simone_remy (simone_remy) wrote in melkam,

Camille to Jean-Nicolas [Matton p14 - undated but between June 24 and July 12 1789]

A letter from Camille to his father on the freeing of the French guards imprisoned in l’Abbaye; details on the many gatherings in the Palais Royal and about some members of the Estates General.
My Dear Father,
My cousin Deviefville, mayor, good citizen and patriot, will have certainly told the town about the famous deliberation of the 17th; and the example of the town of Paris, Montcontour, Laon etc., in sending the municipality’s thanks to the Estates General; there is still time.

The insurrection grows. The National Guard, as you know, have refused to obey orders; the authorities wanted to punish their insubordination: fourteen of them were imprisoned in l’Abbaye and were to be hanged as an example to the others. They sent a letter to the Palais Royal, which is the patriots’ camp; immediately a column was formed; they marched to the prison and bludgeoned down the doors. They led the fourteen guards out in triumph and placed them in the safeguarding of the nation; they were lodged in the Palais Royal and a deputation was sent at once to the national assembly, to get their agreement. This action won over the troops and the National Guard; they would have been hanged rather than open fire on a single citizen.
There was a question of whether to march immediately to the Bastille, or to Vincennes; but wise heads suggested that enough had been accomplished for one day. All the patriots clung on to the soldiers; they bought them ices, wine and they debauched in the face of their officers.         
Since the three orders met, the dissidents among the nobility and clergy have not stopped trying to put a spoke in the wheel, just as I foresaw, and as I told those people who were rejoicing: it is like the town of Troy who celebrated the gift of the wooden horse.
Abbé Maury’s host at Versailles did not want to entertain this anti-constitutional skullcap and told him to clear off. Moreover the patriots gave him a beating.
You know that the archbishop barely escaped being killed. The fear brought about a change of heart.
Your prince de Condé dare not appear. He is booed, ridiculed, and made the subject of insulting songs.
There are at least thirty thousand men around Paris; there is talk of a camp in the Plaine des Sablons.
A few days ago a countess was whipped in the Palais Royal, where she was supporting anti Necker proposals.
In the Palais Royal, those with stentorian voices take it in turns to speak every evening. They stand on tables; people band together to listen to their speeches. They read out the most powerful writing of the day on current affairs. The silence is broken only by shouts of ‘bravo’ for the most stirring parts. Then the patriots cry ‘more’
Three days ago a child of four, full of intelligence and well taught went round the garden at least twenty times in broad daylight, carried on the shoulders of a porter. He was shouting ‘people of France stop! La Polignac – exile her a hundred leagues from Paris, Condé –ditto, Conti – ditto, D’Artois –ditto. The Queen……..’ I dare not repeat it to you
My dear father, I have the honour of being your very humble and obedient son
Tags: camille desmoulins, jean-nicolas desmoulins, l'abbaye prison
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