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FrRevol_301-350.indd 16 3/16/12 1:08 PM CHAPTER VII Anniversary ofZ4thjuly Celebrated in ZJ92. Addresses from every part of France, which at that time were sincere, because there was danger in signing them, expressed the wish ofthe great majority of the citizens for the support of the constitution.1 However imperfect it might be, it was a limited monarchy, and such has, all along, been the wish ofthe French; the factious, or the military, have alone been able to prevent that wish from prevailing. If the leaders of the popular party have believed that the nation really wanted the republic, they would not have needed the most unjust methods to establish it. Despotic measures are never resorted to when public opinion is in favor ofa plan; and what despotic measures, good heaven! were those which were then seen to proceed from the coarsest ranks of society, like vapors arising from a pestilential marsh! Marat,Z whose name posterity will perhaps recall o'n purpose to connect with a man the crimes ofan era, Marat made use every day of his newspaper to threaten the royal family, and its defenders, with the most dreadful punishments. Never had human speech been so much disfigured; the howlings of wild beasts might be expressed in such language. Paris was divided into forty-eight sections, all of which used to send r. The Legislative Assembly received many letters protesting the events of June 20, 1792. For an account of the general background of the summer of 1792, see Taine, The French Revolution, vol. II, 596--688. 2. Jean-Paul Marat (1743-93) was a prominent member ofthe Jacobins who advocated such violent measures as the September 1792 massacres of jailed "enemies of the Revolution " and was instrumental in launching the famous Reign of Terror. He was stabbed to death in his bathtub by Charlotte Corday. 3Z6 FrRevol_301-350.indd 17 3/16/12 1:08 PM cHAPTER vI 1. Anniversary of14 july deputies to the bar of the Assembly to denounce the slightest actions as crimes. Forty-four thousand municipalities contained each a club ofJacobins in correspondence with that of Paris, and that again was subservient to the orders ofthe suburbs.3 Never was a city ofseven hundred thousand souls so completely transformed. On all hands were heard invectives directed against the royal palace; nothing now defended it but a kind of respect which still served as a barrier around that ancient abode; but that barrier might at any moment be passed, and then all was lost. They wrote from the departments that the most violent men were being sent to Paris to celebrate the 14th of July, and that they went there only to massacre the King and Queen. The mayor of Paris, Pethion,4 a coldblooded fanatic, who pushed all new ideas to an extreme because he was more capable ofexaggerating than ofcomprehending them; Pethion, with an exterior silliness which was taken for sincerity, favored every kind of sedition. The authority of the magistracy was thus added to the cause of insurrection. The departmental administration, by virtue of an article in the constitution, suspended Pethion from his functions; the King's ministers confirmed the suspension; but the Assembly re-instated the mayor in his office, and his ascendency was increased by his momentarydisgrace. A popular chief can desire nothing more than an apparent persecution, followed by a real triumph. The Marseillois sent to the Champ de Mars to celebrate the 14th of JulyS bore, on their tattered hats, the inscription,"Pethion ordeath.!" They passed before the raised seats on which the royal family were placed, calling out, Vive Pithion.l a miserable name, which even the mischief that he did has not been able to redeem from obscurity! A few feeble voices could with difficulty be heard, when calling Vive le Roi.l as a last adieu, a final prayer. The expression of the Queen's countenance will never be effaced from 3· Not every municipality had a Jacobin club. According to some estimates, there were between five thousand and eight thousand Jacobin clubs in the country. 4· Petion de Villeneuve (1756--94) was elected mayor of Paris in November 1791 and encouraged the events of August 10, 1792. Eventually he moved closer to the Girondins. He committed suicide to avoid being arrested. 5· The Marseillais arrived in Paris on July 30, 1792. 3ZJ FrRevol_301-350.indd 18 3/16/12 1:08 PM PART III my remembrance: her eyes...


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