Introduction to Discours de la Lanterne aux Parisiens...............
The ever lovely Camille added some ridiculously long footnotes to The Lantern ~ I have put them in appendices to the relevant sections ~ they contain some familiar themes.
The Discours de la Lanterne aux Parisiens first appeared through Garnery as a 67 page brochure in octavo; it was preceded by a two page foreword in small type: This edition was unsigned. The second edition, corrected and augmented, was dated thus:
The first year of liberty in France
It contained 72 pages and also contained the dedicatory title To Our Lords in Parliament. This edition was signed ‘by the author of La France Libre’. The third edition, reviewed, corrected and considerably augmented is signed by Camille Desmoulins. The pagination is identical to the first edition, the author’s only deletion is the dedicatory title. This third edition is notable for its engraved frontispiece which shows the Hotel-de-Ville and the famous lantern, or lamppost.
TO OUR LORDS IN THE TOULOUSE PARLIAMENT( Read more...Collapse )
After pausing for a while to catch her breath, the illustrious lantern continued in these terms:
Now comes the time when I must mingle into these praises some just complaints. So many scoundrels have escaped me! Not that I like justice to be too speedy. You know that I gave signs of discontent during the ascent of Foullon and Bertier; twice I broke the noose. I was convinced of the treason of these two rascals; but the carpenter rushed the whole business. I would have preferred an interrogation and the exposure of certain facts.
Blind Parisians, if you fail to note these facts you may perhaps allow proof of the conspiracy woven against you to wither; and since it only lends its ministry to justice and the patrie you will dishonour the lantern. My fame will pass and I will remain defiled by these murders down the centuries. See how Morande is already libelling me in his Courrier de l’Europe and in le Gazetier! I leave the burden of my vengeance to this country’s lanterns. As the passionate journalists say( Read more...Collapse )
Appendix to part 2
4 ~ On Thursday 16th a trunk full of sulphurous fuses was seized from a house located next to the Hotel de Ville. At the same time, trials of gunpowder were discovered extending from that house right up to the cellars of the galleries. One of the electors brought the news to the military committee who immediately sent commissaires to check the facts. The commissaires’ report confirmed the truth of the information.
5 ~ The Lantern had not read the Marquis’s supporting poster.( Read more...Collapse )
The Courrier de Versailles a Paris notes that there are clearly powerful secret forces behind these insurrections. A few poverty stricken people, whose daily toil scarcely preserves them from starvation, spent a few days in the public square. They were paid for it. We have seen men distributing money amongst these low class people: What will they do for it? What of this abbé, whom we had wanted to detain because he had been denounced by worthy witnesses, whom we bound to come before the lantern and face questioning. What has become of the so called chevalier, decorated with a foreign order, on whom we only postponed judgement not abandoning judgement completely? What became of so many other suspected people whose escape has been facilitated? Shouldn’t the National Assembly, in the name of justice, give a public account of what these people have done and of their interrogation?( Read more...Collapse )
1 ~, M. le Tellier is the author of this pamphlet and has just been arrested and taken to l’Abbaye. The Lantern is opposed to the principles of this lawyer, who is an enemy of progress, but she will make no less loud a complaint that he has been wronged when the nation raises an altar to press freedom. The sun shines for the bad as well as the good. Today press freedom is violated in the person of an aristo writer, but when the thirty tyrants erased the list of citizens Theramenes wrote ‘it is no more difficult for Critias to wipe out your role as citizen than to erase Theramenes. We must make a big fuss and demand freedom for this poor devil of an author and make an example of Miromesnil, who, despite bearing a hated name, knew how to insinuate himself among the representatives of the commune, and who, in his role as head of the police committee, ordered the detention of M. le Tellier. When Beauvilliers was sent to l’Abbaye, certainly with good cause, every gourmet in Paris rose up in defence of this cook. Yet when press freedom is violated by an imprisonment no one speaks up for the writer! Parisians are like the Athenians to whom Socrates said ‘I am a doctor, I plead my case against a pastry cook, and you are children, so I will lose my case’( Read more...Collapse )
People don’t realise how disastrous this veto was. Can they not see that keeping the veto rendered our efforts to sing the clergy a te deum for the loss of their tithes quite useless? The clergy and the nobility have retained their privileges. On that famous night, 4/5 August, the king said ‘I forbid them to carry out their decrees, I annul everything, veto!’ It would be useless for the National Assembly to abolish the tax farmers and the gabelle tax. The king would only have to use his veto. That is why M. Treilhard, the publicans’ lawyer, wore out his voice trying to defend the veto. He defied insults and like M. Pincemaille in Horace he says( Read more...Collapse )