Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/15

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PARIS AT THE BEGINNING OF 170;’. 9

The null became a working-woman; the shaved Cap- uchin read his journal i11 suburban taverns; and grinning crowds visited the profaned and open con- vents “as, in Grenada, travellers pass through the abandoned halls of the Alhambra, or as they pause, at Tivoli, under the columns of the Sibyl’s temple.” The J acobin Club and the Club of the Cordeliers will destroy the monarchy. In the Memoirs of Lafayette it is remarked that “it is hard to under- stand how the Jacobin minority and a handful of pretended Marseillais made themselves masters of Paris when nearly all the forty thousand citizens composing the National Guard desired the Constitu- tion; but the clubs had succeeded i11 scattering the true patriots an.d in creating a dread of vigorous measures. Experience had not yet taught What this feebleness and disorganization must needs cost.” The dark side of the picture is‘ plainly far more evident than it was in 1789. But how vivid it is stilll. Those who hunger after sensations are in their element. VVhen has there been more noise, more tumult, more movement, more ‘unexpected or more varied scenes? Listen o11ce more to Chateaubriand who, on his return from America, passed through Paris at this epoch: “VVhen I read the Histoire des troubles publics ches divers peuples before the Revolu- tion, I could not conceive how it was possible to live in those times. I was surprised that Montaigne Wrote so cheerfully in a castle which he could not Walk around without risk of being abducted by bands