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Anne

simone_remy in melkam

Appendix to Lantern 2

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.

6 ~ Yes the premier person of the nation. I hear it said ‘What an honour M.Chapelier has received with the te deum. He has passed before the Keeper of the Seals; the Grand Master and the masses preceded him. He knelt on a cushion on the right hand of the king.’ It seems to me, however, that the president should not be on the right hand of the king, rather that the king should be on the right hand of the president.

Filii hominum, usquequo gravi corde?

7 ~ The illustrious Lantern is wrong. In tendering his resignation from the presidency, rather than dishonouring it by proclaiming the decree of Aug 23rd, M. de Clermont-Tonnerre showed himself worthy of the supreme honour of prince of the Senate. Here our beloved Lantern shows a little too much levity; she is carried away by her enthusiasm.

Mais quel auteur, grand dieu! ne va jamais trop loin ?

8 ~ In ‘Revolutions de Paris’, a journal which has been slightly critical of La France Libre, but which breathes patriotism from every page and strengthens itself daily with guiding principles, I admire the determination of the author to keep alive the memory of those soldiers who distinguished themselves at the Bastille. At the next review we will undoubtedly find MM. Hullin, Elie, Maillard, Humbert, Arné, Richard and Dupin at the head of the Paris militia. It will be surprising if we don’t at least see them at the side ofMM.de Montholon, d’Ormesson, le prince Léon, le duc d’Aumont, de Lally-Tolendal and de Saint-Christeau. The public will recall what Tacitus said, on the subject of a salon of his own time, where the painters dared not show portraits of Cassius and Brutus.

Praefulgebant Cassius ey Brutus eo magis quod illorum effigies non videbantur

Brutus and Cassius were the most remarked upon precisely because they were not seen there. Undoubtedly M. de Lafayette will absolve Paris from this reproach. Among his engravings from the American war is one of the Comte d’Estaing on the walls of Grenada, embracing a soldier who had been the first to climb up there. He promoted him to Captain at a time when ordinary soldiers were excluded from gaining military rank.

There were no noblemen among our old Germanic forebears. ‘But’ the nobles will say, ‘What can we do, other than be officers?’ What can you do? Mount the first assault! Be first to put yourself in danger! Then you will lead the procession. Officers are revealed by their courage, not by paperwork. Oh for shame! Here in the eighteenth century, after the fall of the Bastille, the children of the enlightenment are less philosophical than their barbarian forefathers.

9 ~ It seems that M. de Lafayette thinks differently. Here is his response to some national guards who asked his permission to wear epaulettes; ‘Gladly, on condition that officers no longer wear them’. So we can see that M. the Marquis is convinced of the need for distinctions. He knows, however, that in the time of Athens’s greatest danger (the name Athens commands more attention and is more imposing than that of St Joseph’s district) the army camped at Marathon had ten commanders from the bourgeoisie, each one taking it in turn to command the Athenian militia. Each had their day, but they would wait for Miltiades turn to wage battle. Every distinction placed this man at the head of the ten, but no epaulettes are shown in the great painting which the town commissioned in memory of that day. Miltiades was immortalised by his actions on a single day; he took his place in the Prytaneon, at the table of great patriots. But the town would not dream of paying him a stipend of fifty talents for his place at table. A journalist wrote ‘empty dreams, product of a fevered mind, of a young writer who mistakes the French for the people of Solon! As if Athens did not have its Faubourg St Denis and its market women. There was this difference; in Athens the police committee did not stop tradesmen from crying their wares in the streets. Allow the barkers to catch cold; let discomfort stop the licence, not outright prohibition, then in six months we will rival the port of Piraeus.

I return to the bourgeois militia of Athens, who allowed only Miltiades to wear an epaulette. We might think that in these great days of the republic, the commandant general doesn’t need to have military subordination preached by buffoons, in the theatre, nor yet to give solemn thanks to a company who have sworn the mistaken oath of blind obedience. Today, a soldier obeys because his turn will come tomorrow; and when the enemy is at the gates, the bourgeois whose turn it is to lead, will take care not to endanger the patrie by risking battle that day, but will await the turn of M. de Lafayette, who beat Mardonius, killed 100,000 men and returned, crowned with laurels to debate the veto in the Café de Foi. This is the image of equality and of the republic which I delight endlessly to contemplate.

After the American war all of Washington’s soldiers became citizens. An historian says this ‘ each one went back, not to his place, but to his profession. Colonels, officers, fusiliers and drummers went back to being carpenters, labourers and cobblers. Their transports of joy were mixed with sadness at their parting; they desired a mark of fraternity which would remind them of their glorious constitution. So the order of Cincinattus was created. The ribbon was to be worn by all the officers who had taken part in the revolution’ We must applaud the motives, but the consequences of a similar institution here, introducing, as it would, unconstitutional and impolitic distinctions, could give rise to jealousy and discord and will alarm enlightened patriots. Many states have proscribed it, and the founders are reforming it.

And you, my dear comrades, national guards, explain to me this mania for becoming at least a sub lieutenant. Are we not all equal now? You are the equal of colonels, dukes, peers, marshalls and princes of the blood. You are equal to the king himself, since nothing is above you but the law, which today reigns over Louis XVI himself as well as you. Now you are all high and all powerful lords, even if the authors of the Journal de Paris and the abbé Aubert refuse to recognise it and wish to remain disagreeable. Parisians, do you only want to be sub lieutenants when you could be kings?

10 ~ The prelate should not accuse the Lantern of injustice in this respect. She still remembers her enthusiasm for le Tiers; she herself admired its efforts and ardent prayers to expose Sieur Thomassin to the blind anger of the mob at Poissy. Even the pontiff in Rome, from his high estate, reigning over the kings at his feet, has never been so grand as the Bishop of Chartres begging for innocence at the feet of the people. But although the presence of a cleric at the head of the St Germain deputation is in the right place, his presence on the criminal committee is derisory.

11 ~ The Lantern is only making public what the citizens have been saying for a long time; what patriotic journalist would be afraid to print that little by little some members let themselves profit by pensions, projects of fortune, caresses….. Happily there are still the galleries, the incorruptible galleries, always on the side of the patriot. They represent the the tribunes of the people who were present at the deliberations of the senate over who had the veto. They represent the capital, and happily the constitution has been made there.

12 ~ At the beginning of the troubles the city of Lyon found itself full of strangers, barefoot as the Carmelites, with their backsides scarcely covered by filthy vests; their appearance was nothing less than a warning. Rightly afraid of the disorder they caused, the bourgeoisie, who could see no end to it, took up arms and fired on them. Out of 100 prisoners they were astonished to find 96 shoulders weighed down with emblems and hieroglyphs. The backs of these troops revealed the badges of all the European powers and a cabinet full of medals.

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