Página:Imbert de Saint-Amand Marie Antoinette.djvu/16

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of Leaguers or Protestants. The Revolution has en- abled me to comprehend this possibility of existence. ‘Nith us men, critical moments produce an increase of life. In a society which is dissolving and form- ing itself anew, the strife between the two ten- dencies, the collision of the past and the future, the medley of ancient and modern manners, form a tran- sitory combination which does not admit a moment of ennui. Passions and characters, freed from restraint, display themselves with an energy they do not possess in well-regulated cities. The infrac- tion of laws, the emancipation from duties, usages, and the rules of decorum, even perils themselves, increase the interest of this disorder.”

Yes, people complain, grow angry, suffer, but they are not bored. How many incidents, episodes, emotions, there are in this strange tragi-comedy! Everywhere there is something to be seen; in the Assembly, the clubs, the public places, the prome- nades, streets, cafés, and theatres. Brawls and discussions are heard on every side. If by chance a salon is still open, disputes go on there as they would at a club. What quarrels take place in the cafés! Men stand on chairs and tables to spout. And what dissensions in the theatres! The actors meddle with politics as well as the spectators. In the greenroom of the Comédie-Frangaise there is a right side, whose chief is the royalist Naudet, and a left side led by the republican Talma. Neither actor goes out except well armed. There are pistols