The French Revolution: A History  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search


The French Revolution: A History was written by the Scottish essayist, philosopher, and historian Thomas Carlyle. The three-volume work, first published in 1837 (with a revised edition in print by 1857), charts the course of the French Revolution from 1789 to the height of the Reign of Terror (1793-4) and culminates in 1795. A massive undertaking which draws together a wide variety of sources, Carlyle's history—despite the unusual style in which it is written—is considered to be an authoritative account of the early course of the Revolution.

Carlyle happened upon the idea of writing a general history of the French Revolution when John Stuart Mill, a friend of his, found himself caught up in other projects and unable to meet the terms of a contract he had signed with his publisher for just such a work. Mill therefore proposed that Carlyle produce the work instead; Mill even sent his friend a library of books and other materials concerning the Revolution, and by 1834 Carlyle was working furiously on the project. When he had completed the first volume of his epic account, Carlyle sent his only completed manuscript of the text to Mill, whose maid famously mistook it for trash and had it burned. It was said that Carlyle then rewrote the entire manuscript from memory, achieving what he described as a book that came "direct and flamingly from the heart."

The book immediately established Carlyle's reputation as an important 19th century intellectual. It also served as a major influence on a number of his contemporaries, most notably, perhaps, upon Charles Dickens, who compulsively read and re-read the book while producing A Tale of Two Cities, one of the novelist's most popular works.


Part I: The Bastille

  1. Death of Louis XV
  2. The Paper Age
  3. The Parlement of Paris
  4. States-General
  5. The Third Estate
  6. Consolidation
  7. The Insurrection of Women

Part II: The Constitution

  1. The Feast of Pikes
  2. Nanci
  3. The Tuilleries
  4. Varennes
  5. Parliament First
  6. The Marseillese

Part III: The Guillotine

  1. September
  2. Regicide
  3. The Girondins
  4. Terror
  5. Terror the Order of the Day
  6. Thermidor
  7. Vendémiaire

Full text[1]






VOLUME I. THE BASTILLE BOOK 1.I. DEATH OF LOUIS XV. Chapter 1.1.I. Louis the Well-Beloved. Chapter 1.1.II. Realised Ideals. Chapter 1.1.III. Viaticum. Chapter 1.1.IV. Louis the Unforgotten.

BOOK 1.II. THE PAPER AGE Chapter 1.2.I. Astræa Redux. Chapter 1.2.II. Petition in Hieroglyphs. Chapter 1.2.III. Questionable. Chapter 1.2.IV. Maurepas. Chapter 1.2.V. Astræa Redux without Cash. Chapter 1.2.VI. Windbags. Chapter 1.2.VII. Contrat Social. Chapter 1.2.VIII. Printed Paper.

BOOK 1.III. THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS Chapter 1.3.I. Dishonoured Bills. Chapter 1.3.II. Controller Calonne. Chapter 1.3.III. The Notables. Chapter 1.3.IV. Loménie’s Edicts. Chapter 1.3.V. Loménie’s Thunderbolts. Chapter 1.3.VI. Loménie’s Plots. Chapter 1.3.VII. Internecine. Chapter 1.3.VIII. Loménie’s Death-throes. Chapter 1.3.IX. Burial with Bonfire.

BOOK 1.IV. STATES-GENERAL Chapter 1.4.I. The Notables Again. Chapter 1.4.II. The Election. Chapter 1.4.III. Grown Electric. Chapter 1.4.IV. The Procession.

BOOK 1.V. THE THIRD ESTATE Chapter 1.5.I. Inertia. Chapter 1.5.II. Mercury de Brézé. Chapter 1.5.III. Broglie the War-God. Chapter 1.5.IV. To Arms! Chapter 1.5.V. Give us Arms. Chapter 1.5.VI. Storm and Victory. Chapter 1.5.VII. Not a Revolt. Chapter 1.5.VIII. Conquering your King. Chapter 1.5.IX. The Lanterne.

BOOK VI. CONSOLIDATION Chapter 1.6.I. Make the Constitution. Chapter 1.6.II. The Constituent Assembly. Chapter 1.6.III. The General Overturn. Chapter 1.6.IV. In Queue. Chapter 1.6.V. The Fourth Estate.

BOOK VII. THE INSURRECTION OF WOMEN Chapter 1.7.I. Patrollotism. Chapter 1.7.II. O Richard, O my King. Chapter 1.7.III. Black Cockades. Chapter 1.7.IV. The Menads. Chapter 1.7.V. Usher Maillard. Chapter 1.7.VI. To Versailles. Chapter 1.7.VII. At Versailles. Chapter 1.7.VIII. The Equal Diet. Chapter 1.7.IX. Lafayette. Chapter 1.7.X. The Grand Entries. Chapter 1.7.XI. From Versailles.

VOLUME II. THE CONSTITUTION BOOK 2.I. THE FEAST OF PIKES Chapter 2.1.I. In the Tuileries. Chapter 2.1.II. In the Salle de Manége. Chapter 2.1.III. The Muster. Chapter 2.1.IV. Journalism. Chapter 2.1.V. Clubbism. Chapter 2.1.VI. Je le jure. Chapter 2.1.VII. Prodigies. Chapter 2.1.VIII. Solemn League and Covenant. Chapter 2.1.IX. Symbolic. Chapter 2.1.X. Mankind. Chapter 2.1.XI. As in the Age of Gold. Chapter 2.1.XII. Sound and Smoke.

BOOK 2.II. NANCI Chapter 2.2.I. Bouillé. Chapter 2.2.II. Arrears and Aristocrats. Chapter 2.2.III. Bouillé at Metz. Chapter 2.2.IV. Arrears at Nanci. Chapter 2.2.V. Inspector Malseigne. Chapter 2.2.VI. Bouillé at Nanci.

BOOK 2.III. THE TUILERIES Chapter 2.3.I. Epimenides. Chapter 2.3.II. The Wakeful. Chapter 2.3.III. Sword in Hand. Chapter 2.3.IV. To fly or not to fly. Chapter 2.3.V. The Day of Poniards. Chapter 2.3.VI. Mirabeau. Chapter 2.3.VII. Death of Mirabeau.

BOOK 2.IV. VARENNES Chapter 2.4.I. Easter at Saint-Cloud. Chapter 2.4.II. Easter at Paris. Chapter 2.4.III. Count Fersen. Chapter 2.4.IV. Attitude. Chapter 2.4.V. The New Berline. Chapter 2.4.VI. Old-Dragoon Drouet. Chapter 2.4.VII. The Night of Spurs. Chapter 2.4.VIII. The Return. Chapter 2.4.IX. Sharp Shot.

BOOK 2.V. PARLIAMENT FIRST Chapter 2.5.I. Grande Acceptation. Chapter 2.5.II. The Book of the Law. Chapter 2.5.III. Avignon. Chapter 2.5.IV. No Sugar. Chapter 2.5.V. Kings and Emigrants. Chapter 2.5.VI. Brigands and Jalès. Chapter 2.5.VII. Constitution will not march. Chapter 2.5.VIII. The Jacobins. Chapter 2.5.IX. Minister Roland. Chapter 2.5.X. Pétion-National-Pique. Chapter 2.5.XI. The Hereditary Representative. Chapter 2.5.XII. Procession of the Black Breeches.

BOOK 2.VI. THE MARSEILLESE Chapter 2.6.I. Executive that does not act. Chapter 2.6.II. Let us march. Chapter 2.6.III. Some Consolation to Mankind. Chapter 2.6.IV. Subterranean. Chapter 2.6.V. At Dinner. Chapter 2.6.VI. The Steeples at Midnight. Chapter 2.6.VII. The Swiss. Chapter 2.6.VIII. Constitution burst in Pieces.

VOLUME III. THE GUILLOTINE BOOK 3.I. SEPTEMBER Chapter 3.1.I. The Improvised Commune. Chapter 3.1.II. Danton. Chapter 3.1.III. Dumouriez. Chapter 3.1.IV. September in Paris. Chapter 3.1.V. A Trilogy. Chapter 3.1.VI. The Circular. Chapter 3.1.VII. September in Argonne. Chapter 3.1.VIII. Exeunt.

BOOK 3.II. REGICIDE Chapter 3.2.I. The Deliberative. Chapter 3.2.II. The Executive. Chapter 3.2.III. Discrowned. Chapter 3.2.IV. The Loser Pays. Chapter 3.2.V. Stretching of Formulas. Chapter 3.2.VI. At the Bar. Chapter 3.2.VII. The Three Votings. Chapter 3.2.VIII. Place de la Révolution.

BOOK 3.III. THE GIRONDINS Chapter 3.3.I. Cause and Effect. Chapter 3.3.II. Culottic and Sansculottic. Chapter 3.3.III. Growing Shrill. Chapter 3.3.IV. Fatherland in Danger. Chapter 3.3.V. Sansculottism Accoutred. Chapter 3.3.VI. The Traitor. Chapter 3.3.VII. In Fight. Chapter 3.3.VIII. In Death-Grips. Chapter 3.3.IX. Extinct.

BOOK 3.IV. TERROR Chapter 3.4.I. Charlotte Corday. Chapter 3.4.II. In Civil War. Chapter 3.4.III. Retreat of the Eleven. Chapter 3.4.IV. O Nature. Chapter 3.4.V. Sword of Sharpness. Chapter 3.4.VI. Risen against Tyrants. Chapter 3.4.VII. Marie-Antoinette. Chapter 3.4.VIII. The Twenty-two.

BOOK 3.V. TERROR THE ORDER OF THE DAY Chapter 3.5.I. Rushing down. Chapter 3.5.II. Death. Chapter 3.5.III. Destruction. Chapter 3.5.IV. Carmagnole complete. Chapter 3.5.V. Like a Thunder-Cloud. Chapter 3.5.VI. Do thy Duty. Chapter 3.5.VII. Flame-Picture.

BOOK 3.VI. THERMIDOR Chapter 3.6.I. The Gods are athirst. Chapter 3.6.II. Danton, No Weakness. Chapter 3.6.III. The Tumbrils. Chapter 3.6.IV. Mumbo-Jumbo. Chapter 3.6.V. The Prisons. Chapter 3.6.VI. To Finish the Terror. Chapter 3.6.VII. Go Down to.

BOOK 3.VII. VENDÉMIAIRE Chapter 3.7.I. Decadent. Chapter 3.7.II. La Cabarus. Chapter 3.7.III. Quiberon. Chapter 3.7.IV. Lion not Dead. Chapter 3.7.V. Lion Sprawling its Last. Chapter 3.7.VI. Grilled Herrings. Chapter 3.7.VII. The Whiff of Grapeshot. Chapter 3.7.VIII. Finis.




Diesem Ambos vergleich’ ich das Land, den Hammer dem Herscher;

   Und dem Volke das Blech, das in der Mitte sich krümmt.

Wehe dem armen Blech, wenn nur willkürliche Schläge

   Ungewiss treffen, und nie fertig der Kessel erscheint!

     BOOK 1.I.

     Chapter 1.1.I.
     Louis the Well-Beloved.
     President Hénault, remarking on royal Surnames of Honour how
     difficult it often is to ascertain not only why, but even when,
     they were conferred, takes occasion in his sleek official way, to
     make a philosophical reflection. “The Surname of _Bien-aimé_
     (Well-beloved),” 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 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-aimé_
     fashioned itself—a title higher still than all the rest which
     this great Prince has earned.”[1]
     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 Château 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.”[2]
     But for the rest, on green field and steepled city, the May sun
     shines out, the May evening fades; and men ply their useful or
     useless business as if no Louis lay in danger.
     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
     tyranny, but even of _concussion_ (official plunder of money);
     which accusations it was easier to get “quashed” by backstairs
     Influences than to get answered: neither could the thoughts, or
     even the tongues, of men be tied. Thus, under disastrous eclipse,
     had this grand-nephew of the great Richelieu to glide about;
     unworshipped by the world; resolute Choiseul, the abrupt proud
     man, disdaining him, or even forgetting him. Little prospect but
     to glide into Gascony, to rebuild Châteaus there,[3] and die
     inglorious killing game! However, in the year 1770, a certain
     young soldier, Dumouriez by name, returning from Corsica, could
     see “with sorrow, at Compiègne, 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.”[4]
     Much lay therein! Thereby, for one thing, could D’Aiguillon
     postpone the rebuilding of his Château, 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 pouting; 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 (_tremblement
     du menton_)” natural in such case,[5] 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 Combrailles on the
     top of steep rocks, inaccessible except by litters,” there to
     consider himself. Likewise there rose Abbé Terray, dissolute
     Financier, paying eightpence in the shilling,—so that wits
     exclaim in some press at the playhouse, ‘Where is Abbé 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 scarlet Enchantress; or gallantly presenting her with dwarf
     Negroes;—and a Most Christian King has unspeakable peace within
     doors, whatever he may have without. “My Chancellor is a
     scoundrel; but I cannot do without him.”[6]
     Beautiful Armida-Palace, where the inmates live enchanted lives;
     lapped in soft music of adulation; waited on by the splendours of
     the world;—which nevertheless hangs wondrously as by a single
     hair. Should the Most Christian King die; or even get seriously
     afraid of dying! For, alas, had not the fair haughty Châteauroux
     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 shavelings were both swept into the background.
     Pompadour too, 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; believes, at least in a Devil. And now a third
     peril; and who knows what may be in it! For the Doctors look
     grave; ask privily, If his 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 only that man is
     mortal; that with the life of one mortal snaps irrevocably the
     wonderfulest talisman, and all Dubarrydom rushes off, with
     tumult, into infinite Space; and ye, as subterranean Apparitions
     are wont, vanish utterly,—leaving only a smell of sulphur!
     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.” Château or Hôtel, were an enlightened
     Philosophism 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 Hénault! 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
     fore-done at the wheel of Labour, like haltered gin-horses, if
     blind so much the quieter? Or they that in the Bicêtre Hospital,
     “eight to a bed,” lie 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 hope; whereby alone the King’s sickness has still
     some interest.

     Chapter 1.1.II.
     Realised Ideals.
     Such a changed France have we; and a changed Louis. Changed,
     truly; and further than thou yet seest!—To the eye of History
     many things, in that sick-room of Louis, are now visible, which
     to the Courtiers there present were invisible. For indeed it is
     well said, “in every 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 retina of both was, most
     likely, the same! Let the Reader here, in this 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 purpose, loyally obey him when made. The
     man so nourished and decorated, thenceforth named royal, does
     verily bear rule; and is said, and even thought, to be, for
     example, “prosecuting conquests in Flanders,” when he lets
     himself like luggage be carried thither: and no light luggage;
     covering miles of road. For he has his unblushing Châteauroux,
     with her band-boxes and rouge-pots, at his side; so that, at
     every new station, a wooden gallery must be run up between their
     lodgings. He has not only his _Maison-Bouche_, and _Valetaille_
     without 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, tumbrils, second-hand
     chaises,—sufficient not to conquer Flanders, but the patience of
     the world. With such a flood of loud jingling appurtenances does
     he lumber along, prosecuting his conquests in Flanders; wonderful
     to behold. So nevertheless it was and had been: to some solitary
     thinker it might seem strange; but even to him inevitable, not
     For ours is a most fictile world; and man is the most fingent
     plastic of creatures. A world not fixable; not fathomable! An
     unfathomable 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, Authorities, Holies, Unholies!
     Which inward sense, moreover is not 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
     So it _was_, we say, in those conquests of Flanders, thirty years
     ago: but so it no longer is. Alas, much more lies sick than poor
     Louis: not the French 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 is beginning to be!—Borne over the
     Atlantic, to the closing ear of Louis, King by the Grace of God,
     what sounds are these; muffled ominous, new in our centuries?
     Boston Harbour is black with unexpected Tea: behold a
     Pennsylvanian Congress gather; and ere long, on Bunker Hill,
     DEMOCRACY announcing, in rifle-volleys death-winged, under her
     Star Banner, to the tune of Yankee-doodle-doo, that she is born,
     and, whirlwind-like, will envelope the whole world!
     Sovereigns die and Sovereignties: how all dies, and is for a Time
     only; is a “Time-phantasm, yet reckons itself real!” The
     Merovingian Kings, slowly wending on their bullock-carts through
     the streets of Paris, with their long hair flowing, have all
     wended slowly on,—into Eternity. Charlemagne sleeps at Salzburg,
     with truncheon grounded; only Fable expecting that he will
     awaken. Charles the Hammer, Pepin Bow-legged, where now is their
     eye of menace, their voice of command? Rollo and his shaggy
     Northmen cover not the Seine with ships; but have sailed off on a
     longer voyage. The hair of Towhead (_Tête d’étoupes_) 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 gallant, in
     his sack, to the Seine waters; plunging into Night: for Dame de
     Nesle now cares not for this world’s gallantry, heeds not this
     world’s scandal; Dame de Nesle is herself gone into Night. They
     are all 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 (_Lutetia Parisiorum_ or _Barisiorum_)
     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; _un_extinguished Breath as of a thing living.
     Labour’s thousand hammers ring on her anvils: also a more
     miraculous Labour works noiselessly, not with the Hand but with
     the Thought. How have cunning workmen in all crafts, with their
     cunning head and right-hand, tamed the Four Elements to be their
     ministers; yoking the winds to their Sea-chariot, making the very
     Stars their Nautical Timepiece;—and written and collected a
     _Bibliothèque 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
     attainments, unspeakably the noblest are his Symbols, divine or
     divine-seeming; under which he marches and fights, with
     victorious assurance, in this life-battle: what we can call his
     Realised Ideals. Of which realised ideals, omitting the rest,
     consider only these two: his Church, or spiritual Guidance; his
     Kingship, or temporal one. The Church: what 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 all
     slumbering round it, under their white memorial-stones, “in hope
     of a happy resurrection:”—dull wert thou, O Reader, if never in
     any hour (say of moaning midnight, when such Kirk hung spectral
     in the sky, and Being was as if swallowed up of Darkness) it
     spoke to thee—things unspeakable, that went into thy soul’s soul.
     Strong was he 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 for him a firm city, and
     dwelling which he knew. Such virtue was in Belief; in these
     words, well spoken: _I 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 for and dying for.
     Neither was that an inconsiderable moment when wild armed men
     first raised their Strongest aloft on the buckler-throne, and
     with clanging armour and hearts, said solemnly: Be thou our
     Acknowledged Strongest! In such Acknowledged Strongest (well
     named King, _Kön-ning,_ Can-ning, or Man that was Able) what a
     Symbol shone now for them,—significant with the destinies of the
     world! A Symbol of true Guidance in return for loving Obedience;
     properly, if he knew it, 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 Strongest, whether
     Acknowledged or not,—considering _who_ it was that made him
     strong. And so, in the midst of confusions and unutterable
     incongruities (as all growth is confused), did this of Royalty,
     with Loyalty environing it, spring up; and grow mysteriously,
     subduing and assimilating (for a principle of Life was in it);
     till it also had grown world-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’Etat c’est 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 hatband, and torture-wheels and conical _oubliettes_
     (man-eating!) under their feet; your Henri Fourths, with their
     prophesied social millennium, “when every peasant should have his
     fowl in the pot;” and on the whole, the fertility of this most
     fertile Existence (named of Good and Evil),—brought it, in the
     matter of the Kingship. Wondrous! Concerning which may we not
     again say, that in the huge mass of Evil, as it rolls and swells,
     there is ever some Good working imprisoned; working towards
     deliverance and triumph?
     How such Ideals do realise themselves; and grow, wondrously, from
     amid the incongruous ever-fluctuating chaos of the Actual: this
     is what World-History, if it teach any thing, has to teach us,
     How they grow; and, after long stormy growth, bloom out mature,
     supreme; then quickly (for the blossom is brief) 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 after a century of waiting shines
     out for hours! Thus from the day 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 battleaxe, and the
     fierce words, ‘It was thus thou clavest the vase’ (St. Remi’s and
     mine) ‘at Soissons,’ forward to Louis the Grand and his _L’Etat
     c’est moi_, we count some twelve hundred years: and now this the
     very next Louis is dying, and so much dying with him!—Nay, thus
     too, if Catholicism, with and against Feudalism (but _not_
     against Nature and her bounty), gave us English a Shakspeare and
     Era of Shakspeare, and so produced a blossom of Catholicism—it
     was not till Catholicism itself, so far as Law could abolish it,
     had been abolished here.
     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 two things: an Imbecility or a Macchiavelism? Alas, of these
     ages World-History can take no notice; they have to become
     compressed more and more, and finally suppressed in the Annals of
     Mankind; blotted out as spurious,—which indeed they are. Hapless
     ages: 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 is Belial’s and a Lie; and “the Supreme
     Quack” the hierarch of men! In which mournfulest faith,
     nevertheless, do we not see whole generations (two, and sometimes
     even three successively) live, what they call living; 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 _Roué_ 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-shift;
     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 still sits there, in its
     old mansion; but mumbles only jargon of dotage, and no longer
     leads the consciences of men: not the Sorbonne; it is
     _Encyclopédies, Philosophie_, and who knows what nameless
     innumerable 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 _Roi,
     Rex,_ or Director) now guides? His own huntsmen and prickers:
     when there is to be no hunt, it is well said, “_Le Roi ne fera
     rien_ (Today his Majesty will do _nothing_).”[7] 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 since they have done with
     butchering one another 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 it. Ever since
     that period of the _Fronde_, the Noble has changed his fighting
     sword into a court rapier, and now loyally attends his king as
     ministering satellite; divides the spoil, not now by violence and
     murder, but by soliciting and finesse. These men call themselves
     supports of the throne, singular gilt-pasteboard _caryatides_ in
     that singular edifice! For the rest, their privileges every way
     are now much curtailed. That law authorizing 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 into incredibility; for if Deputy
     Lapoule can believe in it, and call for the abrogation of it, so
     cannot we.[8] No Charolois, for these last fifty years, though
     never so fond of shooting, has been in use to bring down slaters
     and plumbers, and see them roll from their roofs;[9] but contents
     himself with partridges and grouse. Close-viewed, their industry
     and function is that of dressing gracefully and eating
     sumptuously. As for their debauchery and depravity, it is perhaps
     unexampled since the era of Tiberius and Commodus. Nevertheless,
     one has still partly a feeling with the lady Maréchale: ‘Depend
     upon it, Sir, God thinks twice before damning a man of that
     quality.’[10] These people, of old, surely had virtues, uses; or
     they could not have been there. Nay, one 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 flock? With the flock, as is inevitable, it fares ill, and
     ever worse. They are not tended, they are only regularly shorn.
     They are sent for, to do statute-labour, to pay statute-taxes; to
     fatten battle-fields (named “Bed of honour”) with their bodies,
     in quarrels which are not theirs; their hand and toil is in every
     possession of man; but for themselves they have little or no
     possession. Untaught, uncomforted, unfed; to pine dully in thick
     obscuration, in squalid destitution and obstruction: this is the
     lot of the millions; _peuple taillable et corvéable à merci et
     miséricorde_. In Brittany they once rose in revolt at the first
     introduction of Pendulum Clocks; thinking it had something to do
     with the _Gabelle_. Paris requires to be cleared out periodically
     by the Police; and the horde of hunger-stricken vagabonds to be
     sent wandering again over space—for a time. “During one such
     periodical clearance,” says Lacretelle, “in May, 1750, the Police
     had presumed withal to carry off some reputable people’s
     children, in the hope of extorting ransoms for them. The mothers
     fill the public places with cries of despair; crowds gather, get
     excited: so many women in destraction run about exaggerating the
     alarm: an absurd and horrid fable arises among the people; it is
     said that the doctors have ordered a Great Person to take baths
     of young human blood for the restoration of his own, all spoiled
     by debaucheries. Some of the rioters,” adds Lacretelle, quite
     coolly, “were hanged on the following days:” the Police went
     on.[11] O ye poor naked wretches! and this, then, is your
     inarticulate cry to Heaven, as of a dumb tortured animal, crying
     from uttermost depths of pain and debasement? Do these azure
     skies, like a dead crystalline vault, only reverberate the echo
     of it on you? Respond to it only by “hanging on the following
     days?”—Not so: not forever! Ye are heard in Heaven. And the
     answer too will come,—in a horror of great darkness, and shakings
     of the world, and a cup of trembling which all the nations shall
     Remark, meanwhile, how from amid the wrecks and dust of this
     universal Decay new Powers are fashioning themselves, adapted to
     the new time and its destinies. Besides the old Noblesse,
     originally of Fighters, there is a new recognised Noblesse of
     Lawyers; whose gala-day and proud battle-day even now is. An
     unrecognised Noblesse of Commerce; powerful enough, with money in
     its pocket. Lastly, powerfulest of all, least recognised of all,
     a Noblesse of Literature; 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 wide-spread 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 very certain, what other thing
     is certain? That a Lie cannot be believed! Philosophism knows
     only this: her other belief is mainly that, in spiritual
     supersensual matters no Belief is possible. Unhappy! Nay, as yet
     the Contradiction of a Lie is some kind of Belief; but the Lie
     with its Contradiction once swept away, what will remain? The
     five unsatiated Senses will remain, the sixth insatiable Sense
     (of vanity); the whole _dæmonic_ 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
     XV. lain down to die. With Pompadourism and Dubarryism, his
     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 with the Parlement; everywhere Want,
     Dishonesty, Unbelief, and hotbrained Sciolists for
     state-physicians: it is a portentous hour.
     Such things can the eye of History see in this sick-room of King
     Louis, which were invisible to the Courtiers there. It is twenty
     years, gone Christmas-day, since Lord Chesterfield, summing up
     what he had noted of this same France, wrote, and sent off by
     post, the following words, that have become memorable: “In short,
     all the symptoms which I have ever met with in History, previous
     to great Changes and Revolutions in government, now exist and
     daily increase in France.”[12]

     Chapter 1.1.III.
     For the present, however, the grand question with the Governors
     of France is: Shall extreme unction, or other ghostly viaticum
     (to Louis, not to France), be administered?
     It is a deep question. For, if administered, if so much as spoken
     of, must not, on the very threshold of the business, Witch
     Dubarry vanish; hardly to return should Louis even recover? With
     her 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, what will the Dauphinists and Choiseulists say? Nay
     what may the royal martyr himself say, should he happen to get
     deadly worse, without getting delirious? For the present, he
     still kisses the Dubarry hand; so we, from the ante-room, 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 might
     preserve their—orthodoxy?[13] 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 but be prevailed upon—to wink with one eye! Alas,
     Beaumont would himself so fain do it: for, singular to tell, the
     Church too, and whole 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 nose? Our
     Grand-Almoner Roche-Aymon, for his part, will not higgle with a
     royal sinner about turning of the key: but there are other
     Churchmen; there is a King’s Confessor, foolish Abbé 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
     _Œil-de-Bœuf;_ 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,
     Coche_ (Rag, Snip, Pig, as he was wont to name them), are
     assiduous there; when all have fled. The fourth Princess _Loque_
     (Dud), as we guess, is already in the Nunnery, and can only give
     her orisons. Poor _Graille_ and Sisterhood, they have never known
     a Father: such is the hard bargain Grandeur must make. Scarcely
     at the _Débotter_ (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
     chin;” and so, in fit appearance of full dress, “every evening at
     six,” walk majestically in; receive their royal kiss on the brow;
     and then walk majestically out again, to embroidery,
     small-scandal, prayers, and vacancy. If Majesty came some
     morning, with coffee of its own making, and swallowed it with
     them hastily while the dogs were uncoupling for the hunt, it was
     received as a grace of Heaven.[14] Poor withered ancient women!
     in the wild tossings that yet await your 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 right
     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 skilfulest may
     falter. Few are so happy as the Duke d’Orléans and the Prince de
     Condé; who can themselves, with volatile salts, attend the King’s
     ante-chamber; and, at the same time, send their brave sons (Duke
     de Chartres, _Egalité_ that is to be; Duke de Bourbon, one day
     Condé too, and famous among Dotards) to wait upon the Dauphin.
     With another few, it is a resolution taken; _jacta est alea_. Old
     Richelieu,—when Beaumont, driven by public opinion, is at last
     for entering the sick-room,—will twitch him by the rochet, into a
     recess; and there, with his old dissipated mastiff-face, and the
     oiliest vehemence, be seen pleading (and even, as we judge by
     Beaumont’s change of colour, prevailing) “that the King be not
     killed by a proposition in Divinity.” Duke de Fronsac, son of
     Richelieu, can follow his father: when the Curé 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
     opinions, is it not trying? He who would understand to what a
     pass 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 is tremor, of hope or
     desperation, in several hearts. There is the pale grinning Shadow
     of Death, ceremoniously ushered along by another grinning Shadow,
     of Etiquette: at intervals the growl of Chapel Organs, like
     prayer by machinery; proclaiming, as in a kind of horrid diabolic
     horse-laughter, _Vanity of vanities, all is Vanity!_

     Chapter 1.1.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.
     Frightful to all men is Death; from of old named King of Terrors.
     Our little compact home of an Existence, where we dwelt
     complaining, yet as in a home, is passing, in dark agonies, into
     an Unknown of Separation, Foreignness, unconditioned Possibility.
     The Heathen 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 the “account of the deeds done in the
     body:” they are done now; and lie there unalterable, and do bear
     their fruits, long as Eternity shall last.
     Louis XV. had always the kingliest abhorrence of Death. Unlike
     that praying Duke of Orleans, _Egalité’s_ grandfather,—for indeed
     several of them had a touch of madness,—who honesty believed that
     there was no Death! He, if the Court Newsmen can be believed,
     started up once on a time, glowing with sulphurous contempt and
     indignation on his poor Secretary, who had stumbled on the words,
     _feu roi d’Espagne_ (the late King of Spain): ‘_Feu roi,
     Monsieur?_’—‘_Monseigneur_,’ hastily answered the trembling but
     adroit man of business, ‘_c’est une titre qu’ils prennent_ (’tis
     a title they take).’[15] Louis, we say, was not so 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 today,” though it gave his
     poor Pompadour the disagreeablest qualms. We can figure 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.[16]
     But figure his thought, when Death is now clutching at his own
     heart-strings, unlooked for, inexorable! Yes, poor Louis, Death
     has found thee. No palace walls or life-guards, gorgeous
     tapestries or gilt buckram of stiffest ceremonial could keep him
     out; but he is here, here at 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 thee! Unhappy man, there as thou turnest, in dull
     agony, on thy bed of weariness, what a thought is thine!
     Purgatory and Hell-fire, now all-too possible, in the prospect;
     in the retrospect,—alas, what thing didst thou do that were not
     better undone; what mortal didst thou generously help; what
     sorrow hadst thou mercy on? Do the “five hundred thousand”
     ghosts, who sank shamefully on so many battle-fields 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_ the works of men; daily dragging virgins to thy
     cave;—clad also in scales that no spear would pierce: no spear
     but Death’s? A Griffin not fabulous but real! Frightful, O Louis,
     seem these moments for thee.—We will pry no further into the
     horrors of a sinner’s death-bed.
     And yet let no meanest man lay flattering unction to his soul.
     Louis was a Ruler; but art not thou also one? His wide France,
     look at it from the Fixed Stars (themselves not yet Infinitude),
     is no wider than thy narrow brickfield, where thou too didst
     faithfully, or didst unfaithfully. Man, “Symbol of Eternity
     imprisoned into Time!” it is not thy works, which are all mortal,
     infinitely little, and the greatest no greater than the least,
     but only the Spirit thou workest in, that can have worth or
     But reflect, in any case, what a life-problem this of poor Louis,
     when he rose as _Bien-Aimé_ 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 moon-stirred 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 confused
     world;—wherein at lost nothing seemed so certain as that he, the
     incarnate Solecism, had five senses; that were Flying Tables
     (_Tables Volantes_, which vanish through the floor, to come back
     reloaded). and a _Parc-aux-cerfs_.
     Whereby at least we have again this historical curiosity: a human
     being in an original position; swimming passively, as on some
     boundless “Mother of Dead Dogs,” towards issues which he partly
     saw. For 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: ‘Yes, he spread out his ware like another;
     promised the beautifulest 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 that; France will
     never get a Navy, I believe.’ How touching also was this: ‘If _I_
     were Lieutenant of Police, I would prohibit those Paris
     Doomed mortal;—for is it not a doom to be Solecism incarnate! A
     new _Roi Fainéant_, King Donothing; but with the strangest new
     _Mayor of the Palace:_ no bow-legged Pepin now for _Mayor_, 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, for a time? Say,
     wretcheder! His Life-solecism was seen and felt of 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, year of Grace 1774. Such a whispering in
     the Œil-de-Bœuf! Is he dying then? What can be said is, that
     Dubarry seems making up her packages; she sails weeping through
     her gilt boudoirs, as if taking leave. D’Aiguilon and Company are
     near their last card; nevertheless they will not yet throw up the
     game. But as for the sacramental controversy, it is as good as
     settled without being mentioned; Louis can send for his Abbé
     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
     Dubarry 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 the Park: all Birds of Paradise
     flying from thee, and musical windpipes growing mute.[18] Thou
     unclean, yet unmalignant, not unpitiable thing! What a course was
     thine: from that first trucklebed (in Joan of Arc’s country)
     where thy mother bore thee, with tears, to an unnamed father:
     forward, through lowest subterranean depths, and over highest
     sunlit 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, those 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 Abbé Georgel, in words that stick to
     one, expresses it) has Louis “made the _amende honorable_ to
     God;” so does your Jesuit construe it.—‘_Wa, Wa_,’ as the wild
     Clotaire groaned out, when life was departing, ‘what great God is
     this that pulls down the strength of the strongest kings!’[19]
     The _amende honorable_, what “legal apology” you will, to
     God:—but not, if D’Aiguillon can help it, to man. Dubarry still
     hovers in his mansion at Ruel; and while there is life, there is
     hope. Grand-Almoner Roche-Aymon, accordingly (for he seems to be
     in the secret), has no sooner seen his pyxes and gear repacked,
     then he is stepping majestically forth again, as if the work were
     done! But King’s Confessor Abbé Moudon starts forward; with
     anxious acidulent face, 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 mastiff-face, growing blacker;
     answered to, aloud, “with an epithet,”—which Besenval will not
     repeat. Old Richelieu, conqueror of Minorca, companion of
     Flying-Table orgies, perforator of bedroom walls,[20] is thy day
     also done?
     Alas, the Chapel organs may keep going; the Shrine of Sainte
     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 Hours;” and the heaving bellows blow. Almost frightful! For
     the very heaven blackens; battering rain-torrents dash, with
     thunder; almost drowning the organ’s voice: and electric
     fire-flashes make the very flambeaux on the altar pale. So that
     the most, as we are told, retired, when it was over, with hurried
     steps, “in a state of meditation (_recueillement_),” and said
     little or nothing.[21]
     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 _que cela finît;_ that poor Louis would have done with
     it. It is now the 10th of May 1774. He will soon have done now.
     This tenth May day falls into the loathsome sick-bed; 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.[22] And, hark! across the
     Œil-de-Bœuf, 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: Hail to your Majesties! The
     Dauphin and Dauphiness are King and Queen! Over-powered with many
     emotions, they two fall on their knees together, and, with
     streaming tears, exclaim, ‘O God, guide us, protect us; we are
     too young to reign!’—Too young indeed.
     Thus, in any case, “with a sound absolutely like thunder,” has
     the Horologe of Time struck, and an old Era passed away. The
     Louis that was, lies forsaken, a mass of abhorred clay; abandoned
     “to some poor persons, and priests of the _Chapelle
     Ardente_,”—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, over
     bottomless abysses, divided from you by a film!
     For the rest, the proper authorities felt that no Funeral could
     be too unceremonious. Besenval himself thinks it was
     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
     “give vent to their pleasantry, the characteristic of the
     nation,” 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-ground, in this impatient
     way; him and his era of sin and tyranny and shame; for behold a
     New Era is come; the future all the brighter that the past was

     BOOK 1.II.

     Chapter 1.2.I.
     Astræa Redux.
     A paradoxical philosopher, carrying to the uttermost length that
     aphorism of Montesquieu’s, “Happy the people whose annals are
     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 better than any speech. Consider it well, the
     Event, the thing which 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 or in the present,
     is an irregularity, a disease. Stillest perseverance were our
     blessedness; not dislocation and alteration,—could they be
     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 a far-sounding crash, it _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 _befell_ not, they were slowly _done;_ not in an hour, but
     through the flight of days: what was to be said of it? This hour
     seemed altogether as the last was, as the 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; not work, but hindrance of work! For
     the Earth, all this while, was 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 of all, we have this
     so glorious high-domed blossoming World; concerning which, poor
     History may well ask, with wonder, Whence _it_ 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,
     and symptom of imminent downfall. 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 of 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, oftenest 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 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 confusion, the event of
     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-General.
     Dubarrydom and its D’Aiguillons are gone forever. There is a
     young, still docile, well-intentioned King; a young, beautiful
     and bountiful, well-intentioned Queen; and with them all France,
     as it were, become young. Maupeou and his Parlement have to
     vanish into thick night; respectable Magistrates, not indifferent
     to the Nation, were it only for having been opponents of the
     Court, can descend unchained from their “steep rocks at Croe in
     Combrailles” and elsewhere, and return singing praises: the old
     Parlement of Paris resumes its functions. Instead of a profligate
     bankrupt Abbé Terray, we have now, for Controller-General, a
     virtuous philosophic Turgot, with a whole Reformed France in his
     head. By whom whatsoever 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.[23] 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 Abbé Terray always went.’
     Philosophism sees, for the first time, a Philosophe (or even a
     Philosopher) in office: she in all things will applausively
     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 themselves, do); becoming almost a kind of
     “sweet” virtue! Intelligence 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 Ferney, Patriarch
     Voltaire gives sign: veterans Diderot, D’Alembert have lived to
     see 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 a truth, the long-demonstrated will now be done:
     “the Age of Revolutions approaches” (as Jean Jacques wrote), but
     then of happy blessed ones. Man awakens from his long
     somnambulism; chases the Phantasms that beleagured and bewitched
     him. Behold the new morning glittering down the eastern steeps;
     fly, false Phantasms, from its shafts of light; let the Absurd
     fly utterly forsaking this lower Earth for ever. It is Truth and
     _Astræa Redux_ that (in the shape of Philosophism) henceforth
     reign. For what imaginable purpose was man made, if not to be
     “happy”? By victorious Analysis, and Progress of the Species,
     happiness enough now awaits him. Kings can become philosophers;
     or else philosophers Kings. Let but Society be once rightly
     constituted,—by victorious Analysis. The stomach that is empty
     shall be filled; the throat that is dry shall be wetted with
     wine. Labour itself shall be all one as rest; not grievous, but
     joyous. Wheatfields, one would think, cannot come to grow
     untilled; no man made clayey, or made weary thereby;—unless
     indeed machinery will do it? Gratuitous Tailors and Restaurateurs
     may start up, at fit intervals, one as yet sees not how. But if
     each will, according to rule of Benevolence, have a care for all,
     then surely—no one will be uncared for. Nay, who knows but, by
     sufficiently victorious Analysis, “human life may be indefinitely
     lengthened,” and men get rid of Death, as they have already done
     of the Devil? We shall then be happy in spite of Death and the
     Devil.—So preaches magniloquent Philosophism her _Redeunt
     Saturnia regna._
     The prophetic song of Paris and its Philosophes is audible enough
     in the Versailles Œil-de-Bœuf; and the Œil-de-Bœuf, intent
     chiefly on nearer blessedness, can answer, at worst, with a
     polite ‘Why 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 into the interior
     apartments; taciturn, irresolute; though with a sharpness of
     temper at times: he, at length, determines on a little smithwork;
     and so, in apprenticeship with a Sieur Gamain (whom one day he
     shall have little cause to bless), is learning to make locks.[24]
     It appears further, he understood Geography; and could read
     English. Unhappy young King, his childlike trust in that foolish
     old Maurepas deserved another return. But friend and foe, destiny
     and himself have combined to do him hurt.
     Meanwhile the 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[25] 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 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 Feasts of Morals
     (_Fêtes des mœurs_), with their Prizes and Speeches; Poissarde
     Processions to the Dauphin’s cradle; above all, Flirtations,
     their rise, progress, decline and fall. There are Snow-statues
     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 repair of St. Cloud; journeyings from the
     summer Court-Elysium to 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 so
     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 mask from a fair impertinent; fights a duel in
     consequence,—almost drawing blood.[26] He has breeches of a kind
     new in this world;—a fabulous kind; “four tall lackeys,” says
     Mercier, as if he had seen it, “hold him up in the air, that he
     may fall into the 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.”[27] This last is he who now,
     as a gray time-worn man, sits desolate at Grätz;[28] having
     winded up his destiny with the Three Days. In such sort are poor
     mortals swept and shovelled to and fro.

     Chapter 1.2.II.
     Petition in Hieroglyphs.
     With the working people, again it is not so well. Unlucky! For
     there are 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 their garrets and hutches, the masses
     consist all of units. Every unit of whom has his own heart and
     sorrows; stands covered there with his own skin, and if you prick
     him he will bleed. O purple Sovereignty, Holiness, Reverence;
     thou, for example, Cardinal Grand-Almoner, with thy plush
     covering of honour, who hast thy hands strengthened with
     dignities and moneys, and art set on thy world watch-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
     art; struggling, with vision, or with blindness, for _his_
     infinite Kingdom (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 him!
     Dreary, languid do these struggle in their obscure remoteness;
     their hearth cheerless, their diet thin. For them, in this world,
     rises no Era of Hope; hardly now in the other,—if it be not hope
     in the gloomy rest of Death, for their faith too is failing.
     Untaught, uncomforted, 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 1775), they will fling down their hoes and
     hammers; and, to the astonishment of thinking mankind,[29] 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
     second day of May 1775, these waste multitudes do here, at
     Versailles Château, in wide-spread wretchedness, in sallow faces,
     squalor, winged raggedness, present, as in legible hieroglyphic
     writing, their Petition of Grievances. The Château gates have to
     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 are hanged, on a “new gallows forty feet high;” and the rest
     driven back to their dens,—for a time.
     Clearly a difficult “point” for Government, that of dealing with
     these masses;—if indeed it be not rather the sole point and
     problem of Government, and all other points mere accidental
     crotchets, superficialities, and beatings of the wind! For let
     Charter-Chests, Use and Wont, Law 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 is declared to be.
     Besides, the people are not without ferocity; they 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 cries, 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 (_figures hâves_), 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 (_culbute générale_).”[30]
     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.

     Chapter 1.2.III.
     Or is this same Age of Hope itself but a simulacrum; as Hope too
     often is? Cloud-vapour with rainbows painted on it, beautiful to
     see, to sail towards,—which hovers over Niagara Falls? In that
     case, victorious 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 soundness 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 evil to a proportionate extent
     been. Before those five-and-twenty labouring Millions, for
     instance, could get that haggardness of face, which old Mirabeau
     now 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 long ages, have gone on accumulating! It will
     accumulate: moreover, it will reach a head; for the first of all
     Gospels is this, that a Lie 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 sorriest spectacles. You might ask, What
     bonds that ever held a human society happily together, or held it
     together at all, are in force here? It is an unbelieving people;
     which has suppositions, hypotheses, and froth-systems of
     victorious Analysis; and for _belief_ this mainly, that Pleasure
     is pleasant. Hunger they have for all sweet things; and the law
     of Hunger; but what other law? Within them, or over them,
     properly none!
     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 with astronomical glasses. The Church indeed still
     is; but in the most submissive state; quite tamed by
     Philosophism; in a singularly short time; for the hour was come.
     Some twenty years ago, your Archbishop Beaumont would not even
     let the poor Jansenists get buried: your Loménie Brienne (a
     rising man, whom we shall meet with yet) could, in the name of
     the Clergy, insist on having the Anti-protestant laws, which
     condemn to death for preaching, “put in execution.”[31] And,
     alas, now not so much as Baron Holbach’s Atheism can be
     burnt,—except as pipe-matches by the private speculative
     individual. Our Church stands haltered, dumb, like a dumb ox;
     lowing only for provender (of tithes); content if it can have
     that; or, dumbly, dully expecting its further doom. And the
     Twenty Millions of “haggard faces;” and, as finger-post and
     guidance to them in their dark struggle, “a gallows forty feet
     high”! Certainly a singular Golden Age; with its Feasts of
     Morals, its “sweet manners,” its sweet institutions
     (_institutions douces_); betokening nothing but peace among
     men!—Peace? O Philosophe-Sentimentalism, what 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!
     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 truth has fled out of it; so loth are men to quit
     their old ways; and, 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. Widely shall men cleave to that, while
     it will endure; and quit it with regret, when it gives way under
     them. Rash enthusiast of Change, beware! Hast 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 together?
     But if “every man,” as it has been written, “holds confined
     within him a _mad_-man,” what must every Society do;—Society,
     which in its commonest state is called “the standing miracle of
     this world”! “Without such Earth-rind of Habit,” continues our
     author, “call it System of Habits, in a word, _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 will, lies the true
     Law-Code and Constitution of a Society; the only Code, though an
     unwritten one which it can in nowise _dis_obey. 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 but, by ill chance, in such ever-enduring
     struggle,—your “thin Earth-rind” be once _broken!_ The fountains
     of the great deep boil forth; fire-fountains, enveloping,
     engulfing. Your “Earth-rind” is shattered, swallowed up; instead
     of a green flowery world, there is a waste wild-weltering
     chaos:—which has again, with tumult and struggle, to _make_
     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 extinguished; 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 Lies? Whereby the latter
     end of that business were worse than the beginning.
     So, however, in this world of ours, which 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 conflict, as they may and can. Wherein the
     “dæmonic element,” that lurks in all human things, _may_
     doubtless, some once in the thousand years—get vent! But indeed
     may we not regret that such conflict,—which, after all, is but
     like that classical one of “hate-filled Amazons with heroic
     Youths,” and will end in _embraces_,—should usually be so
     spasmodic? For Conservation, strengthened by that mightiest
     quality in us, our indolence, sits for long ages, not victorious
     only, which she should be; but tyrannical, incommunicative. She
     holds her adversary as if annihilated; such adversary lying, all
     the while, like some buried Enceladus; who, to gain the smallest
     freedom, must stir a whole Trinacria with it Ætnas.
     Wherefore, on the whole, we will honour a Paper Age too; an Era
     of hope! For in this same frightful process of Enceladus Revolt;
     when the task, on which no mortal would willingly enter, has
     become imperative, inevitable,—is it not even a kindness of
     Nature that she lures us forward by cheerful promises, fallacious
     or not; and a whole 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 the Place of Hope.”

     Chapter 1.2.IV.
     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 to continue Minister? Nimble old man, who for all
     emergencies has his light jest; and ever in the worst confusion
     will emerge, cork-like, unsunk! Small care to him is
     Perfectibility, Progress of the Species, and _Astræa Redux:_ good
     only, that a man of light wit, verging towards fourscore, can in
     the seat of authority feel himself important among men. Shall we
     call him, as haughty Châteauroux was wont of old, “_M. Faquinet_
     (Diminutive of Scoundrel)”? In courtier dialect, he is now named
     “the Nestor of France;” such governing Nestor as France has.
     At bottom, nevertheless, it might puzzle one to say where the
     Government of France, in these days, specially is. In that
     Château of Versailles, we have Nestor, King, Queen, ministers and
     clerks, with paper-bundles tied in tape: but 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, there is: in Philosophe
     saloons, in Œil-de-Bœuf galleries; in the tongue of the babbler,
     in the pen of the pamphleteer. Her Majesty appearing at the Opera
     is applauded; she returns all radiant with joy. Anon the
     applauses wax fainter, or threaten to cease; she is heavy of
     heart, the light of her face has fled. Is Sovereignty some poor
     Montgolfier; which, blown into by the popular wind, grows great
     and mounts; or sinks flaccid, if the wind be withdrawn? France
     was long a “Despotism tempered by Epigrams;” and now, it would
     seem, the Epigrams have get the upper hand.
     Happy were a young “Louis the Desired” to make France happy; if
     it did not prove too troublesome, and he only knew the way. But
     there is endless discrepancy round him; so many claims and
     clamours; a mere confusion of tongues. Not reconcilable by man;
     not manageable, suppressible, save by some strongest and wisest
     men;—which only a lightly-jesting lightly-gyrating M. de Maurepas
     can so much as subsist amidst. Philosophism claims her new Era,
     meaning thereby innumerable things. And claims it in no faint
     voice; for France at large, hitherto mute, is now beginning to
     speak also; and speaks in that same sense. A huge, many-toned
     sound; distant, yet not unimpressive. On the other hand, the
     Œil-de-Bœuf, 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,—to the just support
     of the throne. Let Liberalism and a New Era, if such is the wish,
     be introduced; only no curtailment of the royal moneys? Which
     latter condition, alas, is precisely the impossible one.
     Philosophism, as we saw, has got her Turgot made
     Controller-General; and there shall be endless reformation.
     Unhappily this Turgot could continue only twenty months. With a
     miraculous _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 clean it; expends his little
     fraction of an ability on it, with such cheerfulness; does, in so
     far as he was honest, accomplish something. Turgot has faculties;
     honesty, insight, heroic volition; but the Fortunatus’ Purse he
     has not. Sanguine Controller-General! 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! One shriek of indignation and astonishment
     reverberates through all the Château galleries; M. de Maurepas
     has to gyrate: the poor King, who had written few weeks ago, “_Il
     n’y a que vous et moi qui aimions le peuple_ (There is none but
     you and I that has the people’s interest at heart),” must write
     now a dismissal;[32] and let the French Revolution accomplish
     itself, pacifically or not, as it can.
     Hope, then, is deferred? Deferred; not destroyed, or abated. Is
     not this, for example, our Patriarch Voltaire, after long years
     of absence, revisiting Paris? With face shrivelled to nothing;
     with “huge peruke _à la Louis Quatorze_, which leaves only two
     eyes ‘visible’ glittering like carbuncles,” the old man is
     here.[33] What an outburst! Sneering Paris has suddenly grown
     reverent; devotional with Hero-worship. Nobles have disguised
     themselves as tavern-waiters to obtain sight of him: the
     loveliest of France would lay their hair beneath his feet. “His
     chariot is the nucleus of a comet; whose train fills whole
     streets:” they crown him in the theatre, with immortal vivats;
     “finally stifle him under roses,”—for old Richelieu recommended
     opium in such state of the nerves, and the excessive Patriarch
     took too much. Her Majesty herself had some thought of sending
     for him; but was dissuaded. Let Majesty consider it,
     nevertheless. The purport of this man’s existence has been to
     wither up and annihilate all whereon Majesty and Worship for the
     present rests: and is it _so_ that the world recognises him? With
     Apotheosis; as its Prophet and Speaker, who has spoken wisely the
     thing it longed to say? Add only, that the body of this same
     rose-stifled, beatified-Patriarch cannot get buried except by
     stealth. It is wholly a notable business; and France, without
     doubt, is _big_ (what the Germans call “Of good Hope”): we shall
     wish her a happy birth-hour, and blessed fruit.
     Beaumarchais too has now winded-up his Law-Pleadings
     (_Mémoires_);[34] not without result, to himself and to the
     world. Caron Beaumarchais (or de Beaumarchais, for he got
     ennobled) had been born poor, but aspiring, esurient; with
     talents, audacity, adroitness; above all, with 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, Paris
     Duvernier, the Court-Banker, honoured him 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 Beaumarchais, losing both money and repute, is, in
     the opinion of Judge-Reporter Goezman, of the Parlement Maupeou,
     of a whole indifferent acquiescing world, miserably beaten. In
     all men’s opinions, only not in his own! Inspired by the
     indignation, which makes, if not verses, satirical law-papers,
     the withered Music-master, with a desperate heroism, takes up his
     lost cause in spite of the world; fights for it, against
     Reporters, Parlements and Principalities, with light banter, with
     clear logic; adroitly, with an inexhaustible toughness and
     resource, like the skilfullest fencer; on whom, so skilful is he,
     the whole world now looks. Three long years it lasts; with
     wavering fortune. In fine, after 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 of obloquy
     instead:—and in regard to the Parlement Maupeou (which he has
     helped to extinguish), to Parlements of all kinds, and to French
     Justice generally, gives rise to endless reflections in the minds
     of men. Thus has Beaumarchais, like a lean French Hercules,
     ventured down, driven by destiny, into the Nether Kingdoms; and
     victoriously tamed hell-dogs there. He also is henceforth among
     the notabilities of his generation.

     Chapter 1.2.V.
     Astræa Redux without Cash.
     Observe, however, beyond the Atlantic, has not the new day verily
     dawned! Democracy, as we said, is born; storm-girt, is struggling
     for life and victory. A sympathetic France rejoices over the
     Rights of Man; in all saloons, it is said, What a spectacle! Now
     too behold our Deane, our Franklin, American Plenipotentiaries,
     here in position soliciting;[35] 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 I live by is
     that of royalist (_Mon métier à moi c’est d’être royaliste_).’
     So thinks light Maurepas too; but the wind of Philosophism and
     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 smuggled 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 Navy. For 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 Beaumarchais 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 ships.
     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: Gages, Lees, rough Yankee Generals, “with
     woollen night-caps under their hats,” present arms to the
     far-glancing Chivalry of France; and new-born Democracy sees, not
     without amazement, “Despotism tempered by Epigrams” fight at her
     side. So, however, it is. King’s forces and heroic volunteers;
     Rochambeaus, Bouillés, Lameths, Lafayettes, have drawn their
     swords in this sacred quarrel of mankind;—shall draw them again
     elsewhere, in the strangest way.
     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 second edition, we learn that there was no
     victory; or that English Keppel had it.[36] 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.
     Woe 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 “manœuvre of breaking the enemy’s
     line.”[37] It seems as if, according to Louis XV., “France were
     never to have a Navy.” Brave Suffren 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 rest now,
     honoured of France, in his native Cevennes mountains; send smoke,
     not of gunpowder, but mere culinary smoke, through the old
     chimneys of the Castle of Jalès,—which one day, in other hands,
     shall have other fame. Brave Lapérouse shall by and by lift
     anchor, on philanthropic Voyage of Discovery; for the King knows
     Geography.[38] But, alas, this also will not prosper: the brave
     Navigator goes, and returns not; the Seekers search far seas for
     him in vain. He has vanished trackless into blue Immensity; and
     only some mournful mysterious 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 Condé and Prince d’Artois have hastened to
     help. Wondrous leather-roofed Floating-batteries, set afloat by
     French-Spanish _Pacte de Famille_, give gallant summons: to
     which, nevertheless, Gibraltar answers Plutonically, with mere
     torrents of redhot iron,—as if stone Calpe had become a throat of
     the Pit; and utters such a Doom’s-blast of a No, as all men must
     And so, with this loud explosion, the noise of War has ceased; an
     Age of Benevolence may hope, for ever. Our noble volunteers of
     Freedom have returned, to be her missionaries. Lafayette, as the
     matchless of his time, glitters in the Versailles Œil-de-Beouf;
     has his Bust set up in the Paris Hôtel-de-Ville. Democracy stands
     inexpugnable, immeasurable, in her New World; has even a foot
     lifted towards the Old;—and our French Finances, little
     strengthened by such work, are in no healthy way.
     What to do with the Finance? This indeed is the great question: a
     small but most black weather-symptom, which no radiance of
     universal hope can cover. We saw Turgot cast forth from the
     Controllership, with shrieks,—for want of a Fortunatus’ Purse. As
     little could M. de Clugny manage the duty; or indeed do anything,
     but consume his wages; attain “a place in History,” where as an
     ineffectual shadow thou beholdest him still lingering;—and let
     the duty manage itself. Did Genevese Necker _possess_ such a
     Purse, then? He possessed banker’s skill, banker’s honesty;
     _credit_ of all kinds, for he had written Academic Prize Essays,
     struggled for India Companies, given dinners to 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 high places of the world, as Minister’s Madame,
     and “Necker not jealous!”[40]
     A new young Demoiselle, one day to be famed as a Madame and De
     Staël, was romping about the knees of the Decline and Fall: the
     lady Necker founds Hospitals; gives solemn Philosophe
     dinner-parties, to cheer her exhausted Controller-General.
     Strange things have happened: by clamour of Philosophism,
     management of Marquis de Pezay, and Poverty constraining even
     Kings. And so Necker, Atlas-like, sustains the burden of the
     Finances, for five years long?[41] Without wages, for he refused
     such; cheered only by Public Opinion, and the ministering of his
     noble Wife. With many thoughts in him, it is hoped;—which,
     however, he is shy of uttering. His _Compte Rendu_, published by
     the royal permission, fresh sign of a New Era, shows
     wonders;—which what but the genius of some Atlas-Necker 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 Fotunatus’ 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, and the rest,—like a mere Turgot! The
     expiring M. de Maurepas must gyrate one other time. Let Necker
     also depart; not unlamented.
     Great in a private station, Necker looks on from the distance;
     abiding his time. “Eighty thousand copies” of his new Book, which
     he calls _Administration des Finances_, 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!

     Chapter 1.2.VI.
     So marches the world, in this its Paper Age, or Era of Hope. Not
     without obstructions, war-explosions; which, however, heard from
     such distance, are little other than a cheerful marching-music.
     If indeed that dark living chaos of Ignorance and Hunger,
     five-and-twenty million strong, under your feet,—were to begin
     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 itself, and salute the Young Spring.[42]
     Manifold, bright-tinted, glittering with gold; all through the
     Bois de Boulogne, in longdrawn variegated rows;—like longdrawn
     living flower-borders, tulips, dahlias, lilies of the valley; all
     in their moving flower-pots (of new-gilt 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 whirlwind. Was it not, from
     of old, written: _The wages of sin is death?_
     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; with its withered air of premature vice, of
     knowingness, of completed elf-hood: useful in various
     emergencies. The name _jokei_ (jockey) comes from the English; as
     the thing also fancies that it does. Our Anglomania, in fact , is
     grown considerable; prophetic of much. If 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 the freightage! Non-Admiral Duke de Chartres (not yet
     d’Orléans or Egalité) 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 _rédingotes_, as we call riding-coats. Nay
     the very mode of riding: for now no man on a level with his age
     but will trot _à l’Anglaise_, rising in the stirrups; scornful of
     the old sitfast method, in which, according to Shakspeare,
     “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.
     Elf _jokeis_, 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 individual, of Neuchâtel in
     Switzerland,—named _Jean Paul Marat_. A problematic Chevalier
     d’Eon, now in petticoats, now in breeches, is no less problematic
     in London than in Paris; and causes bets and lawsuits. Beautiful
     days of international communion! Swindlery and Blackguardism have
     stretched hands across the Channel, and saluted mutually: on the
     racecourse of Vincennes or Sablons, behold in English
     curricle-and-four, wafted glorious among the principalities and
     rascalities, an English Dr. Dodd,[43]—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 itself.
     With the huge Orléans Property, with Duke de Penthievre for
     Father-in-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 blood 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 semi-galvanic! Paris
     affects to laugh at his charioteering; but he heeds not such
     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![44] 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 Café de la Regence,
     shall no longer look on greenness; the loungers and losels of the
     world, where now shall they haunt? In vain is moaning. The axe
     glitters; the sacred groves fall crashing,—for indeed Monseigneur
     was short of money: the Opera Hamadryads fly with shrieks. Shriek
     not, ye Opera 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 at noon; things bodily, things
     spiritual, such as man has not imagined;—and in the Palais-Royal
     shall again, and more than ever, be the _Sorcerer’s Sabbath_ and
     _Satan-at-Home_ of our Planet.
     What will not mortals attempt? From remote Annonay in the
     Vivarais, the Brothers Montgolfier send up their paper-dome,
     filled with the smoke of burnt wool.[45] The Vivarais provincial
     assembly is to be prorogued this same day: Vivarais
     Assembly-members applaud, and the shouts of congregated men. Will
     victorious Analysis scale the very Heavens, then?
     Paris hears with eager wonder; Paris shall ere long see. From
     Reveilion’s Paper-warehouse there, in the Rue St. Antoine (a
     noted Warehouse),—the new Montgolfier air-ship launches itself.
     Ducks and poultry are borne skyward: but now shall men be
     borne.[46] 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, he also
     mounts, 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 Turgotine snuff-box, what we call “_Turgotine
     Platitude;_” like some new daylight Moon! Finally he descends;
     welcomed by the universe. Duchess Polignac, with a party, is in
     the Bois de Boulogne, waiting; though it is drizzly winter; the
     1st of December 1783. The whole chivalry of France, Duke de
     Chartres foremost, gallops to receive him.[47]
     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 hover,—tumbling whither Fate will. Well if it do not,
     Pilatre-like, explode; and demount all the more tragically!—So,
     riding on windbags, will men scale the Empyrean.
     Or observe Herr Doctor Mesmer, in his spacious Magnetic Halls.
     Long-stoled he walks; reverend, glancing upwards, as in rapt
     commerce; an Antique Egyptian Hierophant in this new age. Soft
     music flits; breaking fitfully the sacred stillness. Round their
     Magnetic 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’Espréménil we notice there; Chemist Berthollet too,—on the part
     of Monseigneur de Chartres.
     Had not the Academy of Sciences, with its Baillys, Franklins,
     Lavoisiers, interfered! But it did interfere. (Lacretelle, 18me
     Siecle, iii.258.) Mesmer may pocket his hard money, and withdraw.
     Let him walk silent by the shore of the Bodensee, 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 call a
     miraculous creature, with miraculous power over men; and, on 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 explaining. Wherein also the Quack shall, in all ages,
     come in for his share.[48]

     Chapter 1.2.VII.
     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-signum_ of theirs “forty feet high,”—how could it but be
     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 cathedrals; but its High-priest is some Roche-Aymon,
     some Necklace-Cardinal Louis de Rohan. The voice of the poor,
     through long years, ascends inarticulate, in _Jacqueries_,
     meal-mobs; low-whimpering of infinite moan: unheeded of the
     Earth; not unheeded of Heaven. Always moreover where the Millions
     are wretched, there are the Thousands straitened, unhappy; only
     the Units can flourish; or say rather, be ruined the last.
     Industry, all noosed and haltered, as if it too were some beast
     of chase for the mighty hunters of this world to bait, and cut
     slices from,—cries passionately to these its well-paid guides and
     watchers, not, _Guide me;_ but, _Laissez faire,_ Leave me alone
     of _your_ guidance! What market has Industry in this France? For
     two things there may be market and demand: for the coarser kind
     of field-fruits, since the Millions will live: for the fine 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 victorious 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. We shall have
     “endless vortices of froth-logic;” 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 _Contrat 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, _What shall
     I 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 was
     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! Man is 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? Woe, 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 fatalest 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 satisfy 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 _I_ can devour _Thee_. What if such Primitive Fact were
     precisely the one we had (with our improved methods) to revert
     to, and begin anew from!

     Chapter 1.2.VIII.
     Printed Paper.
     In such a practical France, let the theory of Perfectibility say
     what it will, 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
     Of Street Ballads, of Epigrams that from of old tempered
     Despotism, we need not speak. Nor of Manuscript Newspapers
     (_Nouvelles à 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 the Press, there is license. Pamphlets can be
     surreptititiously vended and read in Paris, did they even bear to
     be “Printed at Pekin.” We have a _Courrier 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 Dévoilée_ (Bastille unveiled).
     Loquacious Abbé Raynal, at length, has his wish; sees the
     _Histoire Philosophique,_ with its “lubricity,” unveracity, loose
     loud eleutheromaniac rant (contributed, they say, by
     Philosophedom at large, though in the Abbé’s name, and to his
     glory), burnt by the common hangman;—and sets out on his travels
     as a martyr. It was the edition of 1781; perhaps the last notable
     book that had such fire-beatitude,—the hangman 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 indications! The Parlements of Besancon and Aix
     ring, audible to all France, with the amours and destinies of a
     young Mirabeau. He, under the nurture of a “Friend of Men,” has,
     in State Prisons, in marching Regiments, Dutch Authors” garrets,
     and quite other scenes, “been for twenty years learning to resist
     despotism:” despotism of men, and alas also of gods. How, beneath
     this rose-coloured veil of Universal Benevolence and _Astræa
     Redux_, is the sanctuary of Home so often a dreary void, or a
     dark contentious Hell-on-Earth! The old 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, even
     with manful principle: but in such an element, inward and
     outward; which he could not rule, but only madden. Edacity,
     rapacity;—quite contrary to the finer sensibilities of the heart!
     Fools, 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 jail-bird 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 Invisible World displayed; working there continually
     under the 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, 1786, 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
     How 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: Wo to Philosophism, that it destroyed
     Religion, what it called “extinguishing the abomination (_écraser
     l’infâme_)”? Wo rather to those that made the Holy an
     abomination, and extinguishable; wo at all men that live in such
     a time of world-abomination and world-destruction! Nay, answer
     the Courtiers, it was Turgot, it was Necker, with their mad
     innovating; it was the Queen’s want of etiquette; it was he, it
     was she, it was that. Friends! it was every scoundrel that had
     lived, and quack-like pretended to be doing, and been only eating
     and _mis_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 sent 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 Hope.
     But if any one would know summarily what a Pandora’s Box lies
     there for the opening, he may see it in what by its nature is the
     symptom of all symptoms, the surviving Literature of the Period.
     Abbé Raynal, with his lubricity and loud loose rant, has spoken
     _his_ word; and already the fast-hastening generation responds to
     another. Glance at Beaumarchais’ _Mariage de Figaro;_ which now
     (in 1784), after difficulty enough, has issued on the stage; and
     “runs its hundred nights,” to the admiration of all men. By what
     virtue or internal vigour it so ran, the reader of our day will
     rather wonder:—and indeed will know so much the better that it
     flattered some pruriency of the time; that it spoke what all were
     feeling, and longing to speak. Small substance in that _Figaro:_
     thin wiredrawn intrigues, thin wiredrawn sentiments and sarcasms;
     a thing lean, barren; yet which winds and whisks itself, as
     through a wholly mad universe, adroitly, with a high-sniffing
     air: wherein each, as was hinted, which is the grand secret, may
     see some image of himself, and of his own state and ways. So it
     runs its hundred nights, and all France runs with it; laughing
     applause. If the soliloquising Barber ask: ‘What has your
     Lordship done to earn all this?’ and can only answer: ‘You took
     the trouble to be born (_Vous vous êtes donné la peine de
     naître_),’ all men must laugh: and a gay horse-racing Anglomaniac
     Noblesse loudest of all. For how can small books have a great
     danger in them? asks the Sieur Caron; and fancies his thin
     epigram may be a kind of reason. Conqueror of a golden fleece, by
     giant smuggling; tamer of hell-dogs, in the Parlement Maupeou;
     and finally crowned Orpheus in the _Théâtre Français_,
     Beaumarchais has now culminated, and unites the attributes of
     several demigods. We shall meet him once again, in the course of
     his decline.
     Still more significant are two Books produced on the eve of the
     ever-memorable Explosion itself, and read eagerly by all the
     world: Saint-Pierre’s _Paul et Virginie_, and Louvet’s _Chevalier
     de Faublas_. Noteworthy Books; which may be considered as the
     last speech of old Feudal France. In the first there rises
     melodiously, as it were, the wail of a moribund world: everywhere
     wholesome Nature in unequal conflict with diseased perfidious
     Art; cannot escape from it in the lowest hut, in the remotest
     island of the sea. Ruin and death must strike down the loved one;
     and, what is most significant of all, death even here not by
     necessity, but by etiquette. What a world of prurient corruption
     lies visible in that super-sublime of modesty! Yet, on the whole,
     our good Saint-Pierre is musical, poetical though most morbid: we
     will call his Book the swan-song of old dying France.
     Louvet’s again, let no man account musical. Truly, if this
     wretched _Faublas_ is a death-speech, it is one under the
     gallows, and by a felon that does not repent. Wretched _cloaca_
     of a Book; without depth even as a cloaca! What “picture of
     French society” is here? Picture properly of nothing, if not of
     the mind that gave it out as some sort of picture. Yet symptom of
     much; above all, of the world that could nourish itself thereon.

     BOOK 1.III.

     Chapter 1.3.I.
     Dishonoured Bills.
     While the unspeakable confusion is everywhere weltering within,
     and through so many cracks in the surface sulphur-smoke is
     issuing, the question arises: Through what crevice will the main
     Explosion carry itself? Through which of the old craters or
     chimneys; or must it, at once, form a new crater for itself? In
     every Society are such chimneys, are Institutions serving as
     such: even Constantinople is not without its safety-valves; there
     too Discontent can vent itself,—in material fire; by the number
     of nocturnal conflagrations, or of hanged bakers, the Reigning
     Power can read the signs of the times, and change course
     according to these.
     We may say that this French Explosion will doubtless first try
     all the old Institutions of escape; for by each of these there
     is, or at least there used to be, some communication with the
     interior deep; they are national Institutions in virtue of that.
     Had they even become 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 to the influences of their time; especially men
     whose life is business; 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-soirées, 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’Espréménil, 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; Fréteaus, Sabatiers, of incontinent tongue: all nursed
     more or less on the milk of the _Contrat Social_. Nay, for the
     whole Body, is not this patriotic opposition also a fighting for
     oneself? Awake, Parlement of Paris, renew thy long warfare! Was
     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!) 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 curls!
     Light old M. de Maurepas, since the end of 1781, has been fixed
     in the frost of death: ‘Never more,’ said the good Louis, ‘shall
     I hear his step overhead;’ his light jestings and gyratings are
     at an end. No more can the importunate reality be hidden by
     pleasant wit, and today’s evil be deftly rolled over upon
     tomorrow. 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 punctual Clerk (which he originally was);
     admits 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 will give help. Bright Queen,
     with her quick clear glances and impulses; clear, and even noble;
     but all too superficial, vehement-shallow, for that work! To
     govern France were such a problem; and now it has grown well-nigh
     too hard to govern even the Œil-de-Bœuf. For if a distressed
     People has its cry, so likewise, and more audibly, has a bereaved
     Court. To the Œil-de-Bœuf 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,” before the
     Courtiers could oust him; parsimonious finance-pedant as he was.
     Again, a military pedant, Saint-Germain, with his Prussian
     manœuvres; 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 your suppressors; and unsettling and
     oversetting, did mere mischief—to the Œil-de-Bœuf. Complaints
     abound; scarcity, anxiety: it is a changed Œil-de-Bœuf. Besenval
     says, already in these years (1781) there was such a melancholy
     (such a _tristesse_) about Court, compared with former days, as
     made it quite dispiriting to look upon.
     No wonder that the Œil-de-Bœuf feels melancholy, when you are
     suppressing its places! Not a place can be suppressed, but some
     purse is the lighter for 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! So, however, it goes on: and is
     not yet ended. Few years more and the Wolf-hounds shall fall
     suppressed, the Bear-hounds, the Falconry; places shall fall,
     thick as autumnal leaves. Duke de Polignac demonstrates, to the
     complete silencing of ministerial logic, that his place cannot be
     abolished; then gallantly, turning to the Queen, surrenders it,
     since her Majesty so wishes. Less chivalrous was Duke de Coigny,
     and yet not luckier: ‘We got into a real quarrel, Coigny and I,’
     said King Louis; ‘but if he had even struck me, I could not have
     blamed him.’[50] In regard to such matters there can be but one
     opinion. Baron Besenval, with that frankness of speech which
     stamps the independent man, plainly assures her Majesty that it
     is frightful (_affreux_); ‘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 it is a thing not more incredible than undeniable. A thing
     mournfully 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 it will swallow you!
     This is the stern problem; hopeless seemingly as squaring of the
     circle. Controller Joly de Fleury, who succeeded Necker, could do
     nothing with it; nothing but propose loans, which were tardily
     filled up; impose new taxes, unproductive of money, productive of
     clamour and discontent. As little 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 still-stand. Vain seems human ingenuity. In vain has our
     newly-devised “Council of Finances” struggled, our Intendants of
     Finance, Controller-General of Finances: there are unhappily no
     Finances to control. Fatal paralysis invades the social movement;
     clouds, of blindness or of blackness, envelop 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 first origin of them, they were all doomed. For Nature
     is true and not 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 it often had so long a
     circulation: that the original forger were so 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.
     Observe 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 and upwards. Whereby, after the long pining
     and demi-starvation of those Twenty Millions, a Duke de Coigny
     and his Majesty come also to have their “real quarrel.” Such is
     the law of just Nature; bringing, though at long intervals, and
     were it only by Bankruptcy, matters round again to the mark.
     But with a Fortunatus’ Purse in his pocket, through what length
     of time might not almost any Falsehood last! Your Society, your
     Household, practical or spiritual Arrangement, is untrue, unjust,
     offensive to the eye of God and man. Nevertheless its hearth is
     warm, its larder well replenished: the innumerable Swiss of
     Heaven, with a kind of Natural loyalty, gather round it; will
     prove, by pamphleteering, musketeering, that it is a truth; or if
     not an unmixed (unearthly, impossible) Truth, then better, a
     wholesomely attempered one, (as wind is to the shorn lamb), and
     works well. Changed outlook, however, when purse and larder grow
     empty! Was your Arrangement so true, so accordant to Nature’s
     ways, then how, in the name of wonder, has Nature, with her
     infinite bounty, come to leave it famishing there? To all men, to
     all women and all children, it is now indutiable that your
     Arrangement was _false_. Honour to Bankruptcy; ever righteous on
     the great scale, though in detail it is so cruel! Under all
     Falsehoods it works, unweariedly mining. No Falsehood, did it
     rise heaven-high and cover the world, but Bankruptcy, one day,
     will sweep it down, and make us free of it.

     Chapter 1.3.II.
     Controller Calonne.
     Under such circumstances of _tristesse_, obstruction and sick
     langour, when to 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 moneyed classes; of unstained
     name,—if it were not some peccadillo (of showing 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 tongue. For all straits he has present
     remedy, and will make the world roll on wheels before him. On the
     3d of November 1783, the Œil-de-Bœuf rejoices in its new
     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 other flush of
     brilliancy, our now too leaden-coloured Era of Hope, and wind it
     up—into fulfilment.
     Great, in any case, is the felicity of the Œil-de-Bœuf.
     Stinginess has fled from these royal abodes: suppression ceases;
     your Besenval may go peaceably to sleep, sure that he shall awake
     unplundered. Smiling Plenty, as if conjured by some enchanter,
     has returned; scatters contentment from her new-flowing horn. And
     mark what suavity of manners! A bland smile distinguishes our
     Controller: to all men he listens with an air of interest, nay of
     anticipation; makes their own wish clear to themselves, and
     grants it; or at least, grants conditional promise of it. ‘I fear
     this is a matter of difficulty,’ said her Majesty.—‘Madame,’
     answered the Controller, ‘if it is but difficult, it is done, if
     it is impossible, it shall be done (_se fera_).’ A 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 incredible facility; facile action, facile elocution,
     facile thought: how, 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, that of genius. Men name him
     “_the_ Minister;” as indeed, when was there another such? Crooked
     things are become straight by him, rough places plain; and over
     the Œil-de-Bœuf 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
     skilfulest 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”[51] 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? Philosophedom grumbles and
     croaks; buys, as we said, 80,000 copies of Necker’s new Book: but
     Nonpareil Calonne, in her Majesty’s Apartment, with the
     glittering retinue of Dukes, Duchesses, and mere happy admiring
     faces, can let Necker and Philosophedom croak.
     The misery is, such a time cannot last! Squandering, and Payment
     by Loan is no way to choke a Deficit. Neither is oil the
     substance for quenching conflagrations;—but, only for assuaging
     them, _not_ permanently! To the Nonpareil himself, who wanted not
     insight, it is clear at intervals, and dimly certain at all
     times, that his trade is by nature temporary, growing daily more
     difficult; that changes incalculable lie at no great distance.
     Apart from financial Deficit, the world is wholly in such a
     new-fangled humour; all things working loose from their old
     fastenings, towards new issues and combinations. There is not a
     dwarf _jokei_, 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 Œil-de-Bœuf, with the King, Queen, Stock-Exchange, and so far
     as possible with all men, a Nonpareil Controller may hope to go
     careering through the Inevitable, in some unimagined 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 pile topples perilous. And here has this
     world’s-wonder of a Diamond 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 Lamotte (unsafely) in the
     Salpêtrière, 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 told them; and then the question
     put: What are we to do? Surely to adopt healing measures; such as
     the magic of genius will unfold; such as, once sanctioned by
     Notables, all Parlements and all men must, with more or less
     reluctance, submit to.

     Chapter 1.3.III.
     The Notables.
     Here, then is verily a sign and wonder; visible to the whole
     world; bodeful of much. The Œil-de-Bœuf dolorously grumbles; were
     we not well as we stood,—quenching conflagrations by oil?
     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 and sorrowful. Count Mirabeau, who has
     got his matrimonial and other Lawsuits huddled up, better or
     worse; and works now in the dimmest element at Berlin; 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.[52]
     M. de Calonne 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 me fais pitié à moi-même_ (I 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.”[53] Preparing indeed; and a matter to be sung,—only
     not till we have _seen_ 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
     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 Château of Versailles: summoned thither _de par le
     roi_. There, on the 22d 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:[54] add Seven
     Princes of the Blood, it makes the round Gross of Notables. Men
     of the sword, men of the robe; Peers, dignified Clergy,
     Parlementary Presidents: divided into Seven Boards (_Bureaux_);
     under our Seven Princes of the Blood, Monsieur, D’Artois,
     Penthievre, and the rest; among whom let not our new Duke
     d’Orléans (for, since 1785, he 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 world 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 outburnt sensualities,” does he live and digest. Sumptuosity
     and sordidness; revenge, life-weariness, 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 regions, with what phenomena, might he
     not sail and drift! Happily as 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.
     We observe finally, that Count Mirabeau has actually arrived. He
     descends from Berlin, on the scene of action; glares into it with
     flashing 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 of better;—who indeed, as his friends often hear,
     labours under this complaint, surely not a universal one, of
     having “five kings to correspond with.”[55] The pen of a Mirabeau
     cannot become an official one; nevertheless it remains a pen. In
     defect of Secretaryship, he sets to denouncing Stock-brokerage
     (_Dénonciation de l’Agiotage_); testifying, as his wont is, by
     loud bruit, that he is present and busy;—till, warned by friend
     Talleyrand, and even by Calonne himself underhand, that “a
     seventeenth _Lettre-de-Cachet_ may be launched against him,” he
     timefully 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 of work” is known to us. For
     freshness of style, lucidity, ingenuity, 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
     Territoriale_, from which neither Privileged nor Unprivileged,
     Noblemen, Clergy, nor Parlementeers, shall be exempt!
     Foolish enough! These Privileged Classes have been used to tax;
     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 of them; but chosen such Notables as were
     really notable; trusting for the issue to off-hand 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 draw gold?
     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 to become unappeasable. A Deficit so enormous!
     Mismanagement, 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 Correspondence,” which
     also finds its way into print.
     In the Œil-de-Bœuf, 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 we may well call
     _bouches à feu_, fire-mouths literally! Never, according to
     Besenval, or hardly ever, had such display of intellect,
     dexterity, coolness, suasive eloquence, been made by man. To the
     raging play of so many fire-mouths he opposes nothing angrier
     than light-beams, self-possession and fatherly smiles. With the
     imperturbablest bland 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 up at the first slake; answers even these.[56] Could
     blandest suasive eloquence have saved France, she were saved.
     Heavy-laden Controller! In the Seven Bureaus seems nothing but
     hindrance: in Monsieur’s Bureau, a Loménie de Brienne, Archbishop
     of Toulouse, with an eye himself to the Controllership, stirs up
     the Clergy; there are meetings, underground intrigues. Neither
     from without anywhere 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 as good as nothing,—sent out some
     scientific Lapérouse, or the like: and is he not in “angry
     correspondence” with its Necker? The very Œil-de-Bœuf 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
     sorrowful Notables met. And now a Seal-keeper, _Garde-des-Sceaux_
     Miroménil is thought to be playing the traitor: spinning plots
     for Loménie-Brienne! Queen’s-Reader Abbé de Vermond, unloved
     individual, was Brienne’s creature, the work of his hands from
     the first: it may be feared the backstairs passage is open,
     ground getting mined under our feet. Treacherous Garde-des-Sceaux
     Miroménil, at least, should be dismissed; Lamoignon, the eloquent
     Notable, a stanch man, with connections, and even ideas,
     Parlement-President yet intent on reforming Parlements, were not
     he the right Keeper? So, for one, thinks busy Besenval; and, at
     dinner-table, rounds the same into the Controller’s ear,—who
     always, in the intervals of landlord-duties, listens to him as
     with charmed look, but answers nothing positive.[57]
     Alas, what to answer? The force of private intrigue, and then
     also the force of public opinion, grows so dangerous, confused!
     Philosophedom sneers aloud, as if its Necker already triumphed.
     The gaping populace gapes over Wood-cuts or Copper-cuts; where,
     for example, a Rustic is represented convoking the poultry of his
     barnyard, with this opening address: ‘Dear animals, I have
     assembled you to advise me what sauce I shall dress you with;’ to
     which a Cock responding, ‘We don’t want to be eaten,’ is checked
     by ‘You wander from the point (_Vous vous écartez de la
     question_).’[58] Laughter and logic; ballad-singer, pamphleteer;
     epigram and caricature: what wind of public opinion is this,—as
     if the Cave of the Winds were bursting loose! At nightfall,
     President Lamoignon steals over to the Controller’s; finds him
     “walking with large strides in his chamber, like one out of
     himself.”[59] With rapid confused speech the Controller begs M.
     de Lamoignon to give him “an advice.” Lamoignon candidly answers
     that, except in regard to his own anticipated Keepership, unless
     that would prove remedial, he really cannot take upon him to
     “On the 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 Mémoires_,—“On the Monday after Easter,
     as I, Besenval, was riding towards Romainville to the Maréchal de
     Segur’s, I met a friend on the Boulevards, who told me that M. de
     Calonne was out. A little further on came M. the Duke d’Orléans,
     dashing towards me, head to the wind” (trotting _à l’Anglaise_),
     “and confirmed the news.”[60] It is true news. Treacherous
     Garde-des-Sceaux Miroménil is gone, and Lamoignon is appointed in
     his room: but appointed for his own profit only, not for the
     Controller’s: “next day” the Controller also has had to move. A
     little longer he may linger near; be seen among the money
     changers, and even “working in the Controller’s office,” where
     much lies unfinished: but neither will that hold. Too strong
     blows and beats this tempest of public opinion, of private
     intrigue, as 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 forever avert.
     Ungrateful Œil-de-Bœuf! did he not miraculously rain gold manna
     on you; so that, as a Courtier said, ‘All the world held out its
     hand, 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 the
     Northern Border, seeking election as National Deputy; but be
     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 Rhine stream 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.
     But now, while Ex-Controller Calonne flies storm-driven over the
     horizon, in this singular way, what has become of the
     Controllership? 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 it,[61]—as the new Moon will sometimes shine
     out with a dim preliminary old one in her arms. Be patient, ye
     Notables! An actual new Controller is certain, and even ready;
     were the indispensable manœuvres but gone through. Long-headed
     Lamoignon, with Home Secretary Bréteuil, 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
     Abbé 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 Protestant
     death-penalties “put in execution;” no flaunting it in the
     Œil-de-Bœuf, as the gayest man-pleaser and woman-pleaser;
     gleaning even a good word from Philosophedom and your Voltaires
     and D’Alemberts? With a party ready-made for him in the
     Notables?—Loménie 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 for that.[62]
     Loménie-Brienne, who had all his life “felt a kind of
     predestination for the highest offices,” 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 talent
     or industry was left disposable! Looking now into his inner man,
     what qualification he may have, Loménie 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 finds none; not so
     much as a plan, even an unwise one. Lucky, in these
     circumstances, that Calonne has had a plan! Calonne’s plan was
     gathered from Turgot’s and Necker’s by compilation; shall become
     Loménie’s by adoption. Not in vain has Loménie 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?[63] Surely
     not for mere change (which is ever wasteful); but that all men
     may have share of what is going; and so the strife of Freedom
     indefinitely 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 from his throne delivered promissory
     conciliatory eloquence: “The Queen stood waiting at a window,
     till his carriage came back; and Monsieur from afar clapped hands
     to her,” in sign that all was well.[64] It has had the best
     effect; if such do but last. Leading Notables meanwhile can be
     “caressed;” Brienne’s new gloss, Lamoignon’s long head will
     profit somewhat; conciliatory eloquence shall not be wanting. On
     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 handsome manner, to—take themselves away! Their “Six
     Propositions” about Provisional Assemblies, suppression of
     _Corvées_ and suchlike, can be accepted without criticism. The
     _Subvention_ on Land-tax, and much else, one must glide hastily
     over; safe nowhere but in flourishes of conciliatory eloquence.
     Till at length, on this 25th of May, year 1787, in solemn final
     session, there bursts forth what we can call an explosion of
     eloquence; King, Loménie, Lamoignon and retinue taking up the
     successive strain; in harrangues to the number of ten, besides
     his Majesty’s, which last the livelong day;—whereby, as in a kind
     of choral anthem, or bravura peal, of thanks, praises, promises,
     the Notables are, so to speak, organed out, and dismissed to
     their respective places of abode. They had sat, and talked, some
     nine weeks: they were the first Notables since Richelieu’s, in
     the year 1626.
     By some Historians, sitting much at their ease, in the safe
     distance, Loménie has been blamed for this dismissal 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-de-Cachet_, Liberty
     of the Subject, _Agio_, and suchlike; which Monseigneur
     endeavouring to repress, was answered that a Notable being
     summoned to speak his opinion must speak it.[65]
     Thus too his Grace the Archbishop of Aix perorating once, with a
     plaintive pulpit tone, in these words? ‘Tithe, that free-will
     offering of the piety of Christians’—‘Tithe,’ interrupted Duke la
     Rochefoucault, 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.’[66] 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.[67]—Written
     accordingly it is; and what is more, will be acted by and by.

     Chapter 1.3.IV.
     Loménie’s Edicts.
     Thus, then, have the Notables returned home; carrying to all
     quarters of France, 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, better left hid! The
     unquietest humour possesses all men; ferments, seeks issue, in
     pamphleteering, caricaturing, projecting, declaiming; vain
     jangling of thought, word and deed.
     It is Spiritual Bankruptcy, long tolerated; verging now towards
     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
     Loménie, what a wild-heaving, waste-looking, hungry and angry
     world hast thou, after lifelong effort, got promoted to take
     charge of!
     Loménie’s first Edicts are mere soothing ones: creation of
     Provincial Assemblies, “for apportioning the imposts,” when we
     get any; suppression of _Corvées_ or statute-labour; alleviation
     of _Gabelle_. Soothing 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, Loménie 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 Geology, the World is all decayed down into due
     attritus of this sort; and shall now be _exploded_, and new-made!
     These latter abate not by oil.—The fool says in his heart, How
     shall not tomorrow be as yesterday; as all days,—which were once
     tomorrows? The wise man, looking on this France, moral,
     intellectual, economical, sees, “in short, all the symptoms he
     has ever met with in history,”—unabatable 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 would what they call “register” them! Such right of
     registering, properly of mere _writing down_, the Parlement has
     got by old wont; and, though but a Law-Court, can remonstrate,
     and higgle considerably about the same. Hence many quarrels;
     desperate Maupeou devices, and victory and defeat;—a quarrel now
     near forty years long. Hence fiscal Edicts, which otherwise were
     easy enough, become such problems. For example, is there not
     Calonne’s _Subvention Territoriale_, universal, unexempting
     Land-tax; the sheet-anchor of Finance? Or, to show, so far as
     possible, that one is not without original finance talent,
     Loménie himself can devise an _Edit du Timbre_ or
     Stamp-tax,—borrowed also, it is true; but then from America: may
     it prove luckier 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 wakefulness. Shallower but also louder, there
     is magnetic D’Espréménil, 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;
     nothing but insubordination, eleutheromania, confused unlimited
     opposition in their heads. Questionable: not to be ventured upon,
     if we had a Fortunatus’ Purse! But Loménie has waited all June,
     casting on the waters what oil he had; and now, betide as it may,
     the two Finance Edicts must out. On the 6th of July, he forwards
     his proposed Stamp-tax and Land-tax to the Parlement of Paris;
     and, as if putting his own leg foremost, not his borrowed
     Calonne’s-leg, places the Stamp-tax 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 Loménie gazes from the 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” furnished. ‘States?’ said a lively Parlementeer:
     ‘Messieurs, the states that should be furnished us, in my opinion
     are the STATES-GENERAL.’ On which timely joke there follow
     cachinnatory buzzes of approval. What a word to be spoken in the
     Palais de Justice! Old D’Ormesson (the Ex-Controller’s uncle)
     shakes his judicious head; far 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 reverberate it, till
     it grow a deafening peal. Clearly enough here is no registering
     to be thought of.
     The pious Proverb says, “There are remedies for all things but
     death.” When a Parlement refuses registering, the remedy, by long
     practice, has 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 Château of Versailles;
     there shall the King, holding his Bed of Justice, _order_ them,
     by his own royal lips, to register. They may remonstrate, in an
     under tone; but they must obey, lest a worse unknown thing befall
     It is done: the Parlement has rolled out, on royal summons; has
     heard the express royal order to register. Whereupon it has
     rolled 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 the Bed of Justice as good as a
     futility! In the history of France here verily is a new feature.
     Nay better still, our heroic Parlement, getting 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
     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 interest in it, might look with
     interest unspeakable? Crowds, as was said, inundate the outer
     courts: inundation of young eleutheromaniac Noblemen in English
     costume, uttering audacious speeches; of Procureurs,
     Basoche-Clerks, who are idle in these days: of Loungers,
     Newsmongers and other nondescript classes,—rolls tumultuous
     there. “From three to four thousand persons,” waiting eagerly to
     hear the _Arrêtés_ (Resolutions) you arrive at within; applauding
     with bravos, with the clapping of from six to eight thousand
     hands! Sweet also is the meed of patriotic eloquence, when your
     D’Espréménil, your Fréteau, 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 benedictions,” and
     strikes the stars with his sublime head.

     Chapter 1.3.V.
     Loménie’s Thunderbolts.
     Arise, Loménie-Brienne: here is no case for “Letters of Jussion;”
     for faltering or compromise. Thou seest the whole loose _fluent_
     population of Paris (whatsoever is not solid, and fixed to work)
     inundating these outer courts, like a loud destructive deluge;
     the very Basoche of Lawyers’ 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 chalk (the M
     signifies _mouchard_, spy); they are hustled, hunted like _feræ
     naturæ_. Subordinate rural Tribunals send messengers of
     congratulation, of adherence. Their Fountain of Justice is
     becoming 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 10th 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, States-General! Have the royal armories no thunderbolt,
     that thou couldst, O Loménie, with red right-hand, launch it
     among these Demosthenic theatrical thunder-barrels, mere resin
     and noise for most part;—and shatter, and smite them silent? On
     the night of the 14th of August, Loménie launches his
     thunderbolt, or handful of them. Letters named of the Seal (_de
     Cachet_), as many as needful, some sixscore and odd, 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 postillions
     looking gratuitously reverent.[68] This is the 15th of August
     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 Bodies-corporate do, to satisfy some dim desire of the 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 Hénault, after meditation,
     will demonstrate to be the indifferent-best.[69]
     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 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 will serve a writ on
     one; his wig and gown are his Vulcan’s-panoply, his enchanted
     The Parlement of Paris may count itself an unloved body; mean,
     not magnanimous, on the political side. Were the King weak,
     always (as now) has his Parlement barked, cur-like at his heels;
     with what 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 aloud for vengeance? Baited, circumvented,
     driven mad like the 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 of his despair choked by a
     wooden gag! The wild fire-soul that has known only peril and
     toil; and, for threescore years, has buffeted against Fate’s
     obstruction and men’s perfidy, like genius and courage amid
     poltroonery, dishonesty and commonplace; faithfully enduring and
     endeavouring,—O Parlement of Paris, dost thou reward it with a
     gibbet and a gag?[70] 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 indefensible, abominable; nay, what is singular,
     dusky-glowing Aristogiton d’Espréménil is the man chosen to be
     its spokesman in that.
     Such Social Anomaly is it that France now blesses. An unclean
     Social Anomaly; but in duel against another worse! The exiled
     Parlement is felt to have “covered itself with glory.” There are
     quarrels in which even Satan, bringing help, were not unwelcome;
     even Satan, fighting stiffly, might cover himself with glory,—of
     a temporary sort.
     But what a stir in the outer courts of the Palais, when Paris
     finds its Parlement trundled off to Troyes in Champagne; and
     nothing left but a few mute Keepers of records; the Demosthenic
     thunder become extinct, the martyrs of liberty clean gone!
     Confused wail and menace rises from the four thousand throats of
     Procureurs, Basoche-Clerks, Nondescripts, and Anglomaniac
     Noblesse; ever new idlers crowd to see and hear; Rascality, with
     increasing numbers and vigour, hunts _mouchards_. Loud whirlpool
     rolls through these spaces; 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 (18th of August), Monsieur and Monseigneur
     d’Artois, coming in state-carriages, according to use and wont,
     to have these late obnoxious _Arrêtés_ and protests “expunged”
     from the 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 armes_ (Handle arms)!’—at which thunder-word,
     indeed, and the flash of the clear iron, the Rascal-flood
     recoils, through all avenues, fast enough.[71] New features
     these. Indeed, as good M. de Malesherbes pertinently remarks, ‘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 of what, if not quenched, may become a
     great conflagration.’[72]
     This good Malesherbes sees himself now again in the King’s
     Council, after an absence of ten years: Loménie would profit if
     not by the faculties of the man, yet by the name he has. As for
     the man’s opinion, it is not listened to;—wherefore he will soon
     withdraw, 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 Loménie, and the Abbé 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 the immortal gods; scarcely a Patriot or two
     will drive out so far, and bid you be of firm courage. You are in
     furnished lodgings, far from home and domestic comfort: little to
     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 Loménie 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 Stamp-tax is withdrawn: the
     _Subvention_ Land-tax is also withdrawn; but, in its stead, there
     is granted, what they call a “Prorogation of the Second
     Twentieth,”—itself a kind of Land-tax, 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 20th of September, our exiled Parlement returns:
     D’Espréménil said, “it went out covered with glory, but had come
     back covered with mud (_de boue_).” Not so, Aristogiton; or if
     so, thou surely art the man to clean it.

     Chapter 1.3.VI.
     Loménie’s Plots.
     Was ever unfortunate Chief Minister so bested as Loménie-Brienne?
     The reins of the State fairly in his hand these six months; and
     not the smallest motive-power (of Finance) to stir from the spot
     with, this way or that! 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
     fuming ever worse: and in the royal coffers, with such yearly
     Deficit running on, there is hardly the colour of coin. Ominous
     prognostics! Malesherbes, seeing an exhausted, exasperated France
     grow hotter and hotter, talks of “conflagration:” Mirabeau,
     without talk, has, as we perceive, descended on Paris again,
     close on the rear of the Parlement,[73]—not to quit his native
     soil any more.
     Over the Frontiers, behold Holland invaded by Prussia;[74] 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 falls not due till next year; and will then, with its
     “strict valuation,” produce more controversy than cash. Taxes on
     the Privileged Classes cannot be got registered; are intolerable
     to our supporters themselves: taxes on the Unprivileged yield
     nothing,—as from a thing drained dry more cannot be drawn. Hope
     is nowhere, if not in the old refuge of Loans.
     To Loménie, aided by the long head of Lamoignon, deeply pondering
     this sea of troubles, the thought suggested itself: Why not have
     a Successive Loan (_Emprunt 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 for it, shall cost a Loménie as little as the
     “Death-penalties to be put in execution” did. As for the liberal
     Promise, of States-General, it 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 difficulty!—However,
     we have that promise of the Elders, given secretly at Troyes.
     Judicious gratuities, cajoleries, underground intrigues, with old
     Foulon, named “_Ame damnée_, Familiar-demon, of the Parlement,”
     may perhaps do the rest. At worst and lowest, the Royal Authority
     has resources,—which ought it not to put forth? If it cannot
     realise money, the Royal Authority is as good as dead; dead of
     that surest and miserablest death, inanition. Risk and win;
     without risk all is already lost! For the rest, as in enterprises
     of pith, a touch of stratagem often proves furthersome, his
     Majesty announces _a Royal Hunt_, for the 19th of November next;
     and all whom it concerns are joyfully getting their gear ready.
     Royal Hunt indeed; but of two-legged unfeathered game! At eleven
     in the morning of that Royal-Hunt day, 19th of November 1787,
     unexpected blare of trumpetting, tumult of charioteering and
     cavalcading disturbs the Seat of Justice: his Majesty is come,
     with Garde-des-Sceaux Lamoignon, and Peers and retinue, to hold
     Royal Session and have Edicts registered. What a change, since
     Louis XIV. entered here, in boots; and, whip in hand, ordered his
     registering to be done,—with an Olympian look which none durst
     gainsay; and did, without stratagem, in such unceremonious
     fashion, hunt as well as register![75] For Louis 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
     breast is signified:—Two Edicts, for Protestant Emancipation, for
     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 Promise of States-General,—the
     Sphere-music of Parlementary eloquence begins. Explosive,
     responsive, sphere answering sphere, it waxes louder and louder.
     The Peers sit attentive; of diverse sentiment: unfriendly to
     States-General; unfriendly to Despotism, which cannot reward
     merit, and is suppressing places. But what agitates his Highness
     d’Orléans? The rubicund moon-head goes wagging; darker beams the
     copper visage, like unscoured copper; in the glazed eye is
     disquietude; he rolls uneasy in his seat, as if he meant
     something. Amid unutterable satiety, has sudden new appetite, for
     new forbidden fruit, been vouchsafed him? Disgust and edacity;
     laziness that cannot rest; futile ambition, revenge,
     non-admiralship:—O, within that carbuncled skin what a confusion
     of confusions sits bottled!
     “Eight Couriers,” in course of the day, gallop from Versailles,
     where Loménie 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 overnight. 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 forthwith, and be the Saviour of
     France:—wherein dusky-glowing D’Espréménil, but still more
     Sabatier de Cabre, and Fréteau, since named _Commère_ Fréteau
     (Goody Fréteau), are among the loudest. For six mortal hours it
     lasts, in this manner; the infinite hubbub unslackened.
     And so now, when brown dusk is falling through the windows, and
     no 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!—See! Monseigneur d’Orléans 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?’ Fire flashes on him from the
     throne and neighbourhood: surly answer that ‘it is a Session.’ In
     that case, Monseigneur will crave leave to remark that Edicts
     cannot be registered by _order_ in a Session; and indeed to
     enter, against such registry, his individual humble Protest.
     ‘_Vous êtes bien le maître_ (You will do your pleasure)’, answers
     the King; and thereupon, in high state, marches out, escorted by
     his Court-retinue; D’Orléans himself, as in duty bound, escorting
     him, but only to the gate. Which duty done, D’Orléans 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?
     Thou foolish D’Orléans; Equality that art to be! Is Royalty grown
     a mere wooden Scarecrow; whereon thou, pert scald-headed crow,
     mayest alight at pleasure, and peck? Not yet wholly.
     Next day, a Lettre-de-Cachet sends D’Orléans to bethink himself
     in his Château of Villers-Cotterets, where, alas, is no Paris
     with its joyous necessaries of life; no fascinating indispensable
     Madame de Buffon,—light wife of a great Naturalist much too old
     for her. Monseigneur, it is said, does nothing but walk
     distractedly, at Villers-Cotterets; cursing his stars. Versailles
     itself shall hear penitent wail from him, so hard is his doom. By
     a second, simultaneous Lettre-de-Cachet, Goody Fréteau 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 summons, travel out
     to Versailles, with its Register-Book under its arm, to have the
     Protest _biffé_ (expunged); not without admonition, and even
     rebuke. A stroke of authority which, one might have hoped, would
     quiet matters.
     Unhappily, no; it is a mere taste of the whip to rearing
     coursers, which makes them rear worse! When a team of Twenty-five
     Millions begins rearing, what is Loménie’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 questioning
     Lettres-de-Cachet generally, their legality, endurability; emits
     dolorous objurgation, petition on petition to have its three
     Martyrs delivered; cannot, till that be complied with, so much as
     think of examining the Protestant Edict, but puts it off always
     “till this day week.”[76]
     In which objurgatory strain Paris and France joins it, or rather
     has preceded it; making fearful chorus. And now also the other
     Parlements, at length opening their mouths, begin to join; some
     of them, as at Grenoble and at Rennes, with portentous
     emphasis,—threatening, by way of reprisal, to interdict the very
     Tax-gatherer.[77] ‘In all former contests,’ as Malesherbes
     remarks, ‘it was the Parlement that excited the Public; but here
     it is the Public that excites the Parlement.’

     Chapter 1.3.VII.
     What a France, through these winter months of the year 1787! The
     very Œil-de-Bœuf 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 Œil-de-Bœuf in suppression, the King’s Crown is in
     danger;—whereupon, singular to say, her Majesty, as if hurt,
     changed the subject, _et ne me parla plus de rien!_[78]
     To whom, indeed, can this poor Queen speak? In need of wise
     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, think-coming sorrows environ her more and more.
     Lamotte, the Necklace-Countess, has in these late months escaped,
     perhaps been suffered to escape, from the Salpêtrière. 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;[79] which, in its present
     humour, France will greedily believe.
     For the rest, it is too clear our Successive Loan is not filling.
     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, Pamphleteers. 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
     ready-writer, 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: but only for new 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 Abbé Lenfant, “whom
     Prelates drive to visit and congratulate,”—raises audible sound
     from her pulpit-drum.[80] Or mark how D’Espréménil, who has his
     own confused way in all things, produces at the right moment in
     Parlementary harangue, a pocket Crucifix, with the apostrophe:
     ‘Will ye crucify him afresh?’ _Him_, O D’Espréménil, without
     scruple;—considering what poor stuff, of ivory and filigree, _he_
     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 agitation of his foolish old age. Baited, bayed at
     through so many throats, his Grace, growing consumptive,
     inflammatory (with _humeur de dartre_), lies reduced to milk
     diet; in exasperation, almost in desperation; with “repose,”
     precisely the impossible recipe, prescribed as the
     On the whole, what can a poor Government do, but once more recoil
     ineffectual? The King’s Treasury is running towards the lees; and
     Paris “eddies with a flood of pamphlets.” At all rates, let the
     _latter_ subside a little! D’Orléans gets back to Raincy, which
     is nearer Paris and the fair frail Buffon; finally to Paris
     itself: neither are Fréteau and Sabatier banished forever. The
     Protestant Edict is registered; to the joy of Boissy d’Anglas and
     good Malesherbes: Successive Loan, all protests expunged or else
     withdrawn, remains open,—the rather as few or none come to fill
     it. States-General, for which the Parlement has clamoured, and
     now the whole Nation clamours, will follow “in five years,”—if
     indeed not sooner. O Parlement of Paris, what a clamour was that!
     ‘Messieurs,’ said old d’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 not dismount!
     Instead of five years, let three years pass, and this 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. By
     no path can the King’s Government find passage for itself, but is
     everywhere shamefully flung back. Beleaguered by Twelve
     rebellious Parlements, which are grown to be the organs of an
     angry Nation, it 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 misery is! For the hovels of the Twenty-five
     Millions, the misery, permeating upwards and forwards, as its law
     is, has got so far,—to the very Œil-de-Bœuf 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 other; Provincial
     Noblesse is bitter against Court Noblesse; Robe against Sword;
     Rochet against Pen. But against the 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 Institution, social
     Arrangements, individual Minds, which once worked cooperative;
     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 money! And so this poor Versailles Court,
     as the chief or central 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 bankruptcy, it is even miserable:—and
     when would the meanest Solecism consent to blame or amend
     _itself_, while there remained another to amend?
     These threatening signs do not terrify Loménie, much less teach
     him. Loménie, 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 powder-magazines? To sit and die of
     deficit is no part of Loménie’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 Loménie, 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 Loménie; 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 life-and-death questions.
     Parlements have been tamed, more than once. Set to perch “on the
     peaks of rocks in accessible except by litters,” a Parlement
     grows reasonable. O Maupeou, thou bold 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 instituted: these 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 Œil-de-Bœuf Dignitaries, our Princes, Dukes, Marshals,
     make a thing we could call _Plenary Court_; and there, so to
     speak, do our registering ourselves? St. Louis had his Plenary
     Court, of Great Barons;[82] most useful to him: our Great Barons
     are still here (at least the Name of them is still here); our
     necessity is greater than his.
     Such is the Loménie-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 Loménie de Brienne still the Stage-manager
     Behold, accordingly, a Home-Secretary Bréteuil “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 beautify. Parlement seems to sit acknowledged
     victor. Brienne says nothing of Finance; or even says, and
     prints, that it is all well. How is this; such halcyon quiet;
     though the Successive Loan did not fill? In a victorious
     Parlement, Counsellor Goeslard de Monsabert even denounces that
     “levying of the Second Twentieth on strict valuation;” and gets
     decree that the valuation shall not be strict,—not on the
     privileged classes. Nevertheless Brienne endures it, launches no
     Lettre-de-Cachet against it. How is this?
     Smiling is such vernal weather; but treacherous, sudden! For one
     thing, we hear it whispered, “the Intendants of Provinces have
     all got order to be at their posts on a certain day.” Still more
     singular, what incessant Printing is this that goes on at the
     King’s Château, under lock and key? Sentries occupy all gates and
     windows; the Printers come not out; they sleep in their
     workrooms; their very food is handed in to them![83] A victorious
     Parlement smells new danger. D’Espréménil has ordered horses to
     Versailles; prowls round that guarded Printing-Office; prying,
     snuffing, if so be the sagacity and ingenuity of man may
     penetrate it.
     To a shower of gold most things are penetrable. D’Espréménil
     descends on the lap of a Printer’s Danae, in the shape of “five
     hundred louis d’or:” the Danae’s Husband smuggles a ball of clay
     to her; which she delivers to the golden Counsellor of Parlement.
     Kneaded within it, their 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 on one and the same day.
     This, then, is what the Intendants were bid wait for at their
     posts: this is what the Court sat hatching, as its accursed
     cockatrice-egg; and would not stir, though provoked, till the
     brood were out! Hie with it, D’Espréménil, home to Paris; convoke
     instantaneous Sessions; let the Parlement, and the Earth, and the
     Heavens know it.

     Chapter 1.3.VIII.
     Loménie’s Death-throes.
     On the morrow, which is the 3rd of May, 1788, an astonished
     Parlement sits convoked; listens speechless to the speech of
     D’Espréménil, unfolding the infinite misdeed. Deed of treachery;
     of unhallowed darkness, such as Despotism loves! Denounce it, O
     Parlement of Paris; awaken France and the Universe; roll what
     thunder-barrels of forensic eloquence thou hast: with thee too it
     is verily Now or 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 his sides. So here the Parlement of Paris. On the
     motion of D’Espréménil, a most patriotic Oath, of the One-and-all
     sort, is sworn, with united throat;—an excellent new-idea, which,
     in these coming years, shall not remain unimitated. Next comes
     indomitable Declaration, 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, heroic
     valour. And thus, having sounded the storm-bell,—which Paris
     hears, which all France will hear; and hurled such defiance in
     the teeth of Loménie and Despotism, the Parlement retires as from
     a tolerable first day’s work.
     But how Loménie 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’Espréménil; a bolt for that busy Goeslard, whose service in the
     Second Twentieth and “strict valuation” is not forgotten. Such
     bolts clutched promptly overnight, and launched with the early
     new morning, shall strike agitated Paris if not into
     requiescence, yet into wholesome astonishment.
     Ministerial thunderbolts may be launched; but if they do not
     _hit?_ D’Espréménil and Goeslard, warned, both of them, as is
     thought, by the singing of some friendly bird, elude the Loménie
     Tipstaves; escape disguised through skywindows, over roofs, to
     their own Palais de Justice: the thunderbolts have _missed_.
     Paris (for the buzz flies abroad) is struck into astonishment
     _not_ wholesome. The two martyrs of Liberty doff their disguises;
     don their long gowns; behold, in the space 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
     been relinquished.
     And so, with forensic eloquence, denunciation and protest, with
     couriers going and returning, the Parlement, in this state of
     continual explosion that shall cease neither night nor day, waits
     the issue. 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 unintelligibilty, 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,
     sleep falls not; the Night spreads her coverlid of Darkness over
     it in vain. Within is the sound of mere martyr invincibility;
     tempered with the due tone of plaintiveness. Without 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 Françaises, 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, they will be forced!—It is
     Captain D’Agoust, missioned from Versailles. D’Agoust, a man of
     known firmness;—who once forced Prince Condé himself, by mere
     incessant looking at him, to give satisfaction and fight;[84] 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
     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 men military, and of cast-iron, this sight, this
     silence reechoing the clank of his own boots, might stagger him!
     For the hundred and 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.[85] _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’Espréménil 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’Espréménils!’ 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, that it is irrevocable. The outer courts simmer
     with idle population; but D’Agoust’s grenadier-ranks stand there
     as immovable floodgates: there will be no revolting to deliver
     you. ‘Messieurs!’ thus spoke D’Espréménil, ‘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 (_à l’univers_), after having
     generously’—with much more of the like, as can still be read.[86]
     In vain, O D’Espréménil! Here is this cast-iron Captain D’Agoust,
     with his cast-iron military air, come back. Despotism,
     constraint, destruction sit waving in his plumes. D’Espréménil
     must fall silent; heroically give himself up, lest worst befall.
     Him Goeslard heroically imitates. With spoken and speechless
     emotion, they fling themselves into the arms of their
     Parlementary brethren, for a last embrace: and 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’Espréménil’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’Espréménil 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 Tuilleries;[87]—and withal vanish from
     History; where nevertheless he has been fated to do a notable
     thing. For not only are D’Espréménil 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 Françaises_,—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 rather refusing to register, those new-hatched
     Edicts; and how it assembled in taverns and tap-rooms there, for
     the purpose of Protesting,[88] or hovered disconsolate, with
     outspread skirts, not knowing where to assemble; and was reduced
     to lodge Protest “with a Notary;” and in the end, to sit still
     (in a state of forced “vacation”), and do nothing; all this,
     natural now, as the burying of the dead after battle, shall not
     concern us. The Parlement of Paris has as good as performed its
     part; doing and misdoing, so far, but hardly further, could it
     stir the world.
     Loménie has removed the evil then? Not at all: not so much as the
     symptom of the evil; scarcely the _twelfth_ part of the symptom,
     and exasperated the other eleven! The Intendants of Provinces,
     the Military Commandants are at their posts, on the appointed 8th
     of May: but in no Parlement, if not in the single one of Douai,
     can these new Edicts get registered. Not peaceable signing with
     ink; but browbeating, bloodshedding, appeal to primary club-law!
     Against these Bailliages, against this Plenary Court, exasperated
     Themis everywhere shows face of battle; the Provincial Noblesse
     are of her party, and whoever hates Loménie and the evil time;
     with her attorneys and Tipstaves, she enlists and operates down
     even to the populace. At Rennes in Brittany, where the historical
     Bertrand de Moleville is Intendant, it has passed from fatal
     continual duelling, between the military and gentry, to
     street-fighting; to stone-volleys and musket-shot: and still the
     Edicts remained unregistered. The afflicted Bretons send
     remonstrance to Loménie, by a Deputation of Twelve; whom,
     however, Loménie, 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 to take council; invites Lafayette and all
     Patriot Bretons in Paris to assist; agitates itself; becomes the
     _Breton Club_, first germ of—the _Jacobins’ Society._[89]
     So many as eight Parlements get exiled:[90] 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 _Lettres-de-Cachet_) to
     depart, and exile itself: but on the morrow, instead of coaches
     getting yoked, the alarm-bell bursts forth, ominous; and peals
     and booms all day: crowds of mountaineers rush down, with axes,
     even with firelocks,—whom (most ominous of all!) the soldiery
     shows no eagerness to deal with. “Axe over head,” the poor
     General has to sign capitulation; to engage that the
     _Lettres-de-Cachet_ shall remain unexecuted, and a beloved
     Parlement stay where it is. Besancon, Dijon, Rouen, Bourdeaux,
     are not what they should be! At Pau in Bearn, 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
     Majesty’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![91]
     At this rate, your Grand Bailliages are like to have a stormy
     infancy. As for the Plenary Court, it has literally expired in
     the birth. The very Courtiers looked shy at it; old Marshal
     Broglie declined the honour of sitting therein. Assaulted by a
     universal storm of mingled ridicule and execration,[92] this poor
     Plenary Court met once, and never any second time. Distracted
     country! Contention hisses up, with forked hydra-tongues,
     wheresoever poor Loménie sets his foot. “Let a Commandant, a
     Commissioner of the King,” says Weber, “enter 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 _Grand Deputations_ 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 resolution still more audacious.”[93]
     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
     _Paul et Virginie_ and Saint-Pierre,—“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 suchlike), “parting from it, fly over the zenith,
     with the velocity of birds:”—till at last, with one loud howl,
     the whole Four Winds be dashed together, and all the world
     exclaim, There is the tornado! _Tout le monde s’écria, Voilà
     For the rest, in such circumstances, the Successive Loan, very
     naturally, 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 gratuit_),—if it
     be not that of advice; here too instead of cash is clamour for
     O Loménie-Brienne, with thy poor flimsy mind all bewildered, and
     now “three actual cauteries” on thy worn-out body; who art like
     to die of inflamation, provocation, milk-diet, _dartres vives_
     and _maladie_—(best untranslated);[95] and presidest over a
     France with innumerable _actual cauteries_, which also is dying
     of inflammation and the rest! Was it wise to quit the bosky
     verdures of Brienne, and thy new ashlar Château there, and what
     it held, for _this?_ Soft were those shades and lawns; sweet the
     hymns of Poetasters, the blandishments of high-rouged Graces:[96]
     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
     dusky-complexioned 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 had his Nessus’-shirt.
     On the 13th of July of this 1788, there fell, on the very edge of
     harvest, the most frightful hailstorm; scattering into wild waste
     the Fruits of the Year; which had otherwise suffered grievously
     by drought. For sixty leagues round Paris especially, the ruin
     was almost total.[97] To so many other evils, 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 decisively some days after it, on the 8th of August,—Loménie
     announces that the States-General are actually to meet in the
     following month of May. Till after which period, this of the
     Plenary Court, and the rest, shall remain _postponed_. Further,
     as in Loménie there is no plan of forming or holding these most
     desirable States-General, “thinkers are invited” to furnish him
     with one,—through the medium of discussion 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 _himself_. It is on this principle, of sinking, and
     the incipient delirium of despair, that we explain likewise the
     almost miraculous “invitation to thinkers.” Invitation to Chaos
     to be so kind as build, out of its tumultuous drift-wood, an Ark
     of Escape for him! In these cases, not invitation but command has
     usually proved serviceable.—The Queen stood, 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 today! The King grants States-General.’ Then raising her
     eyes to Heaven (if Campan were not mistaken), she added: ‘’Tis a
     first beat of the drum, of ill-omen for France. This Noblesse
     will ruin us.’[98]
     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 Loménie) that the cash was safe, judicious Besenval
     rejoined that then all was safe. Nevertheless, the melancholy
     fact is, that the royal coffers are almost getting literally void
     of coin. Indeed, apart from all other things this “invitation to
     thinkers,” and the great change now at hand are enough to “arrest
     the circulation of capital,” and forward only that of pamphlets.
     A few thousand gold louis are now all of money or money’s worth
     that remains in the King’s Treasury. With another movement as of
     desperation, Loménie invites Necker to come and be Controller of
     Finances! Necker has other work in view than controlling Finances
     for Loménie: with a dry refusal he stands taciturn; awaiting his
     What shall a desperate Prime Minister do? He has grasped at the
     strongbox of the King’s Theatre: some Lottery had been set on
     foot for those sufferers by the hailstorm; in his extreme
     necessity, Loménie lays hands even on this.[99] To make provision
     for the passing day, on any terms, will soon be impossible.—On
     the 16th of August, poor Weber heard, at Paris and Versailles,
     hawkers, “with a hoarse stifled tone of voice (_voix étouffée,
     sourde_)” drawling and snuffling, through the streets, an _Edict
     concerning Payments_ (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 Paper bearing interest! Poor Weber almost swooned
     at the sound of these cracked voices, with their bodeful
     raven-note; and will never forget the effect it had on him.[100]
     But the effect on Paris, on the world generally? From the dens of
     Stock-brokerage, from the heights of Political Economy, of
     Neckerism and Philosophism; from all articulate and inarticulate
     throats, rise hootings and howlings, such as ear had not yet
     heard. Sedition itself may be imminent! Monseigneur d’Artois,
     moved by Duchess Polignac, feels called to wait upon her Majesty;
     and explain frankly what crisis matters stand in. “The Queen
     wept;” Brienne himself wept;—for it is now visible and palpable
     that he must go.
     Remains only that the Court, to whom his manners and garrulities
     were always agreeable, shall make his fall soft. The grasping old
     man 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 of the Palace for his niece; a Regiment for her husband;
     for himself a red Cardinal’s-hat, a _Coupe de Bois_ (cutting from
     the royal forests), and on the whole “from five to six hundred
     thousand livres of revenue:”[101] finally, his Brother, the Comte
     de Brienne, shall still continue War-minister. Buckled-round with
     such bolsters and huge featherbeds of Promotion, let him now fall
     as soft as he can!
     And so Loménie 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; southward to Brienne,—for recovery of health.
     Then to Nice, to Italy; but shall return; shall glide to and fro,
     tremulous, faint-twinkling, fallen on awful times: till the
     Guillotine—snuff out his weak existence? Alas, worse: for it is
     _blown_ out, or choked out, foully, pitiably, on the way to the
     Guillotine! In his Palace of Sens, rude Jacobin Bailiffs made him
     drink with them from his own wine-cellars, feast with 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
     Loménie de Brienne. Flimsier mortal was seldom fated to do as
     weighty a 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 _such_ a
     powder-mine,—which he kindled! Let us pity the hapless Loménie;
     and forgive him; and, as soon as possible, forget him.

     Chapter 1.3.IX.
     Burial with Bonfire.
     Besenval, during these extraordinary operations, of Payment
     two-fifths 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 Contrexeville.
     Returning now, in the end of August, towards Moulins, and
     “knowing nothing,” 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 the
     matter is?—‘How?’ answers the man, ‘you have not heard the news?
     The Archbishop is thrown out, and M. Necker is recalled; and all
     is going to go well!’[102]
     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 Château, the courts, the streets of Versailles;
     in few hours, the Capital; and, as the news flew, all France,
     resounded with the cry of _Vive le Roi! Vive M. Necker!_[103] In
     Paris indeed it unfortunately got the length of turbulence.”
     Petards, rockets go off, in the Place Dauphine, more than enough.
     A “wicker Figure (_Mannequin d’osier_),” in Archbishop’s stole,
     made emblematically, three-fifths of it satin, two-fifths of it
     paper, is promenaded, not in silence, to the popular
     judgment-bar; is doomed; shriven by a mock Abbé de Vermond; then
     solemnly consumed by fire, at the foot of Henri’s Statue on the
     Pont Neuf;—with such petarding and huzzaing that Chevalier Dubois
     and his City-watch see good finally to make a charge (more or
     less ineffectual); 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 effervescence.[104]
     Parlements therefore shall return from exile: Plenary Court,
     Payment two-fifths in Paper have vanished; gone off in smoke, at
     the foot of Henri’s Statue. States-General (with a Political
     Millennium) are now certain; nay, it shall be announced, in our
     fond haste, for January next: and all, as the Langres man said,
     is “going to go.”
     To the prophetic glance of Besenval, one other thing is too
     apparent: that Friend Lamoignon cannot keep his Keepership.
     Neither he nor War-minister Comte de Brienne! Already old Foulon,
     with an eye to be war-minister himself, is making underground
     movements. This is that same Foulon named _âme damnée du
     Parlement;_ a man grown gray in treachery, in griping,
     projecting, intriguing and iniquity: who once when it was
     objected, to some finance-scheme of his, ‘What will the people
     do?’—made answer, in the fire of discussion, ‘The people may eat
     grass:’ hasty words, which fly abroad irrevocable,—and will send
     back tidings!
     Foulon, to the relief of the world, fails on this occasion; and
     will always fail. Nevertheless it steads not M. de Lamoignon. It
     steads 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 now, as if the last burden had been rolled from its heart,
     and assurance were at length perfect, Paris bursts forth anew
     into extreme jubilee. The Basoche rejoices aloud, that the foe of
     Parlements is fallen; Nobility, Gentry, Commonalty have rejoiced;
     and rejoice. Nay now, with new emphasis, Rascality itself,
     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, “_Mannequin_ 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
     stop, till they have bowed to the People’s King, and said
     audibly: _Vive Henri Quatre; au diable Lamoignon!_ No carriage
     but must stop; not even that of his Highness d’Orléans. 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 _fusées_) 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
     we 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 morning the explosion of petards began: and now it is
     near midnight of Wednesday; and the “wicker _Mannequin_” is to be
     buried,—apparently in the Antique fashion. Long rows of torches,
     following it, move towards the Hôtel 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).[105] 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
     Françaises, 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 cruelest charge of all: “there are a great many killed and
     wounded.” Not without clangour, complaint; subsequent criminal
     trials, and official persons dying of heartbreak![106] So,
     however, with steel-besom, Rascality is brushed back into its dim
     depths, and the streets are swept clear.
     Not for a century and half had Rascality ventured to step forth
     in this fashion; not for so long, showed its huge rude lineaments
     in the light of day. A Wonder and new Thing: as yet gamboling
     merely, in awkward Brobdingnag 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 Loménie are now far on with
     their pamphlets: States-General, on one plan or another, will
     infallibly meet; 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 he remembers) ‘have said!’—then closes them
     again, forever, before the evil time.

     BOOK 1.IV.

     Chapter 1.4.I.
     The Notables Again.
     The universal prayer, therefore, is to be fulfilled! Always in
     days of national perplexity, when wrong abounded and help was
     not, this remedy of States-General was called for; by a
     Malesherbes, nay by a Fénelon;[107] even Parlements calling for
     it were “escorted with blessings.” And now behold it is
     vouchsafed us; States-General shall verily be!
     To say, let States-General be, was easy; to say in what manner
     they shall be, is not so easy. Since the year of 1614, there have
     no States-General 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 Class 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 shearing, is now also arising with hopes! It has ceased
     or is ceasing to be dumb; it speaks through Pamphlets, or at
     least brays and growls behind them, 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 _they_ 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 winds;
     and the popularity of the Parlement along with it,—never to
     return. The Parlements part, we said above, was as good as
     played. Concerning which, however, there is this further to be
     noted: the proximity of dates. It was on the 22nd of September
     that the Parlement returned from “vacation” or “exile in its
     estates;” to be reinstalled amid boundless jubilee from all
     Paris. Precisely next day it was, that this same Parlement came
     to its “clearly declared opinion:” and then on the morrow after
     that, you behold it “covered with outrages”; its outer court, one
     vast sibilation, and the glory departed from it for
     evermore.[108] A popularity of twenty-four hours was, in those
     times, no uncommon allowance.
     On the other hand, how superfluous was that invitation of
     Loménie’s: the invitation to thinkers! Thinkers and unthinkers,
     by the million, are spontaneously at their post, doing what is in
     them. Clubs labour: _Societe Publicole;_ Breton Club; Enraged
     Club, _Club des Enrages_. Likewise Dinner-parties in the Palais
     Royal; your Mirabeaus, Talleyrands dining there, in company with
     Chamforts, Morellets, with Duponts and hot Parlementeers, not
     without object! For a certain _Necker_ean Lion’s-provider, whom
     one could name, assembles them there;[109]—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 furor almost Pythic; highest, where many are
     high.[110] Foolish young Languedocian gentleman; who himself so
     soon, “emigrating among the foremost,” must fly indignant over
     the marches, with the _Contrat Social_ in his pocket,—towards
     outer darkness, thankless intriguings, _ignis-fatuus_ hoverings,
     and death by the stiletto! Abbé Sieyes has left Chartres
     Cathedral, and canonry and book-shelves there; has let his
     tonsure grow, and come to Paris with a secular head, of the most
     irrefragable sort, to ask three questions, and answer them: _What
     is the Third Estate? All.—What has it hitherto been in our form
     of government? Nothing.—What does it want? To become Something._
     D’Orléans,—for be sure he, on his way to Chaos, is in the thick
     of this,—promulgates his _Deliberations;_[111] fathered by him,
     written by Laclos of the _Liaisons Dangereuses._ The result of
     which comes out simply: “The Third Estate is the Nation.” On the
     other hand, Monseigneur d’Artois, with other Princes of the
     Blood, publishes, in solemn _Memorial_ to the King, that if such
     things be listened to, Privilege, Nobility, Monarchy, Church,
     State and Strongbox are in danger.[112] In danger truly: and yet
     if you do not listen, are they out of danger? It is the voice of
     all France, this sound that rises. Immeasurable, manifold; 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 itself at this new juncture, may even yet be a question.
     Such a Government would have 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 was coming into being; in presence of which no
     Versailles Government either could or should, except in a
     provisory character, continue extant. To enact which provisory
     character, so unspeakably important, might its whole faculties
     but have sufficed; and so a peaceable, gradual, well-conducted
     Abdication and _Domine-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 vortex; in which vain counsels,
     hallucinations, falsehoods, intrigues, and imbecilities whirl;
     like withered rubbish in the meeting of winds! The Œil-de-Bœuf
     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 Loménie was wont to say: ‘There are
     so many accidents; 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 known 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; hovering afar off rather, and advising all
     things to settle themselves. The grand questions, for the
     present, have got reduced to two: the Double Representation, and
     the Vote by Head. Shall the Commons have a “double
     representation,” that is to say, have as many members as the
     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 the moot-points now filling all France with jargon,
     logic and eleutheromania. To terminate which, Necker bethinks
     him, Might not a second Convocation of the Notables be fittest?
     Such second Convocation is resolved on.
     On the 6th of November of this year 1788, these Notables
     accordingly have reassembled; after an interval of some eighteen
     months. They are Calonne’s old Notables, the same Hundred and
     Forty-four,—to show one’s impartiality; likewise to save time.
     They sit there once again, in their Seven Bureaus, in the hard
     winter weather: it is the hardest winter seen since 1709;
     thermometer below zero of Fahrenheit, Seine River frozen
     over.[113] Cold, scarcity and eleutheromaniac clamour: a changed
     world since these Notables were “organed out,” in May gone a
     year! They shall see now whether, under their Seven Princes of
     the Blood, in their Seven Bureaus, they can settle the
     To the surprise of Patriotism, these Notables, once so patriotic,
     seem to incline the wrong way; towards the anti-patriotic side.
     They stagger at the Double Representation, at the Vote by Head:
     there is not affirmative decision; there is mere debating, and
     that not with the best aspects. For, indeed, were not these
     Notables themselves mostly of the Privileged Classes? They
     clamoured once; now they have their misgivings; make their
     dolorous representations. Let them vanish, ineffectual; and
     return no more! They vanish after a month’s session, on this 12th
     of December, year 1788: the _last_ terrestrial Notables, not to
     reappear any other time, in the History of the World.
     And so, the clamour still continuing, and the Pamphlets; and
     nothing but patriotic Addresses, louder and louder, pouting in on
     us from all corners of France,—Necker himself some fortnight
     after, before the year is yet done, has to present his
     _Report_,[114] recommending at his own risk that same Double
     Representation; nay almost enjoining it, so loud is the jargon
     and eleutheromania. What dubitating, what circumambulating! These
     whole six noisy months (for it began with Brienne in July,) has
     not _Report_ followed _Report_, and one Proclamation flown in the
     teeth of the other?[115]
     However, that first moot-point, as we see, is now settled. As for
     the second, that of voting by Head or by Order, it unfortunately
     is still left hanging. It hangs there, we may say, between the
     Privileged Orders and the Unprivileged; as a ready-made
     battle-prize, and necessity of war, from the very first: which
     battle-prize whosoever seizes it—may thenceforth bear as
     battle-flag, with the best omens!
     But so, at least, by Royal Edict of the 24th of January,[116]
     does it finally, to impatient expectant France, become not only
     indubitable that National Deputies _are_ to meet, but possible
     (so far and hardly farther has the royal Regulation gone) to
     begin electing them.

     Chapter 1.4.II.
     The Election.
     Up, then, and be doing! The royal signal-word flies through
     France, as through vast forests the rushing of a mighty wind. At
     Parish Churches, in Townhalls, and every House of Convocation; by
     Bailliages, by Seneschalsies, in whatsoever form men convene;
     there, with confusion enough, are Primary Assemblies forming. To
     elect your Electors; such is the form prescribed: then to draw up
     your “Writ of Plaints and Grievances (_Cahier de plaintes et
     doléances_),” of which latter there is no lack.
     With such virtue works this Royal January Edict; as it rolls
     rapidly, in its leathern mails, along these frostbound highways,
     towards all the four winds. Like some _fiat_, or magic
     spell-word;—which such things do resemble! For always, as it
     sounds out “at the market-cross,” accompanied with trumpet-blast;
     presided by Bailli, Seneschal, or other minor Functionary, with
     beef-eaters; or, in country churches is droned forth after
     sermon, “_au prône des messes paroissales;_” and is registered,
     posted and let fly over all the world,—you behold how this
     multitudinous French People, so long simmering and buzzing in
     eager expectancy, begins heaping and shaping itself into organic
     groups. Which organic groups, again, hold smaller organic
     grouplets: the inarticulate buzzing becomes articulate speaking
     and acting. By Primary Assembly, and then by Secondary; by
     “successive elections,” and infinite elaboration and scrutiny,
     according to prescribed process—shall the genuine “Plaints and
     Grievances” be at length got to paper; shall the fit National
     Representative be at length laid hold of.
     How the whole People shakes itself, as if it had one life; and,
     in thousand-voiced rumour, announces that it is awake, suddenly
     out of long death-sleep, and will thenceforth sleep no more! The
     long looked-for has come at last; wondrous news, of Victory,
     Deliverance, Enfranchisement, sounds magical through every heart.
     To the proud strong man it has come; whose strong hands shall no
     more be gyved; to whom boundless unconquered continents lie
     disclosed. The weary day-drudge has heard of it; the beggar with
     his crusts moistened in tears. What! To us also has hope reached;
     down even to us? Hunger and hardship are not to be eternal? The
     bread we extorted from the rugged glebe, and, with the toil of
     our sinews, reaped and ground, and kneaded into loaves, was not
     wholly for another, then; but we also shall eat of it, and be
     filled? Glorious news (answer the prudent elders), but all-too
     unlikely!—Thus, at any rate, may the lower people, who pay no
     money-taxes and have no right to vote,[117] assiduously crowd
     round those that do; and most Halls of Assembly, within doors and
     without, seem animated enough.
     Paris, alone of Towns, is to have Representatives; the number of
     them twenty. Paris is divided into Sixty Districts; each of which
     (assembled in some church, or the like) is choosing two Electors.
     Official deputations pass 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 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 congregating 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.[118] Under such aspects is France electing National
     The incidents and specialties of these Elections belong not to
     Universal, but to Local or Parish History: for which reason let
     not the new troubles of Grenoble or Besancon; the bloodshed on
     the streets of Rennes, and consequent march thither of the Breton
     “Young Men” with Manifesto by their “Mothers, Sisters and
     Sweethearts;”[119] nor suchlike, detain us here. It is the same
     sad history everywhere; with superficial variations. A reinstated
     Parlement (as at Besancon), 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 wager-of-battle, think
     one moment, how can that answer? The plebeian heart too has red
     life in it, which changes not to paleness at glance even of you;
     and “the six hundred Breton gentlemen assembled in 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 sweethearts” shrieking after them, _March!_ The
     Breton Noblesse must even let the mad world have its way.[120]
     In other Provinces, the Noblesse, with equal goodwill, finds it
     better to stick to Protests, to well-redacted “_Cahiers_ of
     grievances,” and satirical writings and speeches. Such is
     partially their course in Provence; whither indeed Gabriel Honoré
     Riquetti Comte de Mirabeau has rushed down from Paris, to speak a
     word in season. In Provence, the Privileged, backed by their Aix
     Parlement, discover that such novelties, enjoined though they be
     by Royal Edict, tend to National detriment; and what is still
     more indisputable, “to impair the dignity of the Noblesse.”
     Whereupon Mirabeau protesting aloud, this same 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
     fierce-glaring man. Expelled he accordingly is.
     “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.”[121]
     Casting up _which_ new curious handful of dust (through the
     Printing-press), to breed what it can and may, Mirabeau stalks
     forth into the 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 ell-wand, and rent webs for men, or
     fractional parts of men. The _Fils Adoptif_ is indignant at such
     disparaging fable,[122]—which nevertheless was widely believed in
     those days.[123] 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 world compeller, and ruler over men.
     One other incident and specialty we note; with how different an
     interest! It is of the Parlement of Paris; which starts forward,
     like the others (only with less audacity, seeing better how it
     lay), to nose-ring that Behemoth of a States-General. Worthy
     Doctor Guillotin, respectable practitioner in Paris, has drawn up
     his little “Plan of a _Cahier of doléances_;”—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 an 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
     Guillotin, with compliments; to be borne home shoulder-high.[124]
     This respectable Guillotin we hope to behold once more, and
     perhaps only once; the Parlement not even once, but let it be
     engulphed unseen by us.
     Meanwhile such things, cheering as they are, tend little to cheer
     the national creditor, or indeed the creditor of any kind. In the
     midst of 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 part, and to scarcity of work is added
     scarcity of food! In the opening spring, there come rumours of
     forestalment, there come King’s Edicts, Petitions of bakers
     against millers; and at length, in the month of April—troops of
     ragged Lackalls, and fierce cries of starvation! These are the
     thrice-famed _Brigands:_ an actual 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 Epos of the Revolution. The Brigands are here: the Brigands
     are there; the Brigands are coming! Not otherwise sounded the
     clang of Phoebus Apollo’s silver bow, scattering pestilence and
     pale terror; for this clang too was of the imagination;
     preternatural; and it too walked in formless immeasurability,
     _having made itself like to the Night_ (νυκτὶ ἐοικώς.)!
     But remark at least, for the first time, the singular empire of
     Suspicion, in those lands, in those days. If 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
     they 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 also
     were, fourteen years ago) have all been set on; enlisted, though
     without tuck of drum,—by Aristocrats, by Democrats, by D’Orléans,
     D’Artois, and enemies 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.[125] 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
     Be this as it may, the Brigands are clearly got to Paris, in
     considerable multitudes:[126] 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.

     Chapter 1.4.III.
     Grown Electric.
     But now also National Deputies from all ends of France are in
     Paris, with their commissions, what they call pouvoirs, or
     powers, 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_ is all
     new-carpentered, bedizened for them; their very costume has been
     fixed; a grand controversy which 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, to see what is toward. Our Paris
     Committees, of the Sixty Districts, are busier than ever; it is
     now too clear, the Paris Elections will be late.
     On Monday, the 27th of April, Astronomer Bailly notices that the
     Sieur Réveillon is not at his post. The Sieur Réveillon,
     “extensive Paper Manufacturer of the Rue St. Antoine;” he,
     commonly so punctual, is absent from the Electoral Committee;—and
     even will never reappear there. In those “immense Magazines of
     velvet paper” has aught befallen? Alas, yes! Alas, it is no
     Montgolfier rising there today; but Drudgery, Rascality and the
     Suburb that is rising! Was the Sieur Réveillon, 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 appear the
     National temper has got _electric_.
     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
     getting formed! Enough: grim individuals, soon waxing to grim
     multitudes, and other multitudes crowding to see, beset that
     Paper-Warehouse; 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; Réveillon, at his wits’ end, entreats the
     Populace, entreats the authorities. Besenval, now in active
     command, Commandant of Paris, does, towards evening, to
     Réveillon’s earnest prayer, send some thirty Gardes Françaises.
     These clear the street, happily without firing; and take post
     there for the night in hope that it may be all over.[127]
     Not so: on the morrow it is far worse. Saint-Antoine has arisen
     anew, grimmer than ever;—reinforced by the unknown Tatterdemalion
     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
     Françaises must be sent; Besenval and the Colonel taking earnest
     counsel. Then still 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 of Revolt;
     musket-volleys responded to by yells, by miscellaneous missiles;
     by tiles raining from roof and window,—tiles, execrations and
     slain men!
     The Gardes Françaises like it not, but have to persevere. All day
     it continues, slackening and rallying; the sun is sinking, and
     Saint-Antoine has not yielded. The City flies hither and thither:
     alas, the sound of that musket-volleying booms into the far
     dining-rooms of the Chaussée d’Antin; alters the tone of the
     dinner-gossip there. Captain Dampmartin leaves his wine; goes out
     with a friend or two, to see the fighting. Unwashed men growl on
     him, with murmurs of ‘_À bas les Aristocrates_ (Down with the
     Aristocrats);’ and insult the cross of St. Louis? They elbow him,
     and hustle him; but do not pick his pocket;—as indeed at
     Réveillon’s too there was not the slightest stealing.[128]
     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 of the lit matches, of the
     foreign red-coated Switzers, Saint-Antoine dissipates; hastily,
     in the shades of dusk. There is an encumbered street; there are
     “from four to five hundred” dead men. Unfortunate Réveillon has
     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,—a thing the man of true worth is used to.[129]
     But how it originated, this fierce electric sputter and
     explosion? From D’Orléans! cries the Court-party: he, with his
     gold, enlisted these Brigands,—surely in some surprising manner,
     without sound of drum: he raked them in hither, from all corners;
     to ferment and take fire; evil is his good. From the Court! cries
     enlightened Patriotism: it is the cursed gold and wiles of
     Aristocrats that enlisted them; set them upon ruining an innocent
     Sieur Réveillon; 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 not one 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? Poor Lackalls, all betoiled, besoiled, encrusted into dim
     defacement; into whom nevertheless the breath of the Almighty has
     breathed a living soul! To them it is clear only that
     eleutheromaniac Philosophism has yet baked no bread; that
     Patrioti 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 _Défenseurs de
     la Patrie_, Martyrs of the good Cause.
     Or shall we say: Insurrection has now served its Apprenticeship;
     and this was its proof-stroke, and no inconclusive one? Its next
     will be a master-stroke; announcing indisputable Mastership to a
     whole 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!
     But, in such wise, with primary and secondary Assemblies, and
     _Cahiers_ of Grievances; with motions, congregations of all
     kinds; with much thunder of froth-eloquence, and at last with
     thunder of platoon-musquetry,—does agitated France accomplish its
     Elections. With 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 number; and will forthwith open its

     Chapter 1.4.IV.
     The Procession.
     On the first Saturday of May, it is gala at Versailles; and
     Monday, fourth of the month, is to be a still greater day. The
     Deputies have mostly got thither, and sought out lodgings; and
     are now successively, in long well-ushered files, kissing the
     hand of Majesty in the Château. Supreme Usher de Brézé 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 hand,
     for members of the Third Estate opens only one! However, there is
     room to enter; Majesty has smiles for all.
     The good Louis welcomes his Honourable Members, with smiles of
     hope. He has prepared for them the Hall of _Menus_, the largest
     near him; and often surveyed the workmen as they went on. A
     spacious Hall: with raised platform for Throne, Court and
     Blood-royal; space for six hundred Commons Deputies in front; for
     half as many Clergy on this hand, and half as many Noblesse on
     that. It has lofty galleries; wherefrom dames of honour,
     splendent in _gaze d’or;_ foreign Diplomacies, and other
     gilt-edged white-frilled individuals to the number of two
     thousand,—may sit and look. Broad passages flow through it; and,
     outside the inner wall, all round it. There are committee-rooms,
     guard-rooms, robing-rooms: really a noble Hall; where upholstery,
     aided by the subject fine-arts, has done its best; and crimson
     tasseled cloths, and emblematic _fleurs-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
     (_chapeau clabaud_), but one not quite so slouched (_chapeau
     rabattu_). As for their manner of _working_, when all dressed:
     for their “voting by head or by order” and the rest,—this, which
     it were perhaps still time to settle, and in few hours will be no
     longer time, remains unsettled; hangs dubious in the breast of
     Twelve Hundred men.
     But now finally the Sun, on Monday the 4th of May, has
     risen;—unconcerned, as if it were no special 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 he awoke in every bosom at
     Versailles! Huge Paris, in all conceivable and inconceivable
     vehicles, is pouring itself forth; from each Town and Village
     come subsidiary rills; Versailles is a very sea of men. But above
     all, from the Church of St. Louis to the Church of Notre-Dame:
     one vast suspended-billow of Life,—with _spray_ scattered even to
     the chimney-pots! For on chimney-tops too, as over the roofs, and
     up thitherwards on every lamp-iron, sign-post, breakneck coign of
     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 sermon.
     Yes, friends, ye may sit and look: boldly or in thought, all
     France, and all Europe, may sit and look; for it is a day like
     few others. Oh, one might weep like Xerxes:—So many serried rows
     sit perched there; like winged creatures, alighted out of Heaven:
     all these, and so many more that follow them, shall have wholly
     fled aloft again, vanishing into the blue Deep; and the memory of
     this day still be fresh. It is the baptism-day of Democracy; sick
     Time has given it birth, the 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 thefts and brawls,
     named glorious-victories; and with profligacies, 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. What
     a work, O Earth and Heavens, what a work! Battles and bloodshed,
     September Massacres, Bridges of Lodi, retreats of Moscow,
     Waterloos, Peterloos, Tenpound Franchises, Tarbarrels and
     Guillotines;—and from this present date, if one might prophesy,
     some two centuries of it still to fight! Two centuries; hardly
     less; before Democracy go through its due, most baleful, stages
     of _Quack_ocracy; and a pestilential World be burnt up, and have
     begun to grow green and young again.
     Rejoice nevertheless, ye Versailles multitudes; to you, from whom
     all this is hid, and glorious end of it is visible. This day,
     sentence of death is pronounced on Shams; judgment of
     resuscitation, were it but far off, is pronounced on Realities.
     This day it is declared aloud, as with a Doom-trumpet, that a
     _Lie is unbelievable_. Believe that, stand by that, if more there
     be not; and let what thing or things soever will follow it
     follow. “Ye can no other; God be your help!” So spake a greater
     than any of you; opening _his_ Chapter of World-History.
     Behold, however! The doors of St. Louis Church flung wide; and
     the Procession of Processions advancing towards Notre-Dame!
     Shouts rend the air; one shout, at which Grecian birds might drop
     dead. It is indeed a stately, solemn sight. The Elected of
     France, and then the Court of France; they are marshalled and
     march there, all in prescribed place and costume. Our Commons “in
     plain black mantle and white cravat;” Noblesse, in gold-worked,
     bright-dyed cloaks of velvet, resplendent, rustling with laces,
     waving with plumes; the Clergy in rochet, alb, or other best
     _pontificalibus:_ 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 Men. The whole Future is there, and Destiny
     dim-brooding over it; in the hearts 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
     battle-banners, 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, to decipher it: for is not every
     meanest Day “the conflux of two Eternities!”
     Meanwhile, suppose we too, good Reader, should, as now without
     miracle Muse Clio enables us—take _our_ station also on some
     coign of vantage; and glance momentarily over this Procession,
     and this Life-sea; with far other eyes than the rest do, namely
     with prophetic? We can mount, and stand there, without fear of
     As for the Life-sea, or onlooking unnumbered Multitude, it is
     unfortunately all-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 Staël—she evidently looks from a window; among older
     honourable women.[130] Her father is Minister, and one of the
     gala personages; to his own eyes the chief one. Young spiritual
     Amazon, thy rest is not there; nor thy loved Father’s: “as
     Malebranche saw all things in God, so M. Necker sees all things
     in Necker,”—a theorem that will not hold.
     But where is the brown-locked, light-behaved, fire-hearted
     Demoiselle Théroigne? Brown eloquent Beauty; who, with thy winged
     words and glances, shalt thrill 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 Salpêtrière! Better hadst thou staid in
     native Luxemburg, and been the mother of some brave man’s
     children: but it was not thy task, it 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?[131] De Morande from his _Courrier de
     l’Europe;_ Linguet from his _Annales_, 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, hight De Warville, friend of the Blacks?
     He, with Marquis Condorcet, and Clavière the Genevese “have
     created the _Moniteur_ Newspaper,” or are about creating it. Able
     Editors must give account of such a day.
     Or seest thou with any distinctness, low down probably, not in
     places of honour, a Stanislas Maillard, riding-tipstaff
     (_huissier à cheval_) of the Châtelet; one of the shiftiest of
     men? A Captain Hulin of Geneva, Captain Elie of the Queen’s
     Regiment; both with an air of half-pay? Jourdan, with
     tile-coloured whiskers, not yet with tile-beard; an unjust dealer
     in mules? He shall be, in a few months, Jourdan the Headsman, and
     have other work.
     Surely also, in some place not of honour, stands or sprawls up
     querulous, that he too, though short, may see,—one squalidest
     bleared mortal, redolent of soot and horse-drugs: Jean Paul Marat
     of Neuchâtel! O Marat, Renovator of Human Science, Lecturer on
     Optics; O thou remarkablest Horseleech, once in D’Artois’
     Stables,—as thy bleared soul looks forth, through thy bleared,
     dull-acrid, wo-stricken face, what sees it in all this? Any
     faintest light of hope; like dayspring after Nova-Zembla night?
     Or is it but _blue_ sulphur-light, and spectres; woe, suspicion,
     revenge without end?
     Of Draper Lecointre, how he shut his cloth-shop hard by, and
     stepped forth, one need hardly speak. Nor of Santerre, the
     sonorous Brewer from the Faubourg St. Antoine. Two other Figures,
     and only two, we signalise there. The huge, brawny, Figure;
     through whose black brows, and rude flattened face (_figure
     ecrasée_), 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 genius, as if a
     naphtha-lamp burnt within it: that Figure is Camille Desmoulins.
     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 may, 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 it; and shall open his lungs of
     We dwell no longer on the mixed shouting Multitude: for now,
     behold, the Commons Deputies are at hand!
     Which of these Six Hundred individuals, in plain white cravat,
     that have come up to regenerate France, might one guess would
     become their _king?_ For a king or leader they, as all bodies of
     men, must have: be their work what it may, there is one man there
     who, by character, faculty, position, is fittest of all to do it;
     that man, as future not yet elected king, walks there among the
     rest. He with the thick black locks, will it be? With the _hure_,
     as himself calls it, or black _boar’s-head_, fit to be “shaken”
     as a senatorial portent? Through whose shaggy beetle-brows, and
     rough-hewn, seamed, carbuncled face, there look natural ugliness,
     small-pox, incontinence, bankruptcy,—and burning fire of genius;
     like comet-fire glaring fuliginous through murkiest confusions?
     It is _Gabriel Honoré Riquetti de Mirabeau_, the world-compeller;
     man-ruling Deputy of Aix! According to the Baroness de Staël, he
     steps proudly along, though looked at askance here, and shakes
     his black _chevelure_, or lion’s-mane; as if prophetic of great
     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 virtues, in his vices; perhaps more French
     than any other man;—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,
     or Arighettis, had to fly from Florence and the Guelfs, long
     centuries ago, and settled in Provence; where from generation to
     generation they have ever approved themselves a peculiar kindred:
     irascible, indomitable, sharp-cutting, true, like the steel they
     wore; of an intensity and 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 five rays,” is still to be seen.
     May not a modern Riquetti unchain so much, and set it
     drifting,—which also shall be seen?
     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 lie sunk together on the Bridge at Casano; while Prince
     Eugene’s cavalry galloped and regalloped over him,—only the
     flying sergeant had thrown a camp-kettle over that loved head;
     and Vendôme, dropping his spyglass, moaned out, “Mirabeau is
     _dead_, then!” Nevertheless he was not dead: he awoke to breathe,
     and miraculous surgery;—for Gabriel was yet to be. With his
     silver _stock_ he kept his scarred head erect, through long
     years; and wedded; and produced tough Marquis Victor, the _Friend
     of Men_. Whereby at last in the appointed year 1749, this
     long-expected rough-hewn Gabriel Honoré did likewise see the
     light: roughest lion’s-whelp ever littered of that rough breed.
     How the old lion (for our old Marquis too was lion-like, most
     unconquerable, kingly-genial, most perverse) gazed wonderingly on
     his offspring; and determined to train him as no lion had yet
     been! It is in vain, O Marquis! This cub, though thou slay him
     and flay him, will not learn to draw in dogcart of Political
     Economy, and be a _Friend of Men;_ he will not be Thou, must and
     will be Himself, another than Thou. Divorce lawsuits, “whole
     family save one in prison, and three-score _Lettres-de-Cachet_”
     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 If, and heard the Mediterranean at Marseilles. He has been in
     the Fortress of Joux; and forty-two months, with hardly clothing
     to his back, in the Dungeon of Vincennes;—all by
     _Lettre-de-Cachet_, from his lion father. He has been in
     Pontarlier Jails (self-constituted prisoner); was noticed fording
     estuaries of the sea (at low water), in flight from the face of
     men. He has pleaded before Aix Parlements (to get back his wife);
     the public gathering on roofs, to see since they could not hear:
     ‘the clatter-teeth (_claque-dents_)!’ snarles 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 for Gabriel Honoré, in these strange wayfarings, what has
     he not seen and tried! From drill-sergeants, to prime-ministers,
     to foreign and domestic booksellers, all manner of men he has
     seen. All manner of men he has gained; for at bottom it is a
     social, loving heart, that wild unconquerable one:—more
     especially all manner of women. From the Archer’s Daughter at
     Saintes to that fair young Sophie Madame Monnier, whom he could
     not but “steal,” and be beheaded for—in effigy! For indeed hardly
     since the Arabian Prophet lay dead to Ali’s admiration, was there
     seen such a Love-hero, with the strength of thirty men. In War,
     again, he has helped to conquer Corsica; fought duels, irregular
     brawls; horsewhipped calumnious barons. In Literature, he has
     written on _Despotism_, on _Lettres-de-Cachet;_ Erotics
     Sapphic-Werterean, Obscenities, Profanities; Books on the
     _Prussian Monarchy_, on _Cagliostro_, on _Calonne_, on _the Water
     Companies of Paris:_—each book comparable, we will say, to a
     bituminous alarum-fire; huge, smoky, sudden! The firepan, the
     kindling, the bitumen were his own; but the lumber, of rags, old
     wood and nameless combustible rubbish (for all is fuel to him),
     was gathered from huckster, and ass-panniers, 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
     borrowing. The idea, the faculty of another man he can make his;
     the man himself he can make his. ‘All reflex and echo (_tout de
     reflet et de réverbère_)!’ 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 _self-help_, and yet not lost the
     glorious natural gift of _fellowship_, of being helped. Rare
     union! This man can live self-sufficing—yet lives also in the
     life of other men; can make men love him, work with him: a born
     king of men!
     But consider further how, as the old Marquis still snarls, he has
     ‘made away with (_humé_, swallowed) all _Formulas;_’—a fact
     which, if we meditate it, will in these days mean much. This is
     no man of system, then; he is only a man of instincts and
     insights. A man 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; yet not
     without a strong living Soul in him, and Sincerity there: a
     Reality, not an Artificiality, not a Sham! And so he, having
     struggled “forty years against despotism,” and “made away with
     all formulas,” 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; to make away with _her_ old
     formulas,—having found them naught, worn out, far from the
     reality? She will make away with _such_ formulas;—and even go
     _bare_, if need be, till she have found new ones.
     Towards such work, in such manner, marches he, this singular
     Riquetti Mirabeau. In fiery rough figure, with black Samson-locks
     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, its whole smoke-atmosphere too, and fill all
     France with flame. Strange lot! Forty years of that smouldering,
     with foul fire-damp and vapour enough, then victory over
     that;—and like a burning mountain he blazes 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 forever! Pass on,
     thou questionable Gabriel Honoré, the greatest of them all: in
     the whole National Deputies, in the whole Nation, there is none
     like and none second to thee.
     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.[132] That greenish-coloured (_verdâtre_)
     individual is an Advocate of Arras; his name is _Maximilien
     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 Franklin
     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 of business, happily quite
     free from genius. The Bishop, therefore, taking counsel, appoints
     him Judge of his diocese; and he faithfully does justice to the
     people: till behold, one day, a culprit comes whose crime merits
     hanging; and the strict-minded Max must abdicate, for his
     conscience will not permit the dooming of any son of Adam to die.
     A strict-minded, strait-laced man! A man unfit for 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 acetous virulent? We
     shall see.
     Between which two extremes of grandest and meanest, so many grand
     and mean roll on, towards their several destinies, in that
     Procession! There is _Cazalès_, the learned young soldier; who
     shall become the eloquent orator of Royalism, and earn the shadow
     of a name. Experienced _Mounier_, experienced _Malouet;_ whose
     Presidential Parlementary experience the stream of things shall
     soon leave stranded. A Pétion has left his gown and briefs at
     Chartres for a stormier sort of pleading; has not forgotten his
     violin, being fond of music. His hair is grizzled, though he is
     still young: convictions, beliefs, placid-unalterable 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 sufficient citizen, but a nation and a world
     of such! The old to heal up rents; the young to remove
     rubbish:—which latter, is it not, indeed, the 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 _Cahier_
     of _doléances_ with this singular clause, and more such in it:
     “That the master wigmakers of Nantes be not troubled with new
     gild-brethren, the actually existing number of ninety-two being
     more than sufficient!”[133] The Rennes people have elected Farmer
     _Gérard_, “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 Gérard, or “_Père Gérard_,
     Father Gérard,” as they please to call him, will fly far; borne
     about in endless banter; in Royalist satires, in Republican
     didactic Almanacks.[134] As for the man Gerard, being asked once,
     what he did, after trial of it, candidly think of this
     Parlementary work,—‘I think,’ answered he, ‘that there are a good
     many scoundrels among us.’ so walks Father Gérard; 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-place, the bosom of
     oblivion! Guillotin can improve the ventilation of the Hall; in
     all cases of medical police and _hygiène_ 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 levity christens by a
     feminine derivative name, as if it were his daughter: _La
     Guillotine!_ ‘With my machine, Messieurs, I whisk off your head
     (_vous fais sauter la tête_) in a twinkling, and you have no
     pain;’—whereat they all laugh.[135] 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 Cæsar’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 only with cold,
     “_de froid_.” Speculation is not practice: to be weak is not so
     miserable; but to be weaker than our task. Wo the day when they
     mounted thee, a peaceable pedestrian, on that wild Hippogriff of
     a Democracy; which, 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 of
     Letters; three hundred and seventy-four Lawyers;[136] and at
     least one Clergyman: the _Abbé 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 self-conceit. 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, Constitution-builder
     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 (_achevée_).’[137] 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)[138] 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 (_victa Catoni_).
     Thus, however, amid skyrending vivats, and blessings from every
     heart, has the Procession of the Commons Deputies rolled by.
     Next follow the Noblesse, and next the Clergy; concerning both of
     whom it might be asked, What they specially have come for?
     Specially, little as they dream of it, to answer this question,
     put in a voice of thunder: What are you doing in God’s fair Earth
     and Task-garden; where whosoever is not working is begging or
     stealing? Wo, wo to themselves and to all, if they can only
     answer: Collecting tithes, Preserving game!—Remark, meanwhile,
     how _D’Orléans_ affects to step before his own Order, and mingle
     with the Commons. For him are _vivats:_ few for the rest, though
     all wave in plumed “hats of a feudal cut,” and have sword on
     thigh; though among them is _D’Antraigues_, the young
     Languedocian gentleman,—and indeed many a Peer more or less
     There are _Liancourt_, and _La Rochefoucault;_ the liberal
     Anglomaniac Dukes. There is a filially pious _Lally;_ a couple of
     liberal _Lameths_. Above all, there is a _Lafayette;_ whose name
     shall be Cromwell-Grandison, and fill the world. Many a “formula”
     has this Lafayette too made away with; yet not _all_ formulas. He
     sticks by the Washington-formula; and by that he will stick;—and
     hang by it, as by sure bower-anchor hangs and swings the tight
     war-ship, which, after all changes of wildest weather and water,
     is found still hanging. Happy for him; be it glorious or not!
     Alone of all Frenchmen he has a 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-Catiline d’Espréménil_. He is
     returned from the Mediterranean Islands, a redhot royalist,
     repentant to the finger-ends;—unsettled-looking; whose light,
     dusky-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 distraction.” Note lastly that globular _Younger_
     Mirabeau; indignant that his elder Brother is among the Commons:
     it is _Viscomte_ Mirabeau; named 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 Equatorial sea, and fast thawing there! Once these
     Chivalry _Duces_ (Dukes, as they are still named) did actually
     _lead_ the world,—were it only towards battle-spoil, where lay
     the world’s best wages then: moreover, being 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 at eighteen-pence a-day,—what mean these
     goldmantled Chivalry Figures, walking there “in black-velvet
     cloaks,” in high-plumed “hats of a feudal cut”? Reeds shaken in
     the wind!
     The Clergy have got up; with _Cahiers_ for abolishing
     pluralities, enforcing residence of bishops, better payment of
     tithes.[139] The Dignitaries, we can observe, walk stately, apart
     from the numerous Undignified,—who indeed are properly little
     other than Commons disguised in Curate-frocks. Here, however,
     though by strange ways, shall the Precept be fulfilled, and they
     that are greatest (much to their astonishment) become least. For
     one example, out of many, mark that plausible _Grégoire:_ one day
     Curé Grégoire shall be a Bishop, when the now stately are
     wandering distracted, as Bishops _in partibus_. With other
     thought, mark also the _Abbé Maury:_ 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. Skilfulest vamper-up of old rotten leather,
     to make it look like new; always a rising man; he used to tell
     Mercier, ‘You will see; I shall be in the Academy before
     you.’[140] Likely indeed, thou skilfullest Maury; nay thou shalt
     have a Cardinal’s Hat, and plush and glory; but alas, also, in
     the longrun—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 ‘_La Lanterne_, The Lamp-iron;’ answer
     coolly, ‘Friends, will you see better there?’
     But yonder, halting lamely along, thou noticest next _Bishop
     Talleyrand-Perigord_, his Reverence of Autun. A sardonic grimness
     lies in that irreverent Reverence of Autun. He will do and suffer
     strange 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 not what you can call a false man: there is
     the specialty! It will be an enigma for future ages, one may
     hope: hitherto such a product of 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 Tempus ferax rerum!_
     On the whole, however, has not this unfortunate Clergy also
     drifted in the Time-stream, far from its native latitude? An
     anomalous mass of men; of whom the whole world has already a dim
     understanding that it can understand nothing. They were once a
     Priesthood, interpreters of Wisdom, revealers of the Holy that is
     in Man: a true _Clerus_ (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.
     King Louis with his Court brings up the 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. Ill-fated Queen! Her hair is already gray with many cares
     and crosses; her first-born son is dying in these weeks: black
     falsehood has ineffaceably soiled her name; ineffaceably while
     this generation lasts. Instead of _Vive la Reine_, voices insult
     her with _Vive d’Orléans_. Of her 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 all-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
     And so, in stately Procession, have passed the Elected of France.
     Some towards honour and quick fire-consummation; most towards
     dishonour; not a few towards massacre, confusion, emigration,
     desperation: all towards Eternity!—So many heterogeneities cast
     together into the fermenting-vat; there, with incalculable
     action, counteraction, elective affinities, explosive
     developments, to work out healing for a sick moribund System of
     Society! Probably the strangest Body of Men, 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 its
     infinite depths; and these men, its rulers and healers, without
     life-rule for themselves,—other life-rule than a Gospel according
     to Jean Jacques! To the wisest of them, what we must call the
     wisest, man is properly an Accident under the sky. Man is without
     Duty round him; 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
     heraldic scutcheons; in the divine right of Kings, in the divine
     right of Game-destroyers. Belief, or what is still worse, canting
     half-belief; or worst of all, mere Macchiavellic
     pretence-of-belief,—in consecrated dough-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 discernible: 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 there, shall now unfold itself rapidly:
     monstrous, stupendous, unspeakable; new for long thousands of
     years!—How has the Heaven’s _light_, oftentimes in this Earth, to
     clothe itself in thunder and electric murkiness; and descend as
     molten _lightning_, blasting, if purifying! Nay is it not rather
     the very murkiness, and atmospheric suffocation, that _brings_
     the lightning and the light? The new Evangel, 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 was, when he preached
     politics; how, next day, with sustained pomp, they are, for the
     first time, installed in their _Salles des Menus_ (Hall no longer
     of _Amusements_), 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 voyaging had
     got to port, plays over his broad simple face: the innocent King!
     He rises and speaks, with sonorous tone, a conceivable speech.
     With which, still more with the succeeding one-hour and two-hour
     speeches of Garde-des-Sceaux and M. Necker, full of nothing but
     patriotism, hope, faith, and deficiency of the revenue,—no reader
     of these pages shall 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 their
     slouched hats; and stand there awaiting the issue.[141] Thick
     buzz among them, between majority and minority of _Couvrezvous,
     Décrouvrez-vous_ (Hats off, Hats on)! To which his Majesty puts
     end, by taking _off_ his own royal hat again.
     The session terminates without further accident or omen than
     this; with which, significantly enough, France has opened her

     BOOK 1.V.

     Chapter 1.5.I.
     That exasperated France, in this same National Assembly of hers,
     has got something, nay something great, momentous, indispensable,
     cannot be doubted; yet still the question were: Specially _what?_
     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 the 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 serpent-bites.
     We may answer, it will at least prove a symbolic Banner; round
     which the exasperating complaining 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 _Carroccio_); 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, while
     it floats in the very front, nay as it were stands solitary
     there, waiting whether force will gather round it, this same
     National _Carroccio_, and the signal-peals it rings, are a main
     object with us.
     The omen of the “slouch-hats clapt on” shows the Commons Deputies
     to have made up their minds on one thing: that neither Noblesse
     nor Clergy shall have precedence of them; hardly even Majesty
     itself. To such length has the _Contrat Social_, and force of
     public opinion, carried us. For what is Majesty but the Delegate
     of the Nation; delegated, and bargained with (even rather
     tightly),—in some very singular posture of affairs, which Jean
     Jacques has not fixed the date of?
     Coming therefore into their Hall, on the morrow, an inorganic
     mass of Six Hundred individuals, these Commons Deputies perceive,
     without terror, that they have it all to themselves. Their Hall
     is also the Grand 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 in a separate capacity. They are
     to constitute two separate, perhaps separately-voting Orders,
     then? It is as if both Noblesse and Clergy had silently taken for
     granted that they already were such! Two Orders against one; and
     so the Third Order to be left in a perpetual minority?
     Much may remain unfixed; but the negative of that is a thing
     fixed: in the Slouch-hatted heads, in the French Nation’s head.
     Double representation, and all else hitherto gained, were
     otherwise futile, null. Doubtless, the “powers must be
     verified;”—doubtless, the Commission, 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 vital 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 Twenty-five
     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.
     Such method, recommendable alike to sagacity and to timidity, do
     the Commons Deputies adopt; and, not without adroitness, and with
     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 fruitfulest 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 once
     unpunishable and unconquerable.
     Cunning must be met by cunning; proud pretension by inertia, by a
     low tone of patriotic 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 there, 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
     There are private conclaves, supper-parties, consultations;
     Breton Club, Club of Viroflay; germs of many Clubs. Wholly an
     element of confused noise, dimness, angry heat;—wherein, however,
     the Eros-egg, kept at the fit temperature, may hover safe,
     unbroken till it be hatched. In your Mouniers, Malouets,
     Lechapeliers in science sufficient for that; fervour in your
     Barnaves, Rabauts. At times shall come an inspiration from royal
     Mirabeau: he is nowise yet recognised as royal; nay he was
     “groaned at,” when his name was first mentioned: but 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-roll,
     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. With 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 they 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, among whom are such a multitude of Undignified, of
     mere Commons in Curates’ frocks, depute instant respectful answer
     that they are, and will now more than ever be, in deepest study
     as to 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-of-ancestors method;—as they the
     Noblesse will have much pleasure in demonstrating 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:
     what will wise Commons say to this?
     Warily, inertly, the wise Commons, considering that they are, if
     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 Noblesse and Clergy irrefragably convincing;
     the Commissions retire; each Order persisting in its first
     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.
     Fancy can conceive the feeling of the Court; and how counsel met
     counsel, the loud-sounding inanity whirled in that distracted
     vortex, where wisdom could not dwell. Your cunningly devised
     Taxing-Machine has been got together; set up with 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 working-wheel hangs motionless,
     refuses to stir! The cunningest engineers are at fault. How
     _will_ it work, when it does begin? Fearfully, my Friends; and to
     many purposes; but to gather taxes, or grind court-meal, one may
     apprehend, never. Could we but have continued gathering taxes _by
     hand!_ Messeigneurs d’Artois, Conti, Condé (named Court
     Triumvirate), they of the anti-democratic _Mémoire au Roi_, 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 is to bring up soldiers. New regiments, two, and a
     battalion of a third, 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 Catiline or
     Crispin D’Espréménil, dusky-glowing, all in renegade heat; their
     boisterous Barrel-Mirabeau; but also they have their Lafayettes,
     Liancourts, Lameths; above all, their D’Orléans, now cut forever
     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 Heir-Apparent?)—on his voyage towards Chaos. From the
     Clergy again, so numerous are the Curés, actual deserters have
     run over: two small parties; in the second party Curé 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 Brézé, 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?’ inquires Mirabeau. ‘To the Dean of the
     Tiers-Etat.’—‘There is no man in France entitled to write that,’
     rejoins he; whereat the Galleries and the World will not be kept
     from applauding.[143] Poor De Brézé! These Commons have a still
     older grudge at him; nor has he yet done with them.
     In another way, Mirabeau has had to protest against the quick
     suppression of his Newspaper, _Journal of the
     States-General;_—and to continue it under a new name. In which
     act of valour, the Paris Electors, still busy redacting their
     _Cahier_, 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 Burghers: but now
     consider how it went, for example, with such loose miscellany,
     now all grown eleutheromaniac, of Loungers, Prowlers, social
     Nondescripts (and the distilled Rascality of our Planet), as
     whirls forever in the Palais Royal;—or what low infinite groan,
     first changing into a growl, comes from Saint-Antoine, and the
     Twenty-five Millions in danger of starvation!
     There is the indisputablest scarcity of corn;—be it
     Aristocrat-plot, D’Orléans-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 (_en planches de
     bois_);[144]—most convenient; where select Patriotism can now
     redact resolutions, deliver harangues, with comfort, let the
     weather but as it will. Lively is that Satan-at-Home! On his
     table, on his chair, in every _café_, 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 today,
     sixteen yesterday, nine-two last week.”[145] Think of Tyranny and
     Scarcity; Fervid-eloquence, Rumour, Pamphleteering; _Societé
     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 Eros-egg till it be hatched, till it break itself!
     An eager public crowds all Galleries 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 tremor of heart. The 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 this. An insidious proposal; which, however, the
     Commons (moved thereto by seagreen Robespierre) dexterously
     accept as a sort of hint, or even pledge, that the Clergy will
     forthwith come over to them, constitute the States-General, and
     so cheapen grains![146]—Finally, on the 27th day of May,
     Mirabeau, judging the time now nearly come, proposes that “the
     inertia cease;” that, leaving the Noblesse to their own stiff
     ways, the Clergy be summoned, “in the name of the God of Peace,”
     to join the Commons, and begin.[147] To which summons if they
     turn a deaf ear,—we shall see! Are not one Hundred and Forty-nine
     of them ready to desert?
     O Triumvirate of Princes, new Garde-des-Sceaux Barentin, thou
     Home-Secretary Bréteuil, Duchess Polignac, and Queen eager to
     listen,—what is now to be done? This Third Estate will get in
     motion, with the force of all France in it; Clergy-machinery with
     Noblesse-machinery, which were to serve as beautiful
     counter-balances and drags, will be shamefully dragged after
     it,—and take fire along with it. What is to be done? The
     Œil-de-Bœuf waxes more confused than ever. Whisper and
     counter-whisper; a very tempest of whispers! Leading men from all
     the Three Orders are nightly spirited thither; conjurors many of
     them; but can they conjure this? Necker himself were now welcome,
     could he interfere to purpose.
     Let Necker interfere, then; and in the King’s name! Happily that
     incendiary “God-of-Peace” message is not yet _answered_. The
     Three Orders shall again have conferences; under this Patriot
     Minister of theirs, somewhat may be healed, clouted up;—we
     meanwhile getting forward Swiss Regiments, and a “hundred pieces
     of field-artillery.” This is what the Œil-de-Bœuf, for its part,
     resolves on.
     But as for Necker—Alas, poor Necker, thy obstinate Third Estate
     has one first-last word, _verification in common_, 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 Œil-de-Bœuf, with the character
     of a disconjured conjuror there—fit only for dismissal.[148]
     And so the Commons Deputies are at last on their own strength
     getting under way? Instead of Chairman, or Dean, they have now
     got a President: Astronomer Bailly. Under way, with a vengeance!
     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
     appoint a “committee of subsistences;” dear to France, though it
     can find little or no grain. Next, as if our National Assembly
     stood quite firm on its legs,—to appoint “four other standing
     committees;” then to settle the security of the National Debt;
     then that of the Annual Taxation: all within eight-and-forty
     hours. At such rate of velocity it is going: the conjurors of the
     Œil-de-Bœuf may well ask themselves, Whither?

     Chapter 1.5.II.
     Mercury de Brézé.
     Now 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 _Mercury_, our Supreme Usher de Brézé.
     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 Brézé 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 itself extruded from its Hall, by
     carpenters, in this dexterous way; and reduced to do nothing, not
     even to meet, or articulately lament,—till Majesty, with _Séance
     Royale_ and new miracles, be ready! In this manner shall De
     Brézé, as Mercury _ex machinâ_, intervene; and, if the
     Œil-de-Bœuf mistake not, work deliverance from the _nodus_.
     Of poor De Brézé we can remark that he has yet prospered in none
     of his dealings with these Commons. Five weeks ago, when they
     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 writes to President
     Bailly, a new Letter, to be delivered shortly after dawn
     tomorrow, 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 a _Séance Royale_ next Monday; and no meeting of the
     States-General till then. And yet, we observe, President Bailly
     in sound of this, and with De Brézé’s Letter in his pocket, is
     proceeding, with National Assembly at his heels, to the
     accustomed Salles des Menus; as if De Brézé and heralds were mere
     wind. It is shut, this Salle; occupied by Gardes Françaises.
     ‘Where is your Captain?’ The Captain shows his royal order:
     workmen, he is grieved to say, are all busy setting up the
     platform for his Majesty’s _Séance;_ most unfortunately, no
     admission; admission, at furthest, for President and Secretaries
     to bring away papers, which the joiners might destroy!—President
     Bailly enters with Secretaries; and returns bearing papers: alas,
     within doors, instead of patriotic eloquence, there is now no
     noise but hammering, sawing, and operative screeching and
     rumbling! A profanation without parallel.
     The Deputies stand grouped on the Paris Road, on this umbrageous
     _Avenue de Versailles;_ complaining aloud of the indignity done
     them. Courtiers, it is supposed, look from their windows, and
     giggle. The morning is none of the comfortablest: raw; it is even
     drizzling a little.[149] 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 at Marly, under the
     King’s windows; for his Majesty, it seems, has driven over
     thither. Others talk of making the Château Forecourt, what they
     call _Place d’Armes_, a Runnymede and new _Champ de Mai_ of free
     Frenchmen: nay of awakening, to sounds of indignant Patriotism,
     the echoes of the Œil-de-boeuf itself.—Notice is given that
     President Bailly, aided by judicious Guillotin and others, has
     found place in the Tennis-Court of the Rue St. François. Thither,
     in long-drawn files, hoarse-jingling, like cranes on wing, the
     Commons Deputies angrily wend.
     Strange sight was this in the Rue St. François, Vieux Versailles!
     A naked Tennis-Court, as the pictures of that time still give it:
     four walls; 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 from 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
     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 sign as
     they have sworn: six hundred save one; one Loyalist Abdiel, still
     visible by this sole light-point, and nameable, poor “M. Martin
     d’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 shall
     meet “at the Recollets Church or elsewhere,” in hope that our
     Hundred and Forty-nine will join us;—and now it is time to go to
     This, then, is the Session of the Tennis-Court, famed _Séance du
     Jeu de Paume;_ the fame of which has gone forth to all lands.
     This is Mercurius de Brézé’s appearance as _Deus ex machinâ;_
     this is the fruit it brings! The giggle of Courtiers in the
     Versailles Avenue has already died into gaunt silence. Did the
     distracted Court, with Gardes-des-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 black rod of a
     Supreme Usher? Barndoor poultry fly cackling: but National
     Deputies turn round, lion-faced; and, with 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
     _Séance Royale:_[150] which, by a new felicity, is postponed till
     Tuesday. The Hundred and Forty-nine, and even with Bishops among
     them, all in processional mass, have had free leisure to march
     off, and solemnly join the Commons sitting waiting in their
     Church. The Commons welcomed them with shouts, with embracings,
     nay with tears;[151] for it is growing a life-and-death matter
     As for the _Séance_ 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 too. Enters, to a Third Estate,
     likewise grim-silent; which has been wetted waiting under mean
     porches, at back-doors, while Court and Privileged were entering
     by the front. King and Garde-des-Sceaux (there is no Necker
     visible) make known, not without longwindedness, the
     determinations of the royal breast. The Three Orders _shall_ vote
     separately. On the other hand, France may look for considerable
     constitutional blessings; as specified in these Five-and-thirty
     Articles,[152] which Garde-des-Sceaux is waxing hoarse with
     reading. Which Five-and-Thirty Articles, adds his Majesty again
     rising, if the Three Orders most unfortunately cannot agree
     together to effect them, I myself will effect: ‘_seul je ferai le
     bien de mes peuples_,’—which being interpreted may signify, You,
     contentious Deputies of the States-General, have probably not
     long to be here! But, in fine, all shall now withdraw for this
     day; and meet again, each Order in its separate place, tomorrow
     morning, for despatch of business. _This_ is the determination of
     the royal breast: pithy and clear. And herewith King, retinue,
     Noblesse, majority of Clergy file out, as if the whole matter
     were satisfactorily completed.
     These file out; through grim-silent seas of people. Only the
     Commons Deputies file not out; but stand there in gloomy silence,
     uncertain what they shall do. One man of them is certain; one man
     of them discerns and dares! It is now that King Mirabeau starts
     to the Tribune, and lifts up his lion-voice. Verily a word in
     season; for, in such scenes, the moment is the mother of ages!
     Had not Gabriel Honoré 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;
     sorrowful, low; fast swelling to a roar! Eyes kindle at the
     glance of his eye:—National Deputies were missioned by a Nation;
     they have sworn an Oath; they—but lo! while the lion’s voice
     roars loudest, what Apparition is this? Apparition of Mercurius
     de Brézé, muttering somewhat!—‘Speak out,’ cry
     several.—‘Messieurs,’ shrills De Brézé, repeating himself, ‘You
     have heard the King’s orders!’—Mirabeau glares on him 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; _you_ are
     not the man to remind us of it. Go, Monsieur, tell these 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!’[153] And poor De
     Brézé 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 Brézé; doomed to survive long ages, in men’s memory,
     in this faint way, with tremulent white rod! He was true to
     Etiquette, which was his Faith here below; a martyr to respect of
     persons. Short woollen cloaks could not kiss Majesty’s hand as
     long velvet ones did. Nay lately, when the poor little Dauphin
     lay dead, and some ceremonial Visitation came, was he not
     punctual to announce it even to the Dauphin’s _dead body:_
     ‘Monseigneur, a Deputation of the States-General!’[154] _Sunt
     lachrymæ rerum._
     But what does the Œil-de-Bœuf, now when De Brézé shivers back
     thither? _Despatch_ that same force of bayonets? Not so: the seas
     of people still hang multitudinous, intent on what is passing;
     nay rush and roll, loud-billowing, into the Courts of the Château
     itself; for a report has risen that Necker is to be dismissed.
     Worst of all, the Gardes Françaises seem indisposed to act: “two
     Companies of them _do not fire_ when ordered!”[155] Necker, for
     not being at the _Séance_, shall 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 coach-panels, and owe his life
     to furious driving. The _Gardes-du-Corps_ (Body-Guards), which
     you were drawing out, had better be drawn in again.[156] There is
     no sending of bayonets to be thought of.
     Instead of soldiers, the Œil-de-Bœuf sends—carpenters, to take
     down the platform. Ineffectual shift! In few instants, the very
     carpenters cease wrenching and knocking at their platform; stand
     on it, hammer in hand, and listen open-mouthed.[157] 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, any,” &c. &c. “_on whose part soever_ the
     same be commanded.”[158] Which done, one can wind up with this
     comfortable reflection from Abbé Sieyes: ‘Messieurs, you are
     today what you were yesterday.’
     Courtiers may shriek; but it is, and remains, even so. Their
     well-charged explosion has exploded _through the touch-hole;_
     covering themselves with scorches, confusion, and unseemly soot!
     Poor Triumvirate, poor Queen; and above all, poor Queen’s
     Husband, who means well, had he any fixed meaning! Folly is that
     wisdom which is wise 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 orders set at
     All France is in a roar; a sea of persons, estimated at “ten
     thousand,” whirls “all this day in the Palais Royal.”[159] The
     remaining Clergy, and likewise some Forty-eight Noblesse,
     D’Orléans 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 a-tiptoe, not unlike whirling! Let the Œil-de-Bœuf look
     to it. As for King Louis, he will swallow his injuries; will
     temporise, keep silence; will at all costs have present peace. It
     was Tuesday the 23d of June, when he spoke that peremptory royal
     mandate; and the week is not done till he has written to the
     remaining obstinate Noblesse, that they also must oblige him, and
     give in. D’Espréménil rages his last; Barrel Mirabeau “breaks his
     sword,” making a vow,—which he might as well have kept. The
     “Triple Family” is now therefore complete; the third erring
     brother, the Noblesse, having joined it;—erring but pardonable;
     soothed, so far as possible, by sweet eloquence from President
     So triumphs the Third Estate; and States-General are become
     National Assembly; and all France may sing _Te Deum_. By wise
     inertia, and wise cessation of inertia, great victory has been
     gained. It is the last night of June: all night you meet nothing
     on the streets of Versailles but “men running with torches” with
     shouts of 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 seven weeks complete. For seven weeks the National
     Carroccio has stood far-seen, ringing many a signal; and, so much
     having now gathered round it, may hope to stand.

     Chapter 1.5.III.
     Broglie the War-God.
     The Court feels indignant that it is conquered; but what then?
     Another time it will do better. Mercury descended in vain; now
     has the time come for Mars.—The gods of the Œil-de-Bœuf have
     withdrawn into the darkness of their cloudy Ida; and sit there,
     shaping and forging what may be needful, be it “billets of a new
     National Bank,” munitions of war, or things forever inscrutable
     to men.
     Accordingly, what 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; Salis-Samade,
     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 at Sèvres 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.”[160] What 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
     Œil-de-Bœuf, 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
     food-year, 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 reassemble 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 mad most hearts in France. What
     will the issue of these things be?
     At Marseilles, many weeks ago, the Townsmen have taken arms; for
     “suppressing of Brigands,” and other purposes: the military
     commandant 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:
     their loudest bellows the mad, mad-making voice of Rumour; their
     sharpest gazes Suspicion into the pale dim World-Whirlpool;
     discerning shapes and phantasms; imminent bloodthirsty 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
     brief! Your National Assembly, stopped short in its
     Constitutional 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 shall effect it, _seul
     il fera!_
     As for Broglie, he has his headquarters at Versailles, all as in
     a seat of war: clerks writing; significant staff-officers,
     inclined to taciturnity; plumed aides-de-camp, 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.[161] 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.”[162] Stand by the royal Declaration, of
     the Twenty-third of June. The Nobles of France, valorous,
     chivalrous as of old, will rally round us with one heart;—and as
     for this which you call Third Estate, and which we call
     _canaille_ of unwashed Sansculottes, of Patelins, Scribblers,
     factious Spouters,—brave Broglie, “with a whiff of grapeshot
     (_salve de canons_),” if need be, will give quick account of it.
     Thus reason they: on their cloudy Ida; hidden from men,—men also
     hidden from them.
     Good is grapeshot, Messeigneurs, on one condition: that the
     shooter also were made of metal! But unfortunately he is made of
     flesh; under his buffs and bandoleers your hired shooter has
     instincts, feelings, even a kind of thought. It is his kindred,
     bone of his bone, this same _canaille_ that shall be whiffed; he
     has brothers in it, a father 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 shut inexorably
     on him if he were not born noble,—is himself not without griefs
     against you. Your cause is not the soldier’s cause; but, as would
     seem, your own only, and no other god’s nor man’s.
     For example, the world may have heard how, at Bethune lately,
     when there rose some “riot about grains,” of which sort there are
     so many, and the soldiers stood drawn out, and the word “Fire!
     was given,—not a trigger stirred; only the butts of all muskets
     rattled angrily against the ground; and the soldiers stood
     glooming, with a mixed expression of countenance;—till clutched
     “each under the arm of a patriot householder,” they were all
     hurried off, in this manner, to be treated and caressed, and have
     their pay increased by subscription![163]
     Neither have the Gardes Françaises, the best regiment of the
     line, shown any promptitude for street-firing lately. They
     returned grumbling from Réveillon’s; and have not burnt a single
     cartridge since; nay, as we saw, not even when bid. A dangerous
     humour dwells in these Gardes. Notable men too, in their way!
     Valadi the 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 not be, and reflections going
     on,—unknown to the public! One head of 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 herbwoman; a handy
     lad; exceedingly addicted to reading. He is now Sergeant Hoche,
     and can rise no farther: he lays out his pay in rushlights, and
     cheap editions of books.[164]
     On the whole, the best seems to be: Consign these Gardes
     Françaises to their Barracks. So Besenval thinks, and orders.
     Consigned to their barracks, the Gardes Françaises 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 Sergeants, 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! 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.”[165]
     They are growing questionable, these Gardes! Eleven ring-leaders
     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 Café 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 campbeds, in the
     _Théâtre des Variétés;_” other national _Prytaneum_ as yet not
     being in readiness. Most deliberate! 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.
     Why new military force was not called out? New military force 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.”[166]
     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 Françaises, or debauched by Valadi the
     Pythagorean: let fresh undebauched Regiments come up; let
     Royal-Allemand, Salais-Samade, Swiss Château-Vieux come up,—which
     can fight, but can hardly speak except in German gutturals; 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
     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 wedding-party” cheerfully give place to them.[167] But
     latterly they meet in the _Hôtel-de-Ville_, in the Townhall
     itself. Flesselles, Provost of Merchants, with his Four Echevins
     (_Scabins_, Assessors), could not prevent it; such 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
     themselves shall fare in that!

     Chapter 1.5.IV.
     To Arms!
     So hangs it, dubious, fateful, in the sultry days of July. It is
     the passionate printed _advice_ of M. Marat, to abstain, of all
     things, from violence.[168] Nevertheless the hungry poor are
     already burning Town Barriers, where Tribute on eatables is
     levied; getting clamorous for food.
     The twelfth July morning is Sunday; the streets are all placarded
     with an enormous-sized _De par le Roi_, “inviting peaceable
     citizens to remain within doors,” to feel no alarm, to gather in
     no crowd. Why so? What mean these “placards of enormous size”?
     Above all, what means this clatter of military; dragoons,
     hussars, rattling in from all points of the compass towards the
     Place Louis Quinze; with a staid gravity of face, though saluted
     with mere nicknames, hootings and even missiles?[169] Besenval is
     with them. Swiss Guards of his are already in the Champs Elysées,
     with four pieces of artillery.
     Have the destroyers descended on us, then? From the Bridge of
     Sèvres to utmost Vincennes, from Saint-Denis to the
     Champ-de-Mars, we are begirt! Alarm, of the vague unknown, is in
     every heart. The Palais Royal has become a place of awestruck
     interjections, silent shakings of the head: one can fancy with
     what dolorous sound the noon-tide cannon (which the Sun fires at
     the crossing of his meridian) went off there; bodeful, like an
     inarticulate voice of doom.[170] 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;[171]—had not the news-bringer quickly fled.
     Nevertheless, friends, make of it what you will, the news is
     true. Necker is gone. Necker hies northward incessantly, in
     obedient secrecy, since yesternight. We have a new Ministry:
     Broglie the War-god; Aristocrat Bréteuil; Foulon 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 tremor and
     fremescence; waxing into thunder-peals, of Fury stirred on by
     But see Camille Desmoulins, from the Café de Foy, rushing out,
     sibylline in face; his hair streaming, in each hand a pistol! He
     springs to a table: the Police satellites are eyeing him; alive
     they shall not take him, not they alive him alive. This time he
     speaks without stammering:—Friends, shall we die like hunted
     hares? Like sheep hounded 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 word is, swift Death, or
     Deliverance forever. Let such hour be _well_-come! Us, meseems,
     one cry only befits: To Arms! Let universal Paris, universal
     France, as with the throat of the whirlwind, sound only: To
     arms!—‘To arms!’ yell responsive the innumerable 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,[172] does Camille evoke the Elemental Powers, in
     this great moment.—Friends, continues Camille, some rallying
     sign! Cockades; green ones;—the colour of hope!—As with the
     flight of locusts, these green tree leaves; green ribands from
     the neighbouring shops; all 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 Curtius’ Image-shop there;
     to the Boulevards; to the four winds; and rest not till France be
     on fire!
     France, so long shaken and wind-parched, is probably at the right
     inflammable point.—As for poor Curtius, 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’Orléans, helpers of France: these, covered with crape, as in
     funeral procession, or after the manner of suppliants appealing
     to Heaven, to Earth, and Tartarus itself, a mixed multitude bears
     off. For a sign! As indeed man, with his singular 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
     In this 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 on the natural greensward, cease!
     Instead of a Christian Sabbath, and feast of _guinguette_
     tabernacles, it shall be a Sorcerer’s Sabbath; and Paris, gone
     rabid, dance,—with the Fiend for piper!
     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 hewn 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; and disappear. One
     unarmed man lies hewed down; a Garde Française by his uniform:
     bear him (or bear even the report of him) dead and gory to his
     Barracks;—where he has comrades still alive!
     But why not now, victorious Lambesc, charge through that
     Tuileries Garden itself, where the fugitives are vanishing? Not
     show the Sunday promenaders too, how steel glitters, besprent
     with blood; that it be told of, and men’s ears 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 the flat of his sword) one
     man, a poor old schoolmaster, most pacifically tottering there;
     and is driven out, by barricade of chairs, by flights of “bottles
     and glasses,” by execrations in bass voice and treble. Most
     delicate is the mob-queller’s vocation; wherein Too-much may be
     as bad as Not-enough. For each of these bass voices, and more
     each treble voice, borne to all points of the City, rings now
     nothing but distracted indignation; will ring all another. The
     cry, _To arms!_ roars tenfold; steeples with their metal
     storm-voice boom out, as the sun sinks; armorer’s 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 dusky torches,
     shaking their serpent-hair. Lambesc with Royal-Allemand may ride
     to his barracks, with curses for his marching-music; then ride
     back again, like one troubled in mind: vengeful Gardes
     Françaises, _sacre_ing, with knit brows, start out on him, from
     their barracks in the Chaussé d’Antin; pour a volley into him
     (killing and wounding); which he must not answer, but ride
     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 Françaises, with Palais-Royal volunteers, roll down,
     greedy of more vengeance, to the Place Louis Quinze itself, they
     find neither Besenval, Lambesc, Royal-Allemand, 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: Normandie must even bivouac
     there, in its dust and thirst,—unless some patriot will treat it
     to a cup of liquor, with advices.
     Raging multitudes surround the Hôtel-de-Ville, crying: Arms!
     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 must sit there “in the cruelest uncertainty:”
     courier after courier may dash off for Versailles; but will bring
     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
     Œil-de-Bœuf, 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
     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 yet whether running, swimming or
     flying,—headlong into the New Era. With clangour and terror: from
     above, Broglie the war-god impends, preternatural, with his
     redhot cannon-balls; and from below, a preternatural
     Brigand-world menaces with dirk and firebrand: madness rules the
     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 all-too ruddy towards the vault of Night.[174]

     Chapter 1.5.V.
     Give us Arms.
     On Monday the huge City has awoke, not to its week-day industry:
     to what a different one! The working man has become a fighting
     man; has one want only: that of arms. 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 off-hand
     victuals; for _bouche va toujours_. Women too are sewing
     cockades;—not now of green, which being D’Artois colour, the
     Hôtel-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 TRICOLOR,—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 Flesselles with thy Echevins, give us arms!
     Flesselles 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.
     Heads of Districts are in fervent consultation; subordinate
     Patriotism roams distracted, ravenous for arms. Hitherto at the
     Hôtel-de-Ville was only such modicum of indifferent firelocks as
     we have seen. At the so-called Arsenal, there lies nothing but
     rust, rubbish and saltpetre,—overlooked too by the guns of the
     Bastille. His Majesty’s Repository, 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; antique Chivalry arms and armour. These, and such as
     these, a necessitous Patriotism snatches greedily, for want of
     better. The Siamese cannons go trundling, on an errand they were
     not meant for. Among the indifferent firelocks are seen
     tourney-lances; the princely 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 Saint-Lazare_, Lazar-House once, now a
     Correction-House with Priests, there was no trace of arms; but,
     on the other hand, corn, plainly to a culpable extent. Out with
     it, to market; in this scarcity of grains!—Heavens, will
     “fifty-two carts,” in long row, hardly carry it to the _Halle aux
     Bleds?_ Well, truly, ye reverend Fathers, was your pantry filled;
     fat are your larders; over-generous your wine-bins, ye plotting
     exasperators of the Poor; traitorous forestallers of bread!
     Vain is protesting, entreaty on bare knees: the House of
     Saint-Lazarus 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 Saint-Lazaristes 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 Châtelet Prison. The Debtors’ Prison of La Force
     is broken from without; and they that sat in bondage to
     Aristocrats go free: hearing of which the Felons at the Châtelet
     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 Felon world; 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-swiftness! “Some score or
     two” of wretched persons, found prostrate with drink in the
     cellars of that Saint-Lazare, are indignantly haled to prison;
     the Jailor has no room; whereupon, other place of security not
     suggesting itself, it is written, “_on les pendit_, they hanged
     them.”[175] Brief is the word; not without significance, be it
     true or untrue!
     In such circumstances, the Aristocrat, the unpatriotic rich man
     is packing-up for departure. But he shall not get departed. A
     wooden-shod force has seized all Barriers, burnt or not: all that
     enters, all that seeks to issue, is stopped there, and dragged to
     the Hôtel-de-Ville: coaches, tumbrils, plate, furniture, “many
     meal-sacks,” in time even “flocks and herds” encumber the Place
     de Grève.[176]
     And so it roars, and rages, and brays; drums beating, steeples
     pealing; criers rushing with hand-bells: ‘Oyez, oyez. All men to
     their Districts to be enrolled!’ The Districts have met in
     gardens, open squares; are getting marshalled into volunteer
     troops. No redhot ball has yet fallen from Besenval’s Camp; on
     the contrary, Deserters with their arms are continually dropping
     in: nay now, joy of joys, at two in the afternoon, the Gardes
     Françaises, being ordered to Saint-Denis, and flatly declining,
     have come over in a body! It is a fact worth many. Three thousand
     six hundred of the best fighting men, with complete accoutrement;
     with cannoneers even, and cannon! Their officers are left
     standing alone; could not so much as succeed in “spiking the
     guns.” The very Swiss, it may now be hoped, Château-Vieux and the
     others, will have doubts about fighting.
     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 that number: invincible, if we had only arms!
     But see, the promised Charleville Boxes, marked _Artillerie!_
     Here, then, are arms enough?—Conceive the blank face of
     Patriotism, when it found them filled with rags, foul linen,
     candle-ends, and bits of wood! Provost of the Merchants, how is
     this? Neither at the Chartreux Convent, whither we were 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), are “five thousand-weight
     of gunpowder;” not coming _in_, but surreptitiously going out!
     What meanest thou, Flesselles? ’Tis a ticklish game, that of
     “amusing” us. Cat plays with captive mouse: 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
     forge-hammer, till stithy reel and ring again; while ever and
     anon, overhead, booms the alarm-cannon,—for the City has now got
     gunpowder. Pikes are fabricated; fifty thousand of them, in
     six-and-thirty hours: judge whether the Black-aproned have been
     idle. Dig trenches, unpave the streets, ye others, assiduous, man
     and maid; cram the earth in barrel-barricades, at each of them a
     volunteer sentry; pile the whinstones 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 Royal-Allemand, with your
     old skinny arms: your shrill curses along with it will not be
     wanting!—Patrols of the newborn National Guard, bearing torches,
     scour the streets, all that night; which otherwise are vacant,
     yet illuminated in every window by order. Strange-looking; like
     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 place in all hearts! Such agonies and ragings and
     wailings ye have, and have had, in all times:—to be buried all,
     in so deep silence; and the salt sea is not swoln with your
     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 it will be
     _free!_ Free? Understand that well, it is the deep commandment,
     dimmer or clearer, of our whole being, to be _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 pillar 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 our fellow-man.” Forward, ye maddened sons of
     France; be it towards this destiny or towards that! Around you is
     but starvation, falsehood, corruption and the clam of death.
     Where ye are is no abiding.
     Imagination may, imperfectly, figure how Commandant Besenval, in
     the Champ-de-Mars, has worn out these sorrowful hours
     Insurrection 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 grapeshot; sends no orders.
     Truly, in the Château of Versailles all seems mystery: in the
     Town of Versailles, were we there, all is rumour, alarm and
     indignation. An august National Assembly sits, to appearance,
     menaced with death; endeavouring to defy death. It has resolved
     “that Necker carries with him the regrets of the Nation.” It has
     sent solemn Deputation over to the Château, 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 suchlike, 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.[177] Be firm, ye
     National Senators; the cynosure of a firm, grim-looking 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 Book of _Lamentations:_
    Saves-voux pourquoi Jérémie
    Se lamentait toute sa vie?
    C’est qu’il prévoyait
    Que Pompignan le traduirait!

     Poor Bishop Pompignan withdraws; having got Lafayette for helper
     or substitute: this latter, as nocturnal Vice-President, with a
     thin house in disconsolate humour, sits sleepless, with lights
     unsnuffed;—waiting what the hours will bring.
     So at Versailles. But at Paris, agitated Besenval, before
     retiring for the night, has stept over to old M. de Sombreuil, of
     the _Hôtel des 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,—each Invalide his
     dogshead! If ordered to fire, they would, he 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 drawbridges long since, “and retired into his interior;” with
     sentries walking on his battlements, under the midnight sky,
     aloft over the glare of illuminated Paris;—whom a National
     Patrol, passing that way, takes the liberty of firing at; “seven
     shots towards twelve at night,” which do not take effect.[178]
     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!
     In these same days, as Chronology will teach us, hot old Marquis
     Mirabeau lies stricken down, at Argenteuil,—_not_ within sound of
     these alarm-guns; for _he_ properly is not there, and only the
     body of him now lies, deaf and cold forever. It was on Saturday
     night that he, drawing his last life-breaths, gave up the ghost
     there;—leaving a world, which would never go to his mind, now
     broken out, seemingly, into deliration and the _culbute
     générale_. What is it to him, departing elsewhither, on his long
     journey? The old Château Mirabeau stands silent, far off, on its
     scarped rock, in that “gorge of two windy valleys;” the
     pale-fading spectre now of a Château: this huge World-riot, and
     France, and the World itself, fades also, like a shadow on the
     great still mirror-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
     from Public History. The great crisis transacts itself without

     Chapter 1.5.VI.
     Storm and Victory.
     But, to the living and the struggling, a new, Fourteenth morning
     dawns. Under all roofs of this distracted City, is the nodus of a
     drama, not untragical, crowding towards solution. The bustlings
     and preparings, the tremors and menaces; the tears that fell from
     old eyes! This day, my sons, ye shall quit you like men. By the
     memory of your fathers’ 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 old cry, now waxing almost frantic, mutinous: Arms! Arms!
     Provost Flesselles, or what traitors there are among you, may
     think of those Charleville Boxes. A hundred-and-fifty thousand of
     us; and but the third man furnished with so much as a pike! Arms
     are the one thing 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 lie muskets at the _Hôtel des Invalides_. Thither will we:
     King’s Procureur M. Ethys de Corny, and whatsoever of authority a
     Permanent Committee can lend, shall go with us. Besenval’s Camp
     is there; perhaps he will not fire on us; if he kill us we shall
     but die.
     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, oblivious in the _Ecole Militaire_,
     a “figure” stood suddenly at his bedside: “with face rather
     handsome; eyes inflamed, speech rapid and curt, air audacious:”
     such a figure drew Priam’s curtains! The message and monition of
     the figure was, that resistance would be hopeless; that if blood
     flowed, wo to him who shed it. Thus spoke the figure; and
     vanished. “Withal there was a kind of eloquence that struck one.”
     Besenval admits that he should have arrested him, but did
     not.[180] Who this figure, with inflamed eyes, with speech rapid
     and curt, might be? Besenval knows but mentions not. Camille
     Desmoulins? Pythagorean Marquis Valadi, inflamed with “violent
     motions all night at the Palais Royal?” Fame names him, “Young M.
     Meillar”;[181] 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
     _Hôtel des Invalides;_ in search of the one thing needful. King’s
     procureur M. Ethys de Corny and officials are there; the Curé of
     Saint-Etienne du Mont marches unpacific, at the head of his
     militant Parish; the Clerks of the Bazoche in red coats we see
     marching, now Volunteers of the Bazoche; the Volunteers of the
     Palais Royal:—National Volunteers, 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 Invalide firing a shot; the gates must be flung open.
     Patriotism rushes in, tumultuous, from grundsel up to ridge-tile,
     through all rooms and passages; rummaging distractedly for arms.
     What cellar, or what cranny can escape it? The arms are found;
     all safe there; lying packed in straw,—apparently with a view to
     being burnt! More ravenous than famishing lions over dead prey,
     the multitude, with clangour and vociferation, pounces on them;
     struggling, dashing, clutching:—to the jamming-up, to the
     pressure, fracture and probable extinction, of the weaker
     Patriot.[182] And so, with such protracted crash of deafening,
     most discordant Orchestra-music, the Scene is changed: and
     eight-and-twenty thousand sufficient firelocks are on the
     shoulders of so many National Guards, lifted thereby out of
     darkness into fiery light.
     Let Besenval look at the glitter of these muskets, as they flash
     by! Gardes Françaises, it is said, have cannon levelled on him;
     ready to open, if need were, from the other side of the
     River.[183] Motionless sits he; “astonished,” one may flatter
     oneself, “at the proud bearing (_fière contenance_) of the
     Parisians.”—And now, to the Bastille, ye intrepid Parisians!
     There grapeshot still threatens; thither all men’s 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 Hôtel-de-Ville “invites” him to admit National
     Soldiers, which is a soft name for surrendering. On the other
     hand, His Majesty’s orders 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!
     All morning, since nine, there has been a cry everywhere: To the
     Bastille! Repeated “deputations of citizens” have been here,
     passionate 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 all duly levelled; in every
     embrasure a cannon,—only drawn back a little! But outwards
     behold, O Thuriot, how the multitude flows on, welling through
     every street; tocsin furiously pealing, all drums beating the
     _générale:_ the Suburb Saint-Antoine rolling hitherward wholly,
     as one man! Such vision (spectral yet real) thou, O Thuriot, as
     from thy Mount of Vision, beholdest in this moment: prophetic of
     what other Phantasmagories, and loud-gibbering Spectral
     Realities, which, thou yet beholdest not, but shalt! ‘_Que voulez
     vous?_’ said de Launay, turning pale at the sight, with an air of
     reproach, almost of menace. ‘Monsieur,’ said Thuriot, rising into
     the moral-sublime, ‘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; with warning addressed also to the Invalides,—on
     whom, however, it produces but a mixed indistinct impression. The
     old heads are none of the clearest; besides, it is said, de
     Launay has been profuse of beverages (_prodigua 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
     Wo to thee, de Launay, in such an hour, if thou canst not, taking
     some one firm decision, _rule_ circumstances! Soft speeches will
     not serve; hard grape-shot is questionable; but hovering between
     the two is _un_questionable. Ever wilder swells the tide of men;
     their infinite 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 _kindled_
     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 overhead, from the
     Fortress, let one great gun, with its grape-shot, go booming, to
     shew what we _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
     Dauphine; 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 Aubin Bonnemere (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’ musketry, 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!
     To describe this Siege of the Bastille (thought to be one of the
     most important in history) perhaps transcends the talent of
     mortals. Could one but, after infinite reading, get to understand
     so much as the plan of the building! But there is open Esplanade,
     at the end of the Rue Saint-Antoine; there are such Forecourts,
     _Cour Avancé, Cour de l’Orme_, 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 to four
     hundred and twenty;—beleaguered, in this its last hour, as we
     said, by mere Chaos come again! 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 a thing. Half-pay Elie is home for a suit of
     regimentals; no one would heed him in coloured clothes: half-pay
     Hulin is haranguing Gardes Françaises in the Place de Grève.
     Frantic Patriots pick up the grape-shots; bear them, still hot
     (or seemingly so), to the Hôtel-de-Ville:—Paris, you perceive, is
     to be burnt! Flesselles is “pale to the very lips” for the roar
     of the multitude grows deep. Paris wholly has got to the acme of
     its frenzy; whirled, all ways, by panic madness. At 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 impromptu cannoneer. See Georget, of the Marine
     Service, fresh from Brest, ply the King of Siam’s cannon.
     Singular (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 _him_, for a hundred years. Yet now, at
     the right instant, they have got together, and discourse eloquent
     music. For, hearing what was toward, Georget sprang from the
     Brest Diligence, and ran. Gardes Françaises also will be here,
     with real artillery: were not the walls so thick!—Upwards from
     the Esplanade, horizontally from all neighbouring roofs and
     windows, flashes one irregular deluge of musketry,—without
     effect. The Invalides lie flat, firing comparatively at their
     ease from behind stone; hardly through portholes, shew the tip of
     a nose. We fall, shot; and make no impression!
     Let conflagration rage; of whatsoever is combustible! Guard-rooms
     are burnt, Invalides mess-rooms. A distracted “Peruke-maker with
     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. A young beautiful
     lady, seized escaping in these Outer Courts, and thought falsely
     to be de Launay’s daughter, shall be burnt in de Launay’s sight;
     she lies swooned on a paillasse: but again a Patriot, it is brave
     Aubin Bonnemere the old soldier, dashes in, and rescues her.
     Straw is burnt; three cartloads of it, hauled thither, go up in
     white smoke: almost to the choking of Patriotism itself; so that
     Elie had, with singed brows, to drag back one cart; and Reole the
     “gigantic haberdasher” another. Smoke as of Tophet; confusion as
     of Babel; noise as of the Crack of Doom!
     Blood flows, the aliment of new madness. The wounded are carried
     into houses of the Rue Cerisaie; the dying leave their last
     mandate not to yield till the accursed Stronghold fall. And yet,
     alas, how fall? The walls are so thick! Deputations, three in
     number, arrive from the Hôtel-de-Ville; Abbé Fouchet (who was of
     one) can say, with what almost superhuman courage of
     benevolence.[184] These 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 knowledge
     propose _catapults_. Santerre, the sonorous Brewer of the Suburb
     Saint-Antoine, advises rather that the place be fired, by a
     “mixture of phosphorous and oil-of-turpentine spouted up through
     forcing pumps:” O 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.[185] Gardes Françaises have
     come: real cannon, real cannoneers. Usher Maillard is busy;
     half-pay Elie, half-pay Hulin rage in the midst of thousands.
     How the great Bastille Clock ticks (inaudible) in its Inner Court
     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 pointing 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.
     Wo 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, reconnoitring,
     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
     first, with lighted taper, within arm’s length of the
     Powder-Magazine; motionless, like old Roman Senator, or bronze
     Lamp-holder; coldly 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 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 Bazoche, Curé 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 of indignation palsies the strong soul;
     their howl of contumely withers with unfelt pangs? The Ritter
     Gluck confessed that the ground-tone 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 some where
     _beyond_ Time. De Launay could not do it. Distracted, he hovers
     between the two; hopes in the middle of despair; surrenders not
     his Fortress; declares that he will blow it up, seizes torches to
     blow it up, and does not blow it. Unhappy old de Launay, it is
     the death-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
     World-Chimaera, 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 perilous: such
     a Dove towards such an Ark! Deftly, thou shifty 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 Maillard bolting it when down;
     rushes-in the living deluge: the Bastille is fallen! _Victoire!
     La Bastille est prise!_[186]

     Chapter 1.5.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
     white canvas smocks; the Invalides without disguise; their arms
     all piled against the wall. The first rush of victors, in ecstacy
     that the death-peril is passed, “leaps joyfully on their necks;”
     but new victors rush, and ever new, also in ecstacy not wholly of
     joy. As we said, it was a living deluge, plunging headlong; had
     not the Gardes Françaises, 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
     uncontrollable, firing from windows—on itself: in hot frenzy of
     triumph, of grief and vengeance for its slain. The poor Invalides
     will fare ill; one Swiss, running off in his white smock, is
     driven back, with a death-thrust. Let all prisoners be marched to
     the Townhall, to be judged!—Alas, already one poor Invalide has
     his right hand slashed off him; his maimed body dragged to the
     Place de Grève, and hanged there. This same right hand, it is
     said, turned back de Launay from the Powder-Magazine, and saved
     De Launay, “discovered in gray frock with poppy-coloured riband,”
     is for killing himself with the sword of his cane. He shall to
     the Hôtel-de-Ville; Hulin Maillard and others escorting him; Elie
     marching foremost “with the capitulation-paper on his sword’s
     point.” Through roarings and cursings; through hustlings,
     clutchings, and at last through strokes! Your escort is hustled
     aside, felled down; Hulin sinks exhausted on a heap of stones.
     Miserable de Launay! He shall never enter the Hotel de Ville:
     only his “bloody hair-queue, held up in a bloody hand;” that
     shall enter, for a sign. The bleeding trunk lies on the steps
     there; the head is off through the streets; ghastly, aloft on a
     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 Grève 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 Françaises 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
     O evening sun of July, how, at this hour, thy beams fall slant on
     reapers amid peaceful woody fields; on old women spinning in
     cottages; on ships far out in the silent main; on Balls at the
     Orangerie of Versailles, where high-rouged Dames of the Palace
     are even now dancing with double-jacketted Hussar-Officers;—and
     also on this roaring Hell porch of a Hôtel-de-Ville! Babel Tower,
     with the confusion of tongues, were not Bedlam added with the
     conflagration of thoughts, was no type of it. One forest of
     distracted steel bristles, endless, in front of an Electoral
     Committee; points itself, in horrid radii, against this and the
     other accused breast. It was the Titans warring with Olympus; and
     they scarcely crediting it, have _conquered:_ prodigy of
     prodigies; delirious,—as it could not but be. Denunciation,
     vengeance; blaze of triumph on a dark ground of terror: all
     outward, all inward things fallen into one general wreck of
     Electoral Committee? Had it a thousand throats of brass, it would
     not suffice. Abbé Lefevre, in the Vaults down below, is black as
     Vulcan, distributing that “five thousand weight of Powder;” with
     what perils, these eight-and-forty hours! Last night, a Patriot,
     in liquor, insisted on sitting to smoke on the edge of one of the
     Powder-barrels; there smoked he, independent of the world,—till
     the Abbé “purchased his pipe for three francs,” and pitched it
     Elie, in the grand Hall, Electoral Committee looking on, sits
     “with drawn sword bent in three places;” with battered helm, for
     he was of the Queen’s Regiment, Cavalry; with torn regimentals,
     face singed and soiled; comparable, some think, to “an antique
     warrior;”—judging the people; forming a list of Bastille Heroes.
     O Friends, stain not with blood the greenest laurels ever gained
     in this world: such is the burden of Elie’s song; could it but be
     listened to. Courage, Elie! Courage, ye Municipal Electors! A
     declining sun; the need of victuals, and of telling news, will
     bring assuagement, dispersion: all earthly things must end.
     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 Garde Françaises, 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 at the Palais de Justice, when Fate
     overtook d’Espréménil; and now they have participated; and will
     participate. Not Gardes Françaises henceforth, but _Centre
     Grenadiers of the National Guard:_ men of iron discipline and
     humour,—not without a kind of thought in them!
     Likewise ashlar stones of the Bastille continue thundering
     through the dusk; its paper-archives shall fly white. Old secrets
     come to view; and long-buried Despair finds voice. Read this
     portion of an old Letter:[187] “If for my consolation Monseigneur
     would grant me for the sake of God and the Most Blessed Trinity,
     that I could have news of my dear wife; were it only her name on
     card to shew that she is alive! It were the greatest consolation
     I could receive; and I should for ever bless the greatness of
     Monseigneur.” Poor Prisoner, who namest thyself _Quéret Démery_,
     and hast no other history,—she is _dead_, that dear wife of
     thine, and thou art dead! ’Tis fifty years since thy breaking
     heart put this question; to be heard now first, and long heard,
     in the hearts of men.
     But so does the July twilight 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-Méry
     of tropical birth and heart, of coolest judgment; he, with two
     others, shall sit permanent at the Townhall. Paris sleeps; gleams
     upward the illuminated City: patrols go clashing, without common
     watchword; there go rumours; alarms of war, to the extent of
     “fifteen thousand men marching through the Suburb
     Saint-Antoine,”—who never got it marched through. Of the day’s
     distraction judge by this of the night: Moreau de Saint-Méry,
     “before rising from his seat, gave upwards of three thousand
     orders.”[188] What a head; comparable to Friar Bacon’s Brass
     Head! Within it lies all Paris. Prompt must the answer be, right
     or wrong; in Paris is no other Authority extant. Seriously, a
     most cool clear head;—for which also thou O brave Saint-Méry, 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.[189]
     Besenval has decamped, under cloud of dusk, “amid a great
     affluence of people,” who did not harm him; he marches, with
     faint-growing tread, down the left bank of the Seine, all
     night,—towards infinite space. Resummoned shall Besenval himself
     be; for trial, for difficult acquittal. His King’s-troops, his
     Royal Allemand, are gone hence for ever.
     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
     double-barrels 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 révolte_, Why, that is a revolt!’—‘Sire,’ answered
     Liancourt, ‘It is not a revolt, it is a revolution.’

     Chapter 1.5.VIII.
     Conquering your King.
     On the morrow a fourth Deputation to the Château is on foot: of a
     more solemn, not 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, step 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;” for all
     Versailles is crowding and shouting. The Château Musicians, with
     a felicitous promptitude, strike up the _Sein de sa Famille_
     (Bosom of one’s Family): the Queen appears at the balcony with
     her little 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-Earth.
     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
     Hôtel-de-Ville, it is one sea of Tricolor cockades, of clear
     National muskets; one tempest of huzzaings, hand-clappings, aided
     by “occasional rollings” of drum-music. Harangues of due fervour
     are delivered; especially by Lally Tollendal, pious son of the
     ill-fated murdered Lally; on whose head, in consequence, a civic
     crown (of oak or parsley) is forced,—which he forcibly transfers
     to Bailly’s.
     But surely, for one thing, the National Guard must have a
     General! Moreau de Saint-Méry, 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 quasi-traitor Flesselles, President
     Bailly shall be—Provost of the Merchants? No: Mayor of Paris! So
     be it. _Maire de Paris!_ Mayor Bailly, General Lafayette; _vive
     Bailly, vive Lafayette_—the universal out-of-doors multitude
     rends the welkin in confirmation.—And now, finally, let us to
     Notre-Dame for a _Te Deum._
     Towards Notre-Dame Cathedral, in glad procession, these
     Regenerators of the Country walk, through a jubilant people; in
     fraternal manner; Abbé 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, 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
     Seeing which course of things, Messeigneurs of the Court
     Triumvirate, Messieurs of the dead-born Broglie-Ministry, and
     others such, consider that their part also is clear: to mount and
     ride. Off, ye too-loyal Broglies, Polignacs, and Princes of the
     Blood; off while it is yet time! 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 can be
     depended on, Messeigneurs, between the 16th night and the 17th
     morning, get to their several roads. Not without risk! Prince
     Condé has (or seems to have) “men galloping at full speed;” with
     a view, it is thought, to fling him into the river Oise, at
     Pont-Sainte-Mayence.[190] 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, and 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.
     The Emigration is not gone many miles, Prince Condé 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 Sèvres, poor Louis
     sets out; leaving a desolate Palace; a Queen weeping, the
     Present, the Past, and the Future all so unfriendly 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 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 Roi_). 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
     Tollendal, 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 Tricolor
     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.
     It was Sunday when the red-hot balls hung over us, in mid air: it
     is now 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 powder-plots (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 Château; murmuring sheer speculative-treason.[191]

     Chapter 1.5.IX.
     The Lanterne.
     The Fall of the Bastille may be said to have shaken all France to
     the deepest foundations of its existence. The rumour of these
     wonders flies every where: with the natural speed of Rumour; with
     an effect thought to be preternatural, produced by plots. Did
     d’Orléans or 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 will call in
     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 arrive, in these days of terror,—“men,” as men will
     arrive; nay, “men on horseback,” since Rumour oftenest travels
     riding. These men declare, with 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 everywhere an enrolled
     National Guard. Thus rides Rumour, careering along all radii,
     from Paris outwards, to such purpose: in few days, some say in
     not many hours, all France to the utmost borders bristles with
     bayonets. Singular, but undeniable,—miraculous or not!—But thus
     may any chemical liquid; though cooled to the freezing-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 a
     Bastille, it instantaneously congeals: into one crystallised
     mass, of sharp-cutting steel! _Guai a chi la tocca;_ ’Ware who
     touches it!
     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.” Unenrolled 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, when 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!—It is even so. The deceptive “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 Foulon, 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 Hôtel-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 unpitied of all old men.
     Sooty Saint-Antoine, and every street, mustering its crowds as he
     passes,—the Place de Grève, the Hall of the Hôtel-de-Ville 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![193]
     Electoral rhetoric, eloquence of Mayor Bailly, is wasted
     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 out of him,—in the Abbaye Prison? It
     is a new light! Sansculottism claps hands;—at which
     hand-clapping, Foulon (in his fainness, as his Destiny would have
     it) also claps. ‘See! they understand one 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 Grève, to the
     “_Lanterne_,” 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; his Head goes aloft on a pike,
     the mouth filled with grass: amid sounds as of Tophet, from a
     grass-eating people.[194]
     Surely if Revenge is a “kind of Justice,” it is a “wild” kind! O
     mad 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, in _this_ manner? After long dumb-groaning
     generations, has the turn suddenly become thine?—To such abysmal
     overturns, and frightful instantaneous inversions of the
     centre-of-gravity, are human Solecisms all liable, if they but
     knew it; the more liable, the falser (and topheavier) they are!—
     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 Compiègne. 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 blood up! The
     shuddering Municipals send one of their number to escort him,
     with mounted National Guards.
     At the fall of day, the wretched Berthier, still wearing a face
     of courage, arrives at the Barrier; in an open carriage; with the
     Municipal beside him; five hundred horsemen with drawn sabres;
     unarmed footmen enough, not without noise! Placards go brandished
     round him; bearing legibly his indictment, as Sansculottism, with
     unlegal brevity, “in huge letters,” draws it up.[195] Paris is
     come forth to meet him: with hand-clappings, with windows flung
     up; with dances, triumph-songs, as of the Furies! Lastly the Head
     of Foulon: this also meets him on a pike. Well might his “look
     become glazed,” and sense fail him, at such sight!—Nevertheless,
     be the man’s conscience what it may, his nerves are of iron. At
     the Hôtel-de-Ville, he will answer nothing. He says, he obeyed
     superior order; they have his papers; they may judge and
     determine: as for himself, not having closed an eye these two
     nights, he demands, before all things, to have sleep. Leaden
     sleep, thou miserable Berthier! Guards rise with him, in motion
     towards the Abbaye. At the very door of the Hôtel-de-Ville, they
     are clutched; flung asunder, as by a vortex of mad arms; Berthier
     whirls towards the Lanterne. He snatches a musket; fells and
     strikes, defending himself like a mad lion; is borne down,
     trampled, hanged, mangled: his Head too, and even his Heart,
     flies over the City on a pike.
     Horrible, in Lands that had known equal justice! Not so unnatural
     in Lands that had never known it. _Le sang qui coule est-il donc
     si pure?_ 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,—_it_ still sticks there: still holding out an ineffectual
     light, of fish-oil; and has seen worlds wrecked, and says
     But to the eye of enlightened Patriotism, what a thunder-cloud
     was this; suddenly shaping itself in the radiance of the halcyon
     weather! Cloud of Erebus blackness: betokening latent electricity
     without limit. Mayor Bailly, 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_ 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 Municipals. Crowds of
     the curious roam through its caverns; gaze on the skeletons found
     walled up, on the _oubliettes_, iron cages, monstrous
     stone-blocks with padlock chains. One day we discern Mirabeau
     there; along with the Genevese Dumont.[196] Workers and onlookers
     make reverent way for him; fling verses, flowers on his path,
     Bastille-papers and curiosities into his carriage, with _vivats._
     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 Louis Seize_;[197] the
     soul of it living, perhaps still longer, in the memories of men.
     So far, ye august Senators, with your Tennis-Court Oaths, your
     inertia and impetus, your sagacity and pertinacity, have ye
     brought us. ‘And yet think, Messieurs,’ as the Petitioner justly
     urged, ‘you who were our saviours, did yourselves need
     saviours,’—the brave Bastillers, namely; workmen of Paris; many
     of them in straightened pecuniary circumstances! [198]
     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 Eighty-three 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-mort_) on the battlements;[199] The Bastille Fortress,
     like the City of Jericho, was overturned by miraculous _sound._

     BOOK VI.

     Chapter 1.6.I.
     Make the Constitution.
     Here perhaps is the place to fix, a little more precisely, what
     these 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 nothing else conceivable. Revolution, you
     answer, means _speedier_ 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 become such? It is a thing
     that will depend on definition more or 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, enveloping a world; 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, Sansculottism, French Revolution,
     Horrors of French Revolution, or what else mortals name it,
     should have its turn. The “destructive wrath” of Sansculottism:
     this is what we speak, having unhappily no voice for singing.
     Surely a great Phenomenon: nay it is a _transcendental_ one,
     overstepping all rules and experience; the crowning Phenomenon of
     our Modern Time. For here again, most unexpectedly, comes antique
     Fanaticism in new and newest vesture; miraculous, as all
     Fanaticism is. Call it the Fanaticism of “making away with
     formulas, _de humer les formules_.” The world of formulas, the
     _formed_ regulated world, which 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. The 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
     which 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 men were buckram masks that went about becking and
     grimacing there,—on a sudden, the Earth yawns asunder, and amid
     Tartarean smoke, and glare of fierce brightness, rises
     SANSCULOTTISM, many-headed, fire-breathing, and asks: What think
     ye of _me?_ Well may the buckram masks start together,
     terror-struck; “into expressive well-concerted 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. Wo also to many
     a one who is not wholly buckram, but partially real and human!
     The age of Miracles has come back! “Behold the World-Phoenix, 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 Death-Birth of a World!”
     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 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 falser,—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 to praise Him.—But
     to gauge and measure this immeasurable Thing, and what is called
     _account for it_, and reduce it to a dead logic-formula, attempt
     not! Much less shalt thou shriek thyself hoarse, cursing it; for
     that, to all needful lengths, has been already done. As an
     actually existing Son of Time, _look_, with unspeakable manifold
     interest, oftenest in silence, at what the Time did bring:
     therewith edify, instruct, nourish thyself, or were it but to
     amuse and gratify thyself, as it is given thee.
     Another question which at every new turn will rise on us,
     requiring ever new reply is this: Where the French Revolution
     specially _is?_ 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, Histoires Parlementaires_ 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 vision it may best be
     surveyed: this is a problem. Which 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-borne _Carroccio_, though
     now no longer in the van; and rings signals for retreat or for
     advance,—it is and 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
     fruitfuller sort; and its loud debatings and 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!_”
     A Constitution can be built, Constitutions enough _à la Sieyes:_
     but the frightful difficulty is that of getting men to come and
     live in them! Could Sieyes have drawn thunder and lightning out
     of Heaven to sanction his Constitution, it had been well: but
     without any thunder? Nay, strictly considered, is it not still
     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 waste-paper it is written on? The
     Constitution, 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_-made, are usurpations; which men do not
     obey, but rebel against, and abolish, by their earliest
     The question of questions accordingly were, Who is it that
     especially for rebellers and abolishers, can make a Constitution?
     He that can image forth the general Belief when there is one;
     that can impart one when, as here, there is none. A most rare
     man; ever as of old a god-missioned man! Here, however, in defect
     of such transcendent 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 royal Sceptre was from the first
     something of a Hammer, to _crack_ such heads as could not be
     convinced) will all along find somewhat to do. And thus in
     perpetual abolition and 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. O Sieyes, and ye other Committeemen, 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, a
     No-Constitution, an Anarchy;—which also, in due season, shall be
     vouchsafed you.
     But, after all, what can an unfortunate National Assembly do?
     Consider only this, that there are Twelve Hundred miscellaneous
     individuals; not a unit of whom but has his own
     thinking-apparatus, his own speaking-apparatus! In every unit of
     them is some belief and 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
     endless labour and clangour, Nothing? Are Representative
     Governments mostly at bottom Tyrannies too! Shall we say, the
     _Tyrants_, the ambitious contentious Persons, from all corners of
     the country do, in this manner, get gathered into one place; and
     there, with motion 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, recognised 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
     as well. Besides they do it now in a much narrower cockpit;
     within the four walls of their Assembly House, and here and there
     an outpost of Hustings and Barrel-heads; do it with tongues too,
     not with swords:—all 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 governing.—What Sphinx-questions; which
     the distracted world, in these very generations, must answer or

     Chapter 1.6.II.
     The Constituent Assembly.
     One thing an elected Assembly of Twelve Hundred is fit for:
     Destroying. Which indeed is but a more decided exercise of its
     natural talent for 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 all functions the most opposite to
     that. Singular, what Gospels men will believe; even Gospels
     according to Jean Jacques! It was the fixed Faith of these
     National Deputies, as of all thinking Frenchmen, 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 otherwise light unbelieving People
     persist in this their _Credo quia impossibile;_ and front the
     armed world with it; and grow fanatic, and even heroic, and do
     exploits by it! The Constituent Assembly’s Constitution, and
     several others, will, being printed 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
     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 wisdom 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
     Grant, meanwhile, that this Constituent Assembly does to the last
     continue to be something. With a sigh, it sees itself incessantly
     forced away from its infinite 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 its control; all
     men look to it for guidance. In the middle of that huge Revolt of
     Twenty-five millions, it hovers always aloft as _Carroccio_ or
     Battle-Standard, impelling and impelled, in the most confused
     way; if it cannot give much guidance, it will still seem to give
     some. It emits pacificatory Proclamations, not a few; with more
     or with less result. It authorises the enrolment of National
     Guards,—lest Brigands come to devour us, and reap the unripe
     crops. It sends missions to quell “effervescences;” to deliver
     men from the Lanterne. It can listen to 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 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 Parliamentary Eloquence, in bursts, or in plenteous
     smooth-flowing floods. And so, from the waste vortex whereon all
     things go whirling and grinding, Organic Laws, or the similitude
     of such, slowly emerge.
     With endless debating, we get the _Rights of Man_ written down
     and promulgated: true paper basis of all paper Constitutions.
     Neglecting, cry the opponents, to declare the Duties of Man!
     Forgetting, 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 get through whole masses of work
     in one night. A memorable night, this Fourth of August:
     Dignitaries temporal and spiritual; Peers, 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 vivats, for indeed it is “after dinner” too,—they abolish
     Tithes, Seignorial Dues, Gabelle, excessive Preservation of Game;
     nay Privilege, Immunity, Feudalism root and branch; then appoint
     a _Te Deum_ for it; and so, finally, disperse about three in the
     morning, striking the stars with their sublime heads. Such night,
     unforeseen but for ever memorable, was this of the Fourth of
     August 1789. Miraculous, or semi-miraculous, some seem to think
     it. A new Night of Pentecost, shall we say, shaped according to
     the new Time, and new Church of Jean Jacques Rousseau? It had its
     causes; also its effects.
     In such manner labour the National Deputies; perfecting their
     Theory of Irregular Verbs; governing France, and being governed
     by it; with toil and noise;—cutting asunder ancient intolerable
     bonds; and, for new ones, assiduously spinning ropes of sand.
     Were their 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 will be found, as is natural, “most irregular.” As many as “a
     hundred members are on their feet at once;” no rule in making
     motions, or only commencements of a rule; Spectators’ Gallery
     allowed to applaud, and even to hiss;[200] President, appointed
     once a fortnight, raising many times no serene head above the
     waves. Nevertheless, as in all human Assemblages, like does begin
     arranging itself to like; the perennial rule, _Ubi homines sunt
     modi sunt_, proves valid. Rudiments of Methods disclose
     themselves; rudiments of Parties. There is a Right Side (_Côté
     Droit_), a Left Side (_Côté Gauche_); sitting on M. le
     President’s right hand, or on his left: the _Côté Droit_
     conservative; the _Côté Gauche_ destructive. Intermediate is
     Anglomaniac Constitutionalism, or Two-Chamber Royalism; with its
     Mouniers, its Lallys,—fast verging towards nonentity. Preeminent,
     on the Right Side, pleads and perorates Cazalès, 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’Espréménil does
     nothing but sniff and ejaculate; _might_, it is fondly thought,
     lay prostrate the Elder Mirabeau himself, would he but
     try,[201]—which he does not. Last and greatest, see, for one
     moment, the Abbé 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 much,
     you will get cut.’[202]
     The Left side is also called the d’Orléans side; and sometimes
     derisively, the Palais Royal. And yet, so confused,
     real-imaginary seems everything, “it is doubtful,” as Mirabeau
     said, “whether d’Orléans himself belong to that same d’Orléans
     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.[203] 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.’
     Abbé Sieyes is busy with mere Constitutional work: wherein,
     unluckily, fellow-workmen are less pliable than, with one who has
     completed the Science of Polity, they ought to be. Courage,
     Sieyes 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, Lameth does it.”[204]
     But royal Mirabeau? Conspicuous among all parties, raised above
     and beyond them all, this man rises more and more. As we often
     say, he has an _eye_, he is a reality; while others are formulas
     and _eye_-glasses. In the Transient he will detect the Perennial,
     find some firm footing even among Paper-vortexes. His fame is
     gone forth to all lands; it gladdened the heart of the crabbed
     old Friend of Men 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, _mais mon mirabeau est
     And now, Reader, thou shalt quit this noisy Discrepancy of a
     National Assembly; not (if thou be of humane mind) without pity.
     Twelve Hundred brother men are there, in the centre of
     Twenty-five Millions; fighting so fiercely with Fate and with one
     another; struggling their lives out, as most sons of Adam do, for
     that which profiteth not. Nay, on the whole, it is admitted
     further to be very _dull_. ‘Dull as this day’s Assembly,’ said
     some one. ‘Why date, _Pourquoi dater?_’ answered Mirabeau.
     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, unattainable silence may well
     seem the one blessing of Life. But figure Twelve Hundred
     pamphleteers; droning forth perpetual pamphlets: and no man to
     gag them! Neither, as in the American Congress, do the
     arrangements seem perfect. A Senator has not his own Desk and
     Newspaper here; of Tobacco (much less of Pipes) there is not the
     slightest provision. Conversation itself must be transacted in a
     low tone, with continual interruption: only “pencil Notes”
     circulate freely; “in incredible numbers to the foot of the very
     tribune.”[206]—Such work is it, regenerating a Nation; perfecting
     one’s Theory of Irregular Verbs!

     Chapter 1.6.III.
     The General Overturn.
     Of the King’s Court, for the present, there is almost nothing
     whatever to be said. Silent, deserted are these halls; Royalty
     languishes forsaken of its war-god and all its hopes, till once
     the Œil-de-Bœuf rally again. The sceptre is departed from King
     Louis; is gone over to the _Salles des Menus_, to the Paris
     Townhall, or one knows not whither. In 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 grown 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
     Poor King; for French Kings also are men! Louis Fourteenth
     himself once clutched the tongs, and even smote with them; but
     then it was at Louvois, and Dame Maintenon ran up.—The Queen sits
     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 Château
     Polignac still frowns aloft, on its “bold and enormous” cubical
     rock, amid the blooming champaigns, amid the blue girdling
     mountains of Auvergne:[208] 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;[209] in an astonishment he will never recover from; the most
     confused of existing mortals?
     King Louis has his new Ministry: mere Popularities; Old-President
     Pompignan; Necker, coming back in triumph; and other such.[210]
     But what will it avail him? As was said, the sceptre, all but the
     wooden gilt sceptre, has departed elsewhither. Volition,
     determination is not in this man: only innocence, 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!
     But over France, there goes on the indisputablest “destruction of
     formulas;” transaction of realities that follow therefrom. So
     many millions of persons, all gyved, 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’Orléans; 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.[211] 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? Hunger and Darkness, through
     long years! For look back on that earlier Paris Riot, when a
     Great Personage, worn out by debauchery, was believed to be in
     want of Blood-baths; and Mothers, in worn raiment, yet with
     living hearts under it, “filled the public places” with their
     wild Rachel-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 (_souffre-douleur_) 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.”[212] 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 man would listen to, that
     “such Government by Blind-man’s-buff, stumbling along too far,
     would end by the General Overturn, the _Culbute Générale!_”
     No man would listen, each went his thoughtless way;—and Time and
     Destiny also travelled on. The Government by 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,[213] 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, Oat-sacks to that; King’s taxes,
     Statute-labour, Church-taxes, taxes enough;—and think the times
     inexpressible. She has heard that some_where_, in some manner,
     some_thing_ is to be done for the poor: ‘God send it soon; for
     the dues and taxes crush us down (_nous écrasent_)!’[214]
     Fair prophecies are spoken, but they are not fulfilled. There
     have been Notables, Assemblages, turnings out and comings in.
     Intriguing and manœuvring; 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 hâves_); in woollen jupes,
     with copper-studded leather girths, and high sabots,—starting up
     to ask, as in forest-roarings, 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 is _nothing in us;_ nothing but what Nature gives
     her wild children of the desert: Ferocity and Appetite; 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 of Man.
     Seventy-two Châteaus have flamed aloft in the Maconnais and
     Beaujolais alone: this seems the centre of the conflagration; but
     it has spread over Dauphiné, Alsace, the Lyonnais; the whole
     South-East is in a blaze. All over the North, from Rouen to Metz,
     disorder is abroad: smugglers of salt go openly in armed bands:
     the barriers of towns are burnt; toll-gatherers, tax-gatherers,
     official persons put to flight. “It was thought,” says Young,
     “the people, from hunger, would revolt;” 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.[215] Ferocity, atrocity; hunger and revenge: such work as
     we can imagine!
     Ill stands it now with the 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 well. Churches also, and Canonries, are sacked,
     without mercy; which have shorn the flock too close, forgetting
     to feed it. Wo to the land over which Sansculottism, in its day
     of vengeance, tramps roughshod,—shod in sabots! Highbred
     Seigneurs, with their delicate women and 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’hôte_ of inns; making
     wise reflections or foolish that “rank is destroyed;” uncertain
     whither they shall now wend.[216] The _métayer_ 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 will not “fill up the Deficit,” this
     season: it is the notion of many that 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 prophecy; whither all
     Delusions are, at all moments, travelling; where this Delusion
     has now arrived. For if there be a Faith, from of old, it is
     this, as we often repeat, that no Lie can live for ever. The very
     Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born
     again. But all Lies have sentence of death written down against
     them, and Heaven’s Chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance
     incessantly towards their hour. “The sign of a Grand Seigneur
     being landlord,” says the vehement plain-spoken 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 would be industrious, all idle and starving: Oh, if I were
     legislator of France, for one day, I would make these great lords
     skip again!”[217] 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
     method. Consider it, look at it! The widow is gathering nettles
     for her children’s dinner; a perfumed Seigneur, delicately
     lounging in the Œil-de-Bœuf, has an alchemy whereby he will
     extract from her the third nettle, and name it Rent and Law: such
     an arrangement must end. Ought it? But, O most fearful is _such_
     an ending! Let those, to whom God, in His great mercy, has
     granted time and space, prepare another and milder one.
     To some it is a matter of wonder that the Seigneurs did not do
     something to help themselves; say, combine, and arm: for there
     were a “hundred and fifty thousand of them,” all violent enough.
     Unhappily, a hundred and fifty thousand, scattered over wide
     Provinces, divided by mutual ill-will, cannot combine. The
     highest Seigneurs, as we have seen, had already emigrated,—with a
     view of putting France to the blush. Neither are arms now the
     peculiar property of Seigneurs; but of every mortal who has ten
     shillings, wherewith to buy a secondhand firelock.
     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
     Seigneurs; and a Seigneur too has human bowels!—The Seigneurs did
     what they could; enrolled in National Guards; fled, with shrieks,
     complaining to Heaven and Earth. One Seigneur, famed Memmay of
     Quincey, near Vesoul, invited all the rustics of his
     neighbourhood to a banquet; blew up his Château and them with
     gunpowder; and instantaneously vanished, no man yet knows
     whither.[218] Some half dozen 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 _Marechaussées_, 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 its own behoof, as many as twenty. The
     Prévôt of Dauphiné traverses the country “with a movable column,”
     with tipstaves, gallows-ropes; for gallows any tree will serve,
     and suspend its culprit, or “thirteen” culprits.
     Unhappy country! How is the fair gold-and-green of the ripe
     bright Year defaced with horrid blackness: black ashes of
     Châteaus, black bodies of gibetted 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: here impotent, there tyrannous.
     National Guards are unskilful, and of 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
     Through the middle of all which phenomena, is seen, on his
     triumphant transit, “escorted,” through Béfort for instance, “by
     fifty National Horsemen and all the military music of the
     place,”—M. Necker, returning from Bale! Glorious as the meridian;
     though poor Necker himself partly guesses whither it is
     leading.[220] 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 days, and ever
     lower, down even to lowest! Such magic is in a name; and in the
     want of a name. Like some enchanted Mambrino’s Helmet, essential
     to victory, comes this “Saviour of France;” beshouted,
     becymballed by the world:—alas, so soon, to be _dis_enchanted, 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 mortuum_, by Ambition,
     unsuccessful or successful.[221]
     Another small phasis we add, and no more: how, in the Autumn
     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 chaise and about my ears;” all the mob of the
     country gone out to kill game![222] 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 flights of French
     Seigneurs; emigrant winged flights of French Game! Finished, one
     may say, or as good as finished, is the Preservation of Game on
     this Earth; completed for endless Time. What part it had to play
     in the History of Civilisation is played _plaudite; exeat!_
     In this manner does Sansculottism blaze up, illustrating many
     things;—producing, among the rest, as we saw, on the Fourth of
     August, that semi-miraculous Night of Pentecost in the National
     Assembly; semi miraculous, 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; will be got
     scattered, to the West, or elsewhither: extinguish it will not,
     till the _fuel_ be all done.

     Chapter 1.6.IV.
     In Queue.
     If we look now at Paris, one thing is too evident: that the
     Baker’s shops have got their _Queues_, or Tails; their long
     strings of purchasers, arranged _in tail_, so that the first come
     be the first served,—were the shop once open! This waiting in
     tail, not seen since the early days of July, again makes its
     appearance in August. In time, we shall see it perfected by
     practice to the rank almost of an art; and the art, or quasi-art,
     of standing in tail become one of the characteristics of the
     Parisian People, distinguishing them from all other Peoples
     But consider, while work 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 bread! Controversies, to the length,
     sometimes of blood and battery, must arise in these exasperated
     Queues. Or if no controversy, then it is but one accordant _Pange
     Lingua_ of complaint against the Powers that be. France has begun
     her long Curriculum of Hungering, instructive 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
     general, the aspect of 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
     tricolor; moving with song and tabor, to the Shrine of Sainte
     Genevieve, 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. Abbé Fauchet, famed in such work (for Abbé Lefevre
     could only distribute powder) blesses tricolor cloth for the
     National Guard; and makes it a National Tricolor Flag;
     victorious, or to be victorious, in the cause of civil and
     religious liberty all over the world. Fauchet, we say, is the man
     for _Te-Deums_, 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;[223] filling
     Notre Dame with such noisiest fuliginous Amen, 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
     beefeaters and sumptuosity; Camille Desmoulins, and others,
     sniffing at him for it: Scipio bestrides the “white charger,” and
     waves with civic plumes in sight 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 tenpence
     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 August, there is food for one day.[224]
     Complaints there are that the food is spoiled, and produces an
     effect on the intestines: not corn but plaster-of-Paris! Which
     effect on the intestines, as well as that “smarting in the throat
     and palate,” a Townhall Proclamation warns 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.[225] Busy are
     ye, Bailly, Brissot de Warville, Condorcet, and ye others!
     For, as just hinted, there is a Municipal Constitution to be made
     too. The old Bastille Electors, after some ten days of
     psalmodying over their glorious victory, began to hear it asked,
     in a splenetic tone, Who put you there? They accordingly had to
     give place, not without moanings, and audible growlings on both
     sides, to a new larger Body, specially elected for that post.
     Which new Body, augmented, altered, then fixed finally at the
     number of Three Hundred, with the title of Town Representatives
     (_Représentans de la Commune_), now sits there; rightly portioned
     into Committees; assiduous making a Constitution; at all moments
     when not seeking flour.
     And such a Constitution; little short of miraculous: one that
     shall “consolidate the Revolution”! The Revolution is finished,
     then? Mayor Bailly and all respectable friends of Freedom would
     fain think so. Your Revolution, like jelly sufficiently _boiled_,
     needs only to be poured into _shapes_, of Constitution, and
     “consolidated” therein? Could it, indeed, contrive to _cool;_
     which last, however, is precisely the doubtful thing, or even the
     not doubtful!
     Unhappy friends of Freedom; consolidating a Revolution! They must
     sit at work there, their pavilion spread on very Chaos; between
     two hostile worlds, the Upper Court-world, the Nether
     Sansculottic one; and, beaten on by both, toil painfully,
     perilously,—doing, in sad literal earnest, “the impossible.”

     Chapter 1.6.V.
     The Fourth Estate.
     Pamphleteering opens its abysmal throat wider and wider: never to
     close more. Our Philosophes, indeed, rather withdraw; after the
     manner of Marmontel, “retiring in disgust the first day.” Abbé
     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 Fourth of August: it is
     clearly going too far. How astonishing that 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 circulate on street and highway, universally;
     with results! A Fourth Estate, of Able Editors, springs up;
     increases and multiplies; irrepressible, incalculable. New
     Printers, new Journals, and ever new (so prurient is the world),
     let our Three Hundred curb and consolidate as they can!
     Loustalot, under the wing of Prudhomme dull-blustering Printer,
     edits weekly his _Révolutions de Paris;_ in an acrid, emphatic
     manner. Acrid, corrosive, as the spirit of sloes and copperas, is
     Marat, _Friend of the 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 little other than babblers and
     imbeciles, if not even knaves. Poor is this man; squalid, and
     dwells in garrets; a man unlovely to the sense, outward and
     inward; a man forbid;—and is becoming fanatical, possessed with
     fixed-idea. Cruel _lusus_ of Nature! Did Nature, O poor Marat, as
     in cruel sport, knead thee out of her _leavings_, and
     miscellaneous waste clay; and fling thee forth stepdamelike, a
     Distraction into this distracted Eighteenth Century? Work is
     appointed thee there; which thou shalt do. The Three Hundred have
     summoned and will again summon Marat: but always he croaks forth
     answer sufficient; always he will defy them, or elude them; and
     endure no gag.
     Carra, “Ex-secretary of a decapitated Hospodar,” and then of a
     Necklace-Cardinal; likewise pamphleteer, Adventurer in many
     scenes and lands,—draws nigh to Mercier, of the _Tableau de
     Paris;_ and, with foam on his lips, proposes an _Annales
     Patriotiques_. The _Moniteur_ goes its prosperous way; Barrère
     “weeps,” on Paper as yet loyal; Rivarol, Royou are not idle. Deep
     calls to deep: your _Domine Salvum Fac Regem_ shall awaken _Pange
     Lingua;_ with an _Ami-du-Peuple_ there is a King’s-Friend
     Newspaper, _Ami-du-Roi_. Camille Desmoulins has appointed himself
     _Procureur-Général de la Lanterne_, Attorney-General of the
     Lamp-iron; and pleads, _not_ with atrocity, under an atrocious
     title; editing weekly his brilliant _Revolutions of Paris and
     Brabant_. 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 greet thee, be sure it is Camille’s. The
     thing that Camille teaches he, with his light 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,
     rebellious, yet still semi-celestial light; as is the star-light
     on the brow of Lucifer! Son of the Morning, into what times and
     what lands, art thou fallen!
     But in all things is good;—though not good for “consolidating
     Revolutions.” Thousand wagon-loads of this Pamphleteering and
     Newspaper matter, lie rotting slowly in the Public Libraries of
     our 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.
     Nor has public speaking declined, though Lafayette and his
     Patrols look sour on it. Loud always is the Palais Royal, loudest
     the Café de Foy; such a miscellany of Citizens and Citizenesses
     circulating there. “Now and then,” according to Camille, “some
     Citizens employ the liberty of the _press_ for a private purpose;
     so that this or the other Patriot finds himself short of his
     watch or pocket-handkerchief!” But, for the rest, in Camille’s
     opinion, nothing can be a livelier image of the Roman Forum. “A
     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
     Saint-Huruge, a man that has had losses, and has deserved them,
     is seen eminent, and also heard. “Bellowing” is the character of
     his voice, like 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
     Consider farther 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 _strike_, 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.[226] All these, having struck, must speak; generally under
     the open canopy; and pass resolutions;—Lafayette and his Patrols
     watching them suspiciously 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 Three Hundred;
     none equals Scipio Americanus in dealing with mobs. But surely
     all these things bode ill for the consolidating of a Revolution.

     BOOK VII.

     Chapter 1.7.I.
     No, Friends, this Revolution is not of the consolidating kind. Do
     not fires, fevers, sown seeds, chemical mixtures, men, events;
     all embodiments 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 decline; finally sink under,
     vanishing, and what we call _die?_ They all grow; there is
     nothing but what grows, and shoots forth into its special
     expansion,—once give it leave to spring. Observe too that each
     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 Châteaus, 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 the rapidity and monstrosity
     would be extreme.
     Many things too, especially all diseased things, grow by shoots
     and fits. The first grand fit and shooting forth of Sansculottism
     with that of Paris conquering its King; for Bailly’s figure of
     rhetoric was all-too sad a reality. The King is conquered; going
     at large on his parole; on condition, say, of absolutely good
     behaviour,—which, in these circumstances, will unhappily mean no
     behaviour whatever. A quite untenable position, that of Majesty
     put on its good behaviour! Alas, is it not natural that whatever
     lives try to keep itself living? Whereupon his Majesty’s
     behaviour will soon become exceptionable; and so the Second grand
     Fit of Sansculottism, that of putting him in durance, cannot be
     Necker, in the National Assembly, is making moan, as usual about
     his Deficit: Barriers and Customhouses burnt; the Tax-gatherer
     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 Stockjobbers 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 patriotism burns in many a heart; penetrating inwards to the
     very purse! So early as the 7th of August, a _Don Patriotique_,
     “a Patriotic Gift of jewels to a considerable extent,” has been
     solemnly made by certain Parisian women; and solemnly accepted,
     with honourable mention. Whom forthwith all the world takes to
     imitating and emulating. Patriotic Gifts, always with some heroic
     eloquence, which the 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 gives its shoebuckles, takes cheerfully to
     shoe-ties. Unfortunate females give what they “have amassed in
     loving.”[227] The smell of all cash, as Vespasian thought, is
     Beautiful, and yet inadequate! The Clergy must be “invited” to
     melt their superfluous Church-plate,—in the Royal Mint. Nay
     finally, a Patriotic Contribution, of the forcible sort, must be
     determined on, though unwillingly: let the fourth part of your
     declared yearly revenue, for this once only, be paid down; so
     shall a National Assembly make the Constitution, undistracted at
     least by insolvency. Their own wages, as settled on the 17th of
     August, are but Eighteen Francs a day, each man; but the Public
     Service must have sinews, must have money. To _appease_ the
     Deficit; not to “_combler_, or choke the Deficit,” if you or
     mortal could! For withal, as Mirabeau was heard saying, ‘it is
     the Deficit that saves us.’
     Towards the end of August, our National Assembly in its
     constitutional labours, has got so far as the question of _Veto:_
     shall Majesty have a Veto on the National Enactments; or not have
     a Veto? What speeches were spoken, within doors and without;
     clear, and also passionate logic; imprecations, comminations;
     gone happily, for most part, to Limbo! Through the cracked brain,
     and uncracked lungs of Saint-Huruge, the Palais Royal rebellows
     with Veto. Journalism is busy, France rings with Veto. “I shall
     never forget,” says Dumont, “my going to Paris, one of these
     days, with 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 in their eyes not
     to suffer the _Veto Absolu_. They were in a frenzy: ‘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.’”[228] Friends, _if_ the sky fall,
     there will be catching of larks! Mirabeau, adds Dumont, was
     eminent on such occasions: he answered vaguely, with a Patrician
     imperturbability, and bound himself to nothing.
     Deputations go to the Hôtel-de-Ville; anonymous Letters to
     Aristocrats in the National Assembly, threatening that fifteen
     thousand, or sometimes that sixty thousand, “will march to
     illuminate you.” The Paris Districts are astir; Petitions
     signing: Saint-Huruge sets forth from the Palais Royal, with an
     escort of fifteen hundred individuals, to petition in person.
     Resolute, or seemingly so, is the tall shaggy Marquis, is the
     Café de Foy: but resolute also is Commandant-General Lafayette.
     The streets are all beset by Patrols: Saint-Huruge is stopped at
     the _Barrière des Bon 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 Coffee-houses being shut. Nevertheless Lafayette and
     the Townhall do prevail: Saint-Huruge is thrown into prison;
     _Veto Absolu_ adjusts itself into _Suspensive Veto_, prohibition
     not forever, but for a term of time; and this doom’s-clamour will
     grow silent, as the others have done.
     So far has Consolidation prospered, though with difficulty;
     repressing the Nether Sansculottic world; and the Constitution
     shall be made. With difficulty: amid jubilee and scarcity;
     Patriotic Gifts, Bakers’-queues; Abbé-Fauchet Harangues, with
     their _Amen_ of platoon-musketry! Scipio Americanus has deserved
     thanks from the National 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, 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!_ Is it Aristocrat forestallers; a Court still
     bent on intrigues? Something is rotten, somewhere.
     And yet, alas, what to do? Lafayette, with his Patrols prohibits
     every thing, even complaint. Saint-Huruge and other heroes of the
     _Veto_ lie in durance. People’s-Friend Marat was seized; Printers
     of Patriotic Journals are fettered and forbidden; the very
     Hawkers cannot cry, till they get license, and leaden badges.
     Blue National Guards ruthlessly dissipate all groups; scour, with
     levelled bayonets, the Palais Royal itself. Pass, on your
     affairs, along the Rue Taranne, the Patrol, presenting 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’s sake, to
     take the gutter.
     O much-suffering People, our glorious Revolution is evaporating
     in tricolor 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.”[229] And our mouths, unfilled with bread, are to be shut,
     under penalties? The Caricaturist promulgates his emblematic
     Tablature: _Le Patrouillotisme chassant le Patriotisme_,
     Patriotism driven out by Patrollotism. Ruthless Patrols; long
     superfine harangues; and scanty ill-baked loaves, more like baked
     Bath bricks,—which produce an effect on the intestines! Where
     will this end? In consolidation?

     Chapter 1.7.II.
     O Richard, O my King.
     For, alas, neither is the Townhall itself without misgivings. The
     Nether Sansculottic world has been suppressed hitherto: but then
     the Upper Court-world! Symptoms there are that the Œil-de-Bœuf is
     More than once in the Townhall Sanhedrim; often enough, from
     those outspoken Bakers’-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 heart be enlightened! For falsehood still
     environs him; intriguing Dukes de Guiche, with Bodyguards; scouts
     of Bouillé; 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 Château? Had they not Swiss; Hundred Swiss;
     _Gardes-du-Corps_, Bodyguards so-called? Nay, it would seem, the
     number of Bodyguards on duty has, by a manœuvre, 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
     Upper-Circles, or a nod still more potentous 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, or even of sixty thousand. Lafayette coldly
     whispers it, and coldly 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.[230] Regiment Flandre, as we said, is
     clearly arrived. His Majesty, they say, hesitates about
     sanctioning the Fourth of August; makes observations, of chilling
     tenor, on the very Rights of Man! Likewise, may not all persons,
     the 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 faced with red! The tricolor cockade is not
     always visible: but what, in the name of Heaven, may these
     _black_ cockades, which some wear, foreshadow?
     Hunger whets everything, especially Suspicion and Indignation.
     Realities themselves, in this Paris, have grown unreal:
     preternatural. Phantasms once more stalk through the brain of
     hungry France. O ye 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, and worse!—Peace, women!
     The heart of man is bitter and heavy; Patriotism, driven out by
     Patrollotism, knows not what to resolve on.
     The truth is, the Œil-de-Bœuf has rallied; to a certain unknown
     extent. A changed Œil-de-Bœuf; with Versailles National Guards,
     in their tricolor cockades, doing duty there; a Court all flaring
     with tricolor! Yet even to a tricolor Court men will rally. Ye
     loyal hearts, burnt-out Seigneurs, rally round your Queen! With
     wishes; 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 wisdom and unwisdom as it has? They will fly,
     escorted, to Metz, where brave Bouillé commands; they will raise
     the Royal Standard: the Bond-signatures shall become armed men.
     Were not the King so languid! Their Bond, if at all signed, must
     be signed without his privity.—Unhappy King, _he_ has but one
     resolution: not to have a civil 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
     meal-mobs? 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
     Château, 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 Œil-de-Bœuf 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 last 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 Apartment, which has lain quite silent ever since
     Kaiser Joseph was here, be obtained for the purpose?—The Hall of
     the Opera is granted; the Salon d’Hercule shall be drawingroom.
     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 the first bottle over. Suppose the customary loyal toasts
     drunk; the King’s health, the Queen’s with deafening vivats;—that
     of the Nation “omitted,” or even “rejected.” Suppose champagne
     flowing; with pot-valorous speech, with instrumental music; empty
     feathered heads growing ever the noisier, in their own emptiness,
     in each other’s noise! Her Majesty, who looks unusually sad
     tonight (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 the
     clouds, this fairest unhappy Queen of Hearts; royal Husband by
     her side, young Dauphin in her arms! She descends from the Boxes,
     amid splendour and acclaim; walks queen-like, round 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 Roi, l’univers t’abandonne_ (O Richard, O my King, and world
     is all forsaking thee)—could man do other than rise to height of
     pity, of loyal valour? Could featherheaded young ensigns do other
     than, by white Bourbon Cockades, handed them from fair fingers;
     by waving of swords, drawn to pledge the Queen’s health; by
     trampling of National Cockades; by scaling the Boxes, whence
     intrusive murmurs may come; by vociferation, tripudiation, sound,
     fury and distraction, within doors and without,—testify what
     tempest-tost state of vacuity they are in? Till champagne 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 the four corners of their banquet-house! Poor ill-advised
     Marie-Antoinette; with a woman’s vehemence, not with a
     sovereign’s foresight! It was so natural, yet so unwise. Next
     day, in public speech of ceremony, her Majesty declares herself
     “delighted with the Thursday.”
     The heart of the Œil-de-Bœuf glows into hope; into daring, which
     is premature. Rallied Maids of Honour, waited on by Abbés, sew
     “white cockades;” distribute them, with words, with glances, to
     epauletted youths; who in return, may kiss, not without fervour,
     the fair sewing fingers. Captains of horse and foot go swashing
     with “enormous white cockades;” nay one Versailles National
     Captain had mounted the like, so witching were the words and
     glances; and laid aside his tricolor! Well may Major Lecointre
     shake his head with a look of severity; and speak audible
     resentful words. But now a swashbuckler, with enormous white
     cockade, overhearing the Major, invites him insolently, once and
     then again elsewhere, to recant; and failing that, to duel. Which
     latter feat Major Lecointre declares that he will not perform,
     not at least by any known laws of 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 are parted,” and no weasands slit.[231]

     Chapter 1.7.III.
     Black Cockades.
     But fancy what effect this Thyestes Repast and trampling on the
     National Cockade, must have had in the _Salle des Menus;_ in the
     famishing Bakers’-queues at Paris! Nay such Thyestes Repasts, it
     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 and to spare! Patriotism stands in queue, shivering
     hungerstruck, insulted by Patrollotism; while bloodyminded
     Aristocrats, heated with excess of high living, trample on the
     National Cockade. Can the atrocity be true? Nay, look: green
     uniforms faced with red; black cockades,—the colour of Night! Are
     we to have military onfall; and death also by starvation? For
     behold the Corbeil Cornboat, which 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 Café 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
     Opera-dinners, green uniforms, Pirate Aristocrats, and those
     black cockades of theirs!—
     Truly, it is time for the black cockades at least, to vanish.
     Them 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 is 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![232]
     And so Patriot meets promenading Patriot, this Sunday; and sees
     his own grim care reflected on the face of another. Groups, in
     spite of Patrollotism, which is not so alert as usual, fluctuate
     deliberative: groups on the Bridges, on the Quais, at the
     patriotic Cafés. And ever as any black cockade may emerge, rises
     the many-voiced growl and bark: _À bas_, Down! 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 it with another
     individual; doomed, by extempore _Plebiscitum_, to the Lanterne;
     saved, with difficulty, by some active
     _Corps-de-Garde_.—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 men that will only calculate and not act! Patrollotism
     is strong; but Death, by starvation and military onfall, is
     stronger. Patrollotism represses male Patriotism: but female
     Patriotism? Will Guards named National 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

     Chapter 1.7.IV.
     The Menads.
     If Voltaire once, in splenetic humour, asked his countrymen: ‘But
     you, _Gualches_, 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
     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, Lafayette thought,
     might be “the most sacred of duties,” ranks now, for the French
     people, among the duties which they can perform. Other mobs are
     dull masses; which 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 goes grinning and grimacing as a lifeless Formality, and
     under the stiff buckram no heart can be felt beating, here once
     more, if nowhere else, is a Sincerity and Reality. Shudder at it;
     or even shriek over it, if thou must; nevertheless consider it.
     Such a Complex of human 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; least of all to
     themselves. It is the inflammablest immeasurable 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 Battles have become so wearisome?
     Battles, in these ages, are transacted by mechanism; with the
     slightest possible developement 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
     way, to sing:—and she would omit or carelessly slur-over this one
     Insurrection of Women?
     A thought, or dim raw-material of a thought, was fermenting all
     night, universally in the female head, and might explode. In
     squalid garret, on Monday morning, Maternity awakes, to hear
     children weeping for bread. Maternity must forth to the streets,
     to the herb-markets and Bakers’—queues; meets there with
     hunger-stricken Maternity, sympathetic, exasperative. O we
     unhappy women! But, instead of Bakers’-queues, why not to
     Aristocrats’ palaces, the root of the matter? _Allons!_ Let us
     assemble. To the Hôtel-de-Ville; to Versailles; to 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
     And so, like snowbreak from the mountains, for every staircase is
     a melted brook, it storms; tumultuous, wild-shrilling, towards
     the Hôtel-de-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 outmost Barriers. By seven o’clock, on this raw
     October morning, fifth of the month, the Townhall will see
     wonders. Nay, as chance would have it, a male party are already
     there; clustering tumultuously round some National Patrol, 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 official
     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 for the cause of
     civil Liberty; a man of no inconsiderable heart, but deficient in
     head. He is, for the moment, in his back apartment; assuaging
     Usher Maillard, the Bastille-serjeant, who has come, as too many
     do, with “representations.” The assuagement is still incomplete
     when our Judiths arrive.
     The National Guards form on the outer stairs, with levelled
     bayonets; the ten thousand Judiths press up, resistless; with
     obtestations, with outspread hands,—merely to speak to the Mayor.
     The rear forces them; nay, from male hands in the rear, stones
     already fly: the National Guards must do one of two things; sweep
     the Place de Grève with cannon, or else open to right and left.
     They open; the living deluge rushes in. Through all rooms and
     cabinets, upwards to the topmost belfry: ravenous; seeking arms,
     seeking Mayors, seeking justice;—while, again, the better-cressed
     (dressed?) speak kindly to the Clerks; point out the misery of
     these poor women; also their ailments, some even of an
     interesting sort.[233]
     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 Abbé Lefevre the Powder-distributor. Him, for want
     of a better, they suspend there; in the pale morning light; over
     the top of all Paris, which swims in one’s failing eyes:—a
     horrible end? Nay, the rope broke, as French ropes often did; or
     else an Amazon cut it. Abbé Lefevre falls, some twenty feet,
     rattling among the leads; and lives long years after, though
     always with “a _tremblement_ in the limbs.”[234]
     And now doors fly under hatchets; the Judiths have broken the
     Armoury; have seized guns and cannons, three money-bags,
     paper-heaps; torches flare: in few minutes, our brave
     Hôtel-de-Ville which dates from the Fourth Henry, will, with all
     that it holds, be in flames!

     Chapter 1.7.V.
     Usher Maillard.
     In flames, truly,—were it not that Usher Maillard, swift of foot,
     shifty 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,
     ran-tan, beating sharp, with loud rolls, his Rogues’-march: To
     Versailles! _Allons; a 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 shifty Maillard, Riding-Usher of the
     Châtelet. The axe pauses uplifted; Abbé 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: brown-locked
     Demoiselle Théroigne, with pike and helmet, sits there as
     gunneress, “with haughty eye and serene fair countenance;”
     comparable, some think, to the _Maid_ of Orléans, or even
     recalling “the idea of Pallas Athene.”[235] Maillard (for his
     drum still rolls) is, by heaven-rending acclamation, admitted
     General. Maillard hastens the languid march. Maillard, beating
     rhythmic, with sharp ran-tan, all along the Quais, leads forward,
     with difficulty his Menadic host. Such a host—marched not in
     silence! The bargeman pauses on the River; all wagoners and
     coachdrivers fly; men peer from windows,—not women, lest they be
     pressed. Sight of sights: Bacchantes, in these ultimate
     Formalized Ages! Bronze Henri looks on, from his Pont-Neuf; the
     Monarchic Louvre, Medicean Tuileries see a day not theretofore
     And now Maillard has his Menads in the _Champs Elysées_ (Fields
     _Tartarean_ rather); and the Hôtel-de-Ville has suffered
     comparatively nothing. Broken doors; an Abbé 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:[236] 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.
     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 actions that are not
     frantic. Fail in it, this way or that! Pragmatical 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,—thee rhythmic merely, with no music but a sheepskin
     drum!—Maillard 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 Sèvres Potteries broken. The old arches of
     Sèvres Bridge echo under Menadic feet; Seine River gushes on with
     his perpetual murmur; and Paris flings after us the boom of
     tocsin and alarm-drum,—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, will have a topic. The press
     of women still continues, for it is the cause of all Eve’s
     Daughters, mothers that are, or that hope to be. No
     carriage-lady, were it with never such hysterics, but must
     dismount, in the mud roads, in her silk shoes, and walk.[237] In
     this manner, amid wild October weather, they a wild unwinged
     stork-flight, through the astonished country, wend their way.
     Travellers of all sorts they stop; especially travellers or
     couriers from Paris. Deputy Lechapelier, in his elegant vesture,
     from his elegant vehicle, looks forth amazed through his
     spectacles; apprehensive for life;—states eagerly that he 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.”[238]
     Nevertheless, news, despatches from Lafayette, or vague noise of
     rumour, have pierced through, by side roads. In the National
     Assembly, while all is busy discussing the order of the day;
     regretting that there should be Anti-national Repasts in
     Opera-Halls; that his 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, in bass
     under-tone: ‘_Mounier, Paris marche sur nous_ (Paris is marching
     on us).’—‘May be (_Je n’en sais rien_)!’—‘Believe it or
     disbelieve it, that is not my concern; but Paris, I say, is
     marching on us. Fall suddenly unwell; go over to the Château;
     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 shall the sooner be a Republic.’ Mirabeau
     quits him, as one quits an experienced President getting
     blindfold into deep waters; and the order of the day continues as
     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 _générale_,
     began to take effect. Armed National Guards from every District;
     especially the Grenadiers of the Centre, who are our old Gardes
     Françaises, arrive, in quick sequence, on the Place de Grève. 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 Patrollotism 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 Général_, 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 (_exterminer_) the _Regiment de
     Flandre_ and the _Gardes-du-Corps_, 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.’[239] Reproachful
     astonishment paints itself on the face of Lafayette; speaks
     itself from his eloquent chivalrous lips: in vain. ‘My General,
     we 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, _tout le peuple le veut_.’
     My General descends to the outer staircase; and harangues: once
     more in vain. ‘To Versailles! To Versailles!’ Mayor Bailly, sent
     for through floods of Sansculottism, attempts academic oratory
     from his gilt state-coach; realizes 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 lasts it, hour after hour; for the space of half
     a day.
     The great Scipio Americanus can do nothing; not so much as
     escape. ‘_Morbleu, mon Général_,’ cry the Grenadiers serrying
     their ranks as the white charger makes a motion that way, ‘You
     will not leave us, you will abide with us!’ A perilous juncture:
     Mayor Bailly and the Municipals sit quaking within doors; My
     General is prisoner without: the Place de Grève, with its thirty
     thousand Regulars, its whole irregular Saint-Antoine and
     Saint-Marceau, is one minatory mass of clear or rusty steel; all
     hearts set, with a moody fixedness, on one object. 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 now rushing down. The drizzly day tends westward; the cry is
     still: ‘To Versailles!’
     Nay now, borne from afar, come quite sinister cries; hoarse,
     reverberating in longdrawn hollow murmurs, with syllables too
     like those of _Lanterne!_ Or else, irregular Sansculottism may be
     marching off, of itself; with pikes, nay with cannon. The
     inflexible Scipio does at length, by aide-de-camp, ask of the
     Municipals: Whether or not he 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 breathes, till he have read. By
     Heaven, he grows suddenly pale! Do the Municipals permit? “Permit
     and even order,”—since he can no other. Clangour of approval
     rends the welkin. To your ranks, then; let us march!
     It is, as we compute, towards three in the afternoon. Indignant
     National Guards may dine for once from their haversack: dined or
     undined, they march with one heart. Paris flings up her windows,
     claps hands, as the Avengers, with their shrilling drums and
     shalms tramp by; she will then sit pensive, apprehensive, and
     pass rather a sleepless night.[240] On the white charger,
     Lafayette, in the slowest possible manner, going and coming, and
     eloquently haranguing among the ranks, rolls onward with his
     thirty thousand. Saint-Antoine, with pike and cannon, has
     preceded him; a mixed multitude, of all and of no arms, hovers on
     his flanks and skirts; the country once more pauses agape: _Paris
     marche sur nous_.

     Chapter 1.7.VI.
     To Versailles.
     For, indeed, about this same moment, Maillard has halted his
     draggled Menads on the last hill-top; and now Versailles, and the
     Château of Versailles, and far and wide the inheritance of
     Royalty opens to the wondering eye. From far on the right, over
     Marly and Saint-Germains-en-Laye; round towards Rambouillet, on
     the left: beautiful all; softly embosomed; as if in sadness, in
     the dim moist weather! And near 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 four Rows of Elms; and then the _Château de
     Versailles_, ending in royal Parks and Pleasances, gleaming
     lakelets, arbours, Labyrinths, the _Ménagerie_, 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 Royale 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—Œil-de-Bœuf! Yonder, or
     nowhere in the world, is bread baked for us. But, O Mesdames,
     were not one thing good: That our cannons, with Demoiselle
     Théroigne 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 sound as of
     tocsin and _générale!_ 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
     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 Roi_. Versailles, though the
     Elm-rows are dripping wet, crowds from both sides, with: ‘_Vivent
     nos Parisiennes_, Our 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
     _générale_ 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 Opera-Repast. Also Dragoons dismounted are
     there. Finally Major Lecointre, and what he can gather of the
     Versailles National Guard; though, it is to be observed, our
     Colonel, that same sleepless Count d’Estaing, giving neither
     order nor ammunition, has vanished most improperly; one supposes,
     into the Œil-de-Bœuf. Red-coated Swiss stand within 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.
     President Mounier, though he answered Mirabeau with a _tant
     mieux_, and affected to slight the matter, had his 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
     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 is on every face; Members whisper, uneasily come and go: the
     order of the day is evidently not the day’s want. Till at length,
     from the outer gates, is heard a rustling and justling, shrill
     uproar and squabbling, muffled by walls; which testifies that the
     hour is come! Rushing and crushing one hears now; then enter
     Usher Maillard, with a Deputation of Fifteen muddy dripping
     Women,—having by incredible industry, and aid of all the macers,
     persuaded 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 Sansculottism
     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, though not bred to public speaking, manages rather
     well:—In the present dreadful 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
     banknote of 200 livres” not to grind,—name unknown to the Usher,
     but fact provable, at least indubitable. Further, it seems, the
     National Cockade has been trampled on; also there are Black
     Cockades, or were. All which things will not an august National
     Assembly, the hope of France, take into its wise immediate
     And Menadic Hunger, impressible, 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 situation of Paris;” for the calming of this
     effervescence!’ President Mounier, with a speedy Deputation,
     among whom we notice the respectable figure of Doctor Guillotin,
     gets himself forthwith on march. Vice-President shall continue
     the order of the day; Usher Maillard shall stay by him to repress
     the women. It is four o’clock, of the miserablest afternoon, when
     Mounier steps out.
     O experienced Mounier, what an afternoon; the last of thy
     political existence! Better had it been to “fall suddenly
     unwell,” while it was 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 ferrés_, which
     end in knives or sword-blades, a kind of extempore
     billhook);—looking nothing but hungry revolt. The rain pours:
     Gardes-du-Corps go caracoling through the groups “amid hisses;”
     irritating and agitating what is but dispersed here to reunite
     Innumerable squalid women beleaguer the President and Deputation;
     insist on going with him: has not his Majesty himself, looking
     from the window, sent out to ask, What we wanted? ‘Bread and
     speech with the King (_Du pain, et parler au Roi_),’ that was the
     answer. Twelve 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.[242] Finally the
     Grates are opened: the Deputation gets access, with the Twelve
     Women too in it; of which latter, Five shall even see the face of
     his Majesty. Let wet Menadism, in the best spirits it can expect
     their return.

     Chapter 1.7.VII.
     At Versailles.
     But already Pallas Athene (in the shape of Demoiselle Théroigne)
     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
     spontoons and musketoons with soft arms: can a man, that were
     worthy of the name of man, attack famishing patriot women?
     One reads that Théroigne had bags of money, which she distributed
     over Flandre:—furnished by whom? Alas, with money-bags one seldom
     sits on insurrectionary cannon. Calumnious Royalism! Théroigne
     had only the limited earnings of her profession of
     unfortunate-female; money she had not, but 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 stature,
     with leaden breastplate, though a small one;[243] bushy in red
     grizzled locks; nay, with long tile-beard? It is 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: “_Père Adam_, Father Adam,” as the groups
     name him; to us better known as bull-voiced Marquis Saint-Huruge;
     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 with Flandre; patriotic Versailles
     National Guards, short of ammunition, and deserted by d’Estaing
     their Colonel, and commanded by Lecointre their Major; then
     caracoling Bodyguards, sour, dispirited, with their buckskins
     wet; and finally this flowing sea of indignant Squalor,—may they
     not give rise to occurrences?
     Behold, however, the Twelve She-deputies return from the Château.
     Without President Mounier, indeed; but radiant with joy, shouting
     ‘_Life to the King and his House_.’ 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 en valût 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 provision is in the
     world; grains shall circulate free as air; millers shall grind,
     or do worse, while their millstones endure; and nothing be left
     wrong which 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. O 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—that
     shall be nameless! Yes, thy skin is soft: ours is rough with
     hardship; and well wetted, waiting here in the rain. No children
     hast thou hungry at home; only alabaster dolls, that weep not!
     The traitress! To the Lanterne!—And so poor Louison Chabray, no
     asseveration or 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 to perish so,—when two Bodyguards
     gallop up, indignantly dissipating; and rescue her. The
     miscredited Twelve hasten back to the Château, for an “answer in
     Nay, behold, a new flight of 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 Savonnières, for one moment, lets his
     temper, long provoked, long pent, give way. He not only
     dissipates these latter 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 sabre, and in
     the air make horrid circles. So that poor Brunout has nothing for
     it but to retreat with accelerated nimbleness, through rank after
     rank; Parthian-like, fencing as he flies; above all, shouting
     lustily, ‘_On nous laisse assassiner_, They are getting us
     Shameful! Three against one! Growls come from the Lecointrian
     ranks; bellowings,—lastly shots. Savonnières” arm is raised to
     strike: the bullet of a Lecointrian musket shatters it; the
     brandished sabre jingles down harmless. Brunout has escaped, this
     duel well ended: 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 catch,—the touchholes are so wetted; and voices cry:
     ‘_Arrêtez, il n’est pas temps encore_, Stop, it is not yet
     time!’[244] Messieurs of the Garde-du-Corps, ye had orders not to
     fire; nevertheless two of you limp dismounted, and one war-horse
     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 armed
     shopkeepers, hooting and crowing, could man wonder? Draggled are
     your white cockades of an enormous size; would to Heaven they
     were got exchanged for tricolor ones! Your buckskins are wet,
     your hearts heavy. Go, and return not!
     The Bodyguards file off, 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 war-horse; and has to be smuggled
     off by Versailles Captains. Or rusty firelocks belch after him,
     shivering asunder his—hat. In the end, by superior Order, the
     Bodyguards, all but the few on immediate duty, disappear; or as
     it were abscond; and march, under cloud of night, to
     We 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;—complaining also considerably
     of hunger.

     Chapter 1.7.VIII.
     The Equal Diet.
     But why lingers Mounier; returns not with his Deputation? It is
     six, it is seven o’clock; and 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
     interruption of public speaking and order of the day. Neither
     Maillard nor 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 tant de longs discours!_’—So
     insensible were these poor creatures to bursts of Parliamentary
     One learns also that the royal Carriages are getting yoked, as if
     for Metz. Carriages, royal or not, have verily showed 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 Patroles drove them in again;
     as the vigilant Lecointre had strictly charged them to do.
     A busy man, truly, is Major Lecointre, in these hours. For
     Colonel d’Estaing loiters invisible in the Œil-de-Bœuf;
     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 all-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: What 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 fin des affaires_.’ When the
     _affairs_ will end, no Major Lecointre, nor no mortal, can say;
     but as to bread, he inquires, How many are you?—learns that they
     are six hundred, that a loaf each will suffice; and rides off to
     the Municipality to get six hundred loaves.
     Which loaves, however, a Municipality of 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-and-Twenty Long-gowned of Paris did; and, leaving not the
     smallest vestage of rice, in the boiled or raw state, they there
     vanish from History!
     Rice comes not; one’s hope of food is baulked; 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!
     Saint-Antoine, baulked, esurient, pounces on the slain warhorse;
     flays it; roasts it, with such fuel, of paling, gates, portable
     timber as can be come at,—not without shouting: and, after the
     manner of ancient Greek Heroes, _they lifted their hands to the
     daintily readied repast;_ such as it might be.[246] Other
     Rascality prowls discursive; seeking what it may devour. Flandre
     will retire to its barracks; Lecointre also with his
     Versaillese,—all but the vigilant Patrols, charged to be doubly
     So sink the shadows of Night, blustering, rainy; and all paths
     grow dark. Strangest Night ever seen in these regions,—perhaps
     since the Bartholomew Night, when Versailles, as Bassompierre
     writes of it, was a _chétif château_. O for the Lyre of some
     Orpheus, to constrain, with touch of melodious strings, these mad
     masses into Order! For here all seems fallen asunder, in
     wide-yawning dislocation. The highest, as in down-rushing of a
     World, is come in contact with the lowest: the Rascality of
     France beleaguering the Royalty of France; “ironshod batons”
     lifted round the diadem, not to guard it! With 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
     Œil-de-Bœuf is one tempest of whispers:—We will fly to Metz; we
     will not fly. The royal Carriages again attempt egress;—though
     for trial merely; they are again driven in by Lecointre’s
     Patrols. In six hours, nothing has been resolved on; not even the
     Acceptance pure and simple.
     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 there. Mounier returns not; Authority nowhere shews
     itself: the Authority of France lies, for the present, with
     Lecointre and Usher Maillard.—This then is the abomination of
     desolation; come suddenly, though long foreshadowed as
     inevitable! For, to the blind, all things are sudden. Misery
     which, through long ages, had no spokesman, no helper, will now
     be its own helper and speak for itself. The dialect, one of the
     rudest, is, what it could be, _this_.
     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 applauds. Conformably to which the Assembly
     forthwith passes a Decree; also received with rapturous Menadic
     plaudits:—Only could not an august Assembly contrive further to
     ‘_fix_ the price of 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 august Assembly hear made.
     Usher Maillard himself is not always perfectly measured in
     speech; but if rebuked, he can justly excuse himself by the
     peculiarity of the circumstances.[247]
     But finally, this Decree well passed, and the disorder
     continuing; and Members melting away, and no President Mounier
     returning,—what can the Vice-President do but also melt away? The
     Assembly melts, under such pressure, into deliquium; or, as it is
     officially called, adjourns. Maillard is despatched to Paris,
     with the “Decree concerning 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 today 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 reports that Lafayette is coming. Coming, with
     war or with peace? It is time that the Château also should
     determine on one thing or another; that the Château also should
     show 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 value. Fancy Mounier’s surprise to find his Senate, whom he
     hoped to charm by the Acceptance pure and simple,—all gone; and
     in its stead a Senate of Menads! For as Erasmus’s Ape mimicked,
     say with 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 the Market is in Mounier’s Chair. Not without
     difficulty, Mounier, by aid of macers, and persuasive speaking,
     makes his way to the Female-President: 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;
     also to procure a supply of food. Swift messengers fly, to all
     bakers, cooks, pastrycooks, vintners, restorers; drums beat,
     accompanied with shrill vocal proclamation, through all streets.
     They come: the Assembly Members come; what is still better, the
     provisions come. On tray and barrow come these latter; loaves,
     wine, great store of sausages. The nourishing baskets circulate
     harmoniously along the benches; nor, according to the Father of
     Epics, _did any soul lack a fair share of victual_ (δαῖτος
     ὲἱσης), _an equal diet_); highly desirable, at the moment.[248]
     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 billhooks.[249] It is
     exactly five months this day since 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!—Menadism
     will not be restrained from occasional remarks; asks, ‘What is
     use of the Penal Code? The thing we want is Bread.’ Mirabeau
     turns round with lion-voiced rebuke; Menadism applauds him; but
     Thus they, chewing tough sausages, discussing the Penal Code,
     make night hideous. What the issue will be? Lafayette with his
     thirty thousand must arrive first: him, who cannot now be
     distant, all men expect, as the messenger of Destiny.

     Chapter 1.7.IX.
     Towards midnight lights flare on the hill; Lafayette’s lights!
     The roll of his drums comes up the Avenue de Versailles. With
     peace, or with war? Patience, friends! With neither. Lafayette is
     come, but 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 Dwelling; to be faithful to King and National
     Assembly. Rage is 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 “exterminating.” The wayworn Batallions
     halt in the Avenue: they have, for the present, no wish so
     pressing as that of shelter and rest.
     Anxious sits President Mounier; anxious the Château. There is a
     message coming from the Château, that M. Mounier would please
     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 Château. 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.[250] The
     King, with Monsieur, with Ministers and Marshals, is waiting 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, of quite pacific
     tenor. First, that the honour of Guarding his sacred person be
     conferred on patriot National Guards;—say, the Centre Grenadiers,
     who as Gardes Françaises were wont to have that privilege.
     Second, that provisions be got, if possible. Third, that the
     Prisons, all 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
     Françaises;—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 the night is the evil thereof.
     Whereupon Lafayette and the two Municipals, with highflown
     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 ancient vinaigrous _Tantes_ admit it; the King’s Aunts,
     ancient _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 Daughter _dares_ do what she means,
     were all France threatening her: abide where her children are,
     where her husband is.
     Towards three in the morning all things are settled: the watches
     set, the Centre Grenadiers put into their old Guard-room, and
     harangued; the Swiss, and few remaining Bodyguards harangued. The
     wayworn Paris Batallions, consigned to “the hospitality of
     Versailles,” lie dormant in spare-beds, spare-barracks,
     coffeehouses, empty churches. A troop 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_ of 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.
     Finally, the National Assembly is harangued; which thereupon, on
     motion of Mirabeau, discontinues the Penal Code, and dismisses
     for this night. Menadism, Sansculottism has cowered into
     guard-houses, barracks of Flandre, to the light of cheerful fire;
     failing that, to churches, office-houses, sentry-boxes,
     wheresoever wretchedness can find a lair. The troublous Day has
     brawled itself to rest: no lives yet lost but that of one
     warhorse. Insurrectionary Chaos lies slumbering round the Palace,
     like Ocean round a Diving-bell,—no crevice yet disclosing itself.
     Deep sleep has fallen promiscuously on the high 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 in the old July Nights; the streets
     deserted, for alarm of war; the Municipals all wakeful; Patrols
     hailing, with their hoarse _Who-goes_. There, as we discover, our
     poor slim Louison Chabray, her poor nerves all fluttered, is
     arriving about this very hour. There Usher Maillard will arrive,
     about an hour hence, “towards four in the morning.” They report,
     successively, to a wakeful Hôtel-de-Ville what comfort they can
     report; which again, with early dawn, large comfortable Placards,
     shall impart to all men.
     Lafayette, in the Hôtel de Noailles, not far from the Château,
     having now finished haranguing, sits with his Officers
     consulting: 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.
     How it will turn on the morrow? The 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 Bodyguards, here and elsewhere, must take the
     National Oath; make reparation to the Tricolor; 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, unhandsome: 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 inflammable,
     self-igniting fluid; for example, “turpentine-and-phosphorus
     oil,”—fluid known to Spinola Santerre!

     Chapter 1.7.X.
     The Grand Entries.
     The 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 the Château, to see what
     prospect there was in Heaven and in Earth. Rascality male and
     female is 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 came; and then the ill
     deed. Did the maledicent Bodyguard, getting (as was too
     inevitable) better malediction than he gave, load his musketoon,
     and threaten to fire; and actually fire? Were wise who wist! It
     stands asserted; to us not credibly. Be this as it may, menaced
     Rascality, in whinnying scorn, is shaking at all Grates: the
     fastening of one (some write, it was a chain merely) gives way;
     Rascality is in the Grand Court, whinnying louder still.
     The maledicent Bodyguard, more Bodyguards than he do now give
     fire; a man’s arm is shattered. Lecointre will depose[251] that
     “the Sieur Cardaine, a National Guard without arms, was stabbed.”
     But see, sure enough, poor Jerôme l’Héritier, an unarmed National
     Guard he too, “cabinet-maker, a saddler’s 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!—Allelew! 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 burst open: the Court of 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 pikes.
     Women snatch their cutlasses, or any weapon, and storm-in
     Menadic:—other women lift the corpse of shot Jerôme; lay it down
     on the Marble steps; there shall the livid face and smashed head,
     dumb for ever, _speak_.
     Wo now to all Bodyguards, mercy is none for them! Miomandre de
     Sainte-Marie pleads with soft words, on the Grand Staircase,
     “descending four steps:”—to the roaring tornado. His comrades
     snatch 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!
     The terrorstruck Bodyguards fly, bolting and barricading; it
     follows. Whitherward? Through hall on hall: wo, now! towards the
     Queen’s Suite of Rooms, in the furtherest room of which the Queen
     is now asleep. Five sentinels rush through that long Suite; they
     are in the Anteroom knocking loud: ‘Save the Queen!’ Trembling
     women fall at their feet with tears; are answered: ‘Yes, we will
     die; save ye the Queen!’
     Tremble not, women, but haste: for, lo, another voice shouts far
     through the outermost door, ‘Save the Queen!’ and the door shut.
     It is brave Miomandre’s voice that shouts this second warning. He
     has stormed across imminent death to do it; fronts imminent
     death, having done it. Brave Tardivet du Repaire, bent on the
     same desperate service, was borne down with pikes; his comrades
     hardly snatched him in again alive. Miomandre and Tardivet: let
     the names of these two Bodyguards, as the names of brave men
     should, live long.
     Trembling Maids of Honour, one of whom from afar caught glimpse
     of Miomandre as well as heard him, hastily wrap the Queen; not in
     robes of State. She flies for her life, across the Œil-de-Bœuf;
     against the main door of which too Insurrection batters. She is
     in the King’s Apartment, in the King’s arms; she clasps her
     children amid a faithful few. The Imperial-hearted bursts into
     mother’s tears: ‘O my friends, save me and my children, _O mes
     amis, sauvez moi et mes enfans!_’ The battering of
     Insurrectionary axes clangs audible across the Œil-de-Bœuf. What
     an hour!
     Yes, Friends: a hideous fearful hour; shameful alike to Governed
     and Governor; wherein Governed and Governor ignominiously testify
     that their relation is at an end. Rage, which had brewed itself
     in twenty thousand hearts, for the last four-and-twenty hours,
     has taken fire: Jerome’s brained corpse lies there as live-coal.
     It is, as we said, the infinite Element bursting in: wild-surging
     through all corridors and conduits.
     Meanwhile, the poor Bodyguards have got hunted mostly into the
     Œil-de-Bœuf. They may die there, at the King’s threshhold; they
     can do little to defend it. They are heaping _tabourets_ (stools
     of honour), benches and all moveables, against the door; at which
     the axe of Insurrection thunders.—But did brave Miomandre perish,
     then, at the Queen’s door? No, he was fractured, slashed,
     lacerated, left for dead; he has nevertheless crawled hither; and
     shall live, honoured of loyal France. Remark also, in flat
     contradiction to much which has been said and sung, that
     Insurrection did _not_ burst that door he had defended; but
     hurried elsewhither, seeking new bodyguards.[252]
     Poor Bodyguards, with their Thyestes’ Opera-Repast! Well for
     them, that Insurrection has only pikes and axes; no right sieging
     tools! It shakes and thunders. Must they all perish miserably,
     and Royalty with them? Deshuttes and Varigny, massacred at the
     first inbreak, have been beheaded in the Marble Court: a
     sacrifice to Jerôme’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 howl-chauntings:
     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 Œil-de-Bœuf:
     what can now hinder its bursting in?—On a sudden it ceases; the
     battering has ceased! Wild rushing: the cries grow fainter: there
     is silence, or the tramp of regular steps; then a friendly
     knocking: ‘We are the Centre Grenadiers, old Gardes Françaises:
     Open to us, Messieurs of the Garde-du-Corps; we have not
     forgotten how you saved us at Fontenoy!’[253] The door is opened;
     enter Captain Gondran and the Centre Grenadiers: there are
     military embracings; there is sudden deliverance from death into
     Strange Sons of Adam! It was to “exterminate” these
     Gardes-du-Corps that the Centre Grenadiers left home: and now
     they have rushed 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 my
     Guards!’—‘_Soyons frères_, Let us be brothers!’ cries Captain
     Gondran; and again dashes off, 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
     death-melly ceases: the first sky-lambent blaze of Insurrection
     is got damped down; it burns now, if unextinguished, yet
     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.
     But glance now, for a moment, from the royal windows! A roaring
     sea of human heads, inundating both Courts; billowing against all
     passages: Menadic women; infuriated men, mad with revenge, with
     love of mischief, love of plunder! Rascality has slipped its
     muzzle; 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?’ Hapless Deshuttes and Varigny! Their fate surely was sad.
     Whirled down so suddenly to the abyss; as men are, suddenly, by
     the wide thunder of the Mountain Avalanche, awakened not by
     _them_, awakened far off by others! When the Château Clock last
     struck, they two 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 in sight. ‘Comrades, will you see a man massacred
     in cold blood?’—‘Off, butchers!’ answer they; and the poor
     Bodyguard is free. Busy runs Gondran, busy run Guards and
     Captains; scouring at all corridors; dispersing Rascality and
     Robbery; sweeping the Palace clear. The mangled carnage is
     removed; Jerome’s body to the Townhall, for inquest: the fire of
     Insurrection gets damped, more and more, 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 Rascality, caprioling on horses from the Royal
     Stud. The Spoilers these; for Patriotism is always infected so,
     with a proportion of mere thieves and scoundrels. Gondran
     snatched their prey from them in the Château; whereupon they
     hurried to the Stables, and took horse there. But the generous
     Diomedes’ steeds, according to Weber, disdained such
     scoundrel-burden; and, flinging up their royal heels, did soon
     project most of it, in parabolic curves, 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 Brézé), as Lafayette, in these fearful
     moments, was rushing towards the inner Royal Apartments,
     ‘_Monsieur, le Roi vous accorde les grandes entrées_, Monsieur,
     the King grants you the Grand Entries,’—not finding it convenient
     to refuse them![254]

     Chapter 1.7.XI.
     From Versailles.
     However, the Paris National Guard, wholly under arms, has cleared
     the Palace, 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 now 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 tricolor; and
     fling over their bandoleers in sign of surrender; and shout _Vive
     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 à Paris_, The King to Paris!’
     Her Majesty too, on demand, shows 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 breast: ‘should I die,’ she had said, ‘I will do
     it.’ 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
     scrutiny) “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.”
     So that all, and the Queen herself, nay the very Captain of the
     Bodyguards, have grown National! The very Captain of the
     Bodyguards steps out now with Lafayette. On the hat of the
     repentant man is an enormous tricolor; large as a soup-platter,
     or sun-flower; 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 of 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 tricolor, exchange bonnets, exchange arms; there
     shall be peace and fraternity. And still ‘_Vive le Roi;_’ and
     also ‘_Le Roi à Paris_,’ not now from one throat, but from 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 him 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 Château 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 have their destiny.
     Till one o’clock, then, there will be three parties, National
     Assembly, National Rascality, National Royalty, all busy enough.
     Rascality rejoices; women trim themselves with tricolor. Nay
     motherly Paris has sent her Avengers sufficient “cartloads of
     loaves;” which are shouted over, which are gratefully consumed.
     The Avengers, in return, are searching for grain-stores; loading
     them in fifty waggons; 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
     parole. The Monarchy has fallen; and not so much as honourably:
     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 mon Roi_. Which again we shall see dwindle to a
     Favras’ Conspiracy, a thing to be settled by the hanging of one
     Poor Monarchy! But what save foulest defeat can await that man,
     who wills, and yet wills not? Apparently the King either has a
     right, assertible as such to the death, before God and man; or
     else he has no right. Apparently, the one or the other; could he
     but know which! May Heaven pity him! Were Louis wise he would
     this day abdicate.—Is it not strange so few Kings abdicate; and
     none yet heard of has been known to commit suicide? Fritz the
     First, of Prussia, alone tried it; and they cut the rope.[255]
     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 Fourteenth of July there was a certain sickliness
     observable among honourable Members; so many demanding passports,
     on account of infirm health. But now, for these following days,
     there is a perfect murrian: President Mounier, Lally Tollendal,
     Clermont Tonnere, and all Constitutional Two-Chamber Royalists
     needing change of air; as most No-Chamber Royalists had formerly
     For, in truth, it is the _second Emigration_ this that has now
     come; most extensive among Commons Deputies, Noblesse, Clergy: so
     that “to Switzerland alone there go sixty thousand.” They will
     return in the day of accounts! Yes, and have hot welcome.—But
     Emigration on Emigration is the peculiarity of France. One
     Emigration follows another; grounded on reasonable fear,
     unreasonable hope, largely also on childish pet. The highflyers
     have gone first, now the lower flyers; 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? Abbé Maury is seized, and sent back again: he, tough as
     tanned leather, with eloquent Captain Cazalès and some others,
     will stand it out for another year.
     But here, meanwhile, the question arises: Was Philippe d’Orléans
     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 _farther_.[256]
     What 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’Orléans 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 Œil-de-Bœuf, 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 to admit that it was _both_.[257]
     Alas, my 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? 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; and noise great.
     Processional marches not a few our world has seen; Roman triumphs
     and ovations, Cabiric cymbal-beatings, Royal progresses, Irish
     funerals: but this of the French Monarchy marching to its bed
     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, like Babel and Bedlam. A splashing and a tramping; a
     hurrahing, uproaring, musket-volleying;—the truest segment of
     Chaos seen in these latter Ages! Till slowly it disembogue
     itself, in the thickening dusk, into expectant Paris, through a
     double row of faces all the way from Passy to the Hôtel-de-Ville.
     Consider this: Vanguard of National troops; with trains of
     artillery; of pikemen and pikewomen, mounted on cannons, on
     carts, hackney-coaches, or on foot;—tripudiating, in tricolor
     ribbons from head to heel; loaves stuck on the points of
     bayonets, green boughs stuck in gun barrels.[258] Next, as
     main-march, “fifty cartloads of corn,” which have 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 remarks not given. Then finally,
     pellmell, as rearguard, Flandre, Swiss, Hundred Swiss, other
     Bodyguards, Brigands, whosoever cannot get before. Between and
     among all which masses, flows without limit Saint-Antoine, and
     the Menadic Cohort. Menadic especially about the Royal Carriage;
     tripudiating there, covered with tricolor; singing “allusive
     songs;” pointing with one hand to the Royal Carriage, which the
     illusions hit, and pointing to the Provision-wagons, with the
     other hand, and these words: ‘Courage, Friends! We shall not want
     bread now; we are bringing you the Baker, the Bakeress, and
     Baker’s Boy (_le Boulanger, la Boulangère, et le petit
     The wet day draggles the tricolor, but the joy is
     unextinguishable. Is not all well now? ‘_Ah, Madame, notre bonne
     Reine_,’ said some of these Strong-women some days hence, ‘Ah
     Madame, our good Queen, don’t be a traitor any more (_ne soyez
     plus traître_), and we will all love you!’ Poor Weber went
     splashing along, close by the Royal carriage, with the tear in
     his eye: “their Majesties did me the honour,” or I thought they
     did it, “to testify, from time to time, by shrugging of the
     shoulders, by looks directed to Heaven, the emotions they felt.”
     Thus, like frail cockle, floats the Royal Life-boat, helmless, on
     black deluges of Rascality.
     Mercier, in his loose way, estimates the Procession and
     assistants at two hundred thousand. He says it was one boundless
     inarticulate Haha;—_transcendent_ World-Laughter; comparable to
     the Saturnalia of the Ancients. Why not? Here too, as we said, is
     Human Nature once more human; shudder at it whoso is of
     shuddering humour: yet behold it is human. It has “swallowed all
     formulas;” it tripudiates even so. 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.
     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 the Hôtel-de-Ville. Then again to be
     harangued there, by several persons; by Moreau de Saint-Méry,
     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 pleasure, with confidence among
     his people.’ Mayor Bailly, in reporting it, forgets “confidence;”
     and the poor Queen says eagerly: ‘Add, with
     confidence.’—‘Messieurs,’ rejoins Bailly, ‘You are happier than
     if I had not forgot.’
     Finally, the King is shewn on an upper balcony, by torchlight,
     with a huge tricolor in his hat: “And all the ‘people,’ says
     Weber, grasped one another’s hands;—thinking _now_ surely the New
     Era was born.” Hardly till eleven at night can Royalty get to its
     vacant, long-deserted Palace of the Tuileries: to lodge there,
     somewhat in strolling-player fashion. It is Tuesday, the sixth of
     October, 1789.
     Poor Louis has Two other Paris Processions to make: one
     ludicrous-ignominious like this; the other not ludicrous nor
     ignominious, but serious, nay sublime.


Mauern seh ich’ gestürzt, und Mauern seh’ ich errichtet

   Hier Gefangene, dort auch der Gefangenen viel.

Ist vielleicht nur die Welt ein grosser Kerker? Und frei ist

   Wohl der Tolle, der sich Ketten zu Kränzen erkiest?

     BOOK 2.I.

     Chapter 2.1.I.
     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 his long low moans: notable only are his sharper
     agonies, what convulsive struggles he may take 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
     Cæsar 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, _No._ 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 still unmeasured, infinite-seeming force may rally
     round it, is there thenceforth any hope. For it is most true that
     all available Authority is _mystic_ in its conditions, and comes
     “by the grace of God.”
     Cheerfuller than watching the death-struggles of 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, so the merriest is precisely the kitten,
     or growing cat?
     But fancy the Royal Family risen from its truckle-beds on the
     morrow of that mad day: fancy the Municipal inquiry, ‘How would
     your Majesty please to lodge?’—and then that the King’s rough
     answer, ‘Each may lodge 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 Château 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 tricolor
     crowds, who cheer it, and reverently make way for it: the very
     Queen commands at lowest respectful silence, regretful
     avoidance.[260] Simple ducks, in those royal waters, quackle for
     crumbs from young royal fingers: the little Dauphin has a little
     railed garden, where he is seen delving, with ruddy cheeks and
     flaxen curled hair; also a little hutch to put his tools in, and
     screen himself against showers. What peaceable simplicity! Is it
     peace of a Father restored to his children? Or of a Taskmaster
     who has lost his whip? Lafayette and the Municipality and
     universal Constitutionalism assert the former, and do what is in
     them to realise it. Such Patriotism as snarls dangerously, and
     shows teeth, Patrollotism shall suppress; or far better, Royalty
     shall soothe down the angry hair of it, by gentle pattings; and,
     most effectual of all, by fuller diet. Yes, not only shall Paris
     be fed, but the King’s hand be seen in that work. The household
     goods of the Poor shall, up to a certain amount, by royal bounty,
     be disengaged from pawn, and that insatiable _Mont de Piété_
     disgorge: rides in the city with their _Vive-le-Roi_ need not
     fail; and so by substance and show, shall Royalty, if man’s art
     can popularise it, be popularised.[261]
     Or, alas, is it neither restored Father nor diswhipped Taskmaster
     that walks there; but an anomalous complex of both these, and of
     innumerable other heterogeneities; reducible to no rubric, if not
     to this newly devised one: _King Louis Restorer of French
     Liberty?_ Man indeed, and King Louis like other men, lives in
     this world to make rule out of the ruleless; by his living
     energy, he shall force the absurd itself to become less absurd.
     But then if there _be_ no living energy; living passivity only?
     King Serpent, hurled into his unexpected watery dominion, did at
     least bite, and assert credibly that he was there: but as for the
     poor King Log, tumbled hither and thither as thousandfold chance
     and other will than his might direct, how happy for him that he
     was indeed wooden; and, doing nothing, could also see and suffer
     nothing! It is a distracted business.
     For his French Majesty, meanwhile, one of the worst things is
     that he can get no hunting. Alas, no hunting henceforth; only a
     fatal being-hunted! Scarcely, in the next June weeks, shall he
     taste again the joys of the game-destroyer; in next June, and
     never more. He sends for his smith-tools; gives, in the course of
     the day, official or ceremonial business being ended, “a few
     strokes of the file, _quelques coups de lime._[262] 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
     only of world-follies, unrealities; things self destructive,
     which no mortal hammering could rivet into coherence!
     Poor Louis is not without insight, nor even without the elements
     of will; some sharpness of temper, spurting at times from a
     stagnating character. If harmless inertness could save him, it
     were well; but he will slumber and painfully dream, and to _do_
     aught is not given him. Royalist Antiquarians still shew the
     rooms where Majesty and suite, in these extraordinary
     circumstances, had their lodging. Here sat the Queen;
     reading,—for she had her library brought hither, though the King
     refused his; taking vehement counsel of the vehement
     uncounselled; sorrowing over altered times; yet with sure hope of
     better: in her young rosy Boy, has she not the living emblem of
     hope! It is a murky, working sky; yet with golden gleams—of dawn,
     or of deeper meteoric night? Here again this chamber, on the
     other side of the main entrance, was the King’s: here his Majesty
     breakfasted, and did official work; here daily after breakfast he
     received the Queen; sometimes in pathetic friendliness; sometimes
     in human sulkiness, for flesh is weak; and, when questioned about
     business would answer: ‘Madame, your business is with the
     children.’ Nay, Sire, were it not better you, your Majesty’s
     self, took the children? So asks impartial History; scornful that
     the _thicker_ vessel was not also the stronger; pity-struck for
     the porcelain-clay of humanity rather than for the
     tile-clay,—though indeed _both_ were broken!
     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

     Chapter 2.1.II.
     In the Salle de Manége.
     To believing Patriots, however, it is now clear, that the
     Constitution will march, _marcher_,—had it once legs to stand on.
     Quick, then, ye Patriots, bestir yourselves, and make it; shape
     legs for it! In the _Archevêché_, or Archbishop’s Palace, his
     Grace himself having fled; and afterwards in the Riding-hall,
     named Manege, close on the Tuileries: there does a National
     Assembly apply itself to the miraculous work. Successfully, had
     there been any heaven-scaling Prometheus among them; not
     successfully since there was none! There, in noisy 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 Abbé Maury; Ciceronian pathetic
     is Cazalès. Keen-trenchant, on the other side, glitters a young
     Barnave; abhorrent of sophistry; sheering, like keen Damascus
     sabre, all sophistry asunder,—reckless what else he sheer with
     it. Simple seemest thou, O solid Dutch-built Pétion; if solid,
     surely dull. Nor lifegiving in that tone of thine, livelier
     polemical Rabaut. With ineffable serenity sniffs great Sieyes,
     aloft, alone; his Constitution ye may babble over, ye may mar,
     but can by no possibility mend: is not Polity a science he has
     exhausted? Cool, slow, two military Lameths are visible, with
     their quality sneer, or demi-sneer; they shall gallantly refund
     their Mother’s Pension, when the Red Book is produced; gallantly
     be wounded in duels. A Marquis Toulongeon, whose Pen we 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 and unavailable. Mortals rise and fall. Shall goose
     Gobel, for example,—or Go(with an umlaut)bel, 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 Barnave that six hundred
     irresponsible senators would make of all tyrannies the
     insupportablest? Again, how anxious was he that the King’s
     Ministers should have seat and voice in the National
     Assembly;—doubtless with an eye to being Minister himself!
     Whereupon the National Assembly decides, what is very momentous,
     that no Deputy shall be Minister; he, in his haughty stormful
     manner, advising us to make it, “no Deputy called Mirabeau.”[263]
     A man of perhaps inveterate Feudalisms; of stratagems; too often
     visible leanings towards the Royalist side: a man suspect; whom
     Patriotism will unmask! Thus, in these June days, when the
     question _Who shall have right to declare 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
     Populace raised by them to the pitch even of “_Lanterne_,” he
     mounts the Tribune next day; grim-resolute; murmuring aside to
     his friends that speak of danger: ‘I know it: I must come hence
     either in triumph, or else torn in fragments;’ and it was in
     triumph that he came.
     A man of stout heart; whose popularity is not of the populace,
     “_pas populacière;_” whom no clamour of unwashed mobs without
     doors, or of washed mobs within, can scarce from his way! Dumont
     remembers hearing him deliver a Report on Marseilles; “every word
     was interrupted on the part of the _Côté Droit_ by abusive
     epithets; calumniator, liar, assassin, scoundrel (_scélérat_):
     Mirabeau pauses a moment, and, in a honeyed tone, addressing the
     most furious, says: ‘I wait, Messieurs, till these amenities be
     exhausted.’”[264] A man enigmatic, difficult to unmask! For
     example, whence comes his money? Can the profit of a Newspaper,
     sorely eaten into by Dame Le Jay; can this, and the eighteen
     francs a-day your National Deputy has, be supposed equal to this
     expenditure? House in the Chaussée 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 is to him?
     “Sold,” whatever Patriotism thinks, he cannot readily be: the
     spiritual fire which is in that man; which shining through such
     confusions is nevertheless Conviction, and makes him strong, and
     without which he had no strength,—is not buyable nor saleable; in
     such transference of barter, it would vanish and not _be_.
     Perhaps “paid and not sold, _payé pas vendu:_” as 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 is may be worked with.
     Unhappily our National Assembly has much to do: a France to
     regenerate; and France is short of so many requisites; short even
     of cash! These same Finances give trouble enough; no choking of
     the Deficit; which gapes ever, _Give, give!_ To appease the
     Deficit we venture on a hazardous step, sale of the Clergy’s
     Lands and superfluous 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, there
     shall be no lack of circulating medium; whether of commodities to
     circulate thereon is another question. But, after all, does not
     this Assignat business speak volumes for modern science?
     Bankruptcy, we may say, was come, as the _end_ of all Delusions
     needs must come: yet how gently, in softening diffusion, in mild
     succession, was it hereby made to fall;—like no all-destroying
     avalanche; like gentle showers of a powdery impalpable snow,
     shower after shower, till all was indeed buried, and yet little
     was destroyed that could not be replaced, be dispensed with! To
     such length has modern machinery reached. Bankruptcy, we said,
     was great; but indeed Money itself is a standing miracle.
     On the whole, it is a matter of endless difficulty, that of the
     Clergy. Clerical property may be made the Nation’s, and the
     Clergy hired servants of the State; but if so, is it not an
     altered Church? Adjustment enough, of the most confused sort, has
     become 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_ 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 Courts, National
     Appeal-Court, of elective Justices, Justices of Peace, and other
     Thouret-and-Duport apparatus be got ready. They have to sit
     there, these old Parlements, uneasily waiting; as it were, with
     the rope round their neck; crying as they can, _Is there none to
     deliver us?_ But happily the answer being, _None, none_, they are
     a manageable class, these Parlements. They can be bullied, even
     into silence; the Paris Parliament, wiser than most, has never
     whimpered. They will and must sit there; in such vacation as is
     fit; their Chamber of Vacation distributes in the interim what
     little justice is going. With the rope round their neck, their
     destiny may be succinct! On the 13th of November 1790, Mayor
     Bailly shall walk to the Palais de Justice, few even heeding him;
     and with municipal seal-stamp and a little hot wax, seal up the
     Parlementary Paper-rooms,—and the dread Parlement of Paris pass
     away, into Chaos, gently as does a Dream! So shall the Parlements
     perish, succinctly; and innumerable eyes be dry.
     Not so the Clergy. For granting even that Religion were dead;
     that it had died, half-centuries ago, with unutterable Dubois; or
     emigrated lately, to Alsace, with Necklace-Cardinal Rohan; or
     that it now walked as goblin _revenant_ with Bishop Talleyrand of
     Autun; yet does not the Shadow of Religion, the Cant of Religion,
     still linger? The Clergy have means and material: means, of
     number, organization, social weight; a material, at lowest, of
     public ignorance, known to be the mother of devotion. Nay,
     withal, is it incredible that there might, in simple hearts,
     latent here and there like gold grains in the mud-beach, still
     dwell some real Faith in God, of so singular and tenacious a sort
     that even a Maury or a Talleyrand, could still be the symbol for
     it?—Enough, and Clergy has strength, the Clergy has craft and
     indignation. It is a most fatal business this of the Clergy. A
     weltering hydra-coil, which the National Assembly has stirred up
     about its ears; hissing, stinging; which cannot be appeased,
     alive; which cannot be trampled dead! Fatal, from first to last!
     Scarcely after fifteen months’ debating, can a _Civil
     Constitution of the Clergy_ be so much as got to paper; and then
     for getting it into reality? Alas, such Civil Constitution is but
     an agreement to disagree. It divides France from end to end, with
     a new split, infinitely complicating all the other
     splits;—Catholicism, what of it there is left, with the Cant of
     Catholicism, raging on the one side, and sceptic Heathenism on
     the other; both, by contradiction , waxing fanatic. What endless
     jarring, of Refractory hated Priests, and Constitutional despised
     ones; of tender consciences, like the King’s, and consciences
     hot-seared, like certain of his People’s: the whole to end in
     Feasts of Reason and a War of La Vendée! 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 adoré_,” are
     dwindling into clearer and clearer nullity. Execution or
     legislation, arrangement or detail, from their nerveless fingers
     all drops undone; all lights at last on the toiled shoulders of
     an august Representative Body. Heavy-laden National Assembly! It
     has to hear of innumerable fresh revolts, Brigand expeditions; of
     Châteaus in the West, especially of Charter-chests, _Chartiers_,
     set on fire; for there too the overloaded Ass frightfully
     recalcitrates. Of Cities in the South full of heats and
     jealousies; which will end in crossed sabres, Marseilles against
     Toulon, and Carpentras beleaguered by Avignon;—such Royalist
     collision in a career of Freedom; nay Patriot collision, which a
     mere difference of _velocity_ will bring about! Of a Jourdan
     Coup-tete, who has skulked thitherward, from the claws of the
     Chatelet; and will raise whole scoundrel-regiments.
     Also it has to hear of Royalist _Camp of Jalès:_ Jalès
     mountain-girdled Plain, amid the rocks of the Cevennes; whence
     Royalism, as is feared and hoped, may dash down like a mountain
     deluge, and submerge France! A singular thing this camp of Jalès;
     existing mostly on paper. For the Soldiers at Jalès, being
     peasants or National Guards, were in heart sworn Sansculottes;
     and all that the Royalist Captains could do was, with false
     words, to keep them, or rather keep the report of them, drawn up
     there, visible to all imaginations, for a terror and a sign,—if
     peradventure France might be reconquered by theatrical machinery,
     by the _picture_ of a Royalist Army done to the life![265] Not
     till the third summer was this portent, burning out by fits and
     then fading, got finally extinguished; was the old Castle of
     Jalès, 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 literal fire, and in far worse metaphorical; beaconing
     the nightly main. Also of the shipping interest, and the
     landed-interest, and all manner of interests, reduced to
     distress. Of Industry every where manacled, bewildered; and only
     Rebellion thriving. Of sub-officers, soldiers and sailors in
     mutiny by land and water. Of soldiers, at Nanci, as we shall see,
     needing to be cannonaded by a brave Bouillé. Of sailors, nay the
     very galley-slaves, at Brest, needing also to be cannonaded; but
     with no Bouillé to do it. For indeed, to say it in a word, in
     those days there was _no King_ in Israel, and every man did that
     which was right in his own eyes.[266]
     Such things has an august National Assembly to hear of, as it
     goes on regenerating France. Sad and stern: but what remedy? Get
     the Constitution ready; and all men will swear to it: for do not
     “Addresses of adhesion” arrive by the cartload? In this manner,
     by Heaven’s blessing, and a Constitution got ready, shall the
     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 Côté Gauche_, worthy are ye, as the adhesive
     Addresses generally say, to “fix the regards of the Universe;”
     the regards of this one poor Planet, at lowest!—
     Nay, it must be owned, the _Côté Droit_ makes a still madder
     figure. An irrational generation; irrational, imbecile, and with
     the vehement obstinacy characteristic of that; a generation which
     will not learn. Falling Bastilles, Insurrections of Women,
     thousands of smoking Manorhouses, a country bristling with no
     crop but that of Sansculottic steel: these were tolerably
     didactic lessons; but them they have not taught. There are still
     men, of whom it was of old written, Bray them in a mortar! Or, in
     milder language, They have _wedded_ their delusions: fire nor
     steel, nor any sharpness of Experience, shall sever the bond;
     till death do us part! Of such may the Heavens have mercy; for
     the Earth, with her rigorous Necessity, will have none.
     Admit, at the same time, that it was most natural. Man lives by
     Hope: Pandora when her box of gods’-gifts flew all out, and
     became gods’-curses, still retained Hope. How shall an irrational
     mortal, when his high-place is never so evidently pulled down,
     and he, being irrational, is left resourceless,—part with the
     belief that it will be rebuilt? It would make all so straight
     again; it seems so unspeakably desirable; so reasonable,—would
     you but look at it aright! For, must not the thing which was
     continue to be; or else the solid World dissolve? Yes, persist, O
     infatuated Sansculottes of France! Revolt against constituted
     Authorities; hunt out your rightful Seigneurs, who at bottom so
     loved you, and readily shed their blood for you,—in country’s
     battles as at Rossbach and elsewhere; and, even in preserving
     game, were preserving _you_, could ye but have understood it:
     hunt them out, as if they were wild wolves; set fire to their
     Châteaus and Chartiers as to wolf-dens; and what then? Why, then
     turn every man his hand against his fellow! In confusion, famine,
     desolation, regret the days that are gone; rueful recall them,
     recall us with them. To repentant prayers we will not be deaf.
     So, with dimmer or clearer consciousness, must the Right Side
     reason and act. An inevitable position perhaps; but a most false
     one for them. Evil, be thou our good: this henceforth must
     virtually be their prayer. The fiercer the effervescence grows,
     the sooner will it pass; for after all it is but some mad
     effervescence; the World is solid, and cannot dissolve.
     For the rest, if they have any positive industry, it is that of
     plots, and backstairs conclaves. Plots which cannot be executed;
     which are mostly theoretic on their part;—for which nevertheless
     this and the other practical Sieur Augeard, Sieur Maillebois,
     Sieur Bonne Savardin, gets into trouble, gets imprisoned, and
     escapes with difficulty. Nay there is a poor practical Chevalier
     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 “Hôtel-de-Ville, through
     the whole remainder of the day,” a weary February day; offers to
     reveal secrets, if they will save him; handsomely declines since
     they will not; then dies, in the flare of torchlight, with
     politest composure; remarking, rather than exclaiming, with
     outspread hands: ‘People, I die innocent; pray for me.’[267] Poor
     Favras;—type of so much that has prowled indefatigable over
     France, in days now ending; and, in freer field, might have
     _earned_ instead of prowling,—to thee it is no theory!
     In the Senate-house again, the attitude of the Right Side is that
     of calm unbelief. Let an august National Assembly make a
     Fourth-of-August Abolition of Feudality; declare the Clergy
     State-servants who shall have wages; vote Suspensive Vetos, new
     Law-Courts; vote or decree what contested thing it will; have it
     responded to from the four corners of France, nay get King’s
     Sanction, and what other Acceptance were conceivable,—the Right
     Side, as we find, persists, with 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 Abbé Maury flooding forth Jesuitic
     eloquence in this strain; dusky d’Espréménil, Barrel Mirabeau
     (probably in liquor), and enough of others, cheering him from the
     Right; and, for example, with what visage a seagreen Robespierre
     eyes him from the Left. And how Sieyes ineffably sniffs on him,
     or does not deign to sniff; and how the Galleries groan in
     spirit, or bark rabid on him: so that to escape the Lanterne, on
     stepping forth, he needs presence of mind, and a pair of pistols
     in his girdle! For he is one of the toughest of men.
     Here indeed becomes notable one great difference between our two
     kinds of civil war; between the modern _lingual_ or
     Parliamentary-logical kind, and the ancient, or _manual_ kind, in
     the steel battle-field;—much to the disadvantage of the former.
     In the manual kind, where you front your foe with drawn weapon,
     one right stroke is final; for, physically speaking, when the
     brains are out the man does honestly die, and trouble you no
     more. But how different when it is with arguments you fight! Here
     no victory yet definable can be considered as final. Beat him
     down, with Parliamentary invective, till sense be fled; cut him
     in two, hanging one half in this dilemma-horn, the other on that;
     blow the brains or thinking-faculty quite out of him for the
     time: it skills not; he rallies and revives on the morrow;
     tomorrow he repairs his golden fires! The think that _will_
     logically extinguish him is perhaps still a desideratum in
     Constitutional civilisation. For how, till a man know, in some
     measure, at what point he becomes logically defunct, can
     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 Alamanack-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, into the most
     original plan of action ever submitted to a People. Not yet has
     it grown; but it has germinated, it is growing; rooting itself
     into Tartarus, branching towards Heaven: the second season hence,
     we shall see it risen out of the bottomless Darkness, full-grown,
     into disastrous Twilight,—a Hemlock-tree, great as the world; on
     or under whose boughs all the People’s-friends of the world may
     lodge. “Two hundred and sixty thousand Aristocrat heads:” that is
     the precisest calculation, though one would not stand on a few
     hundreds; yet we never rise as high as the round three hundred
     thousand. Shudder at it, O People; but it is as true as that ye
     yourselves, and your People’s-friend, are alive. These prating
     Senators of yours hover ineffectual on the barren letter, and
     will never save the Revolution. A Cassandra-Marat cannot do it,
     with his single shrunk arm; but with a few 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 of what was
     called Optics, went to see him, ‘Give me two hundred Naples
     Bravoes, armed each with a good dirk, and a muff on his left arm
     by way of shield: with them I will traverse France, and
     accomplish the Revolution.’[268] Nay, be brave, young Barbaroux;
     for thou seest, there is no jesting in those rheumy eyes; in that
     soot-bleared figure, most earnest of created things; neither
     indeed is there madness, of the strait-waistcoat sort.
     Such produce shall the Time ripen in cavernous Marat, the man
     forbid; living in Paris cellars, lone as fanatic Anchorite in his
     Thebaid; say, as far-seen Simon on his Pillar,—taking peculiar
     views therefrom. Patriots may smile; and, using him as bandog now
     to be muzzled, now to be let bark, name him, as Desmoulins does,
     “Maximum of Patriotism” and “Cassandra-Marat:” but were it not
     singular if this dirk-and-muff plan of his (with superficial
     modifications) proved to be precisely the plan adopted?
     After this manner, in these circumstances, do august Senators
     regenerate France. Nay, they are, in very deed, _believed_ to be
     regenerating it; on account of which great fact, main fact of
     their history, the wearied eye can never be permitted wholly to
     ignore them.
     But, looking away now from these precincts of the Tuileries,
     where Constitutional Royalty, let Lafayette water it as he will,
     languishes too like a cut branch; and august Senators are perhaps
     at bottom only perfecting their “theory of defective verbs,”—how
     does the young Reality, young Sansculottism thrive? The attentive
     observer can answer: It thrives bravely; putting forth new buds;
     expanding the old buds into leaves, into boughs. Is not French
     Existence, as before, most prurient, all _loosened_, most
     nutrient for it? Sansculottism has the property of growing by
     what other things die of: by agitation, contention,
     disarrangement; nay in a word, by what is the symbol and fruit of
     all these: Hunger.
     In such a France as this, Hunger, as we have remarked, can hardly
     fail. The Provinces, the Southern Cities feel it in their turn;
     and what it brings: Exasperation, preternatural Suspicion. In
     Paris some halcyon days of abundance followed the Menadic
     Insurrection, with its Versailles grain-carts, and recovered
     Restorer of Liberty; but they could not continue. The month is
     still October when famishing Saint-Antoine, in a moment of
     passion, seizes a poor Baker, innocent “François the Baker;”[269]
     and hangs him, in Constantinople wise;—but even this, singular as
     it my seem, does not cheapen bread! Too clear it is, no Royal
     bounty, no Municipal dexterity can adequately feed a
     Bastille-destroying Paris. Wherefore, on view of the hanged
     Baker, Constitutionalism in sorrow and anger demands “_Loi
     Martiale_,” a kind of Riot Act;—and indeed gets it, most readily,
     almost before the sun goes down.
     This is that 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 _Oriflamme_ of his; then
     to read or mumble something about the King’s peace; and, after
     certain pauses, serve any undispersing Assemblage with
     musket-shot, or whatever shot will disperse it. A decisive Law;
     and most just on one proviso: that all Patrollotism be of God,
     and all mob-assembling be of the Devil;—otherwise not so just.
     Mayor Bailly be unwilling to use it! Hang not out that new
     Oriflamme, _flame_ not _of gold_ but of the want of gold! The
     thrice-blessed Revolution is _done_, thou thinkest? If so it will
     be well with thee.
     But now let no mortal say henceforth that an august National
     Assembly wants riot: all it ever wanted was riot enough to
     balance Court-plotting; all it now wants, of Heaven or of Earth,
     is to get its theory of defective verbs perfected.

     Chapter 2.1.III.
     The Muster.
     With famine and a Constitutional theory of defective verbs going
     on, all other excitement is conceivable. A universal shaking and
     sifting of French Existence this is: in the course of which, for
     one thing, what a multitude of low-lying figures are sifted to
     the top, and set busily to work there!
     Dogleech Marat, now for-seen as Simon Stylites, we already know;
     him and others, raised aloft. The mere sample, these, of what is
     coming, of what continues coming, upwards from the realm of
     Night!—Chaumette, by and by Anaxagoras Chaumette, one already
     descries: mellifluous in street-groups; not now a sea-boy on the
     high and giddy mast: a mellifluous tribune of the common people,
     with long curling locks, on _bourne_stone of the thoroughfares;
     able sub-editor too; who shall rise—to the very gallows. Clerk
     Tallien, he also is become sub-editor; shall become able editor;
     and more. Bibliopolic Momoro, Typographic Pruhomme 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?[270] Better had ye clapped!
     Happy now, indeed, for all manner of _mimetic_, half-original
     men! Tumid blustering, with more or less of sincerity, which need
     not be entirely sincere, yet the sincerer the better, is like to
     go far. Shall we say, the Revolution-element works itself rarer
     and rarer; so that only lighter and lighter bodies will float in
     it; till at last the mere blown-bladder is your only swimmer?
     Limitation of mind, then vehemence, promptitude, audacity, shall
     all be available; to which add only these two: cunning and good
     lungs. Good fortune must be presupposed. Accordingly, of all
     classes the rising one, we observe, is now the Attorney class:
     witness Bazires, Carriers, Fouquier-Tinvilles, Bazoche-Captain
     Bourdons: more than enough. Such figures shall Night, from her
     wonder-bearing bosom, emit; swarm after swarm. Of another deeper
     and deepest swarm, not yet dawned on the astonished eye; of
     pilfering Candle-snuffers, Thief-valets, disfrocked Capuchins,
     and so many Héberts, Henriots, Ronsins, Rossignols, let us, as
     long as possible, forbear speaking.
     Thus, over France, all stirs that has what the Physiologists call
     _irritability_ in it: how much more all wherein irritability has
     perfected itself into vitality; into actual vision, and force
     that can will! All stirs; and if not in Paris, flocks thither.
     Great and greater waxes President Danton in his Cordeliers
     Section; his rhetorical tropes are all “gigantic:” energy flashes
     from his black brows, menaces in his athletic figure, rolls in
     the sound of his voice “reverberating from the domes;” this man
     also, like Mirabeau, has a natural _eye_, and begins to see
     whither Constitutionalism is tending, though with a wish in it
     different from Mirabeau’s.
     Remark, on the other hand, how General Dumouriez has quitted
     Normandy and the Cherbourg Breakwater, to come—whither we may
     guess. It is his second or even third trial at Paris, since this
     New Era began; but now it is in right earnest, for he has quitted
     all else. Wiry, elastic unwearied man; whose life was but a
     battle and a march! No, _not_ a creature of Choiseul’s; ‘the
     creature of God and of my sword,’—he fiercely answered in old
     days. Overfalling Corsican batteries, in the deadly fire-hail;
     wriggling invincible from under his horse, at Closterkamp of the
     Netherlands, though tethered with “crushed stirrup-iron and
     nineteen wounds;” tough, minatory, standing at bay, as forlorn
     hope, on the skirts of Poland; intriguing, battling in cabinet
     and field; roaming far out, obscure, as King’s spial, or sitting
     sealed up, enchanted in Bastille; fencing, pamphleteering,
     scheming and struggling from the very birth of him,[271]—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. We will
     name him, on the whole, one of Heaven’s Swiss; without faith;
     wanting above all things work, work on _any_ side. Work also is
     appointed him; and he will do it.
     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 “Fournier _l’Américain_,” 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 of Chance—into an ostrich-_eater!_
     Jewish or German Freys do business in the great Cesspool of
     _Agio;_ which Cesspool this _Assignat_-fiat has quickened, into a
     Mother of dead dogs. Swiss Clavière could found no Socinian
     Genevese Colony in Ireland; but he paused, years ago, prophetic
     before the Minister’s Hôtel at Paris; and said, it was borne on
     his mind that _he_ one day was to be Minister, and laughed.[272]
     Swiss Pachc, on the other hand, sits sleekheaded, frugal; the
     wonder of his own alley, and even of neighbouring ones, for
     humility of mind, and a thought deeper than most men’s: sit
     there, Tartuffe, till wanted! Ye 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 faculty,
     nay if thou have but edacity and loquacity, come! They come; with
     hot unutterabilities in their heart; as Pilgrims towards a
     miraculous shrine. Nay how many come as vacant Strollers,
     aimless, of whom Europe is full merely towards _something!_ For
     benighted fowls, when you beat their bushes, rush towards any
     light. Thus Frederick Baron Trenck too is here; mazed, purblind,
     from the cells of Magdeburg; Minotauric cells, and his Ariadne
     lost! Singular to say, Trenck, in these years, sells wine; not
     indeed in bottle, but in wood.
     Nor is our England without her missionaries. She has her
     live-saving Needham;[273] to whom was solemnly presented a “civic
     sword,”—long since rusted into nothingness. Her Paine: rebellious
     Staymaker; unkempt; who feels that he, a single Needleman, did by
     his “_Common-Sense_” Pamphlet, free America;—that he can and will
     free all this World; perhaps even the other. Price-Stanhope
     Constitutional Association sends over to congratulate;[274]
     welcomed by National Assembly, though they are but a London Club;
     whom Burke and Toryism eye askance.
     On thee too, for country’s sake, O Chevalier John Paul, be a word
     spent, or misspent! In faded naval uniform, Paul Jones lingers
     visible here; like a wine-skin from which the wine is all drawn.
     Like the ghost of himself! Low is his once loud bruit; scarcely
     audible, save, with extreme tedium in ministerial ante-chambers;
     in this or the other charitable dining-room, mindful of the past.
     What changes; culminatings and declinings! Not now, poor Paul,
     thou lookest wistful over the 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, or 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 smoke-clouds; ominous though
     ineffectual. Proud Forth quakes at his bellying sails; had not
     the wind suddenly shifted. Flamborough 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
     other, in their fashion; and lo the desperate valour has
     suffocated the deliberate, and Paul Jones too is of the Kings of
     the Sea!
     The Euxine, the Méotian waters felt thee next, and long-skirted
     Turks, O Paul; and thy fiery soul has wasted itself in thousand
     contradictions;—to no purpose. For, in far lands, with scarlet
     Nassau-Siegens, with sinful Imperial Catherines, is not the
     heart-broken, even as at home with the mean? Poor Paul! hunger
     and dispiritment track thy sinking footsteps: once or at most
     twice, in this Revolution-tumult the figure of thee emerges;
     mute, ghost-like, as “with stars dim-twinkling through.” And
     then, when the light is gone quite out, a National Legislature
     grants “ceremonial funeral!” As good had been the natural
     Presbyterian Kirk-bell, and six feet of Scottish earth, among the
     dust of thy loved ones.—_Such_ world lay beyond the Promontory of
     St. Bees. Such is the life of sinful mankind here below.
     But of all strangers, far the notablest for us is Baron Jean
     Baptiste de Clootz;—or, dropping baptisms and feudalisms,
     World-Citizen Anacharsis Clootz, from Cleves. Him mark, judicious
     Reader. Thou hast known his Uncle, sharp-sighted thorough-going
     Cornelius de Pauw, who mercilessly cuts down cherished illusions;
     and of the finest antique Spartans, will make mere modern
     cutthroat Mainots.[275] 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 attitude;_ which indeed is
     So many new persons, and new things, have come to occupy this
     France. Her old Speech and Thought, and Activity which springs
     from those, are all changing; fermenting towards unknown issues.
     To the dullest peasant, as he sits sluggish, overtoiled, by his
     evening hearth, one idea has come: that of Châteaus burnt; of
     Châteaus combustible. How altered all Coffeehouses, in Province
     or Capital! The _Antre de Procope_ has now other questions than
     the Three Stagyrite Unities to settle; not theatre-controversies,
     but a world-controversy: there, in the ancient pigtail mode, or
     with modern Brutus’ heads, do well-frizzed logicians hold hubbub,
     and Chaos umpire sits. The ever-enduring Melody of Paris Saloons
     has got a new ground-tone: ever-enduring; which has been heard,
     and by the listening Heaven too, since Julian the Apostate’s time
     and earlier; mad now as formerly.
     Ex-Censor Suard, _Ex_-Censor, for we have freedom of the Press;
     he may be seen there; impartial, even neutral. Tyrant Grimm rolls
     large eyes, over a questionable coming Time. Atheist Naigeon,
     beloved disciple of Diderot, crows, in his small difficult way,
     heralding glad dawn.[276] 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![277] 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; a puritan yet
     creedless; darkening counsel by words without wisdom! For, it is
     in that thin element of the Sentimentalist and
     Distinguished-Female that Sillery-Genlis works; she would gladly
     be sincere, yet can grow no sincerer than sincere-cant:
     sincere-cant of many forms, ending in the devotional form. For
     the present, on a neck still of moderate whiteness, she wears as
     jewel a miniature Bastille, cut on mere sandstone, but then
     actual Bastille sandstone. M. le Marquis is one of d’Orléans’s
     errandmen; in National Assembly, and elsewhere. Madame, for her
     part, trains up a youthful d’Orléans generation in what
     superfinest morality one can; gives meanwhile rather enigmatic
     account of fair Mademoiselle Pamela, the Daughter whom she has
     _adopted_. Thus she, in Palais Royal saloon;—whither, we remark,
     d’Orléans 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 pest-struck,[278] and his red-blue
     impassive visage waxing hardly a shade bluer.

     Chapter 2.1.IV.
     As for Constitutionalism, with its National Guards, it is doing
     what it can; and has enough to do: it must, as ever, with one
     hand wave persuasively, repressing Patriotism; and keep the other
     clenched to menace Royalty plotters. A most delicate task;
     requiring tact.
     Thus, if People’s-friend Marat has today his writ of “_prise de
     corps_, or seizure of body,” served on him, and dives out of
     sight, tomorrow he is left at large; or is even encouraged, as a
     sort of bandog whose baying may be useful. President Danton, in
     open Hall, with reverberating voice, declares that, in a case
     like Marat’s, ‘force may be resisted by force.’ Whereupon the
     Chatelet serves Danton also with a writ;—which, however, as the
     whole Cordeliers District responds to it, what Constable will be
     prompt to execute? Twice more, on new occasions, does the
     Chatelet launch its writ; and twice more in vain: the body of
     Danton cannot be seized by Châtelet; he unseized, should he even
     fly for a season, shall behold the Châtelet itself flung into
     Municipality and Brissot, meanwhile, are far on with their
     Municipal Constitution. The Sixty _Districts_ shall become
     Forty-eight _Sections;_ much shall be adjusted, and Paris have
     its Constitution. A Constitution wholly Elective; as indeed all
     French Government shall and must be. And yet, one fatal element
     has been introduced: that of _citoyen actif_. No man who does not
     pay the _marc d’argent_, or yearly tax equal to three days’
     labour, shall be other than a _passive_ citizen: not the
     slightest vote for him; were he _acting_, all the year round,
     with sledge hammer, with forest-levelling axe! Unheard of! cry
     Patriot Journals. Yes truly, my Patriot Friends, if Liberty, the
     passion and prayer of all men’s souls, means Liberty to send your
     fifty-thousandth part of a new Tongue-fencer into National
     Debating-club, then, be the gods witness, ye are hardly
     entreated. Oh, if in National _Palaver_ (as the Africans name
     it), such blessedness is 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 might fear, is actually, as the ancient
     wise men said, of Heaven. On this Earth, where, thinks the
     enlightened public, did a brave little Dame de Staal (not
     Necker’s Daughter, but a far shrewder than she) find the nearest
     approach to Liberty? After mature computation, cool as
     Dilworth’s, her answer is, _In the Bastille._[279] ‘Of Heaven?’
     answer many, asking. Wo that they should _ask;_ for that is the
     very misery! ‘Of Heaven’ means much; share in the National
     Palaver it may, or may as probably _not_ mean.
     One Sansculottic bough that cannot fail to flourish is
     Journalism. The voice of the People _being_ the voice of God,
     shall not such divine voice make itself heard? To the ends of
     France; and in as many dialects as when the _first_ great Babel
     was to be built! Some loud as the lion; some small as the sucking
     dove. Mirabeau 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-compliant otherwise.[280]
     _King’s-friend_ Royou still prints himself. Barrère sheds tears
     of loyal sensibility in _Break of Day_ Journal, though with
     declining sale. But why is Fréron so hot, democratic; Fréron, the
     King’s-friend’s Nephew? He has it by kind, that heat of his:
     _wasp_ Fréron begot him; Voltaire’s _Frélon;_ who fought
     stinging, while sting and poison-bag were left, were it only as
     Reviewer, and over Printed Waste-paper. Constant, illuminative,
     as the nightly lamplighter, issues the useful _Moniteur_, for it
     is now become diurnal: with facts and few commentaries; 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 _Révolutions de Paris_
     die; but edit it himself, with much else,—dull-blustering Printer
     though he be.
     Of Cassandra-Marat we have spoken often; yet the most surprising
     truth remains to be spoken: that he actually does not want sense;
     but, with croaking gelid throat, croaks out masses of the truth,
     on several things. Nay sometimes, one might almost fancy he had a
     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. A light melodious creature; “born,”
     as he shall yet say with bitter tears, “to write verses;” light
     Apollo, so clear, soft-lucent, in this war of the Titans, wherein
     he shall not conquer!
     Folded and hawked Newspapers exist in all countries; but, in such
     a Journalistic element as this of France, other and stranger
     sorts are to be anticipated. What says the English reader to a
     _Journal-Affiche_, Placard Journal; legible to him that has no
     halfpenny; in bright prismatic colours, calling the eye from
     afar? Such, in the coming months, as Patriot Associations, public
     and private, advance, and can subscribe funds, shall plenteously
     hang themselves out: _leaves_, limed leaves, to catch what they
     can! The very Government shall have its Pasted Journal; Louvet,
     busy yet with a new “charming romance,” shall write
     _Sentinelles_, and post them with effect; nay Bertrand de
     Moleville, in his extremity, shall still more cunningly try
     it.[281] Great is Journalism. Is not every Able Editor a Ruler of
     the World, being a persuader of it; though self-elected, yet
     sanctioned, by the sale of his Numbers? Whom indeed the world has
     the readiest method of deposing, should need be: that of merely
     doing _nothing_ to him; which ends in starvation!
     Nor esteem it small what those Bill-stickers had to do in Paris:
     above Three Score of them: all with their crosspoles, haversacks,
     pastepots; nay with leaden badges, for the Municipality licenses
     them. A Sacred College, properly of World-rulers’ Heralds, though
     not respected as such, in an Era still incipient and raw. They
     made the walls of Paris didactic, suasive, with an ever fresh
     Periodical Literature, wherein he that ran might read: Placard
     Journals, Placard Lampoons, Municipal Ordinances, Royal
     Proclamations; the whole other or vulgar Placard-department
     super-added,—or omitted from contempt! What unutterable things
     the stone-walls spoke, during these five years! But it is all
     gone; Today swallowing Yesterday, and then being in its turn
     swallowed of Tomorrow, even as Speech ever is. Nay what, O thou
     immortal Man of Letters, is Writing itself but Speech conserved
     for a time? The Placard Journal conserved it for one day; some
     Books conserve it for the matter of ten years; nay some for three
     thousand: but what then? Why, _then_, the years being all run, it
     also dies, and the world is rid of it. Oh, were there not a
     spirit in the word of man, as in man himself, that survived the
     audible bodied word, and tended either Godward, or else Devilward
     for evermore, why should he trouble himself much with the truth
     of it, or the falsehood of it, except for commercial purposes?
     His immortality indeed, and 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 ewig leben_,
     Unprintable Off-scouring of Scoundrels, would ye live for ever!’
     This is the Communication of Thought: how happy when there is any
     Thought to communicate! Neither let the simpler old methods be
     neglected, in their sphere. The Palais-Royal Tent, a tyrannous
     Patrollotism has removed; but can it remove the lungs of man?
     Anaxagoras Chaumette we saw mounted on bourne-stones, while
     Tallien worked sedentary at the subeditorial desk. In any corner
     of the civilised world, a tub can be inverted, and an
     articulate-speaking biped mount thereon. Nay, with contrivance, a
     portable trestle, or folding-stool, can be procured, for love or
     money; this the peripatetic Orator can take in his hand, and,
     driven out here, set it up again there; saying mildly, with a
     Sage Bias, _Omnia mea mecum porto._
     Such is Journalism, hawked, pasted, spoken. How changed since One
     old Métra 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, “Métra the Newsman;”[282] and
     Louis himself was wont to say: _Qu’en dit Métra?_ Since the first
     Venetian News-sheet was sold for a _gazza_, or farthing, and
     named _Gazette!_ We live in a fertile world.

     Chapter 2.1.V.
     Where the heart is full, it seeks, for a thousand reasons, in a
     thousand ways, to impart itself. How sweet, indispensable, in
     such cases, is fellowship; soul mystically strengthening soul!
     The meditative Germans, some think, have been of opinion that
     Enthusiasm in the general means simply excessive
     Congregating—_Schwärmerey_, or _Swarming_. 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; find solacement, and
     also nutriment. In every French head there hangs now, whether for
     terror or for hope, some prophetic picture of a New France:
     prophecy which brings, nay which almost is, its own fulfilment;
     and in all ways, consciously and unconsciously, works towards
     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 Club-spirit is universal; if the time _is_ plastic. Plastic
     enough is the time, universal the Club-spirit: such an all
     absorbing, paramount One Club cannot be wanting.
     What a progress, since the first salient-point of the Breton
     Committee! It worked long in secret, not 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, _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
     Jacobin’s 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 Mirabeau, perpetually Robespierre; also the
     ferret-visage of Fouquier-Tinville with other attorneys;
     Anacharsis of Prussian Scythia, and miscellaneous
     Patriots,—though all is yet in the most perfectly clean-washed
     state; decent, nay dignified. President on platform, President’s
     bell are not wanting; oratorical Tribune high-raised; nor
     strangers’ galleries, wherein also sit women. Has any French
     Antiquarian Society preserved that written Lease of the Jacobins
     Convent Hall? Or was it, unluckier even than Magna Charta,
     _clipt_ by sacrilegious Tailors? Universal History is not
     indifferent to it.
     These Friends of the Constitution have met mainly, as their name
     may foreshadow, to look after Elections when an Election comes,
     and procure fit men; but 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 the _passive_ state; no mortal can
     say accurately, themselves as little as any, for _what_ they are
     gathered. How often has the broached barrel proved not to be for
     joy and heart effusion, but for duel and head-breakage; and the
     promised feast become a Feast of the Lapithae! This Jacobins
     Club, which at first shone resplendent, and was thought to be a
     new celestial Sun for enlightening the Nations, had, as things
     all have, to work through its appointed phases: it burned
     unfortunately more and more lurid, more sulphurous,
     distracted;—and swam at last, through the astonished Heaven, like
     a Tartarean Portent, and lurid-burning Prison of Spirits in Pain.
     Its style of eloquence? Rejoice, Reader, that thou knowest it
     not, that thou canst never perfectly know. The Jacobins published
     a Journal of Debates, where they that have the heart may examine:
     Impassioned, full-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 far on as Greek
     Missolonghi; and, strange enough, old slumbering Hellas was
     resuscitated, into _somnambulism_ which will become clear
     wakefulness, by a voice from the Rue St. Honoré! All dies, as we
     often say; except the spirit of man, of what man _does_. Thus has
     not the very House of the Jacobins vanished; scarcely lingering
     in a few old men’s memories? The St. Honoré Market has brushed it
     away, and now where dull-droning eloquence, like a Trump of Doom,
     once shook the world, there is pacific chaffering for poultry and
     greens. The sacred National Assembly Hall itself has become
     common ground; President’s platform permeable to wain and
     dustcart; for the Rue de Rivoli runs there. Verily, at Cockcrow
     (of this Cock or the other), _all_ Apparitions do melt and
     dissolve in space.
     The Paris _Jacobins_ became “the Mother-Society, _Société-Mère;_”
     and had as many as “three hundred” shrill-tongued daughters in
     “direct correspondence” with her. Of indirectly corresponding,
     what we may call grand-daughters and minute progeny, she counted
     “forty-four thousand!”—But for the present we note only two
     things: the first of them a mere anecdote. One night, a couple of
     brother Jacobins are doorkeepers; for the members take this post
     of duty and honour in rotation, and admit none that have not
     tickets: one doorkeeper was the worthy Sieur Laïs, a patriotic
     Opera-singer, stricken in years, whose windpipe is long since
     closed without result; the other, young, and named Louis
     Philippe, D’Orléans’s firstborn, has in this latter time, after
     unheard-of destinies, become Citizen-King, and struggles to rule
     for a season. All-flesh is grass; higher reedgrass or creeping
     The second thing we have to note is historical: that the
     Mother-Society, even in this its effulgent period, cannot content
     all Patriots. Already it must throw off, so to speak, two
     dissatisfied swarms; a swarm to the right, a swarm to the left.
     One party, which thinks the Jacobins lukewarm, constitutes itself
     into _Club of the Cordeliers;_ a hotter Club: it is Danton’s
     element: with whom goes Desmoulins. The other party, again, which
     thinks the Jacobins scalding-hot, flies off to the right, and
     becomes “Club of 1789, Friends of the _Monarchic_ Constitution.”
     They are afterwards named “_Feuillans Club;_” their place of
     meeting being the Feuillans Convent. Lafayette is, or becomes,
     their chief-man; supported by the respectable Patriot everywhere,
     by the mass of Property and Intelligence,—with the most
     flourishing prospects. They, in these June days of 1790, do, in
     the Palais Royal, dine solemnly with open windows; to the cheers
     of the people; with toasts, with inspiriting songs,—with one song
     at least, among the feeblest ever sung.[283] They shall, in due
     time be hooted forth, 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, which will have grown warm enough.
     Fatal-looking! Are not such Societies an incipient New Order of
     Society itself? The Aggregative Principle anew at work in a
     Society grown obsolete, cracked asunder, dissolving into rubbish
     and primary atoms?

     Chapter 2.1.VI.
     Je le jure.
     With these signs of the times, is it not surprising that the
     dominant feeling all over France was still continually Hope? O
     blessed Hope, sole boon of man; whereby, on his strait prison
     walls, are painted beautiful far-stretching landscapes; and into
     the night of very Death is shed holiest dawn! Thou art to all an
     indefeasible possession in this God’s-world: to the wise a sacred
     Constantine’s-banner, written on the eternal skies; under which
     they _shall_ conquer, for the battle itself is victory: to the
     foolish some secular _mirage_, or shadow of still waters, painted
     on the parched Earth; whereby at least their dusty pilgrimage, if
     devious, becomes cheerfuller, becomes possible.
     In the death-tumults of a sinking Society, French Hope sees only
     the birth-struggles of a new unspeakably better Society; and
     sings, with full assurance of faith, her brisk Melody, which some
     inspired fiddler has in these very days composed for her,—the
     world-famous _Ça-ira_. Yes; “that will go:” and then there will
     _come—?_ All men hope: even Marat hopes—that Patriotism will take
     muff and dirk. King Louis is not without hope: in the chapter of
     chances; in a flight to some Bouillé; in getting popularized at
     Paris. But what a hoping People he had, judge by the fact, and
     series of facts, now to be noted.
     Poor Louis, meaning the best, with little insight and even less
     determination of his own, has to follow, in that dim wayfaring of
     his, such signal as may be given him; by backstairs Royalism, by
     official or backstairs Constitutionalism, whichever for the month
     may have convinced the royal mind. If flight to Bouillé, and
     (horrible to think!) a drawing of the civil sword do hang as
     theory, portentous in the background, much nearer is this fact of
     these Twelve Hundred Kings, who sit in the _Salle de Manége_.
     Kings uncontrollable by him, not yet irreverent to him. Could
     kind management of these but prosper, how much better were it
     than armed Emigrants, Turin-intrigues, and the help of Austria!
     Nay, are the _two_ hopes inconsistent? Rides in the suburbs, we
     have found, cost little; yet they always brought _vivats_.[284]
     Still cheaper is a soft word; such as has many times turned away
     wrath. In these rapid days, while France is all getting divided
     into Departments, Clergy about to be remodelled, Popular
     Societies rising, and Feudalism and so much ever is ready to be
     hurled into the melting-pot,—might one not try?
     On the 4th of February, accordingly, M. le Président 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 of velvet, “of a violet colour
     sprigged with gold fleur-de-lys;”—for indeed M. le Président 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 Department, Ushers announce:
     ‘His Majesty!’ 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 all 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
     sat there bursting to do somewhat; Fugleman of a whole onlooking
     France! The President swears; declares that every one shall
     swear, in distinct _je le jure_. Nay the very Gallery sends him
     down a written slip signed, with their Oath on it; and as the
     Assembly now casts an eye that way, the Gallery all stands up and
     swears again. And then out of doors, consider at the
     Hôtel-de-Ville how Bailly, the great Tennis-Court swearer, again
     swears, towards nightful, with all the Municipals, and Heads of
     Districts assembled there. And “M. Danton suggests that the
     public would like to partake:” whereupon Bailly, with escort of
     Twelve, steps forth to the great outer staircase; sways the
     ebullient multitude with stretched hand: takes their oath, with a
     thunder of “rolling drums,” with shouts that rend the welkin. And
     on all streets the glad people, with moisture and fire in their
     eyes, “spontaneously formed groups, and swore one
     another,”[285]—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 a series of nights. For each District, the
     Electors of each District, will swear specially; and always as
     the District swears; it illuminates itself. Behold them, District
     after District, in some open square, where the Non-Electing
     People can all see and join: with their uplifted right hands, and
     _je le jure:_ with rolling drums, with embracings, and that
     infinite hurrah of the enfranchised,—which any tyrant that there
     may be can consider! Faithful to the King, to the Law, to the
     Constitution which the National Assembly _shall_ make.
     Fancy, for example, the Professors of Universities parading the
     streets with their young France, and swearing, in an enthusiastic
     manner, not without tumult. By a larger exercise of fancy, expand
     duly this little word: The like was repeated in every Town and
     District of France! Nay one Patriot Mother, in Lagnon of
     Brittany, assembles her ten children; and, with her own aged
     hand, swears them all herself, the highsouled venerable woman. Of
     all which, moreover, a National Assembly must be eloquently
     apprised. Such three weeks of swearing! Saw the sun ever such a
     swearing people? Have they been bit by a swearing tarantula? No:
     but they are men and Frenchmen; they have Hope; and, singular to
     say, they have Faith, were it only in the Gospel according to
     Jean Jacques. O my Brothers! would to Heaven it were even as ye
     think and have sworn! But there are Lovers’ Oaths, which, had
     they been true as love itself, _cannot_ be kept; not to speak of
     Dicers’ Oaths, also a known sort.

     Chapter 2.1.VII.
     To such length had the _Contrat Social_ brought it, in believing
     hearts. Man, as is well said, lives by faith; each generation has
     its own faith, more or less; and laughs at the faith of its
     predecessor,—most unwisely. Grant indeed that this faith in the
     Social Contract belongs to the stranger sorts; that an unborn
     generation may very wisely, if not laugh, yet stare at it, and
     piously consider. For, alas, what is _Contrat?_ If all men were
     such that a mere spoken or sworn Contract would bind them, all
     men were then true men, and Government a superfluity. Not what
     thou and I have promised to each other, but what the balance of
     our forces can make us perform to each other: that, in so sinful
     a world as ours, is the thing to be counted on. But above all, a
     People and a Sovereign promising to one another; as if a whole
     People, changing from generation to generation, nay from hour to
     hour, could ever by any method be made to _speak_ or promise; and
     to speak mere solecisms:‘We, be the Heavens witness, which
     Heavens however do no miracles now; we, ever-changing Millions,
     will _allow_ thee, changeful Unit, to _force_ us or govern us!’
     The world has perhaps seen few faiths comparable to that.
     So nevertheless had the world then construed the matter. Had they
     _not_ so construed it, how different had their hopes been, their
     attempts, their results! But so and not otherwise did the Upper
     Powers will it to be. Freedom by Social Contract: such was verily
     the Gospel of that Era. And all men had believed in it, as in a
     Heaven’s Glad-tidings men should; and with overflowing heart and
     uplifted voice clave to it, and stood fronting Time and Eternity
     on it. Nay smile not; or only with a smile sadder than tears!
     This too was a better faith than the one it had replaced: than
     faith merely in the Everlasting Nothing and man’s Digestive
     Power; lower than _which_ no faith can go.
     Not that such universally prevalent, universally jurant, feeling
     of Hope, could be a unanimous one. Far from that! The time was
     ominous: social dissolution near and certain; social renovation
     still a problem, difficult and distant even though sure. But if
     ominous to some clearest onlooker, whose faith stood not with one
     side or with the other, nor in the ever-vexed jarring of Greek
     with Greek at all,—how unspeakably ominous to dim Royalist
     participators; for whom Royalism was Mankind’s palladium; for
     whom, with the abolition of Most-Christian Kingship and
     Most-Talleyrand Bishopship, all loyal obedience, all religious
     faith was to expire, and final Night envelope the Destinies of
     Man! On serious hearts, of that persuasion, the matter sinks down
     deep; prompting, as we have seen, to backstairs Plots, to
     Emigration with pledge of war, to Monarchic Clubs; nay to still
     madder things.
     The Spirit of Prophecy, for instance, had been considered extinct
     for some centuries: nevertheless these last-times, as indeed is
     the tendency of last-times, do revive it; that so, of French mad
     things, we might have sample also of the maddest. In remote rural
     districts, whither Philosophism has not yet radiated, where a
     heterodox Constitution of the Clergy is bringing strife round the
     altar itself, and the very Church-bells are getting melted into
     small money-coin, it appears probable that the End of the World
     cannot be far off. Deep-musing atrabiliar old 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 world, 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
     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.[286]
     Notable however was that “magnetic vellum, _vélin magnétique_,”
     of the Sieurs d’Hozier 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, middle-aged Petit-Jean: why came these two to
     Saint-Cloud, where his Majesty was hunting, on the festival of
     St. Peter and St. Paul; and waited there, in antechambers, a
     wonder to whispering Swiss, the livelong day; and even waited
     without the Grates, when turned out; and had dismissed their
     valets to Paris, as with purpose of endless waiting? They have a
     _magnetic vellum_, these two; whereon the Virgin, wonderfully
     clothing herself in Mesmerean Cagliostric Occult-Philosophy, 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 Guardhouse 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 answer is _negative_. Go, ye Chimeras, with your magnetic
     vellum; sweet young Chimera, adust middle-aged one! The
     Prison-doors are open. Hardly again shall ye preside the Rouen
     Chamber of Accounts; but vanish obscurely into Limbo.[287]

     Chapter 2.1.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
     _con_fusion. Old women here swearing their ten children on the
     new Evangel of Jean Jacques; old women there looking up for
     Favras’ Heads in the celestial Luminary: these _are_
     preternatural signs, prefiguring somewhat.
     In fact, to the Patriot children of Hope themselves, it is
     undeniable that difficulties exist: emigrating 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 tallow-illumination some fathoms into the reign of Night!
     If grains are defective, the fault is not of Nature or National
     Assembly, but of Art and Antinational Intriguers. Such malign
     individuals, of the scoundrel species, have power to vex us,
     while the Constitution is a-making. Endure it, ye heroic
     Patriots: nay rather, why not cure it? Grains do grow, 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 _coup de soleil._
     Under which hat or nightcap of the Twenty-five millions, this
     pregnant Idea first rose, 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 Hebrew-Presbyterian way, to keep
     it more or less;—for the thing, as such things are, was heard in
     Heaven, and partially ratified there; neither is it yet dead, if
     thou wilt look, nor like to die. The French too, with their
     Gallic-Ethnic excitability and effervescence, have, as we have
     seen, real Faith, of a sort; they are hard bestead, 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 developement and issue!
     Note, accordingly, the small commencement; first spark of a
     mighty firework: for if the particular _hat_ cannot be fixed
     upon, the particular District can. On the 29th day of last
     November, were National Guards by the thousand seen filing, from
     far and near, with military music, with Municipal officers in
     tricolor sashes, towards and along the Rhone-stream, to the
     little town of Etoile. There with ceremonial evolution and
     manœuvre, with fanfaronading, 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
     County-towns, how much more might this! In a fortnight, larger
     Montélimart, half ashamed of itself, will do as good, and better.
     On the Plain of Montélimart, or what is equally sonorous, “under
     the Walls of Montélimart,” 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 Montélimart do federate with the
     already federated men of Etoile. Second, that, implying not
     expressing the circulation of grain, they “swear in the face of
     God and their Country” with much more emphasis and
     comprehensiveness, “to obey all decrees of the National Assembly,
     and see them obeyed, till death, _jusqu’à la mort_.” Third, and
     most important, that official record of all this be solemnly
     delivered in to the National Assembly, to M. de Lafayette, and
     “to the Restorer of French Liberty;” who shall all take what
     comfort from it they can. Thus does larger Montélimart vindicate
     its Patriot importance, and maintain its rank in the municipal
     And so, with the New-year, the signal is hoisted; for is not a
     National Assembly, and solemn deliverance there, at lowest a
     National Telegraph? Not only grain shall circulate, while there
     is grain, on highways or the Rhone-waters, over all that
     South-Eastern region,—where also if Monseigneur d’Artois saw good
     to break in from Turin, hot welcome might wait him; but
     whatsoever Province of France is straitened for grain, or vexed
     with a mutinous Parlement, unconstitutional plotters, Monarchic
     Clubs, or any other Patriot ailment,—can go and do likewise, or
     even do better. And now, especially, when the February swearing
     has set them all agog! From Brittany to Burgundy, on most plains
     of France, under most City-walls, it is a blaring of trumpets,
     waving of banners, a constitutional manœuvring: under the vernal
     skies, while Nature too is putting forth her green Hopes, under
     bright sunshine defaced by the stormful East; like Patriotism
     victorious, though with difficulty, over Aristocracy and defect
     of grain! There march and constitutionally wheel, to the
     _ça-ira_-ing mood of fife and drum, under their tricolor
     Municipals, our clear-gleaming Phalanxes; or halt, with uplifted
     right-hand, and artillery-salvoes that imitate Jove’s thunder;
     and all the Country, and metaphorically all “the Universe,” is
     looking on. Wholly, in their best apparel, brave men, and
     beautifully dizened women, most of whom have lovers there;
     swearing, by the eternal Heavens and this green-growing
     all-nutritive Earth, that France is free!
     Sweetest days, when (astonishing to say) mortals have actually
     met together in communion and fellowship; and man, were it only
     once through long despicable centuries, is for moments verily the
     brother of man!—And then the Deputations to the National
     Assembly, with highflown descriptive harangue; to M. de
     Lafayette, and the Restorer; very frequently moreover to the
     Mother of Patriotism sitting on her stout benches in that Hall of
     the Jacobins! The general ear is filled with Federation. New
     names of Patriots emerge, which shall one day become familiar:
     Boyer-Fonfrede eloquent denunciator of a rebellious Bourdeaux
     Parlement; Max Isnard eloquent reporter of the Federation of
     Draguignan; eloquent pair, separated by the whole breadth of
     France, who are nevertheless to meet. Ever wider burns the flame
     of Federation; ever wider and also brighter. Thus the Brittany
     and Anjou brethren mention a Fraternity of _all_ true Frenchmen;
     and go the length of invoking “perdition and death” on any
     renegade: moreover, if in their National-Assembly harangue, they
     glance plaintively at the _marc d’argent_ 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?[289] A most pertinent suggestion;
     dating from the end of March. Which pertinent suggestion the
     whole Patriot world cannot but catch, and reverberate and agitate
     till it become _loud;_—which, in that case, the Townhall
     Municipals had better take up, and meditate.
     Some universal Federation seems inevitable: the Where is given;
     clearly Paris: only the When, the How? These also productive Time
     will give; is already giving. For always as the Federative work
     goes on, it perfects itself, and Patriot genius adds contribution
     after contribution. Thus, at Lyons, in the end of the May month,
     we behold as many as fifty, or some say sixty thousand, met to
     federate; and a multitude looking on, which it would be difficult
     to number. From dawn to dusk! For our Lyons Guardsmen took rank,
     at five in the bright dewy morning; came pouring in,
     bright-gleaming, to the Quai de Rhone, to march thence to the
     Federation-field; amid wavings of hats 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 is this; with
     her escort of house-friends and Champagneux the Patriot Editor;
     come abroad with the earliest? Radiant with enthusiasm are those
     dark eyes, is that strong Minerva-face, looking dignity and
     earnest joy; joyfullest she where all are joyful. It is Roland de
     la Platrière’s Wife![290] Strict elderly Roland, King’s Inspector
     of Manufactures here; and now likewise, by popular choice, the
     strictest of our new Lyons Municipals: a man who has gained much,
     if worth and faculty be gain; but above all things, has gained to
     wife Phlipon the Paris Engraver’s daughter. Reader, mark that
     queenlike burgher-woman: beautiful, Amazonian-graceful to the
     eye; more so to the mind. Unconscious of her worth (as all worth
     is), of her greatness, of her crystal clearness; genuine, the
     creature of Sincerity and Nature, in an age of Artificiality,
     Pollution and Cant; there, in her still completeness, in her
     still invincibility, _she_, if thou knew it, is the noblest of
     all living Frenchwomen,—and will be seen, one day. O blessed
     rather while unseen, even of herself! For the present she gazes,
     nothing doubting, into this grand theatricality; and thinks her
     young dreams are to be fulfilled.
     From dawn to dusk, as we said, it lasts; and truly a sight like
     few. Flourishes of drums and trumpets are something: but think of
     an “artificial Rock fifty feet high,” all cut into crag-steps,
     not without the similitude of “shrubs!” The interior cavity, for
     in sooth it is made of deal,—stands solemn, a “Temple of
     Concord:” on the outer summit rises “a Statue of Liberty,”
     colossal, seen for miles, with her Pike and Phrygian Cap, and
     civic column; at her feet a Country’s Altar, “_Autel de la
     Patrie:_”—on all which neither deal-timber nor lath and plaster,
     with paint of various colours, have been spared. But fancy then
     the banners all placed on the steps of the Rock; high-mass
     chaunted; and the civic oath of fifty thousand: with what
     volcanic outburst of sound from iron and other throats, enough to
     frighten back the very Saone and Rhone; and how the brightest
     fireworks, and balls, and even repasts closed in that night of
     the gods![291] And so the Lyons Federation vanishes too,
     swallowed of darkness;—and yet not wholly, for our brave fair
     Roland was there; also she, though in the deepest privacy, writes
     her Narrative of it in Champagneux’s _Courier 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 all the calendar is fit, if the Bastille Anniversary be
     not? The particular spot too, it is easy to see, must be the
     Champ-de-Mars; where many a Julian the Apostate has been lifted
     on bucklers, to France’s or the world’s sovereignty; and iron
     Franks, loud-clanging, have responded to the voice of a
     Charlemagne; and from of old mere sublimities have been familiar.

     Chapter 2.1.IX.
     How natural, in all decisive circumstances, is Symbolic
     Representation to all kinds of men! Nay, what is man’s whole
     terrestrial Life but a Symbolic Representation, and making
     visible, of the Celestial invisible Force that is in him? By act
     and word he strives to do it; with sincerity, if possible;
     failing that, with theatricality, which latter also may have its
     meaning. An Almack’s Masquerade is not nothing; in more genial
     ages, your Christmas Guisings, Feasts of the Ass, Abbots of
     Unreason, were a considerable something: since sport they were;
     as Almacks may still be sincere wish for sport. But what, on the
     other hand, must not sincere earnest have been: say, a Hebrew
     Feast of Tabernacles have been! A whole Nation gathered, in the
     name of the Highest, under the eye of the Highest; imagination
     herself flagging under the reality; and all noblest Ceremony as
     yet not grown ceremonial, but solemn, significant to the outmost
     fringe! Neither, in modern private life, are theatrical scenes,
     of tearful women wetting whole ells of cambric in concert, of
     impassioned bushy-whiskered youth threatening suicide, and such
     like, to be so entirely detested: drop thou a tear over them
     thyself rather.
     At any rate, one can remark that no Nation will throw-by its
     work, and deliberately go out to make a scene, without meaning
     something thereby. For indeed no scenic individual, with knavish
     hypocritical views, will take the trouble to _soliloquise_ a
     scene: and now consider, is not a scenic Nation placed precisely
     in that predicament of soliloquising; for its own behoof alone;
     to solace its own sensibilities, maudlin or other?—Yet in this
     respect, of readiness for scenes, the difference of Nations, as
     of men, is very great. If our Saxon-Puritanic friends, for
     example, swore and signed their National Covenant, without
     discharge of gunpowder, or the beating of any drum, in a dingy
     Covenant-Close of the Edinburgh High-street, in a mean room,
     where men now drink mean liquor, it was consistent with their
     ways so to swear it. Our Gallic-Encyclopedic friends, again, must
     have a Champ-de-Mars, seen of all the world, or universe; and
     such a Scenic Exhibition, to which the Coliseum Amphitheatre was
     but a 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 compound-ratio: ratio indeed of their
     trustfulness, sociability, fervency; but then also of their
     excitability, of their porosity, not _continent;_ or say, of
     their explosiveness, hot-flashing, but which does not last.
     How true also, once more, is it that no man or Nation of men,
     _conscious_ of doing a great thing, was ever, in that thing,
     doing other than a small one! O Champ-de-Mars Federation, with
     three hundred drummers, twelve 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 god-initiated 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 it?

     Chapter 2.1.X.
     Pardonable are human theatricalities; nay perhaps touching, like
     the passionate utterance of a tongue which with sincerity
     _stammers;_ of a head which with insincerity _babbles_,—having
     gone distracted. Yet, in comparison with unpremeditated outbursts
     of Nature, such as an Insurrection of Women, how foisonless,
     unedifying, undelightful; like small ale palled, like an
     effervescence that has effervesced! Such scenes, coming of
     forethought, were they world-great, and never so cunningly
     devised, are at bottom mainly pasteboard and paint. But the
     others are original; emitted from the great everliving heart of
     Nature herself: what figure _they_ will assume is unspeakably
     significant. To us, therefore, let the French National Solemn
     League, and Federation, be the highest recorded triumph of the
     Thespian Art; triumphant surely, since the whole Pit, which was
     of Twenty-five Millions, not only claps hands, but does itself
     spring on the boards and passionately set to playing there. And
     being such, be it treated as such: with sincere cursory
     admiration; with wonder from afar. A whole Nation gone mumming
     deserves so much; but deserves not that loving minuteness a
     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 quotas come; such
     Federation of National with Royal Soldier has, 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 will fly to meet and welcome.
     Now, therefore, judge if our Patriot Artists are busy; taking
     deep counsel how to make the Scene worthy of a look from the
     Universe! As many as fifteen thousand men, spade-men, barrow-men,
     stone-builders, rammers, with their engineers, are at work on the
     Champ-de-Mars; hollowing it out into a natural Amphitheatre, fit
     for such solemnity. For one may hope it will be annual and
     perennial; a “Feast of Pikes, _Fête 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 hollowed out; and the daily talk and the
     nightly dream in most Parisian heads is of Federation, and that
     only. Federate Deputies are already under way. National Assembly,
     what with its natural work, what with hearing and answering
     harangues of Federates, of this Federation, will have enough to
     do! Harangue of “American Committee,” among whom is that faint
     figure of Paul Jones “as with the stars dim-twinkling through
     it,”—come to congratulate us on the 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 far gleaming
     Brass-plate they purpose to affix solemnly in the Versailles
     original locality, on the 20th of this month, which is the
     anniversary, as a deathless memorial, for some years: they will
     then dine, as they come back, in the Bois de
     Boulogne;[292]—cannot, however, do it without apprising the
     world. To such things does the august National Assembly ever and
     anon cheerfully listen, suspending its regenerative labours; and
     with some touch of impromptu eloquence, make friendly reply;—as
     indeed the wont has long been; for it is a gesticulating,
     sympathetic People, and has a heart, and wears it on its sleeve.
     In which circumstances, it occurred to the mind of Anacharsis
     Clootz that while so much was embodying itself into Club or
     Committee, and perorating applauded, there yet remained a greater
     and greatest; of which, if _it_ also took body and perorated,
     what might not the effect be: Humankind namely, _le Genre Humain_
     itself! In what rapt creative moment the Thought rose in
     Anacharsis’s soul; all his throes, while he went about giving
     shape and birth to it; how he was sneered at by cold worldlings;
     but did sneer again, being a man of polished sarcasm; and moved
     to and fro persuasive in coffeehouse and soirée, 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 show: Anacharsis Clootz entering the august
     Salle de Manége, with the Human Species at his heels. Swedes,
     Spaniards, Polacks; Turks, Chaldeans, Greeks, dwellers in
     Mesopotamia: behold them all; they have come to claim place in
     the grand Federation, having an undoubted interest in it.
     ‘Our ambassador titles,’ said the fervid Clootz, ‘are not written
     on parchment, but on the living hearts of all men.’ These
     whiskered Polacks, long-flowing turbaned Ishmaelites,
     astrological Chaldeans, who stand so mute here, let them plead
     with you, august Senators, more eloquently than eloquence could.
     They are the mute representatives of their tongue-tied,
     befettered, heavy-laden Nations; who from out of that dark
     bewilderment gaze wistful, amazed, with half-incredulous hope,
     towards you, and this your bright light of a French Federation:
     bright particular day-star, the herald of universal day. We claim
     to stand there, as mute monuments, pathetically adumbrative of
     much.—From bench and gallery comes “repeated applause;” for what
     august Senator but is flattered even by the very shadow of Human
     Species depending on him? From President Sieyes, who presides
     this remarkable fortnight, in spite of his small voice, there
     comes eloquent though shrill reply. 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 “honours of the
     sitting, _honneur de la séance_.” A long-flowing Turk, for
     rejoinder, bows with Eastern solemnity, and utters articulate
     sounds: but owing to his imperfect knowledge of the French
     dialect,[293] 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, self-styled noble, be “incensed,”—foolishly fumigated with
     incense, in Church; as the wont has been. In a word, Feudalism
     being dead these ten months, why should her empty trappings and
     scutcheons survive? The very Coats-of-arms will require to be
     obliterated;—and yet Cassandra Marat on this and the other
     coach-panel notices that they “are but painted-over,” and
     threaten to peer through again.
     So that henceforth de Lafayette is but the Sieur Motier, and
     Saint-Fargeau is plain Michel Lepelletier; and Mirabeau soon
     after has to say huffingly, ‘With your _Riquetti_ you have set
     Europe at cross-purposes for three days.’ For his Counthood is
     not indifferent to this man; which indeed the admiring People
     treat him with to the last. But let extreme Patriotism rejoice,
     and chiefly Anacharsis and Mankind; for now it seems to be taken
     for granted that one Adam is Father of us 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 sniffing mocking City of Paris and Baron Clootz
     had got into; when such exhibition could appear a propriety, next
     door to a sublimity. It is true, Envy did in after times, pervert
     this success of Anacharsis; making him, from incidental “Speaker
     of the Foreign-Nations Committee,” claim to be official permanent
     “Speaker, _Orateur_, of the Human Species,” which he only
     deserved to be; and alleging, calumniously, that his astrological
     Chaldeans, and the rest, were a mere French tag-rag-and-bobtail
     disguised for the nonce; and, in short, sneering and fleering at
     him in _her_ cold barren way; all which, however, he, the man he
     was, could receive on thick enough panoply, or even rebound
     therefrom, and also go _his_ way.
     Most extensive of Public Bodies, we may call it; and also the
     most unexpected: for who could have thought to see All Nations in
     the Tuileries Riding-Hall? But so it is; and truly as strange
     things may happen when a whole People goes mumming and miming.
     Hast not thou thyself perchance seen diademed Cleopatra, daughter
     of the Ptolemies, pleading, almost with bended knee, in unheroic
     tea-parlour, or dimlit retail-shop, to inflexible gross Burghal
     Dignitary, for leave to reign and die; being dressed for it, and
     moneyless, with small children;—while suddenly Constables have
     shut the Thespian barn, and her Antony pleaded in vain? Such
     visual spectra flit across this Earth, if the Thespian Stage be
     rudely interfered with: but much more, when, as was said, Pit
     jumps on Stage, then is it verily, as in Herr Tieck’s Drama, a
     _Verkehrte Welt_, of World Topsy-turvied!
     Having seen the Human Species itself, to have seen the “_Dean_ of
     the Human Species,” ceased now to be a miracle. Such “_Doyen du
     Genre Humain_, Eldest of Men,” had shewn himself 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_-talk, of
     immortal Grand-Monarch victories; of a burnt Palatinate, 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
     off: he was forty-six when Louis Fourteenth died. The Assembly,
     as one man, spontaneously rose, and did reverence to the Eldest
     of the World; old Jean is to take _séance_ among them,
     honourably, with covered head. He gazes feebly there, with his
     old eyes, on that new wonder-scene; dreamlike to him, and
     uncertain, wavering amid fragments of old memories and dreams.
     For Time is all growing unsubstantial, dreamlike; Jean’s eyes and
     mind are weary, and about to close,—and open on a far other
     wonder-scene, which shall be real. Patriot Subscription, Royal
     Pension was got for him, and he returned home glad; but in two
     months more he left it all, and went on his unknown way.[294]

     Chapter 2.1.XI.
     As in the Age of Gold.
     Meanwhile to Paris, ever going and returning, day after day, and
     all day long, towards that Field of Mars, it becomes painfully
     apparent that the 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
     same thousand yards of length; and for breadth, from this
     umbrageous Avenue of eight rows, on the South side, to that
     corresponding one on the North, some thousand feet, more or less.
     All this to be scooped out, and wheeled up in slope along the
     sides; high enough; for it must be rammed down there, and shaped
     stair-wise into as many as “thirty ranges of convenient seats,”
     firm-trimmed with turf, covered with enduring timber;—and then
     our huge 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 World’s Amphitheatre! There are but fifteen
     days good; and at this languid rate, it might take half as many
     weeks. What is singular too, the spademen seem to work lazily;
     they will not work double-tides, even for offer of more wages,
     though their tide is but seven hours; they declare angrily that
     the human tabernacle requires occasional rest!
     Is it Aristocrats secretly bribing? Aristocrats were capable of
     that. Only six months since, did not 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—carried off again![295] An accursed,
     incurable brood; all asking for “passports,” in these sacred
     days. Trouble, of rioting, château-burning, is in the Limousin
     and elsewhere; for they are busy! Between the best of Peoples and
     the best of Restorer-Kings, they would sow grudges; with what a
     fiend’s-grin would they see this Federation, looked for by the
     Universe, fail!
     Fail for want of spadework, however, it shall not. He that has
     four limbs, and a French heart, can do spadework; and will! On
     the first July Monday, scarcely has the signal-cannon boomed;
     scarcely have the languescent mercenary Fifteen Thousand laid
     down their tools, and the eyes of onlookers turned sorrowfully of
     the still high Sun; when this and the other Patriot, fire in his
     eye, snatches barrow and mattock, and himself begins indignantly
     wheeling. Whom scores and then hundreds follow; and soon a
     volunteer Fifteen Thousand are shovelling and trundling; with the
     heart of giants; and all in right order, with that extemporaneous
     adroitness of theirs: whereby _such_ a lift has been given, worth
     three mercenary ones;—which may end when the late twilight
     thickens, in triumph shouts, heard or heard of beyond Montmartre!
     A sympathetic population will _wait_, next day, with eagerness,
     till the tools are free. Or why wait? Spades elsewhere exist! And
     so now bursts forth that effulgence of Parisian enthusiasm,
     good-heartedness and brotherly love; such, if Chroniclers are
     trustworthy, as was not witnessed since the Age of Gold. Paris,
     male and female, precipitates itself towards its South-west
     extremity, spade on shoulder. Streams of men, without order; or
     in order, as ranked fellow-craftsmen, as natural or accidental
     reunions, march towards the Field of Mars. Three-deep these
     march; to the sound of stringed music; preceded by young girls
     with green boughs, and tricolor streamers: they have shouldered,
     soldier-wise, their shovels and picks; and with one throat are
     singing _ça-ira_. Yes, _pardieu ça-ira_, cry the passengers on
     the streets. All corporate Guilds, and public and private Bodies
     of Citizens, from the highest to the lowest, march; the very
     Hawkers, one finds, have ceased 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 tricolor sash.
     As many as one hundred and fifty thousand workers: nay at certain
     seasons, as some count, two hundred and fifty thousand; for, in
     the afternoon especially, what mortal but, finishing his hasty
     day’s work, would run! A stirring city: from the time you reach
     the Place Louis Quinze, southward over the River, by all Avenues,
     it is one living throng. So many workers; and no 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, _aimables enfans!_ They do the “_police des
     l’atelier_” too, the guidance and governance, themselves; with
     that ready will of theirs, with that extemporaneous adroitness.
     It is a true brethren’s work; all distinctions confounded,
     abolished; as it was in the beginning, when Adam himself delved.
     Longfrocked tonsured Monks, with short-skirted Water-carriers,
     with swallow-tailed well-frizzled _Incroyables_ of a Patriot
     turn; dark Charcoalmen, meal-white Peruke-makers; 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
     _Révolutions de Paris_ printed on them; as Camille notes; wishing
     that in these great days there should be a _Pacte des Ecrivains_
     too, or Federation of Able Editors.[296] Beautiful to see! The
     snowy 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. Abbé
     Sieyes is seen pulling, wiry, vehement, if too light for draught;
     by the side of Beauharnais, who shall get Kings though he be
     none. Abbé Maury did not pull; but the Charcoalmen brought a
     mummer guised like him, so he had to pull in effigy. Let no
     august Senator disdain the work: Mayor Bailly, Generalissimo
     Lafayette are there;—and, alas, shall be there again another day!
     The King himself comes to see: sky-rending _Vive-le-Roi;_ “and
     suddenly with shouldered spades they form a guard of honour round
     him.” Whosoever can come comes, to work, or to look, and bless
     the work.
     Whole families have come. One whole family we see clearly, of
     three generations: the father picking, the mother shovelling, the
     young ones wheeling assiduous; old grandfather, hoary with
     ninety-three years, holds in his arms the youngest of all:[297]
     frisky, not helpful this one; who nevertheless may tell it to
     _his_ grandchildren; and how the Future and the Past alike looked
     on, and with failing or with half-formed voice, faltered their
     _ça-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 Abbé looks on, sneering. ‘To the barrow!’
     cry several; whom he, lest a worse thing befal him, obeys:
     nevertheless one wiser Patriot barrowman, arriving now,
     interposes his ‘_arrêtez;_’ setting down his own barrow, he
     snatches the Abbé’s; trundles it fast, like an infected thing;
     forth of the Champ-de-Mars 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 of the work: ‘But
     your watches?’ cries the general voice.—‘Does one distrust his
     brothers?’ answers he; nor were the watches stolen. How beautiful
     is noble-sentiment: like gossamer gauze, beautiful and cheap;
     which will stand no tear and wear! Beautiful cheap gossamer
     gauze, thou film-shadow of a raw-material of Virtue, which art
     not woven, nor likely to be, into Duty; thou art better than
     nothing, and also worse!
     Young Boarding-school Boys, College Students, shout _Vive la
     Nation_, and regret that they have yet “only their sweat to
     give.” What say we of Boys? Beautifullest Hebes; the loveliest of
     Paris, in their light air-robes, with riband-girdle of tricolor,
     are there; shovelling and wheeling with the rest; their Hebe eyes
     brighter with enthusiasm, and long hair in beautiful
     dishevelment: hard-pressed are their small fingers; but they make
     the patriot barrow go, and even force it to the summit of the
     slope (with a little tracing, which what man’s arm were not too
     happy to lend?)—then bound down with it again, and go for more;
     with their long locks and tricolors blown back: graceful as the
     rosy Hours. O, as that evening Sun fell over the Champ-de-Mars,
     and tinted with fire the thick umbrageous boscage that shelters
     it on this hand and on that, and struck direct on those Domes and
     two-and-forty 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 spotted and dotted with such flowerage;
     all colours of the prism; the beautifullest blent friendly with
     the usefullest; all growing and working brotherlike there, under
     one warm feeling, were it but for days; once and no second time!
     But Night is sinking; these Nights too, into Eternity. The
     hastiest Traveller Versailles-ward has drawn bridle on the
     heights of Chaillot: and looked for moments over the River;
     reporting at Versailles what he saw, not without tears.[298]
     Meanwhile, from all points of the compass, Federates are
     arriving: fervid children of the South, “who glory in their
     Mirabeau;” considerate North-blooded Mountaineers of Jura; sharp
     Bretons, with their Gaelic suddenness; Normans not to be
     overreached in bargain: all now animated with one noblest fire of
     Patriotism. Whom the Paris brethren march forth to receive; with
     military solemnities, with fraternal embracing, and a hospitality
     worthy of the heroic ages. They assist at the Assembly’s Debates,
     these Federates: the Galleries are reserved for them. They assist
     in the toils of the Champ-de-Mars; each new troop will put its
     hand to the spade; lift a hod of earth on the Altar of the
     Fatherland. But the flourishes of rhetoric, for it is a
     gesticulating People; the moral-sublime of those Addresses to an
     august Assembly, to a Patriot Restorer! Our Breton Captain of
     Federates kneels even, in a fit of enthusiasm, and gives up his
     sword; he wet-eyed to a King wet-eyed. Poor Louis! These, as he
     said afterwards, were among the bright days of his life.
     Reviews also there must be; royal Federate-reviews, with King,
     Queen and tricolor Court looking on: at lowest, if, as is too
     common, it rains, our Federate Volunteers will file through the
     inner gateways, Royalty standing dry. Nay there, should some stop
     occur, the beautifullest 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, 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, which in workdays one
     was used to. For the same thrice-blessed Lorrainer shall, this
     evening, stand sentry at a Queen’s door; and feel that he could
     die a thousand deaths for her: then again, at the outer gate, and
     even a third time, she shall see him; nay he will make her do it;
     presenting arms with emphasis, “making his musket jingle again”:
     and in her salute there shall again be a sun-smile, and that
     little blonde-locked too hasty 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.[299]
     But at night, when Patriot spadework is over, figure the sacred
     rights of hospitality! Lepelletier Saint-Fargeau, a mere private
     senator, but with great possessions, has daily his “hundred
     dinner-guests;” the table of Generalissimo Lafayette may double
     that number. In lowly parlour, as in lofty saloon, the wine-cup
     passes round; crowned by the smiles of Beauty; be it of
     lightly-tripping Grisette, or of high-sailing Dame, for both
     equally have beauty, and smiles precious to the brave.

     Chapter 2.1.XII.
     Sound and Smoke.
     And so now, in spite of plotting Aristocrats, lazy hired
     spademen, and almost of Destiny itself (for there has been much
     rain), the Champ-de-Mars, 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 image of the
     morrow. Pray Heaven there be not clouds. Nay what far worse cloud
     is this, of a misguided Municipality that talks of admitting
     Patriotism, to the solemnity, by tickets! Was it by tickets we
     were admitted to the work; and to what brought the work? Did we
     take the Bastille by tickets? A misguided Municipality sees the
     error; at late midnight, rolling drums announce to Patriotism
     starting half out of its bed-clothes, that it is to be
     ticketless. Pull down thy night-cap therefore; and, with
     demi-articulate grumble, significant of several things, go
     pacified to sleep again. Tomorrow is Wednesday morning;
     unforgetable among the _fasti_ of the world.
     The morning comes, cold for a July one; but such a festivity
     would make Greenland smile. Through every inlet of that National
     Amphitheatre (for it is a league in circuit, cut with openings at
     due intervals), floods-in the living throng; covers without
     tumult space after space. The Ecole Militaire has galleries and
     overvaulting canopies, where Carpentry and Painting have vied,
     for the upper Authorities; triumphal arches, at the Gate by the
     River, bear inscriptions, if weak, yet well-meant, and orthodox.
     Far aloft, over the Altar of the Fatherland, on their tall crane
     standards of iron, swing pensile our antique _Cassolettes_ or
     pans of incense; dispensing sweet incense-fumes,—unless for the
     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 Champ-de-Mars.
     What a picture: that circle of bright-eyed Life, spread up there,
     on its thirty-seated Slope; leaning, one would say, on the thick
     umbrage of those Avenue-Trees, for the stems of them are hidden
     by the height; and all beyond it mere greenness of Summer Earth,
     with the gleams of waters, or white sparklings of stone-edifices:
     little circular enamel-picture in the centre of such a vase—of
     emerald! A vase not empty: the Invalides Cupolas want not their
     population, nor the distant Windmills of Montmartre; on remotest
     steeple and invisible village belfry, stand men with spy-glasses.
     On the heights of Chaillot are many-coloured undulating groups;
     round and far on, over all the circling heights that embosom
     Paris, it is as one more or less peopled Amphitheatre; which the
     eye grows dim with measuring. Nay heights, as was before hinted,
     have cannon; and a floating-battery of cannon is on the Seine.
     When eye fails, ear shall serve; and all France properly is but
     one Amphitheatre: for in paved town and unpaved hamlet, men walk
     listening; till the muffled thunder sound audible on their
     horizon, that they too may begin swearing and firing![300] But
     now, to streams of music, come Federates enough,—for they have
     assembled on the Boulevard Saint-Antoine or thereby, and come
     marching through the City, with their Eighty-three Department
     Banners, and blessings not loud but deep; comes National
     Assembly, and takes seat under its Canopy; comes Royalty, and
     takes seat on a throne beside it. And Lafayette, on white
     charger, is here, and all the civic Functionaries; and the
     Federates form dances, till their strictly military evolutions
     and manœuvres can begin.
     Evolutions and manœuvres? Task not the pen of mortal to describe
     them: truant imagination droops;—declares that it is not worth
     while. There is wheeling and sweeping, to slow, to quick, and
     double quick-time: Sieur Motier, or Generalissimo Lafayette, for
     they are one and the same, and he is General of France, in the
     King’s stead, for four-and-twenty hours; Sieur Motier must step
     forth, with that sublime chivalrous gait of his; solemnly ascend
     the steps of the Fatherland’s Altar, in sight of Heaven and of
     the scarcely breathing Earth; and, under the creak of those
     swinging _Cassolettes_, “pressing his sword’s point firmly
     there,” pronounce the Oath, _To King, to Law, and Nation_ (not to
     mention “grains” with their circulating), in his own name and
     that of armed France. Whereat there is waving of banners and
     acclaim sufficient. The National Assembly must swear, standing in
     its place; the King himself audibly. The King swears; and now
     _be_ the welkin split with vivats; let citizens enfranchised
     embrace, each smiting heartily his palm into his fellow’s; and
     armed Federates clang their arms; above all, that floating
     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; from Metz to
     Bayonne! Over Orléans and Blois it rolls, in cannon-recitative;
     Puy bellows of it amid his granite mountains; Pau where is the
     shell-cradle of Great Henri. At far Marseilles, one can think,
     the ruddy evening witnesses it; over the deep-blue Mediterranean
     waters, the Castle of If ruddy-tinted darts forth, from every
     cannon’s mouth, its tongue of fire; and all the people shout:
     Yes, France is free. O glorious France that has burst out so;
     into universal sound and smoke; and attained—the Phrygian _Cap_
     of Liberty! In all Towns, Trees of Liberty also may be planted;
     with or without advantage. Said we not, it is the highest stretch
     attained by the Thespian Art on this Planet, or perhaps
     The Thespian Art, unfortunately, one must still call it; for
     behold there, on this Field of Mars, the National Banners, before
     there could be any swearing, were to be all blessed. A most
     proper operation; since surely without Heaven’s blessing
     bestowed, say even, audibly or inaudibly _sought_, no Earthly
     banner or contrivance can prove victorious: but now the means of
     doing it? By what thrice-divine Franklin thunder-rod shall
     miraculous fire be drawn out of Heaven; and descend gently,
     life-giving, with health to the souls of men? Alas, by the
     simplest: by Two Hundred shaven-crowned Individuals, “in
     snow-white albs, with tricolor girdles,” arranged on the steps of
     Fatherland’s Altar; and, at their head for spokesman, Soul’s
     Overseer Talleyrand-Perigord! These shall act as miraculous
     thunder-rod,—to such length as they can. O ye deep azure Heavens,
     and thou green all-nursing Earth; ye Streams ever-flowing;
     deciduous Forests that die and are born again, continually, like
     the sons of men; stone Mountains that die daily with every
     rain-shower, yet are not dead and levelled for ages of ages, nor
     born again (it seems) but with new world-explosions, and such
     tumultuous seething and tumbling, steam half way to the Moon; O
     thou unfathomable mystic All, garment and dwellingplace of the
     UNNAMED; O spirit, lastly, 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
     believed, but pretended to imagine that he believed that
     Talleyrand and Two Hundred pieces of white Calico could do it!
     Here, however, we are to remark with the sorrowing Historians of
     that day, that suddenly, while Episcopus Talleyrand, long-stoled,
     with mitre and tricolor belt, was yet but hitching up the
     Altar-steps, to do his miracle, the material Heaven grew black; a
     north-wind, moaning cold moisture, began to sing; and there
     descended a very deluge of rain. Sad to see! The thirty-staired
     Seats, all round our Amphitheatre, get instantaneously slated
     with mere umbrellas, fallacious when so thick set: our antique
     _Cassolettes_ become Water-pots; their incense-smoke gone
     hissing, in a whiff of muddy vapour. Alas, instead of vivats,
     there is nothing now but the furious peppering and rattling. From
     three to four hundred thousand human individuals feel that they
     have a skin; happily _im_pervious. The General’s sash runs water:
     how all military banners droop; and will not wave, but lazily
     flap, as if metamorphosed into painted tin-banners! Worse, far
     worse, these hundred thousand, such is the Historian’s testimony,
     of the fairest of France! Their snowy muslins all splashed and
     draggled; the ostrich feather shrunk shamefully to the backbone
     of a feather: all caps are ruined; innermost pasteboard molten
     into its original pap: Beauty no longer swims decorated in her
     garniture, like Love-goddess hidden-revealed in her Paphian
     clouds, but struggles in disastrous imprisonment in it, for “the
     shape was noticeable;” and now only sympathetic interjections,
     titterings, teeheeings, and resolute good-humour will avail. A
     deluge; an incessant sheet or fluid-column of rain;—such that our
     Overseer’s very mitre must be filled; not a mitre, but a filled
     and leaky fire-bucket on his reverend head!—Regardless of which,
     Overseer Talleyrand performs his miracle: the Blessing of
     Talleyrand, another than that of Jacob, is on all the
     Eighty-three departmental flags of France; which wave or flap,
     with such thankfulness as needs. Towards three o’clock, the sun
     beams out again: the remaining evolutions can be transacted under
     bright heavens, though with decorations much damaged.[301]
     On Wednesday our Federation is consummated: but the festivities
     last out the week, and over into the next. Festivities such as no
     Bagdad Caliph, or Aladdin with the Lamp, could have equalled.
     There is a Jousting on the River; with its water-somersets,
     splashing and haha-ing: Abbé Fauchet, _Te-Deum_ Fauchet,
     preaches, for his part, in “the rotunda of the Corn-market,” a
     Harangue on Franklin; for whom the National Assembly has lately
     gone three days in black. The Motier and Lepelletier tables still
     groan with viands; roofs ringing with patriotic toasts. On the
     fifth evening, which is the Christian Sabbath, there is a
     universal Ball. Paris, out of doors and in, man, woman and child,
     is jigging it, to the sound of harp and four-stringed fiddle. The
     hoariest-headed man will tread one other measure, under this
     nether Moon; speechless nurselings, _infants_ as we call them,
     νήπια τέκνα, crow in arms; and sprawl out numb-plump little
     limbs,—impatient for muscularity, they know not why. The stiffest
     balk bends more or less; all joists creak.
     Or out, on the Earth’s breast itself, behold the Ruins of the
     Bastille. All lamplit, allegorically decorated: a Tree of Liberty
     sixty feet high; and Phrygian Cap on it, of size enormous, under
     which King Arthur and his round-table might have dined! In the
     depths of the background, is a single lugubrious lamp, rendering
     dim-visible one of your iron cages, half-buried, and some Prison
     stones,—Tyranny vanishing downwards, all gone but the skirt: the
     rest wholly lamp-festoons, trees real or of pasteboard; in the
     similitude of a fairy grove; with this inscription, readable to
     runner: “_Ici l’on danse_, Dancing Here.” As indeed had been
     obscurely foreshadowed by Cagliostro[302] prophetic Quack of
     Quacks, when he, four years ago, quitted the grim durance;—to
     fall into a grimmer, of the Roman Inquisition, and not quit it.
     But, after all, what is this Bastille business to that of the
     _Champs Elysées!_ 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 illumine 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
     sweethearts, elastic as Diana, and not of that coyness and tart
     humour of Diana, thread their jocund mazes, all through the
     ambrosial night; and hearts were touched and fired; and seldom
     surely had our old Planet, in that huge conic Shadow of hers
     “which goes beyond the Moon, and is named _Night_,” curtained
     such a Ball-room. O if, according to Seneca, the very gods look
     down on a good man struggling with adversity, and smile; what
     must they think of Five-and-twenty million indifferent ones
     victorious over it,—for eight days and more?
     In this way, and in such ways, however, has the Feast of Pikes
     danced itself off; gallant Federates wending homewards, towards
     every point of the compass, with feverish nerves, heart and head
     much heated; some of them, indeed, as Dampmartin’s elderly
     respectable friend, from Strasbourg, quite “burnt out with
     liquors,” and flickering towards extinction.[303] The Feast of
     Pikes has danced itself off, and become defunct, and the ghost of
     a Feast;—nothing of it now remaining but this vision in men’s
     memory; and the place that knew it (for the slope of that
     Champ-de-Mars is crumbled to half the original height[304]) now
     knowing it no more. Undoubtedly one of the memorablest National
     Hightides. Never or hardly ever, as we said, was Oath sworn with
     such heart-effusion, emphasis and expenditure of joyance; and
     then it was broken irremediably within year and day. Ah, why?
     When the swearing of it was so heavenly-joyful, bosom clasped to
     bosom, and Five-and-twenty million hearts all burning together: O
     ye inexorable Destinies, why?—Partly _because_ it was sworn with
     such over-joyance; but chiefly, indeed, for an older reason: that
     Sin had come into the world and Misery by Sin! These
     Five-and-twenty millions, if we will consider it, have now
     henceforth, with that Phrygian Cap of theirs, no force _over_
     them, to bind and guide; neither in them, more than heretofore,
     is guiding force, or rule of just living: how then, while they
     all go rushing at such a _pace_, on unknown ways, with no bridle,
     towards no aim, can hurlyburly unutterable fail? For verily not
     Federation-rosepink is the colour of this Earth and her work: not
     by outbursts of noble-sentiment, but with far other ammunition,
     shall a man front the world.
     But how wise, in all cases, to “husband your fire;” to keep it
     deep down, rather, as genial radical-heat! Explosions, the
     forciblest, and never so well directed, are questionable; far
     oftenest futile, always frightfully wasteful: but think of a man,
     of a Nation of men, spending its whole stock of fire in one
     artificial Firework! So have we seen fond weddings (for
     individuals, like Nations, have their Hightides) celebrated with
     an outburst of triumph and deray, at which the elderly shook
     their heads. Better had a serious cheerfulness been; for the
     enterprise was great. Fond pair! the more triumphant ye feel, and
     victorious over terrestrial evil, which seems all abolished, the
     wider-eyed will your disappointment be to find terrestrial evil
     still extant. ‘And why extant?’ will each of you cry: ‘Because my
     false mate has played the traitor: evil was abolished; I meant
     faithfully, and did, or would have done.’ Whereby the oversweet
     moon of honey changes itself into long years of vinegar; perhaps
     divulsive vinegar, like Hannibal’s.
     Shall we say then, the French Nation has led Royalty, or wooed
     and teased poor Royalty to lead _her_, to the hymeneal
     Fatherland’s Altar, in such oversweet manner; and has, most
     thoughtlessly, to celebrate the nuptials with due shine and
     demonstration,—burnt her bed?

     BOOK 2.II.

     Chapter 2.2.I.
     Dimly visible, at Metz on the North-Eastern frontier, a certain
     brave Bouillé, last refuge of Royalty in all straits and
     meditations of flight, has for many months hovered occasionally
     in our eye; some name or shadow of a brave Bouillé: let us now,
     for a little, look fixedly at him, till he become a substance and
     person for us. The man himself is worth a glance; his position
     and procedure there, in these days, will throw light on many
     For it is with Bouillé as with all French Commanding Officers;
     only in a more emphatic degree. The grand National Federation, we
     already guess, was but empty sound, or worse: a last loudest
     universal _Hep-hep-hurrah_, with full bumpers, in that National
     Lapithae-feast of Constitution-making; as in loud denial of the
     palpably existing; as if, with hurrahings, you would shut out
     notice of the inevitable already knocking at the gates! Which new
     National bumper, one may say, can but deepen the drunkenness; and
     so, the _louder_ it swears Brotherhood, will the sooner and the
     more surely lead to Cannibalism. Ah, under that fraternal shine
     and clangour, what a deep world of 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 blazes filling all men’s memories,—when your discords
     burst forth again very considerably darker than ever. Let us look
     at Bouillé, and see how.
     Bouillé 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 Lückner, also of small
     moment for us, will probably be the third. Marquis de Bouillé is
     a determined Loyalist; not indeed disinclined to moderate reform,
     but resolute against immoderate. A man long suspect to
     Patriotism; who has more than once given the august Assembly
     trouble; who would not, for example, take the National Oath, as
     he was bound to do, but always put it off on this or the other
     pretext, till an autograph of Majesty requested him to do it as a
     favour. There, in this post if not of honour, yet of eminence and
     danger, he waits, in a silent concentered manner; very dubious of
     the future. “Alone,” as he says, or almost alone, of all the old
     military Notabilities, he has not emigrated; but thinks always,
     in atrabiliar moments, that there will be nothing for him too but
     to cross the marches. He might cross, say, to Treves or Coblentz
     where Exiled Princes will be one day ranking; or say, over into
     Luxemburg where old Broglie loiters and languishes. Or is there
     not the great dim Deep of European Diplomacy; where your
     Calonnes, your Bréteuils are beginning to hover, dimly
     With immeasurable confused outlooks and purposes, with no clear
     purpose but this of still trying to do His Majesty a service,
     Bouillé waits; struggling what he can to keep his district loyal,
     his troops faithful, his garrisons furnished. He maintains, as
     yet, with his Cousin 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.[305] 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 condition, muzzled
     and fettered by diplomatic packthreads; looking out for a civil
     war, which may never arrive. Few years ago Bouillé 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 that
     way but in this.

     Chapter 2.2.II.
     Arrears and Aristocrats.
     Indeed, as to the general outlook of things, Bouillé himself
     augurs not well of it. The French Army, ever since those old
     Bastille days, and earlier, has been universally in the
     questionablest state, and growing daily worse. Discipline, which
     is at all times a kind of miracle, and works by faith, broke down
     then; one sees not with that near prospect of recovering itself.
     The Gardes Françaises played a deadly game; but how they won it,
     and wear the prizes of it, all men know. In that general
     overturn, we saw the Hired Fighters refuse to fight. The very
     Swiss of Château-Vieux, which indeed is a kind of French Swiss,
     from Geneva and the Pays de Vaud, are understood to have
     declined. Deserters glided over; Royal-Allemand itself looked
     disconsolate, though stanch of purpose. In a word, we there saw
     _Military Rule_, in the shape of poor Besenval with that
     convulsive unmanageable Camp of his, pass two martyr days on the
     Champ-de-Mars; and then, veiling itself, so to speak, “under the
     cloud of night,” depart “down the left bank of the Seine,” to
     seek refuge elsewhere; _this_ ground having clearly become too
     hot for it.
     But what new ground to seek, what remedy to try? Quarters that
     were “uninfected:” this doubtless, with judicious strictness of
     drilling, were the plan. Alas, in all quarters and places, from
     Paris onward to the remotest hamlet, is infection, is seditious
     contagion: inhaled, propagated by contact and converse, till the
     dullest soldier catch it! There is speech of men in uniform with
     men not in uniform; men in uniform read journals, and even write
     in them.[306] There are public petitions or remonstrances,
     private emissaries and associations; there is discontent,
     jealousy, uncertainty, sullen suspicious humour. The whole French
     Army, fermenting in dark heat, glooms ominous, boding good to no
     So that, in the general social dissolution and revolt, we are to
     have this deepest and dismallest kind of it, a revolting
     soldiery? Barren, desolate to look upon is this same business of
     revolt under all its aspects; but how infinitely more so, when it
     takes the aspect of military mutiny! The very implement of rule
     and restraint, whereby all the rest was managed and held in
     order, has become 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 magic-word?
     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
     tumult-place of the Nether Pit, and the hapless magician is rent
     limb from limb. Military mobs are mobs with muskets in their
     hands; and also with death hanging over their heads, for death is
     the penalty of disobedience and they have disobeyed. And now if
     all mobs are properly frenzies, and work frenetically with mad
     fits of hot and of cold, fierce rage alternating so incoherently
     with panic terror, consider what your military mob will be, with
     such a conflict of duties and penalties, whirled between remorse
     and fury, and, for the hot fit, loaded fire-arms in its hand! To
     the soldier himself, revolt is frightful, and oftenest perhaps
     pitiable; and yet so dangerous, it can only be hated, cannot be
     pitied. An anomalous class of mortals these poor Hired Killers!
     With a frankness, which to the Moralist in these times seems
     surprising, they have sworn to become machines; and nevertheless
     they are still partly men. Let no prudent person in authority
     remind them of this latter fact; but always let force, let
     injustice above all, stop short clearly on _this_ side of the
     rebounding-point! Soldiers, as we often say, do revolt: were it
     not so, several things which are transient in this world might be
     Over and above the general quarrel which all sons of Adam
     maintain with their lot here below, the grievances of the French
     soldiery reduce themselves to two, First that their Officers are
     Aristocrats; secondly that they cheat them of their Pay. Two
     grievances; or rather we might say one, capable of becoming a
     hundred; for in that single first proposition, that the Officers
     are Aristocrats, what a multitude of corollaries lie ready! It is
     a bottomless ever-flowing fountain of grievances this; what you
     may call a general raw-material of grievance, wherefrom
     individual grievance after grievance will daily body itself
     forth. Nay there will even be a kind of comfort in getting it,
     from time to time, so embodied. Peculation of one’s Pay! It is
     embodied; made tangible, made denounceable; exhalable, if only in
     angry words.
     For unluckily that grand fountain of grievances does exist:
     Aristocrats almost all our Officers necessarily are; they have it
     in the blood and bone. By the law of the case, no man can pretend
     to be the pitifullest 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.[307] An improvement which did relieve the
     over-pressed War-minister, but which split France still further
     into yawning contrasts of Commonalty and Nobility, nay of new
     Nobility and old; as if already with your new and old, and then
     with your old, older and oldest, there were not contrasts and
     discrepancies enough;—the general clash whereof men now see and
     hear, and in the singular whirlpool, all contrasts gone together
     to the bottom! Gone to the bottom or going; with uproar, without
     return; going 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
     fighting but only drilling, this question, How you rise from the
     ranks, may seem theoretical rather. But in reference to the
     Rights of Man it is continually practical. The soldier has sworn
     to be faithful not to the King only, but to the Law and the
     Nation. Do our 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 newfangled
     cobweb, which shall be brushed down again. Old officers, more
     cautious, keep silent, with closed uncurled lips; but one guesses
     what is passing within. Nay who knows, how, under the plausiblest
     word of command, might lie Counter-Revolution itself, sale to
     Exiled Princes and the Austrian Kaiser: treacherous Aristocrats
     hoodwinking the small insight of us common men?—In such manner
     works that general raw-material of grievance; disastrous; instead
     of trust and reverence, breeding hate, endless suspicion, the
     impossibility of commanding and obeying. And now when this second
     more tangible grievance has articulated itself universally in the
     mind of the common man: Peculation of his Pay! Peculation of the
     despicablest sort does exist, and has long existed; but, unless
     the new-declared Rights of Man, and all rights whatsoever, be a
     cobweb, it shall no longer exist.
     The French Military System seems dying a sorrowful suicidal
     death. Nay more, citizen, as is natural, ranks himself against
     citizen in this cause. The soldier finds audience, of numbers and
     sympathy unlimited, among the Patriot lower-classes. Nor are the
     higher wanting to the officer. The officer still dresses and
     perfumes himself for such sad unemigrated _soirée_ as there may
     still be; and speaks his woes,—which woes, are they not Majesty’s
     and Nature’s? Speaks, at the same time, his gay defiance, his
     firm-set resolution. Citizens, still more Citizenesses, see the
     right and the wrong; not the Military System alone will die by
     suicide, but much along with it. As was said, there is yet
     possible a deepest overturn than any yet witnessed: that deepest
     _up_turn of the black-burning sulphurous stratum whereon all
     rests and grows!
     But how these things may act on the rude soldier-mind, with its
     military pedantries, its inexperience of all that lies off the
     parade-ground; inexperience as of a child, yet fierceness of a
     man and vehemence of a Frenchman! It is long that secret
     communings in mess-room and guard-room, sour looks, thousandfold
     petty vexations between commander and commanded, measure every
     where the weary military day. Ask Captain Dampmartin; an
     authentic, ingenious literary officer of horse; who loves the
     Reign of Liberty, after a sort; yet has had his heart grieved to
     the quick many times, in the hot South-Western region and
     elsewhere; and has seen riot, civil battle by daylight and by
     torchlight, and anarchy hatefuller than death. How insubordinate
     Troopers, with drink in their heads, meet Captain Dampmartin and
     another on the ramparts, where there is no escape or side-path;
     and make military salute punctually, for we look calm on them;
     yet make it in a snappish, almost insulting manner: how one
     morning they “leave all their chamois shirts” and superfluous
     buffs, which they are tired of, laid in piles at the Captain’s
     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 Quarter-master:—all this
     the worthy Captain, looking on it through the ruddy-and-sable of
     fond regretful memory, has flowingly written down.[308] Men growl
     in vague discontent; officers fling up their commissions, and
     emigrate in disgust.
     Or let us ask another literary Officer; not yet Captain;
     Sublieutenant only, in the Artillery Regiment La Fère: a young
     man of twenty-one; not unentitled to speak; the name of him is
     _Napoleon Buonaparte._ To such height of Sublieutenancy has he
     now got promoted, from Brienne School, five years ago; “being
     found qualified in mathematics by La Place.” He is lying at
     Auxonne, in the West, in these months; not sumptuously lodged—“in
     the house of a Barber, to whose wife he did not pay the customary
     degree of respect;” or even over at the Pavilion, in a chamber
     with bare walls; the only furniture an indifferent “bed without
     curtains, two chairs, and in the recess of a window a table
     covered with books and papers: his Brother Louis sleeps on a
     coarse 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 Dôle is Publisher. The literary Sublieutenant corrects
     the proofs; “sets out on foot from Auxonne, every morning at four
     o’clock, for Dôle: after looking over the proofs, he partakes of
     an extremely frugal breakfast with Joly, and immediately prepares
     for returning to his Garrison; where he arrives before noon,
     having thus walked above twenty miles in the course of the
     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 majority against him: but no sooner does he get
     into the street, or among the soldiers, than he feels again as if
     the whole Nation were with him. That after the famous Oath, _To
     the King, to the Nation and Law_, 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 after this, in the
     Nation’s name, he would not have done it. Likewise that the
     Patriot officers, more numerous too in the Artillery and
     Engineers than elsewhere, were few in number; yet that having the
     soldiers on their side, they ruled the regiment; and did often
     deliver the Aristocrat brother officer out of peril and strait.
     One day, for example, “a member of our own mess roused the mob,
     by singing, from the windows of our dining-room, _O Richard, O my
     King;_ and I had to snatch him from their fury.”[309]
     All which let the reader multiply by ten thousand; and spread it
     with slight variations over all the camps and garrisons of
     France. The French Army seems on the verge of universal mutiny.
     Universal mutiny! There is in that what may well make Patriot
     Constitutionalism and an august Assembly shudder. Something
     behoves to be done; yet what to do no man can tell. Mirabeau
     proposes even that the Soldiery, having come to such a pass, be
     forthwith disbanded, the whole Two Hundred and Eighty Thousands
     of them; and organised anew.[310] Impossible this, in so sudden a
     manner! cry all men. And yet literally, answer we, it is
     inevitable, in one manner or another. Such an Army, with its
     four-generation Nobles, its Peculated Pay, and men knotting
     forage cords to hang their quartermaster, cannot subsist beside
     such a Revolution. Your alternative is a slow-pining chronic
     dissolution and new organization; or a swift decisive one; the
     agonies spread over years, or concentrated into an hour. With a
     Mirabeau for Minister or Governor the latter had been the choice;
     with no Mirabeau for Governor it will naturally be the former.

     Chapter 2.2.III.
     Bouillé at Metz.
     To Bouillé, in his North-Eastern circle, none of these things are
     altogether hid. Many times flight over the marches gleams out on
     him as a last guidance in such bewilderment: nevertheless he
     continues here: struggling always to hope the best, not from new
     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 penitence.[311]
     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 Bouillé can
     call by no name but that of mutiny. Bouillé knows it as few do;
     and speaks by dire experience. Take one instance instead of many.
     It is still an early day of August, the precise date now
     undiscoverable, when Bouillé, about to set out for the waters of
     Aix la Chapelle, is once more suddenly summoned to the barracks
     of Metz. The soldiers stand ranked in fighting order, muskets
     loaded, the officers all there on compulsion; and require, with
     many-voiced emphasis, to have their arrears paid. Picardie was
     penitent; but we see it has relapsed: the wide space bristles and
     lours with mere mutinous armed men. Brave Bouillé advances to the
     nearest Regiment, opens his commanding lips to harangue; obtains
     nothing but querulous-indignant discordance, and the sound of so
     many thousand livres legally due. The moment is trying; there are
     some ten thousand soldiers now in Metz, and one spirit seems to
     have spread among them.
     Bouillé is firm as the adamant; but what shall he do? A German
     Regiment, named of Salm, is thought to be of better temper:
     nevertheless Salm too may have heard of the precept, _Thou shalt
     not steal;_ Salm too may know that money is money. Bouillé 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 the part of
     Salm—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 _meum_ is not _tuum_, that fair
     speeches are not forty-four thousand livres odd sous.
     Unrestrainable! Salm tramps to military time, quick consuming the
     way. Bouillé and the officers, drawing sword, have to dash into
     double quick _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 not yet mounted to
     the murder-pitch. There will Bouillé stand, certain at least of
     _one_ man’s purpose; in grim calmness, awaiting the issue. What
     the intrepidest of men and generals can do is done. Bouillé,
     though there is a barricading picket at each end of the street,
     and death under his eyes, contrives to send for a Dragoon
     Regiment with orders to charge: the dragoon officers mount; the
     dragoon men will not: hope is none there for him. The street, as
     we say, barricaded; the Earth all shut out, only the indifferent
     heavenly Vault overhead: perhaps here or there a timorous
     householder peering out of window, with prayer for Bouillé;
     copious Rascality, on the pavement, with prayer for Salm: there
     do the two parties stand;—like chariots locked in a narrow
     thoroughfare; like locked wrestlers at a dead-grip! For two hours
     they stand; Bouillé’s sword glittering in his hand, adamantine
     resolution clouding his brows: for two hours by the clocks of
     Metz. Moody-silent stands Salm, with occasional clangour; but
     does not fire. Rascality from time to time urges some grenadier
     to level his musket at the General; who looks on it as a bronze
     General would; and always some corporal or other strikes it up.
     In such remarkable attitude, standing on that staircase for two
     hours, does brave Bouillé, long a shadow, dawn on us visibly out
     of the dimness, and become a person. For the rest, since Salm has
     not shot him at the first instant, and since in himself there is
     no variableness, the danger will diminish. The Mayor, “a man
     infinitely respectable,” with his Municipals and tricolor sashes,
     finally gains entrance; remonstrates, perorates, promises; gets
     Salm persuaded home to its barracks. Next day, our respectable
     Mayor lending the money, the officers pay down the _half_ of the
     demand in ready cash. With which liquidation Salm pacifies
     itself, and for the present all is hushed up, as much as may
     Such scenes as this of Metz, or preparations and demonstrations
     towards such, are universal over France: Dampmartin, with his
     knotted forage-cords and piled chamois jackets, is at Strasburg
     in the South-East; in these same days or rather nights, Royal
     Champagne is “shouting _Vive la Nation, au diable les
     Aristocrates_, with some thirty lit candles,” at Hesdin, on the
     far North-West. ‘The garrison of Bitche,’ Deputy Rewbell is sorry
     to state, ‘went out of the town, with drums beating; deposed its
     officers; and then returned into the town, sabre in hand.’[313]
     Ought not a National Assembly to occupy itself with these
     objects? Military France is everywhere full of sour inflammatory
     humour, which exhales itself fuliginously, this way or that: a
     whole continent of smoking flax; which, blown on here or there by
     any angry wind, might so easily start into a blaze, into a
     continent of fire!
     Constitutional Patriotism is in deep natural alarm at these
     things. The august Assembly sits diligently 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 over-much, or, by sparks and collision somewhere, sent

     Chapter 2.2.IV.
     Arrears at Nanci.
     We are to remark, however, that of all districts, this of
     Bouillé’s seems the inflammablest. It was always to Bouillé 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 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.[314] 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 condor; and such
     a winged flight of thirty thousand, with mixed cackling and
     crowing, rose in consequence! For, in addition to all, this
     people, as we said, is much divided: Aristocrats abound;
     Patriotism has both Aristocrats and Austrians to watch. It is
     Lorraine, this region; not so illuminated as old France: it
     remembers ancient 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 Paris, has Daughters in the
     Towns here; shrill-tongued, driven acrid: consider how the memory
     of good King Stanislaus, and ages of Imperial Feudalism, may
     comport with this New acrid Evangel, and what a virulence of
     discord there may be! In all which, the Soldiery, officers on one
     side, private men on the other, takes part, and now indeed
     principal part; a Soldiery, moreover, all the hotter here as it
     lies the denser, the frontier 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 Château-Vieux, dear to Patriotism ever
     since it refused fighting, or was thought to refuse, in the
     Bastille days. Here unhappily all evil influences seem to meet
     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 first hung back from appearing at the Nanci Federation;
     then did appear, but in mere _rédingote_ 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_.[315]
     Small “sundries as per journal,” but then incessant ones! The
     Aristocrat Municipality, pretending to be Constitutional, keeps
     mostly quiet; not so the Daughter Society, the five thousand
     adult male Patriots of the place, still less the five thousand
     female: not so the young, whiskered or whiskerless,
     four-generation Noblesse in epaulettes; the grim Patriot Swiss of
     Château-Vieux, effervescent infantry of Regiment du Roi, hot
     troopers of Mestre-de-Camp! Walled Nanci, which stands so bright
     and trim, with its straight streets, spacious squares, and
     Stanislaus’ Architecture, on the fruitful alluvium of the
     Meurthe; so bright, amid the yellow cornfields in these
     Reaper-Months,—is inwardly but a den of discord, anxiety,
     inflammability, not far from exploding. Let Bouillé 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
     singed by it.
     Bouillé, 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, after all, have raised Bouillé in
     the mind of Salm; for men and soldiers love intrepidity and swift
     inflexible decision, even when they suffer by it. As indeed is
     not this fundamentally the quality of qualities for a man? A
     quality which by itself is next to nothing, since inferior
     animals, asses, dogs, even mules have it; yet, in due
     combination, it is the indispensable basis of all.
     Of Nanci and its heats, Bouillé, commander of the whole, knows
     nothing special; understands generally that the troops in that
     City are perhaps the _worst_.[316] 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 Grenadier-club,” considerate
     speculative Grenadiers, and that reading-room of theirs? With
     shoutings, with hootings; till the speculative Grenadier drew his
     side-arms too; and there ensued battery and duels! Nay more, are
     not swashbucklers of the same stamp “sent out” visibly, or sent
     out presumably, now in the dress of Soldiers to pick quarrels
     with the Citizens; now, disguised as Citizens, to pick quarrels
     with the Soldiers? For a certain Roussière, expert in fence, was
     taken in the very fact; four Officers (presumably of tender
     years) hounding him on, who thereupon fled precipitately!
     Fence-master Roussière, 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 paper-helmet inscribed, _Iscariot;_
     marched him to the gate of 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
     So that when it here as elsewhere comes to the question of
     Arrears, the humour and procedure is of the bitterest: Regiment
     Mestre-de-Camp getting, amid loud clamour, some three gold louis
     a-man,—which have, as usual, to be borrowed from the
     Municipality; Swiss Château-Vieux applying for the like, but
     getting instead instantaneous _courrois_, or cat-o’-nine-tails,
     with subsequent unsufferable hisses from the women and children;
     Regiment du Roi, sick of hope deferred, at length seizing its
     military chest, and marching it to quarters, but next day
     marching it back again, through streets all struck
     silent:—unordered paradings and clamours, not without strong
     liquor; objurgation, insubordination; your military ranked
     Arrangement going all (as the Typographers say of set types, in a
     similar case) rapidly _to pie!_[317] Such is Nanci in these early
     days of August; the sublime Feast of Pikes not yet a month old.
     Constitutional Patriotism, at Paris and elsewhere, may well quake
     at the news. War-Minister Latour du Pin runs breathless to the
     National Assembly, with a written message that “all is burning,
     _tout brûle, tout presse_.” The National Assembly, on spur of the
     instant, renders such _Decret_, and “order to submit and repent,”
     as he requires; if it will avail any thing. On the other hand,
     Journalism, through all its throats, gives hoarse outcry,
     condemnatory, elegiac-applausive. The Forty-eight Sections, lift
     up voices; sonorous Brewer, or call him now _Colonel_ Santerre,
     is not silent, in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. For, meanwhile, the
     Nanci Soldiers have sent a Deputation of Ten, furnished 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
     warrant of Mayor Bailly, claps in prison! Most
     unconstitutionally; for they had officers’ furloughs. Whereupon
     Saint-Antoine, in indignant uncertainty of the future, closes its
     shops. Is Bouillé a traitor then, sold to Austria? In that case,
     these poor private sentinels have revolted mainly out of
     New Deputation, Deputation of National Guardsmen now, sets forth
     from Nanci to enlighten the Assembly. It meets the old deputed
     Ten returning, quite unexpectedly _un_hanged; and proceeds
     thereupon with better prospects; but effects nothing.
     Deputations, Government Messengers, Orderlies at hand-gallops,
     Alarms, thousand-voiced Rumours, go vibrating continually;
     backwards and forwards,—scattering distraction. Not till the last
     week of August does M. de Malseigne, selected as Inspector, get
     down to the scene of mutiny; with Authority, with cash, and
     “Decree of the Sixth of August.” He now shall see these Arrears
     liquidated, justice done, or at least tumult quashed.

     Chapter 2.2.V.
     Inspector Malseigne.
     Of Inspector Malseigne we discern, by direct light, that he is
     “of Herculean stature;” and infer, with probability, that he is
     of truculent moustachioed aspect,—for _Royalist_ Officers now
     leave the upper lip unshaven; that he is of indomitable
     bull-heart; and also, unfortunately, 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 Château-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 the barracks.
     Unfortunately Château-Vieux, grumbling all night, will now hear
     of no delay or reference; from reprimanding on his part, it goes
     to bullying,—answered with continual cries of ‘_Jugez tout de
     suite_, Judge it at once;’ whereupon M. de Malseigne will off in
     a huff. But lo, Château Vieux, swarming all about the
     barrack-court, has sentries at every gate; M. de Malseigne,
     demanding egress, cannot get it, though Commandant Denoue backs
     him; can get only ‘_Jugez tout de suite_.’ Here is a nodus!
     Bull-hearted M. de Malseigne draws his sword; and will force
     egress. Confused splutter. M. de Malseigne’s sword breaks; he
     snatches Commandant Denoue’s: the sentry is wounded. M. de
     Malseigne, whom one is loath to kill, does force egress,—followed
     by Château-Vieux all in disarray; a spectacle to Nanci. M. de
     Malseigne walks at a sharp pace, yet never runs; wheeling from
     time to time, with menaces and movements of fence; and so reaches
     Denoue’s house, unhurt; which house Château-Vieux, in an agitated
     manner, invests,—hindered as yet from entering, by a crowd of
     officers formed on the staircase. M. de Malseigne retreats by
     back ways to the Townhall, flustered though undaunted; amid an
     escort of National Guards. From the Townhall he, on the morrow,
     emits fresh orders, fresh plans of settlement with Château-Vieux;
     to none of which will Château-Vieux listen: whereupon finally he,
     amid noise enough, emits order that Château-Vieux shall march on
     the morrow morning, and quarter at Sarre Louis. Château-Vieux
     flatly refuses marching; M. de Malseigne “takes _act_,” due
     notarial protest, of such refusal,—if happily that may avail him.
     This is end of Thursday; and, indeed, of M. de Malseigne’s
     Inspectorship, which has lasted some fifty hours. To such length,
     in fifty hours, has he unfortunately brought it. Mestre-de-Camp
     and Regiment du Roi hang, as it were, fluttering: Château-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 by clattering hoofs, by loud fraternal
     knockings; every where the Constitutional Patriot must clutch his
     fighting-gear, and take the road for Nanci.
     And thus the Herculean Inspector has sat all Thursday, among
     terror-struck Municipals, a centre of confused noise: all
     Thursday, Friday, and till Saturday towards noon. Château-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 Bouillé, beginning to bestir
     himself in the rural Cantonments eastward, is but a Royalist
     traitor; that Château-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:
     Château-Vieux, far from marching, “waves red flags out of two
     carriages,” in a passionate manner, along the streets; and next
     morning answers its Officers: ‘Pay us, then; and we will march
     with you to the world’s end!’
     Under which circumstances, towards noon on Saturday, M. de
     Malseigne thinks it were good perhaps to inspect the ramparts,—on
     horseback. He mounts, accordingly, with escort of three troopers.
     At the gate of the city, he bids two of them wait for his return;
     and with the third, a trooper to be depended upon, he—gallops off
     for Lunéville; 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 Lunéville and
     the midday sun: through an astonished country; indeed almost
     their own astonishment.
     What a hunt, Actæon-like;—which Actæon de Malseigne happily
     _gains._ To arms, ye Carabineers of Lunéville: to chastise
     mutinous men, insulting your General Officer, insulting your own
     quarters;—above all things, fire _soon_, lest there be parleying
     and ye refuse to fire! The Carabineers fire soon, exploding upon
     the first stragglers of Mestre-de-Camp; who shrink at the very
     flash, and fall back hastily on Nanci, in a state not far from
     distraction. Panic and fury: sold to Austria without an _if;_ so
     much per regiment, the very sums can be specified; and traitorous
     Malseigne is fled! Help, O Heaven; help, thou Earth,—ye unwashed
     Patriots; ye too are sold like us!
     Effervescent Regiment du Roi primes its firelocks, Mestre-de-Camp
     saddles wholly: Commandant Denoue is seized, is flung in prison
     with a “canvass shirt” (_sarreau de toile_) about him;
     Château-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 _hunted
     away_ their huntsman; and do now run howling and baying, on what
     trail they know not; nigh rabid!
     And so there is tumultuous march of men, through the night; with
     halt on the heights of Flinval, whence Lunéville can be seen all
     illuminated. Then there is parley, at four in the morning; and
     reparley; finally there is agreement: the Carabineers give in;
     Malseigne is surrendered, with apologies on all sides. After
     weary confused hours, he is even got under way; the Lunévillers
     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 Lunévillers look. See! at
     the corner of the first street, our Inspector bounds off again,
     bull-hearted as he is; amid the slash of sabres, the crackle of
     musketry; and escapes, full gallop, with only a ball lodged in
     his buff-_jerkin_. 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!
     That finally is the lodging of Inspector Malseigne.[318]
     Surely it is time Bouillé 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 panic and redhot ire, is not a City but
     a Bedlam.

     Chapter 2.2.VI.
     Bouillé at Nanci.
     Haste with help, thou brave Bouillé: if swift help come not, all
     is now verily “burning;” and may burn,—to what lengths and
     breadths! Much, in these hours, depends on Bouillé; as it shall
     now fare with him, the whole Future may be this way or be that.
     If, for example, he were to loiter dubitating, and not come: if
     he were to come, and fail: the whole Soldiery of France to blaze
     into mutiny, National Guards going some this way, some that; and
     Royalism to draw its rapier, and Sansculottism to snatch its
     pike; and the Spirit if 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!
     Brave Bouillé is advancing fast, with the old inflexibility;
     gathering himself, unhappily “in small affluences,” from East,
     from West and North; and now on Tuesday morning, the last day of
     the month, he stands all concentred, unhappily still in small
     force, at the village of Frouarde, within some few miles. Son of
     Adam with a more dubious task before him is not in the world this
     Tuesday morning. A weltering inflammable sea of doubt and peril,
     and Bouillé sure of simply one thing, his own determination.
     Which one thing, indeed, may be worth many. He puts a most firm
     face on the matter: “Submission, or unsparing battle and
     destruction; twenty-four hours to make your choice:” this was the
     tenor of his Proclamation; thirty copies of which he sent
     yesterday to Nanci:—all which, we find, were intercepted and not
     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. Bouillé receives this Deputation, “in a large
     open court adjoining his lodging:” pacified Salm, and the rest,
     attend also, being invited to do it,—all happily still in the
     right humour. The Mutineers pronounce themselves with a
     decisiveness, which to Bouillé seems insolence; and happily to
     Salm also. Salm, forgetful of the Metz staircase and sabre,
     demands that the scoundrels “be hanged” there and then. Bouillé
     represses the hanging; but answers that mutinous Soldiers have
     one course, and not more than one: To liberate, with heartfelt
     contrition, Messieurs Denoue and de Malseigne; to get ready
     forthwith for marching off, whither he shall order; and “submit
     and repent,” as the National Assembly has decreed, as he
     yesterday did in thirty printed Placards proclaim. These are his
     terms, unalterable as the decrees of Destiny. Which terms as
     they, the Mutineer deputies, seemingly do not accept, it were
     good for them to vanish from this spot, and even promptly; with
     him too, in few instants, the word will be, Forward! The Mutineer
     deputies vanish, not unpromptly; the Municipal ones, anxious
     beyond right for their own individualities, prefer abiding with
     Brave Bouillé, though he puts a most firm face on the matter,
     knows his position full well: how at Nanci, what with rebellious
     soldiers, with uncertain National Guards, and so many distributed
     fusils, there rage and roar some ten thousand fighting men; while
     with himself is scarcely the third part of that number, in
     National Guards also uncertain, in mere pacified Regiments,—for
     the present full of rage, and clamour to march; but whose rage
     and clamour may next moment take such a fatal new figure. On the
     top of one uncertain billow, therewith to calm billows! Bouillé
     must “abandon himself to Fortune;” who is said sometimes to
     favour the brave. At half-past twelve, the Mutineer deputies
     having vanished, our drums beat; we march: for Nanci! Let Nanci
     bethink itself, then; for Bouillé has thought and determined.
     And yet how shall Nanci think: not a City but a Bedlam! Grim
     Château-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, hearing the humour Salm is in; and
     ejaculates dolefully from its thousand throats: ‘_La loi, la
     loi_, Law, law!’ Mestre-de-Camp blusters, with profane swearing,
     in mixed terror and furor; National Guards look this way and
     that, not knowing what to do. What a Bedlam-City: as many plans
     as heads; all ordering, none obeying: quiet none,—except the
     Dead, who sleep underground, having _done_ their fighting!
     And, behold, Bouillé proves as good as his word: “at half-past
     two” scouts report that he is within half a league of the gates;
     rattling along, with cannon, and array; breathing nothing but
     destruction. A new Deputation, Municipals, Mutineers, Officers,
     goes out to meet him; with passionate entreaty for yet one other
     hour. Bouillé grants an hour. Then, at the end thereof, no Denoue
     or Malseigne appearing as promised, he rolls his drums, and again
     takes the road. Towards four o’clock, the terror-struck Townsmen
     may see him face to face. His cannons rattle there, in their
     carriages; his vanguard is within thirty paces of the Gate
     Stanislaus. Onward like a Planet, by appointed times, by law of
     Nature! What next? Lo, flag of truce and chamade; conjuration to
     halt: Malseigne and Denoue are on the street, coming hither; the
     soldiers all repentant, ready to submit and march! Adamantine
     Bouillé’s look alters not; yet the word _Halt_ is given: gladder
     moment he never saw. Joy of joys! Malseigne and Denoue do verily
     issue; escorted by National Guards; from streets all frantic,
     with sale to Austria and so forth: they salute Bouillé,
     unscathed. Bouillé steps aside to speak with them, and with other
     heads of the Town there; having already ordered by what Gates and
     Routes the mutineer Regiments shall file out.
     Such colloquy with these two General Officers and other principal
     Townsmen, was natural enough; nevertheless one wishes Bouillé had
     postponed it, and _not_ stepped aside. Such tumultuous
     inflammable masses, tumbling along, making way for each other;
     this of keen nitrous oxide, that of sulphurous fire-damp,—were it
     not well to stand _between_ them, keeping them well separate,
     till the space be cleared? Numerous stragglers of Château-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 unharmed, roll openly
     delirious,—betrayed, sold to the Austrians, sold to the
     Aristocrats. There are loaded cannon with lit matches among them,
     and Bouillé’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 cannon’s throat
     sooner!—Cannonade not, O Friends, or be it through my body! cries
     heroic young Desilles, young Captain of _Roi_, clasping the
     murderous engine in his arms, and holding it. Château-Vieux
     Swiss, by main force, with oaths and menaces, wrench 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 three other muskets; which explode into his body; which
     roll _it_ in the dust,—and do also, in the loud madness of such
     moment, bring lit cannon-match to ready priming; and so, with one
     thunderous belch of grapeshot, blast some fifty of Bouillé’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 Bouillé
     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; Bouillé gallops in, distracted, inaudible;—and
     now has begun, in Nanci, as in that doomed Hall of the
     Nibelungen, “a murder grim and great.”
     Miserable: such scene of dismal aimless madness as the anger of
     Heaven but rarely permits among men! From cellar or from garret,
     from open street in front, from successive corners of
     cross-streets on each hand, Château-Vieux and Patriotism keep up
     the murderous rolling-fire, on murderous not Unpatriotic fires.
     Your blue National Captain, riddled with balls, one hardly knows
     on whose side fighting, requests to be laid on the colours to
     die: the patriotic Woman (name not given, deed surviving) screams
     to Château-Vieux that it must _not_ fire the other cannon; and
     even flings a pail of water on it, since screaming avails
     not.[320] 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
     Château-Vieux has been shot, without need of Court Martial.
     Cavalry, of Mestre-de-Camp or their foes, can do little. Regiment
     du Roi was persuaded to its barracks; stands there palpitating.
     Bouillé, 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
     Château-Vieux are seeking covert. Regiment du Roi, not
     effervescent now, alas no, but _having_ effervesced, will offer
     to ground its arms; will “march in a quarter of an hour.” Nay
     these poor effervesced require “escort” to march with, and get
     it; though they are thousands strong, and have thirty
     ball-cartridges a man! The Sun is not yet down, when Peace, which
     might have come bloodless, has come bloody: the mutinous
     Regiments are on march, doleful, on their three Routes; and from
     Nanci rises wail of women and men, the voice of weeping and
     desolation; the City weeping for its slain who awaken not. These
     streets are empty but for victorious patrols.
     Thus has Fortune, favouring the brave, dragged Bouillé, as
     himself says, out of such a frightful peril, “by the hair of the
     head.” An intrepid adamantine man this Bouillé:—had _he_ stood in
     old Broglie’s place, in those Bastille days, it might have been
     all different! He has extinguished mutiny, and immeasurable civil
     war. Not for nothing, as we see; yet at a rate which he and
     Constitutional Patriotism considers cheap. Nay, as for Bouillé,
     he, urged by subsequent contradiction which arose, declares
     coldly, it was rather against his own private mind, and more by
     public military rule of duty, that he did extinguish
     it,[321]—immeasurable civil war being now the only chance. Urged,
     we say, by subsequent contradiction! Civil war, indeed, is Chaos;
     and in all vital Chaos, there is new Order shaping itself free:
     but what a faith this, that of all new Orders out of Chaos and
     Possibility of Man and his Universe, Louis Sixteenth and
     Two-Chamber Monarchy were precisely the one that would shape
     itself! It is like undertaking to throw deuce-ace, say only five
     hundred successive times, and any other throw to be fatal—for
     Bouillé. Rather thank Fortune, and Heaven, always, thou intrepid
     Bouillé; and let contradiction of its way! Civil war,
     conflagrating universally over France at this moment, might have
     led to one thing or to another thing: meanwhile, to _quench_
     conflagration, wheresoever one finds it, wheresoever one can;
     this, in all times, is the rule for man and General Officer.
     But at Paris, so agitated and divided, fancy how it went, when
     the continually vibrating Orderlies vibrated _thither_ at hand
     gallop, with such questionable news! High is the gratulation; and
     also deep the indignation. An august Assembly, by overwhelming
     majorities, passionately thanks Bouillé; a King’s autograph, the
     voices of all Loyal, all Constitutional men run to the same
     tenor. A solemn National funeral-service, for the Law-defenders
     slain at Nanci; is said and sung in the Champ de Mars; Bailly,
     Lafayette and National Guards, all except the few that protested,
     assist. With pomp and circumstance, with episcopal Calicoes in
     tricolor girdles, Altar of Fatherland smoking with cassolettes,
     or incense-kettles; the vast Champ-de-Mars wholly hung round with
     black mortcloth,—which mortcloth and expenditure Marat thinks had
     better have been laid out in bread, in these dear days, and given
     to the hungry living Patriot.[322] On the other hand, living
     Patriotism, and Saint-Antoine, which we have seen noisily closing
     its 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 Bouillé, and instant dismissal of
     War-Minister Latour du 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 health.” Home to native Switzerland; not as he
     last came; lucky to reach it alive! Fifteen months ago, we saw
     him coming, with escort of horse, with sound of clarion and
     trumpet: and now at Arcis-sur-Aube, while he departs unescorted
     soundless, the Populace and Municipals stop him as a fugitive,
     are not unlike massacring him as a traitor; the National
     Assembly, consulted on the matter, gives him free egress as a
     nullity. Such an unstable “drift-mould of Accident” is the
     substance of this lower world, for them that dwell in houses of
     clay; so, especially in hot regions and times, do the proudest
     palaces we build of it take wings, and become Sahara
     sand-palaces, spinning many pillared in the whirlwind, and bury
     us under their sand!—
     In spite of the forty thousand, the National Assembly persists in
     its thanks; and Royalist Latour du Pin continues Minister. The
     forty thousand assemble next day, as loud as ever; roll towards
     Latour’s Hôtel; 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-de-Camp, of Roi, have got marked out for
     judgment;—yet shall never get judged. Briefer is the doom of
     Château-Vieux. Château-Vieux is, by Swiss law, given up for
     instant trial in Court-Martial of its own officers. Which
     Court-Martial, with all brevity (in not many hours), has hanged
     some Twenty-three, on conspicuous gibbets; marched some
     Three-score in chains to the Galleys; and so, to appearance,
     finished the matter off. Hanged men do cease for ever from this
     Earth; but out of chains and the Galleys there may be
     resuscitation in triumph. Resuscitation for the chained Hero; and
     even for the chained Scoundrel, or Semi-scoundrel! Scottish John
     Knox, such World-Hero, as we know, sat once nevertheless pulling
     grim-taciturn at the oar of French Galley, “in the _Water of
     Lore;_” and even flung their Virgin-Mary over, instead of kissing
     her,—as “a _pented bredd_,” or timber Virgin, who could naturally
     swim.[323] So, ye of Château-Vieux, tug patiently, not without
     But indeed at Nanci generally, Aristocracy rides triumphant,
     rough. Bouillé is gone again, the second day; an Aristocrat
     Municipality, with free course, is as cruel as it had before been
     cowardly. The Daughter Society, as the mother of the whole
     mischief, lies ignominiously suppressed; the Prisons can hold no
     more; bereaved down-beaten Patriotism murmurs, not loud but deep.
     Here and in the neighbouring Towns, “flattened balls” picked from
     the streets of Nanci are worn at buttonholes: balls flattened in
     carrying death to Patriotism; men wear them there, in perpetual
     memento of revenge. Mutineer Deserters roam the woods; have to
     demand charity at the musket’s end. All is dissolution, mutual
     rancour, gloom and despair:—till National-Assembly Commissioners
     arrive, with a steady gentle flame of Constitutionalism in their
     hearts; who gently lift up the down-trodden, gently pull down the
     too uplifted; reinstate the Daughter Society, recall the Mutineer
     Deserter; gradually levelling, strive in all wise ways to smooth
     and soothe. With such gradual mild levelling on the one side; as
     with solemn funeral-service, Cassolettes, Courts-Martial,
     National thanks,—all that Officiality can do is done. The
     buttonhole will drop its flat ball; the black ashes, so far as
     may be, get green again.
     This is the “Affair of Nanci;” by some called the “Massacre of
     Nanci;”—properly speaking, the unsightly _wrong_-side of that
     thrice glorious Feast of Pikes, the right-side of which formed a
     spectacle for the very gods. Right-side and wrong lie always so
     near: the one was in July, in August the other! Theatres, the
     theatres over in London, are bright with their pasteboard
     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 store for us.
     Meanwhile, at this cost or at that, the mutiny, as we say, is
     stilled. The French Army has neither burst up in universal
     simultaneous delirium; nor been at once disbanded, put an end to,
     and made new again. It must die in the chronic manner, through
     years, by inches; with partial revolts, as of Brest Sailors or
     the like, which dare not spread; with men unhappy, insubordinate;
     officers unhappier, in Royalist moustachioes, taking horse,
     singly or in bodies, across the Rhine:[324] sick dissatisfaction,
     sick disgust on both sides; the Army moribund, fit for no
     duty:—till it do, in that unexpected manner, Phoenix-like, with
     long throes, get both dead and newborn; then start forth strong,
     nay stronger and even strongest.
     Thus much was the brave Bouillé hitherto fated to do. Wherewith
     let him again fade into dimness; and at Metz or the rural
     Cantonments, assiduously drilling, mysteriously diplomatising, in
     scheme within scheme, hover as formerly a faint shadow, the hope
     of Royalty.

     BOOK 2.III.

     Chapter 2.3.I.
     How true that there is nothing dead in this Universe; that what
     we call dead is only changed, its forces working in inverse
     order! “The leaf that lies rotting in moist winds,” says one,
     “has still force; else how could it _rot?_” Our whole Universe is
     but an infinite Complex of Forces; thousandfold, from Gravitation
     up to Thought and Will; 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, to the spoken
     word of man. The word that is spoken, as we know,
     flies-irrevocable: not less, but more, the action that is done.
     “The gods themselves,” 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 written
     visible: All that has been done, All that is doing, All that will
     be done! Understand it well, the Thing thou beholdest, that Thing
     is an Action, the product and expression of exerted Force: the
     All of Things is an infinite conjugation of the verb _To do._
     Shoreless Fountain-Ocean of Force, of power to _do;_ wherein
     Force rolls and circles, billowing, many-streamed, harmonious;
     wide as Immensity, deep as Eternity; beautiful and terrible, not
     to be comprehended: this is what man names Existence and
     Universe; this thousand-tinted Flame-image, at once veil and
     revelation, reflex such as he, in his poor brain and heart, can
     paint, of One Unnameable dwelling in inaccessible light! From
     beyond the Star-galaxies, from before the Beginning of Days, it
     billows and rolls,—round _thee_, nay thyself art of it, in this
     point of Space where thou now standest, in this moment which thy
     clock measures.
     Or apart from all Transcendentalism, is it not a plain truth of
     sense, which the duller mind can even consider as a truism, that
     human things wholly are in continual movement, and action and
     reaction; working continually forward, phasis after phasis, by
     unalterable laws, towards prescribed issues? How often must we
     say, and yet not rightly lay to heart: The seed that is sown, it
     will spring! Given the summer’s blossoming, then there is also
     given the autumnal withering: so is it ordered not with
     seedfields only, but with transactions, arrangements,
     philosophies, societies, French Revolutions, whatsoever man works
     with in this lower world. The Beginning holds in it the End, and
     all that leads thereto; as the acorn does the oak and its
     fortunes. Solemn enough, did we think of it,—which unhappily and
     also happily we do not very much! Thou there canst begin; the
     Beginning is for thee, and there: but where, and of what sort,
     and for whom will the End be? All grows, and seeks and 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 world. In that seven-years’ sleep of
     his, so much has changed! All that is without us will change
     while we think not of it; much even that is within us. The truth
     that was yesterday a restless Problem, has today grown a Belief
     burning to be uttered: on the morrow, contradiction has
     exasperated it into mad Fanaticism; obstruction has dulled it
     into sick Inertness; it is sinking towards silence, of
     satisfaction or of resignation. Today is not Yesterday, for man
     or for thing. Yesterday there was the oath of Love; today has
     come the curse of Hate. Not willingly: ah, no; but it could not
     help coming. The golden radiance of youth, would it willingly
     have tarnished itself into the dimness of old age?—Fearful: how
     we stand enveloped, deep-sunk, in that Mystery of TIME; and are
     Sons of Time; fashioned and woven out of Time; and on us, and on
     all that we have, or see, or do, is written: Rest not, Continue
     not, Forward to thy doom!
     But in seasons of Revolution, which indeed distinguish themselves
     from common seasons by their _velocity_ mainly, your miraculous
     Seven-sleeper might, with miracle enough, wake _sooner:_ not by
     the century, or seven years, need he sleep; often not by the
     seven months. Fancy, for example, some new Peter Klaus, sated
     with the jubilee of that Federation day, had lain down, say
     directly after the Blessing of Talleyrand; and, reckoning it all
     safe _now_, had fallen composedly asleep under the timber-work of
     the Fatherland’s Altar; to sleep there, not twenty-one years, but
     as it were year and day. The cannonading of Nanci, so far off,
     does not disturb him; nor does the black mortcloth, close at
     hand, nor the 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
     14th of 1790, till July the 17th of 1791: but on that latter day,
     no Klaus, nor most leaden Epimenides, only the Dead could
     continue sleeping; and so our miraculous Peter Klaus awakens.
     With what eyes, O Peter! Earth and sky have still their joyous
     July look, and the Champ-de-Mars is multitudinous with men: but
     the jubilee-huzzahing has become Bedlam-shrieking, of terror and
     revenge; not blessing of 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
     sanguinous _Drapeau-Rouge_.—Thou foolish Klaus! The one lay in
     the other, the one _was_ the other _minus_ Time; even as
     Hannibal’s rock-rending vinegar lay in the sweet new wine. That
     sweet Federation was of last year; this sour Divulsion is the
     self-same 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 in a natural way; we mean, with his eyes open? Eyes has
     he, but he sees not, except what is under his nose. With a
     sparkling 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 _it_ is the whole world: as,
     indeed, where your vision terminates, does not inanity begin
     _there_, and the world’s end clearly declares itself—to you?
     Whereby our brisk sparkling assiduous official person (call him,
     for instance, Lafayette), suddenly startled, after year and day,
     by huge grape-shot tumult, stares not less astonished at it than
     Peter Klaus would have done. Such natural-miracle Lafayette can
     perform; and indeed not he only but most other officials,
     non-officials, and generally the whole French People can perform
     it; and do bounce up, ever and anon, like amazed Seven-sleepers
     awakening; awakening amazed at the noise they themselves _make_.
     So strangely is Freedom, as we say, environed in Necessity; such
     a singular Somnambulism, of Conscious and Unconscious, of
     Voluntary and Involuntary, is this life of man. If any where in
     the world there was astonishment that the Federation Oath went
     into grape-shot, 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 is not cooled thereby; but is still hot, nay hotter. Lift
     off the pressure of command from so many millions; all pressure
     or binding rule, except such melodramatic Federation Oath as they
     have bound _themselves_ with! For _Thou shalt_ was from of old
     the condition of man’s being, and his weal and blessedness was in
     obeying that. Wo for him when, were it on hest of the clearest
     necessity, rebellion, disloyal isolation, and mere _I will_,
     becomes his rule! But the Gospel of Jean-Jacques has come, and
     the first Sacrament of it has been celebrated: all things, as we
     say, are got into hot and hotter prurience; and must go on
     pruriently fermenting, in continual change noted or unnoted.
     “Worn out with disgusts,” Captain after Captain, in Royalist
     moustachioes, mounts his warhorse, or his Rozinante war-garron,
     and rides minatory across the Rhine; till all have ridden.
     Neither does civic Emigration cease: Seigneur after Seigneur
     must, in like manner, ride or roll; impelled to it, and even
     compelled. For the very Peasants despise him in that he dare not
     join his order and fight.[325] Can he bear to have a Distaff, a
     _Quenouille_ sent to him; say in copper-plate shadow, by post; or
     fixed up in wooden reality over his gate-lintel: as if he were no
     Hercules but an Omphale? Such scutcheon they forward to him
     diligently from behind the Rhine; till he too bestir himself and
     march, and in sour humour, another Lord of Land is gone, _not_
     taking the Land with him. Nay, what of Captains and emigrating
     Seigneurs? There is not an angry word on any of those Twenty-five
     million French tongues, and indeed not an angry thought in their
     hearts, but is some fraction of the great Battle. Add many
     successions of angry words together, you have the manual brawl;
     add brawls together, with the festering sorrows they leave, and
     they rise to riots and revolts. One reverend thing after another
     ceases to meet reverence: in visible material combustion, château
     after château mounts up; in spiritual invisible combustion, one
     authority after another. With noise and glare, or noisily and
     unnoted, a whole Old System of things is vanishing piecemeal: on
     the morrow thou shalt look and it is not.

     Chapter 2.3.II.
     The Wakeful.
     Sleep who will, cradled in hope and short vision, like Lafayette,
     “who always in the danger done sees the last danger that will
     threaten him,”—Time is not 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 they, with pastepot and cross-staff, new clothe
     the walls of Paris in colours of the rainbow: authoritative
     heraldic, as we say, or indeed almost magical thaumaturgic; for
     no Placard-Journal that they paste but will convince some soul or
     souls of man. The Hawkers bawl; and the Balladsingers: great
     Journalism blows and blusters, through all its throats, forth
     from Paris towards all corners of France, like an Aeolus’ Cave;
     keeping alive all manner of fires.
     Throats or Journals there are, as men count,[326] to the number
     of some hundred and thirty-three. Of various calibre; from your
     Chéniers, Gorsases, Camilles, down to your Marat, down now to
     your incipient Hébert of the _Père Duchesne;_ these blow, with
     fierce weight of argument or quick light banter, for the Rights
     of man: Durosoys, Royous, Peltiers, Sulleaus, equally with mixed
     tactics, inclusive, singular to say, of much profane Parody,[327]
     are blowing for Altar and Throne. As for Marat the
     People’s-Friend, his voice is as that of the bullfrog, or bittern
     by the solitary pools; he, unseen of men, croaks harsh thunder,
     and that alone continually,—of indignation, suspicion, incurable
     sorrow. The People are sinking towards ruin, near starvation
     itself: “My dear friends,” cries he, “your indigence is not the
     fruit of vices nor of idleness, you have a right to life, as good
     as Louis XVI., or the happiest of the century. What man can say
     he has a right to dine, when you have no bread?”[328] The People
     sinking on the one hand: on the other hand, nothing but wretched
     Sieur Motiers, treasonous Riquetti Mirabeaus; traitors, or else
     shadows, and simulacra of Quacks, to be seen in high places, look
     where you will! Men that go mincing, grimacing, with plausible
     speech and brushed raiment; hollow within: Quacks Political;
     Quacks scientific, Academical; all with a fellow-feeling for each
     other, and kind of Quack public-spirit! Not great Lavoisier
     himself, or any of the Forty can escape this rough tongue; which
     wants not fanatic sincerity, nor, strangest of all, a certain
     rough caustic sense. And then the “three thousand gaming-houses”
     that are in Paris; cesspools for the scoundrelism of the world;
     sinks of iniquity and debauchery,—whereas without good morals
     Liberty is impossible! There, in these Dens of Satan, which one
     knows, and perseveringly denounces, do Sieur Motier’s mouchards
     consort and colleague; battening vampyre-like on a People
     next-door to starvation. “_O Peuple!_” cries he oftimes, 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 of Marat, Friend of the People.
     So blow and bluster the Hundred and thirty-three: nor, as would
     seem, are these sufficient; for there are benighted nooks in
     France, to which Newspapers do not reach; and every where 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,[329] he cannot get along for “peasants stopping him
     on the highway; overwhelming him with questions:” the _Maître de
     Poste_ will not send out the horses till you have well nigh
     quarrelled with him, but asks always, What news? At Autun, “in
     spite of the rigorous frost” for it is now January, 1791, nothing
     will serve but you must gather your wayworn limbs, and thoughts,
     and “speak to the multitudes from a window opening into the
     market-place.” It is the shortest method: _This_, good Christian
     people, is verily what an August Assembly seemed to me to be
     doing; this and no other is the news;
    “Now my weary lips I close;
    Leave me, leave me to repose.”

     The good Dampmartin!—But, on the whole, are not Nations
     astonishingly true to their National character; which indeed runs
     in the blood? Nineteen hundred years ago, Julius Cæsar, with his
     quick sure eye, took note how the Gauls waylaid men. “It is a
     habit of theirs,” says he, “to stop travellers, were it even by
     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 there. Excited by which
     rumours and hearsays they will decide about the weightiest
     matters; and necessarily repent next moment that they did it, on
     such guidance of uncertain reports, and many a traveller
     answering with mere fictions to please them, and get off.”[330]
     Nineteen hundred years; and good Dampmartin, wayworn, in winter
     frost, probably with scant light of stars and fish-oil, still
     perorates from the Inn-window! This People is no longer called
     Gaulish; and it has _wholly_ become _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, _Guerre_-man,
     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
     little adulterated?—
     For the rest, that in such prurient confusion, Clubbism thrives
     and spreads, need not be said. Already the Mother of Patriotism,
     sitting in the Jacobins, shines supreme over all; and has paled
     the poor lunar light of that Monarchic Club near to final
     extinction. She, we say, shines supreme, girt with sun-light, not
     yet with infernal lightning; reverenced, not without fear, by
     Municipal Authorities; counting her Barnaves, Lameths, Pétions,
     of a National Assembly; most gladly of all, her Robespierre.
     Cordeliers, again, your Hébert, Vincent, Bibliopolist Momoro,
     groan audibly that a tyrannous Mayor and Sieur Motier harrow them
     with the sharp _tribula_ of Law, intent apparently to suppress
     them by tribulation. How the Jacobin Mother-Society, as hinted
     formerly, sheds forth Cordeliers on this hand, and then Feuillans
     on that; the Cordeliers 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 re-absorb the former into her Mother-bosom, and
     stormfully dissipate the latter into Nonentity: how she breeds
     and brings forth Three Hundred Daughter-Societies; her rearing of
     them, her correspondence, her endeavourings and continual
     travail: how, under an old figure, Jacobinism shoots forth
     organic filaments to the utmost corners of confused dissolved
     France; organising it anew:—this properly is the grand fact of
     the Time.
     To passionate Constitutionalism, still more to Royalism, which
     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 life out of death:
     destructive, indeed, of the remnants of the Old; but to the New
     important, indispensable. That man can co-operate 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
     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 _Halle aux bleds_. He here, this winter, by Printing-press
     and melodious Colloquy, spreads bruit of himself to the utmost
     City-barriers. “Ten thousand persons” of respectability attend
     there; and listen to this “_Procureur-Général de la Vérité_,
     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 read.
     Busy Brissot was long ago of purpose to establish precisely some
     such regenerative _Social Circle:_ nay he had tried it, in
     “Newman-street Oxford-street,” of the Fog Babylon; and failed,—as
     some say, surreptitiously pocketing the cash. Fauchet, not
     Brissot, was fated to be the happy man; whereat, however,
     generous Brissot will with sincere heart sing a timber-toned
     _Nunc Domine_.[331] 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? Unfortunately wind
     and shadow. The main reality one finds in it now, is perhaps
     this: that an “Attorney-General of Truth” did once take shape of
     a body, as Son of Adam, on our Earth, though but for months or
     moments; and ten thousand persons of respectability attended, ere
     yet Chaos and Nox had reabsorbed him.
     Hundred and thirty-three Paris Journals; regenerative Social
     Circle; oratory, in Mother and Daughter Societies, from the
     balconies of Inns, by chimney-nook, at dinner-table,—polemical,
     ending many times in duel! Add ever, like a constant growling
     accompaniment of bass Discord: scarcity of work, scarcity of
     food. The winter is hard and cold; ragged Bakers’-queues, like a
     black tattered flag-of-distress, wave out ever and anon. It is
     the third of our Hunger-years this new year of a glorious
     Revolution. The rich man when invited to dinner, in such
     distress-seasons, feels bound in politeness to carry his own
     bread in his pocket: how the poor dine? And your glorious
     Revolution has done it, cries one. And our glorious Revolution is
     subtilety, by black traitors worthy of the Lamp-iron, _perverted_
     to do it, cries another! Who will paint the huge whirlpool
     wherein France, all shivered into wild incoherence, whirls? The
     jarring that went on under every French roof, in every French
     heart; the diseased things that were spoken, done, the sum-total
     whereof is the French Revolution, tongue of man cannot tell. Nor
     the laws of action that work unseen in the depths of that huge
     blind Incoherence! With amazement, not with measurement, men look
     on the Immeasurable; not knowing its laws; _seeing_, with all
     different degrees of knowledge, what new phases, and results of
     event, its laws bring forth. France is as a monstrous Galvanic
     Mass, wherein all sorts of far stranger than chemical galvanic or
     electric forces and substances are at work; electrifying one
     another, positive and negative; filling with electricity your
     Leyden-jars,—Twenty-five millions in number! As the jars get
     full, there will, from time to time, be, on slight hint, an

     Chapter 2.3.III.
     Sword in Hand.
     On such wonderful basis, however, has Law, Royalty, Authority,
     and whatever yet exists of visible Order, to maintain itself,
     while it can. Here, as in that Commixture of the Four Elements
     did the Anarch Old, has an august Assembly spread its pavilion;
     curtained by the dark infinite of discords; founded on the
     wavering bottomless of the Abyss; and keeps continual hubbub.
     Time is around it, and Eternity, and the Inane; and it does what
     it can, what is given it to do.
     Glancing reluctantly in, once more, we discern little that is
     edifying: a Constitutional Theory of Defective Verbs struggling
     forward, with perseverance, amid endless interruptions: Mirabeau,
     from his tribune, with the weight of his name and genius, awing
     down much Jacobin violence; which in return vents itself the
     louder over in its Jacobins Hall, and even reads him sharp
     lectures there.[332] This man’s path is mysterious, questionable;
     difficult, and he walks without companion in it. Pure Patriotism
     does not now count him among her chosen; pure Royalism abhors
     him: yet his weight with the world is overwhelming. Let him
     travel on, companionless, unwavering, whither he is bound,—while
     it is yet day with him, and the night has not come.
     But the chosen band of pure Patriot brothers is small; counting
     only some Thirty, seated now on the extreme tip of the Left,
     separate from the world. A virtuous Pétion; an incorruptible
     Robespierre, most consistent, incorruptible of thin acrid men;
     Triumvirs Barnave, Duport, Lameth, great in speech, thought,
     action, each according to his kind; a lean old Goupil de Prefeln:
     on these and what will follow them has pure Patriotism to depend.
     There too, conspicuous among the Thirty, if seldom audible,
     Philippe d’Orléans 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 succession to the Throne “in case the present
     Branch should fail;” and Philippe, they say, walked anxiously, in
     silence, through the corridors, till such high argument were
     done: but it came all to nothing; Mirabeau, glaring into the man,
     and through him, had to ejaculate in strong untranslatable
     language: _Ce j—f—ne vaut pas la peine qu’on se donne pour lui_.
     It came all to nothing; and in the meanwhile Philippe’s money,
     they say, is gone! Could he refuse a little cash to the gifted
     Patriot, in want only of that; he himself in want of all _but_
     that? Not a pamphlet can be printed without cash; or indeed
     written, without food purchasable by cash. Without cash your
     hopefullest Projector cannot stir from the spot: individual
     patriotic or other Projects require cash: how much more do
     wide-spread Intrigues, which live and exist by cash; lying
     widespread, with dragon-appetite for cash; fit to swallow
     Princedoms! And so Prince Philippe, amid his Sillerys, Lacloses,
     and confused Sons of Night, has rolled along: the centre of the
     strangest cloudy coil; out of which has visibly come, as we often
     say, an Epic Preternatural Machinery of SUSPICION; and _within_
     which there has dwelt and worked,—what specialties of treason,
     stratagem, aimed or aimless endeavour towards mischief, no party
     living (if it be not the Presiding Genius of it, Prince of the
     Power of the Air) has now any chance to know. Camille’s
     conjecture is the likeliest: that poor Philippe did mount up, a
     little way, in treasonable speculation, as he mounted formerly in
     one of the earliest Balloons; but, frightened at the new position
     he was getting into, had soon turned the cock again, and come
     down. More fool than he rose! To create Preternatural Suspicion,
     this was his function in the Revolutionary Epos. But now if he
     have lost his cornucopia of ready-money, what else had he to
     lose? In thick darkness, inward and outward, he must welter and
     flounder on, in that piteous death-element, the hapless man.
     Once, or even twice, we shall still behold him emerged;
     struggling out of the thick death-element: in vain. For one
     moment, it is the last moment, he starts aloft, or is flung
     aloft, even into clearness and a kind of memorability,—to sink
     then for evermore!
     The _Côté Droit_ persists no less; nay with more animation than
     ever, though hope has now well nigh fled. Tough Abbé Maury, when
     the obscure country Royalist grasps his hand with transport of
     thanks, answers, rolling his indomitable brazen head: ‘_Hélas,
     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 that is to fall sword in hand on
     those gentry there, _sabre à la main sur ces gaillards là_,’[333]
     franticly indicating our chosen Thirty on the extreme tip of the
     Left! Whereupon is clangour and clamour, debate,
     repentance,—evaporation. Things ripen towards downright
     incompatibility, and what is called “scission:” that fierce
     theoretic onslaught of Faussigny’s was in August, 1790; next
     August will not have come, till a famed Two Hundred and
     Ninety-two, the chosen of Royalism, make solemn final “scission”
     from an Assembly given up to faction; and depart, shaking the
     dust off their feet.
     Connected with this matter of sword in hand, there is yet another
     thing to be noted. Of duels we have sometimes spoken: how, in all
     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 to fall mutually skewered through
     with iron, their wrath and life alike ending,—and die as fools
     die. Long has this lasted, and still lasts. But now it would seem
     as if in an august Assembly itself, traitorous Royalism, in its
     despair, had taken to a new course: that of cutting off
     Patriotism by systematic duel! Bully-swordsmen, “_Spadassins_” of
     that party, go swaggering; or indeed they can be had for a trifle
     of money. “Twelve _Spadassins_” were _seen_, by the yellow eye of
     Journalism, “arriving recently out of Switzerland;” also “a
     considerable number of Assassins, _nombre considérable
     d’assassins_, exercising in fencing-schools and at
     pistol-targets.” Any Patriot Deputy of mark can be called out;
     let him escape one time, or ten times, a time there necessarily
     is when he must fall, and France mourn. How many cartels has
     Mirabeau had; especially while he was the People’s champion!
     Cartels by the hundred: which he, since the Constitution must be
     made first, and his time is precious, answers now always with a
     kind of stereotype formula: ‘Monsieur, you are put upon my List;
     but I warn you that it is long, and I grant no preferences.’
     Then, in Autumn, had we not the Duel of Cazalès and Barnave; the
     two chief masters of tongue-shot meeting now to exchange
     pistol-shot? For Cazalès, chief of the Royalists, whom we call
     “Blacks or _Noirs_,” said, in a moment of passion, ‘the Patriots
     were sheer Brigands,’ nay in so speaking, he darted or seemed to
     dart, a fire-glance specially at Barnave; who thereupon could not
     but reply by fire-glances,—by adjournment to the
     Bois-de-Boulogne. Barnave’s second shot took effect: on Cazalès’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 of him? Surely
     not.—Barnave was received at the Jacobins with embraces, yet with
     Mindful of which, and also that his repetition in America was
     that of headlong foolhardiness rather, and want of brain not of
     heart, Charles Lameth does, on the eleventh day of November, with
     little emotion, decline attending some hot young Gentleman from
     Artois, come expressly to challenge him: nay indeed he first
     coldly engages to attend; then coldly permits two Friends to
     attend instead of him, and shame the young Gentleman out of it,
     which they successfully do. A cold procedure; satisfactory to the
     two Friends, to Lameth and the hot young Gentleman; whereby, one
     might have fancied, the whole matter was cooled down.
     Not so, however: Lameth, proceeding to his senatorial duties, in
     the decline of the day, is met in those Assembly corridors by
     nothing but Royalist _brocards;_ sniffs, huffs, and open insults.
     Human patience has its limits: ‘Monsieur,’ said Lameth, breaking
     silence to one Lautrec, a man with hunchback, or natural
     deformity, but sharp of 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 fire-flash Lameth
     replies, ‘_Tout à l’heure_, On the instant, then!’ And so, as the
     shades of dusk thicken in that Bois-de-Boulogne, we behold two
     men with lion-look, with alert attitude, side foremost, right
     foot advanced; flourishing and thrusting, stoccado and passado,
     in tierce and quart; intent to skewer one another. See, with most
     skewering purpose, headlong Lameth, with his whole weight, makes
     a furious lunge; but deft Castries whisks aside: Lameth skewers
     only the air,—and slits deep and far, on Castries’ sword’s-point,
     his own extended left arm! Whereupon with bleeding, pallor,
     surgeon’s-lint, and formalities, the Duel is considered
     satisfactorily done.
     But will there be no end, then? Beloved Lameth lies deep-slit,
     not out of danger. Black traitorous 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 of 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 filigree, mirrors, pictures, images, commodes,
     chiffoniers, and endless crockery and jingle: amid steady popular
     cheers, absolutely without theft; for there goes a cry, ‘He shall
     be hanged that steals a nail!’ It is a _Plebiscitum_, or informal
     iconoclastic Decree of the Common People, in the course of being
     executed!—The Municipality sit tremulous; deliberating whether
     they will hang out the _Drapeau Rouge_ and Martial Law: National
     Assembly, part in loud wail, part in hardly suppressed applause:
     Abbé 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 Guardes, though
     without _Drapeau Rouge_, get under way; apparently in no hot
     haste. Nay, arrived on the scene, Lafayette salutes with doffed
     hat, before ordering to fix bayonets. What avails it? The
     Plebeian ‘Court of _Cassation_,’ as Camille might punningly name
     it, has done its work; steps forth, with unbuttoned vest, with
     pockets turned inside out: sack, and just ravage, not plunder!
     With inexhaustible patience, the Hero of two Worlds remonstrates;
     persuasively, with a kind of sweet constraint, though also with
     fixed bayonets, dissipates, hushes down: on the morrow it is once
     more all as usual.
     Considering which things, however, Duke Castries may justly
     “write to the President,” justly transport himself across the
     Marches; to raise a corps, or do what else is in him. Royalism
     totally abandons that Bobadilian method of contest, and the
     Twelve _Spadassins_ return to Switzerland,—or even to Dreamland
     through the Horn-gate, whichsoever their home is. Nay Editor
     Prudhomme is authorised to publish a curious thing: “We are
     authorised to publish,” says he, dull-blustering Publisher, that
     M. Boyer, champion of good Patriots, is at the head of Fifty
     _Spadassinicides_ or Bully-_killers_. His address is: Passage du
     Bois-de-Boulonge, Faubourg St. Denis.”[334] One of the strangest
     Institutes, this of Champion Boyer and the Bully-killers! Whose
     services, however, are not wanted; Royalism having abandoned the
     rapier-method as plainly impracticable.

     Chapter 2.3.IV.
     To fly or not to fly.
     The truth is Royalism sees itself verging towards sad
     extremities; nearer and nearer daily. From over the Rhine it
     comes asserted that the King in his Tuileries is not free: this
     the poor King may contradict, with the official mouth, but in his
     heart feels often to be undeniable. Civil Constitution of the
     Clergy; Decree of ejectment against Dissidents from it: not even
     to this latter, though almost his conscience rebels, can he say
     “Nay; but, after two months’ hesitating, signs this also. It was
     on January 21st,” of this 1790, that he signed it; to the sorrow
     of his poor/ heart yet, on _another_ Twenty-first of January!
     Whereby come Dissident ejected Priests; unconquerable Martyrs
     according to some, incurable chicaning Traitors according to
     others. And so there has arrived what we once foreshadowed: with
     Religion, or with the Cant and Echo of Religion, all France is
     rent asunder in a new rupture of continuity; complicating,
     embittering all the older;—to be cured only, by stern surgery, in
     La Vendée!
     Unhappy Royalty, unhappy Majesty, Hereditary (Representative),
     _Représentant Héréditaire_, or however they can name him; of whom
     much is expected, to whom little is given! Blue National Guards
     encircle that Tuileries; a Lafayette, thin constitutional Pedant;
     clear, thin, inflexible, as water, turned to thin ice; whom no
     Queen’s heart can love. National Assembly, its pavilion spread
     where we know, sits near by, keeping continual hubbub. From
     without nothing but Nanci Revolts, sack of Castries Hotels, riots
     and seditions; riots, North and South, at Aix, at Douai, at
     Béfort, Usez, Perpignan, at Nismes, and that incurable Avignon of
     the Pope’s: a continual crackling and sputtering of riots from
     the whole face of France;—testifying how electric it grows. Add
     only the hard winter, the famished _strikes_ of operatives; that
     continual running-bass of Scarcity, ground-tone and basis of all
     other Discords!
     The plan of Royalty, so far as it can be said to have any fixed
     plan, is still, as ever, that of flying towards the frontiers. In
     very truth, the only plan of the smallest promise for it! Fly to
     Bouillé; bristle yourself round with cannon, served by your
     “forty-thousand undebauched Germans:” summon the National
     Assembly to follow you, summon what of it is Royalist,
     Constitutional, gainable by money; dissolve the rest, by
     grapeshot if need be. Let Jacobinism and Revolt, with one wild
     wail, fly into Infinite Space; driven by grapeshot. Thunder over
     France with the cannon’s mouth; commanding, not entreating, that
     this riot cease. And then to rule afterwards with utmost possible
     Constitutionality; doing justice, loving mercy; _being_ Shepherd
     of this indigent People, not Shearer merely, and
     Shepherd’s-similitude! All this, if ye dare. If ye dare not, then
     in Heaven’s name go to sleep: other handsome alternative seems
     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 do. Much is possible for a man; men will obey a man that
     _kens_ and _cans_, and name him reverently their _Ken-ning_ or
     King. Did not Charlemagne rule? Consider too whether he had
     smooth times of it; hanging “thirty-thousand Saxons over the
     Weser-Bridge,” at one dread swoop! So likewise, who knows but, in
     this same distracted fanatic France, the right man may verily
     exist? An olive-complexioned taciturn man; for the present,
     Lieutenant in the Artillery-service, who once sat studying
     Mathematics at Brienne? The same who walked in the morning to
     correct proof-sheets at Dôle, and enjoyed a frugal breakfast with
     M. Joly? Such a one is gone, whither also famed General Paoli his
     friend is gone, in these very days, to see old scenes in native
     Corsica, and what Democratic good can be done there.
     Royalty never executes the evasion-plan, yet never abandons it;
     living in variable hope; undecisive, till fortune shall decide.
     In utmost secrecy, a brisk Correspondence goes on with Bouillé;
     there is also a plot, which emerges more than once, for carrying
     the King to Rouen:[335] plot after plot, emerging and submerging,
     like “_ignes fatui_ in foul weather, which lead no whither. About
     “ten o’clock at night,” the Hereditary Representative, in _partie
     quarrée_, with the Queen, with Brother Monsieur, and Madame, sits
     playing “_wisk_,” or whist. Usher Campan enters mysteriously,
     with a message he only half comprehends: How a certain Compte
     d’Inisdal waits anxious in the outer antechamber; National
     Colonel, Captain of the watch for this night, is gained over;
     post-horses ready all the way; party of Noblesse sitting armed,
     determined; will His Majesty, before midnight, consent to go?
     Profound silence; Campan waiting with upturned ear. ‘Did your
     Majesty hear what Campan said?’ asks the Queen. ‘Yes, I heard,’
     answers Majesty, and plays on. ‘’Twas a pretty couplet, that of
     Campan’s,’ hints Monsieur, who at times showed a pleasant wit:
     Majesty, still unresponsive, plays wisk. ‘After all, one must say
     something to Campan,’ 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,’[336]—and vanishes, he and his plot, as will-o’-wisps do.
     The Queen sat till far in the night, packing jewels: but it came
     to nothing; in that peaked frame of irritancy the Will-o’-wisp
     had gone _out_.
     Little hope there is in all this. Alas, with whom to fly? Our
     loyal _Gardes-du-Corps_, ever since the 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 interview with both Majesties, their _viaticum_ of gold
     louis, of heartfelt thanks from a Queen’s lips, though unluckily
     “his Majesty stood, back to fire, not speaking;”[337] 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
     splendour of Versailles! Here in this poor Tuileries, a National
     Brewer-Colonel, sonorous Santerre, parades officially behind her
     Majesty’s chair. Our high dignitaries, all fled over the Rhine:
     nothing now to be gained at Court; but hopes, for which life
     itself must be risked! Obscure busy men frequent the back stairs;
     with hearsays, wind projects, unfruitful fanfaronades. Young
     Royalists, at the _Théâtre de Vaudeville_, “sing couplets;” if
     that could do any thing. Royalists enough, Captains on furlough,
     burnt-out Seigneurs, may likewise be met with, “in the Café de
     Valois, and at Méot the Restaurateur’s.” There they fan one
     another into high loyal glow; drink, in such wine as can be
     procured, confusion to Sansculottism; shew purchased dirks, of an
     improved structure, made to order; and, greatly daring,
     dine.[338] It is in these places, in these months, that the
     epithet _Sansculotte_ first gets applied to indigent Patriotism;
     in the last age we had Gilbert _Sansculotte_, the indigent
     Poet.[339] Destitute-of-Breeches: a mournful Destitution; which
     however, if Twenty millions share it, may become more effective
     than most Possessions!
     Meanwhile, amid this vague dim whirl of fanfaronades,
     wind-projects, poniards made to order, there does disclose itself
     one _punctum-saliens_ of life and feasibility: the finger of
     Mirabeau! Mirabeau and the Queen of France have met; have parted
     with mutual trust! It is strange; secret as the Mysteries; but it
     is indubitable. Mirabeau took horse, one evening; and rode
     westward, unattended,—to see Friend Clavière in that country
     house of his? Before getting to Clavière’s, the much-musing
     horseman struck aside to a back gate of the Garden of
     Saint-Cloud: some Duke d’Aremberg, or the like, was there to
     introduce him; the Queen was not far: on a “round knoll, _rond
     point_, the highest of the Garden of Saint-Cloud,” he beheld the
     Queen’s face; spake with her, alone, under the void canopy of
     Night. What an interview; fateful secret for us, after all
     searching; like the colloquies of the gods![340] She called him
     “a Mirabeau:” elsewhere we read that she “was charmed with him,”
     the wild submitted Titan; as indeed it is among the honourable
     tokens of this high ill-fated heart that no mind of any
     endowment, no Mirabeau, nay no Barnave, no Dumouriez, ever came
     face to face with her but, in spite of all prepossessions, she
     was forced to recognise it, to draw nigh to it, with trust. High
     imperial heart; with the instinctive attraction towards all that
     had any height! ‘You know not the Queen,’ said Mirabeau once in
     confidence; ‘her force of mind is prodigious; she is a man for
     courage.’[341]—And so, under the void Night, on the crown of that
     knoll, she has spoken with a Mirabeau: he has kissed loyally the
     queenly hand, and said with enthusiasm: ‘Madame, the Monarchy is
     saved!’—Possible? The Foreign Powers, mysteriously sounded, gave
     favourable guarded response;[342] Bouillé is at Metz, and could
     find forty-thousand sure Germans. With a Mirabeau for head, and a
     Bouillé for hand, something verily is possible,—if Fate intervene
     But figure under what thousandfold wrappages, and cloaks of
     darkness, Royalty, meditating these things, must involve itself.
     There are men with “Tickets of Entrance;” there are chivalrous
     consultings, mysterious plottings. Consider also whether, involve
     as it like, plotting Royalty can escape the glance of Patriotism;
     lynx-eyes, by the ten thousand fixed on it, which see in the
     dark! Patriotism knows much: know the dirks made to order, and
     can specify the shops; knows Sieur Motier’s legions of mouchards;
     the Tickets of _Entrée_, and men in black; and how plan of
     evasion succeeds plan,—or may be supposed to succeed it. Then
     conceive the couplets chanted at the _Théâtre de Vaudeville;_ or
     worse, the whispers, significant nods of 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.
     Patriotism is patient of much; not patient of all. The _Café de
     Procope_ has sent, visibly along the streets, a Deputation of
     Patriots, “to expostulate with bad Editors,” by trustful word of
     mouth: singular to see and hear. The bad Editors promise to
     amend, but do not. Deputations for change of Ministry were many;
     Mayor Bailly joining even with Cordelier Danton in such: and they
     have prevailed. With what profit? Of Quacks, willing or
     constrained to be Quacks, the race is everlasting: Ministers
     Duportail and Dutertre will have to manage much as Ministers
     Latour-du-Pin and Cicé 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! Preternatural Suspicion once more rules the minds of
     “Nobody here,” writes Carra of the _Annales Patriotiques_, so
     early as the first of February, “can entertain a doubt of the
     constant obstinate project these people have on foot to get the
     King away; or of the perpetual succession of manœuvres 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 Versailles,
     to inspect the King’s Stables, also the stables of the whilom
     _Gardes du Corps;_ they found there from seven to eight hundred
     horses standing always saddled and bridled, ready for the road at
     a moment’s notice. The same deputies, moreover, saw with their
     own two eyes several Royal Carriages, which men were even then
     busy loading with large well-stuffed luggage-bags,” leather cows,
     as we call them, “_vaches de cuir;_ the Royal Arms on the panels
     almost entirely effaced.” Momentous enough! Also, “on the same
     day the whole _Maréchaussée_, or Cavalry Police, did assemble
     with arms, horses and baggage,”—and disperse again. They want the
     King over the marches, that so Emperor Leopold and the German
     Princes, whose troops are ready, may have a pretext for
     beginning: “this,” adds Carra, “is the word of the riddle: this
     is the reason why our fugitive Aristocrats are now making levies
     of men on the frontiers; expecting that, one of these mornings,
     the Executive Chief Magistrate will be brought over to them, and
     the civil war commence.”[343]
     If 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. Bouillé’s Secret Correspondence, since made public,
     testifies as much.
     Nay, it is undeniable, visible to all, that _Mesdames_ the King’s
     Aunts are taking steps for departure: asking passports of the
     Ministry, safe-conducts of the Municipality; which Marat warns
     all men to beware of. They will carry gold with them, “these old
     _Béguines;_” 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 flung 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, Mesdames, quitting Bellevue
     and Versailles with all privacy, are off! Towards Rome,
     seemingly; or one knows not whither. They are not without King’s
     passports, countersigned; and what is more to the purpose, a
     serviceable Escort. The Patriotic Mayor or Mayorlet of the
     Village of Moret tried to detain them; but brisk Louis de
     Narbonne, of the Escort, dashed off at hand-gallop; returned soon
     with thirty dragoons, and victoriously cut them out. And so the
     poor ancient women go their way; to the terror of France and
     Paris, whose nervous excitability is become extreme. Who else
     would hinder poor _Loque_ and _Graille_, now grown so old, and
     fallen into such unexpected circumstances, when gossip itself
     turning only on terrors and horrors is no longer pleasant to the
     mind, and you cannot get so much as an orthodox confessor in
     peace,—from going what way soever the hope of any solacement
     might lead them?
     They go, poor ancient dames,—whom the heart were hard that does
     not pity: they go; with palpitations, with unmelodious suppressed
     screechings; all France, screeching and cackling, in loud
     _un_suppressed terror, behind and on both hands of them: such
     mutual suspicion is among men. At Arnay le Duc, above halfway 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 filled with women and men, while the National
     Assembly debates this question of questions; Lafayette is needed
     at night for dispersing them, and the streets are to be
     illuminated. Commandant Berthier, a Berthier before whom are
     great things unknown, lies for the present under blockade at
     Bellevue in Versailles. By no tactics could he get Mesdames’
     Luggage stirred from the Courts there; frantic Versaillese women
     came screaming about him; his very troops cut the waggon-traces;
     he retired to the interior, waiting better times.[344]
     Nay, in these same hours, while Mesdames hardly cut out from
     Moret by the sabre’s edge, are driving rapidly, to foreign parts,
     and not yet stopped at Arnay, their august nephew poor Monsieur,
     at Paris has dived deep into his cellars of the Luxembourg for
     shelter; and according to Montgaillard can hardly be persuaded up
     again. Screeching multitudes environ that Luxembourg of his:
     drawn thither by report of his departure: but, at sight and sound
     of Monsieur, they become crowing multitudes; and escort Madame
     and him to the Tuileries with vivats.[345] It is a state of
     nervous excitability such as few Nations know.

     Chapter 2.3.V.
     The Day of Poniards.
     Or, again, what means this visible reparation of the Castle of
     Vincennes? Other Jails being all crowded with prisoners, new
     space is wanted here: that is the Municipal account. For in such
     changing of Judicatures, Parlements being abolished, and New
     Courts but just set up, prisoners have accumulated. Not to say
     that in these times of discord and club-law, offences and
     committals are, at any rate, more numerous. Which Municipal
     account, does it not sufficiently explain the phenomenon? Surely,
     to repair the Castle of Vincennes was of all enterprises that an
     enlightened Municipality could undertake, the most innocent.
     Not so however does neighbouring Saint-Antoine look on it:
     Saint-Antoine to whom these peaked turrets and grim donjons,
     all-too near her own dark dwelling, are of themselves an offence.
     Was not Vincennes a kind of minor Bastille? Great Diderot and
     Philosophes have lain in durance here; great Mirabeau, in
     disastrous eclipse, for forty-two months. And now when the old
     Bastille has become a dancing-ground (had any one the mirth to
     dance), and its stones are getting built into the Pont
     Louis-Seize, does this minor, comparative 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’Orléans, 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, “_foudroyer_,” bethunder a patriotic Saint-Antoine
     into smoulder and ruin!
     So meditates the benighted soul of Saint-Antoine, as it sees the
     aproned workmen, in early spring, busy on these towers. An
     official-speaking Municipality, a Sieur Motier with his legions
     of _mouchards_, deserve no trust at all. Were Patriot Santerre,
     indeed, Commander! But the sonorous Brewer commands only our own
     Battalion: of such secrets he can explain nothing, knows nothing,
     perhaps suspects much. And so the work goes on; and afflicted
     benighted Saint-Antoine hears rattle of hammers, sees stones
     suspended in air.[346]
     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, Saint-Antoine turns out, as it has now often done;
     and, apparently with little superfluous tumult, moves eastward to
     that eye-sorrow of Vincennes. With grave voice of authority, no
     need of bullying and shouting, Saint-Antoine signifies to parties
     concerned there that its purpose is, To have this suspicious
     Stronghold razed level with the general soil of the country.
     Remonstrance may be proffered, with zeal: but it avails not. The
     outer gate goes up, drawbridges tumble; iron window-stanchions,
     smitten out with sledgehammers, become iron-crowbars: it rains
     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.[347]
     Quick, then! Let Lafayette roll his drums and fly eastward; for
     to all Constitutional Patriots this is again bad news. And you,
     ye Friends of Royalty, snatch your poniards of improved
     structure, made to order; your sword-canes, secret arms, and
     tickets of entry; quick, by backstairs passages, rally round the
     Son of Sixty Kings. An effervescence probably got up by d’Orléans
     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 Villequier, de
     Duras, Gentlemen of the Chamber give tickets and admittance; a
     brave Noblesse is suddenly all rallying. Now were the time to
     “fall sword in hand on those gentry there,” could it be done with
     The Hero of two Worlds is on his white charger; blue Nationals,
     horse and foot, hurrying eastward: Santerre, with the
     Saint-Antoine Battalion, is already there,—apparently indisposed
     to act. Heavy-laden Hero of two Worlds, what tasks are these! The
     jeerings, provocative gambollings of that Patriot Suburb, which
     is all out on the streets now, are hard to endure; unwashed
     Patriots jeering in sulky sport; one unwashed Patriot “seizing
     the General by the boot” to unhorse him. Santerre, ordered to
     fire, makes answer obliquely, ‘These are the men that took the
     Bastille;’ and not a trigger stirs! Neither dare the Vincennes
     Magistracy give warrant of arrestment, or the smallest
     countenance: wherefore the General “will take it on himself” to
     arrest. By promptitude, by cheerful adroitness, patience and
     brisk valour without limits, the riot may be again bloodlessly
     Meanwhile, the rest of Paris, with more or less unconcern, may
     mind the rest of its business: for what is this but an
     effervescence, of which there are now so many? The National
     Assembly, in one of its stormiest moods, is debating a Law
     against Emigration; Mirabeau declaring aloud, ‘I swear beforehand
     that I will not obey it.’ Mirabeau is often at the Tribune this
     day; with endless impediments from without; with the old unabated
     energy from within. What can murmurs and clamours, from Left or
     from Right, do to this man; like Teneriffe or Atlas unremoved?
     With clear thought; with strong bass-voice, though at first low,
     uncertain, he claims audience, sways the storm of men: anon the
     sound of him waxes, softens; he rises into far-sounding melody of
     strength, triumphant, which subdues all hearts; his rude-seamed
     face, desolate fire-scathed, becomes fire-lit, and radiates: once
     again men feel, in these beggarly ages, what is the potency and
     omnipotency of man’s word on the souls of men. ‘I will triumph or
     be torn in fragments,’ he was once heard to say. ‘Silence,’ he
     cries now, in strong word of command, in imperial consciousness
     of strength, ‘Silence, the thirty voices, _Silence aux trente
     voix!_’—and Robespierre and the Thirty Voices die into
     mutterings; and the Law is once more as Mirabeau would have it.
     How different, at the same instant, is General Lafayette’s street
     eloquence; wrangling with sonorous Brewers, with an ungrammatical
     Saint-Antoine! Most different, again, from both is the
     Café-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!
     Be this as it may. Lafayette has saved Vincennes; and is marching
     homewards with some dozen of arrested demolitionists. Royalty is
     not yet saved;—nor indeed specially endangered. But to the King’s
     Constitutional Guard, to these old Gardes Françaises, 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 verily for Metz, then; to be carried off by these men, on
     the spur of the instant? That revolt of Saint-Antoine got up by
     traitor Royalists for a stalking-horse? Keep a sharp outlook, ye
     Centre Grenadiers on duty here: good never came from the “men in
     black.” Nay they have cloaks, _rédingotes;_ 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?[348] Too like the handle of some cutting or stabbing
     instrument! He glides and goes; and still the dudgeon sticks from
     his left lapelle. ‘Hold, Monsieur!’—a Centre Grenadier clutches
     him; clutches the protrusive dudgeon, whisks it out in the face
     of the world: by Heaven, a very dagger; hunting-knife, or
     whatsoever you call it; fit to drink the life of Patriotism!
     So fared it with Chevalier de Court, early in the day; not
     without noise; not without commentaries. And now this continually
     increasing multitude at nightfall? Have they daggers too? Alas,
     with them too, after angry parleyings, there has begun a groping
     and a rummaging; all men in black, spite of their Tickets of
     Entry, are clutched by the collar, and groped. Scandalous to
     think of; for always, as the dirk, sword-cane, pistol, or were it
     but tailor’s bodkin, is found on him, and with loud scorn drawn
     forth from him, he, the hapless man in black, is flung all 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,
     _à 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 poniards made to
     order; convicted “Chevaliers of the Poniard!” Within is as the
     burning ship; without is as the deep sea. Within is no help; his
     Majesty, looking forth, one moment, from his interior
     sanctuaries, coldly bids all visitors “give up their weapons;”
     and shuts the door again. The weapons given up form a heap: the
     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.[349]
     Such sight meets Lafayette, in the dusk of the evening, as he
     returns, successful with difficulty at Vincennes: Sansculotte
     Scylla hardly weathered, here is Aristocrat Charybdis gurgling
     under his lee! The patient Hero of two Worlds almost loses
     temper. He accelerates, does not retard, the flying Chevaliers;
     delivers, indeed, this or the other hunted Loyalist of quality,
     but rates him in bitter words, such as the hour suggested; such
     as no saloon could pardon. Hero ill-bested; hanging, so to speak,
     in mid-air; hateful to Rich divinities above; hateful to Indigent
     mortals below! Duke de Villequier, Gentleman of the Chamber, gets
     such contumelious 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.[350] His Apartment will stand vacant;
     usefuller, as we may find, than when it stood occupied.
     So fly the Chevaliers of the Poniard; hunted of Patriotic men,
     shamefully in the thickening dusk. A dim miserable business; born
     of darkness; dying away there in the thickening dusk and dimness!
     In the midst of which, however, let the reader discern clearly
     one figure running for its life: Crispin-Cataline
     d’Espréménil,—for the last time, or the last but one. It is not
     yet three years since these same Centre Grenadiers, Gardes
     Françaises then, marched him towards the Calypso Isles, in the
     gray of the May morning; and he and they have got thus far.
     Buffeted, beaten down, delivered by popular Pétion, he might well
     answer bitterly: ‘And I too, Monsieur, have been carried on the
     People’s shoulders.’[351] A fact which popular Pétion, if he
     like, can meditate.
     But happily, one way and another, the speedy night covers up this
     ignominious Day of Poniards; and the Chevaliers escape, though
     maltreated, with torn coat-skirts and heavy hearts, to their
     respective dwelling-houses. Riot twofold is quelled; and little
     blood shed, if it be not insignificant blood from the nose:
     Vincennes stands undemolished, reparable; and the Hereditary
     Representative has not been stolen, nor the Queen smuggled into
     Prison. A Day long remembered: commented on with loud hahas and
     deep grumblings; with bitter scornfulness of triumph, bitter
     rancour of defeat. Royalism, as usual, imputes it to d’Orléans
     and the Anarchists intent on insulting Majesty: Patriotism, as
     usual, to Royalists, and even Constitutionalists, intent on
     stealing Majesty to Metz: we, also as usual, to Preternatural
     Suspicion, and Phoebus Apollo having made himself like the Night.
     Thus, however, has the reader seen, in an unexpected arena, on
     this last day of February 1791, the Three long-contending
     elements of French Society, dashed forth into singular
     comico-tragical collision; acting and reacting openly to the eye.
     Constitutionalism, at once quelling Sansculottic riot at
     Vincennes, and Royalist treachery from the Tuileries, 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. Hitherto, in all tempests,
     Lafayette, like some divine Sea-ruler, raises his serene head:
     the upper Æolus’s 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 _sub_marine
     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 melee, sea were
     mixed with sky?

     Chapter 2.3.VI.
     The spirit of France waxes ever more acrid, fever-sick: towards
     the final outburst of dissolution and delirium. Suspicion rules
     all minds: contending parties cannot now commingle; stand
     separated sheer asunder, eying one another, in most aguish mood,
     of cold terror or hot rage. Counter-Revolution, Days of Poniards,
     Castries Duels; Flight of Mesdames, of Monsieur and Royalty!
     Journalism shrills ever louder its cry of alarm. The sleepless
     Dionysius’s Ear of the Forty-eight Sections, how feverishly quick
     has it grown; convulsing with strange pangs the whole sick Body,
     as in such sleeplessness and sickness, the ear will do!
     Since Royalists get Poniards made to order, and a Sieur Motier is
     no better than he should be, shall not Patriotism too, even of
     the indigent sort, have Pikes, secondhand Firelocks, in readiness
     for the worst? The anvils ring, during this March month, with
     hammering of Pikes. A Constitutional Municipality promulgated its
     Placard, that no citizen except the “active or cash-citizen” was
     entitled to have arms; but there rose, instantly responsive, such
     a tempest of astonishment from Club and Section, that the
     Constitutional Placard, almost next morning, had to cover itself
     up, and die away into inanity, in a second improved edition.[352]
     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 Pétion, 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
     trump-card, Royalty, as we see, keeps ever and anon clutching at,
     grasping; and swashes it forth tentatively; yet never tables it,
     still puts it back again. Play it, O Royalty! If there be a
     chance left, this seems it, and verily the last chance; and now
     every hour is rendering this a doubtfuller. Alas, one would so
     fain both fly and not fly; play one’s card and have it to play.
     Royalty, in all human likelihood, will not play its trump-card
     till the honours, one after one, be mainly lost; and such
     trumping of it prove to be the sudden finish of the game!
     Here accordingly a question always arises; of the prophetic sort;
     which cannot now be answered. Suppose Mirabeau, with whom Royalty
     takes deep counsel, as with a Prime Minister that cannot yet
     legally avow himself as such, had got his arrangements
     _completed?_ Arrangements he has; far-stretching plans that dawn
     fitfully on us, by fragments, in the confused darkness. Thirty
     Departments ready to sign loyal Addresses, of prescribed tenor:
     King carried out of Paris, but only to Compiègne 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 Bouillé, to hear
     reason, and follow thither![353] Was it so, on _these_ terms,
     that Jacobinism and Mirabeau were then to grapple, in their
     Hercules-and-Typhon duel; death inevitable for the one or the
     other? The duel itself is determined on, and sure: but on what
     terms; much more, with what issue, we in vain guess. It is vague
     darkness all: unknown what is to be; unknown even what has
     already been. The giant Mirabeau walks in darkness, as we said;
     companionless, on wild ways: what his thoughts during these
     months were, no record of Biographer, not vague _Fils 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 air, like Harpy-swarms with ferocity, with
     obscene greed. Earthward there is the Typhon of Anarchy,
     Political, Religious; sprawling hundred-headed, say with
     Twenty-five million heads; wide as the area of France; fierce as
     Frenzy; strong in very Hunger. With these shall the
     Serpent-queller do battle continually, and expect no rest.
     As for the King, he as usual will go wavering chameleonlike;
     changing colour and purpose with the colour of his
     environment;—good for no Kingly use. On one royal person, on the
     Queen only, can Mirabeau perhaps place dependance. 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. “_Faut 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?”[354] Alas, poor Princess, Yes. “She is
     the only _man_,” as Mirabeau observes, “whom his Majesty has
     about him.” Of one other man Mirabeau is still surer: of himself.
     There lies his resources; sufficient or insufficient.
     Dim and great to the eye of Prophecy looks the future! A
     perpetual life-and-death battle; confusion from above and from
     below;—mere confused darkness for us; with here and there some
     streak of faint lurid light. We see King perhaps laid aside; not
     tonsured, tonsuring is out of fashion now; but say, sent away any
     whither, with handsome annual allowance, and stock of
     smith-tools. We see a Queen and Dauphin, Regent and Minor; a
     Queen “mounted on horseback,” in the din of battles, with
     _Moriamur pro rege nostro!_ “Such a day,” Mirabeau writes, “may
     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
     specialties 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 have been the result realised by
     him: a result you could have loved, a result you could have
     hated; by no likelihood, a result you could only have rejected
     with closed lips, and swept into quick forgetfulness for ever.
     Had Mirabeau lived one other year!

     Chapter 2.3.VII.
     Death of Mirabeau.
     But Mirabeau could not live another year, any more than he could
     live another thousand years. Men’s years are numbered, and the
     tale of Mirabeau’s was now complete. Important, or unimportant;
     to be mentioned in World-History for some centuries, or not to be
     mentioned there beyond a day or two,—it matters not to peremptory
     Fate. From amid the press of ruddy busy Life, the Pale Messenger
     beckons silently: wide-spreading interests, projects, salvation
     of French Monarchies, what thing soever man has on hand, he must
     suddenly quit it all, and go. Wert thou saving French Monarchies;
     wert thou blacking shoes on the Pont Neuf! The most important of
     men cannot stay; did the World’s History depend on an hour, that
     hour is not to be given. Whereby, indeed, it comes that these
     same _would-have-beens_ are mostly a vanity; and the World’s
     History could never in the least be what it would, or might, or
     should, by any manner of potentiality, but simply and altogether
     what it _is_.
     The fierce wear and tear of such an existence has wasted out the
     giant oaken strength of Mirabeau. A fret and fever that keeps
     heart and brain on fire: excess of effort, of excitement; excess
     of all kinds: labour incessant, almost beyond credibility! “If I
     had not lived with him,” says Dumont, “I should never have known
     what a man can make of one day; what things may be placed within
     the interval of twelve hours. A day for this man was more than a
     week or a month is for others: the mass of things he guided on
     together was prodigious; from the scheming to the executing not a
     moment lost.” ‘Monsieur le Comte,’ said his Secretary to him
     once, ‘what you require is impossible.’—‘Impossible!’ answered he
     starting from his chair, ‘_Ne me dites jamais ce bête de mot_,
     Never name to me that blockhead of a word.’[355] And then the
     social repasts; the dinner which he gives as Commandant of
     National Guards, which “costs five hundred pounds;” alas, and
     “the Sirens of the Opera;” and all the ginger that is hot in the
     mouth:—down what a course is this man hurled! Cannot Mirabeau
     stop; cannot he fly, and save himself alive? No! There is a
     Nessus’ Shirt on this Hercules; he must storm and burn there,
     without rest, till he be consumed. Human strength, never so
     Herculean, has its measure. Herald shadows flit pale across the
     fire-brain of Mirabeau; heralds of the pale repose. While he
     tosses and storms, straining every nerve, in that sea of ambition
     and confusion, there comes, sombre and still, a monition that for
     him the issue of it will be swift death.
     In January last, you might see him as President of the Assembly;
     “his neck wrapt in linen cloths, at the evening session:” there
     was sick heat of the blood, alternate darkening and flashing in
     the eye-sight; he 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 all sides on France.’”[356]
     Sickness gives louder warning; but cannot be 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—for ever. He steps out, utterly exhausted, into the
     Tuileries Gardens; many people press round him, as usual, with
     applications, memorials; he says to the Friend who was with him:
     Take me out of this!
     And so, on the last day of March 1791, endless anxious multitudes
     beset the Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin; incessantly inquiring:
     within doors there, in that House numbered in our time “42,” the
     over wearied giant has fallen down, to die.[357] 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,
     heart-stricken; to all it seems as if a great calamity were nigh:
     as if the last man of France, who could have swayed these coming
     troubles, lay there at hand-grips with the unearthly Power.
     The silence of a whole People, the wakeful toil of Cabanis,
     Friend and Physician, skills not: on Saturday, the second day of
     April, Mirabeau feels that the last of the Days has risen for
     him; that, on this day, he has to depart and be no more. His
     death is Titanic, as his life has been. Lit up, for the last
     time, in the glare of coming dissolution, the mind of the man is
     all glowing and burning; utters itself in sayings, such as men
     long remember. He longs to live, yet acquiesces in death, argues
     not with the inexorable. His speech is wild and wondrous:
     unearthly Phantasms dancing now their torch-dance round his soul;
     the soul itself looking out, fire-radiant, motionless, girt
     together for that great hour! At times comes a beam of light from
     him on the world he is quitting. ‘I carry in my heart the
     death-dirge of the French Monarchy; the dead remains of it will
     now be the spoil of the factious.’ Or again, when he heard the
     cannon fire, what is characteristic too: ‘Have we the Achilles’
     Funeral already?’ So likewise, while some friend is supporting
     him: ‘Yes, support that head; would I could bequeath it thee!’
     For the man dies as he has lived; self-conscious, conscious of a
     world looking on. He gazes forth on the young Spring, which for
     him will never be Summer. The Sun has risen; he says: ‘_Si ce
     n’est pas là Dieu, c’est du moins son cousin
     germain_.’[358]—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 his rest. At
     half-past eight in the morning, Dr. Petit, standing at the foot
     of the bed, says ‘_Il ne souffre plus_.’ His suffering and his
     working are now ended.
     Even so, ye silent Patriot multitudes, all ye men of France; this
     man is rapt away from you. He has fallen suddenly, without
     bending till he broke; as a tower falls, smitten by sudden
     lightning. His word ye shall hear no more, his guidance follow no
     more.—The 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 came to light; and these
     also have gone out. The gloom is universal: never in this City
     was such sorrow for one death; never since that old night when
     Louis XII. departed, “and the _Crieurs des Corps_ went sounding
     their bells, and crying along the streets: _Le bon roi Louis,
     père du peuple, est mort_, The good King Louis, Father of the
     People, is dead!”[359] King Mirabeau is now the lost King; and
     one may say with little exaggeration, all the People mourns for
     For three days there is low wide moan: weeping in the National
     Assembly itself. The streets are all mournful; orators mounted on
     the _bornes_, with large silent audience, preaching the funeral
     sermon of the dead. Let no coachman whip fast, distractively with
     his rolling wheels, or almost at all, through these groups! His
     traces may be cut; himself and his fare, as 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 comes also from the
     throats of balladsingers; are sold on gray-white paper at a _sou_
     each.[360] But of Portraits, engraved, painted, hewn, and
     written; of Eulogies, Reminiscences, Biographies, nay
     _Vaudevilles_, Dramas and Melodramas, in all Provinces of France,
     there will, through these coming months, be the due immeasurable
     crop; thick as the leaves of Spring. Nor, that a tincture of
     burlesque might be in it, is Gobel’s Episcopal _Mandement_
     wanting; goose Gobel, who has just been made Constitutional
     Bishop of Paris. A Mandement wherein _Ça ira_ alternates very
     strangely with _Nomine Domini_, 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.”[361] 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
     sat,”—and Mirabeau is absent now.
     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 windows, lamp-irons, branches of trees. “Sadness
     is painted on every countenance; many persons weep.” There is
     double hedge of National Guards; there is National Assembly in a
     body; Jacobin Society, and Societies; King’s Ministers,
     Municipals, and all Notabilities, Patriot or Aristocrat. Bouillé
     is noticeable there, “with his hat on;” say, hat drawn over his
     brow, hiding many thoughts! Slow-wending, in religious silence,
     the Procession of a league in length, under the level sun-rays,
     for it is five o’clock, moves and marches: with its sable plumes;
     itself in a religious silence; but, by fits, with the muffled
     roll of drums, by fits with some long-drawn wail of music, and
     strange new clangour of trombones, and metallic dirge-voice; amid
     the infinite hum of men. In the Church of Saint-Eustache, there
     is funeral oration by Cerutti; and discharge of fire-arms, which
     “brings down pieces of the plaster.” Thence, forward again to the
     Church of Sainte-Genevieve; which has been consecrated, by
     supreme decree, on the spur of this time, into a Pantheon for the
     Great Men of the Fatherland, _Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie
     réconnaissante_. 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 is permitted to rest. Voltaire’s bones are, by
     and by, to be carried from their stolen grave in the Abbéy of
     Scellières, 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.[362] Evangelist Jean Jacques, too, as is most proper,
     must be dug up from Ermenonville, and processioned, with pomp,
     with sensibility, to the Pantheon of the Fatherland.[363] He and
     others: while again Mirabeau, we say, is cast forth from it,
     happily incapable of being replaced; and rests now,
     irrecognisable, reburied hastily at dead of night, in the central
     “part of the Churchyard Sainte-Catherine, in the Suburb
     Saint-Marceau,” to be disturbed no further.
     So blazes out, farseen, a Man’s Life, and becomes ashes and a
     _caput mortuum_, in this World-Pyre, which we name French
     Revolution: not the first that consumed itself there; nor, by
     thousands and many millions, the last! A man who “had swallowed
     all formulas;” who, in these strange times and circumstances,
     felt called to live Titanically, and also to die so. As he, for
     his part had swallowed all formulas, what Formula is there, never
     so comprehensive, that will express truly the _plus_ and the
     _minus_, give us the accurate net-result of him? There is
     hitherto none such. Moralities not a few must shriek condemnatory
     over this Mirabeau; the Morality by which he could be judged has
     not yet got uttered in the speech of men. We shall say this of
     him, again: That he is a Reality, and no Simulacrum: a living son
     of Nature our general Mother; not a hollow Artfice, and mechanism
     of Conventionalities, son of nothing, _brother_ to nothing. In
     which little word, let the earnest man, walking sorrowful in a
     world mostly of “Stuffed Clothes-suits,” that chatter and grin
     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 is now not great: it may be well, if in this huge French
     Revolution itself, with its all-developing fury, we find some
     Three. Mortals driven rabid we find; sputtering the acridest
     logic; baring their breast to the battle-hail, their neck to the
     guillotine; of whom it is so painful to say that they too are
     still, in good part, manufactured Formalities, not Facts but
     Honour to the strong man, in these ages, who has shaken himself
     loose of shams, and is something. For in the way of being
     _worthy_, the first condition surely is that one _be_. Let Cant
     cease, at all risks and at all costs: till Cant cease, nothing
     else can begin. Of human Criminals, in these centuries, writes
     the Moralist, I find but one unforgivable: the Quack. “Hateful to
     God,” as divine Dante sings, “and to the Enemies of God,
     ‘A Dio spiacente ed a’ nemici sui!’

     But whoever will, with sympathy, which is the first essential
     towards insight, look at this questionable Mirabeau, may find
     that there lay verily in him, as the basis of all, a Sincerity, a
     great free Earnestness; nay call it Honesty, for the man did
     before all things see, with that clear flashing vision, into what
     was, into what existed as fact; and did, with his wild heart,
     follow that and no other. Whereby on what ways soever he travels
     and struggles, often enough falling, he is still a brother man.
     Hate him not; thou canst not hate him! Shining through such soil
     and tarnish, and now victorious 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, loveable with pity. They say that he was ambitious,
     that he wanted to be Minister. It is most true; and was he not
     simply the one man in France who could have done any good as
     Minister? Not vanity alone, not pride alone; far from that! Wild
     burstings of affection were in this great heart; of fierce
     lightning, and soft dew of pity. So sunk, bemired in wretchedest
     defacements, it may be said of him, like the Magdalen of old,
     that he loved much: his Father the harshest of old crabbed men he
     loved with warmth, with veneration.
     Be it that his falls and follies are manifold,—as himself often
     lamented even with tears.[364] Alas, is not the Life of every
     such man already a poetic Tragedy; made up “of Fate and of one’s
     own Deservings,” of _Schicksal und eigene Schuld;_ full of the
     elements of Pity and Fear? This brother man, if not Epic for us,
     is Tragic; if not great, is large; large in his qualities,
     world-large in his destinies. Whom other men, recognising him as
     such, may, through long times, remember, and draw nigh to examine
     and consider: these, in their several dialects, will say of him
     and sing of him,—till the right thing be said; and so the Formula
     that _can_ judge him be no longer an undiscovered one.
     Here then the wild Gabriel Honoré 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 Barrel-Mirabeau, 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 notability,
     some living quintescence of all the qualities they had, to flame
     forth as a man world-noted; after whom they rest as if exhausted;
     the sceptre passing to others. The chosen Last of the Mirabeaus
     is gone; the chosen man of France is gone. It was he who shook
     old France from its basis; and, as if with his single hand, has
     held it toppling there, still unfallen. What things depended on
     that one man! He is as a ship suddenly shivered on sunk rocks:
     much swims on the waste waters, far from help.

     BOOK 2.IV.

     Chapter 2.4.I.
     Easter at Saint-Cloud.
     The French Monarchy may now therefore be considered as, in all
     human probability, lost; as struggling henceforth in blindness as
     well as weakness, the last light of reasonable guidance having
     gone out. What remains of resources their poor Majesties will
     waste still further, in uncertain loitering and wavering.
     Mirabeau himself had to complain that they only gave him half
     confidence, and always had some plan within his plan. Had they
     fled frankly with him, to Rouen or anywhither, long ago! They may
     fly now with chance immeasurably lessened; which will go on
     lessening towards absolute zero. Decide, O Queen; poor Louis can
     decide nothing: execute this Flight-project, or at least abandon
     it. Correspondence with Bouillé there has been enough; what
     profits consulting, and hypothesis, while all around is in fierce
     activity of practice? The Rustic sits waiting till the river run
     dry: alas with you it is not a common river, but a Nile
     Inundation; snow melting in the unseen mountains; till all, and
     you where you sit, be submerged.
     Many things invite to flight. The voice Journals invites;
     Royalist Journals proudly hinting it as a threat, Patriot
     Journals rabidly denouncing it as a terror. Mother Society,
     waxing more and more emphatic, invites;—so emphatic that, as was
     prophesied, Lafayette and your limited Patriots have ere long to
     branch off from her, and form themselves into Feuillans; with
     infinite public controversy; the victory in which, doubtful
     though it look, will remain with the _un_limited Mother.
     Moreover, ever since the Day of Poniards, we have seen unlimited
     Patriotism openly equipping itself with arms. Citizens denied
     “activity,” which is facetiously made to signify a certain weight
     of purse, cannot buy blue uniforms, and be Guardsmen; but man is
     greater than blue cloth; man can fight, if need be, in multiform
     cloth, or even almost without cloth—as Sansculotte. So Pikes
     continued to 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,” _Comité
     Autrichein_, sitting daily and nightly in the Tuileries?
     Patriotism, by vision and suspicion, knows it too well! If the
     King fly, will there not be Aristocrat-Austrian Invasion;
     butchery, replacement of Feudalism; wars more than civil? The
     hearts of men are saddened and maddened.
     Dissident Priests likewise give trouble enough. Expelled from
     their Parish Churches, where Constitutional Priests, elected by
     the Public, have replaced them, these unhappy persons resort to
     Convents of Nuns, or other such receptacles; and there, on
     Sabbath, collecting assemblages of Anti-Constitutional
     individuals, who have grown devout all on a sudden,[365] they
     worship or pretend to worship in their strait-laced contumacious
     manner; to the scandal of Patriotism. Dissident Priests, passing
     along with their sacred wafer for the dying, seem wishful to be
     massacred in the streets; wherein Patriotism will not gratify
     them. Slighter palm of martyrdom, however, shall not be denied:
     martyrdom not of massacre, yet of fustigation. At the refractory
     places of worship, Patriot men appear; Patriot women with strong
     hazel 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! A dead Catholic Church
     is not allowed to lie dead; no, it is _galvanised_ into the
     detestablest death-life; whereat Humanity, we say, shuts its
     eyes. For the Patriot women take their hazel wands, and
     fustigate, amid laughter of bystanders, with alacrity: broad
     bottom of Priests; alas, Nuns too reversed, and _cotillons
     retroussés!_ The National Guard does what it can: Municipality
     “invokes the Principles of Toleration;” grants Dissident
     worshippers the Church of the _Théatins;_ promising protection.
     But it is to no purpose: at the door of that _Théatins;_ Church,
     appears a Placard, and suspended atop, like Plebeian Consular
     _fasces_,—a Bundle of Rods! The Principles of Toleration must do
     the best 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.[366]
     Many things invite to flight: but probably this thing above all
     others, that it has become impossible! On the 15th of April,
     notice is given that his Majesty, who has suffered much from
     catarrh lately, will enjoy the Spring weather, for a few days, at
     Saint-Cloud. Out at Saint-Cloud? Wishing to celebrate his Easter,
     his _Pâques_, or Pasch, there; with refractory
     Anti-Constitutional Dissidents?—Wishing rather to make off for
     Compiègne, 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, snatch off the Hereditary
     Representative; and roll away with him, after the manner of a
     whirlblast, whither they listed!—Enough, it were well the King
     did not go. Lafayette is forewarned and forearmed: but, indeed,
     is the risk his only; or his and all France’s?
     Monday the eighteenth of April is come; the Easter Journey to
     Saint-Cloud shall take effect. National Guard has got its orders;
     a First Division, as Advanced Guard, has even marched, and
     probably arrived. His Majesty’s _Maison-bouche_, they say, is all
     busy stewing and frying at Saint-Cloud; the King’s Dinner not far
     from ready there. About one o’clock, the Royal Carriage, with its
     eight royal blacks, shoots stately into the Place du Carrousel;
     draws up to receive its royal burden. But hark! From the
     neighbouring Church of Saint-Roch, the tocsin begins
     ding-donging. Is the King stolen then; he is 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; pervading the
     groups: ‘_Taisez vous_,’ answer the groups, ‘the King shall not
     go.’ Monsieur appears, at an upper window: ten thousand voices
     bray and shriek, ‘_Nous ne voulons pas que le Roi parte_.’ Their
     Majesties have mounted. Crack go the whips; but twenty Patriot
     arms have seized each of the eight bridles: there is 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 Heaven! Rude
     voices passionately apostrophise Royalty itself. Usher Campan,
     and other the like official persons, pressing 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
     passionately from the carriage-window.
     Order cannot be heard, cannot be followed; National Guards know
     not how to act. Centre Grenadiers, of the Observatoire Battalion,
     are there; not on duty; alas, in quasi-mutiny; speaking rude
     disobedient words; threatening the mounted Guards with sharp shot
     if they hurt the people. Lafayette mounts and dismounts; runs
     haranguing, panting; on the verge of despair. For an hour and
     three-quarters; “seven quarters of an hour,” by the Tuileries
     Clock! Desperate Lafayette will open a passage, were it by the
     cannon’s mouth, if his Majesty will order. Their Majesties,
     counselled to it by Royalist friends, by Patriot foes, dismount;
     and retire in, with heavy indignant heart; giving up the
     enterprise. _Maison-bouche_ may eat that cooked dinner
     themselves; his Majesty shall not see Saint-Cloud this day,—or
     any day.[367]
     The pathetic fable of imprisonment in one’s own Palace has become
     a sad fact, then? Majesty complains to Assembly; Municipality
     deliberates, proposes to petition or address; Sections respond
     with sullen brevity of negation. Lafayette flings down his
     Commission; appears in civic pepper-and-salt frock; and cannot be
     flattered back again;—not in less than three days; and by
     unheard-of entreaty; National Guards kneeling to him, and
     declaring that it is not sycophancy, that they are free men
     kneeling here to the _Statue of Liberty_. For the rest, those
     Centre Grenadiers of the Observatoire are disbanded,—yet indeed
     are reinlisted, all but fourteen, under a new name, and with new
     quarters. The King must keep his Easter in Paris: meditating much
     on this singular posture of things: but as good as determined now
     to fly from it, desire being whetted by difficulty.

     Chapter 2.4.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 the other difficulty always vaporised it again. It
     seems so full of risks, 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; execute it
     so as to shew all men that it is inexecutable? Better or not so
     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 Staël and Friends of Liberty can
     see the King’s Government long doing, _faisant le mort_.
     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 Bouillé,
     what on the whole could he look for there? Exasperated Tickets of
     Entry answer, Much, all. But cold Reason answers, Little almost
     nothing. Is not loyalty a law of Nature? ask the Tickets of
     Entry. Is not love of your King, and even death for him, the
     glory of all Frenchmen,—except these few Democrats? Let Democrat
     Constitution-builders see what they will do without their
     Keystone; and France rend its hair, having lost the Hereditary
     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
     Rabelais did when dying, to seek a great May-be: _je vais
     chercher un grand Peut-être!_ As not only the sulky Boy but the
     wise grown Man is obliged to do, so often, in emergencies.
     For the rest, there 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 by nature
     bottomless? If the ceasing of faction be the price of the King’s
     somnolence, he may awake when he will, and take wing.
     Remark, in any case, what somersets and contortions a dead
     Catholicism is making,—skilfully galvanised: hideous, and even
     piteous, to behold! Jurant and Dissident, with their shaved
     crowns, argue frothing everywhere; or are ceasing to argue, and
     stripping for battle. In Paris was scourging while need
     continued: contrariwise, in the 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.[368]
     But again, consider this: that his Holiness, Pius Sixth, has seen
     good to excommunicate Bishop Talleyrand! Surely, we will say
     then, considering 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, _ci-devant_ Marquis Saint-Huruge, in
     his way. Behold, therefore, on the Fourth of May, in the
     Palais-Royal, a mixed loud-sounding multitude; in the middle of
     whom, Father Adam, bull-voiced Saint-Huruge, in white hat, towers
     visible and audible. With him, it is said, walks Journalist
     Gorsas, walk many others of the washed sort; for no authority
     will interfere. Pius Sixth, with his plush and tiara, and power
     of the Keys, they bear aloft: of natural size,—made of lath and
     combustible gum. Royou, the King’s Friend, is borne too in
     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, with the 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.[369] But, on the whole, reckoning from
     Martin Luther in the Marketplace of Wittenberg to Marquis
     Saint-Huruge in this Palais-Royal of Paris, what a journey have
     we gone; into what strange territories has it carried us! No
     Authority can now interfere. Nay Religion herself, mourning for
     such things, may after all ask, What have _I_ to do with them?
     In such extraordinary manner does dead Catholicism somerset and
     caper, skilfully galvanised. For, does the reader inquire into
     the subject-matter of controversy in this case; what the
     difference between Orthodoxy or _My-doxy_ and Heterodoxy or
     _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 he must become an accursed thing.
     Human ill-nature needs but some Homoiousian _iota_, or even the
     pretence of one; and will flow copiously through the eye of a
     needle: thus always must mortals go jargoning and fuming,
    And, like the ancient Stoics in their porches
    With fierce dispute maintain their churches.

     This _Auto-da-fé_ of Saint-Huruge’s was on the Fourth of May,
     1791. Royalty sees it; but says nothing.

     Chapter 2.4.III.
     Count Fersen.
     Royalty, in fact, should, by this time, be far on with its
     preparations. Unhappily much preparation is needful: could a
     Hereditary Representative be carried in leather _vache_, how easy
     were it! But it is not so.
     New clothes are needed, as usual, in all Epic transactions, were
     it in the grimmest iron ages; consider “Queen Chrimhilde, with
     her sixty semstresses,” in that iron _Nibelungen Song!_ No Queen
     can stir without new clothes. Therefore, now, Dame Campan whisks
     assiduous to this mantua-maker and to that: and there is clipping
     of frocks and gowns, upper clothes and under, great and small;
     such a clipping and sewing, as might have been dispensed with.
     Moreover, her Majesty cannot go a step anywhither without her
     _Nécessaire;_ dear _Nécessaire_, of inlaid ivory and rosewood;
     cunningly devised; which holds perfumes, toilet-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 to get to hand.[370] All which, you would say,
     augurs ill for the prospering of the enterprise. But the whims of
     women and queens must be humoured.
     Bouillé, on his side, is making a fortified Camp at Montmédi;
     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.[371] Nor shall old war-god Broglie have any hand in the
     business; but solely our brave Bouillé; to whom, on the day of
     meeting, a Marshal’s Baton shall be delivered, 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 otherwise? Such a Constitutional circular is
     despatched by Couriers, is communicated confidentially to the
     Assembly, and printed in all Newspapers; with the finest
     effect.[372] Simulation and dissimulation mingle extensively in
     human affairs.
     We observe, however, that Count Fersen is often using his Ticket
     of Entry; which surely he has clear right to do. A gallant
     Soldier and Swede, devoted to this fair Queen;—as indeed the
     Highest Swede now is. Has not King Gustav, famed fiery _Chevalier
     du Nord_, sworn himself, by the old laws of chivalry, her Knight?
     He will descend on fire-wings, of Swedish musketry, and deliver
     her from these foul dragons,—if, alas, the assassin’s pistol
     intervene not!
     But, in fact, Count Fersen does seem a likely young soldier, of
     alert decisive ways: he circulates widely, seen, unseen; and has
     business on hand. Also Colonel the Duke de Choiseul, nephew of
     Choiseul the great, of Choiseul the now deceased; he and Engineer
     Goguelat are passing and repassing between Metz and the
     Tuileries; and Letters go in cipher,—one of them, a most
     important one, hard to _de_cipher; Fersen having ciphered it in
     haste.[373] 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 Commandment 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
     _Nécessaire_, the clothes, the packing of the jewels,[374]—could
     he understand it when betrayed. Helpless Gouvion gazes with
     sincere glassy eyes into it; stirs up his sentries to vigilence;
     walks restless to and fro; and hopes the best.
     But, on the whole, one finds that, in the second week of June,
     Colonel de Choiseul is privately in Paris; having come “to see
     his children.” 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 Choiseul’s
     presence; the two friends take a proof-drive in it, along the
     streets; in meditative mood; then send it up to “Madame
     Sullivan’s, in the Rue de Clichy,” far North, to wait there till
     wanted. Apparently a certain Russian Baroness de Korff, with
     Waiting-woman, Valet, and two Children, will travel homewards
     with some state: in whom these young military gentlemen take
     interest? A Passport has been procured for her; and much
     assistance shewn, with Coach-builders and such like;—so helpful
     polite are young military men. Fersen has likewise purchased a
     Chaise fit for two, at least for two waiting-maids; further,
     certain necessary horses: one would say, he is himself quitting
     France, not without outlay? We observe finally that their
     Majesties, Heaven willing, will assist at _Corpus-Christi Day_,
     this blessed Summer Solstice, in Assumption Church, here at
     Paris, to the joy of all the world. For which same day, moreover,
     brave Bouillé, at Metz, as we find, has invited a party of
     friends to dinner; but indeed is gone from home, in the interim,
     over to Montmédi.
     These are of the Phenomena, or visual Appearances, of this
     wide-working terrestrial world: which truly is all phenomenal,
     what they call spectral; and never rests at any moment; one never
     at any moment can know why.
     On Monday night, the Twentieth of June 1791, about eleven
     o’clock, there is many a hackney-coach, and glass-coach
     (_carrosse de remise_), still rumbling, or at rest, on the
     streets of Paris. But of all Glass-coaches, we recommend this to
     thee, O Reader, which stands drawn up, in the Rue de l’Echelle,
     hard by the Carrousel and outgate of the Tuileries; in the Rue de
     l’Echelle that then was; “opposite Ronsin the saddler’s door,” as
     if waiting for a fare there! Not long does it wait: a hooded
     Dame, with two hooded Children has issued from Villequier’s door,
     where no sentry walks, into the Tuileries Court-of-Princes; into
     the Carrousel; into the Rue de l’Echelle; where the
     Glass-coachman readily admits them; and again waits. Not long;
     another Dame, likewise hooded or shrouded, leaning on a servant,
     issues in the same manner, by the Glass-coachman, cheerfully
     admitted. Whither go, so many Dames? ’Tis His Majesty’s
     _Couchée_, Majesty just gone to bed, and all the Palace-world is
     retiring home. But the Glass-coachman still waits; his fare
     seemingly incomplete.
     By and by, we note a thickset Individual, in round hat and
     peruke, arm-and-arm with some servant, seemingly of the Runner or
     Courier sort; he also issues through Villequier’s door; starts a
     shoebuckle as he passes one of the sentries, stoops down to clasp
     it again; is however, by the Glass-coachman, still more
     cheerfully admitted. And _now_, is his fare complete? Not yet;
     the Glass-coachman still waits.—Alas! and the false Chambermaid
     has warned Gouvion that she thinks the Royal Family will fly this
     very night; and Gouvion distrusting his own glazed eyes, has sent
     express for Lafayette; and Lafayette’s Carriage, flaring with
     lights, rolls this moment through the inner Arch of the
     Carrousel,—where a Lady shaded in broad gypsy-hat, and leaning on
     the arm of a servant, also of the Runner or Courier sort, stands
     aside to let it pass, and has even the whim to touch a spoke of
     it with her _badine_,—light little magic rod which she calls
     _badine_, such as the Beautiful then wore. The flare of
     Lafayette’s Carriage, rolls past: all is found quiet in the
     Court-of-Princes; sentries at their post; Majesties’ Apartments
     closed in smooth rest. Your false Chambermaid must have been
     mistaken? Watch thou, Gouvion, with Argus’ vigilance; for, of a
     truth, treachery is within these walls.
     But where is the Lady that stood aside in gypsy hat, and touched
     the wheel-spoke with her _badine?_ O Reader, that Lady that
     touched the wheel-spoke was the Queen of France! She has issued
     safe through that inner Arch, into the Carrousel itself; but not
     into the Rue de l’Echelle. Flurried by the rattle and rencounter,
     she took the right hand not the left; neither she nor her Courier
     knows Paris; he indeed is no Courier, but a loyal stupid
     _ci-devant_ Bodyguard disguised as one. They are off, quite
     wrong, over the Pont Royal and River; roaming disconsolate in the
     Rue du Bac; far from the Glass-coachman, who still waits. Waits,
     with flutter of heart; with thoughts—which he must button close
     up, under his jarvie surtout!
     Midnight clangs from all the City-steeples; one precious hour has
     been spent so; most mortals are asleep. The Glass-coachman waits;
     and what mood! A brother jarvie drives up, enters into
     conversation; is answered cheerfully in jarvie dialect: the
     brothers of the whip exchange a pinch of snuff;[375] decline
     drinking together; and part with good night. Be the Heavens
     blest! here at length is the Queen-lady, in gypsy-hat; safe after
     perils; who has had to inquire her way. She too is admitted; her
     Courier jumps aloft, as the other, who is also a disguised
     Bodyguard, has done: and now, O Glass-coachman of a
     thousand,—Count Fersen, for the Reader sees it is thou,—drive!
     Dust shall not stick to the hoofs of Fersen: crack! crack! the
     Glass-coach rattles, and every soul breathes lighter. But is
     Fersen on the right road? Northeastward, to the Barrier of
     Saint-Martin and Metz Highway, thither were we bound: and lo, he
     drives right Northward! The royal Individual, in round hat and
     peruke, sits astonished; but right or wrong, there is no remedy.
     Crack, crack, we go incessant, through the slumbering City.
     Seldom, since Paris rose out of mud, or the Longhaired Kings went
     in Bullock-carts, was there such a drive. Mortals on each hand of
     you, close by, stretched out horizontal, dormant; and we alive
     and quaking! Crack, crack, through the Rue de Grammont; across
     the Boulevard; up the Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin,—these windows,
     all silent, of Number 42, were Mirabeau’s. Towards the Barrier
     not of Saint-Martin, but of Clichy on the utmost North! Patience,
     ye royal Individuals; Fersen understands what he is about.
     Passing up the Rue de Clichy, he alights for one moment at Madame
     Sullivan’s: ‘Did Count Fersen’s Coachman get the Baroness de
     Korff’s new Berline?’—‘Gone with it an hour-and-half ago,’
     grumbles responsive the drowsy Porter.—‘_C’est bien_.’ Yes, it is
     well;—though had not such hour-and half been _lost_, it were
     still better. Forth therefore, O Fersen, fast, by the Barrier de
     Clichy; then Eastward along the Outward Boulevard, what horses
     and whipcord can do!
     Thus Fersen drives, through the ambrosial night. Sleeping Paris
     is now all on the right hand of him; silent except for some
     snoring hum; and now he is Eastward as far as the Barrier de
     Saint-Martin; looking earnestly for Baroness de Korff’s Berline.
     This Heaven’s Berline he at length does descry, drawn up with its
     six horses, his own German Coachman waiting on the box. Right,
     thou good German: now haste, whither thou knowest!—And as for us
     of the Glass-coach, haste too, O haste; much time is already
     lost! The august Glass-coach fare, six Insides, hastily packs
     itself into the new Berline; two Bodyguard Couriers behind. The
     Glass-coach itself is turned adrift, its head towards the City;
     to wander whither it lists,—and be found next morning tumbled in
     a ditch. But Fersen is on the new box, with its brave new
     hammer-cloths; flourishing his whip; he bolts forward towards
     Bondy. There a third and final Bodyguard Courier of ours ought
     surely to be, with post-horses ready-ordered. There likewise
     ought that purchased Chaise, with the two Waiting-maids and their
     bandboxes to be; whom also her Majesty could not travel without.
     Swift, thou deft Fersen, and may the Heavens turn it well!
     Once more, by Heaven’s blessing, it is all well. Here is the
     sleeping Hamlet of Bondy; Chaise with Waiting-women; horses all
     ready, and postillions with their churn-boots, impatient in the
     dewy dawn. Brief harnessing done, the postillions with their
     churn-boots vault into the saddles; brandish circularly their
     little noisy whips. Fersen, under his jarvie-surtout, bends in
     lowly silent reverence of adieu; royal hands wave speechless in
     expressible response; Baroness de Korff’s Berline, with the
     Royalty of France, bounds off: for ever, as it proved. Deft
     Fersen dashes obliquely Northward, through the country, towards
     Bougret; gains Bougret, finds his German Coachman and chariot
     waiting there; cracks off, and drives undiscovered into unknown
     space. A deft active man, we say; what he undertook to do is
     nimbly and successfully done.
     And so the Royalty of France is actually fled? This precious
     night, the shortest of the year, it flies and drives! _Baroness
     de Korff_ is, at bottom, Dame de Tourzel, Governess of the Royal
     Children: she who came hooded with the two hooded little ones;
     little Dauphin; little Madame Royale, known long afterwards as
     Duchess d’Angouleme. Baroness de Korff’s _Waiting-maid_ is the
     Queen in gypsy-hat. The royal Individual in round hat and peruke,
     he is _Valet_, for the time being. That other hooded Dame, styled
     _Travelling-companion_, is kind Sister Elizabeth; she had sworn,
     long since, when the Insurrection of Women was, that only death
     should part her and them. And so they rush there, not too
     impetuously, through the Wood of Bondy:—over a Rubicon in their
     own and France’s History.
     Great; though the future is all vague! If we reach Bouillé? If we
     do not reach him? O Louis! and this all round thee is the great
     slumbering Earth (and overhead, the great watchful Heaven); the
     slumbering Wood of Bondy,—where Longhaired Childeric Donothing
     was struck through with iron;[376] not unreasonably. These peaked
     stone-towers are Raincy; towers of wicked d’Orléans. All slumbers
     save the multiplex rustle of our new Berline. Loose-skirted
     scarecrow of an Herb-merchant, with his ass and early greens,
     toilsomely plodding, seems the only creature we meet. But right
     ahead the great North-East sends up evermore his gray brindled
     dawn: from dewy branch, birds here and there, with short deep
     warble, salute the coming Sun. Stars fade out, and Galaxies;
     Street-lamps of the City of God. The Universe, O my brothers, is
     flinging wide its portals for the Levee of the GREAT HIGH KING.
     Thou, poor King Louis, farest nevertheless, as mortals do,
     towards Orient lands of Hope; and the Tuileries with _its_
     Levees, and France and the Earth itself, is but a larger kind of
     doghutch,—occasionally going rabid.

     Chapter 2.4.IV.
     But in Paris, at six in the morning; when some Patriot Deputy,
     warned by a billet, awoke Lafayette, and they went to the
     Tuileries?—Imagination may paint, but words cannot, the surprise
     of Lafayette; or with what bewilderment helpless Gouvion rolled
     glassy Argus’s eyes, discerning now that his false Chambermaid
     told true!
     However, it is to be recorded that Paris, thanks to an august
     National Assembly, did, on this seeming doomsday, surpass itself.
     Never, according to Historian eye-witnesses, was there seen such
     an “imposing attitude.”[377] Sections all “in permanence;” our
     Townhall, too, having first, about ten o’clock, fired three
     solemn alarm-cannons: above all, our National Assembly! National
     Assembly, likewise permanent, decides what is needful; with
     unanimous consent, for the _Côté Droit_ sits dumb, afraid of the
     Lanterne. Decides with a calm promptitude, which rises towards
     the sublime. One must needs vote, for the thing is self-evident,
     that his Majesty has been _abducted_, or spirited away,
     “_enlevé_,” by some person or persons unknown: in which case,
     what will the Constitution have us do? Let us return to first
     principles, as we always say; ‘_revenons aux principes_.’
     By first or by second principles, much is promptly decided:
     Ministers are sent for, instructed how to continue their
     functions; Lafayette is examined; and Gouvion, who gives a most
     helpless account, the best he can. Letters are found written: one
     Letter, of immense magnitude; all in his Majesty’s hand, and
     evidently of his Majesty’s own composition; addressed to the
     National Assembly. It details, with earnestness, with a childlike
     simplicity, what woes his Majesty has suffered. Woes great and
     small: A Necker seen applauded, a Majesty not; then insurrection;
     want of due cash in Civil List; _general_ want of cash, furniture
     and order; anarchy everywhere; Deficit never yet, in the
     smallest, “choked or _comblé:_”—wherefore in brief His Majesty
     has retired towards a Place of Liberty; and, leaving Sanctions,
     Federation, and what Oaths there may be, to shift for themselves,
     does now refer—to what, thinks an august Assembly? To that
     “Declaration of the Twenty-third of June,” with its ‘_Seul il
     fera_, He alone will make his People happy.’ As if _that_ were
     not buried, deep enough, under two irrevocable Twelvemonths, and
     the wreck and rubbish of a whole Feudal World! This strange
     autograph Letter the National Assembly decides on printing; on
     transmitting to the Eighty-three Departments, with exegetic
     commentary, short but pithy. Commissioners also shall go forth on
     all sides; the People be exhorted; the Armies be increased; care
     taken that the Commonweal suffer no damage.—And now, with a
     sublime air of calmness, nay of indifference, we “pass to the
     order of the day!”
     By such sublime calmness, the terror of the People is calmed.
     These gleaming Pike forests, which bristled fateful in the early
     sun, disappear again; the far-sounding Street-orators cease, or
     spout milder. We are to have a civil war; let us have it then.
     The King is gone; but National Assembly, but France and we
     remain. The People also takes a great attitude; the People also
     is calm; motionless as a couchant lion. With but a few
     _broolings_, some waggings of the tail; to shew what it _will_
     do! Cazalès, for instance, was beset by street-groups, and cries
     of _Lanterne;_ but National Patrols easily delivered him.
     Likewise all King’s effigies and statues, at least stucco ones,
     get abolished. Even King’s names; the word Roi fades suddenly out
     of all shop-signs; the Royal Bengal Tiger itself, on the
     Boulevards, becomes the National Bengal one, _Tigre
     How great is a calm couchant People! On the morrow, men will say
     to one another: ‘We have no King, yet we slept sound enough.’ On
     the morrow, fervent Achille de Chatelet, and Thomas Paine the
     rebellious Needleman, shall have the walls of Paris profusely
     plastered with their Placard; announcing that there must be a
     _Republic!_[379]—Need we add that Lafayette too, though at first
     menaced by Pikes, has taken a great attitude, or indeed the
     greatest of all? Scouts and Aides-de-camp fly forth, vague, in
     quest and pursuit; young Romœuf towards Valenciennes, though with
     small hope.
     Thus Paris; sublimely calmed, in its bereavement. But from the
     _Messageries Royales_, in all Mail-bags, radiates forth
     far-darting the electric news: Our Hereditary Representative is
     flown. Laugh, black Royalists: yet be it in your sleeve only;
     lest Patriotism notice, and waxing frantic, lower the Lanterne!
     In Paris alone is a sublime National Assembly with its calmness;
     truly, other places must take it as they can: with open mouth and
     eyes; with panic cackling, with wrath, with conjecture. How each
     one of those dull leathern Diligences, with its leathern bag and
     “The King is fled,” furrows up smooth France as it goes; through
     town and hamlet, ruffles the smooth public mind into quivering
     agitation of death-terror; then lumbers on, as if nothing had
     happened! Along all highways; towards the utmost borders; till
     all France is ruffled,—roughened up (metaphorically speaking)
     into one enormous, desperate-minded, red-guggling Turkey Cock!
     For example, it is under cloud of night that the leathern Monster
     reaches Nantes; deep sunk in sleep. The word spoken rouses all
     Patriot men: General Dumouriez, enveloped in roquelaures, has to
     descend from his bedroom; finds the street covered with “four or
     five thousand citizens in their shirts.”[380] Here and there a
     faint farthing rushlight, hastily kindled; and so many
     swart-featured haggard faces, with nightcaps pushed back; and the
     more or less flowing drapery of night-shirt: open-mouthed till
     the General say his word! And overhead, as always, the Great Bear
     is turning so quiet round Boötes; steady, indifferent as the
     leathern Diligence itself. Take comfort, ye men of Nantes: Boötes
     and the steady Bear are turning; ancient Atlantic still sends his
     brine, loud-billowing, up your Loire-stream; brandy shall be hot
     in the stomach: this is not the Last of the Days, but one before
     the Last.—The fools! If they knew what was doing, in these very
     instants, also by candle-light, in the far North-East!
     Perhaps we may say the most terrified man in Paris or France
     is—who thinks the Reader?—seagreen Robespierre. Double paleness,
     with the shadow of gibbets and halters, overcasts the seagreen
     features: it is too clear to him that there is to be “a
     Saint-Bartholomew of Patriots,” that in four-and-twenty hours he
     will not be in life. These horrid anticipations of the soul he is
     heard uttering at Pétion’s; by a notable witness. By Madame
     Roland, namely; her whom we saw, last year, radiant at the Lyons
     Federation! These four months, the Rolands have been in Paris;
     arranging with Assembly Committees the Municipal affairs of
     Lyons, affairs all sunk in debt;—communing, the while, as was
     most natural, with the best Patriots to be found here, with our
     Brissots, Pétions, Buzots, Robespierres; who were wont to come to
     us, says the fair Hostess, four evenings in the week. They,
     running about, busier than ever this day, would fain have
     comforted the seagreen man: spake of Achille du Chatelet’s
     Placard; of a Journal to be called _The Republican;_ of preparing
     men’s minds for a Republic. ‘A Republic?’ said the Seagreen, with
     one of his dry husky _un_sportful laughs, ‘What is that?’[381] O
     seagreen Incorruptible, thou shalt see!

     Chapter 2.4.V.
     The New Berline.
     But scouts all this while and aide-de-camps, have flown forth
     faster than the leathern Diligences. Young Romœuf, as we said,
     was off early towards Valenciennes: distracted Villagers seize
     him, as a traitor with a finger of his own in the plot; drag him
     back to the Townhall; to the National Assembly, which speedily
     grants a new passport. Nay now, that same scarecrow of an
     Herb-merchant with his ass has bethought him of the grand new
     Berline seen in the Wood of Bondy; and delivered evidence of
     it:[382] Romœuf, furnished with new passport, is sent forth with
     double speed on a hopefuller track; by Bondy, Claye, and Châlons,
     towards Metz, to track the new Berline; and gallops _à franc
     Miserable new Berline! Why could not Royalty go in some old
     Berline similar to that of other men? Flying for life, one does
     not stickle about his vehicle. Monsieur, in a commonplace
     travelling-carriage is off Northwards; Madame, his Princess, in
     another, with variation of route: they cross one another while
     changing horses, without look of recognition; and reach Flanders,
     no man questioning them. Precisely in the same manner, beautiful
     Princess de Lamballe set off, about the same hour; and will reach
     England safe:—would she had continued there! The beautiful, the
     good, but the unfortunate; reserved for a frightful end!
     All runs along, unmolested, speedy, except only the new Berline.
     Huge leathern vehicle;—huge Argosy, let us say, or Acapulco-ship;
     with its heavy stern-boat of Chaise-and-pair; with its three
     yellow Pilot-boats of mounted Bodyguard Couriers, rocking aimless
     round it and ahead of it, to bewilder, not to guide! It lumbers
     along, lurchingly with stress, at a snail’s pace; noted of all
     the world. The Bodyguard Couriers, in their yellow liveries, go
     prancing and clattering; loyal but stupid; unacquainted with all
     things. Stoppages occur; and breakages to be repaired at Etoges.
     King Louis too will dismount, will walk up hills, and enjoy the
     blessed sunshine:—with eleven horses and double drink money, and
     all furtherances of Nature and Art, it will be found that
     Royalty, flying for life, accomplishes Sixty-nine miles in
     Twenty-two incessant hours. Slow Royalty! And yet not a minute of
     these hours but is precious: on minutes hang the destinies of
     Royalty now.
     Readers, therefore, can judge in what humour Duke de Choiseul
     might stand waiting, in the Village of Pont-de-Sommevelle, some
     leagues beyond Chalons, hour after hour, now when the day bends
     visibly westward. Choiseul drove out of Paris, in all privity,
     ten hours before their Majesties’ fixed time; his Hussars, led by
     Engineer Goguelat, are here duly, come “to escort a Treasure that
     is expected:” but, hour after hour, is no Baroness de Korff’s
     Berline. Indeed, over all that North-east Region, on the skirts
     of Champagne and of Lorraine, where the Great Road runs, the
     agitation is considerable. For all along, from this
     Pont-de-Sommevelle Northeastward as far as Montmédi, at
     Post-villages and Towns, escorts of Hussars and Dragoons do
     lounge waiting: a train or chain of Military Escorts; at the
     Montmédi end of it our brave Bouillé: an electric thunder-chain;
     which the invisible Bouillé, like a Father Jove, holds in his
     hand—for wise purposes! Brave Bouillé has done what man could;
     has spread out his electric thunder-chain of Military Escorts,
     onwards to the threshold of Chalons: it waits but for the new
     Korff Berline; to receive it, escort it, and, if need be, bear it
     off in whirlwind of military fire. They lie and lounge there, we
     say, these fierce Troopers; from Montmédi and Stenai, through
     Clermont, Sainte-Menehould to utmost Pont-de-Sommevelle, in all
     Post-villages; for the route shall avoid Verdun and great Towns:
     they loiter impatient “till the Treasure arrive.”
     Judge what a day this is for brave Bouillé: perhaps the first day
     of a new glorious life; surely the last day of the old! Also, and
     indeed still more, what a day, beautiful and terrible, for your
     young full-blooded Captains: your Dandoins, Comte de Damas, Duke
     de Choiseul, Engineer Goguelat, and the like; entrusted with the
     secret!—Alas, the day bends ever more westward; and no Korff
     Berline comes to sight. It is four hours beyond the time, and
     still no Berline. In all Village-streets, Royalist Captains go
     lounging, looking often Paris-ward; with face of unconcern, with
     heart full of black care: rigorous Quartermasters can hardly keep
     the private dragoons from _cafés_ and dramshops.[383] Dawn on our
     bewilderment, thou new Berline; dawn on us, thou Sun-chariot of a
     new Berline, with the destinies of France!
     It was of His Majesty’s ordering, this military array of Escorts:
     a thing solacing the Royal imagination with a look of security
     and rescue; yet, in reality, creating only alarm, and where there
     was otherwise no danger, danger without end. For each Patriot, in
     these Post-villages, asks naturally: This clatter of cavalry, and
     marching and lounging of troops, what means it? To escort a
     Treasure? Why escort, when no Patriot will steal from the Nation;
     or where is your Treasure?—There has been such marching and
     counter-marching: for it is another fatality, that certain of
     these Military Escorts came out so early as yesterday; the
     Nineteenth not the Twentieth of the month being the day _first_
     appointed, which her Majesty, for some necessity or other, saw
     good to alter. And now consider the suspicious nature of
     Patriotism; suspicious, above all, of Bouillé the Aristocrat; and
     how the sour doubting humour has had leave to accumulate and
     exacerbate for four-and-twenty hours!
     At Pont-de-Sommevelle, these Forty foreign Hussars of Goguelat
     and Duke Choiseul are becoming an unspeakable mystery to all men.
     They lounged long enough, already, at Sainte-Menehould; lounged
     and loitered till our National Volunteers there, all risen into
     hot wrath of doubt, “demanded three hundred fusils of their
     Townhall,” and got them. At which same moment too, as it chanced,
     our Captain Dandoins was just coming in, from Clermont with _his_
     troop, at the other end of the Village. A fresh troop; alarming
     enough; though happily they are only Dragoons and French! So that
     Goguelat with his Hussars had to ride, and even to do it fast;
     till here at Pont-de-Sommevelle, where Choiseul lay waiting, he
     found resting-place. Resting-place, as on burning marle. For the
     rumour of him flies abroad; and men run to and fro in fright and
     anger: Chalons sends forth exploratory pickets, coming from
     Sainte-Menehould, on that. What is it, ye whiskered Hussars, men
     of foreign guttural speech; in the name of Heaven, what is it
     that brings you? A Treasure?—exploratory pickets shake their
     heads. The hungry Peasants, however, know too well what Treasure
     it is: Military seizure for rents, feudalities; which no Bailiff
     could make us pay! This they know;—and set to jingling their
     Parish-bell by way of tocsin; with rapid effect! Choiseul and
     Goguelat, if the whole country is not to take fire, must needs,
     be there Berline, be there no Berline, saddle and ride.
     They mount; and this Parish tocsin happily ceases. They ride
     slowly Eastward, towards Sainte-Menehould; still hoping the
     Sun-Chariot of a Berline may overtake them. Ah me, no Berline!
     And near now is that Sainte-Menehould, which expelled us in the
     morning, with its “three hundred National fusils;” which looks,
     belike, not too lovingly on Captain Dandoins and his fresh
     Dragoons, though only French;—which, in a word, one dare not
     enter the _second_ time, under pain of explosion! With rather
     heavy heart, our Hussar Party strikes off to the left; through
     byways, through pathless hills and woods, they, avoiding
     Sainte-Menehould and all places which have seen them heretofore,
     will make direct for the distant Village of Varennes. It is
     probable they will have a rough evening-ride.
     This first military post, therefore, in the long thunder-chain,
     has gone off with no effect; or with worse, and your chain
     threatens to entangle itself!—The Great Road, however, is got
     hushed again into a kind of quietude, though one of the
     wakefullest. Indolent Dragoons cannot, by any Quartermaster, be
     kept altogether from the dramshop; where Patriots drink, and will
     even treat, eager enough for news. Captains, in a state near
     distraction, beat the dusky highway, with a face of indifference;
     and no Sun-Chariot appears. Why lingers it? Incredible, that with
     eleven horses and such yellow Couriers and furtherances, its rate
     should be under the weightiest dray-rate, some three miles an
     hour! Alas, one knows not whether it ever even got out of
     Paris;—and yet also one knows not whether, this very moment, it
     is not at the Village-end! One’s heart flutters on the verge of

     Chapter 2.4.VI.
     Old-Dragoon Drouet.
     In this manner, however, has the Day bent downwards. Wearied
     mortals are creeping home from their field-labour; the
     village-artisan eats with relish his supper of herbs, or has
     strolled forth to the village-street for a sweet mouthful of air
     and human news. Still summer-eventide everywhere! The great Sun
     hangs flaming on the utmost North-West; for it is his longest day
     this year. The hill-tops rejoicing will ere long be at their
     ruddiest, and blush Good-night. The thrush, in green dells, on
     long-shadowed leafy spray, pours gushing his glad serenade, to
     the babble of brooks grown audibler; silence is stealing over the
     Earth. Your dusty Mill of Valmy, as all other mills and
     drudgeries, may furl its canvass, and cease swashing and
     circling. The swenkt grinders in this Treadmill of an Earth have
     ground out another Day; and lounge there, as we say, in
     village-groups; movable, or ranked on social stone-seats;[384]
     their children, mischievous imps, sporting about their feet.
     Unnotable hum of sweet human gossip rises from this Village of
     Sainte-Menehould, as from all other villages. Gossip mostly
     sweet, unnotable; for the very Dragoons are French and gallant;
     nor as yet has the Paris-and-Verdun Diligence, with its leathern
     bag, rumbled in, to terrify the minds of men.
     One figure nevertheless we do note at the last door of the
     Village: that figure in loose-flowing nightgown, of Jean Baptiste
     Drouet, Master of the Post here. An acrid choleric man, rather
     dangerous-looking; still in the prime of life, though he has
     served, in his time as a Condé Dragoon. This day from an early
     hour, Drouet got his choler stirred, and has been kept fretting.
     Hussar Goguelat in the morning saw good, by way of thrift, to
     bargain with his own Innkeeper, not with Drouet regular _Maître
     de Poste_, about some gig-horse for the sending back of his gig;
     which thing Drouet perceiving came over in red ire, menacing the
     Inn-keeper, and would not be appeased. Wholly an unsatisfactory
     day. For Drouet is an acrid Patriot too, was at the Paris Feast
     of Pikes: and what do these Bouillé Soldiers mean? Hussars, with
     their gig, and a vengeance to it!—have hardly been thrust out,
     when Dandoins and his fresh Dragoons arrive from Clermont, and
     stroll. For what purpose? Choleric Drouet steps out and steps in,
     with long-flowing nightgown; looking abroad, with that sharpness
     of faculty which stirred choler gives to man.
     On the other hand, mark Captain Dandoins on the street of that
     same Village; sauntering with a face of indifference, a heart
     eaten of black care! For no Korff Berline makes its appearance.
     The great Sun flames broader towards setting: one’s heart
     flutters on the verge of dread unutterabilities.
     By Heaven! Here is the yellow Bodyguard Courier; spurring fast,
     in the ruddy evening light! Steady, O Dandoins, stand with
     inscrutable indifferent face; though the yellow blockhead spurs
     past the Post-house; inquires to find it; and stirs the Village,
     all delighted with his fine livery.—Lumbering along with its
     mountains of bandboxes, and Chaise behind, the Korff Berline
     rolls in; huge Acapulco-ship with its Cockboat, having got thus
     far. The eyes of the Villagers look enlightened, as such eyes do
     when a coach-transit, which is an event, occurs for them.
     Strolling Dragoons respectfully, so fine are the yellow liveries,
     bring hand to helmet; and a lady in gipsy-hat responds with a
     grace peculiar to her.[385] Dandoins stands with folded arms, and
     what look of indifference and disdainful garrison-air a man can,
     while the heart is like leaping out of him. Curled disdainful
     moustachio; careless glance,—which however surveys the
     Village-groups, and does not like them. With his eye he bespeaks
     the yellow Courier. Be quick, be quick! Thick-headed Yellow
     cannot understand the eye; comes up mumbling, to ask in words:
     seen of the Village!
     Nor is Post-master Drouet unobservant, all this while; but steps
     out and steps in, with his long-flowing nightgown, in the level
     sunlight; prying into several things. When a man’s faculties, at
     the right time, are sharpened by choler, it may lead to much.
     That Lady in slouched gypsy-hat, though sitting back in the
     Carriage, does she not resemble some one we have seen, some
     time;—at the Feast of Pikes, or elsewhere? And this _Grosse-Tête_
     in round hat and peruke, which, looking rearward, pokes itself
     out from time to time, methinks there are features in it—? Quick,
     Sieur Guillaume, Clerk of the _Directoire_, bring me a new
     Assignat! Drouet scans the new Assignat; compares the Paper-money
     Picture with the Gross-Head in round hat there: by Day and Night!
     you might say the one was an attempted Engraving of the other.
     And this march of Troops; this sauntering and whispering,—I see
     Drouet Post-master of this Village, hot Patriot, Old Dragoon of
     Condé, consider, therefore, what thou wilt do. And fast: for
     behold the new Berline, expeditiously yoked, cracks whipcord, and
     rolls away!—Drouet dare not, on the spur of the instant, clutch
     the bridles in his own two hands; Dandoins, with broadsword,
     might hew you off. Our poor Nationals, not one of them here, have
     three hundred fusils but then no powder; besides one is not sure,
     only morally-certain. Drouet, as an adroit Old-Dragoon of Condé
     does what is advisablest: privily bespeaks Clerk Guillaume,
     Old-Dragoon of Condé he too; privily, while Clerk Guillaume is
     saddling two of the fleetest horses, slips over to the Townhall
     to whisper a word; then mounts with Clerk Guillaume; and the two
     bound eastward in pursuit, to _see_ what can be done.
     They bound eastward, in sharp trot; their moral-certainty
     permeating the Village, from the Townhall outwards, in busy
     whispers. Alas! Captain Dandoins orders his Dragoons to mount;
     but they, complaining of long fast, demand bread-and-cheese
     first;—before which brief repast can be eaten, the whole Village
     is permeated; not whispering now, but blustering and shrieking!
     National Volunteers, in hurried muster, shriek for gunpowder;
     Dragoons halt between Patriotism and Rule of the Service, between
     bread and cheese and fixed bayonets: Dandoins hands secretly his
     Pocket-book, with its secret despatches, to the rigorous
     Quartermaster: the very Ostlers have stable-forks and flails. The
     rigorous Quartermaster, half-saddled, cuts out his way with the
     sword’s edge, amid levelled bayonets, amid Patriot vociferations,
     adjurations, flail-strokes; and rides frantic;[386]—few or even
     none following him; the rest, so sweetly constrained consenting
     to stay there.
     And thus the new Berline rolls; and Drouet and Guillaume gallop
     after it, and Dandoins’s Troopers or Trooper gallops after them;
     and Sainte-Menehould, with some leagues of the King’s Highway, is
     in explosion;—and your Military thunder-chain has gone off in a
     self-destructive manner; one may fear with the frightfullest

     Chapter 2.4.VII.
     The Night of Spurs.
     This comes of mysterious Escorts, and a new Berline with eleven
     horses: “he that has a secret should not only hide it, but hide
     that he has it to hide.” Your first Military Escort has exploded
     self-destructive; and all Military Escorts, and a suspicious
     Country will now be up, explosive; comparable _not_ to victorious
     thunder. Comparable, say rather, to the first stirring of an
     Alpine Avalanche; which, once stir it, as here at
     Sainte-Menehould, will spread,—all round, and on and on, as far
     as Stenai; thundering with wild ruin, till Patriot Villagers,
     Peasantry, Military Escorts, new Berline and Royalty are
     down,—jumbling in the Abyss!
     The thick shades of Night are falling. Postillions crack the
     whip: the Royal Berline is through Clermont, where Colonel Comte
     de Damas got a word whispered to it; is safe through, towards
     Varennes; rushing at the rate of double drink-money: an Unknown
     “_Inconnu_ on horseback” shrieks earnestly some hoarse whisper,
     not audible, into the rushing Carriage-window, and vanishes, left
     in the night.[387] August Travellers palpitate; nevertheless
     overwearied Nature sinks every one of them into a kind of sleep.
     Alas, and Drouet and Clerk Guillaume spur; taking side-roads, for
     shortness, for safety; scattering abroad that moral-certainty of
     theirs; which flies, a bird of the air carrying it!
     And your rigorous Quartermaster spurs; awakening hoarse
     trumpet-tone, as here at Clermont, calling out Dragoons gone to
     bed. Brave Colonel de Damas has them mounted, in part, these
     Clermont men; young Cornet Remy dashes off with a few. But the
     Patriot Magistracy is out here at Clermont too; National Guards
     shrieking for ball-cartridges; and the Village “illuminates
     itself;”—deft Patriots springing out of bed; alertly, in shirt or
     shift, striking a light; sticking up each his farthing candle, or
     penurious oil-cruise, till all glitters and glimmers; so deft are
     they! A _camisado_, or shirt-tumult, every where: stormbell set
     a-ringing; village-drum beating furious _générale_, as here at
     Clermont, under illumination; distracted Patriots pleading and
     menacing! Brave young Colonel de Damas, in that uproar of
     distracted Patriotism, speaks some fire-sentences to what
     Troopers he has: ‘Comrades insulted at Sainte-Menehould; King and
     Country calling on the brave;’ then gives the fire-word, _Draw
     swords_. Whereupon, alas, the Troopers only _smite_ their
     sword-handles, driving them further home! ‘To me, whoever is for
     the King!’ cries Damas in despair; and gallops, he with some poor
     loyal Two, of the subaltern sort, into the bosom of the
     Night unexampled in the Clermontais; shortest of the year;
     remarkablest of the century: Night deserving to be named of
     Spurs! Cornet Remy, and those Few he dashed off with, has missed
     his road; is galloping for hours towards Verdun; then, for hours,
     across hedged country, through roused hamlets, towards Varennes.
     Unlucky Cornet Remy; unluckier Colonel Damas, with whom there
     ride desperate only some loyal Two! More ride not of that
     Clermont Escort: of other Escorts, in other Villages, not even
     Two may ride; but only all curvet and prance,—impeded by
     stormbell and your Village illuminating itself.
     And Drouet rides and Clerk Guillaume; and the Country
     runs.—Goguelat and Duke Choiseul are plunging through morasses,
     over cliffs, over stock and stone, in the shaggy woods of the
     Clermontais; by tracks; or trackless, with guides; Hussars
     tumbling into pitfalls, and lying “swooned three quarters of an
     hour,” the rest refusing to march without them. What an
     evening-ride from Pont-de-Sommerville; what a thirty hours, since
     Choiseul quitted Paris, with Queen’s-valet Leonard in the chaise
     by him! Black Care sits behind the rider. Thus go they plunging;
     rustle the owlet from his branchy nest; champ the sweet-scented
     forest-herb, queen-of-the-meadows _spilling_ her spikenard; and
     frighten the ear of Night. But hark! towards twelve o’clock, as
     one guesses, for the very stars are gone out: sound of the tocsin
     from Varennes? Checking bridle, the Hussar Officer listens: ‘Some
     fire undoubtedly!’—yet rides on, with double breathlessness, to
     Yes, gallant friends that do your utmost, it is a certain sort of
     fire: difficult to quench.—The Korff Berline, fairly ahead of all
     this riding Avalanche, reached the little paltry Village of
     Varennes about eleven o’clock; hopeful, in spite of that
     horse-whispering Unknown. Do not all towns now lie behind us;
     Verdun avoided, on our right? Within wind of Bouillé himself, in
     a manner; and the darkest of midsummer nights favouring us! And
     so we halt on the hill-top at the South end of the Village;
     expecting our relay; which young Bouillé, Bouillé’s own son, with
     his Escort of Hussars, was to have ready; for in this Village is
     no Post. Distracting to think of: neither horse nor Hussar is
     here! Ah, and stout horses, a proper relay belonging to Duke
     Choiseul, do stand at hay, but in the Upper Village over the
     Bridge; and we know not of them. Hussars likewise do wait, but
     drinking in the taverns. For indeed it is six hours beyond the
     time; young Bouillé, silly stripling, thinking the matter over
     for this night, has retired to bed. And so our yellow Couriers,
     inexperienced, must rove, groping, bungling, through a Village
     mostly asleep: Postillions will not, for any money, go on with
     the tired horses; not at least without refreshment; not they, let
     the Valet in round hat argue as he likes.
     Miserable! “For five-and-thirty minutes” by the King’s watch, the
     Berline is at a dead stand; Round-hat arguing with Churnboots;
     tired horses slobbering their meal-and-water; yellow Couriers
     groping, bungling;—young Bouillé asleep, all the while, in the
     Upper Village, and Choiseul’s fine team standing there at hay. No
     help for it; not with a King’s ransom: the horses deliberately
     slobber, Round-hat argues, Bouillé sleeps. And mark now, in the
     thick night, do not two Horsemen, with jaded trot, come
     clank-clanking; and start with half-pause, if one noticed them,
     at sight of this dim mass of a Berline, and its dull slobbering
     and arguing; then prick off faster, into the Village? It is
     Drouet, he and Clerk Guillaume! Still ahead, they two, of the
     whole riding hurlyburly; unshot, though some brag of having
     chased them. Perilous is Drouet’s errand also; but he is an
     Old-Dragoon, with his wits shaken thoroughly awake.
     The Village of Varennes lies dark and slumberous; a most unlevel
     Village, of inverse saddle-shape, as men write. It sleeps; the
     rushing of the River Aire singing lullaby to it. Nevertheless
     from the Golden Arms, _Bras d’Or_ Tavern, across that sloping
     marketplace, there still comes shine of social light; comes voice
     of rude drovers, or the like, who have not yet taken the
     stirrup-cup; Boniface Le Blanc, in white apron, serving them:
     cheerful to behold. To this _Bras d’Or_, Drouet enters, alacrity
     looking through his eyes: he nudges Boniface, in all privacy,
     ‘_Camarade, es-tu bon Patriote_, Art thou a good Patriot?’—‘_Si
     je suis!_’ answers Boniface.—‘In that case,’ eagerly whispers
     Drouet—what whisper is needful, heard of Boniface alone.[389]
     And now see Boniface Le Blanc bustling, as he never did for the
     jolliest toper. See Drouet and Guillaume, dexterous Old-Dragoons,
     instantly down blocking the Bridge, with a “furniture waggon they
     find there,” with whatever waggons, tumbrils, barrels, barrows
     their hands can lay hold of;—till no carriage can pass. Then
     swiftly, the Bridge once blocked, see them take station hard by,
     under Varennes Archway: joined by Le Blanc, Le Blanc’s Brother,
     and one or two alert Patriots he has roused. Some half-dozen in
     all, with National Muskets, they stand close, waiting under the
     Archway, till that same Korff Berline rumble up.
     It rumbles up: _Alte là!_ lanterns flash out from under
     coat-skirts, bridles chuck in strong fists, two National Muskets
     level themselves fore and aft through the two Coach-doors:
     ‘Mesdames, your Passports?’—Alas! Alas! Sieur Sausse, Procureur
     of the Township, Tallow-chandler also and Grocer is there, with
     official grocer-politeness; Drouet with fierce logic and ready
     wit:—The respected Travelling Party, be it Baroness de Korff’s,
     or persons of still higher consequence, will perhaps please to
     rest itself in M. Sausse’s till the dawn strike up!
     O Louis; O hapless Marie-Antoinette, fated to pass thy life with
     such men! Phlegmatic Louis, art thou but lazy semi-animate phlegm
     then, to the centre of thee? King, Captain-General, Sovereign
     Frank! If thy heart ever formed, since it began beating under the
     name of heart, any resolution at all, be it now then, or never in
     this world: ‘Violent nocturnal individuals, and if it were
     persons of high consequence? And if it were the King himself? Has
     the King not the power, which all beggars have, of travelling
     unmolested on his own Highway? Yes: it is the King; and tremble
     ye to know it! The King has said, in this one small matter; and
     in France, or under God’s Throne, is no power that shall gainsay.
     Not the King shall ye stop here under this your miserable
     Archway; but his dead body only, and answer it to Heaven and
     Earth. To me, Bodyguards: Postillions, _en avant!_’—One fancies
     in that case the pale paralysis of these two Le Blanc musketeers;
     the drooping of Drouet’s under-jaw; and how Procureur Sausse had
     melted like tallow in furnace-heat: Louis faring on; in some few
     steps awakening Young Bouillé, awakening relays and hussars:
     triumphant entry, with cavalcading high-brandishing Escort, and
     Escorts, into Montmédi; and the whole course of French History
     Alas, it was not _in_ the poor phlegmatic man. Had it been in
     him, French History had never come under this Varennes Archway to
     decide itself.—He steps out; all step out. Procureur Sausse gives
     his grocer-arms to the Queen and Sister Elizabeth; Majesty taking
     the two children by the hand. And thus they walk, coolly back,
     over the Marketplace, to Procureur Sausse’s; mount into his small
     upper story; where straightway his Majesty “demands
     refreshments.” Demands refreshments, as is written; gets
     bread-and-cheese with a bottle of Burgundy; and remarks, that it
     is the best Burgundy he ever drank!
     Meanwhile, the Varennes Notables, and all men, official, and
     non-official, are hastily drawing on their breeches; getting
     their fighting-gear. Mortals half-dressed tumble out barrels, lay
     felled trees; scouts dart off to all the four winds,—the tocsin
     begins clanging, “the Village illuminates itself.” Very singular:
     how these little Villages do manage, so adroit are they, when
     startled in midnight alarm of war. Like little adroit municipal
     rattle-snakes, suddenly awakened: for their stormbell rattles and
     rings; their eyes glisten luminous (with tallow-light), as in
     rattle-snake ire; and the Village will _sting!_ Old-Dragoon
     Drouet is our engineer and generalissimo; valiant as a Ruy
     Diaz:—Now or never, ye Patriots, for the Soldiery is coming;
     massacre by Austrians, by Aristocrats, wars more than civil, it
     all depends on you and the hour!—National Guards rank themselves,
     half-buttoned: mortals, we say, still only in breeches, in
     under-petticoat, tumble out barrels and lumber, lay felled trees
     for barricades: the Village will _sting_. Rabid Democracy, it
     would seem, is _not_ confined to Paris, then? Ah no, whatsoever
     Courtiers might talk; too clearly no. This of dying for one’s
     King is grown into a dying for one’s self, _against_ the King, if
     need be.
     And so our riding and running Avalanche and Hurlyburly has
     _reached_ the Abyss, Korff Berline foremost; and may pour itself
     thither, and jumble: endless! For the next six hours, need we ask
     if there was a clattering far and wide? Clattering and tocsining
     and hot tumult, over all the Clermontais, spreading through the
     Three Bishopricks: Dragoon and Hussar Troops galloping on roads
     and no-roads; National Guards arming and starting in the dead of
     night; tocsin after tocsin transmitting the alarm. In some forty
     minutes, Goguelat and Choiseul, with their wearied Hussars, reach
     Varennes. Ah, it is no fire then; or a fire difficult to quench!
     They leap the tree-barricades, in spite of National serjeant;
     they enter the village, Choiseul instructing his Troopers how the
     matter really is; who respond interjectionally, in their guttural
     dialect, ‘_Der König; die Königinn!_’ and seem stanch. These now,
     in their stanch humour, will, for one thing, beset Procureur
     Sausse’s house. Most beneficial: had not Drouet stormfully
     ordered otherwise; and even bellowed, in his extremity,
     ‘Cannoneers to your guns!’—two old honey-combed Field-pieces,
     empty of all but cobwebs; the rattle whereof, as the Cannoneers
     with assured countenance trundled them up, did nevertheless abate
     the Hussar ardour, and produce a respectfuller ranking further
     back. Jugs of wine, handed over the ranks, for the German throat
     too has sensibility, will complete the business. When Engineer
     Goguelat, some hour or so afterwards, steps forth, the response
     to him is—a hiccuping _Vive la Nation!_
     What boots it? Goguelat, Choiseul, now also Count Damas, and all
     the Varennes Officiality are with the King; and the King can give
     no order, form no opinion; but sits there, as he has ever done,
     like clay on potter’s wheel; perhaps the absurdest of all
     pitiable and pardonable clay-figures that now circle under the
     Moon. He will go on, next morning, and take the National Guard
     _with_ him; Sausse permitting! Hapless Queen: with her two
     children laid there on the mean bed, old Mother Sausse kneeling
     to Heaven, with tears and an audible prayer, to bless them;
     imperial Marie-Antoinette near kneeling to Son Sausse and Wife
     Sausse, amid candle-boxes and treacle-barrels,—in vain! There are
     Three-thousand National Guards got in; before long they will
     count Ten-thousand; tocsins spreading like fire on dry heath, or
     far faster.
     Young Bouillé, roused by this Varennes tocsin, has taken horse,
     and—fled towards his Father. Thitherward also rides, in an almost
     hysterically desperate manner, a certain Sieur Aubriot,
     Choiseul’s Orderly; swimming dark rivers, our Bridge being
     blocked; spurring as if the Hell-hunt were at his heels.[390]
     Through the village of Dun, he, galloping still on, scatters the
     alarm; at Dun, brave Captain Deslons and _his_ Escort of a
     Hundred, saddle and ride. Deslons too gets into Varennes; leaving
     his Hundred outside, at the tree-barricade; offers to cut King
     Louis out, if he will order it: but unfortunately ‘the work
     _will_ prove hot;’ whereupon King Louis has ‘no orders to
     And so the tocsin clangs, and Dragoons gallop; and can do
     nothing, having gallopped: National Guards stream in like the
     gathering of ravens: your exploding Thunder-chain, falling
     Avalanche, or what else we liken it to, does play, with a
     vengeance,—up now as far as Stenai and Bouillé himself.[392]
     Brave Bouillé, son of the whirlwind, he saddles Royal Allemand;
     speaks fire-words, kindling heart and eyes; distributes
     twenty-five gold-louis a company:—Ride, Royal-Allemand,
     long-famed: no Tuileries Charge and Necker-Orleans
     Bust-Procession; a very King made captive, and world all to
     win!—Such is the Night deserving to be named of Spurs.
     At six o’clock two things have happened. Lafayette’s
     Aide-de-camp, Romœuf, riding _à franc étrier_, on that old
     Herb-merchant’s route, quickened during the last stages, has got
     to Varennes; where the Ten thousand now furiously demand, with
     fury of panic terror, that Royalty shall forthwith return
     Paris-ward, that there be not infinite bloodshed. Also, on the
     other side, “English Tom,” Choiseul’s _jokei_, flying with that
     Choiseul relay, has met Bouillé on the heights of Dun; the
     adamantine brow flushed with dark thunder; thunderous rattle of
     Royal Allemand at his heels. English Tom answers as he can the
     brief question, How it is at Varennes?—then asks in turn what he,
     English Tom, with M. de Choiseul’s horses, is to do, and whither
     to ride?—To the Bottomless Pool! answers a thunder-voice; then
     again speaking and spurring, orders Royal Allemand to the gallop;
     and vanishes, swearing (_en jurant_).[393] ’Tis the last of our
     brave Bouillé. Within sight of Varennes, he having drawn bridle,
     calls a council of officers; finds that it is in vain. King Louis
     has departed, consenting: amid the clangour of universal
     stormbell; amid the tramp of Ten thousand armed men, already
     arrived; and say, of Sixty thousand flocking thither. Brave
     Deslons, even without “orders,” darted at the River Aire with his
     Hundred![394] swam one branch of it, could not the other; and
     stood there, dripping and panting, with inflated nostril; the Ten
     thousand answering him with a shout of mockery, the new Berline
     lumbering Paris-ward its weary inevitable way. No help, then in
     Earth; nor in an age, not of miracles, in Heaven!
     That night, “Marquis de Bouillé and twenty-one more of us rode
     over the Frontiers; the Bernardine monks at Orval in Luxemburg
     gave us supper and lodging.”[395] With little of speech, Bouillé
     rides; with thoughts that do not brook speech. Northward, towards
     uncertainty, and the Cimmerian Night: towards West-Indian Isles,
     for with thin Emigrant delirium the son of the whirlwind cannot
     act; towards England, towards premature Stoical death; not
     towards France any more. Honour to the Brave; who, be it in this
     quarrel or in that, _is_ a substance and articulate-speaking
     piece of Human Valour, not a fanfaronading hollow Spectrum and
     squeaking and gibbering Shadow! One of the few Royalist
     Chief-actors this Bouillé, of whom so much can be said.
     The brave Bouillé too, then, vanishes from the tissue of our
     Story. Story and tissue, faint ineffectual Emblem of that grand
     Miraculous Tissue, and Living Tapestry named _French Revolution_,
     which did weave itself then in very fact, “on the loud-sounding
     “LOOM OF TIME!” The old Brave drop out from it, with their
     strivings; and new acrid Drouets, of new strivings and colour,
     come in:—as is the manner of that weaving.

     Chapter 2.4.VIII.
     The Return.
     So then our grand Royalist Plot, of Flight to Metz, has
     _executed_ itself. Long hovering in the background, as a dread
     royal _ultimatum_, it has rushed forward in its terrors: verily
     to some purpose. How many Royalist Plots and Projects, one after
     another, cunningly-devised, that were to explode like
     powder-mines and thunderclaps; not one solitary Plot of which has
     issued otherwise! Powder-mine of a _Séance Royale_ on the
     Twenty-third of June 1789, which exploded as we then said,
     “through the touchhole;” which next, your wargod Broglie having
     reloaded it, brought a Bastille about your ears. Then came
     fervent Opera-Repast, with flourishing of sabres, and _O Richard,
     O my King;_ which, aided by Hunger, produces Insurrection of
     Women, and Pallas Athene in the shape of Demoiselle Théroigne.
     Valour profits not; neither has fortune smiled on Fanfaronade.
     The Bouillé Armament ends as the Broglie one had done. Man after
     man spends himself in this cause, only to work it quicker ruin;
     it seems a cause doomed, forsaken of Earth and Heaven.
     On the Sixth of October gone a year, King Louis, escorted by
     Demoiselle Théroigne and some two hundred thousand, made a Royal
     Progress and Entrance into Paris, such as man had never
     witnessed: we prophesied him Two more such; and accordingly
     another of them, after this Flight to Metz, is now coming to
     pass. Théroigne will not escort here, neither does Mirabeau now
     “sit in one of the accompanying carriages.” Mirabeau lies dead,
     in the Pantheon of Great Men. Théroigne lies living, in dark
     Austrian Prison; having gone to Liège, professionally, and been
     seized there. Bemurmured now by the hoarse-flowing Danube; the
     light of her Patriot Supper-Parties gone quite out; so lies
     Théroigne: she shall speak with the Kaiser face to face, and
     return. And France lies how! Fleeting Time shears down the great
     and the little; and in two years alters many things.
     But at all events, here, we say, is a second Ignominious Royal
     Procession, though much altered; to be witnessed also by its
     hundreds of thousands. Patience, ye Paris Patriots; the Royal
     Berline is returning. Not till Saturday: for the Royal Berline
     travels by slow stages; amid such loud-voiced confluent sea of
     National Guards, sixty thousand as they count; amid such tumult
     of all people. Three National-Assembly Commissioners, famed
     Barnave, famed Pétion, generally-respectable Latour-Maubourg,
     have gone to meet it; of whom the two former ride in the Berline
     itself beside Majesty, day after day. Latour, as a mere
     respectability, and man of whom all men speak well, can ride in
     the rear, with Dame Tourzel and the _Soubrettes_.
     So on Saturday evening, about seven o’clock, Paris by hundreds of
     thousands is again drawn up: not now dancing the tricolor
     joy-dance of hope; nor as yet dancing in fury-dance of hate and
     revenge; but in silence, with vague look of conjecture and
     curiosity mostly scientific. A Sainte-Antoine Placard has given
     notice this morning that “whosoever insults Louis shall be caned,
     whosoever applauds him shall be hanged.” Behold then, at last,
     that wonderful New Berline; encircled by blue National sea with
     fixed bayonets, which flows slowly, floating it on, through the
     silent assembled hundreds of thousands. Three yellow Couriers sit
     atop bound with ropes; Pétion, Barnave, their Majesties, with
     Sister Elizabeth, and the Children of France, are within.
     Smile of embarrassment, or cloud of dull sourness, is on the
     broad phlegmatic face of his Majesty: who keeps declaring to the
     successive Official-persons, what is evident, ‘_Eh bien, me
     voilà_, Well, here you have me;’ and what is not evident, ‘I do
     assure you I did not mean to pass the frontiers;’ and so forth:
     speeches natural for that poor Royal man; which Decency would
     veil. Silent is her Majesty, with a look of grief and scorn;
     natural for that Royal Woman. Thus lumbers and creeps the
     ignominious Royal Procession, through many streets, amid a
     silent-gazing people: comparable, Mercier thinks,[396] to some
     _Procession de Roi de Bazoche;_ or say, Procession of King
     Crispin, with his Dukes of Sutor-mania and royal blazonry of
     Cordwainery. Except indeed that this is not comic; ah no, it is
     comico-tragic; with bound Couriers, and a Doom hanging over it;
     most fantastic, yet most miserably real. Miserablest _flebile
     ludibrium_ of a Pickleherring Tragedy! It sweeps along there, in
     most ungorgeous pall, through many streets, in the dusty summer
     evening; gets itself at length wriggled out of sight; vanishing
     in the Tuileries Palace—towards its doom, of slow torture, _peine
     forte et dure_.
     Populace, it is true, seizes the three rope-bound yellow
     Couriers; will at least massacre _them_. But our august Assembly,
     which is sitting at this great moment, sends out Deputation of
     rescue; and the whole is got huddled up. Barnave, “all dusty,” is
     already there, in the National Hall; making brief discreet
     address and report. As indeed, through the whole journey, this
     Barnave has been most discreet, sympathetic; and has gained the
     Queen’s trust, whose noble instinct teaches her always who is to
     be trusted. Very different from heavy Pétion; who, if Campan
     speak truth, ate his luncheon, comfortably filled his wine-glass,
     in the Royal Berline; flung out his chicken-bones past the nose
     of Royalty itself; and, on the King’s saying ‘France cannot be a
     Republic,’ answered ‘No, it is not ripe yet.’ Barnave is
     henceforth a Queen’s adviser, if advice could profit: and her
     Majesty astonishes Dame Campan by signifying almost a regard for
     Barnave: and that, in a day of retribution and Royal triumph,
     Barnave shall _not_ be executed.[397]
     On Monday night Royalty went; on Saturday evening it returns: so
     much, within one short week, has Royalty accomplished for itself.
     The Pickleherring Tragedy has vanished in the Tuileries Palace,
     towards “pain strong and hard.” Watched, fettered, and humbled,
     as Royalty never was. Watched even in its sleeping-apartments and
     inmost recesses: for it has to sleep with door set ajar, blue
     National Argus watching, his eye fixed on the Queen’s curtains;
     nay, on one occasion, as the Queen cannot sleep, he offers to sit
     by her pillow, and converse a little![398]

     Chapter 2.4.IX.
     Sharp Shot.
     In regard to all which, this most pressing question arises: What
     is to be done with it? ‘Depose it!’ resolutely answer Robespierre
     and the thoroughgoing few. For truly, with a King who runs away,
     and needs to be watched in his very bedroom that he may stay and
     govern you, what other reasonable thing can be done? Had Philippe
     d’Orléans not been a _caput mortuum!_ But of him, known as one
     defunct, no man now dreams. ‘Depose it not; say that it is
     inviolable, that it was spirited away, was _enlevé;_ at any cost
     of sophistry and solecism, reestablish it!’ so answer with loud
     vehemence all manner of Constitutional Royalists; as all your
     Pure Royalists do naturally likewise, with low vehemence, and
     rage compressed by fear, still more passionately answer. Nay
     Barnave and the two Lameths, and what will follow them, do
     likewise answer so. Answer, with their whole might: terror-struck
     at the unknown Abysses on the verge of which, driven thither by
     themselves mainly, all now reels, ready to plunge.
     By mighty effort and combination this latter course, of
     reestablish it, is the course fixed on; and it shall by the
     strong arm, if not by the clearest logic, be made good. With the
     sacrifice of all their hard-earned popularity, this notable
     Triumvirate, says Toulongeon, “set the Throne up again, which
     they had so toiled to overturn: as one might set up an overturned
     pyramid, on its vertex; to stand so long as it is _held_.”
     Unhappy France; unhappy in King, Queen, and Constitution; one
     knows not in which unhappiest! Was the meaning of our so glorious
     French Revolution this, and no other, That when Shams and
     Delusions, long soul-killing, had become body-killing, and got
     the length of Bankruptcy and Inanition, a great People rose and,
     with one voice, said, in the Name of the Highest: _Shams shall be
     no more?_ So many sorrows and bloody horrors, endured, and to be
     yet endured through dismal coming centuries, were they not the
     heavy price paid and payable for this same: Total Destruction of
     Shams from among men? And now, O Barnave Triumvirate! is it in
     such _double_-distilled Delusion, and Sham even of a Sham, that
     an Effort of this kind will rest acquiescent? Messieurs of the
     popular Triumvirate: Never! But, after all, what can poor popular
     Triumvirates and fallible august Senators do? They can, when the
     Truth is all too-horrible, stick their heads ostrich-like into
     what sheltering Fallacy is nearest: and wait there, _à
     Readers who saw the Clermontais and Three-Bishopricks gallop, in
     the Night of Spurs; Diligences ruffling up all France into one
     terrific terrified Cock of India; and the Town of Nantes in its
     shirt,—may fancy what an affair to settle this was. Robespierre,
     on the extreme Left, with perhaps Pétion and lean old Goupil, for
     the very Triumvirate has defalcated, are shrieking hoarse;
     drowned in Constitutional clamour. But the debate and arguing of
     a whole Nation; the bellowings through all Journals, for and
     against; the reverberant voice of Danton; the Hyperion-shafts of
     Camille; the porcupine-quills of implacable Marat:—conceive all
     Constitutionalists in a body, as we often predicted, do now
     recede from the Mother Society, and become _Feuillans;_
     threatening her with inanition, the rank and respectability being
     mostly gone. Petition after Petition, forwarded by Post, or borne
     in Deputation, comes praying for Judgment and _Déchéance_, which
     is our name for Deposition; praying, at lowest, for Reference to
     the Eighty-three Departments of France. Hot Marseillese
     Deputation comes declaring, among other things: ‘Our Phocean
     Ancestors flung a Bar of Iron into the Bay at their first
     landing; this Bar will float again on the Mediterranean brine
     before we consent to be slaves.’ All this for four weeks or more,
     while the matter still hangs doubtful; Emigration streaming with
     double violence over the frontiers;[399] France seething in
     fierce agitation of this question and prize-question: What is to
     be done with the fugitive Hereditary Representative?
     Finally, on Friday the 15th of July 1791, the National Assembly
     decides; in what negatory manner we know. Whereupon the Theatres
     all close, the _Bourne_-stones and Portable-chairs begin
     spouting, Municipal Placards flaming on the walls, and
     Proclamations published by sound of trumpet, “invite to repose;”
     with small effect. And so, on Sunday the 17th, there shall be a
     thing seen, worthy of remembering. Scroll of a Petition, drawn up
     by Brissots, Dantons, by Cordeliers, Jacobins; for the thing was
     infinitely shaken and manipulated, and many had a hand in it:
     such Scroll lies now visible, on the wooden framework of the
     Fatherland’s Altar, for signature. Unworking Paris, male and
     female, is crowding thither, all day, to sign or to see. Our fair
     Roland herself the eye of History can discern there, “in the
     morning;”[400] not without interest. In few weeks the fair
     Patriot will quit Paris; yet perhaps only to return.
     But, what with sorrow of baulked Patriotism, what with closed
     theatres, and Proclamations still publishing themselves by sound
     of trumpet, the fervour of men’s minds, this day, is great. Nay,
     over and above, there has fallen out an incident, of the nature
     of Farce-Tragedy and Riddle; enough to stimulate all creatures.
     Early in the day, a Patriot (or some say, it was a Patriotess,
     and indeed Truth is undiscoverable), while standing on the firm
     deal-board of Fatherland’s Altar, feels suddenly, with
     indescribable torpedo-shock of amazement, his bootsole pricked
     through from below; he clutches up suddenly this electrified
     bootsole and foot; discerns next instant—the point of a gimlet or
     brad-awl playing up, through the firm deal-board, and now hastily
     drawing itself back! Mystery, perhaps Treason? The wooden
     frame-work is impetuously broken up; and behold, verily a
     mystery; never explicable fully to the end of the world! Two
     human individuals, of mean aspect, one of them with a wooden leg,
     lie ensconced there, gimlet in hand: they must have come in
     overnight; they have a supply of provisions,—no “barrel of
     gunpowder” that one can _see;_ they affect to be asleep; look
     blank enough, and give the lamest account of themselves. ‘Mere
     curiosity; they were boring up to get an eye-hole; to see,
     perhaps “with lubricity,” whatsoever, from that _new_ point of
     vision, could be seen:’—little that was edifying, one would
     think! But indeed what stupidest thing may not human Dulness,
     Pruriency, Lubricity, Chance and the Devil, choosing Two out of
     Half-a-million idle human heads, tempt them to?[401]
     Sure enough, the two human individuals with their gimlet are
     there. Ill-starred pair of individuals! For the result of it all
     is that Patriotism, fretting itself, in this state of nervous
     excitability, with hypotheses, suspicions and reports, keeps
     questioning these two distracted human individuals, and again
     questioning them; claps them into the nearest Guardhouse,
     clutches them out again; one hypothetic group snatching them from
     another: till finally, in such extreme state of nervous
     excitability, Patriotism hangs them as spies of Sieur Motier; and
     the life and secret is choked out of them forevermore.
     Forevermore, alas! Or is a day to be looked for when these two
     evidently mean individuals, who are human nevertheless, will
     become Historical Riddles; and, like him of the _Iron Mask_ (also
     a human individual, and evidently nothing more),—have their
     Dissertations? To us this only is certain, that they had a
     gimlet, provisions and a wooden leg; and have died there on the
     Lanterne, as the unluckiest fools might die.
     And so the signature goes on, in a still more excited manner. And
     Chaumette, for Antiquarians possess the very Paper to this
     hour,[402]—has signed himself “in a flowing saucy hand slightly
     leaned;” and Hébert, detestable _Père Duchesne_, as if “an inked
     spider had dropped on the paper;” Usher Maillard also has signed,
     and many Crosses, which cannot write. And Paris, through its
     thousand avenues, is welling to the Champ-de-Mars and from it, in
     the utmost excitability of humour; central Fatherland’s Altar
     quite heaped with signing Patriots and Patriotesses; the
     Thirty-benches and whole internal Space crowded with onlookers,
     with comers and goers; one regurgitating whirlpool of men and
     women in their Sunday clothes. All which a Constitutional Sieur
     Motier sees; and Bailly, looking into it with his long visage
     made still longer. Auguring no good; perhaps _Déchéance_ and
     Deposition after all! Stop it, ye Constitutional Patriots; fire
     itself is quenchable, yet only quenchable at _first._
     Stop it, truly: but how stop it? Have not the first Free People
     of the Universe a right to petition?—Happily, if also unhappily,
     here is one proof of riot: these two human individuals, hanged at
     the Lanterne. Proof, O treacherous Sieur Motier? Were they not
     two human individuals sent thither by thee to be hanged; to be a
     pretext for thy bloody _Drapeau Rouge?_ This question shall many
     a Patriot, one day, ask; and answer affirmatively, strong in
     Preternatural Suspicion.
     Enough, towards half past seven in the evening, the mere natural
     eye can behold this thing: Sieur Motier, with Municipals in
     scarf, with blue National Patrollotism, rank after rank, to the
     clang of drums; wending resolutely to the Champ-de-Mars; Mayor
     Bailly, with elongated visage, bearing, as in sad duty bound, the
     _Drapeau Rouge._ Howl of angry derision rises in treble and bass
     from a hundred thousand throats, at the sight of Martial Law;
     which nevertheless waving its Red sanguinary Flag, advances
     there, from the Gros-Caillou Entrance; advances, drumming and
     waving, towards Altar of Fatherland. Amid still wilder howls,
     with objurgation, obtestation; with flights of pebbles and mud,
     _saxa et fæces;_ with crackle of a pistol-shot;—finally with
     volley-fire of Patrollotism; levelled muskets; roll of volley on
     volley! Precisely after one year and three days, our sublime
     Federation Field is wetted, in this manner, with French blood.
     Some “Twelve unfortunately shot,” reports Bailly, counting by
     units; but Patriotism counts by tens and even by hundreds. Not to
     be forgotten, nor forgiven! Patriotism flies, shrieking,
     execrating. Camille ceases Journalising, this day; great Danton
     with Camille and Fréron have taken wing, for their life; Marat
     burrows deep in the Earth, and is silent. Once more Patrollotism
     has triumphed: one other time; but it is the last.
     This was the Royal Flight to Varennes. Thus was the Throne
     overturned thereby; but thus also was it victoriously set up
     again—on its vertex; and will stand while it can be held.

     BOOK 2.V.

     Chapter 2.5.I.
     Grande Acceptation.
     In the last nights of September, when the autumnal equinox is
     past, and grey September fades into brown October, why are the
     Champs Elysées illuminated; why is Paris dancing, and flinging
     fire-works? They are gala-nights, these last of September; Paris
     may well dance, and the Universe: the Edifice of the Constitution
     is completed! Completed; nay _revised_, to see that there was
     nothing insufficient in it; solemnly proferred to his Majesty;
     solemnly accepted by him, to the sound of cannon-salvoes, on the
     fourteenth of the month. And now by such illumination, jubilee,
     dancing and fire-working, do we joyously handsel the new Social
     Edifice, and first raise heat and reek there, in the name of
     The Revision, especially with a throne standing on its vertex,
     has been a work of difficulty, of delicacy. In the way of
     propping and buttressing, so indispensable now, something could
     be done; and yet, as is feared, not enough. A repentant Barnave
     Triumvirate, our Rabauts, Duports, Thourets, and indeed all
     Constitutional Deputies did strain every nerve: but the Extreme
     Left was so noisy; the People were so suspicious, clamorous to
     have the work ended: and then the loyal Right Side sat feeble
     petulant all the while, and as it were, pouting and petting;
     unable to help, had they even been willing; the two Hundred and
     Ninety had solemnly made scission, before that: and departed,
     shaking the dust off their feet. To such transcendency of fret,
     and desperate hope that worsening of the bad might the sooner end
     it and bring back the good, had our unfortunate loyal Right Side
     now come![403]
     However, one finds that this and the other little prop has been
     added, where possibility allowed. Civil-list and Privy-purse were
     from of old well cared for. King’s Constitutional Guard, Eighteen
     hundred loyal men from the Eighty-three Departments, under a
     loyal Duke de Brissac; this, with trustworthy Swiss besides, is
     of itself something. The old loyal Bodyguards are indeed
     dissolved, in name as well as in fact; and gone mostly towards
     Coblentz. But now also those Sansculottic violent Gardes
     Françaises, or Centre Grenadiers, shall have their mittimus: they
     do ere long, in the Journals, not without a hoarse pathos,
     publish their Farewell; “wishing all Aristocrats the graves in
     Paris which to us are denied.”[404] They depart, these first
     Soldiers of the Revolution; they hover very dimly in the distance
     for about another year; till they can be remodelled, new-named,
     and sent to fight the Austrians; and then History beholds them no
     more. A most notable Corps of men; which has its place in
     World-History;—though to us, so is History written, they remain
     mere rubrics of men; nameless; a shaggy Grenadier Mass, crossed
     with buff-belts. And yet might we not ask: What Argonauts, what
     Leonidas’ Spartans had done such a work? Think of their destiny:
     since that May morning, some three years ago, when they,
     unparticipating, trundled off d’Espréménil to the Calypso Isles;
     since that July evening, some two years ago, when they,
     participating and _sacre_ing with knit brows, poured a volley
     into Besenval’s Prince de Lambesc! History waves them her mute
     So that the Sovereign Power, these Sansculottic Watchdogs, more
     like wolves, being leashed and led away from his Tuileries,
     breathes freer. The Sovereign Power is guarded henceforth by a
     loyal Eighteen hundred,—whom Contrivance, under various pretexts,
     may gradually swell to Six thousand; who will hinder no Journey
     to Saint-Cloud. The sad Varennes business has been soldered up;
     cemented, even in the blood of the Champ-de-Mars, these two
     months and more; and indeed ever since, as formerly, Majesty has
     had its privileges, its “choice of residence,” though, for good
     reasons, the royal mind “prefers continuing in Paris.” Poor royal
     mind, poor Paris; that have to go mumming; enveloped in
     speciosities, in falsehood which knows itself false; and to enact
     mutually your sorrowful farce-tragedy, being bound to it; and on
     the whole, to hope always, in spite of hope!
     Nay, now that his Majesty has accepted the Constitution, to the
     sound of cannon-salvoes, who would not hope? Our good King was
     misguided but he meant well. Lafayette has moved for an Amnesty,
     for universal forgiving and forgetting of Revolutionary faults;
     and now surely the glorious Revolution cleared of its rubbish