The French Revolution eBook

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

New Mirabeaus one hears not of:  the wild kindred, as we said, is gone out with this its greatest.  As families and kindreds sometimes do; producing, after long ages of unnoted notability, some living quintescence of all the qualities they had, to flame forth as a man world-noted; after whom they rest as if exhausted; the sceptre passing to others.  The chosen Last of the Mirabeaus is gone; the chosen man of France is gone.  It was he who shook old France from its basis; and, as if with his single hand, has held it toppling there, still unfallen.  What things depended on that one man!  He is as a ship suddenly shivered on sunk rocks:  much swims on the waste waters, far from help.

BOOK 2.IV.

VARENNES

Chapter 2.4.I.

Easter at Saint-Cloud.

The French Monarchy may now therefore be considered as, in all human probability, lost; as struggling henceforth in blindness as well as weakness, the last light of reasonable guidance having gone out.  What remains of resources their poor Majesties will waste still further, in uncertain loitering and wavering.  Mirabeau himself had to complain that they only gave him half confidence, and always had some plan within his plan.  Had they fled frankly with him, to Rouen or anywhither, long ago!  They may fly now with chance immeasurably lessened; which will go on lessening towards absolute zero.  Decide, O Queen; poor Louis can decide nothing:  execute this Flight-project, or at least abandon it.  Correspondence with Bouille there has been enough; what profits consulting, and hypothesis, while all around is in fierce activity of practice?  The Rustic sits waiting till the river run dry:  alas with you it is not a common river, but a Nile Inundation; snow melting in the unseen mountains; till all, and you where you sit, be submerged.

Many things invite to flight.  The voice Journals invites; Royalist Journals proudly hinting it as a threat, Patriot Journals rabidly denouncing it as a terror.  Mother Society, waxing more and more emphatic, invites;—­so emphatic that, as was prophesied, Lafayette and your limited Patriots have ere long to branch off from her, and form themselves into Feuillans; with infinite public controversy; the victory in which, doubtful though it look, will remain with the unlimited Mother.  Moreover, ever since the Day of Poniards, we have seen unlimited Patriotism openly equipping itself with arms.  Citizens denied ‘activity,’ which is facetiously made to signify a certain weight of purse, cannot buy blue uniforms, and be Guardsmen; but man is greater than blue cloth; man can fight, if need be, in multiform cloth, or even almost without cloth—­as Sansculotte.  So Pikes continued to be hammered, whether those Dirks of improved structure with barbs be ’meant for the West-India market,’ or not meant.  Men beat, the wrong way, their ploughshares into swords.  Is there not what we may call an ’Austrian Committee,’ Comite Autrichein, sitting daily and nightly in the Tuileries?  Patriotism, by vision and suspicion, knows it too well!  If the King fly, will there not be Aristocrat-Austrian Invasion; butchery, replacement of Feudalism; wars more than civil?  The hearts of men are saddened and maddened.

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The French Revolution from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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