The French Revolution eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,095 pages of information about The French Revolution.

And so the Commons Deputies are at last on their own strength getting under way?  Instead of Chairman, or Dean, they have now got a President:  Astronomer Bailly.  Under way, with a vengeance!  With endless vociferous and temperate eloquence, borne on Newspaper wings to all lands, they have now, on this 17th day of June, determined that their name is not Third Estate, but—­National Assembly!  They, then, are the Nation?  Triumvirate of Princes, Queen, refractory Noblesse and Clergy, what, then, are you?  A most deep question;—­scarcely answerable in living political dialects.

All regardless of which, our new National Assembly proceeds to appoint a ‘committee of subsistences;’ dear to France, though it can find little or no grain.  Next, as if our National Assembly stood quite firm on its legs,—­to appoint ‘four other standing committees;’ then to settle the security of the National Debt; then that of the Annual Taxation:  all within eight-and-forty hours.  At such rate of velocity it is going:  the conjurors of the Oeil-de-Boeuf may well ask themselves, Whither?

Chapter 1.5.II.

Mercury de Breze.

Now surely were the time for a ‘god from the machine;’ there is a nodus worthy of one.  The only question is, Which god?  Shall it be Mars de Broglie, with his hundred pieces of cannon?—­Not yet, answers prudence; so soft, irresolute is King Louis.  Let it be Messenger Mercury, our Supreme Usher de Breze.

On the morrow, which is the 20th of June, these Hundred and Forty-nine false Curates, no longer restrainable by his Grace of Paris, will desert in a body:  let De Breze intervene, and produce—­closed doors!  Not only shall there be Royal Session, in that Salle des Menus; but no meeting, nor working (except by carpenters), till then.  Your Third Estate, self-styled ‘National Assembly,’ shall suddenly see itself extruded from its Hall, by carpenters, in this dexterous way; and reduced to do nothing, not even to meet, or articulately lament,—­till Majesty, with Seance Royale and new miracles, be ready!  In this manner shall De Breze, as Mercury ex machina, intervene; and, if the Oeil-de-Boeuf mistake not, work deliverance from the nodus.

Of poor De Breze we can remark that he has yet prospered in none of his dealings with these Commons.  Five weeks ago, when they kissed the hand of Majesty, the mode he took got nothing but censure; and then his ‘sincere attachment,’ how was it scornfully whiffed aside!  Before supper, this night, he writes to President Bailly, a new Letter, to be delivered shortly after dawn tomorrow, in the King’s name.  Which Letter, however, Bailly in the pride of office, will merely crush together into his pocket, like a bill he does not mean to pay.

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The French Revolution from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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