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The French Revolution, Volume 3 The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 by Hippolyte A. Taine

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furniture, etc."

[109] Ibid., AF., II., 71. (Letter of the Rozoy municipality. Seine-
et-Marne, Messidor 4, year III.) A bushel of wheat in the vicinity of
Rozoy brings three hundred francs.

[110] Ibid., AF., II., 74. (Letter of the Montreuil-sur-Mer
municipality, Prairial 29.)

[111] Ibid. (Letter of the Vervins administrators, Prairial 11 Letter
of the commune of La Chapelle-sur-Somme, Prairial 24.)

[112] Ibid., AF., II., 70. (Letter of the procureur-syndic of the
district of Saint-Germain, Thermidor 10.) This file, which depicts the
situation of the communes around Paris, is specially heartrending and
terrible. Among other instances of the misery of workmen the
following petition of the men employed on the Marly water-works may be
given, Messidor 28. "The workmen and employees on the machine at
Marly beg leave to present to you the wretched state to which they are
reduced by the dearness of provisions. Their moderate wages, which at
the most have reached only five livres twelve sous, and again, for
four months past, having received but two francs sixteen sous, no
longer provide them with half a pound of bread, since it costs fifteen
and sixteen francs per pound. We poor people have not been wanting in
courage nor patience, hoping that times would mend. We have been
reduced to selling most of our effects and to eating bread made of
bran of which a sample is herewith sent, and which distresses us very
much (nous incommode beaucoup); most of us are ill and those who are
not so are in a very feeble state." - Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris,"
Thermidor 9. "Peasants on the market square complain bitterly of
being robbed in the fields and on the road, and even of having their
sacks (of grain) plundered."

[113] Archives Nationales, D., § I, file 2. (Letter of the Ervy
municipality, Floréal 17, year III.) "The indifference of the egoist
farmers in the country is at its height; they pay no respect whatever
to the laws, killing the poor by refusing to sell, or unwilling to
sell their grain at a price they can pay." - (It would be necessary to
copy the whole of this file to show the alimentary state of the

[114] Ibid., AF., II., 74. (Letter of the district administrators of
Bapaume, Prairial 24. - Letter of the municipality of Boulogne-sur-
Mer, Prairial 24.)

[115] Ibid.,, AF., II., 73. (Letter of the municipality of Brionne,
district of Bernay, Prairial 7.) The farmers do not bring in their
wheat because they sell it elsewhere at the rate of fifteen hundred
and two thousand francs the sack of three hundred and thirty pounds.

[116] Ibid., AF., II., 71. (Letter of the procureur-syndic of the
district of Meaux, Messidor 2.) "Their fate is shared by many of the
rural communes" and the whole district has been reduced to this dearth
"to increase the resources of Paris and the armies."

[117] Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports of the Police, Pluviôse
6, year III.) - Ibid., Germinal 16. "A letter from the department of
Drome states that they are dying of hunger there, bread selling at
three francs the pound."

[118] Archives Nationales, AF., II., 70. (Deliberations of the
council-general of Franciade, Thermidor 9, year III.)

[119] Ibid. (Letter of the procureur-syndic of the district of Saint-
Germain, Thermidor 10.) - Delécluze, "Souvenirs de Soixante Années,"
p. 10. (The Delécluze family live in Mendon in 1794 and for most of
1795. M. Delécluze, senior, and his son go to Meaux and obtain of a
farmer a bag of good flour weighing three hundred and twenty five
pounds for about ten louis d'or and fetch it home, taking the greatest
pains to keep it concealed. Both father and son "after having covered
the precious sack with hay and straw in the bottom of the cart, follow
it on foot at some distance as the peasant drives along." Madame
Delécluze kneads the bread herself and bakes it.

[120] Archives Nationales, AF., II., 74. The following shows some of
the municipal expenditures. (Deliberations of the commune of Annecy,
Thermidor 8, year II I.) "Amount received by the commune from the
government, 1,200,000 francs. Fraternal subscriptions, 400,000
francs. Forced loan, 2,400,000 francs. Amount arising from grain
granted by the government, but not paid for, 400,000 francs." (Letter
from the municipality of Lille, Fructidor 7 ) "The deficit, at the
time we took hold of the government, which, owing to the difference
between the price of grain bought and the price obtained for bread
distributed among the necessitous, had amounted to 2,270,023 francs,
so increased in Thermidor as to amount to 8,312,956 francs."
consequently, the towns ruin themselves with indebtedness to an
incredible extent. - Archives Nationales, AF., II., 72. (Letter of
the municipality of Tours, Vendémiaire 19, year IV.) Tours has not
sufficient money with which to buy oil for its street lamps and which
are no longer lit at night. A decree is passed to enable the agent
for provisions at Paris to supply its commissaries with twenty
quintals of oil which, for three hundred and forty lamps, keeps one
hundred agoing up to Germinal 1. The same at Toulouse. (Report of
Destrene, Moniteur, June 24, 1798.) On November 26, 1794, Bordeaux is
unable to pay seventy two francs for thirty barrels of water to wash
the guillotine. (Granier de Cassagnac, I., 13. Extract from the
archives of Bordeaux.) Bordeaux is authorized to sell one thousand
casks of wine which had formerly been taken on requisition by the
government, the town to pay for them at the rate at which the Republic
bought them and to sell them as dear as possible in the way of regular
trade. The proceeds are to be employed in providing subsistence for
its inhabitants. (Archives Nationales, AF., II., 72, orders of
Vendémiaire 4, year IV.) As to aid furnished by the assignats granted
to towns and departments cf. the same files; 400,000 francs to
Poitiers, Pluviôse 18, four millions to Lyons, Pluviôse 17, three
millions a month to Nantes, after Thermidor 14, ten millions to the
department of Herault in Frimaire and Pluviôse , etc.

[121] Archives Nationales, II., § 1, file 2. (Deliberations of the
commune of Troyes, Ventôse 15, year III.) - "Un Sejour en France."
(Amiens, May 9, 1795.) "As we had obtained a few six franc crowns and
were able to get a small supply of wheat. . . . Mr. D and the
servants eat bread made of three fourths bran and one fourth flour.
When we bake it we carefully close the doors, paying no attention to
the door bell, and allow no visitor to come in until every trace of
the operation is gone. . . The distribution now consists of a
mixture of sprouted wheat, peas, rye, etc., which scarcely resembles
bread." (April 12.) "The distribution of bread (then) was a quarter of
a pound a day. Many of those who in other respects were well off, got
nothing at all."

[122] Ibid. (Letters of the municipality of Troyes, Ventôse 15, year
III., and Germinal 6.) Letter of the three deputies, sent by the
municipality to Paris, Pluviôse , year III. (no date.)

[123] "Un Sejour en France." (Amiens, Jan. 30, 1795.) Archives
Nationales. AF.,II., 74. (Deliberation of the commune of Amiens,
Thermidor 8, and Fructidor 7, year III.)

[124] "Souvenirs et Journal d'un Bourgeois d'Evreux," p. 97. (The
women stop carts loaded with wheat, keep them all night, stone and
wound Representative Bernier, and succeed in getting, each, eight
pounds of wheat.)

[125] Archives Nationales, AF.,II., 73. (Letter of the municipality
of Dieppe, Prairial 22.) - AF.,II., 74. (Letter of the municipality
of Vervins, Messidor 7. Letter of the municipality of Lille,
Fructidor 7.)

[126] "Correspondance de Mallet du Pan avec la Cour de Vienne," I.,
90. Ibid., 131. One month later a quintal of flour at Lyons is worth
two hundred francs and a pound of bread forty-five sous.

[127] Archives Nationales, AF., II., 13. (Letter of the deputies
extraordinary of the three administrative bodies of Chartres,
Thermidor 15: "In the name of this commune dying of hunger ") - "The
inhabitants of Chartres have not even been allowed to receive their
rents in grain; all has been poured into the government storehouses."

[128] Ibid. (Petition of the commune of La Rochelle, Fructidor 25,
that of Painbœuf, Fructidor 9, that of the municipality of Nantes,
Thermidor 14, that of Rouen, Fructidor 1.) - Ibid., AF.,II, 72.
(Letter of the commune of Bayonne, Fructidor 1.) "Penury of provisions
for more than two years. . . . The municipality, the past six
months, is under the cruel necessity of reducing its subjects to half-
a-pound of corn-bread per day. . . . at the rate of twenty-five
sous the pound, although the pound costs over five francs." After the
suppression of the "maximum " it loses about twenty-five thousand
francs per day.

[129] Ibid. (Letter of Representative Porcher, Caen, Prairial 24,
Messidor 3 and 26. Letter of the municipality of Caen, Messidor 3.)

[130] Ibid. AF.,II., 71. (Letter of the municipality of Auxerre,
Messidor 19.) "We have kept alive thus far through all sorts of
expedients as if by miracle. It has required incalculable efforts,
great expenditure, and really supernatural means to accomplish it.
But there is still one month between this and the end of Thermidor.
How are we going to live! Our people, the majority of whom are farmers
and artisans, are rationed at half-a-pound a day for each person and
this will last but ten or twelve days at most."

[131] Meissner, "Voyage à Paris," 339. "There was not a morsel of
bread in our inn. I went myself to five or six bakeries and pastry
shops and found them all stripped." He finds in the last one about a
dozen of small Savoy biscuits for which he pays fifteen francs. -
See, for the military proceedings of the government in relation to
bread, the orders of the Committee of Public Safety, most of them by
the hand of Lindet, AF., II., 68-74.

[132] Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," vols. II. and III .,passim.

[133] Archives Nationales, AF.,II., 68. (Orders of Ventôse 20, year
III. ; Germinal 19 and 20; Messidor 8, etc.)

[134] ibid. Orders of Nivôse 5 and 22.

[135] Ibid. Orders of Pluviôse 19, Ventôse 5, Floréal 4 and 24. (The
fourteen brewers which the Republic keeps agoing for itself at Dunkirk
are excepted.) - The proceedings are the same in relation to other
necessary articles, - returns demanded of nuts, rape-seed, and other
seeds or fruits producing oil, also the hoofs of cattle and sheep,
with requisitions for every other article entering into the
manufacture of oil, and orders to keep oil-mills agoing. "All
administrative bodies will see that the butchers remove the fat from
their meat before offering it for sale, that they do not themselves
make candles out of it, and that they do not sell it to soap-
factories, etc. " - (Orders of Veridémiaire 28, year III.) The
executive committee will collect eight hundred yoke of oxen and
distribute them among the dealers in hay in order to transport wood
and coal from the woods and collieries to the yards. They will
distribute proportionately eight hundred sets of wheels and harness.
The wagoners will be paid and guarded the same as military convoys,
and drafted as required. To feed the oxen, the district
administrators will take by pre-emption the necessary fields and
pasturages, etc." (Orders of Pluviôse 10, year III.)

[136] Moniteur, XXIV., 397. - Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports
of Frimaire 16, year IV.) "Citizens in the departments wonder how it
is that Paris costs them five hundred and forty six millions per month
merely for bread when they are starving. This isolation of Paris, for
which all the benefits of the Revolution are exclusively reserved.
has the worst effect on the public mind." - Meissner, 345.

[137] Mercier, "Paris Pendant la Révolution," I., 355-357. - Schmidt,
"Pariser Zustande," I., 224. (The Seine is frozen over on November 23
and January 23, the thermometer standing at sixteen degrees
(Centigrade) below zero.) - Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports of
the Police, Pluviôse 2, 3 and 4.)

[138] Schmidt, "Pariser Zustande," I., 228, and following pages.
(February 25, the distribution of bread is reduced to one and one-half
pounds per person; March 17, to one and onehalf pounds for workmen and
one pound for others. Final reduction to one-quarter of a pound,
March 31.) - Ibid., 251, for ulterior rates. - Dufort de Cheverney,
(MS. Mémoires, August, 1795.) M. de Cheverney takes up his quarters
at the old Louvre with his friend Sedaine. "I had assisted them with
food all I could: they owned to me that, without this, they would have
died of starvation notwithstanding their means."

[139] Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris." (Reports of Germinal 15 and 27,
and Messidor 28, year III., Brumaire 14 and Frimaire 23, year IV.) -
Ibid. (Germinal 15, year III.) Butter is at eight francs the pound,
eggs seven francs for four ounces. - Ibid., (Messidor 19) bread is at
sixteen francs the pound, (Messidor 28) butter at fourteen francs the
pound, (Brumaire 29) flour at 14,000 francs the bag of 325 pounds.

[140] Ibid. (Report of Germinal 12, year III.) "The eating houses and
pastry-cooks are better supplied than ever." ?"Memoires (manuscript)
of M. de Cheverney." "My sister-in-law, with more than forty thousand
livres income, registered in the 'Grand Ledger,' was reduced to
cultivating her garden, assisted by her two chambermaids. M. de
Richebourg, formerly intendant-general of the Post-Office, had to sell
at one time a clock and at another time a wardrobe to live on. 'My
friends,' he said to us one day, 'I have been obliged to put my clock
in the pot.' " - Schmidt. (Report of Frimaire 17, year IV.) "A
frequenter of the Stock-Exchange sells a louis at five thousand
francs. He dines for one thousand francs and loudly exclaims: 'I have
dined at four francs ten sous. They are really superb, these
assignats! I couldn't have dined so well formerly at twelve francs.'"

[141] Schmidt. (Reports of Frimaire 9, year IV.) "The reports
describe the sad condition of those who, with small incomes and having
sold their clothes, are selling their furniture, being, so to say, at
their last piece; and, soon without anything, are reduced to the last
extremity by committing suicide." - Ibid., Frimaire 2, "The rentier is
ruined, not being able to buy food. Employees are all in the same
situation." - Naturally, the condition of employees and rentiters
grows worse with the depreciation of assignats. Here are house-
keeping accounts at the end of 1795. (Letter of Beaumarchais' sister
Julie to his wife, December, 1794. "Beaumarchais et son temps," by De
Lomenie, p.486.) "When you gave me those four thousand francs
(assignats), my dear friend, my heart went pit-a-pat. I thought that
I should go crazy with such a fortune. I put them in my pocket at
once and talked about other things so as to get the idea out of my
mind. On returning to the house, get some wood and provisions as
quick as possible before prices go higher! Dupont (the old domestic)
started off and did his best. But the scales fell from my eyes on
seeing, not counting food for a month, the result of those 4,275

1 load of wood 1460 francs
9 pounds of candles, from 8 to 100 francs per pound 900
4 pounds of sugar, at 100 francs per pound 400
3 measures of grain, at 40 francs 120
7 pounds oil, at 100 francs 700
12 wicks, at 5 francs 60
1 1/2 bushels potatoes, at 200 francs per bushel 300
1 month's washing 215
1 pound ground powder 70
2 ounces pomatum (formerly 3 sous, now 25 francs) 50
Sub-total 4,275 francs

There remains the month's supply of butter and eggs,
as you know, 200 francs, meat 25 or 30 francs, and
other articles in proportion 507

There was no bread for two days. . . I have bought only
four pounds the last two days, at 45 francs 180

Total 5,022 francs.

"When I think of this royal outlay, as you call it, which makes me
spend from18,000 to 20,000 francs for nothing, I wish the devil had
the system... . 10,000 francs which I have scattered about the past
fortnight, alarm and trouble me so much that I do not know how to
calculate my income in this way. In three days the difference (in the
value of assignats) has sent wood up from 4,200 to 6,500 francs, and
extras in proportion so that, as I wrote you, a load piled up and put
away costs me 7,100 francs. Every week now, the pot-au-feu and other
meats for ragouts, without any butter, eggs and other details, cost
from seven to eight hundred francs. Washing also goes up so fast that
eight thousand francs do not suffice. All this puts me out of humor,
while in all this expenditure I declare on my honor (je jure par la
saine vérité de mon cœur) that for two years I have indulged no fancy
of my own or spent anything except on household expenses.
Nevertheless, I have urgent need of some things for which I should
require piles of assignats." - We see by Beaumarchais' correspondence
that one of his friends travels around in the environs of Paris to
find bread. "It is said here (he writes from Soizy, June 5, 1795)
that flour may be had at Briare. If this were so I would bargain with
a reliable man there to carry it to you by water-carriage between
Briare and Paris. . . In the mean time I do not despair of finding
a loaf." - Letter of a friend of Beaumarchais: "This letter costs you
at least one hundred francs, including paper, pen, ink, and lamp-oil.
For economy's sake I write it in your house."

[142] Cf. Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," vols. II. and III.
(Reports of the Police, at the dates designated.)

[143] Dauban, "Paris en 1794," pp.562, 568, 572.

[144] Mallet-Dupan, "Correspondance avec la cour de Vienne," I., 254.
(July 18, 1795.)

[145] Schmidt, ibid. (Report of Fructidor 3, year III.)

[146] Schmidt, ibid., vols. II. and III. (Reports of the police at
the dates designated.)

[147] Meissner, " Voyage à Paris," 132. Ibid., 104. " Bread is made
with coarse, sticky black flour, because they put in potatoes, beans,
Indian corn and millet, and moreover it is badly baked." - Granier de
Cassagnac, "Histoire du Directoire," I., 51. (Letter of M. Andot to
the author.) "There were three-quarter pound days, one-half pound and
one-quarter pound days and many at two ounces. I was achild of twelve
and used to go and wait four hours in the morning in a line, rue de
l'Ancienne Comédie. There was a fourth part of bran in the bread,
which was very tender and very soft. . . . and it contained one-
fourth excess of water. I brought back eight ounces of bread a day
for the four persons in our household."

[148] Dauban, 586.

[149] Schmidt, ibid. (Reports of Brumaire 24, and Frimaire 13, year

[150] This state of misery is prolonged far beyond this epoch in Paris
and the provinces. ~f. Schmidt, "Tableaux de Paris," vol. III.-
Felix Rocquam, "L'Etat de la France au 18e Brumaire," p.156. (Report
by Fourcroy, Nivôse 5, year IX.) Convoys of grain fail to reach Brest
because the English are masters at sea, while the roads on land are
impassable. "we are assured that the people of Brest have long been
on half-rations and perhaps on quarter-rations."

[151] 1st It is difficult to arrive at even approximate figures, but
the following statements will render the idea clear. I. Wherever I
have compared the mortality of the Revolution with that of the ancient
regime I have found the former greater than the latter, even in those
parts of France not devastated by the civil war; and the increase of
this mortality is enormous, especially in years II. and III. - At
Troyes, with 25,282 inhabitants (in 1790), during the five years of
1786, 1787, 1788, 1789 and 1792 (1790 and 1791 are missing), the
average annual mortality is 991 deaths, or 39 per thousand
inhabitants; during the years II, III, IV, this average is 1,166 or 47
per thousand inhabitants; the increase is then 7 deaths per year,
nearly one fifth. (Documents provided by M. Albert Babeau.) - At
Rheims, the average mortality from 1780 to 1789 is 1,350, which, for a
population of 35,597, (1790), gives 41 deaths per annum to every
thousand inhabitants. In the year II., there are 1,836 deaths which
gives for each of the two years 64 deaths to every thousand persons;
the increase is 23 deaths a year, that is to say more than one-half
above the ordinary rate. (Statistics communicated by M. Jadart,
archiviste at Rheims.) - At Limoges, the yearly average of mortality
previous to 1789 was 825 to 20,000 inhabitants, or at the rate of 41
to a thousand. From January 1, 1792, to September 22, 1794, there are
3,449 deaths, that is to say, a yearly average of 63 deaths to one
thousand inhabitants, that is to say, 22 extra per annum, while the
mortality bears mostly on the poor, for out of 2,073 persons who die
between January 17, 1793, and September 22, 1794, over one-half,
1,100, die in the hospital. - (Louis Guibert, "Ancien registre des
paroisses de Limoges," pp. 40, 45, 47.) - At Poitiers, in year IX.,
the population is 18,223, and the average mortality of the past ten
years was 724 per annum. But in year II., there are 2,094 deaths, and
in year III. 2,032, largely in the hospitals. Thus, even on
comparing the average mortality of the ten years of the Revolution
with the mortality of years II. and III., the average rate has almost
trebled. - The same applies to Loudens, where the average death-rate
being 151, in year II., it rises to 425. Instead of the triple for
Chatellerault, it is double, where, the average rate being 262, the
death-rate rises to 482, principally in the military hospitals.
("Statistique de la Vienne," by Cochon, préfet, year IX.) - At Niort,
population 11,000, the annual mortality of the ten years preceding
1793 averaged 423, or 38 per thousand. In year II., there are 1,872,
or 170 per thousand inhabitants, the number being more than
quadrupled. In year III., there are 1,122 deaths, or 122, which is
almost the triple. ('Statistique des Deux-Sèvres," by Dupin, prefet,
2nd memorial, year IX.) - At Strasbourg, ("Recueil des Pièces
Authentiques," etc., vol. I., p.32, declaration of the Municipality,)
"twice as many died last year (year II.) as during any of the
preceding years." - According to these figures and the details we have
read, the annual mortality during years II. and III. and most of
year IV., may be estimated as having increased one-half extra. Now,
previous to 1789, according to Moheau and Necker, (Peuchet,
"Statistique elementaire de la France," 1805, p.239,) the yearly
mortality in France was one person to every thirty, that is to say,
866,666 deaths to a population of 26 millions. One-half in addition
to this for two and a half years gives, consequently, one million and
eighty thousand deaths.

2nd . During the whole of the Directory episode, privation lasted
and the rate of mortality rose very high, especially for sick
children, the infirm and the aged, because the convention had
confiscated the possessions of the hospitals and public charity was
almost null. For example, at Lyons, "The Asylums having been deprived
of sisters of charity during years II., III. and IV., and most of
year V., the children gathered into them could neither be fed nor
suckled and the number that perished was frightful." ("Statistique du
Rhone," by Vernier, prefet, year X.) - In Necker's time, there were
about eight hundred asylums, hospitals and charitable institutions,
with one hundred thousand or one hundred and ten thousand inmates.
(Peuchet, ibid., 256.) For lack of care and food they die in myriads,
especially foundlings, the number of which increases enormously: in
1790, the figures do not exceed 23,000; in year IX., the number
surpasses 62,000, (Peuchet, 260): "It is a 'perfect deluge,' " say the
reports; in the department of Aisne, there are 1,097 instead of 400;
in that of Lot-et-Garonne, fifteen hundred, (Statistiques des préfets
de l'Aisne, Gers, Lot-et-Garonne), and they are born only to die. In
that of Eure, after a few months, it is six out of seven; at Lyons,
792 out of 820; (Statistique des Prefets du Rhone et de l'Eure). At
Marseilles, it is ´600 out of 618; at Toulon, 101 out of 104; in the
average, 19 out of 20. (Rocquam, "Etat de France au 18e Brumaire,"
p.33. Report of François de Nantes.) At Troyes, out of 164 brought in
in year IV., 134 die; out of 147 received in year VII., 136 die.
(Albert Babeau, II., 452.) At Paris, in year IV., out of 3,122 infants
received 2,907 perish. (Moniteur, year V., No. 231.) - The sick
perish the same. "At Toulon, only seven pounds of meat are given each
day to eighty patients; I saw in the civil Asylum," says François de
Nantes, "a woman who had just undergone a surgical operation to whom
they gave for a restorative a dozen beans on a wooden platter."
(Ibid., 16, 31, and passim, especially for Bordeaux, Caen, Alençon,
St. Lô, etc.) - As to beggars, these are innumerable: in year IX., it
is estimated that there are 3 or 4,000 by department, at least 300,000
in France. "In the four Brittany departments one can truly say that a
third of the population live at the expense of the other two-thirds,
either by stealing from them or through compelling assistance."
(Rocquain, "Report by Barbé-Marbois," p.93.)

3rd. In year IX., the Consells-generaux are called upon to ascertain
whether the departments have increased or diminished in population
since 1789. ("Analyse des procés-verbaux des Conseils-Generaux de
l'an XI." In four volumes.) Out of 58 which reply, 37 state that the
population with them has diminished; 12, that it has increased; 9,
that it remains stationary. Of the 22 others, 13 attribute the
maintenance or increase of population, at least for the most part, to
the multiplication of early marriages in order to avoid conscription
and to the large number of natural children. - Consequently, the
average rate of population is kept up not through preserving life, but
through the substitution of new lives for the old ones that are
sacrificed. Bordeaux, nevertheless, lost one-tenth of its population,
Angers one-eighth, Pau one-seventh, Chambery one-fourth, Rennes one-
third. In the departments where the civil-war was carried on,
Argenton-Château lost two-thirds of its population, Bressuire fell
from 3,000 to 630 inhabitants; Lyons, after the siege, fell from a
population of 140,000 thousand to 80,000. ("Analyse des procés-
verbaux des Conseils-Generaux" and Statistiques des Prefets.")

[152] Lareveillère-Lepeaux, "Mémoires. " I, 248. (He belongs to the
Committee and is an eye-witness.)

BOOK FIFTH. The End of the Revolutionary Government.


I. The Convention.

The Convention after Thermidor 9. - Reaction against the Terrorists.
- Aversion to the Constitutionalists. - The danger they run if they
lose power.

Nevertheless they too, these glutted sovereigns, are anxious, and very
much so, we have just seen why; it's a question of remaining in office
in order to remain alive, and henceforth this is their sole concern.
- A good Jacobin, up to the 9th of Thermidor, could, by shutting his
eyes, still believe in his creed.[1] After the 9th of Thermidor,
unless born blind, like Soubrany, Romme and Goujon, a fanatic whose
intellectual organs are as rigid as the limbs of a fakir, nobody in
the Convention can any longer believe in the Contrat-Social, in a
despotic equalizing socialism, in the merits of Terror, in the divine
right of the pure. For, to escape the guillotine of the pure, the
purest had to be guillotined, Saint-Just, Couthon and Robespierre, the
high-priest of the sect. That very day the "Montagnards," in giving
up their doctor, abandoned their principles, and there is no longer
any principle or man to which the Convention could rally. In effect,
before guillotining Robespierre and his associates as orthodox, it
guillotined the Girondins, Hébert and Danton, as heretics. Now, "the
existence of popular idols and of head charlatans is irrevocably
ended."[2] Ever the same conventional symbol before the empty
sanctuary in the blood-stained temple, and ever the same loud-intoned
anthem; but faith is gone, and only the acolytes remain to drone out
the revolutionary litany, old train-bearers and swingers of incense,
the subaltern butchers who, through a sudden stroke, have become
pontiffs; in short, the valets of the church who have donned the
mitres and croziers of their masters after having assassinated them.

From month to month, under the pressure of public opinion, they detach
themselves from the worship at which they have officiated, for,
however blunted or perverted their consciences, they cannot avoid
admitting that Jacobinism, as they have practiced it, was the religion
of robbery and murder. Previous to Thermidor an official
phraseology[3] drowned with its doctrinal roar the living truth, while
each Conventional sacristan or beadle, confined to his own chapel, saw
clearly only the human sacrifices in which he himself had taken part.
After Thermidor, the friends and kindred of the dead, the oppressed,
make their voices heard, and he is forced to see collectively and in
detail all the crimes to which, nearly or remotely, he has contributed
either through his assent or through his vote, the same as in Mexico,
the priest of Huichilobos walks about in the midst of the six hundred
thousand skulls amassed in the vaults of his temple. - In quick
succession, during the whole of year III., through the freedom of the
press and the great public discussions, the truth becomes known.
First, comes an account of the funereal journey of one hundred and
thirty-two Nantese, dragged from Nantes to Paris,[4] and the solemn
acquittal, received with transports, of the ninety-four who survive.
After this, come the trials of the most prominent terrorists, that of
Carrier and the Revolutionary Committee of Nantes, that of Fouquier-
Tinville and the old revolutionary Tribunal of Paris, that of Joseph
Lebon,[5] and, during thirty or forty consecutive sessions, hundreds
of minute, verified depositions ending in the most complete and
satisfactory testimony. - In the mean time, revelations multiply at
the tribune of the Convention; these consist of the letters of the new
representatives on mission and the denunciations of the towns against
their overthrown tyrants; against Maignet, Dartigoyte, Piochefer-
Bernard, Levasseur, Crassous, Javogues, Lequinio, Lefiot, Piorry,
Pinet, Monestier, Fouché, Laplanche, Lecarpentier, and many others.
Add to these the reports of commissions charged with examining into
the conduct of old dictators, Collot d'Herbois, Billaud-Varennes,
Barère, Amar, Vouland, Vadier and David, the reports of the
representatives charged with investigating certain details of the
abolished system, that of Grégoire on revolutionary vandalism, that of
Cambon on revolutionary taxes, that of Courtois on Robespierre's
papers. - All these rays combine in a terrible illumination which
imposes itself even on the eyes that turn away from it: It is now but
too plain that France, for fourteen months, has been devastated by a
gang of bandits. All that can be said in favor of the least perverted
and the least vile is that they were born so, or had become crazy.[6]
- The majority of the Convention cannot evade this growing testimony
and the Montagnards excite its horror; and all the more, because it
bears them a grudge: the 73 who were imprisoned and the sixteen who
were proscribed have resumed their seats, the 400 silent who have for
so long held their seats under the knife, remember the oppression to
which they have been subject. They now recover and turn first against
the most tainted scoundrels, and then against the members of the old
committees. - Whereupon the "Mountain," as was its custom, launches
its customary supporters, the starved populace, the Jacobin rabble, in
the riots of Germinal and Prairial, in year III., and proclaims anew
the reign of Terror; the Convention again sees the knife over its
head. Saved by young men, by the National Guard, it becomes
courageous through fear, and, in its turn, it terrorizes the
terrorists. The Faubourg Saint-Antoine is disarmed, ten thousand
Jacobins are arrested,[7] and more than sixty Montagnards are decreed
under indictment; Collot, Billaud, Barère and Vadier are to be
deported; nine other members of former committees are to be
imprisoned. The last of the veritable fanatics, Romme, Goujon,
Soubrany, Duquesnoy, Bourbotte and Duroy are condemned to death,
Immediately after the sentence five of them stab themselves on the
stairs of the tribunal; two of the wounded who survive are borne,
along with the sixth, to the scaffold and guillotined. Two
Montagnards of the same stamp, Rhul and Maure, kill themselves before
their sentence. - Henceforth the purged Convention regards itself
as pure; its final rigor has expiated its former baseness, the guilty
blood which it spills washing away the stains of the innocent blood it
had shed before.

Unfortunately, in condemning the terrorists, it pronounced its own
condemnation; for it has authorized and sanctioned all their crimes.
On its benches, in its committees, often in the president's chair, at
the head of the ruling coterie, still figure the members of the
revolutionary government, many of the avowed terrorists like Bourdon
de l'Oise, Bentabolle, Delmas, and Reubell; presidents of the
September commune like Marie Chénier; those who carried out "the 31st
of May," like Legendre and Merlin de Douai, author of the decree which
created six hundred thousand suspects in France; provincial
executioners of the most brutal and most ferocious sort, the greatest
and most cynical robbers like André Dumont, Fréron, Tallien and
Barras. Under Robespierre, the four hundred mutes "du ventre" were
the reporters, the voters, the claqueurs, and the agents of the worst
decrees against religion, property and persons. The foundations of
Terror were all laid by the seventy-three in confinement before they
were imprisoned, and by the sixteen who were proscribed before their
proscription. Excepting ten or a dozen who stayed away, the
Convention, in a mass, pronounced judgment against the King and
declared him guilty; more than one-half of the Convention, the
Girondists at the head of them, voted his death. The hall does not
contain fifty honorable men in whom character sustains conscience, and
who had a right to carry their heads erect.[8] In no law they
passed, good or bad, did the other seven hundred have in view the
interests of their constituents. In all their laws, good or bad, they
solely regarded their own interests. So long as the attacks of the
"Mountain" and of the rabble affected the public only, they lauded
them, decreed them and had them executed. If they finally rebelled
against the "Mountain," and against the rabble, it was at the last
moment, and solely to save their lives. Before, as after the 9th of
Thermidor, before, as after the 1st of Prairial, the incentives of the
conduct of these pusillanimous oppressors or involuntary liberators
were baseness and egoism. Hence, "the contempt and horror universally
poured out against them; only Jacobins could be still more odious!"[9]
If further support is given to these faithless mandatories, it is
because they are soon to be put out. On the premature report that the
Convention is going to break up, people accost each other in the
street, exclaiming, "We are rid of these brigands, they are going at
last . . . People caper and dance about as if they could not
repress their joy; they talk of nothing but the boy, (Louis XVIII.
confined in the Temple), and the new elections. Everybody agrees on
excluding the present deputies . . . . There is less discussion on
the crimes which each has committed than on the insignificance of the
entire assemblage, while the epithets of vicious, used up and corrupt
have almost wholly given way to thieves and scoundrels."[10] Even in
Paris, during the closing months of their rule, they hardly dare
appear in public: "in the dirtiest and most careless costume which the
tricolor scarf and gold fringe makes more apparent, they try to escape
notice in the crowd[11] and, in spite of their modesty, do not always
avoid insult and still less the maledictions of those who pass them."
- In the provinces, at home, it would be worse for them; their lives
would be in danger; in any event, they would be dragged through the
gutter, and this they know. Save about "twenty of them," all who are
not to succeed in entering the new Corps Legislatif, will intrigue for
offices in Paris and become "state messengers, employees in bureaux,
and ushers to ministers;" in default of other places they would accept
those of "hall-sweeps." Any refuge for them is good against the
reprobation of the public, which is already rising and submerging them
under its tide.

II. Re-election of the Two-thirds.

Decrees for the re-election of the Two-thirds. - Small number of
Voters. - Maneuvers for preventing electors from voting on the
decrees. - Frauds in the returns of votes. - Maintenance of the
decrees by force. - Recruiting of the Roughs. - The military
employed. - The 13th of Vendémaire.

There is no other refuge for them except in supreme power, and no
other means for maintaining this but in the excesses of despotism,
dishonesty, mendacity and violence. In the Constitution they
manufacture, they desire to remain the sovereigns of France and they
decree[12] at once that, willingly or not, France must select two-
thirds of its new representatives from amongst them, and, that she may
make a good selection, it is prudent to impose the selection upon her.
There is a show, indeed, of consulting her in the special decrees
which deprive her of two-thirds of her elective rights but, as in 1792
and in 1793, it is so contrived that she consents, or seems to
consent, to this arrangement.[13] - In the first place, they relied on
the majority of electors abstaining from a response. Experience
indeed, had shown that, for a long time, the masses were disgusted
with the plebiscite farces; moreover, terror has stifled in
individuals all sentiment of a common interest;[14] each cares for
himself alone. Since Thermidor, electors and mayors in the boroughs
and in the rural districts are found with a good deal of difficulty,
even electors of the second degree; people saw that it was useless and
even dangerous to perform the duties of a citizen; they would have
nothing to do with public functions. A foreigner writes,[15] after
traversing France from Bourg-en-Bresse to Paris: "Ninety times out of
a hundred that I have asked the question,

'Citizen, what was done in the primary meeting of your canton?'

the answer would be:

'Me, citizen, what have I to do with it? I' faith, they had hard work
to agree!'


'What's the use? There were not many there! Honest folks stayed at

In fact, out of at least six million electors convoked, five millions
do not come near the ballot-box, there being no embarrassment in this
matter as they do not vote.[16]

In the second place, precautions have been taken to prevent those who
come to vote on the Constitution from entertaining the idea of voting
on the decrees. No article of the Constitution, nor in the decrees,
calls upon them to do so; slight inducement is held out to them to
come, in a vague style, through an oratorical interrogation, or in a
tardy address.[17] - In addition to this, on the printed blanks sent
to them from Paris, they find but three columns, one for the number of
votes accepting the Constitution, another for the number rejecting it,
and the third for "written observations" in case there are any. There
are no special columns for marking the number of votes accepting or
rejecting the decrees. Thereupon, many illiterate or ill-informed
electors might think that they were convoked to vote solely on the
Constitution and not at all on the decrees, which is just what
happened, and especially in the remote departments, and in the rural
assemblies. Moreover, many assemblies, nearer Paris and in the towns,
comprehend that if the Convention consults them it is only for form's
sake; to give a negative answer is useless and perilous; it is better
to keep silent; as soon as the decrees are mentioned they very
prudently "unanimously" demand the order of the day.[18] Hence out of
five primary assemblies on the average which vote for or against the
Constitution, there is only one which votes for or against the
decrees.[19] - Such is the mode of getting at the voice of the
nation. Apparently, it is induced to speak; in practice, its silence
is ensured.

The last and most ingenious expedient of all: when a primary assembly
speaks too loudly it is taken for granted that it kept silent. In
Paris, where the electors are more clear sighted and more decided than
in the provinces, in eighteen well-known departments, and probably in
many others, the electors who voted on the decrees almost all voted
against them; in many cases, even their minutes state that the
negative vote was "unanimous," but the minutes fail to state the exact
number of the noes. On this, in the total of noes hostile to the
decrees, these noes are not counted.[20] Through this trickery, the
Convention, in Paris alone, reduced the number of negatives by 50,000
and the same in the provinces, after the fashion of a dishonest
steward who, obliged to hand in an account, falsifies the figures by
substituting subtractions for additions.-Such is the way, in relation
to the decrees, in which, out of the 300,000 votes which it accepts,
it is able to announce 200,000 yeas and 100,000 noes and thus proclaim
that its master, the sovereign people, after giving it a general
acquittance, a discharge in full, invests it anew with its confidence
and expressly continues its mandate.

It now remains to keep by force this power usurped by fraud. -
Immediately after the suppression of the Jacobin riots the Convention,
menaced on the right, turns over to the left; it requires allies,
persons of executive ability. It takes them wherever it can find
them, from the faction which decimated it before Thermidor and which,
since Thermidor, it decimates. Consequently, its executive committee
suspends all proceedings begun against the principal "Montagnards ;" a
number of terrorists, former presidents of the sections, "the matadors
of the quarter," arrested after Prairial 1, are set free at the end of
a month. They have good arms, are accustomed to vigorous striking
without giving warning, especially when honest folks are to be knocked
down or ripped open. The stronger public opinion is against the
government the more does the government rely on men with bludgeons and
pikes, on the strikers " turned out of the primary assemblies," on the
heroes of September 2 and May 31, dangerous nomads, inmates of
Bicêtre, paid assassins out of employment, and roughs of the Quinze-
Vingts and faubourg Saint- Antoine.[21] Finally on the 11th of
Vendémiaire, it gathers together fifteen or eighteen hundred of them
and arms them in battalions.[22] Such brigands are they, that Menon,
"major-general of the army of the interior and commandant of the armed
force of Paris," comes the next day with several of his staff-officers
and tells the Committee of Five that he "will not have such bandits in
his army nor under his orders". "I will not march with a lot of
rascals and assassins organized in battalions "under the name of
"patriots of '89." Indeed, the true patriots of '89 are on the other
side, the constitutionalists of 1791, sincere liberals, "forty
thousand proprietors and merchants," the elite and mass of the
Parisian population,[23] "the majority of men really interested in
public matters," and at this moment, the common welfare is all that
concerns them. Republic or royalty is merely a secondary thought, an
idea in the back-ground; nobody dreams of restoring the ancient
régime; but very few are preoccupied with the restoration of a limited
monarchy.[24] "On asking those most in earnest what government they
would like in place of the Convention, they reply 'We want that no
longer, we want nothing belonging to it; we want the Republic and
honest people for our rulers.'"[25] - That is all; their upraisal is
not a political insurrection against the form of the government, but a
moral insurrection against the criminals in office. Hence, on seeing
the Convention arm their old executioners, "the tigers" of the Reign
of Terror, admitted malefactors, against them, they cannot contain
themselves.[26] "That day," says a foreigner, who visited many public
places in Paris, "I saw everywhere the deepest despair, the greatest
expression of rage and fury. . . . Without that unfortunate order
the insurrection would probably not have broken out." If they take up
arms it is because they are brought back under the pikes of the
Septembriseurs, and under Robespierre's axe. - But they are only
national guards; most of them have no guns;[27] they are in want of
gunpowder, those who have any having only five or six charges ; "the
great majority do not think of fighting;" they imagine that "their
presence is merely needed to enforce a petition;" they have no
artillery, no positive leader; it is simply excitement, precipitation,
disorder and mistaken maneuvers.[28] On the contrary, on the side of
the Convention, with Henriot's old bullies, there are eight or nine
thousand regular troops, and Bonaparte; his cannon, which rake the rue
Saint Honoré and the Quai Voltaire, mow down five or six hundred
sectionists. The rest disperse, and henceforth the check-mated
Parisians are not to take up their guns against the Jacobin faction
whatever it does.

III. A Directory of Regicides.

The Directory chosen among the regicides. - --It selects agents of
its own species. - Leading Jacobins are deprived of their civic
rights. - The Terrorists are set free and restored to their civic
rights. - Example at Blois of these releases and of the new
administrative staff.

Supreme authority is now once more in the hands of the revolutionary
band. - In conformity with its decrees of Fructidor, it first obliges
electors to take two-thirds of their new representatives from the
Convention. And as, notwithstanding its decrees, the electoral
assemblies have not re-elected a sufficient number of the
Conventionalists, it nominates itself, from a list prepared by its
Committee of Public Safety, the one hundred and four which are
lacking: In this way, both in the council of the Five Hundred, as well
as in the council of the Ancients, it secures a clear majority in both
the houses of the Legislative Corps. In the executive branch, in the
Directory, it assures itself of unanimity. The Five Hundred, by
adroitly preparing the lists, impose their candidates on the Ancients,
selecting the five names beforehand: Barras, La Révellière de Lépeaux,
Reubell, Letourneur and Siéyès, and then, on Siéyès refusing, Carnot.
All of them are regicides and, under this terrible qualification,
bound at the risk of their heads, to maintain the regicide faction in
power. - Naturally the Directory chooses its agents from among their
own people,[29] their ministers and the employees of their
departments, ambassadors and consuls, officers of all ranks,
collectors of taxes direct and indirect, administrators of the
national domains, commissioners of civil and Criminal courts, and the
commissioners of the departmental and municipal administrations.
Again, having the right to suspend and dismiss all elected
administrative bodies, it exercises this right. If the local
authorities of any town, canton, or department seem to be anti-
Jacobin, it sets them aside and, either on its own authority, or with
the assent of the Legislative Corps, replaces them with Jacobins on
the spot.[30] In other respects, the Convention has done its best to
relieve its clients of their principal adversaries and most popular
rivals. The night before its dissolution, it excluded from every "
legislative, municipal, administrative and judicial function,"[31]
even that of juryman, not only the individuals who, rightly or
wrongly, had been put on a list of émigrés and not yet stricken off,
but likewise their fathers, sons and grandsons, brothers and brothers-
in-law, their connections of the same degree, uncles and nephews. In
all, probably two or three hundred thousand Frenchmen, nearly the
whole of the élite of the nation. To this it adds the rest of this
élite, all the honest and energetic who, in the late primary or
electoral assemblies have "provoked or signed" any manifestation
against its despotism; if still in office they are to resign within
twenty-four hours, or be sent into perpetual exile. - Through this
legal incapacity of the anti-Jacobins, the field is free to the
Jacobins. In many places, for lack of candidates that please them,
most of the electors stay away from the polls; besides this, the
terrorists resort to their old system, that is to say to brutal
violence.[32] On again obtaining the support of the government they
have raised their heads and are now the titular favorites. The
Convention has restored to them the civic rights of which they had
deprived their adversaries: "every decree of indictment or arrest"
rendered against them, "every warrant executed or not, all proceedings
and suits" begun, every sentence bearing on their revolutionary acts,
is cancelled. The most "atrocious" Montagnards, the most sanguinary
and foul proconsuls, Dartigoyte and Piochefer-Bernard, Darthé, Lebon's
secretary, Rossignol the great September massacrer, the presidents of
former revolutionary committees, "patriotic robbers, seal-breakers"
and garroters, brazenly promenade the streets of Paris.[33] Barère
himself, who, condemned to transportation, universally execrated as he
traverses France, and who, everywhere on his journey, at Orleans,
Tours, Poitiers, Niort, comes near being torn to pieces by the people,
Barère is not sent off to Guienne; he is allowed to escape, to conceal
himself and live tranquilly at Bordeaux. Furthermore,
Conventionalists of the worst species, like Monestier and Foussedoire
return to their natal department to govern it as government

Consider the effect of these releases and of these appointments in a
town which, like Blois, has seen the assassins at work, and which, for
two months, follows their trial.[34] - Seven of them, members of the
Revolutionary Committee, commanders of the armed force, members of the
district or department, national agents in Indre-et-Loire, charged
with conducting or receiving a column of eight hundred laborers,
peasant women, priests and "suspects," cause nearly six hundred of
them to be shot, sabered, drowned or knocked down on the road, not in
self-defense or to prevent escape, for these poor creatures tied two
and two marched along like sheep without a murmur, but to set a good
revolutionary example, so as to keep the people in proper subjection
by terror and enable them to line their pockets.[35] A minute
investigation has unfolded before the judges, jury and public of Blois
a long series of authentic facts and proofs, with eight days of
pleading and the most complete and glaring evidence; the sentence is
about to be pronounced. Suddenly, two weeks before Vendémiaire 13, a
decree annuls the proceedings, which have already cost over 600,000
livres, and orders a new trial in another form. Next, after
Vendémiaire 13, a representative arrives at Blois and his first care
is to set the butchers free. - About thirty knaves ruled the town
during the reign of Terror, all strangers, save four or five, "all
more or less befouled with crime." At first, the principal

* Hézine, Gidouin, and their accomplices of the neighboring districts,

* Simon and Bonneau the ex-mayor of Blois,

* Bézard, a former soldier, convicted of peculation and of robbing
cellars which he had put under sequestration,

* Berger, an ex-monk, and then dragoon who, with pistol in hand,
forced the superior of his old convent to give up the funds of the

* Giot, formerly a chief-butler of Monsieur (the King's brother),
next, a judge in the September massacres and then a quartermaster in
the Pyrenees army and a pillager in Spain, then secretary to the Melun
tribunal of which he stole the cash, along with other nomads and
outlaws of the same stamp, most of them sots and roisterers, one an
ex-schoolmaster, another an ex-ladies hair-dresser, another an ex-
chair-bearer; all of them a vile lot, chosen by the government for its
agents, and, under new titles, resuming their old positions. At the
head of the armed force is Gen. Bonnard, who is accompanied by a
prostitute and who passes his time in orgies, pilfering wherever he
can, and so shameless in his thievery as to be condemned, six months
later, to three months in irons.[36] On arriving at Blois, he
organizes "a paid guard, composed of all the most abject Jacobins." -
Elsewhere, as here,[37] it is the full staff of the reign of Terror,
the petty potentates dethroned after Thermidor, the political
Bohemians restored to their functions.

IV. Public Opinon.

Resistance of public opinion. - Elections, year IV. at Paris and in
the provinces. - The Directory threatened by ultra Jacobins. -
Forced amelioration of the Jacobin administration.

So, that after Vendémiaire 13, it looks as if the Jacobin band had
made the conquest of France a second time. This, however not yet so,
for, if it has recovered its authority, it has not yet recovered the
dictatorship. - In vain do Barras and Tallien, Dubois-Crancé, Merlin
de Douai and Marie Chénier, Delmas, Louvet, Siéyès and their corrupt
gang, the habitués of power, the despotic, unscrupulous theorists, try
to postpone indefinitely the opening of the legislative bodies, to
annul the elections, to purge the Convention, to restore for their own
advantage that total concentration of powers which, under the title of
revolutionary government, has converted France into a pachalic[38] in
the hands of the old Committee of Public Safety.[39] But the
Convention has become frightened for its own safety; at the last
moment the plot is exposed, and the blow frustrated.[40] The
Constitution, decreed, is put in operation, and a system of the law
has replaced the system of arbitrariness. The Jacobin invasion,
through that alone, is checked and then arrested. The nation is in a
condition to defend itself and does defend itself. It gradually
regains lost ground, even at the center. - At Paris, the electoral
body,[41] which is obliged to take two-thirds of its deputies from the
Convention, takes none of the regicide deputation representing Paris.
All who are chosen, Lanjuinais, Larivière, Fermon, Saladin, Boissy
d'Anglas, wished to save the King, and nearly all were proscribed
after the 31st May. The departments show the same spirit. The
members of the Convention for whom the provinces show a decided
preference are the most prominent of the anti-Jacobins: Thibaudeau is
re-elected by 32 electoral colleges, Pelet de la Lozére by 71, Boissy
d'Anglas by 72, Lanjuinais by 73. As to the 250 of the new third,
these are liberals of 1789 or moderates of 1791,[42] most of them
honorable men and many of them well-informed and of real merit,
jurisconsults, officers, administrators, members of the Constitutional
Assembly or Feuillants in the Legislative Assembly, Mathieu Dumas,
Vaublanc, Dupont de Nemours, Siméon, Barbé-Marbois and Tronçon-
Ducoudray. The capital, especially, chose Dambray, former general-
advocate to the Paris parliament, and Pastoret, former minister of
Louis XVI.. Versailles sends the two celebrated lawyers who defended
the King before the Convention, Tronchet and De Séze. - Now, previous
to the 13th Vendémiaire, two hundred members of the Convention had
already heartily sided with the Parisian electors[43] against the
terrorists. This creates a strong opposition minority inside the
Legislative Corps which function protected by the Constitution.
Hidden behind it and behind them, the élite and the plurality of
Frenchmen wait for better days. The Directory is obliged to act
cautiously with this large group, so well supported by public opinion,
and, accordingly, not to govern à la Turk. So they respect, if not
the spirit, at least the letter of the law, and not to exercise a too
barefaced influence on local elections. Hence most of the local
elections remain free, so that the nation,

* in spite of the decree excluding every relation of an émigré and
every notorious opponent of the government from present and future

* in spite of fear, lassitude and disgust,

* in spite of the small number of votes, the rarity of candidates and
the frequent refusal of the elected to serve,[44]

substantially exercises its privilege of electing its administrators
and judges according to its preferences. Consequently, the very large
majority of new administrators in the departments, cantons and
municipalities, and the very large majority of new civil and criminal
judges and justices of the peace are, like the new third of the
Convention, highly esteemed or estimable men. They are untainted with
excesses, still preserving their hopes of 1789, but preserved from the
outset against, or soon cured of, the revolutionary fever. Every
decree of spoliation or persecution loses some of its force in their
hands. Supported by the steady and manifest will of their present
constituents, we see them resisting the commissioners of the
Directory, at least protesting against their exactions and brutality,
gaining time in favor of the proscribed, dulling the point of, or
turning aside, the Jacobin sword.

Again, on the other hand, the government which holds this sword dare
not, like the Committee of Public Safety, thrust it in up to the hilt.
If wielded as before it might slip from its grasp. The furious in its
own camp are ready to wrest it away and turn the blade against it. It
must defend itself against the reviving clubs, against Babeuf and his
accomplices, against the desperadoes who, through a nocturnal attempt,
try to stir up the Grenelle camp: in Paris, there are four or five
thousand now ready to undertake a "civic St. Bartholomew," with the
old Conventionists who could not get themselves elected, at their
head, - Drouet, Amar, Vadier, Ricord, Laignelot, Chaudieu, Huguet,
Cusset, Javogues. Alongside of them, the friends of Chalier,
Robespierre's and Marat's followers, and the disciples of Saint-Just,
Bertrand de Lyon, Buonarotti, Antonelle, Rossignol and Babeuf. Behind
them, the bandits of the street, those "who gutted houses during the
Revolution," peculators or Septembriseurs out of employment, in short,
the relics of the terrorist gang or of the revolutionary army. Their
plan, true to their precedents, character and principles, consists not
only in despatching "the rascals who keep coaches, the moneyed men and
monopolisers," all the deputies and functionaries who do not resign at
the first summons, but also, and especially, in killing "the General
of the Interior, his staff, the seven ministers and the five 'cocked-
hats' (panachés) of the Luxembourg," that is to say, the five
Directors themselves. Such allies are troublesome. Undoubtedly, the
government, which considers them as its forlorn hope, and that it may
have need of them in a crisis, spares them as much as possible.[45]
It allows Drouet to escape, and lets the trial of the Babouvists drag
along, only two of them being guillotined, Babeuf and Darthé; most of
the others are acquitted or escape. Nevertheless, for its own
salvation, it is led to separate from the fiercest Jacobins and draw
near to peaceable citizens.--Through this internal discord of the
ruling faction, honest people hold on the offices they occupy on the
elections of the year IV.. No decree comes to deprive them of their
legal arms, while, in the Legislative Corps, as in the administrations
and the tribunals, they count on carrying new positions in the
elections of the year V.

V. Actual aim of Jacobin Activities: Power and Wealth.

Elections of year V. - Character and sentiments of the elected. -
The new majority in the Corps Legislatif. - Its principles and
program. - Danger and anxiety of the Jacobin minority. - Indecision,
division, scruples and weakness of the moderate party. - Decision,
want of scruples, force and modes of procedure of the Jacobin faction.
- The 18th of Fructidor. -

"It was a long time," writes a small trader of Evreux, "since so many
people were seen at the elections.[46]. . . . The eight electors
for the town obtained at the first ballot the absolute majority of
suffrages. . . . Everybody went to the polls so as to prevent the
nomination of any elector among the terrorists, who had declared that
their reign was going to return." - In the environs of Blois, a rural
proprietor, the most circumspect and most peaceable of men, notes in
his journal[47]that " now is the time to take a personal interest. .
. . Every sound-thinking man has promised not to refuse any office
tendered to him so as to keep out the Jacobins. . . . . It is
reasonably hoped that the largest number of the electors will not be
terrorists and that the majority of the Legislative Corps being all
right, the minority of the furious, who have only one more year of
office, will give way (in 1798) to men of probity not steeped in
crime. . . . In the country, the Jacobins have tried in vain:
people of means who employed a portion of the voters, obtained their
suffrages, every proprietor wishing to have order. . . . The
Moderates have agreed to vote for no matter what candidate, provided
he is not a Jacobin. . . . Out of two hundred and thirty electors
for the department, one hundred and fifty are honest and upright
people. . . . . They adhered to the last Constitution as to their
sole palladium, only a very few of them dreaming of re-establishing
the ancient régime." Their object is plain enough; they are for the
Constitution against the Revolution, for limited power against
discretionary power, for property against robbery, for upright men
against thieves. - "Would you prevent, say the administrative
authorities of Aube,[48] a return to the disastrous laws of the
maximum, of monopolies, to the resurrection of paper-money? . . .
Would you, as the price of a blameless life, be once more humiliated,
robbed, imprisoned, tortured by the vilest, most repulsive and most
shameless of tyrants? You have only one recourse: do not fail to go to
your primary assemblies and remain there." The electors, warned by
their late personal and bloody souvenirs, rush to the polls in crowds
and vote according to their consciences, although the government
through the oaths it imposes, its official candidatures, its special
commissioners, its intimidation and its money, bears down with all its
weight on the resolutions they have taken. Although the Jacobins at
Nevers, Mâcon and elsewhere, have forcibly expelled officers legally
elected from their bureaux, and stained the hall with their blood,[49]
"out of 84 departments 66 elected a plurality of electors from among
the anti-republicans, eight being neither good nor bad, while only ten
remained loyal to the Jacobins."[50] - Appointed by such electors, we
can divine what the new Third will be. "Of the 250 Conventionalists
excluded by the draw scarcely five or six have been re-elected; there
are but eight departments in which the Jacobins have had any success.
"-Immediately after the arrival of the new representatives, the roll
of the Legislative Corps having been checked off, it is found that
"the Government has 70 out of 250 votes among the Ancients, and 200
out of 500 among the Council of the Young," and soon less than 200 in
this Council,[51] 130 at the most, who will certainly be excluded at
the coming renewal of the chambers in elections which are becoming
more and more anti-Jacobin. One year more, as the rulers themselves
admit, and not one Conventionalist, not one pure Jacobin, will sit in
the Legislative Corps. Consequently, according to the
revolutionaries, the counter-revolution will have taken place in the
year VI.

This means that the Revolution is to end in the year VI., and that the
pacific reign of law will be substituted for the brutal reign of
force. In fact, the great majority of the representatives and almost
the entire French nation have no other end in view: they wish to rid
themselves of the social and civil régime to which they have been
subject since the 10th of August, 1792, and which, relaxed after
Thermidor 9, but renewed by the 13th of Vendémiaire, has lasted up to
the present time, through the enforcement of its most odious laws and
the maintenance of its most disreputable agents. This is all. - Not
twenty avowed or decided royalists could be found in the two
Councils.[52] There are scarcely more than five or six - Imbert-
Colomès, Pichegru, Willot, Delarne - who may be in correspondence with
Louis XVIII. and disposed to raise the royal flag. For the other
five hundred, the restoration of the legitimate King, or the
establishment of any royalty whatever, is only in the background; they
regard it only at a distance, as a possible accompaniment and remote
consequence of their present undertaking. In any event, they would
accept only "the mitigated monarchy,"[53] that which the Liberals of
1788 hoped for, that which Mounier demanded after the days of October
5 and 6, that advocated by Barnave after the return from Varennes,
that which Malouet, Gouverneur Morris, Mallet-Dupan and all good
observers and wise councillors of France, always recommended. None of
them propose to proclaim divine right and return to aristocratic
feudalism; each proposes to abrogate revolutionary right and destroy
Jacobin feudalism. The principle condemned by them is that which
sustains the theory of anarchy and despotism,

* the application of the Contrat Social,[54]

* a dictatorship established by coups détat, carried on arbitrarily
and supported by terror,

* the systematic and dogmatic persistence of assaults on persons,
property and consciences,

* the usurpation of a vicious, fanatical minority which has devastated
France for five years and, under the pretext of everywhere setting up
the rights of man, purposely maintaining a war to propagate its system

That which they are really averse to is the Directory and its clique,
Barras with his court of gorged contractors and kept women, Reubell
with his family of extortioners, stamp of a parvenu and ways of a
tavern keeper, La Révellière-Lepaux with his hunchback vanity,
philosophic pretensions, sectarian intolerance and silly airs of a
pedantic dupe. What they demand in the tribune,[55] is the
purification of the administration, the suppression of jobbery, an end
to persecution and, according as they are more or less excited or
circumspect, they demand legal sentences or simply the removal of
Jacobins in office, the immediate and entire suppression or partial
and careful reform of the laws against priests and worship, against
émigrés and the nobles.[56] -- Nobody has any idea of innovation with
respect to the distribution of public powers, or to the way of
appointing central or local authorities. " I swear on my honor,"
writes Mathieu Dumas, "that it has always been my intention to
maintain the Republican Constitution, persuaded as I am that, with a
temperate and equitable administration, it might give repose to
France, make liberty known and cherished, and repair in time the evils
of the Revolution. I swear that no proposals, direct or indirect,
have ever been made to me to serve, either by my actions, speech or
silence, or cause to prevail in any near or remote manner, any other
interest than that of the Republic and the Constitution." -- "Among
the deputies," says Camille Jordan, "several might prefer royalty; but
they did not conspire, regarding the Constitution as a deposit
entrusted to their honor . . They kept their most cherished plans
subordinate to the national will; they comprehended that royalty could
not be re-established without blows and through the development of
this bill." -- " Between ourselves," says again Barbé-Marbois, "there
were disagreements as to the way of getting along with the Directory,
but none at all as to the maintenance of the Constitution."[57]
Almost up to the last moment they confined themselves strictly to
their legal rights, and when, towards the end, they were disposed to
set these aside, it was simply to defend themselves against the
uplifted saber above their heads.[58] It is incontestable that their
leaders are "the most estimable and the ablest men in the
Republic,"[59] the only representatives of free suffrage, mature
opinions and long experience, the only ones at least in whose hands
the Republic, restored to order and justice, would have any chance of
becoming viable, in fact, the only liberals. And this is the reason
why the merely nominal Republicans were bound to crush them.

In effect, under a government which disavows attacks on persons and on
public or private property, not only is the Jacobin theory impossible,
but Jacobin wrongs are condemned. Now, the Jacobins, even if they
have abjured their principles, remember their acts. They become
alarmed on the arrival of the first Third, in October, 1795: "The
Conventionalists," writes one of the new deputies,[60] "look upon us
as men who will one day give them up to justice." After the entry of
the second Third, in May, 1797, their fright increased; the regicides,
especially, feel that "their safety depends only on an exclusive and
absolute dominion."[61] One day, Treilhard, one of their notables,
alone with Mathieu Dumas, says to this old Feuillant and friend of
Lafayette, of well known loyalty and moderation: "You are very honest
and very able men, and I believe that you really desire to maintain
the government as it is, because neither for you nor for us is there
any sure way of substituting another for it. But we Conventionalists
cannot allow you to go on; whether you mean it or not, you are
gradually leading us to our certain ruin; there is nothing in common
between us." -- "What guarantee do you then require?" -- "Only one.
After that, we'll do all you want - we'll let you relax the springs -
give us this guarantee and we'll follow you blindly! -- "Well, what do
you mean by that?" -

"Enter the tribune and declare that if you had been a member of the
Convention, you would have voted the death of Louis XVI. as we did!"

"You demand an impossibility. You would not do this in our place.
You sacrifice France to vain terrors." -

"No, the risk is not equal; our heads are at stake!"

Their heads, perhaps, - but certainly their power, places, fortunes,
comforts and pleasures, all that in their eyes makes it worth while to
live. - Every morning, seventy Paris newspapers and as many local
gazettes in the large towns of the provinces expose, with supporting
documents, details and figures, not merely their former crimes, but,
again, their actual corruption, their sudden opulence founded on
prevarication and rapine, their bribes and peculations -

* one, rewarded with a sumptuously furnished mansion by a company of
grateful contractors;

* another, son of a bailiwick attorney and a would-be Carthusian, now
possessor of ecclesiastical property, restored by him at a great
outlay for hunting-grounds; another also monopolizes the finest land
in Seine-et-Oise;

* another, the improvised owner of four chateaux;

* another, who has feathered his nest with fifteen or eighteen

With their loose or arbitrary ways of doing things, their habits as
hoarders or spendthrifts, their display and effrontery, their
dissipations, their courtiers and their prostitutes. How can they
renounce all this? - And all the more because this is all they have.
These jaded consciences are wholly indifferent to abstract principles,
to popular sovereignty, to the common weal, to public security; the
thin and brittle coating of sonorous phrases under which they formerly
tried to hide the selfishness and perversity of their lusts, scales
off and falls to the ground. They themselves confess that it is not
the Republic for which they are concerned, but for themselves above
everything else, and for themselves alone. So much the worse for the
Republic if its interest is opposed to their interest; as Siéyès will
soon express it, the object is not to save the Revolution but the
revolutionaries. - Thus disabused, unscrupulous, knowing that they
are staking their all, and resolute, like their colleagues of August
10, September 2 and May31 and like the Committee of Public Safety,
they are determined to win, no matter at what cost or by what means.

For this time again, the Moderates do not want to comprehend that the
war has been declared, and that it is war to the knife. They do not
agree amongst themselves; they want to gain time, they hesitate and
take refuge in constitutional forms - they do not act. The strong
measures which the eighty decided and clear-sighted deputies propose,
are weakened or suspended by the precautions of the three hundred
others, short-sighted, unreliable or timid.[63] They dare not even
avail themselves of their legal arms:

* annul the military division of the interior,

* suppress Augereau's commission,

* and break the sword presented at their throats by the three
conspiring Directors.

In the Directory, they have only passive or neutral allies,
Barthélémy, who had rather be assassinated than murder, Carnot, the
servant of his legal pass-word, fearing to risk his Republic, and,
moreover, calling to mind that he had voted for the King's death.
Among the "Five Hundred" and the "Ancients," Thibaudeau and Tronçon-
Ducoudray, the two leaders "du ventre," arrest the arms of Pichegru
and other energetic men, prevent them from striking, allow them only
to ward off the blow, and always too late. Three days after the 10th
of Fructidor, when, as everybody knew and saw, the final blow was to
be struck, the eighty deputies, who change their quarters so as not to
be seized in their beds, cannot yet make up their minds to take the
offensive. On that day, an eye-witness[64] came to Mathieu Dumas and
told him that, the evening before, in Barras' house, they discussed
the slaughter or transportation to Cayenne of about forty members of
the two Councils, and that the second measure was adopted. On which a
commandant of the National Guard, having led Dumas at night into the
Tuileries garden, showed him his men concealed behind the trees, armed
and ready to march at the first signal. He is to possess himself at
once of the Luxembourg (palace)[65] which is badly guarded, and put an
end to Barras and Reubell on the spot: in war one kills so as not to
be killed, and, when the enemy takes aim, you have the right to fire
without waiting. "Only," says the commandant, "promise me that you
will state in the tribune that you ordered this attack, and give me
your word of honor."[66] Mathieu Dumas refuses, simply because he is
a man of honor. "You were a fool," Napoleon afterwards said to him in
this connection, "you know nothing about revolutions." - In effect,
honor, loyalty, horror of blood, respect for the law, such are the
weak points of the party.

The opposite sentiments form the strong points of the other party. On
the side of the triumvirs nobody knows twinges of conscience, neither
Barras, a condottiere open to the highest bidder, and who understands
the value of blows, nor Reubell, a sort of bull, who, becoming
excited, sees red, nor Merlin de Douai, the terrible legist, lay
inquisitor and executioner in private.[67] As usual with the Jacobins,
these men have unsheathed the sword and brandished it. In contempt of
the constitution, they provoked discussions in the army and let the
Legislative Corps see that, if it did not yield, it would be put out
at the point of the bayonet. They let loose against it, " as in the
good old times,"[68] their executive riff-raff, and line the avenues
and tribunes with "their bandits of both sexes." They collect together
their gangs of roughs, five or six thousand terrorists from Paris and
the departments, and two thousand officers awaiting orders or on half-
pay. In default of Hoche, whose unconstitutional approach was
reported and then prevented, they have Augereau, arrived expressly
from Italy, and who states publicly, "I am sent for to kill the
royalists." It is impossible to find a more narrow-minded and greater
military bully; Reubell, himself, on seeing him, could not help but
exclaim: What a sturdy brigand!" - On the 18th of Fructidor this
official swordsman, with eight or ten thousand troops, surrounds and
invades the Tuileries. The representatives are arrested in their
committee-rooms or domiciles, or pursued, tracked and hunted down,
while the rest of their opponents, notables, officers, heads of
bureaux, journalists, former ministers and directors, Barthélémy and
Carnot, are treated in the same way. Barbé-Marbois, on demanding by
virtue of what law they were arrested,[69] is told, "by the law of the
saber," while Sotin, Minister of the Police, adds with a smile, "You
may be sure that after what I have taken on myself, it matters little
whether one is more or less compromised." - Thus purged, the two
Councils complete themselves their purgation; they cancel, in forty-
nine departments, the election of their colleagues; through this
decree and transportation, through forced and voluntary resignations,
two hundred and fourteen representatives are withdrawn from the
Legislative Corps, while one hundred and eighty others, through fear
or disgust, cease to attend its meetings.[70] Nothing remains of the
two Councils, except, as in the English Parliament under Cromwell, a
"rump," which rump does business under drawn swords. In the Council
of the Ancients, which, on the 18th of Fructidor, discussed at
midnight[71] the decree of transportation, "groups of grenadiers, with
a haggard look, in brusque language, with threatening gestures" and
fixed bayonets, surround the amphitheatre, and, mingled with the
soldiers and civil cut-throats, shout out their orders. Such are the
supporters of the slanderous tale cooked up by the Directory. The
voters need such arguments to make themselves believe in the grand
conspiracy which it denounces, to associate Barthélemy, Carnot,
Siméon, Barbé-Marbois, Boissy d'Anglas, Mathieu Dumas, Pastoret,
Tronson du Coudray as accomplices with a knot of subordinate
intriguers, contemptible "monkeys" (marmosets), dolts or spies, whose
papers have been in the hands of the police for six months, and whom
it forces to speak under lock and key.[72] All are enveloped in the
same net, all are confounded together under the same title, all are
condemned en masse without evidence or formality. "Proofs!" exclaims
an orator, "none are necessary against the royalist faction. I have
my own convictions."[73] - "Formalities !" exclaims another, "the
enemies of the country cannot invoke formalities which they would have
despised had they triumphed." - "The people are there," says a third,
pointing to a dozen ill-looking men who are present; "the whole people
ought to prevail against a few individuals!" - "Hurry up!" shouts a
soldier, who wants the discussion ended, "patriots, march, double-
quick!" - The debate, nevertheless, drags along, and the Government,
growing impatient, is obliged to intervene with a message: "The
people," says the message, "want to know what has become of the
Republic, what you have done with it. . . . . The conspirators
have agents, even among yourselves." The message is understood, and
the representatives now understand that if they do not transport, they
themselves will be deported. Therefore, "about fourteen or fifteen
stand up for the decree, while seven are against it; the rest remain
motionless:" it is thus that the decree to save the Constitution is
freely and legally passed. Four years before this a similar decree
had passed to expel the Girondists, in just the same manner, with the
exception that, at that time, the Mountain made use of the populace,
while now the army is employed; but save the difference in the
figurants, the performance is simply a repetition of the same drama
that was played on the 2nd of June, and is now again played on the
18th of Fructidor.[74]

VI. The Directory.

Dictatorship of the Directory. - Its new prerogatives. - Purge of
the Legislative Corps.- Purification of the administrative and
judicial authorities. - Military commissions in the provinces. -
Suppression of newspapers. - The right of voting reserved to Jacobins
alone. - Despotism of the Directory. - Revival of Terror. -
Transportation substituted for the guillotine. - Treatment of the
deported on the way, in Guyana, and on the islands of Rhé and Oléron.
- Restoration of Jacobin feudalism.

This is the way in which the government of 1793 is brought back to

The concentration of all public powers in the hands of an oligarchy, a
dictatorship exercised by about a hundred men grouped around five or
six leaders.

More independent, more despotic and less provisional than any
Committee of Public Safety, the Directory has arrogated to itself the
legal right of placing a commune in a state of siege, of introducing
troops within the constitutional circle[75] in such a way that it may,
at its discretion, violate Paris and the Legislative Corps. In this
body, mutilated by it and watched by its hireling assassins,[76] sit
the passive mutes who feel themselves "morally proscribed and half-
deported,"[77] who abandon debate, and vote with its stipendiaries and
valets.[78] As a matter of fact, the two councils have, as formerly
the Convention, become chambers "of registry" of legislative mechanism
charged with the duty of countersigning its orders. - Its sway over
the subordinate authorities is still more absolute. In forty-nine
departments, specially designated by decree, all the administrators of
departments, cantons and municipalities, all mayors, civil and
criminal judges, all justices of the peace, all elected by popular
suffrage, are dismissed en masse,[79] while the cleaning out in the
rest of France is almost as sweeping. We can judge by one example: in
the department of Doubs, which is not put down among those to be
purged, five hundred and thirty administrators or municipal
magistrates are dismissed in 1797, and, in addition, forty-nine others
in 1798. The Directory puts its creatures in their places: suddenly,
the departmental, cantonal, municipal and judicial system, which was
American, becomes Napoleonic so that the local officials, instead of
being delegates of the people, are government delegates. - Note,
especially, the most threatening of all usurpations, the way in which
this government takes justice into its hands and attributes to itself
the right of life and death over persons: not only does it break up
common criminal courts and reorganize them as it pleases, not only
does it renew and select among the purest Jacobins judges of the court
of appeals, but again, in each military division, it institutes a
special and expeditious court without appeal, composed of docile
officers, sub-officers and soldiers, which is to condemn and execute
within twenty-four hours, under pretext of emigration or priesthood,
every man who is obnoxious to the ruling factions. -- As to the
twenty-five millions of subjects it has just acquired, there is no
refuge: it is forbidden even to complain. Forty-two opposition or
"suspect" journals are silenced at one stroke, their stock plundered,
or their presses broken up ; three months after this, sixteen more
take their turn, and, in a year, eleven others ; the proprietors,
editors, publishers and contributors, among whom are La Harpe,
Fontanes, Fièvé, Michaud and Lacretelle, a large body of honorable or
prominent writers, the four or five hundred men who compose the staff
of the profession, all condemned without trial to banishment,[80] or
to imprisonment, are arrested, take flight, conceal themselves, or
keep silent. The only voice now heard in France is the mega-phone of
the government.

Naturally, the faculty of voting is as restricted as the faculty of
writing, so that the victors of Fructidor, together with the right to
speak, now also monopolize the right of electing. - Right away the
government renewed the decree which the expiring Convention had
rendered against allies or relations of émigrés. moreover, it
excluded all relatives or supporters of the members of the primary
assemblies, and forbade the primary assemblies to choose any of these
for electors. Henceforth, all upright or even peaceful citizens
consider themselves as warned and stay at home. Voting is the act of
a ruler, and therefore a privilege of the new sovereigns, which is the
view of it entertained by both sovereigns and subjects:[81] "a
republican minority operating legally must prevail against a majority
influenced by royalism."[82] They are to see the government on
election days, launching forth "in each department its commission
agents, and controlling votes by threats and all sorts of promises and
seductions,[83] arresting the electors and presidents of the primary
assemblies," even pouncing on refractory Jacobins, invalidating the
returns of a majority when not satisfactory to them, and rendering the
choice of a minority valid, if it suited them, in short, constituting
itself the chief elector of all local and central authorities. -
Finally, all institutions, laws, public and private rights, are down,
and the nation, body and soul, again becomes, as under Robespierre,
the property of its rulers with this sole difference, that the kings
of Terror, postponing their constitution, openly proclaim their
omnipotence, whilst the others hypocritically rule under a
constitution which they have themselves destroyed, and reign by virtue
of a title which interdicts royalty to them.

They, too, maintain themselves by Terror; only, like so many
Tartuffes, they are not disposed to act openly as executioners. The
Directory, heir to the Convention, affects to repudiate its
inheritance: "Woe," says Boulay de la Meurthe, "to whoever would re-
establish scaffolds." There is to be no guillotine; its purveyors have
been too strongly denounced; they stand too near the red stream and
view with too great nervous horror those who fed it. It is better to
employ death at a distance, lingering and spontaneous, with no
effusion of human blood, "dry," less repulsive than the other sort,
but more painful and not less certain; this shall be imprisonment on
the marshes of Rochefort, and, better still, transportation to the
feverish coasts of Guyanna: there is no distinction between the mode
used by the Convention and that of the Directory, except the
distinction between to kill and to cause death.[84] Moreover, every
brutality that can be employed to repress the indignation of the
proscribed by fear is exhausted on the way. - The first convoy which
bears away, with thirteen others, Barthélémy, who negotiated the
treaty of Basle, Pichegru, the conqueror of Holland, Lafond-Ladébat,
president of the council of the Five Hundred, Barbé-Marbois, president
of the council of the Ancients, was at first provided with
carriages.[85] An order of the Directory substitutes for these the
prison van, an iron car with one door bolted and padlocked, and,
overhead, openings through which the rain poured in streams, and with
common boards for seats. This lumbering machine without springs rolls
along at a fast trot along the ruts in the road, each jolt sending the
condemned inmates against the hard oak sides and roof; one of these,
on reaching Blois, "shows his black-and-blue elbows." The man selected
to command this escort is the vilest and most brutal reprobate in the
army, Dutertre, a coppersmith foreman before the Revolution, next an
officer and sentenced to be put in irons for stealing in the La Vendée
war, and such a natural robber that he again robs his men of their pay
on the road; he is evidently qualified for his work. On stopping at
Blois, "he passes the night in an orgy with his brothers and friends,"
fellow-thieves and murderers as above described. He curses Madame
Barbé-Marbois who comes to take leave of her husband, dismissing on
the spot the commandant of the gendarmerie who supports her in a
swoon, and, noticing the respect and attentions which all the
inhabitants, even the functionaries, show to the prisoners, he cries
out, "Well, what airs and graces for people that will perhaps be dead
in three or four days!" On the vessel which transports them, and still
in sight of Rochelle, a boat is observed rowing vigorously to overtake
them and they hear a shout of "I am Lafond-Ladébat's son! Allow me to
embrace my father!" A speaking-trumpet from the vessel replies: "Keep
away or you'll be fired on!" - Their cabins, on the voyage, are
noxious; they are not allowed to be on deck more than four at a time,
one hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. The sailors and
soldiers are forbidden to speak to them; their food consists of a
sailor's ration, and this is spoilt; toward the end of the voyage they
are starved. In Guyanna they are allowed one candle to a mess, and no
table-linen; they lack water, or it is not drinkable; out of sixteen
taken to Sinnamary only two survive.

Those who are deported the following year, priests, monks, deputies,
journalists and artisans accused of emigration, fare worse. On all
the roads leading to Rochefort, sorrowful crowds are seen on carts or
tramping along in files, on foot, the same as former chains of
convicts. "An old man of eighty-two, Monsieur Dulaurent of Quimper,
thus traverses four departments," in irons which strangle him.
Following upon this, the poor creatures, between the decks of the
"Décade" and the "Bayonnaise," crammed in, suffocated through lack of
air and by the torrid heat, badly treated and robbed, die of hunger or
asphyxia, while Guyanna completes the work of the voyage: out of 193
conveyed on board the 'Décade," only 39 remain at the end of twenty-
two months, and of the 120 brought by the 'Bayonnaise," only one is
left. - Meanwhile, in France, in the casemates of the islands of Rhé
and Oléron, over twelve hundred priests become stifled or rot away,
while, on all sides, the military commissioners in the departments
shoot down vigorously. At Paris, and in its environs, at Marseilles,
Lyons, Bordeaux, Rennes, and in most of the large towns, sudden
arrests and clandestine abductions go on multiplying.[86] "Nobody, on
retiring to rest, is sure of awaking in freedom the next morning. .
. . From Bayonne to Brussels, there is but one sentiment, that of
unbounded consternation. No one dares either to speak to, encounter,
look at or help one another. Everybody keeps aloof, trembles and
hides away." - So that through this third offensive reaction, the
Jacobin Conquest is completed, and the conquering band, the new
feudalism, becomes a fixed installation. "All who pass here," writes
a Tours habitant, "state that there is no difference in the country
between these times and Robespierre's[87].. . . . It is certain
that the soil is not tenable, and that the people are continually
threatened with exactions as in a conquered country. . . .
Proprietors are crushed down with impositions to such an extent that
they cannot meet their daily expenses, nor pay the cost of
cultivation. In some of my old parishes the imposition takes about
thirteen out of twenty sous of an income. . . The interest on money
amounts to four per cent. a month. . . Tours, a prey to the
terrorists who devour the department and hold all the offices, is in
the most deplorable state; every family at all well-off, every
merchant, every trader, is leaving it." -- The veteran pillagers and
murderers, the squireens, (hobereaux) of the reign of Terror, again
appear and resume their fiefs. At Toulouse, it is Barrau, a
shoemaker, famous up to 1792 for his fury under Robespierre, and
Desbarreaux, another madman of 1793, formerly an actor playing the
parts of valet, compelled in 1795 to demand pardon of the audience on
his knees on the stage, and, not obtaining it, driven out of the
house, and now filling the office of cashier in the theatre and posing
as department administrator. At Blois, we find the ignoble or
atrocious characters with whom we are familiar, the assassins and
robbers Hézine, Giot, Venaille, Bézard, Berger, and Gidouin.[88]
Immediately after Fructidor, they stirred up their usual supporters
against the first convoy of the deported, "the idlers, the rabble of
the harbor, and the dregs of the people," who overwhelmed them with
insults. On this new demonstration of patriotism the government
restores to them their administrative or judicial "satrapies, and,
odious as they are, they are endured and obeyed, with the mute and
mournful obedience of despair. " The soul sinks[89] on daily perusing
the executions of conscripts and émigrés, and on seeing those
condemned to transportation constantly passing by. . . . All who
displease the government are set down on these lists of the dead, so-
called émigrés, this or that curé who is notoriously known not to have
left the department." It is impossible for honest people to vote at
the primary assemblies; consequently, "the elections are frightful.
The "brothers" and their friends loudly proclaim that neither nobles,
priests, proprietors, merchants, nor justice are wanted; everything is
to be given up to pillage." Let France perish rather than accept their
domination. "The wretches have announced that they will not give up
their places without overthrowing all, destroying palaces and setting
Paris on fire."

VII. Enforcement of Pure Jacobinism.

Application and aggravation of the laws of the reign of Terror. -
Measures taken to impose civic religion. - Arrest, transportation,
and execution of Priests. - Ostracism proposed against the entire
anti-Jacobin class. - The nobles or the ennobled, not émigrés, are
declared foreigners. - Decrees against émigrés of every class. -
Other steps taken against remaining proprietors. - Bankruptcy, forced
loan, hostages.

It is natural that with pure Jacobins one notes the re-appearance of
the pure Jacobinism, the egalitarian and anti-Christian socialism, the
programme of the funereal year; in short, the rigid, plain,
exterminating ideas which the sect gathers together, like daggers
encrusted with gore, from the cast-off robes of Robespierre, Billaud-
Varennes and Collot d'Herbois.[90]

In the forefront appears the fixed and favorite idea of the old-
fashioned philosophism. By that I mean the consistent and decreed
plan to found a lay religion, and impose the observances and dogmas of
its theories on twenty-six millions of Frenchmen, and, consequently
extirping Christianity, its worship and its clergy. The inquisitors
who hold office multiply, with extraordinary persistence and
minuteness, proscriptions and vigorous measures for the forcible
conversion of the nation. The aim is to substitute the improvised
rites of a logical abstraction mechanically elaborated in the closet
for the tender emotions nourished by the customs of eighteen
centuries. - Never did the dull imagination of a third-rate scholar
and classic poetaster, never did the grotesque solemnity of a pedant
fond of his phrases, never did the irritating hardness of the narrow
and stubborn devotee display with greater sentimental bombast and more
administrative officiousness than in the decrees of the Legislative
Corps,[91] in the acts passed by the Directory and in the instructions
issued by the ministers Sotin, Letourneur, Lambrechts, Duval and
François de Neufchateau. War on Sunday, on the old calendar and on
fasting, obligatory rest on the décadi under penalty of fine and
imprisonment,[92] obligatory fêtes on the anniversaries of January 21
and Fructidor 18, participation of all functionaries with their cult,
obligatory attendance of public and private instructors with their
pupils of both sexes at civic ceremonies, an obligatory liturgy with
catechisms and programmes sent from Paris, rules for scenic display
and for singings, readings, postures, acclamations and imprecations.
One might shrug his shoulders at these prescriptions of cuistres and
these parades of puppets, if, behind the apostles who compose moral
allegories, we did not detect the persecutor who imprisons, tortures
and murders. - By the decree of Fructidor 19, not only were all the
laws of the reign of Terror against unsworn priests, their harborers
and their followers, enforced again, but the Directory arrogated to
itself the right of banishing, "through individual acts passed for
cause," every ecclesiastic "who disturbed the public peace," that is
to say who exercised his ministry and preached his faith;[93] and,
moreover, the right of shooting down, within twenty-four hours, every
priest who, banished by the laws of 1792 and 1793, has remained in or
returned to France. Almost all the ecclesiastics, even those who are
sworn, are comprised within the first category; the administration
enumerates 366 in the department of Doubs alone,[94] and 556 in that
of Hérault. Thousands of ecclesiastics are comprised in the second
category; the administration enumerates over 800 who, returned from
the frontier of Spain alone, still wander about the southern
departments. On the strength of this the moralists in office proclaim
a hunt for the black game in certain places, an universal destruction
without exception or reprieve. For instance, in Belgium, recently
incorporated with France, the whole of the regular and secular clergy
is proscribed en masse and tracked for transportation; 560
ecclesiastics in "Ourthe and the forests", 539 in Escaut, 883 in
Jemmapes, 884 in Sambre-et-Meuse, 925 in la Lys, 957 in Deux-Nèthes,
1,043 in Meuse-Inférieure, 1,469 in Dyle, in all 7,260, without
counting the missing names.[95] A number of them escape abroad or
hide away; but the rest are caught, and quite enough of them to load
and fill the carts constantly. - "Not a day passes," says an
inhabitant of Blois,[96] "when from seven to twenty and more are
lodged at the Carmelites." The next day they set out for the casemates
of Rhé and Oléron, or for the Sinnamary marshes, where it is known
what becomes of them: after a few months, three-fourths of them lie in
the cemetery. - In the interior, from time to time, some are shot as
an example - seven at Besançon, one at Lyons, three in the Bouches-du-
Rhône, while the opponents of fanaticism, the official
philanthropists, the enlightened deists of Fructidor, use all these
disguised or declared murders as a basis on which to rear the cult of

It remains now to consolidate the worship of Reason with the reign of
Equality, which is the second article in the Jacobin credo. The
object now is to mow down all the heads which rise above the common
level, and, this time, to mow them down, not one by one, but in large
groups. Saint-Just himself had only covertly proposed so extensive
and so sweeping an operation. Siéyès, Merlin de Douai, Reubell,
Chazal, Chénier, and Boulay de la Meurthe, more openly and decidedly
insist on a radical amputation. According to them,[97] it is
necessary "to regulate this ostracism," by banishing "all those whose
prejudices, pretensions, even existence, in a word, are incompatible
with republican government." That is to say, not alone priests, but
likewise nobles and the ennobled, all parliamentarians, those who are
well-off and distinguished among the bourgeoisie and former notables,
about two hundred thousand property-holders, men and women; in short,
all who still remained among those oppressed and ruined by the
Revolution.[98] - The proposal was turned down by the ex-noble Barras
and by the public out-cry "of merchants and workmen themselves," and
banishment is replaced by civic degradation. Henceforth,[99] every
noble or ennobled person, even if he has not left the territory, even
if he has constantly and punctually obeyed revolutionary laws, even if
he be not related to, or allied with, any émigré, finds himself
deprived of his quality as a Frenchman. The fact alone of his being
ennobled or noble before 1789, obliged him to be naturalized according
to legal forms and conditions. - As to the 150,000 gentlemen,
artisans and farmers who have emigrated or who have been accused of
emigration, if they have returned to, or remain in France, they are to
leave Paris and all communes above 20,000 souls within twenty-four
hours, and France in fifteen days. If not, they are to be arrested,
brought before the military commissions and shot on the spot;[100] in
fact, in many places, at Paris, Besançon and Lyons, they are shot. -
Now, a large number of pretended emigrants, who had never left
France,[101] nor even their province, nor even their commune, and
whose names have been put on the lists simply to strip them of their
property, find that they are no longer protected either by the
constancy or the notoriety of their residence. The new law is no
sooner read than they begin to imagine the firing squad; the natal
soil is too warm for them and they speedily emigrate.[102] On the
other hand, once the name is down on the list, rightly or wrongly, it
is never removed. The government purposely refuses to strike it off,
while two decrees are applied which render its removal
impossible;[103] each name maintained on the list of spoliation and
death relieves the Revolution of a probable adversary, and places one
more domain at its disposal.

The Directory renews and aggravates the measures of the Convention
against the remainder of the property-holders: there is no longer a
disguised but a declared bankruptcy. 386,000 fund-holders and
pensioners are deprived of two-thirds of their revenue and of their
capital.[104] A forced loan of 100 millions is levied progressively,
and wholly on "the well-off class." Finally, there is the law of
hostages, this being atrocious, conceived in the spirit of September,
1792, suggested by the famous motions of Collot d'Herbois against
those in confinement, and of Billaud-Varennes against the youth, Louis
XVII., but extended, elaborated and drawn up with cool legal acumen,
and enforced and applied with the foresight of an administrator. --
Remark that, without counting the Belgian departments, where an
extensive insurrection is under way and spreading, more than one-half
of the territory falls under the operation of this law. for, out of
the eighty-six departments of France,[105] properly so called, forty-
five are at this moment, according to the terms of the decree,[106] "
declared to be in a state of civil uprising." Actually, in these
departments, according to official reports, armed mobs of conscripts
are resisting the authorities charged with recruiting them, bands of
two hundred, three hundred and eight hundred men overrun the country,
troops of brigands force open the prisons, assassinate the gendarmes
and set their inmates free; the tax-collectors are robbed, killed or
maimed, municipal officers slain, proprietors ransomed, estates
devastated, and diligences stopped on the highways." Now, in all these
cases, in all the departments, cantons or communes, three classes of
persons, at first the relations and allies of the émigrés, next the
former nobles and ennobled, and finally the "fathers, mothers,
grandfathers and grandmothers of persons who, without being ex-nobles
or relations of émigrés," nevertheless form a part of the bands or
mobs, are declared "personally and civilly responsible" for the
violent acts committed. Even when these acts are only "imminent," the
administration of the department must, in its report, give a list of
all the men and women who are responsible; these are to be taken as
"hostages," and kept in confinement at their own expense in the local
jail. If they escape, they must be put on the same footing as
émigrés, that is to say punished with death. If any damage is
sustained, they are to pay costs; if any murder is committed or
abduction effected, four amongst them must be deported. Observe,
moreover, that the local authorities are obliged, under severe
penalties, to execute the law at once. Note that, at this date, they
are ultra Jacobin, since to inscribe on the list of hostages, not a
noble or a bourgeois, but an honest peasant or respectable artisan, it
suffices for these local sovereigns to designate his son or grandson,
who might either be absent, fugitive or dead, as being "notoriously
"insurgent or refractory. The fortunes, liberties and lives of every
individual in easy circumstances are thus legally surrendered to the
despotism, cupidity and hostility of the levelers in office. -
Contemporaries estimate that 200,000 persons were affected by this
law.[107] The Directory, during the three months of existence yet
remaining to it, enforces it in seventeen departments; thousands of
women and old men are arrested, put in confinement, and ruined, while
several are sent off to Cayenne -- and this is called respect for the
rights of man.

VIII. Propaganda and Foreign Conquests.

Propaganda and foreign conquests. - Proximity and advantages of
Peace. - Motives of the Fructidorians for breaking off peace
negotiations with England, and for abandoning the invasion of foreign
countries. - How they found new republics. - How governed. -
Estimate of foreign rapine. - Number of French lives sacrificed in
the war.

After the system which the Fructidoreans establish in France, we may
consider the system they impose abroad - always the same contrast,
between the name and the thing, the same phrases covering the same
misdeeds, and, under proclamations of liberty the institution of
brigandage. - Undoubtedly, in any invaded province which thus passes
from an old to a new despotism, fine words cleverly spoken produce at
first the intended effect. But, in a few weeks or months, the
ransomed, enlisted and forcibly "Frenchified" inhabitants, discover
that the revolutionary right is much more oppressive, more harassing
and more rapacious than divine right.

It is the right of the strongest. The reigning Jacobins know no
other, abroad as well as at home, and, in the use they make of it,
they are not restrained like ordinary statesmen, by a thorough
comprehension of the interests of the State, by experience and
tradition, by far-reaching plans, by an estimate of present and future
strength. Being a sect, they subordinate France to their dogmas, and,
with the narrow views, pride and arrogance of the sectary, they
profess the same intolerance, the same need of domination and his
instincts for propagandas and invasion. - This belligerent and
tyrannical spirit they had already displayed under the Legislative
Assembly, and they are intoxicated with it under the Convention.
After Thermidor,[108] and after Vendémiaire, they remained the same;
they became rigid against "the faction of old boundaries," and against
any moderate policy; at first, against the pacific minority, then
against the pacific majority, against the entreaties of all France,
against their own military director, "the organizer of victory "
Carnot, who, as a good Frenchman, is not desirous of gratuitously
increasing the embarrassments of France nor of taking more than France
could usefully and surely keep. - If, before Fructidor, his three
Jacobin colleagues, Reubell, Barras and La Révellière, broke with him,
it was owing not merely to inside matters, but also to outside
matters, as he opposed their boundless violent purposes. They were
furious on learning the preliminary treaty of Leoben, so advantageous
to France; they insulted Carnot, who had effected it;[109] when
Barthélémy, the ablest and most deserving diplomat in France, became
their colleague, his recommendations, so sensible and so well
warranted, obtained from them no other welcome than derision.[110]
They already desire, and obstinately, to get possession of
Switzerland, lay hands on Hamburg, "humiliate England," and "persevere
in the unlucky system of the Committee of Public Safety," that is to
say, in the policy of war, conquest and propaganda. Now that the 18th
Fructidor is accomplished, Barthélémy deported, and Carnot in flight,
this policy is going to be applied everywhere.

Never had peace been so near at hand;[111] they almost had)it in their
grasp; conference at Lille it was only necessary to take complete hold
of it. England, the last and most tenacious of her enemies, was
disarming; not only did she accept the aggrandizement of France, the
acquisition of Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine, the avowed as
well as the disguised annexations, the great Republic as patron and
the smaller ones as clients, Holland, Genoa, and the Cis-Alpine
country, but, again, she restored all her own conquests, all the
French colonies, all the Dutch colonies, except the Cape of Good
Hope,[112] and all the Spanish colonies except Trinidad. All that
amour-propre could demand was obtained, and they obtained more than
could be prudently expected; there was not a competent and patriotic
statesman in France who would not have signed the treaty with the
greatest satisfaction. - But the motives which, before Fructidor,
animated Carnot and Barthélémy, the motives which, after Fructidor,
animated Colchen and Maret, do not animate the Fructidoreans. France
is of but little consequence to them; they are concerned only for
their faction, for power, and for their own persons. La Révellière,
president of the Directory, through vainglory, "wanted to have his
name go with the general peace;" but he is controlled by Barras, who
needs war in order to fish in troubled waters,[113] and especially by
Reubell, a true Jacobin in temperament and intellect, "ignorant and
vain, with the most vulgar prejudices of an uneducated and illiterate
man," one of those coarse, violent, narrow sectarians anchored on a
fixed idea and whose "principles consist in revolutionizing everything
with cannon-balls without examining wherefore."[114] There is no need
of knowing the wherefore; the animal instinct of self-preservation
suffices to impel the Jacobins onward, and, for a long time, their
clear-sighted men, among them Siéyès, their thinker and oracle, have
told them that "if they make peace they are lost."[115] - To exercise
their violence within they require peril without; lacking the pretext
of public safety they cannot prolong their usurpation, their
dictatorship, their despotism, their inquisition, their proscriptions,
their exactions. Suppose that peace is effected, will it be possible
for the government, hated and despised as it is, to maintain and elect
its minions against public clamor at the coming elections? Will so
many retired generals consent to live on half-pay, indolent and
obedient? Will Hoche, so ardent and so absolute, will Bonaparte, who
already meditates his coup-d'état,[116] be willing to stand sentry for
four petty lawyers or litterateurs without any titles and for Barras,
a street-general, who never saw a regular battle? Moreover on this
skeleton of France, desiccated by five years of spoliation, how can
the armed swarm be fed even provisionally, the swarm, which, for two
years past, subsists only through devouring neighboring nations?
Afterwards, how disband four hundred thousand hungry officers and
soldiers? And how, with an empty Treasury, supply the millions which,
by a solemn decree, under the title of a national recompense, have
once more just been promised to them.[117] Nothing but a prolonged
war, or designedly begun again, a war indefinitely and systematically
extended, a war supported by conquest and pillage can give armies
food, keep generals busy, the nation resigned, the maintenance of
power of the ruling faction, and secure to the Directors their places,
their profits, their dinners and their mistresses. And this is why
they, at first, break with England through repeated exactions, and
then with Austria and the Emperor, through premeditated attacks, and
again with Switzerland, Piedmont, Tuscany, Naples, Malta, Russia and
even the Porte.[118] At length, the veils fall and the character of
the sect stands out nakedly. Defense of the country, deliverance of
the people, all its grand phrases disappear in the realm of empty
words. It reveals itself just as it is, an association of pirates on
a cruise, who after ravaging their own coast, go further off and
capture bodies and goods, men and things. Having eaten France, the
Parisian band undertakes to eat all Europe, "leaf by leaf, like the
head of an artichoke."[119]

Why recount the tragic comedy they play at home and which they repeat
abroad? The piece abroad is the same as that played in Paris for the
past eight years,[120] an absurd, hasty translation in Flemish, Dutch,
German, and Italian, a local adaptation, just as it happens, with
variations, elisions and abbreviations, but always with the same
ending, a shower of blows with gun and sword on all property-owners,
communities, and individuals, compelling the surrender of their purses
and valuables of every description, and which they gave up, even to
remaining without a sou or even a shirt. As a rule, the nearest
general, or resident titulary in every small state which has to be
turned to account, stirs up malcontents against the established
authorities, never lacking under the ancient régime, especially all
social outcasts, adventurers, coffee-house ranters and young hot-
heads, in short the Jacobins of the country ; these, to the French
representative, are henceforth the people of the country, if only a
knot of the vilest sort. The legal authorities are forbidden to
repress them, or punish them; they are inviolable. Employing threats
or main force, he interferes in their support, or to sanction their
assaults; he breaks up, or obliges them to break up, the vital organ
of society; here, royalty or aristocracy, there, the senate and the
magistracy, everywhere the old hierarchy, all cantonal, provincial and
municipal statutes and secular federation or constitutions. He then
inaugurates on this cleared ground the government of Reason, that is
to say, some artificial imitation of the French constitution; he
himself, to this end, appoints the new magistrates. If he allows them
to be elected, it is by his clients and under his bayonets; this
constitutes a subject republic under the name of an ally, and which
commissioners dispatched from Paris manage to the beat of the drum.
The revolutionary régime with anti-Christian despoiling and leveling
laws, is despotically applied. The 18th of Fructidor is carried out
over and over again; the constitution is revised according to the last
Parisian pattern, while the Legislative Corps and Directory are
repeatedly purged in military fashion.[121] Only valets are tolerated
at the head of it: its army is added to the French army; twenty
thousand Swiss are drafted in Switzerland and made to fight against
the Swiss and the friends of Switzerland. Belgium, incorporated with
France, is subjected to the conscription. National and religious
sentiment suppressed, exploited, offended, to the extend of stirring
up insurrections,[122] religious and national. Five or six rural and
lasting Vendées take place in Belgium, Switzerland, Piedmont, Venetia,
Lombardy, the Roman States and Naples, while fire, pillaging and
shooting are employed to repress them. Any description of this would
be feeble; statements in figures are necessary and I can give but two.

One of them is the list of robberies committed abroad,[123] and this
comprises only the rapine executed according to order; it omits
private plunderings without any orders by officers, generals, soldiers
and commissaries; these are enormous, but cannot be estimated. The
only approximate total which can be arrived at, is the authentic list
of robberies which the Jacobin corsair, authorized by letters of
marque, had already committed in December, 1798, outside of France, on
public or on private parties; exactions in coin imposed in Belgium,
Holland, Germany and Italy, amounting to 655 millions; seizure and
removal of gold and silver objects, plate, jewels, works of art and
other precious objects, 305 millions; requisitions of provisions, 361
millions; confiscations of the property, real estate and movables, of
deposed sovereigns, that of the regular and secular clergy, that of
corporations and associations even laic, of absent or fugitive
proprietors, 700 millions; in all, in three years 2 billion livres. -
If we closely examine this monstrous sum, we find, as in the coffers
of an Algerian pirate, a booty which up to this time, belligerent
Christians, commanders of regular armies, would have shrunk from
taking, and on which the Jacobin chiefs incontinently and preferably
lay hands:

* the plate and furniture of churches in the Netherlands, in Liège,
and in the Electoral sections of the Lower Rhine, 25 millions;

* the plate and furniture of churches in Lombardy, in the three
Legations, in the State of Venice, in Modena, and the States of the
Church, 65 millions;

* diamonds, plate, gold crosses and other depots of the Monts.de-piété
at Milan, Bologna, Ravenna, Modena, Venice and Rome, 56 millions;

* furniture and works of art at Milan and in other towns, 5 millions;

* furniture and works of art in the Venetian towns and palaces of
Brenta, 6, 500,000;

* the spoils of Rome sacked, as formerly by the mercenaries of the Duc
de Bourbon, collections of antiques, pictures, bronzes, statues, the
treasures of the Vatican and of palaces, jewels, even the pastoral
ring of the Pope, which the Directorial commissary himself wrests from
the Pope's finger, 43 millions,

and all this without counting analogous articles, and especially
direct assessments levied on this or that individual as rich or a
proprietor,[124] veritable ransoms, similar to those demanded by the
bandits of Calabria and Greece, extorted from any traveler they
surprise on the highway. -

Naturally operations of this kind cannot be carried on without
instruments of constraint; the Parisian manipulators must have
military automatons, "saber hilts " in sufficient numbers. Now,
through constant slashing, a good many hilts break, and the broken
ones must be replaced; in October, 1798, 200,000new ones are required,
while the young men drafted for the purpose fail to answer the summons
and fly, and even resist with arms, especially in Belgium,[125] by
maintaining a revolt for many months, with this motto: "Better die
here than elsewhere."[126] To compel their return, they are hunted
down and brought to the depot with their hands tied. If they hide
away, soldiers are stationed in their parents' houses. If the
conscript or drafted man has sought refuge in a foreign country, even
in an allied country as in Spain, he is officially inscribed on the
list of émigrés, and therefore, in case of return, shot within twenty-
four hours; meanwhile, his property is sequestrated and likewise that
of "his father, mother and grandparents."[127] -- "Formerly," says a
contemporary, "reason and philosophy thundered against the rigors of
punishment inflicted on deserters; but, since French reason has
perfected Liberty it is no longer the small class of regular soldiers
whose evasion is punished with death, but an entire generation. An
extreme penalty no longer suffices for these legislative
philanthropists: they add confiscation, they despoil parents for the
misdemeanors of their children, and render even women responsible for
a military and personal offence."

Such is the admirable calculation of the Directory - that, if it
loses a soldier it gains a patrimony, and if the patrimony fails, it
recovers the soldier: in any event, it fills its coffers and its

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