Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Half Title
 The old king dies
 The states-general
 The tennis-court oath
 The fall of the Bastille
 The burning of the chateaux
 The fatal banquet
 The insurrection of women
 The national oath
 Troubles in the army
 The death of Mirabeau
 The king's flight
 A year after the king's flight
 The Marseillese
 The Swiss guard
 The Spetember massacres
 The enemy at bay
 The trial of King Louis XVI
 The execution of the king
 The Girondins
 Charlotte Corday
 Marie Antoinette
 Egalite Orleans
 The overthrow of religion
 Arrest of Danton
 The fall of Robespierre
 The day of the sections
 Back Cover

Title: Stories of the French revolution
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082006/00001
 Material Information
Title: Stories of the French revolution
Physical Description: 182 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Montgomery, Walter ( Editor )
Estes & Lauriat ( Publisher )
John Wilson and Son ( Printer )
University Press (Cambridge, Mass.) ( Printer )
Publisher: Estes and Lauriat
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: University Press ; John Wilson and Son
Publication Date: c1893
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Kings and rulers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Queens -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Soldiers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Mobs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Statesmen -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Battles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Clergy -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- France -- Revolution, 1789-1799   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1893
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
Statement of Responsibility: edited by Walter Montgomery ; fully illustrated.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082006
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002237949
notis - ALH8443
oclc - 12745289

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Title Page
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Table of Contents
        Page 6
    List of Illustrations
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Half Title
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The old king dies
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    The states-general
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    The tennis-court oath
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    The fall of the Bastille
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    The burning of the chateaux
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    The fatal banquet
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    The insurrection of women
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    The national oath
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    Troubles in the army
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    The death of Mirabeau
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    The king's flight
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    A year after the king's flight
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    The Marseillese
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    The Swiss guard
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
    The Spetember massacres
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    The enemy at bay
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    The trial of King Louis XVI
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    The execution of the king
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    The Girondins
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Charlotte Corday
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Marie Antoinette
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    Egalite Orleans
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
    The overthrow of religion
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
    Arrest of Danton
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    The fall of Robespierre
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
    The day of the sections
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
    Back Cover
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
Full Text

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Copyright, 1893,



I. THE OLD KING DIES .......... .... II
VIII. THE NATIONAL OATH .. .. ...... .. 53
XI. THE KING'S FLIGHT ..... .......... 74
XIV. THE Swiss GUARD . . . 95
XVI. THE ENEMY AT BAY .. . . .. 109
XVII. THE TRIAL OF KING Louis XVI. . . .. 116
XIX. THE GIRONDINS . . . . 129
XXII. IGALITr ORLANS ................. 149


GOD TO HELP THEM . . .... ontisiece

THE FATAL BANQUET ... ... . .. 41

THE ROUND HAT . . . . 77














. . 131

. 37

. 145

. . 153

. . 159


. . 173

. 179




ABOUT eight miles from Paris is the town of Versailles, which
was but a poor little village when a great king took a fancy
to it and built there a palace. His son was passionately fond of
state and grandeur, and he resolved to add to the palace, room after
room and gallery after gallery, until he had made it the most superb
house in all the world. It is said the cost was so frightful that he
never let any one know what the sum total amounted to, but threw
the accounts into the fire. This was Louis XIV., called by French-
men Le grand Monarque." He reigned seventy-two years, having
been a mere child when called to the throne.
To this splendid palace and to an income of thirty millions a year,
did his great-grandson, Louis XV., succeed. He, too, was a child of
tender years when he entered on his vast inheritance. For a time the
Duke of Orleans acted as regent; but when the little king was four-
teen years of age he assumed the sceptre, and in two years more he
married a Polish princess.
At one time Louis was very much beloved, and got the title of
" Bien Aime; but he afterward lost his people's affection, and by the
time he died he was utterly despised, if not detested. Everything
seemed to be going to rack and ruin. The French armies were


defeated, their colonies fell into the hands of England, their navy
suffered great losses, their commerce was all but ruined. Therefore
the French people felt disgraced; and many of them believed all these
evils were greatly owing to the idleness and bad management of their
pleasure-loving and careless king.
At length, one year, it was in the pleasant May-time, Louis
fell sick of small-pox. He was at once put to bed, and the doctors
came to see him; but from the first they looked with grave anxiety on
the ailing man. His three daughters whom he had nicknamed Rag,
Snip, and Pig waited on him dutifully, though the terrible disease
turned everybody sick who came near the bed. The stench was
carried far into the palace; but there the princesses remained until
the end came. They had a fourth sister, nicknamed Dud; but she
was in a nunnery, and so could not wait upon her dying father.
So Louis, once the Well Beloved," lay dying at last. Twice be-
fore he had been near death. Once at Metz he was very, very ill, and
prayers ascended in every church for his recovery; and at another
time he almost perished under the knife of an assassin, named
Damiens, who leaped on the carriage-step and stabbed the king in
the side. But now Death had come to him in earnest, and Louis was
nevermore to smell the roses in the glorious gardens of Versailles,
nor was he evermore to watch the wonderful fountains play, nor to
hunt in the pleasant forest. Death had called for him at last, and he
must go. When he felt himself sinking into the grave, he sent for
the sacrament, and it was given him by Cardinal Roche Aymon.
Many ministers of religion were praying incessantly in the chapel
below for the king's recovery. While the dauphin (afterward Louis
XVI.), his queen, and many of the courtiers were present at one of
these services, the May skies were darkened by a sudden thunder-
storm, and the rattling peals drowned the sound of the chants and
prayers. The tempest rolled away, and soon after the old king
breathed his last.


While he was in his death agonies, the dauphin and his wife and
others were standing ready to leave Versailles at a moment's notice.
The horses were yoked to the carriages, and the postilions in their
churn-boots were standing by; all were ready for an instant start.
At length the dauphin and Marie Antoinette heard a noise like the
sound of distant thunder; it came nearer and nearer, and very soon
the door of the apartment flew open, and all the courtiers crowded in,
each wishing to outstrip the other in saluting the new majesties of
The young couple, it is said, fell on their knees and asked God to
help them to rule, for they were so young and knew not how. It
was a pious deed; and we cannot but grieve as we see them, full of
youth and hope and prosperity, beginning that course which so soon
afterward ended in disaster and death.
It seems strange to us that Louis did not remain at Versailles and
follow his grandfather to the grave. Wicked as he was, the old king
might at least have had a decent funeral. As for the young king, he
and his brilliant court did not remain an hour, but stepped into their
carriages and were driven away at a rapid rate to Choisy. Mean-
while the dishonored body of the late monarch, now a mass of putre-
fying sores, was tumbled hastily into a coffin of lead, which was well
supplied with spirits of wine. The coffin was then carried rapidly
away by torchlight to St. Denis, where the kings of France had a
burial-place. As the funeral procession passed through Paris, many
were the bitter things said of him who was gone. The curious people
stood in two rows to witness the dismal sight pass them at a quick
Ten years of peace followed the accession of Louis XVI.; but he
and his government had been meanwhile getting deeper and deeper
into debt and discredit, and they were at length obliged, by sheer want
of money, to call together a parliament, called the States-General,
which had not met for upward of a hundred and fifty years.



THE poor people in France were in a most miserable condition.
Bread was very dear, and grievance of many kinds abounded.
Once, not long after the young king ascended the throne, the poor
rose up, and went with a petition to Versailles. The king appeared
on a balcony, and spoke to them not unkindly; but by the advice of
his ministers, two of the leaders were hanged on a new gallows.
The king by and by had to reduce the expenses of his household,
and Versailles became an altered place. The wolf-hounds were given
up; then the bear-hounds; then the falcons; and one nobleman after
another, who had a good salary, was dismissed.
A minister named Calonne, a clever man, did some service for a
while in raising money, and so making the king's path easier; but it
was all moonshine, as we say. Things were really getting worse.
Calonne then proposed to do a very wise thing, we think; namely, to
call together the notables, -a thing which had not been done as long
as the king could rule without them. These notables were peers, dig-
nified churchmen, soldiers, lawyers, and men of mark, to the number
of one hundred and thirty-seven, who sat in seven companies, each
under a prince. Calonne was for taxing all, -even the upper classes,
who stupidly thought they ought to be free. This was so little liked
that Calonne had to resign and leave the country in haste.
After nine weeks' chatter the notables departed each to his home,
without having done much, except to pave the way for a National


A clever Swiss banker, named Necker, had also labored, like
Calonne, in the thorny path of managing the king's money-bags; but
as he, like Calonne, advised that the Clergy and Nobles should be
taxed, he was dismissed, but called back again amid the plaudits of
the people. Necker's portrait was carried aloft in a procession
through the streets of Paris; while a wicker figure of an archbishop
who was very unpopular was burned on the Pont Neuf by a wild mob.
A charge of cavalry was made, and many people killed and wounded.
No States-General had met for one hundred and seventy-four years,
and it was a hard matter to know how to get them to work together.
But it was at last decided they should meet, to get France out of her
troubles; and so the king sent a signal through the land in the frosty
January of 1789. Men were everywhere ordered to elect their mem-
bers, and to draw up a list of their grievances. And of grievances there
was no end. In the month of April the members elected were arriv-
ing at Versailles, hunting up lodgings, and making preparations for the
opening day. But before that day arrived, a terrible event had taken
place in Paris, showing the violence of the people. A certain paper-
manufacturer, named Reveillon, had his works in the most unruly part
of Paris, named St. Antoine. Reveillon had been heard to say that
a journeyman paper-maker might live well on fifteen sous a day.
This seems to have roused the wrath of the rough inhabitants of St.
Antoine, and they gathered with menacing looks about the manufac-
tory. Reveillon sent for some soldiers, who cleared the street, and
posted themselves therein for the night.
But on the morrow matters grew worse, and so another detach-
ment of troops was ordered to the spot. These men could hardly
with gun and bayonet reach it, so choked with lumber and crowds
was the street. The soldiers fired at the mob, who were already in
the building engaged on the work of destruction, and the mob replied
with yells and showers of stones and tiles. As the riot went on, some
of the king's Swiss Guards, with two pieces of cannon, were sent; and


when the rioters saw the steady, determined faces of the redcoats
and their lighted matches, they slank away into their dens, leaving no
less than four or five hundred dead men in that one street. The
unfortunate paper-maker, who had lost all but his life, took refuge in
the Bastille, and the dead were buried with the title of Defenders of
their Country."
Twelve hundred and fourteen gentlemen were now assembled at
Versailles, and each one kissed the king's hand in the palace. It was
noticed, however, that while the Nobles and Clergy had both folding-
doors thrown open for them, the members of the third estate, or Com-
mons, had only one opened for them. A spacious hall had been
prepared, the king taking great interest in its fitting up. There was
room in it for six hundred Commoners in front, for three hundred
Clergy on one side, and three hundred Nobles on the other.
On Monday, May 4, the town of Versailles was a human sea.
Men clustered thick about roofs and chimneys, and every window was
thronged with sight-seers, all intent on the march of the twelve hun-
dred deputies from the Church of St. Louis, where they assembled, to
the Church of Our Lady, where they were to hear a sermon. The
Commons walked in black; the Nobles in embroidered velvet and
plumes; the Clergy in their proper robes. After them came the king
and queen and royal household. Several men afterward famous
were among the Commons; as Danton, Camille, Desmoulins, and Mira-
beau. There, too, went the bilious Robespierre, spectacles on nose;
and there was Dr. Guillotin, who gave his name to the instrument of
death. With my machine," said he, I whisk off your head in a
moment, and you feel no pain." One clergyman, the Abbe Sieyes,
sat among the Commons.
Next day the States,General assembled in their noble hall, and the
king made a speech to them. When he finished, he put on his hat.
The Nobles followed suit, and put on their hats; and then the third
estate, or Commons, did the same. Then arose a cry, Hats off!

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Hats off!" And some cried, Hats on The king, to put an end
to a ridiculous dispute, took his own hat off again. This was but a
slight thing, but it showed the temper of the Commons.
For six whole weeks the Commons did nothing but wait. They saw
the Nobles and Clergy wanted to sit and act separately, and they were
resolved to do nothing at all, until they could all act together as one
body in one chamber, This the king and court did all they could to
prevent, fearing lest the weight of the Commons should incline the
whole States-General to take the direction of liberty, equality, and
fraternity, -- things which the privileged classes always have hated
and always will.



THE Commons, you remember, would not do anything at all, be-
cause the Clergy and Nobles refused to sit and debate with
them. The king and his council did not wish the Clergy and Nobles
to sit and talk with the Commons, for they were afraid the Commons
would make them too liberal; and they were the more afraid because
one hundred and forty-nine out of the six hundred Clergy joined the
Commons. These were mostly clergy of the lower orders, and what
we call parish priests. This made the court resolve to do something.
Some were for planting cannon opposite the hall of debate, so as to
terrify the Commons into obedience. Others were for shutting up the
hall and turning them into the street. The king was always a mild
man and against doing anything violently, and he did not approve of
the cannon business at all. He was therefore persuaded to order the
Marquis de Brez6 to shut the doors of the hall.
On Saturday, June 20, therefore, when the hour of meeting came,
the President of the Commons, whose name was Bailly, went, in com-
pany with the members, to the hall. Bailly had received a letter from
the marquis, which told him that the Commons would not be allowed
to use the hall; but this letter Bailly put in his pocket and did not
notice. When he and the Commons reached the door, they found it
guarded by soldiers, and within carpenters were at work, making the
hall ready for some grand court ceremonial. The captain of the
guard politely informed Bailly that he could not let the members in,
and he showed the king's order. They might send some of their


number in, to remove any papers that might belong to them, but
nothing more. So Bailly and his secretaries went in, and carried off
the papers, with minds full of anger. The members stood some min-
utes under the shade of a fine avenue of trees, considering what was
best to be done. They felt sure that the courtiers were chuckling over
their disappointment. The morning was cloudy, and a drizzling rain
began to fall. Great was the hubbub of voices under the friendly
shelter of the trees; loud were the complaints and cries of shame;
many the plans of what to do next. Some were for meeting in a
large courtyard called the Place of Arms ; others were for going over
to Marly, whither it was heard the king had driven; some were for
forcing an entrance into Versailles Palace itself. But it was soon ru-
mored that President Bailly had found a convenient place. It was a
tennis-court in the street of St. Francis, and thither the disgusted
Commons took their way. It was a bare place, enclosed by four
naked walls. A table and chair were borrowed of a neighbor, and,
the President and his friends having opened their papers, the proceed-
ings began with a solemn oath! A certain Monsieur Mailly proposed
that the six hundred members should lift up their right hands to
Heaven, and swear they would meet anywhere and under any and
every circumstance, until they had made suitable laws for the right
government of France. When the oath was sworn, each member
took a pen and signed his name. There was only one man who re-
fused,- a member from Languedoc; and him they declared to be
"wrong in his head."
When the members had agreed to meet on the Monday following
in the Recollets Church, they separated. Bailly had shown himself
a worthy leader, and was at that hour the most popular man in
France; but the court party were dreadfully,vexed. When Monday
came, myriads of people flocked into Versailles to see what might
turn up. The king, perhaps alarmed, put off his ceremonial; and the
Commons, in a solid body, marched to the church, where they found


the one hundred and forty-nine Clergy awaiting them. There was a
scene of much emotion, men embracing each other and shedding
tears. The next day (a very rainy day) the king invited the States-
General to enter the hall, where he made a speech. He declared his
resolve that the three orders should vote separately. A number of
articles were then read aloud, and the king said if they could not
agree upon them he would effect them himself. Let each order,"
said he, now depart, to meet to-morrow in its own place, to despatch
business." Then all filed out, except the Commons and those Clergy
who had joined them.
It was now that Mirabeau showed himself as a leader of men.
He rose to speak. While on his legs the Marquis de Brez6 interfered
with, Messieurs, you have heard the king's orders !"
"Yes," replied Mirabeau, "we have all heard what the king
has been advised to say, but you are not the man to remind us of it.
Go, sir, and tell those who sent you that we are here by the will
of the people, and nothing but the force of bayonets shall drive us
It was not thought prudent to send soldiers to expel'the audacious
Commons; for they seemed inclined to show a mutinous spirit. A
ruse was therefore tried. A posse of carpenters was sent into the hall
to remove, with much hammering and noise, the platform. It was
hoped their clatter would drown the orators, and stop the proceedings.
But, lo! the carpenters, when they had worked a few minutes, stood
open-mouthed on the platform, listening with wonder to the finest
speaker they had ever heard. Mirabeau was now moving that the
Commons were a National Assembly, and that any person who dared
lay a finger on any member should be guilty of a capital crime. This
was put to the meeting, and made a decree. Before the week was out
the rest of the Clergy and the Nobles had joined the Commons, the
king begging them to oblige him by yielding to what was clearly the
popular will. It was the last day of June when the States-General


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were united in one house; and great was the joy and many the lighted
torches carried about everywhere.
But though the king had yielded to the Commons, he had done it
very unwillingly; and he still hoped to punish his rebellious subjects
by means of the sword, if he could do it in no other way.. Suspicion
of his purpose was aroused by the marching of regiments and the
rumbling of great guns. Cannon were pointed at the Assembly Hall,
and the members were alarmed by the tramp of armed men and the
never-ceasing tap of the drumstick on the drum. The general,
named Broglie, had his headquarters in Versailles, and all the day
long aides-de-camp were coming and going. Something was up,
without a doubt, and some terrible damage would certainly have been
done to the rebellious part of the States-General if it had not been for
one fortunate thing, which was this, -the soldiers positively refused
to draw trigger when their muskets were to be pointed at their
brother Frenchmen! They made a solemn promise to each other in
the ranks that they would never act against the National Assembly.
In fact, the privates in the French army, having nothing to lose and
all to gain, were as eager for change as the citizens, and quite ready
to disobey their lordly officers if the orders given did not please



A PICTURE of the Bastille, or State-prison, shows us a great
mass of masonry, with round towers. It stood at the east end
of Paris, in the street of St. Antoine. It was begun in 1369, and
finished in 1383. Its strong walls were surrounded by a wide ditch,
which itself was defended on its outer side by a wall thirty-six feet
high. The towers had several eight-sided rooms one over another,
each with a narrow window. There was no fireplace, and no article
of furniture, except an iron grating raised si'x inches from the floor,
and on this the prisoner's bed was laid. The rooms in the walls
were more comfortable. The interior consisted of two courts, called
the Great Court and the Court of the Well." The prison had a
well-paid governor, several officers poorly paid, and a certain number
of Invalides and Swiss, who had a small daily allowance, with firewood
and candles. One unhappy prisoner was confined in these dreary
walls for fifty-four years. Two prisoners, and only two, ever managed
to escape. They contrived to make two ladders, which they hid under
the floor; and one dark night they climbed up the chimney, cut
through the iron gratings, and got on the roof. Thence they de-
scended about one hundred feet to the bottom of the fosse or ditch.
Then they made a hole in the wall next the Rue St. Antoine, and so
escaped. This was Feb. 26, 1756.
The month of July, 1789, had come. It was now Sunday, the 2th,
and, owing to all those movements of troops we spoke of toward Paris
and Versailles, the minds of all were in a flutter. Great placards on


the walls urged you to keep indoors; but if you did not, you could
hardly move without meeting a foreign soldier. We are to be mown
down, then, are we ? asked one citizen of another. Had you been in
Paris that Sunday, you might have seen Camille Desmoulins poet,
editor, and speaker- mount a table with a pistol in each hand, and
ask the crowd around whether they were willing to die like hunted
hares. The hour is come," cried Camille, and now it is either death
or deliverance forever. To arms! A thousand voices echoed the
last words of Camille, To arms He then said, My friends, we
must have some sign to know each other by;' let us wear cockades of
green: green is the color of hope! The multitude then rushed to
embrace Camille; and some one handed him a piece of green ribbon,
which he pinned in his hat. Next, they went to an image shop, where
they got two wax busts, -one of the favorite minister Necker, who
had been just dismissed, and the other of the Duke of Orleans, a royal
prince who hated the king, and became for a time on that account one
of the leaders of the revolution. The multitude now kept moving on
and growing in numbers. Armed with all sorts of weapons, they soon
came into collision with the foreign troops, who, by order of Prince
Lambesc, fired on them, and hacked at them with their sabres. The
mob dispersed, but only to reunite in some other place. To arms !
To arms!" resounded all over Paris. The bells were tolled at sun-
set; the shops of gunsmiths were broken open and rifled; the blood
of the great city rose to boiling heat that evening. Around the Hotel
de Ville a raging multitude clamored for arms all night; but the
authorities knew not what to do, and slipped away as best they could.
A few daring spirits took their places, and sat up all night at the
H6tel, giving such directions as they thought best, and ordered a
Paris militia to be at once enrolled.
Monday morning broke on the restless city. There was no work
done in Paris that day, except by the smiths who were making pikes,
and by the women who were sewing at cockades. These were not


green, however, but red, white, and blue. All shops but those of the
bakers and wine-sellers were closed. Arms! Arms Give us arms!"
-such were the constant cries. About three hundred and sixty fire-
locks belonging to the old city watch were served out. The Arsenal
was broken open, but nothing was found inside except rubbish. Two
small Siamese cannon and some swords and armor were snatched from
the king's armory. Deserters from the regular army came trooping
in. At two in the afternoon more than three thousand good soldiers
left their officers and joined the mob. The newly ordered militia of
Paris already numbered many tens of thousands, but arms were yet
few. Fifty thousand pikes, however, were made in thirty-six hours;
so the smiths were busy enough.
It oozed out that in the cellars of the Invalides Hotel there were
twenty-eight thousand muskets. The governor there was an old man
named Sombreuil, whom we shall hear of again. He, suspecting his
old soldiers of siding too much with the rioters, ordered them to
unscrew the muskets; but they went to work very unwillingly, and
in six hours had done very little. About nine o'clock on Tuesday
morning the Invalides Hotel was attacked and broken into, and the
arms found, amid great rejoicing; and now, having got so many
useful arms, the cry was raised, To the Bastille To the Bastille "
The governor's name was De Launay. He had eighty-two old
Invalides in the Bastille, and thirty-two Swiss. His walls were nine
feet thick, and he had cannon and powder; but he had only one day's
supply of food. About noon a man named Thuriot obtained admit-
tance into the .prison. He found De Launay unwilling to surrender,
--nay, he threatened to blow the prison into the air. Thuriot and
De Launay went on the battlements, and the governor turned quite
pale at the sight of Paris rolling onward against the doomed Bastille.
But he would not yield; he would die rather. A second and third
deputation tried to move the governor; but his patience waxing thin,
he pulled up the drawbridge and ordered his men to fire on the

M. _-A

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And now began a dreadful scene. Men fell wounded or dying
here and there ; shouts rose incessantly, mingled with ceaseless volleys
of musketry. An old soldier, named Louis Tournay, was seen striking
with his axe at the outer chain of the drawbridge: he was aided by
another veteran, named Bonnemere; and at length the chain was
broken, and the ponderous drawbridge fell thundering down into the
Two officers chanced to be in Paris at the time, named Elie and
Hulin. These men directed the troops, while a marine, just come
from Brest, levelled the Siamese cannon against the walls. Men who
were wounded were carried away, and those who were dying entreated
the assailants not to cease fighting until the cursed prison was level
with the ground. Three fresh deputations arrived from the. Htel de
Ville, asking De Launay to surrender, and promising him favorable
terms ; he, however, could not hear what was said, owing to the great
noise, or, if he guessed what they said, did not believe them. And so
the furious fight went on, from one o'clock, when it began, until five,
when the Invalides made a white flag, and a port-hole was opened, as
if some one would hold a parley. A man named Maillard advanced
gingerly on a plank toward the port-hole, snatched a letter held out to
him by a Swiss, and returned. It ran thus: The Bastille shall be
surrendered, if pardon is granted to all." The promise was given on
the word of one of the officers, and the second drawbridge was lowered,
and the mob rushed in. The Swiss stood grouped together in their
white frocks; and there too were the Invalides, all disarmed. The
first comers, who had heard the bargain, meant to be true to their
word ; but they could not,--for others, mad with vengeance, came up,
and in a few moments one of the Swiss soldiers who tried to escape
was killed, and an Invalide lost his right hand. The rest were marched
off to the Town-hall to be tried for the crime of slaying citizens. De
Launay, dressed in a gray frock with a poppy-colored ribbon, was
about to stab himself, when some people interfered and bore him off,


escorted by Hulin and Maillard, to the H6tel de Ville. On the way,
however, the miserable De Launay was torn from the shelter of his
escort, and brutally murdered. The only part of him that reached the
Town-hall was his bloody hair quezue held up in a bloody hand."
One or two others of the garrison were massacred; the rest were
saved, though with much difficulty, by the Gardes Francaises. Inside
the hotel Elie was busy forming a list of the Bastille heroes. Outside
was a perfect forest of spears and bayonets. Along the streets were
carried the seven prisoners found in the Bastille, also seven heads on
pikes, also the keys of the captured fortress. Through the whole of
the following night the stones of which the prison had been built came
down with a sound of thunder.
And what of the king's palace ? That very evening there was a
grand ball in the Orangery. It was Nero fiddling while Rome was
burning," once more. In the dead of night the Duke of Liancourt
came to the king's bedside and told him what the Paris mob had done.
Why, it is a revolt said Louis.
It is more," replied the duke : "it is a revolution !"



LONG had the French laboring-classes been trodden down by
the French Nobles. We have not the faintest idea now of
the miserable bondage in which the poor people were held before
the days of the Great Revolution. The fall of the Bastille seems to
have aroused them like a clap of thunder. They rubbed their eyes
as men awakened from a deep sleep, and asked whether it were
real, or whether they were like those who dream. The wretched
down-trodden slaves rose up with the bitter recollection in their
hearts of ages of ill-usage, and with a keen relish for vengeance.
Amply did they revenge themselves on -the seigneurs, as the lords
were called. These men generally idled their lives away in their ele-
gant country-mansions or in the gay circles of Paris. They drew
their means of enjoyment from rack-rented estates and from grievous
dues; and their tenants were ground down with penury and misery.
One day, it is said, Louis XV., when hunting gayly as his custom
was, met a ragged peasant with a coffin at the corner of some green
alley in the wood of Senart. He stopped the man and asked him
who was going to be buried in the coffin, and the man told him.
What did he die of? inquired the king.
Of hunger," replied the peasant.
It is to be feared that was a very common disease in those evil
days. Every now and then this bitter hunger drove the people to
rebellion; and in -1775 they gathered in great crowds, as we have
already heard, around the palace of Versailles, clamoring for bread.


The king showed himself on the balcony, and spoke soothing words
to them ; but two of their number were hanged on a new gallows forty
feet in height, and that was the answer they got, an answer not
soon forgotten.
The old Marquis Mirabeau, in his Memoirs, has drawn a painful
picture of the French peasantry. He describes them as savages
descending from the mountains," as "frightful men, or rather, fright-
ful wild animals; their faces haggard, and covered with long
greasy hair; the upper part of the face pale, the lower part distorting
itself into the attempt at a cruel laugh. You can fancy you may
starve these people with impunity," said he, always till the catas-
trophe comes. Such government as this will end in the general
overturn." And it did come when those haggard wretches," as the
marquis called them, rose up against their superiors and drove them
from their homes.
Soon after the fall of the Bastille many of the highest in the land,
afraid of losing their lives, hastily left the country, and some of them
had much difficulty in escaping. Prince Cond6 was pursued to the
Oise; and others fled in disguise, with friends in lieu of servants on
their coach-boxes.
One immensely rich man named Foulon (whom the people hated
with a deadly hatred because he had said they might eat grass)
thought to escape them by pretending to be dead and buried; but
about a week after the fall of the Bastille he was found alive, and one
morning early the villagers of Vitry, where he lived, dragged him to
Paris. Bareheaded and decked with nettles and thistles, he was
hurried to the Hotel de Ville to be judged. After some time a man
stepped forward and said, What is the use of judging this man ? Has
he not been judged these thirty years ? "
The yelling crowd applauded, and the old man was put to death
without further loss of time. He was hanged to a lamp-iron, pleading
for life, but in vain; and after he was dead his body was dragged







through the streets, and his head was carried about on a pike-point,
the mouth filled with grass.
His son-in-law named Berthier was also arrested and brought from
Compiegne to Paris. He was a brave man, but his look became ashy
when he met Foulon's head on a pike-point. Though Berthier was
protected by a large body of men with drawn swords, the mob broke
through them and snatched him out of his escort's hands. He seized
hold of a musket and defended himself with the courage of a lion, but
it was all in vain. He was hanged on the same lamp-iron, and his
head and his heart also flew over Paris.
These two may serve as instances of the hatred of the people
toward their rich oppressors. These men were the tyrants of the
poor," said their murderers; "they drank the blood of the widow and
of the orphan."
A great stillness had fallen on Versailles. How different it was
now from what it had been a year or two ago! The queen had become
the most hated woman in France, and often shed many tears; and the
king must have felt his throne tottering beneath him. It was a fear-
ful hour. Bread was dear, and grew dearer day by day. Money was
very scarce, and the people's hearts were heavy and bitter. An English-
man named Arthur Young has left a book behind him in which he tells
of many things he saw in his travels through distracted France. He
once overtook a poor woman who, though not yet twenty-eight, looked
at least sixty years old. She told how hardly they had to live, she and
her husband and seven children, and how poor they were after paying
rents and quitrents, hens to one lord and sacks of oats to another.
Besides these, and taxes to the king and other dues, the good man
was obliged to do a certain amount of statute labor, for which he got
no pay. It was no wonder that the poor woman said, The dues and
taxes crush us."
And now, when the Bastille had fallen and the people had found
out their strength, the work of destruction went on all over France.


Every night the darkness was dispelled by some great fire. The
church bell of the village was rung, and the whole parish assembled
to commit havoc as they chose. And they often chose to wreak their
vengeance on the church itself; for the clergy, as being a privileged
class, were almost as much hated as the great lords.
These great lords, with their delicate ladies and children, were
obliged to fly, often by night, glad enough to escape with their lives.
The tax-gatherers had to disappear, their occupation gone at least for
a season.
The same Arthur Young says: The grand seigneurs were shocking
bad landlords. They lived in the midst of ill-managed fields and
wastes, and great woods filled with deer, wild boars, and wolves. If
I were King of France for one day," said he, I would make these
great lords skip again!"
They did not combine, as they perhaps might have done, in their
own defence; but they were scattered widely over France, and were
often jealous of each other, though no one doubts their courage. One
man did indeed rid the earth of a number of his poorer neighbors by
inviting them to a banquet at his chateau, and then killing them
by igniting a barrel of gunpowder.
Of course law was not yet utterly'powerless to put down robbery
and mob violence. Some of the house-burning ruffians were tried,
condemned, and hanged on trees by the roadside as a terror to evil-
Such, then, were the scenes common in France in the summer
months of 1789. The wheels of industry ceased turning; the soldiers
seemed disposed to be mutinous; and at Strasburg they openly em-
braced the mob, and helped them set fire to the Town-hall.
It was hardly safe, as Arthur Young found, to travel about France
in those evil days. Many times shot and slugs came whistling about
his ears, and sometimes his carriage was hit. by them. Whether he
was aimed'at as an aristocrat flying the country, or whether the badly


aiming peasants shot at the pigeon and hit the crow," we are not told;
but he complains of the thing in his book. During this autumn the
"first emigration," as it is called, went on without ceasing; and many
landed on the shores of England.
Meanwhile hunger pressed heavily on the people, who had to stand
in long queues, or tails, at the bakers' shops. This was done so that
they who came first were first served, and the others in the order of
their coming. A man would sometimes stand half a day in a queue,
and then receive only a bit of dear bad bread. A rigid search was
made all over the country for grain; and farmers who would not sell,
and bakers who adulterated their bread, were threatened with the
halter. The bread at St. Denis was so bad and black that the people
hanged the mayor for it. The corn-market at Paris had to be guarded
by six hundred soldiers. Thus went on the French Revolution in the
summer and autumn of 1789.



,-C :' the end of September, 1789, the suspicions of the
.. became yet more aroused. The question was
S'. ,,wether the king was or was not to have the power to
S,,veto '-- is, fto ., any particular law to be enacted. A cer-
taim v o lent -:-.. named Huruge, who went to petition against the
S -.- :- L this -. was thrown into prison; and General Lafay-
:ete and h ';I "...- had to be very strict in dispersing crowds and
stree-- .:. to silence. Several newspaper printers and
S were :, seize-d, one of them being the well-known Marat, who was
r: mt advanced -. l...I' .Il:.i, and who issued a paper called The
Friid of the : :.." These things did not please the multitude;
and Torever the -.IL-:-" of bread seemed to increase, and it was ob-
s-areedl that the boat which brought grain from Corbeil paid only one
*W:it: --o .w instead of two every day. It was maddening to the
w ho -i children crying for bread in vain, to hear of grand
at Versailles. This was an aggravation of their
wr nuMaserable state, and it led to what will be hereafter described as
Insurrection~ of Women. The grand dinners which went on at
.. i, we i now attempt to describe.
i te of -. .':.er, then, a dashing regiment, called that
S marched into the town of Versailles, trailing after them
.,of cannon. 7'.1I.i'. before he was put in prison, went over
a d -e saw evident signs of the king's doubling his
.n" {i,, -i.,.- troops for the purpose of putting down

prll (I I

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the people by force. When the regiment of Flanders had settled
itself in the barracks at Versailles, the Royal Body Guards thought it
would be only right to invite the new-comers to a dinner; and the date
fixed for the repast was Thursday, the Ist of October. But where
were they to find a room large enough to dine in? Among the
stately buildings which made up the immense palace there was one
very seldom used, the Opera House; and it occurred to some ingeni-
ous man that this would be the very place for the grand banquet.
The king readily granted the request, and in the Opera House
the feast was held. Now it happened that after the dinner was done,
various toasts were drunk; and while the merriment was at its height
the low-spirited queen was persuaded to enter the Opera House and
look down on the brilliant scene. She therefore did so, with her little
son in her arms and her husband by her side.
There was a loud outburst of loyal feeling as the royal family
walked round the dinner-tables; and by design or chance the band
struck up a tune which went to the words O Richard! O my king,
the whole world is forsaking thee "
The guests at once saw the fitness of the music to the circum-
stances of the king, and they became greatly excited. They drew their
swords and waved them about; they tore off their tricolor cockades,
trampled them under their feet, and replaced them by white ones (the
old Bourbon color).
This dinner was followed by other dinners on the 2d and 3d of
October, when the white cockade was worn by all. These favors
were made of a large size, as if to show a greater loyalty to the king
and his family. Some wore black cockades, as if they were mourning
for the king in his troubles; and several had the courage to appear
with them in the streets of Paris. The people felt insulted by these
black badges; and one national soldier at the Tuileries parade on
Sunday morning, the 4th of October, started from the ranks, and
wrenched a black cockade from some one who was wearing it, and trod


it angrily in the dirt. Another man who wore a black cockade had
it torn off; and when he. attempted to replace it, a hundred sticks
started up around him, and he was obliged to leave it where it was.
Another nearly fell a victim to the lamp-iron, being saved from the
rage of the people by the National Guards and General Lafayette.
That same Sunday, the 4th of October, was a very disturbed day
in Paris. Tidings of the banquets at Versailles were now being
talked about all over the city, and thousands of hungry people were
saying, We are starving; but yonder, at the king's palace, there is
plenty and to spare."
For the first time in the French Revolution there was seen, on the
evening before, a woman engaged in public speaking. My husband's
tongue has been put to silence," said she, but I will speak;" and
speak she did to a great crowd all the thoughts which filled her heav-
ing bosom, and made it ready to break.
A new idea seemed to strike the women of Paris that same night,
and it was nursed all the next day. It was this, -to have a rising of
their own. If General Lafayette and his men had silenced and put
down their husbands, they would never be such dastards as to pierce
women's hearts with their bayonets, would they? This was the
thought uppermost in the hearts of the women of Paris that is, the
poor women with hungry children during that October Sunday in
the year 1789. And, as we shall see, the thought became a deed,
when, on the Monday following, tens of thousands of women, with an
earnest purpose in their minds, marched on the palace of Versailles.



ON Monday morning, the 5th of October, Paris awoke to face
once more a day of bitter want. Mothers heard their children
crying for the bread which they could not give them; and when they
sallied forth to see what could be got, they met others on the same
dreary errand.
One young woman seized a drum and beat it, crying out at the
same time to all mothers to assemble and go somewhere. A vast
mob soon flocked to the sound of her drum; and they bent their
steps first of all toward the Town-hall, or H6tel de Ville, which they
reached about seven o'clock. The patrol were greatly surprised to
see eight or ten thousand women mount the outer stairs, and the fore-
most levelled their bayonets to keep them back, but this was found
impossible. The soldiers had to open their ranks and let the women
through. They then hurried up the stairs, along the passages, and
through the rooms. The major-general, Gouvion, was in the build-
ing; but what to do he knew not. He chanced to have a cunning
man with him, named Maillard; and Maillard stole out by a secret
staircase, and caught hold of another drum, which he beat furiously
outside. He thus drew off the women, who were doing much mischief.
Angry at not finding the mayor, or any one to help them, they seized
Abb6 Lefevre in the belfry and nearly hanged him ; they splintered
doors with axes, took away guns, and even cannon and bags of money,
and were on the point of setting the fine old place on fire.


When Maillard's drum was heard outside, the women streamed
forth, and shouts of To Versailles! to Versailles!" rent the air.
Cart-horses were made to draw the cannon; and on they all' went to
the Champs Elys6es, where they halted. Maillard here persuaded
them to nominate officers, and then to march with some kind of order,
and with as few arms as possible, to present their request for bread to
the king and Assembly at Versailles. The day was miserable; and on
the sloppy road walked many a lady in her shoes of silk, not because
she liked it, but because she was compelled.
The news flew before the mob, and Mirabeau whispered to the
President: Paris is marching upon us. Go over to the Chateau and
tell them." As soon as the women were well on the road, Gouvion
collected a large force of National Guards. These men had felt the
insult offered in the dinner business, and they sent to their general,
Lafayette, to say that they would never turn their bayonets on the
women, but they would go and abolish that insolent regiment of Flan-
ders, and those Body Guards who had trampled on the tricolor cockade.
They would then bring the king to Paris, where he ought tolive. The
general was amazed, and argued half the day against it; then he tried
to escape, but his men would not let him go, and there he sat on his
white charger for hours, while the soldiers and people kept shouting
"To Versailles!" At length the general gave way, and about three
o'clock moved thither with thirty thousand men; a vast mob, irregu-
larly armed, going on in front.
Maillard and his women halted on a rise above Versailles, and he
pointed out the place where the Assembly was then debating. Now,"
said he, "let us put these arms out of sight, and all appearance of
sorrow, and let us sing." And so the women advanced up the drip-
ping elm avenue, singing Henri Quatre." The king, who had gone
shooting, was hastily fetched back, and the soldiers were dispersed
about the palace in a posture of defence. While Mirabeau and the
others were debating, in came Maillard and fifteen draggled women.

.1 IV
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He had had to use all his powers to keep the others outside. He
spoke, and then the women cried out, Bread bread It was agreed
that the president should take some of the women to the palace, and
he went out with them. But others crowded round him, begging to
be taken also; and he was obliged to add twelve more. As they went
they were scattered by some insolent horse soldiers who rode among
their ranks, and it was only with much difficulty that they managed
to reach the gate.
Five of them were allowed to see the king; and one of these, a
maker of figures, and a handsome girl, nearly fainted ; whereupon the
king supported her in his arms. When they went again into the
crowd, this same young woman was nearly strangled by the others,
whoivere angry at the notice taken of her by Louis. She has no
children that want bread," cried they; only alabaster dolls which can-
not eat." Poor Louison was in peril of death. The garter was round
her neck, and strong arms pulling at each end, when she was rescued
by two soldiers.
It was a most miserable afternoon, and the soldiers were wet, and
losing patience, and slashing at people every now and then with their
swords. One had his arm broken by a stray bullet, and the horse of
another was killed ; of course these things did not mend matters. The
cannon which had been trailed all the way from the Hotel de Ville
were now levelled at the palace gate, but the powder was too damp to
ignite. At length the Body Guards were ordered to retire, as their
presence was irritating to the mob; and whenever one showed himself
at door or window, he was cursed and fired at. Then a rumor flew
about that the king had got his coach ready as if for flight, and a sharp
look-out was kept on the back gates.
There was a certain draper, named Lecointre, who was rather fa-
mous in these times of trouble. He now rode off to ask the mayor
for six hundred loaves, but he could not get them nor aught else at
present; so they skinned and roasted the dead war-horse, and ate its
flesh with much relish. 4


When the president got back, he found his Assembly-hall filled with
women, making speeches and passing resolutions. A stout woman
was comfortably seated in his own chair. Before she would give it up
she told him they were all very hungry and must have something to
eat. He took the hint, and sent round for Tood, which came at last, -
bread, sausages, and some wine. The members now edged their way
in, and began to discuss the Penal Code. One of the women said,
" What is the use of the Penal Code? What we want is bread! "
About the middle of that strange night Lafayette and his Nationals
arrived, having spent nine hours on the road. Before reaching Ver-
sailles he had made his men swear to respect the king's house. He
was admitted to an audience, and told Louis he must do four things
for the sake of peace, he must be guarded by the National Guards;
he must get bread for the people; he must have all the prisoners in
Paris tried, and, if found innocent, set free; and lastly, he must come
and live in Paris. The king granted the first three readily, the last
not so readily.
Toward three in the morning, the sentries having been set, and
other business done, sleep fell on the distracted multitudes; and
after two more hours of consultation with his officers, Lafayette flung
himself on his bed, tired out.
In the early dawn a Body Guard, looking out of a window in the
palace, saw some prowling fellows below. Ill words were spoken; and
the soldier, waxing wroth, fired off his piece. Others returned it, and
after some shots a young man in the crowd received his death-blow.
Then there arose a fearful shriek from the mob, and a rush at the
outer gate, which swept it open. The inner gate was also battered in,
and then the people rushed up the grand staircase into the palace.
Two sentries were trodden down and murdered, and the rest had to
retire into a room and barricade the door, which was soon shivered to
The savage mob went raging on toward the queen's suite of rooms,


in the farthest of which she was now sleeping. Some sentries before-
hand with the crowd knocked, and cried, Save the queen!" Two
officers of the Body Guard showed vast courage at that terrible hour,
and by their heroic efforts stemmed the flood until the queen was able
to get into the king's bedchamber. One of these men, Mismandre,
was left for dead at the outside of the queen's door, but he was able
to crawl away and join his comrades.
From the king's bedroom they could hear afar off the noise of axes
and hammers thundering on the doors. The rage of the people was
directed mainly against the Body Guards, who were now driven into a
large hall, and who heaped all sorts of things against the door. It
shook under the blows dealt on it; but at the very moment it was giv-
ing way the blows ceased suddenly, and a voice from the other side
told that a body of friends were there. By this time, also, Lafayette
and his Nationals were on the scene, and the mob were soon driven
out of the palace to rage in the courts 'below. The two Body Guards
who had been killed on the staircase were beheaded, and their heads
carried on long pikes through the streets and away to Paris.
The king to Paris such was the cry now everywhere. The
king must come to Paris! Nothing else would do. So at one
o'clock the king agreed to start to Paris. When Lafayette announced
the king's consent, there was a shout and a discharge of fire-arms. It
was the knell of the glory of Versailles.
Cartloads of bread arrived from Paris, enough for all; and great was
the joy of those who munched it. More than that, fifty wagon-loads
of corn were found in Versailles, and carried in triumph to the famish-
ing city.
The king was now the prisoner of the mob, and most men saw what
a grave thing it was. He had been conquered, and the people had
once more learned their own strength. Many people now left France,
and sixty thousand emigrated to Switzerland alone.
One o'clock arrived, and the royal family entered their carriages;


bat -., ..'- not start .-.- another hour, -so long did it take to arrange
j"* -:..:1.., .,....,:. : What a sight it was Men carrying loaves
on 1. :;.:-.-.' : or ..:- with green boughs sticking out of the barrels.
? .,. rde on cannons ; and hc r-, trying to mount the king's horses,
,Ae .. .* much to the amusement of the fickle mob.
'" _i .-'., nuot lack bread now," said some witty Parisian, "for we
*fe .-. us the tik.-:, the baker's wife, and the baker's boy."
: e -. .. the kin: was made to step on a balcony by torch-
: -. Were an immense tricolor cockade in his hat. It was not
.-- .. :.. *: on Tuesday night that he reached the Tuileries,
sib: *. n, doubt. This was the sixth day of October, 1789.



HAPPIER days followed the king's removal to Paris than were
expected. The onward progress of the Revolution seemed for
a time arrested. The palace of the Tuileries was splendidly furnished
for the royal family, and the blue uniforms of the National Guards
were ever seen patrolling before it. The little prince had a garden
of his own, and a little summer-house, and tools to work with, and he
might be watched at his work by the people as they passed along
the street. The National Assembly held its sittings in the Riding
School close by, and were constantly engaged in the work of a new
The king no doubt felt the restraint laid upon him. He was free
to go where he liked in the vast pile of the Tuileries and its spacious
grounds; he was also free to be driven anywhere about Paris, where
he was well received; but he was not free to roam the woods on a
hunting expedition. He once more took to his favourite pursuit of
lock-making, and, as we shall see, fitted up a secret iron safe in one
of the walls, in which afterward many important State papers were
found, some of which did him great damage at his trial. For forty-
one months did Louis inhabit the palace, while the Revolution went
on, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, to its end.
Many of the senators, Mirabeau among them, saw that the power
of the king was likely to be made too small, and they therefore tried
to retain for him a certain part of the rule his ancestors had. On this
account these men fell in the esteem of the masses. There were many


of a different mind in the Assembly, men like Robespierre and his
party, who were for putting away the king altogether.
Beside the senators, who actually made the laws, there were two
things which wielded great power. One was the newspapers; the other
was the clubs. There were some papers loud for the king, others as
loud for the people and dead against king and Nobles. Of those which
were published against the king and Nobles, none was more bitter and
outspoken than that edited by Marat, and called the People's Friend."
Among the clubs there was one which has become more famous than
any club which ever was or ever will be. It was called the Jacobin
Club. It got that name from its meeting in what was once the
Church of the Jacobins. This club, which began among the Bretons,
was always noted for its extreme violence. The most advanced Re-
publicans belonged to it. The old church was seated for twelve hun-
dred, and there was a gallery as well for women. There the leading
spirits of the Revolution used to speak their burning words. No one
was admitted there except by a ticket. At first the Jacobin Club
was not hot enough for some, while it was too violent for others;
and so two branches broke from it. Danton, of whom we shall hear
much, formed the Club of the Cordeliers, which for a time was even
hotter than that of the Jacobins ; but he and those who followed him
after a time returned to the Jacobin Club, which was called the
Mother Society.
It happened one day that Louis thought it might do some good
if he paid a visit to the National Assembly in the Riding School ; so
he sent word over to say he was coming. Some preparations were
made for his visit, such as a purple covering with gold fleur-de-lis on
it spread over the president's chair, so as to make it an impromptu
throne, and a carpet laid down for his Majesty's feet. When Louis
entered they all rose; and when he said a few simple words in
his own simple way, they one and all gave him some hearty cheers.
And when he was in his palace once more, some of the members


were sent across to thank him for his kindness in visiting them; and
one of the senators proposed that they should all renew the National
This idea was acted on at once. Every member stood up and
swore afresh to be true to king, law, and country; and the oath was
also renewed at the Town-hall, and in all the streets of Paris, where
vast excited crowds swore under the canopy of heaven, while drums
rolled and the city was illuminated. This was the fourth day of
February, 1790.
And then the idea went forth from Paris into every corner of
France. For three weeks the swearing of the oath went on, till it
is supposed every French man and woman had taken it. One mother
in Brittany gathered her ten children, and made them all take the
oath in her presence; so that in many cases the children swore as
well as the parents.
But this simple visit of the king to the Assembly, and the simple
act of one member suggesting that all the rest should renew the
National Oath, led to a surprising scene in the following July; for
it occurred to some one that it would be a grand thing to assemble
deputies from each department, or county or shire as we should say,
in Paris, who there, as representing the whole of France, should swear
the oath in the presence of the king, the army, the Assembly, and as
many citizens as could be packed together.
Each town and city had its own swearing-day before the grand
one at Paris. We read the account of a very fine one at Lyons,
written by Madame Roland, the wife of the famous minister of state, -
where there was a rock made of painted wood, fifty feet in height, with
a huge figure of Liberty on the top and a sort of temple beneath.
Fifty thousand men assembled on that occasion to swear, and there
were four times that number of people looking on.
But as Paris was the greatest city of all, and the mother city, so
her grand swearing-day was to surpass all others. It was decided that


it should be on the same day as the fall of the Bastille and in the
Champ de Mars, and nothing should be spared to make it the grandest
thing of its kind. A huge sort of theatre was to be scooped out of the
earth in the Champ de Mars by the spades of fifteen thousand work-
men. But the work was not begun soon enough, and it seemed that
the fifteen thousand were rather lazy, and refused to do more work
when offered more wages; therefore, when they threw down their tools
one July afternoon, a number of volunteers picked them up, and began
to work with a will. The next day, instead of waiting till the spades
and barrows were not in use, the excited citizens brought picks and
shovels of their own, and came marching to the scene of action headed
by young women carrying green boughs, and shouting the famous Ca
ira -" It shall go on! "
The effect was wonderful; you might count, if you cared to take
the trouble, volunteer workers to the number of a hundred and fifty
thousand, men of every trade and profession,- printers in paper caps,
water-carriers, charcoal-men, the rag-sorter, and the elegant dandy,
the lawyer and the judge, the mayor himself, and General Lafayette.
The king came to see the strange sight, and was very well received.
A number of men surrounded him, spades on shoulders, as a sort of
body-guard suited to the occasion. He used afterward to say, poor
man! that those days were some of the happiest he ever spent.
Even ladies came to help, and some patriotic wine-merchant would
now and then trundle into the diggings a barrel of wine. So earnest
were the laborers that no one thought of drinking any of the wine,
except such as were faint from their unusual exertions. And so by
means of all this genuine labor, so heartily bestowed, the huge space
of three hundred thousand square feet was excavated, and so arranged
that there were rows of grassy seats one above another to the number
of thirty, all well rammed down and covered with turf.
In the centre, so as to be seen by all, there was a pyramid, called
the Altar of the Country. Here the oath was to be sworn, -by



~; 1~ .


General Lafayette for the army, by the king, and by deputies who
came from every department in France.
When the great day arrived, it was a cold morning for July, and
it looked as if rain might fall; but the people streamed in, and took
their places where they would. Each of the eighty-three departments
had sent a splendid banner; and a fine show the men made as they
filed in and took their appointed stations. Lafayette took the oath
first. He ascended the pyramid, pressed his sword-point on the altar,
and pronounced the oath in the name of the whole army. The
National Assembly swore where they stood, under the canopy; then
the king swore, and there arose a shout, and citizen shook hands with
citizen; and there was a clashing of arms, and a booming of great
guns, which were listened for, and responded to as soon as heard, so
that all over France that afternoon the tidings of the oath at Paris
was carried by one volley after another.
Perhaps it was this firing of cannon which brought down the long-
impending shower. Anyhow the shower did come, and the seats were
suddenly a canopy of umbrellas, and the flags drooped, and the ladies'
dresses were spoiled. At three o'clock the sun shone out again, and
the clouds went their way. A whole week was spent in brilliant feasts
and merry-making. On the Sunday after the great oath-day a univer-
sal dance took place. The Elysian Fields were almost as bright as
day with innumerable lamps, and filled with dancers all the livelong
night; and where the grim old Bastille once reared its frowning walls
one could read Ici l'on danse, beneath the tree of Liberty, sixty feet
high, and topped with a cap of Liberty.
In fact, for a whole week or more Paris was almost wild with joy,
and it was hoped, though the hope proved vain, that the Ship of State,
after a few rough squalls, was now in calm waters, which were not
again to be ruffled by serious storms.



A T Metz, which is a strong fortress, an officer named Bouilli com-
manded the troops. He was an exceedingly brave man and a
very loyal one. He looked upon the great National Oath with much
dislike and suspicion. He did not approve of soldiers and citizens
being too familiar with each other. He did not like his soldiers to
mix freely with the people and imbibe their liberal ideas. He knew
very well that the army was tainted with those notions, and the troops
were becoming every day more mutinous. In those days no man
could be an officer unless he was able to prove his nobility for at least
four generations. The officers, therefore, were of the most select
class, every man an aristocrat; and they spared no pains to show their
dislike to these new and strange events. The privates were leavened
with the popular spirit; they were beginning to think that one man
is as good as another; they were beginning to resent the haughtiness
of their officers; and they talked often and much over their own
One great grievance was that they were not paid their wages; and
they believed the officers robbed them of their money. General Bouille,
therefore, at this time did not rest upon a bed of roses. He felt like
a man who lives over a powder-magazine, where people go in and out
with lighted matches. But his heart was like a rock; braver man
than Bouille never drew a sword. When the Regiment of Picardy
boisterously embraced National Guards, and sang, and swore oaths to-
gether in disorderly array, the general had the men up in the barrack


square, and gave them a bit of his mind very sharply. And when the
Regiment of Salm advanced to the colonel's house to lay violent
hands on the money-chest, Bouille, hearing of it, ran before them, and
stood like an iron statue on the outer stairs, sword in hand, keeping
the whole regiment at bay. For two hours he stood there, supported
by a few of his brother officers. Several times some wrathful soldier
was persuaded by a hater of aristocrats to level his musket at the in-
trepid general; but in every case the barrel was struck aside before he
could fire. Bouill never flinched, nor cared a straw for aught any
man among them might choose to do. After two hours the mayor
interfered, and got the men back to their quarters by promises of pay,
which were fulfilled in a measure the next day, when each soldier re-
ceived half his arrears in cash.
So bad was the discipline of the army, indeed, that Mirabeau
moved that it should be broken up and organized afresh; but his
motion was not carried. The place where the army was in the worst
possible position for drifting suddenly into open mutiny was Nanci in
Lorraine. Nanci was more aristocratic than other places, both in her
citizens and governors; but she had also a large population who were
kept up to revolution pitch by a Jacobin Club ; and there were here
three fine regiments much tainted with the spreading evil, and quite
ripe for mischief, one especially so, that of Chateau Vieux. The offi-
cers at Nanci had made many objections to the oath-swearing which
had gone on. At first they would not go at all to the Nanci meeting,
and when they repented and went, they appeared in undress suits, and
shirts that needed the washerkvoman; and one officer was seen to spit
in a marked manner when the national tricolor was carried beside
The large regiment of Chhteau Vieux was in the month of
August, 1790 (only one month after the grand oath-swearing in the
Champ de Mars), in a very bad humor, and justly so; for while an-
other regiment had been paid three gold louis per man, Chateau


Vieux got the cat-o-nine-tails." Another regiment, that called du
Roi," got hold of its money-chest, but for some reason did not break
it open.
An inspector, named Malseigne, was sent down by the Assembly
to inquire into the soldiers' grievances, and, as far as he could, to
rectify them. He was a big, strong man, and brave enough, but he
had not much tact; and so it happened that his bluff, bullying man-
ner led him into all sorts of troubles at Nanci. The men of the
Chateau Vieux shut him up in the barrack court where he was holding
his inspection, with cries of Decide it at once! He got angry, drew
his sword, and tried to break through the crowd. He broke his sword,
seized another, wounded a sentry, and got out. He retired to a house,
the soldiers following. He shut the door, got out the back way, and
reached the Town-hall in safety. Next day he tried again to settle
the matters of the Chateau Vieux, but none would listen. Then he
ordered them to leave Nanci, but they refused. He then summoned
the National Guards to his aid, and by Saturday four thousand had
arrived. Still the regiment would not march as ordered. Pay us,"
they said, and we will march to the world's end."
About noon that day, Malseigne escaped from Nanci to Luneville,
where there was, he knew, a loyal regiment of Carbineers. He was
chased by abput a hundred soldiers; but he reached the loyal regiment,
and ordered them to fire at his pursuers. The Nanci soldiers, being
fired on, rode back again and spread the alarm. The Carbineers are
sold to the Austrians," cried they. Whereupon the three Nanci regi-
ments rose up as one man, and marched to Luneville. A parley fol-
lowed, and matters were explained. Inspector Malscigne was given
up, and marched back to Nanci; but lo! the big man broke away, and
was off like a shot, and escaped with only one bullet in his coat. He
made a wide, wheeling flight, and returned to the Carbineers, who
gave him up a second time; and the next day the mutinous soldiers
put him in prison, whither they had also placed Denoue, the com-

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mandant of Nanci. When Bouille heard of these daring acts of re-
bellion, of a government inspector and a leading officer in prison,
and three regiments in open mutiny, he thought a decisive blow ought
to be struck at once. He had a much smaller force than that of the
mutineers, but he had law on his side. When he reached the village
of Frouarde, he sent this message: You must submit in twenty-four
hours, or I shall make war upon you."
A deputation of soldiers from the mutinous regiments, and one
from the civil authorities of Nanci, went out to Bouill in the course
of the day. The soldiers, however, were stubborn and even insolent,
but they did not move the general. He insisted on total surrender,
or he would storm Nanci. Distracted were the citizens, distracted
were the soldiers; the regiment of Chateau Vieux being for resistance
unto death, the others for giving in to Bouille.
At half-past two the terrible Bouille was about a mile and a half
from the city gates, and another deputation went forth to meet him.
He granted an hour's respite. Nothing coming of it, the terrified citi-
zens could see the faces of his advanced guard, only thirty paces off.
A flag of truce was then carried forth, and an offer of submission
Now, while the victorious Bouilli was arranging how the mutinous
regiments should leave the city, a very dreadful thing happened. In
the city were many, both citizens and soldiers, who looked upon
Bouille as a traitor, and were therefore opposed to the surrender.
These men got hold of some loaded cannon, and levelled them
through the gateway at Bouills's army. A young captain, seeing
lighted matches were being brought to the cannon, flung himself in
front of the mouth of one, and swore that if they did fire it the discharge
should blow him to atoms; and when he was pulled away from the
cannon-mouth by a number of soldiers, the determined officer sat on
the touch-hole. This time the frantic soldiers were not content with
dragging him off his perch ; they shot him down as he sat there on


the touch-hole, and then applied a match to the priming. The can-
non roared, and fifty men of Bouillb's vanguard were killed. Oh, the
rage of the men outside! With levelled bayonet and many a furious
oath they dashed through the gate, and then was seen a terrible car-
nage. Friend killed friend by mistake that day, for all were so mixed
up that it was often difficult to know who were fighting for Bouille
and who were fighting against him. Another cannon, ready loaded,
was rendered harmless by a ready-witted woman, who threw a bucket
of water on the priming. When the awful scrimmage was over, half
the mutinous Chateau Vieux were found stretched on a gory bed, and
many National Guards who fought with them. Bouills's losses, too,
were great. By the time he reached the great Square he was minus
forty officers and five hundred men, which shows how obstinately the
city was defended, and at what a cost he won his victory.
The mutinous regiments, now shattered and subdued, had to
march, each on its appointed route, and peace was restored for
a time.
Paris was fearfully agitated by the news, and a solemn funeral ser-
vice was held for the slain. The Assembly voted thanks to Bouille
by a great majority; but the lowest ranks of the people, to the number
of forty thousand, assembled under the windows of the Riding School,
and demanded that the slain mutineers should be avenged.
Whether Bouill was right or whether he was wrong, he at least
quelled in military fashion the spirit of mutiny, and made the whole
French army feel that it had at least one captain who could maintain
discipline, without which an army is only an armed mob. We mourn
over the death of so many brave Frenchmen, but we cannot help
admiring the iron determination of General Bouillk in doing what he
believed to be his duty.



S long as Mirabeau lived, the king had a friend on whom he
could depend. It pleased God, however, to remove this great
man when he seemed to be of the utmost use to the French monarchy.
When he saw men were going too far and too fast in the direction of
changing all the old order, he became a check on their wheels; and
he was so mighty in deed and word that it may be truly said he upheld
for some time with his one hand the tottering throne.
But he did it at the expense of his strength, and he died, worn out
by his immense exertions. No one who had not lived with him and
seen him at work could imagine what Mirabeau was able to do in a
day. Some one once said to him that such and such things were
impossible; when he started up and exclaimed, Never speak that
brute of a word to me any more."
We cannot now follow every step of this great Frenchman, nor
understand all he meant to do and would have done had his life been
spared. We do know, however, that he was most anxious to remove
Louis from the Tuileries.
One night he met the queen in the garden of St. Cloud, and talked
over this important matter. She was far more resolute than her royal
husband. She was a daughter of the famous Theresa of Austria,
and had inherited some of her lofty qualities. In fact, as Mirabeau
said of the queen, She is the only man his Majesty has about him."
Louis lacked decision, he never could make up his mind; and he


dreaded above all things a civil war. But no civil war could have
been so terrible as the French Revolution proved to be. Had the
king left Paris as Mirabeau advised, and flung abroad his banner
and rallied his loyal subjects, and put down, as he might have done,
the lawless spirit that was abroad, and had he then resolved to rule
his people in righteousness, by the advice of the wisest men in France,
his reign might have been glorious instead of disastrous, and when
he died the criers might have gone about the saddened streets sound-
ing their bells and saying, Le bon roi Louis, pere du people, est
mort." But it was not in Louis to take this decided step in time.
He waited and waited, and then ran away in a clumsy fashion, and,
after being stopped at Varennes, he was brought back to Paris in
The health of Mirabeau had been much impaired by the excessive
labors he underwent in managing the affairs of the nation during those
most stormy times. The month of March in the year 1791 had
arrived. Matters were getting worse instead of better. Duels were
being daily fought between the members of the French Parliament,
and deadly anger glowed between those who loved the king and those
who loved him not. One such duel we will notice, as it shows how
the people sided with their champions. A man named Lameth was
a prominent leader of the people. He fought the Duke de Castries
with swords. As Lameth was making a lunge at the duke's body, his
own sword-arm ran against the point of the duke's sword, and was
frightfully ripped open. The duel was over, and the people's friend
was nearly dead. When the fight ended, the people attacked the
duke's house, and flung all his furniture, pictures, and valuables
into the street. But not a single thing was stolen; for this order
went about: "The man who steals even a nail shall be hanged."
But to return to the dying Mirabeau. In the month of March,
1791, his strength was evidently giving way. As far back as the
January before he was obliged, when he came to the Assembly, to


wear linen cloths about his neck, and after the morning debate was
over, to apply leeches to his head. He said one day to a friend about
this time: "I am dying; I feel as if I were being burned up by a slow
fire. When I am gone, they will know how much I was worth."
Things went on thus until the end of March, when the great
senator got worse. On the 27th of that month, as he was on
his way to the Assembly, he was forced to rest at a friend's house,
lying for some time on a sofa in a half-conscious state. When he had
recovered, he went to the debate, and spoke no less than five times with
all his old fiery energy. He then left the tribune (that is, the speaker's
pulpit), and never was seen in it any more. It was Mirabeau's last
effort to do what good he could for his distracted country.
Though his popularity had been waning because he opposed the
wild schemes of such ignorant quacks as Robespierre, yet, when he
was laid in the last days of March on his death-bed, there was hardly
a man in Paris who did not feel that his end was a lamentable event.
The meanest men in the city jostled against the highest at the door-
step, to ask how Mirabeau was. The people of their own free will
blocked the street, and allowed no carriage to rattle by and so disturb
the sufferer; and every three hours an account of his health was given
by the doctors, copied out, printed on hand-bills, and circulated all
over Paris.
The second day of April came. It was a Saturday, and the dying
man felt sure that he should not live to see the sun rise any more.
" I wish," said he to some one who was supporting his head in his last
struggle, I wish I could leave it to you." After the power of speech
had left him, he motioned for a pen and paper, and wrote the word
" Opium." The doctor said, No." Mirabeau wrote next the word
" Dormir," and pointed to it. At half-past eight in the morning the
end came, and the greatest of Frenchmen had left his country bereft
of his wisdom.
A great gloom and a strange silence fell upon the gay and busy


city. Every theatre was closed while Mirabeau lay unburied; and
wherever the people heard the sounds of music and singing, they
knocked loudly at the door, and insisted on the party being broken
up at once.
In every street during the next few days you might see men here
and there, standing and proclaiming with loud voices and sorrowful
faces the virtues and services of the dead statesman. The public
funeral, which took place on Monday, the 4th of April, was one of
the most wonderful ever seen. The procession itself was three miles
in length. It was five o'clock on a sunny April afternoon when
Mirabeau was thus carried to his long home, through crowds esti-
mated by the hundred thousand. National Guards in double file
lined the route, and the deep silence was every now and then broken
by the rolling of drums. At the Church of St. Eustache the procession
halted to hear a funeral oration ; and when the speaker had finished,
the National Guards discharged their muskets in the church, and the
vibration caused portions of the roof to fall. It was almost midnight
before the great burial was done, and Mirabeau was left sleeping
among the worthies of France in the Church of St. Genevieve.
It is painful to think how the Paris mob afterward took up his
remains and cast them out in dishonor. This was done by the people
in July, 1793, when they buried their apostle Marat where Mirabeau
had been laid. Mirabeau did not please the men who adored Marat.
Mirabeau was by birth a noble, and, though a great reformer of abuses
and a remodeller of the rotten old constitution, he was one who tried
to set up the ancient monarchy on a new and firmer basis, and for this
he was hated by the more violent party. And when, as we shall see,
the iron chest which the king and the blacksmith made in the Tuil-
eries was discovered and its papers examined, Mirabeau's share in the
attempts to get the king removed from Paris was found out, and his
bust in the hall of the Jacobin Club was shivered to atoms by a man
who mounted a ladder and hurled it to the ground.

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So died, so was buried, Gabriel Honore Mirabeau, a most illustrious
man, who crushed the old nobility, as a privileged class, with one
hand, while he kept down the madness of the people with the other.
He was always a favorite with women, and even the rough fishwives
would mount the gallery steps and listen with delight to his speeches;
and he was called by them always "Our little mother Mirabeau."



THE king, who had not been very well in the spring of 1791,
decided on keeping the festival of Easter at the Palace of St.
Cloud. The proposed plan was published with a good deal of parade,
as though he wished his subjects to take particular notice of it; which
they did, in a very disagreeable manner. For when the day of his
little jaunt arrived, and the old family coach, with its eight horses,
rolled up to the grand entrance of the Tuileries, the bell of St.
Roche pealed out its notes of alarm, and a crowd assembled with the
rapidity of wild-fire to stop his Majesty's journey. In vain the king
appealed to his loving subjects to let him go. In vain did General
Lafayette fret and strive. It would not do. The king should keep
his Easter at Paris and nowhere else. For one hour and three quar-
ters did this strange contest go on; and then Louis had to give way,
and descend crestfallen from his coach, feeling now that he was
indeed a captive. This was on the I8th of April, just one fortnight
after Mirabeau's funeral.
The king felt excessively mortified at this treatment, and nursed
the plan of escape day and night from thenceforth. As it had now
become a difficult matter to get away, he was determined to do it, and
without much loss of time.
The queen does not seem to have acted very wisely in her prep-
arations for the great event. As she was about to leave Paris, she
thought it necessary to order a vast number of dresses and other toilet
matters which she thought she could not live without; and so she


managed to keep suspicion on the alert. A lady in her suite, who
was a friend of the people, whispered her secrets to General Gouvion,
second in command of the National Guard; and he looked the more
carefully to his sentries, and kept a yet sharper watch on every car-
riage which came in or went out of the Tuileries.
Some rooms in the palace which had been occupied by a certain
duke were now empty, the duke having emigrated in a pet; and as
they had a convenient door of egress, the queen occupied them, in-
tending to slip out when the important moment arrived. There was
a certain Swedish count, named Fersen, who had much to do with
the king's flight. He got a new coach built big enough to carry the
whole royal family, a lot of luggage, and several Body Guards. He
told the coachmaker that it was for a Russian baroness, and it was
built accordingly, the count being very particular about its construc-
tion. This great lumbering affair did not come near the Tuileries, as
it might have aroused the suspicion of the sentries on duty. An
ordinary glass coach waited on the night of June 20, not far from
the palace. The coachman on the box was none other than Count
Fersen. By and by a lady with a hood, and two children, wearing
hoods also, came from the duke's door into the court, and thence into
the street, and entered the coach. Then came another lady, followed
by a gentleman in a round hat, and they got in also, but the coach-
man still waited. Now the suspicious lady of the bedchamber had her
own reasons for supposing the royal family meant to escape that very
night; and she told Gouvion, and he told Lafayette, and Lafayette
came himself in his carriage to see with his own eyes whether all was
well or not at the Tuileries. Now the general's carriage, driven at a
rapid pace and glaring with lamps, passed so close to a lady in a
broad-brimmed gypsy hat, that she was able to touch one of its wheels
with a light stick which she held in her hand. That lady was Marie
Antoinette, the Queen of France. Somewhat flurried by the noise and
lights of Lafayette's carriage, the queen, as she went to the glass coach


that was waiting, took the wrong turn instead of the right one. A
servant attended her; but the stupid man did not know his way about,
and he and the queen wandered about the streets until they had wasted
one precious hour. What must the gentleman in the round hat have
felt all this time? For he was the king, and the two children were
his children, and one of the ladies was his sister.
And how the count on the box must have fretted at the delay!
But at length the queen appeared, and stepped in ; the stupid servant
got up behind, the count cracked his whip, and they were off. The
poet in "John Gilpin" says,-
"The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad ;"

and, surely, not less did the stones of the Rue de Grammont rattle,
as the royal family of France were borne away rapidly toward the
Russian lady's big new coach. Before long it was in sight, waiting
there with its six horses; and in a few moments the gentleman in the
round hat, the lady in the gypsy bonnet, and the others were seated in
it. As for the glass coach, the count turned it round, and left it to
its fate, and it was found the next morning in the ditch. The count
jumped on the box of the new carriage he had been so anxious about,
cracked his whip, and made the six horses go as fast as they could ; but
the progress was dolefully small. The new coach travelled only sixty-
nine miles in twenty-two hours.
When Count Fersen had done his part, he made a low bow, and
took his leave; and on went the king's new coach with its six horses,
another chaise behind with a pair, and three couriers in yellow, each
astride of a nag, making a cavalcade of eleven horses in all. What
an unwise display Now and then there was something amiss with
the harness, and delays occurred; and when the huge machine had to
be dragged up a hill, the king got out and walked. General Bouille
had soldiers stationed here and there along the route, and every-




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thing was done which seemed best; but the whole affair was mis-
managed, and ended in grievous failure.
At a village named St. Menehould there lived at that time an old
soldier named Drouet. He had retired from service, and was master
of the post there. He was a stanch patriot (as the favorers of the
revolution were then called), and on that eventful night he happened
to be in a very bad temper because some one had interfered with his
privileges. Toward sunset the great coach rumbled into the village,
attracting by its splendor everybody's notice, and especially that of the
old soldier Drouet. His suspicions were at once aroused; and while
the royal party were halting, he scanned carefully the side face of the
gentleman inside, and thought he had seen him before somewhere.
Was it in the Champ de Mars last July?
Fetch me a new assignat," said he to some one near. An as-
signat was a sort of bank-note, with the king's head engraved on it.
Drouet had no sooner compared the face on the assignat with the
face under the round hat than he felt quite sure the gentleman was
the king, attempting to escape.
As quick as thought Drouet told his mind to another old dragoon,
and they two, mounting swift-footed horses, were off, having first
whispered a word to the village authorities to rouse what National
Guards and patriot men there might be in St. Menehould. Off then
rode the two old dragoons, and after a rough night-ride reached Va-
rennes before the king and his party had succeeded in leaving it.
Bouills's son was here to receive them ; but the foolish young fellow,
thinking all was over for the night, had gone to bed. While the king
was trying to get fresh horses, a good half-hour was wasted, and dur-
ing that half-hour l)rouet and his comrade had reached the village
and stopped the king's progress. They had found a light still burn-
ing in the Golden Arm Inn; and the landlord, whose name was
Le Blanc, was serving guests. Entering in, Drouet called the land-
lord aside, and asked, Art thou a good patriot ? Le Blanc said, I


am;" and then Drouet whispered his story in his ear. Then, while
Le Blanc bestirred himself in his own way, the two old soldiers went
out and blocked the road by overturning a furniture van, and by add-
ing to it such other things as barrows, barrels, and the like. Le Blanc
by this time had brought his brother and one or two other patriots;
and the party then stood, muskets in hand, awaiting the arrival of the
king and his cavalcade. When the coach reached the place, its way
was barred. It had to stop, and at the same moment the barrels of
two guns were thrust into the coach windows, and a gruff voice de-
manded passports. There was no further advance to be thought of;
no friendly aid was near; no young Bouilli and his troopers; noth-
ing was to be done but to stay the remainder of the short night in the
village. The baffled royal party put up at a grocer's shop, where they
were served with bread and cheese and a bottle of burgundy.
Thus was the king taken captive, and so did his attempted flight
come to an inglorious end. About seven o'clock on Saturday night
the great coach might have been seen returning to Paris. The king
was carried through a vast crowd of silent and wondering citizens, who
had been instructed by a widely circulated placard how to behave on
the occasion. Whoever insults Louis shall be caned," it said ; and
whoever applauds him shall be hanged."



W HEN the king was brought back to the Tuileries, he was at
first watched more closely than before. Even outside the bed-
room door a sentinel was stationed; and one night, when the queen
could not sleep, a National Guard offered to sit by her bedside and
have a little chat with her.
But in a while the king's friends had contrived to surround him
with eighteen hundred loyal men, selected from various districts of
France, all under command of the Duke de Brissac. Beside these,
Louis had his Swiss Guards stationed in or about the palace. By
and by, too, the flight to Varennes seemed more or less forgotten, and
Lafayette obtained a general amnesty ; that is, a forgiveness of all past
faults on all sides. The king and queen might now be seen sometimes
at the Opera; and vivats- that is, cheers were sometimes raised as
the royal equipage rolled through the streets. On the 3oth of Sep-
tember the old Assembly was dissolved, after sitting nearly twenty-nine
months, and a new one began its labors the next day. The streets
were illuminated, and two very popular deputies named Robespierre
and P6tion were carried home on men's shoulders amid much shout-
ing. So the twelve hundred who had met in the Tennis Court, and
there had vowed to complete their work in spite of all, were broken
up and went their ways.
The new Parliament consisted of seven hundred and forty-five men,
and they were mostly of a patriot turn of mind. No less than four
hundred of them were lawyers. The king had some friends in this


Parliament, but they were lovers of liberty too. The extreme revolu-
tionary men sat on the left side of the president, on some benches high
up, and so got the name of The Men of the Mountain."
The country, though fairly quiet upon the whole, was in an ex-
plosive state, and a riot broke out every now and then. La Vendie
had to be carefully watched all the winter long by General Dumouriez,
a very able soldier. The Mayor of Etampes, who hung out a red flag
(the same as reading the Riot Act), was trampled to death. As for
the navy and army, they were in a wretched state; and the law was
slack to punish crime. The king's party worked very hard to keep up
an appearance of loyalty. Some of the leading Republicans (Danton,
for instance) were hushed by presents of money; and men were actually
hired to applaud the king when he appeared in public. Some of the
lowest of the Paris populace were also hired to applaud speeches favor-
able to the king in the Assembly. Men, too, were paid to write up "
the monarchy. The king's friends who had emigrated hoped, of course,
for the restoration of the past. It was said that Coblentz had become
a second Versailles; for there the princes and nobles chiefly gathered
and enrolled themselves in a little army, ready when the time came to
invade France and punish the rebellious people; and letters written
in cipher frequently passed to and fro between these emigrants out-
side France and the king's friends at home. A certain newspaper
called the Friend of the King (Ami du Roi) was able to name the
number of those who were biding their time for the invasion of France.
There were, according to that paper, four hundred and nineteen thou-
sand foreign soldiers and fifteen thousand emigrants. All this was
enough to incense highly the French people; for they knew if the
king's foreign friends came down on them, they would be punished
horribly for behaving as they had to their sovereign. It was therefore
a very anxious time for both people and ruler.
In the month of June, 1792, the Duke of Brunswick declared
openly that it was high time to march on Paris and deliver Louis


from his troubles. A camp of twenty thousand national volunteers
was thereupon decreed by the French Government for the needful
defence of the city, each man to be a picked patriot. It was also
decreed that the priests, as presumed friends of the king and favorers
of Brunswick, should be banished. What did the king now do? He
placed his veto (" I forbid ") on each of these decrees. He was remon-
strated with by Roland, the Minister of the Interior, in a very plain
letter; but the king stuck to his veto, and all his ministers resigned
in consequence. This happened on the I3th of June, 1792. Both the
decrees were hateful to the king, for he knew the twenty thousand
volunteers would be violent Jacobins, and the priests were his friends;
and so he said Veto to both. But as he did it he was pulling the
house down upon his head; he was raising a storm which swept him
from the palace to the prison of the Temple.
Paris was now in a state of frenzy. The Duke of Brunswick was
just about to march, and yet the king forbade their raising a garrison
of twenty thousand patriots for the defence of their homes and wives.
It was now that every patriot who had the courage of a man screwed
that courage to the sticking-point, and resolved to do or die. One
deputy after another came to the Parliament to entreat it to alter
the king's power of veto. It was now that Barbaroux, a fiery South-
countryman, wrote to Marseilles for six hundred men who knew
how to die! "
The 2oth of June arrived; it had already become a memorable
day, for it was the anniversary of the Tennis Court Oath. Some of
the citizens of Paris had resolved to celebrate the day by planting a
tree of liberty near the Tuileries, and by also, perhaps, having a word
or two with the king himself, if they could see him, on the subject of.
the veto.
On the morning of this eventful day the tree of liberty was ready.
It was a Lombardy poplar, and it was lying quietly on a sort of car,
ready to be moved when the time came. The authorities, fearful of


riot and bloodshed, attempted to stop the affair; but the people assured
them that they had the most peaceful intentions, and only wished to
plant a tree and have a word-with their king. So the procession set
forward, each moment swelled by hundreds from every alley and court
of the suburb of St. Antoine. A curious banner was borne aloft. It
was no less than a pair of old black' silk breeches, with these words
as a motto in French: Tremble, tyrants! here are the Sansculottes! "
(Sansculotte was a cant name given to the poorest patriots by the
Royalists; it means destitute of breeches.")
Once more the authorities tried to stop the crowd; but the leaders
answered them: We are as peaceable as doves; we mean no harm.
We cannot stop now; and you would better come with us." And so the
patriot stream followed on until it reached the Riding School, where
the Parliament was met for business. Here an address was read ; and
then the multitude surrounded the palace, all the gates of which had
been carefully closed. Within the courts were ranked the National
Guards. The Swiss were at their posts, and the palace itself was
crowded with Royalists in black clothes, who had come to support
their king. Every man of this sort had a ticket of entry," which he
showed to the sentinel at the gate.
The Lombardy poplar was planted,- not where they wished, for
the place was closed, but in a garden not far off; and now, as the king
would not come out to them, they resolved.to force their way in to
him. In this they were helped by the National Guards inside. Those
men, never very loyal, yielded to the speech of the mob leaders, and
opened the gate. The multitude poured through, and were soon surg-
ing up the grand stairs into the interior of the Tuileries. It was a
repetition of the insurrection of women at Versailles. Loud were the
knocking on the door behind which the poor distracted monarch
stood, knocking that could not be overlooked, for soon the panels
were smashed in. Louis opened the door and asked them hastily,
" What do you want here ? Loud shouts of Veto! Remove the


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veto!" answered his question. Others shouted, Bring back the
patriot ministers !" Louis answered with much dignity, This is not
the time to do it in, nor is this the proper way to ask me."
A few soldiers managed to get the king into the bow of a window,
and there he stood for some time. One man thrust a red cap into his
hand, and he set it upon his head. Another offered him a bottle, and
he put it to his lips. The queen sat in an inner room with her chil-
dren and sister-in-law, behind a barricade of tables, in tears and terror
of heart. And this went on for fully three hours. The gentlemen had
all disappeared, fearful of doing more harm than good to the king's
cause. After a time the Mayor of Paris (Petion was his name), a very
advanced patriot who had just now much influence with the mob, per-
suaded the people to retire. They obeyed his voice; and as they
passed through the room where the queen sat behind her tables, a
woman presented her with a red cap, which she put on her little son's
head. It was not until eight o'clock that the palace was clear of the
people, and the king and queen, much agitated, were able to embrace
each other with many tears after enduring such terrors.



AFTER the king had attempted to escape on the longest day in
the year 1791, many were the stormy debates in the French
Parliament on the subject. The question uppermost for a time was.
What are we to do with the monarchy ? Some answered briefly and
bluntly, Do with it ? Why, do away with it." Do with it ? asked
the Royalists. Preserve it at any cost; and, for the present, the
advice of the Royalists was followed, and the Men of the Mountain "
were silenced. But yet from all parts of France there came petitions
that the monarch should be deposed; and one very urgent body of
patriots came all the way from Marseilles to beg that the king, who
ran away like a naughty boy from school, should no longer sit on the
throne. One of these fiery speakers said these remarkable words:
When our ancestors landed on the coast of France and founded our
city long ago, they flung a bar of iron into the bay. Now, this bar
shall float again on the waves of the Mediterranean Sea before we, the
people of Marseilles, will consent to be slaves."
The National Assembly, however, having decided on the 15th of
July -that is, about three weeks after the king's return -that the
monarchy should not be abolished, the hot-tempered men of Mar-
seilles went about their business; but it became clear from that
time what side they would take, when the great question of king or
no king came to be decided.
And, as we have seen, when the king in the next June refused to
allow two decrees of Parliament, one about the banishment of priests,


and the other about the levying of twenty thousand patriots for the de-
fence of Paris, a certain member, named Barbaroux, remembering
the fiery temper of the deputation from Marseilles, wrote to the mayor
of that city, and begged him to send to Paris "six hundred men
who knew how to die (qui savent mnourir).
The letter was carried in the leather post-bag by the slow-going
diligence, and in due time reached Marseilles. The six hundred men
who knew how to die came forth, and were duly enrolled and armed,
and on the 5th of July they began their long march. The authorities
of the town said to them, March, and strike down the tyrant;" and
with these orders they went their way, musket on shoulder and sword
on thigh. They also dragged after them two pieces of cannon, not
knowing what might happen. Many other men, bound on the same
errand, were wending their way to Paris about this time, being invited
by the National Assembly, who contemplated the holding of another
such gathering as we saw before in the Champ de Mars, when there
were such preparations and such rejoicing. But while those went by
twos and threes or twenties or thirties, it was Marseilles alone which
sent forth a little army of six hundred men who knew how to die."
On this mass of Southern fire and valor the eyes of all men
were soon fastened. It was for them that the wonderful tune called
The Marseillaise was composed and set to suitable words. The
happy composer of this most noble song was a certain colonel, named
Rouget de Lisle, who long survived the stormy period, of the Revolu-
tion, and who was alive as late as 1836. Those of our readers who
have never heard this tune, or have heard it without knowing the
story of its composition, should get some good pianoforte-player to
play it, and then let them say whether it is not a tune to make the
blood tingle in their veins," as Carlyle says.
The six hundred men who knew how to die left Marseilles, as
we have said, on the 5th of July. On the I4th was the feast on the
Champ de Mars, but the Marseillese were not in time for that. It was


a sad feast, unworthy of the name. The place was bright with sun-
shine, and the people were there in abundance, and the king went,
and there were trees of liberty and bands of music; but as for Louis,
no man said, God bless him! The popular man of the hour was
Petion, the Mayor of Paris, who had been dismissed by the king's
friends and restored again. Chalked on men's hats were the words
" Vive Petion P6tion or Death! Some were afraid that the king
would be murdered; and he himself was not without fear of it, for
he went to the Champ de Mars with bullet-proof armor under his
On the 22d of July, being Sunday, the Assembly proclaimed the
country to be in danger. The same sad story, La patrie est en
danger! was emblazoned on a large banner, and it was cried aloud
by heralds with sound of trumpet. And now, in spite of the royal veto "
upon enlistment of volunteers, and in answer to the mournful tidings
Our country is in danger! hundreds of young men might be seen
that Sunday afternoon enrolling their names in a book in every sec-
tion of Paris. As each volunteer signed his name, there was a shout
of Vive la patrie! and sounds of weeping from some who were re-
jected because they were too small. In a day or two ten thousand
were on their way to Soissons, where a camp was formed.
On July 25 the Duke of Brunswick, with thirty thousand foot and
ten thousand horse, struck, his tents, and marched on Paris. He had
many emigrants in his ranks. He said in his proclamation what he
meant to do for France. He meant to restore the king, and to hang
everybody who resisted him, and to reduce Paris, if she would not
submit, to a heap of rubbish.
This proclamation inflamed the minds of the French people yet
more, and made them resolve to do what they had to do with all their
It was now felt by all patriots that the time had come to pluck the
king from his place, and put him under lock and key or in the silent



tomb. He was, as they thought, the cause of this invasion of their
country; and there is no doubt that an insurrection on a large scale
was now being organized in Paris with as much secrecy as possible.
It was, however, not to take place until after the arrival of the six
hundred who knew how to die." These men had been marching day
by day upon the dusty roads of France ever since the 5th of July, and
they were now drawing nigh the tyrant whom they had been sent
to strike down." As the crow flies, Paris may be distant from Mar-
seilles about four hundred and eighty miles; by road it is more. On
the 29th of July the six hundred were at Charenton, where several
leading patriots met them, and where they were entertained with
a dinner at the Blue Dial. On the 3oth they made a grand
public entry into Paris, and were met by the Jacobin Club in a body
on the site of the fallen Bastille. Having with some difficulty forced
their way through the crowded streets, they reached the H6tel de
Ville, where Mayor P6tion welcomed them and received their mus-
kets. They then marched on to a tavern, where a plain repast was
prepared for them.
This dinner was not fated to be eaten in peace, for the arrival
of the six hundred was noised abroad, and, of course, much detested
by the Royalists. A certain loyal body of National Guards, formed
of rich and respectable men from a wealthy quarter of Paris, hap-
pened to be on guard at the Tuileries the same day; and these
men, or part of them who were off duty for a while, chanced to
be dining not far from the tavern where the six hundred were about
to dine. These Nationals had dined, and were strolling about, when
they were hooted by some of the mob who had followed the Mar-
scillesc. Words begat blows ; and as some of the Nationals drew their
swords, the mob cried out, Help, men of Marseilles! The six hun-
dred had not yet sat down to their meal, and, hearing the cries, they.
opened the tavern windows, and leaped out, drawing their swords at
the same time. The Nationals, not liking the looks of such fierce


fellows, retired, at first face to face with the foe, but, finding this would
not do, they wheeled round and fled. Quick over the Tuileries draw-
bridge or into the muddy ditch they sprang. One man, too stout to
fly, got a blow from the flat of a sword; others were cut or pricked in
the back; and another, who had twice fired a pistol at his pursuers and
missed them all, was run through and died on the spot. Such sad
events happened on the first day spent by the six hundred in Paris.
They evidently knew how to kill as well as how to die.
The great crisis was clearly drawing nigh. More and more loudly
came the clamor for deposing the king. The galleries of the Assem-
bly were now crammed with excited women, or men waving swords,
and interrupting the debate with shouts of Depose the king !"
On the 3d of August the Mayor P6tion and all the Council
came and openly petitioned for it; every patriot wished it, and the
Assembly could do nothing until they had promised to consider the
question on the 9th of the same month.
On Sunday, the 5th, the king held a levee at the Tuileries. It was
his last! Never for a long time had one been so crowded. Out-
side the palace, within a few steps, the restless city was all astir, de-
manding in every street the deposition of the king. Inside, a last,
but fruitless attempt was being made to carry the king away to Rouen;
but the undecided monarch would not seize his last chance of escape.
No," said he ; "I believe the insurrection is not so near as you
But he was fatally mistaken, as we shall see.



IT will be remembered that the palace of the King of France was
guarded by a thousand Swiss soldiers. These men were well
drilled, brave, and faithful; and even in the raging sea of disloyal Paris
the monarch felt secure, too secure, as it proved. The Swiss do not
seem to have meddled with the politics of the day, but to have done
their duty, earned their paltry pay, and kept to themselves.
We have already noticed the king's Sunday levee, and the futile
efforts which his friends made to get him removed to Rouen. These
he would not second; "for," said he, "the insurrection is not so near
as you suppose." But it was near, very near now. In fact, the leaders
of the Revolution had already determined that if the Assembly would
not pronounce the dethronement of Louis on the next Thursday, they
would rise and do it by force of arms.
But the Assembly were busied about Lafayette, who had denounced
the Jacobins, by a letter, as dangerous people ; his conduct was there-
fore discussed for several days, and on Wednesday he was acquitted
of blame by a majority of two to one.
Thursday evening arrived, and no sentence of deposition had been
pronounced. All that night men were arming and drilling, and making
ready for an attack on the Tuileries early the next morning. The loyal
gentlemen of France were aware that something serious was about to
happen; and they gathered round their king, each man with his weapon
of war. It was a very close night, and the palace windows were
thrown open, for every room was densely crowded. About midnight


those in the palace could plainly hear the storm-bells calling the
people together in various parts of the city. One bell was the same
which was rung by a king's order on St. Bartholomew's Eve, 1572,
as a signal for the massacre of the Huguenots. Another bell which
sounded in the night air was that of the Town-hall; this was pulled
by Marat, the editor of the People's Friend," who had been impris-
oned for what he had written.
It must have been an awful night; and yet as its hours stole on
and no armed mobs appeared, a joke was bandied from one to the
other: The tocsin is like a dry cow; it does not yield any milk."
During the night the king had a short nap, and about five o'clock
he went out into the garden to review his troops, in company with old
Marshal Maill6, who was nearly eighty years of age. The soldiers did
not seem very loyal, and their shouts of Vive le Roi ended in Vive
la Nation," -as if the king and nation were not one and the same, as
they ought to be.
When the sun began to shine, a countless army of men who had
been gathering, each in his proper quarter during the night, united
and moved in the direction of the Tuileries. At the head of all, in
the place of honor, marched the six hundred who knew how to die."
There were squadrons drawn up to resist this army of the people, but
none of them did anything except get quietly out of the road; so that
the six hundred and the host which followed in their rear found no
resistance until they arrived at the outer gate of the great courtyard
of the palace, called the Place du Carrousel.
If Louis had been a general, like Napoleon, or even if he had been
a resolute prince like Charles the First, he might have made a good fight
of it, and even carried the day. It is said that the queen offered him
a pistol and said, Now, if ever, it is the time for you to show yourself
a hero." But Louis was not a fighting man. He did not lack courage,
but he lacked the resolution to strike one great blow for his ancient
crown. There he sat in this awful hour doing nothing; his hands


were on his knees, and his head bent low. The troops in the court
sent in for orders. Are we to fire the cannon on the people or not ? "
No orders were sent out to them; so they threw down their lighted
matches. There was no head; no quick, sharp word of command;
no orders promptly given and as promptly obeyed. A few minutes
after eight o'clock the king decided on leaving the palace and taking
refuge in the Assembly. He left his gallant gentlemen and his red-
coated Switzers to fight or yield, to fly or die, as they liked or could.
There they were left; and they turned their reproachful looks on the
monarch who had abandoned them, until he and his queen and chil-
dren were lost to sight in the crowd. The gentlemen slipped away as
well as they were able by one door or another, and the unfortunate
Swiss Guard stood to their arms and waited what might happen like
brave men. They were soon face to face with the six hundred, and
then there was a short parley.
Where is the king? "
He has gone over to the Assembly."
We have come here to take possession of his house until the
Assembly pronounces him deposed."
And then what were the Swiss .Guard to do or say, the king
having gone ? Were they to defend the empty palace or not? While
pausing undecided, there was a discharge of cannon, and the balls
struck the roof of the Tuileries. This seems to have decided the
Swiss captain. Fire said he.
His men did so; and not a few Marseillese lay stretched on the
earth, dead or dying, the next moment. The volley was so sudden
and well-directed, and the appearance of the serried ranks of the Swiss
so terrible, that the huge mob recoiled, and backed out of the great
court, and the Swiss advancing seized the cannon and prepared to use
them in their own defence.
The "six hundred who knew how to die" soon rallied, however,
and returned to the charge; and the National Guards in the garden


also fired on the Swiss as foreigners while they were attempting,
though without success, to discharge the cannon. Had they suc-
ceeded in firing off those great guns, the cause of the king might
not have been lost. But even though they could not manage the
cannon, they fired their muskets with deadly precision, and killed very
many people. Bonaparte himself was a witness of this battle, and he
believed that the Swiss would have won the day if they had had a
capable general.
When this bloody struggle was at its height,:a written order of the
king was carried by some daring messenger to the Swiss to cease firing.
But why did he not also order the mob to cease firing? The poor
Swiss obeyed the order and fired no more, but were fired at as hotly as
ever. What were they now to do ? The people had become mad-
dened like bears bereft of their whelps, for they saw bleeding and
dying patriots carried along the streets; and the Swiss felt sure if they
laid down their arms and ventured into the crowd they would be torn
to pieces in a moment. Yet something must be done, and at once;
so they broke up into detachments, and tried to make their way to
places of safety.
One party was utterly destroyed ; another rushed into the National
Assembly, and found a refuge there; a third, three hundred strong,
made for the Champs Elysdes and Courbevoye, where there were
other soldiers of their nation. But very few of them escaped; they
died fighting here and there. Fifty were marched to the Hotel de
Ville; but they were massacred on the way, every one. The Marseil-
lese, like brave men, tried to save the Guard after the victory was won;
but the Paris mob were cruel, and thirsted for the last drop of the
Swiss soldiers' blood.
This murder of unresisting men, who had simply done the duty
they were paid to do, is a very dark blot on the character of the people
of Paris. It shows them in a very unfavorable light. But to our
minds it is also a great blot on the king's character; for he forsook his


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