M, Hanotaux in the front rank of French historians with Guizct. De 
Tocquc-vilJe, and Thiers, 



Formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs 

Translated by 
John Charles Tarver 

E. Sparvel=Bayly 

Pour volumes. Octavo. Each complete in itself and covering 
a definite period. Illustrated with portraits in photogravure. 
Sold 'separately ', each, net, $3*75. 

Vol. I. FRANCE IN 1870-1873. 

Vol. II. FRANCE IN 1873-1875. 

Vol. HI. FRANCE IN 1874-1877. 

Vol. IV. FRANCE IN 1877-1882. 

"It is with satisfaction on taking up one of the most important contri- 
butions to history, to find the work so sympathetically and exactly translated 
as is M. Hanotaux's 'Contemporary France.' Such a translation fits the 
American reader to appreciate the work in all of its excellence. . . . The 
first of the four volumes challenges our attention from start to finish, because 
in it we recognize not only the work of a careful, trained scholar, but also 
that of the first-hand observer. . . . M. Hanotaux guides us with a 
very personal hand ; on every page he gives recollections of the great men 
whom he himself has known. . . . The readers of this volume will await 
with keen interest the publication of the others. Together the four should 
form a monument of contemporary history indispensable to the library of 
thevStudent either of recent history or present politics." The Outlook. 



The Most Brilliant Historical Work of Years 


Greatness and Decline 
of Rome 

By Guglielmo Ferrero 

Authorized Edition. 5 Volumes, 8vo, Each $250 net 
Student's Edition, 5 volumes, Cr. 8vo. $8.00 per set 

(Separately $1.7 5 net per volume) 

Vol. I. The Empire Builders Vol. III. The Fall of an Aristocracy 
Vol. II. Julius Caesar Vol. IV. Rome and Egypt 

Vol. V. The Republic of Augustus 
Un (form with ** The Greatness and Decline of Rome." 

Characters and Events of Roman History 

From Cftsar to Nero (60 B.C. -70 A.D.) 
^ \uthorizcd Translation by France* Lance Ferrero 

8vo. With Portrait. $2.50 net 

Student's Edition. I2mo. $1.50 net 

" It is the work at once of a scholar and of an artist ; it is based upon founda- 
tions of the most solid erudition, and it is marked on every page by the traces of 
a brilliant, imaginative, and exceedingly original mind. Signer Ferrero's genius 
is less reflective than dramatic ; the picture which he unrolls before us is crowded 
with vivid figures, impelled towards sinister conflicts and strange dooms, strug- 
gling now with one another, now with the culminating fury of forces far greater 
than themselves, to be swept at last to a common ruin; and as we look we seem 
to be watching one of those Elizabethan tragedies in which the wickedness and the 
horror are mingled with a mysterious exaltation of despair. '\Vherewast thou 
when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding.' 
That is the text of which Signer P'errero's history is the commentary, the text of 
the littleness of man. The greatest names seem to lose their lustre upon his 
pages; he shows us the ignorance of the wise, the weakness of the strong, the 
folly of the prudent, the helplessness of the well-meaning; the rest is darkness and 
fate." London Spectator. 

44 His largeness of vision, his sound scholarship, his sense of proportion, his 
power to measure life that has been by his observation of life that is his posses- 
sion of the true historical sense. . . . He is a bold, not to say audacious, 
proponent of new theories and conclusions wholly at variance from those of hu 
innumerable predecessors in this most industriously cultivated of all historic fields. 
The translation is competent and more than that, and the history is good reading 
throughout. There are no dry pages." A r . Y. Times. 

,s'( 'ml for complete descriptive circular 


New York London 

The Cambridge History 
of English Literature 

Edited by 
A. W. Ward, Litt.D., F.B.A., Master of Peterhouse 

A. R. Waller, M.A., Peterhouse 

To be published in 14 volumes and two volumes supplementary 
to the History 

Royal 8vo, of about 500 pages each, $2.50 net 

Subscriptions received for the complete work at $36.00 net, payable at the rate of 
$2.25 on the notification of the publication of each volume. (Carriage additional) 

Vol. I. From the Beginnings to the Cycles of Romance. 
II. The End of the Middle Ages. 

III. Renascence and Reformation. 

IV. Prose and Poetry from Sir Thomas North to 

Michael Drayton. 
V. The Drama to 1642. Part I. 

" T7T tt It tt it TT 

" VII. Cavalier and Puritan. 
" VIII. The Age of Dryden. 

IX. The Age of Swift and Pope. 

Other volumes in active preparation and will be issued at frequent intervale 

Ptofessof W, W, Lawrence, Professor of English Literature, Columbia 
University, " The danger that a history of this sort may make the impression 
of a collection of heterogeneous chapters has been skilfully avoided. The 
various sections, while, of necessity, the work of different scholars, are written 
in a simple straightforward style, and the material well distributed and clearly 
worked out. The arrangement of the apparatus criticus is admirable. 

" The editors and publishers of the series are to be congratulated on their 
opening volume. It can hardly fail to remain for many years one of the stand- 
ard authorities on the history of literature in early England." 

Month, ' From every point of view, whether of interest, scholarship, or 
practical utilitv we cannot hesitate for a moment in pronouncing that . . . 
it bids fa ; i to prove the best work of its kind that has ever been produced. 
. . . Writing from a Catholic standpoint we cannot fail to commend the 
generally temperate and even sympathetic tone in which the religious questions 
of the Middle Ages are treated." 

Chicago Tribune. " One of the most important events of the year in the 
world of letters,** 

Send for Descriptive Circular 

New York Q. P. Putnam's SOHS London