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To Jean-Nicolas May 8 1789 - the famous letter telling him all about the procession at Versailles

Matton p1
Paris, 8 Mai 1789
My very dear father
Yesterday was, for me, one of the best days of my life.
He would have to be a bad citizen who did not take part in the celebration of this blessed day. I believe that if I should only came from Guise to Paris to see that procession of the three estates and the opening of our estates general, I would not regret the pilgrimage. I have only one sorrow that is not to have seen you amongst our deputies. One of my friends has been luckier than me; that is de Robespierre, deputy from Arras. He has had the good fortune to plead in his province. G, older and more commended than him has not even been one of the electors. Target has only been nominated as fourth deputy to the vicomté.  Paris has still only named a single one. Seven only have been nominated for the clergy; intra muros; the archbishop; l’abbé de Montesquiou; M. Chevreuil chancellor of the university; dom Chevreux head of the Benedictines; le cure de Saint Nicolas de Chardonnet the rector of the Church of Paris; without the walls; M. l’abbé de Beauvais; bishop of Senez ; The prior, cure de Saint Germain en Laye; le cure d’Argenteuil, a regular priest. M. Berardier got sixty eight votes. Three farmers were nominated ahead of M. Target. Yesterday in the Duke of Orleans procession, in his position of deputy for the bailiwick of Crespy we observed Count Mirabeau, dressed in the costume of the third estate and wearing a sword, a single Benedictine, the prior of Marmouriers; the costume of the aristocrats, nobles and peers the same, was magnificent; they numbered two hundred and forty. There were forty bishops. Most people were shocked to see them form part of the clergy’s following instead of mixing with the ranks from their dioceses. Cardinal Larochefoucault claimed the presidency by right of his purple. Our Abbot Marolles, an excellent citizen with whom I had a long chat in the park yesterday, as well as three quarters of the clergy decided to choose a different president; but he will take advantage of the example of the civil lieutenant. I only saw cousin Viefville in the procession; I passed by him three times. How all our deputies blocked the way! They had their heads in the clouds [caput intra nubes] and rightly so. The speech of Archbishop of Nancy having gone on far too long, one of my friends, l’abbé de Bourville took me to dinner with his uncle, a brigadier. It was there that I saw how greatly the body of the nobility were irritated by M Necker. Thousands and thousands cried long live the king, long live the third estate! There were several salutes for the Duke of Orleans, nothing for the golden costumes or the cassocks. The monarch’s face was radiant with joy. It has been three years since he heard long live the king shouted! M. de Votronville told us that at Versailles there were a hundred thousand men who shout themselves hoarse with vivat. I saw neither the Prince de Condé nor the Prince de Conty; after dinner I went to see M Bailly. I found him with the deputies de Villers-Cotterets and de Soissons, full of delight, pleasure and holy zeal. The thought of their mission filled me with respect and I was surprised by a feeling of veneration for our cure which I was very far from feeling at Laon. I bore a considerable grudge against you.  Why did you show so little enthusiasm for such a great honour? That was the first of my sorrows.
Yesterday I wrote to Mirabeau to see if he might in any way employ me as a collaborator on his famous Gazette which relates everything which will take place in the estates general, to which people here are subscribing in their thousands, and which they say brings in a hundred thousand écus for its author. Would you like me to subscribe for you?
Your son
Desmoulins

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