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THE ASSEMBLY REFUSES TO SEPARATE.
States-General,-merely to have the hall dismantled, to demolish the amphitheatre and the king's estrade. Workmen accordingly enter! but, at one word from the president, they stop, lay down their tools, contemplate with admiration the calm majesty of the Assembly, and become attentive and respectful auditors.
A deputy proposed to discuss the king's resolutions on the morrow. He was not listened to. Camus laid down forcibly, and it was declared: "That the sitting was but a ministerial act, and that the Assembly persisted in its decrees." Barnave, the young member for Dauphiny: "You have declared what you are; you need no sanction. Glezen, the Breton: "How now! does the sovereign speak as a master, when he ought to consult!" Petion, Buzot, Garat, Grégoire, spoke with equal energy; and Sieyes, with simplicity: "Gentlemen, you are today what you were yesterday.'
The Assembly next declared, on Mirabeau's proposal, that its members were inviolable; that whoever laid hands on a deputy was a traitor, infamous, and worthy of death.
This decree was not useless. The body-guards had formed in a line in front of the hall. It was expected that sixty deputies would be kidnapped in the night.
The nobility, headed by their president, went straightway to thank their protector, the Count d'Artois, and afterwards to Monsieur, who was prudent and took care not to be at home. Many of them went to see the queen, who, triumphant and smiling, leading her daughter and carrying the dauphin, said to them: "I intrust him to the nobility."
The king was far from sharing their joy. The silence of the people, so new to him, had overwhelmed him. When Brézé, who came and informed him that the deputies of the Third Estate remained sitting, asked for orders, he walked about for a few minutes, and said at last, in the tone of one tired to death: " Very well; leave them alone."
The king spoke wisely. The moment was fraught with danger. One step more and Paris marched against Versailles. Versailles was already in commotion. Behold five or six thousand men advancing towards the castle. The queen sees with terror that strange and novel court, which, in a moment, fills the gardens, the terraces, and even the apartments. She
begs, she entreats the king to undo what she has done, to recall Necker. His return did not take long; he was there, near at hand, convinced, as usual, that nothing could ever go on without him. Louis XVI. said to him good-naturedly: For my part I am not at all tenacious of that declaration.'
Necker required no more, and made no condition. His vanity once satisfied, his delight in hearing everybody shout Necker! deprived him of every other thought. He went out, overjoyed, into the great court of the castle, and to comfort the multitude, passed in the midst of them. There a few silly persons fell on their knees and kissed his hands. He, muck affected, said: "Yes, my children,-yes, my children,—I remain; be comforted." He burst into tears, and then shut himself up in his cabinet.
The poor tool of the court remained without exacting anything; he remained to shield the cabal with his name, to serve them as an advertisement, and reassure them against the people; he restored courage to those worthies, and gave them the time to summon more troops.
MOVEMENT OF PARIS.
Assembly of the Electors, June 25th.-Insurrection of the French Guards.-Agitation of the Palais Royal.-Intrigues of the Orleans party.—The King commands the junction of the Orders, June 27th.-The people deliver the French Guards, June 30th.-The Court prepares for War.Paris demands permission to arm.--Necker dismissed, July 11th, 1789. THE situation of things was strange,-evidently temporary. The Assembly had not obeyed. But the king had not revoked anything.
The king had recalled Necker; but he kept the Assembly like a prisoner among his troops; he had excluded the public from the sitting; the grand entrance remained shut; the Assembly entered by the small one, and debated with closed doors.
The Assembly protested feebly and but slightly. The resistance, on the 23rd, seemed to have exhausted its strength.
ASSEMBLY OF THE ELECTORS OF PARIS.
Paris did not imitate its weakness.
It was not content to see its deputies making laws in prison. On the 24th the ferment was terrible.
On the 25th it burst out in three different ways at once; by the electors, by the crowd, and by the soldiery.
The seat of the Revolution fixes itself at Paris.
The electors had agreed to meet again after the elections, in order to complete their instructions to the deputies whom they had elected. Though the ministry refused its permission,* the coup d'état, on the 23rd, urged them on; they had likewise their coup d'état, and assembled, of their own accord, on the 25th, in the Rue Dauphine. A wretched assembly-room, occupied at that moment by a wedding-party, which made room for them, received, at first, the Assembly of the electors of Paris. This was their Tennis-court. There Paris, through their medium, made an engagement to support the National Assembly. One of them, Thuriot, advised them to go to the Hotelde-Ville, into the great hall of Saint-Jean, which nobody durst refuse them.
These electors were mostly rich men, citizens of note; the aristocracy was numerous in this body; but among them were, also, men of over-excited minds. First, two men, fervent révolutionnaires, with a singular tendency to mysticism; one was the abbé Fauchet, eloquent and intrepid; the other, his friend Bonneville, (the translator of Shakespeare). Both, in the thirteenth century, would have caused themselves, most certainly, to be burnt as heretics. In the nineteenth they as forward as any, or rather the first, to propose resistance; which was scarcely to be expected from the burgess assembly of the electors.† On the 6th of June, Bonneville proposed that Paris should be armed, and was the first to cry, To arms."
* Compare the Mémoires de Bailly with the Procès-verbal des Electeurs, drawn up by Bailly et Duveyrier.
+ Yet, nowhere had more reliance been placed on the weakness of the people. The well-known gentleness of Parisian manners, the multitude of government people, and financiers, who could but lose in a rebellion, the crowds of those who lived on abuses, had altogether created a belief, before the elections, that l'aris would prove very citizen-like, easy, and timid. See Bailly, pp. 16, 150.
Dussaulx, Euvre des Sept Jours, p. 271, (ed. 1822).
INSURRECTION OF THE FRENCH GUARDS.
Fauchet, Bonneville, Bertolio, and Carra, a violent journalist, made these bold motions, which ought to have been made from the first in the National Assembly:-firstly, the Citizen Guard; secondly, the early organization of a true, elective, and annual Commune; thirdly, an address to the King, for the removal of the troops and the liberty of the Assembly, and for the revocation of the coup d'état of the 23rd.
On the very day of the first assembly of the electors, as if the cry to arms had resounded in the barracks, the soldiers of the French Guards, confined for several days past, overpowered their guard, walked about in Paris, and went to fraternise with the people in the Palais Royal. For some time past, secret societies had been forming among them; they swore they would obey no orders that might be contrary to those of the Assembly. The Act of the 23rd, in which the king declared, in the strongest manner, that he would never change the institution of the army; that is to say, that the nobility should for ever monopolize every grade, and that the plebeian could never rise, but that the common soldier would die in the ranks that unjustifiable declaration necessarily finished what the revolutionary contagion had begun.
The French Guards, residents in Paris, and mostly married men, had seen the depôt in which the children of the soldiers were educated, free of expense, shortly before suppressed by M. Du Châtelet, their hard-hearted colonel. The only change made in the military institutions, was made against them.
In order to appreciate properly the words institution of the army, we should know, that in the budget of that time, the officers were reckoned at forty-six millions (of francs), and the soldiers at forty-four.* We should know, that Jourdan, Joubert, and Kléber, who had served at first, quitted the military profession, as a desperate career, a sort of no thoroughfare. Augereau was an under-officer in the infantry, Hoche a sergeant in the French Guards, and Marceau a common soldier; those noble-hearted and aspiring youths were fixed in this low condition for ever. Hoche, who was twentyone years of age, nevertheless completed his own education, as if about to be a General-in-Chief; he devoured everything,
* Necker, Administration, ii., 422, 435. (1784).
AGITATION IN THE PALAIS ROYAL.
literature, politics, and even philosophy; must we add, that this great man, in order to purchase a few books, used to embroider officers' waistcoats, and sell them in a coffee-house.* The trifling pay of a soldier was, under one pretence or other, absorbed by deductions, which the officers squandered away among themselves.†
The insurrection of the French Guards was not a pretorian mutiny, a brutal riot of the soldiery,—it came in support of the declarations of the electors and the people. That truly French troop, Parisian in a great measure, followed the lead of Paris, followed the law, the living law,—the National Assembly.
They arrived in the Palais Royal, saluted, pressed, embraced, and almost stifled by the crowd. The soldier, that true paria of the ancient monarchy, so ill-treated by the nobles, is welcomed by the people. And what is he, under his uniform, but the very people? Two brothers have met each other, the soldier and the citizen, two children of the same mother; they fall into each other's arms, and burst into tears.
Hatred and party-spirit have vilified all that, disfigured those grand scenes, and soiled the page of history, at pleasure. A vast importance has been attached to this or that ridiculous anecdote; a worthy amusement for petty minds! All these immense commotions they have attributed to some miserable, insignificant causes. Paltry fools! try to explain by a straw, washed away by the waves, the agitation of the ocean.
No: those movements were those of a whole people, true, sincere, immense, and unanimous; France had her share in them, and so had Paris; all men, (each in his own degree,) acted, some with their hands and voices, others with their minds, with their fervent wishes, from the depths of their hearts.
But why do I say France? It would be more true to say the world. An envious enemy, a Genevese, imbued with every English prejudice, cannot help avowing, that at that decisive moment, the whole world was looking on, observing with uneasy sympathy the march of our Revolution, and feeling that France was doing, at her own risk and peril, the business of mankind.‡ Arthur Young, an English agriculturist, a positive, special * Rousselin, Vie de Hoche, i., 20.
The single regiment of Beauce believed it was cheated of the sum of 240,727 francs. E. Dumont, Souvenirs, p. 135.