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Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive
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littp://www.arcliive.org/details/frenclirevolutioOOcarl

MARIE ANTOINETTE LEAVING THE REVOLUTIONARY TRIBUNAL.
(Page
527.)

The French

Revolution-]

{Frontispiece

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

:

A

THE

FRENCH REVOLUTION
H
Ibistor^.

BY

THOMAS CARLYLE.
^

mith

m JntroDuction

ant)

3fuU=page ^Uustrationa*

THREE VOLUMES COMPLETE

IN OXE.

-^

WARD, LOCK
j

LONDON & CO., LIMITED NEW YORK AND MELBOURNE.
;

"DC
161

c3

^Y
(f

MAR

-0
.^5

J

'^0S4G9e

INTRODUCTION.
HAVING
essays,
in

already
his

done powerful work
editions of

in

his

" Life oi

Schiller,"

Goethe's and other

German

romances, "Sartor Resartus," and

many of

his

most

characteristic

Thomas

Carlyle, early in 1833,

began

to settle to a subject

which he had already made preparatory essays, especially in his First, in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, essay on Diderot. he surveyed many important works then John Stuart Mill supplied him with memoirs, pamphlets, and newspapers. He was still (seeing no chance of finding a publisher for "Sartor
;

Resartus
living in

") feeling bitter

obscuration of faith in his future, and,

what he described as " a kind of exile from all classes of First he wrote on " Cagliostro," and articulate-speaking men."
Necklace," for Eraser's Magazine. "I could whole volumes, were there any outlet ; and will (if God spare me) both write them and find an outlet," he wrote in He wrote with scant encouragement at this time, being 1833.
write

"The Diamond

regarded as " wasting his talents on impossibilities," and hopelessly apart from conventional ways of earning a livelihood. He

comforted himself, though with much gloom, in believing in himself; and wrote in his note-book "Sow the seed field of Time. What if thou see no fruit of it? another will. Be not weak.

Neither fear thou that this thy great message of the natural being the supernatural will wholly perish unuttered." His chief desire

now was

to write a masterpiece,

whether acknowledged or not.

sought with infinite pains the expression by which to thrill the inmost soul of men. Early in 1834, having seen the end of his

He

hopes of getting Scotch professorships of one sort or another, Carlyle decided to rerilove to London. His " History of the French Revolution, which Mr. Froude considers to be the most
'

INTRODUCTION
powerful of
ail

his works,
art,

aad the only one which
was to be the
"
first

has

the

character of a work of

great product of his

He had been tried in the and disappointment had done their work upon him, and he had risen above them elevated, purified, and strengthened." Once settled in Cheyne Row, Chelsea, Carlyle went steadily to work, often aided by Mill with books and conversation ; but frequently he was miserably despondent, and unable to make progress, beset by fears of absolute beggarj'. Once he wrote, " No periodical editor wants me no man will give me money foi my work." In September, 1834, he had begun writing the "French Revolution." " It shall be such a book quite an epic
previous years at Craigenputtock.
furnace.

Poverty,

mortification,

;

:

poem

of the Revolution an apotheosis of sansculottism," he " Here, as in so many other respects, I am alone, withwrites.
;

out models, without limits (this

is

a great want),

and must

^just

do the best

I

can."

*

February 7, 1835, Carlyle wrote French Revolution is finished.
' .

On

— "The
.

first

book of the

.

Soul and body both

very sick
Schicksal.

;

yet
It

I

has become clear to

have a kind of sacred defiance, iroizend dem me that I have honestly more

force

and

faculty in
it is

me

than belongs to the most I see.
literature.

.

.

Nevertheless,

now some

three-and-twenty months since I have

earned one penny by the craft of
ready to work, I

...
know no

I

have been have

am

abler than ever to work,

fault I

committed, and yet so it stands." He tried one scheme after another for getting employment outside hterature ; he lived on Meanwhile his very small savings, and loans from relatives. book, he says, as it grew was " certainly better than any I have hitherto written; contains no falsehood, singularity, or triviality that I can help has probably no chance of being liked by any
;

existing class of British

men."

volume was ready, and the manuscript was in Mill's hands, that he might make notes and suggestions. One evening (March 6th, 1835) Carlyle was seated with his wife, when "a rap was heard at the door, a hurried step came up the stairs, and Mill " Why, Mill," entered deadly pale, and at first unable to speak."
first

The

INTRODUCTION,
5tid

Carlyle,

" what ails

ye,

man

?

What

is

it ?

"

Staggering,

and supported by
told
in

Carlyle's arm, Mill

was led to a

seat,

and

at last

broken
it

carelessly after

the manuscript, left about too had been read, was, " except four or five bits of

sentences

how
"

leaves, irrevocably annihilated

— burnt

by a servant
his

girl.

Mill

was

terribly cut up.
light of
it.

Carlyle, to his honour, did
it

utmost to
notes he

make

But

was a
fully
;

fearful blow.

He

always wrote at

fever heat

when he had

digested his material.

The

had made were destroyed

and he could remember

practically

nothin<T of the destroyed volume.

"steadfast, occasionally excessive,
toil "

were gone.

The fruits of five months of and always sickly and painful The work had been done as rapidly as possible

and definitely limited purse. Carlyle, after enduring agony ("something from time to time tying me tight, as it were, all round the region of the heart "), determined that he could still write a book on the French Revolution, and would do it ; he felt as if his Invisible Schoolmaster had torn his copybook v/hen he showed it, and said, " No, boy thou must write it better." Mill naturally offered pecuniary recompense Carlyle would only take ^loo for absolute cost of living while he rewrote the volume. In this spirit he manfully set to work ; but for weeks nothing could be done. Nerves were shattered; thoughts would not remake themselves; the enthusiasm in which he had written seemed spent and irrecoverable. Sometimes after weeks of work only a few pages would be the result. John Sterling, among
to suit a small
!

\

others,

strongly objected to the style in which he was writing.

Carlyle could not change.
uttered in English books,
I

" If one has thoughts not hitherto
see nothing for

words not found
discretion,

it but you must use must make words, with moderation and " The poor people of course," he wrote to Sterling.

there,

seem
all

to think a style can

be put

off or put on,

like a coat.

Is not a 'kin verily a

not like a skin but product or close kinsfellow of

that lies under it, exact type of the nature of the beast, not to be plucked off without flaying and death ? " During all this " ungrateful and intolerable task," it appeared more than once probable that Carlyle would give up literature altogether. Gradually the old enthusiasm of the Revolution

INTRODUCTION.
came back upon him, and his imagination was full of its scenes. At last the first volume was completed, in September, 1835, ^"^^ was better than before. Even Carlyle admitted that thou,^h "worse in the style of expression," it was " better compacted in AH through 1836 he stuck to his work on the ttie thought." second and third volumes, through physical pain, shivering sensitiveness, gloomy rebellion against himself and all the arrangements of his existence. At last it became necessary to write something for money, and " Mirabeau " was written for the London and Westminster Review, and " The Diamond Necklace was at last to come out in Eraser. His wife had faith in him, and made his existence possible. He was loud in growling bu often failed to recognise her sufferings and self-suppression
''

;

Meanwhile, with a strong feeling of courage, the
lution" was finished on January 12th, 1837.
wife the manuscript to read,

"

French Revo-

Carlyle gave his

" I know not whether world
will
;

this

and went out to walk, saying to her, book is worth anythmg, nor what the
is

do with
this I

it,

or misdo, or entirely forbear to do, as
tell

likeliest

but

could

the world

— You have not had

for a

hundred years any book that comes more direct and fiarningiy from the heart of a living man." He acknowledged its faults, and called it a wild savage book, itself a kind of French Revolution that had come hot out of his own soul, born in blackness, whirlwind, and sorrow. One may ask whether, on the whole, this is the temper in which Under such circuma great history should or can be written. stances it is certain to be strongly tinctured with the writer's own individuality. It will be more akin to the preaching of the prophet But the prophet than to the impartial sobriety of the historian.
has his excuse

when he

is

contemplating a series of events of

astonishing import, which, in themselves, were transacted in a

Rapt into sympathy with his subject, he may see and and report more truly what the events were and meant than a dryasdust evidence-gatherer. One drawback of prophetic utterance of the Carlylese stamp is that it presupposes too much knowledge in the reader. Instead of telling the story as to one ignorant of the subject, he plunges into references unintelligible
white heat.
feei

INTRODUCTION.
without consider.tble historical knowledge.
paration for reading this

Hence

tne oest pre

to read a brief, clear history of the eighteenth century in France, or a book like Fyffe's " History
is

volume

of

was published in tne summer oi on the whole, favourable reception. The reviewers were mostly puzzled. Mill wrote an enthusiastic ;^i5o, however, came from America for the book before review. Carlyle had as yet received anything for it from his English publishers. But in 1839 a second English edition was called for, and Dickens carried a copy the book began to be widely known.
"

Modern Europe." The " French Revolution

1837, and had a slow but,

of

him wherever he went. Southey read it six times Thackeray reviewed it most favourably. Mr. Froude describes the " French Revolution " as in many " It is a prose respects the most perfvjtt of Carlyle's writings. poem with a distinct beginning, a middle, an end. It opens with the crash of a corrupt system, and a dream of liberty, which v/as to bring with it a reign of peace and happiness and universal love. It pursues its way through the failure of visionary hopes into regicide and terror, and the regeneration of mankind by the guillotine. It has been called an epic. It is rather an -^schylean drama composed of facts literally true, in which the furies are seen once more walking on this prosaic earth, and shaking their Later Mr. Froude speaks of it as "his spectral serpent hair." History of the French Revolution.' Spectral, for the actors in it
it

with

over.

'

appear without their earthly clothes
natural characters, but as in

;

men and women

in their

some
;

vast phantasmagoria, with the

supernatural shining though them, working in fancy their
wills

or their

own

imagination

in reahty, the

own mere instruments

of a superior power, infernal or divine,
felt

while

it is

unseen."

..." He

whose awful presence is produces a gallery of human
it

portraits,

each so distinctly drawn that whenever studied

can

never be forgotten."

Enrolled

among
it

the famous books, Carlyle's " French Revolu-

tion " will stand,

may

be, for

centuries

:

not by any means as

the only book to be read on the subject, but as on the whole the

most illuminative book.

Carlyle has boiled

down

quantities of

INTRODUCTION.
contemporary
history
to

give

us his

lurid

pictures;

but for

we miss the notes and explanations which clear up doubts or supply evidence of statements. Not a historian proper was Carlyle, but a poet-historian, who saw a thing for himjelf, and reported what he saw, coloured necessarily by the
absolute certitude

own individuality. We need to correct Carlyle by the aid of later research ; to supplement him by knowledge of French pamphlets and of movements in the provinces, as given by Mr. Morse Stephens in his " History of the Revolution ; " by
spectacles of his
lucid expositions of phases, like those of Mr. John Morley. But we could ill spare Carlyle's " History." It speaks, not with cold
impartiality,

but

with a partiality strong

with

the strength of

heaven, in favour of truth and true-doing.
views of truth and
Carlyle
right;

We may
as

vary in our
to

we

shall

not vary in attributing
far

the

virtue of being a prophet of truth

as

he

knew

it.

G.

T

B

CONTENTS OF VOLUME
BOOK
chAp.
1.

FIRST.

I.

DEATH OF LOUIS
,

XV.
9

LOUIS THE WELL-BELOVED

II.

REALISED IDEALS

III.

VIATICUM

......
.

,

12 i8
=

rV.

LOUIS THE UNFORGOTTEN

,

=

.

20

BOOK
I.

II.

THE PAPER

AGE.
26

ASTIOEA REDUX

.

II.

PETITION IN HIEROGLYPHS

30
,

III.

QUESTIONABLE

.

IV.

V.
VI.

VII.
VIII.

MAUREPAS ASTR^A REDUX WITHOUT CAjH WINDBAGS CONXRAT SOCIAL
PRINTED PAPER
.

....
.

»

32 34 37

39 42 44

,

BOOK
I.

III.

THE PARLEMENT OF
.

PARIS.

II.

DISHONOURED BILLS CONTROLLER CAt^xxF

51

HI.
IV.

THE NOTABLES

,

53
.

LOM^NIE's EDICTS

60
63
66

V. LOMfiNIE'S
V'l.

THUNDERBOLTS

LOMfiNIE'S PLOTS

VII.

INTEKNECINE

.

69
73

VIIL
IX.

LOM^NIES DEATH-THROES
BURIAL WITH BONPTRE
.

CONTENTS.

BOOK
CHAP.
I.

IV

STATES-GENERAL.
83
87 9'

li.

THE NOTABLES AGAIN THE ELECTION
.

III.

GROWN ELECTRIC
THE PROCESSION

.

IV.

93
V.

BOOK
I.

THE THIRD ESTATE.
io€
112
117

INERTIA

.

II.

III.

MERCURY DE BRfezfi BROGLIE THE WAR-GOD
TO ARMSl
GIVE US ARMS
.

IV.

120
124

V.
VI.

STORM AND VICTORY VII, NOT A REVOLT. Vm. CONQUERING YOUR KING, IS. THE LANTERNE

139
135

138

140

BOOK
I.

VI.

CONSOLIDATION.
»4S

H.
in.
IV.

V.

MAKE THE CONSTITUTION THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY THE GENERAL OVERTURN IN QUEUE THE FOURTH ESTATE

U9
'53
153

160

BOOK
I.

VII.
.

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
,

PATROLLOTISM

163
166

U.
ni. IV.

O RICHARD, O MY KING

BLACK COCKADES
.

169 170 173 176

THE MENADS USHER MAILLARD VI. TO VERSAILLES VII. AT VERSAILLES vni. THE EQUAL DIET IX. LAFAYEriE X THE GRAND ENTRIES m. FROM VERSAILLES
V.

179
181

185
187

.

191

CONTENTS OF VOLUME SECOND,
BOOK
CHAP.
I.

I.

THE FEAST OF
.

PIKES.

II.

III.

IV.

5ME TUILERIES THE SALLE DE MANEGE THE MUSTER JOURNALISM
IN
IN
.
.
.

.

,

....
,
.

,
.

^99 202 210

214
217

V.
VI.

VII.
VIII.

CLUBBISM JE LE JURE PRODIGIES
.

,

,

.
.

.

...
,

.

.

.

220 222

SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT
SYMBOLIC
MANIC1ND

. .
.

IX.

X.
XI.
XII.

224 228 230
233
238

AS IN THE AGE OF GOLD.

.
.

SOUND AND SMOKE

.

1.

BOUILLE

....
. .

BOOK

II.

NANCI.
243 244
24fe

n.
III.

IV.

ARREARS AND ARISTOCRATS BOUILL^ AT METZ ARREARS AT NANCI
INSPECTOR MALSEIGNE BOUILLfi AT NANCI
.

256

V.
VI.

255 2r*
III

BOOK
L EPIMENIDES
II.

THE

TUILERIES,
.

264
267 271 275 281 285

THE V/AKEFUL

.

.

lU.
IV.

SWORD

IN

HAND

.

V.
VI.

TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY THE DAY OF PONIARDS

.

»
.

VU.

MIRABEAU DEATH OF MIRABEAU

Iv

CONTENTS.

BOOK
I

IV,

VARENNES.
PACK
-

II.

in.
rv.

V.

VI.
ril.
III.

EASTER AT SAINX-CLOUD. EASTER AT PARIS . COUNT FERSEN. , ATTITUDE THE NEW BERLINE OLD-DRAGOON DROUET THE NIGHT OF SPURS
,

.

....
.

.

294 297 299 306 309

,

,

.

3"
317

IX.

THE RETURN SHARP SHOT

.

.

.

.

319

BOOK
I.

V.

PARLIAMENT

FIRST.

n.
III.

GRANDE ACCEPTANCE THE BOOK OF THE LAW
AVIGNON NO SUGAR
.
,

.

,

,

rv.

V. KINGS
VI.
II.

AND EMIGRANTS . BRIGANDS AND JALES CONSTITUTION WILL NOT MARCH

II.

iX.

THE JACOBINS MINISTER ROLAND

....
.

a

X.

n,
u.

PETION-NATIONAL-PIQUE THE HEREDITARY REPRESENTATIVE PROCESSION OF THE BLACK BREECHES
.

BOOK

VI.

THE MARSEILLESE.
369
374
375 378 380

EXECUTIVE THAT DOES NOT ACT U. LET US MARCH III. SOME CONSOLATION TO MANKIND
IV.

V.
VI.

VII.

VIIL

SUBTERRANEAN AT DINNER THE STEEPLES AT MIDNIGHT THE SWISS CONSTITUTION BURST IN PIECES
.
.
. .
,

....

383 389

393

CONTENTS OF VOLUME THIRD.
BOOK
CHAP.
I
I.

SEPTEMBER.
FAOR

IL
in.
rv.

THE IMPROVISED COMMUNE DANTON DUMOURIEZ SEPTEMBER IN PARIS

....
....
.

401

409 412
414 420
43'

V.
VI.

A TRILOGY
THE CIRCULAR. ARGONNE EXEUNT

Vn. SEPTEMBER IN
VHI.

437
IL

BOOK.
I.
,

REGICIDE.
443 449 452 454 459 465

II.

IIL
IV.

V,
VI.
VII.

VIU.

THE DELIBERATIVE THE EXECUTIVE DISCROWNED THE LOSER PAYS STRETCHING OF FORMULAS AT THE BAR THE THREE VOTINGS PLACE DE I. A REVOLUTION
.

469

BOOK
I.

III.

THE GIRONDINS.
474 478 482
485
;-93

CAUSE AND EFFECT

.

n. CULOTTIC
III.

AND SANSCULOTTIC

rv.

V.
VI,
Vll.
VIII.

GROWING SHRILL FATHERLAND IN DANGER SAN'^CITLOTTISM ACCOUTRED THE TRAITOR
=

IX.

VIGHT IN DEATH-GRIPS EXT'Nr'
liN'
.

496
497
SCI

CONTENTS.

I.

CHARLOTTE COR DAY
IN CIVIL

11.

WAR

..... ....,,,
.
.
.

BOOK

IV.

TERROR.

P.\G3
,

506

.

5"
514 517 520 523
525
52.8

IIL

RETREAT OF THE ELEVEN O NATURE V. SWORD OF SHARPNESS VL RISEN AGAINST TYRANTS
iV.

.

,

. .
.

.

.


.

VII.

MARIE-ANTOINETTE

.

,

t

.

VIII.

THE TWENTY-TWO

.

BOOK
L RUSHING
II.

V.

TERROR THE ORDER OF THE DAY.
531

DOWN
.

DEATH
DESTRUCTION

534

III.

IV.

V.
VI.
VII.

CARMAGNOLE COMPLETE LIKE A THUNDER-CLOUD DO THY DUTY
.

539 545 549 552
557

FLAME-PICTURE

BOOK
I.

VI.

THERMIDOR.

II.

IIL
IV.

V.
VI.
VII,

THE GODS ARE ATHIRST DANTON, NO WEAKNESS THE TUMBRILS MUMBO-JUMBO THE PRISONS TO FINISH THE TERROR GO DOWN TO
. .

.

.

BOOK
I.

VII.

VENDEMIAIRE.
586 589 592
594 597 601

II.

ni.
IV.

V.
VI.

VII.

DECADENT LA CABARUS QUIBERON LION NOT DEAD LION SPRAWLING ITS LAST GRILLED HERRINGS THE WHIFF OF GRAPESHOT
.
.

vni. FINIS

f

.

.

.

603 607

VOLUME

I.

THE BASTILLE

BOOK
CHAPTER
President Renault, remarking on
difficult
it

I.

DEATH OF LOUIS
I.

XV.

LOUIS THE WELL-BELOVED.
royal

Surnames of Honour now

to ascertain not only why, but even when, they were conferred, takes occasion, in his sleek official way. to make a philo'The Surname of Bien-aime (Well-beloved),' sophical reflection. says he, which Louis XV. bears, will not leave posterity in the same doubt. This Prince, in the year 1744, while hastening from one end of

often

is

,

'

his kingdom to the other, and suspending his conquests in Flanders that he might fly to the assistance of Alsace, was arrested at Metz by a

malady which threatened to cut short his days. At the news of this, Paris, all in terror, seemed a city taken by storm the churches resounded with supplications and groans the prayers of priests and people were every moment interrupted by their sobs and it was from an interest so dear and tender that this Surname of Bien-aime fashioned itself, a title higher still than all the rest which this great Prince has
: ; :

earned.'* So stands it written; in lasting memorial of that year 1744. Thirty other years have come and gone and this great Prince again lies sick but in how altered circumstances now Churches resound not with excessive groanings Paris is stoically calm sobs interrupt no prayers, for indeed none are offered except Priests' Litanies, read or chanted at fixed money-rate per hour, which are not liable to interruption. The shepherd of the people has been carried home from Little Trianon, heavy of heart, and been put to bed in his own Chateau of Versailles the flock knows it, and heeds it not. At most, in the immeasurable tide of French Speech (which ceases not day after day, and only ebbs towards the short hours of night), may this of the royal sickness emerge from time to time as an article of news. Bets are doubtless depending nay, some people express themselves loudly in the streets, t But for the rest, on green field and steepled city, the Pday sun shines out, the May evening fades and men ply their uselul or useless business as if no Louis lay in danger.
;
' '

;

1

;

:

;

:

'

;

;

* t

Abr6g6 Chronologique de I'Histoire de France (Paris, 1775), M^moires de M. le Baron Besenval (Paris, 1805), ii. 50-90.

p. "«t.

re

DEATH OF LOUIS XV
Dame
;
:

Dubarry, indeed, might pray, if she had a talent for it Duke d'Aiguillon too, Maupeou and the Parlement Maupeou these, as they sit in their high places, with France harnessed under their feet, know well on what basis they continue there. Look to it, D'Aiguillon sharply as thou didst, from the Mill of St. Cast, on Quiberon and the invading English thou, covered if not with glory yet with meal Fortune was ever accounted inconstant: and each dog has but his
! ;
'

day. Forlorn enough languished Duke d'Aiguillon, some years ago covered, as we said, with meal nay with worse. For La Chalotais, the Breton Parlementeer, accused him not only of poltroonery and tjTanny, but even of concussion (official plunder of money) which accusations quashed by backstairs Influences than to get it was easier to get answered neither could the thoughts, or even the tongues, of men be Thus, under disastrous eclipse, had this grand-nephew of the tied. great Richelieu to glide about unvvorshipped by the world resolute Choiseul, the abrupt proud man, disdaining him, or even forgetting him. Little prospect but to glide into Gascony, to rebuild Chateaus there,* and die inglorious killing game However, in the j^ear 1770, a certain young soldier, Dumouriez by name, returning from Corsica, could see with sorrow, at Compiegne, the old King of France, on foot, with doffed hat, in sight of his army, at the side of a magnificent phaeton, doing homage to the Dubarry.' f Thereby, for one thing, could D'Aiguillon postMuch lay therein pone the rebuilding of his Chauteau, and rebuild his fortunes first. For stout Choiseul would discern in the Dubarry nothing but a wonderfully dizened Scarlet-woman and go on his way as if she were not. Intolerable the source of sighs, tears, of pettings and poutings which would not end till France (La France, as she named her royal valet) finally mustered heart to see Choiseul and with that quivering in the chin' {tretnblement du tnenton, natural in such case), J faltered out a dismissal dismissal of his last substantial man, but pacification, of his scarlet-woman. Thus D'Aiguillon rose again, and culminated. And with him there rose Maupeou, the banisher of Parlements who plants you a refractory President at Croe in Comhrailles on the top of steep rocks, inaccessible except by litters,' there to consider himself. Likewise there rose Abbe Terray, dissolute Financier, paying eightpence in the shilling, so that wits exclaim in some press at the playhouse, " Where is Abb6 Terray, that he might reduce us to two-thirds " And so have these individuals (verily by black-art^ built them a Domdaniel, or enchanted Dubarrydom call it an Armida-Palace, where they dwell pleasantly; Chancellor Maupeou 'playing blind-man's-buff' with the or gallantly presenting her with dwarf Negroes scarlet Enchantress and a Most Christian King has unspeakable peace within doors,
; ; '
' :

;

;

I

'

!

;

:

'

'

;

'

:

;

'

!

;

;

• Arthur
1792),
i.

Young

:

Travels during

the

years 1787-88-89 (Bury
(Paris, 1823),
i.

St
141.

Edmundr,

44.

La Vie et les X Bajenval Mfemoires,
t
:

M^moires du General Dumouriez
ii.

ai.

LOUIS THE WELL-BELOVED.
whatever he may have without. * I cannot do without him."
"

II

My

Chancellor

is

a scoundrel

;

but

Beautiful Armida Palace, where the inmates live enchanted lives lapped in soft music of adulation waited on by the splendours of the which nevertheless hangs wondrously as by a single hair. world Should the Most Christian King die or even get seriously afraid of dying For, alas, had not the failr haughty Chateauroux to fly, with wet cheeks and flaming heart, from that Fever-scene at Metz driven forth by sour shavelings ? She hardly returned when fever and Pompadour too, shavelings were both swept into the background. when Damiens wounded Royalty slightly, under the fifth rib,' and our drive to Trianon went off futile, in shrieks and madly shaken torches, had to pack, and be in readiness yet did not go, the wound not proving poisoned. For his Majesty has religious faith And now a third peril and who knows believes, at least in a Devil. For the Doctors look grave ask privily, If his what may be in it Majesty had not the small-pox long ago and doubt it may have been a false kind. Yes, Maupeou, pucker those sinister brows of thine, and peer out on it with thy malign rat-eyes it is a questionable case. Sure that with the life of one mortal snaps only that man is mortal irrevocably the wonderfullest talisman, and all Dubarrydom rushes off, with tumult, into infinite Space and ye, as subterranean Apparitions leaving only a smell of sulphur are wont, vanish utterly,
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These, and what holds of these may pray, to Beelzebub, or whoever will hear them. But from the rest of France there comes, as was said, no prayer or one of an opposite character, expressed openly in the streets.' Chateau or Hotel, where an enlightened Philosophisra scrutinises many things, is not given to prayer neither are Rossbach victories, Terray Finances, nor, say only sixty thousand Lettres de Cachet' (which is Maupeou's share), persuasives towards that. O Henault Prayers ? From a France smitten (by black-art) with plague after plague and lying now, in shame and pain, with a Harlot's foot on its neck, what prayer can come ? Those lank scarecrows, that prowl hunger-stricken through all highways and byways of French Existence, will they pray ? The dull millions that, in the workshop or furrowfield, grind foredone at the wheel of Labour, like haltered ginhorses, if blind so much the quieter ? Or they that in the Bicetre Hospital, eight to a bed,' He waiting their manumission ? Dim are those heads of theirs, dull stagnant those hearts to them the great Sovereign is known mainly as the great Regrater of Bread. If they hear of his sickness, they will answer with a dull Tant pis pour lui ; or with the question, Will he die ? Yes, will he die ? that is now, for all France, the grand question, and bope whereby alone the King's sickness has still some interest.
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Histoire de Paris (Paris, 1824',

vii.

338,

12

DEATH OF LOUIS
CHAPTER
II.

XV,

REALISED IDEALS.
Such
a changed France have

we

;

and a changed Louis.
I

the eye of History many now visible, which to the CourFor indeed it is well said, in every tiers there present were invisible. object there is inexhaustible meaning the eye sees in it what the eye brings means of seeing.' To Newton and to Newton's Dog Diamond, what a different pair of Universes while the painting on the optical Let the Reader here, in this retina of both was, most likely, the same sick-room of Louis, endeavour to look with the mind too. Time was when men could (so to speak) of a given man, by nourishing and decorating him with fit appliances, to the due pitch, make themselves a King, almost as the Bees do and, what was still more to the The man so nourished and purpose, loyally obey him when made. decorated, thenceforth named royal, does verily bear rule and is said, prosecuting conquests in and even thought, to be, for example, Flanders,' when he lets himself like luggage be carried thither and no covering miles of road. For he has his unblushing light luggage Chateauroux, with her bandboxes and rouge-pots, at his side so that, at every new station, a wooden gallery must be run up between their He has not only his Maiso7i-Bouche, and Valetaille without lodgings. end, but his very Troop of Players, with their pasteboard coulisses, thunder-barrels, their kettles, fiddles, stage-wardrobes, portable larders (and chaffering and quarrelling enough) all mounted in wagons, tumsufficient not to conquer Flanders, but the brils, second-hand chaises, patience of the world. With such a flood of loud jingling appurtenances does he lumber along, prosecuting his conquests in Flanders wonderful So nevertheless it was and had been to some solitary to behold. thinker it might seem strange but even to him, inevitable, not unnatural. For ours is a most fictile world and man is the most fingent plastic world not fixable not fathomable An unfathomable of creatures. Somewhat, which is Not we ; which we can work with, and live amidst, -and model, miraculously in our miraculous Being, and name World. But if the very Rocks and Rivers (as Metaphysic teaches) are, in strict language, made by those Outward Senses of ours, how much more, by the Inward Sense, are all Phenomena of the spiritual kind Dignities, Which inward sense, moreover, is not Authorities, Holies, Unholies permanent like the outward ones, but forever growing and changing. Does not the Black African take of Sticks and Old Clothes (say, exported Monmouth-Street cast-clothes) what will suffice and of these, cunningly combining them, fabricate for himself an Eidolon (Idol, or Thing Seen), and name it Mumbo-Jumbo ; which he can thenceforth pray to, with upturned awestruck eye, not without hope ? The white European mocks ; but ought rather to consider and see whether he, at home, could not do the like a little more wisely. So it was, we say, in those conquests of Flanders, thirty years ago ^ut ? it no longer is. Alas, much more lies sick than poor Louis not
truly ; and further than thou yet seest things, in that sick-room of Louis, a»e
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REAUSED

IDEALS.
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the Krench King only, but the French Kingship this too, after long rough tear and wear, is breaking down. The world is all so changed so much that seemed vigorous has sunk decrepit, so much that was not Borne over the Atlantic, to the closing ear of is beginning to be Louis, King by the Grace of God, what sounds are these muffledBoston Harbour is black with ominous, new in our centuries? unexpected Tea behold a Pennsylvanian Congress gather and ere long, on Bunker hill, Democracy announcing, in rifle-volleys deathwinged, under her Star Banner, to the tune of Yankee-doodle-doo, that she is born, and, whirlwindlike, will envelope the whole world
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Sovereigns die and Sovereignties how all dies, and is for a Time The Merovingian only is a Time-phantasm, yet reckons itself real Kinga, slowly wending on their bullock-carts, through the streets of into Paris, with their long hair flowing, have all wended slowly on, Charlemagne sleeps at Salzburg, with truncheon grounded ; Eternity, only Fable expecting that he will awaken. Charles the Hammer, Pepin Bow-legged, where now is their eye of menace, their voice of command? RoUo and his shaggy Northmen cover not the Seine with ships but have sailed off on a longer voyage. The hair of Towhead (^Tete (TetoHpes) now needs no combing; Iron-cutter (Taillefer) cannot cut a cobweb shrill Fredegonda, shrill Brunhilda have had out their hot life-scold, and lie silent, their hot life-frenzy cooled. Neither from that black Tower de Nesle, descends now darkling the doomed gallaat, in plunging into Night for Dame de Nesle his sack, to the Seine waters now cares not for this world's gallantry, heeds not this world's scandal Dame de Nesle is herself gone into Night. They all are gone sunk, down, down, with the tumult they made and the rolling and the trampling of ever new generations passes over them and they hear it not any more forever. And yet withal has there not been realised somewhat ? Consider (to go no further) these strong Stone-edifices, and what they hold Mud-Town of the Borderers {Liiietia Parlsiortim or Barisiortan) has paved itself, has spread over all the Seine Islands, and far and wide on each bank, and become City of Paris, sometimes boasting to be Athens of Europe,' and even Capital of the Universe.' Stone towers frown aloft long-lasting, grim with a thousand years. Cathedrals are there, and a Creed (or memory of a Creed) in them Palaces, and a State and Law. Thou seest the Smoke-vapour ^/^extinguished Breath as of a thing living. Labour's thousand hammers ring on her anvils also a more mirai ulous Labour works noiselessly, not with the Hand but with the Thought. How have cunning workmen in all crafts, with their
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cunning head and right-hand, tamed the Four Elements to be theii ministers yoking the Winds to their Sea-chariot, making the very Stars their Nautical Timepiece and written and collected a Bibliotheque du Roi ; among whose Books is the Hebrew Book A wondrous race of creatures these have been realised, and what of Skill is in these call not the Past Time, with all its confused wretchednesses, a lost one. Observe, however, that of man's whole terrestrial possessions and
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14

DE^TFI OF LOUIS XV.
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attainments, unspeakably the noblest are his Symbols, divine or divineseeming under which he marches and fights, with victorious assurance, Of which in this life-battle: what we can call his Realised Ideals. realised Ideals, omitting the rest, consider only these two his Church, or The Church what spiritual Guidance his Kingship, or temporal one. a word was there richer than Golconda and the treasures of the world In the heart of the remotest mountains rises the little Kirk the Dead in hope of all slumbering round it, under their white memorial-stones, dull wert thou, O Reader, if never in any hour a happy resurrection (say of moaning midnigh-t, when such Kirk hung spectral in the sky, and Being was as if swallowed up of Darkness) it spoke to thee Strong was he things unspeakable, that went to thy soul's soul. that had a Church, what we can call a Church he stood thereby, though in the centre of Immensities, in the conflux of Eternities,' yet manlike towards God and man the vague shoreless Universe had become a firm city for him, and dwelling which he knew. Such virtue was in Belief; in these words, well spoken: / believe. Well might men prize their Credo, and raise stateliest Temples for it, and reverend Hierarchies, and give it the tithe of their substance it was worth living
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and dying for. Neither was that an inconsiderable moment when wild armed men and, with clangfirst raised their Strongest aloft on the buckler-throne ing armour and hearts, said solemnly Be thou our Acknowledged In such Acknowledged Strongest (well named King, Strongest Kon-ning, Can-ning, or Man that was Able) what a Symbol shone now significant with the destinies of the world A Symbol of for them, properly, if he knew it, true Guidance in return for loving Obedience the prime want of man. A Symbol which might be called sacred for is there not, in reverence for what is better than we, an indestructible sacredness ? On which ground too it was well said there lay in the Acknowledged Strongest a divine right as surely there might in the considering who made him Strongest, whether Acknowledged or not, And so, in the midst of confusions and unutterable incongruistrong.
for
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environing

is confused), did this of Royalty, with Loyalty spring up and grow mysteriously, subduing and assimitill it also had grown worldlating (for a principle of Life was in it) great, and was among the main Facts of our modern existence. Such a Fact, that Louis XIV., for example, could answer the expostulatory Magistrate with his '* L'Eiat dest moi (The State? I am the State);" and be replied to by silence and abashed looks. So far had accident and forethought had your Louis Elevenths, with the leaden Virgin in their hat-band, and torture-wheels and conical oubliettes (man-eating !) under their feet your Henri Fourths, with their prophesied social millennium and on the when every peasant should have his fowl in the pot whole, the fertility of this most fertile Existence (named of Good and ConEvil), brought it, in the matter of the Kingship. Wondrous cerning which may we not again say, that in the huge mass of Evil, as swells, there is ever some Good working imprisoned it rolls and working towards deliverance and triumph ?

(as

all

growth

it,

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REAUSED

IDEALS.
;

I5

How such Ideals do realise themselves and grow, wondrously, from amid the incongruous ever-fluctuating chaos ol the Actual this is what World-History, if it teach any thing, has to teach us. How they grow then and, after long stormy growth, bloom out mature, supreme
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quickly (for the blossom is brieQ fall into decay sorrowfully dwindle and crumble down, or rush down, noisily or noiselessly disappearing. The blossom is so brief; as of some centennial Cactus-flower, which Thus from the day after a century of waiting shines out for hours when rough Clovis, in the Champ de Mars, in sight of his whole army, had to cleave retributively the head of that rough Frank, with sudden battle-axe, and the fierce words, " It was thus thou clavest the vase (St. Remi's and mine) " at Soissons," forward to Louis the Grand and and now his LEtat c'est mot, we count some twelve hundred years Nay, this the very next Louis is dying, and so much dying with him thus tool if Catholicism, with and against Feudalism (but not against Nature and her bounty), gave us English a Shasespeare and Era of Shakespeare, and so produced a blossom of Catholicism it was not till Catholicism itself, so far as Law could abolish it, had been abolished
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But of those decadent ages in which no Ideal either grows or blossoms ? When Belief and Loyalty have passed away, and only the cant and false echo of them remains and all Solemnity has become Pageantry and the Creed of persons in authority has become one of Alas, of these ages two things an Imbecility or a Machiavelism ? World-History can take no notice they have to become compressed more and more, and finally suppressed in the Annals of Mankind which indeed they are. Hapless ages blotted out as spurious, wherein, if ever in any, it is an unhappiness to be born. To be born, and to learn only, by every tradition and example, that God's Universe and the Supreme Quack the hierarch of men is Belial's and a Lie In which mournfuUest faith, nevertheless, do we not see whole generations (two, and sometimes even three successively) live, what they call Hving and vanish, without chance of reappearance? In such a decadent age, or one fast verging that way, had our poor Louis been born. Grant also that if the French Kingship had not, by course of Nature, long to live, he of all men was the man to accelerate Nature. The blossom of French Royalty, cactus-like, has accordingly made an astonishing progress. In those Metz days, it was still standing with all its petals, though bedimmed by Orleans Regents and Rotie Ministers and Cardinals but now, in 1774, we behold it bald, and the virtue nigh gone out of it. Disastrous indeed does it look with those same realised Ideals,' one and all The Church, which in its palmy season, seven hundred years ago, could make an Emperor wait barefoot, in penance-shirt three days, in the snow, has for centuries seen itself decaying reduced even to forget old purposes and enmities, and join interest with the Kingship on this younger strength it would fain stay its decrepitude and these two will henceforth stand and fall together. Alas, the Sorbonne 8tii! sits there, in its old mansion but mumbles only jargon of dotage.
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DEATH OF LOUIS

XV.
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and no longer leads the consciences of men not the Sorbonne it \& Encyclopedies, Philosophie, and who knows what nameless innumerable
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multitude of ready Writers, profane Singers, Romancers, Players, Disputators, and Pamphleteers, that now form the Spiritual Guidance of the world. The world's Practical Guidance too is lost, or has glided into the same miscellaneous hands. Who is it that the King (Able-man, named also Rot, Rex, or Director) now guides ? His own huntsmen and prickers when there is to be no hunt, it is well said, Le Rot nefera rien (To-day his Majesty will do nothing)! * He lives and lingers there, because he is living there, and none has yet laid hands on him. The Nobles, in like manner, have nearly ceased either to guide or misguide and are now, as their master is, little more than ornamental figures. It is long that they have done with butchering one anothei or their king: the Workers, protected, encouraged by Majesty, have ages ago built walled towns, and there ply their crafts will permit no Robber Baron to live by the saddle,' but maintain a gallows to prevent Ever since that period of the Fronde, the Noble has changed his it. and now loyally attends his King as fighting sword into a court rapier divides the spoil, not now by violence and ministering satellite murder, but by soliciting and finesse. These men call themselves singular gilt-pasteboard caryatides in that supports of the throne For the rest, their privileges every way are now singular edifice much curtailed. That Law authorising a Seigneur, as he returned from hunting, to kill not more than two Serfs, and refresh his feet in their warm blood and bowels, has fallen into perfect desuetude, and even for if Deputy Lapoule can believe in it, and call foi into incredibility No Charolois, for these last fifty the abrogation of it, so cannot we.f years, though never so fond of shooting, has been in use to bring down slaters and plumbers, and see them roll from their roofs \ but contents himself with partridges and grouse. Close-viewed, their industry and function is that of dressing gracefully and eating sumptuously. As for
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their debauchery and depravity, it is perhaps unexampled since the Nevertheless, one has still partly era of Tiberius and Commodus. " Depend upon it. Sir, God thinks a feeling with the lady Marer.hale twice before damning a man uf that quality." § These people, of old Nay, one surely had virtues, uses or they could not have been there. virtue they are still required to have (for mortal man cannot live without a conscience ) the virtue of perfect readiness to fight duels. Such are the shepherds of the people and now how fares it with the They flock ? With the flock, as is inevitable, it fares ill, and ever worse. They are sent for, to do are not tended, they are only regularly shorn.
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statute-labour,
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to
la

pay statute-taxes

;

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fatten

battle-fields

(named
(Paris,

M6moires sur
i.

Vie priv^e de Marie Antoinette,

par Madame Campan

i326),

12.

f Historic de!a Revolution Fran9aise, par

Deux Amisde
If

\k Liberty (Paiis, 1792),

1

212. 1 LacretcUe
%

:

Histoire de France pendant
361.

i3"« Siecle (Parii, 1819

Dulaure.

vii.

REALISED IDEALS.
Bed
of
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17

Honour) with their bodies, in quarrels which are not theirs but for themselves their hand and toil is in every possession of man Untaught, uncomlorted, unfed to they have little or no possession. pine dully in thick obscuration, in squalid destitution and obstrucpeuple taillable et corveable d this is the lot ^of the millions tion
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Brittany they once rose in revolt at the thinking it had something to first introduction of Pendulum Clocks do with the Gabelle. Paris requires to be cleared out periodically and the horde of hunger-stricken vagabonds sent by the Police During one such periodical wandering again over space for a time. clearance,' says Lacretelle, 'in May, 1750, the Police had presumed withal to carry off some reputable people's children, in the hope of The mothers fill the public places with extorting ransoms for them. crowds gather, get excited so many women in cries of despair an absurd and horrid distraction run about exaggerating the alarm fable rises among the people it is said that the Doctors have ordered a Great Person to take baths of young human blood for the restoration Some of the rioters,' adds of his own, all spoiled by debaucheries. were hanged on the following days the Lacretelle, quite coolly, and this then is your Police went on.* O ye poor naked wretches marticulate cry to Heaven, as of a dumb tortured animal, crying from these azJire skies, like uttermost depths of pain and debasement ' Do echo oi it on you? a dead crystalline vault, only reverberate the Respond to it only by 'hanging on the following days ?/— Not so not for come,— in a horror ever Ye are heard in Heaven. Also the answer will cup of trembling of great darkness, and shakings of the world, and a which all the nations shall drink. Remark, meanwhile, how from amid the wrecks and dust of this adapted universal Decay new Powers are fashioning themselves, Besides the old Noblesse, originally to the new time, and its destinies.
et

mera

tnisericorde.

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whose of Fighters, there is a new recognised Noblesse of Lawyers Noblesse gala-day and proud battle-day even now is. An unrecognised Lastly, of Commerce; powerful enough, with money in its pocket. powerfullest of all, least recognised of all, a Noblesse of Liteiature; without steel on their thigh, without gold in their purse, but with the grand thaumaturgic faculty of Thought,' in their head. French Philosophism has arisen in which little word how much do we include Here, indeed, lies properly the cardinal symptom of the whole widespread malady. Faith is gone out Scepticism is come in. Evil abounds and accumulates no man has Faith to withstand it, to amend it, to begin by amending himself it must even go on accumulating. While hollow langour and vacuity is the lot of the Upper, and want and stagnation of the Lower, and universal misery is certain enough, what Philosophisra other thing is certain ? That a Lie cannot be believed knows only this her other Beiief is mainly that, in spiritual supersensual matters, no BeHef is possible. Unhappy! Nay, as yet tlie Contradiction of a Lie is some kind of Behei^; but the Lie with its Contradiction once swept away, what will remain ? The five unsatiated
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DEATH OF LOUIS

XV.
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the whole will remain, the sixth insatiable Sense (of Vanity) doemonic nature of man will remain, hurled forth to rage blindly without rule or rein savage itself, yet with all the tools and weapons of civilisation a spectacle new in History. In such a France, as in a Powder-tower, where fire unquenched and now unquenchable is smoking and smouldering all round, has Louis With Pompadourism and Dubarryism, his XV. lain down to die. Fleur-de-lis has been shamefully struck down in all lands and on all seas Poverty invades even the Royal Exchequer, and Tax-farming can squeeze out no more there is a quarrel of twenty-five years' standing every where Want, Dishonesty, Unbelief, and with the Parlement hot-brained Sciolists for state-physicians it is a portentous hour. Such things can the eye of History see in this sick-room of King It is twenty years, Louis, which were invisible to the Courtiers there. gone Christmas-day since Lord Chesterfield, summing up what he had noted of this same France, wrote, and sent off by post, the following In short, all the symptoms words, that have become memorable which I have ever met with in History, previous to great Changes and Revolutions in Government, now exist and daily increase in

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France.'

*

CHAPTER
VIATICUM.

in.

the present, however, the grand question with the Governors of Shall extreme unction, or other ghostly viaticum (to is Louis, not to France), be administered ? For, if administered, if so much as spoken It is a deep question. of, must not, on the very threshold of the business. Witch Dubarry hardly to return should Louis even recover ? With hei vanish vanishes Duke d'Aiguillon and Company, and all their Armida Palace, as was said Chaos swallows the whole again, and there is left nothing but a smell of brimstone. But then, on the other hand, wlaat will the Dauphinists and Choiseulists say ? Nay, what may the royal martyr himself say, should he happen to get deadly-worse, without getting For the present, he still kisses the Dubarry hand so we, delirious ? from the anteroom, can note but afterwards ? Doctors' Bulletins may run as they are ordered, but it is confluent small-pox,' of which, as is whispered too, the Gatekeeper's once so buxom Daughter lies ill and Louis XV. is not a man to be trifled with in his viaticum. Was he not wont to catechise his very girls in the Parc-aux-cerfs, and pray with and for them, that they mighti preserve their orthodoxy ? f A strange fact, not an unexampled one for there is no animal so strange as man. For the moment, indeed, it were all well, could Archbishop Beaumont Alas, Beaumont would but be prevailed upon—to wink with one eye himself so fain do it for singular to tell, the Church too, and whole

For

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DuJaure

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217)

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December 25th, 1753. : Besf-nval, etCt

VIATICUM.
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posthumous* hope of Jesuitism, now hangs by the apron of this same unmentionable Woman. But then the force of public opinion ? Rigorous Christophe de Beaumont, who has spent his life in persecuting hysterical Jansenists and incredulous Non-confessors or even their dead bodies, if no better might be, how shall he now open Heaven's gate, and give Absolution with the corpus delicti still under his n'-se ?
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for his part, will 'not higgle v. ith a royal sinner about turning of the key but there are other Churchmen ; there is a King's Confessor, foolish Abb6 Moudon and Fanaticism and Decency are not yet extinct. On the whole, what is to be done ? The doors can be well watched the Medical Bulletin adjusted and much as usual, be hoped for from time and chance. The doors are well watched, no improper figure can enter. Indeed, few wish to enter for the putrid infection reaches even to the CEil-deBceuf; so that more than fifty fall sick, and ten die.' Mesdames the Princesses alone wait at the loathsome sick-bed ; impelled by filial piety. The three Princesses, Graille, Chiffe, Cache (Rag, Snip, Pig, as he was wont to name them), are assiduous there when all have fled. The foiu-th Princess, Loque (Dud), as we guess, is already in the Nunnery, and can only give her orisons. Poor Graille and Sisterhood,
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they have never known a Father such is the hard bargain Grandeur must make. Scarcely at the Debotter (when Royalty took off its boots) could they snatch up their enormous hoops, gird the long train round their waists, huddle on their black cloaks of taffeta up to the very and so, in fit appearance of full dress, every evening at six,' chin walk majestically in receive their royal kiss on the brow and then walk majestically out again, to embroidery, small scandal, prayers, and If Majesty came some m.orning, with coffee of its own vacancy. making, and swallowed it with them hastily while the dogs were uncoupling for the hunt, it was received as a grace of Heaven.* Poor in the wild tossings that yet await your withered ancient women fragile existence, before it be crushed and broken as ye fly through hostile countries, over tempestuous seas, are almost taken by the Turks ; and wholly, in the Sansculottic Earthquake, know not your hght hand from your left, be this always an assured place in your remembrance for the act was good and loving To us also it is a little sunny spot, in that dismal howling waste, where we hardly find another. Meanwhile, what shall an impartial prudent Courtier do ? In these delicate circumstances, while not only death or life, but even sacrament or no sacrament, is a question, the skilfullest may falter. Few are so happy as the Duke d'Orleans and the Prince de Cond6 who can themselves, with volatile salts, attend the King's antechamber and, at the same time, send their brave sons (Duke de Chartres, Egalite that
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Duke de Bourbon, one day Conde too, and famous among to be Dotards) to wait upon the Dauphin. With another few, it is a jacta est alea. resolution taken Old Richelieu, when Beaumont, driven by public opinion, is at last for entering the sick-rooav will
is
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• Campan,

i.

11-36.

to

DEATH OF LOUIS
;

XV.

and there, with his old twitch him by the rochet, into a recess dissipated mastiff-face, and the oiUest vehemence, be seen pleading (and even, as we judge by Beaumont's change of colour, prevailing) ' Duke that the King be not killed by a proposition in Divinity.' Fronsac, son of Richelieu, can follow his father: when the Cur6 of Versailles whimpers something about sacraments, he will threaten to 'throw him out of the window if he mention such a thing.' Happy these, we may say but to the rest that hover between two He who would understand to what a pass opinions, is it not trying ? Catholicism, and much else, had now got and how the symbols of the Holiest have become gambling-dice of the Basest, must read the narrative of those things by Besenval, and Soulavie, and the other Court Newsmen of the time. He will see the Versailles Galaxy all scattered asunder, grouped into new ever-shifting Constellations. There are nods and sagacious glances go-betweens, silk dowagers mysteriously gliding, with smiles for this constellation, sighs for that there i.s tremor, of hope or desperation, in several hearts. There is the pale grinning Shadow of Death, ceremoniously ushered along by at intervals the growl of another grinning Shadow, of Etiquette Chapel Organs, like prayer by machinery proclaiming, as in a kind of horrid diabolic horse-laughter, Vanily of vanities, allis Vanity/
; ;

;

:

;

CHAPTER
1

IV

LOUIS THE UNFORGOTTEN.

Poor Louis With these it is a hollow phantasmagory, where like mimes they mope and mowl, and utter false sounds for hire but with
;

thee

it

is frightful

earnest.
;

from of old named King of Terrors. all men is Death compact home of an Existence, where we dwelt complaining, yet as in a home, is passing, in dark agonies, into an Unknown of The Heathen Separation, Foreignness, unconditioned Possibility. Emperor asks of his soul Into what places art thou now departing ? The Catholic King must answer To the Judgment-bar of the Most High God Yes, it is a summing up of Life a final settling, and giving in, they are done now and the account of the deeds done in the body long as Eternity shall lie there unalterable, and do bear their fruits
Frightful to
little

Our

:

:

I

;

'

:

'

;

last.

Louis XV. had always the kingliest abhorrence
that praying

Orleans, Egalite's grandfather, for indeed several who honestly believed that there of them had a touch of madness, He, if the Court Newsmen can be believed, started up was no Death once on a time, glowing with sulphurous contempt and indignation on his poor Secretary, who had stumbled on the words, /<f« roi d Espagne (the late King of Spain); "Feu roi, Monsieur?"'— " Monseigneur" hastily answered the trembling but adroit man of business, " c'est une titrs quilsprennent ('tis a title they take)." * Louis, we say, was not so

Duke of
I

of

Death.

Unlike

Besenval,

1.

199.

LOUIS THE UNFORGOTTEN.
;

21

happy but he did what he could. He would not suffer Death to be spoken of; avoided the sight of churchyards, funereal monuments, and whatsoever could bring it to mind. It is the resource of the Ostrich who, hard hunted, sticks his foolish head in the ground, and would fain forget that his foolish unseeing body is not unseen too. Or sometimes, with a spasmodic antagonism, significant of the same thing, and of more, he would go or stopping his court carriages, would send into churchyards, and ask how many new graves there were to-day,' though We can figure it gave his poor Pompadour the disagreeablest qualms. the thought of Louis that day, when, all royally caparisoned for hunting, he met, at some sudden turning in the Wood of Senart, a ragged Peasant with a coffin " For whom ? " It was for a poor brother slave, whom Majesty had sometimes noticed slaving in those quarters. "What did he die of?" " Of hunger: " the King gave his steed the
;
;
' :

spur.*

But figure his thought, when Death is now clutching at his own heart-strings ; unlocked for, inexorable 1 Yes, poor Louis, Death has found thee. No palace walls or life-guards, gorgeous tapestries or gilt buckram of stifi'est ceremonial could keep him out but he is here, here
;

thy very life-breath, and will extinguish it. Thou, whose whole existence hitherto was a chimera and scenic show, at length becomest a reality sumptuous Versailles bursts asunder, like a Dream, into void Immensity Time is done, and all the Scaffolding of Time falls wrecked with hideous clangour round thy soul the pale Kingdoms yawn open there must thou enter, naked, all unking 'd, and await what is appointed Unhappy man, there as thou turnest, in dull agony, on thy bed thee Purgatory and Hell-fire, now of weariness, what a thought is thine alas, what thing all too possible, in the prospect in the retrospect, didst thou do that were not better undone what mortal didst thou Do the five generously help what sorrow hadst thou mercy on ? hundred thousand' ghosts, who sank shamefully on so many battlefields from Rossbach to Quebec, that thy Harlot might take revenge for an epigram, crowd round thee in this hour ? Thy foul Harem the curses of mothers, the tears and infamy of daughters? Miserable man! thou' hast done evil as thou couldst thy whole existence seems one hideous abortion and mistake of Nature the use and meaning of thee not yet known. Wert thou a fabulous Griffin, devouring clad also in the works of men daily dragging virgins to thy cave scales that no spear would pierce: no spear but Death's? A Gr'ffin not fabulous but real Frightful, O Louis, seem these moments for will pry no further into the horrors of a sinner's deathbed. thee.
at
:
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—We

!

was

yet let no meanest man lay flattering unction to his soul. Louis His wide France, look at it a Ruler but art not thou also one? from the Fixed Stars (themselves not yet Infinitude), is no wider than thy narrow brickfield, where thou too didst faithfully, or didst unlaithfully. Man, Symbol of Eternity imprisoned into Time! it is not thy works, which are all mortal, infinitely little, and the greatest no greater

And

;

*

'

Campan,

iii.

39.

•a

DEATH OF LOUIS

XV.

than the least, but only the Spirit thou workest in, that can have worth or continuance. But reflect, in any case, what a life-problem this of poor Louis, when he rose as Bien-Aime from that Metz sick bed, really was What son of Adam could have swayed such incoherences into coherence ? Could he ? Blindest Fortune alone has cast him on the top of it he swims there can as little sway it as the drift-log sways the wind-tossed moonstirred Atlantic. "What have I done to be so loved?" he said then. He may say now What have I done to be so hated ? Thou hast done nothing, poor Louis Thy fault is properly even this, that thou didst nothing. What could poor Louis do ? Abdicate, and wash his hands of it, in favour of the first that would accept Other clear wisdom there was none for him. As it was, he stood gazing dubiously, the absurdest mortal extant (a very Solecism Incarnate) into the absurdest wherein at last nothing seemed so certain as that he, confused world the incarnate Solecism, had five senses that there were Flying Tables {Tables Volatites, which vanish through the floor, to come back reloaded), and a Parc-anx-cerfs. Whereby at least we have again this historical curiosity a human being in an original position swimming passively, as on some boundFor less Mother of Dead Dogs,' towards issues which he partly saw. Louis had withal a kind of insight in him. So, when a new Minister of Marine, or what else it might be, came announcing his new era, the scarlet-woman would hear from the lips of Majesty at supper: "He laid out his ware like another promised the beautifullest things in the world not a thing of which will come he does not know this region he will see.'" Or again " 'Tis the twentieth time I hear all France will never get a Navy, I believe." How touching also was that " If / were Lieutenant of Police, I would prohibit those Paris this
I : ;
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cabriolets." *

Doomed mortal for is it not a doom to be Solecism incarnate A new Roi Faineant, King Donothing but with the strangest new Mayor
; !
;

of the Palace: no bow-legged Pepin now, but that same cloud-capt, fire-breathing Spectre of Democracy incalculable, which is enveloping the world. Was Louis no wickeder than this or the other private Donothing and Eatall such as we often enough see, under the name of Man, and even Man of Pleasure, cumbering God's diligent Creation, His life-solecism was seen and felt ol for a time ? Say, wretcheder a whole scandalised world him endless Oblivion cannot engulf, and

;

;

!

swallow

to endless depths,

—not yet

;

for

a generation or two.
'

However, be this as it will, we remark, not without interest, that on the evening of the 4th,' Dame Dubarry issues from the sick room, with perceptible trouble in her visage.' It is the fourth evening of May, Is he year of Grace 1774. Such a whispering in the CEil-de-Bceuf dying then ? What can be said, is that Dubarry seems making up her packages she sails weeping through her gilt boudoirs, as if taking D'Aiguillon and Company are near their last card nevertheless leave.
' ! ; ;

*

Journal de

Madame

de Hausset,

p, 293, etc.

LOUIS THE UNFORGOTTEN.
troversy,
;

23

they will not yet throw up the game. But as for the sacramental c-onLouis can it is as good as settled without being mentioned send for his Abbe Moudon in the course of next night be confessed by him, some say for the space of seventeen minutes,' and demand the
;

'

sacraments of his own accord.

Nay already, in the afternoon, behold is not this your Sorceress )ubarry with the handkerchief at her eyes, mounting D'Aiguillon's chariot rolling off in his Duchess's consolatory arms ? She is gone and her place knows her no more. Vanish, false Sorceress into Space Needless to hover at neighbouring Ruel for thy day is done. Shut are the royal palace-gates for evermore hardly in coming years Shalt thou, under cloud of night, descend once, in black domino, like a black night-bird, and disturb the fair Antoinette's music-party in thiT Park all Birds of Paradise flying from thee, and musical windpipes growing mute.* Thou unclean, yet unmalignant, not unpitiable thing What a course was thine from that first trucklebed (in Joan of Arc's countrj-) where thy mother bore thee, with tears, to an unnamed father : forward, through lowest subterranean depths, over highest sunli* heights, of Harlotdom and Rascaldom to the guillotine-axe, which shears away thy vainly whimpering head Rest there uncursed ; only buried and abolished what else befitted thee? Louis, meanwhile, is in considerable impatience for his sacraments sends more than once to the window, to see whether they are not coming. Be of comfort Louis, what comfort thou canst: they are under way, these sacraments. Towards six in the morning, they arrive. Cardinal Grand-Almoner Roche-Aymon is here in pontificals, with his pyxes and his tools he approaches the royal pillow elevates his wafer mutters or seems to mutter somewhat and so (as the Abbe Georgel, in words that stick to one, expresses it) has Louis made the amende honorable io God:' so does your Jesuit construe it. " Wa, IVa," as the wild Clotaire groaned out, when life was departing, " what great God is this that pulls down the strength of the strongest kings " t Tiie amende honorable, what legal apology you will, to God: but Dub^rry still hovers in his not, if d'Aiguillon can help it, to man. and while there is life, there is hope. Grandmansion at Ruel Almonder Roche-Aymon, accordingly (for he seems to be in the secret), has no sooner seen his pyxes and gear repacked, than he is stepping majestically forth again, as if the work were done But King's Conwith anxious acidulent face, fessor Abbe Moudon starts forv/ard twitches him by the sleeve whispers in his ear. Whereupon the poor Cardinal must turn round; and declare audibly, "that his Majesty repents of any subjects of scandal he may have given (a pu donner) ; and purposes, by the strength of Heaven assisting him, to avoid the like for the future " Words listened to by Richelieu with mastiffface growing blacker answered to, aloud, with an epithet,' which Besenval will not repeat. Old Richelieu, conqueror of MinorcSi
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*
t

Campan,

i.

197.
:

Gregorius Turonensis

Hlstor.

lib. iv.

lap. 21.

3

24

D£AJH OF LOUIS

XV.
is

companion of Flying-Table orgies, perforator of bedroom v/alls,*

thy

day also done ? the Shrine of Sainte Alas, the Chapel organs may keep going Genevieve be let down, and pulled up again, without effect. In the evening the whole Court, with Dauphin and Dauphiness assist at the Chapel priests are hoarse with chanting their Prayers of Forty For the Hours and the heaving bellows blow. Almost frightful battering rain-torrents dash, with thunder </ery heaven blackens almost drowning the organ's voice and electric fire-flashes makeithe very flambeaux on the altar pale. So that the most, as we are told,

;

:

'

;

'

!

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:

retired,

when

it

was

over, with hurried steps,

'

in a state of

meditation

(recueillement),' and said little or nothing.f So it has lasted for the better half of a fortnight the Dubarry gone almost a week. Besenval says, all the world was getting impatient qiie celafinit ; that poor Louis would have done with it. It is now the loth of May, 1774. He will soon have done now. This tenth May day falls into the loathsome sickbed but dull, unnoticed there: for they that look out of the windows are quite darkened ; the cistern-wheel moves discordant on its axis Life, like a spent steed, is panting towards the goal. In their remote apartments,
;
; ;

Dauphin and Dauphiness, stand road-ready all grooms and equerries booted and spurred waiting for some signal to escape the house of pestilence.^ And, hark across the CEil-de-Bceuf, what sound is that sound 'terrible and absolutely like thunder'? It is the rush, of the whole Court, rushing as in wager, to salute the new Sovereigns The Dauphin and Dauphiness are King and Hail to your Majesties ijueen Overpowered with many emotions, they two fall on their
;

:

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!

tears, exclaim, " God guide us protect us, we are too young to reign " Too young indeed. But thus, in any case, with a sound absolutely like thunder,' has the Horologe of Time struck, and on old Era passed away. The Louis abandoned to some that was, lies forsaken, a mass of abhorred clay poor persons, and priests of the Chapelle Ardenie,' who make haste to put him in two lead coffins, pouring in abundant spirits of wine.' The new Louis with his Court is rolling towards Choisy, through the summer afternoon the royal tears still flow but a word mispronounced by Monseigneur d'Artois sets them all laughing, and they weep no more. Light mortals, how ye walk your light life-minuet, ovei bottomless abysses, divided from you by a film !

knees together, and, with streaming
'

!

O

'

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:

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I. 159-172. Genlis Due de Levis, etc. t Weber M^nioires concernatit Marie-Antoirette (London, 1809), i. 22. J One gnidgcs to interfere with the beautiful theatrical 'candle,' which Madame Campan (i. 79) has lit on this occasion, and Mown out at the moment of death. What candles might be lit or blown out, in so large an Establishment as that of Versailles, no man at such distance would like to affirm at the same time, as it was two o'clock in a May Afternoon and these royal Stables must have been some ^2 or six hundred yards from the royal sick-room, the candle does threaten to go out in spite of us. It remains burning indeed— in her fantasy throwing light

* F'Psenval,
:

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:

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en much

in

those

Memoira

of hers.

LOUIS THE UNFORGOTTEN,

gj

For the rest, the proper authorities felt that no Funeral could be too Besenval himself thinks it was unceremonious unceremonious. enough. Two carriages containing two noblemen of the usher species, and a Versailles clerical person some score of mounted pages, some fifty palfreniers these, with torches, but not so much as in black, start from Versailles on the second evening, with their leaden bier. At a high trot, they start and keep up that pace. For the jibes {brocards) of those Parisians, who stand planted in two rows, all the way to St.
; :

;

Denis, and
nation,'

'

give vent

to their

pleasantry', the

characteristic

of the

do not tempt one to slacken. Towards midnight the vaults of St. Denis receive their own unwept by any eye of all these if not by poor Loque his neglected Daughter's, whose Nunnery is hard by. Him they crush down, and huddle under-gi'ound, in this impatient v/ay him and his era of sin and tyranny and shame for behold a Mew Era is come the future all the brighter that the past was base.
:

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BOOK
THE PAPER
CHAPTER
ft,

II,

AGE.

I.

ASTRiEA REDUX.
PARADOXICAL philosopher, carrying
'
'

to

the uttermost le.iglh thzt

Happy the people whose annals are aphorism of Montesquieu's, tiresome,' has said Happy the people whose annals are vacant.' In which saying, mad as it looks, may there not still be found some grain of reason ? For truly, as it has been written, Silence is divine,' and of Heaven so in all earthly things too there is a silence which is Consider it well, the Event, the Thing which better than any speech. can be spoken of and recorded, is it not, in all cases, some disruption, some solution of continuity ? Were it even a glad Event, it involves change, involves loss (of active Force) and so far, either in the past Stillest perseverance or in the present, is an irregularity, a disease. were our blessedness not dislocation and alteration, could they be
'

;

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;

avoided.

The oak grows silently, in the forest, a thousand years only in the thousandth year, when the woodman arrives with his axe, is there heard an echoing through the solitudes and the oak announces itself when, with far-sounding crash, xi falls. How silent too was the planting of the acorn scattered from the lap of some wandering wind Nay, when our oak flowered, or put on its leaves (its glad Events), what shout of proclamation could there be ? Hardly from the most observant a word of recognition. These things befcl not, they were slowly done ; not in an hour, but through the flight of days what was This hour seemed altogether as the last was, as the to be said of it ?
; ; ;

1

:

next would be. It is thus everywhere that foolish Rumour babbles not of what was done, but of what was misdone or undone and foolish History (ever, more or less, the written epitomised synopsis of Rumour) knows so little that were not as well unknown. Attila Invasions, Walter-the-Penniless Crusades, Sicilian Vespers, Thirty-Years' Wars mere sin and misery For the Earth, all this while, was not work, but hindrance of work yearly green and yellow with her kind harvests; the hand of the craftsman, the mind of the thinker rested not and so, after all, and in spite
; :

;

!

:

ASTR.'^A REDUX.
of
all,

27
;

we have

this so glorious

high-domed blossoming World
well ask, with wonder.

con//

cerning which, poor History

may

Whence

came ? She knows so little of it, knows so much of what obstructed it, what would have rendered it impossible. Such, nevertheless, by necessity or foolish choice, is her rule and practice whereby that paradox, Happy the people whose annals are vacant,' is not without
;
'

its

true side.

And yet, what seems more pertinent to note here, there is a stillness, not of unobstructed growth, but of passive inertness, the symptom of imminent downfal. As victory is silent, so is defeat. Of the opposing forces the weaker has resigned itself the stronger marches on, noiseless now, but rapid, inevitable the fall and overturn will not be noiseless. How all grows, and has its period, even as the herbs ov the fields, be it annual, centennial, millennial All grows and dies, each by its own wondrous laws, in wondrous fashion of its own spiritual things most wondrously of all. Inscrutable, to the wisest, are these latter not to be prophesied of, or understood. If when the oak stands proudliest flourishing to the eye, you know that its heart is sound, it is not so with the man; how much less with the Society, with the Nation of men Of such it may be affirmed even that the superficial aspect, that the inward feeling of full health, is generally ominous. For indeed it is of apoplexy, so to speak, and a plethoric lazy habit of body, that Churches, Kingships, Social Institutions, oltenest die. Sad, when such Institution plethorically says to itself, Take thy ease, thou hast goods laid up like the fool of the Gospel, to whom it was answered. Fool, this night thy life shall be required of
; :

I

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thee!
Is it the healthy peace, or the ominous unhealthy, that rests on France, for these next ten years ? Over which the Historian can pass lightly, without call to linger for as yet events are not, much less performances. Time of sunniest stillness shall we call it, what all men thought it, the new Age of Gold ? Call it at least, of Paper which in many ways is the succedaneum of Gold. Bank-paper, wherewith you can still buy when there is no gold left Book-paper, splendent with Theories, Philosophies, Sensibilities, beautiful art, not only of revealing Thought, but also of so beautifully hiding from us the want of Thought Paper is made from the rags of things that did once exist there are endless excellences in Paper. What wisest Philosophe, in this halcyon uneventful period, could prophesy that there was approaching, big with darkness and confusioii, the event ol events ? Hope ushers in a Revolution, as earthquakes are preceded by bright weather. On the Fifth of May, fifteen years hence, old Louis will not be sending for the Sacraments but a new Louis, his grandson, with the whole pomp of astonished intoxicated France, will be opening the States Gf Jeral.
: ;

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!

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Dubarrydom and
young,
still

docile,

its d'Aiguillons are gone for ever. There is a well-intentioned King a young, beautiful and
;

38

THE PAPER AGE.
Queen and with them all France as it Maupeou and his Parlement have to vanish into
;

bountiful, well-intentioned

were become young.
thick night
it
;

respectable Magistrates, not indifferent to the Nation, were only for having been opponents of the Court, can descend unchained from their steep rocks at Croe in Combrailles' and elsewhere, and jeturn singing praisec the old Parlement of Paris resumes its functions. Instead of a profligate bankrupt Abb6 Terray, we have now, for Controller-General, a virtuous philosophic Turgot, with a whole Reformed France in his head. By whom whatsoevor is wrong, in Finance or otherwise, will be righted, as far as possible. Is it not as if Wisdom herself were henceforth to have seat and voice in the Council of Kings ? Turgot has taken office with the noblest plainness of speech to that effect been listened to with the noblest royal trustfulness.* It is true, as King Louis objects, " they say he never goes to mass " but liberal France likes him little worse for that liberal France answers, "the Abbe Terray always went." Philosophism sees, for the first time, a Philosophe (or even a Philosopher) in office, she in all things will applausivcly second him ; neither will light old Maurepas obstruct, if he can easily help it. Then how sweet are the manners vice losing all its deformity becoming decent (as established things, making regulations for themIntelligence becoming almost a kind of sweet virtue selves, do) so abounds irradiated by wit and the art of conversation. Philosophism sits joyful in her glittering saloons, the dinner-guest of Opulence grown ingenuous, the very Nobles proud to sit by her and preaches, lifted up over all Bastilles, a coming millennium. From far Fernay, Patriarch veterans Diderot, d'Alembert have lived to see Voltaire gives sign this day these with their younger Marmontels, Morellets, Chamforts, Raynals, make glad the spicy board of rich ministering Dowager, of philosophic Farmer-General. O nights and suppers of the gods Of the Age of Revolua truth, the long-demonstrated will now be done tions approaches (as Jean Jacques wrote), but then of happy blessed Man awakens from his long somnambulism chases the ones. Behold the new Fantasms that beleaguered and bewitched him. morning glittering down the eastern steeps fly, false Fantasms, from let the Absurd fly utterly, forsaking this lower Earth its shafts of light It is Truth and Astrcea Redux that (in the shape of Philofor ever. For what imaginable purpose was man sophism) henceforth reign. made, if not to be happy ?' By victorious Analysis, and Progress of Kings can become the Species, happiness enough now awaits him. philosophers or else philosophers Kings. Let but Society be once ITie stomach that is rightly constituted, by victorious Analysis. empty shall be filled the throat that is dry shall be wetted with wina Labour itself shall be all one as rest; not grievous, but joyous Wheat-fields, one would think, cannot come to grow untilled no man unless indeed machinery will made clayey, or made weary thereby do it? Gratuitous Tailors and Restaurateurs may start up, at fit
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* Turgot's Letter
67.

The date

is

Condorcet, Viede Turgot (CEuvres de Condorcet, : 24th August, 1774.

t.

v.), p.

ASTR^A REDUX.
Intervals,

29

sees t;ot how. But if each will, according to lule of Benevolence, have a care for all, then surely no one will be un-carcd for. Nay, who knows but, by sufficiently victorious Analysis, human life may be indefinitely lengthened,' and men get rid of Death, as they shall then be happy in spite of have already done of the Devil ? Death and the Devil. So preaches magniloquent Philosophism her Redeunt Saturnia regna. 1 he prophetic song of Paris and its Philosophes is audible enough and the (Eil-de-Bceuf, intent chiefly on in the Versailles (Eil-de-Ba;uf nearer blessedness, can answer, at v.orst, with a polite not?" Good old cheery Maurepas is too joyful a Prime Minister to dash the world's joy. Sufficient for the day be its own evil. Cheery old man, he cuts his jokes, and hovers careless along his cloak well adjusted to the wind, if so be he may please all persons. The simple young King, whom a Maurepas cannot think of troubling with business, has retired taciturn, irresolute into the interior apartments though with a sharpness of temper at times he, at length, determines on a little smith-work; and so, in apprenticeship with a Sieur Gamain (whom one day he shall have little cause to bless), is learning to make locks.* It appears and could read English. Unhappy further, he understood Geography young King, his childlike trust in that foolish old Maurepas deserved another retuin. But friend and foe, destiny and himself have combined

one as

5-01

'

We

;

"Why

;

;

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:

;

to

fair young Queen, in her halls of state, walks like a goddess of Beauty, the cynosure of all eyes as yet mingles not with affairs heeds not the future least of all, dreads it. Weber and Campan + have pictured her, there within the royal tapestries, in bright boudoirs, baths, peignoirs, and the Grand and Little Toilette; with a whole brilliant world waiting obsequious on her glance fair young daughter of Time, what things has Time in store for thee Like Earth's brightest Appearance, she moves gracefully, environed with the grandeur of Earth a reality, 'and yet a magic vision for, behold, shall not utter Darkness swallow it The soft young heart adopts orphans, portions meritorious maids, delights to succour the poor, such poor as come picturesquely in her way and sets the fashion of doing it for, as was said, Benevolence has now begun reigning. In her Duchess de Polignac, in her Princess de Lamballe, she enjoys something almost like friendship now too, after seven long years, she has a child, and soon even a Dauphin, of her own can reckon herself, as Queens go, happy in a husband. Events ? The grand events are but charitable Feats of Morals {Fetes dcs moeurs), with their Prizes and Speeches Poissarde Processions to the Dauphin's cradle above all. Flirtations, their rise, progress, decline and fall. There are Snow-statutes raised by the poor in hard winter, to a Queen who has given them fuel. There are masquerades, theatricals beautifyings of little Trianon, purchase and rcjian of St, Cloud; journeyings from the summer Court-Elysium to
;

do him hurt. Meanwhile the
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;

"

t

Campan, Campan,

1.

125.

i.

100-151.

—Weber,

I,

ir-50.

30

THE PAPER AGE.

the winter one. There are poutings and grudgings from the Sardinian Sisters-in-law (for the Princes too are wedded); little jealousies, which Court-Etiquette can moderate. Wholly the lightest-hearted frivolous foam of Existence yet an artfully refined foam pleasant were it not 80 costly, like that which mantles on the wine of Champagne Monsieur, the King's elder Brother, has set up for a kind of wit and leans towards the Philosophe side. Monseigneur d'Artois pulls the
;
;

;

a fair impertinent fights a duel in consequence, almost He has breeches of a kind new in this world four tall lackeys,' says Mercier, as if he had seen it, 'hold him up in the air, that he may fall into tlie garment without vestige of wrinkle from which rigorous encasement the same four, in the same way, and with more effort, must deliver him at night.'f This last is he who now, as a grey timeworn man, sits desolate at Gratz % having winded up his destiny with the Three Days. In such sort are poor mortals swept and shovelled to and fro,
;

mask from

drawing blood.* a fabulous kind
;

;

'

;

;

CHAPTER

n.

PETITION IN HIEROGLYPHS.

With the working people, again, it is not so well. Unlucky! Pet there are from twenty to twenty-five millions of them. Whom, however, we lump together into a kind of dim compendious unity, monstrous but dim, far off, as the canaille; or, more humanely, as 'the masses.' Masses indeed and yet, singular to say, if, with an effort of imagination, thou follow them, over broad France, into their clay hovels, into Every their garrets and hutches, the masses consist all of units. stands covered there unit of whom has his own heart and sorrows with his own skin, and if you prick him, he will bleed. O purple Sovereignity, Holiness, Reverence thou, for example, Cardinal GrandAlmoner, with thy plush covering of honour, who hast thy hands strengthened with dignities and moneys, and art set on thy worldwatch-tower solemnly, in sight of God, for such ends, what a thought that every unit of these masses is a miraculous Man, even as thyself struggling, with vision or with blindness, for his infinite Kingdom art (this Life which he has got, once only, in the middle of Eternities) with a spark of the Divinity, what thou callest an immortal soul, in
: ; ;

I

;

him

!

Dreary, languid do these struggle in their obscure remoteness their hearth cheerless, their diet thin. For them, in this world, rises no Era if it be not hope in the gloomy of Hope; hardly now in the other, Untaught, uncomforted, rest of Death, for their faith too is failing. unfed! A dumb generation; their voice only an inarticulate cry: spokesman, in the King's Council, in the world's forum, they have none that finds credence. At rare intervals (as now, in I775). they will fling down their hoes and hammers and, to the astonishment of thinking
;

;

ii. 2S2-330, t Mercier : Nouveaii I'aris, A.D. 1834. j

* Besenval,

Hi.

147.

PETITION IN HIEROGLYPHS.
;

3i

mankind,* flock hither and thither, dangerous, aimless get the length even of Versailles. Turgot is altering the Corn-trade, abrogating the absurdest Corn-laws there is dearth, real, or were it even factitious an indubitable scarcity of bread. And so, on the 2nd day of May, 1775, these waste multitudes do here, at Versailles Chateau, in widespread wretchedness, in sallow faces, squalor, winged raggedness, present,
'

;

;

as in legible hieroglyphic writing, their Petition of Grievances.
; ;

The

Chateau-Grates must be shut but the King will appear on the balcony and speak to them. They have seen the King's face their Petition of Grievances has been, if not read, looked at. For answer, two of them and the rest driven are hanged, on a new gallows forty feet high back to their dens, for a time. Clearly a difficult point for Government, that of dealing with these if indeed it be not rather the sole point and problem of Governmasses
;
'


'

'

;

'

ment, and all other points mere accidental crotchets, superficialities, and For let Charter-Chests, Use and Wont, Law beatings of the wind common and special say what they will, the masses count to so many millions of units made, to all appearance, by God, whose Earth this Besides, the people are not without ferocity they is declared to be. have sinews and indignation. Do but look what holiday old Marquis Mirabeau, the crabbed old Friend of Men, looked on, in these same years, from his lodging, at the Baths of Mont d'Or The savages descending in torrents from the mountains our people ordered not to
!

;

;

:

'

;

go out. The Curate in surplice and stole; Justice in its peruke; Marechausee sabre in hand, guarding the place, till the bagpipes can begin. The dance interrupted, in a quarter of an hour, by battle the
;

squealings of children, of infirm persons, and other assistants, tarring them on, as the rabble does when dogs fight frightful men, or rather frightful wild-animals, clad in jupes of coarse woollen, with large girdles of leather, studded with copper nails of gigantic stature, heightened by high wooden-clogs {sabots) rising on tiptoe to see the fight tramping time to it rubbing their sides with their elbows their faces haggard {fgures haves), and covered with their long greasy hair the upper part of the visage waxing pale, the lower distorting itself Into the attempt at a cruel laugh and a sort of ferocious impatience. And these people pay the taille / And you want further to take their salt from them And you know not what it is you are stripping barer, or as you call it, governing what, by the spurt of your pen, in its cold dastard indifference, you will fancy you can starve always with impunity ; always till the catastrophe come Ah Madame, such Government by Blindman's-buff, stumbling along too far, will end in the General Overturn {culbiite generale)^ \ Undoubtedly a dark feature this in an Age of Gold, Age, at least, of Paper and Hope Meanwhile, trouble us not with thy prophecies, O croaking Friend of Men 'tis long that we have heard such; and still the old world keeps wagging, in its old way.
cries, the
: ; ; ;
; :

;

!

;

!

:

* Lacretelle %

France pendant Turgot (by Durozoir).
:

le

iSme Si^cle,

il

455.— Biographic

Universelle,

»

Mdmoires, de Mirabeau,

Merits
ii.

par Lui-m*me, par son P^re, son Oncle ct son

Fila A.ioptif (Paris, 1834-5),

186.

3a

THE PAPER AGR,

CHAPTER
Or
is this
is ?

III.

QUESTIONADLE.
same Age of Hope itself but a simulacrum aa Hope tc^j Cloud-vapour with rainbows painted on it, beautiful to see, which hovers over Niagara B'alls ? In that case, victorito sail towards, ous Analysis will have enough to do. Alas, yes a whole world to remake, if she could see it work for another than she For all is wrong, and gone out of joint the inward spiritual, and the outward economical head or heart, there is no Eouadness in it. As indeed, evils of all sorts are more or less of kin, and do usually go together especially it is an old truth that wherever huge physical evil is, there, as the parent and origin of it, has moral Before those five-and-twenty evil to a proportionate extent been. labouring Millions, for instance, could get that haggardness of face, which old Mirabeau nov.^ looks on, in a Nation calling itself Christian, and calling man the brother of man, what unspeakable, nigh infinite Dishonesty (of seeming and not being) in all manner of Rulers, and appointed Watchers, spiritual and temporal, must there not, through It will accumulate moreover, long ages, have gone on accumulating will reach a head for the first of all Gospels is this, that a Lie it cannot endure for ever. In fact, if we pierce through that rosepink vapour of Sentimentalism, Philanthropy, and Feasts of Morals, there lies behind it one of the You might ask. What bonds that ever held a sorriest spectacles.
;

often

!

:

!

;

;

:


:

:

;

human
here
?

society happily together, or held
It is
;

it

together at

all,

are in force

an unbelieving people which has suppositions, hypotheses, and froth-systems of victorious Analysis and for belief this mainly, Hunger they have for all sweet things and that Pleasure is pleasant. the law of Hunger but what other law ? Within them, or over them,
; ;
:

properly none

1

Their King has become a King Popinjay: with his Maurepas Government, gyrating as the weather-cock does, blown about by every wind. Above them they see no God or they even do not look above, except Vv'ith astronomical glasses. The Church indeed still is but in the most submissive state quite tamed by Philosophism in a Some twenty years ago, singularly short time for the hour was come. your Archbishop Beaumont would not even let the poor Jansenists get buried your Lomenie Brienne (a rising man, whom we shall meet with yet) could, in the name of the Clergy, insist on having the AntiProtestant Laws, which condemn to death for preaching, 'put in execution.' * And alas, now not so much as Baron Holbach's Atheism can be burnt, except as pipe-matches by the private speculative Our Church stands haltered, dumb, like a dumb ox individual. lowing only for provender (of tithes) content if it can have that or, And the Twenty dumbly, dully expecting its further doom. and, as finger-post and guidance to thera Millions of haggard faces
; ; ; ; ;
:

;

;

;

'

'

*

Roibsy d'.^nglas

:

Vie de Malesherbes,

1.

15-23,

QUESTflDNABLE.
In

JJ

dark struggle, 'a gallows forty feet high!' Certainly a singular Golden Age; with its Feasts of Morals, its 'sweet manners,' betokening nothing but its sweet institutions {institutions donees) Peace? O Philosophe-Seiitimentalism, what peace among men hast thou to do with peace, when thy mother's name is Jezebel ? Foul Product of still fouler Corruption thou with the Corruption, art doomed
their
I

;

1

Meanwhile it is singular how long the rotten will hold together, provided you do not handle it roughly. For whole generations it continues standing, with a ghastly affectation of life,' after all life and and, truth has fled out of it so loath are men to quit their old ways conquering indolence and inertia, venture on new. Great truly is the Actual is the Thing that has rescued itself from bottomless deeps of theory and possibility, and stands there as a definite indisputable Fact, whereby men do work and live, or once did so. Wisely shall men cleave to that, while it will endure and quit it with regret, when it Hast gives way under them. Rash enthusiast of Change, beware thou well considered all that Habit does in this life of ours how all Knowledge and all Practice hang wondrous over infinite abysses of the Unknown, Impracticable and our whole being is, an infinite abyss, overarched by Habit, as by a thin Earth-rind, laboriously built to'

:

;

;

;

!

;

;

gettier

r
' '

But if every man,' as it has been written, him a mad-ma.n,' what must every Society do

;

— Society,

holds confined within

which

in its

standing miracle of this world 1' 'Without such Earth-rind of Habit,' continues our Author, 'call it System of Habits, in a wo.rd, fixed ways of acting and of believing, Society would not exist at all. With such it exists, better or worse. Herein too, in this its System of Habits, acquired, retained how you the only will, lies the true Law-Code and Constitution of a Society Code, though an unwritten one, which it can in no wise disoh&y. The thing we call written Code, Constitution, Form of Government, and the like, what is it but some miniature image, and solemnly expressed summary of this unwritten Code? Is, or rather, alas, is not\ but only should be, and always tends to be In which latter discrepancy lies struggle without end.' And now, we add in the same dialect, let your thin Earthbut, by ill chance, in such ever-enduring struggle, rind be once broken ! The fountains of the great deep boil forth fire-fountains, enveloping, engulphing. Your 'Earth-iind' is shattered, swallowed up instead of a green flowery world there is a waste wildweltering chaos which has again, with tumult and struggle, to mat itself into a world. On the other hand, be this conceded Where thou findest a Lie that is oppressing thee, extinguish it. Lies exist there only to be extin|uished they wait and cry earnestly for extinction. Think well, meanwhile, in what spirit thou wilt do it not with hatred, with headlong selfish violence but in clearness of heart, with holy zeal, gently, almost with pity. Thou wouldst not replace such extinct Lie by a new Lie, which a new Injustice of thy own were; the parent of still other

commonest

state

is

called

'the

;

!

'

'

;

;

:

;

:

;

34

THE PAPER ACE

Lies ? Whereby the latter end of that business were wcrse than the beginning. So, however, in this world of ours, wliich has both an indestructible hope in the Future, and an indestructible tendency to persevere as in the Past, must Innovation and Conservation wage their perpetual con« Wherein the 'daemonic element,' that flict, as they may and can.
lurks in all human things, may doubtless, some once in the thousand But indeed may we not regret that such conflict get vent years, which, after all, is but like that classical one of hate-filled Amazons should usually be so vith heroic Youths,' and will end in embraces, ijpasmodic? For Conservation, strengthened by that mightiest quality in us, our indolence, sits, for long ages, not victorious only, which she

1

'

should be
as
if

but tyrannical, incommunicative. She holds her adversary annihilated such adversary lying, all the while, like some buried Enceladus who, to gain the smallest freedom, must stir a whole
;

;

;

its ^tnas. Wherefore, on the whole, we will honour a Paper Age too an Era For in this same frightful process of Enceladus Revolt of Hope when the task, on which no mortal would willingly enter, has become is it not even a kindness of Nature that she imperative, inevitable, and a whole lures us forward by cheerful promises, fallacious or not generation plunges into the Erebus Blackness, lighted on by an Era of Hope? It has been well said: 'Man is based on Hope;_ he has properly no other possession but Hope this habitation of his is named

Trinacria with
I

;

;

;

the Place of Hope.'

CHAPTER

IV.

MAUREPAS,

But now, among French hopes, is not that of old M. de Maurepas one of the best-grounded who hopes that he, by dexterity, shall contrive Nimble old man, who for all emergencies has to continue Minister ? and ever in the worst confusion will emerge, cork-like, his light jest Small care to him is Perfectibility, Progress of the Species, unsunk and Astrcea Redux: good only, that a man of light wit, verging towards four score, can in the seat of authority feel himself important among men. Shall we call him, as haughty Chateauroux was wont, of In courtier dialect, he old, 'M. Faqinnet (Diminutive of Scoundrel) ? such governing Nestor as is now named 'the Nestor of France;' France has. At bottom, nevertheless, it might puzzle one to say where the Government of France, in these days, specially is. In that Chateau of Versailles, we have Nestor, King, Queen, ministers and clerks, with paper-bundles tied in tape bat the Government ? For Government is a thing that governs, that guides and if need be, compels. Visible in France there is not such a thing. Invisible, inorganic, on the other hand, 'here is in Philosophe saloons, in CEil-de-Boeuf galleries in the longue jf the babbler, in the pen of the pamphleteer. Her Majesty appearing at the Opera is applauded she returns all radiant with joy.
; ; ! ' :

;

:

;

;

UAUREPAS.
Anon
;

15

the applauses wax fainter, or threaten to cease she is heavy of Is Sovereignty some poor Montheart, the hght of her face has fled. goltier which, blown into by the popular wind, grows great and mounts or sinks flaccid, if the wind be withdrawn ? France was and now, it would seem, long a Despotism tempered by Epigrams \he Epigrams have got the upper hand. Happy were a young Louis the Desired to make France happy ; if and he only knew the way. But it did not prove too troublesome, there is endless discrepancy round him so many claims and clamours a mere confusion of tongues. Not reconcilable by man not managewhich able, suppressible, save by some strongest and wisest man only a lightly-jesting lightly-gjTating M. de Maurepas can so much as subsist amidst. Philosophism claims her new Era, meaning thereby for France at innumerable things. And claims it in no faint voice and speaks in large, hitherto mute, is now beginning to speak also A huge, many-toned sound distant, j'^et not that same sense. unimpressive. On the other hand, the CEil-de-Boeuf, which, as nearest, one can hear best, claims with shrill vehemence that the Monarchy be as heretofore a Horn of Plenty wherefrom loyal courtiers may draw, Let Liberalism and a New Era, to the just support of the throne. only no curtailment of the royal if such is the wish, be introduced Which latter condition, alas, is precisely the impossible one. moneys Philosophism, as we saw, has got her Turgot made Controllerand there shall be endless reformation. Unhappily this General With a aniraculous Turgot could contiime only twenty months. Fortunatus' Purse in his Treasury, it might have lasted longer; with such Purse indeed, every French Controller-General, that would prosper in these days, ought first to provide himself. But here again may we not remark the bounty of Nature in regard to Hope ? Man after man advances confident to the Augean Stable, as if he could expends his little fraction of an ability on it, with such clean it cheerfulness does, in so far as he was honest, accomplish something. Turgot has faculties honesty, insight, heroic volition but the FortuSanguine Controller-General natus' Purse he has not. a whole pacific French Revolution may stand schemed in the head of the thinker but who shall pay the unspeakable indemnities that will be needed ? Alas, far from that on the very threshold of the business, he proposes that the Clergy, the Noblesse, the very Parlements be subjected to taxes like the People! One shriek of indignation and astonishment reverberates through all the Chateau galleries M. de Maurepas has to gyrate the poor King, who had written few weeks ago // ny a que vous et mot qui aimions le peuple (There is none but you and I that has the people's interest at heart),' must write now a dismissal • and let the French Revolution accomplish itself, pacifically or not, as it can.
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Hope then is deferred? Deferred; not destroyed, or abated. Is uot this, for example, our Patriarch Voltaire, after long yeais of absenct;,
* In

May

1776,

|6

THE PAPER AGE.
; '

d

revisiting Paris ? With face shrivelled to nothing with huge perake la Louis Quatorze, which leaves only two eyes visible, glittering like What an outburst Sneering Paris carbuncles,' the old man is here.*
! ;

.

has suddenly grown reverent devotional with Hero-worship. Nobles have disguised themselves as tavern-waiters to obtain sight of him the His chariot loveliest of France would lay their hair beneath his feet. whose train fills whole streets they crown is the nucleus of a Comet him in the theatre, with immortal vivats finally stifle him under roses,' for old Richelieu recommended opium in such state of the Her Majesty nerves, and the excessive Patriarch took too much. Let herself had some thought of sending for him but was dissuaded. Majesty consider it nevertheless. The purport of this man's existence tias been to wither up and annihilate all whereon Majesty and Worship and is it so that the wnrld recognises him ? With ior the present rests Apotheosis as its Prophet and Speaker, who has spoken wisely the thing it longed to say? Add only that the body of this same roseIt is stifled, beatified Patriarch cannot get buried except by stealth. wholly a notable business and France, without doubt, is big (what the Germans call Of good I lope ') we shall wish her a happy birthhour, and blessed fruit. Beaumarchais too has nowwinded-uphis Lav/-Pleadings {^Memoires)\\ not without result, to himself and to the world. Caron Beaumarchais (or de Beaumarchais, for he got ennobled) had been born poor, but above all v/ith aspiring, esurient with talents, audacity, adroitness the talent for intrigue: a lean, but also a tough indomitable man. Fortune and dexterity brought him to the harpsichord of Mesdames, our good Princesses Loque, Graille and Sisterhood. Still better, Prisa Duvernier, the Court-Banker, honoured hiiw with some confidence to the length even of transactions in cash. Which confidence, however, Duvernier's Heir, a person of quality, would not continue. Quite otherwise there springs a Lawsuit from it wherein tough Beauraarchais, losing both money and repute, is, in the opinion of Judge-Reporter Goezman, of the Parlcment Maupeou, of a whole indifferent acquiescing world, miserably beaten. In all men's opinion, only not in his own Inspired by the indignation, which makes, if not verses, satirical lawpapers, the withered Music-master, with a desperate heroism, takes up his lost cause in spite of the world fights for it, against Reporter? Parlements and Principalities, with light banter, with clear logic; adroitly, with an inexhaustible toughness and resource, like the skilon whom, so skilful is he, the whole world now looks lullest fencer In fine, after with wavering fortune. Three long years it lasts labours comparable to the Twelve of Hercules, our unconquerable Caron triumphs regains his Lawsuit and Lawsuits strips Reporter Goezman of the judicial ermine covering him with a perpetual garment and in regard to the Parlement Maupeou (which of obloquy instead he has helped to extinguish), to Parlements of all kinds, and to French
: '

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!

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t I773-6. are given.

February 1778. See CEuvres de Beaumarshais

;

whera they, and the history of them,

ASTRyEA REDUX WITHOUT CASH.
Justice generally, gives rise to endless reflections in the
;

yj

minds

c{ jnen.

Thus has Beaumarchais, like a lean French Hercules, ventured down, driven by destiny, into the Nether Kingdoms and victoriously tamed
helldogs there. generation.

He

also

is

hencefortla

among

the notabilities of hii

CHAPTER

V.

ASTIUSA REDUX WITHOUT CASH.

Observe, however, beyond the Atlantic, has n(;t the new day verily dawned! Democracy, as we said, is born storm-girt, is struggling for
;

sympathetic France rejoices over the Rights o\ Man in all saloons, it is said. What a spectacle Now too behold oui Deane, our Franklin, American Plenipotentiaries, here in person soliciting * the sons of the Saxon Puritans, with their Old-Saxon temper, Old-Hebrew culture, sleek Silas, sleek Benjamin, here on such errand, among the light children of Heathenism, Monarchy, Sentimentalism, and the Scarlet Woman. A spectacle indeed over which saloons may cackle joyous, though Kaiser Joseph, questioned on it, gave this answer, most unexpected from a Philosophe " Madame, the trade 1 live by is that of roy-list {Afon metier a vtoi c'est d'etre royaliste\" So thinks light Maurepas too; but the wind of Philosophism aJU force of public opinion will blow him round. Best wishes, meanwhile, are sent clandestine privateers armed. Paul Jones shall equip his Bon Homme Richard : weapons, military stores can be smugj^led over (if the English do not seize them); wherein, once more Beaumarchais, dimly as the Giant Smuggler, becomes visible, filling his own lank pocket withal. But surely, in any case, France should have a Na\'y. r'or which great object were not now the time now when that proud Termagant of the Seas has her hands full ? It is true, an impoverished Treasury cannot build ships but the hint once given (which Bcaumai chais says he gave), this and the other loyal Seaport, Chamber of Commerce, will build and offer them. Goodly vessels bound into the waters a Ville de Paris, Leviathan of sliips. And now when gratuitous three-deckers dance there at anchor, with streamers flying; and eleutheromaniac Philosophedom grows ever more clamorous, what can a Maurepas do but gyrate? Squadrons cross the ocean Gatescs, Lees, rough Yankee Generals, with woollen nigbt-caps under their hats,' present arms to the far-glancing Chivalry of France and newborn Democracy sees, not without amazement, Despotism tempered by Epigrams fight at her side. So, however, it
life

and
;

victory.

A

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King's forces and heroic volunteers Rochambeaus, Bouilles. Lameths, Lafaycttes, have drawn their swords in this sacred quarrel of mankind shall draw them again elsewhere, in the strangest way.
is.
;

;

Off Ushant some naval thunder is heard. In the course of which did our young Prince, Duke de Chartres, hide in the hold or did he materially, by active heroism, contribute to the victory? Alas, by a
'

;

'

• X777

;

Deane somewhat

earlier

:

Franklin remained

till

1785.

38

THE PAPER AGE,
we
learn there
; ;

had

was no victory or that Eriglish Keppel Our poor young Prince gets his Opera plaudits changed into mocking tehees and cannot become Grand-Admiral, the source to him of woes which one may call endless. Wo also for Ville de Paris, the Leviathan of ships English Rodney has clutched it, and led it home, with the rest so successful was his new manoeuvre of breaking the enemy's line.' t It seems as if, accordsecond edition,
it.*
1
; ' '

Brave Suffren ing to Louis XV., France were never to have a Na\'y.' must return from Hyder Ally and the Indian waters with small result yet with great glory for 'six' non-defeats; which indeed, with such seconding as he had, one may reckon heroic. Let the old sea-hero send rest now, honoured of France, in his native Cevennes Mountains smoke, not of gunpowder, but mere culinary smoke, through the old chimneys of the Castle of Jales, which one day, in other hands, shall have other fame. Brave Laperouse shall by and by lift anchor, on philanthropic Voyage of Discovery for the King knows Geography. J But alas this also will not prosper the bravt Navigator goes, and returns He has vanished not the Seekers search far seas for him in vain. and only some mournful mysterious trackless into blue Immensity shadow of him hovers long in all heads and hearts. Neither, while the War yet lasts, will Gibraltar surrender. Not though Crillon, Nassau-Siegen, with the ablest projectors extant, are there and Prince Conde and Prince d'Artois have hastened to help. Wondrous leather-roofed Floating-batteries, set afloat by French-Spanish to which, nevertheless, Facte de Famille, give gallant summons Gibraltar answers Plutonically, with mere torrents of redhot iron, as and utters such s if stone Calpe had become a throat of the Pit Doom's-blast of a No, as all men must credit. And so, with this loud explosion, the noise of War has ceased an Age ol Benevolence may hope, for ever. Our noble volunteers of Lafayette, as the Freedom have returned, to be her missionaries. matchless of his time, glitters in the Versailles CEil-de-Boeuf has his Bust set up in the Paris Hotel-de-Ville. Democracy stands inexpugnhas even a foot lifted towards able, immeasurable, in her New World

;

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and our French Finances, the Old are in no healthy way.
;

;

little

strengthened by such work,

What to do with the Finances ? This indeed is the great question a small but most black weather-symptom, which no radiance of universal saw Turgot cast forth from the Controllership, hope can cover. with shrieks, for want of a Fortunatus' Purse. As little could M. de Clugny manage the duty or indeed do any thing, but consume his attain a place in History,' where as an ineffectual shadow wages and let the duty manage itself. thou beholdest him still lingering Did Gonevese Necker possess such a Purse then ? He possessed Banker's skill. Banker's honesty credit of all kinds, for he had vwitten Academic Prize Essays, struggled for India Companies, given dinners

We

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;

%

* 27th July, 1778. t 9th and 12th April, 1782. J August ist, 1785. September, October, 1782, Aii-i'ial Register (Dodsley's), xxv. 258-267,

WINDBAG9.
\o
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39

Philosophes, and realised a fortune in twenty years.* He possessed, further, a taciturnity and solemnity; of depth, or else of dulness. How singular for Celadon Gibbon, false swain as he had proved whose father, keeping most probably his own gig, 'would not hear of such a union,' to find now his forsaken Demoiselle Curchod sitting in the Necker not high places of the world, as Minister's Madame, and * jealous A new young Demoiselle, one day to be famed as a Madame and De Stael, was romping about the knees of the Decline and Fall the lady Necker founds Hospitals gives solemn Philosophe dinner-parties, Strange things have to cheer her exhausted Controller-General. happened by clamour of Philosophism, management of Marquis de Pezay, and Poverty constraining even Kings. And so Necker, Atlaslike, sustains the burden of the Finances, for five years long.f Without wages, for he refused such cheered only by Public Opinion, and the ministering of his noble Wife. With many thoughts in him, His Compte which however he is shy of uttering. it is hoped Rendu, published by the royal permission, fresh sign of a New Era, which what but the genius of some Atlas-Necker shows wonders can prevent from becoming portents ? In Necker's head too there is a whole pacific French Revolution, of its kind and in that taciturn dull depth, or deep dulness, ambition enough. Meanwhile, alas, his Fortunatus' Purse turns out to be little other than the old '^vectigal of Parsimony.' Nay, he too has to produce his scheme of taxing Clergy, Noblesse to be taxed Provincial Assemblies, The expiring M. de Maurepas must and the rest, like a mere Turgot Let Necker also depart not unlamented. gjn-ate one other time. Great in a private station, Necker looks on from the distance abiding Eighty thousand copies of his new Book, which he calls his time. Administration des Fir.ances, will be sold in few days. He is gone but shall return, and that more than once, borne by a whole shouting Nation. Singular Controller-General of the Finances once Clerk in Thelusson's Bank
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CHAPTER
WINDBAGS.

VI.

the world, in this its Paper Age, or Era of Hope. Not which, however, heard from without obstructions, war-explosions If such distance, are little other than a cheerful marching-mustf! indeed that dark living chaos of Ignorance and Hunger, five and ^'v-^nty were to begin playing million strong, under your feet, For the present, however, consider Longchamp now when Lent is ending, and the glory of Paris and France has gone forth, as in annual wont. Not to assist at Tenebris Masses, but to sun itself and show Manifold, bright-tinted, glittering itself, and salute the Young Spring.J with gold all through the Bois de Boulogne, in longdrawn variegated

So marches

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% Mercier
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Date, i6th June, 1777, etc.
Paris,
ii.

Tableau de

51.

Louvet

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Roman

t Till May 17S1. de Faublas, etc

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40

THE PAPER AGE,

iOWs;

—like
:

longdrawn

living

fiower-borders, tulipo, dahliaJ,
1

lilies

ol

the valley ; all in their moving flower-pots (of newgilt carriages) : pleasure of the eye, and pride of life So rolls and dances the Procession steady, of firm assurance, as if it rolled on adamant and the foundations of the world not on mere heraldic parchment, under which smoulders a lake of fire. Dance on, ye foolish ones ye sought not wisdom, neither have ye found it. Ye and your fathers have sown the wind, ye shall reap the whiriwind. Was it not, from of old, written The wages of sin is death ?
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But at Longchamp, as elsewhere, we remark for one thing, that dame and cavalier are waited on each by a kind of human familiar, named jokei. Little elf, or imp though young, already withered
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with

elfhood:

vice, of knowingness, of completed useful in various emergencies. The name jokei (jockey) comes from the English as the thing also fancies that it does. Our Anglomania, in fact, has grown considerable prophetic of much. II France is to be free, why shall she not, now when mad war is hushed, love neighbouring Freedom ? Cultivated men, your Dukes de Liancourt, de la Rochefoucault admire the English Constitution, the English National Character; would import what of it they can. Of what is lighter, especially if it be light as wind, how much easier Non-Admiral Duke de Chartres (not yet d'Orleans or the freightage Egalite) flies to and fro across the Strait importing English Fashions this he, as hand-and-glove with an English Prince of Wales, is surely qualified to do Carriages and saddles top-boots, and redingotes, as we call riding-coats. Nay the very mode of riding for now no man on a level with his age but will trot d FAnglaise, rising in the stirrups scornful of the old sitfast method, in which, according to Shakespear, butter and eggs go to market. Also, he can urge the fervid wheels, this brave Chartres of ours no whip in Paris is rasher and surer than the unprofessional one of Monseigneur. ¥.\ijokeis, we have seen but see now real Yorkshire jockeys, and what they ride on, and train English racers for French Races. These likewise we owe first (under the Providence of the Devil) to Monseigneur. Prince d'Artois also has his stud of racers. Prince d'Artois has withal the strangest horseleech: a moonstruck, much-enduring named Jean Paul Marat. individual, of Neuchatel in Switzerland, problematic Chevalier d'Eon, now in petticoats, now in breeches, is no less problematic in London than in Paris and causes bets and Swind'ery lawsuits. Beautiful days of international communion and Blackguardism have stretched hands across the Channel, and ealuted mutually on the race-course of Vincennes or Sablons, behold, in English curricle-and-four, wafted glorious among the principalities and rascalities, an English Dr. Dodd,* for whom also the too early gallows gapes. Duke de Chartres was a young Prince of great promise, as young princes often are; which promise unfortunately has belied itselt
its

withered

air of

premature

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WINDBAGS.

41

With the huge Orleans Property, with Duke de Penthievre for Fatherin-law (and now the young Brother-in-law Lamballe killed by excesses), he will one day be the richest man in France. Meanwhile, his hair is all falling out, his blooc* is quite spoiled,' ^by early transcendentalism of debauchery. Carbuncles stud his face; dark studs on a ground of burnished copper. A most signal failure, this young Prince The stuff prematurely burnt out of him little left but foul smoke and ashes of expiring sensualities what might have been Thought, Insight, and even Conduct, gone now, or fast going, to confused darkness, broken by bewildering dazzlements to obstreperous crotchets to activities which you may call semi-delirious, or even but he Paris alfects to laugh at his charioteering semi-galvanic heeds not such laughter. On the other hand, what a day, not of laughter, was that, when he threatened, for lucre's sake, to lay sacrilegious hand on the Palais-Royal Garden * The flower-parterres shall be riven up the Chestnut Avenues shall fall time-honoured boscages, under which the Opera Hamadryads were wont to wander, not inexorable to men. Paris moans aloud. Philidor, from his Cafe de la Regence, shall no longer look on greenness the loungers and losels of the world, where now the sacred In vain is moaning. The axe glitters shall they haunt ? groves fall crashing, for indeed Monseigneur was short of money: Shriek not, ye Opera the Opera Hamadryads fly with shrieks. Hamadryads or not as those that have no comfort. He will surround your Garden with new edifices and piazzas though narrowed, it shall be replanted dizened with hydraulic jets, cannon which the sun fires things bodily, things spiritual, such as man has not imagined at noon and in the Palais-Royal shall again, and more than ever, be the Sorcerers Sabbath and Satan-at-Home of our Planet.


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not mortals attempt ? From remote Annonay in the Brothers Montgolfier send up their paper-dome, filled with the smoke of burnt wool.f The Vivarais Provincial Assembly is to be prorogued this same day: Vivarais Assembly-members applaud, and Will victorious Analysis scale the the shouts of congregated men. very Heavens then ? Paris hears with eager wonder Paris shall ere long see. From R6veillon's Paper-warehouse there, in the Rue St. Antoine (a noted Warehouse), the new Montgolfier, air-ship launches itself. Ducks and poultry have been borne skyward but now shall men be borne.J Nay, Chemist Charles thinks of hydrogen and glazed silk. Chemist Charles will himself ascend, from the Tuileries Garden Montgolfier solemnly cutting the cord. By Heaven, this Charles does also mount, he and another Ten times ten thousand hearts go palpitating all tongues are mute with wonder and fear till a shout, like the voice of seas, rolls after him, on his wild way. He soars, he dwindles upwards; has become a mere gleaming circlet, like some
will
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Vivarais,

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(Dulaure viii. 423.) t 5th Juae, aySs. t October ana November 1763.
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42

THE PAPER AGE.
we
call
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Turgotine snuffbox, what

Turgotine-Platitude ;^ like
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some

daylight Moon Finally he descends welcomed by the universe. Duchess Polignac, with a party, is in the Bois de Boulogne, waiting The whole though it is drizzly winter, the ist of December, 1783. chivalry ofi France, Duke de Chartres foremost, gallops to receive

new

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him*
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Beautiful invention mounting heavenward, so beautifully, so unguidably Emblem of much, and of our Age of Hope itself; which shall mount, specifically-light, majestically in this same manner and tumbling whither Fate will. Well if it do not, Pilatre-like, hover, So, riding on windbags, explode and demownX. all the more tragically

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scale the

Empyrean.

Or observe Herr Doctor Mesmer, in his spacious Magnetic Halls. reverend, glancing upwards, as in rapt comLong-stoled he walks merce an Antique Egyptian Hierophant in this new age. Soft music breaking fitfully the sacred stillness. Round their Magnetic flits Mystery, which to the eye is mere tubs with water, sit breathless, rod in hand, the circles of Beauty and Fashion, each circle a living circular Passion-Flower : expecting the magnetic afflatus, and new-manufactured Heaven-on-Earth. O women, O men, great is your infidel-faith A Parlementary Duport, a Bergasse, D'Espr6menil we notice there Chemist Berthollet too, on the part of Monseigneur de Chartres. Had not the Academy of Sciences, with its Baillys, Franklins, But it did interfere.f Mesmer may pocket his Lavoisiers, mterfered hard money, and withdraw. Let him walk silent by the shore of the Bodonsee, by the ancient town of Constance meditating on much. For so, under the strangest new vesture, the old great truth (since no vesture can hide it) begins again to be revealed That man is what we and, on call a miraculous creature, with miraculous power over men the whole, with such a Life in him, and such a World round him, as victorious Analysis, with her Physiologies, Nervous-systems, Physic and Metaphysic, will never completely name, to say nothing of explainWherein also the Quack sliall. in all ages, come in for his share. ing.
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CHAPTER VIL CONTRAT SOCIAL.
In such succession of singular prismatic tints, flush after flush suffusing our horizon, does the Era of Hope dawn on towards fulfilment. Questionable As indeed, with an Era of Hope that rests on mere universal Benevolence, victorious Analysis, Vice cured of its deformity and, in the long run, on Twenty-five dark savage Millions, looking up, in hunger and weariness to that Ecce-signnm of theirs forty feet high," how could \K be but questionable ? Through all time, if we read aright, sin was, is, will be, the parent of misery. This land calls itself most Christian, and has crosses and
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iS"' Si^cle,

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258.

August, 1784

CDNTRAT SOCIAL
cathedrals but its High-priest lace-Cardinal Louis de Rohan.
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43

some Roche-Aymon, some NeckThe voice of the poor, through long
is

years,

ascends

inarticulate,
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in Jacqjteries,

meal-mobs
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low-whim-

pering of infinite moan unheeded of the Earth not unheeded of Heaven. Alwaj's moreover where the IMillions are wretched, there are the Thousands straitened, unhappy only the Units can flourish 01 say rather, be ruined the last. Industry, all noosed and haltered, as W it too were some beast of chase for the mighty hunters of this world tc cries passionately to these its well-pai< bait, and cut slices from, guides and watchers, not. Guide me ; but, Laissezfaire Leave me alon' oi your guidance! What market has Industry in this France? Fo two things there may be market and demand: for the coarser kind oJ field-fruits, since the IMillions will live for the finer kinds of luxury and spicery, of multiform taste, from opera-melodies down to racers and courtesans since the Units will be amused. It is at bottom but a mad state of things. To mend and remake all which we have, indeed, victorious Analysis. Honour to \'ictorious Analysis nevertheless, out of the Workshop and Laboratory, what thing was victorious Analysis yet known to make ? Detection of incoherences, mainly destruction of the incoherent. From of old, Doubt was but half a magician she evokes the spectres which she cannot quell. shall have endless vortices of frothlogic whereon first words, and then things, are whirled and swallowed. Remark, accordingly, as acknowledged grounds of Hope, at bottom mere precursors of Despair, this perpetual theorising about Man, the Mind of Man, Philosophy of Government, Progress of the Species, and such like the main thinking furniture of every head. Time, and so many Montesquieus, Mablys, spokesmen of Time, have discovered innumerable things: and now has not Jean Jacques promulgated his new Evangel of a Coiitrat Social ; explaining the whole mystery of Government, and how it is contracted and bargained for, to universal satisfaction ? Theories of Government Such have been, and will be in ages of decadence. Acknowledge them in their degree as processes of Nature, who does nothing in vain as steps in her great process. Meanwhile, what theory is so certain as this, That all theories, were they never so earnest, painfully elaborated, are and, by the very conditions of them, must be incomplete, questionable, and even false ? Thou shalt know that this Universe is, what it professes to be, an infinite one. Attempt not to swallow it, for thy logical digestion be thankful, if skilfully planting down this and the other fixed pillar in the chaos, thou prevent its swallowing thee. That a new young generation has exchanged the Sceptic Creed. Uliai shall J believe, for passionate Faith in this Gospel according to Jean Jacques, is a further step in the business and betokens much. Blessed also is Hope and always from the beginning there wag some Millennium prophesied Millennium of Holiness but (what is notable) never till this new Era, any Millennium of mere Ease and plentiful Supply. In such prophesied Lubberland, of Happiness Benevolence, and Vice cured of its deformity, trust not, my friends I
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THE PAPER AGE.
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not what one calls a happy animal his appetite for sweet victual is so enormous. How, in this wild Universe, which storms in on him, infinite, vague-menacing, shall poor man find, say not happiness, but existence, and footing to stand on, if it be not by girding himself together for continual endeavour and endurance ? Wo, if in his heart there dwelt no devout Faith if the word Duty had lost its meaning for him For as to this of Sentimentalism, so useful for weeping with over romances and on pathetic occasions, it otherwise verily will avail nothing nay less. The healthy heart that said to itself, How healthy am I! was already fallen into the fatallest sort of disease. Is not Sentimentalism twin-sister to Cant, if not one and the same with it ? Is not Cant the materia prima of the Devil from which all falsehoods, imbecilities, abominations body themselves from which no true thing can come? For Cant is itself properly a double-distilled Lie; the second-power of a Lie. And now if a whole Nation fall into that ? In such case, I answer, infallibly they will return out of it For life is no cunningly-devised deception or self-deception it is a great truth that thou art alive, that thou hast desires, necessities neither can these subsist and satis.''y themselves on delusions, but on fact. To fact, depend on it, we shall come back to such fact, blessed or cursed, as we have wisdom for. The lowest, least blessed fact one knows of, on which necessitous mortals have ever based themselves, seems to be the primitive one of Cannibalism That / can devour 77^1?^. What if such Primitive Fact were precisely the one we had (with our improved methods) to revert to, and begin anew from
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CHAPTER Via
PRINTED PAPER.
In such a practical France, let the theory of Perfectibility say what it w\il, discontents cannot be wanting your promised Reformation is so indispensable; yet it comes not; who will begin it with himself? Discontent with what is around us, still more with what is above us, goes on increasing seeking ever new vents. Of Street Ballads, of Epigrams that from of old tempered Despotism, we need not speak. Nor of Manuscript Newspapers {Nouvelles a la main) do we speak. Bachaumont and his journeymen and followers may close those thirty volumes of scurrilous eaves-dropping,' and quit that trade for at length if not liberty of tSd Press, there is license, Pamphlets can be surreptitiously vended and read in Paris, did they even bear to be Printed at Pekin.' have a Courier de l Europe in those years, regularly published at London by a De Morande, whom the guillotine has not yet devoured. There too an unruly Linguet, still unguillotined, when his own country has become too hot for him, and his brother Advocates have cast him out, can emit his hoarse wailings, and Bastille Devoilee (Bastille Unveiled). Loquacious Abb6 Raynal, at length, has his wish sees the Histoire Philosophique, with its 'lubricity,' unveracity, loose loud eleutheromaniac rant (con:

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PRINTED PAPER,

45

tributed, they say, by Philosophedom at large, though in the Abbe's name, and to his glory), burnt by the common hangman;— and sets perhaps It was the Edition of 1781 out on his travels as a martyr. the last notable Book that had such fire-beatitude,— the hangman
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discovering

now that it did not serve. Again, in Courts of Law, with their money-quarrels, divorce-cases, wheresoever a glimpse into the household existence can be had, what The Parlements of Besan^on and Aix ring, audible to all indications France, with the amours and destinies of a young Mirabeau. He, Friend of Men,' has, in State Prisons, under the nurture of a marching Regiments, Dutch Authors'-garrets, and quite other scenes, despotism 'of been for twenty years learning to resist despotism men, and alas also of gods. How, beneath this rose-coloured veil of Universal Benevolence and Astrcea Redux, is the sanctuary of Home The old so often a dreary void, or a dark contentious Hell-on-Earth Friend of Men has his own divorce-case too and at times, his whole family but one under lock and key he writes much about reforming and enfranchising the world and for his own private behoof, he has needed sixty Lettres-de-Cachet. A man of insight too with resolution, but in such an element, inward and even with manful principle Edacity, which he could not rule, but only madden. outward Fools quite contrary to the finer sensibilities of the heart rapacity that expect your verdant Millennium, and nothing but Love and Abundance, brooks running wine, winds whispering music, with the whole ground and basis of your existence champed into a mud of Sensuality which, daily growing deeper, will soon have no bottom but the Abyss Or consider that unutterable business of the Diamond Necklace. Red-hatted Cardinal Louis de Rohan Sicilian jailbird Balsamo Cagliostro milliner Dame de Lamotte, with a face of some piquancy the highest Church Dignitaries waltzing, in Walpurgis Dance, with quack-prophets, pickpurses and public women a whole Satan's working there continually under the Invisible World displayed daylight visible one the smoke of its torment going up for ever! The Throne has been brought into scandalous collision with the Treadmill. Astonished Europe rings with the mystery for ten months sees only lie unfold itself from lie corruption among the lofty and the low, gulosity, credulity, imbecility, strength nowhere but in the hunger. Weep, fair Queen, thy first tears of unmixed wretchedness! Thy fair name has been tarnished by foul breath irremediably while life lasts. No more shalt thou be loved and pitied by living hearts, till a new generation has been born, and thy own heart lies cold, cured of all its sorrows. The Epigrams henceforth become, not sharp and bitter; but cruel, atrocious, unmentionable. On that 31st of May 17S6, a miserable Cardinal Grand-Almoner Rohan, on issuing from his Bastille, is escorted by hurrahing crowds unloved he, and worthy of no love but important since the Court and Queen are his enemies.*
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THE PAPER AGE,
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i low is our bright Era of Hope dimmed and the whole sky growing bleak with signs of hurricane and earthquake It is a doomed world gone all obedience that made men free fast going the obedience that made men slaves, at least to one another. Slaves only of their own lusts they now are, and will be. Slaves of sin inevitably also of sorrow. Behold the mouldering mass of Sensuality and Falsehood; round which plays foolishly, itself a corrupt phosphorescence, some glimmer of Sentimentalism and over all, rising as Ark of their Covenant, the grim Patibulary Fork forty feet high which also is now nigh rotted. Add only that the French Nation distinguishes itself among Nations by the characteristic of Excitability with the good, but also with the perilous evil, which belongs to that. Rebellion, explosion, of unknown extent is to be calculated on. There are, as Chesterfield wrote, all the symptoms I have ever met with in History Shall we say, then to Philosophism, that it destroyed Religion, what it called extinguishing the abomination {ecraser Tinfame) ? rather to those that made the Holy an abomination, and extinguishable wo to all men that live in such a time of world-abomination, and worlddestruction Nay, answer the Courtiers, it was Turgot, \it was Necker, with their mad innovating it was the Queen's u'ant of etiquette it was he it was she, it was that. Friends it was every scoundrel that had lived, and quacklike pretended to be doing, and been only eating and wz/^doing, in all provinces of life, as Shoeblack or as Sovereign Lord, each in his degree, from the time of Charlemagne and earlier. All this (for be sure no falsehood perishes, but is as seed sown out to grow) has been storing itself for thousands of years and now the account-day has come. And rude will the settlement be of wrath laid up against the day of wrath. O my Brother, be not thou a Quack Die rather, if thou wilt take counsel 'tis but dying once, and thou art quit of it for ever. Cursed is that trade and bears curses, thou knowest not how, long ages after thou art departed, and the wages thou hadst are all consumed nay, as the ancient wise have written, through Eternity itself, and is verily marked in the Doom-Book of a God Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. And yet, as we said, Hope is but deferred not abolished, not abolishable. It is very notable, and touching, how this same Hope does still light onwards the French Nation through all its wild destinies. For we shall still find Hope shining, be it for fond invitation, be it for anger and menace as a mild heavenly light, it shone as a red conflagration it shines burning sulphurous-blue, through darkest regions of Terror, it still shines and goes not out at all, since Desperation itself is a kind of Hope. Thus is our Era still to be named of Hope, though in the saddest sense, when there is nothing left but Hop?.
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But
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PRINTED PAPER.
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de Figaro; which now (m 1784) Glance &l Ueaumarchais' after difficulty enough, has issued on the stage ; and runs its hundred, By what virtue or internal vigour nights,' to the admiration of all men. and indeed wiU it so ran, the reader of our day will rather wonder know so much the better that it flattered some pruriency of the time
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III.

THE PARLEMENT OF
CHAPTER
DISHONOURED
I.

PARIS.

BILLS.

While the unspeakable confusion is every where weltering within, and through so many cracks in the surfa'^e sulphur-smoke is issuing, the question arises Through what crevice will the main Explosion carry
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personal Institutions, and what we can call choked up from their original uses, there nevertheless must the impediment be weaker than elsewhere. Through which of them then ? An observer might have guessed Through the Law Parlements above all, through the Parlement of Paris. Men, though never so thickly clad in dignities, sit not inaccessible especially men whose life is business to the influences of their time who at all turns, were it even from behind judgment-seats, have come in contact with the actual workings of the world. The Counsellor of Parlement, the President himself, who has bought his place with hard money that he might be looked up to by his fellow-creatures, how shall he, in all Philosophe-soir^es, and saloons of elegant culture, become notable as a Friend of Darkness ? Among the Paris Long-robes there may be more than one patriotic Malesherbes, whose rule is conscience and the public good there are clearly more than one hotheaded D'Espr6m6nil, to whose confused thought any loud reputation of the Brutus sort may seem glorious. The Lepelletiers, Lamoignons have titles and wealth yet, at Court, are only styled Noblesse of the Robe.' There are Duports of deep scheme Fr6teaus, Sabatiers, of incontinent
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DISHONOURED
tongue
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BILLS.

49

nursed more or less on the milk of the Control Social. iS'ay, for the whole Body, is not this patriotic opposition also a fighting fgr Wa3 oneself ? Awake, Parlement of Paris, renew thy long warfare not the Parlement Maupeou abolished with ignominy? Not now hast thou to dread a Louis XIV., with the crack of his whip, and his Olympian looks not now a Richelieu and Bastilles no, the whole Nation is behind thee. Thou too (O heavens I) mayest become a Political Power and with the shakings of thy horse-hair wig, shake principalities and dynasties, like a very Jove with his ambrosial
all
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curls

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Light old M. de Maurepas, since the end of 1781, has been fixed in " never more," said the good Louis, " shall I hear the frost of death his step in the room there overhead " his light jestings and gjTatings are at an end. No more can the importunate reality be hidden by pleasant wit, and to-day's evil be deftly rolled over upon to-raorrow. The morrow itself has arrived and now nothing but a solid phlegmatic M. de Vergennes sits there, in dull matter of fact, like some dull
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punctual Clerk (which he originally was) admi1^s what cannot be denied, let the remedy come whence it will. In him is no remedy; only clerklike despatch of business according to routine. The poor King, grown older yet hardly more experienced, must himself, with such no-faculty as he has, begin governing wherein also his Queen Vv'ill give help. Bright Queen, with her quick clear glances and impulses clear, and even noble but ail-too superficial, vehementshallow, for that work To govern France were such a problem and now it has grown well-nigh too hard to govern even the QCil-de-Bocuf. For if a distressed People has its cry, so likewise, and more audibly, has a bereaved Court. To the CEil-de-Bceuf it remains inconceivable how, in a France of such resources, the Horn of Plenty should run dry did it not use to flow ? Nevertheless Necker, with his revenue of parsimony, has 'suppressed above six hundred places,' btfore the Courtiers could oust him parsimonious finance-pedant as he was. Again, a military pedant, Saint-Germain, with his Prussian manoeuvres with his Prussian notions, as if merit and not coat-of-arms should be the rule of promotion, has disaffected military men the Mousquetaires, with much else are suppressed for he too was one of j^our suppressors and unsettHng and oversetting, did mere mischief to the Uiil-de-Boeuf. Complaints abound scarcity, anxiety it is a :hanged (Eil-de-Boeuf. Besenval says, already in these years (1781) there was such a melancholy (such a tristesse) about Court, comparcc? with former days, as made it quite dispiriting to look upon. No wonder that the CEil-de-Boeuf feels melancholy, when you are suppressing its places Not a place can be suppressed, but some pura^ is tlie lighter lor it and more than one heart the heavier for did 'it not employ the working classes too, manufacturers, male and female of laces, essences ; of Pleasure generally, whosoever could manufacture Pleasure ? Miserable economies never felt over Twenty-five Millions I So, however, it goes on and is not yet ended. Fey years more and
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50

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.

Ihe WoTT-hounds shall fall suppressed, the Bear-hounds, the Falconry places shall fall, thick as autumnal leaves. Duke de Polignac demonetrates, to the complete silencing ol ministerial logic, that his place cannot be abolished then gallantly, turning to the Queen, surrenders Less chivalrous was Duke de Coigny, it, since her Majesty so wishes. and yet not luckier " vie got into a real quarrel, Coigny and I," said King Louis " but if he had even struck me, I could not have blamed him." * In regard to such matters there can be but one opinion. Baron Besenval, with that frankness of speech which ctamps the independent man, plainly assures her Majesty that it is frightful (Oj^reux); "you go to bed, and are not sure but you shall rise impoverished on the morrow one might as well be in Turkey." It is indeed a dog's life. How singular this perpetual distress of the royal treasury And yet A thing mournfully it is a thing not more incredible than undeniable. true the stumbling-block on which all Ministers successively stumble, and fall. Be it want of fiscal genius,' or some far other want, there is the palpablest discrepancy between Revenue and Expenditure; a Deficit of the Revenue you must choke {combler) the Deficit,' or else This is the stern problem hopeless seemingly it will swallow you Controller Joly de Fleury, who succeeded as squaring of the circle. Necker, could do nothing with it but propose loans, which were tardily impose new taxes, unproductive of money, productive of filled up clamour and discontent. As httle could Controller d'Ormesson do, or even less for if Joly maintained himself beyond year and day, d'Ormesson reckons only by months till the King purchased Rambouillet without consulting him,' which he took as a hint to withdraw. And so, towards the end of 1783, matters threaten to come to a stillstand. Vain seems human ingenuity. In vain has our newly-devised Council of Finances struggled, our Intendants of Finance, ControllerGeneral of Finances there are unhappily no Finances to control. Fatal paralysis invades the social movement clouds, of blindness or of blackness, envelope us are we breaking down, then, into the black horrors of National Bankruptcy ? Great is Bankruptcy the great bottomless gulf into which all Falsehoods, public and private, do sink, disappearing whither, from the For Nature is true and not first origin of them, they were all doomed. a lie. No lie you can speak or act but it will come, after longer or shorter circulation, like a Bill drawn on Nature's Reality, and be presented there for payment, with the answer, No effects. Pity only that circulation that the original forger were so it often had so long a seldom he who bore the final smart of it Lies, and the burden of evil they bring, are passed on shifted from back to back, and from rank to rank; and so land ultimately on the dumb lowest rank, who with spade and mattock, with sore heart and empty wallet, daily come in contact with reality, and can pass the cheat no further, Obser\'e nevertheless how, by a just compensating law, if the lie with its burden (in this confused whirlpool of Society) sinks and is shifted ever downwards, then in return the distress of it rises ever upwards
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ill.

255-258.

CONTROLLER CALONNE.
aiiJ

51

upwards.
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\A'hereby, after the long pining ar\J dcnii-starvation of

Twenty MilHons, a Duke de Coigny and his Majesty come also Such is the law of just Nature bringing, to have their real quarrel.' though at long intervals, and were it only by Bankruptcy, matter! round again to the mark But with a Fortunatus Purse in its pocket, through what length of
those
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Your Society, your Household, practical or spiritual Arrangement, is untrue, unjust, offensive to
time might not almost any Falsehood last
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Nevertheless its hearth is warm, its larder the eye of God and man. well replenished the innumerable Swiss of Heaven, with a kind of will prove, by pamphleteering, natural loyalty, gather round it musketeering, that it is a Truth or if not an unmixed (unearthly, impossible) Truth, then better, a wholesomely attempered one (as wind Changed outlook, however, is to the shorn lamb), and works well. Was your Arrangement so true; v/hen purse and larder grow empty so accordant to Nature's ways, then how, in the name of wonder, has Nature, with her infi;iite bounty, come to leave it famishing there ? To all men, to all women and all children, it is now indubitable that your Honour to Bankruptcy ever righteous on Arrangement was false. Under all Falsehoods the great scale, though in detail it is so cruel No Falsehood, (Hid it rise heaven-high it works, unweariedly mining. and cover the world, but Bankruptcy, one day, will sweep it down, and make us free of it.
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CHAPTER
Under such
when
to

II.

CONTROLLER CALOXNE.
circumstances of
tristesse,

obstruction and sick languor,

an exasperated Court it seems as if fiscal genius had departed from among men, what apparition could be welcomer than that of M. de Calonne ? Calonne, a man of indisputable genius even fiscal genius, more or less of experience both in managing Finance and Parlements, for he has been Intendant at Metz, at Lille King's Procureur at Douai. A man of weight, connected with the monied classes of unstained name, if it were not some peccadillo (of shewing a Client's Letter) in that old d'Aiguillon-Lachalotais business, as good as forgotten now. He has kinsmen of heavy purse, felt on the Stock Exchange. Our Foulons, Berthiers intrigue for him old Foulon who has now nothing to do but intrigue who is known and even seen to be what they call a scoundrel but of unmeasured wealth who, from Commissariat-clerk which he once was, may hope, some think, if the game go right, to be Minister himself one day. Such propping and backing has M. de Calonne and then intrinsically such qualities Hope radiates from his face persuasion hangs on his For all straits he has present remedy, and will make the tongue. woiXd roll on wheels before him. On the 3rd of November, 1783, the C£il-de-Bceuf rejoices in its nev^ Controller-General. Calonne also shall have trial Calonne also, in his way, as Turgot and Necker had done in theirs, shall forward the consummation suffuse, with one
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52
other
flu^li
it

THE PARLEMENT
up

"^F

PARIS.

wind

of biiliiancy, our into fulfilment.

now

too leaden-coloured Era ol Hope, and

Great, in any case, is the felicity of the (Eil-de-Boeuf. Stinginess suppression ceases your Besenval fled from these royal abodes may go peaceably to sleep, sure that he shall awake unplundered. Smiling Plenty, as if conjured by some enchanter, has returned; And mark what scatters contentment from her new-flowing horn. A bland smile distinguishes our Controller to suavity of manners makes all men he listens with an air of interest, nay of anticipation or at least, grants their own wish clear to themselves, and grants it " I fear this is a matter of difficulty," said conditional promise of it. it is but " JMadame," answered the Controller, " if her Majesty. A difficult, it is done if it is impossible, it shall be done {seferd)" man of such facility withal. To observe him in the pleasure-vortex of society, which none partakes of with more gusto, you might ask. When does he work ? And yet his work, as we see, is never behindhand above all, the fruit of his work ready-money. Truly a man of how, incredible facility facile action, facile elocution, facile thought in mild suasion, philosophic depth sparkles up from him, as mere wit and lambent sprightliness and in her Majesty's Soirees, with the weight of a world lying on him, he is the delight of men and women By what magic does he accomplish miracles ? By the only true magic, Men name him the Minister as indeed, when was that of genius. Crooked things are become straight by him, there another such? rough places plain and over the CEil-de-Boeuf there rests an unspeakable sunshine. Nay, in seriousness, let no man say that Calonne had not genius genius for Persuading; before all things, for Borrowing. With the skilfullest judicious appliances of underhand money, he keeps the Stock-Exchanges flourishing so that Loan after Loan is filled up as soon as opened. 'Calculators likely to know'* have calculated that he spent, in extraordinaries, 'at the rate of one million daily;' which indeed is some fifty thousand pounds sterling but did he not procure something with it namely peace and prosperity, for the time being ? Philcsophedom grumbles and croaks buys, as we said, 80,000 copies but Nonpareil Calonne, in her Majesty's of Necker's new Book Apartment, with the glittering retinue of Dukes, Duchesses, and mere Happy admiring faces, can let Necker and Philosophedom croak.

has

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by Loan

Squandering, and Payment is, such a time cannot last no way to choke a Deficit. Neither is oil the substance but only for assuaging them, not for quenching conflagrations To the Nonpareil himself, who wanted not insight, it permanently. is clear at intervals, and dimly certain at all times, that his trade is that changes by nature temporary, growing daily more difficult incalculable lie at no great distance. Apart from financial Deficit, the worfd is wholly in 'such a newfangled humour all things working

The misery
is

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ill.

aiS.

THE NOTABLES.

53

loose from their old fastenings, towards new issues and combinations. There is not a dw^ri j'oket, a cropt Brutus'-head, or Anglomaniac horseman rising on his stirrups, that does not betoken change. But what then ? The day, in any case, passes pleasantly for the morrow, if the morrow come, there shall be counsel too. Once mounted (by munificence, suasion, magic of genius) high enough in favour with the CEil-de-Boeuf, with the King, Queen, Stock-Exchange, and so far a^ possible with all men, a Nonpareil Controller may hope to go careering through the Inevitable, ia some unitnagined way, as handsomely as another. At all events, for these three miraculous years, it has been expedient heaped on expedient till now, with such cumulation and height, the And here has this world's-wonder of a Diamond pile topples perilous. Necklace brought it at last to the clear verge of tumbling. Genius in that direction, can no more: mounted high enough, or not mounted, we must fare forth. Hardly is poor Rohan, the Necklace-Cardinal, safely (bestowed in the Auvergne Mountains; Dame de la Motte (unsafely) in the Salpetriere, and that mournful business hushed up, when our sanguine Controller once more astonishes the world. An expedient, unheard of for these hundred and sixty years, has been propounded and, by dint of suasion (for his light audacity, his hope and eloquence are matchless) has been got adopted, Convocation of the Notables. Let notable persons, the actual or virtual rulers of their districts, be summoned from all sides of France let a true tale, of his Majesty's patriotic purposes and wretched pecuniary impossibilities, be suasively Surely told them, and then the question put: What are we to do? such as the magic of genius will unfold to adopt healing measures such as, once sanctioned by Notables, all Parlements and all men must, with more or less reluctance, submit to.
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CHAPTER

III.

THE iVOTABLES. Here then is verily a sign and wonder visible to the whole world bodeful of much. The CEil-de-Boeuf dolorously grumbles were we
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quenching conflagrations by oil ? not well as we stood, Constitutional Philosophedom starts with joyful surprise ; stares eagerly what the result will be. The public creditor, the public debtor, the whole thinking and thoughtless public have their several surprises, joyful or sorrowful. Count Mirabeau, who has got his matrimonial and other Lawsuits huddled up, better or worse and works now in the dimmest
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element

compiling Prussian Monarchies, Pamphlets On Cagliostro; writing, with pay, but not with honourable recognition, innumerable Despatches for his Government, scents or descries richer quarry from afar. He, like an eagle or vulture, or mixture of both, preens his wings for flight homewards.*
at Berlin
:

Fiis

Adoptif : "

M^oires de

Mirabeau,"

t. iv.

liw. 4 and 4.

U
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THE PARLEMENT OF

PARIS.

dc Calunne has stretched out an Aaron's Rod over France; miraculous and is summoning quite unexpected things. Audacity and hope alternate in him with misgivings; though the sanguine-valiant side carries it. Anon he writes to an intimate friend, 'Je mefais pitie a moi-meme (^ am an object of pity to myself)^;' anon, invites some dedicating Poet or Poetaster to sing this Assembly of the Notables, and the Revolution that is preparing.'* Preparing indeed; and a matter to be sung, only not till we have see7i it, and what the issue of it is. In deep obscure unrest, all things have so long gone rocking and swaying will M. de Calonne, with this his alchemy of the Notables, fasten all together again, and get new revenues ? Or wrench all asunder so that it go no longer rocking and swaying, but clashing and
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Be this as it may, in the bleak short days, we behold men of weight and influence, threading the great vortex of French Locomotion, each on his several line, from all sides of France, towards the Chateau of Versailles summoned thither de par le rot. There, on the 22nd day of February 1787, they have met, and got installed: Notables to the number of a Hundred and Thirty-seven, as we count them name by name :t add Seven Princes of the Blood, it makes the round Gross of
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Men of the sword, men of the robe Peers, dignified Clergy, Parliamentary Presidents divided into Seven Boards {Buremix) under our Seven Princes of the Blood, Monsieur, d'Artois, Penthievre, and the rest; among whom let not our new Duke d'Orleans (for, since 1785, hp is Chartres no longer) be forgotten. Never yet made Admiral, and now turning the corner of his fortieth year, with spoiled blood and prospects; half-weary of a v/orld which is more than half-weary of him, Monseigneur's future is most questionable. Not in illumination and insight, not even in conflagration but, as was said, in dull smoke and ashes of out-burnt Sensualities,' does he live and digest. Sumptuosity and sordidness revenge, lifeweariness, ambition, darkness, putrescence and, say, in sterling money, three hundred thousand a year, were this poor Prince once to burst loose from his Court-moorings, to what Happily as regions, with what phenomena, might he not sail and drift yet he affects to hunt daily sits there, since he must sit, presiding that Bureau of his, with dull moon-visage, dull glassy eyes, as if it were a mere tedium to him. observe finally that Count Mirabeau has actually arrived. H descends from Berlin, on the scene of action glares into it with flashmg sun-glance discerns that it will do nothing for him. He had hoped these Notables might need a Secretary. They do need one but have fixed on Dupont de Nemours a man of smaller fame, but then ol better who indeed, as his friends often hear, labours under this complaint, surely not a universal one, of having five kings to correspond v/ith.' J The pen of a Mirabeau cannot become an official one never theless it remains a pen. In defect of Secretaryship, he sets to
Notables.
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THE NOTABLES.
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55

denouncing Stock-brokerage {Denondation de FAgiotage)] testifying, till, warned as his wont is, by loud bruit, that he is present and busy by friend Talleyrand, and even by Calonne himself underhand, that a seventeenth Letlre-de-Cachei may be launched against him,' he tirnefully flits over the marches. And now, in stately royal apartments, as Pictures of that time still represent them, our hundred and forty-four Notables sit organised ready to hear and consider. Controller Calonne is dreadfully behindhand with his speeches, his preparatives however the man's facility For freshness of style, lucidity, ingenuit)', of work is known to us. largeness of view, that opening Harangue of his was unsurpassable had not the subject-matter been so appalling. A Deficit, concerning which accounts vary, and the Controller's own account is not unquestioned but which all accounts agree in representing as enormous.' This is the epitome of our Controller's difficulties and then his means ? Mere Turgotism for thither, it seems, we must come at last Provincial Assemblies new Taxation nay, strangest of all, new Land tax, what he calls Subvention Terntoriale, from which neither Piivileged nor Unprivileged, Noblemen, Clergy, nor Parlementeers, shall be exempt These Privileged Classes have been used to tax Foolish enough levying toll, tribute, and custom, at all hands, while a penny was left but to be themselves taxed ? Of such Privileged persons, meanwhile, do these Notables, all but the merest fraction, consist. Headlong Calonne had given no heed to the composition,' or judicious packing but chosen such Notables as were really notable trusting of them for the issue to ofthand ingenuity, good fortune, and eloquence that never yet failed. Headlong Controller-General Eloquence can do much, but not all. Orpheus, with eloquence grown rhythmic, musical (what we call Poetry), drew iron tears from the cheek of Pluto but by what witchery of rhyme or prose wilt thou, from the pocket of Plutus,

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Accordingly, the storm that now rose and began to whistle round Calonne, first in these Seven Bureaus, and then on the outside of them, awakened by them, spreading wider and wider over all France, threatens A Deficit so enormous Mismanagement, to become unappeasable. profusion is too clear. Peculation itself is hinted at nay, Lafayette and others go so far as to speak it out, with attempts at proof. The blame of his Deficit our brave Calonne, as was natural, had endeavoured to shift from himself on his predecessors not excepting even Necker. But now Necker vehemently denies whereupon an angry Correspon! ; ;
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dence,' which also finds its way into print. In the CEil-de-Boeuf, and her Majesty's private Apartments, an eloquent Controller, with his Madame, if it is but difficult,' had been persuasive but, alas, the cause is now carried elsewhither. Behold him, one of these sad days, in Monsieur's Bureau ; to which all the other Bureaus have sent deputies. He is standing at bay alone exposed to an incessant fire of questions, interpellations, objurgations, from those hundred and thirty-seven pieces of logic-ordnance, what
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THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.

to Besenval, or hardly ever, had such display of intellect, dexterity, coolness, suasive eloquence, been made by man. To the ragmg play of so many fire-mouths he opposes nothing angrier than light-beams, With the imperturbablest bland self-possession, and fatherly smiles. clearness, he, for five hours long, keeps answering the incessant volley of fiery captious questions, reproachful interpellations in words prompt as lightning, quiet as light. Nay, the cross-fire too such side-questions and incidental interpellations as, in the heat of the main-battle, he (having only one tongue) could not get answered these also he takes answers even these.* Could blandest suasive up, at the first slake eloquence have saved France, she were saved. Heavy-laden Controller In the Seven Bureaus, seems nothing but hindrance in Monsieur's Bureau, a Lom^nie de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse, with an eye himself to the Controllership, stirs up the Clergy there are meetings, underground intrigues. Neither from without any where comes sign of help or hope. For the Nation (where Mirabeau is now, with stentor-lungs, denouncing Agio ') the Controller has hitherto done nothing, or less. For Philosophedom he has done sent out some scientific Laperouse, or the like as good as nothing,
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with its Necker ? The very CEil-de-Boeuf looks questionable a falling Controller has no friends. Solid M. de Vergennes, who with his phlegmatic judicious punctuality might have kept down many things, died the very week before these And now a Seal-keeper, Garde-des-Sceaux sorrowful Notables met. Miromenil is thought to be playing the traitor spinning plots for

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checked by " You wander from the point (Vous vous ecai'tez de la question^ % Laughter and logic; balladsinger, pamphleteer; epigram and caricature: what wind of public At opinion is this, as if the Cave of the Winds were bursting loose
don't

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to

be eaten,"

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iii.

196.

X Republished in the

Musde

t Besenval, iii. 203. de la Caricature (Paris, 183^.

THE NOTABLES.
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him walking with large strides in his chamber, like one out of himself.' With rapid confused speech the Controller begs M. de Lamoignon to Lamoignon candidly answers that, except in an advice.' give him regard to his own anticipated Keepership, unless that would prove remedial, he really cannot take upon him to advise.
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•Omthe Monday after Easter,' the 9th of April, 1787, a date one rejoices to verify, for nothing can excel the indolent falsehood of these Histoires and Mcmoires, On the Monday after Easter, as I, Besenval, was riding towards Romainville to the Marechal de Segur's, I met a friend on the Boulevards, who told me that M. de Calonne was out.

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further on came M. the Duke d'Orleans, dashing towards me, head to the wind (trotting a tAnglaise) and confirmed the news.' f Treacherous Gardes-des-Sceaux Miromenil is gone, It is true news. and Lamoignon is appointed in his room but appointed for his next day,' the Controller own profit only, not for the Controller's little longer he may linger near; be seen also has had to move. among the money-changers, and even 'working in the Controller's but neither will that hold. Too office,' where much lies unfinished strong blows and beats this tempest of public opinion, of private
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from the Cave of all the Winds and blows him (higher Authority giving sign) out of Paris and France, over the horizon, into Invisibility, or outer Darkness. Such destiny the magic of genius could not for ever avert. Ungrateful (Eil-de-Boeuf did he not miraculously rain gold manna on you; so that, as a Courtier said, " all the world held out its hands, and I held out my hat," for a time? Himself is poor; penniless, had not a financier's widow in Lorraine offered him, though he was turned of fifty, her hand and the rich purse it held. Dim henceforth shall be his activity, though unwearied Letters to the King, Appeals, Prognostications Pamphlets (from London), written with the old suasive facility; which however do not persuade. Luckily his widow's purse fails not. Once, in a year or two, some shadow of him shall be seen hovering on but be the Northern Border, seeking election as National Deputy sternly beckoned away. Dimmer then, far-borne over utmost European lands, in uncertain twilight of diplomacy, he shall hover, intriguing for Exiled Princes,' and have adventures be overset into the Rhinestream, and half-drowned, nevertheless, save his papers dry. Unwearied but in vain In France he works miracles no more shall hardly return thither to find a grave. Farewell, thou facile sanguine Controller-General, with thy light rash hand, thy suasive mouth of gold worse men there have been, and better but to thee also was allotted a task, of raising the wind, and the winds and thou hast done it.
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But now, while Ex-Controller Calonne flies storm-driven over the horizon, in this singular way, what has become of the Controller ship ? It hangs vacant, one may say extinct, like the Moon in her vacant interlunar cave. Two preliminary shadows, poor M. Fourqueux, poor M. Villedeuil, do hold, in quick succession, some simulacrum of
;

\ Besenval,

ill.

209.

t

Ihid. jxi.

S8
ic,*

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.

sometimes shine out with a dim preliminary patient, ye Notables An actual new certain, is and even ready; were the indispensable manoeuvres but gone through. Long-headed Lamoignon, with HomeSecretary Breteuil, and Foreign Secretary Montmorin have exchanged looks let these three once meet and speak. Who is it that is strong in the Queen's favour, and the Abbe de Vermond's ? That is a man of great capacity ? Or at least that has struggled, these fifty years, to have it thought great now, in the Clergy's name, demanding to have
as the
will

new Moon

old one in Controller

her arms.

Be

!

;

;

Protestant death-penalties put in execution now flaunting it in the CEil-de-Boeuf, as the gayest man-pleaser and woman-pleaser gleaning even a good word from Philosophedom and your Voltaires and D'Alemberts ? That has a party ready-made for him in the Notables ? Lomenie de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse answer all the three, with the clearest instantaneous concord; and. rush off to propose him to the King in such haste,' says Besenval, that M. de Lamoignon had to borrow a simarre,' seemingly some kind of cloth apparatus necessary
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for that.t

Lom^nie-Brienne,
;

for the highest offices,'

who had all his life felt a kind of predestination has now therefore obtained them. He presides
'
>

over the Finances he shall have the title of Prime Minister itself, and the effort of his long life be realised. Unhappy only that it took such talent and industry to gain the place that to qualify for it hardly any Looking now into his inner talent or industry was left disposable man, what qualification he may have, Lomenie beholds, not without astonishment, next to nothing but vacuity and possibility. Principles or methods, acquirement outward or inward (for his very body is wasted, by hard tear and wear) he 6nds none not so much as a plan, even an unwise one. Lucky, in these circumstances, that Calonne has had Calonne's plan was gathered from Turgot's and Necker's by a plan compilation shall become Lomenie's by adoption. Not in vain has Lomenie studied the working of the British Constitution for he professes to have some Anglomania, of a sort. Why, in that free country, does one Minister, driven out by Parliament, vanish from his King's presence, and another enter, borne in by Parliament. J Surely not for mere change (which is ever wasteful); but that all men may have and so the strife of Freedom indefinitely share of what is going prolong itself and no harm be done. The Notables, mollified by Easter festivities, by the sacrifice of Calonne, are not in the worst humour. Already his Majesty, while the interlunar shadows were in office, had held session of Notables and the from his throne delivered promissory conciliatory eloquence Queen stood waiting at a window, till his 'carriage came back; and Monsieur from afar clapped hands to her,' in sign that all was v/ell§' Leading Notables if such do but last. It has had the best effect Brienne's new gloss, Lamoignon's long meanwhile can be caressed head will profit somewhat ; conciliatory eloquence shall not be wanting.
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• Besenval, iii. 225. } Montgaillard : liistoire de France,

t Tbid.
i.

aa.j
iii.

410-17.

% Besenval,

aao.

THE NL^TABLES.
On

S9

the whole, however, is it not undeniable that this of ousting Calonne and adopting the plans of Calonne, is a measure, which, to produce its best effect, should be looked at from a certain distance, cursorily not dwelt on with minute near scrutiny ? In a word, that no service the Notables could now do were so obliging as, in some Their Six Prohandsome manner, to take themselves away ? positions about Provisional Assemblies, suppression of Cotvees and such like, can be accepted without criticism. The Subvention or Landsafe nowhere but ia tax, and much else, one must glide hastily over flourishes of conciliatory eloquence. Till at length, on this 25th ol May, year 1787, in solemn final session, there bursts forth what we can call an explosion of eloquence King, Lomenie, Lamoignon and retinue taking up the successive strain in harangues to the number of whereby, as in ten, besides his Majesty's, which last the livelong day a kind of choral anthem, or bravura peal, of thanks, praises, promises, the Notables are, so to speak, organned out, and dismissed to theii respective places of abode. They had sat, and talked, some nine weeks they were the first Notables since Richelieu's in the year 1626,
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By some Historians, sitting much at their ease, in the safe distance, Lomenie has been blamed for this disir.issal of his Notables nevertheless it was clearly time. There are things, as we said, which should not be dwelt on with minute close scrutiny over hot coals you cannot glide too fast. In these Seven Bureaus, where no work could be done, unless talk were work, the questionablest matters were coming up. Lafayette, for example, in Monseigneur d'Artois' Bureau, took upon him to set forth more than one deprecatory oration about Lettres-deCachet, Liberty of the Subject, Agio, and such like which Monseigneur endeavouring to repress, was answered that a Notable being summoned to speak his opinion must speak it.* Thus too his Grace the Archbishop of Aix perorating once, with a " Tithe, that free-will offering plaintive pulpit-tone, in these words of the piety of Christians " " Tithe," interrupted Duke la Rouche: :
;

:

with the cold business-manner he has learned from the English, " that free-will offering of the piety of Christians on which there are now forty-thousand lawsuits in this realm."! Nay, Lafayette, bound to speak his opinion, went the length, one day, of proposing to convoke a 'National Assembly.' "You demand States-General?' asked Monseigneur with an air of minatory surprise. " Yes, Monseigneur and even better than that." " Write it," said Monseigneur to the Clerks. J Written accordingly it is and what is more, will be acted by and by
foucault,
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i.

;

* Montgaillard,

360.
p. 21.

t

Dumont
4.

:

Souvenirs sur Mirabeau,
:

j Toulongeon
L app

Histoire de France depuis la Revolution de 1789 (Paris, 1803),

6o

THE PARLEMErrr OF PARIS.

CHAPTER
Thus

IV.

lom^nie's edicts.
then have the Notables returned home carrying, to all quarters such notions of deficit, decrepitude, distraction and that States-General will cure it, or will not cure it but kill it. Each Notable, we may fancy, is as a funeral torch disclosing hideous abysses, The unquietest humour possesses all men ferments, better left hid seeks issue, in pamphleteering, caricaturing, projecting, declaiming vain jangling of thought, word and deed. verging now towards It is Spiritual Bankruptv y, long tolerated Economical Bankruptcy, and become intolerable. For from the lowest dumb rank, the inevitable misery, as was predicted, has spread upwards. In every man is some obscure feeling that his position, oppressive or else oppressed, is a false one all men, in one or the other acrid dialect, as assaulters or as defenders, must give vent to the unrest that is in them. Of such stuff national well-being, and the glory of rulers, is not made. O Lomenie, what a wild-heaving, wastelooking, hungry and angry world hast thou, after lifelong effort, got promoted to take charge of
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of France,

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Lora^nie's first Edicts are mere soothing ones creation of Provincial for apportioning the imposts,' when we get any supAssemblies, alleviation 'of Gabelle. Soothing i;ression of Corvees or statue-labour measures, recommended by the Notables long clamoured for by all liberal men. Oil cast on the waters has been known to produce a good effect. Before venturing with great essential measures, Lom6nie will see this singular swell of the public mind abate somewhat. Most proper, surely. But what if it were not a swell of the abating kind? There are swells that come of upper tempest and wind-gust. But again there are swells that come of subterranean pent wind, some say and even of inward decomposition, of decay that has become self-combustion: as when, according to Neptuno-Plutonic Geolcgy,
:
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the
oil.

World

shall

decayed down into due attritus of this sort and These latter abate not by now be exploded, and new-made The fool says in his heart, How shall not tomorrow be as
is
all
; 1
;

yesterday which were once tomorrows ? The wise as all days, man, looking on this France, moral, intellectual, economical, sees, in ««abateable short all the symptoms he has ever met with in history,' by soothing Edicts.
'

Meanwhile, abate or not, cash must be had and for that, quite another sort of Edicts, namely bursal or fiscal ones. How easy were fiscal Edicts, did you know for certain that the Parlement of Paris, Such right of registering, would what they call 'register' them property of mere writing down, the Parlement has got by old wont and, though but a Law-Court, can remonstrate, and higgle considerably Hence quarrels enough ; desperate Maupeou devices^ about the same
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LOMENIE'S EDICTS.
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a quarrel now near forty years long. Hence and victory and defeat fiscal Edicts, which otherwise were easy enough, become such problems.

For example, is there not Calonne's Subvention Tertitoriale, universal, unexempting Landtax the sheet-anchor of Finance ? Or, to show, so far as possible, that one is not without original finance-talent, Lomenie himself can devise an Edit du Titnbre or Stamptax, borrowed also, it is true but then from America may it prove luckiei in France than there France has her resources: nevertheless, it cannot be denied, the aspect of that Parlement is questionable. Already among the Notables, in that final symphony of dismissal, the Paris President had an ominous tone. Adrien Duport, quitting magnetic sleep, in this agitation of the world, threatens to rouse himself into preternatural wakeShallower but also louder, there is magnetic d'Espremenil, fulness. with his tropical heat (he was born at Madras) with his dusky confused violence holding of Illumination, Animal Magnetism, Public Opinion, Adam Weisshaupt, Harmodius and Aristogiton, and all manner of confused violent things of whom can come no good. The very Peerage is infected with the leaven. Our Peers have, in too many cases, laid aside their frogs, laces, bagwigs and go about in English costume, or ride rising in their stirrups, in the most headlong manner
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nothing but insubordination, eleutheromania, confused unlimited Questionable not to be ventured upon, if opposition in their heads. we had a Fortunatus' Purse! But Lomenie has waited all June, castand now, betide as it may, the two ing on the waters what oil he had Finance Edicts must out. On the 6th of July, he forwards his proposed Stamptax and Landtax to the Parlement of Paris and, as if putting his own leg foremost, not his borrowed Calonne's-leg, places
:

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the Stamptax first in order. Alas, the Parlement will not register the Parlement demands instead a 'state of the expenditure,' a 'state of the contemplated reductions states enough which his Majesty must decline to furnish Discussions arise patriotic eloquence the Peers are summoned. Does the Nemean Lion begin to bristle ? Here surely is a duel, which France and the Universe may look upon with prayers at lowest, with curiosity and bets. Paris stirs with new animation. The outer courts of the Palais de Justice roll with unusual crowds, coming and going; their huge outer hum mingles with the clang of patriotic eloquence within, and gives vigour to it. Poor Lomenie gazes Irom tlie distance, little comforted has his invisible emissaries flying to and fro, assiduous, without result. So pass the sultry dog-days, in the most electric manner and the whole month of July. And still, in the Sanctuary of Justice, sounds nothing but Harmodius-Aristogiton eloquence, environed with the hum of crowding Paris and no registering accomplished, and no states " States ? " said a lively Parlementeer " Messieurs, the furnished. states that should be furnished us, in my opinion are the StatesGeneral." On which timely joke there follow cachinnatory buzzes of approval. What a word to be spoken in the Palais de Justice Old
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$9

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.
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d'Ormesson (the Ex-Controller's uncle) shakes his judicious head fai enough from laughing. But the outer courts, and Paris and France, catch the glad sound, and repeat it shall repeat it and re-echo and Clearly enough here is no reverberate it, till it grow a deafening peal. registering to be thought of.
; ;

pious Proverb says, 'there are remedies for all things but When a Parlement refuses registering, the remedy, by long become familiar to the simplest: a Bed of Justice. One complete month this Parlement has spent in mere idle jargoning, and sound and fury the Timbre Edict not registered, or like to be the Subvention not yet so much as spoken of. On the 6th of August let the whole refractory Body roll out, in wheeled vehicles, as far as the King's Chateau of Versailles there shall the King, holding his Bed They may of Justice, order them, by his own royal lips, to register. remonstrate, in an under tone but they must obey, lest a worse unknown thing befall them. the Parlement has rolled out, on royal summons has It is done Whereupon it has rolled heard the express royal order to register. back again, amid the hushed expectancy of men. And now, behold, on the morrow, this Parlement, seated once more in its own Palais, with 'crowds inundating the outer courts,' not only does not register, but (O portent !) declares all that was done on the prior day to be null^ and In the history of France here the Bed of Justice as good as a futility Nay better still, our heroic Parlement, getting verily is a new feature. suddenly enlightened on several things, declares that, for its part, it is incompetent to register Tax-edicts at all, having done it by mistake, during these late centuries that for such act one authority only is competent the assembled Three Estates of the Realm To such length can the universal spirit of a Nation penetrate the most isolated Body-corporate say rather, with such weapons, homicidal and suicidal, in exasperated political duel, will Bodies-corporate fight But, in any case, is not this the real death-grapple of war and internecine duel, Greek meeting Greek whereon men, had they even no Crowds, as was interest in it, might look with interest unspeakable ? inundation of young eleutheromaniac said, inundate the outer courts Noblemen in English costume, uttering audacious speeches of Proof Loungers, cureurs, Basoche-Clerks, who are idle in these days Newsmongers and other nondescript classes, rolls tumultuous there. From three to four thousand persons,' waiting eagerly to hear the Arrctes (Resolutions) you arrive at within applauding with bravos, Sweet also is with the clapping of from six to eight thousand hands the meed of patriotic eloquence, when your d'Espr6menil, your Freteau, or Sabatier, issuing from his Demosthenic Olympus, the thunder being hushed for the day, is welcomed, in the outer courts, with a shout from four thousand throats is borne home shoulder-high with benedictioas,' and strikes the stars with his sublime head.
death.' practice, has
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LOM£NirS THUNDERBOLTS

63

CHAPTER
Arise, Lom^nie Brienne
:

V.

lomenie's thunderbolts.
here is no case for Letters of Jussion for compromise. Thou seest the whole loose^uenl population of Paris (whatsoever is not solid, and fixed to work) inundating these the very Basoche of outer courts, like a loud destructive deluge Lawyer's Clerks talks sedition. The lower classes, in this duel of Authority with Authority, Greek throttling Greek, have ceased to respect the City-Watch Police-satellites are marked on the back with signifies mouchard, spy) they are hustled, hunted like chalk (the ferx naturae. Subordinate rural Tribunals send messengers of conTheir Fountain of Justice is becoming gratulation, of adherence. a Fountain of Revolt. The Provincial Parlements look on, with intent eye, with breathless wishes, while their elder sister ^of Paris does battle the whole Twelve are of one blood and temper the victory of one is that of all. Ever worse it grows on the loth of August, there is Plainte emitted touching the 'prodigalities of Calonne,' and permission to proceed against him. No registering, but instead of it, denouncing of dilapidation, peculation and ever the burden of the song, StatesGeneral Have the royal arn\ouries no thunderbolt, that thou couldst, O Lomenie, with red right-hand, launch it among these Demonsthenic theatrical thunder-barrels, mere resin and noise for most part and shatter, and smite them silent? On the night of the 14th of August,
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Lomenie launches his thunderbolt, or handful of them. Letters named of the Seal {de Cachet), as many as needful, some six score and odds, are delivered overnight. And so, next day betimes, the whole Parlement, once more set on wheels, is rolling incessantly towards Troyes in Champagne; 'escorted,' says History, 'with the blessings of all people the very innkeepers and postilions looking gratuitously reverent.* This is the 15th of August, 1787. What will not people bless in their extreme need Seldom had the Parlement of Paris deserved much blessing, or received much. An isolated Body-corporate, which, out of old confusions (while the Sceptre of the Sword was confusedly struggling to become a Sceptre of the Pen), had got itself together, better and worse, as Bodiescorporate do, to satisfy some dim desire of ^he world, and many clear desires of individuals and so had grown, in the course of centuries, on concession, on acquirement and usurpation, to be what we see it a prosperous Social Anomaly, deciding Lawsuits, sanctioning or rejecting Laws and withal disposing of its places and offices by sale for ready money, which method sleek President H6nault, after meditation, will demonstrate to be the indifferent-best, f In such a Body, existing by purchase for ready money, there could not be excess of public spirit there might well be excess of eagerness
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A. Lameth Histoire de I'Assembl^e Constituante, t Abr6e6 Chronologique, p. 975.
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(Int., 73)

64

THE PARLEMENT OE
;

PARIS.

to divide the public spoil. Men In helmets have divided that, with swords men in wigs, with quill and inkhorn, do divide it and even more hatefully these latter, if more peaceably for the wig-method is at once irresistibler and baser. By long experience, says Besenval, it has been found useless to sue a Parlementeer at law no Officer of Justice v;ill serve a writ on one: his wig and gown are his Vulcan'spanoply, his enchanted cloak-of-darkness. The Parlement of Paris may count itself an unloved body mean, not magnanimous, on the political side. Were the King weak, always with what (as now) has his Parlement barked, cur-like at his heels popular cry there might be. Were he strong, it barked before his face hunting for him as his alert beagle. An unjust Body where foul influences have more than once worked shameful perversion of judgment. Does not, in these very days, the blood of murdered Lally cry Baited, circumvented, driven mad like the aloud for vengeance ? snared lion. Valour had to sink extinguished under vindictive Chicane. Behold him, that hapless Lally, his wild dark soul looking through his wild dark face trailed on the ignominious death-hurdle the voice The wild fire-soul that has of his despair choked by a wooden gag known only peril and toil and, for three score years, has buffetted against Fate's obstruction and men's perfidy, like genius and courage amid poltroonery, dishonesty and commonplace faithfully enduring Parlement of Paris, dost thou reward it with a and endeavouring, gibbet and a gag.* The dying Lally bequeathed his memory to his boy ; a young Lally has arisen, demanding redress in the name of God and man. The Parlement of Paris does its utmost to defend the nay, what is singular, dusky-glowing indefensible, abominable Aristogiton d'Espremenil is the man chosen to be its spokesman in
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Social

Such Social Anomaly is it that France now blesses. Anomaly but in duel against another worse
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An

unclean
exiled

!

The

There are have covered itself with glory.' quarrels in which even Satan, bringing help, were not unwelcome even Satan, fighting stiffly, might cover himself with glory, of a temporary sort.
Parlement
is

felt

to

'

But what a
its

stir in

the outer courts of the Palais,
; ;

when

Paris finds

Parlement trundled off to Troyes in Champagne and nothing left the Demosthenic thunder but a few mute Keepers of Records Confused wail become extinct, the martyrs oi liberty clean gone and menace rises from the four thousand throats of Procureurs, Basoche-Clerks, Nondescripts, and Anglomaniac Noblesse ever new Rascality, with increasing numbers and idlers crowd to see and hear Loud whirlpool rolls through these spaces vigour, hunts mouchards. the rest of the City, fixed to its work, cannot yet go rolling. Audacious placards are legible in and about the Palais, the speeches are as good as seditious. Surely the temper of Paris is much changed. On the third day of this business (i8th of August), Monsieur and Monaeigneur
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* 9th

May, 176b

:

Biographic Universelle, § LaUiy-

LOMENIE'S THUNDERBOLTS.
d'Artois,
'

6$

coming in state-carriages, according to use and wout, to have expunged from the these late obnoxious Arreies and Protests Records, are received in the most marked manner. Monsieur, who is thought to be in opposition, is met with vivats and strewed flowers Monseigneur, on the other hand, with silence with murmurs, which rise to hisses and groans nay an irreverent Rascality presses towards him in floods, with such hissing vehemence, that the Captain of the Guards has to give order, " Haut les amies (Handle arms) " at which thunder-word, indeed, and the flash of the clear iron, the RascalNew features these. flood recoils, through all avenues, fast enough.* Indeed, as good M. de Malesherbes pertinently remark?, it is a quite new kind of contest this with the Parlement no transitory sputter, as from collision of hard bodies but more like the first sparks c \ what, if not quenched, may become a great conflagration.' t This good Malesherbes sees himself now again in the King's Lomenie would profit if not by Council, after an absence of ten years the faculties of the man, yet by the name he has. As for the man's wherefore he will soon withdraw, opinion, it is not listened to a second time back to his books and his trees. In such King's Council what can a good man profit ? Turgot tries it not a second time Turgot has quitted France and this Earth, some years ago and now cares for none of these things. Singular enough Turgot, this same Lomenie, and the Abb6 Morellet were once a trio of young friends fellow-scholars in the Sorbonne. Forty new years have carried them severally thus far. Meanwhile, the Parlement sits daily at Troyes, calling cases and daily adjourns, no Procureur making his appearance to plead. Troyes is as hospitable as could be looked for nevertheless one has comparatively a dull life. No crowds now to carry you, shoulder-high, to scarcely a Patriot or two will drive out so far, and the immortal gods bid you be of firm courage. You are in furnished lodgings, far from home and domestic comfort littleito do, but wander over the unlovely Champagne fields seeing the grapes ripen taking counsel about the thousand-times consulted a prey to tedium in danger even that Paris may forget you. Messengers come and go pacific Lomenie is not slack in negotiating, promising d'Ormesson and the prudent elder Members see no good in strife. After a dull month, the Parlement, yielding and retaining, makes truce, as all Parlements must. The Stamptax is withdrawn the Subveniiofi Landtax is also withdrawn but, in its stead, there ia granted, what they call a Prorogation of the Second Twentieth,' itself a kind of Landtax, but not so oppressive to the Influential classes ; which lies mainly on the Dumb class. Moreover, secret promises exist (on the part of the Elders), that finances may be raised by Loan. Of the ugly word States-General there shall be no mention. And so, on the 2oth of September, our exiled Parlement returns d'Espr6m6nil said, it went out covered with glory, but had come back covered with mud {de boue).' Not so, Aristogiton or if so, thou
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man

to clean
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it.

* Montgaillard,

369.— Besenval,

etc.

f Montgaillard,

i.

373.

VOL.

I.

66

THE PAkLEMENT OF PARIS.

CHAPTER
Was
The

VI.

lomenie's plots.
ever unfortunate Chief Minister so bested as Loni6nie Brienne ? and not the reins of the State fairly in his hand these six months smallest motive-power (of Finance) to stir from the spot with, this way or that 1 He flourishes his whip, but advances not. Instead of ready money, there is nothing but rebellious debating and recalcitrating. Far is the public mind from having calmed it goes chafing and and in the royal coffers, with such yearly fuming ever worse Ominous Deficit running on, there is hardly the colour of coin.
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Malesherbes, seeing an exhausted, exasperated France prognostics Mirabeau, without grow hotter and hotter, talks of conflagration talk, has, as we perceive, descended on Paris again, close on the rear of the Parlement,* not to quit his native soil any more. Over the Frontiers, behold Holland invaded by Prussia t the French party oppressed, England and the Stadtholder triumphing to the sorrow of War-secretary Montmorin and all men. But without money, sinews of war, as of work, and of existence itself, what can a Chief Minister do ? Taxes profit little: this of the Second Twentieth and will then, with its strict valuation,' tails not due till next year produce more controversy than cash. Taxes on the Privileged Classes cannot be got registered are intolerable to our supporters themselves as from a thing drained dry taxes on the Unprivileged yield nothing, more cannot be drawn. Hope is nowhere, if not in the old refuge of
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aided by the long head of Lamoignon, deeply pondering sea of troubles, the tliought suggested itself: Why not have a Successive Loan {Emprtint Successif), or Loan that went on lending, year after year, as much as needful; say, till 1792? The trouble of registering such Loan were the same we had then breathing time money to work with, at least to subsist on. Edict of a Successive Loan must be proposed. To conciliate the Philosophes, let a liberal Edict walk in front of it, for emancipation of Protestants let a liberal Promise guard the rear of it, that when our Loan ends, in that final 1792, the States-General shall be convoked. Such liberal Edict of Protestant Emancipation, the time having come Death-penalties to be put for it, shall cost a Lom^nie as little as the As for the liberal Promise, of States-General, it in execution' did. can be fulfilled or not: the fulfilment is five good years off; in five years much intervenes. But the registering? Ah, truly, there is the However, we have that promise of the Elders, given difficulty Judicious gratuities, cajoleries, underground secretly at Troyes. intrigues; with old Foulon, named Ame daninee, Familiar-demon, of the Parlement,' may perhaps do the rest. At vorst and lowest, the Royal Authority has resources, which ought it not to put forth ? If it
this
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To Lom6nie,

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Mirabeau, iv. 1. $. Montgaillard, i. 374.— Besenval, t Qctober 178J
:

• Fils Adoptif

iii.

283.

LOMENIE'S PLOTS.
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67

cannot realise money, the Royal Authority is as good as dead dead of Risk and win; without that surest and miserablest death, inanition. For the rest, as in enterprises of pith, a touch risk all is already lost of stratagem often proves furthersome, his Majesty announces a Royal Hunt, for the 19th of November next; and all whom it concerns are
!

ioyfuUy getting their gear ready.

At Royal Hunt indeed; but of two-legged unfeathered game! morning of that Royal-Hunt day, 19th of November 1787, anexpected blare of trumpeting, tumult of charioteering and cavalcading disturbs the Seat of Justice: his Majesty is come, with Garde-desSceaux Lamoignon, and Peers and retinue, to hold Royal Session and What a change, since Louis XIV. entered have Edicts registered.
'.leven in the

hand, ordered his registering to be done, which none durst gainsay and did, without * stratagem, in such unceremonious fashion, hunt as well as register For I.ouis XVI., on this day, the Registering will be enough if indeed he and the day suffice for it. Meanwhile, with fit ceremonial words, the purpose of the royal
here, in boots

—with an Olympian

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whip

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look,

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;

breast

Two Edicts, for Protestant Emancipation, for is signified: Successive Loan: of both which Edicts our trusty Garde-des-Sceaux Lamoignon will explain the purport on both which a trusty Parlement is requested to deliver its opinion, each member having free privilege of speech. And so, Lamoignon too having perorated not amiss, and wound up with that Promis-? of States-General, the Sphere-musi Explosive, responsive, spher of Parlementary eloquence begins. answering sphere, it waxes louder and louder. The Peers sit attentive unfriendly to unfriendly to States-General of diverse sentiment Despotism, which cannot reward merit, and is suppressing places. But what agitates his Highness d'Orleans? The rubicund moon-head goes wagging darker beams the copper visage, like unscoured copper; he rolls uneasy in his seat, as if he in the glazed eye is disquietude meant something. Amid unutterable satiety, has sudden new appetite, Disgust and edacity for new forbidden fruit, been vouchsafed him ? laziness that cannot rest futile ambition, revenge, non-admiralship O, within that carbuncled skin, what a confusion of confusions sits
;

:

;

;

;

;

:

bottled

1

Eight Couriers,' in the course of the day, gallop from Versailles, where Lomenie waits palpitating and gallop back again, not with the best news. In the outer Courts of the Palais, huge buzz of expectation reigns; it is whispered the Chief Minister has lost six votes over night. And from within, resounds nothing but forensic eloquence, pathetic and even indignant; heartrending appeals to the royal clemency, that his Majesty would please to summon States-General wherein dusky-glowing forthwith, and be the Saviour ot France d'Espr6m6nil, but still more Sabatier de Cabre, and Freteau, since named Commere Fr6teau (Goody Freteau), are among the loudest. For six mortal hours it lasts, in this manner the infinite hubbub unslackencd.
;
:

;

* Dulaure, vi 306.

68

iHE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.
so now,

is falling through the windows, and DO end visible. His Majesty, on hint of Garde-des-Sceaux Lamoignon, opens his royal lips once more to say, in brief, that he must have his Loan-Edict registered. Momentary deep pause! Seel Monseigneur d'Orleans rises with moon-visage turned towards the royal platform, he asks, with a delicate graciosity of manner covering unutterable things: "Whether it is a Bed of Justice, then, or a Royal Session?" surly answer Fire flashes on him from the throne and neighbourhood In that case, Monseigneur will crave leave to that " it is a Session." remark that Edicts cannot be registered by order in a -Session; and indeed to enter, against such registry, his individual humble Protest. " Vous etes bien le maitre (You will do your pleasure)," answers the King and thereupon, in high state, marches out, escorted by his d'Orleans himself, as in duty bound, escorting him, Court-retinue but only to the gate. Which duty done, d'Orleans returns in from the gate redacts his Protest, in the face of an applauding Parlement, an applauding France and so has cut his Court-moorings, shall we say ? And will now sail and drift, fast enough, towards Chaos ?

And

when brown dusk

;

:

;

;

;

;

Equality that art to be Is Royalty grown whereon thou pert scaldheaded crow, mayest alight at pleasure, and peck ? Not yet wholly. Next day, a Lettre-de-Cachet sends d'Orleans to bethink himself in his Chateau of Villers-Cotterets, where, alas, is no Paris with its joyous necessaries of Hie no fascinating indispensable Madame dc MonBuflfon,— light wife of a great Naturalist much too old for her. seigneur, it is said, does nothing but walk distractedly, at Villerscursing his stars. 'Versailles itself shall hear penitent wail Cotterets from him, so hard is his doom. By a second, simultaneous Lettre-deCachet, Goody Freteau is hurled into the Stronghold of Ham, amid the Norman Marshes by a third, Sabatier de Cabre into Mont St. Michel, amid the Norman quicksands. As for the Parlement, it must, on

Thou

foolish d'Orleans

;

I

a mere

wooden Scarecrow

;

;

;

;

summons
to

travel out to Versailles, with
biffl;

have the Protest

rebuke.

A

its Register-Book under its arm, (expunged) not without admonition, and even stroke of authority, which, one might have hoped, would

quiet matters.
coursers, it is a mere taste of the whip to reanng Unhappily, no which makes them rear worse. When a team of Twenty-five Millions begins rearing, what is Lom^nie's whip ? The Parlement will nowise acquiesce meekly and set to register the Protestant Edict, and do its other work, in salutary fear of these three Lettres-de-Cachet. Far
:
;

from that, it begins legality, endurability

questioning Lettres-de-Cachet generally, their emits dolorous objurgation, petition on petition with, to have its three Martyrs delivered cannot, till that be complied so much as think of examining the Protestant Edict, but puts it off
;
;

always till this day week.'* In which objurgatory strain Paris and France joins it, or rather has making fearful chorus. And now also the other Parlepreceded it
'
;

* Be^enval,

iii.

309.

tNTiLRNECiNt:.
merits, at length
;

69

opening their mouths, begin to join some o\ them, as Grenoble and at Rennes, with portentous emphasis, threatening In all by way of reprisal, to interdict the very Tax-gatherer* tormer contests,' as Malesherbes remarks, 'it was the Parlement
at

'

that excited the Public; but

here

it

is

the Public that excites

the

Parlement.'

CHAPTER
What

VII.

INTERNECINE.
a France, through these winter months of the year 1787 1 The very CEil-de-Bceuf is doleful, uncertain with a general feeling, among the Suppressed, that it were better to be in Turkey. The Wolf-hounds are suppressed, the Bear-hounds Duke de Coigny, Duke de Polignac in the Trianon little-heaven, her Majesty, one evening, takes Besenval's arm asks his candid opinion. The intrepid Besenval (having, as he hopes, nothing of the sycophant in him) plainly signifies that, with a Parlement in rebellion, and an CEil-de-Bceuf in suppression, the King's Crown is in danger; whereupon, singular to say, her Majesty, as if hurt, changed the subject, et ne me pada plus de lien ! \ In need of wise To whom, indeed, can this poor Queen speak counsel, if ever mortal was yet beset here only by the hubbub of chaos Her dwelling-place is so bright to the eye, and confusion and black care darkens it all. Sorrows of the Sovereign, sorrows of the woman, thick-ceming sorrows environ her more and more. Lamotte, the Necklace-Countess, has in these late months, escaped, perhaps been suffered to escape, from the Salpetriere. Vain was the hope that Paris might thereby forget her; and this ever-widening lie, and heap of lies, subside. The Lamotte, with a V (for Voleuse, Thief) branded on both shoulders, has got to England and will therefrom emit lie on lie defiling the highest queenly name mere distracted lies | which, in its present humour, France will greedily believe.
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For the rest, it is too clear our Successive Loan is noi piling. As indeed, in such circumstances, a Loan registered by expunging of Protests was not the likeliest to fill. Denunciation of Lettres-de-Cachet, of Despotism generally, abates not the Twelve Parlements are busy the Twelve hundred Placarders, Balladsingers, Pamphleteer*. Paris is what, in figurative speech, they call flooded with pamphlets (regorge de brochures) flooded and eddying again. Hot deluge, from so many Patriot ready-writers, all at the fervid or boiling point each readywriter, now in the hour of eruption, going like an Iceland Geyser Against which what can a judicious Friend Morellet do a Rivarol, an unruly Linguet (well paid for it), spouting cold / Now also, at length, does come discussion of the Protestant Edict
: ;
'

;

'


;

;

I

* Weber,
J

i.

266.
justificatifs

f Besenval,
etc.,

iii.

264.
1788). —Vie df Diamond Neckla«c

Mdmoires

de la Comtesse de Lamotte (London,
etc.

T(janne de St. \ut suprii).

Rami Comtesse de Lamotte,

Ste

JfO

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.
;

only for r.ew embroilment in pamphlet and counter-pamphlet, increasing the madness of men. Not even Orthodoxy, bedrid as she seemed, but will have a hand in this confusion. She once again in the shape of Abbe I'Enfant, whom Prelates drive to visit and congratulate, raises audible sound from her pulpit-drum.* Or mark how d'Espr6m6nil, who has his own confused way in all things, produces at the right moment in Parlementary harangue, a pocket Crucifix, with the " Will ye crucify him afresh ? " Him, O d'Espremenil, apostrophe considering what poor stuff, of ivory and filigree, he without scruple is made of To all which add only that poor Brienne has fallen sick; so hard was the tear and wear of his sinful youth, so violent, incessant is this Baited, bayed at through so many agitation of his foolish old age. throats, his Grace, growing consumptive, inflammatory (with hionetir de dartre), lies seduced to milk diet in exasperation, almost in desperation with repose,' precisely the impossible recipe, prescribed as the indisbxit
'

:

;

;

;

'

pensable.f On the whole, what can a poor Government do, but once more recoil The King's Treasury is running towards the lees and ineffectual ? Paris eddies wath a flood of pamphlets.' At all rates, let the latter D'Orleans gets back to Raincy, which is nearer Paris subside a little and the fair frail Buffon; finally to Paris itself: neither are Fr^teau and Sabatier banished for ever. The Protestant Edict is registered to Successive Loan, the joy of Boissy d'Anglas and good Malesherbes the rather as all protests expunged or else withdrawn, remains open, few or none come to fill it. States-General, for which the Parlement has clamoured, and now the whole Nation clamours, will follow in if indeed not sooner. O Parlement of Paris, what a five years,' clamour was that! "Messieurs," said old Ormesson, "you will get States-General, and you will repent it." Like the Horse, in the Fable, who, to be avenged of his enemy, applied to the Man. The Man mounted did swift execution on the enemy but, unhappily, would Instead of five years, let three years pass, and this not dismount clamorous Parlement shall have both seen its enemy hurled prostrate and been itself ridden to foundering (say rather, jugulated for hide and
;
'

!

;

:

'

;

;

!

shoes),

and

lie

dead

in the ditch.

Under such omens, however, we have reached the spring of 1788. the King's Government find passage for itself, but is every where shamefully flung back. Beleaguered by Twelve rebellious Parlements, which are grown to be the organs of an angry Nation, it

By no path can

can advance nowhither can accomplish nothing, obtain nothing, not so much as money to subsist on but must sit there, seemingly, to be eaten up of Deficit. The measure of the Iniquity, then, of the Falsehood which has been gathering through long centuries, is nearly full ? At least, that of the From the hovels of the Twenty-five Millions, the misery, Misery is permeating upwards and forwards, as its law is, has got so far, to the
;

;

!

Lacretelle,

ii'.

343.

Montgaillard, etc

t Besenval,

iii.

317.

INTERNECINE,
:

71

very CEil-de-Bocuf of Versailles. Man's hand, in this blind pain, is set against man not only the low against the higher, but the higher against each othw Provincial Noblesse is bitter against Court NoRochet against Pen. But against the blesse Robe against Sword King's Government who is not bitter? Not even Besenval, in these days. To it all men and bodies of men are become as enemies it is the centre whereon infinite contentions unite and clash. What new
;

;

;

;

universal vertiginous

movement

is this

;

of Institutions, social Arrange;
:

ments, individual Minds, which once worked co-operative now rolling and grinding in distracted collision ? Inevitable it is the breaking up of a World-Solecism, worn out at last, down even to bankruptcy of And so this poor Versailles Court, as the chief or central money Solecism, finds all the other Solecisms arrayed against it. Most natural For your human Solecism, be it Person or Combination of Persons, is ever, by law of Nature, uneasy if verging towards bankand when would the meanest Solecism ruptcy, it is even miserable consent to blame or amend itself, while there remained another to
1

!

:

;

amend

?

terrify Lom^nie, much less teach him. Lomenie, though of light nature, is not without courage, of a sort. Nay, have we not read of lightest creatures, trained Canary-birds, that could fly cheerfully with lighted matches, and fire cannon fire whole powdermagazines ? To sit and die of Deficit is no part of Lomenie's plan. The evil is considerable but can he not remove it, can he not attack it ? At lowest, he can attack the symptom of it these rebellious Parlements he can attack, and perhaps remove. Much is dim to Lomenie, but two things are clear that such Parlementary duel with Royalty is growing perilous, nay internecine; above all, that money must be had. Take thought, brave Lom6nie thou Garde-des-Sceaux Lamoignon, who hast ideas So often defeated, balked cruelly when the golden fruit seemed within clutch, rally for one other struggle. To tame the Parlement, to fill the King's coffers these are now live-anddeath questions. Parlements have been tamed, more than once. Set to perch on the peaks of rocks inaccessible except by litters,' a Parlement grows reasonable. O Maupeou, thou bold bad man, had we left thy work where it was But apart from exile, or other violent methods, is there not one method, whereby all things are tamed, even lions? The method of hunger! What if the Parlement's supplies were cut off; namely its Lawsuits Minor Courts, for the trying of innumerable minor causes, might be

These threatening signs do not

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I

we could call Grand Bailliages. Whereon the Parlement, shortened of its prey, would look with yellow despair but the Public, fond of cheap justice, with favour and hope. Then for Finance, for registering of Edicts, why not, from our own CEil-de-Boeuf Dignitaries, our Princes, Dukes, Marshals, make a thing we could call Plenary Court ; and there, so to speak, do our registering ourselves ? Saint Louis had his Plenary Court, of Great Barons,* most usef i\ to him
instituted: these
; ;

• Montgciillard,

1.

405.

/:

72

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.
least,

our Great Barons are still here (at our necessity is greater than his.

the

Name
;

of them

is still

here) ;

Such is the Lom^nie-Lamoignon device welcome to the King s Council, as a light-beam in great darkness. The device seems feasible, it is eminently needful be it once well executed, great deliverance is wrought. Silent, then, and steady now or never the World shall see one other Historical Scene and so singular a man as Lom6nie de Brienne still the Stage-manager tliere. Behold, accordingly, a Home-Secretary Breteuil 'beautifying Paris,' in the peaceablest manner, in this hopeful spring weather of 1788 the old hovels and hutches disappearing from our Bridges as if for the State too there were halcyon weather, and nothing to do but
:
;

!

;

;

:

Parlement seems to sit acknowledged victor. Brienne says nothing of Finance or even says, and prints, that it is all well. How such halcyon quiet though the Successive Loan did not fill ? is this In a victorious Parlement, Counsellor Goeslard de Monsabert even
beautify,
; ; ;

denounces that 'levying of the Second Twentieth on strict valuation;' and not on the Privileged gets decree that the valuation shall not be strict, Nevertheless Brienne endures it, launches no Lettre-de-Cachet classes.

against

it.

How
is

is

this ?
;

such vernal weather but treacherous, sudden For one thing we hear it whispered, 'the Intendants of Provinces have all got Still more singular, order, to be at their posts on a certain day.' what incessant Printing is this that goes on at the King's Chateau, under lock and key ? Sentries occupy all gates and windows the Printers come not out they sleep in their work-rooms their very food is handed in to them * A victorious Parlement smells new danger. D'Espremenil has ordered horses to Versailles prowls rouad that guarded Printing-Office prying, snuffing, if so be the sagacity and
Smiling
I
; ; ; ! ;
;

ingenuity of man may penetrate it. To a shower of gold most things are penetrable. D'Espr^m6nil descends on the lap of a Printer's Danae, in the shape of five hundred the DanaS's Husband smuggles a ball of clay to her which louis d'or she delivers to the golden Counsellor of Parlement. Kneaded within it, there stick printed proof-sheets by Heaven the royal Edict of that same self-registering Plenary Court ; of those Grand Bailliages that shall cut short our Lawsuits It is to be promulgated over all France in one and the same day. This, tlien, is what the Intendants were bid wait for at their posts this is what the Court sat hatching, as its accursed cockatrice-egg and Hie with it, v/onld not stir, though provoked, till the brood were out convoke instantaneous Session ; let d'Espremenil, home to Paris Jhe Parlement, and tbs Earth, and the Heavens know it
'

:

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!

I

;

1

;

• V/eber,

1.

z'fi.

lom£nies death-throes

73

CHAPTER
On
the morrow, which
is

VIII.

lok6ni£"s death-throes.
the 3rd of May 1788, an astonished Parlement speechless to the speech of d'Espremenil, Deed of treachery; of unhallowed unfolding the infinite misdeed. Denounce it, O Parlement of darkness, such as Despotism loves Paris awaken France and the Universe roll what thunder-barrels with thee too, it is verily Now or of forensic eloquence thou hast never The Parlement is not wanting, at such juncture. In the hour of his extreme jeopardy, the lion first incites himself by roaring, by lashing So here the Parlement of Paris. On tlie motion of his sides. d'Espremenil, a most patriotic Oath, of the One-and-all sort, is sworn, with united throat an excellent new-idea, which, in these coming Next comes indomitable Declarayears, shall not remain unimitated. tion, almost of the rights of man, at least of the rights of Parlement Invocation to the friends of French Freedom, in this and in subsequent time. All which, or the essence of all which, is brought to paper in a tone wherein something of plaintiveness blends with, and tempers, which Paris heroic valour. And thus, having sounded the storm-bell, hears, which all France will hear and hurled such defiance in the teeth of Lomcnie and Despotism, the Parlement retires as from a tolerable first day's work. But how Lomenie felt to see his cockatrice-egg (so essential to the salvation of France) broken in this premature manner, let readers fancy Indignant he clutches at his thunderbolts {de Cachet, of the Seal) and launches two of them a bolt for d'Espremenil a bolt for that busy Goeslard, whose service in the Second Twentieth and strict valuation is not forgotten. Such bolts clutched promptly overnigb.t, and launched with the early new morning, shall strike agitated Paris if not into requiescence, yet into wholesome astonishment. Ministerial thunderbolts maybe launched; but if they do not hit? D'Espremenil and Goeslard, warned, both of them, as is thought, by the singing of some friendly bird, elude the Lomenie Tipstaves escape disguised through skywindows, over roofs, to their own Palais de the thunderbolts have missed. Paris (for the buzz flies Justice abroad) is struck into astonishment not wholesome. The two Martyrs of Liberty doff their disguises don their long govv^ns behold in the Bpace of an hour, by aid of ushers and swift runners, the Parlement, with its Counsellors, Presidents, even Peers, sits anew assembled. The assembled Parlement declares that these its two Martyrs cannot be given up, to any sublunary authority; moreover that the 'session is permanent,' admitting of no adjournment, till pursuit of them has
sits

convoked

;

listens

!

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:

1

;

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!

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!

been relinquished. And so, with forensic eloquence, denunciation and protest, writh couriers going and returning, the Parlement, in this state of continual explosion that shall cease neither night nor day, waits the issue.

f4

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.

Awakened Paris once more inundates those outer courts ; boils, in floods wilder than ever, through all avenues. Dissonant hubbub there is jargon as of Babel, in the hour when they were first smitten (as here) with mutual unintelligibility, and the people had not yet
;

dispersed Paris City goes through
;

its diurnal epochs, of working and slumbering and now, for the second time, most European and African mortals are asleep. But here, in this Whirlpool of Words, sle&p falls not the Night spreads her coverlet of Darkness over it in vain. Within is the sound of mere martyr invincibility tempered with the due tone of p'.aintiveness. Witliout is the infinite expectant hum, growing drowsier a little. So has it lasted for six-and-thirty hours.
; ;

But hark through the dead of midnight, what tramp is this ? Tramp as of armed men, foot and horse Gardes Franfaises, Gardes Suisses marching hither in silent regularity; in the flare of torchlight There are Sappers too, with axes and crowbars apparently, if the doors open not, theywill be forced It is Captain d'Agoust, missioned from Versailles. D'Agoust, a man of known firmness who once forced Prince Conde himself, by mere incessant looking at him, to give satisfaction and fight * he now, with axes and torches, is advancing on the very sanctuary of Justice. Sacrilegious yet what help? The man is a soldier looks merely at his orders impassive, moves forward like an inanimate engine. The doors open on summons, there need no axes door after door. And now the innermost door opens discloses the long-gowned Senators of France a hundred and sixty-seven by tale, seventeen of them Peers; sitting there, majestic, 'in permanent session.' Were not the man military, and of cast-iron, this sight, this silence re-echoing the clank of his own boots, might stagger him For the hundred and
I ;
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!

sixty-seven receive him in perfect silence which some liken to that of the Roman Senate overfallen by Brennus some to that of a nest of coiners surprised by officers of the Police.f Messieurs, said d'Agoust, De par le Roi ! Express order has charged d'Agoust with the sad duty of arresting two individuals: M. Duval d'Espremenil and M. Goeslard de Monsabert. Which respectable individuals, as he has not the honour of knowing them, are hereby invited, in the King's name, to surrender themselves. Profound silence Buzz, which grows a murmur " we are all d'Espremenils " ventures a voice which other voices repeat. The President inquires. Whether he will employ violence? Captain d'Agoust, honoured with his Majesty's commission, has to execute his Majesty's order would so gladly do it without violence, will in any case do it grants an august Senate space to deliberate which method they prefer. And thereupon d'Agoust, with grave military courtesy, has withdrawn for the moment. What boots it, august Senators ? All avenues are closed with fixed bayonets. Your Courier gallops to Versailles, through the dewy Night; but also gallops back again, with tidings that the order is authentic
; ;

!

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!

;

;

;

Weber,

J.

283.

t Bcsenval,

iii.

355.

LOMkNIBS DEATH-THROES.
that
it is

75

outer courts simmer with idle population but d'Agoust's g:enadier-ranks stand there as immovable floodgates: " Messieurs " thus spoke there will be no revolting to deliver you. d'Espremenil, " when the victorious Gauls entered Rome, which they had carried by assault, the Roman Senators, clothed in their purple, sat there, in their curule chairs, with a proud and tranquil countenance, awaiting slavery or death. Such too is the lofty spectacle, which you, " in this hour, offer to the universe {a Vunivers), after having generously with much more of the like, as can still be read.* d'Espremenil Here is this cast-iron Captain d'Agoust, In vain, Despotism, constraint, with his cast-iron military air, come back. D'Espremenil must fall silent destruction, sit waving in his plum( s. heroically give himself up, lest worg; befal. Him Goeslard heroically imitates. With spoken and speechless emotion, they fling themselve.'s and into the arms of their Parlementary brethren, for a last embrace so amid plaudits and plaints, from a hundred and sixty-five throats amid wavings, sobbings, a whole forest-sigh of Parlementary pathos, they are led through winding passages, to the rear-gate where, in the gray of the morning, two Coaches with Exempts stand waiting. There must the victims mount bayonets menacing behind. D'Espr^mdnil's stern question to the populace, Whether they have courage ? is answered by silence. They mount, and roll and neither the rising of the May sun (it is the 6th morning), nor its setting shall lighten their heart, but they fare forward continually: d'Espremenil towards the utmost Isles of Sainte Marguerite, or Hieres (supposed by some, if that is any comfort, to be Calypso's Island) Goeslard towards the land-fortress of Pierre-en-Cize, extant then, near the City of Lyons. Captain d'Agoust may now therefore look forward to Majorship, to Commandantship of the Tuileries t and withal vanish from History; where nevertheless he has been fated to do a notable thing. For not only are d'Espremenil and Goeslard safe whirling southward but the Parlement itself has straightway to march out to that also his inexorable order reaches. Gathering up their long skirts, they file out, the whole Hundred and Sixty-five of them, through two rows of unsympathetic grenadiers a spectacle to gods and men. The people revolt not they only wonder and grumble also, we remark, these unsympathetic grenadiers are Gardes Frangaises, who, one day, will sympathise In a word, the Palais de Justice is swept clear, the doors of it are locked and d'Agoust returns to Versailles with the key in his pocket, having, as was said, merited preferment. As for this Parlement of Paris, now turned out to the street, we will without reluctance leave it there. The Beds of Justice it had to undergo, in the coming fortnight, at Versailles, in registering, or rathei refusing to register, those new-hatched Edicts and how it assembled in taverns and tap-rooms there, for the purpose of Protesting \ or hovered disconsolate, with outspread skirts, not knowing wlieie to assemble and was reduced to lodge Protest with a Notary and is the end, to sit still (in a state of forced vacation '), and do nothing
irrevocable.
I

The

O

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Toulongeon,

i.

App.

jjo.

f Mon'.g;ul3ard, L 4C4.

J Weber.

\.

zg^yj^

75
all this,

IHE PARLEMENl OF PARIS.

natural now, as the burj'ing of the dead after battle, shall not concern us. The Parlement of Paris has as good as f)crformed its part doing and misdoing, so far, but hardly further, it could stir the world.

the

Lom^nie has removed the evil then? Not at all: not so much as symptom of the evil scarcely the twelfth part of the symptom, and
; !

The Intendants of Provinces, the are at their posts, on the appointed 8th of May but in no Parlement, if not in the single one of Douai, can tliese new Edicts get registered. Not peaceable signing with ink but browbeatAgainst these Bailliing, bloodsheclding, appeal to primary club-law ages, against this Plenary Court, exasperated Themis everywhere shows face of battle: the Provincial Noblesse are of her party, and whoever hates Lomenie and the evil time with her Attorneys and Tipstaves, she enHsts and operates down even to the populace. At Rennes in Britanny, where the Historical Bertrand de Moleville is Intendant, it has passed from fatal continual duelling, between the to stone-volleys and musketmilitary and gentry, to street-fighting shot and still the Edicts remain unregistered. The afflicted Bretons send remonstrance to Lomenie, by a Deputation of Twelve whom, however, Lomenie, having heard them, shuts up in the Bastille. A second larger Deputation he meets, by his scouts, on the road, and persuades or frightens back. But now a third largest Deputation is indignantly sent by many roads refused audience on arriving, it meets invites Lafayette and all Patriot Bretons in Paris to to take counsel assist; agitates itself; becomes the Breton Club, first germ of the Jacobins Society* So many as eight Parlements get exiled :t others might need that remedy, but it is one not always easy of appliance. At Grenoble, for instance, where a Mounier, a Barnave have not been idle, the Parlement had due order (by Letlres-de-Cac/iet) to depart, and exile itself but on the morrow, instead of coaches getting yoked, the alarm-bell bursts and peals and booms all day crowds of mountaineers forth, ominous rush down, with axes, even with firelocks, whom (most ominous ol Axe over head,' all !) the soldiery shows no eagerness to deal with. the poor General has to sign capitulation to engage that the Lettresde-Cachet shall remain unexecuted, and a beloved Parlement stay where it is. Besanron, Dijon, Rouen, Bourdeaux, are not what Iht-y should be! At Pau in Beam, where the old Commandant had failed, the new one (a Grammont, native to them) is met by a Procession of townsmen with the Cradle of Henri Quatre, the Palladium of their Town is conjured as he venerates this old Tortoise-shell, in which the great Henri was rocked, not to trample on Bearnese liberty; is informed, withal, that his M;ijesty's cannon are all safe in the keeping of his Majesty's faithful Burghers of Pau, and do now lie pointed on the walls there ready for action \
exasperated the other eleven
Military

Commandants

:

;

I

;

;

:

;

:

;

:

;

:

'

;

;

;

I

* A. F. de Bertrand-Moleville

:

M^moires

Particuliers (Paris,

1816), L ch. L

M6moir( s, •— Mxrmontel Montgaillard, i. 308.
:

iv,

27,

%

Besenval,

iil.

348.

LOMENIES DEATH-THROES.
At
this rate,

77

your Grand Bailliages are like to have a stoimy infanvv. As for the Plenary Court, it has literally expired in the birth. The old Marshal Broglie declined the very Courtiers looked shy at it honour of sitting therein. Assaulted by a universal storm of mingled ridicule and execration,* this poor Plenary Court met once, and never any second time. Distracted country Contention hisses up, with forked hydra-tongues, wheresoever poor Lomenie sets his toot. Let enter a Commandant, a Commissioner of the King," says Weber, one of these Parlements to have an Edict registered, the whole Tribunal will disappear, and leave the Commandant alone with the Clerk and First President. The Edict registered and the Commandant gone, the whole Tribunal hastens back, to declare such registration null. The highways are covered with Grajid Deptitatiojis of Parlements, proceeding to Versailles, to have their registers expunged by the King's hand or returning home, to cover a new page with a new resoluiion still more audacious.' t Such is the France of this year 1788. Not now a Golden or Paper Age of Hope with its horse-racings, balloon-flyings, and finer sensibilities of the heart ah, gone is that its golden effulgence paled, bedarkened in this singular manner, brewing towards preternatural weather For, as in that wreck-storm of Paid ct Virgi7iie and SaintPierre, One huge motionless cloud (say, of Sorrow and Indignation) girdles our whole horizon streams up, hairy, copper-edged, over a sky of the colour of lead.' Motionless itself but small clouds (as exiled Parlements and such like), parting from it, fly over the zenith, with the velocity of birds till at last, with one loud howl, the whole Four Winds be dashec together, and all the world exclaim. There is the tornado Tout le tnotide s'ecria Voild Touragan !
; 1

'

'

;

;

:


'

;

!

'

'

;

;

'

'

'

:

'

I

rest, in such circumstances, the Successive Loan, very remains unfilled neither, indeed, can that impost of the Second Twentieth, at least not on strict valuation,' be levied to good purpose: 'Lenders,' says Weber, in his hysterical vehement manner, are afraid of ruin tax-gatherers of hanging.' The very Clergy turn away their face convoked in Extraordinary Assembly, they afford no gratuitous gift {don gratnit), if it be not that of advice here too instead of cash is clamour for States-General.^ O Lomenie-Brienne, with thy poor flimsy mind all bewildered, and now three actual cauteries' on thy worn-out body who ait like to die

For the

naturally,

;

'

'

;

:

;

'

;

of inflammation,
fljest
*

provocation, milk-diet, dartres vives and jnaladie untranslated) § and president over a France with innumerable
;
;

Juillet 1788, sailles : par

Pl^ni^re, h^ro'i-tragi-com^die en trois actes et en prose jonce le 14 par une soci^t^ d'amateurs dans un Chateau aux environs de VerM. TAbb^ de Vermond, Lecteur de la Reine A BS.ville {Lamoignon's Covntry-house), et se trouve k Paris, chez la veuve Libert^, k I'enseigne de la Revolution, 1788. La Passion, la Mort et la Resurrection du Peuple Imprime k
,

La Cour

;


i.

:

Jerusalem, etc. etc.

See Montgaillard,

i.

407.

t Weber,
i

i.
.

275.
(Introd.) p. 87,

Lameth Asemb. Const.
424.

% Montgaillard,

^g
actual cauteires,

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.
it

which also is dying of inflammation and the rest? wise to quit the bosky verdures of Brienne, and thy new ashlar Chateau thei e, and what it held, for this ? Soft were those shades and lawns sweet the hymns of Poetasters, the blandishments of high-rouged Giaces: * and always this and the other Philosophe Morellet (nothing deeming himself or thee a questionable Sham-Priest) could be so happy in making happy and also (hadst thou known it), in the Military School hard by, there sat, studying mathematics, a duskycomplexioned taciturn Boy, under the name of Napoleon Bonaparte With fifty years of effort, and one final dead-lift struggle, thou hast made an exchange! Thou hast got thy robe of office, as Hercules

Was

;

:

:

!

had

his Nessus'-shirt,

On the 13th of July, of this 1788, there fell, on the very edge of harvest, the most frightful hail-storm scattering into wild waste the Fruits ol the Year which had otherwise suffered grievously by drought. For To sixty leagues round Paris espe<;ially, the ruin was almost total. f so many othere vils, then, there is to be added, that of dearth, perhaps of famine. Some days before this hailstorm, on the 5th of July; and still more Lomenie announces decisively some days after it, on the 8th of August, that the States-General are actually to meet in the following Month 01 May. Till after which period, this of the Plenary Court, and the rest, shall remain postponed. Further, as in Lomenie there is no plan of forming or holding these most desirable States-General, thinkers are through the medium of discussion invited to furnish him with one, by the public press What could a poor Minister do ? There are still ten months of respite reserved: a sinking pilot will fling out all things, his very biscuit-bags, lead, log, compass and quadrant, before flinging out himIt is on this principle, of sinking, and the incipient delirium of self. invitation to despair, that we explain likewise the almost miraculous Invitation to Chaos to be so kind as build, out of its tumultuthinkers.' In these cases, not invitaous drift-wood, an Ark of Escape for him The Queen stood, tion but command has usually proved serviceable. that evening, pensive, in a window, with her face turned towards the Garden, The Chef de Gobelet had followed her with an obsequious cup of coffee and then retired till it were sipped. Her Majesty beckoned Dame Campan to approach " Grand Dieu ! " murmured she, with the cup in her hand, " What a piece of news will be made public to-day The King grants States-General," Then raising her eyes to Heaven " 'Tis a first beat of the {\i Campan were not mistaken), she added drum, of ill-omen for France. This Noblesse will ruin us." \ During all that hatching of the Plenary Court, while Lamoignon looked so mysterious, Besenval had kept asking him one question Whether they had cash ? To which as Lamoignon always answered (on the faith of Lom<5nie) that the cash was safe, judicious Besenval rejoined that then all was safe. Nevertheless the melancholy fact is
;
;

'

'

!

'

I

;

:

:

* Se^ M.^mnires de Morei'et.

f Marmont^l,

iv.

30.

J

Campan,

iii.

104, ici.

LOMENIES DEATH-THROES.

79

Inxieed Ihat the royal cofTers are almost getting literally void of coin. apart from all otner things, this invitation to thinkers/ and the great change now at hand are enough to arrest the circulation of capital,' few thousand gold louis are and forward only that of pamphlets. now all of money or money's worth that remains in the King's Treasury. With another movement as of desperation, Lomenie invites Necker to come and be Controller of Finances ! Necker has other work in view than controlling Finances for Lomenie : with a dry refusal he stands
'

A

awaiting his time. He has grasped at th« shall a desperate Prime Minister do ? strongbox of the King's Theatre some Lottery had been set on foot for those sufferers by the Hail-storm in his extreme necessity, Lomdnie To make provision for the passing day, on lays hands even on this.*
taciturn
;

What

:

;

On the i6tli of August, poor will soon be impossible. heard, at Paris and Versailles, hawkers, 'with a hoarse stilled tone of voice {yoix etouffce, sourde)^ drawling and snuffling, through the streets, an Edict concerning Payvie7its (such was the soft title Rivarol had contrived for it) all Payments at the Royal Treasury shall be made henceforth, three-fifths in Cash, and the remaining two-fifths in Poor Weber almost swooned at the sound of Paper bearing interest these cracked voices, with their bodeful raven-note ; and will never forget the effect it had on him.f But the effect on Paris, on the world generally? From the dens of Stock-brokerage, from the heights of Political Economy, of Neckerism
any terms,

Weber

;

!

and Philosophism

;

from

all

articulate

and

inarticulate throats, rise

hootings and bowlings, such as ear had not yet heard.

Sedition

its^elf

Monseigneur d'Artois, moved by Duchess Polignac, and explain frankly what crisis feels called to wait upon her Majesty for it is The Queen wept ;' Brienne himself wept matters stand in. now visible and palpable that he must go. Remains only that the Court, to whom his manners and garrulities The grasping old man rvere always agreeable, shall make his fall soft. has already got his Archbishopship of Toulouse exchanged for the richer one of Sens: and now, in this hour of pity, he shall have the Coadjutorship for his nephew (hardly yet of due age); a Dameship for himself a of the Palace for his niece a Regiment for her husband red Cardinal's-hat, a Coup de Bois (cutting from the royal forests), and on the whole from five to six hundred thousand livres of revenue :'J finally, his Brother, the Comte de Brienne, shall still continue WarBuckled round with such bolsters and huge featherbeds of minister. Promotion, let him now fall as soft as he can And so Lomenie departs rich if Court-titles and Money-bonds can enrich him but, if these cannot, perhaps the poorest of all extant men. Hissed at by the people of Versailles,' he drives forth to Jardi south!
;

may be imminent

'

;

;

;

'

:

;

'

v/ard to Brienne, for recovery of health. Then to Nice, to Italy but shall return ; shall glide to and fro, tremulous, faint-twinklijig, fallen on awful times till the Guillotine snuff out his weak existence ? Alasu worse tor It Is blown out, or choked put, foully, pitiably, on the way to
; :

;

:

*

Bcsenval,

iii.

3'^).

+

Wcbor.

i.

339.

\

Ibid.

i.

341.

go

THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS.

the Guillotine f In his Palace of Sens, rude Jacobin Bailiffs made him drink with them from his own wine-cellars, feast v/ith them from his own larder and on the morrow morning, the miserable old man lies dead. This is the end of Prime Minister, Cardinal Archbishop Lom6nie de Brienne. Flimsier mortal was seldom fated to do as weighty & mischief; to have a life as despicable-envied, an exit as frightful. Fired, as the phrase is, with ambition blown, like a kindled rag, the sport of winds, not this way, not that way, but of all ways, straight towards suc/i a powder-mine, which he kindled Let us pity the hapless Lom6nie ; and forgive him ; and, as soon as possible, forgei him.
;

:

I

CHAPTER

IX.

BURIAL WITH BONFIRE.
Besekval, during these extraordinary operations, of Payment twofifths in Paper, and change of Prime Minister, had been out on a tour through his District of Command and indeed, for the last months, peacefully drinking the waters of Contrex6ville. Returning now, in the end of August, towards Moulins, and 'knowing nothi.ng,' he arrives one evening at Langres finds the whole Town in a state of uproar {grande rumeur). Doubtless some sedition a thing too common in these days He alights nevertheless inquires of a man tolerably dressed,' what " How ? " answers the man, " you have not heard the the matter is ? news ? The Archbishop is thrown out, and M. Necker is recalled und all is going to go well " *
; ;

;

;

'

I

Such rumeur and vociferous acclaim has risen round M. Necker, ever from that day when he issued from the Queen's Apartments,' a nominated Minister. It was on the 24th of August the galleries of the Chateau, the courts, the streets of Versailles in a few hours, the Capital and, as the news flew, all France, resounded with the cry Vive M. Necher P^ In Paris indeed it unfortunately of Vive le Roi ! Petards, rockets go off, in the Place got the length of turbulence.' Dauphine, more than enough. A wicker Figure {^Manneqtdn d'osier)^ in Archbishop's stole, made emblamatically, three-fifths of it satin, twofifths of it paper, is promenaded, not in silence, to the popular judgmentbar is doomed shriven by a mock Abb6 de Vermond then solemnly consumed by fire, at the foot of Henri's Statue on the Pont Neuf with such petarding and buzzing that Chevalier Dubois and his Citywatch see good finally to make a charge (more or less effectual) and there wanted not burning of sentry-boxes, forcing of guard-houses, and also dead bodies thrown into the Seine over-night,* to avoid new
' :
'

;

;

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'

;

;

;

;

;

'

effervescence. % Parlements therefore shall return from exile
• Besenval,
iii.

:

Plenary Court, Pay-

t Weber, i. 342. \ Histoire Parlementaire de la Revolution Fran9aise ou Journal des Assemblies Nationales depuis 1789 \I-aris, 1833 et seqq.), i. 253. Lameth : Assemble Coo366.

;

ttituante,

i.

(latrod.) p. 89.

BURIAL WITH BONFIRE.
ment
;

8i

smoke, el the gone oft two-fifths in Paper Iiave vanished States-General (with a Political Millennium) foot of Henri's Statue. nay, it shall be announced, in our fond haste, for are now certain January next and all, as the Langres man said, is going to go. To the prophetic glance of Besenval, one other thing is too apparer-l:
;
'
:

m

Lamoignon cannot keep his Keepership. Neither he rv<.fi Already old Foulon, with an eye War-minister Comte de Brienne This to be war-minister himself, is making underground movements. is that same Foulon named ante darnnee du Parlement ; a man grown
that Friend
1

gray in treachery, in griping, projecting, intriguing and iniquity who once when it was objected, to some finance-scheme of his, " What wil'i made answer, in the fire of discussion, " The people the people do ? " may eat grass:" hasty words, which fly abroad irrevocable, and will
:


I


;

send bacJc tidings
always

Foulon, to the relief of the world, fails on this occasion and will Nevertheless it steads not M. de Lamoignon. It steads fail. not the doomed man that he have interviews with the King and be 'seen to return radieux,^ emitting rays. Lamoignon is the hated of Parlements Comte de Brienne is Brother to the Cardinal Archbishop. The 24th of August has been and the 14th September is not yet, when they two, as their great Principal had done, descend, made to fall soft, like him.
; ;

;

and extreme The Basoche rejoices aloud, that the foe of Parlements is jubilee. and rejoice. Nay fallen; Nobility, Gentry, Conunonalty have rejoiced now, with new emp-hasis, Rascality itselJ, starting suddenly from its dim depths, will arise and do it, for down even thither the new Political Evangel, in some rude version or other, has penetrated. It is Monday, the 14th of September, 1788: Rascality assembles anew, in great force, in the Place Dauphine lets off petards, fires blunderbusses, to an incredible extent without interval, for eighteen hours. There is again a wicker Figure, iManneqiiin of osier the centre of endless howlings. Also Necker's Portrait snatched, or purchased, from some Printshop, is borne processionally, aloft on a perch, with huzzas an example to be remembered. But chiefly on the Pont Neuf, where the Great Henri, in bronze, rides sublime there do the crowds gather. All passengers must slop, till they have bowed to the Peoples King, and said audibly Vive Henri Qiiatre ; ati diable Lamoignon ! No carriage but must stop not even that of his Highness d'Orlcans. Your coach-doors are opened Monsieur will please to put forth his head and bow or even, if refractory, to alight altogether, and kneel: from Madame a wave of her plumes, a smile of her fair face, there where she sits shall suffice and surely a coin or two (to buy fusees') were not unreasonable, from the Upper Classes, friends of Liberty ? In this manner it proceeds for days in such rude horse-play, not without kicks. The City-watch can do nothing hardly save its own skin for the last twelve-month as ivc
if

And now, as assurance were

the last burden

had been

rolled from

its

heart,

at length perfect, Paris bursts forth

anew

into

;

;

'

:'

;

;

:

;

:

;

:

:

:

«3

THE PARLEMENT OF
;

PARIS.

have sometimes seen, it has been a kind of pastime to hunt the Watch, Besenval indeed is at hand with soldiers but they have orders to avoid firing, and are not prompt to stir. On Monday moining the explosion of petards began: and now it is near midnight of Wednesday and the wicker MannequM is to be buried, apparently in the Antique fashion. Long rows of torches, following it, move towards the Hotel Lamoignon but a servant of mine' (Besenval's) has run to give warning, and there are soldiers come. Gloomy Lamoignon is not to die by conflagration, or this night; not yet for a year, and then by gunshot (suicidal or accidental is unknown.)* Foiled Rascality burns its Mannikin of osier,' under his windows 'tears up the sentry-box,' and rolls off: to try Brienne; to try Dubois Captain of the Watch. Now, however, all is bestirring itself; Gardes Fran^aises, Invalides, Horse-patrol the Torch Procession is met with sharp shot, with the thrusting of bayonets, the slashing of sabres. Even Dubois makes a charge, with that Cavalry of his, and the cruellest charge of all there are a great many killed and wounded.' Not without clangour, complaint subsequent criminal trials, and official persons dying of heartbreak f So, however, with steel-besom, RasCHlity is brushed back into its dim depths, and the streets are swept

;

'

;

'

'

:

:

'

;

j

!

clear.

and half had Rascality ventured to step forth tii not for so long, shewed its huge rude lineaments in the light of day. Wonder and new Thing as yet gamboling merely, in awkward Brobdignag sport, not without quaintness hardly in anger: yet in its huge half-vacant laugh lurks a shade of grimness, which could unfold itself! However, the thinkers invited by Lom^nie are now far on with their jKimphlets: States-General, on one plan or another, will infallibly iit>H>t if not in January, as was once hoped, yet at latest in May, Old Duke de Richelieu, moribund in these autumn days, opens his eyes once more, murmuring, " What would Louis Fourteenth" (whom
for a century
;

Not

this fashion

A

:

;

;

he remembers)
the evil time.

"

have said

1'

—then

closes

them

again, for ever, before

• Histoire de la Revolution, par Ueux Amis de la Libert^, \ Ibid, p, s3.

I.

^

BOOK

IV.

STATES-GENERAL.
CHAPTER
THE NOTABLES

I.

AfJAIN.

The

unitersal prayer, therefore,

is

to

be
;

fulfilled

!

Always

in

days

ol national perplexity,

remedy of
a Fenelon
ings.'
;*

when wrong abounded and help was not, this States-General was called for by a Maleaherbes, nay by
even Parlements calling for it were escorted with blessnow behold it is vouchsafed us States-General shall verily
'

And

;

bel

To say let States-General be, was easy ; to say in what manner they shall be, is not so easy. Since the year 1614, there have no StatesGeneral met in France, all trace of them has vanished from the living
Habits of men. Their structure, powers, methods of procedure, which were never in any measure fixed, have now become wholly a vague possibility. Clay which the potter may shape, this way or that say rather, the twenty-five millions of potters for so many have now, more or less, a vote in it How to shape the States-General ? There is a problem. Each Body-corporate, each privileged, each organised Clasa has secret hopes of its own in that matter and also secret misgivings of its own, for, behold, this monstrous twenty-million Class, hitherto the dumb sheep which these others had to agree about the manner of
:

;

!


;

;

also arising with hopes! It has ceased or is ceasing speaks through Pamphlets, or at least brays and growls in unison, increasing wonderfully their volume of sound. As for the Parlement of Paris, it has at once declared for the 'old form of 1614.' Which form had this advantage, that the Tiers Etat, Third Estate, or Commons, figured there as a show mainly whereby the Noblesse and Clergy had but to avoid quarrel between themselves, and decide unobstructed what lliey thought best. Such was the clearly declared opinion of the Paris Parlement. But, being met by a storm of mere hooting and howling from all men, such opinion was blown straightway to the wind and the popularity of the Parlement along with It, —never to return. The Parlement's part, we said above, was as

shearing,
to

s

now
it

be dumb behind them,

:

;

* MontgaiUard,

i.

461

84

5 TA TES-GENERAL
:

Concerning which, however, there is this further to oe noted the proximity of dates. It was on the 22nd of September that to be the Parlement returned from vacation' or exile in its estates reinstalled amid boundless jubilee from all Paris. Precisely next day, it was that this same Parlement came to its clearly declared opinion and Ihen on t!ie morrow after that, you behold it 'covered with outrages its outer court, one vast sibilation, and the glory departed from A popularity of twenty-four hours was, in those for evermore.* it times, no uncommon allowance. On the other hand, how superfluous was that invitation of Lomdnie's: Thinkers and unthinkers, by the million, the invitation to thinkers Clubs labour: are spontaneously at their post, doing wliat is in them. Societe Publicole ; Breton Club; Enraged Club, Club des Enrages. Likewise Dinner-parties in the Palais Royal your Mirabcaus, Talleyrands dining there, in company with Chamforts, Morellets, with Duponts For a certain A'cckct&zn and hot Parlementeers, not without object Lion's-provider, whom one could name, assembles them there ;f or even their own private determination to have dinner does it. And then as to Pamphlets in figurative language, 'it is a sheer snowing of pamphlets; like to snow-up the Government thoroughfares!' Now is the time for Friends of Freedom sane, and even insane. Count, or self-styled Count, d"Aintrigues, 'the young Languedocian gentleman,' with perhaps Chamfort the Cynic to help him, rises into Foolish young furor almost Pythic; highest, where many are high. J who himself so soon, emigrating among Languedocian gentleman the foremost,' must fly indignant over the marches, with the Contrat towards outer darkness, thankless intriguings, Social in his pocket, Abbe Sieyes has left ignis-fdtuus hoverings, and death by the stiletto Chartres Cathedral, and canonry and book-shelves there has let his tonsure grow, and come to Paris with a secular head, of the most irreWhat is the fragable sort, to ask three questions, and answer them: Third Estate ? All. What has it hitherto been iti our fo7-?fi of governWhat does it want ? To become Somethifig. vicnt ? Nothing. DOrleans, for be sure he, on his way to Chaos, is in the thick of promulgates his Deliberations ;^ fathered by him, written by tViiSj. Laclos of the Liaisons Dangereuses. The result of which comes out The Third Estate is the Nation.' On the other hand, Monsimply seigneur d'Artois, with other Princes of the Blood, publishes, in solemn Memorial to the King, that, if such things be listened to. Privilege, In Nobility, Monarchy, Church, State, and Strongbox are in danger. danger truly and yet if you do not listen, are they out of danger ? It is Immeasurable, manifold the voice of all France, this sound that rises.

good as played.

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||

:

i. 347. 360. See Montgaillard, 1.457-9. I M^moire sur les Etats-G^ndraux. \ Deliberations k pr-ndre pcur les Assemblies des Bailliages. M6moire pr6scnt6 au Roi par Monseigneur Comte d'Artois, M. le Prince da P Conde, M. le Due de Botirbon, M. le Due d'Enghein, et M. le Prince de Conti.

*

Weber,
i.

+ Ibid.

(Given in Hist. Pari.

i.

256.)

THE NOTABLES AGAIN.

85

as the sound of outbreaking waters wise were he who knew what to do in it, if not to fly to the mountains, and hide himself ?

:

How

an

ideal, all-seeing Versailles

Government,

sitting there

on such

principles, in such an environment ; would have determined to demean Such a itself at this new juncture may even yet be a question. Government had felt too well that its long task was now drawing to a close ; that, under the guise of these States-General, at length
;

inevitable, a new omnipotent Unknown of Democracy wag coming in presence of which no Versailles Government either into being could or should, e.xcept in a provisory character, continue extant. Ta enact which provisory character, so unspeakably important, might its whole faculities but have sufficed and so a peaceable, gradual, well; ;

conducted Abdication and Domme-dimittas have been the issue This for our ideal, all-seeing Versailles Government. But for the actual irrational Versailles Government? Alas! that is a Government existing there only for its own behoof: without right, except possession and now also without might. It foresees nothing, sees nothing has not so much as a purpose, but has only purposes, and the instinct whereby all that exists will struggle to keep existing. Wholly a in which vain counsels, hallucinations, falsehoods, intrigues, vortex and imbecilities whirl; like withered rubbish in the meeting of winds The CEil-de-Doeuf has its irrational hopes, if also its fears. Since hitherto all States-General have done as good as nothing, why should these do more ? The Commons, indeed look dangerous but on the whole is not revolt, unknown now for five generations, an impossibility? The Three Estates can, by management, be set against each other the Third will, as heretofore, join with the King; will, out of mere spite and self-interest, be eager to tax and vex the other two. The other two are thus delivered bound into our hands, that we may fleece them likewise. Whereupon, money being got, and the Three Estates all in quarrel, dismiss them, and let the future go as it can As good Archbishop " There are so many accidents Lomenie was wont to say and it needs but one to save us." How many to destroy us ? Poor Necker in the midst of such an anarchy does what is possible for him. He looks into it with obstinately hopeful face lauds the
I

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rectitude of the kingly mind listens indulgent-like to the known perverseness of the queenly and courtly ; emits if any proclamation or regulation, one favouring the Tiers Etat; but settling nothing; hrcering afar off rather, and advising all things to settle themselves. Th^e grand questions, for the present, have got reduced to two the Doub'e Representation, and the Vote by Head. Shall the Commons have a double representation,' that is to say, have as many members as tlie Noblesse
;

:

'

and Clergy united? Shall the States-General, when once assembled, vote and deliberate, in one body, or in three separate bodies vote by head, or vote by class,'— ordre as they call it ? These are Ihe mootpoints now filling all France with jargon, logic, and eleutheromania. To terminate which, Necker bethinks him. Might not a second Convocation el the Notables be fittest ? Such second Convocation is resolved on.
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li

STA TES-CENERA L

On Ifae6tti «f Norember of i!u< y&<j 7 IE, Uve<e NoCablef acoordiogtjr bate veasMBlikd ; after loterral oi some eighteen moathm. Tbey are Cakmne's old Notables, the &zme Hundred zad Tortf-kmi, to •hew ooe's impaftiality Ukewise to s^re time. They sit there once i^ani, in tiieir Seren Bureaus, in the hard winter weather it iM the hanieat winter seen since 1709; tbennometer belowxero of Fahrenheit, Seine Rirer (rcaen over* Cold, scarcity, and elettthettymaniac damonr • chained wo«ld since tbese Notables were 'organnedoot,' in May gone a year ! They sh^Il see now whether, under their Seren Princes of the Blood, in their Seren Bureaus, they can settle the moot-poiitts.

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1

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To the suTfirise of Patriotism, these Notables, once so patrioCic, seeoii towards the anti-f>atriotic side. They to incline the wrong way stagger at the Doable Representation, at the Vote by Head : there is not affirmatrre decision ; there is mere debating, and that not with the best aspects. For, indeed, were not these Notables the mstlres mostly of the Prirflesed Classes ? They damouied once ; now they bare dieir misgirings; make their doloroas tepresentations. Let them vanish, ineSectoal ; and return no more ! They ranish, after a month's session, on this 12th of December, year 17S8: the last terrestrial Notables; not to reappear any other time, in the Hi^ory of the
;

World.
continnii^ and the Pamphlets ; and nothing Addresses, loader and louder, pouring in on us 60m al< ei s of France, Nedcer himself some fortn^t after, before the year is y^ done, has to present his Report ; \ reooounending at his own risk that same Double Representation ; nay almost enjoining it, so load is the jargon and eteuthercmiania. What dubttating, what circumambulatii^! These whole six noisy months (for it bepan with Brienne in July), has not Report followed Report, and one ProcLunatioo flown in the teeth of the other ? % Howerer, that first moot-point as we see, is now settled. As for the second, that of roting by Head or by Order, it unfortunately is still left hanging. It hai^ there, we may say, between the Pririlegrd Orders and the Uopririleged ; as a ready-made baftle-prize, and necessity of war, from the rery ftrst : which battle-prize whosoerer seizes it may thenceforth bear as battle-flag, with the best omens But «^ r-» •*--« by Royal Edict of the 24th of January,§ does it r.t expectant France, become not only indubitably finally, ities are to meet, but possible (so far and hardi; . that N2'-. further has the royal Regulation gone) to begin electing them.

And 90, the clamour stQl
patriistic

bat

mm

t

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,

* ManBOBtd M^moiRS, (Lopdon. tSos), n. 33. Hin. r.krL eta t Rapport fut an Roi dam sxw CxmaA, le rj Diiemdri t/fi^ i Ob July 8dt Aogicst ; 23rd Sefstember, etc rtc \ K^peiBeDt do Roi poor b Coimycariaa des Kxa.xs.-Ctt'Hva 4 VcradBec. )Rr«>nat«d, wrcw^ ia.'e>\, ie lUsUiee Parkswataire. i. 363).
:

THE ELECTION.

87

CHAPTEK
Ui'i th«Mi, niid !)e

II.

TIIK KI.KCTION.

doinR

I

The

royal si^^iial-word

llii-a

through France,

At I'arish as tliroiij;;!! viist fort;sts the riialiiii)» ol a inij^lity vviiul. (Jhiinhes, in Townhalls, and every I lonse of Convocation; by IJaillia/^es, by Si'ncschalsi(;3, in wliatsocver lorni in<^n convene; then", with conTo elect your fusion enough, arc Primary Asscinbli«>3 forniin;^. Electors; such is the form i)rescril)ed tlurn to draw np yoiu" 'Writ of Plaints and Grievances {( afiier de plaintes et doltiuues),' of whicli lattiT there is no lack. With such virtu(^ works this Royal January Kdict as it rolls rajjidly, in its lealliern mails, along these frostbonnd hi;',liways, towards all the -wiiich snch things Likt^ some y/^//, or magic spcll-woni four winds. always, as it sounds out J'"c(r at tlnr market-cross,' do rcseml)le prcsidc-d by Bailli, Sencsdial, or accomi)anied witii trnmpil-blast other minor Kun( tionaiy, witii b<(!l-catcrs or, in country churches, is
:

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sermon, 'an piihir- ties t/ifssrs /utniissiilfs ;' and is registered, posted and let lly over all tlie world,- you behold how this midtitudinous I'Vench I\()|)le, so long sinumring arul buzzing in eag(^r expectancy, begins heaping anil sh.iping itself into organic groups.

droned

fortli

after

Which

organic groups, :ig;un, hold smaller organic gronph^ts: the buzzing beccunes articulate speaking and acting. By Primary Assend)Iy, and tiien by .Secondary by successive elections,' and iniinite elaboration and scrutiny, according to i)res(ril)ed |)rocess, sliall the genuine Plaints and Grievances' be at length got to paper; siiall tht^ tit National Representative be at length laiil hokl of. llow the whole Peojile shakes itself, as if it had one life; and, in thousand-voiced rumour, announees that it is awake, sudderdy out of long death-sleep, and will thenceforth sleep no more The long looked-lor has comi- at last wondrous news, of Victory, Deliveranci", Knlranchiseuient, sounils ma;',ic,d through ev<'ry heart. To the pr(Uid strong man it has come; vvhos<; stiong lianils shall no more be gyved to whom boimdless uncon(|uered continents lit- discloseil. The weary day-drudge has heard of it; the vu-gg.ir with his crust moistened in tears. What To us also has hi>pe reached; down evei) to us 1 1 liniger and hardship are not to be et^-rnal ? The bread we extoi ted from till! rugged glebe, and, with tlu- toil of our sinews, reaped and ground, and kneaded into loaves, was not wholly for another, tlwn but we also shall eat of il, and be Jilled ? Glorious news (answer the prudent »dders), but all too unlikely Thus, at any rate, may thi' lower people, who |>ay no mone)' taxes and h.iv<' no right to voti*,* assiduously crowd round tiiose that do; and most Halls of Assi inbly, within doors and without, seem animated enough. Paris, alon(" ol Towns, is to have Kepreaentatives the number of them twenty. Paris is divided into Sixty Districts; each of which (assrml)led in some church, or the like) is choosing two Electors
inarticulate
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I

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K('j;l( iiic.iit

du Rol

(in

Hlstolro riirlcmcntaire, as'above,

I.

aC>j-yyj).

7

88
Official

STATES-GENERAL.

deputations i)ass from District to District, for all is inexperience as yet, and there is endless consulting. The streets swarm strangely with busy crowds, pacific yet restless and loquacious at intervals, is seen the gleam of military muskets especially about the Palais, where the Parlement, once more on duty, sits querulous, almost tremulous. Busy is the French world In those great days, what poorest speculative craftsman but will leave his workshop if not to vote, yet to assist in voting ? On all highways is a rustling and bustling, Over the wide surface of France, ever and anon, through the spring months, as the Sower casts his corn abroad upon the furrows, sounds of congregatirkg and dispersing of crowds in deliberation, acclamation, voting by ballot and by voice, rise discrepant towards the ear of Heaven. To which political phenomena add this economical one, that Trade is stagnant, and also Bread getting dear for before the rigorous winter there was, as we said, a rigorous summer, with drought, and on the 13th of July with destructive hail. What a fearful day all cried while that tempest fell. Alas, the next anniversary of it will be a worse.* Under such aspects is France electing National Repre; ;

!

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;

I

sentatives.

The incidents and specialities of these Elections belong not to Universal, but to Local or Parish History for which reason let not the new troubles of Grenoble or Besangon the bloodshed on the streets of Rennes, and consequent march thither of the Breton Young Men with Manifesto by their Mothers, Sisters and Sweethearts t nor such like, detain us here. It is the same sad history every where with superficial variations. A reinstated Parlement (as at Besan9on), which stands astonished at this Behemoth of a States-General it had itself evoked, starts forward, with more or less audacity, to fix a thorn in its nose and, alas, is instantaneously struck down, and hurled quite out, for the new popular force can use not only arguments but brickbats Or else, and perhaps combined with this, it is an order of Noblesse (as in Brittany), which will beforehand tie up the Third Estate, that it harm not the old privileges. In which act of tying up, never so skilfully set about, there is likewise no possibility of prospering but the Behemoth-Briareus snaps your cords like green rushes. Tie up ? Alas, Messieurs And then, as for your chivalry rapiers, valour, and The wager-of-battle, think one moment, how can that answer? plebeian heart too has red life in it, v/hich changes not to paleness at glance even of you and the six hundred Breton gentlemen, assembled arms, for seventy-two hours, in the Cordeliers' Cloister, at Rennes,' have to come out again, wiser than they entered. For the Nantes Youth, the Angers Youth, all Brittany was astir; 'mothers, sisters and
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• Bailly Memoires, i. 336. t Protestations et ArrSt^ des Jeunes Gens de la Ville de Nantes, du 28 Janvier 1789, avant les depart ponr Rennes.— Arr6t6 des Jeunes Gens dejla Ville d'Angers. du 4 F6vrier 1789. Arr6t6 des M^res, Soeurs, fe'pouses et Amantes des Jeunes (Reprinted in Histoire Parlementaire, L Citoyens d'Angers, du 6 F^vrier 1789.
:

290-3.)

THE ELECTION.
'

89

sweethearts' shrieking after them, March ! The Breton Noblesse must even let the mad world have its way.* In other Provinces, the Noblesse, with equal goodwill, finds it better Cahiers of grievances,' and to stick to Protests, to well-redacted satirical writings and speeches. Such is partially their course in Provence whither indeed Gabriel Honors Riquetti Comte deMirabeau has rushed down from Paris, to speak a word in season. In Provence, the Privileged, backed by their Aix Pavlement, discover that such novelties, enjoined though they be by Roj'al Edict, tend to National detriment and what is still more indisputable, to impair the dignity of Whereupon Mirabeau protesting aloud, this same the Noblesse.' Noblesse, amid huge tumult within doors and without, flatly determines to expel him from their Assembly. No other method, not even that of successive duels, would answer with him, the obstreperous fierceExpelled he accordingly is. glaring man. In all countries, in all times,' exclaims he departing, the Aristocrats have implacably pursued every friend of the People and with tenfold implacability, if such a one were himself born of the Aristocracy. It was thus that the last of the Gracchi perished, by the hands of the Patricians. But he, being struck with the mortal stab, flung dust towards heaven, and called on the Avenging Deities and from this dust there was born Marius, Marius not so illustrious for exterminating the Cimbri, as for overturning in Rome the tyranny of the Nobles.'t Casting up which new curious handful of dust (through the
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Printing-press), to breed what it can and may, Mirabeau stalks forth Third Estate. That he now, to ingratiate himself with this Third Estate, opened a cloth-shop in Marseilles,' and for moments became a furnishing tailor, or even the fable that he did so, is to us always among the pleasant memorabilities of this era. Stranger Clothier never wielded the ellwand and rent webs for men, or fractional parts of men. The Fils
into the
' ;

Adoptif is indignant at such disparaging fable, J which nevertheless was widely believed in those days.§ But indeed, if Achilles, in the heroic ages, killed mutton, why should not Mirabeau, in the unheroic ones, measure broadcloth ? More authentic are his triumph-progresses through that disturbed district, with mob jubilee, flaming torches, windows hired for two louis,' and voluntary guard of a hundred men. He is Deputy Elect, both of Aix and of Marseilles but will prefer Aix. He has opened his far-sounding voice, the depths of his far-sounding soul he can quell (such virtue is in a spoken word) the pride-tumults of the rich, the hunger-tumults of the poor and wild multitudes move under him, as under the moon do billows of the sea he has become a worldcompeller, and ruler over men. One other incident and specialty we note with how different an
' ; ;

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*

Hist. Pari. I

287.— Deux Amis de
V.

la Liberty,

i.

105-128

t Fils Adoptif,
i I

256.
(in

M6moires de Mirabeau, v. 307. Marat: Ami-duPcuple Newspaper

Histoire Parlementaire,

ii.

103), etc.

90
!

STATES-GENERAL.
;

interest which starts forward, like It is of the Parlement of Paris the others (only with less audacity, seeing better how it lay), to nosering that Behemoth of a States-General. Worthy Doctor Guillotin, respectable practitioner in Paris, has drawn up his little Plan of a ;' Cahier of doleances as had he not, having the wish and gift, the clearest liberty to do ? He is getting the people to sign it whereupon the surly Parlement summons him to give account of himself. He goes but with all Paris at his heels which floods the outer courts, and copiously signs the Cahier even there, while the Doctor is giving account of himself within The Parlement cannot too soon dismiss to be borne home shoulder-high.* Guillotin, with compliments This respectable Guillotin we hope to behold once more, and perhaps only once the Parlement not c>ven once, but let it be engulfed unseen by
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us.

Meanwhile such things, cheering as they are, tend little to cheer the In midst of national creditor, or indeed the creditor of any kind. universal portentous doubt, what certainty can seem so certain as money in the purse, and the wisdom of keeping it there? Trading Speculation, Commerce of all kinds, has as far as possible come to a dead pause and the hand of the industrious lies idle in his bosom. Frightful enough, when now the rigour of seasons has also done its In the opening part, and to scarcity of work is added scarcity of food spring, there come rumours of forestalment, there come King's Edicts, Petitions of bakers against millers'; and at length, in the month of These April, troops of ragged Lackalls, and fierce cries of starvation are the thrice-famed Brigands : an actually existing quotity of persons who, long reflected and reverberated through so many millions of heads, as in concave multiplying mirrors, become a whole Brigand World and, like a kind of Supernatural Machinery, wondrously move The Brigands are here the Brigands are the Epos of the Revolution. Not otherwise sounded the clang of there the Brigands are coming Phoebus Apollo's silver bow, scattering pestilence and pale terror for preternatural and it too this clang too was of the imagination walked in formless immeasureability, having\ made itself Jike to the
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Night

{yvKTL eaiKois)

!

empire of Suspicion, poor famishing men shall, prior to death, gather in groups and crowds, as the poor fieldfares and plovers do in bitter weather, were it but that *hey may chirp mournfully together, and misery look in the eyes of misery if famishing men (what famishing fieldfares cannot do) should discover, once congregated, that they need not die while food is in the land, since they are many, and with empty wallets have right hands in all this, what need were there of Preternatural Machinery? To most people none; but not to French people, in a time of Revolution. These Brigands (as Turgot's nlso were, fourteen years ago) have all been set on enlisted, though without tap of drum. by Aristocrats, by Democrats, by d'Orleans, d'Artois, and * Deax Amis de la Liberl6, i. 141

But remark

at least, for the first time, the singular If

in those lands, in those days.

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GROWN
:

ELECTRIC.

91

crnemies of the public weal. Nay Historians, to this day, will prove it by one argument these Brigands, pretending to have 'no victual, nevertheless contrive to drink, nay have been seen drunk* An unexampled fact ! But on the whole may we not predict that a people, with such a width of Credulity and of Incredulity (the proper union of which makes Suspicion, and indeed unreason generally), will see Shapes enough of Immortals fighting in its battle-ranks, and never want for Epical Machinery? Be this as it may, the Brigands are clearly got to Paris, in considerable multitudes t with sallow faces, lank hair, (the true enthusiast complexion), with sooty rags and also with large clubs, which they smite angrily against the pavement These mingle in the Election tumult ; would fain sign Guillotin's Cahier, or any Cahier or Petition whatsoever, could they but write. Their enthusiast complexion, the smiting of their sticks bodes little good to any one least of all to rich master-manufacturers of the Suburb Saint-Antoine, with whose workmen they consort.
:

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CHAPTER

III.

GROWN ELECTRIC
But now also National Deputies from all ends of France are in Pa^i^, with their commissions, what they call pouvoirs, or ipowers, in their pockets; inquiring, consulting; looking out for lodgings at\ Versailles. The States-General shall open there, if not on the First, then surely on the Fourth of May in grand procession and gala. The Salle des Menus their very costume has is all new-carpentered, bedizened for them been fixed a grand controversy that there was, as to slouch-hats or slouched-hats,' for the Commons Deputies, has got as good as adjusted. Ever new strangers arrive loungers, miscellaneous persons, officers on furlough, as the worthy Captain Dampmartin, whom we hope to be acquainted with these also, from all regions, have repaired hither, Our Paris Committees, of the Sixty Districts, lo see what is toward. are busier than ever ; it is now too clear, the Paris Elections will be
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late.

On Monday, the 27th day of April, Astionomer Bailly notices that the Sieur Reveillon is not at his post. The Sieur Reveillon, extensive Paper Manufacturer of the Rue Saint-Antoine:' he, commonly so punctual, is absent from Electoral Committee and even will never reappear there. In those immense Magazines of velvet paper has Alas, it is no Montgolfier rising there aught befallen ? Alas, yes to-day but Drudgery, Rascality, and the Suburb that is rising Was the Sieur Reveillon, himself once a journeyman, heard to say that a journeyman might live handsomely on fifteen sous a-day?' Some sevenpence halfpenny 'tis a slender sum Or was he only thought, and believed, to be heard saying it ? By this long chafing and friction, it would a^jpear, the National temper has got electric.
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• Ijacretelle, 18'"" Siicle,

ii.

155.

f Besenval,

iii.

385, efcx

92

STATES-GENERAL.
Down
in those

dark dens, in those dark heads and hungry hearts, who knows in what strange figure, the new Political Evangel may have shaped itself what miraculous Communion of Drudges may be Enough grim individuals, soon waxing to grim getting formed multitudes, and other multitudes crowding to see, beset that I'aperWarehouse demonstrate, in loud ungrammatical language (addressed to the passions too), the insufficiency of sevenpence halfpenny a-day. The City-watch cannot dissipate them broils arise and bellowings R6veillon, at his wits' end, entreats the Populace, entreats the Authori; ' '

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ties.

Besenval,

now

in active

command, Commandant

of Paris, does,
;

towards evening, to R^veillon's earnest prayer, send some thirty Gardes Fran9aises. These clear the street, happily without firing and take post there for the night, in hope that it may be all over.* Not so on the morrow it is far worse. Saint-Antoine has arisen reinforced by the unknown Tatterdemalion anew, grimmer than ever Figures, with their enthusiast complexion, and large sticks. The City, through all streets, is flowing thitherward to see two cartloads of paving-stones, that happened to pass that way,' have been seized as a visible godsend. Another detachment of Gardes Fran^aises must be sent Besenval and the Colonel taking earnest counsel. Then stil! another they hardly, with bayonets and menace of bullets, penetrate to the spot. What a sight A street choked up, with lumber, tumult and the endless press of men. A Paper-Warehouse eviscerated by axe and fire mad din and Revolt musket-volleys responded to by yells, by miscellaneous missiles, by tiles raining from roof and window,
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it

tiles,

execrations and slain

men
it

!

not, but must persevere. All day continues, slackening and rallying the sun is sinking, and SaintAntoine has not yielded. The City flies hither and thither alas, tlie sound of that musket-volleying booms into the far dining-rooms of the Chauss6e d'Antin alters the tone of the dinner-gossip there. Captain Dam.pmartin leaves his wine goes out witii a friend or two, to see the fighting.! Unwashed men growl on him, with rumours of 'A bus les ; insult the cross of St. Aristoa-ates (Down with the Aristocrats) him but do not pick his pocket Louis They elbow him, and hustle as indeed at R6veillon's too there was not the slightest stealing.! At fall of night, as the thing will not end, Besenval takes his resolution orders out the Gardes Suisses with two pieces of artillery. The Swiss Guards shall proceed thither summon that rabble to depart, in the King's name. If disobeyed, they shall load their artillery with grape-shot, visibly to the general eye shall again summon if again disobeyed, fire, and keep firing, till the last man be in this manner blasted off, and the street clear. With which spirited resolution, as might have been hoped, the business is got ended. At sight ol the lit matches, of the foreign red-coated Switzers, Saiut-Antoine dissipates hastily, in the shades of dusk. There is an encumbered street there
like
:

The Gardes Fran^aises

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* Besenval,

iii.

3<5s-8.

t Ev^nemens aiii se sont passes sous mes yeux pendaiit par A. H. Danipmartin (Berlin, 1799), i. 25-27.

la

Revolution Franfajse,

THE PROCESSION.
are
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93

Unfortunate Reveillon has Irora four to five hundred dead men. found shelter in the Bastille does therefrom, safe behind stone bulwarks, issue plaint, protestation, explanation, for the next month. Bold Besenval has thanks from all the respectable Parisian classes but finds
;

no special notice taken of him at Versailles, worth is used to.*
But

—a thing the

;

man

of true

originated, this fierce electric sputter and explosion? he, with his gold, enlisted cries the Court-party ! surely in some surprising manner, without sound of these Brigands, drum he raked them in hither, from all corners to ferment and take From the Court cries enlightened Patriotism evil is his good. fire set it is the cursed gold and wiles of Aristocrats that enlisted them them upon ruining an innocent Sieur Reveillon ; to frighten the faint, and disgust men with the career of Freedom. Besenval, with reluctance, concludes that it came from the English, our natural enemies.' Or, alas, might one not rather attribute it to Diana in the shape of Hunger ? To some twin Dioscuri, Oppression and Revenge so often seen in the battles of men ? Pooi Lackalls, all

how

it

From d'Orleans
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mto whom neverbetoiled. besoiled, encrusted into dim defacement To them theless the breath of the Almighty has breathed?& living soul
, !

clear only that eleutheromaniac Philosophism has yet baked no bread that Patriot Committee-men will level down to their own level, and no lower. Brigands or whatever they might be, it was bitter earnest with them they bury their dead with the title of Dkfenseurs de la Pafrze, Martyrs of the good Cause. Or shall we say : Insurrection has now served its Apprenticeship ;
it is
;
:

and this was its proof -stroke, and no inconclusive one? be a master-stroke announcing indisputable Mastership
;

Its

next will
vs'hole

to a

astonished world. Let that rock-fortress. Tyranny's stronghold, which they name Bastille or Building, as if there were no other building, look to its guns 1
But, in such wise, with primary and secondary Assemblies, ana Cahiers of Grievances with motions, congregations of all kinds with much thunder of froth-eloquence, and at last with thunder of platoonWith musquetry, does agitated France accomplish its Elections.
; ;

confused winnowing and sifting, in this rather tumultuous manner, it has now (all except some remnants of Paris) sifted out the true wheat-grains of National Deputies, Twelve Hundred and Fourteen in
auraber
;

and

will forthwith

open

its

States-General.

CHAPTER

the
first

IV.

THE PROCESSION.
fourth of the month,

Saturday of May, U* <• be a

it

is

still

gala at Versailles and Monday, greater day. The Deputies have
;

Besenval,

iii.

389.

94

STATES-UENERAL.
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mostly got thither, and sought out lodgings and are now successively, in long well-ushered files, kissing the hand of Majesty in the Chateau. Supreme Usher de Breze does not give the highest satisfaction we cannot but observe that in ushering Noblesse or Clergy into the anointed Presence, he liberally opens both his folding-doors and on the other However, there land, for membeis of the Third Estate, opens only one s room to enter, Majesty has smiles for all. Th-e good Louis welcomes his Honourable Members, with smiles ol hope. He has prepared for them the Hall of the Menus, the largest near him and often surveyed the workmen as they went on. A with raised platform for Throne, Court and Bloodspacious Hall space for six hundred Commons Deputies in front for half as royal many Clergy on t.iis hand, and half as many Noblesse on that. It has vvherefrom dames of honour, splendent in ga2e (for lofty galleries foreign Diplomacies, and other gilt-edged white-frilled individuals, to may sit and look. Broad passages the number of two thousand, There are flow through it and, outside the inner wall, all round it. really a noble Hall committee-rooms, guard-rooms, robing-rooms where upholstery, aided by the subject fine-arts, has done its best and crimson tasselled cloths, and exah\&v!\2L\.\c flei^rs-de-lys are not wanting. The Hall is ready the very costume, as we said, has been settled and the Commons are not to wear that hated slouch-hat {chapeati •'abaud), but one not quite so slouched {chapeau rabattii). As for for their voting by head their manner of working, when all dressed this, which it were perhaps still time to or by order' and the rest, settle, and in few hours will be no longer time, remains unsettled hangs dubious in the breast of Twelve Hundred men.
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But now finally the Sun, on Monday the 4th of May has risen unconcerned, as if it were no especial day. And yet, as his first rays could strike music from the Memnon's Statue on the Nile, what tones were these, so thrilling, tremulous of preparation and foreboding, which Hnge Paris, in all conceivable he awoke in every bosom at Versailles and inconceivable vehicles, is pouring itself forth from each Town and Versailles is a very sea of men. But Village come subsidiary rills above all, from the Church of St. Louis to the Church of NotreDame one vast suspended-billow of Life, with spray scattered even For on chimney-tops too, as over the roofs, and to the chimney-tops f up thitherwards on every lamp-iron, sign-post, breakneck coign ol vantage, sits patriotic Courage and every window bursts with patriotic Beauty for the Deputies are gathering at St. Louis Church to march in procession to Notre-Dame, and hear sennon. Yes, friends, ye may sit and look bodily or in thought, all France, and all Europe, may sit and look for it is a day like few others. Oh, So many serried rows sit perched there i)ne might weep like Xerxes
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winged creatures, alighted out of Heaven all these, and so many more that follow them, shall have wholly fled aloft again, vanishing and the memory of this day still be fresh. It is into the blue Deep the baptism day of Democracy; sick Time has given it birth, the
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THE PROCESSION.

95
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numbered months being run. The extreme-unction day of Feudalism A superannuated System of Society, decrepit with toils (for has it not done much produced you, and what ye have and know !) and with and with profligacies, thefts and brawls, named glorious-victories sensualities, and on the whole with dotage and senility, — is now to die and so, with death-throes and birth-throes, a new one is to be born. Battles and bloodWhat a work, O Earth and Heavens, what a work shed, September Massacres, Bridges of Lodi, retreats of Moscow, Waterloos, Peterloos, Tenpound Franchises, Tarbarrels and Guillotines and from this present date, if one might prophes}-, some two Two cen-turies hardly less before Democcenturies of it still to fight racy go through its due, most baleful, stages of QuackocidLcy and a pestilential World be burnt up, and have begun to grow green and young again.
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Rejoice nevertheless, ye Versailles multitudes to you, from whom the glorious end of it is visible. This day, sentence of death is pronounced on Shams judgment of resuscitation, were it but afar off, is pronounced on Realities. This day, it is declared aloud, Believe that, as with a Doom-trumpet, that a Lie is tinbelievable. stand by that, if more theie be not and let vv'hat thing or things soever Ye can no other God be your help So will follow it follow. spake a greater than any of you; opening his Chapter of W^rld;

all this is hid,

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Hi story.
Behold, however ! The doors of St. Louis Church flung open ; and Shouts the Procession of Processions advancing towards Notre-Dame rend the air one shout, at which Grecian birds might drop dead. It The Elected of France, and then the isi indeed a stately, solemn sight. Court of France they are marshalled and march there, all in prescribed Our Commons in plain black mantle and white place and costume. Noblesse, in gold-worked, bright-dyed cloaks of velvet, recravat the Clergy in splendent, rusthng with laces, waving with plumes rochet, alb, or other best pontificalibiis : lastly comes the King himself, and King's Household, also in their brightest blaze of pomp, their brightest and final one. Some Fourteen Hundred Men blown together from all winds, on the deepest errand. Yes, in that silent marching mass there lies Futurity enough. No symbolic Ark, like the old Hebrews do these men bear yet with them too is a Covenant they too preside at a new Era in the History of
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is there, and Destiny dim-brooding over it and unshaped thoughts of these men, it lies illegible, inevitable. Singular to think they have it in them yet not they, not mortal, only the Eye above can read it, as it shall unfold itself, in fire and thunder, of siege, and field artillery in the rustling of battlebanners, the tramp of hosts, in the glow of burning cities, the shriek of strangled nations Such things lie hidden, safe-wrapt in this Fourth day of May say rather, had lain in some other unknown day, of which this latter is the public fruit and outcome. As indeed what wonders lie in every Day, had we the sight, as happily we have not,

Men.

The whole Future

in the hearts

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96
to decipher Eternities I
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STA TES- GENERAL.
for is

not every meanest

Day

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the conflux of

two

we too, good Reader, should, as now without Clio enables us, take our station also on some coign of vantage and glance momentarily over this Procession, and this Lifesea with far other eyes than the rest do, namely with prophetic ? We can mount, and stand there, without fear of falling. As for the Life-sea, or onlooking unnumbered Multitude, it is unfortunately ail-too dim. Yet as we gaze fixedly, do not nameless Figures not a few, which shall not always be nameless, disclose themselves visible or presumable there Young Baroness de Sta61 she evidently looks from a window; among other honourable women.* Hei father is Minister, and one of the gala personages to his own eyes nor thy the chief one. Young spiritual Amazon, thy rest is not there loved Father's as Malebranche saw all things in God, so M. Neckei sees all things in Necker,' a theorem that will not hold. But where is the brown-locked, light-behaved, fire-hearted Demoiselle
Meanwhile, suppose
miracle
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Muse

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who, with thy winged words rough bosoms, whole steel battalions, and persuade an Austrian Kaiser, pike and helm lie provided for thee in due season and, alas, also strait-waistcoat and long lodging in the Salpetriere Better hadst thou staid in native Luxemburg, and been the mother of some brave man's children but it was not thy task, it

Theroigne

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Brown eloquent Beauty
shall thrill

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and glances,
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was not thy lot. Of the rougher sex how, without tongue, or hundred tongues, of iron, enumerate the notabilities Has not Marquis Valadi hastily quitted his Quaker broadbrim his Pythagorean Greek in Wapping, and the city of Glasgow ?+ De Morande from his Courier de J^ Europe, Linguet from his Aunales, they looked eager through the London fog, and became Ex-Editors, that they might feed the guillotine, and have their due. Does Louvet (of Faublas) stand a-tiptoe? And Brissot,
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De Warville, friend of the Blacks ? He, with Marquis Condorcet, and Claviere the Genevese have created the Moniteur Newspaper,' or Able Editors must give account of such a day. are about creating it. Or seest thou with any distinctness, low down probably, not ir places of honour, a Stanislas Maillard, riding-tipstaff {Jiuissier a chevaV) one of the shiftiest of men ? of the Chatelet A Captain Hulin of Geneva, Captain Elie of the Queen's Regiment both with an air of
hight
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Jourdan, with tile-coloured vi^hiskers, not yet with tileHe shall be, in few months, beard an unjust dealer in mules? Jjurdan the Headsman, and have other work. Surely also, in some place not of honour, siands or sprawls up one squalidest bleared querulous, that he too, though short, may see, mortal, redolent of soot and horse-drugs Jean Paul Marat of Neuchatel J O Marat, Renovator of Human Science, Lecturer on Optics O thou
half-pay ?
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Madame de
I.

Stael

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Considerations sur la Revolution Fran9adse (London, 1818)
§ Valadi.

114-191.

t Founders of the French Republic (London, 1798),

THE PROCESSION.
remarkaMest Horseleech, once
in

97

as thy bleared d'Artois' Stables, soul looks forth, through thy bleared, dull-acrid, wo-strickcn face, what sees it in all this ? Any faintest light of hope ; like dayspring after Nova-Zembla night ? Or it is but blue sulphur-light, and spectres ; wo,

shut h's cloth-shop hard by, and one need hardly speak. Nor of Santerre, the sonorous Brewer from the Faubourg St. Antoine. Two other Figures, and only through whose two, we signalise there. The huge, brawny Figure black brows, and rude flattened face {figure ea'ossee), there looks a waste energy as of Hercules not yet furibund, he is an esurient, unprovided Advocate Danton by name him mark. Then that other, his slight-built comrade, and craft-brother he with the long curling locks with the face of dingy blackguardism, wondrously irradiated with that Figure is Camille genius, as if a naphtha-lamp burnt within it besmoulins. A fellow of infinite shrewdness, wit, nay humour one of the sprightliest clearest souls in all these millions. Thou poor Camille, say of thee what they will, it were but falsehood to pretend one did not almost love thee, thou headlong lightly sparkling man But the brawny, not yet furibund Figure, we say, is Jacques Danton a name that shall be 'tolerably known in the Revolution.' He is President of the electoral Cordeliers District at Paris, or about to be and shall open his lungs of brass. it We dwell no longer on the mixed shouting Multitude for now, behold, the Commons Deputies are at hand

suspicion, revenge without end ? Of Draper Lacointre, how he

stepped

forth,

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Wliich of these Six Hundred ind-.viduals, in plain white cravat, that have come up to regenerate France, might one guess, w^ould become For a king or leader they, as ail bodies of men, must their king ? have be their work what it may, tliere is one man there who, by that man, as future character, faculty, position, is fittest of all to do it He with the thick not yet elected king, walks there among the rest.
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black locks, will it be? With the httro, as himself calls it, or black boars-head, fit to be shaken as a senatorial portent ? Through whose shaggy beetle-brows, and rough-hewn, seamed, carbuncled face, there and burning look natural ugliness, small-pox, incontinence, bankruptcy, like comet-fire glaring fuliginous through murkiest confire of genius fusions ? It is Gabriel Honore Riquetti de Mirabeau, the world-compeller man-ruling Deputy of Aix According to the Baroness de Stael, he steps proudly along, though looked at askance here and shakes his black chevelure, or lion's-mane as if prophetic of great deeds. Yes, Reader, that is the Type-Frenchman of this epoch as Voltaire was of the last. He is French in his aspirations, acquisitions, in his perhaps more French than any other man virtues, in his vices and intrinsically such a mass of manhood too. Mark him well. The National Assembly were all different without that one nay, he might say with the old Despot " The National Assembly ? I am that." Of a southern climate, of wild southern blood for the Riquettis, of Axrighettis, had to fly from Florence and the Guelfs, long centuries
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STATES-GENERAL.
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and settled in Provence where from generation to 'generation they have ever approved themselves a peculiar kindred: irascible, indomitof an intensity and able, sharp-cutting, true, like the steel they wore activity that sometimes verged towards madness, yet did not reach it. One ancient Riquetti, in mad fulfilment of a mad vow, chains two Mountains together and the chain, with its iron star of ive rays,' is May not a modern Riquetti ««chain so much, and still to be seen. which also shall be seen ? set it drifting, Destiny has work for that swart burly-headed Mirabeau Destiny has watched over him, prepared him from afar. Did not his Grandfather stout Col-d' Argent (Silver-Stock, so they named him), shattered and slashed by seven-and-twenty wounds in one fell day, he sunk together on the Bridge at Casano while Prince Eugene's cavalry galloped and only the flying sergeant had thrown a campregalloped over him, and Vendome, dropping his spyglass, kettle over that loved head moaned out, "Mirabeau is dead, then!" Nevertheless he was not for Gabriel was dead he awoke to breath, and miraculous surgery With his silver stock he kept his scarred head erect, yet to be. through long years and wedded; and produced 'tough Marquis Victor, Whereby at last in the appointed year 1749, this the Friend of Men. long-expected rough-hewn Gabriel Honore did likewise see the light toughest lion's whelp ever littered of that rough breed. How the old lion (for our old Marquis too was lionlike, most unconquerable, and kingly-genial, most perverse) gazed wondering on his offspring It is in vain, O determined to train him as no lion had yet been This cub, though thou slay him and flay him, will not learn Marquis to draw in dogcart of Political Economy, and be a Friend of Men he will not be Thou, but must and will be Himself, another than Thou. whole family save one in prison, and three-scoie Divorce lawsuits, Letires-de-Cachef for thy own sole use, do but astonish the world. Our luckless Gabriel, sinned against and sinning, has been in the Isle of Rhe, and heard the Atlantic from his tower, in the Castle of He has been in the If, and heard the Mediterranean at Marseilles. Fortress of Joux; and forty-two months, with hardly clothing to his all by Lettres-de-Cachet, from his back, in the Dungeon of Vincennes lion father. He has been in Pontarlier Jails (self-constituted prisoner) was noticed fording estuaries of the sea (at low water), in flight from He has pleaded before Aix Parlements (to get back the face of men. the public gathering on roofs, to see since they could not his wife) hear " the clatter-teeth {claque-dents') " snarls singular old Mirabeau discerning in such admired forensic eloquence nothing but two clattering jaw-bones, and a head vacant, sonorous, of the drum species. But as to» Gabriel Honore, in these strange wayfarings, what has he From drill-sergeants, to prime ministers, to not seen and tried foreign and domestic booksellers, all manner of men he has seen. for at bottom it is a social, loving All manner of men he has gained more especially all manner of fieart, that wild unconquerable one '.omen. From the Archer's Daughter at Saintes to that fair young Sophie Madame Monnier, whom he could not but steal,' and be
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THE PROCESSION.

99

beheaded for in efBgy I For indeed hardly since the Arabian ProphQ lay dead on the battle-field to Ali"s admiration, was there seen suet In War, again, h< a Love-hero, with the strength of thirty men. has helped to conquer Corsica; fought duels, irregular brawls; In Literature, he has written horsewhipped calumnious barons. on Despotism, on Lettres-de-Cachet; Erotics Sapphic-Werterean, Books on the Prussian Monarchy, on CagObscenities, Profanities liostro, on Calonne, on the Water Companies of Paris :—e.3.c\\ Book comparable, we will say, to a bituminous alarum-hre huge, smoky, The firepan, the kindling, the bitumen were his own but sudden the lumber, of rags, old wood and nameless combustible rubbish (ior all is fuel to him), was gathered from hucksters, and ass-paniers, of every description under heaven. Whereby, indeed, hucksters enough have been heard to exclaim Out upon it, the fire is mine ! Nay, consider it more generally, seldom had man such a talent for
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borrowing. The idea, the faculty of another man he can make his man himself he can make his. " All reflex and echo {tout de rcjlet si de reverbcre) " snarls old Mirabeau, who can see, but will not. Crabbed old Friend of Men it is his sociality, his aggregative nature and will now be the quality of all for him. In that forty years' struggle against despotism,' he has gained the glorious faculty of selfhelp, and yet not lost the glorious natural gift oi fellowship, of being Rare union this man can live self-sufficing yet lives also in helped. a can make men love him, work with him the life of other men born king of men But consider further how, as the old Marquis still snarls, he has ;" a fact which, "made away with {hume, swallowed,) all Fofmulas This is no man of mean much. days if we meditate it, will in these he is only a man of instincts and insights. A man system, then nevertheless who will glare fiercely on any object and see through it, and conquer it for he has intellect, he has will, force beyond other men. A man not with logic-spectacles; but with an eye/ Unhappily without Decalogue, moral Code or Theorem of any fixed sort a yet not without a strong hving Soul in him, aad Sincerity there And so he, having struggled Reality, not an Artificiality, not a Sham made away with all formulas,' forty years against despotism,' and shall now become the spokesman of a Nation bent to do the same. For is it not precisely the struggle of France also to cast off despotism having found them naught, worn to make away with her old formulas, She will make away with stich formulas ; out, far from the reality ? and even go bare, if need be, till she have found new ones. Towar'^ such work, in such manner, marches he, this singular In fiery rough figure, with black Samson-locks Riquetti Mirabeau. under the slouch-hat, he steps along there. A fiery fuliginous mass, which could not be choked and smothered, but would fill all France with smoke. And now it has got air; it will burn its whole substance, smoke-atmosphere too, and fill all France with flame. its whole Strange lot Forty years of that smouldering, with foul fire-damp and and like a burning mountain vapour eronah then victory over that
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STATES-GENERAL.

he Diazes heaven-high and, for twenty-three resplendent months, pours out, in flame and molten fire-torrents, all that is in him, the Pharos and Wonder-sign of an amazed Europe and then lies hollow, cold for ever Pass on, thou questionable Gabriel Honor6, the greatest of them all: in the whole National Deputies, in the whole Nation, there is none like and none second to thee.
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But now if Mirabeau is the greatest, who of these Six Hundred may be the meanest ? Shall we say, that anxious, slight, ineffectual-looking man, under thirty, in spectacles his eyes (were the glasses off) troubled, careful with upturned face, snuffing dimly the uncertain future time complexion of a multiplex atrabiliar colour, the final shade of which may be the pale sea-green.* That greenish coloured {verddire) individual is an Advocate of Arras his name is MaximiUen Robespierre. The son of an Advocate his father founded mason-lodges under Charles Edward, the English Prince or Pretender. Maximilien the first-born was thriftily educated he had brisk Camille Desmoulins for schoolmate in the College of Louis le Grand, at Paris. But he begged our famed Necklace-Cardinal, Rohan, the patron, to let him depart thence, and resign in favour of a younger brother. The strict-minded Max departed home to paternal Arras and even had a Law-case there and pleaded, not unsuccessfully, in favour of the first Franklii\ thunder-rod.' With a strict painful mind, an understanding small but clear and ready, he grew in favour with official persons, who could foresee in him an excellent man ot business, happily quite free from genius. The Bishop, therefore, taking counsel, appoints him Judge of and he faithfully does justice to the people till behold, his diocese one day, a culprit comes whose crime merits hanging and the strict;

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abdicate, for his conscience will not permit the of Adam to die. strict-minded, strait-laced man

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Revolutions? Whose small soul, transparent wholesome-looking as small-ale, could by no chance ferment into virulent alegar, the mother of ever new alegar till all France were grown
unfit for

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?

We shall see.
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Between which two extremes of grandest and meanest, so many
roll on, towards their several destinies, in that Procession There is Cazales, the learned young soldier who shall become the eloquent soldier of Royalism, and earn the shadow of a name. Experienced Mounter, experienced Malouet ; whose Presidential Parlementary experience the stream ot things shall soon leave stranded. Petion has left his gown and briefs at Chartres for a stormier sort of pleading has not forgotten his violin, being fond ot music. Hij! hair is grizzled, though he is still young convictions, beliefs placidunalterable are in that man not hindmost of them, belief in himself. A Protestant-clerical Rabaut-St.-Etienne, a slender young eloquent and vehement Barnave, will help to regenerate France. There are so many of them young. Till thirty the Spartans did not suffer a man to marry : but how many men here under thirty ; coming to produce not one suffi!

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De

Stael, Considerations

(ii.

142)

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Barbaroux, M^moires, etc

THE PROCESSION,
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cmren, but a nation and a world of such The old to heal up which latter is it not, indeed, the rents the young to remove rubbish task here ? Dim, formless from this distance, yet authentically there, thou noticest the Deputies from Nantes ? To us mere clothes-screens, with slouch-hat and cloak, but bearing in their pocket a Cahicr of doleances with this singular clause, and more such, in it: 'that the master wigmakers of Nantes be not troubled with new guild-brethren, the actually existing number of ninety-two being more than sufficient "* The Rennes people have elected Farmer Gerui'd, a man of natural sense and rectitude without any learning.' He walks there, with solid step unique, in his rustic farmer-clothes;' which he will wear always careless of short-cloaks and costumes. The name Gerard, or Fere Gerard, Father Gerard,' as they please to call him, will ily far borne about in endless banter in Royalist satires, in Republican didactic Almanacks.t As for the man Gerard, being asked once, what he did, after trial of it, candidly think of this Parlementary work, " 1 think," answered he, " that there are a good many scoundrels among ue." So walks Father Gerard solid in his thick shoes, whithersoever bound. And worthy Doctor Guillotin, whom we hoped to behold one other time ? If not here, the Doctor should be here, and we see him with the eye of prophecy for indeed the Parisian Deputies are all a little late. Singular Guillotin, respectable practitioner doomed by a satiric destiny to the strangest immortal glory that ever kept obscure mortal from his resting-ulace, the bosom of oblivion Guillotin can improve the ventilation of the Hal! in all cases of medical police and hygiene, be a present aid but, greater far, he can produce his Report on the Penal Code and reveal therein a cunningly devised Beheading Machine, which shall become famous and world-famous. This is the product of Guillotin's endeavours, gained not without meditation and reading; which product popular gratitude or levy christens by a feminine derivative name, as if it were, his daughter: La Guillotine! "With my machine, Messieurs, I whisk off your head {yous fais sauter la tete) in a twinkling, and you have no pain " whereat they all laugh. Unfortunate Doctor For two-and-twenty years he, unguillotined, shall hear nothing but guillotine, see nothing but guillotine then dying, shall through long centuries wander, as it were, a disconsolate ghost, on the wrong side of Styx and Lethe his name like to outlive Csesar's See Bailly, likewise of Paris, time-honoured Historian of Astronomy Ancient and Modern. Poor Bailly, how thy serenely beautiful Philosophising, with its soft moonshiny clearness and thinness, ends in foul thick confusion of Presidency, Mayorship, diplomatic Officiality, rabid Triviality, and the throat of everlasting Darkness Far was it to descend from the heavenly Galaxy to the Drapeau Rouge : beside that fatal dung-heap, on that last hell-day, thou must tremble,' though onlv

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* Hlstoire Parlementaire,

i.

t Actes des Ap6tres (by Collot d'Herbois), etc. etc. t

335. Peltier

and

others)
ist,

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Almanach da P^re Gerard
(in

(by

MoniUur Newspaper,

of

December

1789

Hlstoire Parlementairei.

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with cold, de froid! Speculation is not practice to be weak is not 80 miserable but to be weaker than our task. the day when they mounted thee, a peaceable pedestrian, on that wild Hippogryff of a Democracy vvhicli, spurning the firm earth, nay lashing at the very stars, no yet known Astolpho could have ridden In the Commons Deputies there are Merchants, Artists, Men oi Letters three hundred and seventy-four Lawyers * and at least one Clergyman the Abbe Sieyes. Him also Paris sends, among its twenty. Behold him, the light thin man cold, but elastic, wiry instinct with the pride of Logic passionless, or with but one passion, that of selfconceit. If indeed that can be called a passion, which, in its independent concentrated greatness, seems to have soared into transcendentalism and to sit there with a kind of godlike indifference, and look down on passion He is the man, and wisdom shall die with him. This is the Sieyes who shall be System-builder, Constitutionbuilder General and build Constitutions (as many as wanted) skyhigh, which shall all unfortunately fall before he get the scaffolding away. " La Politique^' said he to Dumont, " Polity is a science I think I have completed (achevcc)." f What things, O Sieyes, with thy clear assiduous eyes, art thou to see But were it not curious to know how Sieyes, now in these days (for he is said to be still alive) J looks out on all that Constitution masonry, through the rheumy soberness of extreme age ? Might we hope, still with the old irrefragable transcendentalism ? The victorious cause pleased the gods, the vanquished one pleased Sieyes

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heart,

Thus, however, amid skyrending vivats, and blessings from, every has the Procession of the Commons Deputies rolled by.
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There are Liancourt, and La Rochefoucault ; the liberal Anglomaniac There is a filially pious Lally ; a couple of liberal Lameths. Above all, there is a Lafayette; whose name shall be CromwellGrandison, and fill the world. Many a formula has this Lafayette He sticks by the Washingtoo made away with yet not all formulas. and hang by it, as by sure ton-formula and by that he will stick bower-anchor hangs and swings the tight war-ship, which, after all
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M^moires sur
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changes of wildest weather and water, is found still hanging. Happy Alone of all Frenchmen he has a be it glorious or not for him theory of the world, and right mind to conform thereto he can become a hero and perfect character, were it but the hero of one idea. Note further our old Parlementary friend, Crispin-Cataline (TEspremenil. He is returned from the Mediterranean Islands, a redhot royalist, reunsettled-looking whose light, duskypentant to the finger ends glowing at best, now flickers foul in the socket whom the National Assembly will by and by, to save time, regard as in a state of distracNote lastly that globular Younger Mirabeau indignant that his tion.' is Viscomte Mirabeau it elder Brother is among the Commons namea oftener Mirabeau Tonneau (Barrel Mirabeau), on account of his rotundity, and the quantities of strong liquor he contains. There then walks our French Noblesse. All in the old pomp of chivalry and yet, alas, how changed from the old position drifted far down from their native latitude, like Arctic icebergs got into the EquaOnce these Chivalry Duces (Dukes, as *orial sea, and fast thawing there they are still named) did actually lead the world, were it only towards moreover, being battle-spoil, where lay the world's best wages then the ablest Leaders going, they had their lion's share, those Duces which none could grudge them. But now, when so many Looms, improved Ploughshares, Steam-Engines and Bills of Exchange have been invented and, for battle-brawling itself, men hire Drill-Sergeants what mean these goldmantled Chivalry at eighteen-pence a-day, Figures, walking there in black velvet cloaks,' in high-plumed hats of Reeds shaken in the wind a feudal cut ?
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The Clergy have got up with Cahicrs for abolishing pluralities, enforcing residence of bishops, better payment of tithes.* The Dignitaries, we can observe, walk stately, apart from the numerous Undigniwho indeed are properly little more than Commons disguised in fied, Curate-frocks. Here, however, though by strange v/ays, shall the Precept be fulfilled, and they that are greatest (much to their astonishFor one example, out of many, mark that ment) become least. plausible Gregoire : one day Cure Gregoire shall be a Bishop, when the now stately are wandering distracted, as Bishops inpartibus. With other thought, mark also the Abbe Mauty : his broad bold face mouth accurately primmed full eyes, that ray out intelligence, falsehood, the sort of sophistry which is astonished you should find it sophistical. SkilfuUest vamper up of old rotten leather, to make it look like new always arising man; he used to tell IMercier, "You will see; I shall be in the Academy before you."f Likely indeed, thou skilfullest Maury nay thou shalt have a Cardinal's Hat, and plush and glory but alas, also, in the long run mere oblivion, like the rest of us ; and six feet of earth What boots it, vamping rotten leather on these terms ? Glorious in comparison is the livelihood thy good old Father earns, by making shoes, one may hope, in a sufficient manner. Maury does not want for audacity. He shall wear pistols, by and by and, at death-cries of
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* Hist. Pari.

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322-27.

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Paris, etc.

104
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STATES-GENERAL,

" Friends, will you see better the Lamp-iron ' answer coldly " there ? But yonder, halting lamely along thou noticest next Bishop Talleyrand-Perigord, his Reverence of Autun. A sardonic grimness lies in He will do and suffer strange that irreverend Reverence of Autun. things and will become surely one of the strangest things ever seen, or like to be seen. A man living in falsehood, and on falsehood yet It will be not what you can call a false man there is the speciality an enigma for future ages, one may hope hitherto such a product o. Nature and Art was possible only for this age of ours, Age of Paper, and of the Burning of Paper. Consider Bishop Talleyrand and Marquis Lafayette as the topmost of their two kinds and say once more, looking at what they did and what they were O Temptis ferax reruni On the whole, however, has not this unfortunate Clergy also drifted An anomalous mass in the Time-stream, far from its native latitude ? of men of whom the whole world has already a dim understanding They were once a Priesthood, interthat it can understand nothing. preters of \N'isdom, revealers of the Holy that is in Man a true Clems (or Inheritance of God on Earth) but now ? They pass silently, with such Cahiers as they have been able to redact and none cries, God bless them.
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King Louis with his Court brings up tl^e rear he cheerful, in this day of hope, is saluted with plaudits still more Necker his Minister, Not so the Queen on whom hope shines not steadily any more. IllHer hair is already gray with many cares and crosses fated Queen her first-born son is dying in these weeks black falsehood has inefface:

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able soiled her name ineffaceably while this generation lasts. Instead Of her of Vive la Rcine, voices insult her with Vive d'Orleans. queenly beauty little remains except its stateliness not now gracious, but haughty, rigid, silently enduring. With a most mixed feeling, wherein joy has no part, she resigns herself to a day she hoped never to have seen. Poor Marie Antoinette with thy quick noble instincts vehement glancings, vision ail-too fitful narrow for the work thou hast to do! O there are tears in store for thee; bitterest wailings, soft womanly meltings, though thou hast the heart of an imperial Theresa's Daughter. Thou doomed one, shut thy eyes on the future
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And so, in stately Procession, have passed the Elected of France. Some towards honour and quick fire-consummation most towards
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dishonour; not a few towards massacre, confusion, emigration, desSo many heterogeneities cast together peration all towards Eternity into the fermenting-vat there, with incalculable action, counteraction, elective affinities, explosive developments, to work out healing for a Probably the strangest Body of Men, sick moribund System of Society if we consider well, that ever met together on our Planet on such an errand. So thousandfold complex a Society, ready to burst up from and these men, its rulers and healers, uitliout lifeits infinite depths other life-rule than a Gospel according to Jeao rule for themselves,
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THE PROCESSION
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105

To the wisest of them, what we must call the wisest, man lacques Man is without Duty round him ; IS properly an Accident under the sky. except it be to make the Constitution.' He is without Heaven above him, or Hell beneath him he has no God in the world. What further or better belief can be said to exist in these Twelve Hundred? Belief in high-plumed hats of a feudal cut; in hc-.ildic scutcheons in the divine right of Kings, in the divine right of GameBelief, or what is still worse, canting half-belief or worst destroyers. in consecrated doughof all, mere Machiavclic pretence-of-belief, wafers, and the godhood of a poor old Italian Man Nevertheless in that immeasurable Confusion and Corruption, which struggles there so blindly to become less confused and corrupt, there is, as we said, this one salient-point of a New Life discernable the deep fixed Determination to have done with Shams. A determination, which, consciously or unconsciously, is fixed ; which waxes ever more fixed, into very madness and fixed-idea which in such embodiment as lies provided monstrous, stupendous, unthere, shall now unfold itself rapidly speakable new for long thousands of years How must the Heaven's light, oftentimes in this Earth, clothe itself in thunder and electric murkiness and descend as molten lightning, blasting, if purifying Nay is it not rather the very murkiness, and atmo;^pheric suffocation, that brings the lightning and the light? The new Evanrjel, as the old had been, was it to be born in the Destruction of a World ? But how the Deputies assisted at High Mass, and heard sermon, and applauded the preacher, church as it v/as, when he preached politics; how, next day, with sustained pom.p, they are, for the first time, installed in their Salle de Menus (Hall no longer of Amuse::ients), and become a States-General, readers can fancy for themselves. The King from his estrade, gorgeous as Solomon in all his glory, runs his eye over that majestic Hall: many-plumed, many-glancing; bright-tinted as rainbow, in the galleries and near side-spaces, where Beauty sits raining bright influence. Satisfaction, as of one that after long vo)'aging had got to port, plays over his broad simple face: the innocent King! He rises and speaks, with sonorous tone, a conceivable speech. Wit!', which, still more with tlie succeeding one-hour and two-hours spceclu-s of Garde-des-Sceaux and M. Necker, full of nothing but patriotism, hope, faith, and deficiency of the revenue, no reader of these pages
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be tried. We remark only that, as his Majesty, on finishing the speech, put on his plumed hat, and the Noblesse according to custom imitated him, our Tiers-Etat Deputies did mostly, not without a shade of fierceness, in like manner clap on, and even crush on tlieir slouclied hnts; a.^.d stand tliere awaiting the issue.* Thick buzz among them, between majority and minority of Couvrez vous, Dcr.oiivrez vans (Hats oiT, Hats on) To which his Majesty puts end, by taking ojf his ov/n royal
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omen than this with which, significantly enough, France has opened her States-General, Histoire Parlementaire, (i. 356) ;— Mercier Nouveau Paris, etc.
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hat again. The session terminates without further accident or

BOOK

V.

THE THIRD ESTATE.
CHAPTER
INERTIA.
I.

That exasperated
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Fiance, in this same National Assembly of hers, has something, nay something great, momentous, indispensable, cannot be doubted yet still the question were Specially w/^^/ f A question hard to solve, even for calm onlookers at this distance wholly insoluble to actors in the middle of it. The States-General, created and conflated by tlie passionate effort of the whole Nation, is there as a thing high and lifted up. Hope, jubilating, cries aloud that it will prove a miraculous Brazen Serpent in the Wilderness whereon whosoever looks, with faith and obedience, shall be healed of all woes and
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serpent-bites.

We may answer, it will at least prove a symbolic Banner; round which the exasperated complaming Twenty-five Millions, otherwise isolated and without power, may rally, and work what it is in them to work. If battle must be the work, as one cannot help expecting, then shall it be a battle-banner (say, an Italian Gonfalon, in its old Republican Carroccid) and shall tower up, car-borne, shining in the wind and with iron tongue peal forth many a signal. A thing of prime necessity; which whether in the van or in the centre, whether leading or led and driven, must do the fighting multitude incalculable services. For a season, wiiile it floats in the very front, nay as it were stands solitary there, waituig whether force will gather round it, this same National Carroccio, and the signal-peals it rings, are a main object with us.

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of the slouch-hats clapt on shews the Commons Dehave made up their minds on one thing: that neithei hardly even Noblesse nor Clergy shall have precedence of them Majesty itself. To such length has the Contrat Social, and force of For what is Majesty but the Delegate ol public opinion, carried us. in the Nation delegated, and bargained with (even rather tightly), some very singular posture of affairs, which Jean Jacques has not fixed

The omen
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the date of ? Coming therefore into their Hall, on the morrow, an inorganic msBS of Six ll'indred individuals, these Commons Deputies perceive, witlicut

INERTIA.
terror,

107

Their Hall is also the that they have it all to themselves. or general Hall for all the Three Orders. But the Noblesse and Clergy, it would seem, have retired to their two separate Apartments, or Halls and are there 'verifying their powers' not in a conjoint but They are to constitute two separate, perhaps in a separate capacity. separately-voting Orders, then ? It is as if both Noblesse and Clergy Two had silently taken for granted that they already were such Orders against one and so the Third Order to be left in a perpetuai

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Much may remain

unfixed

in the Slouch-hatted heads, in the
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presentation, and all doubtless, the Commission, Doubtless, the powers must be verified the electoral Documents of your Deputy must be inspected by his brother Deputies, and found valid it is the preliminary of all. Neither is this question, of doing it separately or doing it conjointly, a vita, one but if it lead to such ? It must be resisted wise was that maxim, Resist the beginnings Nay were resistance unadvisable even dangerous, yet surely pause is very natural pause, with Twentyfive Millions behind you, may become resistance enough. The inorganic mass of Commons Deputies will restrict itself to a system of inertia,' and for the present remain inorganic.
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Such method, recommendable alike to sagacity and to timidity, do the Commons Deputies adopt and, not without adroitness, and witli ever more tenacity, they persist in it, day after day, week after week. For six weeks their history is of the kind named barren which indeed, as Philosophy knows, is often the fruitfullest of all. These were their still creation-days wherein they sat incubating In fact, what they did was to do nothing, in a judicious manner. Daily the inorganic body reassembles; regrets that they cannot get organisation, 'verification of powers in common,' and begin regenerating France. Headlong motions may be made, but let such be repressed; inertia alone is at
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once unpunishable and unconquerable. Cunning must be met by cunning proud pretension by inertia, by low tone of patrotic sorrow low, but incurable, unalterable. Wise as serpents harmless as doves what a spectacle for France Six Hundred inorganic individuals, essential for its regeneration and salvation, sit tliere, on their elliptic benches, longing passionately towards life; in painful durance; like souls waiting to be born. Speeches are spoken eloquent audible within doors and without. Mind agitates itself against mind the Nation looks on with ever deeper interest Thus do the Commons Deputies sit incubating. There are private conclaves, supper-parties, consultations Breton Club, Cub of Viroflay germs of many Clubs. Wholly an element ol confused noise, dimness, angry heat wherein, however, the Erosegg, kept at the fit temperature, may hover safe, unbroken till it be hatched. In your Mouniers, Malouets, Lechapeliers is science sufficient lor that fervour in your Barnaves, Rabauts. At times shall come an
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inspiration from royal

THE THIRD ESTATE.
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Mirabeau he is nowise yet recognised as royal nay he was 'groaned at,' when his name was first mentioned :ibut he is struggling towards recognition. In the course of the week, the Commons having called their Eldest to the chair, and furnished him with young stronger-lunged assistants, can speak articulately and, in audible lamentable words, declare, as we said, that they are an inorganic body, longing to become organic. Letters arrive but an inorganic body cannot open letters they lie on the table unopened. The Eldest may, at most procure for himself some kind of List or Muster-roil, to take the votes by and wait what will betide. Noblesse and Clergy are all elsewhere however, an eager public crowds all galleries and vacancies which is some comfort. Witli effort, it is determined, not that a Deputation shall be sent, for how can an inorganic body send deputations? but that certain individual Commons Members shall, in an accidental way, stroll into the Clergy Chamber, and then into the Noblesse one; and mention there, as a thing \hey have happened to observe, that the Commons seem to be sitting waiting for them, in order to verify their powers, That is the wiser method The Clergy, amona; whom are such a multitude ot Undignified, ol mere Commons in Curates' frocks, depute instant respectful answer that they are, and will now more than ever be, in deepest study as to

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that very matter. Contrariwise the Noblesse, in cavalier attitude, reply, after four days, that they, for their part are all verified and constituted which, they had trusted, the Commons also were such separate verification being clearly the proper constitutional wisdom-ofancestors method as they the Noblesse will have much pleasure in ri.'inonstrating by a Commission of their number, if the Commons will meet them, Commission against Commission Directly in the rear of which comes a deputation of Clergy, reiterating, in their insidious conciliatory way, the same proposal. Here then is a complexity:
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will wise Commons say to this ? Warily, inertly, the wise Commons, considering that they are, it not a French Third Estate, at least an Aggregate of individuals pretending to some title of that kind, determine, after talking on it five days, to name such a Commission, though, as it were, with proviso not to be convinced a sixth day is taken up in naming it a seventh and an eighth day in getting the forms of meeting, place, hour, and the like, settled so that it is not till the evening of the 23rd of May that Noblesse Commission first meets Commons Commission, Clergy acting as Conciliators and begins the impossible task of convincing it. One other meeting, on the 25th, will suffice the Commons are inconvincible, the Commissions the Noblesse and Clergy irrefragably convincing retire; each Order persisting in its first pretensions.* Thus have three weeks passed. For three weeks, the Third Estate Carroccio, with far-seen Gonfalon, has stood stockstill, flouting the wind waiting what force would gather round it.

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INERTIA.
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Fancy can conceive the feeling of the Court and how counsel met counsel, and loud-sounding inanity whirled in that distracted vortex, where wisdom could not dwell. Your cunningly devised TaxingMachine has been got together set up v/ith incredible labour and stands there, its three pieces in contact its two fly-wheels of Noblesse and Clergy, its huge working-wheel of Tiers Etat. The two fly-wheels whirl in the softest manner but, prodigious to look upon, the huge
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The cunningest working-wheel hangs motionless, refuses to stir How will it work, when it does begin ? engineers are at fault. and to many purposes but to gather taxes, or Fearfully, my Friends Could we but have grind court-meal, one may apprehend, never. Messeigneurs d'Artois, Conti, continued gathering taxes by hand! Cond6 (named Court Triumvirate), they of the anti-democratic Memoire an Rot, has not their foreboding proved true ? They may wave reproachfully their high heads they may beat their poor brains but the cunningest engineers can do nothing. Necker himself, were he even listened to, begins to look blue. The only thing one sees advisable New regiments, two, and a battalion of a third, is to bring up soldiers. have already reached Paris others shall get in march. Good were it in all circumstances, to have troops within reach good that the command were in sure hands. Let Broglie be appointed; old Marshal Duke de Broglie veteran disciplinarian, of a firm drill-sergeant morality, such as may be depended on. For, alas, neither are the Clergy, or the very Noblesse what they should be and might be, when so menaced from without entire, undivided, within. The Noblesse, indeed, have their Cataline or Crispin d'Espremenil, dusky-glowing, all in renegade heat their boisterous Barrel-Mirabeau but also they have their Lafayettes, Liancourts, Lameths above all, their d'Orleans, now cut for ever from his Court-moorings, and musing drowsily of high and highest sea-prizes (for is not he too a son of Henri Quatre, and partial potential HeirApparent ?) on his voyage towards Chaos. From the Clergy again, so numerous are the Cures, actual deserters have run over: two small parties in the second party Cur6 Gregoire. Nay there is talk of a whole Hundred and Forty-nine of them about to desert in mass, and only restrained by an Archbishop of Paris. It seems a losing game. But judge if France, if Paris sat idle, all this while Addresses from far and near flow in for our Commons have now grown organic enough to open letters. Or indeed to cavil at them Thus poor Marquis de Breze, Supreme Usher, Master of Ceremonies, or whatever his title was, writing about this time on some ceremonial matter, sees no harm in winding up with a Monsieur, Yours with sincere attachment* "To whom does it address itself, this sincere attachment?" " To the Dean of the Tiers-Etat." inquires Mirabeau. " There is no man in France entitled to write that," rejoins he whereat the Galleries and the World will not be kept from applauding.* Poor de Breze These Commons have a still older grudge at him nor has he yet done with them.
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THE THIRD ESTATE.

Id another way, Mirabeau has had to protest againsit the quick (Suppression of his liewspcLpeTiyourftal of the States-General; and to continue it under a new name. In which act of valour, the Paris Electors, still busy redacting their Cahter, could not but support him, by Address to his Majesty : they claim utmost provisory freedom of the press they have spoken even about demolishing the Bastille, and erecting a Bronze Patriot 'King on the site! These are the rich

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now consider how it went, for example, with such loose now all grown eleutheromaniac, of Loungers, Prowlers,

social Nondescripts (and the distilled Rascality of our Planet), as whirls for ever in the Palais Royal ; or what low infinite groan, fast changing

into a growl, comes from Saint-Antoine, in danger of starvation

and the Twenty-five Millions
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There is the indisputablestiscarcity ot corn be it Aristocrat-plot, d'Orleans-plot, of this year; or drought and hail of last year: in city and province, the poor man looks desolately towards a nameless lot. And this States-General, that could make us an age of gold, is forced to stand motionless ; cannot get its powers verified All industry necessarily languishes, if it be not that of making motions. In the Palais Royal there has been erected, apparently by subscription, a kind of Wooden Tent {eti planches de bois) * most convenient where select Patriotism can now redact resolutions, deliver harangues, with comfort, let the weather be as it will. Lively is that Satan-at-Home On his table, on his chair, in every cafe, stands a patriotic orator ; a crowd round him within ; a crowd listening from without, open-mouthed, through open door and window with thunders of applause for every sentiment of more than common hardiness.' In Monsieur Dessein's Pamphlet-shop, close by, you cannot without strong elbowing get to the counter every hour produces its pamphlet, or litter of pamphlets there were thirteen to-day, sixteen yesterday, ninety-two ast week.' t Think of Tyranny and Scarcity ; Fervid-eloquence, Rumour, Pamphleteering Societe Publicole, Breton Club, Enraged Club and whether every tap-room, coffee-room, social reunion, accidental street-group, over wide France, was not an Enraged Club ! To all which the Commons' Deputies can only listen with a sublime inertia of sorrow; reduced to busy themselves 'with their internal police.' Surer position no Deputies ever occupied if they keep it with skill. Let not the temperature rise too high ; break not the Erosrgg till it be hatched, till it break itself An eager public crowds all I3alleries and vacancies ; cannot be restrained from applauding.' The two Privileged Orders, the Noblesse all verified and constituted, may look on with what face they will not without a secret tremour of heart, i he Clergy, always acting the part of conciliators, make a clutch at the Galleries, and the popularity there and miss it. Deputation of them arrives, with dolorous message about the dearth of grains,' and the necessity there is of casting aside vain formalities, and deliberating on tills. An insidious proposal; which, however, the Commons (moved tiicrcto by sca-^;iecn Robespierre) dexterously except as a sort of hint,
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104.

INERTIA.
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or even pledge, that the Clergy will forthwith come over to them, constitute the States-General, and so cheapen grains * Finally on the 27th day of May, Mirabeau, judging the time now nearly come, that, leaving the Noblesse to their proposes that the inertia cease own stiff ways, the Clergy be summoned, 'in the name of the God of Peace,' to join the Commons, and begin.f To which summons if they we shall see Are not one Hundred and Forty-nine turn a deaf ear, of them ready to desert ? Triumvirate of Princes, new Garde-des-Sceaux Barentin, thou Home-Secretary Breteuil, Duchess Polignac, and Queen eager to listen, what is now to be done? This Third Estate will get in motion, Clergy-machinery with Noblessewith the force of all France in it machinery, which were to serve as beautiful counterbalances and drags,

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fire

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What
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waxes more confused than
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Leading Whisper and counter-whisper a very tempest of whispers men from all the Three Orders are nightly spirited thither conjurors many of them but can they conjure this ? Necker himself were now
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welcome, could he interfere to purpose. Happily that Let Necker interfere, then and in the King's name incendiary God-of-Peace message is not yet answered. The three imder this Patriot Minister of Orders shall again have conferences theirs, somewhat may be healed, clouted up we meanwhile getting forward Swiss Regiments, and a hundred pieces of field-artillery,' That is what the Q^il-de-Boeuf, for its part, resolves on. But as for Necker Alas, poor Necker, thy obstinate Third Estate has one first-last word, verification in conmion, as the pledge of voting and deliberating in common Half-way proposals, from such a tried friend, they answer with a stare. The tardy conferences speedily break up the Third Estate, now ready and resolute, the whole world backing it, returns to its Hall of the Three Orders; and Necker to the CEil-deBceuf, with the character of a disconjured conjuror there, fit only for
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dismissal % And so the Commons' Deputies are at last on their own strength Instead of Chairman, or Dean, they have now got getting under way ? Astronomer Baiily. lUnder way, with a vengeance 1 a President With endless vociferous and temperate eloquence, borne on Newspaper wings to all lands, they have now, on this 17th day of June, determined that their name is not Third Estate, but National Assembly ! They then are the Nation? Triumvirate of Princes, Queen, refractory Noblesse and Clergy, what then are you ? A most deep question ;-~ scarcely answerable in living political dialects. All regardless of which, our new National Assembly proceeds to dear to France, though it can appoint a committee of subsistences find little or no grain. Next, as if our National Assembly stood quite firm on its legs, four other standing committees to appoint then to Bettle the security of the National Debt then that of the Annual
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Hist'Oiire

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Parlementaire,

i.

i. 413. 422-478).

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THE THIRD ESTATE,

Taxation all within eight-and-forty hours. At such rate of velocity it the conjurois of the CEil-de-Boeuf may well ask themselves, is going

Whither ?

CHAPTER
Now
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II.

MERCURY DE BR^ZE.
surely were the time for a god from the machine there is a nodus worthy of one. The only question is, Which god ? Shall it be Mars de Broglie, with his hundred pieces of cannon ? Not yet, answers prudence so soft, irresolute is King Louis. Let it be Messenger Atercury, our Supreme Usher de Breze On the morrow, which is the 20th of June, these Hundred and Forty-nine false Curates, no longer restrainable by his Grace of Paris, will desert in a body let de Breze intervene, and produce closed doors Not only shall there be Royal Session, in that Salle des Menus but no meeting, nor working (except by carpenters), till then. Your Third Estate, self-styled National Assembly,' shall suddenly see and itself extruded from its Hall, by carpenters, im this dexterous way reduced to do nothing, not even to meet, or articulately lament, till Majesty, with Seance Royale and new miracles, be ready In this manner shall de Breze, as Mercury ex machittd, intervene and, if the CEil-de-BcEuf mistake not, work deliverance from the nodus. Of poor de Breze we can remark that he has yet prospered in none Five weeks ago, when they of his dealings with these Commons. kissed the hand of Majesty, the mode he took got nothing but censure and then his sincere attachment,' how was it scornfully whiffed aside Before supper, this night, he Vv'rites to President Bailly, a new Letter, to be delivered shortly after dawn to-morrow, in the King's name. Which Letter, however, Bailly, in the pride of office, will merely crush together, into his pocket, like a bill he does not mean to pay. Accordingly on Saturday morning the 20th of June, shrill-sounding heralds proclaim, through the streets of Versailles, that there is to be Seance Royale next Monday; and no meeting of the States-General And yet, we observe. President Bailly, in sound of this, and till then. with de Breze's Letter in his pocket, is proceeding, with National Assembly at his heels, to the accustomed Salle des Menus as if de Br6z6 and heralds were mere wind. It is shut, this Salle occupied The Captain by Garden Franfaises. "Where is your Captain?" shews his royal order workmen, he is grieved to say, are all busy setting up the platform for his Majesty's Seance ; most unfortunately, ro admission admission, at furthest, for President and Secretaries to President Bailly bring away papers, which the joiners might destroy and returns bearing papers alas, within enters with Secretaries do-irs, instead of patriotic eloquence, there is now no noise but A prohammering, sawing, and operative screeching and rumbling
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fanation without parallel.

The Deputies stand grouped on
Avenue de

the Paris Road, on this umbrageous

Versailles; complaining aloud ol the indignity

done

the~<.

MERCURY DE BREZE,
Courtiers,
It

113

supposed, look from their windows, and giggle. The morning is none of the comfortablest raw it is even drizzling a little.* But all travellers pause patriot gallery-men, miscellaneous spectators increase the groups. Wild counsels alternate. Some desperate Deputies propose to go and hold session on the great outer Staircase for his Majesty, it seems, has at Marly, under the King's windows driven over thither. Others talk of making the Chateau Forecourt, what they call Place (T Armes, a Runnymede and new Champ de Mat of free Frenchmen nay of awakening, to sounds of indignant PatNotice is given that riotism, tl'.e echoes of the QLil-de-Boeuf itself. President Bailly, aided by judicious Guillotin and others, has found place in the Tennis-Court of the Rue St. Fran9ois. Thither, in longis
: ; ; , :

orawn

files,

hoarse-jingling,

like

cranes

on

wing,

the

Commons'

Deputies angrily wend. Strange sight was this in the Rue St. Francois, Vieux Versailles A naked Tennis-Court, as the Pictures of that time still give it four v.'alls naked, except aloft some poor wooden penthouse, or roofed spectators'-gallery, hanging round them on the floor not now an idle teeheeing, a snapping of balls and rackets but the bellowing din of an indignant National Representation, scandalously exiled hither However, a cloud of witnesses looks down on them, from wooden penthouse, from wall-top, from adjoining roof and chimney rolls towards them f'om all quarters, with passionate spoken blessings. Some table can be procured to write on some chair, if not to sit on, then to stand on. The Secretaries undo their tapes; Bailly has constituted the Assembly. Experienced Mounier, not wholly new to such things, in Parlementary revolts, which he has seen or heard of, thinks that it were well, in these lamentable threatening circumstances, to unite themselves by an Oath. Universal acclamation, as from smouldering bosoms getting vent The Oath is redacted pronounced aloud by President Bailly, and indeed in such a sonorous tone, that the cloud of witnesses, even outdoors, hear it, and bellow response to it. Six hundred right-hands rise with President Bailly's, to take God above to witness that they will not separate for man below, but will meet in all places, under all circumstances, wheresoever two or three can get together, till they have made the Constitution. Made the Constitution, Friends That is a long task. Six hundred hands, meanwhile, will »ign as they have sworn six hundred save one ; one Loyalist Abdiel, Etill visible by this sole light-point, and nameable, poor M. Martin i'Auch, from Castelnaudary, in Languedoc' Him they permit to sign or signify refusal they even save him from the cloud of witnesses, by declaring his head deranged.' At four o'clock, the signatures are all appended new meeting is fixed, for Monday morning, earlier than the hour of the Royal Session that our Hundred and Forty-nine Clerical deserters be not balked we will meet at the RecoUets Church or elsewhere,' in hope that our Hundred and Forty-nine will join us aad now it is time to go to dinner.
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M^moues,

I.

185-206.

114

^^^ THIRD ESTATE.

This then is the Session of the Tennis-Court, famed Seam: du Jen de Paume ; the fame of which has gone forth to all lands. This is Mercurius de Br6z6's appearance as Deus ex machind; this is the fruit brings The giggle of Courtiers in the Versailles Avenue has it already died into gaunt silence. Did the distracted Court, with Gardedes-Sceaux Barentin, Triumvirate and Company, imagine that they could scatter six hundred National Deputies, big with a National Constitution, like as much barndoor poultry, big with next to nothing, by the white or blacii rod of a Supreme Usher ? Barndoor poultry but National Deputies turn round, lion-faced and, with fly cackling uplifted right-hand, swear an Oath that makes the four corners of France tremble. President Bailly has covered himself with honour which shall become rewards. The National Assembly is now doubly and trebly the Nation's Assembly not militant, martyred only, but triumphant insulted, and which could not be insulted. Paris disembogues itself once more, to witness, with grim looks,' the Seance Royale : * which, by a new felicity, is postponed till Tuesday. The Hundred and Fortynine, and even with Bishops among them, all in processional mass, have had free leisure to march off, and solemnly join Uhe Commons The Commons welcomed them with sitting waiting in tlieir Church. shouts, with embracings, nay with tears t for it is growing a life-anddealh matter now. As for the Seance itself, the Carpenters seem to have accomplished their platform but all else remains unaccomplished. Futile, we may say fatal, was the whole matter. King Louis enters, through seas of people, all grim-silent, angry with many things, for it is a bitter rain Enters, to a Third Estate, likewise grim-silent which has been too. wetted waiting under mean porches, at back-doors, while Court and King and Garde-de-Sceaux Privileged were entering by the front. (there is no Necker visible) make known, not without longwindedness, the determinations of the royal breast. The Three Orders s/tall vote separately. On the other hand, France may look for considerable
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constitutional blessings

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as specified in these Five-and-thirty Articles,!

which Garde-de-Sceaux is waxing hoarse with reading. Which Fiveand-thirty Articles, adds his Majesty again rising, if the Three Orders most unfortunately cannot agree together to effect them, I myself will " seul je ferai le Men de mes peuples" which being interpreted eilect may signify. You, contentious Deputies of the States-General, have But, in fine, all shall now withdraw for probably not long to be here and meet again, each Order in its separate place, to-morrow this day
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morning, for despatch of business.
royal breast pithy majority of Clergy
:

This

is

and
file

clear.

And herewith

the determination of the King, retinue. Noblesse,
satisfactorily

out, as if the

whole matter was
people.

completed.

These

file

out

;

through grim-silent seas of
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Only the
&c

• See Arthur Young (Travels, i. 115-118) A. Lameth, Dumont Souvenirs sur Mirabeau, c. 4. \ Histoire Parlementaire, i. 13.

MERCURY DE BR&Z&.
Commons
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US

Deputies file not out but stand there in gloomy silence, One man of thera is certain one man uncertain v\ hat they shall do. It is now that King Mirabeau starts to of them discerns and dares the Tribune, and lifts up his lion-voice. Verily a word in season for, Had not Gabriel in such scenes, the moment is the mother of ages Honor6 been there, one can well fancy, how the Commons Deputies, affrighted at the perils which now yawned dim all round them, and waxing ever paler in each other's paleness, might very naturally, one after one, have glided off; and the whole course of European History have been different But he is there. List to the brool of that royal forest-voice sorrowEyes kindle at the glance of his eye fast swelling to a roar ful, low National Deputies were missioned by a Nation they have sworn an Oath they But lo while the lion's voice roars loudest, what AppariApparition of Mercurius de BreziS, muttering somewhat tion is this ? " Speak out," cry several. " Messieurs," shrills de Brez6, repeating " Mirabeau glares on him himself, " You have heard the King's orders with fire-flashing face shakes the black lion's mane " Yes, Monsieur, we have heard what the King was advised to say and you, who cannot be the interpreter of his orders to the States-General you, who have neither place nor right of speech here yoic are not the man to remind us of it. Go, Monsieur, tell those who sent you that we are here by the will of the People, and that nothing shall send us hence but the force of bayonets " * And poor de Breze shivers forth from the National Assembly; and also (if it be not in one faintest glimmer, months later) finally from the page of History Hapless de Brez6 doomed to survive long ages, in men's memory, He was true to Etiquette, in this faint way, with tremulent white rod which was his Faith here below a martjT to respect of persons. Short woollen cloaks could not kiss Majesty's hand as long velvet ones Nay lately, when the poor little Dauphin lay dead, and some did. ceremonial Visitation came, was he not punctual to annoimce it even to the Dauphin's dead body : " Monseigneur, a Deputation of the StatesGeneral !" t Sunt lachry7nce rerum. But what does the CEil-de-Boeuf, now when de Br6z(5 shivers back Not so the seas of thither ? Despatch that same force of bayonets ? people still hang multitudinous, intent on what is passing nay rush and roll, loud-billowing, into the Courts of the Chateau itself; for a Worst ot all, the report has risen that Necker is to be dismissed. two Companies of them Gardes Francaises seem indisposed to act Necker, for not being at the Sea^ice, shall do not fire when ordered \ be shouted for, carried home in triumph and must not be dismissed. His Grace of Paris, on the other hand, has to fly with broken coachThe Gardes-du-Corpi panels, and owe his life to furious driving. (Body-Guards), which you were drawing out, had better be drawn in There is no sending of bayonets to be thought of. again.§ Instead of soldiers, the (Eil-de-Boeuf sends carpenters, to take dow n
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t Montgfiil^.ird,
ii.

ii.

22).

t Histoire Parlementaire,

ii.

85.

38.

| Bail'y,

i.

217.

Ii6

THE THIRD ESTATE.
;

the platform. Incficctual shift ! In lew instants, the very carpenters standing on it, cease wrenching and knocking at their platform hammer in hand, and listen open-mouthed.* The Third Estate is decreeing that it is, was, and will be, nothing but a National Assembly and now, moreover, an inviolable one, all members of it inviolable infamous, traitorous, towards the Nation, and guilty of capital crime, is any person, body-corporate, tribunal, court or commission that, now or henceforth, during the present session, or after it, shall dare to pursue, interrogate, arrest, or cause to be arrested, detain or cause to be detained,
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any,' etc., etc.,

'

onwhosf pari soeverWie. same be commanded."

t

Which

done, one can wind up with this comfortable reflection from Abbe Sieyes " Messieurs, you are to-day what j'ou were yesterday." Courtiers may shriek but it is, and remains, even so. Their wellcharged explosion has exploded ihro7tgh the touch-hole ; covering Poor Triumthemselves with scorches, confusion, and unseemly soot
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poor Queen and above all, poor Queen's Husband, who means Folly is that wisdom which is wise well had he any fixed meaning only behindhand. Few months ago these Thirty-five Concessions had filled France with a rejoicing, which might have lasted for several years. Now it is unavailing, the very mention of it slighted; Majesty's express
virate,
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orders set at nought. All France is ii\ a roar a sea of persons, estimated at 'ten thousand,' The remaining Clergy, and whirls, 'all this day in the Palais Royal. 'J likewise some Forty-eight Noblesse, d'Orleans among them, have now forthwith gone over to the victorious Commons; by whom, as is natural, they are received with acclamation.' The Third Estate triumphs Versailles Town shouting round it ten thousand whirling all day in the Palais Royal and all France standing Let the CEil-de-Boeuf look to it. As for a-tiptoe, not unlike v.'hirling King Louis, he will swallow his injuries will temporise, keep silence It was Tuesday, the 23rd of June, will at all costs have present peace. when he spoke that peremptory royal mandate and the week is not done till he has written to the remaining obstinate Noblesse, that they D'Espremenil rages his last Barrel also must oblige him, and give in. making a vow, which he might as well Mirabeau 'breaks his sword have kept. The Triple Family is now therefore complete the third erring but pardonable ; erring brother, the Noblesse, having joined it soothed, so far as possible, by sweet eloquence from President Bailly. So triumphs the Third Estate and States-General are become National Assembl}' and all France may sing Te Demn. By vvite It inertia, and wise cessation of inertia, great victory has been gained. all night you meet nothing on the streets of is the last night of June Versailles but men running with torches,' with shouts and jubilation From the 2nd of May when they kissed the hand of Majesty, to this 30th of June when men run with torches, we count eight weeks and three days. For eight weeks the National Caraccio has stood far-S( tn, ringing many a signal and, so much having now gathered round it,
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il 33.

* IJistoire PRrleR-.enta.irc,

f Montgaillstrd,

ii.

47.

% Arthur Youug.

1.

iiq.

BROGUE THE WAR-GOU.
CHAPTER
The
C<;art
feels
it

llj

III,

BROGUE THE WAR-COD.
indignant that

Another time

will

do

the time come for Mars. into the darkness of their what may be needful, be it billets of a new National Bank,' munitions of war, or things for ever inscrutable to men. Accordingly, wliat means this apparatus of troops ? The National Assembly can get no furtherance for its Committee of Subsistences can hear only that, at Paris, the Bakers' shops are besieged that, in the Provinces, people are 'living on meal-husks and boiled grass.' But on all highways there hover dust-clouds, with the march of regiments, with the trailing of cannon foreign Pandours, of fierce aspect SalisSamade, Esterhazy, Royal-Allemand so many of them foreign to the number of thirty thousand, which fear can magnify to fifty all wending towards Paris and Versailles Already, on the heights of Montmartre, is a digging and delving too like a scarping and trenching. The effluence of Paris is arrested Versailles-ward by a barrier of cannon
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better.

it is conquered but what then ? Mercury descended in vain now has The gods of the (Eil-de-Boeuf have withdrawn cloudy Ida; and sit there, shaping and forging
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Sevres Bridge. From the Queen's Mews, cannon stand pointed on the National Assembly Hall itself. The National Assembly has its very slumbers broken by the tramp of soldiery, swarming and defiling, endless, or seemingly endless, all round those spaces, at dead of night, without drum-music, without audible word of command.' * What
at
'

means

it

?

Shall eight, or even shall twelve Deputies, our Mirabeaus, Barnaves at the head of them, be whirled suddenly to the Castle of Ham the rest ignominiously dispersed to the winds ? No National Assembly can make the Constitution with cannon levelled on it from the Queen's Mews What means this reticence of the CEil-de-Boeuf, broken only by nods and shrugs ? In the mystery of that cloudy Ida, what is it that they forge and shape ? Such questions must distracted Patriotism keep asking, and receive no answer but an echo. Enough of themselves But now, above all, while the hungry foodyear, which runs from August to August, is getting older becoming more and more a famine-year ? With meal-husks and boiled grass,' Brigands may actually collect and, in crowds, at farm and mansion, howl angrily. Food ! Food! It is in vain to send soldiers against them at sight of soldiers they disperse, they vanish as under ground then directly re-assemble elsewhere for new tumult and plunder. Frightful enough to look upon but what to hear of, reverberated through Twenty-five Millions of suspicious minds Brigands and Broglie, open Conflagration, preternatural Rumour are driving mtJ most hearts in France. What will the issue of these things be ? At Marseilles, many weeks ago, the Townsmen have taken arms fi .i •suppressing of Brigands,' and other purposes: the military C.,ni; I


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I^melh

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Asserablf??: Constituante,

I.

41,

Ii8

THE THIRD ESTATE.

mandant may make of it what he will. Elsewhere, everywhere, could not the like be done ? Dubious, on the distracted Patriot Imagination, wavers, as a last deliverance, some foreshadow of a National Guard. But conceive, above all the Wooden Tent in the Palais Royal A universal hubbub there, as of dissolving worlds there loudest bellows the mad, mad-making voice of Rumour their sharpest gazes Suspicion into the pale dim World-Whirlpool discerning shapes and fantasms imminent blood-thirsty Regiments camped on the Champ de Mars dispersed National Assembly redhot cannon-balls (to burn Paris) the mad War-god and Bellona's sounding thongs. To the calmest man it is becoming too plain that battle is inevitable. Inevitable, silently nod Messeigneurs and Broglie Inevitable and Your National Assembly, stopped short in its Constitutional brief! labours, may fatigue the royal ear with addresses and remonstrances those cannon of ours stand duly levelled those troops are here. The King's Declaration, with its Thirty-five too generous Articles, was spoken, was not listened to but remains yet unrevoked he himself
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shall affect it, seicl ilfera ! As for Broglie he has his headquarters at Versailles, all as in a seat of war clerks writing significant staff-officers, inclined to taciturnity [ilumed aid-de-camps, scouts, orderlies flying or hovering. He himself looks forth, important, impenetrable listens to Besenval Commandant of Paris, and his warning and earnest counsels (for he has come out repeatedly on purpose), with a silent smile.* The Parisians resist? scornfully cry Messeigneurs. As a meal-mob may ! They have sat quiet, these five generations, submitting to all. Their Mercier declared, in these very years, that a Parisian revolt was henceforth impossible.'! Stand by the royal Declaration, of the Twenty-third of June. The Nobles of France, valorous, chivalrous as of old, will rally round us and as for this which you call Third Estate, and with one heart which we call canaille of unwashed Sansculottes of Patelins, Scribblers, brave Broglie, with a whiff of grape-shot {salve de factious Spouters, Thus reason they canons),' if need be, will give quick account of it.
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on their cloudy Ida

hidden from men,
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—men also hidden from them.
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grapeshot, Messeigneurs, on one condition that the shooter But unfortunately he is made of flesh also were made of metal under his buffs and bandoleers, your hired shooter has instincts, feelings, even a kind of thought. It is his kindred, bone of his bone, he has brothers in it, a father this same canaille that shall be whiffed and mother living on meal-husks and boiled grass. His very doxy, not yet dead i' the spital,' drives him into military heterodoxy declares that if he shed Patriot blood, he shall be accursed among men. The soldier, who has seen his pay stolen by rapacious Foulons, his blood wasted by Soubises, Pompadours, and the gates of promotion is himself not shut inexorably on him if he were not born noble, without griefs against you. Your cause is not the soldier's cause but, |3 would seem, your own only, and no other god's nor man's. For example, the v.orld may have heard how, at B^thune lately, * Bestuval, ill. ^90. Tableau de Paris, vi. 22. t rxlcrcier
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when
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there rose some riot about grains,' of which sort there are so was many, and the soldiers stood drawn out, and the word Fire given, not a trigger stirred; only the butts of all muskets rattled angrily against the ground and the soldiers stood glooming, with a till clutched each under the arm mixed expression of countenance of a patriot householder,' they were all hurried off, in this manner, to be treated and caressed, and have their pay increased by subscrip-

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Neither have the Gardes Franfaises, the best regiment of the line They returned shown any promptitude for street-firing lately. grumbling from Reveillon's and have not burnt a single cartridge since nay, as we saw, not even when bid. A dangerous humour Valadi the dwells in these Gardes. Notable men too, in their way Pythagorean was, at one time, an officer of theirs. Nay, in the ranks, under the three-cornered felt and cockade, what hard heads may there unknown to the public One head of not be, and reflections going on, the hardest we do now discern there: on the shoulders of a certain Sergeant Hoche. Lazare Hoche, that is the name of him he used to be about the Versailles Royal Stables, nephew of a poor herb-woman He is now Sergeant a handy lad exceedingly addicted to reading. Hoche, and can rise no further he lays out his pay in rushlights, and cheap editions of books.t On the whole, the best seems to be Consign these Gardes Frangaises to their Barracks. So Besenval thinks, and orders. Consigned to their barracks, the Gardes Fran9aises do but form a 'Secret Association,' an Engagement not to act against the National Assembly. Debauched by Valadi the Pythagorean debauched by money and women cry Besenval and innumerable others. Debauched by what you will, or in need of no debauching, behold them, long files of them, their consignment broken, arrive, headed by their Serjeants, on the 26th day of June, at the Palais Royal Welcomed with vivats, with presents, and a pledge of patriot liquor embracing and embraced declaring in words that the cause of France is their cause 1 Next day and the following days the like. What is singular too, except this patriot humour, and breaking of their consignment, they behave otherwise with the most rigorous accuracy.' % They are growing questionable, these Gardes Eleven ringleaders of them are put in the Abbaye Prison. It boots not in the least. The Imprisoned Eleven, have only by the hand of an individual,' to drop, towards nightfall, a line in the Caf6 de Foy where Patriotism harangues loudest on its table. Two hundred young persons, soon waxing to four thousand,' with fit crowbars, roll towards the Abbaye ; smite asunder the needful doors and bear out their Eleven, with other military victims to supper in the Palais Royal Garden to board, and lodging 'in camp-beds, in the Theatre des Varietes ;' other national Prytanetim as yet not being in readiness. Most deliberate I
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I20

THE THIRD ESTATE.

Nay so punctual were these young persons that finding one military victim to have been imprisoned for real civil crime, they returned him to his cell, with protest. new military force was not called out ? New military forc< was called out. New military force did arrive, full gallop, with drawn sabre but the people gently laid hold of their bridles the dragoons sheathed their swords lifted their caps by way of salute, and sat like mere statues of dragoons, except indeed that a drop of liquor being brought them, they drank to the King and Nation with the greatest * cordiality And now, ask in return, why Messeigneurs and Broglie the great god of war, on seeing these things, did not pause and take some other course, any other course? Unhappily, as we said, they could see nothing. Pride, which goes before a fall wrath, if not reasonable, yet pardonable, most natural, had hardened their hearts and heated their heads so with imbecility and violence (ill-matched pair) they rush to seek their hour. All Regiments are not Gardes Fran^aises, or debauched by Valadi the Pythagorean : let fresh undebauched Regi-

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Royal-Allemand, Salis-Samade, Swiss Chateaucan fight, but can hardly speak except in German gutterals let soldiers march, and highways thunder with artillery-waggons Majesty has a new Royal Session to hold, and miracles to work there The whiff of grapeshot can, if needful, become a blast and teiupest. In which circumstances, before the redhot balls begin raining, may not the Hundred-and-twenty Paris Electors, though their Cahier is long since finished, see good to meet again daily, as an Electoral Club ? They meet first in a Tavern where the largest weddingparty cheerfully gives place to them.t But latterly they meet in the Hotel-de-Ville, in the Townhall itself. Flesselles, Provost of Merchants, with his Four Echevins {Scabins, Assessors), could not prevent it svich was the force of public opinion. He, with his Echevins, and the Six-and-Twenty Town-Councillors, all appointed from Above, may well sit silent there, in their long gowns and consider, with awed eye, what prelude this is of convulsion coming from Below, and how they themselves shall fare in that
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—which
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CHAPTER
TO arms!

IV.

It is the pasit, dubious, fateful, in the sultry days of July. sionate printed advice of M. Marat, to abstain, of all things, from violence.^ Nevertheless the hungry poor are already burning Town Barriers, where Tribute on eatables is levied getting clamorous for food.
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* Histoire Parlementaire, t Dusai^x : Prise Paris, 1831), p. 269.
I Avis

de

3a. la Bastille (Collection des
ii.

M^moires, par Berville
(in

et Barri^re,

au Peuple, ou
ii.

les

Ministres d^voilfe, ist July, 1789

Histoire Parle-

mcntMre,

37).

TO ARMS!
The
»vith

12 la

twelfth July morning is Sunday: the streets are all placarded an enormous-sized De par le Rot, 'inviting peaceable citizens to remain within doors,' to feel no alarm, to gather in no crowd. Why BO? What mean these 'placards of enormous size?' Above all, what means this clatter of military dragoons, hussars, rattling in from with a all points of the compass towards the Place Louis Quinze staid gravity of face, though saluted with mere nicknames, hootings, and even missies ? * Besenval is with them. Swiss Guards of his are
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already in the Champs Elysees, with four pieces of artillery. Have the destroyers descended on thus, then ? From the Bridge of Sevres to utmost Vincennes, from Saint-Denis to the Champ-deAlarm, of the vague unknown, is in every Mars, we are begirt heart. The Palais Royal has become a place of awestruck interjections, silent shakings of the head: one can fancy with what dolorous stound the noon-tide cannon (which the Sun fires at crossing of his meridian) went off there bodeful, like an inarticulate voice of doom.f Are these troops verily come out against Brigands ?' Where are the Brigands ? What mystery is in the wind ? Hark a human voice reporting articulately the Job's-news Necker, People's Minister Saviour of France, is dismissed. Impossible incredible Treasonous to the public peace Such a voice ought to be choked in the water-works J had not the news-bringer quickly fled. Nevertheless, friends, make of it what ye will, the news is true. Necker is gone. Necker hies northward incessantly, in obedient secrecy, since yesterhave a new Ministry night. Brogile the War-god Aristocrat Breteuil f oulon who said the people might eat grass Rumour, therefore shall arise in the Palais Royal, and in broad France. Paleness sits on every face confused tremour and fremescence waxing into thunder-peals, of Fury stirred on by Fear.
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But see Camille Desmoulins, from the Cafd de Foy, rushing out, his hair streaming, in each hand a pistol in face He springs to a table: the PoUce satellites are eyeing him alive they shall lot take him, not they alive him alive. This time he speaks without stammering: Friends! shall we die like hunted hares? Like sheep hounde'l into their pinfold bleating for mercy, where is no mercy, but only a whetted knife ? The hour is come the supreme hour of Frenchman and Man when Oppressors are to try conclusions with Oppressed and the world is swift Death or Deliverance for ever. Let such hour be well-come Us, meseems, one cry only befits To Arms Let
sybilline
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universal Paris, universal France, as with the throat of the whirlwind,

sound only
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To arms

!

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To arms

1

" yell

responsive the innumerable
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voices like one great voice, as of a Demon yelling from the air for all faces wax fire-eyed, all hearts burn up into madness. In such, or fitter words, \ does Camille evoke the Elemental Powers, in this great moment, Friends, continues Camille, some rallying-sign Cockades

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* Besenval, iii. 411. f Histoire Parlem(?ntaire, ii. 81. { Ibid. ^ § Vie-jx Cordelier par Camille Desmoulins, No. 5 (reprinted in Collection des M^raoires. par Baudouin Frires, Paris, 1825), p. 81.

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THE THIRD ESTATE.

green ones ;-the colour of Hope! As with the flight of locusts, these green ribands from the neighbouring shops all green tree-leaves green things are snatched, and made cockades of. Camille descends from his table'; stifled with embraces, wetted with tears has a bit of green riband handed him sticks it in his hat. And now to Curtis' Image-shop there to the Boulevards to the four winds, and rest not till France be on tire France, so long shaken and wind-paiched, is probably at the right inflammable point. As for poor Curtis, who, one grieves to think, might be but imperfectly paid, he cannot make two words about his Images. The Wax-bust of Necker, the Wax-bust of d'Orleans, helpers of France: these, covered with crape, as in funeral procession, or after the manner of suppliants appealing to Heaven, to Earth, and Tartarus For a sign As indeed man, with Itself, a mixed multitude bears off. his smgular imaginative faculties, can do little or nothing without signs thus Turks look to their Prophet's Banner also Osier Mannikins have been burnt, and Necker's Portrait has erewhile figured, aloft on its
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manner march they, a mixed, continually increasing multitude; armed with axes, staves and miscellanea grim, many-sounding, through the streets. Be all Theatres shut let all dancing, on planked floor, or
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perch. In this

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Instead of a Christian Sabbath, on the natural green-sward, cease and feast of guingnette tabernacles, it shall be a Sorcerer's Sabbath and Paris, gone rabid, dance, with the Fiend for piper
I

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However, Besenval, with horse and foot, is in the Place Louis Quinze, Mortals promenading homewards, in the fall of the day, saunter by, from Chaillot or Passy, from flirtation and a little thin wine; with sadder step than usual. Will the Bust-Procession pass that way ? Behold it behold also Prince Lambesc dash forth on it, with his Royal Allemands Shots fall, and sabre-strokes Busts are hewed asunder and, alas, also heads of men. A sabred Procession has nothing for it but to explode, along what streets, alleys, Tuileries Avenues it finds One unarmed man lies hewed down a Garde and disappear. Fran^aise by his uniform bear him (or bear even the report of him) wliere he has comrades still alive! dead and gory to his Barracks But why not now, victorious Lambesc, charge through that Tuileries Garden itself, where the fugitives are vanishing? Not shew the Sunday promenaders too, how steel glitters, besprent with blood that it be told of, and men's ear tingle ?— Tingle, alas, they did; but the wrong way. Victorious Lambesc, in this his second or Tuileries charge, succeeds but in overturning (call it not slashing, for he struck with tlia flat of his sword) one man, a poor old schoolmaster, most pacifically tottering there and is driven out, by barricade of chairs, by flights ol Most 'bottles and glasses,' by execrations in bass-voice and treble. delicate is the mob-queller's vocation wherein Too-much may be as For each of these bass-voices, and more each bad as Not-enough. treble voice, borne to all parts of the City, rings now nothing but The cry, To arms, roars will ring all night distracted indignation
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TO ARMSi
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123

tenfold steeples with their metal sturm-voice boom out, as the sun sinks armourers' shops are broken open, plundered ; the streets are a living foam-sea, chafed by all the winds. Such issue came of Lambesc's charge on the Tuileries Garden no striking of salutary terror into Chaillot promenaders a striking into broad wakefulness of Frenzy and the three Furies, which otherwise were not asleep For they lie always, those subterranean Eumenides (fabulous and yet so true), in the dullest existence of man; and can dance, brandishing their dusty torches, shaking their serpent-hair. Larnbesc with Royal-AUemand may ride to his barracks, with curses for his marching-music then ride back again, like one troubled in mind vengeful Gardes Fran^aises, sacremg, with knit brows, start out on him, from their barracks in the Chausse d'Antin pour a volley into him (killing and wounding) which he must not answer, but ride on.* Counsel dwells not under the plumed hat. If the Eumenides awaken, and Broglie has given no orders, what can a Besenval do ? When the Gardes Franfaises, with Palais Royal volunteers, roll down, greedy of more vengeance, to the Place Louis Quinze itself, they find neither Besenval, Lambesc, Royal-Allamand, nor any soldier now there. Gone is military order. On the far Eastern Boulevard, of Saint-Antoine, the Chasseurs Normandie arrive, dusty, thirsty, after a hard day's ride but can find no billet-master, see no course in this City of confusions cannot get to Besenval, cannot so much as discover where he is :
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Normandie must even bivouack some patriot will treat it to a cup
I

there, in its dust

and

thirst,

— unless
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Raging multitudes surround Anns Orders The Six-and-twenty Town-Councillors, with their long gowns, have ducked under (into the raging chaos) shall never emerge more. Besenval is painfully wriggling himself out, to the Champ-de-Mars he
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of hquor, with advices. the Hotel-de-Ville, crying:


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must
dash

sit

there

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in the cruellest uncertainty
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courier after courier

may

back no answer, can hardly bring himself back. For the roads are all blocked with batteries and pickets, with floods of carriages arrested for examination such was Broglie's one sole order the CEil-de-Boeuf, hearing in the distance such mad din, which sounded almost like invasion, will before all things keep its own head whole. A new Ministry, with, as it were, but one foot in the stirrup, cannot take leaps. Mad Paris is abandoned altogether to itoff for Versailles

but will bring

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What a Paris, when the darkness fell A European metropolitan City hurled suddenly forth from its old combinations and arrangements to crash tumultuously together seeking new. Use and wont will now no longer direct any man each man, with what of originality he has, must begin thinking or following those that think. Seven hundred thousand individuals, on the sudden, find all their old paths, old ways of acting and deciding, vanish from under their feet. And so there go they, with clangour and terror, they know not as j^et whether running, swimming or flying, headlong into the New Era. With * Weber, ii. 75-91.
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THE THIRD ESTATE
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clangour and terror from above, Broglie the war-god impends, preternatural, with his redhot cannon-balls and from belovv, a preternatural Brigand-world menaces with dirk and firebrand madness rules thft
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hour. Happily, in place of the submerged Twenty-six, the Electoral Club is gathering; has declared itself a 'Provisional Municipality.' On the morrow, it will get Provost Flesselles, with an Echevin or two, to give help in many things. For the present it decrees one most essential thing that forthwith a Parisian Militia shall be enrolled. Depart, ye heads of Districts, to labour in this great work while we here, in Permanent Committee, sit alert. Let fencible men, each party in its own range of streets, keep watch and ward, all night. Let Paris court a little fever-sleep confused by such fever-dreams, of 'violent motions at the Palais Royal or from time to time start awake, and look out, palpitating, in its nightcap, at the clash of discordant mutually-unintelligible Patrols on the gleam of distant Barriers, going up ail-too ruddy towards the vault of Night.*
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CHAPTER
On Monday

V.

3IVE US ARMS.
the huge City has awoke, not to its weekday industry to what a different one The working man has become a fighting man has one want only: that of arras. The industry of all crafts has paused except it be the smith's, fiercely hammering pikes and, in a faint degree, the kitchener's, cooking offhand victuals for louche va toujours. Women too are sewing cockades not now oi green, which being d'Artois colour, the H6tel-de-Ville has had to interfere in it but of red and blue, our old Paris colours these, once based on a ground of constitutional white, are the famed Tricolour, which, (if Prophecy err not) will go round the world.' All shops, unless it be the Bakers' and Vintners', are shut: Paris is in the streets rushing, foaming like some Venice wine-glass into which you had dropped poison. The tocsin, by order, is pealing madly from all steeples. Arms, ye Elector Municipals, thou Fesselles with thy Echevins, give us arms Fesselles gives what he can fallacious, perhaps insidious promises of arms from Charleville order to seek arms here, order to seek them there. The new Municipals give what they can some three hundred and sixty indifferent firelocks, the equipment of the City-Watch a man in wooden shoes, and without coat, directly clutches one of them, and mounts guard.' Also, as hinted, an order to all smiths to make pikes with their whole soul.
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of Districts are in fervent consultation ; subordinate Patriotism distracted, ravenous for arras. Hitherto at the H6tel-de-Viile v/as only such modicum of indifferent firelocks as we have seen. At the so-called Arsenal, there lies nothing but rust, rubbish and saltpetre,

Heads

roams

— overlooked too by the guns of the Bastille.
*

His Majesty's Repository,

Deux Amis,

i,

267-30&

GIVE US ARMS.
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125

what they call Garde-Meuble, is forced and ransacked tapestries enough, and gauderies but of serviceable fighting-gear small stock Two silver-mounted cannons there are an ancient gift from his Majesty of Siam to Louis Fourteenth gilt sword of the Good Henri These, and such as these, a antique Chivalry-arms and armour. The necessitous Patriotism snatches greedily, for want of better. Siamese cannons go trundling, on an errand they were not meant for.
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the indifferent firelocks are seen tourney-lances

helm and hauberk glittering amid ill-hatted heads, as in a time, when all times and their possessions are suddenly sent jumbling At the Maison de Samt-Lazare, Lazar-House once, now a CorrectionHouse with Priests, there was no trace of arms but, on the other hand, corn, plainly to a culpable extent. Out with it, to market Ir
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the princely

grains Heavens, will fifty-two carts,' in long rov/, hardly carry it to the Halle aux Bleds ? Well, truly, ye reverend fat are your larders Fathers, was your pantry filled over-generous your wine-bins, ye plotting exasperators of the Poor traitorous lorestallers of bread Vain is protesting, entreaty on bare knees: the House of SaintLazarus has that in it which comes not out by protesting. Behold, how, from every window, it vomits: mere torrents of furniture, of bellowing and hurlyburly the cellars also leaking wine. Till, as was natural, smoke rose, kindled, some say, by the desperate SaintLazarites themselves, desperate of other riddance and the Establishment vanished from this world in flame. Remark nevertheless that a thief (set on or not by Aristocrats), being detected there, is instantly hanged.' Look also at the Chatelet Prison. The Debtor's Prison of La Force is broken from wit'iout and they that sat in bondage to Aristocrats go free hearing of which the Felons at the Chatelet do likewise dig up their pavements,' and stand on the offensive with the best prospects, had not Patriotism, passing that way, fired a volley into the Felonworld and crushed it down again under hatches. Patriotism consorts not with thieving and felony surely also Punishment, this day, hitches (if she still hitch) after Crime, with frightful shoes-of-svviftness 'Some score or two' of v/retched persons, found prostrate with drink in the cellars of that Saint-Lazare, are indignantly haled to prison the whereupon, other place of security not suggesting Jailor has no room itself, it is writ"«n, 07i les pcndit, they hanged them.' * Brief is the word not without significance, be it true, or untrue
this scarcity of
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In such circumstances, the Aristocrat, the unpatriotic rich man is packing up for departure. But he shall not get departed. A woodenshod force has seized all Barriers, burnt or not: all that enters, all that seeks to issue, is stopped there, and dragged to the Hotcl-de-Ville: coaches, tumbrils, plate, furniture, 'many meal-sacks,' in time even ' flocks and herds encumber the Place de Greve.f
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* Histoirc- Parlementajre, ii. 96. + Dusaubc Prise de la BastiUe, p. 290.
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CHE THIRD ESTATE.
so
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And
pealing

it

roars,

aniiv.ra^es,

and brays; drums beating, steeples

criers rushing with hand-bells : " Oyez, oyez, All men to their The Districts have met in gardens, open Districts to be enrolled " squares ; are getting marshalled into volunteer troops. No redhot ball
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has yet fallen from Besenval's Camp on the contrary, Deserters with nay now, joy of joys, at two in their arms are continually dropping in the afternoon, the Gardes Fran^aises, being ordered to Saint-Denis, and flatly declining, have come over in a bodyl It is a fact worth Three thousand six hundred of the best fighting men, with many. with cannoneers even, and cannon Their complete accoutrement could not so much as succeed in officers are left standing alone spiking the guns.' The very Swiss, it may now be hoped, ChateauVieux and the others, will have doubts about fighting.
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Our Parisian Militia, which some think it were better to name National Guard, is prospering as heart could wish. It promised to be forty-eight thousand but will in few hours double and quadruple invincible, if we had only arms that number

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But see, the promised Charleville Boxes, marked Artillerie ! Here then are arms enough ? Conceive the blank face of Patriotism, when found them filled with rags, foul linen, candle-ends, and bits of it Neither at the Provost of the Merchants, how is this ? wood Chartreux Convent, whither we are sent with signed order, is there or ever was there any weapon of war. Nay here, in this Seine Boat, safe under tarpaulings (had not the nose of Patriotism been of the finest), five thousand-weight of gunpowder not coming in, but surare What meanest thou, Flesselles ? 'Tis a reptitiously going out Cat plays with captive mouse ticklish game, that of amusing us. but mouse with enraged cat, with enraged National Tiger ? Meanwhile, the faster, O ye black-aproned Smiths, smite with strong arm and willing heart. This man and that, all stroke from head to heel, shall thunder alternating, and ply the great forgehammer, till while ever and anon, overhead, booms the stithy reel and ring again Pikes are alarm-cannon, for the City has now got gunpowder. fabricated; fifty thousand of them, in six-and-thirty hours: judge whether the Black-aproned have been idle. Dig trenches, unpave the cram the earth in barrelstreets, ye others, assiduous, man and maid barricades, at each of them a volunteer sentry pile the whmstones in window-sills and upper rooms. Have scalding pitch, at least boiling water ready, ye weak old women, to pour it and dash it on RoyalAUemand, with your old skinny arms your shrill curses along with it Patrols of the newborn National Guard, bearing will not be wanting torches, scour the streets, all that night which otherwise are vacant, like yet illuminated in every window by order. Strange-looking some naphtha-lighted City of the Dead, with here and there a flight of perturbed Ghosts. O poor mortals, how ye make this Earth bitter for each other this fearful and wonderful Life fearful and horrible and Satan has his Such agonies and ragings and wailings ye have, place in all hearts

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GIVE US ARMS,
and have bad,
in all

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times: to be buried all, in so deep silence; and the salt sea is not svvoln with your tears. Great meanwhile is the moment, when tidings of Freedom reach us; when the long-enthralled soul, from amid its chains and squalid stagnancy, arises, were it still only in blindness and bewilderment, and swears by Him that made it, that will be free / Free ? Understand that well, it is the deep commandment, dimmer or clearer, of our whole being, to he free. Freedom is the one purport, wisely aimed at, or unwisely, of all man's struggles, toilings, and sufferings, in this Earth. Yes, supreme is such a moment (if thou have known it) first vision as of a flame-girt Sinai, in this our waste Pilgrimage, which thenceforth wants not its pillari of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night Something it is even, nay, something considerable, when the chains have grown corrosive, poisonous, to be free from oppression by Forward, ye maddened sons of France our fellow-man.' be it towards this destiny or towards that Around you is but starvation, falsehood, corruption and the clamm of death. Where ye are is no

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Imagination may, imperfectly, figure how Commandant Besenval, Champ de Mars, has worn out these sorrowful hours. Insurrection raging all round his men melting away From Versailles, to the most pressing messages, comes no answer; or once only some vague word of answer which is worse than none. A Council of Officers can decide merely that there is no decision Colonels inform him, 'weeping, that they do not think their men will fight. Cruel uncertainty is here war-god Broglie sits yonder, inaccessible in his Olympus does not descend terror-clad, does not produce his whiff of grape-shot sends no orders.
in the
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all seems mystery in the Town were we there, all is rumour, alarm, and indignation. An august National Assembly sits, to appearance, menanced with endeavouring to defy death. It has resolved that Necker death carries with him the regrets of the Nation.' It has sent solemn De-

Truly, in the Chateau of Versailles,

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putation over to the Chateau, with entreaty to have these troops withdrawn. In vain his Majesty, with a singular composure, invites us to be busy rather with our own duty, making the constitution Foreign Pandours,- and such like, go pricking and prancing, with a swashbuckler air with an eye too probably to the Salle des Menus, were it not for the grim-looking countenances that crowd all avenues there.* Be firm, ye National Senators the cynosure of a firm, grimlooking people The august National Senators determine that there shall, at least, be Permanent Session till this thing end. Wherein however, consider that worthy Lafranc de Pompignan, our new President, whom we have named Bailly's successor, is an old man, wearied with many things. He is the Brother of that Pompignan who meditated lamentably on the
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THE THIRD ESTATE.
Savet'Vous pourquoi Jirimie Se lamentait tout sa vie f Cest qu'il privoyait Que Potnpigitan le traduirait I

Poor Bishop Pompignan withdraws having got Lafayette for helper ot substitute: this latter, as nocturnal Vice-President, with a thin house waiting in disconsolate humour, sits sleepless, with lights unsnuffed ; what the hours vill bring. So at Versailles. But at Paris, agitated Besenval, before retiring foi the night, has stept over to old M. de Sombreuil, of the Hotel da Invalides hard by. M. de Sombreuil has, what is a great secret, some eight-and-twenty thousand stand of muskets deposited in his cellars there but no trust in the temper of his Invalides. This day, for example, he sent twenty of the fellows down, to unscrew those muskets lest Sedition might snatch at them but scarcely, in six hours, had the twenty unscrewed twenty gun locks, or dogsheads (chiens) of locks, If ordered to fire, they would, he each Invalide his dogshead imagines, turn their cannon against himself. Unfortunate old military gentlemen, it is your hour, not of glory Old Marquis de Launay too, of the Bastille, has pulled up his drawand retired into his interior with sentries bridges long since, walking on his battlements, under the midnight sky, aloft over the glare whom a National Patrol, passing that way, of illuminated Paris takes the liberty of firing at: 'seven shots towards twelve at night,' which do not take effect.* This was the 13th day of July 1789; a worse day, many said, than the last 13th was, when only hail fell out of Heaven, not madness rose out of Tophet, ruining worse than crops 1
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In these same days, as Chronology will teach us, hot old Marquis Miranot within sound of these alarmbeau, lies stricken down, at Argenteuil, guns for he properly is not there, and only the body of him now lies, deaf and cold for ever. It was on Saturday night that he, drawing his leaving a world, which last life-breaths, gave up the ghost there would never go to his mind, now broken out, seemingly, into deliration, and the cnlbtite gctierale. What is it to him, departing elsewhither, on The old Chateau-Miiabeau stands silent, far off, on his long journey? gorge of two windy valleys the pale-fading its scarped rock, in that spectre now of a Chateau this huge World-riot, and France, and the World itself, fades also, like a shadow on the great still miiror-sea; and all shall be as God wills. Young Mirabeau, sad of heart, for he loved this crabbed brave old Father sad of heart, and occupied with sad cares, is withdrawn froia Public f iistory. The great crisis transacts itself without him.f
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* Deux Amis de la Libert^, i. 312. Mirabeau, vi. L i.
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STORM AND

VICTORY.

129

CHAPTER VL
STORM AND VICTORY,
But, to the living and the struggling, a new, I'ourteenth mornirs Under all roofs of this distracted City, is tlie nodus of a dawns. drama, not untragical, crowding towards solution. The bustlings and the tears that fell from old preparings, the tremours and menaces By tlie eyes This day, my sons, ye shall quit you like men. memory of your father's wrongs, by the hope of your children's rights Tyranny impends in red wrath help for you is none if not in your own right hands. This day ye must do or die. From earliest light, a sleepless Permanent Committee has heard the Arms Arms Provost old cry, now waxing almost frantic, mutinous Flesselles, or what traitors there are among you, may think of those Charleville Boxes. A hundred-and-fifty-thousand of us and but the Arms are the one thing third man furnished with so much as a pike needful with arms we are an unconquerable man-defying National Guard without arms, a rabble to be whiffed with grapeshot. Happily the word has arisen, for no secret can be kept, that there Thither will we King's lie muskets at the Hotel des Invalides. Procureur M. Ethys de Corny, and whatsoever of authority a Permanent Committee can lend, shall go with ns. Besenval's Camp perhaps he will not fire on us if he kill us we shall but die. is there Alas, poor Besenval, with his troops melting away in that manner, has not the smallest humour to fire ^ At five o'clock this morning, as he lay dreaming, ofelivious in the Ecole Militaire, a figure stood with face rather handsome eyes inflamed, suddenly at his bedside such a figure drew Priam's speech rapid and curt, air audacious curtains The message and monition of the figure was, that resistance would be hopeless that if blood flowed, wo to him who shed it. Withal there was a kind of Thus spoke the figure and vanished. eloquence that struck one.' Besenval admits that he should have arrested him, but did not.* Who this figure with inflamed eyes, with speech rapid and curt, might be ? Besenval knows, but mentions not. Camille Desmoulins ? Pythagorean Marquis Valadi, inflamed wit.'! violent motions all night at the Palais Rtjyal ? Fame names him, Young M. Meillar; 't then shuts her lips about him for ever. In any case, behold about nine in the morning, our National Volunteers rolling in long wide flood, south-westward to the Hotel da Invalides ; in search of the one thing needful. King's Procureur M. Ethys de Corny and officials are there the Cur6 of Saiiit-Etienne du Mont marches unpacific, at the head of his militant Parish the Clerks of the Basoche in red coats we see marching, now Volunteers of the Casoche the Volunteers of the Palais Royal National Volunteers,
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and Portr i's, with Chan fort).
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THE THIRD ESTATE.
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numerable by tens of thousands of one heart and mind. The King's muskets are the Nation's; think, old M. de Sombreuil, how, in this extremity, thou wilt refuse them Old M. de Sombreuil would fain hold parley, send Couriers but it skills not the walls are scaled, no the gates must be flung open. Patriotism Invalide firing a shot rushes in, tumultuous, from grundsel up to ridge-tile, through all rooms and passages rummaging distractedly for arms. What cellar, or what llie arms are found all safe there cranny can escape it ? lying packed in straw, apparently with a view to being burnt More ravenous than famishing lions over dead prey, the multitude, with struggling, dashing, clangour and vociferation, pounces on them to the jamming-up, to the pressure, fracture and probable clutching: And so, with much protracted crash extinction, of the weaker Patriot.* of deafening, most discordaxit Orchestra-music, the Scene is changed and eight-and-twenty thousand sufficient firelocks are on the shoulders of as many National Guards, lifted thereby out of darkness into fiery
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Let Besenval look at the glitter of these muskets, as they flash by Gardes Fran^aises, it is said, have cannon levelled on him ready to open, if need were, from the other side of the River.f Motionless sits astonished,' one may flatter oneself, at the proud bearing he And now, to the Bastille, ye {fiere contenance) of the Parisians.' There grapeshot still threatens thither all men s intrepid Parisians thoughts and steps are now tending. Old de Launay, as we hinted, withdrew into his interior soon after midnight of Sunday. He remains there ever since, hampered, as all military gentlemen now are, in the saddest conflict of uncertainties. The H6tel-de-Ville invites him to admit National Soldiers, which is a On the other hand. His Majesty's orders soft name for surrendering. were precise. His garrison is but eighty-two old Invalides, reinforced by thirty-two young Swiss his walls indeed are nine feet thick, he has cannon and powder but, alas, only one day's provision of victuals. The city too is French, the poor garrison mostly French. Rigorous old de Launay, think what thou wilt do To the All morning, since nine, there has been a cry every where Repeated deputations of citizens have been here, passionate Bastille for arms whom de Launay has got dismissed by soft speeches through portholes. Towards noon, Elector Thuriot de la Rosiere gains admittance finds de Launay indisposed for surrender nay disposed for blowing up the place rather. Thuriot mounts with him to the battlements heaps of paving-stones, old iron and missiles lie piled cannon only drawn back a in every embrasure a cannon, all duly levelled But outwards, behold, O Thuriot, how the multitude flows on, little
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welling through every street: tocsin furiously pealing, all drums beating the generate : the Suburb Saint-Antoine rolling hitlierw ard wholly, Such vision (spectral yet real) thou, O Thuriot, as from as one man thy Mount of Vision, beholdest in this moment prophetic of what * Deux Amis, i. 302. \ Besenval, iii. 416.
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STORM AND VICTOEY.
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131"

other Phantasmagories, and loud-gibbering Spectral Realities, which, " Que vottlez-vous ? " said de thou yet beholdest not, but shalt Launay, turning pale at the sight, with an air of reproach, almost of " Monsieur," said Thuriot, rising into the moral-sublime, menace. "What mean you ? Consider if I could not precipitate both of us from this height," say only a hundred feet, exclusive of the walled ditch Whereupon de Launay fell silent. Thuriot shews himself from some pinnacle, to comfort the multitude becoming suspicious, fremescent; then descends departs with protest vith warning addressed also to on whom, however, it produces but a mixed indistinc) the InvaHdes, impression. The old heads are none of the clearest besides, it is said, de Launay has been profuse of beverages {frodigua des buissons). They think, they will not fire, if not fired on, if they can help it but must, on the whole, be ruled considerably by circumstances. to thee, de Launay, in such an hour, if thou canst not, taking Soft speeches will not some one firm decision, rule circumstances serve hard grape shot is questionable but hovering between the two Ever wilder swells the tide of men their infinite is 7/«questionable. hum waxing ever louder, into imprecations, perhaps into crackle of stray musketry, which latter, on walls nine feet thick, cannot do execution. The Outer Drawbridge has been lowered for Thuriot new deputation of citizens (it is the third, and noisiest of all) penetrates that way into the Outer Court soft speeches producing no clearance of these, de Launay gives fire pulls up his Drawbridge. A slight sputter which has kiftdled the too combustible chaos made it a roaring fire-chaos Bursts forth Insurrection, at sight of its own blood (for there were deaths by that sputter of fire), into endless rolling explosion of musketry, distraction, execration and over head, from the Fortress, let one great gun, with its grape shot, go booming, to shew what we

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could do. The Bastille is besieged On, then, all Frenchmen, that have hearts in their bodies Roar with all your throats, of cartilage and metal, ye Sons of Liberty stir spasmodically whatsoever of utmost faculty is in you, soul, body, or spirit for it is the hour Smite, thou Louis Tournay, cartwright of the Marais, old-soldier of the Regiment Dauphinf smite at that Outer Drawbridge chain, though the fiery hail whistles round thee Never, over nave or felloe, did thy axe strike such a stroke. Down with it, man down with it to Orcus let the whole accursed Edifice sink thither, and Tyranny be swallowed up for ever! Mounted, some say, on the roof of the guard-room, some 'on bayonets stuck into joints of the wall,' Louis Tournay smites, brave Aubln BonnemSre (also an old soldier) seconding him the chain yields, breaks the huge Drawbridge slams down, thundering {avec fracas). Glorious: and yet, alas, it is still but the outworks. The Eight grim Towers, with their Invalides' musketr}', their paving stones and cannon-mouths, still soar aloft intact Ditch yawning impassable, stone-faced the inner Drawbridge with its back towards us the Bastille is still to take
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To

describe this Siege of the Bastille (thought to be one of the most

133

THE THIRD ESTATE,
but, after infinite reading, get to
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important in History) perhaps transcends

one

the building Saint-Antoine

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But there is there are such Forecourts,

tlie talent ot mortals. Could understand so much as the plan of open Esplanade, at the end of the Rue

Cour Avaiice, Gourde tOrrne,
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arched Gateway (where Louis Tournay now fights) then new drawbridges, dormant-bridges, rampart-bastions, and the grim Eight Towers a labyrinthic Mass, high-frowning there, of all ages from twenty years beleagured, in this its last hour, as we said, to four hundred and twenty
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Ordnance of all calibres throats of all ! capacities men of all plans, every man his own engineer seldom since the war of Pygmies and Cranes was there seen so anomalous i Half-pay Elie is home for a suit of regimentals no one wouii thing. half-pay Hulin is haranguing Gardes heed him in coloured clothes Fran9aises in the Place de Greve. Frantic Patriots pick up the grapeshots bear them, still hot (or seemingly so), to the H6tel-de-Ville Flesselles is 'pale to the very Paris, you perceive, is to be burnt! for the roar of the multitude grows deep. Paris wholly has got lips At to the acme of its frenzy; whirled, all ways, by panic madness. every street-barricade, there whirls simmering, a minor whirlpool, strengthening the barricade, since God knows what is coming and all minor whirlpools play distractedly into that grand Fire-Mahlstrom which is lashing round the Bastille. And so it lashes and it roars. Cholat the wine-merchant has become an impomptu cannoneer. See Georgot, of the Marine Service, fresh from Brest, ply the King of Siam's catmon. Singiilar (if we were not used to the like) Georget lay, last night, taking his ease at his inn the King of Siam's cannon also lay, knowing nothing of hi?>i, for a hundred j'ears. Yet now, at the right instant, they have got togethe r„ and discourse eloquent music. For, hearing what was toward, Georget sprang from the Brest Diligence, and ran. Gardes Francaises also will Upwards be here, with real artillery were not the walls so thick from the Esplanade, horizontally from all neighbouring roofs and windows, flaslies one irregular deluge of musketry, without effect. The Invalides lie flat, firing comparatively at their ease from behind fall, shot stone hardly through portholes, shew the tip of a nose.
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Let conflagration rage of whatsoever is combustible Guard-rooms A distracted Perukemaker with are burnt, Invalides mess-rooms. two fiery torches' is for burning 'the saltpetres of the Arsenal ;' had not a woman run screaming had not a Patriot, with some tincture of Natural Philosophy, instantly struck the wind out of him (butt of musket on pit of stomach), overturned barrels, and stayed the devouring element. young beautiful lady, seized escaping in these Outer Courts, and thought falsely to be de Launay's daughter, shall be burnt she lies swooned on a paillasse but again a in de Launay's sight Patriot, it is brave Aubin Bonnem^re the old soldier, dashes in, and rescues her. Straw is burnt three cartloads of it, hauled thither, go up in white smoke r almost to the choking of Patriotism itself s6 that Elie had, vtith singed brows, to drag back one cart ; and R<5oIe the
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Smoke as ol Tophet ; confusion as gigantic haberdasher' another. of Babel noise as of the Crack of Doom I Blood Rows the ailment of new madness. The wounded are the dying leave their last carried into houses of the Rue Cerisaie mandate not to yield till the accursed Stronghold fall. And yet, alas, Deputations, three in number how fall ? The walls are so thick arrive from the H6tel-de-Ville Abbe Fauchet (who was of one) can These say, with what almost superhuman courage of benevolence.* wave their Town-flag in the arched Gateway and stand, rolling their drum but to no purpose. In such Crack of Doom, de Launay cannot hear them, dare not believe them they return, with justified rage, the whew of lead still singing in their ears. What to do ? The Firemen are here, squirting with their fire-pumps on the Invalides' cannon, to wet the touchholes they unfortunately cannot squirt so high ; but produce only clouds of spray. Individuals of classical knov/ledge propose catapults. Santerre, the sonorous Brewer of the Suberb SaintAntoine, advises rather that the place be fired, by a mixture of phos: phorus and oil-of-turpentine spouted up through forcing pumps Spinola-Santerre, hast thou the mixture ready ? Every man his own engineer And still the fire-deluge abates not even women are firing, and Turks at least one woman (with her sweetheart), and one Turk.f
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thousands. Hov/ the great Bastille Clock ticks (inaudible) in its Inner Couil there, at its ease, hour after hour as if nothing special, for it or the world, were passing It tolled One when the firing began and is now pointiag towards Five, and still the firing slakes not. Far down, in their vaults, the seven Prisoners hear muffled din as of earthquakes their Turnkeys answer vaguely. to thee, de Launay, with thy poor hundred Invalides Broglie is distant, and his ears heavy Besenval hears, but can send no help. One poor troop of Hussars has crept, reconnoitering, cautiously along the Quais, as far as the Pont Neuf. "We are come to join you," said the Captain for the crowd seems shoreless. A large-headed dwarfish individual, of smoke-bleared aspect, shambles forward, opening his blue lips, for there is sense in him; and croaks: "Alight then, and give up your arms " The Hussar-Captain is too happy to be escorted to the Barriers, and dismissed on parole. Who the squat individual was ? Men answer, It is M. Marat, author of the excellent pacific Avis au Peuple ! Great truly, O thou remarkable Dogleech, is this thy day of emergence and new-birth and yet this same day come four years But let the curtains of the Future hang. What shall de Launay do ? One thing only de Launay could have done what he said he would do. Fancy him sitting, from the fiist, with lighted taper, within arm's length of the Powder-Magazine motionless, like old Roman Senator, or Bronze Lamp-holder coldly
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134

THE THIRD ESTATE.
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apprising Thuriot, and all men, by a slight motion of his eye, what his resolution was Harmless he sat there, while unharmed but the King's Fortress, meanwhile, could, might, would, or should, in nowise, be surrendered, save to the King's messenger one old man's life is worthless, so it be lost with honour but think, ye brawling canaille, how will it be when a whole Bastille springs skyward In such statuesque, taper-holding attitude, one fancies de Launay might have left Thuriot, the red Clerks of the Basoche, Cur6 of Saint-Stephen and all the tagrag-and-bobtail of the world, to work their will. And yet, withal, he could not do it. Hast thou considered how each man's heart is so tremulously responsive to the hearts of all men hast thou noted how omnipotent is the very sound of many men ? How their shriek cf indignation palsied the strong soul their howl of contumely withers »vith unfelt pangs ? The Ritter Gluck confessed that the ground-tonfe of the noblest passage, in one of his noblest Operas, was the voice of the Populace he had heard at Vienna, crying to their Kaiser Bread Bread Great is the combined voice of men the utterance of their instincts, which are truer than their thoughts : it is the greatest a man encounters, among the sounds and shadows, which make up this World of Time. He who can resist that, has his footing somewhere beyond Time. De Launay could not do it. Distracted, he hovers between two; hopes in the middle of despair; surrenders not declares that he will blow it up, seizes torches to blow his Fortress Unhappy old de Launay, it is the deathit up, and does not blow it. agony of thy Bastille and Thee Jail, Jailoring and Jailor, all three, such as they may have been, must finish. For four hours now has the World-Bedlam roared call it the WorldChimaera, blowing fire The poor Invalides have sunk under their battlements, or rise only with reversed muskets they have made a white flag of napkins go beating the chamade, or seeming to beat, for one can hear nothing. The very Swiss at the Portcullis look weary of firing disheartened in the fire-deluge a porthole at the drawbridge is opened, as by one that would speak. See Huissier Maillard, the shifty man On his plank, swinging over the abyss of that stone-Ditch plank resting on parapet, balanced by weight of Patriots, he hovers Deftly, thou shifty perilous such a Dove towards such an Ark Usher one man already fell and lies smashed, far down there, against the masonry Usher Maillard falls not deftly, unerring he walks, with outspread palm. The Swiss holds a paper through his porthole the shifty Usher snatches it, and returns. Terms of surrender: Pardon, immunity to all Are they accepted ? " Foi d'officier. On the word of an officer," answers half-pay Hulin, or half-pay Elie, for men do not agree on it, " they are " Sinks the drawbridge, Usher the rushes-in the living deluge Maillard bolting it when down Bastaille is fallen La Bastille est prise ! * Victoire !

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* Histoire de la Revolution, par Deux Amis de la 410-434. Diisaulx, Prise de la Bastille, 291-301. dt Berville et Barritre), i. 322 et seqq.
iii.

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i.

267-306.

BescnvaJ
(Collection

Bailly,

Mdmoires

If07

A REVOLT,

135

CHAPTER

VII. NOT A REVOLT.

Why dwell on what follows? Hulin's foi d'officier should have been kept, but could not. The Swiss stand drawn up, disguised in their arms all white canvas smocks the Invalides without disguise
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The first rush of victors, in ecstasy that the piled against the wall. but new victors death-peril is passed, leaps joyfully on their necks As we said, it rush, and ever new, also in ecstasy not wholly of joy. was a living deluge, plunging headlong had not the Gardes Fran^aises, in their cool military way, wheeled round with arms levelled,' it would have plunged suicidally, by the hundred or the thousand, into the Bastille-ditch. And so it goes plunging through court and corridor billowing un' ; '
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on itself; in hot frenzy of triumph, controllable, firing from windows of grief and vengeance for its slain. The poor Invalides vvill fare ill % one Swiss, running off in his white smock, is driven back, with a deatho Let all Prisoners be marched to the Townhall, to be judged thrust. Alas, already one poor Invalide has his right hand slashed off him his mained body dragged to the Place de Gr6ve, and hanged there.

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This same right hand, it is said, turned back de Launay from the Powder-Magazine, and saved Paris. De Launay, discovered in gray frock with poppy-coloured riband,' sword of his cane. He shall to is for killing himself with the
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Elie Hulin, Maillard and others escorting him with the capitulation-paper on his sword's point.' Through roarings and cursings through hustlings, clutchings, arid at Your escort is hustled aside, felled down last through strokes Hulin sinks exhausted on a heap of stones. Miserable de Launay He shall never enter the H6tel-de-Ville only his bloody hair-queue, The bleeding held up in a bloody hand that shall enter, for a sign. trunk lies on the steps there the head is off through the streets ghastly, aloft on a pike. " Rigorous de Launay has died crying out, " O friends, kill me fast Merciful de Losme must die though Gratitude embraces him, in this fearful hour, and will die for him it avails not. Brothers, your wrath is cruel Your Place de Greve is become a Throat of the Tiger full of mere fierce bellowings, and thirst of blood. One other officer is massacred one other Invalide is hanged on the Lamp-iron with difficulty, with generous perseverance, the Gardes Fran^aises will save the rest. Provost Flesselles, stricken long since with the paleness of death, must descend from his seat, to be judged at the Palais Royal alas, to be shot dead, by an unknown hand, at the turning of the first

the

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evening sun of July, how, at this hour, thy h^zms
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reapers amid peaceful woody fields on old women spinning in cottages on ships far out in the silent main on Balls at the Orangery of Versailles, where high-rouged Dames of the Palace are even now

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136

THE THIRD ESTATE.
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and also on this with double-jacketed Hussar-Officers Babel Tower, with the conroaring Hell-porch of a H6tel-de-Ville fusion of tongues, were not Bedlam added with the conflagration of thoughts, was no type of it. One forest of distracted steel bristles, points itselt, in horrid endless, in front of an Electoral Committee radii, against this and the other accused breast. It was the Titans warring with Olympus; and they, scarcely crediting it, have conquered delirious, as it could not but be. prodigy of prodigies Denunciablaze of triumph on a dark ground of terror all tion, vengeance outward, all inward things fallen into one general wreck of madness Had it a thousand throats of brass, it would Electoral Committee ? not suffice. Abbe Lefevre, in the Vaults down below, is black as with what Vulcan, distributing that five thousandweight of Powder Last night, a Patriot, in liquor, perils, these eight-and-forty hours insisted on sitting to smoke on the edge of one of the Powder-barrels till the Abbe there smoked he, independent of the world, purchased his pipe for three francs,' and pitched it far. Elie, in the grand Hall, Electoral Committee looking on, sits with with battered helm, for he was of drawn sword bent in three places the Queen's Regiment, Calvary; with torn regimentals, face singed and comparable, some think, to an antique warrior ^judging the soiled Friends, stain not with people forming a list of Bastille Heroes. such is the blood the greenest laurels ever gained in this world burden of Elie's song could it but be listened to. Courage, Elie decHning sun ; the need of Courage, ye iMunicijial Electors victuals, and of telling news, will bring assuagement, dispersic\n all earthly things must end.
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Along the streets of Paris circulate Seven Bastille Prisoners, borne shoulder-high seven Heads on pikes the Keys of the Bastille and much else. See also the Gardes Fran^aises, in their steadfast military way, marching home to their barracks, with the Invalides and Swiss kindly enclosed in hollow square. It is one year and two months since these same men stood unparticipating, with Brennus d'Agoust and now at the Palais de Justice, when Fate overtook d'Espr^m^nil they have participated and will participate. Not Gardes Fran^aises henceforth, but Centre Grenadiers of the National Guard : men of not without a kind of thought in them iron discipline and humour, Likewise ashlar stones of the Bastille continue thundering through Old secrets come to 4he dusk its paper archives shall fly white. view; and long-buried Despair finds voice. Read this portion of an old Letter * If for my consolation Monseigneur would grant me, for the sake of God and the Most Blessed Trinity, that I could have news of ray dear wife were it only her name on a card, to shew that she is and I should alive It were the greatest consolation I could receive Poor Prisoner, who for ever bless the greatness of Monseigneur.' namest thyself Queret-Demery, and hast no other history,-—she is dead,
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Bastille

Di»

NOT A REVOLT.
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137

'Tis fifty years since thy tuat dear wife of thine, and thou art dead ! breaking heart put this question to be heard now first^ and long heard, in the hearts of men. But so does the July twihght thicken so must Paris, as sick children, and all distracted creatures do, brawl itself finally into a kind of sleep. Municipal Electors, astonished to find their heads still uppermost, are home: only Moreau de Saint-M6ry, of tropical birth and heart, of he, with two others, shall sit permanent at the coolest judgment Tovvnhall. Paris sleeps gleams upward the illuminated City patrols go clashing, without common watch-word there go rumours ; alarms of fifteen thousand men marching through the war, to the extent of Suburb Saint-Antoine,' who never got it marched through. Of the day's distraction judge by this of the night: Moreau de Saint-Mery, before rising from his seat, gave upwards of three thousand orders.'* Within it What a head comparable to Friar Bacon's Brass Head Prompt must the answer be, right or wrong in Paris lies all Paris. Seriously, a most cool clear head for is no other Authority extant. which also thou, O brave Saint-Mery, in many capacities, from august Senator to Merchant's-Clerk, Book-dealer, Vice-King in many places, from Virginia to Sardinia, shalt, ever as a brave man, find employment, t
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Besenval has decamped, under cloud of dusk, amid a great affluence who did not harm him he marches, with faint-growing tread, down the left bank of the Seine, all night, towards infinite Resummoned shall Besenval himself be for trial, for difficult space. acquittal. His King's-troops, his Royal-Allemand, are gone hence
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The Versailles Ball and lemonade is done the Orangery is silent except for nightbirds. Over in the Salle des Menus, Vice-President Lafayette, with unsnuffed lights, 'with some hundred of members, stretched on tables round him,' sits erect outwatching the Bear. This day, a second solemn Deputation went to his Majesty a second and then a third with no effect. What will the end of these things be ? In the Court, all is mystery, not without whisperings of terror though ye dream of lemonade and epaulettes, ye foolish women His Majesty, kept in happy ignorance, perhaps dreams of doublebarrels and the Woods of Meudon. Late at night, the Duke de Liancourt, having official right of entrance, gains access to the Royal Apartments unfolds, with earnest clearness, in his constitutional way, the Job's-news. " Mais," said poor Louis, " c'est une re'volte, Why, that is a revolt 1 " " Sire," answered Liancourt, " It is not a revolt, it
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• Dusauhc. t BiographJe Universelle, % Moreau Saint -M^ry (by Foumier-Pescay).

138

THE THIRD ESTATE.

CHAPTER
On
the morrow a more solemn, not

VIII.

CONQUERING YOUR KING.
fourth Deputation to the Chateau is on foot : of a to say awful character, for, besides 'orgies in the

Orangery,' it seems, 'the grain-convoys are all stopped;' nor has Mirabeau's thunder been silent. Such Deputation is on the point of setting out, when lo, his Majesty himself, attended only by his two Brothers, steps in quite in the paternal manner announces that the troops, and all causes of offence, are gone, and henceforth there shall be nothing but trust, reconcilement, good-will whereof he permits, and even requests,' a National Assembly to assure Paris in his name Acclamation, as of men suddenly delivered from death, gives answer. The whole Assembly spontaneously rises to escort his Majesty back interlacing their arms to keep off the excessive pressure from him ;'

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all Versailles is crowding and shouting. The Chateau Musicians, with a felicitous promptitude, strike up the Scin de sa Famillc (Bosom of one's Family): the Queen appears at the Balcony with her lictle boy and girl, 'kissing them several times ;' infinite Vivats spread far and wide and suddenly there has come, as it were, a new Heaven-on-

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Eighty -eight august Senators, Bailly, Lafayette, and our repentant Archbishop among them, take coach for Paris, with the great intelligence benedictions without end on their heads. From the Place Louis Quinze, where they alight, all the way to the H6tel-de-Ville, it is one sea of Tricolour cockades, of clear National muskets one tempest of huzzaings, hand-clappings, aided by 'occasional rollings' of drummusic. Harangues of due fervour are delivered especially by Lally ToUendal, pious son of the ill-fated murdered Lally; on whose head, in consequence, a civic crown (of oak or parsley) is forced, which he
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forcibly transfers to Bailly's. But surely, for one thing, the National
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Guard must have a General Moreau de Saint-M6ry, he of the three thousand orders,' casts one of his significant glances on the Bust of Lafayette, which has stood there ever since the American War of Liberty. Whereupon, by acclamation, Lafayette is nominated. Again, in room of the slain traitor or quasitraitor Flesselles, President Bailly shall

be

—Provost of the Merchants
de Paris!

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No; Mayor

of Paris!

So be

it.

Maire

Mayor

Bailly,

General Lafayette; vine Bailly, vive Lafayette! the universal out-ofdoors multitude rends the welkin in confirmation. And now, finally, let us to Notre-Dame for a Te Deiim. Towards Notre-Dame Cathedral, in glad procession, these Regenerators of the Country walk, through a jubilant people ; in fraternal manner; Abbe Lefevre, still black with his gunpowder services, walking arm in arm with the white-stoled Archbishop. Poor Bailly comes upon the Foundling Children, sent to kneel to him ; and weeps.' Te Deum, our Archbishop officiating, is not only sung, but shot with blank cartridges. Our joy is boundless, as our wo threatened to be. Paris,

'

CONQUERING YOUR KING.

139

by her own pike and musket, and the valour of her own heart, has conquered the very wargods, to the satisfaction now of Majesty itself. A courier is, this night, getting under way for Necker: the People's Minister, invited back by King, by National Assembly, and Nation, shall traverse France amid shoutings, and the sound of trumpet and

timbrel.

Seeing which course of things, Messeigneurs of the Court Triumvirate, Messieurs of the dead-born Broglie-Ministry, and others such, consider to mount and ride. that their part also is clear Off, ye too-loyal off while it is yet time Broglies, Polignacs, and Princes of the Blood Did not the Palais-Royal in its late nocturnal violent motions,' set a specific price (place of payment not mentioned) on each of your heads ? With precautions, with the aid of pieces of cannon and regiments that it can be depended on, Messeigneurs, between the i6th night and the 17th morning, get to their several roads. Not without Prince Cond6 has (or seems to have) risk men galloping at full with a view, it is thought, to fling him into the river Oise, at speed Pont-Sainte-Mayence.* The Polignacs travel disguised friends, not servants, on their coach-box. Broglie has his own difficulties at Versailles, runs his own risks at Metz and Verdun does nevertheless get safe to Luxemburg, ind there rests. This is what they call the First Emigration; determined on, as. appears, in full Court-conclave his Majesty assisting prompt he, for his share of it, to follow any counsel whatsoever. 'Three Sons of France, and four Princes of the blood of Saint Louis,' says Weber, could not more effectually humble the Burghers of Paris than by appearing to withdraw in fear of their life.' Alas, the Burghers of Paris bear it with unexpected Stoicism The Man d'Artois indeed is gone but has he carried, for example, the Land d'Artois with him ? Not even Bagatelle the Country-house (which shall be useful as a Tavern) hardly the four-valet Breeches, leaving the Breeches-maker As for old Foulon, one learns that he is dead at least a sumptuous funeral is going on the undertakers honouring him, if no other will. Intendant Berthier, his son-in-law, is still living lurking he joined Besenval, on that Eumenides' Sunday appearing to treat it with levity and is now fled no man knows whither.
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The Emigration is not gone many miles. Prince Cond6 hardly across the Oise, when his Majesty, according to arrangement, for the Emigration also thought it might do good, undertakes a rather daring enterprise that of visiting Paris in person. With a Hundred Members of Assembly with small or no military escort, which indeed he dismissed at the Bridge of Sevres, poor Louis sets out leaving a desolate Palace a Queen weeping, the Present, the Past and the Future all so unfriendly

:

;

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for her.

At the Barrier of Passy, Mayor Bailly, in grand gala, presents him with the keys harangues him, in Academic style ; mentions that it is • Weber, ii. 126.
;

I40
;

THE THIRD ESTATE.

a great day that in Henri Quatre's case, the King had to make conquest of his People, but in this happier case, the People makes conquest of its King {a conquis son Rot), The King, so happily conquered, drives forward, slowly, through a steel people, all silent, or shouting only Vive la Nation; is harangued at the Townhall, by Moreau of the three thousand orders, by King's Procureur M. Ethys de Corny, by Lally To!Iendal, and others knows not what to think of it, or say of it learns that he is Restorer of French Liberty,' as a Statue of him, to be raised on the site of the Bastille, shall testify to all men. Finally, he is shewn at the Balcony, with a Tricolour cockade in his hat is greeted now, with vehement acclamation, from Square and Street, from all windows and roofs and so drives home again amid glad mingled and, as it were, intermarried shouts, of Vive le Roi and Vive la Nation wearied but safe.
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balls hung over us, in mid air it but Friday, and 'the Revolution is sanctioned,' An August National Assembly shall make the Constitution and neither foreign Pandour, domestic Triumvirate, with levelled Cannon, Guy-Faux powderplots (for that too was spoken of) nor any tyrannic Power on the Earth, or under the Earth, shall say to it. What dost thou ? So jubilates the people sure now of a Constitution. Cracked Marquis Saint-Huruge is heard under the windows of the Chateau ; murmuring sheer npecula*
It
:

was Sunday when the red-hot

is

now

;

;

;

tive-treason.*

CHAPTER
The

IX,

THE LANTERN E,
Fall of the Bastille may be said to have shaken all France to the deepest foundations of its existence. The rumour of these wonders with the natural speed of Rumour with an effect flies every where Did d'Orleans or thought to be preternatural, produced by plots. Laclos, nay did Mirabeau (not overburdened with money at this time) send riding Couriers out from Paris to gallop on all radii,' or highways, towards all points of France ? It is a miracle, which no penetrating man
:
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;

will call in question.!

Already in most Towns, Electoral Committees were met

;

to regret

Necker, in harangue and resolution. In many a Town, as Rennes, Caen, Lyons, an ebullient people was already regretting him in brickbats and musketry. But now, at every Town's-end in France, there do arrivCj men,' as men will arrive nay men on horsein these days of terror, These men declare, with back,' since Rumour oftenest travels riding. alarmed countenance. The Brigands to be coming, to be just at hand and do then ride on, about their further business, be what it might Whereupon the whole population of such Town, defensively flies to arms. Petition is soon thereafter forwarded to National Assembly in such peril and terror of peril, leave to organise yourself cannot be withheld the armed population becomes every where an enrolled National * Campan, ii. 46-64, f Toulongeon (i. 95) Webor, etc. etCi

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THE LANTERNE.
:

141

Guard. Thus rides Rumour, careering along all radii, from Paris outwards, to such purpose in few days, some say in not many hours, Singular, but all France to the utmost borders bristles with bayonets. miraculous or not undeniable, But thus may any chemical liquid, though cooled to the freezin-g-point, or far lower, still continue liquid and then, on the slightest stroke or shake, it at once rushes wholly into ice. Thus has France, for long months and even years, been chemically dealt with brought below zero and now, shaken by the Fall of & Bastille, it instantaneously congeals into one crystallised mass, of sharp-cutting steel Guai a chi la tocca; 'Ware who touches it

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In Paris, an Electoral Committee, with a new Mayor and General, is urgent with belligerent workmen to resume their handicrafts. Strong Dames of the Market {Dames de la Halle) deliver congratulatory harangues present bouquets to the Shrine of Sainte Genevieve. UnenroUed men deposit their arms, not so readily as could be wished and receive nine francs.' With Te Deums, Royal Visits, and sanctioned Revolution, there is halcyon weather weather even of preternatural brightness the hurricane being overblown. Nevertheless, as is natural, the waves still run high, hollow rocks retaining their murmur. We are but at the 22nd of the month, hardly above a week since the Bastille fell, v/hen it suddenly appears that old Foulon is alive nay, that he is here, in early morning, in the streets of Paris the extortioner, the plotter, who would make the people eat grass, and was a liar from the beginning The deceptive It is even so. sumptuous funeral (of some domestic that died) the hiding-place at Vitry towards Fontainbleau have not availed that wretched old man. Some living domestic or dependant, for none loves Foulou, has betrayed him to the Village. Merciless boors of Vitry unearth him pounce on him, like hell-hounds Westward, old Infamy to Paris, to be judged at the H6tel-de-Ville His old head, which seventy-four years have bleached, is bare they have tied an emblematic bundle of grass on his back a garland of nettles and thistles is round his neck in this manner led with ropes goaded on with curses and menaces, must he, with his old limbs, sprawl forward ; the pitiablest, most Mnpitied of all old men. Sooty Saint-Antoine, and every street, musters its crowds as he passes the Hall of the H6tel-de-Ville, the Place de Greve itself, will scarcely hold his escort and him. Foulon must not only be judged righteously but judged there where he stands, without any delay. Appoint seven judges, ye Municipals, or seventy-and-seven name them yourselves, or we will name them but judge him * Electoral rhetoric, eloquence of Mayor Bailly, is wasted, for hours, explaining the beauty of the Law's delay. Delay, and still delay Behold, O Mayor of the People, the morning has worn itself into noon and he is still unjudged Lafayette, pressingly sent for, arrives gives voice This Foulon, a known man, is guilty almost beyond doubt but may he not have accomplices ? Ought not the truth to be cunningly pumped
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* Hlstoire Parlementaire,

ii.

146-9.

t42

THE THIRD ESTATE.

out of him,

claps hands
1

— in the Abbaye Prison —at which handclapping,
?
;

It is

a

new
!

light

1

Sansculottism

they understand one Destiny would have it) also claps. another " cries dark Sansculottism, blazing into fury of suspicion. " Friends," said a person in good clothes,' stepping forward, " what is the use of judging this man? Has he not been judged these thirty years ? " With wild yells, Sansculottism clutches him, in its hundred hands he is whirled across the Place de Greve, to the Lanterned Lamp-iron which there is at the corner of the Rue de la Vannerie pleading bitterly for life, to the deaf winds. Only with the third rope (for two ropes broke, and the quavering voice still pleaded), can he be so much as got hanged His Body is dragged through the streets amid his Head goes aloft on a pike, the mouth filled with grass sounds as of Tophet, from a grass-eating people.* O mad Surely if Revenge is a kind of Justice,' it is a wild kind Sansculottism, hast thou risen, in thy mad darkness, in thy soot and rags unexpectedly, like an Enceladus, living-buried, from under his Trinacria ? They that would make grass be eaten do now eat grass, After long dumb-groaning generations, has the turn in this manner ? suddenly become thine ? To such abysmal overturns, and frightful instantaneous inversions of the centre-of-gravity, are human Solecisms the more liable, the falser (and topall liable, if they but knew it heavier) they are \
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Foulon " See

(in his fainness, as his

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To add to the horror of Mayor Bailly and his Municipals, word comes that Berthier has also been arrested ; that he is on his way hither from Compiegne. Berthier, Intendant (say Tax-levier) of Paris sycophant and tyrant ; forestaller of Corn contriver of Camps against the people accused of many things is he not Foulon's son-in-law ; and, in that one point, guilty of all ? In these hours, too, when Sansculottism has its The shuddering Municipals send one of their number to blood up
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!

escort him, with mounted National Guards. At the fall of day, the wretched Berthier, still wearing a face oi with the Municipal courage, arrives at the Barrier in an open carriage beside him five hundred horsemen with drawn sabres unarmed footPlacards go brandishing round him men enough not without noise bearing legibly his indictment, as Sansculottism, with unlegal brevity, Paris is come forth to meet him with in huge letters,' draws it up.f hand-clappings, with windows flung up with dances, triumph-songs, this also meets as of the Furies. Lastly, the Head of Foulon him on a pike. Well might his look become glazed,' and sense fail Nevertheless, be the rxan's conscience what it may, him, at such sight At the H6tel-de-Ville, he will answer nothing. his nerves are of iron. He says he obeyed super'or orders they have his papers they may
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^ 'II a void le Rio et la France (He robbed the King and France).' 'He He was the slave of the rich and the devoured the substance of th@ People.' He betrayed lyrant of the poor.' He drank the blood of the widow and orphan.' See Deux Amis, ii 67-73. his country.'
' '

Deux Amis de

la Liberty,

ii.

60-6.

'

THE LANTERKE.

143

judge and determine: as for himself, not having closed an eye these two nights, he demands, before all things, to have sleep. Leaden Guards rise with him, in motion sleep, thou miserable Berthier towards the Abbaye. At the very door of the H6tel-de-Ville, they are clutched flung asunder, as by a vortex of mad arms Berthier whirls He snatches a musket fells and strikes, towards the Lanterne. defending himself like a mad lion he is borne down, trampled, hanged, mangled his Head too, and even his Heart, flies over the City on a
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coule est-il done si pur?" asks Barnave intimating that the Gallows, though by irregular methods, has its own. Thou thyself, O Reader, when thou turnest that corner of the Rue de la Vannerie, and discernest still that same grim Bracket of old Iron, wilt not want for reflections. Over a grocer s shop,' or otherwise with a bust of Louis XIV. in the niche under it,' or now no longer in the niche, // still sticks there ; still holding out an ineffectual light, of fish-oil and has iseen worlds wrecked, and say;? nothing. But to the eye of enlightened Patriotism, what a thunder-cloud was this ; suddenly shaping itself in the radiance of the halcyon weather 1 Cloud of Erebus blackness betokening latent electricity without limit.
;

pike. Horrible, in in Lands that

Lands that had known equal justice had never known it. " Le sang qui

1

Not so unnatural

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General Lafayette throw up their commissions, in an indignant manner need to be flattered back again. The cloud disappears, as thunder-clouds do. The halcyon weather returns, though of a grayer complexion of a character more and more evidently not
Bailly,
;

Mayor

;

supernatural.

Thus, in any case, with what rubs soever, shall the Bastille be abolished from our Earth and with it, Feudalism, Despotism and, one hopes, Scoundrelism generally, and all hard usage of man by his brother man. Alas, the Scoundrelism and hard usage are not so easy of abolition But as for the Bastille, it sinks day after day, and month after month its ashlars and boulders tumbling down continually, by express order of our Pvlunicipals. Crowds of the curious roam through its caverns gaze on the skeletons found vvalled-up, on the otibliettes, iron-cages, monstrous stone-blocks with padlock chains. One day we discern Mirabeau there along with the Genevese Dumont.* Workers and onlookers make reverent way for him fling verses, flowers on his path, Bastille-papers and curiosities into his carriage, with
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Able Editors compile Books from the Bastille Archives ; from what of them remain unburnt. The Key of that Robber-Den shall cross the Atlantic shall lie on Washington's hall-table. The great Clock ticks now in a private patriotic Clockmaker's apartment no longer measuring hours of mere heaviness. Vanished is the Bastille, what we call vanished: the body, or sandstones, of it hanging, in benign metamorphosis, for centuries to come, over the Seine waters, as Pont Lnvis
;

;

*

Dumont

:

Souvenirs sur Mirabeau, p. 305.

144

'I'HF.

THIRD ESTATE.
perhaps
still

Seize* the soul men.

q\

it

living

longer, in the aiemories

fti

ye august Senators, with your Tennis-Court Oaths, your and impetus, your sagacity and pertinacity, have ye brought us. " And yet think, Messieurs," as tlie Petitioners justly urged, " you who were our saviours, did yourselves need saviours," the brave Bastillers, namely workmen of Paris many of them in straitened pecuniary circumstances t Subscriptions are opened Lists are formed, more accurate than Elie's harangues are delivered. A Body of Bastille Heroes, tolerably complete, did get together; comparable to the Argonauts hoping to endure like them. But in little more than a year, the whirlpool of things threw them asunder again., and they sank. So many highest superlatives achieved by man are followed by new higher and dwindle into comparatives and positives The Siege of the Bastille, weighed with which, in the Historical balance, most other sieges, including that of Troy Town, are gossamer, cost, as we find, in killed and mortally wounded, on the part of the Besiegers, some Eightythree persons on the part of the Besieged, after all that straw-burning, fire-pumping, and deluge of musketry, One poor solitary Invalid, shot stone-dead {roide-mori) on the battlements X The Bastille Fortress, like the City of Jericho, was overturned by miraculous sound.
far,

So

inertia

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* Dulaure Histoire de Paris, viii. 434, tMoniteur Stance du Samedi 18 juillet 1789
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(in

Histoire Parlementaire,

ii.

137)i

Dusauk

:

Prise de la Bastille, p. 447. &c.

BOOK VL CONSOLIDATION.
CHAPTER
I.

MAKE THE CONSTITUTION.

Here perhaps is the place to fix, a little more precisely, what the^e two words, French Revolution, shall mean; for, strictly considered, they may have as many meanings as there are speakers of them. All things are in revolution; in change from moment to moment, which becomes sensible from epoch to epoch in this Time- World of ours there is properly nothing else but revolution and mutation, and even Revolution, you answer, means speedier nothing else conceivable. change. Whereupon one has still to ask How speedy ? At what degree of speed in what particular points of this variable course, which varies in velocity, but can never stop till Time itself stops, does revolution begin and end cease to be ordinary mutation, and again becomes such ? It is a thing that will depend on definition more or
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less arbitrary.

For ourselves we answer that French Revolution means here the open violent Rebellion, and Victory, of disimprisoned Anarchy against corrupt worn-out Authority how Anarchy breaks prison bursts up from the infinite Deep, and rages uncontrollable, immeasurable, envelop: ;

in phasis after phasis of fever-frenzy 'till the frenzy burning itself out, and what elements of new Order it held (since all Force holds such) developing themselves, the Uncontrollable be got, if not reimprisoned, yet harnessed, and its mad forces made to work towards their object as sane regulated ones. For as Hierarchies and Dynasties of all kinds, Theocracies, Aristocracies, Autocracies, Strumpetocracies, have ruled over the world so it was appointed, in the decrees of Providence, that this same Victorious Anarchy, Jacobinism, Sansculottisra, French Revolution, Horrors of French Revolution, or what else mortals name it, should have its turn. The 'destructive wrath of Sansculottisra this is wliat we speak, having unhappily no
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ing a world

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voice for singing. Surely a great stepping all rules

nay it is a transcendental one, overand experience the crowning Phenomenon of our Modern Time. For here again, most unexpectedly, comcj antique Fanaticism in new and newest vesture \ miraculous, as ail Fanaticisn;
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Phenomenon

/40
Is.

CONSOLIDATION.
'

Call it the Fanaticism of making away with formulas, de hunter Us formules' The world of formulas, the formed regulated world, vvliich all habitable world is, must needs hate such Fanaticism like death and be at deadly variance with it. The world of formulas must conquer it or failing that, must die execrating it, anathematising it can nevertheless in nowise prevent its being and its having been. Th( Anathemas are there, and the miraculous Thing is there Whence it cometh ? Whither it goeth ? These are questions When the age of Miracles lay faded into the distance as an incredible tradition, and even the age of Conventionalities was now old and Man's Existence had for long generations rested on mere formulas ivhich were grown hollow by course of time; and it seemed as if no Reality any longer existed but only Phantasms of realities, and God's Universe were the work of the Tailor and Upholsterer mainly, and

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that went about becking and grimacing a sudden, the Earth yawns asunder, and amid Tartarean smoke, and glare of fierce brightness, rises Sansculottism, manyheaded, fire-breathing, and asks: What think ye of me? Well may the buckram masks start together, terror-struck into expressive wellconcerted groups It is indeed. Friends, a most singular, most fatal thing. Let whosoever is but buckram and a phantasm look to it ill verily may it fare with him here methinks he cannot much longer be. also to many a one who is not wholly buckram, but partially real and human The age of Miracles has come back Behold the WorldPhoenix, in fire-consummation and fire-creation wide are her fanning wings loud is her death-melody, of battle-thunders and falling towns skyward lashes the funeral flame, enveloping all things it is the DeathBirth of a World
there,

men were buckram masks

—on

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Whereby, however, as we often say, shall one unspeakable blessing seem attainable. This, namely: that Man and his Life rest no more on hollowness and a Lie, but on solidity and some kind of Truth. Welcome, the beggarliest truth, so it be one, in exchange for the royallest sham Truth of any kind breeds ever new and better truth thus hard
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granite rock will crumble down into soil, under the blessed skyey influences and cover itself with verdure, with fruitage and umbrage. But as for Falsehood, which, in like contrary manner, grows ever .felser, what can it, or what should it do but decease, being ripe decompose itself, gently or even violently, and return to the Father of it, too probably in flames of fire ? Sansculottism will burn much but what is incombustible it will not burn. Fear not Sansculottism recognise it for what it is, the portentous inevitable end of much, the miraculous beginning of much. One other thing thou mayest understand of it that it too came from God for has it not been ? From of old, as it is written, are His goings forth in the great Deep of things fearful and wonderful now as in the beginning in the whirlwind also He speaks and the wrath of men is made
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to praise

Him.
is

and what

gauge and measure called account for it, and reduce
to

— But

;

this
it

to a

immeasurable Thing, dead logic-formula,

MAKE THE
attempt not
1

CONSTITUTION.

Hi

less shall thou shriek thyself hoarse, cursing it As an actually for that, to all needful lengths, has been already done. existing Son of Time, look, with unspeakable manifold interest, oftenest in silence, at what the Time did bring therewith edify, instruct,
:

Much

nourish thyself, or were
thee.

it

but

amuse and

gratify thyself, as

it

is

given

Another question which at every new turn will rise on us, requiring ever new reply, is this Where the French Revolution specially ts ? In the King's Palace, in his Majesty's or her Majesty's managements, and maltreatments, cabals, imbecilities and woes, answer some few whom we do not answer. In the National Assembly, answer a large mixed multitude who accordingly seat themselves in the Reporter's Chair and therefrom noting what Proclamations, Acts, Reports, passages of logic-fence, bursts of parliamentary eloquence seem notable within doors, and what tumults and rumours of tumult become audible from without, produce volume on volume and, naming it History of the French Revolution, contentedly publish the same. To do the like, to almost any extent, with so many Filed Newspapers, Choix des Rapports, Histoire Parlementaries as there are, amounting to many horseloads, were easy for us. Easy but unprofitable. The National Assembly, named now Constituent Assembly, goes its course making the Constitution but the French Revolution also goes its course. In general, may we not say that the French Revolution lies in the heart and head of every violent-speaking, of every violent-thinking French Man ? How the Twenty-five Millions of such, in their perplexed combination, acting and counter-acting may give birth to events which event successively is the cardinal one and from what point of Which problem vision it may best be surveyed this is a problem. the best insight, seeking light from all possible sources, shifting its point of vision whithersoever vision or glimpse of vision can be had, may employ itself in solving; and be well content to solve in some tolerably approximate way. As to the National Assembly, in so far as it still towers eminent over France, after the manner of a car-born Carroccio, though now no longer and rings signals for retreat or for advance, it is and in the van continues a reality among other realities. But in so far as it sits making the Constitution, on the other hand, it is a fatuity and chimera mainly. Alas, in the never so heroic building of Montesquieu-Mably card-castles, though shouted over by the world, what interest is there ? Occupied in that way, an august National Assembly becomes for us little other than a Sanhedrim of Pedants, not of the gerund-grinding, yet of no fruitfuUer sort and its loud debating!: ^nd recriminations about Rights of Man, Right of Peace and War, Veto suspensif. Veto absolu, what are they but so many Pedant's-curses, May God confound you for your Theory of Irregular Verbs !'
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A Constitution can be built, Constitutions enough the frightful difficulty is that of getting men to come

a la Sieyes; but and live in them.

148

CONSOLIDATION.
:

Could Sicyes have drawn thunder and Hghtning out of Heaven to sanction his Constitution, it had been well but without any thunder ?
true that without some such celestial sanction, given visibly in thunder or invisibly otherwise, no Constitution can in the long run be worth much more than the wastepaper it is written on. The ConstiUition, the set of Laws, or prescribed Habits of Acting, that men will live under, is the one which images their Convictions, their Faith as to this wondrous Universe, and what rights, duties, capabilities they have there which stands sanctioned, therefore, by Necessity itself if not by a seen Deity, then by an unseen one. Other Laws, whereof there are always enough ready-Tm.d&, are usurpations which men do not obey, but rebel against, and abolish, by

Nay,

strictly considered,

is

it

not

still

:

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;

their earliest convenience.

The question
for rebellers

of questions accordingly were,

Who
; ;

is it that,

especially

and abolishers, can make a Con?.;tution ? He that can image forth the general Belief when there is one that can impart one v/hen, as here, there is none, A most rare man ever, as of old a godmissioned man Here, however, in defect of such transcendant supreme man, Time with its infinite succession of merely superior men, each yielding his little contribution, does much. Force likewise (for, as Antiquarian Philosophers teach, the roj'al Sceptre was from the first something of a Hammer, to crack such heads as could not be
!

all along find somewhat to do. And thus in perpetual reparation, rending and mending, with struggle and strife, with present evil and the hope and effort towards future good, must the Constitution, as all human things do, build itself forward or unbuild itself, and sink, as it can and may, Sieyes, and ye other Committee-men, and Twelve Hundred miscellaneous individuals from all parts of France What is the Belief of France, and yours, if ye knew it ? Properly that there shall be no Belief ; that all formulas be swallowed. The Constitution which will suit that ? Alas, too clearly, which also, in due season, shall be a No-Constitution, an Anarchy

convinced) will

abolition

and

;

O

!

>

;

vouchsafed you.
But, after
;

all,

Consider only

this,

what can an unfortunate National Assembly do ? that there are Twelve Hundred miscellaneous

individuals not a unit of whom but has his own thinking-apparatus, In every unit of them is some belief and his own speaking-apparatus 1 wish, different for each, both that France should be regenerated, and also that he individually should do it. Twelve Hundred separate Forces, yoked miscellaneously to any object, miscellaneously to all sides of it ; and bid pull for life ! Or is it the nature of National Assemblies generally to do, with

Are Representative Governbottom T5Tannies too? Shall we say, the Tyrants, the ambitious contentious Persons, from all corners of the country do, and there, with motion in this manner, get gathered into one place and counter-motion, with jargon and hubbub, cancel one another, like the fabulous Kilkenny Cats; and produce, for net-result, zero; the country meanwhile governing or guiding itself, by such wisdom, recogments mostly
at
;

endless labour and clangour, Nothing?

THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY.

149

msed, or for most part unrecognised, as may exist in individual heads here and there? Nay, even that were a great improvement: for, of old, with their Guelf Factions and Ghibelline Factions, with their Red Roses and White Roses, they were wont to cancel the whole country Besides they do it now in a much narrower cockpit within as well. the four walls of their Assembly House, and here and there an out-post

;

of Hustings

and Barrel-heads do it with tongues too, not with swords which improvements, in the art of producing zero, are they not great ? Nay, best of all, some happy Continents (as the Western one, with its Savannahs, where whosoever has four willing limbs finds food under his feet, and an infinite sky over his head) can do without which the distracted world, in governing. What Sphinx-questions these very generations, must answer or die
;

all

;

I

CHAPTER

II.

THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, One thing an elected Assembly of Twelve Hundred is fit ing. Which indeed is but a more decided exercise of its
for

for

:

Destroy;

natural talent

Doing Nothing. Do nothing, only keep agitating, debating and things will destroy themselves. So and not otherwise proved it with an august National Assembly. It took the name, Constituent, as if its mission and function had been to construct or build which also, with its whole soul, it endeavoured to do yet, in the fates, in the nature of things, there lay for it precisely of Singular, what Gospels men all functions the most opposite to that. It was the will believe; even Gospels according to Jean Jacques! fixed Faith of these National Deputies, as of all thinking Fren-chmen, that the Constitution could be made; that they, there and then, were called to make it. How, with the toughness of old Hebrews or Ishmaelite Moslem, did the otheru'ise light unbelieving People persist in this their Credo quia impossible ; and front the armed world with it and grow fanatic, and even heroic, and do exploits by it The Consti tuent Assembly's Constitution, and several others, will, being printea and not manuscript, survive to future generations, as an instructive well-nigh incredible document of the Time the most significant picture of the then existing France or at lowest. Picture of these men's Picture of it. But in truth and seriousness, what could the National Assembly have done ? The thing to be done was, actually as they said, to regenerate France to abolish the old France, and make a new one ; quietly or forcibly, by concession or by violence, this by the Law of Nature, has become inevitable. With what degree of violence, depends on the v/isdom of those that preside over it. With perfect wisdom on the part of the National Assembly, it had all been otherwise but whether, in any wise, it could have been pacific, nay other than bloody and convulsive, may still be a question.
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Grant, meanwhile, that this Constituent

Assembly does

to the last

ISO

CONSOLIDA TION.

continue to be something.

With a sigh, it sees itself incessantly forced divine task, of perfecting ' the Theory of Irregular Verbs,' to finite terrestrial tasks, which latter have still a significance for us. It is the cynosure of revolutionary France, this National Assembly. All work of Government has fallen into its hands, or under all men look to it for guidance. In the middle of that huge its control Revolt of Twenty-five millions, it hovers always aloft as Carroccio or Battle-Standard, impelling and impelled, in the most confused way; if It emits it cannot give much guidance, it will still seem to give some. pacificatory Proclamations, not a few with more or with less result. It authorises the enrolment of National Guards, lest Brigands come It sends missions to quell to devour us, and reap the unripe crops. ' eflfervescences It can listen to to deliver men from the Lanterne. congratulatory Addresses, which arrive daily by the sackful mostly in King Cambyses' vein also to Petitions and complaints from all mortals ; so that every mortal's complaint, if it cannot get redressed, may at least hear itself complain. For the rest, an august National
away from

its infinite

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Assembly can produce Parliamentary Eloquence and appoint Committees. Committees of the Constitution, of Reports, of Researches and of much else which again yield mountains of Printed Paper the theme of new Parlimentary Eloquence, in bursts or in plenteous smooth-fliowing floods. And so, from the waste vortex whereon all things go whirling and grinding, Organic Laws, or the similitude of
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such, slowly emerge. written down and With endless debating, we get the Rights of promulgated true paper basis of all paper Constitutions. NeglectForgetting, ing, cry the opponents, to declare the Duties of Man answer we, to ascertain the Mights of Man ;— one of the fatalest omissions Nay sometimes, as on the Fourth of August, our National Assembly, fired suddenly by an almost preternatural enthusiasm, will memorable night, get through whole masses of work in one night. Peers, Dignitaries temporal and spiritual this Fourth of August Archbishops, Parlement-Presidents, each outdoing the other in patriotic devotedness, come successively to throw their (untenable) possessions on the altar of the fatherland.' With louder and louder they abolish Tithes, vivats, for indeed it is after dinner' too, nay. Seignorial Dues, Gabelle, excessive Preservation of Game then appoint a Te Privilege, Immunity, Feudalism root and branch Deum for it and so, finally, disperse about three in the morning, striking the stars with their sublime heads. Such night, unforeseen but forevermemorable, was this of the Fourth of August 1789. Miraculous, new Night of Pentecostj or semi-miraculous, some seem to think it. shall we say, shaped according to the new Time, and new Church o( an Jacques Rousseau ? It had its causes also its effects.

Man

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Theory of Irregular Verbs; governing France, and being governed by ancient intolerable bonds: it; with toil and noise ;— cutting asunder
and, for

In such

manner labour

the National Deputies; perfecting their

new

ones, assiduously spinning ropes of sand.

Were

their

THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY.

151

labours a nothing or a something, yet the eyes of all France being reverently fixed on them, History can never very long leave them altogether out of sight. For the present, if we glance into that Assembly-Hall of theirs, it As many as a hundred will be found, as is natural, most irregular.' no rule in making motions, or only members are on their feet at once commencements of a rule Spectators' Gallery allowed to applaud, and even to hiss * President, appointed once a fortnight, raising man} times no serene head above the waves. Nevertheless, as in all humar Assemblages, like does begin arranging itself to like the perennial Rudiments of Methods rule, Udi homines stmt modi sunt, proves valid. rudiments of Parties. There is a Right Side disclose themselves (Cote Droit), a Left Side {Cote Gai/che); sitting on M. le President's the Cote Droit conservative the Cote Gauche right hand, or on his left destructive. Intermediate is Anglomaniac Constitutionalism, or Twochamber Royalism with its Mouniers, its Lallys, fast verging towards nonenity. Pre-eminent, on the Right Side, pleads and perorates Cazales, the Dragoon-captain, eloquent, mildly fervent earning for himself the shadow of a name. There also blusters Barrel-Mirabeau, the Younger Mirabeau, not without wit dusky d'Espremenil does nothing but sniff and ejaculate; might, it is fondly thought, lay proswhich he does trate the Elder Mirabeau himself, would he but try,t not. Last and greatest, see, for one moment, the Abbe Maury with his Jesuitic eyes, his impassive brass face, image of all the cardinal sins.' Indomitable, unquenchable, he fights jesuitico-rhetorically with toughest lungs and heart for Throne, especially for Altar and Tithes. So that a shrill voice exclaims once, from the Gallery: " Messieurs of the Clergy, you have to be shaved if you wriggle too
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will get cut."t
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derisively,

Left side is also called the d'Orleans side and sometimes, the Palais Royal. And yet, so confused, real-imaginary everything, 'it is doubtful,' as Mirabeau said, whether d'Orleans
'

himself belong to that same d'Orleans Party.' What can be known and seen is, that his moon-visage does beam forth from that point of space. There likewise sits seagreen Robespierre throwing in his light weight, with decision, not yet with effect. A thin lean Puritan and Precisian he would make away with formulas yet lives, moves, and has his being, wholly in formulas, of another sort. Peuple,' such according to Robespierre, ought to be the Royal method of promulgating Laws, Peuple, this is the Law I have framed for thee dost thou accept it ? answered, from Right side, from Centre and Left, by inextinguishable laughter. § Yet men of insight discern that the Seagreen may by chance go far: "this man," observes Mirabeau, * will do somewhat he believes every word he says." Abb6 Sieyes is busy with mere Constitutional work: wherein,
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Arthur Young,

i.

in.

t Biographic Universelle, § d'Espr^m^nil (by Beatilisn), i Dictionnaire des Homines Marquans, ii, 519. B Moniteur, No. 67 (in Hist, Pari.).

152
unluckily,

CONSOLIDATION.

fellow-workmen are less pliable than, with one who has completed the Science of Polity, they ought to be. Courage, Si eyes nevertheless Some twenty months of heroic travail, of contradiction from the stupid, and the Constitution shall be built the top-stone of it brought out with shouting, say rather, the top-paper, for it is all Paper and thou hast done in it what the Earth or the Heaven could require, thy utmost. Note likewise this Trio memorable for several things memorable were it only that their history is written in an epigram whatsoever these Three have in hand,' it is said, Duport thinks it, Barnave speaks it, Lanieth does it.' * But royal Mirabeau ? Conspicuous among all parties, raised above and beyond them all, this man rises more and more As we often saj', he has an eye, he is a reality; while others are formulas and eyeglasscs. In the Transient he will detect the Perennial find some firm footing even among Paper-vortexes. His fame is gone forth to all gladdened the heart of the crabbed old Friend of Men lands it himself before he died. The very Postilions of inns have heard of Mirabeau when an impatient Traveller complains that the team is insufficient, his Postilion answers, " Yes, Monsieur, the wheelers are weak but my mirabeau (main horse), you see, is a right one, mats
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viirabeau est excellefitJ' f

And now, Reader, thou shalt quit this noisy Discrepancy of a not (if thou be of humane mind) without pity. National Assembly Twelve Hundred brother men are there, in the centre of Twenty-five fighting so fiercely with Fate and with one another Millions struggling their lives out, as most sons of Adam do, for that \"hich profiteth not. Nay, on the whole, it is admitted further to be very dhll, " Why date, Pourquoi " Dull as this day's Assembly," said some one. " answered Mirabeau. dater? Consider that they are Twelve Hundred that they not only speak, but read their speeches and even borrow and steal speeches to read With Twelve Hundred fluent speakers, and their Noah's Deluge of vociferous commonplace, silence unattainable may well seem the one But figure Twelve Hundred pamphleteers droning blessing of Life. and no man to gag them Neither, as in the forth perpetual pamphlets American Congress, do the arrangements seem perfect. A Senator has not his own Desk and Newspaper here of Tobacco (much less of Pipes) u.ere is not the slighest provision. Conversation itself must be only pencil transacted in a low tone, with continual interruption in incredible numbers to the foot of the veiy Notes circulate freely Such work is it, regenerating a Nation perfecting one's tribune.t Theory of Irregular ^'erbs
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* See Toulongeon, i. c. 3. IDumont Souvenirs sur Mirabeau, p. 255. See Dumont (pp. 159-67) Arthur Young, &c,
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THE GENERAL OVERTURN,

153

CHAPTER
Of
be

III.

THE GENERAL OVERTURN.
the King's Court, for the present, there is almost nothing whatever Silent, deserted are these halls said. Royalty languishes forsaken of its war-god and all its hopes, till once the GIlil-de-Boeuf rally again. The sceplre is departed from King Louis is gone over to the Salle des Menus, to the Paris Townhall, or one knows not whither. Tn the July days, while all ears were yet deafened by the crash of the Bastille, and Ministers and Princes were scattered to the four winds, it seemed as if the very Valets had grou-n heavy of hearing. Besenval, also in flight towards Infinite Space, but hovering a little at Versailles, was addressing his Majesty personally for an Order about post-horses; when, lo, the Valet in waiting places himself familiarly between his Majesty and me,' stretching out his rascal neck to learn what it was His Majesty, in sudden choler, whirled round made a clutch at the tongs I gently prevented him he grasped my hand in thankfulness and I noticed tears in his eyes.' * Poor King; for French Kings also are menl Louis Fourteenth himself once clutched the tongs, and even smote with them but then ran up. The Queen sits it was at Louvois, and Dame Maintenon weeping in her inner apartments, surrounded by weak women she is at the height of unpopularity universally regarded as the evil genius of France. Her friends and familiar counsellors have all fled and fled, surely, on the foolishest errand. The Chateau Polignac still frowns aloft, on its 'bold and enormous cubical rock,' amid the blooming champaigns, amid the blue girdling mountains of Auvergne t but no Duke and Duchess Polignac look forth from it they have fled, they have met Necker at Bale they shall not return. That France should see her Nobles resist the Irresistible, Inevitable, with the face of angry men, was unhappy, not unexpected but with the face and sense of pettish children ? This was her peculiarity. They understood nothing would understand nothing. Does not, at this hour, a new Polignac, first-born of these Two, sit reflective in the Castle of Ham ;% in an astonishment he will never recover from the most confused of existing
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in this

King Louis has his new Ministry mere Popularities Old-President Necker, coming back in triumph and other such.§ But avail him ? As waj said, the sceptre, all but the wooden
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gilt sceptre,

has departed elsev* hither. Volition, determination is not only innocenca indolence dependence on all persons but himself, on all circumstances but the circumstances he were lord of. So troublous internally is our Versailles and its work. Beautiful, if seen from afar, resplendent like a Sun seen near at hand, a mere Sun's-Atmosphere, hiding darkness, confused ferment of ruin I

man

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J A.D.

1835.
il.

§ Montgaillard,

io3.

1 54

CONSOLIDA TION.
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But over France, there goes on the indisputablest 'destruction of
transaction of reahties that follow therefrom. So many persons, all gj^ed, and nigh strangled, with formulas whose Life nevertheless, at least the digestion and hunger of it, was real enough Heaven has at length sent an abundant harvest but what profits it the poor man, when Earth with her formulas interposes ? Industry, in these times of insurrection, must needs lie dormant capital, as usual, not circulating, but stagnating timorously in nooks. The poor man is short of work, is therefore short of money nay, even had he money, bread is not to be bought for it. Were it plotting of Aristocrats, plotting of d'Orleans were it Brigands, preternatural terror, and the clang of Phoebus Apollo's silver bow, enough, the markets are scarce of grain, plentiful only in tumult. Farmers seem lazy to thresh being either bribed or needing no bribe, with prices ever rising, with perhaps rent itself no longer so pressing. Neither, what is singular, do municipal enactments, That along with so many measures of wheat you shall sell so many of rye,' and other the like, much mend the matter. Dragoons with drawn swords stand ranked among the corn-sacks, often more dragoons than sacks.* Meal-mobs abound growing into mobs of a still darker quality. Starvation has been known among the French Commonalty before this; known and familiar. Did we not see them, in the year 1775, presenting, in sallow faces, in wretchedness and raggedness, their Petition of Grievances and, for answer, getting a brand-new Gallows forty feet high ? For Hunger and Darkness, through long years look back on that earlier Paris Riot, when a Great Personage, worn out and by debauchery, was believed to be in want of Blood-baths Mothers, in worn raiment, yet with living hearts under it, filled the public places with their wild Rachael-cries, stilled also by the Gallows. Twenty years ago, the Friend of Men (preaching to the deaf) described the Limousin Peasants as wearing a pain-stricken {soujfredouleur) look,' a look past complaint, as if the oppression of the great were like the hail and the thunder, a thing irremediable, the ordinance of Nature.' t And now if in some great hour, the shock of a falling Bastille should awaken you and it were found to be the ordinance of Art merely and remediable;, reversible Or has the Reader forgotten that flood of savages,' which, in sight of the same Friend of Men, descended from the mountains at Mont d'Or ? Lank-haired haggard faces shapes rawboned, in high sabots ; in woollen jupes, with leather girdles, studded with copper nails ! They rocked from foot to foot, and beat time with their elbows too, as the quarrel and battle which was not long in beginning went on ; shouting fiercely the lank faces distorted into the similitude of a cruel laugh. For they were darkened and hardened long had they been the prey of excise-men and tax-men of clerks with the cold spurt of their pen.' It was the fixed prophecy of our old Marquis, which no
torraulas
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'such Government by
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* Arthxir Young, J. 129, etc. t Fils Adoptif : M^moirss de Mirabeau,

3(^4-39^

THE GENERAL OVERTURN.
Btumbiing along too
bute
far,

155

would end by the General Overturn, the Culeach went his thoughtless

Generalef
listen,

No man would

way

;

— and

Time

Blind-man's-buff, stumbling along, has reached the precipice inevitable for it. Dull Drudgery, driven on, by clerks with the cold dastard spurt of their pen, has been driven into a Communion of Drudges For now, moreover, there have come the strangest confused tidings by Paris Journals with their paper wings or still more portentous, where no Journals are,* by rumour and conjecture Oppression not inevitable a Bastille prostrate, and the Constitution fast getting ready Which Constitution, if it be something and not nothing, what can it be but bread to eat ? The Traveller, walking up hill, bridle in hand,' overtakes a poor woman the image, as such commonly are, of drudgery and scarcity looking sixty years of age, though she is not yet twenty-eight.' They have seven children, her poor drudge and she a farm, with one cow, which helps to make the children soup also one little horse, or garron. They have rents and quit-rents. Hens to pay to this Seigneur, Oatsacks to that King's taxes, Statute-labour, Church-taxes, taxes enough ; and think the times inexpressible. She has heard that somew/iere, " God send it in some manner, something is to be done for the poor soon for the dues and taxes crush us down (nous ecrascent) " f Fair prophecies are spoken, but they are not fulfilled. There have been Notables, Assemblages, turnings out and comings in. Intriguing and manoeuvring Parliamentary eloquence and arguing, Greek meeting Greek in high places, has long gone on yet still bread comes not. The harvest is reaped and garnered yet still we have no bread. Urged by despair and by hope, what can Drudgery do, but rise, as predicted, and produce the General Overturn ? Fancy, then, some Five full-grown Millions of such gaunt figures, with their haggard faces {figures haves) in woollen jupes, with copperstudded leather girths, and high sabots, starting up to ask, as in forestroarings, their washed Upper-Classes, after long unreviewed centuries, virtually this question How have ye treated us how have ye taught us, fed us, and led us, while we toiled for you ? The answer can be read in flames, over the nightly summer-sky. This is the feeding and leading we have had of you: Emptiness,— of pocket, of stomach, of head, and of heart. Behold there \s nothing in us nothing but what Nature gives her wild children of the desert Ferocity and Appetite

and Destiny also travelled on.

The Government by

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Strength grounded on Hunger. Did ye mark among your Rights of Man, that man was not to die of (Starvation, while there was bread reaped by him ? It is among the Mights «f Man. Seventy-two Chiteuus have flamed aloft in the Maconnais and Beauthis seems the centre of the conflagration ; but it has jolais alone spread over Dauphin§, Alsace, the Lyonnais; the whole South-East All over the North, from Rouen to Metz, disorder is is in a blaze. abroad smugglers of salt go openly in armed bands the barriers of towns are burnt ; toll-gatherers, tax-gatherers, official persons put to • Su Arthur Young, i. 137, 150, &c, t Ibid. i. 134.
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flight.
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CONSOLIDATION.
It
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was thought,' says Young, the people, from hunger, would and we see they have done it. Desperate Lackalls, long prowling aimless, now finding hope in desperation itself, everywhere form a nucleus. They ring the Church bell by way of tocsin and the Parish turns out to the work.* Ferocity, atrocity hunger and revenge :
revolt
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we can imagine stands it now with tiie Seigneur, who, for example, 'has walled up the only Fountain of the Township;' who has ridden high on his chartier and parchments who has preserved Game not wisely but too Churches also, and Canonries, are sacked, without mercy which well. have shorn the flock too close, forgetting to feed it. to the land over which Sansculottism, in its day of vengeance, tramps roughshod, Highbred Seigneurs, with their delicate women and shod in sabots little ones, had to fly half-naked,' under cloud of night glad to escape the flames, and even worse. You meet them at the tables-d' hOie of inns making wise reflexions or foolish, that 'rank is destroyed; uncertain whither they shall now wend.f The metayer will find it convenient to be slack in paying rent. As for the Tax-gatherer, he, long hunting as a biped of prey, may now get hunted as one his Majesty's Exchequer it is the notion of many that will not fill up the Deficit,' this season a Patriot Majesty, being the Restorer of French Liberty has abolished most taxes, though, for their private ends, some men make a secret of it. Where this will end ? In the Abyss, one may prophesy whither all Delusions, are, at all moments, travelling where this Delusion has now For if there be a Faith, from of old, it is this, as we often arrived. repeat, that no Lie can live for ever. The very Truth has to change its But all Lies have senvesture, from time to time and be born again. tence of death written down against them, in Heaven's Chancery itself; The and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards their hour. sign of a Grand Seigneur being landlord,' says the vehement plainspoken Arthur Young, are wastes, landes, deserts, ling go to his residence, you will find it in the middle of a forest, peopled with deer, wild boars and wolves. The fields are scenes of pitiable management, as the houses are of misery. To see so many millions of hands, that O, if I were legislator of would be industrious, all idle and starving France, for one day, I would make these great lords skip again J O Arthur, thou now actually beholdest them skip wilt thou grow to grumble at that too? For long years and generations it lasted, but the time came. Featherbrain, whom no reasoning and no pleading could touch, the glare of the firebrand had to illuminate: there remained but that The widow is gathering nettles for method. Consider it, look at it her children's dinner a perfumed Seigneur, delicately lounging in the OEil-de-Boeuf, has an alchemy whereby he will extract from her the
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name
But,
Pari.
X

it

O most
ii.

Rent and Law: such an arrangement must Let those, to fearful is such an ending
I

Su Hist.

243-6.
1.

t See Young,
12, 48, 84, et

i. I/J9,

&c-

Arthur Young,

THE GENERAL OVERTURN,
v/hora God, in his great mercy, has granted time another and milder one.

157

and space, prepare

To some it is a matter of wonder that the Seigneurs did not do somefor there were a thing to help themselves ; say, combine, and arm hundred and fifty thousand of thera all valiant enough. Unhappily, a hundred and fifty thousand, scattered over wide Provinces, divided by mutual ill-will, cannot combine. The highest Seigneurs, as we have with a view ol putting France to the seen, had already emigrated, blush. Neither are arms now the peculiar property of Seigneurs but of every mortal who has ten shillings, wherewith to buy a secondhand
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Besides, those starving Peasants, after all, have not four feet and claws, that you could keep them down permanently in that manner. They are not even of black colour: they are mere Unwashed SeigThe Seigneurs did neurs and a Seigneur too has human bowels fled, with shrieks, enrolled in National Guards what they could complaining to Heaven and Earth. One Seigneur, famed Memmay of Quincey, near Vesoul, invited all the rustics of his neighbourhood to a and blew up his Chateau and them with gunpowder banquet instantaneously vanished, no man yet knows whither.* Some halfdozen years after, he came back; and demonstrated that it was by accident. Nor are the Authorities idle though unluckily, all Authorities, Municipalities and such like, are in the uncertain transitionary state getting regenerated from old Monarchic to new Democratic no Official yet knows clearly what he is. Nevertheless, Mayors old or new do gather Afarechaiissees, National Guards, Troops of the line justice, of the most summary sort, is not wanting. The Electoral Committee of Macon, though but a Committee, goes the length of hanging, for behoof, as many as twenty. The Prevot of Dauphine its own traverses the country with a movable column,' with tipstaves, gallowsfor gallows any t'-^ will serve, and suspend its culprit, or ropes thirteen culprits. Unhappy country How is the fair gold-and-green of the ripe bright Year defaced with horrid blackness black ashes of Chateaus, black bodieo of gibbeted Men Industry has ceased in it not sounds of the hammer and saw, but of the tocsin and alarm-drum. The sceptre has departed, whither one knows not breaking itself in pieces bs'"'impotent, there tyrannous. National Guards are unskilful and tn doubtful purpose Soldiers are inclined to mutiny there is danger that they two may quarrel, danger that they may agree. Strasburg has seen riots a Townhall torn to shreds, its archives scattered white on the winds drunk soldiers embracing drunk citizens for three days, and Mayor Dietrich and Marshal Rochambeau reduced nigh to desperation.f Through the middle of all which phenomena, is seen, on his triumph! ;


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ii.

161.
i,

t Arthur Young,
105-127.

141.—Dampmartin

Ev&emena

qui se sent pass6s sous mea

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58
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CONSOLIDA TION.
escorted,* through Effort for instance, by fifty National and all the military music of the place,' M. Necker, returning
'

ant transit,

Horsemen
from Bale
!

Glorious as the meridian though poor Necker himsell partly guesses whither it is leading.* One highest culminating day, at the Paris Townhall; with immortal vivats, with wife and daughter kneeling publicly to kiss his hand with Besenval's pardon granted, but indeed revoked before sunset: one highest day, but then lower Such magic is in a name days, and ever lower, down even to lowest and in the want of a name. Like some enchanted Mambrino's Helmet, beshouted, beessential to victory, comes this Saviour of France cymballed by the world alas, so soon, to be ^wenchanted, to be pitched shamefully over the lists as a Barber's Bason Gibbon could wish to shew him (in this ejected, Barber's-Bason state) to any man of solidity, who were minded to have the soul burnt out of him, and become a caput motiuum, by Ambition, unsuccessful or successful, f Another small phasis we add, and no more how, in the Autumn
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months, our sharp-tempered Arthur has been pestered for some days past,' by shot, lead-drops and slugs, rattling five or six times into my all the mob of the country gone out to kill chaise and about my ears Game \\ It is even so. On the Cliffs of Dover, over all the Marches of France, there appear, this autumn, two signs on the Earth emigrant emigrant winged flights of French Game flights of French Seigneurs Finished, one may say, or as good as finished, is the Preservation of Game on this Earth completed for endless Time. What part // had to i)lay in the History of Civilisation is played plaudite; exeat
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saw, on the Fourth of August, that semi-miraculous Night of Pentecost in the National Assembly semimiraculous, which had its causes, and its effects. Feudalism is struck dead not on parchment only, and by ink but in very fact, by fire say, by self-combustion. This conflagration of the South-East will abate extinguish it will will be got scattered, to the West, or elsewhither not, till ihQftiel be all done.
rest,

—producing, among the
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In this

manner does Sansculottism blaze
as

up, illustrating

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CHAPTER

IV,

IN QUEUE,

If we look now at Paris, one thing is too evident that the Bakers' shops have got their Queues, or Tails their long strings of purchasers, arranged ht tail, so that the first come be the first served, were the This waiting in tail, not seen since the early days of shop once open In time, we shall see it j"uly, again makes its appearance in August. perfected by practice to the rank almost of an art and the art, or quasiart, of standing in tail become one of the characteristics of the Parisian People, distinguishing them from all other Peoples whatsoever,
: ;

!

;

• Biography Universelle, % Necker {by Lally-Tollendal). J Young, i. 176. t Gibbon's Lettejj,

IN QUEUE.
But consider, while work
;

159

itself is

so scarce,

how

a

man must

not

only realise money but stand waiting (if his wife is too weak to wait and struggle) for half-days, in the Tail, till he get it changed for dear bad Controversies, to the length sometimes of blood and battery, bread must arise in these eyasperated Queues. Or if no controversy, then it is but one accordant Pange Lingtta of complaint against the Powers France has begun her long Curriculum of Hungering, instructhat be.
1

tive and productive beyond Academic Curriculums which extends over some seven most strenuous years. As Jean Paul says, of his own Life,
;

'to a great height shall the business of Hungering go.' Or consider, in strange contrast, the jubilee Ceremonies;

for,

in

Paris presents these two features jubilee ceremonials and scarcity of victual. Processions enough walk in jubilee; of Young Women, decked and dizened, their ribands all moving with song and tabor, to the Shrine of Sainte Genetricolour vieve, to thank her that the Bastille is down. The Strong Men of the Market, and the Strong Women, fail not with their bouquets and speeches. Abbe Fauchet, famed in such work (for Abbe Lefevre could only distribute powder) blesses tricolour cloth for the National Guard and makes it a National Tricolour Flag victorious, or to be victorious, in the cause of civil and religious liberty all over the world. Fauchet, we Bay, is the man for Te-Deu7ns, and public Consecrations to which, as in this instance of the Flag, our National Guard will reply with * volleys of musketry,' Church and Cathedral though it be filling Notre Dame with such noisiest fuliginous Ainen, significant of several things. On the whole, we will say our new Mayor Bailly, our new Commander Lafayette named also Scipio-Americanus,' have bought their preferment dear. Bailly rides in gilt state-coach, with beef-eaters and
general, the

aspect of

:

;

;

;

;


'

;

;

'

Bumptuosity

;

Camille Desmoulins, and others, sniffing at him for
'

it

Scipio bestrides the white charger,' and waves with civic plumes in Bight of all France. Neither of them, however, does it for nothing but, in truth, at an exorbitant rate. At this rate, namely of feeding Paris, and keeping it from fighting. Out of the City-funds, some seventeen thousand of the utterly destitute are employed digging on Montmartre, at ten pence a day, which buys them, at market price, almost two pounds of bad bread they look very yellow, when Lafayette goes to harangue them. The Townhall is in travail, night and day it must bring forth Bread, a Municipal Constitution, regulations of all kinds, curbs on the Sansculottic Press; above all, Bread, Bread. Purveyors prowl the country far and wide, with the appetite of lions detect hidden grain, purchase open grain by gentle means or forcible, must and will find grain. A most thankless task and so difficult, so dangerous, even if a man did gain some trifle by it On the 19th of August, there is food for one day.f Complaints there are food is spoiled, and produces an effect on the intestines Ihat the not corn but plaster-of-Paris Which effect on the intestines, as well as that smarting in the throat and palate,' a Townhall Proclamation
: :

;

;

;

;

!

:

!

'

• See Hist. Pari.

iii.

20.

— Mercier
ii,

:

Nouveau

Paris, etc.

t

Su

Bailly

:

M^moires,

137-409.

i6a

CONSOLIDATION.

wains you to disregard, or even to consider as drastic-beneficial. The Mayor of Saint-Denis, so black was his bread, has, by a dyspeptic populace, been hanged on the Lanterne there. National Guards protect the Paris Corn-Market first ten suffice then six hundred.* Busy are ye, Bailly, Brissot de Warville, Condorcet, and ye others For, as just hinted, there is a Municipal Constitut'on to be made too.
:

;

1

old Bastille Electors, after some ten days of psalmodying ovel their glorious victory, began to hear it asked, in a splenetic tone. put yon there ? They accordingly had to give place, not without moanings, and audible growlings on both sides, to a new larger Body, Which new Body, augmented, specially elected for that post.

The

Who

altered, then fixed finally at the
title

number

of Three Hundred, unth the
;

of Town Representatives (Representans de la Commune), now sits rightly portioned into Committees assiduous making a Conthere
;

stitution

;

at all

moments when not seeking
; !
'

flour.
:

a Constitution little short of miraculous one that shall • The Revolution is finished, then ? consolidate the Revolution Mayor Bailly and all respectable friends of Freedom would fain think so. Your Revolution, like jelly sufficiently boiled, needs only to be therein ? consolidated poured into shapes, of Constitution, and Could it, indeed, contrive to cool ; which last, however, is precisely the doubtful thing, or even the not doubtful They Unhappy Friends of Freedom consolidating a Revolution must sit at work there, their pavilion spread on very Chaos between tVv'O hostile worlds, the Upper Court-world, the nether Sansculottic one and, beaten on by both, toil painfully, perilously,— doing, in sad
' ' ;

And such

1

;

;

literal earnest,

'

the impossible.'

CHAPTER

V.

THE FOURTH ESTATE.
Pamphleteering opens its abysmal throat wider and wider never to close more. Our Philosophes, indeed, rather withdraw after t!ie manner of Marmontel, retiring in disgust the first day.' Abbe Raynal, grown gray and quiet in his Marseilles domicile, is little content with this work the last literary act of the man will again be an act of
:
;
'

;

rebellion; an indignant Letter to the Constituent Assembly ; answered by the order of the day.' Thus also Philosophe Morellet puckers discontented brows being indeed threatened in his benefices by that astonishing that Fourth of August it is clearly going too far. those 'haggard figures in woollen jupes' would not rest as satisfied with Speculation, and victorious Analysis, as we Alas, yes Speculation, Philosophism, once the ornament and wealth of the saloon, will now coin itself into mere Practical Propositions, and Fourth circulate on street and highway, universally ; with results 1 Estate, of Able Editors, springs up increases and multiplies ; irrepresNew Printers, new Journals, and ever new (so sible, incalculable.
' ;
:

How

:

A

;

prurient

is

the world), let our Three Hundred curb • Hist. Pari. ii. 421,

and consolidate aa

THE FOURTH ESTATE.
{h^y can!

^^i

Loustalot, under the wing of Prudhorame dull-blustering printer, edits weekly his Revolutions de Paris ; in an acrid, emphatic tianner. Acrid, corrosive, as the spirit of sloes and copperas, is Marat, Friend of tkt People ; struck already with the fact that the National Assembly, so full of Aristocrats, can do nothing,' except dissolve itself, and make way for a better that the Townhall Representatives are Poor is little other than babblers and imbeciles, if not even knaves. a man unlovely to the sense, this man; squalid, and dwells in garrets and is becoming fanatical, a man forbid outward and inward Did Nature, possessed with fixed-idea. Cruel lusus of Nature poor Marat, as in cruel sport, knead thee out of her leavings, and niiscellaneous waste clay; and fling thee forth, stepdame-like, a DisWork is appointed traction into this distracted Eighteenth Century ? thee there which thou shalt do. The Three Hundred have summoned and will again summon Marat but always he croaks forth answer always he will defy them, or elude them ; and endure no sufficient gagEx-secretarj' of a decapitated Hospodar,' and then of a Carra, Necklace-Cardinal likewise Pamphleteer, Adventurer in many scenes and lands, draws nigh *o Mercier, of the Tableau de Paris ; and, with foam on his lips, proposes an An7iahs Pafriotiques. The Moniteicr roes its prosperious way; Barriere 'weeps,' on Paper as j'Ct loyal; Deep calls to deep: yonr Domine Salvwn Rivarol, Royou are not idle.
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shall awaken Range Lingua; with an Ami-du-Peuple a Ki7ig'l- Friend Newspaper, Avii-du-Roi. Camilla Desmoulins has appointed himself Procureur-General de la Lanferne, Attorneyand pleads, not with atrocity, under an General of the Lamp-iron editing weekly his brilliant Revolutions of Paris a7id atrocious title Brnhant. Brilliant, we say for if, in that thick murk of Journalism, with its dull blustering, with its fixed or loose fury, any ray of genius The thing that Camille touches, he greet thee, be sure it is Camille's. with his little finger, adorns brightness plays, gentle, unexpected, amid horrible confusions often is the word of Camille worth reading, when no other's is. Questionable Camille, how thou glitterest with a fallen,

Fac Regem
there
is

;

;

:

:

;

rebellious, yet

still

of Lucifer

1

Son
I

semi-celestial light as is the star-light on the brow of the Morning, into what times and what lands, tra
;
;

thou fallen

things is good though not good for consolidating Thousand wagon-loads of this Pamphleteering and Revolutions.' Newspaper matter, lie rotting slowly in the Public Libraries of />ur Europe. Snatched from the great gulf, like oysters by bibliomaniac pearl-divers, there must they first rot, then what was pearl, in Camille or others, may be seen as such, and continue as such.

But

in

all

'

Nor has public speaking declined, though Lafayette and his Patrols look sour on it. Loud always is the Palais Royai, loudest the Caf6 de Foy such a miscellany of Citizens and Citizenesi es circulating there. Now and then,' according to Camille. some Citizens employ tlie so t^Nat this or the other liberty of the press for a private purpose
;
'
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i6a

CONSOLIDATICN.

Patriot finds himself short of his watch or pocket-handkerchief I ' %n\ for the rest, in Camille's opinion, nothing can be a livelier image of the Roman Forum. Patriot proposes his motion ; if it finds any supporters, they make him mount on a chair, and speak. If he is applauded, he prospers and redacts if he is hissed, he goes his ways.' Thus they, circulating and perorating. Tall shaggy Marquis SaintHuruge, a man that has had losses, and has deserved them, is seen Bellowing' is the character of his voice, like eminent, and also heard. that of a Bull of Bashan voice which drowns all voices, which causes frequently the hearts of men to leap. Cracked or half-cracked is this tall Marquis's head ; uncracked are his lungs ; the cracked and the uncracked shall alike avail him. Consider further that each of the Forty-eight Districts has its own Committee ; speaking and motioning continually aiding in the search for grain, in the search for a Constitution ; checking and spurring the poor Three Hundred of the Townhall. That Danton, with a 'voice reverberating from the domes,' is President of the Cordeliers District which has already become a Goshen of Patriotism. That apart from the 'seventeen thousand utterly necessitous, digging on Montmartre,' most of whom, indeed, have got passes, and been dismissed into Space 'with four shillings,' there is a sttike, or union, of Domestics out of place who assemble for public speaking next, a strike of Tailors, for even they will strike and speak ; further, a strike of Journeymen Cordwainers a strike of Apothecaries so dear is bread.* All these, haviag struck, must speak generally under the open canopy and pass Lafayette and his Patrols watching them suspiciously r -.solutions from the distance. Unhappy mortals such tugging, and lugging, and throttling of one another, to divide, in some not intolerable way, the joint Felicity of man in this Earth when the whole lot to be divided is such a feast of shells/' Diligent are the ihree Hundred; none equals Scipio Americanus in dealing with mobs. But surely all these things bode ill for the consolidating of a Revolution,
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* Histoire Parkmentaire,

15

355. ^577, 4*3,

VII. THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
CHAFTER
PAT
I.
1

BOOK

ROLLOT

S

M

.

Do not Friends, this Revolution is not of the consolidating kind all embodifires, fevers, sown seeds, chemical mixtures, men, events ments of Force that work in this miraculous Complex of Forces, named Universe, go on growing, through their natural phases and developments, each according to its kind reach their height, reach their visible They finally sink under, vanishing, and what we call die ? decline all grow; there is nothing but what grows, and shoots forth into its once give it leave to spring. Observe too that each special expansion, grows with a rapidity proportioned, in general, to the madness and unhealthiness there is in it slow regular growth, though this also ends in death, is what we name health and sanity. A Sansculottism, which has prostrated Bastilles, which has got pike and musket, and now goes burning Chateaus, passing resolutions and haranguing under roof and sky, may be said to have sprung and, by law of Nature, must grow. To judge by the madness and diseasedness both of itself, and of the soil and element it is in, one might expect Uie rapidity and monstrosity would be extreme. Many things, too, especially all diseased things, grow by shoots and The first grand fit and shooting forth of Sansculottism was that fits. for Bailly's figure of rhetoric was ail-too of Paris conquering its King sad a reality. The King is conquered going at large on his parole on which, in these circumcondition, say, of absolutely good behaviour, A quite untenable stances, will unhappily mean no behaviour whatever. Alas, is it not position, that of Majesty put on its good behaviour! natural that whatever lives try to keep itself living? Whereupon his and so the Majesty's behaviour will soon become exceptionable Second grand Fit of Sansculottism, that of putting him in durance, No
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is making moan, as usual, about and Customhouses burnt the Taxgatherer hunted, not hunting his Majesty's Exchequer all but empty. The remedy is a Loan of thirty millions then, on still more enticing terms, a Loan of eighty millions neither of which Loans, unhappily, will the Stork-

cannot be distant. Necker, in the National Assembly,
;

his Deficit: Barriers

;

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:

l64

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.

jobbers venture to lend. The Stockjobber has no country, except his own black pool of Agio. And yet, in those days, for men that have a country, what a glow of penetrating inwards to the very patriotism burns in many a heart purse So early as the 7th of August, a Don Patriotique, Patriotic Gift of jewels to a considerable extent,' has been solemnly made by and solemnly accepted with honourable certain Parisian women mention. Whom forthwith all the world takes to imitating and emuPatriotic Gifts, alwaj'S with some heroic eloquence, which the lating. President must answer and the Assembly listen to, flow in from far and near in such number that the honourable mention can only be performed in lists published at stated epochs.' Each gives what he can the very cordwainers have behaved munificently one landed proprietor gives a forest fashionable society ^ives its shoebuckles, takes cheerUnfortunate-females give what they have amassed fully to shoeties. in loving.' * The smell of all cash, as Vespasian thoui^ht, is good. The Clergy mr st be 'invited' to Beautiful, and yet inadequate! melt their superfluous Church-plate, in the Royal Mint. Nay finally, a Patriotic Contribution, of the forcible sort, must be idetermined on, though unwillingly: let the fourth part of your declared yearly revenue, so shall a National Assembly make for this once only, be paid down Their own the Constitution, undistracted at least by insolvency. wages, as settled on the 17th of August, are but Eighteen Francs a day, but the Public Service must have sinews, must have each man money. To appease the Deficit; not to combler, or choke, the Deficit,' For withal, as Mirabeau was heard saj-ing, if you or mortal could " it is the Deficit that saves us."
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'

!

Towards the end
tional labours,

of August, our National

Assembly

in its constitu-

has got so far as the question of Veto: shall Majesty have a Veto on the National Enactments or not have a Veto ? VVTiat speeches were spoken, within doors and without clear, and also passionate logic imprecations, comminations gone happily, for most Through the cracked brain, and uncracked lungs of part, to Limbo Saint-Huruge, the Palais Royal rebellows with Veto. Journalism is busy, my I shall never forget,' says Dumont, France rings with Veto. going to Paris, one of those days, witli Mirabeau and the crowd of people we found waiting for his carriage, about Le 'Jay the Bookseller's shop. They flung themselves before him; conjuring him with tears They were in a frenzy in their eyes not to suffer the Veto Ahsolu. "Monsieur le Comte, you are the people's father, you must save us; you must defend us against those villains who are bringing back Despotism. If the King get this Veto, what is the use of National Assembly? We are slaves; all is done."'t Friends, ?/ the sky fall, Mirabeau, adds Dumont, was eminent there will be catching of larks on such occasions he answered vaguely, with a l*atrician imperturbability, and bound himself to nothing. Deputatiojis go to the H6tel-de-Ville anonymous Letters to Aristo; ; ;

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:

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* Histoire Parlementaire,

ii.

427.

t Souvenirs sur Mirabeau, p. 156.

PATROLLOTISM.
'

t55

crats in the National Assembly, threatening that fifteen thousand, or sometimes that sixty thousand, will march to illuminate you.' The Petitions signing Saint-Huruge sets forth Paris Districts are astir from the Palais Royal with an escort of fifteen hundred individuals, to Resolute, or seemingly so, is the tall shaggy Marquis, petition in person. is the Cafe de Foy but resolute also is Commandant-General Lafayette. The streets are all beset by Patrols Saint-Huruge is stopped at the Baniere des Bons Hommes ; he may bellow like the bulls of Bashan but absolutely must return. The brethren of the Palais Royal circulate all night,' and make motions, under the open canopy all CoffeeNevertheless Lafayette and the Tovvnhall do houses being shut. prevail: Saint-Huruge is thrown into prison; Veto Absolu adjusts itself into Sttspensive Veto, prohibition not forever, but for a term of time ; and this doora's-clamour will grow silent, as the others huve
;

:

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done.

So far has Consolidation prospered, though with difficulty repressing and the Constitution shall be made. the Nether Sansculottic world With difficulty amid jubilee and scarcity Patriotic Gifts, Bakers'Abbe-Fauchet Harangues, with their \Ame7t of platoonqueues Scipio Americanus has deserved thanks from the National musketry Assembly and France. They offer him stipends and emoluments to a handsome extent all which stipends and emoluments he, covetous of far other blessedness than mere money, does, in his chivalrous way,
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without scruple, refuse.

To the Parisian common man, meanwhile, one thing remains inconceivable that now when the Bastille is down, and French Liberty restored, grain should continue so dear. Our Rights of Man are voted, Feudalism and all Tyranny abolished yet behold we stand in queue / a Court still bent on intrigues ? Something Is it Aristocrat forestallers
: ;

;

is rotten,

to do ? Lafayette, with his Patrols prohibits every thing, even complaint. Saint-Huruge and other heroes of tlie People's-Friend Marat was seized Veto lie in durance. Printers of Patriotic Journals are fettered and forbidden the very Hawkers cannot Blue National Guards cry, till they get license, and leaden badges. ruthlessly dissipate all groups scour, with levelled bayonets, the Palais Royal itself. Pass, on your affairs, along the Rue Taranne, the Patrol, p^senting his bayonet, cries. To the left ! Turn into the Rue Saint-Benoit, he cries. To the right! A judicious Patriot (like Camille Desmoulins, in this instance) is driven, for quietness' sake, to take the
yet, alas,
;

And

somewhere. what

;

;

gutter.

O

much-suffering People, our glorious Revolution
1
'

is

evaporating in

tricolour, ceremonies,

and complimentary harangues Of which latter, as Loustalot acridly calculates, upwards of two thousand have been delivered within the last month, at the Townhall alone.'* And out mouths, unfilled with bread, are to be shut, under penalties ? The Caricaturist promulgates his emblematic Tablature Le Patrotiillotisnu.
:

Rh)olution-de-Paris Newspaper (cited in Histoire Parlementaire,

ill.

357),

l66

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
;

chassant le Pairiotisme, Patriotism driven out by PatroIIotism. Ruthless Patrols long superfine harangues and scanty ill-baked loaves, more like baked Bath bricks, which produce an effect on the intestines 1 Where will this end ? In consolidation ?

;

CHAPTER
O
illCHARD, O

II.

MY

KING.

The For, alas, neither is the Tovvnhall itself without misgivings. Nether Sansculottic world has been suppressed hitherto but then the Symptoms there are that the CEil-de-Boeuf is Upper Court-world
:

!

rallying.

More than once in the Townhall Sanhedrim often enough from those outspoken Baker's-queues, has the wish uttered itself: O that our Restorer of French liberty were here that he could see with his own eyes, not with the false eyes of Queens and Cabals, and his really good intriguing For falsehood still environs him heart be enlightened Dukes de Guiche, with Bodyguards scouts of Bouille a new flight of intriguers, now that the old is flown. What else means this advent of the Regiment de Flandre ; entering Versailles, as we hear, on the 23rd of September, with two pieces of cannon ? Did not the Versailles National Guard do duty at the Chateau ? Had they not Swiss Hundred Swiss; Gardes-dn-Corps, Bodyguards so-called? Nay, it would seem, the number of Bodyguards on duty has, by a manoeuvre, been doubled the new relieving Battalion of them arrived at its time but the old relieved one does not depart! Actually, there runs a whisper through the best informed UpperCircles, or a nod still more portentous than whispering, of his Majesty's flying to Metz of a Bond (to stand by him therein), which has been signed by Noblesse and Clergy, to the incredible amount of thirty, Lafayette coldly whispers it, and coldly or even of sixty thousand.
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asseverates

it,

to

Count d'Estaing

at the Dinner-table

;

and d'Estaing

one of the bravest men, quakes to the core lest some lackey overhear it and tumbles thoughtful, without sleep, all night.* Regiment de Flandre, His Majesty, they say, hesitates about as we said, is clearly arrived. makes observations, of chilling sanctioning the Fourth of August Likewise, may not all persons, the tenor, on the very Rights of Man Bakers'-queues themselves discern, on the streets of Paris, the most astonishing number of Officers on furlough. Crosses of St. Louis, and such like ? Some reckon from a thousand to twelve hundred.' Officers of all uniforms nay one uniform never before seen by eye green The tricolour cockade is not alwaj^s visible but what, faced with red in the name of Heaven, may these black cockades, which some wear, foreshadow ? Hunger whets everything, especially Suspicion and Indignatioru Realities themselves, in this Paris, have grown unreal preternatural. Phantasms once more stalk through the brain of hungry France. O ye
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• Brouillon de Lettre de

M. d'Estaing k

la

Reine {in Histoire Parlementaire,

iii

.

24).

O RICHARD, O MY KING.

167

laggards and dastards, cry shrill voices from the Queues, if ye had the hearts of men, ye would take your pikes and secondhand firelocks, and look into it not leave your wives and daughters to be starved, murdered, The heart of man is bitter and heavy ; Peace, women and worse Patriotism, driven out by Patrollotism, knows not what to resolve on.
; I

I

The truth is, the (Eil-de-Boeuf has rallied ; to a certain unknown changed CEil-de-BcEuf with Versailles National Guards, in extent. a Court all flaring with their tricolour cockades, doing duty there tricolour Yet even to a tricolour Court men wiil rally. Ye loyal With wishes hearts, burnt-out Seigneurs, rally round your Queen ! which will produce hopes which will produce attempts ! For indeed self-preservation being such a law of Nature, what can a rallied Court do, but attempt and endeavour, or call it plot, with such v/isdom and unwisdom as it has ? They will fly, escorted, to Mctz, where brave Bouill6 commands they will raise the Royal Standard

A
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the Bond-signatures shall become armed men. Were not the King so languid Their Bond, if at all signed, must be signed without his Unhappy King, fie has but one resolution not to have a civil privity. war. For the rest, he still hunts, having ceased lockmaking he still dozes, and digests is clay in the hands of the potter. Ill will it fare with him, in a world where all is helping itself; where, as has been written, whosoever is not hammer must be stithy and the very hyssop on the wall grows there, in that chink, because the whole Universe could not prevent its growing But as for the coming up of this Regiment de Flandre, may it not be urged that there were Saint-Huruge Petitions, and continual mealmobs ? Undebauched Soldiers, be there plot, or only dim elements of a plot, are always good. Did not the Versailles Municipality (an old Monarchic one, not yet refounded into a Democratic) instantly second the proposal ? Nay the very Versailles National Guard, wearied with continual duty at the Chateau, did not object only Draper Lecointre, who is now Major Lecointre, shook his head. Yes, Friends, surely it was natural this Regiment de Flandre should be sent for, since it could be got. It was natural that, at sight of military bandoleers, the heart of the rallied (Eil-de-Boeuf should revive and Maids of Honour, and gentlemen of honour, speak comfortable words to epauletted defenders, and to one another. Natural also, and mere common civility, that the Bodyguards, a regiment of Gentlemen, should invite their Flandre brethren to a Dinner of welcome Such invitation, in the la^t days of September, is given and accepted. Dinners are defined as the ultimate act of communion men that can have communion in nothing else, can sympathetically eat together, can still rise into some glow of brotherhood over food and wine. The Dinner is fixed on, for Thursday the First of October and ought to have a fine effect. Further, as such Dinner may be rather extensive, and even the Noncommissioned and the Common man be introduced, to see and to hear, could not his Majesty's Opera Apartmci-it, which has lain quite silent ever since Kaiser Joseph was here, be obtained for the

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THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.

the Salon d'Hercule purpose ? The Hall of the Opera is granted shall be drawing-room. Not only the Officers of Flandre, but of the Swiss, of the Hundred Swiss nay of the Versailles National Guard, such of them as have any loyalty, shall feast it will be a Repast like
; ; :

few.

And now suppose this Repast, the solid part of it, transacted and Suppose the customary loyal toasts drunk the the first bottle over. King's health, the Queen's with deafening vivats that of the Nation rejected.' Suppose champagne flowing with potomitted,' or even valorous speech, with instrumental music empty feather heads growing ever the noisier, in their own emptiness, in each other's noise. Her Majesty, who looks unusually sad to-night (his Majesty sitting dulled with the day's hunting), is told that the sight of it would cheer her. Behold She enters there, issuing from her State-rooms, like the Moon from clouds, this fairest unhappy Queen of Hearts royal
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young Dauphin in her arms She descends from the Boxes, amid splendour and acclaim walks queenlike, round
side,
I ;

Husband by her
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the Tables gracefully escorted, gracefully nodding her looks full of sorrow, yet of gratitude and daring, with the hope of France on her mother-bosom And now the band striking up, O Richard, O mon Rot, lunivers fabandonne (O Richard, O my King, the world is all forsaking could man do other than rise to height oi pity, of loyal valour ? thee), Could featherheaded young ensigns do other than, by white Bourbon Cockades, handed them from fair fingers by waving of swords, drawn by trampHng of National Cockades by to pledge the Queen's health scaling the Boxes, whence intrusive murmurs may come by vociferation, tripudiation, sound, fury and distraction, within doors and without, Till chamtestify what tempest-tost state of vacuity they are in ? pagne and tripudiation do their work and all lie silent, horizontal passively slumbering with meed-of-battle dreams A natural Repast in ordinary times, a harmless one now fatal, as that of Thyestes as that of Job's Sons, when a strong wind smote Poor ill-advised Mariethe four corners of their banquet-house Antoinette with a woman's vehemence, not v^nth a sovereign's foreNext day, in public speech sight It was so natural, yet so unwise. of ceremony, her Majesty declares herself delighted with the Thurs; I

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heart of the (Eil-de-Boeuf glows into hope; into daring, which premature. Rallied Maids of Honour, waited on Dy Abbes, sew distribute them, with words, with glances, to white cockades epauletted youths who, in return, may kiss, not without fervour, the Captains of horse and foot go swashing with ?air sewing fingers. nay one Versailles National Captain has enormous white cockades mounted the like, so witching were the words and glances and laid Well may Major Lecointre shake his head with a aside his tricolour look of severity and speak audible resentful words. But now a swashbuckler, with enormous white cockade, overhearing the Major, and invites him insolently, once and then again elsewhere, to recant Which latter feat Major Lecointre declares that failing that, to duel.
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BLACK COCKADES.

169

he will not perform, not at least by any known laws f fence ; that he nevertheless will, according to mere law of Nature, by dirk and blade, exterminate any vile gladiator,' who may insult him or the Nation ; whereupon (for the Major is actually drawing his implement) they
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are parted,' and no weasands

slit.*

CHAPTER
BLACK

III.

COCKADES.

But fancy what effect this Thyestes Repast and trampling on the National Cockade, must have had in the Salle de Menus ; in the Nay such Thyestes Repasts, it famishing Bakers'-queues at Paris would seem, continue. Flandre has given its Counter-Dinner to the Swiss and Hundred Swiss then on Saturday there has been another. Yes, here with us is famine but yonder at Versailles is food, enough Patriotism stands in queue, shivering hungerstruck, and to spare while bloodyminded Aristocrats, heated with insulted by Patrollotism excess of high living, trample on the National Cockade. Can the Nay, look green uniforms faced with red black atrocity be true ? Are we to have military onfall and cockades, the colour of Night For behold the Corbeil Cornboat, which death also by starvation? used to come twice a-day, with its Plaster-of-Paris meal, now comes only once. And the Townhall is deaf and the men are laggard and dastard At the Cafe de Foy, this Saturday evening, a new thing is seen, not the last of its kind a woman engaged in public speaking. Her poor man, she says, was put to silence by his District their Presidents and Officials would not let him speak. Wherefore she here with her shrill tongue will speak denouncing, while her breath endures, the Corbeil Boat, the Plaster-of-Paris bread, sacrilegious Operadinners, green uniforms. Pirate Aristocrats, and those black cockades of theirs Truly, it is time for the black cockades at least, to vanish. Thert Patrollotism itself will not protect. Nay, sharp-tempered M. Tassin, at the Tuileries parade on Sunday morning, forgets all National military rule starts from the ranks, wrenches down one black cockade which ig swashing ominous there and tramples it fiercely into the soil of France Patrollotism itself is not without suppressed fury. Also the Districts begin to stir the voice of President Danton reverberates in the Cordeliers People's-Friend Marat has flown to Versailles and back again swart bird, not of the halcyon kind, f And so Patriot meets promenading Patriot, this Sunday and sees his own grim care reflected on the face of another. Groups, in spite ol Patrollotism, which is not so alert as usual, fluctuate deliberative groups on the Bridges, on the Quais, at the Patriotic Caf6s. And ever as any black cockade may emerge, rises the many-voiced growl and
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(in

Histoire Parlementaire,

iii.

59).

CampaD
taire,
iii.

—Deux

Amis

(iii.

128-141)

^,ii.

70-85), etc., etc,

t O^mille's Newspaper, Revolution de Paris et de Brabant (in Histoire Parlemcn*
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I70

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN,
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All black cockades are ruthlessly plucked off one individual picks his up again kisses it, attempts to refix it but a hundred canes start into the air,' and he desists. Still worse went doomed, by extempore Pkbisciium, to the it with another individual saved, with difficulty, by some active Corps-de-Garde. Lanterne Lafayette sees signs of an effervescence which he doubles his Patrols, doubles his diligence, to prevent. So passes Sunday, the 4th of October 1789. Sullen is the male heart, repressed by Patrollotism vehement is the female, irrepressible. The public-speaking woman at the Palais Royal was not the only speaking one: Men know not what the pantry is, when it grows empty, only house-mothers know. O women, wives of Patrollotism is strong but men that will only calculate and not act Death, by starvation and military onfall, is stronger. Patrollotism Will Guards represses male Patriotism but female Patriotism ?

bark
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thrust their bayonets into the bosoms of women? Such thought, or rather such dim unshaped raw-material of a thought, ferments universally under the female night-cap and, by earliest daybreak, on slight hint, will explode.

named National

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CHAPTER
If Voltaire once, in splenetic

IV.

THE MENADS.
humour, asked his countrymen " But you, Gualchcs, what have you invented ? " they can now answer The Art of Insurrection. It was an art needed in these last singular times an art for which the French nature, so full of vehemence, so free from depth, was perhaps of all others the fittest. Accordingly, to what a height, one may well say of perfection, has this branch of human industry been carried by France, within the last half-century Insurrection, which, Layfayette thought, might be 'the most sacred of duties,' ranks now, for the French people, among the Other mobs are dull masses which duties which they can perform. roll onwards with a dull fierce tenacity, a dull fierce heat, but emit no light-flashes of genius as they go. The French mob, again, is among the liveliest phenomena of our world, So rapid, audacious so clear-sighted, inventive, prompt to seize the moment instinct with life to its finger-ends That talent, were there no other, of spontaneously standing in queue, distinguishes, as we said, the French People from all Peoples, ancient and modern. Let the Reader confess too that, taking one thing with another, perhaps few terrestrial Appearances are better worth considering than mobs. Your mob is a genuine outburst of Nature issuing from, or communicating with, the deepest deep of Nature. When so much and under the stiff goco grinning and grimacing as a lifeless Formalit buckram no heart can be felt beating, here once more, if nowhere else, Shudder at it ; or even shriek over it, if is a Sincerity and Reality. Such a Complex of human nevertheless consider it. thou must
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TUB MENADS.

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forces and Individualities hurled forth, in their transcendental mood, to act and react, on circumstances and on one another ; to work out what it is in them to work. The thing they will do is known to no

man

It is the inflammablest immeasurable least of all to themselves. Fire-work, generating, consuming itself. With what phases, to what extent, with what results it will burn off, Philosophy and Perspicacity conjecture in vain. 'Man,' as has been written, 'is for ever interesting to man; nay properly there is nothing else interesting.' In which light also, may we not discern why most Battle-s have become so wearisome ? Battles, in these ages are transacted by mechanism with the slightest possible development of human individuality or spontaneity: men now even die, and kill one another, in an artificial manner. Battles ever since Homer's time, when they were Fighting Mobs, have mostly ceased to be worth looking at, worth reading of, or remembering. How many wearisome bloody Battles does History strive to represent or even, in a husky and she would omit or carelessly slur-over this one way, to sing Insurrection of Women ?
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of a thought, was fermenting all female head, and might explode. In squalid garret, on Monday morning Maternity awakes, to hear children weeping Maternity must forth to the streets, to the herb-markets and for bread. Bakers'-queues meets there with hunger-stricken Maternity, sympa-

A

thought,

or

dim raw-material

night, universally in the

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thetic, exasperative.

queues,

why

A lions /
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we unhappy women But, instead of Bakers'not to Aristocrats' palaces, the root of the matter? Let us assemble. To the H6tel-de-Ville ; to Versailles; to
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the Lanterne In one of the Guardhouses of the Quartier Saint-Eustache, a young woman seizes a drum, for how shall National Guards give fire on women, on a young woman ? The young woman seizes the drum sets forth, beating it, uttering cries relative to the dearth of grains.' Descend, O mothers descend, ye Judiths, to food and revenge All women gather and go crowds storm all stairs, force out all women the female Insurrectionary Force, according to Camille, resembles the English Naval one there is a universal Press of women.' Robust Dames of the Halle, slim Mantua-makers, assiduous, risen with the dawn ancient Virginity tripping to matins the Housemaid, with early broom all must go. Rouse ye, O women the laggard men will not act they say, we ourselves may act And so, like snowbreak from the mountains, for every staircase is a melted brook, it storms tumultuous, wild-shrilling, towards the Hdtelde-Ville. Tumultuous with or without drum-music for the Faubourg Saint-Antoine also has tucked up its gown and with besom-staves, fire-irons, and even rusty pistols (void of ammunition), is flowing on. Sound of it flies, with a velocity of sound, to the utmost Barriers. By seven o'clock, on this raw October morning, fifth of the month, the Townliall will see wonders. Nay, as chance would have it, a male party are already there ; clustorijig tumultuously round some National Patrol,

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THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.

and a Baker who has been seized with short weights. They are there and have even lowered the rope of the Lanterne. So that the of^ial persons have to smuggle forth the short-weighing Baker by back doors, and even send to all the Districts for more force. Grand it was, says Camille, to see so many Judiths, from eight to ten thousand of them in all, rushing out to search into the root of the matter Not unfrightful it must have been ludicro-terrific, and most unmanageable. At such hour the overwatched Three Hundred are not yet stirring none but some Clerks, a company of National Guards and M. de Gouvion, the Major-general. Gouvion has fought in America a man of no inconsiderable heart, but for the cause of civil Liberty deficient in head. He is, for the moment, in his back apartment assuaging Usher Maillard, the Bastille-sergeant, who has come, as too many do, with representations.' The assuagement is still incomplete
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the outer stairs, with levelled bayonets the ten thousand Judiths press up, resistless with obtestamerely to speak to the Mayor. The tions, with outspread hands, rear forces them nay, from male hands in the rear, sto-nes already fly the National Guard must do one of two things sweep the Place de Greve with cannon, or else open to right and left. They open the Through all rooms and cabinets, upwards to living deluge rushes in. the topmost belfry ravenous seeking arms, seeking Mayors, seeking while, again, the better-dressed speak kindly to the Clerks; justice; point out the misery of these poor women also their ailments, some even of an interesting sort.* Poor M. de Gouvion is shiftless in this extremity a man shiftless, perturbed who will one day commit suicide. How happy for him that Usher Maillard, the shifty, was there, at the moment, though making representations Fly back, thou shifty Maillard seek the Bastille Company and O return fast with it above all, with thy own shifty head For, behold, the Judiths can find no Mayor or Municipal scarcely, in the topmost belfry, can they find poor Abb6 Lefevre the Powder-distributor. Him, for want of a better, they suspend there over the top of all Paris, which swims in in the pale morning light a horrible end ? Nay, the rope broke, as French one's failing eyes ropes often did or else an Amazon cut it. Abb6 Lefevre falls, some and lives long years after, twenty feet, rattling among the leads though ahvays with a tremblenient in the limbs.' f And now doors fly under hatchets; the Judiths have broken the Armoury have seized guns and cannons, three money-bags, paperheaps torches flare in few minutes, our brave H6tel-de-Ville which dates from the Fourth Henry, will, with all that it holds, be in flames
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\

i/SHER MAILLARD.

173

CHAPTER

V.

USHER MAILLARD.
were it not that Usher Maillard, swiit of foot, shifty In flames, truly, of head, has returned Maillard, of his own motion, for Gouvion or the rest would not even sanction him, snatches a drum descends the Porch-stairs, To Verran-tan, beating sharp, with loud rolls, his Rogues'-march sailles Allans; d Versailles / As men beat on kettle or warmingpan, when angry she-bees, or say, flying desperate wasps, are to be hived and the desperate insects hear it, and cluster round it, simply as round a guidance, where there was none so now these Menads round The axe pauses upshifty Maillard, Riding-Usher of the Chatelet. lifted Abbe Lefevre is left half-hanged from the belfry downwards all vomits itself. What rub-a-dub is that ? Stanislas Maillard, Bastille hero, will lead us to Versailles? Joy to thee, Maillard; blessed art thou above Riding-Ushers Away, then, away The seized cannon are yoked with seized cart-horses brownlocked Demoiselle Th6roigne, with pike and helmet, sits there as gunneress,
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with haughty eye and serene fair countenance comparable, some Alaid of Orleans, or even recalling the idea of Pallas Athene.' * Maillard (for his drum still rolls) is, by heaven-rending Maillard hastens the languid march. acclamation, admitted General. Maillard, beating rhythmic, with sharp ran-tan, all along the Quais, leads forward, with difficulty, his Menadic host. Such a host marched The bargeman pauses on the River all wagoners and not in silence coach-drivers fly men peer from windows, not women, lest they be Bacchantes, in these ultimate Formalised pressed. Sight of sights Ages ! Bronze Henri looks on, from his Pont-Neuf the Monarchic Louvre, Medicean Tuileries see a day not theretofore seen. And now Maillard has his Menads in the Champs Elysees (Fields Tartarean rather) and the H6tel-de-Ville has suffered comparatively nothing. Broken doors an Abb6 Lefevre, who shall never more distribute powder three sacks of money, most part of which (for Sansculottism, though famishing, is not without honour) shall be returned t this is all the damage. Great Maillard A small nucleus of Order is round his drum but his outskirts fluctuate like the mad Ocean for Rascality male and female is flowing in on him, from the four winds guidance there is none but in his single head and two drumsticks.
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O Maillard, when, since War first was, had General of Force such a task before him, as thou this day ? Walter the Penniless still touches the feeling heart but then Walter had sanction had space to turn in and also his Crusaders were of the male sex. Thou, this day, disowned of Heaven and Earth, art General of Menads, Their inarticulate frenzy thou must, on the spur of the instant, render into articulate words, into
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157.

t Hist. Pari.

111.

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174

fHE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
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actions that are not frantic. Pragmatical Fail in it, this way or that I Officiality, with its penalties and law-books, waits before thee Menads storm behind. If such hewed off the melodious head of Orpheus, and hurled it into the Peneus waters, what may they not make of thee, Maillard thee rhythmic merely, with no music but a sheepskin drum did not fail. Remarkable Maillard, if fame were not an accident, and History a distillation of Rumour, how remarkable wert thou ! On the Elysian Fields there is pause and fluctuation ; but, for Maillard, no return. He persuades his Menads, clamorous for arms and the Arsenal, that no arms are in the Arsenal that an unarmed attitude, and petition to a National Assembly, will be the best: he hastily nominates or sanctions generalesses, captains of tens and fifties and so, in loosest-flowing order, to the rhythm of some eight drums (having laid aside his own), with the Bastille Volunteers bringing up his rear, once more takes the road. Chaillot, which will promptly yield baked loaves, is not plundered nor are the Sevres Potteries broken. The old arches of Sevres Bridge echo under Menadic feet Seine River gushes on with his perpetual murmur ; and Paris flings after us the boorn of tocsin and alarmdrum, inaudible, for the present, amid shrill-sounding hosts, and the splash of rainy weather. To Meudon, to Saint-Cloud, on both hands, the report of them is gone abroad and hearths, this evening, The press of women still continues, for it is the will have a topic. cause of all Eve's Daughters, mothers that are, or that ought to be. No carriage-lady, were it with never such hysterics, but must dismount, In this manner, amid in the mud roads, in her silk shoes, and walk.* wild October weather, they a wild unwinged stork-flight, through the astonished country wend their way. Travellers of all sorts they stop Deputy Lechapelier, in especially travellers or couriers from Paris. his elegant vesture, from his elegant vehicle, looks forth amazed states eagerly that he through his spectacles apprehensive for life is Patriot-Deputy Lechapelier, and even Old-President Lechapelier, who presided on the Night of Pentecost, and is original member of the Breton Club. Thereupon rises huge shout of Vive Lechapelier, and several armed persons spring up behind and before to escort him.' t
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Nevertheless, news, despatches from Lafayette, or vague noise of In the National rumour, have pierced through, by side roads. Assembly, while all is busy discussing the order of the day regretting that his that there should be Anti-National Repasts in Opera-Halls Majesty should still hesitate about accepting the Rights of Man, and hang conditions and peradventures on them, Mirabeau steps up to the President, experienced Mounier as it chanced to be and articulates, " Mounter, Paris niarche sur nous (Paris is in bass under-tone marching on us)." "May be (je n'en sais rieti)/" "Believe it or disbelieve it, that is not my concern but Paris, I say, is marching on
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379.

USHER MAILLARD.
us.

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go over to the Chateau tell them this. There is not a moment to lose." " Paris marching on us ?" responds Mounier, with an atrabiliar accent " Well, so much the better We Mirabeau quits him, as one quits an shall the sooner be a Republic." experienced President getting blindfold into deep waters and the order of the day continues as before. Yes, Paris is marching on us and more than the women of Paris Scarcely was Maillard gone, when M. de Gouvion's message to all the Districts, and such tocsin and drumming of the generale, began to take effect. Armed National Guards from every District especially the Grenadiers of the Centre, who are our old Gardes Fran^aises, arrive, in quick sequence, on the Place de Greve. An immense people' is there; Saint-Antoine, with pike and rusty firelock, is all crowding thither, be it welcome or unwelcome. The Centre Grenadiers are received with cheering " it is not cheers that we want," answer they gloomily " the Nation has been insulted to arms, and come with us for orders " Ha, sits the wind so ? Patriotism and PatroUotism are now one The Three Hundred have assembled all the Committees are in activity Lafayette is dictating despatches for Versailles, when a Deputation of the Centre Grenadiers introduces itself to him. The Deputation makes military obeisance; and thus speaks, not without a kind of thought in it " Mon Getural we are deputed by the Six Companies of Grenadiers. We do not think you a traitor, but we think the Government betrays you it is time that this end. We cannot turn our bayonets against women crying to us for bread. The people are miserable, the source of the mischief is at Versailles we must go seek the King, and bring him to Paris. We must exterminate {exterminef) the Regiment de Flandre and the Gardes-du-Co)ps, who have dared to trample on the National Cockade. If the King be too weak to wear his crown, let him lay it down. You will crown his Son, you will name a Council of Regency and all will go better."* Reproachful astonishment paints itself on the face of Lafayette speaks " My General, we itself from his eloquent chivalrous lips in vain would shed the last drop of our blood for you but the root of the mischief is at Versailles we must go and bring the King to Paris all the people wish it, totit le pevple le veut." My General descends to the outer staircase and harangues once
Fall

suddenly unwell

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through floods of Sansculottism, attempts academic oratory from his gilt state-coach realises nothing but infinite hoarse cries of: " Bread To Versailles " and gladly shrinks within doors. Lafayette mounts the white charger and again harangues, and reharangues with eloquence, with firmness, indignant demonstration with all things but persuasion. " To Versailles To Versailles " So last it, hour after hour for the space of half a day. The great Scipio Americanus can do nothing not so much as escape, mon General" cry the Grenadiers sen yingi their ranks as the ** Morbleu * Deux Amis, iii. t6i.
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white charger makes a motion that way, " You will not leave U3, you abide with us " A perilous juncture Mayor Bailly and the My General is prisoner without; Municipals sit quaking within doors the Place de Greve, with its thirty thousand Regulars, its whole irregular Saint-Antoine and Saint-Marceau, is one minatory mass of clear or all hearts set, with a moody ifixedness, on one object rusty steel Moody, fixed are all hearts tranquil is no heart, if it be not that of the white charger, who paws there, with arched neck, composedly champing his bit as if no World, with its Dynasties and Eras, were Jiow rushing down. The drizzly day tends westward the cry is still
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afar, come quite sinister cries hoarse, reverberated in long-drawn hollow murmurs, with syllables too like those Or else, irregular Sansculottism may be marching of Lanterne ! The inflexible Scipio does off, of itself; with pikes, nay with cannon. Whether or not he at length, by aide-de-camp, ask of the Municipals may go ? A Letter is handed out to him, over armed heads sixty thousand faces flash fixedly on his, there is stillness and no bosom By Heaven, he grows suddenly pale Do breathes, till he have read. 'Permit, and even order,' since he can no the Municipals permit? Clangour of approval rends the welkin. To your ranks, then other. let us march Indignant It is, as we compute, towards three in the afternoon. National Guards may dine for once from their haversack: dined or undined, they march with one heart. Paris flings up her windows, clap hands, as the Avengers, with their shrilling drums and shalms tramp by she will then sit pensive, apprehensive, and pass rather a On the white charger, Lafayette, in the slowest sleepless night.* possible manner, going and coming, and eloquently haranguing among Saint-Antoine, with the ranks, rolls onward with his thirty thousand. pike and cannon, has preceded him a mixed multitude, of all and ol no arms, hovers on his flanks and skirts the country once more pauses agape Paris marche sur nous.
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CHAPTER VL TO VERSAILLES.
For, indeed, about
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Menads on
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the last hill-top

same moment, Maillard has halted his draggled and now Versailles, and the ChAteau de
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and

far

wondering eye. en-Laye round towards Rambouillet, on the

and wide the inheritance of Royalty opens to the From far on the right, over Marly and Saint- Germainsleft
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beautiful
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all

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softly

And near as if in sadness, in the dim moist weather before us is Versailles, New and Old; with that broad frondent Avenue de Versailles between, stately-frondent, broad, three hundred feet as men reckon, with its four Rows of Elms and then the Chdteau de Versailles, ending in royal Parks and Pleasances, gleaming lakelets,
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16$.

TO VERSAILLES.
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arbours, Labyrinths, the Menagerie, and Great and Little Trianon. High-towered dwellings, leafy pleasant places where the gods of this lower world abide whence, nevertheless, black Care cannot be excluded whither Menadic Hunger is even now advancing, armed with pike-thyrsi Yes, yonder, Mesdames, where our straight frondent Avenue, joined, as you note, by Two frondent brother Avenues from this hand and from that, spreads out into Place Royal and Palace Forecourt yonder is the Salle des Menus. Yonder an august Assembly sits regenerating France. Forecourt, Grand Court, Court of Marble, Court narrowing into Court you may discern next, or fancy on the extreme verge of which that glass-dome, visibly glittering like a star of hope, is the (Eil-de-Boeuf Yonder, or nowhere in the world, is bread baked for us. But, O Mesdames, were not one thing good That our cannons, with Demoiselle Theroigne and all show of war, be put to the rear ? Submission beseems petitioners of a National Assembly we are strangers in Versailles, whence, too audibly, there comes even now a sound as of tocsin and generale ! Also to put on, if possible, a cheerful countenance, hiding our sorrows and even to sing ? Sorrow, pitied of the Heavens, is hateful, suspicious to the Earth. So counsels shifty Maillard haranguing his Menads, on the heights near Versailles.* Cunning Maillard's dispositions are obeyed. The draggled Insurrectionists advance up the Avenue, in three columns,' among the four Elm-rows singing Henri Quatre,' with what melody they can and shouting Vive le Rot. Versailles, though the Elm-rows are dripping " Vivent nos Parisiennes, Our wet, crowds from both sides, with " Paris ones for ever Prickers, scouts have been out towards Paris, as the Rumour deepened whereby his Majesty, gone to shoot in the Woods of Meudon, has been happily discovered, and got home and the generale and tocsin set a-sounding. The Bodyguards are already drawn up in front of the Palace Grates and look down the Avenue de Versailles sulky, in wet buckskins. Flandre too is there, repentant of the OperaRepast. Also Dragoons dismounted are there. Finally Major Lecointre, and what he can gather of the Versailles National Guard though, it is to be obser^'cd, our Colonel, that same sleepless Count d'Estaing, giving neither order nor ammunition, has vanished most improperly; one supposes, into the (Eil-de-Bceuf. Red-coated Swiss stand withia the Grates, under arms. There likewise, in their inner room, all the Ministers,' Saint-Priest, Lamentation Pompignan and the rest, are assembled with M. Necker they sit with him there ; blank, expecting what the hour will bring.
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President Mounier, though he answered Mirabeau with a tantmieux, and affected to slight the matter, had its own forebodings. Surely, for these four weary hours, he has reclined not on roses The order of the day is getting forward: a Deputation to his Majesty seems proper, that it might please him to grant Acceptance pure and simple to those
I ' '

* See Hist. Pari.

iii.

(70-117)

;

Deux Amis

(166-177), etc-

ijS

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
;
'

Constitution-Articles of ours the mixed qualified Acceptance, with its peradventures, is satisfactory to neither gods nor men. So much is clear. And yet there is more, which no man speaks, which all men now vaguely understand. Disquietude, absence of mind Members whisper, uneasily come and go the order is on every face Till at length, from the of the day is evidently not the day's want. outer gates, is heard a rustling and justling, shrill uproar and squabbling, Rushing and muffled by walls which testifies that the hour is come crushing one hears now then enter Usher Maillard, with a Deputation having, by incredible industry, of Fifteen muddy dripping Women, and aid of all the macers, pursuaded the rest to wait out of doors. National Assembly shall now, therefore, look its august task directly in the face regenerative Constitutionalism has an unregenerate Sansculot" tism bodily in front of it crying, " Bread Bread Shifty Maillard, translating frenzy into articulation repressive with the one hand, expostulative with the other, does his best and really, In the though not bred to public speaking, manages rather well present rarity of grains, a Deputation of Female Citizens has, as the august Assembly can discern, come out from Paris to petition. Plots of Aristocrats are too evident in the matter for example, one miller has been bribed by a bank-note of 200 livres not to grind, name unknown to the Usher, but fact provable, at least indubitable. Further, also there are it seems, the National Cockade has been trampled on Black Cockades, or were. All which things will not an august National Assembly, the hope of France, take into its wise immediate considera;
: ; 1

;

:

;

!

I

;

;

:

;

'

'

;

tion ?

And Menadic Hunger,

irrepressible,

crying,

"

Black Cockades,"

crying "Bread, Bread," adds, after such fashion: Will it not? Yes, Messieurs, if a Deputation to his Majesty, for the 'Acceptance pure and simple,' seemed proper, how much more now, for the afflicting President situation of Paris for the calming of this effervescence Mounier, with a speedy Deputation, among whom we notice the respectable figure of Doctor Guillotin, gets himself forward on march. Vice-President shall continue the order of the day Usher Maillard It is four o'clock, of the shall stay by him to repress the women. miserablest afternoon, when Mounier steps out. O experienced Mounier, what an afternoon the last of thy political Better had it been to fall suddenly unwell,' while it was existence yet time. For, behold, the Esplanade, over all its spacious expanse, is covered with groups of squalid dripping Women of lankhaired male Rascality, armed with axes, rusty pikes, old muskets, ironshod clubs {batons ferres, which end in knives or sword-blades, a kind of extemlooking nothing but hungry revolt. The rain pours pore billhook) Gardes-du-Corp8 go caracoling through the groups amid hisses irritating and agitating what is but dispersed here to reunite there. Innumerable squalid women beleaguer the President and Depute has not his Majesty himself, looking insist on going with him tion from the window, sent out to ask, What we wanted ? " Bread and

'

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'

!

;

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!

'

;

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'

;

:

soeech with the King (Z>« pain, et purler au Rot)" that was the

AT VERSAILLES.
answer.

179

IWelve women are clamorously added to the Deputation; and march with it, across the Esplanade; through dissipated groups, caracoling Bodyguards, and the pouring rain. President Mounier, unexpectedly augmented by Twelve Women, copiously escorted by Hunger and Rascality, is himself mistaken for a group himself and his Women are dispersed by caracolers rally again with difficulty, among the mud.* Finally the Grates are opened; the Deputation gets access, with the Twelve Women too in it of which latter. Five shall even see the lace of his Majesty. Let wet Menadism, in the best spirits it can, expect their return.
:

;

;

CHAPTER
But

VII.

AT VERSAILLES.
already Pallas Athene (in the shape of Demoiselle Th^roigne) is busy with Flandre and the dismounted Dragoons. She, and such women as are fittest, go through the ranks speak with an earnest jocosity; clasp rough troopers to their patriot bosom, crush down can a man, that were spontoons and musketoons with soft arms worthy of the name of man, attack famishing patriot women ? One reads that Th6roigne had bags of money, which she distributed furnished by whom ? Alas, with money-bags one over Flandre Calumnious Royalism seldom sits on insurrectionary cannon. Theroigne had only the limited earnings of her profession of unfortunate-female money she had not, bat brown locks, the figure of a Heathen Goddess, and an eloquent tongue and heart.
; : :

;

;

Meanwhile, Saint-Antoine, in groups and troops, is continually arriving ; wetted, sulky ; with pikes and impromptu billhooks driven thus far by popular fixed-idea. So many hirsute figures driven hither, in that manner: figures that have come to do they know not what ; figures that have come to see it done ! Distinguished among all figures, who is this, of gaunt statiire, with leaden breastplate, though a small one f bushy in red grizzled locks ; nay, with long tilebeard ? It is a Jourdan, unjust dealer in mules a dealer no longer, but a Painter's Layfigure, playing truant this day. From the necessities of Art comes his long tile-beard ; whence his leaden breastplate (unless indeed he were some Hawker licensed by leaden badge) may have come, will perhaps remain for ever a Historical Problem. Another Saul among the people we discern : Pire Adam, Father Adam,' as the groups name him to us better known as bull-voiced Marquis SaintHuruge; hero of the Veto; a man that has had losses, and deserved them. The tall Marquis, emitted some days ago from limbo, looks peripatetically on this scene, from under his umbrella, not without Interest. All which persons and things, hurled together as we see Pallas Athene, busy v/ith Flandre ; patriotic Versailles National Guards, short of ammunition, and deserted by d'Estaing their Colonel, and
: ; ;

'

;

* Mounia-, Expos*^ Justlficatif (cited in t Su Weber, ii. 185-231.

Deux Amis,

ill.

185),

iSo

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.

commanded by Lecointre their Major ; then caracoling Body-guards, sour, dispirited, with their buckskins wet and finally this flowing sea of indignant Squalour, may they not give rise to occurrences ?

;

Behold, however, the Twelve She-deputies return from the Chateau. Without President Mounier, indeed but radiant with joy, shouting " Life to the King and his Housed Apparently the news are good, Mesdames ? News of the best Five of us were admitted to the internal splendours, to the Royal Presence. This slim damsel, Louison Chabray, worker in sculpture, aged only seventeen,' as being of the best looks and address, her we appointed speaker. On whom, and indeed on all of us, his Majesty looked nothing but graciousness. Nay, when Louison, addressing him, was like to faint, he took her in his royal arms and said gallantly, " It was well worth while {Elle envalUi bien la peine')''' Consider, O women, what a King His words were of comfort, and that only there shall be provision sent to Paris, if pro.
; I ' ; ! :

vision is in the world grains shall circulate free as air ; millers shall grind, or do worse, while their millstones endure ; and nothing be left v/rong while a Restorer of French Liberty can right. Good news these but, to wet Menads, all too incredible ! There seems no proof, then ? Words of comfort are words only ; which will feed nothing. miserable people, betrayed by Aristocrats, who corrupt thy very messengers In his royal arms, Mademoiselle Louison ? In his arms ? Thou shameless minx, worthy of a name Yes, thy skin is soft ours is rough with hardthat shall be nameless I ship and well wetted, waiting here in the rain. No children hast thou hungry at home only alabaster dolls, that weep not I The traitress I And so poor Louison Chabray, no asseveration or To the Lanterne shrieks availing her, fair slim damsel, late in the arms of Royalty, has a garter round her neck, and furibund Amazons at each end is about when two Bodyguards gallop up, indignantly dissipating ; to perish so, and rescue her. The miscredited Twelve hasten back to the Chateau,
;
;

O

!

:

;

;

!

;

an answer in writing.' Nay, behold, a new flight ot Menads, with M. Brunout Bastille Volunteer,' as impressed-commandant, at the head of it. These also will advance to the Grate of the Grand Court, and see what is toward. Human patience, in wet buckskins, has its limits. Bodyguard Lieutenant M. de Savonnieres, for one moment, lets his temper, long provoked, long pent, give way. He not only dissipates these latter
tor
' '

Menads but caracoles and cuts, or indignantly flourishes, at M. Brunout, the impressed-commandant and, finding great relief in it, even chases him Brunout flying nimbly, though in a pirouette manner, and now with sword also drawn. At which sight of wrath and victory, two other Bodyguards (for wrath is contagious, and to pent Bodyguards is so solacing) do likewise give way give chase, with brandished So that poor Brunout has sabre, and in the air make horrid circles. nothing for it but to retreat with accelerated nimbleness, through rank above all, shouting Parthian-like, fencing as he flies after rank lustily, " On nous laisse assassiner, They are getting us assassinated I
;

;

;

;

;

;

THE EQUAL
Shameful!
ranks
;

DIET.

iSi

Thice against onel

Savonnidres' arm is raised to strike: lastly shots. the bullet of a Lecointrian musket shatters it the brandished sabre Brunout has escaped, this duel well ended: jingles down harmless. but the wild howl of war is everywhere beginning to pipe The Amazons recoil Saint-Antoine has its cannon pointed (full of grapeshot) ; thrice applies the lit flambeau ; which thrice refuses to the touchholes are so wetted; and voices cry: " Arretez, il catch, nest pas temps encore, Stop, it is not yet time!"* Messieurs of the Garde-du-Corps, ye had orders not to fire nevertheless two of you limp dismounted, and one warhorse lies slain. Were it not well to draw back out of shot-range; finally to file off, into the interior? If in so filing off, there did a musketoon or two discharge itself, at these
bellovvings,
; ;

Growls come from the Lecointrian

;

return not as we hint giving and receiving shots drawing no life-blood leaving boundless indignation. Some three times in the thickening dusk, a glimpse of them is seen, at this or the other Portal saluted always with execrations, with the whew of lead. Let but a Bodyguard shew face, he is hunted by Rascality; for instance, poor M. de Moucheton of the Scotch Company,' owner of the slain warhorse and has to be smuggled off by Verasilles Captains. Or rusty hat. In the end, by firelocks belch after him, shivering asunder his superior Order, the Bodyguards, all but the few on immediate duty, disappear or as it were abscond and march, under cloud of night,

shopkeepers, hooting and Draggled are your white cockades Heaven they were got exchanged for are wet, your hearts heavy. Go, and

armed

crowing, could man wonder? of an enormous size would to
;

tricolour ones

!

Your buckskins

The Bodyguards

file

off,

;

;

:

'

;

;

;

to Rambouillet.t

remark also that the Versaillese have now got ammunition all afternoon, the official Person could find none till, in these so critical moments, a patriotic Sublieutenant set a pistol to his ear, and would thank him to find some, which he thereupon succeeded in doing. Likewise that Flandre, disarmed by Pallas Athene, says openly, it will not fight with citizens ; and for token of peace, has exchanged cartridges with the Versaillese. Sansculottism is now among mere friends ; and can circulate freely ; indignant at Bodyguards ;- -complaini.ig also considerably of
:

We

;

'

'

hunger,

CHAPTER
The s^ual

VIIL
diet.
It is

But why
six,
it

lingers

is

seven o'clock

Mounier and
;

;

returns not with his Deputation ?
still

no Mounier, no Acceptance pure and

simple.

And, behold, the dripping Menads, not now in deputation but in mass, have penetrated into the Assembly to the shamefullest intertuption of public speaking and order of the day. Neither Maillard nor
:

*

Deux Amis,

iii.

192-201.

t Weber, {ubi mprcL),

i82

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
;

Vice-President can restrain them, except within wide limits not even, except for minutes, can the lion-voice of Mirabeau, though they applaud it but ever and anon they break in upon the regeneration of France with cries of: "Bread; not so much discoursing! Du pain " pas tantsde longs discours ! So insensible were these poor creatures to bursts of Parliameniary eloquence
:

!

learns also that the royal Carriages are getting yoked, as if for Carriages, royal or not, have verily shewed themselves at the back Gates. They even produced, or quoted, a written order from our Versailles Municipality, which is a Monarchic not a Democratic one. However, Versailles Patrols drove them in again; as the vigilant Lecointre had strictly charged them to do. busy man, truly, is Major Lecointre, in these hours. For Colonel d'Estaing loiters invisible in the OEil-de-Boeuf invisible, or still more questionably visible for instants then also a too loyal Municipality requires supervision no order, civil or military, taken about any of these thousand things Lecointre is at the Versailles Townhall he is at the Grate of the Grand Court communing with Swiss and Bodyguards. He is in the ranks of Flandre he is here, he is there studious to prevent bloodshed to prevent the Royal Family from flying to Metz the Menads from plundering Versailles. At the fall of night, we behold him advance to those armed groups of Saint-Antoine, hovering ail-too grim near the Salle des Menus. They receive him in a half-circle twelve speakers behind cannons with lighted torches in hand, the cannon-mouths towards Lecointre a picture for Salvator He asks, in temperate but courageous language: WTiat they, by this their journey to Versailles, do specially want ? The twelve speakers reply, in few words inclusive of much " Bread, and the end of these brabbles, Du pain et la Jin des affaires'' When the but as to affairs will end, no Major Lecointre, nor no mortal, can say bread, he inquires, How many are you? learns that they are six hundred, tliat a loaf each will suffice and rides off to the Municipality to get six hundred loaves. Which loaves, however, a Municipality ot Monarchic temper will not give. It will give two tons of rice rather, could you but know whether it should be boiled or raw. Nay when this too is accepted, the Municipals have disappeared ducked under, as the Six-andtwenty Long-gowned of Paris did and, leaving not the smallest vestige of rice, in the boiled or raw state, they there vanish from

One

Metz.

A

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:

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;

History t Rice cGTPes not one's hope of food is" balked even one's hope of vengeance: is not M. de Moucheton of the Scotch Company, as we said, deceitfully smuggled off? Failing all which, behold only M. de Moucheton's slain warhorse, lying on the Esplanade there SaintAntoine, balked, esurient, pounces on the slain warhorse flays it roasts it, with such fuel, of paling, gates, portable timber as can be come a^ not without shouting and, after the manner of ancient Greek Heroes, they lifted their hands to the daintily readied repast; such as
; ; !
;

:

THE EQVAL
it might devour.

DIET.
;

igj

Other Rascality pruwls discursive seeking what it may Flandre will retire to its barracks Lecointre also with hia all but the vigilant Patrols, charged to be doubly vigilant. Versaillese, So sink the shadows of night, blustering, rainy and all paths grow Strangest Night ever seen in these regions, perhaps since dark. the Bartholomew Night, when Versailles, as Bassompierre writes of it, was a cheiif chateau. O for the Lyre of some Orpheus, to constrain, For with touch of melodious strings, these mad masses into Order The here all seems fallen asunder, in wide-yawning dislocation. liighest, as in down-rushing of a World, is come in contact with the lowest the Rascality of France beleaguering the Ro3*alty of France VVithj ironshod batons' lifted round the diadem, not to guard it! denunciations of bloodthirsty Anti-National Bodyguards, are heard' dark growlings against a Queenly Name. The Court sits tremulous, powerless varies with the varying temper of the Esplanade, with the varying colour of the rumours from Paris. Thick-coming rumours; now of peace, now of war. Necker and all the Ministers consult with a blank issue. The CEil-de-Boeuf is one We will fly to Metz we will not fly. The tempest of whispers royal Carriages again attempt ej^ress ;— though for trial merely they
t»e.*

;

;

I

:

'

;

;

:

;

;

are again driven in
;

been resolved on In six hours? Alas, he who, in such circumstances, cannot resolve in six minutes, may give up the enterprise: him Fate has already resolved for. And Menadism, meanwhile, and Sansculottism takes counsel with the National Assembly grows more and more tumultuous Mounier returns not; Authority nowhere shews itself: the there. Authority of France lies, for the present, with Lecointre and Usher This then is the abomination of desolation come suddenly, Maillard. For, to the blind, all things though long foreshadowed as inevitable Misery which, through long ages, had no spokesman, no are sudden. The dialect, helper, will now be its own helper and sijcak for itself. one of the rudest, is, what it could be, tliis. At eight o'clock there returns to our Assembly not the Deputation but Doctor Guillotin announcing that it will return also that there is hope of the Acceptance pure and simple. He himself has brought a Royal Letter, authorising and commanding the freest circulation of grains.' Which Royal Letter Menadism with its whole heart Conformably to which the Assembly forthwith passes applauds. Only also received with rapturous Menadic plaudits a Decree could not an august Assembly contrive further to 'fix the price of
;

by Lecointre's Patrols. In six hours, notliing has not even the Acceptance pure and simple.

;

!

;

'

:

;

bread

at eight
;

sous the half-quartern

;

butchers'-meat at six sous the
' ;

pound " which seem fair rates ? Such motion do a multitude of men and women,' irrepressible by Usher Maillard, now make does an Usher Maillard himself is not always august Assembly hear made. but if rebuked, he can justly excuse perfectly measured in speech
;

himself by the peculiarity of the circumstances.t But finally, this Decree well passed, and the disorder continuing • Weber Deux Amis, &c. f Moniteur (in Hist. Pari. iii. 105).
;

;

and

13

1

84

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.

'"an the

Members melting away, and no President Mounier returning Vice-President do but also melt away? The Assembly
; '

—wbeit
meilb,

or, as it is officially called, such pressure, into deliquium Maillard is despatched to Paris, with the Decree concerning adjourns. Grains' in his pocket he and some women, in carriages belonging to the King. Thitherward slim Louison Chabray has already set forth, with that written answer,' which the Twelve She-deputies returned in to seek. Slim sylph, she has set forth, through the black muddy country she has much to tell, her poor nerves so flurried and travels, as indeed to-day on this road all persons do, with extreme slowness. President Mounier has not come, nor the Acceptance pure and simple though six hours with their events have come though courier on courier Coming, with war or with peace? reports that Lafayette is coming. should determine on one thing or It is time that the Chateau also another that the Chateau also should shew itself alive, if it would continue living Victorious, joyful after such delay, Mounier does arrive at last, and the hard-earned Acceptance with him which now, alas, is of small Fancy Mounier's surprise to find his Senate, whom he hoped to value. and in its charm by the Acceptance pure and simple, all gone For as Erasmus's Ape mimicked, say with stead a Senate of Menads wooden splint, Erasmus shaving, so do these Amazons hold, in mock majesty, some confused parody of National Assembly. They make motions deliver speeches pass enactments productive at least of loud laughter. All galleries and benches are filled a Strong Dame of Not without difficulty, Mounier, by the Market is in Mounier's Chair. aid of macers, and persuasive speaking, makes his way to the FemalePresident the Strong Dame, before abdicating, signifies that, for one thing, she and indeed her whole senate male and Female (for what was one roasted warhorse among so many ?) are suffering very considerably from hunger. Experienced Mounier, in these circumstances, takes a twofold resolution To reconvoke his Assembly Members by sound of drum Swift messengers fly, to all bakers, also to procure a supply of food.

jMider

;

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cooks, pastrycooks, vintners, restorers drums beat, accompanied with proclamation, through all streets. They come the Assembly Members come what is still better, the provisions come. On tray and barrow come thes^ latter loaves, wine, great store of sausages. The nor, nourishing baskets circulate harmoniously along the benches according to the Father of Epics, did any soul huk a fair share of victual highly desirable at the moment,* (8aiTos fta-rjs, an equal diet) Gradually some hundred or so of Assembly Members get edged in, Menadism making way a little, round Mounier's Chair listen to the Acceptance pure and simple; and begin, what is the order of the night, discussion of the Penal Code.' All benches are crowded in the dusky galleries, duskier with unwashed heads, is a strange coruscation,' —of impromptu bill-hooks.t Jt is exactly five months this day since
;

shrill vocal

:

;

;

;

;

;

'

;

'

*

Deux Amis,

iii.

208.

t C:ourier de Provence (Mirabeau's Newspaper), No. 50, p. 19.

LAFAYETTE.

185

these same galleries were filled with high-plumed jewelled Beauty, raining bright influences; and now? To such length have we got in regenerating France. Methinks the travail-throes are of the sharpest I asks, -Menadism will not be restrained from occasional remarks " What is the use of Penal Code ? The thing we want is Bread." Mirabeau turns round with lion-voiced rebuke Menadism applauds
;

;

but recommences. Thus they, chewing tough sausages, discussing the Penal Code, make What the issue will be ? Lafayette with his thirty night hideous. thousand must arrive first him, who cannot now be distant, all men expect, as the messenger of Destiny.

him

;

:

CHAPTER
Towards
roll

IX.

LAFAYETTE.
midnight lights flare on the hill Lafayette's lights ! The drums comes up the Avenue de Versailles. Witli peace, or With neither. Lafayette is come, but with war ? Patience, friends
;

of his

I

not yet the catastrophe. He has halted and harangued so often, on the march spent nine hours on four leagues of road. At Montreuil, close on Versailles, the whole Host had to pause and, with uplifted right hand, in the murk of Night, to these pouring skies, swear solemnly to respect the King's
; ;

Rage is to be faithful to King and National Assembly. driven down out of sight, by the laggard march the thirst of vengeance slaked in weariness and soaking clothes. Flandre is again drawn out under arms but Flandre, grown so patriotic, now needs no exterminthey have, for the ating.' The wayworn Battalions halt in the Avenue present, no wish so pressing as that of shelter and rest. Anxious sits President Mounier anxious the Chateau. There is a message coming from the Chateau, that M. Mounier would please to return thither with a fresh Deputation, swiftly and so at least unite our two anxieties. Anxious Mounier does of himself send, meanwhile, to apprise the General that his Majesty has been so gracious as to grant us the Acceptance pure and simple. The General, with a small advance column, makes answer in passing speaks vaguely some smooth words to the National President, glances, only with the eye, at that so mixtiform National Assembly then fares forward towards the Chateau. There are with him two Paris Municipals they were chosen from the Three Hundred for that errand. He gets admittance through the locked and padlocked Grates, through sentries and ushers, to the Royal Halls. The Court, male and female, crowds on his passage, to read their doom on his face which exhibits, say Historians, a mixture 'of sorrow, of fervour and valour,' singular to behold,* The King, with Monsieur, with Ministers and Marshals, is Vv/aiting to receive him " He is come,' in his highflown chivalrous way, " to offer his head for the safety of his Majesty's." The two Municipals state the wish of Paris four things,
Dwelling
; ; : ' : ;

;

;

;

;

;

:

:

*

M^moire de M.

le

Comte de Lally-TcUendal

(Janvier 1790), pp. i6i-i65.

iS6

THE INSURRECTIOff OF WOMEN

First, that the honour of Guarding his sacred person be con!erred on patriot National Guards; say, the Centre Grenadiers, who as Gardes Fran^aises were wont to have that privilege. Second, that provisions be got, if possible. Third, that the Prisons, alJ crowded with political delinquents, may have judges sent them. Fourth, that it would please his Majesty to come and live in Paris. To all which four wishes, except the fourth, his Majesty answers readily, Yes or indeed may almost say that he has already answered it. To the fourth he can answer only, Yes or No would so gladly answer, Yes and No! But, in any case, are not their dispositions, thank Heaven, so entirely pacific ? There is time for deliberation. The brunt of the danger seems past Lafayette and d'Estaing settle the watches Centre Grenadiers are to take the Guard-room they of old occupied as Gardes Franfaises for indeed the Gardes-du-Corps, its late ill-advised occupants, are gone mostly to Rambouillet. That is the order of this night sufficient for

of quite specific tenor.

;

;

;

;

;

the night is the evil thereof. Whereupon Lafayette and the two Municipals, with higliflown chivalry, take their leave. So brief has the interview been, Mounier and his Deputation were not yet got up. So brief and satisfactory. A stone is rolled from every heart. The fair Palace Dames publicly declare that this Lafayette, detestable though he be, is their saviour for once. Even the King's Aunts, ancient the ancient vinaigrous Tantes admit it Graille and Sisterhood, known to us of old. Queen Marie-Antoinette has been heard often say the like. She alone, among all women and all men, wore a face of courage, of lofty calmness and resolve, this day. She alone saw clearly what she meant to do and Theresa's Daugliter abide dares do what she means, were all France threatening her where her children are, where her husband is.
;

;

:

the watches in the morning all things are settled the Centre Grenadiers put into their old Guardroom, and harangued; the Swiss, and few remaining Bodyguards harangued. The wayworn Paris Battalions, consigned to the hospitality of Versailles,' lie dormant A troop in spare-beds, spare-barracks, coffeehouses, empty churches. of them, on their way to the Church of Saint-Louis, awoke poor Weber, dreaming troublous, in the Rue Sartory. Weber has had his waistcoat-pocket full of balls all day; 'two hundred balls, and two pears ot powder For waistcoats were waistcoats then, and had flaps down to mid-thigh. So many balls he has had all day but no opportunity of using them: he turns over now, execrating disloyal bandits; swears a prayer or two, and straight to sleep again. which thereupon, on Finally, the National Assembly is harangued motion of Mirabeau, discontinues the Penal Code, and dismisses for
:

Towards three

set,

'

!

'

;

;

Menadism, SanscuUotism has cowered into guardhouses, barracks of Flandre, to the light of cheerful fire; failing that, to churches, officehouM-s, sentry-boxes, wheresoever wretchedness can The troublous Day has brawled itself to rest no lives yet find a lair. Insurrectionary Chaos lies slumbering '©St but that of one warhorse.
this night.
:

THE GRAND ENTRIES
round the Palace,
like

187

Ocean round a Diving-Bell,

— no

crevice yet

and on the low suspending most things, even wrath and famine. Darkness covers the Earth. But, far on the North-east, Paris flings up her great yellow gleam far into the wet black Night. For all is illuminated there, as the streets deserted, for alarm of war; the in the old July Nights Municipals all wakeful Patrols hailing, with their hoarse IVho-goes. There, as we discover, our poor slim Louison Chabray, her poor nerves There Usher Maillard all fluttered, is arriving about this very hour. towards four in the morning.' Thej will arrive, about an hour hence, leport, successively, to a wakeful H6tel-de-Ville what comfort they can report which again, with early dawn, large comfortable Placards, shall impart to all men. Lafayette, in the H6tel de Noailles, not far from the Chateau, having now finished haranguing, sits with his Officers consulting
;

disclosing itself. Deep sleep has fallen promiscuously on the high

;

;

;

'

;

at five o'clock the unanimous best counsel is, that a man so tost and toiled for twenty-four hours and more, fling himself on a bed, and seek

some

rest.

Thus, then, has ended the First Act of the Insurrection of Women. it will turn on the morrow ? Tire morrow, as always, is with the Fates But his Majesty, one may hope, will consent to come honourably to Paris at all events, he can visit Paris. Anti-National Body-

How

!

;

guards, here and elsewhere, must take the National Oath make reparation to the Tricolour Flandre will swear. There may be much swearing much public speaking there will infallibly be and so, with harangues and vows, may the matter in some handsome way, wind
;
; ;
:

itself up.

Or, alas, may it not be all otherwise, zmhandsome the consent not honourable, but extorted, ignominious ? Boundless Chaos of Insurrection presses slumbering round the Palace, like Ocean round a Diving-bell and may penetrate at any crevice. Let but that accumulated insurrectionary mass find entrance Like the infinite inburst of water or say rather, of inflammal ie, self-igniting fluid for example, turpentine-and-phosphorus oil,' fluid known to Spinola Santerre
: ; !
;

;

1

CHAPTER
The

X.

THE GRAND ENTRIES.
dull dawn of a new morning, drizzly and chill, had but broken over Versailles, when it pleased Destiny that a Bodyguard should look out of window, on the right wing of tne Chateau, to see what prospect there was in Heaven and in Earth. Rascahty male and female 13 prowling in view of him. His fasting stomach is^ with good cause, sour he perhaps cannot forbear a passing malison on them least of all can he forbear answering such. Ill words breed worse: till the worst word come; and then the ill
;
;

i88

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.

Did the maledicent Bodyguard, getting (as was too inevitable) better maledictio,/ than he gave, load his muskttoon, and threaten to fire nay actually fire ? Were wise who wist It stands asserted to us not credibly. But be this as it may, menaced Rascality, in whinnying scorn, is shaking at all Grates the fastening of one (some write,
deed.
;

!

;

:

it

was a chain merely)
still.

gives

way

;

Rascality

is

in the

Grand Court,

whinnying louder
fire
;

The maledicent Bodyguard, more Bodyguards than he do now give a man's arm is shattered. Lecointre will depose* that the Sieur Cardine, a National Guard without arms, was stabbed.' But see, sure
'

enough, poor Jerome I'Heritier, an unarmed National Guard he too, cabinet-maker, a saddlers son, of Paris,' with the down of youthhood still on his chin, he reels death-stricken rushes to the pavement, scattering it with his blood and brains AUeleu Wilder than Irish wakes, rises the howl of pity, of infinite revenge. In few moments, the Grate of the inner and inmost Court, which they name Court of Marble, this too is forced, or surprised, and bursts open the Court ol Marble too is overflowed up the Grand Staircase, up all stairs and entrances rushes the living Deluge Deshuttes and Varigny, the two sentry Bodyguards, are trodden down, are massacred with a hundred Women snatch their cutlasses, or any weapon, and storm-in pikes. Menadic other women lift the corpse of shot Jerome; lay it down
'

!

;

!

;

:

:

!

:

on the Marble steps

;

there shall the livid

face

and smashed head,
I

dumb

for ever, speak.
'

Miomandre de now to all Bodyguards, mercy is none for them desSainte-Marie pleads with soft words, on the Grand Staircase, His comrades snatch cending four steps to the roaring tornado. him up, by the skirts and belts literally, from the jaws of Destruction and slam-to their Door. This also will stand few instants the panels shivering in, like potsherds. Barricading serves not: fly fast, ye Bodyguards rabid Insurrection, like the Hellhound Chase, uproaring at your heels
:

Wo

'

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:

I

The terrorstruck Bodyguards fly, bolting and barricading it follows. Whitherward ? Through hall on hall vVo, now towards the Queen's Suite of Rooms, in the furthest room of which the Queen is now
;
:

1

asleep.

Five sentinels rush through that long Suite
:

;

they are in the
;

Anteroom knocking loud
at their feet with tears
;

Save the Queen " Trembling women fall are answered " Yes, we will die save ye the
"
I :
:

for, lo, another voice shouts far not, women, but haste through the outermost door, " Save the Queen " and the door is shut. He It is brave Miomandre's voice that shouts this second warning. has stormed across imminent death to do it fronts imminent death, having done it. Brave Tardivet du Repaire, bent on the same desperate his comrades hardly snatched service, was borne down with pikes him in again alive. Miomandre and Tardivet let the names of these *wo Bodyguards, as the names of brave men should, live long.
! ; ;
:

Queen Tremble

!

• Ddposition de Lecointre (in Hist. Pari,

iii,

111-115).

THE GRAND ENTRIES.
ot
;

i»9

Trembling Maids of Honour, one of whom from afar caught glimpse Miomanc&e as well as heard him, hastily wrap the Queen not in
;

robes of state. She flies for her life, across the (Eil-de-Boeuf against She is in the King's the main door of which too Insurrection batters. Apartment, in the King's arms she clasps her children amid a faithful The Imperial-hearted bursts into mother's tears " O my friends, few. " mes a7nis, sauvez moi et tries enfans ! save me and iry children, The battering of Insurrectionary axes clangs audible Across the OCil-de; :

Boeuf.

What an hour
:

1

a hideous fearful hour shameful alike to Governed wherein Governed and Governor ignominiously testify Rage, which had brewed itself in that their relation is at an end. twenty thousand hearts, for the last four-and-twenty hours, has taken It is, as we said, /ire : Jerome's brained corpse lies there as live-coal. the infinite Element bursting in wild-surging though all corridors and
Yes, Friends
;

;

and Governor

;

conduits.

Meanwhile, the poor Bodyguards have got hunted mostly into the

They may die there, at the King's threshold they can (Eil-de-Boeuf. do little to defend it. They are heaping tabourets (stools of honour), benches and all movables, against the door; at which the axe of InsurBut did brave Miomandre perish, then, at the rection thunders. Queen's outer door ? No, he was fractured, slashed, lacerated, left for dead he has nevertheless crawled hither and shall live, honoured of
;

;

;

Remark also, in flat contradiction to much which loyal France. been said and sung, that Insurrection did not burst that door he
;

has had

defended but hurried elsewhither, seeking new Bodyguards.* Well for Poor Bodyguards, with their Thyestes' Opera-Repast no right siegingthem, that Insurrection has only pikes and axes Must they all perish miserably, and tools; It shakes and thunders. Royalty with them? Deshuttes and Varigriy, massacred at the first a sacrifice to inbreak, have been beheaded in the Marble Court Jerome's manes : Jourdan with the tile-beard did that duty willingly and asked. If there were no more ? Another captive they are leading round the corpse, with hovvl-chantings may not Jourdan again tuck up
!
;

:

:

his sleeves ?

And louder and louder rages Insurrection within, plundering if it cannot kill; louder and louder it thunders at the (Eil-de-Boeuf: what can now hinder its bursting in ? On a sudden it ceases the battering Wild rushing the cries grow fainter there is silence, or has ceased are the then a friendly knocking " the tramp of regular steps Centre Grenadiers, old Gardes Franfaises Open to us. Messieurs ol we have not forgotten how you saved us at the Garde-du-Corps enter Captain Gondran and Fontenoy " t The door is opened the Centre Grenadiers there are military embracings there is sudder; deliverance from death unto life. Strange Sons of Adam! It was to 'exterminate' these Gardes-duCorps that the Centre Grenadiers left home and now they have rushed

;

!

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;

:

We

:

;

I

;

:

;

:

* Cainpan,

il.

75-87.

f Towlongeon,

i.

144.

I90

THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
;

to save them from extermination. The memory of common peril, of old help, melts the rough heart bosom is clasped to bosom, not in war. The King shews himself, one moment, through the door of his Apartment, with " Do not hurt Guards " " Soyons freres, Let us be
:

my

I

brothers " cries Captain Gondran and again dashes ofl, with levelled bayonets, to sweep the Palace clear. Now too Lafayette, suddenly roused, not from sleep (for his eyes had not yet closed), arrives with passionate popular eloquence, with prompt military word of command. National Guards, suddenly roused, by sound of trumpet and alarm-drum, are all arriving. The deathmelly ceases the first sky-lambent blaze of Insurrection is got damped down it burns now, if unextinguished, j'et. flameless, as charred coals do, and not inextinguishable. The King's Apartments are safe. Ministers, Officials, and even some loyal National Deputies are assembling round their Majesties. The consternation will, with sobs and confusion, settle down gradually, into plan and counsel, better or worse.
1 ;
;
: ;

But glance now, for a moment, from the royal windows I A roaring billowing against all sea of human heads, inundating both Courts passages Menadic women infuriated men, mad with revenge, with Rascality has slipped its muzzle love of mischief, love of plunder and now bays, three-throated, like the Dog of Erebus. Fourteen Bodyguards are wounded two massacred, and as we saw, beheaded Jourdan asking, " Was it worth while to come so far for two ? " HapTheir fate surely was sad. Whirled less Deshuttes and Varigny down so suddenly to the abyss as men are, suddenly, by the wide thunder of the Mountain Avalanche, awakened not by them, awakened When the Chateau Clock last struck, they two far off by others were pacing languid, with poised musketoon anxious mainly that the next hour would strike. It has struck to them inaudible. Their trunks lie mangled their heads parade, on pikes twelve feet long,' through the streets of Versailles and shall, about noon, reach the Barriers of Paris, a too ghastly contradiction to the large comfortable Placards that have been posted there The other captive Bodyguard is still circling the corpse of Jerome, amid Indian war-whooping; bloody Tilebeard, with tucked sleeves, brandishing his bloody axe when Gondran and the Grenadiers come " Comrades, will you see a man massacred in cold blood ? " in sight. and the poor Bodyguard is free. " Off, butchers " answer they Busy runs Gondran, busy run Guards and Captains scouring all sweeping the palace dispersing Rascality and Robbery corridors clear. The mangled carnage is removed Jerome's body to the Townthe fire of Insurrection gets damped, more and more, hall, for inquest into measurable, manageable heat. Transcendent things of all sorts, as in the general outburst of multitudinous Passion, are huddled together the ludicrous, nay the ridiculous, with the horrible. Far over the billowy sea of heads, may be seen Rascal-ty, caprioling on horses from the Royal Stud. The
; :

;

!

;

!

;

!

;

;

:

'

;

;

!

;

;

;

:

;

:

;

FROM VERSAILLES.
;

191

Spoilers these for Patriotism is always infected so, with a proportion Gondran snatched their prey from of mere thieves and scoundrels. them in the Chateau whereupon they hurried to the Stables, and But the generous Diomedes' steeds, according to took horse there Weber, disdained such scoundrel-burden and, flinging up their royal heels, did soon project most of it, in parabolic cun'es, to a distance, amid peals of laughter and were caught. Mounted National Guards secured the rest. Now too is witnessed the touching last-flicker of Etiquette which sinks not here, in the Cimmerian World-wreckage, without a sign as the house-cricket might still chirp in the pealing of a Trump of Doom. " Monsieur," said some Master of Ceremonies (one hopes, it might be de Br6ze), as Lafayette, in these fearful moments, was rushing towards the inner Royal Apartments, " Monsieur, le Rot vous accorde les grandes entrees, Monsieur, the Kinr: grants you the Grand Entries," not finding it convenient to refuse them 1*
; ;

;

;

;

CHAPTER XL
FROM VERSAILLES.
the Paris National Guard, wholly under arms, has cleared and even occupies the nearer external spaces extruding miscellaneous Patriotism, for most part, into the Grand Court, or even into the Forecourt. The Bodyguards, you can observe, have n.AV of a verity, 'hoisted the National Cockade for they step forward to the windows or balconies, hat aloft in hand, on each hat a huge tricolour and fling over their bandoleers in sign of surrender and shout V^ive la Nation. To which how can the generous heart respond but with, Vive le Roi vivent les Gardes-du-Corps ? His Majesty himself has appeared with Lafayette on the balcony, and again appears Vive le Roi greets him from all throats but also from some one throat is heard, " Le Roi d " Paris, The King to Paris Her Pvlajesty too, on demand, shews herself, though there is peril in it she steps out on the balcony, with her little boy and girl. " No children. Point d'enfans!" cry the voices. She gently pushes back her children and stands alone, her hands serenely crossed on her " should I die," she had said, " I will do it." breast Such serenity of heroism has its effect. Lafayette, with ready wit, in his highflown chivalrous way, takes that fair queenly hand, and, reverently kneeling, kisses it thereupon the people do shout Vive la Reine. Nevertheless, poor Weber saw (or even thought he saw for hardly the third part of poor Weber's experiences, in such hysterical days, will stand sautiny) 'one of these brigands level his musket at her Majesty,' with or without intention to shoot ; for another of the brigands angrily struck it down.' bo that all, and the Queen herself, nay the very Captain of the Bodv
the Palace,
;
: '

However,

;

;

:

;

1

:

;

:

:

'

'

;

'

Toulongeon,

i.

App.

120.

19^

I HE

IJNSURRECTION OF WOMEN.
I

guards, have grown National The very Captain of the Bodyguards steps out now with Lafayette. On the hat of the repentant man is an enormous tricolour large as a soup-platter, or sunflower visible to the utmost Forecourt. He takes the National Oath with a loud voice, elevating his hat at which sight all the army raise their bonnets on their bayonets, with shouts. Sweet is reconcilement to the heart oi man. Lafayette has sworn Flandre he swears the remaining Bodyguards, down in the Marble Court the people clasp them in their arms O, my brothers, why would ye force us to slay you ? Behold, there is joy over you, as over returning prodigal sons! The poor Bodyguards, now National and tricolour, exchange bonnets, exchange arms there shall be peace and fraternity. And still " Vive le Rio ; " and also " Le Roi d Paris" not now from one throat, but fi om all throats as one, for it is the heart's wish of all mortals.
;

;

;

;

:

;

,

Yes, The King to Paris : what else ? Ministers may consult, and National Deputies wag their heads but there is now no other possibility. You have forced liim to go willingly. " At one o'clock Lafayette gives audible assurance to that purpose and universal Insurrection, with immeasurable shout, and a discharge of all the firearms, clear and rusty, great and small, that it has, returns him acceptance. What a sound heard for leagues a doom-peal That sound too rolls away into the Silence of Ages. And the Chateau of Versailles stands ever since vacant, hushed still its spacious Courts grassgrown, responsive to the hoe of the weeder. Times and generations roll on, in their confused Gulf-current and buildings like builders
: 1 ;
! ; :

;

:

;

parties, National Assembly, National Rascality, National Royalty, all busy enough. Rascality rejoices women trim themselves with tricolour. Nay motherly Paris has sent her Avengers sufficient which are cartloads of loaves shouted over, which are gratefully consumed. The Avengers, in return, are searching for grain-stores loading them in fifty wagons that so a National King, probable harbinger of all blessings, may be the evident bringer of plenty, for one. And thus has Sansculottism made prisoner its King revoking his The Monarchy has fallen and not so much as honourably parole. no, ignominiously with struggle, indeed, oft-repeated but then with unwise struggle wasting its strength in fits and paroxysms at every new paroxysm, foiled more pitifully than before. Thus Broglie's whiff of grapeshot, which might have been something, has dwindled to the pot-valour of an Opera Repast, and O Richard, O man Roi. Which again we shall see dwindle to a Favras' Conspiracy, a thing to be settled by the hanging of one Chevalier. Poor Monarchy But what save foulest defeat can await that man, who wills, and yet wills not ? Apparently the King either has a right, or else he has assertible as such to the death, before God and man no right. Apparently, the one or the other could he but know which V.'ere Louis wise he would this dav abdicate. May Heaven pity him
; ;
'

have their destiny. Till one o'clock, then, there will be three

'

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I

1

FROM yERSAILLES.
;

S93

and none yet heard of has --^Is ft not strange so few Kings abdicate been known to commit suicide ? Fritz the First, of Prussia, alone tried and they cut the rope. it
;

As for the National Assembly, which decrees this morning that it is inseparable from his Majesty,' and will follow him to Paris, there may one thing be noted its extreme want of bodily health. After the Fourt:;enth of July there was a certain sickhness observable among honourable Members so many demanding passports, on account of infirm health. But now, for these following days, there is a perfect murrain President Mounier, Lally Tollendal, Clermont Tonnere, and all Constitutional Two-Chamber Royalists needing change of air; as most No-Chamber Royalists had formerly done. For, in truth, it is the second Emigration this that has now come most extensive among Commons Deputies, Noblesse, Clergy so that They will return in to Switzerland alone there go sixty thousand.' Yes, and have hot welcome. the day of accounts But Emigration on Emigration is the peculiarity of France. One Emigration follows another grounded on reasonable fear, unreasonable hope, largely also The highflyers have gone first, now the lower flyers on childish pet. and ever the lower will go, down to the crawlers. Whereby, however, cannot our National Assembly so much the more commodiously make the Constitution your Two-Chamber Anglomaniacs being all safe distant on foreign shores? Abbe Maury is seized and sent back again he, tough as tanned leather, with eloquent Captain Cazales and some others, will stand it out foj another year. But here, meanwhile, the question arises Was Philippe d'Orleans seen, this day, in the Bois de Boulogne, in grey surtout waiting under the wet sere foliage, what the day might bring forth ? Alas, yes, the Eidolon of him was, in Weber's and other such brains. The Chatelet shall make large inquisition into the matter, examining a hundred and seventy witnesses, and Deputy Chabroud publish his Report but disclose nothing further.* V\Tiat then has caused these two unparalleled October Days ? For surely such dramatic exhibition never yet enacted itself without Dramatist and Machinist. Wooden Punch emerges not, with his domestic sorrows, into the light of day, unless the wire be pulled how can human mobs ? Was it not d'Orleans then, and Laclos, Marquis Sillery, Mirabeau and the sons of confusion, hoping to drive the King to Metz, and gather the spoil ? Nay was it not, quite contrariwise, the (Eil-de-Boeuf, Bodyguard Colonel de Guiche, Minister Saint-Priest and highflying Loyalists hoping also to drive him to Metz and try it by the sword of civil war ? Good Marquis Toulongeon, the Historian and Deputy, feels constrained
'
:

;

:

:

'

I

,

;

;

:

:

;

'

'

;

:

;

to

admit that
Alas,

it

was

botk.'\

Friends, credulous incredulity is a strange matter. But when a whole Nation is smitten with Suspicion, and sees a dramatic miracle in the very operation of the gastric juices, what help is there
r

my

Rapport de Chiibroud {Moniteiir, du 31 Decembre, 1789V t Toulongeon, i. 150.

194

i'tiE

INSURRECTION OF WOMLN.
;

Such Nation is already a mere hypochondriac bundle of diseases as good as changed into glass atrabiliar, decadent and will suffer crises.
;
:

Is not

Suspicion

itself

the one thing to be suspected, as Montaigne

feared only fear ?

Now, however, the short hour has struck. His Majesty is in his carriage, with his Queen, sister Elizabeth, and two royal children. Not for another hour can the infinite Procession get marshalled, and under way. The weather is dim drizzling ; the mind confused the noise
;

great.

Processional marches not a few our world has seen Roman triumphs and ovations, Cabiric cymbal-beatings, Royal progresses, but this of the French Monarchy marching to its bed Irish funerals remained to be seen. Miles long, and of breadth losing itself in vagueness, for all the neighbouring country crowds to see. Slow; stagnating along, like shoreless Lake, yet with a noise like Niagara, A splashing and a tramping a hurrahing, like Babel and Bedlam. the truest segment of Chaos seen in uproaring, musket-volleying Till slowly it disembogue itself, in the thickening these latter Ages dusk, into expectant Paris, through a double row of faces all the way from Passy to the H6tel-de-Ville. Consider this Vanguard of National troops with trains of artillery of pikemen and pikewomen, mounted on cannons, on carts, hackneytripudiating, in tricolour ribbons from head to heel coaches, or on foot loaves stuck on the points of bayonets, green boughs stuck in gunNext, as main-march, fifty cart-loads of corn,' which have barrels.* been lent, for peace, from the stores of Versailles. Behind which follow stragglers of the Garde-du-Corps all humiliated, in Grenadier bonnets. Close on these comes the Royal Carriage come Royal Carriages for there are an Hundred National Deputies too, among whom sits Mirabeau, his rem.irks not given. Then finally, pellmell, as rear-guard, Flandre, Swiss, Hundred Swiss, other Bodyguards, Between and among all Brigands, whosoever cannot get before. which masses, flows without limit Saint-Antoine, and Menadic Cohort. tripudiating there, Menadic especially about the Royal Carriage singing allusive songs pointing with one covered with tricolour hand to the Royal Carriage, which the illusions hit, and pointing to the " Courage, Provision-wagons, with the other hand, and these words we are bringing you the shall not want bread now Friends Baker, the Bakeress, and Baker's boy {le Bou lunger, la Boulangire et
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We

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MitronY\ The wet day draggles the tricolour, but the joy is unextinguishable. " Ah Madame, notre bonne Reine" said some of Is not all well now ? these Strong-women some days hence, "Ah Madame, our good Queen, don't be a traitor any more («<? soy ez plus traitre ), and we will all love you " Poor Weber went splashing along, close by the Royal carriage,
le petit
1

with the tear in his eye
• Mercier
:

:

'

their Majesties did
Paris,

me
9)

the honour,' or
&r,,&c.

I

Nouveau
i.

t Toulongeon,

134-161.

— Deux Amis

iii.

21.

(iii. c.

;

FROM VERSAILLES.
thought they did
it,

195

'to testify, from time to time, bj shrugging of the shoulders, by looks directed to Heaven, the emotions thty telt.' Thus, hke frail cockle, floats the royal Life-boat, helmless, on black deluges

of Rascality. Mercier, in his loose way, estimates the Procession and assistants at He says it was one boundle;5S inarticulate tv/o hundred thousand. transcendent World-Laughter comparable to the Saturnalia of Haha the Ancients. not ? Here too, as we said, is Human Nature once more human shudder at it whoso is of shuddering humour: yet behold it tripudiates even so. it is human. It has swallowed all formulas For which reason they that collect Vases and Antiques, with figures of Dancing Bacchantes in wild and all but impossible positions,' may look with some interest on it.
;

;

Why

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Thus, however, has the slow-moving Chaos or modern Saturnalia of the Ancients, reached the Barrier and must halt, to be harangued by Mayor Bailly. Thereafter it has to lumber along, between the double row of faces, in the transcendent heaven-lashing Haha two hours longer, towards tl e H6tel-de-Ville. Thtn again to be harangued there, by several persons by Moreau de Saint-Mery among others Moreau of the Three-thousand orders, now National Deputy for St. Domingo. To all which poor Louis, who seemed to experience a slight emotion on entering this Townhall, can answer only that he "comes with Mayor Bailly, in reportpleasure, with confidence among his people." ing it, forgets 'confidence;' and the poor Queen says eagerly: "Add with confidence." " Messieurs," rejoins Mayor Bailly, " You are happier
;
;

;

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'

'

had not forgot." Finally, the King is shewn on an upper balcony, by torchlight, with and all the people,' says Weber, grasped a huge tricolour in his hat thinking now surely the New Era v^as born. one another's hands Hardly till eleven at night can Royalty get to its vacant, long-deserted Palace of the Tuileries to lodge there, somewhat in strolling-player
than
if I
; '


:

:

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'

Tuesday, the 6th of October, 1789. Poor Louis has Two other Paris Processions to make: one ludicrous* the other not ludicrous nor ignominious, but ignominious like this serious, nay sublime.
fashion.
It is
;

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

VOLUME

II.

THE CONSTITUTION.

BOOK

I.

THE FEAST OF
CHAPTER
I.

PIKES.

IN THE TUILERIES.

The victim having once got his stroke-of-grace, the catastrophe can be considered as almost come. There is small interest now in watching notable only are his sharper agonies, what conhis long low moans vulsive struggles he may make to cast the torture off from, him and then finally the last departure of life itself, and how he lies extinct and ended, either wrapt like Caesar in decorous mantle-folds, or unseemly sunk together, like one that had not the force even to die. Was French Royalty, when wrenched forth from its tapestries in that fashion, on that Sixth of October 1789, such a victim ? Universal France^ and Royal Proclamation to all the Provinces, answers anxiously, Mo; nevertheless one may fear the worst. Royalty was beforehand so decrepit, moribund, there is little life in it to heal an injury. How much of its strength, which was of the imagination merely, has fled Rascality having looked plainly in the King's face, and not died When the assembled crows can pluck up their scarecrow, and say to it, Here shalt thou stand and not there and can treat with it, and make it, from an infinite, a quite finite Constitutional scarecrow, what is to be looked for ? Not in the finite Constitutional scarecrow, but in what
:

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!

;

still unmeasured, infinite-seeming force may rally round it, is there thenceforth any hope. For it is most true that all available Authority is cystic in its conditions, and comes by the grace of God.' Cheerfuller than watching the death-struggles of Royalism will it be to watch the growth and gambollings of Sansculottism for, in human things, especially in human society, all death is but a death-birth thus if the sceptre is departing from Louis, it is only that, in other forms, other sceptres, were it even pike-sceptres, may bear sway. In a prurient element, rich with nutritive influences, we shall find that Sansculottism grows lustily, and even frisks in not ungraceful sport as indeed most young creatures are sportful nay, may it not be noted further, that as the grown cat, and cat-species generally, is the cruellest thing known, 80 the merriest is precisely the kitten, or growing cat ?
'

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:

:

;

But fancy the Royal Family risen from

its

truckle-beds on the

morrow
14

aoo
of that

THE FEAST OF
mad day
:

PIKES.

fancy the Municipal inquiry, " How would yot:r Majesty please to lodge?" and then that the King's rough answer, " Each may lodge as he can, I am well enough," is congeed and bowed away, in expressive grins, by the Townhall Functionaries, with obsequious upholsterers at their back and how the Chateau of the Tuileries is repainted, regarnished into a golden Royal Residence and Lafayette with his blue National Guards lies encompassing it, as blue Neptune (in the language of poets) does an island, wooingly. Thither may the wrecks of rehabilitated Loyalty gather, if it will become Constitutional for Constitutionalism thinks no evil Sansculottism itself rejoices in the King's countenance. The rubbish of a Menadic Insurrection, as in this ever-kindly world all rubbish can and' must be, is swept aside and so again, on clear arena, under new conditions, with something even of a new stateliness, we begin a new course of action. Arthur Young has witnessed the strangest scene Majesty walking unattended in the Tuileries Gardens and miscellaneous tricolour crowds, who cheer it, and reverently make way for it the very Queen commands at lowest respectful silence, regretful avoidance.* Simple ducks, in those royal waters, quackle for crumbs from young royal fingers the little Dauphin has a little railed garden, where he is seen delving, with ruddy cheeks and flaxen curled hair also a little hutch What peaceto put his tooJs in, and screen himself against showers. Or able simplicity Is it peace of a Father restored to his children ? of a Taskmaster who has lost his whip ? Lafayette and the Municipality and universal Constitutionalism assert the former, and do what is in them to realise it. Such Patriotism as snarls dangerously, and shews teeth, Patrollotism shall suppress or far better. Royalty shall soothe down the angry hair of it, by gentle pattings and, most effectual of all, by fuller diet. Yes, not only shall Paris be fed, but the King's hand be seen in that work. The household goods of the Poor shall, up to a certain amount, by royal bounty, be disengaged from pawn, and that insatiable Mont de Piete disgorge: rides in the city with their and so by substance and show, shall Royalty, Vive-le-roi, need not fail if man's art can popularise it, be popularised.! Or, alas, is it neither restored Father nor diswhipped Taskmaster that walks there but an anomalous complex of both these, and of innumerable other heterogeneities reducible to no rubric, if not to Man this newly devised one King Louis Restorer of French Liberty? indeed, and King Louis like other men, lives in this world to make rule out of the ruleless by his living energy, he shall force the absurd But then if there be no living energy itself to become less absurd. King Serpent, hurled into its unexpected watery living passivity only ? dominion, did at least bite, and assert credibly that he was there but as for the poor King Log, tumbled hither and thither as thousand-fold chance and other will than his might direct, how happy for him that he was indeed wooden and, doing nothing, could also see and suffer nothing It is a distracted business. For his French Majesty, meanwhile, one of the worst things is that

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* Arthur Young's Travels,

i.

264-280.

t

Deux Amis,

iii.

c, 10.

IN THE TUILERIES.
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201

he can get no hunting. Alas, no hunting henceforth only a tatal beingScarcely, in the next June weeks, shall he iaste again the hunted He sends joys of the game-destroyer in next June, and never more. for his smith-tools gives, in the course of the day, official or ceremonial business being ended, a few strokes of the file, qnelque coups de lime!* Innocent brother mortal, why wert thou not an obscure substantial maker of locks but doomed in that other far-seen craft, to be a maker things self-destructive, which no only of world-follies, unrealities mortal hammering could rivet into coherence Poor Louis is not without insight, nor even without the elements of some sharpness of temper, spurting at times from a stagnating will but he If harmless inertness could save him, it were well character. will slumber and painfully dream, and to do aught is not given him. Royalist Antiquarians still shew the rooms where Majesty and suite, Here sat the in these extraordinary circumstances, had their lodging. Queen reading, for she had her library brought hither, though the taking vehement counsel of the vehement unking refused his yet with sure hope of counselled sorrowing over altered times better in her young rosy Boy, has she not the living emblem of hope of dawn, or of yet with golden gleams It is a murky, working sky deeper meteoric night ? Here again this chamber, on the other side of here his Majesty breakfasted, and the main entrance, was the King's did official work here daily after breakfast he received the Queen;
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sometimes

in pathetic friendliness
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sometimes

in

human

sulkiness, for
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and, when questioned flesh is weak " Madame, your business is with the
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not better you, your Majesty's self, impartial History scornful that the thicker vessel was not also the stronger pity-struck for the porcelain-clay of humanity rather than for the tile-clay, though indeed both were broken So, however, in this Medicean Tuileries, shall the French King and Queen now sit for one-and-forty months and see a wild-fermenting France work out its own destiny, and theirs. Months bleak, ungenial, of rapid vicissitude yet with a mild pale splendour, here and there as of an April that were leading to leafiest Summer as of an October that led only to everlasting Frost. Medicean Tuileries, how changed since it was a peaceful Tile-field Or is the ground itself fate-stricken, accursed an Atreus' Palace for that Louvre window is still nigh, out of which a Capet, whipt of the Furies, fired his signal of the Saint Bartholomew Dark is the way of the Eternal as mirrored in this world of Time: God's way is in the sea, and His path in the great deep.
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about business, would answer children." Nay, Sire, were it took the children ? So asks

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' Le Chiteau des Tulleriee, ou r^it

etc.,

par Roussel

(in Hist.

Pari

iv.

195-315).

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THE FEAST OF PIKES.

CHAPTER
IN

II.

once legs to stand on. Quick, then, ye In the Patriots, bestir yourselves, and make it shape legs for it Archeveche, or Archbishop's Palace, his Grace himself having fled and afterwards in the Riding-hall, named Manage, close on the Tuileries there does a National Assembly apply itself to the miraculous work. Successfully had there been any heaven- scaling Prometheus among them not successfully since there was none There, in noisy
it
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To believing Patriots, will march, marcher,

—had

THE SALLE DE MANAGE. however, it is now clear,

that the Constitution

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debate, for the sessions are occasionally scandalous,' and as many as three speakers have been seen in the Tribune at once, let us continue to fancy it wearing the slow months. Tough, dogmatic, long of wind is Abb6 Maury Ciceronian pathetic Keen-trenchant, on the other side, glitters a young Baris Cazales. nave abhorrent of sophistry sheering, like keen Damascus sabre, Simple all sophistry asunder, reckless what else he sheer with it. Nor seemest thou, solid Dutch-built Petion if solid, surely dull. With inlifegiving is that tone of thine, livelier polemical Rabaut. effable serenity sniffs great Sieyes, aloft, alone his Constitution ye may babble over, ye may mar, but can by no possibility mend is not Polity a science he has exhausted ? C^ool, slow, two military Lameths are visible, Vv^ith their quality sneer, or demi-sneer they shall gallantly refund their Mother's Pension, when the Red Book is produced gallantly be wounded in duels. Marquis Toulongeon, whose Pen v», yet thank, sits there; in stoical meditative humour, oftenest silent, accepts what destiny will send. Thouret and Parlementary Duport produce mountains of Reformed Law liberal, Anglomaniac available Shall goose Gobel, for and unavailable. Mortals rise and fall. example, or Gobel, for he is of Strasburg German breed, be a Constitutional Archbishop ? Alone of all men there, Mirabeau may begin to discern clearly whither all this is tending. Patriotism, accordingly, regrets that his zeal seems to be getting cool. In that famed Pentecost-Night of the Fourth of August, when new Faith rose suddenly into miraculous fire, and old Feudality was burnt up, men remarked that Mirabeau took no hand in it that, in fact, he luckily happened to be absent. But did he not defend the Veto, nay Veto Absolu ; and tell vehement Barna\=« that six hundred irresponsible senators would make of all tyrannies the insupportablest ? Again, how anxious was he that the King's Ministers should have seat and voice in the National Assembly; doubtles." with an eye to being Minister himself! Whereupon the National Assembly decides, what i^; very momentous, that no Deputy shall be Minister he, in his haughty stormful manner, advising us to make it, " no Deputy called Mirabeau."* A man of perhaps inveterate Feudalisms of stratagems too often visible leanings towards the Royalis*
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• Mouiitur, Nos. 65, 86 (29th September, 7th November, 1789).

IN THE SALLE DE MANEGE,
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side a man suspect whom Patriotism will unmask I Thus, in these June days, when the question, Who shall have tight to declare war? comes on, you hear hoarse Hawkers sound dolefully through the streets, "Grand Treason of Count Mirabeau, price only one sou;" because he pleads that it shall be not the Assembly but the King Pleads nay prevails for in spite of the hoarse Hawkers, and an endless Pop.ulace raised by them to the pitch even of Lanterned he mounts the Tribune next day grim resolute murmuring aside to his " I know it friends that speak of danger I must come hence either in triumph, or else torn in fragments " and it was in triumph that he
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man stout of heart whose popularity is not of the populace, *pai ; popiilaciere whom no clamour of unwashed mobs without doors, or of washed mobs within, can scare from his way Dumont remembers hearing him deliver a Report on Marseilles every word was interrupted on the part of the Cole Droit by abusive epithets calumniator, liar, assassin, scoundrel {scelerat) Mirabeau pauses a moment, and, " I wait. in a honeyed tone, addressing the most furious, says
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Messieurs,
cult to

till

these amenities be exhausted."'*
!

A man enigmatic,
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diffi-

For example, whence comes his money ? Can the profit of a Newspaper, sorely eaten into by Dame Le Jay can this, and the eighteen francs a-day your National Deputy has, be supposed equal to this expenditure ? House in the Chaussee d'Antin Country-house at Argenteuil splendours, sumptuosities, orgies living as if he had a mint! All saloons, barred against Adventurer Mirabeau, are flung wide-open to King Mirabeau, the cynosure of Europe, whom female France flutters to behold, though the Man Mirabeau is one and the same. As for money, one may conjecture that Royalism furnishes it; which if Royalism do, will not the same be welcome, as money always
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unmask

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

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Unhajjpily our National Assembly has much to do * Dumont, Souvenirs, p. 278-

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a F rance to

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THE FEAST OF PIKES.
is

regeneiate; and France
cash.
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short of so

many

requisites; short even ol
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These same Finances give trouble enough no choking of the Deficit which gapes ever, Give, give f To appease the Deficit we venture on a hazardous step, sale of the Clergy's Lands and superflous Edifices most hazardous. Nay, given the sale, who is to buy them, ready-money having fled? Wherefore, on the 19th day of December, a paper-money of Assignats,' of Bonds secured, or assigned, on that Clerico-National Property, and unquestionable at least in payment of that, is decreed the first of a long series of like financial performances, which shall astonish mankind. So that now, while old rags last, tliere shall be no lack of circulating medium whether ol
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commodities to circulate thereon, is another question. But, after all, does not this Assignat business speak volumes for modern science? Bankruptcy, we may say, was come, as the end oi all Delusions needs must come yet how gently, in softening diffusion, in mild succession, was it hereby made to fall like no all-destroying avalanche like gentle showers of a powdery impalpable snow, shower after shower, till all was indeed buried, and yet little was destroyed that could not be replaced, be dispensed with To such length has modern machinery reached. Bankruptcy, we said, was great; but indeed Money itsell s a standing miracle.
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On the whole, it is a matter of enaless difhculty, tnat of the Clergy. Clerical property may be made the Nation's, and the Clergy hired servants of the State but if so, is it not an altered Church ? Adjust;

of the most confused sort, .^as become unavoidable. Old landmarks, in any sense, avail not in a new France. Nay literally, the very Ground is new divided your old party-coloured Provinces

ment enough,

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become new uniform Departments, Eighty-three in number whereby, as in some sudden shifting of the Earth's axis, no mortal knows his new latitude at once. The Twelve old Parlements too, what is to be done with them ? The old Parlements are declared to be all in permanent vacation,' till once the new equal-justice, of Departmental
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Courts, National Appeal-Court, of elective Justices, Justices of Peace, and other Thouret-and-Duport apparatus be got ready. They have as it were, with to sit there, these old Parlements, uneasily waiting the rope round their neck crying as they can. Is there none to deliver us ? But happily the answer being. None, none, they are a manageable elass, these Parlements. They can be bullied, even, into silence the Paris Parlement, wiser than most, has never whimpered. They their Chamber ol in such vacation as is fit will and must sit there Vacation distributes in the interim what little justice is going. With On the the rope round their neck, their destiny may be succinct 13th of November 1790, Mayor Bailly shall walk to the Palais de
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Justice,
little

few even heeding him and with municipal seal-stamp and a hot wax, seal up the Parlementary Paper-rooms, and the dread Parlement of Paris pass away, into Chaos, gently as does a Dream So shall the Parlements perish, succinctly and innumerable eyes be
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dry.

Not so the Clergy.

For granting even that Religion were dead;

IN THE SALLE DE MANEGE.
ago,
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205

with unutterable Dubois ; or that it had died, half-centuries emigrated lately, to Alsace, with Necklace-Cardinal Rohan or that it now walked as goblin revenant, with Bishop Talleyrand of Autun; £et does not the Shadow of Religion, the Cant of Religion, still linger ? The Clergy have means and material means, of number, organisation, a material, at lowest, of public ignorance, known to be social weight the mother of devotion. Nay, withal, is it incredible that there might, in simple hearts, latent here and there like gold-grains in the mud-beach, still dwell some real Faith in God, of so singular and tenacious a sort that even a Maury or a Talleyrand, could still be the symbol for it ? Enough, It is a the Clergy has strength, the Clergy has craft dnd indignation. most fatal business this of the Clergy. A weltering hydra-coil, which the National Assembly has stirred up about its ears hissing, stinging which cannot be appeased, alive which cannot be trampled dead Fatal, from first to last Scarcely after fifteen months' debating, can a Civil Constitution of the Clergy be so much as got to paper and then for Alas, such Civil Constitution is but an agreegetting it into reality ? ment to disagree. It divides France from end to end, with a new split, Catholicism, what of it there infinitely complicating all the other splits is left, with the Cant of Catholicism, raging on the one side, and sceptic
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the other both, by contradiction, waxing fanatic. endless jarring, of Refractory hated Priests, and Constitutional despised ones of tender consciences, like the King's, and consciences hot-seared, like certain of his People's the whole to end in Feasts of Reason and a War of La Vendee So deep-seated is Religion in the heart of man, and holds of all infinite passions. If the dead echo of it still did so much, what could not the living voice of it once do ? Finance and Constitution, Law and Gospel this surely were work enough yet this is not all. In fact, the Ministry, and Necker himself, whom a brass inscription fastened by the people over his door-lintel testifies to be the Ministre adore^ are dwindling into clearer and

Heathenism on
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Execution or legislation, arrangement or detail, from drops undone all lights at last on the toiled shoulders of an august Representative Body. Heavy-laden National Assembly It has to hear of innumerable fresh revolts, Brigand expeditions of Chateaus in the West, especially of Charter-Chests, Chartiers, set on fire for there too the overloaded Ass frightfully
clearer nullity.
their nerveless fingers all
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the South full of heats and jealousies crossed sabres, Marseilles against Toulon, and Carpentras beleaguered by Avignon such a Royalist collision in a
recalcitrates.

Of

Cities in

which

will

end

in

;

career of

Freedom

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nay Patriot

velocity will bring about!

which a mere difference of Of a Jourdan Coup-tete, who has skulked
collision,
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thitherward, from the claws of the Chatelet and will raise whole scoundrel regiments. Also it has to hear of Royalist Camp of Jales : Jales mountain-girdled Plain, amid the rocks of the Cevennes whence Royalism, as is feared and hoped, may dash down like a mountain deluge, and submerge France singular thing this Camp of Jales existing mostly oti paper. For the Soldiers at Jalds, being peasants or National Guards, were in
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heart sworn Sansculottes and all that the Royalist Captains could do was, with false words, to keep them, or rather keep the report of them, drawn up there, visible to all imaginations, for a terror and a sign, if

peradventure France might be reconquered by theatrical machinery, by the picture of a Royalist Army done to the life !* Not till the third summer was this portent, burning out by fits and then fading, got finally extinguished was the old Castle of Jal6s, no Camp being visible to the bodily eye, got blown asunder by some National Guards. Also it has to hear not only of Brissot and his Friends of the Blacks, but by and by of a whole St. Domingo blazing skyward blazing in beckoning the nightly main. literal fire, and in far worse metaphorical Also of the shipping interest, and the landed interest, and all manner Of industry every where manacled, of interests, reduced to distress. bewildered and only Rebellion thriving. Of sub-officers, soldiers and sailors in mutiny by land and water. Of soldiers, at Nanci, as we shall Of sailors, nay the see, needing to be cannonaded by a brave Bouille. very galley-slaves, at Brest, needing also to be cannonaded but with no Bouille to do it. For indeed, to say it in a word, in those days there was no King in Israel, and every man did that which was right
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Such things has an august National Assembly to hear of, as it goes on regenerating France. Sad and stern but what remedy ? Get the Constitution ready and all men will swear to it for do not Addresses In this manner, by Heaven's of adhesion' arrive by the cartload? blessing, and a Constitution got ready, shall the bottomless fire-gulf be vaulted in with rag-paper and Order will wed Freedom, and live with her there, till it grow too hot for them. O Cote Gauche, worthy are
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Addresses generally say, to fix the regards of the the regards of this one poor Planet, at lowest Universe Nay, it must be owned, ihe Cote Droit makes a still madder figure. An irrational generation irrational, imbecile, and with the vehement obstinacy characteristic of that a generation which will not learn. Falling Bastilles, Insurrections of Women, thousands of smoking Manorhouses, a country bristling with no crop but that of Sansculottic steel these were tolerably didactic lessons but them they have not taught. There are still men, of whom it was of old written, Bray them in a mortar fire nor Or, in milder language, They have wedded their delusions till death steel, nor any sharpness of Experience, shall sever the bond Of such may the Heavens have mercy for the Earth, with do us part her rigorous Necessity, will have none. Admit, at the same time, that it was most natural. Man lives by Hope Pandora when her box of gods'-gifts flew all out and became How shall an irrational mortal, when gods'-curses, still retained Hope. his highplace is never so evidently pulled down, and he, being irrational,
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IN
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THE SALLE DE MANEGE.
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207

resourceless,— part with the belief that it will be rebuilt? It would make all so straight again it seems so unspeakably desirable For, must not the would you but look at it aright so reasonable, or else the solid World dissolve ? thing which was continue to be Revolt against conYes, persist, O infatuated Sansculottes of France stituted Authorities hunt out your rightful Seigneurs, who at bottom in country's battles so loved you, and readily shed their blood for you, and, even in preserving game, were as at Rossbach and elsewhere preserving you, could ye but have understood it hunt them out, as if set fire to their Chateaus and Chartiers as they were wild wolves and what then ? Why, then turn every man his hand to wolf-dens In confusion, famine, desolation, regret the days against his fellow To repentant rueful recall them, recall us with them. that are gone prayers we will not be deaf. So, '.vith dimmer or clearer consciousness, must the Right Side reason and act. An inevitable position perhaps but a most false one this henceforth must virtually be for them. Evil, be thou our good The fiercer the effervescence grows, the sooner will it their prayer. for after all it is but some mad effervescence ; the World is pass solid, and cannot dissolve. For the rest, if they have any positive industry, it is that of plots, and backstairs conclaves. Plots which cannot be executed which are mostly theoretic on their part ; for which nevertheless this and the other practical Sieur Augeard, Sieur Maillebois, Sieur Bonne Savardin, Nay gets into trouble, gets imprisoned, and escapes with difficulty. there is a poor practical Chevalier Favras who, not without some passing reflex on Monsieur himself, gets hanged for them, amid loud uproar of the world. Poor Favras, he keeps dictating his last will at the H6tel-de-Ville, through the whole remainder of the day,' a weary handFebruary day offers to reveal secrets, if they will save him somely declines since they will not then dies, in the flare of torchremarking, rather than exclaiming, with light, with politest composure " People, I die innocent pray for me." * Poor outspread hands Favras type of so much that has prowled indefatigable over France, and, in freer field, might have ea7'ned instead oi in days now ending prowling, to thee it is no theory In the Senate-house again, the attitude of the Right Side is that of calm unbelief. Let an august National Assembly make a Fourth-ofAugust Abolition of Feudality declare the Clergy State-servants who vote Suspensive Vetos, new Law-Courts vote or shall have wages decree what contested thing it will have it responded to from the four corners of France, nay get King's Sanction, and what other Acceptance were conceivable, the Right Side, as we find, persists, with imperturbablest tenacity, in considering, and ever and anon shews that it still considers, all these so-called Decrees as mere temporary whims, which indeed stand on paper, but in practice and fact are not, and cannot be. Figure the brass head of an Abb6 Maury flooding forth Jesuitic eloquence in this strain dusky d'Espr6m6nil, Barrel Mirabeau (pr<!* Su Deux Amis (iv. c. 14, Hist. Pari, (vl, 384). 7)
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THE FEAST OF

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bably in liquor), and enough of others, cheering him from the Right and, fori example, with what visage a seagreen Robespierre eyes him from the Left. And how Sieyes ineffably sniffs on him, or does not deign to sniff; and how the Galleries groan in spirit, or bark rabid on him so that to escape the Lanterne, on stepping forth, he needs presence of mind, and a pair of pistols in his girdle For he is one of the toughest of men. Here indeed becomes notable one great difference between our two kinds of civil war between the modern lingual or Parliamentary:

I

;

—much to the disadvantage of the former.
you front your foe with drawn weapon,
die,
I

logical kind,

and the

ancient, or

manual

kind, in the steel battle-field In the manual kind, where one right stroke is final ; for,

physically speaking, when the brains are out the man does honestly and trouble you no more. But how different when it is with arguments you fight Here no victory yet definable can be considered as
final.

Beat him

down with Parliamentary

invective,

till

sense be fled

cut him in two, hanging one half on this dilemma-horn, the other that; blow the brains or thinking-faculty quite out of him for the time
kills

on
:

it

to-morrow he repairs his golden fires The thing that w/// logically extinguish him is perhaps For how, till a man still a desideratum in Constitutional civilisation. know, in some measure, at what point he becomes logically defunct, can Parliamentary Business be carried on, and Talk cease or slake ? Doubtless it was some feeling of this difficulty and the clear insight how little such knowledge yet existed in the French Nation, new in the Constitutional career, and how defunct Aristocrats would continue to walk for unlimited periods, as Partridge the Almanac-maker did, that had sunk into the deep mind of People's-friend Marat, an eminently practical mind and had grown there, in that richest putrescent soil, Not into the most original plan of action ever submitted to a People. yet has it grown but it has germinated, it is growing rooting itself into Tartarus, branching towards Heaven the second season hence,
not
;

he

rallies
!

and revives on the morrow

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shall see it risen out of the bottomless Darkness, full-grown, into on or under disastrous Twilight, a Hemlock-tree, great as the world Two whose boughs all the People's-friends of the world may lodge. hundred and Sixty thousand Aristocrat heads that is the precisest yet we calculation, though one would not stand on a few hundreds never rise as high as the round three hundred thousand. Shudder at it, O People; but it is as true as that ye yourselves, and your People'sThese prating Senators of yours hover ineffectual on friend, are alive. the barren letter, and will never save the Revolution. A CassandraMarat cannot do it, with his single shrunk arm but with a few determined men it were possible. " Give me," said the People's-friend, in his cold way, when young Barbaroux, once his pupil in a course oi what was called Optics, went to see him, " Give me two hundred Naples Bravoes, armed each with a good dirk, and a muff on his left arm by way of shield with them I will traverse France, and accomplish the Revolution." * Nay, be grave, young Barbaroux for thou seest, * M6moires de Barbaroux (Paris, 1822), p. 57.

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205

in that soot-bleared figure, there is no jesting in those rheumy eyes most earnest of created things neither indeed is there madness, of the

strait-waistcoat sort. Such produce shall the Time ripen in cavernous Marat, the man forbid living in Paris cellars, lone as fanatic Anchorite in his Thebaid taking peculiar views therefrom. say, as far-seen Simon on his Pillar,
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;
' '

Patriotism and dirk-and-muff plan of his (with superficial modifications) prove to bc precisely the plan adopted ? After this manner, in these circumstances, do august Senators regenerate France. Nay, they are, in very deed, believed to be regenerating it on account of which great fact, main fact of their history, the wearied eye can never be permitted wholly to ignore them. But looking away now from these precincts of the Tuileries, where Constitutional Royalty, let Lafayette water it as he will, languishes too and august Senators are perhaps at bottom only like a cut branch perfecting their 'theory of defective verbs,' how does the young The attentive ol server can Reality, young Sansculottism thrive ? answer: It thrives bravely; putting forth new buds; exiianding the Is not French Existen- e, as before, old buds into leaves, into boughs. most prurient, all loosened, most nutrient for it ? Sans tilottism has the property of growing by what other things die of: by agitation, contention, disarrangement nay in a woid, by what is the symbol and Hunger. fruit of all these In such a France as this, Hunger, as we have remarked, can hardl/ fail. The Provinces, the Southern Cities feel it in their turn and what it brings Exasperation, preternatural Suspicion. In Paris some halcyon days of abundance followed the Menadic Insurrection, with its but they Versailles grain-carts, and recovered Restorer of Liberty could not continue. The month is still October when famishing SaintAntoine, in a moment of passion, seizes a poor Baker, innocent • and hangs him, in Constantinople wise but Francois the Baker Too even this, singular as it may seem, does not cheapen bread clear it is, no Royal bounty, no Municipal dexterity can adequately feed a Bastille-destroying Paris. Wherefore, on view of the hanged Baker, Constitutionalism in sorrow and anger demands T^i Martiale^ and indeed gets it, most readily, almost before a kind of Riot Act the sun goes down. This is that famed Martial Law, with its Red Flag, its Drapeau Rouge : in virtue of which Mayor Bailly, or any Mayor, has but henceforth to hang out that new Oriflam7ne of his then to read or mumble something about the King's peace and, after certain pauses, serve any undisj ersing Assemblage with musket-shot, or whatever shot will disperse it. A decisive Law and most just on one proviso that all PatroUotisra »e of God, and all mob-assembling be of the Devil ;- otherwise not so just. Mayor Bailly, be unwilling to use it! Hang
; ;

him as bandog now to be muzzled, as Desmoulins does, 'Maximum of but were it not singular if this Cassandra-Marat
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* aist October, 1789 (Monlteur,

No.

76).

210

THE FEAST OF

PIKEi3,

not out that new Oriflamme,y?aw(f not of gold but of the want ot gold The thrice-blessed Revohition is done, thou thinkest ? If so it will be well with thee. But now let no mortal say henceforth that an august National Assembly wants riot all it ever wanted was riot enough to balance Court-plotting :ili it now v/ants, or Heaven or of Earth, is to get its iheory of defective verbs perfected.
: ;

CHAPTER
With Famine and

III.

THE MUSTER.
a Constitutional theory of defective verbs going on, universal shaking and sifting of is conceivable. French Existence this is : in the course of which, for one thing, what a multitude of low-lying figures are sifted to the top, and set busily to
all

other excitement

A

work there

I

Uogleech Marat, now far-seen as Simon Stylites, we already know The mere sample, these, of what is him and others, raised aloft. coming, of what continues coming, upwards hom the realm of Night — Chaumette, by and by Anaxagoras Chaumette, one already descries not now a sea-boy on the high and giddy mellifluous in street-groups
I
: ;

roast a mellifluous tribune of the common people, with long curling able sub-editor too who locks, on bourne-^tone. of the thoroughfares Clerk Tallien, he also is become to the very gallows. shall rise,
: ; ;


;

sub-editor

shall

become

able-editor

;

and more.

Bibliopolic
;

Momoro,

Typographic Prudhomme see new trades opening. Collot d'Herbois, tearing a passion to rags, pauses on the Thespian boards listens, with that black bushy head, to the sound of the world's drama: shall the Mimetic become Real? Did ye hiss him, O men of Lyons ? * Better had ye clapped Happy now, indeed, for all manner of mimetic, half-original men Timid blustering, with more or less of sincerity, which need not be Shall we entirely sincere, yet the sincerer the better, is like to go far. so that only say, the Revolution-element w^orks itself rarer and rarer till at last the mere blownlighter and lighter bodies will float in it bladder is your only swimmer? Limitation of mind, then vehemence, prom.ptitude, audacity, shall all be available to which add only these two: cunning and good lungs. Good fortune must be presupposed.
1

;

;

;

Accordingly, of all classes the rising one, we observe, is now the Attorney witness Bazires, Carriers, Fouquier-Tinvilles, Basoche-Captain class Bourdons: more than enough. Such figures shall Night, from her wonder-bearing bosom, emit swarm after swarm. Of another deeper and deepest swarm, not yet dawned on the astonished eye of pilfering Candle-snuffers, Thief-valets, disfrocked Capuchins, and so many Ileberts, Ilenricts, Ronsins, Rossignols, let us, as long as possible, forbear speaking. Thus, over France, all stirs that has what the Physiologists call
:

;

;

Buzot

:

M^moires

'Paris. 1S23), p. go.

THE MUSTER.
irritability in
itself
stirs
;

zn
irritability
1

has perfected All into vitality into actual vision, and force that can will and if not in Paris, flocks thither. Great and greater waxes
it
:

how much more
;

all

wherein

President Danton in his Cordeliers Section his rhetorical tropes are gigantic energy flashes from his black brows, menaces in his athletic figure, rolls in the sound of his voice reverberating from the domes this man also, like Mirabeau, has a natural eye, and begins to see whither Constitutionalism is tending, though with a wish in it different from Mirabeau's. Remark, on the other hand, how General Dumouriez has quitted Normandy and the Cherbourg Breakwater, to come whither we may It is his second or even third trial at Paris, since this New Era guess. began but now it is in right earnest, for he has quitted all else. Wiry, elastic unwearied man whose life was but a battle and a march No, " the creature of God and of my sv/ord," not a creature of Choiseul's he fiercely answered in old days. Overfalling Corsican batteries, in the deadly fire-hail wriggling invincible from under his horse, at Closterkamp of the Netherlands, though tethered with crushed stirrupiron and nineteen wounds tough, minatory, standing at bay, as forlorn hope, on the skirts of Poland intriguing, battling in cabinet and field roaming far out, obscure, as King's spial, or sitting sealed up, enchanted in Bastille fmcing, pamphleteering, scheming and struggling from the very birth of him,* the man has come thus far. How repressed, how irrepressible Like some incarnate spirit in prison, which indeed he was ; hewing on granite walls for deliverance: striking fire-flashes from them. And now has the general earthquake rent his cavern too ? Twenty years younger, what might he not have done But his hair has a shade of gray his way of thought is all fixed, military. He can grow no further, and the new world is in such growth. will name him, on the whole, one of Heaven's Swiss without faith wanting above all things work, work on any side. Work also is appointed him and he will do it.
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Not from over France only are the unrestful flocking towards Paris but from all sides of Europe. Where the carcase is, thither will the eagles gather. Think how many a Spanish Guzman, Martinico Fournier named Fournicr t Americain, Engineer Miranda from the very Andes, were flocking or had flocked. Walloon Pereyra might boast of the strangest parentage him, they say, Prince Kaunitz the Diplomatist heedlessly dropped like ostrich-egg, to be hatched ol Chance, into an ostrich-^rt/^r .' Jewish or German Freys do business in a great Cesspool of Agio ; which Cesspool this Assignat-'a^A. has quickened, into a Mother of dead dogs. Swiss Claviere could found no Socinian Genevese Colony in Ireland; but be paused, years ago, prophetic, before the Minister's Hotel at Paris and said, it was borne on his mind that he one day was to be Minister, and laughed.f Swiss Pache, on the other hand, sits sleekheaded, frugal the wonder of bis
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*

Dumouriez M6moires, i, 28, &c. Souvenirs sur Mirabeau, t Duinont
: :

p. 395.

312

THE FEAST OF PIKES.
:

alley, and even of neighbouring ones, for humility of mind, and 2 Ye thought deeper than most men's sits there, Tartuffe, till wanted Italian Dufournys, Flemish Prolys, flit hither all ye bipeds of prey! Come whosesoever head is hot thou of mind ungoverned, be it chaos as of undevelopment or chaos as of ruin the man who cannot get known, the man who is too well known if thou have any vendible They come faculty, nay if thou have but edacity and loquacity, come with hot unutterabilities in their heart as Pilgrims towards a miraculous shrine. Nay how many come as vacant Strollers, aimless, of whom Europe is full, merely towards something ! For benighted fowls, when you beat their bushes, rush towards any light. Thus Frederick Baron Trenck too is here mazed, purblind, from the cells of Magdeburg Singular to say, Trenck, in Minotauric cells, and his Araidne lost these years, sells wine not indeed in bottle, but in wood. Nor is our England without her missionaries. She has her lifesaving Needham to whom was solemnly presented a civic sword,' Her Paine: rebellious Staymaker; long since rusted into nothingness.

own

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unkempt
Sense
'

;

who

feels that he, a single
;

that he can and will free all this Pamphlet, free America Price-Stanhope Constitutional World perhaps even the other. Association sends over to congratulate;* welcomed by National Assembly, though they are but a London Club whom Burke and Toryism eye askance. On thee too, for country's sake, O Chevalier John Paul, be a word In faded naval uniform, Paul Jones lingers visible spent, or misspent Like the vvnieskin from which the wine is all drawn. here lik<» Low is his once loud bruit scarcely audible, save, ghost ot himself with extreme tedium, in ministerial ante-chambers in this or the other culcharitable dining-room, mindful of the past. What changes Not now, poor Paul, thou lookest wistful minatings and declinings
;

Needleman, did by his

'

Comvion

;

!

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;

!

over the Solway brine, by the foot of native Criffel, into blue mountainous Cumberland, into blue Infinitude environed with thrift, with humble friendliness thyself, young fool, longing to be aloft from it, oi even to be away from it. Yes, beyond that sapphire Promontory, which men name St. Bees, which is not sapphire either, but dull sandstone, when one gets close to it, there is a world. Which world thou too shalt taste of! From yonder White Haven rise his smokeProud Forth quakes at his ominous though ineffectual. clouds had not the wind suddenly shifted. Flamboroiigh bellying sails reapers, homegoing, pause on the hill-side for what sulphur-cloud is that that defaces the sleek sea sulphur-cloud spitting streaks of fire ? A sea cockfight it is, and of the hottest; where British Serapis and
; ;

;

;

:

;

French-American Bon
;

Homme

Richard do lash and

throttle

each

and lo the desperate valour has suffocated the other, in their fashion deliberate, and Paul Jones too is of the Kings of the Sea The Euxine, the Meotian waters felt thee next, and long-skirted Paul; and thy fier7 soul has wasted itself in thousand Turks,
!

O

contradictions

;

—to no purpose.
• Moniteur, lo

For, in far lands, with scarlet NassauNovembre, 7 Deoerabre, 1789.

THE MUSTER.
!

iij

Siegens, with sinful Imperial Catherines, is not the heart broken, even as at home with the mean ? Poor Paul hunger and dispiritment track thy sinking footsteps once or at most twice, in this Revolution-tumult mute, ghost-like, as with stars dimthe figure of thee emerges twinkling through.' And then, when the light is gone quite out, a National Legislature grants ceremonial funeral As good had been the natural Presbyterian Kirk-bell, and six feet of Scottish earth, among the dust of thy loved ones. Such world lay beyond the Promontory of St. Bees. Such is the life of sinful mankind here
:

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'

below.

But ot all strangers, far the notablest for us is Baron Jean or, dropping baptisms and feudalisms, World Baptiste de Clootz Citizen Anacharsis Clootz, from Cleves. Him mark, judicious Reader. Thou hast known his Uncle, sharp-sighted thoroughgoing Cornelius de Pauw, who mercilessly cuts down cherished illusions and of the finest antique Spartans, will make mere modern cutthroat Mainots.* The like stuff is in Anacharsis hot metal full of scoriae, which should and could have been smelted out, but which will not. He has wandered over this terraqueous Planet seeking, one may say, the Paradise we lost long ago. He has seen English Burke has been seen of the Portugal Inquisition has roamed, and fought, and written is writing, among other things, Evidences of the Mahometan Religion.' But now, like his Scythian adoptive godfather, he finds himself in the Paris Athens surely, at last, the haven of his soul. A dashing man, beloved at Patriotic dinner-tables with gaiety, nay with humour headlong, trenchant, of free purse in suitable costume though what mortal ever more despised costumes ? Under all costumes Anacharsis seeks the man not Stylites Marat will more freely trample costumes, if they hold no man. This is the faith of Anacharsis That there is a Paradise discoverable that all costumes ought to hold men. O Anacharsis, it is a headlong, swift-going faith. Mounted thereon, meseems, thou art bound hastily for the City of Nowhere ; and wilt arrive / At best, we may say, arrive in good riding altitude ; which indeed is something.
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So many new persons, and new things have come to occupy this Her old Speech and Thought, and Activity which springs from these, are all changing fermenting towards unknown issues. To the dullest peasant, as he sits sluggish, over-toiled, by his evening hearth, one idea has come that of Chateaus burnt of Chateaus
France.
; :

;

combustible.

Coffeehouses, in Province or Capital The Autre de Procope has now other questions than the Three Stagyrite Unities to settle not theatre-controversies, but a worldcontroversy there, in the ancient pigtail mode, or with modern Brutus' heads, do well-frizzed logicians hold hubbub, and Chaos umpire sits. The ever-enduring melody of Paris Saloons has got a new groundtone : ever-enduring which has been heard, and by the listening De Pauw, Richerches sur Its Grecs, &c.
altered all
; 1
:

How

;

214

THE FEAST OF PIKE&.
too, since Julian the Apostate's

Heaven

time and earlier

.

tnsd

now

as

formerly.

Ex-Censor Suard, £";r-Censor, for we have freedom of the Press he seen there impartial, even neutral. Tyrant Grimm rolls large eyes, over a questionable coming Time. Atheist Naigeon, beloveddisciple of Diderot, crows, in his small difficult way, heralding glad dawn.* But on the other hand, how many Morellets, Marmontels, who had sat all their life hatching Philosophe eggs, cackle now, in a state bordering on distraction, at the brood they have brought out t It was so delightful to have one's Philosophe Theorem demonstrated, crowned in the saloons and now an infatuated people will not continue speculative, but have Practice ? There also observe Preceptress Genlis, or Sillery, or Sillery-Genlis, for our husband is both Count and Marquis, and we have more than one title. Pretentious, frothy darkening a puritan yet creedless Lounsel by words without wisdom For, it is in that thin element of the Sentimentalist and Distinguished-Female that Sillery-Genlis works; she would. gladly be sincere, yet can grow no sincerer than
;

may be

;

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:

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;

!

sincere-cant sincere-cant of many forms, ending in the devotional form. For the present, on a neck still of moderate whiteness, she wears as jewel a miniature Bastille, cut on mere sandstone, but then actual Bastille sandstone. M. le Marquis is one of d'Orlean's errand-men; in National Assembly, and elsewhere. Madame, for her part, trains up a youthful d'Orleans generation in what superfinest mortality one can gives meanwhile rather enigmatic account of fair Mademoiselle Pamela, the Daughter whom she has adopted. Thus she, in Palais Royal Saloon whither, we remark, d'Orleans himself, spite of Lafayette, has returned from that English mission of his surely no pleasant mission for the English would not speak to him and Saint Hannah More of England, so unlike Saint Sillery-Genlis of France, saw him shunned, in Vauxhall Gardens, like one peststruck,J and his redblue impassive visage waxing haidly a shade bluer.
:

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CHAPTER
As
can

IV.

JOURNALISM.
for Constitutionalism, with its National
;

Guards,

it is

doing what

it

must, as ever, with one hand wave persuasively, repressing Patriotism and keep the other clenched tc menace Royalist plotters. A most delicate task requiring tact. Thus, if People's-friend Marat has to-day his writ of uprise de corp\ or seizure of body,' served on him, and dives out of sight, to-morrovi he is left at large or is even encouraged, as a sort of bandog whose baying may be useful. President Danton, in open Hall, with rever-

and has enough

to

do

:

it

;

;

;

• Naigeon: Addresse k
opinions.

1'

Assemble Nationale

(Paris, 1790),

sur la

libertiS

des

t See Marmontei, lA^mom%, passim ; Morellet, M^moires, &c. J Hannah Move's Life and Cone-.pondence, ii. c. 5.

JOURNALIS&T.

315

berating voice, declares that, in a case like Marat's, " force may be resisted by force." Whereupon the Chatelet serves DarAon also with which however, as the whole Cordeliers District responds to a writ
;

it,

what Constable

will

be prompt to execute
;

?

Twice more, on new
:

occasions, does the Chatelet launch its writ and twice more in vain the body of Danton cannot be seized by Chatelet he unseized, should he even fly for a season, shall behold the Chatelet itself flung into limbo. Municipality and Brissot, meanwhile, are far on with their Municipal Constitution. The Sixty Districts shall become Forty-eight Sections ; Constitumuch shall be adjusted, and Paris have its Constitution. tion wholly Elective as indeed all French Government shall and must And yet, one fatal element has been introduced that of citoyen be. No man who does not pay the 7narc d' argent, or yearly tax actif. equal to three -days' labour, shall be other than 3. passive citizen: not the slightest vote for him were he acting, all the year round, with Unheard of cry Patriot sledge-hammer, with forest-levelling axe Journals. Yes truly, my Patriot Friends, if Liberty, the passion and prayer of all men's souls, means Liberty to send your fifty-thousandth part of a new Tongue-fencer into National Debating-club, then, be the gods witness, ye are hardly entreated. O, if in National Palaver (as the Africans name it), such blessedness jis verily found, what tyrant would deny it to Son of Adam Nay, might there not be a'Female Parliament too, with screams from the Opposition benches,' and the honourable Member borne out in hysterics ? To a Children's Parliament would I gladly consent or even lower if ye wished it. Beloved Brothers Liberty, one may fear, is actually, as the ancient wise men said, ot Heaven. On this f^arth, where, tiiinks the enlightened public, did a brave little Dame de Staal (not Nccker's Daughter, but a far shrewder than she) find the nearest approach to Liberty ? After mature com" Of putation, cool as Dilworth's, her answer is. In the Bastille.* Heaven?" answer many, asking. that they should ask; for that " Of Heaven " means much is the very misery share in the National Palaver it may, or may as probably not mean. One Sansculottic bough that cannot fail to flourish is Journalism, The voice of the People deing the voice of God, shall not such divine voice make itself heard ? To the ends of France and in as many dialects as when the ^rst great Babel was to be built Some loud as the lion; some small as the sucking dove. INIirabeau himself has his instructive Journal or Journals, with Geneva hodmen working in them and withal has quarrels enough with Dame le Jay, his Female Bookseller, so ultra-complaint otherwise.! King' s-friend Royou still prints himself. Barr^re sheds tears of loyal sensibility in Break of Day Journal, though with declining sale. But why is Fr6ron so hot, democratic Fr6ron, the King's-friend's Nephew ? He has it by kind, that heat of his wasp Freron begot him i VcJtaire's Frelon; who fought stinging, while sting and poison*
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Wo

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;

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• See

De

Staal

:

M6moircs
:

t

Dumont

(Paris, 1821), Souvenirs, 6.

i.

169-280.
.

ii5

THE FEAST OF P7KE5

bag were left, were il only as Reviewer, and over I*n'nted Waste-paper. Constant, illuminative, as the nightly lamplighter, issues the useful Moniteur, for it is now become diurnal with facts and tew ccmmentaries official, safe in the middle its able Editors sunk long since, recoverably or irrecoverably, in deep darkness. Acid Loustalot, with his vigour,' as of young sloes, shall never ripen, but die untimely his Prudhomme, however, will not let that Revolutions de Paris die but edit it himself, with much else, dull-blustering Printer though he
; ;

:

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be.

Of Cassandra-Marat we have spoken often yet the most surprising truth remains to be spoken that he actually does not want sense but, with croaking gelid throat, croaks out masses of the truth, on several things. Nay sometimes, one might almost fancy he had a perception of humour, and were laughing a little, far down in his inner man. Camille is wittier than ever, and more outspoken, cynical yet sunny as ever. light melodious creature born,' as he shall yet light Apollo, so clear, softsay with bitter tears, to write verses lucent, in this war of the Titans, wherein he shall not conquer 1 Folded and hawked Newspapers exist in all countries ; but, in such a Journalistic element as this of France, other and stranger sorts are What says the English reader to a Journal-Affiche, to be anticipated. Placard Journal ; legible to him that has no halfpenny in bright prismatic colours, calling the eye from afar ? Such, in the coming months, as Patriot Associations, public and private, advance, and can subscribe funds, shall plenteously hang themselves out leaves, limed leaves, to catch what they can I The very Government shall have its Pasted Journal Louvet, busy yet with a new charming romance,' nay Bertrand de shall write Sentinelles, and post them v/ith effect Great is Moleville, in his extremity, shall still more cunningly try it. * Journalism. Is not every Able Editor a Ruler of the World, being a persuader of it ; though self-elected, yet sanctioned, by the sale of his Numbers ? indeed the world has the readiest method of that of merely doiag nothing to him j deposing, should need be which ends in starvation. Nor esteem it small what those Bill-stickers had to do in Paris above Three Score of them all with their crosspoles, haversacks, pastepots nay with leaden badges, for the Municipality licenses them. Sacred College, properly of World-rulers' Heralds, though not respected as such, in an Era still incipient and raw. They made the walls of Paris didactic, suasive, v/ith an ever fresh Periodical Literature,
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A

wherein he that ran might read Placard Journals, Placard Lampoons, Municipal Ordinances, Royal Proclamations the whole other or vulgar Placard-department superadded, or omitted from contempt! What But unutterable things the stone-walls spoke, during these five years it is all gone; To-day swallowing Yesterday, and then being in its turn swallowed of To-morrow, even as Speech ever is. Nay what, O thou immortal Man of Letters, is Writing itself but Speech conserved for a time? The Placard Journal conserved it for one day; some
:

;

I

* See Bertrand-Moleville

:

MdmoireS;

ii.

lOO, &c.

CLUBBISM.
;

2! 7

Books conserve it for the matter of ten years nay some for three thousand, but what then? Why, then, the years beiiig all nm, it O, were there not a spirit in the also dies, and the world is rid of it. word of man, as in man himself, that surv'ived the audible bodied word, and tended either Godward or else Devilward for evermore, why should he trouble himself much with the truth of it, or the falsehood His immortality indeed, and of it, except for commercial purposes ? whether it shall last half a lifetime or a lifetime and half; is not that a very considerable thing ? As mortality, was to the runaway, whom Great Fritz bullied back into the battle with a " R wollt ihr eivig " leben, Unprintable Offscouring of Scoundrels, would ye live for ever This is the Communication of Thought how happy when there is Neither let the simpler old methods be any Thought to communicate The Palais-Royal Tent, a tyrannous Patrolneglected, in their sphere. but can it remove the lungs of man ? Anaxagoras lotism has removed Chaumette we saw mounted on bournestones, while Tal'.ien woiked In any corner of the civilised sedentary at the subeditoral desk. world, a tub can be inverted, and an articulate-speaking biped mount thereon. Nay, with contrivance, a portable trestle, or folding-stool, can be procured, for love or money this the peripatetic Orator can take in his hand, and, driven out here, set it up again there saying mildly, with a Sage Bias, Omnia n:ea tnecum porio. Such is Journalism, hawked, pasted, spoken. How changed since One old Metra walked this same Tuileries Garden, in gilt cocked hat, with Journal at his nose, or held loose-folded behind his back and was a notability of Paris, r>!etra the Newsman '* and Louis himself was wont to say Qu'en dit Metra ? Since the first Venetian Newssheet was sold for a gazza, or farthing, and named Gazette J We live
:

,

I

;

1

;

;

:

;

'

;

:

in

-JL

fertile

world.

CHAPTER
CLUBBISM.
ways, to impart
;

V.

seeks, for a thousand reasons, in a thousand sweet, indispensable, in such cases, is fellowship soul mystically strengthening soul The meditative Germans, some think, have been of opinion that Enthusiasm in general means simply excessive Congregating ScJfwa?'metey, or Sn'anninf^. At any rate, do we not see glimmering half-red embers, if laid together, get into the brightest white glow ? In such a France, gregarious Reunions will needs multiply, intensify French Life will step out of doors, and, from domestic, become a public Club Life. Old Clubs, which already germinated, grow and flourish new every where bud forth. It is the sure symptom of Social Unrest : in such way, most infallibly of all, does Social Unrest exhibit itself; fmd solacemeat, and also nutriment. In every French head there hangs DOW, whether for terror or for hope, some prophetic picture of a New

Wkfre

the heart

is full, it

itself.

How

!

* Dulaure, Histoire de Paris (viii 483)

:

Mercier, Nojvpi^u Paris, &c.

2i8
:

THE FEAST OF PiKES.

F; iiice prophecy which brings, nay which almost is, its own fulfilment; and in all ways, consciously and unconsciously, works towards
that.

Observe, moreover, how the Aggregative Principle, let it be but deep enough, goes on aggregating, and this even in a geometrical progression how when the whole world, in such a plastic time, is forming itself into Clubs, some One Club, the strongest or luckiest, shall by friendly attracting, by victorious compelling, grow ever stronger, till it become immeasurably strong and all the others, with their strength, be either lovingly absorbed into it, or hostilely abolished by it. This if the Plastic enough is the Club-spirit is universal if the time is plastic. time, universal the Club-spirit such an all-absorbing, paramount One Club cannot be wanting. What a progress, since the first salient-point of the Breton Committee It worked long in secret, not languidly it has come with the National Assembly to Paris; calls itself Club; calls itself, in imitation, as is thought, of those generous Price-Stanhope English who sent over to con{^ratulate, French Revolution Club ; but soon, with more originality. Club of Friends of the Constitution. Moreover it has leased for itself, at a fair rent, the Hall of the Jacobins' Convent, one of our superfluous edifices and does therefrom now, in these spring months, begin shining out on an admiring Paris. And so, by degrees, under the shorter popular title of Jacobins Club, it shall become memorable to all times and lands. Glance into the interior strongly yet modestly benched and seated as many as Thirteen Hundred chosen Patriots Assembly Members not a few. Barnave, the two Lameths are seen there occasionally Miraalso the ferret-visage of Fouquierbeau, perpetually Robespierre Tinville with other attorneys Anarcharsis of Prussian Scythia, and miscellaneous Patriots, though all is yet in the most perfectly cleanwashed state decent, nay dignified. President on platform. President's bell are not wanting oratorical Tribune high-raised nor strangers' galleries, wherein also sit women. Has any French Antiquarian Society preserved that written Lease of the Jacobins Convent Hall? Or was it, unluckier even than Magna Charta, dipt by sacrilegious Tailors? Universal History is not indifferent to it.
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These Friends of the Constitution have met mainly, as

their

name

foreshadow, to look after Elections when an Election comes, and procure fit men but likewise to consult generally that the Commonweal take no damage one as yet sees not how. For indeed let two or three gather together any where, if it be not in Church, where all are bound to \!c^Q. passive state no mortal can say accurately, themselves as How often has the broached little as any, for what they are gathered. barrel proved not to be for joy and heart-effusion, but for duel and headbreakage and the promised feast become a Feast of tht Lapithse I This Jacobins Club, which at first shone resplendent, and was thought to be a new celestial Sun for enlightening the Nations, had, as things it burned unfortunately all have, to work through its appointed phases and swam at last, more anu more lurid, more sulphurous, distracted

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CLUBBISM.

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through the astonished Heaven, like a Tartaiean Portent, and luridburning Prison of Spirits in Pain. Rejoice, Reader, that thou knowest it not, Its style of eloquence ? The Jacobins published a that thou canst never perfectly know. Journal of Debates, where they that have the heart may examine: impassioned, dull-droning Patriotic-eloquence; implacable, unfertile save for Destruction, which was indeed its work: most wearisome, though most deadly. Be thankful that Oblivion covers so much that all carrion is by and by buried in the green Earth's bosom, and even makes her grow the greener. The Jacobins are buried but their work is not it continues making the tour of the world,' as it can. It might be seen lately, for instance, with bared bosom and death-defiant eye, as and, strange enough, old slumbering far on as Greek Missolonghi Hellas was resuscitated, into somnambulism which will become clear All dies, as we wakefulness, by a voice from the Rue St. Honors often say except the spirit of man, of what man does. Thus has not the very House of the Jacobins vanished scarcely lingering in a few old men's memories ? The St. Honore Market has brushed it away, and now where dull-droning eloquence, like a Trump of Doom, once shook the world, there is a pacific chaffering for poultry and greens. The sacred National Assembly Hall itself has become common ground President's platform permeable to wain and dustcart for the Rue de Verily, at Cockcrow (of this Cock or the other), all Rivoli runs there. Apparitions do melt and dissolve in space. The VdiUS Jacobins became 'the Mother-Society, SocieU Mere;' and had as many as three hundred shrill-tongued daughters in direct correspondence with her. Of indirectly corresponding, what we may forty-four call grand-daughters and minute progeny, she counted But for the present we note only two things the first of thousand them a mere anecdote. One night, a couple of brother Jacobins are door-keepers for the members take this post of duty and honour in one door-keeper was rotation, and admit none that have not tickets the worthy Sieur Lais, a patriotic Opera-singer, stricken in years, whose windpipe is long since closed without result the other, young, and named Louis Philippe, d'Orleans's firstborn, has in this latter time,
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alter unheard-of; destinies, become Citizen-King, and struggles to rule higher reedgrass, or creeping herb. All-flesh is grass for a season. The second thing we have to note is historical that the Mother; :

Society, even in this its effulgent period, cannot content all Patriots. Already it must throw off, so to speak, two dissatisfied swarms a swarm One party, which thinks the Jacobins to the right, a swarm to the left. lukewarm, constitutes itself into CluM of the Cordeliers ; a hotter Club: with whom goes Desmoulins. The other party, it is Danton's element again, which thinks the Jacobins scalding-hot, flies off to the right, and becomes Club of 1789, Friends of the Monarchic Constitution.' They their place of meeting being are afterwards named Feuillans Club Lafayette is, or becomes, their chief man ; the Feuillans Convent. supported by the respectable Patriot every where, by the mass o( Property and Intelligence, v/ith the most flourishing prospects.
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FEAST OF PJKE3.
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They, in these June days of 1790, do, in the Palais Royal, dine sol>mnly with open windows to the cheers of the people; with toasts, with inspiriting songs, vvith one song at least, among the feeblest ever sung.* They shall, in due time be hooted lui tii, over the borders, into

Cimmerian Night.
Another expressly Monarchic or Royalist Club, Club des Monarchiens' though a Club of ample funds, and all sitting in damask sofas, cannot realise the smallest momentary cheer realises only scoffs and groans; till, ere long, certain Patriots in disorderly sufficient number, proceed thither, for a night or for nights, and groan it out of pain. Vivacious alone shall the Mother-Society and her family be. The very Cordeliers may, as it were, return into her bosom, v.'hich will have
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grown warm enough. Fatal-looking Are not such Societies an
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Society itself?

grown atoms?

incipient New Order of Principle anew at work in a Society obsolete, cracked asunder, dissolving into rubbish and primary

The Aggregative

CHAPTER
With

VI.

JE LE JURE. these signs of the times, is it not surprising that the dominant feeling all over France was still continually Hope ? blessed Hope, sole boon of man whereby, on his strait prison walls, are painted beautiful far-stretching landscapes; and into the night of very Death is

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shed holiest dawn Thou art to all an indefeasible possession in this God's-world to the wise a sacred Constantine's-banner, written on the eternal s'lies under which they shall conquer, for the battle itself is
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some secular tntrage, or shadow of still waters, painted on the parched Earth whereby at least their dusty pilgrimage, if devious, becomes cheerfuUer, becomes possible. In the death-tumults of a sinking Society, Frei^.ch Hope sees only the birth-strug-^es of a new unspeakably better Society and siniis, vvith full assurance of faith, her brisk Melody, which some inspired tiddler has in these very days composed for her, the world-famous (^a-ira. and then there will come ? All men Yes that will go hope even Marat hopes that Patriotism will take muff and dirk. King Louis is not without hope in the chapter of chances in a flight to some Bouill6 But what a hoping in getting popularised at Paris. People he had, judge by the fact, and series of facts, now to be noted. Poor Louis, meaning the best, vvith little insight and even less determination of his own, has to follow, in that dim wayfaring of his, such signal as may be given him by backstairs Royalism, by official or backstairs Constitutionalism, whichever for the month may have convinced the royal mind. If flight to Bouille, and (horrible to think !) a drawing of the civil sword do hang as theory, portentous in the back-ground, much nearer is this fact of these Twelve Hundred Kings, who sit in the Salle de Manege. Kings uncontrollable by him, not yet
victory
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JE LE JURE.
Irreverent to him.
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221

Could kind management of these but prosper, how much better were it than armed Emigrants, Turin-intrigues, and the Nay, are the two hopes inconsistent ? Rides in the help of Austria suburbs, we have found, cost httle yet they always brought vivats* such as has many times turned away Still cheaper is a soft word wrath. In these rapid days, while France is all getting divided into Departments, Clergy about to be remodelled. Popular Societies rising, and Feudalism and so much else is ready to be hurled into the meltingpot, might one not try ? On the 4th of February, accordingly, M. le President reads to his National Assembly a short autograph, announcing that his Majesty will step over, quite in an unceremonious way, probably about noon. Think, therefore, Messieurs, what it may mean especially, how ye will get the Hall decorated a little. The Secretaries' Bureau can be shifted down from the platform on the President's chair be slipped this cover
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cf velvet, 'of a violet colour sprigged with gold fleur-de-Iys for indeed M. le President has had previous notice underhand, and taken counsel with Doctor Guillotin. Then some fraction of velvet carpet,' of like texture and colour, cannot that be spread in front of the chair, where the Secretaries usually sit ? So has judicious Guillotin advised and the effect is found satisfactory. Moreover, as it is probable that his Majesty, in spite of the fleur-de-lys velvet, will stand and not sit at all, the President himself, in the interim, presides standing. And so, while some honourable Member is discussing, say, the division of a " His Majesty " Department, Ushers announce In person, with small suite, enter Majesty the honourable Member stops short the Assembly starts to its feet the Twelve Hundred Kings almost all,' and the Galleries no less, do welcome the Restorer of French Liberty with loyal shouts. His Majesty's Speech, in diluted conventional phraseology, expresses this mainly ; That he, most of all Frenchmen, rejoices to see France getting regenerated is sure, at the same time, that they will deal gently with her in the process, and not regenerate her roughly. Such was his Majesty's Speech the feat he performed was coming to speak it, and going back again. Surely, except to a very hoping People, there was not much here to build upon. Yet what did they not build The fact that the King has spoken, that he has voluntarily come to speak, how inexpressibly encouraging! Did not the glance of his royal countenance, like concentrated sunbeams, kindle an hearts in an august Assembly nay thereby in an inflammable enthusiastic France ? To move Deputation of thanks can be the happy lot of but one man to go in such Deputation the lot of not many. The Deputed have gone, and returned with what highest-flown compliment they could whom also the Queen met, Dauphin in hand. And still do not our hearts burn with insatiable gratitude and to one other man a still higher blessedness suggests itself: To move that we all renew the National Oath. Happiest honourable Member, with his word so in season as word seldom was magic Fugleman of a whole National Assembly, which * Ste Bertrand-Moleville, 1, 341, &c.
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THE FEAST OF PIKES.
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whole onlooking do somewhat; Fugleman of President swears declares that every one shall swear in distinct je le jure. Nay the very gallery sends him down a writteh and as the Assembly now casts an slip signed, with their Oath on it eye that way, the Gallery all stands up and swears again. And then out of doors, consider at the H6tel-de-Ville how Bailly, the great Tennis-Court swearer, again swears, towards nightfall, with all the Municipals, and Heads of Districts assembled there. And 'M. Danton whereupon Bailly, Euggests that the public would like to partake with escort of Twelve, steps forth to the great outer staircase sways the ebullient multitude with stretched hand takes their oath, with a thunder of rolling drums,' with shouts that rend the welkin. And on all streets the glad people, with moisture and fire in their eyes, spontaneously formed groups, and swore one another,' * and the whole City was illuminated. This was the Fourth of February 1790 a day to be marked white in Constitutional annals. Nor is the illumination for a night only, but partially or totally it lasts For each District, the Electors of each District, will a series of nights. swear specially and always as the District swears, it illuminates itself. Behold them, District after District, in some open square, where the Non-Elected People can all see and join: with their uplifted rightliands, and _7> le jure : with rolling drums, with embracings, and that which any tyrant that there infinite hurrah of the enfranchised, may be can consider! Faithful to the King, to the Law, to the Constitution which the National Assembly shall make. Fancy, for example, the Professors of Universities parading the streets with their young France, and swearing, in an enthuiastic manner, not without tumult. By a larger exercise of fancy, expand The like was repeated in every Town and duly this little word Nay one Patriot Mother, in Lagnon of Brittany, District in France assembles her ten children and, with her own aged hand, swears them all herself, the high-souled venerable woman. Of all which, moreover, a National Assembly must be eloquently apprised. Such Saw the Sun ever such a swearing people ? three weeks of swearing Have they been bit by a swearing tarantula ? No but they are men and, singular to say, they have they have Hope and Frenchmen O my Faith, were it only in the Gospel according to Jean Jacques. Brothers, would to Heaven it were even as ye think and have sworn I But there are Lover's Oaths, which, had they been true as love itself, cannot be kept ; not to speak of Dicers' Oaths, also a known sort,
sat there bursting to

France

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CHAPTER VH.
PRODIGIES.

To such

length had the
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Man, as is well said, more or less and laughs
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Contrat Social \)Xow^X. it, in believing hearts. lives by faith; each generation has its ownfaith,
at the faith of
(in Hist.

its

predecessor,
iv.

— most unwisely

Newspapers

Pad.

445).

PkODIGIES.
t!iat this
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Social Contract belongs to the Grant indeed that an unborn generation may very wisely, if not stranger sorts laugh, yet stare at it, and piously consider. For, alas, what is Contrat? If all mee were such that a mere spoken or sv/orn Contract would bind them, all men were then true men, and Government a superfluity. Not what thou and I have promised to each other, but what the balance of our forces can make us perform to each other that, in so But above all, sinful a world as ours, is the thing to be counted on. a People and a Sovereign promising to one another as if a whole People, changing from generation to generation, nay from hour to hour, could ever by any method be made to speak or promise and to speak mere solecisms " We, be the Heavens witness, which Heavens however do no miracles now; we, ever-changing Million, will allow The world has thee, changeful Unit, to force us or govern us "
faith in the
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perhaps seen few faiths comparable to that. So nevertheless had the world then construed the matter. Had they not so construed it, how different had their hopes been, their But so and not otherwise did the Upper attempts, their results Powers will it to be. Freedom by social Contract: such was verily the Gospel of that Era. And all men had believed in it, as in a Heaven's Glad-tidings men should and with overflowing heart and uplifted voice clave to it, and stood fronting Time and Eternity on it. This too was Nay smile not or only with a smile sadder than tears a better faith than the one it had replaced than faith merely in the Everlasting Nothing and man's Digestive Power lower than which no faith can go.
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the Destinies of Man matter sinks down deep
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plots,
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serious hearts, of that persuasion, the prompting, as we have seen, to backstairs nay to to Emigration with pledge of war, to Monarchic Clubs
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had been considered extinct centuries nevertheless these last-times, as indeed is the tendency of last-times, do revive it that so, of French mad things, we might have sample also of the maddest. In remote rural districts, whither Philosophism has not yet radiated, where a heterodox Constitution of the Clergy is bringing strife round the altar itself, and the very Church-bells are getting melted into small money-coin, it appears probable that the End of the World cannot be far off. Deep-musing
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The some

things. Spirit ot Prophecy, for instance,

224
atrabiliar old
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THE FEAS7 OF PIKES.

men, especially old women, hint in an obscure way that they know what they know. The Holy Virgin, silent so long, has not gone dumb and truly now, if ever more in this warld, were the time for her to speak. One Prophetess, though careless Historians have omitted her name, condition, and whereabout, becomes audible to the general ear credible to not a few credible to Friar Gerle, poor Patriot

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Chartreux, in the National Assembly itself She, in Pythoness' recitative, with wildstaring eye, sings that there shall be a Sign that the heavenly Sun himself will hang out a Sign, or Mock-Sun, which, many say, shall be stamped with the Head of hanged Favras. List, Dom Gerle, with that poor addled poll of thine list, O, list and hear nothing.* Notable however was that magnetic vellum, ve'lt'n magnitique^ of the Sieurs d'Ho^ier and Petit-Jean, Parlementeers of Rouen. Sweet young d'Hozier, bred in the faith of his Missal, and of parchment genealogies,' and of parchment generally adust, melancholic, middleaged Petit-Jean why came these two to Saint-Cloud, where his Majesty, was hunting, on the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul and waited there, in antechambers, a wonder to whispering Swiss, tht livelong day and even waited without the Grates, when turned out and had dismissed their valets to Paris, as with purpose of endless waiting ? They have a rnag7ietic vellum, these two whereon the Virgin, wonderfully clothing herself in Mesmerean Cagliostric OccultPhilosophy, has inspired them to jot down instructions and predictions for a much-straitened King. To whom, by Higher Order, they will this day present it and save the Monarchy and World. Unaccountable pair of visual-objects Ye should be men, and of the Eighteenth Century but your magnetic vellum forbids us so to interpret. Say, are ye aught ? Thus ask the Guard-house Captains, the Mayor of St. Cloud nay, at great length, thus asks the Committee of Researches, and not the Municipal, but the National Assembly one. No distinct answer, for weeks. At last it becomes plain that the right
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answer is negative. Go, ye Chimeras, with your magnetic vellum The Prison-doors are sweet young Chimera, adust middle-aged one open. Hardly again shall ye preside the Rouen Chamber of Accounts ; but vanish obscurely into Limbo.t
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CHAPTER

VIII.

SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT.

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

figuring

somewhat.
the Patriot children of
v. c. 7.

In

fact, to

Hope

themselves,
t See

it

is

undeniable

* Deux Amis,

Deux Amis,

v. xggi

SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT.
that difficulties exist
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emigrating Seigneurs Parlements in sneaking but most malicious mutiny (though the rope is round their neck) above all, the most decided deficiency of grains.' Sorrowful but, to a Nation that hopes, not irremediable. To a Nation which is in fusion and ardent communion of thought which, for example, on signal of one Fugleman, will lift its right hand like a drilled regiment, and swear and illuminate, till every village from Ardennes to the Pyrenees has rolled its village-drum, and sent up its little oath, and glimmer of tallowillumination some fathoms into the reign of Night If grains are defective, the fault is not of Nature or National Assembly, but of Art and Antinational Intriguers. Such maligu individuals, of the scoundrel species, have power to vex us, while the Constitution is a-making. Endure it, ye heroic Patriots nay rather, why not cure it ? Grains do giow, they lie extant there in sheaf or sack only that regraters and Royalist plotters, to provoke the people into illegality, obstruct the transport of grains. Quick, ye organised Patriot Authorities, armed National Guards, meet together unite your goodwill in union is tenfold strength let the concentred flash of your Patriotism strike stealthy Scoundrelism blind, paralytic, as with a coiip de soleil. Under which hat or nightcap ot the Twenty-five millions, this pregnant Idea first arose, for in some one head it did rise, no man can now say. A most small idea, near at hand for the whole world but a living one, fit and which waxed, whether into greatness or not, into immeasurable size. When a Nation is in this state that the Fugleman can operate on it, what will the word in season, the act in season, not do It will grow verily, like the Boy's Bean, in the Fairy-Tale, heaven-high, with habitations and adventures on it, in one night. It is nevertheless unfortunately still a Bean (for your long-lived Oak grows not so) and, the next night, it may lie felled, horizontal, trodden into common mud. But remark, at least, how natural to any agitated Nation, which has Faith, this business of Covenanting is. The Scotch, believing in a righteous Heaven above them, and also in a Gospel, far other than the Jean-Jacques one, swore, in their extreme need, a Solemn League and Covenant, as Brothers on the forlorn-hope, and imminence of battle, who embrace looking godward and got the whole Isle to swear it and even, in their tough Old-Saxon HebrewPresbyterian way, to keep it more or less for the thing, as such things are, was heard in Heaven, and partially ratified there neither is it yet dead, if thou wilt look, nor like to die. The French too, with their Gallic-Ethnic excitability and effervescence, have, as we have seen, real Faith, of a sort they are hard bested, though in the middle of Hope a National Solemn League and Covenant there may be in France too under how different conditions ; with how different
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development and issue

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Note, accordingly, the small commencement first spark of a mighty firework for if the particular hat cannot be fixed upon, the particular District can. On the 29th day of last November, were National Guards
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THE FEAST OF
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PIKES.

from far and near, with military music, with Municipal officers in tricolour sashes, towards and aiong the Rhone-stream, to the little town of Etoile. There with ceremonial evolution and manoeuvre, with farfaronading, musketry-salvoes, and what else the Patriot genius could devise, they made oath and obtestation to stand faithfully by one another, under Law and King in particular, to have all manner of grains, while grains there were, freely circulated, in spite both of robber and regrater. This was the meeting of Etoile, in the mild end of November 1789. But now, if a mere empty Review, followed by Review-dinner, ball, and such gesticulation and flirtation as there may be, interests the happy County-town, and makes it the envy of surrounding Countytowns, how much more might this In a fortnight, larger Montelimart, half ashamed of itself, will do as good, and better. On the Plain of Montelimart, or what is equally sonorous, under the Walls of Monteli; !
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mart,' the thirteenth of December sees new gathering and obtestation ; six thousand strong and now indeed, with these three remarkable improvements, as unanimously resolved on there. First, that the men of
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SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT.
women, most Heavens and
free!

22-}

of

whom

this

have lovers there swearing, by the eternal green-growing all-nutritive Earth, that France is
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Sweetest days, when (astonishing to say) mortals have actually met together in communion and fellowship and man, were it only once through long despicable centuries, is for moments verily the brother of man And then the Deputations to the National Assembly, with highflown descriptive harangue; to M. de Lafayette, and the Restorer; very frequently moreover to the Mother of Patriotism sitting on her The general ear is filled stout benches in that H.ill of the Jacobins with Federation. New names of Patriots emerge, which shall one day become familiar: Boyer-Fonfr6de eloquent denunciator of a rebellious Bourdeaux Parlement Max Isnard eloquent reporter of the Federation eloquent pair, separated by the whole breadth of of Draguignan France, who are nevertheless to meet. Ever wider burns the flame of Federation ever wider and also brighter. Thus the Brittany and Anjou brethren mention a Fraternity of a// true Frenchmen and gc the length of invoking perdition and death on any renegade moreover, if in their National-Assembly harangue, they glance plaintively at the marc d'argeni which makes so many citizens passive, they, over in the Mother-Society, ask, being henceforth themselves 'neither Bretons nor Angevins but French,' Why all France has not one Federation, and universal Oath of Brotherhood, once for all ? * most pertinent suggestion dating from the end of March. Which pertinent suggestion the whole Patriot world cannot but catch, and reverberate and agitate till it become loud which, in that case, the Townhall Municipals had better take up, and meditate. Some universal Federation seems inevitable the Where is given clearly Paris only the When, the How ? These also productive Time is already giving. For always as the Federative work goes ivill give on, it perfects itself, and Patriot genius adds contribution after contriThus, at Lyons, in the end of the May month, we behold as bution. many as fifty, or some say sixty thousand, met to federate and a multitude looking on, which it would be difficult to number. From For our Lyons Guardsmen took rank, at five in the dawn to dusk bright dewy morning came pouring in, bright-gleaming, to the Quai de Rhone, to march thence to the Federation-field amid wavings of hatg and lady-handkerchiefs glad shoutings of some two hundred thousand Patriot voices and hearts the beautiful and brave Among whom, courting no notice, and yet the notablest of all, what queenlike Figure with her escort of house-friends and Champagneux the Patriot is this Editor come abroad with the earliest ? Radiant with enthusiasm are those dark eyes, is that strong Minerva-face, looking dignity and earnest joy joyfullest slie where all are joyful. It is Roland de la Platriere's Wife 1 Strict elderly Roland, King's Inspector of Manufactures here and now likewise, by popular choice, the strictest of our new Lyons Municipals a man who has gained much, if worth and
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p. 23},

223
Li..u:ty
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THE FEAST OF

FIXES.

be gain biit, above all things, has gained to wife Phlipon the Reader, mark that queenlike burgherParis Engraver's daughter. woman beautiful, Amazonian-graceful to the eye more so to the mind. Unconscious of her worth (as all worth is), of her greatness, ot her crystal clearness genuine, the creature of Sincerity and Nature, there, in her still in an age of Artificiality, Pollution and Cant completeness, in her still invincibility, s/ie, if thou knew it, is the and will be seen, one day. O noblest of all living Frenchwomen, For the present she blessed rather while unseen, even of herself gazes, nothing doubting, into this grand theatricality and thinks her
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young dreams

From dawn
'artificial

are to be fulfilled. to dusk, as we said,
fifty feet high,' all
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it

lasts

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and

truly a sight like few.

Flourishes of drums and trumpets are something:

Rock
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but tliink of an cut into crag-steps, not without the
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The interior cavity, for in sooth it is made similitude of shrubs stands solemn, a Temple of Concord on the outer summit of deal, rises a Statute of Liberty,' colossal, seen for miles, with her Pike and Phr}'gian Cap, and civic column at her feet a Country's Altar, Atitel on all which neither deal-timber nor lath and plaster, de la Palrie : with paint of various colours, have been spared. But fancy then the banners all placed on the steps of the Rock high-mass chanted and the civic oath of fifty thousand with what volcanic outburst of sound from iron and other throats, enough to frighten back the very Soane and how the brightest fireworks, and balls, and even and Rhone repasts closed in that night of the gods * And so the Lyons Federaand yet not wholly, for our tion vanishes too, swallowed of darkness brave fair Roland was there also she, though in the deepest privacy, writes her Narrative of it in Champagneux's Courtier de Lyons ; a piece which 'circulates to the extent of sixty thousand which one would like now to read. But on the whole, Paris, we may see, will have little to devise will only have to borrow and apply. And then as to the day, what day of The all the calendar is fit, if the Bastille Anniversary be not? particular spot too, it is easy to see, must be the Champ-de-Mars where many a Julian the Apostate has been lifted on bucklers, to France's or the world's sovereignty and iron Franks, loud-clanging, have responded to the voice of a Charlemagne ; and from of old mere sublimities have been familiar.

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CHAPTER
How

IX.

SYMBOLIC.
natural, in all decisive circumstances, Nay, what is man's to all kinds of men
!

fs

Symbolic Representation whole terrestrial Life but a
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Symbolic Representation, and making visible, of the Celestial invisible Force that is in him ? By act and word he strives to do it with failing that, with theatricality, which latter also sincerity, if possible
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H.'jt.

Vm\.

xii.

274.

SYMBOLIC.
may have
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229

its meaning. An Almack's Masquerade is not nothing in genial ages, your Christmas Guisings, Feasts of the Ass, Abbots of Unreason, were a considerable something sincere sport they were, But what, on the as Almacks may still be sincere wish for sport. other hand, must not sincere earnest have been say, a Hebrew Feast A whole Nation gathered, in the name oi of Tabernacles have been the Highest under the eye of the Highest imagination herself flagging under the reality and all noblest Ceremony as yet not grown cereNeither, in monial, but solemn, significant to the outmost fringe modern private life, are theatrical scenes, of tearful women wetting whole ells of cambric in concert, of impassioned bushy-whiskered youth threatening suicide, and such like, to be so entirely detested: drop thou a tear over them thyself rather.

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At any rate, one can remark that no Nation will throw-by its work, and deliberately go out to make a scene, without meaning something For indeed no scenic individual, with knavish hypocritical thereby. views, will take the trouble to soliloquise a scene and now consider, is not a scenic Nation placed precisely in that predicament of solilofor its own behoof alone to solace its own sensibilities, quising maudlin or other? Yet in this respect, of readiness for scenes, the difference of Nations, as of men, is very great. If our Saxon-Puritanic friends, for example, swore and signed their Natioi.al Covenant, without discharge of gunpowder, or the beating of any drum, in a dingy Covenant-Close of the Edinburgh High-street, in a mean room, where
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drink mean liquor, it was consistent with their ways so to Our Gallic-Encyclopedic friends, again, must have a Champde-Mars, seen of all the world, or universe and such a Scenic Exhibition, to which the Coliseum Amphitheatre was but a stroller's barn, as this old Globe of ours had never or hardly ever beheld. Which method also we reckon natural, then and there. Nor perhaps was the respective keeping of these two Oaths far out of due proportion to such respective display in taking them inverse proportion, namely. For the theatricality of a People goes in a co.mpound ratio ratio indeed of their trustfulness, sociability, fervency but then also of their eKcitability, of their porosity, not continent; or say, of their explosiveneso, hot-flashing, but which does not last. How true also, once more, is it that no man or Nation of men, conscious of doing a great thing, was ever, in that tiling, doing other than a small one O Charrp-de-Mars Federation, with three hundred drummers, twelve hundred wind-musicians, and artillery planted on height after height to boom the tidings of it all over France, in few minutes Could no Atheist-Naigeon contrive to discern, eighteen centuries off, those Thirteen most poor mean-dressed men, at frugal Supper, in a mean Jewish dwelling, with no symbol but hearts godinitiated into the Divine depth of Sorrow,' and a Do this in remembrance of me; and so cease that small difficult crowing of his, if he were not doomed to itt

men now
swear
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THE FEAST OF

PIKES.
X.

CHAPTER
MANKIND.
;

Pardonable are human theatricalities nay, perhaps touching, like the passionate utterance of a tongue which with sincmiy- std?iimcr5 ; of a head which with insincerity babbles, having gone distracted. Yet, in comparison with unpremeditated outbursts of Nature, such as rn like Insurrection of Women, how foisonless, unedifying, undeHghtful Such small ale palled, like an effervescence that has effervesced scenes, coming of forethought, were they world-great, and never so cunningly devised, are at bottom mainly pasteboard and paint. Bat emitted from the great everliving heart of the others are original Nature herself: what figure they will assume is unspeakably significant. To us, therefore, let the French National Solemn League, and Federation, triumphant be the highest recorded triumph of the Thespian Art surely, since the whole Pit, which was of Twenty-five Millions, not only claps hands, but does itself spring on the boards and passionately And being such, be it treated as such with set to playing there. sincere cursory admiration; with wonder from afar. A whole Nation gone mumming deserves so much but deserves not that loving minuteness a Menadic Insurrection did. Much more let prior, and as it were, rehearsal scenes of Federation come and go, henceforward, as they list and, on Plains and under City-walls, innumerable regimental bands blare off into the Inane, without note from us. One scene, however, the hastiest reader will momentarily pause on that of Anacharsis Clootz and the Collective sinful Posterity of Adam. For a Patriot Municipality has now, on the 4th of June, got its plan concocted, and got it sanctioned by National Assembly a Patriot King assenting; to whom, were he even free to dissent, Federative harangues, overflowing with loyalty, have doubtless a transient sweetness. There shall come Deputed National Guards, so many in the hundred, from each of the Eighty-three Departments of France. Likewise from all Naval and Military King's Forces, shall Deputed such Federation of National with Royal Soldier has, quotas come taking place spontaneously, been already seen and sanctioned. For the rest, it is hoped, as many as forty thousand may arrive expenses to be borne by the Deputing District of all which let District and Department take thought, and elect fit men, whom the Paris brethren

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meet and welcome.

Now,

counsel

As

therefore, judge if our Patriot Artists are busy ; taking deep how to make the Scene worthy of a look from the Universe many as fifteen thousand men, spade-men, barrow-men, stone-

builders, rammers, with their engineers, are at work on the Champ-deMars; hollowing it out into a natural Amphitheatre, fit for such a For one may hope it will be annual and perennial solemnity. Feast of Pikes, Fete des Piques,' notablest among the high-tides of the year: in any case, ought not a scenic Free Nation to have some permanent National Amphitheatre? The Champ-de-Mars is getting
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hollowed out aiid the daily talk and the nightly dream in most Federate Deputies are Parisian heads is of Federation, and that only. already under way. National Assembly, what with its natural work, what with hearing and answering harangues of these Federates, of this Harangue of 'American Federation, will have enough to do Committee,' among whom is that faint figure of Paul Jones as with the stars dim-twinkling through it,' come to congratulate us on the prospect of such auspicious day. Harangue of Bastille Conquerors, come to 'renounce any special recompense, any peculiar place at the solemnity; since the Centre Grenadiers rather grumble. Harangue of Tennis-Court Club,' who enter with far-gleaming Brass-plate, aloft on a pole, and the Tennis-Court Oath engraved thereon which fargleaming Brass-plate they purpose to affix solemnly in the Versailles original locality, on the 20th of this month, which is the anniversary, as a deathless memorial, for some years they will then dine, as they come back, in the Bois de Boulog-T^e;' cannot, however, do it without apprising the world. To such things does the august National Assembly ever and anon cheerfully listen, suspending its regenerative labours and with some touch of impromptu eloquence, make friendly for it is a gesticulating, reply as indeed the wont has long been sympathetic People, and has a heart, and wears it on its sleeve. In which circumstances, it occurred to the mind of Anacharsis Clootz, that while so much was embodying itself into Club or Committee, and perorating applauded, there yet remained a greater and greatest of which, if ii also took body and perorated, what might not the effect be Humankind namely, le Genre Hu7}tain itself
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creative moment the Thought rose in Anacharsis's soul all his throes, while he went about giving shape and birth to it how he was sneered at by cold worldlings but did sneer again, being a man of polished sarcasm and moved to and Iro persuasive in coffeehouses and soiree, and dived down assiduous-obscure in the great deep of Paris, making his Thought a Fact: of all this the spiritual biographies of that period say nothing. Enough that on the 19th evening of June 1790, the sun's slant rays lighted a spectacle such as our foolish little Planet has not often had to shew Anacharsis Clootz entering the august Salle de Manege, with the Human Species at his heels. Swedes, Spaniards, Polacks Turks, Chaldeans, Greeks, dwellers

In

what rapt

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behold them all they have come to claim place in the grand Federation, having an undoubted interest in it. "Our Ambassador titles," said the fervid Clootz, "are not written on parchment, but on the living hearts of all men." These whiskered Polacks, long flowing turbaned Ishmaelites, astrological Chaldeans, who stand so mute here» let them plead with you, august Senators, more eloquently than eloquence could. They are the mute representatives of their tongue-tied, befettered, heavy-laden Nations who from out of that dark bewilderment gaze wistful, amazed, with half-incredulous hope, towards you, and this your bright light of a French Federation bright particular daystar. the herald of universal day. claim to stand • Su Deux Amis {v. 122. ) Hist. ParL Ac ^
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Mesopotamia

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THE FEAST OF PIKES

as mute monurncr.ts, pathetically adumbrative cf much. From bench and gallery comes 'repeated applause;' for what august Senator but is flattered even by the very shadow of Human Species depending on him? From President Sieyes, who presides this rem.arkable fortnight, in spite of his small voice, there comes eloquent though shrill reply. Anacharsis and the Foreigners Committee shall have place at the Federation; on condition of telling their respective Peoples what they see there. In the mean time, we invite them to the long-flowing Turk, honours of the sitting, honneur de la seance! for rejoinder, bows with Eastern solemnity, and utters articulate sounds but owing to his imperfect knowledge of the French dialect,* his words are like spilt water ; the thought he had in him remains conjectural to this day. Anacharsis and Mankind accept the honours of the sitting and have forthwith, as the old Newspapers still testify, the satisfaction to see several things. First and chief, on the motion of Lameth, Lafayette, Saint-Fargeau and other Patriot Nobles, let the others repugn as they will all Titles of Nobility, from Duke to Esquire, or lower, are henceforth abolished. Then, in like manner. Livery Servants, or rather the Livery of Servants. Neither, for the future shall any man or woman, foolishly fumigated with incense, in self-styled noble, be incensed,' Church as the wont has been. In a word, Feudalism being dead these ten months, why should her empty trappings and scutcheons survive ? The very Coats-of-arms will require to be obliterated and yet Cassandra Marat on this and the other coach-panel notices that they are but painted over,' and threaten to peer through again. So that henceforth de Lafayette is but the Sieur Motier, and SaintFargeau is plain Michel Lepelletier and Mirabeau soon after has to say huffingly, "With your Riquetti you have set Europe at crosspurposes for three days." For his Counthood is not indifferent to this man which indeed the admiring People treat him with to the last. But let extreme Patriotism rejoice, and chiefly Anacharsis and Mankind for now it seems to be taken for granted that one Adam is Father of us all Such was, in historical accuracy, the famed feat of Anacharsis. Thus did the most extensive of Public Bodies find a sort of spokesman. Whereby at least we may judge of one thing what a humour the once when sniffing mocking City of Paris and Baron Clootz had got into such exhibition could appear a propriety, next door to a sublimity. It is true, Envy did, in after times, pervert this success of Anacharsis making him, from incidental Speaker of the Foreign-Nations Committee,' claim to be official permanent Speaker, Oratcur, of the Human Species,' which he only deserved to be and alleging, calumniously, that his astrological Chaldeans, and the rest, were a mere French tagrag-and-bobtail disguised for the nonce and, in short, sneering and fleering at him in her cold barren way ;iall which, however, he, the man he was, could receive on thick enough panoply, or even rebound therefrom, and also go his way.
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AS IN THE AGE OF
Most extensive of Public Bodies, we may
unexpected
:

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call it

833

and also the most

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

who

Tuileries Riding-Hall?

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Having seen the Human Species itself, to have seen the Dean of the Hum.an Species,' ceased now to be a miracle. Such Doyen du Genre Hmnain, Eldest of Men,' had shewn himxsell there, in these weeks Jean Claude Jacob, a born Serf, deputed from his native Jura Mountains to thank the National Assembly for enfranchising them. On his bleached worn face are ploughed the furrowings of one hundred and twenty years. He has heard dim patois-idXk, of immortal GrandMonarch victories of a burned Palantinate, as he toiled and moiled to make a little speck of this Earth greener of Cevennes Dragoonings of Marlborough going to the war. Four generations have bloomed out, and loved and hated, and rustled oil: he was forty-six when Louis Fourteenth died. The Assembly, as one man, spontaneously rose, and did reverence to the Eldest of the World old Jean is to take seance
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gazes feebly there, dreamlike to him, and uncertain, wavering amid fragments of old memories and dreams. For Time is all growing unsubstantial, dreamlike Jean's eyes and mind are weary, and about to close, and open on a far other wonder-scene, which shall be real. Patriot Subscription, Royal Pension was got for him, and he returned home glad but in two months more he left it all, and went on his unknown way.*
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He

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CHAPTER
Meanwhile
day
long,

XI.

AS IN THE AGE OF GOLD.
to Paris, ever going

and returning, day

after day,

and

all

towards that Field of Mars, it becomes painfully apparent that the spadework there cannot be got done in time. There is such an area of it three hundred thousand square feet for from the Ecole Militaire (which will need to be done up in wood with balconies and galleries), westward to the Gate by the River (where also shall be wood, in triumphal arches), we count some thousand yards of length and for breadth, from this umbrageous Avenue of eight rows, on the South
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Iv.

iii.

234

^^^ FEAST OF

PIKES.

side, to that corresponding one on the North, some thousand feet Eiore or less. All this to be scooped out, and wheeled up in slope along the sides high enough for it must be rammed down there, and sharped stair-wise into as many as thirty ranges of convenient seats,' firmtrimmed with turf, covered with enduring timber and then our Iiuge pyramidal Fatherland's-Altar, Autel de la Patrie, in the centre, also to be raised and stair-stepped. Force-work with a vengeance it is a There are but fifteen days good and at this World's Amphitheatre languid rate, it might take half as many weeks. What is singular too, the spademen seem to work lazily they will not work double-tides, even for offer of more wages, though their tide is but seven hours they declare angrily that the human tabernacle requires occasional rest Aristocrats were capable of that. Is it Aristocrats secretly bribing ? Only six months since, did not evidence get afloat that subterranean Paris, for we stand over quarries and catacombs, dangerously, as it were midway between Heaven and the Abyss, and are hollow underground, was charged with gunpowder, which should make us leap ? Till a Cordelier's Deputation actually went to examine, and found it all asking for carried off again * An accursed, incurable brood Trouble, of rioting, chateau-burning, passports,' in these sacred days. for they are busy Between the is in the Limousin and elsewhere best of Peoples and the best of Restorer Kings, they would sow grudges with what a fiend's grin would they see this Federation, looked for by the Universe, fail
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IN THE AGE OF GOLD.
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shouldered, soldier-wise, their shovels and picks and with one throat are singing fa-tra. Yes, pardieu fa ira, cry the passengers on the All corporate Guilds, and public and private Bodies of Citizens, streets. from the highest to the lowest, march the very Hawkers, one finds, have ceased bawling, for one day. The neighbouring Villages turn out their able men come marching, to village fiddle or tambourine and triangle, under their Mayor, or Mayor and Curate, who also walk bespaded, and in tricolour sash. As many as one hundred and fifty thousand workers nay at certain seasons, as some count, two hundred and fifty thousand for, in the afternoon especially, what mortal but finishing his hasty day's work, would run A stirring City from the time you reach the Place Louis-Quinze, southward over the River, and no by all Avenues, it is one living throng. So many workers mercenary mock-workers, but real ones that lie freely to it: each Patriot stretches himself against the stubborn glebe hews and wheels with the whole weight that is in him. Amiable infants, amiables efifatis / They do the police de Tatelier" with that ready will of too, the guidance and governance, themselves theirs, with that extemporaneous adroitness. It is a true brethren's work; all distinctions confounded, aboHshed as it was in the beginning, when Adam himself delved. Long-frocked tonsured Monks, with short-skirted Water-carriers, with swallow-tailed well-frizzled Incroydark Charcoalmen, meal-white Peruke-makers ; ables of a Patriot turn or Peruke-wearers, for Advocate and Judge are there, and all Heads of Districts: sober Nuns sisterlike with flaunting Nymphs of the Opera, and females in common circumstances named unfortunate the patriot Rag-picker, and perfumed dweller in palaces for Patriotism like New-birth, and also like Death, levels all. The Printers have come marching, Prudhomme's all in Paper-caps with Revolutions de Paris printed on them as Camille notes wishing that in these great days there should be a Facte des £c?ivains too, or Federation of Able Beautiful to see Editors.* The snov\,y linen and delicate pantaloon alternates with the soiled check-shirt and bushel-breeches for both have cast their coats, and under both are four limbs and a set of Patriot muscles. There do they pick and shovel or bend forward, yoked in long strings to box-barrow or overloaded tumbril joyous, with one mind. Abbe Sieyes is seen pulling, wiry, vehement, if too light for draught by the side of Beauharnais, who shall get Kings though he be none. Abbe Maury did not pull but the Charcoalmen brought a mummer guised like him, and he had to pull in effig>'. Let no august Senator disdain the work Mayor Bailly, Generalissimo Lafayette are there and, alas, shall be there again another day The King himself comes to see sky-rending Vive-le-roi; and suddenly with shouldered spades they form a guard of honour round him.' Whosoever can come comes to work, or to look, and bless the work. Whole tamihes have come. One whole family we see clearly ol three generations the father picking, the mother shovelling, the young ones wheeling assiduous old grandfather, hoary with ninety-thrse
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»36
years, holds in his

THE FEAST OF
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PIKES.
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arms the youngest of all * frisky, not helpful this nevertheless may tell it to Ais grandchildren and how the future and the Past alike looked on, and with failing or with halfformed voice, faltered their (a-ira. A vintner has wheeled in, on Patriot truck, beverage of wine " Drink not, my brothers, if ye are not dry that your cask may last the longer " neither did any drink, but men evidently exhausted.' A dapper Abbe looks on, sneering: "To the barrow " cry several whom he, lest a worse thing befal him, obeys nevertheless one wiser Patriot bai rowman, arriving now, interposes his "arre^ez;" setting down his own barrow, he snatches the Abb6's trundles it fast, like an infected thing, forth of the Champ-deMars circuit, and discharges it there. Thus too a certain person (of some quality, or private capital, to appearance), entering hastily, flings down his coat, waistcoat and two watches, and is rushing to the thick " But your watches ? " cries the general voice. of the work " Does one distrust his brothers ? " answers he nor were the watches stolen. How beautiful is noble-sentiment like gossamer gauze, beautiful and Beautiful cheap gossamer cheap which will stand no tear and wear gauze, thou film-shadow of a raw-material of Virtue, which art not woven, not likely to be, into Duty; thou art better than nothing, and also worse Young Boarding-school Boys, College Students, shout Vive la Nation, and regret that they have yet only their sweat to give.' What say we of Boys? Beautifullest Hebes; the loveliest of Paris, in their light shovelling and air-robes, with riband-girdle of tricolour, are there wheeling with the rest their Hebe eyes brighter with enthusiasm, and hard-pressed are their small long hair in beautiful dishevelment fingers but they make the patriot barrow go, and even force it to the summit of the slope (with a little tracing, which what man's arm were not too happy to lend ?) then bound down with it again, and go for more with their long locks and tricolours blown back: graceful as the rosy Hours. O, as that evening Sun fell over the Champ-de-Mars, and tinted with fire the thick umbrageous boscage that shelters it on this hand and on that, and struck direct on those Domes and two-andforty Windows of the Ecole Militaire, and made them all of burnished gold, saw he on his wide zodiac road other such sight ? A living garden all colours of the prism spotted and dotted with such flowerage all growing and the beautifullest blent friendly with thei usefullest working brotherlike there, under one warm feehng, were it but for days once and no second time But Night is sinking these Nights The hastiest traveller Versailles-ward has drawn too, into Eternity. bridle on the heights of Chaillot and looked for moments over the River reporting at Versailles what he saw, not without tears.t
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points of the compass, Federates axe arriving who glory in their Mirabeau considerate North-blooded Mountaineers of Jura sharp Bretons, with their Gaelic SuJde;mes3 ; Normans not to be overreached in bargain all now ani«

Meanwhile, from

all

fervid children of the South,

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il.

76,

&c

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ii.

8i,

A3 IN THE AGE OF GOLD.
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237

mated with one noblest fire of Patriotism. W'^hom the Paris brethren march forth to receive with military solemnities, with fraternal em^ They assist at bracing, and a hospitality worthy of the heroic ages.
the Assembly's Debates, these Federates the Galleries are reserved They assist in the toils of the Champ-de-Mars each new for them. troop will put its hand to the spade lift a hod of earth on the Altar of tiie Fatherland. But the flourishes of rhetoric, for it is a gesticulating People; the moral-sublime of those Addresses to an august Assembly, to a Patriot Restorer! Our Breton Captain of Federates kneels even, in a fit of enthusiasm, and gives up his sword he wetThese, as he said afterwards, eyed to a King wet-eyed. Poor Louis were among the bright days of his life. Reviews also there must be royal Federate-reviews, with King, Queen and tricolour Court looking on at lowest, if, as is too common, it rains, our Federate Volunteers will file through the inner gateways Royalty standing dry. Nay there, should some stop occur, the beautifuUest fingers in France may take you softly by the lapelle, and, in mild flute-voice, ask " Monsieur, of what Province are you ? " Happy he who can reply, chivalrously lowering his sword's point, " Madame, from the Province your ancestors reigned over." He that happy Provincial Advocate,' now Provincial Federate, shall be rewarded by a sun-smile, and such melodious glad words addressed to a King " Sire,
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these are your faithful Lorrainers." Cheerier verily, in these holidays, is this 'skyblue faced with red' of a National Guardsman, than the dull black and gray of a Provincial Advocate, v.'hich in workdays one was used to. For the same thrice-blessed Lorrainer shall, this evening, stand sentry at a Queen's door and feel that he could die a thousand deaths for her then again, at the outer gate, and even a third time, she shall see him nay he will make her do it presenting arms with emphasis, making his musket jingle again and in her salute there shall again be a sun-smile, and that little blonde-locked too hasty " Dauphin shall be admonished, Salute then. Monsieur, don't be unpolite " and therewith she, like a bright Sky-wanderer or Planet with her little Moon, issues forth peculiar.* But at night, when Patriot spadework is over, figure the sacred rites of hospitality Lepelletier Saint-Fargeau, a mere private senator, but v/ith great possessions, has daily his hundred dinner-guests the table of Generalissimo Lafayette may double that number. In lowly parlour, as in lofty saloon, the wine-cup passes round crowned by the smiles of Beauty be it of lightly-tripping Grisette, or of high-sailing Dame, for both equally have beauty, and smiles precious to the brave.
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in Hist. Fai!, ri. ,5?'q-q^V>

^38

"^HE

FEAST OF PIKES
XII.

CHAPTER
And

SOUND AND SMOKE.
so now, in sjiite of plotting Aristocrats, lazy hired spademen, and almost of Destiny itself (for there has been much rain), the Champ-deMars, on the 13th of the month is fairly ready: trimmed, rammed, buttressed with firm masonry and Patriotism can stroll over it admiring and as it were rehearsing, for in every head is some unutterable
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far

image of the morrow. Pray Heaven there be not clouds. Nay what worse cloud is this, of a misguided Municipality that talks of admitting Patriotism, to the solemnity, by tickets Was it by tickets «ve were admitted to the work and to what brought the work ? Did we take the Bastille by tickets ? A misguided Municipality sees the error at late midnight, rolling drums announce to Patriotism starting half out of its bed-clothes, that it is to be ticketless. Pull down thy
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night-cap therefore and, with demi-articulate grumble, significant of several things, go pacified to sleep again. To-morrow is Wednesday morning ; unforgettable among the/aj// of the world.
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The morning comes, cold for a July one but such a festivity would make Greenland smile. Through every inlet of that National Amphi;

theatre (for it is a league in circuit, cut with openings at due intervals), covers without tumult space after space. floods-in the living throng The Ecole Militaire has galleries and overvaulting canopies, wherein Carpentry and Painting have vied, for the Upper Authorities triumphal arches, at the Gate by the River, bear inscriptions, if weak, yet wellmeant, and orthodox. Far aloft, over the Altar of the Fatherland, on their tall crane standards of iron, swing pensile our antique Cassolettes dispensing sweet incense-fumes, unless for the cr Pans of incense Heathen Mythology, one sees not for whom. Two hundred thousand Patriotic Men and, twice as good, one hundred thousand Patriotic Women, all decked and glorified as one can fancy, sit waiting in this
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Champ-de-Mars,
a picture that circle of bright-dyed Life, spread up there, on thirty-seated Slope leaning, one would say, on the thick umbrage of those Avenue-Trees, for the stems of them are hidden by the height and all beyond it mere greenness of Summer Earth, with the gleams of waters, or white sparklings of stone-edifices a little circular enamelpicture in the centre of such a vase— of emerald vase not empty, the Invalides Cupolas want not their population, nor the distant Windmills of Montmartre ; on remotest steeple and invisible village belfry, stand men with spy-glasses. On the heights of Chaillot are manycoloured undulating groups ; round and far on, over all the circling heights that embosom Paris, it ls as one more or less peopled Amphitheatre which the eye grows dim with measuring. Nay heights, as was before hinted, have cannon ; and a floating-battery of cannon is on the Seine, \^'hen eye fails, ear shall serve and all France properly for in paved town and unpaved hamlet, men Is but one Amphitheatre
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SOUND AND SMOKE,
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walk listening till the muffled thunder sound audible on their horizon, But now, to streams of that they too may begin swearing and firing * music, come Federates enough, for they have assembled on the Boulevard Saint-Antoine or thereby, and come marching through the City, with their Eighty-three Department Banners, and blessings not loud but deep comes National Assembly, and takes seat under its Canopy comes Royalty, and takes a seat on a throne beside it. And Lafayette, on white charger, is here, ai>d all the civic Functionaries and the Federates form dances, till their strictly military evolutions and manoeuvres can begin. Evolutions and manoeuvres ? Task not the pen of mortal to describe declares that it is not worth while. them truant imagination droops There is wheeling and sweeping, to slow, to quick, and double-quick time Sieur Motier, or Generalissimo Lafayette, for they are one and the same, and he is General of France, in the King's stead, for fourSieur Motier must step forth, with that sublime and-tvventy hours chivalrous gait of his solemnly ascend the steps of the Fatherland's and, Altar, in sight of Heaven and of the scarcely breathing Earth under the creak of those swinging Cassolettes, pressing his sword's point firmly there,' pronounce the Oath, To King, to Law, and Natioft (not to mention grains with their circulating), in his own name and Whereat there is waving of banners, and that of armed France. acclaim sufficient. The National Assembly must swear, standing in its place the King himself audibly. The King swears and now be the welkin split with vivats let citizens enfranchised embrace, each smiting heartily his palm into his fellow's and armed Federates clang their arms above all, that floating battery speak! It has spoken, to the four corners of France. From eminence to eminence, bursts the thunder faint-heard, loud-repeated. What a stone, cast into what a lake in circles that do not grow fainter. From Arras to Avignon Over Orleans and Blois it rolls, in cannonfrom Metz to Bayonne recitative Puy bellows of it amid his granite mountains Pau where At far Marseilles, one can think, is the shell-cradle of Great Henri. over the deep blue Mediterranean the ruddy evening witnesses it waters, the Castle of If ruddy-tinted darts forth, from every cannon's mouth, its tongue of fire and all the people shout Yes, France is free. glorious France, that has burst out so into universal sound and smoke and attained the Phrygian Cap of Liberty In all Towns, with or without advantage. Trees of Liberty also may be planted Said we not, it was the highest stretch attained by the Thespian Art on this Planet, or perhaps attainable ? The Thespian Art, unfortunately, one must still call it for behold there, on this Field of Mars, the National Banners, before there could be any swearing, were to be all blessed. A most proper operation since surely without Heaven's blessing bestowed, say even, audibly or inaudibly sought, no Earthly banner or contrivance can prove vv:torious but now the means of doing it ? By what th; ice-divine Franklin thunder-rod shall miraculous fire be drawn out of Heaven and descend

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S40
gently, lifegiving,
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THE FEASr OF PIKES.
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with health to the souls of men ? Alas, by the simplest by Two Hundred shaven-crowned Individuals, in snow white albs, with tricolour girdles,' arranged on the steps of Fatherland'j Altar and, at their head for spokesman, Soul's-Overseer Talleyrand-. Perigord These shall act as miraculous thunder-rod, to such length as they can. ye deep azure Heavens, and thou green all-nursing Earth ye Streams ever-flowing deciduous Forests that die and are born again, continually, like the sons of men stone Mountains that die daily with every rain-shower, yet are not dead and levelled for ages of ages, nor born again (it seems) but with new world-explosions, and such tumultuous seething and tumbling, steam half way to the Moon O thou unfathomable mystic All, garment and dwellingplace of the Unnamed and thou, articulate-speaking Spirit of Man, who mouldest and modellest that Unfathomable Unnameable even as we see, is not there a miracle That some French mortal should, we say not have be'ieved, but pretended to imagine he believed that Talleyrand and Two Hundred pieces of white Calico could do it Here, however, we are to remark with the sorrowing Historians of that day, that suddenly, while Episcopus TallejTand, long-stoled, with mitre and tricolour belt, was yet but hitching up the Altar-steps, to do his miracle, the material Heaven grew black a north-wind, moaning cold moisture, began to sing and there descended a very deluge of Sad to see The thirty-staired Seats, all round our Amphitheatre, rain. get instantaneously slated with mere umbrellas, fallacious when so our antique Cassolettes become water-pots their incensethick set smoke gone hissing, in a whiff of muddy vapour. Alas, instead of vivats, there is nothing now but the furious peppering and rattling. From three to four hundred thousand human individuals feel that they have a skin happily mpervious. The General's sash runs water how all military banners droop and will not wave, but lazily Worse, far worse, flap, as if metamorphosed into painted tin-banners these hundred thousand, such is the Historan's testimony, of the fairest Their snowy muslins all splashed and draggled the of France ostrich feather shrunk shamefully to the backbone of a feather all caps are ruined innermost pasteboard molten into its original pap Beauty no longer swims decorated in her garniture, like Love-goddess hidden-revealed in her Paphian clouds, but struggles in disastrous and now only imprisonment in it, for the shape was noticeable sympathetic interjections, titterings, teeheeings, and resolute goodhumour will avail. A deluge an incessant sheet or fluid-column of such that our Overseer's very mitre must be filled not a mitre, rain but a filled and leaky fire-bucket on his reverend head - Regardless of the Blessing of which, Overseer Talleyrand performs his miracle Talleyrand, another than that of Jacob, is on all the Eighty-three departmental flags of France which wave or flap, with such thankfulness as needs. Towards three o'clock, the sun beams out again the remaining evolutions can be transacted under bright heavens, though with decorations much damaged.*
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Deux Amis,

V.

143-179.

SOUND AND SMOKE.
On Wednesday
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our Federation is consummated but the festi\itie3 Festivities such as no last out the week, and over into the next. Bagdad Caliph, or Aladdin with the Lamp, could have equalled. There is a Jousting on the River with its water-somersets, splashing *nd haha-ing: Abb6 Fauchet, Tg Deufn Fauchet, preaches, for his part, in the rotunda of the Corn-market,' a funeral harangue on Franklin ; for whom the National Assembly has lately gone tliree days in black. The Motier ,and Lepelletier tables still groan with viands ; roofs ringing with patriotic toasts. On the fifth evening, which is the Christian Sabbath, there is a universal Ball. Paris, out of doors and in, man, woman and child, is jigging it, to the sound of harp and The hoariest-headed man will tread one other four-stringed fiddle. measure, under this nether Moon speechless nurselings, infants as we call them, vi)-ma rf^va, crow in arms and sprawl out numb-plump
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The

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balk bends more or less

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creak.

Or out, on the Earth's breast itself, behold the Ruins of the Bastille. All lamplit, allegorically decorated a Tree of Liberty sixty feet high and Phrygian Cap on it, of size enormous, under which King Arthur and his round-table might have dined In the depths of the background, is a single lugubrious lamp, rendering dim-visible one of your iron cages, half-buried, and some Prison stones, Tyranny vanishing downwards, all gone but the skirt the rest wholly lamp-festoons, trees real or of pasteboard ; in the similitude of a fairy grove with this inscription, readable to runner lei Ion danse, Dancing If ere.' As
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indeed had been obscurely foreshadowed by Cagliostro* prophetic of Quacks, when he, four v*2r ago, quitted the grim durance; to fall into a grimmer, of the Roma;, inquisition, and not quit it. But, after all, what is this Bastille business to that of the Champs Elysees / Thither, to these Fields well named Elysian, all feet tend. It is radiant as day with festooned lamps; little oil-cups, like variegated fire-flies, daintily illume the highest leaves trees there are all sheeted with variegated fire, shedding far a glimmer into the dubious wood. There, under the free sky, do tight-limbed Federates, with fairest newfound sweetness, elastic as Diana, and not of that coyness and tart humour of Diana, thread their jocund mazes, all through the ambrosial night and hearts were touched and fired and seldom surely had our old Planet, in that huge conic Shadow of hers, which goes beyond the Moon, and is named Night,'' curtained such a Ball-room. O if, according to Seneca, the very gods lookdov/n on a good man strup-gling v.'ith adversity, and smile what must they think of Five-and-tvventy million indifferent ones victorious over it, for eight days and more ?

Quack

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danced
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Federates wending homewards, towards every

point of the compass, with feverish nerves, heart and head much heated some of them, indeed, as Dampmartin's elderly respectable Crieud, from Strasburg, quite burnt out with liquors,' and flickering
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• See his Lettre au Feuple Franjais (London, 17S6),

242

THE FEAST OF
The Feast

PIKES.
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of Pikes has danced itself off, and towards extinction.* nothing of it now remainbecome defunct, and the ghost of a Feast ing but this vision in men's memory and the place that knew it (for the slope of that Champ-de-Mars is crumbled to half the original Undoubtedly one of the meraheight t) now knowing it no more.

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Dampmartin
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BOOK
NANCI.

II.

CHAPTER
Dimly visible, at Metz on the Bouill6, last refuge of Royalty has for many manths hovered shadow of a brave Bouill<§ let
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North-Eastern
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frontier,

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occasionally in our eye some name or us now, for a little, look fixedly at him,

he become a substance and persoa for us. The man himself is worth a glance his position and procedure there, in these days, will throw light on many things. For it is with Bouille as with all French Commanding Officers only The grand National Federation, we in a more emphatic degree.
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already guess, was but empty sound, or worse a last loudest universal Hep-hep-liurrah, with full bumpers, in that National Lapithae-feast of Constitution-making as in loud denial of the palpably existing as if, with hurrahings, you would shut out notice of the inevitable, already Which new National bumper, one may say, can knocking at the gates but deepen the drunkenness and so, the louder it swears Brotherhooa, will the sooner and the more surely lead to Cannibalism. Ah, under that fraternal shine and clangour, what a deep world of irreconcileable discords lie momentarily assuaged, damped down for one moment Respectable military Federates have barely got home to their quarters and the inflammablest, dying, burnt up with liquors, and kindness,' has not yet got extinct; the shine is hardly out of men's eyes, and still Diazes filling all men's memories,— when your discords burst forth again very considerably darker than ever. Let us look at Bouill6, and see how. Bouille for the present commands in the Garrison of Metz, and far and wide over the East and North being indeed, by a late act of Government with sanction of National Assembly, appointed one of our Four supreme Generals. Rochambeau and Mailly, men and Marshals of note in these days, though to us of small moment, are two of his colleagues tough old babbling Luckner, also of small moment for us, will probably be the third. Marquis de Bouill6 is a determined Loyalist not indeed disinclined to moderate reform, but resolute against immoderate. A man long suspect to Patriotism ; who has more
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244

NAxVCI.

than once g\\cr, the august Assembly trouble; who would not, foi example, take the National Oath, as he was bound to do, but always put it off on this or the other pretext, till an autograph of Majesty There, in this post if not of requested him to do it as a favour. honour, yet of eminence and danger, he waits, in a silent concentered Alone,' as he says, or almost manner very dubious of the future. but alone, of all the old military Notabilities, he has not emigrated thinks always, in atrabiliar moments, that there will be nothing for him He might cross, say, to Treves or too but to cross the marches. Coblentz where Exiled Princes will be one day ranking or say, over
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your Breteuils are beginning to hover, dimly discernible ? With immeasurable confused outlooks and purposes, with no cleat purpose but this of still trying to do His Majesty a service, Bouill6 waits struggling what he can to keep his district loyal, his troops He maintains, as yet, with his Cousin faithful, his garrisons furnished. Lafayette, some thin diplomatic correspondence, by letter and messenger chivalrous constitutional professions on the one side, military gravity and brevity on the other; which thin correspondence one can see growing ever the thinner and hollower, towards the verge of entire vacuity.* A quick, choleric, sharply discerning, stubbornly endeavouring man with suppressed-explosive resolution, with valour, nay headlong audacity a man who was more in his place, lionlike defending those Windward Isles, or, as with military tiger-spring, clutching Nevis and Montserrat from the English, than here in this suppressed looking condition, muzzled and fettered by diplomatic packthreads Few years ago Bouill6 out for a civil war, which may never arrive. was to have led a French East-Indian Expedition, and reconquered or conquered Pondicherri and the Kingdoms of the Sun: but the whole world is suddenly changed, and he with it Destiny willed it not in
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way but

in this.

CHAPTER

II.

ARREARS AND ARISTOCRATS.
Indeed, as to the general outlook of things, Bouill6 himself augurs not it. The French Army, ever since those old Bastille days, and earlier, has been universally in the questionablest state, and growing Discipline, which is at all times a kind of miracle, and daily worse. one sees not with what near works by faith, broke down then prospect of recovering itself. The Gardes Franfaises played a deadly ^ame but how they won it, and wear the prizes of it, all men know. In that general overturn, we saw the Hired Fighters refuse to fight. The very Swiss of Chateau-Vieux, which indeed is a kind of French Swiss, from Geneva and the Pays de Vaud, are understood to have declined. Deserters glided over Royal-AUemand itself looked disIn a word, we there saw Military consolate, though stanch of purpose.
well of
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(London, 1797),

I.

c, 8.

ARREARS AND ARISTOCRATS.
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245

Rulg, in the shape of poor Dc^eiival with that convulsive unmanageable Camp of his, pass two martyr days on the Champ-de-Mars and then, veihng itself, so to speak, under cloud of night,' depart down the left bank of the Seine,' to seek refuge elsewhere; i/tt's ground having clearly become too hot for it. But what new ground to seek, what remedy to try ? Quarters that were 'uninfected:' this doubtless, with judicious strictness of drilling, were the plan. Alas, in all quarters and places, from Paris onward to inhaled, the remotest hamlet, is infection, is seditious contagion propagated by contact and converse, till the dullest soldier catch itl There is speech of men in uniform with men not in uniform men in uniform read journals, and even write in them.* There are public petitions or remonstrances, private emissaries and associations there The is discontent, jealousy, uncertainty, sullen suspicious humour. whole French Army, fermenting in dark heat, glooms ominous, boding good to no one. So that, in the general social dissolution and revolt, we are to have Barren, this deepest and dismallest kind of it, a revolting soldiery ? desolate to look upon is this same business of revolt under all its aspects; but how infinitely more so, when it takes the aspect of military mutiny The very implement of rule and restraint, whereby all the rest was managed and held in order, has ibecome precisely the frightfullest immeasurable implement of misrule like the element of Fire, our indispensable all-ministering servant, when it gets the mastery, and becomes conflagration. Discipline we called a kind of miracle in fact, is it not miraculous how one man moves hundreds of thousands each unit of whom it may be loves him not, and singly fears him not, yet has to obey him, to go hither or go thither, to march and halt, to give death, and even to receive it, as if a Fate had spoken and the word-of-command becomes, almost in the literal sense, a
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Which magic-word, again, if it be once forgotten; the spell of it once broken The legions of assiduous ministering spirits rise on you now as menacing fiends your free orderly arena becomes a tumultI ;

and the hapless magician is rent limb from are mobs with muskets in their hands and also with death hanging over their heads, for death is the penalty of disobedience and they have disobeyed. And now if all mobs are properly frenzies, and work frenetically with mad fits of hot and of cold, fierce rage alternating so incoherently with panic terror, consider what your military mob will be, with such a conflict of duties and penalties, whirled between remorse and fury, and, for the hot fit, loaded fire-arms in its hand To the soldier himself, revolt is frightful, and oftenest perhaps pitiable and yet so dangerous, it can only be hated, cannot be pitied. An anomalous class of mortals these poor Hired Killers With a frankness, which to the Moralist in these times seems surprising, they have sworn to become machines and nevertheless they are still partly men. Let no prudent person in authority • Stt Newspapers of July 1789 (in Hist. Pari. ii. 35), ^<&.
place of the Nether
limb.
Pit,

Military

mobs

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246

NANCI,
this latter fact;
!

remind them of
all,

but always let force, let injustice above stop short clearly on this side of the rebounding-point Soldiers, as we often say, do revolt vi^ere it not so, several things which are
:

transient in this world might be perennial.
all sons of Adam maintain here below, the grievances of the French soldiery reduce thiemselves to two. First that their Officers are Aristocrats secondly that they cheat them of their Pay. Two grievances or rather we might say one, capable of becoming a hundred for in that single first proposition, that the Officers are Aristocrats, what a multitude of corollaries lie ready It is a bottomless ever-flowing fountain ol grievances this what you may call a general raw-material of grievance, wherefrom individual grievance after grievance will daily body itseJl forth. Nay there will even be a kind of comfort in getting it, from time to time, so embodied. Peculation of one's Pay It is embodied made tangible, made denounceable exhalable, if only in angry words. For unluckily that grand fountain of grievances does exist Aristocrats almost all our Otftcers necessarily are they have it in the blood and bone. By the law of the case, no man can pretend to be the

Over and above the general quarrel which
lot

with their

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pitifuUest lieutenant of militia, till he have first verified, to the satisfaction of the Lion-King, a Nobility of four generations. Not nobility only, but four generations of it: this latter is the improvement hit upon, in comparatively late years, by a certain War-minister much pressed for commissions.* An improvement which did relieve the over-pressed War-minister, but which split France still further into fawning contrasts of Commonalty and Nobility, nay of new Nobility

and old as if already with your new and old, and then with your old, older and oldest, there were not contrasts and discrepancies enough 'h^ general clash whereof men now see and hear, and in the singular whirlpool, all contrasts gone together to the bottom Gone to the bottom or going with uproar, without return going every where save in the Military section of things and there, it may be asked, can they hope to continue always at the top ? Apparently, not. It is true, in a time of external Peace, when there is no fightmg but only drilling, this question, How you rise from the ranks, may seem theoretical rather. But in reference to the Rights of Man it is con tinually practical. The soldier has sworn to be faithful not to the King only, but to the Law and the Nation. Do our commanders love the Revolution ? ask all soldiers. Unhappily no, they hate it, and love the Counter-Revolution. Young epauletted men, with quality-blood in them, poisoned with quality-pride, do sniff openly, with indignation struggling to become contempt, at our Rights of Man, as at some
; ; 1 ; ; ;

newfangled cobweb, which shall be brushed down again. Old officers more cautious, keep silent, with closed uncurled lips but one guesses what is passing within. Nay who knows, how, under the plausibiest word of command, might lie Counter-Revolution itself, sale to Exiled Princes and the Austrian Kaiser treacherous Aristocrats hoodwinking * Dampmartin Ev»5nemens, i. 8g,
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ARREARS AND ARISTOCRATS.

347

In sudi manner works that the small insight of us common men? general raw-material of grievance; disastrous; instead of trust and reverence, breeding hate, endless suspicion, the impossibility of commanding and obeying. And now when this second more tangible grievance has articulated itself universally in the mind of the common man Peculation of his Pay Peculation of the despicablest sort does but, unless the new-declared Rights exist, and has long existed of Man, and all rights whatsoever, be a cobweb, it shall no longer
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exist.

The French Military System seems dying a sorrowful suicidal death. Nay more, citizen, as is natural, ranks himself against citizen in this cause. The soldier finds audience, of numbers and sympathy unlimited, among the Patriot lower-classes. Nor are the higher wanting to the The officer still dresses and perfumes himself for such sad officer. unemigrated soiree as there may still be and speaks his woes, which
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woes, are they not Majesty's and Nature's ?
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Speaks, at the same time,

Citizens, still more Citihis gay defiance, his firm-set resolution. zenesses, see the right and the wrong not the Military System alon-e As was said, there is 3'et will die by suicide, but much along with it. that deepest possible a deeper overturn than any yet witnessed ///turn of the black-burning sulphurous stratum whereon all rests and
:

may act on the rude soldier-mind, with its inexperience of all that lies off the paradeinexperience as of a child, yet fierceness of a man and ground vehemence of a Frenchman It is long that secret communings in mess-room and guard-room, sour looks, thousandfold petty vexations between commander and commanded, measure every where the weary military day. Ask Captain Dampmartin an authentic, ingenious who loves the Reign of Liberty, after a sort literary officer of horse yet has had his heart grieved to the quick many times, in the hot South-Western region and elsewhere and has seen riot, civil battle by How daylight and by torchlight, and anarchy, hatefuUer than death. insubordinate Troopers, with drink in their heads, meet Captain Dampmartin and another on the ramparts, where there is no escape or side-path and make military salute punctually, for we look calm on them yet make it in a snappish, almost insulting manner how one morning they leave all their chamois shirts' and superfluous buffs, which they are tired of, laid in piles at the Ca^atains' doors whereat we laugh,' as the ass does, eating thistles nay how they knot two forage-cords together,' with universal noisy cursing, with evident intent to hang the Quartermaster all this the worthy Captain, looking on it through the ruddy-and-sable of fond regretful memory, has flowingly written down.* Men gro%vl in vague discontent officers fling up their commissions, and emigrate in disgust. not yet Captain SubOr let us ask another literary Officer lieutenant only, in the Artillery Regiment La Fere: a young man of twenty-one not unentitled to speak the name of him is, NapoUon * Dampmartin Ev^nemens, i. 122-146.
military pedantries,
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grows But how these things
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NANCI.
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Buonaparte. To such height of Sublieutenancy has he now got promoted, from Brienne School, five years ago being found qualified He is lying at Auxonne, in the West, in in mathematics by La Place.' these months not sumptuously lodged in the house of a Barber, to whose wife he did not pay the customary degree of respect or even over at the Pavilion, in a chamber with bare walls the only furniture an bed without curtains, two chairs, and in the recess of a indifferent window a table covered with books and papers his Brother Loui? sleeps on a coarse mattrass in an adjoining room.' However, he is doing something great writing his first Book or Pamphlet, eloquent vehement Letter to M. Matteo Buttafuoco, our Corsican Deputy, who is not a Patriot, but an Aristocrat, unworthy of Deputyship. Joly of Dole The literary Sublieutenant corrects the proofs sets out is Publisher. on foot from Auxonne, every morning at four o'clock, for Dole after looking over the proofs, he partakes of an extremely frugal breakfast with Joly, and immediately prepares for returning to his Garrison; where he arrives before noon, having thus walked above twenty

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miles in the course of the morning.' This Sublieutenant can remark that, in drawing-rooms, on streets, on highways, at inns, every where men's minds are ready to kindle into a flame. That a Patriot, if he appear in the drawing-room, or amid a group of officers, is liable enough to be discouraged, so great is the but no sooner does he get into the street, or majority against him among the soldiers, than he feels again as if the whole Nation were with him. That after the famous Oath, To the Kitig, to the Nation, and Law, there was a great change that before this, if ordered to fire on the people, he for one would have done it in the King's name; but that Likewise after this, in the Nation's name, he would not have done it. that the Patriot officers, more numerous too in the Artillery and Engineers than elsewhere, were few in number yet that having the soldiers on their side, they ruled the regiment and did often deliver the Aristocrat brother officer out of peril and strait. One day, for example, a member of our own mess roused the mob, by singing, from the windows of our dining-room, O Richard, O my King; and I had to snatch him from their fury.' * All which let the reader multiply by ten thousand and spread it, with slight variations, over all the camps and garrisons of France. The French Army seems on the verge of universal mutiny. There is in that what may well make Patriot Universal mutiny Something Constitutionalism and an august Assembly shudder. behoves to be done yet what to do no man can tell. Mirabeau proposes even that the Soldiery, having come to such a pass, be forthwith disbanded, the whole Two Hundred and Eighty Thousands of them and organised anew.f Impossible this, in so sudden a manner And yet literally, answer we, it is inevitable, in one cry all men. manner or another. Such an army, with its four-generation Nobles,
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* Norvins (Historie de Napoleon, Hazlitt's Life o^ Napoleon, i. 23-31). t MonHeu?, i79c, No. 255.

i.

47).

Las Cases, M6moires

{translated ijito

BQVlLLt AT MLJZ.
itji

249

peculated Pay, and men knotting forage-cords to hang their quartermaster, cannot subsist beside such a Revolution. Your alteror a native is a slow-pining chronic dissolution and new organisation the agonies spread over years, or concentered into swift decisive one an hour. With a Mirabeau for Minister or Governor the latter had been the choice ; with no Mirabeau for Governor it will naturally be the former.
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CHAPTER
To
Bouill6, in his North-Eastern circle,

III.

BOUILLi AT METZ.

none of these things are altoover the marches gleams out on him as a last guidance in such bewilderment: nevertheless he continues here struggling always to hope the best, not from new organisation, but from happy Counter-Revolution and return to the old. For the rest it is clear to him that this same National Federation, and universal swearing and fraternising of People and Soldiers, has done incalculable mischief.' So much that fermented secretly has hereby got vent and become open National Guards and Soldiers of the line, solemnly embracing one another on all parade-fields, drinking, swearing patriotic oaths, fall into disorderly street-processions, constitutional unmilitary exclamations and hurrahings. On which account the Regiment Picardie, for one, has to be drawn out in the square of the barracks, here at Metz, and sharply harangued by the General himself; but expresses penigether hid.

Many

times

flight

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Far and near, as accounts testify, insubordination has begun grumbling louder and louder. Officers have been seen shut up in their mess-rooms assaulted with clamorous demands, not without menaces. The insubordinate ringleader is dismissed with 'yellow furlough,' yellow infamous thing they call cartouche jaune : but ten new ringleaders rise in his stead, and the yellow cartouche ceases to be thought disgraceful. 'Within a fortnight,' or at furthest a month, of that sublime Feast of Pikes, the whole French Army, demanding Arrears, forming Reading Clubs, frequenting Popular Societies, is in a state which Bouille can Bouille knows it as few do and call by no name but that of mutiny. speaks by dire experience. Take one instance instead of many. It is still an early day of August, the precise date now un discoverable, when Bouille, about to set out for the waters of Aix ia Chapelle is once more suddenly summoned to the barracks of Metz. The soldiers stand ranged in fighting order, muskets loaded, the officers all there or compulsion and required with many-voice, emphasis, to have their arrears paid. Picardie was penitent but we see it has relapsed the wide space bristles and lours with mere mutinous armed men. Brave Bouille advances to the nearest Regiment, opens his commanding lips to harangue obtains nothing but querulous-indignant discordance, and the sound of so many thousand livres legally due. The moment is
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Mimoires,

i.

113,

150
trying; hiere are
spiiit

tfANCI.

some ten thousand soldiers now in Wetz, and one have spread among them. Bouille is firm as the adamant but what shall he do ? A German Ri\f?iment, named of Salm, is thought to be of better temper nevertheless Salm too may have heard of the precept, Thou shalt not steal Salm too may know that money is money. Bouille walks trustfully towards the Regiment de Salm, speaks trustful words but here again is answered by the cry of forty-four thousand livres odd sous. A cry waxing more and more vociferous, as Salm's humour mounts which cry, as it will produce no cash or promise of cash, ends in the wide simultaneous whirr of shouldered muskets, and a determined quick-time march on ti.e part of Sahn towards its Colonel's house, in the next street, there to seize the colours and military chest. Thus does Salm, for its part strong in the faith that jneum is not tuum, that fair speeches are not forty-four thousand livres odd sous. Unrestrainable Salm tramps to military time, quick consuming the way. Bouille and the officers, drawing sword, have to dash into double qnick pas-de-charge, or unmilitary running; to get the start; to station themselves on the outer staircase, and stand there with what of death-defiance and sharp steel they have Salm truculently coiling itself up, rank after rank, opposite them, in such humour as we can fancy, which happily has irot yet mounted to the murder-pitch. There will Bouille stand, certain at least of one man's purpose in grim
seems
to
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calmness, awaiting the issue. What the intrepidest of men and generals can do is done. Bouille, though there is a barricading picket at each end of the street, and death under his eyes, contrives to send the dragoon officers for a Dragoon Regiment with orders to charge mount; the dragoon men will not: hope is none there for him. The the Earth all shut out, only the indifstreet, as we say, barricaded ferent heavenly Vault overhead perhaps here or there a timorous householder peering out of window, with prayer for Bouille copious Rascality, on the pavement, with prayer for Salm there do the two like parties stand like chariots locked in a narrow thoroughfare For two hours they stand Bouille's locked wrestlers at a dead-grip sword glittering in his hand, adamantine resolution clouding his brows: Moody-silent stands Salm, with for two hours by the clocks of Metz. occasional clangour; but does not fire. Rascality from time to time urges some grenadier to level his musket at the General; who looks on it as a bronze General would and always some corporal or other
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it

up.

In such remarkable attitude, standing on that staircase for two hours, does brave Bouille, long a shadow, dawn on us visibly out of the dimness, and become a person. For the rest, since Salm has not shot him at the first instant, and since in himself there is no variableness, the danger will diminish. The Mayor, a man infinitely respectable,' with his Municipals and tricolour sashes, finally gains entrance remonstrates, perorates, promises gets Salm persuaded home to its barracks. Next day, our respectable Mayor lending the money, the With which officers pay down the half oi the demand in ready cash.
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ARREARS AT NANCl.
liquidation Sairn pacifies as much as may be.*
itself,

251
all
is

and

for the

present

hushtt ' up,

Such scenes as this of McU, 01 preparations and demonstrations towards such, are universal over France Dampmartin, with his kn)ited forage-cords and piled chamois jackets, is at Strasburg in th'=; SouthEast in these same days or rather nights. Royal Champagne is shouting Vive la Nation, au diable les Aristocrates, with some thirty lit " The garrison of Bitche,' candles,' at Hesdin, on the far North-West. Deputy Rewbell is sorry to state, " went out of the town, with drurcs beating; deposed its officers; and then returned into the town, sabie in hand."t Ought not a National Assembly to occupy itself with these objects ? Military France is every where full of sour inflammatory humour, which exhales itself fuliginously, this way or that a whole continent of smoking flax which, blown on here or there by any angry wind, might so easily start into a blaze, into a continent of
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fire.

Constitutional Patriotism is in deep natural alarm at these things. sits dihgently deliberating; dare nowise resolve, with Mirabeau, on an instantaneous disbandment and extinction finds that a course of palliatives is easier. But at least and lowest, this grievance of the Arrears shall be rectified. A plan, much noised of in those days, under the name Decree of the Sixth of August,' has been devised for that. Inspectors shall visit all armies and, with certain elected corporals and soldiers able to write,' verify what arrears and peculations do lie due, and make them good. Well, if in this way the smoky heat be cooled down if it be not, as we say, ventilated overmuch, or, by sparks and collision somewhere, sent up !

The august Assembly

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CHAPTER
ARREARS AT

IV.
KAN'CI.

We are

however, that of all districts, this of Bouille's seems It was always to Bouille and Metz that Royalty would fly Austria lies near here more than elsewhere must the disunited People look over the borders, into a dim sea of Foreign Politics and Diplomacies, with hope or apprehension, with mutual
to remark,

the inflammablest.
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exasperation. It was but in these days that certain Austrian troops, marching peaceably across an angle of this region, seemed an Invasion realised and there rushed towards Stenai, with musket on shoulder, from all the winds, some thirty thousand National Guards, to inquire what the matter was. J A matter of mere diplomacy it proved; the Austrian Kaiser, in haste to get to Belgium, had bargained for this short cut. The infinite dim movement of European Politics waved a skirt over these spaces, passing on its way like the passing shadow of a condof and
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• Bouille,

i.

140-5.
i Moniteur,

t Moniteur

Stance du 9

(in Hist. Pari, vii. 29). .\oQt, xnoct.

252

NANCI.
1

flight of thirty thousand, with mixed cackling and crowing, rose in consequence For, in addition to all, this people, as we said, is much divided Aristocrats abound Patriotism has both not Aristocrats and Austrians to watch. It is Lorraine, this region so illuminated as old France it remembers ancient Feudalisms nay, within man's memory, it had a Court and King of its own, or indeed the splendour of a Court and King, without the burden. Then, contrariwise, the Mother Society, which sits in the Jacobins Church at shrill-tongued, driven acrid Paris, has Daughters in the Towns here consider how the memory of good King Stanislaus, and ages of Imperial Feudalism, may comport with this New acrid Evangel, and In all which, the Soldiery, what a virulence of discord there may be officers on one side, private men on the other, takes part, and now indeed principal part a Soldiery, moreover, all the hotter here as it lies the denser, the frontier Province requiring more of it. So stands Lorraine but the capital City, more especially so. The pleasant City of Nanci, which faded Feudalism loves, where King Stanislaus personally dwelt and shone, has an Aristocrat Municipality, and then also a Daughter Society it has some forty thousand divided souls of population and three large Regiments, one of which is Swiss Chateau-Vieux, dear to Patriotism ever since it refused fighting, or was Here unhappily all evil thought to refuse, in the Bastille days. influences seem to meet concentered; here, of all places, may jealousy and heat evolve itself. These many months, accordingly, man has been set against man, Washed against Unwashed Patriot Soldier against Aristocrat Captain, ever the more bitterly and a long score of grudges has been running up. Nameable grudges, and likewise unnameable for there is a punctual nature in Wrath and daily, were there but glances of the eye, tones of the voice, and minutest commissions or omissions, it will jot down somewhat, to account, under the head of sundries, which always swells the sum-total. For example, in April last, in those times of preliminary Federation, when National Guards and Soldiers were every where swearing brotherhood, and all France was locally federating, preparing for the grand National Feast of Pikes, it was observed that these Nanci Officers threw cold water on the whole brotherly business that they then did first hung back from appearing at the Nanci Federation appear, but in mere redwgote and undress, with scarcely a clean shirt on nay that one of them, as the National Colours flaunted by in that solemn moment, did, without visible necessity, take occasion to spit* The Small sundries as per journal,' but then incessant ones Aristocrat Municipality, pretending to be Constitutional, keeps mostly quiet not so the Daughter Society, the five thousand adult male Patriots of the place, still less the five thousand female not so the young, whiskered or whiskerless, four-generation Noblesse in epauiettes the grim Patriot Swiss of Chateau-Vieux, effervescent infantry Walled Nanci, of Regiment du Roi, hot troopers of Mestre-de-Camp which stands so bright and trim, with its straight streets, spacious

such a winged

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ARRFARS AT NANCI.

2?n

squares, and Stanislaus' Architecture, on the iruitiul alluvium oi the Meurthe; so bright, amid the yellow cornfields in these ReaperMonths, is inwardly but a den of discord, anxiety, inflammability, not far from exploding. Let Bouill6 look to it. If that universal military heat, which we liken to a vast continent of smoking flax, do any where take fire, his beard, here in Lorraine and Nanci, may the most readily of all get signed by it.

Bouill6, for his part, is busy enough, but only with the general superintendence getting his pacified Salm, and all other still tolerable Regiments, marched out of Metz, to southward towns and villages to rural Cantonments as at Vic, Marsal and thereabout, by the still waters [where is plenty of horse-forage, sequestered parade-ground, and the soldier's speculative faculty can be stilled by drilling. Salm, as we said, received only half payment of arrears; naturally not without grumbling. Nevertheless that scene of the drawn sword may
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for men and soldiers all, have raised Bouill6 in the mind of Salm love intrepidity and swift inflexible decision, even when they suffer by it. As indeed is not this* fundamentally the quality of qualities for a man ? quality which by itself is next to nothing, since inferior animals, asses, dogs, even mules have it yet, in due combination, it is the indispensable basis of all. Of Nanci and its heats, Bouill6, commander of the whole, knows nothing special understands generally that the troops in that City are perhaps the worst* The Officers there have it all, as they have long had it, to themselves and unhappily seem to manage it ill. Fifty yellow furloughs,' given out in one batch, do surely betoken difficulties. But what was Patriotism to think of certain light-fencing Fusileers set on,' or supposed to be set on, to insult the Grenadierclub,' considerate speculative Grenadiers and that reading-room of theirs? With shoutings, with hootings; till the speculative Grenadier drew his side-arms too and there ensued battery and duels Nay, more,! are not swashbucklers of the same stamp sent out visibly, or sent out presumably, now in the dress of Soldiers to pick quarrels with the Citizens now, disguised as Citizens, to pick quarrels with the Soldiers ? For a certain Roussiere, expert in fence, was taken in the very fact four Officers (presumably of tender years) hounding him on, who thereupon fled precipitately Fence-master Roussiere, haled to the guardhouse, had sentence of three months' imprisonment but his comrades demanded yellow furlough for him of all persons nay, thereafter they produced him on parade capped him in paperhelmet, inscribed, Iscariot ; marched him to the gate of the City and there sternly commanded him to vanish for evermore. On all which suspicions, accusations and noisy procedure, and on enough of the like continually accumulating, the Officer could not but look with disdainful indignation perhaps disdainfully express the same in words, and soon after fly over to the Austrians.' So that when it here as elsewhere comes to the question of

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c. 9.

254
Arrears, the

NANCI.
humour and procedure
:

de-Camp

Regiment Mestreeis of ithe bitterest amid loud clamour, some three gold louis a-man, which have, as usual, to be borrowed from the Municipality Swiss
getting,
;

Chateau-Vieux applying
cotirrois,
tiie

for the like, but getting instead instantaneous

or cat-o'-nine tails, with subsequent unsufferable hisses from children Ref^iinent du Roi, sick of hope deferred, at length seizing its miUtary chest, and marching it to quarters, but ner? unordered day marching it back again, through streets all struck silent paradings and clamours, not without strong liquor objurgation, insubordmation your military ranked Arrangement going all (as the Typographers say of set types, in a similiar case) rapidly io pie/ * Such is Nanci in these early days of August the sublime Feast of Pikes not

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yet a month old. Constitutional Patriotism, at Paris and elsewhere, may well qualu; War-Minister Latour du Pin runs breathless to the at the news. National Assembly, with a written message that all is burning, to2it The National Assembly, on the spur of the instant, britle, tout presse.' renders such Decret, and order to submit and repent,' as he requires On the other hand, Journalism, through all if it will avail any thing. gives hoarse outcry, condemnatory, elegiac-applausive. its throats, The Forty-eight Sections, lift up voices sonorous Brewer, or call him now Colonel Santerre, is not silent, in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. For, meanwhile, the Nanci Soldiers have sent a Deputation of Ten, iurnished with documents and proofs who will tell another story than the all-is-burning one. Which deputed Ten, before ever they reach the Assembly Hall, assiduous Latour du Pin picks up, and on Most unconstitutionally warrant of Mayor Bailly, claps in prison Whereupon Saint-Antoine, in indignant for they had officers' furloughs. uncertainty of the future, closes its shops. Is Bouille a traitor then, In that case, these poor private sentinels have sold to Austria? revolted mainly out of Patroitism ? New Deputation, Deputation of National Guardsmen now, sets forth from Nanci to enlighten the Assembly. It meets the old deputed
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returning, quite unexpectedly ^whanged and proceeds thereupon with better prospects but effects nothing. Deputations, Government Messengers, Orderlies at hand-gallop, Alarms, thousand-voiced Rumours, go vibrating continually backwards and forwards, scattering distraction. Not till the last week of August does M. de. Malseigne, selected as Inspector, get down to the scene ot mutiny with Authority, with He now shall see thess cash, and Decree of the Sixth of August.' Arrears liquidated, justice done, or at least tumult quashed.

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v, c. 8.

INSPECTOR MALSEIGNE.

255

CHAPTER
Of
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V.

INSPECTOR MALSEIGNE.
Inspector Malseigne we discern, by direct light, that he is 'of and infer, with probability, that he is of truculent Herculean stature moustachioed aspect for Royalist Ofificers now leave the upper lip unshaven that he is of indomitable bull-heart and also, unfortunately,
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of thick bull-head. On Tuesday the 24th of August, 1790, he opens session as Inspecting Commissioner meets those 'elected corporals, and soldiers that can write.' He finds the accounts of Chdteau-Vieux to be complex; to require delay and reference he takes to haranguing, to reprimanding ends amid audible grumbling. Next morning, he resumes session, not at the Townhall as prudent Municipals counselled, but once more at Unfortunately Chateau-Vieux, grumbling all night, will the barracks. now hear of no delay or reference from reprimanding on his part, answered with continual cries of "Jugez tout de it goes to bullying, suite, Judge it at once " whereupon M. de Malseigne will off in a huff. But lo, Chateau-Vieux, swarming all about the barrack-court, has M. de Malseigne, demanding egress, cannot get sentries at every gate it, not though Commandant Denoue backs fcim; can get only "Jugez Here is a nodus tout de suite" Bull-hearted M. de Malseigne draws his sword; and will force egress. M. de Malseigne's sword breaks he snatches Confused splutter. Commandant Denoue's: the sentry is wounded. M. de Malseigne, whom one is loath to kill, does force egress, followed by ChateauVieux all in disarray a spectacle to Nanci. M. de Malseigne walks at wheeling from time to time, with a sharp pace, yet never runs menaces and movements of fence and so reaches Denoue's house, unhurt which house Chateau-Vieux, in an agitated manner, invests, hindered as yet from entering, by a crowd of officers formed on the staircase. M. de Malseigne retreats by back ways to the Townhall, flustered though undaunted amid an escort of National Guards. From the Tjvvnhall he, on the morrow, emits fresh orders, fresh plans of settlement with Chateau-Vieux to none of which will Chateau-Vieux whereupon he finally, amid noise enough, emits order that listen Chateau-Vieux shall march on the morrow morning, and quarter at Sarre Louis. Chateau-Vieux flatly refuses marching M. de Malseigne 'takes acti due notarial protest, of such refusal, if happily that may avail him. This is the end of Thursday and, indeed, of JJ de Malseigne's Inspectorship, which has lasted some fifty hours. To such length, in fifty hours, has he unfortunately brought it. Mestre-de-Camp and Regiment du Roi hang as it were, fluttering Chateau-Vieux is clean gone, in what way we see. Over night, an Aide-de-Camp of Lafayette's, stationed here for such emergency, sends swift emissaries far and wide, to summon National Guards. The slumber of the country is broken every where the Ly clattering hoofs, by loud fraternal knockings
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20
Cuxistitutional Patriot for Nanci.

NANCI.
must clutch
his fighting-gear,

and take the road

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

Mestre-de-Camp and Roi flutter still more questionably: ChateauVieux, far from marching, waves red flags out of two carriages,' in a passionate manner, along the streetsi; and next morning answers its " Pay us, then ; and we will march with you to the world's Officers
'

:

end Under which circumstances, towards noon on Saturday, M. de Malseigne thinks it were good perhaps to inspect the ramparts, on horseback. He mounts, accordingly, with escort of three troopers. At the gate of the City, he bids two of them wait for his return and with the gallops off for Lundville third, a trooper to be depended upon, he where lies a certain Carabineer Regiment not yet in a mutinous state The two left troopers soon get uneasy discover how it is, and give the alarm. Mestre-de-Camp, to the number of a hundred, saddles in
!

"

;

;

frantic haste, as if sold to Austria

gallops out pellmell in chase of its Inspector. And so they spur, and the Inspector spurs careering, with noise and jingle, up the valley of the River Meurthe, towards Lunevilie and the midday sun through an astonished country indeed almost to
; ;
: ; ;

own astonishment. What a hunt Actreon-like ;— which Act?eon de Malseigne happily gains. To arms, ye Carabineers of Lunevilie to chastise mutinous men, insulting j'our General Officer, insulting your own quarters
their
:
;

above all things, fire soon, lest there be parleying and ye refuse to fire 1 The Carabineers fire soon, exploding upon the first stragglers of Mestrede Camp who shriek at the very flash, and fall back hastily on Nanci, Panic and fury sold to Austria in a state not far from distraction. without an if; so much per regiment, the very sums can be specified and traitorous Malseigne is fled! Help, O Heaven; help, thou Earth, ye unwashed Patriots ye too are sold like us Effervescent Regiment du Roi primes its firelocks, Mestre-de-Camp saddles wholly Commandant Denoue is seized, is flung in prison with a canvas shirt {sarreau de toile^ about him Chateau-Vieux bursts up the magazines; distributes 'three thousand fusils' to a Patriot people: Austria shall have a hot bargain. Alas, the unhappy hunting-dogs, as we said, have Imnted mvay their huntsman; and do now run howling and baying, on what trail they know not nigh rabid And so there is tumultuous march of men, through the night with halt en the hei;!hts of Flinval. whencf T iine/iHe can be seen all
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BOIJIUJ:

AT NANCl.
;

35?

and reilluminated. Then there is parley, at four in the morning parley ; finally there is agreement : the Carabineers give in Malseigne After weary confused is surrendered, with apologies on all sides. hours, he is even got under way the Lunevillers all turning out, in the idle Sunday, to see such departure home-going of mutinous Mestre-de-Camp with its Inspector captive. Mestre-de-Camp accordingly marches ; the Lunevillers look. See ! at the corner of tlie first amid the street, our Inspector bounds off again, buU-hearted as he is slash of sabres, the crackle of musketry ; and escapes, full gallop, with only a ball lodged in his hufi-jerit'n. The Herculean man And yet it is an escape to no purpose. For the Carabineers, to whom after the hardest Sunday's ride on record, he has come circling back, stand deliberating by their nocturnal watch-fires deliberating of Austria, of traitors, and the rage of Mestre-de-Camp. So that, on the whole, the next sight we have is that of M. de Malseigne, on the Monday afternoon, faring bull-hearted through the streets of Nanci in open carriage, a soldier standing over him with drawn sword ; amid the furies of the women,' hedges of National Guards, and confusion of Babel to the Prison beside Commandant Denoue 1 That finally is the lodging of Inspector Malseigne* Surely it is time Bouill6 were drawing near. The Country all round, alarmed with watchfires, illuminated towns, and marching and rout, has been sleepless these several nights. Nanci, with its uncertain National Guards, with its distributed fusils, mutinous soldiers, black
; ; : ; I ' ; ' ; ' :

panic and redhot

ire, is

not a City but a bedlam.

CHAPTER
Haste with help, thou brave Bouill6 now verily burning and may burn,
;
' '

VI.

BOUiLLE AT NANCI.

:

if

swift
;

help

come

not, all is
1

to

what lengths and breadths

these hours, depends on Bouille as it shall now fare with him, the whole Future may be this way or be that. If, for example, he were to loiter dubitating, and not come if he were to come, and fail the whole Soldiery of France to blaze into mutiny, National Guards going some this way, some that and Royalisra to draw its rapier, and Sansculottism to snatch its pike and the Spirit of Jacobinism, as yet young, girt with sun-rays, to grow instantaneously mature, girt with hell-fire, as mortals, in one night of deadly crisis, have had their heads turned gray

Much,

in

;

:

;

;

1

Brave Bouill6 is advancing fast, with the old inflexibility gatliering himself, unhappily in small affluences,' from East, from West and North and now on Tuesday morning, the last day of the month, he stands all concentered, unhappily still in small force, at the village of Frouarde, within some few miles. Son of Adam with a more dubious
; '
;

*

Deux Amis

(v.

206-251).

Newspapers and Documents

(in Hist.

Pari

vii.

258 task before

NANCI.

him is not in the world this Tuesday morning. A weltering inflammable sea of doubt and peril, and Bouill6 sure of simply one Which one thing, indeed, may be worth thing, his own determination. Submission, or many. He puts a most firm face on the matter unsparing battle and destruction twenty-four hours to make your thirty copies of which this was the tenor of his Proclamation choice all which, we find, were intercepted he sent yesterday to Nanci and not posted.* Nevertheless, at half-past eleven, this morning, seemingly by way of answer, there does wait on him at Frouarde, some Deputation from the mutinous Regiments, from the Nanci Municipals, to see what can be done. Bouille receives this Deputation, in a large open pacified Salm, and the rest, attend also, court adjoining his lodging being invited to do it, all happily still in the right humour. The Mutineers pronounce themselves with a decisiveness, which to Bouill6 seems insolence and happily to Salm also. Salm, forgetful of the Metz staircase and sabre, demands that the scoundrels be hanged but answers that Bouille represses the hanging there and then. mutinous Soldiers have one course, and not more than one To liberate, tc with heartfelt contrition, Messieurs Denoue and de Malseigne get ready forthwith for marching off, whither he shall order; and submit and repent,' as the National Assembly has decreed, as he
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yesterilay did in thirty printed Placards proclaim. These are his Which terms as they, terms, unalterable as the decrees of Destiny. the Mutineer deputies, seemingly do not accept, it were good for them
to vanish from this spot, and even to do it in few instants, the word will be, Forward

vanish, not unpromptly
their

;

the Municipal

own

individualities, prefer abiding

Brave Bouille, though his position full well
:

he puts a most

at Nanci, with uncertain National Guards, and so many distributed fusils, thers rage and roar some ten thousand fighting men while with himself is scarcely the third part of that number, in National Guards alsc for the present full of rage, uncertain, in mere pacified Regiments, and clamour to march but whose rtige and clamour may next moment On the top of one uncertain billow, take such a fatal new figure. Bouille must abandon himself to Foi tune therewith to calm billows who is said sometimes to favour the brave. At half-past twelve, the Mutineer deputies having vanished, our drums beat we march lor Let Nanci bethink itself, then for Bouille has thought and Nanci determined. Grim And yet how shall Nanci think not a City but a Bedlam Chateau-Vieux is for defence to the death forces the Municipality to order, by tap of drum, all citizens acquainted with artillery to turn out, and assist in managing the cannon. On the other hand, effervescent Regiment du Roi, is drawn up in its barracks quite disconsolate, hear;

how

promptly with him too, The Mutineer deputies ones, anxious beyond right for with Bouille. firm face on the matter, knows with what rebellious soldiers,
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* Compare Bouille (Mdmoires,
uhi suj>rd.

i.

153-176)

;

Deux Amis

(v.

2Si-37i)

;

Hist.

Pari

BOUILLi:
ing the throats

AT
1

NANCI.

J57

and ejaculates dolefully from its thousand " La lot, la lot, Law, law " Mestre-de-Camp blusters, with profane swearing, in mixed terror and furor National Guards look this way and that, not knowing what to do. What a Bedlam-City as many plans as heads all ordering, none obeying quiet none, except the Dead, who sleep underground, having done their fighting. at half-past two And, behold, Bouille proves as good as his word rattling scouts report that he is within half a league of the gates breathing nothing but destruction. A along, with cannon, and array new Deputation, Municipals, Mutineers, Officers, goes out to meet him with passionate entreaty for yet one other hour. Bouille grants an hour. Then, at the end thereof, no Denoue or Malseigne appearing-; Towards as promised, he rolls his drums, and again takes the road. four o'clock, the terrorstruck Townsmen may see him face to face. His cannons rattle there, in their carriages his vanguard is within Onward like a Planet, by thirty paces of the Gate Stanislaus. What next ? Lo, flag of truce appointed times, by law of Nature and chamade conjuration to halt Malseigne and Denoue are on the the soldiers all repentant, ready to submit and street, coming hither march! Adamantine Bouille's look alters not; yet the word Halt is given gladder moment he never sawJoy of joys Malseigne and Denoue do verily issue escorted by Na \onal Guards from streets all they salute Bouille, unfrantic, with sale to Austria and so fc th Bouille steps aside to speak wi)li them, and with other heads scathed. of the Town there having already ordered by what Gates and Routes the mutineer Regiments shall file out. Such colloquy with these two General Officers and other principal Townsmen, was natural enough nevertheless one wishes Bouille had postponed it, and not stepped aside. Such tumultuous inflammable this of keen masses, tumbling along, making way for each other were it not well to stand nitrous oxide, that of sulphurous firr;damp, between them, keeping them well se[)arate, till the space be cleared ? Numerous stragglers of Chateau-Vieux and the rest have not marched with their main columns, which are filing out by the appointed Gates, taking station in the open meadows. National Guards are in a state of nearly distracted uncertainty the populace, armed and unarmed,

humour Salm

is in

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roll

sold to the Austrians, sold to the There are loaded cannon with lit matches among them, Aristocrats. and Bouille's vanguard is halted within thirty paces of the Gate. Command dwells not in that mad inflammable mass ; which smoulders and tumbles there, in blind smoky rage ; which will not open the Gate when summoned says, it will open the cannons throat sooner Cannonade not, Friends, or be it through my body cries heroic young Desilles, young Captain of Rot, clasping the niurderous engine Chateau-Vieux Swiss, by main force, with in his arms, and holding it. oaths and menaces, v.Tcnch off the heroic youth who undaunted, amid still louder oaths, .seats himself on the touch-hole. Amid still louder oaths with ever louder clangour, and, alas, with the loud crackle of first one. and then of tliree other muskets ; which explode into his
! ;

openly delirious,

—betrayed,

;

O

!

;

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2fc

NANCI.
;

which roll it in the dust, and do also, in the loud madness of such moment, bring lit cannon-match to ready priming and so, with one thunderous belch of grapeshot, blast some fifty of Bouille's vanguard into air Fatal That sputter of the first musket-shot has kindled such a cannon-shot, such a death-blaze and all is now redhot madness, conflagration as of Tophet. With demoniac rage, the Bouille vanguard storms through that Gate Stanislaus with fiery sweep, sweeps Mutiny clear away, to death, or into shelters and cellars from which latter, again, Mutiny continues firing. The ranked Regiments hear it in their meadow they rush back again through the nearest Gates Bouille gallops in, distracted, inaudible and now has begun, in Nanci, as in that doomed Hall of the Nibelungen, a murder grim and great.' Miserable such scene of dismal aimless madness as the anger of
; ! I ; ;

body

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:

Heaven but rarely permits among men From cellar or from garret, from open street in front, from successive corners of cross-streets on each hand, Chateau-Vieux and Patriotism keep up the murderous rolling-fire, on murderous not Unpatriotic fires. Your blue National Captain, riddled with balls, one hardly knows on whose side fighting, requests to be laid on the colours to die the patriot Woman (name not given, deed surviving) screams to Chateau-Vieux that it must not fire the other cannon and even flings a pail of water on it, since screaming avails not.* Thou shalt fight thou shalt not fight and with whom shalt thou fight Could tumult awaken the old Dead, Burgundian Charles the Bold might stir from under that Rotunda of his never since he, raging, sank in the ditches, and lost Life and Diamond, was such a noise heard here. Three thousand, as some count, lie mangled, gory: the half of Chateau-Vieux has been shot, without need of Court Martial. Calvary, of Mestre-de-Camp or their foes, can do little. Regiment du Roi was persuaded to its barracks stands there palpitating. Bouille, armed with the terrors of the Law, and favoured of Fortune, finally triumphs. In two murderous hours, he has penetrated to the grand Squares, dauntless, though with loss of forty officers and five hundred men: the shattered remnants of Chateau-Vieux are seeking covert. Regiment du Roi, not effervescent now, alas no, but having effervesced, will offer will march in a quarter of an hour.' to ground its arms Nay these poor effer\'esced require escort to march with, and get it though they are thousands strong, and have thirty ball-cartridges a-man The Sun is not yet down, when Peace, which might have come bloodless, has come bloody the mutinous Regiments are on march, doleful, on their three Routes and from Nanci rises wail of women and men, the
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voice of weeping and desolation the City weeping for its slain awaken not. These streets are empty but for victorious patrols.
;

who

Thus has Fortune, favouring the brave, dragged Bouill6, as himself says, out of such a frightful peril, by the hair of the head.' An intrepid had he stood in old BrogUe's place, in adiamaatine man this Bouille
:

'

*

Looi

.\iias. V. 563.

BOUILLE AT

NAr^XI.

261

those Bastille days, it might have been all different ! He has extinguished mutiny, and immeasurable civil war. Not for nothing, as we yet at a rate which he and Constitutional Patriotism considers see cheap. Nay, as for Bouill6, he, urged by subsequent contradiction
;

which arose, declares coldly, it was rather against his own private mind, and more by public military rule of duty, that he did extinguish immeasurable civil war being now the only chance. Urged, we it,* and Civil war, indeed, is Chaos say, by subsequent contradiction but what a in all vital Chaos, there is new Order shaping itself free faith this, that of all new Orders out of Chaos and Possibility of IMaii and his Universe, Louis Sixteenth and Two-Chamber iMonarchy were It is like undertaking to precisely the one that would shape itself! throw deuce-ace, say only five hundred successive times, and any other throw to be fatal for Bouill^. Rather thank Fortune, and Heaven, Civil always, thou intrepid Bouille and let contradiction go its way war, conflagrating universally over France at this moment, might have led to one thing or to another thing meanwhile, to quench conflagrathis, in all times, tion, wheresoever one finds it, wheresoever one can is the rule for man and General OfBcer. But at Paris, so agitated and divided, fancy how it went, when the continually vibrating Orderlies vibrated //«V7^.^r at hand gallop, with such and also deep the High is the gratulation questionable news An august Assembly, by overwhelming majorities, pasindignation.

!

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sionately thanks Bouille a King's autograph, the voices of all Loyal, solemn National all Constitutional men run to the same tenor. funeral-service, for the Law-defenders slain at Nanci, is said and sung Bailly, Lafayette and National Guards, all in the Champ-de-Mars except the few that protested, assist. With pomp and circumstance, with episcopal Calicoes in tricolour girdles, Altar of Fatherland smoking the vast Champ-de-Mars wholly with cassolettes, or incense-kettles hung round with black mortcloth, which mortcloth and expenditure Marat thinks had better have been laid out in bread, in these dear days, and given to the hungry living Patriot.f On the other hand, living Patriotism, and Saint-Antoine, which we have seen noisily closing Us shops and such like, assembles now 'to the number of forty thousand : and, with loud cries, under the very windows of the thanking National Assembly, demands revenge for murdered Brothers, judgment on Bouille, and instant dismissal of War-Minister Latour du
;

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Pin.

At sound and sight of which things, if not War-Minister Latour, yet •Adored Minister' Necker, sees good on the 3d of September 1790, to withdraw softly, almost privily, with an eye to the recovery of his Home to native Switzerland not as he last came lucky to health.' Fifteen months ago, we saw him coming, with escort of reach it alive horse, with sound of clarion and trumpet and now, at Arcis-sur-Aube, while he departs, unescorted soundless, the Populace and Municipals stop him as a fugitive, are not unlike massacring him as a traitor the National Assembly, consulted on the matter, gives him free egress as Boiiill^, L 175, t Ami da Peiiole tsa Hist. Pari, uti svin^i^

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S62
'

NANCI.
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a nullity. Such an unstable drift-mould of Accident is the substanca of this lower world, for them that dwell in houses of clay so, especially in hot regions and times, do the proudest palaces we build of it take wings, and become Sahara sand-palaces, spinning many-pillared in the whirlwind, and bury us under their sand! In spite of the forty thousand, the National Assembly persists in its thanks and Royalist Lateur du Pin continues Minister. The forty thousand assemble next day, as loud as ever roll towards Latour's Hotel find cannon on the porch-steps with flambeau lit and have to retire elsewhither, and digest their spleen, or re-absorb it into the blood. Over in Lorraine, meanwhile, they of the distributed fusils, ringleaders of Mestre-ds-Camp, of Roi, have got marked out for judgment; - yet shall never get judged. Briefer is the doom of Chateau-Vieux. Chateau-Vieux is, by Swiss law, given up for instant trial in CourtMartial of its own officers. Which Court-Martial, with all brevity (in not many hours), has hanged some Twenty-three, on conspicuous gibbets tnarched some Three-score in chains to the Galleys and so, to appearHanged men do cease for ever from this 3 nee, finished the matter off. arth but out of chains and the Galleys there may be resuscitation in triumph. Resuscitation for the chained Hero and even for the chained Scottish John Knox, such World-Hero Scoundrel, or Semi-scoundrel as we know, sat once nevertheless puUing grim-taciturn at the oar of French Galley, 'in the iratcr of Lore ;' Sindi even flung their VirginMary over, instead of kissing her, as a penfed bredd,' or timber So, ye of Chateau-Vieux, tug Virgin, who r.ould naturally swim.* patiently, not without hope But indeed at Nanci^ generally, Aristocracy rides triumphant, rough. Bouille is gone again, the second day an Aristocrat Municipality, with The Daughter free course, is as cruel as it had before been cowardly. Society, as the mother of the whole mischief, lies ignominiously supbereaved down-beaten pressed the Prisons can hold no more Patriotism murmurs, not loud but deep. Here and in the neighbouring Towns, flattened balls picked from the streets of Nanci are worn at buttonholes: balls flattened in carrying death to Patriotism; men wear them there, in perpetual memento of revenge. Mutmeer deserters roam tlie woods have to demand charity at the musket's end. All is dissotill National Assembly lution, mutual rancour, gloom and despair Commissioners arrive, with a steady gentle flame of Constitutionalism who gently lift up the down-trodden, gently pull down in their hearts the too uplifted reinstate the Daughter Society, recall the mutineer deserter gradually levelling, strive in all wise ways, to smooth and soothe. With such gradual mild levelling on the one side as with solemn funeral-service. Cassolettes, Courts-Martial, National thanks, The buttonhole will drop its flat all that Officiality can do is done. ball; the black ashes, so far as may be, get green again.
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is

the

'

Affair of

Nanci

; '

by some

called the
b.
i.

'

Massacre of

Knox's History of the Reformation,

BOUILLt AT NANCL
Naucl
; '

363

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

Meanwhile, at
delirium
again.
;

this cost or at that, the mutiny, as

we

say, is stilled.

The French Army has
It

neither

burst up in

universal simultaneous

nor been at once disbanded, put an end to, and made new must die in the chronic manner, through years, by inches with partial revolts, as of Brest Sailors or the like, which dare not with men unhappy, insubordinate officers unhappier, in spread Royalist moustachioes, taking horse, singly or in bodies, across the Rhine * sick dissatisfaction, sick disgust on both sides the Army till it do, in that unexpected manner. moribund, fit for no duty Phoenix-like, with long throes, get both dead and newborn then start forth strong, nay stronger and even strongest. Thus much was the brave Bouilld hitherto fated to do. Wherewith and, at Metz or the rural Cantonlet him again fade into dimness ments, assiduously drilling, mysteriously diplomatisirg, in scheme within scheme hover as formerly a faint shadow, the hope of Royalty.
; ; :
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;

;

;

• See Dampmartin

(i.

249, &c, &c.).

18

BOOK

III.

THE TUILERIES.
CHAPTER
How true
call
I.

EPIMENIDES.
that what v.e that there is nothing dead in this Universe only changed, its forces working in inverse order I ' The else leaf that lies rotting in moist winds,' says one, has still force
;

dead

is

'

;

how

could it rot?' Our whole Universe is but an infinite Complex ol thousandfold, from Gravitation up to Thought and Will; Forces man's Freedom environed with Necessity of Nature in all which nothing at any moment slumbers, but all is for ever awake and busy The thing that lies isolated inactive thou shalt nowhere discover; seek every where from the granite mountain, slow-mouldering since Creation, to the passing cloud-vapour, to the living man; to the action, The word that is spoken, as we know, to the spoken word of man. The not less, but more, the action that is done. flies irrevocable gods themselves,' sings Pindar, cannot annihilate the action that is done.' No this, once done, is done always cast forth into endless Time and, long conspicuous or soon hidden, must verily work and grow for ever there, an indestructible new element in the Infinite of Things. Or, indeed, what is this Infinite of Things itself, which men name Universe, but an Action, a sum-total of Actions and Activities ? The living ready-made sum-total of these three, which Calculation cannot add, cannot bring on its tablets yet the sum, we say, is All that has been done. All that is doing, All that written visible Understand it well, the Thing thou beholdest, that will be done Thing is an Action, the product and expression of exerted Force the All of Things is an infinite conjugation of the verb To do. Shoreless Fountain-Ocean of Force, of power to do ; wherein Force rolls and cirwide as Immensity, deep cles, billowing, many-streamed, harmonious this is as Eternity beautiful and terrible, not to be comprehended what man names Existence and Universe this thousand-tinted Flameimage, at once veil and revelation, reflex such as he, in his poor brain and heart, can paint, of One Unnameable dwelling in inaccessible light From beyond the Star-galaxies, from before the Beginning of Days, it round thee^ nay thyself art of it, in this point of Space billows and rolls, where thou now standest, in this moment which thy clock measures.
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EPIMENIDES.

2f-5

Or apart from all Transcendentalism, is it not a plain truth of sense, whicn the duller mind can even consider as a truism, that human things wholly are in continual movement, and action and reaction working continually forward, phasis after phasis, by unalterable laws, towards prescribed issues? How often must we say, and yet not Given the The seed that is sown, it will spring rightly lay to heart summer's blossoming, then there is also given the autumnal withering
: I

60

is it

ordered not with seedfields only, but with transactions, arrange-

philosophies, societies, French Revolutions, whatsoever man works with in this lower world. The Beginning holds it in the End, and all that leads thereto as the acorn does the oak and its fortunes. Solemn enough, did we think of it, which unhappily and also happily Thou there canst begin the Beginning is for we do not very much thee, and there but where, and of what sort, and for whom will the End be ? All grows, and seeks and endures its destinies consider likewise how much grows, as the trees do, whether we think of it or not. So that when your Epimenides, your somnolent Peter Klaus, since named Rip van Winkle, awakens again, he finds it a changed All world. In that seven-years' sleep of his, so much has changed that is without us will change while we think not of it much even that

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The truth that was yesterday a restless Problem, has is within us. to-day grown a Belief burning to be uttered on the morrow, contraobstruction has dulled diction has exasperated it into mad Fanaticism it into sick Inertness it is sinking towards silence, of satisfaction or of resignation. To-day is not Yesterday, for man or for thing. Yesterday there was the oath of Love to-day has come the curse of Hate. Not willingly ah, no but it could not help coming. The golden radiance of youth, would it willingly have tarnished itself into the dimness of old age? Fearful: how we stand enveloped, deep-sunk, fashioned and woven in that Mystery of Time; and are Sons of Time out of Time and on us, and on all that we have, or see, or do, is written Rest not. Continue not. Forward to thy doom
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But in seasons ol Revolution, which indeed distinguish themselves from common seasons by their velocity mainly, your miraculous Sevensleeper might, with miracle enough, awake sooner: not by the century, Fancy, or seven years, need he sleep otten not by the seven months. for example, some new Peter Klaus, sated v/ith the jubilee of that Federation day, had lain down, say directly after the Blessing of Talleyrand and, reckoning it all safe tww, had fallen composedly asleep under the timber-work of the Fatherland's Altar to sleep tlicre, not twenty-one years, but as it were year and day. The cannonading of Nanci, so far off, does not disturb him nor does the black mortcloth, close at hand, nor the requiems chanted, and minute-guns, incense-pans and concourse right over his head none of these but Peter sleeps through them all. Through one circling year, as we say from July the 14th of 1790, till July the 17th of 1791 but on that latter day, no Klaus, nor most leaden Epimenides, only the Dead could continue sleesinsE: and so our miraculous Peter Klau^ awakens.
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THE
1

TUILER1£.:>.

Earth and sky have still their joyous July eyes, O Peter and the Champ-de-Mars is multitudinous with men but the jubilee-huzzahing has become Bedlam-shrieking, of terror and revenge not blessing of Talleyrand, or any blessing, but cursing, imprecation and shrill wail our cannon-salvoes are turned to sharp shot for swinging of incense- pans and Eighty-three Departmental Banners, we have waving of the one sangaineous Drapean-Roitge. Thou foolish The one lay in the other, the one was the other minus Time Klaus even as Hannibal's rock-rending vinegar lay in the sweet new wine. That sweet Federation was of last year; this sour Divulsion is the selfsame substance, only older by the appointed days. No miraculous Klaus or Epimenides sleeps in these times and yet, may not many a man, if of due opacity and levity, act the same miracle we mean, with his eyes open ? Eyes has he, but he in a natural way sees not, except what is under his nose. With a sparkling briskness of glance, as if he not only saw but saw through, such a one goes whisking, assiduous, in his circle of officialities not dreaming but that // is the whole world: as, indeed, where your vision terminates, does not inanity begin there, and the world's end clearly disclose itself to you ? Whereby our brisk-sparkling assiduous official person (call him, for instance, Lafayette), suddenly startled, after year and day, by huge grapeshot tumult, stares not less astonished at it than Peter Klaus would have done. Such natural-miracle can Lafayette perform and indeed not he only but most other officials, non-officials, and generally and do bounce up, ever and the whole French People can perform it anon, like amazed Seven-sleepers awakening awakening amazed at So strangely is Freedom, as we say, the noise they themselves 7nake. environed in Necessity such a singular Somnambulism, of Conscious and Unconscious, of Voluntary and Involuntary, is this life of man. If any where in the world there was astonishment that the Federation Oath went into grapeshot, surely of all persons the French, first swearers and then shooters, felt astonished the most. Alas, offences must come. The sublime Feast of Pikes, with its effulgence of brotherly love, unknown since the Age of Gold, has changed nothing. That prurient heat in Twenty-five millions of hearts but is still hot, nay hotter. Lift off the pressure is not cooled thereby all pressure or binding rule, of command from so many millions except such melodramatic Federation Oath as they have bound themFor Thou shalt was from of old the condition of man's selves with Wo for him being, and his weal and blessedness was in obeying that. when, were it on best of the clearest necessity, rebellion, disloyal But the Gospel of Jeanisolation, and mere I will, becomes his rule Jacques has come, and the first Sacrament 0/ it has been celebrated and must all things, as we say, are got into hot and hotter prurience go on pruriently fermenting, in continual change noted or unnoted. Worn out with disgusts,' Captain after Captain, in Royalist moustachioes, mounts his war-horse, or his Rozinante war-garron, and rides Neither does civic minatory across the Rliine; till all have ridden. Emigration cease Seigneur after Seigneur must, in like manner, ride

With what
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THE WAKEFUL.

267

For the very P'a=:«ntg or roil; impelled to it, and even compelled. despise him in that he dare not join his order and fight.* Can he bear to have a Distaff, nQuenouille sent to him say in copper-plate shadow, by post ; or fixed up in wooden reality over his gate-lintel as if he were no Hercules but an Omphale ? Such scutcheon they forward to him diligently from beyond the Rhine till he too bestir himself and march, and in sour humour, another Lord of Land is gone, not taking Nay, what of Captains and emigrating Seigneurs ? the Land with him. There is not an angry word on any of those Twenty-five million French tongues, and indeed not an angry thought in their hearts, but is some Add many successions of angry words fraction of the great Battle. add brawls together, with the together, you have the manual brawl One festering sorrows they leave, and they rise to riots and levolts. in visible reverend thing after another ceases to meet reverence material combustion, chateau after chateau mounts up in spiritual With noise and invisible combustion, one authority after another. glare, or noisily and unnoted, a whole Old System of things is vanishing piecemeal : on the morrow thou shall look and it is not.
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CHAPTER
Sleep who
'

II.

THE WAKEFUL,
will,

cradled in hope and short vision, like Lafayette,

who

danger done sees the last danger that will threaten him,' Time is not sleeping, nor Time's seedfield. That sacred Herald's-College of a new Dynasty we mean the Sixty and odd Billstickers with their leaden badges, are not sleeping. Daily the}', with pastepot and cross-staff, new-clothe the walls of Paris in colours of the rainbow authoritative-heraldic, as we say, or indeed almost magical thaumaturgic for no Placard-Journal that they paste but will convince some soul or souls of men. The Hawkers bawl and the Balladsingers great Journalism blows and blusters, through all its throats, forth from Paris tovv-ards all corners of France, like an iEolus' Cave keeping alive all manner of fires. Throats or Journals there are, as men count,t to the number of some hundred and thirty-three. Of various calibre from your Cheniers, Gorsases, Camilles, down to your Marat, down now to your incipient Hebert of the Pere Ducliesne ; these blow, with fierce weight of argument or quick light banter, for the Rights of Man Durosoys, Royous, Peltiers, Sulleaus, equally with mixed tactics, inclusive, singular to say, of much profane Parody.J are blowing for Altar and Throne. As for Marat the People's-Friend, his voice is as that of the bullfrog, or bittern by the solitary pools he, unseen of men, croaks harsh thunder,
always
in the
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and
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continually, of indignation, suspicion, incurable sorrow. The People are sinking toward ruin, near starvation itself My dear friends,' cries he, your indigence is not the fruit of vices nor of idleness, you have a right to life, as good as Louis XVL, or the happiest

that

alone

'

* Dampmart/n, fassim.

f Mercier,

iii.

»6^

See Hist. Pari.

vii.

5b

s6S
c! i!;c century.

THE
? '*

TUILF.RIES.

no bread

What man can say he has a right to dine, when you have The People sinking on the one hand on the other hand,
:

notliing but wretched Sieur Motiers, treasonous Riquetti Mirabeaus traitors, or else shadows, and simulacra of Quacks, to be seen in high

look where you will Men that go mincing, grimacing, with plausible speech and brushed raiment; hollow within Quacks Political Quacks scientific, Academical all with a fellow-feeling for each other, and kind of Quack public-spirit Not great Lavoisier himself, or any of the Forty can escape this rough tongue which wants not fanatic sincerity, nor, strangest of all, a certain rough caustic sense. And then the 'three thousand gaming houses' that are in Paris cesspools for the scoundrelism of the world sinks of iniquity and debauchery, whereas without good morals Liberty is impossible There, in these Dens of Satan, which one knows, and perseveringly denounces, do Sieur Motier's niouchards consort and colleague battening vampyre'(3 Peuple!' cries he oftiike on a People next-door to starvation. times, with heart-rending accent. Treason, delusion, vampyrism, scoundrelism, from Dan to Beersheba The soul of Marat is sick with the sight but what remedy ? To erect Eight Hundred gibbets,' in convenient rows, and proceed to hoisting Riquetti on the first of them Such is the brief recipe ol Marat, Friend of the People. So blow and bluster the Hundred and thirty-three: nor, as would seem, are these sufficient for there are benighted nooks in France, to v/hich Newspapers do not reach and everywhere is such an appetite for news as was never seen in any country.' Let an expeditious Dampmartin, on furlough, set out to return home from Paris, t he cannot get along for peasants stopping him on the highway overwhelming him with questions the Maitre de Paste will not send out the horses till you have well nigh quarrelled with him, but asks always. What news ? At Autun, in spite of the rigorous frost for it is now January, 1791, nothing will serve but you must gather your wayworn limbs, and thoughts, and speak to the multitudes from a window opening into the market-place.' This, good Christian people, It is the shortest method
plat.es,
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what an august Assembly seemed other is the news
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and

Now my
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weary

lips

I close

I.«ave me, leave

me

to repose.'

The good Dampmartin

But, on the whole, are not Nations astonishingly true to their National character ; which indeed runs in the blood ? Nineteen hundred years ago, Julius Caesar, with his quick sure eye, took note how the Gauls waylaid men. 'It is a habit of theirs,' saj'S he, ' to stop travellers, were it even by constraint, and inquire whatsoever each of them may have heard or known about any sort of matter in their towns, the common people beset the passing trader : demanding to hear from what regions he came, what things he got acquainted with
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* ^33
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Ami du
ix.

Peuple, No.
I.

306.—S« other Excerpts

in Hist, Pari.

viii.

139-T49,

42^

85-93, &c-

t Dampmartin,

184.

rHE WAKEFUL,
there.
;

?19

Excited by which rumours and hearsays they wlil decide about tne weightiest matters and necessarily repent next moment that they did it, on such guidance of uncertain reports, and many a travellef answering with mere fictions to please them, and get off.'* Nineteen and good Dampmartin, wayworn, in winter-frost, hundred years probably with scant light of stars and fish-oil, still perorates from the Inn-window This People is no longer called Gaulish and it has •wholly become braccatus, has got breeches, and suffered change enough certain fierce German Franken came storming over and, so to speak, vaulted on the back of it and always after, in their grim tenacious way, have ridden it bridled for German is, by his very name, Guerreman, or man that wars and gars. And so the People, as we say, is now called French or Frankish nevertheless, does not the old Gaulish and Gaelic Celthood, with its vehemence, effervescent promptitude, and what good and ill it had, still vindicate itself httle adulterated ?
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For the rest, that in such prurient confusion, Clubbism thrives and spreads, need not be said. Already the Mother of Patriotism, sitting and has paled the poor in the Jacobins, shines supreme over all lunar light of that Monarchic Club near to final extinction. She, we say, shines supreme, girt with sun-light, not yet with internal lightning reverenced, not without fear, by Municipal Authorities counting her Barnaves, Lameths, Potions, of a National Assembly most gladly of Cordeliers, again, your H6bert, Vincent, Biblioall, her Robespierre. polist Momoro, groan audibly that a tyrannous Mayor and Sieur Metier harrow them with the sharp trib'ula of Law, intent apparently How the Jacobin Mother-Society, to suppress them by tribulation. as hinted formerly, sheds forth Cordeliers on this hand, and then Feuillans on that the Cordeliers an elixir or double distillation of Jacobin Patriotism;' the other a wide-spread weak dilution thereof; how she will reabsorb the former into her Mother-bosom, and stormfully dissipate the latter into Nonentity how she breeds and brings forth Three Hundred Daughter-Societies her rearing of them, her correspondence, her endeavourings and continual travail how, under an old figure, Jacobinism shoots forth organic filaments to the utmost comers of confused dissolved France organising it anew this properly is the grand fact of the Time. To passionate Constitutionalism, still more to Royalism, Vv^hich see all their own Clubs fail and die, Clubbism will naturally grow to seem the root of all evil. Nevertheless Clubbism is not death, but rather new organisation, and hfe out of death destructive, indeed, of the remnants of the Old but to the New important, indispensable. That man can cooperate and hold communion with man, herein lies his miraculous strength. In hut or hamlet. Patriotism mourns not now like voice in the desert it can walk to the nearest Town and there^ in the Daughter-Society, make its ejaculation into an articulate oration, into an action, guided forward by the Mother of Patriotism herself. All Clubs of Constitutionalists, and such like, fail, one after another, as shallow fountains Jacobinism alone has gone down to the deep
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De

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lib. iv.

5.

270

THE TVILERIES.
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subterranean lake of waters and may, unless filled in, flow there, copious, continual, like an Artesian well. Till the Great Deep have drained itself up and all be flooded and submerged, and Noah's Deluge out-deluged On the other hand, Claude Fauchet, preparing mankind for a Golden Age now apparently just at hand, has opened his Cercle Social, with clerks, corresponding boards, and so forth in the precincts of the Palais Royal. It is Te-Deum Fauchet the same who preached on Franklin's Death, in that huge Medicean rotunda of the HalU-aux-bleds. He here, this winter, by Printing-press and melodious Colloquy, spreads bruit of himself to the utmost City-barriers. Ten thousand persons of respectability' attend there; and listen to this ProcureurGmeral de la Verite, Attorney-General of Truth,' so has he dubbed himself to his sage Condorcet, or other eloquent coadjutor. Eloquent Attorney-General He blows out from him, better or worse, what crude or ripe thing he holds not without result to himself; for it leads to a Bishoprick, though only a Constitutional one. Fauchet approves himself a glib-tongued, strong-lunged, whole-hearted human individual much flowing matter there is, and really of the better sort, about Right, Nature, Benevolence, Progress which flowing matter, whether it is pantheistic,' or is pot-theistic, only the greener mind, in these days, need examine. Busy Brissot was long ago of purpose to establish precisely some such regenerative Social Circle : nay he had tried it, in
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Newman-street Oxford-street,' of the Fog Babylon
surreptitiously
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failed,

—as
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some say, was fated

pocketing the cash. Fauchet, not Brissot, to be the happy man whereat, however, genfTous Brissot will with sinceie heart sing a timber-toned Nunc Doniine* But ten thousand persons of respectability what a bulk have many things in proportion to their magnitude! This Cercle Social, for which Brissot chants in sincere timber-tones such Nunc Domine, what is it ? Un: '

wind and shadow. The main reality one finds in it now, is perhaps this that an Attorney-General of Truth did once take shape of a body, as Son of Adam, on our Earth, though but for months or moments and ten thousand persons of respectability attended, ere yet Chaos and Nox had reabsorbed him.
fortunately
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thirty-three Paris Journals; regenerative Social Circle; Societies, from the balconies of Inns, by chimney-nook, at dinner-table, polemical, ending many times in duel Add ever, like a constant growling accompaniment of bass Discord scarcity of work, scarcity of food. The winter is hard and

Hundred and

oratory, in
I

Mother and Daughter

:

ragged Bakers'-queues, like a black tattered flag-of-distress, wave out ever and anon. It is the third of our Hunger-years this new year of a glorious Revolution. The rich man wlien invited to dinner, in such distress-seasons, feels bound in politeness to carry his own bread in his pocket how the poor dine ? And your glorious Revolution has done it, cries one. And our glorious Revolution is subtilely, by black traitors worthy of the Lamp-iron, perverted to do it, cries
cold;
:

* Su Brissot, Patriote-Franfais Newspaper (excerpted in Hist. Pari, viii., ix. et seqq.)

;

Fauchet, Bouche-de- Far, &c.

SWORD IN HAND.
another. shivered

271

huge whirlpool wherein France, all whirls ? The jarring that went on into wild under every French roof, in every French heart the diseased things that were spoken, done, the sura-total whereof is the French Revolution, tongue of man cannot tell. Nor the laws of action tht\t Witb work unseen in the depths of that huge blind Incoherence amazement, not with measurement, men look on the Immeasurable not knowing its laws seeing, with all different degrees of knowledge, France is wliat new phases, and results of event, its laws bring forth. as a monstrous Galvanic Mass, wherein all sorts of far stranger than chemical galvanic or electric forces and substances are at work filling with electricity electrifying one another, positive and negative As the jars get your Leyden-jars, Twenty-five millions in number full, there will, from time to time, be, on slight hint, an ex{)losion.
will

Who

paint the incoherence,

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1

CHAPTER
SWORD
On
IN

III.

HAND.

such wonderful basis, however, has Law, Royalty, Authority, and whatever yet exists of visible Order, to maintain itself, while it can. FT ere, as in that Commixture of the Four Elements did the Anarch Old, has an august Assembly spread its pavilion curtained by the dark founded on the wavering bottomless of the Abyss infinite of discords and keeps continual hubbub. Time is around it, and Eternity, and the Inane and it does what it can, what is given it to do. Glancing reluctantly in, once more, we discern little that is edifying: a Constitutional Theory of Defective Verbs struggling forward, with Mirabeau, from his tribune, perseverance, amid endless interruptions with the weight of his name and genius, awing down much Jacobin violence; which in return vents itself the louder over in its Jacobins This man's path is Hall, and even reads him sharp lectures there.* mysterious, questionable difficult, and he walks without companion in pure Pure Patriotism does not now count him among her chosen it. Royalism abhors him yet his weight with the world is overwhelming. Let him travel on, companionless, unwavering, whither he is bound, Vvhile it is yet day with him, and the night has not come. But the chosen band of pure Patriot brothers is small counting only some Thirty, seated now on the extreme tip of the Left, separate from the world. A virtuous Petion an incorruptible Robespierre, most conTriumvirs Barnave, Duport, sistent, incorruptible of thin acrid men Lameth, great in speech, thought, action, each according to his kind on these and what will follow them a lean old Goupil de Prefeln has pure Patriotism to depend. There too, conspicuous among the Thirty, if seldom audible, Philippe d'Orleans may be seen sitting in dim fuliginous bewilderment having, one might say, arrived at Chaos Gleams there are, at once of a Lieutenancy and Regency debates in the Assembly itself, of
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THE TUILERIES.
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siu cession to the Throne in case the present Bianch should fail ' and Philippe, they say, walked anxiously, in silence, through the corridors, but it came all to nothing till such high argument were done
:

Mirabeau, glaring into the man, and through him, had to ejatulate in ne vautpas la peine qii'on strong untranslatable language " Cej and in the meanwhile It came all to nothing se donne pour lui." Could he refuse a little cash to Philippe s money, they say, is gone the gifted Patriot, in want only of that he himself in want of all but or indeed Not a pamphlet can be printed without cash that ? Without cash your hopewritten, without food purchasable by cash. individual patriotic or fullest Projector cannot stir from the spot other Projects require cash how much more do wide-spread Intrigues, which live and exist by cash lying wide-spread, with dragon-appetite And so Prince Philippe, amid fit to swallow Princedoms for cash his Sillerys, Lacloses, and confused Sons of Night, has rolled along: the centre of the strangest cloudy coil out of which has visibly come, and as we often say, an Epic Preternatural Machinery of Suspicion what specialities of treason, ivithin which there has dwelt and worked, stratagem, aimed or aimless endeavour towards mischief, no party living (if it be not the presiding Genius of it, Prince of the Power of the Air) has now any chance t) know. Camille's conjecture is the likeliest that poor Philip did mount up, a little way, in treasonable spcculV bti^, tion, as he mounted formerly in one of the earliest Balloon:. frightened at the new position he was getting into, had soon tuiCk-'#S To create More fool than he rose the cock again, and come down. Preternatural Suspicion, this was his function in the Revolutionary Epos. But now if he have lost his cornucopia of ready-money, what In thick darkness, inward and outward, he must else had he to lose ? welter and flounder on, in that piteous death-element, the hapless man. Once, or even twice, we shall still behold him emerged struggling out of the thick death-element in vain. For one moment, it is the last moment, he starts aloft, or is flung aloft, even into clearness and a kind to sink then for evermore of memorability, The Cote Droit persists no less nay with more animation than ever, though hope has now well nigh fled. Tough Abb6 Maury, vvlien the obscure country Royalist grasps his hand with transport of thanks, answers, rolling his indomitable brazen head " Helas, Monsieur, all that I do here is as good as simply nothing." Gallant Faussigny, visible this one time in History, advances frantic, into the middle of the Hall, exclaiming " There is but one way of dealing with it, and t'lat is to fall sword in hand on those gentry there, sabre a la main surces ^alUards Id"* franticly indicating our chosen Thirty on the extreme tij of the Whereupon is clangour and clamour, debate, repentan.:e, Left! Things ripen towards downright incompatibility, ukI evaporation. that fierce theoretic onslaught of Faussigny'a what is called scission was in August, 1790 next August will not have come, till a famed Two Hundred and Ninety-two, the chosen of Royalism, make solemn final
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SIVORD IN HAND.
'scission' from an Assembly given up to faction the dust off ihe'r feet.
;

273

and depart, shaking

this matter ol sword in hand, there is yet another be noted. Of Juols we have sometimes spoken: how, in ali parts of France, innumerable duels were fought and argumentative men and messmates, flinging down the wine-cup and weapons of reason and repartee, met in the measured field; to part bleeding; or perhaps not to part, but tc fall mutually skewered through with iron, their wrath
thirig to
;

Connected with

die as fools die. Long has this lasted, and would seem as if in an august Assembly itself, traitorous Royalisra, in its despair, had taken to a new course that of ciUting off Patriotism by systematic duel Bully-swordsmen, Spadas sins' of that party, go swaggering or indeed they can be had for a trifle ol money. Twelve Spadassins were seen, by the yellow eye oi

and

life

alike ending,

— and

still lasts.

But

now

it

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Journalism, 'arriving recently out of Switzerland also a considerable number of Assassins, nombre considerable d'assassins, exercising in fencing-schools and at pistol-targets.' Any Patriot Deputy of mark can be called out; let him escape one time, or ten times, a time there necessarily is when he must fall, and France mourn. How many cartels has Mirabeau had; especially while he was the People's champion! Cartels by the hundred which he, since the Constitution must be made first, and his time is precious, ansu'ers now always with a kind of stereotype formula IMonsieur, you are put upon my List but I warn you that it is long, and I grant no preferences.' Then, in Autumn, had we not the Duel of Cazales and Barnave the two chief masters of tongue shot meeting now to exchange pistol-shot For Cazalds, chief of the Royalists, whom we call Blacks or Ncdrs, said, in a moment of passion, " the Patriots were sheer Brigands," nay \\\ so speaking, he darted, or seemed to dart, a fire-glance specially at Barnave who thereupon could not but reply by fire-glances, by adjournment to the Bois-de-Boulogne. Barnave's second shot took effect on Cazalds's hat. The front nook of a triangular Felt, such as mortals then wore, deadened the ball and saved that fine brow from more than temporary injury. But how easily might the lot have fallen the other way, and Barnave's hat not been so good Patriotism raises its loud denunciation of Duelling in general petitions an august Assembly to stop such Feudal barbarism by law. Barbarism and solecism for will it convince or convict any man to blow half an ounce of lead through the head nl him ? Surely not. Barnave was received at the Jacobins with embraces, yet with rebukes.
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Mindful of which, and also that his reputation in America was that of headlong foolhardiness rather, and want of brain not of heart, Charles Lameth does, on the eleventh day of November, with little emotion, decline attending some hot young Gentleman from Artois, come expressly to challenge him nay indeed he first coldly engages to attend ; then coldly permits two Friends to attend instead of him, and shame the young Gert^lemaa out of it, which they successfully do.
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271

THE TUILERIES.
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cold procedure satisfactory to the two Friends, to Lameth and the hot young Gentleman whereby, one might have fancied, the whole matter was cooled down. Not so, however: Lameth, proceeding to his senatorial duties, in the decline of the day, is met in those Assembly corridors by nothing but Royalist brocards ; sniffs, huffs, and open insults. Human patience " Monsieur," said Lameth, breaking silence to one has its limits Lautrec, a man with hunchback, or natural deformity, but sharp ol tongue, and a Black of the deepest tint, " Monsieur, if you were a man to be fought with " " I am one," cries the young Duke de Castries. Fast as fireflash Lameth replies " Tout a Vheure. On the instant, then " And so, as the shades of dusk thicken in that Bois-deBoulogne, we behold two men with lion-look, with alert attitude, side foremost, right foot advanced flourishing and thrusting, stoccado and passado, in tierce and quart intent to skewer one another. See, with most skewering purpose, headlong Lameth, with his whole weight, makes a furious lunge but deft Castries whisks aside Lameth skewers only the air, and slits deep and far, on Castries' sword'spoint, his own extended left arm Whereupon, with bleeding, pallor, surgeon's-lint, and formalities, the Duel is considered satisfactorily done. But will there be no end, then ? Beloved Lameth lies deep-slit, not out of danger. Black traitorous Aristocrats kill the People's defenders, cut up not with arguments, but with rapier-slits. And the Twelve Spadassins out of Switzerland, and the considerable number of Assassins exercising at the pistol-target ? So meditates and ejaculates hurt Patriotism, with ever-deepening, ever-widening fervour, for the space If six and thirty hours. The thirty-six hours past, on Saturday the 13th, one beholds a new spectacle The Rue de Varennes, and neighbouring Boulevard des Invalides, covered with a mixed flowing multitude: the Castries Hotel gone distracted, devil-ridden, belching from every window, beds with clothes and curtains,' plate of silver and gold with fihgree, mirrors, pictures, images, commodes, chiffoniers, and endless crockery and jingle amid steady popular cheers, absolutely without theft for there goes a cry, " He shall be hanged that steals a nail." It is a Plebisdtunt, or informal iconoclastic Decree of the Common People, in the course of being executed The Municipality sit tremulous dchberating wliether they will hang out the Drapeau Rouge and Martial Law: National Assembly, part in loud wail, part in hardly suppressed applause Abbe Maury unable to decide whether the iconoclastic Plebs amount to forty thousand or to two hundred thousand. Deputations, swift messengers, for it is at a distance over the River, come and go. Lafayette and National Guards, though without Drapeau Rngug, get under way; apparently in no hot haste. Nay, arrived on the scene, Lafayette salutes with doffed hat, before ordering to fix bayonets. What avails it ? The Plebeian Court of Cassation,' as C.amille might punningly name it, has done its work; steps forth, with unhottoned vest, with pockets turned inside out sack, and just ravage,
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TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY.
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not plunder I With inexhaustible patience, the Hero of two Worlds persuasively, with a kind of sweet constraint, though remonstrates also with fixed ba5'onets, dissipates, hushes down on the morrow it is
:

once more

all

as usual.

Considering which things, however, Duke Castries must justly 'write to raise to the President,' justly transport himself across the Marches Royalism totally abandons that a corps, or do what else is in him. Bobadilian method of contest, and the twelve Spadassins return to or even to Dreamland through the Horn-gate, whichsoSwitzerland,
;

Nay Editor Prudhomme is authorised to ever their true home is. publish a curious thing are authorised to publish,' says he, dull-blustering Publisher, that M. Boyer, champion of good Patriots, His Address is at the head of Fifty Spadassinicidcs or Bully-^'///^r.y. Passage du Bois-de-I3oulogne, Faubourg St. Denis.' * One of the is strangest Institutes, this of Champion Boyer and the Bully-killers Whose services, however, are not wanted Royalism having abandoned the rapier-method as plainly impracticable.
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CHAPTER
The

IV.

TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY.
truth is Royalism sees itsell verging towards sad extremities nearer and nearer daily. From over the Rhine it comes asserted that this the poor King may contradict, the King in hisTuileries is not free with the official mouth, but in his heart feels often to be undeniable. Civil Constitution of the Clergy Decree of ejectment against Dissidents from it not even to this latter, though almost his conscience rebels, can he say Nay but, after two months' hesitating, signs this also. It v/as 'on January 2ist,' of this 1791, that he signed it; to the sorrow of his poor heart yet, on another Twenty-first of January! Whereby come Dissident ejected Priests unconquerable Martyrs according to some, incurable chicaning Traitors according to others. And so there has arrived what we once foreshadowed: Vv^ith Religion, or with the Cant and Echo of Religion, all France is rent asunder in a new rupture of continuity complicating, embittering all the older to be cured
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La Vendee Unhappy Royalty, unhappy Majesty, Hereditary Representative, Representant Hereditaire, or howsoever they may name him of whom much is expected, to whom little is given Blue National Guards
only,
in
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by stern surgery,

encircle that Tuileries
thin, inflexible, as

;

a Lafayette, thin constitutional Pedant
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clear,

water turned to thin ice whom no Queen's heart can love. National Assembly, its pavilion spread where we know, sits near by, keeping continual hubbub. From without, nothing but Nanci Revolts, sack of Castries Hotels, riots and seditions riots North and South, at Aix, at Douai, at B6fort, Usex, Perpignam, at Nismes, and that incurable Avignon of the Pope's a continual crackling and sputtering
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:

• Rivolutions de Paris

(in

H?st. Pari.

viii.

440).

ajb
ol
riots

THE TUILERIES.
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testifying how electric it from the whole face of France only the hard winter, the famished strikes of operatives that continual running-bass of Scarcity, ground-tone and basis of all other Discords

grows.

Add

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I

it can be said to have any fixed plan, In very truth, the as ever, that of flying towards the frontiers. Fly to Bouill6 bristle youronly plan of the smallest promise for it

The

plan of Royalty, so far as

is still,

!

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forty-thousand undebauched to follow you, summon Germans what of it is Royalist, Constitutional, gainable by money dissolve the Let Jacobinism and Revolt, with one rest, by grapeshot if need be. wild wail, fly into Infinite Space driven by grapeshot. Thunder ovci France with the cannon's mouth commanding, not entreating, that this riot cease. And then to rule afterwards with utmost possible Constitvitionality doing justice, loving mercy det'ng Shepherd of this All indigent People, not Shearer merely, and Shepherds-similitude this, if ye dare. If ye dare not, then in Heaven's name go to sleep other handsome alternative seems none. Nay, it were perhaps possible with a man to do it. For if such inexpressible whirlpool of Babylonish confusions (which our Era is) cannot be stilled by man, but only by Time and men, a man may moderate its paroxysms, may balance and sway, and keep himself unswallowed on the top of it, as several men and Kings in these days Much is possible for a man men will obey a man that iens and do. Did not cans, and name him reverently their Ken-ning or King. Charlemagne rule ? Consider too whether he had smooth times of it hanging four-thousand Saxons over the Weser-Bridge,' at one dread
self

round with cannon, served by your
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summon the National Assembly

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So
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likewise,

who knows

but, in this

same

distracted fanatic

France, the right man may verily exist ? An olive-complexioned taciturn man for the present, Lieutenant in the Artillery-service, who once The same who walked in the sat studying Mathematics at Brienne ? morning to correct proof-sheets at Dole, and enjoyed a frugal breakfast with M. Joly? Such a one is gone, whither also famed General Paoli his friend is gone, in these very days, to see old scenes in native Corsica,

and what Democratic good can be done
Royalty never
in

there.

executes the evasion-plan, yet never abandons it In variable hope; undecisive, till fortune shall decide. utipost secrecy, a brisk Correspondence goes on with Bouill6 there is alsb a plot, which em.erges more than once, for carrying the King to Rouen * plot after plot, emerging and submerging, like ignes fahii in 'About ten o'clock at night,' the foul weather, which lead nowhither. Hereditary Representative, in partie quarree, with the Queen, with Brother Monsieur, and Madame, sits playing 'ivisk,' or whist. Uslier Campan enters mysteriously, with a message he only half comprehends How a certain Comte d'Inisdal waits acjcious in the outer ar-techamber ; National Colonel, Captain of the watch for this nigh*
living
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Hist. "arl.

(vii.

316)

;

Bertrand-Moleville,

&c

TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY.
fs
;

277

party of Noblesse gained over ; post-horses ready all the way sitting armed, determined; will His Majesty, before midnight, consent logo? Profound silence Campan waiting with upturned ear. "Did your Majesty hear what Campan said?" asks the Queen. "Yes, I " 'Twas a pretty couplet, tliaj heard," answers Majesty, and plays on. .if Campan's," hints Monsieur, who at times shewed a pleasant wit "After all, one must say Majesty, still unresponsive, plays wisk. something to Campan," remarks the Queen. "Tell M. d'Inisdal," said the King, and the Queen puts an emphasis on it, "That the King cannot consent to be forced away." " I see " said d'Inisdal, whisking round, peaking himself into flame of irritancy " we have the risk we are to have all the blame if it fail,"*— and vanishes, he and bis plot, The Queen sat till far in the night, packing as will-o'-wisps do. jewels but it came to nothing in that peaked flame of irritancy the
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Will-o'-wisp had gone out. Alas, with v.'hom to fly ? Our loyal Little hope there is in all this. Gardes-dii-Corps, ever since the Insurrection of Women, are disbanded gone to their homes gone, many of them, across the Rhine towards Coblentz and Exiled Princes: brave Miomandre and brave Tardivet, these faithful Two, have received, in nocturnal inter\-iew with both Majesties, their viaticum of gold louis, of heartfelt thanks from a Queen's lips, though unluckily his Majesty stood, back to fire, not speaking f and do now dine through the Provinces recounting hairsbreadth escapes, insurrectionary horrors. Great horrors to be swallowed yet of greater. But, on the whole, what a falling off from the old Here in this poor Tuileries a National Breweri;p!endour of Versailles Colonel, sonorous Santerre, parades officially behind her Majesty's chair. Our high dignitaries, all fled over the Rhine nothing now to be gained Obscure busy at Court but hopes, for which life itself must be risked men frequent the back stairs with hearsays, wind-projects, unfruitful fanfaronades. Young Royalists, at the Theatre de Vaudeville, 'sing Royalists enough. Captains on couplets if that could do any thing. furlough, burnt-out Seigneurs, may likewise be met with, in the Caf^ de Valois, and at Meot the Restaurateur's.' There they fan one anothf-r drink, in such wine as can be procured, confusion into high loyal glow
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shew purchased dirks, of an improved structure, Sansculottism made to order and, greatly daring, dine.J It is in these places, in these months, that the epithet Sansculotte first gets applied to indigent P:.lri:Msm; in the last age we had Gilbert Sansculotte, the indigent Poct.§ Destitute-of-Breeches a mournful Destitution which however, if Tv.enty millions share it, may become more effective than most Possessions Meanwhile, amid this vague dim whirl of fanfaronades, wind-projects, poniards made to order, there does disclose itself one punctum-salicns Mirabeau and the 'A life and feasibility the finger of Mirabeau It is \jueen of France have met; have parted with mutual trust Strange secret as the Mysteries ; but it is indubitable. Mirabeau took
to
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t Ibid.
li.

il,

105.

|

Dampmartin,
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ii.

15-) I!.

3 Mercier

Nouveau

129. Paris, IH. 2</

2f8
;

rilE TUILEKIES.

and rode westward, unattended, to see Friend horse, one evening Claviere in that country house of his ? Before getting to Claviere's, the much-musing horseman struck aside to a back gate of the Garden of Saint-Cloud some Duke d'Aremberg, or the Hke, was there to introduce Wim the Queen was not far on a round knoll, rond poi?it, the highest of the Garden of Saint-Cloud,' he beheld the Queen's face spake with What an interview; her, alone, under the void canopy of Night. like the colloquies of the fateful secret for us, after all searching elsewhere we read that she gods * She called him a Mirabeau was charmed with him,' the wild submitted Titan as indeed it is among the honourable tokens ot this high ill-fated heart that no mind
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of any endowment, no Mirabeau, nay no Barnave, no Dumouriez, ever came face to face with her but, in spite of all prepossessions, she was High imperial forced to recognise it, to draw nigh to it, with trust. heart with the instinctive attraction towards all that had any height "You know not the Queen," said Mirabeau once in confidence; " hei And so, under force of mind is prodigious she is a man for courage." f the void Night, on the crown of that knoll, she has spoken with a Mirabeau he has kissed loyally the queenly hand, and said with enthusiasm " Madame, the Mona'-chy is saved " Possible ? The Foreign Powers, mysteriously sounded, gave favourable guarded response X Bouill6 is With a at Metz, and could find forty-thousand sure Germans. Mirabeau for head, and a Bouille for hand, something verily is possible^ if Fate intervene not. But figure under what thousandfold wrappages, and cloaks ot darkThere are ness, Roj^alty, meditating these things, must involve itself. men with Tickets of Entrance there are chivalrous consultings, mysterious plottings. Consider also whether, involve as it like, plotting Royalty can escape the glance of Patriotism lynx-eyes, by the ten Patriotism knows much thousand, fixed on it, which see in the dark knows the dirks made to order, and can specify the shops knows Sieur Motier's legions of vioiichards ; the Tickets of Entree, and men and how plan of evasion succeeds plan, or maybe supposed in black Then conceive the couplets chanted at the Theatre de to succeed it. Vaudeville ; or worse, the whispers, significant nods ot traitors in moustaches. Conceive, on the other hand, the loud cry of alarm that came through the Hundred-and-Thirty Journals the Dionysius'-Ear of each of the Forty-eight Sections, wakeful night and day. The Cafe de not patient of all. Patriotism is patient of much Procope has sent, visibly along the streets, a Deputation of Patriots, singular to expostulate with bad Editors,' by trustful word of mouth to see and hear. The bad Editors promise to amend, but do not. Deputations for change of Ministry were many Mayor Bailly joining even with Cordelier Danton in such, and they have prevailed. With what profit ? Of Quacks, willing or constrained to be quacks, the race is everlasting. Ministers Duportail and Dutertre will have to manage
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ii.

c. 17. p. 211.

J

Correspondence Secrete

(in Hist. Pari. viii. 169-73).

TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY.
much as

«79

Ministers Latour-du-Pin and Cic6 did. So welters the confused world. But now, beaten on for ever by such inextricable contradictory influences and evidences, what is the indigent French Patriot, in these unhappy days, to believe, and walk by ? Uncertainty all except that he is wretched, indigent that a glorious Revolution, the wonder of the Universe, has hitherto brought neither Bread nor Peace being marred by traitors, difficult to discover. Traitors that dwell in the dark, invisible there or seen for moments, in pallid dubious twilight, stealthily vanishing thither 1 Preternatural Suspicion once more rules the minds of men. Nobody here,' writes Carra, of the Annales Patriotiques, so early as the first of February, can entertain a doubt of the constant obstinate or of the project these people have on foot to get the King away perpetual succession of manceuvres they employ for that.' Nobody the watchful Mother of Patriotism deputed two Members to her Daughter at Versailles, to examine how the matter looked there. Well, and there ? Patriotic Carra continues The Report of these two deputies we all heard with our own ears last Saturday. They went with others of Vers:iilles, to inspect the King's Stables, also the stables of the whilom Gardes-dzi-Cofps; they found there from seven to eight hundred horses standing always saddled and bridled, ready for the road at a moment's notice. The same deputies, moreover, saw with their own two eyes several Royal Carriages, which men were even then busy loading with large well-stuffed luggage-bags,' leather cows, as we call them, vaches de ciiir; the Royal Arms on the panels almost entirely effaced.' Momentous enough Also on the same day the whole Marechaussee, or Cavalry Police, did assemble with arms, horses and baggage,' and disperse again. They want the King over the marches, that so Emperor Leopold and the German Princes, whose this,' adds Carra, troops are ready, may have a pretext for beginning is the word of the riddle this is the reason why our fugitive Aristocrats are now making levies of men on the frontiers expecting that, one of these mornings, the Executive Chief Magistrate will be brought * over to them, and the civil war commence.' II indeed the Executive Chief Magistrate, bagged, say in one of these leather cows, were once brought safe over to them But the strangest thing of all is that Patriotism, whether barking at a venture, or guided by some instinct of preternatural sagacity, is actually barking aright this time at something, not at nothing. Bouille's Secret Correspondence, since made public, testifies as much. Nay, it is undeniable, visible to all, that Mesdames the King's Aunts are taking steps for departure asking passports of the Ministry, safeconducts of the Municipality which Marat warns all men to beware of. They will carry gold with them, these old Beguines; nay they will carry the little Dauphin, having nursed a changeling, for some time, to leave in his stead Besides, they are as some light substance
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Feb. 1791

(in Hist. Pari. {%. ^g^

19

aSo

THE TUILERIES
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aung up, to shew how the wind sits a kind of proof-kite you fly off to ascertain whether the grand paper-kite, Evasion of the King, may mount In these alarming circumstances, Patriotism is not wanting to itself. Municipality deputes to the King Sections depute to the Municipality a National Assembly will soon stir. Meanwhile, behold, on the 19th of February 1791, Mcsdamcs, quitting Bellevue and Versailles with all privacy, are off! Towards Rome, seemingly or one knows not whither. They are not without King's passports, countersigned and what is more to the purpose, a serviceable Escort. The Patriotic Mayor or Mayorlct of the Village of Moret tried to detain them but brisk Louis de Narbonne, of the Escort, dashed off at hand-gallop returned soon with thirty dragoons and victoriously cut them out. And so the poor ancient women go their way to the terror of France and Paris, whose nervous excitability is become extreme. Vv'hat else would hinder poor Loqiie and Graille, now grown so old, and fallen into such imexpected circumstances, when gossip itself turning only on terrors and horrors is no longer pleasant to the mind, and you cannot get so much as an orthodox confessor in peace, from going what way soever the hope of any solacement might lead them ? They go, poor ancient dames, whom tlie heart were hard that did
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not pity they go with palpitations, with unmelodious suppressed screechings all France, screeching and cackling, in loud wwsuppresscd terror, behind and on both hands of them such mutual suspicion is among men. At Arnay le Due, above half-way to the frontiers, a Patriotic Municipality and Populace again takes courage to stop them Louis Narbonne must now back to Paris, must consult the National Assembly. National Assembly answers, not without an effort, that Mesdames may go. Whereupon Paris rises worse than ever, screeching half-distracted. Tuileries and precincts are tilled with women and men, while the National Assembly debates this question of questions Lafayette is needed at night for dispersing them, and the streets are to be illuminated. Commandant Berthier, a Berthier before whom are great things unknown, lies for the present under blockade at Bellevue in Versailles. By no tactics could he get Mesdames' Luggage stirred from the Courts there frantic Versaillese women came screeching about him his very troops cut the wagon-traces ; he retired to the interior,' waiting better times.* Nay, in these same hours, while Mesdames hardly cut out from Moret by the sabre's edge, are driving rapidly, to foreign parts, and not j^et stopped at Arnay, their august Nephew poor Monsieur, at Paris, has dived deep into his cellars of the Luxembourg for shelter ; and, according to Montgaillard, can hardly be persuaded up again. Screeching multitudes environ that Luxembourg of his drawn thither by report of his departure but, at sight and sound of Monsieur, they become crowing multitudes and escort Madame and him to the Tuileries with vivats. f It is R state of ner\'ou3 excitability such ss few nations
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—Deux Amis,

vi. c. I,

THE DAY OF PONIARDS.

281

CHAPTER

V.

THE DAY OF PONIARDS.
Or, again, what means this visible reparation of the Castle (>f Vincennes ? Other Jails being all crowded with prisoners, new space is wanted here: that is the Municipal account. For in such changing of Judicatures, Parlements being abolished, and New Courts but just set up, prisoners have accumulated. Not to say that in these times of discord and club-law, offences and committals are, at any rate, more numerous. Which Municipal account, does it not sufficiently explain the pheno-

menon ?

Surely, to repair the Castle of V^incennes was of all enterprises that an enlightened Municipality could undertake, the most innocent.

Not so however does neighbouring Saint-Antoine look on it SaintAntoine to whom these peaked turrets and grim donjons, ail-too near her own dark dwelling, are of themselves an offence. Was not Vincennes a kind of minor Bastille ? Great Diderot and Pliilosophes have lain in durance here great Mirabeau, in disastroiis eclipse, for forty-two months. And now when the old Bastille has become a dancing ground (had any one the mirth to dance), and its stones are getting built into the Pont Louis-Seize, does this minor, comparative insignificance of a Bastille flank itself with fresh-hewn mullions, spread out tyrannous wings menacing Patriotism? New space for prisoners: and what prisoners ? A d'Orleans, with the chief Patriots on the tip of the Left ? It is said, there runs a subterranean passage all the way from the Tuileries hither. Who knows? Paris, mined with quarries and catacombs, does hang wondrous over the abyss Paris was once to be blown up, though the powder, when we went to look, had got withdrawn. A Tuileries, sold to Austria and Coblentz, should have no subterranean passage. Out of which might not Coblentz or Austria issue, some morning; and, with cannon of long range, '/otidroyer,' bethunder a patriotic Saint-Antoine into smoulder and
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So meditates the benighted soul oi Saint-Antoine, as it sees iV.t aproned workmen, in early spring, busy on these towers. An officialspeaking Municipality, a Sieur Motier with his legions of monchm-ds, deserve no trust at all Were Patriot Santerre, indeed. Commander But the sonorous Brewer commands only our own Battalion of such secrets he can explain nothing, knows nothing, perhaps suspects mucli. And so the work goes on and afflicted benighted Saint-Antoine hears rattle of hammers, sees stones suspended in air.* Saint-Antoine prostrated the first great Bastille will it falter over this comparative insignificance of a Bastille ? Friends, what if we took pikes, firelocks, sledgehammers and helped ourselves Speedier is no remedy ; nor so certain. On the 28th day of February, SaintAntoine turns out, as it has now often done and, apparently vdth little auperfluoua tumult, moves eastward to that eye-sorrow of Vincennes,
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ii.

285.

ah'M
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THE TUILERIES.

grave voice of authority, no need of bullying and shouting, SaintAntoine signifies to parties concerned there that its purpose is, To have this suspicious Stronghold razed level with the general soil of the country. Remonstrance may be proffered, with zeal but it avails not. The outer gate goes up, drawbridges tumble iron vvindow-stancheons, smitten out with sledgehammers, become iron-crowbars it rains a rain of furniture, stone-masses, slates with chaotic clatter and rattle. Demolition clatters down. And now hasty expresses rush through the agitated streets, to warn Lafayette, and the Municipal and Departmental Authorities Rumour warns a National Assembly, a Royal Tuileries, and all men who care to hear it: That Saint-Antoine is up; that Vincennes, and probably the last remaining Institution of the Country, is coming down.* Quick, then Let Lafayette roll his drums and fly eastward for to all Constitutional Patriots this is again bad news. And you, ye Friends of Royalty, snatch your poniards of improved structure, made your sword-canes, secret arms, and tickets of entry quick, to order by backstairs passages, rally round the Son of Sixty Kings. An eifen-escence probably got up by d'Orleans and Company, for the overthrow of Throne and Altar it is said her Majesty shall be put in prison, put out of the way; what then will his Majesty be ? Clay for the Sansculottic Potter Or were it impossible to fly this day; a brave Noblesse suddenly all rallying ? Peril threatens, hope invites Dukes de Villequicr, de Duras, Gentlemen of the Chamber give Tickets and admittance a brave Noblesse is suddenly all rallying. Now were the time to fall sword in hand on those gentry there,' could it be done with effect. The Hero of two Worlds is on his white charger: blue Nationals, horse and foot, hurrying eastward Santerre, with the Saint-Antoine
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indisposed to act. HeavyThe jeerings, laden Hero of Two Worlds, what tasks are these provocative gamboUings of that Patriot Suburb, which is all out on the streets now, are hard to endure unwashed Patriots jeering in sulky sport one unwashed Patriot seizing the General by the boot,' Santerre, ordered to fire, makes answer obliquely, to unhorse him. " These are the men that took the Bastille " and not a trigger stirs. Neither dare the Vincennes Magistracy give warrant of arrestment, or wherefore the General will take it on the smallest countenance himself to arrest. By promptitude, by cheerful adroitness, patience and brisk valour without limits, the riot may be again bloodlessly appeased. Meanwhile, the rest of Paris, with more or less unconcern, may mind the rest of its business for what is this but an effervesence, of which there are now so many? The National Assembly, in one Mirabeau of its stormiest moods, is debating a Law against Emigration declaring aloud, " I swear beforehand that I will not obey it." Mirabeau is olten at the Tribune this day; with endless impedim.ents from without with the old unabated energy from within. What caa * Denv \mis (vi. XI-15). Newspapers (in Hist. Pari. ix. 111-17).
Battalion,
is

already there,

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THE DAY OF PONIARDS.
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murmurs and clamours, from Left or from Right, do to this man like Teneriffe or Atlas unremoved ? With clear thought with strong basslow, uncertain, he claims audience, sways the Btorm of men anon the sound of him waxes, softens he rises into far-sounding melody of strength, triumphant, which subdues all hearts his rude seamed face, desolate, fire-scathed, becomes fire-lit, and radiates once again men feel, in these beggarly ages, what is the potency and omnipotency of man's word on the souls of men. " I will triumph or be torn in fragments," he was once heard to say. " Silence," he cries now, in strong word of command, in imperial consciousness of strength, " Silence, the thirty voices, Silence aux trente voix/" and Robespierre and the Thirty Voices die into mutterings and the Law is once more as Mirabeau would have it.
voice,

though

at first
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How different, at the same instant, is General Lafayette's streeteloquence wrangling with sonorous Brewers, with an ungrammatical Saint-Antoine Most different, again, from both is the Cafe-de-Valois eloquence, and suppressed fanfaronade, of this multitude of men with Tickets of Entry who are now inundating the Corridors of the Tuileries. Such things can go on simultaneously in one City. How much more in one Country in one Planet with its discrepancies, every Day a mere crackling infinitude of discrepancies, which nevertheless do yield some coherent net-product, though an infinitesimally small one But be this as it may, Lafayette has saved Vincennes and is marchRoyalty ing homewards with some dozen of arrested demolitionists. nor indeed specially endangered. But to the King's is not yet saved Constitutional Guard, to these old Gardes Franfaises, or Centre Grenadiers, as it chanced to be, this affluence of men with Tickets of Entry is becoming more and more unintelligible. Is his Majesty to be carried off by these men, on the spur of verily for Metz, then the instant ? That revolt of Saint-Antoine got up by traitor Royalists Keep a sharp outlook, ye Centre Grenadiers on for a stalking-horse ? duty here good never came from the men in black.' Nay they have
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cloaks, redingotes ; some of them leather-breeches, boots, as if for instant riding Or what is this that sticks visible from the lapelle of ?* Chevalier de Court Too like the handle of some cutting or stabbing
!

glides and goes ; and still the dudgeon sticks from " Hold, Monsieur " a Centre Grenadier clutches him clutches the protrusive dudgeon, whisks it out in the face of the world by Heaven, a very dagger hunting-knife or whatsoever you call it fit to drink the life of Patriotism So fared it with Chevalier de Court, early in the day ; not without noise ; not without commentaries. And now this continually increasing multitude at night-fall ? Have they daggers too ? Alas, with thera too, after angry parleyings, there has begun a groping and a rummaging ail men in black, spite of their Tickets of Entr)', are clutched by the collar, and groped. Scandalous to think of: for always, as the • Weber, ii. s86.

Instrument
his
left
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lapelle.

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THE TUILERIES.

dirk, sword-cane, pistol, or were it but tailor's bodkin, is found on him, and with loud scorn drawn forth from him, he, the hapless man in black, is flung ail-too rapidly down stairs. Flung and ignominiously descends, head foremost accelerated by ignominious shovings from sentry after sentry nay, as is written, by smitings, twitchings, spurnings, a posteriori, not to be named. In this accelerated way, emerges, uncertain which end uppermost, man after man in black, through all issues, into the Tuileries Garden. Emerges, alas, into the arms of an indignant multitude, now gathered and gathering there, in the hour of dusk, to see what is toward, and whether the Hereditary Representative is carried off or not. Hapless men in black; at last convicted of
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poniards
;

made

to

order;

convicted
;

'Chevaliers

of the

Poniard!'

Within is as the burning ship without is as the deep sea. Within is no help his Majesty, looking forth, one moment, from his intcriol sanctuaries, coldly bids all visitors give up their weapons and shuts the door again. The weapons given up form a heap the convicted Chevaliers of the Poniard keep descending pellmell, with impetuous velocity and at the bottom of all staircases, the mixed multitude receives them, hustles, buffets, chases and disperses them.* Such sight meets Lafayette, in the dusk of the evening, as he returns, successful with difficulty at Vincennes Sansculotte Scylla hardly weathered, here is Aristocrat Charybdis gurgling under his lee The patient Hero of two Worlds almost loses temper. He accelerates, does
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not retard, the flying Chevaliers
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delivers, indeed, this

or the other

hunted Loyalist of quality, but rates him in bitter words, such as the Hero ill-bested hour suggested such as no saloon could pardon. hanging, so to speak, in mid air hateful to Rich divinities above hateful to Indigent mortals below Duke de Villequier, Gentleman oi the Chamber, gets such costumelious rating, in presence of all people there, that he may see good first to exculpate himself in the Newspapers then, that not prospering, to retire over the Frontiers, and begin plotting at Brussels.t His Apartment will stand vacant usefuUer, as we may find, than when it stood occupied. So fly the Chevaliers of the Poniard hunted of Patriotic men, shamefully in the thickening dusk. A dim miserable business born of darkness dying away there in the thickening dusk and dimness. In the midst of which, however, let the reader discern clearly one figure running for its life Crispin-Cataline d'Espr6m6nil, for the last time, or the last but one. It is not three years since these same Centre Grenadiers, Gardes Franfaises then, marched him towards the Calypso and he' and they have got thus Isles, in the gray of the May morning far. Bufletcd, beaten down, delivered by popular P6tion, he might well answer bitterly: "And I too, Monsieur, have been carried on the People's shoulders.''^ A fact which popular P6tion, if he like, can
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meditate. But happily, one

way and another, the speedy night covers up this of Poniards and the Chevaliers escape, though maltreated, with torn coat-skirts and heavy hearts, to their respective
ignominious

Day
ix.

;

* Hist. Pari.

139-48-

* Montgaillard,

ii.

286.

J Ste Mercier,

ii,

40, 20a.

MIRABEAU.
; :

285

dwelling-houses. Riot twofold is quelled and little blood shed, if it be noti insignificant! blood from the nose Vincennes stands undemolished, reparable -and ,the Hereditary Representative has not been stolen, nor the Queen smuggled into Prison. A day long remembered commented on with loud hahas and deep grumblings with bitter scomfulness of triumph, bitter rancour of defeat. Royalism, as usual, imputes it to d'Orleansiand the Anarchists intent on insulting Majesty Patriotism, as usual, to Royalists, and &ven Constitutionalists, intent on stealing Majesty to Metz we, also as usual, to Preternatural Suspicion, and Phoebus Apollo having made himself like the Night.
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seen, in an unexpected arena, on this day of February 1791, the Three long-contending elements of French Society, dashed forth into singular comico-tragical collision; acting and reacting openly to the eye. Constitutionalism, at once queuing Sansculottic riot at Vincennes, and Royalist treachery in the Fuileries, is great, this day, and prevails. As for poor Royalism, tossed to and fro in that manner, its daggers all left in a heap, what can one think of it ? Every dog, the Adage says, has its day has it has had it or will have it. For the present, the day is Lafayette's and the Constitution's. Nevertheless Hunger and Jacobinism, fast growing fanatical, still work their day, were they once fanatical, will come.
last
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Thus however, has the reader

;

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Hitherto, in all tempests, Lafayette, like some divine Sea-ruler, raises his serene head the upper iEolus' blasts fly back to their caves, like foolish unbidden winds the under sea-billows they had vexed into froth allay themselves. But if, as we often write, the subm3.x\nQ Titanic Fire-powers came into play, the Ocean bed from beneath being burst? If they hurled Poseidon Lafayette and his Constitution out of Space ; and, in the Titanic melly, sea were mixed with sky?
: :

CHAPTER
The
final

VI.

MIRABEAU.
spirit of France waxes ever more acrid, fever-sick : towards the outburst of dissolution and delirium. Suspicion rules all minds contending parties cannot now commingle stand separated sheer isunder, eyeing one another, in most aguish mood, of cold terror or hot age. Counter-Revolution, Days of Poniards, Castries Duels Flight of Mesdames, of Monsieur and Royalty! Jouralism shrills ever louder its cry of alarm. The sleepless Dionysius' Ear of the Forty-eight Sections, how feverishly quick has it grown convulsing with strange pangs the whole sick Body, as in such sleeplessness and sickness, the ear will do Since Royalists get Poniards made to order, and a Sieur Metier is no better than he should be, shall not Patriotism too, even of the indigent sort, have Pikes, secondhand Firelocks, in readiness for the worst ? The anvils ring, during this March month, with hammering of Pikes. Constitutional Municipality promulgated its Placard, that uq
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286
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THE TUILERIES.

was entitled io have arms tempest of astonishment from Club and Section, that the Constitutional Placard, almost next morning, had to cover itself up, and die away into inanity, in a second improved edition.* So the hammering continues as all that it betokens does. Mark, again, how the extreme tip of the Left is mounting in favour, if not in its own National Hall, yet with the Nation, especially with Paris. For in such universal panic of doubt, the opinion that is sure of itself, as the meagrest opinion may the soonest be, is the one to which all men will rally. Great is Belief, were it never so meagre and leads captive the doubting heart. Incorruptible Robespierre has been elected Public Accuser in our new Courts of Judicature virtuous Petion, it is thought, may rise to be Mayor. Cordelier Danton, called also by triumphant majorities, sits at the Departmental Council-table; colleague there of Mirabeau. Of incorruptible Robespierre it was long ago predicted that he might go far, mean meagre mortal though he was for Doubt dwelt not in him. Under which circumstances ought not Royalty likewise to cease doubting, and begin deciding and acting ? Royalty has always that sure trump-card in its hand Flight out of Paris. Which sure trumpcard Royalty, as we see, keeps ever and anon clutching at, grasping and swashes it forth tentatively yet never tables it, still puts it back again. Play it, O Royalty If there be a chance left, this seems it, and verily the last chance and now every hour is rendering this a doubtfuUer. Alas, one would so fain both fly and not fly play one's card and have it to play. Royalty, in all human likelihood, will not play its trump-card till the honours, one after one, be mainly lost and such trumping of it prove to be the sudden finish of the game
citizen except the active ' or cash-citizen but there rose, instantly responsive, such a
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Here accordingly a question always arises ot the prophetic sort; which now be answered. Suppose Mirabeau, with whom Royalty takes deep counsel, as with a Prime Minister that cannot yet legally avow himself as such, had got his arrangements completed? Arrangements he has far-stretching plans that dawn fitfully on us, by fragments, in the confused darkness. Thirty Departments ready to sign loyal Addresses, of prescribed tenor King carried out of Paris, but only to Compiegne and Rouen, hardly to Metz, since, once for all, no Emigrant rabble shall take the lead in it National Assembly consenting, by dint of loyal Addresses, by management, by force of Bouille, to hear reason, and follow thither f Was it so, on these terms, that Jacobinism and Mirabeau were then to grapple, in their Hercules-and-Typhon duel Death
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cannot

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inevitable for the one or the other ?
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The duel

itself is

determined on,
;

and sure but on what terms much more, with what issue, we in vain guess. It is vague darkness all unknown what is to be unknown even what has already been. The giant Mirabeau walks in darkness, e* vie ssid; companionless, on wild ways: what his thoughts during
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* Ordonnance du 17 Mars 1791 (Hist. Pari, ix. 257). t See Fils Adoptif (vii. 1. 6) Dumont (c. 11, 12, 14).
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MIR A BEAU.

287

the»e mouths were, nor record of Biographer, nor vague J^'ils Adoptif, will now ever disclose. To us, endeavouring to cast his horoscope, it of course remains doubly vague. There is one Herculean Man in internecine duel with him, there is Monster after Monster. Emigrant Noblesse return, sword on thigh, vaunting of their Loyalty never sullied descending from the Earthward air, like Harpy-swarms with ferocity, with obscene greed. sprawling there is the Typhon of Anarchy, Political, Religious hundred-headed, say with Twenty-five million heads wide as the area of France fierce as Frenzy strong in very Hunger. With these shall the Serpent-queller do battle continually, and expect no rest. As for the King, he as usual will go wavering chameleonlike changgood for ing colour and purpose with the colour of his environment no Kingly use. On one royal person, on the Queen only, can Mirabeau perhaps place dependence. It is possible, the greatness of this man, not unskilled too in blandishments, courtiership, and graceful adroitness, might, with most legitimate sorcery, fascinate the volatile Queen, and fix her to him. She has courage for all noble daring an eye and a heart the soul of Theresa's Daughter. Fatit-il-donc, Is it fated then,' she passionately writes to her Brother, that I with the blood I am come of, with the sentiments I have, must live and die among such mortals Alas, poor Princess, Yes. She is the only rnan^ as Mirabeau observes, whom his Majesty has about him.' Of one other man Mirabeau is still surer of himself. There lie his resources sufficient
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or insufficient. Dim and great to the eye of Prophecy looks that future. perpetual life-and-death battle confusion from above and from below mere confused darkness for us with here and there some streak of faint lurid light. see a King perhaps laid aside not tonsured, tonsuring is out of fashion now but say, sent away anywhither, with handsome annual allowance, and stock of smith-tools. see a

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a Queen mounted on horseback,' in the din of battles, with Moria^nur pro rege nostra/ 'Such a
'

Queen and Dauphin, Regent and Minor
'

;

Mirabeau writes, may come.' Din of battles, wars more than civil, confusion from above and from below: in such environment the eye of Prophecy sees Comte de Mirabeau, like some Cardinal de Retz, stormfully maintain himself; with head all-devising, heart all-daring, if not victorious, yet unvanquished, while life is left him. The specialities and issues of it, no eye of Prophecy can guess at it is clouds, we repeat, and tempestuous night and in the middle of it, now visible, far darting, now labouring in eclipse, is Mirabeau indomitably struggling to be Cloud-Compeller One can say that, had Mirabeau lived, the History of France and of the World had been different. Further, that the man would have needed, as few men ever did, the whole compass of that same Art of Daring, Art d'Oser,' which he so prized and likewise that he, above all men then living, would have practised and manifested it. Finally, that some substantiality, and no empty simulacrum of a formula, would
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2bS

THE TUILERIES.
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have been the result realised by him a result you could have lovfcd, a result you could have hated by no likelihood, a result you could only have rejected with closed lips, and swept into quick forgetfulness for ever. Had Mirabeau lived one other year
!

CHAPTER

VII.

DEATH OF MIRABEAU.

But Mirabeau could not live another year, any more than he could liva another thousand years. Men's years are numbered, and the tale of Important or unimportant to be Mirabeau's was now complete. mentioned in World-History for some centuries, or not to be mentioned From it matters not to peremptory Fate. there beyond a day or two, amid the press of ruddy busy Life, the Pale Messenger beckons silently: wide-spreading interests, projects, salvation of French Monarchies, what thing soever man has on hand, he must suddenly quit it all, and go. Wert thou saving French Monarchies wert thou blacking The most important of men cannot stay shoes on the Pont Neuf did the World's History depend on an hour, that hour is not to be given. Whereby, indeed, it comes that these same would-have-beens are mostly a vanity and the W^orld's History could never In the least be what it would, or might, or should, by any manner of potentiality, but simply and altogether what it is.
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The fierce wear and tear of such an existence has wasted out the fret and fever that keeps heart giant oaken strength of Mirabeau. and brain on fire excess of effort, of excitement excess of all kinds If I had not lived with labour incessant, almost beyond credibility him,' says Dumont, 'I should never have known what a man can make of one day what things may be placed within the interval of twelve hours. day for this man was more than a week or a month is for others the mass of things he guided on together was prodigious from the scheming to the executing not a moment lost.' " Monsieur le Comte," said his Secretary to him once, " what you require is impos"Impossible 1" answered he starting from his chair, " Ne me sible." dites jamais ce bete de mot, Never name to me that blockhead of a word."* And then the social repasts; the dinner which he gives cost five hundred as Commandant of National Guards, which and all the ginger that alas, and the Syrens of the Opera pounds

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Cannot down what a course is this man hurled hot in the mouth There is a Mirabeau stop cannot he fly, and save himself alive ? No Nessus' Shirt on this Hercules he must storm and burn there, without Human strength, never so Herculean, has rest, till he be consumed. Herald shadows flit pale across the fire-brain of its measure. Mirabeau heralds of the pale repose. While he tosses and storms, straining every nerve, in that sea of ambition and confusion, there
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JD.

axx.

DEATH OF MIRA BEAU.
comes, sombre and
the losue ol

iCn

it vvil. be still, a monition that for him swift death. In January last, you might see him as President of the Assembly there was sick his neck wrapt in linen cloths, at the evening session heat of the blood, alternate darkening and flashing in the eyesight h< had to apply leeches, after the morning labour, and preside bandaged. At parting he embraced me,' says Dumont, with an emotion I had never seen in him : " I am dying, my friend ; dying as by slow fire ; we shall perhaps not meet again. When I am gone, they will know what the value of me was. The miseries I have held back will burst from Sickness gives louder warning ; but cannot be all sides on France." * listened to. On the 27th day of March, proceeding towards the Assembly, he had to seek rest and help in Friend de Lamarck's, by the road and lay there, for an hour, half-fainted, stretched on a sofa. To the Assembly nevertheless he went, as if in spite of Destiny itself; spoke, loud and eager, five several times then quitted the Tribune lor ever. He steps out, utterly exhausted, into the TuUeries Gardens ; many people press round him, as usual, with appHcations, memorials ; he says to the Friend who was with him " Take me out of this
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on the beset the Rue de
so,

And

last
la

day of March 1791, endless anxious multitudes Chauss6e d'Antin incessantly inquiring within
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doors there, in that House numbered in our time, 42, the over-wearied giant has fallen down, to die.t Crowds of all parties and kinds of all ranks from the King to the meanest man The King sends publicly twice a-day to inquire privately besides: from the world at large there is no end of inquiring. A written bulletin is handed out every three hours,' is copied and circulated in the end, it is printed. The People spontaneously keep silence no carriage shall enter with its noise there is crowding pressure but the Sister of Mirabeau is reverently recognised, and has free way made for her. The People stand mute, heajt-stricken to all it seems as if a great calamity were nigh as ii the last man of France, who could have swayed these coming troubles, lay there at hand-grips with the unearthly Power. The silence of a whole People, the wakeful toil of Cabanis, Friend and Physician, skills not on Saturday, the second day of April, Mirabeau feels that the last of the Days has risen for him that on this day, he has to depart and be no more. His death is Titanic, as his life has been. Lit up, for the last time, in the glare of coming dissolution, the mind of the man is all glowing and burning utters itself in sayings, such as men long remember. He longs to live, yet acquiesces in death, argues not with the inexorable. His speech is wild and wondrous: unearthly Phantasms dancing now their torch-dance round his soul the soul itself looking out, fire-radiant, motionless, girt together tor that great houi 1 At times comes a beam of ligkt from him on the world he " I carry in my heart the death-dirge of the French is quitting. Monarchy the dead remains of it will now be the spoil of the factious." Or again, when he heard the cannon fire, what is characteristic too " Have we the Achilles' Funeral already ? " So likewise, while sonie • DumoDt, p. 107, t Fib Adoptif, viil. 420-79.
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THE TUILERIES.
him
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" Yes, support that head : would I could thee ! " For the man dies as he has Hved self-conscious, conscious of a world looking on. He gazes forth on the young Spring, which for him will never be Summer. The Sun has risen he says " Si ce n' est pas Id Dieu, c'est dM moins son cousin germaiji." * Death has mastered the outworks power of speech is gone the citadel of the heart still holding out the moribund giant, passionately, by sign, demands paper and pen writes his passionate demand for opium, to end these agonies. The sorrowful Doctor shakes his head Dormir To sleep,' writes the other, passionately pointing at it So dies a gigantic Heathen and Titan stumbling blindly, undismayed, down to At half past eight in the morning. Doctor Petit, standing at his rest. the foot of the bed, says, "// ne souffre plus." His suffering and his working are now ended. Even so, ye silent Patriot multitudes, all ye men of France this man He has fallen suddenly, without bending till is rapt away from you. he broke as a tower falls, smitten by sudden lightning. His word ye shall hear no more, his guidance follow no more. The multitudes depart, heartstruck spread the sad tidings. How touching is the loyalty of men to their Sovereign Man All theatres, public amusements close no joyful meeting can be held in these nights, joy is not for them the People break in upon private dancing-parties, and sullenly command that they cease. Of such dancing-parties apparently but two come to light and these also have gone out. The gloom is universal never in this City was such sorrow for one death never since that old and the Crieurs des Corps went night when Louis XII. departed, sounding their bells, and crying along the streets Le bon roi Louis, pere du peuple, est mort, The good King Louis, Father of the People, is dead 't King Mirabeau is now the lost King and one may say with little exaggeration, all the People mourns for him. weeping in the National For three days there is low wide moan Assembly itself. The streets are all mournful orators mounted on the homes, with large silent audience, preaching the funeral sermon of the dead. Let no coachman whip fast, distractively with his rolling His traces may be wheels, or almost at all, through these groups cut himself and his fare, as incurable Aristocrats, hurled sulkily into the kennels. The bourne-stone orators speak as it is given them the Sansculottic People, with its rude soul, listens eager, as men will to any Sermon, or Sermo, when it is a spoken Word meaning a Thing, and not a Babblement meaning No-thing. In the Restaurateur's of the Palais Royal, the waiter remarks, " Fine weather, Monsieur " Yes, my friend," answers the ancient Man of Letters, " very fine but Mirabeau is dead." Hoarse rhythmic threnodies come also from the throats of balladsingers are sold on grey-white paper at a sou each.J But of Portraits, engraved, painted, hewn, and written of Eulogies,

friend is supporting

bequeath

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Fils Adoptif,
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viil,

450.—Jonsssi de la maladie et de la mort de Mirabeau

:

par

P, J. G. Cabanis (Paris, 1803).

2

H^nault Abr^g6 Chronologique, p. 439. Nevi'spapers and Escerpts FiJ ^doptif (viii. 1. 10).

(la Hist. Pari. Ix. 366-403).

DEATH OF MIR A BEAU.
in all

291

Reminiscences, Biographies, nay Vandt-villes, Dramas and Melodiainas, Provinces of France, there will, through these coming months, be the due immeasurable crop; thick as the leaves of Spring. Nor, that a tincture of burlesque might be in it, is Gobel's Episcopal Mande7nent wanting goose Gobel, who has just been made Constitutional Bishop of Paris. A Mandement wherein Qa ira alternates very strangely with Notnitie Do7nini ; and you are, with a grave countenance, invited to rejoice at possessing in the midst of you a body of Prelates created by Mirabeau, zealous followers of his doctrine, faithful imitators of his virtues.'* So speaks, and cackles manifold, the Sorrow of France; wailing articulately, inarticulately, as it can, that a Sovereign Man is snatched away. In the National Assembly, when difficult questions are astir, all eyes will 'turn mechanically to the place where Mirabeau and Mirabeau is absent now. sat,' On the third evening of the lamentation, the fourth of April, there is solemn Public Funeral such as deceased mortal seldom had. Procession of a league in length; of mourners reckoned loosely at a hundred thousand. All roofs are thronged with onlookers, all winSadness is painted on every dows, lamp-irons, branches of trees. countenance many persons weep.' There is double hedge of National Guards; there is National Assembly in a body; Jacobin Society, and Societies King's Ministers, Municipals, and all Notabilities, Patriot or Bouill6 is noticeable there, 'with his hat on;' say, hat Aristocrat. Slow-wending, in drawn over his brow, hiding many thoughts religious silence, the Procession of a league in length, under the level with its sable sun-rays, for it is five o'clock, moves and marches plumes itself in a religious silence but, by fits with the muffled roll of drums, by fits with some long-drawn wail of music, and strange new clangour of trombones, and metallic dirge-voice amid the infinite hum of men. In the Church of Saint-Eustache, there is funeral oration by Cerutti and discharge of fire-arms, which brings down pieces of the Thence, forward again to the Church of Saint-Genevieve plaster.' which has been consecrated, by supreme decree, on the spur of this time, into a Pantheon for the Great Men of the Fatherland, Atix Grands Hommes la Patrie reconjiaissante. Hardly at midnight is the business done and Mirabeau left in his dark dwelling first tenant of that Fatherland's Pantheon. Tenant, alas, who inhabits but at will, and shall be cast out. For, in these days of convulsion and disjection, not even the dust of the dead i^ permitted to rest. Voltaire's bones are, by and by, to be carried from their stolen grave in the Abbey of Scellieres, to an eager stealing grave, in Paris his birth-city all mortals processioning and perorating there cars drawn by eight white horses, goadsters in classical costume, with fillets and wheat-ears enough though the weather is of the wettest.t Evangelist Jean Jacques, too, as is most proper, must be dug up from Ermenonville, and processioned, with pomp, with sengibility, to the Pantheon of the Fatherland.| He and others: while
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* Hist. Pari.
X Ibid,

Ix,

405,

du 18 Scptsmbre, 1794.

Su ilso du 30 Aolit,

t Moniteur, du 13 Juillet 1791.
&c. 1791.

29S

THE TUILERIE5.
;

arain Mirabeau,
7irplaced
night,
'

and

we say, is cast forll-. from it, happily incapable of being rests now, irrcccgiiisable, rcburied hastily at dead (if
Churchyard Sainte-Catherine,
in ti^e

in the central part of the

Suburb Sainte-Marceau,'

and a So blazes out, caput ffiorluutn, in tliis World-Pyre, which we name French Revolution not the first that consumed itself there nor, by thousands and A man who had swallowed all formulas many millions, the last who, in these strange times and circumstances, felt called to live
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to be disturbed no further. farseen, a Man's Life, and becomes ashes

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and also to die so. As he, for his part, had swallowed all formulas, what Formula is there, never so comprehensive, that will express truly tht f>/us and the mimis of him, give us the accurate netThere is hitherto rrone such. Moralities not a few result of him ? must shriek condemnatory over this Mirabeau the morality by which he could be judged has not yet got uttered in the speech of men. That he is a Reality, and no Simuwill say this of him, again lacrum a living son of Nature our general Mother not a hollow Artifice, and mechanism of Conventionalities, son of notlaing, brother In which little word, let the earnest man, walking sorrowto nothing. ful in a world mostly of Stuffed Clothes-suits,' that chatter and grin meaningless on him, quite ghastly to the earnest soul, think what significance there is Of men who, in such sense, are alive, and see with eyes, the number it may be well, if in this huge French Kcvolution is now not great Mortals driven itself, with its all-developing fury, we find some Three. rabid we find; sputtering the acridest logic; baring their breast to the of whom it is so painful to battle-hail, their neck to the guillotine say that they too are still, in good part, manufactured Formalities, not Facts but Hearsays Honour to the strong man, in these ages, who has shaken himself For in the way of being woriJiy, loose of shams, and is something. the first condition surely is that one be. Let Cant cease, at all risks and at all costs: till Cant cease, nothing else can begin. Of human Criminals, in these centuries, writes the Moralist, I find but one unforgivable: the Quack. 'Hateful to God,' as divine Dante sings, and to the Enemies of God,
;

We

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Dio

spiacentt ed a' netnici sui

f

with s}'mpathy, which is the first essential towards questionable Mirabeau, may find that there lay verily in him, as the basis of all, a Sincerity, a great free Earnestness nay call it Honesty, for the man did before all things see, with that and clear flashing vision, into what was, itto what existed as fact Whereby on what did, with his wild heart, follow that and no other. ways soever he travels and struggles, often enough falling, he is still Shining thou canst not hate him a brother man. Hate him not through such soil and tarnish, and now victorious effulgent, and oftenest struggling eclipsed, the light of genius itself is in this man which was never yet base and hateful ; but at worst was lamentable

But whoever

will,

insight, look

at this

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DRAIH OF MIRABEAU.
loveable with pity.

sr-

he was ambitious, that he warned ta be Minister. It is most true. And was he not simply the one man in France who could have done any good as Minister? Not vanity alone, not pride alone far from that Wild burstings of affections v/cre in this great heart; of fierce lightning, and soft dew of jiity. So sunk, bemired in wretchedest defacements, it may be said of him, like the Magdalen of old, that he loved much his Father, the harshest of old crabbed men, he loved with warmth, with veneration. Be it that his falls and follies are manifold, as himself often lamented even with tears.* Alas, is not the Life of every such man already a poetic Tragedy made up of Fate and of one's own Deserv'ings,' of Schicksal tend eigene Schnld; full of the elements of Pity and Fear ? This brother man, if not Epic for us, is Tragic if not
that
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large in his qualities, v/oild-large in his destinies. other men, recognising him as such, may, through long times, remember, and draw nigh to examine and consider: these, in their several dialects, will say of him and sing of him, till the right thing be said and so the Formula that can judge him be no longer an undiscovered one. Here then the wild Gabriel Honors drops from the tissue of our History; not without a tragic farewell. He is gone the flower of the wild Riquetti or Arrighetti kindred which seems as if in him, with one last effort, it had done its best, and then expired, or sunk down to the undistinguished level. Crabbed old Marquis Mirabeau, the Friend of Men, sleeps sound. The Bailli Mirabeau, worthy Uncle, will soon die forlorn, alone. Barrel-Mirabeau, already gone across the Rhine, his Regiment of Emigrants will drive nigh desperate. Barrel-Mirabeau,' says a biographer of his, ' went indignantly across the Rhine, and drilled Emigrant Regiments. But as he sat one morning in his tent, sour of stomach doubtless and of heart, meditating in Tartarean humour on the turn things took, a certain Captain or Subaltern demanded admittance on business. Such Captain is refused he again demands, with refusal and then again, till Colonel Viscount BarrelMirabeau, blazing up into a mere burning brandy-barrel, clutches his sword, and tumbles out on this canaille of an intruder, alas, on the canaille of an intruder's sword's-point, who had drawn with swift dexterity; and dies, and the Newspapers name it apoplexy and alarming accident.' So die the Mirabeaus. New Mirabeaus one hears not of: the wild kindred, as we said, is gone out with this its greatest. As families and kindreds sometimes do; producing, after long ages of unnoted notabihty, some living quintessence of all the qualities they had, to flame forth as a man world-noted ; after whom they rest as if exhausted ; the sceptre passing The chosen Last of the Mirabeaus is gone the chosen man to others. of France is gone. It was he who shook old France from its basis and, as if with his single hand, has held it toppling there, still unfallen. What things depended on that one man He is as a ship suddenly shivered on sunk rocks t much swims on the waste waters, far from helpgreat,
is

large

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Whom

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• Dumont, p. 287

BOOK

IV.

VARENNES.
CHAPTER
The French Monarchy may now
human
;

I.

EASTER AT SAINT-CLOUD.
therefore be considered as, lu all probabiHty, lost as struggling henceforth in blindness as well as weakness, the last light of reasonable guidance having gone out. What remains of resources their poor Majesties will waste still further, Mirabeau himself had to complain in uncertain loitering and wavering. that they only gave him half confidence, and always had some plan within his plan. Had they fled frankly with him to Rouen or anyThey may fly now with chance immeasurably whither, long ago lessened which will go on lessening towards absolute zero. Decide, Queen poor Louis can decide nothing execute this Flight-project, or at least abandon it. Correspondence with Bouill6 there has been enough what profits consulting, and hypothesis, while all around is in The Rustic sits waiting till the river run fierce activity of practice ? dry alas with you it is not a common river, but a Nile Inundation snows melting in the unseen mountains till all, and you where you sit,
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be submerged.

Many things invite to flight. The voice of Journals invites Royalist Journals proudly hinting it as a threat. Patriot Journals rabidly denouncing it as a terror. Mother Society, waxing more and more so emphatic that, as was prophesied, Lafayette emphatic, invites and your limited Patriots have ere long to branch off from her, and form themselves into Feuillans with infinite pubhc controversy the victory in which, doubtful though it look, will remain with the unMoreover, ever since the Day of Poniards, we have limited Mother. seen unlimited Patriotism openly equipping itself with arms. Citizens denied activity,' which is facetiously made to signify a certain weight of purse, cannot buy blue uniforms, and be Guardsmen but man is greater than blue cloth man can fight, if need be, in multiform cloth, as Sansculotte. So pikes continue to or even almost without cloth, be hammered, whether those Dirks of improved structure with barbs be 'meant for the West India market,' or not meant. Men beat, the wrong way, their ploughshares into swords. Is there not what we may call an Austrian Committee,' Cotnite Autrichien, sitting daily and
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EASTER AT SAINT CLOUD.
it

^95

Patriotism, by vision and suspicion, knows will there not be Aristocrat-Austrian invasion butchery replacement of Feudalism wars more than civil ? The hearts of men are saddened and maddened. Expelled from their Dissident Priests likewise give trouble enough. Parish Churches, where Constitutional Priests, elected by the Public, have replaced them, these unhappy persons resort to Convents of and there, on Sabbath, collecting Nuns, or other ouch receptacles assemblages of Anti-Constitutional individuals, who have grown devout all on a sudden,* they worship or pretend to worship in their straitlaced contumacious manner to the scandal of Patriotism. Dissident Priests, passing along with their sacred wafer for the dying, seem wishful to be massacred in the streets wherein Patriotism will not Slighter palm of martyrdom, however, shall not be gratify them. martyrdom not of massacre, yet of fustigation. denied A.t the refractory places of worship. Patriot men appear Patriot women with strong hazel wands, which they apply. Shut thy eyes, O Reader see not this misery, peculiar to these later times, of martyrdom without sincerity, with only cant and contumacy dead Catholic Church is not allowed to lie dead no, it is galvanised into the detestablest death-life whereat Humanity, we say, shuts its eyes. For the Patriot women take their hazel wands, and fustigate, amid laughter of bystanders, with alacrity: broad bottom of Priests; alas, Nuns too reversed, and cotillons retrousses ! The National Guard does what it can: Municipahty 'invokes the Principles of toleration;' grants Dissident worshippers the Church of the Theatins ; promising protection. But it is to no purpose at the door of that Theatins Church, appears a Placard, and suspended atop, like Plebeian Consular fasces, The Principles of Toleration must do the best a Bundle of Rods
nightly in the Tuileries ? If the King too well
I
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they may: but no Dissident man shall worship contumaciously; there is a Plebiscitum to that effect which, though unspoken, is like the laws of the Medes and Persians. Dissident contumacious Priests ought not to be harboured, even in private, by any man the Club of the Cordeliers openly denounces Majesty himself as doing it.t Many things invite to flight but probably this thing above all others, that it has become impossible On the 15th of April, notice is given that his Majesty, who has suffered much from catarrh lately, will enjoy the Spring weather, for a few days, at Saint-Cloud. Out at SaintCloud ? Wishing to celebrate his Easter, his Pdques, or Pasch, there with refractory Anti-Constitutional Dissidents? Wishing rather to make off for Compiegne, and thence to the Frontiers ? As were, in good sooth, perhaps feasible, or would once have been nothing but some two chasseurs attending you chasseurs easily corrupted It is a pleasant possibility, execute it or not. Men say there are thirty thousand Chevaliers of the Poniard lurking in the woods there lurking in the woods, and thirty thousand, for the human Imagination is not fettered. But now, how easily might these, dashing out on Lafayette,
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t

i.

262.
(in Hist. Pari. ix.

Newspapers of April and June 1791

449

;

x. 217).

20

296

VAKENNES.
;
!

snatch off the Hereditary Representative and roll away with him, aftci Enough, it were well the manner of a whirlblast, whither they listed the King did not go. Lafayette is forewarned! and forearmed: but, indeed, is the risk his only or his and all France's ? Monday the eighteenth of April is come the Easter Journey to Saint-Cloud shall take effect. National Guard has got its orders a First Division, as Advanced Guard, has even marched, and probably His Majesty's Maison-bouche, they say, is all busy stewing arrived. and frying at Saint-Cloud the King's dinner not far from ready there. About one o'clock, the Royal Carriage, with its eight royal blacks shoots stately into the Place du Carrousel draws up to receive its from the neighbouring Church of Saintroyal burden. But hark Roch, the tocsin begins ding-dong-ing. Is the King stolen then is he going gone ? Multitudes of persons crowd the Carrousel the Royal Carriage still stands there, and, by Heaven's strength, shall stand Lafayette comes up, with aide-de-camps and oratory per\'ading the groups " Taisez vous," answer the groups " the King shall not go." Monsieur appears, at an upper window ten thousand voices bray and Their Majesties have shriek, " A^oiis ne voulons pas que le Rot parted mounted. Crack go the whips but twenty Patriot arms have seized each of the eight bridles there is rearing, rocking, vociferation not the smallest headway. In vain does Lafayette fret, indignant and perorate and strive Patriots in the passion of terror, bellow round the Royal Carriage it is one bellowing sea of Patriot terror run frantic. Will Royalty fly off towards Austria like a lit rocket, towards endless Conflagration of Civil War? Stop it, ye Patriots, in the name of Rude voices passionately apostrophise Royalty itself. Usher Heaven Campan, and other the like official persons, p.'^sing forward with help or advice, are clutched by the sashes, and hurled and whirled, in a confused perilous manner so that her Majesty has to plead ppacionately from the carriage-window. Order cannot be heard, cannot be followed National Guards know not how to act. Centre Grenadie..s, of the Observatoire Battalion, are there not on duty alas, in quasi-mutiny speaking rude disobedient words threatening the mounted Guards with sharp shot if they hurt the people. Lafayette mounts and dismounts runs haranguing, pantsever.' For an hour and three-quarters ing on the verge of despair. Desperate Lafayette will quarters of an hour,' by the Tuileries Clock open a passage, were it by the cannon's mouth, if his Majesty will order. Their Majesties, counselled to it by Royalist friends, by Patriot foes, dismount and retire in, with heavy indignant heart giving up the Maison-bouche may eat that cooked dinner themselves his enterprise. Majesty shall not see Saint-Cloud this day, or any day.* The pathetic fable of imprisonment in one's own Palace has become Majesty complains to Assembly; Municipality a sad fact, then? deliberates, proposes to petition or address; Sections respond with Lafayette flings down his Commission sullen brevity of negation. and cannot be flattered back appears in civic pepper-and-salt froc4

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Deux Amis,

vi. c.

1.— Hist. Pari.

ix.

407-14.

EASTER AT PARIS.
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not In less than three days and by unheard-of entreaty again National Guards Itneeling to him, and declaring that it is not sycophancy, that they are free m;n kneeling here to the Statue of Liberty, For the rest, those Centre Grenadiers of the Observatoire are disbanded, yet indeed are reinlisted, all but fourteen, under a new name, and with new quarters. The King must keep his Easter in Paris meditating much on this singular posture of things but as good as determined now to fly from it, desire being whetted by difficulty.

;

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CHAPTER

II.

EASTER AT PARIS.
For above a year, ever since March 1790, it would seem, there has hovered a project of Flight before the royal mind and ever and anon has been condensing itself into something like a purpose but this or It seems so full of risks, the other difiiculty always vaporised it again. perhaps of civil war itself above all, it cannot be done without effort. Somnolent laziness will not serve to fly, if not in a leather vache, one must verily stir himself. Better to adopt that Constitution of theirs;
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execute it so as to shew ail men that it is /«executable ? Better or not go good surely it is easier. To all difficulties you need only say, There is a lion in the path, behold your Constitution will not act For a somnolent person it requires no effort to counterfeit death, as Dame de Stael and Friends of Liberty can see the King's Government long doing, faisant le niort. Nay now, when desire whetted by difficulty has brought the matter to a head, and the royal mind no longer halts between two, what can come of it? Grant that poor Louis were safe with Bouill6, what on Exasperated Tickets of Entiy the whole could he look for there? answer Much, all. But cold Reason answers Little, almost nothing. Is not loyalty a law of Nature ? ask the Tickets of Entry. Is not love of your King, and even deatH for him, the glory of all Frenchmen, except these few Dcixiocrats ? Let Democrat Constitution-builders see what they will do without their Keystone and France rend its hair, having lost the Hereditary Representative Thus will King Louis fly one sees not reasonably towards what. As a maltreated Boy, shall we say, who, having a Stepmother, rushes sulky into the wide world and will wring the paternal heart ? Poor Louis escapes from known unsupportable evils, to an unknown mixture of good and evil, coloured by Hope. He goes, as Robelais did when dying, to seek a great May-be je vais chercher un grand Peut-etre / As not only the sulky Boy but the wise grown Man is obliged to do, so often, in emergencies. For the rest, theie is still no lack of stimulants, and stepdame maltreatments, to keep one's resolution at the due pitch. Factious disturbance ceases not as indeed how can they, unless authoritatively conjured, in a Revolt which is hy nature bottomless ? If the ceasing o|
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faction
will,

VARENNES.
be the price of the King's somnolence, he

may awake when

he

Catholicism to behold
I

case, what somersets and contortions a dead making, skilfully galvanised hideous, and even piteous, Jurant and Dissident, with their shaved crowns, argue frothing everywhere or are ceasing to argue, and stripping for battle. contrariwise, in the In Paris was scourging while need continued Morbihan of Brittany, without scourging, armed Peasants are up, roused by pulpit-drum, they know not why. General Dumouriez, who has got missioned thitherward, finds all in sour heat of darkness finds also that explanation and conciliation will still do much.* that his Holiness, Pius Sixth, has seen But again, consider this good to excommunicate Bishop Talleyrand Surely, we will say then, lonsidering it, there is no living or dead Church in the Earth that has not the indubitablest right to excommunicate Talleyrand. Pope Pius has right and might, in his way. But truly so likewise has Father Adam, cidevant Marquis Saint-Huruge, in his way. Behold, therefore, on the Fourth of May, in the Palais-Royal, a mixed loud-sounding multitude in the middle of whom, Father Adam, bull-voiced SaintHuruge, in white hat, towers visible and audible. With him, it is said, walks Journalist Gorsas, walk many others of the washed sort; for no authority will interfere. Pius Sixth, with his plush and tiara, and power of the Keys, they bear aloft of natural size, made of lath and combustible gum. Royou, the King's Friend, is borne too in effigy with a pile of Newspaper King's-Friends, condemned Numbers of the Ami-du-Roi ; fit fuel of the sacrifice. Speeches are spoken a judgment is held, a doom proclaimed, audible in bull-voice, towards the four winds. And thus, amid great shouting, the holocaust is consummated, under the summer sky and our lath-and-gum Holiness,
is

and take wing. Remark, in any

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attendant victims, mounts up in flame, and sinks down in ashes a decomposed Pope and right or might, among all the parties, has better or worse accomplished itself, as it could.f But, on the whole, reckoning from Martin Luther in the Market-place of Wittenberg to Marquis Saint-Huruge in this Palais-Royal of Paris, what a journey No have we gone into what strange territories has it carried us Authority can now interfere. Nay, Religion herself, mourning for such things, may after all ask. What have I to do with them ? In such extraordinary manner does dead Catholicism somerset and For, does the reader inquire into the caper, skilfully galvanised. subject-matter of controversy in this case what the difference between Orthodoxy or My-doxy and Heterodoxy or Thy-doxy might here be? My-doxy is that an august National Assembly can equalize the extent of Bishopricks that an equalized Bishop, his Creed and Formularies being left quite as they were, can swear Fidelity to King, Law and Nation, and so become a Constitutional Bishop. Thy-doxy, if thou be Dissident, is that, he cannot but that h« must become an accursed Human ill-nature needs but some Homoiousian iota, or even thing.
vidth the
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• Deux Amis,

v.

410=?.

'^nmouriez,

il.

c. 5.

t

Hist. Pari x. 99-103.

COUNT FERSEN.
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:

899

the pretence of one and will flow copiously through the eye of a needle thus always must mortals go jargoning and fuming,

And, With

like the
fierce

ancient Stoics in their porches, dispute maintain their churches.

This Auto-da-fe of Saint-Huruge's was on the Fourth of May, 1791. Royalty sees it but says nothing.
;

CHAPTER

III.

COUNT FERSEN.
Royalty, in fact should, by this time, be far on with its preparations. Could a Hereditary ReUnhappily much preparation is needful. But it is presentative be carried in leather vache, how easy were it
1

not so.

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

humoured.
Bouille, on his side, is making a fortified Camp at Montmedi gathering Royal-Allemand, and all manner of other German and true French Troops thither, to watch the Austrians.' His Majesty will not cross the Frontiers, unless on compulsion. Neither shall the Emigrants be much employed, hateful as they are to all people.t Nor shall old wargod Broglie have any hand in the business but solely our brave Bouille to whom, on the day of meeting, a Marshal's Baton shall be dehvered, by a rescued King, amid the shouting of all the troops. In the meanwhile, Paris being so suspicious, were it not perhaps good to write your Foreign Ambassadors an ostensible Constitutional Letter desiring all Kings and men to take heed that King Louis loves the Constitution, that he has voluntarily sworn, and does again swear, to maintain the same, and will reckon those his enemies who affect to say
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ia

? Such a Constitutional Circular is despatched by Couriers, communicated confidentially to the Assembly, and printed in all

• Campan,

ii.

c. 18.

t Bouilld

:

M^moires,

ii.

c. lo.

300

VARENNES.
;

Newspapers

with the finest effect.*

Simulation and dissimulation

mingle extensively in

human

affairs.

observe, however, that Count f ersen is often using his Ticket of which surely he has clear right to do. A gallant Soldier and Swede, devoted to this fair Queen as indeed the Highest Swede now is. Has not King Gustav, famed fiery Chevalier du Nord, sworn himself, by the old laws of chivalry, her Knight ? He will descend on fire-wings, of Swedish musketry, and deliver her from these foul dragons, if, alas, the assassin's pistol intervene not But, in fact, Count Fersen does seem a likely young soldier, of alert he circulates widely, seen, unseen and has business decisive ways on hand. Also Colonel the Duke de Choiseul, nephew of Choiseul the great, of Choiseul the now deceased he and Engineer Goguelat are passing and repassing between Metz and the Tuileries and Letters go in cipher, one of them, a most important one, hard to decipher Fersen having ciphered it in haste.f As for Duke de Villequier, he is gone ever since the Day of Poniards but his Apartment is useful for her Majesty. On the other side, poor Commandant Gouvion, watching at the Tuileries, second in National Command, sees several things hard to interpret. It is the same Gouvion who sat, long months ago, at the Townhall, gazing helpless into that Insurrection of Women motionless, as the brave stabled steed when conflagration rises, till Usher Maillard snatched his drum. Sincerer Patriot there is not but many a shiftier. He, if Dame Campan gossip credibly, is paying some similitude of love-court to a certain false Chambermaid of the Palace, who betrays much to him the Necessaire, the clothes, the packing of jewels, J could he understand it when betrayed. Helpless Gouvion gazes with sincere glassy eyes into it stirs up his sentries to vigilance walks restless to and fro and hopes the best. But, on the whole, one finds that, in the second week of June, Colonel having come to see his children.' le Choiseul is privately in Paris Also that Fersen has got a stupendous new Coach built, of the kind named Berline ; done by the first artists according to a model they bring it home to him, in ChoiseuTs presence the two friends take a proof-drive in it, along the streets in meditative mood then send it up to Madame Sullivan's, in the Rue de Clichy,' far North, to wait Apparently a certain Russian Baroness de Korff, there till wanted. with Waiting-woman, Valet, and two Children, will travel homewards with some state in whom these young military gentlemen take interest ? A Passport has been procured for her and much assistance shewn,