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FrRevol_301-350.indd 24 3/16/12 1:08 PM CHAPTER X Private Anecdotes. I cannot find courage to continue such pictures. Yet the 10th of August appeared to have in view the seizing of the reins ofgovernment, in order to direct all its efforts against the invasion offoreigners; but the massacres which took place twenty-two days after the overthrow ofthe throne were only wanton criminal acts. It has been said that the terror experienced in Paris, and throughout all France, decided the French to take refuge in the camps. What a singular expedient is fear for recruiting an army! But such a supposition is an offense to the nation, and I shall endeavor to show in the following chapter that it was in spite of those crimes, and not by their horrible concurrence, that the French repulsed the foreigners who came to impose the law. To criminals succeeded criminals still more detestable. The true republicans did not remain masters one day after the 10th of August. The moment the throne they attacked was overturned, they had to defend themselves; they had shown but too much condescension toward the horrible instruments whom they had employed to establish the republic. But the Jacobins were very sure in the end to terrify them with their own idol, by dint ofcrimes; and it seemed as ifthe wretches who were most hardened in guilt endeavored to fit the head of Medusa on the different leaders of parties, in order to rid themselves ofall who could not support its aspect. The detail of these horrible massacres is revolting to the imagination and furnishes nothing for reflection. I shall, therefore, confine myself to relating what happened to me personally at this time; it is perhaps the best manner of giving an idea of it. During the interval from the 1oth of August to the 2d of September, new arrests were every day taking place. The prisons were crowded, and all the addresses ofthe people, which for three years past had announced, FrRevol_301-350.indd 25 3/16/12 1:08 PM cHAPTER X. Private Anecdotes by anticipation, what the party leaders had already decided, called for the punishment of the traitors: this appellation extended to classes as well as to individuals; to talents as well as fortune; to dress as well as opinions; in short, to everything which the laws protect, and which it was the intention of these men to annihilate. The Austrian and Prussian troops had already passed the frontier, and it was repeated on all sides that if the enemy advanced, all the honest people in Paris would be massacred. Several of my friends, Messrs. de Narbonne, Montmorency, Baumets,1 were personally threatened, and each of them was concealed in the house of some citizen or other. But it was necessary to change their place of retreat daily, because those who gave them an asylum were alarmed. They would not at first make use of my house, being afraid that it might attract attention; but it seemed to me that being the residence of an Ambassador, and having inscribed on the door Hotel de Suede, it would be respected, although M. de Stael was absent. It soon, however, became useless to deliberate, when there could be found no one who dared to receive the proscribed. Two of them came to my house, and I admitted into my confidence only one of my servants, of whom I was sure. I shut up my friends in the remotest chamber, and passed the night myselfin the apartments looking toward the street, dreading every moment what was called the "domiciliary visits." One morning, a servant whom I distrusted came to tell me that the denunciation and description of M. de Narbonne, who was one of the persons concealed in my house, was stuck up at the corner of my street. I thought my servant wanted, by frightening me, to penetrate my secret; but he had simply related the fact. A short time after, the formidable domiciliary visit took place in my house. M. de Narbonne, being outlawed, would have perished that very day ifdiscovered; and notwithstanding the precautions I had taken, I knew well that if the search was rigorously made, he could not escape. It became then necessary, at whatever price, to prevent this search; I collected all my courage, and felt on this occasion 1. Briois de Baumets (1 75 9~18oo), member ofthe constitutionalist group; he immigrated to Germany and, later, America. FrRevol_301...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781614878636
Related ISBN
9780865977327
MARC Record
OCLC
836874520
Pages
834
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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