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requiring the royal sanction or acceptance. A high court of justice was established at Orleans, and outstripped the revolutionary tribunal. At that very period, Madame Roland was clamorous for the Queen's head, little dreaming how soon her own would be called for by the revolution. The riotous assembly of the Champ de Mars had taken place, in opposition to the decree which suspended the King from his functions, instead of bringing him to trial. The acceptance of the constitution, on the 14th of September, failed to restore tranquillity. The decree of the 29th September, for the regulation of popular societies, only had the effect of increasing their violence; this was the last act of the Constituent Assembly; it separated on the following day, bequeathing to France an endless revolution.
The Legislative Assembly, installed on the 1st of October, 1791, rolled in the vortex which was to swallow up the living and the dead. Disturbances embrued the departments in blood; at Caen, the people were glutted with massacres, and feasted upon the heart of M. de Belzunce. The King set his veto to the decree against emigrants, and the public agitation was increased by this lawful act. Petion had become mayor of Paris, On the 1st of January, 1792, the deputies passed decrees of accusation against the emigrant princes;
on the 2nd, they fixed upon the preceding day, the 1st of January, for the commencement of the IVth year of liberty. The red caps were displayed in the streets of Paris towards the 13th of February, and the municipality ordered the manufacturing of pikes. On the 1st of March appeared the manifesto of the emigrants. Austria was arming. The treaty of Pilnitz, and the convention between the Emperor and the King of Prussia, were publicly known. Paris was divided into sections more or less hostile to each other. On the 20th of March, 1792, the Legislative Assembly adopted the sepulchral machine, without which the sentences of the Tribunal of Terror could not have been carried into effect; it was first tried upon the dead, that it might learn its business from them. We may consider this instrument in the light of an executioner, since many persons, well pleased with its services, made donations of money for its support.
Roland the minister, or rather his astonishing wife, had been called to the king's council. War was declared, on the 20th of April, against the king of Hungary and Bohemia. Marat published L'Ami du Peuple, notwithstanding the decree levelled at his head. The royal German regiment
* Moniteur, No. 198.
and that of Berchini deserted. Isnard declaimed against court perfidy. Gensonné and Brissot denounced the Austrian committee. An insurrection broke out under the pretext afforded by the king's guard, which was disbanded on the 28th of May; the assembly formed itself into permanent sittings. On the 20th of June, the palace of the Tuileries was stormed by the mob of the fauxbourgs St. Antoine and St. Marceau, assuming as their motive the refusal of Louis XVI to sanction the proscription of the clergy; the king's life was placed in jeopardy; the country was decreed to be in danger. M. de la Fayette was burnt in effigy. The confederates of the second federation were approaching; the Marseillais, summoned by Danton, were in full march; they entered Paris on the 30th of July, and were quartered by Petion at the Cordeliers.
Beside the national assembly, two concurrent assemblies had arisen; the one of the Jacobins, the other of the Cordeliers, at that time the most formidable, as it sent members to the famous commune of Paris, and furnished it with means of action.
The club of the Cordeliers was established in the monastery of that name, the church of which had been built during the reign of St. Louis, in 1259, by means of a fine raised in atonement for
a murder*; it became, in 1590, the haunt of the most celebrated Leaguers. The pictures, the sculptured or painted images, the veils, the curtains, of the convent of the Cordeliers had been forcibly removed in 1792; the dismantled church presented to the eye a mere skeleton of its former self. In its apsis, where the wind and rain were admitted through its unglazed windows, carpenters' benches served as a seat for the president, when the meeting was held in the church. On these benches were laid the red caps which were worn by each speaker, before he ascended the tribune. This tribune consisted of four small rafters crossing one another in the form of an X, and having a plank laid upon them like a scaffold. Behind the president were seen, along with a statue of Liberty, the pretended instruments of torture of the former court of justice; all which instruments were replaced by a single one, the engine of blood, as complicated machines make way for the hydraulic
The club of the refined Jacobins borrowed from the Cordeliers some of these arrangements.
United for purposes of destruction, the speakers could not agree either as to the choice of leaders or the means to be employed. They called each other vagabonds, swindlers, thieves, murderers, amidst the discordant sounds of whis
* It was burnt in 1580.
tles, and the howlings of their various groups of devils. Metaphors were drawn from the materials of murders, borrowed from the filthiest objects, from the laystall and the dunghill; or from places devoted to the prostitution of both sexes, Descriptions were illustrated by gestures; every thing was called by its proper name, with brutal impudence, amidst an obscene and impious parade of oaths and blasphemies. To destroy and beget, to kill and procreate, these words exclusively formed the savage cant which stunned our ears. speakers, with shrill or thundering voices, were disturbed by others besides their opponents; the small dark owls of the cloister without monks, and of the steeple without bells, fluttered about the broken windows, in search of prey, and interrupted the speeches. They were at first called to order by the ringing of the powerless bell; but as they kept up their shrieks, muskets were fired to silence them; they fell panting, wounded, and prophetic, in the midst of this pandemonium. Broken down timber-work, tottering benches, scattered seats, fragments of saints, rolled and driven against the walls, were used as steps by the bespattered, dusty, drunken, sweating spectators, with torn jackets, bare arms crossed, or shouldered pikes.