The French Revolution— Volume 1

Author: Hippolyte Adolphe Taine


General state of opinion. - The three convoys of non-juring priests on the Seine. - Psychological aspects of the Revolution.

What will it be, then, now when the peril, already become palpable and serious, is daily increasing, now when war has begun, when Lafayette’s army is falling back in confusion, when the Assembly declares the country in danger, when the King is overthrown, when Lafayette defects and goes abroad, when the soil of France is invaded, when the frontier fortresses surrender without resistance, when the Prussians are entering Champagne, when the insurrection in La Vendée adds the lacerations of civil war to the threats of a foreign war, and when the cry of treachery arises on all sides? - Already, on the 14th of May, at Metz,[77] M. de Fiquelmont, a former canon, seen chatting with a hussar on the Place Saint-Jacques, was charged with tampering with people on behalf of the princes, carried off in spite of a triple line of guards, and beaten, pierced, and slashed with sticks, bayonets, and sabers, while the mad crowd around the murderers uttered cries of rage: and from month to month, in proportion as popular fears increase, popular imagination becomes more heated and its delirium grows. - You can see this yourself by one example. On the 31st of August, 1792,[78] eight thousand nonjuring priests, driven out of their parishes, are at Rouen, a town less intolerant than the others, and, in conformity with the decree which banishes them, are preparing to leave France. Two vessels have just carried away about a hundred of them; one hundred and twenty others are embarking for Ostend in a larger vessel. They take nothing with them except a little money, some clothes, and one or at most two portions of their breviary, because they intend to return soon. Each has a regular passport, and, just at the moment of leaving, the National Guard have made a thorough inspection so as not to let a suspected person escape. It makes no difference. On reaching Quilleboeuf the first two convoys are stopped. A report has spread, indeed, that the priests are going to join the enemy and enlist, and the people living round about jump into their boats and surround the vessels. The priests are obliged to disembark amidst a tempests of "yells, blasphemies, insults, and abuse:" one of them, a white-headed old man, having fallen into the mud, the cries and shouts redouble; if he is drowned so much the better, there will be one less! On landing all are put in prison, on bare stones, without straw or bread, and word is sent to Paris to know what must be done with so many cassocks. In the meantime the third vessel, short of provisions, has sent two priests to Quilleboeuf and to Pont-Audemer to have twelve hundred pounds of bread baked: pointed out by the village militia, they are chased out like wild beasts, pass the night in a wood, and find their way back with difficulty emptyhanded. The vessel itself being signaled, is besieged. "In all the municipalities on the banks of the river drums beat incessantly to warn the population to be on their guard. The appearance of an Algerian or Tripolitan corsair on the shores of the Adriatic would cause less excitement. One of the seamen of the vessel published a statement that the trunks of the priests transported were full of every kind of arms." and the country people constantly imagine that they are going to fall upon them sword and pistol in hand. For several long days the famished convoy remains moored in the stream, are carefully watched. Boats filled with volunteers and peasants row around it uttering insults and threats: in the neighboring meadows the National Guards form themselves in line of battle. Finally, a decision is arrived at. The bravest, well armed get into skiffs, approach the vessel cautiously, choose the most favorable time and spot, rush on board, and take possession; and are perfectly astonished to find neither enemies nor arms. - Nevertheless, the priests are confined on board, and their deputies, must make their appearance before the mayor. The latter, a former usher and good Jacobin, being the most frightened, is the most violent. He refuses to stamp the passports, and, seeing two priests approach, one provided with a sword-cane and the other with an iron-pointed stick, thinks that there is to be a sudden attack. "Here are two more of them," he exclaims with terror; "they are all going to land. My friends, the town is in danger! " - On hearing this the crowd becomes alarmed, and threatens the deputies; the cry of "To the lamp post!" is heard, and, to save them, National Guards are obliged to conduct them to prison in the center of a circle of bayonets. - It must be noted that these madmen are "at bottom the kindest people in the world." After the boarding of the ship, one of the most ferocious, by profession a barber, seeing the long beards of these poor priests, instantly cools down, draws forth his tools, and goodnaturedly sets to work, spending several hours in shaving them. In ordinary times ecclesiastics received nothing but salutations; three years previously they were "respected as fathers and guides." But at the present moment the rustic, the man of the lower class, is out of his bearings. Forcibly and against nature, he has been made a theologian, a politician, a police captain, a local independent sovereign; and in such a position his head is turned. Among these people who seem to have lost their senses, only one, an officer of the National Guard, remains cool; he is, besides, very polite, wellbehaved, and an agreeable talker; he comes in the evening to comfort the prisoners and to take tea with them in prison; in fact, he is accustomed to tragedies and, thanks to his profession, his nerves are in repose - this person is the executioner. The others, "whom one would take for tigers," are bewildered sheep; but they are not the less dangerous; for, carried away by their delirium, they bear down with their mass on whatever gives them umbrage. - On the road from Paris to Lyons[79] Roland’s commissioners witness this terrible fright. "The people are constantly asking what our generals and armies are doing; they have vengeful expressions frequently on their lips. Yes, they say, we will set out, but we must (at first) purge the interior."

Something appalling is in preparation. The seventh jacquerie is drawing near, this one universal and final - at first brutal, and then legal and systematic, undertaken and carried out on the strength of abstract principles by leaders worthy of the means they employ. Nothing like it ever occurred in history; for the first time we see brutes gone mad, operating on a grand scale and for a long time, under the leadership of blockheads who have become insane.

There is a certain strange malady commonly encountered in the quarters of the poor. A workman, over-taxed with work, in misery and badly fed, takes to drink; he drinks more and more every day, and liquors of the strongest kind. After a few years his nervous system, already weakened by spare diet, becomes over-excited and out of balance. An hour comes when the brain, under a sudden stroke, ceases to direct the machine; in vain does it command, for it is no longer obeyed; each limb, each joint, each muscle, acting separately and for itself starts convulsively through discordant impulses. Meanwhile the man is gay; he thinks himself a millionaire, a king, loved and admired by everybody; he is not aware of the mischief he is doing to himself he does not comprehend the advice given him, he refuses the remedies offered to him, he sings and shouts for entire days, and, above all, drinks more than ever. - At last his face grows dark and his eyes become blood-shot. Radiant visions give way to black and monstrous phantoms; he sees nothing around him hut menacing figures, traitors in ambush, ready to fall upon him unawares, murderers with upraised arms ready to cut his throat, executioners preparing torments for him; and he seems to be wading in a pool of blood. So he precipitates, and, in order that he himself may not be killed, he kills. No one is more to be dreaded, for his delirium sustains him; his strength is prodigious, his movements unforeseen, and he endures, without heeding them, suffering and wounds under which a healthy man would succumb. - France, like such a madman, exhausted by fasting under the monarchy, drunk by the unhealthy drug of the Social-Contract, and by countless other adulterated or fiery beverages, is suddenly struck with paralysis of the brain; at once she is convulsed in every limb through the incoherent play and contradictory twitching of her discordant organs. At this time she has traversed the period of joyous madness, and is about to enter upon the period of somber delirium: behold her capable of daring, suffering, and doing all, capable of incredible exploits and abominable barbarities, the moment her guides, as erratic as herself, indicate an enemy or an obstacle to her fury.




[1] Moniteur, XI. 763. (Sitting of March 28, 1792.) - "Archives Nationales," F7, 3235. (Deliberation of the Directory of the Department, November 29, 1791, and January 27, 1792. - Petition of the Municipality of Mende and of forty-three others, November 30, 1791.)

[2] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3198. Minutes of the meeting of the municipal officers of Arles, September 2, 1791. - Letters of the Royal Commissioners and of the National Assembly, October 24, November 6, 14, 17, 21, and December 21, 1791. - The Commissioners, to be impartial, attend in turn a mass by a nonjuring priest and one by a priest of the opposite side. "The church is full" with the former and always empty with the latter.

[3] "Mémoire" of M. Mérilhon, for Froment, passim. - Report of M. Alquier, p. 54. - De Dampmartin, I. 208.

[4] - De Dampmartin, I. 208.They would exclaim to the catholic peasants: "Allons, mes enfants, Vive le Roi!" (shouts of enthusiasm): "those wretches of democrats, let us make an example of them, and restore the sacred rights of the throne and the altar!" - "As you please," replied the rustics in their patois, "but we must hold fast to the Revolution, for there are some good things about it." - They remain calm, refuse to march to the assistance of Uzès, and withdraw into their mountains on the first sign of the approach of the National Guard.

[5] This is what the author Soljenitsyne observed about his Russian countrymen in an interview with M. Pivot in the French television in 1998. (SR.)

[6] Dauban, "La Demagogie à Paris," p.598; Letter of M. de Brissac, August 25, 1789.

[7] Moniteur, X. 339. (Journal de Troyes, and a letter from Perpignan, November, 1791.)

[8] Mercure de France, No. for September 3, 1791. "Let Liberty be presented to us, and all France will kneel before her; but noble and proud hearts will eternally resist the oppression which assumes her sacred mask. They will invoke liberty, but liberty without crime, the liberty which is maintained without dungeons, without inquisitors, without incendiaries, without brigands, without forced oaths, without illegal coalitions, without mob outrages; that liberty, finally, which allows no oppressor to go unpunished, and which does not crush peaceable citizens beneath the weight of the chains it has broken."

[9] Rivarol, "Mémoires," p.367. (Letter of M. Servan, published in the "Actes des Apôtres.")

[10] The King’s brother, later to become King of France under the name of Louis XVIII. (SR.)

[11] "Archives Nationa1es," F7. 3257. Official reports, investigations, and correspondence in relation with the affair of M. Bussy (October, 1790).

[12] Mercure de France, May 15, 1790. (Letter of Baron de Boisd’Aisy, April 29, read in the National Assembly.) - Moniteur, IV. 302. Sitting of May 6. (Official statement of the Justice of the Peace of Vitteaux, April 28.)

[13] "Archives Nationales," DXXIX. 4. Letter of M. Belin- Chatellenot (near Asnay-le-Duc) to the President of the National Assembly, July 1, 1791. "In the realm of liberty we live under the most cruel tyranny, and in a state of the most complete anarchy, while the administrative bodies and the police, still in their infancy, seem to act only in fear and trembling. . . . So far, in all crimes, they are more concerned with extenuating the facts, than in punishing the offense. The result is that the guilty have had no other restraint on them than a few gentle phrases like this: Dear brothers and friends, you are in the wrong, be careful," etc. - Ibid. , F7, 3229. Letter of the Directory of the Department of Marne, July 13, 1791. (Searches by the National Guard in chateaux and the disarming of formerly privileged persons.) "None of our injunctions were obeyed." For example, there is breakage and violence in the residence of M. Guinaumont at Merry, the gun, shot and powder of the game-keeper even are carried off. "M. de Guinaumont is without the means of defending himself against a mad dog or any other savage brute that might come into his woods or into his courtyard." The Mayor of Merry, with the National Guard, under compulsion, tells them in vain that they are breaking the law. - Petition of Madame d’Ambly, wife of the deputy, June 28, 1791. Not having the guns which she had already given up, she is made to pay 150 francs.

[14] Archives Nationales," DXXIX. 4. Letters of the Administrators of the Department of Rhône-et-Loire, July 6, 1791. (M. Vilet is one of the signers.) - Mercure de France, October 8, 1791.

[15] Mercure de France, August 20, 1791, the article by Mallet du Pan. "The details of the picture I have just sketched were all furnished me by Madame Dumoutet herself." I am "authorized by her signature to guarantee the accuracy of this narrative."

[16] Mercure de France, August 20, 1791, the article by Mallet du Pan. "The proceedings instituted at Lyons confirmed this banquet of cannibals."

[17] The letter of the Department ends with this either naïve or ironical expression: "You have now only one conquest to make, that of making the people obey and submit to the law."

[18] "Archives Nationales," P7, 3,200. See documents relating to the affair of November 5, 1792, and the events which preceded it or followed it, and among others "Lettres du Directoire et du Procureur-syndic du Departement;" "Pétition et Mémoire pour les Déténus;" "Lettres d’un Témoin," M. de Morant. - Moniteur, X. 356. "Minutes of the meeting de la Municipalité de Caen" and of the "Directoire du Departement," XI.1264, 206. "Rapport de Guadet," and documents of the trial. - "Archives Nationales," ibid. . - "Lettres de M. Cahier," Minister of the Interior, January 26, 1792, of M. C. D. de Pontécoulant, President of the Department Directory, February 3, 1792. - Proclamation by the Directory.

[19] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3200. Letter of September 26, 1791. - Letter found on one of the arrested gentlemen. "A cowardly bourgeoisie, directors in cellars, a clubbist (Jacobin) municipality, waging the most illegal war against us."

[20] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3200. Letter of the Attorney- General of Bayeux, May 14, 1792, and of the Directory of Bayeux, May 21, 1792. - At Bayeux, likewise; the refugees are denounced and in peril. According to their verified statements they scarcely amounted to one hundred. "Several nonjuring priests, indeed, are found among them. (But) the rest, for the most part, consist of the heads of families who are known to reside habitually in neighboring districts, and who have been forced to leave their homes after having been, or fearing to become, victims of religious intolerance or of the threats of factions and of brigands."

[21] Lenin has probably read this during his studies in Paris and maybe been confirmed in his plan to create a new elite, an elite he eventually began to make use of from 1917 and onwards, an elite which continues to rule Russia and a great part of the world today. (SR.)

[22] Mercure de France, June 4, 1790 (letter from Cahors, May 17, and an Act of the Municipality, May 10, 1790).

[23] "Archives Nationales," F7,, 1223. Letter of count Louis de Beaumont, November 9, 1791. His letter, in a very moderate tone, thus end: "You must admit, sir, that it is very disagreeable and even incredible, that the Municipal Officers should be the originators of the disorders which occur in this town."

[24] Mercure de France, January 7, 1792. M. Granchier de Riom petitions the Directory of his Department in relation to the purchase of the cemetery, where his father had been interred four years before; his object is to prevent it from being dug up, which was decreed, and to preserve the family vault. He at the same time wishes to buy the church of Saint-Paul, in order to insure the continuance of the masses in behalf of his father’s soul. The Directory replies (December 5, 1791): "considering that the motives which have determined the petitioner in his declaration are a pretense of good feeling under which there is hidden an illusion powerless to pervert a sound mind, the Directory decides that the application of the sieur Granchier cannot be granted."

[25] De Ferrières, II. 268 (April 19, 1791).

[26] De Montlosier, II. 307, 309, 312.

[27] Moniteur, VI. 556. Letter of M d’Aymar, commodore, November 18, 1790.

[28] Mercure de France, May 28, and June 16, 1791 (letters from Cahors and Castelnau, May 18).

[29] Mercure de France, number of May 28, 1791. At the festival of the Federation, M. de Massy would not order his cavalry to put their chapeaux on the points of their swords, which was a difficult maneuver. He was accused of treason to the nation on account of this, and obliged to leave Tulle for several months. - " Archives Nationales," F7, 3204. Extract from the minutes of the tribunal of Tulle, May 10, 1791.

[30] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3215, "Minutes of the meeting des Officiers Municipaux de Brest," June 23, 1791.

[31] "Mémoires de Cuvier" ("Eloges Historiques," by Flourens), I, 177. Cuvier, who was then in Havre (1788), had pursued the higher studies in a German administrative school. "M. de Surville," he says, an officer in the Artuis regiment, has one of the must refined minds and most amiable characters I ever encountered. There were a good many of this sort among his comrades, and I am always astonished how such men could vegetate in the obscure ranks of an infantry regiment."

[32] De Dampmartin, I. 133. At the beginning of the year 1790, "inferior officers said: ’We ought to demand something, for we have at least as many grievances as our troopers,’ " - M. de la Rochejacquelein, after his great success in La Vendée, said: "I hope that the King, when once he is restored, will give me a regiment." He aspired to nothing more ("Mémoires de Madame de la Rochejacquelein"). - Cf. "Un Officier royaliste au Service de la Republique," by M. de Bezancenet, in the letters and biography of General de Dommartin killed in the expedition to Egypt.

[33] Correspondence of MM. de Thiard, de Caraman, de Miran, de Bercheny, etc., above cited, passim. - Correspondence of M. de Thiard, May 5, 1780: "The town of Vannes has an authoritative style which begins to displease me. It wants the King to furnish drumsticks. The first log of wood would provide these, with greater ease and promptness."

[34] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3248, March 16, 1791. At Douai, Nicolon, a grain-dealer, is hung because the municipal authorities did not care to proclaim martial law. The commandant, M. de la Noue, had not the right of ordering his men to move, and the murder took place before his eyes.

[35] The last named, especially, died with heroic meekness (Mercure de France, June 18, 1791). - Sitting of June 9, speeches by two officers of the regiment of Port-au-Prince, one of them an eyewitness.

[36] "De Dampmartin," II. 214. Desertion is very great, even in ordinary times, supplying foreign armies with "a fourth of their effective men." - Towards the end of 1789, Dubois de Crancé, an old musketeer and one of the future "men of the mountain," stated to the National Assembly that the old system of recruiting supplied the army with "men without home or occupation, who often became soldiers to avoid civil penalties" (Moniteur, II. 376, 381, sitting of December 12, 1789).

[37] "Archives Nationales," KK, 1105, Correspondence of M. de Thiard, September 4 and 7, 1789, November 20, 1789, April 28, and May 29, 1790. "The spirit of insubordination which begins to show itself in the Bassigny regiment is an epidemic disease which is insensibly spreading among all the troops. . . . The troops are all in a state of gangrene, while all the municipalities oppose the orders they receive concerning the movements of troops."

[38] "Archives Nationales," H,1453. Correspondence of M. de Bercheny, July 12, 1790.

[39] "Mémoire Justificatif" (by Grégoire), on behalf of two soldiers, Emery and Delisle. - De Bouillé, "Mémoires." - De Dampmartin, I.128, 144. - "Archives Nationales," KK, 1105, Correspondence of M. de Thiard, July 2 and 9, 1790. - Moniteur, sittings of September 3 and June 4, 1790.

[40] De Bouillé, p. 127. - Moniteur, sitting of August 6, 1790, and that of May 27, 1790. - Full details in authentic documents of the affair at Nancy, passim. - Report of M. Emmery, August 16, 1790, and other documents in Buchez and Roux, VII. 59-162. - De Bezancenet, p.35. Letters of M. de Dommartin (Metz, August 4, 1790). "The Federation there passed off quietly, only, a short time after, some soldiers of a regiment took it into their heads to divide the (military) fund, and at once placed sentinels at the door of the officer having charge of the chest, compelling him to open it (désacquer). Another regiment has since put all its officers under arrest. A third has mutinied, and wanted to take all its horses to the market-place and sell them. . . . Everywhere the soldiers are heard to say that if they want money they know where to find it."

[41] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3215, letters of the Royal Commissioners, September 27, October 1, 4, 8, 11, 1790. the commencement of the Revolution, had most to do with the insurrections in the interior. "What means can four commissioners employ to convince 20,000 men, most of whom are seduced by the real enemies of the public welfare? In consequence of the replacing of the men the crews are, for the most part, composed of those who are almost ignorant of the sea, who know nothing of the rules of subordination, and who, at the commencement of the Revolution, had most to do with the insurrections in the interior."

[42] Mercure de France. October 2, 1790. Letter of the Admiral, M. d’Albert de Rioms, September 16. The soldiers of the Majestueux have refused to drill, and the sailors of the Patriote to obey. - "I wished to ascertain beforehand if they had any complaint to make against their captain? - No. - If they complained of myself? - No. - If they had any complaints to make against their officers ? - No. - It is the revolt of one class against another class; their sole cry is ’Vive la Nation et les Aristocrates à la lanterne!’ The mob have set up a gibbet before the house of M. de Marigny, major-general of marines; he has handed in his resignation. M. d’Albert tenders his resignation." - Ibid, June 18, 1791 (letter from Dunkirk, June 3).

[43] De Dampmartin, I. 222, 219. Mercure de France, September 3, 1791. (Sitting of August 23.) - Cf. Moniteur (same date). "The Ancient Régime," p.377.

[44] Marshal Marmont, "Mémoires," I. 24. "The sentiment I entertained for the person of the King is difficult to define. . . (It was) a sentiment of devotion of an almost religious character, a profound respect as if due to a being of a superior order. At this time the word king possessed a magic power in all pure and upright hearts which nothing had changed. This delicate sentiment . . . still existed in the mass of the nation, especially among the wellborn, who, sufficiently remote from power, were rather impressed by its brilliancy than by its imperfections." De Bezancenet, 27. Letter of M. de Dommartin, August 24, 1790. "We have just renewed our oath. I hardly know what it all means. I, a soldier, know only my King; in reality I obey two masters, who, we are told, will secure my happiness and that of my brethren, if they agree together."

[45] De Dampmartin, I. 179. See the details of his resignation (III. 185) after June 20, 1792. - Mercure de France, April 14, 1792. Letter from the officers of the battalion of the Royal chasseurs of Provence (March 9). They are confined to their barracks by their soldiers, who refuse to obey their orders, and they declare that, on this account, they abandon the service and leave France.

[46] Rousset, "Les Volontaires de 1791 à 1794, p. 106. Letter of M. de Biron to the minister (August, 1792); p.225, letter of Vezu, commander of the 3rd battalion of Paris, to the army of the north (July 24, 1793). - "A Residence in France from 1792 to 1795" (September, 1792. Arras). See notes at the end of vol. II. for the details of these violent proceedings.

[47] Mercure de France, March 5, June 4, September 3, October 22, 1791. (Articles by Mallet du Pan. - Ibid. , April 14, 1792. More than six hundred naval officers resigned after the mutiny of the squadron at Brest. "Twenty-two grave revolts in the ports on shipboard remained unpunished, and several of them through the decisions of the naval jury." "There is no instance of any insurrection, in the ports or on shipboard, or any outrage upon a naval officer, having been punished. . . . It is not necessary to seek elsewhere for the causes of the abandonment of the service by naval officers. According to their letters all offer their lives to France, but refuse to command those who will not obey."

[48] This was done by Hitler against the Jews and by the Communists against their "enemy" the bourgeois. (SR.)

[49] Duvergier, "Decrees of August 1-6, 1791; February 9-11, 1792; March 30 to April 8, 1792; July 24-28, 1792; March 28 to April 5, 1793." - Report by Roland, January 6, 1793. He estimates this property at 4,800 millions, of which 1,800 millions must he deducted for the creditors of the emigrants; 3,000 millions remain. Now, at this date, the assignats are at a discount of 55 per cent. from their nominal figure.

[50] Mercure de France,, February 18, 1792.

[51] Already Tacitus noted some 2000 years ago that, "It is part of human nature to hate the man you have hurt." (SR.)

[52] Cf. on this general attitude of the clergy, Sauzay, V. I. and the whole of V. II. - Mercure de France, September 10, 1791: "No impartial man will fail to see that, in the midst of this oppression, amidst so many fanatical charges of which the reproach of fanaticism and revolt is the pretext, not one act of resistance has yet been manifest. Informers and municipal bodies, governed by clubs, have caused a large number of non-jurors to be cast into dungeons. All have come out of them, or groan there untried, and no tribunal has found any of them guilty." - Report of M. Cahier, Minister of the Interior, February 18, 1792. He declares that "he had no knowledge of any priest being convicted by the courts as a disturber of the public peace, although several had been accused." - Moniteur May 6, 1792. (Report of Français de Nantes) "Not one has been punished for thirty months."

[53] On these spontaneous brutal acts of the Catholic peasants, cf. "Archives Nationales," F7, 3236 (Lozère, July-November, 1791). Deliberation of the district of Florac, July 6, 1791, and the official statement of the commissioner of the department on the disturbances in Espagnac. On the 5th of July, Richard, a constitutional curé, calls upon the municipality to proceed to his installation. "The ceremony could not take place, owing to the hooting, of the women and children, and the threats of various persons who exclaimed: ’Kill him! strangle him, he is a Protestant, is married, and has children;’ and owing to the impossibility of entering the church, the doors of which were obstructed by the large number of women standing in front of them:"- On the 6th of July, he is installed, but with difficulty. "Inside the church a crowd of women uttered loud cries and bemoaned the removal of their old curé On returning, in the streets, a large number of women, unsettled by the sight of the constitutional cure, turned their faces aside . . . and contented themselves with uttering disjointed words . - without doing anything more than cover their faces with their bonnets, casting themselves on the ground." - July 15. The clerk will no longer serve at the mass nor ring the bells; the curé, Richard, attempting to ring them himself, the people threaten him with ill-treatment if he runs the risk. - September 8, 1791. Letter from the curé of Fau, district of Saint-Chély. "That night I was on the brink of death through a troop of bandits who took my parsonage away from me, after having broken in the doors and windows." - December 30, 1791. Another curé who goes to take possession of his parsonage is assailed with stones by sixty women, and thus pursued beyond the limits of the parish . - August 5, 1791. Petition of the constitutional bishop of Mende and his four vicars. "Not a day passes that we are not insulted in the performance of our duties. We cannot take a step without encountering hooting. If we go out we are threatened with cowardly assassination, and with being beaten with clubs."- F7, 3235 (Bas- Rhin, letter from the Directory of the Department, April 9, 1792): "Ten out of eleven, at least, of the Catholics refuse to recognize sworn priests."

[54] Duvergier, decrees (not sanctioned) of November 29 and May 27, 1792. - Decree of August 26, 1792, after the fall of the throne. - Moniteur, XII. 200 (sitting of April 23, 1793). Report of the Minister of the Interior.

[55] Lallier, "Le District de Machecoul," p.261, 263. - "Archives Nationales," F7, 3234. Demand of the prosecuting attorney of the commune of Tonneins (December 21, 1791) for the arrest or expulsion of eight priests "at the slightest act of internal or external hostility." - Ibid., F7, 3264. Act of the Council-general of Corrèze (July 16, 17, 18, 1792) to place in arrest all nonjuring priests. - Between these two dates, act, of various kinds and of increasing severity are found in nearly all the departments against the non-jurors.

[56] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3250. Official statement by the directory of the department, March 18, 1791, with all the documents in relation thereto. - F7, 3200. Letter of the Directory of Calvados, June 13, 1792, with the interrogations. The damages are estimated at 15,000 livres.

[57] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3234. An Act of the Directory of Lot, February 24, 1792, on the disturbances at Marmande. - F7, 3239, official statement of the municipal body of Rheims, November 5, 6, 7, 1791. The two workmen are a harness-maker and a woolcarder. The priest who administered the baptism is put in prison as a disturber of the public peace. - F7, 3219. Letter of the royal commissioner at the tribunal of Castelsarrasin, March 5, 1792. - F7, 3203. Letter of the directory of the district of La Rochelle, June 1, 1792. "The armed force, a witness of these crimes and summoned to arrest these persons in the act, refused to obey."

[58] Memorandum by Camille Jourdan (Sainte-Beuve, "Causeries du Lundi," XII. 250). The guard refuses to give any assistance, coming too late and merely "to witness the disorder, never to repress it."

[59] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3217. Letters of the curé of Uzès, January 29, 1792; of the curé of Alais, April 5, 1792; of the administrators of Gard, July28, 1792; of the prosecuting attorney , M. Griolet, July 2, 1792 ; of Castanet, former gendarme, August 25, 1792; of M. Griolet, September 28, 1792. - Ibid. , F7, 3223. Petition by M.M. Thueri and Devès in the name of the oppressed of Montpellier, November 17, 1791; letter of the same to the minister, October28, 1791; letter of M. Dupin, prosecuting attorney , August 23, 1791; Act of the Department, August 9, 1791; Petition of the inhabitants of Courmonterral, August 25, 1791

[60] Moniteur, XII. 16, sitting of April 1, 1792. Speech by M. Laureau. "Behold the provinces in flames, insurrection in nineteen departments, and revolt everywhere declaring itself . . . The only liberty is that of brigandage; we have no taxation, no order, no government." Mercure de France, April 7, 1792. "More than twenty departments are now participating in the horrors of anarchy and in a more or less destructive insurrection."

[61] Moniteur, XII. 30. Speech by M. Caillasson. The total amount of property sold up to November 1, 1791, is 1,526 millions; the remainder for sale amounts to 669 millions.

[62] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3225. Letter of the Directory of Ille-et-Vilaine, March 24, 1792. "The National Guards of the district purposely expel all nonjuring priests, who have not been replaced, under the pretext of the trouble they would not fail to cause at Easter."

[63] Moniteur, XI. 420. (Sitting of February 18, 1792.) Report by M. Cahier, Minister of the Interior.

[64] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3250. Deposition of the municipal officers of Gosnay and Hesdiguel (district of Béthune), May 18, 1792. Six parishes took part in this expedition; the mayor’s wife had a rope around her neck, and came near being hung. - Moniteur, XII, 154, April 15, 1792. - "Archives Nationales," F7, 3225. Letter of the Directory of Ile-et-Vilaine, March 24, 1792, and official statement of the commissioners for the district of Vitré; letter of the same directory, April 21, 1792, and report of the commissioners sent to Acigné, April 6.

[65] Moniteur, XII. 200. Report of M. Cahier, April 23, 1792. The directories of these four departments refuse to cancel their illegal acts, alleging that "their armed National Guards pursue refractory priests."

[66] Mercure de France, April 7, 1792. Letters written from Aurillac. - "Archives Nationales," F7, 3202. - Letter of the directory of the district of Aurillac, March 27, 1792 (with seven official statements); of the directory of the district of Saint- Flour, March 19 (with the report of its commissioners); of M. Duranthon, minister of justice, April 22; petition of M. Lorus, municipal officer of Aurillac. - Letter of M. Duranthon, June 9, 1792. "I am just informed by the royal commissioner of the district of Saint-Flour that, since the departure of the troops, the magistrates dare no longer exercise their functions in the midst of the brigands who surround them."

[67] "Archives Nationales," F7,, 3219. Letters of M. Niel, administrator of the department of Haute-Garonne, February 27, 1792; of M. Sainfal, March 4; of the directory of the department, March 1; of the royal commissioner, tribunal of Castelsarrasin, March 13.

[68] The following are some examples of these rustic desires:

At Lunel, 4000 peasants and village National Guards strive to enter, to hang the aristocrats. Their wives are along with them, leading their donkeys with "baskets which they hope to carry away full." ("Archives Nationales," F7, 3523. Letter of the municipal body of Lunel, November 4, 1791.)

At Uzès it is with great difficulty that they can rid themselves of the peasants who came in to drive out the Catholic royalists. In vain "were they given plenty to eat and to drink;" they go away "in bad humor, especially the women who led the mules and asses to carry away the booty, and who had not anticipated returning home with empty hands." (De Dampmartin, I. 195.)

In relation to the siege of Nantes by the Vendéans: "An old woman said to me, ’Oh, yes, I was there, at the siege. My sister and myself had brought along our sacks. We counted on entering at least as far as the Rue de la Casserie’" (the street of jeweler’s shops). (Michelet, V 211.)

[69] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3209. Letters of the royal commissioner at the tribunal of Mucidan, March 7, 1792; of the public prosecutor of the district of Sarlat, January. 1792. - Ibid. , F7, 3204. Letters of the administrators of the district of Tulle, April 15, 1792; of the directory of the department, April 18; petition of Jacques Labruc and his wife, with official statement of the justice of the peace, April 24. "All these acts of violence were committed under the eyes of the municipal authorities. They took no steps to prevent them, although they had notice given them in time."

[70] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3223. Letters of M. Brisson, commissioner of the naval classes of Souillac, February 2, 1792; of the directory of the department, March 14, 1792. - Petition of the brothers Barrié (with supporting documents), October 11, 1791. - Letter of the prosecuting attorney of the department, April 4, 1792. Report of the commissioners sent to the district of Figeac, January 5, 1792. Letter of the administrators of the department, May 27, 1792.

[71] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3217. Official reports of the commissioners of the department of Gard, April 1, 2, 3, and 6, 1792, and letter of April 6. One land-owner is taxed 100,000 francs. - Ibid., F7, 3223. Letter of M Dupin, prosecuting attorney of l’Hérault, February 17 and 26, 1792. "At the chateau of Pignan, Madame de Lostanges has not one complete piece of furniture left. The cause of these disturbances is religious passion. Five or six nonjuring priests had retreated to the chateau," - Moniteur, sitting of April 16, 1792. Letter from the directory of the department of Gard. - De Dampmartin, II, 85. At Uzès, fifty or sixty men in masks invade the ducal chateau at ten o’clock in the evening, set fire to the archives, and the chateau is burnt.

[72] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3196. Official statements of Augier and Fabre, administrators of the Bouches-de-Rhône, sent to Avignon, May 11, 1792. (The reappearance of Jourdan, Mainvielle, and the assassins of La Glacière took place April 29.)

[73] De Dampmartin, II. 63. Portalis, "Il est temps de parler" (pamphlet), passim. "Archives Nationales," F7, 7090. Memorandum of the commissioners of the municipal administration of Arles, year IV., Nivôse 22.

[74] Mercure de France, May 19, 1792. (Sitting of May 4.). Petition of forty inhabitants of Avignon at the bar of the Legislative Assembly. - "Archives Nationales," F7, 3195. Letter of the royal commissioners at the tribunal of Apt, March 15, 1792; official report of the municipality, March 22; Letters of the Directory of Apt, March 23 and 28, 1792.

[75] Large cellar where the ice collected during the winter was kept for later use. (SR.)

[76] "Archives Nationales," ibid. Letter of Amiel, president of the bureau of conciliation at Avignon, October 28, 1792, and other letters to the minister Roland. - F7, 3217, Letter of the Justice of the Peace at Roque-Maure, October 31, 1792.

[77] "Archives Nationales," F7, 3246. Official report of the municipality of Metz (with supporting documents), May 15, 1792.

[78] "Mémoires de l’Abbé Baton," one of the priests of the third convoy (a bishop is appointed from Séez), p. 233.

[79] "Archives Nationales" F7, 3225. Letter of citizen Bonnemant, commissioner to minister Roland, September 11, 1792.

End of The French Revolution, Volume 1.


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Chicago: Hippolyte Adolphe Taine, "IX.," The French Revolution— Volume 1, ed. Braybrooke, Richard Griffin, Baron, 1783-1853 and trans. Ingram, J. H. (James Henry) in The French Revolution—Volume 1 (New York: Doubleday, Page, 1909), Original Sources, accessed October 3, 2022,

MLA: Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe. "IX." The French Revolution— Volume 1, edited by Braybrooke, Richard Griffin, Baron, 1783-1853, and translated by Ingram, J. H. (James Henry), in The French Revolution—Volume 1, Vol. 36, New York, Doubleday, Page, 1909, Original Sources. 3 Oct. 2022.

Harvard: Taine, HA, 'IX.' in The French Revolution— Volume 1, ed. and trans. . cited in 1909, The French Revolution—Volume 1, Doubleday, Page, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 3 October 2022, from